Imágenes de páginas

tack, single-handed, the enemies who were exulting over the discord and feebleness which they thought foreboded the disruption of the Catholic body. This, too, almost without encouragement, and with no hearty support from those who were older and more thor oughly trained and equipped in the service than himself. He became the coadjutor and successor of the very man who had refused his first application to be allowed to purchase the privilege of studying under him, by his daily labor. He died the metropolitan of a province embracing all New York, New Jersey, and New England, and including eight suffragan bishoprics with more than a million of Catholics; confessedly the most conspicuous man among his fellow-bishops in the view of Catholics and Protestants alike, one of the most trusted and honored of his compeers at the See of Rome, well known throughout Catholic Christendom, a confidential adviser and a powerful supporter of the United States government, a recognized illustrious citizen of the American republic as well as one of the ornaments of his native country, with all the signs and tributes of universal honor and respect at his funeral obsequies which are accorded to distinguished personal character or official station. Let the most severe and impartial critic apply his mind to separate, in this distinguished and useful career, the personal and individual force impelling the man through it, from the concurrence of Divine Providence, the aid of favorable circumstances and high position, the supernatural power of the character with which he was marked, and of the system which he administered, and the strength and volume of the current of events on which he was borne, and, if we mistake not, he will find something strong enough to stand all his tests. An ordinary man might have worked his way into the priesthood, fulfilled its duties with zeal and success, attained the episcopal and metropolitan dignity, won respect by his administration, and left a flourishing diocese to his successor. But an ordinary man could never have gained the power and influence possessed by Archbishop Hughes, Our carly and original impressions of his remarkable power of intellect and will have been strengthened and fixed by reading his biography, and the greatness of the influence which he exerted in behalf of the Catholic religion is, to

our mind, established beyond a doubt. His chivalrous and valiant combat with John Breckinridge, at Philadelphia, was a victory not only decisive but full of results. We know, from a distinct remembrance of the opinions expressed at the time, that Mr. Breckinridge was generally thought, by Protestants, to have been discomfited. We have heard him speak himself of the affair with the tone of one who had exposed himself to a dangerous encounter with an enemy superior to himself, for the public good, and barely escaped with his life. We remember taking up the book containing the controversy, from a sentiment of curiosity to know what plausible argument could possibly be offered for the Catholic religion, and undergoing, in the perusal, a revolution of opinion, which rendered a return to the old state of mind inherited from a Puritan education impossible. This we believe is but an instanco exemplifying the general effect of the controversy upon candid and thinking minds, not hopelessly enslaved to prejudice. We remember hearing him preach in the full vigor of his intellectual and physical manhood, in the cathedral of New York, soon after his consecration, and the impression of his whole attitude, countenance, manner of delivery, and cast of thought is still vivid and unique. Those who have seen the archbishop only during the last fifteen years, have seen a breakingdown, enfeebled, almost worn-out man, incapable of steady, vigorous cxertion, and oppressed by a weight of care and responsibility which was too great for him. To judge of his ability fairly it is necessary to have seen and heard him in his prime, before ill-health had sapped his vigor. And to appreciate the best and most genial qualities and dispositions of the man, it is necessary to have met him in familiar, unre strained intercourse, apart from any of ficial relation and away from his diocese-or, at least, in those times when all official anxieties and cares of gov ernment were put aside and his mind relaxed in purely friendly conversation, That he was a great man, a true Chris tian prelate, and accomplished a great work in the service of the church, of his native countrymen, and of the country of his adoption, is, we believe, the just verdict of the most competent judges and of the public at large upon the facts of his life. He will not be forgotter, for his life and acts are too closely in

terwoven with public history and his influence has been too marked to make that possible. We trust that those who enjoy the blessings of a securely and peacefully established Catholic Church will not be disposed to forget the men who, in more troubled times, have won by their valor the heritage upon which we have entered. The record of their lives and labors is of great value, and this one, in particular, is worthy of the perusal of every Catholic and every American, and has in it a kind of romantic charm and dramatic grouping which does not belong to the life of one who has been more confined to the seclusion of study or the ordinary pastoral routine.

We regret the mention made of Dr. Forbes's defection, and the publicity which is again given to painful matters which had become buried in oblivion.

It appears to us that, as Dr. Forbes has not publicly assailed either the church or the late archbishop, it was unnecessary to allude to him in any way, and it world have been more generous to have suppressed the remarks made in the archbishop's private correspondence. The mechanical execution of the work is in good style, and we recommend it to our readers as necessary to every Catholic library.

AN AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. By Noah Webster, LL.D. Thoroughly Revised and Greatly Enlarged and Improved, by Chauncey A. Goodrich, D.D., Late Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, and also Professor of the Pastoral Charge in Yale College, and Noah Porter, D.D., Clark Professor of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics in Yale College. Royal quarto, pp. 1840. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam.


There have been published, within the last twenty-five years, several editions of Webster's Dictionary," but the presat one, the title of which is given above, seems to be the crowning effort of dictionary making. It surpasses all other editions of the same work both in its typography, its illustrationssome 3,000 in number-and its philological completeness. "Webster's Dictionary" has always been of high authority in this country, and is now held in great repute in England, where it is

accepted by several writers as the best authority in defining the English language. The present edition is a most beautiful one, and contains all the modern words which custom has engrafted upon our language. It also contains, in its pronouncing table of Scripture proper names, a supplementary list of the names found in the Douay Bible, but not in King James's version. In fact, care has been taken to make this edition as free as possible from partisan and theological differences in regard to the definitions of certain words which heretofore got a peculiarly Protestant twitch when being defined. The publishers deserve great praise for the manner in which they have done their portion of the work; it is a credit and an honor to the American press.

THE CRITERION; OR, THE TEST OF TALK ABOUT FAMILIAR THINGS: A Series of Essays. By Henry T. Tuckerman. 12mo., pp. 377. New York: Hurd & Houghton. 1866.

[ocr errors]

Mr. H. T. Tuckerman is a man of letters, and we thought he would not be likely to put his name to anything discreditable to an enlightened author; but, to judge from many things in the above production, we think he has missed his vocation, and would find more appropriate employment as a contributor to the publications of the American Tract Society, or the magazine put forth, monthly, by the "Foreign and Christian Union. " Else, why is every pope "shrewd," every priest an "incarnation of fiery zeal?" why the lonely existence and the subtle eye of the Catholic?" why "the medical Jesuit, who, like his religious prototype, operates through the female branches, and thus controls the heads of families, regulating their domestic arrangements, etc.?" why Bloody Mary" and "Romish?" why is "superstition the usual trait of Romanists?" and this: "One may pace the chaste aisles of the Madeleine, and feel his devotion stirred, perhaps, by the dark catafalque awaiting the dead in the centre of the spacious floor; and then what to him is the doctrine of transubstantiation?" (!) We are truly sorry to see these indications of a spirit with which we think the author will find very little sympathy outside the clique of benighted readers of the publications above quoted.

[ocr errors]

CHRIST THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. By C. J. Vaughan, D.D., Vicar of Doncaster. 18mo., pp. 269. Alexander Strahan, London and New York. 1865.

This beautiful little volume contains twelve sermons, or rather religious essays, written in a pleasing style, but altogether too lengthy and too exhaustive in character. We have no doubt but that the author is a good preacher, and if these essays were ever preached by him as sermons, they were listened to with pleasure. But in their present shape, enlarged, systematized, and-shall we say-almost too carefully prepared for the press, they are a little tiresome. One feels in reading them how much the naturalness, as well as the elegance of diction, is marred by the vague evangelical phraseology, "coming to Christ," "laying hold on Christ," etc., which occurs so constantly in these pages. The author, being a Low Evangelical Churchman, gives us, of course, "justification by faith" and the Calvinistic view of the Fall. Yet, in the latter half of the volume he seems to speak more like one who imagines that man has something to do for his own justification, and takes a higher and nobler view of humanity. We give the following passage from the last sermon, entitled "Cast out and found," as a good specimen of what we should call practical preaching. When Jesus found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? Thou! The word is emphatic in the original, 'Thoubelievest thou? We are glad to escape into the crowd, and shelter ourselves behind a church's confession.

[ocr errors]

very object of Christ's finding thee and speaking to thee is to bring the question home, Dost thou believe? A trying, a fearful moment, when Christ, face to face with man's soul, proposes that question! Perhaps that moment has not yet come to you. You have been fighting it off. You do not wish to come to these close quarters with it. The world does not press you with it. The world is willing enough that you should answer it in the general; and even if you ever say, 'I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,' it shall be in a chorus of voices, almost robbing the individual of personality, and making 'I' sound like 'we.' But if ever your religion is to be a real thing, if ever it is to enable you to do battle with a sin, or to face a mortal risk, if ever it is to be a religion for the hour of death, or for the day of judgment, you must have had that question put to you by yourself, and you must have answered it from the heart in one way. Then you will be a real Christian, not before ["

The book is elegantly got up in the style and care for which the publisher is noted.

[blocks in formation]

From PETER F. CUNNINGHAM, Philadelphia: The Life of Blessed John Berchmans, of the Society of Jesus. Translated from the French. With an Appendix, giving an account of the Miracles after Death Winch have been approved by the Holy See. From the italian of l'ather Borco, S. J. 1 vol. 12mo., pp. 5.

But a day is coming, in which nothing From JOHN MURPHY & CO., Baltimore: The Apos

but an individual faith will carry with it either strength or comfort. It will be idle to say in a moment of keen personal distress, such as probably lies before us in life and certainly in death and in judgment, 'Every one believesall around us believe-the world itself believes in the Son of God: there is no strength and no help there: the

tleship of Prayer. A Holy League of Christian Hearts united with the Heart of Jesus, to obtain the Triumph of the Church and the Salvation of Souls. Preceded by a Brief of the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX., the approbation of several Archbishops and Bishops and Superiors of Religious Congregations. By the Rev. II. Ramiere, of the Society of Jesus. Translated from the latest French Edition, and Revised by a Father of the Society. With the appronation of the Most Rev. Archbishop Spalding. 12mo., pp. 36, From KELLY & PIET, Baltimore: Life in the Clois ter; or, Faithful and True. By the author of "The World and Cloister." 12mo., pp. 221.




VOL. III., NO. 14.—MAY, 1866.





We wish to state distinctly and openly, at the outset of this work, that the solution given of the problems therein discussed is a solution derived from the Catholic faith. Its sole object will be to make an exposition of the doctrines of the Catholic faith bearing on these problems. By an exposition, is not meant a mere expansion or paraphrase of the articles of the Creed, but such a statement as shall include an exhibition of their positive, objective truth, or conformity to the real order of being and existence; and of their reasonableness or analogy to the special part of that universal order lying within the reach of rational knowledge. In doing this we choose what appears to us the best and simplest method. It differs, however, in certain respects, from the one most in vogue, and therefore requires a few preliminary words of explanation.

VOL. III. 10

The usual method is, to proceed as far as possible in the analysis of the religious truths provable by reason, to introduce afterward the evidences of revealed religion, and finally to proceed to an exposition of revealed doctrines. We have no wish to decry the many valuable works constructed on this plan, but simply to vindicate the propriety of following another, which is better suited to our special purpose. We conceive it not to be necessary to follow the first method in explaining the faith of a Christian mind, because the Christian mind itself does not actually attain to faith by this method. We do not proceed by a course of reasoning through natural theology and evidences of revelation to our Christian belief. We begin by submitting to instruction, and receiving all it imparts at once, without preliminaries. The Christian child begins by saying "Credo in Unum Deum." This is the first article of his faith. It is proposed to him, by an authority which he reveres as divine, as the first and principal ar

ticle of a series of revealed truths. If that act is right and rational, it can be justified on rational grounds. It can be shown to be in conformity to the real order. If it is in conformity to the real order, it is in conformity also to the logical order. The exposition of the real order of things is the exposition of truth, and is, therefore, sound philosophy. A child who has attained the full use of his reason and received competent instruction, either has, or has not, a faith; not merely objectively certain, but subjectively also, as certain and as capable of being rationally accounted for, though not by his own reflection, as that of a theologian. If he has this subjective certitude, a simple explication of the creditive act in his mind will show the nature and ground of it in the clearest manner. If he has not, children and simple persons who are children in science, i. e., the majority of mankind, are incapable of faith-a conclusion which oversets theology.

We have now indirectly made known what our own method will be;

and in varying degrees admitted by different classes of them, contenting ourselves with indicating rather than completing the line of argument on special topics.

The Catholic reader will see in this exposition of the Catholic idea only that which he already believes, stated perhaps in such a way as to aid his intellectual conception of it. The Protestant reader, accordingly as he believes less or more of the Catholic Creed, will see in it less or more to accept without argument, together with much which he does not accept, but which is proposed to his consideration as necessary to complete the Christian idea. The unbeliever will find an affirmation of the necessary truths of pure reason, together with an attempt to show the legitimate union between the primitive ideal formula and the revealed or Christian formula, binding them into one synthesis, philosophically coherent and complete.


namely, to present the credible object RELATION OF THE CREDIBLE OBJECT

in contact or relation with the creditive subject, as it really is when the child makes the first complete act of faith. Instead of inviting the reader to begin at the viewing point of a sceptic or atheist, and reason gradually up from certain postulates of natural reason, through natural theology, to the Catholic faith, we invite him to begin at once at the viewing point of a Catholic believer, and endeavor to get the view which one brought up in the church takes of divine truth. We do not mean to ask him to take anything for granted. We will endeavor to show the internal coherence of Catholic doctrine, and its correspondence with the primitive judgments of reason. We cannot pretend to exhibit systematically the evidence sustaining each portion of this vast system. It would only be doing over again a work already admirably done. We must suppose it to be known or within the reach of the knowledge of our readers,


LET us begin with a child, or a simple, uneducated adult, who is in a state of perpetual childhood as regards scientific knowledge. Let us take him as a creditive subject or Christian believer, with the credible object or Catholic faith in contact with his reason from its earliest dawn. Before proceeding formally to analyze his creditive act, we will illustrate it by a supposed case.

Let us suppose that, when our Lord Jesus Christ was upon earth, he went to visit a pagan in order to instruct him in the truths of religion. We will suppose him to be intelligent, upright, and sincere, with as much knowledge of religious truth as was ordinarily attainable through the heathen tradition. Let us suppose him to receive the instructions of Christ with faith, to be baptized, and to remain ever after a firm and undoubting be

« AnteriorContinuar »