Outspoken Essays eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 361 pages of information about Outspoken Essays.

    ’Think not the faith by which the just shall live
       Is a dead creed, a map correct of heaven,
    Far less a feeling fond and fugitive,
       A thoughtless gift, withdrawn as soon as given. 
    It is an affirmation and an act
    That bids eternal truth be present fact.’

For all this we are grateful to them.  But we maintain that the future of Christianity is in the hands of those who insist that faith and knowledge must be confronted with each other till they have made up their quarrel.  The crisis of faith cannot be dealt with by establishing a modus vivendi between scepticism and superstition.  That is all that Modernism offers us; and it will not do.  Rather we will believe, with Clement of Alexandria, that piste he gnhosist, gnosthe de he phistist.

If this confidence in the reality of things hoped for and the hopefulness of things real be well-founded, we must wait in patience for the coming of the wise master-builders who will construct a more truly Catholic Church out of the fragments of the old, with the help of the material now being collected by philosophers, psychologists, historians, and scientists of all creeds and countries.  When the time comes for this building to rise, the contributions of the Modernists will not be described as wood, hay, or stubble.  They have done valuable service to biblical criticism, and in other branches, which will be always recognised.  But the building will not (we venture to prophesy) be erected on their plan, nor by their Church.  History shows few examples of the rejuvenescence of decayed autocracies.  Nor is our generation likely to see much of the reconstruction.  The churches, as institutions, will continue for some time to show apparent weakness; and other moralising and civilising agencies will do much of their work.  But, since there never has been a time when the character of Christ and the ethics which he taught have been held in higher honour than the present, there is every reason to expect that the next ‘Age of Faith,’ when it comes, will be of a more genuinely Christian type than the last.


[50] Bishop Creighton always emphasised this view of Roman Catholicism.  ‘The Roman Church,’ he wrote, ’is the most complete expression of Erastianism, for it is not a Church at all, but a state in its organisation; and the worst form of state—­an autocracy.’ (Life and Letters, ii. 375.)

     [51] In contrast with ‘henotheism’ or ‘monolatry,’ such as
     the worship of the early Hebrews.

[52] ’Nunc defecit certa successio in omnibus ecclesiis apostolicis, praeterquam in Romana, et ideo ex testimonio huius solius ecclesiae sumi potest certum argumentum ad probandas apostolicas traditiones.’  Bellarmine, De Verbo Dei scripto et non scripto, IV, ix, 10.

     [53] Bellarmine, De Laicis, III, xxi, 22.

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Outspoken Essays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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