תמונות בעמוד

what the Roman says, or rather the Roman theology says a great deal of what the Patristic says. The Roman has a strong element in common with it. A mere popular standard would probably put them both together, and see no difference perhaps between them. This is what persons have been saying so long; this is just the view we are so familiar with. Put the high-Anglican doctrine of the Real Presence, or of the Eucharistic sacrifice, and show what they really assert, to the mass of persons, and they will say at once that they are tantamount to Romanism. They will say they do not understand fine distinctions, subtleties, hairbreadth lines; that, if there is a difference, it is not worth speaking of, but that they do not see one : that they take the broad common-sense view, and look at the genuine solid substance of the doctrines, and not at insignificant points. They will say that, if you teach one, you may as well teach the other; and that if the one should not be taught, the other should not be taught either. Do not all of us know, that high doctrine of all kinds has gone simply under the name of 'Popery' with a very large class ? that every manifestation which has not bowed to the popular standard, has been set down as such; and that persons have not been able to open their mouths on some subjects, and explain the Church Catechism, without being called “Romanists?' Such is the real meaning of the language of the Bishop of Llandaff, and of the Oxford

Test,- its genuine practical force and bearing. A whole line of theology, that differs, in some respects, from the Roman,'a whole system of teaching, that is rix aut ne vix quidem' separated from the Roman,- that is considered to be the same in principle, and is, as a matter of fact, set down as Romanism, was aimed at in the Test. Is another phrase wanted ? The preamble of the Decree on No. XC. gives one quite as symptomatic-a very safe one, indeed, in itself, but very significant in its associations. Whereas it is the declared purpose of this University, to maintain and inculcate the pure faith of the Gospel' --who does not know what the pure Gospel' means in popular theology? what such' phrases as the simplicity of Gospel truth, and the like, mean? They explain themselves perfectly; they have a regular conventional drift

. Do they, or do they not, convey a certain idea of a Gospel system, as opposed to that of a sacramental one, and as specially contrasted to the view which the Church school among us take of the Christian scheme? The ó sense of the University,' comes in to crown the whole; the University is first supposed to take a particular line, and to manifest a bias, and then its sense of the Articles is imposed. The whole circumstances of the case, had the University passed that Test, would have shown its animus and real object in so doing; and that would have interpreted the Test.

If any one thinks that we are attributing too large a sweep to the Test, let him reflect for a few moments, and just ask himself what he really thinks would have been the case had the Test passed. Let him put to himself the situation which those who hold the opinions we speak of, would have been in under it; the reflections that they would have been subjected to, if they had not taken it in its broad meaning; the call that would have been made and urged upon them from the quarter that passed it, to retire, to leave a scene where they were marked, and not to struggle with a plain and palpable sentence against them. If any one thinks that we are attributing too large a sweep to the intention of this Test, let him remember the suspension of Dr. Pusey for preaching—what ? Roman doctrine? Clearly not: he disclaimed it, totidem verbis: for preaching the high Anglican doctrine of the Real Presence; for preaching simply what he demonstrably proved the Fathers of the Church Catholic, and the high divines in our own Church held. That sermon was declared to be dissonant with the doctrine of the Established Church,' though it expressly disavowed Roman doctrine. Another field of doctrine then was aimed at in the condemnation of that sermon, besides the Roman : another field of doctrine, besides the Roman, was aimed at in this Test. We are not attributing too large a sweep to the Test.

One word more. This would have been a distinctly new move, a distinct change in our Church's ground. The Test, in condemning this indefinite field of doctrine we speak of, clearly condemned what the Articles do not. The Articles, where they condemn Roman doctrine, plainly condemn that doctrine, and not another; in condemning Roman doctrine, they do not condemn what is not Roman. This Test did. It alluded, under a comprehensive, indefinite phrase, to what it considered tantamount to Romanism, as well as to what was such. This, whether a right or wrong one, is a new theological department to condemn. The Articles do not mention it;'it was an addition of the Test's. A distinct addition was made to our Church Tests, to meet the case of the particular opinions that were obnoxious. The Church was prevented from expanding in that direction, and that ground was cut off from her.

Now to this whole view, which unseats minds of the Catholic school from their place in the English Church, whether coming from the Latitudinarian or the Evangelical quarter, or from both, as it does-to this whole view, which regards them as invaders, and prevents them from using and bringing out the Church on its own basis-to that whole view of which the New Test was the

expression - the Catholic school has one answer. They see that basis belonging to the Church as a fact. They see a sacramental system and dogmatic creed formally asserted by herthey see a whole fabric, which they accept, and which their opponents do not. So long as they see that, they regard the Church as their own, and not as their opponents. Take away that ground, alter the Church formularies, and they will take another view of her. But so long as she has these formularies, they feel a right to her, which others have not. They feel that they alone can accept and make real use of her system. Others may develop her on their own basis, but they alone can develop her on hers. They want the liberty to do this if they can-a fair ground, and no favour. They want to exercise the simple natural right of impressing Catholic doctrine upon people's minds by those powers of persuasion, whatever they be, that they are masters of, and of vindicating and unfolding the professed basis of the English Church. Can the other side really use our existing Church system? Do they really take it one bit into account in their religious schemes? Do they not use the Church as a simple shell which covers them, as a mere inclosure, and treat a whole internal system of discipline in her as if it were not ? The Ecclesiastical fabric is gutted, and made a case of, and they build up their own theory in the vacuum. But, in the mean time, there the internal system is-it is not cleared away-and a school comes forward, and wants to make use of, and unfold it.

Is it replied, that the system indeed is there formally, but that it is obsolete now? The answer is obvious: it is not obsolete while people wish to make use of it. The claim made supplies its own evidence in this respect. To prevent a system being used because it is obsolete, is very like arguing in a circle. If it can be used, it is not obsolete; and here are those who say they really want to use it. The fact of a large and growing school in the Church that wants to use her system, shows at once that that system has a hold on people's minds, and associates a reality with it. It exists on paper, and that supplies the formit exists in people's minds, and that gives reality. When a regular movement wants to throw life and vigour into a system, the system has, at any rate, so much solidity and reality as this fact shows.

A Church that has this formal basis, and that has the feeling and spirit of her own sons to carry it out, cannot be interfered with without danger, in the way in which the late efforts have gone. It cannot be monopolized by those who have made the attempt to do so, without a split and a convulsion, that would endanger its very existence as an established institution. A school that feels itself strong in its Church basis, and its own earnestness-that has those numbers, names, consideration, and weight—that has that whole Church strength and footing that this has -- is not one to be attacked without great fear and caution, even on the common political and general conservative ground. We trust persons will pause before they continue such a system of aggression. We trust that they will consider the formidable consequences, which must attend the final crush and collision of theological parties now existing in the Church. We hope that, if some are unmindful of these chances and heedless of results, so long as the pursuit is but kept up and victory plays before the eye, others, who occupy a more neutral position, will be more clear-sighted, and see that the Church must suffer. All we wish for is a calm, in which each side may peaceably try each other's strength on the field of sober argument, or moral influence. Let mind and temper, religious feeling, depth, devotion, self-denial, give the superiority, on whichever side it may be ; and let the issue be one of natural and gradual transition, and not a rupture or a shock. Let the Catholic movement die way, if it has not spirit enough to sustain itself; if it has, let it cover the ground that it can gain, and occupy the position that it can rise to. At all events, whatever turn the present temper of parties may take, that school occupies a place now from which it will not recede; and it will endeavour, with God's blessing, to carry on that course which it has begun.


A Letter wlich appeared in the Times from Mr. Hope, on the subject of the No. XC. Decree, and its bearing as a Test, explains this point clearly :

Convocation [says Mr. Hope), like other legislative bodies, may either chauge its laws by repeal and addition, or clear them of doubt by explanation. In the former case it enacts, in the latter it declares. In the former, new provisions are introduced, or old ones abolished; in the latter, the language of the existing law remains as before, but receives a sense which was previously latent or ambiguous.

The Test recently withdrawn was in the form of enactment, and sought to insert in the body of a penal statute (Tit. xvii., sec. 3. 2.) a declaration of the sense in which subscribers should profess iheir acceptance of the Thirty-Nine Articles. If they should refuse to make that profession, they were not to be allowed to subscribe; and if they should not subscribe, the old law had already pointed out the consequences.

The new 'form of Decree' adopts the other method--it does not propose to abrogate or add anything by way of enactment, but only to clear the sense of the existing law by way of declaration.

For this purpose it recites a variety of statutes respecting instruction and examination in the Thirty-Nine Articles and subscription to them; and, having also recited that certain modes of interpretation have been suggested by Tract 90, proceeds to declare and decree'

• That modes of interpretation such as are suggested in the said Traet, &'c., defeat the object and are inconsistent with the due observance, of the above-mentioned statutes.'

This, therefore, is a declaratory statute, and if it should pass, all the statutes recited in it will receive their legal meaning from it, and must each be read as if the new interpretation had been verbally contained in the old text.

Let us, then, see, e.g., how this would work in the particular instance of the penal statute which was made the basis of the former Test, and which being one of those recited in the new Decree, is to receive a meaning from it.

That statute ( Tit. xvii. sec. 3, $ 2,) vests in the Vice Chancellor the right and power of ascertaining subscriptionis criterio,' quo quisque modo erya doctrinam rel disciplinam Ecclesie Anglicano affectus sit;' and any one in holy orders who thrice refuses to subscribe, upon the Vice-Chancellor's requisition, is to be banished. But by the new Decree, ' modes of interpretation such as are suggested in' Tract 90, are declared and decreed' to defeat the object and be iconsistent with the due observance of this statute. And as every one who is bound to the observance of a law is bound to its due observance, and every one who has to enforce a law is bound to its due enforcement (for otherwise legislation becomes impotent), the scholar, who enters the University under an engagement omnia statuta pro ririli observare,' and the Vice-Chancellor, who on his admission promises a like observance, and also that he will “faithfully execute all those things which appertain to' his office, would be obliged, the one to accept, and the other to enforce, this statuie, in a sense which would directly exclude all such modes of interpretation as the Decre declares to be inconsistent with its due observance.

The consequences of this view are obvious: simple subscription having been, apparently, the only criterion imposed by the original text, subscription pregnant with a negative would be required under the declaratory Decree; and is an individual should seruple to subscribe in this sense, or if the Vice-Chancellor should by any means discover him to have subscribed in a different one, the penalties of the statute would at once apply.

If this be a right construction, it seems to me necessarily to follow that the distinction between the enacting statute which has been withdrawn, and the declaratory statute which is now proposed, must be considered one of form and degree, and not of substance.

Both create new tests ---the former by requiring a declaration of his meaning from the subscriber, the latter by giving a particular sense to subscription--the former by prescribing one mode of interpreting the articles, the latter luy excludmg other modes.

The utmost that can be said by way of distinction between the two is, that the former Test was more palpable, more easy or application, and more extensive and impartial in its bearings. Its character was not left to construction and inference, but was plainly announced. It was not to remain in the context of the law, but to be put into the mouth of the party. It was not directed against one set of errers only, but professedly against all.

« הקודםהמשך »