« הקודםהמשך »
1.-CHURCH HISTORY, &c.
(Under the Direction of the Rev. Professor CHEETHAM.)
HE first work on our list is Peregrinus Proteus : An Investigation into certain
Relations subsisting between De Morte Peregrini, the Two Epistles of
Clement to the Corinthians, the Epistle to Diognetus, the Bibliotheca of Photius, and other Writings. By J. M. Cotterill
. (Edinburgh : T. and T. Clark, 1879.
) In the number of the Church Quarterly for April 1877, there appeared a remarkable article on the Epistle to Diognetus and the Oration to the Gentiles, attributed to Justin, the object of which appeared to be to throw doubt upon their genuineness, not only as works of Justin but as works of primitive Christian antiquity, and to hint that if not actually forged by Henry Stephens, the printer, he was at least conscious of some fraudulent dealing in connection with them.* Little was said about the second of the two writings mentioned, and the main brunt of the attack fell upon the Epistle to Diognetus, the first four chapters of which were examined minutely line by line, and a mass of parallels produced, making out that the so-called Epistle was really a cento made up from writings of various dates from Philo down to Photius.
A continuation of this article was to have followed, but the author, Mr. Cotterill of Portobello, found his theory grow under his hands, and instead of confining himself to the pages of a magazine, he has now published a considerable volume, extending the charge of forgery to a whole group of writings, only the principal of which are named on the title-page. We have, in fact, before us what is probably the boldest and most sweeping charge of the falsification of ancient documents put forward since the time of the Jesuit Hardouin.
The reader's first question, no doubt, will be, Is all this to be taken seriously? It might very well be supposed to be an elaborate hoax. This, however, it pretty certainly is not. The author writes quite as if he was in earnest, and (unless he has caught something of the spirit which he attributes to H. Stephens), it would be strange if so much labour and learning were expended merely in an attempt to mystify the public. At the same time it does not follow that all the author's earnestness should communicate itself to his readers. They are not bound to take his paradoxes seriously because he intends then so.
As long as scepticism was confined to the Epistle to Diognetus, it had not a little to say for itself. The writing was one which appears to have been unknown to Eusebius, Jerome, and Photius. It was contained in a single MS., and that MS. now lost. The circumstances under which it was first published were not very clear. In character it is vague and general, with no definite marks of date. Though animated by a certain eloquence, there is nothing to show conclusively that this eloquence springs directly from the subject. It is quite within the bounds of possibility that it might be only a rhetorical exercise, and it is not on the face of it incredible that it might have been composed as late as the revival of learning;
It is a different matter when we come to such a work as the First Epistle of * Mr. Cotterill now seems to think that he has traced the actual forgery up to Nicephoras Callistus, the Byzantine historian.
Clement to the Corinthians. This is frequently mentioned and quoted from the second centnry onwards. Its contents, though not remarkably definite and pointed, harmonize with the date at which it is supposed to have been written. But, what is of the most importance, it is found in three distinct MSS., one bearing all the marks by which documents of the kind are usually assigned to a date as early as the fifth century, another dated A.D. 1056, and the third, a Syriac version, dated A.D. 1170.
It is certainly a bold idea to set down a writing like this as a forgery of the time of the Renaissance. But whatever may be their justice, our author has, at any rate, the courage of his opinions. He has an answer rearly for most of the objections that can be urged against him. The epistle is repeatedly quoted, and the quotations correspond to the text of the MSS. But a forger would naturally take care to introduce them. The MSS. “ have every appearance of belonging to the dates to which they are respectively assigned. But this follows necessarily if such was the forger's intention, and if he had the skill to carry out that intention." We might, perhaps, go on to point out that each of the three MSS. contains other writings besides the Epistles of Clement, and that the text of these (e.g., the Codex Alexandrinus of the New Testament, or the version bound up with the Syriac) is so characteristic and peculiar as to be quite beyond the invention of the most skilful forger at a time when the character of different texts had been so imperfectly analysed. To this the answer would probably he that the argument is not just, or that the Biblical portions of the text were copied from a genuinely ancient MS., but that this does not prove that the rest is genuine.
It is said that nothing was ever written that was not capable of being answered, and no doubt it is possible to go on giving answers such as these. But the question is, Which are the greater improbabilities? Those which attach to the supposition that the epistle or epistles are genuine, or those which attach to the assumption that they are forged? We answer, most emphatically, the latter. It is not only that the Biblical portions of the MSS. are peculiar, but the phenomena of the text presented by A. C. S. of the Epistles of Clement themselves are such as to be far beyond the reach of fabrication by any forger, ancient or modern. When we are told that these Epistles are forgeries the ground is nearly cut away from under the objector's feet. The theory is refuted before it is raised. The improbabilities adduced by Mr. Cotterill are as nothing compared to those in which his own theory is entangled.
We believe it would be possible to show this in detail. A certain number of curious facts have been adduced, not one of which, so far as we can see, is without parallel or reasonable explanation. Many of the instances given are simply null and void-mere commonplaces that might be found in all times and in all writers. Others are probably due to direct, though unacknowledged, quotations, which were very frequent in antiquity, as would be abundantly shown by the relations of Ter. tullian or Epiphanius to Irenæus. The occasional failure to verify quotations (the instances of which are, however, somewhat doubtful) is a phenomenon met with not by any means infrequently, both in the Old and New 'l'estament, and elsewhere. We do not mean to assert that all Mr. Cotterill's instances will necessarily come under one or other of these heads, nor can we profess to have given them a very close study. Life is short and art is long, and plain people have not time to spare to go upon every wild-goose chase upon which it may be sought to lead them. We can only regret that a writer of so much talent and so much learning should misspend both so egregiously. His book is useful as a warning not to lay too much stress upon verbal coincidences. In this respect it is monumental, but on most others it is a failure.
From a literary point of view the book is also much less of a success than it might have been. The author has abundance of literary skill, and his original article in the Church Quarterly was well put together, clear, and easily intelligible. We cannot say as much for the present volume. The mystery is kept up far too long; indeed to the end it is not fully revealed. The reader seems to be intentionally kept in the dark. He does not know where he is being led or what it is sought to prove. And though this might not have been such bad policy if the detailed reasoning had been worked out clearly and thoroughly, this is by no means the case. The points do not stand out in any relief. Back references and references to passages that are not given are constantly occurring. Subjects run confusedly into one another ; matter is thrown into appendices which ought to have been an integral part of the work. In fact, the book has very much the appearance of a “fortuitons concourse of atoms.” Ideas seem to be put down in the order in which they arose in
the author's mind. He seems to forget that their connection and coherence is likely to be much less clear to the reader than they are to himself. There is none of that deliberate recasting and orderly development which a subject of so much intricacy needed. The book would have to be rewritten in order to be really effective. We should not, however, advise the author to rewrite it. It is to be hoped that he may be able to apply his real learning and ability in a more profitable direction.
There is something pathetic in the publication of The Lord's Supper: Uninspired Teaching (London: Seeley, Jackson, & Halliday); The writer, the Rev. Charles Hebert, D.D., tells us in his dedication to the University of Cambridge, that it is “after forty-five years' service as a minister of Christ in the Church of England" that "he humbly presents this work to the consideration of her dignitaries and her members in general.” The object of the work seems mainly to be to confirm the opinion of Chillingworth, that there are “popes against popes, councils against councils, fathers against fathers,” so that except on the rock of Scripture he can find no rest for the sole of his foot. Dr. Hebert, in two thick volumes, has collected and translated an immense number of passages bearing more or less on the doctrine and ritual of the Eucharist, taken from a great variety of writers, ranging from Clement of Rome to Canon Liddon. It is needless to say that 1460 octavo pages, though they form two very thick volumes, are not nearly sufficient to include all the passages relating to the Eucharist which occur in considerable writers during eighteen centuries. And the passages extracted are not, so far as we can discover, chosen on any definite principle. There are, for instance, several extracts from Cyprian, but we do not find the well-known passage in Firmilian's letter to Cyprian describing the manner in which an ecstatic woman attempted to consecrate the Eucharist. And several other passages might be mentioned, generally given in treatises on the Eucharist, which do not appear in Dr. Hebert's book. Ou the other hand, several passages appear which do not seem to have any bearing on the Eucharist whatever. For instance, he gives the story of the statue erected at Paneas (printed Peneas) in honour of the Lord, by the woman who was healed of an issue of blood, and appears to know nothing of the highly probable explanation, that the statue represented an emperor-perhaps Hadrian-with the province personified as a woman kneeling at his feet, and the inscription " To the Saviour," or the likecommon enough on imperial statues.
We would fáin speak well of a work which has evidently been one of love, but truth compels us to say that Dr. Hebert is by no means a competent translator and annotator of the passages which he cites. Opening at random, we stumble on the following (i. 78):-“ Why do we dedicate the fourth and sixth after the Saturday to standings, and the preparation day to fastings ?” This professes to be a translation from Tertullian. What the passage really means is, “ Why do we dedicate the fourth and sixth days of the week (Wednesday and Friday] to stations (special devotional observances], and Friday (the preparation for the Sabbath, i.e., Saturday] to fastings P"
The passage is a perfectly plain one. On the opposite page, in an extract from the “ De Coronâ” (which is rendered “On the Crown," instead of “On the Soldier's Wreath”), we find the sentence,“ We make offerings for the dead, for the birthdays, on the anniversaries ;" an English reader would hardly conjecture that this refers to the oblations for the dead on the day of their death; the "birthday" of a saint was the day on which he left this life and was born into a better world. In the same extract " Pascha” is interpreted “Good Friday," instead of “Easter-Day." The earlier part of the same extract is, to say the least, very awkwardly rendered. He speaks (i. 416) of the chest of box-wood, of ivory ;” it should be the pys or casket of ivory;". Tuglov had lost its etymological signification. “Orationes” are not“ orations” (i. 470), but prayers or collects. Dr. Hebert also fails in another quality very necessary for such a work as that which he has undertaken-criticism. For instance, he does not seem at all aware the treatise on the “Handing down of the Liturgy,” ascribed to Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople in the fifth century, is now generally believed to be the work of a much later writer. In the translation of the extract from this treatise are several faults. The writer is not speaking of an “exposition," but of a “setting forth" or "edition” of the Liturgy: The Apostles should not be described as “secretly informing," but as “ prompting" or dictating to" Clement-referring of course to the Clementine liturgy of the
Apostolical Constitutions." Chrysostom is not described as “cutting out” but as cutting down" most parts of Basil's liturgy. The little dissertation on liturgies (i. 352) is very confused; the writer seems to have set sail on the wide sea of liturgies
and liturgical writings without chart or compass. On the whole, though we greatly respect the spirit which led Dr. Hebert to rievote his later years to a difficult work, we are at a loss to conceive what class of readers can be benefited by it.
Under the title of Four Lectures on Some Epochs of Early Church History (London: Longmans, 1879), Dean Merivale gives us admirable studies of the four great Latin Fathers-Ambrose, Augustine, Leo, and Gregory. The subject is so treated as to give, in a very vivid and forcible way, the leading points of Church History from the middle of the fourth to the end of the sixth century. It is not uninstructive to note with what scant respect the veteran historian treats some of the superstitions which weaker minds find venerable and imposing.
In Hagenbach's History of the Reformation, chiefly in Germany and Switzerland, Messrs. Clark, of Edinburgh, have made a valuable addition to their Foreign Theological Library. It is translated from the fourth German edition, which has been carefully revised by the author. Dr. Hagenbach's point of view is that of a liberal-minded Lutheran, and his narrative is clear and interesting. He occupies a middle point between those who write for professional students-a numerous class in Germany—and those who simply adapt well-known materials for popular use. The work is not so well suited for popularity as D’Aubigné's well-known History, but it is shorter, as well as more careful and accurate. On the Zwinglian or GermanSwiss Reformation in particular it gives information which is probably not accessible to English readers in any other form.
The volume called South Africa and its Mission Fields, by the Rev. J. E. Carlyle, late of Natal (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1879), owes its origin to a meeting in Edinburgh of friends of South African Missions, who deputed to Mr. Carlyle the task of collecting the statistics of the various missionary enterprises in South Africa. This he has done with great completeness, and having added information respecting the country itself and the races among whom the various missions have laboured, the whole is published under the title quoted above.
It is a noticeable mark of the Catholic spirit created by actual contact with heathenism that Mr. Carlyle describes with the most perfect brotherliness no fewer than thirteen different missions, undertaken by the various English, American, and European Protestant Communions. All are treated as fellow-workers in the great field, with the most entire absence of that jealousy or heartburning, which divides the various sections of the Church of Christ at home. The only qualification of this practical union is a temperate criticism of the action of some missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, who have not been content to go out to unoccupied regions, but in their injudicious zeal have invaded missions already formed and working successfully. Pity that they should not have more of the apostolic spirit which refuses to build on other men's foundations, and rejoices in Christ being preached though not by themselves.
The volume opens with a sketch of the various mission fields, which gives a large amount of information respecting them. A glance at the various native races follows, in which the Zulus, now only too familiar to us, figure prominently. Mr. Carlyle has no very high opinion of Cetewayo, and seems to think it right to interfere, of course forcibly, to put down the tyranny he exercises, but in this he will hardly carry his readers with him. Peace has its victories not less renowned than war, and it will remain a question if it would not have secured without bloodshed more in the end than can be hoped for from rifles and gunpowder.
The work accomplished by each mission supplies a number of interesting chapters, from which we learn that the total number of native adherents of the South African Missions collectively are about 180,000, of whom about 35,000 are communicants.
All who are interested in missionary work will find in Mr. Carlyle's book a well arranged manual of the missions in the great field of which he treats. The information is brought down to the
last few months, and the various topics on which so much has been said of late in connection with missions among particular races are discussed with moderation and good feeling. Some of the glimpses given of Natal history, in particular, are very interesting at this time.
II.-ESSAYS, NOVELS, POETRY, &c.
(Under the Direction of MATTHEW BROWNE.) WELCOME sequel to the recently published" Life and Letters of James Hinton,"
edited by Ellice Hopkins, will be found in Chapters on the Art of Thinking and
other Essays, by the late James Hinton. With an Introduction by Shadworth Hodgson. Edited by C. H. Hinton (C. Kegan Paul & Co.) Some of the papers
have already been in print, and great interest attaches to some letters, which originally appeared in the Christian Spectator (about eighteen years ago)--an admirable pioneer periodical which was before its time; too good for the only public likely to find it ont; and, during the short space for which it was known to the present writer, heroically, generously, and discriminatingly edited. In a preface written with much grace, modesty, and sound judgment, Mr. C. H. Hinton supplies what is really one of the most interesting chapters in the volume. Shyly professing to have said nothing, he has told us much of his distinguished father. He calls attention to the fact that no extracts have been given from a series of volumes which contains Mr. James Hinton's work from 1857 to 1865, and again from 1869 to 1870.
“These volumes," he continues," would form the most available source to whoever wished to make a study of the course and bearings of my father's inquiries, but are hardly adapted for general perusal, as they are more a record of his thoughts in the process and order of development than an exposition of the results at which he arrived. In order to make their contents accessible, it is necessary to bring together into one part what are often separated by many pages, and to collate them with later and unprinted manuscripts. A book thus formed will, I hope, some time be produced.” The book to be “thus formed” is the book that is wanted; but the task of forming it will need a good deal of “dry light,” perhaps quite as much of that as of intellectual sympathy
Among the titles of the papers contained in this miscellaneously composed volume are such as these : "The Analogy between Mental and Organic Life;" “ Professor Tyndall and the Religious Emotions;"..“ Free Will;"
The scientific papers are in our opinion the most satisfactory, and of these we give the list:
On the Proximate Cause of Functional Action;" “ On Physical Morphology, or the Law of Organic Form ;" "Mr. Herbert Spencer's Principles of Biology;" "On the Relations between Chemical Decomposition and Nutrition.". It is from no scien. tific prejudice that we say we think Mr. Hinton is seen at his best in these papers.
There was a passage in the “Life and Letters” in which the accomplished editor quoted Mr. Hinton as one day saying to her that she was welcome to take and use any of his ideas. In the present volume we find Mr. Hinton acknowledging with the utmost scrupulosity his obligation to Sir William Gull for a single observation on a leaf. Perhaps this may serve as a correction of apy doubtful construction which may have been read into the former passage by loosely jointed minds. The world is none too scrupulous in such matters, -far otherwise,—and only too ready to jump at any, the remotest hint of a sanction for unjustifiable use of the labours of others. What Mr. Hinton said to Miss Ellice Hopkins about using his ideas was noble and good. Dr. Arnott refused to patent the water-bed, and that was noble and good. But he would not have liked to see somebody else taking credit by name for the invention. Wordsworth contributed a line or two (shocking bad lines) to Coleridge's “ Ancient Mariner," but it was no secret; and the tendency to literary larceny is so rife at present that there is reason to be thankful for any rebuke of it, however casual.
In spite of the apparently endless involutions and doublings of Mr. Hinton's mind, a time must at lust have come when the ultimate tendency of his speculations—at all events in the region of ethics-must have declared itself irrevocably to others, if not to himself. Had not the hour struck or begun to strike when the end came ? Had he not begun to suspect it himself? Had the discovery, if such discovery there was, brought him (for the time) unmixed pleasure, or doubtful pain?" Were not some of the peculiarities of his writing, his “fluxional method of thinking” as he called it, and his readiness to wind old thought upon new reels, attributable in the later years of his life to a little secret uneasiness ? Not distrust of the truth as he saw it, but unwillingness (the word sounds harsh, but is not meant so) to commit himself to all he fore. saw it led to ? The question is not as to his " theology" proper, if he avowed