The Greatest Writer of the 19th Century » Brownson's Writings » The Two Brothers; or, Why are you a Protestant? No. 3

The Two Brothers; or, Why are you a Protestant? No. 3

Brownson's Quarterly Review, July, 1847

Art. I.  The Two Brothers ; or,   Why are you a Prot­estant ?  Continued.

VII. Only a few days elapsed before John, finding his brother apparently at leisure, pressed him to redeem his promise.

" You are prepared, brother, by this time, I presume, to undertake your vindication of the Reformers, and to prove that • they were sound lawyers and rigid reasoners."

" The Church has so spread out her claims over every thing, that it is hard to construct an argument against her, which does not apparently take for granted some point which she contends is the point to be proved ; but the devil, though cunning, can be outwitted."

"What!  by heretics ?"

" Protestants are not heretics."

" The Church is in possession ; and since Protestants break away from her and contend for what she declares to be con­trary to the faith, they are at least presumptively heretics, and are to be treated as such, unless they prove the contrary."

" The Church is in possession de facto, not de jure. She is a usurper."

" Possession de facto, we have agreed, is primd facie evi­dence of title. The Reformers were, therefore, as we have seen, bound either to admit it, or show good and valid reasons for questioning it."

" True ; but they showed such reasons."

" So you have said, but you have not told me the reasons themselves."
" I gave you as one of those reasons, the fact that our Lord founded no such church as the Romish."

" But that was a reason you could not assign, because the simple fact of the existence of the Church in possession was prima facie evidence to the contrary."

" I offered to prove my position from the word of God."

" But could not, because the Church was in possession as the keeper and interpreter of the word, and you could not adduce it in a sense contrary to hers without begging the question."

" I have the word as well as she, and it interprets itself."

" That you have the word, or that it interprets itself, you were not able to prove. Moreover, the argument may be re­torted. The Church has the word as well as you, and the word interprets itself. She alleges that the word is against you, and her allegation, at the very lowest, is as good against your position as yours is against hers."

" I deny her infallibility."

" Do you claim infallibility for yourself ? "

" I claim infallibility for the word of God."

" That is what logicians call ignorantia elenchi. But do you claim infallibility for your own private understanding of the word ? "


" Then you are fallible, and may fall into error?"

" I do not deny it."

" The Church, at the very worst, is only fallible, and therefore, at the very worst, is as good as you at the very best, for at the very best you are not infallible. Consequently, your allegations of what is the word of God can never be a sufficient motive for setting aside hers. Nothing, then, which you can adduce from the Scriptures, even conceding you all the right to appeal to them you claim, can be sufficient to invalidate her title. As she, at worst, stands on as high ground as you can even at best, her simple declaration that the word of God is in her favor is as good as any declarations you can make to the contrary. The proof, then, which you offered to introduce, would have availed you nothing, even if you had been permitted to introduce it."

" I do not admit that. I offered to prove, and I am able to prove, from the Holy Scriptures, that our Lord founded no such church as the Romish."

" It is certain that you can introduce no passage of Scripture which expressly, in so many words, declares that our Lord founded no such church. If, then, you can prove it from the Scriptures at all, you can prove it only by means of the interpretations you put upon the sacred text. But, at any rate, and on any conceivable hypothesis, the Church has as much right to interpret the sacred text as you have, and her interpretations have, to say the least, as high authority as, granting you all you ask, yours can have. But she interprets the word in her favor, and, according to her interpretations of the word, it is clear and undeniable that it is in her favor, and that our Lord did found such a church as she claims to be. Since, then, your interpretations can never be a sufficient mo­tive for setting aside hers, for they at best can be no better than hers at worst, it follows necessarily that you can never, under any supposable hypothesis, prove from the Scriptures against her, that our Lord did not found such a church as she assumes to be. All this I could say, even waiving the argu­ment from prescription. But I do not waive that argument. You have conceded that the Church was in possession. She is, then, presumptively what she claims to be. Then her inter­pretations are presumptively the true interpretations, and yours against her presumptively false. For you to say, then, that no such church was ever instituted, is a plain begging of the question, and so is every argument you can construct against her, drawn from the Holy Scriptures."

" But I may disprove the claims of the Romish Church by proving positively that some other church is the one actually founded by our Lord."

" Unquestionably ; but you cannot plead at one and the same time an adverse title, and that no such title was ever is­sued. If you plead that there was no such church ever insti­tuted, you are debarred from pleading an adverse title ; for you plead that the Church has no title, because none was ever issued. If none was ever issued, there can be none in an adverse claimant. On the other hand, if you plead an ad­verse title, you concede, what you have denied, that our Lord did institute such a church as the Catholic Church claims to be ; that the title she possesses has been issued and vests somewhere. This changes the whole question. There is no longer any controversy between us as to the fact whether our Lord did or did not found a church in the sense alleged, but simply a question whether it be the Roman Catholic Church or some other."
" Grant that our Lord did found such a church as is pre­tended,  and I believe in the Holy Catholic Church as well as you,  still I deny that it is the Romish Church."

" You join a new issue, then, and plead now, not no title, but an adverse title ? "

" Be it so, for the present."

" And what is the adverse claimant you set up against Rome?"

The Church of which, by God's grace, I am an unworthy minister."

" That is to say, the Presbyterian ? "

" Yes. The Presbyterian Church is the visible Catholic Church, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salva­tion."

u So says the Westminster Confession of Faith. But which Presbyterian church do you mean ? "

" I do not understand you."

" There are, you know, brother, quite a number of Presby­terian churches ; for instance, in Scotland, the Kirk by law established, the Free Kirk, and the Seceders ; in this country, the Old School, the New School, and the Cumberland Pres­byterians ; in England, the Presbyterian Dissenters, for the most part Unitarian ; and on the Continent, the Dutch Re­formed, the Reformed German, the Genevan, and the French Huguenots, all virtually Presbyterian churches, and very gen­erally fallen into Socinianism, Rationalism, Deism, or Tran­scendentalism. Which of these, not to mention several others, is the one you mean ?"

"It is not necessary to particularize ; I mean the Presby­terian Church in general."

" Do you include even those who have become Socinian, Rationalistic, Deistical, Transcendental ? "

" It is to be regretted that in many of the old Presbyterian churches grievous, and, as I hold, damnable, errors have crept in."

" But are those which have lapsed into these damnable er­rors still integral portions of the Presbyterian Church ? Do you claim the English Presbyterians, the Genevan, and French ?"

" The Church is never free from error, taken as a whole, but there are always in the Church a remnant who are faithful, and somewhere in it there is always the pure preaching of the word, as well as the maintenance of the true ordinances of God's house."

" You forget that you have just conceded that our Lord did found such a church as the Roman Catholic claims to be ; but the Roman Catholic Church claims to have authority from God to teach, and to teach everywhere, and at all times, one and the same doctrine, free from all admixture of error."

" I do not forget what I have conceded. I say, in the lan­guage of the Westminster Confession of Faith, that ' the purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error ; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth to worship God according to his will.'"

" But this does not relieve you, for it says positively the purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error. Then there is no church not liable to error and corruption. Then, whatever your Presbyterian Church may claim, it does not claim, even as the Church, to be able to teach infallibly ; therefore does not even claim to be such a church as the Roman Catholic claims to be. Consequently she cannot be set up as an adverse claimant. The title she claims is not the title the Catholic Church claims, and therefore, if established, does not necessarily negative hers. If, then, you concede that our Lord did found such a church as the Roman Catholic Church claims to be, you must concede that it is not the Presbyterian."

" Not at all; for does not the Confession say, ' Neverthe­less, there shall be always a church on earth which shall wor­ship God according to his will' ?"

" True ; but this either amounts to nothing, or it contradicts what you have just alleged. If it means that there shall always be on earth a church which teaches God's word infallibly, then it is false to say that the purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; but if it means that the church which worships God according to his will is not free from mixture and error, it amounts to nothing, for it proposes no church claiming to be what the Catholic Church claims to be, since it is undeniable that she claims to teach without the least mixture or error."

" But one may be subject to error, and yet not err in fact. The Church is not exempt from the liability to err, but there is always a portion of it which, as a matter of fact, does not err."

What prevents it ? "
" The grace of God ; for God will not suffer the gates of hell wholly to prevail against his Church."
" Very well ; but is the Church, what your Confession calls the ' visible Catholic Church,' herself always preserved by this grace from error ? and if so, can she be said to be sub­ject to error ? "

" The visible Catholic Church consists of all those persons throughout the world who profess the true religion, together with their children. There is always a portion of these who are, through grace, preserved from error ; and therefore there is always a church or body of worshippers who worship God according to his will. In some periods the number of these is very small, in others it is large."

" But you do not answer my question. Individuals may err, particular branches of the Church may fail ; but does the Church, the teaching and judging authority of the Church, in matters of faith and morals, ever err ? "

" Individual members and particular churches may err, but God always preserves some individuals who do not err, who are witnesses for him in the darkest and worst of times. Con­sequently, the whole Church never falls into error."

" But your Confession declares the visible Catholic Church to be a kingdom. Jesus Christ, it says, ' hath erected in this world a kingdom, which is his Church.' Now to a kingdom it is essential that there be a supreme authority. There may be provincial and communal governments with local authority, customs, and usages, but they must all be subordinated to one supreme central authority, or else you have not one kingdom, but as many separate kingdoms as you have separate local gov­ernments. The kingdom erected by our Lord is one, not many, and therefore must have somewhere, somehow consti­tuted, a supreme central authority, from which all the subordi­nate authorities derive their authority, and to which they are responsible. This supreme central authority is, in the case of the Church, the Church teaching and governing, and is what is specially meant by the Church, when speaking of its fallibility or infallibility. Now my question is, whether the Church her­self, that is, the supreme central authority from which all the particular and local authorities are derived, is subject to error, or by grace rendered infallible."

" I know no such authority as you speak of but that of Jesus Christ himself, who is the head and husband of the faithful, and he of course cannot err."
" You admit that the Church is a kingdom ? "


" And a kingdom erected in this world?"

"I do."

u And that where there is no supreme central authority there is no kingdom ?"

" There must be such authority, but it may be in Jesus Christ, who is the invisible head of the Church."

"It is the authority that constitutes the kingdom, not the
kingdom the authority ; for prior to the authority, the king­
dom is not. The authority and kingdom must be in the same
order. If, then, the kingdom is in the visible order, the au­
thority which makes it a visible kingdom must be in the visible
order, and therefore itself be visible. You could not call
Great Britain or France a visible kingdom, if one or the other
had no visible supreme authority. The most you could say
would be, that there is an invisible kingdom in Great Britain
or France, not that either is itself a visible kingdom. So of the
Church. If it is a visible kingdom, it must have a supreme visi­
ble authority ; if not, it is not a visible, but an invisible kingdom.
The individuals might be visible as individuals, but not as mem­
bers of the Church, or subjects of the invisible authority. In
such case, the distinction your Confession makes, and which
you contend for, between the visible Church and the invisible,
would be a distinction without a difference. When, therefore,
you tell me, as you do in your Confession, that the visible
Church is a kingdom in this worlds you necessarily tell me that
it has in this world a supreme visible central authority. And in
point of fact, Presbyterians themselves do recognize such au­
thority ; for they regard their Church as a polity, and it has its
constitution, its officers, its supreme legislature, and supreme ju-
dicatory. If not, what means the General Assembly, which
' represents in one body' all the particular churches of the Pres­
byterian denomination, and to which belongs ' the power of de­
ciding in all controversies respecting doctrine and discipline ; of
reproving, warning, of bearing testimony against error in doc­
trine, or immorality in practice, in any church, presbytery, or
synod ; of erecting new synods when it shall be judged neces­
sary ; of superintending the concerns of the whole Church ;
of suppressing schismatical contentions and disputa­tions,' &c, and to which every candidate for ordination must promise obedience and subjection ? "

" There is a supreme visible government of the Church, under God, I. admit."
" Under God ; and who ever dreamed of a supreme gov­ernment of the Church over God ? "

" The Papists."

"Nonsense ! Do you not know that Catholics hold Jesus Christ to be the supreme invisible Head of the Church, and that they call the Pope his vicar ? If the Pope is the vicar of Jesus Christ, how can he be above him ? God is supreme, the sovereign of sovereigns, and there is no power not from him and subject to him. So no more of this nonsense. But you hold the Church to be a kingdom or polity, do you not ? "

"I do."

" And as such it has its government, its supreme author­ity ; for if not, it is no kingdom or polity."

"Be it so."

" Now, what I ask is, Does this supreme authority, such as it is in the Presbyterian Church, claim to be infallible in all that concerns faith and morals ? "

" It does not."

" Then your plea of an adverse title amounts to nothing ; the title you allege is not the negative of that claimed by the Church. The title she claims is that of an infallible teacher of God's word ; the title you set up is that of a fallible teach­er, which you may well be without prejudice to her claim ; for you can claim to teach fallibly without denying her claim to teach infallibly."

" But were I to grant this, it would not follow that the claim of Rome must be conceded."

"Not from this fact alone ; but as you have conceded that the title was issued, and must vest somewhere, in some one, it follows necessarily that it vests in the Roman Catholic Church, if it vests in no one else. And as she is in posses­sion, you must concede it to her, unless you can produce and establish an adverse title."

" The Greek Church has as good a title as the Romish."

" That is not to the purpose. The Greek Church has either a valid title, or none at all. It is not enough to say that she has as good a title as the Roman Church ; you must say she has a perfect title, or say nothing."

" I say, then, she has a perfect title."

" Then she is the Church of God. Why, then, are you not of her communion ? "

" That is neither here nor there. You have no right to con­clude any thing to her prejudice from my practice. I may be inconsistent.    What then ? "
" But she condemns you, and has solemnly anathematized every one of your doctrines, with a single exception, in which you depart from the teachings of the Roman Church."

"Be it so ; what then ? That may prove that we Protes­tants are wrong, but not that she is wrong, or you right."

" Moreover, she does not even claim to be the One Holy Catholic Church, and to have the supreme central authority-over the whole body of the faithful throughout the world. She does not pretend to unchurch the Church of Rome, or even that the Roman Church does or ever did owe subjection to her. She admits, even to this day, the Roman Catholic Church to be truly the Church of Christ in what was origi­nally the patriarchate of the West, that the Pope is the legiti­mate patriarch of the West, and rightfully exercises patriar­chal authority over that patriarchate. She does not claim and never has claimed for herself the title she denies to Rome. She denies the supreme authority over the whole Church claimed and exercised by the Pope, not because she claims the supremacy for herself, but because she denies that any such supremacy was conferred on any one in the original con­stitution of the Church. She is, then, no adverse claimant, and in all essential respects, except this one, she concedes virtually, if not expressly, the title claimed by Rome, at least so far as it is now in question. So you cannot get an adverse claimant in the Greek Church. Tndeed, when you have once conceded that our Lord founded such a church as the Roman claims to be, you must concede that the Roman is that church, for there is no other that even claims to be it."

" That is hardly true. The Anglican Church claims to be it."

" The Anglican Church, as well as your own, puts on lofty airs, and she now and then tells us gravely that she is Catho­lic,  not Roman, but Catholic,  and lets off her double bat­tery of popguns on the one hand against Rome, and on the oth­er against Presbyterians, Baptists, Congregationalists, Method­ists, &c. ; but she has not courage enough to claim to be the Catholic Church in its unity and integrity. She claims, at most, to be only a branch of it, which implies that the root and trunk are elsewhere ; and she does not even pretend that the supreme visible central authority she obeys or exercises is the supreme visible central authority of the whole Church of Christ. Moreover, she confesses that she is fallible, that she has heretofore erred grievously in doctrine and manners, and may err again. Her claim, therefore, is not the same as that of the Roman Church, and her title is not, strictly speaking, an adverse title. So you can succeed no better with her than with the Greek Church, or than with your own."
VIII. " But you told me the other day," replied James, after a short pause, " that the essential character of the Romish Church is, that she claims to have received a divine commission or authority to teach, or to keep and declare the word of God."

" To keep and expound or teach the word of God, I grant; but I conceded this only so far as concerned the special controversy in which we were engaged, as I then told you. Nevertheless, I admit now that the essential claim of the Church is, that she has been divinely commissioned or author­ized to teach the word of God."

" Then you must concede that any other church claiming to be divinely commissioned is an adverse claimant."

" Divinely commissioned to teach, granted."

" Then it is not true that there is no adverse claimant against Rome, as you so confidently assert; for, in point of fact, the Greek Church, the Presbyterian, and the Anglican each claims for itself to be divinely commissioned."

" The Greek Church claims the commission for herself in no sense in which she does not concede it to Rome, and there­fore is not an adverse claimant. The Presbyterian and An­glican Churches do not in reality claim it at all; for both deny the fact of a divine commission in denying the infallibility of the Church."

" But to deny the infallibility is not necessarily to deny the divine commission of the teacher ; and, therefore, not to claim the infallibility is not to fail to claim the commission."

" The commission in question is the commission to teach, and must be the warrant of infallibility in the teacher, unless God can authorize the teaching of error."

" That proves too much. All the teachers of your Church, you hold, are divinely commissioned ; but you cannot hold that each is infallible ; for, if you should, you would be obliged to hold that Luther himself did not err, since, as is well known, lie was at first a Romish doctor."

" The teachers of the Church are all divinely commissioned to teach in communion with and in subordination to the Sov­ereign Pontiff, the successor of St. Peter, I admit, and so long as they so teach, they teach infallibly ; but when they break away from that communion, and assume to be independent teachers, they are fallible ; for then they have no divine com­mission."

" Is there any of these teachers, taken individually, who may not break from that communion, and assume to be an inde­pendent teacher ? "

" No one except the Pope himself."

" What, then, is your warrant that your particular teacher does not err ? "

" The fact that he teaches in communion with and in subor­dination to the Sovereign Pontiff."

" So the Pope is his voucher ? "

" Communion with the Pope."

11 Who vouches for the Pope ? "

" The divine commission, which gives him, as the successor of St. Peter, plenary authority to teach and declare the word of God."

"If the Pope should fail, your whole Church might fall to the ground."

" Not necessarily ; but the Pope cannot fail, because he is divinely commissioned. As the successor of St. Peter, he inherits the authority of St. Peter, and the promise made to him,  ' Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' The Pope, therefore, since he has the promise of God, cannot fail, unless God himself can fail, which is not supposable."

" But your argument, nevertheless, proves too much ; for all legitimate civil governments are divinely commissioned, and yet no man can pretend that they are infallible."

" Commissioned to govern, but not to teach or declare the word of God. There is a difference between the commission to govern and the commission to teach. Teaching has refer­ence to the conscience, to the internal act of the man ; govern­ment only to external acts. The teacher is commissioned to teach the truth ; government is commissioned simply to control and direct the external acts for the general good, according to the rules of prudence ; and to attain its end, it is not essential that it should be able to propose measures which are abso­lutely in all and every respect the wisest and the best; nor is it necessary, in order to believe it for the general good, and to obey all its commands, that the subject should believe it in­fallible, or that it can never err in any one of its measures.   He can obey an unwise order, and it may be for the general good that sometimes he should do so. But the end of teaching is the proposition and belief of the truth. All teaching is in order to truth. If the teacher be fallible, the end of teaching is not secured ; for he may propose, and I may believe, on his proposition, what is not true. The commission is authority from God to teach, and a command to those the teacher is commissioned to teach to believe as the truth, and noth­ing but the truth, what he teaches. If fallible, then, he may propose and I believe, on divine authority, what is false ; and then God may authorize the teaching and the believing of falsehood,  which cannot be ; for he is infinitely true, and can neither be deceived nor deceive, which would not be the fact, if he could authorize the teaching or the believing of false­hood. Therefore, the divine commission to teach  and it is only of the commission to teach that I speak  must ne­cessarily be the warrant of infallibility in the teacher."

" Though the divinely commissioned teacher be assumed to be infallible, the commission is not itself necessarily and essen­tially a warrant of his infallibility."

" To the full extent of the matter covered by the com­mission it is, you yourself do and must admit."

" I do not admit it. A commission, by the simple fact that it is a commission, does no such thing ; for a government may commission an ambassador, and yet that ambassador may mis­represent its will and intention."

" Commissions in general may not, but the divine commis­sion to teach does. Human governments have no power to secure the infallibility of their ministers ; but you cannot say this of God.    He can make his ministers infallible."

" He can ; but it does not therefore follow that he does."

"I have shown that he must, because he cannot authorize either the teaching or the believing of error, without contra­dicting his own nature, which is infinitely and essentially true ; and that he does, to the full extent of their commission to teach, you yourself do and must hold, or give up all belief in external revelation."

" Not at all."

" Why do you believe our Lord was the Son of God ? "

" Because he himself so declared."

" Why do you believe his declarations ? "

" Because he was the Son'of God, and could not lie."

" A good reason, after it is proved that he was the Son of God ; none at all before."
" I believe him because the miracles he performed proved that he was from God ; for no man could do the miracles he did, unless God were with him."

" Was from God, that is, sent or commissioned by God as a teacher, but not that he was God."

" The miracles proved him to be God. He raised the dead, and none but God can raise the dead."

" None but God can raise the dead as efficient cause ; but men as instrumental cause may raise them, as is shown by the fact that the apostles and many of the saints have raised the dead. How, then, from the miracle alone conclude that our Lord raised the dead, not as instrumental cause, but as efficient cause ? "

" The efficient cause was the divine power."

" Granted. But the divine power inherent in Jesus, as his own proper power, or the divine power merely displayed on the occasion of his saying to the dead, Arise ? Moses smote the rock, and the water gushed out. Was it Moses, or God who stood behind Moses, that caused the water to flow from the rock ?"

" God who stood behind him."

" So, for aught the miracle itself says, it may have been, not Jesus himself, but God who stood behind him, that caused the dead to live. The miracle does not prove the proper Divinity of our Lord. It only proves that he was sent from God, and that God was with him, and displayed his almighty power at his word."

" Very well."

" The miracles having proved that our Lord was from God, that God sent him and was with him, you therefore believe what he said. He said he was the Son of God, and there­fore you believe he was the Son of God, and therefore God himself."

"Be it so."

" The miracles, then, simply proved his divine commission, that is, accredited him as a teacher sent from God. But how from the fact of his commission conclude the truth of what he said, if the divine commission be not the warrant of infalli­bility ? If one who is divinely commissioned to teach, not­withstanding his commission, may err, how can you say that our Lord himself did not err, and that you do not err in believing him to be the Son of God ? Indeed, it is only on the ground that the divine commission is the warrant of infallibility, that your profession of faith in the Bible as the infallible word of God is not ridiculous and absurd."

"The sacred writers were inspired,.but the divinely com­missioned teachers you speak of are not. Being inspired, they could know the truth of what they affirmed 'and being honest and godly men, they would not affirm what they did not know."

" That is nothing to your purpose. The inspiration was nothing more nor less than God simply telling or communi­cating to them what they were to teach, and they have in this respect no advantage over the Church, in case she be fully in­structed as to what she is to propose as the word of God. If instructed, it matters not, as to her ability to teach, whether instructed by immediate inspiration to herself, or only me­diately through that of the prophets and apostles. She claims to have been fully instructed, for the commission under which she professes to act was,  ' Going, teach all nations ; 
teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com­manded you.'1  St. Matt, xxviii. 19. The alleged defect of immediate inspiration in her case, or its presence in the case of the sacred writers, can, therefore, of itself, be no reason for believing one in preference to the other. The real reason for believing the sacred writers is, that God authorized them to teach ; and you have the same reason for believing the Church, if you have equal reasons for believing her authorized by God to teach his word. The commission is a warrant of infallibility in her case, as much as it was in theirs."

" But you forget that I gave as my reason for believing the sacred writers, that they were honest and godly men, and would not affirm what they did not know."

" You, then, consider the personal character of the teacher better authority than the divine commission ? This is a com­mon Protestant blunder, and hence the worthlessness of the greater part of your treatises on the evidences of Christianity. God's authority for believing is not sufficient till man indorses it ! The best men are fallible, and may be deceived. If we had nothing but the personal characters of the sacred writers on which to rely, honest and godly as they certainly were, we should have no sufficient reason for believing what they wrote to be the Word of God, Their personal character may be impor­tant when the question turns on their credibility as witnesses to the facts they record, but does not enter into the account when the question is on their authority as teachers of revealed truth.  No man's personal character is a sufficient warrant for be­lieving that any thing he asserts to be a doctrine of revelation is really and truly a doctrine of revelation. If it were, we should be obliged to believe whatever any man, whose char­acter, so far as we know, is honest and irreproachable, chooses to teacli as the word of God. How, then, can you maintain that the personal character of the teacher is a surer warrant of infallibility than the divine commission ? "

" The simple fact that the sacred writers were honest and * godly men may not be alone a sufficient reason for believing them, yet, if they had been bad men, that would alone have been a sufficient reason for not believing them.    For God does not and will not speak by bad men."

" That is not so certain. Balaam, the son of Peor, was a bad man ; yet God spoke by him, and caused him to utter a glorious prophecy. I)o you believe his prophecy on his per­sonal character, or because divinely commissioned teachers have told you that it was not he who spoke from himself, but the Lord who spoke by him ?"

"I believe the sacred writers because God authorized them to teach his word, and the Holy Ghost was with them to ena­ble them to teach it, and to preserve them from error in teach­ing it."

" Is not the assistance of the Holy Ghost, so far as needed, necessarily implied in the commission or authority to teach ? "

" If the commission were the warrant of infallibility, it would be so implied ; but that is precisely what I deny."

" No man can teach infallibly without it ? "


u But with it any man can teach infallibly ? "

" Perhaps so."

" No perhaps about it. It must be so positively, or you cannot assert the infallibility of the sacred penmen."

" God leaves the will free ; any one who has the assistance may teach infallibly, if he chooses ; but it does not therefore follow that he must and will so teach."

" In what concerns personal morality, natural or Christian, the will is free ; but in teaching at the command of God, it is not. The individual speaks not as moved by his own will, but as moved by the Holy Ghost. Thus, Balaam was forced against his will to bless Israel, and to utter a prophecy he did not intend, and which he was unwilling to utter; for it was against his interest, and he loved the wages of iniquity.    Thus, too, the prophet Jonas sought to run away from the Lord, and not to preach as commanded to the Ninevites, but the Lord brought him back by a miracle, and forced him to utter his word. Moreover, if the matter depended on the human will, the teachings of no human teacher, however authorized and assisted by the Holy Ghost, could ever be regarded as infalli­ble ; because no one could ever know whether the teacher spoke as moved by the Holy Ghost, or merely from his own proper motion. In vain, then, would you claim to have in the Bible the infallible word of God. Nay, you have yourself just said, the Holy Ghost enables the teachers to teach the word, and preserves them from error in teaching it."

" In the case of the sacred writers, not of all men."

" For all men have not the assistance of the Holy Ghost to teach the word of God, nor are all commissioned to teach it ; but if it be what you define it, any one who has it must be able to teach, and be preserved from error in teaching, and there­fore must teach the word infallibly."

" Be it so."

" But the divine commission does not necessarily imply this assistance ? "

"No, it does not; therefore, I admit the infallibility of the sacred writers specially, and not of divinely commissioned teachers in general."

" What is the significance of the divine commission to teach the word of God ? "

" It authorizes the one who receives it to be a teacher of God's word, but does not necessarily enable him to teach it infallibly."

" So one may have authority from God to teach his word, and yet not have the ability to teach it in the only sense in which God can authorize it to be taught! What, then, means the authority ?"

" Why, it is authority to teach."

" Unquestionably, but what is that ? "

" He who has it is authorized to speak or teach in the name of God."

" That is, to propound the word of God, not in his own name and on his own authority, but in the name and on the authority of God ? "

" Yes, it means that he is empowered to teach with divine authority."

"Can any thing but truth be taught with divine authority ? "

" God cannot authorize the teaching of error ? "

" No ; for that would be the same as to teach it."

" Then no one not able to teach the truth, and not preserved from error in teaching it, can be said to teach by divine au­thority ? "

"So it would seem."

" You say that for God to authorize the teaching of error would be the same as for him to teach it ? "

"I do."

" And on the principle that what is done by another's au­thority, it is virtually that other that does it ? Thus, what the agent does by the authority of the principal is held to be done by the principal himself, who is responsible for it. What an ambassador does by the authority of his government is done by his government. Consequently, what one does by the au­thority of God is done by God himself, and the responsibility rests on him, and not on his agent. So what one teaches by divine authority is taught by God himself, and God is re­sponsible for it. No one can, then, be divinely commissioned to teach what God may not himself teach immediately, and for which he will not hold himself responsible."

" I do not deny it."

" Can God teach or be responsible for error, or for any thing but truth ? "

" He cannot."

" Then he can authorize no one to teach any thing but truth ? "

" He cannot."

" Then he who is divinely commissioned can teach nothing but truth ?"

" Apparently so."

" He who can teach nothing but truth is infallible, is he not ? "

" So it would seem."

" Then the divine commission is, as I have said, the warrant of infallibility, and as one cannot be infallible without the as­sistance of the Holy Ghost, it necessarily implies that assist­ance. Consequently, the claim to the divine commission to teach the word of God is necessarily and essentially the claim to infallibility in teaching, and therefore to the assistance of the Holy Ghost, so far as needed to enable the teacher to teach the word, and to preserve him from error in teaching it. Is it not so ? "

" I have been accustomed to think differently, but let it pass."

" Then my position, that the essential claim of the Church is that she teaches the word infallibly, is not different from the one I assumed the other day, when I declared it to be the claim to the commission to teach, or that she had the word of God and was its legal keeper and expounder ? "

" Be it so."

" Then you produce no adverse claimant, since you pro­duce none that even pretends to be able to teach the word in­fallibly."

" Very well."

" But in pleading an adverse title, you conceded that the title was issued, and vests somewhere ; or, in other words, that there is and must be somewhere such a church as the Roman claims to be. Now, as you do not and cannot produce an adverse claimant, you must concede that she is what she claims to be; therefore ihe Church of God ; and therefore that you and all who make war upon her are rebels and traitors to God. Is it in this way you propose to vindicate the Reformers ? "

Poor James was misled by his Protestant theology, which makes every thing pertaining to religion a sham. Thus, justi­fication is with it, not making one just, but reputing him just,  a forensic, not an inward, intrinsic justification. It is no real justification at all, but a mere make-believe justification, to say nothing of the blasphemy of representing God as account­ing or reputing a man just who is intrinsically unjust,  for it leaves the man as foul a sinner as he was before he was jus­tified. So in the matter of the divine commission to teach, this same theology teaches that one may have the commission, be authorized by God to teach, and yet not teach infallibly, as if God could authorize the teaching of a lie ! A queer thing is this Protestant theology ! Well may its authors and ad­herents boast themselves the lights of the age !

This notion, that the authority does not necessarily imply the ability to teach, is the source of much of that prejudice which exists in the Protestant community against all claims to au­thority from God to teach his word. There is a general feel­ing among the great majority of intelligent Protestants, that there can be no divine authority to teach where there is not the ability to teach ; and seeing nowhere among themselves any teacher who has the ability, they very naturally conclude that no one has the authority. It is absurd, say they, to sup­pose that God authorizes a man like ourselves to teach, a man who knows no more than we do, and is no better able to teach than the rest of us.    When the Catholic speaks to them of the commission of his Church to teach, and that God gives her authority to teach all nations, they turn up their noses, and ask us, if we suppose they are such fools as to believe that God, the common Father of us all, has given to mortals like our­selves authority to teach us, and commanded us to yield up our own reason and judgment to our fellow-men !

Now, probe the matter to the bottom, and you will find that these people object by no means to the idea that God may authorize men to teach his word, but simply to the notion that the authority can exist where the requisite qualifications to teach are wanting. Their real objection is to the doctrine which Mr. James Milwood attempts to maintain, that teachers confessedly fallible as teachers may nevertheless be divinely commissioned to teach. They object, not to the Catholic doc­trine of authority, but to the Protestant. To really God-commissioned teachers, that is, teachers who, in their judg­ment, have the intrinsic ability to teach truly and infallibly the word of God, they do not object, as is evident from their ten­dency to Hero-worship, and their common remark that he who is able is divinely commissioned. Read Carlyle, Emerson, the Transcendentalists generally, and you will find that it is always to the notion of authority without the intrinsic ability that they object, and that wherever they fancy the ability they are ready to concede the commission. They err in making the ability the warrant of the authority, instead of making the commission the warrant of the ability ; yet they are right against Protestantism, and perceive a great and essential truth which old-fashioned Protestantism denies, namely, that the au­thority and the intrinsic ability to teach are inseparable, and that any authority separate from the ability cannot be con­ferred by God, and is therefore a usurpation. To one who is familiar with the Protestant community, and who comprehends its more recent developments of thought, it is evident that Protestants are very generally growing tired and sick of sham and shamming. They are rapidly becoming unable to satisfy themselves with a religion which is no real religion, but a mere make-believe religion. They cry out from the depths of their hearts for something real, for something which is, not merely seems. They see that the Reformers built on mere seeming, and taught and acted a lie,  gave them hollow appearances, and no solid realities, at best, the mere hull without the kernel,  a symbol symbolizing nothing,  a mere pretence ; and they grow indignant, turn away in disgust, and say, " Give us something real, something that is, if it be but the devil; for any thing that is is better than nothing seeming to be some­thing. If your religion is a mere sham, call it a sham and away with it ; for the oldest gospel is, that a lie is a lie, and no truth. Stop lying, stop seeming, and begin to be." So deep is this feeling of the hollowness of all Protestant pretensions, and so strong is the craving for something real, that it has al­most become one of the cants of the day.

It is true, that, knowing no religion but the Protestant, they to whom we refer conclude rashly that Catholicity is also a sham, also a mere hollow pretence, and that no religion is real but that of nature. But in this they draw a conclusion quite too broad for their premises. The Church detests Protestantism as heartily as they do, and, in most cases, for like reasons. She detests it because it is outward, lifeless, empty, and no living reality; because it contains nothing solid, substantial, has no bottom, but is bottomless, like the pit from which it is an exhalation, and into which, as the religious atmosphere clears up, it subsides. She condemns with all her energy whatever is mere pretence or make-believe. She tolerates no empty forms, no insignificant rites, no vain ceremonies. She will and can approve nothing which is not real, solid, substantial. She teaches the doctrine of the "Real Presence, and always presents the very reality she symbolizes. She can call no man justified who is not intrinsically just, and recognize no teacher as teaching by divine authority who does not teach God's word infallibly. If these people would turn their atten­tion to her, they would soon find the truth and reality for which their hearts cry out; for, to say the least, grace is not less true and real than nature.

IX. " Unquestionably," at length James replied, " there is no other church which makes the same specific claim as the Romish, and if my plea of an adverse title is to be taken as a concession that God has founded such a church, I of course must concede that she is it, and that the Reformers cannot be justified."

" I have not confined you to her specific character; I have only restricted you to her generic character, to what she must absolutely be, if a church at all, with divine authority to teach."

" Well, let that pass. I made the concession, not absolute­ly, but provisorily;  since, as you well know, I do not and cannot, as a Presbyterian, admit that our Lord ever founded, specifically or generically, such a church as the Romish claims to be, and which is no church of Christ, but a synagogue of Satan."

" Then you retract your plea of an adverse title, and re­voke your concession? "

" I do."

" Very well ; as I have no wish to take advantage of your mistakes, you may do so.     What do you plead now ? "

" The Romish Church is corrupt, and by her corruptions has forfeited her title to be the Church of God."

" That is your original plea, which you withdrew for the sake of pleading that no title was ever issued, or, in other words, that our Lord had founded no such church as she claims to be. You will remember that you cannot plead at one and the same time the forfeiture of title, and that no title ever ex­isted. A title which never existed cannot have been forfeited. The allegation, that the Church has forfeited her title, concedes, then, that the title originally existed, and was hers. Am I to understand you as meaning to concede that our Lord did origi­nally found such a church as the Roman claims to be, and that she was originally that church ? "

" Not at all. I do not admit that such a title as she claims ever existed."

" You deny, then, that our Lord ever founded such a church as she claims to be, that is, a church with authority from him to teach."

" I do."

" But she is in possession as such a church, and possession is prima facie evidence of title. If, then, you allege that no such title ever existed, the burden of proof is on you. But you cannot prove that no such title ever existed, as you learned in our conversation the other day. Moreover, you have just alleged forfeiture of title, which concedes that the title origi­nally existed and was vested in the Church of Rome. You cannot now deny that it ever existed."

u I admit a title once existed, and was vested in her, though not such a title as she claims ; and when I say that she has forfeited her title, I mean not that she has forfeited such a title as she now claims, but such a title as she originally had."

" That is nothing to the purpose.    But what was that title ? "

" I have told you already, in declaring that she has forfeited her title to be the Church op God.    I do not deny that the Church of Rome was once a pure church, but I contend that she is now corrupt, and no longer God's Church, or any por­tion of it."

" But the pure Church, the Church of God, is either such a church as the Roman claims to be, or a different church."

" It is widely different."

" Is the Church of God one, or many ? "

" Properly speaking, there is but one church, although the one church may be composed of many particular churches."

" But such must be the character of the particular churches as not to detract from the real unity of the whole ? "

" Granted."

" And this one church composed of many particular church­es is the church and the only church our Lord founded ? "

"It is."

" And it is widely different from such a church as the Roman claims to be ? "

"Certainly it is."

" Then you simply deny that our Lord ever founded such a church as the Roman claims to be, and merely reiterate the plea you have withdrawn."

" I do not care for that; I am not to be tied down by your arbitrary rules of special pleading. The Church of Rome was once pure. She then belonged to the Church of God ; she is now corrupt, and has forfeited her title. I do not say her title to be such a church as she pretends to be, but to be an integral part of the Church of God."

" She has degenerated from her original purity, and is now a' corrupt church ? "

" That is what I allege."

" But she is in possession as the pure and authoritative Church of God, and the burden of proof that she is corrupt is on you."

" I accept it, and am ready to prove her corruption."

"Corruption implies a change from a former or primitive state. You must know that state, or you cannot know that she is corrupt."

" She has corrupted the word of God ; she teaches the commandments of men for the pure word ; and has so dis­figured the original gospel of our Lord, that it can be no longer recognized in her teachings."

" That is for you to prove." 1 am ready to prove it.    Indeed, it needs no proof.    It is notorious.    The world admits it.    She has become a sink of corruption ; is full of all manner of uncleanness and filth."

" Words, brother; mere words. Pause a moment and take breath, and then proceed to the proof. When you tell me the Catholic Church is corrupt, has degenerated, you assume a primitive state from which she has fallen ; and it is only by comparing her present state with that primitive state, that you can determine that she has fallen from it. What, then, was that primitive state ? "

" I can show what it was from the Scriptures."

" They are not in your possession. You are not their legal keeper, and have no authority to expound their sense. You can therefore make no appeal to them against the Church who is in possession, and has, presumptively, the sole right to interpret them. She interprets them in her favor, and you are bound to presume her interpretations to be correct, till you can prove by a competent authority to the contrary. This competent authority you are not; for, on any conceivable hy­pothesis, at the very worst her authority is as good as yours can be at the very best. You must get a commission, or at least a presumptive commission, from Almighty God, as the legal keeper and expounder of the Sacred Scriptures, before you can prove any thing from them but your own arrogance and impudence."

" I can prove from the early Fathers that the primitive Church was essentially different from the present Romish Church."

" That is, you can prove it from early tradition ? "


" But the Church is in possession as the keeper and ex­pounder of primitive tradition, as well as of the Sacred Scrip­tures. She interprets it in her own favor, and from it proves that she conforms perfectly to the primitive model."

" But she misinterprets the Fathers."

" As a matter of fact, it is undeniable that the Fathers may without violence be interpreted as she interprets them, and that she rightly interprets them is to be presumed, till the con­trary is shown. Moreover, as her authority as the interpreter of primitive tradition, or of the Fathers, is at the worst equal to yours at the best, you have and can have no sufficient author­ity for setting her interpretation aside. So the appeal to primi­tive tradition will avail you no more than the appeal to the Scriptures ; and the fact that you have no authority to declare the sense of either debars you from all right to appeal to either against what she declares to be their sense."
" But she has corrupted the primitive faith."

" You cannot say that, unless you are authorized to say what the primitive faith was. She has presumptively the right to. declare that faith, and she declares that it was what she now teaches, and therefore she declares that she has not corrupt­ed it. You are bound to presume that she has not, and must prove that she has, before you can use an argument which as­sumes that she has. But what was the original faith which she has corrupted ?"

" There is a great number of doctrines which she has cor­rupted. It is not necessary to mention all. Take, for in­stance, the doctrine of justification. The primitive doctrine was, that man is justified by faith alone ; the Romish doctrine is, that man is justified by works."

" The Catholic doctrine is, that man is justified by faith and works, meaning thereby works done through grace purchased for us by the merits of our Lord ; but on what authority do you assert that the primitive doctrine was, that man is justified by faith alone ? "

" The Holy Scriptures."

" On what authority do you assert that the Holy Scriptures teach it ?"

" Why, they teach it."

" You either have authority for saying so, or you have not. But you have not, as is certain from the fact that you have no authority to keep and expound the Scriptures. Then you say it without authority. An assertion made without any author­ity is worthless, and not to be entertained. Here is the answer to every instance of corruption of doctrine you do or can al­lege. In confessing the fallibility of your sect, you have con­fessed that you have no authority from God to teach his word. Then you have no authority for declaring what was the primi­tive faith, and then none for saying that the Church has cor­rupted it."

" But the Romish Church has forfeited her title to be con­sidered the Church of God by authorizing superstition and idolatry, for evidently no church that authorizes these can be the Church of God."

" That is something to your purpose, and you will be en­titled to a judgment, if the evidence sustains you. You take now the only ground from which you can legitimately frame an argument against the Church. Every previous ground you have taken has been untenable, because it required the author­ity to maintain it which you were contesting, and which you had not, and were obliged to presume to be in the Church herself. You undertook to prosecute her under the law of grace, and failed for the want of a court of competent juris­diction. As she is presumptively the supreme court, un­der the law of grace, you could under that law institute no process against her ; for to every allegation you could make she had only to plead want of jurisdiction. The only possible way of prosecuting her is under the law of nature, and it is only by proving her to have violated some precept of that law, that you can obtain judgment against her. The law of nature falls, to some extent, under the jurisdiction of reason, and reason, to that extent, is its legal keeper and judge, and has the right to sit in judgment on its infractions. As the law of nature and that of grace both have the same origin, are enact­ed by the same sovereign Lawgiver, and as the latter con­fessedly presupposes the former and confirms it, it can never authorize what the former prohibits, any more than the former can authorize what the latter prohibits, unless we may suppose, what is not supposable, that God may be in contradiction with himself. The law of grace transcends the law of nature, but does not and cannot enjoin what it forbids. As super­stition and idolatry are undeniably forbidden by the law of nature, if you prove that they are authorized, or in any sense sanctioned, by the Church, you prove that she is not and can­not be the Church of God. But she does not authorize or sanction them ; she strictly forbids them. Thus, in her cate­chism for children she teaches the child to ask and answer :

" ' What is forbidden by this [the first] commandment?"

"'To worship false gods or idols; or to give any thing else whatsoever the honor which belongs to God.

" ' What, else is forbidden by this commandment?"

" ' All false religions; all dealings with the devil; and inquiring after things to come, or secret things, by fortune-tellers or super* stitious practices.  '

"' What else ?

" ' All charms, spells, and heathenish observation of omens, dreams, and such like fooleries.

" ' Does this commandment forbid the making of images?"

" ' It forbids making them so as to adore them ; that is, it forbids making them our gods.

" ' Does this commandment forbid all honor and veneration of saints and angels?"

 ' No, we are to honor them as God's special friends and ser­vants ; but not with the honor which belongs to God"
" ' And is it allowable to honor relics, crucifixes, and holy pic­tures ?"

"' Yes; with an inferior and relative honor, as they relate to Christ and his saints, and are memorials of them."

" ' May we, then, pray to relics and images?"

"'No, by no means; for they have no life or sense to hear or help us.'"
"Here is evidence enough that the Church denies your charge. The burden of proof is on you, and you must prove her guil­ty of superstition and idolatry."

" And I am ready to prove it. The Reformers charged her with idolatry, and we have never ceased from their day to reiterate the charge."

"But a lie, though a million of times repeated, is none the less a lie. Nobody disputes that Protestants have accused the Church of idolatry, but that is not to the purpose. You must prove your allegation."

" Why, you might as well ask me to prove that there is a sun in the heavens. All the world knows that the Church of Rome is sunk in the grossest idolatry and the foulest super­stition."

" Words, words, brother; give me the proofs."

" Proofs ! you need no proofs. The fact is undeniable, and nothing but the grossest impudence on the part of the Romish Church could ever dream of denying it."

" No advance in the argument, brother. Have you yet to learn that the unsupported assertions of a man who admits that he speaks without authority are not proofs ? Here is the Church, on the one hand, teaching her children, in the very first lessons she teaches them, to abhor idols and all super­stitious practices ; and here are you, on the other, accusing her of superstition, and that worst and most abominable species of superstition, idolatry,  she in possession and to be presumed to be the Church of God, and you presumptively a rebel against God, and a calumniator, till you make good your charge.    Prove, then, the charge, or withdraw it."

" The Reformers proved it, the greatest and best of our writers have asserted it; it is a question settled, res adjudicata. Has it not entered into history ? Do you not read it in the very elementary books for children ? Look at the great and enlightened State of Massachusetts ! she prohibits by law all sectarianism in her admirable system of schools, and the intro­duction into them of any books which show any preference for one religious denomination over another ; and yet she does not hesitate to permit the introduction of books which teach that Papists are idolaters and image-worshippers. Have we not, in every land where we have had the power, prohibited the Romish worship ? Why have we, the only friends of re­ligious liberty, why have we who have poured out our treasure and our blood to redeem the world from Papal tyranny and superstition, why have we done this, but for the reason that we have not dared tolerate superstition and idolatry ? "

" Why did the Jews, God's chosen people, through whom the Messiah was to come, and who were hourly expecting him and praying for his coming, crucify him between two thieves when he did come, but on the pretext that he had a devil and was a blasphemer ? Did the fact that they falsely accused him, and then crucified him on that false accusation, supported by false witnesses, render them the less guilty ?"

"Do you mean to say that so many great and good men, so many pure and holy men, the glory of their age, their coun­try, and their religion, have all conspired to bear false witness against the Romish Church ?    The thing' is incredible."

" More so than that the Jewish nation conspired to crucify their God ? I know nothing about your great and good men, your pure and holy men ; but I know that whoever accuses the Church of idolatry, or any species of superstition, utters as foul a lie as did the wicked Jews who told our Lord he had a devil, and that he blasphemed. No doubt, it is an /easy matter to prove the Church guilty, if all you have to do is to bring a false accusation, assume your own sanctity, and then conclude it must be well founded or you could not have made it. But your logic would be more respectable, if from the falsity of your accusation you concluded your want of sanctity. If the character of Protestants is a presumption against their con­spiracy to bring a false accusation, the character of Catholics is a still stronger jjSresumption against their having conspired to uphold and practise idolatry ; for the great and pure and holy men who have lived and died in the Catholic faith, granting you all you can pretend to, are as a thousand to one to those of Protestant communions. But you forget that I was brought up a Protestant, and that to talk to me of Protestant sanctity is ridiculous. I am acquainted with Protestants, and with what they facetiously call their religion. Our dear mother, too, was brought up a Protestant, a Presbyterian, and yet what did she tell me on her death-bed ?"
" What did she ? "

" No matter now ; but she did not die a Presbyterian."

" Did not ?    What mean you ? "

" Some day, I may tell you, but you are not now worthy to hear."

"Did my father know ?
" As much as you, and no more."

" Did any body know, but yourself ? "


" Do you mean to insinuate that a Popish priest was smug­gled into our house ? "

" O my wise brother, you do not know all things. Angels of mercy, messengers of grace, are sometimes sent even where the ministers of Satan fancy they do and can find no admis­sion. All things are possible with God, and nothing is too good for him to do for those who are obedient to his grace."

" Am I to understand that my mother on her death-bed re­nounced Presbyterianism, and became a Papist ? "

" She did not die a Presbyterian. You may recollect, that during the last week of her life she refused to see Mr. Grimface, her old Presbyterian pastor."

" True, and my father and I thought it strange ; but as we had no doubt of her being one of the elect, it gave us no great uneasiness. But there was no Romish priest within two hun­dred miles of us."

" I have no doubt that my mother died in a state of grace ; but more I will not tell you, till you prove or withdraw your charge against the Church."

" But why did not our mother tell us all, as well as you, of her apostasy ?"

" She knew both your father and you, and that, if she had told you, she would have been denied the last consolations of religion ; and after she had received them, there was no oppor­tunity, till she became unable to do so. But your charge,  prove or withdraw it."

" I will prove it, but you must excuse me now. Our con­versation has been long, and I am fatigued. But to-morrow, God willing, I will prove that the Romish Church is an idola­trous church."

" Be it so. But remember and prove it, or I shall require you to own that Protestantism"

"Is of the devil. I accept the alternative. If I fail to establish the  charge of idolatry and superstition against the Romish Church, I will consent that the Reformers be branded as calumniators, and that Protestants are and have been from the first acting under the delusion of Satan."

" See that you keep your word."

The brothers separated for the remainder of the day, and James, though pleading fatigue, betook himself to his library to look up his proofs and prepare for the morrow. He felt that all depended on the issue he had joined, and that, if he failed to justify his charge, he could no longer pretend to up­hold the Reformers. Hitherto his brother had kept him dis­cussing the law of the case ; but now he thought he saw a chance of entering upon its merits, and of introducing his witnesses. How he succeeded will be related in the next chapter.