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for miracles.' 25 Disestablishment of the Church has now been openly proclaimed by the leaders of this party as consistent apparently with this apostolic' programme; while an entirely new theory of the Canon law has forged for ecclesiastical ambition (or rather vanity) a new weapon with which to defy the State.26 After this we are not surprised to hear that the great Hooker was defective on the Sacraments' and that the still greater Augustine was not a good Churchman,' or that the Reformation should be described by the leader of the neo-Tractarians as a grand act of rebellion against the traditional officers of the Church in repudiating a law of Divine authority.' 21 Yet, side by side with this, Secularism' has been openly and systematically proclaimed as the course to be taken with regard to our Church schools. A Christian Socialism,' avowedly identi cal with the anti-Christian Socialism of Blatchford and Bernard Shaw, is now publicly taught by the adherents of this school. The Ascension of Christ is conveniently explained as a figure of speech or only a mode of action in later Christian thought— that is to say, it never happened. The Second Coming and the Day of Judgment are only timeless modes of apprehending the great time process of an Advent and a Judgment that are always here and always coming.28 Lux Mundi, in short, has become Flux Mundi. In this way the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection have to be reinterpreted'; and miracles are but exaggerations of natural phenomena.
At this point, we are glad to notice that the Bishops have interfered; and of these the Bishop of London has made a protest of no uncertain sound. After publications by some six clergymen announcing these obnoxious tenets, a High Church modernist of Oxford has been selected for particular reprobation. And the Reverend Mr. Thompson, unless we completely misunderstand his explicit language, denies not only all miracle but the intervention of any strictly supernatural Agency whatever. Yet, as a defender of Mr. Thompson has pointed out in the October and December numbers of this Review,29 the publication of Lux Mundi is indirectly responsible for these spiritual vagaries; and the episcopal patrons of that movement, men far superior both
25 The author of Orders and Unity, as the result of this definition, hesitatingly étates a belief, apparently, in modern miracles,' p. 109-thus controverting the position of the Fathers that all miracles strictly so called ceased with the Apostles (Chrys. Hom. xlii.; Aug. de vera rell. xxv. 47; Origen c. Cels. ii. 8, 46; Greg. Magn. Hom. xxix. in Ev.).
26 Nineteenth Century, February 1910, art. Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister and the Cry of Disestablishment' (by the present writer).
21 Orders and Unity, pp. 76, 176, 184.
28 Ibid, p. 58, and the same author at the Cambridge Church Congress. The last of these performances reminds one of Aristophanes' ἀεροκεναμβατεύοντες.
29 Liberty of Criticism within the Church of England,' by the Rev. Cyril W. Emmet
in character and attainments to the school they may be said to lead, cannot at once lay a ghost of their own raising. Indeed, so ingenious has become the art of theological controversy that Mr. Thompson's defender would respectfully claim both the Bishops who initiated this controversy as being on his side. But the issue is so serious that every section of the Church should earnestly support the public action of these Bishops in defending the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. That all the leading views of continental infidelity can seriously be held by an English clergyman is in itself an absurdity. These views, perhaps, represent only a passing phase of opinion. Yet we fear they are far too rife among us. If evidence were needed, the correspondence
columns of the Guardian for October, and the Church Times in its leading article for the 22nd of December, would be proof sufficient. Yet it should be carefully noted that nearly all these views were in general circulation, as forming part of the assault upon the infant Christian Church, among the Judaising Gnostics of the second century.30 So old is modern unbelief veiled in the garb of Christian religion!
It is painfully strange to witness these aberrations of the human mind. That prophet would have been wiser than Daniel who a hundred years ago could have foretold the modern developments of Christendom in a papal, or rather pagan, direction. He would have been pronounced a madman had he foreseen that the twentieth century, owing to the call of Newman, would have been content to take for her model the tenth century, and that 'the dark ages.' 31 in which few could either read or write, should supply a pattern for the light and learning of our own times. Never did any age as ours so loudly boast of reason. Yet what could be more unreasonable than the present childish clamour of over 2000 clergy for vestments and censers, for pyxes and reservations, for blessing ashes and worshipping candles, and for what Laud justly called 'ornaments of superstition' derived from a barbarous age and a barbarous version of the Christian religion?
It would take no Oedipus to solve the riddle. Τὰ πρὸς ποσὶ OKÓTTEL. The divine immortal part of man cries out for the eternal. It craves certainty. It demands a revelation.
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us,
'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter
Eternity, thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
"I have endeavoured to track this heresy in a letter to the Guardian for Oct. 27, 1911, and have cited a battalion of Fathers in support of the Gnostic ancestry of 'modernism.'
"The Anglo-Catholic Worley's Jeremy Taylor (p. 1, Longmans) admits the truth of this libel on the Middle Ages.
For such a being 'what,' as Cicero asks, is more miserable than uncertainty?'
To this craving the Christian Church in all ages-whether orthodox or heretic-has hitherto offered only one answer. She is the keeper and witness of Holy Writ.' The Bible and the Bible only the words are Augustine's 2 as much as Chillingworth's is the religion of Christians.' This contains, in the language of Solomon, the certainty of the words of truth'; St. Luke in like manner assures his readers of the certainty of those things which were most surely believed among us' (Pr. xxii. 21; Lu. i. 1-4). The facts of the Bible are testified to beyond dispute by suffering eyewitnesses in the cause of truth. The journeyings of Israel in the wilderness, the genealogies of the Book of Chronicles and of the Evangelists, the minute particularisation of dates and names and of local colouring which, as in Daniel and the Book of the Acts, had escaped the historians of a later age, find a marvellous confirmation in the annals of modern research. Six Jewish and several heathen prophecies of the Virgin Birth 33 and of a resurrection from the dead" were fulfilled in Him Who was to come as the desire of all nations' and 'the light and life of men.' And if man has control over the forces of nature to bind them to his service and to overcome the laws of gravitation, what shall we say of Him Whose power could suspend the ordinary sequences of phenomena by the superinduction of a higher law which His Own free self-determining personality decreed? It is impossible to escape the moral dilemma Anselm in the eleventh century propounded-Aut Deus erat aut non bonus. In two ways only could it be avoided. Judaism got rid of Christ by hiding Him behind the outward forms of His Church on earth. Gnosticism evaporated His gospel into metaphors and explained away His history as purely ideal. It was left for the ingenuity of neo-Tractarianism to combine both methods in the art of evading a plain historical issue.
It is not often given to prophets with accuracy to predict. But in the case of the Oxford Movement we can present a remarkable instance of a prophecy followed by its fulfilment. While Newman was at Oxford erecting a scheme of theology that regarded Gibbon as our one ecclesiastical historian, asserting that Hume's sneer against miracles was unanswerable, and despising Paley for any
Augustine, Ep. lxxxii. 3, Solis eis Scripturarum libris qui jam canonici appellantur didici hunc timorem honoremque deferre.' So Aquinas speaks of the Scriptures (Summa I., i, Q. i. Art. viii).
" Isa. vii. 14 (Vitringa); viii. 10, 14; lxvi. 7, 8; Jerem. xxxi. 22; Mic. v. 2-4; Virgil Ecl. iv. ('virgo . . . progenies caelo ').
* Isa. xxvi. 19 (Vitringa, footnote); Hos. vi. 2, xiii. 14; Plato Rep. 614 B. ed. Stallb. (Adam's note).
attempt at setting forth the evidence for the truth of Christianity," the brilliant Henry Rogers was writing for the Edinburgh Review on 'The Oxford Tractarian School' and its more 'Recent Developments.' Let us quote a portion of his prophecy :
The Oxford Tract School [has] suffered itself to speak of the Scriptures in language which cannot but tend to diminish reverence for them and to give no little advantage to infidelity. Indeed, we fully expect that as a reaction of the present extravagances of the revival of obsolete superstitions-we shall have ere long to fight over again the battle with a modified form of infidelity as now with a modified form of popery. Thus probably
for some time to come will the human mind continue to oscillate between the extremes of error, but with a diminished arc at each vibration; until truth shall at last prevail and compel it to repose in the centre. The offensive displays of self-sufficiency and flippancy, of ignorance and presumption, found in the productions of the Apostles of the new infidelity of Oxford are the natural and instructive, though most painful, result of attempting to give predominance to one principle of our nature. The excellence of man must consist in the harmonious action and proper balance of all the constituents of that nature of his reason, his faith, his appetites, his affections, his emotions; when these operate each in due proportion, then and then only can he be at rest."
These words were written between the years 1840 and 1850. Let us now turn to one of the most recent dispassionate historical accounts of the rise and progress of the Oxford School from the hand of a sympathetic and capable judge, Sir Samuel Hall, K.C.:
It seems paradoxical to assert that the efforts of the great leaders of the Oxford Movement to place the Christian faith and the Anglican form of it on the firm basis of [ecclesiastical] authority should be responsible, even in part, for the undermining of the faith of the laymen-which really is the cause of [their] indifference and aloofness. But there can be little doubt that the attack on the doctrine of the Bible and the Bible alone as the religion of Protestants,' " and the effort to rest religion mainly on the authority of the Church have helped. . . . to bring about such indifference and aloofness, even when it has not resulted in absolute disbelief of the Christian theory. And this indirect help to the destruction of the basis of belief which has led to agnosticism must be reckoned among the indirect results of the movement."
Human nature is always the same. Once more the cry is being raised, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.39 And we turn to the second
" Read a brilliant exposure of 'le Newmanisme' by M. E. Michaud in the Revue Intern. de Théologie, Oct.-Dec. 1905.
Essays Theological and Controversial, vol. iii. pp. 61, 63, 190. (Ed. Rev., April 1843, October 1844, October 1849.)
"The famous title Chillingworth gave to his great work on the Roman controversy.
Short Hist. of Oxford Movement, p. 250 (Longmans). Archbishop Tait to the last held the same view and published the fact. Cf. Milman, Essays, pp. 303, 309; Gwatkin, Early Ch. Hist., ii. 95, 248.
"Orders and Unity, p. 49. It appears from pp. 39, 40, 172 that 'faith' in the Bible or Christ is not sufficient for salvation as stated in Art. vi. Has this author ever read Bishop Jeremy Taylor's damaging conclusions to the contrary in the celebrated Preface to his Holy Living?
and third centuries for an explanation of its meaning. For in these centuries we may take Professor Gwatkin as an unimpeachable guide:
Step by step from this age onward Christ's minister is advanced forsooth to a dignity Christ never gave him. First he is turned into priest to offer sacrifices. Then a material sacrifice is invented for him to offer. Then the whole work of the Spirit is shut up into his ministrations. No grace but in the visible Church, no salvation outside it. Nothing remained but to compel them to come in.'
The entire mediaeval system from the Papacy downward is no more than a natural development of the unbelief which knows no working of the Spirit but one transmitted by outward ordinances from a distant past.“
The distinguished theologian, Dr. Dorner, tells the same tale of modern Germany:
A tendency partly infidel, partly Romanising . . . . in its latter aspect [for the two positions are interchangeable] is already striking its roots over into Germany."
And this religion of scepticism leads to many practical abuses. Sir Alfred Cripps has attributed the present attack on the Welsh Church as largely due to that striving after a fictitious and artificial unity created by the medieval ideal.
It may be asked, What is to be done? Persecution has been tried. Toleration has been tried. When the ecclesiastical courts decide against the recalcitrants they carry their cause to a civil court; and from a civil court the sticklers for ecclesiastical purity threaten us with an appeal to a still more secular court-the House of Lords.42 It has been proposed to reduce the power of Bishops. It has been proposed to multiply the number of Bishops. It has even been proposed to have no Bishops Bishops at all.
WE PLEAD FOR A RESTORATION OF THE OLD-FASHIONED HIGH CHURCH PARTY. But where shall we find it? The answer will be found, where Macaulay long ago found it—viz. in the good sense of the English people. The Bishops are sincerely honest, hardworking, God-fearing men, who have the Church and nation at heart as much as the Bishops of the second century. But they lack support. The cumbrous machinery of ecclesiastical law is extremely expensive to put in motion; and the vast number of the inferior clergy are hard workers rather than hard thinkers, and represent, perhaps without knowing it, the 'moderate High Church' tradition. Moreover, no director of a diocese cares to live in an atmosphere of quarrel; and thus human nature sometimes triumphs over the divine sense of justice.
40 Early Church History, ii. 95. Cf. his Knowledge of God, ii. 252. 41 Hist. of Protestantism, vol. i. p. xv. (Pref.).
42 The latest case was that of Thompson v. Bannister over the Deceased Wife's Sister. See the Nineteenth Century for February 1910 (by the present writer).