« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Ministers and People, have become little else than a bye word, expressing the propagators of error and the authors of puerile conceits in inflated or mean language, yet among them are the noblest monuments of zeal and knowledge, eloquence and holiness, that can support the Christian Church or adorn the Christian Character.
The reason, why the Work is not brought down so far as at first proposed, will be found at the conclusion of this volume.
I had designed to have written A Dissertation on the Use of the Fathers, to serve as an Introduction to this Work, - but nearly 800 pages, in one Volume, should not be lightly increased,-and as such a Dissertation ought not to be either slightly written or hastily dismissed, it was judged expedient not to increase the size of a book already unexpectedly large. Should an opportunity offer, a future time may enable me to accomplish what I am now obliged to postpone.
The assistance which I have had in the work, I have derived from various quarters :—from Cave's Historia Literaria, I have generally taken the Catalogue and Chronology of the Writers, and also from the Ecclesiastical History of Du Pin, whom it is impossible to praise too highly for candor, correctness and industry : the Lectiones Antiquæ of CANISIUS, as edited by Basnage, whose preliminary notices of the several authors are most admirable, has been used with considerable profit ; as also Father D'ACHERY's Spicilegium Scriptorum Gallia, where I have been able to consult many short Tracts and Letters :- Lives of various Saints, with the history of the Foundations of several Monasteries, &c., have been procured from LABBE's Biblioth. Nov. MScript. and from Mabillon's Sæculum Benedictinum, a treasury of Monkish history : Bowers' History of the Popes has frequently contributed to the utility of the work : and the works of COTELERIUS, COMBEFISIUS, LEO ALLATIUS, and GRETSER, with the Orthodoxographa, and the Bibliotheca Patrum, have supplied me with most of the writings of the Minor Authors, while the more voluminous ones have been either borrowed or purchased, that I might knowingly omit nothing requisite for the better performance of the Work. The editions of the Fathers generally used have been the Benedictine ; and wheresoever I could find help I have been glad to avail myself of it, but in no one instance has trust in the authority of others superseded my own perusal of the several Authors, whenever they have been in either public or private Libraries to which I could possibly gain access; and from such perusal have the opinions and judgments expressed been formed. To my Father's invaluable Library I have been very considerably indebted, and I should have rejoiced if his health and time would have allowed him to finish the whole work; but he proceeded no farther than to the conclusion of St. Basil's Writings, and all his Papers have been embodied and printed in the first part : also to Dr. Beek, the present venerable Dean of Bristol, and to J. S. Harford, Esq., of Blaise Castle, I have been obliged for the loan of books which I could not otherwise have obtained : I mention these names as the only means which I possess of recording my grateful sense of the kindness of those who bear them.
To the Reader I would say a few words :--this Work is not designed to supersede, but to excite to, the study of the Fathers, who are now unduly neglected, as they have been in past times extravagantly esteemed—thus even the solid gold may be foolishly despised because it has been framed into an Idol and worshipped as a God.- Among the earlier Fathers he will find several who abound
in copious materials for the use of the Divine, in riches of natural and therefore heart-searching eloquence, and in ample matter even to satiate curiosity: no Clergyman should voluntarily be ignorant of them, as he would thus cut himself off from the possession of stores which may serve for hints capable of amplification, not as borrowed plumes wherewith to shine in another's beauty; and sometimes for models of plain practical exposition, attractive from novelty of illustration and urged with that warmth of language and depth of feeling which sinks at once into the heart, even before the will has time to give consent to its entrance.—The Greek Writers, he will observe, give less countenance to doctrinal errors than the Latin : and on every account they are generally to be preferred, as giving more sterling metal with less alloy, as less under the influence of that kind of spiritual government which causes to err, and as less pledged to the support of individual power or the maintainance of those errors in creed productive of undue authority in the Rulers, and of ignorance and wandering in the People.
Imperfections in the Work I am well aware there must be, and errors there may be, but perhaps the Reader will guide himself by the words which I adopt from an Asiatic,
التماس از فضلي روزگار و بلغاي ادوار است هر جا و خطاي واقع شود بذيل كرم بپوشند و قلم اصلاح بر آن جاري دارند و
My request from the instructed of time and the matured of
ages is this, every place where a fault or an omission occurs let the garment of Generosity hide, and let the pen of Correction pass gently over it.
J. B. B. CLARKE.
Frome, Nov. 10, 1831.
Abbo, of Neustria
Acropolita, George 1261 749
Adso, the Monk
Ælfric, Archbishop of
rea in Cappadocia 500 270
Bp. of Constantinople 437 222
shop of Clermont 472 256
1255 · 745