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He expected this announcement of his high birth and expectations to have somewhat the same effect that its declaration would have had had he been standing upon the doorsteps at Dellum Hall, and been addressing his father's and his grandfather's retainers.
The champion replied with a mock bow, “And I am Robertus de Brucius, champion of the noble cause of liberty, and heir of the freedom of all ages. These are my subjects," with a wave of his hand behind him; and all the boys responded to his caustic assertion with cheers and laughter.
Ernest De l'Orme felt that they were jeering him, and the sensation of being the object of irony and ridicule was so new and so stinging to him that a wild passion surged up into his breast. He advanced a step, and shook his clenched fist in his opponent's face.
“I'll make you pay for this. I'll teach you to insult De l'Orme." “Down with the aristocrat!”.
“ Pitch into him, Deverel!” “A ring! a ring!” with a hundred other suitable ejaculations rent the air from all sides.
In an instant De l'Orme and Hugh Deverel were enclosed, and Ernest saw himself shut in by a wall of schoolboy figures doubly and trebly strong. Opposite to him was the stalwart form of the champion he had defied, denuded of jacket and waistcoat, his head well up, his shoulders back, his fists squared, his bold young face all eager for the conflict. I have said that Ernest De l'Orme was at heart a poltroon; he proved it now. He no sooner saw how thoroughly in earnest were his opponents, and the preparations made for the contest, than his face grew white as death ; his teeth chattered in his head.
“Now then, come on; what are you waiting for?” exclaimed Hugh Deverel.
Some boys in the rear of Ernest De l'Orme endeavoured to divest him of the clothing considered superfluous in a fair stand-up fight. On them De l’Orme turned, dodged between them, and made good his escape through the outer ring, and was clear of the playground ere the boys had recovered from their consternation sufficiently to vent their disappointment in groans and hisses for the cowardly bully.
This little event it was that lost to Ernest De l’Orme the heirship of his uncle's wealth. It reached the ears of Ernest Candlish, and caused him to hold his nephew in supreme contempt, for in his eyes physical courage stood before all other virtues. It embittered the life of Ernest De l’Orme, and for many years wherever he went the story followed him. Some years after his mother died; her small income came to him when that event took place, and this he increased by letting Dellum Hall and going to live abroad. It cost him something to relinquish his position as De l’Orme of De l'Orme, to give up the only position he prized, and again cast in his lot as one in a multitude. He revenged the necessity upon society, and hated mankind universally until chance threw him into the company of the young Lord Haig.
What a contrast to the past life of De l'Orme did that of the young nobleman appear!
His father, Baron Haig, was lord of the castle and domain of Craigdallie, situated amongst some of the most romantic and beautiful scenery in the north of Scotland, and there the young Robert's early days were spent in the sunlight of a fond mother's love and in the indulgence of a kind but judicious father. We may have occasion at some future time to revert to those early years of our hero, and so will leave them now veiled in the curtain of the past, nor strive to lift the covering it is yet such exquisite pain to him for rude hands to touch. His bereavement is recent at presentthe bereavement whose keen agony drove him away from his parental halls to endeavour, by change of scene and climate, to reinvigorate both mind and body that had suffered severely from the grief occasioned by the death of both parents. He met with Ernest De l'Orme last winter in Rome. Circumstances threw them together, and something in the winning manners of the young Scotch baron, combined with his ignorance of all that concerned him in the past, constrained Ernest De l'Orme to present the most favourable side of his character to his new friend and acquaintance. No character is totally bad, and all the good that was innate in that of De l'Orme was drawn forth by his association with a mind so pure and yet so strong as was that of Lord Haig. The self-love of De l'Orme was agreeably flattered by this intercourse, and precisely because he liked himself the better when in the company of Lord Haig he sought his society. Our hero's nature was too generous a one to be suspicious; he took De l’Orme for what he appeared to be, and elevated him to a position in his esteem and affections without any credentials at all. They associated together in Rome, and there planned a joint summer tour, and here they had been lingering amongst the Swiss mountains for a month or more, acknowledging no law but that of their own inclinations.
(To be continued.)
POPES AND COUNCILS.
BY THE REV. J. G. ROGERS, B.A. We have, in our sketches of the earlier Councils, seen the Popes occupying a position very inferior to that which Pius IX. assumes to-day, but continually striving to gain that supremacy which, as the alleged successors of St. Peter, they regarded as their due. Circumstances favoured their pretensions, and the Papal throne was filled, from time to time, by men who knew how to avail themselves of every circumstance that could be turned to their advantage. The overthrow of the Roman Empire of the West only secured them greater independence and authority, for the converted barbarians became mere instruments in their hands; and the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches, while it restricted the range of their power, made it more absolute in its own sphere. The Patriarchs of Constantinople, and to some extent those of Alexandria and Antioch also, had always been their rivals, and the records of the early Councils abundantly prove that they were quite able to maintain their own position, to the extent, at all events, of preventing the Pope from acquiring any superiority. There is no fact in history more certain than that those assemblies, to which alone the title of Ecumenical Councils can be applied with any semblance of truth, acted in perfect independence of the Roman See. A very different state of things presents itself when we turn to the Councils held in the centuries immediately after the separation of the East and West and the development of the Papal power by Hildebrand and his successors, in many of which the Popes did pretty much according to their own will, but few of which can fairly be regarded as representing even the Western Church. The fifteenth century witnessed another change. The Councils of Pisa, Constance, and Basle were the fruits of a strong reaction produced by the scandals connected with the Papacy, and while vehement enough in the declaration and maintenance of Romish doctrine, were equally determined at the same time to curb the exorbitant power of the Pope, and insist on his subordination to the general voice of the Church, as expressed in the Council.
We have no more faith in the infallibility of Councils than in that of Popes, and, as we shall afterwards see, the conduct of the bishops at these assemblies does not lead us to believe that liberty and truth would be safer in their hands than in those of the Holy Father himself. In the discussion between Archbishop Manning and Monseigneur Dupanloup or Maret we do not think that Protestants can feel any deep interest; for though Gallicanism is of a milder type than Ultramontanism, it still holds fast by principles equally subversive of the rights of the individual conscience and of the supremacy of Holy Scripture. "Janus” takes bolder ground, and claims the sympathy of those who feel that his book shows a soul groping after light and liberty, occupying at present a very unsafe and untenable position, but it may be hoped in the way to a complete emancipation from the traditions and prejudices by which it is still held fast. As a mere matter of argument, it is impossible to deny that the Dublin Review, in its uncompromising assertion of the Pope's infallibility, has a decided advantage over these “Liberal Catholics,” who concede so much that they deprive their cause of its true strength. If there be an earthly centre of infallibility at all, and if the question where it is to be found is to be determined by Church tradition, it is easy enough to get up a very ingenious argument on behalf of the Pope's claim, and one which those who admit the primacy of the Romish See will find it very hard to answer. The longer the battle is waged the more clearly will it be seen that the only impregnable position is that of those who adhere closely to the simplicity of the New Testament, and who meet the pretensions of Pope and Council alike by asserting its completeness and sufficiency. Tradition may be made to prove almost anything, and they who appeal to it and recognise the principle of the development of doctrine as valid must not be surprised if they find themselves involved in difficulties from which there is no escape.
We have no faith, therefore, in the logical strength of the position held by “ Janus” in his celebrated work on “ The Pope and the Council ;” but we have not yet found any disproof of the historical facts he has set forth in a style so trenchant as to have provoked the indignation of the Papal champions to the utmost. Nothing seems to have roused them more than the assertion that “for the first thousand years of Church history not a question of doctrine was finally decided by the Pope ;” and again, “In three controversies during this early period (the first four centuries) the Roman Church took an active part—the question about Easter, about heretical baptism, and about the penitential discipline.” In all three the Popes were unable to carry out their own will, and view, and practice, and the other Churches maintained their different usage without its leading to any permanent division.” The elaborate and bitter reply of the Dublin Review proves how much these appeals to history have told ; but the attempt to overthrow them is singularly feeble and disingenuous. It was not at all the design of “Janus" to show that the Popes had never interfered in the discussions of the times, or issued decrees relative to them; for to have hazarded such a statement would have been to convict him either of gross ignorance or of a stupid infatuation which calculated upon the carelessness of his opponents and the credulity of the world in general. When, therefore, we are reminded that the Gnostics and other early heretics were at Rome, and were condemned there, we feel that it is simply an attempt to throw dust in our eyes. The question is not whether the Bishop of Rome took a certain action, bat what that action was worth, whether his utterances were “formal decrees” binding on the whole Church, whether excommunications from the Romish Church were accepted as valid throughout Christendom, and separated their victims from the body of the faithful. And here we assert that the assertion made by “ Janus,” though branded as an “audacious equivocation," is essentially true, “ there is no proof that the Roman bishops acted beyond the limits of their own local Church.” They decreed, they anathematised, they excommunicated. These were occupations in which they were always very much at home, and it would be absurd to suppose that four centuries passed without their indulging themselves in this fashion; but their acts had no authority over the universal Church. · A man who can read the story of these early centuries and maintain that the Popes were, in any sense, recognised as arbiters of doctrine, that they ruled the Councils, or that their decrees had any authority in themselves, must be under the dominion of that “invincible ignorance” which Ultramontanes are so fond of ascribing to Protestants. The mode of argument adopted, however, is so characteristic of the spirit of Rome that it is worth a brief examination.
“The key and the interpretation of the whole facts of ecclesiastical history of the first ages is simply this: Rome, perfectly conscious of what we should now call her own infallibility, condemns all false doctrine right and left; Quarto-decimaus in Asia, St. Cyprian in Africa, a patriarch in Alexandria. But Janus would probably say all these resisted.” What Janus would probably say is not merely that they resisted, but that, so long as they had to contend only against the Bishop of Rome, their resistance was successful, that in the case of Cyprian, for example, the thunder of Pope Stephen was nothing more than a “brutum fulmen,” and that the dogma he condemned as to the validity of baptism by heretics was not affected by any of his utterances until a Council had pronounced in relation to it. This is in fact what he does say, and what was said before by so great an authority as Augustine, who, says Janus, “looking back at this dispute, maintains that the pronouncement of Stephen, categorical as it was, was no decision of the Church, and that St. Cyprian and the Africans were therefore justified in rejecting it. He says that the real obligation of conforming to a common practice originated with the decrees of a great (plenarium) Council, meaning the Council of Arles in 314." That Rome hurled her condemnations all round all the world knows, and apparently the reviewer thinks she was raised up for this very purpose. The point raised by Janus and unanswered by his critic is, that though her censures gratified her spite, they do not prove her power, ihat they were as unmeaning then in the greater portion of Christendon as the celebrated Bull “ Latæ sententiæ" will be in Protestant countries to-day.
But the reviewer goes on to glory still more in the antagonistic attitude Rome has always held to all intellects, however powerful, which dared to strike out a line of thought for themselves.