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it does not follow that, however honest and| laborious they may be, they will be of one mind on the Douglas case. So it is vain to hope that there may be a free constitution under which every representative will be unanimously elected, and every law unanimously passed; and it would be ridiculous for a statesman to stand wondering and bemoaning himself because people who agree in thinking that two and two make four cannot agree about the new poor law or the administration of Canada. There are two intelligible and consistent courses which may be followed with respect to the exercise of private judgment;—that of the Romanist, who interdicts it because of its inevitable inconveniences; and that of the Protestant, who permits it in spite of its inevitable inconveniences. Both are more reasonable than Mr. Gladstone, who would have free private judgments without its inevitable inconveniences. The Romanist produces repose by means of stupefaction. The Protestant encourages activity, though he knows that where there is much activity, there will be some aberration. Mr. Gladstone wishes for the unity of the fifteenth century with the active and searching spirit of the sixteenth. He might as well wish to be in two places at
The Protestant doctrine touching the right of private judgment-that doctrine, which is the common foundation of the Anglican, the Lutheran, and the Calvinistic Churches—that doctrine by which every sect of Dissenters vindicates its separation—we conceive not to be this, 'hat opposite opinions may both be true; ncr this, that truth and falsehood are both equally good; nor yet this, that all speculative error is necessarily innocent:-but this, that there is on the face of the earth no visible body to whose decrees men are bound to submit their private judgment on points of faith.
Is there always such a visible body? Was there such a visible body in the year 1500? If not, why are we to believe that there is such a body in the year 1839? If there was such a body in 1500, what was it? Was it the Church of Rome? And how can the Church of England be orthodox now if the Church of Rome was orthodox then?
Mr. Gladstone seems to imagine that most Protestants think it possible for the same doctrine to be at once true and false; or that they think it immaterial whether, on a religious question, a man comes to a true or false conclusion. If there be any Protestants who hold notions so absurd, we abandon them to his cen
"In England," says Mr. Gladstone, "the case was widely different from that of the Continent. Her reformation did not destroy, but successfully maintained, the unity and succession of the Church in her apostolical ministry. We have, therefore, still among us the ordained hereditary witnesses of the truth, conveying it to us through an unbroken series from our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles. This is to us the ordinary voice of authority; of authority equally reasonable and equally true, whether we will hear, or whether we will for. bear."
Mr. Gladstone's reasoning is not so clear as might be desired. We have among us, he says, ordained hereditary witnesses of the truth, and their voice is to us the voice of authority. Undoubtedly, if there are witnesses of the truth, their voice is the voice of autho rity. But this is little more than saying that the truth is the truth. Nor is truth more true because it comes in an unbroken series from the apostles. The Nicene faith is not more
When Mr. Gladstone says that we "actually require discrepancy of opinion-require and demand error, falsehood, blindness, and plume ourselves on such discrepancy as attesting a freedom which is only valuable when used for unity in the truth," he expresses himself with more energy than precision. Nobody loves discrepancy for the sake of discrepancy. But a person who conscientiously believes that free inquiry is, on the whole, beneficial to the interests of truth, and that, from the imperfection of the human faculties, wherever there is much free inquiry there will be some discrepancy,-may, without impropriety, consider such discrepancy, though in itself an evil, as a sign of good. That there are fifty thousand true in the mouth of the Archbishop of Canterthieves in London is a very melancholy fact.bury, than in that of a Moderator of the GeneBut, looked at in one point of view, it is a rea-ral Assembly. If our respect for the authority son for exultation. For what other city could of the Church is to be only consequent upon maintain fifty thousand thieves? What must our conviction of the truth of her doctrines, we be the mass of wealth where the fragments come at once to that monstrous abuse,-the gleaned by lawless pilfering rise to so large an Protestant exercise of private judgment. But amount? St. Kilda would not support a single if Mr. Gladstone means that we ought to bepickpocket. The quantity of theft is, to a cer-lieve that the Church of England speaks the tain extent, an index of the quantity of useful truth, because she has the apostolical succesindustry and judicious speculation. And just sion, we greatly doubt whether such a doctrine as we may, from the great number of rogues can be maintained. In the first place, what in a town, infer that much honest gain is made proof have we of the fact? We have, indeed, there; so may we often, from the quantity of heard it said that Providence would certainly error in a community, draw a cheering infer- have interfered to preserve the apostolical sucence as to the degree in which the public mind cession of the true Church. But this is an ar is turned to those inquiries which alone can gument fitted for understandings of a different lead to rational convictions of truth. kind from Mr. Gladstone's. He will hardly tell us that the Church of England is the true Church because she has the succession; and that she has the succession because she is the true Church.
What evidence, then, have we for the fact of the apostolical succession? And here we may easily defend the truth against Oxford with the same arguments with which, in old
which, to ninety-nine Protestants out of a hun dred, would seem much more questionable than any of those doctrines. Nor is this all. Extreme obscurity overhangs the history of the middle ages; and the facts which are disThe transmission of orders from the apos- cernible through that obscuri'v prove that the fles to an English clergyman of the present Church was exceedingly il. regulated. We day, must have been through a very great read of sees of the highest dignity openly number of intermediate persons. Now it is sold-transferred backwards and forwards by probable that no clergyman in the Church of popular tumult-bestowed sometimes by a proEngland can trace up his spiritual genealogy fligate woman on her paramour-sometimes from bishop to bishop, even so far back as by a warlike baron on a kinsman, still a stripthe time of the Reformation. There remains ling. We read of bishops of ten years old-of fifteen or sixteen hundred years during which bishops of five years old-of many popes who the history of the transmission of his orders is were mere boys, and who rivalled the frantic buried in utter darkness. And whether he be dissoluteness of Caligula--nay, of a female a priest by succession from the apostles, de- pope. And though this last story, once bepends on the question, whether, during that lieved throughout all Europe, has been dislong period, some thousands of events took proved by the strict researches of modern place, any one of which may, without any gross criticism, the most discerning of those who improbability, be supposed not to have taken reject it have admitted that it is not intrinsi place. We have not a tittle of evidence to any cally improbable. In our own island, it was one of these events. We do not even know the complaint of Alfred that not a single priest, the names or countries of the men to whom it south of the Thames, and very few on the was taken for granted that these events hap-north, could read either Latin or English. And pened. We do not know whether the spiritual this illiterate clergy exercised their ministry ancestors of any one of our contemporaries amidst a rude and half heathen population, in were Spanish or Armenian, Arian or Ortho- which Danish pirates, unchristened, or chrisdox. In the utter absence of all particular tened by the hundred on a field of battle, were evidence, we are surely entitled to require that mingled with a Saxon peasantry scarcely bet there should be very strong evidence indeed, ter instructed in religion. The state of Ireland that the strictest regularity was observed in was still worse. “Tota illa per universam every generation; and that episcopal func- Hiberniam dissolutio ecclesiastica disciplinæ, tions were exercised by none who were not-illa ubique pro consuetudine Christiana bishops by succession from the apostles. But sæva subintroducta barbaries"-are the exwe have no such evidence. In the first place, pressions of St. Bernard. We are, therefore, we have not full and accurate information at a loss to conceive how any clergyman can touching the polity of the Church during the feel confident that his orders have come down century that followed the persecution of Nero. correctly. Whether he be really a successor That, during this period, the overseers of all of the apostles depends on an immense numthe little Christian societies scattered through ||ber of such contingencies as these,—whether the Roman empire held their spiritual autho under King Ethelwolf, a stupid priest might rity by virtue of holy orders derived from the not, while baptizing several scores of Danish apostles, cannot be proved by contemporary prisoners who had just made their option be testimony, or by any testimony which can be tween the font and the gallows, inadvertently regarded as decisive. The question, whether omit to perform the rite on one of these gracethe primitive ecclesiastical constitution bore a less proselytes ?-whether, in the seventh cen greater resemblance to the Anglican or to the tury, an impostor, who had never received Calvinistic model has been fiercely disputed. consecration, might not have passed himself It is a question on which men of eminent off as a bishop on a rude tribe of Scots?parts, learning, and piety have differed, and do whether a lad of twelve did really, by a cere. to this day differ very widely. It is a question mony huddled over when he was too drunk to on which at least a full half of the ability and know what he was about, convey the episcopa. erudition of Protestant Europe has, ever since character to a lad of ten? the Reformation, been opposed to the Anglican pretensions. Mr. Gladstone himself, we are persuaded, would have the candour to allow that, if no evidence were admitted but that which is furnished by the genuine Christian literature of the first two centuries, judgment would not go in favour of prelacy. And if he looked at the subject as calmly as he would look a: a controversy respecting the Roman Comitia or the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemote, he would probably think that the absence of contemporary evidence during so long a period was a defect which later attestations, however numerous, could but very imperfectly supply.
Since the first century, not less, in all proba bility, than a hundred thousand persons have exercised the functions of bishops. That many of these have not been bishops by apostolical succession is quite certain. Hooker admits that deviations from the general rule have been frequent, and with a boldness worthy of his high and statesmanlike intellect, pronounces them to have been often justifiable. "There may be," says he, "sometimes very just and sufficient reason to allow ordination made without a bishop. Where the Church must needs have some ordained, and neither hath nor can have possibly a bishop to ordain, in case of such necessity the ordinary institu tion of God hath given oftentimes, and may give
It is surely impolitic to rest the doctrines of the English Church on an historical theory, VOL. III.-50
times, the truth was defended by Oxford against Rome. In this stage of our combat with Mr. Gladstone, we need few weapons except those which we find in the well-furnished and wellordered armoury of Chillingworth.
place. And therefore we are not simply with- | improbable, and even cousin-german to imposout exception to urge a lineal descent of power sible. So that the assurance hereof is like a from the apostles by continued succession of machine composed of an innumerable multi bishops in every effectual ordination." There tude of pieces, of which it is strangely unlikely can be little doubt, we think, that the succes- but some will be out of order; and yet, if any sion, if it ever existed, has often been inter-piece be so, the whole fabric falls of necessity rupted in ways much less respectable. For to the ground: and he that shall put them to example, let us suppose-and we are sure that gether, and maturely consider all the possible no person will think the supposition by any ways of lapsing and nullifying a priesthood in means impro able-that, in the third century, the Church of Rome, will be very inclinable to a man of no principle and some parts, who think that it is a hundred to one, that among a has, in the course of a roving and discredita- hundred seeming priests, there is not one true ble life, been a catechumen at Antioch, and one; nay, that it is not a thing very improba has there become familiar with Christian ble that, amongst those many millions which usages and doctrines, afterwards rambles to make up the Romish hierarchy, there are not Marseilles, where he finds a Christian society, twenty true." We do not pretend to know to rich, liberal, and simple-hearted. He pretends what precise extent the canonists of Oxford to be a Christian, attracts notice by his abilities agree with those of Rome as to the circumand affected zeal, and is raised to the episcopal stances which nullify orders. We will not, dignity without having ever been baptized. therefore, go so far as Chillingworth. We That such an event might happen, nay, was only say that we see no satisfactory proof of very likely to happen, cannot well be disputed the fact, that the Church of England possesses by any one who has read the life of Peregrinus. the apostolical succession. And, after all, if The very virtues, indeed, which distinguished Mr. Gladstone could prove the apostolical sac. the early Christians, seem to have laid them cession, what would the apostolical succession open to those arts which deceived prove? He says that "we have among us the ordained hereditary witnesses of the truth, con veying it to us through an unbroken series from our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles." Is this the fact? Is there any doubt that the or ders of the Church of England are generally derived from the Church of Rome? Does not the Church of England declare, does not Mr. Gladstone himself admit, that the Church of Rome teaches much error and condemns inuch truth? And is it not quite clear, that as far as the doctrines of the Church of England differ from those of the Church of Rome, so far the Church of England conveys the truth through a broken series?
"Uriel, though Regent of the Sun, and held The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in Heaven."
Now, this unbaptized impostor is evidently no successor of the apostles. He is not even a Christian; and all orders derived through such a pretended bishop are altogether invalid. Do we know enough of the state of the world and of the Church in the third century, to be able to say with confidence that there were not at that time twenty such pretended bishops? Every such case makes a break in the apostolic succession.
Now, suppose that a break, such as Hooker admits to have been both common and justifiable, or such as we have supposed to be produced by hypocrisy and cupidity, were found in the chain which connected the apostles with any of the missionaries who first spread Christianity in the wilder parts of Europewho can say how extensive the effect of this single break may be? Suppose that St. Patrick, for example, if ever there was such a man, or Theodore of Tarsus, who is said to have consecrated in the seventh century the first bishops of many English sees, had not the true apostolical orders, is it not conceivable that such a circumstance may affect the orders of many clergymen now living? Even if it were possible, which it assuredly is not, to prove that the Church had the apostolical orders in the third century, it would be impossible to prove that those orders were not in the twelfth century so far lost that no ecclesiastic could be certain of the legitimate descent of his own spiritual character. And if this were so, no subsequent precautions could repair the evil.
Chillingworth states the conclusion at which he had arrived on this subject in these very remarkable word-"That of ten thousand probables no one should be faise; that of ten thousand requisites, whereof any one may fail, not one should be wanting, this to me is extremely
That the Reformers, lay and clerical, of the Church of England, corrected all that required correction in the doctrines of the Church of Rome, and nothing more, may be quite true. But we never can admit the circumstance, that the Church of England possesses the apostolical succession as a proof that she is thus per fect. No stream can rise higher than its foun tain. The succession of ministers in the Church of England, derived as it is through the Church of Rome, can never prove more for the Church of England than it proves for the Church of Rome. But this is not all. The Arian Churches which once predominated in the kingdoms of the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Burgundians, the Vandals, and the Lom bards, were all Episcopal Churches, and all had a fairer claim than that of England to the apostolical succession, as being much nearer to the apostolical times. In the East, the Greek Church, which is at variance on points of faith with all the Western Churches, has an equal claim to this succession. The Nestorian, the Eutychian, the Jacobite Churchesall heretical, all condemned by Councils of which even Protestant divines have generally spoken with respect-had an equal claim to the apostolical succession. Now if, of teachers having apostolical orders, a vast majority have taught much error,-if a large proportion have
taught deadly heresy-f, on the other hand, as Mr. Gladstone himself admits, churches not having apostolical orders--that of Scotland, for example-have been nearer to the standard of orthodoxy than the majority of teachers who have had apostolical orders-how can he possibly call upon us to submit our private judgment to the authority of a Church, on the ground that she has these orders?
her most distinguished rulers think this latitude a good thing, and would be sorry to see it restricted in favour of either opinion. And herein we most cordially agree with them. But what becomes of the unity of the Church, and of that truth to which unity is essential? Mr. Gladstone tells us that the Regium Donum was given originally to orthodox Presbyterian ministers, but that part of it is now received Mr. Gladstone dwells much on the import- by their heterodox successors. 'This," he ance of unity in doctrine. Unity, he tells us, says, "serves to illustrate the difficulties in is essential to truth. And this is most unques- which governments entangle themselves, when tionable. But when he goes on to tell us that they covenant with arbitrary systems of opi this unity is the characteristic of the Church nion, and not with the Church alone. The of England, that she is one in body and in opinion passes away, but the gift remains." spirit, we are compelled to differ from him But is it not clear, that if a strong Supralapsan widely. The apostolical succession she may had, under Whitgift's primacy, left a large or may not have. But unity she most certainly estate at the disposal of the bishops for ecclehas not, and never has had. It is a matter of siastical purposes, in the hope that the rulers perfect notoriety, that her formularies are of the Church would abide by the Lambeth framed in such a manner as to admit to her Articles, he would really have been giving his highest offices men who differ from each other substance for the support of doctrines which more widely than a very high Churchman dif- he detested? The opinion would have passed fers from a Catholic, or a very low Church-away, and the gift would have remained. man from a Presbyterian; and that the general leaning of the Church, with respect to some important questions, has been sometimes one way and sometimes another. Take, for example, the questions agitated between the Calvinists and the Arminians. Do we find in the Church of England, with respect to those questions, that unity which is essential to truth? Was it ever found in the Church? Is it not certain that, at the end of the sixteenth century, the rulers of the Church held doctrines as Calvinistic as ever were held by any Cameronian, and not only held them, but persecuted everybody who did not hold them? And is it not equally certain, that the rulers of the Church have, in very recent times, considered Calvinism as a disqualification for high preferment, if not for holy orders? Look at Archbishop Whitgift's Lambeth Articles-Articles in which the doctrine of reprobation is affirmed in terms strong enough for William Huntington, S. S. And then look at the eighty-seven questions which Bishop Marsh, within our own memory, propounded to candidates for ordination. We should be loath to say that either of these cele-subject eat the bread of the Church, preach in brated prelates had intruded into a Church her pulpits, dispense her sacraments, confer whose doctrines he abhorred, and deserved to her orders, and carry on that apostolic sucbe stripped of his gown. Yet it is quite cer- cession, the nature and importance of which, tain, that one or the other of them must have according to him, they do not comprehend. been very greatly in error. John Wesley Is this unity? Is this truth? again, and Cowper's friend, John Newton, were both presbyters of this Church. Both were men of talents. Both we believe to have been men of rigid integrity-men who would not have subscribed a Confession of Faith which they disbelieved for the richest bishop
This is only a single instance. What wide differences of opinion respecting the operation of the sacraments are held by bishops and presbyters of the Church of England-all men who have conscientiously declared their assent to her articles-all men who are, according to Mr. Gladstone, ordained hereditary witnesses of the truth-all men whose voices make up what he tells us is the voice of true and reasonable authority! Here, again, the Church has not unity; and as unity is the essential condition of truth, the Church has not the truth.
Nay, take the very question which we are discussing with Mr. Gladstone. To what extent does the Church of England allow of the right of private judgment? What degree of authority does she claim for herself in virtue of the apostolical succession of her ministers? Mr. Gladstone, a very able and a very honest man, takes a view of this matter widely differing from the view taken by others whom he will admit to be as able and honest as himself. People who altogether dissent from him on this
It will be observed that we are not putting cases of dishonest men, who, for the sake of lucre, falsely pretend to believe in the doctrines of an establishment. We are putting cases of men as upright as ever lived, who, differing on theological questions of the highest
destination, Newton was strongly attached to doctrines which Wesley designated as "blasphemy, which might make the ears of a Christian to tingle." Indeed, it will not be disputed that the clergy of the Established Church are divided as to these questions, and that her formularies are not found practically to exclude even scrupulously honest men of both sides | The religion of the Church of England is so from her altars. It is notorious that some of far from exhibiting that unity of doctrin
ric in the empire. Yet, on the subject of pre-importance, and avowing that difference, are yet priests and prelates of the same Church We therefore say, that, on some points which Mr. Gladstone himself thinks of vital importance, the Church has either not spoken at all, or, what is for all practical purposes the same thing, has not spoken in language to be under stood even by honest and sagacious divines.
which Mr. Gladstone represents as her distinguishing glory, that it is, in fact, a bundle of religious systems without number. It comprises the religious system of Bishop Tomline and the religious system of John Newton, and all the religious systems which lie between them. It comprises the religious system of Mr. Newman and the religious system of the Archbishop of Dublin, and all the religious systems which lie between them. All these different opinions are held, avowed, preached, printed, within the pale of the Church, by men of unquestioned integrity and understanding.
Do we make this diversity a topic of reproach to the Church of England? Far from it. We would oppose with all our power every attempt to narrow her basis. Would to God tha: a hundred and fifty years ago, a good king and a good primate had possessed the power as well as the will to widen it. It was a noble enterprise, worthy of William and of Tillotson. But what becomes of all Mr. Gladstone's eloquent exhortations to unity? Is it not mere mockery to attach so much importance to unity in form and name, where there is so little in substance-to shudder at the thought of two churches in alliance with one state, and to endure with patience the spectacle of a hundred sects battling within one church? And is it not clear that Mr. Gladstone is bound, on all Mr. Gladstone, we see with deep regret, cenhis own principles, to abandon the defence of sures the British government in India for disa church in which unity is not found? Is it tributing a small sum among the Catholic not clear that he is bound to divide the House priests who minister to the spiritual wants of of Commons against every grant of money ur Irish soldiers. Now, let us put a case to which may be proposed for the clergy of the him. A Protestant gentleman is attended by Established Church in the colonies? He ob- a Catholic servant, in a part of the country jects to the vote for Maynooth, because it is where there is no Catholic congregation within monstrous to pay one man to teach truth, and many miles. The servant is taken ill, and is another to denounce that truth as falsehood. given over. He desires, in great trouble of But it is a mere chance whether any sum mind, to receive the last sacraments of his which he votes for the English Church in any Church. His master sends off a messenger in dependency will go to the maintenance of an a chaise-and-four, with orders to bring a conArminian or a Calvinist, of a man like Mr.fessor from a town at a considerable distance. Froude or of a man like Dr. Arnold. It is a Here a Protestant lays out money for the purmere chance, therefore, whether it will go to pose of causing religious instruction and consupport a teacher of truth, or one who will de-solation to be given by a Catholic priest. nounce that truth as falsehood.
This argument seems to us at once to dispose of all that part of Mr. Gladstone's book which respects grants of public money to dissenting bodies. All such grants he condemns. But surely if it be wrong to give the money of the public for the support of those who teach any false doctrine, it is wrong to give that money for the support of the ministers of the Established Church. For it is quite certain that, whether Calvin or Arminius be in the right, whether Laud or Burnet be in the right, a great deal of false doctrine is taught by the ministers of the Established Church. If it be said that the points on which the clergy of the Church differ ought to be passed over, for the sake of the many important points on which they agree, why may not the same argument be maintained with respect to other sects which held in common with the Church of England the fundamental doctrines of Christianity? The principle, that a ruler is bound in conscience to propagate religious truth, and to propagate no religious doctrine which is untrue, is abandoned as soon as it is admitted
that a gentlemen of Mr. Gladstone's opinions may lawfully vote the public money to a chap lain whose opinions are those of Paley or of Simeon. The question then becomes one of degree. Of course, no individual and ro goverminent can justifiably propagate error for the sake of propagating error. But both indi viduals and governments must work with such machinery as they have; and no human machinery is to be found which will impart truth without some alloy of error. We have shown irrefragably, as we think, that the Church of England does not afford such a machinery, The question then is, with what degree of imperfection in our machinery must we put up? And to this question we do not see how any general answer can be given. We must be guided by circumstances. It would, for exam ple, be very criminal in a Protestant to contribute to the sending of Jesuit missionaries among a Protestant population. But we do
not conceive that a Protestant would be to blame for giving assistance to Jesuit missionaries who might be engaged in converting the Siamese to Christianity. That tares are mixed with the wheat is matter of regret; but it is better that wheat and tares should grow toge ther than that the promise of the year should be blighted.
Has he committed a sin? Has he not acted like a good master and a good Christian? Would Mr. Gladstone accuse him of "laxity of religious principle," of "confounding truth with falsehood," of "considering the support of religion as a boon to an individual, not as a homage to truth?" But how if this servant had, for the sake of his master, undertaken a journey which removed him from the place where he might easily have obtained a reli gious attendance? How if his death were occasioned by a wound received in defending his master? Should we not then say that the master had only fulfilled a sacred obliga tion of duty. Now, Mr. Gladstone himself owns that "nobody can think that the person ality of the state is more stringent, or entails stronger obligations, than that of the individual." How then stands the case of the Indian government? Here is a poor fellow, enlisted in Clare or Kerry, sent over fifteen thousand miles of sea, quartered in a depressing and pestilential climate. He fights for the government; he conquers for it; he is wounded; he is laid on his pallet, withering away with fever,