« PrécédentContinuer »
of his time. Enough has been already said to obviate the necessity of treating the question as though the guilt lay all or even chiefly on one side. Protestant and Catholic alike are amenable to the charge. But whether it be Luther with his furious exhortations to stab and slay, or Henry spreading desolation around him with the two-edged sword of his Articles, or Elizabeth signing the death-warrants of the Court of High Commission,-whether it be Caraffa drawing up rules in Rome for the guidance of the Inquisition at Rome, or Charles pondering on new severities against its wretched captives, amidst his blooming plots of Tunis pinks at Yuste,-the phenomenon is alike humiliating and revolting. At a man like Henry VIII. we have perhaps no right to wonder. Deeds of iniquity inspire such men with a savage exultation, and the most horrible enormities cause no pang to the reprobate conscience, or rouse a transient feeling of terror by the dread of coming judgment. But Charles knelt each day in earnest devotion before the light-crowned Altar, and bowed down in humble adoration before the Crucified Form of the Common Priest of us all. Surely those outstretched arms, pleading for a world's sin, might have arrested the stroke of merciless severity, that agonized countenance have won some scanty pity for the poor and ignorant,-that wounded side have taught him that the healing stream flowed out alike for all. And still, as from the prostrate worshippers rose the prayer for mercy and help to Him who underwent for them an agony inconceivable,—still as the incense mantled round the flashing altar, and the Virgin's song of meek thanksgiving echoed through the sacred pile, surely that act of solemn worship might have roused within him some thought of gentler measures with those at least who had erred or been deceived. Surely the lowly form of that blessed Mother, with her blissful Child, might have stayed him from his ruthless purpose, and won from him some distinction between the wandering sheep and the raging lion, between the grey-haired heresiarch and the guileless youth whose faith he had corrupted.
But the persecutor and the persecuted alike are gone; and memory and imagination alone reanimate the groups that lived and hoped and toiled and suffered. With sad earnestness we seem to gaze upon their changeless faces, as they pass in solemn array before us. There is the bowed and drooping form of the victor of Muhlberg, and there the stalwart shape and open honest countenance of his faithful chamberlain Quixada. There is the sad and swarthy visage' of Carranza, seamed with the scars of a protracted undeserved suffering; there too the smooth brow and crafty restless eye of his arch enemy Valdez; and there, in pleasant contrast, is the dark robe and the meek and
Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles V.
penitent face of him whom men called the holy duke,' the third general of the Society of Jesus.
All are gone; and war, pillage, and murder have laid their blood-stained hands on the quiet home of Yuste. Crumbling walls and tangled thickets point out the ancient site of sunny alcoves and pleasant terraces. The last abode of Charles V. is in part a store-house for maize and olives, in part the palace of moths and silkworms, who there have undisturbed supremacy. Wild flowers of varied hues alone give splendour to the shattered wall which once was rich with the gorgeous colouring of Titian. All that devotion and art had done to adorn the House of God, and make the place of His rest glorious, has been obliterated by the sacrilegious hand of the destroyer. Altar and image and cross, the jewelled vessels, the golden lamps, the broidered robes, have fallen a prey to the godless plunderer. The once gleaming vault under which flashed a thousand lights on days of solemn festival, is now a dismal canopy over wild shrubs that wrestle with each other for the cramped and narrow space in which they are pent up. The beautiful garden, with its trellised summerhouse, its fountain, and its fish-ponds, is a wilderness of rank and untrained vegetation. And of all that once met the eye round the holy home of Yuste, only the ancient walnut-tree remains, fresh and vigorous amid the surrounding tokens of death pillage and corruption.
Nor are such scenes rare beneath the glorious suns and cloudless skies of the ancient realm of Charles the Fifth. The glory of man has departed; the loveliness of Nature remains unchanged, to tell of a higher world of rest and peace unchangeable.
ART. V.-The Greek Testament, with a critically revised text, &c. BY HENRY ALFORD, B.D. Vicar of Wymeswold, Leicestershire, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Vol. II. London: F. & J. Rivington. 1852.
Ir appears needless on our part to suppress the fact, that there has been a difference of opinion between Mr. Alford and ourselves, upon the exegetical merits of the first volume of the work now before us. In the seventy-third number of this Review, we submitted to our readers an investigation of Mr. Alford's qualifications, both as an editor and an expositor of the Sacred Text of the Holy Gospels. We approached the work without any other bias than such a regard for the sacred character of the Evangelistic Records, and such apprehensions of rudimentary criticism as ought to make us recoil from everything that betrayed inexperience in editing the Holy Text, or levity in expounding it. The tenor of our review, however, was unavoidably unfavourable. An abnormally constructed text and imperfectly digested comments were so deplorably conspicuous throughout the work, that all those propensions which are instinctively felt towards one who devotes himself to sacred exegesis, were outweighed by the accumulated evidences of haste, inexperience, and occasionally, we regret to say, want of reverence, which were forced upon our attention. It was not, however, to be supposed that Mr. Alford, or his friends,' would be satisfied with our estimate of his labours, and we were not wholly taken by surprise when A Reply to a recent Article in the Christian Remembrancer,' from the pen of Mr. Alford, was placed in our hands. We could have sincerely wished, for the credit of the author, that it had been
It is not without some satisfaction that we perceive that our former article has fluttered some of the Germanizing party, and provoked a censure which, coming from that quarter, is nearly akin to praise. One of these efforts deserves immortalizing. A friend lately forwarded to us a pamphlet of notes on the Greek Testament, by a Mr. Wratislaw of Christ's College, Cambridge, which were so unusually jeujne and lactaqueous, that we were puzzled at first to imagine what could have induced the author to print them. The little preface, however, solved the riddle. Mr. Wratislaw had put together some notes, even at the risk of his reputation, and dedicated them to his friends, that he might enjoy the dangerous luxury of writing a preface to reprobate the ignorance' and 'malevolence' of our Article on Mr. Alford.
more successful in rebutting our objections, or in diluting the charge of appropriation, which, from its palpable nature, we 'were forced to adduce, but it was of course with some satisfaction on our own part, that we recognised in the weakness of the defence, a tacit avowal of the justness of our reprehensions.
We do not intend to weary our present readers with any further remarks upon the past controversy, except only in two points, both these being essentially prospective.
(1.) We are forced by the inconsiderate language Mr. Alford has used towards us, to stoop to the avowal that we have not the slightest feelings of hostility against that gentleman, on any ground whatever, personal or theological. We are forced to state this very prominently, as Mr. Alford has, with considerable ingenuity, endeavoured to maintain, throughout his reply, that delendus est was the text of our criticism; and that our censure was furthermore incurred, not so much for his textual, grammatical, and exegetical delinquencies, as his opposition to the presumed sentiments of this Review. When we object to Mr. Alford's want of reverence in speaking of, or citing sacred authors, it is at once set down by him as characteristic of the review and the reviewer.' When, again, we think it necessary to animadvert upon the lax way in which he allows himself to speak upon the discipline of the Church, we are replied to by the statement, that his book is particularly unacceptable to us and our friends' from the maintenance of such principles, and that it is this, and not the adventitious characteristics of compilation and execution, that has roused our theologic hatred.
Now, this mode of defence may be extremely ingenious and adroit, but it can scarcely be considered thoroughly creditable. For the tendency of such statements is to divert the reader's attention from the true points at issue, and to attempt to enlist his sympathies in favour of an author, who has been unfavourably noticed by the Christian Remembrancer, not for having given to the world one of the worst texts of the four Gospels in existence, not from having imported from foreign writers questionable, if not dangerous interpretations, but merely for differing with that periodical on assumed theological grounds. Let it be remembered, too, that this mode of defence tends, not only ipso facto to invalidate the whole of our former criticism, but also proleptically to turn the edge of every other animadversion it may be our duty to pass on Mr. Alford's text or interpretations. To such a strain of defence, it is only possible to make one dignified replication; and that is gravely to reca
pitulate our assurance, that we have not the slightest animosity against Mr. Alford, either personally or theologically. Personally, we have not the good fortune to have any knowledge whatever of the Vicar of Wymeswold: and theologically, we are equally unfortunate: for Mr. Alford's opinions, as they appear before us on the pages of his Greck Testament, are derived from too many authors, and too little at unity with themselves, to present us with any appreciable adumbration of the peculiarities of Mr. Alford's own personal creed. We may add, too, that if we were indeed imbued with that spiritual hostility which Mr. Alford ascribes to us, we should have assuredly not lost the golden opportunity afforded to us by his Reply.'
(2.) As we shall have again, in the course of this article, to return to the subject of appropriations without references, we are obliged to make a few brief comments on Mr. Alford's answer to our former charge. The strong way in which he speaks of our having recklessly assailed private character, makes it very necessary for our credit's sake, that we should notice such assertions; for if the reader of the present article remains under the impression that our former charge was proved to be erroneous, the reproduction of a similar one in the case of the volume now before us, will only seem malevolent and vexatious. We are obliged then to state our deliberate opinion, after having carefully weighed every portion of Mr. Alford's Reply, that he has failed in clearing himself from the charge of having made undue appropriations in the Prolegomena to vol. i. totally and entirely. And the countercharge of recklessness in Mr. Alford's Reply, forces us briefly to substantiate this assertion; for if our charge has been disproved, then we must fairly be considered to have forfeited all further claims to respect, as intelligent or even reputable critics. To have charged a scholar and a divine with having used the labours of others without acknowledgment, and then in the sequel to be proved to have brought forward this grave accusation without the surest evidence, and the most irrefragable arguments, is plainly to be convicted of an almost inexpiable literary crime. It is on this account that we must crave permission of our present readers briefly to allude to the answer Mr. Alford endeavoured to make. He reminds us (Reply, p. 5) that from time to time an advertise
1 Some of Mr. Alford's proceedings are really too bad. In one place (Reply, p. 20) he urges the examples of Hammond, Pearson, and other of our great divines, as not using the title of S. or St. to the sacred authors in mere notes of citation. He must have seen that on mere notes of citation, we were laying no stress, but rather on the habit generally, of speaking personally of the sacred writers without that title, which Pearson and Hammond would sooner have cut off their right hands than denied to them.