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He did not believe, he saw,' said one who knew him in his Trappist days. The words refer to his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, on which, when in church, his eyes were always fixed, but they sum up his whole career. Anglicans have little difficulty in seeing defects, exaggerations and perversions in Roman Catholicism. It is therefore all the more necessary for us to remind ourselves that no part of the Church Catholic has shewn such a genius as the Roman in securing and training the spiritual capacities of men like Charles de Foucauld and leading them to heights of devotion and self-sacrifice that are hardly attained elsewhere.
It is time to pass to the tragic finale. The news of the outbreak of war reached Tamanrasset on September 3, 1914. Before long its effects began to make themselves felt. Turkey, with Germany behind her, stirred up Tripoli, and armed bands, preaching a holy war, penetrated into the Sahara. Père de Foucauld kept in constant communication with General Laperrine and with the French garrison at Fort Motylinski, thirty miles away. At one time he thought of volunteering for military service, as far as the laws of the Church allowed it. He consulted Laperrine, but it was pointed out to him that to continue to exercise a calming influence over the Touaregs was the best service he could render to his country, and he remained at Tamanrasset. The military authorities were anxious to protect him, and under his direction in 1916 a kind of fortified hermitage was built for him, with space for the reception of friendly natives in case of an attack and for storing some ammunition for purposes of defence. For several months the neighbourhood still remained quiet. On December i he wrote to an officer who had asked for his prayers : ‘Our corner of the Sahara is at peace.' That same evening he was alone in his retreat. A knock came at the outer door. 'Who is it?' he asked. “The post from Motylinski.' As it was a day on which the man might be expected, the Father opened the door and put out his hand. It was seized, and he was dragged out and his hands were tied behind his back. He had been betrayed to a band of hostile Touaregs and other tribesmen by a harratin whom
1 P. 135.
VOL. XCVI.-NO. CXCI.
he had befriended. He was left by the wall outside the door in charge of a man with a rifle, and for about half an hour knelt and prayed while his captors ransacked the hermitage. Apparently their original intention was to take him prisoner and use him as a hostage. Then the alarm was raised that soldiers from Motylinski were about. There were as a matter of fact two Arab soldiers approaching, who had come to pay him their respects in ignorance of what was going on. Shooting began and the Touareg stationed near de Foucauld put a bullet through his head. His body sank down by the wall and lay there undisturbed. The next day, when the invaders had gone off with their booty, he was buried by the harratins in the ditch of the little fort, a few yards from the place where he fell, and near him were laid the two Arab soldiers who had shared his fate. A wooden cross was afterwards placed over his grave.
A year later General Laperrine, when passing through the Hoggar to Timbuctoo, ordered the bodies to be exhumed, as the ditch where they lay was liable to get filled with water in time of rain. They were reinterred on a hillock two hundred yards away, and a larger cross of wood was set up there. It was found that the body of Père de Foucauld was unbroken and still recognizable, while of the two Arabs nothing but dust remained. General Laperrine was astonished as well as deeply moved at the sight.
Why are you astonished that he should be thus preserved, mon général ? ' said one of the native soldiers to him. It is not astonishing, for he was a great
. ' marabout.'1
It seems better to let the story of Charles de Foucauld speak for itself than to try to draw out its lessons. He left no successor, he founded no institution to carry on his work and venerate his memory. He was a missionary who never preached and hardly made a single convert. But who can reckon all that he did for Africa and for the cause of Christ ? 'One soweth and another reapeth.'
J. C. Du Buisson.
1 P. 470.
THE LORD OF THOUGHT.
The Lord of Thought. By Lily DOUGALL and CYRIL W. EMMET,
M.A., B.D. (London: Student Christian Movement, 32 Russell Square, W.C. 1. 1922.) 125. 6d. net.
. The Student Christians enjoy a varied diet ; but this, we think, is the first systematic presentation of Marcionism which has been offered to them. The fundamental thought is Marcion's; the method of dealing with Scripture is Marcion's, though Synoptic criticism supplies expedients that Marcion did not possess ; if for a moment we seem to miss our old friend the Demiurge, he soon reappears as 'the law of consequence.' But all that was best in Marcion is found here also. The ' Pontic mouse, who devoured the Gospels,' was perhaps in some ways a better and a wiser man than his great opponent Tertullian. He knew more of the love of Christ, and he faced difficulties in the Old Testament for which the Church's methods of interpretation provided no adequate solution. Thus when we say that Miss Dougall and Mr. Emmet have revived Marcionism, we use the term for description, and not for reproach. There is no reason why the old controversy should not be reopened.
What then is that most lovable of heresies? The fundamental thought is that love is incompatible with punishment. A God of love cannot be a God of punishment, or a Christ of love the future Judge of the world. But Jesus was love Incarnate, and His God and Father One whose nature and whose name were love. Thus neither present nor future punishment can be ascribed to Either; and everything in Scripture which asserts or implies the contrary must be rejected or explained away. Miss Dougall and Mr. Emmet are not much troubled about the witness of the Old Testament, or of the Apostles. But with the Synoptic record they are deeply concerned, and to Marcionites it is full of difficulty. They think, however, that with the help of modern criticism, and by applying the principle that the Lord could not, consistently with His true message, have threatened punishment at His own or His Father's hands, His teaching can be purged of all that is inconsistent with Marcionism, and that to its great advantage. His words in the Synoptic Gospels are passed in review, and offered the choice between Marcionism and the sword. Miss Dougall is a kindly inquisitor, always ready to build golden bridges by which offending texts may escape destruction; many of her interpretations are likely to remain her property. But if discourse or parable obstinately refuses to accept the faith, it is shorn away. Mr. Emmet is more cautious. Critical methods are at his disposal, and sometimes he employs them with success. But with him, too, the exigencies of the theory prevail. If criticism will solve the difficulty, so much the better : if not, rejection of the faith suffices for condemnation. Of course, in such a world as this, it is difficult for a Theist to deny the reality of divine punishment. Marcion well knew that the past sufferings of Israel were facts of history; and that what looks like punishment is so rooted in the natural order that it must be ascribed to the Creator. He invented the Demiurge to account for all this, and denied his identity with the God whom the Lord revealed. But there is no road that way, as Tertullian pointed out. Either the God Whom the Lord revealed is Master of the Demiurge, or He is not. If He is not, the Demiurge is God, and not He. If He is, He should control the Demiurge ; and, if (like Miss Dougall) He regards punishment as always 'vindictive,’and always 'futile,' He should prevent the Demiurge from punishing. This difficulty, as we shall presently see, remains unaffected, if we put the law of consequence' in the Demiurge's place; all that we have done is—very unphilosophically—to substitute an abstraction for a personal agent. Thus Marcionism is open to three lines of attack. First, its fundamental assumption is false. Secondly, it is contrary, not just to one element in Scripture, but to its common witness from first to last. Thirdly, it is inconsistent with the facts of life. Miss Dougall and Mr. Emmet rightly desire to get rid of that view of our Lord's teaching which, by reducing it to mistaken anticipations of the future, makes Him a dreamer. But their own Jesus is also a dreamer ; since the 'new view of God,' which they suppose Him to have discovered, finds no verification in experience. It is these three points which we desire to establish. There is much in the book before us which we heartily welcome; but criticism must come before appreciation.
We begin then with the characteristic assertion of Marcion that love and retributive justice are incompatible. To say this is not to say that love is incompatible with the recognition of moral distinctions. We question the truth of Miss Dougall's statement that passionate disapproval of wrong-doing is consistent with a strong desire to shield the culprit from punishment, and to trust him to reform himself. Wherever disapproval is passionate, there is always, we think, the recognition of the necessity of punishment. But in the very best men, though we are in doubt about the rest, Marcionism is fully compatible with moral earnestness. Moreover, there are facts which may seem to support the Marcionite contention. Love is but a tender plant in most of us; it is not easy to love and to be angry at the same time, especially if we ourselves have been injured ; and, like Caliban upon Setebos, we are apt to create God in our own image, and ascribe to Him our cruelty, and, as Miss Dougall notes, our pride. There are horrible passages within the Old Testament Canon, and not only in the Apocalyptic literature outside. What, e.g., are we to say of the passage from the Book of Isaiah which the Church offers us as the Epistle for Monday in Holy Week ? Her mystical application does not obscure the original meaning of the words. What we feel is that, though the heathen oppressors might be the enemies of God, they were much more obviously the enemies of the fierce prophet. When, however, Miss Dougall writes as if wrath and punishment were always synonymous with vindictiveness and cruelty, facts at once refute her. Anger against all that is unlovely is, as Maurice taught us, a necessary aspect of love; and the unsophisticated conscience always demands the punishment of sin. Isaiah and St. Paul were passionate lovers of their people, but their conscience demanded punishment none the less. Still more plainly will this appear, if we consider the attitude of the penitent. He is not only willing to be punished; he will punish himself, and that though he believes himself to be already forgiven. Our Lord Himself illustrates the same truth. St. Mark tells us (iii 5) how He looked round about' on men 'with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their heart,' and here as ever He was the revelation of God. Where there is love, there can be neither vindictiveness nor cruelty ; but anger, and that taking a practical form, there often is. Indeed incapacity for feeling it belongs to a low type of character; the calm acquiescence of Englishmen in the torture and murder of Armenians is to-day their shame, and not their glory. Thus there is no necessary inconsistency between the love of God and the wrath of God, if rightly understood. In thinking of the latter we must make large use of the via negationis; we must eliminate all that savours of human