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"If this happens," he says, "even when we peruse the writings of an earthly thinker, how much more when the mysteries of the kingdom of God were proclaimed in the words of Revelation! Hence the numerous heresies which sprung up in the early age of the Church, among those who had the letter of Scripture in their hands; and hence, likewise, the incapacity of entering into Gospel truth, so often visible in those who have been brought up in error. These things show us the infinite importance of that gradual schooling of the Christian community in the truths of the Gospel, which was completed by the publication and general reception of the Creeds. The mere publication of these documents had been little; but they were not published till every statement which they contain had first been verified,- till the various relations of each had been appreciated,-till all had been shown to stand in reality on scriptural authority,-till the Christian mind had been prepared by the teaching of the Holy Ghost for their reception; and thus a foundation had been laid at once in man's nature and God's truth, on which stands the accumulated weight of our present Christianity.

"And here we must carefully distinguish between two things of a very different nature,—the authority of the early Church as a witness to facts, and as the propounder of doctrines. Our article, by speaking of the Church as not only a witness and keeper of Holy Writ,' but also as 'having authority in controversies of faith,' suggests to us clearly this twofold relation. The early Church was a witness to facts, not only in that she received certain books as inspired, but in that she testified to certain practices. When disputes arose respecting the doctrine of our Lord's Divinity, not only were certain statements to be found in Scripture, but it was an admitted fact that worship had been paid to Him in all Christian congregations. Thus the Fathers who opposed Paul of Samosata at Antioch, witness to the singing of hymns to Christ as a God as an acknowledged custom (Euseb. vii. 31). Again, a second fact, which was witnessed by the Church, was the use of Sacraments. 'At the head of the ancient Christian worship,' says Professor Dorner 3, 'must be placed the Eucharist, in which the congregation celebrates its atonement with God in Christ, the Mediator between God and mankind; and in the perpetual celebration of this feast is seen the first proof of the belief of Christendom in Christ's Divinity.' 'The second proof,' he adds, is the practice of Holy Baptism.' A third fact of the same nature, is the existence of those early Creeds, to which the Church required men to give their assent in baptism. For though less detailed than was subsequently required, they all witness a belief in our Lord's Divinity. A fourth thing is the existence of Doxologies, in which glory was wont to be assigned to Him, in conjunction with the Father and the Holy Ghost. A fifth is the setting apart of Holy Seasons in commemoration of His Birth, Death, and Resurrection. A sixth is the use of Emblems, by which the import of His Passion was impressed

8 Dorner's "Lehre von der Person Christi," chap. i. vol. i. p. 274: a work of which great use has been made in the present chapter.-Author's Note.

upon the mind. Here are six several particulars, independently of the preservation of the Holy Scriptures, in which the early Church witnessed to facts of great importance in the determination of our Lord's cha


"But, independently of her historical testimony, she possessed an authority in respect to the conclusions to which these facts conducted. That not only are these three persons in One God, but that the Son is 'very God of very God, of one substance with the Father,'—the Church, when stating this at Nice, was discharging a different function from that which she fulfilled when witnessing to the facts which have been previously noticed. In the one case she was only doing, what, in his degree, had been performed by the heathen Pliny, when he related that the Christians sang hymns to Christ as a God. In the other she was certainly exercising some authority in controversies of faith.' In the former case, her claim to respect is to be tested by the ordinary rules of evidence. But what is it in the latter? It stands on the validity of that promise, which assures us that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her, and which assumes therefore, that the Body of Christ will never be deserted by that guiding Spirit, which is as necesary for truth as for obedience.

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"In the Apostles there was that original communication of all truth, which was given once for all for the instruction of mankind. The subsequent direction of God's Spirit was for the purpose only of interpreting what had already been delivered. Thus was it always regarded in ancient times; and, unless thus restrained, the Spirit's guidance might be a warrant for Neology on one side, or Mahometanism on the other. Whereas, the Christian covenant was from the first understood to be God's final dispensation with man.

"The Church's authority in controversies of faith, requires therefore, as its constant counterpoise, the paramount authority of Holy Writ. To adjust such varying claims may in some cases be difficult. But no such difficulty displayed itself in that early age, in which the system of her belief was embodied in the Creeds. For since no division as yet impaired her unity, the promise of Christ's presence was with her in its fulness, and the weight of her decision was without abatement. Had her interpretation of the fundamentals of the Gospel been erroneous, how hat Christ's promise in her favour been fulfilled? This circumstance invests her judgment on these momentous subjects with an importance superadded to that which the fact of her testimony naturally commands. There are those, indeed, who seem as if they would be glad to divest themselves of the advantage of such decisions. They would rather fall back on the unreflecting simplicity of that early faith, which rested only on the single facts of the Gospel. But this is to be ignorant, that the gradual expansion of Christian doctrines was only the growth of the religious mind, as, under the moulding power of the Holy Ghost, it compared the individual truths with which it had been entrusted... In the earnest obedience of the early age, when the warmth of love dispensed with the maturity of knowledge, there was a

moment indeed, when the outward growth of the Church scarce left time to embody what was believed in abstract formularies. But this infant security depended either on the personal guidance of the inspired Apostles, or on the witness of men, to whom, as to St. Ignatius, long habits of intercourse with the first leaders, had given such confidence respecting their decisions, both in faith and in practice, that a reference to the general principles of the Church's existence was not yet required. And those who seek to regain it by throwing away what was earned by the religious impulse then given to the age, do but restore the imbecility of childhood without its innocence."―pp. 123–129.


How little do those, who think lightly of the value of the Catholic Creeds, and the decisions of those early ages, perceive the force of this pointed truth! It will easily be supposed, from the tenor of the Archdeacon's doctrine in this passage, how firmly he recognises that providential government, which the Great Head of the Church has provided for His people" in the decisions of those general synods, "which carry with them all the weight, whether of testimony or authority, which belongs to the body of Christ."-p. 190.

It is impossible, within the space we must prescribe to ourselves, to extract many other specimens of this masterly treatise; nor would it otherwise be satisfactory to exhibit one link in a chain of well-sustained and closely-connected argument. But we will mention as one excellence, which will strike the reader, or rather, we should perhaps say, the student of this work, the brief and forcible way in which objections, or heretical counter-statements, are disposed of. For instance :

"It has sometimes been asked, Why our Lord's Atonement is not inserted in the Creed in such express words as in His Incarnation. The reason is, that our Lord's Atonement may be admitted in words, though those who use them attach no Christian sense to the doctrine: whereas, if the doctrine of our Lord's Incarnation is once truly accepted, His mediation follows as its necessary result."-p. 218.

"Our Lord's offering of Himself on behalf of man was the true sacrifice, which all the sacrifices of the ancient law served to introduce. Not that our Lord's offering was built upon them; that it pleased God merely to give His sanction to an ancient usage, and to hallow it by the sacrifice of Christ. What happened was exactly the reverse; the offerings of the law were built upon the offering of Christ; they were the type of a future reality, which cast its shadow beforehand on the Jewish nation." -p. 230.

"The custom of putting inward acts of faith and love in place of those external means, whereby Christ vouchsafes to join men to His manhood, is in reality to make these the channel of mediation instead of Him; it is to set up idols in our hearts, and thank them for our deliverance from the house of bondage."—p. 335.

"Those Christian writers, who reject the sacramental system of the Church, are led to speak of 'the Law and Levitical arrangement' as 'introduced in God's anger,' (Bunsen's Kirche der Zukunft, p. 77,) as though it were a diminution of that means of intercourse with God, which men before possessed. Since the sacramental system is the complete and full expression of that presence of an Incarnate Mediator, of which the Levitical scheme was the preliminary shadow, it is impossible that those who reject the one should do justice to the other."-p. 393.

It is no doubt the corruption, that has grown up in the midst of long outward peace, that men have been brought so much to look upon Christianity as at best a private concern for individuals, without reflecting how the very knowledge of the Saviour whom they worship involves the principle of unity in one mystical Body, as branches of one Vine, "members of His Body, of His flesh, and of His bones." But how much longer can this continue, every man walking in a by-way of his own? "The strange aspect of falling monarchies," says Archdeacon Wilberforce, "the increasing commotions of daily life, show how perishable are the forms of natural society" (p. 546). Can we then hope, that, in the hour of trial, this binding principle, which preserved a Christian Church among the shocks which dissolved the great Empire of old Rome, will once more be found to animate a remnant with such faith, and hope, and love, that even yet among us "the things that cannot be shaken may remain?"

It may perhaps be as well to explain our meaning a little further on one point mentioned in the foregoing pages. When we said, (p. 7,) that "there is no reason to suppose that this Creed was translated from any Greek original," it was not intended to be inferred that the compiler was ignorant of the formularies which were circulated in the East between the times of the Third and Fourth General Councils. He had in all probability seen the Creed of John of Antioch, sent to Cyril, about A.D. 433, and recited by Cyril in his Epistle to that Eastern Patriarch, and adopted by Theodoret (Epist. ad Monachos, c. 3), which bears so close a resemblance to the Definitions of Chalcedon. It is a little remarkable, that, when there are so many Greek copies of this Creed, Waterland should give it only in an imperfect Latin version.

ART. VII.-1. A Bill to Amend and Alter the Act of the Fifth and
Sixth Years of King William the Fourth, as far as relates to
Marriages within certain of the Prohibited Degrees of Affinity.
2. First Report of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the
State and Operation of the Law of Marriage, &c. London:


3. The Report of Her Majesty's Commissioners on the Laws of Marriage, relative to Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister, Examined, in a Letter to Sir Robert Harry Inglis, Bart., M.P. By ALEX. J. BERESFORD HOPE, M.P. London: Ridgway. 4. A Plain Statement of the grounds on which it is contended, that Marriage within the Prohibited Degrees is forbidden in Scripture. By HUGH BENNETT, M.A., Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, and Curate of Lyme Regis, Dorset. London: Rivingtons. 5. Against Profane Dealing with Holy Matrimony, in regard of a Man and his Wife's Sister, &c. By the Rev. JOHN KEBLE, M.A., Vicar of Hursley. Oxford: Parker.

In considering the proposed measure for the repeal of part of the marriage law of England, it is our intention, in the first place, to consider the question in its bearing on the Church of England, and then to proceed to more general topics.

The Bill, then, proposes to repeal the existing law, so far as to permit marriages between a man and his deceased wife's sister or niece; and to enable clergy of the Church of England to celebrate such marriages without fear of being prosecuted in the Ecclesiastical Courts for so doing; and also to authorize the grant of episcopal and other licences for such marriages.

The Bill takes no notice of any statute or law on this subject prior to Lord Lyndhurst's Act, passed in the reign of King William the Fourth, which made all marriages within the prohibited degrees null and void, instead of being merely voidable or capable of being dissolved by process in the Ecclesiastical Courts. It takes no notice of any canons or Ecclesiastical regulations, except indirectly, in exempting clergy who may perform the marriages referred to, from all process in the Ecclesiastical Courts. One might suppose, on reading Mr. Wortley's Bill, that there was nothing to stand in the way of such marriages except Lord Lyndhurst's Bill,

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