'Is that Knoodt?' asked a delegate of a friend who was standing near him.
'Yes,' said the delegate. 'Most distinguished man. He has been personally excommunicated by the Pope.'
'That does give prestige,' continued the other. 'But tell me, who is the delegate with the flaxen hair, and rather a youthful look? I think it is Professor Friedrich.'
''Tis he--the King of Conceit! That is the man who wrote in his Diary that he was the only theologian who could have [3/4] taught the Pope and the Council. That is the man who said that he united, in his own exceptional person, the gifts of Döllinger and Talleyrand. He should have added, "and also of Lucifer;" but no author is at all times accurate.'
'If I mistake not, that is Reinkens,' said the first of the speakers, 'who has just now entered the room. I believe he has a hobby for the "reunion of Christendom;" which--'
'This Congress is likely to promote,' broke in his communicative friend. 'All men who splinter the Church talk much of the reunion of Christendom. It is the way they solace their consciences. Reinkens is the Bishop-elect of the new Old Catholic body. He will get his Orders from Utrecht, or from one of the Armenian Bishops. It will be quite the same to him whence he gets them. He will be perfectly indifferent.'
'You do not think highly,' pursued the first speaker, 'of the spirits assembled in Congress?'
'On the contrary. Considering the fact that they have come, to Cologne [4/5] expressly to rebel against the Church, they are precisely the spirits I should expect to see congregated for so beneficent a task.'
The speaker who made this remark was the Editor of these pages, Herr Fröhlich. It may be desirable to initiate the reader into the mystery of his coming to Congress.
Two counsellors, Herr Fröhlich and Herr Ernst, subjects of the King of Bavaria, had rejected the dogma of Infallibility. For this reason they had been elected delegates to the maledictory Congress of Cologne. But, repenting of their error before the day came on which Congress was appointed to meet, they resolved to keep their secret to themselves; and not to let 'heretics' know the change that had been wrought in their minds. They would go to the Congress in 'Old-Catholic' guise, but would take there the part of the Church. They would champion the cause of Catholic truth against that of polemical fiction. Where so many spirits would have come to Cologne on purpose to tell lies of the Church, there could be [5/6] no great harm in two spirits agreeing to tell the truth under veil of a lie. Perhaps it would be not 'bonâ fide." Perhaps the Old Catholics might scarcely consider it a fair rendering of 'splendidâ mendax.' But, really, where Falsehood was the dominant element in a Congress of three hundred men, Truth might for the moment borrow its garb, to take the part of the Church.
Among the delegates who had not been delegated--except by themselves--to the Congress, was Dr. Stanley, Dean of Westminster, and Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen. He had been, in turn, the supple introducer, to his own elastic communion, of a schismatical Greek archbishop, a Protestant Hindoo Reformer, and an apostate Carmelite monk; and he ended by going to the Congress of Cologne without any mission from his Church. But some notable absentees were jocosely 'asked for' by the more acute Old-Catholic delegates. Where might be Archdeacon Denison; who would have instructed the Congress in his original views of what was not the Sacramental Real Presence; or the Dean [6/7] of Ripon, who would satisfactorily have proved that there was no Real Presence at all? Where was Mr. Whalley; who would have been invaluable as a guide on the wiles and machinations of the Jesuits; or Mr. Newdegate, who would have thrown much light on the religious orders in England? Where was the Bishop of Winchester; who, having at one time preached so much Popery that he was suspected of being almost in ear nest, afterwards preached so much Protestantism that it was thought he might not be sincere? And where were the Editors of the Protestant newspapers, the Church Times, Saturday Review, or Punch; who know so much more theology than do Popes or Councils, that really it seems superfluous to have recourse to either, when we can learn everything by consulting them? And, lastly, where was the Archbishop of Canterbury; who, as the highest representative of Private Judgment, ought certainly to have been at the Congress?
On this, the first day of the meeting of Congress, very little business was done. [7/8] Desultory talk was the order of the day, and no compact form was attempted. Perhaps a hundred delegates might be assembled this morning in the dining room of the Vienna Hotel; and their idea seemed to be rather to prepare for the morrow than to do anything startling to-day. Groups of talkers were gathered here and there, interrupted occasionally by a very odd speech from some too illustrious a visitant. A few would sit lei surely at the table, and merely look curiously about them. When a great man entered, he was momentarily scanned; then niched in his (heretical) place. A good many great men entered. Let us now contemplate one.
Dr. Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, apron'd and gaiter'd the room. He wore a gold pectoral cross (probably bought for the occasion). As a compliment to the schism to which he belonged, he was asked to address the Congress.
In a neat Latin speech, ornate with grace, and with Theophilo-Anglicano Protestantism, he lashed the Congress [8/9] unmercifully. He meant to be polite, and also to be orthodox; but his habit of teaching the whole of Christendom what it is its duty to believe, made him a trifle too didactic; and Herr Fröhlich remarked to a neighbor, 'This man thinks himself the Pope." Dr. Wordsworth, in the course of his speech, insisted that the Congress should repudiate Trent, and accept the Thirty-nine Articles. This command, though qualified by scholarship, and by ideal infidelities in general, did not meet with popular approval. He next launched a poem on the marvellous 'purity' of the Church to which he belonged; and was proceeding to picture that paradise of immaculateness known as the 'Church of England,' when he was summarily stopped by Herr Ernst.
Herr Ernst. My lord, I beg you to pardon me. But you have entertained us for a moment with a poetical view of the 'purity' of the Church of England. May I ask--is that purity vindicated by this most remarkable fact; that, after having protested against the appointment, of Dr. Stanley to the Deanery of Westminster [9/10] Abbey, on the ground of his detestable heterodoxy, you now sit by his side in this Congress as a teacher of the same communion?
[The question being allowed to pass without extenuating reply, Herr Ernst proceeded yet farther:]
I should fear, my lord, that your views of 'purity' are almost too Anglican to be Catholic. In a letter you have addressed to the President of Congress on the subject of Père Hyacinthe's marriage, you justify that ecclesiastic in his apostate nuptials by divers quotations from the Fathers.
Well, it may be true that the scrap of St. Clement (which you quote from the pages of Eusebius) is not absolutely fatal to Père Hyacinthe: but why omit a passage which is found in St. Clement, and in which he most positively states, that if the Apostles journeyed with their wives after their conversion to the Church, it was 'as with sisters, and not as with wives,' and to avoid all scandal to the heathen? Similarly, when you quote Tertullian as an authority for the 'lawfulness [10/11] of marriage' (which no Christian man or woman has ever ventured for one moment to dispute), why do you forget that Tertullian gives preference to those who 'incite us to their example by not using their Christian liberty?' Is it because you regard Tertullian as 'unjustly severe upon marriage'? In that case, surely it had been better to omit Tertullian altogether.
In matters of fact you are quite as Anglican as you are in quotations of words. Thus, you give us St. Hilary of Poictiers as an example of a wedded bishop; but you pass over the fact that the marriage took place before St. Hilary 'was bishop; and also the fact that St. Jerome, his friend, most plainly lays down the rule, that, after ordination, a priest should live separate, or, as he phrases it, 'continent for ever;' implying, as I think you must admit, that his friend St. Hilary did so. Of St. Patrick you tell us that his father was a priest; but we are not told at least by yourself that, for years before he was ordained, he lived apart from his wife. 'Sed patientiae vestrae [11/12] parcendum est,' observed your lordship in your letter; and I think it was an appropriate remark; since you proceed to example 'Prophetas Hebraeorum, Moysen, Samuel, Esaiam,' as illustrators of the gospel truth that virginity is not to be approved! It seems a pity that you omitted Solomon, a grand Hebraic dignitary, whose nuptials were of that expatiating character which has suggested American Mormonism. Were you thinking of him when you wrote in your letter 'that the spirit of Antichrist' was at the bottom of the Catholic discipline of priesthood? And where were your thoughts when you quoted Adam and Eve as having been married in paradise? Did you forget that they were married before the fall, and that Christianity is subsequent to it? So again, when you tell us that Christ wrought His first miracle at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, how came you not to add that he wrought it at the request of his Virgin and Immaculate Mother? Now it seems to myself--though I speak under correction--that to advocate Judaic marriages as types for [12/13] Christian imitation, is unworthy of a Christian bishop. Given two kinds of aspiration--the one the noblest conceivable, the other at best apologetic--it appears to myself that a Christian bishop should advocate the grander of the two. Of course, if a bishop confess that his Church is an earthly and human sham--more human than any other sham to be found upon British soil--he does well to fit his ambitions into the groove of his Church's ideas. But where a bishop aspires to be 'primitive,' 'apostolic' in the era of his choice, I think it incongruous that he should elect a pattern befit ting lord mayors and corporations.
If your lordship will permit me, I will, quote a few words from an authority you sovereignly respect. I allude to Dr. Von Döllinger. In his History of the Church he says:
'As our Saviour Christ, who was born of a Virgin Mother, extolled the state of virginity, when it was chosen for the 'kingdom of heaven: as the Apostles forsook all things, even their wives, to follow their Divine Master, and to serve Him more perfectly; so, from the very beginning [13/14] of the Christian Church, it has been a universal principle, that they were the most proper for the priesthood, who, to offer the Holy Sacrifice with becoming purity, and to present themselves to their faithful flocks as models of the most difficult virtues' ['See,' broke in Herr Ernst, 'how all this exactly expresses the highest Catholic ideal!'], 'and to be able to attend to the obligations of their sacred calling freely and undisturbed, lived in perpetual celibacy.'
Just at this moment, by a singular co incidence, Père Hyacinthe entered the room. [His wife did not accompany him.] He was received with marked in difference. The first ecclesiastic who rose to greet him was Dr. Stanley, Dean of Westminster. That clergyman had stood his 'best man' at the Registrar's-office at Marylebone; and he appeared glad to renew the sympathies evoked by so tender a fact. Père Hyacinthe had not been invited to the Congress. On the contrary, a telegram had been sent to him to beg him to keep out of the way. When he arrived, he was not asked to speak. That was too great an anomaly for even the Old Catholics of Cologne. [It is only Anglicans--bishops and deans--who stoop to [14/15] the advocacy of the weakest passions that can make the priesthood ridiculous.]
The Bishop of Ely, perceiving that Dr. Wordsworth had not made a favorable impression, sought to undo the harm. He said that he was 'senior bishop;' and that he 'had come there to teach, not to learn'--an expression which provoked just a smile. Unhappily, not content with this modest avowal, his lordship embarked on perilous ground; and affirmed that the Church of England of to-day was the same Church which sent St. Boniface to Germany as her representative Protestant missionary. This was too much for Herr Fröhlich: he could not sit still on his chair; and, utterly oblivious of conventional decorum, he shouted from his end of the table: O Ely, Ely! Why, St. Boniface wrote to Pope Gregory II., before he set out for Germany:
"I, Boniface, by the grace of God, bishop, promise to you, O Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and to your Vicar, the blessed Pope Gregory, and to his successors, that I will profess the whole faith and purity of the Holy Catholic Church; and, God helping, will continue in its unity."
 And Pope Gregory wrote to St. Boniface:
"I speak to you in the name of the undivided Trinity, and by virtue of the indestructible authority" ("per inconcussam auctoritatem") "of the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles."
Really, to say that the Church of England of to-day is the Church of England of the time of St. Boniface, is so completely to anachronize fact, that you might as well say the Druids built St. Paul's Cathedral; or that Dean Stanley gave St. Peter away at the Registrar's-office at Rome.'
'But stay, yet one moment. I love to give you an authority, before whom you fell down and adore. Dr. Döllinger says that "the first Papal Legate with unlimited power was St. Boniface, who, with this title, preached the gospel in Germany for six and thirty years.'' And he adds that St. Boniface wrote to the Oriental bishops, that "judgment of the Apostolic See was inviolable; and that he who should presume to act against it cut himself off from the Church." My lord, you are welcome to St. Boniface. Take him home with you back to England.'
 This rallying, though received with laughter, excited considerable ire. Who was Herr Fröhlich, and who Herr Ernst? Had the two Papists come there to mock them? This inquiry was being rapidly circulated, when a gentleman entered, carrying a scroll, and handed it to the chairman of Congress.
'The Report of the Theological Commission,' observed the pro-tempore chairman; 'in fact, the New Resolutions sent up by the Committee of Congress. Now, it is evident that there are two gentlemen present--I allude to Herr Ernst and Herr Fröhlich--both of whom are much more than competent to introduce this hazardous theme. [Ironical cheers.] 'Perhaps Herr Fröhlich will be so good as to devote his abilities to the quashing the "New Resolutions;" since they furnish exactly the pabulum which his particular genius craves.' [Laughter.] 'Really, we are exceptionally fortunate in having among us two counsellors, who, besides being "Old-Catholic" delegates, are such eloquent patrons for Rome! '
This suggestion, though made in keen [17/18] irony, and in the hope of 'quashing' two delegates, was seized by Herr Fröhlich with avidity; and, taking the scroll, he read it through hastily, then made the following remarks:
Herr Fröhlich. Positively it is difficult to be grave while reading such folly as this.
Resolution I. of the Committee.
"No excommunication or suspension, on the ground of refusal to accept the Vatican decrees, shall be held valid.'
Which resolution, if paralleled by secular example, might be made to run in this way: No thief, when condemned by a magistrate, shall recognize the baneful judgment.' Gentlemen, I pray you remember, that the Catholic Church of to-day--the Roman Catholic Church of to-day--is that to which you, every member of this Congress, have always yielded obedience. Up to yesterday, Dr. Döllinger himself (and every one sitting in this room) has written, and preached, and prayed, and sworn to every article of the Roman Catholic faith. Suddenly, as [18/19] though by a flash of lightning, you have come to disobey the mother of the churches, and to obey yourselves in its stead. You have transferred your allegiance from the Roman Church to your own individual brains. You have dethroned the Vicar of God, and pinnacled yourselves in authority. What folly, then, to talk of 'No suspension being valid, on the ground of refusal to obey'! Pray, whom is any one to obey, if not the Roman Catholic Church? Is it you we are to regard as our 'Ecclesia Docens,' our 'lumen de coelo' for truth? 'Cologne locuta est, causa finita est'! Really, gentlemen, I pay you too much respect to believe it to be possible of any one of you, that you should accept this first resolution.
Parallel in absurdity is another resolution, which I now proceed to read to you:
'Catholics, who have remained true to the ancient faith, are justified in erecting incumbencies for priests, without institution or sanction from bishops, who have fallen away from the truth.'
 Now here every child may see that the question of what is the 'ancient faith,' or what is 'the truth,' is left to the decision of each individual, without authority to determine. 'O, I am of the ancient faith!' was the answer that was given by Arius, when condemned by the Council of Nice. 'O, I believe the truth!' was the answer that was given by Eutyches, when condemned by the Synod of St. Flavian. These men were 'Old Catholics,' just like yourselves; that is, old heretics--or new. Simon Magus, to whom a statue was erected, with the inscription, 'Simoni, Deo Sancto;' Donatus, who was so exquisitely holy that he excluded all sinners from his church; Origen, who was so intellectu ally Protestant that he could not brook an eternity of hell, but insisted on a universal 'apocatastasis,' where even the demons would repent and be pardoned; Pelagius, who so anticipated 'modern thought,' that he would not believe in original sin, but was certain that the intellect was 'enlightened' without the Holy Spirit of God; Nestorius, whose conceptions were so high that he denied [20/21] that the Blessed Virgin was 'Theotokos,' because he, Nestorius, was too proud 'to acknowledge that 'Verbum caro factum est:' all declared that they held 'the ancient faith,' and adhered to primitive 'truth.' 'You have fallen away from the truth,' has been the language addressed to their holy mother the Church by every heretic that has ever harassed her bosom, from Cerinthus to the Bishop of Lincoln:--I beg pardon; in this assembly I should have said, from St. Peter to Pius IX.! It has been so from the beginning, and it will be so to the end, as long as there is a Church to disobey. For myself, I insist on my right to my opinion as to what is Old Catholic or New. I may be called inconsistent in advocating authority in an assembly which is met to overset it. But as in consistency is the very genius of a congress whose members were yesterday all Catholics, I am paying the very highest compliment in my power to Dr. Döllinger and the New Protestants of Cologne.
It is easy to imagine the impression produced by this speech on the members [21/22] of Congress. Herr Fröhlich was from that moment banned. He saw every eye turn from him; and he feared he should speak no more. But he remained serenely happy; and he determined to avail himself of every opportunity to interrupt the harmonies of talk.
New members were continually drop ping in, as the half hours sped from the morning. As one by one they entered they evolved their separate theologies; and emitted spasmodic Christianities of individual and eccentric type. To collect into a focus these spasms of view would be impossible to the most gifted of minds; it will suffice to give a few separately, that the reader may judge for himself.
Professor Maeeson--who had just entered--inquired of a coterie of friends whether, 'if a council should proclaim the adoration of the moon, the State would recognize the dogma?' This was thought very clever, and altogether parallel in gravity and depth to the general tone of Congress.--Professor Knoodt was of opinion that 'all who had accepted the [22/23] dogma of the Pope's Infallibility ought to be decorated with the order of Stupids;' and as Professor Knoodt had had the honor of being excommunicated, on account of his contumacious heresy, what ever he said was received with the homage due to so obedient a spirit.--Dr. Reusch established, to his own satisfaction, that, 'in case of necessity, priests could set themselves above the interdictions by which their powers were suspended;' a view which was hailed with acclamation by a crown of excommunicate priests, who knew that their only authority was their diadem'd and tiara'd selves.--Herr Kaminski proposed to 'abolish celibacy, and also sacramental confession;' two motions which were extremely popular with the majority of the gentlemen in the room. Indeed, Père Hyacinthe smiled--the smile of approval--when he heard Herr Kaminski propose to make celibacy some thing absolutely wrong; and another young priest, who looked naturally averse to the process of confessing his sins, was obviously delighted at the hope of Not Confessing being elevated into a Catholic [23/24] dogma. Herr Reinkens hazarded the anomalous view, that 'each Church ought to recognize that it has not the entire truth; and that every formulation of truth is but relative:' which led Herr Ernst to exclaim, 'A really capital idea! But I tell you what it wants to render it practical, as well as vast and sublime. Establish an international society for the Exchange of Religious Doctrines! Then, every one who is wearied of, say Anglican beliefs, can adopt for a time the Russian. Lutherans can exchange with Armenians, and the Scotch Church try a month of Puseyism. This would do away with the difficulties of the theory which is known as "Branch Catholicism;" because, at present, travelling is the sole impediment to Branch Catholics believing everything at once; whereas the periodical exchange of religious doctrines would enable them to believe all things in turn.' [Members looked at one another during the delivery of this speech, but nobody ventured on rebuke.]--Herr Von Schulte, a distinguished Canonist, who was subsequently elected to the [24/25] chair, exhorted the assembly to 'hold fast to the faith' (that is, to the Old Catholic faith), 'that they might prove that they were not really expelled from the Church, but only were said to be so, by those who challenged their creed.' And this monition was warmly applauded by most who were present in the chamber: delegates responding that it was the Congress of Cologne which had 'expelled' the Catholic Church, and that the Catholic Church was accordingly 'expelled.'--Professor Reinkens again outraged the common sense of the company, by eulogizing the schismatical Greek Church; on the ground that it 'had never attempted to summon a general or Oecumenical Council;' and this he considered to be 'proof of its unity, and also of its living power.' Herr Ernst replied, that Churches which possessed no Spiritual Head, but only a czar or a queen, were not likely to issue their arbitrary mandates for the assembling of a general council; since, if they did, the world might laugh, and possibly not without reason.--Some discussion then followed [25/26] between the Döllinger section, which merely rejected infallibility; the Anglican Bishops, who would go back before 'Trent;' and the Russian delegates, who still stuck fast to the first seven general councils. But the waiters of the hotel were continually occupied in relieving controversy by wines, or in handing cigars to zealous disputants, to assist their clouded ideas.
In such amicable talk--amicable, at least, in the sense that it was conducted by men who did not rise from their chairs--an hour or so was passed. Then a Bishop, who had not hitherto spoken, came forth with dignity from his place, and moved to the centre of the table. This was Dr. Fossil, an Anglican prelate [whose diocese, it was currently reported, was situate on the Goodwin Sands; but this was of course a mistake]. His lordship had not been invited to the Congress, but he had gone there to air his Anglicanism, for his own and the Congress's benefit. [He was accompanied to the Congress by the Right Rev. Dr. Greene, a Bishop of the Broad-Church school; who [26/27] subsequently took sweet part in the dinner that followed at the hotel.]
Dr. Fossil, with that colossal dignity which suggests an Egyptian pyramid clad in episcopal apron, carrying on its summit the Thirty-nine Articles; tomed to proportionate height, very gravely began as follows:
Dr. Fossil. The speech of Herr Fröhlich has filled me with dismay. I would ask him an important question. He has referred to the Vatican Council as representing the authority of the Church. But is he aware that the Anglican Bishops were not invited to the Council? Surely this must have escaped his memory. He cannot have been informed that the Vatican Council has been rendered null and void by the fact that the Anglican Church was not represented by its Bishops. Such an omission was absolutely fatal. Even the unanimity of the Roman Bishops, supposing such unanimity to have been found, would have been simply worthless, when the Anglican Church was not represented in Council. I know for a fact that their presence was [27/28] dreaded, on account of the superior light which they would have cast upon primitive truth. The Pope was alarmed at the very mention of their influence being introduced into his Roman Assembly. I heard from an authority in Rome that Cardinal Antonelli had gone down on his knees to several enlightened prelates,--who had insisted that an invitation should be sent to the holy Anglican hierarchy,--to entreat them not to incorporate an element which must be fatal to Roman Catholic views. These enlightened prelates were perfectly aware that, without the presence of Anglican Bishops, oecumenicity was simply a dream. But the fears of the Pope prevailed; and the only Bishops who could have put before the Council the ideal of primitive truth were shut out from the antichristian mob. I call upon Herr Fröhlich, in the name of that Church of which I have the honor to be prelate, to vindicate the statement he has dared to make, that the authority of the Council was divine.
[Herr Fröhlich, who had been observed to abstract from his pocket, during [28/29] the speech of the right rev. prelate, what seemed to be an English newspaper, here rose calmly into view.]
Herr Fröhlich. The omission was certainly fatal. The absence of the Anglican Bishops nullified the decrees of the Council. There cannot be a question, to any one who is acquainted with the radical composition of a Council, that the wilful ignoring of the entire branch of the Anglo-Catholic Church must render Definitions abortive. I am unable to imagine how the oversight took place. But in Rome they are so busily occupied with the affairs of all the nations of the world, that it is altogether possible that, at the very last moment, the Isle of England was forgotten. However, since the loss was so fatal to the authority of the meagre Assembly, let us see how the laity of England have judged the terrible disaster. The Bishops, we know, conceived that their absence vitiated even that moral edification which might have resulted from the Council. Every theologian must profoundly sympathize with this most orthodox view. But at least it [29/30] will be some consolation, if we find, upon close inquiry, that the English laity were gently reconciled to the total destruction of their hopes.
I hold in my hand a newspaper issued from the English Press, and known, by the significant title Church Times. It is the leading ecclesiastical organ of the Church of England, and it professes to represent the laity in their 'views,' and also in their woes. Let us see how the Church Times appreciates the Anglican Bishops, and the consequent ruin to the Council from their corporate absence from it. Permit me to read to you this pas sage:
'Our Bishops, coquetting with apostates like Colenso and Vance Smith; acting as tools of the wicked Church Association, like Dr. Ellicott; coarsely bullying, like Dr. Baring; talking wild nonsense, like Dr. Fraser; conspiring with infidels and schismatics against the Church, like the two Primates; playing fast and loose, like Dr. Wilberforce; jobbing, like Dr. Jackson; . . . unfaithful to their consecration vows; false to the doctrines of their Church; bullies to the weaker clergy, and toadies to the coarsest forms of irreligious public opinion,--'
 But perhaps you have heard enough: and I may inquire, without quoting farther: do you think that the presence of these gentlemen in the Council would have been guarantees of the Holy Ghost? Why, my lord, I would ask you, How is it possible that men, whose whole life is spent in the effort to kill truth, could be of the smallest use in a council that was met expressly to define it?
[Dr. Fossil retired to the fire and warmed his episcopal feelings. A few moments passed before any one attempted to renew the general conversation. Meanwhile Herr Fröhlich (aside) was laughing over some more quotations which he made from the interesting paper. The Church Times said that 'its duty had led it to speak of the Bishop of Manchester in terms of severe censure;' and Herr Fröhlich jocosely concluded that the Church Times must be Papal Legate to the holy Anglican hierarchy. He also read these remarkable words: 'In plain English, our venerable Primate has been talking some thing very like nonsense;' which seemed to convey that the editor of the Church [31/23] Times was a sort of prefect of discipline to episcopal schoolboys in general. But such pleasantries were allowed now to pass, for graver' matters ensued.]
Professor Maeeson (who had listened to the colloquy between Herr Fröhlich and the Bishop of 'Goodwin' with obvious indifference and contempt) here moved forward to a prominent position, and essayed to address the Congress. Herr Fröhlich was wholly disregarded, as beneath his majestic notice. But Herr Fröhlich looked on from afar, and was prepared with his lance in rest. He knew Professor Maeeson; and was perfectly aware that the whole of his (immediate) theology might be summed in the cultus of schism. An Anglican Bishop was no more to him than a mufti, a sheik, or marabout; since he openly repudiated even the courteous admission of Anglican claims on Cologne. He rushed into the praises of schism, as women are rap tured on an angry theme, whose enticement is its sweet unreason. The burden of his speech, if reduced to a sentence, might perhaps be expressed in this way: [32/33] that it was Rome which had separated from the Congress of Cologne, and which, therefore, had incurred the guilt of schism, and the penalties of the major excommunication. These were his words: 'For us, the Pope and the Bishops of the Council are no longer those of the Church. There is for us no Pope, no Bishops, save only those of the Church of Utrecht, and of the far-distant Armenians. If it were possible, as it is quite impossible, to convene a council this year, it would have to begin by deposing the Pope, as well as every one of the Bishops.' [Here Herr Fröhlich and Herr Ernst broke out into very loud laughter.] 'It is not we w ho sever ourselves from the unity of the Church. They have done it who have abandoned the truth; while we uphold unity on the only ground which is even possible to unity, the ground of eternal truth.'
Herr Fröhlich. Have I the permission of Mr. Chairman to reply to Professor Maeeson?
The Chairman. You have.
Herr Fröhlich. I was present, a few [33/34] weeks since, in the drawing-room of a distinguished Italian. It happened that two guests, who had come uninvited, behaved themselves in unseemly manner. They were requested to leave, but refused to do so. Their conduct grew worse and worse. At length the host, who was wearied with their continued presumption, took them by their necks and shoulders, and turned them out of the house.
Standing below, outside the house, and just underneath the window of the drawing-room from which they had been expelled, the two outlaws looked up at the window, and thus addressed the host: 'It is we who are still in the drawing-room, and you who are now in the street. You imagine, no doubt, that the chairs and the ottomans are placed for your special convenience; in fact, that they belong to you. But we can assure you that the property is ours, and that the house belongs to us. Sleep, then, in the street, as best you can, for we inhabit the house.'
If I add one word to my parable, it is only to show how the outlaws--so ruthlessly expelled from the Church--are [34/35] divided among themselves. Professor Maeeson has told us that the Church is apostate, 'save only the Church of Utrecht, and possibly the far-distant Armenians.' Dr. Wordsworth assures us that the Old Catholics are heretics; and that until they reject the Council of Trent and the Creed of Pope Pius IV., they have no title to union with the Church of England, which is of course the purest Church upon earth. The Russian Archimandrites most positively refuse to adjust the item of the 'Filio-que;' and the American emissaries express themselves pained at the spectacle of such insoluble elements. It seems likely, then, that you will pass the night, not comfortably, beneath the window. It is unpleasant enough to have been turned out of the drawing-room--well-cushion'd, sofa'd, fauteuil'd; but to wrangle all night in the open streets will, I fear, be really inconvenient. Let me recommend to you a home! The Church of England will open its arms to any apostates whatever, who bring with them the single credential of hatred of the Roman Church. Pray, go to the Church of [35/36] England! It is an apologetic lodging, I confess; but it may be better than none at all.
'Stir the fire,' said Dean Courtly to a waiter, in rather a pompous voice. Then, rising from his chair, he moved to the table, and bowed sublimely to the chairman.
'Who's that?' asked several members. But no one had the least idea. 'These English have too much to say,' observed an angry Westphalian. 'What is the English Church? A mere rotten creature of the State, and utterly beneath our notice.' 'You will be glad enough of the State, by and by,' retorted a playful neighbor, 'when you have nothing else to fall back on.' Meanwhile, Dean Courtly, who had begun to speak, looked away from the obnoxious Herr Fröhlich. He deigned not to answer his perilous on slaught perilous to those who should meet it. He said he would not touch on the angry words Herr Fröhlich had [36/37] addressed to the Congress. Those words might be fitting in a disputant for Rome, who had come there to mock that assembly; but he would introduce them to a chivalrous champion, who was a host, a Church, in himself, and who would refute the incautious words that had fallen from the advocate for Rome. 'Professor Friedrich of Munich,' continued Dean Courtly, 'is the theologian I shall now introduce. He is that embodiment of requisite gifts which the age has furnished for the task. He is the theologian who should have governed the Council, but who, unfortunately, was not appreciated. The spirit of that theologian is exactly the spirit of modern scientific thought. He is not present to speak for himself; and this is much to be regretted. But a certain constitutional shyness is at once his most winning trait and the impediment to his speaking from his heart. Indeed, he pushes modesty to a point which verges on graceful fanaticism. Yet this modesty is confined to his speech; it does not pervade his writings. They are bold and unflinching; almost wanting in Christian [37/38] gentleness, and scarcely tempered by sweet self-restraint. It may be that he does violence to his nature in adopting this impetuous tone. Retakes vengeance on his own disposition by the warmth he pours upon others.
'I have attributed to the Professor the purest spirit of modern theological 'thought. He affirms that grace must work first through science; and that since the Bishops in the Council were totally incompetent to advise on points of theology, it was impossible for the wisdom of God to teach the Church through them. The Pope himself he represents as a feeble ignorant old man; and he was so pained at the spectacle he beheld at Rome, of perversity, dulness, and pride, that he quitted the city in disgust; having first, however, written his Diary. That Diary you will, all of you have read. The writer bewails that the only theology which the Council was able to acquire, it acquired through his imparting. "It is often a source of silent satisifaction to me," he writes in that accomplished Diary, "when I hear from one [38/39] person or another, after the lapse of two or three, or even more weeks, things which were derived from myself alone, or which, through myself alone, had come to the knowledge of these gentlemen." But the Pope and the Council remained in stupid disregard of even so much as his presence. "Is it possible," writes Professor Friedrich, "that the Pope can have been informed that I have not been here for a long while?" And then feeling how essential his presence had be come to so miserably incompetent a Council--for even the most excellent of men are at times betrayed into a recognition of their own great gifts--he asks: "What would men say if they knew that Professor Christ of Munich had written to me in such a manner as the following: 'Many people might believe that you have not gone to school to Döllinger merely, but also to Talleyrand; seeing that you now understand admirably how to unite both in yourself.'" It is, of course, an advantage to hear the opinions of such a gentleman upon any character of topic whatsoever; nor are we [39/40] astonished to hear from his gifted lips that the Pope was completely "afraid of him;" that the "mean and stupid majority" were utterly incompetent to compass him; and that "theological science being wholly excluded" from the so-called Oecumenical Council,--obviously excluded, since neither Döllinger nor Friedrich were invited to illumine its debates,--"the Holy Spirit must first constrain the Bishops to become theologically capable before they could be rendered His organ to define any article of the faith." And here it will be interesting to note his remarks on that deplorable Society--the Jesuits; a Society which he was specially enabled to judge, from his having at one time desired to be a member. He says that the Jesuits were perfectly willing--should a favorable occasion offer--to get rid of their opponents by--but no! I will not mention the means. He hints, too, that it was fortunate that Dr. Döllinger was not resident at that time in Rome; or there was no telling what might possibly have happened. While of the lesser infirmities of this degraded Society, [40/41] the Professor does not hesitate to say, that "their rudeness and vulgarity on the one hand, and their want of truth and ignorance on the other," caused him the most poignant distress. Indeed, it was bitterness to his soul to have to witness such pravity,--such inconceivable stupor or crime. Moreover, Professor Friedrich perceived at a glance--as who indeed has not so perceived?--that the Pope was "without any capacity;" that, in Rome, all was "rotten and corrupt;" and he characterized the Vatican Council as "a Council of robbers and hypocrites." Of the Bishops he says collectively--but here I will quote his very words--"Ah, it is enough to make our hair stand on end; to sit here and be obliged to see how the Bishops, even the opposition, completely ignorant as they are of the constitution of the Church, and having no idea of it, are offering up a sacrifice to the caprice of a self-willed old man." And of all the German Bishops he declares "they are poor in theology and in scientific culture;" and on the Latin Bishops he is, if possible, even more [41/42] concise and severe; saying of Bishop Ghilardi, "The more I read, the more I am enraged at the falsehoods of this man. He is, in point of fact, a liar." While, of every priest, whether secular or religious; of every Society, whether cloistered or active--'
Herr Fröhlich. You seem to have conveniently forgotten, Mr. Dean, that Herr von Döllinger spoke with a merry contempt of this very Professor Friedrich; and, in 1867, opposed his admission to the Academy, on the ground of his critical ineptitude. [Suppressed laughter.]
Dean Courtly. I am not aware. [More laughter.] The principle I would develop [continued the Dean, quite changing his tone, and dropping his favorite Professor] is one that must commend itself to the intelligent mind, as uniting the interests of Individual Will with those of a Personal God. I would argue that scholarly science lies at the root of truth, and therefore of all religion. Humility is, of course, a virtue; but humility without science is nothing. Where the Vatican Council has failed, is in its ignorance of [42/43] theological science. A body of men, without in dependence, chosen principally because they would be subservient to an amiable but incompetent Pope, is obviously unfit to teach the world, since it requires to be taught itself.
Herr Fröhlich. By whom?
Dean Courtly. Ah, there you ask a question which modern enlightenment and progress alone are competent to answer. We live in days when the culture of the mind has reached that elevated point, that each man in himself is a pure theocracy, and authority has become interior. To the vulgar herd it were of course imprudent to enunciate so sublime a theism; but educated men understand what is meant by the theocracy of individual thought.
I have detained the Congress too long; but--
Herr Fröhlich. May I ask you, before you sit down, to give us a general idea of what you understand by 'Ecclesia Docens'? ['Ecclesia docilis fallendi,' whispered Herr Ernst to a neighbor.]
'Ecclesia Docens,' continued the Dean, [43/44] with considerable stammering of manner, 'is obviously an expression derived from the past, but without signification for the present.'
'Pardon me,' replied Herr Fröhlich; 'if I remember rightly, I was taught, when at school, that "Docens" is the present participle.'
'Yes, present in grammar,' responded the Dean; 'but you really must remember that, in the nineteenth century, "Docens" is an exploded idea. I am sure Dr. Fossil,' [continued the Dean, turning round to the Bishop of 'Goodwin,' and evidently seeking his shelter], 'will bear me out in my view, when I affirm that enlightenment has now reached a point which renders "Docens" impracticable. In England, we have made such progress, that every man is his own theologian, and convenes his faculties in Congress. I may seem to be playful in such an assertion; and I own that there is a comic side to a theory, which needs to be hedged by discretion: but in spite of the reductio ad absurdum, inseparable from modern ideas, I maintain that [44/45] independence is the crowning token of a really enlightened age. In England every man is free. He may open the volume of Modern Thought, and study and learn for himself. He may sit at the feet of a Huxley or Tyndall, and compass the measure of faith. He may look up to Professor Darwin, and learn from whence he was derived. He--'
A Delegate [who had not hitherto spoken]. Mr. Chairman, I rise to order. It must be a'matter of superlative indifference to this Congress what the English may think of Mr. Darwin, or of any other prehensile philosopher. [Laughter.]
The Chairman. If the delegates are willing to listen, I have no power to interfere.
[Dean Courtly did not here resume. He subsided to his place by the fire, and conversed with an American delegate. He looked round for his friend Professor Friedrich; but Professor Friedrich had not yet arrived.
Herr Kraft, a Bavarian of most tranquil mien, now came forward from a corner of the room, and signified his purpose [45/46] to speak. Gentleness was written on his face, and suavity poured from his tongue. But the gentleness and the suavity were both of a kind which suggested a mind made up; and though, personally, he was very little known, vocally he was at once understood. No man could look so superlatively calm, unless he had appreciated storm; for his was the calm which comes from self-ruling, not the calm which implies 'no soul.' Say there are three kinds of calm, begotten of three kinds of sires: of stupidness, of control, of piety. Herr Kraft had the calm which signifies control; though without even one atom of piety. With this kind of calm, he looked at the company; and thus slowly expressed his ideas:]
Herr Kraft. I protest against the interrupting of the very reverend the Dean. The remarks he was making, though perhaps Anglo-Catholic, and marked by a strong insularity, were quite relevant to the discussion in hand, and pertinent to Old-Catholic themes. Why quarrel with the Dean because he lays bare the principles of Old-Catholic authority, and [46/47] shows that, in the main, he agrees with ourselves that 'Ecclesia Docens' is dead? We have played at skittles--if I may use the expression--with every doctrine of the Catholic Church; and we have done so on the ground that we have the right to define Christianity for ourselves. Now I am not one of those who would go so far as to say--if I may return to my familiar simile--that Christian belief is a mere game at skittles, invented for social delectation. I would not preach the view that he is to be honored with the special distinctions of victor, who, setting up dogmata in compact array, bowls them over with one skilful throw: but I think that we should admit that the object of Congress is less to rear and to form, than to settle the principle that we have the right to demolish whatever we regard as untrue. For myself, I confess that I do not believe in any authority whatever. [Cries of Chair, Chair, and Sit down.] I will sit down shortly, so soon as I have explained the purpose for which I stood up. To admit, then, the right to question authority is to admit the right to ignore [47/48] it. "What we question, we do not believe. What we judge, we do not obey. What we regard as subjected to ourselves, we proclaim to be less than ourselves. Now Dean Courtly has stated his honest belief that the Church of England is human; for in the fact that the laity judge her doctrines is the admission that she is not divine. You, too, have declared that the Roman Catholic Church is as human as this Congress of Cologne; for in subordinating that Church to your private opinions, you say that your opinions are above it. Hence, Old Catholics and Anglicans are perfectly agreed in their rejection of ecclesiastical authority. They adopt these two postulates (common to both):
(I.) Let it be granted that there exists not on earth a divine authority to teach.
(2.) Let it be granted that Christian obedience means obedience rendered to self.
I have told you that I accept these two postulates; and that therefore I came to Cologne. If you do not also accept them, you sit here in self-condemnation. It matters nothing whatever how much you [48/49] believe, how much you reject, of Roman Catholic doctrine. The degree affects not the principle. In the fact that Old Catholics, like Anglicans, judge the authority of their Church, they confess that the Church is subject to themselves in the whole, and the detail of its teaching. The sublimest of Anglican Ritualists, and the most abysmal of Anglican Protestants; the most Tridentine of Old-Catholic delegates, and the most sweeping of Old Catholic revolutionists--are all exactly on a par in their contempt for 'Ecclesia Docens.' They all enthrone themselves as sole judge of ecclesiastical authority; and all therefore agree with me, that there is no ecclesiastical authority what ever.
[Here a delegate who had not been observed, previously to the present moment, whispered something to the Chairman, then stood up by his side to speak. He had a grave and thoughtful face; and was unlike the mass of the delegates, in the fact that he did not look proud. There was a despairing expression on his countenance; as though he repented of [49/50] having done wrong, but did not quite see how to do right. His words were few and to the point; and this was what he said:]
'Credo and Nego are not the same things. All that Congress has done, up to the present, is to scream out "Nego, nego." 'I propose that we begin at the very beginning of the question; and discuss the Vatican Council. Let it be proved that the Vatican Council--the Nineteenth General Council of the Church--was not a general council, before we proceed to build up a structure which may topple from want of foundation. Is there any one present who will undertake to prove the cecumenicity of the Vatican Council? If so, I propose that we devote this afternoon to hearing him plead his cause. Then to-morrow we can begin our work, having laid our foundation to-day. Until it is certain that the Vatican Council does not bind our hearts and consciences, we are arguing with the words of the wind, which can bring forth no fruit to our souls.'
'I will prove it,' shouted Herr Ernst; [50/51] starting to his feet with delight. 'Mr. Chairman, put it to the vote.'
Much murmuring ensued upon this proposition. On the one hand, it was felt that no good could be done, until the gravamen of the point was settled. On the other, that Congress had met on the hypothesis that the Vatican Council was nil. Delegates were furious at the bare supposition that the Vatican Council could bind. Had they, then, come to Cologne to discuss whether they were heretics or no? Such hubbub of talk and such angry looks broke the peace of the Congress, that for a few moments it seemed more than probable that its discussions had come to an end.
The Chairman rose.
'I think the proposal just.' [But here he had to ring his bell more than once to gain the audience of all.] 'I beg you to be calm and rational. It is evident that we can accomplish no "business" to-day, for not half the delegates have arrived; and we shall do well to clear away the difficulties which lie upon the threshold of debate. I put it, then, to the [51/52] vote: whether we shall meet this after noon not here, but in the Gürzenich Hall to discuss the Vatican Council? This room will be wanted, to prepare for dinner' [Laughter]; 'and we shall feel more at liberty in the larger hall of the Gürzenich. Come, gentlemen, give me your votes. Herr Ernst on the Vatican Council, or a continuance of the really fruitless discussion which we have thus far, in limine, indulged? '
The numbers of votes were then taken, and were found to be exactly even; sixty four for the Ayes, and sixty-four for the Noes.
But one gentleman had not voted. This was Herr Fröhlich. Much laughter ensued when, holding up his hand, he turned the balance for the Ayes.