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essent stand relations poculation
the hand corthe years
It is out of no wish to disparage the work before us that we have observed upon its omission to suggest proposals for the future. In historical lectures it would have been out of place to have done so; while, in reference to the particular subject of which these Lectures treat, any such suggestions, if attempted, could hardly have proved more than mere idle speculation. It is impossible to blink the fact, that the relations of Church and State in this country at present stand in an unsettled and a transitional condition. To use the words of the Professor, the measures of the years 1828, 1829, and 1832, the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, Roman Catholic Emancipation, and the Reform Act, “ did in reality completely upset the balance which had hitherto been preserved” between them. Since that time, the balance has not been restored, nor has any other permanent equilibrium been effected. It were vain, then, in the present position of affairs, to speculate upon the particular form which Church government in this country is destined, in the Providence of God, hereafter to assume.
In his sixth and seventh Lectures, Professor Burrows presents us with two other distinct views of our national history. If we omit to dwell upon the former of these, which is devoted to " The National Character of the Old English Universities,” we must assure Professor Burrows, that it is not from any feeling of pique at his almost total silence, notwithstanding the comprehensiveness of his title, on the subject of the career of his sister University. There are, we feel sure, few members of that University who would venture to commit themselves to anything like a detailed account of the features of the elder institution. We must plead, as our excuse for passing it over, the same want of space, which will also oblige us to be content with the very briefest notice of the concluding Lecture of the volume, that on the Connection between the Religious and Political History of England. Of this Lecture nearly three-fourths is devoted to the period between the Restoration and the Accession of the Hanoverian dynasty, a period during which the affairs of the Church entered more directly into the politics of the day than in any other phase of our constitutional history. Professor Burrows shows how a divergence of opinion on religious questions had no small share in the formation of parties and the establishment of party government; and he dwells at length upon the conflict between High Church and Low Church principles, between the upholders and opposers of the doctrine of Passive Obedience, of which the whole of our domestic history during the reign of Anne is one continuous record ; and which, by influencing the maintenance or withdrawal of our continental armies, made itself felt in the wider arena of European politics.
But we must hasten on to offer some remarks upon the only
Lecture which remains for us to notice—that which stands fifth in the series, and is entitled, “ The Conflict between the Imperial and National Principles; or, the Temporal Power of the Papacy.” Professor Burrows sees, in the development of the history of mankind, “a perpetual conflict of principles, an everpresent clashing of two opposite ideas.”
“We may observe the conflict,” he says, “in philosophy, in politics, in the religious training of mankind. It is part of a great law of our nature, meeting us at every turn. These principles are represented in a variety of forms by what in philosophical analysis is known as the One and the Many. The history of politics, the history of the Church, is nothing else but a history of this eternal struggle. How to reconcile law and liberty, system and the claims of the individual, centralization and local government, dependence and independence, the imperial and the regal, the ecumenical and the national, is the problem of every age---as old as the infancy of the human race, as young as the society of to-day, confined to no clime, to be comprised in no formula, equally available at different times.”
To the existence of the former of these principles are due, according to Professor Burrows, the oft-repeated attempts to restore throughout Europe, in name and in fact, that imperial power which, in reality, received its death-blow at the destruction of the Roman Empire, and the more successful attempts to unite Christendom under one spiritual head. “There has been one grand perpetual struggle to restore once more what will never be again, Visible Universal Empire.” Of these attempts after unity, in ecclesiastical matters at least, Professor Burrows looks forward to no distant termination. Regarding the failings of the Western Church as attributable in great part to the temporal power of the Papacy, he sees, in the now well-nigh completed destruction of this, a hope for her renovation.
“May we not,” he says, “look forward to some alteration of position on the part of the Papacy in this far humbler but far more honourable stage of its existence? Who can refuse to feel at least some sympathy with him on whom in his old age the whole weight of the chequered past is now falling? May we not hope from him or his successors some return to primitive times, some recognition of the independence of those national Churches, which, having retained the ancient inheritance, have never ceased to appeal to an Ecumenical Council ? May we not expect some attempt at solving the problem of combining universality and nationality, suited to the age at which mankind has arrived ? Surely we may, though as yet we see it not. All history points to it. The nations will demand it. Clergy and Laity alike-and who shall say them nay ?”.
And at the close of the Lecture, the Professor gives us his
expectations and aspirations respecting the future of Christendom in a more definite form. It is evident that, for the purposes of his picture, he assumes the existence throughout Christendom of a purity of doctrine such as, alas ! only small portions of it can at present claim to possess.
“If wemay so dare to interpret history,''hesays, “wesee that through all the elements of opposition the Christian world was to learn that the ' faith once delivered' was to be preserved by the balance of more communions than one; that when the National Churches were sufficiently organized, when the old idea of visible unity had played its appointed part, these Churches were to be a mutual support and protection, to supply what was deficient in one another, from the basis of intercommunion. The position to which every event has been gradually leading up, the position of National Church independence freely and mutually recognised, with all the modifications of liturgy and rite and custom peculiar to each, a union of all such Churches on the footing of the primitive creeds and the primitive councils, seems at last, by the force of events in the East and in the West, to be dawning upon the age.
“What a future will then be in store for the world, when this last act of the closing drama is announced! What force will Christendom then exert on the masses of heathendom! And if, aroused by the separate yet harmonious action of the Churches, the rebel powers of Secularism join those of ignorant Paganism and modernized Mahometanism, and gather themselves up for one last struggle, what will this be but the expected sign that the end is near, and that the stone cut out without hands' is at last about to consume all these kingdoms,' and to stand for ever' ? "
The Lecture in which these sentiments are embodied, was delivered in November, 1866. We cannot think that the current of thought on ecclesiastical matters, since that time, has tended towards a fulfilment of the Professor's prognostications. True, the demand hinted at by him for an Ecumenical Council is about to be complied with, but it remains to be seen whether the bias of opinion at that Council will lean to the substitution of a Federation for a Union of Christendom. It is at least significant to note that precisely the contrary is anticipated by one of our deepest students of ecclesiastical history. The Bishop of Lincoln, in reference to the approaching Council at Rome,* has expressed himself as follows :
“ It is a remarkable sign of the present times, that whereas the Roman Catholic Council, which eventually met at Trent (A.D. 15451563), was due to Luther's appeal (A.D. 1518–1520), and was con
* On the proposed Council at Rome ject of the impending Council, the -(An Address at the Ordination of address from which we have quoted Priests and Deacons in the Diocese of above, and also another pamphlet, en. Oxford, Sept. 20, 1868,) p. ll. n. 1. titled “ An Anglican Answer to the We cannot too highly commend to the Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius IX., to perusal of our readers, upon the sub alī Protestants and other Non-Car Vol. 68.-No. 379.
voked by the Bishop of Rome, Paul III., after long delay on the part of his predecessors, especially Pope Clement VII., at the request of Christian princes, and they were invited to it, -the proposed Roman Council of 1869 is summoned by the Pope, not only inde. pendently of Christian princes, but with a disregard and defiance of their authority. The striking difference between the attitude of the Church of Rome, before and at the Council of Trent, towards Christian states and princes, and her present treatment of them, has been pointed out in the speech of an eminent French jurist, M. Emile Ollivier, in the Senate of France, July 10, 1868.
“The Church of Rome, it is evident, has much more confidence in her own power now, than she had three centuries ago. This has arisen from the weakening of National Churches, and from the falling away of nations from the supremacy of Christ. The Christian hierarchy has been repelled from their national centres, and has been attracted towards Rome. Democracy and Infidelity have advanced the cause of Ultra-montanism, and are doing the work of Hildebrand.”
Viewed in the light of history as well as in that of the present progress of thought among a considerable body of persons in our own Church, it is impossible not to acknowledge the justice of the observations we have just quoted. The original acquisition by Rome of spiritual supremacy was, as we have seen, due in great part to the severance, which the conquests of the pagan barbarians occasioned throughout Western Europe, between Christianity and the civil power, and the necessity thereby imposed on the former to look for support elsewhere; and we should naturally expect to find that a similar dissociation of Church and State, even though less violently and summarily effected, would tend to produce a corresponding result. We think that even Professor Burrows himself would hardly assert, that during the interval between the delivery of this Lecture which we have been last considering, and its publication in the present volume, the tide of feeling throughout Christendom has been setting in towards a nationalization in preference to a union of the Churches.
If we cannot, however, concur with the Professor in all the details of the conclusions at which he arrives from the passages of history which he has laid before us, we are not on that account disposed to underestimate the value of his book as presenting a series of lucid and candid historical sketches upon the subjects of which he treats, and particularly as exhibiting in a clear and forcible light the influence ever exercised by matters ecclesiastical and religious over civil and political affairs -an influence which some of our politicians at present seem
tholics,” which, though published anonymously, bears, in its style and composition, unmistakeable traces of Laving emanated from the same pen,
The latter was originally written and published in Latin, but has been translated by its author into Eng. lish.
disposed to ignore, but which their disinclination to recognise does not render one whit tbe less certain in the past, or inevitable for the future. A severance of Church and State may alter the nature of this influence, but it cannot destroy it, or diminish its force; and at a time when the principle of disestablishment is becoming familiar to men's minds, a compendious survey of the historical side of the question, such as is presented in the Lectures which we have been reviewing, is most useful in aiding the formation of an estimate of what the relations of religion to the temporal interests of the nation have been under the hitherto received conditions of a union between Church and State, and what is likely to be their character upon a dissolution of that union. We are much mistaken if a perusal of Professor Burrows' work will not tend materially to strengthen the conviction, that, whatever may be the disadvantages connected with it, there is an overwhelming preponderance of advantages to be secured by the maintenance of an Established Church.
WESTCOTT'S HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE. A General View of the History of the English Bible. By Brooke
Foss Westcott, B.D., late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Macmillan. 1868.
CANON Westcott has already earned such a reputation as an erudite scholar, that he needs no special introduction to our readers. But the work which he has last taken in hand, is one of peculiar interest to every English Christian, dealing as it does with that treasure of treasures, the authorized version of the Scriptures. Something more than a passing commendatory notice of the book before us may therefore be permitted, especially at a time such as the present, when Biblical questions, many of which involve detailed criticisms of the text, are being so freely and publicly discussed.
Our translation of the Bible is, like everything else in our constitution, the growth of ages, and not the work of one man. It bears upon its pages the thought and the criticism, the ecclesiastical and doctrinal teaching, the language and even the spelling, of many men, and of many phases of our history. Perhaps we should value the result all the more if we were to trace the processes, and to mark the changes which have led up to the completion of the book as it now stands.
First of all, we have to go back to Anglo-Saxon times. Mr. Westcott has dismissed this part of the history very summarily, because it has had no practical effect upon the translation as it