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Mr. Macaulay exaggerates the Resources of Rome. 41
four, victorious. He reminds us that, after the destruction of the Albigenses, the Church, lately in danger of utter subversion, appeared stronger than ever in the love, the reverence, and the terror of mankind: again, that, in the next generation after the Council of Constance, scarcely a trace of the revolt of Wycliffe and Huss could be found, except among the rude population of the mountains of Bohemia. The third and most formidable struggle for spiritual freedom had dispossessed her, in less than fifty years, of half Europe, and thrown her back upon the Mediterranean; but, when fifty years more had elapsed, she had secured or reconquered France, Belgium, Bavaria, Bohemia, Austria, Poland, and Hungary; and Protestantism could scarcely maintain itself on the Baltic. Her fourth peril was from the infidel philosophy and revolutionary movements of the eighteenth century. Every where throughout continental Europe her influence over the upper classes was apparently lost; and the reverence of the people seemed departing from her. Yet, when a new order of things rose out of the confusion, when the waters of the great inundation had abated, the unchangeable Church re-appeared, unshaken in its deep foundations; and, during the nineteenth century, it has been gradually rising from its depressed state, and reconquering its old dominion.
We must accuse this accomplished writer of not having reflected upon the consequences of the idea of the indestructibility of the Papacy, which, without positively affirming, he seems inclined to admit, from a superficial view of the course of history hitherto. Mr. Macaulay tells us, that the north of Europe and America owe their superiority in arms, arts, sciences, letters, commerce, and agriculture, to their Protestantism; and that the only Roman Catholic countries which have made any considerable progress for the last three centuries,-nay, the only ones which have not decayed,—are those in which Protestantism maintained a long struggle, and left permanent traces. It is his "firm belief," that the moral effect of the Protestant Reformation is the great source of civilization and prosperity. Then how can he, for a moment, entertain a doubt of its final supremacy? How confess the moral inferiority of Popery, and yet suppose that it may exist in undiminished vigour, when some traveller from New Zealand shall survey the ruins of the metropolis of Protestantism? Is the Almighty Ruler of the kingdoms of the earth to be supposed indifferent to their civilization and prosperity? But, more than this, Mr. Macaulay loudly expresses his conviction that Scripture, as well as reason, are on the side of Protestantism: are reason and Scripture, then, not destined to prevail? Is the future of the truth not to be taken into account in our anticipations? It is the height of inconsistency to admit the existence of a God who takes interest in His creatures, and then forget
that there is a divine purpose in human history; to admitas we are sure Mr. Macaulay does sincerely-the divinity of revelation, and yet suppose the possibility of revelation failing in accomplishing its end. If no genuine philosophy can suppress the essential element of the subject with which it deals, surely that is a mistaken philosophy of history in which Providence is left out.
With a sort of paternal fondness for the paradox which he has taken under his protection, Mr. Macaulay exaggerates the present power and resources of the Church of Rome. The members of her communion barely equal-they do not exceed by thirty millions-those of the other Christian sects united. If the number of her children is, perhaps, greater than in any former age, that of other Christians, whether Protestant or Greek, increases in a far more rapid proportion. Her acquisitions in the New World are so far from compensating her for what she has lost in the Old, that it is in America she will first be found in a position of even numerical inferiority. But, leaving statistics, let us return to history. We think the review of the four great rebellions alluded to is any thing but proper to confirm the sceptical conclusion of the great essayist. It would have been a misfortune for the world, if the semi-Paganism of the Albigenses had supplanted even the low materialist Christianity of Rome. Again, it was as impossible as it was undesirable, that the cruel atheistic infidelity of the eighteenth century, or its chilling Deism, should attain any permanent ascendency. Neither the first rebellion, then, nor the fourth, ought to have succeeded. The second and the third have all our sympathies, as far as they were religious, and in this point of view they are properly but one; for the labours of Wycliffe and Huss were not lost,-they certainly helped to prepare the Reformation. Unfortunately the religious movement of the fifteenth century did not maintain its purity; it connected itself with, and finally allowed itself to be absorbed into, the national feeling of the Bohemians, and their half-savage hostility to the Germans. It is but too easy, then, to account for the failure of the Hussites; and there only remains one great question: "Why was not the success of the Reformation more complete?” But this Mr. Macaulay has himself most satisfactorily answered. As long as the Reformation was the work of faith, the conflict of living piety with a degenerate form of Christianity,-it spread over the face of Christendom with a rapidity to which nothing in man's moral history can be compared, no, not even the first diffusion of Christianity; but, when a second generation of heads of the Reformation had become lukewarm and worldly, when the Protestant Princes, getting into entire possession of the movement, used it for their own selfish purposes, then the Popish reaction could set in and prevail. The combatants,
Experience and Hope.
to use Macaulay's picturesque expression, had changed rapiers: the intensity of religious zeal was on the side of the Catholics. Their Church was universal in a very real, though low and materialistic, sense: it had no frontiers; the operations of its strongly organized and united hierarchy took in the whole world; the energies, vigilance, and sympathies of the entire body were called forth wherever its interests were at stake, no matter in how remote a corner. Protestantism, on the contrary, had for aggressive purposes no organization at all; parcelled into mere national Churches, isolated from each other, and under the absolute control of their respective civil governments; their ministry a local militia, useful, indeed, in case of invasion, but incapable of carrying the war into the enemy's quarters. A century after the Reformation, while Rome exhibited to the world the spectacle of a vast society essentially held together by a religious principle, or at least religious claims, in our several Protestant societies, alas! the national and political element was predominant; and yet they all, without exception, retained much of the theory and practice of compulsory religion. Under those circumstances, is it strange that the progress of the Reformation should have been suspended? We will even dare to ask, is it to be regretted that the whole of Christendom was not divided into the set of hard, dry, formalistic, worldly, intolerant Cæsareo-Papacies, which the Protestant Churches would certainly have become, if the prolonged existence of the original Papacy had not maintained something of the first evangelical spirit within them, by forcing them to keep up an attitude of antagonism?
The experience of the past shows the invincible strength of Rome against a certain amount of gross anti-Christian error, against infidelity, and against secularized religion; but it should also teach us the weakness of Rome against earnest, unshackled evangelical religion. And, when we look abroad upon the real Catholicism that is growing up among vitally religious members of our Protestant Churches, renewing the controversy throughout Europe and the British Isles in the genuine spirit of the Reformation, winning souls individually, and resting its conquests on the sure basis of personal conviction, we trust we are authorized to hope that word has gone forth from on high for a final and successful struggle with this great and ancient corruption of Christianity.
ART. II.-1. The Life of Sir Astley Cooper, Bart., interspersed with Sketches from his Note-Books, &c. By BRANSBY BLAKE COOPER, ESQ., F.R.S. In Two Volumes. London: John W.
2. Memoirs of John Abernethy, F.R.S., with a View of his Lectures, Writings, and Character. By GEORGE MACILWAIN, F.R.C.S., &c. Second Edition. In Two Volumes. London: Hurst and Blackett. 1854.
THE career of the medical man is emphatically one of private life. He has to do with the sufferings and griefs of the individual; and, although he may kindle the warmest emotions of admiration and of attachment in the minds of a great number of isolated persons, his calling is unfitted to excite the plaudits of public enthusiasm, even when the qualifications exhibited are of the highest order. The ministrations of the Church are addressed to the public; and, therefore, when marked by pre-eminent merit, they are simultaneously recognised as such by the public. The Law attracts a full share of popular attention, and more than a full share of public rewards; not because, in its nature, of higher worth or tending to nobler ends, but because it declares the rights and guards the interests of the community, as well as those of individuals, and its functions are carried on in the presence of associated numbers. The Physician or Surgeon, on the contrary, has no dealings with the community as such, and his claims upon its component parts cannot be recognised or felt in common.
It is thus unusual for a member of the medical profession to occupy a prominent place in the public eye. Nor, even when such publicity does occur, is it always to be taken as a proof of extraordinary merit, either professional or otherwise, since, like popularity in other spheres, it may arise from meretricious causes, and possess none of the elements of worth or permanency. In modern times many specimens of the professional character could be produced, in whom nothing seems wanting in natural gifts, scientific attainments, or practical aptitude, but only a larger and more conspicuous field for their exercise, to justify a bold comparison with the most famous names in the annals of medicine.
The greatness that impresses the popular mind is seldom, if ever, recognised in a member of the healing profession. If Esculapius was really received among the number of the gods, living or dead, the Greeks must have cherished sentiments that form no part of modern natures. Many men have existed, and many still live, whose entrance into a company elicits the spontaneous expression of universal regard and interest,-the token of general appreciation of services, real or imagined, which they have rendered to their species. The leading statesman, the successful soldier, and the eloquent lawyer, commonly receive these and
Qualifications for Medical Practice.
yet more substantial marks of public appreciation; but when was the world's enthusiasm ever excited to a like extent by a career, however able, long-continued, or arduous, devoted to the development and application of principles whose results can be exhibited only in the welfare of the individual? There may be plausible reasons assigned, and even principles of our nature adduced, which may partially account for this neglect; but it may be doubted whether the fact be not a reflection upon the estimate formed by mankind of their benefactors, and upon the justness of their scale of recompense.
And yet the qualities required in those who deservedly obtain the laurel in medicine, are among the highest that can be found in any sphere of exertion. Being both a science and an art, it equally requires the possession of reflective and practical talents. The treatment of each case of disease is a piece of reasoning; a large amount of general principles, each of these the result of induction from a vast number of instances, is brought to bear upon the facts of a particular case, which may not, in all its circumstances, resemble any other case whatever; and by the daily and hourly repetition of the process, the reasoning faculty must necessarily acquire both acuteness and vigour. Foresight in the detection of danger, and ingenuity in the adaptation of means to ward it off, are essentially requisite. Promptness of action, sagacity, discrimination, and the power to influence the wavering minds of others in moments of peril,-these and other qualifications might be instanced, and would form materials for a comparison with the requirements of the Pleader at the bar or the General in the field. If to these qualities be added the subordination of personal feelings and objects to the good of others, and the kindly sympathy with suffering, which have generally characterized the medical profession, there will appear ample claims upon the respect of the public towards it as a whole, and a just call for a sympathizing interest in those whom its members acknowledge as their chiefs.
Notwithstanding, however, the general rule which thus exists, -tending directly to exclude the hope of fame as a powerful motive of the medical practitioner,-the last half-century presents, in this country, two remarkable exceptions, in the persons of John Abernethy and Sir Astley Cooper. The names of these men have spread far beyond the limits of the profession to which they belonged, and have originated numerous popular legends, which have alternately interested and amused the public. The recent appearance of "Memoirs of Abernethy" presents a favourable opportunity for passing in review the principal events in the career of both; nor is there wanting, as a further inducement, a certain curiosity, that seeks its gratification in looking behind the curtain which ordinarily veils the thoughts and acts of those engaged in a somewhat fearful and mysterious calling.