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A CONTROVERSY on imputed righteousness arose in England during the sixteenth century, chiefly among the Dissenters, in which Baxter's name is prominent. His matured views, together with a short history of the controversy from the beginning, will be found in his Treatise On the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness to Believers, (London, 1675), with which the reader may compare some extracts from his Life of Faith in Newman's Lect, on Justif. pp. 427, 428. His teaching on the subject in the Treatise just mentioned, differs little, if at all, except in manner of expression, from that of the Fathers and later Catholic divines; and this he repeatedly implies, though feeling bound to insert frequent protests against language used, or said to be used, by the Papists,' evidently more from educational misapprehensions than from any real difference of sentiment. Even the 'merit of good works' is expressly admitted, according to the law of grace through Christ.' The Lutheran notions of Christ's ricarious obedience being imputed to us, and of our sins being impuied to Him, so that He took on Himself the person of the sinner, and endured, as such, the wrath and curse of God and the torments of the damned, are explicitly repudiated ; and original sin is accordingly explained in a sense widely different from Luther's extravagant theory. On the whole, I conceive that Baxter, prejudices apart, would have found little to quarrel with in the Tridentine doctrine of justification. It need scarcely be observed that, while his style is somewhat technical and archaic, he is one of the clearest and most learned theological writers in our language. In his scrupulous cau
dour, and Christian courtesy and moderation of tono towards opponents too often conspicuous for the absence of such qualities, including those to whom he owed his thirteen years' imprisonment, he reminds us of the great and large-hearted Athanasius who is a model for controversialists. I After Baxter's death, the controversy was carried on by a Dr. Williams, also a Dissenter, who takes the same side, but does not profess to be in all things of the same judgment' with him, and is by no means hís equal in cleafness of statement or correctness of information.
"The bitterness of his opponents may be inferred from a statement made by Dr, Williams, after his death (Discourses, vol. i, p, 431): “There ho of thom that say publicly, 'Mr, Baster is in Hell}'"
LATER CATHOLIC THEOLOGY.
THE Atonement did not, as has been before remarked, become a subject of direct controversy at the Reformation, nor has it, except in some few instances in Germany to be noticed presently, been distinctively handled by later Catholic theologians. For the most part they either follow the patristic method, as Thomassin and Petavius, or, more generally, the Scholastic, adopting either the Thomist or Scotist system under various modifications. Among Thomists may be reckoned Suarez, Vasquez, Gregory de Valentia, Dominic à Soto, and Tournely; among Scotists, Medina, De Lugo, Frassen, and Henno. All alike introduce the doctrine as falling under that of the Incarnation. Petavius, out of sixteen books on the Incarnation, devotes one chapter only to the satisfaction and three to the priesthood of Christ. Thomassin gives half of one book to His satisfaction and the whole of the next to His priesthood, which, however, includes an exposition of the doctrine of the Eucharist. To examine these writers in detail would be to go over again the ground we have already traversed. But one or two specimens shall be given both of the scientific and devotional treatment of the subject during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and, as the Parisian Sorbonne was at that time the great theological school of the Church, they shall be taken from the works of French divines, most of whom were among its professors.
And first we may notice a famous controversy carried on in France between two of the most distinguished writers of the seventeenth century. Among the many questions, philosophical and theological, on which Malebranche and Arnauld were opposed to each other, one was that so often alluded to in these pages, on the motive of the Incarnation. In his Treatise on Nature and Grace, the great Oratorian maintains that Jesus Christ, though His birth among men occurred in the fulness of time, is, in the eternal counsels, the Beginning of the ways of God, the Firstborn of all creation, and the predestined Model whereon our humanity was formed after the image of His. The Word and Wisdom of God, foreseeing among all possible creatures none other that was worthy, offered Himself, to establish as Sovereign Priest an everlasting worship
Malebranche, Traité de la Nature et de la Gráce. Arnauld replied in his Réflexions Philosophiques et Theologiques.
in honour of His Father and to present a Victim deserving of His acceptance. The world was created for the sake of the Church, that is of Christ who is its Head, and man was formed after the image of Christ to be the ornament of this visible temple. So far Malebranche said no more than had often been said before him. But he goes on to observe, that it was requisite for the fulfilment of this design that man should be subject on earth not only to trials and afflic. tions, but to the movements of concupiscence, in order to illustrate the victories of grace; and that the sin of the first man was necessary, because for making the elect merit that glory which shall be one day theirs, no means could be comparable to leaving them for a while immersed in sin (de les laisser tous envelopper dans le pêche pour leur faire à tous miséricorde en Jésus Christ), inasmuch as the glory they acquire by resisting con. cupiscence through the grace of Christ is greater than any other. This need not, and perhaps did not, mean more than St. Paul's statement, that God has corcluded all under sin, or in unbelief, that He may
haye mercy upon all;' or than the somewhat poetical exclamation of the Roman ritual, o certe necessarium Adæ peccatum quod Christi morte deletum est. Indeed Malebranche seems to have moulded his language on such expressions as these. Still he certainly laid him. self open to the retort, which was actually made, that
| Rom, xi, 32; Gal. iii. 22.