Imatges de pÓgina

minded, as he at first professed, to work towards a positive theory, instead of spending his strength in pricking the bubbles blown by dogmatic metaphysicians. Professor Bain's psychological researches have been almost wholly analytic, in the manner of Hartley's: of extreme importance as such-witness, in regard to the very question of the sources of knowledge, his discovery (for it was hardly less) of the element of muscular activity in objective perception-yet merely adding to the list of formal factors involved in a complete psychological construction.1 Mr. Spencer, it is true, has always looked beyond the individual for an explanation of the facts of mental life, intellectual or other, but he has concentrated his energy as a psychologist on the elucidation of the principle of heredity. It is only in more recent psychological works, like Mr. Lewes's, or as yet in less systematic essays and general literature, that the social influence of man on man is forcing its way to recognition as a condition second to none in the actual process of mental development.

A few words may be added, before closing, on one question that suggests itself. How does the recognition of social influence in the development of the individual's knowledge affect the position now commonly called Experientialism? It is here conceded, as a matter of fact, that no one's knowledge is explicable from his individual experience. Although, of course, there is a sense in which all that a man knows must have been experienced by himself, it is nevermore true that it depends upon the individual as such, either actively or passively, what his knowledge shall be. Doubly, as we have seen, is he beholden to his fellows. He comes into the world what he is, even on the most strictly personal side, through his ancestors having been what they were and done and borne what they did in their time. And no sooner is he in the world but he enters upon the heritage of social traditions in the speech and ways of his kind. Not his to wrestle by himself with a confused and perplexing experience, if haply he may attain to some rude construction of a world not too unlike that of other struggling human atoms. His task at the first is but to accommodate his experience to well-approved working rules supplied from without, which more than anticipate his wants; nor is it other to the last, unless he be one of the few in each generation who, having assimilated existing knowledge, are moved to enlarge the intellectual horizon-to pluck up the stakes where they found them and plant them farther out for others slowly to work up to. The experientialist doctrine thus appears wholly at fault if it means (as it has often been taken by supporters and oppo

It should be noted, however, that in one of his most characteristic researches -his doctrine of the growth of Volition-Professor Bain has by no means confined himself to the analytic attitude; and here it is interesting to observe that he distinctly posits the social influence as a factor in the development, when showing how volition is‘extended' by imitation.

nents alike to mean) that all intellection was first sensation in the individual, or even (in a more refined form) that general knowledge' is elaborated afresh by each of us from our own experience. Neither position can be maintained in psychology. And yet it is notorious that exactly those who now urge the presence of such à priori and ab exteriori factors in the individual's knowledge as are here contended for, and are not the least forward to make light of incidental experience, set most store by the teaching of the older experientialists, and would affiliate their doctrine upon the work, such as it was, of Locke and Hume. For this there is a deeper reason than is commonly assigned. It is common to say that inherited aptitudes are, after all, only a slower result of experience, developed in the race instead of the individual; and the like may be said still more evidently of the social tradition deposited in the growing languages of mankind. The real bond, however, between experientialists at the present day and those of an earlier time is that both declare experience to be the test or criterion of general knowledge, let its origin for the individual be what it may. Experientialism is, in short, a philosophical or logical theory, not a psychological one. The fact that the pioneers of scientific psychology in the last century were experientialists in their philosophy is not without significance, but the two spheres of inquiry should not therefore be confounded. One may be Lockian in the spirit of one's general thinking, without allowing that Locke or his immediate successors read aright the facts of mental development. It is as a philosophical theory that Experientialism goes on steadily gaining ground.




No. I.

FEW centuries since the Christian era have seen events of greater magnitude or more far-reaching in consequence than the age in which we live. It has seen the extinction in 1806 of the Holy Roman Empire, the heir and representative of the Cæsars; the rise and fall of two French Empires; the setting up of two French Republics; the overthrow of more dynasties, and the abdication of more kings, than any former age. It is, characteristically, the century of revolution. It has seen great wars which shook the whole of Europe from Madrid to Moscow; and lately two great empires overthrown in a few weeks or in fewer months. It sees now a German Emperor and a King of Italy. Once it has seen the head of the Christian Church carried away prisoner into France, once driven by bloodshed out of Rome, and now we see him stripped of all the world can clutch; twice it has seen Rome seized and held. These are not common events. Finally, after a lapse of three hundred years, it has seen an Ecumenical Council, and it has occupied itself profusely and perpetually about its acts, its liberty, and its decrees. Few events of the nineteenth century stand out in bolder relief, and many will be forgotten when the Vatican Council will be remembered. It will mark this age as the Council of Nicæa and the Council of Trent now mark in history the fourth and the sixteenth centuries. Therefore it will not perhaps be without use, nor, it may be, without interest, if we review its history. The title prefixed to this article implies that many stories of the Vatican Council have been published which are not true. It is not my intention to enumerate them. As far as I am able I shall avoid reference to them. My purpose is to narrate the history of the Council, simply and without controversy, from authentic sources. In the present article I shall narrate only the origin of the intention to convoke the Council. Hereafter I hope to show what were the antecedents of the Council and their effect upon it; then I will endeavour to explain its acts, and lastly to trace out the effects which have followed from it.

I. In the year 1873 Pius the Ninth gave commission to Eugenio Cecconi, then canon of the Metropolitan Church of Florence, and now archbishop of the same see, to write the history of the Vatican

Council. All authentic documents relating to it were put into his hands. The first volume, entitled Storia del Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano scritta sui Documenti Originali, has been published. It extends over the period from the first conception of convoking an Ecumenical Synod to the close of the preparations for its work. I propose to give a condensed account of this first period, following closely the text of the Archbishop of Florence, and of the documents printed in the appendix to his work. I cannot omit to commend this volume to all who appreciate the purity of the lingua Toscana, of which it is a rare example. Its simplicity and transparent purity belong to the classical period of the Italian language.

It was on the 6th of December, 1864, that Pius the Ninth for the first time manifested his thought on the convoking of an Ecumenical Council. He was presiding in the Vatican Palace over a session of the Congregation of Rites, consisting of cardinals and officials. After the usual prayer by which all such sessions are opened, the officials were bid to go out. For some time the Pope and the cardinals remained alone. The officials were then readmitted, and the business of the congregation was despatched. This unusual event caused both surprise and curiosity.

Pius the Ninth, in that short interval, had made known to the cardinals that for a long time the thought of convoking an Ecumenical Council as an extraordinary remedy to the extraordinary needs of the Christian world had been before his mind. He bade the cardinals to weigh the matter each one by himself, and to communicate to him in writing, and separately, what before God they judged to be right. But he imposed rigorous silence upon them all.

This was the first conception of the Vatican Council.

The duty of weighing and delivering a written and separate opinion on the subject of convoking an Ecumenical Council was thus imposed on all cardinals then in Rome.

In the course of two months fifteen written opinions were delivered in. Others soon followed, until the number reached twenty-one.

The Archbishop of Florence, after a careful study of all these documents, has analysed and distributed the matter of them into the following heads. They treat of—

1. The present state of the world.


2. The question whether the state of the world requires the supreme remedy of an Ecumenical Council.

3. The difficulties of holding an Ecumenical Council, and how to overcome them.

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4. The subjects which ought to be treated by such a Council.

(1.) In describing the present state of the world no reference was made to its material progress in science, arts, or wealth, but to subjects strictly in relation to the eternal end of our existence. Under this aspect it is affirmed in these answers that the special

character of this age is the tendency of a dominant party of men to destroy all the ancient Christian institutions, the life of which consists in a supernatural principle, and to erect upon their ruins and with their remains a new order, founded on natural reason alone. This tendency springs from two errors-the one that society, as such, has no duties towards God, religion being an affair of the individual conscience only; the other that the human reason is sufficient to itself, and that a supernatural order, by which man is elevated to a higher knowledge and destiny, either does not exist, or is at least beyond the cognisance and care of civil society. From these principles follows, by direct consequence, the exclusion of the Church and of revelation from the sphere of civil society and of science; and, further, from this withdrawal of civil society and of science from the authority of revelation spring the Naturalism, Rationalism, Pantheism, Socialism, Communism of these times. From these speculative errors flows in practice the modern revolutionary Liberalism, which consists in the assertion of the supremacy of the State over the spiritual jurisdiction of the Church, over education, marriage, consecrated property, and the temporal power of the head of the Church. This Liberalism, again, results in the indifferentism which equalises all religions, and gives equal rights to truth and error. The Consultors also treat of freemasonry, which substitutes for the Church of God a Universal Church of Humanity.

They then go on to speak of the infiltration of rationalistic principles into the philosophy of certain Catholic schools, and of their attitude of opposition to the divine authority of the Church. From this they pass to the internal state of the Church; to its discipline, which, since the Council of Trent, has become in many things inapplicable to the changed conditions of the world. Finally, they treat of the education of the clergy, the discipline of the monastic orders, and the disregard of the ecclesiastical laws by the laity in many countries.

(2.) For these and the like reasons almost all the cardinals were of opinion that the remedy of an Ecumenical Council was necessary—that is, to use the language of the schools, by a relative, not an absolute necessity. They say that though Luther was condemned by the pontiffs, the Council of Trent was thought to be necessary to give greater weight and solemnity to the condemnation. So also, though Pius the Ninth had condemned a long series of errors, it was expedient that the condemnation should be reported and published with the united voice of the whole episcopate joined to its head. They expressed the hope that if the whole Catholic episcopate in Council assembled should point out to the peoples and sovereigns of the Christian world the true relations of the natural and supernatural orders, the rights and the duties of the governors and the governed, it might serve to guide them in the confusion and

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