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The intellect of women, as a class, has been concentrated and expended upon the incidents of private life and the domestic relations, and within these limits, as a natural consequence, their sense of moral obligation has been developed. Their participation in the public life of the community has been restricted, and hence their knowledge of the needs and duties arising from social and political relations is still very incomplete, while it is impossible alike with men and women for the conscience to speak concerning matters of which the mind has no consciousness at all.

If we are disposed to take a cheerful view of the moral future of the race and all evolutionists are optimists at heart-we must look forward, not to a continued difference between the functions and ideals of the sexes, but to the evolution of an ideal of human character and duty combining the best elements in the two detached and incomplete ideals. Great men, we have seen, educate each other, and we shall never have both men and women at their best and greatest until we have the cream of the cream of both sexes educating each other towards the highest standard of all imaginable human excellence.

EDITH SIMCOX.

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POSITIVISM IN CHRISTIANITY.

MR. HERBERT SPENCER has said very truly that opinions and movements of thought live by virtue of the elements of goodness and truth which they possess. They may not be entirely true, but what gives them vitality is the part of them that is true, and not the part that is false. This holds good, in its measure, in the history of intellectual, political, and religious movements alike. If we read the medieval controversies between the Realists, the Nominalists, and the Conceptualists, we find most of what is said by the ablest partisans on all sides true, and each theory had a living hold in virtue of this truth. Each had truth, but not the whole truth. So, too, the life of the French Revolution was a righteous indignation against tyranny, and the life of the reaction against it was a righteous horror for its lawlessness and impiety. The Reformation would never have had the living force it had but that it embodied with all its defects a protest against real corruption. The Church recognised this in the wonderful counter-reformation within its own limits, which was effected by St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Philip Neri, and the crowd of saints who came to the rescue at that critical epoch, and who in their measure condemned the very excesses which Luther and his associates had protested against. The same thing is to be observed in some of the recent discussions between Christians and Agnostics. When Mr. Huxley triumphantly traces symptoms of Anthropomorphism in the Hebrew conception of God, much of what he says is true. The delicate critical points at issue, infinitely important though they be, fall outside the limits taken up by the impassioned rhetoric which gives his view its life and force. The idea of an evolution in the conceptions of God and duty, beginning in an anthropomorphic deity as the nearest attainable idea for the popular mind in its primitive state, and gradually purifying itself, beginning by claiming paramount obedience to this deity, and only gradually making it clear that this obedience was based on the eternal laws of right-this idea, which is quite in harmony with the whole Christian conception of an ever-increasing perfection and development in religious knowledge, really tallies with much which Mr. Huxley eloquently describes under the evident impression that it

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in essence, recognised in Catholic ethics. The weak part is his failure to place at the back of the Positive method any stimulus to practical morality which can replace the Christian sanctions, and the idea of moral responsibility which he banishes from the field of ethical training.

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The main thought running through Mr. Morison's book is the contrast between the systematic moral training, which Positivism advocates, based on ascertained laws of human character, certain in its results, empirical, proceeding on scientific principles, and concerned with the use of the individual to the social organism, with the Christian doctrines of free will, of grace given irrespective of all antecedent claims to it, the conceptions of deathbed repentance, of sudden conversion after years of vice, of sudden lapse after years of virtue. These ideas are, he considers, the essence of the Christian scheme, and are immoral. They admit the possibility of ultimate salvation after an immoral life, therefore Christianity is concerned with salvation and not morality. I should say, on the other hand, that the idea of an omnipotent free will untrammelled by habit is opposed to the teaching in every page of Catholic moral theology; that the idea of the action of grace being purely capricious contradicts the well-known maxim of the scholastics, Facienti quod in se est Deus suam non denegat gratiam;' that deathbed repentances, sudden conversions, and sudden lapses, far from being put forth prominently by Catholic moralists as giving the basis of everyday practical morality, are always regarded as quite exceptional phenomena; and that if salvation is the ultimate goal of the Christian life, the normal path to salvation is the path of morality and asceticism. If Mr. Morison went through the ordinary course of instruction for hearing confessions, he would find almost all he has to say about the tenacity of habit anticipated there, and he would find detailed moral instruction based chiefly on this very consideration. There is a meaning in allowing the possibility of sudden changes, and laying stress on them in certain emergencies, and I shall speak of this later; but it no more affects the practical rules of conduct enjoined in the confessional-and this is of course the real measure of the Church's moral teaching-than the possibility that there may be an unseen ledge eight feet below the edge of a cliff will make a man ready to throw himself over. It might as well be alleged that because Catholics believe that food has, on occasion, been given miraculously, therefore they must neglect to order their dinner. The marvels he refers to are miracles of grace, and are no more counted on in the general ordering of the spiritual life than miracles of nature in our everyday arrangements for eating, travelling, or sleeping.

But before going further into detail, one word must be said to clear the issue raised by Mr. Morison from the confusion which VOL. XXII.-No. 127.

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arises from his inadvertently identifying two distinct doctrines. He quotes Power's Catechism as saying, We cannot do a good action nor produce any good fruit conducive to salvation without the grace of God,' and at once identifies it with the doctrine that through special grace in an instant a criminal may become a saint;' and he remarks that this doctrine must produce an indifference, almost a recklessness, as to the cultivation of human nature so far as the heart and feelings are concerned,' because it leaves everything to 'an unknown factor whose presence or absence cannot be foreseen.' But in reality the moral of the two doctrines is not identical but opposite. We need ordinary graces for ordinary good actions, but then this is balanced by the further Catholic dogma, 'Deus vult omnes homines salvos fieri,' which presupposes that God is always giving ordinary graces. The human will must co-operate with these, and moral theologians tell us that constant co-operation with them forms good habits, and that good habits are the ordinary road to salvation. So far as the scope of Mr. Morison's criticism goes, it can make no difference to the practical effect on morality whether we believe that our efforts towards the cultivation of good habits are co-operation with a supernatural power, or co-operation with natural power (as he supposes). A tune is played just as reliably on a barrel organ by a man who is constantly turning the handle, as by the clockwork in a musical box.2 And so if we believe in aid ever given freely, we are so far much in the same position as if we believe in a natural power necessarily existing. But Mr. Morison's statement of the grace doctrine that by God's grace 'in an instant a criminal may become a saint' concerns extraordinary and special graces, which may be given but which none have a right to expect. When this evident, the force of his criticism is destroyed. He says that Christians concern themselves with salvation and not with morality; and think that salvation may come in spite of immorality by the action of an extraordinary and unpredictable grace at the last. The reply is that the ordinary road to salvation is through morality and by means of graces neither extraordinary nor (so far as the certainty that they will be sufficient) unpredictable. And if his criticism had any force so far as the occasional action of extraordinary graces goes, it is curiously enough answered by anticipation in his own book. He admits (p. 286) that a mood of profound emotion' may

2 It must not be understood that I am claiming a mechanical regularity for any kind of grace. I only refer to the certainty that grace sufficient for each emergency (gratia sufficiens) will be given to those who ask for it. But the fact that we do not pretend to know beforehand the degree or kind of grace makes us none the less vigilant. The analogy of riding a horse has been used. It is undoubtedly a science, although we can only predict within limits what a restive horse will do next. And the Positivists themselves do not profess to know exactly the natural powers influencing a man's dispositions at a given moment, as appears from the passage quoted a little later in the text about 'random cyclones.'

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