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NOTE TO CHAP. V.
ON BAXTER'S VIEW OF IMPUTATION.
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 vicarious obedience being imputed to us, and of our sins being imputed 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 candour, and Christian courtesy and moderation of tone towards opponents too often conspicuous for the absence of such qualities (in
cluding 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.* 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 his equal in clearness 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 be of them that say publicly, “Mr. Baxter 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 may be given of the more scientific
treatment of the subject during the eighteenth century, and, as the Parisian Sorbonne was at that time the great theological school of the Church, they shall be taken from the works of its professors.
Tournely, the last of the great writers mentioned above, was a vigorous, not to say bitter, controversialist. On the doctrines of grace he was vehemently opposed to Thomist opinions, but he adopts the Thomist view of the atonement in its extremest form, treating the question, throughout, like Grotius, in reference to the Socinians.* Indeed he candidly informs us, that out of the many opinions debated among Catholic divines he has chosen that which appeared to him best adapted 'for repressing Socinian impiety. With the great multitude of theologians, he denies any antecedent necessity for the Incarnation, either in itself, or assuming the creation or the fall of man. But on the hypothesis of the restoration of fallen man, while admitting in words that by the extraordinary power of God' we might have been saved without condign’ satisfaction, he yet insists that by the ordinary power of God'this was impossible; and the ordinary power is explained to mean the laws of divine justice, which are part of the divine nature. And, as he also agrees with the Thomists that there could be no condign satisfaction except that of Christ, we may regard him as accepting practically the Anselmic view of an absolute necessity for the Incarnation, assuming the restoration of fallen man. He maintains, with Grotius, that the punishment of Christ was strictly and literally substituted for ours, and that He endured the vindictive justice of God in our place, though not, as Lutherans inferred, the torments of the damned. It follows of course that it was not a matter of mercy, but of strict justice, on God's part to accept the satisfaction offered for us, and that He could not do otherwise. Under the term satisfaction Tournely comprehends the payment of a debt, the appeasing of divine wrath, and the expiation of the liabilities of sin.
* Honoratus Tournely Prælect. Theol. de Incarn. Verbi Divini. Parisiis, 1727. * Tractatus de Incarn. Verb. Divini. Parisiis, 1750.
Le Grand, a disciple and continuator of Tournely, follows on the whole his master's teaching, and, like him, directs the argument mainly against the Socinians. But in simplicity of method, moderation of tone, and absence of controversial asperity, his Treatise on the Incarnation* contrasts very favourably with Tournely's Prælections, and in some important points their conclusions are different. Moreover Le Grand is always very careful, which Tournely is not, to distinguish between his own opinions and the doctrine of the Church. He not only rejects any absolute necessity for the Incarnation, in itself or assuming the Fall, but adds that fallen man might have been otherwise restored, though there could not have been any other condign satisfaction, nor could God have otherwise expressed His vindictive justice;' but then it was not necessary to express it, for, while it gives Him the right to punish sin, it only binds Him not to pardon the sinner without true repentance. The Incarnation was therefore, as the Fathers had taught, not the only but the fittest method of redemption. Le Grand accepts the Thomist view of its motive as the most probable; satisfaction he defines, with Tournely, as the voluntary rendering of