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History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science by John William Draper

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To the Arabians we owe our knowledge of the rudiments of algebra;
we owe to them the very name under which this branch of
mathematics passes. They had carefully added, to the remains of
the Alexandrian School, improvements obtained in India, and had
communicated to the subject a certain consistency and form. The
knowledge of algebra, as they possessed it, was first brought
into Italy about the beginning of the thirteenth century. It
attracted so little attention, that nearly three hundred years
elapsed before any European work on the subject appeared. In 1496
Paccioli published his book entitled "Arte Maggiore," or
"Alghebra." In 1501, Cardan, of Milan, gave a method for the
solution of cubic equations; other improvements were contributed
by Scipio Ferreo, 1508, by Tartalea, by Vieta. The Germans now
took up the subject. At this time the notation was in an
imperfect state.

The publication of the Geometry of Descartes, which contains the
application of algebra to the definition and investigation of
curve lines (1637), constitutes an epoch in the history of the
mathematical sciences. Two years previously, Cavalieri's work on
Indivisibles had appeared. This method was improved by Torricelli
and others. The way was now open, for the development of the
Infinitesimal Calculus, the method of Fluxions of Newton, and the
Differential and Integral Calculus of Leibnitz. Though in his
possession many years previously, Newton published nothing on
Fluxions until 1704; the imperfect notation he employed retarded
very much the application of his method. Meantime, on the
Continent, very largely through the brilliant solutions of some
of the higher problems, accomplished by the Bernouillis, the
Calculus of Leibnitz was universally accepted, and improved by
many mathematicians. An extraordinary development of the science
now took place, and continued throughout the century. To the
Binomial theorem, previously discovered by Newton, Taylor now
added, in his "Method of Increments," the celebrated theorem that
bears his name. This was in 1715. The Calculus of Partial
Differences was introduced by Euler in 1734. It was extended by
D'Alembert, and was followed by that of Variations, by Euler and
Lagrange, and by the method of Derivative Functions, by Lagrange,
in 1772.

But it was not only in Italy, in Germany, in England, in France,
that this great movement in mathematics was witnessed; Scotland
had added a new gem to the intellectual diadem with which her
brow is encircled, by the grand invention of Logarithms, by
Napier of Merchiston. It is impossible to give any adequate
conception of the scientific importance of this incomparable
invention. The modern physicist and astronomer will most
cordially agree with Briggs, the Professor of Mathematics in
Gresham College, in his exclamation: "I never saw a book that
pleased me better, and that made I me more wonder!" Not without
reason did the immortal Kepler regard Napier "to be the greatest
man of his age, in the department to which he had applied his
abilities." Napier died in 1617. It is no exaggeration to say
that this invention, by shortening the labors, doubled the life
of the astronomer.

But here I must check myself. I must remember that my present
purpose is not to give the history of mathematics, but to
consider what science has done for the advancement of human
civilization. And now, at once, recurs the question, How is it
that the Church produced no geometer in her autocratic reign of
twelve hundred years?

With respect to pure mathematics this remark may be made: Its
cultivation does not demand appliances that are beyond the reach
of most individuals. Astronomy must have its observatory,
chemistry its laboratory; but mathematics asks only personal
disposition and a few books. No great expenditures are called
for, nor the services of assistants. One would think that nothing
could be more congenial, nothing more delightful, even in the
retirement of monastic life.

Shall we answer with Eusebius, "It is through contempt of such
useless labor that we think so little of these matters; we turn
our souls to the exercise of better things?" Better things! What
can be better than absolute truth? Are mysteries, miracles, lying
impostures, better? It was these that stood in the way!

The ecclesiastical authorities had recognized, from the outset of
this scientific invasion, that the principles it was
disseminating were absolutely irreconcilable with the current
theology. Directly and indirectly, they struggled against it. So
great was their detestation of experimental science, that they
thought they had gained a great advantage when the Accademia del
Cimento was suppressed. Nor was the sentiment restricted to
Catholicism. When the Royal Society of London was founded,
theological odium was directed against it with so much rancor
that, doubtless, it would have been extinguished, had not King
Charles II. given it his open and avowed support. It was accused
of an intention of "destroying the established religion, of
injuring the universities, and of upsetting ancient and solid

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. We have only to turn over the pages
of its Transactions to discern how much this society has done for
the progress of humanity. It was incorporated in 1662, and has
interested itself in all the great scientific movements and
discoveries that have since been made. It published Newton's
"Principia;" it promoted Halley's voyage, the first scientific
expedition undertaken by any government; it made experiments on
the transfusion of blood, and accepted Harvey's discovery of the
circulation. The encouragement it gave to inoculation led Queen
Caroline to beg six condemned criminals for experiment, and then
to submit her own children to that operation. Through its
encouragement Bradley accomplished his great discovery, the
aberration of the fixed stars, and that of the nutation of the
earth's axis; to these two discoveries, Delambre says, we owe the
exactness of modern astronomy. It promoted the improvement of the
thermometer, the measure of temperature, and in Harrison's watch,
the chronometer, the measure of time. Through it the Gregorian
Calendar was introduced into England, in 1752, against a violent
religious opposition. Some of its Fellows were pursued through
the streets by an ignorant and infuriated mob, who believed it
had robbed them of eleven days of their lives; it was found
necessary to conceal the name of Father Walmesley, a learned
Jesuit, who had taken deep interest in the matter; and, Bradley
happening to die during the commotion, it was declared that he
had suffered a judgment from Heaven for his crime!

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. If I were to attempt to do justice
to the merits of this great society, I should have to devote many
pages, to such subjects as the achromatic telescope of Dollond;
the dividing engine of Ramsden, which first gave precision to
astronomical observations, the measurement of a degree on the
earth's surface by Mason and Dixon; the expeditions of Cook in
connection with the transit of Venus; his circumnavigation of the
earth; his proof that scurvy, the curse of long sea-voyages, may
be avoided by the use of vegetable substances; the polar
expeditions; the determination of the density of the earth by
Maskelyne's experiments at Scheliallion, and by those of
Cavendish; the discovery of the planet Uranus by Herschel; the
composition of water by Cavendish and Watt; the determination of
the difference of longitude between London and Paris; the
invention of the voltaic pile; the surveys of the heavens by the
Herschels; the development of the principle of interference by
Young, and his establishment of the undulatory theory of light;
the ventilation of jails and other buildings; the introduction of
gas for city illumination; the ascertainment of the length of the
seconds-pendulum; the measurement of the variations of gravity in
different latitudes; the operations to ascertain the curvature of
the earth; the polar expedition of Ross; the invention of the
safety-lamp by Davy, and his decomposition of the alkalies and
earths; the electro-magnetic discoveries of Oersted and Faraday;
the calculating- engines of Babbage; the measures taken at the
instance of Humboldt for the establishment of many magnetic
observatories; the verification of contemporaneous magnetic
disturbances over the earth's surface. But it is impossible, in
the limited space at my disposal, to give even so little as a
catalogue of its Transactions. Its spirit was identical with that
which animated the Accademia del Cimento, and its motto
accordingly was "Nullius in Verba." It proscribed superstition,
and permitted only calculation, observation, and experiment.

INFLUENCE OF SCIENCE. Not for a moment must it be supposed that
in these great attempts, these great Successes, the Royal Society
stood alone. In all the capitals of Europe there were Academies,
Institutes, or Societies, equal in distinction, and equally
successful in promoting human knowledge and modern civilization.


The scientific study of Nature tends not only to correct and
ennoble the intellectual conceptions of man; it serves also to
ameliorate his physical condition. It perpetually suggests to him
the inquiry, how he may make, by their economical application,
ascertained facts subservient to his use.

The investigation of principles is quickly followed by practical
inventions. This, indeed, is the characteristic feature of our
times. It has produced a great revolution in national policy.

In former ages wars were made for the procuring of slaves. A
conqueror transported entire populations, and extorted from them
forced labor, for it was only by human labor that human labor
could be relieved. But when it was discovered that physical
agents and mechanical combinations could be employed to
incomparably greater advantage, public policy underwent a change;
when it was recognized that the application of a new principle,
or the invention of a new machine, was better than the
acquisition of an additional slave, peace became preferable to
war. And not only so, but nations possessing great slave or serf
populations, as was the care in America and Russia, found that
considerations of humanity were supported by considerations of
interest, and set their bondmen free.

SCIENTIFIC INVENTIONS. Thus we live in a period of which a
characteristic is the supplanting of human and animal labor by
machines. Its mechanical inventions have wrought a social
revolution. We appeal to the natural, not to the supernatural,
for the accomplishment of our ends. It is with the "modern
civilization" thus arising that Catholicism refuses to be
reconciled. The papacy loudly proclaims its inflexible
repudiation of this state of affairs, and insists on a
restoration of the medieval condition of things.

That a piece of amber, when rubbed, will attract and then repel
light bodies, was a fact known six hundred years before Christ.
It remained an isolated, uncultivated fact, a mere trifle, until
sixteen hundred years after Christ. Then dealt with by the
scientific methods of mathematical discussion and experiment, and
practical application made of the result, it has permitted men to
communicate instantaneously with each other across continents and
under oceans. It has centralized the world. By enabling the
sovereign authority to transmit its mandates without regard to
distance or to time, it has revolutionized statesmanship and
condensed political power.

In the Museum of Alexandria there was a machine invented by Hero,
the mathematician, a little more than one hundred years before
Christ. It revolved by the agency of steam, and was of the form
that we should now call a reaction-engine. This, the germ of one
of the most important inventions ever made, was remembered as a
mere curiosity for seventeen hundred years.

Chance had nothing to do with the invention of the modern
steam-engine. It was the product of meditation and experiment. Ia
the middle of the seventeenth century several mechanical
engineers attempted to utilize the properties of steam; their
labors were brought to perfection by Watt in the middle of the

The steam-engine quickly became the drudge of civilization. It
performed the work of many millions of men. It gave, to those who
would have been condemned to a life of brutal toil, the
opportunity of better pursuits. He who formerly labored might now

Its earliest application was in such operations as pumping,
wherein mere force is required. Soon, however, it vindicated its
delicacy of touch in the industrial arts of spinning and weaving.
It created vast manufacturing establishments, and supplied
clothing for the world. It changed the industry of nations.

In its application, first to the navigation of rivers, and then
to the navigation of the ocean, it more than quadrupled the speed
that had heretofore been attained. Instead of forty days being
requisite for the passage, the Atlantic might now be crossed in
eight. But, in land transportation, its power was most strikingly
displayed. The admirable invention of the locomotive enabled men
to travel farther in less than an hour than they formerly could
have done in more than a day.

The locomotive has not only enlarged the field of human activity,
but, by diminishing space, it has increased the capabilities of
human life. In the swift transportation of manufactured goods and
agricultural products, it has become a most efficient incentive
to human industry

The perfection of ocean steam-navigation was greatly promoted by
the invention of the chronometer, which rendered it possible to
find with accuracy the place of a ship at sea. The great drawback
on the advancement of science in the Alexandrian School was the
want of an instrument for the measurement of time, and one for
the measurement of temperature--the chronometer and the
thermometer; indeed, the invention of the latter is essential to
that of the former. Clepsydras, or water-clocks, had been tried,
but they were deficient in accuracy. Of one of them, ornamented
with the signs of the zodiac, and destroyed by certain primitive
Christians, St. Polycarp significantly remarked, "In all these
monstrous demons is seen an art hostile to God." Not until about
1680 did the chronometer begin to approach accuracy. Hooke, the
contemporary of Newton, gave it the balance-wheel, with the
spiral spring, and various escapements in succession were
devised, such as the anchor, the dead-beat, the duplex, the
remontoir. Provisions for the variation of temperature were
introduced. It was brought to perfection eventually by Harrison
and Arnold, in their hands becoming an accurate measure of the
flight of time. To the invention of the chronometer must be added
that of the reflecting sextant by Godfrey. This permitted
astronomical observations to be made, notwithstanding the motion
of a ship.

Improvements in ocean navigation are exercising a powerful
influence on the distribution of mankind. They are increasing the
amount and altering the character of colonization.

DOMESTIC IMPROVEMENT. But not alone have these great discoveries
and inventions, the offspring of scientific investigation,
changed the lot of the human race; very many minor ones, perhaps
individually insignificant, have in their aggregate accomplished
surprising effects. The commencing cultivation of science in the
fourteenth century gave a wonderful stimulus to inventive talent,
directed mainly to useful practical results; and this,
subsequently, was greatly encouraged by the system of patents,
which secure to the originator a reasonable portion of the
benefits of his skill. It is sufficient to refer in the most
cursory manner to a few of these improvements; we appreciate at
once how much they have done. The introduction of the saw-mill
gave wooden floors to houses, banishing those of gypsum, tile, or
stone; improvements cheapening the manufacture of glass gave
windows, making possible the warming of apartments. However, it
was not until the sixteenth century that glazing could be well
done. The cutting of glass by the diamond was then introduced.
The addition of chimneys purified the atmosphere of dwellings,
smoky and sooty as the huts of savages; it gave that
indescribable blessing of northern homes--a cheerful fireside.
Hitherto a hole in the roof for the escape of the smoke, a pit in
the midst of the floor to contain the fuel, and to be covered
with a lid when the curfew-bell sounded or night came, such had
been the cheerless and inadequate means of warming.

MUNICIPAL IMPROVEMENTS. Though not without a bitter resistance on
the part of the clergy, men began to think that pestilences are
not punishments inflicted by God on society for its religious
shortcomings, but the physical consequences of filth and
wretchedness; that the proper mode of avoiding them is not by
praying to the saints, but by insuring personal and municipal
cleanliness. In the twelfth century it was found necessary to
pave the streets of Paris, the stench in them was so dreadful At
once dysenteries and spotted fever diminished; a sanitary
condition approaching that of the Moorish cities of Spain, which
had been paved for centuries, was attained. In that now beautiful
metropolis it was forbidden to keep swine, an ordinance resented
by the monks of the abbey of St. Anthony, who demanded that the
pigs of that saint should go where they chose; the government was
obliged to compromise the matter by requiring that bells should
be fastened to the animals' necks. King Philip, the son of Louis
the Fat, had been killed by his horse stumbling over a sow.
Prohibitions were published against throwing slops out of the
windows. In 1870 an eye-witness, the author of this book, at the
close of the pontifical rule in Rome, found that, in walking the
ordure-defiled streets of that city, it was more necessary to
inspect the earth than to contemplate the heavens, in order to
preserve personal purity. Until the beginning of the seventeenth
century, the streets of Berlin were never swept. There was a law
that every countryman, who came to market with a cart, should
carry back a load of dirt!

Paving was followed by attempts, often of an imperfect kind, at
the construction of drains and sewers. It had become obvious to
all reflecting men that these were necessary to the preservation
of health, not only in towns, but in isolated houses. Then
followed the lighting of the public thoroughfares. At first
houses facing the streets were compelled to have candles or lamps
in their windows; next the system that had been followed with so
much advantage in Cordova and Granada--of having public
lamps--was tried, but this was not brought to perfection until
the present century, when lighting by gas was invented.
Contemporaneously with public lamps were improved organizations
for night-watchmen and police.

By the sixteenth century, mechanical inventions and manufacturing
improvements were exercising a conspicuous influence on domestic
and social life. There were looking-glasses and clocks on the
walls, mantels over the fireplaces. Though in many districts the
kitchen-fire was still supplied with turf, the use of coal began
to prevail. The table in the dining-room offered new delicacies;
commerce was bringing to it foreign products; the coarse drinks
of the North were supplanted by the delicate wines of the South.
Ice-houses were constructed. The bolting of flour, introduced at
the windmills, had given whiter and finer bread. By degrees
things that had been rarities became common--Indian-corn, the
potato, the turkey, and, conspicuous in the long list, tobacco.
Forks, an Italian invention, displaced the filthy use of the
fingers. It may be said that the diet of civilized men now
underwent a radical change. Tea came from China, coffee from
Arabia, the use of sugar from India, and these to no
insignificant degree supplanted fermented liquors. Carpets
replaced on the floors the layer of straw; in the chambers there
appeared better beds, in the wardrobes cleaner and more
frequently-changed clothing. In many towns the aqueduct was
substituted for the public fountain and the street-pump. Ceilings
which in the old days would have been dingy with soot and dirt,
were now decorated with ornamental frescoes. Baths were more
commonly resorted to; there was less need to use perfumery for
the concealment of personal odors. An increasing taste for the
innocent pleasures of horticulture was manifested, by the
introduction of many foreign flowers in the gardens--the
tuberose, the auricula, the crown imperial, the Persian lily, the
ranunculus, and African marigolds. In the streets there appeared
sedans, then close carriages, and at length hackney-coaches.

Among the dull rustics mechanical improvements forced their way,
and gradually attained, in the implements for ploughing, sowing,
mowing, reaping, thrashing, the perfection of our own times.

MERCANTILE INVENTIONS. It began to be recognized, in spite of the
preaching of the mendicant orders, that poverty is the source of
crime, the obstruction to knowledge; that the pursuit of riches
by commerce is far better than the acquisition of power by war.
For, though it may be true, as Montesquieu says, that, while
commerce unites nations, it antagonizes individuals, and makes a
traffic of morality, it alone can give unity to the world; its
dream, its hope, is universal peace.

MEDICAL IMPROVEMENTS. Though, instead of a few pages, it would
require volumes to record adequately the ameliorations that took
place in domestic and social life after science began to exert
its beneficent influences, and inventive talent came to the aid
of industry, there are some things which cannot be passed in
silence. From the port of Barcelona the Spanish khalifs had
carried on an enormous commerce, and they with their
coadjutors--Jewish merchants --had adopted or originated many
commercial inventions, which, with matters of pure science, they
had transmitted to the trading communities of Europe. The art of
book-keeping by double entry was thus brought into Upper Italy.
The different kinds of insurance were adopted, though strenuously
resisted by the clergy. They opposed fire and marine insurance,
on the ground that it is a tempting of Providence. Life insurance
was regarded as an act of interference with the consequences of
God's will. Houses for lending money on interest and on pledges,
that is, banking and pawnbroking establishments, were bitterly
denounced, and especially was indignation excited against the
taking of high rates of interest, which was stigmatized as
usury--a feeling existing in some backward communities up to the
present day. Bills of exchange in the present form and terms were
adopted, the office of the public notary established, and
protests for dishonored obligations resorted to. Indeed, it may
be said, with but little exaggeration, that the commercial
machinery now used was thus introduced. I have already remarked
that, in consequence of the discovery of America, the front of
Europe had been changed. Many rich Italian merchants and many
enterprising Jews, had settled in Holland England, France, and
brought into those countries various mercantile devices. The
Jews, who cared nothing about papal maledictions, were enriched
by the pontifical action in relation to the lending of money at
high interest; but Pius II., perceiving the mistake that had been
made, withdrew his opposition. Pawnbroking establishments were
finally authorized by Leo X., who threatened excommunication of
those who wrote against them. In their turn the Protestants now
exhibited a dislike against establishments thus authorized by
Rome. As the theological dogma, that the plague, like the
earthquake, is an unavoidable visitation from God for the sins of
men, began to be doubted, attempts were made to resist its
progress by the establishment of quarantines. When the Mohammedan
discovery of inoculation was brought from Constantinople in 1721,
by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, it was so strenuously resisted by
the clergy, that nothing short of its adoption by the royal
family of England brought it into use. A similar resistance was
exhibited when Jenner introduced his great improvement,
vaccination; yet a century ago it was the exception to see a face
unpitted by smallpox-- now it is the exception to see one so
disfigured. In like manner, when the great American discovery of
anaesthetics was applied in obstetrical cases, it was
discouraged, not so much for physiological reasons, as under the
pretense that it was an impious attempt to escape from the curse
denounced against all women in Genesis iii. 16.

MAGIC AND MIRACLES. Inventive ingenuity did not restrict itself
to the production of useful contrivances, it added amusing ones.
Soon after the introduction of science into Italy, the houses of
the virtuosi began to abound in all kinds of curious mechanical
surprises, and, as they were termed, magical effects. In the
latter the invention of the magic-lantern greatly assisted. Not
without reason did the ecclesiastics detest experimental
philosophy, for a result of no little importance ensued--the
juggler became a successful rival to the miracle-worker. The
pious frauds enacted in the churches lost their wonder when
brought into competition with the tricks of the conjurer in the
market-place: he breathed flame, walked on burning coals, held
red-hot iron in his teeth, drew basketfuls of eggs out of his
mouth, worked miracles by marionettes. Yet the old idea of the
supernatural was with difficulty destroyed. A horse, whose master
had taught him many tricks, was tried at Lisbon in 1601, found
guilty of being, possessed by the devil, and was burnt. Still
later than that many witches were brought to the stake.

discovery and invention have unceasingly advanced at an
accelerated pace. Each continually reacted on the other,
continually they sapped supernaturalism. De Dominis commenced,
and Newton completed, the explanation of the rainbow; they showed
that it was not the weapon of warfare of God, but the accident of
rays of light in drops of water. De Dominis was decoyed to Rome
through the promise of an archbishopric, and the hope of a
cardinal's hat. He was lodged in a fine residence, but carefully
watched. Accused of having suggested a concord between Rome and
England, he was imprisoned in the castle of St Angelo, and there
died. He was brought in his coffin before an ecclesiastical
tribunal, adjudged guilty of heresy, and his body, with a heap of
heretical books, was cast into the flames. Franklin, by
demonstrating the identity of lightning and electricity, deprived
Jupiter of his thunder-bolt. The marvels of superstition were
displaced by the wonders of truth. The two telescopes, the
reflector and the achromatic, inventions of the last century,
permitted man to penetrate into the infinite grandeurs of the
universe, to recognize, as far as such a thing is possible, its
illimitable spaces, its measureless times; and a little later the
achromatic microscope placed before his eyes the world of the
infinitely small. The air-balloon carried him above the clouds,
the diving- bell to the bottom of the sea. The thermometer gave
him true measures of the variations of heat; the barometer, of
the pressure of the air. The introduction of the balance imparted
exactness to chemistry, it proved the indestructibility of
matter. The discovery of oxygen, hydrogen, and many other gases,
the isolation of aluminum, calcium, and other metals, showed that
earth and air and water are not elements. With an enterprise that
can never be too much commended, advantage was taken of the
transits of Venus, and, by sending expeditions to different
regions, the distance of the earth from the sun was determined.
The step that European intellect had made between 1456 and 1759
was illustrated by Halley's comet. When it appeared in the former
year, it was considered as the harbinger of the vengeance of God,
the dispenser of the most dreadful of his retributions, war,
pestilence, famine. By order of the pope, all the church-bells in
Europe were rung to scare it away, the faithful were commanded to
add each day another prayer; and, as their prayers had often in
so marked a manner been answered in eclipses and droughts and
rains, so on this occasion it was declared that a victory over
the comet had been vouchsafed to the pope. But, in the mean time,
Halley, guided by the revelations of Kepler and Newton, had
discovered that its motions, so far from being controlled by the
supplications of Christendom, were guided in an elliptic orbit by
destiny. Knowing that Nature bad denied to him an opportunity of
witnessing the fulfillment of his daring prophecy, he besought
the astronomers of the succeeding generation to watch for its
return in 1759, and in that year it came.

INVENTIONS AND DISCOVERIES. Whoever will in a spirit of
impartiality examine what had been done by Catholicism for the
intellectual and material advancement of Europe, during her long
reign, and what has been done by science in its brief period of
action, can, I am persuaded, come to no other conclusion than
this, that, in instituting a comparison, he has established a
contrast. And yet, how imperfect, how inadequate is the catalogue
of facts I have furnished in the foregoing pages! I have said
nothing of the spread of instruction by the diffusion of the arts
of reading and writing, through public schools, and the
consequent creation of a reading community; the modes of
manufacturing public opinion by newspapers and reviews, the power
of journalism, the diffusion of information public and private by
the post-office and cheap mails, the individual and social
advantages of newspaper advertisements. I have said nothing of
the establishment of hospitals, the first exemplar of which was
the Invalides of Paris; nothing of the improved prisons,
reformatories, penitentiaries, asylums, the treatment of
lunatics, paupers, criminals; nothing of the construction of
canals, of sanitary engineering, or of census reports; nothing of
the invention of stereotyping, bleaching by chlorine, the
cotton-gin, or of the marvelous contrivances with which
cotton-mills are filled--contrivances which have given us cheap
clothing, and therefore added to cleanliness, comfort, health;
nothing of the grand advancement of medicine and surgery, or of
the discoveries in physiology, the cultivation of the fine arts,
the improvement of agriculture and rural economy, the
introduction of chemical manures and farm-machinery. I have not
referred to the manufacture of iron and its vast affiliated
industries; to those of textile fabrics; to the collection of
museums of natural history, antiquities, curiosities. I have
passed unnoticed the great subject of the manufacture of
machinery by itself--the invention of the slide-rest, the
planing-machine, and many other contrivances by which engines can
be constructed with almost mathematical correctness. I have said
nothing adequate about the railway system, or the electric
telegraph, nor about the calculus, or lithography, the airpump,
or the voltaic battery; the discovery of Uranus or Neptune, and
more than a hundred asteroids; the relation of meteoric streams
to comets; nothing of the expeditions by land and sea that have
been sent forth by various governments for the determination of
important astronomical or geographical questions; nothing of the
costly and accurate experiments they have caused to be made for
the ascertainment of fundamental physical data. I have been so
unjust to our own century that I have made no allusion to some of
its greatest scientific triumphs: its grand conceptions in
natural history; its discoveries in magnetism and electricity;
its invention of the beautiful art of photography; its
applications of spectrum analysis; its attempts to bring
chemistry under the three laws of Avogadro, of Boyle and
Mariotte, and of Charles; its artificial production of organic
substances from inorganic material, of which the philosophical
consequences are of the utmost importance; its reconstruction of
physiology by laying the foundation of that science on chemistry;
its improvements and advances in topographical surveying and in
the correct representation of the surface of the globe. I have
said nothing about rifled-guns and armored ships, nor of the
revolution that has been made in the art of war; nothing of that
gift to women, the sewing-machine; nothing of the noble
contentions and triumphs of the arts of peace--the industrial
exhibitions and world's fairs.

What a catalogue have we here, and yet how imperfect! It gives
merely a random glimpse at an ever-increasing intellectual
commotion--a mention of things as they casually present
themselves to view. How striking the contrast between this
literary, this scientific activity, and the stagnation of the
middle ages!

The intellectual enlightenment that surrounds this activity has
imparted unnumbered blessings to the human race. In Russia it has
emancipated a vast serf- population; in America it has given
freedom to four million negro slaves. In place of the sparse dole
of the monastery-gate, it has organized charity and directed
legislation to the poor. It has shown medicine its true function,
to prevent rather than to cure disease. In statesmanship it has
introduced scientific methods, displacing random and empirical
legislation by a laborious ascertainment of social facts previous
to the application of legal remedies. So conspicuous, so
impressive is the manner in which it is elevating men, that the
hoary nations of Asia seek to participate in the boon. Let us not
forget that our action on them must be attended by their reaction
on us. If the destruction of paganism was completed when all the
gods were brought to Rome and confronted there, now, when by our
wonderful facilities of locomotion strange nations and
conflicting religions are brought into common presence--the
Mohammedan, the Buddhist, the Brahman-modifications of them all
must ensue. In that conflict science alone will stand secure; for
it has given us grander views of the universe, more awful views
of God.

AMERICAN AND FRENCH REVOLUTIONS. The spirit that has imparted
life to this movement, that has animated these discoveries and
inventions, is Individualism; in some minds the hope of gain, in
other and nobler ones the expectation of honor. It is, then, not
to be wondered at that this principle found a political
embodiment, and that, during the last century, on two occasions,
it gave rise to social convulsions--the American and the French
Revolutions. The former has ended in the dedication of a
continent to Individualism--there, under republican forms, before
the close of the present century, one hundred million people,
with no more restraint than their common security requires, will
be pursuing an unfettered career. The latter, though it has
modified the political aspect of all Europe, and though
illustrated by surprising military successes, has, thus far, not
consummated its intentions; again and again it has brought upon
France fearful disasters. Her dual form of government--her
allegiance to her two sovereigns, the political and the
spiritual--has made her at once the leader and the antagonist of
modern progress. With one hand she has enthroned Reason, with the
other she has re-established and sustained the pope. Nor will
this anomaly in her conduct cease until she bestows a true
education on all her children, even on those of the humblest

SCIENCE AND CIVILIZATION. The intellectual attack made on
existing opinions by the French Revolution was not of a
scientific, but of a literary character; it was critical and
aggressive. But Science has never been an aggressor. She has
always acted on the defensive, and left to her antagonist the
making of wanton attacks. Nevertheless, literary dissent is not
of such ominous import as scientific; for literature is, in its
nature, local--science is cosmopolitan.

If, now, we demand, What has science done for the promotion of
modern civilization; what has it done for the happiness, the
well-being of society? we shall find our answer in the same
manner that we reached a just estimate of what Latin Christianity
had done. The reader of the foregoing paragraphs would
undoubtedly infer that there must have been an amelioration in
the lot of our race; but, when we apply the touchstone of
statistics, that inference gathers precision. Systems of
philosophy and forms of religion find a measure of their
influence on humanity in census-returns. Latin Christianity, in a
thousand years, could not double the population of Europe; it did
not add perceptibly to the term of individual life. But, as Dr.
Jarvis, in his report to the Massachusetts Board of Health, has
stated, at the epoch of the Reformation "the average longevity in
Geneva was 21.21 years, between 1814 and 1833 it was 40.68; as
large a number of persons now live to seventy years as lived to
forty, three hundred years ago. In 1693 the British Government
borrowed money by selling annuities on lives from infancy upward,
on the basis of the average longevity. The contract was
profitable. Ninety-seven years later another tontine, or scale of
annuities, on the basis of the same expectation of life as in the
previous century, was issued. These latter annuitants, however,
lived so much longer than their predecessors, that it proved to
be a very costly loan for the government. It was found that,
while ten thousand of each sex in the first tontine died under
the age of twenty-eight, only five thousand seven hundred and
seventy-two males and six thousand four hundred and sixteen
females in the second tontine died at the same age, one hundred
years later."

We have been comparing the spiritual with the practical, the
imaginary with the real. The maxims that have been followed in
the earlier and the later period produced their inevitable
result. In the former that maxim was, "Ignorance is the mother of
Devotion in the latter, "Knowledge is Power."


THE IMPENDING CRISIS. Indications of the approach of a religious
crisis.--The predominating Christian Church, the Roman, perceives
this, and makes preparation for it.--Pius IX convokes an
Oecumenical Council--Relations of the different European
governments to the papacy.--Relations of the Church to Science,
as indicated by the Encyclical Letter and the Syllabus.

Acts of the Vatican Council in relation to the infallibility of
the pope, and to Science.--Abstract of decisions arrived at.

Controversy between the Prussian Government and the papacy.--It
is a contest between the State and the Church for
supremacy--Effect of dual government in Europe--Declaration by
the Vatican Council of its position as to Science--The dogmatic
constitution of the Catholic faith.--Its definitions respecting
God, Revelation, Faith, Reason.--The anathemas it
pronounces.--Its denunciation of modern civilization.

The Protestant Evangelical Alliance and its acts.

General review of the foregoing definitions, and acts.--Present
condition of the controversy, and its future prospects.

PREDOMINANCE OF CATHOLICITY. No one who is acquainted with the
present tone of thought in Christendom can hide from himself the
fact that an intellectual, a religious crisis is impending.

In all directions we see the lowering skies, we hear the
mutterings of the coming storm. In Germany, the national party is
arraying itself against the ultramontane; in France, the men of
progress are struggling against the unprogressive, and in their
contest the political supremacy of that great country is wellnigh
neutralized or lost. In Italy, Rome has passed into the hands of
an excommunicated king. The sovereign pontiff, feigning that he
is a prisoner, is fulminating from the Vatican his anathemas,
and, in the midst of the most convincing proofs of his manifold
errors, asserting his own infallibility. A Catholic archbishop
with truth declares that the whole civil society of Europe seems
to be withdrawing itself in its public life from Christianity. In
England and America, religious persons perceive with dismay that
the intellectual basis of faith has been undermined by the spirit
of the age. They prepare for the approaching disaster in the best
manner they can.

The most serious trial through which society can pass is
encountered in the exuviation of its religious restraints. The
history of Greece and the history of Rome exhibit to us in an
impressive manner how great are the perils. But it is not given
to religions to endure forever. They necessarily undergo
transformation with the intellectual development of man. How many
countries are there professing the same religion now that they
did at the birth of Christ?

It is estimated that the entire population of Europe is about
three hundred and one million. Of these, one hundred and
eighty-five million are Roman Catholics, thirty-three million are
Greek Catholics. Of Protestants there are seventy-one million,
separated into many sects. Of Jews, five million; of Mohammedans,
seven million.

Of the religious subdivisions of America an accurate numerical
statement cannot be given. The whole of Christian South America
is Roman Catholic, the same may be said of Central America and of
Mexico, as also of the Spanish and French West India possessions.
In the United States and Canada the Protestant population
predominates. To Australia the same remark applies. In India the
sparse Christian population sinks into insignificance in presence
of two hundred million Mohammedans and other Oriental
denominations. The Roman Catholic Church is the most widely
diffused and the most powerfully organized of all modern
societies. It is far more a political than a religious
combination. Its principle is that all power is in the clergy,
and that for laymen there is only the privilege of obedience. The
republican forms under which the Churches existed in primitive
Christianity have gradually merged into an absolute
centralization, with a man as vice-God at its head. This Church
asserts that the divine commission under which it acts comprises
civil government; that it has a right to use the state for its
own purposes, but that the state has no right to intermeddle with
it; that even in Protestant countries it is not merely a
coordinate government, but the sovereign power. It insists that
the state has no rights over any thing which it declares to be in
its domain, and that Protestantism, being a mere rebellion, has
no rights at all; that even in Protestant communities the
Catholic bishop is the only lawful spiritual pastor.

It is plain, therefore, that of professing Christians the vast
majority are Catholic; and such is the authoritative demand of
the papacy for supremacy, that, in any survey of the present
religious condition of Christendom, regard must be mainly had to
its acts. Its movements are guided by the highest intelligence
and skill. Catholicism obeys the orders of one man, and has
therefore a unity, a compactness, a power, which Protestant
denominations do not possess. Moreover, it derives inestimable
strength from the souvenirs of the great name of Rome.

Unembarrassed by any hesitating sentiment, the papacy has
contemplated the coming intellectual crisis. It has pronounced
its decision, and occupied what seems to it to be the most
advantageous ground.

This definition of position we find in the acts of the late
Vatican Council.

THE OECUMENICAL COUNCIL. Pius IX., by a bull dated June 29, 1868,
convoked an Oecumenical Council, to meet in Rome, on December 8,
1869. Its sessions ended in July, 1870. Among other matters
submitted to its consideration, two stand forth in conspicuous
prominence--they are the assertion of the infallibility of the
Roman pontiff, and the definition of the relations of religion to

But the convocation of the Council was far from meeting with
general approval.

The views of the Oriental Churches were, for the most part,
unfavorable. They affirmed that they saw a desire in the Roman
pontiff to set himself up as the head of Christianity, whereas
they recognized the Lord Jesus Christ alone as the head of the
Church. They believed that the Council would only lead to new
quarrels and scandals. The sentiment of these venerable Churches
is well shown by the incident that, when, in 1867, the Nestorian
Patriarch Simeon had been invited by the Chaldean Patriarch to
return to Roman Catholic unity, he, in his reply, showed that
there was no prospect for harmonious action between the East and
the West: "You invite me to kiss humbly the slipper of the Bishop
of Rome; but is he not, in every respect, a man like yourself--is
his dignity superior to yours? We will never permit to be
introduced into our holy temples of worship images and statues,
which are nothing but abominable and impure idols. What! shall we
attribute to Almighty God a mother, as you dare to do? Away from
us, such blasphemy!"

EXPECTATIONS OF THE PAPACY. Eventually, the patriarchs,
archbishops, and bishops, from all regions of the world, who took
part in this Council, were seven hundred and four.

Rome had seen very plainly that Science was not only rapidly
undermining the dogmas of the papacy, but was gathering great
political power. She recognized that all over Europe there was a
fast-spreading secession among persons of education, and that its
true focus was North Germany.

She looked, therefore, with deep interest on the Prusso-Austrian
War, giving to Austria whatever encouragement she could. The
battle of Sadowa was a bitter disappointment to her.

With satisfaction again she looked upon the breaking out of the
Franco-Prussian War, not doubting that its issue would be
favorable to France, and therefore favorable to her. Here, again,
she was doomed to disappointment at Sedan.

Having now no further hope, for many years to come, from external
war, she resolved to see what could be done by internal
insurrection, and the present movement in the German Empire is
the result of her machinations.

Had Austria or had France succeeded, Protestantism would have
been overthrown along with Prussia.

But, while these military movements were being carried on, a
movement of a different, an intellectual kind, was engaged in.
Its principle was, to restore the worn-out mediaeval doctrines
and practices, carrying them to an extreme, no matter what the
consequences might be.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER AND SYLLABUS. Not only was it asserted that the
papacy has a divine right to participate in the government of all
countries, coordinately with their temporal authorities, but that
the supremacy of Rome in this matter must be recognized; and that
in any question between them the temporal authority must conform
itself to her order.

And, since the endangering of her position had been mainly
brought about by the progress of science, she presumed to define
its boundaries, and prescribe limits to its authority. Still
more, she undertook to denounce modern civilization.

These measures were contemplated soon after the return of his
Holiness from Gaeta in 1848, and were undertaken by the advice of
the Jesuits, who, lingering in the hope that God would work the
impossible, supposed that the papacy, in its old age, might be
reinvigorated. The organ of the Curia proclaimed the absolute
independence of the Church as regards the state; the dependence
of the bishops on the pope; of the diocesan clergy on the
bishops; the obligation of the Protestants to abandon their
atheism, and return to the fold; the absolute condemnation of all
kinds of toleration. In December, 1854, in an assembly of
bishops, the pope had proclaimed the dogma of the immaculate
conception. Ten years subsequently he put forth the celebrated
Encyclical Letter and the Syllabus.

The Encyclical Letter is dated December 8, 1864. It was drawn up
by learned ecclesiastics, and subsequently debated at the
Congregation of the Holy Office, then forwarded to prelates, and
finally gone over by the pope and cardinals.

ENCYCLICAL LETTER AND SYLLABUS. Many of the clergy objected to
its condemnation of modern civilization. Some of the cardinals
were reluctant to concur in it. The Catholic press accepted it,
not, however, without misgivings and regrets. The Protestant
governments put no obstacle in its way; the Catholic were
embarrassed by it. France allowed the publication only of that
portion proclaiming the jubilee; Austria and Italy permitted its
introduction, but withheld their approval. The political press
and legislatures of Catholic countries gave it an unfavorable
reception. Many deplored it as likely to widen the breach between
the Church and modern society. The Italian press regarded it as
determining a war, without truce or armistice, between the papacy
and modern civilization. Even in Spain there were journals that
regretted "the obstinacy and blindness of the court of Rome, in
branding and condemning modern civilization."

It denounces that "most pernicious and insane opinion, that
liberty of conscience and of worship is the right of every man,
and that this right ought, in every well-governed state, to be
proclaimed and asserted by law; and that the will of the people,
manifested by public opinion (as it is called), or by other
means, constitutes a supreme law, independent of all divine and
human rights." It denies the right of parents to educate their
children outside the Catholic Church. It denounces "the
impudence" of those who presume to subordinate the authority of
the Church and of the Apostolic See, "conferred upon it by Christ
our Lord, to the judgment of the civil authority." His Holiness
commends, to the venerable brothers to whom the Encyclical is
addressed, incessant prayer, and, "in order that God may accede
the more easily to our and your prayers, let us employ in all
confidence, as our mediatrix with him, the Virgin Mary, mother of
God, who sits as a queen upon the right hand of her only-begotten
Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in a golden vestment, clothed around
with various adornments. There is nothing she cannot obtain from

CONVOCATION OF THE COUNCIL. Plainly, the principle now avowed by
the papacy must bring it into collision even with governments
which had heretofore maintained amicable relations with it. Great
dissatisfaction was manifested by Russia, and the incidents that
ensued drew forth from his Holiness an allocution (November,
1866) condemnatory of the course of that government. To this,
Russia replied, by declaring the Concordat of 1867 abrogated.

Undeterred by the result of the battle of Sadowa (July, 1866),
though it was plain that the political condition of Europe was
now profoundly affected, and especially the relations of the
papacy, the pope delivered an allocution (June 27, 1867),
confirming the Encyclical and Syllabus. He announced his
intention of convoking an Oecumenical Council.

Accordingly, as we have already mentioned, in the following year
(June 29, 1868), a bull was issued convoking that Council.
Misunderstandings, however, had now sprung up with Austria. The
Austrian Reichsrath had adopted laws introducing equality of
civil rights for all the inhabitants of the empire, and
restricting the influence of the Church. This produced on the
part of the papal government an expostulation. Acting as Russia
had done, the Austrian Government found it necessary to abrogate
the Concordat of 1855.

In France, as above stated, the publication of the entire
Syllabus was not permitted; but Prussia, desirous of keeping on
good terms with the papacy, did not disallow it. The exacting
disposition of the papacy increased. It was openly declared that
the faithful must now sacrifice to the Church, property, life,
and even their intellectual convictions. The Protestants and the
Greeks were invited to tender their submission.

THE VATICAN COUNCIL. On the appointed day, the Council opened.
Its objects were, to translate the Syllabus into practice, to
establish the dogma of papal infallibility, and define the
relations of religion to science. Every preparation had been made
that the points determined on should be carried. The bishops were
informed that they were coming to Rome not to deliberate, but to
sanction decrees previously made by an infallible pope. No idea
was entertained of any such thing as free discussion. The minutes
of the meetings were not permitted to be inspected; the prelates
of the opposition were hardly allowed to speak. On January 22,
1870, a petition, requesting that the infallibility of the pope
should be defined, was presented; an opposition petition of the
minority was offered. Hereupon, the deliberations of the minority
were forbidden, and their publications prohibited. And, though
the Curia had provided a compact majority, it was found expedient
to issue an order that to carry any proposition it was not
necessary that the vote should be near unanimity, a simple
majority sufficed. The remonstrances of the minority were
altogether unheeded.

As the Council pressed forward to its object, foreign authorities
became alarmed at its reckless determination. A petition drawn up
by the Archbishop of Vienna, and signed by several cardinals and
archbishops, entreated his Holiness not to submit the dogma of
infallibility for consideration, "because the Church has to
sustain at present a struggle unknown in former times, against
men who oppose religion itself as an institution baneful to human
nature, and that it is inopportune to impose upon Catholic
nations, led into temptation by so many machinations, more dogmas
than the Council of Trent proclaimed." It added that "the
definition demanded would furnish fresh arms to the enemies of
religion, to excite against the Catholic Church the resentment of
men avowedly the best." The Austrian prime-minister addressed a
protest to the papal government, warning it against any steps
that might lead to encroachments on the rights of Austria. The
French Government also addressed a note, suggesting that a French
bishop should explain to the Council the condition and the rights
of France. To this the papal government replied that a bishop
could not reconcile the double duties of an ambassador and a
Father of the Council. Hereupon, the French Government, in a very
respectful note, remarked that, to prevent ultra opinions from
becoming dogmas, it reckoned on the moderation of the bishops,
and the prudence of the Holy Father; and, to defend its civil and
political laws against the encroachments of the theocracy, it had
counted on public reason and the patriotism of French Catholics.
In these remonstrances the North-German Confederation joined,
seriously pressing them on the consideration of the papal

On April 23d, Von Arnim, the Prussian embassador, united with
Daru, the French minister, in suggesting to the Curia the
inexpediency of reviving mediaeval ideas. The minority bishops,
thus encouraged, demanded now that the relations of the spiritual
to the secular power should be determined before the pope's
infallibility was discussed, and that it should be settled
whether Christ had conferred on St. Peter and his successors a
power over kings and emperors.

INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPE. No regard was paid to this, not even
delay was consented to. The Jesuits, who were at the bottom of
the movement, carried their measures through the packed assembly
with a high hand. The Council omitted no device to screen itself
from popular criticism. Its proceedings were conducted with the
utmost secrecy; all who took part in them were bound by a solemn
oath to observe silence.

On July 13th, the votes were taken. Of 601 votes, 451 were
affirmative. Under the majority rule, the measure was pronounced
carried, and, five days subsequently, the pope proclaimed the
dogma of his infallibility. It has often been remarked that this
was the day on which the French declared war against Prussia.
Eight days afterward the French troops were withdrawn from Rome.
Perhaps both the statesman and the philosopher will admit that an
infallible pope would be a great harmonizing element, if only
common-sense could acknowledge him.

Hereupon, the King of Italy addressed an autograph letter to the
pope, setting forth in very respectful terms the necessity that
his troops should advance and occupy positions "indispensable to
the security of his Holiness, and the maintenance of order;"
that, while satisfying the national aspirations, the chief of
Catholicity, surrounded by the devotion of the Italian
populations, "might preserve on the banks of the Tiber a glorious
seat, independent of all human sovereignty."

To this his Holiness replied in a brief and caustic letter: "I
give thanks to God, who has permitted your majesty to fill the
last days of my life with bitterness. For the rest, I cannot
grant certain requests, nor conform with certain principles
contained in your letter. Again, I call upon God, and into his
hands commit my cause, which is his cause. I pray God to grant
your majesty many graces, to free you from dangers, and to
dispense to you his mercy which you so much need."

THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT. The Italian troops met with but little
resistance. They occupied Rome on September 20, 1870. A manifesto
was issued, setting forth the details of a plebiscitum, the vote
to be by ballot, the question, "the unification of Italy." Its
result showed how completely the popular mind in Italy is
emancipated from theology. In the Roman provinces the number of
votes on the lists was 167,548; the number who voted, 135,291;
the number who voted for annexation, 133,681; the number who
voted against it, 1,507; votes annulled, 103. The Parliament of
Italy ratified the vote of the Roman people for annexation by a
vote of 239 to 20. A royal decree now announced the annexation of
the Papal States to the kingdom of Italy, and a manifesto was
issued indicating the details of the arrangement. It declared
that "by these concessions the Italian Government seeks to prove
to Europe that Italy respects the sovereignty of the pope in
conformity with the principle of a free Church in a free state."

AFFAIRS IN PRUSSIA. In the Prusso-Austrian War it had been the
hope of the papacy, to restore the German Empire under Austria,
and make Germany a Catholic nation. In the Franco- German War the
French expected ultramontane sympathies in Germany. No means were
spared to excite Catholic sentiment against the Protestants. No
vilification was spared. They were spoken of as atheists; they
were declared incapable of being honest men; their sects were
pointed out as indicating that their secession was in a state of
dissolution. "The followers of Luther are the most abandoned men
in all Europe." Even the pope himself, presuming that the whole
world had forgotten all history, did not hesitate to say, "Let
the German people understand that no other Church but that of
Rome is the Church of freedom and progress."

Meantime, among the clergy of Germany a party was organized to
remonstrate against, and even resist, the papal usurpation. It
protested against "a man being placed on the throne of God,"
against a vice-God of any kind, nor would it yield its scientific
convictions to ecclesiastical authority. Some did not hesitate to
accuse the pope himself of being a heretic. Against these
insubordinates excommunications began to be fulminated, and at
length it was demanded that certain professors and teachers
should be removed from their offices, and infallibilists
substituted. With this demand the Prussian Government declined to

The Prussian Government had earnestly desired to remain on
amicable terms with the papacy; it had no wish to enter on a
theological quarrel; but gradually the conviction was forced upon
it that the question was not a religious but a political
one--whether the power of the state should be used against the
state. A teacher in a gymnasium had been excommunicated; the
government, on being required to dismiss him, refused. The Church
authorities denounced this as an attack upon faith. The emperor
sustained his minister. The organ of the infallible party
threatened the emperor with the opposition of all good Catholics,
and told him that, in a contention with the pope, systems of
government can and must change. It was now plain to every one
that the question had become, "Who is to be master in the state,
the government or the Roman Church? It is plainly impossible for
men to live under two governments, one of which declares to be
wrong what the other commands. If the government will not submit
to the Roman Church, the two are enemies." A conflict was thus
forced upon Prussia by Rome--a conflict in which the latter,
impelled by her antagonism to modern civilization, is clearly the

recognizing its antagonist, defended itself by abolishing the
Catholic department in the ministry of Public Worship. This was
about midsummer, 1871. In the following November the Imperial
Parliament passed a law that ecclesiastics abusing their office,
to the disturbance of the public peace, should be criminally
punished. And, guided by the principle that the future belongs to
him to whom the school belongs, a movement arose for the purpose
of separating the schools from the Church.

THE CHURCH A POLITICAL POWER. The Jesuit party was extending and
strengthening an organization all over Germany, based on the
principle that state legislation in ecclesiastical matters is not
binding. Here was an act of open insurrection. Could the
government allow itself to be intimidated? The Bishop of Ermeland
declared that he would not obey the laws of the state if they
touched the Church. The government stopped the payment of his
salary; and, perceiving that there could be no peace so long as
the Jesuits were permitted to remain in the country, their
expulsion was resolved on, and carried into effect. At the close
of 1872 his Holiness delivered an allocution, in which he touched
on the "persecution of the Church in the German Empire," and
asserted that the Church alone has a right to fix the limits
between its domain and that of the state--a dangerous and
inadmissible principle, since under the term morals the Church
comprises all the relations of men to each other, and asserts
that whatever does not assist her oppresses her. Hereupon, a few
days subsequently (January 9, 1873), four laws were brought
forward by the government: 1. Regulating the means by which a
person might sever his connection with the Church; 2. Restricting
the Church in the exercise of ecclesiastical punishments; 3.
Regulating the ecclesiastical power of discipline, forbidding
bodily chastisement, regulating fines and banishments granting
the privilege of an appeal to the Royal Court of Justice for
Ecclesiastical Affairs, the decision of which is final; 4.
Ordaining the preliminary education and appointment of priests.
They must have had a satisfactory education, passed a public
examination conducted by the state, and have a knowledge of
philosophy, history, and German literature. Institutions refusing
to be superintended by the state are to be closed.

These laws demonstrate that Germany is resolved that she will no
longer be dictated to nor embarrassed by a few Italian noble
families; that she will be master of her own house. She sees in
the conflict, not an affair of religion or of conscience, but a
struggle between the sovereignty of state legislation and the
sovereignty of the Church. She treats the papacy not in the
aspect of a religious, but of a political power, and is resolved
that the declaration of the Prussian Constitution shall be
maintained, that "the exercise of religious freedom must not
interfere with the duties of a citizen toward the community and
the state."

DUAL GOVERNMENT IN EUROPE. With truth it is affirmed that the
papacy is administered not oecumenically, not as a universal
Church, for all the nations, but for the benefit of some Italian
families. Look at its composition! It consists of pope, cardinal
bishops, cardinal deacons, who at the present moment are all
Italians; cardinal priests, nearly all Italians; ministers and
secretaries of the Sacred Congregation in Rome, all Italians.
France has not given a pope since the middle ages. It is the same
with Austria, Portugal, Spain. In spite of all attempts to change
this system of exclusion, to open the dignities of the Church to
all Catholicism, no foreigner can reach the holy chair. It is
recognized that the Church is a domain given by God to the
princely Italian families. Of fifty-five members of the present
College of Cardinals, forty are Italians--that is, thirty-two
beyond their proper share.

The stumbling-block to the progress of Europe has been its dual
system of government. So long as every nation had two sovereigns,
a temporal one at home and a spiritual one in a foreign
land--there being different temporal masters in different
nations, but only one foreign master for all, the pontiff at
Rome--how was it possible that history should present us with any
thing more than a narrative of the strifes of these rival powers?
Whoever will reflect on this state of things will see how it is
that those nations which have shaken off the dual form of
government are those which have made the greatest advance. He
will discern what is the cause of the paralysis which has
befallen France. On one hand she wishes to be the leader of
Europe, on the other she clings to a dead past. For the sake of
propitiating her ignorant classes, she enters upon lines of
policy which her intelligence must condemn. So evenly balanced
are the two sovereignties under which she lives, that sometimes
one, sometimes the other, prevails; and not unfrequently the one
uses the other as an engine for the accomplishment of its ends.

INTENTIONS OF THE POPE. But this dual system approaches its
close. To the northern nations, less imaginative and less
superstitious, it had long ago become intolerable; they rejected
it summarily at the epoch of the Reformation, notwithstanding the
protestations and pretensions of Rome, Russia, happier than the
rest, has never acknowledged the influence of any foreign
spiritual power. She gloried in her attachment to the ancient
Greek rite, and saw in the papacy nothing more than a troublesome
dissenter from the primitive faith. In America the temporal and
the spiritual have been absolutely divorced--the latter is not
permitted to have any thing to do with affairs of state, though
in all other respects liberty is conceded to it. The condition of
the New World also satisfies us that both forms of Christianity,
Catholic and Protestant, have lost their expansive power; neither
can pass beyond its long-established boundary-line--the Catholic
republics remain Catholic, the Protestant Protestant. And among
the latter the disposition to sectarian isolation is
disappearing; persons of different denominations consort without
hesitation together. They gather their current opinions from
newspapers, not from the Church.

Pius IX., in the movements we have been considering, has had two
objects in view: 1. The more thorough centralization of the
papacy, with a spiritual autocrat assuming the prerogatives of
God at its head; 2. Control over the intellectual development of
the nations professing Christianity.

The logical consequence of the former of these is political
intervention. He insists that in all cases the temporal must
subordinate itself to the spiritual power; all laws inconsistent
with the interests of the Church must be repealed. They are not
binding on the faithful. In the preceding pages I have briefly
related some of the complications that have already occurred in
the attempt to maintain this policy.

THE SYLLABUS. I now come to the consideration of the manner in
which the papacy proposes to establish its intellectual control;
how it defines its relation to its antagonist, Science, and,
seeking a restoration of the mediaeval condition, opposes modern
civilization, and denounces modern society.

The Encyclical and Syllabus present the principles which it was
the object of the Vatican Council to carry into practical effect.
The Syllabus stigmatizes pantheism, naturalism, and absolute
rationalism, denouncing such opinions as that God is the world;
that there is no God other than Nature; that theological matters
must be treated in the same manner as philosophical ones, that
the methods and principles by which the old scholastic doctors
cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of the
age and the progress of science; that every man is free to
embrace and profess the religion he may believe to be true,
guided by the light of his reason; that it appertains to the
civil power to define what are the rights and limits in which the
Church may exercise authority; that the Church has not the right
of availing herself of force or any direct or indirect temporal
power; that the Church ought to be separated from the state and
the state from the Church; that it is no longer expedient that
the Catholic religion shall be held as the only religion of the
state, to the exclusion of all other modes of worship; that
persons coming to reside in Catholic countries have a right to
the public exercise of their own worship; that the Roman pontiff
can and ought to reconcile himself to, and agree with, the
progress of modern civilization. The Syllabus claims the right of
the Church to control public schools, and denies the right of the
state in that respect; it claims the control over marriage and

Such of these principles as the Council found expedient at
present to formularize, were set forth by it in "The Dogmatic
Constitution of the Catholic Faith." The essential points of this
constitution, more especially as regards the relations of
religion to science, we have now to examine. It will be
understood that the following does not present the entire
document, but only an abstract of what appear to be its more
important parts.

CONSTITUTION OF CATHOLIC FAITH. This definition opens with a
severe review of the principles and consequences of the
Protestant Reformation:

"The rejection of the divine authority of the Church to teach,
and the subjection of all things belonging to religion to the
judgment of each individual, have led to the production of many
sects, and, as these differed and disputed with each other, all
belief in Christ was overthrown in the minds of not a few, and
the Holy Scriptures began to be counted as myths and fables.
Christianity has been rejected, and the reign of mere Reason as
they call it, or Nature, substituted; many falling into the abyss
of pantheism, materialism, and atheism, and, repudiating the
reasoning nature of man, and every rule of right and wrong, they
are laboring to overthrow the very foundations of human society.
As this impious heresy is spreading everywhere, not a few
Catholics have been inveigled by it. They have confounded human
science and divine faith.

"But the Church, the Mother and Mistress of nations, is ever
ready to strengthen the weak, to take to her bosom those that
return, and carry them on to better things. And, now the bishops
of the whole world being gathered together in this Oecumenical
Council, and the Holy Ghost sitting therein, and judging with us,
we have determined to declare from this chair of St. Peter the
saving doctrine of Christ, and proscribe and condemn the opposing

"OF GOD, THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS.--The Holy Catholic Apostolic
Roman Church believes that there is one true and living God,
Creator and Lord of Heaven and Earth, Almighty, Eternal, Immense,
Incomprehensible, Infinite in understanding and will, and in all
perfection. He is distinct from the world. Of his own most free
counsel he made alike out of nothing two created creatures, a
spiritual and a temporal, angelic and earthly. Afterward be made
the human nature, composed of both. Moreover, God by his
providence protects and governs all things, reaching from end to
end mightily, and ordering all things harmoniously. Every thing
is open to his eyes, even things that come to pass by the free
action of his creatures."

"OF REVELATION.--The Holy Mother Church holds that God can be
known with certainty by the natural light of human reason, but
that it has also pleased him to reveal himself and the eternal
decrees of his will in a supernatural way. This supernatural
revelation, as declared by the Holy Council of Trent, is
contained in the books of the Old and New Testament, as
enumerated in the decrees of that Council, and as are to be had
in the old Vulgate Latin edition. These are sacred because they
were written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. They have
God for their author, and as such have been delivered to the

"And, in order to restrain restless spirits, who may give
erroneous explanations, it is decreed--renewing the decision of
the Council of Trent--that no one may interpret the sacred
Scriptures contrary to the sense in which they are interpreted by
Holy Mother Church, to whom such interpretation belongs."

"OF FAITH.--Inasmuch as man depends on God as his Lord, and
created reason is wholly subject to uncreated truth, he is bound
when God makes a revelation to obey it by faith. This faith is a
supernatural virtue, and the beginning of man's salvation who
believes revealed things to be true, not for their intrinsic
truth as seen by the natural light of reason, but for the
authority of God in revealing them. But, nevertheless that faith
might be agreeable to reason, God willed to join miracles and
prophecies, which, showing forth his omnipotence and knowledge,
are proofs suited to the understanding of all. Such we have in
Moses and the prophets, and above all in Christ. Now, all those
things are to be believed which are written in the word of God,
or handed down by tradition, which the Church by her teaching has
proposed for belief.

"No one can be justified without this faith, nor shall any one,
unless he persevere therein to the end, attain everlasting life.
Hence God, through his only-begotten Son, has established the
Church as the guardian and teacher of his revealed word. For only
to the Catholic Church do all those signs belong which make
evident the credibility of the Christian faith. Nay, more, the
very Church herself, in view of her wonderful propagation, her
eminent holiness, her exhaustless fruitfulness in all that is
good, her Catholic unity, her unshaken stability, offers a great
and evident claim to belief, and an undeniable proof of her
divine mission. Thus the Church shows to her children that the
faith they hold rests on a most solid foundation. Wherefore,
totally unlike is the condition of those who, by the heavenly
gift of faith, have embraced the Catholic truth, and of those
who, led by human opinions, are following, a false religion."

"OF FAITH AND REASON.--Moreover, the Catholic Church has ever
held and now holds that there exists a twofold order of
knowledge, each of which is distinct from the other, both as to
its principle and its object. As to its principle, because in the
one we know by natural reason, in the other by divine faith; as
to the object, because, besides those things which our natural
reason can attain, there are proposed to our belief mysteries
hidden in God, which, unless by him revealed, cannot come to our

"Reason, indeed, enlightened by faith, and seeking, with
diligence and godly sobriety, may, by God's gift, come to some
understanding, limited in degree, but most wholesome in its
effects, of mysteries, both from the analogy of things which are
naturally known and from the connection of the mysteries
themselves with one another and with man's last end. But never
can reason be rendered capable of thoroughly understanding
mysteries as it does those truths which form its proper object.
For God's mysteries, in their very nature, so far surpass the
reach of created intellect, that, even when taught by revelation
and received by faith, they remain covered by faith itself, as by
a veil, and shrouded, as it were, in darkness as long as in this
mortal life.

"But, although faith be above reason, there never can be a real
disagreement between them, since the same God who reveals
mysteries and infuses faith has given man's soul the light of
reason, and God cannot deny himself, nor can one truth ever
contradict another. Wherefore the empty shadow of such
contradiction arises chiefly from this, that either the doctrines
of faith are not understood and set forth as the Church really
holds them, or that the vain devices and opinions of men are
mistaken for the dictates of reason. We therefore pronounce false
every assertion which is contrary to the enlightened truth of
faith. Moreover, the Church, which, together with her apostolic
office of teaching, is charged also with the guardianship of the
deposits of faith, holds likewise from God the right and the duty
to condemn 'knowledge, falsely so called,' 'lest any man be
cheated by philosophy and vain deceit.' Hence all the Christian
faithful are not only forbidden to defend, as legitimate
conclusions of science, those opinions which are known to be
contrary to the doctrine of faith, especially when condemned by
the Church, but are rather absolutely bound to hold them for
errors wearing the deceitful appearance of truth.

THE VATICAN ANATHEMAS. "Not only is it impossible for faith and
reason ever to contradict each other, but they rather afford each
other mutual assistance. For right reason establishes the
foundation of faith, and, by the aid of its light, cultivates the
science of divine things; and faith, on the other hand, frees and
preserves reason from errors, and enriches it with knowledge of
many kinds. So far, then, is the Church from opposing the culture
of human arts and sciences, that she rather aids and promotes it
in many ways. For she is not ignorant of nor does she despise the
advantages which flow from them to the life of man; on the
contrary, she acknowledges that, as they sprang from God, the
Lord of knowledge, so, if they be rightly pursued, they will,
through the aid of his grace, lead to God. Nor does she forbid
any of those sciences the use of its own principles and its own
method within its own proper sphere; but, recognizing this
reasonable freedom, she takes care that they may not, by
contradicting God's teaching, fall into errors, or, overstepping
the due limits, invade or throw into confusion the domain of

"For the doctrine of faith revealed by God has not been proposed,
like some philosophical discovery, to be made perfect by human
ingenuity, but it has been delivered to the spouse of Christ as a
divine deposit, to be faithfully guarded and unerringly set
forth. Hence, all tenets of holy faith are to be explained always
according to the sense and meaning of the Church; nor is it ever
lawful to depart therefrom under pretense or color of a more
enlightened explanation. Therefore, as generations and centuries
roll on, let the understanding, knowledge, and wisdom of each and
every one, of individuals and of the whole Church, grow apace and
increase exceedingly, yet only in its kind; that is to say
retaining pure and inviolate the sense and meaning and belief of
the same doctrine."

Among other canons the following were promulgated.

"Let him be anathema--

"Who denies the one true God, Creator and Lord of all things,
visible and invisible.

"Who unblushingly affirms that, besides matter, nothing else

"Who says that the substance or essence of God, and of all
things, is one and the same.

"Who says that finite things, both corporeal and spiritual, or at
least spiritual things, are emanations of the divine substance;
or that the divine essence, by manifestation or development of
itself, becomes all things.

"Who does not acknowledge that the world and all things which it
contains were produced by God out of nothing.

"Who shall say that man can and ought to, of his own efforts, by
means of, constant progress, arrive, at last, at the possession
of all truth and goodness.

"Who shall refuse to receive, for sacred and canonical, the books
of Holy Scripture in their integrity, with all their parts,
according as they were enumerated by the holy Council of Trent,
or shall deny that they are Inspired by God.

"Who shall say that human reason is in such wise independent,
that faith cannot be demanded of it by God.

"Who shall say that divine revelation cannot be rendered credible
by external evidences.

"Who shall say that no miracles can be wrought, or that they can
never be known with certainty, and that the divine origin of
Christianity cannot be proved by them.

"Who shall say that divine revelation includes no mysteries, but
that all the dogmas of faith may be understood and demonstrated
by reason duly cultivated.

"Who shall say that human sciences ought to be pursued in such a
spirit of freedom that one may be allowed to hold as true their
assertions, even when opposed to revealed doctrine.

"Who shall say that it may at any time come to pass, in the
progress of science, that the doctrines set forth by the Church
must be taken in another sense than that in which the Church has
ever received and yet receives them."

THE EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE. The extraordinary and, indeed, it may
be said, arrogant assumptions contained in these decisions were
far from being received with satisfaction by educated Catholics.
On the part of the German universities there was resistance; and,
when, at the close of the year, the decrees of the Vatican
Council were generally acquiesced in, it was not through
conviction of their truth, but through a disciplinary sense of

By many of the most pious Catholics the entire movement and the
results to which it had led were looked upon with the sincerest
sorrow. Pere Hyacinthe, in a letter to the superior of his order,
says : "I protest against the divorce, as impious as it is
insensate, sought to be effected between the Church, which is our
eternal mother, and the society of the nineteenth century, of
which we are the temporal children, and toward which we have also
duties and regards. It is my most profound conviction that, if
France in particular, and the Latin race in general, are given up
to social, moral, and religious anarchy, the principal cause
undoubtedly is not Catholicism itself, but the manner in which
Catholicism has for a long time been understood and practised."

Notwithstanding his infallibility, which implies omniscience, his
Holiness did not foresee the issue of the Franco-Prussian War.
Had the prophetical talent been vouchsafed to him, he would have
detected the inopportuneness of the acts of his Council. His
request to the King of Prussia for military aid to support his
temporal power was denied. The excommunicated King of Italy, as
we have seen, took possession of Rome. A bitter papal encyclical,
strangely contrasting with the courteous politeness of modern
state-papers, was issued, November 1, 1870, denouncing the acts
of the Piedmontese court, "which had followed the counsel of the
sects of perdition." In this his Holiness declares that he is in
captivity, and that he will have no agreement with Belial. He
pronounces the greater excommunication, with censures and
penalties, against his antagonists, and prays for "the
intercession of the immaculate Virgin Mary, mother of God, and
that of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul."

Of the various Protestant denominations, several had associated
themselves, for the purposes of consultation, under the
designation of the Evangelical Alliance. Their last meeting was
held in New York, in the autumn of 1873. Though, in this meeting,
were gathered together many pious representatives of the Reformed
Churches, European and American, it had not the prestige nor the
authority of the Great Council that had just previously closed
its sessions in St. Peters, at Rome. It could not appeal to an
unbroken ancestry of far more than a thousand years; it could not
speak with the authority of an equal and, indeed, of a superior
to emperors and kings. While profound intelligence and a
statesmanlike, worldly wisdom gleamed in every thing that the
Vatican Council had done, the Evangelical Alliance met without a
clear and precise view of its objects, without any
definitely-marked intentions. Its wish was to draw into closer
union the various Protestant Churches, but it had no
well-grounded hope of accomplishing that desirable result. It
illustrated the necessary working, of the principle on which
those Churches originated. They were founded on dissent and exist
by separation.

Yet in the action of the Evangelical Alliance may be discerned
certain very impressive facts. It averted its eyes from its
ancient antagonist--that antagonist which had so recently loaded
the Reformation with contumely and denunciation--it fastened
them, as the Vatican Council had done, on Science. Under that
dreaded name there stood before it what seemed to be a spectre of
uncertain form, of hourly-dilating proportions, of threatening
aspect. Sometimes the Alliance addressed this stupendous
apparition in words of courtesy, sometimes in tones of

perceive that modern Science is the legitimate sister--indeed, it
is the twin-sister-- of the Reformation. They were begotten
together and were born together. It failed to perceive that,
though there is an impossibility of bringing into coalition the
many conflicting sects, they may all find in science a point of
connection; and that, not a distrustful attitude toward it, but a
cordial union with it, is their true policy.

It remains now to offer some reflections on this "Constitution of
the Catholic Faith," as defined by the Vatican Council.

For objects to present themselves under identical relations to
different persons, they must be seen from the same point of view.
In the instance we are now considering, the religious man has his
own especial station; the scientific man another, a very
different one. It is not for either to demand that his
co-observer shall admit that the panorama of facts spread before
them is actually such as it appears to him to be.

The Dogmatic Constitution insists on the admission of this
postulate, that the Roman Church acts under a divine commission,
specially and exclusively delivered to it. In virtue of that
great authority, it requires of all men the surrender of their
intellectual convictions, and of all nations the subordination of
their civil power.

But a claim so imposing must be substantiated by the most
decisive and unimpeachable credentials; proofs, not only of an
implied and indirect kind, but clear, emphatic, and to the point;
proofs that it would be impossible to call in question.

The Church, however, declares, that she will not submit her claim
to the arbitrament of human reason; she demands that it shall be
at once conceded as an article of faith.

If this be admitted, all bar requirements must necessarily be
assented to, no matter how exorbitant they may be.

With strange inconsistency the Dogmatic Constitution deprecates
reason, affirming that it cannot determine the points under
consideration, and yet submits to it arguments for adjudication.
In truth, it might be said that the whole composition is a
passionate plea to Reason to stultify itself in favor of Roman

With points of view so widely asunder, it is impossible that
Religion and Science should accord in their representation of
things. Nor can any conclusion in common be reached, except by an
appeal to Reason as a supreme and final judge.

There are many religions in the world, some of them of more
venerable antiquity, some having far more numerous adherents,
than the Roman. How can a selection be made among them, except by
such an appeal to Reason? Religion and Science must both submit
their claims and their dissensions to its arbitrament.

Against this the Vatican Council protests. It exalts faith to a
superiority over reason; it says that they constitute two
separate orders of knowledge, having respectively for their
objects mysteries and facts. Faith deals with mysteries, reason
with facts. Asserting the dominating superiority of faith, it
tries to satisfy the reluctant mind with miracles and prophecies.

On the other hand, Science turns away from the incomprehensible,
and rests herself on the maxim of Wiclif: "God forceth not a man
to believe that which he cannot understand." In the absence of an
exhibition of satisfactory credentials on the part of her
opponent, she considers whether there be in the history of the
papacy, and in the biography of the popes, any thing that can
adequately sustain a divine commission, any thing that can
justify pontifical infallibility, or extort that unhesitating
obedience which is due to the vice-God.

One of the most striking and vet contradictory features of the
Dogmatic Constitution is, the reluctant homage it pays to the
intelligence of man. It presents a definition of the
philosophical basis of Catholicism, but it veils from view the
repulsive features of the vulgar faith. It sets forth the
attributes of God, the Creator of all things, in words fitly
designating its sublime conception, but it abstains from
affirming that this most awful and eternal Being was born of an
earthly mother, the wife of a Jewish carpenter, who has since
become the queen of heaven. The God it depicts is not the God of
the middle ages, seated on his golden throne, surrounded by
choirs of angels, but the God of Philosophy. The Constitution has
nothing to say about the Trinity, nothing of the worship due to
the Virgin--on the contrary, that is by implication sternly
condemned; nothing about transubstantiation, or the making of the
flesh and blood of God by the priest; nothing of the invocation
of the saints. It bears on its face subordination to the thought
of the age, the impress of the intellectual progress of man.

THE PASSAGE OF EUROPE TO LLAMAISM. Such being the exposition
rendered to us respecting the attributes of God, it next
instructs us as to his mode of government of the world. The
Church asserts that she possesses a supernatural control over all
material and moral events. The priesthood, in its various grades,
can determine issues of the future, either by the exercise of its
inherent attributes, or by its influential invocation of the
celestial powers. To the sovereign pontiff it has been given to
bind or loose at his pleasure. It is unlawful to appeal from his
judgments to an Oecumenical Council, as if to an earthly arbiter
superior to him. Powers such as these are consistent with
arbitrary rule, but they are inconsistent with the government of
the world by immutable law. Hence the Dogmatic Constitution
plants itself firmly in behalf of incessant providential
interventions; it will not for a moment admit that in natural
things there is an irresistible sequence of events, or in the
affairs of men an unavoidable course of acts.

But has not the order of civilization in all parts of the world
been the same? Does not the growth of society resemble individual
growth? Do not both exhibit to us phases of youth, of maturity,
of decrepitude? To a person who has carefully considered the
progressive civilization of groups of men in regions of the earth
far apart, who has observed the identical forms under which that
advancing civilization has manifested itself, is it not clear
that the procedure is determined by law? The religious ideas of
the Incas of Peru and the emperors of Mexico, and the ceremonials
of their court-life, were the same as those in Europe--the same
as those in Asia. The current of thought had been the same. A
swarm of bees carried to some distant land will build its combs
and regulate its social institutions as other unknown swarms
would do, and so with separated and disconnected swarms of men.
So invariable is this sequence of thought and act, that there are
philosophers who, transferring the past example offered by
Asiatic history to the case of Europe, would not hesitate to
sustain the proposition--given a bishop of Rome and some
centuries, and you will have an infallible pope: given an
infallible pope and a little more time, and you will have
Llamaism--Llamaism to which Asia has long, ago attained.

As to the origin of corporeal and spiritual things, the Dogmatic
Constitution adds a solemn emphasis to its declarations, by
anathematizing all those who bold the doctrine of emanation, or
who believe that visible Nature is only a manifestation of the
Divine Essence. In this its authors had a task of no ordinary
difficulty before them. They must encounter those formidable
ideas, whether old or new, which in our times are so strongly
forcing themselves on thoughtful men. The doctrine of the
conservation and correlation of Force yields as its logical issue
the time-worn Oriental emanation theory; the doctrines of
Evolution and Development strike at that of successive creative
acts. The former rests on the fundamental principle that the
quantity of force in the universe is invariable. Though that
quantity can neither be increased nor diminished, the forms under
which Force expresses itself may be transmuted into each other.
As yet this doctrine has not received complete scientific
demonstration, but so numerous and so cogent are the arguments
adduced in its behalf, that it stands in an imposing, almost in
an authoritative attitude. Now, the Asiatic theory of emanation
and absorption is seen to be in harmony with this grand idea. It
does not hold that, at the conception of a human being, a soul is
created by God out of nothing and given to it, but that a portion
of the already existing, the divine, the universal intelligence,
is imparted, and, when life is over, this returns to and is
absorbed in the general source from which it originally came. The
authors of the Constitution forbid these ideas to be held, under
pain of eternal punishment.

In like manner they dispose of the doctrines of Evolution and
Development, bluntly insisting that the Church believes in
distinct creative acts. The doctrine that every living form is
derived from some preceding form is scientifically in a much more
advanced position than that concerning Force, and probably may he
considered as established, whatever may become of the additions
with which it has recently been overlaid.

In her condemnation of the Reformation, the Church carries into
effect her ideas of the subordination of reason to faith. In her
eyes the Reformation is an impious heresy, leading to the abyss
of pantheism, materialism, and atheism, and tending to overthrow
the very foundations of human society. She therefore would
restrain those "restless spirits" who, following Luther, have
upheld the "right of every man to interpret the Scriptures for
himself." She asserts that it is a wicked error to admit
Protestants to equal political privileges with Catholics, and
that to coerce them and suppress them is a sacred duty; that it
is abominable to permit them to establish educational
institutions. Gregory XVI. denounced freedom of conscience as an
insane folly, and the freedom of the press a pestilent error,
which cannot be sufficiently detested.

But how is it possible to recognize an inspired and infallible
oracle on the Tiber, when it is remembered that again and again
successive popes have contradicted each other; that popes have
denounced councils, and councils have denounced popes; that the
Bible of Sixtus V. had so many admitted errors--nearly two
thousand--that its own authors had to recall it? How is it
possible for the children of the Church to regard as "delusive
errors" the globular form of the earth, her position as a planet
in the solar system, her rotation on her axis, her movement round
the sun? How can they deny that there are antipodes, and other
worlds than ours? How can they believe that the world was made
out of nothing, completed in a week, finished just as we see it
now; that it has undergone no change, but that its parts have
worked so indifferently as to require incessant interventions?

THE ERRORS OF ECCLESIASTICISM. When Science is thus commanded to
surrender her intellectual convictions, may she not ask the
ecclesiastic to remember the past? The contest respecting the
figure of the earth, and the location of heaven and hell, ended
adversely to him. He affirmed that the earth is an extended
plane, and that the sky is a firmament, the floor of heaven,
through which again and again persons have been seen to ascend.
The globular form demonstrated beyond any possibility of
contradiction by astronomical facts, and by the voyage of
Magellan's ship, he then maintained that it is the central body
of the universe, all others being in subordination to it, and it
the grand object of God's regard. Forced from this position, he
next affirmed that it is motionless, the sun and the stars
actually revolving, as they apparently do, around it. The
invention of the telescope proved that here again he was in
error. Then he maintained that all the motions of the solar
system are regulated by providential intervention; the
"Principia" of Newton demonstrated that they are due to
irresistible law. He then affirmed that the earth and all the
celestial bodies were created about six thousand years ago, and
that in six days the order of Nature was settled, and plants and
animals in their various tribes introduced. Constrained by the
accumulating mass of adverse evidence, he enlarged his days into
periods of indefinite length--only, however, to find that even
this device was inadequate. The six ages, with their six special
creations, could no longer be maintained, when it was discovered
that species, slowly emerged in one age, reached a culmination in
a second, and gradually died out in a third: this overlapping
from age to age would not only have demanded creations, but
re-creations also. He affirmed that there had been a deluge,
which covered the whole earth above the tops of the highest
mountains, and that the waters of this flood were removed by a
wind. Correct ideas respecting the dimensions of the atmosphere,
and of the sea, and of the operation of evaporation, proved how
untenable these statements are. Of the progenitors of the human
race, he declared that they had come from their Maker's hand
perfect, both in body and mind, and had subsequently experienced
a fall. He is now considering how best to dispose of the evidence
continually accumulating respecting the savage condition of
prehistoric man.

Is it at all surprising that the number of those who hold the
opinions of the Church in light esteem should so rapidly
increase? How can that be received as a trustworthy guide in the
invisible, which falls into so many errors in the visible? How
can that give confidence in the moral, the spiritual, which has
so signally failed in the physical? It is not possible to dispose
of these conflicting facts as "empty shadows," "vain devices,"
"fictions coming from knowledge falsely so called," "errors
wearing the deceitful appearance of truth," as the Church
stigmatizes them. On the contrary, they are stern witnesses,
bearing emphatic and unimpeachable testimony against the
ecclesiastical claim to infallibility, and fastening a conviction
of ignorance and blindness upon her.

Convicted of so many errors, the papacy makes no attempt at
explanation. It ignores the whole matter Nay, more, relying on
the efficacy of audacity, though confronted by these facts, it
lays claim to infallibility.

no other rights can be conceded than those he can establish at
the bar of Reason. He cannot claim infallibility in religious
affairs, and decline it in scientific. Infallibility embraces all
things. It implies omniscience. If it holds good for theology, it
necessarily holds good for science. How is it possible to
coordinate the infallibility of the papacy with the well-known
errors into which it has fallen?

Does it not, then, become needful to reject the claim of the
papacy to the employment of coercion in the maintenance of its
opinions; to repudiate utterly the declaration that "the
Inquisition is an urgent necessity in view of the unbelief of the
present age," and in the name of human nature to protest loudly
against the ferocity and terrorism of that institution? Has not
conscience inalienable rights?

An impassable and hourly-widening gulf intervenes between
Catholicism and the spirit of the age. Catholicism insists that
blind faith is superior to reason; that mysteries are of more
importance than facts. She claims to be the sole interpreter of
Nature and revelation, the supreme arbiter of knowledge; she
summarily rejects all modern criticism of the Scriptures, and
orders the Bible to be accepted in accordance with the views of
the theologians of Trent; she openly avows her hatred of free
institutions and constitutional systems, and declares that those
are in damnable error who regard the reconciliation of the pope
with modern civilization as either possible or desirable.

SCIENCE AND PROTESTANTISM. But the spirit of the age demands--is
the human intellect to be subordinated to the Tridentine Fathers,
or to the fancy of illiterate and uncritical persons who wrote in
the earlier ages of the Church? It sees no merit in blind faith,
but rather distrusts it. It looks forward to an improvement in
the popular canon of credibility for a decision between fact and
fiction. It does not consider itself bound to believe fables and
falsehoods that have been invented for ecclesiastical ends. It
finds no argument in behalf of their truth, that traditions and
legends have been long-lived; in this respect, those of the
Church are greatly inferior to the fables of paganism. The
longevity of the Church itself is not due to divine protection or
intervention, but to the skill with which it has adapted its
policy to existing circumstances. If antiquity be the criterion
of authenticity, the claims of Buddhism must be respected; it has
the superior warrant of many centuries. There can be no defense
of those deliberate falsifications of history, that concealment
of historical facts, of which the Church has so often taken
advantage. In these things the end does not justify the means.

Then has it in truth come to this, that Roman Christianity and
Science are recognized by their respective adherents as being
absolutely incompatible; they cannot exist together; one must
yield to the other; mankind must make its choice--it cannot have

SCIENCE AND FAITH. While such is, perhaps, the issue as regards
Catholicism, a reconciliation of the Reformation with Science is
not only possible, but would easily take place, if the Protestant
Churches would only live up to the maxim taught by Luther, and
established by so many years of war. That maxim is, the right of
private interpretation of the Scriptures. It was the foundation
of intellectual liberty. But, if a personal interpretation of the
book of Revelation is permissible, how can it be denied in the
case of the book of Nature? In the misunderstandings that have
taken place, we must ever bear in mind the infirmities of men.
The generations that immediately followed the Reformation may
perhaps be excused for not comprehending the full significance of
their cardinal principle, and for not on all occasions carrying
it into effect. When Calvin caused Servetus, to be burnt, he was
animated, not by the principles of the Reformation, but by those
of Catholicism, from which he had not been able to emancipate
himself completely. And when the clergy of influential Protestant
confessions have stigmatized the investigators of Nature as
infidels and atheists, the same may be said. For Catholicism to
reconcile itself to Science, there are formidable, perhaps
insuperable obstacles in the way. For Protestantism to achieve
that great result there are not. In the one case there is a
bitter, a mortal animosity to be overcome; in the other, a
friendship, that misunderstandings have alienated, to be

CIVILIZATION AND RELIGION. But, whatever may be the preparatory
incidents of that great impending intellectual crisis which
Christendom must soon inevitably witness, of this we may rest
assured, that the silent secession from the public faith, which
in so ominous a manner characterizes the present generation, will
find at length political expression. It is not without
significance that France reenforces the ultramontane tendencies
of her lower population, by the promotion of pilgrimages, the
perpetration of miracles, the exhibition of celestial
apparitions. Constrained to do this by her destiny, she does it
with a blush. It is not without significance that Germany
resolves to rid herself of the incubus of a dual government, by
the exclusion of the Italian element, and to carry to its
completion that Reformation which three centuries ago she left
unfinished. The time approaches when men must take their choice
between quiescent, immobile faith and ever-advancing
Science--faith, with its mediaeval consolations, Science, which
is incessantly scattering its material blessings in the pathway
of life, elevating the lot of man in this world, and unifying the
human race. Its triumphs are solid and enduring. But the glory
which Catholicism might gain from a conflict with material ideas
is at the best only like that of other celestial meteors when
they touch the atmosphere of the earth--transitory and useless.

Though Guizot's affirmation that the Church has always sided with
despotism is only too true, it must be remembered that in the
policy she follows there is much of political necessity. She is
urged on by the pressure of nineteen centuries. But, if the
irresistible indicates itself in her action, the inevitable
manifests itself in her life. For it is with the papacy as with a
man. It has passed through the struggles of infancy, it has
displayed the energies of maturity, and, its work completed, it
must sink into the feebleness and querulousness of old age. Its
youth can never be renewed. The influence of its souvenirs alone
will remain. As pagan Rome threw her departing shadow over the
empire and tinctured all its thoughts, so Christian Rome casts
her parting shadow over Europe.

consent to abandon the career of advancement which has given it
so much power and happiness? Will it consent to retrace its steps
to the semi-barbarian ignorance and superstition of the middle
ages? Will it submit to the dictation of a power, which, claiming
divine authority, can present no adequate credentials of its
office; a power which kept Europe in a stagnant condition for
many centuries, ferociously suppressing by the stake and the
sword every attempt at progress; a power that is founded in a
cloud of mysteries; that sets itself above reason and
common-sense; that loudly proclaims the hatred it entertains
against liberty of thought and freedom in civil institutions;
that professes its intention of repressing the one and destroying
the other whenever it can find the opportunity; that denounces as
most pernicious and insane the opinion that liberty of conscience
and of worship is the right of every man; that protests against
that right being proclaimed and asserted by law in every
well-governed state; that contemptuously repudiates the principle
that the will of the people, manifested by public opinion (as it
is called) or by other means, shall constitute law; that refuses
to every man any title to opinion in matters of religion, but
holds that it is simply his duty to believe what he is told by
the Church, and to obey her commands; that will not permit any
temporal government to define the rights and prescribe limits to
the authority of the Church; that declares it not only may but
will resort to force to discipline disobedient individuals; that
invades the sanctify of private life, by making, at the
confessional, the wife and daughters and servants of one
suspected, spies and informers against him; that tries him
without an accuser, and by torture makes him bear witness against
himself; that denies the right of parents to educate their
children outside of its own Church, and insists that to it alone
belongs the supervision of domestic life and the control of
marriages and divorces; that denounces "the impudence" of those
who presume to subordinate the authority of the Church to the
civil authority, or who advocate the separation of the Church
from the state; that absolutely repudiates all toleration, and
affirms that the Catholic religion is entitled to be held as the
only religion in every country, to the exclusion of all other
modes of worship; that requires all laws standing in the way of
its interests to be repealed, and, if that be refused, orders all
its followers to disobey them?

ISSUE OF THE CONFLICT. This power, conscious that it can work no
miracle to serve itself, does not hesitate to disturb society by
its intrigues against governments, and seeks to accomplish its
ends by alliances with despotism.

Claims such as these mean a revolt against modern civilization,
an intention of destroying it, no matter at what social cost. To
submit to them without resistance, men must be slaves indeed!

As to the issue of the coming conflict, can any one doubt?
Whatever is resting on fiction and fraud will be overthrown.
Institutions that organize impostures and spread delusions must
show what right they have to exist. Faith must render an account
of herself to Reason. Mysteries must give place to facts.
Religion must relinquish that imperious, that domineering
position which she has so long maintained against Science. There
must be absolute freedom for thought. The ecclesiastic must learn
to keep himself within the domain he has chosen, and cease to
tyrannize over the philosopher, who, conscious of his own
strength and the purity of his motives, will bear such
interference no longer. What was written by Esdras near the
willow-fringed rivers of Babylon, more than twenty-three
centuries ago, still holds good: "As for Truth it endureth and is
always strong; it liveth and conquereth for evermore."

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