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becomes ever more and more explicit, till, at length, we groow convinced of God's humanity, become convinced that God is essentially human, that He is essential man, and, consequently, learn at once to claim Him as the very centre of our righteousness, as the very source of our strength.' Theii as to Sabbaths, and Bibles, and Ministers, and Sacraments, these all belong to the oldness of the letter,' and have no place in that spiritual, democratic, and humanitarian Church, which Christ, viewed 'in His ideal and inward character,' came to set up in the earth. No! all this is destined to decline before the light of science,' as a farthing candle declines in the blaze of the mid-day. And now let the bells ring in the Millennium of the New Theology. And let the blessed spectacle spread itself before our eyes of a world filled with that angelic type of man, 'who cheerfully abounds in social uses, who diligently pursues his lawful calling, who trains his children to noble and patient labours, whododges no juries and shirks no political responsibility; but manfully confrontsevery duty, aspiring with his whole heart to be worthy of the great and beautiful society in which God has placed him.' We presume our readers are pretty well satisfied with Mr. James's production. We have no apology to make for the real evils which he satirizes. We plead for none of the absurdities, either in creeds or Churches, which he has discovered or imagined. There is much in his book which we admit, much even to admire. But, as a whole, it is as unfair, dogmatic, fanciful, bitter, and mischievous as two hundred pages of charming letter-press can be well conceived to be.
A Visible Church; and No Invisible Members. By the Rev.
Richard Rymer, Author of Memoirs of the Rev. William
by John Mason. 1861. This is a practical treatise on the duty and advantages of visible union and fellowship with the Christian Church. The subject is important;. the publication is well-timed; and, as there are very few books treating expressly and fully of church-fellowship, Mr. Rymer's volume may be said to meet a desideratum. The author's views are sound, and are well urged; an earnest and godly tone gives character to his writing; and Wesleyans, in particular, will find the greater part of the volume very suitable to their requirements. At the same time, there are several particulars in which, if Mr. Rymer should be called upon to prepare another edition, we think he might improve upon the present. The first two chapters might, as we think, with advantage be omitted. They are a summary of those commonplaces of Christian theology with which all intelligent Christians are familiar, and which would be equally appropriate as an introduction to a dissertation on any other branch of Christian economy. In the proper body, of the work, again, Mr. Rymer falls into the modern--the very modern--confusion, which seems to prevail more among Wesleyans than any other denomination of Christians, and which regards the
Brief Literary Notices.
291 Eucharist as a test of church-membership. The quotation from Barrow, which Mr. Rymer has prefixed to his eighth chapter, might have suggested to him the correct view. By this sacrament is signia fied and sealed that union, which is ainong our Saviour's true disciples, &c. Participation in the Lord's Supper is the token and seal, not the test, of church-fellowship. To attest and to test are very different things. Forty years ago, this was the 'test' of Church-of-Englandism, when received at the hands of an episcopal clergyman, as a passport to the magistracy. But, in its relation to church-membership, in connexion with a voluntary and vital Christian organization, the Lord's Supper can only be regarded as the solemn symbol and token by which the membership, otherwise contracted and tested, is celebrated, attested, and ratified. With this qualification, which we deem to be of importance, we agree almost entirely with the author's sensible and persuasive observations upon the subject of church-fellowship. We should observe, however, in reference to chapter iii., that the Jewish nation can only in a very qualified sense be considered, for the purposes of Mr. Rymer's argument, as having been God's visible Church. The High-Churchman, who believes in strictly national Churches, and who holds that admission into the National Church is obtained solely, and once for all
, by baptism administered at the hands of the nationally authorized priest,' may avail himself consistently of the precedents of Judaism, but hardly a Wesleyan minister. And we must be allowed, also, to say that, in our judgment, the author's style is sometimes too rhetorical and too diffuse for a practical treatise intended for private reading. Strict revision, with a view to increased compression and force, would materially improve the volume. Occasionally, indeed, the author's rhetoric is disfigured by decidedly objectionable phrases; as when, for example, he speaks of the Son of God as having stripped Himself of the drapery of His Divine character.' Some Notes on the First Chapter of Genesis, with Reference to
Statements in Essays and Reviews. By the Rev. A.
Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt. 1861. This pamphlet is in reply to the main positions assumed by Mr. Goodwin, in his contribution to the 'Essays and Reviews.' Dr. M'Caul easily and effectually disposes of the Essayist's assumption that in the first two chapters of Genesis we have two distinct accounts of the Creation. Only a sciolist's reliance upon the authority of some one or two leading critics could have led Mr. Goodwin to say that the position he assumes 'is so philologically certain, that it were useless to ignore it.' Dr. M'Caul is a profound and widelyread Hebraist, and shows that, 'so far as modern criticism is concerned, [and the ancient critics are all against the Essayist,] there are few questions of biblical interpretation philologically more uncertain. In particular, the high authority of Heinrich Ewald, rationalist as he
is, is directly opposed to the Essayist’s assumption. Dr. M'Caut goes on to investigate the meaning of the phrase, In the beginning. His conclusion, abundantly, indeed superabundantly, sustained by the citaţions of learned authorities, is, that the Hebrew word is indefinite, and can include millions or milliards of years just as easily as thousands. The statement of Moses is, therefore, not contrary to the discoveries of geology. Moses's words are' big enough to take in times indefinite, and exceeding the powers of human calculation. They also answer the more ancient objection, that it is absurd to suppose that God created nothing during past eternity, but began the work of creation a few thousand years ago. Moses says just the contrary. Respecting the meaning of the word day,' we select a few sentences from the doctor's discussion, from which some idea may be obtained as to the view which he takes.
It is an old and true observation, that in the Bible the word “day": often signifies undefined periods. In [one part of] this narrative (ii. 4) the word (clearly.] takes in the whole time of the creative work. The first three days were certainly not measured by the interval between sunset and sunset; for, as yet the sun was not perfect, and had no light....... The time of light in which the Divine work proceeded, He called Day, and the time of darkness He called Night. It was not a day measured by the presence of the sun's light, nor a night measured by the absence of that light....... The union of these two periods of darkness and light He calls “one day," " a second day,?
a third dày, to mark the distinctive breaks in the of the development of the world. In this fifth verse, "day" is taken in two senses, --first, of the duration of light; and, secondly, of the whole time of light and darkness together. But what was the duration we are not told; and, so far, there is nothing to cause us to conclude that the whole was equal to twenty-four hours.' In attempting to mark out the six geological periods, Dr. M'Caul seems to us to labour under a deficiency of geological knowledge. Of the flimsy objection, that the biblical records countenance the opinion of the earth's immobility, the divine makes short and easy work: nor does he find any difficulty in rebutting the Essayists' affirmation, that the Hebrews understood the firmament to be a permanent solid vault.' Altogether this pamphlet is one of considerable value. But it is time that an adequate reply to the Essays, in a permanent-form, were in the hands of the public. We are looking eagerly for the volume which has so long been announced.
Creation in Plan and in Progress : being an Essay on the First
Chapter of Genesis. By the Rev. James Challis, M.A.,
London: Macmillans. 1861.
Brief Literary Notices.
293 Challis is a man of distinguished mathematical and scientific attainments ; yet his faith in Scripture is not shaken by his familiarity with the progress of modern science. The view which he takes of the first chapter of Genesis is, that the Scripture gives a proleptical account of the Creation as designed ;' that what is described by the sacred writer is the plan of creation as it may be conceived to have arisen before the Divine mind, in its order and its harmony. Further, he argues that " the order of the creations in Scripture is to be reconciled with Geology on the supposition that it is not the order of the commencement of the different kinds of organization, but that of their maximum generations as to number or size.' In the earliest stages of the earth's history, he supposes the planet to have been self-luminous' But, afterwards, he supposes that a great change took place in the earth's atmosphere, or in the amount of cloud sustained in it,' and that the earth ceased to be self-luminous ; plants and animals became dependent for light and heat on the sun; and the sun, moon, and stars became visible through openings in the attenuated aid disTupted cloud-stratum,' &c. This period would correspond to the fourth day; when the sun, moon, and stars are said in Genesis to have been made, or constituted as lights.
Evidence of Christianity, derived from its Nature and Recep
tion. By John Bird Sumner, Archbishop of Canterbury. A new Edition, revised with Reference to recent Objec
tions. London: Hatchard and Co. 1861. * It would have been easy to excuse the bishops, if, heavily bur-dened as they necessarily are, they had left it to less prominent or less occupied writers, to fight against them that fight against'
Christian doctrines, and to stand up for the help of those whose faith is put in peril by the contests of the day. But, not content with protests and judicial proceedings, already several of the bench have contributed useful books in support of truth. Like the Bishop
of London, in the Dangers and Safeguards of Modern Theology, the primate, in the work before us, reissues, with adaptations to present needs, a production the substance of which was written in earlier and less engrossed days. This latter volume, as we are told in its preface, is the republication' (suggested by the Essays and Reviews,) of a treatise written nearly forty years ago.'
To confute the notorious Oxford volume, therefore, either as a whòle, or in any one of its sections, this book does not pretend. It
contains no disquisition on the comparative value of the internal and external evidences of Christianity ; but more usefully occupies its reader with the study of actual evidence. This, moreover, is done with such force, skill, and completeness, that not merely is the reception of Christianity shown to be the logical duty of a sound intellect, but its more personal and effective reception is pressed as a duty upon the conscience. Here and there, incidentally, the Essayists are directly and satisfactorily dealt with, when either in their noted volume
or elsewhere they come into collision with the deductions or doctrines of the primate. For example, in the fourth chapter, which treats of the connexion of Christianity with the Jewish history and Scriptures, we have a refutation of that shameless theory of invention, coincidence, and afterthought, by which Mr. Jowett accounts for the apos. tolic ideas of Christ as a sacrifice, and of His death as an atonement. This clergyman the archbishop there designates as one of our most ingenious rationalists.
We are pleased, too, with the limited and modest title which the archbishop has chosen, and have regretted to see it misquoted, Evidence of Christianity is far less pretentious and more correct than The Evidences; and it would have been well if some larger treatises had been content to say no more of themselves. Any such exhaustive statement as the latter expression implies, has never yet been written, and never will be. For beside that felt evidence which experience brings, and that witnessed evidence which the progress of Christianity will ever be bringing, every thoughtful student of Scripture details, and of the history and scheme of Christianity, may continually accumulate fresh evidences for himself, and store up new developments of their truth and genuineness, as they will arise to his peculiar view.
In its scheme the book is an argument from the fact of the 48 istence of Christianity, its character and its effects, backward to its origin. This design is very effectively carried out. The first chapter, after showing the necessity of a stronger ground for believing Christianity than that it is the established religion of our own age and country, adduces undeniable evidence of the correctness of the alleged date of its rise, and of the real existence of its asserted Founder. The further purpose and arguments of the treatise are given with tolerable completeness in the following paragraphs, ex tracted from the concluding chapter:
* The preceding chapters have been intended to establish a strong moral evidence of the truth of Christianity. Whether we consider the doctrines introduced by its Author ;-their originality in His nation; their originality in the world ;--and yet the confirmation which they receive from many singular facts, singular enactments, and minute prophecies, contained in the Jewish Scriptures :-Or whether we consider the internal evidence of the Christian writings ; their language; their anticipation of conduct subsequently developed, and their general wisdom:-Or whether we consider the peculiar character formed under the influence of Christianity;—its excellence in individuals ; its beneficial effects upon mankind; and its suitableness to their condition as dependent and corrupt beings :--Or whether we consider the rapidity with which a religion so pure, so self-denying, so humiliating, and so uncompromising, was propagated and embraced, even in the face of bitter hostility :-we have phenomena which nothing except the truth of the religion can adequately explain. Except on this supposition, it would be difficult to account for any one of these several facts. But either we must believe that not one