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that the soul receives its being in the body; and that man has a vegetative, sensitive, and intellectual soul.
That the soul is all in all, and all in every part.
That archangels are the medium between angels and principalities.
That baptism regenerates of itself and by chance.
That the catechism is not a sacrament, but sacramental.
That certainty springs from the cause and subject.
That concupiscence is the appetite of sensitive delectation.
That conscience is an act and not a power.
The angel of the schools has written about four thousand fine pages in this style, and a shaven-crowned young man passes three years in filling his brain with this sublime knowledge, after which he receives the bonnet of a doctor of the Sorbonne, instead of going to Bedlam.
If he is a man of quality, or the son of a rich man, or intriguing and fortunate, he becomes bishop, archbishop, cardinal, and pope.
If he is poor and without credit, he becomes the chaplain of one of these people ; it is he who preaches for them, who reads St. Thomas and Scotus for them, who makes commandments for them, and who in a council decides for them.
The title of theologian is so great, that the fathers of the council of Trent give it to their cooks, celeste,''granteologo. Their science is the first of science, their condition the first of conditions, and themselves the first of men: such the empire of true doctrine ! so much does reason govern mankind !
When a theologian has become (thanks to his arguments) either prince of the holy Roman empire, archbishop of Toledo, or one of the seventy princes clothed in red, successors of the humble apostles, then the successors of Galen and Hippocrates
are at his service. They were his equals, when they studied in the same
university; they had the same degrees, and received the same furred bonnet. Fortune changes all; and those who discovered the circulation of the blood, the lacteal veins, and the thoracic canal, are the servants of those who have learned what concomitant grace is, and have forgotten it.
I knew a true theologian; he was master of the languages of the east, and was instructed as much as possible in the ancient rites of nations. The Brahmins, Chaldeans, Fire-worshippers, Sabeans, Syrians, and Egyptians, were as well known to him as the Jews; the several lessons of the Bible were familiar to him; and for thirty years he had tried to reconcile the gospels, and endeavoured to make the fathers agree. He sought in what time precisely the creed attributed to the apostles was digested, and that which bears the name of Athanasius; how the sacraments were instituted one after the other; what was the difference between synaxis and mass; how the christian church was divided since its origin into different parties, and how the predominating society treated all the others as beretics. He sounded the depth of policy which always mixes with these quarrels; and he distinguished between policy and wisdom, between the pride which would subjugate minds and the desire of self-illumination, between zeal and fanaticism.
The difficulty of arranging in his head so many things, the nature of which is to be confounded, and of throwing a little light on so many clouds, often checked him ; but as these researches were the duty of his profession, he gave himself up to them notwithstanding his distaste. He at length arrived at knowledge unknown to the greater part of his brethren; but the more learned he waxed, the more mistrustful he became of all that he knew. Whilst he lived, he was indulgent; and at his death, he confessed that he had spent his life uselessly.
VIRGIL-Æneid, b. vi. l. 585.
Of pointed lightnings and their forked rays. Those who invented and perfected artillery are so many other Salmoneuses. A cannon-ball of twentyfour pounds can make, and has often made, more ravage than an hundred thunder-claps; yet no cannoneer has yet been struck by Jupiter for imitating that which passes in the atmosphere.
We have seen that Polyphemus, in a piece of Euripides, boasts of making more noise, when he has supped well, than the thunder of Jupiter.
Boileau, more honest than Polyphemus, says that another world astonishes him, and that he believes in the immortality of the soul, and that it is God who thunders :
Pour moi, qu'en santé même un autre monde étonne,
Sat. i. line 161, 162. I know not why he is so astonished at another world, since all antiquity believed in it. Astonish was not the proper word; it was alarm. He believes that it is God who thunders; but he thunders only as he hails, as he rains, and as he produces fine weather-as he operates all, as he performs all. It is not because he is angry that he sends thunder and rain. The ancients paint Jupiter taking thunder, composed of three burning arrows, and hurling it at whomsoever he chose. Sound reason does not agree with these poetical ideas.
Thunder is like everything else, the necessary effect of the laws of nature, prescribed by its author. It is merely a great electrical phenomenon. Franklin forces it to descend tranquilly on the earth; it fell on pro
fessor Richmann as on rocks and churches; and if it
struck Ajax Oïleus, it was assuredly not because Mii nerva was irritated against him.
If it had fallen on Cartouche or the abbé Desfontaines, people would not have failed to say,—Behold how God punishes thieves and But it is a useful prejudice to make the sky fearful to the perverse.
Thus all our tragic poets, when they would rhyme to 'poudre'or resoudre, invariably make use of foudre;' and uniformly make tonnerre' roll, when they would rhyme to 'terre. Theseus, in Phèdre, says to his son (act iv. scene 2.)
Monstre, qu'a trop longtemps épargné le tonnerre,
Reste impur des brigands dont j'ai purgé la terre ! Severus, in Polyeuctus, without even having occasion to rhyme, when he learns that his mistress is married, talks to Fabian his friend of a clap of thunder. He says
elsewhere to the same Fabian (activ. scene 6.) that a new clap of foudre’ strikes upon his hope, and reduces it to poudre:'
Qu'est ceci, Fabian, quel nouveau coup de foudre
Tombe sur mon espoir, et le reduit en poudre?
Lusignan, in Zaire, prays God that the thunder will burst on him alone :
Que la foudre en eclat ne tombe que sur moi. If Tydeus consults the gods in the cave of a temple, the cave answers him only by great claps of thunder.
I've finally seen the thunder and foudre'
Reduce verses to cinders and rhymes into poudre.'
I could never clearly comprehend the fable of Jupiter and Thunder, in La Fontaine (b. viii. fable 20).
Vulcain remplit ses fourneaux
Ce n'est qu'aux monts qu'il en coute;
Nous vient du seul Jupiter. « Vulcan fills his furnaces with two sorts of thunderbolts. The one never wanders, and it is that which comes direct from Olympus. The other diverges in its route, and only spends itself on mountains; it is often even altogether dissipated. It is this last alone which proceeds from Jupiter."
Was the subject of this fable, which La Fontaine put into bad verse so different from his general style, given to him ? Would it infer that the ministers of Louis XIV. were inflexible, and that the king pardoned ?*
Crebillon, in his academical discourse in foreign verse, says that cardinal Fleury is a wise depositary, the eagle, using his thunder, yet the friend of peace:
Usant en citoyen du pouvoir arbitraire,
Il gouverne la foudre, et ne tonne jamais.
that marshal Villars made it appear that he survived Malplaquet only to become more celebrated at Denain, and that with a clap of thunder prince Eugene was vanquished :
Fit voir, qu'à Malplaquet il n'avait survecu
Et qu'un foudre du moins Eugene était vaincu.
Horace, sometimes the debauched and sometimes the moral, has said (book i. ode 3.) that our folly extends to heaven itself :
Coelum ipsum petimus stultitia. We can say at present,--We carry our wisdom to heaven,-if we may be permitted to call that blue and white
* This fable is from the ancient Etruscan. (See Seneca-Natural Questions, b. ii. chap. xli. xlvi.)