23 JUNE 1866, Page 23

The Way to Rest. Results of a Life Search after

Religious Truth. By Robert Vaughan, D.D. (Longmans.)—It is impossible to conceive a more able defence of orthodox Evangelical opinions than is contained in this volume. Our author shows man struggling in vain to construct a theory of the universe by the help of reason, and then finding in reve- lation the solution of his perplexities and the satisfaction of his wants. This revelation, needed by his nature, is also forced upon him by the strength of the evidence in favour of the genuineness of the Old and New Testaments. The difficulties that reason has to encounter in the attempt to solve the mysteries of life, and the difficulties that are involved in the rejection of Scripture authority, could not be presented with greater clearness and force. But the question remains whether by his theory of Christianity Dr. Vaughan does not add one more to the mysteries of life, or rather, whether in clearing away some of these, he does not introduce a greater and more distressing perplexity. His centre truth of Christianity is the doctrine of the Atonement explained in this way :—" The Divine Being releases one guilty man from suffer- ing because another and an innocent man has suffered in his stead." But is not this contrary to our idea of justice ? and are we not thus delivered over to a straggle between conscience and revelation, which is far more disquieting than the existence of mysteries that are simply inexplicable by the reason ? However, Dr. Vaughan has found " rest " in this theory, which is the result of a lifetime's thought, and is pro- pounded with the dialectic skill of a practised"controversialist, who at the same time is entitled to say that "his aim has been to establish principles," not to attack persons.