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what strange security both the Church and its doctrine have taken up without hurt, principles apparently destructive,—this may make a philosopher marvel, and a Christian believe and give thanks. And what is true of the Church Universal, is not less true of the last three centuries of the English Church.

But, in spite of all this, there is one contingency which, in the present state of the world, comes unbidden into our thoughts. It may be the fate of the Church throughout the world, to sink again, as regards the State, into the condition of a sect, as she began—to sink from being the associatehonoured, or disliked, or reluctantly acknowledged-of Governments,—to be ignored by them as a mere school of thought, or watched as a secret society, or legalised as a harmless or even an useful association. Something like it has happened abroad; and it may follow here. But do not let us use words lightly about it. If it comes we may turn it to account, as it has been turned to account abroad. But before it came, the Church abroad shrunk from no sacrifice, which she could consider lawful, to avert it; she well knew what she would lose by it, whatever might be its compensations. And surely the Church here would be inexcusable if she courted it or needlessly let it come to pass. This great nation of Englishmen is committed to her trust; if she cannot influence them, what other body has a more reasonable hope ? If they will break away from her, or cast her off, let it be clearly their fault, not hers, or that of her clergy. She and her clergy have much to answer for; but the heaviest of their former sins will be in comparison light, if from impatience, from want of due consideration of the signs and changes of the time, from scruples, from theory, from fear of being taunted with inconsistency, or want of logic, or love of quiet, or insensibility to high views, or indifference to the maxims of saints—or any other of those faults of feeling or intellect, which are common at once to the noble and the feeble, the sensitive and the timid-she, or they, throw up that trust.

NOTICES.

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We are anxious to present as fair an estimate as we can of Mr. Alford's edition of the · Four Gospels in Greek, with Prolegomena, and a Critical and Exegetical Commentary.' (Rivingtons.) Not long since, we took occasion to give a caution about the use of perpetual' commentaries on the Scriptures. Mr. Alford's work, in proportion as it rises above its English predecessors in point of scholarship, and in the diligence and ability exercised in its preparation, only renders it the more necessary that we should reiterate that caution. The commentary before us is no mere collection of scraps of criticism, or common-place book in print, but a careful and elaborate examination of almost every important point suggested by the text of the Gospels; and young students will be in danger of thinking that they have duly weighed and mastered the whole of these subjects, when they have read over these summaries of opinion respecting them. We repeat, then, that the use of works of this class can never make biblical scholars. As a digest, and for reference, they have their use; but for enlargement and solid acquirement, students must read books, treatises, discussions, in extenso; not notes, however elaborate. On the strictly critical department of his subject Mr. Alford has bestowed immense labour, and has presented us with an entirely new recension, founded on a less rigid adherence than usual to particular lines of MS. authority, with a leaning towards the retention of generally received readings. In this respect, and in reducing the bulk of his digest of various readings by the omission of slight variations, be has, perhaps wisely, consulted the convenience of the ordinary and less strictly critical student. Of the doctrinal views expressed in the notes, we regret to be obliged to say that we had hoped for better things from Mr. Alford. But he belongs to a school; and the traditions and tendencies of his school have been too much for him. He does, indeed, as a general rule, uphold the literal reality of the miracles recorded in the New Testament: that is to say, that, 'No very great wit, he believes in a God,' and the God of the Christians. But he has been too much in the company of his German friends not to have imbibed a taste for their favourite kind of speculation. Accordingly, on one occasion at least, he tries his hand at a little anti-supernaturalism, endeavouring to show that there was nothing supernatural in the star which appeared to the Magi: his argument, however, utterly fails him when he attempts to account for the star's guiding the Magi to the place of the Nativity; and the ill success of it appears to have deterred him, as far as we have observed, from further flights of the like nature. It is on the subject of the Sacraments and the Christian Priesthood that we find him untrustworthy as a guide for the Christian scholar. He flatly denies apostolical succession, (On S. John xx. 22.) of successive delegation of the gift from the Apostles, he finds no trace in the New Testament;' a strong expression in the face of 1 Tim. iv. 14 ; 2 Tim. i. 6, 13, 14; ii. 2, taken together. His explanation of the commission, “ Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever

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sins ye remit,' is as follows:- The words amount to this,—that with the

gift and real participation of the Holy Spirit, comes the conviction, and 'therefore the knowledge, of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and ' they who are preeminently filled with His Presence are preeminently • gifted with the discernment of sin and repentance in others; and hence by

our Lord's appointment authorized to pronounce pardon of sin and the * contrary (!).' The Apostles had this in an especial manner, &c. : 'and this * gift belongs especially to those who, by legitimate appointment, are set to 'minister in the Churches. . . . Not, however, to them exclusively,—though • for decency and order it is expedient that the continued and formal * declaration should be so ;' (What does this strange sentence mean?) .but ' in proportion as any disciple shall have been filled with the Holy Spirit

of wisdom, is the inner discernment, the kpiois, his.' This is as open an avowal as we remember to have met with of the doctrine whose upholders the ministers of the day delight to honour; the doctrine that there is no difference whatever in point of gifts between priest and people; nay, no difference of kind (Mr. Alford's assertion goes to this fearful length) between the gifts of an Apostle and those of the commonest lay person. Surely nothing can be more laboured, more full of violent assumption, than the specimen of exegesis we have given. Mr. Alford is elsewhere justly severe on commentators who are blinded by prejudice to the plain and obvious meaning of Scripture language. We put it to him, as one claiming to be consistent, whether it can for a moment be maintained that the obvious and natural meaning of this passage is that which he has given; and whether any man, not under the influence of a previous antitradition theory, could possibly have cogitated such an interpretation of it. We think it probable that Mr. Alford is the first Christian that ever denied that in these words our Lord communicated, to the Apostles at least, a special gift of the Holy Ghost for a special purpose, (however they may have differed in explaining that purpose,) and not merely the general influence of it for a general and undefined purpose. As might be expected after this, Mr. Alford appears to assign no part whatever to the priest, or to attach no significance to the part taken by him, in the celebration of the Eucharist. Any bread, any wine, taken with faith, would seem to be a communion according to his view. Similarly, he takes our Lord's blessing of the Bread and Cup to be a mere 'grace.' On the subject of Baptism, we have no objection to make to his statement in commenting on S. John iii. 4. But when he has occasion to speak of it incidentally, the defectiveness of his view becomes manifest. On S. Matt. xxii. 11, he says that the ' wedding garment is the imputed and inherent righteousness of the Lord Jesus,' to which there is no objection as part of the truth, that in vital union to Christ consists our new birth and life: but then he adds, ‘ put on symbolically in baptism, and really by a true and living faith. Either his words mean that Baptisın is a mere figure, and does nothing for the recipient, or he has been at great pains to make himself misunderstood. In exactly a parallel manner we find his formal statements, in commenting on the institution of the Eucharist, tolerably satisfactory, or, at least, his peculiar phraseology is capable of a satisfactory acceptation; but his incidental remarks disclose the imperfections of his sacramental notions.

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Under the former head we read, (on S. Matt. xxvi. 26,) · When the faithful ' in the Lord's Supper press with their teeth that sustenance ... they feed • in their souls on that Body of righteousness, by partaking of which • alone the body and soul are nourished unto everlasting life.' But on S. John vi. 53, . The eating the Flesh of Christ and drinking His Blood,

import the making to ourselves, and using as objectively real, those two great truths of our redemption,' (the resurrection and the atonement, spiritualized, he conceives, by the Body and Blood respectively,) of which

our faith subjectively convinces us. . . . . And of this realizing of faith He • has been pleased to appoint certain symbols in the Holy Communion, · which He has commanded to be received, to signify to us the spiritual

process, and to assist us in it.' So, then, in the Bread and Wine is received not the Body and Blood of Christ, but only a power of apprehending them. Is this reconcilable with the plain words of our Catechism, to go no further? Of both sacraments, then, the essence is defined to be the exercising of a mental process; as if one should say that the essence of food is not the nourishing qualities of it but the act of digestion. Faith by this view is exalted from the position of a recipient, lively, indeed, but humble, reverent, and dependent—of an awful mystery, into that of the worker of the mystery itself. In matters of scholarship Mr. Alford has acquitted himself ably; and in particular has wisely forborne from undertaking to explain everything for certain. The obvious meaning of the iva Tinpwon passages is successfully maintained. There is much truth in his objections to the whole school of harmonizers: he believes that there are things in the Gospels irreconcilable under our limited information as to the whole of the facts, though doubtless capable of a perfect solution if we knew all. He also maintains, with much ingenuity, the independence of the four Gospels. The title he has inscribed upon his work, by the way, is unscholarlike and puerile, • The Greek Testament.' We had thought that the distinction, · Bible and Testament,' was confined to our National Schools. We object, too, most strongly, to his calling S. Matthew • Matthew,' and so of the rest throughout. He probably intends it for a protest against undue reverencing of saints. Towards the Apostles, at the very least, we cannot conceive what is to be gained by laying aside the customary reverent language of the Church : but we fear it is only a part of Mr. Alford's theory, exposed above, as to the absence of distinguishing gifts, even in the awful Twelve, who in the regeneration will sit upon twelve thrones.'

Mr. Alford's Sermons (Rivingtons) do not rise above the average of the sentimental and anti-sacramental school of religionists. We are glad to observe an absence, for the most part, of the would-be-philosophical speculations which abound in his • Notes on the Gospels.' The Sermon on God's Dwelling-place, however, together with much that is sounder than we had ventured to hope for, betrays a tendency in that direction.

ΥΠΕΡΙΔΗΣ ΚΑΤΑ ΔΗΜΟΣΘΕΝΟΥΣ. The Oration of Hyperides against * Demosthenes, respecting the Treasure of Harpalus. The Fragments of • the Greek Text, now first edited from the Facsimile of the MS. discovered • at Egyptian Thebes in 1847; together with other Fragments of the

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sins ye remit,' is as follows:- The words amount to this,-that with the gift and real participation of the Holy Spirit, comes the conviction, and therefore the knowledge, of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and they who are preeminently filled with His Presence are preeminently gifted with the discernment of sin and repentance in others; and hence by our Lord's appointment authorized to pronounce pardon of sin and the . * contrary (!).' The Apostles had this in an especial manner, &c. : 'and this

gift belongs especially to those who, by legitimate appointment, are set to • minister in the Churches. . . . Not, however, to them exclusively,--though ' for decency and order it is expedient that the continued and formal * declaration should be so ;' [What does this strange sentence mean?] "but ' in proportion as any disciple shall have been filled with the Holy Spirit • of wisdom, is the inner discernment, the kpious, his.' This is as open an avowal as we remember to have met with of the doctrine whose upholders the ministers of the day delight to honour; the doctrine that there is no difference whatever in point of gifts between priest and people; nay, no difference of kind (Mr. Alford's assertion goes to this fearful length) between the gifts of an Apostle and those of the commonest lay person. Surely nothing can be more laboured, more full of violent assumption, than the specimen of exegesis we have given. Mr. Alford is elsewhere justly severe on commentators who are blinded by prejudice to the plain and obvious meaning of Scripture language. We put it to him, as one claiming to be consistent, whether it can for a moment be maintained that the obvious and natural meaning of this passage is that which he has given; and whether any man, not under the influence of a previous antitradition theory, could possibly have cogitated such an interpretation of it. We think it probable that Mr. Alford is the first Christian that ever denied that in these words our Lord communicated, to the Apostles at least, a special gift of the Holy Ghost for a special purpose, (however they may have differed in explaining that purpose,) and pot merely the general influence of it for a general and undefined purpose. As might be expected after this, Mr. Alford appears to assign no part whatever to the priest, or to attach no significance to the part taken by him, in the celebration of the Eucharist. Any bread, any wine, taken with faith, would seem to be a communion according to his view. Similarly, he takes our Lord's blessing of the Bread and Cup to be a mere 'grace.' On the subject of Baptism, we have no objection to make to his statement in commenting on S. John iii. 4. But when he has occasion to speak of it incidentally, the defectiveness of his view becomes manifest. On S. Matt. xxii. 11, he says that the • wedding garment is the imputed and inherent righteousness of the Lord Jesus,' to which there is no objection as part of the truth, that in vital union to Christ consists our new birth and life: but then he adds, put on symbolically in baptism, and really by a true and living faith. Either his words mean that Baptism is a mere figure, and does nothing for the recipient, or he has been at great pains to make himself misunderstood. In exactly a parallel manner we find bis formal statements, in commenting on the institution of the Eucharist, tolerably satisfactory, or, at least, his peculiar phraseology is capable of a satisfactory acceptation ; but his incidental remarks disclose the imperfections of his sacramental notions.

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