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LITERATURE OF CHARITY, POPULATION, PAUPERISM,
POLITICAL ECONOMY, AND PROTESTANTISM.
BY STEPHEN COLWELL.
SECOND EDITION REVISED.
The foregoing title has created impressions not intended by the author. In making it short, it has become ambiguous. It would have better expressed the meaning had it run thus :-"CREEDS, BUT NOT WITHOUT CHARITY—THEOLOGY, BUT NOT WITHOUT HUMANITY-PROTESTANTISM, BUT NOT WITHOUT CHRISTIANITY.” Titles very seldom constitute an index to a book, and we trust no unfavourable presentiment will arise from that which we have adopted. We are sorry some more pleasing expression of our idea had not occurred to us. Few, however, can be willing to appropriate to themselves either horn of the following dilemma, which is found in a review of the work in the April number of the Church Review :
“There are two classes of persons who will shrink with sacred horror from the title of this book : both the formalist and the formulist will abjure it without further scrutiny. The one believes that the Church is to truth what amber is to the insect which it encloses, holds fast, preserves entire, but first kills. The latter imagines that from apostolic times, the truth was held by the Church in a state of solution until a certain modern date, when, on a sudden shaking of the vessel, that truth was instantly deposited in the form of a transparent, cold, angular, and sharp-pointed crystal, which, henceforth, can neither be improved or modified."-CHURCH REVIEW, April, 1850.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
LIPPINCOTT, GRAMBO & CO. in the Clerk's Office of the District
Court of the whited States in and for the Eastern Digrict Pelvan.
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.
THE favour of the public, which calls so soon for a second edition of this volume, makes us regret more than ever its serious deficiencies, and would stimulate us to attempt some considerable amendment, but that our design was not to prepare the book which the subject demands-it was rather to draw such a work from more competent hands.* We now believe this object will be attained. Our general aim has been extensively approved, and this sentiment cannot long continue to be felt without taking the form of a treatise, which, if not adequate to the subject, may still be one great step in our literature of Christian Charity. It is not the least of our regret that these pages
have given pain to some very worthy persons : but this we lament as much on their account as on our own; for while it was our part to present these views more free from de
* This volume can be of little consequence except so far as fitted to excite inquiry, and promote the discussion of a much neglected subject. If the issue shall be fairly taken up and considered, by those most able to do it justice, this hasty production will have fulfilled its design. Perhaps its very faults may contribute to this good end, as well as to hasten it into oblivion as soon as better works have appeared.
fects and in a more deserving-form, it was theirs to receive them in a better spirit. Their reception, whether favourable or otherwise, has clearly shown it was time to bring the subject prominently into discussion. There is a longing on the subject of Christian Charity which demands some gratification; there is an unwillingness to touch it which should be overcome; there is an incapacity to grasp its scope and obligations which requires to be familiarized with the topic and to be instructed. If some believe that it has all the prominence it deserves in Protestant systems, let them not discourage the discussion, nor denounce those who differ from them in opinion. It would form a strange medley of praise and censure and of direct contradictions if we should spread before our readers what has been said and written of this little volume. Upon view of the whole, we are satisfied that much more good than harm will come of its publication, and that we are not responsible for all the misconceptions to which it has given rise. Many of these are due, in part at least, to faults in the reader, and not wholly to the fault of the writer. On our side we know there are many faults; there may
be some on the other. Without attempting to remove the various mistakes as to the aim of the work which have come under our eye, we offer the following remark, from a notice in the Church Review, as evidence that some could very fairly, if not fully interpret our design:
“ The theory of the author under review, may be thus stated :-In apostolic times, it was the motto of the church, 'now abideth these three, faith, hope, and charity; but the greatest of these is charity.' In these latter days
the text is virtually altered, so as to read the greatest of these is faith."
It was our purpose to insist that the doctrine of Christian Charity is not sufficiently prominent, if it be not wholly omitted in Protestant standards, creeds, confessions, catechisms, and articles; that it did not hold the place due to its importance in Protestant theology and literature; that our Protestant theology was not sufficiently imbued with the precepts and teachings of our Saviour himself; that the moral law—the rule of Christian life and conduct-could be more safely drawn from the very words of Christ, than from any uninspired, development of the Decalogue ; that it was wrong, very wrong, to pass over in silence or in neglect, the language of our Lord covering the whole ground of moral obligation, of duty to God and duty to man; and attempt to develop the doctrine of charity or love from the Decalogue; that the moral law was re-enacted in a new commandment, and set forth by Christ himself with such fulness, such searching power, such deep discrimination, such ample comprehensiveness, that it savours of profane hardihood, if not criminal oversight, to attempt the deduction of Christian obligations by any mere human commentary upon the Ten Commandments.
We meant to urge that no document, proceeding from the Reformers or from the founders of any of our leading Protestant denominations, contains any adequate, or even fair statement of the Christian law of Charity as proclaimed by Christ and taught by his apostles; that this omission in Protestant teaching bad led to serious mistakes and omissions in Protestant modes of administering