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public schools of theology were ion every trace of divinity, and opened. Yet the disciples of Aver- leaves it to the guidance of each inroes were very numerous in the dividual's imaginary inspiration, and University of Padua about that time. under the false guise of liberty decks
The cultivation of modern lan- out the demon of license; while the guages led naturally to an era of ro- Church, unruffled and serene, purified mantic poetry, whose expression was by the laws and decrees of the Counthe far-famed music singers, the cil of Trent, goes on her God-sent troubadors and wandering minstrels, mission, and daily sees fall around to whom we are indebted for the her some one or other of the pigmy preservation of many traditions of sects sprung from Luther's heresy. the manners and customs of our fore- The corruption among the higher fathers. Many of these were of no- classes of the clergy, and of the peoble and even roval birth, and the ple, increased his chances of success. cultivation of this gentle art tended The suppression of celibacy amongst greatly to subdue and civilize the clergy and of monastic vows was
From what has been said we can looked upon with secret favor by the easily see whence came the light depraved among them ; the prospect which illuminated the dark ages in of seeing all the property of the the field of literature. The Church, Church fall into their possession guided by her Divine founder, was excited the cupidity of princes, and the source whence all truth, learn- the rejection of ecclesiastical teaching, and knowledge proceeded, and ing flattered the vanity of the peoif weeds grew up in her fair gar- ple, who by the new teachings were den, she alone had the power to ex- made supreme judges of dogmas tirpate and uproot them; there was through the rights which had been no need to apply for external as- conferred upon them, themselves to sistance. Many evils had sprung interpret the Bible, now translated up and had been rooted out. Many into the vulgar tongue. For two still remained, and when Luther's centuries Rationalism had been disprotest against Rome and Catholi- seminating the leaven ofrevolt against cism, in 1517, first burst upon the the authority of the past, and the adworld, the heresy of Reform had vent of printing lent it fresh force. In long slumbered in a chrysalis state, the first ecstasy of license men deemed so to speak, awaiting only some cir. it unnecessary to preserve any outcumstance to favor its developement. ward decency, and threw away the " The egg was laid,” says Erasmus; cloak of even a certain code of moral" Luther had but to incubate and ity, of which we find most brilliant hatch it." Had he been in earnest examples among pagan society. And in his reformation, had his sincere disciples, at first obedient, soon bedesire been to shake the dust from came rebellious and impatient to the spotless garments of the Bride of obtain for themselves the liberty Christ, he need not have gone the of inquiry and the independence length he did, nor employed the of principles which Luther despoti. means. The instruments of true re- cally endeavored to reserve excluform were in the Church ready to sively for himself; hence sects innuhis hand had he but chosen to use merable sprang up, so that the great them. But the devil had taken pos- heresiarch in contemplating his work session of the vain, weak heart, and might have been reminded of the led him to his destruction. The re- fisherman of the “ Arabian Nights," sult was the “modern civilization," who, finding a bottle on the seaso lauded, of hard, cold materialism, shore, uncorked it, and thus liberated a false philosophy and a soulless a genie possessed of unthought-of creed, which eliminates from relig- powers, and who refused again to re
turn to his prison-house, or to be legends traced the wrong way, from controlled by his liberator.
which positive impressions were obIn the art of agriculture, the cul- tained, and Cicero, in a passage refuttivation of the cereals and the preser- ing the doctrine of Epicurus on the vation of these necessities of modern creation of the world by atoms, says, life, we find again it is the monks "Why not believe also that by who have been instrumental in their throwing together indiscriminately development and continuance to our innumerable forms of letters of the day. The tracts of land assigned alphabet, either in gold or in any to the religious orders were often other substance, one can print with nothing but dreary, desolate wastes, these letters on the ground the annals out of which it would seem impossi- of Eunius?'' The movable letters ble to glean any useful matter, or of the ancients were carved in boxstony, rocky wilds, fitted only for wood or ivory, but they were only the grazing of mountain goats or used in teaching children to read, as similar hardy animals. These gifts Quinctilian testifies in his “ Oratoriwere made by kings and princes cal Institutions,” and St. Jerome in sometimes, as being too poor for his “Epistles.” Various dates have their own use, or too worthless to be been assigned, and also various given to a courtier. So the monks birthplaces as well as different pafell heirs to what often was not worth rentages for this wonderful art. Some a thought in the minds of the rich assign it to the year 1420, to Haarlem and great. They took the gift thank- and Laurent Coster, thirty years fully, quietly went to work, and in before Gutenberg, of Strasburg, gave an incredibly short time the substan- his scientific discovery to the world. tial walls of the monastery would rise In these pages we have no space to in grace and symmetry, the swamps enter into the dispute, Suffice it for around would be drained with scien- us that the discovery was made, and tific care, the fields be waving their we of to-day reap all the advantages rich treasures of wheat and other accruing from it. grains in the soft summer air, while The use of paper made from the little chapel, nestling among the cotton and even linen rags was vines covering the rocky hillsides, known in very early times, as far would, with its silvery bell, call the back as the beginning of the twelfth country people round to Divine ser- century. After the Saracens had vice, over roads rendered passable reduced Egypt, the importation of and kept in excellent order by the papyrus, so long in general use, was “ lazy" monks. These duties were stopped. Parchment, which took its their recreation after hours spent in place, was very expensive, and this study over musty half-effaced manu- costliness gave rise to the custom of scripts, or in the illumination of the erasing MSS., and writing new Sacred Scriptures, missals, etc., matter upon the clean .pages thus which are now guarded with such obtained. Much valuable informacare in our museums of literature, tion has been lost by this practice. and which bring such fabulous prices The Greeks sought for some mateamong our dilettanti. Printing, rial to take the place of parchment, however, put an end to these literary and discovered a material made labors to a great extent.
from cotton rags, sold in the city of Various dates have been assigned Damascus, whence called charta for this grand discovery, which was Damascena, which is our paper. to revolutionize the world. A dis- For a long time, as we are aware, covery it could hardly be called, but the ancients lived in tents," archirather a lost art. Stamps have been tecture was an unknown art, and found among the ancients with even when they found the necessity
of erecting more substantial protec- tection against the almost constant tion, when they decided to give over warfare of those times. When we their roamings and settle into towns contrast our present puny edifices of and cities, while each one built a brick with those composed of huge house, the art of architecture was blocks of stone, which frown down little known or thought of. Then upon us from So many crags and we have the massive ruins of Thebes mountain-sides in Europe, we cannot and Babylon, those mysterious relics but feel that modern times have of dim antiquity scattered through much to learn of the dark ages in Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy, to this art. show us what they could do when Sculpture and painting are the once awakened to the knowledge of twin arts which suffered most from the capability of stone and mortar to the inroads of the barbarians, and contribute to the dignity and well- were the slowest to recover their being of men, or the honor of their pristine glory; in fact, it may be deities. And how vocal with old doubted whether the former has ever heroic legends seems every rugged recovered fully, or whether modern stone! Monuments we would fain artists can really rival Phidias and believe of the days of Achilles and the early Greeks. But when these the Atreidæ. The historians and arts did begin to revive, their recovphilosophers of the days of Pericles ery was rapid, and modern “light” knew no more of the authors of these must turn again to the “dark” ages gigantic fragments than ourselves. for instruction. No matter how clevEach rugged gateway may have seen erly the fingers may mould the clay the marshalling of heroes arrayed to or guide the brush, no man or woman man the thousand ships of Argos, among us feels himself or herself an and wait upon their chariot-wheels artist until a study of the "antique,” to whom Zeus had consigned her either from the originals as preserved twofold throne and sceptre. We in the art galleries of Rome, Paris, have no space in this article to trace Munich, or Dresden, or the copies the gradual change which came over which have been made for our own, this art, as it was studied more and has revealed the secret of their greatmore by the light of the growing ness. And but for the churchmen, intelligences; our part is to point who were munificent patrons and out the patient devotion with which protectors of art and artists in these the beautifying of God's temples was dark ages, where would these treascarried on during these ages of faith, ures of Rome and Greece have been when, because they were the houses after the barbarian whirlwind and its of God, hands and hearts united to resultant confusion, the long years of make them the wonders of the age wars and rapine, the destruction by and of all ages, not by outside glory, ignorant and infuriated mobs? And not for display of arch and piers and in studying the history of those days flying buttresses, but by the ornamen- we see again how thoroughly they tation of every part, however hidden, were "ages of faith.” From the carving a wreath as delicately and earliest resurrection of the painter's truly far up under the eaves, where art we find them tracing upon the mortal eyes would never see it, as canvas their dream of that most over the broad entrance doors. Of divine group, the Holy Farnily, or course as the study of the beauties of another devotes years of his life to architecture became more general, the perfection of a Virgin and Child, more attention was paid to the beau- or again, the Assumption of the tifying of private residences. But Blessed Mother, or the triumph of the first idea of all such buildings God's saints. The greatest geniuses was strength alone, providing pro- considered all but sacred subjects infinitely beneath their art, and Mi- graded it to their own base uses, chael Angelo's and Raphael's pen- and under the name of astrology cils were paralyzed by any other, made it subservient to their own evil and even when they were induced or purposes, and an instrument by obliged by kingly request or mandate which to mislead and deceive the to divert their chisels and brushes to ignorant. The regular science was another channel, to the decorations not revived, after the destruction of of palaces and public places, how the Roman empire and the settleplainly have they not left the traces ment of Europe into something reof their mental bias in the sacred sembling its present geographical subjects which they chose almost divisions, until in the thirteenth without exception.
century, under the patronage of the A discovery which was to change Church in Spain. But it was not the whole civilization of the world, until Johann Müller, surnamed Requite as much as that of printing, by giomontanus (a Latinization of the its influence over manners and cus- place of his birth, Konigsberg), detoms of peoples, had its birth in the voted himself to this study, that any cell of one of those “lazy” monks great progress was made. In 1474 of which we have spoken. Konstan- he issued the first astronomical altin Aucklitzen, a native of Fresburg, manac published in Europe. Rechaving entered the Franciscan order, ognizing at once his genius and the assumed the name of Berthold; be- service he could confer upon learning fond of the study of chemistry, ing and the world, Sixtus IV, then and constantly practicing its combi Pope, appointed him Archbishop of nations and experimenting thereon, Ratisbon, and eagerly secured his he obtained the sobriquet of Schwartz. services in the reformation of the It is to him that we owe the discov- Roman calendar, but he died before ery of gunpowder in its application the work was commenced. To him to modern warfare and the chase. we owe the introduction of decimal This, too, may be called a lost art, fractions, and the science of trigofor there is incontestable proof of its nometry was developed by him having been used by the ancients; nearly to its present state. Coperthat is, the compound of nitre, sul- nicus, who was the first to reassert phur and charcoal was known to the Pythagorean theory that the sun the Hindoos at a very early period, was stationary in the heavens and some say as far back as the time of that the earth revolved around it, Moses. Alexander of Macedon used was a priest of the Church, and alit with terrible effect under the name lowed to teach his doctrine undisof “Greek fire." But it was looked turbed save by the commendation upon with terror and very little and patronage of the Pope and carunderstood, notwithstanding that dinals during his residence at Rome, Roger Bacon described it in his where he gained a brilliant reputawritings, until “Schwartz'' surprised tion. Tycho Brahe and Kepler, with himself and the world a hundred Galileo, belong to the .century just years later.
beyond the boundary of the ages The science of astronomy had we are studying, yet it will not be been a favorite with the ancients out of place, in view of the lies so before the Christian era, and while persistently told of the latter in conmany made it a subject for earnest nection with the Church, to notice thought, as shown by the action of them en passant. We see Kepler, the Magi, who recognized a new the disciple of Tycho Brahe, a Protheavenly body in the star which led estant, flying from Protestant persethem to the crib of Bethlehem, there cution to the Jesuit university of were not wanting charlatans who de- Prague, where he was received and honored because of his great ability over again, and the action of the and learning. In Galileo we find Roman court upheld, even by Protthe pettish child of genius turning estant writers of calm judgment and upon the hand that fostered it, and common sense, yet these pur si blinded by ambition, daring to im- muove" and the stamp of the foot pugn the word of God. This at- is irresistible to sensational histortempt, and this attempt alone, was ians, and its theatrical effect no the cause of all the trouble ; yet schoolboy can forego. Protestant teachers systematically T hus, after a calm survey of the become possessed of bad memories times, we find that the term "dark" when Kepler's troubles are con- is decidedly a misnomer. There cerned, and remember only the was light enough in the middle ages " starry Galileo and his woes.” to lead the people into the brilliant Kepler was driven from Tübingen, illumination of the present day, and a Protestant university, by Protestant if any one complained of darkness bigotry, for teaching the same truths it was because his eyes were wilfully which Copernicus, the Catholic closed. And we see that the light priest, had taught before him, while which so guided the people was set Galileo was honored and fêted and upon the seven hills of Rome, cherpatronized at Rome, by Cardinal ished by her hierarchy, trimmed and Bandini, in whose garden his tele- fed by her God-guided hands. The scope was erected, for teaching that Popes devoted themselves to the presidentical theory. Cardinal Barber- ervation of the Church, and with ini, when Pope Urban VIII, proved her of all that the world still held of himself a munificent patron of the good, and whether we see a Gregory astronomer. But Galileo's disposi- or a Leo X upon the chair of Peter, tion was one to be injured rather whether the means employed seem than improved by so much laudation, the foolishness of the dove or the and he became proud and imperious wisdom of the serpent, the end is the and began to assert himself like a same. The arts and sciences, learnspoiled child, who can imagine no ing and intelligence were fostered limit to his privileges. In pushing and cherished, human passions were to completion his development of restrained by the strong hand of a the Copernican system, which was God-sent authority, and the mighty allowed as an hypothesis, but which ship of civilization carefully conhe presumed to declare without suf- trolled and piloted amid the storms ficient proof a fact, he encroached of centuries. And as the Church upon the domain of the Church, stood then she stands to-day, unalalways so jealously guarded, and tered and unalterable, ever ready to dared to throw doubt upon the truth lift her voice against error, ever on of the Sacred Scriptures, question the watch to shield with her ægis ing the standing still of the sun at the sacred form of truth. the word of Joshua. Then he was As Leo the First drove back from silenced by the Inquisition, and the the gates of Rome Attila and his barmere fact of his having been cited barian hordes, not by force of arms, before that body has induced writers but by the divine power transmitted inimical to the Church to imagine to him, so with the same holy weaa long and rigorous persecution, car- pons does Pius IX from his prison ried on with all the venom of ig- hurl forth his denunciations and renorance and fear that any new proofs against the infidelity of modknowledge would destroy a power ern times, which threatens to sweep over the people, preserved only away every vestige of truth and rethrough that ignorance. The story ligion from the world. Fearlessly has been told truthfully over and as the one faced unarmed the self