Chapter II

CHAPTER II.

DEFENCES OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE POLEMIC PERIOD: A. D. 254—A. D. 780.

§ 1. Preliminary Statements.

We pass now, in the history of the Defences of Christianity, into the Polemic Period. In this age we shall find Apologetics assuming a more profound and scientific character, than it has hitherto borne. "We perceive the beginning of that great methodical conflict between religion and philosophy, faith and science, which is renewed in every age, and in some form or other will probably continue to the end of human history.

Even in the last part of the Apologetic period, the distinctions between natural and revealed religion, faith and science, the supernatural and the natural, began to be drawn with more clearness. The controversy between Origen and Celsus, the ablest upon both sides of the great question that occurred in these first centuries, brought out these distinctions somewhat, from the latent state in which for the most part they had existed in the earlier defences, and compelled both parties to see that nothing but a more precise and scientific discussion of the contradictions between Christianity and skepticism could settle the questions at issue. Religion in the first two centuries had existed mainly in the form of feeling. It was now to take on the form of scientific cognition; and the commencement of the change, not in the matter of Christianity, for this remains the same in all ages, but, in the form of apprehending it, is seen first of all in the altered manner of defending it against the skeptic. In the school of Alexandria, with Origen at its head, the apologetic science of the first period set with a splendour that was the herald of a yet more glorious dawn in the Polemic age that was to follow.1

As the dogmatic material now becomes more abundant and various, and the defences more systematic and elaborate, it will facilitate the investigation of the apologetic history of this period, to distribute it under the following principles of classification: (1.) The distinction between revelation and reason. (2.) The distinction between faith and science. (3.) The distinction between the natural and the supernatural. In exhibiting the mode in which the Apologetic Mind of this period apprehended these distinctions, and stated the relation of each idea to the other, we shall bring to view the whole course of doctrinal developement. For the ideas of revelation and reason, faith and science, the miraculous and the natural, were the leading ones in the controversy with the skeptic, and the whole dispute took form and character from them.1

1 The principal apologetic work confidence of victory, and with a

of the first period is that of Origen most comprehensive knowledge

against Celsus, "composed,1' says of the nature and history of Chris

Baumgaeten-oeubr-s (Dogmen- tianity, as well as of the skepti

geschichte, I. §21), "with the cism of its opponents."

§ 2. Mutual relations of Revelation and Reason.

1. In considering the manner in which the reciprocal relations of revelation and reason were conceived of in the Apologetic History of this period, the first characteristic that meets us is the fact, that the line between the two was now more strictly and firmly drawn, than it had been. The preceding age, as has been observed, referred everything to God, because its religious consciousness was of that warm and glowing character which is disinclined to distinguish, in a scientific manner, what proceeds from a supernatural and what from a natural source. All truth, provided it was truth, was conceived as coming from God, in some form or other. This view was sometimes expressed, even by the Christian apologist, in such a strong and unguarded manner as to expose Christianity to the charge of being but little superior to natural religion, if not identical with it. Justin Martyr, in his Apology addressed to the Roman emperor, expresses himself as follows: "They who live according to reason are Christians, even though they are regarded as godless {a&tot); such for example were Socrates and Heraclitus among the Greeks."' He probably ventured upon such an assertion from a partial understanding of corresponding ones in the scriptures. Paul (Rom. ii. 14) remarks that, " whenever (prav with subj. noirf) the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, they are a law unto themselves." Peter (Acts x. 35) affirms that, "in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with him." Overlooking the fact that these are both of them hypothetical statements introduced for the sake of an argument, and that whenever there is any categorical affirmation made in the scriptures respecting the actual fact of sinless obedience, the pagan man is represented as being disobedient to the law written on the heart, and that therefore every mouth must be stopped, and the whole world become guilty before God (Rom. iii. 19, 20),—overlooking the concessive nature of the hypothesis, the apologist in this instance affirms what he could not know, that in the instances of Socrates and Heraclitus there had been a perfect obedience of the law of reason and righteousness.

1 For this rubric, together with indebted to the very excellent a portion of the materials, we are manual of BAtrMOARTiN-ORDsrtiB.

'Apologia I. 61.

Hence it became necessary to distinguish between those spontaneous workings of the human mind which are to be seen in the Pagan philosophy and theology, and those higher phenomena of the human soul which appear only after it has felt the influence of a higher manifestation of truth and spiritual influences. This naturally led to a technical distinction between natural and revealed religion, and to a demarcation of that which issues from man left to himself, from that which proceeds in a special and peculiar manner from the Divine Mind.1 As the Christian apologist was compelled to a still more close and rigorous defence, by an increasingly close and rigorous attack, he found it necessary to draw some lines that had not been drawn before, and to score more deeply some lines that had been but faintly described. Revelation now began to be taken in its stricter and narrower signification, to denote that communication of truth, by direct inspiration, which had been recorded in the Jewish" scriptures, and in the New Testament canon,— which latter had by the beginning of the Polemic period been determined and fixed by the authority of the Church. The application of the term in it* widest signification begins now to disappear, so that the contest between the Christian and the skeptic,, became, what it has been ever since, the conflict between scripture on the one hand, and speculation on the other.

'Upon the use of tho term special sense, see Twesteit: Dog"revelation" in a general and a matik, I. 820 (Note).

2. A second characteristic in the Apologetic History of this period is, that the question respecting the possibility of a revelation, in the generic meaning of communication between the human and the Divine, was not raised by the skeptic, and of course not by the apologist. This question, which enters so largely into the conflict between Christianity and infidelity in modern times, is wholly a modern one. The denial of the possibility of any revelation from God to man began with Spinoza, one of the most original and powerful of skeptics, and has been followed with more vigour and acuteness by Hume, than by any other succeeding mind.

But in this age of the Church, both parties acknowledged the possibility and reality of a revelation of some sort. The testimony of the Greek philosophers, particularly Plato, to the need of a divine conununication in order that the darkness overhanging human life and prospects might be cleared away, was frequently cited by the Christian apologist, and admitted by the skeptical opponent. The confession of Plato in the Timaeus,1 "to find the maker and father of all this universe of existence, is a difficult work, and when he is found, it is impossible to describe him to the mass of mankind," was a classical passage, and often cited by the early fathers. Origen1 quotes the Platonic passage in which it is said: "human nature is not competent to seek out God and find him in his pure reality, unless the being seeking is assisted by the being sought"

So far therefore as the acknowledgment of the need and possibility of a revelation is concerned, the apologist of this period was not required to elaborate a defence in this reference. His great labour was to convince the skeptic that those more general forms of revelation in nature, and in providence, were not sufficient to meet the wants of sinfvl man. A certain and reliable knowledge was craved by the human soul respecting some subjects about which the human mind of a Socrates or a Plato could give only conjectures and express strong hopes.2 The apologist contended that the doctrines of the soul's immortality, and of a future state of rewards and punishments, though dimly appearing in the pagan philosophy, could be made an absolutely clear and certain knowledge, only by the testimony of one who like Christ came out from eternity, and went back into it; who came from God and went to God; who actually died, rose from the dead, re-appeared on earth for a season, and then ascended up where he was before. Hence the Christian apologist of this period made great use of the facts of Christ's incarnation and resurrection, to corroborate the truths of natural religion and make them absolutely certain,—a species of proof which the modern church does not emphasize with such energy as did the ancient, to the diminution of its faith, and lively realizing of invisible things.

1 Contra Celsum, VII. xlii. spect to onr souls and their hab* Plato's belief in the immor- itations,—seeing that the sonl tality of the soul and tho reality seems to be immortal (nrn'mp of a future life was accompanied a%avar6v yt 17 ^jfv\fi (paivfrai ova-a), with more or less of doubt at —appears to me most fitting to times, to which he gives frank be believed, and worthy the hazutterance. "To affirm positively, ard for one who trusts in the reindued, that these things are ex- ality. For the hazard is noble actly as I have described them, (koxos yap 6 Kivhwos), and it is does not become a man of sense, right to allure ourselves with snch But that, either this, or something views as with enchantments (ina\m of the kind, takes place with re- Jfiv)." Phaedo, 114. c. Ed. Steph.

But, more than this, the apologist contended that a knowledge was required by the human soul respecting still other subjects, about which natural religion was totally silent. Whether the deity could pardon sin; whether he would, and, if so, the method in which; whether the human race was to continue on from century to century in sin and sorrow and suffering, as it had for centuries and ages before, or whether any remedial system would be introduced, to interrupt this natural developement downward, and start a new order of ages, and begin a new species of history,—about such questions as these, which were far more vital and important than any others, the Christian apologist contended, and with truth, that human reason, and the general teachings of nature and providence were totally silent. Unless, therefore, a special communication should be made, man must be left without any answer to the most anxious and important of his questions. Such a special answer to such special questions had been made. It was contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, to which the term revelation in the high and strict sense was now applied and confined.

3. A third characteristic of the Apologetics of this period is the insisting upon revelation, in this strict sense, as an infallible authority for the human mind. The idea of an infallible norm or rule of faith, though not a new one, by any means, in the mind of the church, now begins to be more clearly enunciated. The conception of a special and peculiar revelation led to that of infallibility. Revelation, in the broad and loose signification in which, we have seen, it was sometimes employed by the earlier apologists, and acknowledged by their heathen opponents, leaves room and play for errour and misconception. That general communication of truth which God makes to the human mind, through its own constitution and through the works of creation and providence, though reliable to a certain extent, is not reliable beyond the possibility of errour; though true, is not infallibly true. For this species of revelation is mixed with human corruption, and darkened by human blindness. It is not as pure and accurate as it was in the beginning, because, as St. Paul teaches (Rom. i. 18-25), that which may be known of God in a natural manner and by natural reason has not been retained in its original simplicity and genuineness. While therefore the Christian apologist was disposed to give human reason its due, and to make use of all the statements of the pagan philosophers respecting the general truthfulness of man's natural intuitions, he at the same time insisted that natural religion could not be construed into a divine authority, and an infallible norm or rule. Being but a form of human consciousness, it was liable to all the fluctuations of consciousness, and to all the deteriorations of consciousness,—at one time being considerably free from foreign and contradictory elements, as in the instance of a Plato or a Plutarch; at another mixed and mingled with the most crude and absurd notions and opinions, as in the vagaries of New-Platonism, and the fanciful dreams of the Gnostic philosophers. Hence the apologist maintained that a further and peculiar species of revelation was needed, that should not only answer questions and supply wants that were unanswered and unsupplied by natural religion, but should also be fixed in a written form. In this way, it would be exempt from liability to corruption and alteration from the fluctuations of human consciousness, and would go down from age to age unchangeable amidst the changeable, and infallible amidst the fallible.

The Western Church, particularly, under the guidance of Augustine, urged the necessity of an infallible authority in matters of doctrine and practice. This necessity was affirmed in connection with the doctrine of human apostacy and sinfulness. It was therefore a relative necessity. Had man continued in his primitive state, he would have remained in such a close and living union with his Creator that no special and written revelation would have been needed, but the spontaneous operations of his mind, and the holy communion of his heart with God, would have afforded all the religious knowledge necessary. But inasmuch as he had apostatized, and no longer enjoyed that original intercourse with his Creator, a special interposition was called for, to clear up and rectify his now only imperfectly correct natural conceptions, and still more to impart an additional knowledge, respecting the possibility and method of his restoration to the Divine likeness and favour.

This attribute of authority, which' was now asserted of revelation, was emphasized all the more from the fact that the idea of the Church was now a more definite and influential one than it had been. The infallibility of the scriptures was urged in connection with the growing authority of the one only catholic Church, as opposed to schismatical and heretical sects.1 This connection we shall find in

"tkrtollian (De praesoript. traces the doctrine of the one Ch. 86.), in the preceding period, catholic church to revelation as

the next period to have become so close as to be converted into identity, and tradition together with ecclesiastical decrees takes the place of scripture. The beginnings of this may be seen in the last half of the Polemic period, but not in the first half. The theology of the 4th and 5th centuries was too much controlled by Augustine to allow of the coequality of tradition with revelation.1 Much as that powerful mind was inclined to quote the general opinion of the Church, respecting the meaning of scripture, in opposition to the heretical parties with which he was in continued conflict, he never attributed infallibility to any human opinion. A saying of his which occurs in his controversy with the Manichaeans has been frequently quoted by Roman Catholic writers, to prove his substantial agreement with the Papal theory of the relation of biblical to ecclesiastical authority. It is this. "I should not believe (have believed) the gospel, unless the authority of the catholic Church moved (had moved) me to." * Calvin, Bucer, and the elder Protestant writers generally, construe the imperfect as the pluperfect in this passage, and interpret Augustine as affirming that when he was "an alien from the Christian faith, he could not be prevailed upon to embrace the gospel as the infallible truth of God, till he was convinced by the authority of the Church." 1 In other words, if when examining into the claims of Christianity to be the absolute religion, he had found the Christian Church disputing within itself respecting the canon of scripture upon which this religion professed to be founded, and also in respect to the cardinal doctrines of Christianity contained in this canon, he as a pagan should have stood in doubt of the whole matter, and would not have received a book, and a system, respecting which those who professed to adopt it were constantly wrangling. But the entire unanimity of the Church respecting the authenticity and authority of the canonical scriptures determined him in their favour. Had he found the same diversity of opinion in the Church, that he saw among the heretical parties, respecting the written revelation, he should not have found rest in it. The passage read in its connections in the argument, and interpreted in the light of that stricter view of revelation which, we have seen, Angustine did so much towards establishing, merely affirms, in the words of Hagenbach,1 "a subjective dependence of the believer upon the authority of the Church universal, but not an objective subordination of the Bible itself to this authority." The individual, in the opinion of Augustine, is to respect the authority of the Church in seeking an answer to the questions: What books are canonical, and what apocryphal? and what is the doctrinal system contained in them? In answering these questions, he contended, that the Church universal had an authority higher than that of any one member; and higher, particularly, than a man like Manichaeus who claimed to be an inspired apostle.8 When therefore, a single individual, or a particular party like the Manichaeans, insisted that they were right in rejecting certain portions of the canon that had been, and still were, deemed canonical by the Church at large,8 and in deriving from the portions of it which they acknowledged to be of divine authority, a set of doctrines respecting the origin and nature of evil, such as the apostolic and catholic Church did not find in the scriptures,—when the individual, and the heretical party, in this way opposed their private judgment to the catholic judgment, Augustine denies the reasonableness of the procedure. He affirms the greater probability of the correctness of the Catholic Mind, in comparison with the Heretical or Schismatic Mind, and thereby the authority of the Church in relation to the individual, without dreaming however of affirming its absolute infallibility,—an attribute which he confines to the written revelation.

its source. "The church ao- mmsacrammvacilletauctoritas."

knowledges one God, the Lord, Augustine: De doctrina christi

the Creator of the universe, and ana, I. xxxvii.

Christ Jesus the Son of God the * " Evangelio non erederem, nisi

Creator, born of the virgin Mary, me ecclesiae catholicae commo

and the resurrection of the flesh, veret auctoritas." Augustine:

She joins the law and the proph- Contra Epistolam Fundamenti,

ets with the writings of the evan- Ch. v. (Ed. Migne, VIII. 176).

gelists and apostles, and thence Compare also, Trrtuixian: De

•drinks in her faith." praescriptionibns, Ch. 28. 1"Titubabit fides, si scripture

'calvin: Institutes, I. vii. 8. against the Manichaeans; as much.

Luther (Table Talk, "Of the as to say: 'I believe not you, for

Fathers ") remarks in his charac- ye are damned heretics, but I be~

teristic manner that "the Pope to lieve and hold with the Church,,

servo his own turn, took hold on the spouse of Christ.'" See al

St. Augustine's sentence, where so, the explanation of this senti

he says, ecangclio non crederem, ment of Augustine by Srimxa

&c. The asses could not see what Fleet: Grounds of the Protestant

occasioned Augustine to utter that Religion, Pt. I. Ch. vii, sentence, whereas he spoke it

'Dogmengeschichte, §119. bus, o. 17, 88, 89) remarks that,

* He began his treatise thus: "heresy does not receive certain "Manichaeus apostolus Jesu Chris- of the scriptures, and whatever it ti, providentia Dei iWis. Haeo does receive, it twists about acsunt salutaria verba de perenni ot cording to its own plan and vivo fonte." Augustine: Cont. purpose, by adding to it and subEp. Fundamenti, c. 5. tracting from it And if to a

* Respecting the alterations of certain extent it accepts the scripscripture by heretical parties, see tures entire, nevertheless by deEtrsKBirs, V. 28; Neandrr I. 582. vising different expositions it perTertuluan (De praesoriptioni- verts them. An adulteration by

The position which the Church sustains to the individual is indicated, remarks Augustine, in the words of the Samaritans to the Samaritan woman: "Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world" (John iv. 42). The individual first hears the concurrent testimony of the great body of believers in every age, and then verifies it for himself. He finds a general unanimity in the Church catholic respecting the canonical and apocryphal books, and also respecting their meaning and doctrinal contents. He goes to the examination with the natural expectation of finding that the general judgment is a correct one, and in so far, he comes under the influence of traditional or catholic opinions. This is the "ecclesiastical authority" which has weight with him. At the same time he exercises the right of private judgment; the right namely to examine the general judgment and to perceive its correctness with his own eyes. The Samaritans put confidence in the testimony of the woman, but at the same time they went and saw, and heard for themselves. They came into agreement with her by an active, and not by a passive method. In employing this illustration, Augustine adopts the Protestant, and opposes the Papal theory of tradition and authority. The Papist's method of agreeing with the catholic judgment is passive. He denies that the individual may intelligently verify the position of the Church for himself, because the Church is infallible, and consequently there is no possibility of its being in error. The individual is therefore shut up to a mechanical and passive reception of the catholic decision. The Protestant, on the other hand, though affirming the high probability that the general judgment is correct, does not assert the infallible certainty that it is. It is conceivable and possible that the Church may err. Hence the duty of the individual, while cherishing an antecedent confidence in the decisions of the Church, to examine these decisions in the light of the written word, and convert this presumption into an intelligent perception, or else demonstrate their falsity beyond dispute. "Neither ought I to bring forward the authority of the Nicene Council," says Augustine (Contra Maximianum Arianum II. xiv. 3), "nor you that of Ariminum, in order to prejudge the case. I ought not to be bound (detentum) by the authority of the latter, nor you by that of the former. Under the authority of the Scriptures,1 not those received by particular sects, but those received by all in common,2 let the disputation be carried on, in respect to each and every particular."

imposing a false sense is as much consistent whole, according to the

opposed to the truth, as a corrup- substance and context. Bat se

tion by the pen." Clemens Alex- lecting what is spoken ambigu

Axdrinus (Stromata, VII. xvi) ously, they conform this to their

makes the same charge. "But own theory, besprinkling here and

if some of those who follow after there a few texts, not regarding

heresies venture to employ the their meaning, but employing the

prophetical writings, in the first bare letter." Compare also, Irr

place, they do not employ all of Naeus: Adversus Haereses, II.

them; and in the second place, x. 1. they do not employ them as a

'girseler (History, Vol. I. §90) such universal currency, and so

remarks, that down to the coun- wide-spread influence. "Since we

cil of Ohalcedon, in 461, "in an- are too weak to find out truth by

swering opponents men did not abstract reasonings, and for this

endeavour to prove [merely] that very cause need the authority of

the council was oecumenical, but Holy Writ, I began to believe that

[also] that its decision was true Thou wouldest never have given

according to scripture and tra- such excellency of authority to

dition." Scripture in all lands, hadst Thou

* Auqustine's mind, while he not willed thereby to be sought

was inquiring and doubting, and and believed in It is no

before he attained to Christian vain and empty thing, that the faith, was much influenced by the excellent dignity of the authority fact that the scriptures and the of the Christian faith hath overChristian system were the faith spread the whole world." Conof the world. He argued that fessions, VI. v. xL Terttjllian: God would not have permitted a (De praescriptionibus, c. 28, 29) system of error to have obtained employs the same reasoning. "Is it possible that so many churches, olio tradition Is it probable

Chiefly then through the stricter definition and limitation of the idea of Revelation, and partly through the need felt, in the controversies with the heretical and separating mind, of some infallible standard of appeal, did the authoritative character of the Scriptures come to be urged and established by the apologist of this Polemic period. Ever since this time, the Church has recognized the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only infallible source of religious knowledge; ever refusing to attribute this characteristic to any other form of knowledge, however true and valid in its own province. The only exception to this is found in that portion of the history of the Roman Catholic Church in which tradition and ecclesiastical authority are placed upon an equality with Scripture. But this portion of Church History is the history of a corruption. For the doctrine of the infallibility of the Church is of the same nature, with that of the infallibility of the Pope. Both doctrines alike imply an absolute exemption from error, on the part of the finite mind,—a doctrine which belongs to the history of heresies.

and so great ones, should have that a gospel of error was preach

gone astray into the same errone- ed through the whole earth; that

ous belief? Never is there one all mankind erroneously believed

result among many chances. In it; that so many thousands of

case the doctrinal system of the thousands were baptized into er

churches were error there must ror; that so many works of faith

have been variety in its forms and and miracles were wronght by

statements. But where one and error; and finally that so many

the same thing is found amongst martyrdoms in behalf of error

many, this is not error but cath- were erroneously crowned?"

4. A fourth characteristic of the Apologetic History of the period is the fact, that the Church did not array Revelation and Reason in hostility to each other. Careful and firm as the apologist was, in distinguishing revealed from natural religion, and scripture from the spontaneous teachings and operations of the human mind, he steadily refused to concede the position of his skeptical opponent, that Christianity is intrinsically irrational. It was one great aim of the skepticism of this age, as it has been in every age since, to establish if possible the fact of an inherent and necessary contradiction between the special revelation from God contained in the canonical scriptures, and those first principles of all reasoning which are involved in the rational understanding of man; and that consequently the alternative was either to accept Biblical Christianity in the face of all rational principles, or of rational principles in the face of Christianity. This alternative was not admitted. Neither horn of this dilemma was accepted by the Apologist. He denied that there is any inward and necessary contradiction between revelation and reason, or that the adoption of the evangelical system involves the rejection either of the first principles of ethics and natural religion, or of true philosophy. On the contrary he affirmed an inward harmony betwen the two, and bent the best energies of his intellect to demonstrate it. The Church by this time had a philosophy of its own; and henceforward we find the most rational and truthful philosophical systems originating not in Heathendom but in Christendom. The cultivation of theological science proceeded along with that of philosophy; and down to the present day the Christian Apologist contends that any system of philosophy that is anti-Christian is ipso facto irrational,—an affirmation that implies an essential agreement between revelation and reason, and which cannot be made good without evincing this agreement. The assertion that whatever is contradictory to Christianity is irrational, necessarily implies that Christianity itself is reasonable.

Single passages may be quoted from the Fathers to show the carefulness with which they strove to identify the interests of theology with philosophy, and vice versa. Gregory of Nyssa and Epiphanius speak of a truth corroborated by the holy scriptures and right reason. Augustine denounces an error as unsupported by either the authority of scripture or the reasonableness of truth.1 Single passages may also be quoted to prove that the Christian apologist disparaged reason and represented it as inimical to revelation. But such passages must be read in their connection in the treatise, or the argument. Such expressions, disparaging the use of reason in religion, BaumgartenCrusius remarks may be put into three classes: (1) Those in which reason is taken in its least extensive sense, to denote the reason of a particular system, party or school; (2) Those in which reason is taken in the sense of an arrogant private opinion which sets itself up against public sentiments, historical opinions, and authority generally; (3) Those in which reason is taken in the sense of a one-sided speculative disposition that is devoid of any profound religious feeling or want.1 It is against reason in this narrow and inadequate signification, against which it is as much the interest of philosophy to inveigh as it is of revelation, that the disparaging remarks frequently found in Tertullian of the Apologetic period, and in Athanasius and Augustine of the Polemic, are leveled. But against the common reason of mankind, the unbiassed spontaneous convictions of the race, no such remarks are aimed. On the contrary, a confident appeal is made to them by these very Apologists; 2 while those systems of philosophy, and those intellectual methods that flow most legitimately and purely from them, are employed by the Christian Mind in developing and establishing the truths of revelation.

1 Gregortos Nyssa (Contra En- entia dens est, per quem facta sunt

nominni, I. p. 68. Ed. Par.): 'An-A omnia, sicnt divina anctoritas ver

Sfiat <j>avrjs... « XoynTjiiiv aKo\ov- itasque monstravit, verns philoso

3iaK. AuguBTnros (Gen. ad lit. phus est amator dei. Epiphanius

VII. xxiv): Nulla scripturaeauc- (Haer.LXX. iii): 'EK^tiavypa<f>S>i>

toritas vel veritatis ratio; (De *m opSoC Xoyur/iov. Civitate, VIII. i): Porro si sapi

1 BAUMOAKTeN-CBrsros: Dog- 'Compare Tertullian's appeal, mengcschichte, II. § 15. ante, p. 124.

The most powerful and grandest endeavour of the Apologetic Mind of this period to evince the harmony of revelation and reason is seen in the De Civitate Dei of Augustine. This is a treatise consisting of twenty-two books; the first ten of which contain a searching and extended critique of polytheism, in its principles and their influence, and the last twelve treat of Christianity as supernatural, and destined as the realized kingdom or city of God to overthrow all secular and earthly kingdoms and powers.1 It is a work which merits the study of the modern theologian perhaps more than any other single treatise of the Ancient Church; whether we consider the range and variety of its contents, the depth and clearness of its views, and especially the thoroughly supernatural point of view from which everything is looked at.

§ 3. Mutual Telations of Faith and Science.

We pass now to the second distinction which presents itself in the Apologetic History of the Polemic period,—the distinction, namely, between Faith and Scientific Knowledge.

In the Pagan world, faith was merely candour of mind, or a willingness to be convinced of the truth. In this sense, Aristotle remarks that, "it is necessary for one to believe, in order that he may learn."' This form of faith, though indispensable to the scholar, and the condition of all genuine intellectual culture, is very far from coming up to the Biblical idea of this grace. Faith, in the Christian system, is a positive and certain conviction. It differs from the Pagan conception by being more than a merely negative readiness to be convinced. It is an actual assurance of the mind; an inward certitude. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. xi. 1). It differs again from the inquiring temper of the secular mind by being accompanied with humility,—a virtue which was unknown to the Pagan ethics, and which is so generally expelled from the human mind by the conscious increase of knowledge, whose tendency it is to "puff up." In the scriptures, moreover, faith is described as a matter of the heart and will, of life and feeling. It is a practical, and not a speculative act of the mind. And this view of it was taken by the apologist of this period, and we may add of all periods.

1 See a synopsis of it in Milman: History of Christianity, III. x; and Fleury: XXXIII.

During this Polemic age, the Church laid much stress upon the definition of faith given in Hebrews, xi. 1.: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? It is an immoveable belief in the reality and paramount importance of the future, the invisible, and the supernatural. Says Augustine, "quod est fides, nisi credere quod non vides."1 The object of faith is not cognizable by the senses; for this is the meaning of "invisible" in this connection. The eternal world with all its realities stands in no sort of relation to a sensuous organism, and is therefore inapprehensible by any or all of the physical media of knowledge. Faith therefore is the direct contrary of infidelity, which tests everything by a sensuous experience, and does not believe at all except upon a sensuous knowledge of objects. Faith is not a sensuous but an intellectual act, and as the etymology denotes, is fidelity to the future and eternal; is fealty to the invisible, the spiritual, and the supernatural. It is the positive certainty that these are the most real and important of all objects, notwithstanding that they do not come within the sphere of sensuous observation.

1 Aft n-eoTfitiv rbv paiftavnvra. Soph. El. I. ii.

But while the Christian apologist of this period thus regarded faith as different in kind both from the cold and speculative belief of the intellect, and the warm but low certainty of the five senses, he maintained that it is a rational act and state of the soul. This is the second characteristic to be noticed. We find in this, as in the former instance, the same disposition on the part of the defender of Christianity to contend for the intrinsic reasonableness of revealed religion in all its parts and departments. This believing state of the soul, which Christianity insists so much upon, and which constitutes the very life and heart of this religion, is not the credulity of an ignorant and unthinking devotee. Hence the apologist sometimes represents faith as the most natural state of the soul. It is the foundation of human society, argues Augustine; we are born in faith, and shut up to it.1 Origen presents the same view in his argument against the skepticism of Celsus.9 Polycarp, in the very twilight of the controversy between faith and unbelief, calls faith "the mother of us all."8 Nonnus, in similar phraseology, terms faith "the boundless mother of the world."4 These expressions relate, it will of course be understood, to faith in its most general signification. They were not made with any direct reference to that more restricted and peculiar act of the soul by which the justifying work of the Redeemer is appropriated; though, it deserves to be noticed, they are not without a valid application to the doctrine of justifying faith itself. But these and similar statements of the defender of Christianity were intended to specify the nature of that general attitude of the mind towards revealed truth, and invisible things, which is required of man, in order that he may apprehend them. The apologist claimed that this recumbency of the soul upon the supernatural, the invisible, the specially revealed, was a most reasonable, and, in one sense of the word, as Augustine teaches, a natural act and state of the human mind. Employing the term "natural" to denote what belongs to man's original, created nature,—to what belongs to his first unfallen nature, in distinction from his second apostate nature,—the Apologete maintained, in opposition to the skeptic, that Christian faith does no violence to the constitution of a rational spirit, but on the contrary falls in with its deepest wants and necessities, and is therefore a natural act and condition.1 Faith, he said, corresponds to and satisfies the original needs of man and human society. It is the only safe and tranquil mental state for a creature who like man has not yet entered the eternal and invisible world, and who therefore must take eternal things for the present upon trust. And as matter of fact, so affirmed the defender of faith, we begin to exercise faith in some form or other, as soon as we begin to exist, either physically or morally. The child is the exhibitor and the symbol of this characteristic (Matt, xviii. 2-4); and in mature life those who cease from the trusting repose and faith of childhood, and become unbelieving and infidel, run counter to the convictions of the majority of mankind. In this sense, and by such and similar tokens, faith is perceived to be natural, and unbelief unnatural. The former consequently is rational, the latter irrational; so that the apparent contrariety between faith and reason disappears, as soon as a central point of view is attained.1

'TractatusXL. in Joannem, Cap. ix.

1 De ntilitate credendi, I. xii. xiv. 'Ad Joann. i. 7: 'Arty/iova /«jt»'Contra Celsum, IV. i. ii. pa Koo-pov.

'Epist. Ill: 'H iriVrit pf/rrjp irdvrov Tiuwv.

1A similar use of "nature" and in Calvin's Institutes, I. xv. 1, "natural," in the sense of the and II. L 11. created and normal, may be seen

The distinction itself between Faith and Science had already been formaDy made in the preceding Apologetic period, by the Alexandrine school. The great founder and head of this school, Origen, though one of the most speculative minds previous to the Schoolmen, was careful to lay down the position that faith precedes scientific knowledge in the order of nature. Though distinguishing so sharply between niang and yvadig as to lay the foundation for an exoteric and an esoteric knowledge in the Christian Church, thereby doing violence to the spirit of Christianity, which has no room within its communion, like the pagan philosophies, for a class of initiated persons,—though disposed to render to science its dues and more than its dues,—Origen steadfastly taught that the Speculative is grounded in the Practical, and not vice versa, and that it is impossible to build up Christian science out of any other mateiials than those which are furnished by revealed truth wrought into the Christian consciousness. Hence evangelical faith in the heart must precede the philosophic cognition of Christianity. It does not exist prior to any and every species of knowledge, but prior to scientific knowledge. Faith is an intelligent act, but not a scientific act. The statements of the Alexandrine school upon this subject are very clear and positive. "Faith," says Clement of Alexandria, "is more elementary than scientific knowledge; it is the foundation and rudimental material of science." In another place, according to the well-known Aristotelian dictum he terms it "the test and criterion of science."1 And, on the other hand, science is represented by these highly adventurous and speculating Alexandrines as merely the developement and expansion of faith,—as the exact and logical opening up of what is contained potentially in the practical and living confidence of the mind in revealed truth and supernatural realities.

1 We find this same defence of osophical systems. See Pascal, faith, in substance, in all the more Jaoori, and Ooleridge, e. g. pascontemplative and religious phil- sim.

With these positions of Origen and his school, Augustine agreed entirely, as did the church generally, during the Polemic period. The same order of arrangement and degree of relative importance was affirmed to exist between faith and science, while there was far less of that disposition to extend the limits of Christian speculation beyond the powers and capacities of the finite mind which we perceive in Origen, and which in his pupils to a great degree, and in himself to no small degree, resulted in crude and irrational theories respecting the origin of the universe, the nature of matter, and above all the nature and origin of moral evil. Supernaturalism, says Hagenbach, in its most definite and intelligent opposition to rationalism, finds its ablest and most eloquent defender in Augustine. He postpones scientific knowledge to faith, and recognizes in Christianity the only absolute religion for mankind, to which he requires the human mind to submit itself; for faith in the object precedes the scientific cognition of the object. Reason, he says, would never have delivered man from darkness and corruption, if God had not accommodated himself to the finite, and "cum populari quadam dementia" humbled the Divine intellect even to the human nature and the human body.1

1 Clemens ALeiANDKimie (Stro- Vll. x.): Kptrfiptop rijr lirtorfipjir mnta, II. vi.): 2roi^fi<i>8f<7Tfpa ... trivropos yv£>o-is. Origen: (In JoTux aprjTuv rijr yvaxrfas fj rricrm annem, Tom. XIII. Hi; XIX. i) .... Kprjms aXi)3fms; (Stromata, presents the same view.

The following extracts from the great leader of opinions in the Western Church in this and succeeding ages, show the attitude of his mind towards the problems of faith and reason, and sound the key note to the harmony of philosophy and religion. "It cannot be that God hates that characteristic of reason in us, in respect to which he created us superior to the other animals. It cannot be, that we are to believe, in such a way as to preclude all use of our rational faculty. For we could not believe at all unless we had rational minds. It is therefore a reasonable act, when, in matters pertaining to salvation, which we are not able to completely understand as yet, but which we shall be able to understand some time or other, our faith precedes our reason, and so purines the heart that we become capable of the light of the perfect and supreme Reason. Thus it is reasonably said by the prophet (Is. vii. 9, Sept. Ver.): 'Unless ye believe ye shall not understand.' Without doubt he distinguishes here two things, faith and reason, and counsels us first to believe, that we may then be able to understand what we believe Faith should precede

1 Dogmengeschichte, § 116.

philosophic intelligence (Fides intellectum precedere debet). Man as a believer should first inquire into the hidden and secret things of the kingdom of God, in order that he may understandingly perform them. For faith is a species ofintelligence; but scientific intelligence is the reward of faith (Fides enim gradus est intelligendi; intellectus autem meritum fidei). The prophet plainly says this to all who hastily and prematurely require science and neglect faith. For he says: 'Unless ye believe ye shall not understand' (Is. vii. 9, Sept. Ver.). Ye desire to ascend, but overlook the steps by which it is to be done. How perverse is this! If, O man, I were able to show you here upon earth what is

invisible, I should not exhort you to believe

Although unless a man have some knowledge of God, he cannot believe in him, yet by this very faith itself his understanding is invigorated, so that it can obtain still more knowledge. For there are some things which we cannot believe in unless we understand them; and there are some things which

v

we cannot understand, unless we believe in them. For unless there are some things which we cannot understand antecedent to belief, the prophet (Is. vii. 9, Sept. Ver.) would not say: 'Unless ye believe ye shall not understand.' Our intellect, therefore, is of use for understanding what it believes, and faith is of use in believing what it understands."1

Whether faith is prior or posterior, in the order of nature, to science is the test question that determines the character of all philosophizing upon Christianity. If faith, in the phrase of Clement, be regarded as elementary, the test and epitome of science, there is little danger that the substance of scriptural Christianity will be evaporated in the endeavour to exhibit its reasonableness. If, on the other hand, the order is reversed, and scientific knowledge is made to precede belief; if the dictum is laid down, as it was by Abelard in the next period, that there is no believing antecedent to scientific understanding, and consequently that the degree of posterior faith depends upon the degree of anterior science; then the all-comprehending mystery and depth of revealed religion will be lost out of sight, and the whole grand system of Christianity will be reduced down to that "simple" religion desired by the French Director, which consists of "a couple of doctrines,"—viz: the existence of a God, and the immortality of the soul. As

'atjgubtine: Epistolamm Sermonum OXXVI. (Ed. Migne, OXX. 8 (Ed. Migne, II. 458); V. 698); Ennarratio in Ps. cxviii.

we follow the history of Apologies down to the present day, we perceive that leading minds have been supernaturalists or rationalists in their methods of defending and philosophizing upon Christianity, according as they have adopted or rejected the dictum first announced by Origen, repeated by Augustine, and most thoroughly expanded and established by Anselm,—the dictum, fides precedU intellectum. In the former class, we find the names of Origen, Augustine, Anselm, Calvin, Pascal. In the latter, the names of men like Scotus Erigena, Abelard, Raymund Lully, in whom the speculative energy overmastered the contemplative, and whose intuition and construction of Christian Doctrine was inadequate, and in some instances, certainly, fatally defective.

§4. Mutual relations of the Supetmatural and the Natural.

The third distinction, by which we are aided in exhibiting the Apologetic History of this period, is that between the Supernatural and the Natural.

The same process went on in respect to this Important distinction which we found took place in respect to the distinction between Revelation and Reason. The distinction became more clear and firm. The line that marked off the miracle from the ordinary course of nature grew more and more sharp, and distinguishing. In proportion as the Apologist insisted upon a special and peculiar revelation from the Divine Mind, was he led naturally to insist upon a special and peculiar working of the Divine Power. Indeed, all these fundamental distinctions by which we are examining and exhausting the doctrinal history of this period are so connected and sympathetic with each other, that the historic process is the same in reference to them all. Precision, science, and genuine developement affects them all alike; while looseness of conception, and heterodox or rationalizing notions are equally injurious to each and all of them.

The mind of the Church now insists that the Supernatural is so distinctive and peculiar, that it cannot be accounted for upon merely Natural principles. The miracle is not the common and ordinary working of the Deity, but his extraordinary and strange work. The miraculous is an intervention of Omnipotence into the sphere of the finite,, precisely like the act of original creation; and not an evolution out of germes already in existence. The Apologist, looking at the subject from this point of view, set the Supernatural over against the Natural in the sharpest antithesis, and steadfastly refused to identify them as one and the same mode of the Divine Working. Each is a distinct and peculiar mode of the Divine efficiency, and neither one can be resolved or explained into the other. So positive and clear was the belief of the Christian Mind of this period, not only in the possibility but the reality of supernatural agency in the coui-se of sacred history, that men like Ambrose and Augustine did not hesitate to affirm the continuance of such agency; though they were careful to distinguish between biblical and ecclesiastical miracles.1 In this respect, the church of this period differed from the later Roman Church, which greatly multiplied the number of supposed miraculous occurrences in the lives of the saints, and what was of still more importance attributed a worth and authority to them greater than it attached to the scriptural supernaturalism itself.9

On the other side of the subject, we see in this instance, as we did in treating of the distinction between Revelation and Reason, the same disposition to connect the Supernatural with the Natural, so that the miracle shall not appear whimsical, but adapted to the end for which it is wrought; so that it shall not look like the arbitrary, capricious work of a merely magical agency.8 The same God is the author of the Supernatural and the Natural, and hence the desire to exhibit the relation between the two, and to show the point of contact between both, without however annihilating the distinction between them that had been seen, and firmly maintained. Hence the assertion, which is sometimes repeated in the Christian science of the present day, that the miracle is not contrary to all nature but only to nature as known to us, was made by the Apologist of this Polemic period. Says Augustine: "We are wont to say that all miracles and wonders are contrary to nature; but they are not. For how can that which occurs by the will of God be contrary to nature, when the will of God itself constitutes the nature of everything that exists? The miracle, consequently, does not take place contrary to universal nature, but contrary only to nature so far as it is known to us; although, even those things which occur in nature as known to us are not less wonderful, and stupendous, to those who would carefully consider them, were it not that men are accustomed to wonder only at things that are infrequent and rare That miracle of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which he made the water wine, is not wonderful to those who know that it was God who performed it. For He who made wine on that marriage day, in those six waterpots which he commanded to be filled with water, makes wine the whole year round in the grape vines. But this latter we do not wonder at, because it occurs all the year round. By reason of the uniformity we lose our wonder." l

1 Upon ecclesiastical miracles, sick have been healed." Quen

see Middleton's Inquiry, Oamp- Stem (Theol. did. polem. Pt. L

Rell On Miracles, Douglass On p. 472) remarks: "Nolim negare

Miracles, Newman's Essay, and Jesuitas in India et Japonica vera

Grotitjb on Mark xvi. quaedam miracula edidisse."

Protestant writers have some- "Among modern theologians, times cherished ^t&e belief in a no one has been more successful continued supernatural agency, than Twesten in constructing a Says Luther (Works X5t P- 1889, philosophy of miracles that preEd. Walch), "how oftenV"18 it serves the strictest supernaturalhappened, and itilldoes, than4ev" *sm m nnion m& fusion with the ils have been driven out in ttfce laws and elements of nature. See name of Christ; also by the call ing\. his Dogmatik, §24. of his name, and prayer, that the

The Apologist could safely take this ground, and not run the hazard of explaining away the Supernatural into the Natural, because he had started from the position of supernaturalism. Had he, as has been done in some later periods, made the Natural the first, and from this as a point of departure endeavoured to construct a philosophy of miracles, he would have been likely to end with the annihilation of all that is truly and distinctively Supernatural. As in the former instance in which the relations of Revelation and Reason were concerned, so in regard to this distinction between the Supernatural and the Natural, all depends upon the point of departure. The truth is reached, and a genuine harmony is evinced between the Natural and the Miraculous, both of which are equally modes of the Divine efficiency, by first of all holding with firmness, and without any equivocation or mental reservation, to the possibility and the reality of a direct interference of the Deity in the ordinary course of natural phenomena, by which the old every-day course of events is sometimes stopped short ofl^ sometimes wonderfully altered and modified, but in every instance a perfect domination and control over the laws and processes of the natural world is evinced and exercised. When the mind is convinced of the reasonableness of an extraordinary divine efficiency, it then becomes comparatively easy for it to detect that point of contact between the miracle and the common course of nature where both join together, and both co-operate towards the accomplishment of the end proposed by that Divine Being who is the author of both. The Christian apologist of this period was thus thoroughly convinced of the reality of the Divine supernatural intervention; so much so, that, as we have noticed above, he did not regard the age of supernaturalism as entirely past; and hence his attempts at a philosophy of Miracles were upon the whole as successful as any that are to be found in the history of Apologies.

1 Augustine: De Civitate Dei, not said from the position of

XXI. viii; Tractatus VIII. in Jo- science, for Johnson was no

annum (Ed. Migne, p. 1450).—This metaphysician, but it is a view

way of looking at miracles seems that spontaneously suggests itself,

to be natural to the human mind. Cowper gives expression to the

Dr. Johnson, a profound believer same thought, in "The Task."

in miracles, and even inclined to Book VI. credulity as the story of the Cock

T , . . 7, »Should God again,

Lane ghost evinces, thus expresses Aj once ,n G|beoDj lnUm]pt tne T%ee

himself in his life of Sir Thomas Of the nndevtatlng and punctual sun.

Brown: "There is a sense nn- H°w would the world admire i but speaks douhtedly in which all life is mi- , "le" _. . . . .. .

b An agency divine, to make him know

raculous, as it is an union of Hla moment when to sink, and when to powers of which we can image rise,

*• _ . _ „„»_«„-:-,- nf Ape after aire, than to arrest his course?

no connection: a succession ot • "*' ,

'All»« behold M miraeU; but, urn

motions of which the first cause & duly^ aU it miracl6 in ^j,,...

must be supernatural." This is

It is deserving of notice however, that the controversy with the skeptic, in regard to miracles, did not reach its height of vehemence and acuteness until modern times. It was not until modern Deism made its appearance, that the Christian Apologist

was compelled to his most elaborate defences in this respect. The Ancient World seems to have found it more easy than the Modern, to believe in the immediate operation of the deity in the course of nature; perhaps because it was two thousand years nearer the creative fiat, not very far off in time from such awfully miraculous displays as the deluge, and quite near to that continued series of supernatural events and agencies which accompanied the advent and ministry, the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God. As a consequence, the ancient Apologete found a less unbelieving temper to contend with than his modern coadjutor does, in an age of the world which perhaps more than any other is inclined to that mere naturalism which puts the question: "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation," (2 Pet. iii. 4). *

§ 5. Recapitulatory Survey.

A brief and rapid recapitulation will serve to report the progress which has been made by the Church, in these apologetic endeavours of the Polemic age. We shall perceive that during this period of five centuries, the Ecclesiastical Mind gained a clearer understanding of certain subjects fundamental to the establishment and defence of Christianity, than it possessed during the Apologetic period.

1. In the first place, a more distinct and profound knowledge of the relation which exists between human Reason and divine Revelation was the consequence of the very great intellectual activity of this period. The difficulties and objections urged by the skeptic and the heretic compelled the Apologist to reflect more deeply, and to speak more precisely respecting the nature and functions of both of these correlated objects. That somewhat vague idea of revelation, which obtained in the Apologies of Justin Martyr, which left too little room for the distinction between natural and revealed religion, was now displaced by a more precise and scientific one, in which that which is attainable by the exercise of the unassisted finite faculty is distinguished from the products of the Supreme Reason. Here certainly is progress. It was a true and legitimate advance in Christian science to distinguish things that differ; to bring out into the clear light of knowledge, the exact difference there is between Revelation and Reason, and to state it in accurate and plain terms. It is not enough merely not to deny a fundamental distinction. Genuine science, be it Christian or secular, must positively affirm and establish fundamental distinctions. The earlier defenders of Christianity never denied the difference in kind between Revelation and Reason; but they did not discriminate and enunciate it with that scientific exactitude which is the result of sharp controversy. The peculiar form of infidelity which

they were called upon to combat did not lead them to do so, but on the contrary inclined them somewhat in the other direction. For the chief accusation brought against Christianity in the first two centuries was, that it was altogether alien to humanity, a new and peculiar religion wholly foreign and antagonistic to all that the world had heretofore known, and aiming to operate upon the mind and heart of man with a merely magical influence, and with no appeal to his reason. It was therefore the task of the Apologist of this period, to exhibit the affinities of Christianity with human nature; to show the point of contact between the human and Divine minds. He was led, consequently, to emphasize the resemblance that could be found in natural religion, as this had unfolded in the various systems of pagan philosophy and ethics, with the doctrines of Christianity, in order to win the attention and favour of the thoughtful and serious-minded pagan.

But when this ceased to be the state of the controversy, and the unbeliever now passed over to the opposite extreme, and asserted that Christianity contained nothing new or distinctively its own,1 and

'We,, also," says Celsus quot- gods; for with the belief in the'

ed by Oriqen (Cont. Oelsum, lib. gods worshipped in every land

VII), "can place a Supremo Be- and by every people harmonizes

ing above the world, and above the belief in a Primal Being, a

all human things, and approve of Supreme God, who has given to

and sympathize in whatever may every land its guardian, to every

be taught of a spiritual, rather people its presiding deity. The

than material adoration of the unity of the Supreme Being, and the consequent unity of the design of the universe, remains, even if it he admitted that each people has its own gods, whom it must worship in a peculiar manner, according to their peculiar character; the worship of all these different deities is reflected back to the Supreme God, who has appointed them as it were his delegates and representatives. Those who argue that men ought not to serve many masters impute human weakness to God. God is not jealous of the adoration paid to subordinate deities; he is superior in his nature to degradation and insult. Reason itself might justify the belief in the inferior deities, which are the objects of the established worship. For, since the Supreme God can. produce only that which is immortal and imperishable, the existence of mortal beings cannot be explained, unless we distinguish from him those inferior deities, and assert them to be the creators of mortal beings and of perishable things." Compare upon this point Mh.man's History of Christianity, Book II. Chap. viii.

that all the truth necessary for man to know could be developed out of natural religion and ethics, it became necessary for the Christian philosopher to take another step, and while not denying the affinities between natural and revealed religion, exhibit the additional features, the divine and supernatural elements which the latter contained.1 But in doing this, the Apologist unfolded the system of revealed truth more fully than had been done before. He traced the fundamental distinction between ethics and the gospel more profoundly and nearer to the centre, and thereby made a positive advance upon his less exact and scientific predecessors.

'This same adroit method of the ancient skeptic was repeated by the English Deists of the 17th century. Says Leland (Deistical Writers, Letter III), "It is to be observed that the learned writers who opposed Mr. Hobbs did not so much apply themselves to vindicate revealed religion, or the Christian system, as to establish the great principles of all religion and morality, which his scheme tended to subvert; and to show that they had a real foundation in reason and nature. In this they certainly did good service to religion; yet some of the enemies of revelation endeavored to take advantage of it, as if this showed that there is no other religion but the law of nature, and that any extraordinary revelation is needless and useless. Thus, on every supposition, these gentlemen resolved to carry their cause against Christianity. If there be no law of nature, no real difference in the nature of things between moral good and evil, virtue and vice, there is no such thing as religion at all, and, consequently, no Christian religion. On the other hand, if it be proved that there is such this alone is sufficient, and that a thing as the religion and law of it is clear and obvious to all mannature, which is founded in the kind, and therefore they need no very nature and relations of revelation to instruct them in it, things, and agreeable to right or assure them of it." reason, then it is concluded that

2. In the second place, the relation of Faith to Science was better understood and defined than it had been in the preceding period. The church had now wrought out a sounder philosophy of Christianity. The mind of Augustine manages the argument with the philosophical skeptic or the acute heretic, more successfully than had been done by the mind of Irenaeus, or even the mind of Origen. The apologetic writings of this period furnish more that can be used with advantage by the modern theologian, in the ever new and ever old conflict with infidelity, than he can derive from the more ardent and glowing, but less self-consistent and profound defences of Justin Martyr and Tertullian. Infidelity and heresy had now made themselves felt in their more acute and skilful forms of attack, and the defence and repulse evoked from the Church, a depth of reflection, and a power of logic which it had never before exhibited.

3. And lastly, this same progress in the direction of a rational defence of Christianity brought along -with it a clearer intuition of the difference in kind between the Supernatural and the Natural. This fundamental distinction, which had indeed been recognized in the Apologetic period, but which had not been reflected upon with that thoroughness of analysis and abstraction, which alone carries the mind to the inmost centre of an idea,—this distinction was now seen in its fulness of meaning, and asserted with a positiveness which all after Apologetics has only reiterated and heightened.

We perceive then, that during this second period in Apologetic History, the principal topics which constitute the subject-matter of Apologetics were discussed, and satisfactory positions were established respecting each of them. During the first seven centuries, skepticism from without, and heresy from within the church, had been instrumental in forming and fixing those fundamental distinctions upon which all successful defences of Christianity must ultimately rest. We shall not find very great advance upon the Apologetics of the Ancient Church, so far as the foundations of Christian evidences are concerned. That portion of the department, which consists of the evidences from physical nature, has indeed made great progress since this period. But this progress has occurred mostly within the last two centuries; inasmuch as it is the natural consequence of the remarkable advance which during this time has been made in the whole department of natural science. If then, we except the physico-moral argument, we may say as the conclusion of our survey that the evidences for the reasonableness of Christianity were in substance, enunciated and established during the Apologetic and Polemic periods.