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good will leave the latter without any reparation at all, solely in order to spare the former those sufferings he so richly deserves. Let the dogma of Eternal Punishment be called, as loudly as possible, cruel and harsh ; let it be said that so tremendous a doom is irreconcileable with Divino Mercy: we will reply, that far less could the absence of such a punishment be with the Divine Justice or with the good order of the universe : we will say that the world would be handed over to chance, that a large portion of its events would display the most revolting injustice, if there were not a terribly-avenging God who awaits the guilty beyond the grave, to demand from him an account of his perversity during his wanderings on this earth.'
What orthodox teacher has ever persisted in the denial of the Eternity of Punishment ? Anabaptists have denied it-yes ; but they were fain to overthrow society at large. Socinians deny it; but then, they also deny the Divinity of our Lord. Whiston denied it; but then, Whiston was an Arian, and (so far consistently enough) he denied at the same time the eternity of future happiness—a thought which, as the Poet Young justly says, would 'unparadise the realms of light' themselves. Sir J. Stephen assailed it; but Mr. Hopkins has shown the laxity and want of correct views on the Incarnation which underlie his generous sympathies. Mr. Maurice seems to impugn it; but is Mr. Maurice thoroughly trustworthy on the doctrine of The Atonement ? Bishop Colenso disbelieves it; but then, who can say at what point in the path of disbelief Bishop Colenso may ultimately pause? Far be it from us to seek merely to point an argument by the introduction of an unpopular name; but is there, in all seriousness we would ask.it—is there no warning in the circumstance that Dr. Colenso's downward career took its commencement from this starting-point ? And if
any still think (as it has been said to us by one who had much claim to respectful sympathy—as it has been said too by others, both before and since) — Surely God is as good as I
am ; and I would have everybody saved if I could :' it must be answered that the whole force of such considerations turns upon the meaning that is to be attached to the word good. We too often mean by it easy-going, kindly-tempered, but without any real hatred of sin as it exists about us, or, alas! within uswithout any keen sense of what it is in the sight of God. * Perhaps,' says Bishop Butler, ‘Divine goodness—with which, if · I mistake not, we make very free in our speculations—may not
1 That Commentary (in which Bishop Colenso denies the eternity of punishment) was written long before— at a time when I had no idea of ever holding my present views' ('Colenso on the Pentateuch,' Part I. p. 148). Most fully can we believe this assertion. No man knows where such denials may lead him. A very distinguished Presbyterian minister told us that attributed a good deal of the tendency to Universalism, in a particular part of the country, to the influence of a layman who took deep interest in religious questions. He added that this layman was believed to have lately insinuated doubts as to the Personality of the Holy Spirit !
be a bare single disposition to produce happiness, but a disposition to make the good, the faithful, the honest man happy.' Until we can more nearly see things as God sees them, we must be pronounced no sufficient judges of the case. His mercies and His judgments are alike unsearchable. May we learn aright to fear the one, and to obtain through Christ the other for evermore!
Some sixteen years ago, the writer was a bystander, while a conversation bearing upon the subject was carried on between some men well fitted to sustain such a discussion.
The question at issue was not the truth of the Church's doctrine—for on that all were agreed—but the wisdom and propriety of having some preacher who should make it his special province to bring forward in due season, more prominently than was usually done, 'the terror of the Lord.' * One, since mysteriously removed by illness from a sphere of much usefulness, said, Yes, perhaps it might be well if some one would make it his business to preach the severer side of truth; but he ought to be a very humble man.'
We cannot give to these words the effect produced upon the hearers by the quiet thoughtfulness of the speaker's tone of voice, still less the impression caused by the consciousness that his character gave him a peculiar right to utter such a strain of warning. But that warning, in itself, seems to us well worth repeating Strange as it may seem, it is no less true than strange, that the office of proclaiming terrible verities to one's fellow-creatures does most signally expose the preacher to the temptation of spiritual pride. How this comes about it is not very needful to inquire. Whether there lurk within the teacher's breast some pharisaic thought that he is not as other men are, that his very denunciations secure him from being a castaway, or in whatever other way Satan may be enabled to lead such a man astray, the fact is evidenced by our experience in daily life, and by the evidence of Church History. It is the brave, the fervid, but, alas! the over-denunciatory Tertullian, who becomes a Montanist and severs himself from Christ's Church. It is the eager condemner of all heresy, Nestorius, who himself becomes heretical, and teaches a divided Christ. For our own sakes, as well as for the truth's sake, we have the deepest need to be watchful, and to remember that the proclamation of such terrors does entail upon those who announce them the culture of a special humility.
But even such considerations, all-important as they are, may be pressed beyond their due limits. In the first place, we must take care that we do not use them as instruments of self-deceit, and persuade ourselves that we are withholding the sterner elements of truth from a sense of our own unworthiness; while, in reality, our silence proceeds from cowardice, from love of popularity, or from an evil heart of unbelief. If we think that we are not pure enough, not humble enough, to handle themes so full of awe, it must be remembered that we are, of ourselves, equally unfit to speak of the glories of heaven and the redeeming love of God. But whatever authority we have to teach the one, that same authority urges us, in its due place, to announce the other likewise. And if, in an age but too prone to an excessive sentimentalism, they who utter such unwelcome truths be stigmatized as hard of heart and pitiless, it may well be asked whether it is the Christian teacher's mission to please men, and whether the bestowal of such gratification be a necessary mark of the true servants of Christ?
And yet, indeed, there is a sense in which, perhaps, a higher praise than any upon earth may be in store for those who fearlessly attempt to declare, so far as in them lies, the whole counsel of God.
Among the many millions of souls who have departed this life in the faith and fear of Christ, there must be numbers who owe their first serious thoughts, under God, to the agency of a wholesome terror of the Divine Judgments. Few, it has been said, and, we believe, with perfect truth—few have fallen into hell who ever thought much about hell. It is the obstinate aversion to that which contravenes our own weak views of sinit is the determination to explain away the plainest and most emphatic words, that constitute men's real danger. And if by plain and simple enforcement of Christ's words we should be permitted to rouse any minds to a sense of their peril, and to lead them to seek for salyation through Christ; if thus we should save a soul from death, and, by God's mercy, meet that spirit in the world unseen, what triumph of this earth could bear the most distant comparison with such a victory over sin and Satan ?—what gratitude for any kindness here below could be like the gratitude of that soul, towards one who had been a partial instrument in winning for it its eternal bliss ?
Need we add, that while the circumstances of our time appear to call for contributions of this nature to our theological literature, we must earnestly endeavour, on this as on all other topics, to preserve the proportion of the faith '? Such an essay as the reader has now been studying must, in the very nature of things, be somewhat one-sided. Of necessity, it speaks much of God's justice, and but little of His mercy. Yet, far be it from us to forget that in His works and, much more, in His Word, mercy occupies by much the larger space, and ever rejoiceth against judgment. Far be it from us to place fear as a motive on the
same level with holy hope, much less with holy love. Enough there is in the Gospel to bid the inost abandoned sinner not to despair : “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.' And although it is not for us to draw a line which is known to the Divine Omniscience only; yet, it seems probable that those alone will be eternally lost who have practically said to their Maker, I will have none of you.' Assuredly, any who suffer such loss and woe will have drawn it on themselves by their own deliberate act.
And if these pages should fall into the hands of any one who may be still in doubt, we would beg that such an one would accept from us the warning of a parting word, although (like most of what has gone before) it has already been partially spoken by other tongues. In the course of some fifty years-probably at a very much earlier date—both writer and reader must be in a position that will rend asunder for them the veil which at present hides the world unseen. Then will doubt be resolved into certainty, and mysteries, at present but faintly intelligible, become clear alike to him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.' We have seen in how many cases a doubt—which, happily, dared not expand itself into denial—was all that even those who were most interested in disbelieving the existence of hell could attain unto. Well were it for such sceptics to act at least upon the safer side-to try so to order their lives as if what they so shrink from believing may prove true. May He, the Merciful, who has revealed this truth, make up
for all reticence on the part of those who are in duty bound to repeat His warnings-for all faults in manner on the part of those who do assert it because He has said it! What better thing can such teachers wish for themselves and for those who listen to their voice, than that both may together be delivered from that terrible and hopeless doom? Spare Thy people, whom · Thou hast redeemed by Thy precious Blood, and be not angry ' with us for ever. By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation; ' by Thy Cross and Passion ; by all that Thou hast wrought and suffered for us in Thy Life and Death, and by Thine Intercession at the right hand; from Thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation, Good Lord, deliver us !''
Art. IX.- The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua critically
examined. By the Right Rev. JOHN WILLIAM COLENSO, D.D., Bishop of Natal. Part II. London: Longman, Green,
Longman, Roberts, and Green. 1863. It is amusing to observe how pertinaciously the Bishop of Natal adheres to the Latitudinarian party in the Church, and how unscrupulously they throw him overboard. He avows his entire sympathy with them, but they will have nothing to do with him ; he mixes himself up with Essays and Reviews, but the Essayists and Reviewers maintain a profound silence; he makes several bids for Mr. Maurice's support, but Mr. Maurice can see a line of demarcation between himself and the author of the Critical Examination of the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua,' which Dr. Colenso cannot recognise; and his declararation of open war with the authors of the papers in the volume entitled “Aids to Faith' entirely fails to elicit any kind of approval from the sympathizers with the views which that volume attacks. He proclaims aloud his indignation at the heavy losses actually sustained by Mr. Heath by his loss of preferment and the means of living in the sacred cause of freedom of thought, and calculates the probable sum in which Messrs. Wilson and Williams will be mulcted if their appeal to the Privy Council is unsuccessful ; but these gentlemen seem in no hurry to identify their cause with his. The principle of freehandling seems to stand aghast at its own precipitate development; and it appears that people who have gone along with the stream hitherto will rather incur the charge of inconsistency and want of logic, than at once proceed to make sacrifice of the faith in which they have been educated from their childhood. We really cannot find that any person has ventured to come forward and endorse the statements of either of the volumes which have been published by Dr. Colenso. We do not observe that, in the list of the current publications of the day, there are any pleas put out in his defence, any attempt to throw a veil over his assertions, or to institute a half-apology by showing that at least there is some truth involved in his allegations. He is assailed in the Magazines and Reviews with a perfect hailstorm of missiles, and no one appears to utter a syllable in his defence, except the writers in the Unitarian, the semi-infidel, and sceptical periodicals. These last, we suppose, contain the ' hearty welcome and encouragement' which the author says his book has met with from many influential quarters,' and for