Moral Theology is only another name for the science of ETHICS SEE ETHICS (q.v.). Under the last-named heading we have considered as much of the subject as can be encompassed from a strictly philosophical and Protestant theological stand-point. Only the views of Romanists remain to be treated here. These are in many respects radically different from those of the other classes referred to. The Protestant view, as we have seen in the article
Ethics, is that Christianity is essentially an ethical religion; that, while it is true that other religious favor certain virtues, or give a certain sanction to all virtues, Christianity is truly morality, for it aims at moral regeneration, and that is itself religion. Says Blackie (Four Phases of Morals), "It is a religion; by its mere epiphany it forms a Church; in its startingpoint, its career, and its consummation, it is 'a kingdom of heaven upon earth " (page 207 sq.; comp. page 219 sq., 266 sq.). As the sources of this science, we pointed out, "Christ, his person and teaching; also the writings of the apostles as shown in the N.T., as objective and as subjective to the influence of the Holy Spirit in the faithful." The Roman Catholic Church, however, recognises no standard of morality except that of her own construction, and insists upon it that not only the Scriptures, but also the tradition and declarations of the Church must control any effort, even in the domain of speculative philosophy. Says Dr. Fuchs, in the Roman Catholic Cyclopaedia of Wetzer and Welte: "The traditions of the Church, together with the Scriptures, constitute the source of ethical knowledge. Tradition serves partly to complement the moral precepts of the Bible by further demands and institutions, and partly to elucidate and more clearly to interpret their sense and purpose." Not even does he rest here. Lest he be misunderstood as to the extent of the domain of ecclesiastical tradition, he continues: "From the domain of ecclesiastical tradition we regard especially as important for moral purposes: (1) the rules and canons of the general ecclesiastical councils; (2) the decisions and declarations of the holy chair; (3) the infallible (?) utterances of the Church fathers." Not content yet, he goes even so far as to declare that "into the circle of moralistic sources we most naturally and properly admit also ecclesiastical customs and the lives of the saints, for in the life of the Church and her saints is reflected the life of our divine Lord and Master." In quoting Dr. Fuchs we do not by any means wish to be understood as citing only one writer; as a contributor to the standard Roman Catholic Cyclopaedia of Germany, he speaks most assuredly the opinions of the Church for which he writes, and his views are those of the Romish Church at large. It is apparent, then, that by an outward law of the Church Romanists have modified the ethics of the N.T., and controlled the ethical consciousness of Christendom down to the period of the Reformation. The Protestant regards this modification as adulterous, and insists that notably sacerdotalism played no unimportant part; the clergy interpreting as they saw fit, and the people being taught by them as they were themselves influenced by the ascetic notions which invaded the Church in the 4th century, and have ever since continued to exert their authority among papists. SEE ASCETICISM; SEE MONASTICISM: SEE SACERDOTALISM. In our references in the article Ethics we have inserted the works of writers who deal carefully with the early teaching of the Church on this subject, and we here give only a brief resume of the views of ecclesiastical writers from the apostolic period down, in order to furnish the names most prominently connected with Roman Catholic ethics from the foundation of Christianity to the present.
1. Apostolic Period. — As regards the extent of apostolic ethics, it encompasses pretty much all departments of life, and the duties and virtues corresponding with them. Yet in this province such are made particularly conspicuous and praiseworthy as are natural to the spirit of Christianity. For while all antiquity had made the sovereign good consist in escape from pain, either by virtue or by pleasure, Christianity, by the mystery of the passion, announced the divinity of sorrow, and the most characteristic element in Christian virtue to be love. Hence the apostolic writers gave special prominence to those Christian ideals of faith, hope, love, prayer, mercy, chastity, martyrdom, and the like, which are the characteristic elements of perfect charity, and which, if realized, must absorb like ethics and politics in a higher science. The vacillation on some single moral questions and principles observable in the writings of these early Christian fathers gradually died out as a more profound and comprehensive Christian consciousness spread in the Church. As regards the manner of treatment of this subject, most apostolic writings deal with it in a way serviceable mainly to devotional purposes. "Their basis," it has been well said, "remained from the first rather religious than speculative, notwithstanding the persuasion that in the reason enlightened by the Word there was given a ground of union between objective revelation and subjective knowledge." Even among those contributions to this field, in that period, which rise above the sphere then usually occupied, only a few maintain a strictly scientific character. Earliest among the productions of that age stand the writings of the celebrated disciple of the apostle Paul, Clement of Rome, whose epistle to the Christian congregation at Corinth is one of the finest monuments of Christian antiquity. Its especial object was, however, to reconcile the dissensions and factions which had arisen in that congregation, and it contains therefore mainly admonitions to concord and peace. More noteworthy in this department of Christian ethics are the productions of Ignatius (q.v.), who wrote six epistles to diverse congregations, and one to Polycarp; they were penned on his way to the lions of the Colosseum, and breathe the spirit of a man who had beheld John, and, full of faith, is ready to meet his Lord and Master. The moral precepts and admonitions of the Ignatian epistles are mostly passages quoted from the N.T., or sentiments in accord with its contents, expressed with fervency as well as simplicity. A remarkable feature in them is the emphasis with which their author insists on the propriety to belong publicly and externally to the Church, though he by no means forgets its value in the sight of God as consisting in the communion with Christ and in the sincere search for union with God. We learn to recognise ecclesiastical consociation, the alliance of so many thousands by unity of faith and love, as something grand, the true obedience to the officers of the Church (elders) as something inseparable from Christian life. This decidedly ecclesiastical disposition is also shared by Polycarp (q.v.) himself in his epistle to the congregation at Philippi. Above all things, he desires that attachment to pure unadulterated faith be strengthened; like Ignatius, he establishes Christian ethics on Christian Church creed. His moral precepts are rightly denominated "apostolic grains of gold." But really the most eminent attempt to reconcile Christian ideas with the forms and views of ancient philosophy, especially those of its latest efflorescence — New Platonism — was made in the mystic speculations of the Areopagite Dionysius, in which the Christian scientific spirit aims at an innermost comprehension of itself, for this end calling in the support of traditional knowledge. No other product of mind has exercised a deeper or more powerful influence upon the development of Christian mystic is the culminating-point of ecclesiastical ethics — than his writings, in which the several dispersed rays of mystical ideas and views, such as here and there glimmer in Clemens Alexandrinus, Augustine, Macarius, and others, converge as in a focus, and form one of the strongest links connecting the period of which we are speaking with the subsequent ones. To these relics of spiritual treasures of the apostolic fathers we join three compositions, two of which plainly show spurious authorship, and a third gives no clew at all. They are the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Epistle to Diognetus. The author of the first-named work calls his moral precepts the road of light, in contrast with the crooked road of darkness, as he designates sinful life. The Shepherd is divided into three sections, the second of which deals entirely with ethics. The letter to Diognetus, as already stated, comes from an unknown hand. The principal interest which attaches to this ancient Christian memorial lies in the excellent description which the author gives of the life and morals of the early Christians. Here, also, two other writings adorned with the name of apostles deserve to be mentioned-namely, "The Apostolic Constitutions" and "The Apostolic Canons." Both collections, as to their origin, it is true, come far short of reaching up to the apostolic age, but they deserve a place here because Romanists assert "that they exhibit a picture of the most primeval condition of Christian manners and ecclesiastical discipline." They are certainly worthy of attention on account of the treasure of tradition they furnish; still more, the peculiarity of their moral character renders them notable and significant, this character being wholly catholic, mingling severity with mildness, keeping the right medium between laxity and rigor.
2. Patristic Period. — We now reach the period in which we deal with the writings of the fathers of the Church. The series opens with Justin Martyr (q.v.), "the evangelist wearing the mantle of a philosopher." It was his mind, trained by ancient ethical philosophy, which placed in the ground of Christian ethics the first seed of scientific treatment. He clothed the Christian ideas in the scientific forms of antique wisdom, and showed that the classic must bend before the higher light of the Gospel. Particularly noticeable is his conception of reason as identical with knowledge and conscience. One of the fundamental Christian ideas — liberty of human will — in contraposition to fatalism, sustained by pagan views, he vindicated by an argumentation as acute as striking. He tried to elucidate the relation of Christian principles to the Mosaic law, and defended the Christian ethics against objections raised both from the Jewish and from pagan stand- points. Next we place the two apologists, Athenagoras (q.v.) and Theophilus (q.v.), bishop of Antioch. Their writings furnish a rich store for ethics. After them we meet that great disciple of Polycarp, St. Irenieus (q.v.). In opposition to the transcendental speculations of the Gnostics, he urges with emphasis to a practical life. But in thus giving prominence to the practical part of Christianity, he is far from falling into a "moralizing" tendency. Far greater services than those named were rendered in the scientific elaboration of Christian ethics by Clement of Alexandria. His three principal writings form e tripartite entity, in which he successively imparts the Christian doctrine of life in its fundamental features. His first work (Λόγος προτρεπτικὸς πρὸς ῞Ελληναι) is polemico-apologetic; he combats what is morally injurious in popular religions and in the philosophical systems of heathendom, and compares with it the beneficial influence which Christianity exercises on its professors; he shows the absurdity of the pagan legends of gods, and demonstrates how the religious mysteries of the pagans so often most deeply offend the moral sentiments, while the Christian doctrines and mysteries have the advantage of harmonizing with reason and moral purity; he admits that the writings of pagan philosophers contain seeds of morality, but reminds us that they owe their origin to the Λόγος, the source of all vital truth in the world. The second treatise (ὁ παιδαγωγός) is divided into several books. The first treats of moral life in general; it may be considered an introduction to Christian ethics. The second treats of Christian ethics in its main features. The remaining books, corresponding to special morals, expatiate on the particular duties and virtues, and discuss conduct, in the several relations and occurrences of external life, from the Christian stand-point. The third essay (οτρώματα, miscellanies) leads to a higher degree of moral knowledge and action. The difference of the two degrees lies in γνῶσις. On the foundation of the ideas gained by a deeper and increased knowledge a higher religio-moral culture is constructed, the culmination of which is love assimilating and uniting with the Deity. In conclusion of the whole, Clement sketches the image of the γνωστικός, and thus presents the Christian ideal of a moral personage. The γνῶσις Clement deduces from no other source than from the idea of the divine Logos which personally appeared in Christ; an idea which, supporting and illustrating, pervades all his definitions of morality. In his smaller address,Τίς ὁ σωζόμενος πλούσιος ("Who is the rich man saved?"), he discusses a practical question of the time concerning the use of earthly valuables and possessions. It may not be too much to assert that Clement, by his literary activity, is of no less significance for the department of Christian ethics than his worthy disciple Origen, by his celebrated workΠερὶ ἀρχῶν, became to that of Christian dogmatics. To these two Alexandrian Christians science is indebted for the most profound and lasting stimulus. The merits of Origen about Christian apologetic ethics we need but allude to here, and can speak only of his two practical treatises — Περὶ εὐχῆς (on prayer) and Εἰς μαρτύριον προτρεπτικὸς λογός (on exhortation to martyrdom). One feature to which we have alluded in the writings of these Church fathers — the leaning on the definitions of the ethics of classical antiquity — need of course hardly excite surprise. For it must be apparent to every wellread student of antiquity that the fathers, in order to be understood, had to speak the language of the then prevailing scientific consciousness; they could not break at one stroke the barriers of the surrounding cultured circle, and they felt the less obliged to do this as they were thoroughly convinced that in reason, enlightened by the Logos, was given a point of intermediation between the classical and Christian consciousness, between the objective basis of revelation and the subjective principle of cognizance. This definition of unity is by no one more emphasized than by Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen. They agree in the view that reason is the source and measure of morality, consequently that what is rational is moral, what is irrational is immoral or sinful, and therefore that Christian ethics, as the most rational, because derived from absolute reason personified in Christ, must also be the most complete and perfect. The writings of Tertullian (q.v.), which come next. are marked by a dark rigor, growing more prominent in proportion as he inclined to Montanism (q.v.). The moral earnestness of Christianity, under Montanist direction, was aggravated into unnatural severity; the moral advice of the Gospel was made a command, and extended to all Christians. With this theory, if it had prevailed, Christian principle would have failed of its mundane victory, and must have ultimately perished. In the use, then, of Tertullian's moralistic writings we must distinguish the ante-Montanistic period of the author's life from his later. Of the first class are De Patientia, De Oratione, De Pmnitentia, Ad Mnartyres, Ad Uxorem. Next stands Cyprian. Though in general he shared the strictly moral view of Tertullian, highly spoken of by him, and though, in contrast with Alexandrian speculation, he was strenuously attached to practical ecclesiasticism, yet he was never carried away to the rigid, excessive severity of his exemplar, and by his more spiritual manner of contemplation he inclined to the ideal, thus offering points for reconciling the Alexandrian and North African schools. (See, however, this Cyclopedia, 3:321, col. 2.) Cyprian's writings belonging to the department of ethics are De zelo et livore, distinguished by its psychological tenor, the third book of his Libri testimoniorum, which gives an outline of moral rules for life; De Bono Patientiae; De Opere et Eleomosynis; De Oratione Dominica; De Lapsis, etc. We find in his letters also specimens of casuistry — decisions on difficult cases presented to him by bishops. Next Lactantius (q.v.), the Christian Cicero, spreads over the morals of the Gospel the splendor of rhetoric, and proves by comparison the insufficiency and perversity of pagan ethics. His Institutiones Divinae, in which he performs that task, call be looked upon as an exemplar of a development tending to reconcile speculative and practical elements. The Christian religion, which teaches man to find his supreme happiness in God, is pronounced by him the true philosophy of life. If some obliquity and error have crept into his ethical statements, they must be attributed to the circumstance that at the time of his authorship the moral doctrines of the Church were not yet so fixed as they were after the Pelagian disputes. Of not equal, yet of considerable importance, are the writings of Athanasius, the pillar of orthodoxy in the Arian controversy. One would naturally suppose that he, busy with an attempt to solve the great dogmatic problem, had no time for moralistic discussion; nevertheless we find in his numerous dogmatic writings many moral reflections disseminated. Almost exclusively devoted to moral subjects are the writings of Ephraem (q.v.) the Syrian, whose edifying compositions contain a rich store of moral ascetic thoughts. A condign pendant to the writings of the propheta Syrorum are the ethical writings of Macarius (q.v.); they are especially important for mysticism, containing as they do the germs of the ecclesiastic traditional form later represented by the great mystics of the Middle Ages. Cyril (q.v.) of Alexandria is too well known as the zealous advocate of Christian ethics against the assaults of Julian to need special consideration here. Beside him stands Cyril (q.v.) of Jerusalem, who distinguishes between the dogmatic and ethic in the later usual manner, designating what concerns faith, δόγμα, and what has moral action for its purpose, πρᾶξις. ῾Ο τῆς θεοσέβειας τρόπος ἐκ δύο τούτων συνέστηκε, δογμάτων εὐσεβῶν καὶ πράξεων ἀγαθῶν. The dogmas he regards as the roots of moral motives. We turn next to that bright triple constellation of Cappadocia — Basil the Great and the Gregories — those great influential theologians of the 4th century. The sublime moral earnestness which animated them, their warm attachment to the Church, the superior culture which they had gained by industrious study, are mirrored in their literary products, spirit, learning, and eloquence. The main merit about Christian ethics is undoubtedly due to Basil the Great; yet also his brother, Gregory of Nyssa (in his writings on the life of Moses, on perfection, on virginity, as well as in his homilies), and his theological friend, Gregory of Nazianzum (in his poems and homilies), labored in the department zealously and successfully. The ἠθικά of Basil contain the main features of Christian moral doctrine continuously based on sentences of Holy Writ. His ἀσκητικά have the higher morality and the perfection of monastic orders for their principal topic. Three of his letters addressed to Amphilochius, the bishop of Iconium, which contain regulations of Church discipline, have acquired canonical authority in the Roman Catholic Church. At the confines of the 4th century we are met by the grave and venerable form of Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, whose writings introduce us into a green and flowery garden of moral meditations. In his three books, De Officiis, he furnishes a counterpiece to Cicero's treatise of the same title. It aims to bring the purity, sublimity, and sanctity of Christian ethics to a conscious and clear recognition. After him we come to three men — (347-407) Chrysostom, Jerome, and Augustine — all more or less connected with the Pelagian controversy. The first of them discourses on the question of free- will and grace, and in a most practical manner. Soon after his death we see the same raised as an issue of controversy full of moral interest by Pelagius, a British monk. Until the commencement of the 5th century strictly doctrinal questions had been the topics of ecclesiastical disputes; now the Pelagian contest, an eminently moral question, engaged public attention. The contrast of liberty and grace must have been recognised at the first awakening of reflection. It found, however, no final equitable solution, and remained in continual vacillation, sometimes grace, at other times liberty, preponderating, at the expense of the adverse. (Compare the view of the Grecian fathers of the Church of ἑκούσιν, Petavius, De theol. dogm. tom. 1, lib. 5, cap. 2.) Pelagius, however, asserted the freedom of will to such lengths that the divine influence of grace was nearly reduced to a nullity. Pelagius, in referring man to the power of his will, wished to rouse him to energetic action. This intention is ingenious, and deserving of respect. But, as Neander (Joh. Chrysostomus u. die Kirche, 2:134 sq.) correctly observes, man should be brought not only to the consciousness of his originally divine nature, but at the same time to the recognition of his internal corruption unlike it, and to the ideal of sanctity to be obtained: he ought to have cheered man, bowed down, by proclaiming what the infinite love of the Deity has done in Christ to deliver him from this corruption; he ought to have led him to the inexhaustible spring of divine life, by which the faithful may be renewed in heart, in order to impart to him confidence in moral exertions, not liable to be deceived, but rather confirmed, by selfknowledge and experience, which, according to his needs, humiliate and elevate him. Jerome (q.v.) preceded Augustine in coming forth to the conflict; he had already retired when the latter made his appearance, and by the momentum of speculative talent, mental profundity, and Christian knowledge and experience, turned and decided the contest. SEE PELAGIANISM. Of the three, however, Augustine deserves by far the most important place. Except perhaps Clement of Alexandria and Ambrose. St. Augustine is certainly the ablest moralist of all the patristic writers. He was among the first to be distinguished by reduction to principles, by clear statement, dialectic progress of ideas, and systematic organization in general. The sovereign genius of Augustine, moreover, succeeded best in emancipating himself from classical influences. Nowhere is the Christian vital principle of love (caritas) more exactly defined and carried out more consequentially than in his excellent treatise, De moribus ecclesiae catholicae et Manichaeorum, c. 15, 21-24 (comp. also his De civit. Dei, 14:9, page 54, 167; Enchirid. c. 121; Defide et operibus, c. 7). It is true he does not exhibit in his writings a strictly ethical system, but wherever and whenever he treats moral subjects, he is always led by a scientific dialectic spirit, and never loses sight of the spiritual ideal unity floating before his clear and comprehensive mind. Among his ethical works, besides the one mentioned above, the following are especially worthy of note: Enchiridion ad Laurentiunm s. defide, spe et caritate; De fide et operibus; De vita beata; De agone Christiano; De mendacio; De bono conjugali; De sancta virginitate; De continentia; De patientia. See, however, the article AUGUSTINE. In the further lapse of' this period a number of men, partly of the Greek, partly of the Latin Church, have rendered service to ethics. Among these is Isidore of Pelusium, whose moral writings breathe the spirit of Chrysostom, and plainly show the love devoted by him to this great master, so influential in the Greek Church. Nilus also must be considered as being in spiritual connection with this illustrious exemplar. Both clothed their ethic definitions, precepts, counsels, and casuistic decisions in epistolary form. Even in the Occident we meet with a disciple of the "Gold-mouthed," John Cassian, who was actively engaged in the Pelagian movement by an attempt at mediation, which, however, miscarried. For ethics, not only his De octo capit. vitiis is worthy of mention, hut also his Collationes Patrum, and his twelve books, De institutis coenobiorum. Among the moralistic authors of the Greek Church, the series of the fathers hitherto enumerated is worthily concluded by John the Scholastic, author of that moral-ascetic treatise, Climax Paradisi, and by Anastasius Sinaita, whose writings are mainly of an ascetic description. In the Western Church Gregory the Great closes the period by his Moralia, a work which he skilfully introduces by some passages from Job, disseminating many suggestive thoughts, the abundant fruits of which will not escape the attentive observer in subsequent periods of ethic history.
3. Scholastic Period. — The men whom we meet from the beginning of the 7th until the end of the 11th century, with few exceptions, made it their main task to collect from the patristic mines all moralistic material, and to distribute and group it under definite rubrics and titles. Among these collectors archbishop Isidore of Hispalis deserves first mention. His principal ethical work is Sententiarum s. de summo bono libri iii. The maxims gathered from older fathers treat of virtue and sin in general, the auxiliaries of virtue, and particular duties. The main source from which he draws are Augustine and Gregory the Great. In his De Differentiis Spiritualibus also a moralistic tendency predominates, while his Synonyna and Soliloquia are entirely pervaded by it. With perspicuity he develops in them etymologically moral ideas, and reduces them to logical connection. He is surpassed, if not in learning, in mental productiveness by the abbot Maximus (the Confessor), whose Κεφάλαια on love contain the most profound ideas, and are extremely valuable for scientific ethics. He besides has well deserved by the interpretation of the mystic writings of the Areopagita. Maximus enunciates the proposition that the incarnation of the Λόγος had to be renewed in us spiritually; the human and divine must penetrate vitally. He distinguishes between the law of nature, the written law, and the law of grace, and attempts to develop the three elements in their single and in their interchanging relations. The collections of moral maxims by the Palestinian monk Antiochus in his Pandects of Holy Writ, and Beda the venerable in his Scintillae Patrum, are surpassed by John of Damascus in his extensive work Ta Epai. This ample collection of materials, surpassing all previous ones as regards completeness, is arranged alphabetically; the single articles are divided into a Biblical and a Patristic part. Also his still more renowned work, ῎Εκδοσις ἀκριβὴς τῆς ὀρθοδόξου πίστεως, contains moral sections, the more significant the higher they stand in a scientific point of view. Alcuin's writing, De Animce Ratione, is allied to Platonic doctrines, as they are stated by Augustine. It descants on virtue in general, and the cardinal virtues and principal vices. His other work, De Virtute et Vitiis, is less scientific, and more remarkable for diligence in collecting. The thread of ethical writings, without enriching its particular sphere, was continued through the darkest times of the Middle Ages by Smaragdus (Via Regia and Diadema Monachorum), by bishop Halitgar of Cambray (De Poenitentia libri v), by Jonas, bishop of Orleans (Libri iii de Institutione Laicali and Libri de Institutione Regia), by Rabanus Maurus (De Vitiis, De Poenitentia, De Institutione Clericorum), by Pascharius Radpertus (Tract. de Fide, Spe et Caritate), by Hincmar (Epp. de Canendis Vitiis et Virtut. Exercend.), by Ratherius (A Medit. Cordis libri vi), and by Peter Damiani. The next writer, Anselm of Canterbury, really opens up the most auspicious outlook of the scholastic field. His writings, which in greater part belong to the department of morals, indicate a decided advance in a well-cultured spirit; and there are foreshadowed in them the tendencies of the moralists of the latter part of the Middle Ages, by whom were brought forth those extravagances which successively held sway in the theological world under the name of mysticism, scholasticism, and casuistry. We come here upon Bernard of Clairvaux and Hugo of St. Victor, who were truly the coryphaei of Middle Age ethics, and the leading representatives of mysticism (see Helfferich, Die Christl. Mystik [Gotha, 1842], 1:349 sq., 430 sq.). Bernard is surpassed by no author in his delineations of the worth and power of love. From him proceeded that passionate inspiration which the monastery of St. Victor perpetuated through the Middle Ages, and which remains embodied in the Imitation of Christ. The two pre-eminent Christian sentiments, according to him, are humility and love; both spring from the knowledge of ourselves. A sense of humiliation is the first experience when we duly regard ourselves, and this prepares for intensity of love, which in its highest degree is felt only in reference to God. We come next to the great masters of scholastic theological ethics. These are Peter Lombard, Thomas Aquinas, and Duns Scotus. Their aim is to harmonize Aristotelianism and Christianity. The first completed, in his Magister Sententairum, the list of the seven cardinal virtues by adding faith, hope, and charity to the ancient series of justice, fortitude, temperance, and wisdom. His scholars, Alexander of Hales and Albert the Great, still further perfected his system. Thomas's task is to fully develop, in his Summa Theol. part 2, the mediaeval philosophy of virtue. He makes the intellect the highest principle, and distinguishes between universal and special ethics, the former being that of perfect beings in heaven, the latter that of imperfect beings on earth. This work is by all critics conceded to be the most magnificent of all ethical structures of the Middle Ages. Duns Scotus, in his Quaestiones in iv libb. sent., opposes the primacy of the will to that of the intellect, and thus introduces a subjective element in place of the objective knowledge to which Aquinas has given prominence. Besides these great writers of this period, there are many others who have greatly distinguished themselves as contributors to the department of ethics. Among these, above all others of the Christian writers of these times whom we have just passed in review, towers the revered Bonaventura, the conciliator of the dialectico-scholastic and mystical forms of the Middle Age spirit. He commented upon Lombard's writings, and wrote in a scholastic manner his Breviloquium and his Centiloguium; in a mystical tendency he composed his Itinerarium mentis in Deum, and smaller works. A pretty exhaustive epitome of Christian ethics was furnished by William Perault (Peraldus) in his Summa
de Virtutibus et Vitiis. A still richer and more thorough treatise of moral theology came from the pen of the Dominican Antoninus, archbishop of Florence, who, after Thomas, performed the greatest service in this field. He deserves to stand by the side of Bonaventura, as the author of Summa Theologiae in iv partes distributa. The Speculum Morale of Vincence of Beauvais stands in intimate relation to Thomas's writings, many regarding Thomas as its. author even, because of the similarity to the Secunda Secuondc,; yet there seems to be little ground for this supposition, and Vincence should be counted here as a writer of merit. Gerson also deserves mention here for his valuable contributions to scholastic morals (as contained in volume 3 of the Antwerp edition of his works).
Mysticism during the quarrels of the scholastics, developed and flourished more than ever in the latter part of this (14th) century, and brought forth much valuable fruit. Prominent among those who at this time gave to mysticism a popular, practical tendency were John Tauler (q.v.) and Henry Suso (q.v.). On the borders of the objective ecclesiastical and subjective unecclesiastical mysticism we meet John Ruysbroech, who is by Gerson ruled out of the Church writers as a heretic (see Ullmann, Reformers before the Reformation). But the greatest influence by far was exerted by Thomas a Kempis, who, breaking away altogether from speculation, entered the practical popular road in his Imnitation, to which we have already referred. But while thus gradually by this new mystical method morality was referred to inner feelings, aspirations, and conflicts, and by the scholastic method it was founded on systems of intellectual principles, prominence was given to the casuistical method, which limits itself to the determination of duty in particular cases (casus conscientie) in practical life. Numerous works on casuistry, some of them designed for the use of the confessional, were produced from the 13th to the 16th century, the principal of which are the Astesanca, by a Minorite of Asti; the Angelica, by Angelus de Calvasio; the Pisanella, also called the Magistruccia, by Bartholomeo de Sancta Concorlia, in Pisa; the Rosella, by the Genoese Minorite Trouamala; and the Monaldina, by archbishop Monaldus, of Benevento. The Astesanam treats, in eight books, of the divine commandments, of virtues and vices, of covenants and last wills, of the sacraments, of penance and extreme unction, of ordination, of ecclesiastical censures, and of marriage. The tendency of casuistry is to dissipate the essential unity of the Christian life in the technical consideration of a diversity of works.
4. Modern Period. — Casuistry had begun to decline when it was revived and zealously improved by the Order of Jesuits, and became their peculiar ethics. The doctrine of probabilities was developed by them in connection with it. The number of writers who devoted themselves to this task is very large. We can only make room here for the more noted. Though rather a polemic than a moralist, Bellarmine (t 1621) deserves to be first mentioned here because of the Jesuitic moral sentiments contained in his Disputationes de controversiis Christianae fidei. He has, moreover, played his part as a mystico-ascetic writer. His Libri iii de genitu Columbae (Antw. 1617), and his De ascensione mentis in Deum per scalas rerum creatarum (Par. 1606), are greatly valued by Romanists. But little less noted is Peter Canisius (t 1597), author of Summa doctrinae Christianae, a work which, though intended as an aid to catechetics, is yet much valued by Roman moralists because of the many important hints which it furnishes them. Other Jesuitical moralists who deserve mention here are Francis of Toledo (t 1596), Summa casuum conscientie s. Instructorium sacerdotum in libb. viii distinctum (Rome, 1602); Immanuel Sa (t 1596), Aphorismi confessariorum ex doctorum sententiis collecti (ed. ult. Duac. 1627); John Azor (t 1600), Institutiones Morales (Rome, 1600 sq.); Gregory of Valentia (t 1603), Commentt. theol. et disputt. in Summam Thomae Aquinatis; Gabriel Vasquez (t 1604), Commentt. et disputt. in Thom. (Ingolst. 1606); Thos. Sanchez (t 1630), Opus Morale in praecepta Decalogi (Mad. 1613); Disputationes de legibus ac Deo legislatore in decem libros distributee (Lugd. 1613, et Opp. t. 11); De Triplici virtute theologica, Fide, Spe et Caritate (Aschaffenb. 1622; Opp. 12); De Ultino hominiis Fine, voluntario et involuntario, humanorum actionunt Bonitate et Malifia, Passionibus, Habitibus, Vitiis et Peccatis (Mogunt. 1613; t. 6 et 7); Paul Laymann (t 1635), Theologia Moralis (Monach. 1625); Vincence Filliatius (t 1622), Quaestiones morales de Christianis officiis et casibus conscientiae ad formam cursus, qui praelegi solet in Societate Jesu Collegio Rom. (Lugd. 1622 sq.); Leonhard Less (t 1623), lib. 4, De Justitia et Jure coeterisque virtutibus cardinalibus ad Secundam Secundae Thomae (Lugd. 1630); Ferdinand de Castro Palao (t 1633), Opus Morale de Virtutibus et Vitiis (Lugd. 1633 sq.); John de Lugo (t 1660), Disputt. de Sacramentis, etc.
Pascal, and others with him, though not so ably as he, assailed the indefiniteness and ambiguity of casuistical principles as espoused by many of these Jesuitic moralists, SEE PROBABILISM; as the adequate type of whom it should, however, be stated here that the Medulla of Hermann Busenbaum, which is the basis of the Theologia Moralis of Liguori, attained the highest reputation. Busenbaum's work is truly the embodiment of Jesuitical ethics. It appeared first in 1645 at Munster, and passed through fifty editions, enjoying a circulation like that of no other moral compend; and yet this was not the end, for its embodiment into the Theologia Moralis of Liguori gave it another lease of life, and thus the Medulla may be said to have enjoyed a two-hundred-years' rule. See, however, our article LIGUORI SEE LIGUORI . The Medulla was also used and commented upon by Claude Lacroix and Francis Anth. Zacharia. Of like tendency are the writings of Taberna, Viva, Mazotta, Francolinus, and Edm. Voit. The casuisticomoral treatise of the last named is now, after Liguori's, the great favorite of Romanists, especially of Jesuits and Ultramontanes, and has in recent years been repeatedly published at Rome and Paris.
Among the writers of the Roman Catholic Church who have stood aloof in a great measure from the casuists, as well as the reformers led by Pascal, the first place in this period belongs to bishop Louis Abelly (t 1691), whose Medulla Theologica has passed through several editions (last, Regensb. 1839). A favorite text-book for theological students, because of its brevity and clearness, is the Examen theologice Morale, by Marianus at Angelis. It has been exceeded in popularity only by Sobiech's Compend. theologiae Moralis, and more recently by Liguori's Homo Apostolicus.
5. Recent Period. — Among those who in more recent days have led the Romanists on moral subjects, none deserve so high a place as Hirscher, whose Christl. Moral (Tiib. 1835, 3 volumes, 8vo, and often) is really a work of more than ordinary merit. Perhaps equal merit is accorded to Sailer (Christkatholische Moral, Ratisbon, 1831), also a scholar and a clear thinker. These two men were liberal in sentiment, and accommodated themselves to the spirit of the age; but for this reason they are well known only in Germany and among the Gallican clergy of France. Everywhere else Liguori still holds sway. Ambrose Joseph Stapf may in many respects be counted a disciple of Sailer and Hirscher. His Christliche Sittenlehre was published at Innsbruck in 1850, edited by J.B. Hofmann. Other works of like tendency and worth are from the distinguished Roman Catholic theologians Filser, Martin, Propst, and especially Werner.. Danzler, Muttschelle, and Schreiber may be pointed out as principal organs of a negative tendency. They are Pelagian in their interpretation of Christianity, and betray the modern rationalistic leaning in their moral systems. Among those who have closely allied themselves with the sceptical philosophic schools of our day the following are worthy of mention: Aug. Isenbiehl (t 1800), Tugendlehre nach Grundsatzen der reinen Vernunft u. des praktischen Christenthums (Augsb. 1795); Jos. Geishtutner (t 1805), Theol. Moral in einer wissenschaftlichen Darstellung (Augsb. 1805). The last named is a disciple of Fichte, and, together with Maurus Schenkl (t 1816), who published Ethica Christiana (5th ed. Vienna, 1830), indicates a passing over to a more positive tendency. One of the more recent and noted works on the subject is Prof. Paul Palasthy's Theologia Morum Catholica (1861, 4 volumes). Though the author is a Hungarian, the work has been brought out in Germany, and there enjoys a wide circulation, and is acknowledged superior to the German works (comp. Literarischer Handweiser f. d. kath. Deutschland, September 18, 1867). It is based on the labors of Suarez, Billuart, Less, Laymann, and Leander. Another work of about the same date is Prof. F. Friedhoff's Allgem. Moraltheoloyie (Mayence, 1860). Later he wrote another work on the subject, entitled Specielle Moraltheologie (1865), but neither of them compares favorably with the Hungarian production. Of greater value even than Palasthy's work, and more recent in origin, is Prof. Simar's Lehrb. d. kathol. Moral theologie (Bonn, 1867, 8vo), which is fast gaining ground in the theological schools of Germany. In his introduction he furnishes a valuable resume of the history of Roman Catholic moral theology, which we have freely consulted in writing this article. See Wetzer mi. Welte, Kirchen- Lexikon, 7:294-308; Aschbach, Kirchen-Lexikon, s.v. Moral Theologie; Dublin Rev. October1853; Brownson's Rev. January 1853; and for Protestant criticisms, Manning and Meyrick, Moral Theology of the Church of Ronme, or certain Points in S. Alonso de Liguori's Moral Theology considered, in 19 Letters (1855); Presbyterian Quarterly, April, 1873, page 367; North British Review, July, 1870, page 266; Westminster Reviewz, January 1873, page 118 sq.; Christian Remembrancer. January, July, and October 1854.