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in which the abuse he speaks of has arisen, out of the many thousand cases in which isolated figures of the Saints are portrayed in our churches. We do not imagine any experience of such abuse has been gained in his sphere of duty ; for, if we remember rightly, the altar of Greenwich Church is adorned only with an ostentatiously mean gaslamp, and the walls with pictures of such sinners as Charles II. The note on Sacrilege, in connection with the Sixth Commandment, is in a very different spirit, and shows how much good has been done by Messrs. Neale and Webb’s excellent volume. In this better spirit we hope again to meet with Mr. Chaffer on some future occasion. Still more do we long for the day when no person will think of writing on theology till he has thoroughly mastered some good Catholic Manual, and so has gained an harmonious and consistent view of Christian truth as a whole.
The object of the Compiler of Sacramentarium Ecclesiæ Catholicæ, (Masters) he tells us, is “to make a collection from Sacramentaries, as far as possible, of all that was sanctioned by or used in the Eastern and Western Churches during the first fifteen centuries." The first part embraces the Advent and Christmas Seasons. The Collects are given in Latin and English.
Mr. BRIGHT's Ancient Collects (J. H. Parker) is another little book of the same kind, and much to be commended. Mr. Bright arranges his materials on the eclectic principle, for practical use, and therefore gives them all in an English dress. He has added two useful appendices.
On the subject of the S. Barnabas' Case we have to acknowledge two valuable pamphlets ; one, a Review of Sir John Dodson's Judgment, (Hayes) which especially aims at (and in our opinion quite succeeds in) establishing " the legality of Crosses.” This is by Mr Trower, of the Inner Temple. The other is a very able and convincing sermon (already in a second edition, and quite meriting to run through many more editions,) by Mr. MOLINEUX, of Sudbury. Its title is Symbolism not Formalism (Parker and Palmer, London) and the gist of it is to show that Symbolism by its suggestiveness is actually the very best safeguard against mere Formalism.
On the Denison Case we have an excellent pamphlet by Mr. Todd, of Manchester, reminding people very seasonably what is the respective weight due to Creeds, Articles, and Homilies (Masters). We much regret that we cannot give the passage on p. 30, which contains the summing up of the whole.
We have already had occasion to commend Mrs. ALFRED GATTY's books for children, and we are glad to meet her again in a little work entitled Proverbs Illustrated, (Bell and Daldy.) It possesses all the charms of her former attempts as to style and expression; but we think it is to be regretted that she should have left that vast field of interest -the wonders of the lower creation, in which she was so eminently successful. Mrs. Gatty has a peculiar talent for interesting children in the “worlds not realized ” of animal and insect life; and it is so rare to find books on such subjects, which can really amuse as well as instruct, that we are unwilling to see her expend her powers on easier subjects, like those in the book before us.
CARTER'S DOCTRINE OF THE PRIESTHOOD.
The Doctrine of the Priesthood in the Church of England. By the
Rev. T. T. CARTER. London: Masters.
The idea of a Priesthood is one at which the minds of Englishmen commonly revolt, without being aware of what it is against which they really are revolting. Now when our Blessed LORD said of old, “He that despiseth you despiseth Me, and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me,” He not merely invested His ministry with a representative dignity, but He laid bare a great secret of human nature. He exposed the principle of repugnance to the Priesthood which would trouble His Church, and traced it up through the mazes of self-deceit to the hidden opposition of the natural will of man against God. Conscience speaking within our hearts asserts in spite of our fall the sovereignty of God; and yet the idea of dependence is what wounds our pride. We are therefore prone to compromise the claims of conscience and of pride by general assertions of God's universal control, whilst we are all the while resisting that particular form in which His control touches ourselves. As this happens in the wayward morality of secular business and social maxims, so it happens with the more intensity in the sphere of religion which brings us more immediately under the acknowledgment of God's power. Nature seems to shelter us from the confession of our real dependence upon God in physical necessities. An abstract idea of our present condition gathered up into the non-existent power which we idolize under the name of Nature, relieves us of the thought of being dependent upon the personal will of an Almighty Governor. When however we see the world of nature passing away like a scroll, we find ourselves face to face not with abstract laws, but with a Personal Agent. The thought of the supernatural world brings with it the consciousness of our utter helplessness before God. Conscience awakes and pride trembles. Pride bereft of the idolatry with which it soothed itself in the world of nature, assails us in our state of probation with the suggestions of unbelief. The soul which has escaped from acknowledging a false God, suited to its own evil, is tempted still to keep away from the true God by scepticism regarding its own evil. Idolatry consists in a false view of God: scepticism is a false view of self. « Thou shalt not surely die.” The proud soul is glad to find the fear of punishment drowned in the loud echoes of the tempter's voice. “It cannot be, it seems, that God should hate me ! It cannot be that I should do any thing which could really incur His hatred! It cannot be that I am
Vol. XIX.—APRIL, 1857.
really guilty! It cannot be that God is my judge! It cannot be that I am dependent on His absolute will !” In the outer world Nature came in as a third party to obscure the recognition of this absolute will of God as a personal agent towards us. In things eternal pride can find no third party, and therefore takes refuge in unbelief. It is because religion brings man face to face with God as absolute controller of our condition, that it is so wounding to our pride, and therefore arouses such intense opposition. The natural mind is enmity against God, because the idea of God is destructive of the idea of self.
Pride, however, does not destroy conscience. The void produced by the annihilation of conscience would be intolerable, because self-respect is grounded in conscience, and if self-respect were gone, the throne of pride would be overturned. Pride distorts conscience by putting self in the place of God. Self-respect is thus warped into self-esteem, and the tranquillity of a soul at peace with God is mocked by the false gratulations of self-deceit.
The actual desire of man is to be satisfied with himself rather than to be at peace with God. This drives him either to invent a false religion or to despise the true one. The worship of self must cease if the idea of God be lost. He therefore worships self either by reproducing self in some outward idol which he is content to have near at hand, or by putting the thought of GOD SO far away that self can exercise her usurpation without conscious antagonism. Now in revelation God comes near to us. His
overpowering. Adam hid himself from it. The devils cried out because it tormented them. If a revelation be acknowledged, self has no choice but to yield up the supremacy to God. Whilst therefore natural religion is pleasant, because it satisfies the craving of the soul with the conception of self-respect, revealed religion must on the contrary bring with it the absolute mortification of the natural will, since it claims us as the slaves of God. Aoûaos Deoû is the true designation of one who accepted with reservation the revealed Word of God.
It is not surprising then that of the two alternatives which the human heart adopts for avoiding collision with its innate idea of Godhead, one should have been uppermost where there was little revelation, and the other should have gained ground as revelation became more and more full. Accordingly we find that where there is no revelation, mankind have recourse to idolatry: but the mark of God's presence is that “the idols He shall utterly abolish," and therefore man, waking up to the falsity of his superstition, endeavours to beat back from himself the tide of Divine light, and to destroy as far as may be every token of the interference of his Master. He is willing to acknowledge his Master's right, as long as he does not feel His might. Pride is pleased with the
it had set up
thought of a ruler more worthy than the debasing idols which
Now therefore springs up a new effort, which is to acknowledge God as fully as possible, only fencing in some spot wbich
may be called our own, where self may reign as a feudal tributary, sovereign over its own subordinates, and necessary to the integrity of that power, which it acknowledges as its nominal head. This leads mankind to a ready acquiescence in the general maxims of revelation, as long as they are to be looked upon as inoperative; but when God meets us in positive enactments which limit the freedom of our daily conduct, then the interference is resented. Pride will not bear the idea of slavery, and again is heard the ancient echo, " Thou shalt not surely dié."
The light of revelation, however, does not merely expose the hideous emptiness of the idols. It also forces its way into the inmost abysses of self-love. GOD when He reveals Himself, forces Himself upon our attention. He does not merely take up His abode in some oracular shrine where He may be consulted or no. He comes near to mankind in the Person of His Son as the great Apostle and High Priest of the Truth, and then in all the branches of the apostolic ministry who go forth to claim the obedience of faith among all nations.
The apostolic ministry is a perpetual mission, a perpetual crying aloud in the streets, a perpetual making disciples of all nations, a perpetual onslaught upon self.
The only resort therefore of self when thus assailed, is to deny the truth of the mission, that so the higher truth to which the mission bears witness may be rendered abstract and inoperative, and the idea of God may be put far away. The greatest tyranny will be welcomed by men, if they think it is their own creation : but the idea of God's Presence is hateful to men, because it reminds them that they are His creation. An absent God they will love, for a limited God is an idol: but a present God they hate, because self is annihilated by His infinity.
Yet is the sacrifice of self-will before the Personal Will of God the one necessary sacrifice before we can return to God. God therefore provided for this most completely, by addressing us not in a Voice from Heaven, or in any sign of resistless power, but in the Person of His Incarnate Son. Mad obedience been compulsory, religion would have been a destruction of our freedom, and no longer a self-sacrifice to truth: but this is the work of God that we should welcome Him when He draws near to us, and believe in Him Whom He hath sent. The Person of the Son of God clothed with our Manhood, represents to us most forcibly the Personal Character and Supremacy of the Divine Will. This is why the Incarnation is such a stumbling-block to the natural heart, because it reveals to us the Mind of God, as the Will of a Personal Ruler, whereas it leaves self in the consciousness of pre
sent independence with dread conviction that the Power also of God will be revealed hereafter. Pride is overthrown by the selfsacrifice of faith. The opposition of mankind to the idea of a mediatorial priesthood is not because such an idea cannot be grasped by men, for at the altars of men's own choice they have ever willingly retained this institution as essential to the integrity of worship. It is the true Divinity from which the Christian Priesthood emanates which stimulates mankind to rebellion, for if they come truly into the presence of the True God, it forces from them the acknowledgment that they are His slaves. True mediation, since it unfolds the Divine Will, can bless no sacrifice short of the surrender of the will of him that worships. Here then, we return to the principle enunciated by Christ to His Apostles. If men despise Apostolical Liturgies, it is because these force upon them the necessity of Christ's mediation ; and if they despise the mediation of Christ, it is because it brings near to them the operative Presence of a Personal God. Sacrifice implies guilt, and guilt implies an absolute subjection to God's law, and the natural mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
A ministry whose highest function should be to teach and counsel, stirs not up the opposition of the natural heart, for it palliates its consciousness of infirmity, and leaves its dream of present freedom undisturbed. It gratifies pride, for it leaves the work of rectification really in each man's own hands, though it may mask self-righteousness under the pretence of repentance, prayer, or faith. Without the Personal Agency of a present Mediator the idea of man's helplessness before God is beaten back into as intangible a distance as the idea of God's Sovereignty would be, if there were no Mediator at all. The more we lower our estimate of humanity as contrasted with our conception of God's holiness, the more do we really elevate the thought of self, and by externalizing vice as an inherited accident we put ourselves into the same category with God as haters of evil. The general confession of original sin absorbs the shame of guilt which is necessary to complete the sacrifice of a contrite heart. The sorrow of a worldly heart is rather a hatred of circumstances than a hatred of self. There must be a Mediator who can come near to us in the Name of God and slay self. Otherwise we shall only hate sin as long as we think of God's Holiness, and shall sink into unconcern when we begin to contemplate His Love.
The thought of human weakness rather tends to soften the horror at responsible evil, than to engender an abiding shame at our own participation in guilt. The comfort of a distant sacrifice for all counterbalances the alarm of a distant judgment for all. It is the knowledge that we are raised by a new life out of the common decay which first puts us in a position to realize the personal taint of sin as being destructive to our regenerate nature : and the ap