Imatges de pÓgina
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Mr. Faber begins the discussion with the subject of Infallibility, which he justly observes "is the very nucleus of the controversy.' He insists first that the abstract arguments of the Bishop of Aire in favor of ecclesiastical infallibility cannot be true, because they are contradicted by the well-ascertained fact that Popes have decided against Popes, Councils against Councils, and the Church of one age against the Church of another age. He proceeds, however, though after this demonstration he justly considers it to be a work of supererogation-to confute the abstract arguments; for which we refer our readers to the work itself. pp. 29-34.

We were much surprised, in the discussion of the modes of settling disputed points, to find Mr. Faber appearing to concur with the Bishop of Aire in his reprobation of private judgment. "Others perhaps" says Mr. Faber "will expect us to call in the right of private judgment, which has often been described more eloquently than wisely, as a main principle of Protestantism, and which the Bishop of Aire not unjustly reprobates as leading to nothing but confusion." p. 37. We are persuaded, however, from the developement of his meaning in the foregoing passage, that Mr. Faber's concurrence with the Bishop of Aire comes to nothing more than a surrender of the term; with which, we nevertheless think, he is unreasonably offended, and which ought not to have been abandoned to the Bishop's censures. In the developement referred to, Mr. F. has confined his strictures to what he terms "illegitimate private judgment." This mode of proceeding is, however, neither logical nor just; for private judgment is not to be confounded with, nor to be charged with the evils that attend illegitimate private judgment.

The right of private judgment in the interpretation of scripture we have always regarded, and still regard, as the basis of the religious liberty of Protestantism. Standing place between it and an infallible interpreter we are persuaded there can be none. By private judgment, however, we do not understand that exercise of judgment which rejects all extrinsic help, and sets a man above the use of such aids to the interpretation of Scripture as are furnished by the application of the laws of Criticism and the evidence of Ecclesiastical History.

We differ therefore from Mr. Faber not in the developement, but in the enunciation of his sentiment. We are very far from concurring with him in his willingness to surrender the term. The right of private judg ment is, in other words, the right, which every man has, to judge of the meaning of the Scriptures for himself, and in this its natural sense, it expresses one of the main principles of Protestantism. As the expression seems naturally to indicate the right of private judgment is limited to the exercise of a man's own judgment for his own direction in matters of religion, and does not empower him to obtrude his opinion upon others. Bishop Davenant has observed that private Christians have the right of the "judicium rationale," but not the right of the "judicium forense." Scripture is not of private interpretation-idias enthuσews:this private interpretation is that of insulated private judgment, as Mr.、 Faber has well called it, and we fully concur with him in what he says of it "it leads to nothing but confusion." Mr. Faber's strictures on what he calls private judgment, are in fact upon that which used formerly to be distinguished from private judgment by the name of private spirit. Privatis conceditur," says Bishop Davenant, "judicium discretionis sed non privato eorum spiritui."§ "If by a private spirit," says Chillingworth, "you mean a particular persuasion that a doctrine is true -I say to refer controversies to Scripture is not to refer them to this

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kind of private spirit. For there is a great difference between saying the Spirit of God tells me this is the meaning of such a text, and between saying these and these reasons I have to show that this or that is true doctrine, or that this or that is the meaning of such a scripture."* We should be as unwilling as Mr. Faber to encourage the retention of any terms in our controversy with the Church of Rome, which, according to their just and natural signification, give reasonable offence, or lead to false or dangerous sentiments. But the term private judgment seems to us not to be one of these; and we should be sorry to see it given up, because it seems justly to express the sentiment of our Saviour "why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?" because we think it is generally understood in that sense; and because, it has, on that account, become one of the bonds of union among Protestants. Mr. Faber we are sure does not so understand it; for that is a sense which as a good Protestant he would never surrender.

Mr. Faber's interpretation of the passages of scripture which relate to oral tradition is just and excellent. On the subject of Transubstantiation he has accumulated a great mass of interesting and most valuable matter. He chooses, however, to treat it as purely a question of evidence, and seems, by decrying the charge of irrationality and absurdity against the Romish doctrine, to concede the argument from reason. Here we think Mr. F. concedes too much. The doctrine of the Church of Rome on this subject is, that the bread and wine are physically changed into the body and blood of Christ, with which body and blood are united his soul and divinity, and that, a separation being made of the elements after conseeration, an entire Christ is comprehended in every separate part. That a material body should be one, and yet thus be many, and be present entire in different places at the same time, is, we apprehend, strictly speaking, irrational. Again, as to the simple question of transubstantiation,--we think that it is, strictly speaking, irrational, to reject the evidence of our senses, since it is by the senses that we receive our ideas. We should upon the principle of such a surrender, soon come to an end of all reasoning. Is it not irrational to suppose that Jesus should teach his disciples to disbelieve the evidence of their senses, when it was by that evidence that he proved himself to be the son of God? This was an argument used by Tertullian, (and, if we remember rightly, used in relation to the Eucharist,) "We must not," he says, "doubt the evidence of our senses, lest we should doubt their fidelity even in the case of Christ himself." We see no reason therefore for giving up the argument to be drawn from reason on this subject, and though Mr. Faber could do without its help, there was no reason for denying the use of it to others.

But the subject of transubstantiation is treated by Mr. F. in a most able manner. He proves to demonstration, that the language of our Saviour was intended to be understood figuratively; as also, that the early Fathers understood the change which the clements undergo in consecration to be not a physical but a moral change. There is some very interesting matter which, we have no doubt, will be quite new to many of our readers, respecting the sense of the Fathers on this particular, especially in the 6th and 7th chapters on the secret discipline of the early church and the language of the ancient liturgies. He discovers the first vestiges of the idea of a physical change, in an argument in favor of their peculiar opinion used by the Eutychian heretics in the 5th Century. They thought, or affected to think, that a physical change was believed by all Christians to take place in the ele

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ments of the Eucharist upon consecration, and on this ground founded the following argument in support of their own heresy. "As the bread and wine are one thing before consecration but another thing after, and are physically changed into the body and blood of Christ, so was the human nature of Christ after his assumption physically changed into the divine substance." The answer which was made to this argument by the Orthodox sufficiently shows the opinion of the Catholic Church of that age. "THE BREAD AND WINE DO NOT PASS OUT OF THEIR ORIGINAL SUBSTANCE." From this its inauspicious birth, Mr. F. traces the doctrine of transubstantiation through sickly and precarious childhood to its maturity in the 9th century, and the attainment of its full and baleful power in the 13th.-He treats the other subjects in dispute less largely than the doctrine of transubstantiation, which he appears to think, considered together with its consequences, one of the most fatal corruptions of the Roman Hierarchy.

Mr. F. applies the sense of the Fathers with great felicity to the practice of Auricular Confession; and shows that the sense of real antiquity learnt from the writings of Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Ignatius, Irenæus, Athenagoras, and an old writer in the works of Justin, are, some or all of them, against the doctrine of Satisfaction and Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, and the Veneration of Images. The Canon of Cyril of Jerusalem against the Apocryphal writings of the Old Testament, destroys, as Mr. F. shews, all the foundation which prayer for the dead has in high antiquity.

The second great division of this valuable work does not fall so much within the limits we have prescribed to ourselves as the first, the question of Ecclesiastical Polity taking the lead in it. It contains, however, much valuable information. We give the following extract from the 5th chap. on the subject of the Inquisition, pp. 372-377:

"As the bishop censures the Reformation, because its bitter fruits were massacres and bloodshed, and war and torture and persecution; so, with strict consistency, he vindicates and apologizes for the Inquisition.

Some persons, says he, accuse it (and would to heaven there was less ground for the accusa. tion!) of having pushed rigour even to injustice and cruelty. But it is not reasonable to confound the Inquisition with its abuse. We must not attribute to the Inquisition itself those crimes, for which its officers alone are culpable. It is at present generally agreed, that the number of innocent victims has been greatly exaggerated. After all, Spain, though she may reproach herself with all these cruel and unjust persecutions, has no great reason to regret the lot of other States. Religious wars, produced by the Reformation, have deluged them with blood. But Spain, blessed with the Inquisition, has been happily exempt."

1. The crimes, which have been perpetrated by the Inquisition, the bishop would charge, not upon the Inquisition itself, but upon its officers.

If those officers, who (according to his lordship) alone are culpable, had ever been punished as they deserved; the defence of the Inquisition, avowedly set up on this special plea, might possibly, to some certain extent at least, have availed. But as to any penalties being ever suffered by those hardened miscreants, or even as to any censure being officially passed upon them by their ecclesiastical superiors, the bishop is altogether silent. I will not venture to say, that inquisitors have never been animad, verted upon: but I can safely aflirm, that I never heard of such an occurrence; and, since this precise matter is the very thing wanted to complete the bishop's argument, from his ominous silence I more than suspect that he is as little acquainted with any such occurrence as myself. Hence, even upon his own principle, unless he can shew that the culpable oflicers of the Inquisition have invariably been brought to condign punishment, we must assuredly ascribe to the Inquisition itself every crime which has been perpetrated by its abandoned instruments. If its tools are suffered to escape with impunity, the Inquisition makes their abominations its own, and henceforth incurs the whole weight of a most awful responsibility.

2. Equally unavailing is the palliation attempted by the bishop, on the ground that the number of innocent victims has been greatly exaggerated.

In the very terms of this plea there is a disingenuousness, which is unworthy of such a man as the prelate of Aire. The number of INNOCENT victims, we are told, has been

⚫ Discuss. Amic. vol. ii. p. 417.

greatly exaggerated: but the bishop is not careful to define what he means by INNOCENT victims. I may be mistaken: but I have always understood, that the special object of the Inquisition was to take cognizance of what the Latin church pronounces to be heresy. Hence, if the bishop be a true son of that church, no person, whom she determines to be a heretic, can be deemed by his lordship an INNOCENT victim: and, conse. quently, the fact, that, within the space of thirty years, the Inquisition destroyed, by various modes of torture, one hundred and fifty thousand reputed heretics, may be perfectly consistent with the somewhat fallacious allegation---that the number of INNOCENT victims has been greatly exaggerated. The true question is: What are we to understand by the word innocent, as employed by the bishop? If by INNOCENT victims his lordship means reputed heretics, that is to say, persons deemed heretics by the Church of Rome; then there has certainly been no exaggeration. If, on the contrary, by INNOCENT victims, he means some fer unlucky papists who in an evil hour have been mistaken for damnable heretics; then he ought to have explained himself accordingly, that so the purport of his allegation might be clearly and distinctly understood. His complete silence on this most important point compels me, however reluctantly, to tax him with palpable disingenuousness.

3. There is, however, yet another aspect, under which the bishop's attempted apology for the Inquisition is altogether unsuccessful.

Since the apology proceeds on the ground, that the slaughter of INNOCENT victims is alone indefensible; it follows, by inevitable implication, that the Inquisition is perfectly justified in the slaughter of GUILTY victims.

Now the GUILTY victims are those, whom the Latin church, on full conviction of their guilt, has pronounced to be heretics. In the slaughter of such persons, therefore, according to the necessary tenour of the bishop's argument, the Inquisition is fully justified. But this is the very point, on which I have the privilege or the misfortune to differ from his lordship.

Many have been slaughtered by the Inquisition, whom the Bishop deems heretics, and whom I deem good christians: some also have been slaughtered by the Inquisition, whom both the Bishop and myself deem heretics. But yet, according to my own view of the question, EVERY person slaughtered by the Inquisition, was, most certainly, so far as the judicial right of that pandemonium is concerned, an INNOCENT victim. Man, for his religious opinions, is answerable to God alone. Those opinions may be very erroneous and very detestable: the individual may be a grievous spiritual sinner before his Creator: and, in the hour of doom, an awful retribution may await him. But where has the Lord of heaven and of earth conferred upon a Pope or upon an Inquisitor the right to torture and to destroy that man? I greatly mistake, if the charter of any such judicial right can be found under the christian dispensation. Yet, unless this charter can be produced, EVERY death occasioned by the Inquisition, no matter what the religious principles of the individual may have been, is clearly a murder."

If we had any hope that our advice would be taken, we should recommend our Roman Catholic readers to make themselves acquainted with the sense of antiquity, fairly and ingenuously stated as it is in the work before us. The book takes its character from the simple evidence it contains, and not from a dexterous, much less from a sophistical use of it. Iudeed we think that Mr. Faber's great-but according to his own showing, misplaced,-reverence for the Bishop of Aire has given a cast of timidity and languor to his work, and induced him to concede too much. We are very far, however, from wishing to see things run into the other extreme. Of the two we should prefer Mr. Faber's meiosis, to weak premises and violent conclusions. But we must venture to incur the charge of uncourteous bigotry, by expressing our opinion that Mr. Faber's professions of reverence and esteem for the Bishop of Aire, after having convicted him of employing prevarication in support of false and dangerous doctrines, and of disingenuous suppression of what it would have been only just to state, can tend to no good. The proper mode of religious controversy is equally distant from the fierceness of former times and the unmeaning compliment of the present. We see not how any good can arise from representing as an "exemplary character" one who is employed in diffusing moral and religious poison. The rebukes of our Saviour were more severe against none than against those who corrupted divine truth. It does not indeed

For this appalling fact, Verger, who knew the Inquisition well, is my voucher. See Fran. Jun. et Tilen, ad Bellarmin. de Pont. Rom. lib. iii. c. 7, apud Medi. Oper. p. 504.

become us to occupy his place and assume his authority, but his example ought to teach us not by any means to palliate the guilt of such conduct. We need scarcely say that we set, upon the whole, a high value on this laborious and learned work, and we recommend it strongly-notwithstanding what we consider its defects-to the perusal of our readers.

LITERARY NOTICES.

UNDER this head it is our intention to furnish our readers with a list of new publications, as well as of others in progress; and in order that it may be as complete as possible, we respectfully invite those who are engaged in preparing works for the press, to communicate their intentions so far as they may see fit to make them public. In this our second number, however, we wish to give a more extensive list of works recently published. It will be our wish in future to give the full titles of works published, and occasionally such brief explanations as may be furnished of works in progress, but the length of our list on the present occasion has obliged us to abridge the titles of some works. We are also under the necessity of considerably abridging the list which we had prepared, and of omitting altogether the anonymous works. We hope to supply these omissions in our next.

ACLAND, Hugh Dyke, Esq. Translation of "History of the Glorious Return of the Vaudois to their Valley in 1689, by Henri Arnauld, their Pastor and Colonel." Embellished with original sketches of that singular country. 8vo. In the press. Murray. BUTLER C. Esq. Book of the Roman Catholic Church. New Edition, 8vo. 9s. 6d. Murray.

Vindication of Book of the Roman Catholic Church, in reply to Mr. Townsend, Dr. Philpotts, Mr. Todd, Mr. Isaacson, Mr. Blanco White, Dr. Southey, &c. Second Edition, 8vo. 12s. Murray.

Appendix to Vindication of Book of the Roman Catholic Church, in reply to Dr Southey's " Vindicia." 8vo. 1s. Murray. Reply to the Quarterly Review on "La Sour Nativitte" with an Essay on Mystical Devotion. 8vo. 1s. Murray.

Historical Memoirs of the English, Irish, and Scotch Catholics. Third Edition, 4 vols. 8vo. £2.8s. Murray. CROLY REV. GEO., M. A., M. R. S. L. The Apocalypse of St. John, or Prophecy of the rise, progress, and fall of the Church of Rome, &c. 8vo. 12s. Rivingtons. DAUBENY Archdeacon. The Protestant's Companion, or a Seasonable Preservative against the Errors, Corruptions, and Unfounded Claims of a superstitious and idolatrous Church. 8vo. 9s. Rivington. EVANSON Rev. W. A., M. A. An Historical Summary of the facts which attended the conversion of his Highness the Prince of SalıSalm, from the Roman Catholic Religion to the Christian Evangel

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