The Present Crisis of the Holy See by Cardinal Manning
Four Lectures


OF THE congregation OF ST. PHILIP NERI

     About three years ago you kindly joined my name with your own in the dedication of your last volume of Sermons. Let me give a proof how grateful it was to me to be in any way united with you by asking you to let me join your name with mine in this unworthy return. But, as you know, xahkcea Xpvoelov is the old bargain.
     You were so kind as to own me as a friend of nearly thirty years; and that tells me that we are both touching upon the time of life when men may look back and measure the path they have trod. It is no small thing to have been in an active life of much eventfulness and labour for more than a quarter of a century, and for a full generation of man. With very few exceptions, all the men who held trust and power when our friendship began have passed away, and a new generation has been born and has grown up to manhood since we entered into life.
     Men are always tempted to think the times in which they live eventful and pregnant beyond other ages. But, allowing for this common infirmity, I think we shall not be far wrong in considering as exceptionally great the thirty years which, beginning with Catholic Emancipation, embrace the restoration of the Catholic Episcopate to England, and terminate with the antichristian movement of Europe against the Temporal Sovereignty of the Holy See. I may add, that to you and to me this period has another high and singular interest in the intellectual movement which sprung up chiefly at Oxford, and has made itself felt throughout our country and our times. You have been a master-builder in this work, and I a witness of its growth. You remained long in Oxford, still with all its disfigurements so dear to both of us; but I was removed to a distance, and had to work alone. Nevertheless, to you I owe a debt of gratitude for intellectual help and light, greater than to any one man of our time; and it gives me a sincere gratification now publicly to ac knowledge, though I can in no way repay, it. Among the many things which give a vivid and grave interest to this moment is the pronounced and explicit development on either side of the two great intellectual movements, the course of which we have watched so long. There was a time when those who now stand opposed as Catholics and Rationalists were apparently in close and perfect identity of conviction. But under the form of a common opinion there lay concealed, even then, the essential antagonism of two principles, the divergence of which is as wide as Divine faith or human opinion can inter pose between the minds of men.
     While every year has confirmed with luminous evidence the reasons which, to you and to me, elevated the convictions of intellect into the consciousness of faith, and has revealed to us the Divine unity and endowments of the only Church of God, some of those who were at our side, or sitting at your feet, have been carried back, as by a ground-swell, into Anglicanism, Protestantism, Latitudinarianism, and rationalistic Deism. While the Divine character and sovereignty of the One Church Catholic and Roman, with the prerogatives of the Vicar of the Incarnate Word, have manifested themselves to us in an amplitude and majesty which commands the loving obedience of intellect, and heart, and will, and all the powers of our life, others we once loved well have come to find their chief claim to statesmanship in a policy which, to me, is simply the prelude of Antichrist. The Italian policy of England is without any other name. And I am amazed that the great French people, so sensitive of English preeminence, so jealous of English influence, and so justly contemptuous of the absurdities of English Protestantism, should have allowed itself to be goaded or gibed into accomplishing a policy hateful to Catholic France, and surpassing all the hopes of Protestant  England. To strip the Holy See of its temporal sovereignty has been since Henry VIII. the passion of Protestant England; but it never dreamed of accomplishing its object of predilection by the hand of Catholic France. This is a surpassing achievement.
     I had hardly written this sentence when I read the debate in the House of Commons on the Foreign Policy of Government. I do not think either you or I are likely to be suspected as apologists for the Neapolitan prisons, if they are as bad as ours were a few years ago; or for la torture de Naples, if there be in it a particle of truth, which I more than doubt. You and I have no fear of being thought to be lovers of despotism, or absolutism, or even of repressive government. But I think we shall both judge it to be a melancholy spectacle when we see the House of Commons led away by declamations on these topics from the laws which have created Christian Europe, and all that is precious in the English constitution, to approve a policy subversive of European society. The law of nations, public rights, established treaties, and legitimate possession, are no doubt to the modern school of statesmen null and with out meaning. They are nevertheless the realities which bind society together; and they constitute the moral tests by which the justice of a cause is to be tried. The policy which violates them is immoral ; its end is public lawlessness, and its success will be its own punishment. Now I have no deeper conviction than that this anticatholic movement, led or stimulated by England, will have its perfect success, and will reign for a time supreme; and next that, perhaps before we are in our graves, all who have partaken in it—princes, statesmen, and people—will be scourged by a universal conflict with revolution, and a European war, to which 1793 and the wars of the first empire are a faint prelude. What shames and alarms me most is to see that men, who once believed in a higher order of Christian politics, now propagate against the Holy See the doctrine of nationality, and the lawfulness of revolution, which, if applied to England, would only fail to dismember the empire because it would be put down in blood. It seems as if men had lost their light. How otherwise can we explain the blindness which cannot see that the conflict of France and Austria has weakened the Catholic society of Europe, and has given to the Protestant politics of England and Prussia a most dangerous predominance? It will not be long before a European war will wear out and waste the powers of the Christian society, including Protestant and Catholic alike, and will give a fatal predominance to the antichristian society, or revolution, which is every where preparing for the last struggle, and for its supremacy. The Catholic society of Europe weakened, the Christian society will soon in turn give way. Then comes the scourge. The conviction Ifeel that a great retribution is impending over the anticatholic movement of England, France, and Italy, is rendered all the more certain by the fact  that the critical point in the whole conflict, the key of the whole, and the last success to be gained, is the dethronement of the Vicar of our Redeemer. The temporal power of the Pope, we are told, has been the great hindrance to the peace of Italy and Europe. It is this which distributes and marshals the two arrays. Qui mon mecum, contra me est. They will have their day, and the Vicar of Jesus Christ will await his time. Si moram fecerit, expecta illum ; quia veniens veniet, et non tardabit.
     Meanwhile England is preparing for its own dis solution. It has headed the unbelief of Europe, and it will be devoured by its own followers. The Re formation has done its work upon it. Protestantism, like the shirt of Nessus, cleaves to the flesh of Eng land, and its day will come at last. We are told that man has some eighty-three parasites which live upon his substance. The Anglican Church in like manner gives pabulum to every heresy, and harbours within its system what the living Church of God expels and casts out. At this moment in the Established Church there exists in a formal state Sabellianism, Pelagianism, Nestorianism, Calvinism, Lutheranism, Zuinglianism, Naturalism, and Rationalism. I pass over a multitude of other less
formal heresies, and name only these because they have a definite and active existence in the Establishment, and are reproducing themselves. It is the intrinsic enmity of this congeries of heresies which directs the political power of England against the Catholic Church, and, above all, against the Holy See; and gives to England the melancholy and bad preeminence of the most anticatholic, and therefore the most antichristian, power of the world.
     In the following pages I have endeavoured, but for so great a subject most insufficiently, to show that what is passing in our times is the prelude of the antichristian period of the final dethronement of Christendom, and of the restoration of society with out God in the world. But, sooner or later, so it must be. “The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man shall be betrayed; it were better for him if that man had not been born” (St. Matt. xxvi. 24).
     May God keep us from sharing even by silence in the persecution of His Church

     Believe me, my dear Dr. Newman, always affectionately yours,
Easter 1861.
The Crisis of the Holy See


     I AM well aware that the truths and principles of Revelation have been, by the common consent of public men, formally excluded from the sphere of politics, and that to apply them as tests to the events of the world is regarded, in these days, as a weakness of mind. They who reject Revelation al together are consistent in such a judgment; but with what consistency they who profess to believe in a revelation of the Divine government of the world, nevertheless consent to exclude it from the field of contemporaneous history, I cannot tell. I am, therefore, going, prudens et videns, to run counter to the popular spirit of these times, and it may be to expose myself to the contempt or compassion of those who believe the world to be governed by the action of the human will alone. To this I resign myself very willingly, and with no perturbation. My intention is, to examine the present relation of the Church to the civil powers of the world, by the light of a prophecy recorded by St. Paul, and to draw out certain principles of a practical kind for the direction of those who believe that the Divine will is also present in the events now taking place before our eyes.
     I am not about to enter upon expositions of the Apocalypse, or to calculate the year of the end of the world. This I leave to those who may be called to it. The points I propose to take are few and practical; and the result I desire to attain is a clearer discernment of what principles are Christian, and what are Antichristian, and a surer appreciation of the character of the events by which the Church and the Holy See are at present tried.
     St. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, says: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things ' And now you know what with holdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh : only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way, and then that wicked one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of  his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish: because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.”*
     We have here a prophecy of four great facts: first, of a revolt, which shall precede the second coming of our Lord; secondly, of the manifestation of one who is called “the wicked one;” thirdly, of a hindrance, which restrains his manifestation; and lastly, of the period of power and persecution, of which he will be the author.
     In treating of this subject, I shall not venture upon any conjectures of my own, but shall deliver simply what I find either in the Fathers of the Church, or in such theologians as the Church has recognised, namely, Bellarmine, Lessius, Malvenda, Wiegas, Suarez, Ribera, and others.
     First, then, what is the revolt? In the original it is called āroa Taala, ‘an apostasy;’ and in the Vulgate, discessio, or ‘a departure.” Now a revolt implies a seditious separation from some authority, and a consequent opposition to it.
     If we can find the authority, we shall find perhaps also the revolt.
     Now, there are in the world but two ultimate authorities, the civil and the spiritual, and this revolt must be either a sedition or a schism. Moreover, it must be something upon a wide field, and in proportion to the terms and events of the prediction.
     St. Jerome, with some others, interprets this revolt to be the rebellion of the nations or provinces against the Roman Empire. He says, “Nisi venerit discessio. . . . ut omnes gentes quae Romano Imperio subjacent, recedant ab eis;”* an interpretation we need not examine, forasmuch as the events of Christian history refute it. They have revolted, and no manifestation has appeared. It seems to need little proof that this revolt or apostasy is a separation, not from the civil, but from the spiritual order and authority; for the sacred writers, again and again, speak of such a spiritual separation ; and in one place St. Paul seems expressly to declare the meaning of this word. He forewarns St. Timothy that in the later days, Tuvés à moatia ovrat ā'irotfis Tiareos, “some shall depart or apostatise from the faith;” and it seems evident that the same spiritual falling away is intended by the apostasy in this place.

* 2 Thess. ii. 3 to 11.
* S. Hier. Ep. ad Algasiam.
     The authority, then, from which the revolt is to take place is that of the kingdom of God on earth, prophesied by Daniel as the kingdom which the God of heaven should set up, after the four kingdoms should be destroyed by the stone cut out without hands, which became a great mountain and filled the whole earth; or, in other words, the one and universal Church, founded by our Divine Lord,and spread by His Apostles throughout the world. In this one only supernatural kingdom was deposited the true and pure theism, or knowledge of God, and the true and only faith of God incarnate, with] the doctrines and laws of grace. This, then, is the authority from which the revolt is to be made, bethat revolt what it may.
     Such being the authority against which the re volt is made, it cannot be difficult to ascertain its character. The inspired writers expressly describe its notes.
     The first is, schism, as given by St. John : “It is the last hour: and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh: even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us; but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us.”*
     The second note is, the rejection of the office and presence of the Holy Ghost. St. Jude says, “These are they, who separate themselves, sensual men” (i. e. Yvxukot, animal or merely rational and natural men) “having not the spirit.”1 This necessarily involves the heretical principle of human opinion as opposed to Divine faith; of the private spirit as opposed to the infallible voice of the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Church of God.
     The third note is, the denial of the Incarnation. St. John writes, “Every spirit, which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that dissolveth Jesus” (that is, by denying the mystery of the Incarnation, either the true Godhead, or the true manhood, or the unity or divinity of the person of the Incarnate Son) “is not of God, and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world.”* Again he says, “Many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this is a seducer and an Antichrist.”+
     These, then, are the marks by which, as the Church is to be known by her notes, the antichristian revolt, or apostasy, may be distinguished. We will now see whether they can be verified in the history of Christianity, or in the present position of the Church in the world.

* 1 St. John ii. 18, 19.
1 St. Jude 19.
* St. John iv. 2, 3.
+ 2 Ep.7.
     The first point to notice is, that both St. Paul and St. Peter speak of this antichristian revolt as already begun in their own day.
     St. Paul says, “The mystery of iniquity already worketh: only that he who now holdeth do hold, until he be taken out of the way.”+ And St. John expressly, in the above-quoted places: “It is the last hour: and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour.”§ Again, “This is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world.”||
     We must look, then, for the beginnings of this revolt in the times of the Apostles. The spirit of Antichrist was at work as soon as Christ was mani fested to the world. In one word, then, it describes the continuous working of the spirit of heresy, which from the beginning has run parallel to the faith.
     It is evident that St. Paul and St. John applied these terms to the Nicolaitans, the Gnostics, and the like. The three notes of Antichrist, schism, heresy, and the denial of the Incarnation, were manifest in them. It is equally applicable to the Sabellian, Arian, Semiarian, Monophysite, Monothelite, Eutychian, and Macedonian heresies. The principles are identical; the development various, but only accidental. And so, throughout these eighteen hundred years, every successive heresy has generated schism, and every schism has generated heresy; and all alike deny the Divine Voice of the Holy Ghost speaking continuously through the Church; and all alike substitute human opinion for Divine faith; and all alike work out, by a sure process, some more rapidly, and some more slowly, a denial of the Incar nation of the Eternal Son. Some may start with it in the outset, others resolve themselves into it by a long and unforeseen transmutation, as that of Protestantism into Rationalism; but all being identical in principle, are identical also in their consequences. Every age has its heresy, as every article of faith by denial receives its definition; and the course of heresy is measured and periodical; various materially, but formally one, both in principle and action; so that all the heresies from the beginning are no more than the continuous development and expansion of “the mystery of iniquity,” which was already at work.
     Another phenomenon in the history of heresy is its power of organising and perpetuating itself, at least until it resolves itself into some more subtle and aggressive form: for instance, Arianism, which rivalled the Catholic Church in Constantinople, Lombardy, and Spain; Donatism, which equalled the Church in Africa; Nestorianism, which out numbered the Church in Asia; Mahometanism, which punished and absorbed most of its forerunners, and established, in the East and South, the most terrible antichristian military power the world has ever seen; and Protestantism, which has organised itself into a vast political antagonist to the Holy See, not only in the North, but by its policy and diplomacy even in Catholic countries.
     To this power of expansion must be added a certain morbid and noxious reproduction. Physiologists tell us that there is a perfect ultimate unity even in the countless diseases which devour the body; nevertheless, each disease seems to throw out its progeny by a corruption and reproduction. So in the history and development of heresy. To name no more than these,_Gnosticism, Arianism, and, above all, Protestantism, have generated each a multitude of subordinate and affiliated heresies. But it is Protestantism which, above all others, bears the three notes of the inspired writers in the greatest breadth and evidence. Other heresies have opposed parts and details of the Christian faith and Church; but Protestantism, taken in its historical complex, as we now are able, with the retrospect of three hundred years, to measure it, reaching from the religion of Luther, Calvin, and Cranmer at the one end, to the Rationalism and Pantheism of England and Germany at the other, is of all the most formal, detailed, and commensurate antagonist of Christianity. I do not mean that it has as yet attained its full development, for we shall see reasons to believe that it is still pregnant with a darker future; but even as “the mystery of iniquity has already worked,” no other antagonist has as yet gone so deep in undermining the faith of the Christian world.
     I am not now pretending to write a treatise on the reproductiveness of Protestantism. It is enough to set down certain facts self-evident in the intellectual history of the last three hundred years, namely, that Socinianism, Rationalism, and Pan theism are the legitimate offspring of the Lutheran and Calvinistic heresies; and that Protestant Eng land, the least intellectual and consistent of Protestant countries, affords at this moment a ready pabulum for the communication and reproduction of these spirits of error.

+ 2 Thess. ii. 7.
§ 1 St. John ii. 18.
|| 1 St. John iv. 3.
     All that I wish to point out is, to use a modern phrase, that the movement of heresy is one and the same from the beginning: that the Gnostics were the Protestants of their day, and the Protestants the Gnostics of ours; that the principle is identical, and the bulk of the movement unfolded to greater proportions; and its successes accumulated, and its antagonism to the Catholic Church changeless and essential. There are two consequences or operations of this movement so strange and so full of importance, as bearing upon its relation to the Church, that I cannot pass them by.
     The first is, the development and worship of the principle of nationality, which has always been found in combination with heresy.
     Now, the Incarnation abolished all national distinctions within the sphere of grace, and the Church absorbed all nations into its supernatural unity. One Fountain of spiritual jurisdiction, and one Di vine Voice, held together the wills and actions of a family of nations. Sooner or later, every heresy has identified itself with the nation in which it arose. It has lived by the support of civil powers, and they have embodied the claim of national independence.
     This movement, which is the key of the so-called great Western schism, is the rationale also of the Reformation; and the last three hundred years have given a development and intensity to the spirit of separate nationalism, of which we as yet see no more than the preludes. I need not point out how this nationalism is essentially schismatical, which is to be seen not only in the Anglican Reformation, but in the Gallican liberties, and the contentions of Portugal in Europe and in India, to name no more.
     Now I have pointed out this result of heresy because it verifies one of the three marks above mentioned. If heresy in the individual dissolves the unity of the Incarnation, heresy in a nation dis solves the unity of the Church, which is built upon the Incarnation. And in this we see a truer and deeper meaning of the words of St. Jerome than he foresaw himself. It is not the revolt of nations from the Roman Empire, but the apostasy of nations from the kingdom of God, which was set up on its ruins. And this process of national defection, which began openly with the Protestant Reformation, is running its course, as we shall see hereafter, even in nations still nominally Catholic; and the Church is putting off its medieval character as the mother of nations, returning again into its primitive condition as a society of members scattered among the peoples and cities of the world.
     The other result I spoke of as the consequence of the later workings of the heretical spirit is the deification of humanity. This we have before us in two distinct forms, namely, in the Pantheistic and in the Positive philosophies; or rather in the religion of Positivism, the last aberration of Comte.
     It would be impossible in this place to give an adequate account of these two final developments of unbelief; to do so would need a treatise. It will be enough to express, in a popular way, the outline of these two forms of antichristian impiety.
     I take the expression of the Pantheism of Ger many from two of its modern expositors, in whom it may be said to culminate. We are told that, “Before the time when creation began, we may imagine that an infinite mind, an infinite essence, or an in finite thought (for here all these are one), filled the universe of space. This, then, as the self-existent One, must be the only absolute reality; all else can be but a developing of the one original and eternal being. . . . This primary essence is not . . . an infinite substance, having the two properties of extension and thought, but an infinite, acting, producing, self-unfolding mind—the living soul of the world.” “If we can view all things as the development of the original and absolute principle of life, reason, or being, then it is evident conversely that we may trace the marks of the absolute in every thing that exists, and consequently may scan them in the operation of our own minds, as one particular phase of its manifestation.”
     “In practical philosophy we have three movements: the first is, that in which the active intelligence shows itself operating within a limited circuit, as in a single mind. This is the principle of individuality, not as though the infinite intelligence were something different from the finite, or as though there were an infinite intelligence out of and apart from the finite, but it is merely the absolute in one of its particular moments; just as an individual thought is but a single moment of the whole mind. Each finite reason, then, is but a thought of the infinite and eternal reason.” The absolute essence being thus every thing, all difference between God and the universe is truly lost; and Pantheism becomes complete, “as the absolute is evolved from its lowest form to the highest, in accordance with the necessary law or rhythm of its being, the whole world, material and mental, becoming one enormous chain of necessity, to which no idea of free creation can be attached.” Again: “Deity is a process ever going on but never accomplished, nay, the Divine consciousness is absolutely one with the advancing consciousness of mankind. The hope of immortality perishes; for death is but the return of the individual to the infinite, and man is annihilated, though the Deity will eternally live.” Once more: “Deity is the eternal process of self-development as realised in man; the Divine and human consciousness falling absolutely together.” “The knowledge of God and of his manifestations forms the subject of speculative theology. . . . Of these manifestations there are three great spheres of observation—nature, mind, and humanity. In nature we see the Divine idea in its lowest expression; in mind, with its powers, faculties, moral feelings, freedom, & c., we see it in its higher and more perfect form; lastly, in humanity we see God, not only as creator and sustainer, but also as a father and a guide.” “The soul is a perfect mirror of the universe, and we have only to gaze into it with earnest attention to discover all truth which is accessible to humanity. What we know of God, therefore, can be only that which is originally revealed to us of Him in our own minds.”+ I have given these extracts to show the legitimate resolution of the subjective system of private judgment into pure rationalistic Pantheism.
     With a few words on the Positivism of Comte, I will conclude. Lest I should appear to distort or colour this form of aberration, I will give it in the author's own words.
     First, then, he describes the Positive philosophy as follows:
     “From the study of the development of human intelligence, in all directions and through all times, the discovery arises of a great fundamental law, to which it is necessarily subject, and which has a solid foundation of proof, both in the facts of our organisation and in our historical experience. The law is this: that each of our leading conceptions, each branch of our knowledge, passes successively through three different theoretical conditions—the Theological or fictitious; the Metaphysical or abstract; and the Scientific or positive. In other words, the human mind by its nature employs in its progress three methods of philosophising, the character of which is essentially different and even radically opposed, viz. the theological method, the metaphysical, and the positive. Hence arise three philosophies, or general systems of conceptions, on the aggregate of phenomena, each of which excludes the others. The first is the necessary point of departure of the human understanding, and the third is its fixed and definite state. The second is merely a state of transition.
     “In the theological state, the human mind, seeking the essential nature of beings, the first and final causes (the origin and purpose) of all effects, -in short, absolute knowledge, supposes all phenomena to be produced by the immediate action of supernatural beings.
     “In the metaphysical state, which is only a modification of the first, the mind supposes, instead of supernatural beings, abstract forces, veritable entities (that is, personified abstractions), inherent in all beings, and capable of producing all phenomena. What is called the explanation of phenomena is, in this stage, a mere reference of each to its proper entity.

     “In the final, the positive state, the mind has given over the search after absolute notions, the origin and destination of the universe, and the causes of phenomena, and applies itself to the study of their laws, that is, their invariable relations of succession and resemblance. Reasoning and observation, duly combined, are the means of this knowledge. What is now understood, when we speak of an explanation of facts, is simply the establishment of a connection between single phenomena and some general facts, the number of which continually diminishes with the progress of science.”*
     From this it will be observed that the belief in God has passed into the first or fictitious period of the human reason.
     Nevertheless, after the completion of his Philosophy, Comte perceived the necessity of a religion.
      Hence the Catechism of Positive Religion, which thus begins: “In the name of the Past and of the Future, the servants of Humanity—both its philosophical and practical servants—come forward to claim as their due the general direction of this world. Their object is, to constitute at length a real Providence in all departments, moral, intellectual, and material. Consequently they exclude, once for all, from political supremacy all the different servants of God— Catholic, Protestant, or Deist— as being at once behindhand and a cause of disturbance.”*

* See account of the German school, Schelling, Hegel, and Hillebrand, in Morell's History of Modern Philosophy, vol. ii. pp. 126-147.
+ Ibid. p. 196.
* Positive Philosophy, vol. i. c. 1.
* Catechism of Positive Religion, Preface.
     But inasmuch as there can be no religion with out worship, and no worship without a God, and inasmuch as there is no God, Comte had need to find or to create a Divinity. Now as there is no God, there can be no being higher than man, and no object of worship higher than mankind. “The imaginary beings whom religion provisionally introduced for its purposes were able to inspire lively affections in man—affections which were even most powerful under the least elaborate of the fictitious systems. The immense scientific preparation required as an introduction to Positivism for a long time seemed to deprive it of any such valuable aptitude. Whilst the philosophical initiation only comprehended the order of the material world, nay, even when it had extended to the order of living beings, it could only reveal laws which were indispensable for our action ; it could not furnish us with any direct object for an enduring and constant affection. This is no longer the case since the completion of our gradual preparation by the introduction of the special study of the order of man's existence, whether as an individual or as a society. This is the last step in the process. We are now able to condense the whole of our Positive conceptions in the one single idea of an immense and eternal Being, Humanity, destined by sociological laws to constant development under the preponderating influence of biological and cosmological necessities. This the real great Being, on whom all, whether individuals or societies, depend as the prime mover of their existence, becomes the centre of our affections. They rest on it by as spontaneous an impulse as do our thoughts and our actions. This Being, by its very idea, suggests at once the sacred formula of Positivism; Love as our principle, Order as our basis, and Progress as our end. Its compound existence is ever founded on the free concurrence of independent wills. All discord tends to dissolve that existence, which, by its very notion, sanctions the constant predominance of the heart over the intellect, as the sole basis of our true unity. So the whole order of . things henceforth finds its expression in the being who studies it, and who is ever perfecting it. The struggle of Humanity against the combined influences of the necessities it is obliged to obey, growing as it does in energy and success, offers the heart, no less than the intellect, a better object of contemplation than the capricious omnipotence of its theological precursor—capricious by the very force of the word omnipotence. Such a Supreme Being is more within the reach of our feelings as well as of our conceptions, for it is identical in nature with its servants at the same time that it is superior to them.”
     “You must define Humanity as the whole of human beings, past, present, and future. The word whole points out clearly that you must not take in all men, but those only who are really capable of assimilation, in virtue of a real coöperation on their part in furthering the common good. All are necessarily born children of Humanity, but all do not become her servants. Many remain in the parasitic state, which, excusable during their education, becomes blamable when that education is complete. Times of anarchy bring forth in swarms such creatures, nay, even enable them to flourish, though they are, in sad truth, but burdens on the true Great Being.”
     It will be observed that both Pantheism and Positivism alike end in the deification of man; they are a boundless egotism and an apotheosis of human pride.
     I shall not dwell further on this point; and mention it only because I shall have to refer to it hereafter.
     I will now briefly sum up what I have said.
     We see that it is foretold, that, before the manifestation of the last great antagonist of God and of His incarnate Son, there must be a revolt and falling away; we have seen that the authority from which the revolt is to be made is manifestly that of the Church of God, and that it will be a revolt bearing the three notes of schism, heresy, and denial of the Incarnation; we see also that this antichristian movement was at work even in the days of the Apostles; that it has wrought ever since in manifold forms and various times, and with most diverse, and even contradictory, developments, but that nevertheless it is always one and the same, identical in principle and in antagonism to the Incarnation and to the Church. It is evident that this movement has accumulated its results from age to age, and that at this time it is more mature and has a loftier stature and a greater power and a more formal antagonism to the Church and the faith than ever before.
     It has attached itself to the pride of governments by nationalism, and of individuals by philosophy, and, under the forms of Protestantism, Civilisation, Secularism, it has organised a vast Anticatholic power in the east, north, and west of Europe. As a matter of fact, Catholic and Anti catholic describe the two arrays. I am afraid I must add, Christian and Antichristian. And this is one of my purposes in treating of the subject before us; for I am convinced that multitudes are carried away, not knowing whither they go, by a movement essentially opposed to all their best and deepest convictions, because they are unable to discern its real ultimate principle and character.

* Catechism of Positive Religion, pp. 63, 74.
     In the present array of the popular opinion of Europe against the Holy See and the Vicar of Jesus Christ, may be discerned the Antichristian instinct. The revolutions in Italy, backed by the anticatholic spirit of the continent, and by the policy of England, are fulfilling the prophecies, and confirming our faith. But this I shall hope to show more fully hereafter. It seems inevitable that the enmity of all nations which are separated from the Catholic unity, and penetrated by the spirit of the Reformation, that is, by the spirit of private judgment as opposed to the Divine Voice of the living Church, and by the unbelief which has banished the Eucharistical presence of the Incarnate Word, should be concentrated upon the person who is the Vicar and Representative of Jesus, and upon the Body which witnesses alone for the Incarnation, and for all its mysteries of truth and grace. Such is the one Holy Catholic and Roman Church, and such is the Supreme Pontiff, its Visible Head. Such, in the words of Holy Scripture, are the two mysteries of godliness and of iniquity. All things
are throwing out into light and prominence the two ultimate powers, which divide the destinies of men. The conflict is a simple antagonism of Christ and Antichrist; and the two arrays are marshalling in order, and men are choosing their principles; or events are choosing for them; and they are drifting unconsciously into currents, of which they are not aware. The theory, that politics and religion have different spheres, is an illusion and a snare. For history can only be truly read in the light of faith; and the present can only be interpreted by the light of revelation: for above the human wills which are now in conflict, there is a Will, sovereign and divine, which is leading all things to fulfill its own perfect end.

     SUCH, then, is the Revolt, which has been gathering strength these 1800 years, and ripening for the hour when it shall receive its leader and head.
     The interpretation universally received by anti catholic controversialists, whereby, first, Antichrist is held to be a spirit or system, and not a person, and next, to be the Catholic or Roman Church, or the Vicar of the Incarnate Word, is the master stroke of deceit. It allays all fear, and inspires presumption and confidence, and fixes the attention of men to watch for the signs of his appearing any where except where they are to be seen; and draws it off from the quarter where they are already visible. .
     Now, I do not hesitate to say, that, in all the prophecies of Revelation, there is not one among them which relates to the coming of Christ more explicit and express than those which relate to the coming of Antichrist.
     1. He is described with all the attributes of a person. In this one passage St. Paul calls him “that wicked one,’ o ávopos, ille iniquus; the ‘man of sin,’ avOpotros Tſis àpaptias, homo peccati; and ‘son of perdition,’ vios Tſis àToMetas. And St. John in four places speaks of him as the Antichrist. To deny the personality of Antichrist, is therefore to deny the plain testimony of Holy Scripture: to ex plain away these personal terms and titles as of a system or spirit, is as rationalistic as the impiety of Strauss in denying “the historical,” that is, the personal, Christ.
     It is a law of Holy Scripture, that when persons are prophesied of, persons appear; as, for instance, the prophecies of St. John Baptist, or of the Blessed Virgin, or of our Lord Himself.
     All the Fathers, both of the East and West,- St. Irenaeus, St. Cyprian, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nazianzum, St. John Chrysostom, Theophylact, Ecumenius, all interpret these passages of a literal and personal Antichrist. What I may call the corporate interpretation is modern, heretical, controversial, and un reasonable. This fanciful and contradictory system has been sufficiently destroyed even by Protestant writers: as by Todd in his work on Antichrist, a creditable and learned book, though somewhat de faced by the reliquioe of Protestant prejudice; by Greswell, in his Exposition of the Parables; and by Maitland on Daniel and St. John. In Germany, even among Protestant interpreters, to maintain the antiCatholic interpretation is looked on as a
surrender of the character of a biblical scholar. The Protestants of England are still, as they always were, the least cultivated and reasonable. It is true, indeed, that the Antichrist has had, and may still have, many forerunners, as had also Christ Himself: as Isaac, Moses, Josue, David, Jeremias, were types of the one, so Antiochus, Julian, Arius, Mahomet, and many more, are the types of the other; for per sons typify persons. So, again, as Christ is the Head and Representative in which the whole mystery of godliness (To Tijs eigeBeias Avarſipuov*) has been summed up and recapitulated, so also the whole mystery of impiety (to uvoatriptov tijs dvopuiast+) will find its expression and its head in the person of Antichrist. He may indeed embody a spirit and repre sent a system, but is not less, therefore, a person. So also the theologians. Bellarmine says, “All Catholics hold that Antichrist will be one individual person.”1 Lessius says, “All agree in teaching that the proper Antichrist will be not many, but one only person.”§ Suarez goes so far as to say that this doctrine of the personal Antichrist of faith is “certain de fide.” ll

* 1 Tim. iii. 16.
+ 2 Thess. ii. 7.
1 Bellarm. de Summo Pontif lib. iii, c. 2.
§ De Antichristo, Tertia Dem.
ll In iii. p. D. Thomae, Disp. liv. s. 1.
     2. Next, the Fathers believed that Antichrist will be of the Jewish race. Such was the opinion of St. Irenaeus, St. Jerome, and of the author of the work De Consummatione Mundi, ascribed to St. Hippolytus, and of a writer of a Commentary on the Epistle to the Thessalonians, ascribed to St. Ambrose, of many others, who add, that he will be of the tribe of Dan : as, for instance, St. Gregory the Great, Theodoret, Aretas of Caesarea, and many more.* Such also is
the opinion of Bellarmine, who calls it certain.1 Lessius affirms that the Fathers, with unanimous consent, teach as undoubted, that Antichrist will be a Jew.2 Ribera repeats the same opinion, and adds that Aretas, St. Bede, Haymo, St. Anselm, and Rupert affirm that for this reason the tribe of Dan is not numbered among those who are sealed in the Apocalypse.3 Wiegas says the same, quoting other authorities.4 And this will appear probable, if we consider that the Antichrist will come to deceive the Jews, according to the prophecy of our Lord: “I am come in My Father's name, and you receive Me not : another will come in his own name, him you will receive;” which words are interpreted by the Fathers with one consent of the false Messias, who shall pass himself off upon the Jews as the true. And this, again, is the unanimous interpretation of the Fathers, both of the East and of the West, as St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ephrem Syrus, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory Nyssen, St. John Damascene, and also of St. Irenaeus, St. Cyprian, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and St. Augustine. The probability of this also will appear, if we consider, further, that a false Christ would fail of the first condition of success if he were not of the house of David; that the Jews are still looking out for his coming; that they have prepared themselves for delusion by crucifying the true Messias; and therefore it is that the Fathers interpret of the true Messias and the false the words of St. Paul to the Thessalonians: “Because they received not the love of the truth (tnv dyātmv Tijs dOméetas), that they might be saved; therefore God shall send them the operation of error (évépyelav radvms) to believe lying.5
     Now, I think no one can consider the dispersion and providential preservation of the Jews among all nations of the world, the indestructible vitality of their race, without believing that they are re served for some future action of His judgment and grace. And this is foretold again and again in the New Testament; for instance, in the Epistles to the Romans and the Corinthians.6

* Malvenda de Antichristo, lib. ii. cc. x. xi.
1 Ibid. c. xii.
2 Ibid. in praefatione.
3 Ribera, in Apocalypsin, c. vii.
4 Wiegas in Apoc. c. vii.
5 2 Thess. ii. 10, 11.

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