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provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.'" —P. 28.
Of course this scriptural plea for the bishops and their families is designed to palliate, if not to justify, the instances to which Mr. Beverley's admission principally alludes. What shall we say of the prostitution of Scripture in defence of a Bishop's mode of " providing for his own"?
“I do not say this of the real Durham, for, luckily for me, the present Bishop has no children; neither do I say it of York; but I do mean it for some Bishop that either is or was on the Bench, and I know it as a positive fact, that so gross and scandalous was the conduct of one of the sons of this prelate, that even he revolted at the idea of going into the Church, and long resisted the importunities, and at last the commands, of his Right Reverend Father, on this infamous plan of aggrandizement. Threats, however, were at last employed, and the profligate was compelled to yield, though he did yield at last with a deep sense of shame and disgust. Circumstances have made me intimately acquainted with this transaction, but when it took place, or where, whether in the north or in the south, whether last year or twelve years ago, I pray your Grace never to ask me. I know it, and can vouch for it, and let that be sufficient.”-Letter, p. 12.
Mr. Wild does not, however, “ mean to become the advocate of any one, or any matter in the Church justly deserving animadversion, or requiring amendment or abolition.” (P. 6.) He would even “ be sorry to be unfriendly to a reform in the Church.” “ But they should be hallowed hands to which I would intrust a matter like this, because eternal interests hang upon it.” (P. 39. Whether reform in the Church will come from the bishops, is seriously doubted by not a few of its advocates. The temporal interests will, we conjecture, in any case, create far more discussion among the lords spiritual than the eternal ones. We are glad to find it acknowledged on both sides of the present controversy, that reform in some shape or other must come in Church as well as in State. If the bishops do not set about it soon, possibly Parliament (when itself reformed) may save them the trouble.
But we must not omit to notice Mr. Oliver's pamphlet. He has “a slight personal knowledge of” Mr. Beverley, and “ entertains a due respect for his distinguished literary attainments ;” while he endeavours “ to dissipate the train of misconceptions which, like so many glimmering meteors, have beguiled him into the fathomless depths of error.” Mr. Oliver defends the Church on very high, but we think perilous ground. · Divine institution, and apostolical succession, and perpetual spiritual gifts, are with him its claims for respect. He “ will endeavour to establish the truth of the following propositions :"
“ (1.) That the Founder of Christianity established a church, to which he attached an authorized priesthood, possessing full powers of delegation. VOL. V.
“ (2.) That this priesthood is of perpetual obligation and authority.
“ (3.) That the Church of England is a genuine branch of the true Apostolic Church, because it can prove an uninterrupted Episcopal succession from Jesus Christ to the present time, and is possessed of every ecclesiastical requisite enjoined by primitive authority.
“(4.) That the three orders of the hierarchy, named bishops, priests, and deacons, by which this Church is governed, are invested with the high sanction of apostolical observance.”—P. 5.
We must refer the curious to the pamphlet itself for the defence of these bold positions. They will be surprised to find the record of the Christian Church carried many centuries further back than the time of its Founder. But Melchizedek's and Levi's priesthood are found to have been exact patterns, and not shadows, of good things to come. The most critical point of the historical induction, in our opinion, is that where the apostolical tree branches into the English Church. The Roman Catholic claim to direct succession, such as it is, seems at least consistent : but not so the claim of the English Church. The Reformation has always seemed to us a blemish, instead of an ornament, to the glory of English episcopacy. Pure apostolical succession is traced through the very church which is denounced as the mystery of iniquity and the sink of abomination. The Romish Church was either very corrupt or not much so, before the Reformation. If the former, the episcopal succession derived from it to the English Church is impure too; if the latter, there was little need of the Reformation, and the Reformation has made very little change in the Established Church of England. In this dilemma the English Churchman stands. We had been wont to think (but our dissenting principles we felt might somewhat warp our judgment), that the Reformed Church differed but little from the apostate Romish system, notwithstanding the pious horror of the former against the idolatries, the superstitions, and the mummeries of the latter. And Mr. Oliver is of our opinion :
“ It is unnecessary to enlarge on the fact, that the Church of Rome possessed all the qualities of the true church, in the early ages of the Papacy; and that it was the identical institution to which the promises of Jesus Christ were originally attached. Nor will I waste your time in refuting the position that it was lost amidst Popish degeneracy and corruption ; because you know, how reluctant soever you may be in promulgating the doctrine, that corruption cannot destroy the essence of a church. I shall therefore take it for granted that the Church was in its full primitive authority at the Reformation; and attend to the hypothesis that we forfeited its privileges at that precise period. But, Sir, it is a mistake to suppose that our Reformers separated from the Church. They did no such thing. They merely purged it from the errors and impurities which had been introduced into the system of religious government and worship. They did not institute a new church, but restored the primitive discipline and doctrine.”—P. 21.
Bishops Jewell and Hall are quoted in defence of this opinion. Might not the testimony of “ the ever-memorable Mr. John Hales” have been appropriately subjoined: “ Peradventure, the dregs of the Church of Rome are not yet sufficiently washed from the hearts of many men”?
Desiring to give full credit to both Mr. Wild and Mr. Oliver for the sincerity of their alarm lest the downfal of the Church of England should be the downfal of religion, we conclude by quoting, with unmingled satisfaction and delight, the following beautiful passage from the preface to the “ Tombs of the Prophets :".
“ One word to those pious persons whose timidity and, I must add, want of faith, has led them to expostulate with me on the harm that may come to religion if the Church of England is abolished.
« The error of this notion is to be traced partly to a confusion of terms. A church and the church are not synonymous. A church called the Church of England may be, and certainly will be, ere long, reduced to the condition of a sect; but this will not touch the Church of Christ ; no pamphlets, no books, no writings, no, not all the scribes and philosophers of the world, can injure that church, because the gates of hell shall never prevail against it, and because one pilots the ship who can silence even the winds and the waves. But churches made by men, and fortified with gold and silver and secular strength and carnal helps, may tumble down any day; they are always in danger; and when their ruin comes, nothing will remain but what was spiritual; all the rest will crumble into dust, and the hirelings will flee because they are hirelings.
“ Let every pious Christian, then, who is bewitched with a love of church, inquire diligently what church it is that he loveth? If he is in love with Christ's Church, nothing can injure the object of his affections ; for the true spiritual, eternal church is the whole company of the faithful, who form Christ's mystical body-a body not made of stones and timber and gothic arches, but built on the apostles and prophets, of which Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner-stone.
“ Against this building the people furiously rage together, and the heathen imagine a vain thing, for the ark may shake, but it cannot fall; the sbip of the church may be tossed, but it cannot sink, for Christ is in it, and will wake time enough to prevent its wreck; there is, therefore, no cause for us, when the storm beats hard upon it, to disturb him, as once the disciples did, with outcries of unbelief, as if all were lost. Our faith is more in danger of sinking at such a time than the cause of Christ and his church."*
In the inquiry upon which we now propose to enter, we shall endeavour 10 make it appear, that the religious views of Curio have been represented to the world through a false medium by Schelhorn; and that many important circumstances have been overlooked by him, which tend to shew that the suspicions thrown out by Lampe, Jænichi, De la Roche, and Allwoerden, are worthy of more attention than it has hitherto been their lot to receive.
Schelhorn mainly rests his defence of Curio's orthodoxy, respecting the Trinity, upon three passages, taken from his “Opuscula,” an octavo volume published at Basil, A. D. 1544. These Opuscula are small detached pieces, or tracts, written upon different subjects, and at different periods of the author's life; and exhibiting those shades of opinion, which it is natural to expect in the intellectual history of a man like Curio. Most of them appear to have been written before the views of their author became confirmed, and therefore assume a character more or less orthodox; but a Paraphrase on the Exordium of John's Gospel, which occupies the last place in the volume, and may therefore be regarded as containing the author's mature thoughts, is of a heterodox complexion, and has been adduced for the purpose of proving that Curio had ceased to be a believer in the doctrine of the Trinity, at the period of its composition.
The first piece to which our attention will be directed, is an Essay “on the Providence of God,” called by its author “Araneus."* In Schelhorn's first extract, which is taken from this Essay, (p. 81,) Curio speaks of “ Jesus Christ as the Eternal Wisdom of the Father; as redeeming us from the curse of the law; and as becoming a victim, as well as sin and a curse for us.” In his second extract, which is taken from a letter “On the Pious Education of Children,” (p. 132,) addressed to Fulvio Pellegrino Morato, the father of Olympia Fulvia Morato, Curio rises in his orthodoxy, and says that “God made all things by his Word, whom the sacred oracles designate by the terms Jesus Christ and Son of God; and that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who was at once true God and true man, begotten of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary.” Judging from these passages, without reference to the probably early date of their composition, or without taking into account the circumstances attendant upon the publication of the volume of which they form a part, we should find it difficult to arrive at any other conclusion than the one to which it is the object of the learned Schelhorn to lead us; namely, that the volume in which they occur was the production of a Trinitarian. But when we are told, that, at the end of the collection of pieces from which the above extracts are taken, was printed, for the first time, a paraphrase on a much controverted passage of Scripture, expressed in such terms as to lead one orthodox writer (Jænichi) to infer that its author was “entangled in the errors of Servetus ;” and another, (Gerdesius,) to absolve him from the charge of heresy, solely on the ground of his not being “a theologian by profession :” and when we find even Schelhorn himself reluctantly driven to acknowledge that Curio has, in this instance, transgressed the legitimate bounds of orthodoxy; our curiosity is excited to learn what motive could have actuated him in the composition of this paraphrase, and its publication in a volume of tracts containing sentiments and expressions of a decidedly orthodox character.
* The Cobweb. This Essay gives to the whole collectiou the paine of ARANEUS, (a quo omnis illa Opusculorum farrago nomeu obtinet,) a most appropriate designation for a volume, contrived, as this appears to have been, to guard its author against the attacks of the buzzing and noisome insects by which he was surrounded.
The passages already quoted from the Opuscula, it must be acknowledged, are far from being of a nature to excite suspicion; and Schelhorn has therefore adduced them as proofs of their author's soundness in the faith, in spite of his own admission as to the heretical tendency of some expressions introduced by Curio into his paraphrase on the proëm of John's Gospel. The same line of argument has been adopted by Gerdesius, who says, “ Although we will not deny, that in his brief paraphrase upon the beginning of the Gospel of John, he has laid down some things incautiously, which might bring upon him the suspicion of heresy, yet his remaining writings teach and evince, on the contrary, that he acknowledged Jesus Christ to be the true Son of God, and true God.” But what are the “remaining writings” to which allusion is here made ? Evidently those which were composed before the publication of the above-mentioned paraphrase, and which, consequently, have nothing whatever to do with the subject of our present investigation.
That Curio was a Trinitarian at the time when he first embraced the principles of the Reformation, is a supposition attended with the highest degree of probability ; but that he continued a Trinitarian to the end of his life, there is not a single atom of evidence to prove. Schelhorn, however, would fain persuade us, in spite of his own candid admission respecting the latitude of Curio's interpretations, that expressions at variance with the sentiments of Servetus and the early Unitarians, are to be found in an exhortation subjoined to the paraphrase so often mentioned ; and, in proof of this, he has adduced the following passage, which forms the third and last extract from the Opuscula of Curio: “ What can be more delightful, or more becoming the character of a Christian man, than a mind which entertains correct views concerning God and Christ, and is instructed in all kinds of heavenly wisdom? Jews, philosophers, and Mahometans, can
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