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See of Rome, and inherited by its occupant. Mr. Wilberforce in this work proves that his mind has attained to unity, and that, though educated a Protestant, he is capable of reasoning from principles, and of explaining facts and appearancess by them. He starts from something solid, clear, and definite, and shows a firm basis for his superstructure. He sees that at the outset of his inquiry it is necessary to settle what is to be understood by the Church. He proceeds first to determine the nature of the Church, and then to prove, as Anglicanism concedes, that "the Church has authority in controversies of faith." What he says on the nature of the Church is so true, so profound, so important, and so well said, that we cannot forbear laying it before our readers.

"Now that a paramount authority was possessed by Our Lord Himself, and that He committed the like to His Holy Apostles, is admitted probably by all Christians. The question in dispute is, whether any such powers outlasted their times; whether they founded any institution, or appointed any succession of men, to which the office of judging in matters of faith was intrusted in perpetuity. Before considering what can be said on this subject, it will be well to ask, what was meant in those days by the Church, what were understood to be its characteristic features,

and the origin of its powers. For there are two leading views respecting the nature of the Church; and according as men take the one or the other view of the nature of the Church, they will commonly adopt a corresponding hypothesis respecting its authority.

"Was the Church, then, a mere congeries of individuals, gathered together, indeed, according to God's will, but not possessing any collective character, except that which is derived from the conglomeration of its parts; or was it an institution, composed indeed of men, but possessed of a being, and action, which was irrespective of the will of its individual members, and was impressed upon it by some higher authority? This, in fact, is to ask whether it had any inherent life, and organic existence. By a wall is meant a certain arrangement of bricks, which, when united, are nothing more than bricks still; but a tree is not merely a congeries of ligneous particles, but implies the presence of a certain principle of life, which combines them into a collective whole. Such a principle we recognize, when we speak of an organic body. Our thoughts are immediately carried on to one of those collections of particles, which almighty God has united according to that mysterious law, which we call life. Thus is an impulse perpetuated, which having its origin from the Author of

nature, displays its fecundating power in all the various combinations of the vegetable kingdom. Its sphere, indeed, is inert matter, and the continual assimilation of fresh portions of matter is necessary to its prolongation; but its being is derived from a higher source; it is the introduction of a living power into the material creation.

"The notion entertained of the Church, then, would be entirely different, according as it was supposed to be merely a combination of individuals, or an organic institution, endowed with a divine life. In the first case it would have no other powers than those which it derived from its members; in the second, its members would be only the materials, which it would fashion and combine through its own inherent life. In one case it would stand on human authority; in the other, on Divine appointment. On one side would be reason, enlightened it may be, but still the reason of individuals; on the other, supernatural grace.

"Now there can be no doubt which of these views is favoured

by Scripture; whether we look to its express words, to the general tendency of prophecy, or to the analogy of doctrine. The word Ecclesia, indeed, by us rendered Church, is used for any combination of men: but of that particular combination, which Our Lord established, we have a specific definition, wherein it is declared to be the Body' of Christ. This definition,

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repeatedly given, implies certainly that the Church is not a mere combination of individuals, but possesses an organic life from union with its Head. No doubt it has been affirmed to be merely a figurative expression, founded upon the use of certain analogous words. But it is the only definition we have of the Church; it is a definition frequently given; and if we are at liberty to get rid of such Scriptural statements by saying that they are figurative, the use of Scripture as a guide to our belief is at an end. Besides, the word which St. Paul employed could not have been understood by his readers in a figurative sense, because it has no such meaning in the Greek language. The English reader is so familiar with the application of the words body and head to those who are merely related together as members of the same community, that he not unnaturally supposes St. Paul's expression to be founded upon a similar idiom. But in Greek such an usage was wholly unknown: the word ouμa (body) was never used for a society composed of different persons; nor кɛpaλń (head) for its chief. And though there are a few expressions of the sort in Latin, yet the prevalent use of the words body, corporation, corps, &c., in modern languages, appears to be founded upon the analogy which St. Paul suggested, and which has since given. shape to the languages of Christendom. So that to assert St. Paul's words to be figurative, because the terms have gained

this force in later times, is to mistake an effect for a cause. Το cross the Rubicon has been a figurative phrase since the time of Cæsar; are we to suppose, then, that the Rubicon was not really crossed by Cæsar himself?

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"Again: When we turn from individual expressions to the general course of prophecy, we find its whole scope and tendency to be built on some real identification of the great Renewer of man's race with the race which He was to renew. The prophecies of Isaiah associate the new system which was to prevail in the world with the Rod, which was to 'come forth out of the stem of Jesse'; and Daniel beheld that stone that was cut out without hands,' that is, the Incarnate Nature of the Son of God, expand itself into a mountain, which was to fill the earth. And this exactly accords with what is revealed to us respecting the purposes of our Lord's Incarnation. For was not Godhead and Manhood combined in Him, that the inferior nature, which was exalted in its Head, might be communicated to His brethren? 'He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.' To resolve St. Paul's assertions, therefore, into a figure of speech, is not only to violate the analogy of language, but to detract from the mystery of our redemption. The Apostle surely was well aware how wonderful was the truth which he was communicating, when he affirmed Christians to be members of' Christ's 'Body, from His Flesh, and from his Bones'; for he himself declared it to be a great mystery.' There can be no pretence, therefore, for refusing to take his statements in that natural and obvious sense which his words imply. He declares the Church to be that which Our Lord had Himself predicted it should be, an organic body, deriving its life from perpetual union with the Humanity of its Head. I am the vine; ye are the branches.' As the whole race of mankind inherits that life which was infused into nature in Adam, so the Church's life results from that power which was bestowed upon humanity, through the taking it into God. The mystical Body of Christ has an organic life, like His Body natural; for Christ was personally Incarnate in that Body, which was slain, but by power and presence will He be Incarnate in His Church till the end of the world. As the Gospels are the record of His Presence in the one, so is Church History that of His Presence in the other. What else could be intended by His promise to His chosen representatives? 'Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.' Or what less could be implied in that Scriptural statement which identifies His members with Himself? For as the Body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being many are one body, so also is Christ.'

"The Scriptural statements, then, respecting the Church of Christ, represent it to be an organic body, whereby that life which had entered into humanity through the Head of our race was extended to its members. And so St. Irenæus speaks of those 'who are not nourished at the breast of their mother,' the Church, as 'not discerning that clear fountain, which flows from the Body of Christ.' And on this principle depends the whole idea of the Christian Sacraments, as the media of Church union, and the gift which the Church was commissioned to convey. Holy Baptism was instituted that by one Spirit' we may all be baptized into one body' and the Holy Eucharist transmits that life, which had its source in God, and which was imparted to mankind through the Mediator. 'As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, even so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.' Those who do not recognize this organic action in the Church of Christ, must find a large part of St. Paul's language unintelligible. What can be meant by the being buried' with Christ, and raised up' with Him, by the putting Him on,' the being found in Him,' by our relation to the New Man,' by the position and work of the last Adam?' These words surely look to some actual set of events as their counterpart. The notion of a mere sympathy of feeling, and accordance of purpose, is not enough to bear their weight. They cannot be got rid of as parabolical expressions, unless the Incarnation of the Son of God, and the whole mystery of the New Creation, is resolved into a fable. And, therefore, we affirm that the sacred Scriptures assert the whole Church of God to be the Body of Christ, endowed with life by the Son of God. Of this Body, which is to be regarded as a whole, the members are individual believers. For as the soul gives life and motion to the body, which of itself could have no living motion, so the Word, giving a right motion and energy, moves the whole body, the Church, and each one of its members.' ~pp. 26-31.

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We commend this to all our Protestant readers, for after all, the whole controversy between them and us lies here. Is the Church a mere congeries of individuals, with no life but that which is in them as individuals, and derived from them, or is she an organism, an organic body, living a life of her own, which she derives not from her members, but which they by communion derive from her? Protestants generally hold that the body derives its life from the members, not the members from the body; that is to say, they deny the Church to be an organic body living its own divine life derived from Christ its head. They thus really deny that our Lord founded any Church, and reduce him

to the rank of a mere preacher of truth and justice. They assert a system of pure individualism, and lose the whole benefit of the atonement and salvation through Christ. On what condition could Christ make satisfaction for my sins? My sins were not his, and how could God's justice be satisfied by the punishment of the innocent for the guilty? Say our Lord offered a full equivalent, how can that affect me? It was I who owed the debt, and not another, and how can I be said to have paid it because Christ has paid it? In no other way than on the ground that he is my head and that I am his member, and so united with him as a member to the head that I paid it in him as the member shares in what is done by the head. Before, then, I have practically made satisfaction to God's jus tice, or before I can receive the application of the atonement to myself personally, I must be joined to Christ as a living member of his body. But if you deny all such body of Christ, you deny me the possibility of being united to it, and consequently the possibility of sharing in the atonement. In order to be saved, or to attain to eternal salvation, we must live the life of Christ, not a life like his, but his identical life, as the members live the life of the body, or the body the life of the head. How, if the Church is no organic body, living a divine life derived from its head, are we as individuals to come into real and living communion with Christ, and partake of his divine life? Deny the Church as an organism, as the body of Christ living his life, and you deny the whole Gospel; you deny the whole scheme of salvation through Christ, and fall into the naked rationalism and naturalism of the Unitarian. Without the Church as an organic body living an interior life of its own, or the life of the indwelling Holy Ghost, Christianity is but one among a thousand systems of moral and intellectual philosophy, and as powerless as any other.

We are well aware that it is exceedingly difficult for our materialistic and atheistic age to understand how the Church, which appears to be composed of individuals, can have any other life than what is brought to her by her members. Men in our age have lost the conception of unity, or confounded it with that of totality. They have lost, as had the old Gentiles, the conception of creation. With them it is not God who makes the world, but the world that makes God. They have multiplicity without

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