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the bishops, assisted by the clergy of their respective dioceses, and in them is vested the right to manage and direct all its affairs. This is the theory of the polity of the Church according to the views of the Anglo-Catholic party. They maintain that a visible society was established by Christ and his apostles, whose constitution and government are one and uniform, that in this constitution prelacy forms an essential element, without which no community of professing Christians can be considered a part of the Catholic Church of Christ, and that by the grace of the episcopal order alone is any efficacy imparted to the administration of the word and sacraments." - pp. 243, 244.
Add to this the language which Mr. Madge quotes from one of the Tracts for the Times, "Why should we not seriously endeavor to impress our people with the plain truth, that by separating themselves from our communion, they separate themselves not only from a decent, orderly, useful society, but from the only Church in this realm which has a right to be quite sure that she has the Lord's body to give to the people," and then let any one say if he is not prepared to adopt Mr. Madge's judgment; of the correctness of which, if from want of further information he entertain any doubt, let him read the writings of Newman, Pusey, Palmer, Froude, and other advocates of "the Anglo-Catholic System :-"
"Of the Tractarian theology we may say generally, that false principles, false statements, false reasoning, and false inferences are among its marked and distinguishing characteristics. After having bestowed upon it much attention, I have been brought to the conviction that never before was there put forward a theory, -carrying with it such lofty pretensions and pregnant with such momentous consequences, -so utterly wanting in everything like evidence, so entirely resting upon far-fetched inferences, subtle distinctions, and unauthorized assumptions." - pp. 87,88.
We find in this volume another quotation from a writer of the same school, so remarkable in its character, that we cannot but transfer it to our pages. It is the ultimate point of Trinitarian "concessions," and gives up the Bible to the Unitarian. Hear what "the Rev. W. J. E. Bennett, a clergyman nominated, it is said, by the Bishop of London to one of the largest churches in his diocese," can say, as his words "appeared in the Record newspaper."
"If we are satisfied that Scripture is Scripture - that is, that our Bibles, as we possess them now, do contain God's real word,
- if in this we are satisfied, then let me mark out to you a few things which I do not think you could, or any Christian could, have found out for himself in that Bible, things which I do not imagine would have been articles of our faith so peremptorily pronounced as they are, had there not been such a thing as tradition, or the teaching of the Church; for instance, the doctrine of the holy Trinity. Is it possible, my brethren, do you think, that you, or I, or any one, be he ever so gifted with the powers of man, could have deduced and invented for himself this most wonderful and mysterious doctrine out of the Bible? There is no mention of the Trinity in unity to be found in Scripture in so many direct words. That God is one and yet three, three and yet one, is not said, in so many distinct words, in the Bible; and yet it is a most vital doctrine. We have always had it in the Church." - pp. 112, 113.
"We have always had it in the Church," says Mr. Bennett. But mark what another expounder of the new theology says, in "Tracts for the Times, No. 85."
"The early Church did herself conceal these same church doctrines. Viewing that early period as a whole, there is on the whole a great secrecy observed in it concerning such doctrines as the Trinity and the Eucharist; that is, the early Church did the very thing which I have been supposing Scripture does, — conceal these high truths.". - p. 168.
So then the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be "found out in the Bible," and was "concealed" by the early Church. Yet it is a most vital doctrine." Is this the way God deals with his children-hiding from their sight the truths which it is important they should believe? We assent, with the heartiest conviction, to the statement that no marks of a belief in the Trinity can be found in the Bible or in the early Church; and the inference we leave to be drawn by any person of common sense.
A short extract which we will make from the seventh Lecture, includes much solid thought.
"Between the exercise of individual freedom of thought and action, and the authority assumed by the Church of Rome to determine absolutely what is Christian truth and what, therefore, we are to believe and profess, there lies no intermediate ground or position. If we deny to man the rights of reason and conscience, and establish an ecclesiastical domination in their place, it becomes merely a matter of calculation and prudence how far that domination shall be carried whether it shall or shall not proceed to the length to which it has sometimes proceeded, that
is, to the enforcement of its decrees by the infliction of pains and penalties. The Church of England and other churches besides have substituted, instead of the infallible authority of the Pope or general councils, a priestly authority or a church authority, which is equally inconsistent with the right and the duty of individual judgment. But as this judgment will and must be exercised; as it is impossible to prevent men from exercising it; as all attempts to do so have been as vain and impotent as they have been cruel and unjust; no church, which does not recognize and concede this right, can have any claim to be called a Catholic or universal Church. It becomes at once a limited and exclusive church, not a general and comprehensive one. It draws around it a line of demarcation by which the wisest and best men must often be kept out of its communion.” — pp. 273, 274.
To this passage we may append another brief paragraph, from the same Lecture, in which Mr. Madge explains the principles of Church union as held by Unitarians.
"The basis of our union, as a Church, is simply that of agreement as to the Object of worship, the divine commission and authority of our spiritual lawgiver, and the right of every individual to interpret for himself the records of revelation, and to form, hold, and profess whatever opinions that interpretation may lead him to adopt. The principle on which our religious communion is founded is wide and comprehensive, - designed to include all who are content with scriptural forms of worship and scriptural terms of fellowship."-p. 288.
One more quotation we will give from the fifth Lecture, commending it to the perusal of those who find it difficult to understand what Unitarians mean.
"This is what we mean by the sufficiency of Scripture. In contending for that sufficiency, it is not meant that Scripture alone should be read and studied, and that we should throw
aside every means, that we should despise and reject every help, that might enable us more correctly to ascertain its meaning, and more fully to enter into its spirit. This would be a monstrous perversion, a most pernicious abuse of the maxim, "that the Bible only is the religion of Protestants." All that is to be understood by it is, that no other work carries with it the same title to our regard and submission, and that when once its principles are clearly ascertained, they furnish the only authoritative rule for Christian faith and practice; that no other writings, of whatever age or country they may be, can be allowed to come into competition with them, -to qualify their statements or to supersede their authority; that on every question, where *7
they speak positively and explicitly, their decision is paramount and final; and that no opinion or practice, unsanctioned by them, is to be received as a necessary and essential part of the Christian scheme." - pp. 203, 204.
The pretensions which are so ably treated in the volume before us, are not known to us only as belonging to the history of religion in another land. There is a High Church party in this country, which, if it have not yet accepted all the propositions of the Oxford Tractarians, evidently relishes their writings and looks with favor upon the principles which they have advanced. The point on which their discussions and counsels turn, is every day acquiring fresh interest. The controversies of the next few years may, not improbably, revolve around it. This point is the Church. What is the Church? What is its authority? What its importance? What its true place among Christian ideas, or Christian influences? These questions demand attention, and deserve an answer. We propose in the remainder of this article- taking advantage of the opportunity afforded us by our notice of Mr. Madge's book — to offer a few remarks that may indicate the true reply, especially to the last of these questions.
A high value, then, we at once admit, and, if necessary, are prepared to show, is placed upon the Church, in the New Testament. It is spoken of as something, whether it be an institution or a community—an organization to which the form is essential, or a brotherhood which exists only through the force of sentiment, it is spoken of as something entitled to the special regards of the believer. It is represented as sustaining important relations, and the union between the Church and Christ in particular is made the subject of frequent notice and highly wrought description. It needs not a very close study of the language which is used, to satisfy us that neither the Evangelists nor the Apostles considered the Church as a visible organization, deriving its validity from the form in which it was The Church in the New Testament is the whole company of believers, the uncounted and wide-spread congregation of those who receive the Gospel as the law of life. It is co-extensive with Christianity; it is the living Christianity of the time, be that more or less, be it express
ed in one mode of worship or another, in one or another variety of internal discipline. The Church of Christ comprehends, and is composed of all his followers.
This is the simple idea of the Church which we find in the New Testament. And to this idea, as we have said, the minds of the sacred writers were fond of recurring. They loved to collect the members of Christ, as they styled them, under one idea, and present them to their readers in this relation of unity. Thus viewed, the Church became the emblem of Christian influences and Christian benefits. It expressed all that Christ had lived for, or died for. He had "loved it, and given himself for it." It was "the pillar and ground of the truth." It was "the body," of which he was the head.
But there was another idea on which the Apostles, in imitation of their Master, insisted yet more strenuouslythe idea of the individual. They taught the importance of the individual soul. Around this, as the one object of interest, were gathered the revelations and commandments of the Gospel. Personal responsibleness—in view of privileges, duties, sins, and temptations - was their great theme. They preached the Gospel to the soul in its individual exposure and want. It is the peculiarity of our religion, its vital peculiarity, that it makes the individual the object of its address, its influence, its immediate and its final action. Christianity divested of this distinction becomes powerless, and void of meaning. It contradicts and subverts itself. The instructions, the warnings, the promises, the aids of the Gospel are concentrated upon each disciple in all their force, as if he were alone in the world.
Here, then, we find two ideas, each of them inseparable from the Christian faith, which seem to be contrary to one another. Is there an actual collision between them, or may they be harmonized? Are they mutually destructive
these ideas of the Church and the individual? And must we take our choice between them, - give up the Church that we may retain our personal relation to Christ, or sacrifice individuality to our belief in the Church? No, neither. The two ideas cannot be irreconcilable, because they both belong to the Gospel, which includes no inharmonious elements. Yet how shall they be reconciled?
This is one of the problems which past ages have been