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handed down in their proceedings, the official papers connected with their convocation, the judgments which they pronounced respecting disputed articles of faith, and the canons which they enacted upon subjects of discipline and morals, stand in the very first rank of the materials of church-history, and communicate the most valuable kind of information. The history of the councils is indeed the most important part of the public history of the church. The study of its records claims the days and nights of the ecclesiastical inquirer, and will reward his diligence with the most interesting and satisfactory knowledge.*
4. Besides the canons of general and provincial councils, the church has admitted other pieces into the body of her legislation, and the canonical letters of popes, patriarchs, and other distinguished prelates, form part of the ecclesiastical law. The enactments and judgments of the potentates of the church are equally interesting to those who do, and to those who do not, recognise their authority; and in his inquiries into the history of the church, the zealous protestant will study the capon law,t and the bulls of the later pontiffs, as carefully and
councils. The titles of most of them are given at full length by Walch, Bibl. Theol. iii. 824—838. Merlin
Parisiis, 1525, 2 vols. Crabbe
Coloniæ, 1538, 2 vols. 1551, 3 vols. Surius
Coloniæ, 1567, 4 vols. Collectio Veneta Venetiis, 1585, 5 vols. Binius
Coloniæ, 1603, 5 vols. 1618,9 vols. Parisiis, 1636, 10 vols. Collectio Romana Romæ, 1608, 4 vols. Collectio Regia Parisiis, 1644, 37 vols. Labbe et Cossart Parisiis, 1671, 18 vols Baluze ( Nova Collectio) Parisiis, 1688, 1 vol. Hardouin
Parisiis, 1715, 12 vols. Coleti
Venetiis, 1728-33, 24 vols. Mansi (Nova Collectio) Lucæ, 1748-52, 6 vols. Mansi
Florentiæ, 1759-90, 31 vols. The collections of Catalani, Sirmond, Spelman, Wilkins, Hartzheim, and others, comprise only national and provincial councils.
Quæcunque habendorum horum Conciliorum vel occasio fuerit, vel causa, illud tamen certum et indubitatum est, tam grandem ab iis insignium eventuum factorumque numerum et copiam contineri, ut inde potissima et nobilissima ecclesiasticæ historiæ pars constituatur. Quid, quæso, aptius, quid accommodatius ad ipsam subinde explicandam prophanam historiam, quacum concilia sæpe sunt arctissimo veluti vinculo affinitatis conjuncta ? Ex his habes, quæcunque in ecclesia contigerunt, non solum dum haberentur, sed etiam ante, et post habita concilia: ex his percipis statum et naturam tum Orientalis, tum Occidentalis ecclesiæ : ex his cognoscis imperatores, qui ibi regnarunt, corumque succesionem ; summorum pontificum seriem, et cujusque pontificatus tempus et durationem ; episcopos, qui primi principes ecclesiarum cathedras occuparunt; controversias, quæ in quolibet cujusque regni im. periique angulo sunt exortæ; hæreses identidem invectas, hæreticorum absurda dogmata, corumdem principiorum insolentiam et impietatem, obfirmatum in iis sus tinendis sectatorum animum et audaciam, furorem et amentiam imperatorum gentilium; persequutiones, quas crudeliter excitarunt; contraria partium studia, quæ Jesu Christi sponsam discerpserunt; insignes demum singularesque victorias, quas ab hostibus suis tum reportavit, cum jam eorum potentia et viribus quasi victa atque oppressa esse videbatur. F. Salmon de Studio Conciliorum, p. 1. cap. II. art. 4. p. 20, of the Latin translation, Venetiis, 1764.
† Corpus Juris Canonici, edit. Bochiner. Halæ, 1747, 2 vols. 4to, (for the earlier editious see Fabr. Bibl. Græc, tom. xi. p. 91-94.) Bullarum amplissima collectio, edit. Coquelines, Romæ, 1739, 28 vols. folio.
assiduously as the most devoted Romanist. The decisions of a supreme judge on the most interesting cases submitted to his jurisdic. tion may well be expected to afford important information. The official papers
of the court of Rome illustrate the progress of the papal usurpation, and exhibit its vigour and decay. The constitutions of inferior prelates, which have received the sanction of national or particular churches, deserve attentive examination; and indeed all the pieces, whether of a judicial or legislative nature, which propound the principles and practice of ecclesiastical law, rank among the most valuable materials of church-history.
5. During the long period which extends from the beginning of the fourth to the middle of the sixteenth century, the monks occupy a prominent position in the history of the Christian states, and demand a large share of the attention of the ecclesiastical student. Though they were soon recognised as legitimate members of the spiritual body, and gradually took their place among the hierarchy, they ever remained distinct in many important particulars from the secular clergy; and their history and condition can be rightly understood only by a careful study of their peculiar institutions. The Rules* of the religious orders communicate indispensable information on the subject of monachism, and accordingly take their place among the sources of ecclesiastical history.
6. The perpetuity of the faith is the most interesting subject presented by church-history to the Christian student, and he gratefully avails himself of all the evidence which tends to establish the Saviour's promise, that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against” the church. In the creedst and confessions which have in different ages, and in different lands and languages, set forth “ the faith once delivered to the saints,” he traces the uniformity of Christian doctrine, and learns to bless the goodness and power of Him who, in spite of man's corruption and Satan's malice, has ever preserved inviolate the fundamentals of the gospel. From the confessions of heretical and schismatical bodies, and the anathematisms in which the church has expressed her sense of their errors, we also derive much valuable information. Symbolical literature is in its very nature historical, and forms one of the most important sources of church-history.
7. The history of Christian worship is perhaps only inferior to that of Christian doctrine; and on this point we gain the most extensive information from the ancient liturgies. That some of these interesting pieces, which came down to us inscribed with the venerable names of
L. Holstenii Codex Regularum Monasticarum, Romæ, 1661, 3 vols. 4to. Auctus à M. Brockie. August. Vindel, 1759, 6 vols, folio.
+ C. G. F. Walchii Bibliotheca Symbolica Vetus ex Monumentis quinque priorum Srculorum collecta et illustrata, Lemgoviæ, 1770, 8vo. Bingham's Antiquities, Book x.
# J. S. Assemani, Codex Liturgicus Eccles. Universe, Romæ, 1749-63, 13 vols. 4to. Goar, Euchologium Græcum, Parisiis, 1647, fol. Renaudot Liturgiæ Orientales, Parisiis, 1716, 2 vols. 4to. Muratorii, Liturgia Romana vetus, Venet. 1748, 2 vols. fol. Martenc de Antiquis Ecclesiæ Ritibus, Rothomagi, 1700, 2 vols. 4to. Antverp. 1736; Venet. 1783, 4 vols, fol. Many other collections are important. Mr. Palmer has communicated much valuable information respecting the ancient liturgies in his Origines Liturgicæ. See also Bingham, b. xiii---xv.
apostles and fathers, are substantially the same as were used by the primitive Christians can scarcely be doubted; and the learning, sagacity, and diligence, which some able ecclesiastical critics have brought to the study of liturgical literature, have enabled them to detect with wonderful accuracy the later alterations and interpolations. It is not only the public worship of the Christian communities which is illustrated by these interesting remains; the doctrine and polity of the church, and everything relating to ecclesiastical observances, may be studied in these sources; and the melancholy history of the progress of error and superstition may be satisfactorily traced in the ancient and modern rituals.
8. Though I have now enumerated the various classes of documents which have the greatest claim to be regarded as possessing a public character, there are other pieces which, on account of their official nature, deserve to be mentioned here. We meet, for instance, with letters written by some bishops in the name of their churches, by others in the name of synods over which they presided, or on other similar occasions, which thus come to us invested with an authority which does not belong to the productions of individuals. The works of the early apologists, again, were often composed in the name of the whole Christian body, or of the believers of a particular city or province. The writings composed under such circumstances, expressing as they do the sentiments of communities more or less extensive, have manifestly something of a public character, and deserve to be ranked among the public sources of ecclesiastical history. J. G. D.
TUIE CONVERSION OF JOHN THAULER, A DOMINICAN MONK.
(Concluded from vol. xiii. p. 613.) Tue sermon which he preached was a most unsparing one. He attacked himself, and all confessors and preachers, saying, that if a man rebuked vice boldly, no monastery would tolerate him ; said he would have attacked bishops, if he thought any had been present, priests of evil life, and then magistrates. It may be worth while to notice that he mentions the rule as being, that no one should be a judge or magistrate, except he were of sufficient age, and had a wife ; and he then attacks the magistrates for flagrant violations of these rules, for admitting adulterers &c., for corrupt judgments &c. He then goes into the evils of adultery at great length, giving a story, of the same class as are mentioned by Jeremy Taylor in his Cases of Conscience, as an illustration. If he had time, he would have attacked the soldiers, the mechanics, and their wives.
When the sermon was over, there were very many and different opinions given about Thauler by the people. Some praised, some blamed. But the greater part commended him, and said,
“ He is a good man, and one devoted to God, who fears no one, but speaks most deserved truths about himself and every one else.” His brethren, however, immediately on the close of the sermon, met in chapter, and unanimously resolved wholly to exclude him from the office of
preacher, and were very anxious to remove him to some other monastery of their order. But when the rulers and great men of that city heard of this, they went to the monks and begged that he might be allowed to preach again, asking, at the same time, what they (the monks) saw in him to cause their prohibition. They answered, “He offends our best friends, and alienates them from us.' To which the lords of the city replied, “ We think that you have no better friends in the city than ourselves, nor persons who can take better care of your affairs, or assist you more. We are therefore afraid that you are offended with his rebuking you publicly. He did the same to us, but we are not offended. In good truth, ye ought to be willing to pay any price for such a man, who will speak the truth to every one, and is afraid of nobody, as is right.” Out of respect, therefore, for these great personages, Thauler was allowed not only to stay, but to preach again. And he was afterwards asked by laymen to preach them a
He said, “ If the Lord allow it, I will do what you ask on Sunday next, after three o'clock. That was the Sunday called “ Judica." At the day and hour named, a great crowd of the common people met, and Thauler thus began.
In this sermon he attacked the soldiery and their wives, swearers, loose women, nsurers, some merchants, and the love of riches. In speaking of the latter topic, he mentioned a rich merchant who had come to him, and was much disgusted at his severity, saying, that his own confessor always allowed such and such things, to which Thauler said he replied, Perhaps he does so because he takes your money, and then allows you to do that which God, with his omnipotence, could not allow. When the merchant said that the custom of the world was to do so and so, Thauler told him that the custom also would be to go to hell. The inerchant then left him, saying, that he was a very hard
“ Yet,” said. Thauler, “I am not so severe as any one of you would be, had you seen what I have. And were it not too long, I would tell you what I refer to.” Many people cried out immediately that he should go on, and he then told them that once, in his cell, he had been rapt into an ecstasy, and it had pleased God to give him a sight of the horrid pains of purgatory, which had made an indelible impression upon him, and cansed him to give these strong warnings that men might escape such sufferings.
After this it happened that Thauler travelled to a retreat where five “inclusæ” lived, who begged hiin to give them a sermon on the perfection of that way of life. He said that he would willingly do so, if the Lord allowed it, on the next Sunday. A multitude of men came together on the day, and Thauler preached (on 2 Cor. xi., xii.) on St. Paul's being carried into the third heaven-why he was so long silent about it—that God's gifts come, or at all events are confirmed, by afflictions, &c.
[After this sermon one would conjecture that something must have been suppressed. The life, however, as we find it, concludes thus :-)
The writer elsewhere calls it “ De passione Domini in Quadragesima," and again, Dominicæ Passionis Dies Dominicus ;' that is, the Sunday of Passion Week; or, as we denominate it, Palm Sunday.
We must by no means pass over here how Thauler went on constantly in a truly humble and spiritual life, and greatly increased in virtue. For in the grace of God he was made so wise that whatever was to be done in the city or country which he inhabited, whether a spiritual or temporal matter, every one wished to use his counsel and wisdom, because he was acceptable to them and they had confidence in him, trusted, and obeyed his counsels. He frequently preached both to laymen and churchmen after the manner we have shewn. After passing nine years laudably in this useful and profitable way of life, and being dear and agreeable to every one in that region and town, it pleased the Most High to call his servant to himself, and leave him no longer in this state of exile. And because he resolved to take him to heaven without purgatory, he permitted him to fall into a heavy and long disease of body; so that for twenty weeks he was laid up by a paralytic stroke, and suffered no small pain. After the twenty weeks were passed, he knew, not doubtfully, from the divine favour, that he was about to depart forthwith from this world, and that God would end his pains. When he knew this, he begged the servants to send for his layman to tell him how near he was to his end, and to say how much he should wish him to be with him when he died. The layman without delay, on hearing this, obeyed Thauler's wish, and came quickly to him. He was received in the most familiar manner, and asked how his friend was, Thauler replied, “I think the day is near when God means to take me away from this life. And it would be most agreeable, and no less consoling, to me if you would be with me when I am dying. But I wished to ask you to take the paper MSS., in which you will find everything diligently noted which has passed between you and me for a long time; and there are also some particulars concerning my life, and what God has thought fit to do through me his unworthy and mean servant. If it shall seem good to you, and God allows it, you shall put all into one little book.” The layman said in reply, “I have five sermons which I took down from your mouth, and if you please I will insert these in those writings of yours, so that there may be one book made out of all under your name.” Thauler said, “In the most earnest manner I pray and beseech you, my son, not to publish anything on my part or under my name. For they are not mine, nor do I wish them to be known, either in my life or after my death; but they are all God's, who hath thought proper to do these things through me. If, however, you think writing what you speak of would profit others, and turn to their edification, I do not wish to prevent your writing it, so that you do not involve me or my name. You can write thus, · The master said or did this,' without mentioning my name. But you must take care when you have made this book that you do not give it to any one here to read, lest he should recognise me, but take it away to your own country.” Thauler addressed several other good discourses to the layman for eleven days, down to the hour when he was to expire. When it came, he said to the layman, “I wish you would give me your consent to this, that, if God please, I may return to you after my death in the spirit.” To which the layman answered,