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'CARDINAL MANNING.', Issue 7909, 17 May 1889
TO THE EDITOB. Sib, —Williain Lilly, a sincere Catholic and admirer of His Eminence, gives us in this book the mental characteristics of the Archbishop of Westminster. It is, indeed, a guosi-oonfession of Catholic faith, political, philosophical, and religions. From it we see how dearly irreconcilable the church is to the world. " Education is the
formation of tho whole man—intellect, heart, will, character, mind, and soul.” How a man of Manning’s education can swallow so many absurdities is a mystery to me. “ Theology is the keystone of all knowledge ” ; but from mediaeval theology good Lord deliver us ! “Tim tendency of metaphysics and science in England is to eliminate the supernatural and to limit tho basis of philosophy to the span of sense and experiment.” Superstition is really tho cause of this gross materialism. We cannot, however, “account for right and wrong without reference to God, tho giver of the law.” Manning’s writings are replete with sophistry, research, piety, integrity, and devotion to what he conceives to be divine truth, as interpreted by a so-called infallible church, animated, or at least assumed to be animated, by the perpetual presence of the Holy Ghost. In virtue of being the mechanical abode of the Holy Spirit, “the church in every age is not only preserved from error, but enabled at times to declare the truth, the infallibility of the living churchy at this hour.” Hero is the divine certainty and authority of the church against error and infidelity, notwithstanding that successive councils have contradicted each other in their oracular utterances. Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, does not rest on historical basis, criticism, and the balance of probabilities, but on faith in a Divine Founder and a divine internal monitor. The universal church is the organ of the Holy Ghost. It is, according to Manning, immutable in its doctrines, because it is sustained in every age incorrupt, primitive, and changeless by the Spirit. Only the church can reform itself. Faith is anterior to revelation itself. “Scripture itself depends for its attestation upon this witness, which teaches us our faith, and that witness is divine.” Is not this reasoning in a circle? The church attests the Bible, and the Bible guarantees the church ! This is logic fit for the Otago University. The church is “the body, inhabited by the Holy Ghost, illuminated and guided by His light and voice." Ergo, she ia infallible! But how do we know this ? Through the Bible ! And, pray, what is the church ? A body of self-styled infallible ecclesiastics. Such a mechanical transmission of God’s Holy Spirit shocks common and verily leads to atheism. Cardinal Manning’s • Book of Characteristics ’ ia really an eyeopener. Coming, as it does, from a scholar and a prince of the church, it carries authority in its train, for the book is really made up of extracts from the Cardinal’s works. Wo now know what Catholicism really is, and what it means, from the mouth of one of its most learned dignitaries, Tu es Petrus—thou art Peter. The Pope of Home is Peter’s vicar and God’s vicegerent upon earth, the Head of the tabernacle of tho Holy Ghost, consequently His Holiness is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra. The editor of this book is, as we said, a genuine son of the church, and a hearty admirer and even idolater of Dr Manning, It ia a refreshing book for an educated Roman Catholic.—l am, etc., J. G. S. Grant, Dunedin, May 17.
'CARDINAL MANNING.', Issue 7909, 17 May 1889
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