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there can be no contradictions in it. But the fact, that there are no contradictions in a book, does not prove that it is inspired; it proves, at most, only that the author speaks the truth, and is a man of sound judgment. Who ever thought of ascribing inspiration to our mathematical treatises, because there is in them a consent of all the parts ? But it cannot be denied that there are in the Bible many apparent contradictions, which it often requires no small amount of learning and research to remove or reconcile ; and it is this fact that supplies infidels with their arguments against our holy, religion. That all these apparent contradictions are cleared up, and very satisfactorily too, we cheerfully and loudly acknowledge ; but we say, that, if we did not know from other independent and infallible sources of information that the Bible is inspired, this character of the consent of all the parts could never lead to a firm assent to its inspiration.

The other means of arriving at the inspiration of Scripture, such as “the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellences, and the entire perfection thereof,” are all as little conclusive as those we have just considered. When we once know, by some positive, undeniable fact, that the Scripture is the word of God, we may find all these excellences, but not before ; and to found the inspiration of Scripture upon such tottering motives is to deliver it up to the contempt of unbelievers. We say, then, that the external motives of credibility in the inspiration of Scripture assigned by Presbyterians are altogether illusory, and that the point can be settled only by recourse to the testimony and declaration of the Church, whose doctrine has always received, and continues to receive, the stamp and approbation of Heaven.

But it is chiefly upon the internal motives of credibility that Presbyterians rely. They believe in Scripture because the Holy Spirit bears witness in their hearts. A

when driven to this last resource of fanatics, visionaries, and impostors, the resource of Mahometans and Mormons, should at once own himself vanquished. This pretence is exceedingly convenient, for it supplies the place of argument and logic. I remain a Presbyterian, because God tells me in my heart that I am in the true religion. We do not think it worth while to undertake seriously to confute this assertion. All reasonable persons have an irresistible inclination to laugh at this peremptory mode of settling a controversy. Pity, disgust, or merriment, if the subject were not so grave, would be the only answers suitable to be given. We knew of a deluded lady, who, fearing she had “ sinned the day of grace away," staid on her knees some hours, and at last obtained full forgiveness, because she felt her heart as “ big as a hat.” When the Lord speaks in an extraordinary manner, he gives external miraculous signs of his presence, as one may read in so many different passages of Scripture, especially in the call of Moses, Gideon, and Samson. The ordinary operation of divine grace in the hearts of the just, though supernatural, can never be a foundation for any assertion or discovery; and this divine grace is never given as the ground for believing or maintaining any thing contrary to the doctrine held and proposed by the Church of Christ, which doctrine is founded, not upon internal and invisible revelation accessible to nobody, but upon facts performed in the face of the whole world, and of a brilliancy greater than that of the sun.


Nor do we need to dwell upon the passage of St. John, with which visionaries would try to uphold their delirious notions, - “Ye have an unction from above, and ye know all things.”

For such persons as bring forward their own visions and imaginations, on the strength of this text, should prove first that this is said of them, and not rather the following: -“Thou sayest, I am rich, and made wealthy, and I have need of nothing; and thou knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Yes, they have the best reasons for applying to themselves the following passages. “If one will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and publican.”—Matt. xviii. 17. “O senseless Galatians ! who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth ?” “ The animal man knoweth not the things that are of the Spirit of God.” Hence, it is not to every one that opens the Epistle of St. John, that this is said, “You have an unction from above, and ye know all things”; it is to such as love God with all their heart, are docile to their pastors, and revere in them the authority of Christ; for St. John immediately adds, “ I have not written to you as to such as know not the truth, but as to such as know it.” He who does not acknowledge thoroughly and sincerely the Church to be the ground and pillar of truth, to be the rock against which the gates of hell shall not prevail, has no share in those words of St. John, but rather in these of St. Jude : -" These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.” – Ver. 19.

But we must conclude here, for the present, our review of the Presbyterian Confession of Faith. We have found it full of false reasoning, of arbitrary and absurd applications of Scriptural passages, of obvious and strongly marked contradictions, of shallow views, and false conclusions. We have conclusively established, we think, that Presbyterians have in no respect whatever any reason or argument to offer in defence of the inspiration of Scripture, and that there is for them no rational ground on which to believe it to be the Word of God. We have also shown, that, on every principle, even on their own, they cannot refuse to admit as Scripture some books which they choose to reject. We may, then, conclude that Presbyterianism precludes the very possibility of making an act of faith, of believing any thing reasonable this pretended Confession of Faith may contain, undermines Christianity, and leaves men with empty shadows and sonorous words instead of religious truth. It is not a confession, it is a real, stanch, bold, and blasphemous negation of faith.

Art. V. - Schiller's Æsthetic Theory.

The following communication, sent us by the accomplished translator of Schiller's Esthetic Prose, noticed in our Review for July last, we very willingly insert, out of esteem for the writer.

“ This Review, for July, 1845, contained an article on Schiller's Æsthetic Prose, a work then just translated. It was more particu. larly a critique of his Æsthetic Theory, as developed in the series of letters upon human culture, raising fundamental objections thereto from the Christian point of view. But as it seemed to the writer of this that the theory in question not only sacrificed no Christian principle, but rather corroborated and sustained them all, at the same time being, if well understood, the ally and harbinger of Christian culture, the editor has, with great courtesy, opened his pages for a vindication of Schiller's position. The present article is an attempt at such, rather than at a distinct reply to the Review. As briefly as possible, it will be an exposition of the Æsthetic Theory, and its relation to Christianity. This, however, will involve a reply to the chief objection raised by the Reviewer against it; and

the attempt is hazarded from a deep sense of the beauty and practical necessity of the theory, and from a desire to establish it in the esteem of those who are watching for every thing that tends to reproduce the divine life in human hearts.

“ At first sight, Schiller's theory would seem to have no rela. tion at all to any question of morals or of Christian culture. But this is owing solely to its abstract and æsthetic form.

It seems intended to establish, by metaphysical disquisition, the laws which develope, at the best, only a true artist, or a good citizen of the state. Its composition was prompted by the events of the French Revolution, that great effort of the individual to annihilate the state, and substitute every shade and extreme of idiosyncrasy in place of that legal development and composite order of humanity which respects the state, because that is the finest result of the man. Schil. ler seems only to wish to solve that political problem, without recourse to experience : Can there be a pure state, and at the same time a pure humanity ?. or rather, What instrumentality will effect the latter, in order to create the former? He states the fine arts to be this medium, beauty to be a necessity of humanity, and the secret of culture to consist in the final equipoise of opposing impulses by its agency. And, at first sight, all the significance of his theory seems to be exhausted at this point alone. Even Herder called it one-sided and partial, probably because its form was purely æsthetic, while he must have seen that it was capable of a Christian application, and was intended. to minister to every want of the human soul, whether political, moral, or artistic. The Reviewer sees this potential capacity of the theory, but considers it nevertheless to be deficient when carried to its ultimates. To us rather it seems eminently to subserve the cause of Christianity, and, for a pure product of the intellect, to be singularly manifold and exhaustive. It states a prime condition for the successful embodiment of Christianity in the life of man.

“If Schiller meant to declare that the evolution of this ideal beauty, and the consequent equilibrium of reason and desire, of the subjective and the objective man (person and condition), completed man's culture, established a virtuous character, and fulfilled his destiny, the Reviewer might well object; since such a declaration would only raise a problem that would remain for ever innocent of a solution, namely, How can this ideal beauty secure the abso. lute right? how can it, furthermore, decide the will in favor of that right? If Schiller meant to say that the play-impulse was equivalent to love, or even charity, that virtue was an affection of the passive nature, or that the said impulse could nerve a struggle against desire in favor of duty; if, in fine, it was his object to show, by means of his theory, that man can originate and put into practical operation the means of positive virtue, - that he is at once

But to us,

lever and fulcrum, weight and power, - we might well thank the Reviewer for exposing the hateful visage of this idolatry, and for reprobating a system that would make revelation superfluous, and leave unanswered all the imminent question of grace


prayer. we speak in deference, and yet with a feeling of great certainty, to us Schiller appears to be guilty of no such blunders, but, on the contrary, to frame a theory which virtually excludes their possibility.

“Briefly, the validity of his theory depends upon the force and meaning given to the play-impulse. If we can precisely define its function, we shall be able to decide whether or not the theory in question is ultimately Christian.

“ The Æsthetic Letters are an attempt to display the process which evolves man's freedom. Schiller explains, that he does not mean that freedom which necessarily appertains to man, considered as an intelligence, and which can neither be given to man nor taken from him ; but that which is based upon his compound nature.' — p. 93. If this freedom, or equipoise of man's two essential ingredients, the residue of a last analysis, and the corroboration of his humanity, can be secured, he is thus, and thus alone, able to make definite acquisitions, to fulfil the laws of right, and to express in life all the moral truth of which he is conscious. It is evident that we are now giving his theory its Christian application, purposely avoiding to notice its capacity to include the citizen or the artist. Schiller confines himself throughout to this simple proposition of the necessity of freedom as the condition of culture. He does not say how man acquires a cognition of that duty which this state of freedom alone can make available to him; whether it is an idea of the pure reason, or whether it is revealed to him ab extra. The decision of that question is not necessary to the integrity of his theory ; no matter in what way the ideas of right and of duty are presented to man, he can realize them successfully only through this preëstablished harmony, this freedom of his compound nature. Till that is gained, the free-will which he possesses as an intelligence is a superfluous and only potential energy. It can act with vigorous accuracy only when freed from either of his two ground-impulses, that is, when they mutually cancel each other, as forces, by the creation of an equipoise. But what shall create it? What shall induce this state in man, which is neither subjectively nor objectively contingent, and yet neither internally nor externally constrained, — the state of play or freedom ? Schiller declares, that the intuition of beauty can alone create it, and evolve this play-impulse, which is not a force, but only the condition, the appearance, of a force, as a certain indeterminate state of water must precede its crystallization. It is a condition of mere determinableness, and yet without it no determination can ensue.

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