Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

the golden, ” Src., are taken. The abbey of St Victor, besides Adam and his follower Pistor, was destined afterwards to produce the most popular church poet of the 17th century. There were other distinguished Latin hymn-writers of the later medieval period besides those already mentioned. The name of St Bernard of Clairvaux cannot be passed 32233 over with the mere mention of the fact that he was the X author of some metrical sequences. He was, in truth, the father, in Latin hymnody, of that warm and passionate form of devotion which some may consider to apply too freely to Divine Objects the language of human affection, but which has, nevertheless, been popular with many devout persons. in Protestant as well as Roman Catholic churches. F. von Spee, “ Angelus Silesius, ” Madame Guyon, Bishop Ken, Count Zinzendorf and Frederick William Faber may be regarded as disciples in this school. Many hymns, in various languages, have been founded upon St Bernard's “Jesu dulcis memoria ” (“ Jesu, the very thought of Thee ”), “ Jesu dulcedo cordium ” (“ Jesu, Thou joy of loving hearts ”) and “ Jesu Rex admirabilis ” (“ O Jesu, King most wonderful ”)-three portions of one poem, nearly zoo lines long. Pietro Damiani, the friend of Pope Gregory VII., Marbode, bishop of Rennes, in the 11th, Hildebert, archbishop of Tours, in the rzth, and St Bonaventura in the 13th centuries, are other eminent men who added poetical fame as hymnographers to high public distinction. Before the time of the Reformation, the multiplication of sequences (often as unedifying in matter as unpoetical in style) had done much to degrade the common conception of hymnody. In some parts of France, Portugal, Sardinia and Bohemia, their use in the vernacular language had been allowed. In Germany also there were vernacular sequences as early as the rzth century, specimens of which may be seen in the third chapter of C. Winkworth's Christian Singers of Germany. Scofling parodies upon sequences are said to have been among the means used in Scotland to discredit the old church services. After the 1 5th century they were discouraged at Rome. They retained for a time some of their old popularity among German Protestants, and were only gradually relinquished in France. A new “ prose, ” in honour of St Maxentia, is among the compositions of Jean Baptiste Santeul; and Dr Daniel's second volume closes with one written in 185 5 upon the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

The taste of the Renaissance was offended by all deviations from classical prosody and Latinity. Pope Leo X. directed the whole Roman body of the hymns in use at Rome to be reformed; and Visio of' the H ymni noni ecclesiastlici juxla wram meiri et Latinitalis " normam, prepared by Zacharie Ferreri (1479»-153c), a hymns. - t ~ s-Benedictine

of Monte Cassmo, afterwards a (sarthusran

and bishop of Guardia, to whom Leo had committed that task, appeared at Rome in 1525, with the sanction of a later pope, Clement 'II. The next step was to revise the whole Roman Breviary. That undertaking, after passing through several stages under different popes (particularly Pius V. and Clement VIlI.), was at last brought to a conclusion by Urban VIII., in 1631. From this revised Breviary a large number of medieval hymns, both of the earlier and the later periods, were excluded; and in their places many new hymns, including some by Pope Urban himself, and some by Cardinal Bellarmine and another cardinal (Silvius Antonianus) were introduced. The hymns of the primitive epoch, from Hilary to Gregory the Great, for the most part retained their places (especially in the offices for every day of the week); and there remained altogether from seventy to eighty of earlier date than the 11th century. Those, however, which were so retained were freely altered, and by no means generally improved. The revisers appointed by Pope Urban (three learned Jesuits-Strada, Gallucci and Petrucci) professed to have made “ as few changes as possible ” in the works of Ambrose, Gregory, Prudentius, Sedulius, Fortunatus and other “ poets of great name." But some changes, even in those works, were made with considerable boldness; and the pope, in the “constitution " by which his new book was promulgated, boasted that, " with the exception of a very small number (' perpaucis '), which were either prose or merely rhythmical, all the hymns had been made conformable to the laws of prosody and Latinity, those which could not be corrected by any milder method being entirely rewritten." The latter fate befel, among others, the beautiful “'Urbs beata Hierusalem, " which now assumed the form (to many, perhaps, better known), of “ Caelestis urbs Jerusalem." Of the “ very few " which were spared, the chief were “ Ave maris stella " (“ Gentle star of ocean ), “ Dies lrae, " “ Stabat Mater dolorosa, " the hymns of Thomas Aquinas, two of St Bernard and one Ambrosian hymn, “Jesu nostra Redemptio" (“O Jesu, our Redemption”), which approaches nearer than others to the tone of St Bernard. A then recent hymn of St Francis Xavier, with scarcely enough merit of any kind to atone for its neglect of prosody, “ O Deus. ego amo Te” (“ O God, I love Thee, not because ), was at the same time introduced without change. This hymnary of Pope Urban VIII. is now in general use throughout the Roman Communion. The Parisian hymnary underwent three revisions-the first in 1527, when a new “ Psaltery with hymns ” was issued. In this such changes only were made as the revisers thought P rm justifiable upon the principle of correcting supposed 8 Ia" corruptions of the original text. Of these, the transpose- "vis aus tion, “ Urbs Jerusalem beata, " instead of “ Urbs beata Hierusalem, " may be taken as a typical example. The next revision was in 1670-1680, under Cardinal Péréfixe, preceptor of Louis XIV., and Francis Harlay, successively archbishops of Paris, who employed for this purpose Claude Santeul, of the monastery of St Magloire, and, through him, obtained the assistance of other French scholars, including his more celebrated brother, Jean Baptiste Santeul, of the abbey of St Victor-better known as “ Santolius Victorinus.” The third and final revision was completed in 1735, under the primacy of Cardinal Archbishop de Vintimille, who engaged for it the services of Charles Coffin, then rector of the university of Paris. Many old hymns were omitted in Archbishop Harlay's Breviary, and a large number of new compositions, by the Santeuls and others, was introduced. It still, however, retained in their old places (without further changes than had been made in 1527) about seventy of earlier date than the I Ith century-including thirty-one Ambrosian, one by Hilary, eight by Prudentius, seven by Fortunatus, threeby Paul the Deacon, two each by Sedulius, Elpis, Gregory and Hrabanus Maurus, “ Veni Creator ” and “Urbs Jerusalem beata.” Most of these disappeared in 1735, although Cardinal Vintimille, in his preface, professed to have still admitted the old hymns, except when the new were better»(“veteribus hymnis locus datus est, nisi quibus, ob sententiarum vim, elegantiam verborum, et teneriores pietatis sensus, recentiores anteponi satius visum est ). The number of the new was, at the same time, very largely increased. Only twenty-one more ancient than the 16th century remained, of which those belonging to the primitive epoch were but eiht, viz. four Ambrosian, two by Fortunatus and one each by Prudentius and Gregory. The number of Jean Baptiste Santeul's hymns rose to eighty-nine; those by Coffin-including some old hymns, e.g. “ Jam lucis orto sidere " (“ Once more the sun is beaming bright ”), which he substantially re-wrote-were eighty-three; those of other modern French writers, ninety-seven. Whatever opinion may be entertained of the principles on which these Roman and Parisian revisions proceeded, it would be unjust to deny very hi h praise as hymn-writers to several of their poets, especially to Coffin and Jean Baptiste Santeul. The noble hymn by Coffin, beginning“ O luce qui mortalibus “ O Thou who in the light dost dwell, Lates inaccessa, Deus, To mortals unapproachable, Praesente quo sancli tremunt Where angels veil them from Thy rays, N ubuntque vultus augeli, " And tremble as they gaze, ” and several others of his works, breathe the true Ambrosian spirit; and though Santeul (generally esteemed the better poet of the two) delighted in alcaics, and did not greatly affect the primitive manner, there can be no question as to the excellence of such hymns as his “Fumant Sabaeis templa vaporibus ” (“ Sweet incense breathes around ), “ Stupete gentes, fit Deus hostia ” (“ Tremble, ye Gentile lands ), “ Hymnis dum resonat Curia caelitum " (“ Ye in the house of heavenly morn ), and “ Templi sacratas pande, Sion, fores ” (“ O Sion, open wide thy gates ”). It is a striking testimony to the merits of those writers that such accomplished translators as the Rev. Isaac Williams and the Rev. John Chandler appear (from the title-page of the latter, and the prefaces of both) to have supposed their hymns to be “ ancient " and “ primitive." Among the other authors associated with them, perhaps the first place is due to the Abbé Besnault, of Sens, who contributed to the book of 1735 the “ Urbs beata vera pacis Visio Jerusalem, " in the opinion of Neale “ much superior " to the “ Caelestis urbs Jerusalem ” of the Roman Breviary. This stood side by side with the “ Urbs Jerusalem beata ” of 1527 (in the office for the dedication of churches) till 1822, when the older form was at last finally excluded by Archbishop de Quelen. The Parisian Breviary of 1735 remained in use till the national French service-books were superseded (as they have lately been, generally, if not universally) by the Roman. Almost all French dioceses followed, not indeed the Breviary, but the example, of Paris; and before the end of the 18th century 'the ancient Latin hymnody was all but banished from France.

In some parts of Germany, after the Reformation, Latin hymns continued to be used even by Protestants. This was the case at Halberstadtuntilquitearecent date. In England, a few are M d still occasionally used in the older universities and colleges. Lghim Some, also, have been composed in both countries since, I mas the Reformation. The “ Carmina lyrica " of Johann 'V Jakob Balde, a native of Alsace, and a Jesuit priest in Bavaria, have received high commendation from very eminent German critics, particularly Herder and Augustus Schlegel. Some of the Latin

hymns of William Alard (1572-1645)v 3 Protestant refugee from