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I. The feeblest essay in the volume is the first. It is not without grave concern that I transcribe the name of its amiable, and (in every relation of private life) truly excellent author,—“Frederick Temple, D.D., Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen; Head Master of Rugby School; Chaplain to the Earl of Denbigh.” Under the imposing title of “The Education of the World,” we are presented with a worthless allegory, which has all the faults of a schoolboy’s theme, (incorrect grammar included;) and not one of the excellencies which ought to characterize the product of iiia ripened understanding,—the work of a Doctor of Divinity in the English Church1919 I abstain from enumerating Dr. Temple’s mistakes,—for such things do not belong to the essence of a composition. And yet I must remark that it is hardly creditable in a Doctor of Divinity to write as he does. “In all (!) the doctrinal disputes of the fourth and fifth centuries, the decisive voice came from Rome. Every controversy was finally settled by her opinion, because she alone possessed the art of framing formulas,” &c. (p. 16.) Would the learn ed writer favour us with a single warrant for this assertion? . . . At p. 9, Dr. Temple mistakes for Micah’s, words spoken 700 years before by Balaam. At p. 10, he says that “Prayer, as a regular and necessary part of worship, first appears in the later books of the Old Testament.”—His account of the papacy is contained in the following words:—“Law was the lesson which Rome was intended to teach the world. Hence (?) the Bishop of Rome soon became the Head of the Church. Rome was in fact the centre of the traditions which had once governed the world; and their spirit still remained; and the Roman Church developed into the papacy simply because a head was wanted (!), and no better one could be found.”—p. 16. At p. 10 we have a truly puerile misconception of the meaning of 1 Cor. xv. 56, &c., &c..
Dr. Temple’s opening speculations are at once unintelligible, irrelevant, and untrue. But they are immaterial; and serve only to lug in, (not to introduce,) the assumption that the “power, whereby the present ever gathers into itself the results of the past, transforms the human race into a colossal man whose life reaches from the Creation to the clay of Judgment. The successive generations of men are days in this man’s life. The discoveries and inventions which characterize the different epochs of the world’s history are his works. The creeds and doctrines, the opinions and principles of the successive ages, are his thoughts.” [Alas, that the Creeds and Doctrines of the Church should be spoken of by a Professor of Divinity as the “thoughts” of men!] “The state of society at different times are (sic) his manners. ivHe grows in knowledge, in self-control, in visible size, just as we do. And his education is in the same way and for the same reason precisely similar to ours. All this is no figure, but only a compendious statement of a very comprehensive fact.” (p. 3.) “We may then,” (he repeats,) “rightly speak of a childhood, a youth, and a manhood of the world.” (p. 4.) And the process of this development of the colossal man, “corresponds, stage by stage, with the process by which the infant is trained for youth, and the youth for manhood. This training has three stages. In childhood, we are subject to positive rules which we cannot understand, but are bound implicitly to obey. In youth we are subject to the influence of example, and soon break loose from all rules, unless illustrated and enforced by the higher teaching which example imparts. In manhood we are comparatively free from external restraints, and if we are to learn, must be our own instructors. First comes the Law, then the Son of Man, then the Gift of the Spirit. The world was once a child under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the Father. Then, when the fit season had arrived, the Example to which all ages should turn was sent to teach men what they ought to be. Then the human race was left to itself, to be guided by the teaching of the Spirit within.” (p. 5.)—So very weak an analogy, (where everything is assumed, and nothing proved,) singular to relate, is drawn out into distressing tenuity through no less than 49 pages.
The Answer, to all this is sufficiently obvious, as well as sufficiently damaging; and need not be delayed for a minute.
That the Human Race has made considerable progress in Knowledge, from first to last,—is a mere vtruism. That, in the civilized world, one generation is the heir of the generations which went before it, is what no one requires to be told. Thus the discovery of the compass, of printing, and of the steam-engine, have been epochs in human knowledge from which a start was made by all civilized nations, without retrogression. But such facts supply no warrant for transforming the whole Human Race into one Colossal Man; do not constitute any reason whatever why the 6000 years of recorded time should be divided into three periods corresponding with the Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood of an Individual.
To this theory, however, Dr. Temple even ostentatiously commits himself. It is the purpose of his entire Essay, to establish the fanciful analogy already indicated,—which is proclaimed to be “no figure” but a “fact.” (p. 3.) But an educated man of ordinary intelligence, on reaching p. 7, (where the writer first discloses his view,) summons the known facts of History to his recollection; and before he proceeds any further, reasons with himself somewhat as follows:—
The Human Race had inhabited the Earth’s surface for upwards of sixteen hundred years, when it was destroyed by the waters of the Flood. After that, the descendants of Noah peopled the earth’s surface; a transaction of which the sole authentic record is to be found in the xth chapter of the Book of Genesis. Egypt first emerged into importance,—as history and monuments conspire to prove; having had a peculiar language and literature, Arts and Sciences, anterior to the period of the Exodus, viz. B.C. 1491. Meanwhile, the chart of History directs our attention to four great Empires: the Assyrian Empire, which was swallowed up by the Persian; and the Persian, which was merged viin the Grecian Empire. The Roman Empire came last. [How Law can be considered to be the characteristic of all or any part of this period, I am at a loss to discover. Neither do I see any indication of puling Infancy here.] These four great Empires of the world had run their course when our Saviour Christ was born. God sent His own Eternal Son into the world; and lo, a change passed over the whole fabric of the world’s polity. The old forms of social life became, as it were, dissolved; or rather, a new spirit had been breathed into them all. A new era had commenced; and a new principle henceforth animated mankind. That peculiar system of Divine Laws which for 1600 years had separated the Hebrew race from all the nations of the earth,—the Mosaic Law which had hitherto been the inheritance of a single family, isolated in Canaan,—was explained and expanded by its Divine Author. The ancient promises to Abraham and his posterity were declared in their application to be co-extensive with the whole race of Mankind by faith embracing them. Henceforth, the kingdoms of the world were proclaimed the kingdoms of Christ, and Mankind became for the first time subject to a written Law. The Laws of Christ’s Kingdom, the doctrines of Christ’s Church, henceforth become supreme. Thus, when a Christian Sovereign is crowned, the Bible is solemnly placed in his hands; and it is required of him that he promise, on his oath, “to the utmost of his power, to maintain the Laws of God.” “When you see this Orb set under this Cross,” (says the Archbishop, on delivering those insignia of Royalty,) “remember that the whole World is subject to the power and empire of Christ our Redeemer . . . . so that no man can reign happily, who . . . . directs viinot all his actions according to His Laws.” . . . No further change in the order of things is anywhere intimated. The Faith hath been ἅπαξ,—once and for ever,—delivered to the Saints. Forsaken, it may be: by many, (alas!) it will be forsaken before the consummation of all things: but it will not itself cease. Heaven and Earth shall pass away; but Christ’s Word, never. Not one jot nor one tittle of the Law shall fail. . . . Such, in brief outline, is the World’s true history,—past, present, future. Does it correspond with Dr. Temple’s account? That may be very soon seen. He calls the human race a Colossal Man; and says that it passes through three stages,—Infancy, Boyhood, Manhood: and that during those three stages, it is governed by three corresponding principles,—Law, Example, Conscience. How does Dr. Temple establish the first?
The Jews, (he says,) were subject to Law from the period of the Exode to the coming of Christ.—We listen to the statement of a familiar fact without surprise: but we are inclined to express some stronger feeling than surprise when we discover that this is the whole of the proof concerning the infancy of the Colossal Man! Does this writer then mean to tell us that the Jews were all Mankind? If they were not the Colossal Man,—if, instead of being the whole Human Race, they were one of the most inconsiderable and least known of the nations,—an isolated family, in fact, inhabiting Canaan,—what becomes of the analogy? We really pause for an answer. . . . Such a theory might have been expected, and would have been excusable if it had proceeded from a Sunday-school-boy of fifteen,—who had read the Bible indeed, but who was unacquainted with any book besides and so, had jumped viiito the conclusion that the Jews were “the World.” But Dr. Temple is a Schoolmaster, and therefore must surely know better. If he is fanciful enough to regard Mankind as a Colossal Man; and unphilosophical enough to consider that History is capable of being divided into three periods,—corresponding with Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood; and forgetful enough of the facts of the case to assume that mankind was subject to Law until the coming of Christ, thenceforward to be emancipated therefrom:—yet Dr. Temple ought not to be so unreasonable as to pretend that Canaan was coextensive with the World,—the descendants of Abraham with the posterity of Noah! This amiable writer is inexcusable for excluding from the corporate entity of the Human Race the four great Empires of the world, (to say nothing of primaeval Egypt and mysterious India;) and for the sake of elaborating a worthless allegory, identifying the least of all people with the Colossal Man, who, (according to his own account of the matter,) represents the aggregate of all the nations.
Once more. The Mosaic Law was not given till B.C. 1491. But the world was then upwards of 2500 years old. Far more than one-third, therefore, of recorded time had already elapsed. How does it happen that the theory under consideration gives no account of those 2500 years; or rather, does not begin to be applicable, until they have rolled away?
Other inconveniences await this silly speculation. Thus, the Colossal Man, (who was under Law from B.C. 1491 to the Christian æra,) proves to have been a marvelously precocious Infant. He wrote the Song of Moses in the year of his birth. Nay, he built pyramids,—had a Literature, Arts, amid Sciences,—ages xix before he was born! . . . While yet an infant, he sang with Homer, and carved with Phidias, and philosophized with Aristotle,—as none have ever sung, or carved, or philosophized since. Times and fashions have altered, truly; but these three men are still our Masters in Philosophy, in Sculpture, and in Song. Awkward fact, that the colossal Infant should have lisped in a tongue which for copiousness of diction, and subtlety of expression, absolutely remains to this hour without a rival in the world!
Again. At this writer’s dogmatic bidding, we force ourselves to think of Mankind as a Colossal Man, who has already gone through three ages,—Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood. Old Age is therefore to come next. When, (if it is a fair question,) may it be expected that the sad period of senile decrepitude will set in? What proof, in the mean time, is there, (we venture to ask,) that this period of decay has not begun already? Or does Dr. Temple perhaps imagine that the world is moving in cycles, (to adopt the grotesque speculation of his own first pages); and that after having run through the curriculum of Infancy, Boyhood, and Manhood, the Colossal Man, (escaping, for some unexplained reason, the penalty of Old Age,) is to grow young again,—shake his rattle and cut his teeth afresh? There is a childish vivaciousness, a juvenile recklessness, a skittish impatience of restraint, in this amiable author’s speculations, which powerfully corroborate such a view of the case.
“The Childhood of the World was over when our Lord appeared on earth,” (p. 20.) says Dr. Temple. But when at last he is compelled to introduce to our notice his Colossal Child (p. 9, bottom.) now developed into a Colossal Youth, he is painfully sensible that the xLaw and the Prophets, (his schoolmasters,) (p. 8.) have not done their work quite so well as was to have been desired and expected. Some apology is necessary. (p. 13, bottom.) Two great results however he claims for their discipline:—“a settled national belief in the unity and spirituality of God, and an acknowledgement of the paramount importance of chastity as a point of morals.” (p. 11.) Not however that the Law or the Prophets had taught them even this. (p. 10, top.) “It was in the Captivity, far from the temple and the sacrifices of the temple, that the Jewish people first learned that the spiritual part of worship could be separated from the ceremonial; and that of the two the spiritual was far the higher.” (p. 10.) At Babylon also the Jews first distinctly learned the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. (p. 19.)—The Law, to be sure, had emphatically said,—“Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God2020 Deut. vi. 4..” The prophets, to be sure, had protested,—“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice2121 1 Sam. xv. 22, where see the places in the margin..” The Law and the Prophets, to be sure, are full of intimations that “mercy and not sacrifice2222 Hos. vi. 6, quoted by our Lord, St. Matth. ix. 13: xii. 7.” is acceptable to the God of Heaven, and that God’s Saints well understood the Doctrine2323 Consider Ps. xxvi. 6: 1, 13, 14: li. 16, 17: cxvi. 15: cxix. 108: cxli. 2, &c.; as well as that a belief in the soul’s immortality was a part of the instruction of the Jewish people. But what is all this to one who has an allegory to establish? . . .
The facts of the case, in the meantime, sorely perplex the truth-loving writer. “For it is undeniable that, in the time of our Lord, the Sadducees had lost xiall depth of spiritual feeling, whilst the Pharisees had succeeded in converting the Mosaic system into a mischievous idolatry of forms.” (p. 10.) “In short, the Jewish nation had lost very much when John the Baptist came.” (p. 11.) The hopelessly corrupt moral state of the youthful Colossus, described with such sickening force and power by the great Apostle in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, cannot have occurred to Dr. Temple’s remembrance, for he says nothing about it. Certain withering denunciations of “a wicked and adulterous generation2424 St. Matth. xvi. 4: xii. 39. Compare St. Mark viii. 38.;”—of “adulterers and adulteresses2525 St. James iv. 4.;”—“serpents,” a “generation of vipers,” which should hardly “escape the damnation of Hell2626 St. Matth. xxiii. 33.;”—ought to have reached him with a reproachful echo; but he is silent about them all. Still less would it have suited the amiable allegorizer to state that just midway in the educational process, his Colossal Youth, “as if” the sins of Samaria and of Sodom “were a very little thing,” “was corrupted more than they in all his ways. As I live, saith the Lord God,” (apostrophizing Dr. Temple’s Colossal Youth, in allusion to his character and conduct in the middle of his infant career,) “Sodom thy sister hath not done as thou hast done: . . . neither hath Samaria committed half thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they. . . . Bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they. They are more righteous than thou2727 Ezek. xvi. 47-52.!” “Ah sinful nation, laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters! . . . From the sole xiiof the foot even unto the head,”—[these words, remember, are addressed to the Colossal Infant just midway in his career; and Heaven and Earth are called upon to give ear, “for the Lord hath spoken!” . . . From the sole to the crown,] “there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores. . . . Your hands are full of blood2828 Is. i. 4, 6, 15.!” . . . About all this hideous retrospect of what was going on at school, Dr. Temple is silent.
In like manner, the great fact that our Redeemer came to republish His own two primæval ordinances,—the spiritual observance of the Sabbath and the sanctity of Marriage,—is quietly ignored. A youth utterly degraded by sensuality2929 St. John viii. 9. “I cannot but speak my mind,” (says Josephus, after taking a survey of the extreme wickedness of his countrymen, in connexion with the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem,) “and it is this: I suppose that if the Romans had delayed to come against these sinners, either the earth would have swallowed them up; or the city would have been swept away by another Flood; or it would have been consumed, like a second Sodom, by fire from Heaven.”, and blinded by unbelief3030 S. John xii. 38-40. “They have blinded their eyes,” &c. (See the place in the LXX.:) sc. ὁ λαὸς οὗτος., is a terrible picture truly. Dr. Temple therefore boldly gives the lie direct to History, sacred and profane; and insists that “side by side with freedom from idolatry, there had grown up in the Jewish mind a chaster morality than was to be found elsewhere in the world:” (p. 12:) that “in chastity the Hebrews stood alone; and this virtue, which had grown up with them from their earliest days (!!!) was still in the vigour of fresh life when they were commissioned to give the Gospel to the nations.” (p. 13.)xiii
Behold the Colossal Child therefore, now grown into a Colossal “Youth too old for discipline.” (p. 20, bottom.) “The tutors and governors have done their work;” (p. 20;) and he is now to go through a distinct process of training. Three tutors are now brought in to give the finishing touches to the youth’s education, and to inaugurate his new career. Rome, Greece, and Asia,—which for some unexplained reason never become (according to Dr. Temple) any part of the Colossal Man at all,—now come in; “Rome to discipline the human will; Greece, the reason and taste; Asia, the spiritual imagination.” (p. 19.) The Law and the Prophets had disciplined the Colossal Child’s conscience,—with what success we have seen. At all events, Moses and Isaiah are for infants: we have passed the age for such helps as they could supply. In a word,—“The childhood of the world was over when our Lord appeared on earth.” (p. 20.) It was “just the meeting-point of the Child and the Man; the brief interval which separates restraint from liberty.” (p. 22.) “It was time that the second teacher of the Human Race should begin his labours. The second teacher is Example:” (p. 20:) and “the period of youth in the history of the world, when the human race was, as it were, put under the teaching of example, corresponds, of course, to the meeting point of the Law and the Gospel. The second stage therefore in the education of man was the presence of our Lord upon earth.” (p. 24.)
Let not this stage of Dr. Temple’s allegory suffer by being stated in any language besides his own. “The world” had been a Colossal Child for 1490 years. It was to be a Youth for almost 100. “The whole period from the closing of the Old Testament xivto the close of the New was the period of the world’s youth,—the age of examples: and our Lord’s presence was not the only influence of that kind which has acted upon the human race. “Three companions were appointed by Providence to give their society to this creature whom God was educating, Greece, Rome, and the Early Church.” (p. 26.) Behold then, our Blessed Redeemer with His “three companions.” (I reproduce this blasphemous speculation with shame and sorrow.) What kind of Example He was, Dr. Temple omits to inform us. But Greece was “the brilliant social companion;”—Rome, “the bold and clever leader;”—the Early Church was “the earnest, heavenly-minded friend.” (p. 26.) We are warned therefore against supposing that “our Lord’s presence was the only influence of that kind,” (i.e. example,) appointed by Providence for the creature whom God was educating. In a word: “The world was now grown old enough to be taught by seeing the lives of Saints, better than by hearing the words of Prophets.” (pp. 28-9.)
We come now to the conclusion of the allegory; and Dr, Temple shall again speak for himself. “The age of reflection begins. From the storehouse of his youthful experience the Man begins to draw the principles of his life. The spirit or conscience comes to full strength and assumes the throne intended for him in the soul. As an accredited judge, invested with full powers, he sits in the tribunal of our inner kingdom, decides upon the past, and legislates upon the future without appeal except to himself. He decides not by what is beautiful, or noble, or soul-inspiring, but by what is right. Gradually he frames his code of laws, revising, adding, abrogating, as a wider and xvdeeper experience gives him clearer light. He is the third great teacher and the last.” (p. 31.)
And now, it will reasonably be asked,—May not the head-master of Rugby write a weak and foolish Essay on a subject which he evidently does not understand, without incurring so much not only of public ridicule, but of public obloquy also? If his own sixth-form boys do not laugh at him, need the Church feel aggrieved at what he has written? Where is the special irreligion in all this?
I answer,—The offence is of the very gravest character; and in the course of what follows, it will appear with sufficient plainness wherein it consists. For the moment,—singly considered,—it is my painful duty to condemn Dr. Temple’s Essay on the following grounds.
Whereas the Church inculcates the paramount necessity of an external authoritative Law to guide all her members;—Creeds to define the foundation of their Faith,—a Catechism to teach them the necessary elements of Christian Doctrine,—the several forms of Prayer contained in the Prayer Book to instruct them further in Religion, as well as to prescribe their exact mode of worshipping Almighty God: whereas too the Church requires of her ministers subscription to Articles “for the avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, and for the establishing of Consent concerning true Religion;”—above all, since all Christian men alike are taught to acknowledge the external guidance of the Divine Law itself contained in Holy Scripture,—and every Minister of the Church of England is further called upon to admit the authority of that Divine Law as it is by the Church systematized, explained, uphold, enforced:—notwithstanding all this, Dr. Temple, xviwho has solemnly taken the vows of a minister of the Church of England, and writes after his name that he is Sacræ Theologiæ Professor, in his present Essay more than insinuates, he openly teaches that Man “draws the principles of his life,” (not from Revelation, but) “from the storehouse of experience:” that we live in an age when “the spirit or conscience having come to full strength, assumes the throne intended for him in the soul.” This “spirit or conscience” “legislates without appeal except to himself.” “He is the third great teacher and the last.” (p. 31.) The world, in the days of its youth, could not “walk by reason and conscience alone:” (p. 21:) but it is not so with us, in these, the days of the world’s manhood. “The spiritual power within us . . . must be the rightful monarch of our lives.” (p. 14.) We, (he says,) “walk by reason and conscience alone.” (p. 21.)
Now this is none other than a deliberate dethroning of God; and a setting up of Self in his place. “A revelation speaking from without and not from within, is an external. Law, and not a spirit,”—(p. 36,) says Dr. Temple. But I answer,—A revelation speaking from within, and not from without, is no revelation at all. “The thought of building a tower high enough to escape God’s wrath, could enter into no man’s dreams,” (p. 7,) says Dr. Temple in the beginning of his Essay, in derision of the Old World. But he has carried out into act the very self-same thought, himself; and his “dreams” occupy the foremost place in ‘Essays and Reviews.’ He teaches, openly, that henceforth Man must learn by “obedience to the rules of his own mind.” (p. 34.) He is express in declaring that “an external law “is for the age which is past. (pp. 34-5.) Ours is “an internal law;” “which bids xviius yield,”—not to the revealed Will of God, “but,—to the majesty of truth and justice; a law which is not imposed upon us by another power, but by our own enlightened will.” (p. 35.) In this, the last stage of the Colossal Man’s progress, Dr. Temple gives him four avenues of learning: (1) Experience, (2) Reflection, (3) Mistakes, (4) Contradiction. By withholding from this enumeration the Revealed Will of God, and the known sanctions of the Divine Law, he thrusts out God from every part of his scheme; denies that He is even one of the present teachers of the Human Race,—explaining that the time has even gone by when Christ could teach by example3131 “Had the revelation of Christ been delayed till now, assuredly it would have been hard for us to recognize His Divinity. . . . We, of course, have in our turn counterbalancing advantages. (!) If we have lost that freshness of faith which would be the first (sic) to say to a poor carpenter,—Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,—yet we possess in the greater cultivation of our religious understanding, that which perhaps we ought not to be willing to give in exchange (!) . . . . They had not the same clearness of understanding as we; the same recognition that it is God and not the Devil who rules the World; the same power of discrimination between different kinds of truth. . . . Had our Lord come later, He would have come to mankind already beginning to stiffen into the fixedness of maturity. . . . The truth of His Divine Nature would not have been recognized.” (pp. 24-5.)—Is this meant for bitter satire on the age we live in; or for disparagement of the Incarnate Word? . . . But in the face of such anticipations, the keenest satire of all is contained in the author’s claim to a “religions understanding, cultivated” to a degree unknown to the best ages of the Church; as well as to surpassing “clearness of understanding,” and “powers of discrimination.” Lamentable in any quarter, how deplorable is such conceit in one who shews himself unacquainted with the fret principles of Theological Science; and who puts forth an Essay on the Education of the World, which would have been discreditable to an advanced school-boy!,—“ for the faculty of Faith xviiihas turned inwards, and cannot now accept any outer manifestations of the truth of God3232 Quite ineffectual, at the very close of this unhappy composition, as a set off to the compacted and often repeated asseverations of his earlier pages, is the amiable author’s plaintive plea for “even the perverted use of the Bible;” adding,—“And meanwhile, how utterly impossible it would be in the manhood of the world to imagine any other instructor of mankind!” (p. 47.) It is one of the favourite devices of these seven writers, side by side with their most objectionable statements, to insert isolated passages of admitted truth,—and occasionally even of considerable beauty: which however are utterly ‘, leaning, and out of place where they stand; and (like the sentence above written,) powerless to undo the circumstantial wickedness of what went before. I repeat, that the words above-written are meaningless where they stand: for if Dr. Temple really means that it is “utterly impossible in the manhood of the world to imagine any other instructor of mankind” than the Bible,—what becomes of his Essay?.” (p. 24.)—By this Essay, Dr. Temple comes forward as the open abettor of the most boundless scepticism. Whether or no his statements be such as Ecclesiastical Courts take cognizance of, is to me a matter of profound unimportance. In the estimation of the whole Church, it can be entitled to but one sentence. “We use the Bible,” (he tells us,) “not to override, but to evoke the voice of conscience.” (p. 44.) “The current is all one way,—it evidently points to the identification of the Bible with the voice of conscience. The Bible, in fact, is hindered by its form from exercising a despotism (!) over the human spirit; if it could do that, it would become an outer law at once.” (p. 45.) Even if men “could appeal to a revelation from Heaven, they would still be under the Law (!!!); for a Revelation speaking from without, and not from within, is an external Law, and not a Spirit.” (p. 36.) “The principle of private judgment puts conscience between xixus and the Bible; making conscience the supreme interpreter, whom it may be a duty to enlighten, but whom it can never be a duty to disobey.” (Ibid.)—Even those who look upon the observance of Sunday “as enjoined by an absolutely binding decree,” are reproached as “thus at once putting themselves under a law.” (p. 44.) . . . . Dr. Temple has written an Essay which he calls “an argument,” and for which he claims “a drift.” (p. 31.) That argument is neither more nor less than a direct assault on the Faith of Christian men; and carried out to its lawful results, can lead to nothing but open Infidelity;—which makes it a very solemn consideration that the author, (whose private worth is known to all,) should be a teacher of the youth of Christian England. That drift I deplore and condemn; and no considerations of private friendship, no sincere regard for the writer’s private worth, shall deter me from recording my deliberate conviction that it is wholly incompatible with his Ordination vows.
I forbear to dive into the depth of irreligion and unbelief implied in what is contained from p. 37 to p. 40, and other parts of the present Essay: but I cannot abstain from asking why does this author,—who, in all the intercourse of private life, is so manly a character,—fall into the unmanly trick of his brother-Essayists, of insinuating what they dare not openly avow? The great master of this cloudy shuffling art is Mr. Jowett. Even where he and his associates in “free handling,” are express and definite in their statements, yet, as their rule is prudently to abstain from adducing a single example of their meaning, it is only by their disingenuous reticence that they escape punishment or exposure. Thus, Dr. Temple xxspeaks of “many of the doctrinal statements of the early Church” being “plainly unfitted for permanent use;” (p. 41;) but he prudently abstains from explaining which of those “doctrinal statements” he means. He goes on to remark:—“In fact, the Church of the Fathers claimed to do what not even the Apostles had claimed,—namely, not only to teach the Truth, but to clothe it in logical statements . . . . for all succeeding time.” He is evidently alluding to “the forms in which the first ages of the Church defined the Truth;” [i.e. to the Creeds;] of which he says, we “yet refuse to be bound by them.” (p. 44.) He goes on,—“It belongs to a later epoch to see ‘the law within the law’ which absorbs such statements into something higher than themselves.” (p. 41.) But the writer of that sentence ought to have had the manliness to explain what that “higher something” is.
Dr. Temple’s estimate of the corruptions of the Papacy is of a piece with the rest of what I must be excused for calling a most unworthy performance. “Purgatory,” &c. (he says) “was in fact, neither more nor less than the old schoolmaster come back to bring some new scholars to Christ.” (p. 42.) (Is the Romish fable of Purgatory then to be put on the same footing as the Divine Revelation to Moses on Sinai?) It follows,—“When the work was done, men began to discover that the Law was no longer necessary.” (Ibid.) (Is it thus that the head-master of Rugby accounts for, and explains the Reformation?) “The time was come when it was fit to trust to the conscience as the supreme guide.” (Ibid.) “At the Reformation, it might have seemed at first as if the study of theology were about to return. But in reality an xxientirely new lesson commenced,—the lesson of toleration. Toleration is the very opposite of dogmatism.” (p. 43.) “Its tendency is to modify the early dogmatism by substituting the spirit for the letter, and. practical religion for precise definitions of truth.” (Ibid.) “The mature mind of our race is beginning to modify and soften the hardness and. severity of the principles which its early manhood had elevated into immutable statements of truth. Men are beginning to take a wider view than they did. Physical science, researches into history, a more thorough knowledge of the world they inhabit, have enlarged our philosophy beyond the limits which bounded that of the Church of the Fathers. And all these have an influence, whether we will or no, on our determinations of religious truth. There are found to be more things in heaven and earth than were dreamt of in patristic theology. God’s creation is a new book to be read. by the side of His revelation, and to be interpreted as coming from Him. We can acknowledge the great value of the forms in which the first ages of the Church defined the truth, and yet refuse to be bound. by them.” (p. 43-4.) . . . Who so unacquainted with the method of a certain school as not to understand the fatal meaning of generalities, false and foul as these?
It may occur to some persons to inquire whether St. Paul, in a well-known place, does not affirm, (somewhat as it is affirmed in this Essay,) that “the heir, as long as he is a child, . . . is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father?” And that, “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when xxiithe fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son . . . . to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons?” Does not St. Paul also go on to reproach men for “turning again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto they desired to be again in bondage?” saying, “ye observe3333 παρα τηρεῖσθε: i.e. “ye misobserve,” “keep in a wrong way.” days, and months, and times, and years3434 Gal. iv. 1-10..” It is quite true that St. Paul says all this: and I would fain believe that a puerile misconception of the Apostle’s meaning has betrayed the misguided author of the present Essay into a notion that he enjoys a species of Divine sanction for what he has written concerning “the Education of the World.” I may add that St. Paul also declares, (in the same Epistle,) that “the Law was our pædagogus to bring us to Christ. . . . But after faith is come, we are no longer under a pædagogus3535 Gal. iii. 24, 25..” He further adds an exhortation to the Galatians, (for it is still them whom he is addressing,)—“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage3636 Gal. v. 1..”—St. John moreover, in many places, insists upon the spiritual powers and privileges of believers, in a very remarkable manner,—the same St. John, the same ‘Apostle of Love,’ who says of a certain Doctrine which ‘Essayists and Reviewers’ write as if they disbelieved,—“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds3737 2 St. John v. 10, 11..”
But it does not require much knowledge of Divinity xxiiito make a man aware that St. Paul’s meaning and intention is as widely removed from Dr. Temple’s, as Truth is removed from falsehood: or rather, that the Apostle is flatly against him. St. Paul is not bent on explaining what has been the Education of the World, but on pointing out in what relation the Gospel of Christ stands to the Law of Moses. He is reproving men who, having been converted to Christianity, were for lapsing into Judaism. Certain of the Circumcision had been striving, in St. Paul’s absence, to bring his Galatian converts under the bondage of the Levitical Law assuring them that the Gospel would avail them nothing unless they were circumcised and obedient to the Jewish ritual. Hence the Apostle’s vehemence, and the peculiar form which his instruction assumes.
The Christian dispensation, (the scheme of Man’s Justification by Faith in Christ,) is the fulfilment, (St. Paul says,) of the covenant which Gm) once solemnly made with Abraham. The Mosaic Law, (which was not given till 430 years after the time of Abraham,) is powerless to cancel that earlier covenant of Faith. What was the use of the Law, then? some one may ask. It was a supplementary, parenthetical, superadded thing, which came in, as it were, accidentally, for certain assignable purposes. But now that the original covenant of Faith has at length found fulfilment in the person of Christ, it were monstrous (argues the Apostle) to revert to Judaism: which was a species of prison-house where we suffered bondage until Messiah came to set us free. We were as prisoners, says the Apostle. We were also as children,—(who, anciently, from the age of six to fourteen, used to be consigned by their father to the care of xxiva slave called a ‘pædagogus;’ who was neither qualified nor allowed to teach them anything but whose office it was to conduct them to school.) So brought to the School of Christ, where learning comes by Faith, (such is his argument,) let men beware how they revert to the carnal ordinances of the Jewish Law.
How different a view of our true state is thus discovered, from that which Dr. Temple describes! A glorious liberty is in reserve for us indeed3838 Rom. viii. 21.: a precious freedom is ours already. But it bears no resemblance whatever to that lawlessness (ἀνομία) with which Dr. Temple seems to be enamoured. It is the correlation of slavery, not of obedience. It implies emancipation from the Levitical Law, not from the sanctions, however strict, of the Christian Church. The Doctrines of Christ’s kingdom are the Christian’s crown and joy. His “service is perfect freedom,” and imparts to life all its sweetness.—Not only, therefore, (according to St. Paul’s view of the matter,) were men not released from school at “the meeting point of the Law and the Gospel,” (p. 24,) but they only began to go to School then3939 It is presumed that the article in the Dict. of Antiquities will be held unexceptionable authority as to the office of the παιδαγωγός.—“Rex filio pædagogum constituit, et singulis diebus ad eum invisit, interrogans eum: Num comedit filius meus? num in scholam abiit? num ex scholâ rediit?”—Wetstein, in loc.—So Plato Lysis, p. 118.!
How different a view of the Education of the World does the Holy Spirit,—does our Lord himself—furnish, from that which Dr. Temple here advocates! . . . Fallen, in the person of Adam, and made subject to the penalty of eternal death, behold Mankind from xxvthe very first taught to believe that they should be ultimately redeemed by One born of woman. Under the image of a son who remained in his father’s house, the favoured descendants of Abraham are set before us: while the rest of the world is pourtrayed in the person of another son, who goes into a far country, and there wastes his substance with riotous living. Not when grown into a colossal “youth too old for discipline,” (p. 20, bottom,) but in the day of his dire necessity, and when he begins to be sensible of his utter need, behold the heathen nations, (in the person of the poor prodigal,) arising, and going to their true Father, and in the fulness of their misery asking for a hired servant’s place in the household. Behold too God’s mercies in Christ set forth by “the first robe,” (that robe of innocence which when Adam lost he knew that he was naked!) and the ring, and the shoes, and the fatted calf! Lastly, in the embrace which the Father, (while yet the offending but repentant son is a long way off,) runs to bestow,—behold how God loved the World!
But Dr. Temple may say,—My parable relates to one person: that which you have quoted pourtrays two, and thus all parallelism is lost. (In other words, our Lord’s picture of “the Education of the World” is altogether unlike Dr. Temple’s!)—Take, however, a parable which ought to suit exactly for in it mankind are exhibited in the person of “a certain man.”
This individual is represented as one who, as he travels, is by thieves stripped, wounded, and left half dead. Such then, by nature, is the state of the human race! Priest and Levite, who “look on him,” but “pass by on the other side,” set forth the Education of the World (!) until Christ came. A certain xxviSamaritan, who has compassion on the naked and wounded wretch, goes to him, binds up his wounds, pours in oil and wine, sets him on his own beast, brings him to the inn, and takes care of him:—this one is Christ. The stranger’s pence, and his promise to repay at his second coming what shall have been over-expended,—set forth, I suppose, that ministration of Christ’s Word and Sacraments which Dr. Temple exercises . . . . Let me dismiss the subject by remarking that I find no countenance given by Holy Scripture to Dr. Temple’s monstrous notions concerning the Infancy, the Youth, and the Manhood of the Colossal Man.
Our Saviour Christ is indeed set before us in Scripture as our great Exemplar4040 1 St. Peter ii. 21. Comp. St. James v. 10.; and St. Paul calls upon us to be followers, or rather imitators, (μιμηταί), of himself; even as he was of Christ4141 1 Cor. xi. 1: iv. 16. Phil. iii. 17. 2 Thess. 9. Heb. xiii. 7, &c.. But this walking by example, did not supersede the walking by precept neither was it to endure, (God forbid!) (as Dr. Temple emphatically says it was), (pp. 26: 28-9,) only for about a hundred years: still less was “Example,” (the second Teacher of the Human Race,) straightway to find itself supplanted by “the Spirit or Conscience” of Man,—“the third great Teacher, and the last.” What need to say that until His Second Coming to judge the world, we shall have no Teacher but Christ,—no other way proposed to us to walk in, but that which the Gospel discloses?
Neither is it true that the world has been old enough, for the last 1800 years, to be taught by “seeing xxviithe lives of Saints,” (a sentiment worthy of the weakest of Romanists!) “better than by hearing the words of Prophets.” (pp. 28-9.) The Church of Christ will for ever listen to the blessed accents of that “goodly fellowship,” until she beholds Him by whose Spirit they spake4242 1 St. Pet. 1. 11., coming again to judgment. True that the object with which she will all along inform her children, will ever be that they may become conformed to the model of her Divine Lord. But “sound doctrine4343 1 Tim. i. 10: iv. 6. Tit. i. 9: ii. 1. Comp. 2 St. John v. 10.,”—embodied in a “form of sound words4444 2 Tim. i. 13.,”—constitutes that παρακαταθήκη or “deposit,” which is her proudest inheritance and her greatest treasure4545 2 Tim. i. 13, 14: ii. 2. Also 1 Tim. vi. 20. On both places, Dr. Wordsworth’s Notes may be consulted with advantage.: and impatience of it is a note of evil men, and of a season at which Prophecy points her awful finger4646 2 Tim. iv. 3.. . . . .“Lawlessness,” (ἀνομία,) is discoursed of by the Spirit with a mysterious earnestness which it seems to me impossible to survey without mingled awe and terror lest one may become oneself involved in the threatened condemnation. I allude of course especially to what St. Paul says in his second Epistle to the Thessalonians; the language of which, to be understood, must be studied in the original4747 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8, &c..
Conscience has her office, doubtless; and a most important one it is. Conscience is the very candle of the Lord within us. But, (as I have elsewhere shewn,) it were base treason to speak of conscience as Essayists and Reviewers speak of it. With them, it is indeed impossible to argue. They must first withdraw xxviiifrom the cause which they have betrayed; cease to profess the teaching which they disbelieve; resign their commission in a Church to whose Doctrine and Discipline they openly proclaim themselves to be opposed. I will not argue with them, while they presume to write B.D. and D.D. after their names,—hold Chaplaincies,—preside over Schools and Colleges,—profess to lecture in Divinity,—officiate at the altars of the Church of England,—by virtue of their sacred office, and by virtue of that only, are instructors of youth. They cannot, (if they are in the full enjoyment of their faculties,) they cannot imagine, for a moment, that, as holiest men, they can remain where they are! They must either recal their words or resign their stations!
But speaking to others, it will abundantly suffice to point out that such principles as the present Essay advocates are incompatible with the profession of Christianity in any country, and in any age. If the spirit or conscience of Man is to legislate “without appeal except to himself;” (p. 31;) if men are to “refuse to be bound” (p. 44.) by the Creeds of the Church; if the very Bible is not to be looked upon as “an outer law:” (p. 45:)—how is sentence ever to be pronounced with authority? how are men to know what they have to believe? how are we to enjoy the guidance of any “outer law” at all? I do not ask these questions as a clergyman; neither am I addressing those exclusively who have been admitted to the Christian priesthood. Common sense, ordinary piety, natural reverence, seem to cry out, and ask,—If the Church have no “authority in controversies of Faith4848 Art. XX.;” if the three Creeds ought not “thoroughly to be received and xxixbelieved4949 Art. VIII.;” if the Bible is not “an outer Law;”—where is Authority in things Divine to be sought for? What can be worthy of credit? Where are we to look for external guidance on this side the grave? . . . Surely, surely, common sense is outraged when she hears it insisted that the written Bible is a Revelation speaking not “from without,” but “from within!” (pp. 36 and 45.) Surely it must be admitted that it were mere atheism to pretend that Man’s “spirit or conscience, without appeal except to himself,” shall henceforth be the governing principle of Mankind!
Let me in conclusion do this writer an act of justice, (for which he will not perhaps altogether thank me,) even while with shame and sorrow I now dismiss his Essay. Unpardonable as he is for having written thus; and wholly without excuse for having suffered nine editions of his blasphemous allegory to go forth to the world without apology, explanation, or retractation of any kind,—although he labours under a weight of competent censure without a parallel, I believe, in the annals of the English Church5050 I allude especially to the terrible castigation he has individually received at the hands of the Bishop of Exeter. See the Times, of March 4th, 1861.: notwithstanding all this, I am bound to say that if the unbelievers of this generation think they have an ally in the man, Frederick Temple,—they are very much mistaken. That so pure a heart, and earnest a spirit, will never work itself free of its present bondage,—I should be sorry indeed to think. (But O the mischief which the head-master of Rugby School will have done in the meantime!) Ms misfortune (or rather fault) it has been, that he has really never studied Divinity; xxxnor, in fact, knows anything at all about it—as a volume of his, lately published, sufficiently shews. Apart from his opinions (1), he is a thoroughly amiable man; and—(with the same proviso!)—an excellent schoolmaster; but when he ventures upon the province of Theology, he shews himself something infinitely worse than a very bad Divine.
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