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THE PAPAL EXCOMMUNICATION: A DIALOGUE.
A. I HAVE been talking with our friend A. No doubt the great Republic, G-- the Roman Catholic convert, having fixed its eyes on its old Greek about the Excommunication. It is all in enemy, showed a strange indifference to vain. He will not see that the nineteenth the thunders of the Vatican, and precentury is different from the thirteenth. ferred the spoils of Constantinople to
B. In what respects do you think those of Jerusalem. One must always make them different?
exceptions for commercial cupidity and A. Looking at facts, not at theories- ambition. There is, I confess, a link not determining which is worst or which between the two ages. The same causes is best-I should say that invisible produce the same effects. England has terrors had a power for the one which inherited the Venetian scorn for the they have not for the other.
invisible. B. On what facts would you rest that B. The sea I should have thought opinion ?
was not exactly the school for learning A. They are obvious enough, I should that scorn. The mystery of invisible suppose. That G- should be unable force, its victory and its terrors, is sug to see them causes me little surprise. gested to the sailor and the trader, almost Facts were always coloured for him by as strikingly as to the landsman. the fancy which looked at them. What A. You are playing with the words ever might be his prevailing notions at “invisible force” and “invisible terrors." the time determined not his judgment What have the winds and waves, what of the events which he read of, or have men's triumphs over them, to do which were passing before him,—but with Excommunication ? their very form and nature.
B. I might respond, What have B. I am afraid G is not a very cupidity and ambition to do with Excomexceptional observer. The siccum lumen munication? Those also are invisible is a rare gift. Let us ask for it, but forces. You may hold that they enable not be sure that we have attained it. Nations to despise the vague and unreal. What facts in the thirteenth century I think they cause Nations to tremble - were you thinking of ?
before the vague and unreal. On A. I know that, if I used any general the other hand, whatever there is in phrase, such as “the mediæval period,” the sailor or merchant which does not or “the dark ages,” you would take me merely grasp at pelf and dominion ; to task ; so I tried to be definite. whatever shows him his subjection to
B. Let us be a little more definite eternal laws; whatever makes him constill. You would not complain of me, scious of human strength and weakness.; would you, if I fixed on the first sixteen whatever teaches him to recognise a felyears of that century for a comparison lowship which seas and difference of cuswith our own?
toms do not break ; this lifts him above A. Certainly not. I should have the mere show of invisible authority by fancied that I was unfair in selecting giving him an apprehension of its reality. the palmiest days of the Papacy, the A. The Merchant City, whatever may glorious era of Innocent III., for the sup- be the reason, was the one which could port of my position.
in that day defy the terrors of the B. I willingly accept it. And, to Vatican, could compel the Latin Church make the trial fair, let the scene be to accept Constantinople as a boon from laid in Italy. What say you of the the very hands which she had pronounced relations between Innocent and Venice accursed for touching it. What an as illustrated by the story of the fourth opposite spectacle do King John and Crusade ?
England present !
B. How, opposite ? England in the thirteenth century trembled when graves were left unclosed, children unbaptized, couples unmarried. England in the nineteenth century could bear such spectacles no better. But if a majority of the Clergy yielded to the commands of him who issued the Interdict—if John with his weight of merited unpopularity shook with good reason before the decree which permitted any subject whose coffers he had robbed, or whose wife he had defiled, to strike him dead ; was not Magna Charta won in defiance of the curse which was launched against those who touched the Pope's vassal ? did not Stephen Langton teach the nobles to express their sacrilegious claims, and to word them so that serfs should afterwards be the better for them ? Was there no mockery of Excommunication in the thirteenth century? Did the mockery only come from men enlightened by commerce? Did it not come from those who felt that they were called by God to assert their rights as members of a Nation? Did not the priests who had received their nomination from Innocent, bear their full part in it ?
1. I do not know that G- could be much better pleased with your read ing of history than with mine. Goneril leaves poor Lear his fifty knights in the good old armour ; Regan will not even allow him these.
B. I do not think the solemn lessons of the past must be expanded or contracted to suit the convenience of Protestant or Romanist commentators, to flatter the prejudices of the idolator of the Middle Ages or of the Victorian Age. We want these lessons for our warning and our encouragement. Woe to us if we twist them so that they shall be useless for either purpose! If I think you conceded too much to your ultramontane friend in admitting that an Excommunication was sure to be effectual six centuries ago, I think you were unjust to him in saying that it must be ineffectual now.
A. You do not mean that you think the present one will be effectual in Romagna, in Tuscany, in Piedmont ?
B. I hope and trust not. But my trust and hope rest upon another ground than the notion that Italians or Englishmen of this day are made of different stuff from their forefathers. I want them both to believe that they are made of the same stuff. I can look for no good to one or the other if they lose that faith.
A. And you honestly hold that men living amidst the noise of spinning-jennies and the endless movement of printing-presses can be affected by invisible terrors as those were who lived when women were thrown into the water to see whether their floating would convict them of witchcraft ?
B. I should have thought the printing-press had brought us much more within the scope and sense of invisible agencies than the ordeal ever could have brought our ancestors.
B. The woman is visible; the water or hot iron is visible ; the sentence of death is visible. From Printing House Square there issues a power which goes through the length and breadth of the land. No one can tell whence it proceeds or what it is. But it is felt in every limb of the English body politic; whether it is an energy for health or for destruction, it is surely invisible, indefinable, mysterious.
A. Again I must ask you, what has this to do with Excommunication ?
B. Again I must answer you ; it has everything to do with Excommunication. It is Excommunication which all people in all circles, little and great, dread. They fear the awful sentence which may go forth from their circle, or from the dictator of it, cutting them off from its privileges and its fellowship. The fear of public opinion, the fear of newspapers, is nothing else than the fear that from them should issue the decree of Excommunication. Your ninete nth century is not rid of this fear in the very least degree. No one of your English classes is free from it. Read any United States newspaper, and see whether you will escape from it by flying into that more ad
vanced state of civilization. De Toc- Whenever Nations in the old time con: queville explained nearly thirty years fessed the might of the Papal Excommuago that that was the very region in nication, it was because they identified which social Excommunication was most the power which went forth in it with tremendous.
that higher Power; whenever they reA. But the Papal Excommunication is sisted the Papal Excommunication it different in kind from this Social was because they could not identify one Excommunication. One belongs to the with the other. The Jupiter in the present only; the other to the unknown Vatican might be their enemy. But He future.
who sat above the water-flood was not B. I do not admit a difference in their enemy : would only show Himself kind. The Social Excommunication is their enemy, would only exclude them altogether uncertain, indefinite. Those from his fellowship and from the fellowwho utter it do not know exactly how ship of the good and true in all ages, if much they intend by it. They admit they shrunk from the duty which He degrees of exclusion, in some cases a called them to do ; would uphold them possibility of restoration ; in some utter, against all visible and invisible foes if irremediable banishment. How much they stood forth like brave, earnest, is involved in that depends upon the faithful men, and utterly defied and set nature and permanence of the society at nought those who bade them be itself.
cowardly and untrue. My hope and A. And, therefore, the Papacy, assum- belief is that Tuscany, Parma, Roing the Church to be a permanent magna, Piedmont, have learnt and are society existing in both worlds-binding learning more and more deeply this all ages, past, present, and future to- lesson. It is not that they disbelieve in gether-of necessity regards utter exclu- the invisible Power which their fathers sion from its society as the loss of every believed. They have been disbelieving blessing that men or nations can inherit. in invisible Power; they have been worSuch an exclusion past ages thought it shipping visible Power. Now they are possible for a man to pronounce; what awakening to a sense of the invisible ; I maintained in my conversation with now they are conscious that the invisible
w as that our age does not hold it is fighting for them against the visible ; to be possible. Do you demur to that now they are sure that the Jupiter whom proposition ?
they may trust as a friend, whom they B. I remember reading a pamphlet must fear as an enemy, is a God of by a more eminent convert than your Righteousness; the Deliverer of man friend G---, written whilst he was a and nations out of the house of bondage ; clergyman in the English Church. In always the enemy of the oppressor. To it he told those who were attacking him grasp this faith is to feel themselves a for his opinions, that he despised their nation. To grasp this faith is to become threats. But he added—
one with the Italians of other times. “Di me terrent et Jupiter hostis.”
They dare not tremble at the Excommu
nication of a visible ruler, because they His minor gods were the twenty-four do tremble at the Excommunication bishops of the English Church ; Jupiter which may proceed from another Judge, was the Archbishop of Canterbury. He and which may cut them off from fellearnt to think that the cardinals more lowship with those that groaned and properly represented the former ; that bled for righteousness and freedom in there was a thunderer in the Vatican their own and every land. more terrible than the thunderer of A. You believe that Italy, after all, Lambeth. In his heart of hearts he has learnt something from intercourse confessed another power higher than with us Protestants and Englishmen. any of these ; he feared them because B. From us? From the fine ladies and he identified them with that power, gentlemen who mock at their worship,
or indulge in dilettante admiration of it at Rome? From our diplomatists at Florence? From those who have bribed and corrupted them ? No; they have had a better teacher. In Austrian, or Papal, or Neapolitan prisons He has been educating them. There He has been nerving thém not to fear Papal Excommunication, but to be in great terror of His. Rather let us learn of those whom we might have helped, and have failed to
help. Let them instruct us that there is an invisible Power which is more to be dreaded than the invisible power of the Press or of the Stock Exchange ! Let them remind us what an Excommunication that is which says to Nations, “They have cut themselves off from “truth and righteousness! They have “sold themselves to Mammon! Let “them alone!”
THE FUSILIERS' DOG.
(LATELY RUN OVER, AFTER HAVING GONE THROUGH THE CRIMEAN CAMPAIGN.)
Whilst o'er fresh years, and other life
Yet in God's mystic urn,
Arises sad and stern-
With women weeping low,
As shines the moon on snow
Marked by the medal, his of right,
And by his kind keen face,
Poor Bob shall keep his place;
For love and service pay,
Than his we mourn to-day !
THE QUESTION OF THE AGE–IS IT PEACE ?
BY T. E. CLIFFE LESLIE. Has Europe, at the point of civiliza- interval between 1815 and the comtion which it has reached, passed beyond mencement of the Russian war in 1853. the military stage of social progress, so With a view to enable the reader to that a disappearance of war is already judge for himself of the accuracy of this before us in political prospect? This statement, and to collect such indications question raises, as will be seen, some of the future as are possible from the collateral inquiries of practical and observation of proximate antecedents, immediate moment; but, apart from the the following table has been prepared, temporary interest and light which exhibiting the wars and quarrels in they may afford, the investigation is, at which Great Britain has been involved bottom, one of a philosophical character. from 1815 to the present time, as well
There is a matter of fact to be decided as the wars and principal insurrections at the beginning. For an obvious, if and revolutions which have disturbed not altogether conclusive, indication of the peace of the Continent within the the exorcism of the ancient combative same period. spirit, and of the pacific structure and
Wars, dc. of Great Wars, &c. of Continental temper of modern civilization, would be
States of Europe. a comparative infrequency in our own
1816. times of international quarrels and in War with Algiers. War between Spain testine conflicts and disquietude. A Commencement of the and her revolte 1 great predominance of peaceful interests
British troops con- Army of occupation and tendencies might naturally be ex- tinue to occupy in France. pected to bear fruit and witness both in France.
Revolutionary movethe foreign relations and in the internal Ships equipped to as ments in several condition of the states of Europe. · And
sist the revolted Continental States. it is in fact asserted that there has been,
colonies of Spain. beyond all controversy, a steady decline
War in India.
War between Spain in the frequency of war in each succes British troops con- and her American sive century of modern history; a signal tinue to occupy colonies. example of which is, as it is alleged. France.
Invasion of Monte
s Assistance to the re Video by Portugal. afforded by the repose of Europe, and
volted colonies of Insurrections in Spain. of this country in particular,' during the Spain.
1 " That this barbarous pursuit is in the leled not only in the history of our own progress of society steadily declining, must country, but also in the history of every other be evident even to the most superficial country which has been important enough to reader of European history. If we compare play a leading part in the history of the one century with another we shall find that world. In the middle ages there was never a wars have been becoming less frequent; and week without war. At the present moment now so clearly is the movement marked, that war is deemed a rare and singular occuruntil the late commencement of hostilities rence.”- Buckle's History of Civilization, vol. i. (with Russia) we had remained at peace for p. 173. . nearly forty years; a circumstance unparal