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of the cloud and sea. 3. The purifications under the law. 4. The baptism of John. 5. That appointed by Christ. 6. The baptism of tears. 7. That of blood, or martyrdon. 8. That of eternal fire, in which the wicked will be merged forever.
I have given a more particular account of this celebrated work, because it is the first of its kind that occurs in the history of the Church, and because of the high estimation in which it was long held in the Eastern church, and is, perhaps, to the present day.
There was no new system of doctrine composed, so far as we know, in the ninth century. John, of Damascus, was high authority among the Greeks, while the Latins acquiesced in the decisions of Augustine. The great writers of the age were Rabanus Maurus, Jobn Scotus, and Gotteschalk. The doctrine of transubstantiation began to be moved by Radbert, and was op posed by Scotus and Rabanus Maurus. It was not finally estabIished in the Romish church, until the sixteenth century, Gottescbalk distinguished himself by reviewing and advocating the doctrine of Augustine, respecting predestination and grace; and, strange as it may seem, while the name of Augustine was held in great veneration, these doctrines were opposed, and Gotteschalk was severely persecuted.
During this century, the mystic theology, and with it monkery, were greatly promoted in the west, by the translation of the reputed work of Dionysius, the Aropagite, into Latin,
The tenth century produced no new work on systematic theology. John, of Damascus, was still the oracle among the Greeks, while Gregory and Angustine were the principal authorities with the Latins. The predestinarian and sacramentarian controversies were continued, thongh with less vigour than in the preceding age. Indeed, the tenth century was a period of great darkness and ignorance, when there seemed to be scarcely enough of life in the Church to maintain a controversy of any kind. The principal topic of interest was the coming of Christ, which, through the greater part of the century, was iminediately expected, producing its usual results when not rightly improved, in the neglect of business, squandering of property, pilgrimages to Jerusalem, &c.
In the eleventh century, theology was more studied than in the preceding, and discussions assumed more of the scholastic form, The sacramentarian controversy was vigorously prosecuted. Transnbstantiation was opposed by Berengar, and advocated by Lanfranc and others. The two principal theologians of the age were Anselm and Hildebert. Anselın did not profess to write a system of theology; and yet most of the points of a system are discussed in his several works, and that, too, with great acuteness. In his little work entitled, An Deus Homo, he insists on the fallen state of man, and his need of an Almighty Saviour to make expiation for his sins; and shows that an Incarnate God, and he only, could perform the office of Mediator.
Hildebert, bishop of Mans, and afterwards archbishop of Tours, prepared wbat may be called a system of Divinity. It is divided into forty chapters, and occupies some ninety folio pages in his works. It treats of the nature of faith, free-will, and sin, the trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, of depravity, predestination, and grace, and of the sacraments. It scarcely touches upon the important subjects of atonement, regeneration, and sanctification. The author's method is, first, to substantiate each doctrine by passages from Scriptore and the fathers, and then to remove difficulties and objections by the help of reason and philosophy; thus uniting the positive method with the scholastic. Meagre as this publication was, it came the nearest to a proper system of theology of any that had as yet been written in the Latin language. Hildebert was long studied, and was a model, as to method, for those who came after him.
The twelfth century was a period of more theological activity than any which had preceded it. The famous Abelard, by his lectures and books, gave a new impulse to the scholastic theology. He is thonght by some to bave published a system, but it seems to have been little more than an introduction. He was the great liberalist of the age, and was strenuously opposed by the more pions and equally celebrated Bernard, Abbot of Clairval. Bernard was a voluminous writer, but pat forth no regular system of theology. Systems were published, however, by several individuals; among whom were Hugo of St. Victor, William of Auxerre, and Robert Pulleyn, a distinguished scholar of England. But the most celebrated of all works of this kind which had yet appeared in the Latin world, was the sentences of Peter Lombard. These sentences are propositions, taken from the fathers,-chiefly from Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine, and are divided into four books. Lombard begins by saying, after Augnstine, that all knowledge pertains either to things or signs. The things to be known are again divided into such as are to be enjoyed, and such as may be used. Accordingly, in his first book, he treats of things to be enjoyed. These all may be comprised in God, the supreme good of man,-in his nature, his attributes, and the mysterious mode of his existence, three persons in one God. These constitute the subject of his first book. The second book treats of things to be used, viz: of the creation, of the formation of angels and men, of the apostacy of angels and men, of grace and freewill, of original and actual sin. In his third book, Lombard treats of the Incarnation and sacrifice of Christ, of redemption, faith, charity, and good works. Having spoken of things, the fourth and last book treats chiefly of signs, that is, the sacraments. These can be no more and no less than seven, as seven is a sacred number. In some of the last sections of this book, the author treats of the resurrection, the judgment, and the final state. Such is the plan of this celebrated work, which was a principal text book in theology for several hundred years. The author was commonly called the Master of Sentences ;” and learned divines, for several centuries, employed themselves in writing commentaries on his work.
In the thirteenth century, the scholastic theology was in the highest repute. It was opposed, indeed, by the positives and mystics ; but all who aspired to fame and influence adopted the scholastic method, and were collectively called schoolmen. They studied Aristotle more than the Bible, and were metaphysical philosophers rather than Christians. To save their credit as philosophers, and yet not endanger their studying as Christians, they invented the distinction of a thing philosophically true, yet theologically false. Many propositions which they believed as philosophers, they rejected as Christians.
Many in this age wrote commentaries on Lombard's Sentences, and several prepared summas or systems of theology for themselves. Prominent among the latter class were Albertus Magnus, and Thomas Aquinas. Albert wrote a compend of theology, in seven books. Acquinas wrote a much larger system, in three parts. In the first part, he treats of God,--his essence, attributes, and operations; of his blessedness; of the three Divine persons, their processions and relations. The second part is chiefly ethical and practical, treating of the Christian experience and virtues. In the third part, Acquinas speaks of the means of coming to God,—the Incarnation of Christ, and the sacraments. Aquinas' works are published in 17 folio volumes, three of which are occupied with his Summa Theologio.
Compends of theology were also written, in the thirteenth century, by Alexander Hales, by Henry of Ghent, and by Pope Innocent III.
The fourteenth century was less fruitful in summas, or systems of theology, than the thirteenth. The Summa of Aquinas was in great repute, and was translated into Greek. Distinct commenta: ries were written on Lombard's Sentences by not less than thirty individuals. Duns Scotus' Commentary on Lombard occupies six folio volumes. This century was one of much keen theological controversy. Duns Scotus and Occam wrote against the doctrine of Aquinas on the subjects of predestination and grace; Acquinas affirming, and Scotus denying, the theology of Augustine. And as Aquinas was a Dominican, and Scotus a Franciscan, these rival orders of monks entered deeply into the controversy. There were controversies, also, between the different classes of theologians, the Biblical, the Scholastic, and the Mystic. This, also, was the age of John Wickliffe, and of the controversies awakened by his writings. Wickliffe wrote much, and on many subjects, but left no connected system of theology.
In the fifteenth century, we find little done in the way of preparing new systems. Many studied the Summa of Aquinas, and more wrote commentaries on the Sentences of Lombard. The scholastic method of teaching theology was in less repute than it had been, while the mystics were coming into favour. It was in this age that Thomas à Kempis, who was a mystic, wrote the popular treatise ascribed to him on the Imitation of Christ. The ignorance of the clergy in respect to the Bible was deplorable. Multitudes of them had never seen a Bible, but depended entirely on their glosses and summas for all that they knew of it. This age witnessed the martyrdoin of John Huss and Jerome of Prague, and the bloody Bohemian wars, by which their sufferings were avenged.
We come, at length, to the sixteenth century, the time of the Protestant reformation. It is no part of my object to write a history of the reformation, or of the endless disputes and controversies which grew out of it. We have to do, at present, with systems of theology. I am not aware that any system of note appeared in this century among the Romanists. Several of their learned men wrote commentaries on the Sentences of Lombard, and on the Summa of Aquinas; but they were too much engaged in controversy to draw out a system for themselves.
Among the Protestants, several important works were published. The Loci Communes of Melancthon, went through sixty editions, during the author's life, and served as a common guide to the Lutheran teachers for a long period. Ursinns, a disciple of Melancthon, published a system of theology, in the latter part of the century. At an earlier period, Zuingle published his work on True and False Religion, for the benefit of the Swiss churches. But the greatest theological work of the age was Calvin's Institutes, which long held the same rank and authority in the Reformed churches, which Melancthon's Common Places did among the Lutherans. It is a standard work in theology, at the present day. Others among the Reformed, who prepared compends of theology, were Musculus, Piscator, Peter Martyr, and Zanchy.
In this age, most of the creeds which have any authority at the present day were composed. The creed of the Romish church was published by the Council of Trent, about the middle of the sixteenth century. The Augsburg Confession, which was the creed of the Lutheran church, was written earlier, by Melancthon. The creeds of the different Reformed churches, in Switzerland, Holland, France, England, and Scotland, were drawn up and published in the latter part of the century.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were fruitful in systems of divinity, especially among the Protestants. I cannot pretend to give a completə list of the authors, or to go into a description of their several works. The following are some of the more distinguished :
In the Lutheran church, Calixtus wrote in the 17th century; Buddæus, Dæderlein, and Næsselt, in the 18th; and Knapp, Morus, and Storr and Flatt, in the 18th and 19th.
Among the Swiss, Turretin wrote in the 17th century, and Pictet and Osterwald in the 18th.
Among the Scotch, John Brown, of Haddington, and Dr. George Campbell prepared systems in the 18th century, and Dr. John Dick in the 19th.
In the Churcb of England we have Bishop Pearson, Bishop Burnet, and Tilenus in the 17th century; Stackhonse, Dr. John Edwards, and Dr. Fiddes in the 18th; and Newland in the 19th. Newland is little more than an analysis of the system of Burnet.
Among the English dissenters, Milton and Thomas Watson wrote in the 17th century; Doddridge, Ridgley, and Gill in the 18th, and Richard Watson in the 19th. Of these, Dr. Gill was a Baptist, and Richard Watson a Wesleyan Methodist.
Of Dutch theologians, we have Limborch, Marck, Wigandus, and Binchius in the 17th century, and Herman Witsius in the 18th.
In our own country, the following divines, among others, have published systems of theology : President Willard, in the 17th century; Dr. Samuel Hopkins, in the 18th; and Doctors Dwight, Woods, and Schmucker, in the 19th. Neither President Edwards nor Dr. Emmons can be said to have prepared a formal system, though they wrote largely and connectedly on theological subjects.
In the commencement of this article, I remarked on the advantages of system in theology; believing them to be as great in this branch of knowledge as in any other.
word as to the appropriate province of system or science in theology, I close. In order to be a benefit, science in theology, as in other things, must confine itself to facts. Science cannot make facts, here or anywhere else. Nor is it allowable for science to supply theories or conjectures, where facts are wanting. As in nature, true science has to deal with the facts of nature; so in theology, it has to deal with the facts of theology. These are clearly made known, some of them in the works of God, but more in his word; and it is the province of the theologian to take them as they are, arrange them appropriately and connectedly, and show their consistency one with another. This is scientific or systematic theology: Above it, and beyond it, is practical theology—the truth of the Bible turned into motives, and pressed upon the conscience and the heart.
In theology, thus studied and pursued, there can be no danger. It will be a help. and a source of happiness to the inquiring soul. It will be a means of sanctification, and of final salvation.