APOLOGY AND APOLOGETICS
Understanding the Nature of Catholic Apologetics
The idea of justification and defence is included in the very idea and nature of Religion. Religion must defend and make good its claims before two tribunals: the mind of the believer, and the conscience of society.
For, however divergent may be men's notions of religion, however much moral precepts may differ, it is agreed by all that they transcend the limits of sensible experience and overstep the bounds of natural knowledge.
All men are agreed that there exists a moral law independent of the will of man. The more man is disposed to make his reason the measure of the universe, and his will the standard of action, the more weighty must be the arguments by which he is induced to submit his mind to a higher intelligence, and to bring his will into subjection to a higher power. Not only the temporal well being of individuals and of society, but also man's future destiny depends on a right solution of religious questions.
Nevertheless, in communities that cannot boast of a high order of civilization, the inward contentment and peace of soul, that springs from faith and a religious life, is allowed to do duty for external proofs. Hence the bearing of religion on human happiness and misery is treated more as a matter of sentiment than of conscious knowledge.
Individuals and society, however, in proportion to the advance they make in natural knowledge and morality will grow in the consciousness that religion is of the utmost significance to their welfare.
The mind's insatiable thirst for knowledge begets deeper and deeper reflection on the grounds of religious belief. The vast interests at stake make believers anxious to establish harmony between heart and mind, and between science and faith, in order that their obedience may seem reasonable both to themselves and to others.
But individuals are likewise members of society; man is a social being. Now religion has mightily swayed the thoughts and actions of families, tribes, and states, of the whole human race. On this point the verdict of experience and history is unanimous. The movements that have most powerfully influenced the life of nations have ever been religious. In all undertakings, fraught with consequences, subjects and rulers have regarded an appeal to religion and to the will of the Gods as decisive. All that charms the eye and de- lights the ear in poetry and art, or that gratifies the mind's cravings in science, all has its root in religion, and derives its force and strength from religious enthusiasm. A de-cadence in religion is accompanied by a corresponding de- cadence in art and science. History and ethnography make it quite clear that the decay of religious systems is owing to the action of many (often contradictor)') causes ; e. g. peculiarities of race, historical development, climate, and so on. Comparative philology and the comparative science of religion have now in part lifted the veil that had hitherto hidden the beginnings of religious life among the civilized peoples of ancient times. But it has thereby given birth to the necessity of instituting a comparison between the various religious systems, and of likewise de- fending the faith that is in us.
Etymologically, religion signifies a bond of union between man and God. Its aim and object is to lead man to God, and to unite him to God for ever. But this implies that some prior union originally existed. All known religions trace their origin to a divine revelation. Religion came down from above in order to set man free from the trammels of this lower world of sense; hence it is arrayed in hostility to this world and its ruler, and to man's lower earthly nature. It stirs up strife in the heart of man, in the family, and in society. It is therefore, all the more incumbent on religion to justify itself in the eyes of the natural man and of a sinful world, by making good its claim to be the legitimate daughter of heaven. The proof advanced in behalf of revealed religion must be so over- whelming as to compel mind and heart to yield a willing assent. Supernatural religion is essentially one and infallible. It lays the same yoke on all without exception or distinction. It is also universal in time. Time and circumstances may bring change of form ; but the truth itself is ever the same. Super- natural religion is not merely one true religion among many, but it alone is true. Compared with it all other religions are, in a greater or less degree, false. They are true only in so far as they are conformable to it: the truth they contain is a borrowed truth. The reasons urged in support of the claims of supernatural religion must be commensurate with the high authority to which it appeals, and with the weight of obligation it imposes on men. In particular, all these points have to be proved in the case of Christianity, the last and most complete revelation of God which, as enshrined in a new divine institution, has renewed the face of the earth.
The facts of history bear out the antecedent speculations of theory. It can easily be shown from the history of religion that founders of religions always lay claim to a divine illumination, and that their adherents insist on its truth being attested by miracles. Here, however, it is enough to refer to the known history of revelation.
When God appeared to Moses he chose a flame of fire in a bush. Moses saw that the bush was burning but not consumed* ; and thus he was prepared to accept the revelation as such. He himself was convinced of its truth. But how could he expect the people to believe in it? They will not believe me,
Exodus iii. 2.
he said to the Lord, nor hearken to my voice, but they will say : the Lord hath not appeared to thee.* And the Lord gave Moses a triple sign : the rod changed into a serpent, the leprous hand, and the water converted into blood, " that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob hath appeared to thee." It was the same with the prophets. Like Moses they too were penetrated with a sense of God's presence and of the truth of revelation ; but they had to give the people evidence of their mission. In the New Law the revelation is made by Jesus Christ himself, the Son of God made man. Whereas God, at sundry times and in divers manners spoke, in times past to the fathers by the prophets, in these days He hath spoken to us by His Son.f Even Jesus did not come without His credentials. The en- tire Old Testament singled him out as the promised Messias ; miracles attended His conception and birth ; at His baptism in the Jordan He was solemnly consecrated to His office of Messias. Nor did Jesus fail to produce evidence in word and work, that He was truly the Son of God and the long- expected Messias. He appeared before the people as one having power, and He deigned to show His power by work- ing miracles. If the Jews would not believe His words, at least they should believe His works. Jesus endued His disciples also with power from on high in order that they might convince the astonished heathen world that the truth which they preached came from heaven, and that shadows and darkness must therefore vanish. And they going forth preached everywhere ; the Lord working withal, and con- firming the word with signs that followed. J
If the organs of supernatural revelation needed a special proof of the truth of their mission and doctrine in order to en- counter successfully the antagonism of the world, revealed religion itself must both need and be capable of proof. In both the Old and New Testaments the apologetic
Ibid. iv. i. t Hebrews i. i. t Mark xvi. 20.
element predominates to a remarkable extent. It is generally admitted that Holy Scripture subordinates profane things and profane sciences to religious ends. It is equally well known, if not so universally allowed, that this religious end is, as a rule, closely connected with apologetics. The very first chapter of Genesis can only be rightly understood by contrasting it with the polytheism and nature-worship that everywhere prevailed. The most prominent feature of the Old Testament belief in the one true God ever calls to mind the false gods of the heathen. Adore no strange god have no other god but me, was God's command ; and Israel's observance or transgression of this commandment had an important bearing on its history. Fidelity to God brought prosperity, but adversity followed in the wake of infidelity. Hence the Old Testament is a grand apology for divine revelation against heathen idolatry. And, as is well known, this apologetic tendency is very strongly marked in the New Testament. In the majority of his Epistles S. Paul has to defend either his office, or his person, or his gospel, or the truth of Christianity against every species of attack. In himself he experienced how a believer must be ready to give himself and others an account of the substance and grounds of his faith. Hence he requires the priest to embrace "that faith- ful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers."* Wherefore S. Peter does not merely strive to comfort the sorrowing faithful by referring to the Christian's hope, but he declares it to be likewise the duty of the believer to be on the alert, and always ready to satisfy every one that asketh a reason of that hope which is in him.f The prologue to S. Luke's gospel and the conclusion of S. John's betray an apologetic purpose, which, however, is less perceptible in the body of those gospels.
But, it may be argued, is not faith a necessary postulate of religion ? Is not natural reason incompetent to prove the truth
* Titus i. 5. 1 1. Peter iii. 15.
of supernatural revelation ? Must, then, the defence, which is acknowledged to be necessary, be set down as impossible or illusory? So it would really seem. For this reason some writers reject external and metaphysical proofs as of no avail in matters of faith. Pascal declares he will not attempt to prove either the existence of God, or the Trinity, or the immortality of the soul, or any other such truth from reason ; and he re- fuses, not merely because he feels unequal to the task of finding any argument in nature forcible enough to convince an atheist, but also because such knowledge without Jesus Christ is barren and unprofitable. What doth it profit a man unto salvation to know that mathematical axioms are immaterial eternal truths, subsisting in dependence on the first truth? 1 Protestant schools of theology are also very sceptical about metaphysical proofs. Positivists and Rationalists take a different route but reach the same goal. But no such stumbling-block besets the path of the sound apologist. He is fully aware that the meta- physical Absolute and the God of religion are not the same, and that their effect on the heart is very different. He knows full well that a religious idea of God, even in its most general form, is unattainable by metaphysics. But deeply conscious of the rights of the human heart, he cannot afford to ignore metaphysical proofs. They are defective, it is true; but all human knowledge, especially religious knowledge, is necessarily imperfect
The idea of God, S. Augustine has said, is more truly conceived than expressed ; and God is truer than He is conceived. Even the advanced knowledge of God obtained from revelation is no exception. Maybe S. Thomas and many of the School- men set too high a value on these proofs ; but they did not thereby dispense with faith. Religious life, in its essence, depends on that exercise of the will which calls forth the Act of Faith. For this reason Albertus Magnus, Alexander Hales, S.
Vscml. Petuftt tur la rttigio*. tt sur yuelguft autrts mfttf. Amsterdam, 1758. Preface and , ao, i, a.
Bonaventure, and many others, taught that even those things which are naturally evident can still be the material object of faith. Faith and knowledge may coexist with regard to one and the same object. For, however well a thing is known, there are in its nature unexplored and unknown depths. Apologetic proofs are but the preliminaries of faith. Faith begins where apology ends. In natural science, what is known cannot be believed, Not so, however, in the realm of the supernatural, where man never knows more than a shadow, and a bare outline of the whole truth. Faith alone opens the understanding to the light of the truth ; faith alone brings full conviction.
But, it will be asked, can the claims of faith clash with the claims of apology ? A collision is possible on one supposition only: if reason were required to supply a formal proof of revelation, and if the fact of revelation and its bearings on man's salvation depended on the success of the proof. This, however, does not lie in the province of an apology, but is the work of a constructive philosophy of religion. A defence pre- supposes the existence of the object to be defended. The bounden duty of the apologist is twofold : to refute objections, and to show that religion is attuned to the chords of man's mind and the beatings of his heart. Revelation was not given to put natural knowledge out of court, or to turn it topsy-turvy.
On the contrary, revelation, taking natural knowledge for granted, enlists it in its service. As a philosophy of life, Christianity is without a parallel. For not only are its doctrines in harmony with reason ; but it affords comfort and consolation to sorrow-stricken souls by solving in an intelligible and coherent fashion questions which have at all times stirred the human mind to its depths, and made the human heart surge like a swollen sea ; and it is so sublime precisely because it offers, on revealed grounds, an infallible solution of those fundamental problems in regard to which natural philosophers can offer nothing better than hints and conjectures. As a philosophy of life it rests upon natural knowledge ; but, as the one infallible philosophy, it is built on the immovable rock of God's word. Only He, who is absolute truth and sanctity itself can supply that ultimate principle of certitude which places virtue and beatitude on a sure footing. When the Apostle, in the Epistle of the Corinthians,* says that the Lord did not send him to preach in wisdom of speech lest the Cross of Christ should be made void, and that therefore he preached Christ Crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumbling-block and unto the Gentiles foolishness, he drew a bold and, perhaps, rather rough sketch of the sharp triangular duel between the Gospel, Jewish Faith, and heathen wisdom. But in these words he did but give expression to a thought underlying revelation, that the kingdom of God is not of this world, and that the poor have the Gospel preached to them. He declares war to the knife not against true wisdom, but against the science that puffeth up, that inflates the creature with pride, and makes him turn his back on his Creator. Taking as his starting-point the Gospel, as the power to every one that believes, he proceeds to show how Christianity alone is competent to give a thoroughly satisfactory solution of the momentous problems of life. He grinds the theories of idolatry to powder; he exposes the thread- bare nature of Jewish hopes ; from psychology and experience he demonstrates with touching and telling force man's need of grace and redemption. Yet, in spite of his adamantine faith, in spite of his full persuasion that faith in Jesus is the gate of salvation, he in nowise shuts his eyes to the conditions of heart and mind that must necessarily precede this faith. He demands a reason- able obedience. 8 He adduces facts from our Lord's life to prove the truth of the promises made to Christians. While, therefore, we affirm with the Fathers that it is natural to seek proofs from reason 8 for our belief in Christianity, we re-echo the confession of the same Fathers that we must give an account of the faith
I Corinthians, i, 17, 33.
Romans xiL \. Vatican Council 3. 3.
3 Mofcler Patreltgie (Reithmayr'i Edition) Regensburg 1840 p. 465.
that is in us. Revelation and reason, faith and science are not mutually exclusive but inclusive. In origin and end they are, broadly speaking, comparable, although they move in different orbits. And, in order to make the obedience of faith harmonize with the rigfets of reason, God has vouchsafeth-etitward proofs in addition to the inward promptings of the Holy Spirit. He has set up before the gaze of men certain divine facts, chiefly miracles and prophecies, which clearly show forth His almighty power and in- finite wisdom, and are therefore absolutely safe tests of revelation, which all can appreciate. 4 The revelation of God in Creation and Redemption is clear enough to be seen and believed by all who seek God ; but it is also obscure enough to leave room for doubt to men who are not of good-will." Apology is the name given to a vindication of the faith. Besides warding off attack and making false accusation to blush,* it likewise renders an account of thought and ac- tion,! and supplies formal or actual proofs " in the defence and confirmation of the Gospel. "J The life and death of the Apostles, their writings and their preaching were an apology for Christianity as a whole, and for the several truths and practices that go to make it up. Thus, in the Epistle to the Corinthians, S. Paul proves the resurrection of the dead from the fact that Jesus rose again ; from the death and resurrection of Jesus he deduces the importance of baptism ; the works of Jesus establish the certainty of faith. The prophecies of the Old Testament are frequently invoked by the Apostles|| in proof that Jesus is the Messias and God. The early Fathers wrote apologies to stop the mouth of the heathen and the Jew. Such apologies were simple or elaborate, deep or diffuse, treated of the prolegomena or explained the truths of faith, according
4 Mark xvi. ao ; II. Pet. 5. 19 ; Vatican Council 3. 3.
5 Pascal 2 18. 2.
* I. Cor. ix. 3 ; Acts xxii. i ; xxv. 16 ; I. Tim. iv. 16.
t I. Peter iii. 15.
J Philip, i. 7. 16.
I. Cor. xv.
II See Acts of the Apostles.
to circumstances. As a rule, however, they did not look beyond the needs of the hour, and handled no more points than were necessary for dealing with the case in hand. They formally differ from scientific expositions of the faith, by being more general in character, and by being written in an easy style and in popular language. Out of the several treatises in which the main truths of Christian doctrine have been successively treated in apologetic fashion, has been built up the science of Christian apology.
But, when particular truths recede into the background and Christianity is viewed generally and as a whole, apology is gradually swallowed up in apologetics. ( dw\iry7fri/dj sc. Ttyyi] .). Only in late years has this been recognized to be a systematic branch of theology. Its purpose is to lay out the ground, and to devise the best methods for defending Christianity. But it is not blank methodology any more than dogmatic theology is, or ethics, or aesthetics, or the science of cognition, but it has a scope of its own, positive and defensive. As dogmatic theology is the science of dogma, so apologetics is the science of apology, the scientific vindication of divine truth, and of the rule of life that has been given for all ages and all nations. Its intrinsic connection with dogma has obtained for it the name of general dogmatic theology, because it examines the general grounds on which all dogmas rest. It also goes by the name of fundamental theology, because it investigates the character common to all the truths of faith. It forms no part of its plan to prove that the several doctrines are true; its task is to demonstrate the origin and groundwork of Christianity and to establish its claim to sole authority. Thus Christianity is its own proof; but this alone is not enough. When apologetics is enlisted in the service of any particular Church or Communion, the further duty devolves on it of demonstrating that the doctrines and practices of this particular Church are in accord with revelation. So Catholic Apologetics may be defined as that branch of eccl< ';>:;'! snenre wV^h r '-~ <; -V-i t', > ("ntVi'ic Church is the true Church founded by Christ, and guided and quick- ened by the Holy Spirit ; and furthermore, that the truths revealed by Christ and preached by the Apostles have been preserved in the Catholic Church intact and free from adulteration. Thus the demonstratio Christiana and the demonstratio Catholica go hand in hand.
In this way the boundary-line between apology and apologetics is clearly defined. But their respective provinces may be mapped out still more exactly. The one, as it were, breaks up the ground for faith by preparing the soul ; the other strengthens faith and makes conviction doubly sure. Or, to adopt the terminology of the ancients, the former comprises the praeambula fidei, the latter the motiva credibilitatis. Apart from the general drift of the science as a whole, the object of the first part may be described as positive, while that of the second is defensive. Faith presupposes reason; no commandments can be imposed on a being de- void of free-will ; revelation is a superstructure built on creation. Man comes into this world with certain endowments, His only way of gaining heaven is to train his soul to seek the things that are above, and make it obedient to the voice of God, and, on the other hand, to look upon the visible world as the image of a world, spiritual and invisible. Now, it is the duty of the intelligent Christian to show that the preliminary conditions of religion and revelation exist in his own nature and in the world around him. But while apologetics confines its operations to the groundwork of faith, apology, without snapping any links in the logical chain of thought, makes certain questions the subject of special and detailed enquiry ; to wit, the natural knowledge of God, man's future destiny, the immortality of the soul, and the doctrine of creation. Natural revelation is a necessary stepping-stone to supernatural revelation ; the ladder of rea- son is required to scale the walls of faith. For atheists and materialists, naturalists, pantheists and deists, for those, in fine, who reject all revelation, faith in Christian revelation is of course out of the question. Hence the first and foremost business in both apology and apologetics is to show this denial of all revelation to be against reason, and to prove that the existence of God is the necessary outcome of a reasonable view of the world.
And now we are brought face to face with the second function proper to Apology and Apologetics. If supernatural revelation really solves the problems of existence and satisfies the heart's longing for peace, then man has ready to hand a most powerful inducement to believe in revelation, even before he has submitted its details to the searching eye of criticism. This is the inner demonstration, but there is also a corresponding outer one. Supernatural revelation, being an out- ward act of God, is equipped with external proofs of its credibility. A bare enumeration and a simple historical explanation of these proofs would suffice, had not they, more than all others, been subjected to the dissolving and corrosive tests of criticism. In revelation the divine authority has made use of human organs, and accommodated itself to man's capacity. Revelation has not been communicated to each individual; from many, it is far removed in time and place. Thus a wide range is opened out for the defence. Now the duty of the Apologist is to prove that the Christian revelation is the only true revelation, and that Christianity, in its present form, is clad with the spotless robe of truth, The teaching of Scripture and Tradition regarding the life and character of Jesus, regarding His work and its continuance in the Church show, at a glance, the comprehensive scope of the enquiry.
Thus the contents of historical religion fix the limits of Apologetics proper. Its sphere of work is bounded by existing religions. Unlike the philosophy of religion, which it takes for granted, it does not start from a blank nothing. The apologist tests all in order to keep the best. But his investigations are not blind, or baseless, or prompted by sheer curiosity; rather they move on well-defined lines which are regulated by the lines on which the attack on the Christian position proceeds. Hence the apologist and the theologian work on different sets of principles. The apologist's method of demonstration is based on the natural knowledge supplied by reason and the experimental sciences. Apologetics cannot coerce faith, or borrow proofs from faith. True, it leaves the preliminary questions of first principles to philosophy ; but its starting-point must be the general results of the philosophy of religion, since these cannot be obtained without reference to historical development and the religious sense of mankind. Natural and philosophic knowledge must combine with religious knowledge, and the religious sense of mankind ; internal experience must be set side by side with the true philosophical view of the world, and the historical knowledge of external revelation. Doubtless, in recommending the spirit and power of Protestants as the best and surest proof, Lessing was cynical; but anyhow he correctly discerned one essential element in Apologetics. Mere abstractions and the formal processes of the mind are admittedly no adequate guarantee for the reality of ideas. Christian revelation, which forms the keystone of Apologetics, should be regarded in two lights; firstly and chiefly, as a work of redemption, freeing man from the bondage of error and smjlind secondly, as a manifestation of the Spirit of God, taking possession of man's heart and mind. It should not, however, be forgotten that apologetics is intended for others besides those who have experienced or are experiencing the power of the Gospel. The mind is subject to more stringent laws than feeling and fancy, these latter being open to many influences from within and without which place the certitude of the mind in great jeopardy. Were all external proofs set aside, and faith made to rest solely on internal and immanent reasons, it would be impossible to discover a general basis for belief and practice. Belief in the objects of faith is no more dependent on subjective grounds than is the belief in the external facts that are inseparably bound up with revelation.
As the rationalist, who makes reason the measure of revelation, reduces revealed truth to a minimum, so the believer, who throws cold water on the apologetic proof for an external revelation, robs revelation of its guarantees. True, we can only feel and experience, we cannot prove the value of the blessings that Christianity has brought in its train ; still these benefits must be as capable of being externally recognized as the Christian religion itself. He knows the will of God best who does it; but he who promulgates it must, to say the least, be able to offer some external security.* For this reason the Vatican Council* condemns those who teach that no external signs can make divine revelation credible, and that each one's internal experience or private inspiration is the only guide to faith. Anyhow, it is necessary to attend alike to the requirements of both. As sensation and feeling precede concept and judgment, so religion melts the heart before it thaws the understanding. The knowledge of God is not the parent but the child of religion. The will reigns supreme from end to end of the spiritual life ; in religious questions especially, its word is law. It may be better, therefore, in practice to enlist the sympathies of the heart before trying to captivate the understanding. As a rule it is easier to prick the conscience than to conquer prejudice. The proofs for God's existence, drawn from nature, are unnecessary for those who see God everywhere in nature ; and, on the other hand, they make but little impression upon the minds of men who view nature in a different light. Although nature is ever dinning this truth into their ears, they are deaf to her voice. 7 Nevertheless the method of science must differ from that of the Catechism and the Homily. If the Catechism says : ' Thou Shalt,' science must give the reason why. The Christian idea of God, and the idea of God derived from nature are as wide apart as the poles. The God of the Christian is a God of love, a comforter ;
* John vii. 17, 18.
6 Vatican iii. 3 can. 3.
7 Pascal z, 20, i, a.
He fills the heart and souls of them that possess Him ; He makes man feel his wretchedness and misery, but He is also infinite in mercy and breathes into man's soul humility, joy, confidence and love. But, alas ! how many struggles within and without has the soul to undergo before reaching that blissful haven of religious peace ! How often is the soul tossed to and fro on a restless sea, between fear and hope, faith and doubt !
The insufficiency of the anthropo-psychological method becomes still more strikingly apparent when we come to consider the hostile attitude that modern science has adopted towards religion. The heathen Celsus ridiculed Christian doctrines as unreasonable ; modern science at- tempts to solve all the great problems of life and existence independently of Christianity. Empirical science has gained the ascendant over mental science and philosophy. The more the mind pins its faith to external experience and the exact sciences, the more necessary it becomes for the Apologist to draw the lines of demarcation between natural and religious knowledge. The change of front executed by natural science in these latter days has rendered this method necessary. Positivists and Nihilists call existing methods in question, and recognize as valid only those arguments which are drawn from reason. Appeals to au- thority are, in their judgment, insane. Hence the Apolo- gist is bound to show, from the nature of things and from the nature of man, what are the preliminary steps to be taken, and what conditions are required before faith can exist. In a word, the Apologist must follow modern sci- ence step by step. Questions not dreamed of in the philos- ophy of bygone ages have arisen, demanding new methods of treatment. The Fathers first showed the absurdity of idolatry, and then, by a natural transition, led men from the worship of created things to worship the Creator. Then they proceeded to show from the gospels, and from the testimony of the prophets and apostles that the promised Redeemer had come. 8
8 Orgenes c. Cehum, iii. 15.
At the outset the modern apologist is confronted by two colossal errors. He finds that science has deified nature, and turned mind into matter. He must, therefore, slay this hydra- headed monster before he can safely begin to build the citadel of positive religious truth. In a certain sense the task of the apologist may be said to be substan- tially the same as it ever was. Like the Gnostics and the philosophers of old, modern naturalism inveighs against the doctrine of creation. In impugning prophecies and miracles modern rationalists are but aping ancient sceptics. In making war on the authenticity of Holy Scripture, mod- ern biblical critics are marching under the banner unfurled long ago by Celsus, Porphyry, and Hierocles. In despis- ing Christian life the modern Epicurean is as rancorous as the old. And yet it is sufficient to mention the physical sciences, and the comparative sciences of religion and lan- guage to see what an impassable gulf separates the ancient from the modern method. On the wise man, according to S. Thomas, devolves the double duty of demonstrating truth and refuting error. But, inasmuch as the several errors are not always clearly set forth, and as, moreover, opponents do not allow any authority to Holy Scripture, the only available weapons are general arguments from reason. As faith rests on the authority of God revealing Himself, a knowledge of Him who bears witness to it must precede faith. But the authority of God will be decisive only for those who already know God and His attributes. Here, it is quite immaterial whether He be considered merely as a necessary condition or an efficient cause. At any rate Apology, setting out from the universal truths of reason, arrives at the particular truths of religion ; and from the general requirements of the moral law it advances to the particular precepts of Christian morality.
We need not enquire where the line is to be drawn between Apology and Apologetics, as we are not concerned with scientific apologetics. Scientific apology and apologetics have the same internal systematic connection, though, externally, the connection is hardly perceptible. Apology takes its stand on the fact of religion. This is the point from which it starts to try and explain, negatively and positively, the origin of religion. The idea of religion, when analysed, resolves itself into three elements : The belief in a Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, and future retribution. These truths, however, are unintelligible, unless the world is the work of a Creator, whose omnipotence and godhead are manifested therein. Our study of natural revelation will close with a comparison between the biblical account of Creation and the discoveries of science. This will serve as an appropriate transition to supernatural revelation which, of course, centres in the Christian religion and life. In the Holy Scriptures, especially in the life of our Lord, there is abundant food for study, and much to be defended because much has been vigorously assailed. Nowadays this is justly considered the most important part of an Apology. The validity of the Christian religion cannot be impeached by other religions, even should it appear that their stock of truths is larger than has been heretofore sup- posed. The light of Christianity alone enables us to under- stand and appreciate their significance. The third part of our Apology will treat of the institution and endowment, the government and office of the Church. Here apology and dogma are less easily distinguished, as the two sciences cross each other's border. But this part of the subject makes it quite clear that apologetics is not a mere philosophical treatise. Apology, however, is not merely the handmaid of Dogma or Ethics, since it has its own distinct province ; it should rather be described as the introduction to, and foundation of both. 9
9. For the literature on this point see Kuhn, Einleitung in Kath. Dogmatik, ad Ed. Tubingen 1859 p. 201 seq.; Kleutgen, Theologie der Vorzeit 3 vols. Mflnster 1860. p. 304 seq.; Steude, Beitrage Zur Apologetik^ Gotha 1884. F. Duihle de St.-Projet, Les conditions nouvelles de rapolog&ique et de Fexeglse il Fheure presente (La. Controverse 1884 Nr. 68.) Apologie Scientifique de la Foi Ckritienne, Paris 1885.