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Doctrinal Developments

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1848

Art. V. - The Dublin  Review.     No.  XLVI.   Art. VI. London : Richardson & Son.    1848.

Presuming, from the fact that two numbers of the Dublin Review have appeared without containing the remainder of its promised reply to us, that it is disposed, silently, to drop the controversy on doctrinal developments, we shall offer no formal answer to its last article on the subject, but content ourselves with a few statements and explanations which may serve to set in a clear and distinct light the principal points we have denied, and the doctrine we have opposed to them. With this, we shall take our leave of the controversy, till something new comes up to demand our attention or our animadversion.

The controversy which appears to have scandalized the re­cently converted editor of The Catholic Herald, - formerly one of the best Catholic journals in the country, - which has, no doubt, been painful to all our readers, and which can have had no attractions for ourselves, has not been one of our own seeking or provoking. It was occasioned by the publication of Mr. Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doc­trine. The manifest favor with which some of our friends re­ceived it, and the use which our adversaries might make, and, in England and this country, were actually making of it, the high character of its author, the time and occasion of its publi­cation, and the purpose for which it was presumed to have been written and published, combined t6 render it a work of more than ordinary importance ; the analogy of its peculiar theory with the popular doctrine of progress now so generally held by the sects naturally gave it many attractions for such Catholics as are strongly infected with the spirit of the age, and sigh to bring the literature of the Church into harmony with that of the world ; and its evident abandonment of the ground hitherto occupied by our theologians in their controver­sies with Protestants, and assumption of a new and doubtful ground, which gives the opponents of Catholicity an immense advantage over us, made our adversaries anxious to represent it, and to have it treated, as a work of authority on the real, if not avowed, sentiments of modern Rome. Was it likely, said they, that Mr. Newman, a man of various, rare, and pro­found erudition, of an acute, subtile^ and highly cultivated intel­lect, - confessedly one of the master minds of the age, pious, humble, conscientious, - should, in a work apparently intended to be his compte rendu of the reasons of his conversion, write in ignorance or in contempt of the real sentiments of the Church, into whose communion he had evidently made up his mind to seek admission ? Indeed, the reasonable presumptions in the case were strong in favor of the view our adversaries wished to take of the doctrine of the Essay. How, then, was the evil it might do, and actually was doing, to be counteracted, but by subjecting it to the test of well-known and settled principles of Catholic theology, exposing to the public its general unsound-ness, and showing clearly that its theory is not Catholic, and cannot be entertained by Catholics ? As all others seemed to shrink from the disagreeable task of doing this, we, with great reluctance, attempted it, and should, as Catholic reviewers, have been remiss in our duty, if we had not. Let not, then, those who regret the controversy censure us, who have only sought to resist a novelty, and to maintain the purity of Catho­lic doctrine ; let them blame, if they must blame somebody, those who made the controversy necessary. We take no blame to ourselves.

What we have done would not have been called for, if nei­ther those without nor some of those within had been disposed to regard Mr. Newman's Essay as a Catholic work. This we said in the outset, and we have all along conceded that it was never intended to be such a work, or a work from which Catholic teaching could be gathered. The author does not profess to be a Catholic, to write as a Catholic, or to present Catholic doctrine. He writes, not from the Catholic point of view, but professedly from the point of view of private reason, - as a man standing outside of the Church, and exercising his private reason on the phenomena exhibited by Christianity, re­garded solely as a fact in the world's history. He does not profess to take his theory from Catholic theology, he does not attempt to support it by Catholic authority, or to propose it to be held by any one after he has come to the Church. It is solely the view which private reason takes of the phenomena in the case, and for those who, as yet, can use only "reason in things of faith." The general design of the author is to show that reason, taking Christianity as a fact in the world's history, which it must do, and exercising itself fairly and candidly on the phenomena presented by its history, must, on the principles of the inductive philosophy, come to the conclusion that the Roman Catholic Church of to-day is the true historical devel­opment, continuation, or representative of the Church of the Apostles, and therefore, in her communion, if anywhere, gen­uine Christianity is to be sought and found. But his Oxford friends, though prepared to admit that this conclusion seems warranted by the general historical phenomena in the case, yet contend that there are certain special phenomena which are, after all, irreconcilable with it. The special theory is designed to be an explanation of these special phenomena, and to show that they do not militate against the conclusion warranted by the general phenomena presented, confessedly in favor of communion with Rome. It is a theory, therefore, specially intended for and adapted to these Oxford friends, Puseyites, or Tractarians, as they are denominated, that is, specially intended to prepare the members of the school within the bosom of Anglicanism, which the author had founded, to follow him into the Roman Catholic Church, into which he had resolved to enter.

Christianity is a fact in the world's history. This fact is to be met and accounted for in some way, and all the general phenomena exhibited by it, all the general reasons and pre­sumptions in the case, prove that it is divine, and point us to the Roman Catholic Church as its true historical representation. But there are persons out of the Catholic communion who, while they admit this, find, nevertheless, certain variations and discrepancies of doctrine, discipline, and worship in the history of that Church, which, in their view, are insuperable obstacles to entering her communion. Here is the special difficulty to be solved. Now, grant the fact of the variations and discrep­ancies ; but suppose the Church, suppose her to be placed in the world, suppose her to be placed there to be active, to exert a controlling influence, and to subject to herself the minds and hearts of men, individuals and nations, religion and politics, science and art, public and private life ; suppose her designed to do this, with a divine energy indeed, but after a human mode, in accordance with the present constitution of human na­ture, and without altering or changing any of its essential laws ; - suppose this, and these variations and discrepancies are but the necessary incidents of the process she must institute and carry on, are only what we should naturally have anticipated, only what we must suppose the Founder, if we suppose him to have been divine, must have contemplated and provided for, and therefore, instead of being objections to entering the communion of Rome, they are really only so many arguments in favor of her being the true Christian communion.

Here is the special argument of the book, and, if allowable, it is certainly an argument not to be treated as of slight impor­tance. Supposing it to be admissible, it is not only ingenious, not only profound, but is really a discovery of great value, - one of the most important contributions to polemical theology that can be conceived. It not only solves the objections of our adversaries, but converts their very objections into conclu­sive arguments against them,-vanquishes them on their own ground and with their own weapons. But whether admissible or not, it would have been no special affair of ours, if it had been regarded only as the argument of a man outside of the Church, addressed to his companions ; for then it would have been solely a matter between him and them, to be disposed of by themselves without our interference. But when the argument, as was the fact, is charged upon us as one which Catholics use or intend to use, or when it is assumed by some Catholics themselves as one we may use, the aspect of the case changes, and we are compelled to inquire, whether it be or be not com­patible with Catholicity; for we cannot use an argument for Catholicity which involves the denial of Catholicity. Neither Mr. Newman nor his friends deny or wish to deny this. Mr. Newman did not feel himself bound to teach Catholic theology, but he did understand very well that his theory would be inad­missible for the purpose he urged it, if it was incompatible with that theology, and hence he refers to Moehler, De Maistre, and some other recent Continental writers, - men, by the way, of no high authority, - who he supposes have asserted it, or something similar to it. Is the theory, then, which supplies this new argument compatible with Catholic teaching ? This question forces itself upon us, and, under the circumstances, we are as much bound to entertain and answer it as we should have been, if the Essay on Development had been the work of a Catholic doctor.

It is evident that the argument presupposes not merely the fact of developments, - Mr. Newman's name for the variations and discrepancies alleged, - but their necessity in the nature of the case. Hence, in his Essay, he spends his principal force in proving this necessity. Two questions, then, arise : - 1. Have there actually occurred the variations and discrepan­cies of doctrine, - for we waive discipline and worship,- as alleged by Protestants and conceded by Mr. Newman ? 2. Is the assertion of the necessity a priori of developments, that is, variations and discrepancies of doctrine, compatible with Catholic faith and theology ? Unless both of these questions can be answered in the affirmative, the author is not at liberty to suggest his theory, his argument is fallacious, and can only mislead those who are without, - give them, at best, only a spurious Catholicity. We have answered both questions in the negative ; we have denied the fact of the developments or variations alleged, as not historically proved or provable, as not acknowledged by approved Catholic doctors, and as con­tradicted by the Church, who uniformly through her Councils and Sovereign Pontiffs asserts the invariability of the faith ; and we have denied the second, because it contradicts the as­sertion of the invariability of doctrine, because it is in opposi­tion to the ground hitherto uniformly assumed by our divines in their controversies with Protestants, and because it makes Christian doctrine, not the revealed truth, but simply a human view of it, thus reducing, by Mr. Newman's own confession, Christian doctrine to the level of heresy and human philosophy. No answer has been given, nobody, as far as we have seen, has attempted to give an answer, to these reasons, and, till an­swered, they are undeniably conclusive.

But in denying both the fact and the necessity of develop­ment, what is it we have denied ? Development is a word of vague and uncertain import. It may be the predicate of many subjects, •- true of some, false of others ; and it may be used, and by Mr. Newman and his friends actually is used, in several very different senses. We have not denied it of every thing pertaining to Christianity ; we have only of Christian doctrine, that is, of the material object of faith, and we have not denied it even of this in every possible sense. We have not denied or thought of denying the power of the Church to make new definitions of the faith, new explications of doctrine, as occasion demands, nor, in the sense of raising to the rank of formal faith what has heretofore been only material faith, have we denied, nor could we without asserting a condemned prop­osition deny, her power to establish even new articles of failh. What we have denied is the power of the Church to found or institute new articles of faith, or to define as of faith any thing which has not always been materially of faith, and the denial of which has not always been, at least, material heresy, al­though not always, for all persons, culpable heresy. This we have done on the ground that the Church does not make the law, does not create the obligation to believe, but simply de­clares it.    What we have asserted is, that the material object of faith is all the revclata deposited by our Lord through his Apostles with the Church, and nothing else ; and what we have denied is, simply, that any thing can be defined of faith, or be­come of faith, not formally included in the number of those revelata, that is, not in the depositum. We have denied what we understand Mr. Newman and his friends to maintain, that doctrines not included in the depositum, not originally revealed, but springing up from the pious feeling or meditation of the faithful, or from the speculations of human reason about re­vealed truths, may be defined de fide, although previously to being defined they are mere speculations, opinions, pious thoughts or feelings.

The Dublin Revieio reasons against us as if we denied that any thing can be denned of faith which has not always been formally of faith, or which it was not always formal heresy to deny ; and objects, that our doctrine denies that the Church can, for instance, rule the pious belief of the Immaculate Con­ception of the Ever-blessed Virgin, entertained now by all the faithful, to be of faith ; but it has no right to do this. All we say is, the Church can define to be of faith nothing which has not been materially of faith from the beginning ; for she is infal­lible, and nothing is materially of faith which is not of Divine revelation and handed down to us as such from the Apostles. The only question with regard to the pious belief of the Im­maculate Conception, in our view of the case, is, whether it is or is not an Apostolic tradition, and included in the depositum ? If it is, the Church can define it to be of faith ; if it is not an Apostolic tradition, she cannot. Which is the fact we know not, and cannot know till the Church herself informs us. This she will do when she judges it necessary or proper, and that is enough for us. In the mean time, we take the belief as we find it, and hope we are behind none of our brethren in cherish­ing it in the sense and within the limits permitted. We are too young a Catholic to take it upon us to instruct the Church, to tell her what we do or do not wish her to do. We are satis­fied to await her commands, and, in the mean time, to pray, as she permits us, - Regina sine labe concepta, ora pro nobis !

But things may be immediately or mediately, explicitly or implicitly, formally or only virtually, revealed, and The Dublin Review reasons against us as if we maintained that nothing can be of faith which is not immediately and explicitly revealed. This is not correct. We have maintained no such doctrine. We have simply denied that what is only virtually revealed, as the property in the essence, is of faith or can be of faith, be­cause it is easy to conceive that Almighty God could reveal the one without revealing the other, and one may deny the property without intending to deny the essence. Hence, with the generality of our theologians, we have denied that mere theological conclusions are of faith, and must do so, or else deny all distinction between faith and the science of theol­ogy. Theological conclusions are discursively obtained from premises, one of which is certain by the supernatural light of faith, the other by the natural light of reason. It is a princi­ple of logic, that the conclusion always follows the weaker premise, -
"Pcjorcin sequitur semper conclusio partem."
Consequently, these conclusions follow the premise from reason and are simply truths of reason, not revealed truths ; therefore neither are nor can be of faith, - for they want the formal rea­son of faith,-prima veritas revelans.

Yet among theological conclusions, commonly so called, we may distinguish between those in regard to which the premise from reason is causative, and  those in regard to which it is merely applicative or interpretative.    The latter we have con­ceded may be of faith, which is as much as we can gather from Vasquez,  Suarez, and others who are supposed to maintain the contrary opinion.     But even the admission, that the first class of theological conclusions, theological conclusions strictly taken, are of faith, concedes nothing in favor of the develop­ment we have denied.    If such conclusions are not of faith, then, certainly, no developments ; but if they are of faith, it does not necessarily follow that there are developments.    We lose, indeed, an argument against developments, but our friends obtain no argument for them.    The number of such conclu­sions   is limited by the nature of the case, and they all may have been known by the Apostles and explicitly handed over to their successors.    If they are of faith, or, in the language of the developmentists, can be " ruled of faith," it is some evi­dence that they were so,'-that there is no one of which we can say that it was unknown in the age immediately succeeding the Apostolic, or which, for the simple reason that it is such con­clusion, can be said to have been formally defined to be of faith by the Church.

But we are supposed to maintain that the whole faith has always been explicit, and that the Church can declare nothing to be of faith which has not been explicitly believed from the beginning by all the faithful. But this statement is too strong. A large portion of the faith is never explicitly believed by all persons, and even with many who are not ranked with the simple, much of it is believed only implicitly. Also dogmatic facts and things which had not yet happened in the time of the Apostles are to be excepted. It is of faith that Christ died for me, because I am included in all men, and that Christ died for all men is explicitly revealed. But that he died for me could not have been explicitly believed before I was born. Hence, in the application of the faith to new facts which come up in the Church's history, there is, as Suarez maintains, a growth of faith, in the sense of some things becoming explicit which were at first only implicit. But, save what is included in these exceptions, we have maintained that the whole faith has been from the first explicitly held, believed, and taught by the Church.

The Dublin Review concedes this to be true as far as re­gards the deposit of faith ; but it maintains that the deposit did not include the whole faith, or, in other words, the Apostles did not hand over to their successors the whole material object of faith which they themselves had received. It will search long before it finds any respectable authority for so singular an opinion. The Apostles were commanded to teach all things whatsoever our Lord had committed to them, and we are not at liberty to believe that they proved recreant to their trust. We must have the express testimony of the Church herself, before we can permit ourselves to believe that the de­posit of faith was incomplete, and left by the Apostles to be completed by development. If it is conceded that what was handed over as the faith by the Apostles to their successors has always been explicitly held, believed, and taught by the Church, all is conceded, we apprehend, that is1 objected to only.

We have, as Catholics, something more to maintain than the infallibility of the Church in defining propositions of faith, or judicially declaring the faith on obscure or disputed points, that is, her authority and infallibility as judge in controver­sies of faith. We must also maintain her fidelity to her solemn trust to teach all things whatsoever have been committed to her. To be unfaithful or to fail here would be as incompatible with her indefectibility as it would be to err in deciding a matter of faith or morals. She cannot wrap up in a napkin the treas­ure she has received, and bury it in the earth ; for she has received it not merely to preserve, but to use for her Master's glory. Her office is to teach, and to teach the whole ; and how in the world could she transmit the whole faith down to us, if she should neglect to teach certain portions of it ? Where would remain that portion of the faith not taught ? How could she be said to retain it ? Where would she find it, nay, how could she find it, without a new revelation, when needed to condemn new errors and heresies ? She must teach the whole, or not preserve the whole, and there is no implicit teaching. Whatever is taught is and must be explicitly taught.

But we do not maintain, as is evident from what we have said, that the whole faith is explicitly taught to every one of the faithful; nor, indeed, that the whole is explicitly known by every one even of the pastors of the Church. There may be a point on which this pastor is imperfectly instructed, or even misinformed ; another on which that pastor is not fully or rightly instructed ; but there can be no one on which all the pas­tors, or the pastors taken as a body, are at any time imperfect­ly instructed or misinstructed. Otherwise, the infallibility of the Ecclesia dispersa could not be asserted. It may often happen, too, that in particular localities, owing to causes which it is not necessary here to specify, the tradition of faith on certain points may, for a time, become obscure, or even lost, but it never can become so for the whole Church, or the Church as one teach­ing body, - especially for the Church of Rome, mistress and mother of all the churches. Thus, the African churches seem, in the time of St. Cyprian, to have lost the tradition of the va­lidity of baptism conferred by a heretic. But the Church re­tained it, not implicitly only, but explicitly, as we know from St. Stephen. In this way are to be explained most of the phe­nomena relied on by the developmentists. The facts in the case prove always, that, though unknown in this particular locality or by this particular individual, misapprehended here or by this one, the truth is never unknown or misapprehended in the Church as a whole, and therefore the Church, in order to make it known or to present it truly, has not to develop and elaborate it, - has only to define anew what she has always held and proposed.

Again, in contending that the whole faith has always been explicitly held, believed, and taught, we do not contend that every point has always been distinctly held, believed, and taught.    Faith may be explicit, and yet not distinct; that is, the whole faith may be immediately apprehended by the mind, and explicitly known to be faith, without its several propositions being distinguished, or apprehended in their distinction from and relation to each other. Hence the definitions which the Church makes contra errores insurgentes^ though they do not render explicit the faith which was before implicit, may often render distinct what before was indistinct. Implicit faith is faith which, though implied in what is immediately appre­hended, is not itself thus apprehended ; but indistinct faith is immediately apprehended, is the immediate object of mental apprehension, as truly so as that which is distinct ; but it is not distinguished from other propositions also immediately appre­hended. When we stand on the beach and listen to the roar of the ocean, we actually hear the sound of each particular wave which goes to make up the total sound ; but we do not distinguish the sound of each from the sound of the others. So is it with the faith. Heresies and errors which arise from time to lime draw the attention of the Church to particular points, and, in proposing the truth against them, the Church renders the faith more distinct and definite on those points than it was before, and, no doubt, the faithful can more clearly and distinctly apprehend it afterwards than they did or could previ­ously. It is thus that faith gains, in process of time, as St. Vincent of Lerins says, in evidence, clearness, and dis­tinctness, and to this gain heresies and errors, no doubt, contribute. Development of the faith in this sense we do not deny.

But even here we must be on our guard lest we go too far. The obscurity and indistinctness cleared up or removed by the new explications or definitions which the Church from time to time makes through her Sovereign Pontiffs and General Coun­cils must not be lightly assumed to have existed from the be­ginning, nor can we always affirm that the faith on the points defined had never, previously to the definition, been clearly and distinctly apprehended. The obscurity and indistinctness may have been occasioned by errors which have arisen on matters not immediately pertaining to faith, and darkened the minds of many, rendered the faith, which was before clear, obscure, which was before distinct, confused, and the definition only re­stores the faith to its former clearness and distinctness. Thus, Pallavicini tells us that " all the Holy Council of Trent pro­posed to itself was to restore the faith which had become ob­scure by error to its pristine splendor," and the Holy Council itself says as much. Indeed, we have met with no instance, in our theological reading, of a new definition by the Church, which was demanded for any other reason than to remove error and obscurity on points which had once been clearly and dis­tinctly apprehended.

It seems to us that there is at the present time among many, from whom we should expect better things, a disposition to underrate the attainments in sacred science of the early Fa­thers ; that the popular doctrine of progress has affected too many minds that should have been proof against it, and able to detect its falsity. The early Fathers were not the weak and ignorant creatures we moderns are too apt to fancy them. They were, even humanly speaking, the great men of their times, and their times were remarkable for great and even excessive intellectual cultivation. They lived, too, near the sources ; they had been instructed by Apostles, or Apostolic men ; and no man can read the fragments of their works which time has spared without feeling how much clearer, more vivid, and more loving were their views of Divine truth than are ours. We are, till we recall the wonders of grace, astonished at the grandeur, at the breadth and depth, of their views, the richness, variety, and precision of their statements. We feel how little we are in comparison with them, and that we become great simply in learning even a small portion of what they knew.

Undoubtedly, we may detect in the ante-Nicene Fathers ex­pressions not safe or proper to be used -after the Arian and other controversies arose ; but this is no evidence that their views were inexact and their apprehension of the Divine mysteries was imperfect. Their language, at the time they used it, and in relation to the persons to whom they addressed it, may have been the best fitted to instruct and edify, on the topics they were treating, of any they could have chosen. Every age, as well as every nation, has its own language, which, though perfectly adapted to its own wants, becomes in­appropriate and liable to mislead when transported to another. Consubstantial was an unsafe word when the Sabellian contro­versy raged ; it became the appropriate symbol of the faith when the Arian controversy came up. It becomes again, not unsafe, but inadequate, now, when we have, as the rising error, the old Eutychian heresy, under a novel form, and are obliged to defend, not the consubstantiality of the Son to the Father, but the radical distinction between the human and the Divine. The novel heresy concedes that " the Son is consubstantial to the Father," but adds, "and so are all men." There can be no doubt of the faith of the Church on this point, but we should look in vain in the symbol for a precise and formal condemna­tion of this blasphemous heresy, or the exact and formal state­ment of its precise contradictory. Hence it is that the Church has often to vary her expressions and to adopt novel terms to condemn novel errors ; but who from this concludes that she opposes to the error a novel faith, or that she only imperfect­ly apprehended her own faith before the error appeared ?

It may often happen, also, that learned and saintly men may continue to use the terms to which they have been accustomed a long time after, by the rise of novel errors, they have ceased to be accurate, and that, too, without any impeachment of the completeness, soundness, or exactness of their knowledge of the sacred mysteries. Such men are, in general, more en­gaged in the practice of truth than in the detection of errors of which they have not heard, and it may well happen that an error has stolen in unawares, has spread, and exerted no little influence, before they are fully apprised of its existence, or judge it worthy of attention. The great theologians of the Church, the learned and heroic souls, whom after ages are to venerate as saints, to whom it belongs in the providence of God to defeat Satan and his legions, and to triumph over error, are seldom the first to detect the approach of the error, and to sound the alarm. Men of smaller minds, less learning, less piety, less chanty it may be, are the ones to do this, and they may be these, not because they better know the faith, but simply because they have had more familiarity with error, and live habitually nearer its confines. We could easily illustrate what we assert by examples which have come under our ob­servation, but it is unnecessary.

Considerations like these are amply sufficient to account for the inaccuracies of language charged against some few of the ante-Nicene Fathers, and which are adduced as proofs that the sacred mysteries, during the ante-Nicene period, were only im­perfectly developed and only imperfectly apprehended. The notion, that the faith, save in the respects we have expressly excepted, is better understood by us moderns than it was by the Christians of the martyr-age, - those Christians who lived so near the time when our Lord himself tabernacled among men in the flesh, who had such rich abundance of grace, who were so firm in tfoeir faith, so fervent in their piety, so heroic in their constancy, who bore the Cross in triumph over Pagan art, philosophy, refinement, and superstition, and planted it on the Capitol of the world, - seems to us a gross insult to the memory of the Saints, and to proceed from an overweening con­ceit of ourselves, and base ingratitude to those to whom, under God, we owe it that we are not now ruthless barbarians, quaff­ing the blood of our enemies in honor of Wodin or Thor. Far more to the purpose, than to propagate such a notion, would it be for us to study to know our faith as well as they knew it, and to ask them to pray God for us, that we may have the grace at least to try to imitate their heroic virtues. They who rate highest the sacred science possessed by the Fathers will show the most gratitude and come nearest to the truth.

That the Apostles could not have communicated the whole faith explicitly to their successors without these successors being specially inspired to receive it, as is pretended by the developments, is a position which cannot be seriously de­fended for a moment by any one who does not confound faith with the Gnosis of the Alexandrians, or with the theological science of the Schoolmen. The Apostles had the whole clear-ly^and distinctly in their own minds, and could far more easily and in a much shorter time communicate it to their hearers, than our modern professors of theology can to their seminarians. It was far less labor for their pupils to receive it, and treasure it up in their memories, than it is for us learn it now, when we have to spend far more time and thought in refuting error, in examining false systems, and meeting the objections of adver­saries, than in learning the faith itself, - what is not to be be­lieved, than in learning what is to be believed. This is suffi­cient ; for we have never pretended that the faith, as the con­tradictory of error, was as well known in the beginning as it is now, or that the Apostles instructed their successors how to refute all the objections which the craft, the ingenuity, or the malice of men might raise through all coming time against their faith. Yet even here, in what is not faith, but theology, per­haps, were we to inquire, or if we had the means of inquiring, we should find that we have made, save as to method, but small progress since the Apostolic age. But does any body pretend that the answers of theology to objections, or the solu­tions of difficulties and illustrations of obscure points offered by theologians, are inspired ? Do the developmentists ask us to prove that these are not and cannot be " ruled "of faith ?
These remarks are all we wish to add to what we have be­fore said. It would not be difficult to account for the error of our English friends, if that entered into our purpose. They have neglected to draw a sharp line of distinction between faith and theology, and seem to us to confound what the ancients called the Gnosis, or Science of God, built up by speculation and meditation on the foundation of faith, with faith itself. In this science there may have been, for aught we know, developments, and certain it is that most of the errors and heresies which disturbed the Church for centuries originat­ed in the attempt to construct it, and to know more of God than he has chosen to reveal. But of this we have had noth­ing to say. Whether, in the way the Christian Alexandrians attempted to complete their science of God, any advance was or was not made, we leave without the expression of an opinion ; for all that was developed or added in this way is evidently distinguishable from faith. It was never, as Moehler, in his essay on The Unity of the Church, tells us, included in the symbol, and by it the Christian perfects, not Christianity, but himself.* (footnote: " It is, then, true to say that the Christian seeks not to perfect Chris­tianity, but by Christianity to perfect himself; he who will do the one must renounce the other." -De PUnit6 de VEglisc, Bruxelles, 1839, chap. 4, p. 124. We cite the French translation of this work, for we have been unable to procure it in the original German. This, we believe, was the first work published by the learned author of Symbolism. It is not re­garded as orthodox, which is the reason, perhaps, why The Dublin Revieiu does not cite it; but it is clear to us that it is the work which has contributed more than any other to the theory of development; and it should be read by every one who would understand Mr. Newman's Essay. It is precisely the work, half speculative and half mystical, to captivate an erudite and philosophical mind in transiiu from Protestantism to Catholicity. Yet even in this work, in which the author goes decidedly for development, and seems to hold it essential to the perfect Christian, he takes care not to confound the developed with the revealed truth, or the perfection effected by the developments with the perfection of Christianity itself. He nowhere holds, with Mr.Newman, that development is neces­sary to complete the faith, to fill up its gaps, or to provide us with additional dogmas; but contents himself with representing it as neces­sary to complete the life of the Christian, or to realize subjectively the complete life of faith, - a doctrine to which we do not object, for it means, in plain English, only the practical application of faith to our entire life, or the conformity of our entire, life to the faith. Under the strange disguises in which our German friends delight, we often find only an old and familiar acquaintance, and sometimes an old and valued friend. We have cited this work of Moehler as good authority for us against the theory of development; but it cannot, from its acknowledged unsound-ness, be cited as authority against us.--end of footnote)
But, in conclusion, we will say, in justice to Mr. Newman and his friends, that the whole responsibility of this unsound and uncatholic theory, as we hold it, does not belong to them. It has for some time been floating about in the minds, and showing now and then a feature of itself in the writings, of some Catholics, for several years ; and  we had observed decided tendencies towards it in more than one quarter, and had even expressed ourselves in our Review against it, before the ap­pearance of Mr. Newman's Essay.     It was this tendency to the theory already existing in many minds, no doubt, that pre­vented a general reclamation against the Essay on Develop­ment, and, we may add, which made it peculiarly dangerous. If we have made the  Essay  the occasion of discussing the theory of development,  it has been solely because  in it the theory has for the first time assumed a definite shape, a tangible form, in which it could be seized and handled.    Yet the fact that it was already floating about in Catholic quarters, or that some Catholics were indicating a tendency towards it, must be taken as no slight excuse for our Oxford friends ; and since this fact already existed, it was well that Mr. Newman published his Essay.    It has brought the matter to a head, and placed the theory fairly before the Catholic public.    We have given our views of it, and the grounds on which we justify them.    It is for the proper authorities to decide who is right, who is wrong. We have no fears that the decision will be against ourselves ; but, if it is, we have nothing to do but to retract, to give up error for truth, to say we have been wrong and are sorry for it; which is no great hardship.