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Fragments of the Latin Declensions.
tion on the part of the lady for the deception she has practised. Having obtained absolution for all their sins from the Pope at Rome, they return in safety to Ponthieu, where they live long and happily. The Sultan's daughter by the Countess is married to the mighty King Malakin, and gives birth to a daughter, of whom was born that courteous Turk Saladin, so gallant, victorious, and wise.'
The philologist will observe with interest, in the old French of the foregoing tales, fragmentary remains of the Latin declensions. Thus the addition of s marks the nominative singular, and its absence indicates the oblique cases. In the plural, on the contrary, the s is absent in the nominative, and present in the oblique cases. Thus we know that the sentence,-Il sot que son père ot li rois pendu, means, 'He knew that the king had hung his father, and not the reverse, by the presence of the s in rois, and its absence in père. So, again, the nominatives, consans, cevans, Dex, enperères, jonglères, Charles, Raous, enfes, homs, have in the oblique cases, respectively, consel, ceval, Dieu, or Diu, empereour, jongleor, Charle or Chaleon, Raoul, enfant, home. The following nominatives plural, for example, are without the s-Armé furent li chevalier, and ce que vos volez, que li home vos facent: while the oblique cases in the plural have it, e.g., Et ocioit ses homes ; Il ot molt de chevaliers avoec lui; Dex qui comandas as homes.
For any farther details of this kind we must refer the reader to the excellent introduction of MM. Moland and d'Héricault, who have treated both the grammatical and the literary parts of their subject with like good sense and ability.
ART. V.-Ages of Christendom before the Reformation. By John
STOUGHTON. 8vo. London: Jackson and Walford. 1857.
SOME of us who are old enough to remember the authorities on church history most accessible forty years since, may well look with something like envy on the privileged students of this later time. Mosheim and Milner were then the standard books among us. The bulk of those who read church history read it there. Mosheim had learning enough, and breadth enough, but there was no heart; it was light without heat. The long march of his six volumes was like passing through so many provinces of Siberia. In Milner there was warmth, but the objects which it seemed to vivify resembled the monotonous, ever-recurrent images which come upon you in a feverish dream. It was not so much travelling through ages, as going round in an everlasting circle. The work consisted of brief biographies and select meditations for the pious ; very good in their way, but taking in so little variety of topic, and so small a compass of thought, that we wonder now-a-days how any man could have presumed to call the work a history. Nevertheless, this so-called history passed through we know not how many editions. Mosheim still lives, and has his usés; but we know not what has become of Milner. We have not crossed his path for many a day. But since the time of which we speak, another Milner—who is indeed another -has entered on this field. Much light has been thrown upon it by such men as Burton, and Hallam, and Guizot, and Stephen; while Germany has given us her Neanders and Gieselers, her Schaffs and Baumgartens, her Hases and Guerickes, her Rankes, and a host beside. The difficulty now is more from the plenty thau from the paucity of material.
But there is a large class of persons for whom the authors above-named do not provide the thing that is needed. Many such writers seem to forget that the history of the Church ought to embrace something more than a history of ecclesiasticism, or a history of theology—that it should, in fact, be a history of religion. While it is needful in many quarters that church history should be treated thus comprehensively, it is no less necessary that its authors should know how to compress their material, and how to present such an analysis of events as may seem to bring out the great ideas which have become developed,
Character of the Work.
each in its turn, in the course of ages. Neander, Guizot, Stephen, all have done something in this way. But no one has attempted to depict the successive acts in the great ecclesiastical drama as the author before us has done. Of course, to achieve such an object, giving us, as the case requires, effects in relation to their causes, the Church in her relation to the world, in the compass of a moderate volume, has been a work of much difficulty-many will pronounce it an impossibility. But we must congratulate the author on the measure of success which has attended the prosecution of his purpose. The volume before us combines the compendiousness of a hand-book, with the elaboration of a philosophical treatise, and with such an appeal to authorities as we expect in a first-class history. So much have we been gratified in reading this production, that we shall place before our readers such portions of it as may, we think, dispose them to procure the volume, and to read and study it for themselves.
The first two lectures, embracing the interval A.D. 30—100, have a twofold purpose—to show what Christianity was as a system when first published; and what it became as a realization, in the form of the first churches, and in the character of the first Christians. The first lecture describes the gradual manner in which the first preachers of the Gospel became alive to the greatness of the sphere for which it was destined, embracing the world, alike the Jew and the Gentile. It is then shown that in a manner equally gradual, the Mosaic observances were made to give place to the simplicity and novelty of the Christian ritual. In this there was much evidence of the Divine cordescension and wisdom. Mr. Stoughton next glances at the apostolic epistles in their chronological order, and endeavours so to look at their contents, as to trace the progressive light which is supposed to have been vouchsafed to the apostles themselves concerning the great religious doctrines which they were to teach. Our author moves cautiously here, and well he may, for the ground is tender, and there is room, we think, for some exception to what he has written, though sound in the main. The following passage shows very clearly and justly how the formative process went on in the early church :
The word used to describe the early Christian believers in their religiously social capacity is Ecclesia : and as it will be found of advantage to use that term rather than any translation of it, and as it has become so far Anglicised as to form the word ecclesiastical, we shall not be regarded as pedantic in here retaining an original Greek term until we have arrived at its full technical meaning. The first Christian Ecclesia was gathered on the day of Pentecost. The word literally signifies called from,' or 'out of. The persons who on that NO. LI.
day gladly received the word, and were baptized, came out of their former state, and from amidst the ungodly and unbelieving, to serve Christ as their Lord and Master. It was not meant by Him who called them that they should cast off their human sympathies—that they should cease to be men; but only that they should cultivate in addition, a new order of sympathies, and so become more than common men. In the Ecclesia they found a spiritual family bound by ties not of nature's weaving. They were of one heart and one mind, filled with a love to God and to one another, such as they had never been conscious of before. Their simplicity was great, their intelligence limited ; but strong was their faith in Jesus Christ as the true Messiah. They met together daily in the Temple, they broke bread (at home) 'from house to house. They were sometimes all together —they were sometimes broken up into smaller companies. They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship in breaking of bread and in prayers. All this was done by apostolic sanction; but here—to say the least-it would be premature for any man, be he episcopalian, presbyterian, or independent, to bring out his peculiar notion of a Church, and to affix it to the word Ecclesia in the second chapter of Acts. Whatever the Ecclesia afterwards became, it was certainly in a very unformed condition at first. The word indicated simply a gathering of earnest souls under the power of a new faith. Such a gathering would have in it more of the spirit of a family than the arrangements of a society. This is the first stage of its history. Some weeks or months afterwards, when Ananias and Sapphira deceived their brethren, Divine Providence, through a solemn act of Peter, made an example of them. Then, when murmurings arose about the distribution of relief to needy disciples, the apostles directed the Ecclesia to look out seven honest men to superintend such business. Both discipline and a division of labour now appear in the Ecclesia. Distinct officers are appointed to administer the temporalities. This is the second stage of the history. Other Ecclesiæ besides that at Jerusalem are mentioned in the 9th of Acts in reference to a later period (about A.D. 36). In the eleventh chapter, not till nine years afterwards, we read of elders for the first time. They belonged to Jerusalem. Next we are told that Paul and Barnabas visited Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium, ordaining elders in every Ecclesia. This is the third stage of the history. Allusion is made to an Ecclesia in the house of Aquila, when at Ephesus, and again at Rome (his premises as a tent-maker being probably spacious and convenient for worship). There is notice also of an Ecclesia in the house of Philemon, at Colossæ, and afterwards of an Ecclesia in the house of Nymphas, in the same city: but whether the word in these passages is to be taken in a generic or specific, in a common or technical sense, admits of a question. This is the fourth stage of the history.'--pp. 29–31.
The following passage on this subject is also instructive: * The divine idea of a Christian Church can be obtained only from a
study of the whole history of what may be called the genesis of its organization. As in doctrine so in polity, the unfolding of the plan was gradual in connexion with circumstances. No picture of the object appears to have been presented to the minds of believers, or even of the apostles, but rather what was developed kept growing up under their hands just as from time to time they were guided in its culture by heavenly wisdom. And all the information afforded amounts to no more than the general outline that a church, in the technical sense of the term, signifies a select community, whose bond of union is faith in Christ, and mutual love—whose limits are confined within narrow local boundaries—whose officers are of two kinds, pastoral and diaconal-whose discipline is in harmony with its spiritual character—and whose constitution is complete in itself. A great deal which some would desire is wholly withheld. No rubric, no liturgy, no canon law is supplied. Much is left to sanctified experience, observation, and reason to determine, in accordance with the grand guiding points set down, so as to adapt ecclesiastical arrangements to existing states of human society and civilization. He has not seen in the Bible all the wisdom which it shows, who has not pondered well what God leaves out, as well as what God puts in.
‘Scholars learned in Jewish antiquities, especially Vitringa, have noticed several striking coincidences between the constitution and order of primitive churches and the usages of the synagogue, a circumstance which further illustrates the close connexion between primitive Christianity and Judaism, and one which shows how gently, and by what a wisely-arranged course of previous education, the first believers were led into the use of a framework of social religion well adapted to its simplicity of spirit. In proof of some of the institutes of Christianity being grafted on a Jewish stock, it may be observed that in the Jewish synagogues there were elders who presided over their affairs, and Chazans who took care of the building and the books of the law, and collected alms for the relief of the necessitous. One of the elders acted as president, but still remained of the same order with the rest. Excommunication from the synagogue in cases of delinquency was a prevalent practice, as every one is aware ; and it may be further observed, that alms for the poor were put into a chest before the prayers, and on Sabbath evenings what had been collected was distributed. But while we recognise certain coincidences between the church and the synagogue, we are quite unable to follow some archæologists through all the resemblances they endeavour to detect, many of which seem entirely fanciful and groundless. A Christian Church, in some of its most essential points, was, after all, a perfectly new institute, in immeasurable advance of anything which the Jews before had witnessed or been taught to conceive. It was not a new device of man, or simply the improvement of an old one, but an original and beautiful thing which God, by special teaching, showed his servants how to fashion.'--pp. 35–37. This second lecture contains some well-written passages on