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councils, invested with the highest ecclesiastical dignity, and supported by the imperial power, went on to erect their decisions on disputed points into positive articles of faith.* All this contributed to develope the system of doctrines with great rapidity, whilst the freedom of speculation had proportionably narrowed. At the same time the condemned parties were provoked to greater obstinacy, and the schisms in the church became wider and more incurable. These contests not only had an important effect on the developement of the internal relations of the church, but, from the share taken in them by the emperors, were also of great political moment. So that from this time forward, not only the whole history of the church, but often, also, the political history of the Roman empire, turns on the theological controversies." — Vol. 1. pp. 191, 192.
The school of Origen was friendly to liberty.
"Of the theological schools of this period, the most distinguished were that of Origen, and the Syrian historico-exegetical school, both of which originated in the preceding period. Origen was universally held in high esteem, and to the wide-extended influence of his writings it is to be attributed, that, in the midst of these furious controversies, there remained any freedom of theological . Vol. I. P. speculation whatever." 207.
The result of the Arian controversy somewhat narrowed the field of investigation, though on other points, the utmost freedom of inquiry was permitted, during its continuance.
"A far greater danger now threatened all free inquiry and scientific research, from another side. In proportion as Monachism gained strength, the prejudice strengthened against all use of human science or learning. There arose a crowd of traditional theologians, who, rejecting all free investigation, would hear of no opinion which could not be found in the writings of the fathers. This character we see exemplified in Epiphanius, bishop of Constantia in Cyprus, from the year 367, (died 403). Even in his Panarion (hær. 63 and 64) he betrays his bitter hatred of Origen ; and as soon as the Arian controversy was at an end, he appeared as his open assailant. Whilst this new contest stopped the advance of theological science in the East, the Western world was bound in spiritual bondage by Augustine, and thus all free inquiry was banished from the church." - Vol. 1. pp. 212, 213.
Superstition, of course, now increased apace. Of this, one variety consisted in Saint-worship, of the origin of which Gieseler gives the following account.
"Hilarius de Trinitate, II. 1."
"The more remote the times of the martyrs, the greater the adoration paid to them. The heathen converts, naturally enough, transferred to them the honors they had been used to pay their demigods, whilst the horror of creature-worship, which had hitherto operated as a check on the growing superstition, had been gradually dying away since the extinction of paganism. As men had long been accustomed to assemble for public worship at the graves of the martyrs, the idea of erecting churches (Magrigior, Memoria) over them would readily occur. In Egypt the Christians began to embalm the bodies of reputed saints, and keep them in their houses. The communion with the martyrs being thus associated with the presence of their material remains, these were dug up from the graves and placed in the churches, especially under the altars; and the popular feeling having now a visible object to excite it, became more extravagant and superstitious than ever. The old opinion of the efficacy of their intercession, who had died a martyr's death, was now united with the belief that it was possible to communicate with them directly: a belief founded partly on the popular notion that departed souls always lingered around the bodies they had once inhabited, and partly on the views entertained of the glorified state of the martyrs, a sort of omnipresence being ascribed to them. These notions may be traced to Origen, and his followers were the first who apostrophized the martyrs in their sermons, and besought their intercession. But though the orators were somewhat extravagant in this respect, they were far outdone by the poets, who soon took up this theme, and could find no expressions strong enough to describe the power and the glory of the martyrs. Their relics soon began to work miracles, and to be valuable articles of trade.
"In proportion as men felt the need of such intercession, they sought to increase the number of the intercessors. Not only those, who, on account of services rendered the church, were inscribed in the Diptycha,* but the pious characters from the Old Testament, and the most distinguished of the monks, were ranked amongst the saints. Martyrs before unknown announced themselves in visions; others revealed the place of their burial. From the beginning of the 5th century the prayers for the saints were discontinued as unbefitting their glorified state. Christians were now but seldom called upon to address their prayers to God; the usual mode being to pray only to some saint for his intercession. With this worship of the saints were joined many of the customs of the
"Diptycha. A double catalogue, in one part whereof were written the names of the living, and in the other those of the dead, which were to be rehearsed during the office. Rees' Cyclop.—Tr."
heathen. Men chose their patron saints, and dedicated churches to their worship. The heathen, whom the Christians used to reproach with worshipping dead men, found now ample opportunity of retort." Vol. 1. pp. 282--287.
The commencement of the Reformation attempted, and partially, though but partially, achieved by Luther and his coadjutors, dates as far back as the fourteenth century. On this subject Gieseler expresses himself as follows.
"In proportion as the papal power became more irresistible and fearful, the heretical parties assumed more and more the character of fanaticism, and, despairing of any reformation within the church, sought to lay the foundations of their religious faith without it. But the power of the popes being thus diminished, a more rational spirit of reform was developed in the church itself, which, acknowledging the church as the true foundation of Christian faith, sought only to purify it from the abuses that had crept in.
"In these attempts at reform there was, however, an essential difference. For the most part they aimed only at external reformation; seeking, namely, to set bounds to the papal power, and to restore the discipline and virtue of the clergy, without going deeper into the sources of the evil. The Mystics were nearer the truth in avoiding the over estimation of externals, and endeavouring to revive inward religion. But, on the other hand, they were too exclusively engaged in the pursuit of their peculiar object, and their religion was of too transcendental and dreamy a character to allow them accurately to examine, and rightly to understand the general state of the church.
"The true Reformers were distinguished by this: — that they looked for the evil not in single abuses, but in the pervading spirit; and this spirit it was their aim to renovate. Amongst these "testes veritatis," many, no doubt, have been since reckoned by Protestants, who did not deserve such honor, and of others we have only passing and imperfect notices; still the 14th century can boast of many whose right to be so reckoned is beyond dispute. The foremost of these are three of the Bohemian clergy, who, fired with pious indignation at the mechanical worship and the dead hypocrisy which prevailed, directed their undaunted attacks against the Mendicant monks, to whose influence they chiefly ascribed this corruption."- Vol. 111. pp. 135, 136.
The three Bohemian clergy alluded to, are Conrad Stiekna, John Milicz, and Matthias von Janow, all cotemporaries with the English Wicliffe. During the next century individual reformers became numerous, some of whom were left
undisturbed, and were permitted to end their days in "However the views taken of the abuses in the church may have differed, the feeling of the necessity of a reform," says Gieseler, "was general. It is not surprising that the wish should often have ripened into a hope, and this into confident expectation, and this again have expressed itself in prophecy." The study of ancient literature hastened the result.
"The great benefit supposed to be derived from the study of the ancients was the cultivation of the taste, and in pursuing this it was not heeded how great must be the influence of this often extravagant love of the ancients in weakening men's attachment to the church; nor, on the other hand, what means as well as excitement were thus furnished to perilous investigations of the prevailing doctrines and views." - Vol. 1. pp. 393, 394.
In Italy no direct attack was made on the church, though the scholastic philosophy, which was its main prop, fell, being unable to sustain the ridicule which was thrown upon it, especially on its "barbarous epithets, and its mistaken reverence for Aristotle."
"In Germany the study of the ancients led to widely different results as regarded its effect on theology. These studies were first introduced in the schools of the Brethren of the Common Life. In these schools every thing was valued according to its influence on religion, in which light therefore this new source of knowledge was chiefly regarded; and this view, so well suited to the earnest religious character of the nation, continued to be held by most of the German Humanists." - Vol. 11. pp. 397, 398.
The Scholastics made a desperate struggle; but, not being a match for the Humanists in the use of the weapons of wit and ridicule, they were finally driven from the field.
"Thus by the revival of ancient learning the most important means of reformation in the church were prepared; but learning alone could not accomplish the work. The results thus obtained could neither be brought home to the convictions of the people, nor were they fitted to excite that universal and all-absorbing interest which was necessary to enable men to break through the fetters which had been for ages riveted upon them, and venture all for the truth. But after the Reformation had been begun on the only sure foundation, that of religious feeling, an enlightened criticism proved a most useful guide in saving men from error and fanaticism."- Vol. 1. p. 410.
We have only, in conclusion, to express our gratitude to Mr. VOL. XXII. 3D S. VOL. IV. NO. I.
Cunningham for the important service he has rendered to the cause of theological learning among us by the present publication. Were we disposed to cavil, we should say, that he has retained the Latin form of names, both of persons and places, in several instances, in which the English form, being more familiar, and having the sanction of custom, would have been better. Thus he writes, Ambrosius, bishop of Mediolanum, for Ambrose, of Milan; Hilarius, bishop of Pictavium, for Hilary, of Poitiers; Martin, bishop of Turonum, for Martin, of Tours; Arles, he uniformly, so far as we have observed, writes, Arelate; thus he speaks of the Synods of Arelate and Mediolanum. We should have said, the Synods of Arles and Milan. We might give several other specimens. He is not always, however, consistent. Thus he sometimes writes Basilius, and sometimes, Basil, and once, at least, Ambrose of Mediolanum, and again, on the same page, we find the phrase, "Ambrose at Milan," relating to something there done by him. In these and other instances, we see no reason for retaining, in English composition, the old Latin form of the name, which would not also justify us in writing Virgilius, Horatius, Livius, Sallustius, Roma, Italia, instead of Virgil, Horace, Livy, Sallust, Rome, and Italy. But these are minute blemishes, which we should be less disposed to notice, were the execution of the work, in general, less perfect. But where we see so much to commend, and so little to censure, trivial defects arrest the attention. We hope that Mr. Cunningham will persevere and give to the public more of the fruits of his German studies.
The three volumes now before us bring down the history to the time of the Reformation. A fourth volume, not yet published, is to contain the history of Protestantism, from its origin to the present day. We hope that Mr. Cunningham will lose no time in giving it to the public, as soon as received. We trust that his labors will be duly appreciated. Such labors ought to be encouraged, though the tendency of things, both in this country, and in England, is, to hold out very slender motives to studies, which have no visible and direct bearing on outward and temporal prosperity, and the means of promoting mere physical comfort and enjoyment.