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may be written on the subject." Mr. Katterns concludes that, in selecting this course, the Trustees acted from a consciousness of “weakness." He therefore declares, in a tone of exultation, that “the Executive Committee of the AntiState-Church Association," and of course himself, as its literary champion, “may retire from their position with honour," having "every reason to be satisfied" " with this tacit acknowledgment of weakness on the part of their opponents."
It is worthy observation, that whilst Mr. Katterns, on the behalf of himself and the Committee for whom he professes to write, thus claims a triumph, he boasts of no splendid achievement in the overthrow of formidable adversaries. On the contrary, according to his representations of their controversial skill and prowess, the victory was of easy and certain attainment. His adversaries embarked in the contest with an imbecility which, tacitly at least, they have acknowledged. Though they counted in their ranks "three Doctors and a Master of Arts," and brought to their aid a fourth upper graduate, seldom designated by his academical title, “ Dr." Blackstone, yet such sorry dialecticians are they, so incapable both of comprehending and conducting an argument, that their abortive attempts at reasoning actually “fill him with astonishment.” But, notwithstanding this very low estimate of the intellectual strength of his opponents, and his alleged conviction that he and his friends might now “retire from their position with honour," " SATISFIED” with their success, Mr. Katterns betrays no very equivocal symptoms of misgivings as to the judgment which the public might form upon the actual merits and result of the controversy. It is quite evident that he is oppressed by the conviction that he could not, even whilst he boasted of victory, safely leave the matter where it stood. Hence was suggested the “ wish to vindicate the facts and reasonings” of his pamphlet, which was followed by an elaborate disquisition on the subjects in dispute, occupying no less than three columns of the newspaper.
This “vindication" is directed against both the Appendix of the Trustees and the reviewer in the Christian Reformer. But as Mr. Katterns has done little more than reiterate his former statements, except, indeed, introducing into the controversy the long-exploded argumentum ad invidiam founded upon the imputation of political profligacy to Sir Robert Walpole and his alleged Dissenting dupes in the first bestowal of the Royal Grant, we deem it wholly unnecessary to occupy our pages with any observations in justification of our review. We are quite content, so far as we are individually concerned, to leave the controversy to the impartial judgment of such persons as feel an interest in the subject, and are inclined to peruse and to deliberate upon the arguments advanced by the contending parties.
There is, however, a part of Mr. Katterns' letter which relates exclusively to ourselves, upon which it is necessary we should make a few remarks.
1. We are accused by him, first, of endeavouring “to divest the 'Reply' of the sanction and authority of the Committee by which it was published, in order to fall foul of him as an individual." But he has not informed us by what evidence we were to be assured that the pamphlet really carried with it such "sanction and authority." It is the ordinary, if not the universal, custom of associated bodies, when they address the public through the press, to authenticate their documents by attaching to them the name of some recognized functionary. Of this fact, the newspapers of every day furnish ample proofs. This rule was well understood by this very Committee, and properly acted upon, in the publication of their " Address to the Distributors and Recipients of the Parliamentary Grant;" for to that document were appended the names of the three Secretaries of the Association. But we look in vain in the “Reply" for any such proof of official emanation, or indeed for any other evidence of the “ imprimatur" of the Committee, beyond the title-page, which, in such a case, we certainly did not deem sufficient.
2. We are next accused of treating the pamphlet as anonymous, though Mr. Katterns name had, he affirms, been published as the author in several periodicals. * We beg to assure Mr. Katterns, in reply, that at the time our article was prepared we had no knowledge or intimation whatever as to the name of the writer, and that the first announcement made to us of his having avowed himself to be the author was contained in his letter in the Patriot of the 21st of February, now before us. At this moment, indeed, we write the name in doubt; for in this very paper, in the advertisement of the publications of the Anti-State-Church Association, we find one article, entitled “Organization," ascribed to the Rev. D. Ratterns.
3. We are accused of dishonesty, in changing the plural number into the singular, and then marking the passage with inverted commas as a quotation. We admit that the insertion of the inverted commas was an error, but an inadvertent one. The change of number did not, however, affect the import of the passage, which we interpreted to refer to the author. In the “Reply," the words of the writer are. The full severity of our censure is designed rather for the recipients. Wrapped up in their dishonourable concealment, they are beyond our reach.” Our alleged offence is the substitution in the two places of his for OUR. Mr. Katterns states that by this alteration we have done him injury. “When the Reply,” he observes," is thus deprived of the imprimatur of the Committee, it is easy for this writer to establish against me a charge of presumption; for what would be only dignified language for a Society, might be arrogant in the lips of an individual." This, we confess, is a refinement in literary morality which we do not comprehend. We know not by what magic that which is arrogant and presumptuous, and therefore offensive and reprehensible, in the language of an individual writer, can be transformed into what is dignified, and, as such, honourable and commendable, when employed by a multitude. In our estimation, numbers cannot sanctify that which in any way or in any circumstances offends against good taste and sound morality.
4. Another accusation preferred against us is that of charging the author of the “ Reply” with “gratuitous slanders." We will not shrink from this accnsation, harsh as it may seem, whilst the language of the “Reply” remains unaltered. Mr. Katterns says the charge is made without the production of a single instance." He must allow us, in reply, to refer him to the passage of the review where the words occur. Perhaps we are not agreed as to what constitutes slander. We deem that to be slander which imputes to men esteemed by those who best know them for their moral excellence, "a lack of principle" and a conduct that is “ dishonourable ;" and these are moral delinquencies distinctly imputed by the author of the “ Reply" to the recipients of the Parliamentary Grant,--and imputed, we affirm, “gratuitously,” without the shadow of proof.
5. Lastly, it is complained of us, that we have said the author had concluded with a sneer. We regret that a regard to truth will not allow us to conciliate Mr. Katterns by retracting this term. We thought, and we still think, that there was nothing in Dr. Smith's words to warrant the offensive language of the “Reply." He had not, perhaps, expressed himself so fully and explicitly as to be secure from misconstruction; but quite sure we are that no candid reader, free from the biases of controversial zeal, could have failed to understand Dr. Smith's meaning to be, that if a case of malversation were laid before him, supported by proper evidence, he would do his best to investigate it, with a view to a practical object-to provide, if possible, a remedy for the past, and prevent the recurrence of the evil for the future, an investigation in which he would, if necessary, have the support of the Lords of the Treasury, and the legal aid of Her Majesty's Attorney-General.
With these remarks we shall close our notice of Mr. Katterns' paper. The words of anger, the imputations of " malice," " misrepresentation," &c., with which he has been pleased to embellish his letter, we shall pass by in silence. They are little elegantiæ of controversy, occasionally employed to impart a meretricious brilliancy to the style of the polemic, but contribute nothing to the force of his reasoning or the justice and triumph of his cause.
The Ecclesiastic, a Magazine relating to the Affairs of the Church, Education, &c., No. III., March, 1846.-This Magazine, which commenced its existence with the present year, professes to act on the rule of "setting forth the distinctive principles of the Church boldly and uncompromisingly, with as little reference as possible to those who may be supposed to differ." Its pages, from first to last, are characterized by the bold intolerance and Pharisaic insolence of the worst class of the Anglo-Catholic or Oxford school of Churchmen. Its first article has amused us, and an extract or two may amuse our readers. Its title is, “The Office of Priests." In one brief sentence, the Ecclesiastic dismisses the controversial portion of his subject, and with a “forty-parson power” of candour says, “Few persons who have given ordinary attention to the subject will not receive it as a postulate, that the order of Priesthood is of Apostolic and therefore of Divine origin.” Again, “ The Apostolic Succession is a vital doctrine. An Oxford Creed would not be less damnatory than that of St. Athanasius, but it would be more comprehensive, and would take in Apostolic Succession and some other articles of faith, which Oxford clergymen love in the inverse ratio of their accordance with Scripture."
First, the writer treats on the relation of the Priest to his Bishop. Upon this topic, the Ecclesiastic will be deemed a little latitudinarian; for he deprecates as unworthy of a true Priest, “a blind submission to every dictum of a Bishop." For a moment, when our eye fell on the words “ tyrannical Bishops," our thoughts turned to those imperious Spiritual Lords, Charles James of London and Henry of Exeter. But on reading the passage through, we came to the conclusion that the Ecclesiastic's thoughts were more probably in the diocese of Dublin or Norwich or Durham. “For unhappily," he says, “instances both from the past and present history of the Church are not wanting to prove, that unless Priests had resisted the encroachments of tyrannical Bishops, they might have had Episcopal sanction for heresy, latitudinarianism and irreverence of all kinds." Then comes an exposition of the parochial duties of the Priest. He is to bear witness by an ascetic life against a luxurious age. He is not " to emulate the vulgar extravagance of rich merchants and cotton lords." He is strictly to observe the rubrics and canons of the Church, to institute daily prayer, and to revive the confessional, which, notwithstanding “its too general desuetude,” is declared to be “obligatory.” The motive of the Ecclesiastic in reviving confession is ingenuously enough disclosed. “To have the thoughts, failings and sins of others in our keeping, is a hold upon our confidence and trustfulness stronger than that which arises from any other relation. The confessional is, so to speak, the very talisman of sacerdotal power." The Ecclesiastic alludes to the “mock confessional of Methodists and other schismatics,” but admits that theirs, relating though it does "to feelings, not to faults," is a most effectual bond of union. With what spirit the Ecclesiastic would have his Priest treat them that differ, may be seen from his summary of “those who are separated from the services and communion of the Church :" they are “either Heathens who are as yet not elected to CHRIST's mystical Body, or heretics, who for pertinaciously denying some truth which has been certainly revealed, are denounced as corruptors of the faith, or persons excommunicated on account of false doctrine, heresy, schism, or ungodly living." He owns that the question how the Priest is to treat them “that have voluntarily separated from the Church, whether as heretics, schismatics or profane persons," is "his most perplexing difficulty." In addition to the sin of schism, Dissenters, he says, glory in their separation, "and not a few, so far from shewing signs of contrition or sorrow, openly denounce and abuse the Church." But, on the whole, the Ecclesiastic recommends tenderness to "the sin of Dissent," on the ground that the Church's neglect has occasioned “the great mass of sectaries," who have thus become “sinners” from the neglect of men in holy orders. But, lest his Christian charity should betray him into the sad evil of latitudinarianism, he concludes by exhorting his Priest not to abstain from the open censure of Dissent, and “to preach against 'it, as well as against other sins."--It is a sad reflection, that bigotry and spiritual pride, gross and offensive as this, is the kind of food that suits the palates of Rectors, Vicars and Curates, in half the parishes of England, and that to persons so utterly incapable of comprehending its divine philosophy, and illustrating its precepts of honour to all men, is entrusted the preaching of Christ's holy and love-breathing gospel.
That a writer in a work like that now brought before the notice of our readers, should have little knowledge of Unitarianism, and less love for it, is what we are prepared to expect. But that his hostility should betray him into so foolish an attempt as to identify “ Socinianism and Pantheism,” which is the title of the fourth article, is surprising. The proofs adduced to sustain this calumny are of course taken from some of the least defensible works included in the series of publications known by the name of the Catholic Series.
Of Mr. Emerson's Essays (from which the Ecclesiastic quotes), we have already expressed in this Magazine a strong opinion, and are rejoiced to know that very many Unitarians heartily agree in the view we were led to take. We repudiate entirely Mr. Emerson, and some other writers in the Catholic Series, as exponents of Unitarian sentiments. Whether they are Pantheists, we will not take upon ourselves to decide; but they have no claim—some of them no wish—to be included amongst Christian Unitarians. The Ecclesiastic quotes the well-known passage from Emerson's University Sermon, in which he denies the Divine personality. He that appears in public to charge a religious body with a dangerous heresy, is bound to make himself familiar with the writings and history of the persons whom he attacks. The Ecclesiastic, therefore, knows, or ought to know, that this sermon was immediately censured by Mr. Emerson's colleague, the Professor of Pastoral Theology in Harvard University, the late Henry Ware. (See Life of Ware, Chap. XX.) Not content with a private letter of remonstrance, Dr. Ware preached in the University chapel, and afterwards published, a sermon on " the Personality of the Deity." Unitarians will generally agree with Dr. Ware in the opinion, “ that men are suffering from want of sufficiently realizing the fact of the Divine Person.” The system of Unitarianism, as gathered from the Scriptures, Old and New, enforces the existence of one God in one person. It is at the very antipodes of Pantheism, which “reduces the Almighty Creator to a mere abstraction—a pervading soul of the universe, of which every thing, animate and inanimate, shares some part.” None can so strictly or consistently enforce the personality of God as Unitarians. We will not imitate the coarse injustice of the Ecclesiastic, and identify Trinitarianism and Pantheism ; but if we were actuated by his evil spirit, we could out of his own pages construct proofs sufficiently plausible to support the assertion. When he distributes the Divinity into three persons, and then proceeds to assert the personality of Satan, and, as a counterpoise, to declare the personality of ministering angels, he does much to mystify a subject difficult enough in itself, and to give a handle to the scoffer.
We shall not stay to discuss “the sympathy of spirit” which the Ecclesiastic finds between « Mr. James Martineau," “the American writers, Emerson and Channing," and “ several distinguished Germans.” As regards Dr. Channing, we unhesitatingly denounce the charge that he taught “ Socinianism and Pantheism," as an unfounded calumny. With respect to Mr. Martineau's writings, we do not profess always to understand them; but those who do, deny the Pantheistic tendency. But let it not be forgotten, whatever Mr. Martineau's opinions may be, Unitarianism is no more responsible for them than he is for the opinions expressed in this Magazine. As a man of genius, he has our admiration, but we cannot make him the guide of our faith.
man community. Whilst, on the one Ronge and the New Reformation.
hand, the Evangelical Gazette, a wor
thy organ of the orthodox spirit, which At the close of the year which has is conducted at Berlin by Professor just terminated, there appeared at Jena Hengstenberg, launched little short of a work of Dr. Gunther, containing a excommunication against those Chriscomplete collection of all the articles tians who were being born again in the and confessions of the German Catho. light of Christ, without submitting to lic Church. We can thus by a single ancient forms,-on the other side we glance survey all these formularies, have seen the celebrated theologians, and through their general features can Zimmermann, Bretschneider, Rohr, well perceive the character, the ten- Paulus, and many others, express themdency and fervour of the movement of selves in their favour, with as much our German Catholic brethren. We knowledge and good policy as fervour perceive at once that these formulas and charity. From one of these divines differ much one from the other, with we are about to borrow a general and regard to the frankness of their narra- concise picture of the peculiar chative, and above all to the latitude of racter of the New German Refortheir principles. These differences, of mation. We find its features exactly little real importance in themselves, described in a Preface which Dr. shew well the sincerity of these re- Bretschneider, of Gotha, has placed at formers, each society of whom has ex- the head of Dr. Gunther's confessional pressed the truth as understood by collection. We will allow this learned itself, without following the proceed- and impartial divine to speak for ings of its neighbour. Here may be himself. seen the conviction which overcomes “The project of collecting and placing party-spirit. In some of these con- side by side the articles of faith already fessions, it may be perceived that these proposed by the Christian Catholic Christians have had some difficulty in communities, merits all our approdefinitely and clearly renouncing the bation, since no one can deny that this doctrines of Mass and of Transubstan- movement of reform among the German tiation. Luther experienced something Catholics is one of the most important of this same hesitation. Notwithstand events of the present time. The results ing, these new formularies are expressed of this movement will not confer benefor the most part frankly on these fits on Germany alone; they will moredoctrines, so difficult to eradicate from over exercise a permanent influence pious minds educated in Catholicism. over the whole Roman Catholic Church. The most remarkable fact in their con. This new Reformation has already fessions is their clear denial of the commenced in such a manner, has alauthority of Rome. As to positive views, ready struck its roots so deep, that no not one, or scarcely one, goes as far one will be able to arrest its progress, as what we may call at the present unless the formidable arm of power be time ancient Protestant orthodoxy. We employed against it,--a thing which in may say that all stop short of old Lu- our days cannot take place. Even this theranism and Calvinism. As to the means would not produce any lasting details of their faith, they confine them effects, if we may judge, at least, by selves to the Creed of the Apostles ; the experience of times past. The three only propose the Nicene formu- collection of their articles of faith now lary. But in the midst of this silence forms an authentic compilation, whence and just neglect of scholastic propo- each may derive a correct knowledge sitions, it is eminently remarkable and of the nature and progress of Catholic consoling to see that all affirm, “ that reform, and obtain an enlightened judgthe Sacred Writings are the sole and ment of it. We see in this collection, only healthful source of the Christian on one side the diversities of religious faith.” It is, moreover, quite inaccu- opinion among the communities, and rate to pretend that the wisest and on the other, the decisive and importmost celebrated Lutheran theologians ant denials in which they all coincide. have kept apart from this so satisfac- This shews us that the particular dogma tory movement in the religious ideas of the Roman Catholic Church, upon the of their fellow-countrymen of the Ro- base of which the theory of the abso