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error a better prize when we make it yield us productive truth, than when we compel it to grant us barren victory. And it has ever been my delight to find out what it is that endears and recommends to men representations of God and divine things, which to us appear so dark and intricate ; what sentiment they touch; what want they satisfy. For my own part, I have entire and ineradicable faith in the loving instincts of pure hearts, far more than in the range and clearness of my own particular understanding. I feel assured that all minds, in proportion as they are good and faithful, attain to like perceptions of things beautiful and sacred; that they mean at bottom very much the same thing; that the reason, conscience and affection, from which faith is the inmaculate birth, are not personal accidents, different in different men, but an indivisible emanation of the infinite and illuminating Spirit ; seemingly broken, indeed, by the media of transmission, into the several colours, yet the undulation still of one ethereal base, and capable of re-union into the same white flood of truth. We have always something to learn, till we have traced the beliefs which we disown and others trust up to their inmost seat in human nature, and detected what good and holy thing it is which they poorly struggle to express. This insight gained, we dissent no longer with the heat of a narrow antipathy, but with the quiet of a large sympathy. We become conscious of seeing only in part; aware of the immense firmament of truth in which we float, and wakeful for every new star which the guiding heavens may reveal. It has seemed to me that thus only can a truly deep-souled and catholic charity be reached,-a charity not of contemptuous indolence, 'caring for none of these things ;' not of constitutional good-nature, negligent of the sound heart, be there only a bland service of life; not of self-complacent forbearance, uttering platitudes about the innocence of error, and amiably pitying the delusions of mankind; but of genuine reverence of joint partnership in the heritage of truth and goodness; of affectionate self-distrust and earnest outlook on a future, affluent in discovery and sublime in harmonies.”—Pp. 12–14.
In speaking of the "authority of Christianity," Mr. Martineau deprecates, properly enough, the neglect of its internal evidences, but adds that without them "an appeal to the external attestation of preternatural events would produce a feeble or even an unhappy impression : while, on the other hand, the largest amount of historical belief, when gained, can do no more than awaken this feeling, (of the moral beauty, &c. of Christianity) and bring us in discipleship to the feet of Christ.”—P. 9.
No one, we presume, claims for historical Christianity more than that it prepares the way for spiritual and practical Christianity. Nor would any Christian teacher, fit for the office, limit his proof of the authority of Christianity to the miracles. Mr. Martineau writes with much unction of the Author of Christianity, speaking of him as “the grand central figure, in which all that is august and tender in the religion is collected and impersonated." (P. 9.) Yet this figure vanishes into an impalpable spirit, if what our author calls “the historical limitations of his life” have no "relation to our faith and trust.” His
preciation of Jesus” is happily far too correct and heartfelt to enable him to be true to his theory. The following beautiful passage shews how large an influence the miracles recorded in the Gospel exercise over his mind:
“To look upon that form, blending the majesty of the Prophet with the sweetness of the child; to hear that voice of grace and truth, revealing the open secrets of the heart, and with the ease of self-renunciation giving precepts that have the depth of prayer; to watch the vicissitudes of his mind, the flush of early hope, the shade of deepening grief, the light of constant trust; to follow him to the beach, the village home, the leper's haunt, the temple courts, the upper room, the moonlit mount, the cross, the skies; and to feel, as he speaks to the various lot and many coloured guilt of men, the penetration of his simplicity; if this be not enough to bring us to his feet, I do not think that we are of his sheep or shall ever know his voice."
We have marked with italics the portions of the passage in which there is reference to the prophetic and miraculous powers exercised by Jesus. If it is said in reply, it is the “moral beauty, the inherent sublimity,” that extorts our faith, not the miracle,--the rejoinder is obvious enough: “But if you take away the miracle (i. e. obliterate the incident), what do you leave of moral beauty or inherent sublimity? Destroy the canvas, and the picture, however beautiful or sublime, becomes a nonentity. We wish that some one, who fancies he could realize Jesus independently of his miracles, would take the trouble (and the task would not be a short one) to strike out of the four Gospels every passage that is connected with the supernatural, beginning with the marriage feast at Cana, and ending with the ascension of our Lord at Bethany. Let the attenuated Gospels then be placed in the hands of some intelligent youth or thoughtful Heathen, unacquainted with the prevailing estimate of Jesus of Nazareth. What would be the result ? Possibly the reader might reach the conclusion of the centurion at the cross, as recorded by Luke" Certainly this was a righteous man;" but he would fall far short of the more evangelical conclusion ascribed to the centurion by Matthew and Mark--Truly this was the Son of God!
Appended to the sermon is thě report of Mr. Martineau's speech, reprinted from our June No. Our readers doubtless remember it (even if they differ from one or two of its thoughts) as a felicitous specimen of its author's varied and admirable talents.
Examination before Admission to a Benefice by the Bishop of Exeter, followed
by Refusal to Institute, on the Allegation of unsound Doctrine respecting the Efficacy of Baptism. Edited by the Clerk examined, George Cornelius Gorham, B.D., &c. Pp. 230. Hatchard, London.
Mr. GORHAM, the author of this narrative, which may be regarded as his protest against the inquisitorial severity practised on him by Ďr. Philpotts, the Bishop of Exeter, is said to be a man of learning and respectability, a Graduate of the University of Cambridge; but he is in the Bishop's eyes unsound on baptismal regeneration. Mr. Gorham has the integrity and the courage to express his lissent from his Diocesan respecting the positive, unconditional, invariable connection of the outward sign or sacrament with the inward grace of which that sacrament is a seal.”
Mr. Gorham having received the presentation of a living in Devonshire, took the necessary steps to be instituted by his Bishop, but soon found himself a marked and excluded man. Instead of passing through an unimportant form, he was subjected to an examination which
is, we suppose, without its parallel in modern ecclesiastical history. This is Mr. Gorham's description of it:
“The examination was most searching, subtle and severe, and it very soon assumed the character of a theological disputation, in which I was required not merely to state my views, but to maintain my propositions, while the Bishop was my perpetual opponent. The first part of it, comprehending seventy-six questions, was continued during five successive days (Sunday intervening) for eight hours, eleven-and-a-half hours, (to within a quarter of an hour of Sunday morning,) seven-and-a-half hours, five hours, and six hours—in all thirty-eight hours-during a period of considerable ill-health, which, on the first day of my attendance, had been certified to the Bishop by my physician. It was virtually continued for six days longer at my lodging, the Bishop having sent me a volume for comparison, with many additional questions."
The examination was subsequently resumed, occupying altogether fifty-two hours during eight days (exclusive of six days' work at home). On the subject of baptismal efficacy, not less than 149 questions were put to Mr. Gorham. We can fancy the keen relish with which this relentless Prelate pursued his victim. The inquisitorial tortures to which this aged and invalid clergyman was subjected bring back before one's eyes the days when the coarser, but scarcely less malignant, instruments of persecution were the thumb-screw and the iron boot. The result is thus described : VOL. IV.
“On the 21st of March, the Bishop sent the patron and myself formal notices of his refusal (to institute), on the allegation of my unsoundness of doctrine, notwithstanding my solemnly declared adoption of the doctrines of the Church, as deliberately set forth in her Thirty-nine Articles, and in the face of my repeated compliances and readiness, for the eleventh time, to comply with all the requirements of the canons of 1603-4, and the Act of Uniformity of 1662. Such is the extraordinary and alarming fact."
The facts of this case deserve a wide publicity. They should be well pondered by young men designing to seek holy orders. Once let them “subscribe slave," and they may be forced to-day to wear the Tractarian badge, and to-morrow to doff it for the Evangelical, and to interpret the same Articles in an Arminian sense with one Bishop, and in a Calvinistic sense with his successor! If it were possible to imagine one-half of the Bench of Bishops occupied by men possessing the meek and gentle attributes of Henry of Exeter, we should think there was reality in the dreams of those zealous Nonconformists who expect to outlive the Established Church.
PERIODICALS. Memoirs of Channing.* -It will do something more and better than gratify a transient curiosity, if we assist our readers to a knowledge of the judgment of the critics on the recently published Life of Channing. They will be enabled to gather from the extracts which we proceed to lay before them, the altered and greatly improved position of the Unitarian body in the publie mind. The passages quoted, it will be seen, do not always express our opinions--but we shall not stop to criticise.
The Atheneum, July 15.-" This is a valuable contribution to literature. The peculiar eminence reached by Dr. Channing during his life makes a history of himself and of his mind indispensable to the future student of opinion. Diversities of judgment will of course arise as to the measure of his greatness. Certain theologians will turn away with ill-concealed distaste from the courses of mental discipline pursued by him till the hour of his death. Some among the ardent and enthusiastic will fail to understand his patience in investigation, his reserve in expression, and his scrupulous charity towards his opponents. Such ill words as coldness, worldliness—Jesuitism even-may, peradventure, be thrown about by those who imagine that Truth is best attested by brute force, or only to be set free in the midst of brawl and confusion. These mistakes matter little : they must be expected by the calm and conscientious—they must be allowed for by their friends. A large proportion of readers of every sect will be more favour. ably impressed by the records here disclosed.
• While, however, we regard this book as a boon, because of the interest of its subject-matter, and the copious confessions which it registers of a mind the motto of whose pilgrimage was always · Excelsior !' we cannot think that the biographer of Dr. Channing has altogether proved himself equal to the exigencies of his position. We feel, of course, that such a picturesque style as befits the portraiture of an adventurer, or of one whose career was marked by vicissitude, would be disturbing, not to say impertinent, when the hero is a man
• We cannot in this connection avoid referring to an article in the recently, published number of the Prospective Revier. The novelty of its thoughts and the brilliancy of its style will at once reveal its author. Amidst some things from which we utterly dissent, there is a most just appreciation of the moral dignity and beauty of Channing's character. The description of the “orthodox” elements in Channing's theology is altogether an exaggeration, which will be very acceptable in some quarters. The description given of the process through which Unitarians of the "old school” are supposed to reach their theological system, is a beautiful specimen of the pure idealism which sometimes belongs to our friends of the new school. It has not even the resemblance of a caricature. Putting aside a few blemishes of this kind, the article is one of the highest class of merit, and will amply repay a thoughtful perusal.
whose life was a long course of devotion, contemplation and intellectual exercise, --and whom physical disqualification, no less than mental organization, made reserved in intercourse and withdrew from personal risks. But this record falls into the opposite extreme—arguing an inapprehensiveness to those minute traits of humour, sympathy, manner, &c., &c., which we love to gather respecting all distinguished persons. Dr. Channing's nephew could not be expected to Boswellize or to 'pencil' his relation; and many communications which an indifferent chronicler would retain as characteristic, are withheld by the more fasti. dious, not to say nicer, taste of affectionate reverence. But it is a fault, that the passages in which the biographer has tried to bring the outward man before us, convey but undecided forms and faint colours to the eyes of the uninitiated, and will leave the next generation in doubt as to what aspect, as father, neighbour, citizen, was worn by the noble American divine."
July 22.-"He was, whether at home or abroad, always the Minister-a learner, it is true-open-minded, eager, never so arrogant or infallible as to declare against the possibility of future change of development; but solicitously ordering the works of his hands and the utterances of his lips with express reference to his duties as a preacher and a teacher, or with the view of moulding, influencing and instructing those around him by the force and authority of private example. While we do not pretend to appraise the results of his labours here, still less to discuss theological biases or philosophical systems, it must be emphatically recorded that few lives appear to have been so complete, in the constant and consistent aspiration after completeness, as Dr. Channing's. Times of retreat, periodically forced upon him by infirmity of health-foreign travelintercourse with friends at home and strangers from far lands-were one and all turned to account. The work of self-examination went on in uninterrupted harmony with the work of acquisition and of communication. A visitor, surprised by his enthusiasm on the occasion of some gain to the cause of Truth and Freedom,
once addressed him abruptly— Sir, you seem to me to be the only young man I know. Always young for liberty, I trust !' replied Dr. Channing These words might have been the device of his life-analogous to the Let in more light !' of the dying poet. He believed that a Priest should be always young in zeal for self-improvement—always young in loving and hoping-always young in sharing with others the goods and the gifts which he himself had stored. The American divine seems to us to have been admirable as regards tact, temper and high-mindedness. He seems at once to have respected his own place and duly regarded the congregation which had installed and confided in him. While he scrupulously, humbly it may be said, avoided all cause of offence, so long as his conscience permitted, and listened to admonition and counsel, howsoever and by whomsoever given,-when he did speak, he spoke like one who feared nothing but infidelity to his convictions." “We have spoken of Dr. Channing's relations to his flock as admirable in their dignity and honour. One difficulty, which causes more unexplained heartburning and misconception under the Voluntary system than could be readily measured—the question of financial arrangement-may be thought to have been smoothed by his marriage with a lady of good fortune; but the possession of competence by the Priest has not always been found to ensure either sacrifice or common generosity. In proportion as Dr. Channing's weakening powers rendered it necessary for him to relax in his pastoral services, he insisted upon relinquishing his stipend. The correspondence on this subject is among the passages of this Memoir on which we best like to dwell; since though delicacy in pecuniary matters ought perhaps to be rated among the lower order of virtues, it is also, alas ! one of the rarities, and one whose cultivation or maintenance is painfully liable to be traversed by self-delusion."
August 5.—“It remains for us to advert to the services done to his kind by Dr. Channing as a political thinker and writer. Whatever be thought of the annount of science put forth in these-however the despondent may shake their heads at the brilliant and buoyant hopefulness which seems to have been born in him as an instinct and nourished as a matter of duty-the lofty, untemporizing sincerity of the man must command a regard rarely to be entertained for those who handle public affairs. * * * * We, too, will not give up hope for the world so long as it produces minds as sincere, temperate and earnest, as that revealed to us in the volumes which we now close."
Tait's Edinburgh Magazine for July.--"The essays and writings of the late Dr. Channing were far more popular in this country than those of any other American writer of his time. His publications were chiefly confined to topics of a theological or of a political character; but the felicitous combination of a chaste and eloquent style with clear and powerful reasoning, placed his writings before his age generally, and far before his age in the United States. His literary talents were, we believe, more accurately measured and valued on the Eastern than on the Western shores of the Atlantic. He wanted many of those qualifications that are necessary to secure popularity amongst his countrymen. He was a kind, but at the same time a rigidly righteous critic. His opinions were not easily formed; and when matured, they were not easily concealed. He did not, therefore, flatter either his party or his people, but dealt with both in pure integrity of heart. Thus he became the opponent of many favourite objects in the United States. He opposed Slavery, without always following the line of conduct adopted by the extreme Abolitionists. He was extreme and immediate. No man could be more so; and yet he was unable to approve of all the proceedings adopted by the most noisy, if not the most active, party of the Abolitionists. He opposed many of the measures that during his life-time were popular in the States. His estimate of the character of Napoleon Buonaparte was severe, but we are bound now, with time and opportunity to view more calmly the meteor's course, to call it just. It was sternly just. Dr. Channing had no sentimentalism. Sinning genius was a sadder spectacle to him than guilty mediocrity. A profusion of intellect did not weigh any thing in his estimate against a profusion of immorality, except towards weighing the latter down, * To war and to standing armies he was opposed ; and if he had lived to see, he would have also lived to condemn, the last crime of the United States in that department. In this case, however, as in the Abolition movement, he dissented from the enthusiastic views of some of his countrymen. He opposed war as a necessary evil, but not as necessarily a crime. He could not have joined the Peace Societies, and yet he was eminently a man of peace. * Channing, believing that Washington committed no wrong in guiding the armies of his countrymen, opposed the parties who denounce all war as criminal, and teach perfect submission to all wrong.
“The Calvinistic doctrines were the objects of his greatest enmity. On no other topic did he ever express the same intensity of bitter feeling. On this the profession of his life, his mind held a less steady grasp, cast a weaker and more flickering light,
than on any other question that exercised his talents or aroused his genius. He uttered a war of words regarding the marked distinctions of Calvinism that might be freely left to men of less mental wealth. • Words,' rather than “ideas,' are the horrors that he and others have summoned up in this controversy. * There was one topic connected with Calvinism, because taught by several of the gloomiest theologians of that school, but not certainly held by many of the men who are counted Calvinists, that appears to have exercised a strong bias on Dr. Channing; as might, indeed, have been expected from the natural kindness of his heart. We may describe that doctrine as the reprobation of some infants.'. Certainly we cannot conceive how that terrible notion ever entered a human breast; but it came not out of the Bible, which, where it teaches any thing on the topic, teaches the reverse. It is lovely to think, standing by the corpse of a little child, whose spirit has known neither the temptations nor the sins of time-has lived and passed away unconscious of all the evil and the good in life--of how many such is the kingdom of heaven.
“It must be acknowledged that in Dr. Channing's theology there was a nervous wavering, that may have partly arisen from his caution in forming decisions ; partly from a balancing between the doctrines of his youth and the creed of his adoption ; partly because he loved the practices, activity and enthusiasm of those whom he seems to have left, more than the stern intellectualism of the party whom he joined; partly because, we should likewise say, he stood almost alone, without the farthest verge of what are styled evangelical or orthodox principles, and yet so close upon the edge, that a frequent hearer or an attentive reader might for long suppose that he was within that circle, and fail to detect the character of the ground on which he had chosen to stand. This apparent uncertainty was not real--at least it was not able to affect his own peace of mind and his own happiness. Few men seem to have lived more cheerfully, laboured