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churches broadly and spiritually Christian,” his position is not so satisfactory as it seems. The practical meaning of religion is indeed “the principal thing”; but that practical meaning has to be thought out. There is a danger which besets very many liberal religious thinkers now,—the danger of harping on such phrases as “the Fatherhood of God” and “the Brotherhood of Man,” and at the same time failing to bring out their real meaning. I have sometimes heard a preacher discourse on such topics as this,—that God is our Father and that we are all brothers : he has dwelt on the beauty of this faith — how “broad and spiritual” it is; and this has seemed good to listen to. But when I have thought it over afterwards, and—to use a plain and homely phrase-tried to find what it really comes to, it has dwindled away and there has been nothing to grasp. When we plunge into the work of the busy world, the daily hopes and fears and needs of men in the strain and stress of life-for these things are always with us—then this language of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man may easily come to be "a tale of little meaning, though the words be strong.” We need to have such ideas brought home to life; that is, instead of listening to any general discourse about God as a Father, we need to be shown how God works—to find Him at work in the common life around us. The demand that this age makes is, as it was in ages past, “. Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us!' Show us the Father at work,—show us His judgments and chastisements, His revelation, His love, mercy, and help : bring all these things home to us!” The spirit of the age speaks here; and hymns, prayers, sermons, service that fail to hear and answer the appeal are obsolete and dead. Help us to see what God's Fatherhood is-see it with our eyes, not merely speak about it; help us to see with our eyes how all men are brothers, and how they may learn to be more so !
Thus the work of thought in producing doctrine is a necessary part of religion; on the other hand we do not say that it is the essential part. But Newman would
insist that it verily is the essential part; “my battle,” he says, “ was against Liberalism-i.e., the anti-dogmatic principle and its developments." We cannot have religion without the absolute dogmas of a personal God, of His incarnation and His various relations to man, in this life and the next, together with the numerous subordinate doctrines flowing from these; and we must be sure that each of these dogmas is accurately and perfectly true. It is in seeking an authority for this complex dogmatic system that Newman is gradually driven to the haven of Roman Catholic “ infallibility.” The root of the matter lies in his failure to distinguish between religion itself and a particular expression of it in doctrine and ritual. In consequence of this, his deeply religious nature and earnest desire for real conviction led him to regard dogma as of supreme importance; and this again led him to the Church of Rome.
Newman's failure to distinguish between religion and the intellectual expression of its contents is remarkable, for he himself
works out an account of Belief which would render this distinction necessary.
Let us first consider some of his utterances before he joined the Church of Rome. It will be sufficient to select some passages from the Sermons Preached before the University of Oxford. A recurring thought in these is that we do not become aware of religious truth by conscious investigation.
To speak of a rational Faith need not mean more than that Faith is accordant to right Reason in the abstract, not that it results from it in the particular case. True Faith admits, but does not require, the exercise of what is commonly called Reason (or Argument]. 1 Then, we may ask, is the process which leads to Faith inexplicable ? “Yes, in part," answers Newman :
There are two processes distinct from each other,— the original process of reasoning, and next the process of investigating our reasonings. All men reason, for to reason is nothing more than to gain truth from former truth, without the intervention of sense; but all men do not reflect upon their own reasonings, much less reflect truly and accurately, so as to do justice to their own meaning; but only in proportion to their abilities and attainments. In other words, all men have a reason, but not all men can give a reason. We may devote
1 Sermons x. and xiii.
these two exercises of mind as unconscious and conscious reasoning, or as Implicit Reason and Explicit Reason. ... That these two exercises are not to be confounded together would seem too plain for remark, except that they have been confounded. Clearness in argument certainly is not indispensable to reasoning well. Accuracy in stating doctrine or principles is not essential to feeling and acting on them. The exercise of analysis is not necessary to the integrity of the process analysed. The process of reasoning is complete in itself, and independent; the analysis is but an account of it; it does not make the conclusion correct; it does not make the inference rational. And in Implicit Reasoning there may be many conditions influencing the mind which it is impossible for it to express in words :
No analysis is subtle and delicate enough to represent adequately the state of mind under which we believe, or the subjects of belief, as they are presented to our thoughts. . . . Is it not hopeless to expect that the most diligent and anxious investigation can end in more than in giving some very rude description of the living mind, and its feelings, thoughts, and reasonings ? Now surely this must apply to religious dogmas also — as well as to the process which produces them : and if so, no dogma can be accurately and perfectly true. If our analysis or intellectual expression of the process which leads to Faith must be partly inadequate, so must the dogma be,