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subdivivision of the sciences, were greatly in vogue with the schoolmen; so the works of Al Gazel were translated, and studied by the scholastics. Hallam says, that a passage in this author, translated from the Latin by Mr. Farmer, appears to him to state the argument in favor of that class of Nominalists, called conceptualists, with more clearness and precision than anything he has seen from the schoolmen. These are but specimens of what was true on a great scale. Various Princes, also, particularly Frederick II., and Alphonso X., King of Castile, patronized translations from the Arabic; Frederick caused Michael Scotus to translate Aristotle's History of Animals from the Arabic; Manfred, King of Sicily, made" Bartholomew of Messina translate his ethics in like manner; Frederick also wrote a letter to the university of Bologna, accompanying various extracts from Aristotle and other philosophers, translated from Arabic and Greek into Latin, by his command.
5. A powerful influence was exerted by the Arabians on the forming literature of Europe. Among the various languages which succeeded the Latin, the Provençal was first developed and used for purposes of poetry. In this thousands of poets, known by the name of Troubadours, flourished, who in the words of Sismondi, "gave it a character of originality which owes nothing to the Greeks or the Romans, or to what is called classical literature. They spread their reputation from the extremity of Spain to that of Italy; and they have served as models to all the poets who afterwards succeeded them in other languages, even to those of the North, and among these to the English and the Germans.” Italian, French, and Spanish writers have recognized their powerful influence, and Sanches, Father Sarmiento, Andres, and the Marquis of Santillana, have shown the connexion of the Provengal poetry with that of the Arabians and of all the Roman nations. A similar influence was exerted by the Arabs on the poetry of the Trouvires.
The influence of Arabic works of fiction on the European mind has also been very great. Who has not read or heard of the Arabian Nights Entertainments? Yet, if the French trans lator is correct, we do not possess the six-and-thirtieth part of the great collection. Of these story-tellers Sismondi says, “they are our masters in the art of producing, sustaining, and unceas ingly varying the interest of this kind of fiction; that they are creators of that brilliant mythology of fairies and genii, which extends the bounds of the world, multiplying the riches and the strength of human nature, and which without striking us with terror, carries us into the realms of marvels and prodigies. It is from them that we have derived that intoxication of love, that tenderness and delicacy of sentiment, and that reverential awe of women, by turns slaves and divinities, which have operated so powerfully on our chivalrous feelings. We trace their effects in all the literature of the South. Many of these tales have found their way into our poetical literature long before the translation of the Arabian Nights.” Some of them are to be met with in our old tableaux, in Boccaccio, and in Ariosto; and these very tales which have charmed our infancy, passing from tongue to tongue and from nation to nation, through channels frequently unknown, are now familiar to the memory, and form the delight of the imagination of half the inhabitants of the globe."
From the Arabs, too, European poetry received that rythmical form, by which it is distinguished from the classic poetry of Greece and Rome. Rhyme is one very striking peculiarity of modern poetry. But this, according to Sismondi, was essential to all the poetry of the Arabians, and was combined by them in various ways to please the ear. From them it was introduced into the Provençal language, and thus into modern poetry, with all its variations of sound. Of this he gives ample illustrations. From this view I am aware that Hallam dissents; but Huet, Andres, and Ginguene sustain Sismondi, and the fact that rhymed Latin verse was used, in some degree, as far back as the fourth century (on which Hallam relies, on the authority of Muratori, Gray, and Turner), does not disprove the opinion that the Troubadours did, in fact, derive their rythmical system from the Arabs. In our judgment Sismondi is correct.
6. It was by the Arabs that the first impulse was given to European commerce, that mother of civilization. In Spain, from the ports of Almeria and Malaga, was an extensive commerce, chiefly in silks. The Italian cities, especially Florence and Genoa, were taught by their example, and aided by them to rise into commercial importance.
A writer in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia remarks, that at one time the Arabians were the first commercial people in the world. They had monopolized the whole trade with India, and distributed her merchandise to the Western continent. The riches of the East continued to flow in this
channel, till the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by the Portuguese. From these facts we can easily see the facilities enjoyed by the Spanish Arabs for taking the lead in the commerce of Europe. Prescott remarks that their ports swarmed with a motley contribution from Europe, Africa, and the Levant, so that Grenada, in the words of the Historian, became the common city of all nations. Says a Spanish writer, “their bare word was more relied on than a written contract now is among us.” A catholic bishop says, “ Moorish works and Spanish faith make a good Christian."
7. Their labors in pharmacy, chemistry, and medicine exerted an extensive influence on Europe ; and the celebrated medical school at Salerno, in the eleventh century, derived its science
from the medical schools of the Saracens. Algebra, astronomy, and the higher mathematics were taught in their schools, and thence diffused over Europe. The numerals which we call Arabic, but which ought rather, perhaps, to be called Indian, or Egyptian, were at least communicated to us by them.
8. Europe is also indebted to them for many inventions and discoveries in the arts. To them we owe the manufacture of paper from cotton and linen, and the application of gunpowder to the military art. The compass, also, was known to the Arabians in the eleventh century. Sismondi remarks that the Geographer of Nubia (Cent. 12), speaks of it as an instrument universally employed. The Italian and French claim is as late as Cent. i3. He also states that the number of Arabic inventions of which we enjoy the benefit without suspecting it, is prodigious. Those who introduced them into Europe, did not claim to be inventors, as they would have done had truth allowed; but knowing that others had seen them practised by the Saracens, they introduced them, as from some common source of art, without noise or pretence. Such are a few of the facts by which we justify our opinion as to the influence of the Saracens on the civilization and intellectual development of Christian Europe. And do not these facts go far to sustain the judgment of Mosheim that“ the Saracens may be considered as in some measure, the restorers of learning in Europe ;” and “that truth requires us to say that their schools and books in Spain and Italy, were the chief source of the knowledge of medicine, philosophy, mathematics, and art in Europe, from the tenth century and onwards.”
No doubt it is possible, as Gieseler suggests, to over-estimate the influence of the Saracens, and we would by no means overlook, or deprecate, the influence of the renewed intercourse with the Greek Church under Otho I and his successors; nor the revival of the scientific study of the Roman law in the cities of Lombardy, and the renewed disputes with the Greek theologians in the middle of the same century. Let due weight be assigned to these, and to all other causes which may be mentioned, of the revival of learning in Europe ; but let not either the pride or the prejudice of the Christians lead them to overlook or deny, as do Schlegel and Guizot, the mighty influence exerted by God through the Saracens, in securing this great result.
Nor would we call in question the substantial correctness of the judgment of Whewell in his History of the Inductive Sciences, on the Arabian commentators of Aristotle, and on the science and experimental philosophy of the Arabians. Neither they nor their scholars, the scholastic writers of Europe, have power to rise above a state of mental bondage to Aristotle; nor did they understand or act on the true principles of the inductive sciences, as since developed in the school of Bacon.
Still the mental activity of the Arabs and the scholastic writers, even in these particulars, was not in vain. The manhood of the nations of Europe had not come ; and during the period of childhood and youth, the logic of Aristotle gave them a severe dialectic discipline, which prepared the way for the robust intellectual development which has since been witnessed.
Nor are the writings of the scholastic divines devoid of merit, aside from their subserviency to mental discipline. No one who has ever read Anselm can speak contemptuously of him as a theologian; and much of the theology of Thomas Aquinas is now in circulation through minds ignorant of the sources whence it came. So far as the scholastics advocated the sacramental and hierarchical systems, they were undoubtedly in an error pernicious to themselves and to the world. There were also, no doubt, many intellectual abuses, and much waste of mental power in their schools. But after separating all the dross much gold remains. Semler, as quoted by Hagenbach, says, “ The poor scholastics have been too much despised, and that frequently by people who would not have been good enough to be their transcribers.” Luther also said, “When I judge the scholastics, I do not read with closed eyes; I neither reject nor approve all of their opinions.” Ullman, however, is much more eulogistic. He call the scholastic theology" in its commencement, a truly scientific advance upon
in its entire course a great dialectic preparatory school of Christianity in the West—in
its completion a grand and highly finished production of the human mind.”
It has been argued by some, that the literature and science of the Arabs were worthless because of the degradation of the regions where Islamism reigned, still reigns. Fez and Morocco, Mauritania and Egypt, Syria and Palestine, Bagdad, Cufa, Bassora, Samarcand and Balkh, once illustrious for literature and science, libraries and universities, are now the abodes of ignorance, degradation, and slavery.
Yet we do not consider the intellectual development of Greece and Rome worthless, because Greece and Rome not only fell, but sank into deep degradation. These Mahometan nations have sunk, because the permanent channels of God's power and purposes did not run through Mahometanism, but through Christianity, and because Mahometanism, as a religion, and the civil system in union with it, cannot permanently elevate or perfect human society. The beneficial influence of the Arabs on Europe, came not from these sources, but from their attainments in literature, sciences, and the arts. When God raised them up He had a purpose to accomplish by them, and when He had fulfilled His designs he laid them aside.
In this then, as in all other cases, if we will study the history of this world from God's point of vision, we shall see His glory
illustriously displayed, whilst human power and splendor pass away, and as the result of the whole we shall unite with the inspired apostle in reverently exclaiming, “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out.”
A PLEA FOR LIBRARIES, WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE
TO THE WANTS OF WESTERN INSTITUTIONS.r
By Rev. N. PORTER, JR., Prof. Moral Piilosophy, Yale College. In Europe, the essentials of a College or University, are a Library, first of all; then able instructors, and last of all, suitable edifices. In the United States, the prime essentials are thought to be, instructors and college buildings. In Europe the buildings may be many or few, convenient or inconvenient. They may consist of only humble accommodations for the lecture-rooms of the professors. They often are in fact numerous, convenient and imposing ; but that they should be so, is not thought to be at all essential to the existence, nor even to the attractions, of a superior literary institution. But there must be a well-furnished library. Without this essential, well-qualified professors cannot be procured; or if they could be procured, they would not be able to discharge their duties; or if they could do this in some sort, they could not with satisfaction or honor. The University of Gottingen was founded in 1734. By means of a lavish liberality, wisely directed to its library and its professors, it soon became one of the most distinguished universities of Europe. In a single generation it shot up to a splendid growth, and left far behind its older rivals. Its library and its professors made it all that it was, and enabled it to compete successfully with the universities which had antiquity, past renown, and political influence on their side. Got
An Essay, embodying the substance of this article, bas been prepared by the writer, at the request and for the use of the Society for Promoting Collegiate and Theological Education at the West, and will soon be published by the Society: The subject is one of such general interest, and to our apprehension is so well handled, that we are glad to enrich our pages with it, while we hope that we shall thereby incidentally promote a noble and praiseworthy scheme of benevolence.-ED. REPOS