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wary, and far-sighted in his selfishness ;-to have known better than most people know what he really wanted in life ; and to have pursued what he wanted with much more than ordinary steadiness and sagacity ;-never suffering himself to be drawn aside either by bad or good feelings. It was his constitution to dread failure more than he desired success,—to prefer security, comfort, repose, leisure, to the turmoil and anxiety which are inseparable from greatness ;-and this natural languor of mind, when contrasted with the malignant energy of the keen and restless spirits among whom his lot was cast, sometimes appear to resemble the moderation of virtue. But we must own, that he seems to us to sink into littleness and meanness when we compare him—we do not say with any high ideal standard of morality, but with many of those frail men who, aiming at noble ends, but often drawn from the right path by strong passions and strong temptations, have left to posterity a doubtful and chequered fame.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
There is not, and there never was, on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses
are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century, to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique ; but full of life and youthful vigor. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the furthest ends of the world, missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustin; and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila. The number of her children is greater than in any former age. Her acquisitions in the New World have more than compensated her for what she has lost in the Old. Her spiritual ascendency extend over the vast countries which lie between the plains of the Missouri and Cape Horn-countries which, a century hence, may not improbably contain a population as large as that which now inhabit Europe, The members of her community are certainly not fewer than a hundred and fifty millions; and it will be difficult to show that all the other Christian sects united, amount to a hundred and twenty millions. Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments, and of all the ecclesiastical establishments, that now
exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain-before the Frank had passed the Rhine-when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch-when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigor when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
In the convent of the Theatines at Venice, under the eye of Caraffa, a Spanish gentleman took up his abode, tended the poor in the hospitals, went about in rags, starved himself almost to death, and often Ballied into the streets, mounted on stones, and, waving his hat to invite the passers-by, began to preach in a strange jargon of mingled Castilian and Tuscan. The Theatines were among the most zealous and rigid of men ; but to this enthusiastic neophyte their discipline seemed lax, and their movements sluggish ; for his own mind, naturally passionate and imaginative, had passed through a training which had given to all his peculiarities a morbid intensity and energy. In his early life he had been the very prototype of the hero of Cervantes. The single study of the young Hidalgo had been chivalrous romance; and his existence had been one gorgeous day-dream of princesses rescued and infidels subdued. He had chosen a Dulcinea,
" no countess, no duchess”- these are his own words—“but one of far higher station;" and he flattered himself with the hope of laying at her feet the keys of Moorish castles and the jewelled tur.. bans of Asiatic kings. In the midst of these visions of martial glory and prosperous love, a severe wound stretched him on a bed of sickrress. His constitution was shattered, and he was doomed to be a cripple for life. The palm of strength, grace, and skill in knightly exercises, was no longer for him. He could no longer hope to strike down gigantic soldans, or to find favor in the sight of beautiful women. A new vision then arose in his mind, and mingled itself with his old delusions in a manner which, to most Englishmen, must seem singular; but which those who know how close was the union between religion and chivalry in Spain, will be at no loss to understand. He would still be a soldier
- he would still be a knight errant; but the soldier and knight-errant of the spouse of Christ. He would smite the Great Red Dragon. He would be the champion of the Woman clothed with the Sun. He would break the charm under which false prophets held the souls of men in bondage. His restless spirit led him to the Syrian deserts, and to the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. Thence he wandered back to the farthest west, and astonished the convents of Spain and the schools of France by his penance and vigils. The same lively imagination which had been employed in picturing the tumult of unreal battles, and the charms of unreal queens, now peopled his solitude with saints and angels. The Holy Virgin descended to commune with him.
He saw the Saviour face to face with the eye of flesh. Even those mysteries of religion which are the hardest trial of faith, were in his case palpable to sight. It is difficult to relate without a pitying smile, that, in the sacrifice of the mass, he saw transubstantiation take place; and that, as he stood praying on the steps of St. Dominic, he saw the Trinity in Unity, and wept aloud with joy and wonder. Such was the celebrated Ignatius Loyola, who, in the great Catholic reaction, bore the same share which Luther bore in the great Protestant movement.
Dissatisfied with the system of the Theatines, the enthusiastic Spaniard turned his face toward Rome. Poor, obscure, without a patron, without recommendations, he entered the city where now two princely temples, rich with paintings and many-colored marble, commemorate his great services to the Church; where his form stands sculptured in massive silver; where his bones, enshrined amid jewels, are placed beneath the altar of God. His activity and zeal bore down all opposition; and under his rule the order of Jesuits began to exist, and grew rapidly to the full measure of its gigantic powers. With what vehemence, with what policy, with what exact discipline, with what dauntless courage, with what self-denial, with what forgetfulness of the dearest private ties, with what intense and stubborn devotion to a single end, with what unscrupulous laxity and versatility in the choice of means, the Jesuits fought the battles of their church, is written in every page of the annals of Europe during several generations. In the order of Jesus was concentrated