Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

atoning Saviour," (p. 6.) of Jesus Christ's " submitting to sufferings and death on the Cross for our sins,” (p. 4.) “stooping to the humiliation of our manhood, and so becoming a meet sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world."

This is again the language of our Church, which Dr. Hampden as a member of it cannot but use; but what he means under this language, he leaves unexplained, or whether he understands any thing more than when he explained the Atonement to relate to human agency,(and that, as opposed to the “ gloss " of Commentators, or the refinements of Theorists,”) and objected to the Church's doctrine of " expiation,

as depressing the power of man too low." The objective, intrinsic reality of the Atonement was impaired both by his objections to the Catholic belief in the doctrine, and his advocacy of a scheme, whereby the Atonement became subjective only, the reconciliation to God, which, through Christ's death, took place in each human mind that received it. This a Socinian would, in his sense, hold; and our difficulties are not removed by the simple unexplained repetition of the words of our Formularies. And yet he was publicly called upon, some weeks before the delivery of his Lecture, “ for the sake of his hearers and readers, to explain his statements".

[ocr errors]

ORIGINAL SIN.

Man's actual tendency to sin was admitted by the Pelagians, (and indeed by the Heathen,) as well as by the Church: the Pelagians denied, and the Church asserted, its natural propagation, and consequently its existence in infants : herein Dr. Hampden sided with the Pelagians against the Church; asserted, that “ the term “ propagation,' ('propagati,'' engendered, " Art. IX.) was introduced in order to prove the uni

• Elucidations of Dr. H.'s Theological Statements, pp. 11, 18, 19, 26, 28, 29.

versality of evil,” that “a positive deterioration of “our nature was a scholastic notion;" that “ the “ strength of the expression, 'very far gone from origi“ nal righteousness,' was to be estimated by com

paring the fallen condition of man with that tran“ scendent holiness which, in the scholastic notion, “ was man's first estate;" that " our Article on this

subject contained a train of thought, following the “speculations of the Schools.”

In the Inaugural Lecture, Dr. Hampden says he does “ not see how any one who holds rightly the “ Incarnation and Atonement of our Lord can look “ at his own nature, otherwise than, in the language “ of the Article, very far gone from original righteous.

ness, and corrupt in the strictest sense of the “ term,” that " when we find this Divine Expiation

provided in the counsels of the Almighty at the transgression of the first man ; surely we must acknowledge, as it is simply declared in Scripture, the

depth of the root of that sinfulness for which the - Redeemer came to atone.” (p. 13.)

Herein Dr. Hampden still leaves it unexplained whether by our own nature,” he means our nature as we have corrupted it by actual sin, or our nature as deriving an hereditary taint through our natural descent from Adam : accordingly, he explains not whether he retracts his former statements, or still sides with the Pelagians.

FAITH AND GRACE.

Dr. Hampden had before stated, among other things, with regard to Faith, that the “ priority, which is

ascribed in such strong terms in our Articles to

Faith, among the acts of the Christian life, is accounted for by the physical notion of faith as an

infused principle, the origin of a new life, held by " the Schoolmen.” (B. L. p. 236, 7.)

(B. L. p. 236, 7.) And that • Faith ought to have been held in a negative sense

only.” (p. 238.) Of Grace he had condemned the

“ positive sense" as “ something that admits of defi“ nition and distribution into its various kinds,” and its“ subdivisions of 'preventing' and 'following' Grace, Grace operating' and co-operating,

(p. 188.) as “ derived from Scholasticism,” (B. L. p. 188.) and remarked " how erroneous is the conception produced “ in the mind by speaking of Grace operating and “ Co-operating, Grace preventing and following." (p. 187.)

In the Inaugural Lecture he says, (p. 12.) “ If

we believe in the Atonement of a Divine Redeemer, " and the sanctification of a Divine Comforter, we " cannot but be cordially disposed to receive the doc“ trines of Justification and Faith, of preventing and " co-operating Grace. God by His preventing “ Grace putting into our hearts good desires ; by His “co-operating Grace enabling us to bring the same to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

good effect."

Herein we have with regard to Grace a direct, as to Faith an implied, contradiction. Which statement are we to take? or how is such unexplained contradiction to satisfy us with regard to the future teaching of those committed to our care?

THE HOLY SACRAMENTS.

Dr. Hampden had before stated that “ the doctrine “ of the Sacraments was a Christianized form of the

mystical philosophy of secret agents in nature,” that the ready reception of the theory of the Church “ was accounted for by the general belief of magic, in

the early ages of the Church," that “the notion “ that Sacraments are visible channels, whereby vir“ tue (or “grace,” B. L. p. 312.] is conveyed from “ Christ to his mystical body, the Church, was part “ of the theoretic view of the Scholastic Philosophy,' that the whole doctrine and ritual of the Church of “ Rome, might be drawn from this primary notion of “ sacramental efficiency,” that “the seven Sacra“ments of the Church of Rome were deduced in just logical connection with that original theory,” that " the faith of the Receiver was the true consecrating “ principle of the Sacraments.”

On BAPTISM especially, he had stated the opinion of the Church (as implied in her formularies), viz. that the use of "water" and the words " in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,” are essential to the Sacrament, “to be derived from the subtle “ speculations about matter and form, introduced to " establish and perfect the theory of instrumental

efficiency ascribed to the rites themselves,” that “ Conditional Baptism was a scholastic provision,” " the doctrine of vicarious faith in the administra“ tion of Baptism to infants a scholastic notion, an “ effectual means of power to the Church” (B. L. p. 324, 5.), the decision on the intrinsic efficacy of the “ rite” to be only speculation;" that“ the use of the “ terms 'incorporated’into the Church and being made " a member of the body of Christ,' as equivalent, was “ owing to the confusion of ideas prevalent in the

early Church on the subject of Baptism."

On the LORD'S SUPPER he had said, that “the “ assertion of a real and true presence of Christ in the

Eucharist resulted from the original Platonism of the “Church."

In the Inaugural Lecture, he speaks of BAPTISM as “ the mystic sign and seal of our regeneration,” (p. 7.) that we were therein “ consecrated to God in the " name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 5 Ghost,” that we then “commenced our Christian "condition as the creatures of God the Father, the 66 redeemed of God the Son, the sanctified of God the

Holy Ghost,” (ib.) that we know that God loves “us, because He is the Father of Jesus Christ and the “ Giver of the Spirit, because He has created us again " in His Son :” that our Saviour has sanctified " water to the mystical washing away of sin, by de

claring that 'except a man be born of water and of “ the Spirit,' &c., and by an express promise that he " that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. We

[ocr errors]

" cannot doubt, therefore, the efficacy of Baptism

among the means of grace.” Again, our Church “ in virtue of Christ's promise regards the baptized as

regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ's " Church.” (p. 14.)

With regard to the Holy Eucharist, he states that

our Church holds a real vital presence of Christ in " the Sacrament,” that “forbidding us to hold the “ doctrine of a corporal presence” it “ does not pre“sume to overlook the strong words of Christ, declar

ing “this is my body,' 'this is my blood,' and · he “ that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth " in me and I in him ;' and will not therefore incur “ the impiety of employing this holy Sacrament of its

gifted treasure of grace.” (p. 14, 15.)

These are, indeed, in many respects, the words of our Church ; some of the phraseology is in truth very vague; as, that we " are consecrated to God in the

name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy

Ghost,” is language resembling that of the Baptists, who speak of" consecrating their children to God," even while they refuse them the Sacrament of Baptism. What again is meant, by "consecrating a child to God, "in the name of the Father, &c.?” And in what meaning are we to combine his use of the words of our Church with his late direct contradiction of them? how are we to reconcile his present admission of the “ efficacy of

Baptism among the means of grace," with his former urgent opposition to the belief that the Sacraments were channels or instruments of grace? or how his present acquiescence in the Church's assertion of a “ real presence of Christ in the Eucharist,” with his former position that this " assertion was derived from " Platonism ?”

[ocr errors]

a Cf. B. L. p. 320, where the fear of “ evacuating the Sacra“ ment of its holy burthen of grace" is apparently stigmatized as leading to Scholastic theories.

« ForrigeFortsæt »