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Anna, was not introduced until the sixth century, in the reign of the Emperor Justinian. We have evidence now that it was celebrated as early as the fourth century.
In the year 1887 Gamurrini, the librarian of a lay brotherhood in Arezzo in Tuscany, published the contents of a manuscript volume, one of the chief treasures of his library, viz. a portion of the lost treatise of St. Hilary of Poitiers De Mysteriis, two hymns, and an account of a journey to the Holy Land by a female pilgrim in the fourth century. The treatise of Hilary furnishes a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the old Latin version of the Bible. The narrative of the pilgrimage, besides much other interesting topographical and liturgical information, records that this feast of the Purification was then yearly celebrated at Jerusalem. Internal evidence fixes the date of the pilgrimage to be between 381 and 388. On the one hand Nisibis was then in the power of the Persians, into whose hands it passed in 363; and as the Catholic bishops appear to have been in possession of their sees, and not to be suffering from Arian persecution, it is concluded that the time was after the death of Valens in 378. On the other hand, the then Bishop of Edessa is spoken of as a confessor ; and this could scarcely refer to anything but an incident of the Arian persecution under Valens; but Eulogius, the last bishop who could be described as confessor, died in 388. Other proofs need not be here enumerated ; but it may be noted that the writer takes all her numerous Scripture quotations from the old Latin, and appears to be ignorant of Jerome's Vulgate. After the determination of the date comes the question who this pilgrim was. She appears to have been the head of a sisterhood, for the information of whose members the account of her travels is written. Latin is her native tongue, though she knew enough of Greek to be able to give the sisters an explanation of a few Greek phrases that occur in her story. In describing the Euphrates she says that the current is like that of the Rhone, but that the river is broader, whence it has been inferred that she came from Gaul; and this conclusion is confirmed by the peculiarities of her Latin style. She appears to have been a person of some consideration ; for she was everywhere courteously received by the bishops and leading clergy of the places she visited, and was furnished with a guard of soldiers in travelling from Sinai to Egypt..
Gamurrini selects as the person best fulfilling these conditions St. Silvia of Aquitaine, a sister of Rufinus, Prefect of the East under Theodosius the Great, of whose journey from
Jerusalem to Egypt there is a notice in the Historia Lausiaca of Palladius. And we acquiesce in this conclusion, notwithstanding a difficulty raised by Dr. Bernard, who translated this pilgrimage for the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society. He remarks that if this narrative be Silvia's, Palladius must have greatly exaggerated her asceticism; for Palladius tells how Silvia rebuked the luxuriousness of a deacon, Jubinus, her companion in travel, who, in consequence of the extreme heat, was guilty of the laxity of washing himself in cold water. • Here am I,' she said, 'now in my sixtieth year, and never has face or foot or any of my limbs touched water, save the tips of my fingers, and that for the sake of communion.' Even when very ill, and the physicians ordered me to take a bath, I would not yield. Never have I slept on a bed or travelled in a litter.' But this pilgrim complains of the steepness of Mount Sinai, which prevented her from being carried up in a chair and obliged her to walk; while on Mount Nebo she only walked in places where she could not ride on an ass. Whoever she was it is easy to judge what interest there is in a minute account given by a traveller at the end of the fourth century of a journey from Mount Sinai to Egypt, thence to Jerusalem, to Mesopotamia, and finally to Constantinople, and how much information may be derived from it both as to the topography of the countries visited and the liturgical usages of the Church of the time.
We had intended to conclude with a discussion of the newly-discovered Gospel of St. Peter ; but our article has already run to such a length, that we postpone the discussion to another opportunity. And we are not sorry to do so; for an edition of this Gospel has been promised by Dr. Swete, the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge ; and other commentaries on it are likely to be published, of which we may hope to avail ourselves.
It would appear that the method of reception directed by Cyril of Jerusalem was not universal at the time.
Through an oversight which we much regret we failed to notice an announcement made in the Atheneum of August 6, 1892, by Mr. Rendel Harris, of the discovery at Mount Sinai of a new text of the old Syriac version of the Gospels (Curetonian Syriac).' This will be a new second-century authority for the text of the Gospels completely indepen. dent of any previously known. It does not contain the twelve verses of St. Mark. The Athenæum informs us that a copy has already been made and is under the examination of well-known English editors.'
ART. III.—PROFESSOR HUXLEY'S CONTRO
Essays upon some Controverted Questions. By THOMAS H.
HUXLEY, F.R.S. (London and New York, 1892.)
PROFESSOR HUXLEY presents us with 625 mortal pages of controversial matter; the other side, as he aptly reminds us, is not represented. The essays, therefore, resemble the collected speeches of some eminent advocate or politician. They will be read, accordingly, not as text-books of information, but as specimens of the brilliant ability of a celebrated man. We know not if in this respect they will add much to the Professor's assured fame. For our own part admiration of their talent is much tempered by their egotism and the supercilious irony with which he treats his opponents, no matter how eminent in character or ability. The polemic is clever of its class, but it is not a high class.
How can that be a high class of controversy which treats at length upon questions involving religion and morals, yet has not a word of religion or morality from beginning to end? The reader finds, indeed, an essay entitled Science and Morals,' but morals are absent from it. Physics are the Professor's sole province. He admits even of our humble cousin the orang that the feelings of sweetness and of satisfaction which for a moment hang out their signal lights in his melancholy eyes, are as utterly outside the bounds of physics as the fine frenzy of a human rhapsodist' (p. 215). The frenzy of the poet is outside physics, and so is the prayer of the saint and the repentance of the sinner. There is not a word in this book which recognizes as any part of its concern the idea of God or of salvation, of the future life or of the moral conflict. About these ideas religion has busied itself all through history. Neither poet nor yet saint has seemed to his brother men to inhabit an outside world. But Professor Huxley might busy himself about his physical science without reproof from religion if he could do so without moving his religious neighbour's landmark. He is quite welcome to say that their country is outside for him, if he would only leave it so. Sometimes (pp. 53, 233) he murmurs a profession that he recognizes the bounds; but this is never made without an obvious hint that things want mending in the province of religion if he only thought it worth while to visit it. And his profession of keeping his hands off does not last. He constantly invades the province of religion ; and if it is possible for anyone, it is not possible for him so to treat the scientific question as to keep clear of the religious.
But, indeed, how can anyone assail the authority of the Lord, or, if the Professor prefers it, the authority of the Gospels which make Him known to us, without raising the whole religious question ? Can we see Jehu drive thus furiously into our precincts without asking him ‘Comest thou peaceably ?' And though Mr. Huxley often seems to renounce the character of an enemy of religion, we have no doubt that this volume of essays, so carefully collected and republished, will suffice to affix it to him. We know he will reply that he does not care the Duke of Wellington's standard of minimum value about that. But perhaps it may affect his literary and scientific conscience to remember that, if he was going to write a volume against religion, this is an extremely incomplete and disorderly method in which to do it, and quite unworthy of the thorough and systematic author of Physiography. His series of trifling attacks on Christianity are like Caligula's war on the ocean, who charged the border of the wave and picked up pebbles on the shore. : However, neither agnosticism in general nor yet Professor Huxley assumes the position of an enemy of religion. Many, he tells us, suppose that when the mistakes of our predecessors in the faith have been exposed, nothing remains but to throw the Bible aside as so much waste paper. But, he proceeds, in his usual manner-a little arrogant, perhaps, but kind :
'I have always opposed this opinion. It appears to me that if there is anybody more objectionable than the orthodox Bibliolater, it is the heterodox Philistine, who can discover in a literature, which in some respects has no superior, nothing but a subject for scoffing and an occasion for the display of his conceited ignorance of the debt he owes to former generations' (p. 50).
It will be hard if men should persist in holding that an author who takes religion thus kindly by the hand has really not a word to say which shows a comprehension of what religion is. Will they indeed have the heart to class him, not merely with the heterodox among whom he willingly stands, but among the Philistines and the scoffers who write about the Bible without ever showing that they feel what the essential ideas of the Bible are, or what recommends it to mankind ? We fear they will. And perhaps it is not unreasonable to say that if Professor Huxley wants the Bible to be still respected, he ought either to leave off assailing it or else tell us what reason for respect is to remain to us when we have allowed for all he has to advance. Is he really one of those vain talkers who imagine that the ethics of the Bible could be retained without its faith in the supernatural ? If he does not belong to that foolish class, he ought not to use their language.
Professor Huxley is the original author of the term Ag. nostic, and his works must show us an example of the working of the idea which the name embodies. Agnosticism is the child of evolution, and its professors, therefore, cannot possibly take a hostile attitude to religion. How can they quarrel with so undoubted a fact in the development of man? They might as well say that man ought not to see with eyes or walk with legs, as that he ought to do without religion. Much might be said to prove that better means of vision and progression could be suggested; but eyes and legs persist. And the same is the case with religion. What right of existence, or what claim to trust, have the scientific faculties whereby evolution is argued, that is not equally possessed by religion? Have not these faculties experienced variations, degradations, errors, as religion has done? Yet the recognition of their existence and the trust in their testimony is a necessary fact of human nature, and as such claims the highest recognition from the Agnostic evolutionist; the only recognition which his philosophy is capable of extending to any quality of man. For it knows nothing of abstract right or reason, and simply accepts the maxim of the old hermit of Prague, that what is, is.
Religion undoubtedly is : what, then, is religion ? Will the common sense of mankind ever accept the doctrine that the essential nature of this mighty factor in history is found in the negation of all knowledge. Agnosticism is incapable of producing an emotion of love, hope, or fear, exccpt by permitting some surmise of a knowledge of the unseen, which in its principles is illegitimate. If it cannot know, it is a weakness to allow itself to guess. But at all events if any large number among mankind should take up such a sad and contradictory position, they will never consider that the monotonous sarcasm of Professor Huxley is the appropriate style for so negative a message.
If the questions upon which Professor Huxley undertakes to enlighten the religious world were those which concern his own or the kindred sciences, we should listen with the most respectful attention. Sometimes they are, and he will not find the Church in this country unwilling to be instructed by him in such matters. Our predecessors have made too many