« הקודםהמשך »
political began to ahead, and whical organisaa
completer ere abruptly ressense
of the national religion for the suppression of which the Government could allege no political plea, was due to the formation of the Constitutional Church. Its clergy were allowed to continue unmolested in the performance of religious rites, when all ministrations by the non-jurors were, owing to the reactionary intrigues of many of their number, looked upon with suspicion. When Christianity itself became the subject of attack, the Constitutional clergy exhibited the indisputable spectacle of martyrs suffering for the cause of religion alone, while in the persecution of the refractory priests there was always mixed up in semblance, if not in reality, more or less of just retribution for political disaffection. And lastly, when the storm against religion began to abate, it was the Constitutional Church which first raised its head, and which was in a fair way of re-establishing a complete ecclesiastical organisation in the country, when its efforts were abruptly interfered with by the Concordat of 1801. True, as M. de Pressensé is careful to remind us, the revival of the Church took place after its complete separation from the State by the abolition of the State payment of its clergy, and no such revival was possible to a Church enthralled by a connection with such a Government as France possessed during the periods of the Convention and the Directory; but how can an inference, adverse to the general principle of Church and State, be legitimately drawn from that fact? Whatever real weight, in reference to the question of establishments of religion, is to be attached to the circumstance in question, is far more than counterbalanced by the consideration of the advantage which religion derived from the connection of a portion of the Church with the civil administration, before the latter became absolutely hostile to Christianity.
The Concordat of 1801 terminated the schism in the Church of France. After providing for the free exercise of the Roman Catholic religion in France, and for the publicity of its worship conformably with the police regulations which the Government should judge necessary for the public tranquillity, it decreed that there should be made by the Holy See, in concert with the Government, a new circumscription of the French dioceses, and declared that if the French bishops refused to submit to the new arrangements-arrangements which might, in the case of some of them, involve the entire loss of their sees—the Pope would, notwithstanding their refusal, supersede them by the appointment of new bishops. It ordained that the appointment of bishops for the future should be made by the First Consul, and that they should receive canonical institution at the hands of the Pope.* The bishops, before entering upon
* This provision was a return to the old Concordat of 1515.
their duties, were to take an oath of allegiance to the Government. The same oath was to be taken by the inferior clergy, the nomination of whom to cures and benefices was vested in the bishops.
The Concordat was speedily supplemented by the organic laws of Germinal, year * (April 1802). So far as these laws secured perfect toleration, and abolished every trace of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in civil matters, M. de Pressensé, as might be expected, commends them, but he is loud in his condemnation of their other provisions. Among these we find a renewal of the old supervision of the State over all communications between the Pope and the French clergy, and a requirement that all Papal legates in France should obtain authority to act from the Government. The permission of the State was to be given before any national or metropolitan council, diocesan synod, or other ecclesiastical assembly could be held, and before any new church, or even private chapel, could be opened. A licence from the Government was like. wise rendered necessary before a bishop could leave his diocese. Provisions were added which subjected French Protestantism to governmental control of a similar character. M. de Pressensé looks upon the imposition of these various restrictions as a grievous act of oppression of religion on the part of the State, and doubtless it was so. But while he is disposed to hold the principle of Church and State answerable for them all, they appear to us to be accounted for, on the one hand, by the general character of the Napoleonic régime, which did not confine its despotism to ecclesiastical matters, and on the other, by the peculiar features of the dominant religion in France, which, from its recognition of an allegiance due to a foreign spiritual head, required for that religion special restraints on the part of the civil administration. Nor was it possible, when policy required the religion of the majority to be subjected to a strong State control, to avoid encumbering that of the minority with similar fetters.
In his zeal against Church and State, M. de Pressensé has omitted to dwell upon the evils resulting from another feature of the Concordat, to which he has cursorily alluded, namely, the actual increase of power which its provisions in one direction conferred on the Pope. They were far-sighted counsellors of Pius VII., who took this as their ground for urging upon the reluctant Pope the adoption of the treaty with Napoleon, saying, “Let us conclude the Concordat which he desires : when it is ratified, all the immensity of its religious importance will be known, and the power which it gives to Rome over the episcopacy in all the world. To us the Concordat appears chiefly deplorable, as giving an impulse to that ultramontanism
a lifeto and owing to French pule
Lacordaire owing to shocess to s
which, from the beginning of the present century, has penetrated more and more into the Gallican Church, until it has almost completely pervaded it,—that ultramontanism, through which a Lamennais was lost to the Church, if not to religion itself, which unconsciously fettered a Lacordaire, and caused a life of activity and success to set in the gloom of disappointment, and owing to which Père Hyacinthe, the successor of Lacordaire in the French pulpit, has abandoned his native country and is lying under threat of excommunication.
M. de Pressensé is a Protestant, but his Protestant standpoint has not raised him high enough to regard the question of Church and State cleared of the mists in which it presents itself to one who studies it in connection with the conditions of the State Church in France. From the ideas which are formed by such a study, the conception of a national Church, the only true form of an Establishment, is wholly wanting. By a national Church, we mean a Church which is in ideal completely, and in reality more or less approximately, co-extensive with the nation. In France no such Church has ever existed. For the ecclesiastical body, which has always had the preponderance in numbers and influence in that country, is but a part of a larger Church, embracing many nations, and owns the supremacy of a foreign head. The constitutional Church, towards the close of its distinctive career, when the larger measure of sufferance which it experienced at the hands of the revolutionary government gave it the vantage ground in the general revival of Christianity which was taking place in France, approaches more nearly to the ideal of a national Church than any other ecclesiastical body in France has ever done. It contained the germs of nationality ; but before these germs could come to maturity, they were, as we have seen, arrested by the Concordat.
There is another feature which combines with that, which we have already mentioned, to give an unlovely aspect to the idea of a union of Church and State in the eyes of a Frenchman. We mean the unsatisfactory character of the French civil administration. During the portion of his country's history, over which M. de Pressensé extends his review of the relations between religion and the State in France, the administration of the latter was marked by grievous shortcomings throughout, and at times by glaring faults. The same must be said of the period which has since intervened. At the time at which he wrote the work before us, he could truly lament:
“ The very soul of France is bound and garotted in the fatal administrative net-work which encloses it on every side, and permits neither political thought nor religious belief freely to show themselves in the open day by speech or association.”
But let the fault be laid where it is due, and let not the principle of Church and State be taxed with the defects of the Napoleonic régime. It is as unreasonable to condemn the principle of Church and State because it has practically worked ill in France, as to reject the idea of a monarchical form of government, on account of the oppression which has been inflicted upon that country by Imperialism. If there be faults in the Church and faults in the State, we cannot look for advantage in the union of the two; but let not M. de Pressensé on that account charge that union with a failure for which both the uniting bodies are in their measure answerable.
In the foregoing review we have endeavoured to point out a true lesson to be drawn from the history of the Gallican Church subsequent to the outbreak of the Revolution of 1789, as opposed to the lesson which M. de Pressensé would found upon it. We have seen, in the case of France, that the interference of a foreign prelate with the spiritual concerns of a people has been in the past fraught with danger both to the religious and to the civil interests of the nation. All Roman Catholic countries are, by their Papal connection, rendered continually liable to a similar danger-a danger which it only requires a combination of circumstances, such as that which occurred at the French Revolution, to convert into a cause of misfortune and ruin. Who can say how much that danger will be magnified if the dogmas respecting the personal infallibility of the Pope, and his jurisdiction over the governments and nations of Christendom, proposed for the acceptance of the approaching Council at Rome, be adopted by the Roman Catholic world? Already has the prospect caused uneasiness and alarm to the Government of one continental nation which professes spiritual allegiance to the Papal see,* and led to an exhibition of ecclesiastical insubordination on the part of the most gifted ecclesiastical orator of another. And no wonder : for the new pretensions of the Papacy are such that the enforcement of them would shake to their foundations the civil institutions of no inconsiderable portion of mankind. We admit that such an enforcement would involve the not very probable conjunction of two hypotheses—the recognition of those pretensions, and a serious attempt to carry them into practice; but the enormity of the aspirations of the see of Rome is not diminished by the apparent improbability of their realisation. It will be from no want of effort in that direction on the part of the now domi. nant Ultramontane section of the Papal Church, if the whole of Roman Catholic Europe does not shortly present the spec
* See the Questions recently addressed by the Bavarian Government to the Theological Professors of the University of Munich.
tacle which was seen in Revolutionary France—the spectacle of a people who, confounding the due restraints of religion with the foreign yoke sought to be imposed simultaneously upon them, throw off the former in their anxiety to be rid of the latter, and impatient of the irrational tyranny of one who calls himself the Vicar of Christ, rebel against the sovereignty of Christ Himself, and rush into avowed infidelity.
THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF MARIAN WORSHIP, AS EXHIBITED
IN ROMAN MONUMENTS.
Fifth and Later Centuries. WE have been occupied hitherto with monuments the date of which can only be approximately determined, but of which (with the exception, perhaps, of the last described) there are the strongest reasons for believing that they are, at any rate, antecedent? to the year 400 A.D. We proceed now to consider some later monuments, the date of which can be determined much more exactly. And as introductory to this part of our subject, we will quote a very significant sentence from Dr. Northcote himself. Speaking of the difference between the earlier and the later representations of “St. Joseph,” he states that the later artists (from the fifth century? onwards) probably followed legends concerning him which occur in the Apocryphal Gospels, especially that which bears the name of St. James the Less, and those on the birth of Mary and infancy of our Saviour. “ These legends had been quoted by St. Epiphanius, St. Gregory
In saying this, we state what is our own belief upon a disputed question; and we do so the more readily, because it places us in accord, as to questions of fact, with those Roman controversialists whose deductions from those facts we impugn. We are glad to be able thus far to meet them on common ground. But some antiquaries of considerable repute attribute to the fourth and fifth centuries frescoes which De Rossi (followed by Dr. Northcote) considers to be of the second and third.
2 “From the fifth century onwards." We know of no works of art in the West, embodying unmistakably these Apocryphal legends, which can with any
probability be assigned to a date earlier than 500 A.D. The earliest example known to us is the Diptych of Milan, figured and fully described in Bugati, Memorie di S. Celso Martire, App. Tav. i. and ii. The Annuntiation is there represented just as it is described in the Apocryphal Gospel of St. James (Fabricii Codex Apocr. Nov. Test. tom. i. p. 91). Another early example (which is probably not earlier than the sixth century) is to be seen in the Church of S. Giovannino at S. Maximin in Provence. The Virgin Mary is there described as Menester (Minister) Ecclesiæ Hierusalem.