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this Review, in which his letter appeared, represents them,
Tractarians,' so far from allying themselves with Infidelity, have, on the contrary, been the very first to oppose it; the first to discover it when it came under specious disguises, and under the authority of an eminent name, which might have blinded the ignorant and careless. So far from entrapping others, on the contrary, they first warned others of the snare; warned them when they did not see it, and might in consequence have fallen into it. We leave it to the impartial bystander to determine which is the ally of the sceptic, he who discovers and convicts him, or he who, after he has been discovered and convicted, openly unites with and hails him upon a religious ground as a brother; the Tractarian,' or Lord Shaftesbury.
The rebuke, then, which was just now addressed to Lord Shaftesbury, was, indeed, a too indulgent one; it assumed a higher state of morals in the offender, than we can admit in his Lordship. For the rebuke supposes that the offender, in speaking ill of his neighbour, speaks the truth about him, only that he is a hypocrite to speak it, when he himself is just as bad, and should therefore hold his tongue. But Lord Shaftesbury has not yet learned those rudiments of morals which the Gospel text supposes even in the hypocrite. He comes under the Jewish law, before the Gospel has a word to say to him-an offender against the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, • Thou shalt not bear false witness. When the Jewish law has rebuked him as a calumniator, and he has mended that fault, he has a title to be brought under the Gospel count of hypocrisy; but as yet he is not sufficiently advanced for it. A man is fit for reproof on a higher and more refined ground, when he has profited by reproof on a lower and simpler one, but not till then. It would be wasted on him; it would be casting pearls before swine. When Lord Shaftesbury has learned the simple duty of speaking the truth, he will be ripe for instruction in the deeper one of knowing when he has the right to speak it. He may unlearn hypocrisy when he has ceased to be a slanderer. But he is not likely to unlearn it before. Meantime, we shall watch any amendment which we may discern from time to time in him, with that satisfaction which we ought to feel when a man, who has been a long time employed, and most honourably and usefully, in improving society, begins at last to think of improving himself. We shall rejoice to see, of the two characters which he at present owns by accumulatior, even one dropped, and still more, if that release prepares for the other; as, indeed, it will probably do. Veracity about others will lead in return to knowledge of himself. And when Lord Shaftesbury speaks the truth of others, and knows himself and his own position, he will not accuse the • Tractarians' of an alliance with scepticism, and certainly will not do so in company with the Chevalier Bunsen.
Whilst we were at press, indeed when most of the foregoing sheets were worked off, Dr. Pusey's important Letter to Lord Shaftesbury' appears in the Morning Chronicle of June 26. Dr. Pusey, as our whole argument has urged, is not only specially aggrieved by this slander of Lord Shaftesbury, but has shown, on an occasion when Revelation was particularly assailed, and that by his own friend, that on him that slander falls with the least effect. For either reason his remonstrance is most important. He, at any rate, has a peculiar right to speak. Whether Lord Shaftesbury, after disregarding private warnings of so touching a character as Dr. Pusey alludes to, will still retain his supercilious disregard of truth and decency, remains to be seen. To complete the case, however, as far as it has at present gone, we reprint Dr. Pusey's letter from the Morning Chronicle:
• My dear Lord Shaftesbury-In writing to you publicly, on account of a statement which you made some time past, as to “ the tenderness with which Tractarians look upon infidelity,” and “ the organs of infidelity upon Tractarianism,” let me, in the first place, assure you that I would not speak or think one word or thought unkindly towards yourself. I have looked with interest upon all your exertions in behalf of the poor, whether in Parliament, or through private institutions. Every Christian must be thankful for whatever is done, directly or indirectly, to raise any of our degrarled poor, or bring them to the knowledge of our Redeemer.
Nor do I ask for any personal explanation as to myself. Your charge was quite general. It alluded specially to no one, but, on that very account, it included all. It was reported thus :-" They (Christians, now) were beset by avother danger-by that foul enemy which he would not scruple to name-Tractarianism. Of all the •isms' that ever existed, that was in his mind the most offensive, and in many respects the most deceitful and hypocritical. It was singular to remark the tenderness with which infidelity looked upon Tractarianism, and the tenderness with which Tractarianism looked upon infidelity; and how they had a common feeling, and a bond of union, when set in opposition to Evangelical sentiments, which they looked upon as the great bane of society—the great pest of the present day-simply and solely because it was the only thing that stood in irreconcilable antagonism to that detestable union. No wonder, then, that they exchanged compliments," &c.
* I did not believe, until you yourself informed me that these words were substantially correct, that any human being could have brought such a
charge as this. Accustomed as my friends have been for nearly twenty years to all sorts of misconception and misrepresentation, I never met with anything like this. I know not whether you used the word Tractarian in the narrower sense of those who wrote the “ Tracts for the Times," a publication closed about eleven years ago, or in the larger sense of those who, in main principles, agree with them. In either case, I know that (although unconsciously, of course, to yourself) your lordship's statement is absolutely and entirely untrue. If you took the word Tractarian in its narrowest sense, it might be enough to remind you who are the chief surviving writers of the “ Tracts for the Times,” with one only exception, who has been lost to the Church of England. And of the remaining writers, not of bim, you must have been speaking, since you were speaking of the Church of England. The chief remaining contributors, then, are the two Mr. Kebles, Mr. Isaac Williams, and myself. I would appeal to yourself, my dear lord, to find one sentence in any of our writings during this whole period which should give you the slightest plea for any such statement as this. If you took the word Tractarian in the wider sense, you must necessarily include in it some of the most valued and thoughtful defenders of our common faith, whose names I will not unite with such a name of reproach as Tractarians.
*Your lordship's statement is threefold: 1. (to drop the abstract term, since Tractarianism can have no existence independent of its writers,) that “ Tractarians look with tenderness upon infidelity;" and this, 2. out of “ opposition to Evangelicalism;" and this not in itself, but, 3.“ because it is the only irreconcilable antagonist to the union” between Tractarianism and infidelity.
1. I have already written to you in private that “I cannot even imagine what plea you can have for this dreadful charge.” Tenderness for individuals, who are unhappily perplexed about their faith, or have lost it, all must have who believe that our Lord died for all, and that even these may be won back to Him. But your charge is, that “Tractarianism looks with tenderness," not upon infidels, but “upon infidelity.” I can conceive, as I have said to you, that persons might say that infidelity might come as a reaction from “the Catholic faith," i.e. that persons who would not receive it, would, if not allowed any compromise, adopt infidelity in preference. I can understand its being said that people “drive others to infidelity” (as they speak) by the claims which “the Catholic faith” makes upon human
But I cannot understand how any writers, teaching (as the writers of the Tracts did) that Holy Scripture is implicitly to be believed—that it is the source of all faith and truth ; that it is to be understood in the sense in which it was always understood by the Church from the time of the Apostles ; that the human mind is implicitly to submit to authority-can be supposed to have any leanings towards infidelity. The first principle on the one side is the submission, or, as Archbishop Howley said, “ the prostration of the human understanding ” before the revealed will of God; that of the other, of course, its uncontrolled sway.
" 2. Your second charge is, that this tenderness to infidelity arises, in fact, out of a blind hatred to Evangelicalism as “the great bane of society, the great pest of the present day.” I need only appeal to any of the writings of the persons whom I have named, or to their personal history, to show this to be untrue. I know it to have been the uniform desire of those writers, and of every other whom I know, who would be entitled a Tractarian, (as it has been my own,) to point out, both in public and in private, what we have in common with Evangelicalism—to seek out (where we were permitted) those called Evangelicals to confer with them, remove prejudice and misunderstanding when we could, to seize on every point of approximation, to recognise, in their teaching, all which we believed to be true. We have wished, not so much to oppose Evangelicalism, as to supply its defects. All its positive teaching almost is ours too. We have looked upon it as a maimed exhibition of the Gospel, teaching nakedly certain truths, and leaving others out of sight. We have wished to teach all the fundamental truths which it, too, teaches, and to supply what was wanting to it. I know, too, that to a very great extent, this our endeavour has been blessed. Prejudices have disappeared, misunderstandings have been cleared, when people ventured to become acquainted either with Tractarians, or with their writings. I believe that, in proportion as we love one another, we shall understand one another. For the glow of love draws up those mists which hinder people from seeing each other, or the truth clearly, and mostly refract and distort the form of both.
63. It is more shocking than the rest to have to deny the last charge, that the ground of opposition to “ Evangelical sentiments” is, that they are antagonistic to the union of Tractarianism with infidelity. I believe that the “opposition” has, for the most part, been that of defence-explanation against attacks. But, in as far as any of us have written controversially, it has not been—God forbid !—against any of the blessed truths which enter into the Evangelical system, but against its denials, direct or indirect, of other truths of the Gospel.
*I agree with you, and have felt these twenty-seven years (ever since I became acquainted with German), that the faith in England would have to go through a fiery trial in conflict with infidelity. It was impressed upon me in the study of the history of rationalism then, that neither a dry orthodoxy, nor Evangelicalism, could stand against it. Pietism began as fervently as the early Evangelicalism. Some of its early members were learned. But in the next generation it degenerated, for the most part, and was swept away by the flood of infidelity. I believe that none of my friends have failed to be alive to this evil of rationalism; and part of the offence which we have given has been that we discerned rationalism in the minds and systems of Zwingli and Calvin. We may not have used armour which you wished, or may have used arms which you, on your side, would mistrust. It is true that I did once decline your wish that I should write against a work which was attracting some notice, and which we both believed to be NO. LXXVII. --N.S.
mischievous. I forget upon what ground. I imagine that I had more immediate and pressing personal duties. For we have to learn in life that wc cannot, intellectually also, do what we would : life passes away, while things which we would do even for the glory of God remain undone. Or I may have thought that anything which I could do in that direction, I could, with God's help, do much better by teaching truth positively than by writing against another's book. I asked you to apply to your “ friends the Evangelicals," not as thinking that the task especially belonged to them, but wishing that they would bear part of the burden and heat of the day, instead of wasting our time and strength by their controversies against us, and misrepresentations of our faith.
• I wrote most of this privately to you more than a month ago, and I expressed “ my hope that your statements may have been much misrepresented," and my conviction that, if it was so, you would wish publicly to correct it.” You think this unreasonable. I have asked you again to think whether it is “unreasonable, when an unfounded and heavy charge of indifference to Christianity itself, in a blind hatred against a popular system of it, is brought against a body of fellow-Christians, more or fewer, and those bound by our holy calling, as well as by our common faith, to maintain and teach the blessed Gospel "—is it unreasonable in one of those accused to ask you publicly to correct the statement ?
•"In another” (I have written to you privately) “one might have passed it by as a shocking calumny. But when one who, like yourself, stands forward as the advocate of religious truth, makes such a statement, it may take its place among the popular impressions of the day. The gainer, I believe, by all these unseemly imputations, is not the cause you would wish to see prosper, but that very infidelity. For if we were such as you represent us, we should have been half infidels ourselves. And nothing outwardly so disposes to unbelief as the impression that those who profess to be Christians do not believe, or are indifferent to, what they profess."
• I do then again call upon you, not as a matter personal to myself, yet, as having some right to do so, as being included among those of whom you spokemI call upon you, in the name of our common Christianity, of our one Lord and Redeemer, to re-consider the charge which you have made, and if you find that you were, in speaking, hurried beyond your deliberate conviction, or beyond what you had adequate grounds for saying, to unsay it as publicly as you said it. Surely you cannot persist in wbat you are warned (although, of course, you did not intend it) is a false accusation, contrary to every principle, feeling, desire, to the whole faith and being of those against whom you made it.
• Yours faithfully,
E. B. Pusey.' • Christ Church, June 23.'