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Every form of Catholicism is an attempt at such a compromise with Augustinianism as shall meet the needs both of faith and responsibility. Catholicism also holds the conception of grace as infinite power in conflict with man's will as finite power. On reaching God we find irresistible might and, therefore, a sphere in which there are infallible authorities and absolutely efficacious operations. But only at times are we within the scope of its full activity. God is the limitless ocean, but the locks so regulate its tides that the little lake of human personality may have something both of the freshness of the ocean and of the amenity of an inland sea. The Augustinian idea of grace remains unaltered, and attention is directed wholly to the limit of its operation. This is confined to the Church, which, being assured, by omnipotence directed by omniscience, of absolute security in creed, organisation and the means of grace, is the sphere of a grace which overrides every deflecting agency. But the more it is secure, the more man can be left within it to the freedom of his ways. The individual rein, so to speak, can be relaxed if the ring-fence of the Church is without a breach. The absolute reliance upon God which religion requires being thus provided for, we may safely assign freedom to the individual will and 35 ascribe to it merit, thus, it is argued, doing justice both to Augustinianism and Pelagianism.

This compromise of an Augustinian church with Pelagian members has had practical value in providing room both for faith and duty. As an escape, on their own conception of grace, from a rigid Augustinianism or an easy Pelagianism, it had no small measure of success. Yet the hesitating temper known as timor filialis, which demands other securities besides child-like confidence, shows that it does not provide the utter dependence on God religion requires; while its age-long conflict, both with personal and with political freedom, proclaims aloud its failure to provide the absolute independence which alone can satisfy morals.

Reason and religion alike, moreover, tend to extend and not to limit Augustinianism.

If prophet or pope can be so overridden by the direct might of God as to guarantee infallible guidance, and if that is the higher way, the only way absolutely manifesting God's working, why is there a lower? If God can so control any spirit, and it is a supreme good so to be controlled, why not all spirits, to the utter exclusion from the world of error and sin? If some souls, by the finger of God's power, are transformed in their substance in melius as Augustine expresses it, why are not all made of the best substance in the first instance? Or if, for unknown reasons, the improvement must be effected later, the restriction of the operation to so special a channel of 36 grace would surely argue in the Infinite a strangely parsimonious mind.

Even while the ring-fence of the Church held good, dissatisfaction with this roundabout way of relying on God and desire for a more personal and direct dependence could not be quite suppressed. Every revival of religion, every movement of greater spiritual earnestness and depth, tended to return to Augustinianism for the individual, as well as for the Church: and this need for a nearer and more personal assurance of grace was naturally intensified after a large breach in the ring-fence of the Church had been made by the Reformation. Luther, no less than Calvin, was an Augustinian, and many shared in Calvin's intense conviction that everything short of complete pre-determination came short of the glory of God and was so much less reason for putting our trust wholly in Him.

After the Reformation, however, as before, the conception of grace remained unchanged, being more clearly than ever conceived as the operation of omnipotence directed by omniscience. The sole change was again its sphere of operation, which was transferred from the Visible Church to the body of the elect, made one because each is individually chosen and by absolute power made regenerate. This still required the distinction between an efficacious and a common grace, but efficacious grace was now a rein for each and not a ring-fence for all. Yet it was still concerned with the Church, for a direct, irresistible, individual force of grace was expected to guarantee 37 for the elect, in a way impossible for a corrupt and divided Church, unity of faith and purity of organisation, as well as a directly and externally secured salvation.

On this point the history of English Christianity is illuminating. For seventy years after the Reformation, in so far as it was not Roman, it was Calvinistic. These seventy years cover the whole period during which it was possible to cherish Calvin's hope of a body of elect kept, by the power of omnipotence, in unity of faith and practice, because, at the end of it, no blindness could fail to see that the might of grace, though backed by the might of the State, had failed to maintain even the appearance of harmony. Then those who set outward unity above liberty turned their hopes once again towards the ring-fence of the true Church, whereupon they became Arminian in their view of the individual; while those who would only have unity with outward liberty tended to emphasise still more exclusively God's unconditional election, enlightenment and control within.

The reason of the divergence was not a difference of goal or of the grace by which it is attained, but only different ways of seeking to reach the same end of unity by the same direct operation of omnipotence, which would secure the one infallible truth, the one true fellowship, and the one unvarying, externally guaranteed salvation. One side placed its sphere in the individual and the other in the Church, but, to both alike, reliance upon God meant, at some point, reliance upon overwhelming force. The tradition was, 38 in the one case, more guaranteed from without, and, in the other, more from within, but for both parties alike, faith was fundamentally acceptance of a tradition guaranteed in some way as infallible. Justification was passed round by way of the Church in the one case, and delivered more directly to the individual in the other, but, for both alike, it was a judgment arbitrarily attached to faith by absolute Divine fiat. Finally, to this justification grace for regeneration and sanctification was appended, with some difference of view as to the necessity of the channel of the Church, but with no real divergence on the view of it as a direct operation of God from without.

In all these systems there is a unity of aim which makes it plain that, for all alike, the perdurable ground of all high faith and of all deep morality alike is the grace of God. But, if they are all in conflict with fact, bankrupt in logic, and unable to reconcile religion and morality - the most inseparable interests of our nature, would it not seem that something is omitted in their conception of grace, some finer, subtler, more pervasive dependence of man on God, as though we should assume that the lake depends upon the ocean only by canal or tide, and forget the rain-bearing clouds, which not only rise from the bosom of the deep and for ever maintain the lake in brimming fulness, but which refresh all its landscape, so that it is not as a dead eye in the pale and rigid visage of a desert, but is the ever changing glory in the face of the fair and fertile vale?

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