« PreviousContinue »
Such accusations must proceed from an entire ignorance of what that great man has said. Let us cite one or two passages : “Neque enim mortis tantum ac resurrectionis suæ beneficium nobis offert Christus, sed corpus ipsum, in quo passus est et resurrexit.” Calvin on 1 Cor. xi. 24. (P. 184, note.) Again : “ Corpus, quod nequaquam cernis, spirituale est nobis alimentum.” Calvin on 1 Cor. xi. 24. (P. 184, note.) And again : “ Christi consilium fuit corpus suum sub pane edendum porrigere in remissionem peccatorum.” Calvin. admon. ult. ad Westphal. (P. 262, note.) If he is at all perplexed, it is rather, if Waterland be right, from erring on the other side, from supposing “the glorified body of our Lord to be as it were eaten in the Eucharist, when he should only have said that it became more pefectly united with it. Yet was his notion true in the main, and which wanted only to be better adjusted.” (P. 184.) But we hope this is enough in defence of the memory of a great and good man, dear, we trust, to all true lovers of the Reformation. If we be of these, let us not seek to make our differences with the foreign Protestant Churches greater than they are ; let us rather believe, with Waterland, that “the remaining difference may seem to lie chiefly in words and names, rather than in ideas and real things” (p. 234); let us adopt his charitable judgement, which would “make great allowances for the prevailing prejudices of education, and for a customary way of speaking or thinking on any subject." (P. 235.) We have a few points more. Is the Reformation now looked on as a schism? With Waterland it is the happy Reformation. Is Jewell's memory evil spoken of? Here he is “our incomparable Bishop.” (P. 376.) Are the foreign Reformers not to trusted ? Yet are they, even Calvin, Beza, Peter Martyr, Grotius, “judicious interpreters.” (P. 269.) Cranmer is that “ excellent person.” Protestant is no name of reproach. How thankful should we be for such wisdom and candour, such moderation and charity, such learning and judgement, such a truly Anglican, truly Catholic spirit; truly Anglican, as most faithful to the teaching of our Reformed Church ; truly Catholic, as not exclusive or blind to the excellencies of all communities but our own!
But there is one chapter to which we would briefly call attention, as perhaps the most perfect and complete part of this dissertation, and as peculiarly adapted to be useful in these times—that on the service of the Eucharist considered in a sacrificial view. The subject is a most interesting one, involving, as it does, many important points of doctrine. If it were not that we know that many learned divines have taught differently, we confess we should have thought Waterland's reasoning so convincing as to leave no room for doubt. However, as the library of Anglo-Catholic Theology has proposed to publish Johnson's “Unbloody Sacrifice" this year, it is but fair that this chapter of Waterland should be studied with it, containing, as we cannot but think, a masterly and satisfactory answer to that treatise. We, for our part, are entirely with Waterland, because we judge it wiser not to go beyond the doctrines of our Church, who in her commnnion service acknowledges no material sacrifice of the bread and wine, but only the spiritual sacrifice of praise
and thanksgiving, the reasonable holy and lively sacrifice of our souls and bodies (and even there she has given the minister the choice of another prayer, containing no mention of any sacrifice whatever); because Holy Scripture speaks, certainly, of these sacrifices of prayer and thanksgiving, of alms and good works, of our souls and bodies dedicated to God's service, but not of any material sacrifice in the Gospel dispensation, as under the law (so that our Church is but guided in her silence by Holy Writ); because to return again to material sacrifices is, as it were, a return also, from what is better and higher, to legal and typical worship; because the fathers themselves, whose authority has been pleaded against the views of Waterland, and the general doctrines of our divines, speak of having rejected all gross service as the oblation of the fruits of the earth, cakes, and frankincense; as now “performing services fine and abstracted, intellectual and spiritual.” (P. 386.) How could they have done this, may we not ask with Waterland, had they believed the elements of the Eucharist to be a sacrifice ? Are bread and wine less sensible and gross than frankincense and oil, or can they be spiritual services? The Eucharist may, indeed, be a sacrifice in a higher sense than our prayers, and thanksgiving, and alms, and obedience, at other times; but only because it is the highest act of spiritual worship, containing in it prayers for grace, and a thankful and lively remembrance of our Lord's death, our alms offered at a most solemn time, and a fresh dedication of ourselves, our souls and bodies, to God's honour. So, too, again, we prefer the use of the word “table” to that of “ altar;” because Holy Scripture certainly speaks of a table, but not so certainly of an altar (the two passages, Matt. v. 23, and Heb. xiii. 10, supposed to do so, being, to say the least, very doubtful as to this point); because St. Paul, 1 Cor. x., seems directly to oppose the Lord's table to the altar of the service of Israel ; because our Church has never spoken of an altar, but always of the table in her communion service; because our Lord at his last supper instituted the communion of His body and blood at a table, and not an altar. But if we must speak of an altar, let us remember, that as we believe that we have now no material sacrifice, so we have no material altar, but only a mystical and spiritual one; that we come not to the Lord's Supper to sacrifice Christ again—no, not even in a figure (for no one surely has any right to sacrifice Christ but Himself), but by faith to feed upon Him who was once for all offered up for us on the cross. And are we thus seeking to lower the dignity of a divine appointment? We believe not; we are not afraid of doing so, while we adhere to the simplicity of Scripture and our scriptural Church, even though we may refuse to adopt literally all the rhetoric of the fathers, who, as old Latimer counsels us, are to be read warily with sound judgement, as they speak many times more vehemently in sound words than they mean, indeed. The spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, of a willing and hearty obedience, of a penitent and contrite heart, of alms to our poor brethren, is nobler and higher, surely, than any material or legal sacrifices of the bread and wine; more suited to the service of God, who is a Spirit, and would be worshipped in spirit and truth. The notion of a table is more affecting, recalls us directly to the institution of this holy sacrament, gives us a more lively notion of an heavenly banquet, of the union subsisting between those who meet together at one board, than any idea of an altar, which savours more of a Jewish than of a Christian spirit, and is something like a returning back to forms and types, figures and similitudes, almost a degrading of the spiritual to the ecclesiastical, of the real to the unreal, again. And when to this we add the consideration of how such words were abused in the darkness of the middle ages, till the Lord's Supper was gradually changed from a memorial to a sacrifice, and Christ was represented as offered daily for the quick and dead, should not this teach us to abstain from that which, though innocent in itself, was thus perverted? Does not common prudence suggest that there is danger of the same happening again, we do not say in the same degree, or to the same extent, but yet so as to render all reasonable men cautious, nay, even suspicious and anxious for the future? But we will say no more, lest we should seem to be teaching our own doctrine, instead of recommending that of Waterland, which is our present object. If anything we have said should induce any to study this treatise, we shall, we repeat it, be fully repaid.
In conclusion, we would call attention to the last two chapters--the practical part of this work—the preparation proper to the Holy Com. munion, and the obligation to frequent attendance. Sad, indeed, and mostlamentable, have been-and still, we fear, are—the differences amongst us concerning that very sacrament, which was instituted as a means of union, as a sign of the harmony and love that should subsist between all Christians; but here at least we may remember with thankfulness is a part of union, and that a practical one amongst us, where we may all, whatever be our opinions as to the doctrine concerning the Eucharist, labour in common to promote more frequent communion-a labour, in spite of improvement on this head, most necessary still. And may we not hope that if by any means we can attain to greater unity of sentiment, it will be by striving to live in such a state of charity one towards another, as may make us worthy partakers together at that holy table, where the angry feelings of controversy and dispute must be forgotten amongst those who are then united in closer communion with each other! For we must surely feel that we can never hope to realise the true unity of Christians, which our Lord prayed for, a unity not merely of outward form and government, but one of faith, hope, and love, whereby all men may know us to be His disciples, either by the triumph of intellect and learning on the one hand, or by the arbitrary decrees of ecclesiastical authority on the other; but only by the Christian graces of forbearance, and long-suffering, and gentleness, and, above all, of that holiness which alone has the scriptural promise of being led into all saving truth, even as it is written, If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.
D. Cahn, Printer, 6, Exmouth Street, Clerkenwell.
CHRISTIAN'S MONTHLY MAGAZINE
I. THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY.
SECRET HISTORY OF TRACTARIANISM.
THERE is something very significant in the fact that the Rev. Richard Hurrell Froude should have been born and should have died in the Parsonage-house of Dartington, Devon. It indicates a sentiment of local attachment, which, however amiable, is full of such prejudice as to incapacitate the subject for a world-wide view of human dealings. The early age (33), too, at which he died precludes the possibility of much experience. Under the pressure of disease, he seems to have left England and even Europe for a while ; but a mind suffering from ill health is apt to look at things with a jaundiced eye. Thus, his journeyings do not seem to have altered his views or improved his principles. As he began, so he ended ; having all along in the language of his biographers) trained himself “ in that discipline which shuns the light of the world.” + How much light must needs be excluded by such means! He died, however,“ before he could bring to perfection any of the PLANS which had suggested themselves to him for the advancement” I of the cause to which he was devoted. “Let it be certainly known to his friends,” continue the same editors, “ that he was firmly resolved never to shrink from anything not morally wrong, which he had good grounds to believe would really forward that cause;" $ that is,
he was willing to go all safe lengths in its promotion. The probable view which he took of his personal position, they state to be this : that “ he was a minister, not of any human establishment, but of the one Holy Church Catholic, which, among other places, is allowed, by her Divine Master, to manifest herself locally in England, and has, in former times, been endowed by the piety of her members : that the State has but secured, by law, those endowments which it could not seize without sacrilege, and, in return for this supposed boon, has encumbered the rightful possession of them by various conditions calculated to bring the Church into bondage: that her ministers, in consequence, are no way bound to throw themselves into the spirit of such enactmentsrather, are bound to keep themselves from the snare and guilt of them, and to observe only such a literal acquiescence as is all that the law requires in any case, all that an external oppressor has a right to ask.”*
The character given of Mr. Froude, as a boy, by his mother, shows an eccentric temper, of an ungovernable kind, revelling in the practice of what he called “funny tormenting,” and almost given up to “teasing play.” In the same spirit, he appears subsequently to have behaved in a similar manner towards his Mother-Church, and his brethren in her communion. His Journal shows, indeed, that he had to struggle, up to a late period, with much vicious propension-not, indeed, of an immoral kind, but relative to intellectual effort, opinion, and taste. He felt himself conceited, ill-tempered, and irritable. Much there was, no doubt, constitutional in this ; but it was calculated to and did operate mischievously on his mental developement. Hence he was haunted by a sense of “mental imbecility;" and “the consciousness of having capacities for happiness, with no objects to gratify them :" + bad symptoms, both, of incipient insanity. He was beset by selfish hypocondria—not attending to what other people liked; getting annoyed when things went the least wrong; being unable to submit himself to the will of his father in indifferent matters ; provoked at the least slight to himself, yet slighting others in the most glaring way, almost amounting to insult; besides always expecting concessions, though never ready to make them. I Here we have renewed the kind of experiences which distinguish the Loyola tribe of religionists; and, as we proceed in the Journal, we find recourse had to similar means of discipline, abstinence, and self-mortifications, for the purpose of subduing the pangs of the conscience by the sufferings of the body. The presence of pews in the Exeter Cathedral annoyed him ; but he makes all square by accepting it as a voluntary penance. A forgetfulness of an intention to fast, is a sin requiring especial vigilance in future. At another time, he finds that he has been - disgustingly enthusiastic all the morning, and wanted some dry, steady occupation." $ All this is fever-not piety. Sometimes he refines on this uneasy and unhealthy
* Preface, p. xv. I P. 10.
t Journal, vol. i., p. 7. § P. 13.