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Circa thronum majestatis,
Cum spiritibus beatis,
Quatuor diversitatis
Astant animalia.

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12. animalia] The twa of Rev. iv. 6, &c., in the Vulgate rightly animalia, is in our version not happily translated “beasts. It plainly should have been, as in Ezekiel, “living creatures,” and “beast" should have been reserved for the oft-recurring onplov of the 13th and later chapters. The distribution made in this hymn of the four living creatures to the four evangelists is St Jerome's, ( Comm. in Ezek. c. 1; Prol. in Matth. and Ep. 50,) is that of St Ambrose, (Prol, in Luc.,) and, after them, that of Gregory the Great, (Hom. 4. in Ezek.; Moral., 1. 31, c. 47,) and no doubt through the influence of the latter became the prevailing one, though not the exclusive one, (for Bede has ano ) during the middle ages. In earlier times there was great fluctuation in the application of the four to the four; and strangely enough even the eagle was not by any universal consent attributed to St John: on the contrary, Irenæus, the first who makes the application at all, gives the lion to him, and the eagle to St Mark, (Con. Hær. 1.3, c. 2, § 8,) leaving however the other two unaltered : and so Juvencus in a brief poem on the subject. Athanasius (Opp., v. 2, p. 155) shifts them in yet another fashion. Leaving St Matthew un. touched, he gives the calf to St Mark, the lion to St Luke, and the eagle to St John. And Augustine, (De Cons. Evang., l. 1, c. 7,) whom Bede follows, inakes yet another transposition. With him the lion belongs to St Matthew, the man to St Mark, the calf and eagle respectively to St Luke and St John. One might be tempted by these variations to dismiss the whole matter as an idle play of the fancy; yet more than this undoubtedly there was, and indeed a deep insight into the nature of the Gospels in the desire which thus manifested itself of claiming for them to be at once four and one, an evayyé lov terpduoppov, (Irenæus,) Tetpárywvov, (Origen,) to be the setters forth, in four cardinal aspects, of the inexhaustible ful.. ness of the life of Christ a matter into which however I may not enter here. Far the fullest and most satisfactory account of the artistic aspect of the subject is to be found in Mrs Jameson's Poetry of Sacred and Legendary Art, v. 1, pp. 98–110.

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37. alâ binâ] “ The double wing of love” is the love of God, and of our neighbour. Thus H. de S. Victore (Serm. 97): Columba sancta Ecclesia est: quæ duas alas habet per dilectionem Dei et proximi, à dextris dilectionem Dei, à sinistris dilectionem proximi.

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41, 42. Clichtoveus : Scilicet Matthæus Nativitatem, Lucas Passionem, Marcus Resurrectionem, et Johannes Ascensionem Christi.

53-56. Wheels run on earth, wings soar to heaven. In these symbolic representations of the Evangelists we hear of both; for they now tell of the earthly life of the Saviour (currunt rotis); they now ascend to the contemplation of the heavenly world (volant alis). The gressus æqualis is the mutual consent of the four ; they keep step. But the allusions to the medieval typology in this and the three following hymns on holy Scripture, are so infinite and complex, that I should exhaust my room long before I had exhausted them. I must be content but to touch on a few, at the same time observing that to far the most, the study of Gregory the

Paradisus his rigatur,
Viret, floret, foecundatur,
His abundat, his lætatur
Quatuor fluminibus :


Great's homilies on Ezekiel (Opp., v. 1, p. 1183, sqq. Bened. ed.) would give any reader, who cared to follow up the matter, the key: I must also ask of my reader to use such notes as I have supplied to one of these hymns, in illustration not merely of itself but also of the others, to which they will often serve, as well.

57—60. Irenæus, in his famous passage about the Evangelists, (Con. Hær., l. 3, c. 11, $ 8,) which is the foundation of so much that has followed in the same line, does not allude to the four streams of Paradise, as prefiguring the four Evangelists, near as such an application seems to have lain to him, and likening as he does the four Gospels to the four principal winds, mavtaxólev πνέοντας την αφθαρσίαν, και αναζωπυρουντας τους ανθρώπους. Nor does St Ambrose, at least in his treatise De Paradiso, c. 3, however he may find a mystical meaning in the four streams, find this one. We meet it in Jerome (Ep. ad Euseb.): Quemadmodùm unus fluvius erat Paradisi, qui in quatuor capita dividitur ; ita unica Christi evangelica doctrina per quatuor ministros ad irrigandum et fæcundandum ecclesiæ hortum est distributa. Cf. Augustine, De Civ. Dei, 1. 13, c. 21, and Durandus, Rational., 1. 7, c. 46.

The image has past on into the region of Christian art, (Aringhi, v. 1, pp. 181, 183, 195,) where we often find in the early mosaics a hill surmounted with a cross, or sometimes with a lamb holding a cross upon its summit, and four streams flowing out in different directions from its base,—this, as the symbol of Christ and his four Evangelists ;–in the words of Paulinus of Nola :

Petram superstat Ipse, petra ecclesiæ,
De qua sonori quatuor fontes meant,

Evangelistæ, viva Christi fumina:
or as we may express the thought in an English quatrain :

As those four streams that had in Eden birth,
And did the whole world water, four ways going,
With spiritual freshness fill our thirsty earth
Four streams of grace from one cleft mountain flowing.

Fons est Christus, hi sunt rivi,
Fons est altus, hi proclivi,
Ut saporem fontis vivi
Ministrent fidelibus.


Horum rivo debriatis
Sitis crescat caritatis,
Ut de fonte pietatis
Satiemur plenius.
Horum trahat nos doctrina
Vitiorum de sentinâ,
Sicque ducat ad divina
Ab imo superius.


65. debriatis] In some copies ebrietatis ; but thus, plainly in ignorance of there being such a word as debrio. It is a medieval form of inebrio; (see Du Cange, s. v.) I find it as early as Gregory the Great. (Hom. 6. in Ezek.)

[T. L. P.]


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