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substantially, his protest against it; and as great truths with which the popular teacher such we refer the studious reader to it. Cita- has to do; and which, as he truly says, will tion is not needed. The same reader will stand where and what they are criticism or give his attention to pages 283–4, in which no criticism ; and which the uninstructed he grapples, as in the dark, with some of reader of the English Bible, or of any other the difficulties that attend his notion of the version, if he be honest and devout, will Inspiration of the Scriptures. But whether gather for himself therefrom. If a living clear in his views on this subject or not, his writer, taking up Chalmers' position as to strong good sense, and the healthiness of his inspiration, were to screen himself from the religious sentiments, never failed to bring application of a free and thorough-going from him a vigorous protest against those criticism, by aid of passages such as the one extravagances even of the orthodox,” to to which we here refer, nothing would be which logical Theology has given encourage- more easy than to rend from him this illument: we must cite the following--p. 317. sion. Chapter tenth, on Systematic The“The simple majesty of truth, as propound- ology, is open to much remark; but we will ed in Scripture, has often undergone sad say a word only in directing the reader's desecration at the hands, I will not say of attention to it—which is this that Chalmerely unphilosophical, but of most unsa- mers' fondness for instituting comparisons voury and untasteful theologians, whose between the methods and principles of speculations on this subject are often abso- Natural Philosophy, and the rules of Scriplutely hideous.” Further on, speaking of tural exposition, has here, as elsewhere the perplexities with which ministers of the in his writings, led him, as we think, into Gospel have gratuitously surrounded them- some misapprehension of facts. In Natuselves, he says, “It is thus that clergymen, ral Philosophy (as it is now prosecuted) manacled and wire-bound in the fetters of when we meet with phenomena apparently their wretched orthodoxy, feel themselves suggesting contrary conclusions, or which impeded and restrained in the exercise of seem to overthrow a hitherto accepted their functions as the heralds of mercy to a generalization, we patiently wait until we guilty world.” To this strongly-worded pro- get further light ;-or even if we never test we should only append the remark, that get it, we still rest in the conviction that the "wretched orthodoxy” here referred to Nature is consistent with herself, whether is the proper consequence of an adherence we see it or not, and that the seeming to logical Theology. Nevertheless—logic inconsistency is attributable wholly to our or no logic, Chalmers is always right when own ignorance, or to our inability to carry the practical aspect of a doctrine presents our methods of inquiry far enough. itself clearly in his view. On this ground in the region of Theology a very different -which was his proper ground that feeling has always prevailed; and it is a of evangelic action who is it that can feeling which has impelled expositors to take have any controversy with him? Look to a course which is utterly at variance with the Christian wisdom which illumines the the rules of modern science. When texts pages onward from 325; and we must point of one class stand opposed, in their manifest attention also to pages 343, 358, and 377, import, to texts of another class, what has where, in the last place especially, he draws been done (scarcely with an exception) by near to a statement of the principle of a system-makers in Theology, has been to genuine, and therefore a non-logical—or what force them into some sort of agreement, he calls“ a complete and harmonious view any way and at the cost of grammar, and of divine truth.
of reason, and of common honesty. It is INSTITUTES OF THEOLOGY.—To the ninth this practice—the folly and impiety of which chapter, on Scripture Criticism, we have al- we will not designate--which has brought ready alluded. Several passages therein oc- this Theology into disrepute, or we might curring we had marked, as noticeable, but say into contempt. Why not consent in shall refer to one of them only, p. 305, where the spirit of humility, to leave unadjusted we find illustration of what we have affirmed, that which, by fair means, cannot be reconthat Chalmers had not brought his own mind ciled? This surely were becoming on the into close contact with those branches of part of those who profess to receive the biblical scholarship which touch the question Bible as an inspired volume; and who know of the inspiration of the canonical writings. that the great economy of the Divine governWhen, appealing to Campbell's Gospels, and ment is not therein spread out to our gaze. to Bloomfield's Recensio, he anticipates com- But it has been supposed, on all such occaparatively unimportant results from the sions, that we are called upon, as Chalmers further prosecution of such studies, he must here states it, p. 329, “ to make sure of a be understood as thinking only of those sustained and unexcepted harmony between
them (antagonist texts) or of there being no and support. Regarded in this light, Chalsuch contradiction as might prove fatal, not mers' writings stand now, and they will long only to the doctrine in question, but even to stand, as a protest against the flimsy and the general truth of revelation. Thus it is ever-varying schemes of Christianized Phithat so wise and strong-minded a teacher as losophy, which are proffered to the acceptance Chalmers, yielding himself to the guidance of the younger ministry, as well in Scotland of antiquated maxims, first stakes our faith as in England. in the Scriptures upon the truth of such an Secondly, the reader, availing himself of assertion as this, that “Marcus was sister's the few references we have now made, may son to Barnabas,” and then stakes it again trace the binding and the narrowing influence upon the success or the failure of our en- of the controversial theologies of a past age, deavours to reconcile apparently contradic- upon a mind so robust, and so honest, and tory doctrinal passages ! " One unlike phe- so independent, as was that of Chalmers. nomenon," p. 335, “ does not contradict And, thivelly--and we should, indeed, bo unother. One unlike text may; and a de pleased if warranted in thinking that we had cisive example of such a contradiction would so far realized our intention--let the stucreate a painful embarrassment in our minds dent, in perusing anew these volumes cate! on the consistency and authority of the re- from them an inspiration which shall ani. cord.” Not so to those who, in perusing mate his endeavours to derive from the inHoly Scripture, are free from superstitions, spired books the whole of their import, and are untrammelled by operose and wordy whether or not the credit of ancient modes articles of Faith.
of teaching can, at the same time, be susWhile we so speak it would be most ine- tained. quitable not to make a specific reference to And now a word in acquitting ourselves Some of those bright passages, and they are of our task. It may have seemed to some frequent, in which Chalmers, disdainful of of the admirers of this great man--justly trammels, utters his genuine convictions, in entitled as he is to the affectionate and reverhis own manner; as thus--"No two things ential regards of Christian people of all van be imagined of more opposite character Protestant countries--that, on some counts and complexion, than the lessons sometimes of the eulogy due to him, we have done him set forth in the pages of our controversial less than justice. Let it be so thought, and divinity, on the right side of the question we shall willingly stand corrected by any too, (?) and the lessons as read by many ay who will come forward in this behalf, armed shrewd and intelligent observer, both in the with reasons, and animated by a well-contablet of his own heart, and on the face of sidered zeal, as his champion. 'None will so general society."-p. 374. We should re- come forward more thoroughly impressed fer also to p. 467, as containing similar ex- than we are with a sense of his high merits pressions of feeling.
in all those departments within which he was These incidental references have extended most at home. only to the end of the first volume of the More than this—we have a feeling in Institutes; and there are in the second vol thinking of Chalmers of which exceedingly ume, many passages of a still more signifi- few among the illustrious dead could be the cant kind, which we had proposed to cite ; objects. We think of him wistfully, as if but we refrain from doing so, not merely we believed that, various and large as were because this article has already exceeded its his labours, and great as were his actual limits; but because it would be extremely achievements in behalf of the Church and difficult to bring forward the passages al- the world, there was yet a something more Juded to, and not to get ourselves entangled which, with faculties so eminent, he might among questions that are properly theologi- have done for our benefit. cal, and which are beyond our province. Ordinarily, when a writer who has well The purpose we have had in view will have served his time, and is gone, comes to be been sufficiently secured, if the reader--we thought of as a contributor to the general mean the younger studious reader, has been stock of moral or religious literature, we led to renew his acquaintance with Chalmers' dismiss him gratefully, accepting at his theological writings, keeping in view these hand what he has done ;--for it was his following specific objects :-namely, First, best, probably, in the employment of the To assure himself of the adherence of so talent that had been assigned to his care. powerful a mind to those characteristic doc- But once or twice in a century, or not so trines of the Christian system which result often, when a distinguished man passes always from a religious perusal of the Scrip- away from us, we think ourselves to be de tures, when we hold them in reverence as prived of a further good, which might have * given of God” for our sufficient guidance been ours if he had longer lived. So it was
when, in the very midst of his course, historians," they asked themselves, "has ARNOLD was snatched from his place :-the had any real feeling of the importance, the Christian community lost, by his sudden sacredness, of his subject? Any real trust death, the fruit of those mature years which in, or respect for, the characters with whom we had supposed he would have given to its he dealt ? Has not the belief of each and service. Chalmers, indeed, lived out the all of them been the same that on the ordinary term of life, and of active labour; whole, the many always have been fools and yet his death, even at so ripe an age, and knaves; foolish and knavish enough, at was in this same way felt to be a loss, least, to become the puppets of a few fools
It does not appear what homage more and knaves who held the reins of power ? emphatic than this can be rendered to the Have they not held that, on the whole, the memory of a great man, when it is said problems of human nature, and human histhat the high estimate which the world had tory, have been sufficiently solved by Gibbon come to form of his powers and qualities--and Voltaire, Gil Blas, and Figaro ? That moral and intellectual-has outstepped the our forefathers were silly barbarians,--that measure of his actual performances, so as this glorious nineteenth century is the one that when at length he falls, although full of region of light, and that all before was outer days, and worn with years of self-denying darkness, peopled by “foreign devils," labour, we yet think that he is gone too Englishmen, no doubt, according to the soon, and has left a work unfinished which flesh, but in spirit, in knowledge, in creed, he only could well have done. It is thus in customs, so utterly different from our that we think of Thomas CHALMERS. selves, that we shall merely shew our senti
mentalism by doing aught but laughing at them?
On what other principle have our English histories as yet been constructed, even down
to the children's books, which taught us in Art. II.- A History of England from the chidhood that the history of this country
Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. was nothing but a string of foolish wars, By J. A. FROUDE, M.A., late Fellow of carried on by wicked kings, for reasons Exeter College, Oxford. London, J. W. hitherto unexplained, save on that great Parker and Son, West Strand. 2 vols. historic law of Goldsmith's, by which Sir 1856.
Archibald Alison would still explain the
French Revolution, THERE appeared, a few years since, a * comic history of England," duly caricatur
“The dog, to serve his private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man ?" ing and falsifying all our great national events, and representing the English people, It will be answered by some, and perhaps for many centuries back, as a mob of fools rather angrily, that these strictures are too and knaves, led by the nose in each genera- sweeping; that there is arising, in a certain tion by a few arch-fools and arch-knaves. quarter, a school of history books for young Some thoughtful persons regarded the book people of a far more reverent tone, which with utter contempt and indignation; it tries to do full honour to the Church, and seemed to them a crime to have writte a it; her work in the world. Those books of & proof of banausia," as Aristotle vould this school which we have seen, we must rehave called it, only to be outdone by the ply, seem just as much wanting in real revwriting a “Comic Bible.” After a while, erence for the past, as the school of Gibbon however, their indignation began to subside; and Voltaire. "It is not the past which they their second thoughts, as usual, were more reverence, but a few characters or facts charitable than their first ; they were not eclectically picked out of the past, and for surprised to hear that the author was an the most part, made to look beautiful by honest, just, and able magistrate; they saw ignoring all the features which will not suit that the publication of such a book involved their preconceived pseudo-ideal. There is no moral turpitude; that it was merely in these books a scarcely concealed dissatismeant as a jest on a subject on which jesting faction with the whole course of the British was permissible, and as a money speculation mind since the Reformation, and (though in a field of which men had a right to make they are not inclined to confess the fact) money; while all which seemed offensive in with its whole course before the Reformait, was merely the outcome, and as it were tion, because that course was one of steady apotheosis, of that method of writing English struggle against the Papacy and its antihistory which has been popular for nearly a national pretensions. They are the outcome hundred years. “Which of our modern of an utterly un-English tone of thought ;
and the so-called "ages of faith" are pleasant There is, indeed, no intrinsic cause why and useful to them, principally because they the ecclesiastical, or pseudo-Catholic, view are distant and unknown enough to enable of history should, in any wise, conduce to a them to conceal from their readers that in just appreciation of our forefathers. For the ages on which they look back as ideally not only did our forefathers rebel against perfect, a Bernard and a Francis of Assisi that conception again and again, till they were crying all day long,—“O that my finally trampled it under their feet, and so head were a fountain of tears, that I might appear, primâ facie, as offenders to be weep for the sins of my people !" Dante judged at its bar; but the conception itself was cursing popes and prelates in the name is one which takes the very same view of the God of Righteousness; Chaucer and of nature as that cynic conception of which Boccacio were lifting the veil from priestly we spoke above. "Man, with the Romish abominations of which we now are ashamed divines, is, ipso facto, the same being as the even to read, and Wolsey, seeing the rotten- man of Voltaire, Le Sage, or Beaumarchais ; ness of the whole system, spent his mighty -he is an insane and degraded being, who talents, and at last poured out his soul unto is to be kept in order, and, as far as may death, in one long useless effort to make the be, cured and set to work by an ecclesiasticrooked straight, and number that which cal system; and the only threads of light in had been weighed in the balances of God, the dark web of his history are clerical and and found for ever wanting.' To ignore theurgic, not lay and human. Voltaire is wilfully facts like these, which were patent the very experimentum crucis of this ugly all along to the British nation, facts on fact. European history looks to him what which the British laity acted, till they finally it would have looked to his Jesuit preceptors, conquered at the Reformation, and on which had the sacerdotal element in it been wantthey are acting still, and will, probably, act ing; what heathen history actually did look for ever, is not to have any real reverence to them. He eliminates the sacerdotal elefor the opinions or virtues of our fore- ment, and nothing remains but the chaos of fathers; and we are not astonished to find apes and wolves, which the Jesuits had taught repeated, in such books, the old stock calum- him to believe was the original substratum nies against our lay and Protestant worthies, of society. The humanity of his historytaken at second-hand from the pages of even of his “ Pucelle d'Orléans"—is simply Lingard. In copying from Lingard, how- the humanity of Sanchez, and the rest of ever, this party has done no more than those vingt-quatre Pères, who hang gibbeted those writers have who would repudiate for ever in the pages of Pascal. He is any party—almost any Christian-purpose. superior to his teachers, certainly, in this, Lingard is known to have been a learned that he has hope for humanity on earth; man, and to have examined many manu- dreams of a new and nobler life for society, scripts which few else had taken the trouble by means of a true and scientific knowledge to look at; so his word is to be taken, no of the laws of the moral and material unione thinking it worth while to ask whether verse; in a word, he has, in the midst of all he has either honestly read, or honestly his filth and his atheism, a faith in a righteous quoted, the documents. It suited the senti- and truth-revealing God, which the priests mental and lazy liberality of the last genera- who brought him up had not. Let the tion to make a show of fairness, by letting truth be spoken, even though in favour of the Popish historian tell his side of the such a destroying Azrael as Voltaire. And story, and to sneer at the illiberal old what if his primary conception of humanity notion, that gentlemen of his class were be utterly base? Is that of our modern given to be rather careless about historic historians so much higher? Do Christian truth when they had a purpose to serve men seem to them, on the whole, in all ages, thereby; and Lingard is now actually to have had the Spirit of God with them, recommended, as a standard authority for leading them into truth, however imperfectthe young, by educated Protestants who ly and confusedly they may have learnt his secm utterly unable to see, that, whether lessons? Have they ever heard with their the man be honest or not, his whole view ears, or listened when their fathers have deof the course of British events, since Becket clared unto them the noble works which first quarrelled with his king, must be anti- God did in their days, and in the old time podal to their own; and that his account of before them? Do they believe that the all which has passed for three hundred years path of Christendom has been, on the whole, since the fall of Wolsey, is most likely to the path of life, and the right way, and that be (and, indeed, may be proved to be) one the living God is leading her therein? Are huge libel on the whole nation, and the des- they proud of the old British worthies? tiny which God has marked out for it. Are they jealous and tender of the reputation
of their ancestors? Do they believe that structed of them is wiser than Erigena or there were any worthies at all in England Roger Bacon. Let them be. They have before the steam-engine and political econo- their reward. And so also has the patient my were discovered? Do their conceptions and humble man of science, who, the more of past society, and the past generations, he knows, confesses the more how little he retain anything of that great thought which knows, and looks back with affectionate revis common to all the Arya races—that is, erence on the great men of old time,--on to all races who have left aught behind Archimedes and Ptolemy, Aristotle and them better than mere mounds of earth- Pliny, and many another honourable (man to Hindoo and Persian, Greek and Roman, who, walking in great darkness, sought a Teuton and Scandinavian, that men are the ray of light, and did not seek in vain, as sons of the heroes, who were the sons of integral parts of that golden chain of which God? Or do they believe, that for civil. he is but one link more; as scientific foreized people of the nineteenth century, it is fathers, without whose aid his science could as well to say as little as possible about not have had a being. ancestors who possessed our vices without Meanwhile, this general tone of irreverour amenities, our ignorance without our ence for our forefathers is no hopeful sign. science; who were bred, no matter how, It is unwise to “inquire why the former like flies by summer heat, out of that ever- times were better than these;" to hang lazlasting dunghill which men call the world, ily and weakly over some eclectic dream of to buzz and sting their foolish day, and a past golden age; for to do so is to deny leave behind them a fresh race which knows that God is working in this age as well as in them not, and could win no honour by past ages, that His light is as near us now as owning them, and which owes them no it was to the worthies of old time. But it more than if it had been produced, as dung- is more than unwise to boast and rejoice that hill-flies were said to be of old, by some the former times were worse than these; spontaneous generation ?
and to teach young people to say in their It is not likely that any writer in this re- hearts, “What clever fellows we are, com. view will be likely to undervalue political pared to our stupid old fogies of fathers !" economy, or the steam-engine, or any other More than unwise; for possibly it may be solid and practical good, which God has un- false in fact. To look at the political and veiled to this generation. All that we de- moral state of Europe at this moment, mand (for we have a right to demand it) is, Christendom can hardly afford to look down that rational men should believe that our on any preceding century, and seems to be forefathers were at least as good as we are; in want of something which neither science that whatsoever their measure of light was, nor constitutional government seem able to they acted up to what they knew, as faith supply. Whether our forefathers also lacked fully as we do; and that, on the whole, it that something, we will not inquire just now; was not_their fault if they did not know but if they did, their want of scientific and
Even now, the real discoveries of the political knowledge was evidently not the age are made, as of old, by a very few men; cause of the defect; or why is not Spain and, when made, have to struggle, as of old, now infinitely better, instead of being infiagainst all manner of superstitions, lazinesses, nitely worse off, than she was three hundred scepticisms. Is the history of the Minié years ago ? rifle one so very complimentary to our age's At home, too But on the question quickness of perception, that we can afford whether we are so very much better off than to throw many stones at the prejudices of our forefathers, Mr. Froude, not we, must. our ancestors? The truth is that, as of old, speak; for he has deliberately, in his new “many men talk of Robin Hood, who never history, set himself to the solution of this shot in his bow;" and many talk of Bacon, question, and we will not anticipate what he who never discovered a law by induction has to say; what we would rather insist on since they were born. As far as our expe- now are the moral ill effects produced on rience goes, those who are loudest in their our young people by books which teach jubilations over the wonderful progress of them to look with contempt on all generathe age, are those who have never helped tions but their own, and with suspicion on all that progress forward one inch, but find it a public characters save a few contemporaries great deal easier and more profitable to use of their own especial party. the results which humbler men have pain. There is an ancient Hebrew book, which fully worked out, as second-hand capital for contains a singular story, concerning a grandhustings-speeches and railway books, and son who was cursed, because his father flatter a mechanic's institute of self-satisfied laughed at the frailty of the grandfather. youths, by telling them that the least in- Whether the reader shall regard that story