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he had been found by one who came down | The last book in his trilogy is fitly called to earth and became flesh.* Others labo“ Miscellanies." He appears also to have riously framed systems designed to meet wanted practical energy, and even if this the wants and the intelligence of the few: assertion seems to be a paradox, I believe he appealed to all in virtue of a common that this defect accounts for his intellectual divine faculty and a common God-given failure. His successor, Origen, supplied freedom, of a universal message and a that which was wanting. He did not stop universal fact. Others looked forward for at writing “ Miscellanies." He was filled peace, to the advent of what they called with the conception of a vast moral unity;
the Great Ignorance," when each creat- as a necessity, therefore, he felt that the ure should obtain perfect repose by know. truths by which this unity was established ing nothing better than itself: he had al- must form a unity also. It is then to him ready begun to know the calmness of joy rather than to his predecessors, or perhaps in absolute surrender to one infinitely it may be more true to say to his predegreat.
cessors in him, that we must look if we The development and co-ordination of wish to gain a right notion of typical these conceptions, of these realities was, Christian thought at Alexandria, a right or rather is, necessarily gradual. But it is notion of the beginnings of Christian phiof importance to notice that from the mo- losophy. ment when philosophers expressed their Origen was of Christian parentage. difficulties, Christian teachers undertook the son of a martyr, he earned himself to meet them on their own lines. Chris. the martyr's crown, through the continuous tian teachers did not lay aside the philoso- labors of seventy years. In his case no pher's mantle in virtue of their office, but sharp struggle, no violent change, no slow rather assumed it. At Alexandria, a process wrought the conviction of faith. Christian “ School”
well-known He did not like Justin Martyr, or his Catechetical School arose by the side immediate predecessors, Pantænus and of the Museum. In its constitution no Clement, find in Christianity after painful less than in its work this school bore a wanderings that rest which he had sought striking if partial resemblance to the vainly in the schools of Greek wisdom. “schools of the prophets” under the old He did not, like Tertullian, follow the bent dispensation. It was not ecclesiastical in of an uncontrollable and impetuous nature, its organization. Its teachers were not and close in open schism a life of cournecessarily, or always in fact, priests. Its ageous toil. He did not, like Augustine, aim was not to perpetuate a system, but to come to the truth through heresy, and bear gain fresh conquests. From obscure be- even to the last the marks of the chains ginnings the work went Great by which he had been weighed down, thought, great principles found utterance; His whole life, from first to last, was fashand then a master was raised up not un- ioned on the same type. It was according worthy to combine and quicken them. to his own grand ideal“ one unbroken
The first famous names which occur in prayer” (uía mpooevxù ovveyouévn), one cease. connection with the school, those of Pan- less effort after closer fellowship with the tænus and Clement, might well detain us.t Unseen and the Eternal. No distractions Both men were led to the faith through the diverted him from the pursuit of divine study of philosophy. Both continued the wisdom. No persecution checked for study as Christians. They had learnt the more than the briefest space the energy of needs of men by their own experience, and his efforts. He endured "a double marby that they interpreted what they had tyrdom," perils and sufferings from the found. The scanty notices of Pantænus beathen, reproaches and wrongs from which have been preserved suggest the Christians; and the retrospect of what he idea of a man of originality and vigor, who had borne only stirred within him a hum. combined action with thought.
bler sense of his shortcomings. Clement again is perhaps in intuitive In Origen we have the first glimpse of power the greatest in the line of Catechists. a Christian boy. He was conspicuous, It would be easy to collect from his writ. “ even from his cradle : “a great man ings a series of pregnant passages con. from his childhood,”* is the judgment of caining, with some significant exceptions, his bitterest enemy. From the first the an outline of the system of Origen; but range of his training was complete. His he had himself no sense of a system. father Leonidas, after providing carefully * Comp. Kingsley, “The Schools of Alexandria,"
* Euseb. H. E. vi. 2; Hieron. Ep. 84, 85 (ad Pam 4 Comp. Alexander ap. Euseb. H. E. vi. 14.
mach, et Ocean.).
for his general education, himself instruct | neglected forms of truth to make known; ed him in Holy Scripture. The boy's na- and Origen became one of his hearers. ture answered to the demands which were The situation was remarkable, and full of made upon him. His eagerness to pene interest. The master of Christianity was trate to the deeper meaning of the written a learner in the school of Greeks. There Word gave early promise of his character can be no doubt that Origen was deeply istic power; and it is said that Leonidas influenced by the new philosophy, which often uncovered his breast — his breast, seemed to him to unveil fresh depths in and not his brow – pectus facit theologum the Bible; and it is not unlikely that this
as he lay asleep and kissed it, as though connection, which lasted for a considerable it were already a dwelling-place of the time, gave occasion to those suspicions Holy Spirit.
and jealousies on the part of some mem. When Origen had reached his seven- bers of the Church at Alexandria, which teenth year the persecution under Severus at no long interval bore bitter fruit. Oribroke out. Leonidas was thrown into gen, however, was clear and steadfast as prison. Origen was only hindered by the to his purpose, and he found at least some loving device of his mother from sharing sympathy. For when in later years he his fate. As it was, he wrote to strengthen was assailed for giving his attention to the his father with the simple words: “Take opinions of heretics and Gentiles, he de. heed ! let no thought for us alter your pur- fended himself not only by the example of pose." Leonidas was martyred ; his prop. Pantænus, but also by that of Heracles, erty was confiscated; and the young stu: his fellow-student in the school of Am. dent at once entered on the career of monius, who " while now," he writes, “ a independent labor which closed only with presbyter at Alexandria, still wears the his life.
dress of a philosopher, and studies with At first Origen supported himself by all diligence the writings of the Greeks.” * teaching grammar, but immediately a An anecdote which is told of the time of richer field was opened to him. The Cat. his early work may seem in this respect as echetical School in which he had worked a symbol of his life.t A heathen mob under Pantænus and Clement was left seized him one day and placed him on the without a head, owing to the fierceness of steps of the Temple of Serapis, forcing the persecution. For a time Origen gave him to offer palm-branches in honor of the instruction in Christianity privately to god to those who came to worship. He those heathen who wished to learn. His took the palms, and cried out,
6 Come, success was such that before he was eigh- take the palm, not the palm of the idol, but teen he was appointed to fill the vacant post the palm of Christ.”. of honor and danger. Martyrs Euse. The way of Greek wisdom was not the bius enumerates seven — passed from his only unusual direction in which Origen class to death. His own escape seemed sought help for that study of Scripture to to be the work of Providence. Marked which he had consecrated his life. He and pursued, he still evaded his enemies. turned to the Jews also, and learnt Hebrew, His influence grew with his self-devotion, a task which overcame the spirit of Erasand further experience of his new work mus, as he tells us,f even in the excite. stirred bim to larger sacrifices. He had ment of the Renaissance. About the collected in earlier times a library of clas- same time, when he was now fully equipped sical authors. This he now sold for an an- for work, he found assistance and impulse nuity of four obols — sixpence - a day, from the friendship of Ambrose, a wealthy that he might need no assistance from the Alexandrine whom he had won from her. scholars, who were grieved that they might esy to the truth. Origen draws a lively not help him.* So he lived for more than picture of the activity and importunity of five-and-twenty years, laboring almost day his friend. Meals, rest, exercise, sleep, all and night, and offering such an example of had to be sacrificed to zeal, which may be absolute self-denial as won many to the measured by the fact that he furnished faith of which he showed the power in his Origen with seven clerks to write at his own person.
dictation. Wbile Origen was thus engaged, his This period of happy and incessant principles were put to a severe test. Am- labor was at last rudely interrupted. After monius Saccas, the founder of Neo-Pla. working publicly at Alexandria for twenty. tonism, began to lecture at Alexandria. His success showed that he had some
* Epist. ap. Euseb. H. E. vi. 19. † Epiph. Hær. 64, I, P. 524.
1 Epist. 95. Euseb. H. E. vi. 3.
Š Euseb. H. E. vi. 23.
eight years, with short intervals of absence the sixteenth century, the place where on foreign missions, Origen was driven Origen lay was only known by traditior. from the city to which he was bound by This tradition, however, still lingers about every sacred tie, and never visited it again. the ruins of the city; for it is said that the There is no need to attempt to unravel the natives, to the present time, point out the circumstances which led to the catastrophe. spot where “Oriunus " lies under a vault, It is enough to notice that no word of the relic of an ancient church now covered anger escaped from the great master when by their huts.* he showed afterwards how keenly be felt Origen's writings are commensurate in the blow. Thenceforth the scene, but not range and number with the intense activity the character of his work was changed; of his life. They were, it is said, meas. and he was enabled to carry on at Cæsarea ured by thousands, and yet, as be argued, for twenty years longer, with undiminished they were all one, one in purpose and in influence, all the tasks which he had be spirit; and it is almost amusing to observe gun. Ambrose was still with him, and his the way in wbich he writes to Ambrose, reputation even attracted Porphyry for a who urged him to fresh labors, pleading brief visit.
that he has already broken, in the letter, At length the end came. In the perse. the command of Solomon to “avoid mako cution of Decius he was imprisoned, tor- ing many books.”+ But he goes on to tured, threatened with the stake. From argu multitude really lies in contradicthe midst of his sufferings he wrote words tion and inconsistency. A few books of encouragement to his fellow-confessors. which are charged with errors are many. His persecutors denied him the visible Many books which are alike inspired by glory of the martyr's death, but already the truth are one. “If, then," he conexhausted by age and toil he sank, three cludes, “I set forth anything as the truth years
afterwards, under the effects of what which is not the truth, then I shall transhe had suffered (A.D. 253).
gress. Now, while I strive by all means He was buried at Tyre; * and bis tomb to counteract false teaching, í obey the was honored as long as the city survived. spirit of the precept which seems at first When a cathedral named after the Holy to condemn me." Sepulchre was built there, his body is said This claim which Origen makes to an to have occupied the place of greatest essential unity- a unity of purpose and honor, being inclosed in the wall behind spirit -- in all his works is fully justified by the high altar. The same church re. their character. Commentaries, homilies, ceived in a later age (A.D. 1190) the remains essays, tracts, letters, are alike animated of Barbarossa; but the name of the great by the same free and lofty strivings theologian prevailed over the name of the towards a due sense of the Divine Maj. great warrior.
Burchard, who visited esty, and the same profound devotion to Îyre in the last quarter of the thirteenth the teaching of Scripture. It is no less century (c. 1283), saw the inscription in remarkable that in all these different de. Origen's meniory in a building which was partments of literature his influence was amazing for its splendor. Before the decisive and permanent.
In this respect close of the century the city was wasted his reputation, however great, falls below by the Saracens; but if we may trust the the truth. Those parts of his teaching words of a traveller at the beginning of which failed to find general acceptance the sixteenth century (c. 1520), the inscrip- were brought into prominence by the ani. tion was still preserved on “a marble col. mosity of Jerome, who himself often si. umn, sumptuously adorned with gold and lently appropriated the other parts as jewels.” $ Not long after, at the end of belonging to the common heritage of the
Church. Origen, in a word, first laid down William of Tyre (c. 1180), Hist. xiii. 1: Hæc (Tyrus) the lines of a systematic study of the Bi. et Originis corpus occultat, sicut oculata fide etiam hodie ble. Both in criticism and in interpreta. licet inspicere.
† Cotovicus (1598), Itin. Hier. p. 121: Pone altare tion his labors marked an epoch. There maximum magni Originis corpus conditum ferunt. were homilies before his, but he fixed the
. , p. 25 (ed. Laurent): Originis ibidem in ecclesia Sancil sepulcri type of a popular exposition. His “ Hexrequiescit in muro conclusus. Cujus titulum ibidem uidi (the edition of 1587. adds et legi). Sunt ibi co- chard's notice. Burchard's book was very widely lumpnae marmoreac et aliorum lapidum tam magnae, known in the sixteenth century. The statements of quod stupor est uidere.
Adrichonius (Theatr. T. S. Tr. aser, 84), which are $ Bart. de Saligniaco, Itin. Hier. ix. 10: In templo repeated by Huet and others, have no independent Sancti Sepulcri Originis doctoris, ossa magno in honore value whatever. servantur, quorum titulus est in columna marmorea * Prutz, Aus. Phönicien, 219, 306, quoted by Piper, magno sumptu gemmarum et auri. - It is not unlikely, Ztschr. für Kchgsch. 1876, p. 208. I fear, that this statement is a false rendering of Bur- t In Joh. v. Pref,
apba” was the greatest textual enterprise and... prepared us for the reception of of ancient times. His treatise on “ First the words of truth “by probing us Principles was the earliest attempt at a and questioning us, and offering problems systematic view of the Christian faith. for our solution." * In this way Origen
But we must not linger over his writ- taught his scholars to regard language as ings. Writings are but one element of designed not to furnish materials for disthe teacher. A method is often more play, but to express truth with the most characteristic and more influential than exact accuracy and logic; as powerful, not doctrine. It was so with Origen; and, in 10 secure a plausible success, but to test his case, we fortunately possess a vivid beliefs with the strictest rigor. and detailed description of the plan of This was the first stage of intellectual study which he pursued and enforced. discipline, the accurate preparation of the Gregory, surnamed Thaumaturgus, the instruments of thought. In the next wonder-worker, from his marvellous labors place, Origen led his pupils to apply them, in Pontus, after working under him for five first, to the “lofty and divine, and most years at Cæsarea, at a later time delivered lovely” study of external nature. Here a farewell address in bis presence (c. 239 he stood where we stand still, for he made A.D.).* In this the scholar records with geometry the sure and immovable foundatouching devotion the course along which tion of his teaching, and from this rose he had been guided by the man to whom step by step to the heights of heaven and he felt that he owed his spiritual life. He the most sublime mysteries of the universe. had come to Syria to study Roman law in Gregory's language implies that Origen the school of Berytus, but on his way was himself a student of physics; as, in there he met with Origen, and at once felt some degree, the true theologian must be. that he had found in him the wisdom for such investigations served to show man in which he was seeking. The day of that his just relation to the world. A rational meeting was to him, in his own words, the feeling for the vast grandeur of the exterdawn of a new being; his soul clave to the nal order," the sacred economy of the unimaster whom he recognized, and he sur. verse," as Gregory calls it, was substituted rendered himself gladly to his guidance. for the ignorant and senseless wonder with As Origen spoke be kindled within the which it is commonly regarded. The lesyoung advocate's breast a love for the sons of others, he writes, or his own obHoly Word, the most lovely of all objects, servation, enabled him to explain the conand for himself, the Word's herald. “That nection, the differences, the changes of love," Gregory adds, “ induced me to give the objects of sense. up country and friends, the aims which i
But physics were naturally treated by had proposed to myself, the study of law Origen as a preparation, and not as an end. of which I was proud. I had but one Moral science came next; and here he laid passion - philosophy — and the godlike the greatest stress upon the method of exman who directed me in the pursuit of periment. His aim was not merely to it." +
analyze and to define and to classify feel. Origen's first care, so his scholar Greg: ings and motives, though he did this, but ory tells us, was to make the character of to form a character. For him, ethics were a pupil his special study. In this he fol. a life, and not only a theory. The four lowed the example of Clement. He as cardinal virtues of Plato- practical wiscertained with delicate and patient attention dom, self-control, righteousness, courage the capacities, the faults, the tendencies, - seemed to him to require for their ma. of him whom he had to teach. Rank turing careful and diligent introspection growths of opinion were cleared away; and culture. And here he gave a comweaknesses were laid open; every effort mentary upon his teaching. His dis was used to develop endurance, firmness, cipline lay even more in action than in patience, thoroughness. “In true Socratic precept. His own conduct was, in bis fashion he sometimes overthrew us by ar- scholars minds, a more influential persuagument,” Gregory writes; “if he saw ussion than his arguments. I restive and starting out of the course. . So it was that Origen was the first The process was at first disagreeable to teacher who really led Gregory to the purus, and painful; but so he purified us suit of Greek philosophy, by bringing
speculation into a vital union with practice. In the following paragraphs I have endeavored to give shortly the substance of Gregory's description in
* Paneg. c. 70 his Oratio panegyrica. .
t Paneg. c. 5:
Id. cc. 11, 12.
+ Id. c. 8.
Gregory saw in him the inspiring example offers of a system of Christian training of one at once wise and holy. The noble actually realized exbibits a type which we phrase of older masters gained a distinct cannot hope to surpass. May we not say meaning for the Christian disciple. In that the ideal of Christian education and failure and weakness he was enabled to the ideal of Christian philosophy were perceive that the end of all was “to be fashioned together? And can we wonder come like to God with a pure mind, and to that, under that comprehensive and loving draw near to himn and to abide in him." discipline, Gregory, already trained in
Guarded and guided by this conviction, heathen schools, first learnt, step by step, Origen encouraged his scholars in theology according to his own testimony, what the to look for help in all the works of human pursuit of philosophy truly was, and came genius. They were to examine the writ- to know the solemn duty of forming opinings of philosophers and poets of every ions which were to be, not the amusement nation - the dogmatic atheists alone ex- of a moment, but the solid foundations of cepted — with faithful candor and wise lifelong work? Have we yet, perhaps we catholicity. For them there was to be no ask, mastered the lessons ? sect, no party.
And in their arduous The method of Origen, such as Gregory work they had ever at hand in their inas. has described it, in all its breadth and ter a friend who knew the difficulties of the freedom was forced upon him by what he ground to be traversed. If they were be held to be the deepest law of human nawildered in the tangled mazes of conflict- ture. It may be true (and he admitted ing opinions, he was ready to lead them it) that we are, in our present state, but with a firm hand. If they were in danger poorly furnished for the pursuit of knowl. of being swallowed up in the quicksands edge; but he was never weary of proclaimof shifting error, he was near to lift them ing that we are at least born to engage in up to the sure resting-place which he had the endless search. If we see some admihimself found.*
rable work of man's art, he says, * we are Even yet the end was not reached. The at once eager to investigate the nature, the hierarchy of sciences was not completed manner, the end of its production ; and till theology, with her own proper gifts, the contemplation of the works of God crowned the succession which we have fol- stirs us with an incomparably greater lowed hitherto, logic, physics, ethics. longing to learn the principles, the methNew data corresponded with the highest od, the purpose of creation. 6. This dephilosophy; and Origen found in the Holy sire, this passion, has without doubt,” lie Scriptures and the teaching of the spirit continues, “ been implanted in us by God. the final and absolute spring of divine And as the eye seeks the light, as our body truth. It was in this region that Gregory craves food, so our mind is impressed felt his master's power to be supreme. with the characteristic and natural desire Origen's sovereign command of the mys- of knowing the truth of God and the teries of “the oracles of God,” gave him causes of what we observe."
Such a perfect boldness in dealing with all other desire, since it is a divine endowment, car. writings. “ Therefore," Gregory adds, ries with it the promise of future satisfac“there was no subject forbidden to us; tion. In our present life we may not be nothing hidden or inaccessible. We were able to do more by the utmost toil than allowed to become acquainted with every obtain some small fragments from the in. doctrine, barbarian or Greek, on things finite treasures of divine knowledge, still spiritual, or civil, divine and human, trav- the concentration of our souls upon the ersing with all freedom, and investigating lovely vision of truth, the occupation of the whole circuit of knowledge, and satis. our various faculties in lofty inquiries, the fying ourselves with the full enjoyment of very ambition with which we rise above all the pleasures of the soul. ”t our actual powers, is in itself fruitful in
Such, in meagre outline, was, as Greg. blessing, and fits us better for the recep: ory tells us, the method of Origen. He tion of wisdom hereafter. at some later describes what he knew and what his hear- stage of existence. Now we draw at the ers knew. I know no parallel to the pic. best a faint outline, a preparatory sketch ture in ancient times. And when every of the features of truth; the true and liv. allowance has been made for the partial ing.colors will be added then. Perhaps, enthusiasm of a pupil, the view which it he concludes most characteristically, that
is the meaning of the words “to every
. Id. c. 14.
De Princ. ii. 4, p. 105.