Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

of 1869. The change may be traced in the University Sermon of 1865 on Hebrew altered language of his assailants. To take Prophecy, re-state his position, and defend only a single specimen :-Wben Milman call. his opposite frontier against those who have ed Abram "an independent Sheik or Emir" gone far beyond him. Thus of the Tübin(i. 8), the critic of 1830 retorted, “that is, gen school, and their speculations on a later if the latter word is strictly and properly part of Scripture, he says, that "their critiinterpreted, he wore a green turban, and was cism will rarely bear criticism (Pref. to H. one of the descendants of Fatimah, the daugh- C. p. vi.); of the modern German schools ter of Mahomet. We really wonder he did in general, that his "difficulty is more often not at once call him a turbaned Turk. It with their dogmatism than with their darwould have been much more intelligible, and ing criticism (Pref. to H. J. p. xxiii.); of not at all less irreverent, nor at all more in- Ewald, that he seems to have attempted consistent with chronology” (B. C., vol. vii. an utter impossibility," and that he “ebould p. 337). We believe that the Ecclesiastic like an Ewald to criticise Ewald, (ib. pp. in 1859 held a position not unlike that of the xxiii.-iv.) In another place he says, British Critic in 1830; and thus it accepts “Ewald's assignment of Deuterononiy to the as probable what its predecessor had rejected reign of Manasseh seems to me more utteras irreverent and absurd :

ly wild and arbitrary, and its Egyptian “We think that it cannot fairly be denied origin wilder still ” (. i. p. 136, note). Of that there is a certain amount of truth in the

Bunsen, whom he mentions " with friendly representation there set before us of Jewish affection,” he says that " he seems to labour history. In other words, we admit that Jewish under the passion for making history with: history has an earthly no less than a divine as- out historical materials ;” and adds

, "I pect. Abraham probably, in Dr. Milman's confess that I have not much sympathy for words, was like a modern Sheik or Emir, and this, not making bricks without straw,

but the Israelites in the desert like the Bedouins." making bricks entirely of straw, and offer(Reprinted by its author, the Rev. W: ing them as solid materials” (zb. p. Houghton, in Rationalism in the Church of cf. p. 132, note). With regard to Dr. Da

xxiv.-”. England, p. 35.) *

vidson, he "might have wished that this But the real question lies far deeper. It author with German learning had not taken is briefly tbis-whether a frank recognition to German lengthiness, and to some Gerof the local, national, and personal colour- man obscurity (ib. xxvii.) “A recent ing of the different books of Holy Scrip- view" which "assigns the Pentateuch to the ture is compatible with a profound con age of Samuel” is dismissed as " by no viction of their inspiration, and of that means a happy conjecture” (ib, note), and Diving authorship which made use of he maintains at length the early date for Deuvery different instruments to express an teronomy (pp. 208, 215, notes). Of Strauss unchanging purpose through their vary. he writes, that“ Christianity will survive the ing tones. It can scarcely be denied, we criticism of Dr. Strauss” (X. C. i. 110); and think, that when Dean Milman wrote the of Renan and Strauss together, thusHistory of the Jews this problem had not presented itself to his own mind with suffi- "I cannot apprehend more lasting effect cient fulness and distinctuess; that his forms from the light, quick, and bright-flashing ertilof speech are often open to serious objec-lery of the French man than from the more tions; that he does not always allow its German" (II. C. Pref. p. v.) “To some it

ponderous and steadily-aimed culverins of the proper weight to the miraculous element in may seem a formidable, a distressing, the history; and that in many cases he per- couraging sight-a German Professor, with all mits the alleged defects of the human ele- bis boundless learning, liis lionest industry, in. ment to corrode the substance of the warra- dermining what many of us have thought the tive. He never, so far as we know, formally, very foundations of our faith ; à distinguished renewed the controversy, though the pre- of his world-wide language, sentimentalizing

French man of letters, with all the brilliancy faces and notes to his new editions, and his the Saviour (not without homage to Ilis moral

* Dr. Newman's intermediate treatment of the greatness) to the central figure of a Galilean point in 1841 is an instance of unintentional injus- Idyll

. Still

, I believe firmly we are on the adfice. He says that Milman "evidently considers vance;. each of these is less anti-Christian than that it is an advance in knowledge to disguise Scrip

a Spanish bishop, on the tribunal of the Inquis. ture facts and persons under secular names. He ition, dooming to the fire a holocaust of victhinks that it is so much gain if he can call Abra- tims, perhaps of the meekest and holiest lives. ham an Emir or a Sheik” (British Critic, vol. xxix. Christianity has survived the one, Christianity p. 86). To attempt to bring out sacred facts more

will survive the other(Hebrcu Proph. p. 38). vividly by placing them under a broader daylight may become a great mistake if it is done irreverent

On the general subject of the controversy ly, but can scarcely be said to “disguise " them. we find fresh interest, but scarcely fresh

a dis.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

man.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

light, in the notices which are scattered | intention, then, to exclude theology as much through bis Annals of St. Paul's, especially as possible, and rather to deal with the in connexion with the names of Dean Colet " temporal, social, and political” aspects of (p. 112), Bishop Francis Hare (pp. 459-62), Christianity than to regard it " in a strictly and Bishop Lowth, whose " Lectures on He- religious light.” The result is natural brew Poetry make an epoch upperceived, per- that this external view is too often allowed haps, and unsuspected by (their) author:". to fill nearly the whole canvas, while com

" This appears to me what I will venture to paratively little room is left for the more call the great religious problem. We have had essential topics of the internal and spiritual. a Hooker who has shown what truths we re

With such an issue before him, the critic ceive from revelation, what truths from that seems justified in discussing, and deciding in earlier unwritten revelation in the reason of the negative, such questions as the following

We want a second Hooker, with the sarne profound piety, the same calm judgment, Christianity in its external aspects only,

-Is it possible to write the history of to show (if possible to frame) a test by which without treason to its supernatural claims ? we may discern what are the eterval and irrepealable trutlis of the Bible, what the imagina- Can we state the facts as dissevered from tive vesture, the framework in which these the doctrines, and yet escape the danger of truths are set in the Hebrew and even in the seeming to deny altogether what we only Christian Scriptures" (p. 467).

wished to dismiss from our thoughts for our But it is not probable that the opponents immediate purpose ? Is it allowable, for of Dean Milman's opinions would acquiesce instance, for a Christian believer to set in this proposal to regard them

as a natural forth Christ's humanity, His crucifixion, and sequel of Bishop Lowth's teaching

the moral improvement introduced by Chris. 2. His history of Christianity under the tianity, without connecting those facts emearlier empire received the formidable com pbatically with the religious truths of His pliment of a review from Dr. Newman, on divinity, His atonement, and the forgiveness wbom, as we learn from the Apologia* it of sins through supernatural grace ? made a deep and disturbing impression, as

No one can doubt that in the case of a a sort of carnest" of the approaching con

man so religious as Dean Milman such

quesflict with Rationalism. The review is writ- tions related solely to the book, not its auten with great courtesy, but with the dis- thor; to his method, not his motives; to tinguished author's usual force and earnest bis literary perforınance, not his personal ness, as well as with his usual unsparing

belief. Under this limitation, it can scarcelogic. The argument is twofold, criticising ly be denied that a large part of the accusafirst the writer's plan, and then his execu

tion was established against him. The so

cial tion; and showing that the errors committed

aspects seem, in his work, to overshadow in the execution only realized the dangers the more strictly religious; the natural which might have been expected from the

of the plan.

natural; the doctrinal tends to wither away

from the side of the historical. Not to atIn drawing this out, Dr. Newman makes great use of the original Preface, in which tempt, at this distance of time, to enter on Milman stated that he meant to write details, it may be enough to refer to the rather as an historian than as a religious way in which he treats such topics as angelic instructor,” and “as if in total ignorance of appearances (i. 86, 123-4, etc.), or the thrco the existence of "

voices from heaven (ib. 143–4, 240, 284), or

discussions
under debate in our Church, and having moniacal possession (ib. 217, note).

the temptation of Christ (ib. 145), or detheir roots in Church history (Newman, pp. points of this kind, the tone usual among

On 73, 87, 90). He thus makes it his object Christians may be lowered for the supposed "entirely to discard all polemic views," and benefit of either believers or doubters; in to confine himself as closely as he can to the one case, to bring home the history more the task of exhibiting “the reciprocal influence of civilisation on Christianity, of Chris- vividly by connecting the mysterious with tianity on civilisation” (H. C. i. 46, ed. other case, to propitiate the doubter by ap

ordinary and recognised realities; in the 1863); in short, as Dr Newman says (p. 78), proaching more nearly to his own position. of viewing “ the history of the Church on It has not been found in practice that either the side of the world.” It is his declared

of these designs has met with much success. Anghom, a great batile may be coming on, of It is scarcely possible to avoid some shock which C. D.'s book is a sort of earnest” (p. 240). to Christian reverence, if Christianity is Milman's name is supplied in the smaller edition, p. ) treated on the bare level of any other his136. The review is in the British Critic for Japua, 1841 (vol. xxix.), and is acknowledged in the tory; and concession has only produced its list of works andered to the Apologia,

ordinary effect, that of being accepted mere

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

some

" then

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

en rest

ly says

lý as the ground for fresh demands. For | mass it has to modify; that salt must be example: the disinclination of scientific men mingled with what it has to season; that the to admit the miraculous is not in the least world, as well as the Church, is the workman. degree removed by our resigning the literal ship of God; and that the office of a reinterpretation of angelic messengers, of vealed religious system is to reclaim, not to heavenly voices, of embodied evil spirits, if destroy. But if all this were conceded, the we still insist on all the greatest miracles, original question of the degree in which the like the resuscitation of Lazarus and the internal history may be lawfully modified to resurrection of Christ, even though we leave meet the demands of the external would conthem "standing alone" as Dr. Newman puts tinue to give rise to great differences of it (p. 86), "like the pillars of Tadmor in opinion. the wilderness."

3. At this point the subject connects itIt is not to be supposed that Milman self with that distaste for pure dogma which would assent to the justice of these repre- is traceable throughout his Histories. sentations, though we are not aware that he His strong feeling on this question led to made any direct reply to his distinguished one of his rare appearances as a controvercritic. In his new Preface (1863) he mere. sial speaker, when he addressed the Royal

that he has "not found much, after Commission on Clerical Subscription in a period of above twenty years, which " he 1864, to recommend that, on condition of "should wish to retract or to modify." As conformity to the Prayer-book, subscripa devout believer, he condemns in words al- tion to the Thirty-nine Articles should be ready quoted the Lives of Christ by Strauss dropped.* The chief reasons which he aland Repan; and of the later he adds, in leged were these : that the Articles are terms which may have been chosen to repu- throughout controversial, and speak the condiate what he had felt to be a misconstruc- troversial language of their day" (p. 270); tion of his own History:

that “ the doctrines of the English Church" “I cannot think that eventually the book will are taught more sinply, more fully, and add to the high fame of M. Renan. To those assuredly more winningly in the Prayerwho see in Christianity no more than a social book (ib.), where they appear as "the effarevolution, a natural step in human progress, sion of the pious heart

, not the cold, abstract the beautiful passages on the transcendant hu- theorems of the understanding" (p. 276); manity of Jesus (unhappily not unleavened) may give satisfaction and delight; to those to whom and that the Articles fail to fulfil their purChristianity is a religion, Jesus the anthor and pose because they are out of date, in consegiver of eternal life, it will fall dead, or be a quence of the changeableness to which all grief and an offence” (p. v.)

but "the simplest and most elementary We may suppose that to his own mind, truths of our religion" are exposed (p. 271). his design took the shape of a wish to show The answer is obvious: that the Prayer-book that the external relations of Christianity is no more free from the traces of contro

. were an essential and important part of its versy, or confined to the simplest and wost history; and to extend the faith on which elementary truths" than the Articles. It couhis own hopes rested by doing what he could tains, as lie admits and urges, all the three to keep it abreast of each successive living creeds, which are marked in every line by movement. In his eyes, Christianity was no the vestiges of conflict, and bear witness to unbending formula, doomed by its very de- all the great ancient struggles of religious finition to maintain an unalterable opposi- speculation, in its efforts to adjust the forms tion to the spirit of the age. Rather recall of the human intellect to the analogy of faith. ing the greatest of the images under which The devotional beauty of the Prayer-book is its birth was described, he would regard it the very reason why we should be unwilling as like the fresh breeze, the flowing stream, to deprive it of its more dogmatic compan; the penetrating fire; everything that con- ion, and expose it to bear the chief brunt of trasts most strongly with the dead rigour of inevitable controversies. Thus it would be an iron rule, fixed once for all in relation to no advantage for the sacramental offices to conditions which have long since departed. be called in at every turn as the sole appeal It might be taken as a natural consequence on the most difficult and sacred questions

. of this faith in its vitality, to consider it as Rather it is a clear gain to religious feeling meant to adjust itself to all the fresh rela- that our possession of the Articles makes it tions which the energy of mind has genera- less necessary to disturb the calm of the ted, and which the constant movement of sanctuary by seeking our polemical weapons history imposés. Milman might thus have from the language of devotion. sought his defence from principles which are common to himself and his opponents ; Magazine for March 1865. Sir J. Napier's answer

* The speech is printed as a paper in Fraser's the truths that leaven must mix with the I was published as a pamphlet.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

to

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The Dean found, we believe, no supporter Milman's undisguised distaste for the more in this curious application of Pope Coeles- hard and exclusive side of his profession tine's principle, that "the law of our prayer may have led some to think that, in his own constitutes the law of our faith.” The pro- case, he allowed the literary to overshadow posal had iu fact no seconder, and was not the clerical character. There might be some pressed. The Dean's argument was ably colour of truth in such a suspicion, as we answered by Mr. (now Sir Joseph) Napier ; have remarked before. He was, as he said and the two great formularies of the English himself, “ more of a writer than a public Church, both prized, but on very different speaker" (Speech in Fraser, as above, p. grounds, and with widely dissimilar degrees 269); and he showed a decided aversion to of estimation, retain their stand on the same what may be called the platformi side of publevel in the Act to amend the law of clerical lic life. He possessed in a high degree that subscription.* But the paper remains as an scholarly polish which is one of the chief interesting record of that preference for ornaments of a lettered clergy. He was fathe devotional over the controversial which miliar with the literature of many nations, and seemed the final result of Milman's histor- displayed a keen appreciation for the works ical inquiries. In the closing paragraph of of art in all its forms. Scholars will long his latest History, he clearly shows that he prize his Horace as a charming book of luxshould think it no drawback if the Church ury, and value the volume of translations, of the future allowed some portion of “the in which he connected his youth and age ancient dogmatic system” "silently to fall gether, as a graceful relic of his early culinto disuse, as at least superfluous, and as ture. But it would be most unjust to make beyond the proper range of human thought such facts as these the basis for a charge of inand human language” (II. L. C. ix. 357). difference towards his order, or carelessness We did not need the assurance of this pa- for the religious truth which he was pledged per to convince us of his deep affection for to teach. The devoutness of his early hymns the English Prayer-book

must never be forgotten. His deepest " The best model of pure, fervent, simple thoughts for nearly fifty years seem to have devotion, as it were, and concentration of all been occupied on questions closely connectthe orisons which have been uttered in the name ed with his profession, and on the mode in of Christ since the first days of the Gospel; which the history and faith of Christianity that liturgy which is the great example of pure could be presented most " winningly" in the vernacular English, familiar, yet always unvul eyes of the world. To his love for crowded gar, of which but few words and phrases have and effective services we owe the restoration become obsolete ; which has an indwelling mu- of the pave of his cathedral to the use which sic which entlırais and never palls upon the ear; the architect originally contemplated (p. 441, with the full living expression of every great Christian truth, yet rarely hardening into stern note). He set himself, not unsuccessfully, dogmatism; satisfying every need, and awak- to blot out the disgrace of Hanoverian days, ening and answering every Christian emotion; when “the terrible religious tempest, which entering into the heart, and as it were welling for nearly two centuries bad raged through. forth again from the heart; the full and gene-out Western Christendom, had cleared off ral voice of the congregation, yet the peculiar into a cold serenity” (p. 450); when St. utterance of each single worshipper” (Annals Paul's “ had subsided into a state of digniof St. Paul's, p. 228).

fied repose, which perhaps at a later time * 28 and 29 Vict. chap. 122.

stagnated almost into lethargy" (p. 454); + Compare the companion picture of the English and when, in the stead of the fiery old Paul's cribed to Dr. Newman:-“It lives on the ear like Cross sermons, " unimpassioned preachers music that can never be forgotten, like the sound of gave good advice to unimpassioned hearers ? the church-bell which the convert hardly knows (p. 455). Yet we trace a reflection of his how he can forego. Its felicities often seem to be own calm ideal in the temperate eulogy almost things rather than mere words. It is part of which he pronounces upon Tillotson, whose the national mind, and the anchor of national seriThe memory of the dead passes into it.

“character” he venerates as “nearly blameThe potent traditions of childhood are stereotyped less ; ” who was profoundly religious, un

The power of all the gifts and trials impeachable as to his belief in all the great representative of his best moments, and all that truths of Christianity, but looking to the there has been about him of soft, and gentle, and fruits rather than the dogmas of the gospure, and penitent, and good, speaks to liim for pel," and " dwelling, if not exclusively, at ever out of the English Bible. It is his sacred | least chiefly, on the Christian life, the sober thing, which doubt bas never dimmed, and con: unexcited Christian life” (p. 419-20). troversy never soiled. In the length and breadth of the land there is not a Protestant with one

Among all his varied services, Dean Milspark of righteousness about him, whose spiritual man's career has left no more characteristic biography is not in his Saxon Bible."

aite

, in to white i cene

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lestarda ticles Ii all the ti Tery lo

[ocr errors]

; of self ust the logra's

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

ousness.

in its verses.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

cal weapon

lesson than this, that clerical freedom of

.

vier's sms

thought is developed most completely, as Church for the ascendency which, under well as most safely, from within the ranks of Providence, was to guide the course of inthe clergy theinselves. Of churches, as of tellectual freedom. Let us revert once more, individuals, it holds true that the new life and for the last time, to the Annals of St. springs best out of the ashes of the old ; Paul's. Erasmus and Colet were the "tro that the soundest reformation ever comes great reformers before the Reformation" from within

(p. 112), and both were in orders. Tho

great preachers of the liberty of prophesy-
“That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.'

ing in England, Hales, Chillingworth, Jere-
my Taylor, all were clergymen,

and all three The opposite opinion has been widely fos- were on terms of personal friendship with tered by the hatred for innovations which Laud, and enjoyed his constant and effi. is naturally cherished by the more conserv- cient protection. If there is any man whom ative part of such body as the clergy, lead- Milman names with a special energy of dising in darker days to fierco persecution, and like, it is Archbishop Laud (pp. 331-2); often expressed iu gentler times with hot and yet Laud, as he mentions with just praise

, unceremonious harshness. But whatever may was Jeremy Taylor's earliest patron (p. have been the force of the resistance to the 344). Hales, as Heylin tells us, was once current, the very writers who show the summoned to Lambeth for a long private strongest bias against the clergy are often debate with the Archbishop on his

specuforced to bless them against their will, by lative difficulties, was made Laud's chapproving the strength of the steady onward lain at his own request, and was “ promotstream which is traceable within their bor- ed not long after, by the Archbishop's com. ders, hearing witness to their vitality and mendation, to be prebend of Windsor, and mental energy in almost every period. Mr. to hold the same by special dispensation G. H. Lewes, for example, declares that with bis place in Eton. * Laud was the throughout the middle ages, “ the Church, godfather of Chillingworth, and befriendboth by instinct and by precept, was opposed ed him cordially, as long as his own power to science and literature," and that “during lasted, at every stage of bis chequered the nine centuries of her undisputed do- course. Tillotson, “almost the father of minion, not a single classic writer, not a sin- true religious toleration " (p, 419), was an gle discoverer whose genius enlarged the in- exemplary Archbishop. And so we might tellectual horizon, not a single leader of go on, alleging proofs to the same tenor modern thought, arose to dignify her reign." from the history of liberal thought in every Such is the preface to a chapter in which the period. Surely our own days formed no quickening line of intellectual activity is exception. If some men fancied, many years traced from one ecclesiastic to another; ago, that the golden gate of preferinent through Erigena, Berengarius, Roscellinus, would be closed against the author of the Abelard, even St. Anselm; "Anselm, the History of the Jews, they have been suffisaintly archbishop, helped the good cause in ciently refuted by Milman's prosperous and an indirect way; he consecrated the privi-, honoured career. He would have been the leges of Reason by showing the harmony be- last man to resent the opposition which tween Reason and Faith." Turn over a few he met with and which he confronted most pages and we come to Friar Bacon, connect- effectually by the simple expedient of overed with

a group of independent thinkers,” looking its impetuosity and living it down. who were his " teachers and friends; "" tow. He had no right to complain, and we are ering above them all is Robert Grossetete

, not aware that he did complain, that there Bishop of Lincoln.” The very Pope had are barriers, inevitable barriers, beyond “scientific yearnings.” William of Occam, which the members of bis sacred profession

our brilliant and rebellious countryman,' cannot pass. The English Church cannot the politician" of the schoolmen (H. L. C. be thought to have lost its large compreix. 121), was a leading Franciscan. “The bensiveness in times which, to mention only Inquisition was vigilant and cruel, but among the departed, bare seen the liberal side of its very members there were sceptics." As thought represented by'Whately and Hampliberty moved on, " in the vanguard of its den, by Arnold and Milman.

A writer army we see Telesio, Campanella, and Bru- affords no example of the ingratitude of no,' ecclesiastics to a man.* Look where contemporaries who secured the universal rewe will, we find the same phenomenon; old cognition which rewarded Dean Milman for and new struggling within the fold of the the services which he rendered, both by

works and life, to his Church and to his age, * History of Philosophy, ed. 1867; ii. 4, 8, 12, 76, 78, 86, 94,

Heyliu's Cyprianus Anglicus, p. 362,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »