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men, in language not unworthy of the events; and the study of Latin and Greek as vehicles of Christian thought should be the most fruitful study known to Philology, and have its place of honor in the university course." These remarks, true enough in themselves, with a qualification as to the value of the writ. ings of the Fathers and the eminent excellence of their style, are but a specious plea in this connection. For they confuse together general study, that is, the study of independent mature scholars, and the study carried on in schools and colleges. This latter is for a special purpose, and for that purpose the patristic Latin and Greek are very unsuitable. Let us now justify that opinion by stating our own views.

What is the object in view in studying a foreign literature ? It may be any one of the several objects for which a man may study his own, or an entirely distinct one,—that of learning what thoughts men of different stock and training and surroundings from his own have so expressed that their countrymen value them, of learning in that way to some extent another people's life and history, and so of widening his own mental horizon. To this end also the study of a foreign language, even without mastery of the literature as a whole, contributes in its measure. The differences of inflections, of constructions, of meanings of apparently identical words (naturally one thinks in writing of the languages of Europe, which are all more or less kindred), of forms of sentences, of idioms, are such that the study of a foreign language almost compels comparison with one's own, and so educates the mind and improves the power of expression. Now this process of comparison would be impossible if any two languages were exactly alike, if that supposition may be allowed. It is the difference between the linguistic products of two nations, which in part makes the study of the language or literature of the one by the other, a profitable study. And so it may be truly said that the greater the difference, within reasonable limits, the greater the benefit. As change of climate generally improves health, or as the education gained by travel is in proportion, cæteris paribus, to the extent of the travelling, so it is with the change of mental atmosphere, the range of mental journey, involved in the study of a foreign language.

There is yet one other possible object in studying a foreign language-one which is connected especially with schools and

colleges—that of general discipline of the mind as a preparation for subsequent work and life. For the young, as an instrument of this discipline, we hold that the study of foreign languages is eminently useful in the way that has just been pointed out. For them especially we should insist that it is desirable that the language and literature studied should be decidedly different and even remote from their own.

The classical literatures of Greece and Rome seem to meet this condition as no others do. They are far enough and not too far removed from us. When an Englisbman reads a mod. ern German or French book, he finds there the same views of the shape of the world and the operations of nature, the same knowledge of Christianity, the same background of modern his. tory, the same logic, the same general conceptions of law and government and society, as in an English book and in his own mind. There are, of course, differences on some of these points, which are full of interesting suggestions, but they are comparatively slight differences. When he reads Homer or Æschylus, or even Thucydides or Demosthenes, he finds a very different mental furniture. The world is flat, the rivers are gods, the deities are local, the state is a city, science is in its infancy, the family is a religious bond, the cardinal points of history are all different. These variations naturally exercise bis imagination and his discrimination. It is the same human nature that he finds in all ages, but working under different conditions from those familiar to him, and he can hardly help learning something from the combination of things new to him with things old. He can trace the growth of the modern out of the ancient, he can over. look, so far as he has the ability, the course of human history in its most interesting part, he can distinguish between the permanent and the transient. He does not need to go farther from the modern standpoint, to the literature of India or China, for instance, because this is far enough, and he does better to take this than any other equally remote literature, as that of the Norse languages, because there is here not only fuller and more varied material, but also a beauty which is not found elsewhere. This we claim is the best intellectual food. This brings the mind of the student under the influence of the best writers the world has produced, the models of subsequent literatures.

When in this point of view we look at the writings of the


Christian Fathers, we find something very different. Christianity has come into the world, and these writers are all concerned with it more than with anything else. This one fact brings them into the same sphere with modern writers, no one of whom can ignore Christianity, and destroys that element of diverseness, that entirely different polarity, which is one great advantage of the classics as a historical study. Instead of philosophy we have in the Fathers theology, the bistory is church history, the oratory is preaching, the very poetry is hymns and such a tragedy as X puotos ráoxov. We admit that they are eloquent sermons, acute and profound theology, invaluable history, but the Christian, and in so far the modern element is in them all. Therefore they cannot give to the student the knowledge of human nature under widely different circumstances, the starting point for extended study of history, the understanding of our modern world by contrast, which the ancient classics give and wbich is the best foundation for culture. In the cultivation of taste and style, there can be no argument as to which set of writings furnishes the better discipline.

In another respect, involved to some extent in what has been said, we hold the ancient classics to be preferable as material for college study to the Christian Fathers. The former are a genuine spontaneous literature, the latter comparatively an artificial one. The former reflects faithfully the life of the people among whom it grew up. It was written by men who had no knowledge (whatever the poets claimed) not accessible to all men, who adapted themselves to the wants of their time, and strove, many of them, to give the best direction they could to its wishes and tendencies. It was written, to a remarkable extent, without motive of official duty or pecuniary interest. There was a demand in the minds of men for such epic, lyric, and dramatic poetry, for instance, a demand which had created the occasions for their public delivery. All the popular beliefs, the vague, groping, guessing theories of the universe, the every day morality drawn from experience, the humors and the fears and the hopes of the life of that far off time, are represented in this life-breathing literature. With all their exquisite finish, these writings seem not so much deliberate works as natural growtbs, even as the literature itself (we have that of Greece in mind now) grew up through successive natural stages. On the other hand the writings of the



Fathers, considered as a literature, seem like exotics or an artificial product. They bear a relation to the classics like that of Virgil to Homer, or of the pastoral poetry of Pope's time to Cowper and Wordsworth. They are writings of men laboring to educate and elevate the people about them into the knowledge and practise of a supernatural religion. It is a noble work, and the writings it produced are of inestimable value, but their value is not mainly in the direction of literature. We do not to day look to our theological schools or missionary societies to supply our literary wants. Undoubtedly their work is a grander and more lasting one, but there is something still to be said for those who do the other work. In ancient times religion entered into literature as into politics and other forms of life, being itself of no higher origin than they, but in our day there is a distinction, not a gulf, between them, which it is hopeless to try to destroy by this use of the Fathers.

In thus objecting to the use of the Christian Greek and Latin authors as text-books, we do not mean to deny to them all literary merit. We readily admit that such writings as Augustine's Confessions, Chrysostom's sermons, Tertullian's apologetics, are perbaps the best specimens we have of the style of their day, and worthy of a place of honor in the literature of the world. We claim, however, that they belong rather to the special advanced student of church history, in a wide sense of that term, to the theologian, or to him who can devote a lifetime to the study of all literature in its varying phases. They are after all important rather for the thoughts they contain than for the form of expressions. Eusebius, with his traditions, and visions, and wonderful conversions, can only be valuable when critically studied, as he could not be by a schoolboy. If it is worth while for young men in the course of general education to study Greek at all, as we maintain that it is and always will be, they ought to bave the best Greek and the best literature accessible in Greek, for the little time that they give to it. And for a young man who

a expects to be a minister, it is even more important not to anticipate in any such way as this his professional study, but to read the heathen literature with his conscience sensitive and his mind uncorrupted, as he surely may, and then enter upon the study of theology with as much knowledge as possible of the condition of the world without Christianity. VOL. XXXV.




ALL Protestant theology has its source in the Bible. We Protestants acknowledge no other fountain of religious truth. We have no reverence for the authority of the Fathers of the church, except as learned and devout interpreters of the Scriptures. We accept no doctrines but those professedly founded on holy writ. Rationalism, in its ordinary meaning of a reliance upon human reason for religious truth, we repudiate as the worst of theological evils. When any new interpretation of human life, or any new answer to the problems of human destiny is put forth, we unanimously cry,—" to the law and the testimony," and demand first of all a goodly array of proof-texts from the Bible.

Since, then, the Holy Scriptures are the basis of all our dearest hopes and firmest convictions as Protestant Christians, it is most important that we should have clear ideas of what they really are. It is the height of inconsistency for Protestants to claim that the Bible alone is the source of all religious truth, and yet be contented with vague and unsettled notions as to the extent of its authority, or confused ideas as to the nature of its inspiration. For, treat it as we may, questions are continually arising about it to which we must give an intelligent answer, or else the skeptic on the one hand or the fanatic on the other will remain master of the field, and our own position be rendered very uncomfortable, because we shall feel it to be logically untenable. The fundamental doctrine of Protestantism cannot be left, with safety, in an unsettled or misty condition. In this day, when the very foundations of all things are called in question, as never before, it is not enough to say, “I believe that the Bible is the word of God," or, “I believe the Bible to be an inspired book." For the question is instantly retorted, in almost every circle of thought, "in what sense the word of God?"_"to what extent inspired ? "

And these questions must not and cannot be answered a priori. That is, we cannot say in reply, “the Bible is exactly

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