Page images
PDF
EPUB

ever, will not deny that the existence and circulation of false legends is to be chiefly attributed to the monks. At first, indeed, these were heretics, who even falsified the history of Christ, against whom St. Luke was moved to write his gospel ;* and, on the same grounds, St. John afterwards wrote his gospel against the Ebionites, Cerinthians, and other heretics of the same kind.t

Land. But, without this, lives written by heretics would not have gained credit.

Auth. The heretics did not publish these lives under their own names, but, as gospels, under the names of the apostles. There was the gospel of the twelve apostles—of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. James, St. Philip, St. Bartholomew, St. Thomas, St. Judas Thaddeus, St. Mathias, St. Barnabas, and of Nicodemus too-yes, even one of Judas, the betrayer of Christ. I

Land. The traitor Judas's gospel must have made a good figure.

Auth. In like manner, false lives of the holy Virgin Mary came out under the names of St. John, St. James, and St. Matthew, which were full of childish fables. There was one, especially, called, “ The Death of the Virgin Mary,” that was stuffed with them. It is to be lamented that there were some even among the ancient fathers, Clement of Alexandria for instance, who gave too much credit to the pretensions of spurious lives; and as some writers of more modern times followed them in this, as, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Epiphanius, St. Gregory of Tours, and St. John Damascene,ll it is not to be marvelled at, that so many fabulous stories of the childhood of Christ, of the family and childhood of the holy Virgin Mary, have found their way down to the most recent falsifier of the history of the saints.

(To be continued.)

• Maldonat. Comment in Luc. c. i. | Richard Simon, tom. i.c. 3. Hist. Crit. Nov. Test. Hieronymi Viri illustr. c. 9.

Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. 1. 2. c. 2.

Baron. Annal. An. 48. Biblioth. Patr. tom. vii. p. 579. (After what I have said respecting popish expurgation, I feel it right to add that the Spanish Index of 1612, in its review of the Paris Bibliotheca Patrum of 1589, says, “ Post præfa. tionem adde, opus apocryphum, et falso inscriptum Melitoni ;'" and, after one or two minor expurgations, it strikes out all that follows the seventh chapter,-that is to say, considerably more than half the book. The eleven condemned chapters, however, keep their place in my edition of the Bib. Pat. (Paris, 1624), and, I believe, in all others; but this tract is headed as one falsely ascribed to St. Melito, apocryphal, of no authority, and containing some things which ought clearly to be rejected ; and the censure of the Spanish Index is noticed.- Trans.]

|| Clemens Alex. Strom. Gregorius Nyssenus de Nativ. Christi. tom. iii. Epiphanius Hær. 78, 79. Gregor. Turon. lib. i. Gloria Martyr. Joannes Damas. Orat. de Dormitione.

[The series of papers illustrative of the mode of disposing of Church Preferment in

former days is not closed, but only suspended for this Number.]

511

SACRED POETRY.

THE PATIENCE AND THE FAITH OF THE SAINTS.

The poor

“That thou mayest give him patience in time of adversity, until the pit be digged up for the

ungodly.
“For the Lord will not fail his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance,
“Until righteousness turn again unto judgment."

forsake thee, and the rich despise,
O Sion, though thou sitt'st in beauty still
Enthroned upon thine everlasting hill,
The Rock of ages ; and thy stedfast eyes
Gaze on the wondrous cross. But thou art wise
With heavenly wisdom; and thou wilt fulfil
All the good pleasure of His sovereign will,
Till He, th' Avenger of thy wrongs, arise,
And bow the darkness of the lofty skies ;
And touch the smoking mountains in his ire ;
And call the heaven above, and earth beneath,
To hold the terror of the dread assize.
Then his eternal and unquenched fire
Shall whelm thy foes in undistinguished death,

e.

PSALM XLIII.
“ Judica me, Deus."

Give sentence with me, Lord; avenge the cause
Of thine own righteous laws.
God of my strength, forsake me not, nor leave
My helpless soul to grieve
In this sad conflict with th' ungodly's power,
While lasts their darkness-hour.

[ocr errors]

Ah, dearest Lord! when wilt thou think on me
In this my misery?
When wilt thou send thy light and truth, that they
May lead me on my way,
Even to thy holy hill, that I with thee
For evermore may be ?
Till then, unto thy altar will I go,
Thy dwelling here below,
God of my joy and gladness; and my heart
Shall bear its cheerful part
In the thanksgiving song thy church doth raise
Of never-ceasing praise.
Why art thou, then, so heavy, O my soul?
Why dost thou toss and roll
As on a troubled sea? Trust thou thy Lord,
Rest on his promised word,
And thou shalt yet thank him-on thee shall shine
Again that face divine.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Petra hath fallen! Vanish'd is her power ;

And in the summit of her airy crest,

The boding owl skulks hooting to its nest.
The sculptur'd shrine, the imperishable tower,
The carved monument, the rocky bower,

Where Beauty, shelter'd from the sun, sought rest,

Proud in their glory, but by Heaven unblest,
Have crouch'd before the dark prophetic hour.

Her gardens once the high-born maidens' pleasure,
Her merchants' homes high pil'd with orient treasure,
Are veil'd by briers and nettles; in her wells
And desert palaces the scorpion dwells;
And why? She scorn'd the great Creator's rod,
And learnt that man is man, and God is God.

Δ. Φ.

The Edom of the Prophecies. See Jeremiah, xlix.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

UNUS BONORUM FONS, DEUS, OMNIUM."
O thou, sole Fountain of all good,
How hast thou from thy dark abode
Open'd thine hand; thine Israel own'd,

Thine handmaid with thy bounty crown'd!
VOL. XIV.-Nov. 1838.

3 x

[blocks in formation]

The Editor begs to remind his readers that he is not responsible for the opinions

of his Correspondents.

ON TRADITION. Sir,—A book has just been put out by a divine of note, and of high rank in the university, entitled, “Not Tradition, but Revelation or Scripture]." I beg leave to offer some few remarks upon it, by way of protest against it.*

And I must first declare my regret that Dr. Shuttleworth has been so ambiguous in his manner of expression in several places where those against whom he has avowedly written had a right to expect the utmost plainness. I shall notice the places as I go on. The Warden begins his treatise with a quotation from St. Irenæus. Now, in this passage, I remark, first, that the apostles are put above the Erangelium," or gospel; be that what it may,-"DOMINUS omnium

“ dedit Apostolis suis potestatem Evangelii.” Secondly, that he represents the Evangelium as written only in the four books of the four Evangelists, and says nothing of the Acts, Epistles, or Apocalypse. On the first point there will, I suppose, be no material difference of opinion, when the second is agreed upon. But of the second, I maintain that it is wholly at variance with the following statement of the Warden:

“Such is the testimony of Irenæus, as given in the words of his Latin translator, to the sufficiency and completeness of the written works of the first teachers of Christianity as a summary of Christian doctrine. That which they originally taught by word of mouth, says he, the same they afterwards put into writing; and those writings are, the books of the New Testament.”

* I think it right to state, that I neither am, nor ever have been, concerned in writing or compiling any of the Tracts for the Times; and having done so, I choose to add, that I heartily approve them.

« PreviousContinue »