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effect—that the Lord Jesus Christ made a declaration to the righteous, that their faith and repentance were accepted through the merits of that atoning sacrifice which he had just offered up; and to the wicked, that through their impenitence their doom was irrevocably sealed ? But were there any righteous—seeing that the announcement, be it what it might, seems to have been confined to those who sometime were disobedient when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah'? In reply, we ask, does not the expression toTÈ, "once upon a time,' imply that they had ceased to be disobedient? Is it to be believed that in the whole world before the flood there was not a single faithful servant of Jehovah except the eight persons who were saved in the ark? There is charity in the thought, nor is there any good reason to doubt, that there might be many who had not corrupted their ways. They had no confidence, it is true, in the coming deluge; and they suffered the penalty of their unbelief. Or it may have happened that many who had resisted the preaching of Noah changed their minds when they saw the approach of the threatened judgment, and were rescued, if not from temporal death, yet from everlasting destruction. Still these are points which, as the Scripture has not explained them, admit only of conjecture. It does not become us to be wise above what is written.
It would seem, from what is said in the Journal of Sacred Literature, that the view thus put forward resembles, in some degree, that of the late Bishop Horsley. It is matter of regret to the writer that he has not the dissertation of that learned divine at hand. But he has not consciously allowed himself to be swayed by any human authority. It has been his endeavour to follow the leading of the Apostle; and if he has been at all successful in ascertaining his meaning, the opinions both of Dr. Brown and of the contributor of the article in a late number of the Journal of Sacred Literature must fall to the ground. Indeed it seems impossible to uphold them on any fair principle of exegesis, and therefore impossible to uphold them at all.
PROFESSOR MÜLLER AND THE DOCTRINE OF SIN.'
SIR,-Although Dr. Müller's great work was noticed in the April number of the Journal, there are a few particulars I should wish to bring before your readers, not contained in that paper. I consider it one of the most important contributions which have been made of late years to the science of theology, either at home or abroad. In Germany it has enjoyed a very wide circulation; it has established the claims of its already well known author to be considered one of the most genial writers of the day; and an extensive study of it, even in its English dress, cannot fail both to deepen and quicken the stream of theological opinion in our own land.
Within the limits of a letter it is not possible for me to offer anything like a complete analysis of these volumes, or to enlarge upon those conclusions to which their author is led in the course of his profound, if sometimes perhaps too lengthened, investigations; and I conceive
that I shall best promote the profit of your readers if I make one or two remarks upon the position which Professor Müller occupies in the strangely varied theological circles of his country, upon the objects which he has in view in this particular work, and upon the results which might be expected to flow from its engaging the attention of our own theologians at home. Müller is a disciple of Neander. In the preface to the first edition of this work he speaks of him as “his beloved and honoured teacher Neander ;' and to the time when he sat at the feet of that truly Christian and nobleminded instructor he traces the formation of those views and impulses which led to most of the investigations whose results, in one form or another, he has since given to the world. Imbued thus, at an early period of life, with the principles of one who exercised a power over his students hardly ever equalled in the academical chair, Müller occupies a kind of midway position between that strict orthodoxy upon the one hand, whuse most distinguished representative is to be found in Hengstenberg, and those multiplied forms of heterodoxy, upon the other, whose representatives are to be found in that ' legion’ of German teachers who prefer the untried to the tried, and pursue the startling rather than the true. He belongs to the same class to which, disregarding some slight differences by which they may be separated from one another, we should assign Nitzsch, and Twesten, and Tholuck, and Dorner, and Lücke, and Ullman, and Harlesz; in short almost all in whose learning the inquiring spirit of the present generation may have confidence, and to the deep reality of whose Christian convictions humble piety can look in hope. Profoundly penetrated by the conviction that Christianity is from God, receiving the Scriptures as a revelation of his will, and looking
to the gospel as the leavening principle of the world, it is the main effort of these celebrated teachers so to bring it into connection with the spirit of man that the answer in the breast' may be its chiefest evidence; that it may not only be a revelation to him, but may become a revelation in him, and that thus it may assume its highest and noblest form not merely of a doctrine but a life.
I will not say that in all respects I am prepared to adopt their conclusions. In particular it is impossible not to feel that the subjectivity of their system endangers the simplicity with which we are to receive the Bible as a perfect revelation of the will of God, unsettles our notions of inspiration, and lies at the bottom of much of the nonsense now uttered in our own country with regard to changing the form of our doctrines while we yet preserve their substance. In the main, however, the efforts of the class to which we refer seem more calculated than those of any other to meet the peculiar conditions and to heal the peculiar wounds of Germany. Around this band most of the interest, if not all the violence, of the struggle centres. We feel that they will fail in many respects, or rather we anticipate that, before they attain that final triuinph which we earnestly trust is in store for them, they will be led beyond their present standing point, and that their theology will be of a still more positive and dogmatic character than it is at present. Christianity to be effective must be dogmatic, just because it cannot separate itself from the past without ceasing to exist. This, however, has to be yet in some degree learned by the theologians of Germany; it can only be learned effectually in the school of experience; and of this we feel assured, that once thoroughly learned there by the parties to whom we refer, they will stand forth before the world the best equipped champions of the faith, the most single-minded as well as the most successful proclaimers of the gospel, that the church of Christ in any part of the world can produce. Professor Julius Müller occupies amongst these men the very
foremost rank. In profoundness of theological view he may probably be surpassed by one or two, but I doubt if he stands second to any in extent of theological and literary attainment, in acquaintance with the philosophical systems of his country, and in that power of subtle analysis which is of such inestimable importance in questions relating either to the mental constitution or the moral condition of man. Add to this a lively feeling of the power of Christian truth, and a vigorous and often eloquent style, and we have an author from whom good service may be calculated on in the cause of Christ.
The object of the work now before us is to present us with a comprehensive treatise on the doctrine of sin, as that doctrine is contained in Scripture and borne witness to in the consciousness of man. It is divided into five books : on the Reality of Sin ; on the Principal Theories for the Explanation of Sin; on the Possibility of Sin (where the whole question of the freedom of man and its relation to the omnipotence and omniscience of God is treated in a very masterly and exhaustive manner); on the Diffusion of Sin; and on the Enhancement of Sin in the Development of the Individual. Each of these books again is divided into various subdivisions, chapters, and sections, so that, notwithstanding the great voluminousness of the work, and the immense variety of questions of which it treats, a degree of order and regularity is preserved which at first we should hardly have thought possible. Within the compass of these volumes, in short, every question connected with the presence of sin in the individual or the race, every dogma regarding it to which either Romanist or Protestant theology has given rise, and every attempt to explain it away which has emanated from the schools of German philosophy, will be found treated in a manner whose fairness is only equalled by its ability. Philosophical acuteness, critical skill, and historical and dogmatical learning, combine with the calm impartiality of the German theologians to raise our admiration and to win our confidence; and were the work nothing more than a highly favourable specimen of a style of writing of which we have few specimens in our native tongue, we should feel disposed cordially to recommend it.
But it is a great deal more. I would recommend it as a work peculiarly needed at the present time. We shall strive in vain to render our theology suitable to the wants of the age by the mere republication of the works of our old divines. Let me recommend the student to read these in the noble folio with its massy boards and ponderous weight, and not in the hot-pressed octavo or the elegant duodecimo, which suits
VOL. V.-NO. IX.
so well the sofa and the easy chair. Let him read them in a form which tells him that they are the works of the past, and which at every page suggests to him the thought of its giants and its well-fought fields. Let him imbibe the spirit of the past, but let him imbibe it in the scenes of the past, and not in those of a fictitious present. On the other hand, however, we shall still more vainly strive to meet the wants of our time by talking much and vaguely about reconstituting our theology. It is on the old doctrines that we must take our stand, which have proved themselves the power of God in time past, and will, I doubt not, prove themselves not less to be so in time to come. view them indeed in relation to our own felt wants; let us see what modern science and modern learning have to say to them; but let us believe that these are to come, not as their masters, but as their servants, not to change, but to defend and to adorn them. Now I conceive that in this work Professor Müller avoids both the extremes to which I have referred. Thoroughly independent in the spirit of his inquiry, he yet loves and venerates the spirit of the past, acknowledges its truthfulness, and feels its power. At the same time he lives in the present, knows its opinions, tests its modes of thought, receives what it can give that is valuable, and judges soundly in regard to many of its pretensions. This is the spirit which I wish to see in our theology, and therefore it is especially that I cannot but welcome the writings of that large number of German theologians of whom Müller is not the least distinguished.
I have only at present to observe further, in regard to this work, that it is eminently practical, and that the study of it is in no small degree calculated to establish the gospel of Christ within us, not as a speculative system, but as the ground and principle of our better being.
I cannot close these remarks without impressing on Mr. Pulsford the importance of studying more carefully the idiom and structure of his native tongue. It is not a very pleasing thing to carp at the execution of what we are quite willing to allow must have been a very laborious and puzzling undertaking. To translate any work well is difficult; to translate one treating of the peculiar modes of thought, and using the peculiar expressions of the German schools of speculative theology is pre-eminently so. I am disposed therefore to make much allowance for Mr. Pulsford. But there is very much in his translation to amend. Mistakes indeed, such as rendering Collegien' by colleges instead of lectures, and translating der sinnlichen Natur' (p. 75 of the translation) as a genitive depending on vernunft, instead of a dative depending on vorgeschrieben, are wholly inexcusable. The latter especially shows that the translator has not understood the passage in the original at all. Some other errors of the same kind, if not perhaps quite so important, have met my eye in occasionally comparing the translation with the original ; but I care not to dwell upon them. I must, however, remind Mr. Pulsford that no residence even of three years in Germany' will be accepted by the public as an excuse for that murdering of the English language which we meet with—at least too often. From his notice, three pages long, prefixed to the second volume, I could pick out a score of expressions which, from whatever quarter they have come, have certainly not come from the pure well of English undefiled. I recommend a very rigid adherence to the resolution there expressed of 'recasting the whole into freer and purer English.'
REMARKS ON THE THERAPEUTÆ, AND ON
ΜATT. XIX. 12. DEAR SIR,—I am sorry that my present reply to J. C. K. must be considered uncourteous by him, as it so happens that I have not misunderstood him. But to do so is to charge him, in his opinion, with wanting
Christian charity,' – for his own words are :—He must have misunderstood me. Upon no other supposition, consistently with Christian charity, can I account for the irrelevancy of his reply.' Either I have misunderstood him, or J. C. K. must do that which is inconsistent with Christian charity ; I have not misunderstood him, therefore, J. C. K. must do that which is inconsistent with Christian charity, and to charge any one with this is to be most uncourteous.
That I am right in coming to the conclusion that he is greatly mistaken in supposing that I have misunderstood him, will appear evident from the following brief remarks.
The very same idea, conveying the same meaning, must surely be understood in the three following sentences : “ They abstained from the society of women, in order to be (as they thought) better fitted for heaven' (Journal, October, p. 198); “Those who, from a desire to further the interests of religion, live in celibacy' (Bloomfield, New Testament); “That they might devote themselves to the proper business of religion’ (Barnes, New Testament). Here we have just the same idea expressed in different words by different writers; it is, consequently, difficult to conceive how any one can suppose that he is not in the least captious in insisting upon a different meaning from the sentences, when it is quite evident that the writers wished to express the very same thought.
Your correspondent begins his letter by stating that it is still true that I so quote from Neander, as to beget an impression that Neander gave to the phrase the interpretation adopted by himself.' Now if I had for a moment imagined that Neander was of my opinion, does J. C. K. suppose that I would not have stated that such was the case ? As I have not done so, his insinuating that I so quote him as to lead one to suppose the contrary, is what I consider most reprehensible; and believing it to be such, I did not notice it in my former reply. The passage was never quoted for such a purpose, as will be evident to any of your readers who will refer to the work containing it.
ile calls in question, however, the probability of my opinion, because it is grounded on the simple fact that the Essenes, or a portion of them, perhaps the greater portion, were accustomed to live a life of J. S. L., July, p. 434.