Obrazy na stronie

desiring to get rid of a testimony to the efficacy of baptism. That Christ never in the New Testament commands to wash away sin from among men is certain ; how far such a command may be inferred from his apostles' representing baptism as accompanied by washing away sin (Acts xxii. 16), and his commanding his apostles to baptize all nations (Matt. xxviii. 19), is a fair subject for discussion; taken together, we think they explain, if they do not warrant, the assertion of Hippolytus according to the present text, and render the conjecture of Bunsen unnecessary. But it is an odious spirit which is for ever seeking to throw suspicion on the motives of an opponent.

Dr. Wordsworth will not allow that the silence of Hippolytus concerning infant baptism is any argument against it; and certainly negative arguments should always be cautiously applied. But his own positive argument is curiously illogical, and indeed turns against himself. “He was dealing mainly with adult idolaters. Nothing can be clearer than that he dates the origin of spiritual life from baptism; and therefore, according to his teaching, they who have the charge of infants and children are bound to bring them to baptism, if they would not have the blood of their souls (!) required of themselves, by Him who instituted Baptism as the laver of the new birth” (p. 173). We will not attribute the awkward ambiguity of this sentence to anything but confused writing, though there is considerable danger that a hasty reader should understand “according to his teaching" to mean that Hippolytus taught the awful doctrine which follows, whereas it only means that Dr. Wordsworth draws this inference from his teaching. The just inference would be precisely the reverse. Hippolytus dates the new life from baptism ; but the baptism of which he speaks is the baptism of adults, which was accompanied by a renunciation of idolatry, a confession of sin and a profession of faith; and as infants can make none of these, his teaching has no reference to them. We would by no means be understood to deny the existence of infant baptism in the early church; we believe it to have been coeval with the formation of Christian families, as distinguished from congregations of adult converts; we only wish to shew how weakly Dr. Wordsworth reasons.

On the subject of the authority of the Church as an interpreter of Scripture, Dr. Wordsworth writes with that vagueness and inconsistency which always beset a man who endeavours to be at once both Catholic and Protestant. Father Newman says that Hippolytus “speaks as if he were ignorant of our Lord's Eternal Sonship, and if we limit our views of his teaching by what he expressly states, was a Photinian," i.e. a Humanitarian, and on this he grounds his doctrine of the necessity of a developing authority in the Church. Dr. Wordsworth holds high Protestant language in opposition to this. “St. Hippolytus and

om his thippoly the speaciatio

the other Catholic Fathers acknowledged the Holy Scriptures to be the sole and all-sufficient rule of the Christian Faith; they acknowledged and affirmed that the true Faith, whole and complete, is contained in those Scriptures” (p. 187). But then as to what is the faith taught in Scripture, quot ecclesiæ, tot sententiæ, and to what tribunal are we to appeal ? Dr. Wordsworth gives an answer, one half of which is excellent, but it is unfortunately nullified by the other half. We are to ascertain the sense of Scripture

“— by the aid of sound reason, disciplined and informed by learning, and exercised with caution, industry and humility, and enlightened by Divine Grace given to earnest prayer, and controlled and regulated by the judgment and guidance of the Church Universal, to whom Christ has promised his presence and the light of the Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth. Since the personality of the Holy Spirit and the Divine Trinity in Unity are taught in the creeds, we believe that those doctrines are contained in Holy Scripture, and that they have been in Scripture since the beginning. Therefore, if it could be shewn that St. Hippolytus, or any other among the ancient Fathers of the Church, had exaggerated a truth through fear of its opposite error, or if, not being gifted with prescience, they did not guard their language against possible misconstruction, in regard to some heresies which did not arise in the Church till many years after they were laid in their graves, or did not fully put forth such transcendental truths as the eternal generation of the Son of God, before those truths had been impugned, —what is all this to us? They received the Holy Scriptures. They received them as the Rule of Faith. They received, therefore, all that is in the Scriptures. They received all that the Church Universal, the Body and Spouse of Christ to whom he has committed the Scriptures, and whom he has commissioned to guard and interpret them—could shew to be in those Scriptures. They therefore received, by implication and by anticipation, the Three Creeds promulgated lawfully and generally received by the Church.”

We should have thought that learning, industry, caution, humility and Divine Grace, were tolerably sufficient to guide a man to all necessary truth; but all these together, even Divine Grace, must be controlled and regulated by the judgment of the Church Universal. And how are we to come at the judgment of this Church Universal? By the language of the creeds. And how are we to know that they speak the sense of the Church Universal ?—for there never was a period when the whole body of Christian believers agreed in their interpretation of Scripture. The Church Universal is only a high-sounding name for the party that predominated at a particular era--an aggregate of fallible men, and therefore not capable of giving an infallible judgment. Dr. Wordsworth, like all men who admit the authority of any Church in this matter, argues in a circle: My interpretation is true, because it is sanctioned by the creed; and the creed is true, because it is based on a true interpretation of Scripture.

If we have defended Dr. Bunsen in most points from his chief opponent, it is not because we have been bribed by any encomiums upon our own creed, of which he gives the following account (Vol. I. p. 81):

“If Christ's nature be not identical with the Divine nature, but only similar to it, there is an end of the Christian religion. For religion rests, under whatever form, upon the assumption that divine and human reason are identical, only with the difference between the Infinite and the Finite. This may be expressed imperfectly, but it must not be negatived. The appearance of such a negation killed Arianism as much as the imperfections of its own positive theory, which would have made of the history of Christ a mythological fiction, and would have led to heroworship, demonology, or any idolatrous worship. The dry Unitarianism of the eighteenth century is the first real negation, and has proved itself to be as incapable of explaining the history of Christ, as the intellectual mystery of man and mankind. As religion, it cannot pretend to more than a latitudinarian Mohammedanism, or at most a denationalized Judaism ; in short, to modern Deism, taking Christ as a moral model. Such, however, is not the Unitarianism of some of the present leaders of that denomination in England.”

We are not told what is the Unitarianism of some of the present leaders of the denomination, and should have been glad to have been informed. But we know pretty well what was the Unitarianism which to Dr. Bunsen appears so dry and so like Mohammedanism, Judaism and Deism. It was the doctrine announced by Peter, as the first utterance of the Spirit newly received on the day of Pentecost, that " Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God by miracles, signs and wonders,”—a doctrine preached by him and his fellow-apostles according to the book of Acts, and by which “ the word of God mightily grew and prevailed.” And, as far as we can make out, it is substantially the creed of Dr. Bunsen himself, only cleared of a little hazy phraseology. The following are his words, Vol. I. p. 303 of this edition :

“The life of Christ does not simply exhibit to us the most sublime moral teaching, but all his works and precepts centre in that which constitutes him, on the one side, the Son of God in an unparalleled sense, and, on the other, the brother and ensample of all mankind. Christ is the Son of God by the constant presence of the Divine Spirit, and by that conscious self-sacrifice of which his whole life formed one act and his death was the seal. Christ is the Son of Man—not a Jew, not a · Gentile, but a Man, the eternal model of Humanity. These two views are inseparably united; for Jesus is the Son of Man, as being an infallible mirror of that Divine Love which created the world, and which presides over the destinies of mankind.”

What is there in this which a Unitarian might not adopt as the expression of his belief?“ Christ is the Son of God by the constant presence of the Divine Spirit.” What Unitarian does not admit that “the Spirit was given to him without measure," and that, in virtue of it, “ the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him "? If so, what do we gain by calling Christ's nature identical with the Divine nature, except an apparent approximation to the language of orthodoxy, with a great loss in distinctness of ideas? We know not, indeed, what scriptural evidence Dr. Bunsen has for saying, that Christ was the Son of God by “his conscious self-sacrifice;" we recollect no passage in which his sonship and his sacrifice are connected together ; but that his life was a life of self-sacrifice, that his death was its seal, and that in virtue of that sacrifice he is entitled to our warmest love and deepest veneration, is the universal doctrine of Unitarian Christians, as far as we are acquainted with their writing or their preaching. That Unitarianism is only Deism, with Christ as a moral model, is a trite calumny, which we regret that Dr. Bunsen should have adopted. The Deist, however he may admire the moral virtues of Christ, admits no supernatural power, no superhuman wisdom, to have belonged to him. The Unitarian of the eighteenth century, and we believe of the nineteenth with rare exceptions, regards his teachings as the suggestions of that divine wisdom which he derived not from identity of nature with the Father, but from the constant influence of his Spirit. Is this difference to be considered as nothing? Dr. Bunsen himself regards St. John's doctrine of the Logos as the living principle of Christian faith ; but he should have considered that Christianity had existed for nearly three-quarters of a century, before this philosophema of the Judæo-Platonic school made its appearance in the proem to the fourth Gospel. It is only a peculiar mode of expressing that intimate communion of the mind of Christ with the mind of the Father, in which the Unitarian believes as fully as the Athanasian. It is not the language of Christ himself, nor of the first preachers of the Gospel, and from its introduction we may date the origin of endless controversies, persecutions and schisms.


CHARACTER OF QUEEN ANNE. SHE was a very weak woman, full of prejudices, fond of flattery, always governed blindly by some female favourite, and, as Swift bitterly observes, “had not a stock of amity to serve above one object at a time.” Can it be necessary to waste many words upon the mind of a woman who could give as a reason-a lady's reason for dismissing a cabinet minister, that he had appeared before her in a tie-wig instead of a fullbottom? Is it not evident that in such a case we must study the advisers, and not the character of a sovereign—that we must look to the setting rather than the stone ? - Lord Mahon's History of England, I, 30.


THE UNITARIAN CHURCH. [The Committee who proposed a Prize of Ten Guineas for the best Essay on the above subject, did so in the hope that among the competitors some one might be found who should indicate a style of architecture more entirely suitable for Unitarian worship, and more thoroughly imbued with the Unitarian spirit, than is the heathen Grecian on the one hand, the symbolizing Gothic on the other.

This hope was perhaps too sanguine; at any rate, it has been disappointed.

One Essay alone, starting from the high truths of Unitarian Christianity, suggested, and with considerable eloquence, an architecture which the author conceived would embody in outward form the beauty and grandeur of the Unitarian faith. The conclusions, however, at which the author of this Essay arrived, seemed to the Committee so unsound and so little practical, that they could not feel justified in awarding him the Prize.

Another Essay of great merit, while ably criticizing the faults of those Gothic churches which the Unitarian body has recently erected, proposed no substitute, and in fact left the question for which the Essay had been written entirely unanswered.

Of the remaining Essays, which for the most part advocated the claims of the Gothic style, two were peculiarly noticeable, and between these two the Committee felt much difficulty in deciding. They believe, however, that Mr. Bowman's Essay at once keeps the most closely to the subject, and most fairly aud completely states the arguments in favour of the adoption of Gothic architecture in our churches.

The Committee have felt great pleasure in awarding to Mr. Henry A. Darbishire, of London, an additional Prize of Five Guineas.

The remaining Essays (six in number) will be returned, on application to Mr. Whitfield, Strand, London.

Liverpool, Dec. 8, 1854.]



By Mr. HENRY BOWMAN, Architect. BEFORE a satisfactory answer can be given to this question, it will be necessary to define, as clearly as we can, what is meant by the “ Spirit of the Unitarian Church.” The peculiar constitution of that church renders it somewhat difficult to express by words in what its spirit consists. Locke describes a church as a voluntary society of men, who join themselves together, of their own accord, for the public worship of God, in such a manner as they judge acceptable to Him, and effectual to the salvation of their own souls. Though agreeing on certain broad principles, the individuals composing such societies are, however, not supposed to be of one mind on all points, either of doctrine or of worship. The fixed creeds and articles by which they bind

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