Professor Parker Against Catholicity

Part I of II

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1845

ART. II.  Bibliotheca Sacra and Theological Review. No. VII. Andover. Allen, Morrill, and Wardvvell. August, 1845.

THE periodical here introduced to our readers is a quarterly journal, somewhat larger than our own, published at Andover, Massachusetts, and " edited by B. B. Edwards and Edwards A. Park, Professors in Andover Theological Seminary, with the special cooperation of Dr. Robinson and Professor Stuart." It is the most elaborate, erudite, and authoritative organ of the Puritan or Calvinistic denomination of Protestants we are acquainted with, though it wants the lively and interesting character of The New Englander, another organ of the same denomination, which is published at New Haven, in Connecticut. It is able, but, upon the whole, rather heavy. It appears to be made up, in great part, from translations, learning, and ideas from the modern Rationalists, Supernaturalists, and Evangelicals of Germany, and its pages bear very unequivocal evidence that its contributors have made considerable proficiency in "High Dutch."

But our present concern is not with the journal, but with the third article in the number before us, on the Intellectual and Moral Influence of Romanism,a Dudleian Lecture, delivered before the University of Cambridge, last May, by Professor Edwards A. Park, of Andover Theological Seminary, and one of the editors of the Review itself. We have heard Professor Park spoken of as a profound thinker, an able reasoner, and an eminent scholar, and been assured that he holds a high rank among his brother professors. His Lecture has evidently been elaborated with great care, and, considering the importance of the question it discusses, and the distinguished body before whom it was prepared to be delivered, we may reasonably presume it to be a fair specimen of what he is able to accomplish. He has done here, probably, the best he could. If so, we cannot help thinking that it requires no extraordinary abilities or attainments to be a distinguished professor in Andover Theological Seminary ; for the Lecture, though it makes some pretensions to a philosophical appreciation of principles and tendencies, is characterized by no remarkable depth or acuteness of thought, force or justness of reasoning, extent, variety, or accuracy of scholarship, novelty of view, originality of illustration, clearness of method, precision, strength, or beauty of expression. From a commonplace lecturer against " Popery " it would be respectable ; but we are not able to discover in it any thing to indicate the distinguished professor, or that in the seminary in which its author can be a distinguished professor there prevails any but a low tone of thought and feeling.

In a community accustomed to close, vigorous, and just reasoning,  accustomed to demand a reason before believing, and not to believe without a tolerable reason for believing, and in which the real principles and history of Catholicity were passably known,  this Lecture could only excite a smile at the author's simplicity or temerity, and would deserve and receive no answer. But, unhappily, ours is not such a community. Our enlightened community has a remarkable facility in disbelieving against reason, and in believing without reason. It will believe any thing against Catholicity, on the bare assertion of an individual whose oath, in a case involving property to the amount of five dollars, it would not take,  and not believe any thing in its favor, though sustained by evidence the most conclusive. Consequently, we have heard this Lecture, in which there is nothing from beginning to end but bare assertion, unsustained by the least fact or argument, highly commended, as a masterpiece of philosophical investigation and of logical argument,  a triumphant refutation of the claims of the Catholic Church ; and one of our editors, a most malignant enemy of Catholicity, goes so far as even to intimate in one of his papers, that, if its reasoning should be fairly met and refuted, he would almost or quite turn " Romanist" himself. We hope, however, in this the editor is joking ; for we should be sorry to gain a convert on such easy terms,  fearing he would hardly be worth having, and that he would be one in whom the word would soon wither away. Nevertheless, this indicates the state of our community, and shows, that, however intrinsically undeserving a serious reply the Lecture may be, it yet, under existing circumstances, requires to be refuted, so far as what is without principle can be refuted.

The design of the Lecture, as the author himself tells us (p. 452), is to "attempt to show that the essential tendencies of Romanism [Catholicity] are injurious to the mind and heart of man." Its design is not to show, that in the history of the Catholic Church, reference being had to the conduct of Churchmen, and not to what the Church officially teaches and commands, there has been much evil,  many depravities of mind and heart, justly deplorable, justly censurable,  but that the essential tendencies of Catholicity are injurious ; or that the injurious effects the author thinks he has discovered are not merely accidents of the system, growing out of the ignorance of the human mind and the depravity of the human heart, against which the Church always struggled, though unable at once to overcome them,  but that they are essential in her very nature, necessarily inseparable from her very existence and action. In proof of this, he alleges that Catholicity, 1. Discountenances the investigation of first principles ; 2. Checks the instinctive longings of the soul for progress in the science of divine things ; 3. Exalts the traditions of antiquity above our own perceptions of truth, and degrades the mind by communion with triflers ; 4. Authorizes a worship which presents a low standard of thought and feeling ; 5. Is deficient in candor, in truth, and in eminent philosophers and preachers ; 6. Holds doctrines which have a peculiar tendency to be perverted ; 7. Adopts mystical machinery, or asserts that the efficacy of the sacraments is ex opere operato; 8. Has a tendency to separate religion from good morals, or undervalues morality as distinct from religion, and thus gives a false idea of religion itself; 9. Is austere; 10. Engenders an exclusive and persecuting spirit; 11. Founds religion on faith instead of reason ; 12. Is fascinating to all classes ; and, 13. Is peculiarly injurious to a republic.

Here is a formidable list of charges, and some of them rather queer ones to come from a theological professor, who himself has a fixed creed, and is a professor in a seminary in which the professors are obliged to subscribe to a creed imposed, not by the Church even, but by the lay-founders of the professorships," and to renew their subscriptions every five years. But this is of small moment. It will be seen by the Catholic reader at a glance, that the Professor proceeds throughout on what logicians call a petitio principii, or begging the question.    Set aside all those charges which are false in fact, and those which can be urged only by an unbeliever, take only those which have some foundation in truth, and not one of them is or can be injurious to the mind, if the Church be what she claims to be. They could be injurious only in case the Church were a human institution, fallible, and unable to teach with authority. When, therefore, he assumes them to be injurious, he assumes that the Church is a mere human institution, which we do not grant him, and which is the very point he should first establish.

Moreover, before proceeding to the direct consideration of these charges, we must demand of the Professor, by what authority he determines what is injurious to the mind and heart of man. He says the tendencies of the Church are injurious. We deny his assumption ; for the Church is infallible, and her teachings and commands are the infallible standard of what is true or false, right or wrong, good or evil, and therefore her tendencies cannot be injurious. Prove, then, the Church authorizes what you allege against her ; you do not prove to me that she is in fault, but you prove to me, infallibly, that what you allege is not evil, but good. But the Professor replies, that he denies the infallibility of the Church, and adduces these very facts to prove that she is not infallible. Very good. But he must prove that the tendencies he alleges are false and injurious tendencies, before from them he can conclude any thing to the prejudice of the infallibility of the Church. Now, we demand of him, by what authority he pronounces this or that tendency injurious. He must do it by some authority or by no authority. If by no authority, then he has no authority for what he says, and we are under no obligation to entertain it. If by some authority, that authority must be fallible or infallible. If fallible, it will not answer the purpose ; because it may turn out that he calls good evil. It cannot set aside the authority of the Church, for, at best, it is only a fallible authority against a fallible authority, and, for aught the Professor can say, the mistake may be on his side, instead of being on the side of the Church.    If infallible, what is it ?

The Professor says (p. 451), " The character of a religious system may be known, first, from the relation of its principles to the standard of reason and Scripture ; secondly, from its influence on the soul of man." The second method is the one he adopts. The character of Catholicity may be learned by its influence on the soul of man. The essential tendencies of Catholicity are injurious to the soul.    From this he concludes against the Church. We grant the Church must be bad, if her tendencies are injurious to the soul. But here is a previous question to be disposed of, namely, By what authority does he pronounce her tendencies, admitting even that they are what he alleges, injurious to the soul ? He assumes that he is able to say what is or is not an injury to the soul. He must have, then, a standard by which he determines what is good or evil to the soul. Now, what is this standard ? Suppose he declares a given tendency injurious to the soul, and the Church declares it wholesome to the soul,  where is the authority to determine which is right ? He and the Church are at issue. Which am I to believe ? Professor Park against the Church, or the Church against Professor Park ? If the two authorities be equal, there can be no decision. If one is paramount, which is it ? Is the Professor fallible ? Then his authority is not of itself a sufficient motive for setting hers aside, for hers is only fallible, and is probably, at worst, as good as his, and may be better. Is he infallible, and is it impossible for him to err in his judgment, and mistake the character of a tendency ? If so, he must establish this infallibility in the outset ; for it is not a self-evident fact, to be taken for granted. We demand, then, once more, his authority for pronouncing an essential tendency of the Church injurious to the soul.

Will the Professor appeal to reason ? The appeal is good, if reason have jurisdiction in the case ; but we deny that reason has jurisdiction in the case. An influence may be injurious to the soul, on the supposition that it has only a natural destiny or is to perish with the body,  and not be injurious, but wholesome, on the supposition that the soul has no natural destiny and is to live for ever. Reason, by her own light alone, has jurisdiction only in questions relating to the natural destiny of man, for she cannot go out of nature. She can pronounce concerning good or evil to the soul, if its destiny, as our religion teaches us, be not natural, but supernatural, only as she borrows her light from revelation. The good of the soul is in realizing the end for which it was made ; the injury of the soul is in being hindered or diverted from realizing that end. Before, then, you can say any particular influence is injurious to the soul, you must be able to say for what end the soul was made, and that the influence in question tends necessarily to divert it from the realization of that end,  two facts, which you must obtain, if you obtain them at all, not from reason, but from supernatural revelation.    Therefore, we say, reason has not jurisdiction in the case. If, then, the Professor summons us, on this question, to plead at the bar of reason, we shall plead want of jurisdiction in the court.

But may we not, from the tendencies of a religious system, conclude to the character of the religious system itself ? Yes, if you are able to determine the real character of the tendencies by an authority to which both the system and its tendencies are bound to answer,  not otherwise. Here is the fact the Professor forgets. He assumes to judge the tendencies of the Church, and then assumes his judgments of these tendencies as the standard by which to try the Church. We call upon him to go a step farther back, and establish the validity of these judgments, by showing us the authority on which they are founded, and that that authority is sufficient to authorize us to receive them as infallible. In assuming them as the standard by which to try the Church, he forgets that the Church denies his ability to form valid judgments in the premises, and therefore that he must begin by showing that he can, and showing it, too, by an authority which the Church, as well as he, must acknowledge to be ultimate. Till he does this, his judgment of what is or is not an injurious tendency is of no authority, and his conclusion from it for or against the Church is deserving of no attention ; for it is a mere petitio principii. This is a fact which all our Protestant doctors overlook, and which proves that they themselves have made less proficiency in the investigation of first principles, at least of logic, than they flatter themselves.

Will the Professor fall back now on his first-named method ; namely, the principles of reason and Scripture ? Not on reason alone, for we have just precluded him from that. On reason and Scripture ? Well; will he fall back on them as the court, or as the law which is to govern the decisions of the court ? Not as the court, for they are not a court, and cannot be, any more than the statute-book is, or can be, a court. Then as the law ? Very good. But the law authoritatively declared, or declared without authority ? Without authority ? Then we deny it to be law. With authority ? Then what authority ? The authority of reason ? Then, whose reason ? Yours or mine ? Not mine ; for, if so, I should be both defendant and judge of the law ; and to this you cannot be required to assent. Not yours; for, if so, you would be both plaintiff and judge of the law ; and to this 1 cannot be required to assent. Whose reason, then ? The reason of the court ? But where and what is the court, if the Church is set aside ?
Here we come back to the question with which we started,  On what authority does the Professor assume his judgments of the tendencies of the Church to be valid against hers ? If his own, he only pits his infallibillity against hers, and we know beforehand that he is not infallible. If he says some other body, he only predicates of another body the infallibility he denies to her ; and then comes up the question of the infallibility of that other body. We may deny it as we do his, and then nothing is decided. Infallible authority there must be somewhere, or there is no decision of the question. We demand of the Professor, what and where is this authority ?

If the Church be from God, and infallible in her teachings and commands, we know that none of her essential tendencies can be bad ; for her teachings and commands constitute the rule of truth and falsehood, right and wrong, good and evil. It is no matter what you prove she teaches and commands ; for, if it be clear that she teaches and commands it, we will maintain that it is true, right, and good, against all gainsayers, even to the dungeon, exile, or the stake, if need be. Nay, you are precluded from calling it false, wrong, or injurious ; and if you so call it, you arraign Almighty God himself, and charge him blasphemously with falsehood and evil. It matters nothing in this case, that her teachings run athwart your prejudices, or that her commands shock your sensibilities ; for her authority is higher, more ultimate, than yours. What more contrary to our ordinary notions of justice and humanity than the command given to the Israelites, through Moses, to conquer and possess the land of Canaan, and to extirpate by the sword its inhabitants,  men, women, and children ? Yet the Israelites were justifiable in obeying it,  nay, were bound to obey it; for it was the express command of God, and the commands of God constitute right and create obligation. Yet, without such command clearly given, the Israelites would not have been justified in doing what they did. So, many things the Church commands would not be right or obligatory, if commanded by any other body,  as the execution of a criminal is an act of justice, if commanded by the sovereign authority, but a murder, if done without such authority. This is all clear and undeniable, if you concede the Church to be from God, to be authorized by him to speak in his name,  or, rather, if she be as she claims, and as all Catholics believe, the organ through which he himself speaks, teaches, and governs. If this be conceded, you have nothing to do but to submit, receive the command, and obey it, on peril of rebellion against God and your own damnation.

Now, this conceded, as it must be, the Professor, before going into the investigation of the essential tendencies of the Church, must deny the authority of the Church ; for, till the authority of the Church is set aside, the character of her tendencies is not an open question. In concluding from the character of the tendencies to the authority of the Church, he is guilty, as we have said  of a petitio principii.    Thus,

This is an essential tendency of the Church ; but this tendency is injurious, therefore the Church is injurious. But, if injurious, she cannot be from God, and infallible. . Therefore, the Church is not from God, and infallible.

But to this we reply, by denying the minor ; no essential tendency of the Church can be injurious, because the Church is from God, and infallible ; but this is an essential tendency of the Church ; therefore, this tendency is not injurious.

Now, the Professor, it will be seen, in his minor begs the question in dispute. In it he does not disprove our major, but simply assumes it to be false ; and if he concedes our major, his minor cannot possibly be true. He must, then, disprove our major, that is, the infallibility of the Church, before he can proceed to the proof of his minor. We suppose the Professor is well enough acquainted with logic to understand this ; if so, he will see the question between him and us cannot turn on the character of the tendencies of the Church, but must turn on the authority and infallibility of the Church ; and this, in fact, is the only question there is or can be between Catholics and Protestants ; for the infallibility of the Church closes all debate on the other questions they may raise. The debate is all in the Church question, Is the Church from God, the organ through which he himself teaches and governs ? If yes, all is settled. If no, all remains in statu quo, and the Protestants must show us some such organ, or we must grope our way along in the darkness as well as we can, by the feeble ray of reason, which only serves to make the darkness visible. Doubtless, the Church must vindicate her own claims, and prove, by sufficient evidence, that she is the organ of the Divine Word ; for the law does not bind till sufficiently promulgated, that is, so promulgated that by the prudent exercise of reason there can be no uncertainty as to what it is. But this she does, and we are ready to show that she does it, whenever the question shall be fairly raised.

But having made these observations by way of protest against the method of argument, if argument it can be called, which the Professor pursues, and in order to show that he merely begs the question, we proceed to the direct consideration of his list of charges. We, of course, within our limited space, cannot consider them at so great a length as might be desirable, and must content ourselves with brief replies ; but we will endeavour to make them, if brief, conclusive.

I. Catholicity is injurious to the mind, because it " discountenances the investigation of first principles."p. 453. If this means, that.Catholicity discountenances the investigation of first principles of science, in so far as they come within the legitimate province of science, we deny the assertion ; for whoever knows any thing of the principles or history of the Church knows that it is not true. If it mean, that Catholicity discountenances the investigation of first principles, as principles or articles of faith, so far as to ascertain what they are, and the extrinsic motives of receiving them as principles or articles of faith, we also deny the assertion. If it be meant, simply, that the Church discountenances the investigation of the principles or articles of faith, for the purpose of ascertaining their intrinsic truth, we admit the charge, but deny that it is injurious ; and furthermore allege, that, if it be an injury to the mind, it is an injury which must be objected not to Catholicity alone, but to all divine revelation, to be received as authority ; and therefore an objection to which the Professor, unless he is an infidel, is himself as obnoxious as the Catholic.

The articles of faith are received on the authority of God revealing them, and are to be taken as first principles ; this we admit and contend. But the question, whether God has revealed them or not, is open to investigation. Here Catholicity discountenances no investigation of first principles. The question, whether they are intrinsically true or not, is not an open question ; because, 1. The articles of faith are mysteries, and their intrinsic truth lies out of the range of investigation ; and because, 2. If they are revealed by God himself, there can be no question of their intrinsic truth ; for God cannot reveal what is not intrinsically true, since he is prima veritas in essendo, in cognoscen-rfo, et in dicendo. Once ascertained to be articles of faith, that is, God's word,  and if not God's word, they are not articles of faith,  they of course cease to be subjects of investigation, and are to be taken as first principles, as primitive data from which we are to reason, and to which we are to conform in our reasonings, as the geometrician must reason from, and conform to, the axioms and definitions of his science.    But this we deny to be an injury to the mind.

1. Nothing can be an injury to the mind that does not de
prive it of some one or more of its natural rights.    But over
the articles of faith reason has no natural rights, never had any,
never can have any ; because they lie out of her province, and
belong to the supernatural, where her authority does not extend.
In denying her the right to investigate the truth of these, we do
not restrict her rights, nor in any sense abridge her domain or
her authority.    She is left in possession of all her territory and
of all her original sovereignty.

2. The articles of faith are not taken from the dominions of
reason, but they are certain grants made gratuitously to her,
extending, instead of abridging, her authority, and therefore
serve, instead of injuring her.    By their means, she can extend
her authority over an immense region, where without them she
could have no authority at all.    They enlarge her power, and
therefore  cannot  injure   her.    They  furnish  her   with  first
principles for the science of theology, without which the sci
ence of theology could not exist.    Is this an injury to the
mind ?    Why not say it is an injury to the mind to have first
principles at all ?    Are his axioms an injury to the geometri
cian ?    Is there any science that supplies its own first princi
ples ?    Is it an injury to the mind to be able to cultivate the
science of theology ?    But as the science cannot exist without
these  articles of faith as first principles, and as it cannot of
itself furnish its first principles, since no science supplies its
own first principles, how say it is an injury to the mind to have
them furnished ?

But admitting that it is an injury to the mind to be debarred from investigating first principles, that is, from investigating the intrinsic truth of God's word, ami ascertaining whether God speaks the truth or not, it is an injury which is done, not by Catholicity alone, but by every system which admits divine revelation at all. If we admit divine revelation at all, we must admit it as ultimate on all matters which it covers. No matter in what symbol that revelation is to be found,  in the decrees and canons of the Church, in the Apostles, the Nicene or the Athanasian Creed, in the Old and New Testaments, in the Thirty-nine Articles, the Augsburg, Helvetic, or Westminster Confession, the Five Points of the Synod of Dort, the Say-brook Platform, or the New England Primer,  if admitted to be divine revelation, it is final, held to be infallible, and no investigation into its truth can be permitted ; for it is not permitted to go behind the word of God, and ask if the word be true, since that would be asking, Does God tell the truth ?  a question no one can ask without blasphemy. The Professor, if he admits divine revelation at all, condemns himself if he brings Ihis as a charge against Catholicity, and must contend that not Catholicity only, but the very idea of divine revelation to be received in any case as ultimate authority, is injurious to the mind of man. If his objection, then, has any force, it is only in the mouth of an infidel that it has it. Is it on infidel ground that our theological Professor wishes to take his stand ? If so, let him avow it, and perhaps he will find he has a question to settle nearer home,  unless Andover Theo-ogical Seminary is prepared to put down Catholicity at the expense of Christianity itself.

But the real gist of the Professor's objection we suppose
to be, that such is the state of the question with regard to the
evidences of religion, that no articles of faith can rightfully be
imposed or received as first principles. " Our Maker," he
says (p. 452), "intended to leave the evidences of religion
such as to sharpen the intellect. He designed to in
vigorate  the reason by  allowing  arguments   of  real
weight to exist in favor of what may be proved, upon the whole, to be false, and in opposition to what may be proved, upon the whole, to be true. But the Romish idea of the infallibility of the Church is, in itself and in its results, at variance with the nature of moral reasoning, and incompatible with a due regard to the evidence which exists for and against the truth." This passage, if analyzed, will be found to contain four assumptions : 1. To sharpen the intellect, or, what is the same thing, invigorate the reason, is, in itself considered, a good. 2. That the mind is really invigorated, not by the possession of truth, but by the search after it and difficulty of rinding it. 3. That arguments of real weight may exist in favor of falsehood and against truth. And, 4. That faith rests on moral reasoning, which does not, and cannot, exclude uncertainty as to its truth or falsehood. The first three are evidently false, and the last begs the question, and denies the possibility of faith.

1. The cultivation and improvement of the mind in the service and for the sake of God is a good, but not in or for the sake of itself, as the Professor assumes, when he makes sharpening the intellect or invigorating the reason an end which Almighty God himself contemplates in adjusting the evidences' of religion. God is good, and can contemplate, in what he does, no end, as an end, which is not good in and for the sake of itself. Such must be sharpening the intellect, if he contemplates it as an end. But it can be a good only on condition that the development and perfection of our faculties is in itself good, and this can be good only on condition that the development and perfection of our faculties is the end for which we were made ; which is false. That this is a good cannot be sustained from the Sacred Scriptures, the only authority beside reason to which the Professor can appeal ; for they nowhere assert it, but the contrary. They are not the acute in intellect, the vigorous in reason, but the pure in heart, who shall see God. The Sacred Scriptures never commend mere sharpness of intellect, mere vigor of reason ; for, if they did, they would commend, by implication, Satan himself, who, probably, in acuteness of intellect and vigor of reason is an over match for even our able and learned professors of Andover Theological Seminary themselves. The Scriptures do not commend the merely intellectual, the sublle reasoners,  men ever disputing, doubting, learning, never able to attain to the knowledge of the truth,  but the simple, the docile, who with meekness and humility receive the ingrafted word, and obey it with all fidelity and alacrity. We recommend the Professor to read and meditate 1 Cor. i. 19-31. If he will do so, he will, perhaps, not be ambitious of repeating this first assumption.

2. So far as the mind is really improved, invigorated, in the sense in which to sharpen the intellect, or invigorate the reason, is not an evil, but a good, it is not done by the search after truth and the difficulty of finding it, but by the possession of truth. Truth is the appropriate food of the mind ; and as well say the body is sustained and invigorated by the search after food and the difficulty of finding it, instead of eating and digesting it, as say that the mind is invigorated by the search after truth and the difficulty of finding it, and not by possessing it. The mind does not suffer in presence of truth, but in its absence,  in the darkness of doubt, and the hell of falsehood. There it loses its vigor, its acuteness, becomes enslaved, bound hand and foot. It is the truth that liberates it,  veritas libcrabit vos,  that restores it its strength, sanctifies it, and secures its free and healthy action.

The Professor reasons on the supposition, that the mind, as soon as it comes into possession of truth, loses its motive to exertion, relaxes its energy, and sinks into inanity and death. He concludes from what is unquestionably the effect of false doctrines on the mind, which it is compelled by authority to embrace, and forbidden to examine, to the effect of truth. But his conclusion is evidently false ; for truth has a vivifying, strengthening, and sanctifying influence on the mind that receives it; or else how sad must be the condition of the saints in heaven, who are to see the truth as it is, in itself, and spend an eternity in its immediate possession and contemplation ! The Professor probably forgot himself, when he undertook to show that doubt, uncertainty, and falsehood were more beneficial to the mind than truth ; or rather, he chose to assume principles on which it would be easy to overthrow Catholicity and defend Protestantism. When a man has the making of his own first principles, he must be an unskilful workman indeed, not to make them to suit his purpose.

3. Arguments of real weight are solid arguments, founded
in truth, therefore true ; for what is not true is not real.    The
Professor's  third assumption is, then, that truth may exist in
favor of falsehood, and against truth ; for he says arguments
of real weight exist in favor of falsehood and against truth !
This looks very much like contradicting the first principle of
all philosophy, namely, the same thing cannot both be and not
be,  called, by metaphysicians, the principle of contradiction.
Did our Professor make his theology before his philosophy ?
He must be on his guard, lest he raise a suspicion that even
Protestantism does not exert a remarkably wholesome influence
in sharpening the intellect and invigorating the reason.

4. The fourth assumption of the Professor is, 1. A pelitio
principii; for it asserts that the evidence for and against the
truth is such that the articles of faith cannot be affirmed with
infallible certainty, that is, so as to preclude all room for doubt
whether they are the word of God or not.   But this the Church
denies ; for she alleges they can be so affirmed, and that she
so affirms them.    We have here merely the Professor against
the Church, and the Church against the Professor ; and our old
question comes up, Which am I to believe ?

But, 2. There is an assumption here that the articles of faith are exposed to uncertainty. But, if so, they cannot be articles of faith ; for faith is not compatible with uncertainty, since the property of faith is to exclude all uncertainty. Admit the Professor's assumption, then, and it excludes faith. His objection to the Church, then, is that she asserts the possibility of faith.    Is this the objection of a believer in divine revelation, or of an unbeliever ? Does the Professor mean to deny the possibility of faith in the word of God ? If so, his objection lies against all who contend for faith in God's word, no less than against Catholicity. The Professor should beware what arguments he uses, lest he find himself in the condition of Sir Hudibras, whose gun,

" Aimed at pigeon, duck, or plover, Recoiled, and kicked its owner over."

Again, the Professor's reasoning is based on the supposition, that faith rests on moral reasoning, and that moral reasoning does not exclude all uncertainty. But, in the first place, faith rests, not on moral reasoning, but on the veracity of God. God has said ; therefore I believe. In the second place, the authority on which I take the word to be the word of God does not rest on moral reasoning, but also on the veracity of God. The Church declares it to be the word of God ; therefore I believe it to be the word of God. God has commissioned the Church in his name, and promised to speak in her speech ; therefore I believe the Church. The fact, that God has so commissioned the Church and given this promise is the only question to be settled by moral reasoning ; and here moral reasoning may give as high a degree of certainty as I have of my own personal existence or identity, as we proved in our essay on The Church against No-Church, and are ready to prove again, when properly called upon. Therefore, I may be as certain what the Church propounds to me is true, as I can be that God cannot lie, or as I am of my own existence or identity. Deny this, and you deny the possibility of faith ; for faith is not a balancing of probabilities, and the conclusion that upon the whole, all things considered, this is most probable, most likely to be true, therefore I think it is true, though of that I am not quite certain ; for if it be not absolute certainty, a certainty which leaves no reasonable ground for doubt, it is not faith, as we see by the definition of faith itself. The whole question, then, resolves itself into this :  Is the evidence which exists for and against the truth such as to warrant faith ? If you say yes, your objection falls to the ground ; if you say no, you are an unbeliever, and therefore have a quarrel to settle not only with us, but with all who profess to have faith in Christianity as the word of God. 

Lastly, the Professor speaks of the dogmatic spirit the idea of the infallibility of the Church encourages. Encourages in what or in whom ?    In the Church ?    If she be infallible, she has the right to speak with dogmatic authority, and you must set aside her infallibility, before you can bring that as an objection to her. Tn individual Catholics ? We deny the assertion. For, in admitting the infallibility of the Church, they necessarily deny to themselves the right or even the disposition to dogmatize. How can I dogmatize, when I am bound to take my faith from the Church, when I confess both her right and her ability, and her exclusive right and ability, to propound the faith, and find my merit in obedience to her ? If any thing does or can check the spirit of dogmatism in individuals, it is this. The charge against Protestantism of encouraging a spirit of dogmatism in individuals would come with much more grace and truth from us ; for the very nature of Protestantism since it has no ultimate authority from which all are bound to take their faith, and since it proclaims the principle of private interpretation  is to encourage almost every man, woman, and child to dogmatize, to say, " This is the word of God, and you must believe this or be damned ; no, that is n't the word of God, this is the word of God ; believe what I say is the word of God, or you '11 be damned." This is the spirit of dogmatism, and the history of Protestantism is little else than a history of this spirit, and its deplorable effects. The Professor knows this, and, if he understands any thing of the relation of causes and effects, he knows wherefore it is so, and wherefore there cannot be, and never is, any spirit of dogmatism among Catholics. The Catholic never dogmatizes ; he but teaches what he is commanded by his Church to teach ; and you will rarely, if ever, find a Catholic writer, who lays down a proposition, without attempting, at least, to sustain it by competent authority or appropriate evidence. " Catholic theologians compare," says the Professor (p. 543), "the evidences for their theology to those for their personal existence and identity." If he means theology, as he says, this is false, utterly false ; for no Catholic theologian pretends this, since every purely theological question is open to discussion. If he means faith, when he says theology, we ask the Professor if he is prepared to maintain the negative of what he condemns,  that the certainty afforded by the evidences there are for the word of God is a less degree of certainty than that we have of our own existence and identity ? What the Professor says, on the same page, about " the deadness and corruption which come from an unthinking reception of a human creed," we cheerfully accede to, and could find in the history of our beloved New England much to confirm it ; but who told him the creed enjoined by the Catholic Church is a human creed ? Does he not see that he begs the question ? A humanly imposed creed, we admit, is destructive ; a divinely imposed creed is not destructive, but wholesome, and essential to the life of faith. Does the Professor suppose we do not condemn all man-made and man-imposed creeds as much as he does, ay, and more too ? Does he not know that we strenuously maintain that nothing but God's word is or can be an article of faith ? We will spare him all necessity of reasoning against human creeds. Show us our creed is imposed by human authority, and it suffices ; we abandon it at once. But no begging of the question. You are trying to prove our religion is hostile to the mind ; be sure, then, you vindicate the wholesome effects of your own, by reasoning clearly, honestly, and justly.

II. The second allegation is, that Catholicity " checks the instinctive longings of the soul for progress in the science of divine things." "The spirit of the Reformation is that of improvement ; the principle of the Romanists is that of hyper-conservatism." p. 453. We thank the Professor for this. We have hitherto heard it urged that the fault of Rome was that of departing from the faith, comjpting it by her innovations, adopting new articles of faith, new sacraments, and imposing new conditions of salvation, unknown in the primitive ages of Christianity; and that the glory of the Reformers was not in attempting improvements in the Christian system, in undertaking to perfect what Almighty God had left incomplete, but in reviving primitive faith and worship, which had been lost through the usurping and innovating spirit of Rome. Sure are we that we have read all this in Luther, in Calvin, in Zuingle, in Melancthon, in CEcolampadius, in Bucer, in Beza, in all the fathers of the Reformation whose writings we have chanced to look over, and we do not remember ever to have stumbled upon a single passage, in any one of them, that even intimates that the sin of Rome was that of hostility to progress in the science of divine things. Even in later times, when we read in Owen, and Robinson, and others, passages which urge a progress on Luther and Calvin, it is always a progress in restoration, or, as the militia captain has it, an " advance backwards," a progress in throwing off more and more of Babylonish error and corruption, and recovering more and more of the primitive truth long hidden beneath the rubbish of Rome. Sure, we had seen it written, as it were, over the entrance of every Protestant conventicle, « PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANITY RESTORED HERE." But now it seems that the sin of Rome is hyperconservatism, that she has too scrupulously adhered to primitive usage, and too scrupulously preserved the sacred deposit committed to her charge from all alteration, from all the attempts of the innovators. So, on the authority of Professor Park, a child of the Reformation, glorying in his parentage, we must say the Reformers lied ; said one thing and meant another ; that, instead of restorers, they were innovators. It would be indecorous for us to contradict the Professor on this point, on which his authority is so much better than ours. We presume him to be correct, and that the Reformers were, as Catholics have always alleged, mere innovators, men who could no longer submit to primitive usage and worship, but wished to improve them, and to recast the Gospel in their own image. Hyperconservatism ! We thank thee, Professor Park, for the word, and trust we shall hear no more about Roman corruptions, innovations, and departures from the faith. The Romish principle is that of hyperconservatism ; the spirit of the Reformation is that of improvement, that is, of change, of innovation,for only by change and innovation is improvement effected. Was the Professor prudent in saying this, and was he not in saying it thinking rather of the demands of Cambridge than of the pretensions of Andover ?

But let us look the objection in the face. Catholicity checks the instinctive longings of the soul for progress. Progress in what ? in what sense ? and by what agency ? The Professor either admits that Almighty God has made us a revelation of truth to be received on the divine veracity, or he does not. If lie does not, he is what all the world call an infidel, and his quarrel, as we have said or intimated more than once already, is not with us alone, but with all who profess to believe in divine revelation ; and, moreover, if he denies all revelation, he gains nothing to progress, for the matters covered by revelation are matters which lie out of the range of natural reason, and therefore reason, however free, bold, vigorous, persevering, can of itself make no progress in them. If he admits that Almighty God has made us a revelation, he must believe that the revelation is perfect or imperfect, that is, complete or incomplete. If perfect, it requires and can admit of no progress ; for progress is from the imperfect to the perfect, and is not predicable of what is already perfect. If he contends that it is imperfect, that is, that Almighty God has left it incomplete, unfinished, he must say its completion is to be effected by divine agency or by human agency. He cannot say it is to be effected by human agency, because the revelation is not only of things of God, but is made by God himself; and to assume that man can make it, take from it, or add to it, is to deny that it is divine revelation, and to assert that it is human revelation. Therefore, even admitting the revelation to be insufficient, incomplete, unfinished, man can do nothing towards completing, finishing it, or rendering it less insufficient. There is, then, no room in divine revelation for the instinctive longings of the soul for progress to express themselves. They are checked, we grant ; not by Catholicity, but by the nature of things ; because the progress, if progress there is to be, depends not on human will and effort, but on the divine will and bounty. We are taught in the Holy Scriptures to look not to ourselves, but to Jesus Christ as the author and finisher of our faith ; and it depends wholly on God, not on our will nor on our merit, whether God shall reveal to us more truth or not,for the simple reason, that revelation is a divine act, proceeding solely from the free will and gratuitous grace of God.

There can, we may assume, then, be no progress in divine revelation, as the object of faith, effected by human agency. Then progress here is not a thing we are to contemplate or labor for. If there are to be new and " greater Messiahs," as the Progressists and Transcendentalists blasphemously dream, it belongs not to us to raise them up, anoint, and send them forth, but to God alone. This, we presume, the Professor will admit, and therefore we presume it is not progress in divine revelation that he contends for. In what, then, does he demand progress ? In the extension of faith, and its more thorough application throughout the world to the government of the life and conduct of all men ? But in this respect the Church checks no instinctive longings of the heart for progress ; for here she commands progress, and, by all her ministries and missionaries in all parts of the world, and by her unremitted efforts against all hostile influences, is constantly struggling to effect it. If this is what the Professor means, his charge against Catho-olicity is false,  as the number and activity of Catholic missionaries, and the general zeal of Catholics to spread their faith, and to bring all men to it and under its influence, may abundantly prove.
But the Professor says, " Progress in the science of divine things." The science of divine things is not faith, but theology, which, from conclusions obtained by reason from the articles of faith as first principles, seeks to produce, elucidate, strengthen, and defend faith, and also to determine its application to practical life, which takes in the whole science of morals, theoretical and practical. The assertion of the Professor, then, is, that Catholicity checks the instinctive longings for progress in theology, speculative and practical, or dogmatical and mpral. But if this is what he means, his assertion is false from beginning to end, and he offers, and can offer, not a single fact in the principles or in the history of Catholicity to give it even a coloring of truth.

Progress in the first principles of theology is not admissible, we grant ; because the first principles of theology are articles of faith, that is, divine revelation, and in that we have just seen there is no progress to be looked for, at least from human agency, and for progress in them the Professor cannot contend. But in the deduction of conclusions from these principles, in their scientific arrangement, illustration, and application, the Church imposes no limits to our progress but those of the human mind itself. This the Professor knows, and even admits. " We are, indeed, assured by Romish divines, that the science of theology maybe advanced."p. 454. "But Romanism (Catholicity) is so minute in its prescriptions, as to intersect the lines of advancement in almost every point, and whatever of expansion it does not prevent it leaves sickly and ill shapen."  Ib. The only prescriptions of the Church in relation to theology are articles of faith. She does not allow you to impugn an article of faith, either directly or indirectly ; but so long as you do not do that, and proceed, not in a rash, but in a modest and reverent spirit, she leaves you perfect freedom. No prescriptions intersect the line of your advancement but the principles and definitions of faith; and these, if true, cannot hinder your progress, but must aid it, according to what the Professor himself says,  " Truth is nature, and never enslaves the mind which it controls."  Ib. No injury, then, can come to the mind, and no check to progress, if these prescriptions be true, that is, the word of God, as the Church alleges. Then they are not objectionable as prescriptions, 'but as false prescriptions. If, then, you object to them simply as prescriptions, your objection is without weight; if as false prescriptions, you beg the question.

" We are but mocked, when we are told that we have powers for research, and may exert them, and may use the multiplied helps of modern science in the pursuit of truth, still we must not cross a single boundary which the assembled bishops have prescribed ; we may go on freely, so long as we are hemmed in by the canons and anathemas of Nice, Chalcedon, and Florence." pp. 453, 454. Not at all, if the boundary prescribed by the bishops be such as truth prescribes ; not at all, if the canons and anathemas are according to God's word. God's word is truth, and "truth never enslaves the mind which it controls." You must first show that the boundaries prescribed are false, and the canons and anathemas are not according to God's word, before your argument is any thing more than a petitio prin-cipii. Catholicity affirms that the bounds prescribed are bounds which the truth itself prescribes. If so, they are landmarks, guides to the traveller, first principles, data, furnished the theologian in the demonstration of truth, and are as useful to him as the axioms and definitions are to the mathematician. They are injurious only on the supposition that they are false, which you are not at liberty to take for granted.
The Professor's argument may be retorted. We are but mocked, when we are told we have powers, &c, still must not cross a single boundary prescribed by divine revelation ; we may move on freely, so long as hemmed in by the canons and anathemas of God's word. If the Professor admits revelation at all, be what may its organ, the principle of his objection bears as hard against himself as against Catholics. If he does not admit revelation at all, he should say so, tell us plainly that he stands on infidel ground, and objects to the Church because she asserts that Almighty God has made us a revelation, which we must believe, and in no case disbelieve.     Qui crediderit,
 salvus erit; qui vero non crediderit,  condemnabitur.
 St. Marc. xvi. 16. It is worthy of note, that the Professor finds himself unable to bring an objection against Catholicity that is not equally an objection to Christian revelation itself. And yet we hear men, who think they are Christians, commending his Lecture ! How short-sighted is error, and how hard it is for those who have departed from the truth to maintain consistency, to avoid arguments, which, if admitted, are as fatal to themselves as to their opponents !
The Professor had no occasion to prove that bounds prescribed by men, restrictions imposed on thought by human authority, are injurious to the mind, fatal to its free and healthy action, and incompatible with progress in science. Catholics know this, and assert this, as well as he, and are far more strenuously opposed to all human authority in matters of faith than he is, or any of his Protestant brethren are or ever have been ; for he, and even his brethren, if they carried out their principles, would allow us only a human authority for our faith, either the authority of our own minds, or that of others. What he should have proved, to have proved any thing to his purpose, is, that the Church speaks with a merely human authority, and that the articles she imposes are not the word of God, and therefore not to be taken as articles of faith. That is, he should, as we told him in the outset, have raised the question of the authority and infallibility of the Church. If the Church be not authorized to speak in the name of God, if she have not from God the promise of infallibility, if, in a word, it be nol God himself that speaks in her speech and decides in her decision, we grant all you contend for, and as much more as you please ; but otherwise, we deny it, and you yourselves must deny it also ; " for truth is nature, and never enslaves the mind which it controls."

III. The third charge alleged is, that Catholicity "exalts the traditions of antiquity above our own perceptions of truth, and degrades the mind by communion with triflers."  p. 454. The first part of this charge is false. The Church does in no instance exalt the traditions of antiquity above our own perceptions of truth, or require us in any instance to deny or to doubt the truth of our perceptions ; for, if she did, she would exclude us from the number of teachable subjects. She teaches us truths which lie out of the range of our perceptions, and above them,  truths which we can receive only from supernatural revelation ; but never any doctrine which contradicts or supersedes our own perceptions of truth, or in any sense weakens the certainty or importance of the truth we perceive naturally. To be above reason is not to contradict reason ; and it is not easy to see how it can injure the mind to supply it gratuitously with first principles, by which its domain is almost infinitely extended, and which, except as supernaturally furnished, it has not and cannot have.

1. The Church commands us to believe traditions of antiquity as the word of God, we admit. If these traditions be false, to command belief in them is to injure the mind ; if they are true, really the word of God, it is not to injure the mind ;
for truth never injures. The Professor must show them to be false, unauthorized, before, from the fact that the Church commands us to believe them, he can conclude that she injures the mind. This he has not done, hardly even attempted to do.
If we object to the traditions of antiquity because they are tradition, we must object to the Christian revelation itself. A tradition of antiquity is something delivered, transmitted, or handed down to us from ancient times. The Christian revelation itself is, therefore, necessarily a tradition of antiquity, for it was made in ancient times, and could, in the nature of things, reach us only as delivered, transmitted, or handed down to us from ancient times. To contend, then, that the Church injures the mind simply because she commands us to hold fast the traditions of antiquity is, in principle, to contend that she injures the mind in commanding us to receive the Christian revelation as the word of God, and forbids us to disbelieve or impugn it. Does it injure the mind to be required to believe and to be forbidden to disbelieve the word of God ? If not, it cannot injure the mind to be required to believe and forbidden to disbelieve traditions of antiquity, simply because they are traditions.

But the Professor will distinguish, we suppose, between tradition as contained in the written word, and oral tradition, insisted on by the Church. The latter injures the mind, the former does not. But he cannot avail himself of this distinction ; because, 1. His objection was not to the mode of transmission, but to traditions of antiquity as traditions ; and because, 2. The oral traditions of the Church can no more injure the mind than the written traditions, if they be equally true, equally portions of God's word. The question must turn, then, on the truth or authority of the tradition, not on the fact of its being written or unwritten.

But the Professor may say, again, that the traditions he objects to are traditions of men, not of the word of God ; and we cannot be commanded to believe the traditions of men, without injury to the mind. But this would be a plain begging of the question. The Church concedes you, nay, teaches you, that the traditions of men are never to be taken as articles of faith, and that you cannot be rightfully required to believe them. She goes as far as, and even farther than, you in condemning their authority. But who told you that what she commands us to believe are traditions of men ?   She denies it, and asserts they are not traditions of men, but traditions according to Christ, divine revelations, which she received in the beginning, and is divinely commissioned to teach ; you must prove, then, they are traditions of men, before, from the fact that the Church enjoins them, you can logically infer, that, in so doing, she injures the mind. If human traditions, they may injure the mind, we grant; if divine, they cannot.

But, in point of fact, scarcely an article of faith, and not one of the primary or fundamental articles of faith, which the Church teaches, depends on unwritten tradition alone, or is not expressed or implied in the Holy Scriptures. The Church teaches nothing contradictory to the Holy Scriptures, and nothing not either contained in them or perfectly in harmony with their contents. What Protestants allege about Catholic disregard or neglect of the Bible is false and slanderous. Catholics hold the Bible in altogether higher veneration than does any class of Protestants, and make altogether more, as well as a better, use of it, in whatever relates to faith, morals, or devotion. Catholics are the only people that can afford to take the Bible throughout as the word of God, and understand its language in its most plain, easy, and natural sense ; for it is only Catholics who can find in its teachings a uniform, connected, and consistent system of doctrines, without doing violence to its language. Interpreted on Catholic principles, the Bible, though not without difficult passages, can be received and venerated as the word of God. On the principles of any Protestant sect, it is a book of riddles, contradictions, and often of no meaning at all, or of a meaning remarkable only for its want of depth. Catholics are taught by the Church that the Sacred Scriptures are the word of God, and they are excited to study them as the most abundant sources from which is to be drawn purity of morals and of doctrine, and are told by the highest authority, that, as such, they are to be left open to every one. Their interpretation is free, so long as the interpreter does not wrest them to teach what is incompatible with sound doctrine,  a restriction, in principle, which is put upon their interpretation by every Protestant sect ; for no Protestant sect permits its members to interpret the Bible so as to impugn what it calls sound doctrine, or does not visit with its censures those of its members who chance to do so.

But the Professor seeks to sustain his charge against Catholicity as injuring the mind, by alleging that she " lays down her instructions in a creed," and " elevates the digests of her councils to an infallible standard of truth."  pp. 454,455. But, admitting the allegation, we deny the conclusion. The creed, if God's word, is true, and therefore cannot injure the mind, as we have agreed. It can injure the mind only on condition of its not being the word of God, or because riot enjoined by the competent authority. But this is nothing to the Professor's purpose; for he does not object to the creed that it is injurious because false, or imposed by incompetent authority, but simply because it is a creed ; and he cannot do so without denying the authority and infallibility of the Church,  which would be a mere begging of the question. A creed imposed by men injures the mind ; but a creed imposed by God himself cannot injure the mind, for it is truth. You must prove, then, that the creed taught by the Church is imposed by men, by human authority, as we said in the case of traditions, before from the fact that it is a creed you can conclude to its injurious influence.

But the Professor either admits the Christian revelation, or he does not. If not, he is an infidel, and his quarrel, as we have before told him, is not with Catholicity alone, but with all who profess to receive that revelation as ultimate authority on the matters it covers. If he does admit the revelation, his admission of it is itself a creed, more or less definite, but still a creed ; for he admits it as something he must believe, as authority in no case to be questioned or impugned. The idea of revelation itself, as a matter to be believed and obeyed, then, necessarily involves the idea of creed, a credo. You cannot, then, say that a creed, because it is a creed, injures the mind, without saying that the Christian revelation itself injures the mind, which no Christian will, or dare, say.

But, perhaps, the objection is not to a creed as such, but to its being condensed, methodical, compressing the faith within a narrow compass. This seems to be the gist of the Professor's objection. But the revelation is made that it may be believed ; condensing its substance into a few propositions, easily ascertained, and easily remembered, simply facilitates the apprehension and knowledge of what it is we are to believe. Is this an injury to the mind ? Is it an injury to the mind to be able easily to seize the propositions which it is to believe without doubting, and in all its operations on divine things to take, as first principles, primitive data ? If the Professor is prepared to maintain the affirmative, we shall not take the trouble to contradict him.
But the Professor, in what he says on this point, conveys a false impression. His language is vague, indeterminate, and may receive almost any interpretation the future exigencies of his argument may render expedient ; but its natural interpretation is, that the Church draws up a creed, into which she compresses the theological instructions of her fathers and doctors and her digests of the councils. But this is not the fact. In the first place, theological instructions, properly so called, are not embraced in the creed ; for the creed embraces only what is of faith ; and theology, whether of fathers or doctors, is not of faith. In the second place, the Church denies that she does or has authority, properly speaking, to impose a creed. She teaches the creed, but she did not and does not make it. She received it from Almighty God through the Apostles, and simply teaches what she has received, and been commanded to teach, and which she has no authority to alter, add to, or take from. She does not, then, condense her instructions into a methodical creed. She received them so condensed. The councils, again, do not give us digests of doctrine, but simply definitions of what is, and always has been, the creed, or the articles of faith on certain points on which controversies have arisen. They do not add to the creed, they do not take from it, nor in any sense alter it ; they but tell us what it is and always has been. To this the Professor cannot object, unless he carries his objection farther back, and objects, not to the Church for teaching the creed, or for requiring us to receive the decisions of councils as infallible truth, but to the Church herself, that she has not received but has made the creed, and that her councils are fallible. But this he is not at liberty to do in his present line of argument, as we have shown him over and over again. He alleges the Church does so and so, and thence concludes the Church injures the mind. But if the Church has from God authority to do so and so, what she does cannot injure the mind. Before her conduct can be alleged to be injurious to the mind, it must be proved that she acts from mere human authority, and when that is done, no Catholic will attempt to defend her conduct. The Professor proves nothing till he proves that, and when he has proved that he has proved" all.

But by what right does Professor Park inveigh against creeds ? He belongs to Andover, not to Cambridge. He is a Protestant; and every Protestant sect, unless it be the Unitarians, and one or two minor sects, to which the Professor would refuse to grant even the Christian name, it is well known, has its creed, a creed strictly enjoined, and which must be received on the pains and penalties of heresy.     He is a Cal-vinist, and the Calvinists universally have a creed, or rather many creeds, professedly drawn up under the dictation of the Holy Ghost, and fitly emblemed by the weathercocks on their meeting-houses.    He is a Congregational clergyman, and of that branch of the Congregational churches that have a creed, insist on a creed, and have been fighting for a creed with the Unitarians this last thirty years.    And, finally, he is a Professor in Andover Theological  Seminary, which has a special creed, now lying before us, by the constitution of the Seminary " strictly and solemnly enjoined, and left in charge, that every article of it shall for ever remain entirely and identically the same, without the least alteration, addition, or diminution," and which the Professor must subscribe, and promise " solemnly to maintain and inculcate in opposition to Papists, Ari-ans, Pelagians, Antinomians, Arminians, Socinians, Sabellians, Unitarians, and   Universalists, and to all  other heresies  and errors, ancient or modern."    The constitution of the Seminary also adds,  " The preceding Creed and Declaration shall be repeated by every Professor on this foundation, at the expiration of every successive period of five years ; atid no man shall be continued a Professor on said foundation who shall not continue to approve himself a man  of sound and  orthodox principles in divinity agreeably to the aforesaid creed."    And this man does not blush to arraign the Catholic Church because she  teaches a creed !    Whatever a  Unitarian or an  infidel might say against creeds, Professor Park is not  till he liberates himself and takes his stand with themthe man to open his mouth.    He is bound hand and foot; and a sense of shame, if nothing else, should have restrained him from calling any other man a slave,  especially from calling freemen slaves. 2. To the second  part of this third charge we have not much to reply.    The " triflers," communion with whom, according to the Professor, degrades the  mind, are the Fathers and Schoolmen,  such "triflers" as St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenasus, Tertullian, before he became a Montanist, Clemens Alexandrinus, St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, St. Peter Chrysologus, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory Nyssen, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Leo the Great, St. Gregory the Great, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, Al-bertus Magnus, St. Bonaventura, St. Thomas of Aquin, Duns Scotus, and hundreds of others hardly their inferiors !    The only reply we have to make to the modern professor who can call such men as these " triflers " is to say, that he gives unequivocal evidence that his mind has not been degraded by communion with them.    " To revere," says the Professor, " their Gnostic or Platonic fancies, as a standard of thought, is a cause as well as the effect of a vitiated taste and unreasonable judgments."  p. 455.   Very likely ; but where or when does the Church require us to revere " Gnostic or Platonic fancies ?" The Fathers, all with one accord, we had supposed, struggled against the Gnostics ; and St. Justin  Martyr, in his  Second Discourse to the Greeks, gives us one of the most masterly criticisms  on  Plato  extant.    Very few of the  Fathers were Platonists before their conversion; and not one of them, so far as we recollect, retained, after his conversion, what may properly be termed a " Platonic fancy " ; and furthermore, no Father is held to be of authority any farther than his teachings have been received by the Church.   The great charge usually urged against the Schoolmen is, not that they were Platonists, but servile followers of Aristotle ; and this is the charge urged by the Professor himself.    " Some of her theories are literally made up of Aristotelianism."  Ib.    But one cannot follow Aristotle,  and, at the same time,  revere the "fancies" of Plato "as a standard of truth."    Moreover, the Church has no theories, enjoins no theories.    Theories belong not to the Church, but to theologians, whose  teachings  are not of faith. The assertion, that even a theologian, of any consideration among Catholics, ever adopted a theory literally made up of Aristotelianism, would be false.   No theologian of the Church ever regarded either Aristotle or Plato of the least authority in theology ; and when the Fathers and Schoolmen quote one or the other, it is as an argument ad hominem, or on a point, not of theology, but of philosophy.
Speaking of the Schoolmen, the Professor says," They were acute rather than wise men."Ib. We thought the Professor began by commending acuteness of intellect, and making it a charge against the Church that she hindered, or did not provide for, " sharpening the intellect." But now it seems her sin is that she sharpens the intellect too much, making men acute rather than wise. We wish the Professor would agree with himself what is the real sin of the Church, and not urge objections which overthrow one another, lest we be obliged to question both his wisdom and acuteness in urging them.    If the Church is unfavorable to acuteness of intellect, how did those Schoolmen contrive to become such acute men ? And, if to sharpen the intellect be a good, contemplated by Almighty God in adjusting the evidences of religion, why do you find fault with the Schoolmen because they were acute ? You should better digest your own doctrines, and become more consistent in your objections, before undertaking to pronounce ex cathedra on Catholicity.

IV. The fourth charge against Catholicity is, that it injures the mind by authorizing " a worship which presents a low standard of thought and feeling."  p. 456. If the Church authorizes such a worship, she may not advance the mind much ; but even then it does not follow that she injures it, unless the standard she presents is in the way of a higher standard. High and low are relative terms. If, without the Church, the mind would have a higher standard than she presents, then she injures it ; if, without her, it would have only a still lower standard, then she does not injure it, but benefits it. The Professor, before he makes out his case, then, must not only prove that her standard is low in comparison with some ideal standard, but that it is substituted for a higher standard, which the mind, but for it, would have. But this he has not done ; therefore his assertion, so far as he is concerned, remains an assertion, and nothing more,  an assertion which we have as good a right to deny as he has to affirm. As proofs of his assertion, the Professor adduces, 1. The honor and invocation of saints ; 2. The use of pictures and statues ; and, 3. Certain miscellaneous charges, defying classification, but which can as well be arranged under the head of Mere Externals of Catholic Worship, as under any other.

1. The question is not now, whether the honor and invocation of saints are authorized by Almighty God or not, but whether honoring and invoking the saints tends to injure the mind. When we honor or invoke the saints, we are led to make ourselves acquainted with their lives and characters, to meditate on their heroic virtues, and to strive to imitate them. Where is the injury to the mind in this ? What harm would it do our widows, wives, or daughters to meditate on the exalted virtues of the Mother of our Lord,  the Blessed Virgin,  or on the virtues of St. Catharine, St. Elizabeth, St. Monica, St. Bridget, or St. Theresa ? Would it do them more harm than to meditate on the virtues of Aspasia, Lai's, Sappho, Madame Roland, Lady Russell, Caroline Fry, or Harriet Newell ?

But this, the Professor may say, is not to the point.    He who communes directly with God himself communes with a higher standard of thought than  he does who communes only with   St. Nicholas,  St. Xavier, and  St. Cecilia.    Admitted. But this is not the question.    The real question is, Does communion with the great, the good, the saintly, made such by the grace of God, tend to divert the mind from God himself ? The Professor, to sustain his objection, may say that it does ; but we tell him his assertion is contradicted by all experience. While in the flesh, we are obliged to commune with God through a veil, for we do not now see him face to face ; and we are led to him by his manifestations of himself.    Thus nature herself, as displaying his eternal power and divinity, leads us to acknowledge him, and to look to him as our beginning and end.    But what brighter manifestation of the Divinity on earth than the lives of the saintly men and women who have lived in the most intimate communion with him permitted, and who in their lives exhibit nothing but continued miracles of his grace ?    When are we most thoughtful, most impressed with God's presence ? and when send we forth the warmest ejaculations of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving ?    Is it not when in personal intercourse with, or when reading the life of, some truly good and saintly man or woman ?    Communion with such, instead of drawing off our minds and hearts from God, tends directly to lead our minds and hearts up to him, and we strive with new resolution and renewed energy to love and serve him as his saints do or have done.    When is the young soldier fired for the battle, if not when communing with the renowned hero, listening to the recital of his dangers, trials, escapes, prowess, and victories ?    So  is  the soldier of the  cross fired for the spiritual combat by contemplating the lives of those who have fought and won, by listening to  their trials, their temptations, their struggles and their victories,  how God was always with them, even when hiding his face from them, his arm was always under them to uphold them, and his grace always sufficient for them.    O God ! let me imitate them ! and ye who have ended your mortal combats, and now sing your songs of triumph around the throne of God, pray for me, that I too may fight on, overcome, and at last join your blessed throng !

On the same principle on which the Professor condemns the invocation of saints and the honor we pay them, he should condemn all biography of great and good men and women ; for the study of their lives would tend to draw ofFour minds from God, and to rest them on the creature, whose excellence was all borrowed from God. Yet we cannot much blame the Protestants for trying to find fault with the honor we pay to the saints ; for they, alas ! have no saints to honor. Luther, Calvin, Beza, Cranmer, John Knox, even Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards, were at best but indifferent saints ; and Henry Martyn, Brainerd, and Harriet Newell will hardly do to canonize. An eminent Congregational clergyman, a well known author, some of whose works are text-books in several American colleges, and who is himself a Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy in a New England college, informed a friend of ours, that he commenced, some time since, collecting the lives of eminent Christians. " When I began my collection," said he, u I thought I should find two or three in the Roman Catholic Church whom I might possibly insert in my list,  say Fen

The Professor has no occasion to talk to Catholics about the ennobling effects of spiritual communion with God. Just as if he could teach them any thing on this subject,  he whose sect has never produced even one respectable ascetic work, and whose best ascetic works are stolen and diluted from us ! Just as if, because we pray to the saints, we pray to God less •! All our prayers are directed to God ; even those to the saints close always by ascribing the honor to the ever living and ever blessed Trinity.

Nor need he presume quite so much on the ignorance of Catholics.. No Catholic is so ignorant, so poorly instructed in his religion, as to pay to the saints that worship which is due to God alone. We honor the saints for their heroic virtues, and, in so doing, honor God, to whose grace alone they owed their virtues.   We pray to the saints, but not that they may do for us that which only God can do, not to perform for us what they cannot perform ; but to assist us with their prayers, as the Professor prays for his congregation at its request, or asks a brother or sister to pray for him. We make this request of sinful mortals like ourselves ; how much rather of the saints who are freed from sin and stand near the throne ! If, in the first case, we rob not God of his glory, why shall it be said we do in the last ?

2. The use of "pictures and statues" cannot injure the mind, if communing with the saints does not ; for they only serve to remind us of the saints, and to bring more vividly to our recollection their virtues and eminent sanctity. We honor them, indeed, as the Professor honors a picture of John Calvin, President Edwards, or of his wife ; as the patriot does the picture or statue of Washington ; the soldier, of Alexander, Caesar, or Napoleon ; the Democrat, of Andrew Jackson ; the Whig, of Henry Clay ; the pious son, the picture of his mother ; or the lover, the picture of his mistress ;  not as material things, but for the sake of what they represent or bring to our minds and hearts. We see no injury to the mind here. The statue or picture simply recalls to our minds and hearts a worth we delight to honor and which we ought to honor, or virtues which it is our duty to strive to imitate.

So the image of the crucifixion, the cross, the sign of the cross, serve to recall the mystery of the incarnation, the life, death, and sufferings of our blessed Saviour, the great work of the Atonement, to point us to the great Source of all merit, to remind us that we are to bear the cross, are to fight under it as our banner, and for it and in it to triumph. Where, in all this, is the injury done to the mind ? Is it an injury to the mind to reflect on the great mysteries of man's redemption, or to have the attention, if but for a moment, directed frequently to their contemplation ? The insinuation, that Catholics worship pictures, images, or the crucifix, is old, we admit, but is false. No Catholic believes there is any virtue in them, or ever addresses any prayer to them ; for he is taught in his catechism, and he knows of himself, that they have no life or sense, and therefore no power to assist him. As well might we charge the people of Massachusetts with being Fetichists, as the Professor charge us with worshipping images. We go into the State House in Boston, into the Representatives' Hall, and right in front of the Speaker's chair we see suspended the carved image of a codfish.   We watch ; every time the Speaker rises, he bows gracefully, or ungracefully, to this image of the codfish ; thus apparently paying it his reverence, and, as it were, asking its permission to put the motion, or to decide the question of order. " What stupid creatures these Massachusetts people are !" we exclaim ; " what wretched idolaters ! how they debase the mind ! Why, they officially worship a carved codfish ! " u O, no," says a grave legislator, " we do not worship the codfish, nor the image of the codfish. But we hang up that image there to remind the General Court of the great importance to the Commonwealth of the codfishery, and that they are to take care that in none of their legislative acts they injure it." " A mere Jesuitical refinement, intended to dupe the ignorant and unthinking ; perhaps you, who are a man of some sense, may so understand it; but the mass of the members of the General Court do not and cannot." " But ask them ; they will all give the same answer." " No matter for that; they have all been trained to give that answer, so as to screen the people of Massachusetts from the charge of worshipping a carved codfish. I know better. I tell you, you do actually worship the carved codfish. See there ! the Speaker is even now bowing before it." Yet the answer of the legislator would be perfectly true and conclusive ; and my reasoning and assertions would be false. The reason assigned for putting the image there is a good one. But if Massachusetts may, without idolatry, suspend in her State House the carved image of a codfish, to remind the General Court that it is not to sacrifice the codfishery, why cannot I, without idolatry, place on my desk before me, as I write, an image of the passion of my blessed Saviour, that, when I raise my eyes from the paper, I may be reminded of him who died for me, of what he suffered for me, whence my redemption comes, where is the source of all merit, whose virtues I am to honor and to strive to imitate, and for whose sake ? If it be said, in return, this may do in my case, but that it will not in that of less instructed Catholics, for they will stop with the image and worship that instead of him who died on the cross, we answer, that too much is presumed on the ignorance of Catholics. Catholics are not quite so stupid as the Professor imagines, and we assure him that we do not believe even the most ignorant class of Protestants themselves would be unable to distinguish between an image of the crucifixion and him who was crucified. But if so, the argument from their inability to that of Catholics would not be conclusive.    If the Professor, searching the world over, will find a Catholic, who has made his first communion, that does not know that supreme worship is due to God alone,  that is besotted enough to pay religious worship to any picture, image, or material thing, or to pay, even to a saint, that adoration which belongs only to God,  or that cannot, or does not, make all distinctions necessary to save him from the charge of idolatry in form or in substance,  we will yield him the argument. Produce, then, a Catholic that pays divine honors to an image or picture, to a saint or any created being, or for ever after hold your peace.

But be on your guard. No matter what strong language you may hear the devout Catholic use in addressing praises to the Blessed Virgin or to a patron saint, you are never from it alone to infer an idolatrous sense. The poet is permitted to call even a mortal woman, a sinful woman, who is little else than flesh and blood, divine ; and the lover celebrates his mistress in terms as strong as any we can find in which to celebrate the praises of our Redeemer. And yet neither is accused of idolatry. If we would worthily celebrate her whom an angel pronounced " full of grace," who was found worthy to be the Virgin Mother of him " who is God over all,"  or if we would worthily celebrate the virtues of a beatified saint, whom God himself delights to honor, we must use the strongest terms human language affords, and even then our language is too feeble for our thought. We can use no stronger terms when we celebrate the praises of God, for stronger terms we have not. It is not that we exaggerate the praises of the Blessed Virgin or of the saint, but that we fall lamentably short in the expression of our praises to God. No tongue can adequately praise him ; no, not that of angel or highest archangel. The strongest terms that language furnishes, aided by the loftiest strains of soul-enkindling music, fall far below what the devout soul feels in the presence of her God, and are infinitely inadequate to their object. We cannot speak his praise ;  we would do it ; we would give the universe a tongue ; we would touch its heart with fire from God's altar. We would bid it speak, and speak for us, but all too feeble ; we fall prostrate, and speak only in our silence. Draw no inference from the language you may hear, for, if you do, you will deceive yourself. You must penetrate to the intent of the speaker. You must bring a Catholic, that, by his words and acts, intends to pay the honors to a creature due only to the Creator, and that cannot, or does not, when questioned, distinguish as clearly between what he pays to the creature and what he should pay to the Creator, as a Protestant can between the reverence due to a parent or magistrate and that due to God, or you bring not one we will acknowledge to be an idolater. Bring forward some such person, or stand convicted before the world of consummate ignorance or of consummate falsehood.

The Professor is mistaken in his assertion, that Catholics attempt to shadow forth by pictorial representations the infinite, eternal, and invisible God, or to express by picture or statue his divine essence.    They do no such thing, and they give pictorial representations of only such visible forms as God himself has been known actually to assume.    If the Father is sometimes  represented as the Ancient of Days, it is not because that form expresses his character, but because he so ap~ peared to the holy prophet Daniel, and  the representation is authorized  by  the  Holy Scriptures.    If the  Holy Ghost  is represented by a dove, it is not because the dove emblems him, but because he himself chose that form and appeared under it at the baptism of our blessed  Saviour.    If the Son is painted in a human form, it is because, being  man as well as God, that form is appropriate ; and, moreover, it was in the form of a  man that he  appeared, suffered, died, dnd rose for us. But in no instance does the Church authorize a pictorial representation as a likeness or emblem of the invisible God ; for it is as well known among Catholics as among Protestants, that there is nothing unto which God can be likened.     Protestants must not be quite  so  hasty to conclude,   when by accident they light upon a truth, that it is theirs by right of first discovery.    Some traveller may have been there before them ; for they must  remember they are not very old,  and that it is only, as it were, yesterday that they set out on their travels. Considerable portions of the globe of truth had been discovered and occupied before they were even born.    Brave men lived before Agamemnon.    Luther and Calvin came too late to enjoy a monopoly of truth or virtue.    The young think the old are fools, but the old know the young are fools.
3. We have no space to follow the Professor through his long string of naked assertions concerning the mere externals of Catholic worship. We deny, in the outset, his competency to judge of Catholic worship ; for it was designed to edify Catholics, and cannot produce its intended effect on infidels and heretics. He must be a Catholic, believe the Catholic creed, and love the Catholic Church as his spiritual Mother, before he can be in the condition to appreciate the truth, beauty, or appropriateness of Catholic worship ; for that worship must necessarily be altogether a different thing to the devout worshipper from what it is to the critical eye of the indifferent or hostile spectator.

We do not think, in a general way, the Catholic worship is very well calculated to edify those who go to sec it and not to assist as worshippers. But this we do not regard as a reproach ; it is a commendation. If, for instance, the Catholic worship could edify the infidel and the heretic as well as the ; Catholic, it would have no special adaptedness to Catholic faith, dispositions, and wants, and therefore would not answer the end for which it was intended. We ourselves were strongly prejudiced against Catholic worship. Our Puritan tastes and habits, our love of simplicity and dislike of every thing having the least appearance of being designed for mere show or stage effect, made us feel a real repugnance to Catholic worship, as we knew it when a Protestant. So strong, indeed, was our repugnance, that for some time, even after we had become pretty well convinced of the truth of Catholicity, we obstinately refused to assist at Mass ; and when we did assist for the first time, setting aside the music and the sermon, which we could appreciate, we were only not disgusted. But now we seem to find the Catholic worship singularly simple, natural, and appropriate. We detect nothing in it not necessary, or, at least, highly useful. Protestant worship we find now to be formal, lifeless, and chilling. Not that we do not find it all that we ever did, all even that Protestants themselves find it ; but the spirituality revealed by Catholicity is so much higher, so much truer and more refined than a Protestant ever conceives of, that Protestant spirituality itself ceases to be spirituality, and becomes a cold, lifeless formality, a mere shadow without a substance. This is, indeed, but the experience of an individual, and it is merely as such that we give it, to go for what it is worth. It is worth, at least, as much as the Professor's bare assertions, proceeding as they do necessarily from Protestant ignorance and Protestant prejudice, which render it impossible for him to know what Catholic worship is, or the influence it is adapted to exert on the worshipper. If the Protestant reader will insist that he must make an allowance for our partiality to Catholicity, he must make at least an equal allowance for the Professor's partiality against it.

The gist of the charge is, that Catholicity presents a low standard of thought and feeling in the worship it authorizes.

" When a Protestant enters the sanctuary, he is made thoughtful by the words of prayer and the reading of the Scriptures; and we are unable to measure the degree of mental improvement which he receives from services thus adapted to his understanding. But the Romanist [Catholic] is not instructed by the reiteration of his stereotyped observances. He hears the Bible read in a language which imparts to him none of its meaning, and in some churches he cannot even distinguish the words of the Scripture lesson, for these are drowned in the tumult of the ringing of bells, and the pealing of the organ, which are designed to honor the recital of what would be more truly honored if it were made intelligible, or even audible. The rational Protestant is instructed by the sacraments. They were intended to be sermons to the mind, and thereby to the heart. But the genius of Rome has transformed them from symbolical discourses into a species of necromancy. They are described as operating, not by rational appeal, but by a kind of talismanic influence. Protestantism would sanctify men by the truth which enlightens the intellect; but Romanism [Catholicity] depends on the mechanical working of rites that supersede our own activity. Protestantism insists, first of all, on Faith, by which man is to be justified, and faith involves a vigorous exercise of reason ; but Romanism lays the chief stress upon external ordinances which can renovate the soul without a rational contemplation of the truth addressed to it."pp. 458, 459.  --------Please click 2 to access Part II of this article.