Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

the power

up in conformity with his views. He was then forbidden to insist on those views, and was finally dismissed, and ordered to leave the country for adhering to what the Duke himself bad once approved and enforced. It is truly humiliating to see the churches and clergy of a principality vexed and annoyed on questions of theology by a muddle-headed prince, himself, perhaps, the tool of a courtier. From the moment that Luther transferred

of the pope to the civil ruler, he made the church the servant of the state. The prince, ruling by divine right, was responsible only to God for the exercise of his power; and the church no less than the state was to acquiesce in his decision. It is a somewbat remarkable fact that Flacius was incessantly persecuted, and often driven from place to place for teaching exactly what Luther taught. He was evidently a tenacious man, and born to be a polemic; but, notwithstanding bis bad name for disputatiousness, he was far less violent and abusive in his language than his opponents, and more measured and unimpassioned than Luther. It was the sharpness of bis logic, and the unsparing severity with which he exposed to the light of day any deviation from Luther that so galled his opponents. They charged him, and perhaps not unjustly, with assuming to be the guardian of the church. He did, indeed, endeavor to persuade princes and magistrates to watch over the purity of Christian doctrine, and confessed that he called every man to account, no matter what his rank or position was, who either openly or secretly attempted to destroy what Luther bad built up. At the same time he affirmed that he did it as a faithful son of the church, doing only what every one was bound to do, namely, to guard its purity with all

power and skill he possessed. He furthermore maintained that, as the pupil and friend of Luther, he owed it to his memory to defend him and his doctrines against all assaults, even though they were made at Wittenberg itself, and by no less a man than Melanchthon. He was undoubtedly governed by conscientious motives, however he may have erred both in matters of doctrine and of expediency; but when he trusted in princes to preserve the orthodoxy of the church, he found to his grief that he trusted to a broken reed.

Though unfortunate in his life, and a wanderer and fugitive in his old age, and apparently unsuccessful in the chief aim of bis life, still he ranks third among the men of his age in his influence upon the doctrines of the old Lutheran church. He has, indeed, been long almost forgotten, except as an ecclesiastical historian. His astonishing labors in church history in the Magdeburg Centuries, and in the Catalogus Testium are well known; his doctrinal discussions and treatises, to which the attention of the reader is directed by his biographer, do bim equal honor as an acute thinker.

The great defect of the mind of Flacius was, that it was one-sided, being directed solely to abstract truth. He had a love, and even a passion, for that, but for scarcely anything else. His religion consisted in loving truth rather than in loving man. He could not even retain his friends.

They nearly all turned against him. It could not be for his heresy, for he was as near the truth as they were. There must have been something in his

the

temperament and manner that alienated them one by one from him. No doubt they saw that he was becoming more and more unpopular. Perhaps they wished the friendship of the Elector Augustus, his bitter and cruel enemy. He was left without a home, and finally died in a reformed convent, protected and nursed by its abbess, though persecuted by the civil authorities. He was to the very last true to bis doctrine, and strong in the defence of it. Logically, he bad the advantage over his numberless opponents.

E. H. ZOBER'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE History OF THE STRALSUND

GYMNASIUM. In Six Parts.?

There are, in Germany, several gymnasia which have flourished for a period of three centuries. The four bigher classes in these gymnasia correspond substantially to the classes of our colleges. The results of 80 much experience in the work of furnishing a liberal education, cannot be a matter of indifference to us. They have had a long, varied, and instructive history. Different modes of organization, of instruction, and of selecting and arranging studies, have been faithfully tried; and it would be strange indeed if they furnished no valuable lessons to the friends and patrons of learning of the present day. Of several of these learned schools we have valuable histories, written by men who understood the subject. Few authors of such histories have performed their task as well as the one named at the head of this Article. For more than twenty years has he been employed on this work. The whole makes a handsome quarto volume with portraits and plates, furnished at a very moderate expense. Its contents are partly antiquarian, partly biographical, and largely illustrative of modes of instruction and discipline.

On the day after Melanchthon's death, April 19, 1560, was dedicated the Stralsund Gymnasium, a building formerly occupied as a cloister, but now repaired and converted into a school-house. The burgomaster Gentzkow, in the presence of the city council, the clergy, and other distinguished citizens, delivered an address in Latin, and installed the rector and his assistant teachers. There were seven classes, besides a temporary preparatory class which was called “ nulla classis.” Besides the Rector scholae, there was a conrector, a cantor, a subrector, two concentores, and a succentor. It is remarkable that music was held in such high estimation that a majority of the teachers received their titles from their skill in that art. It will be perceived, also, that the cantor took rank of the subrector. The school had about three hundred pupils at the beginning. It was a public school, and was under the control of the city government, though the clergy were often consulted, and were generally appointed examiners. It is certainly not a little singular that, in an age when the school was a part of the church, and philosophy was the ancilla theologiae, the clergy of Stralsund should have

i Zur Geschichte des Stralsunder Gymnasiums. Stralsund. 1839 – 60.

no direct control of the schools. The teachers were supported partly by the income of the old funds originally belonging to the cloisters, and partly by the pay received for their musical services at church, at weddings, and at funerals. At first, the rector received eighty guilders, and the other teachers about twenty. Their salaries were afterwards repeatedly increased. The assistant teachers lodged in the school building.

The course of instruction was, at the beginning, very similar to the “ Saxon Order," introduced by Luther and Melanchthon ; but before the close of the sixteenth century, the system of John Sturm, for a long time the best in Germany, was introduced. The school laws were revised a second time in the year 1643. It will be interesting to see what, after eighty-three years' experience, was deemed necessary for the highest prosperity of this school. In respect to supervision, it was placed under the entire control of a Board of visitors, consisting of one chosen from the consular order, one from the syndics, one from the senate, and the superintendent (a high ecclesiastic) or some other theologian. Here we see the clergy properly represented in the Board of control. One member of the Board, at least, was required to visit the school every month, and

go

from class to class, through the whole school, to ascertain whether all the studies received suitable attention, and whether they were taught in their proper order, and in a manner adapted to the capacities of the pupils. He was also required to ascertain, either by personal examination or by inquiring of the teachers, the progress of the pupils in their studies and in good morals. If anything required immediate correction, it was attended to on the spot; if the case admitted of delay, it was reported to the Board. The visitors were all to attend a public examination once a year, in order to examine sedulously, in singulis classibus quid et quomodo doceatur atque discatur. The laws were afterwards to be read before the whole school, and at each one of the laws the question was to be put, whether it had been observed by teacher and pupil throughout the year. From prudential considerations, the next sentence shall be given without a translation. Si quid a praeceptoribus secus quam decet actum deprehendatur, sevocati in proximum conclave coram caeteris collegis fideliter admoneantur.

The duties of students are thus summarily presented to view : 1. A love for religious worship. 2. Respect for parents and teachers 3. Diligence in study and school exercises. 4. Purity and civility in morals and manners. Every student was required to make himself perfectly familiar with Luther's Catechism. It was learned in German and in Latin, and formerly even in Greek. The Decalogue was also carefully studied and made a rule of life. If any were not able to observe it in its spiritual import, they were nevertheless to abstain from all gross vices. They were required to attend church regularly, on Sundays and festival days, and without noise or whispering, to follow the directions of the chorister and aid him in both kinds of singing (choral and variegated). Among the many other good rules was one that the pupil should not, in recitation, stealthily look into a book, or give out as his own what a fellow student may whisper in his ear, or point

out in any other way. There were in the laws sixteen directions for those who sang for charily at the doors of the rich (leges ostiatim canentium).

In the paragraph prefacing the course of study, it is said that there are different kinds of students in the classes, some going through the course mechanically, either because of mental imbecility, or on account of having other ulterior aims; and some who study in earnest, because they intend to devote their lives to study. Et horum videtur potissima habenda ratio (good), ita tamen, ut caeteris etiam, quantum fieri convenit, cura impendatur (also good). “ Above all things, let not the studies be so multiplied as to overload the mind and impede its progress.” After repeating that students of good talents should not be retarded by the stupidity of others, nor yet receive so much attention that the others shall be neglected, the order proceeds to say, that the object of the school is to secure such a religious, moral, literary, and scientific training, ut discentes fundamenta doctrinae Christianae noscant, honestis moribus sint praediti, pure et eleganter Latine loquantur et scribant, Graecum auctorem styli non admodum difficilis intelligant, dialecticae et rhetoricae praecepta habeant cognita, nec omnino sint ignari rudimentorum mathematicorum, imprimis quae ad musicam et arithmeticam pertinent, adderem et metrica elementa cum astronomicis, si in posterum id fieri commode potest.

If we make allowance for the age to which this system of instruction belongs, we must pronounce it good. Whatever may be thought of the manner of religious and moral instruction, the place given to this most important part of education must be admitted to be the true one. The creeds may have had too prominent a position for persons so young; and too much reliance may have been placed upon penalties in making young men moral. But that the education given was from beginning to end thoroughly Christian, is what not only every good man, but every wise man, must approve. Nor must we suppose that the great teachers of that age were wholly in the dark in respect to the best means of forming the character of the young It is full three hundred years ago that the question was put:

Why is amo of the first conjugation, and doceo of the second ?” and the answer given : “Because you must love before you teach.In the present state of learning, the Latin language and literature should not so predominate over the Greek as they do in the course here laid down. The Latin has ceased to be the language of books and of literary intercourse; and the greater affluence of Greek literature and art is now better understood than it was then. Mathematics, also, justly hold a higher place now than they did in the seventeenth century. Science has almost come into being since that time.

The school hours were five each day, except Saturday, from eight o'clock to ten in the morning, and from twelve to three in the afternoon. The pupils dined at eleven o'clock, and in earlier times had an exercise at six o'clock in the morning, which was now discontinued.

In the documents accompanying this history there are many interesting details. The oldest document is a diary of the Burgomaster, giving an

66

account of his official acts relating to the school. The first sentence is: “ E. D. ward vam rade bewilligt, dat men dat schwarte closter buwen und to einer scholen anrichten scholde,” i. e. “the same day (May 10, 1559) it was granted by the council that one should repair the Black Cloister, and fit it up for a school.” This curious speciinen of old Low German is a sort of middle link between the High German and English. “ April 20, 1560, the rector Widemann was installed with much honor in the new school at St. Catharine’s, and the government of it committed to him by me in a Latin oration.” · May 31, I was appointed with J. S. and J. N. by the council an overseer of the new school, but I would accept only for one year.” The next year we find this remarkable entry: “I read the new laws before the rector and his colleagues. They requested a copy, and a terminum deliberandi whether they would accept them, or rather leave the service." The unfortunate rector had a difficulty with his wife, and went to the burgomaster for advice. A few months afterwards we find this sad record : “ Magister Widemann's wife was with ine (was Mgr. Widemanns wieff bi mi), and gave me her decision that she would not receive her husband again.” The next extract will give us a change from the grave to the gay. • The Cantor sent me to-day (Jan. 7, 1565) from the school a song for four voices, which he himself, perhaps, composed. What he means by it I do not know, but conjecture that it may be to remind me of a former one with which he honored the city, propter remunerationem quam hactenus forsan avide expectaverit.O Mr. Burgomaster! With this we must stop, although there are several touching letters respecting the hard service and pecuniary distresses of teachers which we should like to present, as they would be sure of finding sympathetic readers. It is with regret that we part with an author who is so true a scholar and who has so genuine an antiquarian spirit. Upon the last half of the work we have not entered at all, nor can we do so now.

ELLICOTT ON THE EPHESIANS."

In the preface to this volume Prof. Ellicott, acknowledges his obligations to Harless's Exposition of the Epistle to the Ephesians, “ which,” he says, "for accurate scholarship, learning, candor, and ability, may be pronounced one of the best, if not the very best, commentary that has ever yet appeared on any single portion of Holy Scripture” (page v). He also makes respectful mention of Dr. Stier's Exposition, and that of Prof. Eadie. He avows his great and peculiar obligations to Dr. Meyer. It is evident, how

"A Commentary, Critical and Grammatical, on St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. With a revised Translation. By Charles J. Ellicott, B.D., Professor of Divinity in King's College, London, and late Fellow of St. John's Col. lege, Cambridge. Andover: Warren F. Draper; Boston : Gould and Lincoln ; New York: John Wiley; Philadelphia : Smith, English, & Co. 1861.

PP. 190. 8vo.

« AnteriorContinua »