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yet more marked difference be- that tremendous spiritual power tween esoteric and exoteric know- which they so loudly boast, and ledge is not accorded to the the limits of which they are so occupant of the Papal throne. In anxious to extend, or, indeed, to the ancient mysteries, there are declare to be beyond the bounds many grounds for concluding, the of earth-it is inconceivable that aspirant was led on to a point he should not have grasped, with where he was informed that all secret exultation if with outward which up to that time he had hesitation, an offer that would have been taught to hold with a literal secured such a basis for the confaith was shadowy and symbolic. duct of his rule of the Church as Sacred legends, sacred emblems, no Pope before his time could even sacred places, the images, names, have dreamed of attaining. The and persons
of the gods idea that petty Italian themselves,
but symbo- sovereignty, the possession of lical of fragments of a deeper which entailed rather humiliation, central truth-the truth of the One from the meanness of its extent, in whom all live, and breathe, and than increase of pontifical dignity, have their being. In one of the could give to the Pope such a orders of knightly monks that status as that above indicated, may fought for the Holy Land, and at- be dismissed from serious question. tained a sort of sovereign power The sovereign of Rome had before in Europe (unless the Templars now seen the city sacked by the are much maligned), a somewhat troops of the Constable de Bourbon. similar secret doctrine was ultima- That sovereignty had led to the tely inculcated. And in a more seizure and shameful deportation ancient and widely disseminated of Pius the Seventh as well as order of men, associated for pur- of Clement the Seventh. It had poses of human welfare and bro- subjected Pius the Ninth to the therly charity, the entrance to patronage of what he would which is surrounded by many himself be apt to term the scum curious precautions and pledges to of the French Revolution. Could secrecy, it is said that in the
an intelligent Pontiff hesitate for highest grades all oaths are re- one moment, unless it were from laxed, all promises retraced, and the intimate conviction that the the Master Mason is left to the pontificate was a magnificent imsole control of his own sense of posture, the charge of the Keys honour and of propriety as to what was a lucrative fable, and that the he shall say and of what he shall spiritual power was a splendid be silent. It is very hard to regard
hard to regard dream, to the delusive nature of the conduct of Pius the Ninth, at which no human being could be the crisis to which we have referred, so thoroughly awake the without the suspicion that some Pontiff himself ? special light of this nature was Whether Pius the Ninth was or sħed on his counsel, or guided was not the depositary of so tre. that of his real advisers. Unless mendous a secret, we have no this be the case, his conduct must opinion to offer. If he were, to his be regarded as purely imbecile and memory is due that honour which fatuous—that of a spoiled child, is accorded to the brave, unflinchand not that of a man of the ing, and persevering defender of most ordinary common sense. a position which he knows to be If he felt, in very truth, that untenable, but which he will surhe and his predecessors wielded render only with his life. If he
were not, his character should be once so impeached as to be subshortly summed up in a significant mitted to private arbitration, its and disrespectful monosyllable. awful sanction is gone. Luther But leaving, perforce, this great may lop off this; Döllinger that; question unsolved, there can be no Pusoy proposes to substitute somedoubt that, in other respects, Pius thing else; the vital unity is the Ninth has proved not only a broken. The destructive element sore saint for the Church of Rome, of literary criticism once adbut a signal impugner of thé mitted, nothing remains, in tho authority, and impairer of the logic of events, but the exhaustive hope, of Christianity.
testing of all dogma by the same For a tree is known by its fruits. powerful solvent. It may be the case, at times, that As to the probable result of such men will take fungus for fruit; a process, when once exhaustively but it is hard to prove that such carried out, opinions of course has been the case with the develop- differ very widely. In the anticiments given, in concrete form, to pation of one school of earnest and the floating faith of the Catholic able men, that result would be the obedience, by the definition of the reconsolidation of a perfect Cathodogma of the Immaculate Concep- lic unity. In the view of others, tion, by the Syllabus, and by the it would be a free league of indedeclaration of Papal Infallibility. pendent and partially differing In all cases where men of earnest religious communities. In the faith, after long exercise of their expectation of a third class of minds, have split off from the thinkers, it would leave unshaken Catholic unity, and have led other very little of modern Christianity men so to split, the comfort that but the name. But whatever they have laid to their souls has might be the positive result, the been the idea that they reverted negative consequence would be to the teaching of an earlier and certain. The principle of unpurer age of the Church. Such questioned authority would have was the hope of Luther, who received its death blow. The dreamed that the Bible could be claim to represent Peter, the rock its own interpreter; that the pos- on which the Church was built, session of a book rendered a teacher and in his name to rule and to unnecessary; that laws could work, legislate, giving account to no man, and enforce themselves, without would be at an end. A Pope who organised and authoritative minis- was but the highest teacher of a ters. Such has been the dream of scientific theology (supposing such Newman, of Döllinger, of Pusey. a reconstruction of faith to be posBut in each of them, and of all sible) would be altogether similar cases, occurs the same ter- different personage from one who rible gap-a gap which has to be claimed to be chosen and moved leaped, for it cannot be bridged by the Holy Ghost, and to utter The claim of the historic Church is the dicta of infallible truth. submitted to private judgment.
The actions of Pius the Ninth To a man born in a certain obe- since, to borrow the idea of Mr. dience, and content to live and to Trollope, he turned his thoughts die in the faith of his fathers, this from the condition of being a great question need not arise. In every king to that of being a great great heretic-using the word in Pope, have all tended to increase its original, and not in its abusive this menacing peril to the Church. sense-it does. If authority be On all those points where ecclesiastical and scientific tendencies betrayed a systematic endeavour, come most apparently into colli- to use the words of Mr. Trollope, sion, the Syllabus has directed the "to cause a doctrine, involving a full light of day. It has forced more grovelling, more degrading, on the minds of men the solution and more dangerous superstition of questions which they might than any which the 'ages of faith' never themselves have raised, and had invented or tolerated, to be from the discussion of which the adopted as a constituent part of Church, assuredly, can derive nei- the Catholic faith.” It has been ther power nor prestige. And it a policy of combat, and already has done this with the certain, and the world at large is more per-almost the sole, result of producing plexed as to the origin of such a a wide-spread irritation both with- policy than doubtful as to its in and without the Church. Thus tendency and ultimate result. with regard to the dogma of the The Constitutions of Loyola do Immaculate Conception, the defini- not justify the historian in attion of which was the first attempt tributing to the chiefs of the Order to render generally obligatory on of Jesus such a doctrine as was the Catholic Church matters that before referred to, and illustrated the wisdom of her greatest rulers by the history of the earlier had been content to leave under religious Order of the Temple. the shadow of scholastic learning, None of their works, as far as the Pope challenged trouble. To accessible to ordinary research, those to whose minds the notion directly justify such an attribution. that the Virgin Mary had been But we have only to recall the from the earliest moment of her great name of Pascal to remind existence exempt from all human the reader to what results the frailty brought a mystic comfort, moral teaching of the Order has the private teaching of the Church long been held to tend. The hisgave all the aid that could be tory of the Jesuit missions, both in desired. To those who felt that India and in Paraguay, is enough the very formulation of such a to shew that the Constitutions do question was a sorrowful abuse of not reveal the motive principles of the faculty of articulate speech, the Order. The fact of the repeated and that the attempt to define it suppression and banishment of a as a dogma was a negation of the body of priests of such high culture wholesome action of the human and such educational activity, not mind, the proclamation of Pius only by Catholic princes, but even the Ninth only proved the incom- by Popes, is one of extreme patibility of Catholic dogma and significance. In committing the
To this perilous Papacy to an internecine struggle issue has tended all the subsequent with all that the human mind holds train of action—the Syllabus and to be of the province of ascertainthe proceedings of the Council ; able certitude as to truth, the Order in a recent account of which an of Jesus has presented to the world English Cardinal has shewn so an enigma darker than any which cynical an appreciation of the in- has arisen from any former part of telligence of his readers, not to their eventful history. say so remarkable an absence of The personal character of Poperespect for what should be the Pius the Ninth becomes a matter central characteristic of an histo- of supreme insignificance when rian. In each and all of these compared to the course of the great sinister proceedings has been drama in which he has been, first,
an over-parted actor, and then an natural, that the secret counsellors unconscious puppet. Nor has his of the Vatican would strain every been the case of a well-meaning effort to secure the succession of a fanatic, so confident in the truth of Pope who would carry on, or at his own views that he has courted all events who would not reverse, the light of investigation and the the headlong race to ruin through judgment of his contemporaries. which the Catholic Church has We have lately had forced on our been urged during this pontiattention, by lectures, by lithogra- ficate. Of the wish to effect this, phic correspondence, by advertised and of the power of the wishers to wager, and by legal trial, the obtain any sort of aid or sanction dogma that the earth is flat. But that Pope Pius could give, there Parallax proposed methods, though is little room to doubt. The they told against him, by which counteracting influence is fear of to determine that what he stated the extreme danger which would to be the case was ascertainably be incurred by any such proceedcorrect. Pius the Ninth has stirred ings—danger, not to the actors, up against the Church, as con- but to the Papacy. What fever stituted under his infallible head- or plague is to the human body, ship, every element of human pro- is in the body of the Church called gress and of human civilisation. schism. And schism, to a Roman He has courted, and even forced Cardinal, means division of obedidiscussion. But when it arises he ence as to the Pope. Of all evils can only reply, “ Anathema sit.” If that can afflict the Church, accord-this policy be, on the part of his ing to her great doctors, that of a advisers, that of a genuine despair disputed Papacy is the greatest. -a sense that nothing can ever To prevent the recurrence of such hereafter be hoped for by them an event, the law regulating the except from the comparatively few election of the Pope has been who will give themselves up, elaborated with the most anxious, body and soul, sicut ac cadaver, to care, amended with the maturest this direction, it is intelligible, and experience, and found to work even, to some extent, self-con- with admirable regularity, as far sistent. But unless a deep despair, as that main object is concerned, founded on a dreadful and uncom- for centuries. It is not conceivmunicable knowledge of the inti- able that any men should be so. mate untruth of their exoteric insane (unless, indeed, they were teaching, possess the counsellors traitors in disguise) as to attempt of the Papacy, the conduct of the in any way to proclaim a new Pope since his return from Naples Pope who had not the legal to Rome has been marked by a sanction of the suffrages of twofatuous imbecility that might well thirds of the Cardinals who should have earned him the reputation of enter into conclave on the decease being a most signal jettatore-one of Pius the Ninth. The utmost whose eye was indeed evil, and that could be attempted, with any which had done its mischief on the chance of success, would be to Church.
surprise a majority. As to this, During what has appeared to be there is a consideration to be. the long last agony of Pius the urged which may probably have Ninth, there has been much stir been well discussed in camera at as to some alteration in the law Rome, but which has not attracted of Papal Conclave. The idea has attention elsewhere.
It is now been, and it has not been un- thirty-one years since a Conclave has been held, and the men left alive opened four and twenty hours after who have any personal experience the death of the Pope would not of the ordering of such a solemnity now give the Italian Cardinals a are few. During that thirty-one greater start over their transalpine years a change of such magnitude brethren than was afforded to them, has occurred in Europe that before the introduction of steam the Court of Rome would find a locomotion, by the prescribed nine full justification—if Rome at any days of delay. time recognised change as a condi- In that respect, then, there is a tion of human existence in mak- real and sound reason for the ing a certain alteration in the law holding of a Conclave presenti of Conclave. As that law has long cadavere, supposing the alteration stood, the space of nine days, of the law to have been made with which are occupied by the funeral due deliberation and formality. solemnities for the late Pope, are But it is hardly to be expected allowed to intervene before the that a vote could be, even by this Cardinals enter the Conclave. means, surprised. Interests are too Once entered, a Pope may be personal, opinions too pronounced, created in a moment, by the rare,
Italian ecclesiastics, too wary, too but not unexampled, process of timid, too accustomed to demand adoration. However small the time for reflection, to render the number of the Cardinals present, success of a coup d'état of this nathe majority of two-thirds of them ture probable. As to that, however, holds the tiara at its disposal. no one out of Rome, and very few It is difficult to doubt that the persons in Rome, have the means Papal Court, which has a private of forming an opinion. In the hotreason for every public ordinance, bed of intrigue which precedes and fixed that delay of nine days with accompanies a Conclave, the inforthe purpose of allowing all the mation of even the best informed Italian Cardinals, and none of loses its value if it is three hours those who resided beyond the old. It would be absurd to offer any Alps, to be present at the opening prediction as to the issue of a of the Conclave. Divided as these Conclave. It may last an hour, it prelates might be between them- may last days, it may last weeks. selves, yet the great object of That every provision which excluding a French or a German astute cunning can suggest will Pope would give them a point of be-has been-made to secure union--and at least an opportu- such a successor of Pius the Ninth nity for such an accord was afforded would probably be found in by the existing law, under circum- Cardinal Apazzo, there can be no stances which no longer_exist. doubt. That the risk of schism For by the furrowing of Europe must, to some extent, paralyse the during this long pontificate by rail- energy of the party of the Syllabus, ways, and the binding together is probable, and that if it has not of all the episcopal cities by the this effect a schism will ensue, is wires of the electric telegraph, yet more probable. The whole the time formerly required for question may be solved before sending notice of the death these lines leave the hands of the of the Pope is annihilated, and the printer's compositor; it may drag time required for the journey of on until their argument is almost the distant Cardinals to Rome on forgotten by those who read it. the receipt of that summons, is im- But sooner or later, for good or mensely reduced. A Conclave for evil, the Conclave that elects