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Hilary a witness in support of the mischievous doctrine of the sinfulness of Christ's humanity, although it is notorious that * Hilary was altogether unsound on the subject of our Lord's 'humanity; unsound, however, not as the gentlemen of the
Morning Watch would represent him to have been, as their supporter,--but unsound, inasmuch as he fell into an error,
very antipodes of that with which the Morning Watch is chargeable!!! Hilary, so far from supporting the Morning • Watch, actually fell into the error which the writers in the
Morning Watch profess to combat, and which they charge upon the religious world. Hilary almost explained away the humanity of our Lord, in his zeal against the Arians. In his 'Treatise on the Trinity, he devotes the tenth book to the purpose . of proving, that Christ was incapable of feeling even hunger, thirst, pain, weariness, or the other sinless infirmities of our nature; and in order to make good his theory, he has not ' feared to deny the authenticity of some parts of the Gospels ? 'Yet Hilary is appealed to by the Morning Watch! Truly we ' think a little more of modesty in pretension, and a little less of
that spirit which“ despises others," would improve the Christian graces of our reprovers of the Morning Watch.'
Did Hilary say, or not say, the words which we have quoted from him ? that is the only question. Now we assert, without the possibility of contradiction, a position which we have already made good, and which we will continue to reiterate, that, until Cole, Thomson, Haldane, the Record, and the Dissenting Magazines, denied that the humanity of our Lord was true humanity-that is, humanity having all the properties of our humanity--such nonsense was never broached in the church. We repeat again, that the denial of the true humanity of Christ is a new heresy in the church. Our point has been, and shall be, to shew that all writers, up to these days, held that our Lord took our humanity. It is true, indeed, that it is very difficult to fix these heretics to any thing like a consistent point; for they all differ from each other, and only agree in abusing all who hold the true doctrine. One of them contends that the humanity, prior to its union in the person of Christ, was incorruptible: another of them maintains that no child partakes of the nature of its mother, any more than an oak partakes of the nature of the ground in which it vegetates: a third, in the presbytery that tried Mr. M'Lean, “expressly denied that the nature of which our Lord took part was in itself, and before he took it, liable to sin:” another, who signs himself, in the Times, “Wm. Newland, minister of the Church of Scotland," asserts it to be heresy to say that “ Christ's humanity was sinful, or under the power of sin, until regenerated by the Holy Ghost.” Why, in the name of common sense, what was Christ's humanity "until regenerated by the Holy Spirit,” but the humanity of the
Virgin Mary? and was not the humanity of the Virgin Mary sinful ? Is the most foolish of all the follies of Popery about to be adopted by the Church of Scotland, which has ever affected to look down upon the Church of England as more nearly allied to Popery than itself? If the doctrine of Mr. Newland is to be recognised as the doctrine of his church, then is that Church of Scotland in as rank a state of apostasy as the Church of Rome: then is it as requisite to send missionaries to convert Scotch Calvinists, as Geneva Calvinists, or French Papists: and if it be not the doctrine of the Church of Scotland that the humanity of the virgin was immaculate (that being the only form in which Christ's humanity ever existed until regenerated by the Holy Ghost ") then we apply to Mr. Newland the words he uses to Mr. Irving, and say, “ whether he can, consistently with his present opinions, continue a member of the Church of Scotland, we leave to his own conscience.” Yet no one of these worthies condemns the others: whereby it is proved that they have no love of truth, nor dislike of heresy; inasmuch as they condemn no form of what they themselves must believe to be heresy, but only rail at the orthodox view, which has ever been maintained in this Journal. The little, narrow-minded spirit, which we have before said is the characteristic of the Record, has urged the Editor to every means of putting down the fame, the reputation, and the principles of Mr. Irving. The true sympathy of kindred natures' has led him to amalgamate with such persons as Thomson and Haldane. Such spirits it is not in the power of mortal man to convince or mend: but we can, and will, expose false attempts to foist upon the world meretricious for genuine learning; and cowardly insinuation of that heresy in others, of which it is really the victim itself. What can the idiots (or knaves) mean by talking of Hilary's “ unsoundness ?” Is it possible that they do not know that there are two Hilaries? and that to both has the Athanasian Creed been attributed ? that creed which says our Lord was “ perfect man,” not an incorruptible man; man of the substance of his mother,” not of a substance that was in itself, and before he took it, not liable to sin ?
Truly, we think a little more modesty in pretension, and a little less of that spirit’ which pronounces a judgment upon what it cannot understand, would lead the Editors of the Record to mind their own concerns, and not meddle with high matters which are above them. Their sphere of action is on another level. They may be very good censors of music meetings in cathedrals, and possess lynx-eyed penetration for dancing parsons at country balls ; nay, they may occasionally venture to hurl a dart at slavery, and at Protestant soldiers assisting in Popish ceremonies : with such high matters we do no venture to
meddle, and we will never be found poaching on other men's preserves : but let them not dare to trespass upon holier precincts; let them not presume to sneer at more important truths to undermine the reputation of the mightiest champion of God now in Britain ; to preach heresy; or pretend to a learning which they are conscious they do not possess.
The editors of a newspaper have abundant employment in subjects within their own province ; but, as far as they meddle with theology, it is scarcely possible that they should be otherwise than prejudicial, in these days especially, when all principles are of so little solidity, that we should find no difficulty in proving unsoundness and superficialness in every article of the creed of the Evangelical world. Neither should this “ tirade "or “abuse " be of our own inditing. We would prove the utter ignorance of the Religious World, on the question of the inspiration of the Scriptures, from the pen of Mr. Carson, or Mr. Daniel Wilson, Dr. Pye Smith, and the Eclectic Review; and by the defences for the Apocrypha in all the other Dissenting magazines. We would shew the state of the religious world, in the opinion of Mr. Cecil, by the following extract from his “ Remains : ” “ I see it in what I deem a lamentable state; but I seem to say, Well, go on talking, and mistaking, and making a noise.” We would adorn our pages with the brilliant description of Dr. Chalmers; “There is a whole host of persons, who do stand forth and signalize themselves as the religionists of the day: but, amid all the pretence and profession by which they are distinguished, where is the practical exercise, where the strenuous, the sustained effort which cometh forth of sincere hearts and doing hands? They have more the semblance of men who have been lulled to sleep by the sound of a pleasant song, than of men who have been roused into action by a spirit-stirring call. Their religion has acted rather as a sedative than as a stimulant; it has cajoled them into a state of repose, rather than brought them out into a state of exertion : they are more like men under the power of an opiate, than of men who have awoke from slumber, and, in the act of readiness for service, have their loins girt about and their lamps burning.” We could complete the counts of the indictment by reference to opinions on Christ's incarnation, the object of His work, and extent of its effects; on God's revealed purposes towards the Gentiles, and towards the Jews; the nature and situation of the kingdom of heaven; the ground of the believer's acceptance with God, and of peace in his own conscience; the false expectations to which men's attention is directed; the annihilation of every tangible idea of a visible church, or of a Christian kingdom ; the extinction of all discipline in every congregation, Established or Dissenting. Add to which their almost total misapprehension of the two
sacraments, holding them to be mere signs, and charging those who maintain the true doctrine with holding baptismal regeneration and the opus operatum !
All these subjects are inconsistent with the columns of a newspaper. They cannot be there treated satisfactorily, and therefore ought not to be treated of at all. The Religious World is in error upon them all ; and will, and must, storm and rage against those who would set them right. But a newspaper must be popular, in order to be supported : it must coincide with “the many," in order to exist; and the many are always in the wrong. “They live by pleasing, and they please to live;" which line has been parodied with reference to some,“ They live by lying, and they lie to live.” The great difficulty that is found in convincing men in these days, arises from the slight views of all subjects that they have, and that they like to have : slight views of sin, and slight views of the atonement; slight views of Christ, and slight views of holy conformity to him; slight views of God, and slight views of hell and the eternity of its torments; slight views of God's love, and slight love to him ; slight views of the power of Satan, and slight views of the necessity of the possession of the Holy Ghost. This slightness a newspaper tends to breed and to perpetuate. It is this slightness which makes it necessary to go into so much minuteness and detail in order to get any point of theology understood : but from the flippancy and brevity with which the essential character of a newspaper requires they should be treated, it appears how such publications may be very prejudicial, but never can be advantageous, to the cause of vital religion. If, therefore, they are made the vehicles of personalities and defamation, exceeding in virulence and pertinacity the scoffing world, they sanctify, as it were, in the eyes of an antinomian generation, that unruly tongue which is set on fire of hell, of which the models of the Record, to whom we have before referred, seem the most perfect examples. It is just in proportion as a newspaper is religious, in the sense in which the Religious and Evangelical World interpret that term, that it is hostile to vital godliness: and the more the Record meddles with theology, even if it should happen to stumble on the right path, the more harm it must do, or the less it will sell. We do not mean to call in question the disinterestedness of the subscribers, or to insinuate a charge of mercenary motives that we cannot substantiate : but we know that it must answer, as the phrase is, in order to go on—that is, it must sell enough copies to cover the necessary expenses of paper and
bour. Now, we wish it to go on; but we only entreat it not to be libellous in order to court the favour of “the sovereign The Many;” and to be as little religious as possible, if it really wishes to promote the cause of either God or man.
REVIEW OF DUNCAN ON THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST. Letter to the Rev. Edward Irving, on his Statement on the Lord's
Humanity; by the Rev. Joseph Duncan, A.B., Trinity College,
Dublin. The obtuseness which fills some men's minds upon the subject of the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ is almost past belief. It is beyond our power to account for it ; but so it is. It would seem that their common sense, and ordinary faculties of discerning the plain meaning of plain words, had been taken away from them, in judgment on their gross ignorance of theology; which they were at least bound to know as a science when they undertook to teach it, whether they were influenced by it or not. The Rev. Joseph Duncan, Bachelor of Arts, of Trinity College, Dublin, has published a Letter to the Rev. Edward Irving-originally composed, as he informs us, in the shape of marginal notes on Mr. Irving's pamphlet on that subject,—some passages of which we shall transcribe enire, in order that no quibbler may accuse us of garbling; and then examine the author's knowledge of the subject on which he treats, and his powers of reasoning upon it.
• The union of the human and Divine natures constitute one person : Jesus, the Saviour, the Christ, the Mediator: and subsequent to this union in the womb of the Virgin, one nature was not apart from the other, nor by the orthodox ever so con• sidered. “ Of him, and through him, and to him, are all
things” (Rom. xi. 36). No mention is ever made in the New Testament of the human nature as being apart from the Divine. Not a single testimony from Evangelists, Apostles, or any part of Scripture whatever, can be adduced to establish, or even countenance, such an opinion. As therefore the human nature of the Mediator was not apart from the Mediator in itself, nor ever so considered, it is manifest that whenever you attribute sinful properties and dispositions and inclinations, it is to the • Mediator. If you will not lie under the beavy and awful imputation of making the Mediator, the Son of God, a sinner, you must again take up your pen, and demonstrate from the Scriptures of Truth that the human nature of the Mediator, apart from the Mediator, the subject of sinful properties and dispositions and inclinations, is a true proposition; and cer'tainly if you do this, you are free from the charge here pre'ferred against you. This you will not, you cannot do; for you 'cannot do impossibilities : and to prove that the human nature
of the Mediator was apart from the Mediator, is an utter im' possibility.' This
passage is Mr. Duncan's comment upon a sentence in Mr. Irving's preface, which is as follows: "Whenever I attri