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residing in a religious community, and all that holy sense of brotherhood which is so sublime and consolatory to a meditative Christian. Had I been a papist (continued the modern Plato , I should not have wished for a more vanquishable opponent in controversy. I cannot but believe Chillingworth to have been in some sense a Socinian. Lord Falkland, his friend, said so in substance. I do not deny his skill in dialectics; he was more than a match for Knott to be sure.” The authors of the Tracts before us have strongly shewn, that not only the Church of England, but the congregations of Dissent are equally without authority from the Scriptures alone for their various practices and disciplines :
“ Since the great bulk of professing Christians in this country,” say the Orielites, “ whatever their particular denomination may be, do consider, agreeably with the English Church, that there are doctrines revealed (though they differ in what), and that they are in Scripture, they must undergo and resign themselves to an inconvenience which certainly does attach to our creed, and, as they often suppose, to it alone,-that of having to infer from Scripture, to prove circuitously, to argue at disadvantage, to leave difficulties, and to seem to others weak or fanciful reasoners. They must leave off attacking our proofs of our doctrines as insufficient, not being stronger in their own proofs themselves. No matter whether they are Lutherans or Calvinists, Wesleyans or Independents, they have to wind their way through obstacles, in and out,-avoiding some things, and catching at others, like men making their way in a wood, or over broken ground. If they believe in consubstantiation with Luther, or the absolute predestination of individuals, with Calvin, they have very few texts to produce which, in argument, will appear even specious. Or how, if Wesleyans, do they prove that the gospel sanctions an order of ministers, yet allows man to choose them? Where do they find a precedent in Scriptnre for a self-chosen ministry? or if no mere succession, and no human appointment are intended by them, where has the gospel promised them infallible evidence from God, whom He will have as his ministers, one by ope? And still more plainly have their religionists strong texts against them, whatever be their sect or persuasion. If they be Lutherans, they have to encounter St. James's declaration, that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only ;'* if Calvinists, God's solemn declaration, that as He liveth, He willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should live:" if Wesleyaps, St. Paul's precept to obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves :'t if Independents, the same apostle's declaration concerning the Church being the pillar and ground of the truth :' if Zuinglians, they have to explain how baptism is not really and in fact connected with regeneration, considering it is always connected with it in Scripture : if Friends, why they allow women to speak in their assemblies, contrary to St. Paul's plain prohibition : if Erastians, why they distort our SAVIOUR's plain declaration, that His kingdom is not of this world: if maintainers of the every-day secular Christianity, what they make of the woe denounced against riches, and the praise bestowed on celibacy. Hence, none of these sects and persuasions have any right to ask the question of which they are so fond, Where in the Bible are the Church doctrines to be found? Where in Scripture, for instance, is apostolical succession, or the priestly office, or the power of absolution?' This is with them a favourite mode of dealing with us; and I, in return, ask them, Where are we told that the Bible contains all that is necessary to salvation? Where are we told that the New Testament is inspired ? Where are we told that justification is by faith only? Where are we told that every individual who is elected is saved? Where are we told that we may leave the Church, if we think its ministers do not preach the gospel? or, Where are we told that we may make ministers for ourselves." • James ii. 24.
+ Heb. xii, 7.
· Having thus invalidated the rule of faith adopted by sectarists and low-churchmen, our Oxford Divines might here have left their case triamphantly, establishng in this matter the Anglican Church on an equality with other churches. But they were solicitous of ascendancy, and have therefore strained the point, for the purpose of showing its superior claims. Enough, however, is done to demonstrate the need of an interpreter beyond the Bible for its contents: The following passage puts this on grounds of the true Catholic kind :
“We are told that the doctrine of the mystical efficacy of the Sacraments, comes from the Platonic philosophers, the Ritual from the Pagans, and the Church polity from the Jews : so they do ; that is, in a sense in which much more, also, comes from the same sources. Traces also of the doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation and Atonement, may be found among heathens, Jews, and philosophers; for God scattered through the world, before His Son came, vestiges and gleams of His true religion, and collected all the separated råys together, when he set him on his holy hill, to rule the day; and the Church, as the moon, to govern the night. In the sense in which the doctrine of the Trinity is Platonic, doubtless the doctrine of mysteries, generally, is Platonic also. But this by the way. What I have here to notice is, that the same supposed objection can be, and has been made, against the books of scripture too; viz: that they borrow from external sources. Infidels have accused Moses of borrowing his law from the Egyptians or other pagans; and elaborate comparisons have been instituted, on the part of believers also, by way of proving it ; though, even if proved, and so far proved, it would show nothing more than this--that God, who gave His law to Israel absolutely and openly, had secretly given some portions of it to the heathen. Again : an infidel historian accuses St. John of borrowing the doctrine of the Eternal Logos or Word from the Alexandrian Platonists. Again : a theory has been advocated—by whom I will not say to the effect that the doctrine of apostate angels, Satan and his hosts, was a Babylonist tenet, introduced into the Old Testament after the Jews' return from the Captivity: that no allusion is made to Satan, as the head of the malignant angels, and as having set up a kingdom for himself against God, in any book written before the Captivity ; from which circumstance it may easily be made to follow, that those books of the Old Testament which were written after the captivity are not plenarily inspired, and not to be trusted as canonical. Now, I own, I am not at all solicitous to deny that this doctrine of an apostate angel and his hosts was gained from Babylon; it might still be divine, nevertheless. God, who made the prophet's ass speak, and thereby instructed the people, might instruct His church by means of heathen Babylon. Again : is not instruction intended to be conveyed to us by the remarkable words of the governor of the feast, 'upon the miracle of the water changed to wine? “ Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse ; but thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John ii. 10.) Yet at first sight they have not a very serious meaning. It does not therefore seem to me a difficulty, pay, or even unlikely, that the prophets of Israel should, in the course of God's providence, have gained new truths from the heathens, among whom they lay corrupted. The Church of God in every age has been, as it were, on visitation through the earth,—surveying, judging, sifting, selecting, and refining all matters of thought and practice, detecting what was precious amid what is ruined and refuse, and putting her seal upon it. There is no reason, then, why Daniel and Zechariah should not have been taught by the instrumentality of the Chaldeans. However, this is stated, and as if to the disparagement of the Jewish Dispensation by some persons, and under the notion that its system was not only enlarged but altered at the era of the Captivity-and I certainly think as plausibly as pagan customs were brought to illustrate, and thereby to invalidate, the ordinances of the Catholic Church; though the proper explanation in the two cases is not exactly the same.
“ The objection I have mentioned is applied in the quarter to which I allude, to the Books of Chronicles. These, it has already been observed, have before now been ascribed by sceptics to (what is called) priestly influence : here then is a second exceptionable influence, a second superstition ! In the second book of Samuel it is said, the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel ; and he moved David against them to say-Go, number Israel and Judah." (2 Sam. xxiv. 1.) On the other hand, in Chronicles it is said, 'Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.' (1 Chron. xxi. 1.) On this a writer, not of the English Church, who is in too high a station to be named says, The author of the Book of Chronicles.... availing himself of the learning which he had acquired in the East, and influenced by a suitable tenderness for the harmony of the Divine attributes, refers the act of temptation to the malignity of the evil principle.” You see in this way a blow is also struck against the more ancient parts of the Old Testament, as well as the more modern. The books written before the captivity are represented, as the whole discussion would shew, as containing a ruder, simpler, more inartificial theology; those after the captivity, a more learned and refined. God's inspiration is excluded in both cases...... It seems then that the objections which can be made to the evidence for the Church doctrines are such as also lie against the Canon of Scripture."'*
This Catholic view of revelation, together with the practical application derived from it, “ that almost all systems have enough of truth, as, when we have no choice besides, and cannot discriminate, makes it better to take all than to reject all-that God will not deceive us if we trust in him,” meets with our entire approbation. “ Though the received system of religion," the writer continues, “ in which we were born were as unsafe as the sea when St. Peter began to walk on it, yet be not afraid. He who could make St. Peter walk the waves could make even a corrupt or defective creed truth to us, even were ours such; much more can he teach us by the witness of the Church Catholic. It is far more probable that her witness should be true, whether about the canon or the creed, than that God should have left us without any witness at all."
Admirable sentiments like these are scattered throughout these tracts; and they will have the effect of universalizing and philanthropizing the minds of their admirers. Would that these pious sentiments had but been enlightened by the presence of the true Witness among Christians—the testimony of that One Philosophy which has never changed the same permanent Spirit, whatever migbt be the scientific form, physical or metaphysical, in which, at various times, it has been partially developed. It is, has always been, and will ever be, in the world and in the Church,—the Wisdom or the Love of it, that worketh all things—that Understanding which is holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good, kind to man, stedfast, sure, free from care, haring all power, overseeing all things, and seeing through all understanding, pure and most subtil spirits—that Brightness of the everlasting Light which being but One, can do all things; and remaining in herself, she maketh all things new; and in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God and prophets. This testimony, however, they have surrendered in favour of a lower
one, merely scientific and historic, confessedly holding that it is less sin in the Church to “ quench the Spirit” than to destroy the Unity. Were the first not extinguished, the second could not be violated. To consolidate the form, is not to reproduce the power of Godliness; but promote the power, and the form will come in order of sequence, or rather will coevally be manifested. The dogmas that the Orielites advocate preclude inspiration-preclude genius in the Church- (for inspiration in religion is analogous to genius in the arts)-in favour of mere learning. Favourable, as we are, to the synthesis of learning and inspiration, we confess that we prefer the latter alone to the former alone. A rule that will not hold good in profane literature, will hardly maintain itself in sacred morals. An eternal originality characterises all genuine production, whether speculative or practical, whether divine or moral, or only intellectual. Nay, the exercise of the poor five senses begins afresh with every man-we neither see, hear, taste, smell or feel, on the authority, or by imitation of others-and, in like manner, the apostolical in us is an original gift of God-a faculty underived from human ordination, but immediately granted by God to every man whom his wisdom pleases to renew in the spirit of his will.
The grand error of the Oxford divines, we repeat, in conclusion, is, that they confound the Spiritual Church of the Christ with the Political Church of Christians, and that blending both in an historical view, they conduct that view partially, confining God's providence to the history of one church, the Anglican, and disregarding the Roman, the Grecian, the Presbyterian, and the sectarian brotherhoods. O that man would but look on the various families of his kind, as God looketh on them—God, their common Father! Any Catholicism short of this, is short altogether of what it calls itself; for nothing but the whole is the whole ; a position so true, that it allows neither the aggregate, nor all the parts to be mistaken for it, preserving an eternal priority, and for ever precluding the equality with itself of what it comprehends. No exclusive Church can be Catholic.
As members of the National Church of England, we are right willing advocates of all her privileges, as a visible Church, whose communion we love; but we desire to see them placed on their true basis. A national church is not an international church, nor would an international church be necessarily Catholic, though, perhaps, the nighest possible approximation to such on the face of the earth. The true Catholic Church is neither Anglican nor Roman, nor international, but the Jerusalem that is above. Neither is it a syncretic Unity, though that were something, but a prothetic One--an antecedent Whole-of which all unity is only symbolic.
A National Church is simply an institution for promoting and advancing the moral cultivation of the people; and until that is attained is a partial substitute for the general cultivation that it is charged to produce. The vicarious few mediate for the many with their consciences. It proceeds upon the supposition that the many have not yet accomplished Christian perfection-nay, are not yet Christians, and therefore condescends to certain rites and ceremonies that may win them to the fold ; and whether Protestant or Romanist, consents in some degree or other
N. S.- VOL. 1.
to paganise Christianity in order to christianise Pagans. These being really christianised, the institution, no longer needed as a means, may be retained as an ornament. Priests have been the clerks of the peoplebut when the people become themselves clerkly, as in this age they are becoming, they resort not to the clericy for help in calligraphy or cryptography. Nevertheless, though excellent writers themselves, they will ever be ready to acknowledge superior genius or virtue, and will doubtless place it in office and trust for its own and the public benefit.
“Neither Christianity” (says Henry Nelson Coleridge in his editorial preface to his uncle's treatise on Church and State), “nor a fortiori any particular scheme of theology supposed to be deduced from it, forms any essential part of the being of a National Church ; however conducive it may be to its well-being. A National Church may exist and has existed without, because before, the institution of the Christian Church; as the Levitical church in the Hebrews, and the Druidical in the Keltic, constitutions may prove. But two distinct functions do not necessarily imply or require two different functionaries ; on the contrary, the perfection of each may require the union of both in the same person. And in the instance now in question, as great and grievous errors have arisen from confounding the functions of the National Church with those of the church of Christ, so fearfully great and grievous will be the evils from the success of an attempt to separate them.”
Here we conclude for the present. We shall take an early opportunity of declaring at large the proper constitution of a Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church rightly so called, as the visible exponent of the invisible church of the ascended Christ—the veritable virgin-mother and sister-bride of the anointed Son of God.
OUR MONTHLY CRYPT.
Editor. And so you became a Gobie ?
The Gobie. Yes—in punishment of my transgressions, in the days of my editorship. Alas! I gave the Go-by to many worthy contributors.
Editor. Alas ! indeed--poor ghost! Our friend, the Modern Cryptologist on the Fine Arts, received much wrong, I fear, from you.
The Gobie. Ah! fatal truth! It was I who wrote “unintelligible nonsense," on the MS.
Editor. There have been many who know not what to make of his opinions. But here is the remainder of the paper ; it is entitled “ The Modern Cryptologist on the Third Religious Dispensation of the Fine Arts." The sentiments expressed bear a remarkable analogy to those of “Young Germany" at the present moment. We shall have much to say on this class of writers ere long; and our readers will find that we are qualified by our knowledge of the subject, to produce some particulars with which the English public is not at all at present acquainted. But let us now listen to the Modern Cryptologist.
THE MODERN CRYPTOLOGIST ON THE THIRD RELIGIOUS DISPENSA
TION OF THE FINE 'Arts. In the preceding remarks, we have pointed out two great dispensations or movements in the history of the arts down to the present time, and a critical