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the churches is in no degree due to the Evangelicals, and is no characteristic of the School is certain, since the Evangelical revival had not originated when these things were at their worst. As soon as their influence began to be felt, the evil was abated. “ During the latter half of the century," writes Mr. Abbey, " the careless and undevout could no longer have ventured without fear of censure on the irreverent familiarities in church which they could have freely indulged in for the first twenty years."
The real fact is that the Evangelicals were the first to set the example of restoring the Churches of England into a state worthy of their sacred purpose, and to them belongs the honour of cultivating that reverential regard to all the accessories of public worship which has become characteristic of our own day. The Camden Society was instituted in 1838. But twenty years earlier the Rev. R. P. Buddicom, St. George's, Everton, Liverpool, and Archdeacon Jones, of St. Andrew's, were remarkable for the order they maintained in their churches, when the general state of things on every side of them was very different. The Rev. W. Carus Wilson, about 1817, was the
. first to introduce order into the churches of the North, administering baptism in obedience to the rubric after the Second Lesson. The Rev. R. Carus Wilson during his incumbency built five churches in the parish of Preston, all of them distinguished among the churches of the day by their ecclesiastical character, and was himself suspected in some quarters of being too “churchy." The Rev W. Richardson, of St. Michaelle-Belfry, who died in 1820, his brother, James Richardson, and John Graham, of St. Saviour's, were staunch Churchmen, and remarkable for their strict observance of church order. The same thing is true of many others of their contemporaries. Charles Simeon's church was restored in 1833, and was the first at Cambridge to undergo the process and be brought into a state of comely beauty. The fittings were of oak throughout, and the work handsome and costly, the total expense having been 3000l. In the words of a living dignitary, whose name is a title of honour, “The Evangelicals began the great work of church restoration and extension, were the introducers of order in their services, and gave the impulse to church building.” Thus it was that the early Evangelical Fathers lived and worked, combining in one harmonious
harmonious system the love of God's truth with loyal attachment to the Church to which they belonged. The grand "doctrines of grace" were, as it was right they should be, the first supreme objects of their care; yet they were not indifferent to secondary truths, but held them with firm conviction and consistent observance.
It is evident, therefore, that the specific characteristic of the Evangelical School, and the source of its spiritual power, is not to be found in those points of belief or of practice which are common to itself with other Schools contained within the broad comprehension of the Church of England. If it has exercised a peculiar force, that force must lie somewhere in its peculiar attributes. The source of it is, in short, to be found in Evangelical doctrine. Mr. Gladstone practically admits this, when he states the special function of the School to be the maintenance of the doctrines of grace, and attributes to its influence “the reintroduction of Christ our Lord to be the woof and warp of preaching." Such a work goes far beyond the use of the Divine name, which is as “ointment poured forth ;" it must include the Divine person and the Divine offices, all that circle of doctrine by virtue of which Christ is Christianity, and Christianity is Christ. But Evangelical doctrines constitute one complete and harmonious whole, cemented by a strictly logical connection of truth with truth. They cannot be broken up, as Mr. Gladstone breaks them up, nor can one part be accepted, while another part is put on one side as comparatively unimportant. They must consistently stand together or fall together. They are a galaxy of jewels strung on one thread, and that thread is the immediate personal contact of the individual soul with God. This truth is not only replete with the richest comfort and full of strength, but it is a singularly grand one, and throws its own dignity over the human soul, and all its relationship to the Divine Being. Mr. Lecky has had the sagacity to perceive this, and to appreciate the fact.
It is (he says) the glory of Protestantism, whenever it remains faithful to the spirit of its founders, that it has destroyed this engine (Sacerdotal pretension). The Evangelical teacher emphatically declares that the intervention of no human being, and of no human rite, is necessary in the hour of death. Yet he can exercise a soothing influence not less powerful than that of the Catholic priest. The doctrine of justification by faith, which diverts the wandering mind from all painful and perplexing retrospect, concentrates the imagination on one Sacred Figure, and persuades the sinner that the sins of a life have in a moment been effaced, has enabled thousands to encounter death with perfect calm, or even with vivid joy, and has consoled innumerable mourners at a time when all the conmonplaces of philosophy would appear the idlest of sounds. This doctrine had fallen almost wholly into abeyance in England, and had scarcely any place among national convictions, when it was revived by the Evangelical party.-Vol. ii.
But whence did the Evangelical School derive their special doctrines ? They drew them out of the formularies of the Church of England, as those who prepared the formularies drew them from the pure fountain of the Word of God. It was the strength of their case, as Evangelicals, that they appealed to the
authority of the Sacred Scriptures, and, as Churchmen, to the authority of the recognised documents of their Church. No one can peruse their writings, as, for instance, the Theological Essays of Thomas Scott, without perceiving this. “In this great and cardinal business," writes Mr. Gladstone, “without doubt, the Evangelical preachers of the English Church were not innovators, but restorers. They were restorers, not by re-enactment of laws which had been repealed, but by revived attention to laws which had been neglected or forgotten.” “The Evangelical leaders of theology,” says Dr. Stoughton, “ drew their inspiration from the Protestant works of the sixteenth, and Nonconformist works of the seventeenth century. The Homilies were their delight. They appealed to them in proof of their own distinctive theology ; certain Articles they regarded with great satisfaction, especially the seventeenth.” This witness is true. It is the honourable pride of the School that they represent not only the letter but the spirit and reality, what Mr. Gladstone pithily calls “the sap and juice,” of the teaching of their Church. Their belief has been not only framed on its broad outlines, but nicely adjusted to its proportion of faith. Nor is there any point of doctrine on which this is the more remarkable, than that moderate Calvinism (not extreme Calvinism), which has ever been characteristic of the School, and which has been moulded on the exact lines traced with equal moderation, firmness, and wisdom, in the language of the seventeenth Article. The claim is equally true in regard to the three special doctrines which are declared by the statesman not to be the strong points of Evangelicalism, but which are specified by the Nonconformist historian in an exactly opposite estimate. The Evangelical doctrine of Justification is the accurate echo of the eleventh Article, supplemented and explained by the Homily of Justification—that is, as the Bishop of Winchester states in his learned work upon the Articles, the Homily on the salvation of mankind. The doctrine of the Sacraments is the exact echo of the twenty-fifth, twenty-seventh, and twenty-eighth Articles; and the Evangelical doctrine of the Church of the nineteenth and twentieth.
It has been said that the Evangelical scheme of doctrine, indistinguishable from that of the Church herself, is a harmonious whole, and that all its parts must in consistency stand or fall together. But, happily, men are not always consistent, nor are they guided by strict logical conclusions. Thus, in modern times there has been a distinct School of divines who, with the highest views of sacramental grace and of the corporate life of the Church, have held also the doctrine of immediate faith and of spiritual conversion. This is the distinctive feature of what has been known as “Aitkenism.”
The Scriptural doctrine of grace has been a spring of Divine life wherever it has been held, and has fructified what otherwise had been barren. Even the broken fragments of Evangelical truth have borne fruit, just as a tree may flourish by virtue of some roots which have struck deep into the fertile soil, although other roots may touch the stony ground, whence neither moisture nor nourishment can be derived. It is in this respect that Theological Schools have approximated in our day. It is not that the Evangelical School has borrowed from its opponents those principles of a Scriptural Churchmanship which were distinctly maintained by its founders, but it is that other Schools have borrowed from it the vivifying doctrines of justification by faith, and of the sovereign operations of the Holy Spirit of God. We have Mr. Gladstone's authority for this statement. “ To bring it (the preaching of the Gospel) back again was the aim and work of the Evangelical reformers.” "The juice and sap of the Evangelical teaching has in a very remarkable manner coursed through the natural gates and allevs of the body' of the English Church." It would not be
” difficult to extract passages from the writings of High Ritualists which, taken alone, might be supposed to have issued from the warm heart and the burning tongue of the Evangelical School. The necessity of drawing this Paper to a conclusion prevents more than a quotation or two from a single writer : “ Justification derives its special force from our being by nature sinners and culprits. It supposes a judicial process—a judgment-seat and a prisoner. Such is our condition. As sinners, with guilt in the past, there can be for us no justification but the Divine acquittal. Justification, as viewed in connection with the past, can mean nothing else. Not in our power is it to unlive the past; we cannot unsay the words we have spoken, or the deeds we have done. Would to God we could, but we cannot. And here God comes and freely pardons; and such a pardon really proclaimed, and leading the sinner on to the knowledge of the forgiveness of sins, is the justification that can alone satisfy the cravings of the sin-burdened heart, and change its agonizing cry into the deep thanksgivings of him “whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered.” Again, “Many a soul, burdened and heavy laden with the sense of its sin, has gone to the Cross of Calvary, and there, kneeling at the feet of the Crucified, and looking unto Jesus, has seen in Him his sin nailed to the Cross, and in the recognition of Christ's redeeming grace, ‘his soul set on fire with the joy of Divine forgiveness,' has sung to Him who loved him his triumphant thanksgiving.” Could any Evangelical preacher express himself more clearly, or more eloquently? Yet they are the words of the Rev. G. Body, extracted from his book on the “ Life of Justification.”
What has been already said may constitute a sufficient answer to the suggestion that the Evangelical School is partly responsible for the rise of Tractarianism, just as the Tractarians are responsible for the constant stream of secessions that has flowed from their ranks to the Church of Rome. The proportionate dimensions of what the two Schools are respectively alleged to have contributed to Schools beyond themselves might show the parallel to be illusive. For if all that is asserted be accepted as true without qualification, there are some half-dozen cases in which distinguished men have passed from the Evangelical School to the Tractarian School ; while the perversions from Tractarianism to Rome are numbered at three thousand. If all that is meant had been the existence of a historical sequence, and of that reaction to which the weakness of the human mind renders it specially susceptible, there would be no need of being careful to disprove the imputation. No doubt the Reformation preceded the rise of Socinianism. Hampden moved in the direction of Cromwell; Lafayette in the direction of Robespierre." In all such cases, it is enough to reply post, non propter. But more than this is intended. It is vaguely suggested that some undefined, and to all appearance wholly undefinable, connection of cause and effect has existed between the Evangelical and the Tractarian Schools. Now that the matter is reduced to a question of doctrine, such a connection scarcely lies within the sphere of possibility. In regard to the three specified pointsthe Church, the Sacraments, and the mode of Justification—the difference between the two Schools is fundamental. There are some minds which, wrestling against a conviction they are unwilling to receive, find refuge in an extreme hypothesis in the other direction. But this is the fault, not of the doctrine, but of the mind of the thinker, and of his constitutional tendency to run into opposition. On the principle that none are such bitter enemies as apostates, it may be readily understood that those who reject an Evangelical doctrine once entertained by them, may run violently into the opposite extreme; just as the sons of Nonconformists are often found to become the bitterest of High Churchmen. But inclined plane between the two Schools there is none and can be none, where the line of separation is as deep and sharply cut as between Protestantism and Romanism. Between Tractarianism and Rome the case is wholly different ; there is a distinctive principle common to both, and there is no difficulty in defining it. It is the acceptance of the authority of the Church as supreme. On Evangelical principles the Bible gives authority to the Church ; on Tractarian principles the Church gives authority to the Bible. The Church is, therefore, supreme, and, consequently, whatever is stamped with the authority of the Church must be accepted, whatever it may be. The conclusion VOL. I. —NO. I.