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and prudent man made a discrimination ; kept to what was good in the Puritans, their pious strictness, &c.; only relinquished their mistakes, their placing too much religion in little distinctions and singularities, and their odd aversions to the Church government liturgy, and ceremonies." "He did not cry out against them as a company of hypocrites, factious villains, and a party not to be suffered, but rather to be doomed to rods and axes, and to be pursued with the severest punishments.” “I remember it was the counsel he gave myself in the year 1661, not to be sharp upon that party in sermons or other discourses, nor to cry up the liturgy or ceremonies, but to preach true Christianity, and to take heed to govern my own conver; sation well.”
But though Tillotson and Burnet were decried by the “high-flyers" as Latitudinarians, because they would not heap indiscriminate censure upon the Puritans, or unchurch the foreign protestant churches, or lay inordinate stress upon liturgies, ceremonies, and the grace of sacraments; they certainly were not what would now be designated “evangelical divines." In proof of this remark, it might be sufficient to refer to the general character of their writings, or rather to their practical effect; for though numerous statements of evangelical doctrine occur in them, yet, as a whole, the impression left by their perusal is very adverse to the free grace, and power, and spirit of the Gospel, as strikingly set forth, for example, in our Homilies. We might also appeal to the testimony of their warmest admirers, who were little aware how left-handed were their panegyrics in this matter. We will quote, as an instance, a passage from Dr. Birch's memoir of Tillotson. Birch says that “ Latitudinarian” was “a name given to Archbishop Tillotson and other great and good men;" whose views as respected the proposed new Book of Homilies, he describes in the manner before alluded to. Speaking elsewhere of the Archbi. shop's plans, he says:
“In an age of such remarkable dissoluteness as that in which he lived, he judged that the best way to put a stop to the growing impiety, was first to establish the principles of natural eligion; and from that to advance to the proof of Christianity and of the Scriptures, which being once solidly done, would soon settle all other things. He was therefore in great doubt whether the surest means to persuade the world to the belief of the sublime truths that are contained in Scripture, concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and concerning the person of Christ, was to enter much into the discussing of those mysteries...... He thought that the less men's consciences were entangled, and the less the communion of the saints was clogged with disputable opinions or practices, the world wonld be the happier, consciences the freer, and the church the quieter. The Scriptures were the rule of his faith, and the chief subject of all his meditations. He judged that THE GREAT DESIGN OF CHRISTIANITY, was the reforming men's natures, and governing their actions, the restraining their appetites and passions, the softening their tempers, and sweetening their humours, and the raising their minds above the interests and follies of the present world, to the bope and pursuit of endless blessedness."
Now It is very true that Christianity was designed to effect all these objects; but to say that such moral effects were its “great design," to the passing by all mention of the atonement and the work of the Holy Spirit, is most unscriptural and truly “latitudinarian." Even if it should be said that Dr. Birch mistook the archbishop's opinions and writings, and that they were more evangelical than his biographer has stated-and we have the happiness to believe this to be the fact-still Birch's eulogy shews what were the views of a Tillot
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sonian; and proves that the school was even more latitudinarian than the master. The non-jurors exclaimed against the neglect of the Christian "mysteries" by this school; as afterwards the Evangelical or Reformation school did of their disparagement of the doctrines of grace. The Roman Catholic took advantage of the frigid moralising style of the new preaching to represent Protestantism as little more than refined Epictetusism; and justly did Bossuet remark : “ You ask for moral exhortations in sermons; but never forget that Christian morals can be founded only on Christian mysteries." If Bossuet meant the mysteries of the Papists or Altitudinarians, he was deceived; but “great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh," not merely to teach us our duty, but to atone for our transgressions, and to give us a new heart to obey his will. Cardinal Maury, in a dissertation upon Tillotson and other English divines, says that our pulpits, from being an arena for polemics, became almost exclusively a school for the moralities of social life; in proof of which he refers to the Boyle lecturers, from Bentley to Derham, including Kidder, Williams, Gastrell, Blackall, Harris, Stanhope, the two Clarkes, and Whiston. Of Blair, whose sermons used to be preached in many of our churches, he says, that the Gospel is only accessory in his discourses, “the exclusive object of which is a philosophical morality, purely human." He treats of gentleness, youth and age, order, mourning, sensibility, honour, firmness, the creation, distaste of life, luxury, curiosity, fashion, friendship, tranquillity ;“ but rarely or never,” adds the Cardinal, “of any of the great topics which more peculiarly belong to the Christian pulpit.” When in France Massillon set the example of lecturing upon benevolence, luxury, friendship, modesty, the social virtues, egotism, antipathy, nay, even the excellence of agriculture, anything but the doctrines peculiar to the Gospel; the venerable Père de la Valette remarked, “I know not what talent it may require to compose such discourses, but it shows a sad want of common sense to preach them in a church.”
We have united Burnet with Tillotson in the above remarks, because they were for the most part coincident in their opinions; and if the latter cannot be included in the class of Reformation or Evangelical divines, assuredly the former cannot. His exposition of the Articles, valuable as it is in many respects, is one of the most antievangelical works in the language; nay, its chief object was to rescue the Anglican confession from the Reformation divines, and to shew that it might be so mitigated as to be approved by doctrinal “ latitudinarians.”
But the most decisive proof that such writers as Burnet and Tillotson were very far indeed from symbolizing with what is called in modern days the Evangelical school; or as we should rather say—if we must talk of schools where all such words are abhorrent-the school of the Anglican branch of the Protestant Reformation, which was the school of the Apostles, Jesus Christ being the corner stone; is that the writings and influence of the Latitudinarians almost dis-evangelised our Church for more than a century. It triumphed over the old Reformation divines, who had become nearly extinct; and it equally overwhelmed the non-juring divines. The great majority of our bishops and clergy became Tillotsonians, as to their general doctrines and preaching ; blending faith and works in unscriptural confusion ; subscribing to the Thirty-nine Articles rather as articles of
peace than as expressing their own opinions; and absolutely abhorring the Book of Homilies, which they contrived to suppress, and nearly to banish out of the land. The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge was, during several generations, almost exclusively under their control ; and the mass of its tracts still bears their stamp and signature.
The three divisions of the Anglican clergy to which we have alluded are distinctly marked at the present day. The divines of the Reformation school, who had nearly vanished after the influx of the Tillotsonians, were resuscitated in that blessed revival of piety which commenced in the bosom of the Establishment about a century ago, and to which was afterwards popularly affixed the epithet “Evangelical.” The “ Altitudinarian" school—which came into notice in the days of James I., obtained influence under Laud, was in considerable strength at the Restoration, and nearly vanished with the non-jurors after the Revolution-has revived in the new Oxford school, but with some modifications very much for the worse. The Tillotson, or, as it came to be called, the “ orthodox,” school, is too well known to need further description. It swerved in some particulars, in process of time, from its original model, but the distinctive features were not lost. The publications of the Christian Knowledge Society have been, for a century, its best-known exponent. They never satisfied the staunch friends of the principles of the Reformation ; who, in consequence, procured and issued, in various ways, large numbers of Evangelical publications, particularly the lives and writings of the Reformers, fathers, and martyrs of the Anglican Church; and in later years, set up the Bristol Tract Society and the Prayer-book and Homily Society; for the Christian Knowledge Society used to omit the Articles in most of its Prayer-books; and the Homilies it refused to circulate for popular use.
The “ Altitudinarian" school, since its late resuscitation, has set up the new Oxford Tract Society, under the auspices of Mr. Newman and Dr. Pusey. It is true the publications of the Christian Knowledge Society have always combined not a little altitudinarianism with their Tillotsonianism; and even recently the Society has issued a most exceptionable Life of Archbishop Laud, which the conductors of the Oxford Tracts recommend in their list of publications as calculated to promote their views, and, we must say, not without ample reason. But still the Christian Knowledge publications have never come up to the standard of a thorough-going Laud, or Heylin, or Hickes, or Dodwell, or Sacheverell : the Anglican Church, under the mild influence of a Wake, a Secker, or a Howley, could not be made an instrument of intolerance or Popish superstition ; the Altitudinarians wanted a more genuine, pungent, and unmixed commodity than the Society kept in the market; there was not quite enough of the authority of fathers and tradition ; some even of the tracts on the sacraments were adulterated with Reformation leaven; there had been a shrinking from competition with Popery in its arrogant and unscriptural assumptions relative to absolution, apostolical succession, and infallibility; and of late years especially, much truly scriptural doctrine and exhortation has appeared in the Society's publications. It has also refused to follow out the wishes of the Altitudinarians by ejecting other Protestant communions from the covenanted mercies of God, which it had nearly been entrapped into doing in the case of Scotland; it also circulates the obnoxious Homilies, and has published some of the works of the Reformers, and many anti-popish tracts; and it has committed the grievous schism of circulating the Holy Scriptures and the formularies of the Church of England in Popish countries, without permission first obtained of the Popish bishops; a proceeding which Dr. Pusey came to London to deprecate and denounce, as most sectarian, and altogether unjust and ungenerous towards our “dear sister,” the papal antichrist. To correct these evils, and supply these defects, as Dr. Pusey and his friends had not influence to mould the Society to their purpose, they set up a rival book-mart of their own. The old Society wished to keep steady to Tillotsonianism; the divines called Evangelical wished it to rise to the principles of the Reformation, which are those of Scripture; the Altitudinarians desired it to retrograde to the dark ages and human tradition. Every true friend of the Church of England ought to stand by the Society, and endeavour to improve it. It must be kept from the perilous flights of Altitudinarianism; it must be raised from the grovelling of doctrinal Latitudinarianism ; and be preserved in the true scriptural Via Media of Anglican scriptural Protestantism.
ON THE ITALIC READINGS OF THE ENGLISH BIBLES :
“DEEDS OF LAW."
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I CONCUR with your correspondent, BIBLICUS, respecting the great improvement of our modern Bibles above the edition of 1611, in the italic readings ; and I no less agree with him, that in future not even the typography of the vernacular version ought to be altered, except for the correction of errors, or the introduction of such amendments as all bodies of Christians would approve of, in order to make the English a correct representation of the Greek. One of these, I think, is the italicising the definite article “the” before the word “law," where the article does not occur in the original. I was reminded of it by observing the words “by deeds of law” in inverted commas in your last Number. The inspired writers certainly make some distinction between “ deeds of law" without the article, and “the deeds of the law," with it; though in our translation there is no notification of this difference. I am not going to discuss the question, though I believe that much hinges upon it; for it is clear that the word “law” (which occurs, I believe, nearly two hundred times in the New Testament) is used to imply various rules or regulations; as for instance the Mosaic moral code; the Mosaic ceremonial code; the Mosaic code generally, including both; the law of nature, or conscience; and also the law of Christ. I am of opinion, further, that if the definite article had never been inserted in our translation where it does not occur in the original Greek, many passages would be more lucid; and there would be less opening for that common, but mistaken, notion that the Apostle Paul speaks only of the Mosaic law, when he says that there is no justification by deeds of law; in other words, that he is merely opposing Christianity to Judaizm, and is not re
ferring to the manner in which Christians are justified, whether by Christian faith or Christian works.
The following passages, among many others, will shew the utility of italicising the article where it is not found in the sacred text. Rom. ii. 23 : “ Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?” Rom. iii. 20, 21: “ Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets." Verse 28 : “We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." 31: “Do we then make void the law through faith? yea, we establish the law." iv. 13: “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
In all these places the definite article, where I have marked it in italics, is not found in the Greek ; and its insertion injures the sense. This the translators have found in some passages, and have therefore changed the form of the expression, rather than innovate upon their uniform plan of inserting the article. Thus, in the next verse to the one last quoted, the Apostle says: “For law worketh wrath ; for where there is not law, neither is there transgression.” Now the translators add, in the first clause, as usual, the definite article : “For the law worketh wrath ;" but if they had done so in the second, and read, “ for where the law is not, neither is there transgression," this would not have been true; for there might be transgression by the breach of some other law, though not of the particular law, whatever it was, implied by the definite article. The translators bring out the real meaning by altering the turn of the phrase as follows : “Because the law worketh wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression." The words “ where no law is," are equivalent to “ where law is not;" that is, law universally; not merely THE law. A parallel case occurs two chapters after : v. verse 13. If the translators in such passages had not expressed themselves so as to get rid of the definite article indirectly, they must have done it directly; and then the question would have arisen, Why in these instances more than in many others where it is equally wanting in the original ?
Whether it was that the long-continued use of the Latin language, in which there is no definite article-so that “ law” and “ the law” are rendered in the same manner, both in the versions of the New Testament and the writings of the Fathers, caused our translators to overlook the distinction; or whether they considered that it involved no real difference of meaning; or whether they found that if they attempted to discriminate they should be involved in perplexity, and become commentators instead of translators, (for the word law is used in several senses, whether with or without the article) are questions which I do not undertake to decide; nor would it be justifiable to alter their translation in the public version; but since the regulation has been agreed upon from the first of printing in italics words not found in the original, and the only question being what words are within that category (as for example, when a feminine adjective stands alone, whether the word “woman ” which is necessary in English, ought to be considered as included or supplementary), there would have been no evil or irregularity, I think, in affixing this indication to the word "the" before " law" where it is not found in the