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Saint-Bonnet on Social Restoration

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1851

Art. II. — De la Restauration Francaise. Memoire pre-sentee an Clerge et a l'Aristocratie. Par B. Saint-Bonnet.    Paris: L. Herve.    1851.    8vo.    pp. 424.

This is certainly an able and interesting work, opportune, and well fitted to exert a great, and upon the whole a salutary influence, in the present crisis of European thought. Its author is evidently a man of faith and conscience, who has studied the social problems of the age long and profoundly, with deep earnestness and rare intelligence. He has characterized our moral, social, and economical wounds, probed them to the bottom, traced them to their origin, and prescribed the only possible remedy, namely, a hearty return of the age to Christian faith, and the practical observance in every department of life of Christian principles and maxims.

The remote cause of the present frightful state of the civilized world is, no doubt, to be looked for in the prevarication of Adam, in which man sought to substitute himself for God, and to make himself his own final cause ; but the more proximate cause is the revolution effected in European thought and practice at the epoch of the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, and the revival of Greek studies and literature in Western Europe. The prevailing opinion of the world has been, and is, that the four centuries then commencing have been centuries of unequalled progress, and that the revolution then effected was entirely in the interests of true civilization. These centuries are applauded, are boasted as the most glorious in the annals of our race, those in which mankind have best understood their true destiny, and most successfully accomplished it; and whoever should venture to set himself against them, or to hint that the progress effected in them has been in a downward direction, or more specious than real, would be almost universally branded as an enemy to his kind, as a barbarian, or as a lunatic.

This should create no surprise.    Men of the world always judge with the world's judgment, —according to the principles and maxims  of their age;  and seldom  incorrectly, if their standard of  judgment be conceded.    The human race may be now and then afflicted with lunacy, but it is  never an idiot.    An idiot is one who has just premises, but cannot draw   from them  just conclusions, that is, one who cannot reason; a lunatic is one who has false premises, but who is, nevertheless, able to draw logical conclusions from  them.    His insanity is precisely in his inability to seize and hold true premises.    He binds a wisp of straw around his hat and calls it a crown, picks up a mullen-stalk and calls it a sceptre, ascends a mole-hill and calls it a throne;, and proceeds to issue commands and proclamations coherent and proper, if he were, as he assumes he is, a real king.    Assuming the principles or premises asserted by the revolution of which we speak, mankind reason coherently, and  even   sanely, in   concluding  that they have really been advancing in true civilization with unprecedented rapidity for the last four centuries; for it is undeniable that these centuries have been remarkably successful in reducing  those principles to practice, and   in drawing from them their last logical consequences.

But it is undeniable, and now conceded by many, that the revolution effected in the middle of the fifteenth century was a reaction, in every department of life, of ancient Paganism against Christianity, and the progress since effected has been simply a progress in the restoration of the ancient heathen order. This reaction commenced in philosophy, literature, and art, and passed into the political order under Louis the Eleventh and Louis the Twelfth of France, Henry the Seventh of England, and Maximilian the First and Charles the Fifth of Germany. From the political order it passed into the religious order, under Luther and Calvin, and the paganized princes and nobles who protected them ; and it now, under the modern industrial system, triumphs in the economical order. The modern world, in philosophy, literature, art, politics, religion, morals, and economy, is in principle nothing but the reproduction of ancient heathendom.    The simple question, then, to be settled, in order to determine whether the world in applauding or we in condemning it are to be counted the lunatic, is whether Christianity or Paganism is the true social and religious order. If Paganism is from God and the true civilization, we are the lunatic, and unquestionably ought to be shut up in Bedlam ; but if Christianity be true civilization, be from God, and the Gospel is not a cheat, nor our Blessed Lord an impostor, but what he professed to be, then the world is the lunatic, and they who glory in it are laboring under a most deplorable hallucination.

One thing is now certain ; the revolution in favor of heathenism has been sufficiently developed to enable all who retain any portion of their wits to see its real character and tendency. Enough has already been experienced to prove that the happy results originally counted on are not likely to follow. The world expected on returning to Paganism to recover in some form the Eden lost by the prevarication of Adam, and at every successive step in its progress it has exulted as if on the very eve of recovering it. The restoration of Paganism was at first complete only in principle, and it has been only gradually, after successive struggles, that it has been practically realized. Christian civilization, the growth of fourteen centuries, effected by the labors and heroic sufferings of so many saints and martyrs, was not to be uprooted in a moment, especially as the Church remained to inspire and defend it. A direct attack on the Christian order in its totality would in the beginning have been imprudent, and defeated itself. It was necessary to divide in order to conquer, to begin by detaching the secular from the spiritual, the human from the Divine. This has been now in a great measure accomplished, and the revolution has finally passed from the order of ideas to the order of facts, and in Catholic nations as well as in Protestant. Philosophy has been disengaged from Christian theology ; literature and art have been sundered from Christian faith and piety; religion from the Church ; morals from religion ; politics from morals; industry from virtue ; earth from heaven ; man from God. The whole secular order is divorced from the spiritual, and civilization is shaped to man simply as an inhabitant of this world and a creature of mere animal wants and instincts. Nevertheless, the lost Eden has not been recovered, and, to
all appearance, no advance has been made towards its recovery.    The separation of politics from morals, and the assertion of the strictly human origin of power, and the absolute independence of the state, have resulted only in anarchy and despotism, not in establishing liberty, as paganized statesmen madly dreamed ; philosophy disengaged from Christian theology has become miserable psychology, and results in pantheism or atheism, scepticism or absolute nihilism ; literature and art, disengaged from Catholic faith and piety, remain sterile, or bring  forth  only monstrous births, watery sentimentalism, or gross sensuality; morals sundered from religion become dull routine, heartless conventionalism, all-absorbing selfishness, flimsy sentiment, or unrestrained licentiousness; religion declared independent of the Church sinks into a matter of private reason and mere private caprice, and disappears in gross superstition, wild fanaticism, or cold indifference; and the emancipation of industry from morality, and moulding the whole economical   order   to   the   satisfaction   of   man's   sensual wants, have resulted in impoverishing modern nations, and reducing the great mass of the people to the most abject misery.* (footnote:* The apparent exceptions to this statement are this country and England. In this country the full effects in the economical order of the heathen reaction have not yet been fully experienced by the free population of the United States, but it is owing to accidental and temporary causes fast disappearing, such as the youth of the nation, and the vast extent of rich lands unoccupied, and capable of being procured and rendered productive at comparatively a trifling expense. In England herself there may have been no real decrease of capital, but in considering her economically she includes Ireland and India, in both of which the poverty and destitution of the people are such as were unknown, except with the slave populations, if even with them, in the ancient heathen world. end of footnote).   The divorce of the secular order from the spiritual, the human from the Divine, the boasted achievement of modern progress, has undeniably resulted in the dissolution of  society   itself.    There is absolutely, except the Church, no   society  now  existing, no   social  order  now standing;   for that is not society which is sustained only by chicanery and armed force, or which like ours is only a huge mob, acknowledging no law but its own arbitrary will.    Disband your great European standing armies, and there is not a single European state that could maintain even the semblance of social order for a single week.    Our gain in substituting heathenism for Christianity has been the loss of all spiritual life, all religious faith, all morality, all intellectual freedom and greatness, all loyalty, chivalry, and nobility of sentiment, all political wisdom and all political liberty, all real social order, and, for immense numbers of the poor people, all honest means of subsistence, nay, of the means of subsistence at all. The whole annual income of France, for instance, if equally distributed among the thirty-six millions of Frenchmen, would give to each only between nine and ten cents a day.

Here is where modern progress has brought us. Here is the stern reality that now stares us in the face. Mad as the world is, it cannot be satisfied with this result. Nay, it does not even profess to be satisfied with it, as its heavings and commotions, its insurrections and revolutions, its Communistic and Socialistic theories and schemes, daily and even hourly put forth, amply prove. Never was the world more uneasy, agitated, discontented ; and it acknowledges that all it has thus far gained has been a dead loss, unless it be regarded as the necessary condition of attaining to a state not yet attained to. Every body, or almost every body, feels, and feels in his heart and all through his frame, that it is impossible to remain where we are, that we must either push on in the direction we have been rushing for the last four hundred years, or recoil and retrace our steps.

Precisely here comes in our author, and shows, on the one hand, that to advance is impossible without precipitating ourselves into the Socialistic abyss, and, on the other, that, if we recoil and retrace our steps, it is impossible to find a stopping-place short of the Church. The only alternative is now either Socialism or Catholicity. No compromises, no via media schemes, no heathen premises with half-Christian conclusions, can now avail any thing. A great man, and for the moment one of the most useful men of society, M. Proudhon, has stripped of all disguises, and with an invincible logic given the thought of the age its precise formula, La propriety, c'est le vol, Property is robbery. None of the usual subterfuges of sophists and demagogues, such as Protestantism, liberalism, and moderate democratism, can now be resorted to, for this bold man, with his clear head, iron nerves, and invincible dialectics, has laid them bare, and revealed the age to itself. Nothing therefore remains but Socialism or Catholicity.    This assumed or  established, the author  applies himself to prove that Socialism is the inevitable result of the Paganism we have fostered, and that it is intrinsically repugnant to all civilization, being in direct contradiction to all the laws of Providence, intellectual, moral, social, political, and economical, and that, on the contrary, Catholicity is adapted to all the real interests of man and society, has been the creator of all the capital of the modern world, is the sole civilizer, and, if submitted to, amply sufficient to redeem us from our present frightful state, to reestablish social order and political as well as moral freedom, by inspiring virtue, consecrating labor, and inducing moderation in enjoyment.

This is what the author aims to prove; how true and just it is, in our judgment, we need not to inform our readers, for in one form or another we have for years been doing our best to set it forth and to establish it.    But the author must permit us to say, and we do so, with great respect and deference, that, in developing and proving his thesis, he uses language, and sometimes adopts, at least in appearance, principles, borrowed from the very heathen schools against which he so nobly and so ably protests.    It may be that we do not always catch his precise meaning, and also that what seems to us objectionable comes less from the unsoundness of his thought than from his neglect to state his meaning with the requisite clearness, distinctness, and precision.    Nevertheless, we are not able to explain him always in harmony with the Catholicity he professes. The fundamental distinction between Christianity and heathenism is, that the former asserts God as man's sole first cause and his sole final cause, and the latter asserts man as his own final cause.    The one commands us as the rule of life to seek God in all things, and to do all for him; the other bids us in all things to seek ourselves, and to consult in all only our own pleasure.    Heathenism was first preached in the Garden by the serpent, who summed it all up in the promise, " Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," — a promise which, though a lie, and made by the father of lies, this age holds to have been true, not hesitating to maintain that the serpent promised the truth, and that man did, by eating of the forbidden fruit, really become as a god.    In heathenism man takes the place of God, and stands as the sole end for which he is to live. But man cannot assert himself as  his  own final cause without also asserting himself as his own first cause, from which it must follow, either that man is in the strictest sense God, or that man makes himself. But as to assert that man makes himself, and as to hold that man is absolutely God, is too open an outrage upon common sense, heathenism in our times compromises the matter by conceding that God creates the germ, or at least man is given in germ, but is left to develop and complete himself by his own efforts. This developing and completing himself from the original germ is what our age calls progress, and hence progress in the heathen sense implies that man is joint creator, or in part at least the first cause of himself.
Progress in this heathen sense is, as somebody has said, the Evangel of the nineteenth century. We find it asserted everywhere, in theology, ethics, politics, metaphysics, and in universal cosmology. All modern science, in so far as it deigns to recognize a creative God at all, recognizes him as creating only the germs of things, which are completed by their own internal law or force. As to the material universe God created only the gases, which from their own intrinsic force have developed in globes, suns, stars, minerals, plants, and animals. Man is only the last term known to us of a social development which begins in the lowest and rudest form of animal life, and the civilized man is only the development of the savage. Religion is only the successive development and growth of a vague sentiment of the human heart called sometimes a sense of dependence, a sense of the infinite, and Christianity is only the product of this sentiment successively working its way upward through fetichism, polytheism, monotheism, and reposing in a grand syncretism of all preceding religions. Even men who have not the least suspicion of their own " orthodoxy carry the same principle into Catholicity, and maintain that Christian doctrine itself was revealed only in germ, and has been formed, completed, in the course of time by development. All proceeds on the assumption, that God never finishes any thing, never creates any thing but the mere germs of things, or reveals any thing but the germs of doctrine, leaving them always to the creature to complete. This is the grand thought of all modern science, and the illustrious author of the Essay on Development only applies to the supernatural order, to the formation of Christian doctrine, the principles which the author of the Vestiges of Creation applies to the natural order, or to the formation of the universe, and his well-intended justification of his conversion is after all only an ingenious but undesigned attempt to harmonize unchangeable Christian doctrine with the modern heathen doctrine of progress. So all-pervading is this heathen doctrine, that very few of us are able entirely to escape it; and men whose faith and piety are unquestionable give utterance to principles which need only to be developed to be pantheism or nihilism. These men will not themselves so develop them; the grace they have received, and with which they freely concur, will save them from that; but who can say that others may not come after them who will develop them, and push them to their last logical consequences?

Now we do not suppose that our author in any thing he says intends this heathen doctrine of progress, but he certainly says some things  which seem to us to involve it. He, indeed, expressly states that God is our final cause, the end we  are  to  seek at all times and in all things. This is much, and, if consistently maintained, is every thing. But he tells us, man is placed in this world not to satisfy his wants, which is true enough, but to grow, and rise in being by the efforts they awake in his soul (p. 5).    " Man is born," he continues, " neither free nor perfect;  but simply with the capacity to become so.    He brings only his germ.    The germ of the apple, for instance, does it not envelop apples.    If it withstand the winds and drought, above all, if grafted, as we arc, by society, then it bears fruit."    " Open  your  eyes,  see   that  infant  in  its  long clothes.    That infant is man.    Idiots, lunatics, do not become, they only remain such.    Man is born an idiot, without liberty, will, memory, reason, or any of the faculties of his soul."    " God has given to men only the capacity to acquire liberty, will, memory, reason, and the other faculties, but only in proportion as they acquire them, so that the inequality among men comes from the fact that they have not all acquired them in equal degrees."    (pp. 181, 182.)    Over and over again he both asserts and implies that man makes himself, and is the product of his own labor and virtue.    He reasons continually on the supposition that man commenced his career in space and time, not merely without political or social liberty, but without liberty as free-will, the principle of moral responsibleness, and had to create his liberty and constitute himself a moral agent. To form his moi or personality four thousand years of heathenism were necessary, and the reason why our Blessed Lord was not sooner incarnated is, that the human person, human freedom, human responsibility, was not sooner formed. The Gospel could not have been sooner given, because there was not sooner a human person to receive it, and hence heathenism was a sort of necessary preparation for Christianity. So also he contends, or appears to contend, that Protestantism is a necessary preparation for Catholicity. Protestantism is the religion of personality; it can begin human nature, but cannot complete it. Man forms his personality to offer it to God. Protestant nations are those to whom God has offered half the task, because not prepared for Catholicity, which undertakes human nature on all points at once. This old human nature, though ransomed by four thousand years of suffering and slavery, cannot bear at once the flood of Catholic light and virtue. Though Christianity from the first day triumphed in the Byzantine Empire, the human mind would not adhere to it; and Islamism has saved a people to civilization that else had irrevocably returned to barbarism ; and on the decline of Islamism, we shall, perhaps, see them pass under the Aurora of some Protestant sect before arriving at the noonday of Catholicity, (pp. 395, 396.)

The author assumes that man commenced a mere infant, and that the savage is to be regarded as the primitive man. Men were first hunters, then shepherds, and then agriculturists. The earth, as man received it from his Maker, was empty and void, barren sand or naked rock, and he had not only to make himself, but the soil by which he makes himself. As a matter of fact, God, indeed, assisted man in the beginning, made him certain advances; but these are to be considered in the light of temporary loans, to be redeemed in proportion as man forms his own personality, and is able to subsist by himself on his own products. Even Christianity is given to man only in germ, and left to be developed and completed by his own intelligence and virtue, because God cannot outrun man himself, or travel faster than the race. These statements, principles, reasonings, scattered all through the volume before us, and some of them repeated almost to weariness, if words are to be used in any relation to their plain and natural sense, prove that the author does not wholly escape the errors of modern progressists and developmentists, but does, in some respects, at least, assert progress in what we have termed the heathen sense.

Let us not be misunderstood; we do not condemn progress in every sense.    Progress is certainly recognized, demanded, and assisted by our  holy religion.    But progress in  what?    We  may regard  the  universe as presenting two cycles, the one the procession by way of creation, not emanation, of existences from God as their first or efficient cause, and the other their return, without being absorbed into God, as Indian pantheism teaches, to him as their final cause or last end.    God  has created all things, and has created them for himself alone.    These two cycles are presented alike in the primitive creation or natural order, and in  the  new creation  or supernatural order, that is, Christianity.    In both orders progress in the second cycle is admissible and commanded.    But progress in the second cycle is simply moral progress, not physical, a progress in doing, not a progress in being.    It is a progress not in making ourselves, nor in completing ourselves physically, but in fulfilling the end for which God has made us,— in  a word, a progress in moral perfection.    This is the progress of which St. Paul  speaks, when  he  speaks of pressing forward towards the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus, the progress for which we were all made free moral agents, for which the law was given, Christian truth revealed, the Church founded, and the sacraments were instituted, after which every Christian aspires, and the saint successfully strives.    This progress is very admissible, and we cannot insist too strenuously on it, or have too much of it.

But in the first cycle, that of creation, there is no progress by the agency of the progressing subject admissible, because God is sole creator, and creates by himself alone ; and this alike whether we speak of the natural creation or of the supernatural. Creation ad extra, or placing existences in space and time, may or may not be progressive, according to the will of the Creator; all we mean to deny is, that it is progressive in any sense by the agency, will, or concurrence of the creature. In the first cycle God is sole actor, for the action of second causes in all cases, in so far as the action of second causes, is in the second cycle, or return to God as final cause.    Their action never reacts, and completes themselves physically, nor can it ever create any substance or entity.    God himself creates all things from nothing by the sole energy of his word, and each after its kind, with a specific and determinate nature, unalterable physically, except by his own will and omnipotence.    Thus is it in the  first cycle  of the  natural  order.    It is  the same in the first cycle of the supernatural order, as really and as truly a creation as the natural order itself.     Gratia est omnino gratis.    We can do nothing of ourselves to merit grace, for all merit is of grace.    All in this order that pertains to the first cycle is the pure creation or free gift of God, without any merit, effort, or activity of ours ; hence Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism are heresies.    In the second cycle we of course are active, and to merit must concur actively by grace with grace; but in creating, procuring, conferring, or infusing the grace, we have no part or lot.    Determining what shall be revealed, what shall be taught and believed as Christian doctrine, and revealing and teaching it, pertain exclusively to the first cycle, and therefore to God  alone.    Consequently the development or gradual formation of Christian doctrine by the activity of the human mind, or believing subject, cannot be supposed.    Development of Christian doctrine there undoubtedly has  been, and if the Gospel were provisional, if it looked to a more perfect religion, as the law looked to Christ, we would add, development there may be.    The whole Christian doctrine was revealed in substance to our first parents, but nobody pretends that it was revealed to them as fully and as explicitly as it is possessed by us.    But the development, explication, or completion of the primitive revelation has not been affected by the agency of the human mind, supernaturally assisted or unassisted, but by inspiration, by Divine revelation through prophets and apostles, that is, by action of the Holy Ghost in the first cycle. What is to be denied is not the progressiveness of past revelation by Divine agency, but the development and growth of doctrine by the mental or moral action of the faithful.

Here was the radical error of the distinguished author of the Essay on Development of Christian Doctrine, an ingenious work, indicating severe intellectual labor, rare speculative powers, extensive erudition, and much honest endeavor, but which undeniably transports human activity into the first cycle, the peculiar province of  God,   and makes man joint creator with the Holy Ghost of Christian doctrine.    It should excite  no surprise that  the  learned author  fell into  this  error  at the time  of writing  his Essay,  for  he was  not  then  even  a  Catholic,  and, as he himself confesses, " his eyes were dim, and could but employ reason in the things of faith."    He was led into his error by the false philosophy of the age, which asserts that the   mind apprehends truth only under subjective forms, and by his Protestantism, which misapprehends the real character of those new definitions and further explications of the faith opposed by the Church to novel heresies and errors as they arise.   Confounding the simple belief of the truth with the intellectual process of comprehending it, he fell into the mistake of supposing that heresy has always an honest origin, that it always springs from the necessary and laudable effort of the mind, an effort which every true believer must make, to ascertain and comprehend the truth, and that it always presupposes the faith on the point it contradicts was previously unknown even to the pastors of the Church ; — a sad mistake, for the Church has never hesitated as to the faith to be opposed to the novel heresy, which proves that she knew it prior to the heresy, and the heresy never originates in ignorance of the faith or in an honest endeavor to ascertain it, but in the desire to establish a favorite theory, or to follow one's own private judgment.    If Dr. Newman, now that he knows something of Catholic theology, and can take St. Thomas for his guide, were to review the Fathers, he would probably find that the theory he has adopted to reconcile their teachings with the actual faith of the Church, or to explain what he regards as their discrepancies and variations of doctrine, is as unnecessary as it is historically, philosophically, and theologically false and inadmissible; and were he to reexamine his theory itself, he would find, we doubt not, that he has throughout, unconsciously, mistaken development and growth  of heresy for development and growth of Christian doctrine.    In the sense of further explications or new definitions of the faith explicitly held from the beginning by the Church, though not by every individual pastor, contra errores insurgentes, as St. Thomas says, development is certainly to be asserted ; but in the sense of evolving by the action of the faithful new articles, dogmas, or propositions of faith, unknown to the primitive pastors of the Church, and not proposed to primitive believers, it cannot be asserted, especially on the ground, that the human mind can apprehend and believe truth only under special aspects, and as it subjects it to its own formative process; for it gives to the mind a share in the formation of Christian doctrine. It is as to doctrine precisely what Semi-Pelagianism is as to merit; for it assigns to revelation, the Divine action, in the formation of doctrine, the precise office that Semi-Pelagianism assigns to grace in the formation of Christian character. Semi-Pelagianism developed is pure Pelagianism, and pure Pelagianism developed is pure heathenism, the last word of which is Socialism.

Now it is precisely progress in this first cycle that modern heathenism asserts, and the real error of the age is in attempting to do God's work, and in neglecting its own. The more advanced portion of the age, they who best represent its spirit, reject the supernatural order altogether, and assert progress in the first cycle simply of the natural; the less advanced portion, who wish to be considered as remaining within the pale of Christendom, admit the supernatural order indeed, but they show their sympathy with the age by asserting that God creates and reveals it only in germ, and we are to complete it by our own intelligence and virtue. But do we know what it is to assert progress in the first cycle ? It implies, as we have seen, that man, in part at least, is his own first cause, the joint creator of himself, and this, which is a manifest absurdity, implies that God is not our sole final cause. God is our sole final cause only in that he is our sole first cause. If he is not our sole creator, we are not bound to seek him as our ultimate end in all things and at all times. Thus to seek him is to render unto him the tribute of our whole being as his due; but we cannot so render unto him the whole as his due, unless he has created the whole. What we have ourselves created, supposing it possible for us to create something, is our own, and we owe it to no one. "We may, pro tanto, live for ourselves, and therefore are not bound, as our author and Christianity assert, to live for God alone. " Man forms his personality," says the author, " to offer it to God." This has a pious sound, but if man is the author of his own personality in whole or in part, he does not owe it to God, and then in giving it to God he offers God something he has not received from God, and in crowning it God crowns, not his own gifts to man, but man's gifts to him. This is not Catholic doctrine. God is our sole final, because our sole first cause. To deny-that he is our sole first cause is to deny Catholic faith, to subvert the foundation of Christian morals, and to assert in principle the very heathenism our author so bravely, and for the most part so successfully, combats.

The author is correct in saying that idiots do not become, but simply remain such, though not in affirming the same of all lunatics, alienes; for men of intelligence arid virtue have been known to become insane. It is not true to say that man is born an idiot, without any of the faculties of his soul, and with only the capacity to acquire them, for idiots are precisely those who are born without that capacity, in the only sense in which we can be said to possess it. It is, moreover, a grave error to maintain that any man is born without liberty, will, memory, reason, or any of the faculties of the soul, and only with the power to acquire them. The soul, strictly speaking, does not and cannot acquire its faculties, for they are it, and indistinguishable from it. Faculties are distinguishable in the soul, not from the soul. They are not accidental to the soul, but essential, and enter into its very substance or entity. To suppose it in potentia to any one of them is to suppose it in potentia to them all; and to suppose it in potentia to them all is to suppose it to be itself in potentia, a merely possible soul, without any actual existence, — a soul which God indeed may create ad extra if he chooses, but which he has not as yet so created. The soul may be in potentia to acts, but not to faculties.

In a certain sense the infant is no doubt the germ of the man, but only as to the body, not as to the soul, which is properly the man. The soul is born with all its faculties even in the idiot, and is no subject of development or growth, for it is a simple, immaterial substance; and hence it is not by development and growth, but by infused grace, that man is able to aspire to a perfection above the plane on which he is born. In passing from infancy to manhood the soul does not grow; only the bodily organs grow, and their development and growth fall within the second cycle, not the first.    To assume that the soul grows because these material organs grow, is to confound the soul with the body, and to assume that the faculties of the soul are simply bodily developments, which is rank materialism. The soul, being in a manner inexplicable to us united to a body, has no ordinary way of manifesting itself externally except through bodily organs; but it in no sense depends on them for its faculties or intrinsic power to operate. Moreover, even since the Creator has willed to perpetuate the race by generation, as to the body, rather than by renewed creations, if man born in the bosom of society were born only in germ, it would not follow that the race began as a mere germ, and that the law which governs the race is that of development and growth; for the new-born child is not a new mankind, nor a renewal of mankind, but the continuation of the race, and presupposes the race already existing in its maturity.

The author cannot maintain that man is born without liberty in the sense of free will, and that he is not created, but makes himself, a responsible being. Free will is essential to man. The author himself terms it le moi, the personality, and therefore it is the last complement of man's rational nature, without which, unless supplied by the Divine personality, as in the human nature of Christ, that nature has no subsistence. Yet man, as yet insubsistent, gives to his nature its last complement! Free will is a vis, and therefore an ens; can man create not only an ens> but his own ens> or rather existens ? It would require, we apprehend, somewhat more than four thousand years of heathenism to enable him to do that. If man is born without free will, without responsibility, or even the principle of responsibility, how will the author explain original sin, and the baptism of infants ? If the child is not born with free will, a real person, he is born simply a thing or an animal. Can a mere thing or a mere animal be born a sinner, and be the proper subject of baptism ? The author can hardly be aware of the heretical consequences his doctrine, that men are born idiots, without liberty, will, memory, reason, or any of the faculties of the soul, necessarily involves.

There is something unpleasant to us in the doctrine that heathenism was a necessary preparation for Christianity, or that Protestantism is a useful preparation for Catholicity.    The author seems to us to lose sight in his theorizing of the salvation of individual souls, the bearing of heathenism and Protestantism on the world to come, and thus incurs the very guilt he charges upon the age. Those false and heretical religions are fatal to the souls of all who adhere to them, and it does not seem to us compatible with what we know of God, that he should make it necessary for generations to live and die in a state of sin and damnation, in order to prepare the way for succeeding generations to live and die in a state of justice and salvation. We would respectfully recommend to the author's meditation the assertion of St. Paul, that without faith it is impossible to please God, and the Catholic dogma, which so many in our days forget, or attempt to explain away, that out of the Church no one shall ever be saved.

Moreover, the author mistakes the duration of heathenism as the prevailing order of society.   He speaks of its having endured four thousand years before the birth of our Lord.    No doubt it was in the world from the time the serpent seduced Eve in the Garden, but it was formed and carried away the nations not till about the time of the calling of Abraham.    The primitive patriarchal religion even in the time of Abraham does not appear to have been generally abandoned by the nations, and idolatry was probably general only in Chaldea.    "Melchisedech king of Salem, worshipped the true God.    So did Abimelech king of Ge-rar, and so also Pharao king of Egypt.    But let this pass. Heathenism, we are told, prepared the way for Christianity by constituting human liberty, the personality, or free will; but this cannot be true, for the origin of heathenism was precisely in the abuse of free will, in the perverse activity of human personality, in egotism or pride, and necessarily supposes the  personality already formed.    Protestantism again is, the author says, the religion of personality ; yet, with his permission, not, as he supposes, the religion that forms the personality, and so far so good, and failing only in that it does not offer the personality to God after having formed it; but a religion that springs from the personality substituting itself for God.    It is simply apostasy from the Church, as heathenism was from the primitive  or  patriarchal  religion,  that is, simply  heathenism under modern conditions.    It is a grave mistake to suppose that an apostasy from the truth is a preparation for the truth.    Christianity in its substance is older than heathenism, and has come down to us, not through the line of the gentiles, as the author's St. Simonian friends maintain, but through the Patriarchs, the Synagogue, and the Catholic Church. Protestantism is not the dawn of Catholicity, but its setting ; and if it retains some rays of light, they are only such as gild the evening clouds after the sun has sunk below the horizon. Mistake not the evening twilight, which soon is swallowed up in darkness, for the morning twilight that ushers in the day. Catholicity is prior to Protestantism, not its development. Truth is before error; God before man; orthodoxy before heresy. This old human nature, of which the author speaks, is undoubtedly unable to bear on all points at once the flood of Catholic truth and virtue, but who asks it to bear it ? Nature alone assuredly is unequal to the splendor of Catholic faith or the sublimity of Catholic virtue, but what then ? The author should not have forgotten that Catholic faith and virtue are not expected without grace, that sufficient grace is given unto every man, and that, though we can do nothing of ourselves, we can do all things through Christ strengthening us. The Catholic never reasons well when he forgets to make any account of grace.

We cannot accept the author's doctrine that the savage was the primitive state of mankind. It is not historically true that men were first hunters, then shepherds, and then agriculturists. Cain, the first-born of Adam, was an agriculturist, and offered in sacrifice the first fruits of the earth; Abel, the second-born, was a shepherd or herdsman, and offered the firstlings of his flocks. Some suppose Lamech was a hunter, but the first hunter distinctly named is Nemrod, who is also represented as a great builder of cities. It is the opinion of theologians that men did not eat flesh till God gave them permission to do so after the flood. There is no evidence that Adam, immediately after his expulsion from the Garden, or that Noah and his family, immediately after the deluge, fell into the savage state, and all the monuments of antiquity that remain tend to prove the reverse. Universal tradition ascribes civilization directly to the Divinity, and those nations that have in process of time become civilized always confess to having borrowed their civilization from nations previously civilized. Thus the Greeks ascribe theirs to Egyptian and Phoenician  colonies.    Nations  once  civilized   have  been known to lapse into the barbarous or savage state, but there is no instance on record of a savage tribe, by its spontaneous efforts, having risen from the savage to the civilized state, and the author himself maintains that the savage state is unprogressive. The savage is the degenerated, not the primitive man, and no more the inchoate civilized man than the heretic is an inchoate believer.

These  considerations   sufficiently  refute  the   doctrine which appears to be authorized by the plain and natural force of M. Saint-Bonnet's language; but we are free to confess that it is not impossible but that, in some respects, we have drawn a meaning from his language which he does not himself distinctly intend.    Though as a writer he is bold, vigorous, and striking, he is not remarkably clear, precise, or exact.    He writes as if he held logical precision and technical exactness in lofty disdain;  and he appears to aim at moving the heart through the imagination still more than through the understanding.    His words are familiar, and his sentences for the most part simply constructed, but what he really means by them we are often at a loss to determine.   He is a disciple of the modern Romantic School, and, like Chateaubriand, sacrifices at times distinctness of thought and exactness of doctrine to aesthetic effect.    The Church in the Catechism is always clear, distinct, exact, and precise in expression, and in reading the brilliant pages of the author of Les Martyrs and Le Genie du Christianisme  we  often  wish that he had taken  the pains to learn it.    His errors, although never springing from his heart, are but poorly atoned for by the charms of his style and the fervor of his sentiments.    We are old-fashioned  enough to   prefer   orthodoxy to  highly excited sensibility, felicitous phrases,  or  happily turned  periods. In his own mind, in his own understanding of his words, it is not impossible, after all, that our author,is, for the most part, defensible.    The chief errors we seem to find in his pages grow out of his  neglect to distinguish the meaning of his terms, and to distribute his assertions according to their respective  categories.    He   usually says what he means, but we suspect he does not always mean what he says.    He expresses his meaning, but at the same time something more, or something else.

The author certainly uses the word liberty in the sense of free will, le moi, personality, the principle of moral responsibleness, and just as certainly uses it for the perfection which is acquired by the right exercise of free will, and that, too, without in the least distinguishing the one sense from the other. In the sense of free will, liberty is the person, enters into the essential definition of man, and pertains to him in the first cycle, or to his physical nature. To say that liberty in this sense is acquired, or that in this sense man is born without liberty, is false, and involves all the consequences we have indicated. But to say that liberty, as the exercise of free will, as sanctity, as " the liberty of the sons of God," of which the Blessed Apostle speaks, is acquired, or that in this sense man is born without it, is perfectly true, for he is born a sinner, and not even with the capacity to acquire it without grace. The author confounds the two senses and reasons as if the two were one and the same sense, and hence asserts the error along with the truth.

Man, the author says, is born neither free nor perfect, but simply with the capacity to become so, and if he were born free and perfect the Socialists would be right. The question as to freedom we have just disposed of. As to being born perfect, we must distinguish. In the first cycle, in his physical nature, in his essential qualities or attributes, man is most certainly born perfect, that is, perfect in his kind, perfect man, though not, of course, perfect God ; that is, again, he is born with the full complement of his nature as pure nature; but in the second cycle, in the moral order, he is not born perfect, for he is born a sinner under the dominion of Satan, as the Church teaches expressly in her Councils, and in exorcising and baptizing the newborn infant. The author confounds these two senses, and so asserts the error with the truth, and fails to negative, except in part, the doctrine of the Socialists. The error of the Socialists is not in asserting that man is born perfect as to the first cycle, for that they do not assert; but in asserting that he is born perfect as to the second cycle, that is, without sin, pure, holy, in no need of pardon or redemption. The author contradicts them in this last doctrine, it is true, but agrees with them in the former, which, if possible, is the more fatal error of the two.

The author makes an analogous mistake in regard to all our faculties. He uniformly confounds the faculty in the first cycle with the faculty in the second; that is, the faculty as it enters into the essential definition of man with its exercise, or the perfection  attainable by its  exercise. Man is born, he says, without liberty, will, memory, reason, or any of the faculties of his soul.    God has given him only the capacity to acquire them ; and men possess them only in the degree in which they acquire them; and hence the inequality which exists among men in society comes from the fact that they have not all acquired them equally.    Hence the origin of ranks and social inequalities. They express the varying  degrees in which   individuals have acquired their faculties.    Here is a truth and a falsehood.    As they enter into his essential definition, man is not born without his faculties; as they mean simply the perfection acquired by their exercise, of course he is born without them, and possesses them only in the degree in which he acquires them.    But whether social ranks and distinctions are always in the ratio of virtue is another question, to which we shall have occasion to return before we close.

What we regard as the author's errors originate mainly in this confusion of thought, this confounding of faculty with the perfection attainable by it, of the actor with the act, being with doing; but it is only simple justice to him to say, that, though he fails to distinguish the truth from the falsehood in his expressions, and even in his reasonings, the truth is that which is uppermost in his mind.    When he tells us man is born an idiot, without any of his faculties, it is only fair to presume that it is faculty in the sense of the perfection  that  comes  from its exercise that he chiefly intends.    When he says that man makes himself, his real though not distinctly stated meaning is, that man makes  himself morally, which, though  rather  commonplace, is strictly true, for a man's morality or virtue is always his own act.    This is true, notwithstanding his moral perfection of himself is not possible without grace moving, assisting, and elevating him, because the grace by which he perfects himself is in the first cycle, and is not his act, but the principle of his act, and only physically completes him, so to speak, as an actor under God's gracious Providence.    If man makes himself morally, that is, developes and completes himself in the second cycle, he must make morally, as to the same cycle, whatever enters into him as its necessary condition.    Thus, though he has nothing to do with creating, procuring, conferring, or infusing grace, yet, to obtain the perfection that is by it, he must by it concur voluntarily with it, and by this concurrence make it his, or, what is the same thing, the perfection that is by it his perfection. So of the globe and all the things pertaining to it, necessary to his perfection ; he must himself morally make and appropriate them. Hence man makes both himself and the soil of the globe he inhabits ; that is, in order to attain the end for which God has made him, man must make a right use of his free will, both in regard to himself and to all not himself, and can no more become perfect by immorality in the economical or industrial order, than in any other department of life, which is undoubtedly true. Man must use, and not abuse, both his faculties and the world.

Keeping in mind these distinctions, we may proceed to a more particular analysis of the volume before us. The work is directed against the Revolutionists, Socialists, Liberalists, and Communists of the day. It is divided into three books, the first on Capital, the second on Order, the third on Aristocracy; and it is designed to show that the economical, social, and political doctrines approved by the age, and contended for by the classes named, if reduced to practice, must result in the destruction of all virtue, all capital, all government, all society, and of man himself, save as a mere savage. It undertakes to do this by showing the conditions of capital or property, its relation to individual virtue and the constitution of families, the relation of families to the aristocracy and social order, and the relation of the aristocracy to government, to the constitution, preservation, and progress of society, or the continued increase of capital and virtue. Capital founds man, the freeman as distinguished from the slave, man founds the family, families found the aristocracy, and the aristocracy found and direct society, while capital itself is founded by virtue, and virtue by religion. To destroy religion is to destroy virtue, to destroy virtue is to destroy capital, to destroy capital is to destroy liberty or the freeman, to destroy the freeman is to destroy families, to destroy families is to destroy the aristocracy, to destroy the aristocracy is to destroy government, and to destroy government is to destroy society, and to destroy society is to drive men back to the savage state.    The labor of the author is to show that all these elements act and react on and produce one another, and that civilization is only the result of their mutual action and reaction, and can be produced, preserved, or restored only by the presence and concurrence of them all. Consequently, to attack religion, virtue, capital, individual freedom, family, aristocracy, or authority, is to attack civilization, nay, man himself.

The author starts with the important assertion, that the radical error of the age, under an economical as well as a theological point of view, is the assumption that man is here simply to enjoy, that the end of production is the satisfaction of his desires, and therefore that m all his efforts and arrangements he is to consult the greatest possible consumption.    Man is not placed in this world to satisfy his wants, but to grow, — morally, — by the efforts they awaken in his soul.    The end of production is not consumption, but moral growth, the establishment of man in his liberty, his individual independence, and the development and completion  of his moral faculties.    In consequence of the Fall, man has now to make this independence for himself, and he makes it by virtue of capital. But such is the disorder of his nature that to acquire capital without effort, or to possess it without labor, is morally destructive.    Wealth acquired by idleness or robbery only corrupts him, while wealth acquired by labor renders him moral.    Hence, as God has made capital necessary to the production and maintenance of liberty or manhood, he has made labor necessary to the production of capital;  and therefore has placed in man hunger, thirst, and other wants, for the purpose of forcing him to labor.

Capital is not, as Jews and merchants formerly imagined, a surplusage of coin laid by, but what man has produced over and above what he has consumed, and consists in the soil he has created and fertilized, his dwelling-houses, barns, out-houses, fixtures, utensils,  implements of  agriculture, mechanics' shops and tools, provisions, clothing, mills, roads, governments, laws, institutions, manners, customs, habits, education, instruction, &c.    Capital  is  the product of labor, and labor decomposed is sorrow and liberty.    Sorrow or pain, douleur, excites liberty or activity, and man labors or works, and produces.

Man has had to produce all by his own labor, — himself and the very soil of the globe.    The world when he received it from his Maker was, under the economical point of view, empty and void, barren sand or naked rock. Its soil was not yet created, its surface was not yet clothed with verdure, for the rains had not descended to water it, since as yet there was no man to till it. Man had not only to make himself a freeman, but the very soil of the globe, without which he could neither make himself nor even subsist. True, his Creator came to his aid, made him certain temporary advances, placed him in the East in a warm climate, under a clement sky, on a fertile oasis, where he could live with scanty clothing, and on the spontaneous productions of the earth. But this was only a provisional order, and in no sense the law by which man was to subsist on this globe. These advances were only temporary loans to liberty, indispensable in the first instance, but to be redeemed or withdrawn in proportion as man acquires his liberty, and becomes able to stand by himself and subsist on his own products, and therefore not to be considered in determining the great economical law by which capital is created, and liberty constituted. " En dehors de l'absolu il y a la liberte. Bien qu'elle ait eu commencement, elle repose sur la grande loi; il faut qu'elle soit par elle-meme. Sa premiere mise de fonds lui est retirir tous les jours, afin que son moi lui soit propre." We are therefore to proceed as if no advances had been made, and to consider the law to be precisely what it would have been, if man had really been cast a mere germ of a man upon the barren sand or naked rock, and left to create the soil, and complete himself by his own efforts, or the efforts to which his inherent wants impel him. Without these wants he would not labor; without labor he could neither grow nor subsist. But if he wastes his faculties as fast as he develops them, consumes as fast as he produces, he creates no capital; for capital is the excess of production over consumption. Hence the conditions of capital are want, — sorrow or pain, douleur, — liberty, and abstinence; that is, labor in producing, and moderation in consuming.

Man is naturally averse to this moderation. He is naturally inclined to produce only to satisfy his wants, and — as his wants always more than keep pace with his means of satisfying them — to consume all he produces. To practise this moderation therefore demands an effort against nature, the virtue of self-denial, not possible without religion.    Religion is indispensably necessary to produce this virtue of moderation, and it produces it by teaching us that the end of production is not consumption, is not to satisfy wants, but to prepare man  for the future life, to form his personality that he may offer it to God. Hence, in the last analysis, religion is the essential basis of capital, and through it of liberty, family, aristocracy, government, order, and society.    As religion depends on the Church, the clergy are the real producers of capital;  and as a matter of fact, the modern world while it listened to the Catholic clergy had augmented its capital fivefold over that of the ancient world, and has found it diminishing in proportion as it has ceased to respect them, abandoned the Church and her maxims, and returned to heathenism.  So great has been this diminution of capital in the principal European nations during the last century and a halt, that they are, unless they immediately retrace their steps, on the eve of being forced to reestablish slavery, the resort of antiquity to supply the deficiency of capital.

Man constitutes his liberty, and therefore his virtue, only by the creation of capital, and in proportion as he creates it. Capital, as the indispensable condition and as the product of liberty and virtue, is always in proportion to merit.    It is acquired by individuals in various degrees, according to their  respective degrees of merit.    Hence in society we find a distinction of ranks, such as people, burghers, nobles, saints, and the several ranks express the various degrees in which capital, and therefore personality, liberty, and virtue, have  been  acquired.    Every rank is the expression   of the   degree  of merit  acquired by its   members.    The superior ranks owe their superior rank to their superior merit.    The aristocracy of a nation are its merit, its capital, its virtue, its religion, and the more numerous and powerful they are, and the higher they are elevated above the people, the more wealthy, virtuous, and meritorious is the nation.    A nation that can no longer produce an aristocracy, or that has lost its aristocracy, whether by democratic revolution or by their adopting the manners and sentiments of the people, has ceased to be progressive has become a spendthrift, is obliged to live on its capital, its past savings, which must be soon exhausted, and, it lelt to itself, cannot fail to lapse into the barbarous or savage state. The aristocracy, the superior classes, are the saved products, the hoardings of a nation. In like manner as capital is indispensable to production are they indispensable to national progress. They are literally the capital of the nation, at once the producers and the product of its virtue. A nation without an aristocracy can no more be productive, than labor can be productive without capital. Kelig-ion founds virtue, virtue founds the aristocracy, the aristocracy founds capital, and through it society, and society founds man, or is the essential condition of man's development and completion of himself.    This is the order.

The people of themselves found nothing; they have never constituted and never can constitute society, because they are precisely those whose liberty or virtue is least developed, and who are nearest the infancy of the race, the least advanced from the savage state. To turn towards them, as is the fashion of the day, to find the institutors or restorers of society, is to turn towards brute matter. The present deplorable condition of the European nations springs from the vices and faults of the aristocracy, who have abandoned their order in adopting the manners and sentiments of the people, or, in a word, have ceased to be aristocrats, and made themselves people, or at best mere burghers or commons. The question as to social restoration, especially as to the restoration of French society, turns entirely on the fact whether the aristocracy have still remaining capital and virtue enough to resume and perform the proper offices of their order, and as to France in particular, whether the Bourgeoisie, who by the revolution of 1789 wrested power from the hands of the old Noblesse, are able to take their place, and discharge the proper functions of a true aristocracy. If so, European society will be restored ; if not, the great European nations must fall into the condition of savages, or of the barbarous tribes that now roam over the sites of the once renowned empires of the old Asiatic world.

This is a brief and a very unsatisfactory analysis of M. Saint-Bonnet's work, and can give no adequate conception of its value to one who has not read the volume itself, the great merit of which consists in its details, in its treatment of particular or special questions, rather than in its general theory; but we have given as faithful and as full an analysis as our time and space have permitted. To our apprehension there is much and important truth in the volume, but also much error, growing out of what is to us a painful confusion of thought, a careless blending together of distinct categories.    We agree entirely with the author as to the essential elements and conditions of society; but as to the production or evolution of these elements and conditions, if we understand him, we must differ from him. Is the author treating of the historical origin and constitution of society, or of its mere logical origin and constitution ?    Is he describing the action and reaction of the several social elements in society regarded as already constituted and in operation; or is he pointing out how in the historical order these elements have been successively developed from original germs, and combined into a civilized society?    We confess we are unable to say which he is really doing, and he seems to us to do sometimes the one and sometimes the other, without noting that both are not one and the same.    As we understand the author, he is obliged throughout to obtain the cause either from the effect or in producing it.    He assumes that man starts as a mere germ, to be completed by self-development, and yet he  makes  completely developed  manhood the  essential condition of that self-development.    Man is virtually cast a mere germ upon the barren  sand or naked rock,  and compelled to make himself and the soil of the globe by which he subsists and makes himself.    Man, the author tells us, makes the soil, the soil makes the climate, the climate makes the blood, the blood makes the man, and thus man makes himself.    But how make the soil before he himself is made ?    How get the effect before the cause, or convert it into the cause of itself?    Capital is given always as the essential condition of religion and virtue, and yet it is declared to be the product of religion and virtue. Savages remain savages because they have  no  capital. They cannot cease to be savages without capital, and cannot acquire capital without ceasing to be savages.    The human race began in the savage state, and the people, or lowest class, in civilized communities, are those who remain in that state or who have advanced but a step beyond it.    The aristocracy have been produced by an advance beyond it, and yet no advance beyond it is possible without the  aristocracy, but  by their  aid.    We do  not see how the author has contrived to get his aristocracy, or the human race out of the savage state.

The necessity of the aristocracy — we use the word in a good sense — we cheerfully concede; that they raise the people, not the people themselves, and found, preserve, and govern society, we hold to be indubitable.    Society without an aristocracy, without diversities of ranks and conditions, is absolutely inconceivable, and what your mad European and some American democrats propose as society, constituted after their principles of liberty, equality, fraternity, is only the negation of all society.    But we are unable to reconcile this with the author's doctrine that mankind began in the savage state, that the aristocracy have been evolved by man's labors at self-development, and that the premiere mise de fonds of liberty are to be regarded only in the light of temporary loans, to be daily withdrawn as man's personality is formed.    Holding with the author in the former doctrine, we are obliged to dissent from him in the latter. We are obliged to hold that the adult is prior to the infant, the aristocracy to the people, civilized society to the savage state ; and that the advances made by the Creator in the beginning are to be regarded not as temporary loans simply, to enable the race to start, but as  a permanent grant of capital to the race; and therefore, that the economical law is not that of the creation from nothing, but the preservation and right employment of capital.    Consequently, when individuals or nations have exhausted their portion of the original capital, or advances made by the Creator, their only resource is in those who have retained their portion, and properly employed it.    This capital, in so far as essential to  individual virtue  and  social well-being, was originally invested with the priesthood as its trustees, who were thus constituted from the beginning the true and only real aristocracy, the first fathers, institutors, and directors of the people, or of society.

No doubt, M. Saint-Bonnet concedes the fact of the primitive advances, but, if we understand him, they are to be regarded as merely accidental, and the law which governs the race is that of self-evolution and self-subsistence. He seems to suppose, because individuals born in the bosom of society have a progress and grow from infancy to manhood, we must, in considering the law of civilization, assume that the race itself began originally in infancy, and has had an analogous progress or growth. The race, indeed, exists not without individuals, but yet it exists, the  author's  conceptualism to  the  contrary notwithstanding; but abstracted from individuals it has no destiny.    It returns to God as final cause, but only in individuals ; consequently, only individuals have, or can have, any progress.    The  physical conditions of this progress pertain  solely to  the  first cycle, and  must therefore be given outright by the Creator; for man creates only morally, that is, by the physical aid of the essential conditions of progress morally concurs with them.    These conditions, under the present point of view, are expressed by the word society.    Individuals can be born only in society, and it is only in society that they can subsist, grow, and accomplish their destiny.   Consequently, society, and whatever is essential to it, must be instituted and exist before the race can begin to propagate and continue itself by the generation of individuals, or by the production of man in germ, as M. Saint-Bonnet considers the infant.    Man as the race must therefore have been man before he was a child, and the race, that is, mankind on this globe, must be conceived as commencing, not in infancy, but in adult age, in complete and vigorous manhood, as we know from faith was the fact.    God created our first parents, not babies, not savages, but full grown, and gave them to start with all that is essential to the institution and conservation of the highest civilized society.    Thus we must always proceed on the principle that man started, not from the lowest, but from the highest level of human society, and with the means of raising individuals, as successively born, to the same level.    The aristocracy which founds society, civilization, elevates the people, and renders virtue possible and actual, was given in the beginning, was originally in Adam, and during the whole continuance of the primitive or patriarchal order, in the patriarch, in the pater-familias, who was both priest and king.   

In process of time the priest and the king have been disengaged from the pater-familias, and separated into a sacerdotal class and a royal class. The king has gradually become the king and nobility, the secular prince and the secular aristocracy; but the clergy, the king, and nobility were all in Adam, and whatever virtue or capital they represent is only the virtue or capital with which mankind started in him. The aristocracy have always subsisted in the race, and never been evolved from the people, or obtained as the result of the growth or progress of individuals. They subsist always in society, engaged or disengaged, as its essential elements, and no society is conceivable without them, any more than an individual man is conceivable without reason and free will. The moral progress of man is not in creating them, is not in becoming them, but in submission and obedience to the principles they embody and the laws they administer. Consequently, though the aristocracy have been disengaged and become in some respects distinct classes in society, we are not to consider them the product of acquired virtue, and must still assume them as existing and in full vigor at the moment God placed the human race on this globe; and therefore we must take as our point of departure society constituted, civilization or social perfection realized, or placed by God in advance.

We thus, when we reason of the human race or of society, place the point of perfection in the beginning, not in the end, in God's work, not in man's. For individuals in a moral sense we place the point of perfection in the end, and regard it as the product of individual effort under the social conditions which God has provided. Hence we do not fall under the necessity of supposing self-production, which is inconceivable; that man makes the aristocracy, the aristocracy make society, and society makes the man. The aristocracy, in our sense of the word, subsist from the beginning, therefore from the beginning society exists, is constituted; and therefore from the beginning there subsist all the necessary conditions of individual growth, all the conditions necessary for the individual to fulfil his destiny, that is, return to God as his final cause. We have nothing to do with founding society, or founding an aristocracy to found it.    God has done all that for us.
M. Saint-Bonnet holds that social ranks and distinctions as they actually exist are determined by virtue or merit, and simply mark the several degrees of moral progress made by the members of society. He recognizes four different ranks, the people, burghers or commons, nobles, and saints. The people are the lowest, the poorest, the least virtuous, those who have advanced least in forming their manhood, and remain nearest infancy or the savage state. The burghers, la Bourgeoisie, are those who have risen a  degree above the people, the nobles  those who have risen a degree above the burghers, and saints are those who rise above the nobles, those who have reached the goal, attained to perfect manhood.    Every individual, in his own person or that of his family, must pass successively through these several degrees in order to become a saint, must be successively people, burgher, noble, and then saint; for he can be a saint only by these successive purifications of his blood.    Sometimes a rare individual goes in his own  person through  all these successive purifications, and from one of the people becomes a saint; more ordinarily, however, a man of the people becomes, by his virtue, accumulation of capital, and the purification of his blood, a burgher, and founds a respectable burgher family; in process of time, a member of this burgher family by a similar process raises himself to the class of nobles, and founds a noble family ;  after some generations, perhaps, a member of this noble family in the same way rises to be a saint, and it may be to found a family of saints,    Saints are generally from the ranks of the nobility.

This is too fanciful for our taste. In our mode of considering social ranks, the lowest are not those who have not yet risen to manhood, but those who have fallen below it, and the highest are not those who have acquired, but those who retained, their original rank of freemen. The aristocracy may be replenished or recruited by individuals from the people, but, as a social order or class, they are never to be regarded as people developed and completed, any more than believers are to be regarded as heretics developed and completed, or Catholicity as the development and completion of Protestantism.

Moreover, we are not prepared to concede that the true aristocracy owe their rank either to their blood or to their personal merit.    We are too much of a republican to believe that God has created two' races of men, one noble and the other ignoble, and men themselves cannot create races     The most subtle chemical analysis can detect no difference between the blood of the noble and that of the people.    M. Saint-Bonnet himself places, very properly, the clergy at the head of the aristocracy, and calls them the first or chief aristocracy ;  and the clergy, under Christianity, are taken indiscriminately from all classes of society, and it is fair to presume that, if blood were a matter of importance, the Church would make it a condition in candidates for Holy Orders.    Our Lord selected his Apostles, not from the highest, but the lowest class of their countrymen, poor fishermen and despised publicans.    It does not appear that St. Peter was distinguished for his blood, nor is the aristocracy, the aristocracy that founds and directs society we mean, always such in consequence of personal merit.    It is an aristocracy of office, position, education, science, and manners, an aristocracy which does not make itself, but which God mediately or immediately institutes for religious, moral, and social purposes.    The efficacy of the sacraments does not depend on the personal merit of the minister.    Aristocracy is an  office, a trust, and they who hold it are responsible for the manner in which they discharge its duties.    This is certainly true of the clergy, and was originally true of the secular nobility, and the great and deplorable fall of modern society was effected when the title became expressive of a social rank without an official rank or corresponding employment.    The feudal nobility was not a mere titular nobility, and England shows some relic of her old  Catholic wisdom in restricting the title of noble to the members of her House of Peers.    The author either takes blood and merit in an unauthorized sense, or else he pushes his theory to a ridiculous extreme. As a matter of fact, the clergy, the only real aristocracy, are in personal merit infinitely superior to any other class of society, but some of them have not led very edifying lives, and their efficiency in respect to civilization, as in respect to salvation, is in their office, in the doctrine, the sacraments, the discipline of which they are the ministers, not in their personal virtue.

The author attributes the savage state to the lack of capital, and the lack of capital to the lack of security. The savage has no security that if he sows he shall reap,— and therefore sows not and fails to make the soil, the soil fails to make the climate, the climate fails to make the blood, and so he himself remains unmade. But savages have among them all the social ranks and distinctions ordinarily found in civilized communities. Our American Indians have their priestly, their royal, and their noble families. How happens it that their aristocracy do not establish this security, found society, and raise their people to a civilized state ? Nay, this very lack of security is exaggerated.    The depredations of one tribe upon another are not more common than the depreciations of one state upon another among modern civilized states, and there are few civilized communities now to be found in which internal police, according to the Indian sense, is better maintained than in the bosom of the tribe itself.    The reason is obvious enough why our Indian aristocracy fail to establish society.    It is not in the lack of capital, unless we use the word in a sense which begs the whole question, not in the lack of security, nor yet in the lack of blood; but in the lack of the true religion and the orthodox clergy, the only civilizers.    Send the Catholic missionary among them, let him preach Christ crucified to them, catechize and baptize them, and feed them with the bread of angels, and they become good Christians, even saints; and that too in the first generation, without any change as to material capital, the soil, the climate, or the blood.    Here is a fact that suggests to us a strong doubt as to M. Saint-Bonnet's theory of capital and blood.    The saint, according to that very theory, is highest in the social hierarchy, and the most perfect form of developed manhood.    Yet here is your poor savage, by faith and the sacraments, with no other change than they imply, becoming a saint, and rising to the topmost round of civilization.    Many a congregation of savages, converted by our humble, laborious, and self-sacrificing missionaries, in all the really Christian virtues can put to shame not a few of your European kings and nobles.    Yet nothing in their condition that comes properly under the head of capital has been changed.    They live mainly by fishing and hunting, as did their ancestors.

The early Christians, the saints and martyrs, who by their faith, their piety, their zeal, their charity, and their heroic sufferings conquered pagan Rome, and planted the cross in triumph on  the  capital  of the world, were seldom gathered from the secular nobility or the nominally superior  classes  of society, but chiefly from' slaves,- the poor, and the ignoble.    " For you see your vocation, brethren, that not many are wise according  to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that  he  may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen that he may confound the strong; and the mean things of the world, and things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that he might destroy the things that are; that no flesh should glory in his sight. But" from him are ye in Christ Jesus, who is made to us wisdom from God, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption, that, as it is written, He that glorieth may glory in the Lord." *(footnote: * 1 Cor. i. 26-31.)    This was true not only in the beginning, but it is the settled order of God's providence in advancing his kingdom in this world.    He chooses always the course opposed to that which  human wisdom   oppose?. The Blessed Apostle makes no account of material capital ; he says nothing of its being necessary, in order to attain to sanctity, that man should make the soil, the soil the climate, the climate the  blood, and the blood the saint. Capital and blood, except the blood of Christ that cleans-eth from all sin, do not appear to have been regarded by him as of any importance at all, in the process of making saints.    The reason probably is, that sanctity is not a plant of natural growth, nor a product of natural culture.    The Apostle always places it  in the supernatural order, and teaches that it is from God through Christ Jesus, who is made to us wisdom, and justice, and sanctity, and redemption, and therefore not through human culture and development, through man's labor making the soil, the soil making the climate, the climate making the blood, and the blood making the saint.    This process of making saints the Apostle certainly does not recognize, no doubt because he received no notice of it in the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is probably a recent development.

The author tells us that, notwithstanding the Apostolic labors of St. Francis Xavier and others in India, Japan, and China, Christianity could not take root there, and the holy missionaries failed entirely to establish there a Christian civilization, and because the blood of those old effete nations would not bear it. He thinks that those nations can be converted and made Christian nations only by carrying there the European, and perhaps the French flesh, which has for eighteen centuries been nourished by the flesh of Christ.

" Le Christianisme n'entrera vivant au Japan et ail-leurs, que lorsque des masses de Chretiens vivants iront porter leur sang dans les veines epuisees de ces peuples. II n'a ete donne k la morale de commencer des races que chez nous, loin du soleil, loin de toutes les avarices faites par la nature aux premiers humains.    Ddsormais la race cerebrale a fait trop de progres pour qu'on puisse racheter un peuple a notre degre sans le faire communier a notre chair.    Maugre ses efforts, sa vie, sa saintete, son mar-tyre, Saint Francois-Xavier n'a pu laisser une civilisation Chretienne au  Japan.    Par de  revolutions  peu prevues, cette chair humaine, a laquelle la chair du Christ sert de levain depuis dix-huit siecles, ira porter son ferment de vie dans la chair esclave des enfants de Sem et de Cham.    Et d'ailleurs, si P Orient eut pris le premier le Christianisme, e'eut etc le Christianisme reveur avant d'etre le Christianisme  pratique  des  peuples  occidentaux.     L'amour s'y fut forme avant la personalite; le sol humain n'y cut pas recu un assez profond labourage;  il n'aurait  pu fourmr la seve au monde Europeen, comme il est appele mainte-nant a l'en recevoir.    Saint Pierre fut etabli avant Saint Jean, bienque ce dernier soit, aussi, celui que mon  ame pr6fere. —pp.398,399.

It is true the author cites in this passage M. Enfantin, late sovereign pontiff of the Saint-Simonian religion ; but he cites him in a manner which proves that he adopts it, and adopts it as showing the reason why Christianity has not maintained its ground in the East, and why the Oriental nations still remain out of the pale of Christian civilization. M. Saint-Bonnet contends that the order of Providence is, that in this world all should be distributed according to merit, and that men are people, burghers, nobles, saints, and  nations  are  savage,   barbarous,  civilized,  Christian, most Christian, according to their several degrees of merit. As merit proceeds from the will, from the activity of man, God is obliged in the order of facts to follow man, and therefore Christianity cannot precede or go before man's merit.    What the author really means by this is to us uncertain ; but certainly, as he not seldom applies his principle that all is  according  to  merit, that principle is one which as a Catholic he cannot hold; for it is rank Pelagianism, the dominant heresy of the age.    A man does not become a saint because he merits to be a saint.    Did not St. Paul say, " By grace I am what lam"?    Is grace of merit?    Is not grace always gratuitous, even by the very force  of the word?    Man prior to   grace  cannot  merit "race, nor even prepare himself for it.    The beginning and end of his sanctity are of pure grace.    Even by keeping the precepts of the natural law man does not positively dispose himself for grace;  he only removes the obstacles which actual sins interpose to its operation.    The author in his brilliant theorizing seems to us to forget this important Catholic doctrine.    By making all depend on merit, instead of the free grace of God, by representing man as making the soil, the soil the climate, the climate the blood, and the blood the saint, he gives man the right to glory in himself, whereas the Apostle allows him to glory only in the Lord.    The author, too, we suspect, is a little carnal in his views of the influence of the sacred body of our Lord received  in  the  Blessed Sacrament.    We are not aware that it works a revolution in the blood or flesh of the race.    Its influence we had supposed was spiritual, not carnal.    The  Old  Adam  remains  even in  the saint, as long as he lives, and the child of saintly parents is born a child of wrath as well as the child of infidels, and in administering baptism to either the Church observes the same rites and ceremonies.    The Christian transmits no Christian virtue with his flesh.    Now, as before the coming of our Lord, every one of us must say, " I was conceived in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."    The Christian graces and virtues are personal, and affect solely the personal character; they do not enter into human nature, and become the natural inheritance of the race.    The Son of God assumed human nature in individuo, not in specie, and he was not, and is not, converted into flesh; he only took human nature up to himself.    The author seems also not to remember that the virtues by which, according to him, wealth is accumulated, are not Christian virtues, and have no necessary connection with Christian sanctity. Sanctity is not in their order, and they, or any of the secular virtues, are never its germs.    The author could not fall into a graver mistake than to suppose that the saint is the natural development or complement of what he calls people.

Slavery, in the ancient world, the author says, was a sort of forced Christianity, and justifiable because necessary to supply the deficiency of capital, to break down human pride, and to produce the Christian virtues of patience and resignation. But where is the justice in reducing one portion of mankind to slavery that the other portion may be free ?    Why is it necessary that a freeman should consume more in proportion to what he produces than a slave?  If it is not, there was no necessity of slavery to supply the lack of capital, and it was no real substitute for capital.  Did slavery tend to humble or to exalt the pride of the slaveholders?  Were the forced virtues of patience and resignation Christian virtues?  If they were, and slavery is favorable to their growth, why does the author represent it as one of the chief glories of the Church that she has abolished slavery throughout the European world?  St. Augustine teaches us that slavery pertains to the penal providence of God, originates in sin, and may serve, like all the sufferings of this life, as a salutary penance, if properly submitted to.

Labor, says the author, is not for wants, but wants are for labor, and labor is to prevent wealth from being a great evil.  But what is wealth for, if not for wants?  Wealth acquired by idleness or robbery, that is, without labor, always corrupts.  How, then, does the author defend hereditary wealth against the Socialists, since wealth inherited is not acquired by the labor of him who inherits it?  Wealth acquired by immoral means, no doubt, proves that corruption already exists, and with just as little doubt it tends to extend or increase corruption; but is it true, on the contrary, that wealth acquired by labor always tends to make the possessor moral?  If so, the Chinese, the Scotch, the English, and the Anglo-Americans should be the most moral people on the globe, instead of being, as they are, the most immoral, if we speak, as the author must be understood to speak, of Christian morality.  In fact, labor for the accumulation of wealth for the sake of gratifying sensuality, or for its own sake, as the miser accumulates it, is itself immoral, and repugnant to Christian sanctity.  Labor in itself considered is neither moral nor immoral.  It is a punishment imposed upon the human race, and, like all punishments in our probationary states, may or may not have a moral effect, according to the temper in which it is borne, and the end to which it is directed by the will of him who bears it.  As a general rule, wealth, however acquired, is a temptation and a snare.

But we are exhausting our space, and most likely the patience of our readers.  We do not regard our author as a profound or an exact theologian, but we do think him an able political economist, and wise and just in his political views and observations.  His practical remarks on our current politics deserve the highest praise, and we are really grateful to him for having, demonstrated in an unanswerable manner, that all labor bestowed on the fabrication of luxuries adds nothing to capital, but really diminishes it, and thereby demonstrating that our modern industrial and commercial system, so much applauded, tends to impoverish instead of enriching the nations that have adopted it. Here, and in most of the special questions he treats, the author shows extensive knowledge, rare sagacity, and just thought, which, notwithstanding its errors in a theoretical point of view, give to his work in the actual state of things a very great practical value. We hope to return to his views of some of these special questions hereafter ; for we would not have our readers infer that we hold either the author or his labors in light esteem, because we have found in his volume some things to censure. He has bravely combated the modern enemies of society, he has exposed most satisfactorily the fallacies of the Socialists, and vindicated the absolute importance of the Church as the first and only source of civilization, order, and society. If he has erred, it has not been with malice; the sincerity of his faith is unquestionable, and his heart is in the right place.

The errors we have indicated may be traced to the same causes which came so very near leading the excellent Balmez astray, which make us tremble for Padre Ventura, which engulfed the brilliant De la Mennais, and have stranded the proud and philosophic Gioberti. They come, when they come honestly, as in the case of our author, from the attempt to combat the enemies of religion and society with their own weapons, or rather from the habit of considering Catholicity in its relation to society and civilization, instead of considering it in its relation to the supernatural destiny of man, or the salvation of the individual soul. We are, perhaps, in danger of falling ourselves into the very heresy we are combating. Our religion is just now opposed in the name of man, of liberty, of society, of the earthly well-being of mankind, as our Blessed Lord himself was by the old carnal Jews, who rejected him, and crucified him between two thieves, because he came as a spiritual prince, to save men's souls, not as a temporal prince, to found an earthly kingdom and secure prosperity to his followers. We meet them on their own ground. It is an undeniable fact, that the Church has founded modern civilization, and has been the source of all the real well-being of modern nations.    We hasten to bring forward and prove this fact, and having done so, we say to her enemies,  Therefore return to the Church, and love and obey her  as  your  mother.    M.   Saint-Bonnet sees —what is most true—that there is no good for us even in this life, unless we live for God and heaven, and he adds, Therefore live for God and heaven, not reflecting that, if therefore we live for God and heaven, we do not live for them, but for this life alone, and are still carnal Jews expecting a temporal Messiah and an earthly paradise.    The Church secures us the real goods of this life precisely because she does not propose them, because she makes no account of them, and   subdues in  our   hearts the desire to  possess them; precisely because she proposes only God and heaven, concentrates our affections on another life, and entirely absorbs us in the  great work of saving our souls, of making our calling and election sure.    God and heaven are gained by being sought; earth, by being rejected, despised, trampled on.

We seek the reason of the lapse of nations once Catholic into  heresy, infidelity, barbarism, in extrinsic  causes, now in this civil or ecclesiastical policy, now in that particular national vice or corruption;  and we seek to win them back to their duty and to salvation by a variety of extrinsic motives, addressed to the dominant tendencies of the age.    All this is natural, but we suspect not altogether as wise and as prudent in  God's eyes as in our own. When individuals or nations break away from the Church, the reason is, that the natural pride of the human heart and the love of the world have  gained dominion over them, and in most, if not in all, precisely in consequence of temporal prosperity.    " The beloved grew fat and kicked.    He grew fat, and thick, and gross; he forsook God who made him, and  departed  from God, his   sovereign."    And we can recall them to faith only in proportion as they are humbled, and we can make them feel that they have souls, souls exposed to eternal damnation, and which cannot be saved out of the Catholic Church.    The world is bad, but not, after all, so bad as in the days of St. Paul; and yet he went forth to correct it, not with speech of man's wisdom, not with systems of political economy, nor human philosophies, nor with long arguments to prove the adaptation of the Church to the earthly wants of society; but with the word of God, as the humble minister of the Gospel, resolved to know nothing, in the midst of the corrupt and abandoned world, but " Christ and him crucified." The germ of all the evil that afflicts individuals and nations is in the individual human heart, is born with us, and loses not its vitality of death so long as we remain in the flesh. It is only by Catholic faith, sacraments, and discipline that it can be repressed or prevented from sprouting forth and bearing its poisonous fruit; and these, by repressing it in the individual heart, and generating in the same heart the dispositions and virtues requisite to eternal salvation, do all that can be done to remove even national evils, and secure temporal well-being. Here is the conclusion of the whole matter, and they after all who confine themselves solely to the eternal destiny of the individual, without once thinking of the bearing of their labors on this world, are under God the true founders of nations, promoters of social order, and reformers of society. God's ways are not ours, but it is only as we follow his ways that we can succeed.

Works written to show the civilizing influences of Catholicity, its absolute necessity as the founder and preserver of society, the assertor and only real defender of liberty, may do great good in removing prejudices, and the various impediments to the reception of the truth placed in its way by the false liberalism and mad Socialism of the age. And so far as they are fitted to have this effect, we are grateful for them ; but the more exclusively even such works are written from the point of view, not of an earthly destiny, but of our supernatural and eternal destiny, which after all, in hac providentia, is our only destiny, the more really serviceable will they prove. The fault of most of the works of this sort which fall under our notice is, that they consider God and heaven from the human point of view, in their bearing on man and society, not man and society from the point of view of God. Their authors proceed from man, society, history, to the Church, not from the Church to these; that is, they start with man, with psychology, and not with the Catechism, and really seek to develop the Church from man and society, instead of man and society from the Church; or if they go not so far astray as this, they still assign to man an earthly destiny, distinct, and in some measure separable, from his heavenly destiny, and then attempt to consider the Church solely in her relation to this earthly destiny, — Gioberti's grand error in his Del Primato, — sometimes  under  the  special  aspect of philosophy, sometimes under that of literature and art, and sometimes under that of politics and political economy. The fate of De la Mennais, Hermes, and Gioberti, not to say of Rosmini and Ventura, is the best evidence we can ask of the dangerous tendency of this method of considering our holy religion.    By the Catechism, which, as we learn more, becomes more precious to us, and by the Holy Scriptures properly read and meditated in the light of the Catechism, we are placed at the point of view, if we may so speak, of God himself, and see things, as far as we see them at all, as God sees them, as they are, and  become able to judge them with his judgment.    Seen and judged according to Divine revelation, we can represent them in their true light, and then in that light in which alone their representation becomes effectual for good.

God has placed the Church in the world to redeem men from sin, and elevate them to himself.    He has placed her here as the Divine and essential element in society, and without her no true society is practicable, or even conceivable.    He has enriched her with the infinite treasures of his love and his wisdom.    In the patriarchal form, in the synagogue,  or  as   the   Roman   Catholic  and   Apostolic Church, she subsists in all ages and nations, and is in each the Divine assistance requisite to enable man to return to God as his last end, to save his soul, and thus fulfil his only destiny.    In her is the necessary capital, the premiere mise de fonds of liberty, the blood that forms the true aristocracy ; nay, the true aristocracy itself, that institutes, preserves, or restores  society.    She through   her clergy can preserve the old civilized state, restore the state when fall- , en into the condition  of  the  modern European nations, and civilize the most barbarous and savage tribes, by insisting, and because insisting^ only on the things which pertain to the salvation of the individual soul, if she be obeyed and her instructions followed.    If individuals and nations submit to her, and, according to  her instructions, seek only the eternal salvation of the soul, all will go well with them; if they will not, there is no help, there is no good for them; and they shall be turned into hell, and the greater their temporal prosperity the deeper will be their damnation. Here is the settled order of God's providence, let men wrangle, fight, dispute, speculate, reason, as they will. So we need not trouble ourselves with philosophical, political, social, or economical problems as such. Let us once acquire the virtues indispensable to salvation, and these problems will solve themselves, or cease to need solution. We must be Christians, not heathens or carnal Jews, or else there is no good for us.