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rows of mourners, and the words of Christian consolation. I have, therefore, allowed you to fancy till now, that I have cared nothing for your good opinion,, or that I was totally unable to refute the charges which may have robbed me of it. And I should not have broken silence now, if an opportunity had not been afforded me of showing you, without reference to anything that has been said by Dr. Candlish, what kind of teaching I give my ordinary hearers on the subject upon which I am accused of being most heretical; and if I did not think that I might use that opportunity, to remove impressions from your minds, which will hinder you from understanding, not me, but your own selves and the word of God.
I believe that it will be the fairest and best course, not to go through Dr. Candlish's lecture (for how could I hope to do justice to so elaborate a discourse in a short preface?), but to select some one passage of it, in which he has condensed his complaints against me, and which, at the same time, touches upon topics of so general a character, that I may make the vindication of myself entirely subordinate to the purpose which I have in view-that of explaining to you the principles, which in other books, and especially in this book, I have been endeavouring to assert. I
take the following, because it contains some most true assertions respecting me; because it is evidently intended to wound my vanity more severely than any other in the lecture; and because it sums up the imputations to which I have already referred, those imputations which, if they are well founded, ought to exclude me from my function as a Clergyman-from the Church of Christ-from the society of all honest men.
"I had intended to trace slightly the author's views, as developed in this book, to some of the sources whence they might have been, if they have not been derived. There is little or nothing that is really new in them. Mr. Maurice cannot be called an original writer as to matter, though his manner and style are fresh. He is not probably much acquainted with the literature of Protestant theology. If he is, it is the worse for his candour, for in that case his misrepresentations are inexcusable. He writes as if the field had never been gone over before, and as if he was making discoveries; never indicating any knowlege of the fact, that all his reasonings against the current orthodox and evangelical doctrines have been anticipated and answered over and over again. I might show the coincidence of his views, as to the inward light, with those of Barclay and the Friends; the extent of his obligation to Edward Irving and Thomas Erskine for his ideas of the Incarnation and Atonement; and the agreement of his opinions on all the leading points of Christian doctrine, with those of ordinary Unitarians: with these two exceptions,
that under whatever limitations, they admit a resurrection, a judgment, and a future state of rewards and punishments; whilst on the other hand, with whatever explanations, he asserts strongly the doctrine of the Trinity."-Pp. 483, 484.
How thankfully do I accept the testimony of Dr. Candlish to the fact, that there is little or nothing that is really new' in my writings! It is the point which I have been labouring to establish in every one of them. If he can point out even the little' which he has found new in any part of them, I shall at once begin to suspect it; nay, I shall cheerfully give it up to his mercy. I have affirmed continually
-I have affirmed again in this book,—that I have discovered nothing that what I am saying is to be found in every creed of the Catholic Church; in the Prayers and Articles of the Church to which I belong; most emphatically in the Bible, from which they derive their authority, and to which they refer as their ultimate standard. But while I utterly disclaim novelty, which, I suppose, is what Dr. Candlish means by originality in matter, there is a sense in which I earnestly desire to be original myself; and in which I desire that you, and all the young men of England, should be so likewise. An original man is not one who invents-not one who refuses to learn from others. I say, boldly, no original man
ever did that. But he is one who does not take words and phrases at second hand; who asks what they signify; who does not feel that they are his, or that he has a right to use them till he knows what they signify. The original man is fighting for his life; he must know whether he has any ground to stand upon; he must ask God to tell him, because man cannot. I have met some of these original men in all classes of society, in all religious schools. Wherever I have found them, I have felt that I could not copy them, but that I could sympathise with them; that they did me good when I differed with them most; that they instructed me, though they might scarcely know their letters. All men are capable of this originality; it is not a special talent; it comes from that earnestness of purpose, that longing to find what is not dependent on ourselves or on human caprice which, I believe, is awakened in us by the Spirit of Truth, and by Him only. If I have not this originality, may that Spirit impart it to me, for to be without it is death. If I have it in any measure, I shall not make any one who receives any influence from me the retailer of my opinions; I shall help to put him in a position in which he can unfold my imperfect perceptions and correct my errors-because I shall point him to the true Teacher of him, of me, of every man.
I am, therefore, most anxious to confess what I owe not only to the Creeds and to the Bible, but to those men of different communions-from every one from whom Dr. Candlish thinks he has caught me robbing. I cannot give him credit for any particular sagacity in this instance. The robbery was done in broad daylight. I confessed it instantly. Seventeen years ago I declared in print, how thoroughly I sympathised with Barclay and the Friends, in what is called their main doctrine. All that Dr. Candlish knows of my debts-ever increasing debts-to my honoured friend, Mr. Erskine, he learnt from a dedication which I prefixed to a volume of Sermons on the Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament. He did not guess from my Theological Essays that I was under obligations to the Unitarians; I said so in plain terms, and that I felt bound to return the obligation, by showing them how dear those doctrines were to me which they rejected. He has, however, mentioned one name, which I have never uttered, publicly nor privately, without honour and admiration, but to which I have not done the same justice in print as to the others. I will repair the fault by putting that name first in my confessions here. I do it the more gladly, because it is the name of a Scotchman and a Presbyterian.