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troversy, we acknowledge, is conducted, generațly speaking, with much less bitterness, and much more courtesy, than appear in the writings of most of the sturdy disputants of former times; but there is still ample room for improvement both in the mode in which theological warfare is carried on, and in the spirit and temper of the belligerent parties. With this impression on our minds, we hailed with sincere pleasure the publication of Mr. Whately's Bampton Lectures on the Use and Abuse of Party-Feeling in Matters of Religion.'

Mr. Whately was already advantageously known to the public as a powerful and original writer, by his Historic Doubts,' his Notes to Archbishop King's Sermon on Predestination, and his two Discourses on Obedience to Civil Government.-His Bampton Lectures fully support his reputation; though, perhaps, rather in a different way from what we had expected. They show little of metaphysical research, and the marks of learning appear only incidentally; but we have seldom met with a book more distinguished for soundness of judgment, for accuracy and closeness of thought, for knowledge of human nature, and for manly candour and liberality of feeling. In his Introduction, the author modestly says, that there is little in his book that can clains the praise of originality. Many similar sentiments may certainly be found in Bishop Hall's little treatise on Christian Moderation; in Baster's Cure of Church Divisions ; in Barrow's Sermon on Evil Speaking ; in the book to which we alluded near the beginning of the article, and in other works. Mr. Whately, however, has every where ihe air of a man who thinks and observes for binıself, rather than that of one who bunts about to find what has been said by others. We will endeavour to give our readers a general view of his argument, often' in his own words, though, of course, in an abridged form.

The Principle, the use and abuse of which in religion form the subject of the volume before us, can hardly be said, as Mr. Whately observes, to have any well-established and appropriate name in our language. It is most commonly denoted by the French expression, Esprit de Corps ; Party-spirit being a term seldom employed, but in an unfavourable sense. He adopts, therefore, the terin Party-feeling, not as completely unexceptionable, but as appearing, ou the whole, the best that could be found, without resorting to a foreign language.

He defines, or describes this principle, as being that which binds together the members of any community, class, and party, and renders the body to which they belong, considered as a body, a distinct object of attachment. This principle may, possibly, be traced up to our natural desire of sympathy and disposition to af




ford it. We confessedly derive additional ardour from the idea: that we are engaged with others in a common pursuit, or supported by them in a common opinion; and hence arises a mutual attachment between those, among whom this mutual sympathy is formed. To whatever source it may be traced, however, it seems clear that the principle exists. Its existence, indeed, was acknowledged by the wisest of the ancient philosophers. Even in those cases where a coalition of any kind is formed for the sake of promoting some common purpose, the real and mutual attachment of the

persons concerned is not to be measured by the value of the advantages proposed. • Their being engaged in a common pursuit is generally found to bind them to each other, and to increase their eagerness for the object pursued, to a degree, which even thenselves' would never have anticipated.' The effects produced by Patriotism, i. e. attachment to the political community we belong to, are well known. The exertions and sacrifices occasioned by such attachments are by no means to be ascribed always to á sense of duty, for they are often made by men who, in other instances, show that a sense of duty, properly so called, does not exist in them.

The Uses of Party-feeling,—the final causes for which it was implanted in us by the Author of our being,—are, increased energy in pursuit of a common object;-regular co-operation ;-mutual controul and regulation;-and an advantageous division of labour. All these beneficial effects seem to have been proposed and secured by the embodying of the Christian Church, and there are frequent references to them in the writings of the Apostles. As an instance of the division of labour, somewhat analogous to the differences of ministrations' in the apostolical age, Mr. Whately mentions the several spheres of action which may be taken by the ininisters of the church in the present times.

• Some may devote themselves more especially to the instruction of youth; others, to the edification of their adult hearers; some, to the critical study of the sacred text; others, to the ascertaining and defending of the doctrines contained in it; or to researches into the belief and practice of the primitive church; and some again may employ themselves chiefly, in collecting the results of the learned labours of others, throwing them into a popular form, illustrating and enforcing them : some may be champions of the faith against heretics, some commentators, some missionaries.'

But though Party-feeling, when properly regulated, is productive. of these good effects, still, like every other principle and feeling in our nature, it is liable to be abused, and to become the source of dissension, rather than of agreement. One of the most usual instances of its abuse, is, when attachment to a party is suffered to


produce a feeling of hostility to every rival party. Sometimes, too, when carried to excess, minor points of coincidence will unite together certain members of a party, and separate them from the rest, thus occasioning dissension in the party itself. These abuses, however, must not render us unmindful of its use, or prevent us from uniting in the cause of truth.

Those who, in their dread of strife and party-violence, would seek to preserve union by abstaining from all mention of every doctrine that is likely to afford matter of controversy, -by laying aside all formularies, and confessions of faith,—and by regarding with indifference all varieties of opinion among professors of Christianity,-would, in fact, put an end to the very existence of the society itself, whose integrity and concord they would preserve. In preventing hurtful contentions, by giving up every thing that is worth contending about, they would be rooting out the wheat belonging to the tares; and for the sake of extirpating noxious weeds, would be condemning the field to perpetual sterility:..... We are not then to hold a society together by renouncing the objects of it; nor to part with our faith, and our hope, as a means of attaining charity; but rather seek to combine the three; and by earnest zeal, without violence or bigotry,-by firmness, accompanied with moderation, discretion, and temper,--by conciliating adversaries without sacrificing the truth, -and by hearty, yet mild cooperation with friends, to obtain the advantages of party-feeling, yet avoid its evils; and promote peace, without falling into indifference.'

The Second Lecture goes into a detail of several of those abuses or excesses of party-feeling, by which it degenerates into what is usually termed Party-spirit. One of the most prominent of these excesses is the tendency to prefer the means to the end, the prosperity of any party to the objects for the sake of which the party is established. Many instances of this occur in the proceedings of the Jesuits: examples, indeed, abound in every page of history, of men who are ready to sacrifice, for the aggrandizement of the state, not only themselves, but also the lives, the property, and the happiness of their fellow citizens, though the security of these is the very object of civil society. One or two of the circumstances which are apt to lead the members of a party into forgetfulness of, its original object, we will give (with some curtailment) in the words of our author. They are good instances of his mode of illustration.

Almost every society has some institutions, whose immediate end is the preservation of the society, and which have no intrinsic value; like the fortifications of a town, which are worthless in themselves, but are essential to the security of the citizens' habitations and goods, &c.'

- It is generally, too, found desirable, that a party should have some external badges of distinction, to indicate their internal sentiments ; that the members of it may be mutually known among themselves, and held together. These are like the standards in an army; which the

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soldiers are taught to defend at all bazards, because though in themselves not worth defending, they are the signs by which they are to distinguish friend from foe, and by which they are to be kept together in proper order.'— All these signs of distinction have the effect, not only of keeping the party united and entire, but also of increasing men's altachment to it.

We sometimes find, that these secondary objects of a society come in turn to be regarded as primary; that the fortifications are sedulously guarded, while the city itself is suffered to fall to decay; and that men cling to their standard, while they forget the cause for which they were enlisted. Other abuses or excesses of Partyfeeling are an over-readiness to form parties on frivolous grounds, and a disposition to bigotry and selfishness.

Besides these, there are other propensities, which have an especial tendency to mix themselves with this feeling, to call it into action, and to aggravate its mischiefs. Such are vanity aud ambition ; fondness for novelty ; love of disputation; and lastly, that proud spirit, which delights in humbling and mortifying others. The operation of these several propensities is pointed out and illustrated by Mr. Whately in a clear and interesting mauner. The evil effects of party-spirit are sufficiently obvious. One of the most prominent of them is the extinction of charity. • If one should go through St. Paul's description of charity,' says the author, reversing every point in the detail, he would have no incorrect description of party-spirit.? Another is, scandal to the cause of truth; and a third, the establishment and propagation of error; each member of the party, adopting its doctrines and practices in the mass, without separating the sound from the unsound.

"A Carnal Mind the Cause of Division forms the running title of the Third lecture, which restates the excesses of party-feeling and the evil propensities connected with it, already mentioned, and points out the conduct and temper of mind respecting them, which ought to be maintained. This lecture shows much sound judgment, and high moral feeling : but it is little more than an expansion of the first part of the preceding lecture, in some degree reversing the order there observed. Had Mr. Whately been writing a treatise on the subject, instead of a series of sermons, he would, we think, have thrown these two lectures into one.

The Fourth lecture contains some very sensible observations on the conduct which we should maintain with respect to those, who really or apparently differ from us, without being at all, or in any high degree, blamable, that we may avoid the mischiefs which may arise from condemning them unfairly. Of this unfairness niest men are guilty who, if they meet with any one who main

tains a single doctrine which belongs to the system of some suspected sect, at once regard him as holding the entire system, even though there be no necessary connexion between the opinion in question and the rest. Thus some Arminian divines impute the adoption of all the tenets of Calvinism, even to those who expressly renounce them, if in any one doctrine they appear to take the same view with Calvin, or any of his followers. And thus, on the other hand, do some Calvinists attribute to such as do not coincide with their peculiar views, the rejection or neglect of the

great doctrine of the atonement, and other essential parts of the Gospel scheme.

The following passage upon this part of the subject seems to be dictated by the genuine spirit of Christian wisdom :

• Let the most candid and favourable construction possible be put on every profession, till we are compelled to understand it otherwise, Where the case will allow of it, let blame be laid rather on the form of expression, than on the doctrine intended to be conveyed; and lastly, where it is manifest that incorrect notions are entertained, let it always be considered whether they may not be attributed rather to weakness of intellect, and inaptitude for accurate statements, than to culpable perversion of the truth.'

The preceding lectures have related principally to the regulation of our own temper; of course we must expect to find in our opponents the same faults which we have to guard against in ourselves; the same party-spirit,—the same vanity,—the same love of disputation,--the same pride. The most likely. mode to check these faults in our opponents is to meet them with candour, gentleness, and modesty. Some more particular cautions, however, with respect to our conduct towards opponents follow, which bear strong marks of our author's accurate knowledge of human nature. One of the first of them is, that errors and the maintainers of errors should be opposed separately, rather than collectively. • Men may be driven to make common cause with those from whom they differ in many points, for the sake of repelling a common attack.' And again, when we have to contend both against heretical doctrine and party-spirit, each affording strength to the other, the wisest way will be to combat those two evils separately;' first, to endeavour, by all fair means, to dissolve or weaken the union of those who are banded together against the truth; and thus to assail error on more fair terms, unsupported by intrinsic aids. · Let not the orthodox lend their aid to the combining of errors into a system, and of heretics into a sect.'

Another rule is to endeavour, when we honestly can, to mitigate the spirit of party in our opponents, by extenuating rather than aggravating the differences between us. We should not lengthen


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