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impaired, they founded on a deceitful basis an arrogant creed, which, in declaring peace and pardon to the sinner, rested more upon personal merit, than the satisfaction of a Saviour.'
• But, if these writers, who perverted the divinity as well as literature of the ages in which they lived, maintained, that the body alone and not the soul became vitiated by the fall, in what, it may be asked, did they suppose the guilt of original sin to consist, and what to be the necessity of remitting it? The answer to this question will be found to contain the principal scope of the controversy. Original sin they directly opposed to original righteousness; and this they considered not as soinething connatural with man, but as a superinduced habit or adventitious ornament, the removal of which, according to the philosophical principles of the Stagirite, could not prove detriinental to the native powers of his mind. llence they stated the former simply to be the loss or want of the latter; of an accomplishment unessential to his nature, of which it might be deprived, yet still retain its integrity inviolate. When therefore they con. templated the effects of the fall, by confining the evil to a corporeal taint, and not extending it to the nobler faculties of the soul, they regarded man an object of divine displeasure, not because he possessed that which was offensive, but because he was defective in that which was pleasing to the Almighty. While, however, they laboured to diminish the effects, they augmented in equal propor. tion the responsibility of the first transgression, asserting, that all participated in the guilt of Adam. He, they said, received for himself and his posterity the gift of righteousness, which be subsequently forfeited; in his loins we were included, and by him were virtually represented : his will was ours, and hence the consequence of his lapse is jusely imputable to us his descendants. By our natural birth therefore, under this idea, we are alienated from God, innocent in our individual persons, but guilty in that of him, from whom we derived our existence; a guilt, which, although contracted through the fault of another, yet so closely adheres to us, that it effectually precludes our entrance at the gate of everlasting life, until the reception of a new birth in baptism.
“Thus they contended that the lapse of Adam conveys to us solely imputed guilt, the corporeal infection, which they admitted, not being sin itself, but only the subject-matter of it, not peccatum, but, according to their phraseology, fomes peccati, a kind of fuel, which the human will kindles or not at pleasure. It required, however, nó comman talent at paradoxical solution to prove, what was pertinaciously held, the innocence of that occult quality, which disposes to crime without being itself criminal, which, void of all depravity, renders the mind depraved; that metaphorical fuel of the affections, which, although not vicious in its own nature, yet, when inflamed, generates vice in the leart, upon which it preys.
P. 57. In opposition to these fanciful dogmas, the Lutherans taught that original sin is a corruption of man's whole ne
ture both bodily and mental ; the resplendent image of the Deity which man received at the creation of the world, although not annibilated, is greatly impaired, the injuries extending to his reason and will, his affections and passions. When therefore they contended that our nature is corrupted, they contrasted the position with the scholastical doctrine of its integrity; and when they urged its total corruption, they opposed the idea of a deterioration in one part only, and even that consisting of a propensity void of sin. To conceive that inclination to evil incurs not in itself the disapprobation of heaven, appeared to the little better than an apology for crime, or at least a dangerous palliation of that which it is the christian's duty not only to repress but abhor. Yet while they argued, that in consequence of this depravily we are to be considered by our natural birth as the children of wrath, they admitted, that by our new birth in baptism we all are made the children of grace.
After this, the preacher goes on, in the third place, to apply these contending theories to the explication of the doctrine contained in the ninth article.
The application of what has been observed, to the article of our church upon the saine subject, has been already perhaps anticipated. Original sin is there defined to be the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit, and therefore, in every person born into this world, it deserveh God's wrath and dannation,” When we recola lect the peculiar theory of tbe scholastics, we immediately perceive with what this definition was intended to be contrasted. According to their statement, original sin is nothing more tħan a defect of original righteousness, which, instead of being a connatural quality, was itself only a supernatural ornament, unessential to the soul. In opposition, therefore, to such a conceit, our church represents it to be the fault and corruption of every man's nature, not the loss of a superadded grace, but the vitiation of his innate powers; a vitiation, by which he is very far removed from original righteousness, and by which she subjoins, again repeating the word before used as distinctly expressive of her meaning, he is inclined to evil of his own nature; so that his passions continually resist the controul of his reason.
Yet while she esteems it not, as her adversaries held, an innocuous propensity, she does not declare it to be punishable as a crime; but steering a middle course, with a moderation, for which she is always remarkable, asserts it only to be deserting of God's displeasure. After the preceding definition, to which none but the sophists of the schools could object, she proceeds to observe, in perfect conformity with common sense and with the doctrine of the Lutheruns, that this depravation of nature re
mains after baptism, so that concupiscence, or whatsoever eise may be meant by th: Çpórzus ozgros of Si. Paul, is not, as the Council of Trent had then recently maintained it, and as the church of Rome had always believed it to be, a sinless inclination; but ole rebelling against the law of God; and which, according to't be apostle, who nevertheless admits that there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, retains in itself the nature of sin.' p. 64.
That the above argument is exceedingly valuable, that it contains in it a great deal of truth, and that, with the aid of the annotations, a very excellent exposition of the article in question may be derived from it, we readily ac. knowledge and yet it does not, in every part, convey to us intire satisfaction. We do not object to the statement either of the scholastical or Lutheran doctrine; it is the application alone with which we are not quite contented. The opinions of the schoolmen and of the Roinish church, we are inclined to think, were, on this occasion, veither so much nor so exclusively before the eyes of the compiler, as Dr. Laurence supposes. But to notice only the latter particular. In the clause " deserveth God's wrath and damnation," our reformiers, we doubt not, according to the renark of Bishop Cleaver, in his truly episcopal discourse before the University of Oxford (Feb. 14, 1802), bad respect to the confessions of the other reformed and Lutheran churches, and with characteristic moderation purposely enunciated their doctrine, in much lower and more general language than they had done. But, in this relcrence, as Dr. Laurence does not objeet lo it, so, most probably, he would give his assent to it, when proposed to him, as readily as we do. But besides this, though Dr. Laurence is of a different mind, we cannot but think, that in another part a very full and precise reference was intended to be made to the dangerous opinions of the Pelagians and Anabaptists. Nor can we trace the following sentence of this writer to any thing else than a fond partiality for a favourite system. In the article indeed of 1552, after the words,“ ut fabulantur Pelagiani," occurred the following, “ et hodie Anabaptistæ repetunt:" but these seem to bave been introduced merely for the purpose of less openly declaring the object of assault,' (Was this in compliance with the sound advice of Melancthon—In ecclesia rectiusest scapham scapham dicere, nec objicere posteris ambigua dieta' p. 209) • and were consequently omitted in 1562, when disguise was less necessary, or less regarded.' (p. 269.)
A fondness for simplicity, which is the bane of so many systein-builders, and for deducing truth froin as few princi,
ples as possible, whereby they continually lose or mar a great part of it, has here, we presume, misled Dr. Lau
In insisting so strenuously, that the main object of the reformation was controversies with the Romish church (or even, if Dr. Laurence pleases, with the schoolmen), and not among the reformers themselves, he is in strict correspondence with truth, and his labours in this maitor (strange as it might appear in so plain a case) are all bighly profitable and necessary for these times. It would be an almost endless task to recount how many grave opinions and elaborate statements would have been necessarily precluded on both sides of the Calvinistical controversy, had the minds of many writers been practically imbued with this simple but important principle. But ihere is also a second maxim ta which he who would thoroughly understand the principles and practices of the reformation, will have occasion continually to refer ; which therefore it inay be of great service more fully to point out, and which we doubt not has a pertinent application to our present argument. The Ro. manists then were continually charging us with divisions. among ourselves; and in pursuit of this design, and of the. favourite topic of their declarnation, that there could be no peace nor certainty out of the quiet; bosom of their church, they were perpetually taxing the reformation with all the enormities and outrages of the anabaptists. As these excesses could not be contradicted, what was left to the sober part of the reforıned, but to deny that the charge had any thing to do with them, to renounce all fellowship and common cause with the offenders, and to join in proscribing their noxious opinions ? From this source were derived the 38th and sgth articles of our church, some parts of the 37th and others; and to the same Anabaptists and their kindred opinions, we doubi not that a real and sincere respect and reference was intended to be inade by the compilers of the ninth article. If aclitional evidence be still wanted in support of this opinion, it will be contained virtually in, what we believe we could completely fulfil, the following engagement: that for every passage of the æra of the reforination in which the doctrines of the Romanists respecting original sin are specifically referred to by our English writers, we could produce more than two, in which such reference is made to those of the Anabaptists and Pelagians.
After this survey of the article, Dr. Laurence points out and warns us against two very important deductions, which .
brave often been fixed upon this part of our confession, as the true and genuine dectrines of the church of England. They are of such a maguita le, that it would be doing great injustice to our subject, if we did not at least stale what they
He remarks then, that although every expression seems studiously chosen to avoid the appearance of running into extremes, interpretations of this kind have notwithstanding been adopied. The article has been supposed collaterally to bint the approbation of an opinion, which in all probability never entered the minds of our reformers; and to insinuate the general imputation of Adam's guilt to all his posterity as the basis of the Calvinistical predestination. The second deduction respects the fate of infants dying without baptism, whom some have bence conceived that our church excludes from salvation. It will not be in our power to trace the author's steps through his excellent. observations on both these topics. We shall only remark, since Dr. L. has forborne to do so, that from the evidence which he has adduced in support of the latter, (evidence whieh it would not be difficult to enlarge.) we shall be justified in entertaining a mild interpretation of those words, deserveth God's wrath and dampation, which is that part of the article at which the mind is inost disposed to startle.
Our remarks have already grown so much under our hands, that in what is to follow we must endeavour to be as. concise as possible.
We shall first notice one or two not very important oversights.
The remark (p. 187,) that eren Gardiner thought it proper to profess the greatest regard for Melancthon,' must not be proved by Cranmer's words to that prelate," How highly you have esteemed Melancthon in tiines past, it is not unkoown;" for, in fact, these words are ironical. See the context, and compare p. 16, edition 1551, (p. 15, edition 1580). “ And bere the leader may note wel, that ones. againe you be favne to fiee for socoure unto Martine Lue ther, Bucer, Jovas, Melangthon and Epinus, whose vannes, before were wonte to be so hatefull into you, that
you coulde never with pacience abyde the hearyng of them;" and elsewhere in more places than one.
• That the doctrine upon the Eucharist contained in this cathechism is completely Lutheran, has nerer been denied." p. 202. The author, in spite of what he has alleged in this. and other pages, goes a great deal too far in this assertion. It has been denied very often, if we do not greatly mistake, by a very strong negative, that of Cranmer himself.