|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||"Why I Became a Catholic," by the Rev. Benjamin F. De Costa|
- 66 Why I Became a Catholic" hwthe Uev. Benjamin F. Be Costa ! i i Detailed Statement of the Eminent New York! j Thinker and Divine as to His Reasons ! j In Leaving Anglicanism. j Says He Outlived the Narrow System in Which He Had Been : . Trained, Through Years of Honest Sludy and Research Proclaims the Reformation a Monumental Failure and Points to the Procession Following in the Footsteps j of Newman and Manning From Canterbury to Rome, as ! j an.Indication of the Thought and Trend of the Age j New York, "Doc. 10. Rev. Dr. Benja- tj min F. De Costa of New York, who re- h signed the Protestant Episcopal minis- ; try in September last, and afterward j:ave up altc-sctncr his membership in the Episcopal body, was on Sunday re- 1 1 reived into the Catholic Church. The I ceremony took place in the chapel of j the Arademv of the Sacred Heart, 49 j 'West Seventeenth street. New York. Rev. Father Thomas MeLoughlin, pas- ! tor oi the Church of the Transfigura- f in ?.!:tt strtrt-t, officiate d. Anions i the few present was, by special invita- , j lion, the Rev. Father O'Connor, S. J., 1 of St. Francis Xavier's Church. The I Hiapol had been elaborately decorated I with roses and the altars were brilliant i with man- candies. It is understood ' ! that the candidate's Protestant baptism being accepted as valid, the baptism j was not conditionally repeated, as is 1 done in doubttul cases, s The "profession of faith" made on I such occasions is in the manual, and 5 includes a .belief in the incarnation, I passion, death and resurrection of Jesus 1 Christ, the Real Presence, the primacy ' I of St. Peter, and especially the author- ity of "the Holy Scriptures, which we must interpret and understand only in the sense which our Holy Mother the j Catholic Church has held and does J hold."' The concluding words are: "So f help me, God, and these His Holy Gos- pels, which I touch with my hand." j Dr. De Costa declined to taHv with reporters re-porters afterward. He has prepared a - paper giving- his reasons for entering . " the true Church, th;se being- contained irr and' f rmjjpn -a round a statement of ! "Tlie Place of Holy Scripture In the ; Catholic Church." , ;i i NOT A RITUALIST, j Dr. De Costa, being- a married man, i -j in. therefore, not eligible to the priest- j J hood. Having- no ecclesiastical pros- I : pect, he will return to literature and I devote himself to writing and lectur- j ing. for which purpose he has made I i preparation by s?tudy and travel in for- j oign lands. j J This action on the part of Dr. De Costa, will not come as a surprise, for it j ha? been long predicted. The majority I of those who hove hitherto left the j Episcopal for the Catholic Church have been ritualists, but Dr. De- Costa has never had much to do with ritualism. I At one time the ritualists expected that 1 he would .loin them, but he pronounced 1 the movement "unreal, hopeless and ! uncatholic in its spirit and method." I Ritualists, he declared, were merely im- itators doomed to extinction in the near j future by the broad church movement, j Since hip resignation from the Epis- copal church, according to what is said 5 by those in close touch with him. Dr. De j , osia ha. had invitations to join many 5 dcnomiiMtions, including the "Reform- I I ed Episcopal." the "Catholic and Apfs- 5 tolic" and the "Old Catholic." The edi- tor of the Independent invited him to cast in his lot with the Congregational- 5-ts, which cause-d him a broad smile. The notion seemed to prevail in eome ouarters that his trouble lay with the Scripture queslicn solely, but his fritnds say that, as is now the case with many clergymen of the Episcopal church, it j stands related to the whole system. The j.-ue Bishop Yv'illiams predicted depar- ti;res. to Rome on this account, and Dr. De Costa is already publicly on record as regards his knowledge of those who are kept back in the Episcopal body j simply by their inability to provide i otherwise for their families. The Cath- j olic Church can hold out no linancial i 7rospe"ts to converts, and the unmarried unmar-ried convert who aspires to the priesthood priest-hood can look forward to only 500 a yer.r, the sitipend of the bt-bt pari.-Oi ! priest in New York. SKETCH OF HIS CAREER. Dr. De Costa is remotely a desceTd-ant desceTd-ant of an old French .Catholic famly, but his more immediate ancestors were Huguenots, who sett let! in Beaton "seven generations since. He was a typical Ivovum boy. bred in the public s-dhools, and early took to literature, writing i for the Chnrlestown Advertiser, owned by hi? brother. 'William Hickling De j Costa. For full twenty years he was j a constant writer for this paper. After i leaving the public, schools he- spent j seven years in preparation for the Episoop.il ministry. He served as rector rec-tor of St. John's. North Adams, Mass., and St. Mary's, Newton, Eower Falls, Mass. He passed thence to the army as chaplain of the Fifth and Eighteenth Massachusetts regiments. In 8t'3 he became the" edite-r of the New York Christian Times, an Episcopal journal, j Knd afterwards of the Episcopalian and the Protestant Churchman. Later j tie wrote in all the departments of the Churchman. He devoted several years to study and travel in Europe. For a ; long whiie he preached and loctured in j connection with literary work, which I included the editing of the Magazine j of American History. In he be- j came rector of the Church of St. Je'hn j the Evangelist, New York, and took a prominent part in all progressive chuch work. He was a charter member mem-ber of the Huguenot society and one of the editors of its lirst volume ef publication. He was also the first president of the Churcli Association j for the advancement of the -interest of I labor. With Bishop Potter he inaugu. j rated "the Church Temperance Soci- 1 ety" and was its lirst secretary. He i ' was the founder and president of "The 1 , "White Cross Society," and inaugurated j the "Burial Reform AiVf-ix iation." He ( ; is one of the chaplains of the Grand j Army. His life has proved laborious, : ; and the last twelve years have wit- nessed a constant struggle with the 1 skeptical tendencies of the Episcopal- j : ians. ending with his letter of fesigna- i ; tion to Bishop Potter. r ; In the midst of all his cares he man'i ' i ifested an unfailing devotion to liberal 1 ''."- mumuyt I MP.!-,.-.!....' mmmm p"" I j studies and pursuits, and the printed j catalogue of his works show an un- usual variety. To carry on his study he has worked much among the original sources in the libraries of Europe, including in-cluding the Vatican. His work on "The Pre-Columbian Discovery of America by the Northmen" was republished repub-lished at the end of fifteen years. He published, under the nom de plume of "William Hickling," a novel, "The Rector Rec-tor of Roxburgh." and has also printed privately a small collection of poems. Among his minor poems is a memoir of his aunt, Sister St. Clair, a member of the Ursulines for over fifty years. He counts among the prayers and influences in-fluences tending to his reconciliation with the Catholic church her prayers, as well as the blessing he received at the Vatican from Pip Nono, to whom, with Mrs. De Costa, he was personally presented by Dr. Chataud, now Bishop of Indianapolis. He was one of the contributors to "The Narrative and Critical History of America," and has written much for magazines and reviews, re-views, besides contributing- to encyclopaedias. encyclo-paedias. He never knew an idle hour, being ever inspired by an irrepressible -enthusiasm. His discourses and lectures lec-tures have been reported for many years; and a large number of his sermons ser-mons have been published. He has been cast with extreme opponents of Biblical criticism, but he distinctly declares de-clares that in this respect he is misjudged. mis-judged. He objects to "uncritical criticism," crit-icism," which is little more than hos- j tile to the Bible, which he would have studied fearlessly and with all the helps that be brought to theivork. He says that he has no fears about the fu- i ture of the Bible, and that it will be j amply protected by the Catholic church. , j DR. DE COSTA'S STATEMENT. j With profound gratitude I acknowl-1 edge the great goodness of God, whoi mercifully lightened my path, giving! I grace to overcome the deep prejudice ' j implanted by false education, and has! I now led me. not without trial v.r n-itv.1 a Shepherd's gentle hand, to the fold of , the Catholic Church. Faith is the i gift of God. and whatever agents mayj be employed primarily, it is God the! Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the Faithful,, who must be our Guide. My course, therefore, in entering the Catholic' Church may not be ascribed to any j mere human impulse, and yet I must: indicate the mode of thought that! stands connected with so great a I change. This change is not the work' of a day or a year. The process began i very long ago. Those who were near me plainly saw that my theological! views were undergoing evolution," and j that I was outgrowing the system in which I had been trained. On the other i hand, the community at large, or, at I least, the observant portion familiar j w ith the tendencies of Reformation I theological systems, must see that the position I take is intimately connected with great changes in modern thought. The sad, fallen estate of post-Reformation belief has forced upon me a reconsideration recon-sideration of principles, the result of; reconsideration being the conviction' that the Reformation was not based j upon any true foundations. j The issue precipitated in connection' with the Biblical criticism forms only! one of many difficulties of the Protest-! ant situation, and I came to recognize ' Ithe Reformation of the sixteenth cen-j cen-j tury as. theologically at least, a monumental monu-mental faiiure, a revolution, in fac:, aeainst the Catholic and Apostolic, Church. .1 j The world is now becoming more and i more aware of the nature of that movement, move-ment, and the passing of studious Anglicans An-glicans over to the Catholic Church should not. under the changed condi-l I lions, be deemed phenomenal, i For the last forty or fifty years an! impressive procession. composed of clergy and laity, has been moving on from Canterbury to Rome. The sig-. nilicance of this spectacle is too evident. evi-dent. It cannot -fail of application in connection with new individuals. It would be idle at this late day to credit recent examples to impulse, misunder-staneling misunder-staneling or transient emotion. The current is as steady as the flow of the' Gulf stream and points to world-wide i causes. The Rome ward movement is prompted by a re-reading of history and an increasing- knowledge of the issuer is-suer involved. It is g-uidinl by an irresistible ir-resistible logic. The individual Example Exam-ple is significant when furnished bv men of large' learning and incorruptible incorrupti-ble character. Persons of this stamp carry with them a weight of authority, and their case serves to indicate the' strength of the reaction in favor of the Catholic Church. These unusual testimonies possess evidential value. Newman's "Apologia" and Ives "Trials of a Mind" not only serve to blaze a path through the dim. tangled Anglican wild wood, but they powerfully convince many of the legitimate nature of the call to accept the Roman position. ONE OF NEWMAN'S PREDICTIONS REALIZED. When thinkers like Newman pass out from their environment and renderl their obedience to the Papal authority, thoughtful men must pause and ask what it means. Not a few of those in doubt and unable to make an original investigation might reasonably ac-cept the experience and counsel of men like John Henry Newman. For myself, j however, I may say that if the gifted author of "Lead, Kindly Light," had never spoken, and if Manning, Faber and Wiiberforce had never lived, my own mode of thinking must inevitably have led me to my present faith. The Protestant world has now reached the advanced stage predicted by Newman, and its acute syir.ptoms furnish especial espec-ial reasons for leaving Anglicanism thai never existed tefore.. The mori- 1 -? ' WZZZr A j. J' ' BEV. DB, BENJAlfflN .FJ BE COSTA IN HIS STUDY. -f Drawn Especially for the Intermountain Catholic by Lovey. 4- 4- '4- -i- -A- -A- A .4. -A-'- - 4 -6- -t -4. C . . -i.A..A,...A.T--- -- -A---- ------ bund theologian may not be aware of the state of modern thought, yet nevertheless never-theless when the curtain of the twentieth twenti-eth Century rises men of alert sense and ingenious minds will recognize a new world. Living- men among non-Catholics non-Catholics are even new somewhat conscious con-scious of the actual religious conditions. condi-tions. This is one explanation of the "Higher Criticism," which has discovered discov-ered that the whole Reformation system sys-tem is in peril, proposing to meet the emergency by the use of a reconstructive reconstruct-ive criticism which forms simply a sop to the Cerberus of unbelief, strengthening strengthen-ing the appetite it would appease, creating cre-ating a demand for still more preposterous prepos-terous propositions and piling difficulty upon difiiculty. Pelion upon Ossa. AH the while such seems to be the confidence confi-dence inspired by this new learning that the new rabbi is able, in the presence eif an unparalleled exigency, to maintain main-tain his hostile attitude with an imperturbable imper-turbable aplomb. Confident of his methods, he cannot realize that Refcr-muticn Refcr-muticn Christianity is deemed "intellectually bankrupt" by thoughtful thought-ful and discerning" men, and ia rapidly approaching a catastrophe. ca-tastrophe. This is evident not only from an examination of principles, but from its actual condition in our working-day world. Though the Reformation Reforma-tion party has had possession of this land ever since the first permanent English colony was planted at Jamestown James-town in 1607, one nevertheless discovers, from the last census, that in 1S90 thi3 party had not only failed to take religious re-ligious possession of the United States, but had left forty-two out of sixty-two millions cf the people outside of any ecclesiastical organization. The advocate advo-cate of the Reformation has indulged in high play and has lost. Feeling the emptiness of the situation, multitudes are turning away from the personal recognition nf nil retisrion. ivhilo nthora t with better thought, finding religion to 1 be an inextinguishable craving of the 1 soul, are anxiously asking: "To whom 'shall we go for the work of eternal life?" "HER BROW AND BREAST MADE BEAUTIFUL WITH SCARS." In this great crisis the Catholic Church appears fresh, fair' and strong after the conflict of the ages, "her brow and breast made beautiful with K;;ars." offering the wavering world salvation through Christ, the one Mediator between God and man. Many turn away with scoffing- on the lip, but with a. dread presentiment in the heart, the dark foreboding that plagues the souls of those who sin against light, while on the other hand others are giving giv-ing themselves to inquiry as never before be-fore and are becoming convinced of the justice of the Catholic claim. Today the study of the fathers, the schoolmen school-men and the councils is being prosecuted prose-cuted anew with the facilities that have been, placed within reach by the labors- of the- last half century, rendering- it comparatively easy to obtain the benefit of knowledge bearing upon the claims of the Catholic Church. Therefore There-fore the authority of the Church 1st becoming be-coming apparent to intelligent seekers after truth whose minds are not hardened hard-ened into confirmed hostility to Catholic Cath-olic thought. I do not, however, propose pro-pose to offer any apology for entering the Catholic Church. Standing in the mids't of modern religious systems toppling- to their fall like columns in the Temple of Karnak, no defense need be offered for accepting a firm and unshaken un-shaken Catholic faith. I shall not enter upon argument or seek to detail reasons for rendering allegiance to Rome, but will speak in a general way on one branch of the general subject, namely, the position of the Holy Scriptures Scrip-tures in the teaching system of the Catholic Church. In what I have to say I trust that I may be understood as desiring- to express ex-press my views wi'h all dira respect for opinions of non-Catholics, and that I may transgress, no rules of charity in any allusion to the views of those with whom I was so long and pleasantly associated as-sociated and whose happiness and welfare wel-fare will always remain, as in the past, subjects of affectionate solicitude and regard. For some years I have stood with men who sought to vindicate the Sacred Scriptures and . rescue them from a defense which is generally regarded re-garded as a dishonor, and oince, moreover, more-over, it has been charged that those who go over from the Protestant to the Catholic fold gain no advantage in respect to the condition of Biblical criticism, I shall try to meet the charge. Let me proceed, therefore, to suggest that in my judgment the Roman Catholic Cath-olic Church is entitled to the profound respect and confidence of all classes of non-Catholics who honestly and reverently rever-ently adhere, as of old. to Holy Scripture, Scrip-ture, and. for the reason that this Church holds without compromise to the Bible as the plenarlly inspired Word of God. SOLITARY DEFENDER OF' THE BIBLE. The Church of Eome stands before English-speaking people and Protestants Protest-ants everywhere as the unique and solitary soli-tary defender of the Bible in its integrity in-tegrity and entirety. No other body maintains this uncompromising attitude. atti-tude. The attack upon the, Bible is shown by Mr. Mallock, in his remarkable remark-able article in the November "Nineteenth "Nine-teenth Century," as coming from Protestant Pro-testant critics who seek to save the Scriptures by reducing them to the level of other so-called sacred books of the easit. The opposite position of the Roman Church is shown, by the encyclical en-cyclical of Leo. XIII., "Providentissi-mus "Providentissi-mus Deus," 1803, which leaves no doubt. Quoting tho Council of - Trent, the noiy nattier says mat tne books or the Old and New Testament, "whole and entire," "contain revelation . without with-out error," the Hoiy Ghost having inT spired men to write "in apt words and with infallible truth." The encyclical, therefore, declares that "it follows1 that those who maintain that an error is possible in any ger.uine passage of the sacred writings either pervert, the Catholic notion of inspiration or make God the author of such error." Leo XIII. disposes of tho "Higher Criticism" Criti-cism" in the following manner: "Theive has arisen, to the great detriment of religion, an inept method,' dignified .by the name of the 'Higher Criticism,' which pretends to judge of the origin, integrity and authority of each book from internal indications alone. It is clear, on the other hand, that in historical his-torical questions, such as the origin and the handing down of writings, the witness of history is of primary importanceand im-portanceand that historical investigation investi-gation should be made with the utmost care, and that in this 'matter internal evidence is seldom of great value except ex-cept as confirmation. To look upon it in any other light will be to open, the door to many evil consequences. It will make the enemies of religion, much more bold and confident in attacking and mangling the sacred books, and this vaunted 'Higher Criticism' will resolve re-solve itself into tho reflection of the bias and the prejudice of the critics. It will not throw on the Scripture the light that is sought, or prove of any advantage to doctrine, it will only give rise to disagreement and dissension, those sure notes of error which the critics in question so plentifully exhibit ex-hibit In their own. persons, and seeing that most of them are tainted with false philosophy and rationalism, it must lead to the elimination from the sacred writing? of all prophecy and miracle, and' of everything else that is outside the natural order." . This, then, is the attitude of Rome toward the "Higher Critjcism." Further, Fur-ther, Leo XIII says: "It is absolutely wrong and forbidden either to narrow inspiration to certain parts of Holy i Scripture or to admit that the sacred t writer has erred. ' For," he continues, "the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do , not hesitate, to concede that Divine in-: in-: epiration regards the things of faith and morals and nothing beyond, be-. be-. cause (as they wrongly think) in a i question of truth or falsehood of a passage we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it this system cannot be tolerated." toler-ated." Further it is observed: "All the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical are written wholly whol-ly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost, and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily neces-sarily as it is impossible that God Himself, Him-self, the Supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This," he concludes, "is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expre&siy formulated by tlhe Council of the Vatican" Vat-ican" LEGITIMATE CRITICISM IS WELCOMED. WEL-COMED. The Cathedic Church will stand by these decisions forever. Yet legitimate criticism is welcomed in Catholic schools, and the study -of Holy Scripture Scrip-ture is encouraged by the encyclical, which presents the most powerful motive mo-tive for entering upon the work, beginning be-ginning with "the study of the Oriental languages and the art of criticism." It is recognized that there is a vast field for study, and that much is to be learned in respect to interpretation. It is said that "not infrequently interpretations inter-pretations have been placed on certain passages of Scripture (not belonging to the rule of faith and morals) which have been, rectified by more careful investigations." in-vestigations." This result has never been gained by the tlenial of inspiration inspira-tion or the elimination of botks or parts of books. The "Higher Criticism" now attacks entire books, and efforts are made to explain away the words of our Blessed Lord in His references to Old Testament characters and events. We are told by way of illustration illus-tration that the Church sees various subjects in a new light, notably that of astronomy; that serious and now recognized mistakes have been made in interpretation, and that we may essay, new interpretations of particular sayings say-ings of Christ. The case of Galileo is adduced. It is doubtless true that after Christianity actually prevailed, the .Emperor Julian confessed. "Thou hast conquered. O Galileean," and in this connection we are told that the Church now confesses, "Thou hast conquered, con-quered, O Galileo." The Church, however, how-ever, as Mr. Mallcck may see from the encyclical of 1S93, makes no confession of the kind, indeed, no confession at all; but. on the contrary, rejects the position assigned. Says the encyclical: "Nothing can be proved either by physical science or archaeology which can really contradict contra-dict Scripture." The declaration of St. Augustine is approved where he says cf the ix'lemist: "Whatever they arsert in their treatise which is contrary to these Scriptures of ours, that is, to the Catholic faith, we must either prove it as well as we can to be entirely false, or at ail events we must without the rmallest hesitation believe it t'o be si." On this platform the Catholic Church stands today. Of course, there is a human hu-man and a divine side of the Church, and the human can err. In the case of Galileo the mistake was not ex cathedra. cathe-dra. The Church did not err. She has never changed her method of dealing with science. If Galileo conquered anything any-thing it was not the Church. He did not hold the views falsely attributed to him, and his argument from tides and magnetism is now declared "all moon- ' . , , t Declares the Catholic Church is the True Apos-' Apos-' tolic Church and the Only Authorized ; Guardian of Holy Scripture. ' Her March Down the Centuries Has Been Certain, Steady I and Unchangeable The Reaction in Favor of Catholic Dogmatic Teaching Now General Among the Great ; Minds of the World The Catholic Church is "The Pil- lar and Ground of Truth," and is Always Ready to Submit Her Doctrines to the Severest Test. ' shine." A slight examination shows ' ! that his hypothesis, was pure hypothe- ! sis. while an important part is rejected today. The weight of argument lay with Ptolemy. On the evidence sub-. sub-. mitted the congregation was right, and the case of Galileo affords no ground for the encouragement of "Higher Criti- cism." " HISTORICAL ACCURACY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. There are, nevertheless, those who . tell us that our Blessed Lord took Old . Testament narratives, for instance those of Jonah and the flood, and usf'd them as He used the parables ana the story of the prodigal son. The critic, however, fails in his zeal to reoosrnize . the fact that for eighteen centuries- the . Church has accepted the parables a:i parables, while on the other hand she has accepted. .the Old Testament illustrations illus-trations as -facts and as stand- ing in the rank of facts with - the illustrations drawn from tho fact . of "the lily of the field." The whole Christian, world ha3 always understood! our Lord in these cases as Crawirs: upon inspiied history. Of this- there vasi never any doubt, yet if He had made no reference to the Old Testament Testa-ment these passages in the elder writ- . ings. might perhaps have stood differently differ-ently in relation to faith and morals. But the use made of them by the Savior opens the considerations respecting His Divine nature and the incarnation inj the very highest sense 'involving faith: for our Lord either knew or did mt . know that He wa? quoting what many) .(call allegories. If he knew that tiirsej j illustrations were fanciful and unlrs-' Li'io;icai....Hs. ..mvrti7!:;f. i.-tv j'ps-u. .tK ' j asres" 'to follow 'would misunderstand' - i Him and accept them as historical. I which is seen to be the case. On the .! other hand, if He did not know them . I to be the unhistoric things which critics j declare them to be. the' student is jus-j jus-j titled in denying that perfection of in-I in-I carnation by which the Divine Logu? 1 1 was made flesh. This destroys the idea I of his trustworthiness in general. In 'j any event, whoever denies the historical ' character of the Old Testament in all lita-parts charges substantially that ourj ! Blessed Lord at the outset temerarious- i ly allowed the Church to misunderstand! his allusions and thus permitted the! Church to mislead the world in all these! ' centuries, never having once, even in J an indirect way, suggested the possibility possi-bility of any other than the .universally accepted interpretation, leaving for the hostile critic in our late day from his ! throne of judgment to reveal and pro.j nounce upon the error and joyfully proclaim the egregious blunder. There-! by the critic declares that he knows! more cf the mind and nature of Christ I than the whoie Church in all these eighteen hundred years, during which j, the truth was cnncMlpil In this connection a scholar should , not allow his mind to become befogged. The issue is not simply one of science or simple interpretation. Hermeneu-tics Hermeneu-tics may be involved, but primarily it is the mystery of the incarnation that crit'eism puts- on trial. The case is dogmatic. It means a revision of the incarnation to accommodate a revision j of the Bible. This the Holy Catholic j Church will never approve. It is not in the slightest degree probable that she! will allow her children to believe thatj our Blessed Lord was ignorant of the' real character of the sacred writings, or that, with a full knowledge of those writings. He stooped in the most solemn connections to the trivialities and literary liter-ary accommodations of the ordinary Eastern teacher, deliberate-Iy sending forth to all ages fiction as "fact, suf-j suf-j fusing the centuries of the life and I thought of the Catholic Church with allegory and legend,- leaving an aston-i ished world to wake from, its long Ori- ental dream and realize that human; thought through the ages has been sim-! ply the subject of illusion, the victim of what at least approximately approaches ap-proaches too closely the nature of a world-encircling jest. All this may be! in keeping with what Leo XIII felici- tously styles "the inept method digni-j fied by the name of Higher Criticism" ': i but it cannot be seriously entertained.! It is incipient Socinianism. j j ALWAYS ENCOURAGED PROPER ! j USE OF THE SACRED WORD. j But while the Church thus carefully! protects the Word of God and holds a1 position from which in the ages to cpme -there can be no retreat, it may never-! theless be supposed by sjme that the authorities are unfavorable to th cfrJ culation and use of the Bible. This is! quite untrue. The memorable encycli-1 cal from which I have quoted shows in i the most conclusive manner that it is: the duty and privilege of Catholic scholars to study the Bible thoroughly' in the original tongues, while the Papal ' brief of Dec. 13, 1838, shows that it is! equally the duty of the laity to read the! Bible in vernacular languages, special ! favors being granted to the faithful! who read the Scriptures not less than! fift.een minutes each day. If anyone' inclines to say that this is something entirely new. let him honestly inquire' into the history of the ease, since, from the days before the invention of printing, print-ing, when the Bible was chained to pillars pil-lars in churches for the free use of all comers, down to the present day, the Catholic Church, while restrictive on' certain occasions, has always enour-i aged the proper use of the sacred word! among all classes, though no invitation is given, to the ignorant and the tin-' learned to expound it to their own instruction. in-struction. As an example, take the lec-ter lec-ter of Pope Pius VI. addressed in 1778 to the Archbishop of Florence thanking thank-ing him for sending out an edition of! the Bible in the Italian tongue for thei free use of the people. He tells the! translator:- "You ju(?-?e exceedingly! well that the faithful should be excited I to. the reading of the Holy Scriptures, for thC3e are the most abundant sources, which should be left op n tor everyone to draw from them purity oC morals and of doctrine, to eradicate thi errors which are so widely dissetninatrD in these corrupt times. This you have seasonably effected, as you declare, by publishing the pai r;d writings, in the language of your country suitable tm everyone's capacity." He adds: "You have not swerved either from, the laws of the Congregation i:f the Index or from the constitution published on. this subject by Benedict XIV." It may indeed in-deed be said that the Catholic Church, requires the faithful to read the Scriptures, Scrip-tures, in an authorized version. For English readers that of Dmiay is sren-erally sren-erally recommended. Protestantism, however, experts its adherents to use the version ..f King James, though it I has never been shown that this version is the more correct. Indeed, the reviser! re-viser! version contains several thousands thou-sands of amendments to that now in, use. while a certain denomination will not be reconciled to any version save that which favors its own creed. Likewise it may be said that the Catholic Church claims the right and recognizes the duty of fixing the interpretation inter-pretation of Holy Scripture. I am glad to know that this is also true, and that the obligation is possible of performance. perform-ance. Thus in all lands wherever the Bible is read it may be understood by ail substantially in. the one- and same sense. Among Catholic:- the Bible forms nf Babel. It speaks with no uncertain un-certain sound. It tells of one faith, not of many. TRADITIONS ARE REALLY UNWRITTEN UN-WRITTEN SCRIPTURE. ; Finally, it may be. sngcted tlyit tire t:. Cathofio Churcli dies n.t hold f "the Bible only." but supplements teaching with Catholic tradition. The encyclical "Provider.tissimus Deus," quoting the Vatican decree, says that tht- church "is herself a great and perpetual motive mo-tive of credibility and an unassailable testimony to her own divine mission." It is also declared that the Council of Trent, "following the examples of the orthodox fathers, receives and venerates vener-ates with an equal affection of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and New Testament seeing that one God is the author of both as also the said traditions, as well as those appertaining ap-pertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated either by Christ's own word of mouth or by the Holy Ghost and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession." The value of tradition is generally recognized and allowed in many most ' important relations. In connection with our American Constitution we hear about the "traditions of the fathers." Religionists in general, when no controversy con-troversy is in hand, do not hesitate to employ tradition, even though the word j may not be used. L nristianity. like the ; American government, has its tradi- , ! tions. The church is their guardian, j These traditions are really unwritten j Scripture. They include things re-j re-j ferred to by St. John, where he says I that the world could not contain buoks j that might bo written. Protestant3 j themselves, and Episcopalians in j,ar- ticular, form an example and are forced I to use traditions, unconsciously using I many that were too firmly fixed to be displaced, even by the Reformation. I While the Catholic Church accepts and defends the Bible without compromise, compro-mise, she does not treasure the Bible at the expense of her own authority any more than the banker holds himself S inferior to the money in his vault. There are two authoritative sources f of guidance, the written and spoken j word, and no one should fancy that the living voice is inferior. The Catholic J i Church is a voice that spoke with un- questioned authority before the New i : Testament existed, even as the Jewish f church authoritatively preceded the ' Old Testament. Indeed, we should not 1 forget that generations of divinity instructed in-structed and God-fearing men lived before be-fore the first words of Genesis were recorded. re-corded. The apostles were not com- , missioned by our Lord to go and write ! books, but to give oral teaching. The -' Scriptures do not say that Christian- ? ity was founded upon th Bible, but : rather that the Bible was based on a I living and authoritative Christianity. It j is the church, not the Bible, thit is de- i I ' dared to be the "pillar and ground of truth." The church was fully organ- I ized, speaking with an infallible au- ! thority, before the first line of the New i f Testament was written. The church j has never lost her authoritative posi- ; tion. vand in every age the traditions of the church have been recognized and, ! 1 obeyed . The church does rot fear to . 1 submit her dogma, discipline end gen- S eral practices to the test of Scripture, ' since Scripture and tradition agree. The. : j. Bible was composed by churchmen, who j I wrote, guided by divine inspiration. The j i Bible is a book of the church which fixed the canon and authenticated the contents, thus giving it authority. If ! ! that authority were withdrawn, if the church should declare the Bible not to ; be the Word of God. the world would : 1 refuse to honor it. . The church, having - j I authenticaTed the Bible, h"id3 a true ; position toward the Bible. This is what ; renders it safe in the midst of a hostile j t orld. The church stands behind the : book and cannot allow it to fail. The ; PJible might perish, but the church ; j would remain. i f TRADITION IN EARLY PROTEST- ; ANTISM. , i We are indeed familiar with the dec- s laration. "The Bible only is the relig- : ion of Protestants." This is the famous t saying of Chillingworth. but it doe3 not form a notable declaration whn taken : in accordance with its context. If its author could return today and hear himself quoted he would be profoundly (Continued on Pa 53 7.). Why 7 Became J? Catholic. (Continued from Page L) surprised ani would repudiate the shibboleth. He teaches a Protestantism quite different from the Protestantism of our day. He Understood the value of tradition, and says: "It is upon the authority of universal tradition that we -would have them believe Scripture." having subscribed to St. Augustine's declaration, '"We would not believe the Gospel unless the authority of the Cath olio Church doth move us." Having gone thus far, Chillingworth declares the assertion, "Scriptures alone to judge all controversy in faith" is "a phiin falsehood." alarming that "universal tradition is the rule to judge all controversies by." A pram he says: "Neither doth being written make the Word of God. the ii,re fallible, nor being unwritten make it less infallible," while "the true . Church shall always both maintain and teach all necessary truth," and "we urant and must grant, for it is the essence of the Church to be so." Here we have an essential principle. The . ild Protestant war cry is repudiated by iis alleged author. while many critics are discovering that the position cf Hooker is untenable where he teaches that tradition is a fundamental error of Rome. The fact is also point- -ed out that, finding their Scripture -authority gone, a class of Protestants -are inventing a doctrine of tradition akin to that of" Home. It is clear, as charged, that the failure cf Protestant ., religionists to maintain the integrity - of the JJible is dissolving the entire in- tellectual basis of the Reformation. The cry now is: "The Bible only when we agree with it." The old form palls on the ear. The P.ible has fallen down h from its high place, where it had been 4 enthroned superior to the Church of Christ, which formed the canon of 1 Scripture and clothed it with authority. 4 This is one inevitable result of vene- 4 rating the book at the expense of the Church, for which is greater, the Tern- p!e or the Builder? On the principle of private judgment the book alone could not stand. It must be ever so. 4 An infallible book calls for. an infalli- -4 b!e interpreter. The human cannot 4 comprehend the divine. The Catholic Church alone can interpret and pro- "t tect the book. Under her care it can . 4 never lose its authority .in- the eyes of 4 her children. Protestantism is an an- achtonism, a carnation of prejudice 4 and stands dazed before the twentieth century with its gates ajar. 4 A WORD ON INFALLIBILITY. It is time for candid non-Catholics to 4 address themselves to the subject of in- fallibility, and learn that the notion X that it interferes with individual lib- X crty is as true as that the mariner's 4 compass renders the sailor an abject slave. Without instruments and guid- nce the sailor would be as free as the ancient Sidonian in his ivoried galley "t vi;h purple sails, without even an as- 4 tralabe to take the height of the polar 4 star, dead-reckoning and guessing hij way, gazing with strained, uncertain eye over pathless sea and perilous T , shore. The freedom that The devout 4 Catholic loses is the freedom to lose his 4-wiiy 4-wiiy in storm and night and fog. 4. .Y;r. Mallock. an independent thinker and onlooker, evidently not caring much, if anything, for either side, de- T' clares in the article already referred to 4. that the form of the Christian religion 4. that server the present intellectual cri-si; cri-si; musit be "the Christian religions n-bodied n-bodied in the Church of Rome, and not T in any form of Protestantism." In the 4 judgment of the most disinterested ob- 4 servers the Roman Church must in the' future be the Church of the intellectual classes, even as it was- for many centu- X I ties before the revolt of Henry VIII. 4 X against the Pope. Rome, as- "the- f "Champion of Revelation." will offer 4- to the human intellect the "great 4-- Apologia." A class of .mole-eyed men may fail tu -see what istaking" place, but it is now nevertheless evident, that 4-1 "all those forces of science which it 4- was once thought would be fatal to t her (Rome) are now in a way which constitutes one of the great surprise of history, so grouping themselves as 4 10 afford her a new foundation." On j 4-1 th- other hand, with Protestants, it is A (uming to this, that every source of au-thority au-thority and pledge of permanence is disappearing, while the supernatural X4 events of the Old Testament are less 4.4 history than the siege of Troy. 44 Glimpses of truth may be found, but where the real Bible begins and where it ends the critic himself cannot tell. His own end,- nevertheless, is certain, 4 and it remains, therefore, for the Cath- 44 olic Church, speaking with authority, to reassure a doubting world by de-I de-I flaring that all the books of 1'he Old and New Testament, in all their parts, XX are inspired and together form the in- 44 fallible Word of God. 44. HOLDS THE KEY TO THE MENTAL, 44 MORAL AND SPIRITUAL PROB-I.EMS PROB-I.EMS OF THE AGE. 44 The Catholic church is the natural and authorized guardian of Holy t'Z Scripture, she offers the solution of the 44 Bible question. Already there is a 44 vague idea abroad, even in Reforma-tion Reforma-tion circles, that this is so, and ere long there must come a full con vi'tion IT that it is Rome to whom the world 44 must look for the settlement, not only 44 of the Bible issue, but of all the ques- f lions that stand related to Christianity. Protestantism indeed talks of prog-less, prog-less, but it does not comprehend the I4 intellectual issues in this crisis and is 44 not abreast the age. 44 Still, a few non-Catholics are becom-ing becom-ing more candid in their estimate of tX . the Catholic church, both as a moral ii power and as a necessity of our na- 44. tional life, recognizing that if it were taken away society would lose a need-ed need-ed cement and that the republic itself would be insecure. There is less heat 44 today in the discussion of Catholic 44. claims than twenty-live years ago, and 4- we hear fewer of those unfounded 1 harges from men's lips that they do j n"i dare to subscribe with their hand. 4 The Catholic church is specially adapt- 44 i to the wants of the American peo- 44-J'ie. 44-J'ie. in that with needed safeguards it is eminently favorable to real freedom of thought. Its claims are nobly sup- 4 ported by history and philosophy. A 44 man argues the case against himself f-f wh.-n he attempts to ignore the charac-'r charac-'r and standing of Catholicity. The r.iihoiic church holds the key to the i mental, moral and spiritual problems of 44 the age. When rightly understood by 44 'lie American people the church iviil 1 found capable of meeting all its var- I ied requirements. Whoever desires a 1 1 X church must inevitably find it in the! 44 Catholic church. If the Catholics are 44-wnnig 44-wnnig in their belief, then there is no t---"i)tholic church anywhere. Singularly Hie same is true if Protestants are right t'f n their Vielief. since they deny 'that the 44 Uoinati is the Catholic church, and do 44 not themselves pretend to be the Cath-"lie Cath-"lie church. In denying the Catholicity "f Itomo they sign their own death warrant: even as the man proves his 4 own jxnerty when he proclaims the tiniprse insolvent. On the Protestant . theory there is no visible church, the "nly body being a mythical bodv in the : U On this theory Christianity has 4 f.iiled. The empire that triumphed t-4 over the Roman empire has perished. This is simply pessimism run mad. Ref-irmation Ref-irmation religionism, therefore, offers n moral or intellectual outlook for I X 'oming generations, and leaves, the 4 world forced at last to choose between K-f .Rationalism and the Catholic church. I believe in tfie Holy Catholic church and the Life Everlasting. See Chillingworth's "Religion of Pro- k-4 testants." etc., part I., chap, v., sec. 56; r Idem., p. 13, sec. 114, and p. 15L sec 1. ".; chap.'iv., ans. iv., j. 30, sec 13, p. ' 2. ",o. sec. and various other parts of IT '' the work. 1 .