« VorigeDoorgaan »
and perpetuate the views of the Centuriators much more than their own voluminous work.
The remarks which have been made on the relation in which the Lutherans stood to the work of the Centuriators, are still more applicable to that in which the Romanists stood to the labours of Baronius. The work of Baronius was altogether an official work. It was known to exhibit the views of Rome. Its author possessed literary advantages which were denied to less favoured scholars. It would have been to incur at once the charge of heresy and presumption to attempt to rival his undertaking ;* and accordingly, for more than half a century, no such attempt was made by a member of the Romish church.t But the work of Baronius was imperfect. The illustrious author had published only the annals of the first twelve centuries. If, as it has been asserted, he had prepared three centuries more, they were never given to the world, and it was left to other scholars to continue the mighty undertaking of the father of Romish ecclesiastical history. The magnitude and difficulty of the work did not deter adventurous scholars from treading in his steps, and the historian of church-history must not omit a notice of their labours,
ABRAHAM Bzovius, a PolishŞ Dominican, was the first writer who attempted a continuation of the Ecclesiastical Annals. He composed a works in twelve folio volumes,|| of which the first eight appeared between 1616 and 1635. These brought the history of the church down to the year 1564. Another volume was given to the world in 1672, many years after his death, which continued the history to the year 1572. But no more was published. Though written upon the same principles as those adopted by Baronius, it never enjoyed the same reputation as the work which it was designed to continue. I
* Translations of Baronius were begun in several of the modern languages; but none of them proceeded beyond the first or second volume. -- Fabr. Bibl. Græc. xii. 167; Walch, Bibl. Theol. iii. 145.
+ It would, however, be unjust to that communion not to add, that the errors of Baronius have been criticised as severely by Roinish as by Protestant writers. -See Schmid. Supplem. Sagittar. Introd. in Hist. Eccles. p. 155_-160.
Fabr. Bibl. Græc. xii. 166.
He has sarcastically been described as Gente Polonus, audacià historicus, desiderio cardinalis.- Ittig. Hist. Eccles. Sel. Cap. tom. i. Præfat. 9 16.
Schmid. Supplem. Sagittar. Introd. in Hist. Eccles. p. 174–5. s Hic non modo in eundem, quem Baronius, impegit lapidem; verum eum etiam superavit, scilicet in turpi, et nefanda Papæ ac Romanæ sedis adulatione: in reliquis ingenio, judicio, rerum usu, ac eloquio multum inferior Baronio. Sagittarii Introd. in Hist. Eccles., p. 319. Bzovium ordinis potius sui quam ecclesiæ annales scribere tradit Godeau in præfat. ad historiam ecclesiasticam Gallico idiomate conscriptam. Ittig. ut suprà. His work was said to be more properly the Annals of his Order than of the Church. He is thus described by the ingenious Jesuit, Theophile Raynaud :-" Perexigui judicii scriptor, nec tam autor quàm consarcinator; emisit multa volumina continuationis Ecclesiasticæ Historiæ post Baronium, cui succedaneam in eo argumento operam navavit ; ut objectu contrarii, magis elusceret Baronii accuratio, juxta Philonis observationem lib. quis rer. divinar. hares. Tomi Bzoviani sunt potiùs Annales Dominicorum, quàm Annales Ecclesiastici : Est enim totus in rebus domesticis efferendis, ac dilatandis; nisi cum aliquid Ordini probrosum, quod convellere non posset, malis avibus in historiæ seriem incidit. Tunc enim supra piscem tacitus abit. At cum agitur de mordendis et risui omnium esponendis Fratribus Minoribus, probat exquisite diligentiam."- De Immunit.
The author was unfortunate enough to expose himself not only to the displeasure* of the Duke of Bavaria, but to the still more formidable hostility of the Franciscans and the Jesuits; and candid readers were offended by his servile attachment to the interests of the court of Rome.
HENRI DE SPONDE (Spondanus), the next writer who attempted a similar work,t had been brought up a protestant, but conformed to the church of Rome, and became Bishop of Pamiez. His work is much less extensive than that of Bzovius. He brought down the history of the church from 1198 to the time at which he wrote, in two folio volumes, which appeared in 1659. He has been often praised for his sound judgment; and his historical writings have been thought to bear marks of his protestant education, though he does not yield to his predecessors in devotion to the papal cause.
But the work || which is best known and most esteemed as a continuation of Baronius was written somewhat later. ODORICUS RayNALDUS, a native of Trevisi, was a priest of the Oratory, a congregation which, as he tells us, considered itself interested, by a sort of hereditary right, in the work of Baronius. Like his great predecessor, he was allowed access to the literary stores of the Vatican, and his continuation of the ecclesiastical annals contains ample proof of the advantages enjoyed by its author. It extends from the year 1198 to 1565. Eight volumes appeared during his lifetime, between 1646 and 1663, and a posthumous volume** was printed in 1677. Though Raynaldus
Autorum Cyriacor. Diatr. vii.; Opera, Tom. xx. p. 302. It is, however, but fair to remark, that the tract in which this occurs is a virulent libel against the Dominicans -well worthy of perusal, by the way, as affording a curious illustration of the concordia discors of the church of Rome.
On account of the severity with which he treated the memory of the Emperor Louis of Bavaria.
+ Annalium Eminmi. Cardinalis Cæs. Baronii Continuatio, ab anno M.c.xcvii. quo is desiit, ad finem M.DC.XLVI. Per Henricum Spondanum Mauleosolen. sem Appamiarum in Gallià Narbonensi Episcopum. Tomus I. Lutetiæ Parisiorum, Impensis Societatis Typographicæ Librorum officii Ecclesiastici jussu Regis constitutæ. 1659. Cum privilegio Christianissimæ Majestatis.
Cave, comparing him with Bzovius and Raynaldus, says: “ Etsi reliquis mole cedat, fide tamen, diligentiâ, atque judicio accuratiori longè superat. - Proleg. ad Hist. Lit. & vi. 1.
s Schröckh, Kirchengeschichte, i. 233.
U Annales Ecclesiastici ab anno ucxcviii. ubi Card. Baronius desinit, Auctore Odorico Raynaldo, Tarusino, Congregationis Oratorii Presbytero. Tomus xiii. Romæ excudebat Mascardus. 1646. Superiorum permissu, et privilegio.
In his dedication to the Pope he says: • Cùm Cæsar Cardinalis Baronius, summæ pietatis ac sapientiæ vir, atque universæ Ilistoriæ Ecclesiasticæ pater, quem Sanctitas Tua, amore et officiis, dum in terris fuit, est prosecuta, ac post obitum, meritis laudibus ad coelum tollere nurquam destitit, hujuscemodi Historiæ scribendæ provinciam hereditario quodam jure alumnis Congregationis nostræ reliquerit; eamque Historiam ex scrinio potissimum Sedis Apostolicæ, et antiquissimis Vaticanæ Bibliothecæ monumentis excerpendam præscripserit; mihi, cui ab ingenii artisque adminiculis plane imparato tam arduum munus obtigit, omnino visum est deberi Opus uni Sti. T. qua Vaticana tabularia, in quibus tot insunt thesauri quot volumina, reserari mihi ac patefieri jussit."
** In two parts, the first bearing the date 1676 ; the second 1677. Ittigius says, (præfat. $ 15,) that it was not published till 1689.
is thought to have equalled Baronius only in the violence of his papal prejudices, the documents and other original pieces which enrich his pages have secured for them a high and permanent value.*
In the meantime, a crowd of epitomists extended the fame of Baronius and the influence of his work. Bzovius, Spondanus,t and Raynaldus, all abridged the work which they afterwards continued; and a multitude of other writers, whose names are less known to posterity, propagated, in similar compilations, the views inculcated in the Ecclesiastical Avnals. Their charitable labours were not confined to the language of scholars. The unlearned were invited to avail themselves of the discoveries of the orthodox historian. The vernacular tongues were employed in celebrating the antiquity of Romanism, and in denouncing the protestant errors. Some of these epitomest were written in French, Italian, German, Polish, and even Arabic; and it would almost seem that the members of the church of Rome had begun to identify the very idea of ecclesiastical history with the work of Baronius.
At all events, for half a century, nothing but these continuations and abridgments was attempted by writers of that communion. It was not till 1653 that ANTOINE GODEAU, Bishop of Vence, published a work on church-history of a somewhat different character. But though the Histoire de l'Eglise" of this writer was a step in the progress of
• The work of Raynaldus has been incorporated in the great edition of the Ecclesiastical Annals, in thirty-eight folios, edited by Mansi. Lucæ, 1738-59.
+ The Epitome of Spondanus had the sanction of Baroni himself. In a letter to Spondanus, dated the 31st of August, 1606, he writes: " Quod de Annalium nostrorum Epitome, operâ et studio tuo elaborata significâsti, non gratum mihi acceptumque esse non potuit. Etsi enim re verâ totum hoc breviandi genus probare vix solemus, rarumque sit ut ex animi sententiâ lectoribus procedat: ea tamen de prudentiâ, fide, ac diligentiâ tuâ, nostra est fiducia, ut quod abs te profectum sit, id omnibus placere posse arbitremur."-Spondani Epitom. Præf. p. 5.
# For the epitomes of Baronius it is sufficient to refer to Fabricius, Bibl. Græc, xü. 168.
$ Histoire de l'Eglise depuis Jesus Christ jusques à l'an 799, par M. Antoine Godeau, Eveque de Vence. Paris. 1653.
Le principal (de ses ouvrages) est son Histoire Ecclesiastique, en trois tomes en folio, dont le premier parut en 1653, qui contiennent l'Histoire des huit premiers siècles. Il avoit travaillé à la continuation de cette Histoire, et ses Memoires sont entre les mains d'un Evêque de France; mais comme ils ne sont pas achevez, on ne les a point donnez au public. On est obligé à M. Godeau d'avoir le premier donné en François une Histoire Ecclesiastique, exacte, fidele, complete, et agréable à lire : quoique depuis lui plusieurs habiles gens aient travaillé sur le même sujet, l'Histoire de M. Godeau a, et aura toûjours, son mérite, que les années ni les autres histoires n'effaceront point.” Du Pin, Nouvelle Bibliotheque. Tome xvii. p. 287. It is a dangerous thing to make predictions: the work of Godeau has been long superseded and forgotten. It is said, that the fidelity of his first volume exposed the author to the charge of heresy; and that the intelligible threats of a powerful ecclesiastic induced him to write the remainder of his work with less impartiality.-I. A. Schmid. Supplem. Sagittar. Introd. in Hist. Eccles. p. 212. The good bishop was highly celebrated in his day for his devotional and poetical writings. An envious critic, however, ventured to question his right to a very elevated position on Par. nassus. The naïveté of the passage in which Dupin refers to this unreasonable conduct is so exquisite that I must transcribe it. “ Malgré la grande reputation qu’ont eû ses ouvrages, il s'est trouvé un homme assez teineraire pour solltenir que M. Godeau n'avoit aucun goût pour la poësie, dans un Libelle imprimé sous ce titre,
church-history, his materials were probably for the most part derived from Baronius, and his work had little influence on the labours of his successors.
Yet the protestants shewed no greater activity. The condition of church-history among the Lutherans continued to be much as I have already described it. The Reformed branch of the protestant body had hitherto contributed little to the cultivation of ecclesiastical studies. The work of John HENRY HOTTINGER, * which appeared between 1655 and 1667, was the first written by a member of that communion which betrayed an intimate acquaintance with the sources of ecclesiastical history. Even this treated but briefly of the events of the first fourteen centuries, and was minute only on what related to the circumstances of the Reformation; though the writer bas deservedly acquired distinction as one of the earliest who brought an extensive acquaintance with oriental learning to the illustration of the history of the church. The learned Calvinists of France were engaged chiefly in the defence of the presbyterian discipline. Some of them, as Blondel and Daillé, were men of great acuteness and considerable erudition, whose writings undoubtedly tended to the improvement of ecclesiastical criticism, and secured for them the more equivocal praise of founding an antipatristic school. But they seem to have considered it as their vocation not to construct, but to demolish ; and none of them, at the period which we are now reviewing, have the slightest claim to be admitted among the ecclesiastical historians.
But we have now to notice a state of things very different. The obstacles which had hitherto impeded the progress of church-history gradually pass away, and we see it advance towards a perfection which it had never attained before. The rapid improvement which had been made in the study of ecclesiastical antiquities in the former half of this century by the scholars in communion with the church of Rome, very greatly contributed to the improvement of the history of the church. Petaut had traced the history of its doctrines, and L'Aubespinef and Moring of its rites; and Leo Allatius had restored
aussi injurieux au caractere episcopal qu'à la personne de M. Godeau, Godellus utrum Poeta ?"
• Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ Novi Testamenti Enncas, seu Pars Prima. Quâ res Christianoruin, Judæorum, Gentilium, Muhammedanorum, juxta novem, post natum Christum, primorum Seculorum seriem, breviter, succinctè et aphoristice primo propununtur; fusius deinde explicantur : capita etiam doctrinæ, tum veræ, per commodam et luculentam, uniuscujusque Seculi, Lupßißaoiv; tum falsa, per Eleyxov subjiciuntur, sicque ad multiplicem usum, necessariam rerum Ecclesiasticarum notitiam applicantur. Authore Joh. Henrico Hottingero, Tigurino. Hanoviæ, anno 1655. The first volume contains the history of the first nine cen. turies; the second, of the tenth and eleventh; the third, of the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth; and the remaining six volumes come down to the Council of Trent. The brevity of the earlier, compared with the later, part of the work, has led to an opinion, that the author gradually changed his plan. -Schmid. Supplem. Sagittar. Introd. in Hist. Eccles. p. 199.
† Dionysii Petavii Dogmata Theologica. Paris. 1643.
I Gabr. Albaspinæi de Veteribus Ecclesiæ Ritibus Observationum Libri II. Paris. 1623.
S Joau. Morini Commentarius llistoricus de Disciplina in Administratione Sacra
his countrymen the Greeks to their due rank in the Christian commonwealth.* These and a host of other scholars had introduced a taste for real learning and criticism. The materials of bistory had been rendered more accessible. The works of the fathers and the ancient historians were, from time to time, published in a more correct and inviting form. The Bibliotheca Patrum of De la Bigne,+ which, at the beginning of the century, the jesuit Possevin maintained that no one could retain in his possession with a clear conscience, had grown into seventeen folio volumes, and appeared in a seventh edition in 1654. Sirmond edited the writers of the middle ages, H. Valois the ancient ecclesiastical historians, and Combefis the later Greek divines; and in 1641 the Bollandists gave to the world the first-fruits of the gigantic undertaking which has not been completed by the labours of an hundred and fifty years, and the publication of fifty-three folios.
But without derogating from the merits of the many distinguished scholars whose labours so greatly contributed about this period to the advancement of historical knowledge, it scarcely too much to say, that it was the efforts of a particular body which gave the great
menti Poenitentiæ xiii., primis sæculis in Ecclesia observata. Paris. 1651. Joan
De Libris Ecclesiasticis Græcorum Dissertationes duæ. 1645.
Purgatorio consensione. 1655.
+ Sacra Bibliotheca Sanctorum Patrum supra ducentos, qua continentur, illorum de rebus Divinis opera omnia et fragmenta, quæ partim nunquam hactenus, partim ita ut raro jam extarent, excussa : vel ab Hæreticis corrupta ; Nunc primùm Sacræ Facultatis Theologiæ Parisiensis censura satis gravi, sinc ullo novitatis aut erroris fuco in perfectissimum corpus coaluerunt. Distincta in Tomos octo: Epistolarum, Historiarum, Moralium, Liturgiarum, Disputationum contra Hæreses, Commen tariorum, Homiliarum, Poematúmque sacrorum mixtim et Tractatuum in pene singula et fidei Christianæ, et Scripturæ sacræ loca: illustrata, Virorum doctissimo. rum Scholiis, Observationibus, accurate annotatis ad marginem Scripturæ Lectionibus, Vitis Authorum cum eorum cathalogo Alphabetario, et Chronologia : Bibli. carum quoque Authoritatum, et Materiarum completissimis Indicibus: Per Margarinum de la Bigne, Theologum Doct. Parisiensem. Parisiis. 1575. This is the title of the first edition, a rare book, which I am happy enough to possess. The second edition, in which a new arrangement was adopted, appeared in nine volumes, in 1589. Both of them grievously incurred the displeasure of Rome; and the second in particular is the very prey of the Roman and Spanish indices. Nevertheless, a third edition (castigated, however, in conformity with the directions of the famous Brasichellensis,) appeared in 1609; a fourth (the Cologne) in 1618; a fifth in 1624; and two more, both in seventeen volumes, respectively, in 1644 and 1654. The subsequent editions (or rather subsequent collections, with the same title, for the plan of De la Bigne was henceforth discarded,) belong to a period later than that referred to in the text. That of Lyons appeared in 1677; and that of Venice in 1765–88.
# I learn this from Ittigius, (De Bibliothecis Patrum, p. 87.) Ridiculus est Jesuita Possevinus cum in apparatu suo Tom. ii. p. 66, neque primam neque secundam Bignæanæ Patrum bibliothecæ editionem salva conscientia à quoquam retineri posse pronunciat.
Acta Sanctorum, quotquot toto orbe coluntur, &c.-Antverpiæ. 1643. The last volume (1794) comes down to the 11th of October.