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Paul —- Where is one to be found on earth to do these things ?” And when the memorialists add, “never, surely, upon Nelson's model, did there ever exist one saint upon earth,” for “scripture declares that there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not,” we again have but to make a parallel application of these words to shew the inconclusiveness of such reasoning—“never, surely, upon St. Paul's model, did there ever exist one saint upon earth, for he must be one who perfects holiness in the fear of God, who abstains from all appearance of evil, who stands perfect and complete, &e.; whereas Scripture declares, that there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not."" Yet Nelson's Christianity is a Christianity unknown to the Bible.
III. Again, it is objected to Nelson that he teaches, “ that the favour of God is to be obtained by our works;" and passages in which he thus speaks of obtaining the favour of God &c. are produced against him. Now the church appoints the following passages to be read in the course of her services for the Sundays after Trinity :-“ Let not mercy and truth forsake thee, &c. So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” “A good man obtaineth favour of the Lord.” Elsewhere she teaches her children, in the words of God, that “ them that honour him, he will honour;" that no good thing will he withhold from them that lead a godly life. We are also taught in scripture on this wise“Godliness is profitable to all things, having the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come.” “Ye are MY FRIENDS, IF Ye do whatsoever I command you." “IF ANY MAN serve me, him will my father honour.” « Blessed are they that do the commandments of God, that they may have a right to the tree of life.” Yet Nelson's Christianity is unknown to the Bible and to the church.
IV. In another place, in opposition to a statement of Nelson's, that our humiliation and prayers may find acceptance with God, the memorialists give these extracts from the articles :-“We have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God without the grace of God by Christ preventing us." “ Good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ.” And these passages from the articles are intended to witness against Nelson's unscriptural and un-church doctrine. I beg to use them as proving the soundness of it; as shewing that, according to our church, Nelson was right in teaching that the Christian's humiliation and prayers may find acceptance with God. How strange is the assumption on the part of the memorialists, that Nelson is not speaking of believers ! How passing strange, that they will not allow to the baptized Christian as much faith in Christ as they find themselves obliged to allow, to save the consistency of their own doctrine, to the Gentile Cornelius! I shall now close these observations on the objections made to Nelson's tract, by a notice of the memorialists' parting words with him ; first observing, that the reviewer in the
British Critic” has so well done his work in defence of Nelson, that I have felt it quite unnecessary to notice myself all the objections VOL. XIII.--March, 1838.
brought against him; and to that reviewer, therefore, I beg (again) to refer your readers for further satisfaction.
“ The saint's mortification, according to Nelson," thus the memorialists sum up their charges against him, “is acceptable without Christ;" “ his best helps to attain humility are without Christ or his Spirit;" “ he sets his affections on things above without Christ;" "he sets about curing presumption without Christ;" "he entirely conquers his covetousness, and with it, it is presumed, by the same power, (without Christ or his Spirit, that is,) every other sin." I really, Sir, hardly know in what language, proper for me to use, to express my sense of this monstrous misrepresentation of Nelson's doctrine. That Nelson, who was writing for those that had been made, as the church had taught them, members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, at baptism, teaches no such doctrine as this which they accuse him of, must either have been known to the memorialists, or not known. It could not have been known, and they thus represent it. It was unknown to them, therefore. They were ignorant, that is, of the doctrine really held by Nelson, when they publicly accused him of false doctrine. If this be the case, what authority can the memorialists expect to have with unprejudiced minds on the subject of the Society's tracts? And yet they close their examination of Nelson's book with something like a pæan of victory over the Standing Committee.
As the memorialists' observations on the “ Whole Duty of Man" run through thirty pages, it will be impossible for me on the present occasion to notice that part of their memorial. But let me draw your readers' attention, in conclusion, to their objections to two passages in a little tract but recently added to the Society's list, called " The First Steps to the Catechism." The first passage is as follows :-“Q. What must we do that we may obtain God's forgiveness ?--A. We must be sorry for our sins, and leave them off, and pray to God to forgive us for Jesus Christ's sake.” I confess, I could hardly believe my senses when I saw this passage objected to as containing doctrine contrary to the sense of scripture and the church. The Christian father who tells his Christian child that if he wishes to obtain God's forgiveness on any occasion he must be sorry for what he has done, do it no more, and pray God to forgive him for Jesus Christ's sake, teaches his child contrary to the doctrine of scripture and the church! I thank the memorialists for this objection. At least, we shall not now change the doctrine of our tracts with our eyes blind to what is to be given us in its stead. It will be the deliberate preference, on the part of the majority of the Society, of a doctrine cmasculated of all common sense, reflecting but one half of revealed truth, and dressed in that precise and pared-to-measure language that is naught to common minds, over the rough-diamond doctrine of the old tracts, presented in the plain, unclipped king's English, intelligible to all straightforward persons, and carrying the whole truth of scripture with it; not exclusively what God promises to do for man, but also what man is required to do by God. The adverse column to this heinous
passage commences thus :—“The child, according to the catechisny, is freely made a member of Christ; as such, a child of God, and, in virtue of his adoption, an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, and is not to purchase forgiveness," &c. But is this teaching of the catechism to be remembered when supposed to be in opposition to the Society's tracts, and forgotten when it supports their doctrine ? And let the reader notice the imputation against the “First Steps," that it teaches that the child is to purchase" forgiveness; that word being supplied by the memorialists. And let him well weigh what follows: “ The forgiveness of sins is redemption through his blood, according to the riches of his grace; and is neither obtained by being sorry for our sins, nor leaving them off; these are things which accompany salvation.” I cannot divest myself of the belief, that scripture supposes them to precede, as well as accompany it, when it says, “ Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins," &c.; or, “Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." I think I see in these and similar statements a state of mind required, previous to the blessing of forgiveness being bestowed; but I confess I only judge as one of the unlearned, taking the words in their first, obvious, and ordinary meaning. The church, too, has certainly been guilty of the error attributed to the Society's tract; for she requires repentance and faith in the party coming for remission of sins to baptism, and appears to instruct her children much in the way of this little catechism, (viz., that they must be sorry for their sins, and leave them off, if they would obtain God's forgiveness,) when she thus addresses them in her communion service :-“ Let us not abuse the goodness of God, who calleth us mercifully to amendment, and of his endless pity promiseth us forgiveness of that which is past, IF with a perfect and true heart we return to him.” But it is also objected to this little catechism, that it leads the child to believe that he can pray to God as he ought. “Praying to God as we ought," say the memorialists; "the condition is impossible.” And they then, curiously enough, go on to contradict their own assertion, by shewing how we ought to prayviz., in the name of Jesus Christ. And will it be believed by those who have not their eyes on the page, that this is the very way the tract itself points out to the child as the way to pray as he ought? Is not the first question, “How must you pray”? Is not the answer to this question, “ Through Jesus Christ our Lord" ? Is not this answer followed by the question, “ Will he hear you when you so pray to him ?” And the answer, “ Yes, God &c. when we pray to him as we ought"? Yet, after this, the memorialists, in sad but certain triumph, ask this question_“Your memorialists must here pause to ask the Standing Committee whether, by the Society's tract, “The First Steps to the Catechism,' the child pursuing those steps can ever arrive at the catechism of our church ; and whether the doctrines are not in direct opposition to each other?" I am, &c.
C. J. H.
GERALDINE, A TALE OF CONSCIENCE.” Sir, In the 72nd No., (December, 1837,) pp. 676, 677, you noticed, only too leniently, the calumnious novel, called, "Geraldine, a tale of Conscience," intended, as you observe, “ to circulate all those fallacies, which, however flat, stale, and often exploded, the papists think best calculated to mislead and pervert the ignorant. The work is said to be by a young lady; but she has obviously had a priest at her elbow." You conclude, that “all that is intended by this notice is, just to warni any readers who may be startled by the confident assertions and old, hackneyed, and regularly-used fallacies of the priests, that if they will apply to any English clergyman, of very moderate learning, he can at once shew them a dozen refutations of the statements of this book.”
You have, in preceding numbers of your Magazine, so well furnished the theological students with lists of standard works, that I cannot but request that you will give your aid to the parochial clergy in meeting the controversy in this, its familiar, domestic, and therefore most dangerous form. The novel is among my friends and parishioners. I have not found any difficulty as yet in exposing its calumnies and misstatements; but I cannot go through the two volumes seriatim with every one who may read them, neither can I hope to fix on the memory, by mere conversation, the answers demanded. I have most of the smaller works on the Romanist controversy printed within a few years, but cannot find that any one, with which I am acquainted, is sufficient. I have been closely attentive for some time to interweave in my sermons, on whatever topic, whatever may tend to expose any of the papistical or sectarian errors connected with the subject, and to uphold the scriptural and evangelical views of our apostolical episcopal church; and in revising sermons previously delivered, perhaps several years ago, I find but little difficulty in thus improving them. Many of your readers will readily supply a list of the best small books and tracts which contain, in a form most fitted for general parochial circulation, the clearest refutations of the Romanist and sectarian charges against our apostolical and scriptural church. But what single small tract or volume contains them all? Of course, in “Geraldine" not one intimation is given of the various overwhelm
ing replies to the Romavists : Phillpotts (bishop of Exeter), Townsend, * Faber, Whittaker, M Ghee, O'Sullivan, and a host of other living
champions of the protestant faith, are never named or hinted at; but the protestant advocate is introduced as admitting that he does not know of any answer to such and such things adduced in behalf of Romanism. In the hope that some of your readers, more conversant than a mere country clergyman with controversy, will supply a list of the best small popular works against the Romanist errors, and in defence of the apostolicity, both in faith and practice, of the Anglican episcopal church, I humbly admit that no other recur to my memory than Faber's “Facts and Assertions ;” Mant's “ Churches of Rome and England compared,” and his “ Romanism and Holy Scriptures coinpared;” Bishop Bull's “ Corruptions of the Church of Rome,”-all
(at a trifling price) in the catalogue of the Society for Promoting * unga 43. Geraldine a nohte neech again!
CORRESPONDENCE.-TROLLOPE'S ANALECTA THEOLOGICA.
Christian Knowledge. Comber's “Advice to Roman Catholics," reprinted by the Rev. Dr. Hook; “ A View of Popery on the Creed of Pious IV." Larger works I need scarcely mention, as we want readable, not formidable, little books at moderate prices, for general and extensive circulation. Phillpotts' Letters to Butler, Townsend's Accusations of History, Faber's Difficulties of Romanism,-will occur to every one who has paid any attention to modern controversy.
Of “ Geraldine" I would say, that it will not suit any lover of candour, Christian charity, or truth; for it is disingenuous in its statements, malicious in its calumnies, and not scrupulous in its allegation of falsehoods. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
RUSTICUS. * Dec. 26th, 1837.
MR. TROLLOPE'S ANALECTA THEOLOGICA. SIR,- To point out a flaw in a useful and well-intentioned book, is an invidious and painful, though necessary, duty--necessary, I mean, when the defect has a tendency to do extensive mischief. It is with much pain that I have observed a silent progress of neology in our recent theological publications; and the example which I am now about to produce is the more to be regretted, because the work from which it is taken is in other respects unexceptionable, and has been made almost a text-book in one, at least, of our universities.
Mr. Trollope, in his Analecta Theologica, on Luke, ii. 1, speaking of the apparent contradiction between the sacred historian and profane history, (Tacit. Ann. iii. 22, 48,) has the following remarks :
“ That a census did take place under Cyrenius is well known; but that St. Luke, unless by mistake, could not have stated this to have been the one during which our Lord was born, their difference of date sufficiently indicates. It is highly improbable, however, not to say impossible, that a confusion of dates of this nature should have been ignorantly made by such an historian as St. Luke, who tells us, in the preface of his gospel, that he inquired minutely into the entire subject of his history; and a supposition of wilful error, wbich is the only alternative, is totally irreconcilable with that minute precision of dates which he has employed in the beginning of his third chapter, so entirely at variance with the caution and wariness of an impostor."
Here it is plain that INSPIRATION is altogether set aside. In his effort to prove that the historian was neither himself deceived nor attempted to deceive his readers, the fact that St. Luke was inspired never seems to have occurred to Mr. Trollope ; and yet I would not be understood to accuse that gentleman of a disbelief in the inspiration of the scriptures, On the contrary, I adduce the foregoing passage chiefly as a proof of the pernicious influence which modern neological opinions are exercising imperceptibly over the best intentioned writers of the present day. I remain, your obedient servant,
• As the matter here relating to Romanism is of the most importance, à passage or two relative to other kinds of dissent &c. have been omitted. The little tract entitled, Historical Notices concerning some of the Peculiar Tenets of the Church of Rome, may be mentioned as very valuable, as well as some of Mr. Pantin's tracts, En.