« ElőzőTovább »
ment of William. Rare indeed are such statesmen as the one we have just been contemplating. He lived and died for mankind; whilst his love of man altogether rested upon his love of God. As a public servant it may be difficult to affirm whether his abilities, or his industry, were greatest: he recognized the historical assertion, that Labor voluptasque, dissimillima natura, societate quâdam inter se naturali sunt juncta ; but his piety, beyond a question, far surpassed both. Here lay the lasting amaranth, the glory and immortality of his fame. It was a misfortune that he was so much in advance of his contemporaries, as to receive from them rather admiration than effective support. His writings may be thought by some less simple and intelligible than his actions; nor can it be expected that Episcopalians should admit the force of his arguments against bishops, any more than the controversial opponents of Mrs. Hutchinson should fancy the favor and support which he conscientiously felt bound to render that once celebrated lady. All, however, may agree to offer fair homage to integrity without a stain, to disinterestedness which absorbed selfishness, to an eloquence which emulated the first orators of antiquity, to an ardent patriotism unconquered even by the king of terrors, and to a faith which led him to count all things but loss, that he might know Christ in the power of his resurrection, and be made conformable in heart and life to the precepts of his everlasting gospel. The sneers of Hume, at what he is pleased to style the jargon of his enthusiasm, are amongst the most satisfactory elements of his praise. Even at the foot of the cross itself, and how much less at any human scaffold, infidelity will never learn, that verily there remaineth a reward for the righteous : doubtless there is a God who unerringly governs the earth!
Art. II, Lectures on Justification. By John HENRY NEWMAN, B.D.,
Fellow of Oriel College, and Vicar of St. Mary the Virgin's, Oxford. 8vo. London: Rivington. 1838.
'HIS volume is dedicated to the Bishop of Oxford, and the
advertisement informs us that it was published in answer to objections brought against certain essential Christian truths, such as Baptismal regeneration and the apostolical ministry,
that they were opposed to the doctrine of justification by faith ;' nay to express statements on the subject in our formularies.' Mr. Newman, however, says his 'arguments are drawn not from “primitive Christianity, but from Scripture ;' they must therefore
be open to the examination of all who say the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants.
The lecture which opens the debate is on · Faith considered as the instrument of justification, and is founded on a text that is ominously appropriate : “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by
words without knowledge ? For who that intended to convey knowledge would begin hy considering the instrument of justifi*cation ; deferring to a third lecture the primary sense of the
word justification ;' to the tenth justification by faith only;' and to the eleventh the nature of justifying by faith. The confusion created by this order, which is a chaos of disorder, is nobly sustained by the lecturer's first sentences.
• Two main views concerning the mode of our justification are found in the writings of English divines ; on the one hand, that this great gift of our Lord's passion is vouchsafed to those who are moved by God's grace to claim it,-on the other, to those who by the same grace are moved to do their duty. These separate doctrines, justification by faith, and justification by obedience, thus simply stated, are not at all inconsistent with one another; and by religious men, especially if not divines, will be held both at once, or indifferently either the one or other, as circumstances may determine. Yet, though so compatible in themselves, the case is altogether altered when one or other is made the elementary principle of the gospel system, -when professed exclusively, developed consistently, and accurately carried out to its limits. Then what seemed at first but two modes of stating the same truth, will be found, the one to be the symbol of Romanism, the other of what is commonly called Protestantism.
* It shall be my endeavor in these lectures to take such a view of justification, as may approve itself to those among us who hold whether the one or the other doctrine in an unsystematic way, yet fall in with neither when adopted as the foundation or leading idea’ of a theology. Justification by faith only, thus treated, is an erroneous, justification by obedience is a defective view of Christian doctrine. The former is beside, the latter short of the truth. The former legitimately tends to the creed of the rigid Lutherans who opposed Melancthon ; the latter to that of Vasquez, Caietan, and other ultraRomanists. That we are absolutely saved by obedience, that is, by what we are, has introduced the proper merit of good works ; that we are absolutely saved by faith, or by what Christ is, the notion that good works are prejudicial to our salvation.'--pp. 1, 2.
The words this great gift of our Lord's passion,' is a melancholy specimen of the lecturer's passion for mystical terms, introducing, at the very outset, one of the most objectionable of the renderings of our version of the Scriptures, in defiance of what must be known to every scholar; that there is nothing thus technical in the original, which ought to have been translated his suffering or his death. This " gift of his passion 'might fairly be
understood to mean giving us his passion itself; and if not, then his passion is supposed to confer a gift as if it were a person. But as neither of these can be called a "sense,' we are left to feel for some other which may be the gift bestowed upon us in consequence of Christ's suffering or death. Having worked our way through this affected mystical technicality to some conclusion, not by the help, but in spite of the teacher, we discover at the very threshold a stumbling block of error.
It is scarcely necessary to inform our readers that the doctrine of justification here propounded must be considered as a part of the theology of the Oxford Tracts. For though Professor Pusey has happened to give a name to the Tractators, Mr. Newman is considered the Coryphæus of the party. If these lectures are any specimen of his preaching, they are all that sermons ought not to be ; for the hungry sheep must have looked up and stared to find themselves mystified, but not fed. Candor, however, requires that we should view them as theological lectures, which should bave been delivered, not from a pulpit in the church, but from the chair in the Divinity Hall; and verily they would puzzle the men of the cap and the gown. Every theologian who shall read the volume will acknowledge that the reviewer ought not to be obliged to say • Davus sum, non (Edipus.'
We shall, perhaps, best enable the reader to judge for himself by giving the following quotations.
• Now, in the last lecture, in which I stated what I consider as, in the main, the true doctrine, two points were proposed for proof: first, that justification and sanctification were substantially the same thing; next, that, viewed relatively to each other, justification followed upon sanctification. The former of these statements seems to me entirely borne out by Scripture; I mean, that justification and sanctification are there described as parts of one gift, properties, qualities, or aspects of one; that renewal cannot exist without acceptance, or acceptance without renewal ; that faith, which is the symbol of the one, contains in it love, which is the symbol of the other. So much concerning the former of the two statements; but as to the latter, that justification follows upon sanctification, that we are first renewed, and then and therefore accepted, this doctrine, which Luther strenuously opposed, is true in one sense,
but not true in another,—true in a popular sense, not true in an exact sense. Now, in the present lecture, I propose to consider the exact and philosophical relation of justification to sanctification, in regard to which Luther seems to be in the right : in the next lecture, the popular and practical relation of the one to the other, which St. Austin and other Fathers set forth ; and in the sixth and following, what has partly been the subject of the foregoing lecture, the real connexion between the two, or rather identity, in matter of fact, however we may vary our terms, or classify our ideas.'
-pp. 67, 68.
* Now, to proceed to the subject of the present lecture, that God justifies before he sanctifies; or that, in exact propriety of language, justification is counting righteous, not making. I would explain myself thus :-to justify' means 'counting righteous, but includes under its meaning 'making righteous ;' in other words, the sense of the terın is 'counting righteous,' and the sense of the thing denoted by it is making righteous. In the abstract it is a counting righteous, in the concrete a making righteous. An illustration will clear my meaning. No one doubts what the word Psalmist means in Scripture ; yet that one undeniable sense which it has, viewed in itself, is of course very far short of its full sense, when applied to this or that per
Then it stands for much more than this bare and abstract sense. A psalmist is one who sings psalms ; but the Psalmist may be David, a given individual, living at a certain time and place, and with a certain history attached to him. The meaning of the name is one thing; of the object another. If one said, “the Psalmist wept over his son Absalom,' it would be absurd to maintain either that the word psalmist meant 'a father,' or that the object signified was merely a singer of psalms.' So, again, a shepherd slew Goliath, but not as a shepherd; and the ‘man after God's own heart' numbered the people, yet not after God's heart. In like manner, justification, in the mere meaning of the word, may be a counting or declaring righteous (as the 11th Article implies), yet the justification given under the gospel, the thing denoted by the word, may (as the 13th implies) be as much more than a mere external, reputed, conventional righteousness, as the sweet Psalmist of Israel' was more than a psalmist. It may be as true that it is in fact the giving of the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of His Spirit,' as that the Psalmist was also a king, the man after God's own heart, and a type of Christ. Justification, then, as such, is an imputation ; but gospel justification is more, it is renewal also.'--pp. 70, 71.
After reading these passages, no one will be surprised that the title of one of the lectures is, ' Discordant senses given to the word righteousness. Lecture twelfth on Faith viewed relatively to rites and works,' is a curious specimen of discordant doctrines maintained and discarded, but all coming to this conclu
sion: Justification comes through the sacraments; is received by ' faith ; consists in God's inward presence, and lives in obedience. Paley, Hooker, Tomline, and, indeed, almost the whole school of the established clergy since 1688, are censured, and a nice new doctrine of justification, that is said to be neither popish nor Protestant, is proclaimed as the sole truth.
Every British Christian, of enlightened mind and bene. volent heart, must have watched the proceedings of the Oxford Tract party with deep solicitude for the interests of our country and of the church of God. Ecclesiastical as well as civil bistory may sooth the anxious observer with assurances infallible, that the headlong course which many are pursuing towards Rome will
eventually produce a reaction; and the recent publications of Baptist Noel and some others may have inspired the hope that the decree is already gone forth ne quid ecclesia capiat detrimenti. But action and'reaction, whether in philosophy or religion, in nature or grace, are usually as slow and complicated as they are mysterious, so that he who is watching for the result may have a tedious task, and often cry, 'watchman, what of the night? O • Lord, how long ?'
The volume before us exhibits melancholy consequences resulting from the protests of the better part of the Establishment against the system called Puseyite. For here the barrier that had been ostentatiously displayed, as separating that party from Rome, is thrown down. Tridentine Romanists was the name it gave to what are usually called Roman Catholics ; for it accused the Council of Trent of separating England from Rome; though it is notorious that the separation was made before the world was visited by the bruta fulmina of the Tridentine decrees. But Mr. Newman defends the Council against Luther, in the grand question of the nature of justification, whether it is identical with sanctification, or a distinct and forensic affair.
Such is the efficacy of articles of faith, acts of uniformity, and creeds of human composition forced on the ministers of religion, and guarded by pains and penalties. We are told that by this means an established church is a security for the truth, an insurmountable barrier against the vagaries of the human mind, and its proneness to be carried away by the novelties of error. But how can we be assured that the established creed itself shall be true? Is the faith of the greatest of all establishments, the soidisant Catholic, the real Roman church, scriptural? We will, however, content ourselves with inquiring how far the articles of religion enforced by law, supposing them to be true, have secured the orthodoxy of those who have given in their adhesion and confirmed it by subscription.
As we have no wish to cavil, or trifle, on this grave question, we will give full scope to diversity of opinion on minor points
, and admit the distinction, of which Rome is, when it suits her, so fond, between matters of faith and mere individual opinions; but we will fix our attention on that which is confessed on all hands to be a vital question-the terms or grounds of acceptance with God. On that which an apostle argues as a question of life or death, have there not been two opposite opinions maintained by powerful conflicting parties? One of these contended that justification by faith alone was essential to salvation, was the vital doctrine of Protestantism and of the Church of England ; while the other rejected this, as an antinomian error, destructive of all personal holiness. To us it appears that, in the very origin of the Church of England, and the formation of her creed and