The theological application and development of Hamilton's arguments in Mansel's Bampton Lectures On the Limits of Religious Thought marked a still more determined attack, in the interests of theology, upon the competency of reason.
With the physiocrats, he believed in an enlightened absolutism, and looked to the king to carry through all reforms. As to the parlements, he opposed all interference on their part in legislation, considering that they had no competency outside the sphere of justice.
In this constitution he declared that the competency of these various organs was not always clear, and that their functions were badly arranged; that certain of them had only a small amount of business to deal with, while others were overworked; that strictly judicial affairs, with which the Congregations had not to deal originally, had developed to an excessive extent, while the tribunals, the Rota and the Signatura, had nothing to do.
It has also the duty of deciding disputes as to the competency of the other Congregations.
Withdrew from this Congregation all disciplinary matters affecting the secular clergy, and limited its competency to matters concerning the religious orders, both as regards their internal affairs and their relations with the bishops.
Since the constitution Sapienti, its competency has been confined to the examination, at the request of the secretary of state, of questions which are submitted to it, and especially those arising from civil laws and concordats.
He consequently withdrew all judicial affairs from the Congregations, and handed them over to the two tribunals, now revived, of the Rota and the papal Signatura; all affairs concerning the discipline of the sacraments were entrusted to a new Congregation of that name; the competency of the remaining Congregations was modified, according to the nature of the affairs with which they deal, and certain of them were amalgamated with others; general rules were laid down for the expedition of business and regarding personnel; in short, the work of Sixtus V.
Bismarcks reply was to deny the competency of the diet to interfere; and in the Prussian parliament the minister of war moved for a special grant for the creation of a war-harbour at Kid.
It is true we find many thinkers who' deny the competency of reason when it ventures in any way beyond the sphere of experience, and such men are not unfrequently called sceptics.
The judges and lawyers began to question the legality of his ordinances, and to doubt their competency to convict royalist prisoners of treason.