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would still exist if the understanding liberty, we are told, is equivalent to a between the powers had continued, and desertion of the laws of reason ; and the if the sixteenth century, after throwing option of sinning is not a liberty, but a confusion into the Christian faith, had slavery. The conclusion is that human not laid the foundations of the new law, liberty needs the protection of religion. by which each man thinks as he pleases, As regards the liberty of society, the and acts as it pleases him to act. In a arguments converge towards the same society founded on the new principles, centre around which all the reasonings the pontiff says, public authority is but are grouped, — obedience to ecclesiasthe will of the people ; and it is evident tical guidance. One of the concluding that the hardest fact which the papacy passages of this Encyclical indicates its has to face is the constant spread of lib- tone, and we quote it for that reason: erty, — liberty to worship or not to wor- “It is by no means lawful to ask, deship, unlimited license of thought and of fend, or concede promiscuous liberty of publicity. This is a condition inimical to thought, writing, teaching, and religion, the ideal of life which the Church has as if these were so many rights which always loved to form, - a life in which nature had given to man.” Thus we see society is under the direct influent of that, no matter how ingenious the reaits guidance, paternal to the su. soning or how secular its form may be, sive, but disciplinarian to the indepen- the conclusions revert to the same point dent. The Church cannot resign itself as inevitably as the magnet to the pole. to become what the modern tendencies Liberty, however, is a principle which towards specialization are forcing it to was admitted so many interpretations be, an organization existing solely for the in history that this bull, which conveys spiritual wants of its adherents.
the Church's definition of it, is a human The Church, pursues the Encyclical, al- document of interest. Liberty of thought ways consistent, has extended its patron- and speech, with which the Church unage to every movement which contributes failingly associates license, offends that to the common good, and has never been inherent senultiveness which Christianity, opposed to progress. But — and here always apt to apprehend disrespect or we find the constant claim for the right disregard, has displayed since its origin, of veto
it is necessary for Catholics and which is accentuated in Catholicism. to abide by what the pontiffs teach, espe- We pass by the Sapientiæ Christianæ, cially in all that appertains to human lib- concerning the duties of Catholics in erty, though they must not refrain from society, because it possesses little of an interference in politics, so that a check extra-Catholic nature. The case is difmay be placed on anarchy.
ferent with the Rerum Novarum (1891), Continuing the theme of liberty, which the long and exhaustive Encyclical on of all themes would appear to be the the condition of the working classes and most difficult of definition by the Church, the social question. Its style is simple, the Encyclical Libertas (1888) is meant and compares favorably with the comto prove, by an elaborate process of plexity, bordering on obscurity, of the a somewhat Aristotelian character, that Libertas. A difficult problem, the Pope moral liberty flows from natural liberty, admits, is that of adjusting the respecwhich is the attribute of those who pos- tive rights of capital and labor. The sess intelligence to discriminate between ancient corporations have disappeared, revarious kinds of good. The abuse of ligion has no place in legislation, the la
1 It is curious to contrast with this the saying people judges worthy of reward or punishment of Confucius: “What Heaven sees and hears is is what Heaven wishes to punish and reward." but what the people sees and hears. What the
borers are isolated and under an almost remarks, who have the welfare of manservile yoke (prope servile jugum). The kind at heart, is conceded to those who socialists take advantage of the situation entertain subversive designs against relito foster enmity between the two classes, gion and the state. and the solution they propose of the divi- The Encyclical Au Milieu des Sollision of property is unjust, because (as an citudes, addressed to the Catholics of illustration) it is evident that if a laborer, France, and written in French (by a rare by his economy, has succeeded in becom- exception to the rule) with the same ing the proprietor of a field which he has choiceness of expression that pervades rendered fertile by his labor, he has an the series, is of the greatest political imundoubted right to own it. This princi- portance, and its effect has been to spread ple of property is a natural and human dismay in the monarchical party, which, law. It is the basis of the family, whose from long association, bad, naturally, conchief must needs possess the substance ne- sidered itself the representative of the cessary to maintain and educate his chil- only form of government agreeable to dren. As children are the image of their the Vatican. Several warnings had been parents, it is the parents' duty to assure the given of the change, but the French children's future and to create for them nobility, less far-sighted than the Pope, a patrimony. Has not the Church always who scrutinizes so narrowly the tendenadvocated just relations between masters cies of men, were unable to reconcile and their men, and has it not defined the themselves to the new attitude. A vast respective rights of each, teaching the rich plot, the Pope thinks, is on foot to to use their wealth wisely, and the poo annihilate Christianity in France, - in
to respect their labor? On the subject that France whose “noble people have of charity the principle of St. Thomas is increased their affection for the papacy adopted, and we are told that only the since they have seen it abandoned.” All surplus of individual fortunes is to be Frenchmen are invited to unite for the distributed to alleviate the condition of pacification of their country, for the
nullus enim inconvenienter maintenance of religious feeling and movivere debet, a precept clearly neces- rality, of which latter virtue we have the sary to the present constitution of soci- following definition : “ The idea of moety, but of somewhat doubtful concor- rality carries with it, above all things, dance with Christian tenets.
a dependence towards truth which is the we are told, should be unfailingly just light of the mind, and towards righttowards the working classes; it should eousness which is the aim of the will.” maintain the respect for property, pre- The Church does not desire a political vent the occurrence of strikes by a wise domination over the state, and all forms regulation of wages and conditions of la- of government are good which tend tobor; it should favor economy and Sunday wards the common weal. That is the rest. This important Encyclical refers lesson of this epoch-making Encyclical, favorably to the associations of workmen, to the terms of which the Pope adheres, which the state, it says, cannot prohibit, in spite of the many overtures which because they are founded on the human have been made to him to change them. principle of sociability. With regard to All individuals, it says, are bound to acthe religious corporations despoiled of cept governments founded on just printheir rights, notably in France, the En- ciples, and to do nothing to alter them cyclical contains a passage the logic of (de ne rien faire pour les renverser which is irresistible, whatever social dem- ou pour en changer la forme). By this ocrats may say. That which is refused phrase the disappointment of the royalto Catholic societies of peaceable men, it ists was completed.
To the objection that the French re- brittle. It is too subtle for the artisan, public is animated by anti-Christian sen- and too elastic for the cultured sophist. timents, and is therefore incompatible by It is, of course, assumed that these its nature with the Church, the Pope's an- political Encyclicals are published in the swer is far from clear, and has given rise interest of peace and justice; not, as to a variety of interpretations. It rests has been lately said, exclusively in furchiefly on the assertion that there is a therance of combinations to advance distinction between constituted and le- the Church's welfare. Were it thought gislative power, but its statements are otherwise, whatever power of conviction contradictory. The clearest of its de- they may be considered to possess would ductions is that the respect due to the be seriously impaired. men in office does not imply obedience Besides these notable Encyclicals there to the anti-religious laws they may ori- are many others, on the propagation of ginate. “ Atheism is so monstrous an faith, the veneration of saints, the pracerror that it can never, be it said to the tice of dueling, and the question of slahonor of humanity, annihilate the con- very, - all of minor importance. science of the rights of God, to substi- After this too brief examination of tute for it the idolatry of the state.” the papal bulls, the question may natuThe separation of Church and State, rally be asked, What has been their inadvocated by some Catholics, is weighed fluence on modern thought and on the and found wanting, because it is at va- policy of governments? The pontiff has riance with the eternal claims of the attempted to solve the problems which Church to retain a voice in the conduct of affect the welfare of society; he has human affairs. To wish for separation, given his Encyclicals a dialectic rather says the Encyclical, would, by a logical than an imperative form, seeking to conconsequence, be to wish that the Church vince the mind by argument ; but though should be reduced to the liberty of liv- in every sense an innovator, he has not ing common to all citizens. In Catholic found a novel weapon to combat the new France this system is inadmissible ; it is developments of reason. His undisputed the negation of the Church's existence. talent is continually confined within the
The French Encyclical has offered limits of the Roman dogma; and, as a many opportunities of noticing the ap- natural result, he is induced to seek an aid plication of the papal precepts. Its text in retrogression, in the patristic and the has given rise to the most divergent of Aquinasian writings, whose reasonings interpretations, and it has many times were so far unlike the Greek models they been found in the highest degree difficult sought chiefly to imitate that they added to steer an even course between such ob- mystical assumptions to what were but stinate opponents as capital and labor. the early efforts of the human mind to The least concession made to one is soon elucidate the secrets of the universe. resented by the other, and the concilia- Undoubtedly, it is the duty of the tory and prudent language of the pontiff pontiff to raise his voice against the vais often irksome to the Catholic orators rious expressions of combative liberalwho use it. If a Catholic royalist side ism, and were he to be silent his silence too openly with democratic claims, he is would certainly be attributed, by the accused of raising discord and sedition. critics of the papacy, to the weakness If he favor capital and order solely, he of his cause ; but a system of theologidoes not then fulfill the Pope's intentions. cal argument which has lost its force beThe part he has to play is full of oppor- fore the progress of historical research tunities for error, because the teaching is doomed to negative results, and alof the French Encyclical is delicate and though it has been made use of largely in recent pulpit oratory, it is doubtful his authority, like that of all others, rests whether it does not furnish a dangerous upon the submission of the governed to subject of discussion, even for believers, the governing rather than act as a preservative of doc- The practical results of the Encyclitrine. A new enthusiasm cannot thus cals are thus obtained within the Church be established; the vitality of faith can- itself, but they are not seen to have apnot thus be restored.
preciable effects on modern politics. In What is the pervading lesson of the his last two letters the Pope has befriendPope's Encyclicals? What does the pon- ed two causes which did not claim his tiff mainly seek to urge upon his readers ? championship, — that of the proletariat It is that the Church he governs is the and of the French republic. Neither of true possessor of reason, wisdom, charity, these wisely conceived measures in the and justice ; that all peoples should turn interests of peace and of the papacy has to her for guidance, as to a wise, far-see- changed existing things. The letter on
. ing mother.
the proletariat, doubtless, has apprised That is the desire, the claim, put for- the artisans that a mediator is at hand, ward by Leo XIII. ; but if we glance should they ever bring themselves to around we do not see that it has been place their confidence, not in his congranted. Socialism and its variants are scientiousness, but in his competency to far beyond the reach of bishops, whose negotiate for them; and the second epistle power to uproot them is infinitesimal; has contented those Republicans (and freemasonry is not less flourishing than they are many) who suffered in their previously ; the divorce laws have no- conscience that their political persuasions where been repealed, and strikes of should be open to the Church's censure. workmen have not grown less frequent. On the other hand, it has occasioned a The jus novum is as violently preached strange phase in the relations between as heretofore, and the condition of the the clergy (who were at first unable or artisan has in no way been affected. unwilling to understand the bull, but who Everywhere the socialistic element gains have since assimilated its teaching) and ground in politics, and the dictates of the laity, some of whom have organized the Pope are so distant from the sphere a secret movement hostile to it. of stern reality that few statesmen These are the facts which must be would attempt to quote them as argu- faced in an impartial notice; and the inments against the steadily advancing ference they lead to seems to be that the wave which threatens to transform so- influence of the papal writings on the ciety. The publication of an Encyclical, collective activity of modern tendencies it may be contended, has far less weight is very slight. If, however, the theistic in the scale of current thought than that and political efficacy of the Encyclicals of a remarkable or brilliant social essay is unapparent, there still remains their which finds its way into the hands of read- moral side, in which resides a great part ers in all classes, of all creeds.
of their merit. Moral good retains a It must be borne in mind, however, leading place throughout their pages. that the interests of Catholics are first The reader feels that it is advocated by considered in these letters, and that their an author who is himself its best expoinfluence on Catholic opinion is theoreti- nent, and whose existence in the world cally supreme. Authority and infallibil- is a safeguard for the maintenance of reity both conspire to make it so; although straint in a society which already feels it must not be inferred that, for this rea- the subversiveness of half-enlightened son, the Pope is absolutely free, because doctrinarians.
POETRY IN GENERAL AND IN PARTICULAR.
THERE is no brief maxim so incon- treacherous notion that a great work trovertible as that poeta nascitur, non loses its power as time goes on. In fit; but we suspect the force of the truth, there is nothing more enduring maxim is weakened by an insistence than great poetry, and no subject of huupon the second member of the phrase. man endeavor offers a fairer field to the It is the spontaneity of poetry which philosophic inquirer after fundamental is its essential quality ; the ever fresh laws of the spirit. The reason for this miracle of poetic efflorescence obeys, is evident when one considers the enordoubtless, some spiritual law, but to the mous advantage which poetry has over common mind transcends law. There the fictile arts in the fact that the inis an uneasy sense that a school of poet- strument which poetry uses is, in its ry is a contradiction in terms, and that lowest terms, common to all who attend as a school of the prophets intimates an it; but although every one has thcught evaporation of prophecy, so the moment and speech, not every one has thought we seek to reduce poetry to a system of and the art, even rudely, of expression laws we have suffered the essential quals through line and form. ity to escape. If all this were designed to It is for this reason, also, that there make poets, the apprehension might have are so many futile attempts at poetic some foundation, but in truth we may expression, and another service which almost
say that lector fit, non nascitur ; Mr. Stedman renders is in steadily prefor, however one may be more sensitive senting poetry in its large and universal than another in response to poetry, the forms, so that he furnishes not petty cultivation of a taste for poetry certainly measures, but great principles by which is possible, and a very great service is to try the spirit; for many false poets done when one gives hints of that high- are gone out into the world. It is not er freedom in poetry which moves along enough to recognize in general terms the the lines of necessary law, so that the worth and dignity of poetry, but one reader is not at the beck of his own ca- needs to make such spectrum analysis price, nor led astray by the vagrant as will disclose those elements of beauwhims of a lawless poetic magic. Such ty, truth, imagination, passion, insight, a service is rendered by Mr. Stedman in genius, and faith, which make up the the book which contains the first series glory of the whole ; and as this book is of lectures delivered upon the new and an inspiration to the genuine lover and important foundation at Johns Hopkins to the creator of poetry, so it offers no University of the Percy Trumbull Memo- superficial tests to the idle reader of rial Lectureship of Poetry. Mr. Sted- verse, nor mechanical guide to the wouldman well says, in his Introduction, that be manufacturer. It would be a most in poetry “ the simplest laws and con- wholesome exercise for those young stustitutents, those most patent to common dents of either sex who are tempted to apprehension, are also the most profound write poetry if they would first make a and abiding ;” and he justifies his right survey of the subject by means of this to seek for the very nature and elements treatise, to see how a poet who has made of poetry by discarding in advance the a study of poetry speaks of his art not
1 The Nature and Elements of Poetry. By only in its nature, but through the exEDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN. Boston and ponents of the art in all time. New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1892. Yet, after all, the volume, as we have