THE IDEA OF THE NATIONAL CHURCH: (CONSIDERED IN REPLY TO MR. It can matter little, how- write my research paper online ever, to the world at large, whether the writer of that Essay be as eloquent, or rash, or obscure, or heterodox, as his various critics have shewn. Statute-book, as really as they did in 1662, or 1559, The name of — as really as synods had done it ten the " National. The name remains, while the reality has greatly changed, more than once. Time was when the decisions of our " National Church" in synod, confirmed at Eome, bound every Pre-Reformation subject of the realm. Disputes as to Investiture, the Constitu- Richard ii. The theory was Political : to dis- pute the spiritual Supremacy of the Crown was "high 35 Hen. Gradually within a hundred years, the resolute Eoyal assumption, that the whole nation must follow the VARIOUS THEORIES. Henceforth Eeligious Unity seemed hopelessly broken.
The sympathies of both classes had been reversed in one century : but an effort was still to be made to gather together once more, buy coursework if not to unite, the dissolved elements of so- ciety.
When the time for this effort arrived, let us mark how it was attempted. To do this we must revert to those theories of the past on which, in some form, the Eestoration had to fall back. Of course the old pre-Eeformation views were not to be thought of. Some modification of the old Tudorism seemed to be all that remained practicable. Among her sons, the Church, ( notwithstanding her great names, ) had " none to guide," no great ecclesiastic. The great divines of 202 THE IDEA OF THE NATIONAL CHURCH. The Tudor theory, in all its transitions, had preserved a vague ajdherence to the distinction in- herently existing between the 11 spiritualty " and " temporal ty" of the nation, and recognised alike by the Constitution and by the popular instincts. It was not (as has been intimated) that the Church- men or the politicians of the Eest oration Restoration form, proceeded on a defined theory. Necessities of state seem often to college admission essay service oblige measures of which men consider not at first the intellectual or moral ground. The short-lived hope that the Nation might hence- forth be "of one language and of one speech" in Eeligion, finally perished in 1688. The condition of Scotland and Ireland only confirmed the same general conclusion. On what terms the Government and the Church should go on together, remained once more to be seen.
The Sixth section of the " Toleration Act" preserved the temporalities of the Church from all Revolution form, invasion : and a Tudor subterfuge was thus Uniformity ar- again introduced, that ecclesiastical pro- perty and ecclesiastical duties need not be co-extensive.
The temptation was great, no doubt, to accept all Englishmen as Churchmen VARIOUS THEORIES.
It is impossible to regret that, at such a crisis as this to which we have now come, atten- Present crisis, tion should be earnestly called to the question, "What shall be the future relation between the State and the Church, between Politics and Eeligion, — must we not say, between Civilization and Christianity? Men who are termed " practical" are in the habit of thinking that they can go on without a theory. They are forgetful, or un- aware, that a course of action always implies a prin- ciple, avowed or unavowed. The many will sometimes bear with action, while unprepared to admit its real basis. But conscience and act refuse to be for ever separate.
Men speak out at length, and say that which their conduct has all along been some theory meaning. What is seen to be an hypo- mevitable - crisy, perishes at last.
It is this which the present generation is witnessing, not only in our own country, but in all Europe. And now we seem to be met by two classes of thinkers — those who would abolish, and "Aboiition- 11 ism" and Secular those who would fundamentally remodel.
Hitherto it has been roughly assumed by all parties among us, that Eeligion has chiefly to deal with the future world, and policy with the present, and that their mutual action and relation arises from those mixed questions, both ethical and social, which affect in different ways both the " life which now is and that which is to come. The most recent act, for example, of the American President, Mr. Are all the efforts of fifteen centuries to adapt Christianity to the nations of Europe, for instance, to be supposed to tend to no- help with thesis writing thing? Our primary concern is, at all events, with those who would make Eeligion a branch of Politics, and leave indeterminate all questions of a possible future.
Comte in France and America conceive that they have worked out what The latter an J. English form of they term a " Positive Eeligion," from " Positivism.
It is to this class of theories we have now to address ourselves. Few Churchmen, and indeed few thought - Aboiitionism ful politicians, can be supposed as yet to mediate danger, have sympathy with the plans of those who would abolish all National profession of Chris- tianity.
Our immediate attention belongs to others, who would still retain a " National Church" in name, but in truth deliberately set aside all its supernatural claims, and gradually abate every portion of our Bible and Prayer-book, according as the level of popular feeling sinks lower and lower.
The proposition is formally laid down and defended secularism, among us, — That a " National Church" is or the New Na- tionajism,— pro- as simply, " as properly, an organ of the posed in "the. For the Essayist, it will be seen, encourages freedom of indi- Latent irra.
He would have men free to Secularism - reason themselves into a denial of their "traditional Christianity," and then acquiesce in the authoritative promulgation of a "generalized system" reflecting the views of the day. Essayist himself will acknowledge to be a true re- presentation of his entire drift and meaning. Outline of the u Essay on Nationalism" or 4 Broad Chris Man ity. Bungener defended the 4 former, or Multitudinist, idea.
The signs of the times, too, 4 among us, warn us that a broader basis of Eeligion is 1 demanded. The i masses, de facto, are recoiling from buy coursework us and our narrow 4 traditions. This scepticism is the result of thought 4 and knowledge, not pride of reason or culpable hos- 4 tility.
We shall find it impossible to maintain much 4 longer the necessity of faith in Christ. If Scripture i seems to teach it, either Scripture is wrong, or we 4 interpret it wrongly. Our Eevelation has never 4 reached a fourth part of the world we now are ac- 4 buy coursework quainted with. We must not any longer say that 4 Christ came just in the fitness and " fulness of time. And the relative value 4 of doctrine and morals in the Apostolic age may be 4 judged by the compatibility even of a denial of the 4 Eesurrection with membership of the Christian body. In 4 our sixth Article, the Protestant feeling of our nation 4 just satisfies itself, in a blind way, with an anti-Eoman 4 view. But extreme Scripturalism cannot be charged 4 on Art. The circu- lation of Scripture, excellent and divine as it is, (though with a human element,) has issued in a puzzle. A National Church, true to Multitudinism, will leave us more and more free to judge the Bible.