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by her rivalry; and the weakness of Austria is in the East, not in the West. It is difficult to imagine France exercising the insidious protection over Austria which we know to be easy for Russia. It is certain that she has no hold over the subjects of Austria like that which Russia possesses as the champion of the Slavonic race.
We cannot see that the peace now under discussion will materially diminish the permanent dangers to be apprehended from Russia. We have assumed throughout that it will be a good peace according to its professions. Our space will not allow an investigation of its basis. We believe that the main points involved in it are very generally understood, and we do not apprehend that our diplomatists will be remiss in dealing with them. We cannot suppose, for instance, that so evident an evasion as the permission to make naval arsenals at Nicolaieff, or elsewhere on the estuaries of the Black Sea, while they are prohibited on the coast of the Black Sea itself, will be listened to for a moment. About one matter it is natural to feel more anxiety, both from its importance, and from the sinister influence which Austria is too likely to exercise in respect to it: we mean the future constitution of the Danubian Principalities. If they are rendered really strong and independent,--and to make them so the wishes of the population must be consulted in good faith,--something in the right direction will have been done which we must except from the general tenor of our remarks. If there is a failure here, Austria will indeed have had her perfect work. We trust that the late rumour of an intention to leave this matter to future arrangement, as of secondary moment, is unfounded, and that it will not be left to accident and Austria to settle whether her creature Stirbey is to be in power or not, and whether the Principalities are to be united or not.
ART. IX.-MEDIATORIAL RELIGION.
The Nature of the Atonement, and its relation to Remission of
Sins and Eternal Life. By John M‘Leod Campbell. Cam
bridge, Macmillan and Co. 1856. This is a strange book. A Greek would have hated it. A Puritan would have found it savoury, even where it was ursound. Rosenkranz, who has written on the Æsthetik des Hässlichen, would have been thankful for such a fund of illustration. Cumbrous, tiresome, monotonous, it has few attractions
for the natural man, who may have a weakness in favour of pure English and nice grammar. It despises the graces of carnal literature, and treats all the colour and music of language as the roundheads treated a cathedral, silencing the “ box of whistles" and smashing the "mighty big angels in glass.” And yet, if
“ you can get over its grating way of delivering itself, you will find it no barbaric product, but the utterance of a deep and practised thinker, charged with the richest experiences of the Christian life, and resolute to clear them from every tangle of fiction or pretence. Beneath the uncouth form there is not only severe truth, but great tenderness and beauty,—a fine apprehension of the real inner strife of tempted men, and an intense faith in an open way of escape from it, without compromise of any sanctity. The author, though not tuneful in his speech, has the gifts of a true prophet; and often enables one to fancy what Isaiah might have been if he had heard nothing but the bagpipe, and had set his “burdens” to its drone. Whether Mr. Campbell's style has been formed north of the Tweed, we know not. In any case it is trained in the school of Calvinism ; is untouched therefore by any feeling for art; and runs on with a sort of extemporaneous habit, insufficiently relieved by occasional flashes of grotesque and forcible expression. It is only in exterior aspect, however, that he presents the features of the rugged old Calvinism: and though the first-born of that system and its younger sons are distinguished like Isaac's children, "Esau is a hairy man, and Jacob is a smooth man,” yet no true patriarch of the school can be so blind as not to see beneath our author's goatskin dress, and know that he is other than the heir. In fact, the peculiarity of this work as a theological phenomenon is, that it is a destruction of Calvinism without any revolt from it,-an escape from it through its own interior. Its postulates are not denied. Its phraseology is not rejected. Its statement of the problem of redemption is in the main accepted. Its provision for the solution, the Incarnation of the Son,-is sacredly preserved. Yet these elements are put into such play as to make it check-mate itself on its own area.
Its definitions are shown to be suicidal; and its sharp-edged logic is used to cut through the ligaments that constrain and shape it.
We have spoken first of the style of this book, because it strikes the reader at the outset, and is not unlikely to repel him if he is not warned. Of one other feature, derived from the same school, we must say a word, to qualify the admiration and gratitude which we shall then ungrudginglý tender to the author. In common with all the great masters of the "evangelical" school, he is too much at home with the Divine economy; knows too well how the same thing appears from the finite and
the infinite point of view; can tell too surely how a mixed nature, both divine and human, would feel on looking from both ends at once; and altogether goes with too close a search to the
secret place of the Most High.” Not that he speaks unworthily on these high themes; we have nothing truer to suggest, except more silence. But we must confess that when a teacher lays down the conditions of divine possibility, expatiates psychologically on the sentiments of the Father and the Son, and seems as though he had been allowed a peep into the autobiography of God, we shrink from the sharp outlines, and feel that we shall believe more if we are shown less. With so many soundings taken, and so many channels buoyed, the sense of the shoreless sea is gone, and we find only a port of traffic, with coast - lights instead of stars. The temptation to this theological map-making has always proved peculiarly strong among the disciples of Geneva: and the reason is to be found in the very nature of the problem they have attempted to resolve. Religion has two foci to determine,—the divine nature and the human. Athanasius and the Greek influence fixed the doctrine of the Godhead: Augustine and the Latin Church defined the spiritual state of man. The one, it has been said, produced a theology; the other, an anthropology. In the construction of the former it is obvious that the appeal could be made only to positive authority, whether of Scripture or the Church. On the Nicene question no one could pretend to have personal insight or scientific data: it must be decided by arbitrary vote on impressions of testimony. But for establishing a doctrine of humanity, the living resources of consciousness and experience were present with perpetual witness; every proposition advanced
could be confronted with its corresponding reality: the disciple could not help carrying the dogma inward to the test of his self-knowledge. The scheme of the Trinity partook of the nature of a Gnosis, which dwelt apart from the stir of phenomena, and having once set and crystallised, could only be hung up for preservation. The dogmas of human de
. pravity and helplessness partook of the nature of a Science, coming in contact with the facts of life and character at every point. Moral experience had something to say to them; and unless they could keep good terms with it, they could not hope to hold their ground. Hence the Augustinian divines have been constrained to seek a philosophy of religion, and to collate the text of their scriptural system with the running paraphrase of actual life. No writers have contributed so much to lay bare the inmost springs of human action and emotion; have tracked with so much subtlety the windings of guilty self-deception, or so found the secret sorrow that lies at the core of every unconse
crated joy. If we must concede to the Roman Catholic casuists and the problems of the confessional the merit of creating an ethical Art embodied in systems of rules, we owe to the deeper evangelical spirit, whether in its action or its reaction, the groundlines of an ethical Philosophy ;-or, if you deny that such a thing as yet exists, at least the true idea and undying quest of it. The disciples of Augustine, belonging to an anthropological school, have been naturally distinguished by a reflective and psychologic habit.
If it was the function of the Greek period to settle the doctrine of God, and of its Latin successor to define the nature of man, it was the aim of the Reformation, leaving these two extremes undisturbed, to find the way of mediation between them. So long as the great sacerdotal church, living continuator of Christ's presence, was intrusted with the business, private Christians wanted no theory on the subject; all nice questions went into the ecclesiastical closet and disappeared. But as soon as ever the hierarchy fell out of this position, there was an immense void left to be filled. On the one hand, Infinite Holiness, quite alienated; on the other, Human Pravity, quite helpless : how was any approximation to be rendered conceivable? True, the great original Mediation on Calvary which the papal priesthood pretended to prolong remained; for it was fixed in history. But it lay a great way off, a fact in the old past ; and its intervention was required to-day by Melancthon, and Carlstadt, and a whole ge- : neration quite remote from it. How was its power to be fetched into the present? how applied to men walking about in Wittenberg or Zürich? This was the problem which flew open by the cancelling of the Romish credentials: and the various answers to it constitute the body of Protestant theology. In one point they all agree, that, to replace the priestly media that are thrust out, Personal Faith is the element that must be brought in. In what way this subjective state of the individual mind draws or appropriates the efficacy of the Incarnation; in what order the redeeming process runs among the three given terms, the alienated Father, the mediating Son, the believing disciple; whether any part of the process is moral and real, or all is legal and virtual; these are questions which the Reformation has found it easier to open than to close. But answer them as you will, they entangle your thoughts in the mutual relations and sentiments of three persons; and cannot be discussed without establishing some principles of moral psychology, as the common grounds of intercommunion between minds finite and infinite, and dealing with hypothetical problems of divine as well as human casuistry. Hence the inevitable tendency of the doctrine of Mediation to venture on a natural history of the
Divine Mind,--to construct a drama of Providence and Grace, with plot too artfully wrought for the free hand of Heaven, and traits too specific and minute for reverent contemplation.
It is deeply instructive to observe the pulsation of religious thought in men. Revealed religion is ever passing into natural, and natural returning to reinterpret the revealed. We can almost see the steps by which sacred history was converted into dogma; while dogma, assumed in turn as the starting-point, is ever producing new readings of the history. This world may be regarded as a human theatre, where the Wills of men perform the parts ; or as the stage of Divine agency, using the visible actors as the executants of an invisible thought. Its vicissitudes, presented in the former aspect, yield only history; in the latter, give rise to doctrine. Noticed by Tacitus, the life of Christ is a provincial incident of Tiberius' reign, and his death a judicial act of Pontius Pilate's government. In the three first Gospels and the book of Acts, the crucifixion is still the act of wicked or misguided men, inflicted on an expostulating victim ; not, however, without being foreseen as the appointed precursor of a resurrection. The event is thus in the main simply historical; but with a divine comment which gives it an incipient theological significance. It appears under another aspect in the Gospel of John; there, Christ not only foresaw, but determined his own death : his life “no man taketh it from him,” but he “ lays it down of himself;" he is not merely the submissive medium, but the spontaneous co-agent of a Divine intent. Finally, in St. Paul, to whom the person and ministry of Christ were unfamiliar, who, as disciple of his heavenly life, looked back upon them from a higher point,—the historical aspect almost wholly disappears in the ideal ; and the cross becomes the gospel, the wisdom of God and the power of God, the self-sacrifice of the Son the reconciling way to the Father, the very focus and symbol of all the mystery and mercy comprised in humanity. The movement of thought through these successive stages is obvious. An event is at first accepted as it arises. But, in proportion as its concrete impression retires, the need becomes more urgent to find its function: instinctive search is made for all those elements, accessories, and effects of it, which promise to bring out its meaning and idea, until at last its doctrine absorbs itself, and enters the human mind as a permanent factor of positive religion. It is thus that the great antitheses, of Law and Gospel, of the Natural and the Spiritual man, of dead Works and living Faith, of self-seeking enmity and self-surrendering reconciliation with God, - have settled upon the consciousness of Christendom, and grown into the very substance of its experience. They have become part of its natural religion. But in