The life of the choir-monks was predominantly contemplative, 1 Specimen passages, and also a general picture of the life, will be found in Miss Alice Gardner's Theodore of Studium, ch.
Isaac is by general consent of the Christian church taken as a representative of the unobtrusive, restful, piously contemplative type of human character.
He was accused 2 " I wax now somewhat ancient; one-and-thirty years is a great deal of sand in the hour-glass....I ever bare a mind (in some middle place that I could discharge) to serve her majesty; not as a man born under Sol, that loveth honour; nor under Jupiter, that loveth business (for the contemplative planet carrieth me away wholly); but as a man born under an excellent sovereign, that deserveth the dedication of all men's abilities.
Lastly, I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends as I have moderate civil ends; for I have taken all knowledge to be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations and verbosities, the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions and profitable inventions and discoveries - the best state of that province.
Side by side there grew up an Alexandrian church, philosophic, disputative, ambitious, the very centre of Christian learning, and an Egyptian church, ascetic, contemplative, mystical.