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puts it into the mouth of the centurion who guarded the tomb.
The fact that his name for this centurion, Petronius, is unknown to legendary story, confirms the conclusion we had on other grounds arrived at, that the Gospel of Peter had never more than an extraordinarily limited circulation. It appears in its resurrection life to have met with more honour and found more readers than it ever enjoyed before its long extinction. The Christians of the second century, who have been sneered at as credulous and uncritical by their successors of the present day, might be tempted to be contemptuous in return if they could know the amount of study we bestow on what they regarded as unworthy their attention. Men's imaginations cannot but be affected by a discovery made in their own time, but we cannot help thinking that if all we now know about the Gospel of Peter had come to light 300 years ago, it would not once occur to us now to ascribe to this Gospel the parentage of so many fatherless traditions. Harnack certainly completely lost his head, when in the excitement of the new discovery he ascribed to Peter all the uncanonical sayings or anecdotes of our Lord for which no other authority can be named. If this were so, Peter's Gospel must have had astonishingly large circulation and influence. Yet we are to believe that when Christians desired to make their Gospel history complete by finding names for everyone who had taken part in it, they quite overlooked the Gospel which bore the name of the Chief of the Apostles, to which they had been indebted for their knowledge of such sayings as . Be ye good money-changers,' and such a narrative as that of the woman taken in adultery. The fourth-century compiler of Acts of Pilate was forced to invent a name, Longinus, for himself, and no subsequent writer has preferred Peter's account to his.
On the whole, our verdict is that while we feel the greatest interest in the recovery of a genuine portion of a second-century document-interest not diminished by the fact that it throws light on the ideas of a heretical sect, rather than on those of the Catholic Church, concerning which other evidence is abundant-we must pronounce it to be a critical blunder of the first magnitude to treat this document as one that ever had wide circulation or that largely influenced Christian thought.
The list prefixed to this article does not profess to give a complete bibliography of what has been written about the Gospel of Peter ; our plan being to name only those essays which we had read ourselves and from which we have learned something. But we are bound to confess that Schubert's work and Dr. Swete's edition only reached us since our article was written, and that we have made no use of them. We are glad, however, to find ourselves in substantial agreement with Dr. Swete in the view we have taken. Our great respect for Dr. Martineau forbade us to exclude from our list his contribution to the study of this Gospel. But he is more at home in the regions of abstract thought than in the dull work of accurate reporting of facts. His opening sentence will serve to illustrate the kind of carping criticism into which one is tempted by almost every one of his statements. He speaks of the mediæval Egyptian tradesman who took with him into his grave a ready reckoner, an Apostolic Gospel, and a book of Revelation. One of those troublesome people who value exactness above everything would object—'It was not a Gospel and a Revelation, but a commonplace book into which a piece of a Gospel and a piece of Revelation had been copied ;' and he might go on to ask, “Who told you that the occupier of the grave was a mediæval tradesman ?' and if he had not a keen sense of humour he might further ask, 'Is a man to be held responsible for having carried with him into his grave everything that is found there after his decease?' Having put Dr. Martineau's article into our list, we thought it right to include also the article published on the same day by Dr. Dillon, an enviable person who is able to write with all the happy cocksureness of newly acquired half-knowledge.
The length to which our discussion of the Gospel of Peter has run will sufficiently excuse us for not saying anything about his Apocalypse.
Art. VII.—JOHN KEBLE. 1. John Keble : a Biography. By WALTER LOCK, Fellow of
St. Mary Magdalen College and Sub-Warden of Keble
College, Oxford. (London, 1893.) 2. A Memoir of the Rev. John Keble. By the Right Hon.
Sir J. T. COLERIDGE. (Oxford and London, 1869.)
It is no derogation to the two scholarly and interesting works at the head of this article to say that the Life of John Keble has yet to be written ; for the authors of both frankly own that their efforts are not to be regarded as final.
My work,' writes Sir John Coleridge, 'will not assume to be a complete biography. Indeed, independently of the reasons which apply to myself personally, it seems to me that the time has hardly yet arrived when this could be done, at once so freely and so dispassionately as it ought to be if done at all. Some one will be found, I have a good hope, in due time to accomplish this more important task, to whom what I am about to do may be of some service' (p. 3).
"The Memoir,' writes Mr. Lock, 'is not complete. I have not had access to all the correspondence. There is still much to be examined and sifted and published, and I can only hope that this volume may serve for a time to revive the memory of its subject, and may then pass away before the completer account of him that ought to be given to the world. It ought to be given to the world ; for there is scarcely a letter or a treatise of his through which there does not shine some glimpse of the beauty of the writer's character, from which the reader does not rise without a sense of being brought nearer to the Presence of God' (Preface).
he rendere due justice on the ciate them
Such admissions go far to disarm criticism ; but they also give the weight of the authority of men who have made the subject their special study to the assertion that a fuller Life of Keble than has yet been written is a desideratum.
Meanwhile we heartily thank Mr. Lock for his valuable contribution to the Keble literature, and gladly own that his hope that this Memoir will be found more complete than any yet published’ is more than justified. In owning this we by no means intend to depreciate the merits of Sir J. T. Coleridge's Memoir. On the contrary, we are inclined to think that due justice has scarcely been done to the service he rendered. As the lifelong and intimate friend of Mr. Keble he did what, from the nature of the case, a later biographer could not possibly do. However complete a future biography may be, we shall always miss the freshness and vividness which a personal acquaintance alone can give. Information at first hand must always have a certain advantage over information at second hand. But it is useless to deny that there are obvious defects in Coleridge's Memoir, which much detract from its value. When Mr. Forster's Life of Charles Dickens appeared a reviewer suggested that there ought to have been a frontispiece representing Mr. Forster standing up in a commanding attitude, and Mr. Dickens sitting down and reverently looking up to him. If this does not exactly apply to Coleridge's Memoir of Keble, there is in it at any rate rather too much of Coleridge and too little of Keble. Under any circumstances the biographer's own reflections and opinions about the exciting events of the Church VOL. XXXVI.--NO. LXXII.
in which Keble took a leading part should have occupied less space, but especially so when the biographer did not really look at matters from the same standpoint as that of his subject. Sir J. T. Coleridge was the keen lawyer and the cultured scholar with the good Churchman superadded ; Mr. Keble was first and foremost the good Churchman, with the cultured scholar superadded. Keble's Churchmanship embraced a far wider horizon than Coleridge's did. It is quite startling to observe how frequently Keble anticipates the views of the
nineties,' while Coleridge invariably expresses the views of the • fifties' and 'sixties. There were more things, not only in heaven and earth, but also in Keble's mind, than Coleridge's philosophy had ever dreamt of. Indeed, in many respects the uncle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, would have been far more capable than his nephew, the judge, of looking at Church matters with Keble's eyes. It is astonishing in how many ways the elder Coleridge anticipated the ideas of the Oxford men, and in how many ways their friend and contemporary, the younger Coleridge, failed to grasp those ideas. The mere fact that Mr. Lock writes a quarter of a century later than Sir J. T. Coleridge places him on a vantage ground; for during the last quarter of a century Church matters have wonderfully changed, and all in the direction in which Keble's eyes were turned ; so that, quite apart from the fact that Mr. Lock has been allowed access to much unpublished correspondence' (Preface), the mere matter of date tends to make his the better memoir. But also, with the single ex. ception of personal acquaintance, he has almost unique qualifications for his task. Keble was an Oxford man through and through, and Mr. Lock has passed the best part of his life at Oxford. A scholar of Keble's own distinguished little college, Corpus Christi, with a university record almost, if not quite, as brilliant as Keble's own; tutor and sub-warden of the college which bears Keble's name and strives to carry out one of Keble's most cherished aspirations; a cordial sympathiser with Keble's Church views, how can he help being attracted to his subject by a kind of natural affinity ? And every page of his book shows that in scholarship and general culture he is equal to the task of writing an appreciative memoir of one who was essentially a cultured scholar. There is one more point on which we must congratulate him. Daniel O'Connell used to say that he could drive a coach and six through any Act of Parliament, or something to that effect. Mr. Lock has achieved a similar exploit. In the prospectus of the series of 'English Religious Leaders,' to
which Mr. Lock's work belongs, it was announced that it was to be a series of short biographies free from party bias. If this rule had been rigorously carried out we should have had a set of vapid, colourless portraits which would have interested nobody. Happily the rule has been more honoured in the breach than the observance. One can no more doubt that John Keble and John Wesley were written by High Church, men than that Charles Simeon was written by a Low Churchman. This is as it should be ; for it is impossible to give a vivid account of an English religious leader, of all men in the world, without party bias, if by party bias be meant sympathy with or antipathy to the distinctive views held by the subject of the biography.
We have, however, one very grave complaint to make against Mr. Lock, and it is a complaint to which he is bound to attend. It is that he has done his work too well. A space of less than two hundred and fifty short pages is not enough to devote to a man like Keble. 'Exoriare aliquis,' every good Churchman will say, who will give us a fuller account-quite as full, say, as Stanley's Life of Arnold? But who is the aliquis to be except Mr. Lock himself ? He has made the field his own, and he is bound to fill it adequately. In answer to the suggestion of the 'completer account’in his preface, we can only reply, in the words of Miles Standish* If you would have a thing well done, you must do it yourself, John.' It is not, we trust, a violation of private confidence if we venture to add that, among the, alas ! rapidly diminishing number of those who knew Keble in his prime, the greatest satisfaction has been expressed with Mr. Lock's labours. Will not that induce him to extend them further? It is quite possible that a fear may arise lest such an extension may clash with the long-promised Life of Dr. Pusey. But really the biographer of Keble must not be kept waiting, like the 'rusticus expectans '—who knows how long? And, moreover, the two works need not clash ; for what is wanted in the case of Keble is not so much an account of the times in which he lived, and of the great events 'quorum pars magna fuit,' but simply of the man John Keble in a much fuller and more detailed form than has ever yet been given.
It is now time that we turned from the biographers to their subject, and in doing so we may surely assume that the main outlines of Keble's life are familiar to our readers. Those who are likely to read the Church Quarterly will be sure to have read some at least of the many books which have