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65

Nos ad portum ex hoc fluctu,
Nos ad risum ex hoc luctu
Christi trahat gratia.

66. There are other hymns upon John the Baptist, inferior to this one, yet yielding more than one beautiful stanza. Thus in Daniel's Thes. Hymnol., v. 2, p. 217, an anonymous one beginning thus, but not at all maintaining the merits of its opening :

In occursum Præcursoris
Concurrenti cordis, oris,
Curramus obsequio;
In lucernâ Lux laudetur,
In præcone veneretur
Judex, sol in radio.

Solem solet repentinum,
Vel quid grande vel divinum
Vulgus ægrè capere :
Quare nobis habetatis
Sol supernæ veritatis
Præluxit in sidere.

Hic Præcursor et Propheta,
Immo Prophetarum meta,
Legi ponens terminum,
Mirè cepit, per applausum
Ventre matris clausus clausum

Revelando Dominum. Another by Adam of St Victor, preserved by Clichtoveus, p. 199, yields the two following stanzas :

Ad honorem tuum, Christe,
Recolat Ecclesia
Præcursoris et Baptistæ
Tui natalitia.
Laus est regis in præconis
Ipsius præconio,
Quem virtutum ditat donis,
Sublimat officio.

Agnum monstrat in aperto
Vox clamantis in deserto,
Vox Verbi prænuncia.
Ardens fide, verbo lucens,

PISTOR.

Et ad veram lucem ducens,
Multa docet millia.
Non lux iste, sed lucerna,
Christus verò lux æterna,

Lux illustrans omnia. These stanzas, as is usual with this writer, swarm with patristic and Scriptural allusion. And first, he brings out the exceptional circumstance, that, while with all other saints it is the day of their death, in his case it is that of his birth, the natalitia, which the Church celebrates—the Nativity of John the Baptist. Augustine urges this, (Serm. 290, c. 2,) and gives the reason: Denique quia in magno Sacramento natus est Johannes, ipsius solius justi natalem diem celebrat Ecclesia. Et natalis Domini celebratur, sed tanquam Domini. Date mihi alium servum, præter Johannem inter Patriarchas, inter Prophetas, inter Apostolos, cujus natalem diem celebret Ecclesia Christi. Passionum diem servis plurimis celebramus; nativitatis diem nemini nisi Johanni. The reasons for this, which Augustine has but here touched on, Durandus (Rationale, 1. 7, c. 14) gives at full. They are found in the words of the angel, that many should rejoice at his birth ; (Luke i. 14;) in the fact that he should be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb; (i.15;) and in his relation to his Lord as the morning star, whose first appearing heralded the rising of the true Sun. We learn from that same passage that Cant. ii. 12, was applied to him. His was the voice of the turtle which, being heard in the land, told that winter was past, and the rain was over and gone. Nor should the reader miss, in the second stanza, the play with the words Vox and Verbum, which is indeed much more than a play, and rests on very deep and mysterious fitnesses-John a sound, a startling cry in that old world to which he himself belonged, a voice crying in the wilderness; but Christ a new utterance out of the bosom of the Eternal, an articulate Word. I must, however, refer those who would follow up the deeper fitnesses of these terms Vox and Verbum, Dwvri and Aóyos, in their application to the Baptist and his Lord, with all the poet has here in his eye, to Origen, (In Joan., t. ii, §. 26;) or better still, to Augustine, (Serm. 288, §. 3.)- In the next line, Ardens fide, verbo lucens, he is making his commentary on the words already quoted : Ille erat lucerna ardens et lucens.

VII. DE NATIVITATE DOMINI.

PUER

UER natus in Bethlehem,

Unde gaudet Jerusalem,
Hic jacet in præsepio,
Qui regnat sine termino.

5

Cognovit bos et asinus
Quod puer erat Dominus.

VII. Corner, Prompt. Devot., p. 278; Daniel, Thes. Hymnol., v.1, p. 334. This hymn, of a very beautiful simplicity, and absorbing easily and naturally so much theology in its poetry, and in many ways containing so much in a brief compass, continued long a great favourite in the Lutheran Churches of Germany. Its use indeed survived among them till wellnigh the present day. It sometimes appears at nearly twice the length at which I have given it: but all which is more than this looks like filling up, and injures rather than promotes the effect of the whole.

5. Bos et asinus] Two passages in the Old Testament supplied the groundwork to that wide-spread legend which painters of the Nativity have so often made their own, and to which here the poet alludes, viz., that the ox and the ass recognized and worshipped that Lord whom the Jews ignored and rejected. The first and principal of these is of course Isai. i. 3: Cognovit bos possessorem suum, et asinus præsepe domini sui : Israel autem me non cognovit, et populus meus non intellexit. (Vulg.) There was seen here a prophetic reference to the manger at Bethlehem; and no less at Hab. iii. 2, where the Septuagint has strangely enough, év μέσω δύο ζώων γνωσθήση, being followed herein by the old Italic : In medio duorum animalium innotesceris.

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PETER THE VENERABLE.

PETER

ETER the Venerable, born 1092 or 1094, of a noble

family of Auvergne, was elected in 1122 Abbot of Clugny--being constituted thereby the chief of that reformed branch of the Benedictine order, the head quarters of which were at Clugny in Burgundy. This admirable man, one of that wonderful galaxy of illustrious men who adorned France in the first half of the twelfth century, was probably only second, although second by a very long interval, to St Bernard in the influence which, by his talents and virtues, and position at the head of a great and important congregation, he was able to exercise upon his time. His history is in more ways than one bound up with that of his greater cotemporary. He is indeed now chiefly known for his keen though friendly controversy with St Bernard, on the respective merits of the “black.” and "white" monks, the Clugnian, and the yet later Cistercian, who now in their fervent youth were carrying the world before them. The correspondence is as characteristic in its way as that with which it naturally suggests a comparison, between St Augustine and St Jerome ; casting nearly as much light on the characters of the men,

and far more on that of their times. But besides this, it was with him that Abelard found shelter, after the condemnation of his errors, and to his offices the reconciliation which was effected before Abelard's death, between him and St Bernard, was owing. Nor ought it to be forgotten, that to Peter the Venerable western Christendom was indebted for

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