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the age of the Confessor-never since the Norman Conquest, had the Church its true power and influence in this country; and under our first Edwards, she was all but entirely enslaved. Those who first plundered her and afterwards bound and fettered her that they might plunder her the better, were responsible for any evils and abuses that afterwards arose. Even when bound, she struggled mightily with the powers of evil, and though crippled effected vast good; and that good constitutes all that is really the glory of the age of Edward III.
Art, V.-1. Christianity and Mankind, their Beginnings and Pros
pects. By Christian Charles Josias Bunsen; D. D., D. C. L. 7 vols.
8vo. London, Longmans, 1854. 2. Hippolytus und Kallistus, von J. Döllinger. 8vo., Regensburg, 1853. 3. Die Theologischen Streitigkeiten in der Römischen Kirche in der
ersten Hälfte des dritten Jahrhunderts, (Theologische Quartalschrift. Dritles Quartalheft,) Tübingen, 1855.
HE Episode of the Philosophumena, which, during
the three last years, has contributed to enliven the traditional dulness of historical controversy, may now be said to have run its course. The nine-days wonder, together with the host of wonders which it was to have brought in its train, is at an end.
Our readers will recollect the note of triumph with which it was ushered in. Its appearance was hailed as an era in ecclesiastical history. It was described by one enthusiastic admirer as a rending of the veil behind which the true beginnings of the Church had been so long concealed, and under whose cover all the frauds and forgeries of Rome had been devised,-a letting in of light upon the darkness, to which alone these frauds had been indebted for the ignorant acquiescence which they so long enjoyed. To the fervid imagination of another it was the disentombment of a buried city. And even the most sober-minded did not hesitate to accept it as the most valuable picture of early Christian life which had yet been recovered ; especially valuable as the work of a contemporary- a living sketch of the doctrinal, constitutional, disciplinary, and social, condition of the Church in the beginning of the third century.
But it was above all in the controversies with Rome that the value of this discovery was vaunted. The tone adopted by the writer towards the Popes Zephyrinus and Callistus, was accepted as completely decisive against the existence in the Church, at that period, of any notion of the Papal supremacy, such as it is now recognized by Catholics. His personal sketches of these popes, both of whom are canonized saints of the modern calendar, were held to be fatal to their pretensions to sanctity. Above all, his picture of Zephyrinus, as a corrupt patron of heretics, and of Callistus as himself a heretic, and even the inventor of a new heresy, was exultingly appealed to as putting an end for ever to the monstrous assumption of Papal infallibility.
Happily, despite these menacing denunciations, the Church has outlived the ordeal; and if we might judge of her inherent vitality from the vigour which she exhibits at any particular period of her career, we would augur from the signs of life which the recent concordat with Austria displays, that she may still hope to survive other crises yet to come, even more formidable than the publication of the Philosophumena. We shall show indeed, hereafter, that she has come forth from that ordeal purer and more vigorous, if it be allowable to use the phrase, than when she was submitted to it.
It would be an interesting and curious study to trace the history of the numberless fancied discoveries of the same kind, which, from time to time, have been brought forward, by their authors, as fatal to the pretensions of Rome, or to some one or other of her contested doctrines. Cardinal Wiseman, in his masterly lectures on the connection of Science and Revealed Religion, has beautifully shown how every science in its first beginnings appeared to threaten to prove irreconcilable with the received doctrines of revelation, and yet, how, as soon as each acquired sufficient form to be employed as a safe medium for the investigation of truth ; as soon as in each a sufficient body
VOL. XXXIX.-No. LXXVIII.
of facts had been ascertained, and a sufficient set of data had been established to constitute a secure basis for scientific deduction ; from that time forward each science had become the handmaid of revelation instead of its antagonist; and, far from disproving or casting doubt upon its conclusions, had but tended to supply new motives of credibility for them all, and to present each to the understanding in a new and yet more attractive light. The objections against the Mosaic history from the Chinese chronology speedily disappeared before the light of historical criticism. The pretended astronomical periods of ancient India, needed but to be examined by the rules of astronomical science as laid down by its modern masters, in order to the exposure of their utter baselessness. The impious thrones of La Marck and his school hardly outlived the infancy of the study of comparative physiology. The geological objections of Voltaire, of the Encyclopeedists, and the other sciolists of the science, have turned, in the hands of true geologists, into a most interesting confirmation of the simple truth of the Mosaic cosmogony. The fancied conflict between biblical history and the historical antiquities of Egypt and Assyria, has become under the practical investigation of Rawlinson, Layard, and Wilkinson, one of the most beautiful and convincing among the evidences of the veracity of the historical books of the Old Testament. And so it has been in a hundred minor instances, even down to the palpable refutation of the Nebular Hypothesis of the Systeme de la Nature, (recently revived in the well-known Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation,) which is afforded by the revelations of Lord Rosse's telescopes, and the other modern instruments of increased optical power.
It would be curious, if space permitted, to pursue, in reference to the historical grounds of the great doctrines of Catholic controversy, the same interesting inquiry; and to trace, from its origin to its close, the course of each of the various reputed discoveries of historical evidence, which, in their several spheres, were alleged to be fatal to the Catholic views. For the present the Philosophumena must suffice as an illustration.
We have already, on two different occasions, entered at some length into this subject. When we first addressed ourselves to the Philosophumena, it was an unknown, or at least imperfectly identified, fragment. The first conjectures regarding it, or at least the reasoning on which they were founded, were vague and unsatisfactory; and even those who spoke with most confidence were compelled to leave many particulars unexplained, and many questions undecided. It has since passed satisfactorily through the ordeal of criticism, and may now take its place among the scanty remains of Ante-Nicene literature. The Chevalier Bunsen, who was one of the first to direct the attention of the theological world to its importance, though he vastly overrated its theological importance, (at least in its bearing upon modern controversy,) may also be said to be the first who has applied it to what alone can be considered its true use—that of an historical document, a monument of an obscure and almost unknown age; not presenting, it is true, a complete or direct picture of the Christian community at the time of its composition, but yet affording much incidental information, and casting much indirect light on what was hitherto unknown, or very imperfectly and_conjecturally understood, regarding its condition. M. Bunsen has taken Hippolytus (and the main body of the materials for his sketch of Hippolytus is drawn from the Philosophumena) as the representative of one of the ages into which he divides the Historical Section of his Christianity and Mankind.
Christianity and Mankind” purports to be a new edition of M. Bunsen's former work, “ Hippolytus and his Age;" but it has been so much enlarged and so extensively modified, both in the matter which it contains and in the order and method of its discussion, as almost to deserve the name of an entirely new work. Even those portions of it wbich are not new, are so much extended as often to defy recognition.
Indeed, M. Bunsen's present publication would have been far more effective, and its object and plan would have been immeasurably more intelligible, if it had been presented to the world in the form of three separate works, rather than in the shape in which it now comes before us. Even as it is, the work is divided into three distinct parts.
The first, in two volumes, is entitled “Hippolytus and his Age, or the Beginnings and Prospects of Christianity.
The second, also in two volumes, is “ Outlines of the Philosophy of Universal History applied to Language and Religion.”
The third, in three volumes, consists mainly of original documents, and is styled " Analecta Ante-Nicæna ;' the first volume comprising what M. Bunsen considers the most characteristic literary remains of that period; the second, so many of its canonical or constitutional relics, as he regards as genuine monuments of the age; and the third its Liturgical Remains.
Now these three works, undoubtedly, are connected together in the mind of the author, and must be admitted to have a common bearing upon the general theme which he undertakes to discuss. But we must confess our inability to follow out this connexion in M. Bunsen's treatment of the several parts of his subject; and indeed to understand, in some portions of the work, the possibility of any such connexion at all. This want is especially remarkable in the second division; which, nevertheless, is by far the most original, and in many respects the most interesting and valuable of them all. The philological section of this division of the work is a masterly resumé of the results of this great science down to its very latest period; and may be described as a new and more methodical digest of the researches of Adelung and Pritchard ; not only as these researches have been modified by the criticisms of the many scholars in each of the separate schools of language, who have subjected these writers to a careful examination ; but with much additional material contributed by the author himself, whose authority, as a philologer we gladly recognize, even when we differ from him most widely as a critic and as a theologian.
Gladly however, as we should dwell upon this division of M. Bunsen's work, we are compelled by the necessities of space to pass it over. We regret still more the impossibility of entering at all into the third division of the work, the Analecta ante-Nicæna. The documents comprised in this collection, it is true, may well be regarded as of great importance, inasmuch as it is to the ante-Nicene remains that we are to look for the true historical illustration of the doctrine, the constitution, and the worship of the Christians during the first three centuries. But the subject is in itself so vast, and the author has followed so bold and thorough-going a system of criticism, both in the selection of the records themselves, and in the technical questions as to the genuineness, the various readings, and the historical value of those which