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that it, and much more the faith of those who should follow his teaching, would be ultimately endangered by the theological principles which he holds. Dr. Hampden, however, has vindicated his personal faith, which no one impugned ; and his theological principles, the effects whereof were dreaded, he has left untouched.
With regard to the works already published, and upon which men's judgments were formed, Dr. Hampden admits occasional obscurity in terms, and so takes upon himself “ some portion of the blame of being misunderstood,” but casts the greater portion of the blame upon the misrepresentations of others, and takes as his comfort the words of “ a far greater than the philosopher, 'Blessed are ye when men shall revile you."
The plain statements then of the Bampton Lectures and other works remain untouched and unrecalled; and these were they which excited so much just alarm : for the statements, wherewith Dr. Hampden impugned the received doctrines of the Church, were unhappily at all times too clear; (only some of us could not at first induce ourselves to believe that he meant to say so much as his plain words went to :) it was when he stated his positive views that he became obscure: as when he spoke of “ certain sacred facts of Divine Pro“ vidence which we comprehensively denote by the " doctrine of a Trinity in Unity.”
It may however be useful for those who have not read his previous works, to review, under the several heads of Christian doctrine, the subjects of men's alarm, and then to see in what degree that alarm may now be regarded to have been obviated.
THE HOLY TRINITY.
The misgivings with regard to Dr. Hampden's teaching upon this doctrine arose from its vagueness. He retained the language of the Church, in that he spoke of “ the doctrine of a Trinity in Unity," and he
admitted that the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds excluded other forms more obviously (sic) injurious to the Christian Faith. (B. L. p. 378.) But he objected to the notions contained in them as unphilosophical and unscriptural (ibid.); he explained the mystery of the Trinity itself in Sabellian language“; asserted that“ the differences of opinion thereon did not affect the Catholic Faith ;" that “ the Unitarians did not differ in religion from other Christians ;” that “ the whole discussion was fundamentally dialectical,” “ the peculiar phraseology, in speaking of the sacred Trinity as Three Persons and one God, established by dialectical science,” that" no one could pretend to that exactness of thought whereon our technical language is based.”
In the Inaugural Lecture, he explains or withdraws no one of these statements; but speaks of the “ sublime and ineffable relation in which Jesus as the Christ indeed, stands to us as the only-begotten Son of God, who was with the Father and the Holy Spirit before all worlds, and coequal with Them in majesty, and glory, and holiness, taking upon Him our nature.” (p. 7.) “ If we know Jesus Christ, we believe in the full sense in which our Church has expressed it, Three Persons and One God, a Trinity in Unity, and an Unity in Trinity,” and he states that he has been more and
more convinced, that the Trinitarian doctrine professed by our Church is the true one, that it cannot be denied without expunging the Scriptures themselves.”
Now no one imputed to Dr. Hampden that he disbelieved the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in his sense, or that he did not accept the notions of the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds as less obviously injurious to the simplicity of the Christian Faith than others; but they did object that his statements led to a vague apprehension of it, a dislike to the language of the Catholic Church as established at the Council of Nice, an hostility to the forms, which the whole Church
* See Dr. Hampden's Theological Statements, Preface, p. xx. xxi. xxiii.
had opposed as a bulwark against heretical speculation. Now this is not removed by his declaring generally, that he believes the Trinitarian doctrine received in our Church : and it is remarkable that in his own account of his belief, he precisely omits the word, whereon the whole controversy with the Arians turned. The whole Christian Church assembled at the Council of Nice saw the necessity of fixing the language “ of one substance with the Father,” (ouoouo 105) as that of the Catholic Church : the Church has consequently used it, and felt also the necessity of adhering to it to this day: whence our Articles say,
" of one substance, “power, and eternity ;” again," the Holy Ghost is of
one substance, majesty, and glory."
To this language Dr. H. had in his Bampton Lectures objected, as“ being settled by a philosophy “ wherein the principles of different sciences were " confounded," and he now substitutes for this language, coequal in majesty, and glory, and holiness."
I do not mean by this to imply that Dr. Hampden disbelieves, in his sense, the statement of the Church; nor that he would not use the word, when his attention is called to it, " as excluding other terms more ob
viously injurious to the simplicity of the Christian " Faith.” The Arian heresy in its original form has now long been silenced through the adoption of this very word ; and a layman may well be excused, if he repeats the Nicene Creed without knowing the value of the word, which he utters; but in a professed Theologian, who had taken upon himself to criticise the language of the Church on this high doctrine, it does betray an unsound ignorance or indifference to the importance belonging to it, that, in a professed defence of his faith, he omits the very word, upon which the main controversy of the Christian Church with misbelievers turns.
It should be remarked also, that Dr. Hampden still refers to his Bampton Lectures, on the doctrine of the Trinity, as “ speculative discussion, in which he " had in view to bring it home to the understanding, “ (so far as such a mystery could be brought home
to the understanding,) free from glosses and miscon
structions,” and so, still recognizes those Lectures in the very point, in which they were objected to, as opposed to the teaching of the Church Catholic.
THE WORD OR SON OF GOD.
Our misgivings arose, in that Dr. Hampden maintained, that the orthodox language declaring the Son
begotten before all worlds, of one substance (sic) with the Father," was settled by a confused philosophy; that “materialism intruded itself into what was considered the Orthodox view of the Divine Proceeding;” that “ there was much of the language of Platonism in the speculation ;” that " the account of the Incarnation was more peculiarly logical, with a mixture however of physical speculation ;" that “ the received statements of doctrines were only episodic additions, some out of infinite theories, which may be raised upon texts of Scripture.”
In the Inaugural Lecture, Dr. Hampden's positive statements are that “ Jesus stands to us in a sublime and ineffable relation as the only-begotten Son of God, who was with the Father and the Holy Spirit before all worlds ;” that “ Christians, in the highest sense of the term,” are “ devout believers in the proper Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (p. 6.) Here again, by the way, Dr. Hampden has singularly missed the language of the Church, in that he has substituted the words - the only-begotten Son of God, who was with “ the Father and the Holy Spirit before all worlds," for that of the Nicene Creed, " the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God," or of our Articles, “ the Son-begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father.”
And yet the language which he has omitted, is just that limitation, which the Church adopted against heresy, and which he before opposed : he still speaks of " Jesus standing to us in a sublime and ineffable relation as the onlybegotten Son of God,” as he before said, that it was " a relative Deity, revealed to us, when we learn that " there are three Persons in the Godhead."
It does not appear whether Dr. Hampden has tacitly retracted his objection to what he had before objected to as the result of "theory," (B. L. p. 231.) the statement that “ our Lord assumed to his Divinity human nature itself;" he uses indeed the language of the Church, “took our nature upon him," yet explains not, whether he now accepts it, in the sense in which he before objected to it. We find him using the words of the Church, and nothing more. Yet even while employing the general language, “took our nature upon Him,” he avoids what he before treated as a “ mere question of logical philosophy,” the language “ of our Article affirming in Christ, two whole and perfect natures,''never to be divided.'”
Another statement, that our Lord “condescended” (in modern language “ accommodated himself”) to the [erroneous] prejudices of his followers, remains as before.
Our fears on this head, again, arose from Dr. Hampden’s explanations of the doctrine : he spoke of it before, as a "real atonement for sin;” (Obs. p. 26.) but when he came to explain what he meant under this term, it related only to “ human agency." " Christ died,” it was said, solely“ that we might know (sic) that we have passed from the death of sin to the life of righteousness by Him, and that our own hearts might not condemn us,” but that we “ may not attribute to God any change of purpose towards man by what Christ has done :” in other words, whereas our Arti
“Christ truly suffered to reconcile His Father
” Dr. Hampden says, that “ He died, in order that we might be reconciled to God.”
In the Inaugural Lecture, Dr. H. speaks of the
cles say to us,