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in the highest sense a revelation. It made clear their own wants; it made clear their new life; it reflected their spiritual experience; it brought close home to them the divine answer to that experience. Jerusalem seemed to live again in the heart of Germany, and with startled hearts the people saw their own life repeated, but also, closely iningled with it, that personal life of God in which they were longing to put their trust.
Here, then, was a ground of fact for their desires. Here was a protection against fanaticism. Here was God elsewhere revealing himself to be that which they believed him to be in their own hearts. The Bible, however, was thus fresh and pure as a revealing authority only while the hearts of men were thus deeply stirred with the want of a diviner life. The time came when the faith in a revealing history became as much disguised and overlaid with practical scepticism as ever did the Roman faith in a revealing church. The intensely inward character of the personal trust of the great Reformers laid too great a strain upon the spiritual capacity of the people, and their faith gradually relapsed into a passive dependence on the one outward prop left to them in the canon of Scripture. Instead of reverencing the Bible for its power of revealing a present God, they elevated it into the entire substance of the revelation. Thousands desired a belief for which they felt in their own hearts little or no support, and they unconsciously sought to shift the ground of the Reformation so as to relieve themselves from choosing between the alternatives of retrogression and positive doubt. And thus arose that large class of Protestant sceptics, who fortify their belief in the Bible just as the Romanists fortified their belief in the church, as the only stronghold of their faith. They have faith in a past revelation. They pray with eyes ever bent upon that blue streak in the eastern horizon, where, once at early dawn, the very sun of heaven was visible; but if they are told that its glory is still undimmed, that, would they but look upwards, they might see it now riding clear on high, they make it painfully evident that their faith is jarred and shaken by the unreasonable asser: tion, and that to their minds it only throws a mist of doubt upon the past reality of the morning glory, when so clear an optical delusion can deceive an experienced eye at noon. Thus the faith in the Bible was gradually overlaid with an active hostility to every present medium of revelation, and it became necessary to proclaim this “preservative addition” to the biblical orthodoxy, that the Bible was the only mirror of the purposes and character of God. But no sooner was the Bible held to be the only accessible abode of the Divine Spirit, than it became suddenly more and more difficult to discover
the Divine Spirit even in the Bible. The light and shade of human sentiment and human purpose are as clearly distinguishable in the Hebrew history as in modern life. The sacredness
. once driven out of the latter, it becomes more and more impossible to vindicate it wisely for the former. And thus the declining faith of Protestantism reaches its last stage, in which one class passing into absolute scepticism, affirms that God neither is present in humanity nor ever was, while another class, less sincere, and almost equally untrue, substitutes the history of a revelation for the living God, and pretends to find Him more clearly manifested in the minutest of its moral incidents, and the least sacred portion of its literature, than in all subsequent or present history--more clearly in the Song of Solomon than in the farewell thoughts of Socrates-nay, more clearly in the mention of a patriarch's age, the dimensions of the ark, or a verse of a genealogy-than in all the tried and tempted life of man's daily experience.
This citramontane bibliolatry, which fairly rivals the ultramontane ecclesiolatry-going out of its way to brand as the worst kind of sin any hesitation as to the literal dictation of the Bible by the Holy Ghost*--has borne bitter fruit in the English church. Our national Establishment boasts a considerable proportion, we fear, among her clergy (though not, we trust, amongst her laity,) of that class who, as Luther predicted, greedily gather up the doctrinal shells of his faith, and who yet, had they been living when he broke his bonds, would not so much as have touched the kernel. Luther believed in a Bible that referred him back to the Christ living in his heart; the English biblical orthodoxy believes in a God who refers us finally to the Bible. And this ossification of the revealing power necessarily corresponds to a petrifaction of the revealed truth. Whatever be the nature of that faith in the atonement of Calvary which has taken so high a place in the theology of the Reformation, there is a very broad distinction to be drawn between those who conceive that it works its ends through the existing trust, that is, by the present living influence of Christ over the heart, and those who regard belief in it as the tech
At one of the May meetings held this year, by the so-called evangelical party, a Cambridge professor was branded as putting forth books only fit for Holyucell-street, because he had called in question the scientific truth in the Mosaic account of the creation. The allusion was of course to the Rev. Baden Powell's book on the “ Unity of Worlds," in which he states the wellascertained incompatibility of the Mosaic account with the facts of modern geology, and gives it as his view that moral and spiritual, not scientific truth, is all that can be looked for in the Bible. Wherever the Bible is deified, science is treated as calumny against God. As the modern bibliolaters in Germany candidly say, “ Die Wissenschaft muss verdreht werden.”
nical condition of a pardon by virtue of which they escape a penalty, and are included in the muster-roll of a favoured class. The former regards that faith as the means of bringing man into new relations with a divine Person, the latter regards the belief as completing the conditions of an old contract. The bibliolatry which relegates the Holy Spirit to the province of explaining to us the Bible, necessarily contracts the meaning of salvation by the living act of faith into a salvation by acquiescence in the terms therein proposed. Where there is no belief in the divine revelation in man, all the sacred part of faith consists in taking the Bible upon trust, instead of trusting in a present Christ; it becomes necessary that the whole spiritual portion of the negotiation should be conceived as completed within the limits of the Bible; that nothing but the formal signature should be left for the recipient. Were it otherwise,
it would be necessary to assume a real living communion of the soul with God, independently of the sacred volume, and so a new and powerful innovating element would be introduced by which its absolute and supreme authority might be undermined. Thus the passionate faith of Luther is degraded into the acceptance of an artificial contract of which all the truly divine operation had taken effect centuries ago, the only new element now added being the admission of a new name. Instead of trust being the power by which the sinful spirit comes under a new influence, it is only the occasion on which the envelope of Christ's death is extended to the guilty. The orthodox theory of substitution carefully excludes the supposition that the spiritual union with Christ is the purifying influence which renders possible the favour of God, and maintains that his suffering was the essential ground of our liberation. The following is the language in which this shred of Protestant faith is now held out to spirits eager to find all the truth which any formula still retains. The speaker is Dr. Candlish, who last year undertook to expose Mr. Maurice's heresies to the Young Men's Christian Association, as the representative of evangelical orthodoxy:
“The will of God is not only not changed by the Atonementwhich of course is an impossibility—but it does not find in the Atonement any reason for a different mode of dealing with man from that which, irrespectively of the Atonement, might have been adopted as right and fitting. The wrath of God is not turned away
from any: it is not quenched. But, what! some one says: would you really have it quenched? That wrath against the unlovely, which is the essential attribute of all love worthy of the name, -would you have it quenched in the bosom of Him who is love, so long as anything unlovely anywhere or in any one remains? No. But the object against which the wrath burns is not merely an abstraction; it is a living person—myself, for example. And that wrath is not merely indignant or sorrowful dislike of what is unlovely in me on the part of a Father whose nature is love;—but holy displeasure and righteous disapprobation on the part of One who, however he may be disposed to feel and act towards me as a Father, is at all events my Ruler and my Judge ;—whose law I have broken and by whom I am condemned. There is room here for his arranging that, through the gracious interposition of his own Son, meeting on my behalf the inviolable claims of justice, his wrath should be turned away from me ;—and if from me, from others also, willing to acquiesce in the arrangement. If a moral government according to law is conceivable, such a procedure is conceivable under it.”
“ Willing to acquiesce in the arrangement !” Surely, surely, there is shell-theology here! If ever there were a hollow ring about theological doctrine --if ever there were an empty shell from which the kernel had dropped, --it is in such a formula as this. Nor can we doubt that it is so. For from the opinion,we will not call it a faith,--that rigorous spiritual justice concerns the external act of punishment, irrespectively of the recipient,-from the doctrine which professes to excuse men, once for all, from all the requisitions of divine law on grounds wholly disconnected with their own spiritual life,-has come all that unreal and external conception of duty and sin,—that chronic suspiciousness of nature without open war with it,—that askance-glancing at the joys of life without either hearty acceptance or manly resignation of them,- that living half to the carnal and half to the spiritual man which combines the moral perils of ascetic and of epicurean practice,-that official life with the Redeemer and actual life with the world which naturally flows from a theory of purely artificial righteousness, and from placing the essence of religion in gratitude to God that we are permitted to produce a proxy in the most personal relations of spiritual life, in short, that He is pleased to admit a double dramatic fiction as the ground of a real reconciliation with Himself. Well may Mr. Maurice indignantly deny that this is either a Christian or a Protestant doctrine.
And from this point of view it is far from difficult to understand the nature of that Puseyite reaction in our Establishment which has taken hold of so many minds little inclined to go back into the Roman church. The Lutheran assertion, that a living trust in the Christ within man is the only pure fountain of action,--that this alone can produce a holiness unstained by human pride,—had relapsed into a confidence in the terms of a technical agreement, in which Christ and men are the contracting parties. This was the result of laying too much stress on the consciousness of the act of faith, - the effect of putting a strain on the inward attitude of the heart which it cannot in most men bear, and which produces artificial reaction. It cannot be wondered at, then, that a large party looked eagerly for a more comprehensive church, which should nourish the unconscious life of man, and recur to action as the school of faith, instead of looking on conscious faith as the only holy spring of action. This was the strength, we believe, of that Puseyite reaction towards the sacramental system of grace by outward ordinances, and towards the doctrine that the privileges of Christ's church are not necessarily confined to those who individually and inwardly “close with Christ,” which has taken so strong a hold upon a portion of our Establishment. Puseyism is very far from being at one in principle with Romanism. It is only a conservative movement towards ancient doctrine,—while Romanism has a principle, a life, an idea of its own. Like all conservatism, it is negative, arising in a dislike towards present tendencies, a preference for old customs, of which it shares the sentiment and understands the truth. Puseyism is no distinct faith; it is a compromise between Protestantism and Catholicism; it desires to combine the advantages of both. Archdeacon Denison says, “ The Roman church is Catholic but not primitive; the English church is Catholic and primitive." In other words, Puseyism is the Body Catholic bereft of its present mind, or the Body Protestant acting under the inspiration of a past mind. Puseyism owns positively no living authority at all; it has no principle of development; it is radically averse to all principles of development; its desire is to live by the customs and observances of a past age. It talks, indeed, of the authority of the church. But if you come to look into the meaning of what is said, you find it to mean only that clerical gentlemen,---especially bishops,-are rather more likely to understand what was the ancient practice and the ancient creed than any one else. But it is very far from recognizing any practical and present dogmatic authority even in bishops or archbishops. On the contrary, the Bishop of Exeter and Archdeacon Denison evi. dently think that they could start a Church Catholic of their own; and that once having the apostolic succession and the “custody” of the sacraments, they need no sanction from any overruling ecclesiastical mind to enable them to set up for themselves. Puseyism recognizes the sacramental channels of grace, but has no local and present power by which it can decide the issues of a present controversy. Its only proposal for a bridge over a yawning schism is to suspend above it a