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Faith and Reason, Revelation and Science

Brownson’s Quarterly Review for April, 1863

            It is not our intention, in citing the pamphlets placed at the head of this article, to take a formal part in the controversy now going on in Great Britain between certain English prelates and some of the writers in the late Rambler and present Home and Foreign Review. We are not in favor of wither foreign intervention or foreign mediation, and think, as a rule, it is best, in a domestic quarrel, to let the original parties to fight it out between themselves. Besides, our principles seldom allow us to take part with rebellious subjects against legitimate authority. Authority must forfeit its right, by the abuse of its powers, before we can take part against it. In the present case we can take part heartily with neither side. We like the free, independent spirit, and the bold utterance of the writers criticized, and we sympathize fully with them in their desire to enlist on the side of the church the literature and science of the age; but we accept neither their theological school nor their philosophical speculations, especially as represented by our highly esteemed friend, Mr. Simpson, in his papers on the Forms of Intuition.

            Mr. Simpson, in his Reply, seems to us to have convicted his right reverend critic of having in most cases misunderstood, misapplied, misstated, or mutilated his meaning; but it is seldom that men in authority, when they suppose the interests committed to them are at stake, are over-scrupulous in their representations of the views and sentiments of those whom they deem it their duty to put down, or to prevent them from doing mischief. They esteem it so important that the man they regard as dangerous should be deprived of influence and rendered impotent for evil, that they sometimes forget that they are bound to treat him justly, and to take no undue or unfair advantage of him. Few men will avow the maxim, The end sanctifies the means; but a great many men, and otherwise worthy men too, may be found who will act on it. This is no doubt deplorable, but it is an infirmity of our nature.

            Mr. Simpson makes it evident that the bishop ascribes to him views he does not entertain, and censures him for opinions he does not hold and has not expressed. But the bishop, we can easily believe, was unconscious of any unfairness, and had no intention of misrepresenting him. He, as we have found bishops sometimes doing, formed, we presume, his theory of the writer’s doctrines and intentions from a hasty perusal of an expression here and an expression there, and afterwards read only to confirm his hastily formed theory. Then it must be borne in mind that no man ever in writing, or even in speaking, expresses or can express his whole thought to a mind totally unacquainted with it. He necessarily leaves much to be supplied by the activity and intelligence of the mind addressed; and that which is thus supplied may turn out to be a piece of old cloth inserted in a new garment. Most men’s minds run in grooves, and after a certain age cannot easily get out of them. Few men have the power of leaving their own standpoint, and placing themselves in that of another. No man sees what lies out of the plane of his vision, or that which is invisible from his point of view. Not many men have learned that we never understand a doctrine till we have seen it in a light, or under an aspect, in which or under which it is true. You must see and understand a man’s truth, before you can see and comprehend his error. Overlooking all considerations of this sort, controversialists do not read, at least do not note, all that the man they are controverting writes, and usually take what is intelligible to them from their point of view, either as confirming or as impugning their own convictions. What else is said or written counts for nothing. Having fixed in their minds what must be the meaning and purpose of an author, they treat all he says what is not conformable thereto, either as a self-contradiction or as so much mere verbiage. All men, except certain rare individuals to whom God gives the precious gift of real philosophical genius, are more or less guilty of this unfairness toward those who differ from them, and that, too, even without intending or suspecting it.

            Bishop Ullathorne, we doubt not, criticized what he honestly believed to be Mr. Simpson’s real meaning; and he no doubt considered his omissions of Mr. Simpson’s words or mutilations of his text in no way altering or impairing the sense- as, in fact, only bringing out more clearly and distinctly his real thought. The mass of writers in our day write loosely, diffusely, and verbosely, and fail to attach any clear or definite meaning to one-half the words they use or periods they indite. The practice of loose writing generates a habit of loose and careless reading. It is seldom nowadays one thinks of reading a whole book, a whole essay, a whole article even, in order to get at the writer’s meaning. Most books, essays, articles written in our times, can be easily understood by reading the first sentence of each paragraph, and shipping all the rest. It is seldom we come across a writer who uses no superfluous word, and whose production, to be understood, must be read from the beginning to the end. Some such writers there are, even now, but they find few readers who read them with sufficient care and attention to master their whole and exact meaning. Perhaps among no class of readers are they less adequately understood than among those who have received a scholastic training, and had their minds formed after the dry analytic, scholastic method. The scholastic method always begins by asserting the thesis or proposition to be proved, demonstrated, or explained; and all that cultivated readers need do to understand a writing is to run the eye over the several propositions or theses enunciated. The better writers of modern times do not write after this method, which, with all its merit, is stiff and formal; but adopt what we call the synthetic method, and usually set out with a principle, proposition, or statement that needs, or is assumed to need, no proof or explanation, and proceed by way of deduction, induction, or rather production, from it to the principle, thesis, or proposition intended to be established or made clear and evident. The full meaning of these can be ascertained only by reading their whole production, skipping no sentence and no word. Our bishops and clergy, educated in Catholic colleges and seminaries, are trained in the scholastic or analytic method, and are by their habits of mind as unfitted as they well can be to do justice to those who have been trained in schools outside of the church, and think and write after the synthetic method, without much respect for scholastic formalities and technicalities. They are apt to interpret us in a too matter-of-fact way.

            We have had some experience in the matter. We are generally allowed to write tolerably clear, plain, forcible English, and yet we have rarely found our full and exact meaning reproduced by either a friendly or an unfriendly critic. We have been applauded for meanings we have never dreamed of, and cried down for views we have never entertained, and which we hold in horror; and that, too, by men whose native and acquired ability we respect, and whose right feeling and honesty of purpose we cannot doubt. The fact is, people cannot know strangers by a merely nominal introduction, and do not always recognize even their friends in an unusual or an unfamiliar dress. From all this we should learn a lesson of mutual forbearance. The men of original thought, of bold and earnest spirit,- the prophets of their race, to whom God gives the mission of stirring up the thought of their age, reforming the prevailing philosophy or theology, and advancing religion and civilization,- must expect to be misunderstood and misrepresented. They must neither be angry nor cast down when they find themselves denounced as enemies of the truth to which they are wedded for life or for death. “Lord,” said Elijah, in a desponding moment, “they have digged down thy altars and slain thy prophets, and I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it.” No. “I have reserved to myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” They never do well to be angry or faint-hearted. The misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and opposition are inevitable, and if we encountered them not we should have reason to distrust our mission, or at least our fidelity to it. We should expect nothing else. “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.” If you are sent to lift the world to a higher plane, you are not of the world, and the world knows you not. It takes you to be its enemies, and what wonder that it refuses to treat you as friends? But their ignorance rather than malice is the cause. Did the world understand you it would not oppose you. Keep up your hearts, keep burning the flame of your charity, and be sure that no true word is ever spoken that falls to the ground or fails of success. God, who is truth itself, is pledged to proper it, and all that is mighty in heaven or generous and noble on earth is enlisted in your work. If the good work is done, what matters it whether we or another get from men the credit of doing it? Let no man flatter himself that he can do great or good things without disinterestedness, a forgetfulness of self.

            On the other hand, those who are in high places, and occupy the chief seats in the synagogue, should have more confidence in truth, more confidence in divine providence, and not fancy the church is in danger, or the faith is likely to be upset, because some bold speculator questions opinions they have hitherto held, or arraigns the theological or philosophical school they have followed. Opinions may go and the faith remain; and many traditions of Catholics may be made away with, and Catholic tradition remain intact, perhaps in greater vigor and purity than before. Old Luis Vives tells a good story of a countryman and his ass. A countryman returning with his ass from market one bright moonlit evening, stopped by the way to give his ass a pail of water, in which he beheld a reflection of the moon. The ass was thirsty and drank up the water, and with the water the moon’s reflection. Whereupon the countryman fell to beating his ass most unmercifully for drinking up the moon, when it was only the reflection of it at the bottom of the water-pail. These asses you beat for drinking up the moon, or the truth, only drink up the miserable reflection of it in your own water-pails. The truth shines as bright and as clear in the heavens as ever. You must not believe every false spirit, for many false prophets have gone out into the world; but try the spirits, be patient with them, and give them a fair hearing. Be hospitable; refuse not to entertain strangers, for many have entertained angels unawares. The faith never varies, but there may be more in it than is reflected in your water-pails. Many a man who has unwittingly broached an error would correct it of himself if let alone, and rash enunciation did not come to enlist his pride or his self-love in its defense. We are to expect no new revelation, but there may be many new developments and applications of the old yet to be made, of which the wisest and best have not yet dreamed. These agitators, reformers, “prophets of the newness,” as somebody calls them, may, after all, have a mission, and do a good work. At any rate, if you find them fallible, you must bear in mind that you are not infallible.

            But leaving remarks of this sort, we may still take up and discuss the subject involved in the controversy between Mr. Simpson and his right reverend critic, for it is a subject as domestic in America as in Great Britain. That subject is the relation between faith and reason, revelation and science. The question as to this relation is, on one form or another, the great question of our age, and a question which, whatever their reluctance to grapple with it, our theologians must meet fairly and squarely, and, as far as possible, dispose of once and for all. Mr. Simpson, of we understand him, maintains that faith and reason accord, because faith is a function or operation of reason; and that there is no discordance between revelation and science, because they deal with different matters, are concerned with different objects, lie in different spheres, and revolve in different orbits. Revelation belongs to a sphere above that of science, and turns on matters that either do not come within the sphere of science, or which, by their miraculous character, are withdrawn from its jurisdiction. Lying in different spheres, revolving in different orbits, each is free to follow its own laws, and can do so without any collision or interference with the other. The bishop, as we gather from Mr. Simpson’s Reply, objects, 1. Faith, defined as a simple operation or function of reason- especially when, as Mr. Simpson teaches, reason cannot demonstrate the existence of God, and we are obliged to depend on revelation for that primal truth- is inadequate, and wants the essential mark or character of Catholic faith. 2. It is not true that revelation and science revolve in two totally distinct and independent spheres. Revelation, in many important particulars, touches the sphere of science, and deals with the same objects or matters; and where it does so, as the superior, gives the law to science, and has the right to control its speculations or inductions whenever they tend to impugn the revealed dogma. Mr. Simpson replies to the first objection, that he did not offer a definition of faith, but was merely describing it under that aspect in which it is undoubtedly a simple operation or function of reason. His purpose, at the time, was not to give a full and exact definition of the whole complex idea of faith, but to show that faith, generically considered, is a natural and normal exercise of the human mind. It was not necessary to his purpose to go further,- to distinguish between what theologians call human faith and divine faith, and to show on what conditions divine or Catholic faith is elicitable. To the second objection he replies by citing various authorities to prove that revelation deals principally with the invisible, - as we say, the superintelligible, which lies out of the range of reason; and by asserting that in the few instances in which it embraces facts of the visible order, they are, by their miraculous character, removed from the jurisdiction of science.

            Mr. Simpson unquestionably shows that the bishop, in numerous instances, misapprehended or perverted his meaning; but he must permit us to say that we are far from being satisfied with his own view of the great questions at issue between Catholics and rationalists, or believers and unbelievers. We may not be prepared to accept all the statements of the bishop, far less the formal censure he pronounces against The Rambler and the Home and Foreign Review; but Mr. Simpson does not, to our understanding, meet and solve the real difficulty in the mind of the scientific rationalist. That faith or belief is an exercise, and a normal exercise, of our rational nature, we suppose no rationalist denies; and in proving it we do little to show the subjective harmony between reason and divine or Catholic faith, which not only embraces, as to its object, matters that transcend our intelligence, but is itself not elicitable without the elevation of the subject by grace to a higher than its natural power. Divine faith is supernatural as to its subject as well as its object, proceeds from a supernatural principle, and lays hold of a supernatural object with a supernatural grasp. In other words, faith is the gift of God, and the act of faith cannot possibly be elicited without the assistance of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The problem is not,- whether we are reasoning with rationalists or believers,- to show that faith, in a general sense, is a normal exercise of reason, but that in this specific sense, in the sense in which unassisted reason cannot elicit it, it accords with reason or science. How can it be shown that a faith not elicitable by the natural strength of reason can be asserted as essential to salvation, without disparaging reason? This is the problem; and to assign as a reason for not meeting it, the fact that we are reasoning with rationalists or non-believers, is unsatisfactory, because it is their precise difficulty, and the very point to be discussed in reasoning with them.

            We are less satisfied with Mr. Simpson’s reply on the other point. To place revelation and science in two distinct and independent spheres is not to harmonize them, to show a dialectic relation between them, but is to deny the possibility of all harmony or of a dialectic relation between them, and to defend in the most formal manner the fatal schism which exists between faith and reason, revelation and science, religion and civilization, the church and society, in our modern world. Mr. Simpson’s reply asserts, in even an exaggerated form, the very doctrine out of which that schism has grown, and confirms the very objection of rationalists. Their objection is precisely that theologians, by presenting revelation and science as revolving in distinct and independent orbits, render all concord between them impossible; and as science is evidently human, in the human sphere, revelation is either superfluous or inadmissible, since it does not or cannot come into relation with the human, and form an integral part of our ordinary life. They reject revelation as out of their sphere, and as having nothing to do with them, as they have nothing to do with it. At best, Mr. Simpson’s doctrine denies all objective relation between the matter of revelation and the matter of science, and supposes the objective reality to be divided into two distinct and independent spheres,- parallel to each other, if you please, but, like two parallel lines, that may be extended to infinity without ever meeting. Whatever connection there may be between them is accidental, arbitrary, forced, without any basis in the real world, or in the original purpose and plan of the Creator. The objection is precisely the same with that which we brought some time since to the supposition of the status naturae purae, or the assertion that God could, had he chosen, have given us our beatitude in the natural or cosmic order, without the incarnation of the Word, and the supernatural elevation of man to union with himself. This asserts two orders, the natural and the supernatural, lying one above the other, and both created orders, and yet without any real or dialectic relation between them. They can be, as Dr. Nevin very well objected, only mechanically or magically related. This is no real nexus that unites them.

            Rationalists object to revelation not only on the ground that faith, to be elicited, requires subjectively something more than our own native intellectual strength; but also, and chiefly, that it has objectively no real relation with the world of science. What the Catholic, in order to meet their objection, has to do, is to show the dialectic union and harmony of the matter of revelation with the matter of science; or that matters revealed or objects made known by supernatural revelation are really connected with the world of science, as integral parts of one indissoluble whole. Is the order of truth supernaturally revealed- what the theologians term the objectum materiale fidei- really connected with the order of truth cognizable by our natural faculties without supernatural revelation, so as in reality to form one truth with it? Or is it distinct and separate from it, pertaining to a distinct and independent sphere? Is the so-called supernatural order the distinctively Christian order, a part, and the chief part, of one grand whole, dialectically united with the natural universe and completing it? Or is it an order apart, only accidentally or arbitrarily connected with it? Here, as we understand it, is the real problem to be solved, and which must be solved before we can speak intelligibly of discord or concord between faith and reason, revelation and science, or attempt to bring our whole intellectual life into dialectic harmony, or establish the synthesis of nature and grace.

            Mr. Simpson, if we understand him, assumes that the two orders, objectively considered, are unrelated,- two separate and independent orders of truth. Science has nothing to do with revelation, except to judge of the sufficiency of the signs or evidences by which it is accredited, and to determine whether what purports to be revealed does or does not contradict the innate laws of the human mind; and revelation has nothing to do with science, which it leaves to obey its own laws, and to follow its own speculations and inductions, without being under any obligation to consult any thing above or beyond them. Suppose science, in its investigations, should arrive at the denial of the unity of the human race; it would be at liberty to make that denial, notwithstanding the whole revealed dogma asserts or implies the contrary, and Original Sin, the Incarnation, Redemption, Regeneration, indeed all that has hitherto been regarded as distinctively Christian, would have no meaning if the unity of the human race were not a truth. He would conclude, not that revelation asserts any thing false, but that theologians had misunderstood it, encroached on the domain of science, and attempted to erect their miserable glosses into revealed dogmas. This would end practically in the baldest rationalism, and would be the conversion of Christianity to rationalism, not of rationalism to Christianity. It would, in effect, make science the touch-stone of revelation, and the measure of reason the measure of faith.

            Mr. Simpson has, it seems to us, been misled by a certain school of theology which exaggerates, and still more by his philosophy, which recognizes no God, and consequently no creative act. He, by a singular infatuation, fancies himself a profound metaphysician, and, in his papers on the Forms of Intuition, evidently persuades himself that he really has thrown a new and clear light on the chief problems of metaphysical science. But his philosophy is the subjectivism of Kant, with a few additions borrowed from Sir William Hamilton and Mr. Mansel, refuted time and again in the pages of this Review. With this subjective philosophy he cannot go out of himself, or attain to a real world outside of his own Ich or Ego. He makes the categories simply forms of the subject, and maintains that the forms of the object are determined by the subject, or rather imposed by the subject from its own inherent and innate forms. The ideas of force, will, understanding, are derived from the forms of our own minds, and have only a subjective value. Power, will, intelligence, are intuitive, that is, in his sense, innate forms of our understanding, and we infer that they exist outside of us; but whether united in one person, or polytheistically distributed, is more than we without revelation can know. Hence we can know neither intuitively nor discursively the existence of God. But how does he know there is any thing outside of us? He attempts, with Fichte, to prove something outside of us, by asserting that we find experimentally not only the limitation of our powers, but a positive resistance to them. That which resists cannot be that which is resisted. That which resists must be not-me, non ego, and consequently something besides me exists. All very fine. But he forgets that he has laid down that the forms of our knowledge are derived from ourselves, and that we see things not as they are, or see things so and so not because they are so and so, but because we are so constituted. If we had been constituted differently we should see them differently. How then does he know that he finds real resistance, or that what he takes to be real resistance may, after all, not be the action of any external object, but the effect of his own internal constitution, of the innate laws and mechanism of his own mind? Has he not told us that the idea of force is supplied from within?

            With a philosophy that really asserts for him no existence but his own, it were not possible for Mr. Simpson to grasp the idea of the essential dialectic unity and harmony of all the Creator’s works,- to conceive the real difficulty of the rationalist, or to do any thing more than exaggerate and confirm that difficulty. That difficulty is removable only by a higher order of philosophic thought than he evinces or recognizes. To remove it we must rise to that theologia prima which few in our days cultivate- to that higher region where faith and reason, revelation and science, meet, and fall into dialectic union. Pere Gratry, in his Connaissance de Dieu and his Logique, has partially comprehended the problem and attempted its solution, but without success, principally because he mistook the question of method for the question of principles, and attempted to settle the question of principles by settling that of method,- not being aware that principles determine the method, not method the principles. It is a grave mistake to attempt to determine how we know, before determining what we know. Others have succeeded better, especially in Italy. But our English-speaking world, for the most part, turns away from the subject; is content to revolve in a lower orbit; and no Catholic is in a lower orbit than that in which Mr. Simpson himself complacently revolves, who, though he does not hesitate to accuse contemporary Catholic theologians, bishops, and priests, of being behind their age in science, is himself, in philosophical and theological thought, by no means up to the level of his age. He has not yet risen above Kant, Hamilton, Mansel, and amuses us with elaborate papers to prove that the categories are forms of intuition, or rather innate and subjective forms of the understanding supplied by the mind from itself, not objective verities intuitively held by the understanding.

            Mr. Simpson must pardon us if we tell him that we do not accept his doctrine, that the subject-matter of revelation and that of science belong to two distinct and independent spheres; and that we cannot concede that, however much churchmen may have abused their authority, science is independent of faith and revelation. The truth attainted to by our natural faculties and that made known to us by supernatural revelation are not, as we hold, two orders of truth, having no dialectic union or relation, but simply different parts of one whole,- really one full, complete, and universal truth. God is one, and his creation is one,- made with one design, according to one plan,- and is one homogenous whole. In the universe of God, understood as embracing all his works, in their principle, medium, and end, all the parts have a real dialectic relation to the whole, and the whole to each of the parts. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without your heavenly Father’s notice, and all the hairs of your head are numbered, and have their logical relation to the entire universe; for the universe itself is but the free expression ad extra of the Word, the eternal Logos, the supreme Logic itself in its eternal and immutable principle. God is supremely logical, and in the ever-blessed Trinity we have the type and source of all dialectic union. God may create or not, according to his own good pleasure; but he cannot create sophistically, or suffer a positive sophism to enter his creation. The dialectic harmony of the universe may not be apparent to our feeble vision, which can take in only a part; but the logical character of the whole must be asserted, and will be manifest in the final conclusion or last Judgment, when all shall be consummated. What appears to us isolated, detached, unrelated, sophistical, so appears because we cannot see the whole, and take in one view all its parts in their relations to the whole and to one another. It is not, as Mr. Simpson and his school contend, that we do not see things as they really are, or that our own intelligence is not true as far as it goes, but that we do not see all, and in fact see only a little, and hardly any thing in its real relations.

            The Christian order, the supernatural order, or the order of grace, is not something not dialectically included in the original purpose or plan of creation, as is too often supposed,- as the unbeliever always supposes. It is not a foreign order,- not a subsequent introduction or appendix to the original text, not contemplated and provided for in the original creative act. If man had not sinned redemption would not have been necessary, and our Lord would not have suffered and died; but we are permitted to hold that even if Adam had not sinned, the Word would have been incarnated. It is not necessary to believe that the Word was made flesh, God became man, solely that he might suffer and die to repair man’s fault, but also and primarily that man might become God. The Incarnation is the complement of the creative act, completing the cosmos by carrying the creative act to its apex, and initiating the second cycle of creation, or palingenesia, that is, regeneration, whose end is glorification. The supernatural, in whatever sense we take the term, is not disjoined, objectively or subjectively, from the natural. The term is usually taken to mean what transcends in the intellectual order our natural reason, and in the moral order our natural strength. We understand by it God, who is above nature and independent of nature, and whatever is done immediately by him. Hence creation is a supernatural act, the Incarnation is a supernatural act, grace is a supernatural act, because an immediate act of God, not an act done by God, mediately, through the concreative act of second causes. But in this sense the natural and supernatural are dialectically united by the creative act of God, the nexus between the Creator and the creature. The fact of the supernatural in this sense is as certain to us as any natural fact, both because it passes directly and constantly before our eyes, and because without it no natural fact is conceivable or possible. The supernatural, God, is complete and self-sufficing in himself, and has no need to create in order to be, or to be being in its plenitude; but nature depends entirely on the supernatural, and can exist only as created, and as united to it by the creative act. All attempts to get a natural origin or cause of nature fail, and end only in the denial of nature. Creation, no doubt, is a mystery inexplicable by us or to us, but its certainty cannot be questioned without the grossest sophistry. It is as evident to us, as a fact, as our own existence, for in perceiving our own existence it is the creative act of God himself that we perceive. We are all in that act, and without it we are nothing, and therefore nothing to be perceived. God does not create us by one act and preserve us by another; for our continuous existence depends on the fact that the creative act is a continuous act; that God, so to speak, continuously creates us. The creative act is an ever-present act,- a continuous act. To suppose it suspended, is to suppose the existence it places annihilated; for creatures have no life or being in or from themselves. “In him we live, and move, and have our being.”

            No little of the difficulty we are grappling with, grows out of confounding the supernatural with the superintelligible. The supernatural is super-comprehensible to us, but not in all respects superintelligible. The supernatural is not explicable by natural laws, by may be known by natural reason. God is intelligible, infinitely intelligible, because infinitely intelligent, and is the intelligible and the ground of all intelligibility to us, though he surpasses our intelligence, and is to us in his essence superintelligible. But what in him is superintelligible to us is not disjoined from that which is intelligible, or really distinguishable from it, and, were our faculties great enough to grasp it, would be seen to be identically the same. So in the works of God. The superintelligible is not necessarily supernatural, for our intelligence is not equal to the whole of nature. We can know the superintelligible only as supernaturally revealed, and grasp it only by faith, not by science; yet it may itself be as much nature as the intelligible or the sensible. Objectively considered, the superintelligible, which is the matter of revelation, does not lie in a separate sphere above that of science, as Mr. Simpson contends, but in the same objective sphere with science, though beyond the reach of our scientific faculties.

            Distinguishing between the supernatural and the superintelligible, we can easily discern the basis of the harmony of faith and reason, revelation and science, without placing them in distinct, separate, and independent spheres. The whole world of reality, whether natural or supernatural, may be included, in relation to us, under three heads,- the sensible, the intelligible, and the superintelligible; to which in us correspond three faculties,- sensibility, intellect, and superintelligence; whence the objective and subjective conditions of sensible apprehension, and sentiment, thought or science, and faith- three terms which, under the point of view we are now considering them, exhaust both subject and object, that is, all reality. The faculty we call superintelligence is the subjective principle of faith, by which faith is connected on its subjective side with intelligence, and harmonized with our whole intellectual life, or, rather, made an integral part of it. The objective distinctions of visible, intelligible, and superintelligible, are not distinctions of three separate realities, worlds, or orders of being or existences, but distinctions in one and the same order, borrowed from our human faculties. The sensible does not exist without the intelligible, nor the intelligible without the superintelligible. In each case the lower has its root and source in the higher, the mimetic in the methexic. The sensible is capable of being thought only by virtue of the intelligible, and the intelligible demands for its basis the superintelligible. The doctrine of the Real Presence would not only be inexplicable, but false and unmeaning, if in the visible there were not the intelligible; for the visible body present is not the body of our Lord. But though the intelligible, what may be called the supersensible, is apprehensible by our noetic faculty, there is in all intelligibles even something which surpasses our intelligence. We never know the essences of things. We may know their visible appearances, their external qualities and attributes, but the inner essence, the real quidditas of the thing, always escapes us, and is to us really superintelligible, alike in the natural and in the supernatural. God is intelligible, and even the invisible things of God, including his power and divinity, are clearly seen, being understood by things that are made. We know he is, and even know his attributes, and without knowing so much we could know nothing; for he is himself the immediate object and light of intuition, in which, in its primary form, is contained all our knowledge; yet we know not his essence, what he is in himself, the real quidditas Dei. His essence escapes us, and is to us superintelligible. We can know it here analogically through faith, for it is only hereafter, when united to him by what theologians call the ens supernaturale, that we can see and know him as he is. The beatific vision is the clear view of the essence of God; but till we are beatified in glory we can see only in part, and know only in part, through a glass darkly, or per aenigmata.

            The faculty we call superintelligence, is not a faculty by which we positively seize the superintelligible, and know it as we know the intelligible; but the faculty which advertises us that the intelligible is not the whole thing,- that there is more to be known than we know, or in our present state can know. Psychically it is neither sense nor intelligence, for both sense and intelligence grasp and hold fast their objects, and for neither does there exist what it does not apprehend. Intelligence tells us what is known, what it knows; but it cannot advertise us that there is an unknown to which it has not penetrated, and to which it cannot penetrate. And yet there is nothing of which we are better assured than that beyond the known is the unknown and the unknowable, which we never do or can confound with the non-existent. We have a consciousness of our own impotence, and of the limitation of our own powers. We feel that we are bounded, shut up in a prison-house, and the soul continually, in her grief and vexation, beats her head against her dungeon walls. The wise man is elated never by what he knows, but is humbled and oppressed by the infinitely more there is to be known and which he cannot know, at least in his present state of existence. The soul has a consciousness of her own impotence, but at the same time a consciousness of her own potentiality- that there is more than she knows, and that she can be more than she is. Whence comes all this, noted by all philosophers in all ages, and which gives rise, under an intellectual point of view, to a thirst of knowing which can only be satiated only with the infinite, and, under the moral point of view, to a craving for beatitude which can be satisfied only by union with God in glory? “I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness.” We call it the faculty of superintelligence, and it is, as it were, an instinct of the soul directing it to the superintelligible, and presenting in the soul herself an aptitude to receive and credit a supernatural revelation of the superintelligible when made. It gives us at it were the instinct of faith, a certain prolepsis of revelation, a subjective capacity for it; for although it does not anticipate the revelation, it yet advertises that there is reality beyond what is intelligible to be revealed, if God chooses to reveal it. It is in us a certain presage of revelation, as the desire of beatitude is a certain presage or pledge of the beatific vision. It makes it that revelation comes to us rather as an expected guest than as a perfect stranger,- is a sort of presentiment of its coming. By virtue of it no violence is done to our nature in receiving revelation; no fitting up of a new apartment for its lodgment is required. Revelation thus finds an apartment already prepared for it, and it simply supplies a want painfully felt. The moment we recognize this faculty, revelation ceases to be antecedently improbable; there are no longer any a priori objections to it, and there becomes almost, in some sort, a natural presumption in its favor. It then requires only a degree of evidence demanded in the ordinary conduct of life for prudent action, to accredit it to the understanding. Here, then, is, at least on the subjective side, a real basis for the concord of faith and reason, revelation and science.

            The superintelligible by revelation does not become intelligible; we do not hold it after revelation scientifically, or by direct science; nor yet do we remain wholly ignorant of it. We do not comprehend, but we apprehend it, and understand it analogically, by analogies borrowed from the intelligible. By means of its evidences it may be more certain than the speculations and inductions of science, but our knowledge of it is not full and direct. We know it only indirectly, and as we say analogically; yet in some sense we know it, and it coalesces with all else we know, and forms an integral and inseparable part of our intellectual life. We find in it the principles of our rational life itself, the principles of the explication even of the intelligible; for the real explication of things is in their essence, in what to us is naturally superintelligible. It contains the principles and sanctions of duty, and no man can practically understand the system of the universe, the origin and end of things, without it. Without it religion and morality are theorems, not laws or axioms. Without it science itself fails; society, civilization fails; for the whole history of the world proves that nations become rude, savage, in proportion as they lose or pervert the tradition of revealed truth; as well they must, for the elements of all civilization, as well as of all religion, are derived by revelation from the superintelligible, in which is the type and essence of all things. Without revelation we may know that God is, and is the creator of all things, and therefore that in him is the archetype of every creature, as well as of the universe as a whole; but we cannot know what this archetype is, for it pertains to the very essence of God; and how without revelation could we know or suspect that God in his essence is triune, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? The Trinity is the archetype of all existence, and is copied or imitated by every creature. Doubtless, a man may on many subjects reason logically without believing in the Trinity; but without a recognition of the Trinity he could never explain logic, for without the Trinity there would and could be no logic. There would and could be no dialectic type or principle. The origin of every judgment is in the triune essence of God, for being in itself is a complete and perfect judgment, containing the three terms, principle, medium, and conclusion or end, essential to every judgment. Without the revelation of the triune essence of God, the three eternal relations in their indissoluble unity of being, we could never conceive the mystery of creation, and could by no means explain the mystery of generation, for less that of regeneration. In other words, the revealed truth is necessary to the development and explication of the truth recognizable by our natural faculties.

            There is a truth in traditionalism, though the traditionalists have failed to disengage it from error. Science is not founded on revelation, but revelation is necessary to the evolution and explication of natural truth. Nothing is further from the truth than the supposition that revelation and science revolve in two respectively independent spheres,- spheres that have no mutual relations or dependence. The revealed mysteries of Original Sin, the Incarnation, Redemption, through a flood of light on the most difficult problems of philosophy. The dogma does not indeed control the facts or phenomena of the natural order, but it does control their explanation. Let a man who denies the reality of genera and species, and contends that the universals of the schoolmen are mere words or abstract mental conceptions, undertake to harmonize the dogma of original sin, the Incarnation, or Redemption, with his philosophy, and he will soon see that there is an intimate relation between philosophy and the revealed dogmas. The revealed dogmas are in direct conflict with the philosophical nominalism and conceptualism professed by Mr. Simpson, and hence both Rosceline and Abelard incurred the censure of the church; for the dogmas can be true only in case that genera and species, though not existing without individuals, do yet really exist, a parte rei, and generate or specificate the individual. Original sin in Adam was individual; in us it is the sin of the race, and participated in by us only in the respect that we participate in the race. All men fell in Adam because all were really in him as the race, though not as individuals. If the race, humanitas, be only an empty word, a mental conception, an abstraction or generalization, without existence a parte rei, the Incarnation would lose all its significance; for there could have been no assumption of its human nature by the Word, since, though human nature was individuated in Christ by the divine personality, the Word did not assume an individual man. The doctrine that he did is the heresy of the adoptionists, and virtually of the Nestorians. Moreover, if he had done so, he would not have elevated human nature to hypostatic union with God, or affected by his Incarnation any one except the individual assumed; neither would he by his passion and death have redeemed mankind. It is a grave mistake, then, to suppose that revelation and science are unrelated, and revolve in separate spheres.

            Mr. Simpson seems to understand by science merely the knowledge of visible phenomena; but, if he had studied Plato as much as he appears to have studied Mansel and M’Cosh, he would have been aware that the visible, that is, the sensible, is never the object of science, but that the object of real science is the idea, or the intelligible, which, though intelligible, is never fully known without a knowledge of the essence, or the superintelligible. As the visible is from the intelligible, and the intelligible from the superintelligible, which last is the object of faith and the subject of revelation, so is there no real science without faith; and, without supernatural revelation, no real intellectual life and development. As a matter of fact, man has never for one moment existed without supernatural revelation. It was made to the race in Adam, infused into his intelligence along with language itself, and has been preserved in language, and diffused more or less perfectly through all nations, by tradition. It is not an accident or transitory, but a permanent and essential fact in human history, in the moral and intellectual life of both the individual and the race. It is the necessary complement of the human understanding, without which the human understanding has never operated, and, as we maintain, never could operate. The gentile world, mutilating, perverting, or travestying the truths of revelation, lost the dogma of creation, the very conception of the creative act, and substituted for creation generation, formation, or emanation, and this vitiated their whole philosophy. All gentile philosophy, even that of Plato, is pantheistic, and therefore sophistical. Having no conception of the creative act, the gentiles were unable to form a conception of the infinite: for the infinite they uniformly substituted for the indefinite. Not recognizing the creative act, they could have no correct notions of space and time, especially of ideal space and time. They never could understand, and never did understand, any more than some moderns, that ideal space is the power of God to externize his own acts, and ideal time, his power to complete externally his acts by the concreative acts of creatures, or successive actualization of their potentialities,- whence generation, development, progress in created orders. If Hegel had better understood the revealed dogma of the Trinity, he never could have fallen into the absurdity of supposing that God actualizes himself, fills up the void in his own being, or realizes his own possibility, in creating, and that he progresses in the progression of existences, and arrives at self-consciousness first in man.

            In the last century a large class of philosophers, scorning the revealed data, and rejecting the light thrown on the problems of natural science by supernatural revelation, undertook to reconstruct science by their natural light alone. They eliminated from their minds all that was due to revelation, and they lost, as is well known, not only the superintelligible, but even the intelligible itself, and recognized only visible or sensible phenomena. Under their manipulations man underwent strange transformations, lost all his distinctively human attributes, and came out with La Mettrie “a plant,” and “a machine,” and with Cabanis “a digestive tube open at both ends.” Even now, with Mr. Simpson’s friends, the naturalists, man in zoology and natural history is classed as an animal at the head of the order of mammalia. The distribution of plants and animals into orders, genera, and species, by naturalists, is to a great extent an arbitrary, an artificial classification, founded on unimportant distinctions, not on the real generic and specific differences of nature: so true is it, that when revelation is discarded, or not taken into account, science declines and ultimately fails.

            We repeat, revelation does not control facts, but it does control their explanation; and as science is not in the simple observation of facts, but in their explication, it controls science, gives the law to science, and consequently science does not and cannot pursue its own course independently of revelation. Even with revelation our science is not complete, for all not cognizable by natural reason is not revealed. Only so much is revealed as is necessary for our present state. The revealed dogmas in some sense, no doubt, cover all reality; but the human mind is not able to take in explicitly, even by faith, all the reality they cover. Revelation itself is imperfect, and can be completed only in the glorified state, when faith is lost in vision and hope is swallowed up in fruition. But what we here insist on is, that without the analogical knowledge of the truth supernaturally revealed, the human mind loses its grasp on the intelligible, the noetic world, both intellectually and morally. Hence the necessity of revelation to the preservation and progress of civilization, and the reason why there is a really progressive civilization only in Christian nations. The civilized nations of antiquity were precisely those nations among whom the primitive revelation was preserved in its greatest purity and vigor; and yet even in them we find little or no progress of civilization. Plato is great as a philosopher or as a moralist only when he is enlightened by Catholic tradition, and conforms to the fragments of the primitive revelation retained from primitive times. The notion that the gentiles knew nothing of primitive revelation, that they had only their unassisted reason, is a mistake, and worthy of no respect whatever. The human race has never been, in any age or country, absolutely without revelation. As we have said, the human mind has never operated and never could operate without some revelation of the superintelligible; not because science is founded on faith, but because the truths of faith are necessary to the development and play of our scientific faculties, and to the right explanation of the facts disclosed by science.

            To ask why God created us with faculties so imperfect that to their exercise supernatural revelation is necessary, is like asking why the baby is not born a full-grown man, in the full maturity of body and mind. We might as well ask why the Creator left his works to be developed and completed successively, or in time. Why did he not create at once all the individuals of a given race, instead of leaving them to be produced by generation? Or why were not all potentialities actuated at once? From the point of view of God himself, in his own decree to create the universe and to glorify man, all his works are complete, all potentialities are actualized, for with him there is no potentiality, no time, no succession. Time and space pertain only to creatures, and time marks in creatures only the successive realization of their potentiality; generation is the reduction to act of what is potential in the race, as growth from infancy to manhood is the actualization of what is potential in the individual. It has pleased the Creator to create existences with certain powers undeveloped, and to be matured only successively. Perhaps we might fond a reason for it in his own eternal essence, in the eternal progression of his own being, demanding for its expression ad extra a progression in existences. But, be this as it may, the fact the supernatural revelation is necessary is no objection to anyone who understands that creation itself is a supernatural fact, and that the natural itself derives from and intimately depends on the supernatural; for God himself, in whom we live and have our being, is supernatural. The light of reason is itself supernatural in its origin as well as the light of faith. The end of our existence is not in this life, and what objection is it to assert that we do not attain to full science before reaching our maturity in glory? We are never, in any sense whatever, independent, and were never intended to be independent of the supernatural; nay, God, with all his omnipotence, could not have made us independent of the supernatural, and he could not make any creature independent of himself, since every creature, by the fact of being a creature, necessarily depends for its very existence, and for every moment of existence, on his creative act. We are embosomed, immersed, compenetrated, and upheld by the supernatural; we live and move and have our being in the supernatural, and we depend on the supernatural as much for our reason and sensibility as we do for revelation itself. Supernatural revelation is, on the side of God, as integral in his original plan of creation as are our natural faculties themselves. Supernatural revelation understood to be included in the original plan or purpose of creation, that part of our intellectual and moral life dependent on it becomes as normal, as little anomalous, and as unobjectionable as any other portion of that life.

            The great objection of rationalists to Christianity is founded on their supposition that it is not included in the original design of creation; that it is an after-thought, an appendix, or an anomaly, that mars the order, symmetry, and beauty of the Creator’s works, and, in fact, detracts from the perfection of the Creator himself. The answer to this objection is not precisely in showing the strength and completeness of the chain of external evidences by which the Christian revelation is accredited to reason, but in denying, point-blank, the supposition itself. It was the eternal Word himself that became incarnate, and all things were made by him and ordered for his glory. Christ is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world; he was with the Father before the world was; and in him all creation is consummated, and attains its end. It was in reference to Christ that the world was created; and in the divine decree the Christian order, which looks to glorification, logically precedes the cosmos, as the end for which the cosmos exists, or was created. Christianity is thus a part, and the nobler part, of creation itself,- that in which all creation finds its consummation or glorification. It is no after-thought in the Creator’s plan, no appendix to the creative order, but that in which creation is raised to infinite power and is fulfilled. It is no anomaly; it in no respect interferes with or mars the unity and symmetry of the Creator’s design. It simply completes it. To attempt to sever the created universe from Christ and Christianity, were as idle as to attempt to sever the natural order from the Creator; and to attempt to judge it without Christianity, were simply to attempt to judge a part without the whole,- even to mistake the sketch for the finished picture. Genesis was never intended to exist without palingenesis,  or man without Christ. From the beginning man was designed to find his destiny in glorification with Christ, the God-man. The Word became man, that man might become God. So viewed, the formidable objection of rationalists to Christianity vanishes, for then it is seen that the two orders are identified and made one in the creative act.

            Let it not be objected that the assertion of Christianity as included in the original design of the Creator excludes the idea of Christianity as an order of free grace. Its necessity to complete the cosmos does not deny it the character of grace, or imply that God was bound to become incarnate. He was only bound to become incarnate by his decree to carry his creation to its apex, and to raise the creature to infinite power. He was free so to decree or not, according to his own pleasure. Grace in Gospel stands opposed to merit, and is always gratuitous. In this sense creation itself is a grace, for no creature ever merited to be created. Regeneration is a grace, because the grace of regeneration is not and cannot be merited by ant thing man does or can do. It is a gift, not a reward. Redemption is a grace both as not being merited, and as not being any thing to which the Creator pledged himself in creating man. Surely the Creator can justly leave a man in the state into which he brings himself by his abuse of his liberty. In the sense in which grace stands opposed to works and merit, and in which it is mercy and pardon to the sinner, there is nothing in the view we take that excludes it. Grace, in the sense of giving man more, or raising him to an infinitely higher destiny than he could attain to by his natural powers, is not excluded or diminished by being regarded as included in the original plan of creation, in the original intention of the Creator in creating. There is no exclusion of grace, no denial that the whole Christian order is a system of pure grace, in maintaining that God in his creative act resolved to give man more, and raise him to a higher destiny, than he could attain to by the simple exercise of his natural powers; any more than there would be in maintaining that the intention of raising man to union with himself, through the Incarnation, was expressed in a subsequent decree and in a new creative act. All the acts of God on his side are eternal, and are one act. Time and multiplicity belong only to creatures.

            There are, no doubt, some opinions entertained by very respectable theologians not favored by this doctrine. We maintain that man never was and never could have been created for a natural destiny or a natural beatitude, and therefore do not concede the possibility of what theologians call the status naturae purae. That man has a natural  desire to see God as he is in himself, or, in other words, to know the infinite, if we recollect aright, is maintained by St. Thomas; and certain it is, that the desire of every rational nature to know can b satisfied with nothing short of knowing God himself in his essence, as we have shown in our explanation of the faculty of superintelligence. Now all theologians agree, when treating the beatific vision, that God, by no natural faculties with which he could endow him, could enable a man to attain to this knowledge naturally, or otherwise than by elevating his nature to union with himself in his Incarnation. The same may be said of the desire of beatitude. This desire craves an unbounded good, and can be satisfied with no created good, and only in possession of the supernatural,- never possible except through identity of nature with the human nature assumed by our Lord in becoming incarnate. Perfect beatitude is not possible in the natural order, and what is called natural beatitude must be regarded as a fiction. The highest natural beatitude conceivable is to the Christian mind hell, as is the pagan heaven, and as this life would be to us all, if we were not sustained and relieved by the hope of another and a higher life. With all that nature can give, man remains infinitely below his destiny,- a mere inchoate or initial creature, wanting the complement of existence, or an object that can fill up the deep void he feels within.

            We are aware that the opinion of a possible state of pure nature, and of a possible natural beatitude, is very generally asserted by the fathers of the illustrious Society of Jesus, and by those theologians not of the Society who take their theology from their school, and therefore that it is a free opinion in the church; but it is only a free opinion, not Catholic doctrine which every Catholic is obliged to hold; for it is comparatively a recent opinion, and is not held and never has been held everywhere and by all Catholics. We have not found it, or any traces of it, in the great Latin or Greek fathers of the church. The Augustinians have never held it, and even continue to controvert it; and its currency in modern times has been due in great measure to its convenience in combating certain Jansenistic errors, and to the condemnation of the 55th proposition of Baius, namely, “God could not have created man from the beginning such as he is now born.” But this proposition is not heretical or false in every sense, for man is now born with original sin and under its penalty, and God certainly could not have created man with original sin and under its penalty. The question then comes up, in what sense was the proposition condemned? St. Pius, in his bull condemning it, says he condemns it in the sense of the asserters, at the same time conceding that in some sense it may be true. In what sense then did Baius assert it? We maintain that Baius held that God could not have created man ab initio such as he is now born, that is, with a natural desire for a beatitude which he has no natural ability to attain to; whence he inferred, with Luther and Calvin, that man in a state of innocence had the natural ability to attain to beatitude, and that it was this ability that he lost by original sin. This is false, for man never had that natural ability, since the justice in which Adam was established, and which placed him on the plane of his destiny, was, as Catholic faith teaches, supernatural. God could not, indeed, have created man with a desire for a beatitude which there were no means, natural or supernatural, of satisfying; but he may have created him without the natural ability to satisfy it, having resolved to enable him to do it supernaturally. So the proposition of Baius is false, and rightly condemned. The fathers of the Society and their followers take a different view, and understand the condemnation of Baius to be a virtual assertion of the status naturae naturae, and therefore of the possibility of natural beatitude. It is not for us to decide the question; and perhaps not even for them. We dislike the doctrine of natural beatitude because it recognizes the dualism in the Creator’s works which we have felt it necessary to combat in Mr. Simpson, and because it undeniably favors the schism, so manifest and so destructive in our modern world, between the church and society, and religion and civilization. Under the general prevalence of the theological system of which this opinion is the basis, we have found, as a matter of fact, even Catholic nations, to a fearful extent, losing their faith, and a large share of their cultivated intelligence becoming rationalistic, and uncatholic, in not anti-Catholic. Under the theological system we defend, the world became Catholic; under the one we oppose, it has lapsed, or is rapidly lapsing, into heathenism.

            But whether the state of pure nature be possible or not,- whether God could have provided man with a natural beatitude, that is, satisfied him with a created good, or with any thing less than himself, or not,- this much is certain, that no such state has ever existed, and man never has had his destiny in the natural order. The system which the Creator actually adopted places man’s destiny in the supernatural union of man with God, and therefore includes in it the order of grace, the incarnation, regeneration, and glorification. This follows from the conceded fact that Adam, in a state of innocence, could not by his natural powers attain to the end for which he was made; and that the justice or righteousness which placed him on the plane of his destiny, or entitled him to the rewards of heaven, was supernatural, not natural, and therefore the justice or righteousness of Christ, without which no man is or can be righteous before God. It is true that our Lord, except in the divine purpose and plan, was not then incarnated; the creation, as to time, was not yet completed, and the regeneration could not be entered into, except by faith and promise; for as to time, the things on which it depends were not yet done, as St. Paul teaches us, in the eleventh chapter of his epistle to the Hebrews; but Adam before the fall was placed on the plane of his destiny by the same Christ in whom we believe, and by whom we are placed on the plane of ours. The saints before the coming of Christ were saints on the same principle that men have become saints since, only their faith was faith in Christ to come, while ours is faith in Christ who has come. The faith itself has always been the same; the grace has always been the same in principle; only, in the case of those before our Lord’s coming it was by anticipation of his merits, as in ours it is by actual participation in them; and ours is therefore more abundant. In them something was wanting to its perfection, namely, the actual fulfillment of the promise made to them, or the actual Incarnation in time, which they believed was to be effected. This grace was the grace that went before the coming of our Lord, but it proceeded from him just as much as the grace that comes after. The only difference is that it was less complete, less perfect; whence the just that fell asleep before the coming of our Lord, could not enter into heaven or their glorified state till he had come and preached to them, in the prison where they were detained.

            The doctrine we defend, and which we believe is truly Catholic, recognizes a dualism indeed, but it is the dualism of the Creator and his works, not a dualism in his works themselves. It unites in dialectic union Creator and creature, supernatural and natural, in the unity of the divine creative act. The system of the universe, in its principle, medium, and end, is one uniform and harmonious system. It is not, as a created system, divided into an natural system and a supernatural system. There is no supernatural creation, as there is no natural Creator. The created, as created, however high or however low, is natural, and the Creator is always supernatural. Nature is supernatural in its origin, in its medium, and in its end, for the creature originates in and is sustained by the immediate act of God, and finds its end in its return to and possession of God himself. All things are from him, by him, in him, for him, and to him. Grace is not a supernatural creation, but is the immediate act or operation of the Holy Ghost, completing or consummating creation. It is God himself acting immediately, not through the medium of natural agents or second causes. Hence the soul regenerated in Christ by the operation of divine grace is called by St. Paul “a new creature,” or, “a new creation,” and the regenerated are said to be “created anew in Christ Jesus.” Grace, however, is in the last analysis only a higher or fuller manifestation of the divine creative act, which is a continuous, or rather an immanent act.

            The difficulty of conciliating nature and grace grows out of the supposition that they are two separate creations, or two created systems, dependent on two distinct and separable creative acts of God. And this supposition grows out of another, namely, that the creative act is a transient act, by which God creates an existence and then leaves it to stand on its own feet, and to subsist and act of itself. But the existence, even when created, is not self-existent, for no existence,- no creature, we mean,- has its being in itself; and therefore every creature disjoined from God, who only hath being in himself, to whom it is untied by the creative act, and by that act only, is nothing- is no creature, no existence at all. Hence we exist, even as nature, only by the immanent creative act of God, and therefore by the immanent act of the supernatural. The principle of nature and grace is therefore one and the same; grace regarded in its creations is nature, and nature regarded in its Creator is supernatural. There is, then, and there can be, no such thing as two created orders, one natural and the other supernatural. The supernatural in all orders is the Creator, and the created, in whatever order or degree, is natural. Nature and grace are conciliated or made one in the creative act, as are Creator and creature, being and existence. The grace is not outside of the creative act, but is included in it, only it is, as to us, a part of the act manifesting itself in time, and under the aspect of perfecting or completing rather than of originating our existence.

            If we have succeeded in expressing our thought, we have shown that the dualism between faith and reason, revelation and science, the Mr. Simpson recognizes, is only the dualism which subsists between a part and the whole; that the two terms express only tow parts or phases of one dialectic whole; and, consequently, that there is and can be no opposition between them. We have done more than this: we have shown that as revelation deals with the superintelligible,- that is to say, with the essence of things, on which the visible and the intelligible depend, and without which they would have no reality, be nothing at all,- revelation gives the law to science; and that it is for science to conform to faith, not for faith to conform to science. In this we only assert a simple dictate of reason, which makes faith the test of science, not science the test of faith. It is on this principle that we derive the law of civilization from religion, and maintain the dependence of civilization on Christianity; that we assert the supremacy of the spiritual order, and combat political atheism. Politics without religion is the state without God; and the assertion that science is independent of revelation is only another form of asserting that civilization is independent of religion,- is sufficient for itself, and can sustain itself and advance without God,- the real heresy of our age, especially of our country.

            Mr. Simpson, however, is right in asserting the independence of science in the face of the dicta of theologians. Theology, though based on revealed as well as natural data, is itself a human science- as much so as geology, physiology, or chemistry. Theologians are not infallible, any more than are geologists, physiologists, or chemists; and the conclusions of theologians are never able, except by their superior reason, to override the conclusions of any other class of scientific men. In matters of faith, the church is infallible,- and she preserves in her language, her teachings, and definitions, the revealed truth in its integrity and purity,- and no scientific inductions can have sufficient certainty to set aside any thing she declares to be a revealed dogma; but theologians may not always give to her dogmas, in the world of science, their true application. Popes, bishops, priests, and even councils, when not defining the dogma under the gracious assistance of the Holy Ghost, or declaring what is and always has been the belief of the church, have not the prerogative of infallibility, and follow ordinarily the philosophy, science, politics, and jurisprudence of their age, and are right when their age is right, and wrong when it is wrong. If the heliocentric hypothesis be the true one, as our age believes, the congregation that declared it a heresy, and condemned it as such, grossly erred; for nothing that is true can be heretical. They erred both as to science and as to the teachings of faith. They mistook the mathematical and astronomical system which they had been taught for the true or real system of nature,- the reflection of the moon in their water-pails for the moon herself,- and their own speculations for the supernatural revelation, or the revealed word of God. What has been done may be done, and scientific truths may be suppressed under pretence of maintaining the faith. Mr. Simpson does well to protest against that. But the church has authority not only to teach; she has also authority to govern, or authority in discipline. Her authority in teaching is infallible, for in teaching she has only to tell simply what she believes and always has believed. In discipline nobody pretends that she is infallible. She has power to excommunicate; but he would be a bold man who should undertake to maintain that her pontiffs had never abused that power. Innocent III concedes that his predecessors had sometimes excommunicated persons unjustly, and theologians discuss the question, whether persons unjustly excommunicated are or are not still members of the church? The church has power to grant indulgences, but the holy council of Trent gives an admonition against its abuse. The church has no doubt the power to establish the congregation of the index for purposes of discipline, and the various other congregations we find at Rome, for the government or management of ecclesiastical affairs; but it would be idle to claim infallibility for any one of these congregations. It is only in a loose way of speaking that we can say a book is condemned by the church because it has been placed on the index. The decisions of the Roman congregations are always respectable, and, as far as they bear on discipline, to be obeyed; but so far as they touch on faith they are by no means to be confounded with the decisions of the church herself. In matters of science and philosophy they of course decide according to the systems they have been taught or have adopted, and they may condemn systems that are truer than their own. Yet, though it may happen that erroneous systems of science, philosophy, and theology find support, and scientific truth more or less discouragement, it is unquestionably better in the long run, for the interests of both truth and virtue, science and civilization, that discipline should be maintained, than that there should be no discipline. Faith needs to be protected, and should never, even in a single individual, be unnecessarily endangered. There should not only be great care bestowed on the inquiry after truth, but great prudence exercised in telling it. The upsetting of an old system rashly, without proper preparation for the introduction and reception of a new and better system, may do more harm than good. Reforms in science, as in institutions, rashly undertaken, prove to be destructions, not reforms, as we see in the reformation attempted by Luther and Calvin.

            Yet prudence pushed to excess ceases to be prudence; and we think the tendency of ecclesiastical authorities is at present to push it further than need be, and, with the laudable intention of guarding against unsettling the convictions of the faithful, so far as really to repress the aspirations of genius, to check the growth of intelligence, and to hinder the progress of civilization. The fact is, most minds are really unsettled, and faith grows faint and feeble in the majority of those who are my no means prepared to reject it altogether. The danger has come, and it is too late to guard against it. We have a world to convert, rather than a world to protect, discipline, and govern. The prudential and repressive system now only tends to swell the numbers of the revolted, or of those who refuse to recognize the authority of the church. Prudence now, it seems to us, is not so much in guarding against error, as in stimulating free and vigorous thought, in lending our aid to truth, or in assisting the age to acquire what it lacks, not simply in preserving what it has. The age has lost nearly all it could lose, and is now in little danger of losing the faith, for men cannot lose what they have not. What it needs is, to acquire truth; and to this end, in our changed circumstances, it seems to us, discipline should be directed. Here we meet and sympathize with Mr. Simpson, and his friends of The Rambler and Home and Foreign Review. We may not accept their theology or their philosophy. We believe they mistake, in some measure, the means to the end they seek; but as to the end itself, the recognition of the science and literature of the age, and the enlisting of both in the service of faith, we are with them, heart and soul.

            The great thing now for Catholic publicists to aim at is to heal the fatal schism between the church and society, religion and civilization, and to bring back the modern world to the unity that has been lost. We can do this only by showing the age that the schism has no basis in the nature of things; that the two terms are not opposites without a middle term to unite them; that in the plan of the Creator they are dialectically one, and that it is only in our false or exaggerated systems that they are disunited and rendered sophistical. We must then endeavor to find a philosophy that conforms to the system of the universe, as it lies in the mind and decree of the Creator, made known to us by reason and revelation, not to an artificial and unreal system spun from our own brains. This done, we shall have brought the whole world of intellect into harmony with itself and with God. All prejudices against religion will be removed; all a priori objections to supernatural revelation will be precluded, and the positive evidences for it be allowed to have their due weight. Faith will then revive, and with it piety and holiness, science and virtue; and civilization and religion will embrace each other and advance together.

            To this great work it is our consolation to feel that we have honestly devoted our best thoughts, and the best years of our life. Would that it had been with less infirmity and with more success. It is but little more than we can do, for our time is nearly up, perhaps quite up; but, happily, we are not alone- not the only one who sees the work and devotes himself to it. We are but one in a host, every day increasing, and the work is sure to go on. It is God’s work, humanity’s work, and heaven will not, and earth cannot, prevent its progress.