Page:Modern Rationalism (1897).djvu/22

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22

MODERN RATIONALISM.

to endless punishment and to the common notion of sin one of its principal specialities; the second Broad Church principally attacks the evangelical view of Scripture—German criticism was advancing rapidly. The first Broad Church had admitted that the inspiration of Scripture differs in kind as well as in degree from that of all other books; the second school only admits difference in degree, and avows that the Bible errs wherever it contradicts science.

The leader of this school was the celebrated Master of Baliol, Dr. Jowett. In a commentary on the "Epistles to the Thessalonians, Galatians, and Romans" he expressed Rationalistic views, which were afterwards developed in "Essays and Reviews." He considered that the doctrine of atonement was involved in hopeless perplexities; that the terms "sacrifice" and "atonement" were used by the Scriptural writers in an accommodating sense, as they were familiar to the Jews; that we really know nothing of the nature of the objective act by which God reconciled the world; that Christ did not die to appease the divine wrath—the great advantage we derive from him is, not his death, but his life.

Another important member of the school, though not so overt, was Dr. Arnold's pupil and biographer, Arthur Stanley, Dean of Westminster. In his brilliant writings there is ample evidence of his liberal views on inspiration, on the accuracy of the Bible, and on miracles. He exulted warmly over the acquittal of the rationalizing writers of "Essays and Reviews," and maintained that no passage in that volume contradicted the formularies of the Church in a sense that was at all comparable to the contradiction of the articles by the High Church or of the prayer-book by the Low Church. In the Edinburgh Review he described with approval the wide spread of Broad Church principles. Matthew Arnold, the well-known poet and literary critic, may be mentioned as an extreme type of the Broad Church. Although a sceptic of a very advanced character—he and Carlyle are the two great representatives of what is known as "literary" Rationalism—he retained his connection with the Established Church. He was one of the most effective instruments of the diffusion of the Rationalistic spirit among the Anglican laity. "His design was," says