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the increasing influence of a different class, who practically put the ideas of individual liberty and independence in place of the Apostles' Creed, modern literature in place of the Bible, and experiments of moral reform in place of the cross of Christ and his spiritual redemption.”
Now, in reading all this glib talk about Unitarian “neology,” one would really suppose that the writer had never heard of the missionary bishop of his own English Church, - Bishop COLENSO. Certainly, Bishop COLENSO is as near to American Episcopalians as English Unitarians are to us. What sort of tendency in the Church of England is shown by the bishop's book ? Does this book, with the " Essays and Reviews," and the works of Jowett and Stanley, show any tendency toward “neology” and “rationalism,” or do they not? Does the denial of the truth of the Book of Genesis, by a Church-of-England bishop, seem like “ forsaking the authority of the Bible,” &c., or no ? Are there any “ rationalistic results ” attained in the “ Essays and Reviews”? we should like to inquire.
The truth is, that the ' " tendency” in the Unitarian Church is now toward faith, and that in the Episcopal Church toward doubt, denial, and the most negative criticism. We have passed this negative period : they are approaching it. The spirit of the Unitarian body is toward a profound apprehension of the substantial truths of Orthodoxy, while it rejects the erroneous forms. But every church of the past is, to use the countryman's metaphor, “like a young bear with all its troubles before it.” The difference between the Church of Freedom and the Church of Creeds is like the difference between a republic and a monarchy, so well pointed out in the happy illustration of Fisher Ames. “ In a republic,” said he, “we are like people on a raft, - our feet are wet all the time; but we cannot sink. A monarchy, on the other hand, is like
a vessel, - very comfortable as long as you do not strike a rock ; but then you go to the bottom.”
Churches which trust to the Protestant principle of private judgment are always exposed to novelty and innovation ; but thus they learn not to be afraid of error: they become sure of the truth they hold, and are able to give a reason for the faith that is in them. But churches which lean on the authority of creeds or bishops are liable to be shaken to pieces by any whiff of novelty. We infinitely prefer our own condition to that of the Episcopal Church. We, at any rate, have no bishops who attack the Bible, and no bishops who defend slavery out of the Bible.
It may be a delightful thing to have a bishop to reign over you, so long as you are able to imagine him to be a very holy man, and very much wiser than other men; but when a church is under the charge of such bishops as the two Onderdonks of New York and Pennsylvania, Bishop Doane of New Jersey, or Bishop Hopkins of Vermont, it may be doubtful if the benefit of bishops is sufficient to compensate for the scandal. A writer in the “ Boston Transcript” (SIGMA), himself an Episcopalian, referred recently to the disgraceful quarrels in Boston between Messrs. Doane and Hopkins, before it was thought best to raise them to the episcopate. And now Bishop Hopkins devotes himself to defending American slavery from the Bible; and his writings are used as Copperhead, electioneering documents, to such an extent as to compel a brother-bishop to issue a formal protest against them.
Considering all these things, the “ Church Monthly” will perhaps permit us to ask, What is the present tendency of things in the Episcopal Church in England and America ?
NEW WORK ON JOHN HUSS.*
is after then in 1378 in 1416
Mr. Gillett has written a history of John Huss, in two octavo volumes. It is published by Gould & Lincoln, of this city. It is an important contribution, not only to civil history, but also to the history of the Church.
Among the “Reformers before the Reformation," John Huss takes his place with Wickliffe and Savonarola. Coming a little after the first (who preached from 1360 to 1384), Huss was born in 1373,- eleven years before Wickliffe's death ; and was burned in 1415, — thirty-seven years before the birth of Savonarola.
Wickliffe had taught that the power of the pope came from the emperor; that appeals should lie from the ecclesiastical to the royal courts; that the commission of mortal sins vacated the power of the priest; that tithes ought not to be paid to wicked priests; that the Church could do nothing against the Scripture; and that Christ was only spiritually present in the Eucharist. Huss was a student of Wickliffe, and preached, like him, against the vices of the clergy, and taught that the papacy was a useless institution; that all Christian ministers were equal; that monastic institutions should be abolished; and that princes had the right to take possession of church-property, when it was used improperly. Such teaching as this brought on him the charge of heresy; and the result we know.
Many of our readers may have seen the noble painting by Lessing, in the Dusseldorf Gallery, representing Huss at the stake, and the poor bigoted old woman bringing the log of wood to add to the fire, occasioning his memorable phrase, “ O sancta simplicitas !” This splendid historic painting only does justice to the character and worth of Huss. We are glad that Mr. Gillett has added another picture of his life in this valuable and learned history, which we recommend to our readers as being the only work in which they can find all that they may wish to know about Bohemia, the Hussites, the Taborites, the wars of religion, and the Council of Constance. These volumes fill a historic chasm which has long been left vacant. The author seems to have displayed much ardor and fidelity in the most industrious researches. He has not written his history and biography by making up a new book out of old ones; he has conscientiously consulted original sources: and so he gives us the means of judging for ourselves of the value of his labors, and of the disputed points of history.
* The Life and Times of John Huss; or, The Bohemian Reformation of the Fifteenth Century. By E. H. Gillett. In two vols. Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 59, Washington Street. 1863.
CATHOLICITY OF THE NEW CHURCH, AND UNCATHOLI.
CITY OF NEWCHURCHMEN. By B. F. BARRETT. New YORK: . Mason BROTHERS. Boston: Mason & Hamlin. 1863.
This book of our excellent brother Barrett, and some recent articles in Dr. O. A. Brownson's Review, indicate the good which the Unitarians sometimes do by sending their élèves into other religious societies. A man brought up under the influence of Dr. Channing, or that of Henry Ware, jun., may turn Roman Catholic, Swedenborgian, or Calvinist; but, in either case, he will carry a certain Unitarian leaven into his new connection. It may not be much ; but a little is enough. Thus this book of Mr. Barrett is the cropping-out of the original Catholicity of his ante-Swedenborgian opinions. It is his business to
liberalize the New-Church people, and to show them the genuine liberality of their founder. He, as a Unitarian by birth and breeding, is able to see the liberal side of Swedenborg, which is hidden from the eyes of those who come to Swedenborgianism from the narrower sects. Just so is Dr. Brownson helping mightily to Catholicize the Catholics. His fiery and very vital leaven has given considerable activity to that somewhat heavy lump. He has set the Catholics thinking; and, when people begin to think, there is no knowing what may happen.
Our friend Mr. Barrett has had a rather hard fate among his brethren of the New Jerusalem. Indeed, the New Jerusalem appears to partake of some of the characteristics of the Old Jerusalem, especially in its dislike to reformers, and its disposition to stone the prophets of the present, while it builds tombs to the martyrs of the past.
Mr. Barrett is a very earnest and sincere believer in the revelations of Swedenborg. He has devoted his time and energy for many years in advocating and promulgating the doctrines of that great and wise man. But those who believe in these doctrines are of two sorts, — the sectarian and the unsectarian Swedenborgians. The first class think that all of Swedenborgian truth is in their church : the latter believe that there is much outside of it. The former fall into the old-fashioned way of thinking that all must be damned who do not follow with them : the others are satisfied if men will follow after the truth. It is unnecessary to say that Mr. Barrett arranges himself with the latter class of Swedenborgians.
Swedenborg himself did not propose to found a separate sect. His New Jerusalem was not a visible organization, but an invisible spirit of truth falling from the skies into good and honest hearts in all churches. He remained to his death, if we remember right, a member of the Lutheran Church of his native country. Before his