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letter to Dr. Channing fails. The thought we developed does not rise to the order of Catholic dogma, and at the highest remains in the natural order. Yet the doctrine is substantially true. It is not the supernatural truth of Christianity, but it is in some sense the truth of the natural order which corresponds to it, and by which it is made apprehensible to us. The error of Leroux and ourselves was not in asserting the natural communion and solidarity of the race, but in supposing them to be the real significance of the Christian mysteries, the Incarnation, Holy Communion, the Church, Apostolic Succession, Tradition, &c., or the great truths held by the early Christians, and symbolized by the Catholic dogmas. The error was in assuming that Catholic dogmas symbolize natural truths; it had been more correct to have said the reverse, that the natural truths symbolize the dogmas, or represent them as the human represents the Divine. “ See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you in the Mount." The earthly symbolizes the heavenly, not the heavenly the earthly. The dogma is not, as Leroux, Cousin, and others have foolishly asserted, the form with which faith, the religious sentiment, or enthusiasm clothes the natural or philosophic truth. The natural or philosophic truth, on the contrary, is the symbol of which the dogma is the hidden meaning, the Divine reality, or the Divine likeness which it copies or imitates.
Although the natural communion of the human race does not introduce us to the principle of the Sacraments, as Leroux and we after him supposed, and although the natural solidarity of the race is infinitely below the Christian solidarity effected by the Sacraments, there is no opposition between one and the other. We do not by natural communion receive and incorporate into our life that grace which unites us to God and enables us to live the supernatural life of Christ, and the solidarity resulting from it is infinitely below that of the Church, that mystic body of Christ, in which he is as it were continuously incarnated; but it does express the condition of our natural human life, and its assertion, while no disadvantage to the supernatural, is of great advantage to the natural order. It condemns all exclusiveness, whether individual or national, and asserts the necessity to the full development of our natural life of the free and peaceful intercourse of man with man the world over. Man has a threefold nature, and lives by communion with God, man, and nature. He communes with God in religion, with man in society, and with nature in property, and any political or social order that strikes at either of these, or hinders or obstructs this threefold communion, as Leroux well maintains, is alike repugnant to the will of God and the highest interests of humanity; and efforts made to render this communion free and unobstructed, to give freedom in the acquisition and security in the possession of property, to protect the family as the basis of society, and to break down the barriers to social intercourse interposed by prejudices of birth or caste, and to secure freedom of worship or religion, are in principle great and solemn duties, obligatory alike upon all men. Thus far the Liberalists and Socialists can make a valid defence. The end proposed is just and obligatory. The means they adopt of course we do and must condemn. Philanthropy enjoins what they would effect, and Philanthropy here may justify herself by the natural solidarity of the race.
Kossuth, when he was here, had much to say of the solidarity of peoples," from which he concluded the right of the people of every country, irrespective of their government, to run to the assistance of any particular people struggling for its rights. This solidarity of peoples rests on the doctrine of the solidarity of the race. Man lives his social life only by communion with man, and every man thus becomes every man's object, and all are bound together in the unity of one indissoluble life. Man then can never be indifferent to man; never have the right to ask, with Cain, “ Am I my brother's keeper?" Your brother is your object, without which you cannot live the life of love. He is your other self, the objective side of you own life. If this may be said of individuals, why not of nations? There is in some sense a solidarity of nations, as well as of individuals. The right of the people without the permission of their government to assist a sister people, we cannot absolutely deny. The race is more than the individual, and humanity more than the nation. There is a great and glorious truth in Senator Seward's doctrine of the Higher Law, a truth which every true man will assert, if need be, in exile or the dungeon, on the scaffold or at the stake. I am a man before I am a citizen, and my rights as a man can never be subordinated to my duties as a citizen. Even the Church recognizes and vindicates my rights as a man, and the Church is higher in the order of God's providence than the state, as much so as grace is higher than nature. There are cases in which the state cannot bind the citizen, as the Apostles taught us when they refused to obey the magistrates who commanded them to preach no more in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. We are to love our neighbor as ourself; for in one sense our neighbor is ourself, since he is our object, without which we cannot love or live; there are cases when we must rush to his assistance, at least when we may rush to his assistance, at the hazard of life. There may then be cases when the solidarity of the race overrides the solidarity of the nation, and permits a people without the national sanction to rush to the assistance of another people struggling against tyranny for its liberty and independence; but not indeed at the call of every discomfited demagogue. The principle we hold to be true, but it can be of only rare application. The struggling people must have a cause manifestly just, and have adopted means manifestly unexceptionable, and the national permission must have been wrongly withheld, before the people of another nation have the right to intersere; and these things must be determined not by private judgment or caprice, but by an authority competent to decide in the case, otherwise an attack may be made against legitimate authority, and a blow be struck at order, which is as sacred as liberty.
We might pursue this subject further, but it is unnecessary at present. We have thus far been intent mainly on pointing out what a Catholic may accept as true and good in modern Liberalism and Socialisrn. What they want, we mean when sincere, earnest, and disinterested, what they are driving at, under certain aspects, is good, and in its place approved alike by charity and philanthropy. We cannot utterly condemn all we did and said as a Liberalist or as a Socialist, and we find much in Liberalists and Socialists of the present day to approve. When they are not completely beside themselves, we admit that most of the things they call political and social grievances are grievances, and such as ought to be redressed. But with what they contend for that is true and good, they couple great and dangerous errors. They err, above all, as to the means by which they seek to gain their ends. In what they for the most part aim at, we can agree with them. We love liberty as much as they do, we are as indignant at wrong as they are; but we see them trying to effect by the state what can be effected only by the Church, and by the natural sentiment of philanthropy what is practicable only by the supernatural virtue of charity.
Every age has its own characteristics, and we must address its dominant sentiment, whether we would serve or disserve it. Our age is philanthropical rather than intellectual. It has lost faith intellectually, but retains a faint echo of it on the side of the affections. It does not think so much as it feels, and it demands the Gospel of Love with far more earnestness and energy than it does the Gospel of Truth. Charity had exalted and intensified its affections. Despoiled of charity, it is devoured by its benevolent sentiments. It would do good, it would devote itself to the poor, the enslaved, the neglected, the downtrodden. It would bind up the broken heart, and bring rest to the suffering. These are not bad traits, and we love to dwell on the disinterestedness of the Howards, the Frys, the Nightingales, and the benevolent men and women in our own country who so unreservedly devote themselves to the relief of the afflicted. These prove what the age craves, and what it is looking for. Through its benevolence Satan no doubt often misleads it, but through the same benevolence the missionary of the cross may approach it and lead it up to God.
We have wished, in these times, when the Church is assailed so violently by the galvanized Calvinism manifesting itself in Know-Nothing movements, to show, by exhibiting the manner in which she regards those movements which spring from natural benevolence or a generous regard for human well-being, that she no more deserves than she fears their violence. What is true and good in the natural order manifested by those outside, though imperfect, she accepts. We have wished, also, in a practical way, to reply to those who are perpetually accusing us of being narrow and exclusive, and a renegade from free principles. What we aimed at before our conversion is still dear to us, and we are still in some sense a man of our age. But having indicated the good side of Liberalism and Socialism, we shall take a future opportunity to show more fully that it is accepted by the Church, and is completed only in and through her communion.
Art. III. - Questions of the Soul. By I. T. HECKER.
New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1855. 12mo. pp. 294.
We have in these Questions of the Soul a remarkable work, and one of the very few original and genuine American books our country can boast. It could have been written only by an American to “the manner born,” and is destined, in our judgment, to have a marked influence on American thought and American literature.
We cannot introduce this interesting and instructive, though simple and unpretending volume, to our readers, without recollecting that we have known the author almost from his boyhood, and have always regarded him as one to whom Almighty God has given a mission of vital importance to our common country. Few men really know him, few even suspect what is in him ; but no one can commune with him for half an hour, and ever be again precisely what he was before. He is one of those men whom you feel it is good to be with. Virtue goes out from him. Simple, unpretending, playful, and docile as a child, warm and tender in his feelings, full of life and cheerfulness of manner, he wins at once your love, and infuses as it were his own sunshiny nature into your
heart. From his youth he has been remarkable for his singular purity of heart, the guilelessness of his soul, the earnestness of his spirit, his devotion to truth, and his longing after perfection. We owe personally more than we can say to our long and intimate acquaintance with him. How often, when neither of us knew or believed in the glorious old Catholic Church, have we talked together by our own fireside, on the great questions discussed in the volume before us, and stimulated each other's endeavors after truth and goodness! His modesty and docility made him in those times regard us as his teacher as well as his senior, but in truth we were the scholar. It was in these free commune ings, where each opened his mind and heart to the other,
VOL. III. NO. II.