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political popery is a bond of iniquity, and that religious popery is an antichristian superstition. It is on this account that we have cherished the wish already expressed, and which we now take leave to form into an intreaty, that our ministers would preach more on the great doctrine of justification.
The spirit of popery is, at this moment, singularly active. In the South Seas, it is endeavouring to ruin our missionary operations, by means of hoods, organs, and chauntings. In America, it attempts to seize, that it may poison, all the fountains of education and popular instruction. In Ireland it has, strange to say, taken up for its warfare all the weapons of religious and civil freedom ; weapons which it had for centuries locked up in the deepest dungeons, and which, when it has gained its purpose, it will again consign to anathemas, rusting, and destruction. In England, this spirit has enthroned itself in a university, claiming to itself, par excellence, the epithet orthodox. In the University of Oxford, the first pupils of popery were among the professors; and one of its first proselytes having abrogated the fourth command of the Decalogue was made, by the head of the English church, an Archbishop. Since that time, men of all grades, professors and doctors, curates and students, have crowded into the “royal road,” which they saw opened to honour and preferment.
We do not know how the Church of England can mend matters, and reform herself, unless, indeed, she move Parliament to provide a new act of uniformity. It is evident that the old act of uniformity, which cost her two thousand of the best and holiest men she ever had, is now a dead letter, vox et preterea nihil. That rash and flagitious act produced an immense amount of good out of the church, for it sent into the highways and hedges of these realms, two thousand men, who, by their preaching and sufferings sowed and watered all that crop of vital Christianity which is now being reaped in our times. But within the church itself, it seems to have produced, rather what Bossuet would call “ variations” than uniformity; for there is scarcely a form of belief in the history of all denominations, which has not its living and vigorous representative in this Babel of uniformity. The Church of England, therefore, must move for a new act, “for the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law : for there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.”
There are at present, under the solemn vows of uniformity, three great and numerous classes of Churchmen—the orthodox, of the school of Swift and Atterbury, the evangelical, of the school of Newton and Scott, and the popish, or the Puseyite, of the school of Pusey and Newman. The orthodox and the evangelical, however, come under the influence of Puseyism at different points of affinity. The orthodox become attached to it by means of baptismal regeneration ; and the Evangelical, formerly deemed very little better, than half churchmen, become united to it by the spell of apostolic succession. All these men are mixed, they say they are united :--but in what they are united, except in receiving the same tythes, and in lauding their mother church, we do not know
Religious popery has taken almost complete possession of Ireland, and doctrinal popery is rapidly acquiring parishes and provinces in England. The Church of England and Ireland had very gratuitously assumed to itself the name of “the Bulwark of the Reformation." Shades of Luther and Cranmer, what a bulwark! with every gate thrown open, every portcullis lifted up, every battery silent, and “the Defender of the Faith”—a woman! Alas! it has proved rather a Grecian horse admitted within the walls of Christianity, by means of trickery and false oaths, and Mr. Pusey has, just like Sinon in Virgil, only opened the secret door, and the friends of Rome came forth.
Invadunt urbem, somno vinoque sepultam :
As the great doctrine of justification by faith was the means of producing the glorious Reformation, so it is now abused to abolish what the Puseyite party calls “the crimes” of Luther and the Reformers. The question in dispute is, how is a sinful man justified ? Our readers will, perhaps, understand the subject better, if they could imagine a condemned criminal coming forth from the door of his prison, with the confidence and cheerfulness of one enjoying lawful egress. They would ask him, “How is it that you are coming out ?” He would reply, “ I am acquitted.” “Acquitted !" they would say, "we heard that you were pronounced guilty. Are you acquitted then, through the mere prerogative of the monarch, or on the strength of your own good character?” Now, in discussing this subject, in reference to the sinner and his Maker, Paul, Luther, and the reformers say, that the offender is set at large by mere prerogative and grace, and is accordingly treated as if he were not a transgressor. The papists and the Puseyites say, that the sinner is free on account of his good character, and is therefore treated, not as if he had been innocent, but as one who is righteous.
This is the subject discussed in the two works at the head of this article. Both of these able and distinguished writers investigate whether justification be a forensic name, or a law term, employed to express a result, or an act of God, concerning man as a sinner, or whether it be the denomination of a process which is carried on in the mind of a sinner. This ameliorating process in the mind of the sinner has always been called by the primitive fathers, and by the divines of the Reformation, sanctification, to distinguish it from the act of divine
N. S. VOL. V.
prerogative respecting the sinner, which the same fathers and divines have called justification.
The work of Mr. Faber is a large thick volume of 514 pages. It consists of a dedication to Dr. Sumner, the amiable Bishop of Chester,
-a preface, and a lengthened postcript-a very lucid and copious table of contents—the body of the work is an answer to the Puseyite, Knox-and a closely printed appendix, containing notices of several Puseyite doctrines, especially of Mr. Newman's sentiments on justification. The dedication and the prefaces, like the overtures in musical compositions, bring distinctly under the reader's attention, the subjects which are to be enlarged upon in the progress of the work.
With our puritan predilections for scriptural theology, we were somewhat disappointed in Mr. Faber's mode of treating this subject; for in a work professedly on “Primitive Justification,” we expected the word “primitive" to mean something equivalent to "apostolical ;” and therefore calculated on seeing the doctrine of justification worked out by an induction of passages and principles found in the New Testament. Mr. Faber, however, applies the word “primitive" to the early fathers, and ancient articles of the Christian church, and not to apostolical statements. Justification is, accordingly, throughout the entire work, except a few passages in the conclusion, treated as a question between two churches—that of Rome, and that of England; and not at all as a question, in which the reader would be likely to feel interested, as a matter of serious consideration between himself and God.
Mr. Faber is quite at home with the fathers and ecclesiastical councils; and he plies their statements and decrees with great adroitness and energy against the Oxford doctrine of justification. He opens the work by showthe truth of Luther's famous declaration, that the doctrine of justification, according to the soundness or unsoundness of its statement, is the article of a standing or a falling church. He then examines, with great ability, the doctrine of justification, as defined by the Council of Trent, and proves most triumphantly, as a good disciple of the Cranmer of his church, that the Tridentine, or popish justification, and the Puseyite justification, are identical. He deserves well at the hands of the Evangelical party in the Church of England, for the exhibition which he has given, with accurate learning, and sound argument, of the doctrine of justification as laid down in the formularies of the English church. He here examines, with great care and honesty, the articles and homilies of his own church, shows the evident discrepancy between genuine Church of Englandism, and the modern Puseyism ;and castigates the Puseyites for ever imagining and asserting that the homily on justification was written rather to furnish useful and popular instruction, than to lay down theological definitions.
He examines the testimonies of the fathers with the design of show
ing that the doctrine of forensic justification as opposed to the hypothesis of moral justification, was the prevalent doctrine of the ancient fathers, both Greek and Latin. After exhibiting their respective testimonies successively, from Clemens Romanus to Bernard of Clairvaux, he establishes his argument positively and negatively :-positively, by showing that the system of Mr. Pusey is not proposed by a single father; and negatively, by proving that they all, either explicitly or by implication, reject such a dogma. One of the greatest difficulties lying across the path of Mr. Faber's line of argumentation was, a dogma of one of the writers of his own church, namely, Bishop Bull. This prelate asserted, that a sinner is justified by what he called a formed faith; by which he meant, a compound of the believing act, and of the works resulting from that act. Our author is here upon very delicate ground, but he quits himself on it as a workman that needs not to be ashamed, and proceeds manfully to demonstrate, first, that Bishop Bull's system can never be maintained in the church, unless by historical testimony supplied by antiquity; and secondly, that the citations which the prelate has made from the fathers in behalf of his opinion, do not establish it.
Through the whole work, we have been charmed with the unflinching honesty of Mr. Faber as an intellectual inquirer; but in no part of the work does this appear more admirable than in chapter viii., where he shows that the doctrine of justification, as taught by the Church of Rome, by Bishop Bull, and by the Puseyites, is not liable to the same objections which Paul records to have been made against himself and his doctrine ; and then asserts fearlessly, that the doctrine of these men, so far as respects the ground of our acceptance with God, contradicts all that idea of perfection which reason and Scripture ascribe to the blessed God. After he has harmonized the apparently opposite declarations of the apostles James and Paul, he concludes with remarks and statements, supplying a summary of the respective definitions of the churches of Rome and of England, and giving the chronological origin and progress of the Romish doctrine of justification. The work then closes with a serious, devout, and experimental application to the conscience of the genuine doctrine of justification by faith.
The whole work of Mr. Faber consists in the unfolding of the principles contained in the following passage extracted from the preface.
"We are justified through our own righteousness inherent in us, say the Tridentine fathers. To be justified is to be made righteous by the implantation of a radical principle of righteousness, re-echoes Mr. Knox.
" It is true, indeed, according to the concurring account of them both, that our inherent righteousness, through which we are justified, is the infused gift of God through faith in the merits of Christ; but still, even by their own showing, it is as much our own, when infused, as our souls, or our intellect is our own : for, verily, it is a freely admitted truism, that we have nothing which we did not receive from
“ Hence it is most abundantly evident to plain common sense, that, if we justify ourselves by our own infused and inherent righteousness, we perform a work, disguise it as we may, by an ultimate reference to the bounty of God, and the merits of Christ, strictly and perfectly analogous to the work of convincing ourselves of the truth of a proposition in Euclid, by our own infused and inherent intellect.
“God and Christ have just as much to do in the latter process, as in the former : and we may as rationally say, that our own intellect is properly the intellect of God, because it is infused by God; or that the problem is solved, not by our own intellect, but by God's intellect; as we may say, that our own righteousness is properly the righteousness of God, because it is infused by God, or that our justification is procured, not by our own righteousness, properly, but ultimately by God's righteousness through Christ.
“Thus clearly, I think, on the present scheme, both God and Christ, with a superfluity of honorary acknowledgments, are effectively dethroned; and the idol of man's inherent righteousness, that spiritual abomination of desolation, is set up in their stead.
" If any person can point out the difference between infused inherent intellect, and infused inherent righteousness, relatively to the dependence of man upon God, let him by all means do it. I, myself, in their analogical bearing toward each other, am altogether unable to discern the possibility of marking out any intelligible distinction.
“On the system of Mr. Knox, and the Roman Church, for any thing that I can see to the contrary, man is quite as much his own justifier, and his own saviour, as he is his own solver of a mathematical problem, or his own contriver of a dwellinghouse, or his own ready-reckoner of a pecuniary account.” pp. xxvii.xxxi.
We cannot dismiss Mr. Faber's volume without expressing our astonishment and regret, that a work so excellent, and printed in London, should need a table of errata exhibiting about one hundred and thirty typographical errors.
Dr. Bennett's work is a neat volume, handsomely and accurately got up. It is inscribed to Prince Albert, and the dedication is so elegant and courteous, that our readers will forgive us for transcribing it. “To his Royal Highness Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg Gotha, K.G., &c. &c., this volume, in defence of the doctrines of Luther, whom the House of Saxony was honoured to protect against the power of Rome, is dedicated, with devout gratitude to the kind providence, which has allied by marriage a noble descendant of that house to her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, who still faithfully guards the religious liberties for which her illustrious family was called to the British Throne.”
The preface contains a very rare and exquisite morsel of ecclesiastical history, expressive of the hearty congratulations of Rome on the present state of theology in the University of Oxford. It was discovered in the Catholic Magazine for March, 1839, and reads thus : “most sincerely and unaffectedly do we tender our congratulations to OUR BRETHREN at Oxford, that their eyes have been opened to the Evils of private judgment, and the consequent necessity of curbing its multiform extravagances. Some of the brightest ornaments of their church have advocated a reunion with the church of all times and all lands ; and the