ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH AND STATE, ACCORDING TO TH

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH AND STATE, ACCORDING T

Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:40 am

IDEA OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

THE practical conclusion from our enquiries respecting the organ and idea of the National Church, the paramount end and purpose of which is the continued and progressive civilization of the community (emollit mores nec sinit esse feros [Google translate: softens the manners and allows to be fierce]), was this: that though many things may be conceived of a tendency to diminish the fitness of particular men, or of a particular class, to be chosen as trustees and functionaries of the same; though there may be many points more or less adverse to the perfection of the establishment; there are yet but two absolute disqualifications: namely, allegiance to a foreign power, or an acknowledgment of any other visible head of the Church, but our sovereign lord the king; and compulsory celibacy in connection with, and dependence on, a foreign and extra-national head. We are now called to a different contemplation, to the Idea of the Christian Church.

OF the Christian Church, I say, not of Christianity. To the ascertainment and enucleation of the latter, of the great redemptive process which began in the separation of light from Chaos (Hades, or the Indistinction), and has its end in the union of life with God, the whole summer and autumn, and now commenced winter of my life have been dedicated. Hic labor, Hoc opus est, on which alone the author rests his hope, that he shall be found not to have lived altogether in vain. Of the Christian Church only, and of this no further than is necessary for the distinct understanding of the National Church, it is my purpose now to speak: and for this purpose it will be sufficient to enumerate the essential characters by which the Christian church is distinguished.

FIRST CHARACTER. -- The Christian Church is not a KINGDOM, REALM, (royaume), or STATE, (sensu latiori) of the WORLD, that is, of the aggregate, or total number of the kingdoms, states, realms, or bodies politic, (these words being, as far as our present argument is concerned, perfectly synonimous), into which civilized man is distributed; and which, collectively taken, constitute the civilized WORLD). The Christian Church, I say, is no state, kingdom, or realm of this world; nor is it an Estate of any such realm, kingdom or state; but it is the appointed opposite to them all, collectively -- the sustaining, correcting, befriending Opposite of the world! the compensating counterforce to the inherent [1] and inevitable evils and defects of the STATE, as a State, and without reference to its better or worse construction as a particular state; while whatever is beneficent and humanizing in the arms, tendencies, and proper objects of the state, it collects in itself as in a focus, to radiate them back in a higher quality: or to change the metaphor, it completes and strengthens the edifice of the state, without interference or commixture, in the mere act of laying and securing its own foundations. And for these services the Church of Christ asks of the state neither wages nor dignities. She asks only protection, and to be let alone. These indeed she demands; but even these only on the ground, that there is nothing in her constitution, nor in her discipline, inconsistent with the interests of the state, nothing resistant or impedimental to the state in the exercise of its rightful powers, in the fulfilment of its appropriate duties, or in the effectuation of its legitimate objects. It is a fundamental principle of all legislation, that the state shall leave the largest portion of personal free-agency to each of its citizens, that is compatible with the free- agency of all, and not subversive of the ends of its own existence as a state. And though a negative, it is a most important distinctive character of the Church of Christ, that she asks nothing for her members as Christians, which they are not already entitled to demand as citizens and subjects.

SECOND CHARACTER. -- The Christian Church is not a secret community. In the once current (and well worthy to be re-issued) terminology of our elder divines, it is objective in its nature and purpose, not mystic or subjective, i.e. not like reason or the court of conscience, existing only in and for the individual. Consequently the church here spoken of is not "the kingdom of God which is within, and which cometh not with observation (Luke xvii. 20, 21), but most observable (Luke xxi. 28-31)." -- A City built on a hill, and not to be hid -- an institution consisting of visible and public communities. In one sentence, it is the Church visible and militant under Christ. And this visibility, this publicity, is its second distinctive character. The

THIRD CHARACTER -- reconciles the two preceding, and gives the condition, under which their co-existence in the same subject becomes possible. Antagonist forces are necessarily of the same kind. It is an old rule of logic, that only concerning two subjects of the same kind can it be properly said that they are opposites. Inter res heterogeneas non datur oppositio, i.e. contraries cannot be opposites. Alike in the primary and the metaphorical use of the word, Rivals (Rivales) are those only who inhabit the opposite banks of the same stream.

Now, in conformity to character the first, the Christian Church dare not be considered as a counterpole to any particular STATE, the word, State, here taken in the largest sense. Still less can it, like the national clerisy, be opposed to the STATE in the narrower sense. The Christian Church, as such, has no nationalty entrusted to its charge. It forms no counter-balance to the collective heritage of the realm. The phrase, Church and State, has a sense and a propriety in reference to the National Church alone. The Church of Christ cannot be placed in this conjunction and antithesis without forfeiting the very name of Christian. The true and only contra-position of the Christian Church is to the world. Her paramount aim and object, indeed, is another world, not a world to come exclusively, but likewise another world that now is (See APPENDIX, A), and to the concerns of which alone the epithet spiritual, can, without a mischievous abuse of the word, be applied. But as the necessary consequence and accompaniments of the means by which she seeks to attain this especial end; and as a collateral object, it is her office to counteract the evils that result by a common necessity from all Bodies Politic, the system or aggregate of which is the WORLD. And, observe that the nisus, or counter-agency, of the Christian Church is against the evil results only, and not (directly, at least, or by primary intention) against the defective institutions that may have caused or aggravated them.

But on the other hand, by virtue of the second character, the Christian Church is to exist in every kingdom and state of the world, in the form of public communities, is to exist as a real and ostensible power. The consistency of the first and second depends on, and is fully effected by, the

THIRD CHARACTER

of the Church of Christ: namely, the absence of any visible head or sovereign -- by the non-existence, nay the utter preclusion, of any local or personal centre of unity, of any single source of universal power. This fact may be thus illustrated. Kepler and Newton, substituting the idea of the infinite, for the conception of a finite and determined world, assumed in the Ptolemaic Astronomy, superseded and drove out the notion of a one central point or body of the Universe: and finding a centre in every point of matter, and an absolute circumference no where, explained at once the unity and the distinction that co-exist throughout the creation by focal instead of central bodies, the attractive and restraining power of the sun or focal orb in each particular system, supposing and resulting from an actual power, present in all and over all, throughout an indeterminable multitude of systems -- and this, demonstrated as it has been by science, and verified by observation, we rightly name the true system of the heavens. And even such is the scheme and true idea of the Christian Church. In the primitive times, and as long as the churches retained the form given them by the Apostles and Apostolic men, every community, or in the words of a father of the second century, (for the pernicious fashion of assimilating the Christian to the Jewish, as afterwards to the Pagan, Ritual, by false analogies, was almost coeval with the church itself,) every altar had its own bishop, every flock its own pastor, who derived his authority immediately from Christ, the Universal Shepherd, and acknowledged no other superior than the same Christ, speaking by his spirit in the unanimous decision of any number of bishops or elders, according to his promise, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." [2]

Hence the unitive relation of the churches to each other, and of each to all, being equally actual indeed, but likewise equally IDEAL, i.e. mystic and supersensual, as the relation of the whole church to its one invisible Head, the church with and under Christ, as a one kingdom or state, is hidden: while from all its several component monads, (the particular visible churches I mean,) Caesar receiving the things that are Caesar's, and confronted by no rival Caesar, by no authority, which existing locally, temporally, and in the person of a fellow mortal, must be essentially of the same kind with his own, notwithstanding any attempt to belie its true nature under the perverted and contradictory name of spiritual, sees only so many loyal groups, who, claiming no peculiar lights, make themselves known to him as Christians, only by the more scrupulous and exemplary performance of their duties as citizens and subjects. And here let me add a few sentences on the use, abuse, and misuse of the phrase, spiritual Power. In the only appropriate sense of the words, spiritual power is a power that acts on the spirits of men. Now the spirit of a man, or the spiritual part of our being, is the intelligent Will: or (to speak less abstractly) it is the capability, with which the Father of Spirits hath endowed man of being determined to action by the ultimate ends, which the reason alone can present. (The Understanding, which derives all its materials from the Senses, can dictate purposes only, i.e. such ends as are in their turn means to other ends.) The ultimate ends, by which the will is to be determined, and by which alone the will, not corrupted, "the spirit made perfect," would be determined, are called, in relation to the Reason, moral Ideas. Such are the ideas of the Eternal, the Good, the True, the Holy, the Idea of God as the Absoluteness and Reality (or real ground) of all these, or as the Supreme Spirit m which all these substantially are, and are ONE. Lastly, the idea of the responsible will itself; of duty, of guilt, or evil in itself without reference to its outward and separable consequences, &c. &c.

A power, therefore, that acts on the appetites and passions, which we possess in common with the beasts, by motives derived from the senses and sensations, has no pretence to the name; nor can it without the grossest abuse of the word be called a spiritual power. Whether the man expects the auto de fe, the fire and faggots, with which he is threatened, to take place at Lisbon or Smithfield, or in some dungeon in the centre of the earth, makes no difference in the kind of motive by which he is influenced; nor of course in the nature of the power, which acts on his passions by means of it. It would be strange indeed, if ignorance and superstition, the dense and rank fogs that most strangle and suffocate the light of the spirit in man, should constitute a spirituality in the power, which takes advantage of them!

This is a gross abuse of the term, spiritual. The following, sanctioned as it is by custom and statute, yet (speaking exclusively as a philologist and without questioning its legality) I venture to point out, as a misuse of the term. Our great Church dignitaries sit in the Upper House of the Convocation, as Prelates of the National Church: and as Prelates, may exercise ecclesiastical power. In the House of Lords they sit as barons, and by virtue of the baronies which, much against the will of these haughty prelates, our kings forced upon them: and as such, they exercise a Parliamentary power. As bishops of the Church of Christ only can they possess, or exercise (and God forbid! I should doubt, that as such, many of them do faithfully exercise) a spiritual power, which neither king can give, nor King and Parliament take away. As Christian bishops, they are spiritual pastors, by power of the spirit ruling the flocks committed to their charge; but they are temporal peers and prelates. The

FOURTH CHARACTER

of the Christian Church, and a necessary consequence of the first and third, is its Catholicity, i.e. universality. It is neither Anglican, Gallican, nor Roman, neither Latin nor Greek. Even the Catholic and Apostolic Church of England, is a less safe expression than the Churches of Christ in England: though the Catholic Church in England, or (what would be still better,) the Catholic Church under Christ throughout Great Britain and Ireland, is justifiable and appropriate: for through the presence of its only head and sovereign, entire in each and one in all, the Church universal is spiritually perfect in every true Church, and of course in any number of such Churches, which from circumstance of place, or the community of country or of language, we have occasion to speak of collectively. (I have already, here and elsewhere, observed, and scarcely a day passes without some occasion to repeat the observation, that an equivocal term, or a word with two or more different meanings, is never quite harmless. Thus, it is at least an inconvenience in our language, that the term Church. instead of being confined to its proper sense, Kirk, AEdes Kyriacae, or the Lord's House, should likewise be the word by which our forefathers rendered the ecclesia, or the eccleti (Image') i.e. evocati, the called out of the world, named collectively; and likewise our term for the clerical establishment. To the Called at Rome -- to the Church of Christ at Corinth -- or in Philippi -- such was the language of the apostolic age; and the change since then has been no improvement.) The true Church of England is the National Church, or Clerisy. There exists, God be thanked! a Catholic and Apostolic church in England: and I thank God also for the Constitutional and Ancestral Church of England.

These are the four distinctions, or peculiar and essential marks, by which the church with Christ as its head is distinguished from the National Church, and separated from every possible counterfeit, that has, or shall have, usurped its name. And as an important comment on the same, and in confirmation of the principle which I have attempted to establish, I earnestly recommend for the reader's perusal, the following transcript from DR. HENRY MORE'S Modest Enquiry, or True idea of Anti-christianism.

"We will suppose some one prelate, who had got the start of the rest, to put in for the title and authority of Universal Bishop, and for the obtaining of this sovereignty, he will first pretend, that it is unfit that the visible Catholic Church, being one, should not be united under one visible head, which reasoning, though it makes a pretty shew at first sight, will yet, being closely looked into, vanish into smoke. For this is but a quaint concinnity urged in behalf of an impossibility. For the erecting such an office for one man, which no one man in the world is able to perform, implies that to be possible which is indeed impossible. Whence it is plain that the head will be too little for the body; which therefore will be a piece of mischievous assymmetry or inconcinnity also. No one mortal can be a competent head for that church which has a right to be Catholic, and to overspread the face of the whole earth. There can be no such head but Christ, who is not mere man, but God in the divine humanity, and therefore present with every part of the church, and every member thereof, at what distance soever. But to set some one mortal bishop over the whole church, were to suppose that great bishop of our spirit absent from it, who has promised that he will be with her to the end of the world. Nor does the Church Catholic on earth lose her unity thereby. Far rather hereby only is or can she be one. ["As rationally might it be pretended, that it is not the Life, the Rector Spiritus proesens per totum et in omni parte, but the Crown of the skull, or some one Convolute of the brain, that causes and preserves the unity of the Body Natural." -- Inserted by the transcriber.]

Such and so futile is the first pretence. But if this will not serve the turn, there is another in reserve. And notwithstanding the demonstrated impossibility of the thing, still there must be one visible head of the church universal, the successor and vicar of Christ, for the slaking of controversies, for the determination of disputed points! We will not stop here to expose the weakness of the argument (not alas! peculiar to the sophists of Rome, nor employed in support of papal infallibility only), that this or that must be, and consequently is, because sundry inconveniences would result from the want of it! and this without considering whether these inconveniences have been prevented or removed by its (pretended) presence; whether they do not continue in spite of this pretended remedy or antidote; whether these inconveniences were intended by providence to be precluded, and not rather for wise purposes permitted to continue; and lastly, whether the remedy may not be worse than the disease, like the sugar of lead administered by the Empiric, who cured a fever fit by exchanging it for the dead palsy. Passing by this sophism, therefore, it is sufficient to reply, that all points necessary are so plain and so widely known, that it is impossible that a Christian, who seeks those aids which the true head of the church has promised shall never be sought in vain, should err therein from lack of knowing better. And those who, from defects of head or heart, are blind to this widely diffused light, and who neither seek nor wish those aids, are still less likely to be influenced by a minor and derivative authority. But for other things, whether ceremonies or conceits, whether matters of discipline or of opinion, their diversity does not at all break the unity of the outward and visible church, as long as they do not subvert the fundamental laws of Christ's kingdom, nor contradict the terms of admission into his church, nor contravene the essential characters, by which it subsists, and is distinguished as the Christian Catholic Church.

To these sentiments, borrowed from one of the most philosophical of our learned elder Divines, I have only to add an observation as suggested by them -- that as many and fearful mischiefs have ensued from the confusion of the Christian with the National Church, so have many and grievous practical errors, and much unchristian intolerance, arisen from confounding the outward and visible church of Christ, with the spiritual and invisible church, known only to the Father of all Spirits. The perfection of the former is to afford every opportunity, and to present no obstacle, to a gradual advancement in the latter. The different degrees of progress, the imperfections, errors and accidents of false perspective, which lessen indeed with your advance -- spiritual advance -- but to a greater or lesser amount are inseparable from all progression; these, the interpolated half-truths of the twilight, through which every soul must pass from darkness to the spiritual sunrise, belong to the visible church as objects of Hope, Patience, and Charity alone.

_______________

Notes:

1. It is not without pain that I have advanced this position, without the accompanying proofs and documents which it may be thought to require, and without the elucidations which I am sure it deserves; but which are precluded alike by the purpose and the limits of the present tract I will, however, take this opportunity of earnestly recommending to such of my readers as understand German. Lessing's ERNST und FALK: Gesprache fur Freymäurer. They will find it in Vol. vii of the Leipsic edition of Lessing's Works. I am not aware of a translation. Mr. Blackwood, or I should say Christopher North, would add one to the very many obligations he has already conferred on his readers, (among whom he has few more constant or more thankful than myself) by suggesting the task to some of his contributors. For there are more than one. I doubt not, who possess taste to feel, and power to transfer the point, elegance, and exquisite, yet effortless precision and conciseness of Lessing's philosophic and controversial writings. I know nothing that is at once like them, and equal to them, but the Provincial Letters of Pascal. The four Dialogues, to which I have referred, would not occupy much more than a quarter of a sheet each, in ins magazine, which, in a deliberate and conscientious adoption of a very commonplace compliment, I profess to think, as a magazine, and considering the number of years it has kept on the wing -- incomparable -- but at the same time 1 crave the venerable Christopher's permission to avow myself a sturdy dissentient as on some other points, so especially from the Anti-Huskussonian part of his Toryism.

S.T. C.

2. Questions of dogmatic divinity do not enter into the purpose of this enquiry. I am even anxious not to give the work a theological character, it is, however, within the scope of my argument to observe, that, as may be incontrovertibly proved by other equivalent declarations of our Lord, this promise is not confined to houses of worship and prayer-meetings exclusively. And though I cannot offer the same justification for what follows, yet the interest and importance of the subject will, I trust, excuse me if I remark, that even in reference to meetings for divine worship, the true import of these gracious, soul-awing words, is too generally overlooked. It is not the comments or harangues of unlearned and fanatical preachers that I have in my mind, but sermons of great and deserved celebrity, and divines whose learning, well-regulated zeal, and sound scriptural views are as honourable to the established church, as their piety, beneficence and blameless life, are to the Christian name, when I say that passages occur which might almost lead one to conjecture, that the authors had found the words, "I will come and join you," instead of, "I am in the midst of you," -- (Compare 1. John, III. 24) -- passages from which it is at least difficult not to infer, that they had interpreted the promise, as of a corporal co-presence, instead of a spiritual immanence (Image Image ) as of an individual coming in or down, and taking a place, as soon as the required number of petitioners was completed! As if, in short, this presence, this actuation of the "I AM," (Image) were an after-consequence, an accidental and separate result and reward of the contemporaneous and contiguous worshipping -- and not the total act itself, of which the spiritual Christ, one and the same in all the faithful, is the originating and perfective focal unity. Even as the physical life is in each limb and organ of the body, "all in every part;" but is manifested as life, by being one in all and thus making all one: even so with Christ, our Spiritual Life! He is in each true believer, in his solitary prayer and during his silent communion in the watches of the night, no less than in the congregation of the faithful; but he manifests his indwelling presence more characteristically, with especial evidence, when many, convened in his name, whether for prayer or for council, do through him become ONE.

The fundamental principle, is the reconciliation of the opposites. We cannot choose one opposite over another. We must experience the relationship between the two and reconcile them into a higher synthesis. This does not mean to be in the middle. For instance, the proper balance between wealth and poverty is not the mathematical average between $1,000,000 and $1, i.e. $500,000. There are people who are poor at $1,000,000, others who are rich at $1. Reconciling the opposites is not that simple. It would be a great help if someone who has gone before us would describe the experience. What would he say of himself if he had reconciled the opposites? I AM the bread of life (John 6:35); I AM the light of the world (John 8:12); I AM the door of the sheepfold (John 10:7); I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11); I AM the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); I AM the way the truth and the life (John 14:6); I AM the true vine (John 15:1). "I AM" is the most powerful statement any person can make.

-- Reconciliation, Orientation and Unity, by Jack Courtis, Rosicrucian Archive, Kabala Series


I would that these preceding observations were as little connected with the main subject of this volume, as to some they will appear to be! But as the mistaking of symbols and analogies for metaphors (See Aids to Reflection, pp. 198, 254, G. 398,) has been a main occasion and support of the worst errors in Protestantism: so the understanding the same symbols in a literal i.e. phaenomenal sense, notwithstanding the most earnest warnings against it, the most express declarations of the folly and danger of interpreting sensually what was delivered of objects super-sensual -- this was the rank wilding, on which "the prince of this world," the lust of power and worldly aggrandizement, was enabled to graft, one by one, the whole branchery of papal superstition and imposture. A truth not less important might be conveyed by reversing the image -- by representing the papal monarchy as the stem or trunk circulating a poison-sap through the branches successively grafted thereon, the previous and natural fruit of which was at worst only mawkish and innutritious. Yet among the dogmas or articles of belief that contradistinguish the Roman Catholic from the Reformed Churches, the most important and, in their practical effects and consequences, the most pernicious, I cannot but regard as refracted and distorted truths, profound ideas sensualized into idols, or at the lowest rate lofty and affecting imaginations, safe while they remained general and indefinite, but debased and rendered noxious by their application in detail, ex. gr. the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, or the sympathy between all the members of the universal church, which death itself doth not interrupt, exemplified in St. Antony and the cure of sore eyes, St. Boniface and success in brewing, &c. &c. &c. What the same doctrines now are, used as the pretexts and shaped into the means and implements of priestly power and revenue, or rather, what the whole scheme is of Romish rites, doctrines, institutions, and practices in their combined and full operation, where it exists in undisputed sovereignty, neither repressed by the prevalence, nor modified by the light of a purer faith, nor held in check by the consciousness of Protestant neighbours and lookers-on -- this is question, which cannot be kept too distinct from the former. And, as at the risk of passing for a secret favourer of superannuated superstitions, I have spoken out my thoughts of the Catholic theology, so and at a far more serious risk of being denounced as an intolerant bigot, I will declare what, after a two years' residence in exclusively Catholic countries, and in situations and under circumstances that afforded more than ordinary means of acquainting myself with the workings and the proceeds of the machinery, was the impression left on my mind as to the effects and influences of the Romish (most un-Catholic) religion, -- not as even according to its own canons and authorised decisions it ought to be; but, as it actually and practically exists. -- (See this distinction ably and eloquently enforced in a Catholic work, intitled REFORMA D'ITALIA). This impression, and the convictions grounded thereon, which have assuredly not been weakened by the perusal of the Rev. Blanco White's most affecting statements, and by the recent history of Spain and Portugal, I cannot convey more satisfactorily to myself than by repeating the answer, which I long since returned to the same question put by a friend, viz. --

When I contemplate the whole system, as it affects the great fundamental principles of morality, the terra firma, as it were, of our humanity; then trace its operation on the sources and conditions of national strength and well-being; and lastly, consider its woful influences on the innocence and sanctity of the female mind and imagination, on the faith and happiness, the gentle fragrancy and unnoticed ever-present verdure of domestic life -- I can with difficulty avoid applying to it what the Rabbins fable of the fratricide CAIN, after the curse: that the firm earth trembled wherever he strode, and the grass turned black beneath his feet.

Indeed, if my memory does not cheat me, some of the "mystic divines," in their fond humour of allegorizing, tell us, that in Gen iv. 3-8. is correctly narrated the history of the first apostate church, that began by sacrificing amiss, impropriating the fruit of the ground (i.e. temporal possessions) under spiritual pretexts; and ended in slaying the shepherd brother who brought "the firstlings of his fold," holy and without blemish, to the Great Shepherd, and presented them as "new creatures," before the Lord and Owner of the Flocks. -- S. T. C.
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Re: ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH AND STATE, ACCORDING T

Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:46 am

ON THE THIRD POSSIBLE CHURCH, OR THE CHURCH OF ANTICHRIST

Ecclesia Catholica non, ma il Papismo denunciamo, perchè suggerito dal Interesse, perchè fortificato dalla menzogna, perchè radicato dal piu abbominevole despotismo, perchè contrario al diritto e ai titoli incommunicabili di Cristo, ed alla tranquillita d'ogni Chiesa e d'ogni State. [Google translate: Ecclesia Catholica not but denounce Popery, because the suggested Interest, because fortified by lies, because the most abominable rooted despotism, because contrary to law and equity of incommunicabili Christ Church and the tranquility of each and every State.]
-- SPANZOTTI.

THUS, on the depluming of THE POPE, every bird had his own feather; in the partage whereof, what he had gotten by Sacrilege, was restored to Christ; what by Usurpation, was given to the king, the (National) Church and the State; what by Oppression, was remitted to each particular Christian.
-- Fuller's Church History of Britain, Book v.


ON THE CHURCH, NEITHER NATIONAL NOR UNIVERSAL.

IF our forefathers were annoyed with the cant of over-boiling zeal, arising out of the belief, that the Pope is Antichrist, and likewise (sexu mutato) the Harlot of Babylon: we are more endangered by the twaddle of humid charity, which (some years ago at least) used to drizzle, a something between mist and small rain, from the higher region of our church atmosphere. It was sanctioned, I mean, both in the pulpit and the senate by sundry dignitaries, whose horror of Jacobinism during the then panic of Property led them to adopt the principles and language of Laud and his faction. And once more the Church of Rome, in contrast with the Protestant Dissenters, became "a right dear, though erring Sister." And the heaviest charge against the Romish Pontificate was, that the Italian politics and Nepotism of a series of Popes had converted so great a good into an intolerable grievance. We were reminded, that GROTIUS and LEIBNITZ had regarded a visible head of the Catholic church as most desirable: that they, and with them more than one Primate of our own church, yearned for a conciliating settlement of the differences between the Romish and Protestant churches; and mainly in order that there might exist really, as well as nominally, a visible head of the church universal, a fixt centre of unity. Of course, the tenet, that the Pope was in any sense the Antichrist predicted by Paul, was decried as fanatical and puritanical cant.

Now it is a duty of Christian charity to presume, that the men, who in the present day employ this language, are, or believe themselves to be, Christians: and that they do not privately think that St. Paul, in the two celebrated passages of his First and Second Epistles to the Church of Thessalonica, (1. iv., 13-18; II ii. 1-12), practised a ruse de guerre, and meant only by throwing the fulfilment beyond the life of the present generation, and by a terrific detail of the horrors and calamities that were to precede it, to damp the impatience, and silence the objections, excited by the expectation and the delay of our Lord's personal reappearance. Again: as the persons, of whom we have been speaking, are well educated men, and men of sober minds, we may safely take for granted, that they do not understand by Antichrist any nondescript monster, or suppose it to be the proper name or designation of some one individual man or devil exclusively. The Christians of the second century, sharing in a delusion that prevailed over the whole Roman Empire, believed that Nero would come to life again, and be Antichrist: and I have been informed, that a learned clergyman of our own times, endowed with the gift of prophecy by assiduous study of Daniel, and the Apocalypse, asserts the same thing of Napoleon Bonaparte.

But, as before said, it would be calumnious to attribute such pitiable fanaticism to the parties here in question. And to them I venture to affirm, that if by Antichrist be meant -- what alone can rationally be meant -- a power in the Christian church, which in the name of Christ, and at once pretending and usurping his authority, is systematically subversive of the essential and distinguishing characters and purposes of the Christian church: that then, if the papacy, and the Romish Hierarchy as far as it is papal, be not Antichrist, the guilt of schism, in its most aggravated form, lies on the authors of the Reformation. For nothing less than this could have justified so tremendous a rent in the Catholic church, with all its foreseen most calamitous consequences. And so Luther himself thought; and so thought Wickliffe before him. Only in the conviction that Christianity itself was at stake; that the cause was that of Christ in conflict with Antichrist; could, or did even the lion-hearted Luther with unquailed spirit avow to himself: I bring not peace, but a sword into the world.

It is my full conviction, a conviction formed after a long and patient study of the subject in detail; and if the author in support of this competence only added that he has read, and with care, the Summa Theologiae of Aquinas, and compared the system with the statements of Arnold and Bossuet, the number of those who in the present much-reading, but not very hard-reading age, would feel themselves entitled to dispute his claim, will not, perhaps, be very formidable --

It is, I repeat, my full conviction, that the rites and doctrines, the agenda et credenda, of the Catholics could we separate them from the adulterating ingredients combined with, and the use made of them, by the sacerdotal Mamelukes of the Romish monarchy, for the support of the Papacy and papal hierarchy, would neither have brought about, nor have sufficed to justify, the convulsive separation under Leo X. Nay, that if they were fairly, and in the light of a sound philosophy, compared with either of the two main divisions of Protestantism, as it now exists in this country, i.e. with the fashionable doctrines and interpretations of the Armenian and Grotian school on the one hand, and with the tenets and language of the modern Calvinists on the other, an enlightened disciple of John and of Paul would be perplexed, which of the three to prefer as the least unlike the profound and sublime system, he had learnt from his great masters. And in this comparison I leave out of view the extreme sects of Protestantism, whether of the Frigid or of the Torrid Zone, Socinian or fanatic.

During the summer of last year, I made the tour of Holland, Flanders, and up the Rhine as far as Bergen, and among the few notes then taken, I find the following: -- "Every fresh opportunity of examining the Roman Catholic religion on the spot, every new fact that presents itself to my notice, increases my conviction, that its immediate basis, and the true grounds of its continuance, are to be found in the wickedness, ignorance, and wretchedness of the many; and that the producing and continuing cause of this deplorable state is, that it is the interest of the Romish Priesthood, that so it should remain, as the surest, and in fact, only support of the Papal sovereignty and influence against the civil powers, and the reforms wished for by the more enlightened governments, as well as by all the better informed and wealthier class of Catholics generally. And as parts of the same policy, and equally indispensable to the interests of the Triple Crown, are the ignorance, grossness, excessive number and poverty of the lower Ecclesiastics themselves, including the religious orders. N. B. -- When I say the Pope, I understand the papal hierarchy, which is, in truth, the dilated Pope: and in this sense only, and not of the individual Priest or Friar at Rome, can a wise man be supposed to use the word." -- COLOGNE, July 2, 1828.

I feel it as no small comfort and confirmation, to know that the same view of the subject is taken, the same conviction entertained, by a large and increasing number in the Catholic communion itself, in Germany, France, Italy, and even in Spain and that no inconsiderable portion of this number consists of men who are not only pious as Christians, but zealous as Catholics; and who would contemplate with as much horror a Reform from their Church, as they look with earnest aspirations and desires toward a Reform in the Church. Proof of this may be found in the learned work, intitled "Disordini morali et politici della Corte di Roma," -- evidently the work of a zealous Catholic, and from the ecclesiastical erudition displayed in the volumes, probably a Catholic priest. Nay, from the angry aversion with which the foul heresies of those sons of perdition, Luther and Calvin, are mentioned, and his very faint and qualified censure of the persecution of the Albigenses and Waldenses, I am obliged to infer, that the writer's attachment to his communion was zealous even to bigotry!

The disorders denounced by him are: --

1. The pretension of the Papacy to temporal power and sovereignty, directly or as the pretended consequence of spiritual dominion: and as furnishing occasion to this, even the retention of the primacy in honour over all other bishops, after Rome had ceased to be the metropolis of Christendom, is noticed as a subject of regret.

2. The boast of papal infallibility.

3. The derivation of the Episcopal Power from the Papal, and the dependence of Bishops on the Pope, rightly named the evil of a false centre.

4. The right of exercising authority in other dioceses, besides that of Rome.

5. The privilege of reserving to himself the greater causes -- le cause maggiori.

6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Of conferring any and every benefice in the territory of other bishops; of exacting the Annates, or First Fruits; of receiving appeals; with the power of subjecting all churches in all parts, to the ecclesiastical discipline of the church of Rome; and lastly, the dispensing Power of the Pope.

11. The Pope's pretended superiority to an Ecumenical Council.

12. The exclusive power of canonizing Saints.

Now, of the twelve abuses here enumerated, it is remarkable that ten, if not eleven, are but expansions of the one grievance -- the Papal Power as the centre, and the Pope as the one visible head and sovereign of the Christian church.

The writer next enumerates the personal instruments, &c. of these abuses: viz.-i. The Cardinals. 2. The excessive number of the Priests and other Ecclesiastics. 3. The Regulars, Mendicant Orders, Jesuits, &c.

Lastly: the means employed by the Papacy to found and preserve its usurped power, namely: --

1. The institution of a Chair of Canon Law, in the university of Bologna, the introduction of Gratian's Canons, and the forged decisions, &c. 2. The prohibition of books, wherever published. 3. The Inquisition. 4. The tremendous power of Excommunication. The two last in their temporal inflictions and consequences equaling, or rather greatly exceeding, the utmost extent of the punitive power exercised by the temporal sovereign and the civil magistrate, armed with the sword of the criminal law.

It is observable, that the most efficient of all the means adopted by the Roman Pontiffs, viz. -- THE CELIBACY OF THE CLERGY, is omitted by this writer: a sufficient proof that he was neither a Protestant nor a Philosopher, which in the Italian states, and, indeed, in most Catholic Countries, is the name of Courtesy for an infidel.

One other remark in justification of the tenet avowed in this chapter, and I shall have said all I deem it necessary to say, on the third form of a Church. That erection of a temporal monarch under the pretence of a spiritual authority, which was not possible in Christendom but by the extinction or entrancement of the spirit of Christianity, and which has therefore been only partially attained by the Papacy -- this was effected in full by Mahomet, to the establishment of the most extensive and complete despotism, that ever warred against civilization and the interests of humanity. And had Mahomet retained the name of Christianity, had he deduced his authority from Christ, as his Principal, and described his own Caliphate and that of his successors as vicarious, there can be no doubt, that to the Mussulmun Theocracy, embodied in the different Mahometan dynasties, would belong the name and attributes of Antichrist. But the Prophet of Arabia started out of Paganism an unbaptized Pagan. He was no traitor in the church, but an enemy from without, who levied war against its outward and formal existence, and is, therefore, not chargeable with apostacy from a faith, he had never acknowledged, or from a church to which he had never appertained. Neither in the Prophet nor in his system, therefore, can we find the predicted Anti-Christ, i.e., a usurped power in the church itself, which, in the name of Christ, and pretending his authority, systematically subverts or counteracts the peculiar aims and purposes of Christ's mission, and which, vesting in a mortal his incommunicable headship, destroys (and exchanges for the contrary) the essential contra-distinguishing marks or characters of his kingdom on earth. But apply it, as Wickliffe, Luther, [1] and indeed all the first Reformers did to the Papacy, and Papal Hierarchy; and we understand at once the grounds of the great apostle's premonition, that this Antichrist could not appear till after the dissolution of the Latin empire, and the extinction of the imperial Power in Rome -- and the cause why the Bishop of Constantinople, with all imaginable good wishes and disposition to do the same, could never raise the Patriarchate of the Greek empire into a Papacy. The bishops of the other Rome became the slaves of the Ottoman, the moment they ceased to be the subjects of the Emperor.

We will now proceed to the Second Part, intended as a humble aid to a just appreciation of the measure, which under the auspices of Mr. Peel and the Duke of Wellington is now the Law of the land. This portion of the volume was written while the measure was yet in prospectu; before even the particular clauses of the Bill were made public. It was written to explain and vindicate the author's refusal to sign a Petition against any change in the scheme of Law and Policy established at the Revolution. But as the arguments are in no respect affected by this circumstance, nay, as their constant reference to, and dependence on, one fixed General Principle, which will at once explain both why the author finds the actual Bill so much less objectionable than he had feared, and yet so much less complete and satisfactory than he had wished, will be rendered more striking by the reader's consciousness that the arguments were suggested by no wish or purpose either of attacking or supporting any particular measure: it has not been thought necessary or advisable to alter the form. Nay, if the author be right in his judgment, that the Bill lately passed, if characterized by its own contents and capabilities, really is -- with or without any such intention on the part of its framers -- a STEPPING-STONE, and nothing more: whether to the subversion or to the more perfect establishment of the Constitution in Church and State, must be determined by other causes; the Bill in itself is equally fit for either -- Tros Tyriusve, it offers the same facilities of transit to both, though with a foreclosure to the first comer. -- If this be a right, as it is the author's sincere judgment and belief, there is a propriety in retaining the language of anticipation. Mons adhuc parturit: the "ridiculus Mus" was but an omen.

_______________

Notes:

1. And (be it observed) without any reference to the Apocalypse, the canonical character of which Luther at first rejected, and never cordially received. And without the least sympathy with Luther's suspicions on this head, but on the contrary receiving this sublime poem as the undoubted work of the Apostolic age, and admiring in it the most perfect specimen of symbolic poetry, I am as little disposed to cite it on the present occasion -- convinced as I am and hope shortly to convince others, that in the whole series of its magnificent imagery there is not a single symbol, that can be even plausibly interpreted of either the Pope, the Turks, or Napoleon Buonaparte. Of charges not attaching to the moral character, there are few, if any, that I should be more anxious to avoid than that of being an affecter of paradoxes. But the dread of other men's thoughts shall not tempt me to withhold a truth, which the strange errors grounded on the contrary assumption render important. And in the thorough assurance of its truth I make the assertion, that the perspicuity, and (with singularly few exceptions even for us) the uniform intelligibility, and close consecutive meaning, verse by verse, with the simplicity and grandeur of the plan, and the admirable ordonnance of the parts, are among the prominent beauties of the Apocalypse. Nor do I doubt, that the substance and main argument of this sacred oratorio, or drama sui generis (the Prometheus of Eschylus comes the nearest to the kind) were supplied by John the Evangelist: though I incline with Eusebius to find the poet himself in John, an Elder and Contemporary of the Church of Ephesus.

P. S. -- It may remove, or at least mitigate the objections to the palliative language, in which I have spoken of the doctrines of the Catholic Church, if I remind the Reader that the Roman Catholic Church dates its true origin from the Council of Trent. Widely differing from my valued and affectionately respected friend, the Rev. Edward Irving, in his interpretations of the Apocalypse and the Book of Daniel, and no less in his estimation of the latter, and while I honour his courage, as a Christian minister, almost as much as I admire his eloquence as a writer, yet protesting against his somewhat too adventurous speculations on the Persons of the Trinity and the Body of our Lord -- I have great delight in extracting (from his "Sermons, Lectures, and Discourses," vol. III. p. 870) and declaring my cordial assent to, the following just observations: viz. -- that after the Reformation had taken firm root, and when God had provided a purer Church, the Council of Trent did corroborate and decree into unalterable laws and constitutions of the Church all those impostures and innovations of the Roman See, which had been in a state of uncertainty, perhaps of permission or even of custom; but which every man had till then been free to testify against, and against which, in fact, there never wanted those in each successive generation who did testify. The Council of Trent ossified all those ulcers and blotchers which had deformed the Church, and stamped the hitherto much doubted and controverted prerogative of the Pope with the highest authority recognized in the Church." Then first was the Catholic converted and particularized into the Romish Church, the Church of the Papacy.

No less cordially do I concur with Mr. Irving in his remark in the following page. For I too, "am free to confess and avow moreover, that I believe the soul of the Catholic Church, when Luther arose, was of a stronger mould, fitted to bear forest trees and cedars of God, than the soil of the Protestant Church in the times of Whitfield and Wesley, which (though sown with the same word ---? qu.) hath brought forth only stunted undergrowths, and creeping brushwood." I too, "believe, that the faith of the Protestant Church in Britain had come to a lower ebb, and that it is even now at a lower ebb, than was the faith of the Papal Church when the Spirit of the Lord was able to quicken in it and draw forth of it, such men as Luther, and Melancthon, and Bullenger, Calvin, Bucer, and Latimer, and Ridley, and a score others whom I might name."

And now, as the conclusion of this long note, let me be permitted to add a word or two of Edward Irving himself. That he possesses my unqualified esteem as a man, is only saying, that I know him, and am neither blinded by envy nor bigotry. But my name has been brought into connexion with his, on points that regard his public ministry: and he himself has publicly distinguished me as his friend, on public grounds, and in proof of my confidence in his regard, I have not the least apprehension of forfeiting it by a frank declaration of what I think. Well, then! I have no faith in his prophesyings, small sympathy with his fulminations; and in certain peculiarities of his theological system, as distinct from his religious principles, I cannot see my way. But I hold withal, and not the less firmly for these discrepancies in our moods and judgments, that EDWARD IRVING possesses more of the spirit and purposes of the first Reformers, that he has more of the Head and Heart, the Life, the Unction, and the genial power of MARTIN LUTHER, than any man now alive: yea, than any man of this and the last century. I see in EDWARD IRVING a minister of Christ after the order of Paul, and if the points, in which I think him either erroneous, or excessive and out of bounds, have been at any time a subject of serious regret with me, this regret has arisen principally or altogether from the apprehension of their narrowing the sphere of his influence, from the too great probability that they may furnish occasion or pretext for withholding or withdrawing many from those momentous truths, which the age especially needs, and for the enforcement of which he hath been so highly and especially gifted! Finally, my friend's intellect is too instinct with life, too potential to remain stationary: and assuming, as every satisfied believer must be supposed to do, the truth of my own views, I look forward with confident hope to a time, when his soul shall have perfected her victory over the dead letter of the senses and its apparitions in the sensuous understanding; when the Halcyon IDEAS shall have alit on the surging sea of his conceptions,

"Which then shall quite forget to rave,
While Birds of Calm Sit brooding on the charmed wave."
-- MILTON.


But to return from the Personal, for which I have little taste at any time, and the contrary when it stands in any connection with myself -- in order to the removal of one main impediment to the spiritual resuscitation of Protestantism, it seems to me indispensable, that in freedom and unfearing faith, with that courage which cannot but flow from the inward and life-like assurance, "that neither death, nor things present nor things to come, nor heighth, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" -- (Rom. VIII. 38, 39) -- the rulers of our Churches and our teachers of theology should meditate and draw the obvious, though perhaps unpalatable, inferences from the following two or three plain truths. -- First, that Christ, "the Spirit of Truth," has promised to be with his Church even to the end. Secondly: that Christianity was described as a Tree to be raised from the Seed, so described by Him who brought the seed from Heaven and first sowed it. Lastly: that in the process of Evolution, there are in every plant growths of transitory use and duration. "The integuments of the seed, having fulfilled their destined office of protection, burst and decay. After the leaves have unfolded, the Colyledons, that had performed their functions, wither and drop off." [i] The husk is a genuine growth of "The Staff of Life:" yet we must separate it from the grain. It is, therefore, the cowardice of faithless superstition, if we stand in greater awe of the palpable interpolations of vermin; if we shrink from the removal of excrescences that contain nothing of nobler parentage than maggots of moth or chafer. Let us cease to confound oak-apples with acorns still less, though gilded by the fashion of the day, let us mistake them for Golden Pippins or Renates. [ii]

i. Smith's Introduction to Botany.

ii. The fruit from a Pippin grafted on a Pippin, is called a Rennet, i.e., Renate (re natus) or twice-born.
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Re: ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH AND STATE, ACCORDING T

Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:47 am

SECOND PART: OR, AIDS TO A RIGHT APPRECIATION OF THE BILL ADMITTING CATHOLICS TO SIT IN BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, &c. &c.

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TO A FRIEND.

YES, Sir, I estimate the beauty and benefit of what you have called "A harmony in fundamentals, and a conspiration of the constituent parts of the Body Politic," as highly as the sturdiest zealot for the petition, which I have declined to subscribe. If I met a man, who should deny that an imperium in imperio [Google translate: the command in the command] was in itself an evil, I would not attempt to reason with him: he is too ignorant. Or if, conceding this, he should deny that the Romish Priesthood in Ireland does in fact constitute an imperium in imperio, I yet would not argue the matter with him: for he must be a Bigot. But my objection to the argument is, that it is nothing to the purpose. And even so, with regard to the arguments grounded on the dangerous errors and superstitions of the Romish Church. They may be all very true; but they are nothing to the purpose. Without any loss they might pair off with "the Heroes of Trafalgar and Waterloo," and "our Catholic ancestors, to whom we owe our Magna Charta," on the other side. If the prevention of an evil were the point in question, then indeed! But the day of prevention has long past by. The evil exists: and neither rope, sword, nor sermon, neither suppression nor conversion, can remove it. Not that I think slightingly of the last; but even those who hope more sanguinely, than I can pretend to do respecting the effects ultimately to result from the labours of missionaries, the dispersion of controversial tracts, and whatever other lawful means and implements it may be in our power to employ -- even these must admit that if the remedy could cope with the magnitude and inveteracy of the disease, it is wholly inadequate to the urgency of the symptoms. In this instance it would be no easy matter to take the horse to the water; and the rest of the proverb you know. But why do I waste words? There is and can be but one question: and there is and can be but one way of stating it. A great numerical majority of the inhabitants of one integral part of the realm profess a religion hostile to that professed by the majority of the whole realm: and a religion, too, which the latter regard, and have had good reason to regard, as equally hostile to liberty, and the sacred rights of conscience generally. In fewer words, three-fourths of His Majesty's Irish subjects are Roman Catholics, with a papal priesthood, while three-fourths of the sum total of His Majesty's subjects are Protestants. This with its causes and consequences is the evil. It is not in our power, by any immediate or direct means, to effect its removal. The point, therefore, to be determined is: Will the measures now in contemplation be likely to diminish or to aggravate it? And to the determination of this point on the probabilities suggested by reason and experience, I would gladly be ardant, as far as my poor mite of judgment will enable me.

Let us, however, first discharge what may well be deemed a debt of justice from every well educated Protestant to his Catholic fellow-subjects of the Sister Island. At least, let us ourselves understand the true cause of the evil as it now exists. To what, and to whom is the present state of Ireland mainly to be attributed? This should be the question: and to this I answer aloud, that it is mainly attributable to those, who during a period of little less than a whole century used as a Substitute what Providence had given into their hand as an Opportunity; who chose to consider as superseding the most sacred duty a code of law, that can be excused only on the plea, that it enabled them to perform it! To the sloth and improvidence, the weakness and wickedness of the gentry, clergy, and governors of Ireland, who persevered in preferring intrigue, violence, and selfish expatriation to a system of preventive and remedial measures, the efficacy of which had been warranted for them by the whole provincial history of ancient Rome, cui pacare subactos summa erat sapientia; warranted for them by the happy results of the few exceptions to the contrary scheme unhappily pursued by their and our ancestors.

I can imagine no work of genius that would more appropriately decorate the dome or wall of a Senate house, than an abstract of Irish history from the landing of Strongbow to the battle of the Boyne, or a yet later period, embodied in intelligible emblems -- an allegorical history-piece designed in the spirit of a Rubens or a Buonarroti, and with the wild lights, portentous shades, and saturated colours of a Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Spagnoletti. To complete the great moral and political lesson by the historic contrast, nothing more would be required, than by some equally effective means to possess the mind of the spectator with the state and condition of ancient Spain, at less than half a century from the final conclusion of an obstinate and almost unremitting conflict of two hundred years by Agrippa's subjugation of the Cantabrians, omnibus Hispaniae papulis devictis et pacatis [Google translate: a pimple having been conquered and subdued all of Spain]. At the breaking up of the empire, the West Goths conquered the country and made division of the lands. Then came eight centuries of Moorish domination. Yet so deeply had Roman wisdom impressed the fairest characters of the Roman mind, that at this very hour, if we except a comparatively insignificant portion of Arabic Derivatives, the natives throughout the whole peninsula speak a language less differing from the Romana Rustica, or Provincial Latin, of the times of Lucan and Seneca, than any two of its dialects from each other. The time approaches, I trust, when our political economists may study the science of the provincial policy of the ancients in detail, under the auspices of hope, for immediate and practical purposes. In my own mind I am persuaded, that the necessity of the penal and precautionary statutes passed under Elizabeth and the three succeeding reigns, is to be found as much in the passions and prejudices of the one party, as in the dangerous dispositions of the other. The best excuse for this cruel code is the imperfect knowledge and mistaken maxims common to both parties. It is only to a limited extent, that laws can be wiser than the nation for which they are enacted. The annals of the first five or six centuries of the Hebrew nation in Palestine present an almost continued history of disobedience, of laws broken or utterly lost sight of, of maxims violated, and schemes of consummate wisdom left unfulfilled. Even a yet diviner seed must be buried and undergo an apparent corruption before -- at a late period -- it shot up and could appear in its own kind. In our judgments respecting actions we must be guided by the idea, but in applying the rule to the agents, by comparison. To speak gently of our forefathers is at once piety and policy. Nor let it be forgotten, that only by making the detection of their errors the occasion of our own wisdom, do we acquire a right to censure them at all.

Whatever may be thought of the settlement that followed the battle of the Boyne and the extinction of the war in Ireland; yet when this had been made and submitted to, it would have been the far wiser policy, I doubt not, to have provided for the safety of the Constitution by improving the quality of the elective franchise, leaving the eligibility open, or like the former limited only by considerations of property. Still, however, the scheme of exclusion and disqualification had its plausible side. The ink was scarcely dry on the parchment-rolls and proscription-lists of the Popish parliament. The crimes of the man were generalized into attributes of his faith; and the Irish Catholics collectively were held accomplices in the perfidy and baseness of the king. Alas! his immediate adherents had afforded too great colour to the charge. The Irish massacre was in the mouth of every Protestant, not as an event to be remembered, but as a thing of recent expectation, fear still blending with the sense of deliverance. At no time, therefore, could the disqualifying system have been enforced with so little reclamation of the conquered party, or with so little outrage on the general feeling of the country. There was no time, when it was so capable of being indirectly useful as a sedative, in order to the application of the remedies directly indicated, or as a counter-power reducing to inactivity whatever disturbing forces might have interfered with their operation. And had this use been made of these exclusive laws, and had they been enforced as the precursors and negative conditions, but above all as bona fide accompaniments of a process of emancipation, properly and worthily so named, the code would at this day have been remembered in Ireland only as when recalling a dangerous fever of our boyhood we think of the nauseous drugs and drenching-horn, and congratulate ourselves, that our doctors nowadays know how to manage these things less coarsely. But this angry code was neglected as an opportunity, and mistaken for a substitute, et hinc illae lacrymae! [Google translate: And hence those tears.]

And at this point I find myself placed again in connection with the main question, and which I contend to be the only pertinent question, viz., The evil being admitted, and its immediate removal impossible, is the admission of Catholics into both Houses of Legislature likely to mitigate or to aggravate it? And here the problem is greatly narrowed by the fact, that no man pretends to regard this admissibility as a direct remedy, or specific antidote to the diseases under which Ireland labours. No! it is to act, we are told, as introductory to the direct remedies. In short, this Emancipation is to be, like the penal code which it repeals, a sedative, though in the opposite form of an anodyne cordial, that will itself be entitled to the name of a remedial measure in proportion as it shall be found to render the body susceptible of the more direct remedies that are to follow. Its object is to tranquillize Ireland. Safety, peace, and good neighbourhood, influx of capital, diminution of absenteeism, industrious habits, and a long train of blessings will follow. But the indispensable condition, the causa causarum et causatorum [Google translate: the cause of causes and effects], is general tranquillity. Such is the language held by all the more intelligent advocates and economists of Emancipation. The sense of the question therefore is, will the measure tend to produce tranquillity?

Now it is evident, that there are two parties to be satisfied, and that the measure is likely to effect this purpose according as it is calculated to satisfy reasonable men of both. Reasonable men are easily satisfied: would they were as numerous as they are pacable! We must, however, understand the word comparatively, as including all those on both sides, who by their superior information, talents, or property, are least likely to be under the dominion of vulgar antipathies, and who may be rationally expected to influence (and in certain cases, and in alliance with a vigorous government, to over-rule) the feelings and sentiments of the rest.

Now the two indispensable conditions under which alone the measure can permanently satisfy the reasonable, that is, the satisfiable, of both parties, supposing that in both parties such men exist, and that they form the influencive class in both, are these. First, that the Bill for the repeal of the exclusive statutes, and the admission of Catholics to the full privileges of British subjects, shall be grounded on some determinate PRINCIPLE, which involving interests and duties common to both parties as British subjects, both parties may be expected to recognize, and required to maintain inviolable. Second, that this principle shall contain in itself an evident definite and unchangeable boundary, a line of demarcation, a ne plus ultra [Google translate: not more than any more], which in all reasonable men and lovers of their country shall preclude the wish to pass beyond it, and extinguish the hope of so doing in such as are neither.

But though the measure should be such as to satisfy all reasonable men, still it is possible that the number and influence of these may not be sufficient to leaven the mass, or to over-rule the agitators. I admit this; but instead of weakening what I have here said, it affords an additional argument in its favour. For if an argument satisfactory to the reasonable part should nevertheless fail in securing tranquillity, still less can the result be expected from an arbitrary adjustment that can satisfy no part. If a measure grounded on principle, and possessing the character of an ultimatum should still, through the prejudices and passions of one or of both parties, fail of success, it would be folly to expect it from a measure that left full scope and sphere to those passions; which kept alive the fears of the one party, while it sharpened the cupidity of the other. With confidence, therefore, I re-assert, that only by reference to a principle, possessing the characters above enumerated, can any satisfactory measure be framed, and that if this should fail in producing the tranquillity aimed at, it will be in vain sought in any other.

Again, it is evident that no principle can be appropriate to such a measure, which does not bear directly on the evil to be removed or mitigated. Consequently, it should be our first business to discover in what this evil truly and essentially consists. It is, we know, a compound of many ingredients. But we want to ascertain what the base is, that communicates the quality of evil, of political evil, of evil which it is the duty of a statesman to guard against, to various other ingredients, which without the base would have been innoxious: or though evils in themselves, yet evils of such a kind, as to be counted by all wise statesmen among the tares, which must be suffered to grow up with the wheat to the close of the harvest, and left for the Lord of the Harvest to separate.

Further: the Principle, the grounding and directing Principle of an effectual enactment, must be one, on which a Catholic might consistently vindicate and recommend the measure to Catholics. It must therefore be independent of all differences purely theological. And the facts and documents, by which the truth and practical importance of the principle are to be proved or illustrated, should be taken by preference from periods anterior to the division of the Latin Church into Romish and Protestant. It should be such, in short, that an orator might with strict historical propriety introduce the Framers and Extorters of Magna Charta pleading to their Catholic descendants in behalf of the measure grounded on such a Principle, and invoking them in the name of the Constitution, over whose growth they had kept armed watch, and by the sacred obligation to maintain it which they had entailed on their posterity.

This is the condition under which alone I could conscientiously vote, and which being fulfilled, I should most zealously vote for the admission of Lay Catholics, not only to both houses of the Legislature, but to all other offices below the Crown, without any exception. Moreover, in the fulfilment of this condition, in the solemn recognition and establishment of a Principle having the characters here specified, I find the only necessary security -- convinced, that this, if acceded to by the Catholic Body, would in effect be such, and that any other security will either be hollow, or frustrate the purpose of the Bill. Now this condition would be fulfilled, the required Principle would be given, provided that the law for the repeal of the sundry statutes affecting the Catholics were introduced by, and grounded on, a declaration, to which every possible character of solemnity should be given, that at no time and under no circumstances has it ever been, nor can it ever be, compatible with the spirit or consistent with safety of the British Constitution, to recognize in the Roman Catholic Priesthood, as now constituted, a component Estate of the Realm, or persons capable, individually or collectively, of becoming the Trustees and usufructuary Proprietors of that elective and circulative property, originally reserved for the permanent maintenance of the National Church. And further, it is expedient, that the Preamble of the Bill should expressly declare and set forth, that this exclusion of the Members of the Romish Priesthood (comprehending all under oaths of canonical obedience to the Pope as their ecclesiastical sovereign) from the trusts and offices of the National Church, and from all participation in the proceeds of the Nationalty, is enacted and established on grounds wholly irrelative to any doctrines received and taught by the Romish Church as Articles of Faith, and protested against as such by the Churches of the Reformation; but that it is enacted on grounds derived and inherited from our ancestors before the Reformation, and by them maintained and enforced to the fullest extent that the circumstances of the times permitted, with no other exceptions and interruptions than those effected by fraud, or usurpation, or foreign force, or the temporary fanaticism of the meaner sort. In what manner the enactment of this principle shall be effected, is of comparatively small importance, provided it be distinctly set forth as that great constitutional security, the known existence of which is the ground and condition of the right of the Legislature to dispense with the other less essential safeguards of the constitution, not unnecessary, perhaps, at the time of their enactment, but of temporary and accidental necessity. The form, I repeat, the particular mode in which the principle shall be recognized, the security established, is comparatively indifferent. Let it only be understood first, as the provision, by the retention of which the Legislature possess a moral and constitutional right to make the change in question, as that the known existence of which permits the law to ignore the Roman Catholics under any other name than that of British subjects; and secondly, as the express condition, the basis of a virtual compact between the claimants and the nation, which condition cannot he broken or evaded without subverting (morally) the articles and clauses founded thereon.

N. B. -- I do not assert that the provision here stated is an absolute security. My positions are, -- first, that it may with better reason and more probability be proposed as such, than any other hitherto devised; secondly, that no other securities can supersede the expediency and necessity of this, but that this will greatly diminish or altogether remove the necessity of any other: further, that without this, the present measure cannot be rationally expected to produce that tranquillity, which it is the aim and object of the framers to bring about; and lastly, that the necessity of the declaration, as above given, formally and solemnly to be made and recorded, is not evacuated by this pretext, that no one intends to transfer the Church Establishment to the Romish Priesthood, or to divide it with them. One thing, however, is of importance, that I should premise -- namely, that the existing state of the Elective Franchise [1] in Ireland, in reference to the fatal present of the Union Ministry to the Landed interest, that true Deianira Shirt of the Irish Hercules, is altogether excluded from the theme and purpose of this disquisition. It ought to be considered by the Legislature, abstracted from the creed professed by the great majority of these nominal Freeholders. The recent abuse of the influence resulting from this profession, should be regarded as an accidental aggravation of the mischief, that displayed rather than constituted its malignity. It is even desirable, that it should be preserved separate from the Catholic Question, and in no necessary dependence on the fate of the Bill now on the eve of presentation to Parliament. Whether this be carried or be lost, it will still remain a momentous question, urgently calling for the decision of the Legislature -- whether the said extension of the elective franchise has not introduced an uncombining and wholly incongruous ingredient into the representative system, irreconcilable with the true principle of election, and virtually disfranchising the class, to whom, on every ground of justice and of policy, the right unquestionably belongs -- under any circumstances overwhelming the voices of the rest of the community; in ordinary times concentering in the great Landowners a virtual monopoly of the elective power; and in times of factious excitement depriving them even of their natural and rightful influence.

These few suggestions on the expediency of revising the state of the representation in Ireland are, I am aware, but a digression from the main subject of the Chapter. But this in fact is already completed, as far as my purpose is concerned. The reasons, on which the necessity of the proposed declaration is grounded, have been given at large in the former part of the volume. Here, therefore, I should end; but that I anticipate two objections, of sufficient force to deserve a comment, and form the matter of a concluding paragraph.

First, it may be objected, that after abstracting the portion of evil, that may he plausibly attributed to the peculiar state of landed property in Ireland, there are evils directly resulting from the Romanism of the most numerous class of the inhabitants, besides that of an extra-national priesthood, and against the political consequences of which the above declaration provides no security. To this I reply, that as no bridge ever did or can posses the demonstrable perfections of the mathematical arch, so can no existing state adequately correspond to the idea of a state. In nations and governments the most happily constituted, there will be deformities and obstructions, peccant humours and irregular actions, which affect indeed the perfection of the state, but not its essential forms; which retard, but do not necessarily prevent its progress: casual disorders, which though they aggravate the growing pains of a nation, may yet, by the vigorous counteraction which they excite, even promote its growth. Inflammations in the extremities, and unseemly boils on the surface dare not be confounded with exhaustive misgrowths, or the poison of a false life in the vital organs. Nay -- and this remark is of special pertinency to our present purpose -- even where the former derive a malignant character from their co-existence with the latter, yet the wise physician will direct his whole attention to the constitutional ailments, knowing that when the source, the fons et fomes veneni, [Google translate: the source and the spark of poison] is sealed up, the accessories will either dry up of themselves, or, returning to their natural character rank among the infirmities, which flesh is heir to; and either admit of a gradual remedy, or where this is impracticable, or when the medicine would be worse than the disease, are to be endured, as tolerabiles ineptiae [Google translate: tolerable absurdity], trials of patience, and occasions of charity. We have here had the state chiefly in view; but the Protestant will to little purpose have availed himself of his free access to the Scriptures, will have read at least the Epistles of St. Paul with a very unthinking spirit, who does not apply the same maxims to the church of Christ, who has yet to learn, that the church militant is "a floor whereon wheat and chaff are mingled together;" that even grievous evils and errors may exist that do not concern the nature or being of a church, and that may even prevail in the particular church, to which we belong, without justifying a separation from the same, and without invalidating its claims on our affection as a true and living part of the Church Universal. And with regard to such evils we must adopt the advice that Augustine (a man not apt to offend by any excess of charity) gave to the complainers of his day -- ut misericorditer corripiant quod possunt, quod non possunt patienter ferant, et cum delectione lugeant, donec aut emendet Deus aut in messe eradicet zizania et paleas ventilet [Google translate: mercifully to correct the that they are able, that they can not calmly endure distress, and mourn with delectione until it either correct the God of be rooted out, or in the harvest the weeds and straw for ventilet.]

Secondly, it may be objected that the declaration so peremptorily by me required is altogether unnecessary, that no one thinks of alienating the church property, directly or indirectly, that there is no intention of recognising the Romish Priests in law, by entitling them, as such, to national maintenance, or in the language of the day, by taking them into the pay of the state. In short, that the National Church is no more in danger than the Christian. And is this the opinion, the settled judgment, of one who has studied the signs of the times? Can the person who makes these assertions, have ever read a pamphlet by Mr. Secretary Croker? Or the surveys of the Counties, published under the authority of the now extinct Board of Agriculture? Or has he heard, or attentively perused the successive debates in both Houses during the late agitation of the Catholic Question? If he have -- why then, relatively to the objector, and to as many as entertain the same opinions, my reply is: -- the objection is unanswerable.

_______________

Notes:

1. Though by the Bill which is now Law, the Forty Shilling Freeholders no longer possess the elective franchise, yet as this particular clause of the Bill already has been, and may hereafter be, made a pretext for agitation, the following paragraph has been retained, in the belief, that its moral uses have not been altogether superseded by the retractation of this most unhappy boon.
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Re: ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH AND STATE, ACCORDING T

Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:48 am

GLOSSARY

TO THE APPENDED LETTER

As all my readers are not bound to understand Greek, and yet, according to my deepest convictions, the truths set forth in the following Combat of Wit between the Man of Reason and the Man of the Senses have an interest for all, I have been induced to prefix the explanations of the few Greek words, and words minted from the Greek:

COSMOS -- world. TOUTOS cosmos -- this world. HETEROS -- the other, in the sense of opposition to, or discrepancy with some former; as Hetorodoxy, in opposition to Orthodoxy. ALLOS -- an other, simply and without precluding or superseding the one before mentioned. ALLOCOSMITE -- a Denizen of another world.

MYSTES, from the Greek Image -- one who muses with closed lips, as meditating on Ideas which may indeed be suggested and awakened, but cannot, like the images of sense and the conceptions of the understanding, be adequately expressed, by words.

N.B. -- Where a person mistakes the anomalous misgrowths of his own individuality for ideas, or truths of universal reason, he may, without impropriety, be called a Mystic, in the abusive sense of the term; though pseudo-mystic, or phantast, would be the more proper designation. Heraclitus, Plato, Bacon, Leibnitz, were Mystics, in the primary sense of the term: Iamblichus, and his successors, Phantasts.

Image -- living words. -- The following words from Plato may be Englished: "the commune and the dialect of Gods with, or toward men" and those attributed to Pythagoras: "the verily subsistent numbers or powers, the most prescient (or provident) principles of the Earth and the Heavens."

And here, though not falling under the leading title, Glossary, yet, as tending to the same object, that of fore-arming the reader for the following dialogue, I transcribe two or three annotations, which I had penciled, (for the book was lent me by a friend who had himself borrowed it), on the margins of a volume, recently published, and entitled, "The Natural History of Enthusiasm." They will, at least, remind some of my old school-fellows of the habit, for which I was even then noted: and for others they may serve, as a specimen of the Marginalia, which, if brought together from the various books: my own and those of a score others, would go near to form as bulky a volume as most of those old folios, through which the larger portion of them are dispersed.

HISTORY OF ENTHUSIASM

I.

"Whatever is practically important on religion or morals, may at all times be advanced and argued in the simplest terms of colloquial expression." -- p. 21.

NOTE

I do not believe this. Be it so, however. But why? Simply, because the terms and phrases of the Theological Schools have, by their continual iteration from the pulpit, become colloquial. The science of one age becomes the common sense of a succeeding. -- See Aids to Reflection, pp. 7-11; but especially the note at p. 252.) The author adds -- "from the pulpit, perhaps, no other style should at any time be heard." Now I can conceive no more direct means of depriving Christianity of one of its peculiar attributes, that of enriching and enlarging the mind, while it purifies, and in the very act of purifying, the will and affections, than the maxim here prescribed by the historian of Enthusiasm. From the intensity of commercial life in this country, and from some other less creditable causes, there is found even among our better educated men, a vagueness in the use of words, which presents, indeed, no obstacle to the intercourse of the market, but is absolutely incompatible with the attainment or communication of distinct and precise conceptions. Hence in every department of exact knowledge, a peculiar nomenclature is indispensable. The Anatomist, Chemist, Botanist, Mineralogist, yea, even the common Artizan, and the rude Sailor, discover that "the terms of colloquial expression," are too general and too lax to answer their purposes: and on what grounds can the science of self- knowledge, and of our relations to God and our own spirits, be presumed to form an exception? Every new term expressing a fact, or a difference, not precisely and adequately expressed by any other word in the same language, is a new organ of thought for the mind that has learnt it.

II.

"The region of abstract conceptions, of lofty reasonings, has an atmosphere too subtle to support the health of true piety." -- In accordance with this, the Supreme in his word reveals barely a glimpse of his essential glories. By some naked affirmations we are, indeed, secured against grovelling notions of the divine nature; but these hints are incidental, and so scanty, that every excursive mind goes far beyond them in its conception of the Infinite Attributes." -- p. 26.

NOTE

By abstract conceptions the author means what I should call Ideas, and as such contradistinguish from conceptions, whether abstracted or generalized. But it is with his meaning, not with his terms, that I am at present concerned. Now that the personeity of God, the idea of God as the I AM, is presented more prominently in Scripture, than the (so called) physical attributes, is most true; and forms one of the distinctive characters of its superior worth and value. It was by dwelling too exclusively on the infinities, that the ancient Greek Philosophers, Plato excepted, fell into Pantheism, as in later times did Spinosa. I forbid you, says Plato, to call God the infinite! If you dare name him at all, say rather the Measure of Infinity. Nevertheless, it would be easy to place in synopsi before the author such a series of Scripture passages, as would incline him to retract his assertion. The Eternal, the Omnipresent, the Omniscient, the one absolute Good, the Holy, the Living, the Creator as well as Former of the Universe, the Father of Spirits -- can the author's mind go far beyond these? Yet these are all clearly affirmed of the Supreme ONE in the Scriptures.

III.

The following pages from p. 26 to p. 36 contain a succession of eloquent and splendid paragraphs on the celestial orders, and the expediency or necessity of their being concealed from us, least we should receive such overwhelming conceptions of the divine greatness as to render us incapable of devotion and prayer on the Scripture model. "Were it," says the eloquent writer, "indeed permitted to man to gaze upwards from step to step, and from range to range of these celestial hierarchies, to the lowest steps of the Eternal Throne, what liberty of heart would afterwards be left him in drawing near to the Father of Spirits?" But the substance of these pages will be found implied in the following reply to them.

NOTE

More weight with me than all this Pelion upon Ossa of imaginary Hierarchies has the single remark of Augustine, there neither are nor can be but three essential differences of Being, viz. the Absolute, the Rational Finite, and the Finite irrational; i.e. God, Man, and Brute! Besides, the whole scheme is unscriptural, if not contra-scriptural. Pile up winged Hierarchies on Hierarchies, and outblaze the Cabalists, and Dionysius the Areopagite; yet what a gaudy vapor for a healthful mind is the whole conception (or rather Phantasm) compared with the awful Hope held forth in the Gospel, to be one with God in and through the Mediator Christ, even the living, co-eternal Word and Son of God!

But through the whole of this eloquent Declamation, I find two errors predominate, and both, it appears to me, dangerous errors. First, that the rational and consequently the only true Ideas of the Supreme Being, are incompatible with the spirit of prayer and petitionary pleading taught and exemplified in the Scriptures. Second, that this being the case, and "supplication with arguments and importunate requests" being irrational and known by the Supplicant to be such, it is nevertheless a duty to pray in this fashion. In other words, it is asserted that the Supreme Being requires of his rational creatures, as the condition of their offering acceptable worship to him, that they should wilfully blind themselves to the light, which he had himself given them, as the contra-distinguishing character of their Humanity, without which they could not pray to him at all, and that drugging their sense of the truth into a temporary doze, they should make believe, that they knew no better! As if the God of Truth and Father of all lights resembled an Oriental or African Despot, whose courtiers, even those whom he had himself enriched and placed in the highest rank, are commanded to approach him only in beggars' rags and with a beggarly whine.

I on the contrary find "the Scripture model of devotion," the prayers and thanksgiving of the Psalmist, and in the main of our own Church Liturgy, perfectly conformable to the highest and clearest convictions of my Reason. (I use the word in its most comprehensive sense, as comprising both the practical and the intellective, not only as the Light but likewise as the Life which is the Light of Man. John 1. 3.) And I do not hesitate to attribute the contrary persuasion principally to the three following oversights. First (and this is the Queen Bee in the Hive of error), the identification of the universal Reason with each man's individual Understanding, subjects not only different but diverse, not only allogeneous but heterogeneous. Second, the substitution of the idea of the Infinite for that of the Absolute. Third and lastly, the habit of using the former as a sort of Superlative Synonime of the vast or indefinitely great. Now the practical difference between my scheme and that of the Essayist, for whose talents and intentions I feel sincere respect, may perhaps be stated thus.

The essayist would bring down his understanding to his Religion: I would raise up my understanding to my reason, and find my Religion in the focus resulting from their convergence. We both alike use the same penitential, deprecative and petitionary prayers; I in the full assurance of their congruity with my Reason, He in a factitious oblivion of their being the contrary.

The name of the Author of the Natural History of Enthusiasm is unknown to me and unconjectured. It is evidently the work of a mind at once observant and meditative. And should these notes meet the Author's eye, let him be assured that I willingly give to his genius that respect which his intentions without it would secure for him, in the breast of every good man. But in the present state of things, infidelity having fallen into disrepute, even on the score of intellect, yet the obligation to shew a reason, for our faith having become more generally recognized, as reading and the taste for serious conversation have increased, there is a large class of my countrymen disposed to receive, with especial favour, any opinions that will enable them to make a compromise, between their new knowledge and their old belief. And with these men, the author's evident abilities will probably render the work a high authority. Now it is the very purpose of my life to impress the contrary sentiments. Hence these notes.

S. T. COLERIDGE.
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Re: ON THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH AND STATE, ACCORDING T

Postby admin » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:00 am

APPENDIX

(Referred to in page 136)

MY DEAR ---,

In emptying a drawer of understockings, rose-leaf bags, old (but, too many of them) unopened letters, and paper scraps, or brain fritters, I had my attention directed to a sere and ragged half-sheet by a gust of wind, which had separated it from its companions, and whisked it out of the window into the garden. -- Not that I went after it. I have too much respect for the numerous tribe, to which it belonged, to lay any restraint on their movements, or to put the Vagrant Act in force against them. But it so chanced that some after-breeze had stuck it on a standard rose-tree, and there I found it, as I was pacing my evening walk alongside the lower ivy-wall, the bristled runners from which threaten to entrap the top branch of the cherry tree in our neighbour's kitchen garden. I had been meditating a letter to you, and as I run my eye over this fly-away, tag-rag and bob-tail, and bethought me that it was a bye-blow of my own, I felt a sort of fatherly remorse, and yearning towards it, and exclaimed -- "If I had a frank for ____, this should help to make up the ounce." It was far too decrepit to travel per se -- besides that the seal would have looked like a single pin on a beggar's coat of tatters -- and yet one does not like to be stopt in a kind feeling, which, my conscience interpreted as a sort of promise to the said scrap, and therefore, (frank or no frank), I will transcribe it. A dog's leaf at the top worn off, which must have contained, I presume, the syllable V E

---------------------- RILY, quoth Demosius of Toutoscosmos, Gentleman, to Mystes the Allocosmite, thou seemest to me like an out-of-door's patient of St. Luke's, wandering about in the rain without cap, hat, or bonnet, poring on the elevation of a palace, not the House that Jack built, but the House that is to be built for Jack, in the suburbs of the City, which his cousin-german, the lynx-eyed Dr. Gruithuisen has lately discovered in the moon. But for a foolish kindness for that Phyz of thine, which whilome belonged to an old school-fellow of the same name with thee, I would get thee shipped off under the Alien Act, as a Non Ens, or Preexistent of the other World to come! -- To whom Mystes retorted -- Verily, Friend Demos, thou art too fantastic for a genuine Toutoscosmos man! and it needs only a fit of dyspepsy, or a cross in love to make an Heterocosmite of thee; this same Heteroscosmos being in fact the endless shadow which the Toutoscosmos casts at sun-set! But not to alarm or affront thee, as if I insinuated that thou wert in danger of becoming an Allocosmite, I let the whole of thy courteous address to me pass without comment or objection, save only the two concluding monosyllables and the preposition (Pre) which anticipates them. The world in which I exist is another world indeed, but not to come. It is as present as (if that be at all) the magnetic planet, of which, according to the Astronomer HALLEY, the visible globe, that we inverminate, is the case or travelling-trunk -- a neat little world where light still exists in statu perfuso, as on the third day of the Creation, before it was polarised into outward and inward, i.e. while light and life were one and the same, NEITHER existing formally, yet BOTH iminenter: and when herb, flower, and forest, rose as a vision, in proprio lucido, the ancestor and unseen yesterday of the sun and moon.

"Ye then in particular are the refuse of the Treasury and ye are the refuse of the region of the Right and ye are the refuse of the region of those of the Midst and ye are the refuse of all the invisibles and of all the rulers; in a word, ye are the refuse of all these. And ye are in great sufferings and great afflictions in your being poured from one into another of different kinds of bodies of the world. And after all these sufferings ye have struggled of yourselves and fought, having renounced the whole world and all the matter therein; and ye have not left off seeking, until ye found all the mysteries of the kingdom of the Light, which have purified you and made you into refined light, exceedingly purified, and ye have become purified light.

"For this cause have I said unto you aforetime: 'Seek, that ye may find.' I have, therefore, said unto you: Ye are to seek after the mysteries of the Light, which purify the body of matter and make it into refined light exceedingly purified....

"Amēn, I say unto you: For the sake of the race of men, because it is material, I have torn myself asunder and brought unto them all the mysteries of the Light, that I may purify them, for they are the refuse of the whole matter of their matter; else would no soul of the total race of men have been saved, and they would not be able to inherit the kingdom of the Light, if I had not brought unto them the purifying mysteries....

"For this cause, therefore, herald to the whole race of men, saying: Cease not to seek day and night, until ye find the purifying mysteries; and say unto the race of men: Renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein. For he who buyeth and selleth in the world and he who eateth and drinketh of its matter and who liveth in all its cares and in all its associations, amasseth other additional matters to the rest of his matter, because this whole world and all therein and all its associations are material refuse [pl.], and they will make enquiry of every one concerning his purity.

"For this cause, therefore, I have said unto you aforetime: Renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein, that ye may not amass other additional matter to the rest of your matter in you. For this cause, therefore, herald it to the whole race of men, saying: Renounce the whole world and all its associations, that ye may not amass additional matter to the rest of your matter in you; and say unto them: Cease not to seek day and night and remit not yourselves until ye find the purifying mysteries which will purify you and make you into a refined light, so that ye will go on high and inherit the light of my kingdom.

-- Pistis Sophia, translated by G.S.R. Mead


Now, whether there really is such an elysian mundus mundulus incased in the Macrocosm, or Great World, below the Adamantine Vault that supports the Mother Waters, that support the coating crust of that mundus immundus on which we, and others less scantily furnished from nature's Leggery, crawl, delve, and nestle -- (or, shall I say the Liceum, Image -- the said Dr. Halley may, perhaps, by this time, have ascertained: and to him and the philosophic ghosts, his compeers, I leave it. But that world is inshrined in the microcosm I not only believe, but at certain depths of my Being, during the solemner Sabbaths of the Spirit, I have held commune therewith, in the power of that Faith, which is "the substance of the things hoped for," the living stem that will itself expand into the flower, which it now foreshews. How should it not be so, even on grounds of natural reason, and the analogy of inferior life? Is not nature prophetic up the whole vast pyramid of organic being? And in which of her numberless predictions has nature been convicted of a lie? Is not every organ announced by a previous instinct or act? The Larva of the Stagbeetle lies in its Chrysalis like an infant in the coffin of an adult, having left an empty space half the length it occupies -- and this space is the exact length of the horn which distinguishes the perfect animal, but which, when it constructed its temporary Sarcophagus, was not yet in existence. Do not the eyes, ears, lungs of the unborn babe, give notice and furnish proof of a transuterine, visible, audible atmospheric world? We have eyes, ears, touch, taste, smell; and have we not an answering world of shapes, colours, sounds, and sapid and odorous bodies? But likewise -- alas for the man for whom the one has not the same evidence of fact as the other -- the Creator has given us spiritual senses, and sense organs -- ideas I mean -- the idea of the good, the idea of the beautiful, ideas of eternity, immortality, freedom, and of that which contemplated relatively to WILL is Holiness, in relation to LIFE is Bliss. And must not these too infer the existence of a world correspondent to them? There is a Light, said the Hebrew Sage, compared with which the Glory of the Sun is but a cloudy veil: and is it an ignis fatuus [Google translate: a fool of fire] given to mock us and lead us astray? And from a yet higher authority we know, that it is a light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. And are there no objects to reflect it? Or must we seek its analagon in the light of the glow-worm, that simply serves to distinguish one reptile from all the rest, and lighting, inch by inch, its mazy path through weeds and grass, leaves all else before, and behind, and around it in darkness? No! Another and answerable world there is, and if any man discern it not, let him not, whether sincerely or in contemptuous irony, pretend a defect of faculty as the cause. The sense, the light, and the conformed objects are all there and for all men. The difference between man and man in relation thereto, results from no difference in their several gifts and powers of intellect, but in the will. As certainly as the individual is a man, so certainly should this other world be present to him: yea, it is his proper home. But he is an absentee and chooses to live abroad. His freedom and whatever else he possesses which the dog and the ape do not possess, yea, the whole revenue of his humanity, is derived from this -- but with the Irish Landowner in the Theatres, Gaming-houses, and Maitresseries of Paris, so with him. He is a voluntary ABSENTEE! I repeat it again and again -- the cause is altogether in the WILL: and the defect of intellectual power, and "the having no turn or taste for subjects of this sort," are effects and consequences of the alienation of the WILL -- i.e. of the man himself. There may be a defect, but there was not a deficiency, of the intellect. I appeal to facts for the proof. Take the science of Political Economy -- no two Professors understand each other -- and often have I been present where the subject has been discussed in a room full of merchants and manufacturers, sensible and well-informed men: and the conversation has ended in a confession, that the matter was beyond their comprehension. And yet the science professes to give light on Rents, Taxes, Income, Capital, the Principles of Trade, Commerce, Agriculture, on Wealth, and the ways of acquiring and increasing it, in short on all that most passionately excites and interests the Toutoscosmos men. But it was avowed, that to arrive at any understanding of these matters requires a mind gigantic in its comprehension, and microscopic in its accuracy of detail. Now compare this with the effect produced on promiscuous crowds by a Whitfield, or a Wesley -- or rather compare with it the shaking of every leaf of the vast forest to the first blast of Luther's trumpet. Was it only of the world to come that Luther and his compeers preached? Turn to Luther's table talk, and see if the larger part be not of that other world which now is, and without the being and working of which the world to come would be either as unintelligible as Abracadabra, or a mere reflection and elongation of the world of sense -- Jack Robinson between two looking-glasses, with a series of Jack Robinsons in secula seculorum.

Well, but what is this new and yet other world? The Brain of a man that is out of his senses? A world fraught "with Castles in the air, well worthy the attention of any gentleman inclined to idealize a large property?"

The sneer on that lip, and the arch shine of that eye, Friend Demosius, would almost justify me, though I should answer that question by retorting it in a parody. What, quoth the owlet, peeping out of his ivy-bush at noon, with his blue fringed eye -- curtains dropt, what is this LIGHT which is said to exist together with this warmth, we feel, and yet is something else? But I read likewise in that same face, as thou wert beginning to prepare that question, a sort of mis-giving from within, as if thou wert more positive than sure that the reply, with which you would accommodate me, is as wise, as it is witty. Therefore, though I cannot answer your question, I will give you a hint how you may answer it for yourself. -- 1st. Learn the art and acquire the habit of contemplating things abstractedly from their relations.
I will explain myself by an instance. Suppose a body floating at a certain height in the air, and receiving the light so equally on all sides as not to occasion the eye to conjecture any solid contents. And now let six or seven persons see it at different distances and from different points of view. For A it will be a square! for B a triangle; for C two right-angled triangles attached to each other; for D two unequal triangles; for E it will be a triangle with a Trapezium hung on to it; for F it will be a square with a cross in it Image; for G it will be an oblong quadrangle with three triangles in it Image; and for H three unequal triangles.

The numbers 3, 5, and 7 are prominent in speculative masonry, as shown in “Isis.” A mason writes: — “There are the 3, 5, and 7 steps to show a circular walk. The three faces of 3, 3; 5, 3; and 7, 3; etc., etc. Sometimes it comes in this form — 753/2 = 376.5 and 7635/2 = 3817.5 and the ratio of 20612/6561 feet for cubit measure gives the Great Pyramid measures,” etc., etc. Three, five and seven are mystical numbers, and the last and the first are as greatly honoured by Masons as by the Parsis — the triangle being a symbol of Deity everywhere. (See the Masonic Cyclopedia, and “Pythagorean Triangle,” Oliver.) As a matter of course, doctors of divinity (Cassel, for instance) show the Zohar explaining and supporting the Christian trinity (!). It is the latter, however, that had its origin from the Image of the Heathen, in the Archaic Occultism and Symbology. The three strides relate metaphysically to the descent of Spirit into matter, of the Logos falling as a ray into the Spirit, then into the Soul, and finally into the human physical form of man, in which it becomes Life....

-- The Secret Doctrine -- The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


To the occultists, numbers have curious properties which are not just utilitarian. They all borrow from Pythagoras, who first gave mathematics a specialized meaning. The occult properties of numbers form the basis for serious study which, they believe, contains the key to laws of human and cosmic life.

-- Gods & Beasts -- The Nazis & the Occult, by Dusty Sklar


Now it is evident that neither of all these is the figure itself, (which in this instance is a four-sided pyramid), but the contingent relations of the figure. Now transfer this from Geometry to the subjects of the real (i.e. not merely formal or abstract) sciences -- to substances and bodies, the materia subjecta of the Chemist, Physiologist and Naturalist, and you will gradually (that is), if you choose and sincerely will it) acquire the power and the disposition of contemplating your own imaginations, wants, appetites, passions, opinions, &c., on the same principles, and distinguish that, which alone is and abides, from the accidental and impermanent relations arising out of its co-existence with other things or beings.

My second rule or maxim requires its prolegemena. In the several classes and orders that mark the scale of organic nature, from the plant to the highest order of animals, each higher implies a lower, as the condition of its actual existence -- and the same position holds good equally of the vital and organic powers. Thus, without the first power, that of growth, or what Bichat and others name the vegetive life, or productivity, the second power, that of total and locomotion (commonly but most infelicitously called irritability), could not exist -- i.e. manifest its being.

Productivity is the necessary antecedent of irritability, and in like manner, irritability of sensibility. But it is no less true, that in the idea of each power the lower derives its intelligibility from the higher: and the highest must be presumed to inhere latently or potentially in the lowest, or this latter will be wholly unintelligible, inconceivable -- you can have no conception of it. Thus in sensibility we see a power that in every instant goes out of itself, and in the same instant retracts and falls back on itself: which the great fountains of pure Mathesis, the Pythagorean and Platonic Geometricians, illustrated in the production, or self-evolution, of the point into the circle.

En-Sof in Hebrew literally means "there is no end...the very absolute as such, or positive nothing ...the principle of unconditional unity or 'unityness' as such, the principle of freedom from all forms, from all manifestations, and, consequently, from all being)... eternally finds its opposite in itself, so that only through a relationship to this opposite can it assert itself, so that it is perfectly reciprocal."

-- Vladimir Solov'ev on Spiritual Nationhood, Russia and the Jews, by Judith Deutsch Kornblatt


Imagine the going-forth and the retraction as two successive acts, the result would be an infinity of angles, a growth of zig-zag. In order to the imaginability of a circular line, the extroitive and the retroitive must co-exist in one and the same act and moment, the curve line being the product. Now what is ideally true in the generations or productive acts of the intuitive faculty (of the pure sense, I mean, or Inward Vision -- the reine Anschaunug of the German Philosophers) must be assumed as truth of fact in all living growth, or wherein would the growth of a plant differ from a chrystal? The latter is formed wholly by apposition ab extra: in the former the movement ab extra is, in order of thought, consequent on, and yet comstaneous with, the movement ab intra. Thus, the specific character of Sensibility, the highest of the three powers, is found to be the general character of Life, and supplies the only way of conceiving, supplies the only insight into the possibility of, the first and lowest power. And yet even thus, growth taken as separate from and exclusive of sensibility, would be unintelligible, nay, contradictory. For it would be an act of the life, or productive form (vide Aids to Reflection, p. 68.) of the plant, having the life itself as its source, (since it is a going forth from the life), and likewise having the life itself as its object, for in the same instant it is retracted: and yet the product (i.e. the plant) exists not for itself, by the hypothesis that has excluded sensibility. For all sensibility is a self-finding; whence the German word for sensation or feeling is Empfindung, i.e. an inward finding. Therefore sensibility cannot be excluded: and as it does not exist actually, it must be involved potentially. Life does not yet manifest itself in its highest dignity, as a self-finding; but in an evident tendency thereto, or a self-seeking -- and this has two epochs, or intensities. Potential sensibility in its first epoch, or lowest intensity, appears as growth: in its second epoch, it shews itself as irritability, or vital instinct. In both, however, the sensibility must have pre-existed, (or rather pre-inhered) though as latent: or how could the irritability have been evolved out of the growth? (ex. gr. in the stamina of the plant during the act of impregnating the germen). Or the sensibility out of the irritability? (ex. gr. in the first appearance of nerves and nervous bulbs, in the lower orders of the insect realm.) But, indeed, evolution as contra-distinguished from apposition, or superinduction ab aliunde, is implied in the conception of life: and is that which essentially differences a living fibre from a thread of Asbestos, the Floscule or any other of the moving fairy shapes of animalcular life from the frost-plumes on a window pane.

To return to “Esoteric Buddhism.” It is there stated with regard to the enormous period intervening between the mineral epoch on Globe A, and the man-epoch, * that: “The full development of the mineral epoch on Globe A, prepares the way for the vegetable development, and, as soon as this begins, the mineral life-impulse overflows into Globe B. Then, when the vegetable development on Globe A is complete and the animal development begins, the vegetable life-impulse overflows to Globe B, and the mineral impulse passes on to Globe C. Then finally comes the human life-impulse on Globe A.” (Page 49.) (*The term “Man epoch” is here used because of the necessity of giving a name to that fourth kingdom which follows the animal. But in truth the “Man” on Globe A during the First Round is no Man, but only his prototype or dimensionless image from the astral regions.)

-- The Secret Doctrine -- The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


Again: what has been said of the lowest power of life relatively to its highest power -- growth to sensibility, the plant to the animal -- applies equally to life itself relatively to mind.

This explains also the hidden Kabalistic meaning of the saying: “The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god.”

-- The Secret Doctrine -- The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


Without the latter the former would be unintelligible, and the idea would contradict itself. If there had been no self-retaining power, a self-finding would be a perpetual self-losing. Divide a second into a thousand, or if you please, a million of parts, yet if there be an absolute chasm separating one moment of self-finding from another, the chasm of a millionth of a second would be equal to all time. A being that existed for itself only in moments, each infinitely small and yet absolutely divided from the preceding and following, would not exist for itself at all. And if all beings were the same, or yet lower, it could not be said to exist in any sense, any more than light would exist as light, if there were no eyes or visual power: and the whole conception would break up into contradictory positions -- an intestine conflict more destructive than even that between the two cats, where one tail alone is said to have survived the battle. The conflicting factors of our conception would eat each other up, tails and all. Ergo: the mind, as a self-retaining power, is no less indispensable to the intelligibility of life as a self- finding power, than a self-finding power, i.e. sensibility, to a self-seeking power, i.e. growth. Again: a self-retaining mind -- (i.e. memory, which is the primary sense of mind, and the common people in several of our provinces still use the word in this sense) -- a self-retaining power supposes a self-containing power, a self-conscious being. And this is the definition of mind in its proper and distinctive sense, a subject that is its own object -- or where A contemplant is one and the same subject with A contemplated. Lastly (that I may complete the ascent of powers for my own satisfaction, and not as expecting, or in the present habit of your thoughts even wishing you to follow me to a height, dizzy for the strongest spirit, it being the apex of all human, perhaps of angelic knowledge to know, that it must be: since absolute ultimates can only be seen by a light thrown backward from the Penultimate. -- John's Gosp. i. 18.) Lastly, I say, the self-containing power supposes a self-causing power. Causa sui Image. Here alone we find a problem which in its very statement contains its own solution -- the one self-solving power, beyond which no question is possible. Yet short of this we dare not rest: for even the Image, the Supreme Being, if it were contemplated abstractly from the Absolute WILL, whose essence it is to be causative of all Being, would sink into a Spinozistic Deity. That this is not evident to us arises from the false notion, of Reason (Image) as a quality, property, or faculty of the Real: whereas reason is the supreme reality, the only true being in all things visible and invisible! the Pleroma, in whom alone God loveth the world! Even in man will is deeper than mind, for mind does not cease to be mind by having an antecedent; but Will is either the first (Image nunquam positum, semper supponendum) or it is not WILL at all.

IS PLEROMA SATAN’S LAIR? ... Thus, the true and uncompromising Kabalists admit that, for all purposes of Science and philosophy, it is enough that the profane should know that the great magic agent called by the followers of the Marquis de St. Martin — the Martinists — astral light, by the mediaeval Kabalists and Alchemists the Sidereal Virgin and the Mysterium Magnum, and by the Eastern Occultists AEther, the reflection of Akasa — is that which the Church calls Lucifer. That the Latin scholastics have succeeded in transforming the universal soul and Pleroma, the vehicle of Light and the receptacle of all the forms, a force spread throughout the whole Universe, with its direct and indirect effects, into Satan and his works, is no news to any one.

-- The Secret Doctrine -- The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky


And now, friend! for the practical rules which I promised, or the means by which you may educate in yourself that state of mind which is most favourable to a true knowledge of both the worlds that now are, and to a right faith in the world to come.

I. Remember, that whatever is, lives. A thing absolutely lifeless is inconceivable, except as a thought, image, or fancy, in some other being.

II. In every living form, the conditions of its existence are to be sought for in that which is below it; the grounds of its intelligibility in that which is above it.

III. Accustom your mind to distinguish the relations of things from the things themselves. Think often of the latter, independent of the former, in order that you may never think of the former apart from the latter, i.e. mistake mere relations for true and enduring realities: and with regard to these, seek the solution of each in some higher reality. The contrary process leads demonstrably to Atheism, and though you may not get quite so far, it is not well to be seen travelling on the road with your face towards it.

I might add a fourth rule: Learn to distinguish permanent from accidental relations. But I am willing that you should for a time take permanent relations as real things -- confident that you will soon feel the necessity of reducing what you now call things into relations, which immediately arising out of a somewhat else may properly be contemplated as the products of that somewhat else, and as the means by which its existence is made known to you. But known as what? not as a product: for it is the somewhat else, to which the product stands in the same relation as the words, you are now hearing, bear to my living soul. But if not as products, then as productive powers: and the result will be, that what you have hitherto called things will be regarded as only more or less permanent relations of things, having their derivative reality greater or less in proportion as they are regular or accidental relations; determined by the pr

e-established fitness of the true thing to the organ and faculty of the percipient, or resulting from some defect or anomaly in the latter.

With these convictions matured into a habit of mind, the man no longer seeks, or believes himself to find, true reality except in the powers of nature; which living and actuating POWERS are made known to him, and their kinds determined, and their forces measured, by their proper products. In other words, he thinks of the products in reference to the productive powers, the Image Image Image Image Image, of the Samtan sage: and thus gives to the former (to the products, I mean) a true reality, a life, a beauty, and a physiognomic expression. For him they are the Image Image

The Allokosmite, therefore (though he does not bark at the image in the glass, because he knows what it is), possesses the same world with the Toutoscosmites; and has, besides, in present possession another and better world, to which he can transport himself by a swifter vehicle than Fortunatus's Wishing Cap.

Finally, what is Reason? You have often asked me; and this is my answer: --

"Whene'er the mist, that stands 'twixt God and thee
Defecates to a pure transparency,
That intercepts no light and adds no stain --
There Reason is, and then begins her reign!"


But, alas!

________"tu stesso ti fai grosso
Col falso immagmar, si che non vedi
Cio che vedresti, se l'avessi scosso.

-- DANTE, Paradiso, Canto I.


FINIS.
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