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as the fruit; the former being known cally obsolete ; so much so, that a by the latter, and the latter being clergyman may preach two dozen invariably the product of the former ? sermons, and print a book of five Did Hooker“ depreciate” good works hundred and fifty pages, and never when he distinguished between duti- once entangle himself in such un. ful necessity and meritorious dignity? profitable labyrinths. Even in alludIs spiritual pride a good work, that ing to “ the character as well as Dr. Maltby so often insists upon the the precepts of our Divine Teacher," necessity of our making ourselves where we might have thought it was * worthy” of God's favour, thus difficult to go far from truth, Dr. challenging his justice, instead of Maltby contrives to miss half of it, supplicating his mercy?
and not the least important half. Is Lest we should still be thought to Christ nothing more than an Examform our estimate from a few isolated ple and a Teacher? Is the Cambridge sentences, we copy another passage, student to leave out one half of the from another academical sermon, the collect which speaks of Him as both eleventh; in which the author is “a sacrifice for sin,” and “an exdiscoursing on the parable of the ample of godly life?" Is the PrayerPharisee and Publican. The passage book as obsolete as the Bible ? is to the same effect as the above We fear that Dr. Maltby's notions description of theology.
respecting the inspiration of the Holy “ Upon the young would I enforce the Scriptures are as defective as his most serious attention to the lesson con- views relative to their modern appliveyed in the text.-Christians let them cation. Speaking, for example, of be'; Christians of the church, in which the four Gospels, in Sermon XII., he they have been so tenderly reared; but Christians they may be, and conscientious says, “Two of the Evangelists were members of the church, without perplexing eye-witnesses of the circumstances themselves with the niceties of scholastic which they have described : the theology; and without departing from that others collected their materials from soberness of mind, and benevolence of heart, which are as much the ornaments
sources of undoubted authority." of youth as they are the concomitants of But was there nothing more than real religion. Let them weigh well all this? Was there no inspiration from the evidences of our holy faith ; let them above ? Did they collect their matelearn to appreciate the sublime simplicity of the evangelical historians, and look rials merely as other historians colwith admiration to the character as well lect theirs ? Did they do no more as precepts of our Divine Teacher. Let than “satisfy the pious curiosity of them be content with these acquirements, the first converts, and provide for the till, profiting by the opportunities here afforded for the attainment of sound edification of future ages ? ” Was learning, they be qualified to enter the no better epithet to be found to despacious field of Scriptural criticism.” scribe their inspired pages than that pp. 211, 212.
of "venerable writings?” What may Here, as before, Christian doc- be Dr. Maltby's own opinion of the trine, as distinct from evidences, nature and extent of Divine inspihistory, and the personal character ration in the sacred canon, we shall and moral precepts of Christ, is kept not undertake by the cursory data out of sight; or, rather, is grievously of these sermons to ascertain ; but disparaged. The student is not to sure we are that the flock at Buckden read his Bible that he may learn would not derive very exalted views the doctrines of grace and the way
of it from these discourses. of salvation ; this is a speculative In this same sermon the author matter, to be reserved for future complains of “those who attribute years of critical research—for in- every action, and consequently every stance, if he should have occasion meritorious action, to the operation to preach a university sermon—but of Divine and uncontroulable influeven then with the constant recol. ence.” There is much adroit surlection that these things are practi- plusage in this and similar passages.
The author meant really to com- fluence of the Holy Spirit, he conplain of “ those who attribute every siders “ calculated to sap every moral meritorious action to the operation quality;"-in short, there is nothing of Divine influence;" but, in order too severe to be said of it. One to render the holders of this doctrine thing, however, is abundantly clear, the more obnoxious, he introduces that Dr. Maltby can never in conthe words, “every action,” and “un- science become an English prelate, controulable.” Now a man of Dr. as the newspapers affect to report, Maltby's reading and information since his whole volume is opposed must know, first, that the divines to the declarations of the Consecrawhom he censures do not attribute tion Service, in which he would be "every action," as distinguished from required to take a solemn part. That what he calls “ every meritorious ac
service is constructed throughout. tion,” to the operation of Divine in- upon the very principles exploded by fluence ; for they expressly teach him, especially in reference to “the that God is not, and cannot be, the operation of Divine influence.” He author of any sinful action : and, would be constrained mentally to secondly, that with regard to those interpolate almost every sentence, actions which they do attribute, and after the following fashion : Mos justly, to Divine influence, though merciful Father, we beseech thee to they do not arrogantly call them send down upon this thy servant thy “meritorious," they use
heavenly blessing [that is, may he epithet as “uncontroulable ;" for, on make himself worthy of it]; and so the contrary, they constantly teach endue him with thy Holy Spirit that God " makes his people willing [forgive the involuntary use of fanain the day of his power;" and they tical words, calculated to sap the root believe what they assert in our Ar- of every moral quality], that he, ticle, that he "gives the will, and preaching thy word (that is, eighteen works with us when we have the books of it out of sixty-six, and these will.” Divested, therefore, of this only partially, for the sake of their not very correctly or charitably in- moral precepts, discreetly omitting all terjected surplusage, the complaint matters of antiquated doctrine], may comes simply to this : That certain be earnest to reprove, beseech, and teachers attribute
rebuke with all patience and doctrine ous action”-rather, they would say, [only let him beware of reproving the every action which flows from faith rich in the obsolete language of Scripin Christ and love to God—“ to the ture; or of exercising patience towards operation of Divine influence.” And fanatics who misapply “ fuith and to what does Dr. Maltby attribute grace," and depreciate the meritorious such actions ? To the strength and dignity of good works; and judiciously moral goodness of man, by which he reserve all his rebukes for those who renders himself “worthy” of Divine devise “a moody and mystical system grace, and opens the golden portals of religion, such as that in of heaven with his own key. It is Prayer-book and Homilies, but which past conjecture to us, how Dr. Maltby, is far in the rear of a philosophical when he performed that “merito- and enlightened age]. rious action ” of devoting himself to It is painful to us to write thus; the sacred ministry, could answer it but we have commenced our task, to his conscience to declare that he and must honestly go through it. was “moved by the Holy Ghost ;” We wish we could think that we or how he can so countenance the have exaggerated. perversion of “the terms faith and What, we have seriously asked grace," as to use them as they are ourselves again and again, while still employed in our antiquated perusing this volume, is Dr. Maltby's church formularies. This doctrine, real view of the nature or the utility of attributing good works to the in- of Christianity? We have found it
difficult to answer this plain ques. for this, and for this only—not to tion; and those passages which atone for sin, or to regenerate manseem to shed some light upon it go kind by his Holy Spirit, -—“the Son of no further than to assert that the God condescended to take upon him Gospel has improved the code of our nature, and to suffer death upon social virtue. For example:
the cross!” In what sense Dr. “What then are the blessings conveyed Maltby is pleased to call Christ“ the by the Gospel, which in the language of
Son of God," he does not see fit to prophets and of angels, was hailed as the turning of darkness into light,'
explain ; we are quite sure 'the visiting of a day-spring from on
that the manner in which he alludes high,' the earnest of peace on earth, to his offices is not such as would and good-will towards men?' What, but indicate him to be a Divine Person to fix these very principles—[the principles of moral virtue, the laws by which in the Tri-une Jehovah. There is men are bound to one another, and by not a passage in these volumes from which they ought to regulate their own which we should dare to assert that behaviour]—upon an immoveable founda- Dr. Maltby so believes ; and his altion; to establish them with irresistible authority; to enforce them by the most
lusions to the person and offices of cogent motives ? To give effect to this Christ fall even below those which gracious intention, to avert the sad conse- may be found in the writings of quences of previous ignorance and error;
avowed Arians and Socinians. Does to convey the most awakening intimation of the necessity of wiping off the pollution he think it a compliment to speak of of moral guilt, the Son of God conde- our Lord's “ingenuous and dignified scended to take upon him our nature, and conduct?” We do not ; we think to suffer death upon the cross.” p. 319. it a virtual disparagement.
Would And was this all ? Were the incar
any man speak thus of a Divine nation and life and death of Christ
Being? intended only to shew us that we
Dr. Maltby, as we have seen, does ought to endeavour to cleanse our
not conceal that he regards Chrisselves from “ the pollution of moral
tianity only as an instrument of guilt,” whatever may be meant by moral utility. All beyond this, he that phrase ? Was there nothing plainly intimates, is fanaticism. sacrificial or vicarious in the cross
“Sure I am that, if the zeal and indusof Calvary? No; that would be an try, which have so long been exerted in exploded Jewish notion, derived from religious contention, were directed to the days when men were ignorant of the study of the practical excellencies of true philosophy. The death of Christ Christianity, religious truth, and together
with religious truth, social happiness was not intended to “ wipe off” would prevail more speedily and more
; shew extensively. That spirit of , which us that we ought to wipe them off is now exhausted upon subjects, doubtful for ourselves by worthy conduct.
or unprofitable, would be wisely and hap
pily directed to researches of acknowAnd thus all the sublime apparatus of jedged utility.” pp. 321, 3:22. two dispensations of the Divine mani- Our readers cannot but have refestation is resolved into a mere im- marked, in several of the foregoing provement in the laws of social extracts, the dexterous use of terms, virtue. Wecould not point out a more by which Dr. Maltby would dispaextraordinary instance of inconse- rage doctrinal Christianity without quential bathos than is presented in expressly using words that might the passage last quoted. What, says wound the ear. Who would stand the author, are the blessings of Chris- up for “religious contention," and tianity, blessings rapturously hailed by "exhausting inquiry upon doubtful or prophets and angels, as the turning unprofitable subjects” How much of darkness into light, and a day- better to turn to “practical excellenspring from on high? They are, cies,” and “researches of acknow. the firing of the principles of moral ledged utility?” This sounds smoothvirtue ! just making up the defici- ly: but when the real meaning of encies of Seneca and Plato! And it comes to be ascertained by collation with the whole of the work, we exceptionable passages in this vofind that it amounts to a rejection of lume; but, as before stated, it is not the main body of the code of Chris. individual passages palpably exceptian doctrine. In all this, however, tionable that are in reality so injuthere is an unfair begging of the rious, as the negative character of the question at issue ; since those very work,--the utterabsence of any thing doctrinal matters, by which Dr. that can be construed into a direct Maltby sets so little store, are at avowal of many of the fundamental the root of the “practical excellen- verities of the Christian faith ; the cies” of Christianity; and they are mere philosophical moralizing, inneither "doubtful” nor“ unprofit- stead of Christian preaching; the able,” but essential truths, and of determination to know almost any momentous “ utility.” This obvious thing rather than Jesus Christ and fallacy runs throughout the whole him crucified ; even condescending of the volume. Whatever Dr. Malt- to instruct and entertain an audience by does not believe or inculcate is with a dissertation on “the usefulgratuitously assumed to be doubtful, ness of labour,” eked out with an dangerous, and of no moral benefit, appeal to Miss Edgeworth's novel of but quite the contrary; and this
“Ennui,” but without any thing to once admitted, all the rest follows. bring man nearer to Christ or ChrisBut no where has the writer con- tianity. descended to loop together the links
But there is one sermon which we of his argument, and to prove what ought not to pass over ; the sermon he assumes. Is he quite sure that on the penitent malefactor on the the love of Christ in dying for the cross. The manner in which a redemption of a guilty world, and preacher handles that interesting the application of this blessed assur- narrative is a tolerably correct index ance to the heart of the believer in of his theology; whether, on the one faith and humility, never constrained hand, in his intended advocacy of any one to devote himself to the moral virtue he disparages the glory of God, and to live not as sovereignty of God and the free being his own, but as bought with grace of the Gospel, and makes a the inestimable price of the blood of pharisaic sermon from a penitential Christ? Is he sure that “the re- text; or whether, on the other, with searches " which he proscribes, be
a view to set forth more strikingly ginning in faith, never end in good man's impotence and misery, and works? Is he quite clear, that, if doc. God's power and mercy, he overtrinal Christianity were exploded and looks the very peculiar circummerely moral preaching substituted for stances of that case, and perhaps it, the world would be henceforth furnishes, however unintentionally, more wise, and virtuous, and holy; some apparent-we mean not just and the end of Christ's life and plea for the neglect of repentance. death, and the spiritual and eternal Now, what says Dr. Maltby of this happiness of mankind, be better narrative? Why, that it has “ been secured? If there is any possibility adduced to strengthen the very unthat any part of his preliminaries scriptural notions, which certain enis unsound, he ought not so confi- thusiasts have formed, of the uncondently to take for granted the con- ditional mercy of God, and of the clusion, and to exhibit his own certain and immediate effect atviews of Christian morality as so tendant upon professions of belief." much more influential than the —This is not a correct or fair
way of views of those who connect doctrine stating what this memorable narrawith practice, and a holy life with tive has been adduced to shew; that a renewed heart.
is, by the class of divines against It were endless to go through the whom in fact the whole of this volume Christ. OBSERV, No. 357.
is shotted and pointed. Some wild but that he means, in addition to this, Antinomian, as we before said, may to assert the necessity of certain have uttered much that is very ex- antecedent conditions,—the condition ceptionable on this and other sub- of “merit,” of being “worthy," of jects ; and if this be all that Dr. "deserving God's approbation; "— Maltby meant, we should have no and to deny the whole of the dogma of cause to complain of his remarks. justification by faith ; the free grace But his animadversions dip far below of God in Christ, to man a sinner; this stagnant surface; and pene. in short, almost every thing connected trate to the deep clear waters of with the Fall and the Atonement, Scriptural truth itself, which spring with faith and
regenefrom the fountain of Divine Inspira- ration and sanctification? Why in tion, imperturbed and unpolluted by honest manliness recur to the use the trifles and sordities that are cast of good set terms, to say covertly by the hand of erring man to float what it would be more straight-forupon their eddy. If Dr. Maltby's ward to utter in plain language? Inobjection mean any thing worth stead of the adroit but most incormeaning, it is, that “the story of the rect periphrasis, “ professions of be. penitent thief” is often adduced to lief,” why not say at once, “faith strengthen what he considers the un- in Christ;" and instead of “ certain scriptural and enthusiastic doctrine and immediate effect,” say, justificathat the mercy of God to fallen and tion before God? This would only sinful man is wholly gratuitous, being be putting the author's meaning into freely offered, in Christ Jesus, to all intelligible words. Dr. Maltby, we who are willing to receive it by a
feel assured, cannot deny this : true and lively faith. Dr. Maltby, he cannot assert, that, though he did we repeat, if he means any thing not venture directly to say that the worth meaning—any thing that doctrine of justification freely by really applies to the actual facts of faith
unscriptural,” and the state of religious opinion in our worthy only of “enthusiasts," yet Church-must mean, that the doc- that this was not really his meantrine that “ we are accounted righ- ing; that the doctrine reprobated, teous before God only for the merit for decency's sake, under the wellof our Lord and Saviour Jesus sounding phrase of “the uncondi. Christ, by faith, and not for our own tional mercy of God, and the certain works or deservings," is not, as our and immediate effect attendant upon Eleventh Article calls it, "a whole- professions of belief,” was not one of some doctrine, " but that it is “
those which are found in the Articles scriptural," "unwholesome,"and cre- of the Church of England, and, if dited only by “ certain enthusiasts.” the Epistles of St. Paul were not obWhy then not fairly avow this mean- solete, in them also. ing? Why not at once level his Our readers may wish to know protest against his own Church, what, in Dr. Maltby's view, were against the whole letter and spirit those conditions which rendered the ofher Liturgy,and Articles, and Homi. thief upon the cross so peculiarly lies, rather than wound her and shield “worthy" of being admitted at the himself under the plea of attacking eleventh hour to a state of justificaonly
“ certain enthusiasts ?” Why tion. Why, truly, that our Lord disnot openly say, that by the equivo- covered in him “incontestable signs cal phrase
“ unconditional mercies of a capacity for moral improveof God” he does not mean to refer ment ! that “ he made a brave demerely to what some divines call, fence of the injured! and that whether rightly or not, " the terms good seed” had been sown in of the covenant”-namely, repent- his mind; although that seed, from ance, faith, and the fruits of faith various misfortunes [the misfortune