18 JANUARY 1879, Page 14



SIR,—Will you allow me to express my sense of the singular injustice done to Leo XIII., by confounding his encyclical with similar demonstrations on the part of Pio Nono ? With the ex- ception of a few words tagged on at the close about the interces- sions of the Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Peter, and St. Paul, there is scarcely a word in this manifesto that might not have been penned by the Bishop of Lincoln, or any other Anglican dignitary. And what is the Pope's thesis? Simply that the origin of authority is divine, being grounded on paternity, the first legitimate ruler being the patriarch, not the conqueror. It is true that Leo XIIL does not recognise the possibility of abuse on the part of temporal rulers to such extent as to justify rebellion, yet he does admit the- likelihood of error, and the duty of disobedience and resistance is the case of impious edicts. Surely he would admit, if pressed,. that a monarch who takes foreign pay, like Charles II., does, ipso- facto, forfeit the right to rule.

But my object is to insist on the duly, as it seems to me, of construing in a good sense every endeavour on the part of the- present holder of the See of Rome to advance in the direction of true order and liberty. The great Latin Bishop expresses him- self at once powerfully and mildly as to the concord which ought. to reign between the natural and the spiritual,—the State and the- Church. His argument is throughout Scriptural and sound in the- main. True, he ignores the Latin errors and excesses which have called forth, by way of reaction, the hard secularism he deplores.. But I do trust that large-hearted English Churchmen and genial thinkers will make large allowances for the difficulties of Pope• Leo's position, and not meet what I cannot but regard as advances. of great promise by bitter sarcasm and cold-hearted negatives.— I am, Sir, &c., ARCHER GURNEY. Trinity Vicarage, Lambeth, January 15th.