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ways, for what they have done to promote our science; in the nature of the case too they could not fail, particularly the most influential among them, to proceed more cautiously, giving up many manifest fables and superstitions which had been received before without question as historical facts, and accommodating themselves more to modern taste, both in matter and manner.
§ 4. (1) Italian Historians.
The first Protestant church history, the Magdeburg Centuries, created such a sensation, that the Roman Church was forced to bestir itself earnestly for its counteraction in the same form. This service was undertaken by the Neapolitan, CAESAR BARONIUS, properly BARONIO, at the instance of his teacher, Philip Neri, in a very learned and acute work, on which he labored for thirty years, till his death, (A. D. 1607,) with unwearied diligence, and for which he was rewarded with the dignity of a cardinal. His Annales ecclesiastici, which appeared first at Rome (1588-1607), and which have been since many times reprinted, as well as excerpted from, translated, and continued by other Italians, though with small skill, embrace in twelve folio volumes as many centuries, from the birth of Christ to the year 1198. They furnish from the papal archives, and from many libraries, in particular from the Vatican, a multitude of documents and public papers which were previously unknown, and contain so much that is valuable, with all their faults, that to this day it is not easy to dispense with them in a thorough course of study. The cardinal came forward with the feeling, that the first true church history was that offered by himself. He complains of Eusebius that he had favored the Arians, of Socrates and Sozomen that they had favored the Novatians, and of all his predecessors that they had gone to work without critical discrimination. The Magdeburg Centuries he styles up and down Centuries of Satan, He wrote in the interest unconditionally of the absolute Papacy, and endeavors to show that it was instituted by Christ, that it has remained always the same in doctrine and constitution, that the Reformation accordingly was an apostasy from the true Church, and an insurrection against the order of God. This purpose required however the help of many fictitious or corrupted facts and spurious documents, as well as the suppression or distortion, on the other hand, of important records. Hence he found opponents, not only among the Protestants, but among the Catholics also, above all in the profoundly learned French Franciscan ANTON PAGI.
For single portions of church history, valuable collections of docu
ments and editions of older writers, distinguishing credit is due among the Italians to MURATORI, ZACCAGNI, ZACCARIA, MANSI and GALLANDI. The most genial and free-minded among the Italian church historians, is PAOLO SARPI, (1623) from whom it is to be regretted that we have only a history of the Council of Trent.
§ 5. (2) French Historians.
The first merit, among the Catholic writers in this department, belongs collectively to the French, whose free position over against the Roman See has here been in their favor. The defence of the Gallican church freedom indeed served itself to call forth, in part, the most interesting and thorough investigations. In this view wrote first Bishop GODEAU, of Vence, in popular form, (1635) coming down however only to the end of the 9th century, then the far more learned Dominican NATALIS ALEXANDER (Noël), whose work, in twenty-four volumes (1676-86) comes down to the year 1600. He defends, in direct opposition to Baronius, the rights of the Church and of the secular princes against the Popes, and declares the reformatory councils of Pisa, Constance and Basel to be cecumenical; justifies still however the cruel persecutions of the Albigenses, and is full of zeal against the Protestant heretics. Innocent XI. prohibited this work, in 1684, under pain of excommunication; but thirty years later, Benedict XIII., also a Dominican, set it free again. In the year 1690, CLAUDE FLEURY, confessor of Louis XV., who lived however as an anchoret at court, began the publication of his Histoire ecclesiastique, which reaches in twenty volumes to the year 1414, and was continued by FABRE, though with no inward vocation, down to the year 1595. Fleury writes diffusely and in the spirit of a monk, but with taste and skill, in mild temper and strong love for the Church and Christianity, and with a view always to edify as well as to instruct. He follows the order of time, though not slavishly, prefacing some of his volumes with general characteristics. He also defends antiquity and the Gallican ecclesiastical constitution, without however surrendering at all the credit of the Church, its general tradition, or the necessity of the Pope as its head. His principal concern is with doctrine, discipline, and practical piety. The spirited and eloquent bishop, BOSSUET, in his universal history, (Discours sur l'histoire universelle, 1681), which reaches from the creation to Charlemagne, exhibits religion and the Church as the soul and centre of all history. The Jansenist TILLEMONT pursued a new plan, composing a church history of the first six centuries, in sixteen volumes, (1693-1712), from original sources purely, with the most
accurate and conscientious fidelity, and adding his learned investigations in the way of notes.
In addition however to these general works, great service has been rendered to the science by the learned monastic institutions of France, in single departments of church history, costly editions of the fathers, and other auxiliary apparatus. Special mention here is due to the St. Maur Benedictines, D'ACHERY, RUINART, MABILLON, MARTÈNE, DURAND, MONTFAUCON, and to the Jesuits SIRMOND and PETAU (Petavius), who by his celebrated work de theologicis dogmatibus (1644-50) forms an epoch in dogmatic history.
§ 6. (3) German Historians.
Among the Catholics of Germany, an independent and free interest in church history began to show itself first in the Josephine period, but still more through the stimulus of Protestant theology; so that the most has been done there for the science recently. General works, though in part unfinished, have been furnished by ROYKO, DANNEMAYR, the well known convert, Count STOLBERG, 4 RITTER, LOCHErer, Hortig, Alzog, DöllinGER; valuable monographs, by HURTER, 5 HEFELE, and others. The fullest inward call must be allowed in
3 In the congregation of St. Maur, a complete system of studies prevailed. The general was authorized, in extensive literary enterprises, to assign their parts to the different members according to their talents and tastes, so that one collected material, another arranged, a third manufactured, a fourth finished off, a fifth took charge of the press, etc. Each was required to labor, without regard to his own credit, for the benefit of the world only, and the honor of the order. In many ca ses, the authors are not even named. By this coöperation of different scholars, who were at the same time free from all secular cares, and favored with wealth and the most ample literary helps, vast works were produced, such as an academy of sciences even could hardly undertake. The best edition of the church fathers, Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Bernard of Clairvaux, etc., we owe to the diligence of the St. Maurists, which was not equalled, in a literary respect, by the Jesuits.
HASE says of him strikingly, that he has written and composed (gedichtet) the history of the Jewish nation, as well as of the ancient Church, with the zeal, the unction, and unreserved devotion of a proselyte, but with a heart also full of enthusiasm and love.
HURTER, it is true, when he wrote his learned and skilful work, (in four volumes) on Innocent III., was nominally still Reformed antistes in Schaffhausen ; but the Roman Catholic tendency already shows itself, beyond all mistake, in his unqualified praise of his hero, and of the age to which he belonged, as also in his strongly marked partiality for a brilliant hierarchy and pompous ceremonial. It
favor of the ingenious and pious MÖHLER, († 1838), the greatest Roman Catholic theologian since Bellarmin and Bossuet. He has helped his Church again to self-consciousness, and breathed into it a new polemic zeal against Protestantism; although he betrays himself in truth throughout the influence, which the study of Protestant theology, especially that of Schleiermacher, and the whole modern culture, have exercised over his own idealistic apprehension and defence of the Roman dogmas and usages. He wrote indeed no church history; but his larger works (Symbolik, Patristik, Athanasius M.), and shorter tracts, (as that on Anselm, the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, Gnosticism, Monasticism, etc.,) have to do almost all more or less with the historical sphere, particularly with the history of doctrines, and in freshness of spirit and vigorous animated style surpass all the writers now mentioned.
III. PROTESTANT HISTORIANS.
§ 7. General character of Protestant Historiography.
With the Reformation of the sixteenth century commences a new era, as for the Church and theology in general, so also for our science in particular; yea, we may say that church history first became a free and independent science only by its means. The historian before was, so to speak, of one growth with his subject; but now he raised himself by reflection above it, and instead of accepting on mere authority whatever was catholic as at once true, and condemning everything noncatholic as false, began to subject the whole development of the Church itself to critical trial, making the word of God and common reason the measure of judgment, without regard to Papal decrees. This involved the possibility of a negative tendency, the contempt and rejection of all history, such as we meet with in Rationalism and among Sects; but at the same time the possibility also of such unprejudiced inquiry and free conviction, as should reconcile the subject in full with the objective course of God's kingdom, causing him to see in it the rational and necessary evolution of its inward sense or plan; and to this result the most important recent labors in church history, would seem continually more and more to lead.
is plain everywhere, that with the author, in his blind infatuation for the Middle Ages, the dome of St. Peter stands higher than the manger of Bethlehem, and the decretals of the Popes than the word of God. His dissatisfaction with the moral insecurity of the present age, and the politico-religious distractions of his own country, decided and justified to his conscience finally a transition which was inwardly complete long before.
VOL. VII. No. 25.
It required considerable time however to bring the Protestant science here to a clear perception of its mission, and it had itself to pass through different periods, which fall widely asunder from one another in the view taken of its object and proper method. We may distinguish five such periods, the orthodox-polemic, the unchurchly pietistic, the pragmatic-supranaturalistic, the rationalistic, and the scientific. Among these, the first and fourth are related to each other as extremes, the second and third as stages of transition from the position of church orthodoxy over to that of rationalism, while the fifth seeks to unite the advantages of all before, without their errors; falling itself again, however, into different schools, which makes it difficult to bring it under any general character.
§ 8. (1) The Period of Polemic Orthodoxy.
This embraces the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Reformers themselves did nothing directly for church history, save only as they gave it new interest and roused a new spirit of inquiry; which however must be allowed to be itself a very great merit. They were mainly occupied with the settlement of points of faith and the exposition of the Scriptures. Argument from the Scriptures alone, however, could not permanently satisfy. As the Catholics appealed continually to the Fathers, and declared the Reformation to be a novelty, which had no ground whatever in the past, it became an object with the Protestants to wrest the historical argument out of their hands, and to draw ecclesiastical antiquity to their own side. For that pure Christianity had disappeared from the earth, and again come to light only in the sixteenth century, they could not admit, in face of their Lord's promise to be with his church to the end of the world; and they wished to be counted also, not heretics, but true catholics. It was an apologetic interest, then, and their conflict with Rome, that urged the Protestants into the study of history. Of course their first productions bore throughout, directly or indirectly, a polemic character.
The Lutheran church takes the lead; here too, not the moderate and irenical school of Melanchthon, but that section which set itself stiffly against all attempts to come to an agreement with the Catholics and the Reformed, and which came to its symbolical expression afterwards in the Form of Concord. MATTHIAS FLACIUS, one of the most zealous controversialists of his age, composed, A. D. 1552 and onwards, while settled at Magdeburg, in connection with several rigid Lutheran divines, (Wigand, Judex, Faber, Holthuter,) and younger assistants, the celebrated Centuriae Magdeburgenses, as the work is called, making use of