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and to the purification of our natures. . . . I do not mean to say that any amount of suffering is necessary to salvation. It is the suffering spirit of Jesus in us that is necessary. . . . Christ's sufferings made the atonement, because through them the life was let into the body; through them Christ became the head of life to the body, and it is only by that life that we can lovingly receive our punishment, putting to our seal that God is righteous in it. . . . God has a personal tender affection for every man, so that He desires union and fellowship with every man. Now the Son declared this love of the Father, by coming into the root of the nature, that part which Adam occupied, and thus coming into every man, and thus testifying to the Father's loving desire of union with every man.'
The thinking of Macleod Campbell, though not identical in all respects with that of Erskine, had a similar cast. He magnified the love of God, claimed that an arbitrary direction or limitation of love is fatal to its very conception, and affirmed accordingly that Christ truly died for all. The theory of satisfaction by penal sufferings was repugnant to his feeling, and in place of it he viewed Christ as the new head of the race, offering in its behalf a perfect confession, or presenting a perfect ethical response to the divine condemnation of sin. The teaching of Campbell was challenged, and he was deposed from the ministry by the Assembly of 1831,- an act which has been characterized as “the stoning by the Church of her best prophet.” ?
1 The Brazen Serpent.
2 Principal Shairp, quoted by Tulloch, Movements of Religious Thought in Britain.
Of the two great representatives of literature from Scotland in the nineteenth century, Sir Walter Scott very likely has come the nearer to the heart of the Scotch people. Still, his narrative genius can hardly be credited with as great effect in the world at large as the blended criticism and imagination of Thomas Carlyle. By his gospel of work and his mortal hatred of shams Carlyle has afforded a healthy tonic to not a few minds. While he has not given due credit to his own age, he has held up a mirror into which the age has found it profitable to look once and again.
In point of religious faith, Carlyle, if not an exponent of an ample creed, was not a representative of indifferentism or sheer unbelief. He had no friendship for purely naturalistic schemes or crass materialisms, and stigmatized such as “mud philosophies.” Comte and his Positivism he characterized as “the miserablest phantasmal algebraic ghost” that he had met with among the ranks of the living. Perhaps the most positive element in his faith was his conviction respecting the presence and agency of an all-ruling Providence. Far as he was from the ordinary dialect of Christian piety, he has left no reason to doubt his resolute hold
this part of religious belief. Surely the humblest saint could not express completer resignation to a higher power than is contained in these words of Carlyle, written after the shock of the news that a mischance had reduced to ashes his manuscript on the French Revolution : “Oh that I had faith! Oh that I had it! Then were there
I nothing too hard or heavy for me. Cry silently to thy inmost heart, to God, for it. Surely He will give it thee. At all events, it is as if my invisible schoolmaster had
torn my copybook when I showed it, and said, “No, boy ! thou must write it better.' What can I, sorrowing, do but obey,- obey, and think it the best?” What appears here in the concrete appears as a general maxim in his address before the University of Edinburgh. “I believe," he said to the students, "you will find in all histories that religion has been at the head and foundation of them all, and that no nation that did not contemplate this wonderful universe with an awe-stricken and reverential feeling that there was a great unknown, omnipotent, and all-wise and all-virtuous Being, superintending all men in it and all interests in it, - no nation ever came to very much, nor did any man either, who forgot that.”
In view of such statements, it may be said that Carlyle had a vivid sense of the supernatural. He thought of this, however, as incarnating itself in nature and man, and working through ordinary processes. His point of view is indicated in these words, written on the eve of his undertaking the composition of the French Revolution : “That the supernatural differs not from the natural is a great truth, which the last century (especially in France) has been engaged in demonstrating. The philosophers went far wrong, however, in this, that, instead of raising the natural to the supernatural, they strove to sink the supernatural to the natural. The gist of my whole way of thought is to do not the latter, but the former.”
In general, Carlyle was hostile to great definiteness in representing the objects of religious thought and feeling. Theological definitions seemed to him to circumscribe and to belittle. He preferred for himself a certain vagueness. His thought of God had accordingly an uncertain outline, being neither distinctly pantheistic nor steadfastly theistic. Most satisfactory to him it may have been; but it is no rash induction which enforces the conclusion that, in respect of power over the com. mon mind and heart of man, it is a poor substitute for the theistic and Christian conception of God as Personal Love and Personal Righteousness.
In recent theological activity, Scotland has been taking at least a proportionate share. While W. Robertson Smith was thought by many of the clergy to have passed the line of tolerance in his departure from traditional views of the Old Testament, the spirit of criticism and research has not slumbered. The names of John Tulloch and Alexander B. Bruce are representative of no inconsiderable list of scholars who have shown a worthy aptitude for combining a critical with a conservative spirit.
The legislative union between England and Ireland, which was enacted in 1800, though not approved by all the Roman Catholics of the latter country, was welcomed by a large proportion of them. The prelates generally offered no opposition to the measure. It was doubtless regarded as likely to facilitate the attainment of full civil equality for the adherents of the Roinish religion. At any rate a change of attitude was apparent after 1829, when Parliament was opened to Roman Catholics. From that date the agitation for the repeal of the Union, which had been inaugurated by Daniel
O'Connell, was supported, to a noticeable extent, by the priests.
The Ultramontane propagandism, which was characteristic of the pontificate of Pius IX., was not tardy in showing itself in Ireland. In 1849, the Pope, setting aside the nominees of the Irish clergy, advanced by his sole will Paul Cullen, Rector of the Irish College at Rome, to the see of Armagh. Three years later he was made Archbishop of Dublin. The reason of this choice is no secret. Paul Cullen was put at the head of the Irish priesthood as a vigorous champion of Ultramontane principles. He was expected to overcome liberal tendencies and to make the Irish hierarchy a true annex to the Vatican,
The new spirit which Cullen diffused was soon manifested in relation to the subject of public education. In 1831 a national system had been devised, founded on the principle of united secular education, combined with separate religious instruction. Some years later a joint system of higher education was provided, on the same plan, in the Queen's Colleges at Cork, Galway, and Belfast. Before the arrival of Cullen, the government scheme had been favorably received by the Roman Catholics, and some of their bishops, serving as commissioners, had worked harmoniously with Protestant colleagues. But forth with a decided change was manifest. As early as 1850 the Queen's Colleges were condemned by a synod acting under papal direction, though it would seem with but partial effect, since Romish students continued to be in attendance. As respects elementary education, connection with the national system was not indeed dissolved ; nevertheless that system began to be