Century XI, Chapter V

CHAP. V.
Anselm.

THAT good men'frequently appear to more advantage in private life than in public, is a remark which was perhaps never better exemplified than in this prelate, of whom all that is known by the generality of readers is, that he was a strenuous supporter of the papal dominion in England. I can easily conceive that he might be influenced by the purest motives in this part of his conduct, when I reflect on the shameless and profane manners of the Norman princes. But his private life was purely his own, originating more directly from the honest and good heart, with which, through grace, he was eminently endowed. As a divine and a christian, he was the first of characters in this century, and will, therefore, deserve some attention.

He* was born at Aoust in Piedmont. From early life his religious cast of mind was so prevalent, that, at the age of fifteen, he offered himself to a monastery, but was refused, lest his father should have been displeased. He afterwards became entangled in the vanities of the world; and, to his death, he bewailed the sins of his youth. Becoming a scholar of Lanfranc, his predecessor in the see of Canterbury, at that time a monk at Bee in Normandy, he commenced monk in the year 1060, at the age of twenty-seven. He afterwards became the prior of the monaster}'. His progress in religious knowledge was great; but mildness and charity seem to have predominated in all his views of piety. The book, commonly called Augustine's meditations, was chiefly abstracted from the writings of Anselm. At the age of forty-five, he became abbot of Bee. Lanfranc dying in 1089, William Rufus usurped the revenues of the see of Canterbury, and treated the monks of the place in a barbarous manner. For several years this profane tyrant declared, that none should have the see while he lived; but a fit of sickness overawed his spirit; and conscience, the voice of God, which often speaks even in the proudest and the most insensible, severely reproved his wickedness; insomuch, that he nominated Anselm to be the successor of Lanfranc. That Anselm should have accepted the office with much reluctance, under such a prince, is by no means to be wondered at: and, the more upright and conscientious men are, the more wary and reluctant will they always be found in accepting offices of so sacred a nature; though it is natural for men of a secular spirit to judge of others by themselves, and to suppose the " nolo episcopari" to be, without any exceptions, the language of hypocrisy.

Anselm pressed the king to allow the calling of councils, in order to institute an inquiry into crimes

• Butler, vol. iv.

and abuses; and also to fill the vacant abbeys, the revenues of which William had reserved to himself with sacrilegious avarice. Nothing but the conviction of conscience, and the ascendency, which real uprightness maintains over wickedness and profligacy, could have induced such a person as William Rufus, to have promoted Anselm to the see, though he must have foreseen how improbable it was, that the abbot "would ever become the tame instrument of his tyranny and oppression. In fact, Anselm, finding the church overborne by the iniquities of the tyrant, retired to the continent with two monks, one of whom, named Eadiner, wrote his life.

Living a retired life in Calabria, he gave employment to his active mind in writing a treatise on the reasons why God should become man, and on the doctrine of the trinity and the incarnation; a work at that time useful to the church of Christ, as he refuted the sentiments of Roscelin, who had published erroneous views concerning the trinity. For, after a sleep of many ages, the genius of arianism or socinianism, or both, had awaked, and taken advantage of the general ignorance, to corrupt the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. Anselm knew how to reason closely and systematically, after the manner of the famous Peter Lombard, master of the sentences, and bishop of Paris; and he was properly the first of the scholastic divines. The method of ratiocination then used was, no doubt, tedious, verbose, and subtile; and, in process of time, grew more and more perplexed. It was, however, preferable to the dissipation and inanity, which, in many publications of our times, pretend to the honour of good sense and sound wisdom, though devoid of learning and industry: and the furniture of the schools, in the hands of a fine genius like Anselm, adorned with solid piety, and under the control of a good understanding, stemmed the torrent of profane infidelity, and ably supported the cause of godliness in the world. Roscelin was confuted, and the common orthodox doctrine of the trinity upheld itself in the church. What were the precise views of Roscelin will be better understood, when we come to introduce one of his scholars, the famous Peter Abelard, to the reader's notice.

Anselm, weary of an empty title of dignity, and seeing no probability of being enabled to serve the church in the archbishopric, entreated the pope to give him leave to resign it, but in vain. Nor does he seem to have been justly chargeable with the display of an " ostentatious humility," when he had first refused the promotion.* The integrity, with which he had acted, ever since that promotion had taken place, ought to have rescued him from the illiberal censure. " Rufus had detained in prison several persons, whom he had ordered to be freed during the time of his penitence; he still preyed upon the ecclesiastical benefices; the sale of spiritual-dignities continued as open as ever; and he kept possession of a considerable part of the revenues belonging to the see of Canterbury." Was it a crime, or was it an instance of laudable integrity in Anselm, to remonstrate against such proceedings? I suppose the candor and good sense of the author, to whom I allude, would have inclined him to praise that upright conduct, for which Anselm was obliged to retire to the continent, had not this same Anselm been a priest, and a priest too of sincere zeal and fervor. In justice to Anselm, it should, moreover, be observed, that one reason, why he wished to resign his archbishopric, was, that he believed he might be of more service to the souls of men in a merely clerical character, which was more obscure. And he was naturally led to assign this reason to the pope, from the observation, which he made of the effect of his preaching on audiences in Italy.

Men of superior talents, however, are frequently born to drudge in business or in arts, whether they be in prosperous or in adverse circumstances. For mankind feel the need of such men; and they them

selves are not apt to bury their powers in indolence. A council was called at Bari by pope Urban, to settle with the Greeks the dispute which had long separated the eastern and western churches, concerning the procession of the Holyghost. For the Greek church, it should seem, without any scriptural reason, had denied the procession of the Holyghost from the Son; and had, therefore, thrust the words Filioqj out of the nicene creed. While the disputants were engaged, Anselm, said the pope, Anselm our father and master, where are you? The archbishop arose, and by his powers of argumentation silenced the Greeks.

At Lyons, he wrote on the conception of the virgin, and on original sin; and thus he employed himself in religious, not in secular cares, during the whole of his exile. A strong proof of his exemption from that domineering ambition, of which he has been accused. In the year 1100 he heard of the death of his royal persecutor, which he is said to have seriously lamented, and returned into England, by the invitation of Henry I. To finish, at once, the account of his unpleasant contests with the Norman princes, he, at length, was enabled to compromise them. The great object of controversy was the same in England, as in the other countries of Europe, namely, " Whether the investiture of bishoprics should be received from the king or from the pope." Anselm, moved undoubtedly by a conscientious zeal, because all the world bore witness to his integrity, was decisive for the latter; and the egregious iniquities, and shameless violations of all justice and decorum, practised by princes in that age, would naturally strengthen the prejudices of Anselm's education. To receive investiture from the pope for the spiritual jurisdiction, and, at the same time, to do homage to the king for the temporalities, was the only medium, which in those times could be found, between the pretensions of the civil and ecclesiastical dominion; and matters were settled, on this plan, both in England and in Germany.

If Anselm then contributed to the depression ofthe civil power, and the confirmation of the papal, he was

unhappily carried away by a popular torrent, which few minds had power to resist. It seems certain, however, that ambition formed no part of this man's character. " While I am with you," he would often say to his friends, " I am like a bird in a cave amidst her young, and enjoy the sweets of retirement and social affections. But when I am thrown into the world, I am like the same bird hunted and harassed by ravens or other fowls of prey: the incursions of various cares distract me; and secular employments, which I love not, vex my soul." He, who spent a great part of his life in retirement, who thought, spake, and wrote so much of vital godliness; and whose moral character was allowed, even by his enemies, to have ever been without a blot, deserves to be believed in these declarations.*

Let us then attend to those traits of character, which were more personal, and in which the heart of the man more plainly appears. He practised that, which all godly persons have ever found salutary and even necessary, namely, retired and devotional meditation, and even watched long in the night for the same purpose. One day, an hare, pursued by the hounds, ran under his horse for refuge, as he was riding. The object, bringing at once to his recollection a most awful scene, he stopped and said weeping, " this hare reminds me of a sinner just dying, surrounded with devils, waiting for their prey." It was in this manner, that he used to spiritualize every object, a practice ever derided by profane minds, whether performed injudiciously or not; but to which, in some degree, every devout and pious spirit on earth has been addicted.

In a national synod, held at St. Peter's Westminster, he forbade men to be sold as cattle, which had till then been practised. For the true reliefs and mitigations of human misery lay intirely, at that time, in the influence of christianity; and small as that influence then

* See his life, written by Eadmer.

was, the ferocity of the age was tempered by it; and human life was thence prevented from being intirely degraded to a level with that of the beasts which perish.

Anselm died in the sixteenth year of his archbishop-ric, and in the seventy-sixth of his age. Toward the end of his life, he wrote on the will, predestination, and grace, much in Augustine's manner. In prayers, meditations, and hymns, he seems to have had a peculiar delight. Eadmer says, that he used lo say, " If he saw hell open, and sin before him, he would leap into the former, to avoid the latter." I am sorry to see this sentiment, which, stripped of figure, means no more than what all good men allow, that he feared sin more than punishment, aspersed by so good a divine as Fox the martyrologist. * But Anselm was a papist, and the best protestants have not been without their prejudices.

But it is time to let Anselm speak for himself; it is possible, we may hear something by no means unworthy the attention of the most intelligent christians. A direction for the visitation of the sick was composed by Anselm;f the substance of which is as follows. Two previous questions were to be asked by the minister; the first was, Dost thou believe that thou deservest damnation? the second was, Dost thou intend to lead a new life? When the sick man had returned an answer in the affirmative to these questions, he was further asked, Dost thou believe, that thou canst not be saved but by the death of Christ? The sick man answered, I do so believe. Then the minister says to him, See then, while life remains in thee, that thou repose thy confidence only in the death of Christ; trust in nothing else; commit thyself wholly to this death; cover thyself wholly with this alone, mix thyself wholly with this .death; involve thyself wholly in this death. And, if the Lord will judge thee, say, Lord I cast the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between myself and thy judgment; otherwise I will

* Acts anil Monuments, vol. i. f Anselml. Opera.

not engage in judgment with thee. And if he shall say to thee, that thou art a sinner, say, 1 place the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me and my sins. If he shall say to thee, that thou hast deserved damnation, say, Lord, I cast the death of our Lord Jtsus Christ between me and my evil deserts, and I offer his merits for that merit, which I ought- to have had and have not; if he shall say, that he is angry with thee, say, Lord, I cast the death of the Lord Jesus Christ between me and thy displeasure.

It cannot be doubted, but all this process would be mere formality in the hands of many persons, both pastors and people. But so, even at this day, are several the most spiritual catechisms, and the most evangelical exhortations. While the world is, as it is, depraved and sensual, the very best means of grace will be lost on very many. But it is not easy to conceive, that he who composed these directions, could himself have been a mere formalist. They breathe the spirit of one, who seems to have felt what it is to appear before the majesty of God; and also, how unclean and defiled with sin both his nature and practice had been; and how unsafe it is to rest on any thing but Christ crucified. The jewel of the gospel, peace by the blood of Christ alone, which is the doctrine that gives law and being, order and efficacy to all the other doctrines of christianity, is contained in this plain catechism; and the variety and repetition, which the author indulges, offensive as they are in the light of criticism, demonstrate the author's sincerity and zeal, and are the natural effect of the impression, which had been felt in his own conscience. For those alone, who have plowed deep into the human heart; have been truly serious for eternity; have been well practised in selfexamination, and are become well acquainted with their own demerits; are disposed to relish the peculiarities and the essentials of the gospel. Let a man once know himself a sinner deserving destruction, and be truly desirous to become a new creature, and he will find that the gospel of Christ is the only cordial that can console him. This cordial is here administered : and as it belongs to true penitents only, to the humble and the contrite, so is it administered by the skilful divine before us: or, in other words, that doctrine, which is " most wholesome and very full of comfort," namely, the doctrine of justification " before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith and not for our own works or deservings,"* is preached by a bishop of the eleventh century. So strong was the provision made by the God of all grace for the preservation of evangelical truth in the darkest times. With happy inconsistency, Anselm, in seeking peace to his conscience, and in preaching peace to others, sees none of the manifold superstitious methods with which the papacy abounded, and which he himself professed. I suppose he would give some lower meaning to the doctrine of the merits of saints, and the efficacy of pilgrimages; some meaning, which should not interfere with a simple application to Jesus Christ. And this was the method of many other pious spirits in those ages. The reader is desired to observe, however, that we have found the essential and leading doctrine of real christianity in the possession of Anselm: and hence, we are at no loss to account for the superior piety and virtue, which rendered him the ornament of the times in which he lived, though they exempted him not from the common frailty of being seduced by the prejudices of education. The inestimable benefit of reading, and meditating on the divine word with prayer, may, from this example, be inferred. Such reading and meditation were the delight and employment of Anselm, through life; and he found the word of God a light to his feet and a lantern to his paths.itself, it can effect nothing. Do thou, what it cannot do. Admit me into the secret chamber of thy love. I ask, I seek, I knock. Thou, who causest me to ask, cause me to receive: thou givest me to seek, give me to find. Thou teachest me to knock, open to me knocking. To whom dost thou give, if thou deniest him, who askest? Who finds, if he, that seeks, is disappointed? To whom dost thou open, if thou shuttest to him, that knocks? What dost thou give to him, who prays not, if thou deniest thy love to him who prays? From thee I have the desire; Oh, may I have the fruition! Slick close to him; stick close importunately, my soul." Let this suffice as a specimen of those groanings, which cannot be uttered,* of which the breast of Anselm was conscious, and which, in every age of the church, have been known by the real people of God. These groanings are too much neglected even where they are not altogether contemned among men; but they are delightful in the ears of the heavenly host, and inferior only in harmony to the praises of just men made perfect.

Hence also it is not to be wondered at, that oe should so seriously oppose the antitrinitarian refinements of Roscelin. He, who finds relief to his own mind in the death of Christ, can never behold with indifference the attacks made on the dignity of Christ's

• See 11th article of religion

person. And though, in that rude age, men had not, so commonly as in our times, learned to express a contempt for the scriptures, yet there were those, who ridiculed and pretended to argue against their divine inspiration. The zeal of Anselm, who lived for eternity, by faith in Christ, was induced to oppose these attempts, in a work entitled, " The Fool Refuted."* The ingenuity and acuteness of the archbishop were displayed with good effect in this treatise. It is proper to observe, also, that this great man was the real inventor of the argument erroneously attributed to Des Cartes, which undertakes to prove the existence of God from the idea of infinite perfection, which is to be found, without exception, in every man's mind.f

Thus did Anselm employ himself in the defence of divine truth and serious religion. His knowledge of the scriptures was, I am persuaded, so sound, and his love of them so sincere, that if he had met with direct opposition, on these infinitely momentous subjects, from the court of Rome, he would have sooner pronounced the pope to be antichrist, than have parted with his evangelical sentiments and profession. But the course of events threw them into such circumstances, that it became the temporal interest of the court of Rome, to cherish and honour the archbishop.

Hear with what seriousness he expresses his views concerning his own justification before God. " I am conscious that I deserve damnation, and my repentance suffices not for satisfaction; but certain it is, that thy mercy abounds above all offences.":):

The works of this great prelate are partly scholastical, partly devotional. Taken together, they demonstrate him to have been eminently endowed with genius and piety. Like Augustine, whom he seems to have followed, as his model, he abounds both in profound argumentation on the most abstruse and difficult subjects, and in devout and fervent meditations on

• Liber adversus insipientem. See Mac's transl. of Mosheim, vol. i. cent. si. p. 5 ,0. Ojiarto edition.

f See Id. p. 483. t Anselm's Meditations.

practical godliness. But it will not be so much adapted to the purpose of this history to analyze his tracts, as to give some detached passages on matters of real christian importance.

In his treatise on the reason why God became man,* he says, " I see that the man, whom we seek as qualified to be our mediator, must be of this description; he must not die of necessity, because he must be omnipotent; nor of debt, because he must not be a sinner; and yet he must die voluntarily, because it was necessary, that he should do so, as mediator."—" As it is necessary, that man should satisfy for the sin of man, therefore none could make satisfaction, but he who was properly man, Adam himself, or one of his race. That Adam himself could satisfy was impossible."f

He thus expresses his admiration, while he meditates on the power of the cross. { " O hidden fortitude! that a man hanging on the cross should suspend eternal death, which oppressed mankind! that a man, nailed to the cross, should overcome the world, and punish its wicked powers with everlasting destruction. O secret powers! that a man condemned with robbers, should save men condemned with devils; that a man extended on a cross should draw all things to himself! O secret virtue! that one, expiring in agony, should draw innumerable souls from hell; that man should undertake the death of the body, and destroy the death of souls!"

Speaking of the humiliation of Christ,§ he observes, " He assumed poverty, yet lost not his riches; rich within, poor without. God was latent in riches; man was apparent in poverty. By that blood we have lost the rags of iniquity, that we might be clothed with the garment of immortality. Lest we should not dare with our poverty to approach him, who has all riches in his hand, he exhibited himself poor; that is, God conde

• Cur Deus homo, Lib. 2. c. 11. fid. c. 8.

X De MeUit. reddento hum. c. I. $ On 2 Cor. viii.

scended to take upon him our nature. That man might return to internal riches, God condescended to appear externally poor. We should have wanted at least one proof of his tender love to us, unless he had tuken upon him our poverty, and he himself had sustained, for a time, that indigence, from which he delivers us."

The reader, from these specimens, may form some idea of the felicity of thought, which enabled this prelate to unite practical devotion with scholastic theology, and to educe the most cogent motives to gratitude and pious affections from those mysterious doctrines, which have ever been esteemed, by wise and holy men, the special glory of Christianity.

The following thought seems to throw no small light on some of the most sublime ideas of scripture. He has his eye on the first chapter to the Ephesians. " In the revelation of the mystery of our Lord's incarnation, the angels themselves received an advancement of dignity. Even their joy was increased, when they began to receive men into their fellowship. Christ indeed died not for angels; nevertheless, the fruits of his redemption, tend to their benefit. The enmity, which sin had caused between the angelic and human nature, is done away; and even from the redemption of men, the loss of the ancient angelic ruin is repaired. Thus heavenly and earthly things are renewed: those, however, only, who were in Christ elected and predestinated before the foundation of the world, obtain this benefit. For in him they always were and are, whom God hath chosen from eternity."

His views of the virtue and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ he thus expresses:* " Christ was made sin for us, that is, a sacrifice for sin. For, in the law the sacrifices, which are offered for sins, are called sins. Hence Christ is called sin, because he was offered for sin. He hath blotted out all sin, original and actual; hath fulfilled all righteousness, and opened the king

dom of heaven. By one offering he perfects for ever:* for, to the end of the world, that victim will be sufficient for the cleansing of all his people. If they sin a thousand times, they need no other Saviour, because this suffices for all things, and cleanses every conscience from sin." I need not say of a man so holy and upright, that he meant not to encourage sin, while he magnifies the savour of divine peace, through the blood of Christ, which his own conscience had experienced.

" Thought all, who were to be saved, could not be present when Christ made that redemption, yet so great was the virtue of that death, that its effects are extended to those, who are absent or remote, in regard to place and time."

Hear how divinely he speaks of the holy Spirit and his operations. " The holy Spirit is evidently declared to be God,J because, unless he were God, he would not have a temple. He breathed on them, and said unto them, receive ye the Holyghost.J As if he had said: As ye perceive this breath, by which I intimate to you the holy Spirit, as spiritual objects are intimated by sensible things, to proceed from my body, so know that the holy Spirit proceeds from my person, even from the secret of my deity." An interpretation worthy of him, who confuted the Greeks in the article of the procession of the holy Spirit from the Son. Indeed every precious fundamental of christianity appears in his writings. Remove the rubbish of superstition, and view the inward man; and you see in Anselm all that is vital and essential in godliness. Nor is he content with orthodoxy of sentiment: let us hear how he pants after God, and learn from him to apply, by prayer, for the power of the doctrine, which we profess. || Draw me, Lord, into thy love. As thy creature, I am thine altogether; make me to be so in love. See, Lord, before thee is my heart: it struggles; but, of

This holy personage appears, from his comments on the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters to the Romans, to have understood the right use of the law and the gospel; the power and pollution of indwelling sin; its augmentation in the heart from the irritation of the law which forbids evil; and the real and solid relief from guilt, by the grace of Jesus Christ. These subjects are well understood, that is, sufficiently for all practical purposes, even by persons, who have no pretensions to skill in languages or criticism; provided they have felt the lost condition of fallen man, and hav e been taught by the Spirit of God, in an effectual manner, to apply the medicine of the gospel: whereas they are altogether hidden from the wise and prudent of this world;f from men, who may possess much learning and acuteness, and who trust in the strength of their own knowledge and acquirements; but whose

* Romans, viii. 26. t 1 Corin.i. 19.

hearts have never been truly humbled, or opened* to the reception of spiritual knowledge. The apostle of the gentiles was divinely commissioned to explain the important points; and, I find Anselm to have known them experimentally; but. let it suffice just to have mentioned these things in this place. They have been copiously illustrated by many writers since the reformation. So various, however, and so abundant was the knowledge of Anselm in the divine life, that he wrote with no less precision on practical, than on mysterious subjects. Observe, for instance, how justly he describes the evil of rash judgment. f There are two cases, in which we ought to guard against rash judgment; first, when the intention of him, whom we are disposed to blame, is uncertain; secondly, when it is uncertain, how the person will turn out in The End, who is the present object of censure. A person, for instance, refuses to fast, complaining of his bodily infirmities; if you, disbelieving him, impute his refusal to a spirit of intemperance, you are guilty of the sin of rash judgment. Moreover, though his gluttony be unquestionably evident, yet if you censure him, as if his recovery to holiness were impossible, you are guilty of censoriousness. Let us not then censure things, which are Dubious, as if they were Certain; nor reprehend even Manifest evils in such a manner, as to represent them absolutely Incurable. Of uncertain things, those are most prone to judge rashly, who take more delight in inveighing against what is amiss, than in correcting it: and the vice of censoriousness itself may be traced up either to pride or to envy."

On the awful subject of predestination his views are similar to those of Augustine. Suffice it to quote a single sentence. " It cannot be investigated why God comes to this man in the way of mercy, to that in the way of justice. For no creature can decide, why he hath mercy on this person, rather than on that.":):

In his comments on the 5th chapter of the epistle to the Romans, he beautifully illustrates the all-important doctrine of justification by faith in Christ; on which subject it may suffice to produce a single quotation from one of his systematical treatises.* " If, as it is evident, the heavenly city must receive its complete number from the human race in addition to the angels, who fell not, and if this be impossible, without a satisfaction made to the divine justice, if God alone can make this satisfaction, if man is bound in justice to make it, it follows, that the Saviour must be Godman." So clearly were the essentials of salvation discerned, in one of the darkest periods of the church: and there is not an humble soul, in any age, who seeks out the works of the Lord with admiration and delight, but he will join with the pious archbishop in his meditation. " The wicked sin, and the just are punished; the impious offend, and the pious are condemned; what the servant perpetrates, the master compensates; in fine, the evil which man commits, of that evil Christ endures the punishment. "f It would carry me too far to transcribe all his devout reflections and meditations on these subjects. One remark, however, which glances at the great corruption of doctrine, that originated from the mistaken philosophy of free-will,J should not be omitted. " If natural possibility by freewill, as the wise of this world say, be sufficient unto salvation, both for knowledge and for practice, then Christ is dead in vain, and his cross is of none effect. But so surely as human salvation depends on the cross, so surely is that secular wisdom convicted of

• Cur Deus homo. b. 2. c. 6. f B- Meditat.

X I have used the term Free-will in this, and in some other places, in compliance with custom, though the expression leads to a confusion of ideas on the subject. It is as absurd to talk of the freedom of the wiH, as of the freedom of liberty; for we can have no other rational idea of freedom in men's actions, but that of thi-ir being' Voluntary. If men act voluntarily, they act freely: responsibility is attached to what is VoLuntary, provided the subject be of sound understanding. When men do as they please, they are answerable for their conduct This is a simple state of the case. Sec Locke's Essay on Hum. Und. and Edwarda on Freewill.

folly, which knows not the virtue of the cross, and substitutes a phantom of human merit and ability m its room."*'

" We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery," says St. Paul. The real doctrine of salvation needs, therefore, a stronger light than the world, weak and distempered in discernment as it is by sin, can endure. Hence it always appears foolish to the natural man. Are we to wonder, therefore, that men of secular wisdom should despise it? That they should call the ideas of St. Paul, which Anselm illustrates, jejune, systematical, abstruse, unintelligible? that they should pronounce the christian experience, which has those ideas for its basis, illusory, fanatical, and visionary? There have not been wanting, however, men of sound intellect and of solid learning, in every age, who have found the gospel of Christ to be the power of God to salvation. Anselm was one of these. Amidst the gloom of superstition with which he was surrounded, he was yet enabled to describe, and vindicate every fundamental of evangelical doctrine: though a papist, he appeals to the scriptures: he expounds them, by opening the plain, grammatical sense of St. Paul; and it behooves men, who call themselves protestants, or who boast of the superior light of this age, to confute his arguments, or at least to own that they do not believe the scriptures to be divine. If original sin be a true doctrine, it is to be expected, that men leaning to their own understanding, would reject the doctrine of the remedy for a disease, which they will not feel. If the fever of prick have caused men to lose all sense of their fallen condition, ought their reasonings to be regarded by those. who feei what that condition is, and to what a state of misery sin has reduced them? If human powers, by the natural exertion of the will, exclusively of grace, be indeed sufficient to guide men into the way of salvation, then the principle of effectual grace, through the mediation of Christ, and by the influence of the holy

Spirit, is doubtless unnecessary. Let experience therefore decide by the fruits. Schemes and theories of doctrine, either wholly or partly subversive of all ideas of grace, have long been patronized by persons of great celebrity in the christian world. What have these schemes and theories done for mankind? Who, among these philosophers, can be compared, I will not say with many protestant divines, but even with Anselm, who lived, under a cloud of superstitious disadvantages, in humility, sincerity, piety, charity, and heavenly mindedness? It is allowed, even by his enemies, that his life was in the right: and all the true holiness of practice, which has appeared in the world, has ever originated from such doctrines as he professed. What has been the consequence of doctrines grafted on human merit and ability, but an inundation of vice and wickedness? We have lived, indeed, to see this consequence exhibited in full perfection in France. Since christian ideas were almost exploded there, that country has been one vast theatre of . all that is execrable among men. Even the military success of those infidels has only propagated misery; and their triumphs, like those of Satan, while they multiply the calamities of others, add only a fresh accumulation to their own. Is it the same thing to forbid crimes, as to prevent them, ye innovators without discernment?* Is it the same thing to despise the wisdom of antiquity, as to understand it, ye philosophers without learning?

To those then, who will not lend a patient ear to christian doctrine, we say, it is divine; it has proved itself so to be in every -jge; the proofs of it lie open before you, examine, and confute if you can. And among these proofs we adduce one of no mean importance,

• The innovators here alluded to, were continually, In Words, forbidding crimes, and exhorting citizens to be orderly, See.; while, In Fact, ;he_v taught them to hate and despise the true preventives of crimes, viz. an effective government, a strong police, and above all, the doctrine of the eternal punishments at the wicked. All this time, the multiplication of the most flagitious enormities was forming a sea without a shore, which at length swallowed up the preachers themselves. Such are the i-fl'ects of chimerical philosophy, and of the contempt of ancient wisdom.

namely, that the gospel stands recommended as the medicine of our nature by its holy effects. However you may dislike it in its principles, you must own, if at all attentive to matter of fact, that it teaches men in real practice to live soberly, righteously, and godly; and that the farther men remove from its system in their views of religion, the more rampant do they grow in wickedness and immorality.

Reflections of this sort should teach men to inquire, with serious and humble reverence, both into the nature and evidences of christianity; and persons, who feel at all the force of these, or similar observations, will find it their duty to pray devoutly for the divine influences. In this spirit of devotion, Anselm excelled; and a few quotations, tending to illustrate it, shall close this article. There were some others in the eleventh century, who lived, and who wrote in a similar taste; but his eminent superiority over them all, will justify me in omitting the account of their works.*

He, who in the following manner, breaths out his soul in prayer, through the Intercessor and Mediator between God and man, and so seriously rejects the hope of any other advocate than the Son of God, could not really confide in the virgin Mary, or any saint or angel, but must have rested in Christ alone, however difficult it may be to explain the consistency of his sentiments with the fashionable superstitions of the times, the infection of which he by no means escaped entirely.

" Thus, Father Almighty, I implore thee by the love of thy almighty Son; bring my soul out of pri

• It may, perhaps, be not improper to mention Bruno, the founder of the severe order of Carthusians. He was born at Cologne, was chancellor of the diocese of Kheims and doctor of divinity there. He with two other canons prosecuted Manasses, archbishop of Cologne, for simony, in 1077 Manasses in a rage, brake open and plundered the nousesof the canons, and sold their prebends. He was, howev er, legally deposed. Bruno was offered the vacant archbishopric, but preferred a state of solitude. He is said, also, to have refused the archbishopric of Reggio. Notwithstanding the uncommon austerities of the order, which he instituted, he was obliged to attend Pope Urban II. formerly bis scholar at Kheims. He was iearned in Greek and Hebrew, and versed with the fathers, particularly Ambrosfand Angustine; he followed the system of the latter, concerning grace wrote on the psalter, and St. Paul's epistles; and seems to have beep It"questionably pious and heavenly mindcrf. See Butler, vol. y

son, that I may give thanks to thy name: free me from the bonds of sin; I ask this of thee by thy only coeternal Son: and by the intercession of thy dearly beloved Son, who sitteth at thy right hand, graciously restore to life a wretch, over whom, through his own demerits, the sentence of death impends. To what other intercessor I can have recourse, I know not, except to him, who is the propitiation for our sins.* That the only begotten Son should undertake to intercede for me, with the eternal Father, demonstrates him to be man; and that he should succeed in his intercession shows, that the human nature is taken into union with the majesty of the deity."f

He addresses the Son of God as " the redeemer of captives, the saviour of the lost, the hope of exiles, the strength of the distressed, the enlarger of the enslaved spirit, the sweet solace, and refreshment of the mournful soul, the crown of conquerors, the only reward and joy of all the citizens of heaven, the copious source of all grace."J

The holy Spirit he thus addresses in the same treatise. " Thee, holy Spirit, I implore, if through my weakness, I have a very imperfect understanding of the truth of thy majesty, and if, through the concupiscence of sinful nature, I have neglected to obey the Lord's precepts when understood, that thou wouldst condescend to enlighten me with thy visitation, that through thee, whom I have called upon as my succor, in the dangerous ocean of life, I may, without shipwreck, arrive at the shore of a blessed immortality."

Could the pious spirit, who believes and longs for the rest, which remains for the people of God, express its most ardent breathings in language more adapted to her frame than the following? " Hasten the time, my Saviour and my God, when, what I now believe, I may see with eyes uncovered; what I now hope and reverence at a distance, I may apprehend; what I now desire, according to the measure of my strength, I

• De Vestiment. f Chap. viii. Rom. J Spec. Sermo Ertng. c. IP

may affectionately embrace in the arms of my soul, and that I may be wholly absorbed in the abyss of thy love!"*

After having uttered many petitions,f ne says, " I have asked many good things, my Creator, though I have deserved many evils. Not only I have no claim on thee for these good things, but I have merited exquisite punishments. But the case of publicans, harlots, and robbers, in a moment snatched from the jaws of the enemy, and received in the bosom of the shepherd, animates my soul with a cheering hope." With so intuitive a glance of christian faith does he console his soul! It is in the same way that divine mercy is apprehended by all humble and penitent spirits. The person of Christ, and the doctrine of justification by him alone, are the objects and supports of confidence in God.