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INTRO- the handsome, vain, impetuous youth challenging his master to argument and completely discomfiting him amid the wonder and applause of his fellow students. We see him again, after his terrible fall and disgrace, venturing once more to lift his head among men and asserting with far greater power and acumen than Berengar, the rights of reason against authority, essaying by an eclectic theory to reconcile to the intellect the mysteries of faith, and even daring to question whether Dionysius the Areopagite ever set foot in Gaul. It is very evident, from the crowds which hung upon his teaching, following him to his lonely retreat, and from the efforts of William of Thierry and Bernard of Progress of Clairvaux to check the progress of the new ideas, that a spirit

the spirit of enquiry.

Sentences of Peter Lombard.

was moving among men which the mere traditionalist regarded with apprehension and alarm. Throughout Europe indeed a change was to be discerned. The preceding century, ushered in amid dire apprehension, had closed in splendour. The banner of the Cross had been seen floating from the battlements of the Holy City; the second Crusade, already projected, was rekindling enthusiasm. The university of Paris was attracting numerous students; the teaching of Irnerius at Bologna was diffusing a knowledge of the Roman law; the poets and orators of antiquity were beginning to be studied with a genuine admiration, and a less barbarous Latinity to prevail among the scholars of the age. 'It was,' observes a writer whom we have already quoted, ' a very critical moment in the history of European culture, not altogether unlike the one in individual life when the boy leaves the school forms for a more elaborate and systematic course of instruction. In both there is the danger that what was vital and energetic, however immature, in the first stage, should be exchanged for formality in the second; the equal danger that there should be a reaction against this formality, and that a stormy life should take the place of a calm one'.'

Such were the tendencies of the age which saw the great theological text-book of the next three centuries, the 'Sen

1 Professor Maurice, Medieval Philosophy, p. 156.


tences' of Peter Lombard, launched upon the world, the INTROfirst of a long series of attempts to obtain for the doctrines of the Church a scientific system'.' Little is known of the author of this important volume, though archbishop of Paris in 1159, and the originality of his performance has more than once been called in question. Our main concern, however, is with its character as an embodiment of the dogmatic teaching of the time.

the work.

The Sententiæ are in four books, and are almost entirely Outline of derived from the writings of four fathers of the Latin Church, Augustine, Ambrose, Hilary, and Cassiodorus, the authority of the first being evidently paramount. The first book, entitled De Mysterio Trinitatis, contains an exposition of the recognized tenets of the Church concerning this dogma, and its forty-eight Distinctiones are devoted to the attributes of the Deity. The second book, entitled De Rerum Corporalium et Spiritualium Creatione et Formatione, Aliisque Pluribus eo Pertinentibus, contains the doctrine of the Church concerning Free Will and Original Sin; the theory maintained being, as may be anticipated, that first formulated by Augustine. The third book bears the title of De Incarnatione Verbi, and treats of such questions as 1. Utrum Christus sit creatura, vel creatus, vel factus. 2. Si Anima

1 Schwegler, Hist. of Philosophy, p. 144, Stirling's Translation.

2 Some accuse the author of extensive plagiarism from Abelard, and the author of the Introduction in Migne, Vol. CXCI refers to a report that he is said Bandinum quendam obscuri nominis theologum in quatuor Sententiarum libris, qui Viennæ prodierunt anno 1519, pene integrum exscripsisse. Others think his conception is to be traced to the example of Robert Pullen, an English scholastic, who wrote Sententiarum Libri Octo. See Ueberweg, Geschichte der Philosophie, 1 146.

3 It may perhaps not be altogether superfluous to remind the reader that the word 'sentences' is here only a translation of sententiæ,'a use of the word not uncommon in our earlier writers, though now retained solely as a grammatical ex

pression. The following passage
happily illustrates the older usage:-
'And you, that do read Plato, as ye
should, do well perceive, that these
be no questions asked by Socrates,
as doutes, but they be sentences, first
affirmed by Socrates, as mere trothes,
and after, given forth by Socrates
as right rules, most necessarie to be
marked and fitte to be followed of
all of them that would have children
taught as they should.' Ascham's
Scholemaster ed. by Mayor, p. 28.

4 The doctrine with which the
names of Fénélon and Paley have,
from divergent views, been associated
is here perhaps first distinctly laid
down in the form of a decision from
St. Augustine; virtue, says Peter
Lombard, is to be followed not for
its own sake but as a course that is
pleasing to the Deity.


Dialectical element in the work.

Christi habuerit sapientiam parem cum Deo; et si omnia scit quæ Deus. 3. Si Christus meruit et sibi et nobis, et quid sibi et quid nobis'. The fourth book treats of the Sacraments, and the distinction between the Old and New Law, the final judgement, the resurrection of the dead, the final happiness of the saints, and the sufferings of the damned.

A comprehensive outline of the work will be found in the Benedictine Histoire Littéraire de la France; our main concern, however, is with that new element which the Sentences, while apparently resting solely upon patristic authority, undoubtedly served to introduce into the study of dogmatic theology. The dialectics of the age were penetrating to the very citadel of belief, and the recognition afforded to this tendency of the times may be regarded as the characteristic feature of the work. As each article of belief is enunciated, an effort is made to define with greater precision its true bearing and limitations; hence a series of Distinctions, as they are termed, conceived in conformity with a dialectic of the severest order; Cousin indeed has asserted that in this respect they surpass all previous efforts of scholasticism3. Of the value of such a method different opinions may be entertained. It is easy, on the one hand, to point to the merest puerilities, the natural result of the application of the same process to details with respect to which, as knowledge was wanting, the logician could but fight the air,-heresies, representing nothing more than flights of the imagination, met by dogmas resting upon an

1 One of the questions that divided the schools in the time of Petrus was whether the divine nature, or only the personality of the Son, became incarnate. After summing up the opinions of the Fathers, he concludes that we must admit that the person of the Son has put on human nature, and that thus the divine and human natures have been united in the Son. When therefore we say that the Son has taken on him the nature of a slave, we intend not to exclude the divine nature but only the persons of the Father and the Holy Ghost.

2 Vol. XII p. 589. A fuller and very careful one, but poor in literary execution, is to be found in the Essai sur les Sentences de Pierre Lombard Considérées sous le point de Vue Historico-Dogmatique; Thèse pour obtenir le Grade de Bachelier en Théologie, par Jean Bresch. Strasbourg, 1857.

3 Cousin speaks of Petrus Lombardus as distinguished 'par une sévérité de dialectique que vous ne trouveriez point dans les scholastiques qui lui sont antérieurs.' Euvres (Bruxelles), 1 192.


the work by


equally unsatisfactory foundation. On the other hand, it INTROis certain that, in relation to fundamental articles of belief, this rigid analysis of their meaning and whole context, could scarcely fail to develop a more clear and intelligent comprehension of the doctrines of the Christian faith. No student of divinity,' says a critic of acknowledged authority, Criticism of 'can read the first book, we should conceive, without acquir- Professor ing a deeper and clearer conception of principles in which he has implicitly believed, without cultivating the precious habit of distinction. And we doubt whether any student of philosophy can read large portions of that book and of the three following, without acquiring a new sense of the dignity and responsibility of the name which he has taken upon him, without confessing that the dogmatist has taught him to be more of an enquirer than he was before.'

The modest language in which the compiler describes his work, as containing within a small compass the opinions of the fathers, to save the enquirer the trouble of turning over many volumes', might seem sufficient to have averted opposition. In that endeavour however he was by no means completely successful. Like all innovations, this application of the logician's art was regarded at first with dislike and Opposition suspicion The volume which was to become the theological text-book of our universities up to the Reformation, was severely criticised on its first Gualterus, the

1 brevi volumine conplicans Patrum sententias, appositis eorum testimoniis, ut non sit necesse quærenti librorum numerositatem evolvere.

Præf. ad Sentent as.

2 'It is a curious fact that the spiritual powers persisted in strenuously opposing the successive efforts of the rationalists, and at the same time gradually adopted the very system to which they were so averse, into their own authoritative theology. They opposed, that is, both the principle of the rationalists, the principle that human reason was to be exercised in matters of religion,-and the conclusions to which the unrestrained use of it had led. But afterwards, when the books of controversialists


had passed into records of opinions,
they readily adopted, as guides in
their decisions of any new opinions,
the conclusions of that rationalising
method which as such had been so
passionately denounced. Through-
out the whole period, when the scho-
lastic method may be said to have
been growing, we meet with constant
disclaimers, on the part of Church
leaders, of the system itself,-a con-
stant appeal to the authority of the
Scriptures and the holy Fathers
against the rationalistic spirit of the
times. Luther himself has not more
vehemently denounced the scholastic
philosophy, than Bernard and other
doctors anterior to the Reformation
have declaimed against the importu-

encountered on its first appearance.


exerted by

not that

the compiler.

INTRO Prior of St. Victoire, in his celebrated attack on Abelard, did not spare the prelate who appeared to have learned so much from that philosopher, and denounced a method which he declared served rather to encourage doubt than to confirm the belief of the faithful'. Nor can we assert that the mistrust thus evinced was without foundation. Rome has ever apprehended with marvellous instinct the approach of danger, of danger not to truth but to her own interests and power. The Sentences of Peter Lombard exerted an inThe influence fluence which equally exceeded the intentions of the compiler the Sentences and the anticipations of his opponents. The appeal once designed by made from authority to reason, from implicit faith to logical. satisfaction, the old method of treatment could not be restored; the standard of the philosopher had been planted within the precincts of the Church'. The opposition evoked, however, was but shortlived, for the Sentences appealed with singular success to both the wants and mental habits of the age. Before long it became the recognised obligation of each great teacher to reconcile his philosophic tenets with the subtle definitions, the rigidly inflexible analysis of the commentaries of Peter Lombard. To this task two of the men as com- massive folios of Thomas Aquinas, in the edition published at Venice in 1593, are devoted; and in the great edition of Duns Scotus, by Luke Wadding, no less than six folio volumes, or half the whole number, are occupied with the same labour. Albertus Magnus, Bonaventura, Durandus,

Activity of

the school


nateness of the speculations of their
times.' Hampden's Scholastic Philo-
sophy, Lect 1.

1 The gravamen of the attack made
by Gualterus was quod quæ sua esset
sententia, nunquam fere aperiret; sed
triplicem vulgo de omni quæstione
proponeret opinionem; quarum prima
eorum erat qui nec Hæretici nec Ca-
tholici vere dici poterant. 2. Eorum
qui manifeste Catholici erant. 3. De-
nique eorum qui absque ullo dubio
censendi erant hæretici. Omnes vero
authoritatibus sacræ Scripturæ et
sanctorum Patrum, rationibus quoque
et argumentis dialecticis confirmabat,
non determinans quæ vera essent et
tenenda, aiens nolle se ut lectori sua

sufficeret disputatio. Bulæus, Hist. Univ. Paris. 11 406.

2 Cet ouvrage destiné à tracer des limites à l'esprit humain, à lui indiquer les sources où il devait puiser la theologie, a eu un effet tout contraire à sa destination. Jamais la licence des opinions ne fut plus grande qu'après les Sentences; jamais les Scolastiques n'etudièrent avec plus d'ardeur la philosophie païenne et n'en usèrent plus dans les matières de religion que depuis que Lombard en eu montré les dangers. Jamais l'étude des Pères ne fut plus négligée que depuis qu'il l'avait recommandée.' L'Histoire Littéraire de France, XII 606.

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