An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant.
went over to the Roman Church.  The political reaction was specifically Latin and Catholic.  In the lurid light of anarchy Rome seemed to have a mission again.  Divine right in the State must be restored through the Church.  The Catholic apologetic saw the Revolution as only the logical conclusion of the premises of the Reformation.  The religious revolt of the sixteenth century, the philosophical revolt of the seventeenth, the political revolt of the eighteenth, the social revolt of the nineteenth, are all parts of one dreadful sequence.  As the Church lifted up the world after the first flood of the barbarians, so must she again lift up the world after the devastations made by the more terrible barbarians of the eighteenth century.  England had indeed stood a little outside of the cyclone which had devastated the world from Coronna to Moscow and from the Channel to the Pyramids, but she had been exhausted in putting down the revolution.  Only God’s goodness had preserved England.  The logic of Puritanism would have been the same.  Indeed, in England the State was weaker and worse than were the states upon the Continent.  For since 1688 it had been a popular and constitutional monarchy.  In Frederick William’s phrase, its sovereign took his crown from the gutter.  The Church was through and through Erastian, a creature of the State.  Bishops were made by party representatives.  Acts like the Reform Bills, the course of the Government in the matter of the Irish Church, were steps which would surely bring England to the pass which France had reached in 1789.  The source of such acts was wrong.  It was with the people.  It was in men, not in God.  It was in reason, not in authority.  It would be difficult to overstate the strength of this reactionary sentiment in important circles in England at the end of the third decade of the nineteenth century.


In so far as that complex of causes just alluded to made of the Oxford Movement or the Catholic revival a movement of life, ecclesiastical, social and political as well, its history falls outside the purpose of this book.  We proposed to deal with the history of thought.  Reactionary movements have frequently got on without much thought.  They have left little deposit of their own in the realm of ideas.  Their avowed principle has been that of recurrence to that which has already been thought, of fidelity to ideas which have long prevailed.  This is the reason why the conservatives have not a large place in such a sketch as this.  It is not that their writings have not often been full of high learning and of the subtlest of reasoning.  It is only that the ideas about which they reason do not belong to the history of the nineteenth century.  They belong, on the earnest contention of the conservatives themselves—­those of Protestants, to the history of the Reformation—­and of Catholics, both Anglican and Roman, to the history of the early or mediaeval Church.

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An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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