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CONTENTS OF VOL. XIII.
Fox's Acts and Monuments (S. R. Mait-
land)........ ........12, 122, 254, 385, 613
Reply to the Article in the Last Nuinber
of the “ Edinburgh Review"on Church
... 159, 406
(William Palin) 648
(S. R. Maitland). 652
Administration of the Holy Communion 47
On the most Appropriate Appellation of
Members of the Church of Rome 52
Appendix to the Paper on Confirmatiou 654
The Home Mission : Ireland.-- Judgment
to be proposed by Lord J. Russell 565
Fit Houses for the Beneficed Clergy 675
Admission to St. Paul's Cathedral... 181
General Society for Supplying Christian
Instruction to the British Colonies...... 556
Letter.—Dr. Mill and Bishop's College.
--Lord Brougham's Education Bill 77 to 90
-Ember Days.—The Edinburgh Re-
JANUARY 1, 1838.
A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORIANS.
(Continued from vol. xii. p. 611.) The labours of the Magdeburg Centuriators and Baronius had the immediate effect of establishing two separate and hostile schools of church-history. Ecclesiastical antiquity was henceforth the field on which the champions of the Romish and protestant parties fought their fiercest battles; and the history of the church was regarded by too many as little else than a branch of polemical divinity. All things considered, this was perhaps inevitable. The questions in dispute were most of them so purely historical, that the history itself could not but become matter of controversy. It is, however, greatly to be regretted, that the subject should have been first handled on both sides by men holding extreme opinions. This tended to place the parties in more complete repulsion, and to lay down and perpetuate party views of the plainest facts. We still feel the consequences.
For though time and inquiry has produced mutual concessions, and multiplied the points on which all agree, many writers on both sides still obstinately maintain certain favourite positions in a spirit which betrays more of the violence of the controversialist than the calmness of the historian.
The merit of the “Centuries" and the « Annals" as works of learning had likewise the effect of discouraging further investigation into the history of the periods over which they extended. It was felt that both parties had a sort of authorized work on church-history, which it was rather a point of honour to defend than a point of duty to improve. We may generally observe, that a great effort of literature is followed by a state of comparative inactivity, analogous to the exhaustion which succeeds an unusual exertion of the natural body. It was so in the case before us.
Much was done in the former half of the seventeenth century for particular portions and departments of the history and antiquities of the church, but we meet
VOL. XIII.-Jan. 1838.
with no complete or original work. The protestants* attacked Baronius; the Romanistst attacked the Centuriators; and posterity has availed itself of the truth which was elicited in the contest. The disputants themselves, however, respectively adhered to their own principles, and scarcely attempted to disengage the truth from the baser materials which had been worked up with it by controversial historians.
By the end of the sixteenth century, the prejudices with which the work of the Centuriators was at first regarded by many of the German protestants appear to have died away, and it was universally received as the church-history of the Lutheran party. But it was a cumbrous and expensive work, which could never be generally used by any but professional students. It was moreover imperfect, inasmuch as it did not extend beyond the thirteenth century. Hence the occasion for abridgments and continuations, which were the only contributions made by the members of the Lutheran community to the knowledge of church-history for upwards of an hundred years. LUCAS OSIANDER was the first of this class of writers, and his labours appear to have enjoyed the greatest popularity. He reduced the “ Centuries” into an Epitome, which, together with a continuation of the history of the church to his own time, was published in separate volumes between 1592 and 1613. This compilations long maintained its ground in Germany. It was translated into German as the volumes appeared; and a Swedish translation was published in 1635. Being itself a work of some extent, it was made the basis of other abridyments; and thus may be regarded as having contributed to extend
• Fabr. Bibl. Græc. xii. 170-175; Walch, Bibl. Theol. iii. 151–159. + Fabr. Bibl. Græc, xii. 163; Walch, Bibl. Theol. iji. 125—127.
I Epitomes Historiæ Ecclesiasticæ Centuria I. II. III. In quibus breviter et perspicue commemoratur, quis fuerit status Ecclesiæ Christi à nativitate Salvatoris, usque ad initium anni Christo ccc. Recitatur autem in specie, quomodo Evangelii doctrina in orbe terrarum sparsa sit : quæ hæreses in Ecclesia exortæ: quæ persecutiones contra Ecclesiam motæ : quibus mediis hæreses oppressæ, et persecutiones sedatæ sint: quos præclaros doctores Ecclesiæ singulis temporibus habuerint : inter quos et Romanorum Episcoporum vitæ recensentur. Sed et Romanorum Imperatorum acta describuntur. Lucas Osiander. D. Tubingæ, 1592.
$ In the epistle dedicatory to the Duke of Wirtemberg, prefixed to the first volume, Osiander thus explains the motives which led him to undertake the work : “ Multa laude digni sunt viri doctissimi, qui infinito propè labore, ex omnibus, quos habere potuerunt, Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis Historiam congesserunt, (quam Magdeburgi. cam vocamus) eamque in certas Centurias annorum distribuerunt ...... cùm autem utilissimus ille labor multis tomis comprehendatur : et plerunque Theologiæ studiosi magnitudine sumptuum ab emptione deterreantur : Multi verò, et quidem magni viri politici, magnitudine negociorum gravissimorum impediantur, quò minùs tam prolixa scripta evolvere queant; cùm tamen Theologicis lucubrationibus legendis vehementer delectentur; cæpi ego cogitare, an non ea, quæ copiosè in illa Magd. Hist. Eccl. (et plurimis interdum locis) referuntur, possent in Epitomen quandam ita redigi, ut nihil rerum scitu admodum necessarium omitteretur : et simul etiam singulorum annorum series observaretur Plurinùm igitur adjutus Magdeburgicis illis Centuriis (sine quibus laborem hunc nequaquam aggredi ausus fuissem) collegi trium priorum Centuriarum quasi compendium quoddam : quod nuncin lucem dare volui, ne eos, qui dudum editionem à me efflagitârunt, diutius suspensos tencrem."