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which now and again betrays him into fallacies. Here's an instance :-" The three cases of imputation which are revealed in Scripture—the imputation of the guilt of Adam's first sin to his posterity; the imputation of the sinner's guilt to Christ; and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer, as the ground of the sinner's justification, are all closely connected by the bond of analogy, and must stand or fall together.” To support dogmas by reasoning of that kind is grossly to beg the question. We must refrain from the tempting subject of discussing Dr. Buchannan's work on Justification. And we turn to the representatives of the Broad party in Scotland-Dr. McLeod and Principal Tulloch.
The former has distinguished himself the world round as an accomplished literateur. He is a man of no special or brilliant faculty. He is round; has no obtruding angles or corners ; holds dogmas and theological systems with a light and easy grasp. He only values them in their concrete form, as serving to aid human progress. The very energy of his nature, "like Wordsworth's "Cloud,' moveth altogether if it move at all.” His relation to formulated truth is not intellectual, but moral. By his wealth of earnestness and sympathy he has won the esteem and affection of thousands. Whenever he has attempted to develop his ideas in logical form he has been unfortunate; as witness his bold onslaught upon the extreme Sabbatarianism of his Scottish brethren. He declared for the non-obligation of Mosaic Sabbatic legislation upon Christians. Dr. McLeod's views are shared by Principal Tulloch, who is immensely Dr. McLeod's superior in learning and logical power. His essay, which won the second place in the last Burnett award, is said to be an able and exhaustive statement of the Theistic argument. This paper should contain a reference to another truly representative Scottish theologian, Dr. Morrison. He is the reformer of Scottish theology, and the founder of a large and intelligent denomination. By several treatises he has written his name ineffaceably upon the age. His logical power is extraordinary. Harder reasoning than his in his two works on the 9th and the 3rd of Romans, we have never met with. We have not space to point out the objectionable features of these works and in the Doctor's teaching; we cannot help expressing our strong dislike to his favourite practice of stringing words, and often nouns, together by the hyphen; we also wonder at his boyish fondness for big words and bits of grandiloquence.
Our survey of transatlantic theologians must be confined to three representatives—Ward Beecher, Albert Barnes, and Dr. Bushnell. Mr. Beecher may be affirmed to be the most popular divine in both hemispheres. Of his bold, enthusiastic spirit; bis long and noble battle against slavery; his outspoken condemnation of social
wrongs; and his splendid gifts of oratory, we cannot speak too highly. His theology may be described as orthodoxy, strongly complexioned by humanitarianism. His sermons have been sold in America as Mr. Spurgeon's have in this country; and his other writings have commanded an enormous sale. His doctrine is “that religion is safe only in the keeping of the affections and intuitions; and the attempts of the intellect to interpret the utterances of the heart must issue either in vexation and disgust, or in delusion." Definition is to him something dreadful in religion. The syllogism in theology is irreligious, and dogma is opposed to divinity. He is not safe as a theologian, nor to be trusted in doctrinal statement. He is intensely human, as this extract will show :-“ Let a man be trained to look upon the Lord Jesus Christ as the sweet embodiment of divine paternal love; let him be trained to feel that he is the child of a loving parent; and then let him be brought to the conviction that he has done wrong, and he says, 'I have sinned father; I am sorry; I will do better; help me. That is the whole process of grace; and it is natural. But represent God as governor ; interpose the whole philosophy of the Atonement; bring up men to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is not only able to forgive sins because he is God and Father, but that he is able to forgive sins because he has made a preparation for it; make orthodoxy to depend upon knowing what that preparation is, and what are all the discriminations which should be made in judging of it; and when a man perceives that he has sinned and feels that he must seek forgiveness, he says, "Now, do I believe in Christ as the atoning Saviour! But are my motives right ?' And he enters into a consideration or speculation in respect to the nature of moral government; the character of the Saviour; and the preparation necessary for accepting that Saviour. And the mind drifts away from the simple child-like process of saying "Father I have sinned. And so he goes on to declare that no other conditions are required in the forgiveness of sin than are required in a father forgiving a wayward child. In the two sermons on Holy Scripture and Vicarious Suffering-sermons of great ability and rich in eloquence—there are theological statements reflecting the tendency of these days to refine away the grand peculiarity of Gospel truth. We repeat, while he is intensely human, he often becomes humanitarian ; and, while his pages glow and often blaze with rich and abundant illustrations, he is thoroughly practical ; he poses shams in society and churches; and delights in running tilts against every form of injustice and wrong; and his thinkings are always fresh, suggestive, and racy.
Albert Barnes is the very antipodes of Beecher, hard, logical, unpoetical, and thoroughly orthodox. His Calvinism is of the modern type; he contends most strenuously for the universality of Christ's
atonement; but the saving and effectual call is not given to all; but he has done as much as any man to popularise Bible knowledge. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, on Isaiah, or Job, are to be found wherever we go. Truth compels us to say that, while they have spread a knowledge of the Divine Word over a large area, their exegetical value is very small. Being stricken with blindness in his old age, he has laid down his pastoral duties and his pen. His last work was to write a volume of Christian Evidences, treated in the light of recent movements and speculation in the scientific and theological world ; this, his last, is one of the best of his productions. Our third American is Dr. Horace Bushnell. Dr. B. is well known to British Theologians as being one of the freshest thinkers and most beautiful writers that the American Church has produced. His best-known works are Christian Nurture, Sermons on the New Life, Nature and the Supernatural as together constituting the one system of God, and Vicarious Sacrifice grounded on Principles of Universal obligation. Of these Nature and the Supernatural is his masterpiece, and Vicarious Sacrifice, the least satisfactory.
Bushnell's views may be thus summarised: the Trinity is a natural and necessary conception of God generated by God's own revelations in the Scriptures, and by the various dispensations of his will to mankind. God being a Spirit, cannot be hurt by force, yet he is morally passible, as exactly responsive in his feeling to the merit and demerit of actions as a thermometer to heat. The Divine Being determining that men should be powers, or supernatural agents, i.e., capable of operating on the chain of cause and effect from without the chain-the introduction of sin was involved, though not necessitated in such determination. Sin came into the world as the result of the condition privative man was in, which condition privative again, arose from his necessary lack of knowledge, and experience of the evil of sin. So man was intentionally passed through the stages of law and grace, that he might be drilled into the love and habit of virtue. It is probable that the ministrations of law and grace are blended in the training of all holy minds in all worlds. For we have no solid evidence in scripture that the good angels have not passed through a fall. The Devil or Satan is a convenient personification of collective evil.
Anti-Christ is the Devil of Christianity, as Satan is the Devil of Christianity and Providence.” In the foresight of man's sin, God created deformity, destruction, and death (as evidenced by Geology) as the anticipative consequences of sin, that afterwards Nature might accompany and typify that sin. There is such a thing as eternal punishment, but it is not a positive infliction so much as a natural retribution. It is the inevitable result of the disuse and decay of the religious capacities. “The lost will suffer at any given moment for being just what he is at that moment.”
In Redemption, Christ simply engages, at the expense of great suffering and even of death itself, to bring us out of our sins themselves, and so out of their penalties. All love has an element of vicariousness in it, therefore, men may suffer in kind though not in degree, as Christ did. There was nothing penal in his agony; it was the agony of profound sympathy with man. “Christ was not here to die, but died because He was here.” Conversion is the inward discovery of Christ. Christ is the proximate regenerator of man, while the Spirit is the more remote. Justification is not a legal process at all, but is simply the way that God communicates his own character to us.
Such is a rapid survey of the views of Bushnell, as set forth in his books. We may add he is a firm believer in miracles, and indeed goes the length of maintaining that the power to work miracles is still in the possession of the Church.
Our plan had comprehended an analysis of the German Theologians and their schools, such as Olshausen, Ebrard, Müller, Langge, and Stier. Hengstenberg, Hävernick and Baumgarten, Dorner, Delitszch, Kurtz, and Strauss, and Kiel. Then the Genevians should have had attention, Dr. D'Aubigne, Naville, and Gaussen. Then the cluster of French Divines proper should have been treated of; Guizot statesman, philosopher, and theologian ; Pressensè, Coqurels, father and son, and that “idyllic romancer," Renan. We defer the completion of our purpose to a future period.
All inquiry like the foregoing serves to show how close and intimate is the connection between the truth and life, between evangelical soundness and spiritual religion. It has ever been found in the history of the Church that a declension of spiritual life has been either accompanied with or followed by a departure from Christian truth. We know that occasionally a strict formal orthodoxy has existed with the absence of spiritual life, but soon even the orthodoxy has disappeared. Nor can we wonder at this close connection, for God's Spirit is the author of all personal goodness, and is the teacher and witness of the truth. The only real and lasting security for the continuance of sound doctrine in the Church is the continual presence and working of the Spirit of truth. But we only retain that blessed Spirit while we abide in his truth. It is our business to preach the truth ; preaching is not a display of rhetorical pyrotechnics, or an exhibition of bold startling assertions, as if the object were just to provide diversion and amusement for the people. It is our exalted duty to declare God's truth in all its harmony and completeness, to defend it against the assaults of foes, to inculcate its duties, and to unfold its depths of meaning and mercy. This is our work; so long as man is blinded and hardened, so long as God shall permit us to remain in the vineyard, so long must we be workers, and should be masters, in the sublime science of Theology:
ART. II.—MODERN HERESIES.
The prophetic and apostolic offices having ceased, the former at the end of the third century, no tribunal of appeal remained for the Church when winds of false doctrine swept over its tranquil bosom; and the love which “vaunteth not itself," and is not "puffed up," having been suffered to decay,“ vain philosophy” gained the upper hand. The aged apostle John had to denounce a doctrine which the exalted Christ “ hated”—the invention of one Nicholas. Arius denied the Deity of our Lord ; Oregon let loose the depraved passions of our nature by preaching the ultimate Salvation of all men and of all devils! The Gnostics gave the early churches much trouble. The first three hundred years after Pentecost was a time of great and fearful conflict to the Church. A noble vessel, with a holy crew and a precious cargo, she was pursued and assailed by hosts of pirates, who, if they did not rob her of her cargo, or sink her to the bottom of the sea, often checked her progress, and, at times, persuaded some of her “hands” to go over to their side. Councils—a feeble substitute for the two leading ministries we have named—did something towards checking the progress of error. The Church even now cannot be too thankful for the Creed of the Council of Nice, for it is a clear and beautiful epitome of the truths which, at that early time, were believed in; and it shews that whatever heresies prevailed, and how many soever were the heretical sects which then existed, the Church itself had held by the good and grand old truths embodied in the Apostles' Creed.”
The linking of the Church to the State, while it formed an alliance which its Founder and Head never intended, and gave rise to evils and corruptions which our pen is not powerful enough to adequately describe, preserved it, nevertheless, from open schism, until the rival claims of the Eastern and Western potentates could no longer co-exist with open unity. But for ages those two great divisions formed the visible church. The world knew nothing, as it knows now, of myriads of small knots of men and women--the offshoots of other offshoots, and the results of wrath and arrogance -assembling in rooms and cottages, praying and quarrelling, and calling themselves churches ! The Pope, styling himself the Apostle of Christ, and thus mimicking the original ruling power of the church, managed, by this spurious imitation of a real institution, aided by the attractions of secured livings for the priesthood, and the pride of office, to keep the Western church in something like outward unity. And so of the Eastern church. In this there was visible unity at any rate.