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fourth volume contains a commentary on the Psalms by Euthymius Zigabenus.
5. ECUMENIUS, Bishop of Tricca in Thessaly, towards the close of the tenth century, wrote commentaries on the Acts of the Apostles, and the whole of the Epistles. His work is a judicious compilation from Origen, Chrysostom, Eusebius, and others. It is worthy of observation, that the controverted clause in St. John's First Epistle (1 John v. 7.) was not known to this writer. The best edition is that of Paris, 1631, in 2 vols. folio.
6. EUTHYMIUS ZIGABENUS, a monk of Constantinople, in the early part of the twelfth century, wrote commentaries on different parts of the Bible, the whole of which have not been printed. His principal work is a commentary on the four Gospels, published by Matthæi at Leipsic, in 1792. in 3 vols. 8vo. The hitherto inedited Greek text is diligently revised from two MSS. in the library of the Holy Synod at Moscow, written in the time of the author. Vol. I. contains the prefaces and Gospel of St. Matthew; Vol. II. the Gospels of St. Mark and St. Luke; Vol. III. the Gospel of St. John, with Hentenius's Latin Version of the whole of Euthymius's Commentary, his Critical Remarks, and those of the learned editor. Euthymius's Commentary on the Psalms was published with the Works of Theophylact.
7. Very similar to the works of Theophylact and Ecumenius, above noticed, are the CATENE, or Commentaries on the Scriptures, consisting of separate passages or interpretations of the fathers, reduced to the order of chapters and verses of the books; they are denominated Catena, because, as a chain is composed of several links connected together, so these compilations consist of numerous different passages, or the sentences and expositions of different writers, so connected together as to form one continued work. The earliest compiler of a Catena was Procopius of Gaza, whose entire work on the Scriptures has never been printed; though particular portions have been published, as his Catena on the Octateuch, or eight first books, in Latin, Tiguri (Zurich), 1555, folio; on the two books of Kings and Chronicles, Gr. Lat. 4to. Lug. Bat. 1620; a specimen of his Catena on the Heptateuch, or seven first books, and on the Song of Solomon, edited by Ernesti, Leipsic, 1785, 4to. ; on Isaiah, edited by Courtier, folio, Paris, 1580. Procopius was followed by Olympiodorus, who is supposed to have flourished in the seventh century; his Catena on the book of Job was published at Venice in 1587, 4to. A Catena on Job, Psalms, Matthew, and John, was printed by Plantin at Antwerp, in Greek and Latin, in seven vols. folio, 1630, and following years. One of the most valuable works of this kind is the Catena of Nicephorus on the Octateuch, the two books of Samuel, and the two books of Kings; it is a compilation from fifty-one writers, and was published in Greek, in two vols. folio, at Leipsic, 1792. Possin and Corderius published a Catena in Greek and Latin, on the Four Evangelists, in 1628, 1630, 1646, and 1647, at Antwerp and Thoulouse, in four large folio volumes; and a Greek Catena of Victor, a presbyter of Antioch, and other fathers, on the Gospel of St. Mark, was edited by Matthæi, at Moscow, 1775, in 2 vols. 8vo.1
1 Morus (tom. ii. p. 253.) has enumerated several catena on particular parts of the New Testament. The best account of these compilations is to be found in
8. JEROME, of all the Latin fathers, has rendered the most important services to the Christian world, by his elaborate Commentary on the Scriptures, and his prefaces to the different books. His commentary on the Prophets is reckoned the best part of his works; his valuable Latin version of the Scriptures, has already been noticed.1 The principal editions of this eminently learned father's works are those of Paris, 1693-1706, in five vols. folio, and of Verona, 1734 -1742, in eleven vols. folio.
9. HILARY, Bishop of Poitiers, in the fourth century, wrote Commentaries on the Psalms, and on the Gospel of St. Matthew, which are extant in the Paris edition of his works, 1693, folio, and in that printed at Verona, 1730, in two vols. folio. These Commentaries consist more of what he borrowed from Origen, than of the results of his own studies; and on this account Morus is of opinion, that little assistance can be derived from consulting them. This author must not be confounded with Hilary, surnamed the Deacon, from the office which he filled in the church of Rome, in the middle of the fourth century and who wrote a Commentary on St. Paul's Epistles, which is printed in the second volume of the Benedictine edition of Ambrose's works (Paris, 1686-1690, 2 vols. folio), to whom they are erroneously ascribed.
10. AUGUSTINE, the celebrated Bishop of Hippo in Africa, in the fourth century, wrote several Treatises on the Scriptures, and particularly Commentaries on the Psalms, neither of which are now held in much estimation, notwithstanding the high rank he holds in ecclesiastical history. His piety, indefatigable application, sublime genius, unwearied pursuit of truth, and the acuteness of his wit, are universally allowed. "It is however certain," says Mosheim, "that the accuracy and solidity of his judgment were by no means proportionable to the eminent talents now mentioned; and that upon many occasions, he was more guided by the violent impulse of a warm imagination, than by the cool dictates of reason and prudence. Hence that ambiguity which appears in his writings, and which has sometimes rendered the most attentive readers uncertain with respect to his real sentiments; and hence also the just complaints which many have made of the contradictions that are so frequent in his works, and of the levity and precipitation with which he set himself to write upon a variety of subjects, before he had examined them with a suffi112 Jahn has remarked that cient degree of attention and diligence." the genius of Augustine resembled that of Origen rather than that of Jerome, to both of whom he was greatly inferior in learning, being totally ignorant of Hebrew, and but moderately versed in Greek.3 His Treatises on the Scriptures form the third, and his Commentaries on the Psalms the fourth volume of the Benedictine edition of his works. He accommodates the Scriptures more frequently to his own ideas, than he accommodates these to the former, and is perpe
Ittigius's Tractatus de Catenis Patrum, Leipsic, 1707, Evo. ; and in Noesselt's Observationes de Catenis Patrum Græcorum in Novum Testamentum. Hala, 1762, 4to. See also Walchii Bibliotheca Theologica, vol. iv. pp. 388-391.
1 See 198, 199, of this volume.
tually hunting out mysteries, especially in numbers. Such was the authority in which the writings of Augustine were held, that his expositions continued to be followed by all Latin interpreters from his time until the Reformation; who have selected expositions not only from his professedly biblical labours, but also from his other practical and controversial writings. Among the principal compilations of this kind are the Glosses, or short interpretations of Strabo and Anselm.
11. WALAFRIDUS STRABO OF STRABUS, who flourished in the ninth century, composed a work on the whole Bible, which was called Glossa ordinaria or marginalis; because the entire margin, at the top and bottom, as well as on each side of the page, was filled with annotations. His work is in fact a catena or collection of comments from all the Latin fathers who preceded him, and particularly from Augustine and Rabanus Maurus, whose pupil Strabo was, and who wrote a voluminous catena on the Gospel of St. Matthew, and St. Paul's Epistles, besides an entire comment on the Bible, which is still in manuscript. Strabo endeavours to show the literal, historical, and moral sense of the Scriptures, but not always with success. For many years the labours of Strabo continued to be received as the sole authorised interpretation of the Bible. The best edition of his work is that of Antwerp, 1634, folio.2
12. ANSELM, an ecclesiastical writer of the eleventh century, wrote an Interlineary Gloss, so called because it is confined to the insertion of a very brief exposition of obscure passages in the same line with the text.
13. THOMAS AQUINAS, a celebrated scholastic doctor of the thirteenth century, compiled a Catena on the four Gospels, from upwards of eighty Greek and Latin fathers, whose words he chiefly gives, rather than their meaning, and quotes the Greek fathers from Latin versions of their works. His comment long held a distinguished place in the Western church; it is found in the fourth and fifth vols. of the Venice edition of his works, 1755, 4to.
There were however a few, though but few, interpreters of better note, who flourished during the period now under consideration, and who followed a better mode of interpretation. We shall briefly enumerate them.
14. The venerable BEDE, who lived in the eighth century, composed a catena on nearly the whole of the New Testament, from the writings of the fathers, in which he interspersed but few remarks of his own. Deeply versed in Greek literature, he has the peculiar praise of drawing from original sources. His commentaries are to be found in the fifth and sixth volumes of the Cologne edition of his works, 1688, folio.
15. ALCUIN, the countryman and contemporary of Bede, compiled a commentary on some parts of the Scriptures, in which he made selections from Jerome, Chrysostom, Augustine, Bede, and other writers; not always with the best judgment. His biblical labours are contained in the first volume of Froben's edition of his works.
1 Rambachii Instit. Herm. p. 679.
2 Much curious information relative to the Biblia Glossata, or Glosses on the Scriptures, is contained in Masch's edition of Le Long's Bibliotheca Sacra, part ii. vol. iii. cap. ii. sect. iii. pp. 353. et seq.
16. NICHOLAS DE LYRA OF LYRANUS, so called from the place of his nativity, a small town in Normandy, is reputed to have been a Jew by descent, but having embraced Christianity, he entered into the religious society of Friars Minors at Verneuil. He deservedly holds a distinguished rank among commentators, his explanations of the Scriptures being far superior to the manner and spirit of the age in which he flourished. His compendious expositions of the Bible were called postills, from his manner of placing them, viz. first exhibiting the sacred text, and post illa (after the words of the text) offering his own explication. In this work he shows a greater acquaintance with the literal sense of Scripture than any preceding commentator, and has availed himself of his intimate knowledge of Hebrew to select the best comments of the most learned Rabbins, particularly Jarchi. Being, however, less intimately acquainted with Greek than with Hebrew, he is less happy in his expositions of the New Testament than in those of the Old. His notes are allowed to be very judicious, and he principally attends to the literal sense, with which, however, he occasionally intermingles the subtleties of the schoolmen. The best edition of this work is that of Antwerp, 1634, in 6 vols. folio: it is also found in the Biblia Maxima, edited by Father De la Haye, in 19 vols. folio. Lyra was also the author of Moralia, or Moral Commentaries upon the Scriptures.1
THE PRINCIPAL COMMENTATORS ON THE SCRIPTURES GENERALLY, SINCE THE REFORMATION.
1. Foreign Commentators.
í. THE illustrious reformer, MARTIN LUTHER, wrote Commentaries on most of the books of Scripture. A collection of them was published at Wittenberg, in four volumes, folio, 1549. All the writings of this great man are deservedly held in the highest estimation in Germany, especially his Commentaries on Genesis, and on St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans and Galatians. His Commentary on the Galatians is best known in this country by a translation, which was first printed in 1580 in 4to. and subsequently in folio, octavo, and in two vols. 12mo. In 1821, was published, in 8vo. a translation of Luther's Commentary on the Psalms, called Psalms of Degrees; in which among many other valuable Discourses on Individual, Household, and Civil Affairs, the Scriptural Doctrine respecting the divinely instituted and honourable Estate of Matrimony is explained and defended against the Popish Perversion of Enforced Celibacy, Monastic Vows, Orders, &c. &c. To which is prefixed, An Historical Account of the Monastic Life, particularly of the Monasteries of England.
2. The biblical writings of JOHN CALVIN, another illustrious reformer, consist of Commentaries, Homilies, and Lectures on almost
1 Masch's edition of Le Long's Bibliotheca Sacra, part ii. vol. iii. p. 357—362. Lyra's commentary was attacked by Paul bishop of Burgos (Paulus Burgensis), a converted Jew, and was defended by Matthias Doring. Ibid. pp. 363, 364. Walchii Bibliotheca Theologica, vol. iv. pp. 396, 397.
the whole of the Scriptures: they are to be found in the folio edition of his works, printed at Amsterdam, in 1671, in nine volumes. The Commentaries and other expository writings of this great man have always been deservedly celebrated and admired: though it has been the fashion with some modern divines to depreciate them, on account of those peculiar dogmas which Calvin deduced from the Sacred Writings. "Calvin's Commentaries," says the learned Matthew Poole, in the preface to the Synopsis Criticorum Sacrorum,' noticed below, "abound in solid discussions of theological subjects, and in practical improvements of them. Subsequent writers have borrowed most of their materials from Calvin; and his interpretations adorn the books even of those who repay their obligation by reproaching their master." The great critic Scaliger said that no commentator had better hit the sense of the prophets than Calvin ; and another eminent critic of our own time (Rosenmüller) has remarked, that although Calvin was not deeply versed in Hebrew, yet as he possessed an acute and subtle genius, his interpretations of Isaiah in particular, contain many things which are exceedingly useful for understanding the prophet's meaning. Nothing indeed can more satisfactorily evince the high estimation to which the commentaries of Calvin are still entitled from the biblical student, than the following eulogium of one of the most learned prelates that ever adorned the Anglican Church-Bishop Horsley. "I hold," says he, "the memory of Calvin in high veneration; his works have a place in my library; and, in the study of the Holy Scriptures, he is one of the Commentators whom I most frequently consult." The writer of these pages has not often had occasion to refer to the writings of Calvin in the prosecution of this work; yet he has never consulted them but with advantage and with pleasure.
3. VICTORINUS STRIGELIUS was nearly contemporary with Luther and Calvin, and wrote arguments and notes to the whole of the Bible, with the exception of Isaiah, which were published at different times between the years 1566 and 1586, and in various sizes.1 They are much admired for their exactness, particularly his Trouvara ou the New Testament, which are noticed in a subsequent page.
4. LUDOVICI DE DIEU Critica Sacra, sive Animadversiones in Loca quædam difficiliora Veteris et Novi Testamenti. Amsterdam, 1693, folio.
A work of acknowledged character: "Perhaps no man ever possessed a more consummate knowledge of the Oriental languages than De Dieu, nor employed his knowledge to more useful purposes." (Bibliog. Dict. III. 123.)
5. SEBASTIANI SCHMIDII Commentarii in Genesin, Josuam, Ruth, Reges, Samuelem, Jobum, Psalmos, Ecclesiasten, Iesaiam, Jeremiam, Hoseam, Evangelium Johannis, et Epistolas Pauli ad Romanos, Galatas, et Hebræos. Argentorati, 1687, et annis sequentibus, 4to.
Sebastian Schmidt was at least the most laborious and voluminous commentator of his age (the seventeenth century). Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. vol. v. p. 296.
6. CRITICI SACRI: sive Annotata doctissimorum Virorum in Vetus ac Novum Testamentum ; quibus accedunt Tractatus varii, Theologico-Philologici, 9 tomis in 12 voluminibus, Amsterdam, 1698, folio.
1 Masch has given the titles and dates of their respective publications; vol. iii. pp. 424-427.