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his Surety, shall be his Judge; his mortal part shall become immortal ; what was sown in corruption and defilement, shall be raised in incorruption and glory; and a finite creature shall possess an infinite happiness." It was leaning on this staff, we doubt not, that he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and feared no evil.
The absence of any account of Lord Bacon's last hours, is a loss we cannot sufficiently lament. Did all men abandon fallen greatness at the last hour, in this as in other instances? Why was there no good Griffith, to “tell us how he died ?” Where was Doctor Rawley, his lordship’s chaplain? Or did he suppose that posterity would not require, at his hands, even the slightest mention of the way his great master spake and acted in quitting life? And “his very good friend, Mr. George Herbert,” to whom he dedicated his versions of the Psalms-gentle and holy George Herbert, where was he? Might he not have found time during the six years that he survived the Chancellor, to paint his charac
those private papers of his, which, as worthy Izaak says, “ were destroyed at Hingham house by the late rebels, and so lost to posterity.” In the meantime we can only know, that
"His overthrow heaped happiness upon him,
And so pass to thy grave, thou great crushed and contrite spirit ! For thee, also, there was balm in Gilead, and a physician there. Thou, too, hast taught us, that though knowledge is great, and faith is great, yet the greatest of these is charity.
THE SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY OF THE MIDDLE AGES
By Rev. S. M. SCHMUCKER, Germantown, Pa.
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SHORTLY after the introduction of Christianity into the world, the spirit of speculative inquiry began to appear, in the examination of its principles. Soon men became wearied with their plain and unsophisticated import, and sought for recondite meanings and farfetched interpretations. On the page of dogmatic, as well as ecclesiastical history, many schools of discordant doctrine stand forth to view. Ere the halo of apostolical purity had faded from the Church, the notions of Cerinthus appeared, containing the germs of Gnosticism, as afterwards developed by Bardesanes, Valentinus, and their coadjutors. Next, this science is handled in the allegorical style of the school of Alexandria, headed by the great Origen. In later ages it is subjected to the philosophical speculations of Leibnitz and Wolf. Now, it is mixed up with the neological perversions of Semler and Eichorn. Then, again, it is expounded in the exegetical mode of Michaelis and Ernesti. Afterward it is discussed in the biblical style of Storr and Knapp; and lastly, it is set forth in the evangelical school of Tholuck and Twesten.
The study of these various systems is deeply interesting and instructive; but none are more worthy of regard than that Scholastic Mode, which held dominion in the schools during the Middle Ages. This department of Dogmatic History has not received as much attention among us as it deserves. We, therefore, propose, in this article, to give a condensed view of its history and most striking features.
The difficulty of producing a thorough exposition of the inward and outward characteristics of the Scholastic Systems, is duly acknowledged by the distinguished Dr. Ritter, in the Preface to the last volume of his History of Philosophy. Says he— In some cases I have almost despaired of being able to discover the sense of a complicated dialectic, whose doctrines are, for the most part, very far removed from us.” (Biblioth. Sac., Aug., 1844, p. 598.) No labor, indeed, could be more perplexing, than to trace the intricate thread of some abstract process of ratiocination, of some longa series dialectica, as elaborated by one of the Scholastics. Accordingly, in our present discussion, we do not propose to give an exposition of the esoteric systems of the different schools—their shades of doctrine, or points of difference. For such investigations, we do not indeed possess the proper materials in this country. But our aim shall be, to exhibit a general view of the doctrinal character, as well as outward history of the Scholastic Theology, to present its general characteristics, and show the effects which it produced upon religion and theological science in general.
This mode of studying and discussing the doctrines of our holy religion, employed the ablest minds for many centuries. It was the channel through which a vast degree of intellectual vigor was expended. It exerted a mighty influence upon the moral and intellectual condition of those countries where it prevailed. It had a marked bearing upon the destinies of the Papacy itself, with all its far-reaching ramifications. It gradually became introduced into all the Universities during the Middle Ages. It there secured the approbation of the ablest votaries of science; and he who could employ the art of dialectics most acutely, was regarded as having attained the highest standard of intellectual power—as having made the most successful advances in the search of truth. How far this confidence was merited, and these occupations were founded in justice, the sequel will show.
1. THE ORIGIN OF THE SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY. The memorable discussion which occurred between Lanfranc and Berengarius, and which was protracted from 1050 until 1075, on the subject of Transubstantiation ; together with the agitations which occurred throughout the Christian world, about that period, in reference to the celibacy of the clergy, and other similar innovations, first served to create and disseminate a fondness for intellectual inquiries. The establishment of these two doctrines as dogmas of the Church, by the Council of Placentia, in 1095, tended to increase the current which had already set in, and draw the attention of men more extensively, to kindred themes. In the middle of the eleventh century, the old question of the Grecian schools concerning Universal Ideas, was revived. It was fiercely disputed by Roscelin, a celebrated professor of logic, at that period. Partisans were soon formed, and marshalled in hostile array against each other, concerning this portentous question.
In the twelfth century, the first great Universities of Europe were established. Those of Paris, Oxford, and Bologna, were successively erected and endowed; and toward these celebrated seats of learning, where was preserved the knowledge which had survived the inundation of Northern barbarism, the aspiring youth of Europe directed their steps. There the most thorough intellectual training was imparted. There were collected the most learned and renowned instructors. There were accumulated the most extensive and valuable libraries. And there, too, the Scholastic Theology found its most congenial home.
Previous to the establishment of the Universities, the course of instruction given comprehended only what were termed the
Trivium and Quadrivium. The former comprised Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic; the latter Algebra, Music, Geometry, and Astronomy. No progress had been made; no further improvement had been attained, during the lapse of ages, in the discussion of these sciences. . Among all the Universities which subsequently arose, that of Paris was most distinguished for Theology. The writings of Aristotle had become known to Christian Europe, through the translations of the Arabs and Moors in Spain. They now became the basis of instruction in all the Universities, and soon his authority was supreme. It is true, that this authority was assailed by portions of the Romish Church, first at the Synod of Paris, in 1209, and afterward by the Papal Legate, in 1215. But these remonstrances and prohibitions were entirely inadequate to resist their accumulating ascendency.
Several men of extraordinary talents now came upon the stage of action, and directed their energies to the study and defense of the new Theology. St. Anselm of Canterbury there labored and taught; a man of extraordinary intellectual vigor, some of whose arguments and processes of reasoning are still retained among theologians, for want of any better substitutes. His most distinguished pupil, Peter Abelard, filled the chair of theology at Paris; whose original and profound investigations, though frequently adventurous and incorrect, awakened the minds of his cotemporaries still more, to a sympathy with intellectual pursuits. His more celebrated scholar, Peter Lombard, the author of the memorable book of Sentences, succeeded him. He was a man of greater, as well as safer, talents.
In proportion as men progressed in general culture, and as the restoration of the civil, together with the reformation of the common, law, advanced, the Universities were enlarged and improved. These changes of course increased the celebrity of these institutions. The number of students became much enlarged. The amount of mind thus brought into active contact, was much aug. mented. The love of contention was aroused and cultivated. The two great orders of Dominican and Franciscan monks made Aristotle their text-book, and soon elevated him to that same eminence in theology, which he before possessed in philosophy. These questions becoming invested with supreme importance, on the intellectual arena of the age, soon engrossed the attention of the most celebrated thinkers. These causes gradually moulded the character and destiny of the Scholastic Theology. The history of these eminent men forms its most important and prosperous era. Their merits also confer upon it its highest honors.
II. SKETCH OF THE MOST EMINENT SCHOLASTICS. Peter Abelard, Venerabilis Inceptor, may properly be termed the great originator of the theology of the schools. By his means, THIRD SERIES, VOL. III. NO. I.
it first obtained a definite form, as well as a decisive pre-eminence in the republic of letters. He was born of noble parentage, at Nantes, in 1079. He was first initiated into Theology by Roscelin, the founder of the school of the Nominalists. He was distinguished for his intellectual ability at an early age. When twenty years old he became the pupil of William de Champeaux, under whose tuition he studied dialectics. He soon established a rival school, which soon eclipsed his master. He subsequently continued his theological studies under Anselm. Disagreeing with his illustrious instructor, whom he seems to have excelled in acuteness, but not solidity of intellect, he established an independent school in theology also, which soon became celebrated.
At the age of forty, he was guilty of the seduction of his pupil, the beautiful and accomplished Heloise. She retired to a convent, and Abelard, after suffering a disgraceful punishment for his crime, resumed his lectures in theology. He now published his celebrated system. This work brought upon him the charge of heresy, and was burned by order of the council of Soissons, in 1121. He retired from his persecutors to a forest in Champaign, where multitudes of students soon gathered around him, and where he established the monastery of the Paraclete. This establishment he afterward presented to Heloise, of which she became Abbess. He was again charged with heresy by St. Bernard, “ the last and best of the Fathers," and set out for Rome in 1140 to vindicate himself. He stopped on his way at the celebrated monastery of Clugny, where, after remaining two years, and lecturing once more on theology, he died at the age of sixty-three.
His works are chiefly his Epistles, a History of his Life till 1134, his Confession of Faith, his Commentary on Romans, and his Introduction to Theology, in Three Books. His life and adventures are among the most remarkable in history. They present a singular combination of great talents and great misfortunes. The latter he undoubtedly brought upon himself by his own imprudence. They served to embitter his days, as well as deeply tarnish his brightest honors.
Next in the order of time among the great lights of scholasticism, is St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor Angelicus. He was born in 1225, at Aquino. When thirteen years of age, he was sent to the University of Naples. At seventeen, he commenced his novitiate at the Dominican convent in that city. This step was contrary to the wish of his father, Landulph, Count of Aquino. To avoid his family, he left Naples for Rome. Thence he fled to Paris. He was forcibly brought home, and confined in the paternal castle. Here he contrived to escape. Obtaining the encouragement of Innocent IV, he connected himself with the Dominicans at the age of twenty. At twenty-five, he began to lecture in Theology at Paris. Here he formed a close intimacy with St. Bonaventura,