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partial criticism might demand with reference to the
Gospel history, but the most fantastic theories of the
destructive school. And then, having cheerfully surren-
dered the whole citadel of orthodox apologetics, he turns
round and says that nothing is lost that for his part he
claims to be treated as a good son of the Church, and
wishes to be allowed to recite her creeds and observe
her discipline. Let us see how he seeks to justify this

I have already (in speaking of Church authority) said
something about the Modernist theory of development.
The Church is made to take the place of Christ. It is the

i The Programme of Modernism, pp. 82, 83, 90.

170 FAITH [CH.

life of the Church which constitutes Christianity. This
great institution has had to live in the world, and to adapt
itself, like every other organism, to its environment. ' If,'
says M. Loisy, * Christianity is made to consist in Faith in
God as our Father, which is the extreme form of the anti-
Catholic and Protestant idea, all the hierarchical, dogmatic,
and ritual development of the Church falls outside true
Christianity, and appears as a progressive deterioration of
the religion.' x But these developments were all necessary,
if the Church was to survive ; and since we may presume
that Jesus wished His society to survive, we may say
that He would have approved whatever was necessary to
be done, in order that the Church, in saving itself, might
save His Gospel. 2 ' To reproach the Catholic Church with
the developments of its constitution is to reproach it for
having lived.' 3 It is very unlike the society which Jesus
gathered round Him ; but what of that ? When you want
to convince yourself of the identity of an individual, you do
not try to squeeze him into his cradle. 4

The right of change and self -adaptation is not confined
to the externals of government and ritual. Dogmas are
only the images of truth, not as it is in itself, but as it
appears to our minds. And if they wear out, as they do
sometimes, or cease to be helpful, they may be altered
without scruple. The value of symbols (and all dogma is
symbolic) depends solely on the sense which we attach to
them ; in themselves they are nothing. And the sense
which we attach to them is above all a practical sense.
' A dogma proclaims, above all, a prescription of practical
order ; it is the formula of a rule of practical conduct.' 5
Religion is not an intellectual adhesion to a system of
speculative propositions. ' Why then should we not bring
theory into harmony with practice ? ' 6

i Loisy, L'tivangile tt I'tiglise, p. 127. * Ibid. . p. 138.

Ibid., p. 154. Ibid., p. 160.

Le Roy, Dogme et Critique, p. 26. 6 Ibid.


Le Roy gives us some examples of this Catholic prag-
matism. When we say, * God is personal,' we mean,
' behave in our relations with God as you do in your rela-
tions with a human person.' When we say, ' Jesus is risen
from the dead,' we mean, ' treat Him as if He were your
contemporary.' Similarly, the doctrine of the Real
Presence means that we should take, in presence of the
consecrated elements, the same attitude as we should in
presence of the actual Jesus.

His main theses may be summed up in his own words.
* The current intellectualist conception renders insoluble
most of the objections which are now raised against the
idea of dogma. A doctrine of the primacy of action, on
the contrary, permits us to solve the problem without
abandoning anything of the rights of thought, or of the
exigencies of dogma.' l M. Le Roy shows in the sequel
that he ' saves ' dogma by separating it entirely from
scientific fact. He regards all theological and dogmatic
propositions as principles of action, not statements of fact,
and then argues that since on every page he proclaims that
action is more important than thought, and the dynamic
aspect of things of higher worth than the static, he has
triumphantly vindicated the claims of dogma against un-
believing rationalism. 'A dogma,' he says, 'is a truth
belonging to the vital order ; it presents its object under
the forms of the action commanded to us by it, and the
obligation to adhere to it concerns properly its practical
significance, its vital value.' 2

What, then, is the value and meaning of the scientific
truth which M. Le Roy is so eager to reduce to its proper
insignificance ? It would really seem as if it had none,
except what we choose to put into it. ' No fact has any
existence and scientific value except in and by a theory,
whence it follows that strictly speaking it is the savant
who makes the scientific facts.' 3

i Le Koy, Dogme et Critique, p. 34. Ibid., p. 91. * Ibid., p. 334.

172 FAITH [CH.

There is a great resemblance between the position of
M. Le Roy and that of our leading English Modernist,
Mr. Tyrrell. * The world of appearance,' he says, 1 ' is
simply subordinate and instrumental to the real world of
our will and affections ' 2 in which we live the life of love and
hate, and pass from one will-attitude to another hi relation
to other wills than our own. . . Jn this region truth
has a practical and teleological sense it is the trueness
of a means to an end, of an instrument to its purpose ;
and like these truths it is to some extent conditioned by
what we know and believe about its object. . . . Hence
the religiously important criticism to be applied to points
of Christian belief, whether historical, philosophic, or
scientific, is not that which interests the historian, philo-
sopher, or scientist, but that which is supplied by the
spirit of Christ. Does the belief make for the love of God
and man ? Does it show us the Father and reveal to us
our sonship ? ' The truth of the creed is a practical or
regulative truth. It is serviceable to life, and therefore
cannot be a mere fiction, for no lie can be serviceable to
life on an universal scale. * Beliefs that have been found
to foster and promote the spiritual life of the soul must
so far be in accordance with the nature and the laws of
that will-world with which it is the aim of religion to bring
us into harmony : their practical value results from, and
is founded in, their representative value.' Our assurance
of their truth rests on ' the universally proved value of the
creed as a practical guide the consensus of the ethical
and religious orbis terrarum.' 3

1 The rule of prayer is the rule of belief.' This means
that what alone concerns us is to realise the ' prayer-
value ' of the various articles in the creed. For instance,

1 Tyrrell, Lex Orandi, chap. viii. (abridged).

* Note the characteristic confusion of the will and the affections.

* An excellent example of the Catholic petitio principii. The Roman
Church constitutes the ethical and religious orbis terrarum. The Roman
Church finds its dogmas practically valuable. Therefore the universal value
of the dogmas to ethics and religion is proved.


the belief in God has been fashioned by the religious needs
of man's nature. 1 The puzzle about free-will means that
our will belongs to the world of realities, whereas our
understanding can represent things only in terms of the
world of appearances. 2 * The understanding is but an
instrument fashioned by the will to serve as a guide to
life and action.' 3 ' The doctrine of the Trinity is the
creation of love and life.' 4 c While Christianity with its
Trinity of divine Persons, its God made man, its pantheon
of divinised men and women, is open to the superficial
charge of being a reversion to the pagan polytheistic type,
it is rather to be regarded as taking up into a higher
synthesis those advantages of polytheism which had to be
sacrificed for the greater advantages of a too abstract and
soul-starving monotheism.' 5 The ' facts of religious
history must, as matters of Faith, be determined by the
criterion of Faith, i.e. by their proved religious values.' 6
' A man will be justified in holding to the facts until he is
convinced that their religious value is in no way imperilled
by the results of historical criticism.' * Mistakings of
faith-values for fact-values are to be ascribed to the
almost ineradicable materialism of the human mind which
makes us view the visible world as the only solid reality.' 7
Enough has now been said to show what form prag-
matism takes in the Roman Church. M. le Roy says very
truly, that the ordinary Roman Catholic ' lives pragmatism'
to a much larger extent than he realises. He chooses
among the doctrines of his Church those which appeal to
him, and passively accepts the rest, without making them
part of his religion. He may even try experiments at one
shrine after another. The Madonna of Lourdes may be
kind, though her namesake at La Salette is difficult ; if

i Lex Orandi, p. 73. * Ibid., p. 87.

76w*.,p. 98. < Jfctt.p. 100.

8 P. 149. This is again a characteristic utterance which shows the vast gulf
between Koman Catholicism and other forms of Christianity.
P. 169. P. 191. '

174 FAITH [CH.

St. Anne is not sufficiently attentive to his supplications,
he may try St. Joseph. Moreover, the whole Roman
Church has, in point of fact, lived and thriven by self-
adaptation very much as the Modernists say. Certainly
it may seem a strange ' note ' of divine assistance, that a
Church should be obliged to change like a chameleon in
self-defence ; but it is a tenable view that since Rome
became less pliant and receptive, she has lost ground
everywhere. And pragmatism may be called in to explain
accommodations which would otherwise be rather difficult
to justify. Nevertheless, I believe this method of apolo-
getics to be fundamentally unsound, when applied, as the
Modernists apply it, to justify their own position in the
Roman Church. It is plain that the c facts of religion *
are no facts for them. M. Loisy's Jesus may have been a
more respectable Messiah than Theudas, but he belongs to
the same category. There has been, after all, a real breach
of continuity, and no mere development, in the Church as
they conceive it ; and it is a breach which divides the
Church from the historical Christ. It is as if one were to
trace one's descent from some great man, and to establish
every link except the first : our ancestor was after all
wrongly supposed to be the son of the great man ; or the
great man was only a myth. It is quite impossible to
justify this position by disparaging existential truth.
If it does not matter whether the Incarnation was a
fact or a legend ; if Faith can create dogmas with the
same freedom which Plato's Socrates claims in inventing
his myths ; if things exist only as instruments for the will,
and all events are plastic under the hand of the religious
imagination ; we are transported into a world where there
is no difference between fact and fiction, and where it is
difficult to suppose that human conduct can matter much.
Such a contempt for actuality is far removed from the
Christian view of the world. It will of course be said that
it is only religious symbols which are thus removed from the


existential order ; and that it is Just because the Modernist
has so great respect for historical accuracy, that he
carries his critical apparatus even into the holy places of
the Christian origins. But with what object is the his-
torical form retained for Faith, when it is rejected as fact ?
For whose benefit does the Modernist priest go on praying
to the Queen of Heaven, whom he believes to be a purely
mythical personage ? Not for his own surely. It would
be a strange attitude of mind to be able to offer petitions
to a being whom, at the time of praying, one conceived
of as non-existent. Then it must be for the sake of the
uninstructed laity. But, putting aside the moral objection
that might be raised, is it not significant that those who
can find comfort and help in such devotions are entirely
convinced of the historical facts which the Modernist finds
himself unable to accept ? Would any simple Catholic
feel that the foundations of his Faith were not assailed by
M. Loisy's Les Evangiles Synoptiques ? It may be asserted
with confidence, that c dogmatic symbols ' are only helpful
to those who can find in them an actual bridge between the
spiritual and material worlds Just that kind of bridge
which the Modernists, as critics, reject as impossible. * The
historian,' says M. Loisy, ' does not remove God from
history ; he never encounters Him there.' Now this
assumption (for it is of course an assumption to say that
God never manifests Himself in history) is absolutely
fatal to Catholicism as a living and working Faith. What-
ever changes the Roman Church may make, to adjust
itself to changing circumstances, it is safe to predict that
it will never accept a God who ' never intervenes in history.'
The whole system of Catholicism its sacraments, its
discipline, its festivals, its priesthood, is bound up with the
belief that God does intervene hi history. Those who
think otherwise seem to be liable to the reproach which
they most of all dislike that of scholastic intellectual-
ism and neglect of concrete experience.

176 FAITH [CH.

The authors of the Programme of Modernism seem to
be right in saying that the philosophy of the movement
grew out of its critical studies. There are many intelli-
gent priests in the Roman Church who have become keenly
alive to the immense difficulties which historical criticism
has raised in the way of traditional beliefs. They can no
longer believe what the Church requires them to believe.
And yet they are conscious of no rebellion against the
spirit of Catholicism. They are ardently loyal and enthusi-
astic Catholics. Their faith is unimpaired, but it no
longer rests on the old base, or carries with it conviction
that whatever the Church teaches is true. In this dire
perplexity (and we must all sympathise with them in an
impasse which by no means confronts the Roman Church
alone) they turn eagerly to a popular and confident school
of philosophy which seems to interpret the situation for
them, and to offer them a way of honourable escape from
it. The separation of truths of Faith from truths of fact ;
the primacy of will and feeling over discursive thought ;
the right to believe what we wish to believe ' at our own
risk ' what is this but the very solution they were craving
for ? And now they find this position maintained by
philosophers of repute, who have no personal reason for
wishing to justify it. We cannot wonder that voluntarism
and pragmatism have made many eager disciples among
the liberal clergy.

And yet they are wrong. This philosophy, which seems
to promise them an honourable truce between the old
Faith which they love and the new knowledge which they
cannot ignore, would in reality, if followed up seriously
and not merely grasped at in controversial straits, lead them
far outside Christianity. It rests on a very deep-rooted
scepticism on a psychology which tries to be a self-suffic-
ing philosophy, independent of objective truth. It is
Kantianism without the moral absolutism which gave Kant
a TTOU O-TW. It is a mere experimental opportunism which


can never rise to a high spiritual level, because it acknow-
ledges no fixed eternal standard to which our actions can be
referred. Even God, if the idea of God is retained, can be
only an ideal projected by the mind, not an objective fact.
The scepticism is of a peculiarly intractable nature, because
it involves the instrument of thought. We are hardly
allowed to form concepts, because all is in a state of flux,
and nothing remains the same while we are thinking about

Such a philosophy would never have attracted Christian
priests except at a time of exceptional difficulty and per-
plexity. The aid which it brings is illusory ; it enables
a priest to blow hot and cold with the same mouth and feel
no qualms, but it offers no solution of the problem ; it
leaves the tension between Faith and fact as great as
before. The Pope was quite right in condemning Modern-
ism ; he could not possibly have done otherwise ; though
we may regret that he fails to realise the severity of the
crisis, and suggests no way out of it except the impossible
one of return to tradition and St. Thomas Aquinas. The
treatment of the Modernists is ungenerous ; the total failure
of the Vatican to understand the loyalty and distress of
these unwilling ' heretics ' is not a good omen for the

The consideration of these current controversies has
provided, I hope, an illustration of what is the main sub-
ject of these two lectures the results of the attempt
to separate Faith entirely from scientific or theoretical
knowledge. The conclusion which I maintain is that Faith
is not independent of the intellectual processes, and that
whatever form dualism takes whether, with Kant, we
separate the theoretical from the practical reason, or,
with Ritschl, judgments of fact from judgments of value,
or, with Loisy, the Christ of Faith from the Christ of
history the result is profoundly unsatisfactory. ,

1/8 FAITH [CH.



WE have now to consider the place of the intellect in
religious belief. The view that the subject-matter of
religion is a system of facts and laws, which can be studied
and known like any other subject of knowledge, is called
rationalism. The word is often used by religious people
as a synonym for scepticism or infidelity. But in fact
rationalism has quite as often been orthodox as heretical.
The scholastic (especially the Thomist) theology, which is
still officially recognised by the Roman Catholic Church
as the philosophy of the Christian religion, is mainly l
rationalistic, within certain prescribed limits. God has
revealed certain truths to mankind ; but the authority of
the revelation, though not its contents, has been guaranteed
by signs offered to the reason. Moreover, the existence of
God is not only known by revelation, but can also be
demonstrated by reason. Nor does official Rome show any
disposition to recede from this position. When Bruneuere,
some years ago, announced * the bankruptcy of the sciences,'
and, in the interests of Catholic orthodoxy, separated Faith
from knowledge, the Archbishop of Paris reprimanded him,
and referred him to St. Thomas Aquinas, who says that
' Faith presupposes natural knowledge, though that which
in and for itself can be proved and known may be an object
of Faith to those who cannot understand the proof.' A

1 The Summa Theoloffi&c contains many sound statements about the pro-
vince of the will in determining belief; but St. Thomas does not, like so many
moderns, set the will against the intellect in order to disparage th- latter.


Papal decree of 1855 declares that ' rational conclusions
can prove with certainty the existence of God, the spiritual
nature of the soul, and the freedom of the will.' x The
Vatican Council of 1870 decreed : ' Si quis dixerit Deum
unum et verum naturali rationis lumine certo cognosci non
posse, anathema sit.' The Modernists are blamed for
abandoning this position. Again, the evidential school
in England, long held in special honour at Cambridge in
the person of Paley, is crudely rationalistic. Paley, who
expresses his surprise that in Apostolic times more stress
was not laid on the arguments from miracle and prophecy,
which seemed to him so convincing, is equally confident
of the irresistible cogency of the argument from design^
which he thus enunciates. ' The marks of design are too
strong to be gotten over. Design must have a designer.
That designer must be a Person. That Person is God.'

Speculative idealism, as a philosophy of religion, gives us
examples of intellectualism one can hardly say of rational-
ism of a very different kind. Speculative idealism substi-
tutes truth of idea for truth of fact ; or rather, it regards
ideas as the real facts. I have already quoted Fichte's
dictum that we are saved by metaphysics and not by/
history. Hegel's absolute idealism, or Panlogism, as it is
sometimes called, the most imposing philosophical edifice
ever reared, belongs to this type. But Kant was also a
rationalist on one side the side on which his modern
admirers do not follow him. Among Christian apologists
Newman is sometimes thoroughly rationalistic in language,
as when he says : ' What I mean by theology is simply
the science of God, or the truths we know about God, put
into a system, just as we have a science of the stars and
call it astronomy, or of the crust of the earth and call it
geology.' 2 This, however, is not Newman's real position.
He belongs, like Pascal, to the type of sceptical orthodoxy.

1 Hoffding, The Philosophy of Religion, p. 387.

* Cf. James, Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 435.

180 FAITH [CH.

Orthodox rationalism is associated, above all, with, the
famous ' proofs ' of God's existence, which were very
roughly handled by Kant, and are at present much out of
favour. I wish to indicate, as well as I can in a very brief
discussion, what value can, in my opinion, still be attached
to them.

The ontological argument in its scholastic form concludes
from the notion of God as the most perfect being, the fact
of His existence ; because existence is certainly involved
in the idea of perfection. Descartes states it in a form
which is scarcely defensible. c God's existence can no more
be separated from His essence, than the idea of a mountain
from hat of a valley.' ' It is true/ he goes on, ' that I
may imagine a winged horse, though no winged horses
exist ; but the cases are not ana'ogous, for I can think of
a non-existent Pegasus, but I cannot conceive of God
except as existing, which shows that existence is inseparable
from Him.' In other words, the ontological assertion
cannot be claimed for all ideas, but only for necessary
ones, such as the ideas of perfection and infinity, that is to
say, of God. Cudworth, the Cambridge Platonist, states
the argument more attractively. ' Our human soul cannot
feign or create any new cogitation or conception that was
not before, but only variously compound that which is ;
nor can it ever make a positive idea of an absolute non-
entity that is, such as hath neither actual nor possible
existence ; much less could our imperfect being create the
entity of so vast a thought as that of an infinitely perfect
being out of nothing ; because there is no repugnancy at
all in the latter, as there is in the former. We affirm
therefore that, was there no God, the idea of an absolutely
perfect being could never have been made or feigned.' l

Kant convicts the ontological argument of two errors.
First, the purely logical possibility of the notion of an
ens realissimum is transformed into a real possibility, and

1 Cudworth, Intellectual System, vol. i. chap. v.


secondly actual existence is deduced from the notion as
one of the attributes implied in it ; which is, he says, much
the same as to deduce from the idea of a hundred dollars
the existence of that sum in my pocket.

This obvious criticism, which had been made long before
Kant, is only fatal to the crudest form of the ontological
proof. Hegel rehabilitated the argument in his own
fashion. ' The content is right,' he said ; ' it is only the
form which is defective.' In his philosophy the idea itself
is the absolute, and ' it would be strange to deny to it
even the poorest category, that of being.' This, however,
is not what religion wants to prove about God. But
Hegel also argues that thought, which is a spiritual act,
must have its ground in a spiritual principle which is also
the ground of nature. The agreement of the ideal laws
of thought with the real laws of being, is a fact of ex-
perience. There must then be a common ground of both.

Lotze gave the argument a new and characteristic
turn, replacing logical proof by immediate certainty of
* living feeling.' It would be * intolerable ' to believe
that perfection exists only in our thought, and has no
power or being in the world of reality. This removes the
argument from its intellectualist basis. God exists,
because Faith pronounces it * intolerable ' that He should
not. It is intolerable, not unthinkable. It is possible to
conceive of such a condition, but only by assuming that
the world is bad and meaningless. And we reject such an
idea by an act of reasonable Faith.

Professor Ladd l restates the argument in a shape some-
what nearer to its earlier form. All beliefs and cognitions,

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