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May I not justly retort your Reviewer's own remark with some slight modification, and say, "What a picture is here of the kind of comment which passes current for a Review, when men go to work with their heads full of certain imaginations, and come away again bringing back precisely what they had taken with them."—I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
J. Spencer Northcote.
REPLY OF THE REVIEWER,
I hope you will be able to find space in your next Number to insert Dr. Northcote's letter in exlenso, as that course will probably be the most satisfactory to himself. I need only say a few words in the way of comment.
1. Dr. Northcote's letter deals principally with personal questions, but theso are such as may be thought to affect (indirectly, at least) the main arguments on either side. Referring first to what he has stated in reference to his Plate VIII., I gladly see, in what he writes, a complete explanation of the manner in which he has been misled as to the time state of that fresco. He has himself pointed out that I, knowing his book only in its published shape, could not be aware of the circumstances which he now mentions. But though, for this reason, I am glad to think that it is not I who am responsible for any misunderstanding thence arising, yet I gladly take this opportunity to withdraw, unreservedly, all charges, in connection with this matter, against Dr. Northcote as an Editor; and I sincerely regret that they were made, and that in terms which, in one instance, go beyond what I really meant to express. On the other hand, I think it right to say, that the argument of the Review, in respect of this fresco, remains untouched. Dr. Northcote has explained hoti; the misrepresentation involved in his Plate, and in the title he ha? given it, originated. But there the misrepresentation is; and being there, is likely to mislead those who take their ideas of this Monument from Dr. Northcote's book.
2. On another point, to which Dr. Northcote adverts, I cannot say that his reply appears to me so satisfactory. He thinks (if I do not misunderstand him) that his language on the subject of the Oranti is exactly coincident with that of Do Rossi. He quotes some passages which show that on some points he is more in accordance with his author than I had supposed. But as regards the main question of the character generally to be attributed to these Oranti (which alone is of main importance to my argument) I cannot find such agreement. In a passage to which Dr. Northcote himself has called my attention, De Rossi says [Images de la tivs Sainte Vierge, &c. p. 8], "II est positif que les images des orantcs
placees sur les faces anterieures on laterales des lombeaux represeulent d'ordinaire ceux qui y sont emevelis, mais celle regie a des exceptions." But Dr. Northcote's language, quoted in the Review, is this :—" It lias sometimes been supposed that this female orante denoted soma martyr or person, of distinction buried in the principal tomb of the cubicrdum where the printing is found, and possibly this conVol. 68.—No. 384. G E
jectnre may he sometimes correct. But In the majority of instances we feel certain that it is inadmissible." (Northcote, R. S. p. 25-5.) We mention this again, not with a view to prolonging controversy npon personal questions, bnt becanse the matter here referred to may be thought of some importance to the main argument as between Dr. Northcote and myself.
3. Lastly, Dr. Northcote brings a counter-charge to bear against myself. And, as I have to plead guilty to it, I am glad that the charge is not a very serious one, and that it is one which in no way affects my main argument. Dr. Northcote quotes a passage (which I myself had not observed) from the comment of De Rossi, on a particular fresco, which shows that he did suggest a reference, in some of the subordinate groups, to the Holy Family. I had been misled by the fact, that the picture in question is figured in ttvo Plates, which are not consecutive, and that De Rossi's description (in a separate volume) is contained partly under Plato I. (which I read), partly under Plate IV., which I did not read.
4. And now these errors on either side being disposed of, " quos ant ivenria fmh't, out humnna parum cavit natura," I hope that Dr. Northcote will, as his leisure may allow, deal with the main question, of far wider and more permanent interest, at issue between us, with reference both to these early monuments to which he has directed attention, and to others referred to or figured in the present Number of the Christian Observer.
To tie Editor of the Christian Observer.
St. Mary's College, Oscott; Nov. 18,1869.
Sit?,—I am much obliged to your Reviewer for his courtesy in sending me a copy of his answer to my comments upon his Review.
I cannot promise to follow him into the new field to which he invites me. My object in writing was purely personal: (1) to repel the accusation of dishonest manipulation which he had so repeatedly urged against me in the course of his article; and (2) to show that he was wrong in string that I had not De Rossi's authority for a particular assertion made in p. 200 of our book.
On both these points your Reviewer behaves as a "Christian Observer" should. He acknowledges the injustice he has been guilty of, though he very naturally does not think it so serious as I do. But he now brings a third charge, and alleges that if I followed De Rossi faithfully in p. 2G0, I certainly did not in p. 2-55; and to this new charge I have no alternative but to plead gnilty.
I had of course discovered the blot (which 1 deeply regret and cannot account fori whilst searching De Rossi's pages for my defence against the former charge; but I did not think it necessary to become my own public accuser. Probably it will be more than your Reviewer expects from "an English and Roman Divine," if he acknowledges his fault when pointed out by another.—I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
J. Spencer Northcote.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
(1) The (Ecumenical Council and the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff: a Pastoral Letter to the Clergy, fyc. By Henry Edward, [Titular] Archbishop of Westminster. London; Longmans, Green, and Co. 18(59.—(2) The Pope and the Council. By Janus. London, Oxford, and Cambridge; Iiivingtons. 18(39.—We have designedly united these two publications under one head, as they both relate to a quest ion of paramount importance at the present moment. Both treatises are the productions of Roman Catholics. Both handle the same topic, and discuss the policy of the erection of Papal Infallibility, at the approaching Council to be held at Rome, into an article of tho Catholic faith. If perused in the order in which we have placed them, it will be startling to an unprepared reader to find what divergent views arc maintained within the pale of a Church which professes the most complete exemption from all uncertainty and controversy. Were the question at issue less vital, it would be almost amusing to pass from the calm serenity of assumption and assertion which pervades Dr. Manning's pamphlet, to the trenchant criticism of the German theologians. As it is, it is plainly apparent that as the translator of Janus says in his Preface,—" Two rival tendencies, alien alike in their principles and their aims, which have long been silently developing themselves, are now contending for the mastery within the bosom of the Church (of Rome), like the unborn babes in Rebekah's womb, and . . . that every section of our divided Christendom is interested in the result of the struggle.'
Ur. Manning's pamphlet hardly needs extendi'i autice. Even if not written by one, it is still plainly intended i'^r "converts with little theological cultivation, but plenty of youthful zeal, who surrender themselves in willing and joyful mental slavery to the infallible ruler of souls; rejoicing and deeming themselves fortunate to have a master visible, palpable, and easily enquired of."* Them, women especially, it will probably satisfy. There is a show of learning, and it contains a fair amount of well turned oratorical sentences written ad captandum.
Janus's is a work of far higher pretensions. It is the manifesto of Ronmn Catholic Liberalism a.s opposed to Ultramontanism. We are very far from sympathizing with all its positions, but it is impossible for Christian men not to wish well to those who reverentially, but in a manly and truthful spirit, seek to remedy what is amias in the Church of their fathers. The substance of tho volume was published in a series of articles on the "Coimcil and the Civilta," in the Allgemeine Zeitung, and attracted very general attention on the Continent. In the volume, the whole subject is worked out in detail; a graphic account of the intrigues of the Jesuits as developed in the "Civilta," which is described as being,in some sense, tho "Moni«
* Janus, p. iLxvi.
tour " of the Church ofRome, is given; and an interesting description of the articles of the Sjllubus, which, if defined, as is probable, by the Council as positive dogmas, " will enrich the Church with a considerable number of new Articles of Faith hitherto unheard of, or absolutely contradicted." The authors then pass on to discuss Papal Infallibility. The dictum of the Jesuit Gretser is quoted—" When we speak of the Church, we mean the Pope"; and we are told that St. Paul's saying, "Tn him we live and move and are," is, by the Ultramoutanists, transferred to the Pope. The starting point of Ultramontanism is stated to be, that "the Pope is infallible in all declared decisions, not only in matters of faith, but in the domain of ethics, on the relations of religion to society, of Church to State, and even on State institutions, and that every such decision claims unlimited and unreserved submission in word and deed from all Catholics." They then go on to show, "that to prove the dogma of Papal Infallibility from Church History, nothing less is required than a complete falsification of it." In ludicrous contrast to Dr. Manning's assumptions, the errors and contradictions of Popes are displayed in all their nakedness; the verdict of history is adduced, and the forgeries out of which the monstrous assertions put forward, and by which they are bolstered up, are enumerated in a most lucid and convincing manner. There is an interesting chapter on the College of Cardinals, showing how they have gradually arrogated power and influence to themselves, sometimes by the favour of, and sometimes despite the Popes. Tho injurious effect of the outrageous pretensions of the Court of Rome upon the reunion of Christendom is demonstrated, and some amusing instances are recorded of the shrewdness and ability with which the Patriarchs of the Greek Church have repelled them. As an instance, we may qnote the laconic answers returned by the Greeks to John XXII., related by Sir John Mandeville: "Thy plenary power over thy subjects we firmly believe; thine immeasurable pride we cannot endure; and thy greed we cannot satisfy. With thee is Satan, with us the Lord." In the concluding portion of the work striking instances are adduced of tho injurious influence upon the Popes themselves of the blasphemous pretensions which they claim, and which are encouraged by tho adulation of the sycophants who surround them. We earnestly trust that all our readers who have time for such studies, and feel interested in these important questions, will read this most remarkable book. Would, too, that- our public men, who are now pandering so unscrupulously to Romish pretensions, would take warning betimes, and would pause in the remorseless destruction which is now going on of bulwarks which the wisdom of our ancestors erected against Popery. If they think Rome has changed, or has abated one whit of the most preposterous claims asserted by her in the Middle Ages, such is not the opinion of intelligent Romanists. They understand the possibility of such claims being postponed to some more convenient season, but not of their being relinquished or being counted as obsolete. We hope, at any rate, that common sense will not hereafter be insulted by statements which, if persevered in, it will not be easy much longer to reconcile with honesty.
The present season at home is one of preparation for an approaching session of Parliament. Many anxious questions are discussed, and the fears and hopes of statesmen aro variously affected. The state and prospects of our own Church, and of the rulers of the Church, equally prompt us to look up for the repose of our minds. Abroad, the recent illnesses of the Emperor of the French and of the King of Italy have just revealed the tremendous social revolutions which may hang upon the breath of kings; and our thoughts are thus directed to Him "in whose hand is the breath of all mankind." In Spain affairs are as far from a peaceable settlement as ever. In Eome a so-called (Ecumenical Council is to assemble within a few days, of which the issue may be the very reverse of that which Rome anticipates. Under all these circumstances, we are thankful to see that there is a call from many quarters to special and united prayer, which we trust may be abundantly responded to.
To one event in our home proceedings we must make a more special reference. The "Twelve Days' Mission" in the London Churches has taken place during the last month, by an organised series of special religious services in more than one hundred churches of the Metropolis, with the object of awakening the unconverted and quickening spiritual life in the faithful. The scheme appears to have been proposed and arranged by individuals of the moderate High Church school; to have been cordially adopted by the Ritualists of every shade, even of the highest, and by very few of the moderate Evangelicals. It received prospectively the sanction of the Bishops of London, Winchester (designate), and Rochester. A Committee has been since appointed to draw up a statement of the various services held, and of the results, as far as they can be described. The movement presents a threefold character. It partakes of the character of Roman Catholic "Missions and Retreats," of the early Evangelical Exercises,andof the more modern Revivals. In theRoman Catholic Church such special services have been accustomed to be held in Advent and Lent, when there has been a large increase of sermons and processions, and energetic appeals to the people to attend Confession and Mass." In the Church of England, Whitfield, Wesley, Grimshawe, Berridge, and Venn incurred the reproach of irregularity by their endeavours to arouse the indifferent, by frequent meetings beyond canonical places or hours, and by inviting the people to unite in private meetings for edification. Down to the present day these efforts have been perpetuated in cottage lectures, open air missions, preaching in theatres, and a vast agency of lay helpers. In America there have been remarkable seasons of " Revivals," when the spiritual solicitude and zeal of the people have led to tho opening of churches, tho multiplication of private means of instruction, and a large increase of prayer meetings.