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testimony, showing, on unimpeachable authority, that Rome is committed to S. Alfonso, and that his morality is her morality.

The preface to his Moral Theology opens as follows :— The new edition of S. Alfonso de' Liguori's Moral Theology, which has been long looked for from the Mechlin press, is at last published. The work which is thus issued afresh, after innumerable editions, and no small labour, is not only the teaching of a very learned, experienced, and wise author, but of a Saint; and it is approved by the judgment of the Catholic Church itself. We "hold, therefore, that it is a superfluous task to commend or defend it against those who find fault with it, since it has 'been commended and defended by the oracle of the Church itself:

Again: 'We have issued a work in whieh, by the judgment of the Roman Church itself, there is found nothing, no opinion and no principle, which is deserving of censure; of this we are most perfectly assured, by the decree concerning the revision of S. Alfonso's works. The teaching of Benedict XIV. about the canonization of Saints, shows us what force the Apostolic approbation has, and what is the mind of the Church in approving of the writings of the servants of God, with a view to their canonization. In our times all the writings of "a servant of God who is to be placed among the Blessed, must 'be subjected to an extremely rigid examination according

to the decrees of Urban VIII., and the approved teaching of " Benedict XIV. And the purpose of a judicial revision of this nature is, that it may be seen whether the teaching of the servant of God be free from all theological censure.

Now every proposition which is heretical, erroneous, approaching to error, savouring of heresy or error, suspected of error, rash, scandalous, offensive to pious ears, ill-sounding, misleading to the simple, schismatical, injurious, impious, or blasphemous, is subject to theological censure, several sorts of which Benedict himself recounts. The revisers are bound to note if there is ‘in the works any error against faith or good morals, or any new

doctrine unaccordant with the sense of the Church; meaning by new doctrine, not anything brought forward in a new way, but something put forth which is really new, vain, and useless, opposed to Scripture and to the Fathers. It is the duty, there'fore, of the revisers to subject every single proposition to its own special censure, and to pass judgment on the quality of the propositions as they are in themselves, independently of the author's intention, so that it is impossible to proceed further when once they find that the servant of God has written anything against the faith, or good morals, or the sense of the Church, although he wrote it with a good intention. An examination of this nature having been instituted with a view to

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the canonization of S. Alfonso de Liguori, and the Church 'having declared that in his works there was found nothing worthy of censure, it follows that it is safe for anyone to

follow and profess the opinions which S. Alfonso professes in ' his Moral Theology, and that no man is to be troubled for doing so, although he may not have weighed the reasons on which the several opinions rest.?

The meaning of nihil censurâ dignum is then further explained to be a true approbation, by which it is certain that the whole teaching of our saintly author is altogether free from every error which the Church now sees to be error. The works of 'S. Alfonso, therefore, rejoice in this highest and singular privi· lege, which those of no uncanonized moral writers can possess, ' for in the case of the latter it is not made certain by so solemn a judgment of the Church, that there is no error, no erroneous principle, no erroneous opinion in their writings. But we are now made quite sure, by the infallible judgment of the Catholic Church, that in S. Alfonso's works, in the whole of his Moral • Theology, there is not one principle disapproved, not one opinion ' against the faith or good morals, new, unaccordant with the sense of the Church, heretical, erroneous, approaching to error, savouring of heresy or error, suspected of error, rash, scandalous, offensive to pious ears, ill-sounding, misleading to the simple, schismatical, injurious, impious, or blasphemous. And this being so, who will not confess that, in the matter of morals, grave and difficult as it is, and so involved with doubts and questions, minds are wonderfully set at rest by an approbation of this nature, which, if not called formally positive, is practically the same?

Neyraguet is no less happy and confident. Having quoted the approbation of Pope Pius VII., Pope Leo XII., Pope Pius VIII., and Pope Gregory XVI., he continues: “Thus by acting and by teaching, to heaven flew off the Blessed One. “What can you prize higher? what happier lot can you wish for yourself ? There is then no danger of erring, no possibility of fearing hell in following the steps of so great a man.

It is no wonder, therefore, that in these times this Theology is everywhere desired and sought after; that it is extolled with 'the highest praises by prelates of Churches, and the chiefest doctors, not only in Italy, but also in Germany, Belgium, France, &c.; that it is circulated throughout the whole world, and is in the hands of almost all the clergy. What then can be more absurd than to find fault with a work of such singular excellence, which innumerable doctors and so many oracles of the Holy See have so highly commended!

In the same way the Redemptorist Father, who has translated S. Alfonso's Glories of Mary, stands over some reluctant friends

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whom he mentally anticipates as recalcitrating at some of the tales which are recounted, like Queen Eleanor before Fair Rosamond, with his nihil censurâ dignum in one hand, and his book in the other, and tells them to take their choice between condemning the Holy See, and swallowing the miracles, having himself, with delightful inconsistency, omitted two of the stories as being totally impossible of digestion to an English stomach. “Remember,' he says, 'that it has been strictly ex

amined by the authority which is charged by God Himself to instruct you, and that that authority has declared that it con“tains NOTHING worthy of censure."

The Bull of Canonization was issued by the present Pope's predecessor, Gregory XVI., and in it we find the late Pontiff announcing as imprimis notatu dignum, quod licet copiosissime

scripserit, ejusdem tamen opera inoffenso prorsus pede percurri a ' fidelibus posse, post diligens institutum examen perspectum fuerit.' If any ask, even yet, for evidence, the following passage from the Life of S. Alfonso de' Liguori, edited by the Fathers of the Oratory, and approved and recommended by Cardinal Wiseman, may satisfy them. The works of S. Alphonso not only do not "contain any proposition whatever which can be called schismatical or scandalous, but also none which are either pernicious, erroneous, or rash; the morals, therefore, of this saintly Bishop cannot be censured without setting up as a censor of authority itself; without, in fine, censuring the decision of the Holy See.'

The character of Rome's moral teaching is then irrevocably tied to the character of Liguori's teaching. And it must not be thought that he is the representative of a lax school among Romish Casuists. On the contrary, he makes it his greatest boast that he is not an extreme man, that he is not over-strict or over-lax, but holds the middle course. In completing this work,' he says in his Preface to his Homo Apostolicus,

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· P. xviii. The Glorie di Maria is a book which S. Alfonso tells us that he has printed for the sake of providing Priests with materials for sermons on Saturdays, and for Novenas in honour of S. Mary. From the headings to the chapters, we learn that S. Mary is Queen of Mercy, and our loving Mother; that she obtains us the pardon of our sins and perseverance, and renders death sweet; that she is the Hope of all; that her intercession is necessary for our salvation; that she is a tender Advocate, able to save all ; that she is the Peace-maker between sinners and God; that she delivers her clients from hell, succours her clients in purgatory, and leads her servants to heaven ; that she is the Treasury of all divine graces; that she offered to God the life of her Son; that she is the Queen of Martyrs ;--together with many more new inventions of honours,' as Father F. W. Faber approvingly terms them. Cardinal Wiseman cordially recommends the English translation to the Faithful. So do we. We think few books on the subject more instructive. A Review of it will be found in the Christian Remeinbrancer for October, 1855.

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speaking of the Theologia Moralis, “I have toiled for fifteen years, going over and weighing the teaching of very many writers whom I have examined. Some I found too indulgent, for led by a false zeal for expediting the salvation of souls, they have granted too much liberty, not without prejudice to the laws divine and ecclesiastical; and others I found who, detesting so great compliance, have fallen into the other extreme of excessive rigour. This has been my greatest labour, to select from such a congeries of opinions those sentiments which on one side have due regard to the precepts of God and of the Church, and which on the other do not add burdens which have not been imposed by God, nor tie every one to a 6 perfection which human weakness renders morally impossible

to the common run of the faithful. And again in the preface to the Theologia Moralis itself: "So I have determined to publish this new work to hold a middle place between too lax and too severe opinions. And in his tract upon Conscience: 'I protest that as I do not approve of confessors who adhere to over-great austerity, and condemn using a number of opinions which rest on a grave foundation; so on the other hand, I cannot approve of those who easily admit opinions as probable, which are without sure foundation.". In fact Liguori is a safe

a via media man, as Rome counts safeness.?

At first sight there seems a certain degree of security in an Authorized Book of Morals, but second thoughts will show that such an impression is altogether unfounded. It can only be a help on the side of liberty, not on that of strictness. No sort of lax opinions are thus put down. They stand upon their own ground, just as though there were no such book at all. They

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i Theol. Mor. 1. i. 83.

2 The strict school consists of Merbesius, Contensonius, Natalis Alexander, Jueninus, Cabassutius, Collet, Genettus, Petrocorensis, and Concina, almost all of whom, it will be seen, are Gallicans. It was really for its strict moral teaching, and not for its speculative dogmas, that Jansenism, the child of Gallicanism, was proscribed. "The Jansenists,” says their enemy Francolinius, ‘have their Theology, both speculative, and practical or moral: their speculative Theology is Jansenism, their practical or moral Theology is Rigorism. This has three principles. To make very much of the Fathers, little of the Pontiffs, nothing of modern Theologians. To pay true regard to the Fathers, as quoted by themselves, a pretended regard to the Pontiffs, to the other Doctors neither one nor the other. Never to leave S. Augustin, real or spurious, and not interpret the Doctor by Councils, but Councils by him : sometimes to go near Pontiffs when teaching ex cathedrâ and to profess to do so—if, that is, they are not against them. Always to avoid Schoolmen, especially those of the two last ages, in controversies with respect to morals, both in subject and in manner of speech, and not even to read them, far less make honourable mention of them in their writings and books.' Well would it have been for France and for the Christian Church, had not maligned Jansenism fallen beneath the calumnies and the violence of its semi-Pelagian assailants! And well would it be for France now if she could recall the spirit of her Arnauds and her Pascals, instead of cherishing in her bosom the extremes of Ultramontanism !

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are neither approved nor condemned, and are left to the individual conscience. But all the opinions which are given and commended in such a book, whether strict or lax, are thenceforward sacred. The only result, therefore, is, that if there are any lax opinions in it, those opinions receive a sanction, without which a conscientious mind would not have allowed itself to adopt them.

The evils of this are shown in the case of Equivocation. As we have already shown, a person committed to the defence of Liguori's Theory of Truthfulness must maintain, that when asked a question which cannot but be answered in the affirmative, it is truthful to reply, '1 say, no ;' intending the questioner to understand that you deny his question, but meaning in your own mind simply to affirm that you are making use of the word no in the course of your conversation. He must justify the once well-known principle, ‘H ywoo' quúuox', ý φρήν ανώμοτος; for that is identical with the principle adopted by Liguori, that when a man has sworn only externally, he has not sworn, he has joked. He must hold that a man may insert a not into an affirmative sentence in a whisper, not heard so as to be understood by the other party, and that his oath is then truthful, though he means to swear no, and the other conceives that he is swearing yes. He must maintain that a witness in a court of justice has not only the liberty of lying, but that it is his duty to lie, if the crime about which his evidence is required is otherwise unknown. He must not dare to express indigna

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i Theol. Mor. 1. iv. 151.

2 L. iv. 171.

3 L. iv. 168. * L. iv. 154.-In the trial of Boyle v. Wiseman, which took place in the course of the month of August of the year 1854, the object of the plaintiff's counsel being to prove that the defendant had written a letter which had been published with his name, the following is reported as having occurred: ‘Dr. T. Grant was then examined. He said, “I am the Roman Catholic Bishop of S. George's, Southwark. I know the defendant, and am upon intimate terms with him. I remember going to Paris on the subject of this libel, but I don't remember having had any conversation with the defendant relating to it. I had a conversation with a gentleman belonging to the Univers journal, but he did not give me any MS. I am quite sure the defendant never told me that he wrote the letter signed · Nicholas, Cardinal Wiseman,' which is the subject of the present action.” The Rev. George Spencer, known as Father Ignatius, was the next witness. He said, “I am intimately acquainted with Cardinal Wiseman, but I don't see much of him. I remember reading the article in the Catholic Standard, and I had a few words with the Cardinal on the subject. AU I can remember that he said was that he had reason to know that Boyle had communicated the article that appeared in the Ami de la Religion. He did not say a word of the authorship of the letter.” “Did you say to him, I have read your letter, Cardinal Wiseman?'

I don't remember.” (The witness gave his evidence in such a low tone, and so confusedly, that the jury several times requested him to speak louder and more plainly, as they could not hear what he said.) “I cannot say how the conversation began. The Cardinal did not send me to the plaintiff to try to arrange this matter, but I did go to Mr. Ivors on the subject.- I don't remember the words that passed afterwards between me and the Cardinal. I am certain he did

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