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views as to discipline were directly opposed. Novatus, at Carthage, was the patron of the Lapsi. Novatian, at Rome, was the author of a system of rigid exclusion. At the same time, it is possible that the common attitude of resistance to the Bishop may have tended to harmonize their views on this subject. With a considerable party in the Church, and a number of confessors, they withdrew from communion with Cornelius and constituted a distinct Church, of which Novatian became Bishop.
Both parties now hastened to secure the approbation and support of other churches, particularly of the great Church of Carthage, with its distinguished Bishop. Novatian might entertain expectations of support from that quarter, for his views of discipline corresponded closely to those of Cyprian. The views of Cornelius, on the contrary, were just those against which Cyprian had been contending at Carthage. Harmony of sentiment would have led the African Bishop to sustain Novatian, but the hated and excommunicated Novatus was associated with him; and Cyprian, true to his prelatical instinct, deserted his opinions and stuck to his brother Bishop.' Novatian and his party were excommunicated, and yet such was the purity of their lives and their discipline, such the popularity of the idea that held them together, that their churches multiplied with astonishing rapidity throughout the Roman Empire. In doctrine the Novatian Churches were confessedly orthodox. Their only point of difference was in discipline. They held that persons excommunicated for sins committed after baptism could not be again restored by a sentence of absolution. They did not, however, give them up to despair. They bade them repent and hope; but referred the reversal of their sentence to Christ and the day of Judgment. As resulting from this view of such sins, they regarded all other churches as extending fellowship to the corrupt and unworthy; and would receive no member from them except by re-baptism and a new confession of faith. Stigmatized as schismatics and dissenters, the Novatians flourished for about two centuries, after which little is heard of them. They furnished to the Church liberally in proportion to their numbers, martyrs, scholars, and defenders of the faith. A pleasant story is told of one of their bishops, Acesius, who was summoned to the Council of Nice. Constantine inquired into the grounds of their separation from the Church Catholic, and of their refusal to commune with other Christians. Acesius explained their views of discipline; upon
It is curious to remark, as illustrative of the tendency of things just at that time, how in both these instances polity carried the day against discipline. Both Novatus and Cyprian shifted their position in regard to the latter, in their more earnest zeal for their principles of government. Even the purity of the Church, for which Cyprian had been fighting, was little to the powers of Bishops; and Novatus resigned, without hesitation, his patronage of the Lapsi, to have a fairer field in contending for the liberties of the Church.
which the Emperor pleasantly replied, "Well, Acesius, if you can't walk in the common path with other Christians, take a ladder and get up to heaven your own way." Sisinnius, Novatian Bishop in Constantinople at the same time that Chrysostom was Bishop of the Catholics, was held in great admiration for his scholarship and wit, as well as for his eloquence in the pulpit. It was he who, when some one reproached him with showing so much regard to his worldly comforts, and asked how a man of his principles could bathe twice a day, replied, "because I can't bathe thrice." The same man visited Leontius, Bishop of Ancyra, to ask for the restoration of a church which he had forcibly taken from the Novatians. Leontius took the opportunity of discharging a volume of orthodox abuse against the tenets of the schismatic. "What business have you with churches?" said he. "You cancel the grace of the Holy Spirit, and nullify repent"Nay," replied Sisinnius, "but nobody repents as I do." "And what do you repent of?" said the Bishop. "I repent very heartily of having taken the trouble to see you." A passage of arms is mentioned between him and Chrysostom, which shows, even if other proof were wanting, that something else than honey occasionally distilled from the golden lips of the great orator. John accused Sisinnius of intruding within the limits of his diocese. "There ought to be but one bishop," said he, "in a city." "Nor is there," replied the Novatian. "What!" cried Chrysostom, in a rage; "you pretend then to be the only Bishop in Constantinople! Heretic that you are! I will stop your preaching." "You will oblige me particularly," replied Sisinnius, "if you would; for it's very hard work." Chrysostom's fury gave way before the imperturbable good humor of his antagonist. "Oh," said he, "if the office is troublesome you shall keep it still for all me."
In accordance with the spirit of his work, the aim of which is to seek out Christ's chosen ones in all ages, and in harmony with the truth of history, Haweis regards the Novatians as a class of the more strict and conscientious Christians; more watchful against sin, maintaining a more Scriptural discipline, and exhibiting more of the life of true religion. But neither their virtues nor the purity of their discipline could save them as a party. They lay under the Episcopal ban. Persuasions and threats were fully employed, and with considerable success, to draw their members back into the Catholic Church. The tide of encroachment kept rising in spite of their stop. They stood for two centuries like a Pharos amid the gathering darkness; but the progress of corruption and autocracy in the Church at length swept them away. The fabric of Church government still rose like an exhalation, towering towards the Papal supremacy; and 1 Socrates, vi., 23. Sozomen, viii., 1.
the day came when the bishops had plundered the presbyters of their rights, the great metropolitans trod them down in turn, until, before the full orbed splendors of the Cathedra Petri, they also paled their ineffectual fires, and subsided into the mere vassals of the Vatican.
INFLUENCE OF THE LITERATURE OF THE SARACENS.
By REV. EDWARD BEECHER, D.D., Boston.
To analyse the causes of the present intellectual development of the civilized world, is a work of deep interest. Eight preceding periods of development have combined their influence to produce what we now see. Of these, the first is the Hebrew period, beginning with Moses, and extending to about the fifth century before Christ. The second is the Greek, extending to about the second century before Christ. The third is the Latin, extending to about a century after Christ. The fourth is the period of the New Testament writers. The fifth is that of the Christian Fathers, extending to the end of the sixth century after Christ. The sixth is that of the Saracens, extending from the sixth to the twelfth century. The seventh is that of the Scholastic Divines and other writers of the Middle Ages, extending from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries. The eighth is that of the Reformers and their successors. These periods, through chronologically distinct at the point of highest development, yet interlock with each other. They are in fact, intimately connected, and have each exerted a vast influence on the destiny of the world, the power of which is still felt.
There is, however, in many minds, a tendency to overlook the influence of the Saracenic development on the history of the world. Guizot in his History of European Civilization, occasionally alludes to the Saracens. He characterizes their ideas and moral passions, as brilliant, splendid, energetic and enthusiastic, to a degree altogether wanting in the German nations, and as exerting a corresponding influence upon the mind and passions of men. Yet he gives no adequate idea of the nature, extent, and THIRD SERIES, VOL. IV. NO. 1.
duration of the Saracenic development in Spain, and unfolds the causes of the gradual evolution of the European mind, just as if the Saracenic element had never mingled with them, or given an impulse to the intellect of the Christian kingdoms of the West. He depicts the impulses of the Barbarians towards civilization from the fifth to the tenth century, derived from the wrecks and fragments of Roman civilization, and from the remembrance of that great and glorious society; but he says nothing of the living civilization of the Saracens in Spain, which was for centuries actually before their eyes, and which Roman Catholic Spain has never exceeded, nor even equalled, even to this day.
Frederick Schlegel, in his Philosophy of History, is still more one-sided; he is even bitterly prejudiced and unfair. To his severe censures of the Mahometan religion, we have nothing to object. But he entirely suppresses notorious facts, which are creditable to the Saracens, and characterizes their Caliphs, without discrimination or exception, as "ever burning with a rage for conquest and destruction," and contrasts with them the Frank and Saxon kings and emperors as "seeking and establishing peace, honoring justice, and founding or restoring laws." One would almost suppose that he had never heard of Almamon, and the other Abassides, or of the illustrious Ommiades of Spain. He also basely detracts from the reputation of the great Frederick II., as a secret friend of the Saracens, because he had the magnanimity to see their merits and avail himself of their literature and sciences, and speaks of him as exerting a pernicious influence on the age and the world. The Saracenic invasion he calls that mighty Arabian conflagration, whose flames were scattered over the terrified globe by the sons of the desert; and he speaks of it as menacing the nations of Europe with destruction, and withal ascribes to it no good results. He also says that it was a general principle with the Mahometan conquerors, to extirpate all recollection of antiquity in the countries which they subdued, and to destroy and obliterate every vestige of the higher and better civilization that had adorned those once flourishing regions. How he dared to utter so notorious a contradiction of historical facts, with the dynasty of the Ommiades in Spain full before his eyes, to say nothing of the Abassides, is to us, inexplicable. The best solution that we can give, is, that he wrote as the eulogist and apologist of the Romish hierarchy, and would not see that under their false forms of Christianity, the Christian communities had become so degraded, that for a time the intervention of the Saracens was needed to aid in arousing and saving the nations. Hallam, in a note to the ninth chapter of his View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, states a few of the facts which evince the influence of the Arabs on the literary development of Europe. But his account of them in the fourth chapter, containing the history
of Spain, and in the sixth chapter, containing the history of the Greeks and Saracens, is exceedingly meagre. From it no one could form the remotest idea of the true state of facts. And in his ninth chapter, on the state and progress of society in Europe during the Middle Ages, he entirely omits from his text any proper notice of the influence of the Saracens, contenting himself as before stated, with a passing allusion to them in a note.
It may be said, that there are no names of greater authority than these, and that their judgment in this case, is therefore probably correct. We reply, it is not a question of judgment, but of facts. There are facts in the case. Why not state them and let others judge? But so far as authority is concerned, there are names worthy of as great regard as theirs, to be opposed to them. Gieseler, Tenneman, Mosheim, Sismondi, Berrington, Robertson, Prescott, Sale, Ockley, Casiri, and others, are much more full in their statements of facts, and as it appears to us, are much more enlarged and correct in their judgments. From various sources, we shall derive and present to our readers materials which may enable them to form their own judgments. And as it is a case in which the authority of those who have thoroughly investigated the matter, is of some moment, we shall refer especially to those writers who have thus investigated the subject-Sismondi, in his History of the Literature of Europe; Prescott, in his History of Ferdinand and Isabella; and Berrington, in his Literary History of the Middle Ages. We shall also show that Geiseler, Tenneman, and Mosheim, make ample acknowledgments to the obligations of Europe to the Saracens, for the impulse communinicated by them to the torpid mind of the Christian nations of the West. But to gain any adequate idea of the magnitude of the results produced by this great interposition of Divine providence by the Saracens, it is necessary first, to refresh our minds by a brief review of the history of those times of terror, when Christendom seemed to be on the brink of ruin, and when God raised up Charles Martel as a defender of affrighted Europe against the victorious hosts of the Saracens.
Under the debasing influence of the hierarchical and sacramental system of the later Fathers, Christianity had degenerated to a degree, of which we find it in this age hard to conceive. The whole body politic of the Roman empire, too, had become thoroughly corrupt. At this point, God saw fit to break up that empire, and to begin a new order of things by founding the Barbarian kingdoms of Europe. Nevertheless, as the immediate result of this process, though there was a gain of warlike energy, the European mind sank to its lowest stages of ignorance and degradation.
The invasions of the Barbarians, civil wars, and the feudal system, were a part only of the evils that afflicted society. Famine and