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time, be acknowledged, that this writer follows, in fome places, the dictates CENT. XII. of his own judgment, and gives, upon certain occafions, proofs of penetration and genius. Among the Latins, we might give feveral examples of the injudicious manner of expounding the divine word that prevailed in this century, fuch as the Lucubrations of PETER LOMBARD, GILBERT DE LA POREE, and the famous ABELARD, upon the Pfalms of DAVID, and the. Epiftles of St. PAUL. Nor do thofe commentators among the Latins, who expounded the whole of the facred writings, and who are placed at the head of the expofitors of this age, fuch as GILBERT, bishop of London, furnamed the Univerfal, on account of the vaft extent of his erudition [b], and HERVEY, a most studious Benedictine monk [c], deferve a higher place in our esteem, than the authors already mentioned. The writers that merit the preference among the Latins are RUPERT of Duytz, and ANSELM of Laon; the former of whom expounded feveral books of fcripture, and the latter compofed, or rather compiled, a gloffary upon the facred writings. As to those doctors who were not carried away by an enthufiaftical veneration for the ancients, who had courage enough to try their own talents, and to follow the dictates of their own fagacity, they were chargeable with defects of another kind; for, difregarding and overlooking the beautiful fimplicity of divine truth, they were perpetually bent on the fearch of all forts of myste ries in the facred writings, and were conftantly on the fcent after fome hidden meaning in the plaineft expreffions of fcripture. The people, called Mystics, excelled peculiarly in this manner of expounding and forced, by their violent explications, the word of God into a conformity with their vifionary doctrines, their enthufiaftic feelings, and the fyftem of difcipline which they had drawn from the excurfions of their irregular fancies. Nor. were the commentators, who pretended to logic and philofophy, and who, in effect, had applied themselves to these profound fciences, free from the contagion of myfticifm in their explications of fcripture. They followed, on the contrary, the example of these fanatics, as may be feen by HUGH of St. VICTOR'S Allegorical Expofition of the Old and New Testament, by the Mystical Ark of RICHARD of St. VICTOR, and by the Mystical Commentaries of GUIBERT, abbot of Nogent, on Obadiah, Hofea, and Amos [d]; not to mention several other writers who feem to have been animated by the fame fpirit.

VI. The most eminent teachers of theology refided at Paris, which city was, from this time forward, frequented by ftudents of divinity from all parts of Europe, who reforted thither in crouds, to receive inftruction from thefe celebrated mafters. The French divines were divided into different fects. The first of these fects, who were diftinguished by the title of The Ancient Theologifts, explained the doctrines of religion, in a plain and fimple

[b] For an account of this prelate, fee LE BOEF Memoires coucernant l'Hißoire d'Auxerre, tom. ii. P. 486.

[] An ample account of this learned Benedictine is to be found in GABR. LIRON Singularites Hiftoriques et Litteraires, tom. iii. p. 29.-See alfo MABILLON Annales Bened. tom. vi. p. 477.


[d] The Prologus in Abdiam has been published by MABILLON, in his Annales Benedict. tom. vi. P. 637,


The manner of

teaching theology that now


CENT. XII. manner, by paffages drawn from the holy fcriptures, from the decrees of councils, and the writings of the ancient doctors, and very rarely made use of the fuccours of reafon or philofophy in their theological lectures. In this clafs we place St. BERNARD, PETER, furnamed the Chanter, WALTER of St. VICTOR, and other doctors, who declared an open and bitter war against the philofophical divines. The doctors, which were afterwards known by the name of Pofitivi and Sententiarii, were not, in all refpects, different from these now mentioned. Imitating the examples of ANSELM, archbishop of Canterbury, LANFRANC, HILDEBERT, and other doctors of the preceding century, they taught and confirmed their fyftem of theology, principally, by collecting the decifions of the infpired writers, and the opinions of the ancients. At the fame time, they were far from rejecting the fuccours of reafon, and the difcuffions of philofophy, to which they more especially had recourfe, when difficulties were to be folved, and adverfaries to be refuted, but in the application of which all did not discover the fame degree of moderation and prudence. HUGH of St. VICTOR is fuppofed to have been the firft writer of this century, who taught in this manner the doctrines of Chriftianity digested into a regular fyftem. His example, however, was followed by many; but none acquired fuch a fhining reputation by his labours in this branch of facred erudition, as PETER, bishop of Paris, furnamed LOMBARD, from the country which gave him birth. The Four Books of Sentences of this eminent prelate, which appeared in the year 1172 [e], were not only received with univerfal applaufe, but acquired alfo fuch a high degree of authority, as induced the most learned doctors in all places to employ their labours in illuftrating and expounding them. Scarcely was there any divine of note that did not undertake this popular task except HENRY of Gendt, and a few others [f]; fo that LOMBARD, who was commonly called Master of the fentences, on account of the famous work now mentioned, became truly a claffic author in divinity [g].

The fcholaftics, properly fo called.

VII. The followers of LOMBARD, who were called Sententiarii, though their manner of teaching was defective in fome refpects, and not altogether exempt from vain and trivial queftions, were always attentive to avoid entering too far into the fubtilties of the Dialecticians, nor did they prefumptuously attempt fubmitting the divine truths of the gospel to the un

[e] ERFOLDI LINDENBROGII Scriptores Septemtrionales, p. 250.

[f] A lift of the commentators who laboured in explaining the Sentences of PETER LOMBARD, is given by ANTON. POSSEVINUS, in his Biblioth. Selecta, tom. i. lib. iii. cap. xiv. p. 242.

g) The Book of Sentences, which rendered the name of PETER LOMBARD fo illuftrious, was a compilation of fentences and paffages drawn from the fathers, whofe manifold contradictions this eminent prelate endeavoured to reconcile. His work may be confidered as a complete body of divinity. It confifts of FOUR BOOKS, each of which is fubdivided into various chapters and fections. In the FIRST he treats of the Trinity, and the Divine Attributes; in the SECOND, of the Creation in general, of the Origin of Angels, the Formation and Fall of Man, of Grace and Free Will, of Original Sin and Atual Tranfgreffion; in the THIRD, of the Incarnation, and Perfections of Jefus Chrift, of Faith, Hope, and Charity, of the Gifts of the Spirit, and the Commandments of God. The Sacraments, the Refurrection, the Laft Judgment, and the State of Righteous in Heaven, are the fubjects treated in the FOURTH and laft book of this famous work, which was the wonder of the twelfth century, and is little more than an object of contempt in ours.]



certain and obfcure principles of a refined and intricate logic, which was CENT. XII. rather founded on the excurfions of fancy, than on the nature of things. They had, for contemporaries, another fet of theologifts, who were far from imitating their moderation and prudence in this refpect; a fet of fubtile. doctors who taught the plain and fimple truths of Chriftianity in the obscure terms and with the perplexing distinctions used by the Dialecticians, and explained, or rather darkened, with their unintelligible jargon, the fublime precepts of the wisdom that is from above. This method of teaching theology, which was afterwards called the fcholaftic fyftem, because it was in general use in the schools, had for its author PETER ABELARD, a man of the moft fubtile genius, whofe public lectures in philosophy and divinity had raised him to the highest fummit of literary renown, and who was fucceffivély canon of Paris, and monk and abbot of Ruys [b]. The fame he acquired by this new method, engaged many ambitious divines to adopt it; and, in a fhort space of time, the followers of ABELARD multiplied prodigiously not only in France, but also in England and Italy. Thus was the pure and peaceable wisdom of the gospel perverted into a science of mere fophiftry and chicane; for thefe fubtile doctors never explained or illuftrated any fubject, but, on the contrary, darkened and disfigured the plaineft expreffions, and the most evident truths by their laboured and useless diftinctions, fatigued. both themselves and others with unintelligible folutions of abftrufe and frivolous queftions, and, through a rage for difputing, maintained with equal vehemence and ardor the oppofite fides of the most serious and momentous questions [i].

doctors divided

VIII. From this period, therefore, an important diftinction was made The Chriftian between the Chriftian doctors, who were divided into two claffes. In the into two claffes, first class were placed thofe, who were called by the various names of biblici, called biblici and. Scholaftici. i. e. bible-doctors, dogmatici and pofitivi, i. e. didactic divines, and alfo veteres or ancients; and in the fecond were ranged the fcholaftics, who were alfo diftinguished by the titles of Sententiarii, after the Master of the fentences, and Novi, to express their recent origin. The former expounded, though in a wretched manner, the sacred writings in their public fchools, illustrated the doctrines of Christianity without deriving any fuccours from reafon or philofophy, and confirmed their opinions by the united teftimonies of Scripture and Tradition. The latter expounded, instead of the Bible, the famous Book of Sentences, reduced, under the province of their fubtile philofophy, whatever the gospel propofed as an object of faith, or a rule of practice, and perplexed and obfcured its divine doctrines and precepts by a multitude of vain questions, and idle fpeculations [k]. The method of the fcholaftics exhibited. a pompous aspect of learning, and these fubtile doctors feemed to furpass

[b] ABELARD acknowledges this himself, Epift. i. cap. ix. p. 20. Oper.-See also LAUNOIUS,, De Scholis Caroli M. p. 67. cap. lix. tom. iv. Opp. part. I.

[] CES. EGASSE DE BOULAY, Hiftor. Acad. Parif. tom. ii. p. 201. 583.-ANTON. WOOD,, Antiquit. Oxonienf. tom. i. p. 58.-LAUNOIUS, De varia Ariftotelis fortuna in Acad. Parif cap. iii. p. 187. Edit. Elfwichii Vitemb. 1720. in 8ve.

[k] See BOULAY, Hiftor. Acad. Parif. tom. iii, p. 657.


CENT. XII. their adverfaries in fagacity and genius; hence they excited the admiration

The fcholaftic divines oppofed from different


of the ftudious youth, who flocked to their schools in multitudes, while the biblici, or doctors of the facred page, as they were alfo called, had the mortification to fee their auditories unfrequented, and almost totally deferted [7]. The fcholaftic theology continued in high repute in all the European colleges until the time of LUTHER.

IX. It muft, however, be obferved, that thefe metaphyfical divines had many difficulties to encounter, and much oppofition to overcome, before they could obtain that boundless authority in the European fchools which they enjoyed fo long. They were attacked from different quarters; on the one hand, by the ancient divines, or bible-doctors; on the other, by the mystics, who confidered true wisdom and knowledge as unattainable by study or reasoning, and as the fruit of mere contemplation, inward feeling, and a paffive acquiefcence in divine influences. Thus that ancient conflict between faith and reafon, that had formerly divided the Latin doctors, and had been for many years hushed in filence, was now unhappily revived, and produced every where new tumults and diffenfions. The patrons and defenders of the ancient theology, who attacked the fchoolmen, were GUIBERT abbot of Nogent [m], PETER abbot of Mouftier-la-Celle [n], PETER the Chanter [o], and principally WALTER of St. VICTOR [p]. The myftics alfo fent forth into the field of controverfy upon this occafion their ablest and most violent. champions, such as JOACHIM, abbot of Flori, RICHARD of St. VICTOR, who loaded with invectives the fcholaftic divines and more especially LOMBARD, though he was, undoubtedly, the most candid and modeft doctor of that fubtile tribe. Thefe diffenfions and contests, whofe deplorable effects augmented from day to day, engaged ALEXANDER III, who was pontif at this time, to interpofe his authority in order to reftore tranquillity and concord in the church. For this purpose he convoked a folemn and numerous affembly

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[1] The Book of Sentences feemed to be at this time in much greater repute, than the holy fcriptures, and the compilations of PETER LOMBARD were preferred to the doctrines and precepts of JESUS CHRIST. This appears evident from the following remarkable paffage in ROGER BACON'S Op. Maj. ad Clementem IV, Pontif. Rom. published in 1733 at London, by SAM. JEBB, from the original MSS. Baccalaureus qui legit textum (fcripturæ) fuccumbit lectori fententiarum et ubique in omnibus honeratur et præfertur: nam ille, qui legit fententias, habet principalem horam legendi fecundum fuam voluntatem, habet et focium et cameram apud religiofos: fed qui legit Bibliam, caret bis, et mendicat boram legendi fecundum quod placet lectori fententiarum: et qui legit fummas, difputat ubique et pro magiftro babetur, reliquus qui textum legit, non poteft difputare, ficut fuit hoc anno Bononia, et in multis aliis locis, quod eft abfurdum: manifeftum eft igitur, quod textus illius facultatis (fc. Theologica) fubjicitur uni fumma magiftrali. Such was now the authority of the fcholaftic theology, as appears from the words of BACON, who lived in the following age, and in whose writings there are many things highly worthy of the attention of the curious.

[m] In his Tropologia in Ofeam, p. 203. Opp.

[n] Opufcul. p. 277. 396. edit. Benedi&t.

[o] In his Verbum Abbreviat. cap. iii. p. 6, 7. published at Mons in the year 1639, in 4to. by GEORGE GALOPIN.

[p] In his Libri iv. contra Quatuor Francia Labyrinthos et novos hæreticos. He called Abelard, Gilbert de la Porreé, Lombard, and Peter of Poitiers, who were the principal fcholaftic divines of this century, the four Labyrinths of France. For an account of this work, which is yet in manuscript, fee BOULAY, Hift. Acad. Parif. tom. i. p. 619. 659.

of the clergy in the year 1164 [9], in which the licentious rage of difputing CENT. XII. about religious matters was condemned, and another in the year 1179, in which fome particular errors of PETER LOMBARD were pointed out and cenfured [r].

X. But of all the adverfaries that affailed the fcholaftic divines in this cen- And principally by St. Bernard. tury, none was fo formidable as the famous St. BERNARD, whofe zeal was Ardent beyond all expreffion, and whofe influence and authority were equal to his zeal. And, accordingly, we find this illuftrious abbot combating the Dialecticians, not only in his writings and his conversation, but alfo by his deeds; arming against them fynods and councils, the decrees of the church, and the laws of the ftate. The renowned ABELARD, who was as much fuperior to St. BERNARD in fagacity and erudition, as he was his inferior in credit and authority, was one of the firft, who felt, by a bitter experience, the averfion of the lordly abbot to the fcholaftic doctors. For in the year 1121, he was called before the council of Soiffons, and before that of Sens in the year 1140, in both of which affemblies he was accufed by St. BERNARD of the most pernicious errors, and was finally condemned, as an egregious heretic [3]. The charge brought against this fubtile and learned monk was, that. he had notorioufly corrupted the doctrine of the Trinity, blafphemed against the majefty of the Holy Ghoft, entertained unworthy and falfe conceptions of the perfon and offices of CHRIST, and the union of the two natures in him, denied the neceffity of the divine grace to render us virtuous, and, in a word, that his doctrines ftruck at the fundamental principles of all religion. It must be confeffed by thofe, who are acquainted with the writings of ABELARD, that he expreffed himself in a very fingular and incongruous manner upon feveral points of theology [t]; and this indeed is one of the inconveniences to which fubtile refinements upon myfterious doctrines frequently lead. But it is certain, on the other hand, that St. BERNARD, who had much more genius than logic, misunderstood fome of the opinions of ABELARD, and wilfully perverted others. For the zeal of this good abbot too rarely permitted him to confult in his decifions the dictates of impartial equity; and hence it was, that he almost always applauded beyond measure, and cenfured without mercy [u]. .

[9] ANT. PAGI Critic. in Baronium, tom. iv. ad A. 1164. p 614, 615.

[] MATTH. PARIS, Hiftor. Major, p. 115.-BOULAY, Hiftor. Acad. Parif. tom. ii. p. 402. [] See BAYLE's Dictionary, at the article ABELARD.-GERVAIS, Vie d'Abelard et d'HeloifeMABILLON, Annal. Benedi&. tom. vi. p. 63. 84. 324. 395.-MARTENE, Thefaur. Anecdotor. tom. v. p. 1139.

((4) He affirmed, for example, among other things equally unintelligible and extravagant, that the names Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, were improper terms, and were only used to express the fullness of the fovereign good; that the Father was the plenitude of power, the Son a certain power, and the Holy Ghoft no power at all; that the Holy Ghoft was the foul of the world, with other crude fancies of a like nature, mingled, however, with bold truths.]

[u] See GERVAIS, Vie d'Abelard, tom. ii. p. 162.-LE CLERC, Biblioth. Ancienne et Moderne, tom. ix. p. 352.-DIONYS. PETAV. Dogmata Theolog. tom. i. lib. v. cap. vi. p. 217. as alfo the works of BERNARD, paffim. ABELARD, who, notwithstanding all his crude notions, was a man of true genius, was, undoubtedly, worthy of a better fate, than that which fell to his lot, and of a more enlightened age, than that in which he lived. After paffing through the furnace of perfecution, 4 H XI. ABELARD


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