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all thoughtful students universally recognise as constituting so important, though so difficult an element in the symbolic contexture of the Book. · Here is a specimen of the “ short and easy,” the “ clear and consistent” method of dealing with the numerical difficulties.
The Apostle speaks of a particular visitation which is to last "five months.” But why "five months ?” What does this mystic period signify? Oh, it signifies nothing whatever, answers the clear and consistent interpreter. “This period of five months,” he writes, “is elsewhere called an hour, a day, a month, a year, forty and two months, one thousand two hundred and sixty days," &c. Can anything be more miserably unsatisfactory ?
Again : “ The third part of the city fell.” What does the third part signify? It plainly signifies “the whole," answers Mr. Curzon. In another place: “The tenth part” of the city falls. And again : “ The tenth part” merely means “the whole.” Why then, we reply, did not the Apostle say so ?
Again : Mr. Curzon gravely informs us that the" thousand years' reign" of the saints extended from A.D. 30 to A.D. 95. (P. 170.)
Here, too, is an example of this summary method of dealing with inspired imagery, and clearing away Scripture difficulties :
“The Locusts out of the bottomless pit; the two hundred million of Horsemen from the Euphrates; the people and tongues of the Great City; the Beast out of the sea; the Water, as a flood, cast out of the mouth of Satan ; Great Babylon, or the great Whore; . . . the Beast, the False Prophet, and Kings of the earth; Gog and Magog: all these have severally been proved to represent the same power, namely, the heathen Roman Empire.”—P. 127.
Again : the Apostle sees a mighty angel standing in the sun. The “sun,” Mr. Curzon tells us, is the same “heathen Roman Empire.” The “ Lake of fire and brimstone” symbolises the destruction of the Roman Empire. The “Great White Throne” and the awful Judgment merely depict the overthrow of the same heathen empire, together with the passing away of the Jewish covenant : —with much more to the same effect.
A writer who can contrive, with such perverse ingenuity, to evacuate of all its majesty, dignity, beauty, and significance the most striking and awful imagery of Holy Scripture, in defiance of the concurrent voice of the Universal Church, and in mere deference to a private theory of his own,—a writer, moreover, who dares to call in question the Church's doctrine of the "Resurrection of the Flesh,” arguing that the expression is not to be found in Scripture,—such a writer must not be surprised if a system of inter
1 " The two bodies,” he writes, i.e. " the natural body and the spiritual body' “ do not seem to have anything in common, except that they are successively our own bodies and the habitations of our spirits." P. 137. Here is a specimen of the way in which Puritanism is joining hand in hand with Rationalism in undermining the very foundations of the Faith. VOL. XXII.
pretation which presents itself thus commended, is deemed utterly unworthy of serious attention.
Mr. Curzon has shown, in the earlier part of his work, that, had he not applied himself to his task with a preconceived theory to establish, and with an utter contempt for the voice of the Church, he is not without endowments which might have enabled him to compile, what he undertook to furnish, a convenient Scripture help to the ordinary reader of the Apocalypse.
At present we have only to add, that if any wish to find the mysteries of this Divine Book effectually closed against them, they have but to employ Mr. Curzon's “ Scriptural Key to the Revelation of S. John."
HEFELE'S LIFE OF CARDINAL XIMENEZ.
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The Life of Cardinal Ximenez. By the Rev. Dr. Von HEFELE, of
Tübingen. Translated from the German by the Rev. Canon Dalton. London: Catholic Publishing and Bookselling Company, Limited; Charles Dolman, Manager, 61, New Bond Street,
and 21, Paternoster Row. 1860. CARDINAL Ximenez was a great man, in some respects a very great man; and with his life are interwoven several of the most interesting episodes to be found in the history of the Spanish monarchy. Confessor to Queen Isabella of Spain ; Provincial of his Order; Archbishop of Toledo; a joint converter of the Moors; the founder of the University of Alcalá; the projector and supporter of the Complutensiap Polyglot; the restorer and corrector of the Mozarabic Liturgy; Grand Chancellor of Castile, and State confidante of Philip the Fair; twice Regent of the Kingdom of Spain ; Cardinal and Grand Inquisitor of Castile and Leon; the conqueror of Oran; the great advocate of the American Mission ; and with all this a hard-working prelate, ever ready to spend or to be spent in a good cause; surely there could be no lack of incident in such a life as this,--a life, too, in which the good so preponderates over that which was illiberal, narrow-minded, and tyrannical, that a just relation of all parts of the biography would, by its little clouds of shadow, have but made the sunny points of the Cardinal's character shine out the clearer.
As so much material for the biography exists, we naturally regret to find so large a portion of the book devoted to mere controversial writing. It seems almost a pity to be obliged to say of the life of such a man as Ximenez that it is a book written by a
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Romanist, translated by a Romanist, about a Romanist, and for Romanists to read : we would rather have been able to say that it was a work composed by a Christian priest, to commemorate the virtues of a Christian prelate, for the edification of Christian people who are all members of the one great Catholic Church of God. The translator bas thrown the first chapter of the German edition of this book (which was little else than a summary of Spanish affairs previous to the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella) into a preface, adding some remarks of his own thereto : now, having taken this liberty with one portion of Dr. Hefele's work, it would have been more prudent to have treated another portion of it in a similar manner, viz., chapter ix., which is furnished with this running title, “Historical parallel between Isabella of Spain and Elizabeth of England.” The entire matter of this chapter is utterly irrelevant to the subject under discussion. It seems, indeed, to be a hard lesson for men to learn, that truth does not gain the day by controversy and disputation, by vindictive reproach and bitter words; but that when set forth in its naked simplicity, it in the end attracts all hearts, and wins all the souls that are worth the conquest. If Protestants, as they are misnamed, have spoken harshly of Rome, the members of the Roman Church are but too apt to forget that it is the soft answer which turneth away wrath. We took up this life of Ximenez expecting a literary feast and treat ; we close its perusal with a feeling of deep disappointment, engendered by the bad and bitter spirit in which it is written; a disposition in which the translator has striven with the author for the palm, and which has spoilt many a good argument by its false setting and overcolouring.
Having stated the one glaring defect of the book, we proceed to notice more in detail the preface of Canon Dalton, who seems to have brought no lack of enthusiasm, care, and industry to his portion of the work. In fact, it seems to us that, with Dr. Hefele's book as a guide, and his own collection of materials gathered up by him during his residence in Spain, he could have written a new life altogether, which would have given us a more exact portraiture of the great Cardinal. It is almost needless to say that the preface finds fault with all the English or American writers on Spain; that Ford, Borrow, Robertson, Stirling, Prescott, and Washington Irving have each their respective faults. Its merits are, that it points out the authorities upon which Dr. Hefele has founded his work; that it contains references to the principal general works on Spanish history; that the successive dominations of the Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and of the different states, are clearly sketched out. The union of Castile, Leon, and Galicia, which took place in A.D. 1230; and the other union in 1319, between Aragon, Barcelona, and Catalonia are both dwelt upon, as well as the rise of these separate petty kingdoms; and Dr. Hefele’s reflections upon the conquest of Granada in 1492, by Ferdinand and Isabella, are given in his own words. Nearly twenty pages of the preface are filled with a defence of the Inquisition, and an account of the trial of Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo, which took place under Philip II. Prescott's arguments on this cruel case are refuted at length.
It is necessary that we should confine our remarks on this book as closely as possible to the subject of the biography. We state the list of the former lives of Ximenez, as given by Canon Dalton. The earliest life was written in Latin for the University of Alcalá, (Complutum,) by Gomez, and was published in the year 1569. The second was published at Toledo in 1604, and was written by Eugenio de Robles. The third, by Fray Nicolas Aniceto Alcolea, appeared at Madrid in 1777. The fourth is the most celebrated, after the first; it is from the pen of Padre Quintanilla, and was issued at Palermo in 1633. The first English life appeared in 1813, but it is of no importance, being merely a compilation from the more ordinary materials. Of Dr. Hefele's present biography the translator remarks : “Dr. Hefele has taken great pains and diligence in examining all the original authorities connected with Ximenes; though the learned author would have acquired more valuable particulars had he been at liberty to visit and examine the libraries in Spain, and especially those in Madrid.”ı
The life itself tells that Cardinal Ximenez was descended from a decayed branch of the Castilian nobility, and that he was born at Torrelaguna, in the Province of Toledo, A.D. 1436. We give the first phase of his life in the translator's own words :
“His parents, wishing their son to dedicate himself to the Church, and having trained him to exercises of piety at an early age, soon sent him to Alcalá, in order to study grammar under able masters. He was afterwards removed to the renowned University of Salamanca, where he continued his studies, and began to learn canon and civil law, philosophy, and theology; the two last of which he acquired under a celebrated professor named Roa. Here it was that he first manifested that preference for Biblical studies which afterwards produced such abundant and fruitful results. By giving private lessons on civil and ecclesiastical law, Ximenez was enabled to support himself for six years at this university ; after which period he left Salamanca, and returned to his native town, having acquired a good stock of knowledge, and taken his degree of bachelor in canon and civil law. Poverty and the advice of his father induced him soon after, in the year 1459, to seek his fortune in Rome. On his way he was twice plundered by robbers of his money, clothes, and horse: being unable, therefore, to continue his journey, he was obliged to stop at Aix, in Provence. Here, however, he had the good fortune to meet with an old friend named Brunet, formerly a schoolfellow with him at Salamanca. He too was on his way to Rome; and having been informed of the misfortune which
Pref. p. xvi.
happened to Ximenez, he liberally assisted him, and accompanied him to the capital of Christendom.”—Pp. 2, 3.
At Rome we find Ximenez working for six years as consistorial advocate in the law courts; then, leaving the city with letters called “Expectativæ,” giving him the first benefice which should be vacant in Toledo. The benefice of Uzeda, within the limits of his native town, was the first to fall in; Carillo, Archbishop of Toledo, opposed his right, and finally imprisoned him for six years, at first in Uzeda, and afterwards at Santorcaz. He was, however, forgiven, and collated in 1480; but he then exchanged his benefice for the first chaplaincy of Sigüenza, and here, falling in with Juan Lopez de Medina-Cæli, a rich archdeacon of Almazan, he induced him to found the Academy of Sigüenza. Ximenez, by bis Hebrew and Chaldaic studies, soon attracted the notice of Cardinal Gonzalez, Archbishop of Seville and Bishop of Sigüenza : the prelate selected Ximenez to be Grand Vicar of this latter diocese, and enriched him with several benefices. This active life interrupting his studies, he soon retired as a novice into a convent belonging to the observantines of the Franciscan Order, which was founded at Toledo by Ferdinand and Isabella. His fame already attracting vast numbers to the spot, he removed to a smaller convent, situated in the midst of a forest of chestnuts, near Toledo.
The second chapter of the life is occupied with the ascent to the throne of Ferdinand and Isabella, and with the conquest of Gra. nada. The greater portion of the ten years of the Moorish war was spent by Ximenez in retirement; yet this war introduced him to the court of Isabella, as well as brought into note Columbus and Gonsalvo de Cordova, called “the great captain.” Talavera, the queen’s confessor, was made Archbishop of Granada, and Ximenez was appointed to his vacant post at court; and at the same time he was elected by the Chapter of the Franciscan Order Provincial of Old and New Castile. Travelling on foot, in company with his secretary, a young Franciscan named Ruyz, he made a visitation of the monasteries of his order. Gomez relates that once Ruyz said to him, with a smiling countenance, “ Most reverend father, you will certainly be the cause of our dying through hunger! GOD gives to every one his particular talent. Do you meditate and pray for me while I am begging for you.”] This ecclesiastical visitation enabled Ximenez to correct many of the breaches of discipline that had crept into the Franciscan bouses. On the death of Cardinal Mendoza, Queen Isabella nominated, after some little delay, Ximenez to the Archbishopric of Toledo, with which was united the Primacy of Spain and the Chancellorship of Castile, the power and wealth of the appointment being immense. The queen sent to Rome; the Pope in consistory granted the bulls, which reached
1 P. 30.