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النشر الإلكتروني

Or,

Piety and Preaching

Of the

Middle Ages.

By

JOSEPH P. THOMPSON, D.D.

New-York:

Anson D. F. Randolph, 683 Broadway.
1857.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by

ANSON D. F. RANDOLPHI,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New-York.

THE
NEW YORK
PUL LIBRARY
1:22 33.

Astor, Fond and Tilden

Four tions.

1297

JOHN A. GRAY, Printer and Stereotyper,

16 & 18 Jacob St., Fire-Proof Buildings.

INTRODUCTION.

The more careful study of the Middle Ages by theologians and scholars of the present day, has done much to dispel the notion of the absolute and unmitigated darkness of those ages which has been traditionary in evangelical Christendom since the Reformation. While this study has in some instances revived a tendency to Rubricism and in others to Pietism, it has also contributed to more just and healthy views of the progress and results of Christianity in the world, and especially in Europe. That theory of "Development" which makes the Mediaval and Romish types of Christianity necessary to the full unfolding of the kingdom of Christ, is contrary to the whole philosophy of the New Testament; yet on the other hand, that is a narrow view of history and of Christ's

spiritual kingdom, which regards the whole period from the Council of Nice to the Reformation as a blank and waste in the religious life of Europe. We make too much relatively of Luther; too little of that ever-watchful Providence, that ever-present Spirit, which even in the darkest times kept alive the faith and doctrine of the Gospel. Even in the darkest apostasy of Israel there were seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal, though the persecuted prophet who had fled into the wilderness for his life, cried out: "I, even I only am left jealous for the Lord of Hosts." So when the monk of Erfurth lifted up his voice of warning, and heard at first but its solitary echo, there were yet thousands upon thousands who had not bowed the knee to the image of the Beast, nor received his mark in their foreheads.

Isaac Taylor argues with much force that Monasticism is in its very nature destructive of evangelical piety; and that the best types of piety formed upon the ascetic principle are wanting in the evangelical element, especially as regards the nature of sin and the relation of the atonement to the forgiveness of sin. He discriminates with great clearness and force, between the ascetic view of sins “as a score to be wiped out by penance," and the evangelical view of "sin, in a spiritual sense, as the object of the

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