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done for the living; yet numberless examples show us also that Christian faith goes beyond this; and when one of God's holy ones departs this life, it is hard not to think of him as already receiving some reward. Thus, in a funeral sermon on the Archpriest of Pau, Mgr. Jauffret, Bishop of Bayonne, said: "Dear and venerated Archpriest, such has been your life, such it has its brilliant continuation in heaven." "Dear Archpriest, the angels have accompanied you to heaven; this is why this evening, their brethren on earth, in spite of their own sorrow and ours, will keep festival here. Their hymns will echo those which have welcomed you to heaven."1 The impulse of the believing soul seems almost irresistible in such cases.
These examples are, I think, sufficient to show us that the words of our Church are abundantly justified, when "we bless Thy Holy Name for all Thy servants departed this life in Thy faith and fear," when we speak of "the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity," and
1 Bulletin du Diocèse de Bayonne, Dec. 15, 1901, pp. 861-2. Cf. Mgr. Dupanloup at the death of his mother, who died on the Eve of the Purification. "Then I came and said the Mass of the Festival beside her. The Mass of the dead was forbidden; I was delighted at it (j'en fus ravi). When our Saviour was present at the moment of consecration I had great confidence. At the Memento my soul cried out. . . . Then God gave me the profound assurance, not only of her salvation, but of her actual happiness. This thought still abides with me.. I say many a Te Deum, I cannot be weary of saying them." Journal intime de Monseigneur Dupanloup, Évêque d'Orléans, par L. Brancherlau, p. 75. (C. Douniol, Paris, 1902.)
when "we give hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased Thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world." Using such prayers and thanksgivings, we may surely say requiescit, and not only requiescat. We do not thereby pass any final judgment on the departed; we only affirm our confident belief in the fulfilment of God's promises: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours." The conditions are analogous to those of repentance and absolution. No Church on earth claims the power of absolving the impenitent; but every priest or minister of the Gospel claims and exercises the power of declaring and pronouncing absolution to the truly penitent. The minister may be deceived, but he none the less, with fullest faith, declares and conveys God's forgiveness of the penitent; he gives in fullest assurance to the faithful penitent God's pardon and deliverance from all his sins, and tells him that God's promise cannot be broken, and that what is so said on earth is ratified in heaven. To bid the weary sin-laden soul to trust with fullest faith in this promise of his God is the very message of the Gospel for the remission of sins; apart from this it has little meaning; and yet no words of God, spoken by man, can absolve the hardened hypocrite or the wilfully impenitent. So we may affirm as confidently our belief in God's promise when we say of one departed in the Lord, "he rests in peace," and still leave the ultimate judgment to God.
Thus, even if we own a prayer for the dead to
be an act of faith, we may still admit that it is as great or even a greater act of faith to give thanks for their felicity and peace. A revered clergyman used one day weekly to say the prayer in the Burial Service, giving thanks by name before his family for all relatives and friends "departed hence in the Lord." Can we never rise into this purer atmosphere of the early Church? Are we always to dwell amid the mists of the doubt and hesitation of later centuries, and say only:
"I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,
And faintly trust the larger hope"?
May we not fully believe that the souls of the faithful do rest in the Lord? We may surely still say of a Christian departed with all means and ministrations of grace, "he sleeps in peace." There may, indeed, be exceptional cases, such as those of suicides under apparently temporary insanity, or where the will has become enfeebled, and the closing years have contrasted with those gone before, or where faith has never been fully attained; here we may perhaps dare only to say requiescant in pace, "may they rest in peace." But of those who die in God's faith and fear, with all the blessings of the Church, surely we may say requiescunt in pace, "they rest in peace." And even should the life have been more than usually stained with sin and error, yet if true repentance has followed, may we not say of such an one, in the words of the early Spanish Church, Pænitens, or accepta penitentia, requievit in pace?
THE SPANISH CHURCH UP TO THE YEAR 1000
IN a late number (December, 1880, to March, 1881) of the Revista de Ciencias Históricas, of Barcelona, there appeared a previously unpublished treatise, entitled Religion Española, written in the year 1816 by the celebrated Jesuit, Padre Juan Francisco Masdeu, author of La Historia Crítica de España, and other works. The arguments of this writer, though a Jesuit, are so completely opposed to the later development of Roman dogma and discipline, that I have thought a short account of his views may not be unacceptable to some of the readers of the Foreign Church Chronicle. The essay was written at Rome, and was addressed "to the most Excellent and most Eminent the Cardinal Primate, and to the most illustrious Archbishops and Bishops of all the Dominions of Spain." Though never before printed, the work was not wholly unknown to the literary world. D°. M. Menendez y Pelayo in the Addenda et corrigenda of vol. iii. of his excellent Historia de los Heterodoxos Españoles (Madrid, 1881) speaks of this pamphlet: "The little work of Masdeu, published as such
by the Revista de Ciencias Históricas of Barcelona, was also not inedited.
Iglesia Española, a work written in Rome and dedicated to the Very Rev. the Cardinal Primate, to the Very Revs. the Archbishops and Bishops of Spain, by D. Juan Francisco Masdeu in 1815: to this was added another pamphlet by the same author, entitled Bosquejo de una Reforma necessaria en el presente mundo Cristiano en materia de jurisdiccion, presented to the government of the same in 1779 (Madrid, 1841, impr. de Yenes, 8° marq)." P. 855. In the body of his work Menendez y Pelayo writes thus:
"Masdeu suffered from an historical illusion, and from overwhelming confidence in his scientific method. Like many of that time, fired with enthusiasm for the glory of the primitive Spanish Church, he had got it into his head that it was possible to restore that ancient discipline in its purity, as the only true and sound one; and from this he concluded that all that had happened in Spain since the Benedictine reform, and the arrival of the Gallican monks, and the abolition of the Mozarabic ritual, were usurpations and encroachments of the Roman Curia, favoured and assisted by the French." Of this pamphlet he says: "It contains more to shock than to profit; the regalias are now things of the past; no one dreams of national churches; and the pamphlet adds nothing to what we knew before from the Historia Crítica, from the Apologia Católica, in it, wishing to justify himself, he weakened his cause through his incapacity for moderation and for keeping within bounds