« PreviousContinue »
Another objection to which the conclusion is more fairly open is, that it is a fault of art, and seldom true to nature, to change the complexion of a character, and having launched a man on one course, to bring him into haven on another. • The child is father of the man,' not only in poetry, but in truth; and the depth and reality of Philip's repentance, considering his intense egotism and self-sufficient vanity, does not, we must confess, approve itself altogether to our belief. We will not say incredulus odi, but at least we are in doubt whether Miss Yonge entirely convinces our judgment and carries with her our sympathy. It is true, as in the case of the misunderstandings, that his repentance and amendment were necessary to her conception, to display the full influence of Guy, and the entire development of the character of Amy. But this does not necessarily make the change natural, and we cannot altogether feel that it is. This conceded, it is described, we fully admit, with great power, and excites for him considerable, and at last compassionate interest.
It may be objected also that it ends too quietly, and without that strong and passionate emotion which the scenes of Guy's death and burial so powerfully arouse.
It does end calmly; and a story that deals with such characters as Guy and Amy certainly ends most fitly in such a temper. Peace and rest, whether in this world or in Paradise, is the true element for beings so serene, so chastened, so devout, so innocent. This is the true teaching of the whole book; this is the feeling which it aims at producing and leaving upon the mind. No stir or tumult, no earthly joy or worldly happiness, should be mingled with our recollection of these heavenly characters. Peace, profound and tranquil, is the result of the story; and the characters are such as entirely harmonize with and produce it; such peace and such characters as are described in the beautiful lines of Bernard of Clugny, with which we will conclude, which symbolise the feelings upon our mind when we closed the book, which, if it wants a motto, might fairly print them on its titlepage.
Pax erit omnibus illa fidelibus, illa beata,
ART. III.- Dissertations on Subjects relating to the Orthodox,'
or · Eastern Catholic' Communion. By WILLIAM PALMER, M.A. Fellow of St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford, and
Deacon. London: Masters. 1853. In reviewing the work before us, we must beg the pardon of our readers, if instead of taking a general survey of the subjects discussed in it, we are compelled to make a Dissertation upon Dissertations. The subjects of this book are indeed so numerous, that to speak fully on each would require an elaborate work, rather than such a comparatively brief notice as we can offer. The masterly way, too, in which every point relating to the Orthodox Communion is handled, and the ability and extensive information of the author, leave nothing to be supplied; we must, therefore, content ourselves with pointing out the chief topics treated of, and, perhaps, somewhat simplifying them for ordinary readers.
Mr. Palmer divides his book into twenty-four Dissertations, of which three are chiefly political, fifteen theological, and the remainder such as bear more or less on the ecclesiastical politics and historical aspect of the Eastern Communion. The author has commenced his task by giving, in his first Dissertation, a very clear account of the Eastern and Western Church, when it was as yet one and undivided; and following, without detriment to its essential unity, the distinction between old and new Rome, (or Constantinople,) presented the appearance of two great halves, or lobes, of one united body. From this he goes on to show how the distinction first of East and West has, by the discovery of new regions, come to be in fact a nullity, having no longer any geographical, but only an historical propriety;' and, secondly, that the terms applied to them of
Greek’ and · Latin ' have also lost their distinctive force, inasmuch as 'a Communion which now contains within its pale millions of Christians using Liturgies of Oriental origin in the Greek, Syriac, Armenian, and other tongues, cannot be called strictly or exclusively Latin. Nor can a Communion which embraces several other nations and languages besides the • Greek, each performing Divine worship in its own tongue, ‘ and in which, out of sixty-six millions of Christians, perhaps 'fifty-nine millions are Slavonians,' and pray in the Slavonic 'tongue, be properly called Greek, merely because its ritual is derived in great measure (by no means exclusively) from
i Sec Table of Corrigenda, ante page 1.
Greek sources; and because it was once (and that not within its present limits) clearly united with the Græco-Roman empire.'-P.5.
Although this be the case, we may observe, on looking at the map of the world, that there is still the same nearly equal division of territory, — the addition of the Slavonian tribes having, as nearly as may be, supplied the Eastern loss of space by heresy and the apostasy of Mahometanism ;-although the strength of the Latins seems to lie in the facts that they far exceed the Greeks in numbers, even without including the seceders or Uniats (that is, those Easterns who retain their own creed, with the absence of the Filioque and Liturgies, but acknowledge the supremacy of the Pope), and in their activity in proselytism, and especially in the striking fact that there is no Greek community that has not a sprinkling of Latins, whilst there is scarcely a Latin community that has any commixture of Greeks. In Georgia, indeed, the Christians, according to the trans-Caucasian Almanack, form only one moiety of the whole population, which consists of 1,373,000 : the Mahometans alone numbering 675,000. Yet there still seems, no reason why the East may not, with time, recover from its present state of depression, — becoming more active in making proselytes, and in opposing infidelity and immorality : whilst as to the term Catholic, it is difficult to see how it is to be confined either to the East or to the West, unless we consent to reckon a part, whether large or small, for the whole.
Mr. Palmer, from his statement of facts, then proceeds to consider the present condition, and future prospects, of what he terms the “Orthodox," ' i.e. the Eastern,
i.e. the Eastern, Communion. “This Communion,' he tells us, 'in respect of population, has now about sixty-six million souls, under rather less than three hundred bishops. It has five patriarchates; of which one, that of Alexandria, the first anciently in dignity after old Rome, has now only five thousand souls, and one suffragan bishop; while the most recent, that of Russia, bas perbaps fifty million souls; that of Constantinople having eleven million, that of Antioch fifty thousand, and that of Jerusalem twenty-five thousand, There are also several lesser independent or autocephalous Churches, as those of Cyprus, of Austrian Servia, of Montenegro, and of the kingdom of Greece, and the Ladra of Mount Sinai.'
Mr. Palmer describes the extent of the authority of the hierarchy in the Turkish empire, and, indeed, in the Russian also, as much hampered and restricted by the State. In the former they have no power, he tells us, to proselytize, to hold synods, or even to educate their own members. In the latter, the governing body, or synod, 'seven or eight in number, are nominated and removed by the Crown : nor are any other synods of the Clergy permitted to meet for deliberation, NO. LXXXI.N.S.
or to make canons. All the officers or servants of the Synod, and those of the Diocesan Bishops, are nominated, paid, and removed by the civil Government, and are under its immediate orders: and all the real and funded property belonging to the Church, as well as all educational funds and establishments, spiritual as well as secular, are under the control of the same.'—P. 6.
This Church Mr. Palmer conceives to be eventually destined, -chiefly through the power of Russia, -to regain the whole of the former Græco-Eastern Empire, and even to cover Asia, and extend to the uttermost shores of the Eastern and Southern Ocean.
Here, then, arise several grave questions touching almost the very vitality of this great branch of the Church. They may best stated in Mr. Palmer's own words :
Looking forward to such a development of the “ Orthodox” Church there will still remain to be considered the following questions :
• After all, will not the “ Orthodox " Communion, when it shall have spread over the whole of Asia, be as far as ever from being visibly universal or Catholic in that sense in which the Roman Catholic Communion is universal even now?
• Will it even then send out missionaries, or will its missionaries have any success, beyond the limits of the Russian, or other “Orthodox” empires or states?
Will it be more able than it has been hitherto to preserve any part of its population, which may pass under a Roman Catholic ruler, from being persuaded or forced to submit to Rome?
• Will it evolve from among its clergy any enlightened and zealous reaction against the spread of that immorality and infidelity which accompanies civilization, such as we have seen in the Western Church, and especially in the Gallican, which, at the very time that France, as a nation, was apostatizing from Christianity, could send out missiovaries to preach the Gospel in China ?
Will its relations to the civil power in the immense Slavonic Empire, or in the States into wbich, after centuries, that Empire may be divided, be such as are compatible with the true mission and spiritual efficiency of an Apostolic Hierarchy? Or, will it be, upon the whole, the political instrument of a worldly or infidel State Supremacy, which will find its only antagonist in the Roman Pontiff; and which, being raised to such an unparalleled height of worldly greatness, will attempt to put down by force Roman Catholic Christianity, and so, perhaps, set a crowning seal to its truth?'--Pp. 7, 8.
But here it may be asked how there can ever be two Churches-an East and West, each antagonistic to the other,each seeking the other's destruction-each disowning the other's truth and commission, yet each engaged in one and the same work-of advancing the knowledge and glory of God, and increasing the spread of His Kingdom on earth?
Mr. Palmer's theory is, that, despite the formal separation between them, there has been, and is, no real infraction of their unity at all;—the great question being, in fact, whether we are
to prefer the superior claims of Rome to visible and external Catholicism; or the orthodoxy of the East: or, if,' to use the author's own words,
we cannot rid ourselves of our convictions, and yet see the absurdity of supposing a greater apparent Catholicism to be for centuries opposed to true Catholicism and to Orthodoxy, we must infer that the opinion and assumption of there being an essential difference between the two sides, (seeing that it leads to such difficulties and absurdities,) is itself false : and we must reconcile the conflicting phenomena of superior Orthodoxy on the one side, and superior Catholicism on the other, by supposing that the quarrel and the schism of the East and West, of the Greeks and Latins, is superficial only, and not essential; and that, in some way or other, both parts together have continued since their quarrel to constitute the Universal
Church, just as they did before the quarrel; and that their true inward - unity has no more been broken by their long-standing outward schism, than the true inward unity of the Latin Church was suspended or broken by its disruption into two or even three outward obediences during seventy years, in the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.'—P. 11.
This question Mr. Palmer proceeds to argue out in a very masterly manner, showing, I. from the proof of history in similar cases, that the fall of particular Churches into heresy has ever been followed, not by their gradual alienation from other Churches in consequence, but by their immediate condemnation; whereas, in the present instance, it was seen, even in the fundamental question of the Filioque,- 1st, that Photius himself, when it suited his immediate object, could describe the whole difference as one repà mixpwv; and, 2d, that Popes, through their legates, communicated with the East after the condemnation of the Latin doctrine by Photius, even if they did not actually assent by implication to his anathemas on it. To say nothing of the fact, which Bishop Pearson has made so well known, of the erection by Pope Leo III. of the silver shields, on which was inscribed the Creed without the addition in question; asserting at the same time, that he himself and • all other Catholic Christians were so subject to the decrees of
the Ecumenical councils, forbidding all alteration of the • Creed, that if they inserted the clause in question, however * orthodox they might think it, they would make it impossible ' for any man afterwards either to teach, to sing, or say the • Creed without blame' (p. 16);-or of the reception at Rome by Pope John VIII., half a century later, of S. Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles of Slavonia, though accused by the German Bishops of heresy for refusing to receive the interpolation.
II. The Church of Rome has acknowledged the Eastern to be a branch, with themselves, of the Church, in a sense in which she has not admitted any other heretics or schismatics to be so. Pope Urban II., for instance, when preaching the first Crusade, exhorted the West 'to deliver from the oppression of the infi