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Greece afterwards, had apparently no existence; humanity, even in the matter of bloodshed, flourished as contrasted with the horrible scenes depicted in Thucydides, and, as Mr. Gladstone remarks (p. 395), the extremest forms of human depravity (all of which ran riot in later times) were unknown to the practice of the Greeks in the Homeric age. As time rolled on, we may fairly say that gods and men were involved in one common cataclysm of depravity; and that it was in this extremity, when human wickedness had culminated, and religion had become the laughing-stock of its worshippers, and had utterly lost the " considerable moral force" which it had in tho days of Homer, it was then that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
We are not over much disposed to praise former times, and to assert that they were better than the later; it would indeed be a very hard thing if man collectively, as man individually, should be unable to learn something from experience; but still, if by "Juventus Mundi" we are to understand a period iu which was the germ of goodness and holiness and wisdom, and from which blessing flowed, and a way was made for the coming of the Lord, we fail to discover it; the last days of Greek religion and Greek morality were worse than the first days, simply, we think, because man had wandered further from God, and it was needful that the Good Shepherd should go forth to rescue those whose feet were stumbling on the dark mountains. . Whatever other might have been the results to Greece of the Olympian religion, it had only produced, in its own proper province, superstition and unbelief, and the most foul and revolting wickedness had flourished in connexion with it, and sheltered under its example. The concluding chapter of Bishop Thirlwall's History of Greece bears strong testimony to the truth of what we have alleged; his sympathy for the Greeks is as great as Mr. Gladstone's, and he confirms Mr. Gladstone's general views in yet more powerful language.*
It is with much regret that we have felt constrained to make these comments. There is something so pleasing in beholding a man of Mr. Gladstone's eminence employing his hours of leisure in such high and intellectual employment, that we are most unwilling to speak in other than terms of warm commendation of a book so replete with scholarship and so useful in its general purport. Still these speculations which we have noted have about them so suspicious a flavour of those loose theories which now-a-days pass current with many for religion, and are so hard to reconcile with facts and with the Word of God, that we could not pass them by. We do not hold that the Greek had a place in God's provi
« P. 183. Vol. 68—No. 382. 5 E
dential order corresponding with that of the Jew, any more than we believe that Shakespeare and Milton were inspired in the same sense with David and Isaiah. We shall be sorry if we have misunderstood or misrepresented Mr. Gladstone's views, but we have dealt with them according to the best of our judgment. The law of Moses was, we know, "a schoolmaster to bring men unto Christ," but beyond this we can only say that " God made man upright, but that they sought out many inventions." None of these inventions, however, were calculated to bring man unto Christ, but rather to involve him in deeper darkness and ruin.
TOZER'S RESEARCHES IN THE HIGHLANDS OF TURKEY.
Eesearclies in the Highlands of Turkey, fyc. By the Rev. H. F. Tozer, M.A., F.R.0.8. London: Murray. 1869.
We have read these volumes with much pleasure. They bear throughout evidence of being the work of an accomplished scholar. As a specimen of the readiness with which Mr. Tozer brings his classical learning to bear upon the scenes before him, we quote the following passage:—
"When I was first travelling in Greece, I was surprised by seeing a man, who had worked himself up into a passion while talking to me, stoop down and strike the ground violently with his hand. This gesticulation is not unfrequently used by the Greeks when greatly excited, and is in itself very impressive; but, though no further idea is associated with it in the minds of the people, yet in old times it was intended to summon up the Furies from below for purposes of vengeance. Thus, when Aithasa, in the 'Iliad,' curses her son Meleager, we are told that she—
■ 'prayed to Heav'n above, and with her hand
Beating the solid earth, the nether powers,
and in answer to her call 'the Erinnys heard from Erebus.'" (vol. ii. p. 322.)
We fear, however, that the very large amount of topographical information which he has brought together, and which is in itself most valuable, relating as it does to districts little known, and discussing much vexed questions, such as the site of Troy, will fail to interest readers who do not sympathise in such studies. Still the account of his visit to the monasteries upon Mount Athos, where "all the different phases of Eastern monastic life" can be seen, and the distinction between Coenobite and Idiorrhythmic convents so carefully explained, will attract attention. Probably very many of our readers have a very vague idea of what a "skete" or a "Lavra" is. Mr. Tozer estimates the monks on Mount Athos at about 3000, besides seculars. When on Mount Athos, he was present at the Festival of the Transfiguration, of which he says :—
"There is an interest attaching to this festival, independent of its strangeness, from its carrying us back to a theological discussion of the 14th centnry, which was the ne plus ultra of controversial folly. In the only passage in Gibbon's history in which the monks of Athos are mentioned, the historian points one of his bitterest sneers by a reference to the dispute as to the divine light of Mount Tabor, which was the doctrine of the Hesychasts, who maintained that after long abstinence and contemplation they could see, in the middle of their belly, which was the seat of the soul, the light which appeared to the disciples at the transfiguration of Christ, and that this light was part of the essence of God himself, and therefore immortal and eternal. This view, which Gibbon describes as the product of an empty stomach and an empty brain, was combated by a Calabrian monk called Barlaam, and thereupon a fierce discussion arose, which ended in the discomfiture and condemnation of the sceptic, and the establishment of the doctrine of the uncreated light of Tabor. I endeavoured to discover if any traces of this controversy were still remaining, but I could find none. No monk now expected to see this light in ecstatic moments; the name of Barlaam was almost unknown, and the controversy forgotten: and though they still maintained that the light of the Transfiguration was an uncreated light, they did not anathematize those who held the contrary. Indeed, not only on this, but on most points connected with religion, I was forcibly struck by their breadth of view, which made itself seen in the midst of much formalism and superstition, and by their tolerance of others' opinions, and charitable feelings towards other Christian communions." (pp. 104, 105.)
Upon a point which is just now a good deal discussed, and we think urged with a good deal of ignorance and absurdity, Mr. Tozer presents the views of some of the more intelligent Greek ecclesiastics with whom he conversed. They do not seem to us to hold out much encouragement to those who sympathise in the movement towards union with oriental Churches :—
"I had a long conversation with one of the superiors, called Nilus, a man of imposing appearance, whose strong countenance, quick eye, long grey hair, and benevolent expression, were eminently attractive; and he was liberal-minded as well as devout. Speaking to me of other churches, he said, 'The Church is now divided, but all are Christians, and our first object ought to be to make it one again. The proper way to bring this about is to ignore minor differences as far as possible, and to leave each Church free to maintain its established customs. If I were to visit England, I ought to be free to worship according to the rites to which I am accustomed; if a member of the English Church comes here, he should have the same freedom.' He thought there was hope of bringing this about, especially in case of the downfall of the Papacy, which he regarded as the great difficulty in the way of the unity of the Church. A book of travels is not the proper place for discussing the theories of Christian union or comprehension, but I believe Nilus struck the right nail on the head. All honour to those who, in whatsoever way, endeavour to promoto harmony among Christian communions; but wh en we consider the vast differences which almost necessarily exist between them, arising in great measure from temperament, from modes of thought, and from deeply-rooted associations, it is hard to conceive that a permanent basis of agreement could be fixed on any other principle than that just stated. No doubt, in such a case, the common standard of doctrine would be required, which should be accepted by all; but such a one we have ready to hand in the one only form of faith which has been established and ratified by the wholo Christian Church—the Nicene creed.
"When we talked to the monks, as we often did, about their relation to other Christian churches, and to our own in particular, the answers they gave us were almost always sympathetic and liberal. 'Do you receive the Gospels? Do you believe in the Trinity? Are you baptized?' asked one. 'Very well; then you are a true Christian.' Another volunteered the remark that all the Churches aro one, the test being belief in Christ. 'Tho Ottomans,' he said, 'have also a Church, but them we cannot include, because they do not believe in Christ.' These expressions, however, we must not take for more than what they really mean. When I was discussing the subject with the librarian of St. Dionysius', who was a rigid disciplinarian, and seized the points of difference in preference to thoso of agreement, I asked him at last the plain question, 'Do you then consider us to be heretics?' 'No,' he replied, 'you are not heretics, but you are not of the Orthodox Church.' This exactly represents the point of view from which we are generally regarded by members of the Eastern communion; and the same thing is taught in their catechisms, namely, that the universal Church is the aggregate of all the bodies of Christians which are found throughout the world, but that to belong to one of these is a very different thing from membership in the Church to which they have the privilege of belonging. In short, they regard us almost exactly in the same way as a large number of English Churchmen regard the dissenters in their own country—that is to say, they acknowledge the reality of our Christian faith, and its vitality, as shown by the fruits it produces, and would shrink from denying that we shall ultimately be saved; but at the same time they feel themselves unable to consider us as being in tho same safe and, so to speak, guaranteed position as themselves." (pp. 124—12C.)
At Salonica, Mr. Tozer saw the inscription on one of the piers of an arch, which he assigns to a date later than Vespasian, in which the unusual title of "politarchs" occurs, Acts xvii. 6; and in the Appendix to his second volume presents a facsimile of another inscription recently found at Monastir, twelve miles distant, which shows that the title was to be found elsewhere in Macedonia.
We quote some remarks upon the distinction existing between the Eastern and Western Churches, the one reprobating the use of statuary, while the latter advocates it. They are of interest, as showing the grounds upon which this distinction rests :—
"When talking to one of the more intelligent of the monks of Athos on this subject, I was assured by him that the distinction between statues and icons was drawn by the Sixth and Seventh General Councils; to which he added, that the icon merely served for a likeness or remembrance of a person, while the statue expressed beauty and caused sensual gratification. In the first of these statements he was mistaken; all through the iconoclastic controversy statues were the objects of attack and defence just as much as pictures, and in the acts of the Fourth Synod of Constantinople, in 8G9, no such distinction is made. The change was brought about veiy gradually; so much so, that no trace remains to us of the steps by which it came to pass. But the latter part of the monk's statement is valuable, because it presents to us, in a Greek Christian of the present day, the same feeling which was really at work from the first, namely, an instinctive objection to a material image. In tho only passage, as far as I know, in any ecclesiastical historian, where this subject has been philosophically treated, this idea has been brought prominently forward. Speaking of the time succeeding the period of Iconoclasm, Dean Milman says—' To the keener perception of tho Greeks there may have arisen a feeling that, in its more rigid and solid form, the Image was more near to the Idol. At the same time, tho art of sculpture and casting in bronze was probably more degenerate and out of use; at all events, it was too slow and laborious to supply the demand of triumphant zeal in the restoration of tho persecuted Images. There was, therefore, a tacit compromise; nothiug appeared but painting, mosaics, engraving on cups and chalices, embroidery on vestments. The renunciation of Sculpture grew into a rigid passionate aversion. The Greek at length learned to contemplate that kind of more definite and full representation of the Deity, or the saints, with tho aversion of a Jew or a Mohammedan.' What has been said about statues naturally applius to the crucifix also; and this perhaps may have been disused all the more easily, because it had not long been introduced, for the crucifix did not exist until after the seveuth century." (pp. 193,194.)
What the advocates of women's rights would think of the following may, we think, be easily imagined. We commend it to Mr. Mill as an interesting topic for the next edition of his "Subjection of Women" :—
"It roused one's indignation to see the way in which the women