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as though they were less disposed to practical outgoings for that purpose; but, partly at least, from their concentration of whatever they possessed of zeal and spirit upon internecine quarrels with each other, in secular as well as in religious matters; and partly, also, from the fierce inroad and crushing domination of an overwhelming Mahommedanism, which, after a time, seemed finally to close against them those opportunities for Christian enterprise, which they had neglected to embrace, and into which they no longer possessed either the fitness or the power to enter. It should, however, be mentioned in their favour, that in almost the only direction in which Mahommedanism left them the power of expansion, they put forth considerable effort, and with great and enduring success. About the middle of the ninth century, the Moesians, Bulgarians, and Gazarians, and, after them, the Bohemians and Moravians, were converted to Christianity by Methodius and Cyril, two Greek monks whom the Empress Theodora had sent to dispel the darkness of those idolatrous nations. The zeal of Charlemagne and his pious Missionaries had been formerly exerted in the same cause, and among the same people; but with so little success, that any faint notions which they had received of the Christian doctrine were entirely effaced. But the instructions of the Grecian Doctors had a better, and therefore a more permanent, effect. The warlike nations of the Russians were soon afterwards converted; and under Wlademir Greek Christianity became the established religion of Russia.*

Nor yet can we look with entire complacency on the "creative and aggressive" action of the Western Churches. The earliest illustrations of "the first love" of the new-born Christianity of Clovis (the founder of the Merovingian dynasty) were, first, to lay waste the Visigoth kingdom, for the sin of Arianism, with his "remorseless sword,"-then to suggest to the son of Sigebert, King of the Ripuarian Franks, the murder of his father, with the promise that the murderer should be peaceably established on his throne,-next, to order that the murderer should be put to death,-and, lastly, to declare solemnly in a full Parliament, that he had had no share in the murder of either. These things are related by his Popish historian, Gregory of Tours; of whom, with a smack of the ironical sarcasm, which here and there besprinkles his work, Dean Milman remarks:


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Gregory concludes with this pious observation:-'For God thus daily prostrated his enemies under his hands, and enlarged his kingdom, because he walked before Him with an upright heart, and did that which was well-pleasing in His sight.' Yet Gregory of Tours

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Resemblances between the East and West.


was a Prelate, himself of gentle and blameless manners, and of profound piety."-History of Latin Christianity, vol. i., p. 279.

The religious character of the descendants of Clovis, and even that of the Carlovingian hero, to whom Rome owns itself to be so deeply indebted, is almost too offensive for description; and we are glad to let it pass, with many other things equally disgusting, and yet, alas! strongly characteristic of much that belongs to "the great epoch of Latin Christianity."

But if, in the particulars which have been mentioned, Greek and Latin Christianity exhibit specific differences, arising from differences of acquired character and modifying circumstances,in other respects, in which the circumstances were common, or nearly so, and the characters were somewhat approximate, or not materially different, they exhibit a general agreement. Thus, both one and the other, during the period of their common history, were immediately confronted with Paganism in all its power and majesty,-a vast system of idolatry, hallowed, in the superstitious regard of the people, by the veneration of ages, and not likely, therefore, to be very quietly abandoned in favour of the new system, which, with a spirit and power of innovation and conversion beyond all former example, was now promulgated, with the avowed purpose of superseding and destroying it altogether. The first shock, and still more the continued jar and fret, of the collision, which was necessitated by the circumstances of the case, were very disagreeably felt on both sides. And this very naturally created, on one side, a spirit of prejudice and persecution; while, on the other side, they constituted a strong temptation, where the true spirit and power of Christianity were wanting, to discouragement and compromise. Happily, with comparatively few exceptions, considering the "fiery trials," and the "fights of affliction," which tested the faith of the earlier Churches, Christianity, both in its Eastern and Western divisions, held fast its integrity; the persecutions to which it was subject, with so short intervals of respite, for the first two centuries after its establishment, serving but to render more conspicuous the brightness of its spiritual aspect, and to conserve and intensify the purity, which, in connexion with the truth of the Gospel, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, is, in reality, the secret of its enduring and victorious power.

At a later period, when Christianity was in the ascendant, and the deities of Paganism had been expelled from its most splendid temples, insensibly many of the usages of the heathen worship, and even many vulgar superstitions, crept into the more gorgeous and imposing ceremonial and popular belief of the Christian Churches. And this compromise, as externals, affected the East and the West very nearly alike.


The temples, rites, diversions, and literature, both of the Grecian and the Roman polytheist, were so incongruous with the primitive Gospel, that until Christianity had made some steps towards their own religion, by the splendour of its ceremonial and the incipient paganizing of its popular belief, the obstacles to their conversion were both numerous and strong. And therefore, in the West as well as in the East, the policy of paganizing, about the time of Constantine, began to be somewhat extensively adopted; ostensibly for the purpose of facilitating the conversion of Pagans to Christianity, but in reality with the effect of converting Christianity, pro tanto, into Paganism. Nor was this species of compromise simply the error and infirmity of the Churches of that age, since it has continued to have its theoretical advocates and practical imitators, in Romish Christianity, down to this day.

"When Christianity," says a distinguished Romanist writer, "became the dominant religion, its Doctors perceived that they would be compelled to give way equally in respect to the external form of worship, and that they would not be sufficiently strong to constrain the multitude of Pagans-who were embracing Christianity with a kind of enthusiasm, as unreasoning as it was of little duration -to forget a system of acts, ceremonies, and festivals, which had an immense power over their ideas and manners. The Church admitted, therefore, into her discipline many usages evidently pagan. She undoubtedly has endeavoured to purify them, but she never could obliterate the impression of their original stamp. The principal interest of Christianity was to wrest from error the greatest number of its partisans: and it was impossible to attain this object, without providing for the obstinate adherents of the false gods an easy passage from the temple to the church. If we consider that, notwithstanding all these concessions, the ruin of Paganism was accomplished only by degrees, and imperceptibly; that during more than two centuries it was necessary to combat, over the whole of Europe, an error which, although continually overthrown, was ever rising again, we shall understand that the conciliatory spirit of the leaders of the Church was true wisdom." *-Histoire de la Destruction du Paganisme. Par A. Beugnot, Membre de l'Institut François. 1835.

In this way, and in others, there was often an interaction and interpenetration between Christianity and other systems, which created strange medleys, not very favourable either to its character or progress. With reference to one case, namely, the contact of Christianity with the barbarism of the Teutonic races, the Dean goes so far as to affirm that

"In some provinces it must be acknowledged that the vices, as well as the religion, of Rome, assert their unshaken dominion; or, rather, that there is a terrible interchange of the worst parts of evil

* See Introductory Dissertation, pp. 17, 18, by Count Krasinski, to a recent edition of Calvin's "Treatise on Relics." Edinburgh: Johnstone and Hunter. 1854.

Deteriorations and Corruptions.

169 character. In the conflict, or coalition, of barbarism with Roman Christianity, barbarism has introduced into Christianity all its ferocity, with none of its generosity or magnanimity; its energy shows itself in atrocity of cruelty, and even of sensuality. Christianity has given to barbarism hardly more than its superstition, and its hatred of heretics and unbelievers. Throughout, assassinations, parricides, and fratricides, intermingle with adulteries and rapes. The cruelty might seem the mere inevitable result of this violent and unnatural fusion; but the extent to which this cruelty spreads throughout the whole society almost surpasses belief. Though Christianity found an unexpected ally in the higher (!) moral tone of the Teutonic races, the religion, in other respects, and throughout its whole sphere of conquest, suffered a serious, perhaps inevitable, deterioration. With the world Christianity began to barbarize."Latin Christianity, vol. i., pp. 286, 289.

The Christianity which was capable of being thus damaged by its contact with barbarism, could have little but what was either indifferent, or positively evil, to offer in return; and, beyond the truth which, at the same time, it professed and belied, in honest fairness can scarcely be called Christianity at all. It will relieve the reader, to remember that it was the Christianity of Clovis and his descendants which suggested the remarks contained in this extract. And we pass on to observe, that the attempts successively made to fuse true Christianity with the philosophical, the mystical, the ascetic, the monastic, the ceremonial, and even, as in the Crusades and other "religious" wars, with the military spirit, so far as those attempts were successful, drew on, as their inevitable result, the degradation of its name, and the enfeeblement of its power; and only by a moral miracle were prevented from effecting its destruction altogether. The very choicest "eclectic" philosophy which was to be had, became in its meddling and impertinent vocation as a helper of Christianity, forsooth,-nothing better than a "vain" and mischievous "deceit." Mysticism, with its dull opaqueness of thought and language, was virtually an eclipse of the truth. Asceticism and monkery, though not in original intention, proved, in their practical working, often just such contrivances as the prince of darkness would desire for placing "light under a bushel," or for putting knowledge and crime alike beneath the veil. The pomp of ceremonial display was virtually a substitution, in no small degree, of "the lust of the eye" for the contemplations of faith. And the spirit which evoked "monks and bishops in armour," and "Mahommedan Apostles of Christianity," and which "gloried in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" as the ensign of battle and bloodshed, rather than as the banner of salvation, was not merely a spirit of pride or error, but a spirit of blasphemy of the coarsest description. Christianity may blush

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that she should ever have been seen in such companionship; and has only to thank Him by whose name she is called, that, in her occasional association with some of these forms of anti-Christ, or pseudo-Christ, she has not been permitted to become an illustration of the maxim, that "a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

There are few subjects connected with ecclesiastical history of more stirring interest than that of the (alleged) Petrine succession and monarchical supremacy of the Bishop of Rome; chiefly, perhaps, for this reason, that it is well known that these constitute the sine qua non of the whole Romish system, and are, at the same time, the very points in that system which are the most easily assailable, and the least capable of any sort of defence. The general controversy must be waived at present; but we shall be doing good service to any of our readers who may desire satisfaction on the subject, if we can persuade him to read Dean Milman's "Latin Christianity" with a view to this particular question. Let him notice, as he reads, what a silence there is, as in the life-time of Peter himself, so for many years after his death, on this same matter of "succession and supremacy;" how many Bishops of Rome succeeded each other, before any one of them seemed to be bold enough to tell it in the ears of another, or even to whisper it to his own heart; how the whole business grew more out of secular, than spiritual or ecclesiastical, considerations; what sort of struggles, and manœuvres, and helps they were, which fostered its growth, and nursed it to maturity; and what has been the fruit of this once gigantic, but now comparatively stinted and failing, " development" of Latin Christianity. Let him, in like manner, study the history of infallibility, image-worship, or any thing else into which Latin Christianity, as represented by the Papacy, has developed itself. And we are greatly mistaken, or he will find himself spared the trouble of farther inquiry, for any other purpose than that of confirming his assurance, that these things are developments, not of truth, but of falsehood; not of legitimate authority, but of human ambition and pride; not of the true religion, but of an idolatrous superstition; and all for a tenet, which, if it could be proved, would be intrinsically valueless. The history of these things, though revolting, is curious and instructive; and would probably be more so, if dealt with separately, as the Dean has occasionally dealt with other topics. We can promise our friends much entertainment and pleasure by the way. The subjects are trite and familiar; but the Dean has handled them in a style remarkably brilliant and graphic, and often thrown over them such hues that the reader will perhaps, in some instances, scarcely recognise, at first, some parts of the field over which he may have trodden before. They then wore an aspect too dull and monotonous to be very well remem

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