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Their later intellectual influence.
produced so many cultivators of letters, and transmitted to us the literary relics of the old times. It was a fortunate
day when the monk turned from the weaving of mats to the copying of manuscripts-a fortunate
day when he began to compose those noble hymns and strains of music which will live for ever. From the “ Dies Iræ" there rings forth grand poetry even in monkish Latin. The perpetual movements of the monastic orders gave life to the Church. The Protestant admits that to a resolute monk the Reformation was due. With these pre-eminent merits, the monastic institution
had its evils. Through it was spread that
dreadful materialization of religion which, for so of religion.
many ages, debased sacred things; through it that worse than pagan apotheosis, which led to the adoration--for such it really was—of dead men; through it were sustained relics and lying miracles, a belief in falsehoods so prodigious as to disgrace the common sense of man. The apostles and martyrs of old were forgotten; nay, even the worship of God was forsaken for shrines that could cure all diseases, and relics that could raise the dead. Through it was developed that intense selfishness which hesitated at no sacrifice either of the present or the future, so far as this life is concerned, in order to insure personal happiness in the next--a selfishness which, in the delusion of the times, passed under the name of piety; and the degree of abasement from the dignity of a man was made the measure of the merit of a monk.
END OF VOL. I.
LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET
AND CHARING CROSS.