Page images

most from the vertebrate archetype ; and it is because the study of anatomy is usually commenced from, and often confined to his structure, that a knowledge of the archetype has been so long hidden from anatomists.

In one sense, therefore, and indeed in that in which it is most commonly understood, an advance of organization is made in the ratio in which the archetype is departed from ; and it would tend altogether to mislead the student of palæontology, and to conceal from him the highly interesting and suggestive facts which that science has already revealed, were we to impress upon him the belief that—so far as our knowledge extends in regard to the succession of Mammalian forms during the Tertiary Periods of Geologythere has been no step whatever made in advance, no elevation in the scale of being.' (Address, p. 54.)

Notwithstanding, therefore, the indication, from foot-prints, of a cold-blooded reptile, and the evidence of fishes by rare and scanty fossils, in the earliest Silurian strata, we still hold that the generalization of the actual facts, as enunciated by Sedgwick, is more true than are the counter propositions of Lyell. We maintain that there are traces in the old deposits of the earth of an organie progression among the successive forms of life, and (in the words of the Cambridge Professor) that “they are seen in the absence of Mammalia in the older, and their very rare appearance in the newer secondary groupsin the diffusion of warm-blooded quadrupeds, frequently of unknown genera, in the older tertiary system, and in their great abundance, and frequently of known genera, in the upper portions of the same seriesand lastly, in the recent appearance of Man on the surface of the earth.Discourse, p. xliv.)

Art. VIII.-1. History of the Church of Rome to the end of the

Episcopate of Damasus, A.D. 384. By E. J. Shepherd, A.M., Rector of Luddesdown. 1851, 2. The Letters Apostolic of Pope Pius IX. considered with reference to the Law of England and the Law of Europe. By Travers

Twiss, D.C.L. 1851. . 3. Position and Prospects of the Protestant Churches of Great

Britain and Ireland with reference to the proposed Establishment of a Roman Catholic Hierarchy in this country. By T.

Greenwood, M.A., Barrister-at-Law. 1851. 4. Letter to Lord John Russell. By John Earl of Shrewsbury. 5. Papal AggressionSpeech of Lord John Russell. 6. Pape. Par Le Comte Joseph Le Maistre. Paris, 1843.

2 G 2

7. Observations

7. Observations on the Arguments of Dr. Twiss, fc. By George

Bowyer. 8. Seymour's Mornings among the Jesuits. 3rd Edition. 1851. NONE who ever read the history of Pilgrim Good-Intent, the

ablest and most amusing of the successors of our old friend Christian, can have forgotten that at the outset of his journey he passed the dwellings of two giants, who in their day had been the terror of all bound to the holy city. One had long been dead, but the neighbourhood was still bleached with the bones of his victims. This was Pagan. The other, now infirm and lethargic, scarcely seemed to notice wayfarers, except by an occasional grin of impotent ill will.--Such was or seemed giant Pope, at the close of the last century; and, as if old age and decay were doing their work too slowly, republican France stormed his den, and threatened to extinguish him brevi manu. His subsequent revival and rapid restoration to youthful vigour, with modernized dress, and reburnished armour, alter et idem, is perhaps the most wonderful incident of this age of wonders. We can conceive that the keen-eyed statesman might have foreseen a resurgence of Papal power even at the lowest point of its depression; but never again, he would have argued (and this is no hypothesis, for all philosophers did so argue), could the system of Rome endanger the peace of the world. Nevertheless, by a combination of events which we were assured could never recur, our attention is forcibly recalled to times with which we had ceased to have any sympathy, and ecclesiastical history, which had been given up to the antiquary, becomes again the province of the practical politician.

We place at the head of our paper several works belonging to the recent controversy, because we have been indebted to them for information-(to Dr. Twiss's especially)-or shall have occasion to allude to their contents—but we have no intention to travel over the ground which has been made so familiar and so wearisome by the debates and disputes of many months. We propose to give a slight sketch of the progress of Papal Supremacy from its first equivocal generation to its full development, when it claimed to be what Bellarmine called it, the cardinal point of Christianity-with a view to illustrate the struggle between the ecclesiastical and civil powers, and the strangely complicated relation which since the Reformation has existed between Protestant governments and the Head of the Romish Church. In executing this task we need not of necessity anticipate much difference of opinion with our Roman Catholic countrymen. We shall rarely have occasion to take other ground

than than that already occupied by some of the wisest members of their church, in the bitter but decorous schism' which has so long divided it on the question of the pretensions of its head.

The first pages of the history of ecclesiastical Rome present really a mere blank:—even the names of the bishops are disputed ; —but, as an infallible church must have a list of its rulers, a list is forthcoming--and the curious in physiognomy may be gratified by seeing their busts in the cathedral at Siena and their pictures in S. Paolo fuori le Mura near Rome. We need not pause to remark how inconsistent is this obscurity with any theory, however modified, of the original primacy of the see. It is enough for our purpose that Pope Pius II. and Dr. Newman both admit—that for the three first centuries the Church of Rome was little considered.* The only documents which imply the contrary have long been abandoned as forgeries. Some centuries later, when Rome was maturing her schemes of dominion, certain rescripts were produced, and were ultimately collected and put forth under the name of Isidore, Bishop of Seville, professing to be the letters of the early bishops (from Anencletus, the third on the list) and speaking in the lofty æcumenical style which they would doubtless have assumed from the first if they had been conscious of inheriting the primacy of the world. The forgery, though perfectly successful in a dark age, was but clumsily executed, and when afterwards exposed by the Centuriators of Magdeburgh, its defence was judged inexpedient by Baronius and Bellarmine. But, by admitting the spuriousness of these documents, Rome cannot cancel their exist

That she stooped to such a forgery, proves that she was animated by no swelling consciousness of the right to expand old doctrine, or to propound new-while it distinctly marks a depressing conviction that the Christendom of that day recognized in her no such prerogative, and was not disposed to admit her primacy without proof that from the first it had been claimed and exercised.

Mr. Shepherd tells us it was his object to write the history of the Papacy on the simple plan of collecting, under each reign, the facts established by documents, omitting the conjectural essays with which philosophical historians bridge chasms hopelessly dark, and hurry over wastes irredeemably dull. Such was his plan- and if his history has degenerated into a critical controversy, he protests it is not his fault.†


* Ænææ Sylv. Ep. ad Mayer. 288, p. 802—' Ante Nicænum concilium parvus respectus habebatur ad Ecclesiam Romanam.' Prof. Butler on Newman's Essay on Development, pp. 165, 319: Wordsworth, Letters to Goulon, p. 42.

† Mr. Shepheril's present volume is only the first portion of a large work; though, from whatever motive, he gives no intimation of this in his title-page.


Mr. Shepherd wrote before the Philosophoumena, ascribed to Origen, issued from the Clarendon Press. . Accordingly, the first documents of any importance that he finds are the Epistles of S. Cyprian, from A.D. 250 to 258;-but, as he proceeds, he is much less embarrassed by the scantiness than by his ever-growing distrust of his materials. Continuing his examination through the writings connected with the council of Sardica, the life of Athanasius, &c., he detects so many anachronisms and so much inconsistency with each other, with probability, with the facts and with the silence of general history, that he comes boldly to the conclusionthat what is recorded of the Roman church is almost nothing; and that those acts of interference with other churches which appear in the histories and some other writings are forgeries of a much later date, manifestly written to create a belief in a supremacy which had never existed, but which, at the time they were made, the Roman church was endeavouring to introduce.'-p. 493. So much is he irritated at being unable, at the distance of sixteen centuries, to disentangle the truth and fiction which were artfully interwoven in order to deceive a nearly contemporary age, that he broadly denounces the whole as a forgery, and pushes his incredulity so far as to deprive the venerable Cyprian both of his mitre and his martyr's crown-in fact, to reduce him to a mythical non-entity. This exaggerated scepticism not only exposes Mr. Shepherd to refutation on many points quite unconnected with the real matter in dispute, but is so little supported by probability that it tends to deprive his reasonings generally of the attention to which they are justly entitled. Granting that the Roman See desired to find or to make precedents to support certain meditated encroachments, we cannot see the policy or possibility of this double imposture. If we could suppose a modern Lord Chancellor forging an adjudged case in point, it is clear he would produce some unrecorded decision of a known predecessor, and not intercalate among the pre-occupants of the Marble Chair some name never heard of by Campbell or by Foss.*

The writings which are the objects of Mr. Shepherd's attack have always been admitted by scholars to be largely interpolated, but they have scarcely yet been subjected to the investigation they deserve. When dispute and criticism awoke, they had lost much of their importance. They are so far from supporting the extravagant claims of the See that they are quoted by the moderate Roman Catholic writers in opposition to its pretensions ;" and the limited primacy which they tend to establish, may be admitted by the Protestant without injury to his cause. But the turn which the controversy with Rome has recently taken has greatly added to the controversial interest of early ecclesiastical history. Since the theory of Development,' incompatible as it is with the hypothesis of an immutable and infallible Church, has been permitted by Rome to grow up side by side with it, it is important to compel her to make her election between the two-nor is it less important to ascertain by historical testimony the precise mode and circumstances of each Development. Development is a process which its advocates wish to view through the haze of distance—we desire to witness its operation as near as possible. The word is one of those ambiguous expressions of modern invention which are meant to insinuate more than mer

* The instances of anachronism, if they can really stand the test of critical investigation, are unanswerably strong. What should we say to an alleged judgment of Lord Chancellor Eldon, if it included a lofty compliment to the Tractarians? The book on Synodls, attributed to Hilary, uses the word essentia 'sixty or seventy times ; yet Augustine, in 391, uses the word professedly as a new one-thirty-three years after the work on Synods was written.-Shepherd, p. 301.


nen dare assert. If the Romish Church has indeed received the commission to add new truths to revealed doctrine, each such addition is a fresh revelation, and not a development: but, admitting both the word and the theory for the sake of argument, we may be well assured that these developments would not be regulated by the rules of political expediency, nor sustained on the faith of forgeries.

There seems no reason to doubt that the advance of the Roman See to power resembled that of the other Great Patriarchates.

As Christianity gradually spread from the capitals where the first missionaries had planted a church, the affiliated churches naturally maintained a dutiful reverence and obedience (fact and etymology coinciding) to the metropolitan. In a large province where there were several such metropolitan churches, that of the capital claimed a primacy. The province of Rome at first was a small one, comprising only the suburbicarian churches; but, as there was no other metropolitan within its limits, the Bishop of Rome exercised a far more energetic control over each of his suffragans than fell to the lot of any other patriarch. † The ambition of all metropolitans was to extend their authority; nor do we doubt that the Bishop of Rome seized the first opportunities of claiming an appellate jurisdiction ;-but it does not seem probable that many such opportunities were afforded him till the conversion of the State to Christianity conferred political importance on the See of the Imperial capital.

* For example, Sarpi grounds bis argument against the extravagant claims of Paul V. ou tbe writings of S. Cyprian.

† Hallam's Middle Ages, chap. vii.--on the History of Ecclesiastical Power—a chapter eminent, even among his writings, for ability-as clear as comprehensive and especially worthy of reperusal, because there can be no suspicion that it was written with an anti-Catholic bias.


« PreviousContinue »