Albert the Great, His Life and Scholastic Labours
by Rev. Fr. T. A. Dixon, 1876

Albert the Great did not leave this world with the sole eulogy due to a virtuous man, he merited also the imperishable crown of sanctity. Do not his whole life and marvellous influence during that remarkable thirteenth century, which witnessed side by side with Albert such men as St. Thomas of Aquin and St. Bonaventure, Marco Polo, Roger Bacon, and Wolfram of Eichenbach, present a striking analogy with the imposing Cathedrals of the Middle Ages? These, in effect, rose in the midst of an ocean of structures which they exceeded by the majestic height of their spires and pointed roofs. And such was Albert among his contemporaries, in regard to the extent and development of his wonderful science. He surpassed all from the shoulder upwards, to use the expression of an ancient biographer, as Saul of old surpassed all the warriors of Israel. In the divers paths of research we constantly meet with Albert the Great. Legend, history, architecture, all vie with each other in repeating his glorious name; the mediaeval knowledge of meteorology, mechanics, astronomy, geography, mineralogy, botany, zoology, physiology, and physionomy, ever show us his sublime figure; and logic, and metaphysics, and the history of philosophy could not disregard his toil. If we look for the origin and method of exposition of certain theological dogmas, and even of many of the terms commonly used in this science at the present day, we fail not to have recourse to him.

May this great picture, which has taken us many years to execute, bear at least some resemblance to Blessed Albert, who, as a Christian, a Religious, a Bishop, and Preacher--as a Writer, Naturalist, Philosopher, and Theologian--justly merits the surname of Great! We can undoubtedly recognise in him one of the sublimest phenomena of the Middle Ages, and indeed of the whole of history.--page vii - ix.

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