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many proofs, that other tongues, the Egyptian, &c., were used in the countries where they were spoken. In the course of this argument occurs the following notice of the letter of Pope John VIII. above cited :
partly by a “V. In the IXth century, when the Sclavi were conreference to verted to the Christian faith by the zealous preaching of the letter of S. Methodius, John VIII. the Supreme Pontiff, not only Pope John VIIL, above
allowed, but in the strongest manner approved of, their cited. having divine Service and the Sacred Liturgy in the
Sclavonic language. With reference to this point we may quote the authority of the same Pontiff in his letter (247) to Sfentopulcher, Count of Moravia. Finally,' says he in it, 'as to the Sclavonic letters,' &c., &c."
Then follows the passage of Pope John's letter already given to the reader; after which Martene adds, that the said letter was written to Sfentopulcher in A.D. 880, by Pope John, who was " admonished by God so to write,” as is stated by Æneas Sylvius, that was afterwards the Supreme Pontiff Pius II., in his History of Bohemia.
Nos. VI. AND VII.
THE “INSTRUCTIONS" OF ST. COLUMBANUB.
General character of the Instructions of St. Columbanus.
The two following discourses are given as a specimen of the “Instructions” or short Sermons of St. Columbanus. They are peculiarly interesting, not only as illustrations of the religion of this saint himself and of his times, but also as occurring in the oldest collection extant, as far as I am aware, of Sermons by any of the early Christians of the British Isles. It should be noted that the general doctrine that runs through all the “ Instructions” is of a simple, edifying, scriptural character. The most striking apparent exception to this occurs in the end of “ Instruction İ.” where we read that “God Almighty should be implored, through the merits and intervention of His saints, to bestow on us even some little portion of His light:" a passage so unlike the general tenor of the writings of Columbanus, that we might almost suspect some very great corruption of the text, or interpolation, to have been the means of introducing it. Supposing however the words to be genuine, as there does not appear to exist any external evidence of their spuriousness, their meaning must be qualified by the two following observations.
First, the “merits of the saints” in Columbanus's day had a sense completely different from "Merits of that which we attach to the words; we in the
the Saints," course of time having altered the meaning of thereby in this expression. For “merits” used of old to writings. signify gains or advantages, without necessarily including the idea of deserving or having a
claim on a thing. Merits then signified as well “gifts of grace,” “privileges freely bestowed," as “earnings," and thus, meriting, in the ears of Columbanus, did not necessarily imply anything inconsistent with the deepest humility-as may
be sufficiently seen from the dying words of Illustration Arnolf, bishop of Metz (A.D. 614-640, cir.) to of the use of the friends who surrounded him in his last hour, the expression from
“ Dear and respected friends," said he, “pray to the life of Christ in my behalf. For the day is now come Arnolf, bishop of for me to appear and be presented before my Metz. Judge. What shall I do?
No good thing have I performed in this world. By all iniquities and sins am I narrowly hedged in; for which, I implore you, pray the Lord that I may merit pardon," i. e. obtain it, though undeserved.—(Vid. Opp. Bed. iii. 254. Arnolf however is described as having been an eminently pious and saintly prelate.) Further, in respect to the meaning of the word here under conside
ration, Archbishop Ussher observes (in his AnArchbishop swer to a Jesuit, ch. xii. p. 478, Camb. 1835,) Ussher's ob that to merit, in the writings of the Fathers, the subject. signifies “ simply to procure or to attain, with
out any relation at all to the dignity either of the person or the work." To follow out the inquiry how far many of the errors of the Church of Rome may have originated in the abuse of words, would be an interesting employment, but
St. Columbanus neces
not however one suitable to the scope of the present work. Secondly; "the intervention of the Saints” Whether
the phrase mentioned in the first Instruction of St. Columbanus, may as far as I see, imply only such a tion of the use in prayer of the names of those who have de- writing of parted this life in the true faith and fear of God, as is allowed, and practised in the Holy sarily im Scriptures; (see Deut. ix. 27; and compare mediation. Gen. xxvi. 3, 5; Lev. xxvi. 44, 45; Ps. cv. 42; cvi. 4; cxix. 132 ; cxxxii. 10; 1 Kings viii. 66; xi. 12, 13, 32-39; xv. 3, 4, 5; 2 Kings viii. 19; xiii. 23; xix. 34 ; xx. 6; 2 Chron. vi. 42; Isa. xxxvii. 35; Rom. xi. 28 ;) without any reference whatsoever to the antiscriptural Romish doctrine which leads men to rely for an answer to their prayers, on the agency or deservings of the departed saints of the Lord.
No. VI.-ST. COLUMBANOS'S INSTRUCTION OR SERMON "ON THE
SPIRIT OP PENITENCE AND WATCHFULNESS IN WHICH THE ADVENT
“In the discourses already addressed to you, we have Repeated been endeavouring in some sort to suggest [to your
exhortations minds] an idea of the skind of] contrition required [of
dispel man's us), and exerting ourselves to arouse by a kind of soli- indifference loquy, the indolence of our own heart indeed in particu- to religious cular, but (besides that), of every hearer's heart also. truth.
However, as the scanty measure of Cour] faith, and Cour] carnal wills, influenced by the passions of the world, receive in a cold and slighting manner these lessons of correction, the same truths) must be often repeated : for if (our) faith were not of unsteady character, even a single one of the testimonies of the divine oracle already brought before our notice would abun
dantly suffice (to dispel our sloth.] The uncer- “Now they believe, and (yet) believe not, who netainty of the glect what they hear. For imagine that some person future a snare to
were to say to you— Make (good] use of to-day: for the sinners. - Judge of this world means to burn you alive on the morSee Eccl. row,' what sort of anxiety, let me ask, what sort of viii. 11.
terror, would take possession of you? And upon hear. ing such tidings, if you were allowed to have a single day free to your disposal, what exertions would you make! What cries would you utter! What persons would you appeal to! In what a lowly, what a sorrowful, dejected, style you would move about! Would you not lavish ali your money upon those by whose intercession you might suppose there would be a possibility of escaping ? Would you not give all that you were worth for the redemption of your soul, and reserve nothing, even though you were of a miserly and pinching disposition, but spend all, give away all, for your life. And if any one were to attempt to retard or hinder you, would you not say, 'Perish all for the sake of my salvation : let nothing remain, provided only I may live.' [And] why would you act in this way? Because there would be no doubt on your mind, but that according to the sentence of your dread and awful Judge, you should be committed to the flames. But in the existing state of matters you do entertain doubts, because you have no knowledge how soon your fate may be sealed: that it will be sealed however, you are not ignorant, although exhibiting (such] carelessness on the subject.