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scriptions have been raised; government allowances which had been discontinued, have been revived; and we trust that better and brighter days are opening on this simple but admirable people. To their visiters from England, they have given a characteristic reception; cordial and hospitable to the full extent of their means, and we rejoice in the belief that those means will be, henceforward, less restricted. We strongly recommend to all who feel an interest in these things, the very acceptable volumes before us. They contain a great variety of attractive and instructive matter: they are written in an excellent spirit, and in an agreeable style. Before, however, we put them out of our hands, we must notice a charge brought by the Author of the Authentic Details', against the University of Cambridge, as the unfair detainers of a valuable collection of papers deposited with them merely for safety. When Cromwell sent Morland as his Commissioner Extraordinary' to the Court of Piedmont, for the express purpose of remonstrating in behalf of the oppressed Vaudois, that active and intelligent envoy obtained a considerable collection of valuable papers illustrative of the actual and previous condition of the Protestants of Savoy; and, having made excellent use of them in his valuable History of the Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont', he presented them, together with divers other manuscripts relating to the late troubles of Switzerland upon the accompt of Religion, 'as his free gift, to the publick library of the famous University ' of Cambridge, in August 1658.' Such are his own words; and in another part of his volume, he gives Extracts of several very ' authentick and rare Treatises, composed by the ancient inha'bitants of the valleys of Piemont, a great part whereof were ' written about four hundred and twenty, others above five hun'dred and fifty years ago, and the rest in all probability are of a 'far more ancient date. The true originals of all which were 'collected with no little pains and industry, by the author of 'this History, during his abode in those parts, and at his return, by him presented to the publick library of the famous University ' of Cambridge.' This, it shouid seem, is plain and probable enough. Nothing is more likely, than that an active-minded man should set about the search after such materials, and, that a grateful and oppressed people should take a pleasure in furnishing their benefactor with whatever he might require, as well as a pride in the conviction that they were sending forth from obscurity the undeniable evidences, not only of their antiquity, but of their faith and constancy. Yet, it seems, that there is now, somewhere or other, a claim set up concerning these papers.
'On examining the historian, Leger, who gives a list of the many
scripts, and the way they were sent to England, as well as the receipt of the Chargé d'Affaires who received them, and his assurance that he had lodged them at Cambridge, it clearly appears, that they were given up in order to be placed in a state of security, and NOT as a present. So that the Vaudois have a clear right to redeem them still. If they were given, where was the use of so exact a catalogue and receipt, and what object was it to the Vaudois to have a certificate of their being placed at Cambridge? The catalogue is evidently formed, not only as an enumeration of objects, but to make the reference to the manuscripts easy. Authentic Details.
All this seems to us to amount to very little. Take away the high-sounding words 'clearly' and 'evidently', and it is reduced to the simple fact; that an acknowledgement was given of the receipt of certain papers, a correct catalogue given, and an assurance that they had been lodged in secure custody. The documents were valuable, and an official acknowledgement was expedient as evidence that their guardians had not neglected them; the assurance' of safe deposite was necessary to shew that Morland had dealt fairly with his trust; and the catalogue would shew the Vaudois where they might refer in case of necessity. If temporary security had been all that was wanted, Switzerland or Germany was nearer, more convenient, and equally secure.
Twelve beautifully engraved views of interesting scenes adorn Mr. Acland's volume; the other contains a number of indifferent etchings. The profits of the latter publication are to be appropriated to the benefit of the Vaudois."
Art. VI. The Religion of the Reformation, as exhibited in the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. 12mo. pp. 514. Price 7s. London. Seeley and Son. 1828.
THE Author of this Exposition of the Doctrinal Formularies
of the Church of England, has found, in the movements of the supporters of Popery, and in the supineness of the professors of Protestantism, an occasion for addressing his contemporaries on the obligations by which he considers them as bound to maintain their opposition to the Church of Rome. Whether the dangers which he apprehends be real or imaginary, we cannot consider him as misapplying either his time or his talents in endeavouring to impress upon his readers a sense of the privi leges and blessings which have resulted from the Reformation, and in exhorting them to guard, for the sake of themselves and of posterity, the sacred rights of Christian men. We should, however, have been able to award to his efforts in this service, a more ample measure of applause, if he had opposed himself to the spiritual usurpations in which the dominion of an exclu
sive and tyrannical Church authority originated, more decidedly and effectually than his principles or his prejudices have permitted. To the evangelical spirit which pervades his interpretation of the essential articles of the Christian faith, we very cordially yield our approval; and not less cheerfully do we commend the moderation which he has observed in commenting upon them. With genuine and fervent piety, he unites the simplicity which belongs to true religion; and he inculcates the tenets which he believes to be true, with a constant reference to the practical effects by which alone their reception and influence can be attested. As a Christian teacher, he instructs in order that he may edify; directing his solicitude equally to the head and the heart of his readers, and limiting, as every discreet teacher will limit, the consolations of religion to those who seriously regard and obey its precepts. His Exposition is much less controversial than practical; while he at the same time shews himself always prepared to defend the Christian principles which he professes, and to expose the errors which would subvert them. But as, in his hands, the defence of those tenets is the assertion and maintenance of them as they have been embodied in the formularies of a Church established and supported by human authority, the New Testament is not his text-book. As a member of a national Church, he must necessarily adopt its creed; and as its minister, he is under obligation to uphold the authority from which its offices have proceeded, and by which its articles are enjoined. We cannot, as he does, refer to the Parliament', the great and fundamental doctrines of Christianity, as objects of their attention and safeguard. These, assuredly, are quite remote from the objects of national legislation, and are not to be settled by debate or determined by votes. He who denies infallibility to Popes, and takes out of the hands of papal functionaries the right of dictating to the faith of men, is not very consistent with himself in conferring upon Parliaments the care of spiritual interests. The rights of conscience can never be safely transferred from the guardianship of one class of men to the keeping of another: the claim must be made personally for man. Conscience is individual, and so are its rights. A national faith will be no object of reference in the last day, and can be therefore no guide to man in the consideration of his great account. The religion of the Reformation is grounded entirely on the authority of the Scriptures; and as the Scriptures are exclusively the source of religious truth, and are alike accessible to all, the exercise of Protestant rights will lead men to them, not circuitously, but directly, as to the very fountain of all Christian verities.
It is well to expose the errors of Popery, and to contend for rights which the Romish Church would extinguish; but a
writer may be very zealous in this service, and still be denied a place among the enlightened advocates and defenders of Christian liberty, which is much more spiritual in its nature, than many who profess to understand it would induce us, from their representations of it, to believe. That we may not appear to our readers to be proceeding irregularly in this course of observation, we shall, for the present, only further notice the exposition which the Author of this work has given of the obligations and duties of Christian pastors. They have a right ', he says, to require attention to public ordinances, and to enforce that attention by the law'. (p. 476.) Assuredly, the ministers and people who formed the first congregations of Christian worshippers, were not forced into association with each other by any such compulsory method as the Author would place, and which he considers as being rightly placed, in the hands of Christ's ministers. Had we been addressing exhortations to mutual forbearance among Christians, we should have thought Rom. xiv. 19, a very good reference for our purpose; but, strange to say, the Author sets it down as a proof passage, that 'professing Christians are under obligation to observe the rules of their Church.' And he includes 1 Pet. ii. 13, in the same
The Author's exposition of the third of the Articles, 'Of the going down of Christ into Hell,' is very concise, but it is also very unsatisfactory; it is moreover replete with misconstructions and irrelevant citations of the Scriptures. Within the compass of less than a dozen pages, we find so many errors as would fully justify us in charging upon the Author the very excess of carelessness. The facility with which he admits evidence in support of the doctrine maintained in this part of his work, is not a little surprising, and must excite extreme caution in respect to the proofs which he may adduce in support of the tenets he advocates. He refers us to several passages in the word of God, wherein the word Hades, which we 'sometimes translate hell, and sometimes grave,' is used in these senses. Among these we find, Matt. v. 22. "shall be in danger of hell-fire"; xxiii. 33. "how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" 2 Pet. ii. 4. "spared not the angels, but cast them into hell"; in respect to which he says, that the context shews that the word describes the re'gions of woe and destruction.' It is very remarkable, that, in not one of these examples, does the word Hades occur. Are we to conclude, that because" hell" is found in the translation, the Author imagined that Hades was in the original; as if the former of these words was uniformly the representative of the latter, when used in the sense which denotes the place of future punishment? It is very singular, that a writer should produce four passages for the purpose of establishing, by direct proof,
the import of a particular term, and that three out of the four should not contain the word in respect to which they are cited as witnesses.
But this is the slightest part of the offence with which we must hold the Author chargeable in this portion of his exposition. It is his avowed purpose, in this summary of the doctrines of the Reformation, to establish their truth by the authority of the 'written word;' and to accomplish this design, he has introduced references to the particular passages which he considers as confirming the positions of the Articles, in the form of answers to questions arising out of the previous arrangement of the subject. As the authority of Scripture is conclusive with all well-instructed Christians, it should be at all times carefully and solidly produced. And as the object sought is, to promote the reception of doctrines which are urged upon the acceptance of mankind as of the highest importance, the proof from Scripture should always have a direct relation to the subject which it is employed to illustrate or establish. For, if testimony be repeatedly adduced, which, on examination, is found not only weak, but irrelevant, it may be productive of most serious injury to the inquirer. He may be repelled from further examination, and so be confirmed in his errors or delusions; in which case, a responsibility will be contracted, of no light character. Ps. xvi. 10, Acts ii. 27-31, are quoted as proofs that Jesus suffered the pains of hell,' went into the deep and suffering hell of divine judgement;' and John xix. 30, Colos. ii. 15, are adduced as proofs that the time of this suffering was not after the crucifixion. Any other passages of the New Testament might be, with equal propriety, cited for the same purposes. They are altogether useless in such a connection, and leave the doctrine asserted in the proposition of the Expositor, among the gratuitous dicta which have been received without evidence. Against that explanation of the Article which interprets it of the descent of Christ's body to the grave, the Author urges, that the Article intends something more, since it adds to the words As Christ 'died for us, and was buried,' the clause, So also it is to be 'believed, that he went down into hell.' But it seems not less clear, that, as the Article adds the clause of Christ's going down into hell to that of his being buried, it refers to a time and act subsequent to his death, and cannot therefore relate to his sufferings previously endured. Besides, the foregoing Article includes the sufferings of Christ, and therefore they are not introduced in this: Christ-truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his father to us, and to be a sacrifice not ' only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.' The Third Article is additional to this, and cannot be considered as explanatory of it.