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er in constant union still with Christ, as the head and fountain from which only such spiritual grace can flow in this living way. The idea of the Church as an outward hedge and guard of the truth simply, in the sense which some affect, we hold of course for sheer pedantry; and it finds no countenance whatever in the author, whom we have now under consideration. The authority and glory of the Church with him flow always from the presence of Christ, are made necessary by this only, and have no meaning or force the moment it is withdrawn. The idea of the Church grows forth from the idea of Christ; the first is in no sense accidental to the second, but springs from it as its necessary living product; so that the faith which says, I believe that the Word became Flesh, if it be true and not traditional only, involves always this also as its own unavoidable sense at the last, I believe the holy catholic Church. The Church proves or authenticates Christ; but it is only as Christ authenticates and makes necessary in the first place the Church; and this is just as the sun authenticates the light of the world, by which at the same time its own presence is proclaimed and revealed. All Christianity begins in Christ, and can never for a moment be parted from his person. Theology then, to be in the right sense churchly, must be also soundly christological. It can never become so, by ceasing to be churchly; although of course the mere cry of The Church! The Church! is by no means enough of itself to give it any such character. A sound chris. tology, on the contrary, can never fail to work itself out in the way of a sound church feeling, as its proper and necessary result. A doctrine of Christ which brings with it no doctrine of the Church, as an article of faith in the order of the ancient Creed, must for this very reason be counted incomplete and unsafe.
The Hulsean Lectures consist of two different courses, making in fact two different works. The first is on the “ Fitness of Holy Scripture for unfolding the Spiritual Life of Men;" the second is entitled, “ Christ the Desire of All Nations, or, the Unconscious Prophecies of Heathendom.' Each course is a contribution to the general argument for the truth of Christianity, over against the infidelity of its enemies. The sphere of proof, in both cases, is the interior life of Christianity itself, as related to the general life of the world; this first as we have it in the whole constitution of the Bible; and then more particularly as it comes before us in the person and work of Christ._It is not meant of course, in this way of treating the Christian Evidence, to exclude or undervalue the force of other proofs which are more outward in their nature; but it falls in well with the character of Mr. Trench's mind, and as it seems to us with the rightful claims also of the subject itself, to urge this inward argument as that which is of main account in the case, and which must always come in as the primary and central proof to give the other its full force.
The little volume, entitled the Star of the Wise Men, is written in the saine vein, and in some respects, we may say, with the same general tendency and object. It is an interesting commentary, full of learned reference and illustration and yet sufficiently popular and easy of comprehension, on the visit of the Magians to the cradle of the infant Redeemer; a passage which has always filled largely the imagination of the Church, as being pregnant with a world of sense too deep for the commou natural eye; while for the very same reason perhaps, it has proved an occasion of more than common difficulty and offence for rationalistic criticism in all ages.
We think it well to set forth here some of the leading ideas of Professor Trench, as they stand connected with the question of the Church and the question of Christ's person, (two questions which fall at last into one,) and thus challenge consideration as a part of the living and waking theology of this present time. These come more or less into view in all his writings which we have yet seen; but stand out with special prominence in the works now before us. We shall not feel it necessary to keep to the order of the works themselves, which is ruled of course in each case by the special end in view; nor yet to follow very strictly any order that may be involved in the ideas considered as a whole; although it must be evident enough that they belong to one system, and are in truth bound together by an inward principle of unity and common life throughout. Our object will be sufficiently answered by their simple presentation, in such connection as we may find most readily at hand for the purpose; and this will be best secured, by allowing the author to speak to a considerable extent in his own person.
1. No purely outward evidence, no proof which is beyond the actual substance of the thing itself, can ever be taken as sufficient in such separate view, to establish the truth of Christianity.
This would imply, that Christianity is not the deepest and most comprehensive form of truth for the human mind; that there is truth beyond it more certain, or at least more immediately evident, which is of itself complete without relation to Christianity; and that from this as a previously fixed ground of faith, it is possible and necessary to conclude over to the presence of the other, as a new and different order altogether of
what is to be received for reality and fact. But every such supposition wrongs the proper idea of the glorious gospel, by which life and immortality are brought to light. The rohole life of man, so far as it is true, must come here to its central, most profound and most universal significance. There is no room then to conceive of this, as something which is upheld for man's apprehension and belief by some other form of existence wholly out of its own sphere. Make the proof of Christianity to be completely on the outside of Christianity itself, and it is necessarily subordinated to this as its necessary condition and measure; for the inference or conclusion can never be more than the premises from which it is drawn. The result thus may easily be seen to be rationalism ; by which the truth of Christ is made to be the property and product of man's reason, instead of becoming as it ought to be its inmost soul and life. Thus it is, as we have previously had it under consideration, that mira. cles of themselves, and as mere siguals and notes of preparation from the other world, have no force to show a revelation sure, or to shut men up to the belief of it, without regard to the matter itself which is revealed. The same is true of prophecies, viewed as the superhuman knowledge simply of things future. So of all external proofs for the truth of Christianity. Taken by themselves, they can never form a valid, full and final reason for faith. This must have respect always to the truth itself as a divine word, which as such is to be received on the authority of God, going along with it and making itself felt by its means.
2. It lies at the same time in the nature of Christianity, that its interior life and power should be attested by corresponding external manifestations, which in such connection become of true force, to exemplify and establish its character as a divine revelation.
3. The inward and outward then must go together in the argument for Christianty; not as separate forms of proof; but as different necessary sides of the same general evidence; only with this order always observed however, that the inward shall be counted first, and the outward second, and the last be felt to depend continually upon the first. The outward, in such case, is not of a different nature from the inward, cut off from it and standing out from it in an abstract way; but it grows forth from it rather, and is concrete with it as the power of one and the same life ; just as the body stands related to the soul, which it serves at once to reveal and complete in the living world. Christianity could not be without its external seals, in the form particularly of miracle and prophecy; while yet all the force they
have as proof in its favor springs from its own constitution. They have such force, only as they are seen and felt to be the natural, necessary outbirth of the new order of life with which they are thus joined.
4. And as its own proper wonders are in this way part of itself, so also it is found to fall in harmoniously with the order and constitution of the world, universally taken, as it holds before it and beyond it in a lower sphere.
How else could it be from God? The world is his work; which is not to be set aside certainly by Christianity as a failure, but if this be true must be carried out by it rather to its last and only perfect end. Nature looks throughout to Mind; foreshadows it; prepares the way for its presence; sheds light from all sides on its laws and workings. And so again the world of mind itself, the existence of man naturally considered, looks upwards and forwards always to religion in its highest form-faith, union with God, redemption and salvation in the full sense-as its own natural and right consummation ; its true original purpose and destiny, short of which it can never stop without being forever maimed and mutilated in its whole being. In such view of course, the relation of Christianity to the world can never be regarded as being in any way either abrupt or violent. It was one grand error of the ancient Gnostics, to look upon it in this false light. All sound catholic feeling however protests against the view, as one that involves high treason to the Christian relig. ion. The world in its natural constitution has no power to produce Christianity, or to rise of itself into its sphere; this stands related to it in such view as something stricily and absolutely supernatural ; but it is none the less certain for all this, that the first carries in it a need for the second, and so a preparation for it, and a prophecy of its coming. And thus it is that the supernatural is never unnatural ; does not contradict the order of nature; does not play into it fantastically only in the way of magic; but so fits itself into organic harmonious union with it that both are plainly seen to be from the same source, and of the same common scheme and plan.
5. The whole constitution of Nature in this way becomes a mirror, which serves to reflect, and so to illustrate and confirm the realities of the higher spiritual world, which comes to its full revelation in Christ.
Not as something independent of his actual revelation; but in virtue of this, and mainly by its means; as the splendors of the risen sun are reflected from earth and sky, in the full blaze only of its own central light. Nature, though multitudinous
and manifold, is still one; a single whole through all its parts; a sphere, whose innumerable dispositions look and lean always to a common centre; a pyramid, that climbs at every point 10wards the same summit. For modern science, this may be taken as a settled maxim, which it is becoming more desperate every day to fight against or call in question. But having this constitution, it becomes at once no less certain that the world as a whole is framed with reference to the life of spirit, and to this under its highest form which is reached only at last through Christ, as that without which all the inferior stages of creation must be shorn of their significance and sense. Nature thus is necessarily a universal prophecy of Christianity; the symbol everywhere of its invisible and eternal realities; a magnificent image and sacrament, we may say, of the high spiritual grace that is made to open on the soul of man by its means.
“The parable, or other analogy to spiritual truth appropriated from the world of nature or man, is not merely illustration, but also in some sort proof. It is not merely that these analogies assist to make the truth intelligible, or, if intelligible before, present it more vividly to the mind, which is all that some will allow them. Their power lies deeper than this, in the harmony unconsciously felt by all men, and by deeper minds continually recognized and plainly perceived, between the natural and spiritual world, so that analogies from the first are félt to be something more than illustrations, happily but arbitrarily chosen. They are arguments, and may be alleged as witnesses ; the world of nature being throughout a witness for the world of spirit, proceeding from the same hand, growing out of the same root, and being constituted for that very end. All lovers of truth readily acknowledge these mysterious harmonies, and the force of arguments derived from them. To them the things on earth are copies of the things in heaven. They know that the earthly tabernacle is made after the pattern of things seen in the mount (Exod. xxv. 40, 1 Chron. xxviii. 11, 12); and the question suggested by the Angel in Milton is often forced upon their meditations:
#What if earth
Each to other like, more than on earth is thought ?' " For it is a great misunderstanding of the matter, to think of these as happily, but yet arbitrarily, chosen illustrations taken with a skilsul selection from the great stock and storehouse of unappropriated images; from whence it would have been possible that the same skill might have selected others as good, or nearly as good. Rather they belong to one another, the type and the thing typified,