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The vine will spread, the vine will
In children's lifted hands;
Then tremble not, because the woes
Are bitter that they speak;
And once the flesh was weak
Review of Books.
THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. A Sermon preacht at Brighton, Dec.
10th, 1840. By Julius CHARLES HARE, Archdeacon of Lewes. Parker:
London. IS UNAUTHORIZED TEACHING ALWAYS SCHISM TICAL? A
Sermon preached before the University of Oxford, May 12th, 1844. By the Rev. J. GARBETT, Professor of Poetry, and Prebendary of Chichester.
Hatchards : London. THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. By W. B. Noel, M. A. Nisbet,
London. THE UNION OF ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS, POSSIBLE, DESIRA
BLE, AND NECESSARY. By A CLERGYMAN. Norwich: London, Seeleys.
(Continued from page 361.)
We feel sure that our readers will not involved and unintelligible a style of quarrel with the lengthened extracts writing should be adopted. God's that we have given from Archdeacon truth should not be put in jeopardy Hare: nor do otherwise than agree by man's conceitedness. Great plainwith us that he, at least, has afforded, ness of speech is, happily, not at varion the part of the Established Church, ance with the purest classical proprimost valuable materials for the fur- ety; and who that is privileged to therance of Christian Union.
possess a Scriptural, spiritual discernWe come now to no less an inter- ment, would wish to run the risk esting document; and amidst all that of conveying an uncertain sound, or we are constrained to associate with no intelligible sound at all, to the inour thoughts of Oxford, of a dark quirers after truth? and forbidding character, we feel it In proportion as we value this sérto be a real refreshment to turn to mon, do we regret this drawback to such sentiments as were broached by its usefulness. Still, we can gather the Professor of Poetry in the Uni- sufficient from it for our present purversity pulpit.
pose, of plain and unequivocal meanWithout pledging ourselves to an ing. Would that we could all be entire agreement with every statement, actuated by the spirit which pervades and certainly without pretending al- it; and, accrediting the view of divine ways to comprehend the meaning of truth which it suggests, suffer that the learned Professor, we cannot but view to influence our feelings and regard his sermon as suggesting a practice towards those who differ from somewhat novel, but singularly inter- us. A great point, indeed, of Chrisa esting view of divine truth. We tian union, would thus be gained. must regret that where there is evi- The Professor is aware that he prodently such a capacity for promoting bably exposes himself to misinterthe edification and direction of the pretation among those who press Church in these perilous times, so Church privileges, as it seems to him, to a virtual denial of Holy Writ, and and a principle of Holy Writ; and to the subversion alike of right reason resist it is to tempt God, and to incur, and Christian charity.” But he fear- before the eyes of the world, an overlessly lays down the principle on whelming overthrow at the tribunal which he goes to work.
of both." “The exclusion of all, out of the The Professor takes his text from Episcopal Church, from the covenant- Philippians i. 16. “ Notwithstanding, ed mercies of the Gospel, is a dogma every way, whether in pretence or in so intolerable, so unsustainable by truth, Christ is preached. And I Scripture, so opposed to experience, therein do rejoice; yea, and I will reso contrary to the theory and practice joice.” The object of the sermon is of our own church, and so dangerous to show, 1st, That what some would in its influence upon our own charac- call schismatic preaching commenced ter and ministrations, that it ought as early as the Apostles' day. 2. That firmly, though temperately, to be re- while the Apostle reprobated the spisisted.
rit in which the party in question went "The restoration to the church of to work, he rejoiced in the soundness her lost children, that which, next to and faithfulness of their preaching. the maintenance of the truth, is her He accredited the message, though greatest and holiest work, is on such he could not approve of the spirit in principles an impossibility. On one which it was delivered. And that side, à haughty and anathematizing hence we learn that God, in his mysisolation; on the other, a sullen and terious wisdom is pleased to carry vindictive alienation, and what seems forward his work of evangelization a reasonable enmity to the church, as very differently to what we in our igopposed to the plain truths of Scrip- norance are often led to expect; and, ture, is the inevitable result. Her
consequently, that we should learn apostolical constitution, her divine the duty of Christian charity and forcommission, her holy discipline, her bearance, towards those who proclaim Scriptural teaching, cannot balance the same truths, but out of different with the body of the people this repul- ecclesiastical enclosures. sive power. One extreme engenders another; and if she should be over- • But there were two parties at thrown, Rome and Dissent will divide Rome, who, with a very different the spoils.
temper, contributed to this result! “On the other hand, none versed One portion of the Christian commuin Holy Writ, and the Scriptural nity, catching new boldness from the claims of the church, can palliate apostolic spirit, not only devoted formal schism, and a separatist spirit. themselves to the propagation of the I dare not do so: nor do I sympathize truth, whose power they had themwith those who should attempt it. selves experienced, but deferred to
“All, I am sure, ought to mourn Paul's divine commission, no less than over the distracted condition of the to his pre-eminent abilities, and inchurch; and pray that Christ, by the calculable services to the faith. They power of his Spirit, may make Him- laboured throughout with his concurself an effectual centre of union, if rence, and in dutiful subordination to not of uniformity. I would there were his authority. But another party, both!
distinguished, probably, by the same "Finally, I do not rest a great ques- zeal and indefatigable energy, preachtion, which stands on a larger basis, ed the Gospel, as he informs us, out on any isolated fact, or isolated text; of strife and envy, so as to add, of however powerfully it may minister deliberate purpose, fresh sorrow to to the proof of it. That the fruits of his imprisonment. Wherein, then, the Spirit are the evidence of God's was exercised this personal strife, blessing and Christ's presence, inter- which not only mingled unconsciously penetrates the whole body of Scrip- as it often does with other and purer ture. It is alike an axiom of reason, motives, but was, on the apostle's
statement, the very life-spring of these convictions of other men! But here, men's zealous ministrations? And as in a thousand other instances, from whence did they come? No hypothesis is rudely handled by exdoubt they came from a fierce ungodly perience. Fact rebukes our speculajealousy of St. Paul. His authority tive reasoning, and even the more had overshadowed, if not eclipsed justifiable prepossessions of their own. It had interfered with hearts! their independence, crippled their in- “ Observe, then, the Gospel was fluence, and wounded the self-love preached by these men, notwithstandand petulant pride engendered by ing all this! Though they were not successful preaching. The intoxica- only, like all that minister in heavenly tion of spiritual power was too much things, vessels of clay, and sorely infor them, and the newly-experienced firm, but positively impure; that delight of compelling other men's which they contained and conveyed souls to bend before the force of their into the hands of other men, was
really gold, and the unadulterated “As had happened, therefore, in treasure of life. the church of Corinth, which his own “ And when Paul speaks of their hands had planted, these men assailed preaching Christ, or the Gospel of his character.- Probably with ingeni- Christ, with candid and reasonable ous spite, they denied or they depre- minds, versed in the simplicity of ciated the gifts with which God had Scripture, and even the genuine reendowed him. They undervalued the mains of apostolic men, and the relics authority of the apostolic commission! of the first baptismal creeds, there They might have inveighed against can be no doubt as to the meaning of that insatiable and monopolizing am- this emphatic phrase--simple as it is bition which claimed to reap where emphatic-labouring, though it be, he had not sown, and to enclose with- to some minds, with the prodigious in the fence of ecclesiastical order the births of later ecclesiastical systems. field of other men's free labour, which If there were nothing else, indeed, to had anticipated his own. And that give this expression a very precise such an opposition to the authority, and intelligible meaning, yet, anyhow, and contempt for the persons of the the hostile attitude in which these apostles, was in no way peculiar to teachers evidently stood to apostolical the churches of Rome or Corinth, is authority, excludes those complex no inference from arbitrary premises, and artificial definitions of the Gospel no assumed result even of unchange that church-theory—which modern able principles, but is demonstrated, times have not only permitted to grow as in the case of Diotrephes, by the around it, but have worked into the recorded facts of Scripture. Unques- core of it, and identified with its tionably this practical condition of things, inevitable though it be, from “ But we do not rest upon this nethe impure medium through which, gative proof. The recorded preaching the instant it came in contact with and writings of the great apostle, takgeneral humanity, divine truth was en in themselves, and in their own conveyed, is a rude dissolver of many ample compass, if uninterpreted and an ecclesiastical dream. Nay, I will unsupplemented by an extrinsic thenot call it so! it is not to be under
ory, furnish, even on the confession of valued! of many a fond and holy fan- an opposing theology, irresistible evicy of ancient piety. These were, dence of its nature. This gospel, indeed, earthly and turbulent elements then, in the promulgation of which in which and with which to work, Paul rejoiced, was no gigantic sacraenergies of evil, ill fitted to coalesce mental system, the growth, intellecwith the divine spirit of the Gospel; tually and morally, in part, of sacerand, as we might very reasonably dotal usurpation, but, in fact, a great suppose, little calculated either to lay deal more of influences and combinahold on the theory of Christian truth, tions of events unforseen, and unreor to recommend it to the reason and buked, as they rose, by the simple
word of God! But it was no other vation. Still less do I say anything than repentance towards God, and in disparagement of that specific form faith in the Lord Jesus Christ-Christ which our own church has adopted, as our life and our hope, our justifi- and solemnly enjoined upon her chilcation, and sanctification, and redemp- dren; I, for one, regard it with the tion! Christ, as our sole reconciler profoundest reverence and a filial to God, and holiness as the seal of obedience, and account it, with her the Spirit upon the true believer, and greatest theologians, though not esthe unquestionable evidence, in the sential to the existence, yet indispeneyes of all the world, of the working sable to the perfection of a church! of the regenerating Spirit within the “But so much being granted, what soul.
I wish to insist upon is this; as “Whatever be the position and proved, even to demonstration, by true value to be assigned to the apos- the simple Scriptures, interpreted by tolical commission in the persons of the ordinary laws of reason and printhose great teachers upon whom ciples of language, apart from tradialone the fulness of its powers de- tion and arbitrary though venerable scended! Whatever be the dignity hypotheses: that the truths of the and prerogatives of those after them, life-giving Gospel of Christ, which who, either as chief pastors, or hum- are of power to reconcile men to God, bler labourers, are duly called in the and to save the soul, are not only cacongregation to preach the same doc- pable of being separated, by an inteltrines, and to minister in holy things! lectual analysis, from any specific Whatever efficacy, and whatever form of church government and inweight, in the order of means and in- struments of discipline, but are construments of grace, be assigned to stantly so presented in Scripture! the sacraments ordained by Christ that they are, from a divine wisdom, himself, yet this, beyond question, deliberately so urged, and continually according to St. Paul, is the essence placed before our eyes in this their of the Gospel, its concentrated power, independent force, and, conditionand living force. This, detached ed only on the presence of that from all accessories—this, made hare Spirit who bloweth where he listeth, of all accidents—this, taken in every in their naked, essential efficacy! variety of form, if I may so say, out Albeit, the Gospel is laid before us of the vehicles through which it is under a diversity of aspects and relaconveyed, the means by which it is tions; sometimes in its first creative enforced, and the forms in which it is energy in the soul; sometimes in the embodied, is the transforming, quick- struggles and painful developements ening, saving energy which God be- of the Christian life; sometimes in its came man that he might convey to visible works; sometimes in its conperishing sinners. It is Christ our summation in the intuitions of a dilife, and faith, instrumentally convey- vine and contemplative love, as haning to the soul the vital virtue which dled by Paul, or Peter, or James, or resides without stint or measure in John, it is still the same.
In all it Him!"
stands aloof, as far as statement goes,
of any specific form or regimen, as It must not, however, be supposed essential to its power. Of inference, that the Professor is indifferent to the more or less distinct, short of cerpeculiar privilege and blessing of his tainty, I say nothing. To allow that own Church.
there is no explicit statement, such as
no candid mind can possibly resist, if “I say nothing,” he adds, “in de- it accepts the rest of the Gospel, is rogation of that living machinery and quite sufficient for me when speaking systematic discipline which, in one of truths called vital, in a book deform or other, almost all Christians clared to be a full and sufficient rule are agreed in thinking of the highest of faith. This is enough for my arguimportance to its propagation, effica- ment, that these essential verities are cious teaching, and continued preser- not explicitly put, by the word itself,
in that inseparable connexion with divine authority of each is equal, anything, which is necessary to make which, even on the supposition of the that thing too, essential to salvation, same saintliness of life, and the same though we may so infer by argument shining forth of the divine Spirit from more or less probable. And my text within them, is in the broadest pospresents one of many proofs of it.” sible opposition to the real state of
the case: for where are the miracles ? Most forcibly is it argued, that if There are other fallacies in it, but ever such proceedings deserved to be here I can only notice this. anathematized, it was in the apostles' “ Yet, with all these aggravations, days.
and manifold circumstances of dan
ger, though it flowed from lips not " And it is the more decisive and apostolical, no, not even, as future unexceptionable, because it occurs at facts will indicate, apostolical by a period in the history of the church commission; though the very worst when, for more than one reason, we ambitions of the world were fermentcould least of all have expected a ing in the heart of them who prospecific instance of such a principle ; claimed it, yet it was still the Gospel however easy it is to collect from of Christ unto salvation. It was not that which is argumentatively of emptied of its spirit, or stripped of greater value than an isolated fact, its inherent divinity. And the apostle or isolated text, its general tone not only utters no anathema on them and confessed spirit. When the who thus received it, which he emapostolic power of miracles, and the phatically reserves for those who love apostolical infallibility, and the apos. not the Lord Jesus in sincerity, but tolical holiness, the very visible image acquiesces-not only acquiesces, but of the Saviour's righteousness trans- rejoices in the extension of the truth fused into his chosen messengers, as a counterbalance to personal in. were all in undiminished action in the jury, and a schismatic teaching, church, they rendered an opposition Notwithstanding, every way, wheto that authority tenfold more heinous ther in pretence or in truth, Christ is than at any other period it could pos- preached, and therein I rejoice, yea sibly be. Because it was an opposition, and I will rejoice.'"* not to representatives, withdrawn by twenty or thirty generations, or con- Thoroughly do we concur in the structively and virtually only, but di
following passage :rect and wilful, and such was as really, both immediately and by moral and
“ What is demonstrable is this, that logical consequence, was imminently
the true Gospel of Christ was efficadangerous to the purity of the faith ciously preached by men of a separatand the salvation of men's souls. Our ing and anti-apostolical spirit. Morefirst impression certainly is, that such over, it could not but happen, that not opposition would be a moral impos- only the general truths of the Gospel, sibility instead of a frequent fact !
but even their peculiarities, and their And this deserves to be insisted upon, opposition, at all events, to apostolical and broadly put forth. Because,
*" Such too the tenor of his statement though it is a common assumption, to the Corinthians when he treats himself and powerfully, though perhaps un- and Cephas and Apollos as mere instruconsciously, influences many eccle. ments of God, and not to be thought of siastical arguments, yet the hypo
by the side of the power which wrought
salvation. Men, now-a-days, like the thesis that resistance to the apostles
disciples of old, would fain call down fire and their successors as God's messen
on those who oppose them. They regers and vicars, is equal in guilt, and member not who it was that said, “Ye entails the same spiritual conse- know not what spirit ye are of.' Nor,
when they told him, “ We saw one casting quences on teacher and taught, is
out devils in thy name, and we forbad him both historically and argumentatively
because he followeth not us,' how our unsustainable. It involves the vast
Lord replied, "He that is not against us, assumption that the evidence of the
is with us,' &c."