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through the influence of his royal pupil, prince Philip, brother to the reigning king, Louis the Young. The king offered the bishopric to his brother, who was educated for the ecclesiastical state, but he nobly refused it in favor of his
Peter Lombard's great work was the celebrated Book of Sentences, consisting of a number of passages selected from the works of the fathers, and commented on in such a manner as to present the student with a body of theological doctrines systematically arranged. The convenience of finding every point of theology treated of in a precise and methodical order, and within the compass of a single volume, was speedily recognized, and the Book of the Sentences soon became the favorite text-book used in the schools, both for the lectures of the masters and the private study of their disciples. Hence the title ot Sententiarus, which came to be applied to those who taught or studied the Sentences. Notwithstanding the immense popularity obtained by this work, it is said to contain several important omissions, and even some theological errors, one of which was formally condemned by Pope Alexander JII. Its importance is derived from the circumstance of its being the first attempt to reduce theology to a compact and orderly scientific system; and from this period we date the real rise of the science of scholastic theology.
St. Vincent of Beauvais-The Great Mirror. Vincent of Beauvais, the author of 'The Great Mirror,' was the librarian of the good king St. Louis, and the tutor of his children. He devoted a great part of his life to a gigantic undertaking, the very conception of which attests the colossal scale on which men of those days thought and labored for futurity. He desired to facilitate the pursuit of learning by collecting into one work every thing useful to be known. The plan was not a new one; many such Encyclopædias had already been produced, as that of St. Isidore, and their value was great in an age when the scarcity of books rendered it next to impossible for any ordinary student to procure all the authors he would require to consult, if he desired to perfect himself in various sciences.
He had some special facilities for carrying out his design which were not at the command of ordinary students. He was able to make free use of that noble library collected by St. Louis, and attached by him to the Sainte Chapelle. It was thence that he drew the materials of his work, and nature had endowed him with exactly the kind of genius which his task demanded. Antoine Poissevin says of him that he was a man who was never tired of reading, writing, teaching, and learning; the most gigantic labors did not elarm him; neither work, watching, nor fasting was ever known to cause him fatigue; and after devoting one-half of his life to reading the royal library, and every other collection of books that came within his reach, he did not shrink from employing the other in producing a compendium of all he had read. He limited himself to no one subject, or section of subjects; but resolved to embrace all arts and all sciences, whatever he found that was beautiful and true, in the physical or in the moral world; whatever could make known the wonders of nature, or the yet greater wonders of grace; all that poets, philosophers, historians, or divines had said that was worth remembering—all this he determined to set before his readers in orderly arrangement; and undismayed at the magnitude of his enterprise, he labored at it day and night till it was accomplished. · The Great Mirror,' as he calls his work, is divided into three parts, in which are treated separately, Nature, Doctrine, and History. All his scientific and philosophic views are not, of course, original, for he pro. posed rather to give to the world the cream of other men's thoughts than bis own. But for this very reason the statements contained in his book are of greater value, as they show the shallowness of those charges so continually brought against the science of the middle ages, by writers who have probably concerned themselves very little to ascertain in what that science consisted. Vincent did not write to support new theories or explain away vulgar errors; he aimed only at presenting, in a compendious form, the commonly-received views of his own time, and the times anterior to his own, occasionally illustrating his subject with a sagacious remark, derived from reflection or personal observation. And what a host of misconceptions and traditional calumnies fall to pieces, as we glance through such an analysis of his pages as is given by Rohrbacher! How then, we exclaim, did not the medieval savants oscillate between the opinion that the earth was a flat plane, and that other equally luminious view, that it was a cube? Is is possible that they knew anything of the principle of the attraction of gravitation, and stranger still, that they explained the spherical form of the earth by reasoning drawn from that very principle? Are we to believe our eyes when we read that Vincent of Beauvais illustrates this part of his subject by reminding us of the globular form of the rain drops, which he says, in language which reads like an anticipation of the verses of Montgomery, are so formed by the very same law as that which regulates the shape of the earth?
And who would expect to find the librarian of St. Louis putting forth the argument which still does good service in our popular class-books, wherein the spherical form of the earth is demonstrated by the gradual disappear. ance below the horizon of the hull and sails of a receding ship, and their as gradual reappearance in a contrary order, on its approach towards us? Yet there it is, together with yet more learned things; such as the method for measuring an arc of the meridian, as a means of obtaining the circumference of the earth, quoted from the writings of Gerbert. His treatment of the metaphysical questions which occupied so much attention at the time at which he wrote, is no less remarkable than his natural philosophy, and Rohrbacher, comparing his explanation of universal ideas with that of Bossuet, gives the preference in point of profundity to the mediæval friar. "Thus, then,' he con. tinues, ' by the middle of the thirteenth century, the religious of St. Dominic and St. Francis had resumed all Christian doctrine, the teaching of the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the Councils into a Sum of theology; St. Thomas had examined in detail the pagan philosophy, had corrected it, and reconciled it with Christian truth. Roger Bacon, the Franciscan, not content with the ancient sciences catalogued by Aristotle, had begun to penetrate deeper into the secrets of nature, and the Dominican, Vincent of Beauvais, presented in his · Mirror'an epitome of all that man, up to that time, knew in nature, science, art, philosophy, and history.' In this work the latter aimed to show that 'all illumination descends to man from God, the Fontal Light; all human science emanates as from its source, from the Divine light. There is the light of sensitive knowledge, the light of mechanical arts, the light of rational philosophy-natural and moral, and lastly, the light of grace and Holy Scripture.'
HUGH, RICHARD, AND ADAM, OF ST. VICTOR. Closely united with Bernard of Clairvaux in their theological views, and in opposition to the rationalistic philosophy of Abelard, and the scholasticism which was then becoming fashionable, were the great scholars of St. Victor's, Hugh, Richard, and Adam.
Hugh of St. Victor, the third prior in succession from William de Champeaux, was styled the second Augustine, from his devoted admiration of that Father. Brought up in a house of canons regular in Saxony, he bore testimony in after life to the care they bestowed on his education. “I do not fear to certify,' he says, 'that they neglected no means of perfecting me in the sciences, and even instructed me in many things which might be thought trilling and extraord. inary.' These words occur in his Didascalion, or Treatise on Studies, which he drew up with the view of remedying the disorderly and unmethodical manner in which most scholars then pursued their academic labors. In it he gives an interesting account of his own early life as a scholar. 'I never despised any. thing that belonged to erudition,' he says, “when I was a scholar, I studied the names of every thing I saw. I committed to memory all the sentences, ques. tions, replies, and solutions I had heard and learnt during the day; and I used to describe the figures of geometry on the floor with charcoal. I do not say this to boast of my knowledge, which is nothing, but to show that be proceeds best who proceeds with order. You will find many things in histories and other books, which taken in themselves seem of little profit, but which never. theless are useful and necessary when taken in connection with other things.' Hugh, like all the disciples of this school, advocated the old system, according to which all the parts of knowledge stood in mutual relation to one another, and theology dominated over the whole. In his Treatise De Vanitate Mundi, he describes an imaginary school, in which is no doubt depicted that of his own monastery. The students are described divided into groups, according to the different subjects on which they are engaged. All the liberal arts are cultivated in turn, and while the fingers of some are employed in designing or coloring an illuminated page, others are studying the nature of herbs, or the constitution of the human frame. As a spiritual writer, Hugh of St. Victor is considered to be surpassed by his disciple Richard of St. Victor, a Scotchman by birth, and one of the greatest mystic theologians of the Church. The special doctrines insisted on by this school were those which put forth faith, and not reason, as the ground of certainty, and maintained that reason was to be exercised only to demonstrate the truths that were held by faith. Abelard, in his extravagant exaltation of the claims of reason, had gone so far in his *Introduction to Theology,' as to define faith as an opinion, and to depreciate a too ready belief, praising that cautious philosophy which does not yield its faith till it has subjected all things to the test of reason. To believe without doubting, acc ng to this view of things, was the religion of women and children; to doubt all things before we believe them was alone worthy of the dignity of man. The scholars of St. Victor not only vindicated the true claims of faith, but they sought to prove that faith itself must rest on the foundation stone of charity. They loved to remind their disciples of those words of Our Lord, “If any man will do the will of God, he shall know of the doctrine.' Charity, they said, is then the foundation, and Humility the key, to all true
science, and we can understand the Truth of God only in proportion as we
ALBERT THE GREAT OF COLOGNE.
The convent of Cologne had already been founded by Henry of Utrecht; and a namesake of his, Henry the German, who had begun life as a student, then assumed the cross, and finally taken the religious habit, became its first theological professor. • And there, in 1230, arrived the young Swabian, Albert of Lauingen, who had been drawn to the Dominican order, whilst pursuing his studies at Padua. Albert during his student-life had been remarkable for his love the old classic literature, and his enthusiastic admiration for Aristotle; and had already displayed a singular attraction to those physical sciences which he afterwards so profoundly studied. He had examined various natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, the mephitic vapors issuing from a long closed well, and some curious marks in a block of marble, which he explained in a manner which betrays an acquaintance with some of the chemical theories of modern geology. After going through his theological course at Bologna, he was appointed to fill the vacant post of professor at Cologne, where he taught sacred and human science for some years, and lectured moreover at Hildesheim, Strasburg, Friburg, and Ratisbonn, in which last city an old hall is shown which still bears the title of ' Albert's School.? Converted into a chapel hy one of his successors and ardent admirers, it may be supposed to exhibit the same form and arrangement as that which it bore five centuries ago. Round the walls are disposed ancient wooden seats, for the accommodation of the hearers, and fixed against the middle of the wall is an oak chair, or rather pulpit, covered with carvings of a later date, representing St. Vincent Ferrer delivering a lecture, and a novice in the attitude of atten. tion. The chair is of double construction, containing two seats, in one of which sit the master, and in the other the bachelor, who explained under him the Book of the Sentences. All around are texts from the Holy Seriptures, fitly chosen to remind the student in what spirit he should apply himself to the pursuit of sacred letters. “Ama scientiam Scripturarum, et vitia carnis non amabis.' 'Qui addit scientiam addit et laborem.' 'Bonitatem et disciplinam et scientiam doce me.' 'Qui fecerit et docuerit, hic magnus vocabitur in regno cælorum.' 'Videte ne quis vos decipiat per philosophiam, secundum elementa mundi, et non secundum Christum.'
In such a hall as this we may picture to ourselves the Blessed Albert the Great lecturing at Cologne in 1245, where he first received among liis pupils that illustrious disciple whose renown, if it eclipsed his own, at the same time constitutes his greatest glory. There are few readers who are not familiar with the student life of St. Thomas of Aquin, the silent habits which exposed him to the witticisms of his companions, who thought the young Sicilian a dull sort of importation, and nicknamed him “the dumb ox;' the obliging compassion which moved a fellow-student to offer him his assistance in explaining the lessons of the master, and the modesty and humility with which this greatest of Christian scholars veiled his mighty intellect, and with the instinct of the saints, rejoiced to be counted the least among his brethren. But the day came which was to make him known in his true character. His notes and replies to a difficult question proposed by Albert from the writings of St. Denys, fell into the hands of his master, who reading them with wonder and delight, commanded him on the following day to take part in the scholastic disputation. St. Thomas obeyed, and the audience knew not whether most to admire his eloquence or his erudition. At last Albert, unable to restrain his astonishment, broke out into the memorable words, 'You call this the dumb ox, but I tell you his roaring will be heard thronghout the whole world.' From that day St. Thomas became the object of his most solicitous care; he assigned him a cell adjoining his own, and when in the course of the same year he removed to Paris, to govern the school of St. James for three years, in order afterwards to graduate as doctor, he took his favorite scholar with him.
His doctor's triennium had scarcely expired when he was recalled to Cologne to take the Regency of the Slulium Generale, newly erected in that city; and St. Thomas accompanied him to teach, as licentiate or bachelor, in the school which proved the germ of a future university. This epoch of Albert's life appears to have been that in which most of his philosophic writings were produced. They consist chiefly of his Commentary on Aristotle,' in which, after collating the different translations of that author with extraordinary care, he aims at presenting the entire body of his philosophy in a popular as well as a Christian form; a commentary on the Book of the Sentences; other commentaries on the Gospels, and on the works of St. Denys, all of which are preserved; and a devout paraphrase of the Book of the Sentences cast into the form of prayers, which has been lost. His published works alone fill twentyone folio volumes, and it is said that a great number of other treatises exist in manuscript. The course of the stars; the structure of the universe; the nature of plants, animals, and minerals, appear to him unsuitable subjects for the investigation of a religious man; and he hints that the seculars who paid for the support of such students by their liberal alms expected them to spend their time on more profitable studies. The reader need not be reminded that Albert was not singular in directing his attention to these subjects, and that tbe scientific labors of our own Venerable Bede have ever been considered as among his best titles to admiration as a scholar. But more than this, it is surely a narrow and illiberal view to regard the cultivation of science as foreign to the purposes of religion. At the time of which we are now speaking, as in our own, physical science was unhappily too often made an instrument for doing good service to the cause of infidelity. It was chiefly, if not exclusively, in the hands of the Arabian philosophers, who had drawn great