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engrossed public education; had mixed themselves up with
In these operations they were necessarily absolved from their vows of poverty, and became immensely rich. In South America they obtained a footing in Paraguay, and commenced their noble attempt at the civilization of the Indians, bringing them into communities, teaching them social usages, agricultural arts, and the benefits arising to themselves and the community from labour. They gave them a military organization, subdivided, according to the European system, into the customary arms—infantry, cavalry, artillery; they supplied them with munitions of war. It was their hope that from this basis they should be able to spread the rule of the Church over America, as had been done in preceding ages over Europe.
An intolerable apprehension of their invisible presence and pression.unscrupulous agency made all Europe put them down at last.
The amenities of exquisite courteousness, the artifices of infinite dissimulation, cannot for ever deceive. Men found, by bitter experience, that under the silken glove there was an iron hand. From their general in Rome, who was absolute commander of their persons, and unchallengeable administrator of their prodigious wealth, down to the humblest missionary who was wearing away his life among the Andes, or on the banks of the Hoang-ho, or in the solitary prairies of Missouri, or under the blazing sun of Abyssinia; whether he was confessing the butterfly ladies of Paris, whispering devilish suggestions into the ear of the King of Spain, consoling the dying peasant in an Irish cabin, arguing with mandarins in the palace
of the Emperor of China, stealing away the hearts of the rising
power became at last so intolerable that they were banished from France, Spain, Portugal, and other Catholic countries. But such was their vitality, that, though the order was abolished by a Papal bull in 1773, they have been again restored. Though it is sometimes said that Rome, in this manner, by Effects of
change of her admirable combinations and irresistible movement, suc- opinion ceeded at last in checking the Reformation, a full consideration learned. of the state of affairs would lead us to receive that assertion with very
considerable restriction. She came out of the conflict much less powerful than she had entered it. If we attribute to her policy all that it can justly claim, we must also attribute to causes over which she had no kind of control their rightful influence. The Reformation had been, to no small extent, due to the rise of criticism, which still continued its developement, and was still fruitful of results. Latin had fallen from its high estate; the modern languages were in all directions expanding and improving; the printing-press was not only giving Greck learning to the world, but countless translations and commentaries. The doctrine successfully established by Luther and
his colleagues, the right of private interpretation and judgment, was the practical carrying out of the organic law of criticism to the highest affairs with which man can be concerned -affairs of religion. The Reformation itself, philosophically
considered, really meant the casting off of authority, the inEffects of stallation of individual inquiry and personal opinion. If critireligion and cism, thus standing upon the basis of the Holy Scriptures, had
not hesitated to apply itself to an examination of public faith, and, as the consequence thereof, had laid down new rules for morality and the guidance of life, it was not to be expected that it would hesitate to deal with minor things,--that it would spare the philosophy, the policy, the literature of antiquity. And so, indeed, it went on, comparing classical authors with classical authors, the Fathers with the Fathers, often the same writer with himself. Contradictions were pointed out, errors exposed, weakness detected, and new views offered of almost everything within the range of literature.
From this burning ordeal one book alone came out unscathed. It was the Bible. It spontaneously vindicated for itself what Wickliffe in the former times, and Luther more lately, had claimed for it. And not only did it hold its ground, but it truly became incalculably more powerful than ever it had been before. The press multiplied it in every language without end, until there was scarcely a cottage in reformed Europe
that did not possess a copy. Decline of
But if criticism was thus the stimulating principle that had the value of patristic given life to the Reformation, it had no little to do with its learning.
pause; and this is the influence over which Rome had no kind of control, and to which I have made allusion. The phases through which the Reformation passed were dependent on the coincident advances of learning. First it relied on the Scriptures, which were to the last its surest support; then it included the Fathers. But, from a more intimate study of the latter, many erudite Protestants were gradually brought back to the ancient fold. Among such may be mentioned Erasmus, who by degrees became alienated from the Reformers, and subsequently Grotius, the publication of whose treatise, ' De Jure Belli et Pacis,' 1625, really constituted an epoch in the
political system of Europe. This great man had gradually become averse to the Reformation, believing that, all things considered, it had done more harm than good; he had concluded that it was better to throw differences into oblivion for the sake of peace, and to enforce silence on one's own opinions, rather than to expect that the Church should be compelled to accommodate herself to them. If such men as Erasmus, Casaubon, and Grotius had been brought to this dilemma by their profound philosophical meditations, their conclusion was confirmed among the less reflecting by the unhappy intolerance of the new as well as the old Church. Men asked what was the difference between the vindictiveness with which Rome Moral dealt with Antonio de Dominis, at once an ecclesiastic and persecua natural philosopher, who, having gone over to Protestantism and then seceded, imprudently visited Rome, was there arrested, and, dying, his body was dug up and burnt, and the rigour of Calvin, who seized Servetus, the author of the • Christianismi Restitutio,' and in part the discoverer of the circulation of the blood, when he happened to pass through Geneva, and committed him to the flames.
Criticism had thus, in its earlier stage, produced well- End of pamarked results. As it developed it lost none of its power.
It had enthroned patristic theology; now it wrenched from its hand the sceptre. In the works of Daillé it showed that the Fathers are of no kind of use--they are too contradictory of one another; even Jeremy Taylor speaks of their authority and reputation as clean gone for ever. In a few years they had sunk into desuetude, a neglect shared by many classical authors, whose opinions were now only quoted with a respectful smile. The admiration for antiquity was diminishing under the effect of searching examination. Books were beginning to appear, turning the old historians into ridicule for their credulity. The death of Servetus was not without ad- The burn
ing of Servantage to the world. There was not a pious or thoughtful vetus by
Calvin, man in all reformed Europe who was not shocked when the circumstances under which that unhappy physician had been brought to the stake at Geneva by John Calvin were made known. For two hours he was roasted in the flames of a slow
tinued in America.
fire, begging for the love of God that they would put on more
possibility of coercing one another. The Refor The history of the Reformation does not close where many mation con
European authors have imagined, in a balanced and final distribution of the north and south between the Protestant and the Catholic. The pred stined issue of sectarian differences and dissensions is individual liberty of thought. So long as there was one vast overshadowing, intolerant corporation, every man must bring his understanding to its measure, and think only as it instructed him to do. As soon as dissenting confessions gathered sufficient military power to maintain their right of existence as soon as from them, in turn, incessant offshoots were put forth, toleration became not only possible, but inevitable, and that is perhaps as far as the movement has at this time advanced in Europe. But Macaulay and others who have
treated of the Reformation have taken too limited a view of it, Separation supposing that this was its point of arrest. It made another of Church and State. enormous stride when, at the American revolution, the State
and the Church were solemnly and openly dissevered from one another. Now night the vaticinations of the prophets of evil expect to find credit ; a great people had irrevocably broken off its politics from its theology, and it might surely have been expected that the unbridled interests, and instincts, and passions of men would have dragged everything into the abyss of