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Christ, that he declared the Roman See to be not the apostolic seat, but the seat of Satan;—a remarkable assertion certainly at that early period and which so exactly corresponds with the language used in Apoc. xiii. 2, of the Beast which was afterwards (Apoc. xvii. 3, 9) exhibited as in connexion with the City on the seven hills, viz. that the Dragon "gave him his power and seat and great authority," that it may well seem to us not without reason that Bishop Hurd refers these anti-Romish sentiments of Berenger to this origin.2
1. And now, before proceeding to Joachim Abbas, I must first briefly notice a short Treatise on the Apocalyptic Seals by Anselm, Bishop of Havilburg, in the Magdeburgensian Diocese: 3 a Treatise composed A.D. 1145, as appears on the face of the document; and on the following occasion. It seems that Anselm (who had been previously Secretary to the Emperor Lotharius the Second) having been sent on an embassy to the Greek Emperor Manuel at Constantinople, was challenged by some Greek bishops there, publicly to discuss the points of difference between the Latin and the Greek Churches; with which request he complied: and that having successfully defended, as was thought, the Latin cause, he was desired by Pope Eugenius to write an abstract of the discussion; which he did, in the form of dialogue. By way of introduction to this discussion, and with a view to answer difficulties on religion, which must arise in some minds, from the circumstance of so many different forms of religion existing in different countries and different ages, he prefixed to the Dialogues a preliminary book, showing that there had been from the first one body of the Church, governed by one Spirit that in the Old Testament times, from Abel even to Christ, the Church had ever held the rite of sacrifice, though with ceremonies often varied; and been under the influence of faith, though with imperfect knowledge of the articles of Christian faith: also, with reference to New Testament times, that various different successive states of the Church had been expressly foreshown, indeed seven different states from Christ to the consummation; the prefiguration of them having been given in the Apocalyptic Seals. In this curious manner it is that Anselm's views on this prophecy are given us. It may perhaps be called the earliest
Vol. ii. p. 259, Note 2.
Church-Scheme, properly speaking, of the Apocalyptic Seals; and is, in brief, as follows:
1. The White Horse typifies the earliest state of the Church, while in the beauty of miraculous gifts: the rider Christ, with the bow of evangelic doctrine, humbling the proud, and conquering opposers; so that the Church (Acts v. 14) was then daily increased.
2. The Red Horse is the next state of the Church, red with the blood of martyrdom; from Stephen the proto-martyr to the martyrs under Diocletian.
3. The Black Horse depicts the Church's third state, blackened after Constantine's time with heresies, such as of Arius, Sabellius, Nestorius, Eutyches, Donatus, Photinus, Manes; men pretending to hold the balance of justice in their discussions, but falsely weighing words and arguments: 2 while, on the other hand, Church Councils laid down what are rightly called Canons, (so Anselm seems some way to have understood the voice from among the Cherubim in the Apocalyptic vision,) by which the faith was defined.
4. The Pale Horse signified the Church's fourth state, coloured with the hue of hypocrisy too generally prevalent afterwards; "as pale is neither white nor black, but either falsely." And so, adds Anselm, has the Church laboured with these, that the Rider may well be called Death, Death the slayer of souls.-This state he makes to have commenced from the beginning of the fifth century, and to have continued even to his own time: nor will it terminate, he asserts, till the time when the tares shall be separated from the wheat in judgment; and the saints follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
5. Souls under the altar. Here is the Church's fifth state. Then the souls of the saints which will have shed their blood for Christ, considering the infinite miseries of the Church in its three previous states, moved with compassion will cry out, "How long, O Lord, dost thou not avenge our blood?"
6. The sixth state of the Church is when there shall arise the most vehement persecution in the times of Antichrist, answering to
Equus albus primus status est ecclesiæ, candore miraculorum nitidus et pulcherrimus."
2 "Hæretici, qui dum in manu suâ dolosam stateram trutinantes habent, æquitatem de fide disputando proponunt; sed minùs cautos levissimo unius vel minimi yerbi pondere fallunt, et in partem erroris sui pertrahunt."
the great earthquake of the sixth seal.1 Then Christ the Sun of Righteousness shall be hidden; Christian professors fall from the Church into earthly-mindedness: and the heaven, or Christ itself, pass with its sacraments altogether from the public view.
7. The seventh state is that of the saints' rest; a rest in the beatific vision as it is said, When he had opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about the space of half an hour."
So Anselm of the seven Apocalyptic Seals: a scheme chiefly exhibiting views of the Church's progressive trials and evils.-I may observe, further, that in one or two passing notices of the vision of the Dragon and travailing Woman, Apoc. xii, he makes what is said of the Dragon's persecution of the Woman, or Church, after she had brought forth Christ her male child, to be chronologically parallel with the times of the Red Horse of the second Seal; also the Dragon's going forth to persecute the rest of the Woman's seed, Apoc. xii. 17, to have been fulfilled in the heresies introduced after Constantine's overthrow of Paganism,2 by heretics that bore on their hearts the mark of the Beast.
2. I now pass on to Joachim Abbas; a person of greater repute and greater influence as an expounder of prophecy, than any other whatever in the middle age. He was a Calabrian by birth, and in early life had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem: a city at that time still held by the successors of the Crusaders; though threatened by Mussulman enemies surrounding it. The lively recollection of what he then saw, had probably not a little influence on Joachim's interest in, and views of prophecy. Indeed it was there and then, in the Holy Church and Sepulchre, that the idea was first impressed on his mind, of having a call to the illustration of prophetic Scripture.3 About the year 1180 he had been elected Abbot of the monastery of Curacio in Calabria, near Cosenza: but, having already at that time become famous for his gift in Scriptural research and explication, he received express permission from Pope Lucius III, in the year 1182,
1 Norbert, a cotemporary of Anslem, and friend of the celebrated Bernard, is an example of the expectation entertained at this time by some persons of reputation, of the speedy appearance of Antichrist. See my Vol. ii. p. 331, note
2 Compare pp. 316, 325 suprà.
3 So Moreri in his Dictionary, on the article Joachim.
to retire a while from the Abbacy and its active occupations, in order to give himself more entirely to these studies. In 1183, at the convent of Casemaire, Luke, then a monk of the monastery, and afterwards Archbishop of Cosenza, tells us that he was assigned as secretary to Joachim:1 and that night and day both himself and two other monks were employed by Joachim, as his assistants and scribes in two works on which he was then busy; one on the Concord of the Old and New Testament, the other on the Apocalypse.2 It was for a year and a half, according to this informant, that Joachim thus occupied himself at the convent, "dictating and correcting." At what time he finally finished his Apocalyptic comment seems uncertain. In A.D. 1190, when our king Richard was at Messina, on his way to the Holy Land, he was full of the subject. We have in Roger de Hoveden an interesting account of the king's sending for him, and hearing him lecture on it, induced by his high reputation for prophetic lore; 3 together with a sketch of certain views as to the future which he then propounded from the Apocalypse: views partially contradicted however by the event soon after; and which in the commentary, as finally corrected by him, appear as we shall see afterwards, considerably modified. In the copy of the commentary handed down to us, I observe a notice of something that he states himself to have heard in the year 1195.5 Hence I conceive that he corrected and improved the Work till near the time of his death;
1 I take my account from Fleury's Histoire Ecclesiastique, Liv. lxiv.-Luke makes this year, 1183, the date of the commencement of Joachim's writing :-" Il en obtent la permission d'ecrire, et commenca à le faire." Ibid.
2 "L'Abbé me donna à lui pour lui servir de secretaire; et j'ecrivois jour et nuit dans des cahiers ce qu'il dictoit et corrigeoit sur des brouillons, avec deux autres moines ses ecrivains."-The intimate connexion of the two Works will appear at my p. 375. 3 “The same year (1190) Richard hearing by common report, and by the relation of many persons, that there was a certain ecclesiastic of the Cistercian order in Calabria, named Joachim, abbot of Curacio, who had the spirit of prophecy, and predicted future events to the people, sent for him; and took pleasure in hearing the words of his prophecy, and wisdom and learning. For he was a man learned in the Holy Scriptures; and interpreted the visions of St. John the Evangelist, which the same John relates in the Apocalypse, which he wrote with his own hand; in hearing which the king of England and his followers took great delight."
What follows in Roger of Joachim's explanation of Apoc. xii, xiii, xvii, about the Woman, Dragon, and Beast Antichrist, is given at p. 400 infrà.
My edition is that of Venice, 1527: of 224 leaves.
5 See P. 383 infrà. Again, he in one place seems to allude to A. D. 1200, as the date of his final recension.
See my Note 3 p. 375.
which happened according to Fleury, in the year 1202.-I now proceed to give a sketch of his exposition.
A brief Prologue, and then an Introductory Book, are prefixed to the Exposition; which Exposition is itself divided into six PARTS. -In the Prologue he takes care prominently to state, that he had not entered on the work presumptuously, and merely from his own judgment; but by the authority, and at the command of the Roman See; a brief Monitory of Pope Clement on which point, and one which alludes to the previous mandates of the two Popes preceding, is inserted.
And, in the same spirit of deference to the Roman See, he leaves also prefixed a solemn charge to the Priors and Brethren of his Abbey, to have his writings immediately and formally submitted to its judgment; in case of his death occurring before this was done.2
From the Introductory Book, one of several chapters, preceding the main Commentary, it may suffice to note what he says of the Three Ages, the Apocalyptic seven-sealed Book, and the Concord of the Two Testaments.
1. Noticing the old Jewish threefold division of time, before the Law, under the Law, and under the Messiah or Gospel, he observes that the last period of these three may be itself divided into three ; viz. that of the Gospel Letter, Gospel Spirit, and Vision of God; so making up five in all; and that, omitting the first and last of the five, he would mean by the Three States of the World, when spoken of in his Treatise, the three intermediate æras; viz, 1. from Abraham Breve Monitorium seu Preceptorium Summi Pontificis.
"Clemens Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei, dilecto filio Joachim Abbati de Curatio, salutem et apostolicam benedictionem.
Canonis suadet, et debitum evangelicæ charitatis, ut in cunctis actibus nostris ad id plurimum attendamus, qualiter secundum veritatis evangelicæ testimonium opera nostra bona luceant coram hominibus; ut ex eis proficiendi materiam capiant, et exemplum. Quum igitur, jubente et exhortante bonæ memoria Lucio Papâ prædecessore nostro, expositionem Apocalypsis et Opus Concordiæ inchoasse, et postmodum auctoritate Domini Papæ Urbani successoris ipsius composuisse dicaris, caritatem tuam monemus et exhortamur in Domino, per Apostolica Scripta mandantes, quatenus laboribus tuis in hâc parte peroptatum et debitum finem imponens, (gratiâ Domini prosequente,) ad utilitatem proximorum opus illud complere, et diligenter studeas emendare; veniensque ad nos quàm citius opportunitas aderit, discussioni apostolicæ sedis, et judicio, ut præsentas."
Datum sexto Idus Junii, Pontificatûs nostri anno primo. (i. e. A. D. 1188.)
* The date given is MC; which is evidently incorrect. I presume it should be MCC.