Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

the chief limitation of this book. The critical process, as applied to the Bible, has made blunders, as every one knows, and has produced some men who have been as intemperate in this field as Haeckel has been in the department of evolution. But biblical criticism as such is too momentous a thing to be confounded and condemned with its accidental errors and its unworthy spokesmen. Perhaps no single movement of the human mind has been of such importance for the lives and souls of men. And to despatch it with a gesture of contempt is fatal to any man's claim to wisdom of judgment or breadth of view. The deep tides of history are not to be sounded with a syllogism or swept back with a shibboleth. But in passing these criticisms we would not be understood as disparaging M. Baudrillart's book in substance. For in substance it is good, keen, honest, and to a high degree practically useful. Priests and educated laymen will find it full of fruitful suggestion and profitable information.

A biography of the man who CARDINAL ALEMAN. presided over the schismatical By Perouse.

council of Basle would have to

be poorly written indeed not to be intensely interesting. That wonderful assembly of recalcitrant prelates, monks, and clerks that sat for eighteen years in council defying the appeals and excommunications of the Roman Pontiff, that stood out so stubbornly for the principle bequeathed by Constance, of a general council's supremacy over the Pope, that deposed the lawful Pope and created the last of the antiPopes, and finally dwindled to pitiable insignificance and died out in ignominy, must ever be accounted a momentous event, whose influence continued long after every man who took part in it had passed away. It began its sessions just after Constance had closed its great career, and wrote the last words of its proceedings at Lausanne only half a century before the outbreak of the mighty revolt which was to lose half of Europe to the ancient Church Basle was a proximate preparation for the Reformation. Constance was a preparation for it too, but remoter. At Basle astounded Europe saw mitred churchmen summon to their tribunal a Pope about whose election there had never arisen a shadow of doubt, and when he answered this unheard of impudence with censures, pronounced him a

schismatic and deposed him. The debates—and they were interminable-turned upon the one revolutionary idea that a general council is absolutely autonomous, and that it has power to do what it wills with the chief Bishop of the Church. Such an example was not without profound effect in every State upon the continent. Forty years afterward Savonarola justified his disobedience of Alexander VI. on the conciliar and papal theories of Constance and Basle. And when fifteen or twenty years after Savonarola, another monk preached the utter abolition of the Papacy, he announced a message for which the minds of men were not unprepared. To the historian Basle and Constance are the seed-time; the Reformation is the harvest.

The president of the schismatical sessions of the council of Basle, whose life has just been conscientiously and ably written by M. Gabriel Perouse,* was Cardinal Louis Aleman, a Frenchman whom Martin V., at the end of the Great Schism, had raised to high honors, but who had fallen into disfavor under Eugenius IV. Aleman stood out pertinaciously in the council for the deposition of Eugenius, and was the means of electing, as anti-Pope, Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, who took the name of Felix V. Aleman was by natural disposition moderate and conciliating. But in pushing on to extreme measures at Basle he was a radical of radicals. This was because he maintained so passionately the supremacy of Council over Pope. To this principle he gave himself up heart and soul, and doubtless held to it as firmly at the hour of his death as at the sessions of the council. Even when the schism had faded almost to extinction, and Felix V. had become a rather ridiculous figure, Aleman gave way not an inch. He was by the side of Felix to the end. Fortunately that end was peaceful; for owing to the efforts of the King of France, Felix abdicated his dubious dignity, and the refractories of Basle acknowledged the real Pope, Nicholas V.

It is astonishing that within seventy-five years from this reconciliation a Pope should have beatified Cardinal Aleman. Yet beatified he was, and he is commemorated to-day in his old diocese of Arles. History has dealt kindly with his virtues, but harshly with his theories. M. Perouse is to be congratulated on 'his excellent biography.

Le Cardinal Louis Aleman, Président du Concile de Bale. Par Gabriel Perouse. Paris : Alphonse Picard et Fils.

Every one knows what great sucANSWERS TO NON-CATHO- cess Mgr. Ségur had in popular

LIC OBJECTIONS. izing the science of apologetics.
By Mgr. de Segur. In all of his various little works

in defense of religion, and of the true faith, he certainly does meet the ordinary man-of-thestreet on his own ground. Consequently, these little volumes have done an immense good. The present one, Answers, * is on a par with the others, and is a good book to place in the hands of the many unfortunates who, being half-educated or poorly educated, have proved themselves unable to withstand the ordinary cheap arguments against religion and the Church. It is a pity that the publishers should choose such a lurid cover-page design, and it is questionable whether the rather melodramatic pictures sprinkled through the text, will attract readers with any power of discrimination. But the text is solid and substantial and sensible, and every Catholic might do well by reading it, and then do better by sending it abroad among his non-Catholic friends.

The latest reprint of St. Teresa's LIFE OF ST. TERESA. autobiography † will be a benefit Translated by Lewis. to two classes of readers espe

cially; those hitherto dismayed by the more or less repellant character of the only editions accessible to the English public will find their hesitation overcome by the attractions of the new edition, and those until now unacquainted with this truly great work will be able to familiarize themselves with it under the most favorable circumstances. When all is said, it remains true that no small share of one's impressions about a book is due to its external appearance, and to the ease with which the text can be read; and the pleasant looking volume before us-printed in new pica type and bound in octavo-certainly offers every inducement to the reader that the publisher could supply. As for the contents of the book, apart from the statement that the pres

* Answers to Objections against the Catholic Religion. By Mgr. de Ségur. Shermerville, 111. : The Society of the Divine Word.

+ The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel. Written by herself. Translated from the Spanish by David Lewis. Third Edition Enlarged. With addi tional Notes and an Introduction by Rev. Father Benedict Zimmerman, 0.C.D. London: Thomas Baker.

ent edition has been very carefully and helpfully edited by Father Zimmerman, there seems little excuse for saying anything. It is the story of the inner life of one of the most remarkable women and greatest saints that ever lived-told, as the biography of such a one should be told, in her own words. A great many lessons on prayer, and indeed lessons on all the virtues of the Christian and religious life, are to be learned out of this book. It may safely be recommended as one of the classical pieces of spiritual literature.

We strongly advise all of our THE BOOK OF BOOKS. readers who can get through a By Hopfl.

German book with some degree

of ease, to read Dom Hildebrand Höpi's small volume on the Bible. It is the best manual of introduction to the study of Holy Writ that we at present possess. It deals with Inspiration, Principles of Interpretation, the Devotional, Ascetic, Homiletic, and Scholastic use of the Scriptures, the Nature and Problems of Criticism, and the History of Biblical Study among Catholics. Each of these topics is treated with competent erudition, a loyal Catholic spirit, and an open-minded readiness to adopt untraditional methods and to accept new conclusions. Dom Höpf, as readers of his Die Höhere Kritik will remember, holds fast with one hand to conservative theology, and offers the other in no unfriendly greeting to modern criticism. Thus, for example, in the present volume, he maintains robustly the doctrine of the “ Providentissimus Deus” that there are no errors in the Bible, and at the same time he concedes that the sacred writers wrote both their science and their history according to the imperfect methods and in the feeble knowledge of their time. He would make no objection to the position that the patriarchal narratives embody a large amount of folk-lore and tribe-saga, and he cites with approval the opinion of C. Pesch, S.J., that Judith and Esther may not be historical books, but only extensive parables. And in the question, now in the true sense of the word a burning question, as to the relation between the religion of Babylon and the religion of Israel, he is not less judicious. For while he considers it extreme to hold that the first chapters of Genesis are purely allegorical and symbolic, and founded upon religious ideas which the Hebrews borrowed from Chaldea, he admits that the inter-relation of these two Semitic peoples has been of greater moment than orthodox students of the Bible have yet realized. He concludes his remarks upon this subject with an earnest wish, which will find an echo in many hearts, that Catholics should throw themselves into the strife of biblical study in greater numbers and with better equipment. The very existence of traditional Christianity is at stake in the struggle, and Catholic scholars are not in the place of honor which in the nature of the case they should occupy.

* Das Buch der Bücher. Gedanken über Lektüre und Studium der Heiligen Schrift. Von P. Hildebrand Höpf, O.S.B. St. Louis: B. Herder.

We have mentioned only one or two of the features which make Dom Höpil's little book a valuable addition to our literature. We might have spoken of other excellent qualities; but all who are au courant with the drift of scholarship will understand, from what we have said, that this is a work to be procured and read and studied.

The Anglican Bishop of Croydon INTEMPERANCE. has written a little work on TemBy Pereira.

perance * which is eminently cred.

itable to his ability, his piety, and his zeal. In fourteen short chapters he considers some of the chief aspects of the drink problem, gives a large amount of useful information, and offers many valuable suggestions for temperance workers. His tone is earnest but moderate. He does not dogmatize, he launches no denunciations, and excites no animosities. But he displays a spiritual fervor, a love of souls, and a trust in God that charge his pages with persuasiveness and power. We are certain that his book will do great good; our wishes for success attend it.

Some of the more striking matters brought out by Dr. Pereira are the splendid reform work accomplished by the Salvation Army, the excellent fruit of inebriates' homes, the fine opportunity for the crusade among military and naval men, and the great importance of systematic temperance teaching among children. On such topics as these this small volume gives hints, directions, and statistics which are of unusual value. Not the least admirable pages of the book are those in

* Intemperance. By Henry Horace Pereira, Bishop of Croydon. Handbooks for the Clergy Series. New York: Longmans, Green & Co.

« НазадПродовжити »