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tionalism, or any approach to traditionalism; the question is closed.
An inevitable friction arises from the readjustment of ideas going on around us. It is not felt only on one side. If the believer is perplexed by the solvent action of knowledge on opinion, and exclaims with the pious solitary when convinced of his error in attributing a material form to the Deity, They have taken away my God,' there are more than we think who resent the identification of the spirit with the letter, of the faith that saves with the fallacious opinions of men. We realise the scandal given by the Greek to the barbarian; we do not realise the scandal given by the barbarian to the Greek. Where prudence and veracity conflict, the latter is to be preferred; we must follow the lead of thought, take us where it will. For no seeming good may we tamper with evidence or play fast and loose with fact. This is Jesuitism; doing evil that good may come. The temptation to act in this way is, at times, great, for there are questions which can scarcely be raised without danger and apparent irreverence.
The future of religious thought-and religion though it is other than, can never divorce itself from thought-is not doubtful. Ideas diffuse themselves: like spirit, they penetrate through all barriers and pass all doors. Their ultimate influence on existing ecclesiastical organisations is less certain. Organisations, as such, look to the past, not to the future; and resist, even where they submit to, change. The looser their texture the less effectual is their resistance; in the Protestant Churches freedom has practically been won, and as Scripture has been their standard from the first it is improbable that the appeal from its false to its true sense will cause more than a temporary and inconsiderable strain. With the Church of Rome it is different. Her standard is not Scripture, but tradition; and Scripture as interpreted by tradition. And her attitude towards anything like a reform of theology is unmistakable: its advocates exist in her as a foreign body, and because her endeavours to expel them have, so far, failed. From a practical point of view it is obvious that the Church has everything to lose by this attitude; that the liberalising movement, properly engineered, might do much—especially in Latin countries, where the religious instinct, such as it is, is Catholic-to restore her waning influence and prestige. So obvious, indeed, is this, that the non possumus of the Vatican, accentuated as it has been under the present
Pontiff, can be accounted for only by the reflection that persons exceptionally acute on their own ground are often exceptionally the reverse of acute outside it, and that Rome is interested in politics, in administration, occasionally perhaps in piety-never in ideas. It is possible, however, that a change of policy, while advantageous to Catholicism, might be of doubtful benefit to religion. Rome stands for the principle of authority, and an increased efficiency given to this principle might react injuriously on the forces that make for liberty. The existence of a liberalising school in the Church is a check, if an inadequate check, on the tendency of authority to run riot, and so in the long run to stultify itself: while the fact that this school exists precariously and on sufferance makes it impossible for the Church to exploit it; the lines on which the two advance are, if not divergent, at least parallel, and never meet. Again, the half is often more than the whole-Rien de plus dangereux que la demi-absur'dité; car l'humanité est médiocre; elle vomit le trop fort 'virus; elle vivote avec la dose de sottise qui n'est pas 'suffisante pour la tuer.' The Catholicism of the Civiltà Cat'tolica' is, from the point of view of the future, a negligible quantity; the Catholicism of M. Loisy, in less worthy hands than his, might conceivably become a force for mischief in the world of thought and things. That what is called Liberal Catholicism is spreading, and will continue to spread, is certain; the Pope can no more check it than Canute could turn the tide. Whether those who identify themselves with it will continue Catholics in any real sense is another question. Ecclesiasticism is a vanishing, if a slowly vanishing, quantity in religion; and ecclesiasticism is, or seems to be, co-extensive with Catholicism. As the one declines the other loses its significance: organisation becomes, as in the Reformed Churches, matter of expediency and arrangement rather than of divine right. It is possible that this account of the matter is not exhaustive; but Huxley's question, What would become of things supposing them to lose their qualities? suggests itself. The process of defaecation may be continued till nothing of the original substance remains. Catholicism, as a distinctive form of Christianity, is capable of a sufficiently plausible natural explanation; it is very much what we should expect it to be from its history. Are we to interpret its claims by its history, or its history by its claims? The latter alternative is no longer open to us; if the former be adopted, how much, it may be asked-and this perhaps is the unconscious explanation of the non
possumus-is left of the claims? The framework, in other words, is too small for the facts; it is impossible to get them into it. Yet this framework is so much of a piece that the attempt to enlarge it is dangerous; the house, if we touch it, threatens to come down about our ears. The instinct of the Church divines the danger, a danger which does not affect her alone. Admit the conception of Christianity which embodies the Christian idea, as such, in an external form, whether that form be an institution or a book, a priesthood or a dogma, and you have the Medieval Papacy; the logical process of construction is inevitable. Question the Medieval Papacy, and the process of dissolution is equally inevitable. The conception of an embodied Christianity falls to pieces: you are thrown back on a radically different conception of Christianity, in which it appears not as letter but as spirit, not as institution but as idea.
These, however, are secondary matters: Ecce labora, et noli contristari is the note of confidence with which Harnack concludes. Those who look at religion from without, from the standpoint of institutions and formulas, may despair of the future; for, whether these institutions and formulas survive or perish, the future is not theirs. There are more important questions than whether a man belongs to this or that Church, or holds this or that theological opinion; the kingdom of God does not consist in these things. But while women are loved, and men achieve, and children link heart to heart as they pass the lamp of life with increase from generation to generation, its interests are secure. To idealise is the one thing needful: what we idealise is of less consequence, for in the idea all things are one
That this sense of the ideal is being developed among us, that the horizons of life are becoming more luminous, that the field of moral effort is enlarging its borders, that we are coming to think more worthily and therefore more truly of God and man--this may inspire us with courage and hope -Historia non facit saltum: darum Geduld.
ART. II.-PAINTING AS THOUGHT.-G. F. WATTS. Exhibition Catalogues of the New Gallery, 1897; Royal Academy, 1905; Tate Gallery, &c., &c.
Two broad and necessarily inadequate terms, 'reproduction' and 'representation,' indicate the divergent tendencies of modern painting. To reproduce by means and mediums proper to art, and to suggest where those prove deficient, the actual semblances of things seen with all possible exactitude, is the predominant, if not the ultimate, aim of the artist whose formula might be summarised, the eye 'sees, the hand paints.' Thought and idea, symbol and allegory, are prohibited by his decalogue. He must dismiss mental preconceptions. The supplemental aids memory or knowledge affords normally to the interpretation of objects of sense must be utilised with precaution, lest exactitude of detail so obtained detract from truth of effect. The quality of such art-apart from technical skill-depends on the gift of visual instinct and perceptive vision. The eye of the non-gifted sees form, the eye of the gifted sees those evidences of life and change which animate form. delineating one arrested pose of nature, one momentary effect of light, he conveys a sense of transition; in his registration of a single crystallised phase of the outward aspects of things, he imparts a sense of growth, of movement, of transmutation, of, in fact, those infinite variations of surface appearance conditioning all visible objects. The facsimile must be living as nature, the verisimilitude must portray the vitality of truth. Yet in suggestion he must suggest only what the object or scene before him suggests; the impressions conveyed must be those only immediately derived from external reality. He must paint le thème vu in contradistinction to 'le thème pensé.' The value of art for him is in its relationship to actuality.
Under the second and far more elastic term: representation, art includes other aims. Its purpose is still to image pictorially aspects of nature's many semblances. But, not content to serve as a mere mirror of indelible reflections, it endeavours to transmit meanings, ideas, emotions, drawn from all sources, from sight, from imagination, from memory. It evokes associations whose connexion with the objects seen and painted is mental, not visual; it asks the spectator to think with his eyes and see with his mind; it appeals to his intellectual and emotional sympathies no less than it betrays
those of the painter. The image on the canvas becomes, howsoever naturalistic the method, primarily, in Rossetti's phrase, a rendering of motive,' and the thing signified bears the same relation to the form that the imaginative conception of a poem bears to the sound of the words and the rhythm of the verse. Such art, in one division, resolves itself into illustration, as in the Briar Rose,' the Perseus,' the 'Pygmalion' series of Burne-Jones narrative pictures. In other sections it becomes the symbolic expression of emotion, thought, or abstract ideas.
How far art loses in becoming a tool and instrument to thought is a question each man will decide according to the bias of his own opinions. Our perceptive faculties, whether of sense or brain, do not normally respond to dual and multiple appeals as they respond to a single appeal. The same concentrated and conscious acuteness of perception does not seem to be lodged in an equal degree and simultaneously in the several organs of sense and intellect. Listening intently, we become wholly absorbed in what reaches the ear; watching intently, sounds pass us by as silences; thinking intently, the mind shuts the door of its cell upon itself and we are blind and deaf to the outer world. In opera the dramatist's art may theoretically combine with the musical and histrionic arts to produce an impression of perfect artistic unity. But, so far as the impression is complex, neither music, acting, nor dramatic composition, as separate entities, win that monopolist control over any one of the senses without which no organ of perception touches its highest watermark. Thus, except where secondary appeals are kept strictly as subordinate and auxiliary to the central appeal, impressions are apt to lose in vigour what they gain in expansion, and although an undercurrent of emotional excitement stimulates the exercise of any one faculty and enhances the effect of the single impression, an overplus of the reflective tendency in any art of which the primary aim is to reach the senses, in diverting the focus of attention, weakens it. Pictorial art is an art of colour, form, and design; its direct appeal is to the eye. The art of the symbolist invokes the response of the mind. It trenches, for good or ill, on regions where other laws than the principles of art are paramount. It is an art of suggestion where the material form is wedded to the intellectual conception, and where, in the artist's intention, neither can be detached from the other without detriment to both: 'not soul helps sense more than sense helps soul.'