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THE

BRITISH AND FOREIGN REVIEW.

Article I.

L, T. Freihern V. Spittler's Sammtliche Werke. 1827— 1837. ErsterBand. Geschichte des Canonischen Rechts. (L. T. Baron von Spittler's complete Works. Vol. I. History of the Canon Law.) Stuttgard: Cotta.

Ferdinand Walter's Lehrbuch des Kirchenrechts aller Christlichen Confessionen. 1836. (Manual of the Ecclesiastical Law of all Christian Confessions.) 7th edit. Bonn: Marcus.

A HESE are well-known names in Germany. The first, like many others of his countrymen, was originally destined to the ministry of the church, but subsequently changed his views. After a bright career of utility at Gottingen, he died in 1810, having held previously, for a short time, a diplomatic situation in his native country of Wiirtemburg. The most valuable among his voluminous works are those relating to ecclesiastical affairs, to ecclesiastical law, and ecclesiastico- political relations: these are his best and most enduring monument. His best epitaph is, perhaps, that (although not free from the mistakes and prejudices of the times in which he lived, and of which his temperament rendered him peculiarly susceptible,) he was the valued friend and colleague of Gottlieb Planck. Walter's name appears in the list of professors at Bonn, in the winter of 1836-37, as professing several courses on Roman and German law. He is the author of several well-known works, among which the one quoted vOL. Viii.xv. n

above has reached a seventh edition. It is superfluous to say, that these are not well-known names in England. The simple fact would be unimportant, did it stand alone; but, unfortunately, the subject-matter which is treated in the abovenamed works, is also unknown among us. The stem and the branches have shared a like fate. Ecclesiastical history and its kindred studies are for the most part unknown and disregarded among the present scholars of England. Yet assuredly it is on the historical side that a Protestant has least reason for apprehension. It will be the object of the following pages, under the shelter and by the assistance of the honoured names above-mentioned, to illustrate how useful in practice, and how unworthily neglected, is the study of early ecclesiastical law, with reference to one subject of absorbing interest to the two great parties of the Christian world—the progress, namely, of the papal power. This we propose to do, simply, dispassionately and historically. A clerical writer of the church of England and Ireland * has said of the church of Rome, that "she has retained the truth, and retained it at "a period when nothing but the means provided by her could "have preserved the remembrance of it upon earth." This is a great problem, for the solution of which we can find no corresponding one to aid us. The key to it, humanly speaking, is to be found nowhere, save in the means by which Rome succeeded in investing the wishes and decision of her bishop with legal and binding authority. The first advances were made in connection with the gradual organization of the Christian church. The completion of this work placed the bishop of Rome on a legal equality with the chiefs of the hierarchy. Certain external circumstances next served to give preponderating weight to his opinion and authority. For these a new and ample field was opened among the Christianized tribes of Germanic origin, and this was still further secured by the temper and events of the times, which allowed the bishops of Rome to dictate their own laws, and to enforce obedience. Such were the events of the nine first centuries. The stages noted here, which we shall attempt to sketch in the spirit and with the view prescribed, are contemporary

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