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ART. VIII.-1. Lateinische und Griechische Messen, aus dem zweiten bis sechsten Jahrhundert. Herausgegeben von FRANZ JOSEPH MONE, Archivdirector in Karlsruhe. Frankfort am Main. 1850. [Latin and Greek Liturgies, from the second to the sixth century. Edited by F. J. MONE, Librarian at Karlsruhe.]
2. Vida e Opusculos de S. Martinho Bracarense, impressos, pela primeira vez, neste reino, por cuidado e ordem do Excmo. e Remo. Senhor D. FR. CAETANO BRANDÃO, Arcebispo Primaz. [Life and Works of S. Martin of Braga, now first printed in this kingdom, by the care and at the order of FR. CAETANO BRANDÃO, Archbishop-Primate.] Lisbon.
3. Dissertacion Historico-Chronologica de la Missa Antigua de España, Concilios y Successos sobre su Establecimento y Mutacion. Su autor el P. M. Fr. HENRIQUE FLOREZ. [A Historical and Chronological Dissertation on the Ancient Liturgy of Spain: the Councils and Occurrences connected with its Establishment and Alteration. By FR. HENRIQUE FLOREZ.] Madrid.
4. Tetralogia Liturgica. Edidit JOANNES M. NEALE, A.M. London: Leslie.
5. The Practical Working FRED. MEYRICK, M. A.
6. Historia de Portugal. Lisbon: 1846-1850.
AMIDST all the branches of the Catholic Church, the Spanish is that of which the history is the least intelligible. In other nations, the brighter or obscurer phases of religion seem to be in connexion with each other; there is a sequence in the progress of their ecclesiastical annals;-one part explains the other, and we may obtain a practical lesson from the whole. But in Spain all seems out of joint. The five great epochs of the Church,-her annals before the Arian invasion-under the Arians-her restoration-the Mahometan conquest-her final victory,-bear no mutual reference; they are rather separate pieces of history, which have a forced and accidental connexion, but no essential unity. There are, indeed, two keynotes, which, unhappily, characterise the whole history of the Peninsular Church-laxity of morals, and violence in the propagation of the faith. She never appears as the uncorrupted Bride of Christ in the midst of an adulterous and sinful generation; she never appears as the tender, loving mother, the winner of Arian heretics or apostates.
faith is too often made to serve instead of purity;—and fire and sword are the means of propagating that faith.
How it was that Spain and Aquitaine were plunged into such an excess of licentiousness at the time of the Visigothic invasion, is one of those mysteries of ecclesiastical history that cannot be solved. The testimony of Salvian is no less fearful than decisive. He imputes to his fellow Catholics, as open, undenied, as notorious, as abounding in every city, crimes of which it is impossible to think without shuddering; and with these he contrasts the purity, the devotion, the high morals of the Arian conquerors. Vandals in Africa, Suevi in Portugal; Visigoths in Spain, all found the same corruption, all won for themselves the same praise; but Spain is the country that is branded with the deepest imputation of vice. One of the few victories which Roman troops gained over the invaders, was won by a surprise on Sunday, when the heretics were at their devotions. Doubtless, the Arian domination purified the lives of the Catholics. The scum of the old, drifted off into the new, establishment: pollution changed places, and God gave His Church another time of probation. The preaching of S. Martin of Dume, and the splendid career of S. Martin of Tours, touched the heart of Charraric, King of the Suevi: Gallicia returned to the faith. About twenty-five years later, the martyrdom of S. Hermenigild won his father, King Levigild, to an acknowledgment, if not to the profession, of the truth; and Recared, the brother and successor of the martyr, confessed the Consubstantial in the Third Council of Toledo. It is worth while to notice, that neither in this Synod, nor in that of Braga (A.D. 561), which reconciled Gallicia, is any hint given that immorality had widely spread among the laity: a melancholy contrast with the Canons afterwards passed when the establishment was Catholic.
A hundred and forty years brought back all, and more than, its old corruptions to the Church of Spain. The Moslems passed the strait. The empire of the Visigoths was dashed to pieces on the banks of the Guadalete. Emerging from a tumultuous conflict of civil war, Abderrahman-ben-Moaviah establishes an independent emirate at Cordova. Six of his descendants succeed him in his title and in his power:-the seventh, Abderrahman III., takes the name of Khalif. Follow the long and weary struggles of the Ommiada and the Edrisites; till Spain falls into independent emirates, and the entry of the Almoravides in the eleventh century raises, for a while, the sinking fortunes of the Mussulmans, and gives them a further existence of four hundred years.
Quid? Hispanias nonne vel eadem vel majora forsitan crimina perdiderunt?' is Salvian's expression.
This is the history of more than three centuries. But in all that time, how little is there in the Church on which the annalist can dwell with pleasure! Valour every where displayed: city after city recovered to the faith: mosque after mosque reconciled: but of holiness, of purity, of love, little enough. Affonso VI., the great monarch of Castille and Leon, the recoverer of Toledo, and the prop of the Spanish Church, had two concubines, besides his legitimate wives. As the Cross went on triumphing over the Crescent, though it be the golden age of Spain, S. Ferdinand is the one great and bright character of its mediæval annals.
Granada was taken: and then began that remarkable phase of religion which culminated in Philip II. Gloomy, morose, austere; shutting out, like its churches, light and cheerfulness: -finding its palace in the Escurial, its architect in Herrera, its painter in Velasquez, its life in Madrid, its funeral in the Panteon de los Infantes. Very grand it was and solemn: very moral and full of etiquette: as grave as the funeral saloon at Galapagar, and as pitiless as the Inquisition. And yet this system produced a Ximenes, and a S. Theresa.
Its externals remained after the War of Succession, but its life was gone. Plunging deeper and deeper, during the dynasty of the Bourbons, into sensuality and pollution, her monasteries spreading day by day, and day by day relaxing in fervour, the Spanish Church was dashed against the terrific onset of French infidelity. A Catholic people saw so-called Catholics exceed Mahometans in lust and sacrilege; and so-called Protestants the guardians of their churches, the respecters of their property, the defenders of their honour. They saw a Soult worshipping one day the miraculous image of Bouças, and the next, massacring monks, polluting altars, and insulting nuns. They saw a sink of degradation and vice, like Ferdinand, expend his piety in embroidering a petticoat for S. Mary. And they saw honour, and courage, and moral conduct, among those alone whom they were taught to call heretics.
What wonder that the miserable résult is Spain as we now see it? A Clergy impoverished, but not holy;-a middle class, when not utterly careless, utterly infidel: a peasantry, with all the seeds of faith yet strong in their hearts, but finding no other nourishment for it than the wildest excesses of Mariolatry;— expending all their devotion on the Corte de Maria en sus mas celebres imagines, and worked up to such horrid blasphemies as Viva la Santisima, y muerte a todos los Dios!!
The urging the most extreme worship of S. Mary, as the remedy for a corrupt age, is remarkably exemplified by a sermon of the great Portuguese divine, Antonio Vieira, a preacher whose eloquence ranks him with Massillon or Bossuet, and whose practical inculcation of duties sets him far above them. Preaching at
But it is even more curious to trace from the very earliest times that headstrong violence which is the great characteristic of the Spanish Church. The persecution of Priscillian by Idacius and Ithacius, set the first example of death for heresy. The unauthorized introduction of single affusion into the Ritual, and of the Filioque into the Creed, opened the door for the disastrous schism of East and West. Even the martyrs were not free from the needless provocation of their persecutors. S. Eulalia under Diocletian;-the Martyrs of Cordova and S. Eugenius himself, under the Moslems, did their utmost to bring on themselves the sword of their tyrant. Seven centuries of a war for the propagation of the faith,-seven centuries of partial intermixture with a people that had spread the Koran by the sword,-a perpetual crusade, and such victories as Navas de Tolosa, Campo d' Ourique, and the river Salado, could not but foster this warlike spirit. The intermixture of Moors and Jews, when Spain became a Christian monarchy, found an easier cure in the Inquisition than in Missionaries: just as Ximenes carried the standard of the Cross, like an earthly warrior, into the empire of Morocco, and Mexico was dragooned by Spanish adventurers into the love of Christ.
Maranhão, in Brazil, in the year 1657, a city at that time rivalling Sodom in wickedness, and taking for his subject Our Lady of Light, he draws a parallel between our Lady as the Light, and our Lord as the Sun. And his sermon turns on these four heads-that the light has higher privileges than the sun; is more benignant: is more universal: is more ready to hasten to our relief. (Primeyra razão: porque a Luz he mais privilegiada que o Sol. Segunda: porque he mais benigna. Terceyra: porque he mais universal. Quarto porque he mais appressada para nosso bem.") It is no wonder that the sermon should draw to its conclusion thus: (the quotation will be new to most of our readers, and we make no apology for giving it) Having thee,'-he is addressing S. Mary,-'on one side, and thy Son on the other, that great servant and lover of both said: Positus in medio, quo me vertam nescio. And when Augustine confesses that he knows not, ignorance is pardonable. Ut minus sapiens dico, I speak as one that is ignorant, Most Holy Virgin, (let thy Son pardon me or not,) Î, for my part, would rather turn to thee, He once left His Father for His mother, He will not think it strange if I do the same. Let him that will have the prerogative of Esau, I prefer the good luck of Jacob. Esau was more loved and more favoured by his father: Jacob was more favoured and more loved by his mother: and Jacob carried off the blessing. And why? From the cause of which we have already spoken;--because the exertions of his mother were more prompt than those of his father... The mother of Jacob represented, in this occurrence, the most holy Mother, and he that has on his side the exertions of this Mother, always has on his side the will of God. Esau had the exertions of his father; but when he arrived, he arrived late, because, notwithstanding all the exertions that the Sun can make, those of the Light arrive sooner. .. This is that glorious difference which Saint Anselm dared to say once, and all have repeated after him so many times,-"Salvation is sometimes more speedy by the calling on the name of Mary, than by invoking the name of Jesus." Sometimes, said the saint, and I could wish that he had said always, or almost always.' This last sentence is an excellent illustration of the manner in which an oratorical passage of an early or medieval writer is brought forward as the groundwork of an enormous superstructure of dogmatic teaching. We would not have done Vieira the dishonour of quoting the above passage, did we not hope for another opportunity of doing justice to that most eloquent preacher and devoted missionary.
But it is with the Liturgy, rather than with the history, of the Spanish Church that we are now concerned;-and to that let us direct our attention.
The Spanish writers, influenced by a strange kind of national pride, are wedded to two assertions: the first, that their Liturgy emanated from S. Peter, and was, therefore, the same as the original Roman Mass; the second, that while the Peninsula stuck fast to the early rite, Rome, by successive developments, departed from it. We shall see, by and by, how impossible is this hypothesis. Pinius, the learned Bollandist, who, to the thirty-second volume of the Acta Sanctorum, the 6th of July, prefixed a Dissertation on the Hispanic Liturgy, maintains that it was introduced by the Goths at their conquest of the country, and was thus derived, as their Church was, from Constantinople. This also we shall see, from its structure, to have been impossible: while, even were other circumstances in favour of the hypothesis, it is incredible that Catholic Bishops would have surrendered their own national formulæ, for the purpose of accepting the office of invaders and heretics.
But the truth is, as it has generally been confessed since the investigations of Ruinart and Mabillon, that the Mozarabic is simply an order of the two great classes of Western Liturgies. If exhibited in a tabular form, they would stand thus:--
The names, however, of these are extremely ill contrived: the great generic term Gallican, as opposed to Roman, and signifying that form of Liturgy which was apparently derived from Asia Minor, (and so from S. John,) and which received its earliest development in the Church of Lyons;-this term, we say, is exceedingly inapplicable, and yet none other has been proposed in its stead. So again the title of Gothic, as applied to the Spanish mass, which is not in any sense Gothic, is absurd; while the name of Mozarabic, given to an office which was used long before the Arabic invasion, is not less contrary to common sense. Mone proposes the name of Celtic, which would at all events be an improvement on the other titles.
We shall find, as we advance, ample cause to conclude, that the groundwork of the present Mozarabic Liturgy is coeval with the