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discussed by the Protestant theologian. With the very thought of progress and development come stimulus and inspiration. To believe that we can hasten or retard the coming of this kingdom of God, that we can be instrumental in ushering in the day when the whole earth shall be covered with more than a pristine glory, must quicken the energies of every thoughtful servant of God. This view of the progress and perfection of the Church furnishes one potent reason of the recurring attempts of Protestant writers to develop Church history as a consistent and harmonious whole, and also affords a reason for the general superiority of their works.
Prior to Mosheim, historians, both Catholic and Protestant, wrote in a polemical spirit; their works are in the interest of a party; consequently they possess little scientific value. Mosheim was a pioneer in another field. To remove the accumulated debris; to shift entirely the ground; to study Church history as secular history is studied; to develop its effects from true and efficient causes; to eliminate, therefore, the large supernatural element that had been so easily accepted; to discriminate between legend and strict historic truth—these were some of the objects which he proposed to accomplish. He begins with a definition of Church history, and then develops his work in strict accord with this definition. His definition was new and exceptionally comprehensive. "It is a clear narration of what has happened, both externally and internally, to the society of Christians, in such manner that from the connection of the causes and effects may be clearly seen the divine foreknowledge in the foundation and preservation of the Church, and we ourselves may become wiser and more devoted." He compares this society to a State, whose condition has been constantly shifting through internal and external influences. These external and internal circumstances he makes the basis of his prime divisions of Church history: the external has to relate what this Christian society has experienced of favorable or adverse fortune; the internal has respect to Christianity as a system of religion, and must treat of the revolutions which have taken place in thought, doctrine, and life.*
The objection to this view is that it makes the Church little, if any thing, more than a human society; it robs it of that dis« Baur, "Epochen," p. 120.
tinctive character which is made so prominent in the Christian Scriptures, namely, that she is the Bride of Christ, his precious spouse in whom he specially delights, and for whose care his unchanging love is pledged.
A still more earnest and thoroughly philosophical treatment was suggested by Schroeck, and ably wrought out by Planck, Henke, and others. It is usually known as the pragmatic method of history. Mosheim, as we have seen, was a pragmatist; but in his desire to eliminate the legendary and the pseudomiraculous he had for the most part confined his pragmatism to the study of antecedents and consequents. His successors pushed their inquiries still further. The result was a pragmatism more profound and philosophical, which has yielded the richest results to earnest, conscientious toilers. Yet this method is threatened with danger from two opposite sources. There is a philosophy which recognizes only the subjective, which finds in mind the all of the universe. It greatly underrates the importance of phenomenal life, and the powerful influence of physical circumstances. The pragmatism resulting from this philosophy may be very imperfect and misleading. The relation of cause and effect is not overlooked, but cause and effect will be regarded as merely spiritual and subjective. This school may be easily tempted to measure these causes by standards which they have set up, and be justly chargeable with evolving history from their own consciousness. The danger from the opposite quarter is equally threatening. Causes and effects may be regarded as pertaining to the phenomenal alone. With this class of pragmatists, the spiritual becomes a synonym for the unreal, the fanciful. To admit these hidden, subtle forces into the problem of human history seems to them unscientific and misleading. With them physical nature is the most potent factor to be examined. If we are to admit other forces, they are men and circumstances. Spiritual energies, opinions, policies, theories, doctrines, creeds, these have no power per se to determine the varied and marvelous results witnessed on the theater of this world's enactment. The spirit of Church history is thus largely eliminated. The idea of a "kingdom of heaven " among men is completely secularized. The inspiring visions of the seers of the old, and of the apostles of the new dispensation, become strange delusions. The light and the joy which come from the thought of the abiding presence of God in history are extinguished.
These opposite dangers of a pragmatic method must be avoided, and their seeming contradictions be harmonized, by finding, back of this outward play of phenomena, a spirit which gives to these phenomena their worth and significance. It is this combination of the subjective with the objective, of the natural with the supernatural, of the freedom of the creature with the personality and governorship of God, of the work of men as the representatives of the spirit of an age with that unity of purpose and that universality of plan which must ever be embraced in any worthy and satisfying theory of human history—it is these which constitute the crowning excellence of the history of Neander, and lift it far above all the productions of his predecessors and most of those of his contemporaries.
It may be seriously doubted whether the writing of Church history has not gone through all its possible phases, and whether future historians must not, to a greater or less degree, merely put in varying relations the principles which have already been suggested and practiced by these different schools. The bitter complaint of Buckle, that history is the least scientific of all subjects of human investigation, must continue so long as we believe that there is a power of human will, and a power of miracle-working, which can modify physical circumstances, and from time to time can let down upon the arena of human struggling some new and regenerating power, which shall hold in check the evil, and stimulate the good and the true to achieve an abiding victory.
3. We may now be better prepared to determine the place which is occupied by the work whose title stands at the head of this article, and to estimate its real value. This manual is in three large octavo volumes, of about one thousand pages each, containing appropriate prefaces, synoptical, chronological, and conciliary tables, and good maps which show the diffusion of the Church under Roman rule and during the Middle Ages; also maps of the world, of Western and Southern Europe and Western Asia, and of North America. The text is a translation from the German of Rev. Dr. John Alzog, Professor of Theology in the University of Freiburg, executed by F. J. Pabisch, Doctor of Theology, of Canon and of Civil Law, President of the Provincial Seminary of Monnt St. Mary's of the "West, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Rev. Thomas S. Byrne, Professor in Mount St. Mary's Seminary. The original German manual has passed to its ninth edition, and a French translation has reached its fourth edition. In the preface the translators inform us that it is used as a text-book in almost all Catholic seminaries, in twenty universities, and in many institutions of learning in Europe and America, where the German or French is understood. This all argues a great popularity, and shows that the book has supplied a felt need. It is now for the first time given in English dress. The justification of the translation, according to the preface to the first volume, is the notorious inadequacy of all existing manuals of Church history in the English language, and the confessed inferiority of all handbooks in use in France and Belgium, and their total inefficiency either to prepare the student for serious studies, or create and foster a taste for the higher branches of learning. The great superiority of German manuals, "written with the special purpose of facilitating historical instruction," is heartily acknowledged, and of these numerous works it is claimed that this of Alzog is without a rival. The vast literary attainments of the author, his extended experience of about forty years as an instructor and professor of Church history in various universities, and the fact that he was called to Rome in 1867 to assist in the preparatory work of the Vatican Council, are given as sufficient grounds of confidence in the thoroughness of the work, and of its accord with the Church in whose communion he is, and of which he is so bright an ornament. The preface goes on to give opinions, and to quote from leading Catholic reviews to show how high a place this work occupies in the esteem of Catholic scholars. Besides a full acquaintance with ordinary sources, he has made himself absolute master of the profound science of Germany. "One feels that the works of the immortal Mohler, of Dollinger, Ruttenstock, and Katerkamp, are perfectly familiar to him." So says the Nowewa Monde, of Montreal, Canada. The Bibliographie Catholique says: "There are in this work extensive learning, immense and conscientious research, a well-sustained treatment and methodical plan, a just appreciation of facts, and a comprehensive and correct survey." Other quotations from other notices are given, and the translators add:
It may be stated here that Dr. Alzog has made almost as extensive use of Protestant and infidel as of Catholic writers. The names of Gieseler, Engelhardt, Neander, Carl Hase, and many others, will at once come up to the memory of those acquainted with his work. His first object was to gain reliable information, and it mattered little whence it came, if it was to his purpose. It is this broad, impartial, and catholic spirit of investigation which gives to his history its peculiar worth, and which should recommend it to men of every creed and shade of opinion.
The translators represent both the German and the English language, and thus they believe they can at the same time secure fidelity to the original as well as a certain elegance of diction. 'While they depart more or less from the literal and verbal expression, the translators claim to be scrupulously faithful. They have added considerably to the volume, especially on the pontificate of Pius IX., the Vatican Council, the notice of the history and progress of the Jesuit missions in North America, and also to the list of authorities, which were not given by Alzog himself. Moreover, the original work, as well as this translation and enlargement, have the unqualified indorsement of the Archbishops of Cincinnati and of Baltimore, two of the foremost scholars of the Catholic communion in this country; hence we may safely infer that this manual is expressive of the belief and opinion of the most advanced thinkers of the Catholic Church in America on the leading and most vital questions of Church history. Again, the author himself says what each candid thinker must readily indorse:
A thorough and complete acquaintance with the religious condition, internal and external, of the Church the passing and past years included in this interval is all the more necessary to the theologian, in that as a pastor of souls he is in daily contact with the practical affairs of life, and should at once help to revive and exert an influence upon religious principles and moral conduct; and this he cannot do if he possess not the information requisite to give meaning and purpose to his endeavors.—Vol. iii, p. 627.
4. Let us examine this work with reference to these claims to exceptional thoroughness, truthfulness, and liberality. It is evident that Alzog is thoroughly imbued with the spirit of