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tury, a Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans is attributed to S. Hilary; and in that of the books in the Monastery of Casinum,' a Commentary on the Canonical Epistles.
In the second Council of Seville, held under S. Isidore, the most learned man of his time, S. Hilary's Exposition of the Epistle to Timothy' is expressly cited, and an extract from it is given. Lastly, in a work on the Procession of the Holy Spirit, by Joannes Veccius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in an extract printed by Cardinal Mai in his Spicilegium Romanum,' vol. vi. Præf. p. xxxv., S. Hilary's Expositions of the Apostle' are distinctly cited, and an extract is given. The former extract will be found in the Benedictine editions of S. Hilary's works, and the latter also in Migne's edition. All these testimonies tend to show that S. Hilary was held to have written such commentaries, although no such work of his is mentioned by S. Jerome in his list of his writings, or by any one else. If, therefore, S. Hilary did write such commentaries, they were not, we may presume, very generally known as his. We do not find it stated by our Editor that the passages cited by the Council of Seville, or by the Patriarch of Constantinople, are found in the Commentaries now brought forward as S. Hilary's. We have not found them, nor does Dom Pitra say that they are there. This is a difficulty which ought to be well considered, as it detracts greatly from the force of this part of the argument.
Impressed, however, by this evidence for S. Hilary's having written such commentaries, Dom Pitra lost no opportunity of examining the MS. commentaries on S. Paul, preserved in different libraries, in the hope of recovering them; when in the course of his researches he met with the very fine MS. copy of Commentaries ascribed to S. Ambrose, which formerly belonged to the Monastery of Corbey, and is now in the public library of Amiens. The work, he says, is in two large volumes, written in the ninth century, bearing the title, Incipit Tractatus sancti Ambrosii in Epistolis beati Pauli Apostoli.' The Benedictine Editors of S. Ambrose had examined the MS., and spoke of it as the best they had seen, both in point of antiquity and of the elegance of the writing. They found that the first volume contained the Commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans and the two Epistles to the Corinthians, which pass under the name of S. Ambrose, though varying greatly from the received text; but that the Commentaries on the other Epistles, which are contained in the second volume, were quite different from those called S. Ambrose's, as printed in his works. They did not examine the subject further. Dom Pitra
1 Maii Spicil. Rom. v. 221, is referred to by Dom Pitra.
has done so, and now gives the result of his investigations. His position is this: that the commentaries in the Corbey MS. are throughout the work of one and the same hand, and that S. Hilary's. That the Collection published under the name of Ambrose, in his works, is made up of S. Hilary's Commentaries on the first three Epistles, greatly altered from the Corbey MS., and those of some other author or authors on the rest. The citation of S. Hilary on Romans v. 12, by S. Augustine, being found in the Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, suggests S. Hilary as the author; and as the grounds for not believing that he is, rested on the supposition that the whole Pseudo-Ambrosian series were by the same hand; the overthrowing that supposition leaves it antecedently probable that he is the author, which is confirmed by the evidence of the Commentaries themselves. These are the points which the Editor undertakes to establish in the Prolegomena.
We shall make the subject more clear if we state that the series of Commentaries contained in the Corbey MS., which, if Dom Pitra's view is correct, are S. Hilary's, will be found printed in the following places :—
In the works of S. Ambrose, (ed. Ben.
Under the name of S. Ambrose, in
Spicilegium Solesmense, i. pp. 149159, now first printed.
Dom Pitra does not undertake to correct the variations between the Commentaries on the first three Epistles as printed in S. Ambrose and the Corbey MS. The Commentaries on the Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Philemon, being quite new, he prints entire; and in those on the other Epistles he supplies what is necessary to bring the printed text of Rhabanus Maurus into agreement with that of Corbey.
We now proceed to state the arguments by which the Editor establishes his points: we give them as we find them stated.
i. The whole series of Commentaries in the two volumes of
the Corbey MS. are shown to be by one and the same author, from the unity of style and manner, which are peculiar, as well as by references from one part of the work to another, the passages being identified by the agreement of the matter, and the distinct mention of the Commentaries on other Epistles. He refers to his Commentary on the Hebrews-but that is not in the volume; and also to his having commented on almost all the Epistles, including apparently the canonical Epistles. (These points not only go to establish the fact that the Commentaries in the collection are the work of one and the same author, that author being cited as Saint Hilary by S. Augustine, but also fall in with the statement that S. Hilary commented on S. Paul's Epistles generally, and with that of the Casinensian Catalogue, that there was a work of his on the canonical Epistles.) Further, the writer of the Commentaries says generally that he has sent out expositions of the Gospels, and seems to specify his having published Commentaries on S. Matthew, in which he treated of the two genealogies, perhaps on S. Luke, and on S. John. S. Hilary's first work was his Commentary on S. Matthew, in which he does treat of the genealogies, and he is said to have expounded much of S. John.
ii. Chronological considerations agree with this hypothesis. The author inveighs against the older heresies, such as the Cataphryges, Novatianists, Marcionites, and Valentinians; and again more vehemently, as if against the heresies of his own day, against the Arians, Donatists or Donatians, and the Photinians, that is, up to about the year 350. None are found mentioned of later date than this; i.e. none more recent than the times of S. Hilary. This is important. The names of other authors are rarely mentioned; but the writer names Josephus, Tertullian, Victorinus, and Cyprian; he alludes to Origen, and to the apocryphal books and Hebrew translators, agreeing in these points with S. Hilary. The times of persecution are past; but they that hold the true faith are still in fear; Julian is supposed to be alluded to. The Pagan worship, the theatres, the games still continued. Many of those addressed were not yet baptized, though they were now far advanced in years. There were but few bishops, several of whom were neophytes, several twice married, inexperienced in things sacred, and ridiculed by the Gentiles; for,' he says, at first there were but two or at most three bishops in each province, 'which, not long before this, was even yet kept up in several provinces in the western parts.' He describes the place and country in which he was preaching; a city filled by a numerous people, distinguished by a palace, which was once called Prætorium, given up to the games of the circus, so that you might
see multitudes of men crowding into the theatres, but few in the churches; they who were in the churches attentive to the lessons, yet consisting chiefly of slaves and servants, who were especially interested in the exposition of the Epistle to Philemon. Penitents were there also-virgins, widows, deaconesses, of whom there is frequent mention; but no mention of monks occurs. In the same city were numerous tribuni, comites, curiales; tumults arose in the country, raised by those who wished to destroy the distinctions of property and rank. Lastly, there appears to be a distinct reference, the Editor thinks, to the author's speaking among the Gauls: in that he says of the Galatians (Galata) that they had gone out of those parts,' ex illis partibus. All this, Dom Pitra argues, seems to agree with the time and place of Hilary, teaching at Poitiers in the middle of the fourth century.
iii. The internal marks of style and phraseology, as well as the mode of viewing doctrines, and the method of expounding Scripture, the frequent use of Origen, and of the Greek and old interpreters, and the uniform citing of the ante- Hieronymian version of the Old and New Testaments, but especially his peculiar style, all point to the same Father as the author. The words and phrases used by S. Hilary are very peculiar; many instances of the use of such words are cited, and corresponding passages in his works referred to in the notes. There is the like agreement in the structure of the sentences: the studious introduction of Greek words and modes of expression, an abrupt oratorical manner-all these, in Dom Pitra's judgment, establish the fact that S. Hilary is the author.
To meet some difficulties arising from the style, Dom Pitra imagines that these Commentaries were taken down as dictated by S. Hilary, and that they were circulated in that form, not as finished and corrected compositions.
Those objections which have been alleged to show that the series of Commentaries published in S. Ambrose's works, of which that on the Romans contains the passage cited by S. Augustine as S. Hilary's, are not S. Hilary's, are removed by the simple consideration that those parts of the Commentaries which contain passages and characteristics which are incompatible with their having been written by S. Hilary, in which view all critics have hitherto agreed, and which have led to their being attributed to Tichonius the Donatist, or Pelagius, are not contained in the Corbey MS. This distinction is the key to the solution of all the difficulties, and its importance is great in dispelling the doubts that hung over the question of authorship. The Commentaries on Romans and 1 and 2 Corinthians alone are S. Hilary's, and they are much altered;
the rest are by another hand. Dom Pitra conceives that Tichonius was the author of this series, and that in the Commentaries on the first three Epistles he used the work of S. Hilary, omitting and adding, to make it his own. And indeed the style of the Commentaries on the later Epistles, he says, is so widely different from those on the former, as they exist in the Corbey MS., as clearly to show that they are by another hand.
The Editor concludes his disquisition by conjectures as to the history of the work, and the causes of its remarkable fate, in being almost lost sight of, passing under the name of another, being altered, added to, and abridged. He finds traces of its being known to many writers, and in many parts of the Western Church, forming the material which commentators used for abridgements, extracts, and weaving in with their own thoughts. The difficulties in its history are certainly considerable, but they are difficulties which in some degree hold, whoever is supposed to have been the author; and if it is strange that S. Jerome did not mention such Commentaries as the work of S. Hilary, if they are his; it is also strange that S. Augustine and others should attribute them to him, if they are not. The internal evidence ought to be sufficient to determine the question; for S. Hilary's style is very peculiar, and his way of speaking on many doctrines would go far to identify him. The result of Dom Pitra's careful reading of S. Hilary's writings, with the special view of ascertaining the truth on this point, is, that he entertains no doubt that we have here the genuine work of that great Father on the Epistles, so long lost sight of or unknown.
We must pass over some other fragments bearing S. Hilary's name, of which one is considered genuine by the Editor, the others not; the last being a poem on the Gospel history: and hasten to conclude our review.
After a very brief fragment of S. Rheticius, Bishop of Autun, we have eighty pages of Verses hitherto unpublished, the work of Juvencus, a Spanish Priest of the fourth century, several of whose writings of this kind, of which we now have the lacunæ supplied, were published by Martene, and are collected in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Gallandi. These verses pass often under the name of Cyprian. The Editor was informed by Dr. Giles, who appears under the name of 'Gilesius,' that there were verses bearing the name of Cyprian, much more full than those published by Martene, in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. The generous conduct of the Master of Trinity, whose name has been grievously Latinised into Dr. Wehewelius,' is acknowledged in a grateful spirit. He received Dom Pitra into his house; and himself, at his own risk, entered into a bond for