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ceedingly gradual, and every stage of it is successively vindicated, the book is necessarily a kind of running criticism on almost every Christian creed, and the whole circle of Christian Evidences; and elicits in each case a negative result. By this aggressive process nothing is brought out of which Mr. Newman's previous book had not given ample notice. Yet to most of his readers this wholly destructive character will assuredly be painful; and many who, with ourselves, have been penetrated with affectionate admiration for his transparent truthfulness and elevation of soul, will feel it a sorrow to lose the sympathy of such a mind in some of their most cherished persuasions. The earlier treatise so abounded in passages of solemn and tender devotion, that the reader was borne on the wing over the chasms in its faith, and no more felt its doubts than he would pause upon a heresy let fall in prayer. But the present work cannot, from its very nature, bespeak the affections by any such pre-engagement. It is rigorously logical : and though the author's fearlessness is manifestly the simple inspiration of a pure and trustful heart, yet the relentless way in which he follows out a single line of thought, and hurries you along it as if it were the whole surface of the truth, provokes something of natural resistance. You feel yourself in the presence of a mind wholly incapable of the least moral unfairness or ingenious self-deception, and devoted with absolute singleness to the quest of the true and the good : but at the same time, too much distinguished by intellectual impetuosity and the intense flow of sympathies in one particular channel, to attain a judicial largeness of view. Hence the work produces all its effect at once : and while many will utter warnings against reading it at all, our counsel would be to read it twice. For ourselves at least we must confess that, where our admiration and even reverence are so strongly enlisted, we are apt to be carried away at first beyond the bounds of our permanent convictions; to take over-precautions against our own pre-judgments; and yield ourselves too freely to the hand of a guidance felt to be generous and noble: and it requires time and calm review to recover from the mingled self-distrust and sympathy with which such companionship as our author's inspires us.
To the earlier part of this book singular freshness is given by its autobiographical form, and the perfect simplicity with which it lays open every state of mind bearing on the subsequent developments of opinion. The sketch so slightly given of the thoughtful and serious schoolboy, derided by hearts yet free from the claim of God, and comforted by the kindly clergyman who could read the spirit at work within; of the youth at Confirmation, chilled by the dry questions of the Examiner, and repelled by the sleeves and formality of the Bishop; of the Freshman at Oxford, signing the articles in all the joy of passionate belief, and then finding that among companions they were objects of general indifference; will wake in many a heart affecting memories of life's most fervid and fruitful hours. How far his religious life might have found a less troubled development, had it commenced under a simpler scheme of doctrine, we will not pretend to decide. But it is evident that so active an intellect, enclosed within the complicated economy of Calvinism, gave his faith no chance of long repose : and during his undergraduate course many questions had arisen, on the imputation of Christ's righteousness, on the obligation of the Sabbath, on the ground of difference between the Mosaic sacrifices and the Christian Atonement, on the meaning of the words “One” and “Three” in the Athanasian Creed, all of which he had answered in an unorthodox sense. But, above all, he had given up the doctrine of Infant Baptism, and on this account was almost deterred from the re-signature essential to his Bachelor's degree. Though he overcame his scruples thus far, they exercised a most important influence on the subsequent course of his life; deterring him from entering the Church; determining (we imagine) the class of Christians (the Baptists) whose communion he was afterwards to join; and bringing out for the first time that strong contrast between the brothers Newman, which has become so striking in its results. We have often heard the remark, that the radical characteristics of these two men are essentially the same; that the great problem of faith presented itself under like conditions to both; that their solutions, opposite as they seem, exhaust the logical alternative of the case, and are but the positive and negative roots of one equation; and that, but for accidental
causes, or the overbalance of a casual feeling, their paths might never have diverged. Upon the evidence of their writings, this estimate has always appeared to us curiously false : and a passage in the present volume, which exhibits the divergence at its commencement, corrects the opinion in a manner deeply instructive. Speaking of his crisis of difficulty respecting Baptism, our author says :
“One person there was at Oxford, who might have seemed my natural adviser : his name, character, and religious peculiarities have been so made public property, that I need not shrink to name him :-I mean my elder brother, the Rev. John Henry Newman. As a warm-hearted and generous brother, who exercised towards me paternal cares, I esteemed him and felt a deep gratitude; as a man of various culture and peculiar genius, I admired and was proud of him ; but my doctrinal religion impeded my loving him as much as he deserved, and even justified my feeling some distrust of him. He never showed any strong attraction towards those whom I regarded as spiritual persons : on the contrary, I thought him stiff and cold towards them. Moreover, soon after his ordination, he had startled and distressed me by adopting the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration; and in rapid succession, worked out views which I regarded as full-blown Popery. I speak of the years 1823-6: it is strange to think that twenty years more had to pass before he learnt the place to which his doctrines belonged.
“ In the earliest period of my Oxford residence, I fell into uneasy collision with him concerning Episcopal powers. I had on one occasion dropt something disrespectful against Bishops or a Bishop, something which, if it had been said about a Clergyman, would have passed unnoticed; but my brother checked and reproved me, thought, very uninstructively,for wanting reverence towards Bishops. I knew not then, and I know not now, why Bishops, as such, should be more reverenced than common clergymen ; or Clergymen, as such, more than common men. I was willing to honour a Lord Bishop as a Peer of Parliament, but his office was to me no guarantee of spiritual eminence. To find my brother thus stop my mouth, was a puzzle; and impeded all free speech towards him.”—P. 10.
Whence this incapacity for sympathy between two minds, both noble, both affectionate, trained in the same home, enriched by the same culture, intent upon the same ends With reasoning powers equally acute, and equally uncorrupted by passion or by self, they could not have found concurrence impossible, had it been within the
resources of logic or of faithfulness. The difference, we are persuaded, ascends behind these, and lies in the original data from which each inquirer proceeded as his primary conditions of belief: and we conceive that difference to be one which radically separates Catholic from Evangelical Churches, rendering their approximation intrinsically impossible, and limiting each to the range of one class of minds. A passing remark of our author's unconsciously opens to us the seat of this difference.
“For any one to avow that Reyeneration took place in Baptism, seemed to me little short of a confession that he had never himself experienced what Regeneration is."-P. 15.
The new birth,—that is to say,—is something which must be felt, and felt under riper conditions than those of the infant Soul ; felt as a lifted weight of sin, a broken bondage of self, a free surrender to the will of a forgiving God. This reconciliation of heart, this joyful spring of free affection into the infinite arms, is a fact in the history of thousands : and to him who knows it, it is vain to speak of any other Regeneration. To tell him that the sprinkled babe, in whom he sees nothing supervene, and who is evidently conscious of nothing but the water drops, undergoes the stupendous change of a Divine adoption, seems to him to degrade the economy of Heaven to a level with the arts of conjuring. When God breaks into the human soul, shall it be without a trace ? Must he not shake it to its centre ? and as he obliterates its guilt, shall there be no sense of clearness, and no tears of joy to make a fruitful place for every seed of holiness? Thus the Evangelical insists on consciousness as an indispensable evidence of a divine change; and can accept nothing as spiritual except what declares itself, within the human spirit and exalts its highest action: and further, the kind of experience for which he looks is not possible to every mind, but is incident especially to passionate and impulsive souls. Not all good men, however, are formed in this mould: many who devoutly seek a union with God, and who believe a new birth to be the prerequisite condition, are never vividly conscious of any Divine irruption for the emancipation of their nature: and for the erasure of guilt and the visitation of grace they must look back beyond the period of memory to the cradle CHRISTIAN TEACHER.-No. 49.
of their life, and its earliest consecration : when they were born of water, they were doubtless born of the spirit too. True, the saving touch was reported to them by no feeling: but are there not secret workings of God ? and shall we deny Him because his approach is gentle, and his spirit, instead of tearing us in storm, spreads through us insensibly like a purifying atmosphere? What binders him from redeeming and improving a nature that knows not its benefactor except by faith? If his presence lurks throughout unconscious Nature, and is the unfelt source of all the beauty, life, and order there, by what right can we affirm that his Spirit cannot evade our consciousness ? According to this view, which dispenses with the evidence of personal experience, the Soul, in the reception of grace, is regarded externally, as a natural object submitted to the disinfecting influence of God: and the Divine Spirit is treated as a kind of physical power of transcendent efficacy -or at least as an agency permeating physical natures, and so refining them as to transfigure them into spiritual life. No exact boundary is here drawn between the realm of sense and that of spirit,-between the material energy and the moral interposition of God ;—they melt into one another under the mediation of a kind of spiritual chemistry, descending into organic force on the one hand, and rising into the inspiration of holiness on the other. This appears to us to be the conception which underlies the peculiarities of Catholicism. Hence, the invariable presence of some physical element in all that it looks upon as venerable. Its rites are a manipular invocation of God. Its miracles are examples of incarnate divineness in old clothes and winking pictures. Its ascetic discipline is founded on the notion of a gradual consumption of the grosser body by the encroaching fire of the spirit; till in the estatica, the frame itself becomes ethereal, and the light shines through. Nothing can be more offensive than all this to the Evangelical conception; which plants the natural and the spiritual in irreconcileable contradiction, denies to them all approach or contact, and allows each to exist only by the extinction of the other. They belong virtually to opposite influences -of Satan and of God. They follow opposite methods,-of necessary law and of free grace. They are cognizable by opposite faculties, of