'How very like Ephesus!' observed a delegate (whose mind was running on Councils) as he contemplated the two hundred 'fathers' who were seated at the very long table. 'I suppose they dined after condemning poor Nestorius; and St. Cyril proposed his damnation.'
'Oh, away with heresy!' objected an interlocutor, whose thoughts were set upon dinner.
'Too late for that!' broke in a third, as he unfolded his Old-Catholic napkin.
Room was not found for every one of the guests at the very long banqueting table; and, by an odd coincidence, the Right Rev. Dr. Greene and the irrepressible Counsellor Fröhlich met each other, casting about for seats, at the very same corner of the Hall. The difficulty was soon got over. A very little table, [114/115] which might just hold four, but which was burdened with auxiliaries for the banquet, was ordered to be cleared, and immediately got ready, for Herr Fröhlich and his lordship the Bishop. The thing was done on the instant. And Herr Fröhlich, catching sight of an aquaintance, apparently in a dilemma for place, sent a waiter to bring him to his side; observing to the Bishop in playful explanation: 'There is no telling, my lord, but what I might become an Anglican, if I were left to dine with you alone.'
'Then I will anticipate you,' replied Dr. Greene.--'Here, my dear Maryland, come and sit by me! Herr Fröhlich has threatened to convert me; though he is too modest to put it in that way.'
Considerable interest was manifested by the company in the occupants of the little square table. Dean Courtly, who tenanted a seat not one yard from his opponent, Herr Fröhlich, cast furtive glances over his shoulder, and seemed to wish he were just a little nearer. Herr Fröhlich, who detected the movement, levelled his remarks at the Very [115/116] Reverend the Dean, without apparently noticing his presence.
'I think, my lord, we should have got on better, in the ugly discussions of to-day, had the elements been less cosmopolitan, and had some of the members been Christians.' [Here the Dean looked round.] 'Won't you take a glass of Hochheimer?' [This invitation was addressed to Dr. Greene, who immediately responded with his wine-glass.--Some bustle was occasioned by the numerous delegates getting comfortably into their seats; and they all seemed to feel that they must be friends, since they all of them hated the Pope. It was probable that no two of them had common ideas as to why they were Old Catholics, not Catholics; but then the fact that they were a grand little sect, met there to reform the world, gave them a dignity in their own estimation which served them in lieu of conscience. Meanwhile Herr Fröhlich and the Right Rev. Dr. Greene were growing in co-prandial amity. They ran no risk of a quarrel; since their grounds of belief were so utterly [116/117] different, that it would have been difficult to find any postulate. Besides, Dr. Greene was essentially amiable. He courted amenities at the expense of faith--at least of what he thought to be faith. He liked to get on with every one he met, and he had no particular creed to get off.]
'I will tell you,' said his lordship to Herr Fröhlich, 'what seemed to me the most supercilious remark that was made in the course of to-day. It was those words of Knoodt, addressed to the Congress: "So reigns Pius Nonus, Ecclesiae onus. What for? To Jesuitize the Church." Now the Jesuits, after all, are no more than a Society, which has power because of its intelligence. I own I don't know why the Jesuits are hated: and the people who hate them appear to me, as a rule, to be equally ignorant of the cause.'
'Permit me to explain,' responded Herr Fröhlich. 'The Jesuits fight the world with its own cherished weapons. The world is very clever, crafty, and enlight ened; and the Jesuits are very clever, prudent, and enlightened: (I use the word "prudent" in that Christian sense in [117/118] which we find it in the Gospel--"estote ergo prudentes sicut serpentes, et simplices sicut columbae"); only the difference is this the Jesuits use those qualities for God which the world uses chiefly for the devil. And this makes the world very angry--that intelligence, which belongs but to it, should be used by the Jesuits for God. Next, the Jesuits do good. They succeed wherever they go. They convert the heathen, they educate chil dren, they persuade the intellectual, they master the proud. Now success is an unpardonable crime in those the world hates for their virtues; and as the world is aware that the Jesuits are kings of self sacrifice, devotion, and toil, it takes it as personal that all this done for God should succeed so admirably everywhere. Lastly the Jesuits are called after Jesus; and as He was crowned with perpetual persecution, the Jesuits inherit the crown.'
'For my part,' said Dr. Greene, pouring out a glass of very fine Chateau d' Yquem, and holding it for a moment to the light, 'I am not in favor of the Religious Orders. I think they adopt as a principle [118/119] what should be merely an abstract idea. Asceticism is wrong as a principle, or when pursued in religious career. It is useful to allay that voluptuousness which proceeds from the contrary rule.'
'My lord, we are dining,' replied Herr Fröhlich; 'and the season is therefore opportune to discuss the mortifications of the flesh. I differ from you, toto coelo, in the sentiment you have just now expressed; and, as the dinner promises to be excellent, I can afford to express my admiration for purely ascetical virtues. Catholics--Old Catholics, if you will--have all witnessed to the immense superiority of "Religious" over everybody else. We know it, and feel it, and cannot resist it. How different their humility to the aspect for example of this Old Catholic Congress!' ['Order, order!' from Dean Courtly, which showed that that gentleman was auricularly privy to the remarks at the little square table. Herr Fröhlich turned sharply upon him, and said, with a good-humored laugh:] 'I was about to observe, when you praised my discretion, that the "Religious" [119/120] are lucidly intellectual because they are profoundly obedient. They practise that secret of supernatural strength--the total annihilation of self. "Except a man be come as a little child, he shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven;" and it is because "Religious" are like little children that they fathom the science of God. Conversely, heretics are supremely disobedient, and therefore supremely unwise. They worship their own individual brains; forgetting that in doing so they are really worshipping Satan, the prince of pride. Now, it may seem to you a trite observation, but Satan is a very clever Protestant. He is the greatest intellect of the fallen. He has used his intellect, for six thousand years, to master the intellect of man. But you heretics always talk about intellect as though you were its only possessors. You forget that Satan, who has had six thousand years to study the weaknesses of men, brings to bear on their intellect his marvellous mind, plus his marvellous results. I wonder, Mr. Dean, if you were to subtract the devil out of the "religious" operations of your country, how [120/121] much would be left of "intellect" or "Protestantism" that you could strictly call your own!'
[At the end of the hall, far away from the speakers to whom we have just now been listening, were seated some English ecclesiastics who had not been 'delegated' to the Congress. Two Bishops and a Dean were sipping their wine, and in dulging polemical chat. The Bishops of Lincoln and Ely had taken their part in the Congress; but Dean Stanley had said very little. He, probably, went to Cologne to meet the married Père Hyacinthe, and to renew the amiable sympathies which were begun in the office at Marylebone. Dean Courtly, whose credentials were not understood, but who had obtruded 'himself into the Congress, was supposed to have issued from some north country deanery, uninvited, and also unwished. Herr Ernst was seated very near him, and just opposite were the Right Rev. Dr. Fossil and Professors Reinkens and Knoodt. The amenities of dinner were not at all marred by the remem brance of recent disputes. On the [121/122] contrary, the sportive encounters of the morning sitting, and the severe oration of the afternoon, seemed to have given a piquancy to the earlier dishes and a relish to the introductory wines. The enemies were friends. Though, possibly, Herr Ernst was too personal; but then that was the defect in his character.]
'You like schism?' said Herr Ernst to the Right Rev. Dr. Fossil, after proposing to him to try some superior Richebourgh, which had just commended itself to his taste. 'If I remember rightly, there is a prayer in your Litany: "To heresy and schism, O Lord, incline us; and from obedience and unity, O Lord, deliver us." His lordship of Lincoln has expressed the same view in words he addressed to this Congress: "In the Church which is truly Catholic, the battle is to be fought against the heretical and schismatical Church of the Papacy." Now, as his lordship of Lincoln says that Old Catholics are not Catholics, because they do not repudiate Trent; and as the Church of England is less than one-third of the entire population of England; and further, as the [122/123] "Catholicity" of his lordship of Lincoln is condemned by two-thirds of his Church, it follows that it is the duty of one-ninth of the population of the interesting island of England to wage spiritual and mortal combat with 196,000,000 of Catholics. Well, this may be a Catholic view. It was not, perhaps, quite St. Augustine's. "Lincoln locuta est, causa finita est," was not found in patristic suffrages. But then, as Dean Courtly has observed: "We live in days when the culture of the mind has reached that pinnacled point, that each man in himself is a pure theocracy, and authority has become interior." Very interior, indeed! So interior, that it were simply impossible for any human being to effodiate the infinitesimal particle.'
[Dean Courtly was about to reply to this disrespectful quotation of his words--for, though seated a long way off, he had a faculty for hearing what was said--when a waiter put into his hand a card. It was from the Chairman, and on it was written: 'Favor us, Mr. Dean, with a speech.' Called on so suddenly to [123/124] address the company, Dean Courtly let go Herr Ernst; and rising to the fulness of his stature, began:]
Dean Courtly. I feel diffident in engaging an assembly to which it would become me to listen. I have no right of my own to stand before you; but there is a right which is derived to me from the fact of my membership with the most enlightened Church upon earth. [Partial cheers, which had the character of being slightly ironical.] It is my privilege to belong to that Church, which is at once the repre sentative of Modern Thought, and the heir to Primitive truth. ['Hear, hear,' from Dr. Fossil.] Modern Thought is perhaps the most popular; but this is because freedom is the grand characteristic of every Anglican mind. And here I would offer my tribute of felicitation to the delegates whom I see around me, in having made their first step towards approaching to the fruition of English protestant liberty. The Church of England was founded on liberty; was nurtured and lapped in liberty; has grown up and matured under liberty; nor has any other [124/125] aliment ever fostered her life than the pure emancipation of the will. [Herr Fröhlich (aside): 'Good Heavens!' Dean Courtly, who heard the remark, continued:]
The Church of England demands liber ty for herself, and extends that liberty to others. While Rome is the apostle of tyranny, the gaoler of the human mind, the Church of England is the fullest developtnent of the liberty of the Christian Gospel.
Herr Fröhlich [who had become very irritated at the first mention of Protestant liberty, now lost all sense of control, and shouted from the little square table]: Liberty! why, Mr. Dean, you would not have been a Protestant at all had it not been for the Penal Laws!
Dean Courtly [who felt compelled to reply to so wild and boisterous an imputation, but who at the same time was some what put out by the stupendous effrontery of the speaker]: Penal Laws! What Penal Laws?
Herr Fröhlich. The Penal Laws which made you a Protestant. The Penal Laws [125/126] but for which there would not have been at this day one single Protestant in England.
[Here the company murmured that they were unable to hear the discussion. If Herr Fröhlich must interrupt Dean Courtly, would he come forward to the centre of the table, where all might catch his observations? They would have preferred to hear Dean Courtly to the end; but if the argument was to turn on liberty, let it be conducted in a fruitful manner. Herr Fröhlich consented to the invitation; and, forsaking his plate and Dr. Greene, took his stand just behind Dr. Fossil. This occasioned considerable laughter; and Herr Fröhlich, declining a chair, proceeded to discourse as follows:]
Herr Fröhlich. The Church of England, Mr. Dean, was begotten of the rack and the gibbet; and without these two saintly progenitors the Church of England would not have been born. This is why I interrupted you when you spoke of the liberty of your Church; the liberty of the rack and the gibbet; the liberty of the thumb-screw and hoop; the liberty of the [126/127] gauntlet and the needles; of the little-ease or 'the scavenger's daughter.' These were your arguments for converting Catholics; these the apostles of your liberty. The liberty of putting to death 142 priests in the pontificate of Pope Elizabeth I., for saving souls at the peril of their lives, and for being faithful to the old religion. The liberty of racking Father Southwell ten times before he was hanged, because he was true to his faith, and of stretching Father Campion to such inordinate lengths, that even his gaoler piteously remarked, 'He will soon be half a foot longer.' The liberty of hanging, drawing, and quartering that generous lady, Mrs. Ward, because she gave shelter to a priest; and of pressing to death Mrs. Clitheroe between two boards, because she gave a priest bread. The liberty of bowelling Father Garnett, because he would not divulge a 'confession;' and of racking his servant till his entrails gushed out, because he would not say where the priests were hid. O yes, 'the Church of England was founded on liberty; was nurtured and lapped in [127/128] liberty; has grown up and matured under liberty; nor has any other aliment ever fostered her life than the pure emancipation of the will'!
Gentlemen [said Herr Fröhlich, addressing the company], this theme is appropriate to yourselves, to the philosophies on which you are met; for you have held out the hand of fellowship to the Protestant Church of England; and it is meet that you should know how that Church was founded, and to what it owed its existence. This is why I interrupted Dean Courtly; because I would not have him beguile you with the fiction of Anglican liberty. It was rude of me to interrupt Dean Courtly. But there is a duty I owe to this Congress the duty of speaking the truth. Moreover, Dean Courtly and his lordship of Lincoln have come to this Congress to teach; and it is therefore but reasonable that we should now remind them to what they must trace their religion. It was kind of Dr. Wordsworth to cross the water, to order us to repudiate 'Trent.' Let us teach him in turn to repudiate the origin of his own iniquitous [128/129] Church. I am, perhaps, well qualified to speak to you on themes which, I confess, excite my disgust; for I have passed many years in England, and have studied carefully her laws; and I protest that there is nothing in the annals of the world more disgraceful to pretended civilization than the English Code of Penal Laws under the Tudors, the Stuarts, and Guelphs.
I made a bold statement when I averred to Dean Courtly, that but for the Penal Laws against Catholics there would not have been in England to-day so much as one single Protestant. Now judge me whether I have spoken the truth, while I recount to you a few of these laws. Whoever at the age of sixteen absented himself from a Protestant church for four consecutive Sundays was sent to prison without any trial, and kept there until he complied. If he 'relapsed,' he was banished the country. And if he returned, no matter on what plea, be it the highest and holiest in life, he was condemned to be hanged as a felon, and was hanged and 'bowelled' as well. For a priest to say mass was death. To give shelter to a [129/130] priest was death. To assist indirectly the bringing into England a Catholic missionary-priest was death, and death the most horrible--the being hanged, and drawn, and quartered at Tyburn; the having the bowels cut out while the victim still breathed, that he might look on his own evisceration. Such were the laws throughout the whole of the reign of the arch-persecutor, Queen Elizabeth; and they were subsequently renewed in the time of the Stuarts, though less terribly put into execution. While, to speak of the milder enactments by which Anglo-Catholicism was 'nurtured:' to send children abroad to be educated; to keep a Catholic schoolmaster, or so much as a Catholic servant; to be married with Catholic rites, or to be convicted of "recusancy" at any period of life--that is, to be proved to be a Catholic--were crimes that were punished by such ruinous fines, such imprisonments, confiscations, or outlawry, that the marvel is that, in the reign of Elizabeth, even one Catholic was left to tell the tale, and that the whole nation was not exterminated. [130/131] Perhaps you may think I am talking to you of Japan, of Corea, or of China? On the contrary, I am talking to you of enlightened England; of proud and boastful England; of England that prates of religious liberty, as though she had begotten it to the world. I am--
Dr. Fossil [looking over his shoulder and reprobating the tone of Herr Fröhlich]. I assure you that these were political acts; they had nothing to do with religion.
Herr Fröhlich. O my lord, you English always gloss over history whenever it is personal to yourselves. Verily, you are 'la nation la plus aisée a tromper, la plus difficile a detromper, et la plus puissante pour tromper les autres.' As Cobbett said of your popular literature: 'There are more lies in English books than in all other books put together.' And Gibbon appreciated you justly when he disrespectfully summed you up thus: "The English are the most credulous and fanatic of any nation in Europe.' Now, if persecution was a political and not a religious act, why did your Archbishop Abbott as [131/132] sure his sovereign King James, that 'to tolerate Catholics would be to bring down on England God's heaviest wrath and indignation;' or your Archbishop Usher inform the Parliament, that 'to give any toleration to Papists was a grievous sin;' or--Knox that hard champion of the driest and stupidest heresy that ever made Christianity odious--preach from his pulpit that 'the persecution of Catholics was a holy and sacred duty; and that the peo ple were bound to put to death Queen Mary and all her subjects'--a view of true liberty which the Scotch Parliament adopted, A.D. 1560, when it decreed death to all Roman Catholics, on the ground that, 'being idolaters, it was a religious duty to execute them'? Well might Hume say of Protestant persecution: 'The whole tyranny of the Inquisition, though without its order, was introduced into England;' and Mr. Hallam--whose testimony Lord Macaulay approved as in valuable on this special theme used these incriminating words: 'Persecution was the deadly original sin of the reformed Churches;' and Mr. Lecky asked truly of [132/133] the Church of England that Church which Lord Macaulay described as 'sprung from brutal passion, matured by selfish policy':--'What shall we say of a Church that was but a thing of yesterday; a Church that had yet no services to show, no claims upon the gratitude of mankind; a Church that was by profession the creature of private judgment, and was in reality generated by the intrigues of a corrupt court; which, nevertheless, suppressed by force a worship that multitudes deemed necessary to salvation; and by all her organs, and with all her energies, persecuted those who clung to the religion of their fathers?'
Dean Courtly. Pardon me. These historians obscured the important fact that it was treason to be a Catholic, because it was treason to deny the supremacy of the Queen. Men were not persecuted for being Catholics, but for being contu macious subjects.
Herr Fröhlich. Ah, ah! 'Invenimus hos subvertentes gentrem nostram, et prohibentes tributum dari Caesari:' 'We found these men perverting our nation, and for [133/134] bidding to give tribute to Caesar.' How like you Protestants are to the Jews in the character of your irreligious defence! You made it treason to deny the supremacy; and then hanged Papists for denying it! More honorable far to confess your disgrace; and say that Queen Elizabeth was a bastard, who had no more right to be Head of the Church than Queen of a choir of angels. But in truth, Mr. Dean, you make the tyrannies of the past your own by historical acquiescence, and by glorying in crimes which are the taches and dishonor of enlightened liberal England. I will take two examples to prove this. The Gunpowder Plot resulted from cruelties which, year after year, you brought to bear on certain of your Catholic gentry. In a moment of frenzy, they conceived a crime to which you had wantonly impelled them. Instead of feeling humbled, as England should feel, for having fathered this terrible stain, she now glories, two hundred years after it, in the fruits of her own bitter tyranny. To take one more example. 'Jesuitical' is a favorite word in the vulgar parlance [134/135] of your tongue. Now 'Jesuitical' has this signification. You made it death for a priest to be caught in the exercise of any of his functions. The consequence was that priests had recourse to every species of personal disguise to save their necks from the halter. Hence, to be in sincere, or to use equivocation, is to be, in your tongue, 'Jesuitical.' In other words, you compelled that cunning which became a Christian necessity; and then branded the victims of your cowardice with a word you rendered odious. Enlightened people were the Reformers! Only more scrupulous in conduct than they were just and intelligent in spirit! But why pursue a theme which makes huma'nity hate England, as the very hot bed of barbarous crimes? And what too of Ireland, where the Penal Laws were, if possible, more savage than even in England; and where the emissaries of Parliament 'toasted over dinner the butchered victims of the day?' 'All their friars are knocked on the head,' wrote Cromwell, after massacring the priests who had fled for refuge to [135/136] Drogheda; and Lord Cornwallis, but seventy years ago, thus described the treatment of the Irish: 'We are still engaged in a war of plunder and massacre. . . . Even at my table, where you may suppose I do all I can to prevent it, the conversation always turns on hanging, shooting, burning, etc.; and if a priest has been put to death, the greatest joy is expressed by the whole company.' 'Never did any country since the world began,' says your great orator, Mr. Burke, 'suffer so much on account of religion as Ireland.' And Dr. Johnson, whom you must at least accept as a practical common-sense authority, has added this terrible testimony: 'There is no instance, even in the ten persecutions, of such severity as that which has been exercised over the Catholics in Ireland.' And Mr. Fronde, who can hardly be regarded as a generous advocate for Ireland, says of the work of Elizabeth's soldiers: 'They came at length to regard Irish peasants as unpossessed of the common rights of human beings, and shot and strangled them like foxes and jackals.'
 Yet, in the face of these facts, Dean Courtly would snare you with the fiction of 'Anglican liberty;' and the English newspapers can pile up their print on the 'atrocious massacre of St. Bartholomew'--the massacre of men who, under the guise of religion, were the greatest enemies of the state; just as the Albigenses, pretending to be martyrs, were the foes of human society. So true is it, as the English Dr. Arnold observed: 'The English are indifferent to justice when it is not on their own side.' But, gentlemen, there is one remark with which I would conclude my protest, and I beg your attention to it: that whereas, among Catholics, every Catholic who has been guilty of persecution is judged by the laws of humanity, and without reference to this creed or that; among Protestants, the great doctors of persecution, Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, Calvin and Knox, Lord Russell and Cecil, Lord Cornwallis and Clarendon, Cromwell and Cranmer, Titus Oates and Walsingham, Ridley and Latimer (with an army of similar spirits), are not only not reprobated in history, [137/138] but are cherished as Protestant heroes, and niched in the fane of true chivalry.
Herr Fröhlich remarked to Dr. Fossil: 'I will go back and finish my dinner.' And the company fell into animated conversation on the merits of what they had heard. 'Nothing personal, my dear Mr. Dean,' Herr Fröhlich observed to Dean Courtly, as he passed by that dignitary's chair; 'you are sure I must be in earnest, or I should not have forsaken my dinner.'
The first censure that was popularly passed, on the arguments of the ardent Herr Fröhlich, was that they glossed over the historical fact that Catholics had persecuted Protestants. Dr. Fossil was strong upon this. But Herr Ernst replied to him: 'To a certain extent, Roman Catholics might be justified in persecuting the new-born Protestants; for Catholics were contending for inalienable rights, held for sixteen centuries; whereas Protestants were burning and torturing Catholics for refusing to be robbed by them. Moreover, I would [138/139] urge this plea: that persecution in Catholics, if wrong in principle, had at least this jot of justification--that the infallible might persecute the fallible, because the fallible might be wrong; where as, that a Church which was confessedly fallible should persecute anybody at all was a monstrous extravagance of folly. Suffer me to enlarge this plea by a simple statement of truth. The Catholic religion is not, like the English, a religion of mutual indifferences, but a religion which begins by believing in God, and therefore in one only faith; and which holds the treason against this one faith to be treason against human nature. There is a high treason against God, and there is a high treason against man; and if a Catholic state choose to rule that that which is the injury of God is neces sarily the injury of man, it is superlatively ridiculous in a Protestant state to argue down faith with infidelity. You, in England, are not judges of Catholics, nor of the principles of the Catholic religion; because you look on Christianity as a chameleon cloak to hide the infirmities of [139/140] faith. To the Catholic, a heresy is a stain on the honor of the Person of God; and therefore more criminal to the state than murder, parricide, or treason. I am not now defending persecution. I condemn it, and abhor it with my soul. But I say that the difference between Catholic persecution and every pretence for Protestant is the difference between mistaken zeal and simply insensate folly.'
The question of persecution might now have been drop.ped; but it happened that Dr. Greene had moved up from the little square table to a seat that was next to Dr. Fossil,-the guests having kindly made way for him, that he might hear Herr Fröhlich the better: and the two prelates fell into amicable talk on certain of the accidents of the theme. Dr. Fossil--whom the vintages of Germany had wrought into excellent spirits--seemed almost inclined to be jocose; and he remarked, in pleasantry, to Dr. Greene: 'If persecution is pardonable, as Herr Ernst suggests, on the ground of the claim of infallibility, it follows that in England everybody may persecute, because [140/141] everybody claims to be infallible! When Herr Fröhlich was drawing that sketch of persecution, I was reminded of those words of Père Felix: "It is dependence upon a divine and infallible authority which alone can rescue us from every form of human servitude." In proportion as a man be lieves in himself as his infallible guide in religion, his arrogance will keep pace with his egoism, and he will fulminate his anathemas around him. Men in England, who know no more of religion than of the private opinions of Pericles, wield a despotism of Ego compared to which mere Papal anathemas are timid.'
Dr. Greene replied, but in a whisper: 'Upon my word, there is some truth in that. The tyranny of ignorance we suffer in England is a very Spanish inquisition of torture. It just vindicates your idea, that "fallible" persecution is, on the whole, much worse than "infallible." What can exceed the daring presumption of the infallible fallibility of our news papers, plus the persecuting spirit with which they ride down the world? With us, every two-penny newspaper is [141/142] endowed with the gift of infallibility. A writer in the Pall-Mall Gazette, between sipping his sherry and writing a letter to the lady of his thoughts, will give you the supremest cream of divinity upon any doctrine you like. The same is true of the Times, the Saturday Review, or poor Punch. All our newspapers are infallible. The explanation I take to be this: that the writers in private life are not infallible; but when writing in their papers they teach "ex cathedrâ," and their decisions become ir reversible. The worst of it is, they enforce their "definitions" under penalty of the major excommunication! I am sure the Church Times, which Herr Fröhlich has quoted, is much more severe on us Bishops than the Pope on this Congress of Cologne.'
[This desultory talk was brought to a focus by what seemed to be very like a quarrel at the farther end of the table. Precisely what had led to the terrific vehemence with which Herr Fröhlich was protesting did not fall on the popular ear; but it was clear that the too-urgent [142/143] gentleman had wrought himself up to enthusiasm. His immediate antagonist was the Bishop of Lincoln; though very few were the words which fell from that prelate of Queen Elizabeth's own dispen sation. The many themes of discussion which were rife at the table became hushed and forgotten on the instant; and even persecution--so exhilarant a topic!--gave way before personal attack. At a dinner party, wit or fascination may struggle for comparative claim; but the superlative degree is conceded to quarrel, if it unhappily surge to the front. Thus, Herr Fröhlich obtruded his personalities on the whole of the 'Old-Catholic' company; and the company was compelled to listen, whether it willed or no.
Herr Fröhlich. You said, my lord of Lincoln, when addressing the Congress, that the Holy Father, God's Vicar, 'had trampled under foot all law, both human and divine.' I apologize for repeating such language before educated and moral men. [Order, order!] The Pope who decreed the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother of God; the Pope who, almost [143/144] alone and single-handed, has justified faith and reason against infidelity and blank apostasy; the Pope who has proclaimed the divinity of the Scriptures against English sceptics and humanizers; the Pope who, amid the hosts of criminal cowards that disgrace our Christian Europe, has cherished the cause of the oppressed and persecuted in half the nations of the earth; the Pope who, during twenty-five years of political and religious revolution, has defended justice against oppression, civilization against corruption, liberty against licentiousness, progress against the tyranny of error, and charity against pride and indifference--this is the Pope who, you complacently inform us, has 'trampled under foot all law, both human and divine'! Why, my lord, you are worse than the barbarians, who were awed by the majesty of the Pontiff, and quailed before his heavenly character. Even Alaric paused in the desecration of Rome. Attila feared before Leo. Genseric showed some conscience. From the time when St. Peter was crucified on the Janiculum, barbarians have felt his [144/145] mission. But you feel nothing at all. You provoke me to quote to you the words of the Archbishop of Cambrai: 'Pride, wounded by necessary admonitions, first becomes fretful, then irritated, then breaks out into revolt. Hence the wretched falls which history records, and those of which our own age has been witness.' Nay, I will quote to you the words of the Pontiff that Pontiff whom you dare to accuse of betraying God and the Church. When addressing two thou sand pilgrims who had come to him from all parts of the world, the Holy Father thus beautifully expressed the thoughts of his Christian soul: 'It is said that before the death of our Lord, inclinato capite, tradidit spiritum, He bowed His head before committing His divine soul into the hands of His Father. Now as everything in the life of the Son of God is an example, and everything invites us to imitate Him, He teaches us that we must bow down our head in order to be able with greater confidence to commend our soul to the keeping of the eternal Father. Ah, my children, we must avoid pride [145/146] and arrogance. Pride is the sin of the age. Every one pretends to give his advice, and to give it in his own fashion. Every one wishes to meddle in the affairs of the Church, while he pays no obedience either to God, or to His Church, or to His Vicar. This is pride and vanity and arrogance. And yet God has said, "Humiles respexit Deus." It is only in humility and modesty that we can approach to God. It is only thus that we shall be the friends of God. And this is the thought which I wish to leave in your minds in the benediction which I am going to give you.'
'Fröhlich is too warm,' said one of the delegates to a friend who chanced to be near him; 'he is carried away by his feelings. I think he would have more force if he were dominantly more intellectual.'
'Fröhlich believes,' replied the friend; 'we don't.'
And now the babble of tongues was complete, for every one talked with his neighbor. You could just catch a fragment of curious suggestion, from this speaker or that, at the table.
 'I think there is no real revelation,' said one, 'but only a congeries of ideas.'
'I have long been of that opinion,' said his neighbor; 'but it is hazardous to state it overtly. Fo and Buddha and Somonocondom were not so much symbols of contending views as generations of like and sympathetic. Confucius was a very great man; Socrates also, and Plato. There was a wonderful resemblance in all the philosophies which culminated at last in Christianity. It is only a question whether we may not still farther look for a more perfected system of ethics, as the immense developments of modern thought bring us nearer to the principia of truth.'
'Astronomy has proved,' said another, 'that this world is but one of many. It is the natural weakness of the created mind to suppose that what surrounds itself is made for its special behoof; and that stars and systems are mere toys of nature, invented for its convenience. You cannot get men to take the grand idea that they are but units in the aggregate of immensity; and that it is improbable [147/148] an "Incarnation" would be wrought for beings who are mere detail of creative might.'
'There is nothing in the world,' said a third, 'so ridiculous as the Church of England. It makes every man infallible by making him the definer of the whole of Christianity for himself; and it makes God less than human, by making Him the Approver of all truths and heresies alike,'--
'Is Courtly thought much of in your Church?' inquired a German of an Englishman.
'Nobody more so,' replied the addressed one; 'for it is impossible to know what he believes,'--
'German science is the light of the world,' said one German delegate to another.
'It seems so,' was the appropriate answer, 'from the quantity of infidels it generates. Did you ever read St. Thomas Aquinas?'
'Then what should you know about science? It is the amusing conceit of the [148/149] nineteenth century to talk as if it had invented science, instead of having received it from the past, principally to corrupt it in the present. Modern savants make science their excuse for speculating on the existence of God, instead of taking the Church for their guide in determining the value of science. That man may be developed from monkey is thought pretext for believing just like one; a fact which suggests to me the marvellous opportuneness of the recent Vatican dogma. For in an age when the ambition of science is to degrade all positive truth, it were impossible to imagine a finer antidote than the assertion of its absolute certainty.'
'Then you believe the dogma,' replied the other.
'I believe,' was the answer, 'that to elevate reason to the dignity of knowing God is a nobler ambition than to degrade it to pre-Adamite dreams and fanatsies.'
'We are getting near the close of dinner,' observed a satiated guest. 'What next?'
'Grace,' said his neighbor, 'if you will [149/150] say it. For my part, I think it out of place.
'Very,' replied the first speaker. And then there arose a hum of surprise, as it was noticed that the Chairman had risen from his seat, and was about to address the company.
The Chairman. I think we should not separate without expressing our thanks to Herr Fröhlich and also to Herr Ernst, for the very kind entertainment they have given us. [Loud laughter and ironical cheers.] We shall not have the pleasure of hearing them to-morrow, and therefore it is all the more important we should appreciate their attendance to-day. [Renewed laughter.] How they came here at all is one of those mysteries it were better not to pry into too closely. Their motives must certainly have been excellent, since their welcome has been much the reverse. I always like to attribute good motives in proportion to the inefficacy of results. It preserves the balance of sympathy we like to feel with every one. The exuberance of these animated gentlemen must have [150/151] cost them no little fatigue; and I am sure we all wish them a happy return to the land of their homes and affections. Tomorrow we shall begin grave business; and we are indebted to them for the charming comedy with which they have quickened our spirits. Gentlemen, I propose to you, with three times three, the healths of the Papal Nuncios.
[Here immense approbation, with shouts of laughter, greeted the 'Papal Nuncios.' They joined in it themselves, with hearty good-will; although waiting for the consequent pause. 'To return thanks,' said Herr Fröhlich, 'would only be polite. Pray permit me to do so?'--Ironical cheering greeted the request, and Herr Fröhlich rose from his chair.]
Herr Fröhlich. My co-Nuncio, Herr Ernst, is too modest to answer for himself. [Laughter.] Besides, I think he has answered you sufficiently already, from the tribune in the Gürzenich Hall. For myself, I have to regret my departure from a scene I can never forget. I would wish to have seen around me even more bright spirits than those who have [151/152] cheered us to-day. The schismatical Archbishop of Syra and Tenos sent his blessing to the Old-Catholic Congress; after having previously blessed the Church of England and several other interesting Communions. It is a pity that he is not here. Still, I hope that you received his blessing, and that you feel the better for it. His lordship of Lincoln has been an invaluable auxiliary to the too-Catholic Congress of Cologne; for he has taught us that sympathy, though devoid of faith, may be urgent, and even didactic. Dean Stanley, who thinks Professor Huber (I believe the author of Janus) fit friend for the Church of England, has sanctified 'science' by correlative nuptials--the nuptials of an apostate priest. The nup tials of the Church of England with every form of illusion is known to be a continuous event; and therefore its nuptials with 'Professor Huberism' can excite no sort of surprise. Yet Mgr. von Ketteler, a competent critic, has thus epitomized Janus: 'a tissue of falsehoods of the actual facts of history, to which nothing but the Provincial Letters of Pascal can be [152/153] compared for violation of truth.' Pastor Bluntschli, of Heidelberg, has spoken sound sense; for he has told you, in Congress, that the hatred of Rome, and the worship of private opinion, are the only true grounds for Reunion. Dr. Browne, the Bishop of Ely, has edified you this morning with the spectacle of a 'Protestant mass;' and you must have fancied that you were assisting at a mortuary function in honor of the death of Christianity. 'Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord,' Dr. Browne did not say this morning; but he says it very often in England; and let us hope that the prayer, though not hitherto answered, may eventually produce illumination. Professors Reinkens and Schulte have been largely eloquent on the 'apostasy' of Catholic Bishops; and it must be a relief to you to know that Professors Reinkens and Schulte have apostatized from all their old convictions. Indeed, professor Reinkens, like Zwingle, has surpassed his Luther; and Professor Schulte, like Carlstadt, has eclipsed them both. Professor Friedrich has convinced you [153/154] that when the Church shall be in mourning for the incompetent Pius IX., it will be your solace to know that he, Professor Friedrich, will be ready to accept the Popedom. Dr. Fossil has been useful in putting before you his primitive views on Christianity; and from him you have learned that Christianity was interred about the second, or third, or fourth century; and that, by a galvanic process, it has been once more resuscitated in 'one ninth' of the English population. My amiable friend, Dr. Greene--a Bishop of the silk-apron school--has so beauti fully typed what I may venture to call the amenities and suavities of truth, that he has shown you that Christianity is the best-bred Religion, since it never can differ from any one. While Dean Courtly--the Apostle of Freedom--has put before you the picture of the birth and the swaddling of Queen Elizabeth's own dispensation; 'lapped' in the flannel of the gallows and stake, and rocked in the 'by bye' of Tyburn. I will not enumerate farther. Perhaps you think I should say a word to you in parting of a more [154/155] amicable character than this. If not amicable, at least I am earnest; and I assure you I appreciate you thoroughly. 'Old Catholics' you are not; but Old Heretics you are; old as the folly which begot you; old as the pride which fosters all heresy, and the rebellion which generates schism; old as the turpitude which slanders the Church, and the wickedness that lays waste souls. Gentlemen, I rejoice, from the bottom of my heart, that the Church has got rid of a small crowd of men who were the poison of its spiritual vitals; and that the Pope has thrown over his garden-wall the weeds that corrupted the soil.