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as a medium, it is communicated to men on earth.” This, he adds in a note, “is the entire sense of the doctrine of mediation. The mediator of artificial theology, standing between an offended God and sinful creatures, is a dishonouring and unscriptural invention.”
Putting, as we have done, on one side Mr. Liddon, Mr. Garbett, and Mr. Hugh Martin, and, on the other side, the writers of these Papers, it is evident that there is a wide interval between the principles of the dogmatists and the anti-dogmatists. And yet both sides are willing to stand by the Scriptures. Mr. Liddon's argument, which we already remarked was beside the real question at issue, is, nevertheless, correct in its own place. He argues truly that religion cannot be separated from theology. Men will reason. They will define, and their definitions and reasonings must be metaphysical. The definitions in the creeds are the efforts of the writers to express their conceptions of certain doctrines. The first development of dogma is distinctly to be traced in the New Testament itself. The teaching of Jesus, as recorded by the first three Evangelists, is in the main practical. In John's Gospel we have not only Christ's doctrine, but a doctrine concerning Christ. The Apostle had become familiar with the metaphysical terms of the Alexandrine philosophy. By means of them he illustrated and defended the doctrine of the incarnation Some English writers have thought it necessary to deny this; but it is manifest to all unprejudiced scholars. Christianity had an inheritance from the philosophy of the Greeks. The writer of the fourth Gospel made use of the terms and modes of thought current in that age to express his conceptions of the doctrines of Christianity. St. Paul and the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews were evidently not unacquainted with the Alexandrine philosophy, though they delight more in Jewish forms, both of speech and thought. These are manifest proofs of Mr. Liddon's principle that men will not, probably cannot, stop at religion, but must go on to construct a theology. The two schools of Christian philosophy that existed among the Fathers, and the dogmas peculiar to each, are well known to all who are familiar with the history of theology. Mr. Liddon puts them together as one bundle, and dignifies the whole with the title of “the ripe decisions which we owe to the illuminated mind of Primitive Christendom.”. Besides these “ ripe decisions,” we owe not a few definitions to the scholastics. As Protestants, we have also to receive the dogmas that grew out of the controversies of the Reformation, while Roman Catholics have to abide by those made at Trent—often out of mere opposition to the doctrines of the Reformers. The question, we repeat, is not that men will make dogmas, or go on trying to define what they believe. The question is, if these dogmas or definitions are to be received as
imposed by authority. If so, where is the authority ? Without a claim to infallibility, no Church can pretend to have authority to impose dogmas. We go back, then, to the Scriptures ; but in so doing we give up all dogmas, except those which we find in the Scriptures.
There are here three things to be distinguished from each otherHow we understand the Scriptures, what the writers really mean, and what was the extent of their knowledge. Mr. Liddon forbids us “to exercise thought on the Christian Revelation.” Mr. Garbett tells us that the province of reason is confined to the evidences of a Divine Revelation. The great principle of the Reformation was the right of every man to judge of the meaning of the Scriptures. It did not advocate any abuse of private judgment in the sense of every man putting on the Scriptures whatever sense he fancied. But it did advocate the individual responsibility of every man, and his obligation to be guided by his own convictions. One of the writers in the Bishop of Argyll's Papers says that this principle cannot be separated from another; which is, that “we are free to judge what is Revelation or not.” If we are bound by the Scriptures only as we have capacity to understand them, then the measure of that capacity is the measure of what we are to believe that is, of the dogmas we are to receive. Whatever is clearly taught in the Scriptures, that alone is to be received by Christians. But this obviously may be far short of what is really in the Scriptures. To get at the real meaning, for instance, of St. Paul's Epistles is no easy matter. The infallible Church of Rome has never ventured on any infallible interpretation. The keenest intellects and the greatest scholars of modern times are unable, in many cases, to find out the stand-point from which the Apostle is discoursing. They find it impossible to enter the circle of ideas that prevailed in his time. They do not know the precise force of his modes of reasoning or the limits of his rhetoric, and they can only guess at the mental characters and capacities of those to whom his Epistles were written. Our understanding, then, of much of the Pauline theology may be very different from what that theology really is.
The last consideration concerns the infallibility of the writers of the New Testament. Do they speak infallibly? Do they profess to speak infallibly? What is the date of the dogma of infallible and authoritative Scriptures ? Mr. Garbett says that he is not ashamed to hold the Scriptures infallible, because he is in company with the great names of Fathers and Reformers. In another place he applies the closing words of the Apocalypse to the whole of the New Testament, as if it had then been all written and collected into one volume; and he adds, “Here the voice of inspiration ceases.
As its last solemn accents die away upon the ear, the Church takes up the cry and echoes on the testimony. The simple tones of her multitudinous tongues no longer carry with them the force of an infallible inspiration ; but the ordinary gifts of the Spirit still remained.” Mr. Garbett says so; but where is the authority, dogmatic or undogmatic, for this distinction between the inspiration of the New Testament and the inspiration of the Church? This surely will not be dignified as the “Catholic faith," or as a “ripe decision of Primitive Christendom.” Doubtless we desire that the Scriptures always spoke clearly and infallibly. We crave infallibility. An infallible Church would be the satisfaction of our heart's desires. But what we long for must not be confounded with what is. Is St. Paul never wrong? Was he not in error about Christ's second coming? Are all his rhetorical arguments and illustrations infallible, or did he even suppose that they were ? Must the Christian Revelation go to the ground if Professor Huxley proves that a seed sown does not die before it brings forth fruit, or if Mr. Darwin proves that physical death did not enter the world by the sin of Adam ? The story of Adam and Eve is believed to be only a myth by many Christians who have no difficulty in supposing that St. Paul spoke according to the best of his knowledge. The question then culminates in this, if even the speculative theology of the Apostles is binding on us with the authority of dogma. And Mr. Garbett has not failed to see that this is the real point of the conflict between dogmatist and anti-dogmatist. It is idle for either side not to look the question fairly in the face. In Mr. Garbett's words-Are the Scriptures the creators of faith or its products, the embodiment of the religious consciousness of different periods of the world ? The only way to settle this question is by an examination of what the Scriptures are and what they profess to be.
The objection, then, of the anti-dogmatist does not appear to be against believing certain doctrines, but against receiving any doctrines coming as dogmas—that is, claiming to be received in virtue of an authority which overrides reason and conscience. The necessity for putting our beliefs into definite forms is admitted ; but it is denied that these forms are either permanent or infallible. Some dogmas have become associated with certain phases of piety, and are appropriate vehicles for its expression. Who objects to sing Toplady's hymn, “Rock of Ages,” redolent as it is with that theology which makes the death of Christ salvation “ from wrath ?” In prayers, in hymns, in definitions of doctrine, we must receive many conceptions, to use the Bishop of Argyll’s word, “ conventionally,” feeling that if they express partially certain things that are true, yet they express them the more vividly in virtue perhaps of that partiality which is itself
inseparable from definite conception. If illustration and speculation concerning the death of Christ were forbidden, some preachers would have but little to say in their sermons. They would be deprived of the means of conveying thoughts to multitudes of minds. Many who would be unaffected by a discourse from Mr. Jowett or Mr. Martineau, concerning that divine love which has no anger to be appeased, would be instructed by John Bunyan’s exposition of the parable of the barren fig-tree, where the Father in justice commands it to be cut down, and the Son in mercy pleads for another year of probation. The discourses of the learned writers of the “ PresentDay Papers” would be unmeaning to thousands who are edified by Mr. Spurgeon when he preaches on what God has done for them for “ Christ's sake,” notwithstanding that the text is a notorious mistranslation of the original Greek.* And all this brings us back to the fact that it is with the religious consciousness that preachers have to deal, and not with formal definitions of theology, except so far as these definitions help to work upon that consciousness. The mischief appears when the dogmatists of different sects begin the enunciation of their dogmas with a “Quicunque vult,” and end with an anathema that he who does not think as they do shall “ without doubt everlastingly perish.” In this sense Dr. Schenkel is right when he describes orthodoxy as the sin against the Holy Ghost.
The anti-dogmatists wish to stand by what Lessing calls “the Christianity of Christ,” that is, practical religion as taught by Jesus Himself, consisting of love to God and love to man. These are to be placed in the first rank along with whatever in the New Testament is manifestly clear to the reason and the conscience. That which is plain is that which is revealed. It belongs to us. What is secret we may desire to look into; but we are not to take the words of men, nor the definitions of men, as the words of God. . We are not to bow before the “ripe decisions of Primitive Christendom," nor the subtle definitions of scholastic doctors, nor the symbolic books of the learned Reformers. We also are men. The same responsibility is given to us that was given to them. They judged for themselves according to the light that was in them ; so we too must judge for ourselves, and seek to share that light which shone in them. In taking up this position the anti-dogmatist places himself in harmony with the matured judgment of the universal reason of humanity. He begins with what is evident. He walks by the light which he has. He performs faithfully his present duty; and for the rest of the path of existence he goes on trustfully till the day break and the shadows flee away.
* See a sermon on Ephesians iv. 32.
THE FUTURE OF CAPITAL AND LABOUR.
generate. Capital, as capital, can produce nothing of itself; it must be connected with labour before anything can result from it. Labour, however, is productive by itself alone; more so, indeed, when combined with capital, yet of inherent and independent fecundity. In short, labour can do all but create. It cannot originate material, whether wood, stone, coal, or iron; but it can fell trees, quarry rocks, win the black diamond, and get up the ore. light and feed the furnace, can smelt and purify the iron-stone, can turn it into metal, can harden that metal into steel, can convert that steel into crow and pickaxe, saw and plane, hammer and chisel; and thus, self-furnished, can frame of wood, stone, and iron, such strong, durable, and magnificent buildings and machinery as we see around us.
But, before such great works as in our times are of familiar occurrence can be set about, capital must be forthcoming in large supply, both to gather the materials and to support the labour; and of labour itself there must be a great gathering, a wise organization, a wellproportioned distribution, and an accurately adjusted co-operation, In fact, for the realization of one achievement there must be, as it were, but one power and one will. But for this, nothing could have been done. But for this, the Crystal Palace could not have crowned