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has adhered to it as to the source of life, and that it is the only effective view. "Christ," he says, "is a power for the moral renovation of the world, and as such is measured by what he expresses. How is this renovation effected? Not by his offering himself as a propitiation for our sins, and thus reconeiling us to God, and procuring for us the gift of the Holy Ghost, but "by his obedience, by the expense and painstaking of his suffering life, by yielding up his own sacred person to die, he has produced in us a sense of the eternal sanctity of God's law, that was needful to prevent the growth of licence or of indifference and insensibility to religious obligations, such as must be incurred, if the exactness and rigour of a law-system were wholly dissipated, by offers of pardon grounded in mere leniency." This is really what Christ does. This is his atoning work. He produces a sense of the sanctity of the law in us. This is full out the Socinian view of the doctrine. says Dr Bushnell, it has no power in this abstract form. "We must transfer this subjective state or impression, this ground of justification, and produce it outwardly, if possible, in some objective form; as if it had some effect on the law or on God. The Jew had done this before us, and we follow him; representing Christ as our sacrifice, sin-offering, atonement, sprinkling of blood. . . . These forms are the objective equivalents of our subjective impressions. Indeed, our impressions have their life and power in and under these forms. Neither let it be imagined that we only happen to seize upon these images of sacrifice, atonement, and blood, because they are at hand. They are prepared, as God's form of art, for the representation of Christ and his work; and if we refuse to let him pass into this form, we have no mould of thought which can fitly represent him. And when he is thus represented, we are to understand that he is our sacrifice and atonement, that by his blood we have remission, not in any speculative sense, but as in art."-(P. 254.) The plain meaning of this is, that the actual thing done is the production of a certain subjective change or impression in us. This impression cannot be produced in any way so effectively as by what Christ has done. As a work of art produces an impression more powerful than a formula; so Christ, viewed as a sacrifice, as a ransom, as a propitiation, produces the impression of the sanctity of the law more powerfully than any didactic statement of its holiness could do. It is in this "artistic" form that the truth is effectually conveyed to the mind. This mode is admitted to be essential. Vicarious atonement, sacrifice, sin-offering, propitiation, is declared to be "the DIVINE FORM of Christianity, in distinction from all others, and is, in that view, substantial to it, or consubstantial with it.” "It is obvious," he adds, "that

all the most earnest Christian feelings of the apostles are collected round this objective representation, the vicarious sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world. They speak of it, not casually. . . . . but systematically, they live in it, their Christian feeling is measured by it, and shaped in the moulds it offers."―(P. 259.) We do not consider this assertion of the absolute necessity of Christ's being presented as a sacrifice, or this admission that his work is set forth as a vicarious atonement in the Scriptures, as a formal retraction or contradiction of the author's speculative view of the real nature of the Redeemer's work; but we do consider it sufficient to convince any rational man, that that speculative view is an inanity, a lifeless notion, the bloodless progeny of a poetic imagination. Few persons will believe that the life and death of Christ was a mere liturgical service, a chant and a dirge, to move "the world's mind;" a pageant with a moral.

These Discourses, then, unless we are sadly deceived as to the amount of religious knowledge and principle in the public mind, must fail to produce any great impression. They lack the power of consistency. They say and unsay. They pull down and fail to rebuild. What they give is in no proportion to what they take away. Besides this, their power is greatly impaired by the mixture of incongruous elements in their composition. Rationalism, mysticism, and the new philosophy are shaken together, but refuse to combine. The staple of the book is rationalistic; the other elements are adventitious. They have been too recently imbibed to be properly assimilated. Either of these elements by itself has an aspect more or less respectable. It is the combination that is grotesque. A mystic Rationalist is very much like a Quaker dragoon. As, however, we prefer faith without knowledge to knowledge without faith, we think the mysticism an improvement. We rejoice to see that Dr Bushnell, even at the expense of consistency and congruity, sometimes lapses into the passive mood of a recipient of truth through some other channel than the discursive understanding.

The new philosophy, which gleams in lurid streaks through this volume, is still more out of place. We meet here and there with transcendental principles and expressions, which even "the deepest chemistry of thought" (the solvent by which he proposes to make all creeds agree, p. 82), must fail to bring into combination with the pervading Theism of the book. The proof of the presence of all these incongruous elements in these Discourses is patent to every one who reads them. In our subsequent remarks we hope to make it sufficiently plain even to those who read only this review. Our present object is merely to indicate this characteristic as a

source of weakness. Had Dr Bushnell chosen to set forth a consistent exhibition of all that the mere understanding has to say against the doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement; or had he chosen to give us the musings of a poetical mystic; or had he even endeavoured to reproduce the system of Hegel or Schleiermacher, we doubt not he would have made a book of considerable power. But the attempt to play so many incongruous parts at one time, in our poor judgment, has made the failure as complete as it was inevitable.

The extravagance of the book is another of its characteristies which must prevent its having much effect. Every thing permanently influential is moderate; but Dr Bushnell is extravagant even to paradox. This disposition is specially manifested in the Preliminary Dissertation on Language, and in the Discourse on Dogma. There is nothing either new or objectionable in his general theory of language. The whole absurdity and evil lie in the extravagant length to which he carries his principles. It is true, for example, that there are two great departments of language, the physical and intellectual, or proper and figurative, the language of sensation and the language of thought. It is also true that the latter is to a great extent borrowed from the former. It is true, moreover, that the language of thought is in a measure symbolical and suggestive, and therefore of necessity more or less inadequate. No words can possibly answer accurately to the multiplied, diversified, and variously implicated states of mind to which they are applied. In all cases it is only an approximation. Something is always left unexpressed, and something erroneous always is, or may be, included in the terms employed. Dr Bushnell, after parading these principles with great circumstance, presses them out to the most absurd conclusions. Because language is an imperfect vehicle of thought, no dependence can be placed upon it; there can be no such thing as a scientific theology; no definite doctrinal propositions; creeds and catechisms are not to be trusted; no author can be properly judged by his words, &c., &c.-(See pp. 72, 79, 82, 91, et seq., and the Discourse on "Dogma" passim.) As creeds mean nothing or any thing, he is willing to sign any number of them. He has never been able, he says, "to sympathise at all with the abundant protesting of the New England Unitarians against creeds. So far from suffering even the least consciousness of restraint or oppression under any creed, I have been the readier to accept as great a number as fell in my way; for when they are subjected to the deepest chemistry of thought, that which descends to the point of relationship between the form of the truth and its interior formless nature, they become thereupon so elastic, and run so freely into each

other, that one seldom need have any difficulty in accepting as many as are offered him."-(P. 82.) This is shocking. It undermines all confidence even in the ordinary transactions of life. There can, on this plan, be no treaties between nations, no binding contracts between individuals, for the "chemistry" which can make all creeds alike will soon get what results it pleases out of any form of words that can be framed. This doctrine supposes there can be no revelation from God to men, except to the imagination and the feelings,--none to the reason. It supposes that man, by the constitution of his nature, is such a failure that he cannot certainly communicate or receive thought. The fallacy of all Dr Bushnell's reasoning on this subject is so transparent, that we can hardly give him credit for sincerity. Because by words a man cannot express every thing that is in his mind, the inference is that he can express nothing surely; because each particular word may be figurative and inadequate, it is argued that no number or combination of words, no variety of illustration, nor diversity in the mode of setting forth the same truth, can convey it certainly to other minds. He confounds, moreover, knowing every thing that may be known of a given subject, with understanding any definite proposition respecting it. Because there is infinitely more in God than we can ever find out, therefore the proposition, God is a spirit, gives us no definite knowledge, and may as well be denied as affirmed! His own illustration on this point is the proposition "Man thinks," which, he says, has a hundred different meanings." Admitting that the subject "man," in this proposition, may be viewed very variously, and that the nature and laws of the process of thought predicated of him are very doubtful matters, this does not throw the smallest obscurity or ambiguity over the proposition itself. It conveys a definite notion to every human being. It expresses clearly a certain amount of truth, a fact of consciousness, which within certain limits is understood by every human being exactly alike. Beyond those limits there may be indefinite diversity. But this does not render the proposition ambiguous. The man who should reverse the assertion, and say "Man does not think," would be regarded as an idiot, though the greatest mental chemist of the age. This doctrine, that language can convey no specific, definite truth to the understanding, which Dr Bushnell uses to loosen the obligation of creeds, is all the sceptic needs to destroy the authority of the Bible, and all the Jesuit requires to free himself from the trammels of common veracity. The practical difference between believing all creeds and believing none, is very small.

What our author says of logic, is marked with the same extravagance. It is true that the understanding out of its legi

timate sphere is a perfectly untrustworthy guide. When it applies its categories to the infinite, or endeavours to subject the incomprehensible to its modes, it must necessarily involve itself in contradictions. It is easy, therefore, to make any statement relating to the eternity, the immensity, or will of God involve the appearance of inward conflict. From this Dr Bushnell infers (i. e., when speaking as a mystic), that logie and the understanding are to be utterly discarded from the whole sphere of religion; that the revelations of God are not addressed to the reason, but to the esthetic principles of our nature; and that a thing's being absurd is no proof that it is not true. Nay, the more absurd the better. He glories in the prospect of the harvest of contradictions and solecisms the critics are to gather from his book. He regards them as so many laurels plucked for the wreath that is to adorn his brows. That we may not be suspected of having caught a little of the Doctor's extravagance, we beg the reader to turn to such passages as the following:-"Probably the most contradictory book in the world is the Gospel of John, and that for the very reason that it contains more and loftier truths than any other."-(P. 57.) "There is no book in the world that contains so many repugnances, or antagonistic forms of assertion, as the Bible. Therefore, if any man please to play off his constructive logic upon it, he can easily show it up as the absurdest book in the world."-(P. 69.) "I am perfectly well aware that my readers can run me into just what absurdity they please. Nothing is more easy. I suppose it might be almost as easy for me to do it as for them. Indeed, I seem to have the whole argument which a certain class of speculators must raise upon my Discourses, in order to be characteristic, fully before me. I see the words footing it along to their conclusions. I see the terrible syllogisms wheeling out their infantry on my fallacies and absurdities." (P. 106.) He laughs at syllogisms as a ghost would at a musket. Syllogisms are well enough in their place; but the truth he teaches is perfectly consistent with absurdity, and therefore cannot be hurt by being proved to be absurd. He says:-"There may be solid, living, really consistent truth in the views I have offered, considering the Trinity and Atonement as addressed to feeling and imagination; when considered as addressed to logic, there is only absurdity and confusion in them."—(P. 108.) The Incarnation and Trinity "offer God, not so much to the reason or logical understanding, as to the imagination, and the perceptive or esthetic apprehension of faith."-(P. 102.) They are to be accepted, he elsewhere says, as addressed to "feeling and imaginative reason," not "as metaphysical entities. for the natural understanding."-(P. 111.)

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