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liturgy, and offices, there was a struggle between hostile schools
, the Popish and Protestant,—that each one secured what it could ; and that Mr. Head is right in affirming that the Church is inconsistent with herself, and that a consistent Churchman is an impossibility.
But we have been accustomed to think that, on justification, the mother, if not her sons, had fed us with milk free from all admixture of poison; and some, even when quitting her, have said, O si sic omnia,' then we could have remained with her.' That the Puritans, Nonconformists, and Dissenters in general, approved the chief doctrines of the Church of England, and
that of justification, is notorious. On this ground, occasional conformity was recommended and practised by those who maintained, in what is termed the Calvinistic sense, that'a man is justified by
faith, without the deeds of the law, and that whosoever is of the works of the law is under the curse.' The mention of Calvin reminds us, that he approved the doctrine of the Church of England, finding fault with nothing but her vestments and offices, which he calls tolerabiles ineptiæ.
The whole body of those who have been termed evangelical clergy, have maintained the doctrine which Mr. Newman attempts to confute ; and have here exulted, appealing triumphantly to the thirty-nine articles, along with the Scriptures, a proof of which may be seen in Hervey's Theoron and Aspasio. "Whitfield and Wesley have agreed in justification by faith, and in defending their churchmanship on tắis point. For a century, the men who appealed most largely to the Scriptures and the Prayer Book, were those who preached justification by faith, and would condemn Mr. Newman's views, as alike fatal to men's eternal hopes, and contrary to the doctrine of the Church of England.
But we are now told that they were all wrong,-heretics to Scripture and schismatics to the Church. The Oxford restoration appeals to bishops and true Churchmen against Luther and the Reformation. Of what use, then, are the articles, and formularies, and acts of uniformity to prevent diversities of opinion in religion? That they have not accomplished their end is manifest by this grand schism in the Establishment.
We are not unaware that it may be said, there is no less diversity of opinion on this question among those who study the Scriptures alone, and profess to take them as divine oracles. But this, however true, is no answer. For those who, contending for the sufficiency of Scripture, refuse to be bound by human creeds, plead that they are insufficient to secure uniformity, and if men differ concerning the meaning of Scripture, they equally strive about the doctrines of their own articles. But the advocates for established creeds profess to supply a defect, and to produce a uniformity which the Scriptures alone cannot secure.
The Puseyite party is pursuing a course of direct opposition to that which gave birth to their Church. History stands a stern foe to dishonesty, and tells aloud that the present clergy are undoing what was done with so much cost by those who have been entitled the fathers of the English Church. But the Tractators plead, we have a higher duty to discharge towards the church universal, which is superior to any particular church. This is sound doctrine, and we are glad to see it revived at Oxford. But if the termination of schism, and the reunion of the whole church be the aim of the Oxford Tracts, why not keep others in view beside Rome? We do not say, why not reconcile English Dissenters, for they may be too insignificant; but why not show some regard for the Greek church and the Armenians? Here are millions, more numerous than the Church of England. But Rome alone is kept in view and propitiated; because the Church of England is her daughter.
We are not sorry that this volume is published; for it is far better that poison should be exhibited en masse where it can be detected, than diffused in small doses like the Tracts for the Times. As this is the most dangerous form of error, worse than the half heathen system of what used to be called the worldly clergy, or the downright popery of the Jesuits, it is better that it should be grappled with at once. It is rather less evangelical than the works of some of the Jansenist Catholics; for Mr. Newman, warring against the evangelicals, fastens upon the worst parts of Augustine, while Pascal, Quesnel, and their fellow laborers, opposed the Jesuits, and seized the best things that could be found in the Fathers. Omitting, however, the notes, and a few sentences in the lectures, a reader might suppose he had met with a work like that of Bossuet on the Sacraments, intended to proselyte Protestants to the church of Rome.
The present Puseyite clergy are more dangerous than the old fox-hunters, inasmuch as men of grave demeanor and diligent habits may be mistaken for ministers of the gospel. But if Satan transformed into an angel of light, is more dangerous than Belial with open lasciviousness, or Moloch dripping with blood, the race of clergy that is now spreading over the land is the most pernicious that has ever appeared, at least since the days of Laud.
An insidious passage is introduced to show that we cannot find out the sense of Scripture, without going to the fathers, which is but to make confusion worse confounded.
1. It encourages the practice of arguing out a sense for its terms, from the particular context in which they may happen to occur. Of course, to consult the context is a great advance towards the true method of interpretation, but it is not enough. In Scripture, as elsewhere, words stand for certain objects, and are used with reference to
those objects, and must be explained by them. They may severally have many shades of meaning, but these, though manifold, are of one family, and but varieties of one meaning, if we could find it. In this or that passage where the word occurs, it may disclose its one full sense more or less; but the degree in which it is brought out by the context, depends on the accident of those other words with which it there stands connected. Therefore, I say we shall never arrive at its real and complete meaning, by its particular context; which generally comes in contact with but two or three points, or one aspect of it. What would be thought of the commentator (to recur to a former illustration), who decided that Psalmist meant father, because the Psalmist wept over his son ; or shepherd, because he rescued a lamb from the lion and bear; or king, because he was a type of the Messiah? Yet, in this way the sacred terms of the apostles are treated; and not only by those who interpret on a theory, but by men who are clearsighted enough to disown the bondage of modern systems, or too heed. less or self-willed to learn them. They are robbed of their hidden treasures, and frittered away among a multitude of meanings as uncer. tain, meagre, and discordant, as the one true sense, like a great lumi. nary, is clear and gracious. Righteousness sometimes is to mean God's strict justice, sometimes his merciful acceptance, sometimes superhuman obedience, sometimes man's holiness, without any attempt at harmonizing these distinct notions; faith is trust, or obedience, or conscience, or implicit assent ; justifying is used by St. Paul for declaring righteous, by St. James for evidencing that God has declared us righteous; the Law is sometimes the moral law, sometimes the ceremonial, sometimes the Christian. What account is to be given of such changes ? none is attempted. Yet, I repeat, surely, if a word means so many things, they are to be considered as but modifications of one and the same idea, according as it is viewed ; and our business is to find out, as far as may be, what it is which admits of such diversified application.
Our business is, if so be, to fix that one real sense before our mind's eye, not to loiter or lose our way in the outward text of Scripture, but to get through and beyond the letter into the spirit. Our duty is to be intent on things, not on names and terms; to associate words with their objects instead of measuring them by their definitions; to speak as having eyes, and as if to those who have eyes, not as groping our way in the dark by intellectual conceptions, acts of memory, and efforts of reason ; in short, when we speak of justification or faith, to have a meaning and grasp an idea, though at different times it may be variously developed, or variously presented, as the profile or full face in a picture. And here, let me observe, is the especial use of the Fathers as expositors of Scripture.'--pp. 132–134. .
But Mr. Newman may think that he shall win a larger class than either the orthodox Dissenters or Methodists – the Roman Catholics; for he has·labored to prove that the Church of England and that of Rome substantially agree on justification. He admits, indeed, that Rome is defective. But who knows all the
truth ? or sees all the lengths to which it may be carried ? He says to Protestants, you are altogether wrong; and to Catholics, you are in the right; to Luther, your justification is no justification; and to Rome, yours is the Scriptural justification : but you have forgotten to mention something that belongs to it.
Perhaps he hopes to win the Catholics. And who could blame the wish? We are not among those who think it the highest orthodoxy to treat papists as if they had committed the unpardonable sin, and were to be excluded from the pale of Christian charity. We remember that the signal for the overthrow of Rome will be the warning voice. Come out of her, my people, &c. If some of God's people may be in her when just nodding to her ruin, surely there may be some there now. This consideration condemns the bitter, fiery charges poured upon Catho-lics, and enjoins a benevolent effort to win them.
Mr. Newman may intend to adopt the apostle's maxim, so * being crafty I caught you with guile. For he speaks of the Catholic church, continually, with favour. But will he win them over to him? Never. Will they not say, you ought, on your own principles, to come over to us? Certainly ; for he has laboured to prove that on the grand question which produced the separation, the Catholics were right, and Luther, with all the Protestants, were wrong.
What is the legitimate inference, then ? That they who retained the truth should stand firm, and they who corrupted it should return to a church from which they ought never to have departed. That this is the use which the votaries of Rome will make of these Lectures, none who understand the Vatican, can, for a moment, doubt. Though we judge not any man, we cannot but fear that some who are laboring in this direction will end in Rome. The lecturer would be neither surprised nor grieved, perhaps, if the result should be, not that Rome should come over to England, but that England should go over to Rome. For the fact is, that a new species of dissent has risen up in the establishment, or rather a revival of that which was headed by Laud, who consulted his royal master about accepting the offer of a cardinal's hat. It is undeniable, that the fathers and founders of the Church of England intended to make her one of the Protestant churches. To this, however, Mr. N. may make up his mind-that he will never root out the Protestant doctrine, heresy he would say, of justification by faith. It may be so clearly proved by an accurate investigation of the original languages of Scripture, by the most logical analysis of the apostle's argument, by comparing one text with another, by its connexion with other doctrines of divine revelation, by its well known effects, and by the deepest experience of all that live by faith in Christ, that in its fall is involved that of Christianity itself.
It is easy to show to what lengths the Reformers went. This
is deeply regretted by those who call themselves sons of the church, and who eat of her bread. They have a full right to judge for themselves, but then it is on penalty of becoming dissenters. Availing themselves of the relics of Popery—the chief things which they love, except the tithes—they remain in the bosom of the Established Church, and labor to annihilate the distinction between her and Rome. This is disingenuous, hypocritical, base, treacherous,-a practical living lie. Many who are engaged in the scheme are practised upon and deceived; some who are sharers in the conspiracy are not aware of the extent of their crime; but some, like Mr. Froude, are real papists, and it is to be feared that there are artful men, concealed from view, reconciled to the church of Rome, or born in her communion, but entering our universities, and remaining apparently in the Established Church, to act like the jesuit by whom Gibbon was, at Oxford, made a Catholic.
They who spurn the worst part of this charge as a false accusation, may say that they have a right to improve their church; and if they think she has taken a wrong course in her separation from Rome, or has gone too far in that direction, they ought to do all in their power to turn the tide. But what would they say, if those who should act upon this principle had given it the contrary application? Have not such as think their church not sufficiently reformed, as good a right to adopt this method ? May they not go on towards Geneva, as the authors of the Oxford tracts go back to Rome? Yet the latter party would say, by the lips of a Phillpotts, if you do not like our church as it is, you have become a dissenter, and are not so much free, as bound to leave her, and join the dissenters. May not then the other party say, by the pen of Mr. Head, if you do not like our church as it is, you are become a Roman Catholic, you should avow yourself one, and act accordingly, thankfully accepting the superior liberty which the members of the Church of Rome now enjoy? How shall we end the strife between these hostile parties, that are bound by the act of uniformity to keep the Queen's peace? We must appeal to first principles. Whatever the Bishop of Exeter and the Oxford party may say of the Popish portion of the Prayer-book, they cannot deny that the Church of England, as by law established, is intended to be a separation from the Church of Rome, which was then pronounced antichristian, that the Scriptures alone were received as authority, and that all intercourse with Rome was forbidden, under severe pain and penalties. Where now is uniformity? Certainly not in the Church of England, Mr. Newman himself being judge ; for though he appeals, rather charily, to his own articles, he quotes bishops and others, whom he deems the orthodox, in defence of