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Gury's Moral Theology

Brownson's Quarterly Review, July, 1852

Art. IV.  Compendium Theologiae Moralis, Auctore Joanne Petro Gury, S.J., in Collegio Romano et in Seminario Valsensi prope Anicium Professore. Lugduni et Parisiis.    1850.    2 vols.   18mo.

Collegians who assemble in the class-room, on the first day of the term, to hear the preliminary discourse, can always form a tolerably accurate conjecture as to what the Professor will say to them. It is morally certain that they will be favored with an elaborate demonstration of the great importance of that scientific branch which he professes to teach. When an exception occurs, it commonly signifies that the speaker is doctor utriusquc juris, totiasque. scibilis magisler, a universal genius, prepared, at a moment's warning, to sit in any chair, and to fill it with credit to himself and with profit to his disciples. Yet even he, in his opening lecture, will be very prone to insist upon the transcendent importance of the matter selected for his discourses, partly because such is the custom, partly because the young men before him are by all means to be urged to acquire as much knowledge as will enable him and them to make a creditable display at the close of the term. Professors who are homines unius sciential  and any man in these would-be encyclopedic and therefore superficial days may be content to know one science, few can know moreare generally enthusiastic in their language when they speak of the dignity of their science, and of its importance to the world of scholars. Their earnestness is natural, for their thoughts are seldom far from the discipline which gives them employment, bread, and a name. The student, nevertheless, if he be a real student, is sorely puzzled at the end of the first scholastic day, because he has listened to perhaps seven grave men, professors of seven weighty sciences, all of which are of transcendent interest, all of them to be mastered in a space hardly sufficient for the thorough digestion of the prolegomena of one.

We were accustomed to hear earnest, though not always effective, preliminary discourses of this sort, but we remember one which appeared to our inexperience as an unusual and extravagant estimate of the science which the lecturer professed to impart. It was spoken before the class of Moral Theology. The professor said, in substance, that Moral Theology was the very queen of sciences. A thorough knowledge of it would make of any man a theologian, veri nominis, which no amount of learning in the other branches would do. This language seemed to imply a slight upon the coordinate objects of theological inquiry, and it afford od us matter for serious reflection, while our doubts were by no means solved on hearing the contradictory testimony of two eminent men, whom we consulted for a settlement of the conflicting claims of the sciences which were contending, through their representatives, quai ear-urn viderelur esse major. " Caro figlio" said the first, " il uomo e matlo ! That which is the source of things is more important, more noble, than the things which descend from it. But faith is the beginning, root, source, and foun-elation of all science, whether concerning human or divine things. Dogmatic theology deals with those things that are of faith; it is therefore the science of sciences." The speaker was professor of dogmatic theology, and his answer was a resume of what he had said to his pupils on the morning of the first day. He was a man who ignored all theologians later than Tournely, and seemed to be unaware that heretics had arisen who knew not Arius and cared not lor Luther. We sought another professor, an old man, who was regarded as a good universal scholar. " II professore ha ragione" said he. " In a very important sense it may be truly said that moral theology is the queen of sciences, for it governs them. All sciences, even that of dogmatic theology, would be unsound, and therefore worthless, without its presence."

In discussions like those of which we have been speaking, the state of the question is generally unsettled, and hence both disputants may be right. Objectively, theology is more noble than any mixed science, like metaphysics, or any human discipline, not only because it presses them into its service, and because it gives them their first and last principles and their method, but because its object is God, or, if it considers the world and man, it is with direct reference to God. The object of theology is God, or God in his creatures. The object of other sciences is, or should be, the creation in God.

The dispute between moral and dogmatic theology, as to the respective nobility of each, covered a wider ground, inasmuch as in all theology the discourse is upon God. Yet it was useless discussion. Each party considered his favorite discipline, not as it is in the concrete, but in the abstract. Dogmatic theology refers primarily to the intellect; moral theology, to the will. So the dispute resolved itself into the old and not very grave question, as to which is more noble, the intellect or the will. Much ink and many words have been wasted in the abstract consideration of two sciences which cannot, after all, be separately considered, inasmuch as each depends upon the other, and, in rigor of terms, both form one science viewed under diverse aspects. Dogma gives to moral science its elements, moral theology gives to dogmatic its method.

Moral theology belongs to the second cycle; to palingenesis,  the return of beings to God without being absorbed in him. It is the second cycle, regarding the latter in its formal acceptation. In the first cycle creatures in the physical order, beings in the intelligible order, proceed from God, and are manifested by and in him through the creative act. Things belong to the first cycle inasmuch as they are,  inasmuch as they have a being. Things, beings, exist, are, in so far as they are true,  in so far as they conform to the eternal ideas in the Divine mind. The first cycle, then, formally considered, is created truth. The things, beings, created and manifested by God must return to him in the second cycle, as is clear from the first principles of the Catechism, from which we learn that all things made by God were made for himself alone. No other end for creatures than God is possible. They return to him through the force of Law. That law constitutes palingenesis,-the second cycle, in its formal acceptation. And moral theology embodies and applies the law.

Several notable truths are demonstrated from these principles, thus briefly stated. The law which it is the province of moral theology to declare and apply to all human acts, and by virtue of which all things return to God, their final cause, is a law which admits no exception whatever. No exception is conceivable. Even the perverse will that stubbornly turns itself away from God, and so passes into the hidden world, glorifies the justice of God in hell. The great heresy of the age, which, in its full development, is Atheism, the negation of God in every order; which, m its most ordinary development, is Protestantism, the illogical assertion of God in the religious order, and the negation of God in every other; and which, in a too
orders, the great heresy of the age, which never deceived so many, never appeared to men so like an angel of light, as in these latter times, is met, indeed, and re-luted from principles furnished by dogma, but the weapons lor its eilectual overthrow are to be found only in the armory of which moral theology is the key. «A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." If a mere speculative assent to the truth would save men from eternal damnation, the road to hell might be as broad as ever, but it would not be so crowded as it is. Affected or supine ignorance is a great evil. It is the sin of the professed atheist. Yet even the atheist will admit that it is very wrong to conceal from himself the truth, either by racking his brain to invent reasons why he should not receive it, or by studiously neglecting to consider reasons which might disturb his boasted indifference to the things which are good for his soul. The Protestant is often thrown, sometimes by the mercy of the Holy Ghost, in a state of doubt. Alas ! how many answer the call by saying that they have bought oxen, taken farms, and married wives! Pride or avarice opposes their clinging to the Rock whereon is inscribed the promise that hell shall never prevail against it. Procrastination is the sin of the unworthy Catholic. His day of salvation is always to-morrow. Today he listens to the preacher, assents to all that he hears, and promises himself that he will repent and confess tomorrow. To-day closes too frequently with the night in which no man can work. These unhappy men, the atheist, the doubting Protestant, the impenitent Catholic, who know their duty and do it not, need the moral theologian, the judge, the teacher, and the physician. They die within reach of the bread of life, knowing well that it is bread, but wanting strength to arise and eat.

The truth upon which we are now insisting was treated, in one of its aspects, in our last number, where we discoursed concerning the Two Worlds.   The difficulty which we are now considering arises from the fact, that the position of the world towards the Church has been gradually changed within the last three centuries.    The Church is a  kingdom, and her tribunal is  supreme  and  infallible in  faith   and  in   morals.     Ancient heresy  admitted the Church to be a kingdom,  a visible kingdom, moreover; the dispute was, Who is the king ?    Not the Patriarch of Rome, said they, but Father Nestorius; or Patriarch Pho-tius.    The necessity of obedience was and is strongly inculcated among them, but they were loyal to the wrong throne.    And, as always happens with heretics, the virtue of obedience, transplanted from Rome to the East,  and made to grow in a strange garden, became a vice.    Obedience, always enlightened in the Church, became mental slavery among heretics.    We need not go to the East for examples, for we have them at hand, furnished by Protestantism, which exhibits a mental slavery, an ignorance and superstition, which are scarcely equalled among the old-fashioned Eastern heretics.    And these not only admitted that the Church is a kingdom, but they held, and do hold, that its decisions concerning faith and morals are binding upon  the conscience.    They, in common with some few Protestants, profess to believe that the Church is  a real government.    It is not very long since they gave an interesting proof of their belief.    The Anglican Establishment, knowing that the Greek Church, as well as itself, had been thrust out from the city of God, that the gates were barred, and that only one mode of reentrance was left, a small wicket, near which sat Moral Theology, whom they could not pass, unless one at a time, and with a sincere and humble confession of sin, besought the Greek Church to unite with it in a war against the Pope.    Perhaps the experiment might have succeeded, but the English heretics sent to the Greeks a document which they called a Confession of Faith.     The Patriarch answered the request for union with an anathema, conceived in as forcible terms, and asserting the principle of authority and the necessity of obedience on the part of the Anglican heretics as strongly, as if the excommunication had been fulminated by the Successor of St. Peter.
In the Protestant world we occasionally hear a faint assertion of the principle of authority, and a whining remonstrance against the temerity of laymen who demand a share in the government of their religious establishments, and who not seldom succeed in obtaining the lion's share; but the unhappy clergymen are commonly silenced by acts of Parliament, by judicial decisions, by resolves of lay committees and vestries, and even by newspaper articles. The unhappy men climbed into the church by a window, and no clinging to the horns of the altar can save them from the slavery entailed upon them by the principles which, as Protestant ministers, they must profess to teach. Modern gentilism asserts the right of private judgment, declares the inborn privilege of men to believe as much or as little as they choose, and, having declared men independent of God, of course asserts their independence of ministers. Yet some appearance, at least, of subordination is necessary to save the unfortunate Protestant bodies from anarchy, and one of the most amusing chapters in the history of Protestantism is that which records the illogical and almost unavailing efforts of the reverend window-climbers to keep their congregations from reversing the order of things by barring out the minister, and resolving themselves into a self-taught and self-governed church. Sometimes the ministers are literally barred out,  it has more than once happened here, in Boston, within the last few years. Most of the unfortunate pretenders to the ministerial office compromise the matter by canonizing all the extravagances of their hearers ; by giving, each Sunday, some theological reason for the lay vagaries of the previous week. Thus Kossuth becomes a second Messiah, thus Lola Montes is transformed into a missionary for the conversion or extinction of the Jesuits, and thus every insane device of the hour becomes a part of the Divine scheme for the renovation of the world.

Protestants, therefore, who talk of platforms, confessions of faith, churches, spiritual authority, and the expediency, even, of obedience, are immeasurably behind their age ; for it has declared itself independent, not only of these, but of God.    Here, we repeat, is a consideration worthy the earnest attention of theologians.    There have been, and there are now, some ecclesiastical seminaries in which dogmatic theology occupies a trifling space, in comparison with the time given to moral science.    In those institutions moral theology was really queen.   Of course,  oportet unum fa-cere et alterum non omittere,  dogma should not be neglected in favor of moral theology, and it cannot, without causing evil, for dogma furnishes principles, and without these moral theology is not a science.    Yet the system of instruction which we have mentioned, when reasonably applied, has many good points.    Dogma, when it is not governed by moral theology, from which it receives its method, becomes heresy.    The doctrines revealed and proposed in the first cycle, and which come from God as First Cause, must return to him as the Final Cause, and they return to him by the act of faith in which the disciple assents to all those  things  which   God   has  revealed,  and  which  the Church teaches.    To believe these things is to love God with the whole mind.    The mind returns to God,  is united to him through the assent which it is enabled by Divine grace to give   to  revealed truth.    Dogma  shows what is to be believed ; moral theology shows how belief is made real.    Dogma enables  man to recite an  act of faith, moral discipline shows him how to make it.    In a certain sense, one is the science, the other the art, of believing.    It is indeed an art!    Ars arthim, regimen anima-rum!     Devils  believe  and  tremble;  heresiarchs  believe and scoff'; mere students of dogmatic theology believe and dispute.    It is noticeable that young men, who are almost ungovernable in the class-room of dogmatic theology, are very submissive in the moral circle.    From all this, we gather that the system of instruction which makes  the most of moral theology is not to be lightly judged.    If dogma is the science of the procession of truth from God to man, moral theology is the science of the return of the same truth from man to God.    Gentilism prevents  the truth from reaching man, by clouding his mind, and by distorting his will.    The  angel that will not accept the truth, or, assenting to it, will not refer it to God, becomes a devil.    The man who does likewise becomes a heretic. A thing is unintelligible when it denies its first and final cause.    Moral theology, which is the science of the final cause of all things, is the director and guardian of dogma.

The apostate always begins, not with denying his obligations, but with neglecting his duties. An humble, sacramental confession might have postponed the rebellion of the sixteenth century, for it would have done more for the unhappy Luther than the Papal bulls and the Tridentine decrees did for him and his. The science of the return of creatures to God is the queen of sciences, because that return is the end of creation. It is worse than useless to see the truth unless the beholder accept it. It is fatal to proceed from God, as creatures, unless we also return to him.

The knowledge of the True does not necessarily infer the pursuit of the Good.  This should not be so, but it is; for the apprehension of the First Cause does not coerce the admission, in the world of human acts, of the Finaf Cause! Man is free, because, although his will cannot disturb the order of things in the first cycle, and  although it cannot prevent even itself, or any thing else in the universe, from glorifying God, the Final Cause, in the second cycle, yet it can be perverse, it can turn itself away from God, it can refuse to cooperate intelligently with God in the great work of declaring the Divine glory, and it can degrade itself to the condition of an instrument, used by God, as all unintelligent creatures are, for the accomplishment of his great purposes, and then thrown aside, and destroyed, as a tool that has fulfilled its purpose.     The human tool  is  not physically   destroyed,  but it is   cast   aside,  and  so  it is damned.    A thorough  knowledge of dogma does not include necessarily even a tolerable skill  in  moral theology ;  it gives to the latter  its  principles,   but  principles which are not reduced to application do little service in the world.   On the contrary, a good moral theologian must be a respectable master in dogmatic science.    One reason is, that, in moral discipline, references to dogmatic theology are   habitually  made.     Perhaps   another reason  may  be given.   The good dogmatic theologian is a man of science. The good moralist must be a man of prayer.    Now, Deus est scientiarum Dominus, et ipse prceparat  cogitationes. If it be true, then, that no science can be really mastered without an earnest prayer to the Lord of sciences, it is eminently true of theology, the more especially of that part which  is the artium ars.     Ecclesiastical experience   has verified this thing.    The student who reads, learns.    The student who also prays, knoivs. It is a remarkable circumstance, that the love of the ecclesiastical student lor mora theology, and his greatness therein, increase in a direct ratio with his love of prayer. Whence it has frequently happened that theologians, decorated by universities with degrees, carry their doubts to some man of prayer, whose only book is the crucifix.                              

It may be inferred from this that the priest, in his character of a moral theologian, is more useful in the Church than he is in the capacity of a mere controversialist.    We do not care to dispute the inference.    Two heads of evidence, both of them very practical, may be cited in its support.    Many dogmatic controversies have been instituted within  the last century.    Few conversions have resulted from them, and in no case, we believe, did the dispute end in the retraction, on the part of the Protestant antagonist, of his error.    Purely controversial sermons seldom result in the conversion of Protestant hearers.    Of the ecclesiastics, concerning whom it is said that the grace of winning souls to heaven had been poured upon them, we believe that by far the greater numberVere in the habit of giving only simple, plain homilies, setting forth the duties of a Christian, expounding in a familiar way what he must do, and in a catechetical style what he must believe, in order to be saved.    In one of the old, quaint seicenlisli, a receipt, piously hoped to be infallible, is given for curing heretics. The principal ingredient is the battery of prayer, to be fired at heaven, in incessant volleys, for nine days.    The patient to take part in the exercises, but never to fire his own guns, but ours.    That is, his prayers must be conceived in the spirit of the publican's prayer.    His pride is to be purged by pills compounded of fasting, mortification, alms-deeds, confession, and the Catechism, while the presence of controversy is to be strictly interdicted.    His questions are to be fairly answered, but disputing with him is not to be tolerated for a moment, while he is to be encouraged to seek light in his doubts in humble prayer to the Father of lights. We believe that this prescription suggests a moral which may be very profitably made the subject of earnest meditation by our younger laborers in the vineyard of the Lord.

It would be an inquiry leading to curious results, if one could ascertain whether missionaries, who have gathered families, villages, towns, whole nations, to Christ, or who have recovered lost missions, were expert controversialists, or rather skilful moralists. We suspect that the latter would prove to be the true state of the case. We apprehend that the authorities of the Church, in sending missionaries to benighted or strayed people, are prone to regard excellence in moral science as of transcendent importance. Most excellent missionaries are-sent from the seminaries elsewhere mentioned, in which the professor of moral theology, when he declares his to be the queen, nay, the sum of sciences, has no one to gainsay his words. De aeons, and even laymen, catechists, are permitted, under certain circumstances, to help the missionary in teaching the people those things which are to be believed. But the priest ordinarily reserves to himself the imparting of instruction as to those things which are to be done, or left undone, and only he, as judge, master, and physician, can sit as one having authority to guide and govern souls.

The  truth is, that, under ordinary  circumstances, the Church has much less to fear from heresy than from other sins.    We mean, that the overwhelming majority of her children who love their souls incur damnation for other sins than that of heresy.   Formal heretics, Protestants, and Gentiles universally are practically out of her jurisdiction, and she is in no wise answerable for their damnation. Men within her pale are not, as a general rule, exposed to the peril of apostasy.    The most important exception to this rule occurs when the singular phenomenon which, for the sake of analogy, we may call a stampede, takes place among Christians, when men appear to lose their reason, to be seized with a sudden and unaccountable madness, and to rush like wild animals, whither, they know not, very likely, and in the present case certainly, to the brink of a fatal precipice.   It has happened several times within the memory of the Church, once, when totus orbis ingemuit se Arianum esse; again, on the occasion of the great Protestant stampede.    Against occurrences of this sort, no human prudence, no theological skill, no precaution on the part of the Church, not even the ordinary means of grace, have proved sufficient barriers.    The question has been raised, whether moral theology, had it been fairly treated, would not have prevented, either wholly or partially, the great Protestant rebellion.   We dare not offer an opinion hereon. Our own age is as wicked, to say the least, as any preceding age, and yet no one contemplates the possibility of a stampede. Nay, in most of the great nations, we hear of a revival of Christianity, and strong hopes are expressed that the Queen " will hae her ain again," a circumstance which would seem to indicate that this has been the worst of ages. " When things can grow no worse, they begin to mend,"  a self-evident proposition, by the way, inasmuch as nothing can be stationary; whatever is, acts, either for good or for evil. It is worth while to note, as facts in themselves striking, as well as connected with our present thesis, that during the ages of faith the preponderance of moralists over great dogmatists was remarkable. At no time within the memory of the Church were there more or greater dogmatic theologians than during the period immediately preceding, following, and marking the great Arian and Protestant stampedes. The revival of Christianity, after these storms had spent their force, was and is a time distinguished more than any other period for the number and excellence of moral theologians.

God forbid that any one interpret our words as uttered in disparagement of the divine science which elucidates dogma! We trust that we have made it plain, in our preliminary remarks, that such is not our meaning. We simply offer a comment upon the rule, Oportet unum fa-cere el aliud non omittere. We wish to note that some have unwisely depreciated the study of moral theology, and our plea, which is addressed by a student to young students, is that moral theology may not be ranked beneath any other science.    If it be, the world will suffer greatly.

We repeat, that, under ordinary circumstances, the Church has less to fear from heresy than from other sins. Christ came not to preach a new doctrine, but to give a new commandment. He annexed to the keeping of the commandments the promise of eternal life. His people were to walk in holiness; to imitate him, to hear the Church, to remember the beatitudes. Non omnes doc tores. The different mental habits of men will always render it certain, that, at any given time, there will always be a number, sufficient for the purposes of the Church, of ecclesiastics who make a particular study of dogmatic theology, and of these some will be excellent; one at least will leave his mark upon his age. The study is absolutely necessary to the priest for three purposes,  to be able for himself to distinguish truth from error, to be competent to teach the true doctrine to his people, and to be equal to the defence of it against enemies, not that they may be converted, for that result is in the hands of a just God, but that he may see to it, as far as in him lies, ne quid detrimenli respublica capiat. He must repulse wolves. Now the first two of these objects may be attained by a thorough study of moral theology, joined with a moderate proficiency in dogma. And this is enough to satisfy the ordinary requirements of the Christian world.

Exceptional times, such as those to which we have alluded, when Catholics apostatize in masses, require exceptional attainments in dogmatic theology, and accordingly God raises up great men to meet the emergency. At other times, the knowledge of which we have spoken is generally found to be quite sufficient, the more especially as really great masters in dogma are never wanting to satisfy the occasional and local necessities of the Church.
One fact is continually recurring in ecclesiastical experience, and it is worth while to describe it, it is so clearly ad rem. In many ecclesiastical colleges, although moral theology is not neglected, yet dogma is regarded as the great occupation of the course, which lasts four years, during all of which dogma is studied continuously, while moral theology is confined to a certain space within the first two years. Under the most favorable circumstances, the time given to moral, as compared with dogmatic theology, is as one to four. It should be, under ordinary circumstances, as two to one. The student learns somewhat concerning the Arian, Nestorian, Eutychian, and Macedonian controversies; hears something, but less than he might, about the Pelagian and Manichraan heresies, which, after all, under different modifications, are the great heresies of every age, and are as prevalent, to say the least, in the nineteenth century as they ever were; he hears about the heresies of Luther, Calvin, and Jansenius; disputes concerning the orthodoxy of Zozimus, Honorius, Liberius, and John, and  voila tout. His text-book might as well, for aught he knows, be Petavius, Ariaga, or Gonet, as Per-rone or Kenrick. In his world, no such men as Hermes, Strauss, Schleiermacher, La Mennais, or Gioberti, ever lived. So the student gets his degree, goes out into this wicked nineteenth century, and finds, to his no small astonishment, that Nestorius is actually dead, that Arius is forgotten, that Luther is by no one regarded as a saint, and that our adversaries do not care whether a Pope may or may not have been a heretic.    He finds their liberality so astounding, that the whole argument, major, minor, and consequential  every  thing  but  the  status  qaestionis, the elenchus, and here'and there the consequens, is conceded to him.    The tactics of the enemy are new, quite transcending his dogmatic experience.    The  old issues are  abandoned, the Church is admitted to have been right in her struggles with the world during the first fifteen centuries, inasmuch as, although she may have made some mistakes, yet her general  action was for the  advancement of humanity,   and   therefore   in   a   healthy   direction.      Hence, although some jests are perpetrated at the expense of the Church, in that she was always accustomed to attach too much importance to the opposition of her ancient enemies, yet it is  generally conceded that they were busybodies, nobodies, pretenders, or hypocrites.   Neologists do not care to defend even one of the ancient heretics, and with regard to the moderns, Audin may, for aught they care, demonstrate that Luther and Calvin were bad men.    The whole state of the question between the Church and the world is changed.    The  adversaries whom  the  student  met in the class-room, and demolished, were men who believed, or rather pretended to believe, in a fixed, immutable doctrine.     They professed to be willing to repeat with the Apostles, Though we or an angel bring you another doctrine,  let   him be  anathema,  regardless  of  the  consequences which the adjuration might bring upon their own heads.    Whereas   the enemy who now  lives and moves believes in progress,  believes the Church to have been once, and until lately, the pillar of truth ;  thinks that he himself is now, and suspects that some one else will be to-morrow.    Moving in accordance with received schoolroom tactics, what can  one  do with such an  adversary ? One has not to learn his alphabet over again, it is true, but the collocation of letters, words, and sentences is changed. "We do not, of course, intend to say any thing in disparagement of the present method of teaching dogmatic theology, still less to recommend a new system.    We dislike change, unless when made by those who are in authority, and  can  legitimately  make  it.     And  a method which is approved by so many venerable and learned professors, who know what is the state of the question between the two worlds better than we do, is not to be gainsaid by us.    Qui potest, major a minora  eerie potest.    It is a great mistake  to  depreciate   the   men  of   ancient times, orthodox or even heretics, in an intellectual point of view, or to suppose that modern heretics are greater men than those of the ancient world.     Catholic theologians have, do, and will acknowledge no higher authority, after that of the   Church  and   of  the   Scriptures,  than  that of  the Holy  Fathers.    A clear decision, say of  St,  Augustine or of St. Thomas, cannot be ruled out of court.    Modern heretics need never  expect to  equal the men whom the giants  of Catholic theology met and overcame, and the student who, under the guidance of the Fathers, detects the weak points of the ancient heretics, need not fear their descendants, whose strongest men are scarcely equal to the weakest of early times.    Heresy has not grown stronger, it has  changed  its  method.     Whether  a  partial   change should be made  in  our schools, is  a matter concerning which we do not venture an opinion.    Considering that the student, who pursues  his  course according to the received method is well grounded in theological principles, and has, or should have, made up his catechism from the Council of Trent, perhaps it is as well that he should upon his entrance into real life find  his adversaries wearing a mask so different from that which they wore in the schoolroom, and  the consequent exercise of his wits should do him no injury, particularly as their right exercise will certainly show him that his living adversaries are but Simula-crii9  counterfeits of the dead men  whose Dies  irai he used to chant in the school-room,  lesser in degree, differing only in form.

Wo wish to direct the attention of students, in an especial manner, to this branch of our subject, partly because we have no intention of conveying the idea that we are disposed to advocate any substantial innovation upon the received method of training theological beginners, a conclusion which we are so far from accepting, that we should be delighted to find the rule of St. Ignatius faithfully observed in every school of dogmatic theology, and St. Thomas practically recognized, not only as the Angel of the Schools, but the Master in them,  the Tiieologus.Ipse Sanctus Alphonsus dixit is a reference in the school of moral theology, where the professor is a safe man, which commonly silences doubts. We should be glad if an Ipse Sanctus Thomas dixit were heard as often, and to as effectual a purpose, in both class-rooms. Some persons may say that this is going too far back for the requirements of the times. No, good friends, no! So far as theology is concerned, the requirements of the times are always substantially the same. Error is not only always error, but it is always in reality the same error,  it has little invention, less originality, and its utmost evidence of progress is a newly fashioned garment, which a close examination will finally discover to be made of old, worn-out materials. If St. Thomas be not so often cited, so habitually consulted, in many schools, it is from some motive arising out of convenience, custom, or the difference in theological tact among professors of the science; but the respect which a pertinent citation from the writings of the Angelic Doctor, qui de Christo Deo et homirie tarn bene scrips-it, receives, is sufficient to prove that, if, as happens with all guardian angels, his presence is not always sensibly felt, or his voice continually heard, his influence is there, living and potent, and his words, whenever uttered, are commonly sure to fall upon respectful and confiding ears. Every student knows that St. Thomas cannot lead him astray,  a knowledge which is very comfortable in the pursuit of any science, and is of the utmost importance in theological studies. A school which does not own him as decisive authority will be found to be of suspicious orthodoxy. And his guidance is of the utmost value for another reason pertinent to our present subject. We were speaking of the different masks which heresy wears, from time to time, somewhat to the perplexity of young students. Talk of authors suited to the age! Why, there is not a question even among questions the most modern, among those which our wildest neologists are forcing upon the attention of theologians, which may not be disposed of in the light of principles set forth in that wonderful book, the Summa. It is indeed a Summa ! Heresy cannot, we verily believe, assume a form which will not be found, on examination, to have been detected and refuted in advance by St. Thomas. No master of theology, since the days of the Angelic Doctor, understood the wants of his own age as well, or met them as forcibly, as the great Dominican does in his Summa. It is as new as it was four hundred years ago, and we fear even more so. But some one may say: " If you wish for old authorities, why not go still farther into antiquity. Great theologians lived before St. Thomas !" Granted, most learned friend! It is true, that in proportion to one's knowledge of the great Master, one is the more disposed to say of him, with a slight alteration of terms, what the Church says of St. John the Baptist:

" Non fuit vasti spatium per orbis Doetior quisquain genitus Tlioma ! "

Yet, if that suggestion were adopted, and the very ancient masters were brought, not only textually, but corporalUer, into the schools, a result might be obtained that would startle many people. We should find, for example, that we are no wiser than our fathers, and that the world has not made much progress after all. We venture to say that from St. Augustine and St. Clement a text-book might be compiled that would not only meet current wants, but would even look astonishingly modern, nay, some portions of it would convey the idea that the saints knew all about Hermes, Strauss, La Mennais, Gioberti, and other Titans of the present age of mutual admiration tendencies. We cannot pursue this topic now,  perhaps it will be made the subject of a future paper.

Some one has said that the nerve of a theological student is more severely tried during the three or four years succeeding his exit from college and his entrance into the vineyard than at any other period of his life. This is certainly true of many young priests. As we have said, the enemies whom they knew in the school are dead, and lesser men have arisen, who know not Arius or Luther, who discourse strangely, vaunt themselves loudly, and endeavor, in as far as in them lies, to satisfy the Athenians, who are not yet dead, and advencc hospites, qui ad nihil aliud vacant nisi aut dicere aut audire aliquid novi. If the young theologian treat them as if they were old or consistent heretics, as if they cared aught for antiquity, precedents, logic, or heresiarchs older by twenty-four hours than themselves, he finds that the state of the question has changed. Nay, he discovers thai, such is the activity of the heretical intellect, new and hitherto unheard of adversaries present themselves at every turn, and he does not always
discover that their strength is very like the strength of a theatrical army, made up of one man who runs across the stage an indefinite number of times, changing some article of his dress each time before he issues from the side scenes. « What am I to do with my four years of dogma, and my two years of moral theology ? " ail, lacitus.    " Where are the well-known  adversaries,who are  these,  what are they,  what are they talking about,  what means this gibberish concerning humanity, solidarity, universal love, infinite progress, people-god, etherology, mental dynamics, spiritual communications?   Where is Berengarius, Luther, or even Jansen ? "    Now it is certain that, if the student has made a respectable course of theology, he need not be long at a loss, inasmuch as he has laid the foundations of a habitus which will enable him to dispose of these, and any number of the like adversaries, with  sufficient ease. If he knows the title-pages of the Fathers, and the indices of St. Thomas,  no trifling acquisition, by the way, his work will be the more easily done, for these masters knew, at least, quite as much as is dreamed or likely to be dreamed of in modern  philosophy.     But  here  occurs  a difficulty which many students experience on issuing from college. It lies in  forgetting that they have only laid the foundations, more or less securely, of the theological habitus ; in supposing that they have acquired it, that they have finished their studies, that they are theologians.    The title of doctor does not always produce  the beneficial result it might, if all its possessors would remember that he who would be at all times prepared to teach must never be unprepared to learn.    So it happens that the aspect of the battle-field is so different from that which he led himself to expect, that the young soldier is, for the moment, more or less puzzled.    If he immediately recall to mind his principles, it is well; but this is not always done, and a superficial observation would scarcely show its necessity.    How many persons are aware that even the latest developments of heresy  even such problems, if they  be problems, as Mesmerism and Spiritual Communications afford, to say nothing of the apparently less silly questions furnished by the heterodoxy of the last fifty years  find a ready solution in  St. Thomas or St. Augustine ?    It sometimes happens, therefore, that the student begins to conceive a disrespect for a method of teaching which he erroneously supposes to contain little suited to bis present exigencies; he begins to study the world, and gradually to  form for himself a method of treating its diseases.    Sometimes he looks at it under only one, and that the least important, of its aspects, and so arranges his order of battle.    He satisfies himself as to what the real evil of the world is, and so he gallantly sets his face against that evil; he becomes a controversialist, or a hospital or asylum builder, a designer of mag-iiificent churches, a constant visitor of the wicked rich, or an habitual eater with the wicked poor, a metaphysician, a controversialist, an apologist  in the modern sense of the word for the faith, a book-maker, an editor, el sic usque ad finem.    All very well, if, facie ndo hoc, aliud mm omilkit, if he docs it in the Catholic spirit which prompted division of labor in the old monasteries, and which is one of the elements  of  the  greatness of the  Order  of Jesus.    Non omnes doctores, we say again.    All not very well, if he regard his theory as a compendium lotius cursus.    And this is by no  means an imaginary danger; it is precisely the rock on which young and gifted minds, particularly if pride or vanity be active, are prone to bruise, and not very seldom to ruin themselves.    Hermes, La Mennais, Gioberti, and others, fell; Ventura barely saved, if he have saved, himself; llosmini escaped, yet so as by lire, while several others, whose names it is not necessary to mention, toyed with themselves upon the  brink of the precipice.    The  Athenians, we say again, are not yet dead, and the desire of saying or hearing something new is as strong as ever it was, and quite as fatal.    In an age, too, when every body reads, few think, and most people quarrel  lor liberty of thought, a liberty as inane as  some  other species  for which  men quarrel, the  passion  for  saying something new is perhaps stronger than ever.    Quacks, professing to cure all diseases with one nostrum; adepts, promising to teach an art in a few hours; philosophers, dreaming that they can remedy all evil, and bring aboutall good by one formula,  were never so numerous, and Catholics, theologians even, being in the world, are exposed to the danger of becoming of the world.

Some one may say that, if the young student attend to his ordinary parochial duties, he need not encounter any of these difficulties. His duties are simple and plain, and perils like those described await only the great, and more especially the would-be great, among us, as also those in whom pride or vanity is a motive power.    It may be so, yet we again repeat that every body reads in these days, and every thing is read.    The great problems of religion, politics, society, life, and the like, loere discussed only in the schools;   now, they are talked of in the shops.    The little village of Porkington has its literary, scientific, philosophical, and religious circles, as well as Cambridge, in which   all  imaginable   things   are   treated,   and   perhaps treated  no worse than  at Cambridge.     Omnis mens cor-rupit viam suam.    It is well for the student, particularly if he be gifted, when he does not become in any way infected with the spirit of the age; for he certainly has to meet it everywhere, and to fight with it.    If he wishes to find among the people the simplicity of Catholic ages, he need not enter upon the missions in what are called civilized nations.    He must retire to a monastery, or go and preach Christ to savage men.
We have made it sufficiently plain, we believe, that in our plea in behalf of moral theology we neither depreciate the study of dogma, nor advocate any substantial change in the method of treating it, nor favor any thing like what is   miscalled  progress, or mischievously termed  development in theological science.    Our argument, thus far, suggests the following inquiries:  1. Whether it may not be expedient, in the dogmatic class-room, to give somewhat more time to the application of dogma to the current heresies of the age, Manichseanism, Pelagianism,the negation of God in every order, and carnal Judaism.    2. Whether the problems which we have, in these days, to meet, may not suggest the expediency of returning to the old masters,  to St. Thomas,  St. Augustine, and others.    True, they have always been used;   but   as lighthouses, scarcely as lanterns.    3. Whether somewhat more time might not be conceded to the study of moral theology.    Or, 4. Whether that science might not occupy a portion of the time, as is the case in  the  Sulpician  seminaries,  during the  whole scholastic course.    The last two questions only appertain directly to our present subject, but we do not intend to treat them here.    Their discussion, certainly their  settlement,   falls  within   the   province   of the   professor.    We continue our discourse concerning the young theologian. We think that, in some quarters, an almost imperceptibly growing disposition is apparent to a close observer, not of neglecting the study of moral theology, but of ranking it as of less importance than other sciences. Some suppose that it is easily acquired. Others suspect that its application is comparatively limited. Others, again, think that it is a confused mass of positive decisions. Some object to the study of necessary portions of it, because of the uninviting nature of the subjects treated, while others, of a mathematical turn of mind, regarding the diversity of opinions manifested by those who are masters in the science, and imagining that quot doctorcs, tot sentenlicc obtain in the schools, suppose that in moral theology no certainty can be had. We have heard all these reasons assigned by students as an excuse for not bestowing great attention upon the science. Of course, these reasons indicate that their authors know not what moral theology is.
Its application is absolutely universal, as we have seen in the first portion of the article. The world, once created, returns to God through human acts. The lower creatures return to God,  fulfil the end of their creation, by ministering, each after its own manner, unto man, that he may glorify God, in whom and for whom all live. Every human act must end in God, and this law includes words and thoughts also. Moral theology contains, nay, is the law by virtue of which all things return to God, their Final Cause. As every thing must return to him, and as the last term of the returning series, in which all others unite, is the will of man, specificating all his voluntary acts as human acts,  as God cannot rightfully be defrauded of any thing, not even of a thought or word, which he threatens to remember and punish, if idle,  as, in one word, every thing falls under the great law of the second cycle, it follows that the dominion of moral theology is imperative, as wide as the universe, as high as heaven, as deep as hell. The human heart has no recesses, however hidden, which are exempt from that jurisdiction. The moral theologian must know what constitutes sin; what is lawful, what unlawful; the commandments of God and of the Church, and the laws appertaining to the administration of the Sacraments, are things which he must declare and apply to Christian life. He must know whether any given act leads the soul to God, or turns it away from him; he must know what should be done and what undone by men in every state or condition of life; he must be ready to sit in judgment upon the acts of men, with their endless variety of circumstances and accidents; he must teach the Christian soul the things it should know for eternal life, and he must be prepared to apply the remedies ordained by Christ for the healing of spiritual maladies.  And, as man has but one life here to live, but one soul to lose, the confessor must do all this with the knowledge of the duties of his state, and of the penalties which follow neglect.  God commands teh penitent to hear him, and God commands him to hear, teach, and heal the penitent.  It is his duty to direct souls to God, and if he criminally misdirect a soul, it will be required at his hand.  He must have common sense, prudence, knowledge, and piety.  A dreadful responsibility rests upon him;--on no point are teh Councils and Fathers more explicit than on this.  Look at the knowledge required in moral theology.  It may well be called, as it is, artium ars.  It is teh science of sciences, the science of human acts, the science of teh Final Cause, the science, therefore, of teh universe.  No science or discipline so imperatively requires its professor to aim at teh mental possession of teh index to encyclopedic knowledge.  And teh confessor, in sitting in judgment upon human acts, should know an almost endless number of positive decisions, any one of which, at any moment, may be required to meet the case before him;, or, at least, he must know that such decisions exist, and where to find them.  The consequence of any misdirection on his part may be an entire or partial aversion of teh soul from God, its Final Cause.  Certainly, all this knowledge, in its perfection, is not required in the young theologian,--scarely in teh old and experienced one; but all are bound, each according to his measure of gifts, to aim at it, and to be content with nothing less.  Masters of teh science, after St. Liguori, never tire of saying to the young theologian, that if, in this holy science, he has learned enough to doubt in graver matters, he may safely regard himself as being likely to fall into few serious mistakes.  A young priest who decides all cases, simple and intricate, hastily and confidently, who never doubts, who cuts all knots in the Alexandrine manner, is an unsafe person.  Such are too prone to leave their books of reference on the shelf unopened.  It is not easy to excuse the confessor who does not, in some way, review his moral theology from time to time; and, in the judgment of many, two years, the time ordinarily given to the course in schools, are quite sufficient for the. purpose.

In view of these tilings, it is easy to see that those seminaries which provide a course, the greater portion of which is given to moral theology, if they err at all, err on the safer side. A respectable knowledge of dogma, perhaps almost sufficient for ordinary parochial purposes, must, from the very nature of the case, be obtained by the student who devotes even his whole time to the faithful pursuit of moral science. And no priest has failed to remark, that, whereas extraordinary dogmatic attainments were not required in his professional life for several years, perhaps never, a respectable proficiency in moral theology was required in him from the moment of his first decision in the confessional, and that, although days, weeks, and months might pass without bringing a case requiring very high attainments in moral science, yet at any moment he might be called upon to deal with a matter calling for the highest proficiency in the artium ars. Andit is a common experience, but very singular withal  the inexperienced theologian may have more weighty difficulties to dispose of during the first week of his professional life than he will have during the remainder of the first year. The fact has been often noticed, explain it who can.

And the young theologian, if he be a conscientious man, finds that, where he has to consult his dogmatic authorities once, he must refer to his moral text-book, or ask advice, ten, twenty, or a hundred times. The explanation of this fact  which proves that respectable attainments in moral theology, or at least the capacity of doubting in difficult cases, are of supreme necessity to the priest who has the care of souls  is found in the peculiar form or mark which heresy wears in our age, which is carnal Judaism, practical atheism. We have said that the heresies of our clay are by no means as intellectual as were the ancient heterodoxies. The fact which we have just stated is the best proof of it. Few men not Catholics care for articles of faith, and, whatever may have been the sentiments of the Protestant world in former times, it is certain that they do not now object to any extravagance which affects only doctrine, while they are willing to recognize Catholics as men and brethren, if these will simply stiile that element of Catholic life which makes it really life,  we mean that article which declares the Church to be a kingdom, which affirms its universal sovereignty, and makes it, on earth, supreme judge in morals as well as in faith.    Protestants will bear any thing but that.   Hence, no men are better received in  Protestant society than they who declare that their faith is sound, but that they find nothing in it which forbids them to rail at the Pope, or which compels them to take their political, social, or scientific opinions irom any bishop or priest.    The Pope and the Confessional form the sum of Protestant objections against the Church, because by these she is a living, universal, and  imperial power. Lukewarm, liberal, or nominal Catholics never, li we are to believe them, dream of denying the iaith.    Like the Roman followers of Mazzini in 1848, they protest that they are Catholics, but that their religion, for which they are ready to die, though not to live, does not compel them to uphold the temporal power of the Pope, or to allow priestly interference in their secular affairs.     These unfortunates fall, of course, into the great heresy of the age, which denies that all human acts must end in God, and that he is the Final Cause of all things.    The real obstacle or trouble is the necessity of sacramental confession, which is an intolerable grievance, and not the less so, in that a few good, humble   confessions   ordinarily suffice   to   eject  the   devil which rails at the Pope and at priestly interference in secular concerns.    Take from Catholic faith the truth that the Church is supreme judge in morals, proclaim it to be an obsolete pretension, and the great objection of the gentiles and of their baptized imitators to Catholicity would disappear.    They can tolerate dead articles of faith, but a living authority is too much for their nerves.    Hence the work ol a priest, as a dogmatic theologian, is almost as nothing, compared with his duties as a moralist.    The coniessional is the stumbling-block to nominal Catholics and to 1 rotes-tant adversaries.    The problem of his life is solved when he induces the former to frequent the holy tribunal.    Nay, if he can bring the Protestant into the same predicament, the work of conversion is done.    The truth is, our boasted civilization is based upon the predominance of the animal over the man, in human nature.    Omnis caro corrupit viam mam.     Speculative   dogmas   are  universally   tolerated ; practical commandments are systematically violated.   Our age is the age of the reign of matter over spirit,  of the flesh over reason. It is useless to quote the Council of Trent against the evil, for men have lost their logic; they will admit the premises, or say to them, Trariseant, but they sturdily deny the conclusion, admitting, nevertheless, the conscqucntiam. The confessional is a sovereign remedy for the evil; priests, then, must, above all, be enlightened confessors.    Q. E. D.

Kings, in former times, contended that they, being sovereigns, were accountable to Clod alone, and that, therefore, if they were subject to the moral law, a thing which some of them denied, they were not at all bound to listen to the exposition of that law made by popes, bishops, or priests. It was their privilege to interpret the law for themselves, and they, being sovereigns, always interpreted it rightly, of course; whence it followed that they were not sinful men, or, if sinful, that they could obtain absolution immediately from (rod ; wherefore it again followed that they were not at all bound to sacramental confession. They had their confessors, but as necessary or usual puppets in their train. It is true that, when they were mortally sick, these doctrines were not so clear to them, and they ordinarily confessed, like common sinners; but when they were in health, the Church had some trouble with them. She gained her point, however, for she placed the proudest emperors in her presence on a level with the humblest beggars, and not seldom below them. When they relied so strongly upon their sole accountability to God, as to commit open, deadly, and scandalous acts of injustice,  when they ruthlessly violated contracts, of which she was the guardian, whether these were with their lawful wives or with their people,  she stretched forth her arm and dragged thorn from their thrones. And so they fell. The Church created them, protected them from the lawlessness of the nobles, who had not then lost their faith, until they were able to protect themselves. Presently the nobles became sovereign, and they emulated the conduct of the kings, and received the same lesson at the hands of the Church, their second creator. God permitted kings here, and the populace there, to arise and destroy them. And so they fell. The Church created and protected what is now called the people. The people have become either sovereign, or aspiring after the sovereignty, and one sure sign that  this  new sovereign will fall into the pit into which kings and nobles fell is, that the people treat, the Church as the kings and nobles treated her.    Like the lungs and the nobles in the ages of their revolt, the people are very tolerant of dead creeds, very intolerant of living 1 opes, practical Catholicity, and thronged confessionals.    In speaking of the interference of ecclesiastics with secular attairs, as they call it, they use the same proud language which the sovereigns, their predecessors, the kings and nobles   once used.   Voor  people!     They have   mounted   their  tower, they have  fixed their throne above the stars, they will be like the Most High!    Poor people! they will fall,  they are falling; their )gnis fatuus has led them to the precipice over which   royalty  and   aristocracy  fell.     Lee esiastical, regal, aristocratic, popular sovereignty, the cycle is completed; will it begin again, or are we near the day oi wrat i which is to usher in the visible sovereignty oi God oyer all flesh that has corrupted its way ?    Papule Dei, quid J evil Ecclesia tibi, aut in quo contrislavit te ?    Ldroduxit te in terram satis bonam, pro/Her te Chanccomm reges pereursd, dedit tibi sceptrum regale, el magna virtule exaUavilte .

This is the field into which the priest is sent,    it looks dreary, O, how dreary!    In the ages of faith there was sin   alas! sin   abounded, yet did   grace abound withal. Because they were ages of faith, they were ages of hope, charity, and contrition.     Kings, nobles, and peop e reinsed not to do penance in the days when they were Chrislian. A prophet, too visible to the eye of faith, walks through this Nineveh, this great city of  the world, and he cries, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown !    Will the  Ninevites   do  penance?   will  they put  on   sackcloth and ashes?    Alas! alas!   Vice Sion tugent, eo quod non suit qui veniant ad solemnilatern!

The confessional is the brazen serpent erected in the wilderness of our days, that the people may live. How to persuade the bitten people to look at it is the problem. Contrition comes from faith, faith comes from hearing; the teacher is therefore necessary. But, looking at the present state of the world, of two bodies of men, one composed ol only moral theologians, the other made up oi only excellent dogmatists, give us the moral theologians bend lie others to monasteries, or to savage tribes, the workUs ready to subscribe to all their dogmatic points, save one.

And so, in every text-book of moral theology, the student finds chapters devoted to the exposition of the duties appertaining to every state of life, from the kingly to the beggarly state.  Magistrates, statesmen, judges, merchants, tradesmen, all, all have been bitten by the liery serpent; its brazen antidote must be set. up in the hall, the store, the barn, and the street.    All flesh has corrupted its way.

It is plain enough that moral theology is not a science of limited application, but universal in every sense, inasmuch as it deals with the means of removing sin and augmenting grace?, two things which are necessary to every man at every time of his life, and in every possible circumstance in which he may be placed. It is plain, too, that moral Iheology is not an easy science,  the Lord have mercy on the man who thinks that it is. As for the objection that there is little certainty in it, the charge is not well considered. It is made by those who think that the science is easy, and that a little common sense and an acquaintance with the contents of one or two pious books are all that is wanting to make a useful director of souls. Common sense ! yes, it is necessary ; the condiment would be insipid without, it, but it is not the condiment. In the first place, absolute certainty is obtained in all the principles upon which moral theology is based. Those principles are neither lew nor of unfrequent application. A. decision from the authorities of the Church also imports certainty, and in the administration of most of the Sacraments positive decisions accompany almost every step. So far as the Sacrament of Penance is concerned, as the direction of souls implies that the director must sit in judgment upon human acts, and as every real human act is accompanied by its accidents, absolute, metaphysical certainty is not to be had, neither is it required. What is required in them is a certain conscience, that which prudent men use in their daily actions. No man is positively certain that, if he eat, or if he go out, he may not be poisoned, or killed. Yet this lack of metaphysical certainty alone will not justify him in starving himself, or locking himself within doors. A more or less high degree of probability is all that is attainable in these matters, inasmuch as every act of a man is accompanied by accidents, circumstances, over some of which he has no control, some  of which he  cannot foresee, and some  of whose existence he has no suspicion.    In the_ direction of our  acts to the Final Cause, God requires, in  each  act, what we require in ourselves and in others in any act affecting our lives or fortunes ; that is, he requires a prudent judgment, on our part, that the act is expedient, good, adapted to obtain the appointed end.    In the overwhelming majority of cases, this judgment turns out to be correct, and this probability is the certainty of moral theology in its actual application to human acts, which, being mutable, cannot give the immutable, as metaphysical certainty must be.    In moral theology, then, in acta prima remoto, to use a  convenient  formula,  metaphysical  certainty  is always had, because of the immutable  principles which constitute the science.    In acta prima proximo \s the region where speculative doubt can begin ; metaphysical certainty, owing to the aforesaid principles, and to positive decisions, is frequently attainable, moral certainty always,    In ac-tu seemdo, or in the actual application of principles and decisions to individual acts, a prudent judgment is necessary, and, being necessary, can always be had.    Moral theology becomes here an art,  ars artium, regimen animarum. It must not be forgotten, either, that, although in this matter probability only is per se   attainable, yet  frequently such is the clearness of the case, and the evident application to it of immutable principles, that the certainty of the confessor becomes hypothetically metaphysical.    One must not suppose that the real cases which he encounters in the confessional are often like those which he finds in books. This result is  obtained  more frequently than  might,  at first sight, be supposed, where there is in the  confessor judgment,  common sense, knowledge,  piety, the  fear of God, and the love of souls.    Facienti quod in se est, Deus non denegal gratiam,- very comfortable promise, without which  few conscientious directors would dare  enter the confessional.
It is scarcely worth while to notice the peculiar objections concerning treatises on certain subjects, were it not for the fact that we have heard them repeated by young Levites as a reason for neglecting the whole science. Undoubtedly the subject is a disagreeable one, but such delicacy is not very creditable to a man. Every one admits that these things must be studied by physicians;is the cure of  bodies more  necessary than the cure of souls .
Protestants  overlook this obvious  answer;   they overlook also the fact, that, while they object to the study by professional men, for professional purposes, oi these treatises, they  eagerly  buy   vernacular   translations   of  these   very treatises, and allow them, with other obscene publications, to circulate in their families.    Protestantism has no moral theology, for it denies the Final Cause; whence we have a key to' the excessive immorality of Protestant and  Protestantized countries, a sight which urges one to bless God that Catholic countries are, after all, as moral as we find them.    Evil communication corrupts good morals.    The answer to the objection is briefly this.    The soul must be pure, to see God.    Impurity averts it from its final cause; it is worthy of hell, and in baptized Christians it can be remedied only in the Sacrament of Penance.    The delicacy which  is not  ashamed to  do a thing, but is ashamed to confess   it,  is   the   delicacy   of  a   harlot.    An   excellent practical answer may be given by pointing to the females who frequent the Sacraments, and by contrasting the purity of their lives with the impurity of the world that rejects the confessional.    It is to  be noted, moreover, that in the Holy Scriptures cases and decisions appertaining to this matter might be collected in sufficient numbers to form a goodly treatise de sexto, de nono, et de matrimonio.

This last observation suggests a theme upon which we would like to dwell a little, but we must dismiss it here with a few sentences.    We refer to the history of moral theology.    It is a common error to suppose that, because previous to the  Council of Trent there were few books bound and labelled Compendium, Medulla, or Cursus Iheo-lo<nce Moralis, there was no such thing as the science oi moral theology.    This is a mistake worse than that which admits in the world no metaphysical science previous to Aristotle's post-physica.    The necessities of the times, the condition, wants, and facilities of students, the errores, or pcccala insurgerdia, the convenience, taste, or judgment o masters, have  given to  different times differently shaped treatises, but the science remained the same.    In the prophetical schools of the old law, and, previous to the invention of printing, in the episcopal houses, moral science .as taught orally, and treasured  up,  for  the most  part, memoriter.    The disciplina arcani btained, to a  certain extent, in the Jewish and Christian schools, and rigidly, at me period, in the latter.    It is noticeable that the earliest
treatises,--we mean what moderns would call treatises  on moral theology are the most voluminous, indicating that their authors 'had no lack of authorities or materials. Truly they had not, and the dilliculty with them was, to make, a good selection from the abundant matter before them. St. Thomas had done this for theology in genera], and in a way that placed him at once and for ever at the head of the schools. Without referring to any doctor of moral theology for the last four centuries, and using the acts of the Roman Congregations for later decisions, one skilled in moral theology might compile from the Holy Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers, the decrees of Councils, the Penitential Canons, and a few other sources, a course of moral theology that would wear a suiliciently modern look. It might be done from St. Augustine and St. Thomas, with the Council of Trent and the Roman decrees. The early students of moral theology had their own method of pursuing the science, and, as we are accustomed to regard them as decisive authorities, it is not very easy to suppose that their method was inferior to ours, to say nothing of the fact that they lived near the sources of the science. The truth is, commandments of God and of the Church were always to be kept, the Sacraments were always to be properly administered, the seven deadly sins were always to be avoided, and Christ, finally, was always to be imitated. Moral theology is the science of the imitation of Christ. From all this it is clear enough that we need not commiserate the early students of moral theology on any lack' of means for the pursuit of the divine art. If we do, we betray our ignorance. The things created by moral theology, that is to say, the Common Law, Christian kings, nobles, and peoples, Christian institutions of ages heroic in Christ, will arise and silence us.

Text-books on moral theology are growing common, and we are glad that it is so. What were text-books are voluminous, and now serve as authorities, books of reference, particularly since the inimitable Medulla of Eusembaum, a book so very useful that even the beloved St. Liguori, the great light of the science in modern times, thought that he could render no better service to students than by giving the text of Busembaum, accompanied with copious notes, exceeding the original in bulk, and equalling it in value. This is a work that no moralist can spare from his library. Among the  later compilations we have the work  of Dr.Kenrick, now Archbishop of Baltimore, on the three volumes of which the illustrious author has bestowed much thought and labor. It is of especial value to American theologians, inasmuch as it treats questions and cases which are almost peculiar to our own country and times.

Tho book  of  Father Gury, a distinguished member of the learned Society of Jesus, which we have cited  at the head of this article, is a very remarkable work.    It would be  presumptuous  in  us  to  call it the  best  text-book  in existence,   but  we  like it  better than any that we have ever seen, and we  hope that, with  Liguori, it will find a place in every ecclesiastical library, however small.    Mul-tum, non miilta, is as good a motto for a library of works on  moral   theology  as   any  other,  perhaps   better.     The book is very small, there being only two octodecimo volumes, of about live hundred pages each, in rather large type.    Father Gury has contrived, not to crowd, for the matter   has   not a   crowded   appearance, but to   embody in this comparatively small space all necessary information concerning his favorite science, and to impart it in a remarkably clear and distinct manner.    His method is well chosen.    The tracts De  PwriUeiUia, De Justitia  et Jure, and Dc Cimlractibus, are full and satisfactory.    The little dissertation on the use of probabilism is excellent.    If the book be used as a text-book in seminaries, for which it is well adapted, the student may require a more diffuse author for his reading; but from its compact form, clearness, and comprehensiveness, joined with singular brevity, it will be invaluable as a manual for priests.    Some few of the decisions  of the  author strike us as being a little strange, among them that concerning the use of animal magnetism, but we do not venture to criticize them here, our argument being, as we have said, that of a student addressed to students.     We beg our brethren to note the summing up,  on   p. 257, Vol. L, of the question,  De obedienlia et rciwrentia civium crga tempo rale in auctoritatcm, as a favorable specimen, exhibiting most of the author's good qualities, and as a satisfactory decision on  a subject which the wickedness of the times must soon force upon the attention of those having the care of souls.*

* This article is not from the pen of a layman. Another article more especially in review of Father Gary's excellent work is in preparation.  Ed. B. Q. Review.