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the questions of the Bible and Inspiration. To do this, however, would have been to sacrifice the pith and marrow of our argument. It will be seen, as we go on, that the two theologies, proceeding from a single point, diverge more and more the one from the other. The one enlarges and strengthens with its advance; the other contracts and gets weaker. At length, when they issue on the great points of modern controversy, the one has but a single prop whereon to stay itself, and that isshattered by our advanced knowledge; the other has a widely-extended basis, which no possible advance of human knowledge can ever touch.

Every theology is determined, in all its parts, by the view which it takes of the original and subsequent state of man. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we should fix our eye closely on the teaching of Calvinisın in respect of this cardinal point. The Old Theology had taught that man was originally created perfect in body and soul: and this perfection in respect of his soul, consisted in the fact that it was made in the image and likeness of God, and gifted with Reason and Freewill. In this state, man lived in the closest union with God, and from that union sprang certain supernatural gifts. His body possessed, by special endowment, freedom from suffering and death, and the lower motions and appetites of his soul were kept strictly under the dominion of Reason; so that in all things he could follow the will of God. Thus, Original Righteousness was not a natural but a supernatural gift, arising out of man's union with God. The effect of the Fall was, that this intimate union was broken, the supernatural gifts were lost, and there remained to man only his natural gifts of Reason and Freewill. Original Sin is thus, strictly speaking, the want of Original Righteousness. But, inasmuch as with this the frænum cupiditatum is removed, and the act of sin has a deteriorating influence on the human will, it is in reality something more. Man's Freewill is thereby weakened, and a bias towards evil established within him, and this to such a degree, that without Divine aid he cannot attain to good.

Calvinism takes up a decided position against this view. It denies that Original Righteousness was a supernatural gift. It was something inherent in or arising out of man's nature. Man could, by the strength of that nature wherewith he was gifted at creation, without any special help of God, attain to perfect righteousness. In the words of the Confession, God created 'man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, ' endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after

His own image, having the law of God written in their hearts, ‘and power to fulfil it: and yet, under a possibility of trans


'gressing, being left to the liberty of their own will.’Hence the Fall is something inconceivably disastrous. It is not the deprivation of accidental gifts, as in the Catholic system, but the ruin of our nature to its very core.

The Confession tells us, that by the Fall, man became 'dead in sin, and wholly defiled in

all the faculties and parts of soul and body.' His Freewill was so entirely destroyed, that henceforth he was 'utterly 'indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil.”? A foreign Confession, if not so logically precise in its definition, is far more vehement in describing the calamity: 'Intima, pessima, profundissima (instar cujusdam abyssi) inscrutabilis et ineffabilis corruptio totius naturae humance. Such are the words of the Formula Consensus.'

It would be difficult to mention any doctrine which has such thorough possession of the popular mind as this awful doctrine of Total Ruin. It is the one idea, preached from innumerable pulpits, which is ever uppermost in the religious mind. It is thus seen how essentially Calvinistic is the Popular Theology. For this is the leading doctrine of Calvinism. It is the dominant idea which moulds and shapes the whole system. Throughout the whole field of theology it must be verified, at whatever cost. It will be seen, as we go on, how this takes place; how it preys, so to speak, upon other doctrines, empties them of their native significance, and narrows and contracts them into agreement with itself. It thus produces a one-sided Christianity, which is especially open to the attacks of scepticism. How, indeed, can we wonder at this? If Calvinism sets out with a doctrine at variance with the consciousness of all men, can we wonder if the results of that doctrine should clash with their matured and systematic knowledge?

Having stated the fundamental doctrine of the Fall, there are certain semi-philosophical questions which must be disposed of before proceeding to thcology proper. The condition of man by the Fall being so dreadful, the first question that occurs,

is as to the mode of his recovery. Both Catholic and Protestant would admit that, without Divine aid, recovery is impossible. But the different views taken of the Fall, make an essential difference in their conception of this aid. According to the Catholic view, if we suppose that man has fallen into a pit, it will be enough if he be taken by the hand. With the aid of that hand, preventing and supporting his own efforts, he may be delivered. But the idea of Calvinism, that man is totally disabled, makes such aid insufficient. Man cannot be delivered unless he is lifted, like a

* Confession of Faith, chap. iv,

Chap. vi.

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dead body, out of the pit. In the Catholic theology, the human will, though of itself incapable, is yet to be estimated as one factor: in the Calvinistic system, it counts for nothing. In no sense can man contribute anything towards his recovery; for it is exclusively the work of God. Thus far, indeed, both Lutheranism and Calvinism agree, but now arises a question on which they differ: If man can contribute nothing towards his recovery, has he the power of preventing it? In other words, is Grace resistible or irresistible ? Luther, frightened at the gulf before him, here hastily drew back, and maintained that Grace is resistible. He exclaimed stoutly against the idea that we are passive in the hands of God, like stocks and stones. By this timely retreat, he avoided the Divine Decrees, and was able to maintain that God wills the salvation of all, and that it is man's fault if he is not saved. Yet, doubtless, he was here inconsistent with himself. A resistible grace is impossible, except on the supposition of some remnant of Freewill. Calvin, with clearer logic, saw the impossibility of this tenet, unless he recurred to the Catholic doctrine of the Fall. For if by the Fall, we are “utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all

good, and wholly inclined to all evil,' every man must naturally resist Grace: nor is our conversion conceivable, except on the supposition of such overpowering grace as shall prove irresistible. It is easily seen, that the Divine Decrees are a necessary corollary from this teaching, although many Calvinists have arrived at them also on purely philosophical principles. It must rest with God, and God alone, to determine who are, and who are not, to be saved. And this He has done irrespective of any foresight of faith or good works or perseverance on their part, but solely of His own good pleasure. By an absolute decree (eternal, or subsequent to the Fall, Supralapsarians, Sublapsarians), He has foreordained a fixed and definite number (the Elect) to eternal life. All others He has passed by,' • left, and so foreordained to eternal damnation. The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints, again, follows directly out of this. For if our salvation is the result of a Divine decree, it cannot be supposed that man has the power of preventing that decree taking effect. Hence, whatever sins or departures from God the elect person may be guilty of subsequently to his conversion, they must be powerless to change his final destiny.

Probably very few moderns would follow the Confession of Faith into these awful deductions; and yet it is difficult to see how, with the vivid idea of “Total Ruin” ever present to the mind, they can avoid doing so. At any rate, sceptical minds will pursue consequences when reverent love will be silent and draw back. It is worthy of serious attention, that on the view here


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presented is grounded, almost entirely, the infidelity of the working classes. The pages of the National Reformer and the writings of Mr. Holyoake abundantly prove this. It may, indeed, be said that it is not Calvinism, but their necessitarian principles, that lead them to Atheism; it being iinpossible, on any principles of necessity, to reconcile the action of God with our ideas of right. This is, indeed, true. But it is also true that Calvinism is essentially necessitarian. The doctrine of Necessity is implied in the Calvinistic doctrine of the Fall. And as this is the only Christianity of which they are conscious, they are by it only confirmed in their unbelief. How many of these men might be rescued were a nobler Christianity placed before them!

-were they made aware of the Catholic doctrine of the Fall, which, grounded on and appealing to their inner consciousness, would proclaim to them the noble doctrine of Human Freedom !

We now come to what is, more strictly speaking, theological ground, and the first question on which we shall have to touch, is the idea of Christ's mission and work. For what ends did God send His Only Son into the world ? Both parties would answer, To counteract the effects of the Fall; and hence it is seen that our idea of man's condition by the Fall will determine our idea of Christ's work. On the one hand, Catholicism teaching that the evil of the Fall was the loss of Original Righteousness, and the other, dona supernaturalia, will naturally teach that Christ came to restore these. And as man was only enslaved to sin by reason of their loss, and the consequent weakening of his Freewill, it will follow that with their restoration man will be recovered from sin. In a word, the leading idea of the Catholic Theology is, that Christ came ex injustis justos facere—Christ came to make men righteous. It will not, indeed, follow that this end is actually attained (in this world at least) in individual cases. For man's will, liable to constant deterioration from actual sin, is a necessary factor, and may not co-operate. But still, Perfect Restoration is the leading idea, and, so far as God is concerned, has been provided for. We desire especially to call attention to this doctrine, for it is of the utmost importance in view of the attacks of modern scepticism. It follows from it that the idea of Satisfaction or Sacrifice must, in the Catholic Theology, take a co-ordinate position with other and higher ends for which Christ came. Sacrifice is, indeed, absolutely necessary by reason of man's sin, but it is not the only nor the ultimate end of Christ's mission. It is, as it were, but a necessary and preliminary condition. The end of Christ's mission, as has already been remarked, is the Restoration of Man. This idea may, indeed, be carried much further. It has often struck Catholic theologians, that the blessings conferred by the Incarnation are out of all proportion to the idea of simple restoration. By the Hypostatic Union in Christ, and our union to Him in the Mystical Body, we are more than restored. We are elevated far above Adam in his first estate. Hence, many have been led to connect the Incarnation with some great purpose on the part of God, of which we have but partial knowledge. Some have even gone so far as to maintain that its remedial aspect is but accidental to it; and that even if man had not sinned, God would have been Incarnate. However this may be, it is obvious that, in the Catholic system, the mission of Christ is a work worthy of God. The more it is meditated, the more it rises in magnificence. It not only answers all our anticipations, but gives us higher ideas of God and His Being. In truth, it is to the Incarnation that we owe those lofty conceptions of the Divine Being which are peculiar to Christianity, and before which every heart of man must bow. So soon as the Incarnation is put aside, our ideas of God are lowered; and this will be seen more and more as scepticism advances in its onward path.

1' Alia multa sunt cogitanda in Christi incarnatione præter absolutionem a peccato. S. Aug. De Trin. 13. See S. Thomas Aquinas, Ter. Pars. Quæs. 1, Art. iii.

If we turn now to the Calvinistic system, we shall see the first disastrous result of its doctrine of the Fall in the region of theology. It follows from that doctrine that Christ's mission is not only denuded of its significance, but perverted to something utterly different. Our idea of Christ's mission is our conception of the ends for which Christ came; and, as we have seen in the Catholic system, these ends are conceived as many. The Catholic Theology was not only able to prove, for certain, that Christ came to restore man: it had anticipations of vast and mysterious purposes beyond. But the doctrine of Total Ruin not only eliminates these higher anticipations; it necessitates us to cancel even the idea of Restoration. For if man is utterly ruined, he is incapable of Restoration. That which is only partially injured may be put right-that which is entirely destroyed cannot. There remains, in fact, to Calvinism but one single conception of the end of Christ's mission, and that is the idea of Vicarious Satisfaction. Thus the whole doctrine is narrowed and perverted, and, what is worse, made quite unworthy of Almighty God. The Incarnation thus conceived presents to us God the Father stern and implacable. Shrouded in the awful attributes of His Eternal Justice, He is unmoved by the Godlike feelings of Beneficence and Love. In willing the Incarnation of the Eternal Son, He has not in view the

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