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The present edition is worthy of praise. The translation is careful, and the translator tries to be scrupulously fair. The printing is a delight. There is an interesting ecclesiastical map of North Africa. If the index is not full enough, how many indexes are? Occasionally one finds a slip. Thus Optatus wrote seven centuries, not six, "before the Norman set foot on English soil." Again, on page 284, we have " the keys * which he was to communicate to the rest. But on page 68 (the reference is p. 67, n. 2) we have the right translation," the keys to be shared with the rest." Even Optatus recognizes that S. Peter received (at first alone) something which he was to share with,- not grant to,- others. On the other hand, Fr. Vassall-Phillips scores some good points against some of our Anglican writers. Thus in the very passage just referred to Dr. Pusey and other Anglicans have followed Bishop Bossuet and the historian Du Pin in translating "communicandas ceteris," which were afterward to be communicated (by Christ) to the rest." With all respect to a line of great men, the Latin will not bear that interpretation for a moment. Again, he finds (p. 17, n. 1) Prebendary Sparrow Simpson paraphrasing a passage of Optatus, and writing of schismatics as having "the same two Sacraments as Catholics!" Probably S. Optatus had never thought of answering the question, "How many has the Catholic Church? But most certainly he would have thought of more than two, if he had been asked to write a list of such. And we think that even that careful scholar, Dr. Darwell Stone, made a slip when (as noted on p. 69, n. 5) he translated Cathedra in a passage of Optatus as "Episcopal See." Optatus was referring not to the Cathedra of Carthage, but to the "unica Cathedra" at Rome.

But after all there is a fatal weakness in the position of Fr. VassallPhillips, as there was in that of S. Optatus himself. Neither of them allows for the possibility that the Bishop of Rome might refuse his communion wrongfully to some other bishops, and that those other bishops might represent the Cathedra and the Keys of blessed Peter more truly by far than the Bishop of Rome was representing them. And yet in the early centuries that thing was happening nearly all the time. S. Optatus ought to have remembered how S. Cyprian was excommunicated by Stephen of Rome, yes, and S. Firmilian of Caesarea also, and many dioceses of the East, and that all these holy souls went on their way undisturbed. "While thou thinkest that all may be excommunicated by thee, thou hast excommunicated thyself," was S. Firmilian's answer to S. Stephen of Rome. It is suggested by Roman writers that

S. Firmilian" exaggerated," and got his facts quite wrong. At any rate there is no doubt in the world about S. Firmilian's theology! When he thought (whether rightly or wrongly) that the Bishop of Rome had excommunicated him and a number of other bishops, this was his answer, "Thou hast excommunicated thyself."

The fact is that Optatus defined the Catholic Church as the Church in communion with the Roman See, very much as one of us might define the Anglican Communion as the Church in communion with the See of Canterbury." Then he went further, and assumed that that great See would never again deny the Lord, though Liberius had just been doing it, a very few years before. We have read too much church history to claim indefectibility for either Rome or Canterbury. S. Optatus was so shortsighted as to argue that the Church must have Rome for a centre of unity. We may venture to claim that if he had seen the Bishop of Rome turn Arian or Donatist, Optatus would have swallowed his own words, and disowned him.

It is a curious fact that this good Optatus made an appeal, as we do, to the churches of the East, to support his cause. "If you are displeased with us," he says to the Donatists (p. 91)," what wrong has the city of Antioch done you? or the Province of Arabia?" Well, at that very time the Bishop of Antioch, S. Meletius, was disowned, as excommunicated by the Bishop of Rome, and in spite of that fact was upheld by S. Basil the Great, who spoke of a certain "letter of the Westerns as defrauding "the most admirable bishop of the true Church of God, Meletius." And the same Meletius, still out of communion with Rome, was made president of the (Ecumenical) Council of Constantinople, in 381. Let it be added that even in the West it was not a generally accepted doctrine that the Church was built on S. Peter as the Rock of our Lord's promise, much less that it was built on successive Bishops of Rome. S. Augustine tells us, in his "Retractations," that he had come to think that our Lord was the Rock (Petra), and that His Apostle was but a representative of rock-quality. "Petra is the root-word," says S. Augustine," therefore, Petrus is from Petra, not Petra from Petrus.” And S. Augustine, remarking that people are free to interpret the Rock either way, does not seem to be consciously arguing about one of the most fundamental proof-texts in the New Testament. Evidently, it was not regarded as such a proof-text in S. Augustine's entourage. No.! Fr. Vassall-Phillips! You have given us a creditable piece of work, but either S. Optatus meant far less by his words about the Cathedra Petri than modern Roman Catholic writers mean, or else he was proclaiming

a doctrine different from that of S. Cyprian and S. Augustine, and inconsistent with the practice of saints without number. This volume should be read either along with, or (still better) after a course in, our own Fr. Puller's great book, "The Primitive Saints and the See of Rome.” Lucius Waterman.

The social teachings of the prophets and Jesus by Charles Foster Kent. New York: Scribners, 1917. $1.50 net.

This is one of the best books on the Bible published this year. It is built on sound pedagogical lines and although the author is not carried away by brilliant but evanescent theories, Dr. Kent rightly treats here the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha as a unit. The Old Testament without the New ends with a question mark. The New Testament without the Old (and the Apocrypha) begins with asterisks. There is a deep harmony between the teaching of the prophets and that of Christ and his disciples. They all had to grapple with great social problems and their teaching was inspired by a similar sense of the nearness and the holiness of God and of the value of faith as the great psychic factor in the growth of society. Many readers of Dr. Kent's book will be surprised to see how complex and baffling were the social problems confronting Moses, Gideon, Saul and David. They will see how Solomon's theory of government was a social apostasy because it was inspired by Canaanite and Egyptian practice; how the prophets were indeed champions of ancient ideals ("the ancient paths" Jer. vi. 16): they stood for popular rights against dynasties saturated with despotic ideas of government. Dr. Kent truly says (p. 25), Not Ancient Hellas but Palestine was the original home of true democracy." He calls attention to the unsocial character of sin, already evident in the [prophetic] story of the fall. Modern methods of dealing with criminals are no new thing, but they go back to the long-forgotten treatment of Cain by an all-wise God. The doctrine of the survivial of the fittest, hard perhaps but true, is exemplified by the story of the flood. Abraham was justified because he had a highly developed social consciousness. The story of Jacob shows the evolution of an unsocial being coming to himself, finding himself as a social value. We might go on page after page showing how Kent's treatment of Bible stories gives them a new meaning, intensely interesting and true. Dr. Kent emphasizes, as in the case of Moses, the preeminent importance of a great personalty. He has avoided the pit

fall in which many sociologists have fallen, disregarding the value of the individual.

Dr. Kent has given us a safe book so far as anything can be described as safe in Biblical criticism. His selected bibliography contains all the good books in English on the subject. The subjects for discussion and investigation will be found most useful for advanced students. Church people may appreciate the abiding value of this book more than others because it does not neglect the Apocrypha. Some will be somewhat shocked to see the teaching of our divine Redeemer treated as if He had been a man among men. A teacher using Dr. Kent's book would have to remind constantly his class that Dr. Kent's teaching (and that of many others) has to be supplemented. The Church emphasizes what Dr. Kent had to leave in the shade, a very important element of Hebrew religion, namely the deep feeling of the nearness of the Almighty. All is not teaching and doctrine in the words of the prophets and apostles, there is also the sense of the mysterious, the elusive but very real touch of the Invisible, the mystical vision of the Presence (of the Face) of God.

This is not the place to criticize details in such a helpful and timely book. We should only ask the teacher or student- using it to remember two rather important facts. First, at the time of the Exodus, Israel was a small community, five or six thousand men perhaps. The cities of Canaan were mere villages. Secondly, Wisdom Literature is not a post-exilic product in Israel. Wisdom stories and aphorisms were common but unwritten both in Israel and in other Semitic civilizations. They were committed to writing at a very early date in Babylonia.

John A. Maynard.

The Creed of a Churchman. By the Bishop of Peterborough and others. New York: Longmans. 1916. 60 cents net.

This manual of one hundred pages, by five joint authors, is a good sample of the many admirable little books on Christian Faith and Practice by men in the English Church keenly alive to the present-day need for short, definite, and practical presentations of the Faith. Especially to be noted is the excellent treatment of" faith and the Faith" in terms of corporate experience; the secret of the Christian life, "the Living Person of Christ; " the exposition of prayer as cooperation with God rather than the attempt to "persuade God." The essentially sacramental note of Christianity too receives clear and helpful explanation.

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A real defect in the book is its "moderate Anglicanism with its characteristic timidity and overcautious statement of truths vital for our time, for which men are increasingly realizing their need. Do not men want us to be more bold to-day, for example, than to speak of sacraan occasional privilege," an mental confession as 66 emergency measure;" or to say of prayers for the dead, that we cannot enjoin them neither can we forbid them?" And should such statements as this go unchallenged, "fasting communion though an ancient custom is in no sense a rule of the English Church?"

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On the whole, however, this little book is fresh and stimulating and should be of real help to many today seeking after a more vital Christian life.

The Christian Nurture Series of the General Board of Religious Education:

How to Introduce the Christian Nurture Series, By the Rev. B. T. Kemerer:

Organizing the Smaller Sunday Schools, By the Rev. Dr. Bradner. Milwaukee: The Young Churchman Co.

We have before us a number of the publications of the First Series of the Christian Nurture Courses together with the cognate books of Mr. Kemerer and of Dr. Bradner above indicated.

The underlying idea of the Christian Nurture Series is to put into effect the Standard Curriculum published by the G. B. R. E. in 1912. Of the abundant material provided both for the teacher and for the pupil we cannot now speak particularly, except to say that it is difficult to imagine any courses more careful and thorough than these put forth by the General Board, but we think that the practical working of the Series. remains yet to be tested by experience. Assuredly the Christian Nurture Series is not a device to make the task of a church school teacher easy, but requires for its success consecrated work on the part of rectors, teachers and parents. All churchmen engaged in religious education will desire to investigate the Series, and will do well to avail themselves of the offer of the Young Churchman Company to send for $2.00 descriptive samples of courses 3 and 8 for examination. This includes Mr. Kemerer's booklet. Dr. Bradner's book will be found useful in the case of smaller schools which will probably always be more common. W. H. B.

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