The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge
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[Footnote 1: The references are to Mr. Keble's edition (1836.)—Ed.]

[Footnote 2: But see Mr. Keble's statement (Pref. xxix.), and the argument founded on discoveries and collation of MSS. since the note in the text was written.—Ed.]

[Footnote 3: See Mr. Coleridge's work 'On the constitution of the Church and State according to the idea of each.'—Ed.]

[Footnote 4: See E. P. I. ii. 3. p. 252.—Ed.]

[Footnote 5: See the 'Church and State,' in which the 'ecclesia' or Church in Christ, is distinguished from the 'enclesia', or national Church.—Ed.]

[Footnote 6: See the essays generally from the fourth to the ninth, both inclusively, in Vol. III. 3rd edition, more especially, the fifth essay.—Ed.]

[Footnote 7: Part I. c. i. vv. 151—6.—Ed.]

[Footnote 8: See the essay on the idea of the Prometheus of AEschylus. Literary Remains, Vol. II. p. 323.—Ed.]

[Footnote 9:

'Every man is born an Aristotelian, or a Platonist. I do not think it possible that any one born an Aristotelian can become a Platonist; and I am sure no born Platonist can ever change into an Aristotelian. They are the two classes of men, beside which it is next to impossible to conceive a third. The one considers reason a quality, or attribute; the other considers it a power. I believe that Aristotle never could get to understand what Plato meant by an idea. ... Aristotle was, and still is, the sovereign lord of the understanding; the faculty judging by the senses. He was a conceptualist, and never could raise himself into that higher state, which was natural to Plato, and has been so to others, in which the understanding is distinctly contemplated, and, as it were, looked down upon, from the throne of actual ideas, or living, inborn, essential truths.'

'Table Talk', 2d Edit. p. 95.—Ed.]

[Footnote 10: See the 'Church and State,' c. i.—Ed.]

[Footnote 11: See 'post'.—Ed.]

[Footnote 12: But see the language of the Council of Trent:

Si quis dixerit justitiam acceptam non conservari 'atque etiam augeri coram. Deo per bona opera'; sed opera ipsa fructus solummodo et signa esse justificationis adeptae,' non autem ipsius augendae causam'; anathema sit.

'Sess'. VI. 'Can'. 24.

... Si quis dixerit hominis justificati 'bona opera' ita esse dona Dei, 'ut non sint etiam bona ipsius justificati merita'; aut ipsum justificatum 'bonis operibus', quae ab eo per Dei gratiam, et Jesu Christi meritum, cujus vivum membrum est, fiunt, 'non vere mereri augmentum gratiae, vitam aeternam, et ipsius vitae aeternae, si tamen in gratia decesserit, conscecutionem atque etiam gloriae augmentum', anathema sit.

'Ib. Can.' 32.—Ed.]

[Footnote 13: Rom. ii. 12.—Ed.]

[Footnote 14: Matt. xix. 8.—Ed.]


'Fly-leaf.—Hannah Scollock, her book, February 10', 1787.

This, Hannah Scollock! may have been the case; Your writing therefore I will not erase. But now this book, once yours, belongs to me, The Morning Post's and Courier's S. T. C.;— Elsewhere in College, knowledge, wit and scholerage To friends and public known, as S. T. Coleridge. Witness hereto my hand, on Ashly Green, One thousand, twice four hundred, and fourteen Year of our Lord—and of the month November, The fifteenth day, if right I do remember.

28 March, 1819. [2]


This one volume, thoroughly understood and appropriated, will place you in the highest ranks of doctrinal Church of England divines (of such as now are), and in no mean rank as a true doctrinal Church historian.

Next to this I recommend Baxter's own Life, edited by Sylvester, with my marginal notes. Here, more than in any of the prelatical and Arminian divines from Laud to the death of Charles II, you will see the strength and beauty of the Church of England, that is, its liturgy, homilies, and articles. By contrasting, too, its present state with that which such excellent men as Baxter, Calamy, and the so called Presbyterian or Puritan divines, would have made it, you will bless it as the bulwark of toleration.

Thirdly, you must read Eichorn's Introduction to the Old and New Testament, and the Apocrypha, and his comment on the Apocalypse; to all which my notes and your own previous studies will supply whatever antidote is wanting;—these will suffice for your Biblical learning, and teach you to attach no more than the supportable weight to these and such like outward evidences of our holy and spiritual religion.

So having done, you will be in point of professional knowledge such a clergyman as will make glad the heart of your loving father,


N. B.—See Book iv Chap. 7, p. 351, both for a masterly confutation of the Paleyo-Grotian evidences of the Gospel, and a decisive proof in what light that system was regarded by the Church of England in its best age. Like Grotius himself, it is half way between Popery and Socinianism.

B. i. c. 3. p. 5.

But men desired only to be like unto God in omniscience and the general knowledge of all things which may be communicated to a creature, as in Christ it is to his human soul.

Surely this is more than doubtful; and even the instance given is irreconcilable with Christ's own assertion concerning the last day, which must be understood of his human soul, by all who hold the faith delivered from the foundation, namely, his deity. Field seems to have excerpted this incautiously from the Schoolmen, who on this premiss could justify the communicability of adoration, as in the case of the saints. Omniscience, it may be proved, implies omnipotence. The fourth of the arguments in this section, and, as closely connected with it, the first (only somewhat differently stated) seem the strongest, or rather the only ones. For the second is a mere anticipation of the fourth, and all that is true in the third is involved in it.

Ib. c. 5. p. 9.

And began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

That is, I humbly apprehend, in other than the Hebrew and Syrochaldaic languages, which (with rare and reluctant exceptions in favor of the Greek) were appropriated to public prayer and exhortation, just as the Latin in the Romish Church. The new converts preached and prayed, each to his companions in his and their dialect;—they were all Jews, but had assembled from all the different provinces of the Roman and Parthian empires, as the Quakers among us to the yearly meeting in London; this was a sign, not a miracle. The miracle consisted in the visible and audible descent of the Holy Ghost, and in the fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel, as explained by St. Peter himself. 'Acts' ii. 15.

Ib. p.10.

'Aliud est etymologia nominis et aliud significatio nominis. Etymologia attenditur secundum id it quo imponitur nomen ad significandum: nominis vero significatio secundum id ad quod significandum imponitur.'

This passage from Aquinas would be an apt motto for a critique on Horne Tooke's Diversions of Purley. The best service of etymology is, when the sense of a word is still unsettled, and especially when two words have each two meanings; A=a-b, and B=a-b, instead of A=a and B=b. Thus reason and understanding as at present popularly confounded. Here the 'etyma,—ratio,' the relative proportion of thoughts and things,—and understanding, as the power which substantiates 'phaenomena (substat eis)'—determine the proper sense. But most often the 'etyma' being equivalent, we must proceed 'ex arbitrio,' as 'law compels,' 'religion obliges;' or take up what had been begun in some one derivative. Thus 'fanciful' and 'imaginative,' are discriminated;—and this supplies the ground of choice for giving to fancy and imagination, each its own sense. Cowley is a fanciful writer, Milton an imaginative poet. Then I proceed with the distinction, how ill fancy assorts with imagination, as instanced in Milton's Limbo. [3]


I should rather express the difference between the faithful of the Synagogue and those of the Church, thus:—That the former hoped generally by an implicit faith;—"It shall in all things be well with all that love the Lord; therefore it cannot but be good for us and well with us to rest with our forefathers." But the Christian hath an assured hope by an explicit and particular faith, a hope because its object is future, not because it is uncertain. The one was on the road journeying toward a friend of his father's, who had promised he would be kind to him even to the third and fourth generation. He comforts himself on the road, first, by means of the various places of refreshment, which that friend had built for travellers and continued to supply; and secondly, by anticipation of a kind reception at the friend's own mansion-house. But the other has received an express invitation to a banquet, beholds the preparations, and has only to wash and put on the proper robes, in order to sit down.

Ib. p. 11.

The reason why our translators, in the beginning, did choose rather to use the word 'congregation' than 'Church,' was not, as the adversary maliciously imagineth, for that they feared the very name of the Church; but because as by the name of religion and religious men, ordinarily in former times, men understood nothing but factitias religiones, as Gerson out of Anselme calleth them, that is, the professions of monks and friars, so, &c.

For the same reason the word 'religion' for [Greek: Thraeskia] in St. James [4] ought now to be altered to ceremony or ritual. The whole version has by change of language become a dangerous mistranslation, and furnishes a favorite text to our moral preachers, Church Socinians and other christened pagans now so rife amongst us. What was the substance of the ceremonial law is but the ceremonial part of the Christian religion; but it is its solemn ceremonial law, and though not the same, yet one with it and inseparable, even as form and substance. Such is St. James's doctrine, destroying at one blow Antinomianism and the Popish popular doctrine of good works.

Ib. c. 18. p. 27.

But if the Church of God remains in Corinth, where there were 'divisions, sects, emulations', &c. ... who dare deny those societies to be the Churches of God, wherein the tenth part of these horrible evils and abuses is not to be found?

It is rare to meet with sophistry in this sound divine; but here he seems to border on it. For first the Corinthian Church upon admonition repented of its negligence; and secondly, the objection of the Puritans was, that the constitution of the Church precluded discipline.

B. II. c. 2. p. 31.

'Miscreant' is twice used in this page in its original sense of misbeliever.

Ib. c. 4. p. 35.

'Discourse' is here used for the discursive acts of the understanding, even as 'discursive, is opposed to 'intuitive' by Milton [5] and others. Thus understand Shakspeare's "discourse of reason" for those discursions of mind which are peculiar to rational beings.

B. III. c. 1.p. 53.

The first publishers of the Gospel of Christ delivered a rule of faith to the Christian Churches which they founded, comprehending all those articles that are found in that 'epitome' of Christian religion, which we call the Apostles' Creed.

This needs proof. I rather believe that the so called Apostles' Creed was really the Creed of the Roman or Western church, (and possibly in its present form, the catechismal rather than the baptismal creed),—and that other churches in the East had Creeds equally ancient, and, from their being earlier troubled with Anti Trinitarian heresies, more express on the divinity of Christ than the Roman.

Ib. p. 58.

Fourthly, that it is no less absurd to say, as the Papists do, that our satisfaction is required as a condition, without which Christ's satisfaction is not appliable unto us, than to say, Peter hath paid the debt of John, and he to whom it was due accepteth of the same payment, conditionally if he pay it himself also.

This [6] propriation of a metaphor, namely, forgiveness of sin and abolition of guilt through the redemptive power of Christ's love and of his perfect obedience during his voluntary assumption of humanity, expressed, on account of the sameness of the consequences in both cases, by the payment of a debt for another, which debt the payer had not himself incurred,—the propriation of this, I say, by transferring the sameness from the consequents to the antecedents is the one point of orthodoxy (so called, I mean) in which I still remain at issue. It seems to me so evidently a [Greek: metabasis eis allo genos.] A metaphor is an illustration of something less known by a more or less partial identification of it with something better understood. Thus St. Paul illustrates the consequences of the act of redemption by four different metaphors drawn from things most familiar to those, for whom it was to be illustrated, namely, sin-offerings or sacrificial expiation; reconciliation; ransom from slavery; satisfaction of a just creditor by vicarious payment of the debt. These all refer to the consequences of redemption.

Now, St. John without any metaphor declares the mode by and in which it is effected; for he identifies it with a fact, not with a consequence, and a fact too not better understood in the one case than in the other, namely, by generation and birth. There remains, therefore, only the redemptive act itself, and this is transcendant, ineffable, and 'a fortiori', therefore, inexplicable. Like the act of primal apostasy, it is in its own nature a mystery, known only through faith in the spirit.

James owes John L100, which (to prevent James's being sent to prison) Henry pays for him; and John has no longer any claim. But James is cruel and ungrateful to Mary, his tender mother. Henry, though no relation, acts the part of a loving and dutiful son to Mary. But will this satisfy the mother's claims on James, or entitle him to her esteem, approbation, and blessing? If, indeed, by force of Henry's example or persuasion, or any more mysterious influence, James repents and becomes himself a good and dutiful child, then, indeed, Mary is wholly satisfied; but then the case is no longer a question of debt in that sense in which it can be paid by another, though the effect, of which alone St. Paul was speaking, is the same in both cases to James as the debtor, and to James as the undutiful son. He is in both cases liberated from the burthen, and in both cases he has to attribute his exoneration to the act of another; as cause simply in the payment of the debt, or as likewise 'causa causae' in James's reformation. Such is my present opinion: God grant me increase of light either to renounce or confirm it.

Perhaps the different terms of the above position may be more clearly stated thus:

1. 'agens causator' 2. 'actus causativus:' 3. 'effectus causatus:' 4. 'consequentia ab effecto.'

1. The co-eternal Son of the living God, incarnate, tempted, crucified, resurgent, communicant of his spirit, ascendant, and obtaining for his church the descent of the Holy Ghost.

2. A spiritual and transcendant mystery.

3. The being born anew, as before in the flesh to the world, so now in the spirit to Christ: where the differences are, the spirit opposed to the flesh, and Christ to the world; the 'punctum indifferens', or combining term, remaining the same in both, namely, a birth.

4. Sanctification from sin and liberation from the consequences of sin, with all the means and process of sanctification, being the same for the sinner relatively to God and his own soul, as the satisfaction of a creditor for a debt, or as the offering of an atoning sacrifice for a transgressor of the law; as a reconciliation for a rebellious son or a subject to his alienated parent or offended sovereign; and as a ransom is for a slave in a heavy captivity.

Now my complaint is that our systematic divines transfer the paragraph 4 to the paragraphs 2 and 3, interpreting 'proprio sensu et ad totum 'what is affirmed 'sensu metaphorico et ad partem', that is, 'ad consequentia a regeneratione effecta per actum causativum primi agentis, uempe [Greek: Logou] redemptoris', and by this interpretation substituting an identification absolute for an equation proportional.

4th May, 1819.

Ib. p. 62.

Personality is nothing but the existence of nature itself.

God alone had his nature in himself; that is, God alone contains in himself the ground of his own existence. But were this definition of Field's right, we might predicate personality of a worm, or wherever we find life. Better say,—personality is individuality existing in itself, but with a nature as its ground.

Ib. p.66.

Accursing Eutyches as a heretic.

It puzzles me to understand what sense Field gave to the word, heresy. Surely every slight error, even though persevered in, is not to be held a heresy, or its asserters accursed. The error ought at least to respect some point of faith essential to the great ends of the Gospel. Thus the phrase 'cursing Eutyches,' is to me shockingly unchristian. I could not dare call even the opinion cursed, till I saw how it injured the faith in Christ, weakened our confidence in him, or lessened our love and gratitude.

Ib. p.71.

'If ye be circumcised ye are fallen from grace, and Christ can profit you nothing.'

It seems impossible but that these words had a relation to the particular state of feeling and belief, out of which the anxiety to be circumcised did in those particular persons proceed, and not absolutely, and at all times to the act itself, seeing that St. Paul himself circumcised Timothy from motives of charity and prudence.

Ib. c.3. p.76.

The things that pertain to the Christian faith and religion are of two sorts; for there are some things 'explicite', some things 'implicite credenda'; that is, there are some things that must be particularly and expressly known and believed, as that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Ghost God, and yet they are not three Gods but one God; and some other, which though all men, at all times, be not bound upon the peril of damnation to know and believe expressly, yet whosoever will be saved must believe them at least 'implicite', and in generality, as that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fled into Egypt.

Merciful Heaven! Eternal misery and the immitigable wrath of God, and the inextinguishable fire of hell amid devils, parricides, and haters of God and all goodness—this is the verdict which a Protestant divine passes against the man, who though sincerely believing the whole Nicene creed and every doctrine and precept taught in the New Testament, and living accordingly, should yet have convinced himself that the first chapters of St. Matthew and St. Luke were not parts of the original Gospels!

Ib. p.77.

So in the beginning, Nestorius did not err, touching the unity of Christ's person in the diversity of the natures of God and man; but only disliked that Mary should be called the mother of God: which form of speaking when some demonstrated to be very fitting and unavoidable, if Christ were God and man in the unity of the same person, he chose rather to deny the unity of Christ's person than to acknowledge his temerity and rashness in reproving that form of speech, which the use of the church had anciently received and allowed.

A false charge grounded on a misconception of the Syriac terms. Nestorius was perfectly justifiable in his rejection of the epithet [Greek: theotokos], as applied to the mother of Jesus. The Church was even then only too ripe for the idolatrous 'hyper-dulia' of the Virgin. Not less weak is Field's defence of the propriety of the term. Set aside all reference to this holy mystery, and let me ask, I trust without offence, whether by the same logic a mule's dam might not be called [Greek: hippotokos], because the horse and ass were united in one and the same subject. The difference in the perfect God and perfect man does not remove the objection: for an epithet, which conceals half of a truth, the power and special concerningness of which, relatively to our redemption by Christ, depends on our knowledge of the whole, is a deceptive and a dangerously deceptive epithet.

Ib. c.20. p.110.

Thus, then, the Fathers did sometimes, when they had particular occasions to remember the Saints, and to speak of them, by way of 'apostrophe', turn themselves unto them, and use words of doubtful compellation, praying them, if they have any sense of these inferior things, to be remembrancers to God for them.

The distinct gradations of the process, by which commemoration and rhetorical apostrophes passed finally into idolatry, supply an analogy of mighty force against the heretical 'hypothesis 'of the modern Unitarians. Were it true, they would have been able to have traced the progress of the Christolatry from the lowest sort of 'Christodulia' with the same historical distinctness against the universal Church, that the Protestants have that of hierolatry against the Romanists. The gentle and soft censures which our divines during the reign of the Stuarts pass on the Roman Saint worship, or hieroduly, as an inconvenient superstition, must needs have alarmed the faithful adherents to the Protestantism of Edward VI. and the surviving exiles of bloody Queen Mary's times, and their disciples.

Ib. p.111.

The miracles that God wrought in times past by them made many to attribute more to them than was fit, as if they had a generality of presence, knowledge, and working; but the wisest and best advised never durst attribute any such thing unto them.

To a truly pious mind awfully impressed with the surpassing excellency of God's ineffable love to fallen man, in the revelation of himself to the inner man through the reason and conscience by the spiritual light and substantiality—(for the conscience is to the spirit or reason what the understanding is to the sense, a substantiative power); this consequence of miracles is so fearful, that it cannot but redouble his zeal against that fashion of modern theologists which would convert miracles from a motive to attention and solicitous examination, and at best from a negative condition of revelation, into the positive foundation of Christian faith.

Ib. c.22. p.116.

But if this be as vile a slander as ever Satanist devised, the Lord reward them that have been the authors and advisers of it according to their works.

O no! no! this the good man did not utter from his heart, but from his passion. A vile and wicked slander it was and is. O may God have turned the hearts of those who uttered it, or may it be among their unknown sins done in ignorance, for which the infinite merits of Christ may satisfy! I am most assured that if Dr. Field were now alive, or if any one had but said this to him, he would have replied—"I thank thee, brother, for thy Christian admonition. Add thy prayer, and pray God to forgive me my inconsiderate zeal!"

Ib. c. 23. p. 119.

For what rectitude is due to the specifical act of hating God? or what rectitude is it capable of?

Is this a possible act to any man understanding by the word God what we mean by God?

Ib. p. 129.

It is this complicated dispute, as to the origin and permission of evil, which supplies to atheism its most plausible, because its only moral, arguments; but more especially to that species of atheism which existed in Greece in the form of polytheism, admitting moral and intelligent shapers and governors of the world, but denying an intelligent ground, or self-conscious Creator of the universe; their gods being themselves the offspring of chaos and necessity, that is, of matter and its essential laws or properties.

The Leibnitzian distinction of the Eternal Reason, or nature of God, [Greek: to theion](the [Greek: nous kai anagkae] of Timaeus Locrus) from the will or personal attributes of God—([Greek: thelaema kai boulaesis—agathou patros agathon boulaema])—planted the germ of the only possible solution, or rather perhaps, in words less exceptionable and more likely to be endured in the schools of modern theology, brought forward the truth involved in Behmen's too bold distinction of God and the ground of God;—who yet in this is to be excused, not only for his good aim and his ignorance of scholastic terms, but likewise because some of the Fathers expressed themselves no less crudely in the other extreme; though it is not improbable that the meaning was the same in both.

At least Behmen constantly makes self-existence a positive act, so as that by an eternal [Greek: perich_oraesis] or mysterious intercirculation God wills himself out of the 'ground' ([Greek: to theion—to hen kai pan],—'indifferentia absoluta realitatis infinitae et infinitae potentialitatis')—and again by his will, as God existing, gives being to the ground, [Greek: autogenaes—autophylaes—uhios heautou]. 'Solus Deus est;—itaque principium, qui ex seipso dedit sibi ipse principium. Deus ipse sui origo est, suaeque causa substantiae, id quod est, ex se et in se continens. Ex seipso procreatus ipse se fecit', &c., of Synesius, Jerome, Hilary, and Lactantius and others involve the same conception.

Ib. c. 27. p. 140.

The seventh is the heresy of Sabellius, which he saith was revived by Servetus. So it was indeed, that Servetus revived in our time the damnable heresy of Sabellius, long since condemned in the first ages of the Church. But what is that to us? How little approbation he found amongst us, the just and honourable proceeding against him at Geneva will witness to all posterity.

Shocking as this act must and ought to be to all Christians at present; yet this passage and a hundred still stronger from divines and Church letters contemporary with Calvin, prove Servetus' death not to be Calvin's guilt especially, but the common 'opprobrium' of all European Christendom,—of the Romanists whose laws the Senate of Geneva followed, and from fear of whose reproaches (as if Protestants favoured heresy) they executed them,—and of the Protestant churches who applauded the act and returned thanks to Calvin and the Senate for it. [7]

Ib. c. 30. p. 143.

The twelfth heresy imputed to us is the heresy of Jovinian, concerning whom we must observe, that Augustine ascribeth unto him two opinions which Hierome mentioneth not; who yet was not likely to spare him, if he might truly have been charged with them. The first, that Mary ceased to be a virgin when she had borne Christ; the second, that all sins are equal.

Neither this nor that is worthy the name of opinion; it is mere unscriptural, nay, anti-scriptural gossiping. Are we to blame, or not rather to praise, the anxiety manifested by the great divines of the church of England under the Stuarts not to remove further than necessary from the Romish doctrines? Yet one wishes a bolder method; for example, as to Mary's private history after the conception and birth of Christ, we neither know nor care about it.

Ib. c. 31. p. 146.

For the opinions wherewith Hierome chargeth him, this we briefly answer. First, if he absolutely denied that the Saints departed do pray for us, as it seemeth he did by Hierome's reprehension, we think he erred.

Yet not heretically; and if he meant only that we being wholly ignorant, whether they do or no, ought to act as if we knew they did not, he is perfectly right; for whatever ye do, do it in faith. As to the ubiquity of saints, it is Jerome who is the heretic, nay, idolater, if he reduced his opinion to practice. It perplexes me, that Field speaks so doubtingly on a matter so plain as the incommunicability of omnipresence.

Ib. c. 32. p. 147.

Touching the second objection, that Bucer and Calvin deny original sin, though not generally, as did Zuinglius, yet at least in the children of the faithful. If he had said that these men affirm the earth doth move, and the heavens stand still, he might have as soon justified it against them, as this he now saith.

Very noticeable. A similar passage occurs even so late as in Sir Thomas Brown, just at the dawn of the Newtonian system, and after Kepler. What a lesson of diffidence! [8]

Ib. p. 148.

For we do not deny the distinction of venial and mortal sins; but do think, that some sins are rightly said to be mortal and some venial; not for that some are worthy of eternal punishment and therefore named mortal, others of temporal only, and therefore judged venial as the Papists imagine: but for that some exclude grace out of that man in which they are found and so leave him in a state wherein he hath nothing in himself that can or will procure him pardon: and other, which though in themselves considered, and never remitted, they be worthy of eternal punishment, yet do not so far prevail as to banish grace, the fountain of remission of all misdoings.

Would not the necessary consequence of this be, that there are no actions that can be pronounced mortal sins by mortals; and that what we might fancy venial might in individual cases be mortal and 'vice versa'.


First, because every offence against God may justly be punished by him in the strictness of his righteous judgments with eternal death, yea, with annihilation; which appeareth to be most true, for that there is no punishment so evil, and so much to be avoided, as the least sin that may be imagined. So that a man should rather choose eternal death, yea, utter annihilation, than commit the least offence in the world.

I admit this to be Scriptural; but what is wanted is, clearly to state the difference between eternal death and annihilation. For who would not prefer the latter, if the former mean everlasting misery?

Ib. c. 41. p. 62.

But he will say, Cyprian calleth the Roman Church the principal Church whence sacerdotal unity hath her spring; hereunto we answer, that the Roman Church, not in power of overruling all, but in order is the first and principal; and that therefore while she continueth to hold the truth, and encroacheth not upon the right of other Churches, she is to have the priority; but that in either of these cases she may be forsaken without breach of that unity, which is essentially required in the parts of the Church.

This is too large a concession. The real ground of the priority of the Roman see was that Rome, for the first three or perhaps four centuries, was the metropolis of the Christian world. Afterwards for the very same reason the Patriarch of New Rome or Constantinople claimed it; and never ceased to assert at least a co-equality. Had the Apostolic foundation been the cause, Jerusalem and Antioch must have had priority; not to add that the Roman Church was not founded by either Paul or Peter as is evident from the epistle to the Romans.

Append. B. III. p. 205.

I do not think the attack on Transubstantiation the most successful point of the orthodox Protestant controversialists. The question is, what is meant in Scripture, as in 'John' vi. by Christ's body or flesh and blood. Surely not the visible, tangible, accidental body, that is, a cycle of images and sensations in the imagination of the beholders; but his supersensual body, the 'noumenon' of his human nature which was united to his divine nature.

In this sense I understand the Lutheran ubiquity. But may not the "oblations" referred to by Field in the old canon of the Mass, have meant the alms, offerings always given at the Eucharist? If by "substance" in the enunciation of the article be meant 'id quod vere est', and if the divine nature be the sole 'ens vere ens', then it is possible to give a philosophically intelligible sense to Luther's doctrine of consubstantiation; at least to a doctrine that might bear the same name;—at all events the mystery is not greater than, if it be not rather the same as, the assumption of the human by the divine nature.

Now for the possible conception of this we must accurately discriminate the 'incompossibile negativum' from the 'incompatibile privativum'. Of the latter are all positive imperfections, as error, vice, and evil passions; of the former simple limitation.

Thus if '(per impossible)' human nature could make itself sinless and perfect, it would become or pass into God; and if God should abstract from human nature all imperfection, it might without impropriety be affirmed, even as Scripture doth affirm, that God assumed or took up into himself the human nature.

Thus, to use a dim similitude and merely as a faint illustration, all materiality abstracted from a circle, it would become space, and though not infinite, yet one with infinite space. The mystery of omnipresence greatly aids this conception; 'totus in omni parte': and in truth this is the divine character of all the Christian mysteries, that they aid each other, and many incomprehensibles render each of them, in a certain qualified sense, less incomprehensible.

Ib. p. 208.

But first, it is impious to think of destroying Christ in any sort. For though it be true, that in sacrificing of Christ on the altar of the cross, the destroying and killing of him was implied, and this his death was the life of the world, yet all that concurred to the killing of him, as the Jews, the Roman soldiers, Pilate, and Judas sinned damnably, and so had done, though they had shed his blood with an intention and desire, that by it the world might be redeemed.

Is not this going too far? Would it not imply almost that Christ himself could not righteously sacrifice himself, especially when we consider that the Romanists would have a right to say, that Christ himself had commanded it? But Bellarmine's conceit [9] is so absurd that it scarce deserves the compliment of a serious confutation. For if sacramental being be opposed to natural or material, as 'noumenon' to 'phaenomenon', place is no attribute or possible accident of it 'in se'; consequently, no alteration of place relatively to us can affect, much less destroy, it; and even were it otherwise, yet translocation is not destruction; for the body of Christ, according to themselves, doth indeed nourish our souls, even as a fish eaten sustains another fish, but yet with this essential difference, that it ceases not to be and remain itself, and instead of being converted converts; so that truly the only things sacrificed in the strict sense are all the evil qualities or deficiencies which divide our souls from Christ.

Ib. p. 218.

That which we do is done in remembrance of that which was then done; for he saith, 'Do this in remembrance of me.'

This is a 'metastasis' of Scripture. 'Do this in remembrance of me', that is, that which Christ was then doing. But Christ was not then suffering, or dying on the cross.

Ib. p.223.

That the Saints do pray for us 'in genere', desiring God to be merciful to us, and to do unto us whatsoever in any kind he knoweth needful for our good, there is no question made by us.

To have placed this question in its true light, so as to have allowed the full force to the Scriptures asserting the communion of Saints and the efficacy of their intercession without undue concessions to the 'hierolatria' of the Romish church, would have implied an acquaintance with the science of transcendental analysis, and an insight into the philosophy of ideas not to be expected in Field, and which was then only dawning in the mind of Lord Bacon. The proper reply to Brerely would be this: the communion and intercession of Saints is an idea, and must be kept such. But the Romish church has changed it away into the detail of particular and individual conceptions, and imaginations, into names and fancies.

N.B. Instead of the 'Roman Catholic' read throughout in this and all other works, and everywhere and on all occasions, unless where the duties of formal courtesy forbid, say, the 'Romish anti-Catholic Church;' Romish—to mark that the corruptions in discipline, doctrine and practice do for the worst and far larger part owe both their origin and their perpetuation to the court and local tribunals of the city of Rome, and are not and never have been the catholic, that is, universal faith of the Roman empire, or even of the whole Latin or Western church; and anti-Catholic,—because no other Church acts on so narrow and excommunicative a principle, or is characterized by such a jealous spirit of monopoly and particularism, counterfeiting catholicity by a negative totality and heretical self-circumscription, cutting off, or cutting herself off from, all the other members of Christ's Body.

12th March, 1824.

It is of the utmost importance, wherever clear and distinct conceptions are required, to make out in the first instance whether the term in question, or the main terms of the question in dispute, represents or represent a fact or class of facts simply, or some self-established and previously known idea or principle, of which the facts are instances and realizations, or which is introduced in order to explain and account for the facts. Now the term 'merits,' as applied to Abraham and the saints, belongs to the former. It is a mere 'nomen appellativum' of the facts.

Ib. c. 5. p. 252.

The Papists and we agree that original sin is the privation of original righteousness; but they suppose there was in nature without that addition of grace, a power to do good, &c.

Nothing seems wanting to this argument but a previous definition and explanation of the term, 'nature.' Field appears to have seen the truth, namely, that nature itself is a peccant (I had almost said an unnatural) state, or rather no State at all, [Greek: ou stasis all' apostasis].

Ib. c. 6. p. 269.

And surely the words of Augustine do not import that she had no sin, but that she overcame it, which argueth a conflict; neither doth he say he will acknowledge she was without sin, but that he will not move any question touching her, in this dispute of sins and sinners.

Why not say at once, that this anti-Scriptural superstition had already begun? I scarcely know whether to be pleased or grieved with that edging on toward the Roman creed, that exceeding, almost Scriptural, tenderness for the divines of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, which distinguishes the Church of England dignitaries, from Elizabeth inclusively to our Revolution in 1688, from other Protestants.

Ib. c. 10. p. 279.

Derwent! should this page chance to fall under your eye, for my sake read, fag, subdue, and take up into your proper mind this chapter 10 of Free Will.

Ib. p. 281.

Of these five kinds of liberty, the two first agree only to God, so that in the highest degree [Greek: to autexousion], that is, freedom of will is proper to God only; and in this sense Calvin and Luther rightly deny that the will of any creature is or ever was free.

I add, except as in God, and God in us. Now the latter alone is will; for it alone is 'ens super ens'. And here lies the mystery, which I dare not openly and promiscuously reveal.


Yet doth not God's working upon the will take from it the power of dissenting, and doing the contrary; but so inclineth it, that having liberty to do otherwise, yet she will actually determine so.

This will not do. Were it true, then my understanding would be free in a mathematical proportion; or the whole position amounts only to this, that the will, though compelled, is still the will. Be it so; yet not a free will. In short, Luther and Calvin are right so far. A creaturely will cannot be free; but the will in a rational creature may cease to be creaturely, and the creature, [Greek: apostasis], finally cease in consequence; and this neither Luther nor Calvin seem to have seen. In short, where omnipotence is on one side, what but utter impotence can remain for the other? To make freedom possible, the 'antithesis' must be removed. The removal of this 'antithesis' of the creature to God is the object of the Redemption, and forms the glorious liberty of the Gospel. More than this I am not permitted to expose.

Ib. p. 283.

It is not given, nor is it wanting, to all men to have an insight into the mystery of the human will and its mode of inherence on the will which is God, as the ineffable 'causa sui'; but this chapter will suffice to convince you that the doctrines of Calvin were those of Luther in this point;—that they are intensely metaphysical, and that they are diverse 'toto genere' from the merely moral and psychological— tenets of the modern Calvinists. Calvin would have exclaimed, 'fire and fagots!' before he had gotten through a hundred pages of Dr. Williams's Modern Calvinism.

Ib. c. 11. p. 296.

Neither can Vega avoid the evidence of the testimonies of the Fathers, and the decree of the Council of Trent, so that he must be forced to confess that no man can so collectively fulfil the law as not to sin, and consequently, that no man can perform that the law requireth.

The paralogism of Vega as to this perplexing question seems to lurk in the position that God gives a law which it is impossible we should obey collectively. But the truth is, that the law which God gave, and which from the essential holiness of his nature it is impossible he should not have given, man deprived himself of the ability to obey. And was the law of God therefore to be annulled? Must the sun cease to shine because the earth has become a morass, so that even that very glory of the sun hath become a new cause of its steaming up clouds and vapors that strangle the rays? God forbid! 'But for the law I had not sinned'. But had I not been sinful the law would not have occasioned me to sin, but would have clothed me with righteousness, by the transmission of its splendour. 'Let God be just, and every man a liar'.

B. iv. c. 4. p. 346.

The Church of God is named the 'Pillar of Truth;' not as if truth did depend on the Church, &c.

Field might have strengthened his argument, by mention of the custom of not only affixing records and testimonials to the pillars, but books, &c.

Ib. c. 7. p. 353.

Others therefore, to avoid this absurdity, run into that other before mentioned, that we believe the things that are divine by the mere and absolute command of our will, not finding any sufficient motives and reasons of persuasion.

Field, nor Count Mirandula have penetrated to the heart of this most fundamental question. In all proper faith the will is the prime agent, but not therefore the choice. You may call it reason if you will, but then carefully distinguish the speculative from the practical reason, and the reason itself from the understanding.

Ib. c. 8. p. 356.

'Illius virtute' (saith he) 'illuminati, jam non aut nostro, aut aliorum judicio credimus a Deo esse Scripturam, sed supra humanum judicium certo certius constituimus, non secus ac si ipsius Dei numen illic intueremur, hominum ministerio ab ipsissimo Dei ore fluxisse.'

Greatly doth this fine passage need explanation, that knowing what it doth mean, the reader may understand what it doth not mean, nor of necessity imply. Without this insight, our faith may be terribly shaken by difficulties and objections. For example; If all the Scripture, then each component part; thence every faithful Christian infallible, and so on.

Ib. p. 357.

In the second the light of divine reason causeth approbation of that they believe: in the third sort, the purity of divine understanding apprehendeth most certainly the things believed, and causeth a foretasting of those things that hereafter more fully shall be enjoyed.

Here too Field distinguishes the understanding from the reason, as experience following perception of sense. But as perception through the mere presence of the object perceived, whether to the outward or inner sense, is not insight which belongs to the 'light of reason,' therefore Field marks it by 'purity' that is unmixed with fleshly sensations or the 'idola' of the bodily eye. Though Field is by no means consistent in his 'epitheta' of the understanding, he seldom confounds the word itself. In theological Latin, the understanding, as influenced and combined with the affections and desires, is most frequently expressed by 'cor', the heart. Doubtless the most convenient form of appropriating the terms would be to consider the understanding as man's intelligential faculty, whatever be its object, the sensible or the intelligible world; while reason is the tri-unity, as it were, of the spiritual eye, light, and object.

Ib. c. 10. p. 358.

Of the Papists preferring the Church's authority before the Scripture.

Field, from the nature and special purpose of his controversy, is reluctant to admit any error in the Fathers,—too much so indeed; and this is an instance. We all know what we mean by the Scriptures, but how know we what they mean by the Church, which is neither thing nor person? But this is a very difficult subject.

Ib. p. 359.

First, so as if the Church might define contrary to the Scriptures, as she may contrary to the writings of particular men, how great soever.

Verbally, the more sober divines of the Church of Rome do not assert this; but practically and by consequence they do. For if the Church assign a sense contradictory to the true sense of the Scripture, none dare gainsay it. [10]


This we deny, and will in due place 'improve' their error herein.

That is, prove against, detect, or confute.

Ib. c. 11. p. 360.

If the comparison be made between the Church consisting of all the believers that are and have been since Christ appeared in the flesh, so including the Apostles, and their blessed assistants the Evangelists, we deny not but that the Church is of greater authority, antiquity, and excellency than the Scriptures of the New Testament, as the witness is better than his testimony, and the law-giver greater than the laws made by him, as Stapleton allegeth.

The Scriptures may be and are an intelligible and real one, but the Church on earth can in no sense be such in and through itself, that is, its component parts, but only by their common adherence to the body of truth made present in the Scripture. Surely you would not distinguish the Scripture from its contents?

Ib. c. 12. p. 361.

For the better understanding whereof we must observe, as Occam fitly noteth, that an article of faith is sometimes strictly taken only for one of those divine verities, which are contained in the Creed of the Apostles: sometimes generally for any catholic verity.

I am persuaded, that this division will not bear to be expanded into all its legitimate consequences 'sine periculo vel fidei vel charitatis'. I should substitute the following:

1. The essentials of that saving faith, which having its root and its proper and primary seat in the moral will, that is, in the heart and affections, is necessary for each and every individual member of the church of Christ:—

2. Those truths which are essential and necessary in order to the logical and rational possibility of the former, and the belief and assertion of which are indispensable to the Church at large, as those truths without which the body of believers, the Christian world, could not have been and cannot be continued, though it be possible that in this body this or that individual may be saved without the conscious knowledge of, or an explicit belief in, them.


And therefore before and without such determination, men seeing clearly the deduction of things of this nature from the former, and refusing to believe them, are condemned of heretical pertinacy.

Rather, I should think, of a nondescript lunacy than of heretical pravity. A child may explicitly know that 5 + 5 = 10, yet not see that therefore 10 - 5 = 5; but when he has seen it how he can refrain from believing the latter as much as the former, I have no conception.

Ib. c. 16. p. 367.

And the third of jurisdiction; and so they that have supreme power, that is, the Bishops assembled in a general Council, may interpret the Scriptures, and by their authority suppress all them that shall gainsay such interpretations, and subject every man that shall disobey such determinations as they consent upon, to excommunication and censures of like nature.

This would be satisfactory, if only Field had cleared the point of the communion in the Lord's Supper; whether taken spiritually, though in consequence of excommunication not ritually, it yet sufficeth to salvation. If so, excommunication is merely declarative, and the evil follows not the declaration but that which is truly declared, as when Richard says that Francis deserves the gallows, as a robber. The gallows depends on the fact of the robbery, not on Richard's saying.

Ib. c. 29. p. 391.

In the 1 Cor. 15. the Greek, that now is, hath in all copies; 'the first man was of the earth, earthly; the second man is the Lord from heaven'. The latter part of this sentence Tertullian supposeth to have been corrupted, and altered by the Marcionites. Instead of that the Latin text hath; 'the second man was from heaven, heavenly', as Ambrose, Hierome, and many of the Fathers read also.

There ought to be, and with any man of taste there can be, no doubt that our version is the true one. That of Ambrose and Jerome is worthy of mere rhetoricians; a flat formal play of 'antithesis' instead of the weight and solemnity of the other. [11] According to the former the scales are even, in the latter the scale of Christ drops down at once, and the other flies to the beam like a feather weighed against a mass of gold.

Append. Part. I. s. 4. p. 752.

And again he saith, that every soul, immediately upon the departure hence, is in this appointed invisible place, having there either pain, or ease and refreshing; that there the rich man is in pain, and the poor in a comfortable estate. For, saith he, why should we not think, that the souls are tormented, or refreshed in this invisible place, appointed for them in expectation of the future judgment?

This may be adduced as an instance, specially, of the evil consequences of introducing the 'idolon' of time as an 'ens reale' into spiritual doctrines, thus understanding literally what St. Paul had expressed by figure and adaptation. Hence the doctrine of a middle state, and hence Purgatory with all its abominations; and an instance, generally, of the incalculable possible importance of speculative errors on the happiness and virtue of man-kind.

[Footnote 1: Folio 1628.—Ed.]

[Footnote 2: The following letter was written on, and addressed with, the book to the Rev. Derwent Coleridge.—Ed.]

[Footnote 3: 'P. L.' III. 487.—Ed.]

[Footnote 4: i. 27. See 'Aids to Reflection'. 3d edit. p. 17. n.—Ed.]

[Footnote 5:

... whence the soul Reason receives, and reason is her being, Discursive or intuitive.

'P. L.' v. 426.—Ed.]

[Footnote 6: The reader of the 'Aids to Reflection' will recognize in this note the rough original of the passages p. 313, &c. of the 3d edition of that work.—Ed.]

[Footnote 7: See 'Table Talk', 2d edit. p. 283. Melancthon's words to Calvin are:

'Tuo judicio prorsus assentior. Affirmu etiam vestros magistratus juste fecisse, quod hominem blasphemum, re ordine judicata, interfecerunt.'

14th Oct. 1554.—Ed.

[Footnote 8:

"But to circle the earth, 'as the heavenly bodies do',' &c. 'So we may see that the opinion of Copernicus touching the rotation of the earth, which astronomy itself cannot correct, because it is not repugnant to any of the 'phaenomena', yet 'natural history may correct'."

'Advancement of Learning', B. II.—Ed.]

[Footnote 9: That Christ had a twofold being, natural and sacramental; that the Jews destroyed and sacrificed his natural being, and that Christian priests destroy and sacrifice in the Mass his sacramental being.—Ed.]

[Footnote 10:

'Fides catholica', says Bellarmine, 'docet omnem virtutem esse bonam, omne vitium esse malum. Si autem erraret Papa praecipiendo vitia vel prohibendo virtutes, teneretur Ecclesia credere vitia esse bona et virtutes malas, nisi vellet contra conscientiam peccare.'

'De Pont. Roman'. IV. 5.—Ed.]

[Footnote 11: The ordinary Greek text is:

[Greek: ho deuteros anthropos, ho Kyrios ex ouranou].

The Vulgate is:

'primus homo de terra, terrenus; secundus homo de coelis, coelestis.'—Ed.]


There have been many, and those illustrious, divines in our Church from Elizabeth to the present day, who, overvaluing the accident of antiquity, and arbitrarily determining the appropriation of the words 'ancient,' 'primitive,' and the like to a certain date, as for example, to all before the fourth, fifth, or sixth century, were resolute protesters against the corruptions and tyranny of the Romish hierarch, and yet lagged behind Luther and the Reformers of the first generation. Hence I have long seen the necessity or expedience of a threefold division of divines. There are many, whom God forbid that I should call Papistic, or, like Laud, Montague, Heylyn, and others, longing for a Pope at Lambeth, whom yet I dare not name Apostolic. Therefore I divide our theologians into,

1. Apostolic or Pauline: 2. Patristic: 3. Papal.

Even in Donne, and still more in Bishops Andrews and Hackett, there is a strong Patristic leaven. In Jeremy Taylor this taste for the Fathers and all the Saints and Schoolmen before the Reformation amounted to a dislike of the divines of the continental Protestant Churches, Lutheran or Calvinistic. But this must, in part at least, be attributed to Taylor's keen feelings as a Carlist, and a sufferer by the Puritan anti-prelatic party.

I would thus class the pentad of operative Christianity:—

'Prothesis' Christ, the Word

'Thesis' 'Mesothesis' 'Antithesis' The Scriptures The Holy Spirit The Church

'Synthesis' The Preacher

The Papacy elevated the Church to the virtual exclusion or suppression of the Scriptures: the modern Church of England, since Chillingworth, has so raised up the Scriptures as to annul the Church; both alike have quenched the Holy Spirit, as the 'mesothesis' of the two, and substituted an alien compound for the genuine Preacher, who should be the 'synthesis' of the Scriptures and the Church, and the sensible voice of the Holy Spirit.

Serm. I. Coloss. i. 19, 20. p. 1. Ib. E.

What could God pay for me? What could God suffer? God himself could not; and therefore God hath taken a body that could.

God forgive me,—or those who first set abroad this strange [Greek: metabasis eis allo genos], this debtor and creditor scheme of expounding the mystery of Redemption, or both! But I never can read the words, 'God himself could not; and therefore took a body that could'—without being reminded of the monkey that took the cat's paw to take the chestnuts out of the fire, and claimed the merit of puss's sufferings. I am sure, however, that the ludicrous images, under which this gloss of the Calvinists embodies itself to my fancy, never disturb my recollections of the adorable mystery itself. It is clear that a body, remaining a body, can only suffer as a body: for no faith can enable us to believe that the same thing can be at once A. and not A. Now that the body of our Lord was not transelemented or transnatured by the 'pleroma' indwelling, we are positively assured by Scripture. Therefore it would follow from this most unscriptural doctrine, that the divine justice had satisfaction made to it by the suffering of a body which had been brought into existence for this special purpose, in lieu of the debt of eternal misery due from, and leviable on, the bodies and souls of all mankind! It is to this gross perversion of the sublime idea of the Redemption by the cross, that we must attribute the rejection of the doctrine of redemption by the Unitarian, and of the Gospel 'in toto' by the more consequent Deist.

Ib. p. 2. C.

And yet, even this dwelling fullness, even in this person Christ Jesus, by no title of merit in himself, but only 'quia complacuit', because it pleased the Father it should be so.

This, in the intention of the preacher, may have been sound, but was it safe, divinity? In order to the latter, methinks, a less equivocal word than 'person' ought to have been adopted; as 'the body and soul of the man Jesus, considered abstractedly from the divine Logos, who in it took up humanity into deity, and was Christ Jesus.' Dare we say that there was no self-subsistent, though we admit no self-originated, merit in the Christ? It seems plain to me, that in this and sundry other passages of St. Paul, 'the Father' means the total triune Godhead.

It appears to me, that dividing the Church of England into two aeras—the first from Ridley to Field, or from Edward VI. to the commencement of the latter third of the reign of James I, and the second ending with Bull and Stillingfleet, we might characterize their comparative excellences thus: That the divines of the first aera had a deeper, more genial, and a more practical insight into the mystery of Redemption, in the relation of man toward both the act and the author, namely, in all the inchoative states, the regeneration and the operations of saving grace generally;—while those of the second aera possessed clearer and distincter views concerning the nature and necessity of Redemption, in the relation of God toward man, and concerning the connection of Redemption with the article of Tri-unity; and above all, that they surpassed their predecessors in a more safe and determinate scheme of the divine economy of the three persons in the one undivided Godhead. This indeed, was mainly owing to Bishop Bull's masterly work 'De Fide Nicaena', [2] which in the next generation Waterland so admirably maintained, on the one hand, against the philosophy of the Arians,—the combat ending in the death and burial of Arianism, and its descent and 'metempsychosis' into Socinianism, and thence again into modern Unitarianism,—and on the other extreme, against the oscillatory creed of Sherlock, now swinging to Tritheism in the recoil from Sabellianism, and again to Sabellianism in the recoil from Tritheism.


First, we are to consider this fullness to have been in Christ, and then, from this fullness arose his merits; we can consider no merit in Christ himself before, whereby he should merit this fullness; for this fullness was in him before he merited any thing; and but for this fullness he had not so merited. 'Ille homo, ut in unitatem filii Dei assumeretur, unde meruit'? How did that man (says St. Augustine, speaking of Christ, as of the son of man), how did that man merit to be united in one person with the eternal Son of God? 'Quid egit ante? Quid credidit'? What had he done? Nay, what had he believed? Had he either faith or works before that union of both natures?

Dr. Donne and St. Augustine said this without offence; but I much question whether the same would be endured now. That it is, however, in the spirit of Paul and of the Gospel, I doubt not to affirm, and that this great truth is obscured by what in my judgment is the post-Apostolic 'Christopaedia', I am inclined to think.


What canst thou imagine he could foresee in thee? a propensness, a disposition to goodness, when his grace should come? Either there is no such propensness, no such disposition in thee, or, if there be, even that propensness and disposition to the good use of grace, is grace; it is an effect of former grace, and his grace wrought before he saw any such propensness, any such disposition; grace was first, and his grace is his, it is none of thine.

One of many instances in dogmatic theology, in which the half of a divine truth has passed into a fearful error by being mistaken for the whole truth.

Ib. p. 6. D.

God's justice required blood, but that blood is not spilt, but poured from that head to our hearts, into the veins and wounds of our own souls: there was blood shed, but no blood lost.

It is affecting to observe how this great man's mind sways and oscillates between his reason, which demands in the word 'blood' a symbolic meaning, a spiritual interpretation, and the habitual awe for the letter; so that he himself seems uncertain whether he means the physical lymph, 'serum,' and globules that trickled from the wounds of the nails and thorns down the sides and face of Jesus, or the blood of the Son of Man, which he who drinketh not cannot live. Yea, it is most affecting to see the struggles of so great a mind to preserve its inborn fealty to the reason under the servitude to an accepted article of belief, which was, alas! confounded with the high obligations of faith;—faith the co-adunation of the finite individual will with the universal reason, by the submission of the former to the latter. To reconcile redemption by the material blood of Jesus with the mind of the spirit, he seeks to spiritualize the material blood itself in all men! And a deep truth lies hidden even in this. Indeed the whole is a profound subject, the true solution of which may best, God's grace assisting, be sought for in the collation of Paul with John, and specially in St. Paul's assertion that we are baptized into the death of Christ, that we may be partakers of his resurrection and life. [3] It was not on the visible cross, it was not directing attention to the blood-drops on his temples and sides, that our blessed Redeemer said, 'This is my body', and 'this is my blood!

Ib. p. 9. A.

But if we consider those who are in heaven, and have been so from the first minute of their creation, angels, why have they, or how have they any reconciliation? &c.

The history and successive meanings of the term 'angels' in the Old and New Testaments, and the idea that shall reconcile all as so many several forms, and as it were perspectives, of one and the same truth—this is still a 'desideratum' in Christian theology.

Ib. C.

For, at the general resurrection, (which is rooted in the resurrection of Christ, and so hath relation to him) the creature 'shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God; for which the whole creation groans, and travails in pain yet'. (Rom. viii. 21.) This deliverance then from this bondage the whole creature hath by Christ, and that is their reconciliation. And then are we reconciled by the blood of his cross, when having crucified ourselves by a true repentance, we receive the real reconciliation in his blood in the sacrament. But the most proper and most literal sense of these words, is, that all things in heaven and earth be reconciled to God (that is, to his glory, to a fitter disposition to glorify him) by being reconciled to another in Christ; that in him, as head of the church, they in heaven, and we upon earth, be united together as one body in the communion of saints.

A very meagre and inadequate interpretation of this sublime text. The philosophy of life, which will be the 'corona et finis coronans' of the sciences of comparative anatomy and zoology, will hereafter supply a fuller and nobler comment.

Ib. p. 9. A. and B.

The blood of the sacrifices was brought by the high priest 'in sanctum sanctorum', into the place of greatest holiness; but it was brought but once, 'in festo expiationis', in the feast of expiation; but in the other parts of the temple it was sprinkled every day. The blood of the cross of Christ Jesus hath had this effect 'in sancto sanctorum', &c. ... '(to)' Christ Jesus.

A truly excellent and beautiful paragraph.

Ib. C.

If you will mingle a true religion, and a false religion, there is no reconciling of God and Belial in this text. For the adhering of persons born within the Church of Rome to the Church of Rome, our law says nothing to them if they come; but for reconciling to the Church of Rome, for persons born within the allegiance of the king, or for persuading of men to be so reconciled, our law hath called by an infamous and capital name of treason, and yet every tavern and ordinary is full of such traitors, &c.

A strange transition from the Gospel to the English statute-book! But I may observe, that if this statement could be truly made under James I, there was abundantly ampler ground for it in the following reign. And yet with what bitter spleen does Heylyn, Laud's creature, arraign the Parliamentarians for making the same complaint!

Serm. II. Isaiah vii. 14. p. 11.

The fear of giving offence, especially to good men, of whose faith in all essential points we are partakers, may reasonably induce us to be slow and cautious in making up our minds finally on a religious question, and may, and ought to, influence us to submit our conviction to repeated revisals and rehearings. But there may arrive a time of such perfect clearness of view respecting the particular point, as to supersede all fear of man by the higher duty of declaring the whole truth in Jesus. Therefore, having now overpassed six-sevenths of the ordinary period allotted to human life,—resting my whole and sole hope of salvation and immortality on the divinity of Christ, and the redemption by his cross and passion, and holding the doctrine of the Triune God as the very ground and foundation of the Gospel faith,—I feel myself enforced by conscience to declare and avow, that, in my deliberate judgment, the 'Christopaedia' prefixed to the third Gospel and concorporated with the first, but, according to my belief, in its present form the latest of the four, was unknown to, or not recognized by, the Apostles Paul and John; and that, instead of supporting the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Filial Godhead of the Incarnate Word, as set forth by John i 1, and by Paul, it, if not altogether irreconcilable with this faith, doth yet greatly weaken and bedim its evidence; and that, by the too palpable contradictions between the narrative in the first Gospel and that in the third, it has been a fruitful magazine of doubts respecting the historic character of the Gospels themselves. I have read most of the criticisms on this text, and my impression is, that no learned Jew can be expected to receive the common interpretation as the true primary sense of the words. The severely literal Aquila renders the Hebrew word [Greek: neanis]. But were it asked of me: Do you then believe our Lord to have been the Son of Mary by Joseph? I reply: It is a point of religion with me to have no belief one way or the other. I am in this way like St. Paul, more than content not to know Christ himself [Greek: kata sarka]. It is enough for me to know that the Son of God 'became flesh', [Greek: sarx egeneto genomenos ek gynaikos] [4] and more than this, it appears to me, was unknown to the Apostles, or, if known, not taught by them as appertaining to a saving faith in Christ.

October 1831.

Note the affinity in sound of 'son' and 'sun', 'Sohn' and 'Sonne', which is not confined to the Saxon and German, or the Gothic dialects generally. And observe 'conciliare versoehnen=confiliare, facere esse cum filio', one with the Son.

Ib. p. 17. B.

It is a singular testimony, how acceptable to God that state of virginity is. He does not dishonor physic that magnifies health; nor does he dishonor marriage, that praises virginity; let them embrace that state that can, &c.

One of the sad relics of Patristic super-moralization, aggravated by Papal ambition, which clung to too many divines, especially to those of the second or third generation after Luther. Luther himself was too spiritual, of too heroic faith, to be thus blinded by the declamations of the Fathers, whom, with the exception of Augustine, he held in very low esteem.

Ib. D.

And Helvidius said, she had children after.

'Annon Scriptura ipsa'? And a 'heresy,' too! I think I might safely put the question to any serious, spiritual-minded, Christian: What one inference tending to edification, in the discipline of will, mind, or affections, he can draw from the speculations of the last two or three pages of this Sermon respecting Mary's pregnancy and parturition? Can—I write it emphatically—can such points appertain to our faith as Christians, which every parent would decline speaking of before a family, and which, if the questions were propounded by another in the presence of my daughter, aye, or even of my, no less, in mind and imagination, innocent wife, I should resent as an indecency?

Serm. III. Gal. iv. 4, 5. p. 20.

'God sent forth his Son made of a woman'.

I never can admit that [Greek: genomenon] and [Greek: egeneto] in St. Paul and St. John are adequately, or even rightly, rendered by the English 'made.'

Ib. p. 21, A.

What miserable revolutions and changes, what downfalls, what break-necks and precipitations may we justly think ourselves ordained to, if we consider, that in our coming into this world out of our mothers' womb, we do not make account that a child comes right, except it come with the head forward, and thereby prefigure that headlong falling into calamities which it must suffer after?

The taste for these forced and fantastic analogies, Donne, with the greater number of the learned prelatic divines from James I. to the Restoration, acquired from that too great partiality for the Fathers, from Irenaeus to Bernard, by which they sought to distinguish themselves from the Puritans.

Ib. C.

That now they (the Jews,) express a kind of conditional acknowledgment of it, by this barbarous and inhuman custom of theirs, that they always keep in readiness the blood of some Christian, with which they anoint the body of any that dies amongst them, with these words; "If Jesus Christ were the Messias, then may the blood of this Christian avail thee to salvation!"

Is it possible that Donne could have given credit to this absurd legend! It was, I am aware, not an age of critical 'acumen'; grit, bran, and flour, were swallowed in the unsifted mass of their erudition. Still that a man like Donne should have imposed on himself such a set of idle tales, as he has collected in the next paragraph for facts of history, is scarcely credible; that he should have attempted to impose them on others, is most melancholy.

Ib. p. 22. D. E.

He takes the name of the son of a woman, and 'wanes' the miraculous name of the son of a virgin.—Christ 'waned' the glorious name of Son of God, and the miraculous name of Son of a virgin too; which is not omitted to draw into doubt the perpetual virginity of the blessed virgin, the mother of Christ, &c.

Very ingenious; but likewise very presumptuous, this arbitrary attribution of St. Paul's silence, and presumable ignorance of the virginity of Mary, to Christ's own determination to have the fact passed over.

N.B. Is 'wane' a misprint for 'wave' or 'waive?' It occurs so often, as to render its being an 'erratum' improbable; yet I do not remember to have met elsewhere 'wane' used for 'decline' as a verb active.

Ib. p. 23. A.

If there were reason for it, it were no miracle.

The announcement of the first comet, that had ever been observed, might excite doubt in the mind of an astronomer, to whom, from the place where he lived, it had not been visible. But his reason could have been no objection to it. Had God pleased, all women might have conceived, [Greek: aneu tou andros], as many of the 'polypi' and 'planariae' do. Not on any such ground do I suspend myself on this as an article of faith; but because I doubt the evidence.

Ib. p. 25. A—E.

Though we may think thus in the law of reason, yet, &c.

It is, and has been, a misfortune, a grievous and manifold loss and hindrance for the interests of moral and spiritual truth, that even our best and most vigorous theologians and philosophers of the age from Edward VI. to James II. so generally confound the terms, and so too often confound the subjects themselves, reason and understanding; yet the diversity, the difference in kind, was known to, and clearly admitted by, many of them,—by Hooker for instance, and it is implied in the whole of Bacon's 'Novum Organum'. Instead of the 'law of reason,' Donne meant, and ought to have said, 'judging according to the ordinary presumptions of the understanding,' that is, the faculty which, generalizing particular experiences, judges of the future by analogy to the past.

Taking the words, however, in their vulgar sense, I most deliberately protest against all the paragraphs in this page, from A to E, and should cite them, with a host of others, as sad effects of the confusion of the reason and the understanding, and of the consequent abdication of the former, instead of the bounden submission of the latter to a higher light. Faith itself is but an act of the will, assenting to the reason on its own evidence without, and even against, the understanding. This indeed is, I fully agree, to be brought into captivity to the faith. [5]

Ib. p. 26. A. B.

And therefore to be 'under the Law,' signifies here thus much; to be a debtor to the law of nature, to have a testimony in our hearts and consciences, that there lies a law upon us, which we have no power in ourselves to perform, &c.

This exposition of the term 'law' in the epistles of St. Paul is most just and important. The whole should be adopted among the notes to the epistle to the Romans, in every Bible printed with notes.

Ib. p. 27. A.

And this was his first work, 'to redeem,' to vindicate them from the usurper, to deliver them from the intruder, to emancipate them from the tyrant, to cancel the covenant between hell and them, and restore them so far to their liberty, as that they might come to their first master, if they would; this was 'redeeming.'

There is an absurdity in the notion of a finite divided from, and superaddible to, the infinite,—of a particular 'quantum' of power separated from, not included in, omnipotence, or all-power. But, alas! we too generally use the terms that are meant to express the absolute, as mere comparatives taken superlatively. In one thing only are we permitted and bound to assert a diversity, namely, in God and 'Hades', the good and the evil will. This awful mystery, this truth, at once certain and incomprehensible, is at the bottom of all religion; and to exhibit this truth free from the dark phantom of the Manicheans, or the two co-eternal and co-ordinate principles of good and evil, is the glory of the Christian religion.

But this mysterious dividuity of the good and the evil will, the will of the spirit and the will of the flesh, must not be carried beyond the terms 'good' and 'evil.' There can be but one good will—the spirit in all;—and even so, all evil wills are one evil will, the devil or evil spirit. But then the One exists for us as finite intelligences, necessarily in a two-fold relation, universal and particular. The same Spirit within us pleads to the Spirit as without us; and in like manner is every evil mind in communion with the evil spirit. But, O comfort! the good alone is the actual, the evil essentially potential. Hence the devil is most appropriately named the 'tempter,' and the evil hath its essence in the will: it cannot pass out of it. Deeds are called evil in reference to the individual will expressed in them; but in the great scheme of Providence they are, only as far as they are good, coerced under the conditions of all true being; and the devil is the drudge of the All-good.

Serm. IV. Luke ii. 29, 30. p. 29. Ib. p. 30. B.

We shall consider that that preparation, and disposition, and acquiescence, which Simeon had in his epiphany, in his visible seeing of Christ then, is offered to us in this epiphany, in this manifestation and application of Christ in the sacrament; and that therefore every penitent, and devout, and reverent, and worthy receiver hath had in that holy action his 'now'; there are all things accomplished to him; and his 'for, for his eyes have seen his salvation'; and so may be content, nay glad, 'to depart in peace'.

O! would that Donne, or rather that Luther before him, had carried out this just conception to its legitimate consequences;—that as the sacrament of the Eucharist is the epiphany for as many as receive it in faith, so the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ himself in the flesh, were the epiphanies, the sacramental acts and 'phaenomena' of the 'Deus patiens', the visible words of the invisible Word that was in the beginning, symbols in time and historic fact of the redemptive functions, passions, and procedures of the Lamb crucified from the foundation of the world;—the incarnation, cross, and passion,—in short, the whole life of Christ in the flesh, dwelling a man among men, being essential and substantive parts of the process, the total of which they represented; and on this account proper symbols of the acts and passions of the Christ dwelling in man, as the Spirit of truth, and for as many as in faith have received him, in Seth and Abraham no less effectually than in John and Paul! For this is the true definition of a symbol, as distinguished from the thing, on the one hand, and from a mere metaphor, or conventional exponent of a thing, on the other. Had Luther mastered this great idea, this master-truth, he would never have entangled himself in that most mischievous Sacramentary controversy, or had to seek a murky hiding-hole in the figment of Consubstantiation.

Ib. B. C.

In the first part, then ... More he asks not, less he takes not for any man, upon any pretence of any unconditional decree.

A beautiful paragraph, well worth extracting, aye, and re-preaching.

Ib. p. 34. E.

When thou comest to this seal of thy peace, the sacrament, pray that God will give thee that light that may direct and establish thee in necessary and fundamental things; that is, the light of faith to see that the Body and Blood of Christ is applied to thee in that action; but for the manner, how the Body and Blood of Christ is there, wait his leisure, if he have not yet manifested that to thee: grieve not at that, wonder not at that, press not for that; for he hath not manifested that, not the way, not the manner of his presence in the Sacrament to the Church.

O! I have ever felt, and for many years thought that this 'rem credimus, modum nescimus,' is but a poor evasion. It seems to me an attempt so to admit an irrational proposition as to have the credit of denying it, or to separate an irrational proposition from its irrationality. I admit 2 + 2 = 5; how I do not pretend to know, but in some way not in contradiction to the multiplication table. To spiritual operations the very term 'mode' is perhaps inapplicable, for these are immediate. To the linking of this with that, of A. with Z. by 'intermedia,' the term 'mode,'—the question 'how?' is properly applied. The assimilation of the spirit of a man to the Son of God, to God as the Divine Humanity,—this spiritual transubstantiation, like every other process of operative grace, is necessarily modeless. The whole question is concerning the transmutation of the sensible elements. Deny this, and to what does the 'modum nescimus' refer? We cannot ask how that is done, which we declare not done at all. Admit this transmutation, and you necessarily admit by implication the Romish dogma, of the separation of a sensible thing from the sensible accidents which constitute all we ever meant by the thing. To rationalize this figment of his church, Bossuet has recourse to Spinosism, and dares make God the substance and sole 'ens reale' of all body, and by this very 'hypothesis' baffles his own end, and does away all miracle in the particular instance.

Ib. p. 35. B.

When I pray in my chamber, I build a temple there that hour; and that minute, when I cast out a prayer in the street, I build a temple there; and when my soul prays without any voice, my very body is then a temple.

Good; but it would be better to regard solitary, family, and templar devotion as distinctions in sort, rather than differences in degree. All three are necessary.

Ib. E.

And that more fearful occasion of coming, when they came only to elude the law, and proceeding in their treacherous and traitorous religion in their heart, and yet communicating with us, draw God himself into their conspiracies; and to mock us, make a mock of God, and his religion too.

What, then, was their guilt, who by terror and legal penalties tempted their fellow Christians to this treacherous mockery? Donne should have asked himself that question.

Serm. V. Exod. iv. 13. p. 39.

Ib. p. 39. C. D.

It hath been doubted, and disputed, and denied too, that this text, 'O my Lord, send I pray thee by the hand of him whom thou wilt send', hath any relation to the sending of the Messiah, to the coming of Christ, to Christmas day; yet we forbear not to wait upon the ancient Fathers, and as they said, to say, that Moses 'at last' determines all in this, 'O my Lord', &c. It is a work, next to the great work of the redemption of the whole world, to redeem Israel out of Egypt; and therefore do both works at once, put both into one hand, and 'mitte quem missurus es, Send him whom I know thou wilt send'; him, whom, pursuing thine own decree, 'thou shouldest send'; send Christ, send him now, to redeem Israel from Egypt.

This is one of the happier accommodations of the 'gnosis', that is, the science of detecting the mysteries of faith in the simplest texts of the Old Testament history, to the contempt or neglect of the literal and contextual sense. It was, I conceive, in part at least, this 'gnosis', and not knowledge, as our translation has it, that St. Paul warns against, and most wisely, as puffing up, inflating the heart with self-conceit, and the head with idle fancies.

Ib. E.

But as a thoughtful man, a pensive, a considerative man, that stands still for a while with his eyes fixed upon the ground before his feet, when he casts up his head, hath presently, instantly the sun or the heavens for his object; he sees not a tree, nor a house, nor a steeple by the way, but as soon as his eye is departed from the earth where it was long fixed, the next thing he sees is the sun or the heavens;—so when Moses had fixed himself long upon the consideration of his own insufficiency for this service, when he took his eye from that low piece of ground, himself, considered as he was then, he fell upon no tree, no house, no steeple, no such consideration as this—God may endow me, improve me, exalt me, enable me, qualify me with faculties fit for this service, but his first object was that which presented an infallibility with it, Christ Jesus himself, the Messias himself, &c.

Beautifully imagined, and happily applied.

Ib. p. 40. B.

That 'germen Jehovae', as the prophet Esay calls Christ, that offspring of Jehova, that bud, that blossom, that fruit of God himself, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Redeemer, Christ Jesus, grows upon every tree in this paradise, the Scripture; for Christ was the occasion before, and is the consummation after, of all Scripture.

If this were meant to the exclusion or neglect of the primary sense,—if we are required to believe that the sacred writers themselves had such thoughts present to their minds,—it would, doubtless, throw the doors wide open to every variety of folly and fanaticism. But it may admit of a safe, sound, and profitable use, if we consider the Bible as one work, intended by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the Church in all ages, and having, as such, all its parts synoptically interpreted, the eldest by the latest, the last by the first, and the middle by both. Moses, or David, or Jeremiah (we might in this view affirm) meant so and so, according to the context, and the light under which, and the immediate or proximate purposes for which, he wrote: but we, who command the whole scheme of the great dispensation, may see a higher and deeper sense, of which the literal meaning was a symbol or type; and this we may justifiably call the sense of the spirit.

Ib. p. 41. B.

So in our liturgy 'we stand up at the profession of the creed' thereby to declare to God and his Church our readiness to stand to, and our readiness to proceed in, that profession.

Another Church might sit down, thereby denoting a resolve to abide in this profession. These things are indifferent; but charity, love of peace, and on indifferent points to prefer another's liking to our own, and to observe an order once established for order's sake,—these are not indifferent.

Ib. p. 42. C.

This paragraph is excellent. Alas! how painfully applicable it is to some of our day!

Ib. p. 46. C.

Howsoever all intend that this is a name that denotes essence, being: Being is the name of God, and of God only.

Rather, I should say, 'the eternal antecedent of being;' 'I that shall be in that I will to be'; the absolute will; the ground of being; the self-affirming 'actus purissimus'.

Serm. VI. Isaiah liii. 1. p. 52.

A noble sermon in thought and diction.

Ib. p. 59. E.

Therefore we have a clearer light than this; 'firmiorem propheticum sermonem', says St. Peter; 'we have a more sure word of the prophets'; that is, as St. Augustine reads that place, 'clariorem', a more manifest, a more evident, declaration in the prophets, than in nature, of the will of God towards man, &c.

The sense of this text, as explained by the context, seems to me this;—that, in consequence of the fulfilment of so large a proportion of the oracles, the Christian Church has not only the additional light given by the teaching and miracles of Christ, but even the light vouchsafed to the old Church (the prophetic) stronger and clearer.

Ib. p. 60. A.

He spake personally, and he spake aloud, in the declaration of miracles; but 'quis credidit auditui Filii?' Who believed even his report? Did they not call his preaching sedition, and call his miracles conjuring? Therefore, we have a clearer, that is, a nearer light than the written Gospel, that is, the Church.

True; yet he who should now venture to assert this truth, or even contend for a co-ordinateness of the Church and the Written Word, must bear to be thought a semi-Papist, an 'ultra' high-Churchman. Still the truth is the truth.

Serm. VII. John x. 10. p. 62.

Since the Revolution in 1688 our Church has been chilled and starved too generally by preachers and reasoners Stoic or Epicurean;—first, a sort of pagan morality was substituted for the righteousness by faith, and latterly, prudence or Paleyanism has been substituted even for morality. A Christian preacher ought to preach Christ alone, and all things in him and by him. If he find a dearth in this, if it seem to him a circumscription, he does not know Christ, as the 'pleroma', the fullness. It is not possible that there should be aught true, or seemly, or beautiful, in thought, will, or deed, speculative or practical, which may not, and which ought not to, be evolved out of Christ and the faith in Christ;—no folly, no error, no evil to be exposed, or warred against, which may not, and should not, be convicted and denounced from its contrariancy and enmity to Christ. To the Christian preacher Christ should be in all things, and all things in Christ: he should abjure every argument that is not a link in the chain, of which Christ is the staple and staple ring.

Ib. p. 64.

In this page Donne passes into rhetorical extravagance, after the manner of too many of the Fathers from Tertullian to Bernard.

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