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The Christian Register's Objections

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1852

ART. II. — .Essays and Reviews, chiefly on Theology, Politics, and Socialism. BY O. A. BHOWNSON, LL.D. New York : A&J. Sadlier & Co. 1852. 12mo. pp. 521.

IT is not our custom to reply to the remarks of the newspaper press, secular or sectarian, on the doctrines we set forth, or the reasonings by which we sustain them ; for they are seldom worthy of much notice, and we have rarely the time or the space to do it. Yet we are disposed to depart from our general rule in favor of The Christian Register, a weekly paper, published in this city, as one of the organs of the Unitarians; for it is an old friend, and in a notice, in its issue of the 3d of last July, of our Essays and Reviews recently collected and published, it has spoken of us personally in terms not wholly uncivil, and has really made a serious attempt to oiler some logical reasons against us. it is so seldom that we meet any thing, either in the secular press, or in the papers especially devoted to some one of the Protestant sects or to the defence of Protestantism in general, that is tolerable, on the score either of civility or of logic, that we cannot but feel that this effort at, both on the part of The Christian Register deserves to be frankly acknowledged and generously encouraged.
The Register begins by awarding us high praise as a writer, philosopher, and logician. Speaking of our Essays and Reviews it says:

 " They are written with great logical acuteness, with remarkable simplicity, precision, earnestness, and power." " In his own field," it continues," and with his own weapons, there are no abler writers
among us than Mr. Brownson. As an adroit dialectician
he has no equal. He has analyzed and thoroughly pos
sessed himself of more systems of philosophy than other
reputed scholars have even looked at. He has been no
superficial student among the greatest masters of thought,
and his mind is hardly inferior to the ablest of them in
subtilty, in force of argumentation, and in extreme inge
nuity." This is high praise, and although it says nothing
of breadth or comprehensiveness of intellect, it still gives
us a high and honorable rank with " the greatest masters
of thought." " Yet," adds the Register, " we know of few
able men whose writings do so little to carry us with
them. There is such a show of dialectic skill, that, when
we see no fallacy and have no disposition to dissent from
his conclusions, we are not convinced The wonder
ful dexterity with which Mr. Brownson proves every thing,
makes us sometimes doubt whether he has really proved
any thing. Instead of placing us where he professes to
stand, on a basis of undoubting faith, he for the time cre
ates in us a distrust of all logical deductions." That is,
Mr. Brownson is, after all, no solid reasoner, — is but a shal
low sophist, whose logic is mere show, dexterity, or sleight
of hand. How will the Register reconcile this with what
it has just conceded us ? This implies any thing but real
logical ability, and is deserving of any thing but respect.
It implies that we are a mere logical juggler or trickster,
and by no means that we are an able man, who "in force
of argumentation" is hardly inferior to "the ablest" of
u the greatest masters of thought." It may serve the pur
poses of those against whom we direct our arguments to
represent us as a mere dialectic juggler, and as able to cheat
people out of their senses and make " the worse appear
the better reason," but it can hardly be done consistently
after having awarded us the praise of " simplicity, precision,
earnestness, and power," of having " analyzed and thorough
ly possessed" ourselves " of more systems of philosophy
than other reputed scholars have even looked at," and of
being " hardly inferior to the greatest masters of thought
in force of argumentation" as well as in subtilty and inge
nuity.    The two characters are incompatible one with the other, and our friends outside must make their election between them. Which of them they ought to elect, or whether either of them is our true character, it is not for us to say.

The Register complains that our reasoning, instead of convincing it, creates in its mind for the time " a distrust of all logical deductions " ; that is, we suppose, a distrust of reason itself. This tends to confirm what we have so often asserted, and for which we have been blamed by some of our Catholic friends ; namely, that Protestants, sooner than admit the conclusiveness of our arguments for the Church, will distrust or deny reason itself. We are rather agreeably surprised to find the Register virtually conceding it. It cannot accept the Church, or abandon its inveterate prejudices against her; consequently, when it finds in our writings arguments for her which it is unable to convict of any fallacy, it is led, not to conclude that its prejudices are unwarranted and that she may after all be God's Church, but to distrust all logical deductions, that is, reason itself. Let the writer in the Register analyze his own mind, and weigh well the statement he makes, and he will hardly fail to perceive that he has really conceded that it is easier for him to deny reason than to embrace Catholicity.
The Register apparently would insinuate that our reasoning cannot be solid because it does not convince its mind, and place it on a basis of undoubting faith, where we ourselves profess to stand. We are only a dialectic necromancer, because our arguments do not generate in its mind full and unwavering conviction. But it should bear in mind, that to such convictions something more than argument, or the exhibition of solid reasons to the understanding, is necessary. In faith there is assent of the will as well as of the intellect, and, whatever the reasons presented to the understanding, faith never results if the will resists; for

" A man convinced against his will Is ol' the same opinion still."
It is not the oilice of logic to produce faith, but simply to remove the intellectual obstacles to it; not to motive assent, but to demonstrate that there is no solid reason for withholding it, and that it ought to be yielded. There, it stops even in human faith, much more in divine faith, or faith in the Christian sense of the term.    We never rely on logic to produce this faith, or to make misbelievers or unbelievers true believers. If nothing but logic were needed, the whole world had long since been thoroughly Catholic, and no infidel or heretic had remained to be converted. Man is not pure intellect; he has will, affections, passions, appetites, and, through these, dispositions and prejudices which can resist the most solid reasons addressed to the •understanding, and which are overcome only by the grace of God. Logic has its place and its use, both of which are no doubt highly important, but it is never of itself alone sullicicnt to produce conviction. The most it can do, and all that it is expected to do, is to remove the intellectual objections that may be urged against believing, and to prove that one ought to believe and is in an abnormal state if he does not. The undoubting faith in Catholicity we profess is not illogical, is not opposed to reason, and has all the conditions reason can demand; but it is the effect of no reasoning, of no discursive process whatever. It is the free gift of God, the product of Divine grace, obtained for us through the merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If the writer in the Register had been well aware of this, he would have seen that he was himself very illogical, when he concluded that our arguments must be unsound, because they failed to convert him. Faith is a virtue, and inelicitable without the voluntary act of the believer, and consequently it was absurd for the writer to expect our arguments to make him an actual believer, while he remained himself purely passive, or totally inactive in relation to faith.
It appears to be an impression entertained by our non-Catholic community, that the primary object of our Review is to convert heretics and unbelievers, and that we rely solely on our logic as the instrument of their conversion. We of course desire the conversion of heretics and unbelievers,■—-to see all our Protestant and unbelieving countrymen good practical Catholics; but that is not the special end we have proposed to ourselves in our humble labors. Our Review is intended for Catholics, not for Protestants or infidels, and its more immediate object is the edification of our own Catholic community. We seek to be useful to Catholics, and in our discussions we consult what in our judgment will best serve their interests here and now.    It is, for the most part, only indirectly and remotely that we seek the conversion of those without. Our first duties are to our own brethren, and our first affections are theirs, and we seek to correct such false notions of literature, philosophy, polities, and society, as, owing to their exposed condition in an unbelieving and heretical age and country, may occasionally creep in among them, — to urge awl encourage them to aim at what we may call a high-toned Catholicity, at a firm and bold profession of their faith, and an independent and fearless, though quiet, assertion of their rights, as Christians, as citizens, and as men. We aim, as far as possible with our feeble abilities and limited attainments, aided by the best advice we can obtain, to conduct just such a journal as our Catholic friends themselves need in such an age and country as our own. They and their interests, not Protestants and their conversion, are therefore lirst in our thoughts and affections, and occupy our chief attention.

Certainly we are not indilferent either to the temporal or spiritual welfare of our Protestant and unbelieving countrymen. We are firmly persuaded that the temporal prosperity of our country, the preservation of its civil institutions and its republican form of government, and the maintenance of liberty, as distinguished from license, are dependent on the maintenance and spread of the Catholic religion amongst us ; and we are even more firmly persuaded that there is no spiritual freedom, no spiritual good, in any sense whatever, for our countrymen, but in proportion as they become; united to the body of the Church, as un-doubting Catholic believers, and good practical Catholics. With these convictions, it cannot be a matter of indifference to us whether they are converted or not. But we have believed, and still believe, that logic can do very little towards their conversion. Arguments directly for the Church, or directly against the doctrines they profess, are in our judgment of very little utility. The evil lies in the heart, rather than in the head, and motives addressed to the affections are far more likely to be efficacious than those addressed to the intellect. It is to the conscience that we must chiefly speak, and it is only as we can make them feel that they have souls to be saved, that religion should be the great affair of their lives, that they are in a lost condition, and should cry out speedily, " Lord, save us, or we perish," that we can effect much for their conversion.

Then, again, conversion is the work of Divine grace, and we can do little towards effecting it, except by our prayers. Logic and controversy are feeble instruments, but the fervent effectual prayer of the just availeth much.    God will grant any thing to the humble prayer of faith.    The best way to convert those without, the only way in which we can effectually labor for their conversion, is to live ourselves so   as   to   merit   the  blessing  of God upon   our  prayers. Hence whatever tends to make Catholics faithful, obedient, humble, devout, prayerful, has an indirect, if you will, but a powerful, tendency to convert the unbelieving and the sinful.    If all the Catholics here were what they should be, their prayers would obtain the conversion of the whole country.    This is the doctrine we have always insisted on, and it is to mistake us entirely to suppose that our sole or our chief reliance is on logic, and therefore very unreasonable to pronounce us a mere juggler or sophister because men can read our arguments without becoming believers. Our arguments have their use, and seldom fail of accomplishing all we propose to accomplish by them.    But we must tell our friends outside, that there is no power on earth, or even in heaven, to convert them against their will, or without their voluntary concurrence.    They must be willing,  and  must themselves  take   part.    The grace   of prayer is given unto all men.    Let them ask, and they will receive; seek, and they will find; knock, and it will be opened unto them.    If they beg of God grace to open the eyes of their understanding, and to move and incline their will to the truth, they will find our arguments suiliciently conclusive; but without the  grace which enlightens the understanding and inclines the will, no argument can affect them, and their conversion is impossible.

" This," continues the Register, "is our first impression as we pass rapidly over his [Mr. Brownson's] pages, without stopping to analyze what we read. But when we stop at the most essential points in the argument, the wonder ceases. The adroitness of the dialectician becomes visible, and the single fallacy by which the whole train of argument becomes useless is detected. The engine is there. The cars are there, in admirable order. Every thing seems perfect. But in the single link which connects the engine to the cars is a fatal Haw, which the practised eye is sure to find."    This is pleasant, but it is not
what we should expect from a really skilful dialectician, who is remarkable for his " simplicity, precision, earnestness,  and  power,"  and " in force  of argumentation"  is hardly inferior to " the ablest" of " the greatest masters of thought."    May there not be some mistake, Mr. Register ? You surely are too modest to claim for yourself the high intellectual character you ascribe to Mr. Brownson, and may it not be that you are the party mistaken, and that you have imagined a Haw where none is?    If you are right in your estimate of the ability and earnestness of the author, whom you cannot regard as sporting with his readers, it is far more reasonable to conclude that you imagine a flaw where there is none, than that he should leave his argument so  fatally defective as you allege.    It is far more probable that you should misapprehend or fail to appreciate liis argument, than that he, if your account of him be correct, should turn out to be a mere shallow sophist.    Suppose you reexumino  the  matter; perhaps you may  find that the " fatal Haw " exists only in your own imagination. But let us consider the proofs the 'Register offers, to establish the fallacy of our reasoning.    " We take," it says, " an important example from the lirst article in the volume, entitled  The  Church against No  Church.     For nearly fifty pages, with  syllogisms  enough to supply a whole treatise on logic, the author has been preparing us for the conclusion, that Jesus Christ' did commission a body or corporation of teachers, which, beginning with the Apostles and continuing the identical body they were, must subsist unto the consummation of the world.'    Admitting  what  has gone  before, we  arc prepared to receive this proposition, provided snj/icient evidence is given."    Provided  su/Jicient evidence is given, the Register, we would hope, is prepared to receive this, whether lie admits what has gone before or not; for it ought to be prepared to receive any proposition for which there is suflicient evidence.    But the writer is mistaken in asserting that nearly fifty pages are devoted to a preparation for this conclusion, for at most only eight pages are so devoted, and thirty-six pages out of the nearly fifty he refers to are taken up with establishing substantially the same proposition by a process of rigid deduction from principles which are and must be conceded by every one who professes to be a Christian at all, — a process sufficient of itself, without the subsequent process in which the Register professes to have discovered a "fatal flaw." This mistake is not calculated to inspire full confidence in the Register as an acute and candid critic. But we will cite the passage objected to, as it stands in our Essays and Reviews, not as condensed and mutilated by the Register.

" In proof of out position, that Jesus Christ has appointed, commissioned, a body of teachers with authority to teach, we quote the well-known passage in St. Matthew's Gospel, xxviii. 18, 19, 20, 'All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.     Go ye,
therefore, and teach all nations, teaching them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded you ; and behold, 1 am with you all days unto the consummation of the world ' ; also, St. Mark, xvi. lf>, ' Go ye into all the earth, and preach the Gospel unto every creature'; and, Eph. iv. 11, 'And some indeed he gave to be apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and others pastors and teachers.'

" These are conclusive as to the fact that Jesus Christ did commission a body of teachers, or institute tho ecdesia docens. The commission is from one who had authority to give it, because from one unto whom was given all power in heaven and in earth ; it was a commission to teach, to teach all nations, to preach the Gospel to 'every creature,' — equivalent, to say the least, to all nations and individuals, — and to teach all things whatsoever Jesus Christ himself commanded. The commission is obviously as full, as express, as unequivocal, as language can make it, and was given by our Blessed Lord after his resurrection, immediately before his ascension.

" That this was not merely a commission to the Apostles personally is evident from the terms of the commission itself, and the promise with which it closes. It was the institution and commission of a body or corporation of teachers, which, beginning with the Apostles and continuing the identical body they were, must subsist unto the consummation of the world. For they who were commissioned were commanded to teach all nations and individuals, and in ihe order of succession as well as in the order of coexistence ; for such is the literal import of tin terms. But this command the Apostles personally did not fulfil, for all nations and individuals, even using the term all to imply a moral and not a metaphysical universality, have not yet been taught; they could not fulfil it, for during their personal lifetime all nations and individuals were not even in existence.   

Then one of three things : —
1. The  Apostles  failed   to  fulfil  the   command of their Master;
2. Our Blessed Lord gave an impracticable command; or, 3. The
commission was not to the Apostles in their personal character.
We can say neither of the first two; therefore we must say the

" But the commission was to the Apostles, and therefore the body of teachers must, in some way, be identical with them, as is evident from the command, ' Go yc,' indisputably addressed to the Apostles themselves. But they can be identical with the Apostles in but two ways:'—1. Personally; 2. Corporately. They are not personally identical, for that would make them the Apostles themselves, as numerical individuals, which we have just seen they are not. Then they must be corporately identical. Then the commission was to a corporation of teachers. The commission gave ample authority to teach. Therefore Jesus Christ did commission a body of teachers with ample authority to teach, — and, since commissioned to teach all nations and individuals in the order of succession as well as of coexistence, a perpetual or always subsisting corporation. Thus the very letter of the commission sustains our position.

" The promise with which the commission closes does the same. ' Behold I am with you all days unto the consummation of the world.' They to whom this promise was made, and with whom the Saviour was to be present, were identical with the Apostles, for he says to the Apostles, ' I am with you.'' They were to be in time, that is, in this life ; for he says, I am with you all days,— micms ran »/f«7)Hr? — which cannot apply to eternity, in which the divisions of time do not obtain. They were not the Apostles personally, because our blessed Lord says again, ' I am with you all days unto the consummation of the world,"1 which is an event still future, and the Apostles personally have long since ceased to exist as inhabitants of time. But they were identical with the Apostles, and, since not personally, they must be corporately identical. Therefore the promise was to be with the Apostles, as a body or corporation of teachers, all days even unto the consummation of the world. But Jesus Christ cannot be with a body that is not. Therefore the body must remain unto the consummation of the world. Therefore our Blessed Lord has instituted, appointed, commissioned, a body or corporation of teachers, identical with the Apostles, continuing their authority, and which must remain unto the consummation of the world.
"The same is also established by the blessed Apostle Paul in the passage quoted from Ephesians, iv. 11, 'And he indeed gave some to be apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and others to be pastors and teachers,' taken in connection with 1 Cor. xii. 28, ' And God indeed hath set some in the Church, first, apostles, secondly, prophets, thirdly, teachers; after that miracles, then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.' These texts, so far as we adduce them, clearly and distinctly assert that God has set in the Church, or congregation of believers, pastors and teachers as a perpetual ordinance. They prove more than this, for winch at another time we may contend ; but they prove at least this, which is all wo are contending for now. '(Joel hath set,' 'God gave to be.' These expressions prove the pastors and teachers to be of Divine appointment, and therefore that they arc not created or commissioned by the congregation itself. They are set in the Church, given to be, as a perpetual ordinance ; for the rule for understanding any passage of Scripture, sacred or profane, is to take it always in n universal sense, unless the assertion of the passage be necessarily restricted in its application by something in the nature of the subject, or in the context, some known fact, or some principle of reason or of faith. But obviously nothing of the kind can be adduced to restrict the sense of these passages either in regard to time or space. They are, therefore, to be taken in their plain, obvious, unlimited sense. Therefore the institution of pastors and teachers is not only Divine, but universal and perpetual in the Church.

" We may obtain the same result from the end for which the pastors and teachers are appointed ; for the argumentum ad quern is not less conclusive than the argumentum a quo. If the end to be attained cannot be attained without assuming the authority and perpetuity of the body of pastors and teachers, we have a right lo conclude their authority and perpetuity ; since they are appointed by God himself, who cannot fail to adapt his means to his ends. For what end, then, has God instituted this body of pastors and teachers ? The Apostle answers, ' For the perfection of the saints, for ihe work of the ministry, unto the edification of the body of Christ, till we all meet in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto u perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ; that xue may not, now he children tossed to and fro, and carried, about- with every wind of doctrine, in the wickedness of mc.n^ in craftiness by which they lie in wait, to deceive ; but, performing the truth in charity, we may in all things grow up in him who is the bead, Christ.' Eph. iv. 12- 15. This needs no comment. The end here proposed, for which the Christian ministry is instituted, is one which always and every where subsists, and must so long as the world remains. But this is an end which obviously cannot be secured but by an authoritative and perpetual body of teachers. Therefore the body of teachers is authoritative and perpetual. Therefore, God, or God in Jesus Christ, has appointed, commissioned, a body of teachers, the ecclesia docens, as an authoritative and perpetual corporation, to subsist unto the consummation of the world.

" We have now proved the first part of our proposition, namely the fact of the institution and commission of the ecclesia doeens as an authoritative and perpetual corporation of teachers. Its authority is in the commission to teach; its perpetuity, in the fact that it cannot discharge its commission without remaining to the consummation of the world, in the promise of Christ to be with it till then, which necessarily implies its existence unto the consummation of the world, and in the fact that the promise is to it as a corporation identical with the Apostles. The proof of this first part of our proposition necessarily proves the second, namely, the infallibility of the corporation. The Divine commission necessarily carries with it the infallibility of the commissioned to the full extent of the commission. It is on this fact that is grounded the evidence of miracles. Miracles do not prove the truth of the doctrine taught; they merely accredit the teacher, and this they do simply by proving that the teacher is Divinely commissioned. The fact to be established is the Divine commission. This once established, it makes no dillbrcnco whether established immediately by a miracle, or mediately by the declaration of one already proved by miracles, as was our Blessed Lord, to speak by Divine authority. Jesus, it is conceded, spoke by Divine authority, even by those who, with the Christian Examiner, deny his proper Divinity. Then a commission given by him was a Divine commission, and pledged Almiglity God in like manner as if given by Almighty God himself directly. The teachers were, then, Divinely commissioned. Then in all matters covered by the commission they are infallible ; for God himself vouches for the truth of their testimony, and must take care that they testify the truth and nothing but the truth.

u Moreover, the command to teach implies the obligation of obedience. The commission is a command to teach, and to teach all nations and individuals. Then all nations and individuals are bound to believe and obey these teachers ; for authority and obedience are correlatives, and where there is no duty to believe and obey, there is no authority to teach. But it is repugnant to reason and the known character of God to say that he makes it the duty of any one to believe and obey a fallible teacher, one who may both deceive and be deceived. Were he to do so, he would participate in the same fallibility, and be the false teacher's accomplice, which is impossible ; for he is, as we have said, prima veritas in essendo, in cognoscendo, et in dicendo, and therefore can neither deceive nor be deceived. Therefore they whom he has commissioned must be infallible." —pp. 52-57.

" Here," says the Register, " the whole force of the reasoning by which the authority of the Church of Rome is sustained depends on the word corporation, which Mr. Brownson has quietly slipped in with a meaning in no wise demanded or authorized by the words of Scripture which he has brought forward as the only decisive evidence in the case."    But here are three mistakes at least.    The whole force of the reasoning does not depend on the word corporation, for we give the reader his choice between the word corporation and another, since we say " a body or cor-poration of teachers." "We do not slip the word in quietly, that is, without any attempt to justify its use, for we undertake to prove its propriety; and, furthermore, we do not bring forward the words of Scripture as the only decisive evidence in the case, but expressly state our ability to prove the proposition without citing the Scriptures at all. Thus we say (p. 51), " We do not depend on the Bible for the historical facts from which we conclude the commission of the ecclesia docens, or body of pastors and teachers; for these facts we can collect from other sources equally reliable [that is, equally reliable with the Scriptures regarded simply as historical documents], and do so collect them, when we reason with unbelievers." The Register, again, has not cited the formal statement of the proposition we were defending. " The question before us, distinctly stated," we say (p. 50), " is, Has Jesus Christ commissioned a body of pastors and teachers, and given this body the promise of infallibility and indefectibility ? " But let this pass.

" There is," proceeds the Register " no such word as body or corporation of teachers used by Christ." Expressly used, in the text cited, we concede; implied, we deny, for we have in the passage in question clearly proved the contrary. " As to Mr. Brownson's syllogism that the body of teachers can be identical with the Apostles in but two ways, 1. personally, 2. corporatcly, it is only one of those unwarrantable but imposing assumptions which he is constantly making under the forms of logic." But as you cite us, there is here no syllogism at all, that we can discover, and, if you will do us the justice to regard what we ourselves wrote, you will concede that we made here no assumption, imposing or otherwise. The texts cited from St. Matt, xxviii. 18, 19, 20, and St. Mark, xvi. 15, clearly prove that Christ did commission pastors and teachers. This point the Register does not deny. The second point we establish is, that the commission was not merely a commission to the Apostles personally. We do not assume this; we prove it, and the Register virtually concedes it. But the commission was evidently a commission to the Apostles, for our Lord is evidently addressing them, and he says, Go ye. In some way, then, the teachers commissioned must be identical with the Apostles. Teachers were not to cease in the Church with the Apostles, and the commission evidently contemplated others who were to succeed them, for he says, " Behold, I am with you all days unto the consummation of the world." Here, then, we have a commission to the Apostles in a sense in which they could and would remain as teachers unto the end of time. You cannot, on the one hand, separate the teachers in every sense from the Apostles, nor, on the other, in every sense identify them with the Apostles. You cannot identify them with the Apostles personally, because in this sense the Apostles are no longer living on the earth, and because they who received the commission were to remain as teachers unto the consummation of the world, an event still future. The commission, then, though given to the Apostles personally, must have been given to them in some other sense also, in which they still survive and will survive to the end of time. So much must be conceded on all hands. Now pray tell us in what sense the Apostles can be said so to .survive as Divinely commissioned teachers, save as a body, or corporation of teachers, which preserves its identity though the individuals composing it are successively changed, as our bodies preserve their identity, though the material particles of which they are composed are constantly changing 1 The individuals die, the body, the corporation, survives.

This reasoning is solid; but even if it were not, even if it would not justify the use of the word corporation., the Register would not be justified in its criticism. It charges us with quietly slipping in the word corporation, that is, with assuming it without offering or attempting to offer any thing in justification of its use, and making the whole argument turn on its meaning. This is not the fact. The argument does not turn at all on the meaning of the word, but turns on the meaning of the texts cited, which meaning necessarily implies the commission of the Apostles not only as teachers in their personal or individual capacity, but also as a body or corporation of teachers. Whether such is really the meaning of the texts, or not, is the point in question, and we have not quietly assumed that it is; we have attempted to prove that it is. It is competent for the Register to show, if it can, that our proof is insufficient, or that the reasons we assign are inconclusive; but it has no right to assert, that we have merely assumed that such is the meaning by adroitly slipping in the word corporation, for that is not true. We prove, first, that the commission was the commission of pastors and teachers; secondly, that the commission was given to the Apostles; and.thirdly, that it was given to them in a sense in which they can and do survive to the consummation of the world. These three points are shown to be evident from the very terms of the commission. But as the Apostles as individuals are dead, and no longer survive as individual teachers, we conclude it was not given to them merely in their individual capacity ; and as they can be said to survive only as a corporation or body of pastors and teachers, we conclude they were commissioned as such, that is, the commission instituted or constituted an Apostolic body or corporation of pastors and teachers. Each of these conclusions is absolutely logical and necessary from the premises, and the premises themselves are undeniable. There is here, then, no assumption at all, unless it be that what our Lord promised must be fulfilled, or, in other words, that God is true, and cannot promise and fail to perform. What has misled our no-Church critic is, probably, the fact, that we state our particular thesis prior to presenting the demonstration, — at the beginning, instead of reserving the statement of it to the end of the argument, — which we believe is not to be regarded either as a fault of logic or of rhetoric.

We say the teachers and pastors who are commissioned must in some way be identical with the Apostles, and that they can be identical with them in only two ways, 1. personally, 2. corporately; that is, they must be either the same individuals, or the same body or corporation, as the Apostles. The critic is indignant at this very evident proposition, and scouts it as if it set bounds to the power and wisdom of God. " He who ' of these stones can raise up children to Abraham' is not cramped and limited in his operations by our narrow and arbitrary assumptions." Nothing in the world more true ; but the question here does not turn on what God, metaphysically, can or cannot do. The question is, whether certain commissioned teachers can be identical with the Apostles in other than two ways, namely, either as the same individuals, or as the same body or corporation. If the critic says they can, we should be much obliged to him if he would tell us what that way is. God can give any commission he pleases, and to whom he pleases, but he cannot give a commission without giving one, nor a commission to a subject in a sense in which that subject docs not exist, or to continue and operate unto the consummation of the world in a sense in which the subject cannot and doe? not exist until that consummation. He could not commission the Apostles save either as individuals or as a body or corporation, for save in one or the other of these two senses they are inconceivable, and. he could give them a commission under which they were to act until the consummation of the world only as a body or corporation, for in no other sense were they to exist in time until that event. What unwarrantable and imposing assumption is there here ?

" Christ," says the Register, " sent forth his teachers.   As they perished, he raised up others to take their place and
carry   on their work While they  all received the
same words of divine truth, while they all looked up to him as their common Lord, and he in fulfilment of his promise was with them as their living head, they were all united in him, one spiritual body, under his authority teaching all nations to observe whatsoever things he commanded them. This interpretation quite as naturally fills out the meaning of our Saviour's words as either of the suppositions which Mr. Urownson has assumed as the only suppositions which are possible. And so the labored argument of sixty-eight pages falls to the ground." And so, with the writer's permission, it does not fall to the ground. We make no suppositions in the case, and present the reader no alternative, as the Register pretends; and if the critic understands the natural force of the words he has used, he has in his own interpretation conceded substantially all that he objects to, and consequently has refuted, not us, but himself.

" Christ sent forth his teachers." Then he commissioned them, gave them authority to teach, and commanded them to go forth and teach; for so much is implied in the word " sent." " Sent forth his teachers." Then none except those he thus commissions and orders forth are his teachers. These teachers " all receive the same words of divine truth," are " one spiritual body," with one " common Lord," one " living head," and under the authority of this " common Lord," " living head," " teaching all nations whatsoever things he commanded them." They are not only one body, but a persisting body. " As they perished, he raised up others to take their place and to carry on their work." What are these, except the body or corporation of pastors and. teachers we asserted as commissioned by our Lord, only described in loo.scr and less accurate terms than we used ? It is remarkable that no Protestant ever attempts to reason against Catholicity without formally or virtually refuting himself! Christ sent forth his teachers, the Apostles, united as one spiritual body, with authority to teach all nations to observe whatever he commanded, and perpetuates the body by raising up, as individuals perish, new individuals to take their place and carry on their work. if this is not asserting that our Lord commissioned a body or corporation of teachers, and a persisting body or corporation, we confess we know not what would be. The critic blames us for using the word corporation, accuses us of slipping it in quietly, and asserts that " there is no such word as corporation or body of teachers expressed by Christ, and no such meaning implied." Yet he himself uses the word body, denominates the teachers sent or raised up to be " one spiritual body" in order to express what he conceives to be the meaning of our Saviour's words cited by us. The critic was for the moment off his guard. Nevertheless, let him not be too much cast down. Homer sometimes nods.

Perhaps the Register thinks that it escapes what is on its part a fatal concession by certain statements it introduces, which we have omitted; but what we have cited is positive, direct, and it would not be respectful on our part to suppose that the writer explains or qualifies it all away into a no-meaning in the same short paragraph. Nevertheless, here is the whole statement:—" Christ sent forth his teachers. As they perished, he raised up others to take their place and to carry on their work. They may have been united under no visible organization. They may often have had no personal knowledge of each other's existence. They may have been scattered in distant parts of the earth, so as to have no communication ivith each other. They may have acted under different forms of church polity. Still, while they all received the same words of divine truth, while they all looked  up to him as their common Lord, and he in fulfilment of his promise was with them as their living head, they were all united in him, one spiritual body, under his authority teaching all nations to observe whatsoever things he commanded them."   Now, let the additional statements which we have italicized mean what they may, it is here clearly and unequivocally asserted that the teachers receive the same words of divine truth, that is, have unity of faith ; are one body, united in Christ their living head; and teaching under his authority alone, that is, by virtue of  his commission, all  nations whatever he commanded the Apostles to teach.    This is substantially all we attempted to prove by the texts of which the Register here gives  its  interpretation  in  opposition to ours.    We might thus pass over the other matters introduced, as not ad rem.    " They may have been united under no visible organization."    This we know historically was not the fact, but we did not attempt from the texts the Register is interpreting to prove the contrary.    We attempted, indeed, to prove the visibility of the body of teachers, but in another place, and by other evidence, of which the Protestant critic as a matter of course takes no notice.    The visibility follows necessarily from the office of teaching, because if not a visible body the teachers could not discharge the duties imposed by their commission.    " They may often have had no personal knowledge of each other's existence."    If this means that there might have been a Christian teacher who had no knowledge of any Christian teacher or teachers besides himself, the Register will oblige us by proving it; if it means that there were often Christian teachers who were ignorant of the existence of certain other Christian teachers, we can very readily concede it.    " They may have  been  scattered in  distant parts of the earth, so as to have no communication with each other."    Save through the one body in which they are all united, this may, no doubt, sometimes have happened, as for longer or shorter periods it sometimes happens now to our missionaries. " They may have acted under different forms of church polity."    If this means that they  may have acted under different church polities, it is false and absurd, because the Register concedes that they were " one body," with one and the same faith, under one authority, with one Lord and one living head, and different polities implies different bodies, diverse authorities, lords, and heads. According to the Register, Jesus Christ is the immediate Lord and head of the body, and as he is one, and as there can be no polity without a head, it follows necessarily that there can be only one Christian church polity, and all polities distinguishable from that one have another than our Lord for their head.

".Here is one instance of fatally bad reasoning, just at the vital point of the argument." The bad reasoning, we are afraid, is the Register's, not ours, and it is clear that its own interpretation, as far as consistent with itself, accords with our own. The Register has done as well as it could, and deserves the credit of having labored hard to convict us of fallacious reasoning; but the nature of the case was adverse to its success. It did not take the pains to master our own reasoning, and imagined a (law where none can be found. He finds himself obliged to concede that our Lord did send forth his teachers with full authority to teach all nations whatsoever he commanded them, and that these teachers constitute "one body" under Christ, their living head ; therefore that Christ did commission a body or corporation of teachers, with lull authority to teach. He is obliged to exclude from Christian teachers all who call themselves Christian teachers and are not of this body, and, as he holds, as well as we, that Christian teachers must continue until the consummation of the world, he is also obliged to concede the indefectibility of the body. As the tirst teachers perished, " he raised up others to take their place and to carry on their work," and continues, he must concede, and will continue, to raise up new teachers as the old pass off, till time shall be no more. These new teachers arc; the successors and continuators of the old, because they take their place and do their work. Hence the Register concedes every point except one that, under this head, we contended for; namely, the infallibility of the body of teachers. But if he concedes the rest, he must also concede that, for the infallibility follows necessarily from the commission to teach, and the promise of Christ to be with the body of pastors and teachers " all days unto the consummation of the world." The practised eye does not therefore find a " fatal flaw " in the link which " connects the engine to the cars."

" We detect something of the kind in every form under which Mr. Brownson has attempted to prove the exclusive authority of the Roman Catholic Church. ' We can establish,' he [Mr. Brownson] says,(the regular succession of Pontiffs from St. Peter to Gregory the Sixteenth, (now Pius the Ninth,) and this establishes the unity of the corporation in time, and therefore its identity.' He can prove no such thing:" We have before us a complete list of all the Popes from St. Peter to Pius the Ninth, with the date of each one's accession to the Pontificate, and the length of his reign, and with the exception of the last, yet living, the year and day of his death, taken from official and authentic records. This is at least prhnd facie evidence, and sufficient till something is introduced to produce a contrary presumption. " He cannot prove that St. Peter ever saw Rome, still less that he exercised any authority over the other Apostles like that which the Bishop of Rome exercises over the other bishops." The first assertion here is simply ridiculous, and the Register might just as well say that we cannot prove that there was ever such a personage on earth as Jesus of Nazareth. There is, as the Register well knows, if it has studied the question, precisely the same kind of evidence to prove that St. Peter was at Rome, and was bishop of that see, that there is that our Lord was crucified at Jerusalem, and to deny its sufficiency in the former case is to deny its sufficiency in the latter. You have in the latter case only uniform tradition and institutions growing out of the fact, and dating back to the time, and in the former you have the same. The See of Rome has existed uninterruptedly from the time of St. Peter, has always been called by his name, and its uniform tradition is that he was its founder. This tradition has been recognized by the whole Christian world, in every age, uncontradicted save by here and there an individual in very recent times.    This is proof enough.

The second assertion of the Register, namely, that we cannot prove that St. Peter " exercised any authority over the other Apostles like that which the Bishop of Rome exercises over the other bishops," amounts to nothing, even if true. All the Apostles had each an extraordinary mission, and were, like St. Peter, inspired and directed by the Holy Ghost, and he had no occasion to exercise an authority over them of the kind which his successors exercise over other bishops. The other bishops succeed not to the extraordinary mission of the Apostles, that is, to the Apostleship, which each of the  Apostles received, but simply to the episcopate.     The successors of St. Peter alone succeed to the Apostleship, and their authority is not auihor-ity over Apostles, but over bishops.    But that  St. Peter was the prince or chief of the Apostles is clearly proved from  Scripture  and  uninterrupted  tradition, and,  if our Lord had not established the primacy of authority and jurisdiction* in him and his see, the Bishop of Rome as his successor could never have caused himself to be acknowledged as supreme visible head and ruler of the Church. The supremacy of the See of Home is distincly recognizable throughout the Christian world prior to Constantine, as has been amply proved by our authors, and therefore before the Popes were able to exercise or call to their assistance one particle of temporal power.    It was not, therefore, and could not have been, by the aid of the temporal power that they established their supremacy.    Since the governments of Europe became Christian, the general and almost uniform tendency of their action has been, not to strengthen, but to weaken, the authority of the Pope over the bishops.    How, then, came the supremacy of the Popes to be established?     Were  they ambitious,   greedy  of power? Suppose  they were ; they cannot be said to have been more so than were the other bishops, and the tendency in each bishop must have been as strong to resist Papal encroachment as in the Pope to encroach, and the tendency of all united must have been incalculably stronger.    How, then, did the Pope alone, who according to you must have been in the beginning only the equal of any other bishop as to his oflice, impeded rather than aided by the temporal powers, succeed, against the united tendency of all the bishops throughout Christendom,  in usurping  an unjust authority over them all?    He could have established his authority only by a miracle, and a miracle can never be wrought in favor of usurpation and injustice.    It is impossible to explain the possession or exercise of the supreme authority of the Bishops of Rome, except on the supposition that it was a part of the original constitution of the Church.    It evidently was not and could not have been acquired little by little, through the strength of the Roman Pontiff and the weakness of the other bishops.

" In the historical, as in the logical argument, an important link is wanting."     A decided mistake; for no link is wanting in either. " We recognize the Clmrqh under the original Apostles." Are you sure of that? " There is no intimation of any supremacy or superiority of Peter over others." By what authority do you say that? You cannot read even the New Testament without perceivi.ig the contrary. Peter is always there represented as first, and receives from our Lord a special commission, — " Feed my sheep," " Feed my lambs," " Confirm thy brethren," — which necessarily implies, not only a superiority, but a very great superiority. " Afterwards we see the Church submerging [emerging ?] from a period of which we know scarcely any thing; but with features so changed that we can hardly resist the belief that it had departed from its original simplicity, and had already begun to borrow largely from human inventions and from a heathen worship." That is, you paint a fancy-piece which you call a portrait of the Church under the Apostles, and, because subsequently you find it is not a likeness, you gravely conclude that the Church must have changed her features! Admirable logic! It would not be unreasonable to ask you to prove that your fancy-piece is a true likeness of the original features of the Church, before you conclude from the fact, that, as she emerges from the period of persecutions into the full historical light of the third and fourth centuries, she differs from it, she has changed, and no longer resembles herself. Then, again, it is not to reason very wisely to suppose that the Church in the martyr-age, when Christians were in their greatest fervor, faith was strong, and love invincible, rejoicing to suffer for Christ's sake, would depart from her original simplicity; and that then, when she was suffering the most severe persecutions from the heathen and from wicked men, she would be in the temper to borrow largely from human inventions and a heathen worship. Adversity purifies, instead of corrupting, and if the Church could be corrupted at all it would be in her seasons of worldly prosperity, not in her seasons of temporal adversity. Moreover, the features which the Register would contend were borrowed from a heathen worship were hers before they can be found in any form of Gentil-ism. It is a favorite theory with the Unitarians and with some German authors, that those doctrines and practices of Christianity to which they object were introduced into the Church through Neo-platonism; but, unhappily for this theory, they were all in the Church before Neo-platonism was born, and as a matter of fact were borrowed by Neo-platonists from Christianity. Neo-platonism was born with Plotinus, who commenced philosophizing in 2G0, and who was accused by the Gentiles of Christianizing. The Emperor Julian the Apostate reorganized paganism throughout the Empire, and gave it some features in common with the Christian hierarchy; but those were features which you shall in vain look for in the heathen world prior to the Christian Church.. A little acquaintance with chronology is sometimes a convenience. The Register made a slight mistake; it is his logic, not ours, that fails for want of historical evidence. But the Register brings up another and a still more important instance of our defective logic. To place this new instance fairly before our readers, we must cite the passages at length from our Essays and Reviews, from which the instance is professedly taken.

" Finally, it will, perhaps, be alleged, inasmuch as all Protestants did at first, and some of them do now, appeal to the written word, or the Holy Scriptures, in justification of their dissent, that they have in these a real or a pretended authority, external to and independent of the dissenter, distinct from and paramount 1o that of the Church. But a moment's reflection will show, even if the Scriptures were not in favor of Ihe Church, that this is a mistake. The Holy Scriptures proposed, and their sense declared, by the Church, we hold with a firm faith to be the word of God, and therefore of the highest authority; but, if not so proposed and interpreted, though in many respects important and authentic historical documents, and valuable for their excellent didactic teachings, they would not and could not be for us the inspired, and, in a supernatural sense, the authoritative word of God. To the Protestant they are not and cannot be an authority external to the dissenter; because, denying the unwritten word, the Church, and all authoritative tradition, he has no external authority to vouch for the fact that they are the inspired word of God, or to declare their genuine sense. If there be no external authority to decide that the Bible is the word of God, and to declare its true sense, the authority ascribed to it in the last analysis, according to the principle we have established, is only the authority of some internal principle in the individual dissenting ; for, in that case, the individual, by virtue of this internal principle, decides, with the Bible as without it, what is and what is not God's word, what God has and has not revealed ; and therefore what he is and what he is not bound to believe, what he is and what he is not bound to do." — pp. 217, 218.

" If we assert the right of private judgment to interpret the Holy Scriptures, we must assert its right in all cases whatsoever ; for the principle on which private judgment can be defended in one case is equally applicable in every case. Will it be said that private judgment must yield to God's word ? Granted. But what is God's word ? The Bible. How know you that ? Do you determine that the Bible is the word of God by some external authority, or by private judgment ? Not by some external authority, because you have none, and admit none. By private judgment ? Then the authority of the Bible is for you only private judgment. The Bible docs not propose itself, and therefore can have no authority higher than the authority which proposes it. Here is a serious difficulty for those Protestants who set up such a clamor about the Bible, and which shows them, or ought to show them, that, whatever the Bible may be for a Catholic, for them it can in no conceivable contingency be any thing but a human authority. The authority of Hint which is pro]>osed is of the same order as that which proposes, and cannot transcend it. This is a Protestant argument, and is substantially the great argument of Chillingworth against Catholicity. Nothing proposes the Bible to Protestants but private judgment, as is evident from their denial of all other authority ; and therefore in the Bible they — not we, thank God ! —have only the authority of private judgment, and therefore only the word of man, and not the word of God. If the authority on which Protestants receive the word of God is only that of private judgment, then there is for them in the Bible only private judgment; and then nothing to restrict private judgment, for private judgment can itself be no restriction on private judgment." — pp. 223, 224.

The Register attempts to retort the argument we here vise, and from our own principles of reasoning to show that, if Protestants have in the Bible taken and interpreted by private judgment only private judgment, we have in the Church only private judgment; for we ourselves, it contends, have nothing else on which to take the Church, or by which to interpret her teachings. This is not original with the Register. Chillingworth attempted the same retort, and Di\ Edward Beecher in the Christian Alliance, and the Episcopal Observer, in replying some time since to this same article of ours, also attempted it. It would seem, therefore, that Protestants really imagine that the retort is allowable, and capable of being sustained. " How am I," says the Register, "a Protestant, out of the Roman Catholic Church, to recognize it as a supernatural and infallible authority ? Through my own private judgment, no other way is possible with the Church any more than with the Bible.   Hence the authority of the Church can be only private

We have answered this objection time and again in our pages, and it is answered substantially in the essay entitled The Church against No-Church, in the volume before us, where we establish the infallibility of reason in her own province. But our Protestant friends are poor philosophers, and very slow to understand distinctions which are not in their favor. The objection asserts that we take and must take the authority of the Church to teach on private judgment, because we have and can have nothing else on which to take it. This we very explicitly deny. The authority of the Church to teach rests on the Divine commission. " But the fact of her commission, you take that on private judgment." Not at all. We take it on historical testimony. " But that historical testimony is taken on private; judgment." Wrong again ; for that testimony is addressed to the common reason of all men, and not simply to the private judgment of the individual. Here is the error of our Protestant friends. They recognize no distinction between reason and private judgment. Reason is common to all men ; private judgment is the special act of an individual, an individual judgment, formed not by virtue of a principle common to him and other men, but by a principle of judging proper or peculiar to himself. Where the judgment is formed by a standard, criterion, rule, or principle of judgment common to all men, or by testimony addressed to the common reason of all men, the judgment is Catholic, not private. That the three angles of a triangle arc equal to two right angles ; the same thing cannot both be and not be at the same time; every contingent existence must have a cause not contingent, — are not private judgments, but belong alike to all men. That there was such a city as pagan Rome, and such a man as Julius Caesar, are historical facts provable to the common reason of all men, not private judgments. In all matters of this sort there is a criterion of certainty beyond the individual, and evidence is adducible which ought to convince the reason of every man, and which, when adduced, does convince every man of ordinary understanding, unless through his own fault. Private judgment is not so called, as the Register appears to imagine, because it is a judgment of an individual, but because it is a judgment rendered by virtue of a private rule or principle of judgment. Are the planets so many worlds inhabited as is our earth? You say, Yes, or No. Either on your part is a private judgment, because it is based on no principle of reason, and is supported by no testimony, — in a word, supported by nothing out of yourself as an individual, ■—■ and is therefore nothing but a private opinion, and would be nothing else, even though the mass of mankind should entertain it. The distinction here is sufficiently obvious, and from it we may conclude that nothing is to be termed -private judgment which is demonstrable from reason or provable by testimony.

Now we take, in our argumentative process with unbelievers, the Church on reason and. testimony, and therefore not on private judgment, as we show in our Essays and Reviews.

" Taking the facts in tlio case to be as here supposed, the only points in the process to which exceptions can possibly be taken, or which can by any one be alleged to bo not infallibly certain, are,— 1. The competency of natural reason from historical testimony to establish the fact that the miracles were actually performed ; 2. Admitting the facts to be infallibly ascertainable, the competency of reason to determine infallibly whether they are miracles or not; 3. The competency of reason to conclude from the miracle the Divine authority of tho miracle-worker ; 4. Its competency from historical documents to ascertain infallibly the fact of the appointment of the body of teachers, and the promise made to them. These four points, unquestionably essential to the validity of the argument, aro to be taken, we admit, on the authority of reason. Can reason determine these with infallible certainty? But if you say it can, you affirm the infallibility of reason, and then it of itself suffices, without other infallible teacher; if you say it cannot, you deny the possibility of establishing infallibly the infallibility of your body of teachers.
" Reason is infallible within its own province, but not in regard to what transcends its reach. To deny the infallibility of reason within its province would bo to deny the possibility not only of faith, but of both science and knowledge, and to sink into absolute scepticism, — even to " doubt that doubt itself be doubting," — which is impossible ; for no man doubts that he doubts, ltevelation does not deny reason, but presupposes it. The objection to reason is not that it cannot judge infallibly of some matters, but that it cannot judge infallibly of all matters.    But, because it cannot judge infallibly of all matters, to say it can judge infallibly of none, is not to reason justly. As well say, 1 am not infallibly certain that 1 see the tree before my window, because I cannot see all that may be going on in the moon. It is infallibly certain that the same thing cannot both be and not be at the same time ; that two things respectively equal to a third are equal to one another; that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles; that what begins to exis,t must have a creator; that every effect must have a cause, and that every supernatural effect must have a supernatural cause, and that the change of one natural substance into another natural substance is a supernatural effect; that every voluntary agent acts to some end, and every wise and good agent to a wise and good end. These and the like propositions are all infallibly certain. Reason, within its sphere, is therefore infallible; but out of its sphere it is null.

" Human testimony, within its proper limits, backed by circumstances, monuments, institutions, which presuppose its truth and are incompatible with its falsehood, is itself infallible. I have never seen London, but I have no occasion to see it in order to be as certain of its existence as I am of my own. History, too, is a science ; and although every thing narrated in it may not be true, or even probable, yet there are historical facts as certain as mathematical certainty itself. It is infallibly certain that there were in the ancient world the republics of Athens, Sparta, and Home ; that there was a peculiar people called the Jews, that this people dwelt in Palestine, that they had a chief city named Jerusalem, in this chief city a superb temple dedicated to the worship of the one God, and that this chief city was taken by the Romans, this temple burnt, and this people, after an immense slaughter, subdued, and dispersed among the nations, where they remain to this day. Here are historical facts which can be infallibly proved to bo facts.

" Now, the miracles, regarded as facts, are simple historical facts, said to have occurred at a particular time and place, and are in their nature as susceptible of historical proof as any other facts whatever. Ordinary historical testimony is as valid in their case as in the case of Cccsar's or Napoleon's battles. Reason, observing the ordinary laws of historical criticism, is competent to decide infallibly on the fact whether they arc proved to have actually occurred or not. Reason, then, is competent to the first point in the process of proof, namely, the fact of the miracles.

" It is equally competent to the second point, namely, whether the fact alleged to be a miracle really be a miracle. A miracle is a supernatural effect produced in or on natural objects. The point for reason to make out, after the fact is proved, is whether the effect actually witnessed be a supernatural effect. That it can do this in every case, even when the effect is truly miraculous, we do not pretend ; but that it can do it in some cases, we affirm, and to be able to do it in one suflices. When 1 sec one natural substance changed into another natural substance, as in the case of converting water into wine, I know the change is a miracle ; for nature can no more change herself than she could create herself. So, when I see a man who lias been four days dead, and in whose body the process of decomposition has commenced and made considerable progress, restored to life and health, sitting with his friends at. table and eating, I know it is a miracle ; for to restore life when extinct is no less an act of creative power than to give life. It is giving life to that which before had it not, and is therefore an act, which can be performed by no being but God alone, llcason, then, is competent to determine the fact whether the alleged miracle really be a miracle. It is competent, then, to the second point in the process of proof.

" No less competent is it to the third, namely, the divine commission of the miracle-worker. In proving the event to be a miracle, I prove it. to be wrought by the power of Clod. Now, I know enough of God, by the natural light of reason, to know that he cannot be the accomplice of an impostor, that he cannot work a miracle by one whose word may not be taken. The miracle, then, establishes the credibility of the miracle-worker. Then, the miracle-worker is what he says he is. If he says he is God, he is God; if he says he speaks by divine authority, he speaks by divine authority, and we have God's authority for what he says. The third point, then, comes within the province of natural reason, and may be infallibly settled.

" The fourth point is a simple historical question ; for it concerns what was done and said by our Blessed Lord in regard to the appointment, of a body of teachers. It is to be settled historically, by consulting the proper documents and monuments in the case. It is not a question of speculation, of interpretation even, but simply a question of fact, to which reason is fully competent, and can, with proper prudence and documents, settle infallibly." — pp. 47 - 50.
The Register may reply, that it may vindicate the authority of the Scriptures by reason and testimony, and therefore that it is not true to say that it lias in them only private judgment. May thus vindicate their authority as historical documents, we concede, and also contend ; but as divinely inspired documents, we deny, because divine inspiration is a supernatural fact, remaining in all senses in the supernatural order, and therefore not cognizable by natural reason. But if by the miracles we establish the divine commission of the sacred writers, why may not we infer their inspiration as writers from it, as well as you infer from it the authority and infallibility of the Church or body of pastors and teachers ? Because, 1. In the case of the greater part of the sacred writers, to say the least, you cannot establish by miracles the fact of their divine commission ; and because, 2. You have in the case even of those whose divine commission to teach you can through the miracles historically establish, if such there are, no declaration of their own that they were divinely commissioned or divinely inspired to write. Whether the Scriptures are inspired or not must, therefore, be for your mere private judgment; but that the Church has authority to teach rests on the express declaration of our .Lord himself, proved by the miracles he performed to be sent from God and to spealc with divine, authority, even on the ground as to his divinity assumed by Unitarians.

It may be objected, after all, that, since the authority never transcends the authority on which it is received, the authority of the Church, being taken on natural reason, is only the authority of natural reason, which is not sullicient for faith, for the Church is the witness to the fact of revelation, and we contend the witness to that fact must be supernatural. That we have in the argument only the authority of reason for asserting the supernatural authority of the Church, and therefore only the authority of reason that what she teaches of the supernatural order is true, we frankly concede, and never have pretended and never do pretend to the contrary. But this is enough for all the purposes of the argument. This proves to reason that the authority is supernatural and infallible, and therefore that whatever the Church teaches is infallibly true. This is all that reason can ask, because it answers every objection that reason can urge. It is enough for rational proof, enough to render the logical process complete. Of course, it is not enough to enable us to elicit an act of supernatural faith. It is sufficient for what theologians term human faith, — fides Immana, — and it were absurd to ask more than human faith from any rational or logical process whatever. This human faith does not, indeed, make one a Christian; it does not bring him into the supernatural order, and enable him to elicit the Christian virtues. It leaves him still in the order of nature, without doing any thing positive to translate him into the order of grace.    Supernatural faith in the subject — divine faith, as theologians term it, fides divina, as distinguished from human faith — is the gift of God, an infused virtue, and is elicited only by supernatural grace, or, as it is termed, the dontim Jidei, or gift of faith. The creditive subject must be elevated by this gift above nature to the plane of the supernatural credible object, in order to elicit what we call the act of faith. This is the case with every Catholic believer; and when so elevated by grace he believes without any discursive process whatever. Hut this supernatural faith, proceeding from a supernatural principle infused into the subject and seizing the supernatural object with supernatural energy and firmness, belongs solely to the believer, and is never the result of any logical process whatever, and is never demanded of un-elevated or natural reason. Conceding, then, that in the argument for the Church we do not rise above the principle of natural reason, it is no objection, because nothing more is necessary to the conclusiveness of the argument, although something more, and even of a different order, is essential to conversion or to eliciting an act of supernatural faith.

The retort of the Register cannot be sustained, and its third instance of fallacious reasoning on our part exists only in its own misconception. But the Register continues, and attempts to retort upon us the argument we use to prove that the Protestant, in the Bible interpreted by private judgment, has only private judgment.

" Again, Mr. Brownson maintains the necessity of an infallible Church, because faith is essential to salvation, and faith is a belief in all the truths that Jesus taught. But no man, without such an infallible guide, can bo sure that ho has the truth and nothing but the truth, and therefore without such a guide no man can be saved. We may read the Bible, lie says, but no fallible man can be sure that lie receives the truth there as it was in the mind of Jesus and his Apostles, and therefore a true faith [from reading the Bible] is impossible. But how is this ? There must somewhere be a point of contact between the infallible supernatural teacher and the weak and fallible disciple, and wherever that point is there is liability to mistake. If I may not receive the words of Christ, the supernatural, infallible teacher, in the sense in which he spoke, neither can there be any certainty that I receive the interpretation put upon them by the Church in precisely the sense which my infallibly supernatural teacher, the Church, attaches to them. The argument here is as strong against the Church as against the Bible. With Mr. Brownson's definition of the faith, essential to salvation, there is no such thing as faith or salvation possible, except with those who belong to the infallible order, and even they as individuals are fallible, and therefore as individuals cannot be saved."

Faith that can be deceived is not faith, but merely persuasion, or opinion, unless we are to change at our own caprice the established sense of words. We defined faith as it is usually denned by theologians, in the sense in which it is generally received, and if the Register denies that, sense, he must forego the use of the word, for he has no right to use it in an arbitrary sense of his own. The first remark, therefore, which we make on this extract is, that it denies all faith and even the possibility of faith. Let this not be set down to the Unitarianism of its author. The same argument of ours has been commented on by Unitarians, Episcopalians, and Calvinists, and they all take the ground of the Register in opposition to it. We commend tin's fact to those of our Catholic friends who think us too severe and sweeping in our remarks, when we allege that Protestants have no faith, and even contend that faith is not possible. " There must somewhere be a point of contact between the infallible supernatural teacher and the weak and fallible disciple, and wherever that point is there is liability to mistake." If this be so, then there can, of course, be no infallible faith, and therefore all Christians may have been deceived, may have been mistaken in their belief that Christ has come into the world and sullered and died for them, — that there is a future life, a future judgment, a heaven and hell; and, notwithstanding their cheering hopes of immortality, they may have been like the beasts that perish. How true it is that they who are out of the Church have lost, not only faith, but all conception of faith in the proper sense of the term!
The Register is misled by its unsound philosophy, which makes the truth of all knowledge depend entirely on the subject knowing, or teaches that the light by which objects are apprehensible is a purely subjective light, and therefore that the object derives its intelligibility from the subject apprehending it. This is a mistake. We intellectually apprehend objects because they are intelligible, instead of their being intelligible because we apprehend them; and hence the light by which they are intelligible is objective, not subjective.    Consequently, if that light is infallible, the apprehension, as far as it goes, is infallible. Thus St. Thomas, who we dare cite even to the Register as a philosopher, maintains that the intellect is always true. It is very true, that there must always be somewhere a point of contact between the teacher and the disciple, but not therefore is there always liability to mistake on that point, because; the affirmation is made by the teacher, and not by the disciple, by the virtue of the objective, and not the subjective light, and if the teacher is infallible, it is precisely on the point of contact that the disciple cannot mistake or be deceived. To deny this is to fall into universal scepticism, and a man who avows universal scepticism is not permitted to attempt to reason, for to reason is to allirm reason, and to assert the principle of certainty. If the Register falls back on universal scepticism, it cannot open its mouih to us, or say a single word for or against us; if it admits certainty at all, it must concede that on the point where the infallible teacher and the disciple come in contact there is no liability to mistake.

As to the attempted retort of our argument, we answer, there is a disparity. The Church is a living teacher and interprets her own words, the Bible is a dead book and does not interpret itself. If Christ were present speaking as he was present speaking to his Apostles, there would be necessarily no more liability of mistaking his words than those uttered by the Church. But when his words and those dictated by the Holy Ghost to the Apostles are not spoken by a living voice, but merely recorded, and recorded as they are in the Bible, no man of common sense and common honesty can pretend that they are no more liable to be mistaken than the teachings of the Church, always present, if there is any difliculty to explain it, and if any misapprehension to correct it. The retortion therefore fails, and again it is the Register's logic, not ours, that is at fault. It is it, not we, that should be accused of leaving " a fatal Haw " in the link that connects the engine to the cars. That was a rash accusation on the part of the Register.

" Such is the absurdity involved in Mr. Brownson's reasoning on the most momentous of all subjects." The absurdity is in the Register's own fancy. As yet it has not detected a single flaw in our reasoning, or substantiated its charges on a single point.   " Yet because we cannot  acknowledge  the  monstrous   assumptions   of   a Church which claims such a power, there is no end to the abuse that is poured upon us." No such thing, Mr. Register. In the first place, you are not abused at all; and in the second place, you are complained of, not because you cannot acknowledge " monstrous absurdities," but because you shut your eyes to plain truth, reject God's Church, and refuse to yield to solid reasons, — because you propagate doctrines as Christian truth which you know repose only on your private opinions, in regard to which you are well aware you may be mistaken, and for which you must yourself confess you have no adequate authority. You preach your own words instead of God's word, and thereby err yourself, and lead others into error to the ruin of their souls. This is why the severe language you cite from our pages against Protestants is used. That language is not complimentary, we concede; it is plain, strong, energetic, and very much to the purpose; but it is not abusive, for the conduct of Protestants even more than justifies it. Nor is it, as you insinuate, uttered in an angry tone. " This sounds to us like angry abuse poured out by an unsuccessful and disappointed assailant." The Register can hardly say this seriously of any language we have used. It cannot read our pages without being well aware that we never write under the influence of passion, that, we write always with a perfect command of our own temper, and with words chosen with due deliberation. And in what have we been unsuccessful or disappointed? We have been unsuccessful in no controversy we have waged, and have been disappointed in nothing, or if in any tiling, only in the feebleness and want of candor in our Protestant opponents. Compare our language with that habitually used by Protestants when speaking of Catholics and Catholicity, and it is the very quintessence of mildness itself. Even the Register itself, in this very article on which we are commenting, unconsciously uses language far more offensive to Catholics than any we have used is to Protestants, and yet we have selected it to reply to, because it is the least faulty in that respect of any article of the sort that has fallen under our eyes, save in the Mercers-burg Review, the only Protestant periodical in the country with which we are acquainted, that does not feel itself at liberty to outrage common decency when it speaks of us
or of our Church. We suppose the Register calls a sentence like the following very polite and respectful: " When we think of Mr. Brownson, with his commanding intellect, his great intelligence and fearlessness of thought, his once Christian views of spiritual worship as due to God only, it is with painful humiliation and sadness that wo find him the victim of the loio superstition which is implied in language like the following from his preface: 'Placing this volume, though all unworthy, under the protection of Our .Blessed Lady, as I do myself and all my labors and interests, 1 send it forth to the public,' &c." Here the critic plainly charges us with having become the victim of idolatry and superstition, when, poor man! it is doubtful whether he can give even an intelligible definition of either. " When once a man has wandered from the simplicity of the Christian faith, and given up the truth as it is in Jesus, there is no end to the degradation and delusion into which he may be led." Nothing more true, and if the Register has any doubts on the subject, the study of Protestant heresiarchs and sects will remove them. " The history of such a mind is one which we look upon with profound pity and sorrow." We look upon it with the same feeling. " The mournful absurdities into which the powerful intellect has involved itself is the least painful part of the picture."    No doubt of it.

Now all this lamentation over us is mere affectation, and the Register cannot even hope to deceive even the most cred-ulons of its readers by it. Unitarians, generally, entertain a far higher and a far sincerer respect for us personally than they did when we were one of themselves. Their very deportment to us when we meet any of them proves it. The profound pity and sorrow the Register speaks of on our account is all moonshine. Why should its excellent editor feel either? He does not doubt that we are at least as safe as a Catholic as we should be as a Unitarian ; for he and his Unitarian brethren hold a man can be saved in any religion, or in none at all. None of them believe in the eternal punishment of the sinner. In the Christian sense, they believe in neither heaven nor hell, and the only future state they acknowledge, unless they have very much changed of late, is the continuance of the soul in a future natural life. As to idolatry, the Register well knows that our views of worship are, to say the least, as spiritual as
ever they were, and that no Catholic believes it right to pay supreme worship to any but God alone. As for superstition, we were in the habit of praying to the Blessed Virgin and the saints when a Unitarian minister, and also for the dead. It was superstition in us then, we fear, but it is not now ; for now we have authority for doing so, and we ask nothing of the saints that they are not able to do. If we had dedicated our volume to our natural mother, and placed it under her protection, the Register would never have dreamed of calling it superstition. Let him remember that Our Blessed Lady, our spiritual mother, is equally near and dear to us, and loves us with a purer and far more tender love. If the Blessed. Virgin had been still alive on earth, the Register would not have called us the victim of superstition if we had placed it under her protection. Well, let him know that the Blessed Virgin is as truly living as when she stood by the foot of the cross, and has none the less power to grant us the protection we ask of her. We call her Blessed; will the Register dare deny that she is blessed, and the most blessed among women ?

But enough. The remainder of the article contains nothing calling particularly for remark. We have considered and replied to every thing like argument we have been able to detect in the Register's article, and we have aimed to reply fairly and logically to every point it has made. We trust we have replied with at least as much candor and courtesy as the Register itself has observed. We have replied to the article, notwithstanding it appeared in the columns of a weekly paper, because it seemed for the most part to be seriously written, and because, though short, it contains the best that Protestants can say against us or our Church, the sum and substance of all that approaches to argument they ever have said or ever will say. They may write volumes, but they will say no more than the Register has said. We trust, therefore, our readers will pardon us the space we have given it, and not accuse us of making too much of a small thing. Our logic was assailed, and we have chosen to vindicate it, because in so doing we could show how weak and insignificant is all that Protestants have to allege against the Church, and therefore how unimportant it is to pay any attention to their objections.