Billeder på siden

DEDICATION. comments with Christian courage, as prejudicially affecting the morals of his day, shew, that, however varied the modes of developement, the natural corruption of the human heart, and the main springs of human actions are the same in every age.

With a very few exceptions, I have translated the quotations from St. Chrysostom from the Greek, and have sometimes ventured to make additional extracts, not unfrequently with the sole view of rendering a quotation continuous.

These pages relate to matters which have deeply engaged your mind, are practically exhibited in your daily life, and have often been the subject of our discourse. Allow me, therefore, to dedicate them to you as a slight acknowledgment of the constant and unvaried affection, which you

have shewn me as well in the day of sorrow as of joy. You will I know, excuse their imperfections,—the master-mind is ever the most lenient in judging the deficiencies of others. But there is a still stronger reason why these pages should be dedicated to you. Many of them were listened to and approved by your Beloved Sister, whom it has pleased God to take from us unto Himself; and in my affliction I have drawn support from the prosecution of a design, which had her approval. Accept then, my dear Carnarvon, this poor tribute from a mourning brother, and, upholden by the hope, that after the accomplishment of our pilgrimage through this valley of tears, we shall rejoin the Beloved One in the Realms of Eternal Love, and Joy, and Peace, believe me always,

Yours, affectionately,

J. C. STAPLETON. May 28, 1838.


The work, which I now offer to the public, is formed upon the same plan, as the Ecclesiastical Lives which I formerly published. The Biographies of the two great Fathers, Augustin and Chrysostom, the former of whom may be said to resemble St. John, the latter St. Paul, afford matter of peculiar interest, enhanced by the circumstances of the age in which they lived. Of these two histories, I have selected the latter, while I willingly resign the former to my beloved friend, Professor Twesten, of Kiel. Although I have undertaken the easier task, I have found it difficult to keep within due limits, and not be led into too wide a field by the richness of the subject. Truly, none of the ancient Fathers have laid down so many truths of practical importance, and equally suited to all ages, as Chrysostom ; and to this point I shall endeavour to call the especial attention of my readers.

In the Second Volume which I hope soon to publish, I shall endeavour to shew the peculiar character of his ministry at Constantinople, relate his arduous struggles in that city, and detail those sufferings, in which the greatness of the Christian hero was subsequently manifested. I shall then subjoin treatises upon his exposition of the Bible, his doctrine, and his ethics ; upon the theological views of the Antiochian school generally, and especially upon his own; and finally, upon the relation, which they bore to

[blocks in formation]

other theological opinions of that period. I will therefore request my readers to suspend their judgment upon many points in this volume, and await the promised disquisitions.

I will lastly observe, that I cannot agree with the learned observations of Professor Hasselbach, prefatory to his translation of the Work of Chrysostom upon the Priesthood, or depart from the ordinary views concerning the origin of that book. It can hardly be supposed, that Chrysostom could have invented a form of embodiment for his dialogue, no example of the kind being to be found in the church of that period. The violation of the Ecclesiastical Laws in this instance, with regard to age, will be less remarkable, when we consider how seldom they were observed in those times,—which appears from the frequency with which the same law was enjoined by the Councils. Gregory Nazianzen even ventures to number the law passed by the council of Nice (Can. XV.) against the translation of Bishops among the obsolete laws, the manai Tebrnkotas vouous. Moreover, many peculiar circumstances unknown to us, amidst the troubles of the Eastern church, in the reign of the Emperor Valens and during the Arian controversies, might have occasioned the above violation.

NEANDER. Berlin, 5th May, 1820.


I HAVE long intended to prepare a Second Edition of this work, which has for many years been out of print. But, as it had met with a favourable reception, I was reluctant, that it should be reprinted in its former state, and was desirous to perfect it as much as possible, both in its contents and form. My professional duties and labours upon my History of the Church left me, however, neither time nor strength for this purpose ; and the accomplishment of my intention was thus delayed. And now, indeed, I have not been able to mould the whole as I desired ; but since this book contributes to give a portrait of Chrysostom, and to put much that is valuable of his works into general circulation, I could not forego my intention ; and I have improved it as much as I possibly could, consistently with my other labours. The number of notes, of which the matter ought to have been worked into the body of the narrative, was always a defect. I have therefore inserted some of them in the main text, distributed others in an Appendix, and, for convenient use, have placed a few in the pages to which they belonged. I have also made many considerable additions and alterations.

NEANDER. Berlin, Feb. 22, 1832.

« ForrigeFortsæt »