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primal, indefeasible truths of Christianity), shall not pass away; so I cannot presume to say that men may not attain to a clearer, at the same time more full and comprehensive and balanced sense of those words, than has as yet been generally received in the Christian world.'
Another work of far less bulk than that of Dean Milman's is called “St. Paul and Protestantism,' written by Mr. Matthew Arnold. The object of the author is to give a view of St. Paul's teaching very different from that of the Calvinists, but, as it appears to me, far more in accordance with the real doctrine of St. Paul than that which persons who have failed to comprehend his real intentions have attributed to him. The error of Mr. Arnold appears to me, not that he has failed to comprehend St. Paul's meaning, but that he has omitted to notice the political circumstances, and the violence of the conflict in which the Puritans of England appeared as the aggressors, when they were in reality fighting against a revival of Popery, and the spiritual tyranny of Archbishop Laud.
Among Roman Catholic writers, Dr. Newman has greatly distinguished himself. His latest work, “The Grammar of Assent,' deserves to be deeply studied. Of those who, on the other side, have taken a very large and friendly view of the Reformation, there is no work more deserving of attention than the ‘History of the Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe, by Mr. Lecky. Mr. Lecky has given a favourable view of the opinions originally espoused by Origen, and afterwards adopted by Zuinglius. Origen had expressed his hope that Pythagoras and Plato might be saved by the merciful decree of the Almighty from eternity of punishment. Gibbon has recorded, as his manner is, the intolerance of Justinian, who would not leave indisturbed the soul of a great Christian writer who had died three hundred years before. It was now three hundred years since the body of Origen had been eaten by the worms; his soul, of which he held the pre-existence, was in the hands of its Creator, but his writings were eagerly perused by the monks of Palestine. In these writings the piercing eye of Justinian descried more than ten metaphysical errors; and the primitive doctor, in the company of Pythagoras and Plato, was devoted by the clergy to the eternity of hell-fire, which he had presumed to deny.''
Fortunately, we live in happier times, and the damnatory decrees of Justinian have not been extended to the ecclesiastics of the Church of England by the provident care and the enlarged learning of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council, to whom Parliament has wisely entrusted the authority to fix the sense of the Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer, which have been sanctioned by the authority of Parliament with the assent of Convocation.
Among the works which have lately appeared, four volumes, called the New Testament for English Readers,' by the late Dean of Canterbury, Dr. Alford, are well worth study.
1 Gibbon's Roman Empire, vol. viii. p. 325, 326.
It is surely desirable that men thoroughly conversant with the Greek and the English tongue should enable the English nation to understand and take to heart, the lessons which Paul delivered to the various nations of the Roman Empire at the beginning of the propagation of Christianity upon earth.
Thus we find in the authorized version of the 13th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, that ‘charity suffereth long, that charity vaunteth not itself, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things ;' so likewise in the end, • and now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three ; but the greatest of these is charity.''
But as the word charity has in these days a much narrower meaning than it had when the Bible was first translated, Dean Alford in this chapter, and Dean Stanley in his translation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians, use the word love, so that we read, and now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.' Liddell and Scott, in their Greek Lexicon, use the word “brotherly love,' which is, perhaps, the best version. At all events, the word charity is here inadequate and insufficient.
In these Essays I have purposely avoided the work of controversy, and leave it to others to defend the miracles of Christ and his Apostles. I rest in the faith of Jeremy Taylor, of Barrow, of Tillotson, of Hoadley, of Samuel Clarke, of Middleton, of Warburton, of Arnold, without attempting to reconcile points of difference among these great men.
I S. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, c. xiii. v. 13.
Gibbon has spoken of the arguments which satisfied, or subdued, the reason of such men as Grotius, Pascal, and Locke.
These were not bigoted or illiterate thinkers. Grotius has branded with just hate the persecutors of the Netherlands, whose victims he computes at 100,000, double the number estimated by Paolo Sarpi. He says finely, that the sins of the body can be reached by punishments which affect the body; but the soul, as it is free and immortal, cannot be made subject to the fire and steel which torment the body.
Pascal, in his Provincial Letters, has thoroughly exposed the evasions and insincerity of the Jesuits.
Locke, in his argument for Religious Liberty, fails only in refusing to allow to Roman Catholics the freedom he claims for the Protestants.
Still Grotius and Pascal and Locke may well be claimed by those who believe in Christianity as men of intellects equal to those of the philosophers of the present age.
Galileo Galilei has related in a letter to a friend, that the only argument used against him when he contended for the motion of the earth, was a quotation from the words of Scripture :-Whether the Bible contains all the truths concerning Astronomy, Physiology, and Anatomy, or whether its Divine authority be confined to faith and morals, is still a matter of dispute between the Church of Rome and Protestant Communions,
The opinion, that Scripture is the only rule of faith in matters pertaining to revealed religion, might
be supported by extracts from the works of Erasmus, who employed his great learning in the translation of the Bible; by the authority of Luther, who with more firmness and consistency maintained a similar opinion ; by Chillingworth, who considers the Bible as the religion of Protestants.
On the other hand, Paolo Sarpi, who wrote the best history of the Council of Trent, says, ' That if it were not for Aristotle, we (meaning the Church of Rome) should be wanting in many articles of faith.' It is, therefore, a part of my business to distinguish the theories of Aristotle as expressed in what is falsely called the Athanasian Creed, from the declarations made in the Holy Scriptures, and while I fully admit the ingenuity and the subtlety of reasoning, which distinguished the Greek philosopher, I am entitled to refuse to him that Divine authority which is willingly attributed by all Protestants to Christ and his Apostles.
Sydney Smith, who squandered the arrows of his wit on every side, takes occasion from a passage in Waterton's account of South America, describing a
bird, who from its peculiar note is called the cathedral Sr. bird, to say that it puts him in mind of the bell of an Ain'fríEnglish cathedral, ringing in a new dean, promoted on
account of good birth, shabby politics, and moderate understanding
It occurred to me when I had the privilege of recommending to the Crown persons worthy of the dignity of dean, that this part of the Royal patronage might be bestowed in a better manner than that which