1902 Encyclopedia > Arthur Penrhyn Stanley

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley
English churchman and Dean of Westminster
(1815-81)




ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, (1815-1881), dean of Westminster from 1863, was born at Alderley in Cheshire on December 13, 1815. His father, the Rev. E. Stanley, rector of Alderley, bishop of Norwich from 1837 to 1849, was the younger brother of Sir John Stanley of Alderley Park, seventh baronet, who in 1839 was created Baron Stanley of Alderley, and was the representative of a branch of the same family as that of the earls of Derby. His mother, Catherine Stanley, was the daughter of the Rev. Oswald Leycester, rector of Stoke-on-Tern. Both parents were persons of remarkable force and individuality of character. The influence of each is to be traced in the career of their son. It was his father's prayer as bishop of Norwich " that he might be an instrument in God's providence of extending more enlarged and more Christian views among the clergy, and thus the means of disseminating a wider and more comprehensive spirit of Christianity throughout the land." Of his mother her son not only spoke, after her death in 1862, as "the guardian genius" that "had nursed his very mind and heart," but described her as "gifted with a spiritual insight which belonged to that larger sphere of religion which is above and beyond the passing controversies of the day." Arthur was their third child. His elder brother, Owen, died in 1850 at Sydney, after concluding, as commander of the " Rattlesnake" frigate, the survey of the Coral Sea. His sister Mary, well known for her work in the hospitals at Scutari and among the poor in London, died in 1880. Arthur was a child of highly sensitive organization and precocious intel-lectual activity. His boyish letters, journals, and poems were singularly like in their characteristic points to his later writings. But his extreme shyness and silence gave no promise of the social gifts which afterwards added so largely to his influence. At the age of fourteen his health, at one time alarmingly delicate, so far improved as to warrant his parents in sending him to Bugby, where Dr Arnold had been recently appointed head master. He remained at Rugby from 1829 to 1834, and of all Arnold's pupils may be said to have been the one who most fully responded to the influence of his master's teaching and character. In 1834 he became an undergraduate of Balliol College, Oxford, having obtained a scholarship in the pre-vious year. Among his tutors at Balliol was Mr Tait, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, and among his junior fellow scholars Benjamin Jowett, afterwards professor of Greek and master of Balliol. Arthur Stanley, after obtaining the Ireland scholarship and Newdigate prize for a remarkable English poem (on the Gipsies), was placed in the first class in 1837. In 1839, after a period of residence and study at Oxford, he was elected fellow of University College, and in the same year was admitted to holy orders. In 1840 he left England for a prolonged tour in Greece and Italy, and on his return settled at Oxford, where he resided from October 1841 for the next ten years, being actively engaged during term time as tutor of his college. He very shortly became an influential element in univer-sity life. His personal relations to his pupils were of a singularly close and affectionate nature, and the charm of his social gifts and genial character won him friends on all sides. His literary reputation was early established by the profound impression made by his Life of Arnold, whose sudden death had occurred in 1842, and whose biography, published in 1844, at once secured for its young author a high place among English writers. In 1845 he was appointed select preacher, and published in 1847 a volume of Sermons and Essays on the Apostolic Age, which not only laid the foundation of his fame as a preacher, but also marked his future position as a theologian. In university politics, which at that time wore mainly the form of theological controversy, he from the first took the place which he always retained of an uncompromising advocate of comprehension and toleration. As an undergraduate he had entirely sympathized with Dr Arnold in resenting the agitation led by, but not confined to, the High Church party in 1836 against the appointment of Dr Hampden to the regius professorship of divinity. As a young M.A., during the long-continued agitation which followed the publication in 1841 of Tract No. 90, and which ended in the withdrawal of the present Cardinal Newman from the English Church, he used all his influence to protect from formal condemnation the leaders and tenets of the "Tractarian" party. In 1847 he did his utmost to resist the movement set on foot at Oxford against Dr Hampden's appointment to the bishopric of Hereford. Finally, in 1850, in an article published in the Edinburgh Review in defence of the " Gorham judgment," which had secured the position in the English Church of the Evangelical clergy, he asserted two principles which he maintained to the end of his life,—first, "that the so-called supremacy of the crown in religious matters was in reality nothing else than the supremacy of law," and, secondly, " that the Church of England, by the very condition of its being, was not High, or Low, but Broad, and had always included, and been meant to include, opposite and contradictory opinions on points even more important than those at present under discussion."

It was not only in theological but in academical matters that his sympathies were on the liberal side. Though on many points of essentially conservative tendencies, he was greatly interested in university reform, and towards the end of his residence at Oxford acted as secretary to the royal commission appointed in 1850 to report on and to suggest improvements in the administrative and educa-tional system of the university. Of the important changes in both these respects which, in the face of much opposi-tion at the university, were carried out in due time under the sanction of parliament by an executive commission, Stanley, who took the principal share in drafting the report printed in 1852, was a strenuous advocate. These changes included the transference of the initiative in university legislation from the sole authority of the heads of houses to an elected and representative body, the open-ing of college fellowships and scholarships to competition by the removal of local and other restrictions, the non-enforcement at matriculation of subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, and various steps taken to increase the usefulness and influence of the professoriate.

Before the report was issued, Stanley, who had lost his father in 1849, and both his brothers, Captain Stanley mentioned above, and Charles, secretary to the governor of Yan Diemen's Land, within a few months of the same date, was appointed to a canonry in Canterbury cathedral. He held the office from 1851 till his return to Oxford. During his residence at Canterbury he published his Memoir of his father Bishop Stanley (1851), and completed his Commentary on the Epistles to the Corinthians (1855). In the winter and spring of 1852-53 he made the tour in Egypt and the Holy Land, the result of which was his well-known volume on Sinai and Palestine, first published in 1856. In 1857 he travelled in Russia, and collected much of the materials for his subsequent Lectures on the Greek Church, published in 1861. His Memorials of Canterbury, published in 1855, displayed the full maturity of his power of dealing with the events, scenes, and characters of past history which had marked him from childhood. Towards the close of> the same period he accepted the office of examining chaplain to Dr Tait, his former tutor at Balliol and afterwards successor to Arnold at Rugby, on his transference from the deanery of Carlisle to the see of London.

At the close of 1856 Stanley was appointed by the crown to the professorship of ecclesiastical history, a post which, with the canonry at Christ Church attached to the office, he held till 1863. In the first of three inaugural lectures the new professor announced his intention of beginning his treatment of the subject with " the first dawn of the history of the church," the call of Abraham; and the first two volumes of his History of the Jewish Church, published in 1863 and 1865, consist of the substance of lectures delivered by him in his capacity as professor. In 1861 he published the volume on the Greek Church already referred to. His second residence at Oxford was marked by the same power of winning per-sonal influence which had distinguished him as a college tutor, and by the efforts which he made, in his wider sphere as professor, to bring together in social intercourse the leaders of the divergent and hostile parties between which the residents at the university were mainly divided.

Much, however, of his time and efforts was given to religious controversy. From 1860 to 1864 academical and clerical circles were agitated by the storm which followed the publication of Essays and Reviews, a volume to which two of his most valued friends—Benjamin Jowett and Mr Temple, the former professor of Greek at Oxford, the latter head master of Rugby and afterwards bishop in succession of Exeter and London—had been contributors. For the exceedingly prominent part taken by Stanley in this exciting controversy the reader is referred to the second and third of his Essays on Church and State, collected and published in 1870. The result of his action was greatly to alienate the leaders of the High Church party, who had joined a large portion of the clergy in their efforts to procure the formal condemnation of the views advanced in Essays and Reviews. In this and other questions, such as in the growing controversy on the position of Prof. Maurice at King's College, Cambridge, and on that caused by Bishop Colenso's work on the Pentateuch, he had taken up a position which brought him into conflict with a large portion of the religious public. It should be added that in the last year of his professoriate (1863) he had published a Letter to the Bishop of London, strongly advocating a large relaxation of the terms of clerical subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles and Prayer-book. An important Act amending the Act of Uniformity, and carrying out in some degree Stanley's proposals, was passed in the year 1865.

In the spring of 1862 Stanley, at the queen's desire, had accompanied the prince of Wales on a tour in Egypt and the Holy Land. During his absence he lost his mother, the heaviest domestic bereavement that had yet befallen him. His sense of his debt towards her has been already indicated. It stands recorded in his volume of Memorials of Edward and Catherine Stanley.

Towards the close of the following year he was appointed by the crown to the deanery of Westminster, in succession to Dean Trench, raised to the see of Dublin. In December he married Lady Augusta Bruce, sister of Lord Elgin, then governor-general of India, herself one of the queen's most trusted friends. In January 1864 he entered on the duties of his new post.

His tenure of the deanery of Westminster was memor-able in many ways. He recognized from the first two im-portant disqualifications,—his indifference to music and his slight knowledge of architecture. On both these subjects he availed himself largely of the aid of others, and threw himself with characteristic energy and entire success into the task of rescuing from neglect, preserving from decays and commending to the interest of all classes of his countrymen the treasure of historic monuments in which the abbey is so rich. No visitor can pass through the building, now so often thronged with crowds of the work-ing classes, the mere possibility of attracting whom was spoken of before a royal commission so lately as 1841 as quite chimerical, without recognizing the successful result of his indefatigable labours. The monument to the brothers Wesley, the inscription on the gravestone of Liv-ingstone, and the restored altar in her husband's chantry in which he placed the neglected remains of Catherine of Valois, the queen of Henry V., may be named among the innumerable and ubiquitous records of his wide sympathy and historic ardour. Within three years of his appointment he published his Memorials of Westminster Abbey, a work which, although not free from occasional inaccuracies, is a mine of information conveyed in the most picturesque and impressive form. He was a constant preacher, and gave a great impulse to the practice already begun of inviting distinguished preachers to the abbey pulpit, especially to the evening services in the nave, which had been established under his predecessor. It is to him that is largely due the vast increase in the number not of visitors only but of worshippers in the abbey. He began the practice, since continued by others of the abbey clergy, of devoting his Saturday afternoons to conducting parties of working men round the abbey and collegiate buildings. His social and personal influence, already unique of its kind, was enormously increased by his removal to London. His circle of friends was constantly widening, and extended from the queen and royal family to the working men of London and elsewhere, some of whom he inspired with a singular devotion. It included men of every denomina-tion, every class, every part of the United Kingdom, and almost of every nation. He was untiring in literary work, and, though this consisted very largely of occasional papers, lectures, articles in reviews, addresses, and sermons, it in-cluded a third volume of his History of the Jewish Church, a volume on the Church of Scotland, another of Addresses and Sermons preached in America, and an exceedingly important volume, completed within a few months of his death, on Christian Institutions.

He was continually engaged in theological controversy, and, if his advocacy of all efforts to promote the social, moral, and religious amelioration of the poorer classes and his chivalrous courage in defending those whom he held to be unjustly denounced won him the warm admiration of many of his countrymen, he undoubtedly incurred much and growing odium in influential circles. Among the causes of offence might be enumerated, not only his vigorous defence of one from whom he greatly differed, Bishop Colenso, but his invitation to the holy communion of all the revisers of the translation of the Bible, including a Unitarian among other Nonconformists, as well as the whole tone and teaching of almost every page of his publications. Still stronger was the feeling caused by his efforts to make the recital of the Athanasian Creed optional instead of imperative in the English Church.





In 1874 he spent part of the winter in Russia, whither he and Lady Augusta had gone to take part in the marriage of the duke of Edinburgh. In the spring of 1876, after a long and lingering illness, he lost his wife, the zealous partner of all his social and charitable efforts, and the con-stant cheerer and sympathizer in his many labours and conflicts. It was a terrible blow, and one from which he never entirely recovered. But in 1878 he was deeply inter-ested by a tour in America, and in the following autumn visited for the last time, with his sister, Mary Stanley, who died before the close of the same year, northern Italy and Venice.

In the spring of 1881 he preached funeral sermons in the abbey on Mr Carlyle and Lord Beaconsfield, winding up with the latter a series of Sermons preached on Public Occasions, mainly on the death or funeral of eminent Englishmen, which form a volume singularly characteristic of his special gifts. He saw also the completion of the latest of his volumes, that already mentioned on Christian Institutions, and was in the course of the summer correct-ing for the press a paper on the Westminster Confession, and preaching in the abbey a course of Saturday Lectures on the Beatitudes. On July 10 he was attacked by a sudden illness, which in a few days assumed a more alarm-ing character, and ended fatally on the 18th. The sensa-tion caused by his death was profound and widespread. He was buried in Henry VII.'s chapel, in the same grave as his wife. His pall-bearers comprised representatives of literature, of science, of both Houses of Parliament, of theology, Anglican and Nonconformist, and of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The recumbent monument placed upon the spot, and the windows in the chapter house of the abbey, one of them a gift from the queen, were a tribute to his memory from friends of every class in England and America.

The influence of Dean Stanley was no doubt largely due to his marvellous social gifts. His affectionate nature, his quick and ready sympathy, his keen interest in almost every field of know-ledge, his own mental resources, drawn from incessant reading and enriched by travel, observation, and conversation, his familiarity with the persons, places, events, and scenes of history, his tenacious yet discriminating memory, his vivacity and humour, the very charm of his countenance and manner, the delicately sensitive face, " the eye now beaming with sympathy, now twinkling with humour," acted like a spell in winning friends and even in con-ciliating opponents. The courage and fearlessness with which he was always ready to uphold the cause of those whom he held to be unjustly attacked by a powerful or dominant majority was duly appreciated by his countrymen. It may probably be said that no one in the present century was so endeared to so large a circle of personal friends in all parts of the civilized world. His writings also, apart from their controversial aspect, were of a singularly attractive kind. His Life of Arnold, his Sinai and Palestine, his Lectures on the Jewish Church, his Memorials of Canterbury and of Westminster Abbey, would alone have made him one of the most delightful and popular of English authors. His sermons, always interesting and attractive, were at times singularly eloquent and impressive. His occasional hymns and short poems, full of grace and force, and occasionally of a profound pathos, were fully worthy of his literary position. Throughout all that he ever wrote there is an individuality and a characteristic flavour which is saved from mannerism by an inexhaustible freshness of view and a marvellous fertility of illustration. His power of painting the scenes, events, and persons of past history, "the picturesque sensibility," to use a phrase applied to him by Lord Beaconsfield, with which he at once fastened on the main features of an historic building or a famous locality, amounted to genius; they were as marked at the close of his life as in the earliest of his schoolboy letters. They won him readers of every class.

But it would be impossible to speak even briefly of his literary position by itself. To write his life in full would be to give a sketch of English ecclesiastical history for a long generation. Though he resolutely stood aloof from all connexion with party, it is impossible not to recognize even in his least controversial writings the position which he held as, in the eyes of the greatest portion of his countrymen, the leading liberal theologian of his time in England. Throughout his writings in prose or poetry, on almost every subject which he touched, we see the impress, not only of his distinctive genius and of his extraordinary gifts, but also of his special views, aims, and aspirations. It may be well to describe these as nearly as possible in his own words. He looked on the age in which he lived as one of mingled hope and gloom, as a period of transition, to be followed either by an eclipse of faith " —a "winter of unbelief"—or by a "revival of Christianity in a wider aspect," a "catholic, comprehensive, all-embracing Christi-anity" that "might yet overcome the world." He believed, and was never tired of asserting his belief, " that the Christian church had not yet presented its final or its most perfect aspect to the world"; that "the belief of each successive age of Christendom had as a matter of fact varied enormously from the belief of its predecessor"; that "all confessions and similar documents are, if taken as final expressions of absolute truth, misleading"; that each "successive form of theology is but the approximation to the truth, not the whole truth itself"; that it was "the glory of the church to be always advancing to perfection"; and that " there still remained, behind all the controversies of the past, a higher Christianity which neither assailants nor defenders had fully exhausted."

Already even in his early Sermons on the Apostolic Age, as in Sinai and Palestine, as in the volumes on the Jeioish Church, " one increasing purpose " may be recognized. Everywhere we see the sustained effort to " bring the events, places, and characters of sacred history within the domain of actual observation and history," and to rescue them from "the conventional haze in which they had been veiled by a misplaced reverence." " The first duty of a modern theologian" he held to be "to study the Bible, not for the sake of making or defending systems out of it, but for the sake of discovering what it actually contains." " In a faithful study of that virgin mine, the yet insufficiently explored records of the Old and New Testament, lay," he held, " the best hope of the church of Christ," and another and a different estimate "of the points on which Scripture lays its most emphatic stress." To this study he looked for the best hope of such a progressive develop-ment of Christian theology as should avert the danger arising from "the apparently increasing divergence between the intelligence and the faith of our time," " and should enable the church to deal wisely with new questions which ancient theology had for the most part not even considered." On the direction which this develop-ment of theology should assume the last word had not, he knew, been spoken; but he enforced the duty " of placing in the back-ground whatever was accidental, temporary, or secondary, and of bringing into due prominence what was primary and essential." In the former group Stanley would, without doubt or hesitation, have placed all questions connected with Episcopal or Presbyterian orders, or that deal only with the outward forms or ceremonies of religion, or with the authorship or age of the books of the Old Testament. Even to the question of miraculous and external evidence he would have been inclined to assign a secondary place, as well as to the most elaborate statements of Christian doctrine.

The foremost and highest place, that of the "essential and supernatural" elements of religion, he would have reserved for its moral and spiritual truths, "its chief evidence and chief essence," "the truths to be drawn from the teaching and from the life of Christ," in whose character he did not hesitate to recognize "the greatest of all miracles." On a large development of Christian teaching in this direction he based all his hopes alike of the pro-gress of the world and of the restitution to Christian theology— "as something greater and vaster than the theology of each particular church or age," "as comprehending all the wholesome elements of thought at work in the world "—of " its natural ascend-ency over the minds of educated men."





With such views it was not to be wondered at that, from first to last, he never lost an opportunity of supporting a policy of width, toleration, and comprehension in the Church of England. The view which he took in his earliest directly controversial work, his Essay on the Gorham Judgment (1850), as regards both the protec-tion offered by the law to the clergy against " the inquisition of arbitrary prelates and of tumultuous synods," and "on the designedly mixed and comprehensive character of the English formularies and English Church," has already been fully indicated. The same spirit and the same aims guided his line of conduct in other controversies, such as in that on the Essays and Reviews, on the ritualistic movement, on the question of subscription, on the successive attacks made on men so wholly different from each other as Prof. Maurice, whose influence on the mind of his gene-ration has yet to be fully estimated, and Bishop Colenso, and in his vain but earnest advocacy of the optional instead of the com-pulsory use of the Athanasian Creed. So again he was always eager to insist on the essential points of union between various denominations of Christians, however apparently divided or estranged; and to recognize the special services conferred on the world, not only by the Eastern, the Roman, the Lutheran, and the Reformed Churches, not only by the Presbyterian Churches of Scotland, but also by the Baptist and Congregational Churches of England and America, and by the community of Quakers. And, while in this respect he was keen almost to excess to note points of agreement, so in the very latest volume which he published one of his main aims was "to look the facts of history in the face" and to point out " the almost universal departure from primitive usage," "the transformation both of letter and spirit through which the greatest Christian ordinances had already passed," and "to fix the eye steadily on the germs of truth that were common to the different forms which the ordinances wore, the moral and spiritual realities for the sake of Which alone (if Christianity be the universal religion) such forms exist." He was throughout his life an unflinching advocate of the connexion between church and state. By this he understood—(1) "the recognition and support on the part of the state of the religious expression of the faith of the community," and (2) "that this religious expression of the faith of the community on the most sacred and most vital of all its interests should be controlled and guided by the whole community through the supremacy of law." In the supremacy of the crown, i.e., of law, " over all causes and all persons, ecclesiastical as well as civil," so far from finding " galling chains" or "ignominious bondage," he welcomed it not only as being "the most powerful and intelligent organ of the whole com-munity," but on two other grounds. First, he considered that supremacy more likely "to be truly wise and truly just and there-fore truly Christian than the headship either of a bishop or of a synod of any clerical or sectional body, and, secondly, '1 as the best security for that gradual growth of religious forms and religious opinions, and for that free expression of individual belief, which is indispensable to any healthy development of religious life and. religious truth." At the same time he was in favour of making the creed of the church as wide as possible,—"not narrower than that which is even now the test of its membership, the Apostles' Creed,"—and of throwing down all barriers which could be wisely dispensed with to admission to its ministry. As an immediate step he even advocated as "an unmixed good" "the admission under due restrictions of our nonconforming brethren of England, and our Presbyterian brethren of the Scottish Church," to preach in Anglican pulpits. To the last hour of his life he looked with dismay to the prospect of a combined assault by a triple alliance of the representatives "of the Puritans, of Voltaire, and of Laud" on '' that rare combination which with all its shortcomings exhibits one of the noblest works which God's providence, through a long course of years, has raised up in Europe," "on the most venerable growth of English history, the framework which has sheltered down to this time the freedom of the freest, the teaching of the most learned, and the reason of the most rational church in Christendom." He believed that the '1 success of such an attack would result in throwing away the best opportunity which the world affords for the growth side by side of intellectual activity and religious earnestness"; that to destroy it would be, as he said of the Established Church of Scotland, "to destroy, so far as human efforts can destroy, the special ideas of freedom, of growth, of comprehension, which are inherent in the very existence of a national church"; that its destruction would only produce "an enslaved clergy amidst an indifferent laity," and tend to degrade the Church of England from its historic position "to that of an illiterate sect, or a satellite of the Church of Rome."

With such views it was impossible that Stanley could have found much sympathy from either of the two great parties among the English clergy. Indeed it was impossible that any party, or any community, which placed the essence of Christianity in the careful guardianship of any circle of theological doctrines could feel in harmony with one who dwelt with such exceeding and growing emphasis on the secondary nature, not only of all that was cere-monial, but on much that was dogmatic, as compared with that which was spiritual and moral.

By the "Evangelical" section of the religious world the bio-grapher of Arnold had been looked on from the first with more than suspicion. Later on, even the mode and form of his defence of their own side in the Gorham controversy, his avowed advocacy of a wide freedom of thought on many questions, especially those connected with Biblical criticism, his attitude towards such sub-jects as inspiration, justification, and future punishment, were more than distasteful. His loud acknowledgment of the debt owed by Christendom to German theology, '' to the most laborious, truth-seeking, and conscientious of Continental nations," his persistent claims for a place within the Church of England for views that "went to the verge of Rome," the more than width—the universality —of his religious sympathies, his delight in placing, not Walter Scott only, or Tennyson, or the author of Ecce Homo, but Goethe, and Burns, and Matthew Arnold, and J. Stuart Mill in the ranks of religious teachers, were naturally repugnant to those who cared to read his works, and were not content to shrink in silent dismay from the warm sympathizer with Professor Maurice, the enthusi-astic admirer of F. Robertson, and the apologist in turn of Essays and Reviews and of Bishop Colenso.

Against the feelings provoked by this aspect of his theological position, neither his acknowledged services to Biblical study, nor his profound and entire belief in the true key to the difficulties of the future being involved in the prosecution of that study, nor his sympathy with their own views as to the relation of the individual soul to God, nor his repeated, his almost daily assertions of the sacredness and value of the gospel history, or of the regenerative power of the Divine life and person of Christ as the "one Master worth living for, worth dying for," could avail much. Whatever the feelings of individuals, the organs of the party of whose once imperilled claim to remain within the fold of the Church of England he had been the staunchest upholder spoke of him from first to last with almost unqualified aversion. He was, or became in due time, even more obnoxious to at least the more advanced section of the High Church party. Nor was this to be wondered at. The differences between him and them were vital and funda-mental; and, even where he defended their right—at one time repeatedly challenged—to maintain their distinctive views and observances in the Church of England, he rested their claim on grounds which would hardly win their approval or gratitude. The more clear-sighted of their leaders felt that, if the points of ceremonial, of dress, posture, attitude, ritual, on which they laid exceeding stress, were treated by him with toleration, they were regarded with an indifference that verged upon contempt, as tolerabiles ineptim, and that he delighted to trace their historical development, and to strip them of all that was essential, signi-ficant, or primitive. They felt even more strongly that in that which, to the leaders at least, gave their real interest and im-portance to all questions of vestments or observances, and even underlay some of the most important questions of religious doc-trine,—the very existence of an order of priesthood'as the divinely and exclusively commissioned channel of communication between God and man,—the rejection on the part of Stanley of their most cherished and central dogma was absolute and uncompromising. And the difference of view was vital. Much else in his writings might have been welcomed or condoned. His love for the past, his deep and full sympathy with much in the mediaeval church, his warm admiration for many of its saints and heroes, his aversion to mere iconoclasm, his poetic and imaginative sensibility, had much to attract them. Even in his treatment of many important religious subjects it was often not so much his actual sentiments as the tendency—the more than tendency, the avowed aim—of all his writings to promote freedom of inquiry and of thought, rather than submission to church authority, which provoked hostility. But on this question there was no room for compromise. That which they and he alike recognized as the fundamental tenet to which all their distinctive teaching pointed he spoke of as a belief '' that they (the clergy) were the depositaries of mystical, super-natural, almost magical influence, independent of any moral or spiritual graces, "and on this point he spoke with no doubtful voice. It was, he said, this belief in a "fixed, external, necessary medium on earth between the soul and God which, if he had rightly read the Psalms of David, the epistles of Paul and the gospel of Christ, true religion is always striving to dispense with," and "the more it can be dispensed with, the nearer and the higher is the communion of the human spirit with its Maker and its Redeemer." And this language (used in 1867) was in entire accordance with the manner in which in his latest volume (1881) he hinted at the possi-bility of "the growing materialism of the ecclesiastic sacristy so undermining the spiritual element of almost the only external ordinance of Christianity (the Eucharist), unquestionably the greatest religious ordinance in the world," "as even to endanger the ordinance itself." In addition to this fundamental divergence of view, it must be remembered that it was to this party, as the representatives of one "always forgetful in its gratitude and im-placable in its vengeance," that he looked for the main danger to freedom of thought and width of comprehension in the future, and that he did not hesitate to remind them, even as he supported their claims to the largest possible interpretation of the Articles, that they "claimed a latitude themselves which they constantly refused to others." It will be easily understood therefore that whatever influence Stanley wielded in the church was wholly in-dependent of either of the two great parties into which he found it mainly divided, above all of that which at the time of his death appeared to be every year growing in power and confidence.

What was the extent, what the permanent force of his own influence, is a question not easily answered at present. "Dean Stanley," said Dr Story, " stood higher in the respect and affection of a larger and more varied circle of members of many churches than any ecclesiastic in the world." It is not easy to disengage his personal and social charm, the affection borne him by all who had even momentarily passed within the circle of his striking and attractive individuality, the warm feelings which much in his life, much in his writings, had called forth from multitudes who never saw him, from the more abiding impression made during his lifetime and after his death by the writings which he has left behind him. Yet if, setting aside one single name, that of Prof. Maurice, he be taken as the most prominent, the most fertile, the most gifted, and the most impressive exponent and defender of liberal theology, some estimate may be formed even now of the mark which he made upon his age. It would be easy to under-value the effect of the work which he did. It might seem at first sight as if his own gloomier anticipations had been fulfilled. He spoke from time to time of a danger of the age being overwhelmed, now by "a general return of forgotten superstitions," now "by a general chaos of incredulity," and of himself as "having perhaps done no more than make good a starting point for those who come after us, perhaps in the 20th or 21st century." He might have seemed to enter into the spirit of his father's words, " My only hope and consolation is that I am a pioneer for better days, and that the seed which I aim, as far as can be, at sowing may bring forth fruit when I am gone to a better and more peaceful world." But such a view would be to a large extent superficial. If the success achieved by the cause of which Stanley was the main representative is carefully weighed, it will be found to be great in solid and direct results, far greater probably in those which are less easily summed up and tabulated. On the questions which he had most at heart, the real and careful and critical study of the sacred records, the progress made since he first lectured as a tutor at Oxford on the Old and New Testaments has been enormous. The large majority of the works published have been written more or less in the spirit in which he would have largely or entirely sympathized. It may be added that of these there are few which would not have encountered, if not fierce criticism, yet at least grave suspicion, some forty years ago. The combination of a reverent treatment of Holy Scripture with fearless inquiry into all questions connected with its criticism is a new birth in English literature. It is one in which he took a leading part, and in the defence of which he bore, sometimes in his own behalf, oftener in chivalrous defence of others, much of the brunt of the earlier and later contests. The impulse which he gave to the study alike of the Bible and church history was a great one. In each he may be recognized, not of course as the originator, but as the representative, of a new school of thought and of treatment, and those wdio are most familiar with his writings can hardly open a new book by any English theologian, hardly read a sermon of many preachers, above all on any portion of the Old Testament, in which they do not trace his immediate influence. He may be said in a very true sense to colour the writings of many of those who most differ from him. The subjects to which he looked as

the most essential of all—the universality of the Divine love, the supreme importance of the moral and spiritual elements of religion, the supremacy of conscience, the sense of the central citadel of Christianity as being contained in the character, the history, the spirit of its Divine Founder—have beyond doubt, if not yet taken fully the place which he claimed for them, yet impressed them-selves more and more on the teaching and the preaching of every class of clergy in the church. They have lifted the teaching of those who most differed from him far above the level of a mechanical or merely ceremonial form of mediaeval worship. The great cause too for which he strove so hard, that of comprehension and mutual toleration, the true '' enlargement of Christ's church," has gained much from his efforts,—much in the present, and perhaps, in spite of some appearances to the contrary, more in the future. What-ever storms of party strife may be in store for the church, active and energetic Christians of opposite parties no longer waste their energies in mutual attacks, but have learned to work together in Christian teaching and in works of Christian beneficence. His surviving friends may rejoice to remember that no one person had, for, it may be, many generations, done so much as Stanley to draw together in friendly and social intercourse the leaders of various religious parties and of different denominations of Christians.

Those who live, and feel that they live, in an age of transition cannot venture to prophesy the precise form and colour of the religious movement which will in due time succeed that which now seems to be the most prevalent and the most outwardly active. But they may bo permitted to hold that its main features were descried and anticipated, even if dwelt on with excessive emphasis, by Stanley,—to believe that the next phase of a Christian theology which shall regain a due ascendency over the thought and intelligence of the civilized world will be embodied in some larger realization of "the one unchangeable element in Christianity," of the witness borne by the teaching and life of Christ to the higher and spiritual nature and destinies of man and to the "principles of freedom, justice, toleration, beneficence, self-denial, universal sympathy, and fearless love of truth, in which all the hopes of a true and permanent development of Christian theology must take their stand." None will have laboured more earnestly in this cause than Arthur Stanley. (G. G. B.)




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