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pay to the centre of the Church's life. The vision of B. Juliana received its fulfilment, and the full moon of the Church's adoration of the B. Sacrament shone down upon the Christian world, and has shone ever since, when in 1264 Urban IV. established the Feast of Corpus Domini, by means of which, when all the great feasts of the year are over,—when Passiontide and Easter have come and gone, when our ascended Lord has sent down the promise of the Father, the Holy Ghost the Comforter, while the faithful are still bowed down in adoration of the mystery of mysteries, the ever glorious Trinity, the Son of God and the Son of Mary is carried in triumph through city and village, and quiet country fields, to bestow upon the homes and possessions of men, as well as upon their souls and bodies, as Lord of the whole earth, the fulness of His blessing. When we think of the close connection between doctrine and devotion, between dogma and the spiritual life, it will be hardly too much to say that all the doctrines of the Church, all the many varied phases of the spiritual life of her children in after-ages, down to our own time, have been aifected, quickened, developed, by the solemn enthronement of the B. Sacrament in the outward worship of the Church in the thirteenth century, and by the greater familiarity with its life-giving Presence, which has been the blessed fruit of that enthrone. ment; just as the effects of the Definitions of the Immaculate Conception of our Lady and of the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff will be felt long beyond our own times. But this we shall hope to show more clearly in another article. Again, in the
development of the science of theology, what do we find ? Do we not see this period, and especially the thirteenth century, assume the same central position, as in respect to the inore solemn development of dogma and worship by the Church herself? Kneeling before the B. Sacrament, now enthroned high above the Church's Altar, we see two great doctors, each offering his gifts. The one is the Angel of the Schools, the other the Seraphic Doctor. Both were asked by Urban IV. to write the office and mass of Corpus Christi; but one alone, the Angelical, was to be known as the Doctor of the B. Sacrament. We are told that when S. Bonaventure read the office written by S. Thomas, he tore up
his own; and can we wonder? We are writing this while the words of the “Lauda Sion are still ringing in our ears, still melting the heart of the whole Western Church,-the Lauda Sion which is the Sum of his theology, centred on the Bread of angels, while the marvellous unity of the office of tho B. Sacrament is still rising up before us in the magnificence of its proportions, and we seem in some poor way to understand how it is the special privilege of angelic purity of heart, more even than of love, to see God-we do not say, to feel Him. Yet not one of these great saints but has his own gift to offer before our Lord's Sacramental Throne. The one throws upon the living coals of his thurible all the wisdom of the old heathen past, and purifies it from its dross, and transmutes it into the pure gold of scientific truth, worthy to form a crown of gold round about the Ark of the New Covenant, and the cherubim of beaten gold on the two sides of the propitiatory, and the seven-branched golden candlestick to stand with its lamps in the Holy Place. To the wisdom of the old heathen past he adds the fragrant spices and priceless gums of his knowledge of the Holy Fathers, Greek and Latin, and of the written Word of God, so that the sweet perfume of the whole may rise up in fleece-like clouds and twine themselves round the columns of the Tabernacle wherein the mighty Sacramental Presence is enshrined. Then he who is Plato and Aristotle in one, and greater than either, offers in the midst of the incense cloud the work of his own angelic mind; he takes the whole faith of Christ, together with all that human reason had produced, and forms one glorious synthesis, harmonious and perfect in all its parts, "a transcript of the mind of the Universal Church," and lays it at the feet of Him who is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.* The Sum of S. Thomas is the gathering in of the highest human wisdom to obedience to the Eternal Wisdom, the Word of the Father; it is the summing up of all science, human and
; Divine, so far as was then possibile; it is the concentration of all doctrine; it is the perfecting of philosophy, and its consecration to the service of the Church. So perfect is the reconciliation of theology and philosophy, that the queen of sciences condescends to clothe herself in a dress woven for her by the hands of her hitherto often too rebellious sister, and even to shadow forth to the intellects of men the great central dogma of the faith in the terminology of human speculation. Nor is this all; for from the subtlety of his piercing intellect S. Thomas's gigantic and systematic summary of all doctrine anticipates almost all future error; so that even in our own day there is hardly an objection which can be brought against the Faith which has not already received its death-blow, in the principles at least, laid down by the Angelical; even those who are strangers to the mind of the Church, and blind to the true philosophy of her history, feel the truth of what we have been saying "Thomas Aquinas,” says the historian of Latin
* See upon S. Thomas and his work, his Life, by F. R. B. Vaughan.
Christianity, “is throughout, and above all, the Theologian. God and the soul of man are the only objects truly worthy of his philosophic investigation. This is the function of the Angelic Doctor, the mission of the Angel of the Schools. In his works, or rather in his one work, is the final result of all which has been decided by Pope or Council, taught by the Fathers, accepted by tradition, argued in the schools, inculcated in the Confessional. The Sum of Theology is the authentic, authoritative, and acknowledged code of Latin Christianity." * “Take away Thomas,” said an heresiarch of the sixteenth century, “and I will destroy the Church.” So again another modern writer has said : “ Thomas Aquinas has abundantly fulfilled his master's prophecy of him. The bellowings of that Bull have been heard throughout all countries and in all generations; there is more than a feeble echo of them in our own. He has governed the schools, moulded the thoughts of nearly all Roman Catholic students, given a shape to the speculations of numbers who have never read any of his writings, and to whom his name is rather a terror than an attraction. From first to last he was thinking of all that could be said on buth sides of the question he was discussing, chiefly of what might be said in favour of the opinion which he did not hold, and which he was ultimately to annihilate. Those who suppose that he was afraid of approaching heretical or infidel opinions, can have very little acquaintance with him. His books are a storehouse of arguments for such opinions. The reasoner against almost any tenet of the Catholic faith may be furnished at a short notice with almost any kind of weapons out of the armoury of the great Catholic doctor.”+ Now it is to what we have called the central period of the Church's history, to the most splendid portion of it, that this central synthesis of Catholic doctrine and of true philosophy belongs.
But kneeling by the side of the great Dominican before the now solemnly enthroned Centre of the Church's life, there is, as we have said, another doctor, the glory of the Franciscan Order, the theologian of scraphic love; and he, too, has his own gift to offer, which, although of a different kind, has ever the same end in view as that of his brother saint. The gift and the work of S. Bonaventure, for they are the same thing, is to show the relation of all the sciences and all the arts to theology, and above all, to bring theology to bear upon the heart through charity, "towards which all Holy Scripture tends, and in which it terminates, which is the end consequently of that illumination
* Vol. ix. b. xiv, ch. 3. + “Medieval Philosophy,” by Frederick Denison Maurice, pp. 184, 188.
which descends from above, without which all knowledge is vain, for there is no coming to the Son save through the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all truth, Who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.” As S. Thomas represents the dogmatic side of theology, so S. Bonaventure represents its mystical side; while each may be said, in his own province and by his own synthesis, to occupy a central position in this central period of the Church's history. But these two great doctors, prominent as they are in themselves, may also be said to be embodiments of the twogreat tendencies of the age in which they lived.* Nor are they kneeling alone while offering their gifts of intellect and love. Dominic and Francis, their great fathers, the authors of their spiritual life, – the one encircling the Church with his “ Order of Truth," the other with his “ Seraphic Order," and an intense love for nature, are kneeling behind them; and, as has been well said, in the two great mendicant orders nearly all the philosophy of the thirteenth century is comprehended.
There too on the one side is Albert the Great, S. Thomas's “myriad-minded” master, only less than his disciple, the two grand objects of whose life_seem to have been to christianize Aristotle, and to form Divine and human science into an organized whole, and to whom, therefore, the Sum of S. Thomas itself is due ;-- Albert, who, to the shame of after-centuries, is said to have understood the Stagyrite, even through the clouds of a Latin translation, better than his modern commentators with all the light of sound Greek philology; † who, in his superhuman work of twenty-one folio volumes, has not only gathered up all the treasures of ancient science, but has enriched them with large contributions of his own on every branch of it; who also stands before us as the
* “Medieval Philosophy," by Frederick Denison Maurice, p. 212. “History of Latin Christianity," vol. ix. b. xiv.; where, after observing that it might have been supposed that the popularizing of religious teaching, which was the express object of the Friar Preachers and the Minorites, would have left the higher places of abstruse and learned theology to the older orders, or to the more dignified secular ecclesiastics, Dean Milman adds, " But the dominant religious influence of the times could not but seize on all the fervent and powerful minds which sought for satisfaction for their devout yearnings. No one who had strong religious ambition (we should say, “ zeal for God's glory ") could be anything but a Dominican, or Franciscan."
ť "Zur Beschamung spaterer Jahrhunderte, wird man gestehen müssen, dass im 13 Jabıhundert, die Aristotelische Lehre zwar nicht ohne Vorurtheile, aber besser erkannt wurde, als noch in unsern Jahrhundert.”-Ritter, 8. Theil, doch Luch 12. In another place he says : “ Albertus habe den Aristotles wohl besser verstanden, als unsere neueren grossen Philologen.” See also the chapter on Albertus Magnus in F. Roger Vaughan's “Life of S. Thomas Aquinas."
anxious investigator of the mysteries of nature; the subtle chemist, the bold astronomer, the able interpreter of the theorems of Euclid, who went about Christendom scattering the seeds of knowledge at Cologne, Hildesheim, Fribourg, Ratisbon, Strasburg, and Paris ;* and who, best of all, through all the masses of scientific research, knew how to keep his mind fixed upon his heavenly Master, and to cleave unto God.+ “ The result of the labours of Albert,” says Hauréau, “was nothing less than a veritable revolution.” I And there also, on the same side, is Vincent of Beauvais, the father of modern encyclopædists, who seems to have been among the first to discover the importance of the philosophy of history, especially of Church history, and whose best work, with its three grand divisions of nature, doctrine, history, all reflecting, under different aspects, the greatness of God and His Providence, forms not only a complete encyclopædia of all that was known in his own day, but also a general mirror of the world. There, on the other side, is the Euglishman, Alexander of Hales, the “irrefragable doctor,” who shares with Albert the Great the glory of having digested the wisdom of the past and of his own times, and by his Sum of universal theology, of having prepared the way for the master. piece of S. Thomas,ş but whose chief glory seems to us to
* Hauréau, “ Philosophie Scholastique,” ii. p. 103. Jourdain's estimate is not less favourable ; he considers Albert, whether looked at as theologian or philosopher, to have been one of the most “ extraordinary men of his time, and even one of the most astonishing geniuses of past ages.” This is very different from the estimate formed by Fleury, who saw nothing great in hin, but his volumes; or of Hallam, who, although he has evidently never opened his works, but trusts entirely to Meniers, can think it just to speak of the “evil inflicted upon Europe by the credit Albert gave to astrology, alchemy, and magic.” In a later edition he adds, it is true, a note, in which Jourdain's favourable estimate is quoted ; yet he never seems to have thought of going himself to consult the works of this truly great and wonderful man. Most of Hallam's knowledge of the literature of this period seems to be second-hand, and is therefore of very little weight.—“Int. to Lit. of Eur.,” vi. p. 79, 7th ed.
+ Those who, like Ritter, Hauréau, Maurice, and the later German writers upon the Middle Ages, have read his work de culhærendo Deo, and the great scholastic doctors, know how to appreciate them.-(See Maurice, “Med. Phil.," pp. 173–184.)
Hauréau, ii. p. 103. Milman quotes Hauréau with approval, but differs from him, in thinking that Albert " rather foreboded than wrought this revolution.”. Yet only a few pages before he had compared the tomes of the Scholastics to the pyramids of Egypt; oppressive from the sense of power for no discoverable use. “Whoever penetrates within, finds himself bewildered and lost in a labyrinth of small, dark, intricate passages and chambers, devoid of grandeur, devoid of solemnity; he may wander without end, and find nothing !”
§ In saying this, we do not wish to imply that Alexander of Hales was the master of S. Thomas, as has sometimes been said. That this was not the case,