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he was a man deeply in earnest in increasing the wealth and power of his monastery, and in asserting its secular privileges, he certainly was none; but of the religious system with which he stood connected, and part of which he administered, we must profess our unfeigned belief, that a more thorough sham’ the sun never shone upon.
We have expressed our conviction that the attempts to resuscitate the effete system of the Middle Ages, to renew its decrepit superstitions, must be futile. It by no means, follows however, that the efforts of the party whose original principles have legitimately led to these extreme views, can be safely neglected. They have done much mischief; and are daily doing more.
In spite of the present symptoms of disorganization—in spite of a certain amount of reaction, they are still exerting a most pernicious influence. It is undeniable that their principles have taken a strong hold on the clergy, particularly the younger part of the body, and through them on thousands of the people. During the ten years in which those principles have been promulgated, an entire generation of the clergy have passed from the halls of the university to the scenes of active life, where they are, in different ways, endeavouring to realize their Catholic ideal. Even if Dr Pusey and Mr Newman stand rebuked for extravagance, or have been visited with censure, they have in a good measure effected their object. They will survive in their disciples; the flower will not have faded 'till the capsule shall have burst, and scattered its deleterious dust to every wind of heaven.
It is impossible adequately to describe the various distractions with which the Oxford School has managed to tear the church and nation in pieces, in its Quixotic search for Catholic unity. Not a few, as we have seen, openly declare for a surrender to Rome, though they are still members of the English church, and avowedly explain away the Articles to which they have solemnly sworn assent. By many more, who do not go quite so far, we find the more pernicious parts of the Romish system eagerly insisted upon-for example, clerical celibacy, monastic institutions, and the practices of a paltry asceticism.* A still greater number are busy in introducing superstitious innovations into public worship,
* It is true, indeed, that from that absence of the heroic spirit of which we have already spoken, these last practices are of a very moderate kind-humble imitations, at which the ancient heroes of asceticism would have smiled in contempt even in their noviciate. Mr Fronde records that he was never so confirmed in celestial virtue as to be absolutely impregnable to the temptations of roast goose and buttered toast.'
which fully proclaim the Romanist tendency of the system. There are many whose consciences are so tender, that they must act in compliance with every
obsolete rubric; and yet so accommodating, that they can approve of all the latitude of Tract No. 90; and there are as many more who are zealous for rites and symbols which no rubric sanctions. Amidst crosses, crucifixes, triangles, anchors, doves, fishes, and garlands, theology promises, like algebra, to be entirely a science of symbols ; but, unlike algebra, to have nothing to do with demonstration. Then there are controversies as insignificant as the quadrigesiman, carried on with all the bitterness of those which originated in the Arian or Pelagian heresies. There is the great surplice' question, in which it is disputed whether white or black be the most orthodox colour to preach in; there is the great wax-candle’ question, which again is divided into two momentous branches—first, whether there shall be lights at all, and secondly, whether they shall be lighted. To these may be added the great offertory' question, and the equally momentous 'pew and gallery' question.
Nor are the results of the present movement, to the extent in which they may prevail, more degrading to enlightened piety, than they are destructive of all mutual charity. Within the Church, it leads to all sorts of unseemly squabbles between bishops and priests, and between priests and their congregations; without the Church, to the exhibition of principles and conduct absolutely fatal, if fairly carried out, to social unity. Not only are there instances of maidens sent unmarried from the altar, because bride or bridegroom is found to be not baptismally regenerated—not only are alliances advised to be broken off, though hearts may be broken at the same time, because one of the parties is only a Christian and not a churchman—not only is innocent childhood refused a place in consecrated earth, because it has never been sprinkled with the waters of life, by the only fingers that can insure them vitality—not only is the repose of the sepulchre invaded, and humanity itself insulted, under the name of scruples of conscience -not only may we sometimes hear bigotry opposing a project of a public cemetery, because, horrible incongruity ! an orthodox . corpse and a schismatical corpse may perchance lie side by side -but we have read pamphlets systematically advocating principles which would involve the complete disruption of all social ties. Kindred in spirit with these polemical inanities is the more dangerous nonsense of a widely diffused popular literature, in which the worst animosities of the past are revived, only to aggravate the worst animosities of the present; and in which it is hard to say whether the perversions of historic truth, or the violations of common charity, are the most extravagant. Lastly, in the
• ballads' of such men as Mr Neale, that worthy Pindar of Puseyism, we find a bigotry of which contempt itself could say nothing more bitter, than that it is perfectly worthy of the doggerel which embodies it.
That there must be some curious oppugnancies in the public documents and formularies of the Church of England, may be inferred, not only from the circumstances under which the church was founded, and the delicate difficulties which required adjustment, but from the present extraordinary diversities which are discovered within her pale. If, however, the articles and formularies will really warrant all who are now in the church to continue in it-the men who denounce church principles' as fatal corruptions, and those who defend them as vital truths—those who affirm that the Reformation was a great blessing, and those who, with Mr Ward, think it was a great crime-those who have sworn to certain articles in two opposite senses, and some, it appears, who aver that they assent to them in a non-natural
sense'-that is, no sense at all-all that can be said is, that the articles are indeed - articles of comprehension,' (to use a favourite phrase of the seventeenth century,) but assuredly they are not comprehensible.'
In what way men in the peculiar predicament of Mr Ward, Mr Newman, and many others, ought to be treated by the authorities of the Church, it does not become us to say. We gladly leave it to the consideration of those whom it concerns.* The author
* The Archbishop of Dublin, lamenting the want of all internal government in the church, and scandalized at the dangerous, disgrace.
ful, and ruinous' spectacle, of men subscribing to the same documents in different senges, and in no determinate sense at all; charging each other with being ‘ unsound churchmen,' and reciprocally desiring each other to leave the Anglican communion, loudly calls for a Convocation. The Bishop of Ossory, on the score of expediency, as loudly deprecates it. In the present excited state of parties, he fears that it would be rather a struggle for ascendancy than a remedy for strife. He looks in vain for some Æolus who shall appease the anger of the luctantes ventos tempestatesque sonoras of present controversy.
• Illi indignantes magno cum murmure montis
Circum claustra fremunt'and as he listens to the ominous mutterings even of their imprisoned wrath, he feels that such an aperture for their outbreak as a Convocation would afford, would involve every thing in ungovernable uproar. It must be confessed that his terrors are by no means chimerical ; that, in the present temper of parties, ' any thing like a calm consideration • and satisfactory settlement of religious differences,' is out of the ques
of the oft-cited article in the Foreign and Colonial Review, has touched on this subject, and his mode of reasoning is most extraordinary, What course,' he asks, ' will be pursued, what course
ought to be pursued, towards those propagators of Catholie te' nets and usages, who do not scruple to denounce Protestantism as a principle of unmixed evil, . who do not dissemble that, in their view, Rome, if not a true normal pattern of Christianity, is yet the best existing standard, and one to which we ought to seek to conform ?'-(Pp. 594, 5.) Strange to say, he not merely thinks the authorities of the Church excusable in “per
mitting their continuance' in it, but urges the malecontents themselves to remain. And the casuistry by which he supports it is not a little curious. He feels confident that their position • in the Church of England is securely stayed upon the great • Catholic principle of allegiance to her, as the ordinance of God ' for the government of their souls (!); that they reject with abu • horrence the temptation to apostatize, and that in their case the discharge of the obligation of obedience will not be less, but rather more, resolute, because it entails another duty of crossing and mortifying their own tastes, and in some degree their own' affections ! He adds with engaging piety, If their frame of mind and opinion, taken together with their cir? cumstances, thus constrain them, by practical tests, to concentrate themselves with few extrinsic supports upon the single and simple will of God, (!) this at least cannot be denied, that they are pupils in a school of perfection.'-(P.596.) This is, indeed, a view of the case worthy of Tract Ninety itself; perfectly novel and original. If Mr Newman, Dr Pusey, and others, can satisfy their own consciences of the propriety of remaining in the
tion, and that the object would rather be “to determine which is to be the dominant, and which the subordinate party, if not, which is to remain in the church, and which is to be excluded from it.'
Meantime something ought to be done, and must be done, or equally: effectual ruin will visit the Church in another form. The worn-out sophisms by which the clergy have hitherto been satisfied to defend Sub. scription; by which they have maintained that they are consistent in believing inconsistencies; that they receive, ' in the plain grammatical • meaning,' things, some or other of which, all of them explain away in a non-natural sense;' and that they believe, ex animo, what they do not believe at all_cannot be any longer tolerated. The very flagrancy of such conduct as that vindicated in Tract 90, and consistently exemplified by Mr Ward, has tended to disclose the full enormities of the system, and to show the perils to public faith, morality, and decency which it involves.
Church, all we can do is to wonder at it. "To their own master • they stand or fall;' but to urge them to remain in a community in which their acts and opinions have given universal scandal —with whose articles and formularies sundry of their writings (not one of which has been retracted, but every one of which has been defended) have been condemned by competent authority as hopelessly inconsistent-in which Protestants and Romanists alike tell them that they cannot remain with honour, and implore them, if only for public decency's sake, either to retract, if they can, or to separate, if they cannot-to urge such men, we say, to remain, and on the ground that they are thereby mortifying and
crossing their tastes,' that is, mortifying and crossing their convictions that the Romish and not the English church is the true exponent of Catholic Christianity—is indeed an extraordinary piece of jesuitry. It sounds in our ears almost as if one were to advise a man to mortify the inordinate love of truth by now and then telling a falsehood ; or to crucify a passion for extreme sobriety, by throwing in the corrective of occasional intoxication. This is indeed a new species of spiritual discipline, by which a sensitive conscientiousness may be repressed, and individual convictions of truth stifled, in obedience to the will of God! We hope that this new asceticism will not spread, and that Mr Newman and Mr Ward, and their friends, may long be the only pupils in this new school of perfection.'
Mr Gladstone, if he be the author of the Article alluded to, must be acquitted of all evil intention; but we do not think the sentiments, however piously expressed, otherwise than most pernicious. This gentleman has had so much to say of that curious thing, a 'state conscience'-of the existence of which as a real entity, he seems to be as fully persuaded as was an ancient Realist of universal ideas—that he is too apt to forget the claims of the individual in the community; and sadly to abate what we cannot but think the sacred claims of the only Oracle to which man, in the last resort, can safely listen. His laxity in this respect we had occasion to remark, in connexion with a passage in his Church Principles, in which he sanctions the individual in acquiescing in doctrines and practices which the church enjoins, though his conscience may suspect or believe them wrong: For our parts, we want words to express our abhorrence of this doctrine. The only secure principle is that of Luther, as so energetically expressed before the Diet of Worms— It is not safe to do any thing against
conscience;' or that of a greater than Luther—" To him that doubteth,' an act is sin. Once abandon-once loosen this keystone of practical morals, and the whole arch will fall in.
Whatever the repugnancies between some parts of the formu