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the most approved methods of writing Church history which Protestant historians have devised or accepted. Indeed, his work, as compared with almost all contemporary Catholic handbooks, is wrought out with exceptional earnestness and care. In the examination of the original sources and authorities, and in their careful and exhaustive study, Alzog seems almost a peer of Niedner, Hase, and Baur. To say that he has so thoroughly immersed himself in the life and thought of the early Christian centuries as Neander would not be at all truthful; for no other man has ever, perhaps, so fully drunk in the spirit of the martyr and heroic age of Christianity, and so sensitively felt its very life-throbs. He who could become insensible to the stirring current events of his own age by living among the struggles, the persecutions, the martyrdoms, the joys and the triumphs, of the Christian Church on earth, was best prepared to reflect this life in his immortal history. That Alzog has so thoroughly studied and so accurately classified and verified the sources of Church history as Gieseler, will not be claimed by his most enthusiastic admirers. This is not to condemn the history on these grounds, since the scope of these two authors is very different, and one Gieseler in a century is all that the world can reasonably expect. That Alzog and his translators will satisfy the expectations of the Protestant world would be to demand impossibilities. Each of the two divisions of the Western Church must work out its Church history in strict accordance with its peculiar philosophy of religion and life. In each the theory of the Church, of its nature and polity, of christology, of anthropology, and even of eschatology, must be so peculiar, that Church histories written in accord with these diverse opinions must necessarily be often diverse in spirit and sometimes contradictory in statement. As we have before intimated, it seems that these two great systems must move on side by side, like great currents in the ocean, without once commingling. We are prepared, therefore, for the expression of Catholic opinions when we are studying a Catholic historian. But we should judge the works of both communions alike by their spirit of candor, earnestness, thorough scholarship, and pure love of the truth. By applying certain great crucial tests are we to find the confirmation or the contradiction of the claims of the translators to the candor and honest writing of their author. Men may be wide apart in statement, and in the results reached by their reasoning on a series of facts. In such case there is reason for great charity, provided a manifest candor, a loving adherence to truth wherever it may lead, and a sincere sorrow for error, appear in the discussions. We must entirely agree with the author, that the demand of the ancients that a historian should have neither country nor religion, and the similar claim of a class of modern critics that he should be free from prejudice, are neither reasonable nor possible. Historic impartiality is entirely different in its aims and claims. It only requires that "the historian shall not knowingly and intentionally change facts which appear to tell against his' religious convictions, but shall investigate them, narrate them as he finds them, and pass judgment upon them with prudence and moderation; and, secondly, that he shall frankly acknowledge and openly confess the possible shortcoming of his Church—for silence here would be more damaging than beneficial to her cause."—Vol. i, p. 14.
From the preliminary definitions usual to the German handbooks, the author proceeds to give a fair survey of the ancient world and its relation to Christianity. Evidently he is not captivated with the claims of the historic evolutionists, that barbarism was the primitive condition of the race, and that the race has been developed to its present high mental and moral position by force of natural or material surroundings; but rather is Alzog inclined to take the vigorous statement of the first chapter of Romans as furnishing a key to much of the world's mental and moral obliquity, and also to attach very considerable importance to the wide-spread traditions of a golden age. The author is, however, very clear in his recognition of the grand propaedeutic character of the pre-Christian civilizations. The exact philosophical language of the Greeks; the unifying legal element of the Romans; the tenaciously monotheistic thought of the Hebrews; the subtle speculation of the Indian mind; the quite carefully elaborated doctrine of the Egyptians "relative to the state of man after death and his condition in a future world," though mingled with a thoroughly degrading animal worship; and even pagan art, which "had so fostered a love of the beautiful among men of education and refinement that Christianity had at hand ample means for conveying to men's minds the fullest idea of its interior harmony and beauty "—all these are briefly but quite clearly dwelt upon as preparing the whole world for that "fullness of time." These topics have engaged the powers of some of the most brilliant writers of modern times. The results of the most recent investigations in the department of comparative religion are not so thoroughly digested as could be desired. The wonderfully rich contributions to this department of religious philosophy which have been made, especially by Christian missionaries, could hardly be expected to be incorporated into a preliminary chapter of a hand-book of Church history; yet it is plain that the historian of the Church, as well as the Christian apologist, must take into careful consideration the later discoveries of these patient scholars.
In the discussion of historic questions we must be careful not to demand a species of evidence which is not at all pertinent to this department of inquiry. Absolute demonstration in this domain being generally impossible, and moral evidence alone being admissible, the duties of the Church historian are made thereby more grave and sacred. There is scarcely an historic fact which may not admit of diverse statements. It is, therefore, only by the most patient and conscientious sifting of testimony, by holding the balance with a judicial hand and noting the direction of preponderating evidence, that reliable results can be reached. It should not be attempted to bring into undue prominence every thing which may make for a preconceived theory, and omit or becloud the importance of all which may contravene it. This is partisanship; it is not historic honesty. The immense difficulty of this task is readily conceded; but the grand superiority of the philosophical historian over the mere advocate or apologist appears all the more conspicuously as he calmly walks these fields where have raged the fiercest contests and have burned the hottest passions. We have been led to these reflections by canvassing Alzog's treatment of almost every question that is in controversy. Take, first, the subject of a celibate priesthood. We cannot but regard his examination as partial, defended by garbled quotations, by special pleading, and by perversion of Scripture teaching. It stands in striking contrast to the judicial treatment of this vexed question by Neander and Mosheim. When the author says that "celibacy was quite general" in the Church of the second century, it is manifest that the assertion is not supported by the facts of history; and when he adds that "the prejudice in favor of a continent life among the clergy was so deeply rooted in the popular mind, and so sensitive of its honor, that the faintest suspicion of sinful intercourse with females caused the greatest scandal," we are surprised at the author's attempt in this to confound two totally distinct questions, one of which is readily allowed, the other stoutly denied. The examination of the Scripture teachings on this subject (vol. i, p. 404) is partial, and lacking in thorough scholarship. The passages in 1 Tim. iv, where the teachings of those who forbid to marry are ranked with the "doctrine of devils," is entirely untouched, while by far the most thorough and exhaustive treatise on the subject of priestly celibacy is omitted from the list of authorities. We refer, of course, to the history of the Brothers Johann Anton and Angustin Theiner, which was a veritable fire-brand in the Catholic Church. The book was so far as possible suppressed, and one of the authors was called at length to be keeper of the Vatican archives, and to write down what he had earlier published, while the other passed over to the Protestant Church.
It is no part of this paper to discuss the question of the propriety or the purer morality of a condition of celibacy; but, in respect to the enforced celibacy of the clergy of any Church, the thoughtful must continue to feel astonishment and indignation, since the physiologist must ever pronounce against this most harsh and unnatural injunction, and history is burdened with the record of its wretched and scandalous effects. Equally, as in bis own time, is the verdict of good Jeremy Taylor just and true: "This law of the Church was an evil law; ... it was not a law of God; it was against the rights and necessities of • nature ;... it was a law against public honesty, because it did openly and secretly introduce dishonesty. It was not to be endured that, upon the pretense of an unconscionable perfection, so much impiety should be brought into the Church, and so many souls thrust down to hell." (See "Of the Power of the Church in Canons and Censures," Rule xx.
The pontificate of Gregory VII. has furnished a most inspiring theme for the ecclesiastical and secular historian alike. The massive powers of the man; the exceptional purity of his
Fourth Sebies, Vol. XXXII.—34
life; his vast design for forming a universal theocracy, whose earthly head he should be; his stubborn persistence in pushing his plans to a consummation; his protracted contest with Henry IV., whose humiliation the German people have not forgotten, and never quite forgiven; his failure to realize bis magnificent schemes in the West—tbese, and many other themes, give to the history of this truly great man an exceptional interest. It is to be expected that so ardent a Catholic as Alzog would revel in the history of a pontificate which more clearly than any other, perhaps, reveals the Romish Church in its true spirit and purpose. "While freely admitting that the plans and actions of Gregory were sometimes extravagant," it is plain that the writer is warmly sympathetic with the theory and aims of this far-seeing prelate; and here is found the experim^ntum cruets by which we are to test the sincerity of modern apologists for Rome's attempt to render civil allegiance secondary and subject to papal authority. In the universal hierarchy which Hildebrand would found, the spiritual power was to stand related to the temporal as the sun to the moon. Temporal princes were to be compelled to bow before the supremacy of God's law, and to recognize him as the source of their jurisdiction and power; and, since the Pope was his vicegerent on earth, necessarily the thrones of this world should all lean upon the apostolic see. It is to this pontificate that we are to look for the clear enunciation of a principle which has been prevalent in the Romish Church from that day to this, and whose reiteration from time to time, now more clearly and positively, now more mildly and guardedly, has compelled the enactment by Protestant and other governments of those statutes which have worked untold harm to religion, and have been a serious hinderance to the progress of civil freedom. This is the principle which compelled the recognition of Gallicanism in France, which, in turn, • degenerated into a soulless tyranny in State equally dreadful to that from which they had sought to escape. This led the enactors of the tyrannical statutes of "supremacy" and "uniformity" during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth to justify their legislation on the principle of self-defense and the sovereignty of States. This kept the Catholics, during so many reigns, under those terrible political and social disabilities which seem so disgraceful to a State which has rejoiced ill a liberal constitutional