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out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at Thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils."
The only consistent Christian view of the Cosmos, then, is this, that God is in all, as well as the Author of all—all-powerful and every where present, creating and controlling all—Himself the cause, the continuance, and the consummation of all things.
"Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways. Thou art worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are, and were created."
Art. V.—THE SUSPENSE AND RESTORATION OF
Theodore Packer's Experience as a Minister, with some Account of his Early Life and Education for the Ministry. Boston: Rufus Leighton, Jr. 1859.
The Suspense of Faith. An Address to the Alumni of the Divinity School of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Given July 19th, 1859, by Henry TV. Bellows. New-York: C. S. Francis & Co., 554 Broadway. 1859.
A Sequel to " The Suspense of Faith" By Henry TV. BelLows, D.D. New-York: D. Appleton & Co., 346 and 348 Broadway. 1859.
In our consideration of the pamphlets, the titles of which we have placed at the head of this article, we wish to disclaim, at the outset, any association of the names of Mr. Theodore Parker and Dr. Bellows which would imply that we regard them as standing upon the same platform, or as subject to the same tendencies. We consider them as widely differing, both in opinions and method; and as logically bound to pursue directly opposite results. We have associated them together only because the avowals and confident boastingof the one,and the admissions and honest apprehensions of the other, furnish most remarkable confirmation of the views which we have always held of a great movement in the religious world.
In order, if possible, to present these views clearly, we wish to draw attention to the fact, which we hope, as we proceed, to make evident, that there are in the Protestant world two schools, broadly distinguished from each other in their general characteristics, although neither is represented exclusively by anyone organization, and each passes, by almost imperceptible gradations, into the other. For the want of better appellations we shall call one of these schools the historic and evangelical, the other the rationalistic. The most prominent points of difference between these schools grow out of the different views which are taken of revelation and of reason as sources of religious truth. With the one school revelation, and with the other reason, is the paramount authority. We admit that there is much of the rationalistic spirit in the historic and evangelical school, and something perhaps of the historic and evangelical spirit in the rationalistic school, but the prevalence of cither spirit determines the school to which it belongs; and into these two schools may be divided the whole of the Protestant world.
The historic and evangelical school, notwithstanding its many differences, possesses certain common characteristics. A divine revelation is recognized as of supreme authority. The great truths contained in that revelation are those which declare the need of man, through his natural alienation from God, of a supernatural redemption; and the provisions for that redemption in the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Jesus Christ, and the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
This school also preserves the historic element by retaining, in a greater or less degree, the historic character of the Christian Church.
The rationalistic school, on the other hand, is characterized by the practical, if not avowed, supremacy of reason over revelation. Its method is to approach all religions subjects as if they were to be considered for the first time, and to reject, as authoritative, not only the traditions of the Christian Church, but any portions of the Bible itself which are thought to be in conflict with the moral sense or intellectual convictions of man. The doctrinal system of this school denies any natural alien, ation of man from God; and its remedy for the sins and sorrows of the world, is not the acceptance of a supernatural redemption, but a process of self-culture.
It is true, indeed, that a rationalistic method may lead to evangelical results. Beyond a question evangelical truth can be defended and maintained on the ground of pure reason. But those who arrive, even by the rationalistic method, at evangelical resnlts, in most cases, disown the method, acknowlege the supremacy of the Word of God over reason; and so cease to belong to the rationalistic school.
This rationalistic school, including, as it docs, all those who, in whatever degree, consciously or unconsciously, elevate reason above the Word of God, is principally represented within the pale of nominal Christianity, by the denomination of Unitarians, or, to use a name which they perhaps prefer, Liberal Christians. We know that it will appear harsh to many in that ecclesiastical connection to charge them with rationalism. We certainly do not charge such persons with rationalism, in the odious sense in which the word is usually understood, but we are compelled to express our conviction that the method by which men have been drawn away from the great truths of historic Christianity, is rationalistic; that it leads, logically and necessarily, to avowed Rationalism, to the rejection of a part, and finally of the whole, of the Bible, and to the abandonment of the Church. This Mr. Parker boldly declares to be the result with him. And Dr. Bellows admits, with alarm, that the Unitarian body is approaching this consummation of its development. And let it be remembered that neither has Mr. Parker reached, nor Dr. Bellows'foreseen, the final goal of this rationalistic course; for the only logical terminus of this progress is in the doctrine of the fool, " who hath said in his heart, there is no God!"
We do not care to spend much time upon the style and manner of Mr. Theodore Parker's Letter. It comes from him under circumstances which would effectually repress our indignation were we disposed to cherish it. One who is afar from home, in a foreign land, suffering under a fatal malady, with the realities of eternity drawing very near to him, is entitled to sympathy aud kindness, whatever may he our disapprobation of his temper or abhorrence of his opinions. We shall not, therefore, refer to several passages which we had marked, and which we are sure that even he in his better moments would admit to be unfair representations of the views to which he is opposed. We are compelled to say, however, for so much the interests of the truth demand, that Mr. Parker caricatures evangelical doctrine, and then ridicules the creature of his own imagination. We can respect and admire an . opponent who strives to be fair and just, and earnest only to find the truth. We have 'neither admiration nor respect for one who makes a truth odious only by distorting and besmearing it, and whose chief weapons are a quibble and a sneer.
What we are interested, however, to do, is to draw attention to the position which Mr. Parker has come finally to occupy; and which has a peculiar significance for us, since it is, in our view, a logical result of the principles of rationalistic Christianity. This result is startling enough. Mr. Parker, like Mephistopheles, is the great denier. Man's need of Redemption is denied. The fact of a supernatural redemption is denied. Miracles are denied. A divine revelation and the supreme authority of the Bible are denied. The Trinity in Unity is denied. Regeneration and sanctification by the Holy Spirit are denied. The atonement is denied; and the claims of Jesus to be even an infallible teacher are unequivocally denied. It is an abuse of language to call such a system Christian. If there is any significance in words, it is Deism. There is no truth peculiar to the historic Christianity of all ages, which this one man, on the authority of his own reason, has not ruthlessly trampled under foot and swept contemptuously away.
This sort of daring, we know, excites the admiration of many persons. We confess that it has no charms for us. "We can not dignify with the name of courage that recklessness which would lead a man to venture out upon a rope over the hoiling floods and raging ahyss of Niagara; and the exploit of madly tilting against the faith of all ages of the Christian Church is in our view as little entitled to the praise of true courage, especially as it may now be performed without the slightest danger of martyrdom.
We have read Dr. Bellows with very different feelings. Fairness, honesty, and earnestness are very prominent characteristics of his mind. We doubt whether any man has ever made so many admissions unfavorable to a cause to which he still adheres. And this he has done, not through want of skill, but simply, as it would appear, because he loves the truth. The "Sequel to the Suspense of Faith" strikes us more favorably in this respect than the original Address. Indeed we can not but regard it as in every respect superior. There is a vast deal of earnest thought and profound philosophy in this pamphlet, and they are clothed in a rich and glowing, though sometimes indistinct and cloudy, style. He admits most diftinctly that Unitarianism must now follow the lead of Mr. Parker into Infidelity, or retrace its steps; that there is great "despondency, self-questioning, and anxiety" in the denomination. He says that " the moment we find ourselves in possession of men, whom genius, character, and scholarship fit to lead us on in our logical career to new victories and the extension of our faith, they almost uniformly become paralyzed by doubts and scrnples, and lose their interest in the progress they might assure." He says, again: "To speak of Unitarianism independently of Trinitarianism, conveys no correct and no" valuable idea: and the purely denominational theology of the body has no worth in the decline of the errors or extravagance it was born to balance and compensate."
He gives a representation which would bo appalling, were it really sustained by facts, of what he calls the suspense of faith. In his opinion, the whole Protestant world is chargeable, though in a less degree, with the same tendencies which pre