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without Dr. Robinson. The volumes are full of various lore, and of comparative accounts, formed upon immense reading and untiring research, which we know to have been impossible to Mr. Smith, while the whole is quite after the manner of the very able papers on scripture geography, with which the professor had, in former years, enriched the pages of the Biblical Repository. Besides, if Mr. Smith were really able to produce such a work by himself, why did he not do so during the fifteen years in which it is said that his attention has been turned to the subject, and during which he has not lacked time to write largely on other matters? No: Mr. Smith, whose real and solid merits we appreciate highly, is a good man, and a very useful and laborious missionary: but his friends should know that it is one thing to collect materials, and another to construct a temple or a palace with them: and we may venture to hint to them that he has obtained more honour by the association of his name with that of Dr. Robinson in his magnificent labour, than he could ever have acquired by any separate labour of his own. We are bound to declare our opinion, that Mr. Smith by no means shares in the feeling which the author of the Modern Syrians ascribes to his friends: for, as is doubtless known to most of our readers, he has, since the appearance of the Biblical Researches, in which he is said to have been so much aggrieved, been in active and cordial correspondence with Dr. Robinson, imparting to him further materials and new information on the subjects which that work embraces.
Art. VI. Lectures on certain High-Church Principles, commonly designated by the term Puseyism. By Thomas Madge. pp. 312. Longman. 1844.
It must be something peculiar that constrains a unitarian minister to preach and publish on an ecclesiastical controversy prevailing in another church than his own, and to consider as serious the progress of the principles by which it has been occasioned. With his easy faith respecting opinions, his wide theological separation from all other churches, and his habit of reliance on the future to compensate for the failures of the present, it is not a common state of things, at least in his view of it, that can excite his deep interest in Puseyism. The appearance of Mr. Madge's Lectures may be regarded, therefore, as a fresh indication of the seriousness of our position as disciples and advocates of the faith once delivered to the saints. Vol. xv.11. P
We have never been able to regard Tractarianism with levity. That in many of its features and principles it is ridiculous, so ridiculous that nothing in the moral history of our race surpasses it in absurdity; that its vehement enmity to reason is, according to Hobbes's rule, the sign and result of reason's diametrical opposition to it; this we readily admit. But we have not so observed the human mind, or read its developments, especially as they are wont to be made in connexion with religion, as to discern any necessary incompatibility between the silliness and the success of sentiments, or to doubt that there was much plausibility in poor Steele's proposition that, wisdom being with the few, things should be settled by the minority. Without giving ourselves up to fear, which is a bad counsellor, and acknowledging the great advantages which the spread of knowledge and the activity of intellect in recent times must give to all that is manly in sentiment and liberal in spirit, we dare not pretend that our prospect is as clear as that of some who, in the circumstances of the coming contest, discern little more than a healthy exercise. That truth will triumph ultimately is not matter of doubt, but this fact does not help to any judgment on the immediate issue of any particular conflict of opinions. That truth has triumphed is not disputed; but no argument can thence be drawn in reference to the perpetuity of its local possessions. The history of the world is not a smooth and regular river, but subject to disturbance from many and mighty forces; the progress of truth has often been in cycles; and those who smile at the possibility of the revival of opinions once generally renounced can be likened, as Hallam well remarks, to none better than to those women who believe the fashion of last year in dress to be wholly ridiculous, and incapable of being ever again adopted by any one solicitous about her beauty.
At the same time, whatever difference of opinion may obtain as to the future, none can exist as to the present. That the Tractarians are zealous, as all men whose faith is novel are zealous, none can doubt, and zeal must be met with zeal in order to a good result. The course to be adopted by the faithful is plain. There is but one. It is fidelity. Whether there is little or much to fear in spreading error, it can only be destroyed or qualified by the friends of truth. They must be alive and alert. To sit still is not their strength. We are glad that it is not their plan. Not that all, who should be lifting up the standard are active, or those even on whom especially devolves, if their own pretensions be allowed, the defence of pure and undefiled religion. With few exceptions, the clergy of the church of England who hold protestant principles have not been wise to discern, or courageous to assail, the rising evil. Three years ago we heard one who should be an interpreter of times, and a defender of the faith, speak of Puseyism as ‘a cloud passing away:’so simple was his view of its character and grounds. And many more require his faith to vindicate their repose. The opinion expressed in this journal long ago, that the maintenance of protestantism will fall upon protestant dissenters is being realized before the time we contemplated. The best efforts towards it as yet are ours. In drawing attention to the most recent one, we hope our readers will remember that if it is an old subject, it is a new controversy. Mr. Madge's Lectures are a highly respectable exposition and defence of several important protestant principles in opposition to the assertions and bigotry of the Oxford school. He does not pretend to discuss all the points in dispute, but those which he has selected are at the very root of the controversy. We do not of course acquiesce in all his statements and reasonings. It was not likely that he would lose the opportunity of introducing his own theological views, though he has not done this more than might be naturally expected. The occasion was too tempting not to be made use of. For among the various evils arising from Puseyism, not the least is the disesteem with which they treat the scriptural evidence for its chief articles. When we find them speaking of the Trinity, the atonement, original sin, with other doctrines, as indebted rather to tradition than to the Bible for support, we see a new reason for suspicion and dread, both in the opinion thus expressed, and in the sanction thus given to what we believe to be error. But while Mr. Madge has taken occasion to commend his own belief, he has written in a temper which must be commended by all. Indeed his soberness on many subjects has been quite refreshing to us after the wild and mystic sentiments, going to the very denial of all truth, that have of late proceeded from some of his school. To hear a unitarian speak as if all opinions were not exactly alike, refer with respect to scripture as possessing some authority, and as boldly enforce the duty of thinking wisely as maintain the right of thinking independently, is no small treat after that to which we have been used as the teaching of not a few of his most gifted brethren. Mr. Madge, however, is not ashamed of these old fashioned ideas, and he clothes them in language clear, correct, elegant, and well adapted both to express and to commend them. The lectures are eight in number. The first is occupied with a view of the principles, spirit, and tendency of Anglo-catholocism. In the conclusion of this lecture, he calls attention to a part of the subject which we think has not been made sufficiently prominent—viz., the bearing of Puseyism on the practice
of persecution. We cannot say, with him, that this is the worst part of the system. That, in our judgment, is to be found in the separation which it effects between the spiritual Christ and the human soul, and which may be effected as well by substitution as annihilation, by popery as infidelity. But if not the worst part, it is a bad part, of the system. To deny that we are christians is enough to justify our loudest protest; but to assert the right to punish us for not being so, is to go the whole length of blind zeal, or cunning cruelty. Let it be known that this length Puseyism is prepared to go. The following extracts from different works quoted by Mr. Madge, will show this :
In proof of the accusation thus brought against them, I will first refer you to a passage contained in the sixty-fourth number of the • British Critic.' It had been said in the Quarterly Review,' that the church is not now in a worse position with respect to the state, than it was in the days of Whitgift and Hooper. Upon this the • British Critic' observes—Now, with all deference to the respectable quarter from which this assertion proceeds, we cannot call it anything else than a palpable and egregious mistake. The church is in a very different, and in a much lower position, with respect to the state, than it was in the times of those divines. Then it was co-extensive and identical with the state. When men ceased to be members of the former, they were also deprived of their position in the latter. A seceder from the church was, as such, a criminal and a malefactor. The king, the council, and the parliament, were all not only neces. sarily churchmen, in common with the rest of the nation, but churchmen bound officially to protect the church, and put down her enemies. We put it, then, to any person, as a simple question of fact-Is or is not this order of things reversed ? Are persons now obliged to go to church in order to escape going to jail ? Are even ministers, privy councillors, members of parliament, magistrates, or any class of civil functionaries, obliged to be churchmen ?'* Palmer, in his treatise on the church, after mentioning various laws relating to its discipline and doctrine, which still exist, goes on to observe, that, in accordance with the principle involved in those laws, and in the articles and canons of the church of England, the state has a right, when necessary, to oblige the members of the church, by temporal penalties, to submit to her ordinances, and neither to establish a different worship nor teach different doctrines from hers.'t • No man can forsake the church without committing a grievous sin. The civil magistrate may reasonably restrain such men by temporal penalties, in order to prevent them from disturbing the weak brethren and troubling the church 'I. *** In one of the Tracts for the Times,' the writer, referring to those who exercise the right of
prirate judgment, makes this observation :- Such troublers of the christian community would, in a healthy state of things, be silenced, or put out of it, as disturbers of the king's peace, and restrained in civil matters; but, in our times, from whatever cause, being times of confusion, we are reduced to the use of argument and disputation, just as we think it lawful to carry arms, and barricade our houses during national disorders.*' Attend, also, to what Mr. Newman says :- If scripture-reading has, in England, been the cause of schism, it is because we (the church) are deprived of the power of excommunicating, which, in the revealed scheme, is the formal an. tagonist, and curb of private judgmentt.' The same author, in his • History of the Arians of the Fourth century,' speaking of those who denied the doctrine of Christ's deity, and what he thought to be the evil consequences of their conduct, says, “It is but equitable to anticipate those consequences in the persons of the heresiarchs, rather than to suffer them gradually to unfold and spread far and wide after their day, sapping the faith of their deluded and less guilty followers.'
In this,' says Mr. Newman, 'lies the difference between the treatment due to an individual in error, and to one who is confident enough to publish his innovations. The former claims from us the most affectionate sympathy and the most considerate attention; the latter should meet with no mercy. He assumes the office of the tempter, and so far forth as his error goes, must be dealt with by the competent authority, as if he were embodied evil.''-pp. 37–44.
We give these extracts because the doctrines they teach have not received the notice they deserve, by reason of the more strictly religious bearing of the system. They are sufficient to satisfy any reasonable man as to what we might expect from the uncontrolled power of Puseyism. The authorities are high enough, and the language is plain enough, to show that its tender mercies would be cruel. The nature of its doctrines prepared us for these avowals of its advocates. Dissent is a civil offence; physical force is the proper answer to nonconforming objections; the only unlawful thing is argument, which is justified by nothing but the existence of great disorders. And it must not be forgotten, that these statements are made while Puseyism is seeking to get power ; they are the declarations of a party not yet in the ascendant, and therefore under strong temptations to conceal the most offensive features of their system. If these things are said now, when policy must be the order of the day, what would be done in the time of triumph and of pride? If persecution is so boldly pleaded for when opponents are to be conciliated, with what zeal will it be carried out when they have only to be destroyed? Tractarianism in this matter is not even milder than full-orbed popery. We
• Tract No. 59, p. 3.