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the sacred books had been weeded out in the lump, and the purifying process had been vigorously applied to the remainder, the volume would be so thin and meagre that it might be readily bound up with a Socinian comment; and thus with the bane would go forth the antidote; and Homilies, Articles, and all other fanaticism, perish in their strongest holds. But perhaps our readers might like to see a sample of those passages in the Gospels which "have no relalation whatsoever to the opinions or the practice of Christians at the present day." Dr. Maltby's fifth sermon is dedicated to the illustration of one of these passages. "Among these," he says, may be remarked the words of the text "-namely, Matt. xix. 23, 24, where our Lord pointed out to his disciples how difficult it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Against this passage Dr. Maltby has a double complaint: not only that it ranks in that general class of passages above mentioned, which have no relation whatever to the opinions or the practice of the present day, but that it is in the worst section of that class for whereas some such passages, though obsolete, are to be understood and distinguished," others "may and have occasioned mistakes, and those of a serious kind; " and this is one of this unfortunate category. And as he has a double complaint against the passage, so he has also a double limitation of its meaning: for, first, he is not sure that the salvation spoken of refers to a future state, but only to the supposed secular advantages which the Jews believed would be bestowed under a temporal Messiah. Our Lord, if we rightly understand Dr. Maltby's argument, did not mean that it was spiritually difficult for a rich man to arrive at everlasting blessedness; but only that he was not likely to forego his present acquisitions for a mere chance of political "salvation" from the Roman yoke, and a splendid lot in the earthly kingdom of the Messiah. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 357.
What a jejune exposition is this, to say the least, of those solemn words, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God!" It is as frigid as if one were to take some fearful denunciation of Holy Writ, or of the primitive Fathers, or the writers of our own Church, against unfaithful or heretical or worldly-minded bishops, and to say that it did not mean that their souls would be in danger of hell-fire, but only that their mitre might chance to be stolen, or their carriage break down in Palace Yard. But even if we were to admit this jejune comment, the matter would come virtually to the same issue, that the love of riches often prevented persons embracing the Gospel; and as this was the only way to the kingdom of God, in the higher acceptation of that expression, it follows, that riches thus abused were a bar to final salvation,
But supposing, says Dr. Maltby, that the passage relates to final salvation, still it was limited to the Apostolic age.
"We are fully justified, I trust, in maintaining, that the expressions of the text apply to the circumstances of the Gospel at that particular period; and that
no conclusion can be drawn from them, unfavourable to any order or condition of men in the present age." p. 100.
"When the new religion had not been generally received, and when it forbade prevailed among the Jews, it must have those indulgencies and that pride, which
been more difficult for a rich man to perform the conditions upon which future happiness is promised, than in a better the Gospel were more clearly understood state of things, when the doctrines of and its authority more generally admitted. A Jew, or a Gentile, had weaker restraints upon his passions, fewer incitements to
humility and benevolence, than every man
must now have, if he adopts and reveres Christianity as a rule of life. And, therefore, a rich man has now more ample means for future blessedness, and stronger the Jews, by whom Christ was rejected; preservatives against future misery, than or the Gentiles, to whom he was unknown." pp. 97, 98.
"Entire devotion to the service of Jesus Christ at that time [Dr. Maltby's own Italics] demanded not less than a renunciation of the world, its possessions
and its pleasures; and the perfection of Christ's followers exacted the performance of duties, whose hardships and whose disrepute could only be characterized by the office, which was imposed upon the meanest and most flagitious criminals; namely, to bear their own cross to the place of punishment." p. 92.
Who will say, that, after this, Dr. Maltby ought not to lift his mitred front in courts and parliaments? It is not his to harrow up the minds of polished auditors, like that plebeian preacher Massillon, who was always declaiming on the danger of worldly honours. No; be it his to soothe the sensitive bosom, by shewing what a lack of good criticism is shewn in the ten thousand discourses which have been preached on the snares of riches and the difficulty of selfdenial; and how utterly preposterous it must be to sign either infants or adults with the sign of the cross, since nothing of the kind applies to any body now-a-days; since renunciation of the world," with its pomps and vanities, was only a temporary obligation; and taking up our cross and following Christ an obsolete notion, derived from some custom which existed “at that time," the time of the early church, but connected with no point, either of faith or practice, that applies to us who live in these halcyon days of modern Christianity. It is true, admits Dr. Maltby, that when the new religion had not been generally received, and when it forbade those indulgences and that pride which prevailed among the Jews," there might have been some difficulty "in performing the conditions upon which future happiness is promised:" but this was only a temporary impediment; there is little or no danger of indulgence" or pride" in this enlightened age; the kingdom of heaven no longer requires violence; the strait gate and narrow way are now conveniently widened; we live under a better state of things;" temptations are fewer, and the seeds of virtue more prolific; the case of the great ones of the earth, in particular, is greatly altered
for the better; so that, says our author," the language which our Lord held about his rich contemporaries must not be literally applied to the case of rich believers in suc ceeding times." Oh no; let them not be alarmed by such rigid notions -mention not hell to ears polite-tell them that the prayer of Agur is superseded, just like the story of the young man whose case gave rise to Dr. Maltby's remarks, as it was only written for those who had "weaker restraints upon their passions, and fewer incitements to humility and benevolence," than rich men in the nineteenth century. We are not exaggerating; for Dr. Maltby does literally quote such passages as Luke vi. 24, 25, and James v. 1, to shew that they apply not to the case of rich men now; and that such an application of them arises from "the error of making an allusion or admonition general, which in reality is particular; and of applying, to all persons and to all ages, remarks, which were called forth by the conduct of individuals and the circumstances of that one age." Such an application, says our author, the case of the rich man in every age would be unsuitable to the goodness of God, and highly injurious to our fellow-creatures." why so? Is it not Scriptural, and we might add rational, doctrine, that to whom much is given of them much will be required, and their stewardship thus become the more responsible; that riches bring with them " temptation and a snare;" and that, though the kingdom of heaven is not shut to one class of men more than to another, there is still especial need to “charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God?" The whole spirit of the passage on which Dr. Maltby remarks, as well as of the other passages which he alludes to, especially those which relate to self-denial and " taking up our cross," is as much applicable now as it was when they were first
uttered. This, however, our author denies. Thus, for example, in his twenty-second sermon, preached before the University of Cambridge, on our Lord's declaration, "whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple," he plainly tells us that in the present happy age there is no cross to bear.—
"Since it is no longer discreditable to profess our faith in Christ, we cannot incur the hazard of opposing or offending our nearest and dearest connexions. A
man no longer encounters foes among his own household; he is not obliged to renounce the regard and affection of his family, because he believes in Christ; and therefore the warning, which our Lord found it necessary to give in those days, and in that country, has no meaning, if applied literally to our own." pp. 456, 457. Now, we rejoice, and feel grateful to God, that legal persecution for the name of Christ has long ceased; but most incorrect is it to say that therefore the text (Luke xiv. 25—27) and all similar passages are obsolete, and that there is never any danger of
opposing or offending our nearest and dearest connexions" by such an honest profession of our faith in Christ as we are pledged to in our baptismal covenant. Dr. Maltby, notwithstanding his respectable rank and station in the Christian church, can have had little practical acquaintance with the details of pastoral advising, if he has not met with many cases which directly oppose his assertion. Instances are frequentwe could ourselves adduce manyof young persons, often young women, who have been reduced to the very difficulty which Dr. Maltby thinks now unknown, of choosing between Christ on the one hand, and their dearest earthly relationships on the other. Numerous papers have appeared in our own volumes on the line of conduct due in such extremely painful and perplexing circumstances. Does Dr. Maltby know no families in which persecution is carried to the utmost extent of every legal domestic infliction of displeasure, reproach, and injury, for no greater crime than because some of
their members have by the grace of God been led to devote themselves, as pilgrims and strangers upon earth" (another exploded text), to the glory of Him who redeemed them by his blood? If he does not, we could tell him of many such : we could tell him of some in which
the persecuting parties themselves have at length, being won by the meekness and exemplary conduct of the objects of their unjust displeasure, been led themselves to embrace the faith which once they sought to destroy; and of others, in which the loss of worldly fortune and expulsion from a beloved roof have been threatened, and the threat executed, because the sufferers durst not break the plain letter and spirit of their baptismal vows, and live the slaves of a sinful world, instead of being the servants of God. We see nothing in the facts which daily press around us to lead us to believe, with Dr. Maltby, that the declaration that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution," was confined to the primitive age. Christ, and all who desire to be the true disciples of Christ, are persecuted, so far as the laws and usages of society allow, as much now as they were in the days of Diocletian. Look at our marts of business, our walks of literature, our houses of parliament, and even our academical bowers, and say in which of them the humbling doctrines of the Gospel, and the holy life and heavenlymindedness which it enjoins, are the popular themes of favour. How many of our daily and weekly newspapers, and monthly and quarterly periodical publications, and other popular works, evince that we are a nation among whom "to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified," is the general acclamation? Has persecution ceased, when religious persons in both our houses of parliament tell us they dare not urge a scriptural motive, or go beyond a distant frigid allusion to sacred topics, on subjects of the most serious national interest, without the most
unequivocal marks of distaste, and scarcely suppressed contempt? Has persecution ceased, when a prelate, whose learning and powerful intellect, and straight-forward manly conduct, and exemplary devotion to the duties of his high office, we might have supposed would have protected him from gratuitous reproach, cannot stand up as becomes a Christian and a bishop, in a matter involving the dearest interests of his country and the honour of God, without being sneered at as a favourer of sanctimonious cant and puritanical precision? If Dr. Maltby finds hist pastoral experience at Buckden corroborate his views, we rejoice at his living in such a Goshen ; from which may he never be torn by "adverse fate," for we cannot promise him such another village from Cornwall to Berwick-upon-Tweed. In all others, the old-fashioned descriptions and denunciations of Scripture still apply, and our puritanical Prayer-book is still apposite.
We were curious to discover what is really Dr. Maltby's view of Christian theology; and we found it defined as follows, in another of his Cambridge University sermons.—
"When I speak of theology, suppose not that I mean to recommend only the jejuneness of morality, or the asperities of polemics; the dulness of scholastic jargon, or the refinements of metaphysical subtlety. I recommend that enlightened object of an ingenious mind, a research into the evidences of natural and revealed Religion, a deep and critical insight into the history and import of the sacred text -an acquaintance with Jewish and Christian antiquities, as well as the regular series of Ecclesiastical History. In these pursuits the student, whether his inclination be directed to fact or argument; to poetry or criticism; will not only gain a general knowledge of what it is indispensably necessary for him to know, but he will also find ample employment in that course of reading to which his mind has been more peculiarly directed." pp. 116, 117.
Now we would ask, in all fairness, in which part of this classed catalogue Dr. Maltby places the doctrines of Christianity; say, for example, those doctrines to which the larger part of the Thirty-nine Articles are
devoted? Being neither" morality," nor" evidences," nor "criticism," nor" history," the only heads which they can be referred to are the “asperities of polemics," "scholastic jargon," and "metaphysical subtlety." And is this the way in which a divine of the Church of England, and who, the newspapers say, may some time be a bishop, speaks of that glorious code of Divine truth which God has revealed for the salvation of a fallen world? Is it thus that Dr. Maltby ventures to blot out from his definition of "theology," the fall and guilt of man, the atonement and Divinity of Christ, the Godhead and operations of the Holy Ghost, and all the other articles of belief which are properly included in that term? If he does not mean to blot them out, then they must come under the opprobrious epithets above stated; an alternative that does not mend the matter.
But it may be said that we are captious; that it cannot be that the Reverend author could mean what the passage nakedly considered implies. Now we have sought through the whole volume for any one sentence that presents such an unequivocal elucidation of his meaning as would justify us in retracting what we have written. The commencement of the following passage, in the sixteenth sermon, struck us as an exception; but observe how adroitly it glances off towards the conclusion.
"What then, it may be said, are we to neglect the doctrines contained in St. the inestimable truths of redemption; and Paul's Epistles? Are we to overlook seek only to extract from him maxims of morality, such as may be gathered from the pages even of an heathen philosopher? By no means; we reply. Whatsoever doctrines connected with revelation, are
clearly [Dr. Maltby's own italics] discoverable in the writings of St. Paul, we receive with reverence and with faith as
the will of God. But let us beware how we misunderstand the meaning of a writer, whose meaning, from so many causes, may be misunderstood. Let us discriminate, when he is addressing his adversaries as a logician, and when he unequivocally Let us consider that the time in which expresses his own personal conviction. he lived, rendered some questions even of
Now we did think, as we began to read this passage, that for once "the inestimable truths of redemption" were about to find an advocate in the Reverend author; but is it so? Is not the whole scope of the passage to shew that these "inestimable truths" are not clearly discoverable in the writings of St. Paul;" that we misunderstand his meaning in deriving such dogmata from his Epistles; that he often speaks" as a logician," not as an honest man expressing his own conviction?" And, if none of these solutions will suffice to get over the "clearness "of a sturdy text, why then, once more the old single string, the subject is obsolete! some questions even of vital importance -including, it would seem, the inestimable truths of redemption"
cease to be any longer so, except as matters of record!" And thus ends the whole matter. It cannot be, that any cabinet, Whig or Tory, could ever think of making the writer of these passages a bishop. Woe to the diocese, woe to the church and the country, in which such doctrine should find favour should not be repelled, with the honest warmth of Christian reprobation !
Dr. Maltby tells us, a few pages further on, in the same academical sermon (p. 317), that "attempts are continually making to lessen considerably, if not altogether to depreciate, the importance or the necessity of good works." The
author is alluding to certain teachers who" draw off the attention from matters of practical necessity" to tenets destitute of that prime virtue-such, we presume, as those above specified, including the mass of doctrines which together constitute "the inestimable truths of redemption." We have heard that there are many
of these teachers at Cambridge; and among others the venerable Mr. Simeon and Professor Farish, against whom, doubtless, it seriously behoved Dr. Maltby to warn his younger auditors. But it is somewhat perplexing that these all-faith-and-no-works people should be such exemplary doers, and that doctrines not practical should lead to such excellent practices. Yet so it is; and being righteous over-much is the current reproach of those who surely ought, in consistency, to be righteous not at all. The same charge was made in Hooker's days, as it had been long before in St. Paul's; and Hooker, following that Apostle-not knowing that his Epistles were obsolete could give no better reply than that he acknowledged "the dutiful necessity" of good works, while their "meritorious dignity," of which Dr. Maltby says so much, he " utterly renounced." Our author may think Hooker's solution no better than that of the Article which teaches that good works " necessarily" spring out of true faith; so that in preaching that faith is requisite to justification, and that good works have no part in our justification, "practical" holiness-or, to use. our author's word, "virtue "—is secured not less, indeed infinitely better, than if we were to be saved by making ourselves "worthy" of God's favour. Worthy of God's favour! We tremble as we write the words; for who, then, shall be saved? As to the charge which Dr. Maltby urges, that "attempts are continually making to depreciate the importance or the necessity of good works," we meet it with a direct negative. What some solitary wild Antinomian may happen to say or do, we know not; but in the only aspect which could render the remark relevant in St. Mary's, Cambridge, we deny the fact. Is it to detract from the importance or necessity of good works, that the minister of Christ endeavours to place faith and works in their Scriptural positions; the one as the tree, the other