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we to challenge this “Father of the Church” as a laic, we refrain from making out the good case we easily might in favour of such a claim. Churchman or layman, (and we take him as the latter,) he was a divine and a scholar, by the side of whom, could they be brought into near comparison, some reputed such among ourselves, must hide their diminished heads. Let Arnobius just serve as a means of transition from one illustrious name to another; -a link in our chain, connecting Origen with Lactantius, the glory and the reproach of the Church of that age, the 'Cicero of Christianity ;' a man erudite and accomplished, yet (as some say, perhaps on uncertain grounds,) left by those who should have cherished him, to endure the miseries of want !
Again we shall be called in question as audacious spoliators, or as sacrilegious invaders of the goods of the Church, when we lay hands upon so great a writer and 'venerable a father' as Jerom, and stripping him of his presbyter's tunic, challenge him as a layman. Yet our rule embraces even Jerom. Invested, as a merely honorary title, with the name of presbyter, he led a life (and did so by formal stipulation *) altogether unencumbered with ecclesiastical duties. In taste, habit, and actual occupation, he was precisely the man of letters, who chose Christianity as his party, and sacred learning as his subject. Hear his encomiast and contemporary.—Totus semper in lectione, totus in libris est : non die, non nocte requiescit : aut legit aliquid semper, aut scribit !
-Are we not borne out in our claim ? Moreover, unlike a man who, in return for the deference paid him by his colleagues, cherishes and defends his order, Jerom was the incessant and merciless assailant, not of heretic only, but of monks, bishops! presbyters ! • Oderunt eum hæretici, quia eos impugnare non desinit : oderunt clerici, quia vitia eorum insectatur et crimina.- Immo verò, nihil penitùs omisit, quod non carperet, laceraret, exponeret : præcipue avaritiam, nec minus vanitatem insectatus est.' What is all this but the Layman, who, in his privacy, frets at the disorders of a body with which he does not feel himself to be connected, and which he scruples not to expose to general contempt.
Some dozen names here meet us as meriting a place in our catalogue. Victorinus, for example ; Didymus of Alexandria ; Ephrem the Syrian, we are half resolved to claim ; certainly Prudentius is ours; and Nonnus (as we think), yet ask us not to read his verses ; Mark the hermit; Rufinus, friend and foe of Jerom; and Victor of Marseilles. But we advance to swell our
* We pay more regard to his own account of himself in this respect, than to the casual expression used by an ecclesiastic of the western Church, who says, ' Ecclesiam loci illius Hieronymus presbyter regit.
pretensions in behalf of the laity, with the valuable names (at least one of them valuable) of the church historians, Socrates and Solomon ; after whom might be mentioned, Nilus of Constantinople, and if the reader pleases, though we do not please, Simeon Stylites.
Doubtless we shall place on a conspicuous pedestal (not so dizzy a one perhaps, but of far better workmanship and material than the pillar of Simeon) the classical author of the Consolations of Philosophy. Boetius, the Consul, might well be chosen to head a host of lay theologians, as he brings up the rear of elegant latinity. Let him occupy alone this paragraph, and thence look mournfully over the wide gulf of ignorance and folly which lies between him and a brighter time.
From that dark quag, we might stay to rescue a few names, which, however, must be left to some season of more leisure. Yet the resplendent Photius, far greater before his desecration of the priestly office than afterwards, must surely be called from his monastery to grace our list; and does he not actually brighten all the page that bears his name? But we will not attempt to add a pun to the thousand with which the learned have already graced the memory of this illustrious man *
of this illustrious man *. It may be retorted upon us, if Jerom is to be marshalled in this array of laymen, why not Bede, why not Alcuin, Scotus, and others hardly less deserving of the bold attempt? It might, we confess, be hard to defend any ground of distinction we could advance. Perhaps the only reason why the one was taken and the others are not, is that ourselves are now impatiently pressing on to a close. Yet the good king Alfred—king-philosopher-patriot-warrior—legislator-Christian, Alfred-theologian and layman, we will loudly boast of.
Our rule would grant us Maimonides :-let learned casuists decide the perplexing question, whether his title of courtesy, * Rabbi,' is to be held equivalent to orders ', and then, whether this Jew should be numbered with doctors of divinity! Strange conjunction of names, to adduce that of Danté, next to the Rabbi Moses !—and some may deem it still more strange to enlist the poet among theologians. Nevertheless, we will do so at all hazards; and run an equal risk too, with the name of Abelard.
Sir Thomas More, we deem an honour to our list, notwithstanding his position on the wrong side of a great controversy ;
* It so happened that the writings of Photius, after resting long in the dark, were brought to light, by Schottus—Exótos, a Jesuit of Antwerp. Who, with a single sparkle of wit to spare, could resist the temptation to pun wholesale, on so rare an occasion ?
and would rather be companions with him, in the wrong, than with that mighty theologian and staunch defender of the faith, his master,-in the right. And now must we take the shame of numbering that other accomplished clerk and king, James, who would have been almost as much vexed to find himself omitted in a catalogue of the great divines of the day, as to have seen his royal titles dropped out of the roll of sovereigns.
Great men, great men truly, now thicken upon us, who, though not ecclesiastics, rendered, in different modes, signal services to the Christian faith. For the absolute purity of their several creeds we are not responsible; yet hesitate not to say of most, that their talents and learning, sincerely devoted to the cause of Christianity, entitle them to the grateful recollection of all Christians. Who will refuse this tribute to the memory of Hugo Grotius?
The immortal Author of The *Provincial Letters ', too, might perhaps measure merits, on the ground of substantial service done to truth and piety, with any of the divines his contemporaries. Our right to Father Malebranche might be contested, nor are we much disposed to enter into strife for his sake.
To number Lord Bacon among theologians, would seem only like an eager endeavour to grasp at every good thing within our reach, seeing that so very small a part of his writings bears upon religion. Let it however be granted to us to retain him, as if by anticipation of that extensive influence which, we are fond to believe, the great principles of his philosophy are yet destined to exert over the ground of theological science. That he himself looked forward to some such distant influence, we could make appear as at least probable *. In the same bright series, the reader expects to see Newton, Boyle, Locke, and Milton. Think what we may of their particular opinions, we must not deny, that the mere fact, that these great men were CHRISTIANS, has, during past seasons of doubt, sustained the wavering faith of
* A copious theme we must not here enter upon. Let us just say, that as, in reference to his natural philosophy, Bacon's prediction, if we may so call it, has been verified— Certe objici mihi rectissime posse existimo, quod verba mea SECULUM desiderent. Seculam forte integrum, ad probandum, complura autem secula ad perficiendum ;'—so may it be that the high principles of reason which he promulgated, after having been carried home through all departments of physical science, are to be brought in and fully applied to the interpretation of Scripture. Yes, and seeing that Nature and Scripture are the work of one and the same hand, can it be otherwise than fit, that the Minister et Interpres Scripturæ', should proceed on the very principles which have proved themselves to be the genuine rules of the Minister et Interpres Naturæ'?
multitudes of our countrymen. The Author of Religio Medici' has a good right to a place in our list; and perhaps there are those who will think that David Hartley has as valid a claim to the title of Theologian as Sir Thomas Browne. We have omitted in their exact order, Des Cartes, and a greater than he, Leibnitz, who, layman as he was, and deeply engaged in scientific and secular pursuits, stood foremost among theologians, as among philosophers.
We will not set a foot upon the stage of more recent literature; much less pay the expected tribute to any of our contemporary lay-divines, who may have been thinking, all along, that our rambling lucubration was to reach its triumphant climax in their names. Not so:-we cut them short (if such there be) with a flat disappointment! Let only our conclusion be received and pondered, which is this: That the services rendered by men not ecclesiastics, to Religion, have been enough, and more than enough, to redeem from contempt the title Lay Theologian; and enough too, to enhearten the secluded endeavours of any who, even now, though not officially invested, may be desiring to lay their gift upon the altar. Yes, and enough to warrant the hope that, in times that are coming, achievements of the most important kind may be effected under this very condition of extra-sacerdotal agency
Art. V. 1. Three Years in North America. By James Stuart, Esq.
2 vols. 8vo. Edinburgh, 1833. 2. America and the Americans. By a Citizen of the World. 8vo. pp.
xii. 430. London, 1833.
3. Moral and Political Sketch of the United States of North America.
By Achille Murat, Ci-devant Prince Royal of the Two Sicilies, and Citizen of the United States. With a Note on Negro Slavery. By Junius Redivivus. 12mo.
xl. 402. London, 1833. 4. North American Review, No. LXXVIII. January, 1833. Art.
Prince Puckler Muscau and Mrs. Trollope.
MR RS. Trollope's trumpery work, we never thought it worth
while to notice. The innate vulgarity of mind, the palpable invention, and the irreligious spirit which it betrayed, worthy of Fanny Wright herself, left us no alternative but either to occupy more time than we could spare in exposing the writer's misdemeanours, or to pass it by in silence. A certain Quarterly Reviewer endeavoured to puff it into notice, pleased to have an opportunity of saying spiteful things about the Americans, and
possibly knowing more about the composition of the book than he might care to avow. The North American Reviewer is dis'posed to regard the work as to a certain extent pseudepigraphal. • That this lady lived and travelled in America, and kept a ‘journal of what she saw and fancied she saw, there is no doubt. But,' adds our Transatlantic critic, 'we have heard some pretty distinct rumours that her papers have gone through the mill of a regular book-maker; and there are some things in the volume as it stands, which we cannot think that she or any other lady
(not to say gentleman) could have written.' Whoever was the book-maker, the reader must have had no small share of credulity, who could receive its statements as authentic, and no very refined taste, who could be pleased with its unfeminine pertness, flippancy, and profaneness.
From the very title of Mrs. Trollope's work, however attractive to minds of a certain class, it might have been anticipated, that the contents would be found of the most trivial description. What are to us the domestic manners' of the people of the United States, their style of dress, of conversation, of cookery ? A few passing observations on such topics might serve to enliven a chapter of a travelling journal; but, except as furnishing hints to persons about to visit the United States, that may put them on their guard against inconveniences or mistakes, they must surely be regarded as a sort of gossip alike undignified and unprofitable. What we are anxious to know respecting the Americans, is, how the magnificent experiment of their government and social constitution works, as regards the happiness and welfare of the people, the interests of religion, the state of morals, and the efficiency of the public institutions. In America, there is clear ground for the safe evolution of a series of experimental processes, by which conflicting political theories may be brought to the test, and which, in the more crowded countries of the old world, it would be folly to attempt, from the certain cost and doubtful issue. We may, in Europe, enjoy all the benefit, without the risk, provided we do not suffer our self-love on the one hand, or our enthusiasm for freedom on the other, to blind our judgement to the actual results. We can say, for our own part, that we are anxious only to ascertain facts, in respect to the state of things in the United States, whether those facts make for or against any particular theories or anticipations. And we wish to be on our guard more especially against that hasty induction which makes a few detached facts the stepping-stones by which to leap to distant conclusions. The first point to be ascertained is, what is the moral condition of the great mass of the people? This being tolerably well understood, the next inquiry would be, whether the people are what they are found to be in such a political condition, in consequence of their institutions, or in spite of them. And still a third question