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a position which is perfectly scriptural, and on which there can be no doubt, proceeds to add in a foot note, without any attempt at proof of their reasonableness, the following expressions :-" It is the full conviction of the author, that there will be more ministers in hell, in proportion, than other people." The author may be correct in his opinion; but we think that so awful a subject should not be thus thrown as it were fortuitously before the reader, without any authority to sustain it except the author's own opinion. We deem it a duty to notice this kind of flippant and easy way of writing in which too many writers are inclined to indulge this mode of introducing thoughts and speculations of so serious a character with an "apropos," or a "by-the-by." There are other instances of the same tone in Mr. Blackley's volume, and (in the case which we are going to point out) in connexion with what we must consider as unsound views of Christian doctrine.
In a Dialogue on Confirmation, referred to at page 153, and which is printed at the end of the volume, one of the speakers informs the other that "the Confirmation Service arises entirely out of the imperfection or deficiency of infant baptism;" and on hearing a not unnatural expression of surprise from his companion, repeats, that "if it were not for the incompleteness of infant baptism, there would be no necessity for what is called the Confirmation Service. A baptized infant, when it is confirmed, should be confirmed." He further explains his meaning by observing that the Apostles would not have baptized persons, unless they had professed their belief in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and their intention of living in obedience to the Christian faith; that an infant cannot make these professions; and therefore when it is afterwards convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, it is required to come forward and enter into the engagement which baptism requires; that it is not necessary for adults to go through the Confirmation Service, they doing at their baptism all that the young person (previously baptized as an infant) does at his confirmation; that they "even cannot go to the Confirmation Service," because they cannot answer the question there put; and that the whole service of adult baptism supposes that the adult is confirmed in the belief of the truth of the Gospel before he is baptized; and that the promises made by sponsors at baptism "cannot bind an unconscious being." So that on the whole, the doctrine of the author appears to be, that infant baptism, being unaccompanied by the profession of faith and obedience, which the Apostles required from the first converts to Christianity, and in the absence of which the promise of the sponsors is of no avail, is defective-" is not complete Christian baptism."-p. 149.
How this teaching is consistent with the Articles and the Prayer Book, we are rather at a loss to conceive. We do not know how it can be reconciled with such passages as the following: "Sacraments are effectual signs of grace, by which He doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in Him." Baptism is a sign of regeneration or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive baptism rightly, are grafted into the Church, the promises of forgiveness of sin, and free adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God; the baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ." If the baptism of infants be in accordance with the divine institution, it conveys the privileges which baptism conveys; it makes us "members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven ;' so that we may say of the baptized infant just as much as of the adult, that "it hath pleased God to regenerate him with his Holy Spirit, to receive him for his own child by adoption, and to incorporate him into his Holy Church;" and "it is certain, by God's word, that children which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved." When Mr. Blackley then tells us, that the baptism of infants is defective and incomplete; and that confirmation remedies its essential defect, because it is a profession of faith and obedience, the only inference resulting from his views is, that the Church of England has taught unsound doctrine in these points, and that the opponents of infant baptism have followed the more rational and scriptural course. We are inclined to attribute much of Mr. Blackley's mistakes on these subjects to want of reflection, and a careless dealing with serious topics; for we can scarcely conceive that he would positively assert that "confirmation" is needless in the case of persons baptized as adults, and that they even cannot be confirmed, when the rubric at the end of the office for adult baptism runs thus:
"It is expedient that every person thus baptized, should be confirmed by the Bishop, so soon after his baptism as conveniently may be; that so he may be admitted to the Holy Communion."
In this rubric the Church actually requires confirmation by the bishop, as a pre-requisite to the reception of the holy communion in such cases: we can scarcely suppose that this rubric could have occurred to Mr. Blackley, when he ventured on such assertions as we have noticed; and yet forgetfulness on such a point appears to indicate a degree of carelessness which is deserying of severe censure.
III.-Religious Movements of Germany in the Nineteenth Century. By CHARLES HERBERT COTTRELL, Esq., M.A. London: Petheram.
THE work before us would seem, from its invariable use of the form "we," to have been originally intended for publication in some periodical. The author has, we think, not unjustly described it as a "superficial" attempt to throw light on the religious convulsions of Germany: there is extremely little of novelty in his account; but if he has not succeeded in enlightening us on the subject of German theories, he has been eminently successful in proving his own thorough-going sympathy with German Rationalism. We are thankful to such men as Mr. Cottrell, who openly speak their mind, and tell us what they are aiming at. In his preface we find him stating that "if in the living writers of Germany, no less than in their predecessors, that uncompromising spirit of free inquiry be exhibited; and if it be no less now than in earlier times a remarkable feature in their theological discussions not to be deterred from expressing the results of their researches, however they may shock the orthodox, and run counter to prevalent ideas; few at least of the scholars of Germany at the present day can justly be charged with originating an inquiry, either with a view to scoff at the opinions of others, or, like the Voltaire school, to vaunt their learning by setting at defiance common sense and common decorum." This is certainly a great comfort. We have learned and well-bred infidels to deal with, instead of ignorant, arrogant buffoons.
We find (as we always do in the writing of those who endeavour to familiarize us with the heresies and infidelities of German Rationalism) Mr. Cottrell reminding his readers "at the onset, that the German mind is not to be judged by a purely English standard. Germans have been long accustomed to a far greater liberty of thought on religious subjects than ourselves-to a freedom of discussion which would shock many of us, simply because the members of the different persuasions in England subscribe much more implicitly and passively to the doctrinal watchwords of their respective leaders, than is the case with any religious party in Germany." We understand the object of these remarks perfectly well. They are designed to prepare the reader not to be shocked when he reads open denials of those tenets which he holds most sacred; and to induce him to look with favour and indulgence on those who are utterly unsound in the first essentials of religion. It was by the same kind of sophistry that some advocates of Romanism, who professed for a time to be members of the Church of England, endeavoured to diminish the repugnance felt by Englishmen to the worship of the Virgin, by representing that we could not be judges of the tone of feeling or the
language in reference to the Virgin used by members of the Church of Rome, because we had not been brought up in their system. And on the same principle it might be argued, that the sale of French books or prints of a licentious character was lawful; and that we should not be shocked in reading them or looking at them, because we must remember that ideas on the subject of decency and morality are more free amongst neighbouring nations than amongst ourselves.
We must, however, in candour say, that, as far as the volume before us is concerned, the apology which Mr. Cottrell makes for the German theology, is in reality needed much more for his own expressions of opinion, than for any that he ascribes to other writers. He is professedly a Christian: but his Christianity is a most unsubstantial thing. He has no creed-no theological doctrines-no belief in Scripture as God's word—and his views of Christianity is, that it is simply a code of ethics. Of course he is furious (as all who think with him are) at orthodoxy, priestcraft, creeds, &c.; and he attempts in all ways to vilify and degrade the Christian ministry, and to represent it as a violation of the rights of the laity. In short, he is a worthy compeer of such critics as Arnold, Bunsen, Blanco White, &c. We must extract a few passages from this miserable production. Mr. Cottrell regards it as a remarkable phenomenon, that at a time when "human reason boasts of having gained the most signal victory over narrowmindedness, prejudice, and superstition, and "at a time when the cry for civil liberty is echoed throughout the length and breadth of the land;" "at this very time we find no inconsiderable body of men in Germany retrograding in their religious ideas and practices, hiding under a bushel the light so hardly acquired, by which a clear and rational view of God and the world has been exhibited, and again voluntarily bending their necks under the yoke of antiquated dogmas, Church articles, and blind and paralyzing belief in the letter of Scripture."-p. 5. This modern pietism is, according to Mr. Cottrell, a wholly different thing from the system of Spener. Modern pietism is, in his opinion, "the product of different factors." (We smile at this stilted pedantry, which Mr. Cottrell has borrowed from his German writers.) It is "a strange illegitimate offset of orthodoxy, mysticism, and the later chilling form of the pietism of Spener." And this brings us to the following tirade:
"Of the first of these, orthodoxy, the essence consists in endeavouring to establish a fixed rule, norma fidei, as to the object of belief, from which no deviation is admissible under any circumstances. The orthodox start upon the assumption that Christianity is a mere doctrine, not a life, and that the single requisite for salvation is a strict adherence to this doctrine, and consequently that it is the only lesson
a Christian has to learn. . . . Any article of faith once prescribed, he endeavours to confine it within definite formulas, and exerts all his zeal and energies to prevent any infringement of it. The orthodox clings to words, without inquiring whether they convey any clear and definite idea. He fights for words, builds whole systems upon words, and will not suffer any iota to be subtracted from these words. ever fatal this may be to sense, and repugnant to the understanding, however impossible it may be to reconcile it with reason-in matters of faith these are allowed no voice. . . ."
"If we take an historical view of orthodoxy, we meet with the first germ of it very near the apostolic times. The Apostles' and Athanasian Creed are its first products, and it has been the source of all the theological disputes which have sprung up in the bosom of the Church during so many ages. It was orthodoxy which led to those multifarious persecutions, that fanatical cruelty at which humanity shudders....
"It requires indeed no proof that orthodoxy is a sentiment utterly repugnant to and incompatible with the spirit of Christianity. Equally so is it with freedom of conscience, and the unfettered study of Scripture, which the Evangelical Church claims as her unalienable privilege. 'God,' says Luther, 'neither can nor will suffer any man to exercise dominion over the soul;' and whoever asserts that any formula of faith stereotyped in symbolic writings is binding upon the conscience, except the Scriptures, that man sets up a 'Paper Pope,' dams up the living stream of the waters of Christianity in the human breast, and offers every impediment to the development of Christian life.”—pp. 11, 12.
This is pretty well. Mr. Cottrell has advanced further than the Unitarians, who do not look upon the Apostles' Creed as an invention of "orthodoxy." He will have nothing but the Scriptures; and so far we might suppose him a believer in the Scriptures as the word of God; but his reference to the Scripture is not with any sincere view. It is made simply with the design of shaking off all other authority, in order that he may in the end deny the authority of Scripture itself more effectually, after having rejected all that upholds the authenticity of Scripture. His views on these subjects appear in the following extracts :
"The excellent Founder of Christianity himself was the first Friend of Light. It is notorious, that among the earliest acts of His ministration which gave a new aspect to the world at large, was the establishment of a system in opposition to the religious prejudices of the time, the antiquated, spiritless, narrowminded precepts of the Scribes and Pharisees. A Divine rule of life and doctrine conformable to reason, and diametrically opposed to the love of darkness exhibited by hypocritical and domineering priests."
"Had the religion which He taught been transmitted to us in the form of a simple code of doctrine, as it issued from the mouth of its Founder, theological disputes and religious schisms could never have sprung up to disturb the peace of the Church.... It has not however