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incantations of magic; but between theology and mythology, a sharp line of distinction yet remains to be drawn. It is a problem, which we who speak the English tongue have hardly looked in the face; but one which we must be prepared to meet, before the claims of science and religion can be reconciled,

before "an open and solemn marriage botween faith and reason can be celebrated.” The time has come when a revision of theology is demanded, as the commencement of a reform; when no solemn mutterings can present a charm to keep away the hand of bold research ; when the veil must be wholly lifted up from the face of the statue, before which men have so long bowed in darkness and dread, and a clear, piercing light be admitted into the temple of our faith and the mysteries of our worship. Systems of divinity we have, indeed, had in abundance; but how unworthy of the name! Where can we find one which has not failed in the very thing that science demands as essential to a system, a rigid method and a comprehensive unity? The science of Divinity, regarded in its true light, is the noblest that the mind can be conversant with, for it is the science of the Divine, of the Infinite, of God in Nature, in History, in Humanity, in the Heart of Man. It should be filled with the dewy freshness of the morning, it should breathe an atmosphere of unclouded light, it should move with the freedom and grace of conscious inspiration, and gather around itself all that is attractive, beautiful, and glorious, in the whole compass of creation.

But what are our prevailing systems of theology? What claim do they present, as now organized, upon the attention of the philosopher or the lover of nature ? It is hard to imagine a study more dry, more repulsive, more perplexing, and more totally unsatisfactory to a scientific mind, than theology, as it is presented in the works of by far the greater part of English writers on the subject.

It is no wonder that the heart is pulverized, that the freshness of life is exhausted, under their influence. It is no wonder, that the most vigorous efforts of sacred eloquence have been made by those, who have avoided, as much as possible, the hard abstractions of our technical systems; who have studied divinity in communion with their own nature and with the universe or who have not studied it at all. We respond, with living sympathy, to the earnest voice that comes to us from beyond the sea, calling for a new organ of theology, and presenting us a specimen of its scientific culture. We long to see the educated mind of England awaking to the importance of this subject, seeking for an instrument wherewith this vast and holy science may be raised to its becoming rank among other intellectual pursuits, redeemed from the petty subtleties which have planted thorns around it, and brought out of bondage and darkness into the stately light of day.

It is a great merit of the work before us, that it distinctly asserts the necessity of a fundamental reform in English theology, before controversy can cease to resemble a contest in the dark or a philosophical exposition be given to the primary truths of religion. The author confines himself to a single question connected with the evidences of Christianity, - but that one which involves many topics of great moment, - and if he does not contribute any original discoveries in aid of the reform which he has at heart, it is but justice to him to say, that this is not the design of the present volume. “ The popular form,” he remarks, “required for public delivery, precluded any very systematic or philosophical treatment of the subject : and if one or two just logical principles, corrective of common and mischievous fallacies, are brought out with tolerable clearness, all the service to truth, of which the writer and his plan are capable, will be accomplished.” This attempt is entirely successful; and, though we are inclined to controvert some of Mr. Martineau's positions, in the spirit of frank discussion which pervades his book, we must acknowledge the uncommon pleasure we have taken in its perusal, and the admiration we feel for the independence, manliness, and wisdom, with which it is written.

The inquiry in which Mr. Martineau engages, has for its purpose, to settle the method of investigating the character of Christianity, and to estimate the value of the materials, from which a judgment on the subject may be formed. The first Lecture opens with a graphic description of Palestine at the time of our Saviour's appearance. The principal events of his life are then summed up in a brief sketch of exquisite beauty.

“In a hamlet of this country, sequestered among the hills which enclose the Galilean lake, a peasant, eighteen centuries ago, began to fill up the intervals of worldly occupation with works of mercy and efforts of public instruction. Neglected by his own villagers of Nazareth, he took up his residence in the neighbouring town of Capernaum; and there, escaped from the prejudices of his first home, and left to the natural influence of his own character, he found friends, hearers, followers. He mixed in their societies, he worshipped in their synagogues, he visited their homes, he grew familiar with their neighbourhood, he taught on the hill side, he watched their traffic on the beach, and joined in their excursions on the lake. He clothed himself in their affections, and they admitted him to their sorrows, and his presence consecrated their joys. Their Hebrew feelings became human when he was near ; and their rude nationality of worship rose towards the filial devotion of a rational and responsible mind. Nor was it altogether a familiar and equal, though a profoundly confiding sympathy, which he awakened. For power more than human followed his steps; and in many a home there dwelt living memorials of his miracles : and among his most grateful disciples there were those, who remembered the bitterness of the leper's exile, or shuddered at the yet unforgotten horrors of madness. That the awe of Deity which was kindled by his acts, and the love of goodness which was excited by his life, might not be confined to one spot of his country, twelve associates were first drawn closely around him to observe and learn, and then dispersed to repeat his miracles, report, and teach. They were with him when the recurring festivals summoned him, in common with his fellow citizens, to leave awhile Capernaum for Jerusalem. They beheld how his dignity rose, when his sphere of action was thus enlarged, and the interest of his position deepened; — when the rustic audience was replaced by the crowd of the metropolis, and village cavillers gave way to priests and rulers, and the handful of neighbours in the provincial synagogue was exchanged for the strange and gaudy multitudes that thronged the vast temple at the hour of prayer. In one of these expeditions, the fears of the established authorities, and the disappointment of a once favoring multitude, whose ambition he had refused to gratify, combined to crush him. It was soon done ; the Passover at Jerusalem was its assizes too : the betrayal and the trial over, the execution was part of the annual celebration, a spectacle that furnished an hour's excitement to the populace. But there were eyes that looked on with no careless or savage gaze; of one who knew what he was in childhood ; - of many that had seen his recent life in Galilee. The twelve too lingered closely around the event; and they say, that he came back from death, spake to them oft for forty days, and was carried before their view beyond the precincts of this earth."

Mr. Martineau then asks, What was the mission assigned by Providence to these events ? The answer to this question will furnish us with the true idea of Christianity. But how are we to engage in the investigation? What are our materi

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als, and what must be our method ? Our problem is, to determine what was the intent of Christ's coming; our preliminary question is, What are our instruments for its solution, and what kind and degree of value must be set on each ? The instruments with which we are supplied, are, 1. the books of the New Testament. 2. The traditions of the Catholic Church. 3. The creeds of Protestantism. 4. The decisions of Reason, in the province of natural religion and in the bistory of civilization.

The first question, concerning the best method of solving the problem, What is Christianity ? relates to the books of the New Testament. Let us take them up, as if for the first time, with no knowledge about them, but that they are the genuine productions of the age of Christ, and of disciples who had won by bonds and death a title to be believed. We should perceive, at once, that the New Testament is a composite work, with no other than a purely nominal unity, of which different churches possessed different portions, and which was not entirely completed within a century, at least, from the first introduction of Christianity. We should find in it a description of the two successive periods in the original developement of Christianity, namely, the personal biography of Christ, and the first planting of the Church. Our final conclusion would be, that the book was a casual association of faithful records, the production of the fresh and earnest time of Christianity, born in the midst of its conflicts, and impressed with the energy of its youth.

We should perceive, moreover, that every thing in this book bore the stamp of reality. No one but a Hebrew of that age, could so conduct us through the country, as it then was, any more than a German could be our guide through Rome. The truth of the narratives is confirmed by the very discrepancies which they exbibit. Amidst them all, one impression is fixed upon the mind with perfect unity. A single image of Christ is reflected from each in unclouded brightness and purity. This is the solitary universality amid all the traces of time and place ; the single line of moral unity which runs through the varieties of the Christian records. We accordingly conclude, that the books of the New Testament, as compositions, are perfectly human, though recording superhuman events; and that the facts which they relate are entitled to credence, on the authority of good and competent men, who reported from

their own memory, reasoned from their own intellect, and received impressions modified by their own imagination. This belief is evidently all that is necessary to constitute a disciple of Christ.

Mr. Martineau then discusses the theory which has been received of the plenary inspiration of the New Testament writings. As this has generally been represented, it involves the supposition that the ideas of their authors were infallibly correct and the natural causes of error altogether excluded. But two things are at once obvious with regard to this theory ; first, that it must be proved; and secondly, that its proof must be attended with great difficulty. The only adequate proof, according to Mr. Martineau, would be an audible voice, clearly supernatural, heard by a sufficient number of witnesses, and announcing a person to be infallible. If, however, the inspiration be not universal, extending to every conception of the mind, and precluding every form of error, the department to which it is restricted must be specified. This proof, Mr. Martineau argues, does not exist in the case of the Apostles. No such voice fell upon

them. Such a voice did fall on Christ, and authenticated, not his universal inspiration, but the perfection of his moral character. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” were the words heard at bis baptism and his transfiguration, and they indicate the one infallible point, on which his divine mission is sustained.

The second Lecture, on “Catholic Infallibility,” commences with a masterly though brief delineation of the historical relations of the Roman Catholic Church.

No instructed man can deny, that the Roman Catholic Church presents one of the most solemn and majestic spectacles in history. The very arguments which are employed against its rites, remind us of the mighty part which it has played on the theatre of the world. For when we say, that the ceremonies of its worship, the decorations of its altars, and the evolutions of its priests are conceived in the spirit of Heathenism, - how can we forget, that it was once the witness of ancient Paganism, the victor of its decrepit superstitions, the rival, yet imitator of its mythology? When we ask the use of the lights that burn during the mass, how can we fail to think of the secret worship of the early Christians, assembled at dead of night in some vault beyond the eye of observation ? When we wonder at the pantomimic character of its services, its long passages of gesticulation, are we not carried back to the time, when the quick ear of the informer and persecutor lurked

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