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Tours, but there was something intangible, something in, destructible accompanying them, which the Frank chivalry could not confront. To the Church there was an evil omen. It has been well remarked that in the Provençal poetry there are noble bursts of crusading religious sentiment, but they are incorporated with a sovereign contempt for the clergy.
The biography of any of the physicians or alchemists of the thirteenth century would serve the purpose of illustrating the watchfulness of the Church, the unsound condition of the universities, the indirect patronage extended to heretics by eminent men, and the manner in which the rival powers, ecclesiasticism and philosophy, were preparing for their final conflict. As an example of the kind, I may present briefly that of Arnold de Villa
Nova, born about A.D. 1250. He enjoyed a great Illustration from the bio reputation for his knowledge of medicine and graphy of alchemy. For some years he was physician to Arnold.
the King of Aragon. Under an accusation of defective orthodoxy he lost his position at court, his punishment being rendered more effective by excommunication. Hoping to find in Paris more liberality than he had met with in Spain, he fled to that city, but was pursued by an adverse ecclesiastical influence with a charge of having sold his soul to the Devil, and of having changed a plate of copper into gold. In Montpellier, to which he was obliged to retire, he found a more congenial intellectual atmosphere, and was for long one of the regents of the faculty of medicine. In succession, he subsequently resided in Florence, Naples, Palermo, patronized and honoured by the Emperor Frederick II.—at that time engaged in the attempt to unite Italy into one kingdom and give it a single language-on account of his extraordinary reputation as a physician. Even the pope, Clement V., notwithstanding the unfortunate attitude in which Arnold stood toward the Church, besought a visit from him in hopes of relief from the stone. On his voyage for the purpose of performing the necessary operation, Arnold suffered shipwreck and was drowned. His body was interred at Genoa. The pope issued an encyclic letter, entreating those who owed him obedience to reveal where Arnold's Treatise on
the Practice of Medicine might be found, it having been lost or concealed. It appears that the chief offences committed by Arnold against the Church were that he had predicted that the world would come to an end A.D. 1335 ; that he had said the bulls of the pope were only the work of a man, and that the practice of charity is better than prayer, or even than the mass. If he was the author of the celebrated book “De Tribus Impostoribus," as was suspected by some, it is not remarkable that he was so closely watched and disciplined. Like many of his contemporaries, he mingled a great deal of mysticism with his work, recommending, during his alchemical operations, the recitation of psalms, to give force to the materials employed. Among other such things, he describes a seal, decorated with scriptural phrases, of excellent use in preserving one from sudden death. It appears, however, to have failed of its effect on the night when Arnold's ship was drifting on an Italian lee-shore, and he had most need of it.
The two antagonistic principles-ecclesiastical and intellectual—were thus brought in presence of
Two impulses each other. On other occasions they had already intellectual been in partial collision, as at the iconoclastic and moral
in operation. dispute which originated in the accusations of the Mohammedans, and ended in the tearing of Christendom asunder.
Again there was a collision, a few centuries later, when the Spanish Moors and Jews began to influence Struggle of cothe higher European classes. Among the bish- clesiasticism
against the ops, sovereigns, and even popes thus affected, intellectual there were many men of elevated views, who principle. saw distinctly the position of Europe, and understood thoroughly the difficulties of the Church. It had already become obvious to them that it would be impossible to restrain the impulse arising from the vigorous movements of the Saracens, and that it was absolutely necessary so to order things that the actual condition of faith in Europe might be accommodated to or even harmonized with these philosophical conceptions, which it was quite clear would, soon or late, pervade the whole Continent. This, as we have seen, is the explanation of the introduction
was in the
of Scholasticism from the Arabian schools, and its accommodation to the Christian code, on which authority looked with so much favour at first. But hardly had this attempt been entered upon before it became manifest that the risks to be incurred through the remedy itself were as great as the anticipated dangers. There was then no other course than for the Church to retrace her steps, ostensibly maintaining her consistency by permitting scholastic literature, though declining scholastic theology. She thus allured the active intellect, arising in all directions in the universities, to fruitless and visionary pursuits. This policy, therefore, threw her back upon a system of repression; it was the only course possible; yet there can be no doubt that it was entered upon with reluctance. We do injustice to the great men who guided ecclesiastical policy in those times when we represent them as recklessly committing themselves to measures at once violent and inde
fensible. They did make the attempt to instiThe difficulty
y tute an opposite policy; it proved not only system, not in a failure, but mischievous. They were then the men.
driven to check the spread of knowledgedriven by the necessities of their position. The fault was none of theirs; it dated back to the time of Constantine the Great; and the impossibility of either correcting or neutralizing it is only an example, as has been said, of the manner in which a general principle, once introduced, will overbear the best exertions of those attempting to struggle against it. We can appreciate the false position into which those statesmen were thrown when we comparo their personal with their public relations. Often the most eminent persons lived in intimacy and friendship with Jewish physicians, who, in the eye of the law, were enemies of society; often those who were foremost in the cultivation of knowledge—who, indeed, suffered excommunication for its sake-maintained amicable relations of a private kind with those who in public were the leaders of their persecutors. The systems were in antagonism, not the men. Arnold de Villa Nova, though excommunicated, was the physician of one pope; Roger Bacon, though harshly imprisoned, was the friend and correspondent of another. These incidents are not to be mistaken for that compassion which the truly great are ever ready to show to erring genius. They are examples of what we often see in our own day, when men engaged in the movements of a great political party loyally carry out its declared principles to their consequences, though individually they may find in those consequences many things to which they could mentally object. Their private objection they thus yield for the sake of what appears to them, in a general way, a practical good.
Such was the state of affairs when the Arab element, having pervaded France and Italy, made its formal intellectual attack. It might almost have been foreseen in what manner that attack would be made, and the shape it would be likely to assume. Of the sciences, astronomy was the oldest and most advanced. Its beginning dates earlier than the historic period, and both in the in India and in Egypt it had long reached correct- tual impulse
makes its atness, so far as its general principles were con- tack through cerned. The Saracens had been assiduous astronomy, cultivators of it in both its branches, observation and mathematical investigation. Upon one point, the figure and relations of the earth, it is evident that not the slightest doubt existed amung them. Nay, it must be added that no learned European ecclesiastic or statesman could deny the demonstrated truths. Nevertheless, it so fell out that upon this very point the conflict broke out. In India the Brahmans had passed through the same trial--for different nations walk through similar paths— with a certain plausible success, by satisfying the popular clamour that there was, in reality, nothing inconsistent between the astronomical doctrine of the globular form and movement of the earth, and the mythological dogma that it rests upon a succession of animals, the lowest of which is a tortoise. But the strong common sense of Western Europe was not to be deluded in any such idle way. It is not difficult to see the point of contact, the point of pressure with the Church. The abstract question gave her no concern; it was the consequences that might possibly follow. The memorable battle was fought upon the question thus sharply defined : Is the earth a moving globe, a small body in the midst of suns and countless
small body int defined : Is the as qught upon
myriads of worlds, or is it the central and greatest object in the universe, flat, and canopied over with a blue dome, motionless while all is in movement around it? The dispute thus definitely put, its issue was such as must always attend a controversy in which he who is defending is at once lukewarm and conscious of his own and the Church weakness. Never can moral interests, however is defeated. pure, stand against intellect enforcing truth. On this ill-omened question the Church ventured her battle and lost it.
Though this great conflict is embodied in the history of Galileo, who has become its historical representative, the The moral prime moving cause must not be misunderstood. impulse. From the Pyrenees had passed forth an influence which had infected all the learned men of Western Europe. Its tendency was altogether unfavourable to the Church. Moreover, the illiterate classes had been touched, but in a different way. To the first action the designation of the intellectual impulse may be given ; to the latter, the moral. It is to be especially observed that in their directions these impulses conspired. We have seen how, through the Saracens and Jews conjointly, the intellectual Origin of the impulse came into play. The moral impulse moral im- originated in a different manner, being due pulse.
partly to the Crusades and partly to the state of things in Rome. On these causes it is therefore needful for us to reflect.
First, of the Crusades. There had been wrenched from Christendom its fairest and most glorious portions. Spain, the north of Africa, Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, were gone. The Mohammedans had been repeatedly under the walls of Constantinople; its fall was only a question of time. They had been in the streets of Rome. They had marched across Italy in every direction. But perhaps the geographical losses, appalling as they were, did not appear so Loss of the painful as the capture of the holy places; the holy places. birth-place of our Redeemer; the scene of His sufferings; the Mount of Olives; the Sea of Galilee; the Garden of Gethsemane ; Calvary; the Sepulchre. Too often in their day of strength, while there were Roman legions at their back, had the bishops taunted Paganism with the