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sometimes hears called the Church, but more commonly the body of religious people, or true Christians. He is instructed to believe that it lias a double aspect, one visible only to Him who discerns the heart, the other apparent to himself and other mortals. Viewed on the former side, its limitations are, of course, spiritual and unseen; viewed on the latter side, he perceives that the point most insisted on in the present day is, that its boundaries are not those sacraments which are instituted by our Lord, or that common worship which was established by the apostles. If he asks what its visible boundaries are, the answer would be more difficult, though perhaps he would not be far wrong if he defined this body to consist of those who regard Exeter Hall as their cathedral, the platform as their altar, Mr. -'s “hymns from all sources” as their book of Common Prayer, the May meetings as their Easter festival, the Record newspaper as their inspired writings, and as their “note and comment,” the publications of the Religious Tract Society. We are far, observe, from asserting that the use of these means is believed in the religious world to prove the reality of a man's piety ; to say so would be as unfair as to insinuate that those who take contrary ground consider all men safe who are baptized and communicate ; but what we do assert and could easily establish, is that the game notion of being boundaries which is attached on one side to the grace-conveying sacraments of the Church is ascribed on the other to those outward conformities.
Such, then, being the notion in which a man is taught, he is led in proof of it to the word of God. A similar course is followed by Archdeacon Manning. But in place of the tradition of the present day, he gives us that interpretation of the creed which was received by the first followers of the apostles. This he gives not as proof, but merely as a fact, designed to lead men to the authority of Scripture.
“I shall confine myself,” he says, “ to inquiring in what sense this article was expounded in the earliest times. Whether such expositions be right or wrong, will be a matter for discussion hereafter."— p. 30.
Let it be borne in mind, then, that this is the use made by churchmen of antiquity. They are justly jealous of the opinions of their contemporaries, knowing how apt are popular opinions to obscure the light of Scripture. They know how many a young man preaches the last leading articles of the Record newspaper, when he means to preach the Gospel of God,
and in truth quotes Scott, when he supposes himself to quote St. Paul. There is less danger, doubtless, of being misled by those whose thoughts and language are cast in a mould less congenial to our own, and thus it is that churchmen approach the subject discussed in our author's third chapter--" the Unity of the Church as taught in Holy Scripture,”—with so grcat an advantage over the traditionists of the religious world. Indeed, we know of no more startling proof of the great power of tradition than the common inattention to those distinct statements of this momen
No. XXV. -N. S.
tous truth, which our author has collected from the word of God. The usual answer to such statements by men who are unwilling to attend to them is, that they know all this, but cannot think it of importance. How differs this from the manner in which Jews and Romanists have subordinated the word of God to their traditions ?
But our limits prevent us from entering as we would on this part of our author's labours, or from noticing what seems to us his somewhat questionable remarks on St. Paul's use of the word “ Bishops, p. 128. He scarcely gives due weight, we think, to the gradual manner in which the Church system was elicited from the shell of Judaism. Whenever the apostles themselves may have discerned the perpetual nature of the kingdom which they had established, they did not unfold it to their disciples till the gradual decay of the old system revealed the indestructible features of the new. Thorndike, in his
Rights of a Christian Church,” has given some interesting instances, in which the minor institutions of Judaism gave a direction to the policy of the Apostles. And it was not till the temple service fell with its ancient dwelling-place, that the full nature and final appointment of the Christian priesthood could be fully revealed.
But we quit this subject, and omit three very interesting pages (158-160,) which we had marked for insertion, and which conlain a statement wherein unity consists, in order to pass to the second, and, in our opinion, the ablest part of this treatise—the moral purposes of the unity of the Church. On this the Archdeacon dwells at length. He shows, that as the world bears marks of design, so much more does the Church. The latter bespeaks its author's character and power as forcibly as the former. The same impress of unity, therefore, which marks the physical, is still more manifest in the moral world. And thus is the Church constituted to keep up the knowledge of its one Author, and to restore His single image in place of the multiform idols of human depravity. Here it is that the contrast between the German writer and our countryman is most apparent. While Möhler treats chiefly of the mystic communication of supernatural gifts, Archdeacon Manning delights to set before us, in such passages as the following, how the unity of the Church is an object for the faith, and a probation for the will, of man :
“ To become a Christian in the beginning of the gospel was a conscious act of the individual choice and will. And so it is still in the conversion of adults. But as these are the rare and outlying exceptions, the whole body of Christendom is by an act of God made Christian without any conscious act of choice. Generation after generation grows up among the objects of faith, and as the energies of the reason and the heart unfold, every several reality of faith, unless slighted, becomes a direct probation of the will. The unity of the Church is an article of the baptismal creed, and an object of faith as truly and fully as the article of the Incarnation, or Resurrection of Christ. These articles are by perfect Christians consciously accepted, one by one, until the whole is incorporated in the moral nature. Oftentimes they are held implicitly; sometimes they are in part secretly rejeeted; sometimes they may be reduced to the smallest remainder which will consist with a continued profession of Christianity; sometimes they are so faintly held as rather to be not denied than believed.
And yet we shall find all these several classes of persons living, more or less, a seemingly Christian life. They fulfil the obligations of personal and economical morality; they observe the rights of political justice; they are blameless sons, fathers, citizens ; they mix in the communion of the Church, and partake of her ministrations, but their outward life is rather a coincidence with her moral scheme, than a consequence of her spiritual grace. Now such men, looking around them, and seeing in other communities all they are conscious of in themselves, having no aspiration, no sympathy, no weakness which might not be satisfied as well without as within the Church, cannot but regard the Church as only one of many like communities,- perhaps the oldest,-it may be the best; the most conformable to society as a whole, and the most helpful to the offices of civil government, and yet, after all,
only one of a number all equally wanting in direct authority from God. The unity of the Church is the matter of their probation. They neither believe it as a mystery, nor yearn after it as the stay of their soul. It is the same habit which makes other men deliberately reject, or indolently slight, the Sacraments of Christ; they neither believe in their mysterious power, nor feel their own need of the proffered grace. The unity of the Church may be viewed as the one all-comprehending Sacrament of the Person of Christ, from the side of which holy baptism and the holy Eucharist flow forth as the water and the blood. All these doctrines, then, are objects of faith; and by propounding them to the world, the faith of man is put on trial before God.”—pp. 263, 264.
“There is also in the order of the church a probation of our intellectual nature, for the right conduct of which we are responsible. The tendency of all men is to put subjective opinion in the place of objective truth. This is directly encountered by the delivery of a dogmatic faith embodied in creeds and Catholic traditions; and the probation of the moral reason is brought to a point by the subjection of men as learners to an order of men who are divinely commissioned to teach. Against this ordinance of Christ the whole throng of indocile, self-trusting, irreverent, contemptuous dispositions of the heart rise in rebellion. And so it was foreseen; and for the mortification and rooting out of these tempers this very ordinance was designed; and their revolt manifests His wisdom who ordained it as a test to detect, and a curb to check them. The whole lineage of heresies, and the whole history of schism, is but a continuous attestation that the pastoral office is the institution of Him who knew what was in man. The idea of humbly learning God's truth, and of passively receiving sacramental mysteries from the hands of a man like ourselves, of submitting to counsel, reproof, rebuke, correction, at the judgment of a fellow-sinner, is a test and probation of our moral habit, which, by its searching and salutary virtue, attests itself to be of God. In this way, then, the objective unity of the Church tries man in the two points of moral duty least akin to his fallen nature-forbearance and submission.”—p.. 238.
This is a subject on which it were easy to enlarge. It is the basis of the whole controversy. The rejection of any part of God's truth is occasioned by the perversity of man's will; and the great perverter of this will is pride. We speak it not in harshness, but in love, not with anger but with grief, that a conceited opinion of themselves is at the bottom of that antipathy which is felt by many who believe themselves religious persons, to the ordinances of the Church. It is a matter of serious regret to see amiable, well-meaning persons spend their life in continual dissensions with another on points of faith, while that greatest blessing of humility is hid from
Would that they could see themselves in the strangely unchristian attitude which they exhibit to others ! Their feeling is that of children who, left for a time without the guardianship of their elders, are pleased to be independent, and responsible only to a future account. The great truth, therefore, of our Lord's real presence in the ordinances of His Church, that He it is who is to be discerned in his ministers, and that their acts are only the expressions of His presence here, this is un palatable, because it robs them of their consequence as insulated followers of an absent Lord.
This is the reason, apparently, why what calls itself the religious world is especially wanting in a belief of two doctrines, to which it supposes itself peculiarly awake—our Lord's presence, and the gifts of His grace. These, therefore, are in reality the two notes of what is called, either in praise or blame, (for ourselves, we hate all sectional epithets,) the High Church party—a constant remembrance of Christ's presence- a faithful discernment of the doctrines
But we return to our author. His third part consists of an application of his system to the existing condition of Christendom. His expressions in respect to dissenters are serious, yet indulgent. He is ready to recognise the imperishable features of God's grace, under whatever aspect he can discern them :
“Whenever we see forms of Christian obedience among those who have lost the doctrine and discipline of the Church, they are so many moral miracles; they are revelations in fact, which are therefore no way contrary to God's revelation in word. He has promised to sanctify man through His Church. He has not declared that He will sanctify none in other ways.”—p. 310.
“We who see men under the energy of God's Spirit without His Sacraments, may well hope that they shall partake of salvation without His Church."-p.311.
As introductory to this view of things, he speaks of
“ The spiritual penury to which such persons' were born, the moral destitution of their Father's home, no witness for truth, no sacraments of grace, no gentle suasion, and moulding pressure of a spiritual discipline.”
With no less calmness does the Archdeacon review our situation on the side of Romanism. He has evidently no doubts as to the completeness of what Bramhall calls the “just vindication of the Church of England :"
"The same causes which divided the eastern from the western churches, divided also the western church itself. It would seem as if the same causes of provocation, when they were baffled by the Greeks, fell with a more intolerable weight upon the west of Europe.”—p.361.
“The churches of the east are not schismatical for their rejection of this usurpation, neither are the churches of Britain. But they are guilty of the schism that obtrude this novelty as the condition of Christian communion. Nor again would the British churches be open to the lightest imputation of schism, if they were, with the usurped pontificate, to remove also the patriarchal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. For the patriarchal'autho
rity is itself founded on the very canons to which the pontiff refuses to
that it is sufficient for any man to be in communion with his own bishop, that
“ His own pastor, and the altar where he communicates in the Eucharistic sacrifice, is the test and the centre of all duties and obligations of love and loyalty.”—p. 368.
We think that as much as this might readily be demonstrated from the confessions of Möhler himself, had we time to pursue the subject. But, while asserting this, we must take occasion to observe, what we infer from the concluding sentence of his work that Archdeacon Manning would be the last to deny, that, if we can be cleared from the guilt of division, we must not expect to escape from its disadvantages. This is a point on which many members of the English Church are singularly insensible. That Christendom no longer presents the glorious spectacle of one united family, pouring forth in unison the consentient prayer,—that we have lost the grand tie of brotherhood among discordant nations, and can no longer find kindred and harmony among every people upon earth, that the service of the Church below responds so imperfectly to the jubilant acclamation of the Church triumphant-this spectacle, so overwhelming to the devout mind, affects them with no consternation. In the true spirit of Judaism, they feel a pride in being dissevered from the other nations of the earth. But however justifiable, is not this division a lamentable event ? If a man had lost a limb in successful defence against robbers, however thankful for his escape, would he take pride in his mutilation ? And should this dismemberment of the Lord's body, which defeats his very last affecting prayer, be regarded save with tears?
Indeed, however we may justify our fathers for those acts which were dictated by necessity, the feelings and expressions of many in the present day can hardly be cleared of the guilt of schism.' It seems truly laid down by Aristotle, that crimes committed through blameless, involuntary ignorance, are not excusable unless, when known, they are regretted. The same rule seems applicable to acts of necessary self-defence. To separate from Rome was necessary, it may be urged, for our fathers, because they could not remain in communion with her without sinful compliances. (We waive what may fairly be urged, that Rome separated from them, not they from her.) The same separation is in like manner imperative upon ourselves, while sinful terms of communion are exacted. But if we separate, not from compulsion but from choice, if we regard division not as an evil but a blessing, if we will not allow that we lose anything by the mutilation of the Christian body, we forfeit the very principle on which our division is justified, and that which would otherwise be an excusable evil, becomes a voluntary sin.