"Harmony of Faith and Reason," BQR for January, 1861 (Critique of Judge Baine's book, An Essay on the Harmonious Relations Between Divine Faith and Natural Reason)

"Harmony of Faith and Reason," Brownson's Quarterly Review for January, 1861

            Judge Bain, we are told, is a distinguished jurist in California, and a convert from some form of Protestantism to our most holy faith.  His works come to us most cordially recommended by the archbishop of San Francisco, and with the approbation of the archbishop of Baltimore.  It is an able work, written in a free, popular style, popular style, unincumbered by legal, philosophical, or theological technicalities and refinements, addressed to the plain common-sense of non-Catholics.  The author devotes, as the archbishop of San Francisco well remarks, “his logical mind to prove, that the Catholic church is, as she was, the Teacher, vested with God’s commission to impart Christian revelation.  This is done in a style rather new, yet forcible; familiar, yet conclusive.”

The design of the author is to exhibit the harmonious relations between Faith and Reason,- or rather, to show that the claim of the church to teach a supernatural revelation with infallible authority is, supposing such a revelation made and committed to her to be taught, in perfect accordance with reason, and in no sense contravenes the rights of reason, or encroaches on its domain.  The whole book is substantially devoted to the development and establishment of this thesis.  We cannot say that the author’s method of developing and sustaining this thesis is always strictly scientific or rigidly logical, but no honest man can read and understand his argument as a whole, without being convinced that it cannot be successfully controverted.  The author is not a learned theologian, nor a profound metaphysician, and he is too diffuse, declamatory, and inexact as a writer to satisfy our fastidious taste and habits of mind, but his work will probably be none the less popular or useful on that account.  It is not wholly out of the reach of non-Catholics, and it gives them Catholic thoughts in their own tongue, after their own manner, and is more likely to get the truth intelligibly before them than if it were more rigidly exact in its exposition, and strictly scientific in its method.  Non-Catholics are exceedingly averse in religious matters from precise statements and exact definitions; and in some measure require an argument to be conducted in a loose, vague, and popular manner, in order to be favorably affected by it.  They set their faces against an argument which crushes them from first to last, which leaves them no respite from their torture, and if we would convince them, we must take care not to be too conclusive, so as to give them room to retain a little respect for their own understandings, and to display, in yielding to us, a little generosity.  We must give them opportunity to say, in yielding, “We yield not to your arguments, which, upon the whole, are weak, but to the truth, which we see very clearly is on your side.”

Judge Baine is, as far as we have discovered, orthodox in his real, honest meaning, but some of his expressions betray a want of familiarity with several important theological questions.  Indeed, he uses, from first to last, a line of argument, not peculiar to him, which, rigidly taken, tends rather to shake than confirm his thesis.  His purpose is to show that the method of the church,- teaching a supernatural revelation by an infallible authority,- is in strict accordance with the dictates of reason and common sense.  He seeks to do this by showing the incompetency of reason, maintaining that its office is to submit to authority without presuming to form any judgment in the case, which is not showing the harmony between the methods of authority and reason, but placing them in direct antagonism.  He furthermore has the appearance of founding the necessity of divine revelation on the fact of the primitive fall, whereas without divine revelation we could not even assert the fact of the fall.  “The capacities of the human mind,” he says, “had become so enfeebled by the original disobedience, and the accumulations of error consequent upon the primal crime, that it could not have sustained, or even have embraced, revealed truth without supernatural aid.”  Could the human mind have done it before the “primal crime”?  The natural powers of the human mind were no more adequate to the discovery, acceptance, and retention of supernatural truth before original disobedience than they have been since.  Man did not, as Luther and Calvin teach, lose by the fall his natural spiritual faculties, and so becoming incapable of understanding truth or willing good.  The justice or righteousness in which man was constituted before his disobedience, was by supernatural grace no less than the justice to which he is now elevated by the sacrament of regeneration.  After the fall, man needed what he did not need before, namely, medicinal grace,- but the grace that reveals supernatural truth, and the grace that elevates man to the plane of that truth, and enables him to believe and confirm to it, were as necessary before as after the fall.  The necessity of a revelation of the supernatural, or the necessity of an infallible authority to teach it after it is made, cannot be based on any loss or enfeeblement of our powers by original disobedience or its consequences.  The necessity of either cannot be known or conceived till the revelation itself is made, because natural reason in its best estate has of itself alone no conception, anticipation, or prolepsis of a supernatural order.  But we let the author speak further on this point for himself:

“At the institution of the Church she taught the supernatural facts of divine revelation, and denounced judgment upon those who refused to believe, without regard to the plea that reason gave them no evidence of the faith propounded for their acceptance and practice.  What the Church did at her institution, she does yet.  She makes no war upon reason, but she sternly rebukes reason when it invades the province of the faith.  The holy Catholic Church knows, and so instructs the world, that natural reason cannot weigh and measure the facts of the divine revelation by her feeble, limited, and ruined capacity.  The mysteries of divine revelation are not to be annulled because puny reason cannot unravel them and weave them into harmony with her philosophy.  These mysteries are the foundation of the church which was to ‘teach all nations’ whatsoever Christ had commanded her, before his ascension; and the Church received the Holy Ghost to bring to her remembrance all the things which had been commanded, and to guide her into all truth, and this Spirit was promised to abide with her forever.  It is obvious that none of these things are on a level with natural reason.  It is equally obvious that reason could not perpetuate them any more than she could invent or originate them, nor could any other power of the human soul.  If any could, the Holy Ghost would not have been given as a perpetual remembrancer and guide into all truth.  If reason could have perpetuated the infallible truth revealed to the Church, the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost  to be her remembrancer and guide in addition to reason, would not have been required or given.  Reason may safely affirm that God would do neither a vain nor an unnecessary thing to perpetuate the divine truth committed to his apostolic Church to teach to all nations to the end of the world.  So that we conclude, upon the most certain principle of reason herself, that she was not only inadequate to originate or invent the divine truths of revelation, but, also, that she had no capacity to perpetuate them in their original purity and integrity, or else the Holy Ghost had not been given for this special purpose.  Let reason now be put to the rack and interrogated under torture, and she will tell you that she is not equal to all or any of this scheme of divine faith and mystery.  What then did our Savior command his apostolic Church to teach?  Those who protest against the teaching of the Church, and who make their canon of reason supreme and contradictory to divine faith, must believe that this Church was restricted to teaching a system strictly in accordance and agreement with, and not a superior order to, the system of natural and mental philosophy to which they adhere, when they protest against the teaching of the Church, because, as they allege, she teaches for a revelation from God facts which are contrary to their reason.

            “Is this not the analysis, the fact of their creed?  We appeal to them, with all the fraternity of our nature, to examine the fact, and the principle of their position in relation to the divine faith the Church has always and now teaches.  Approach with us the examination of the principle, with the utmost candor and most perfect good will.  The truth of God is not a matter for hot blood and disingenuous prevarication.  Its investigation demands the sincerest honesty, the utmost simplicity and the purest regard for those with whom we investigate its teachings.  Then let us repeat the substance of the statement, and let it be examined in the spirit we invoke for its investigation.  We say, then, that those who protest against the teaching by the Church of the faith revealed to her, because it is contrary to their reason, must maintain the principle (however covertly it has insinuated itself among, and however secretly it has concealed itself with, the foundations of their doctrines), that the apostolic Church was restricted to teaching a revelation from God, so as to make the revealed truth accord, agree with, and not go above, or out of the rationale of the systems of natural or mental philosophy to which they adhere, as being the principles of right reason, and to which, in their judgment, human faith must conform, in the divine order as well as in the natural order.” – pp. 23-27.

            What the author means by all this, may be very sound and very just, but he evidently does not mean precisely what he says, otherwise he would never have spoken in the title of his book of the “harmonious,” but rather of the “discordant” relations between faith and reason.    We have the right to assume beforehand that the divine revelation, if made, and reason must be in accord with one another.  Thus the Holy See, in the first of the four articles required to be signed by the traditionalists defines: Etsi fides sit supra rationem, nulla tamen vera deissensio, nullum dissidium inter ipsas inveniri unquam potest, cum ambae ab uno, eodemque immutabili veritas fonte, Deo optimo maximo, oriantur, atque ita sibi mutuam opem ferant. “Although faith is above reason, there can never be any dissention or disagreement between it and reason, since both have their origin in one and the same immutable source of truth, Almighty God, and mutually assist each other.”  It is important to assert the mutual accord of faith and reason as it is to assert that the former is above the latter.  It is necessary that a divine revelation, although above reason, should agree or accord with reason, because God cannot be in contradiction with himself.  He may teach us in revelation what he does not teach us in reason, but nothing contradictory to reason; for it is a maxim in theology that grace supposes nature,- gratia supponit naturam,- therefore, revelation or faith supposes reason.  If you bring as the revelation of God what really is contradictory to reason, we have the right, and it is our duty to reject it as an imposition.  We say, then, the church is necessarily restricted to teach as the revelation of God what perfectly accords with reason, though not to what does not transcend or rise above reason.  What the author means to deny, is the assumption that the church can teach as revelation only what is on a level with reason, and within its comprehension, and that we have no right to reject any thing she teaches on the ground that it contradicts or does not accord with our own developments of reason, or systems of natural or intellectual philosophy, which is certainly true.  His thought is just; only his expression is not felicitous.

Still the extract, and others we might make, show that the author has not wholly escaped the tendency to disparage reason, in order to better prove the necessity of revelation,- the tendency to make reason commit suicide in order to get a good reason for asserting authority.  The author’s rhetoric is better than his logic, and he must permit us to tell him, that the ordinary method of abasing the natural in order to be able to conclude the necessity of the supernatural, is far more specious than solid, and is founded on what we regard as unsound theology.  It makes reason commit suicide.  The method is well hit off in Gordon and Trenchard’s Independent Whig, which, speaking of a certain class of persons, says: “They reason against reason, use reason against the use of reason, and sometimes give a very good reason why reason should not be used.”  What have you in your method of arguing but reason with which to prove the worthlessness of reason?  If reason is worthless, why take her own worthlessness on her own word?  A confirmed liar is no more to be believed when he tells you he lies, than when he tells you he speaks the truth.  The method answers well for rhetoric, but not for logic.  What can be more absurd than to begin by knocking reason in the head, and then galvanizing it into life, in order to prove that to accept the method of authority is the most reasonable thing in the world?  If the method of authority is reasonable,- if it accords with reason, and is such as reason accepts, which we hold to be the fact,- why begin by disparaging reason, representing it as feeble, puny, impotent, so as to render its acceptance of authority worth as little as possible?  The higher the dignity and truthfulness of reason, the more valuable is its acceptance of authority.  But if the method does not accord with reason, if it is only the ruin of reason by the fall that renders necessary the authority, and if the method can be adopted only in the absence or in the destruction of reason, why talk of the harmonious relations between faith and reason?

The author means right, and is laboring to bring out and establish the truth, but he operates on Calvinistic or Jansenistic, rather than on Catholic premises.  The necessity of supernatural revelation, or of grace to embrace and sustain supernatural revelation, does in no sense depend on the fall of man, as we have already seen, nor does it grow out of the natural weakness or impotence of reason in its own order.  If we had been originally intended for a natural destiny, and if we had been left to that destiny, reason would have sufficed, and we could have had no conception of its impotence or feebleness, for it would have been in proportion to our destiny.  Man’s natural reason is proportioned to his natural destiny.  But our Maker having designed us for a supernatural destiny, it is evident that, however exalted or strong he might have created natural reason, between it and a supernatural end there could be no proportion.  It is not to natural beatitude, but to supernatural beatitude that natural reason is disproportioned, and to that it must always be disproportioned, for there is, and can be no proportion between the natural and the supernatural, since they are of different orders.  The supernatural is not merely the super-sensible, of the super-intelligible, nor is it connected with the super-intelligible by the faculty of super-intelligence, as Gioberti seems to teach.  The supernatural is a new creation, or regeneration,  which presupposes the primitive creation or the order of genesis.  In the latter reason, in the former, during our pilgrimage, faith is our principle of life.

The harmonious relation between divine faith and natural reason is the harmonious relation between those two orders.  The new creation does not destroy or supersede the old; regeneration does not deny or supersede generation, but supposes it, and therefore necessarily accords with it.  Faith and reason accord, for though it requires something more than reason to elicit an act of divine or Catholic faith, yet there is, and can be, no act of faith of any sort, without the assent of reason.  Faith ex parte subjecti, is in the intellect as its subject, tamquam in subject, as St. Thomas teaches, and therefore cannot be discordant with reason, or require the suppression, or the abeyance of reason.  Faith demands, and can demand, no blind submission; reason submits to authority, indeed, but only on conviction, only with its eyes open, because, convinced that the proposition to which its assent is demanded is true.  There are two ways in which reason may be convinced- the one mediate, the other immediate.  It is convinced immediately, when it apprehends the intrinsic truth or evidence of the proposition; mediately, when the proposition is presented by an authority which it knows can neither deceive nor be deceived.   Convince a man that God has given the church full authority to teach and define the revelation he has made and committed to her, and you convince him that whatever she teaches or defines to be God’s revelation is his revelation.  If God’s revelation, he is convinced that it is true, for he knows that God is truth itself, and therefore can neither deceive nor be deceived.  He believes the truth of the revelation on the veracity of God; he believes that the revelation is God’s revelation on the authority of the church; and he believes the authority of the church on the evidence that convinces him God has authorized or commissioned her to keep, teach, and define his revelation.

Now, the conviction of reason is as real in this process as in the case of immediate evidence, or in the case of strict logical demonstration.  Reason, in both cases, submits, but in both cases its submission is an intellectual assent, and is precisely of the same nature in assenting  to the mystery of the Trinity of the mystery of the Incarnation, as in assenting to the proposition, two and two make four.  This is precisely what the author wishes to establish.  He wishes to establish, that belief or assent on the authority of the church, divinely commissioned to teach, is in accordance with reason, and is, therefore, not a blind, unintellectual act, but a truly reasonable act.  What need, then, of incumbering the question with declamations about the feebleness or insufficiency of reason?  Reason is sufficient for all that is asked of reason- to do all that is necessary in the case of a reasonable being it should do.  There is more in the act of faith, as a theological virtue, than reason; but there is no less that reason, and reason is no less in that act than in any other act it performs.  Indeed, if it comes to that, there is more of reason in eliciting the act of faith than in any other act of reason.  It is reason’s greatest, highest, noblest act, and we know no other that so fully demonstrates the greatness and dignity of human reason. 

What it is of the greatest importance to establish in these days of little science and no faith, is the dignity and authority of reason.  We know the age is regarded as rationalistic, but its real malady is its doubt of reason.  It dares not trust reason when it asserts the authority of the church of God, and escapes assent by taking refuge in skepticism.  It is this doubt of reason more than rationalism that the leading Catholic writers of our day feel it necessary to combat.  They feel it necessary to restore men to reason as the condition of elevating them to faith in the supernatural revelation of God.  We should, then, it seems to us, be on our guard against speaking disparagingly of reason, or of giving the slightest encouragement to the Calvinistic and Jansenistic, and, we may add, traditionalistic error of founding faith on skepticism.  All we wish to impress on rationalists is, that our faith does not supersede our reason any more than the supernatural supersedes the natural.   We would have them understand that we have not merely in divine revelation a something which they have not, but that we have all they have, and divine revelation to boot.  Have they reason?  So have we, and as much reason, as good, as cultivated, and as free a reason as they.  At the very lowest we have all they have at the very highest, and at worst are as well off as they can be at best.  Here is why we do not allow ourselves to speak disparagingly of reason, or to represent faith as demanding the submission, as distinguished from the conviction, of reason.

The point Judge Baine makes is a good one, only we do not quite like the way in which he puts it.  The great principle he contends for, no man, who professes to believe in revelation at all really questions, or can question.  The so-called orthodox Protestant asserts it as strongly as does the Catholic.   The controversy between him and us does not turn on the principle of authority.  He holds that principle as well as we.  He holds, as well as we, that a supernatural revelation can be taught only by a supernatural authority, and he holds that this supernatural authority is and must be infallible.  He is as strenuous as we in asserting infallible authority.  The question between him and us is, not as to the necessity of authority, but as to what and where is this authority.  He says it is in the written word and the interior guidance of the Holy Spirit, and nowhere else.  We hold all he asserts, but do not concede his denial.  We hold the written word to be infallible, and we hold as firmly to the interior light and guidance of the Holy Ghost as he does; but we hold, that we have also the living apostolic authority in the church, the same infallible apostolic authority which was established in the beginning.  We have all he has at best, and something more; and at the very worst are as well off as he at the very best.  The only question to be debated between him and us is, as to the continuance of the infallible apostolic authority in the church.  Here, again, he has to meet all the difficulties in the way of asserting such authority that we have to meet, for he holds that it was once in the church, and in our church, too, since he concedes that ours was once the true church.  Holding that there was once such authority in our church, it is for him to prove that it has ceased to exist, and no longer continues.

It is a curious fact that the soi-disant orthodox Protestant reasons against us Catholics with apparent unconsciousness that every objection he brings against faith by infallible authority, bears equally against his professed rule of faith,- the infallible authority of the written word.   If the authority of the church is incompatible with the rights of reason, how can the authority of the written word of a book, be less so?  He, as well as we, has to meet all the objections of the rationalists the interior-light men, or Quakers, and skeptics, and he has far less with which to meet them, for while he has all the disadvantages of the principle of authority to overcome, he has none of its advantages to offer.  Of all men in the world he is the most unreasonable; for as to the Bible, he has to meet all the objections, in order to assert its authority, that we have to meet in order to assert the authority of the church, and when he has asserted it, it avails him nothing, since it speaks only as he gives it a tongue.  A very large portion of the Protestant world see this, and tell him he would be far more consistent and logical if he would go back to Mother Church; and, unwilling to occupy his position, they turn liberal Christians, and embrace a Christianity which each one makes for himself, in his own image and likeness.  These are further removed from the supernatural than he is, but they are more true to the natural, though they should never call themselves Christians.

Either Christianity lies in the supernatural order, the order of regeneration, or it does not.  If it does, then it is evident it can be known only through the medium of a supernatural revelation, for natural reason, by the very force of the term, cannot go out of the order of nature.  The confusion in semi-rationalistic minds on this subject is, that while they concede a supernatural revelation has been made, they forget that the matter of truth revealed is also supernatural.  God, they admit, has in a supernatural manner made known to us certain things which we should,- perhaps could,- never have found out by our natural reason, nevertheless, things which lie in the order of nature, and therefore in their own nature and character are in the same order with reason, and in no sense supernatural.  Assuming this, they are perfectly consistent and perfectly just in assuming that the things revealed, when revealed, are on a level with reason, and as much within the jurisdiction of reason as any thing else within the natural order.  This is wherefore they claim for reason the right to judge not merely of the proofs of the revelation or the credentials of the teacher, but also of the intrinsic truth of the matter revealed. Hence, as reason judges the matter revealed, no special authority, after the revelation, to teach, and interpret it is necessary.  Reason itself, common to all men, suffices for that.  Their reasoning on their own premises is just enough, and from reason alone you cannot refute them.  It is no use now of talking to them of the weakness or aberrations of reason, for reason here is no weaker or more liable to error than elsewhere; and if it suffices in other matters, it must suffice in these.  Nor will it be of any use here to speak of the arrogance or presumption of reason in pretending to judge the revelation; for there is, on the supposition, no more arrogance or presumption than in judging the facts of natural science.

The author has hardly done justice to this class of non-Catholics, for in his argumentation with them, he assumes, or takes for granted, what it is necessary to prove.  He assumes, not proves, that a revelation, if made, must contain mysteries above the reach of reason.  Yet he should remember that in the Christian revelation is contained the revelation of the natural law, not, as St. Thomas teaches us, because the elite of the race could not know it without a revelation, but because the simple and uncultivated could not easily, if at all come to a knowledge of it.  Before you can refute them you must prove to them that the revelation is not the simple revelation or reproduction of the natural law, but the revelation, also, of a supernatural order of life and truth unknown and unsuspected by reason, and therefore an order cognizable in our present life, by faith only, not by science.  There is no necessity of proving that, supposing God reveals such an order, a living infallible authority is necessary to teach it, for that follows as a necessary consequence, and very few, if any of the class of persons we speak of would deny it.  The usual argument of Catholics on this point has always struck us as defective when urged against those who deny that there are any mysteries in religion, or that the revelation, though supernaturally made, reveals any thing supernatural.  The argument is good only against those who admit a revelation of the supernatural, for the supernatural is a mystery to natural reason, as lying out of its order, and known only as taught.  To all others it is necessary to begin by proving the fact of the apostolic commission, or the divine commission of the church to teach all men and nations, the revelation God has made.  The divine commission caries with it the pledge of infallibility in all matters covered by it, for God, who is truth itself, cannot authorize, directly or indirectly, the teaching of error.  The fact of the commission may be proved either by taking the body claiming to have received it, for there is only one claimant, and showing that its claim has been steadily made from the present back to the very time of the apostles; or in the usual way in which we prove the authority of the Scriptures.  In proving the authority of the Scriptures, we must necessarily prove the apostolic commission, as the voucher for this authority.  It is then easy from the Scriptures themselves to prove that the commission was not simply a personal commission to the apostles, but to an apostolic body, which was to remain until the consummation of the world.  Either method is logical and conclusive.  The authority to teach vindicates itself anew to reason the moment it begins to teach, for then it discloses mysteries which reason at once concedes demand a teaching authority.

Having shown that the method of authority is reasonable, in accordance with what reason demands in case the supernatural is to be taught and believed, and further shown that the authority is competent and infallible, since commissioned by God himself, reason herself is convinced that whatever authority teaches as divine revelation, is such revelation, and therefore true, since the word of God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. The whole process is in harmony with reason, and the act of faith is a reasonable act.  All this the author proves in reality, but not without some little defect of method, logical distinctness, and scientific development. 

There is one other sense, not distinctly drawn out by the author, in which there must be a “harmonious relation” between revelation and reason, and in which reason has the right to sit in judgment not on what is proved to be revelation, but on what is proposed as revelation.  Grace supposes nature, faith supposes reason; and the Holy See tells us that, although faith is above reason, there is no dissension or discord between them.  Consequently anything proposed as revelation, clearly and unequivocally contradictory to reason, we have the right, without further inquiry, to reject, God cannot teach one thing in reason and its contradictory in faith, and the Holy See has condemned the proposition that what is theologically true can be philosophically false, or what is philosophically false can be theologically true.  This negative authority reason undoubtedly has even in regard to what is proposed as revelation.  We do not understand Judge Baine to deny it; but he denies, and very properly, our right to take our systems of philosophy as the measure of reason, and to reject, as contradicting reason, whatever contradicts them. 

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt up is your philosophy.”

We have no right to say a thing cannot be true because it contradicts our opinions or is not reconcilable with our theories, for it may still turn out that our opinions are erroneous and our systems false.  Some years ago, Catholicity was said to be false because it was unfavorable to the rights of kings; it is now urged that it cannot be true because opposed to the rights of the people.  At one time men argue that she is false because repugnant to nature; at another, because she is not repugnant to our corrupt natures.  Nothing of this sort is admissible.  It is nothing that we merely regard as reasonable that can invalidate the claims of revelation.  An alleged revelation that contradicts an evident principle of reason, that teaches that of contradictories, both may be true, that God is a malignant being, is changeable, untruthful, the author of sin, decreeing that men shall sin necessarily that he may damn them justly, that hatred and revenge are virtues, and the unbridled indulgence of the lusts of the human heart is sanctity, pleasing to God and entitled to a reward, we pronounce beforehand to be no revelation from God, and we make no inquiry as to the authority on which it is taught,  for we know, a priori, that it cannot be a divine authority.  But, unless it contradict some well-known and undeniable principle of reason, natural truth, justice, or morality, we cannot decide against it without examination.  But reason can conclude nothing against a supernatural proposition merely because it is unable to see its truth.

But in the case of the teaching of the church there is never occasion to apply this negative test.  We believe the church only because we have all the proof that reason demands that she is divinely commissioned and assisted to teach the revelation God has made to man.  We know she cannot err in teaching his revelation, because we know he has authorized her to teach, and cannot authorize the teaching of error, as he would do if she could err as to his word.  We have for the infallibility of the church in regard to faith and morals the guaranty so to speak, of Almighty God, and that is security good enough for any reasonable man.  We know, then that whatever she teaches is truth, and truth without mixture of error; consequently, it never comes into our heads for our own sakes, for the satisfaction of our own minds, to institute any inquiry as to the fact whether what she teaches agrees with natural reason or not, for we know, a priori, that it cannot disagree with it. Whenever we institute the inquiry, it is to remove the difficulties of those who in the name of reason, object to her teaching, or else to increase our admiration of the divine wisdom by obtaining a more lively sense of the harmony of the Creator’s works.

For our own part, we dwelt at length on the necessity and proofs of authority in the earlier volumes of our Review, and said all that we feel it necessary to say on that head.  Latterly, we have been more intent on showing the compatibility of authority with liberty, and the concord between nature and grace.  We alienate in our age many minds from the church, as well as fail to recall those who have gone astray, if we present them the church only under the aspect of authority, and simply demand, in her name, unquestioning obedience.  The church reasons, persuades, and resorts to her authority to command only when all other means fail; not that she distrusts her authority, or concedes to reason the right to dispute it, but because she is forbidden to lord it over God’s heritage, and because she seeks for God a willing obedience.  We do her great injustice when we represent her only as stern and inflexible authority, saying in imperative tones, “Believe or be damned,” although it is certainly true that he that believeth not will be damned.  We have felt that, having vindicated the authority of the church, proved her ability to teach and to govern all men and nations in all things spiritual, we could not better serve her interests than by showing that her authority by no means abridges our natural liberty or supersedes the necessity of the exercise of our natural reason.  Outside of the church, men are driven by the false supernaturalism of Calvinists and Evangelicals to rationalism and naturalism, while non-Catholics, who do not profess to be orthodox Protestants, very generally suppose that false supernaturalism is precisely what the church herself teaches.  We have believed we could render no better service to religion than to do our best to correct this injurious impression.   We have labored for several years, not so much to establish the divinity as the humanity of the church: in other words, to prove, not so much that our Lord is God as that he is God made man, the Word made flesh, that he is perfect man as well as perfect God.  In doing this, we have had not only false supernaturalism, which demolishes nature to make way for grace, outside of the church, but not a few Jansenistic tendencies among our own friends, to combat, which has led some to suppose we were turning our arms against Catholics instead of the common enemy.  We leave it to time to write our vindication.  We believe that what is now wanted by the non-Catholic world is not arguments in proof of our religion, but explanations which disabuse non-Catholics of their prejudices against the church and her doctrines- explanations that shall enable them to see clearly how much of what offends them belongs to Catholic tradition, how much to the traditions of Catholics, which are not of faith, and how much to the invention of the enemies of the church. To this end Judge Baine’s work has been intended by the author to contribute, and no doubt will contribute much.  His book is not adapted to all classes of minds; but there is a large class to which it is adapted, and it will sweep away a mass of prejudice from the minds of most non-Catholics who will read it.