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tifical State is abandoned to buffaloes, final settlement of the boundary line and wild boars. It cannot be doubted between Protestantism and Catholicthat, since the sixteenth century, theism, began to appear the signs of the Protestant nations have made decidedly fourth great peril of the Church of greater progress than their neighbours. Rome. The storm which was now The progress made by those nations in rising against her was of a very difwhich Protestantism, though not finally ferent kind from those which had presuccessful, yet maintained a long strug- ceded it. Those who had formerly gle, and left permanent traces, has attacked her had questioned only a generally been considerable. But when part of her doctrines. A school was we come to the Catholic Land, to the now growing up which rejected the part of Europe in which the first spark whole. The Albigenses, the Lollards, of reformation was trodden out as the Lutherans, the Calvinists, had a soon as it appeared, and from which positive religious system, and were proceeded the impulse which drove strongly attached to it. The creed of Protestantism back, we find, at best, a the new sectaries was altogether negavery slow progress, and on the whole tive. They took one of their premises a retrogression. Compare Denmark from the Protestants, and one from the and Portugal. When Luther began to Catholics. From the latter they borpreach, the superiority of the Portu- rowed the principle, that Catholicism guese was unquestionable. At pre- was the only pure and genuine Chrissent, the superiority of the Danes is no tianity. With the former, they held less so. Compare Edinburgh and Flo- that some parts of the Catholic system rence. Edinburgh has owed less to were contrary to reason. The concluclimate, to soil, and to the fostering sion was obvious. Two propositions, care of rulers than any capital, Pro- each of which separately is compatible testant or Catholic. In all these re- with the most exalted piety, formed, spects, Florence has been singularly when held in conjunction, the groundhappy. Yet whoever knows what Flo- work of a system of irreligion. The rence and Edinburgh were in the ge- doctrine of Bossuet, that transubstanneration preceding the Reformation, tiation is affirmed in the Gospel, and and what they are now, will acknow the doctrine of Tillotson, that transubledge that some great cause has, during stantiation is an absurdity, when put the last three centuries, operated to together, produced by logical necessity raise one part of the European family, the inferences of Voltaire. and to depress the other. Compare Had the sect which was rising at the history of England and that of Paris been a sect of mere scoffers, it Spain during the last century. In is very improbable that it would have arms, arts, sciences, letters, commerce, left deep traces of its existence in the agriculture, the contrast is most striking. institutions and manners of Europe. The distinction is not confined to this Mere negation, mere Epicurean infiside of the Atlantic. The colonies delity, as Lord Bacon most justly obplanted by England in America have serves, has never disturbed the peace immeasurably outgrown in power those of the world. It furnishes no motive planted by Spain. Yet we have no for action. It inspires no enthusiasm. reason to believe that, at the beginning It has no missionaries, no crusaders, of the sixteenth century, the Castilian no martyrs. If the Patriarch of the was in any respect inferior to the Eng- Holy Philosophical Church had conlishman. Our firm belief is, that the tented himself with making jokes about North owes its great civilization and Saul's asses and David's wives, and prosperity chiefly to the moral effect of with criticizing the poetry of Ezekiel the Protestant Reformation, and that in the same narrow spirit in which he the decay of the southern countries of criticized that of Shakspeare, Rome Europe is to be mainly ascribed to the would have had little to fear. But it great Catholic revival.
is due to him and to his compeers to About a hundred years after the say that the real secret of their strength
lay in the truth which was mingled at the sacraments, but ready to enwith their errors, and in the generous counter principalities and powers in enthusiasm which was hidden under the cause of justice, mercy, and toletheir flippancy. They were men who, ration. with all their faults, moral and intel- Irreligion, accidentally associated lectual, sincerely and earnestly desired with philanthropy, triumphed for a the improvement of the condition of time over religion accidentally assothe human race, whose blood boiled at ciated with political and social abuses. the sight of cruelty and injustice, who Every thing gave way to the zeal and made manful war, with every faculty activity of the new reformers. In which they possessed, on what they France, every man distinguished in letconsidered as abuses, and who on ters was found in their ranks. Every many signal occasions placed them- year gave birth to works in which the selves gallantly between the powerful fundamental principles of the Church and the oppressed. While they as- were attacked with argument, invecsailed Christianity with a rancour and tive, and ridicule. The Church made an unfairness disgraceful to men who no defence, except by acts of power, called themselves philosophers, they Censures were pronounced : books were yet had, in far greater measure than seized: insults were offered to the retheir opponents, that charity towards mains of infidel writers; but no Bosmen of all classes and races which suet, no Pascal, came forth to encounter Christianity enjoins. Religious per-Voltaire. There appeared not a single secution, judicial torture, arbitrary im- defence of the Catholic doctrine which prisonment, the unnecessary multipli- produced any considerable effect, or cation of capital punishments, the which is now even remembered. A delay and chicanery of tribunals, the bloody and unsparing persecution, like exactions of farmers of the revenue, that which put down the Albigenses, slavery, the slave trade, were the con-| might have put down the philosophers. stant subjects of their lively satire and But the time for De Montforts and eloquent disquisitions. When an in- Dominics had gone by. The punishnocent man was broken on the wheel ments which the priests were still able at Toulouse, when a youth, guilty only to inflict were sufficient to irritate, but of an indiscretion, was beheaded at not sufficient to destroy. The war was Abbeville, when a brave officer, borne between power on one side, and wit on down by public injustice, was dragged, the other; and the power was under with a gag in his mouth, to die on the far more restraint than the wit. Or. Place de Grêve, a voice instantly went thodoxy soon became a synonyme for forth from the banks of Lake Leman, ignorance and stupidity. It was as which made itself heard from Moscow necessary to the character of an accomto Cadiz, and which sentenced the plished man that he should despise the unjust judges to the contempt and de- religion of his country, as that he testation of all Europe. The really should know his letters. The new efficient weapons with which the phi. doctrines spread rapidly through Chrislosophers assailed the evangelical faith tendom. Paris was the capital of the were borrowed from the evangelical whole continent. French was every morality. The ethical and dogmatical where the language of polite circles. parts of the Gospel were unhappily The literary glory of Italy and Spain turned against each other. On one side had departed. That of Germany had was a Church boasting of the purity not dawned. That of England shone, of a doctrine derived from the Apos- as yet, for the English alone. The tles, but disgraced by the massacre of teachers of France were the teachers of St. Bartholomew, by the murder of the Europe. The Parisian opinions spread best of kings, by the war of Cevennes, fast among the educated classes beyond by the destruction of Port-Royal. On the Alps : nor could the vigilance of the other side was a sect laughing at the Inquisition prevent the contraband the Scriptures, shooting out the tonguel importation of the new heresy into
Castile and Portugal. Governments, butchered by scores without a trial, even arbitrary governments, saw with drowned, shot, hung on lamp-posts. pleasure the progress of this philoso- Thousands fled from their country to phy. Numerous reforms, generally take sanctuary under the shade of laudable, sometimes hurried on with hostile altars. The churches were out sufficient regard to time, to place, closed; the bells were silent; the shrines and to public feeling, showed the ex- were plundered; the silver crucifixes tent of its influence. The rulers of were melted down. Buffoons, dressed Prussia, of Russia, of Austria, and of in copes and surplices, came dancing many smaller states, were supposed to the carmagnole even to the bar of the be among the initiated.
Convention. The bust of Marat was The Church of Rome was still, in substituted for the statues of the maroutward show, as stately and splendid styrs of Christianity. A prostitute, as ever ; but her foundation was under-seated on a chair of state in the chancel mined. No state had quitted her com- of Notre Dame, received the adoration munion or confiscated her revenues ; of thousands, who exclaimed that at but the reverence of the people was | length, for the first time, those ancient every where departing from her. Gothic arches had resounded with the
The first great warning stroke was accents of truth. The new unbelief the fall of that society which, in the was as intolerant as the old supersticonflict with Protestantism, had saved tion. To show reverence for religion the Catholic Church from destruction. was to incur the suspicion of disaffecThe order of Jesus had never reco- tion. It was not without imminent vered from the injury received in the danger that the priest baptized the instruggle with Port-Royal. It was now fant, joined the hands of lovers, or still more rudely assailed by the phi- listened to the confession of the dying. losophers. Its spirit was broken ; its The absurd worship of the Goddess of reputation was tainted. Insulted by Reason was, indeed, of short duration; all the men of genius in Europe, con- but the deism of Robespierre and Ledemned by the civil magistrate, feebly paux was not less hostile to the Cathodefended by the chiefs of the hierarchy, lic faith than the atheism of Clootz it fell : and great was the fall of it. and Chaumette.
The movement went on with increas- Nor were the calamities of the ing speed. The first generation of the Church confined to France. The renew sect passed away. The doctrines volutionary spirit, attacked by all of Voltaire were inherited and exag- Europe, beat all Europe back, became gerated by successors, who bore to him conqueror in its turn, and, not satisfied the same relation which the Anabap- with the Belgian cities and the rich tists bore to Luther, or the Fifth-Mo- domains of the spiritual electors, went narchy men to Pym. At length the raging over the Rhine and through Revolution came. Down went the old the passes of the Alps. Throughout Church of France, with all its pomp the whole of the great war against and wealth. Some of its priests pur- Protestantism, Italy and Spain had chased a maintenance by separating been the base of the Catholic operathemselves from Rome, and by be- tions. Spain was now the obsequious coming the authors of a fresh schism. vassal of the infidels. Italy was subSome, rejoicing in the new license, jugated by them. To her ancient flung away their sacred vestments, pro- principalities succeeded the Cisalpine claimed that their whole life had been republic, and the Ligurian republic, an imposture, insulted and persecuted and the Parthenopean republic. The the religion of which they had been shrine of Loretto was stripped of the ministers, and distinguished them treasures piled up by the devotion of selves, even in the Jacobin Club and six hundred years. The convents of the Commune of Paris, by the excess Rome were pillaged. The tricoloured of their impudence and ferocity. Others, flag floated on the top of the Castle more faithful to their principles, were l of St. Angelo. The successor of St.
Peter was carried away captive by the society, had, through great part of unbelievers. He died a prisoner in Catholic Europe, undergone a complete their hands; and even the honours of change. But the unchangeable Church sepulture were long withheld from his was still there. remains.
Some future historian, as able and It is not strange that, in the year temperate as Professor Ranke, will, we 1799, even sagacious observers should hope, trace the progress of the Catholic have thought that, at length, the hour revival of the nineteenth century. We of the Church of Rome was come. An feel that we are drawing too near our infidel power ascendant, the Pope own time, and that, if we go on, we dying in captivity, the most illustrious shall be in danger of saying much prelates of France living in a foreign which may be supposed to indicate, country on Protestant alms, the noblest and which will certainly excite, angry edifices which the munificence of for- feelings. We will, therefore, make only mer ages had consecrated to the wor- one more observation, which, in our ship of God turned into temples of opinion, is deserving of serious attenVictory, or into banqueting-houses for tion. political societies, or into Theophilan- During the eighteenth century, the thropic chapels, such signs might well influence of the Church of Rome was be supposed to indicate the approach- constantly on the decline. Unbelief ing end of that long domination. made extensive conquests in all the
But the end was not yet. Again Catholic countries of Europe, and in doomed to death, the milk-white hind some countries obtained a complete was still fated not to die. Even be- ascendency. The Papacy was at length fore the funeral rites had been per- brought so low as to be an object of formed over the ashes of Pius the derision to infidels, and of pity rather Sixth, a great reaction had commenced, than of hatred to Protestants. During which, after the lapse of more than the nineteenth century, this fallen forty years, appears to be still in pro- Church has been gradually rising from gress. Anarchy had had its day. A her depressed state and reconquering new order of things rose out of the her old dominion. No person who confusion, new dynasties, new laws, calmly reflects on what, within the new titles; and amidst them emerged last few years, has passed in Spain, in the ancient religion. The Arabs have Italy, in South America, in Ireland, in a fable that the Great Pyramid was the Netherlands, in Prussia, even in built by antediluvian kings, and alone, France, can doubt that the power of of all the works of men, bore the this Church over the hearts and minds weight of the flood. Such as this was of men, is now greater far than it was the fate of the Papacy. It had been when the Encyclopædia and the Phiburied under the great inundation ; losophical Dictionary appeared. It is but its deep foundations had remained surely remarkable, that neither the unshaken; and, when the waters abated, moral revolution of the eighteenth cenit appeared alone amidst the ruins of tury, nor the moral counter-revolution a world which had passed away. The of the nineteenth, should, in any perrepublic of Holland was gone, and ceptible degree, have added to the dothe empire of Germany, and the great main of Protestantism. During the Council of Venice, and the old Helve- former period, whatever was lost to tian League, and the House of Bour-Catholicism was lost also to Christianity; bon, and the parliaments and aristo- during the latter, whatever was recracy of France. Europe was full of gained by Christianity in Catholic young creations, a French empire, a countries was regained also by Cathokingdom of Italy, a Confederation of licism. We should naturally have the Rhine. Nor had the late events expected that many minds, on the way affected only territorial limits and po- from superstition to infidelity, or on litical institutions. The distribution of the way back from infidelity to superproperty, the composition and spirit of stition, would have stopped at an inCOMIC DRAMATISTS OF THE RESTORATION 149 termediate point. Between the doc- ! trines taught in the schools of the LEIGH HUNT. (JANUARY, 1841.) Jesuits, and those which were main- The Dramatic Works of WYCHERLEY, tained at the little supper parties of the CONGREVE, VANBRUGH, and FARQUHAR, Baron Holbach, there is a vast interval,
with Biographical and Critical Notices.
By LEIGH HUNT. 8vo. London: 1840. in which the human mind, it should seem. might find for itself some resting. We have a kindness for Mr. Leigh place more satisfactory than either of Hunt. We form our judgment of him. the two extremes. And at the time of indeed, only from events of universal the Reformation, millions found such notoriety, from his own works, and a resting-place. Whole nations then
from the works of other writers, who renounced Popery without ceasing to have generally abused him in the most believe in a first cause. in a future rancorous manner. But, unless we are life, or in the Divine mission of Jesus. greatly mistaken, he is a very clever, a In the last century, on the other hand, very honest, and a very good-natured when a Catholic renounced his belief man. We can clearly discern, together in the real presence, it was a thousand with many merits, many faults both in to one that he renounced his belief in his writings and in his conduct. But the Gospel too: and, when the reaction we really think that there is hardly a took place, with belief in the Gospel man living whose merits have been so came back belief in the real presence. I grudgingly allowed, and whose faults
We by no means venture to deduce have been so cruelly expiated. from these phenomena any generall In some respects Mr. Leigh Hunt is law: but we think it a most remark- excellently qualified for the task which able fact. that no Christian nation. I he has now undertaken. His style, in which did not adopt the principles of spite of its mannerism, nay, partly by the Reformation before the end of the reason of its mannerism, is well suited sixteenth century, should ever have for light, garrulous, desultory ana, half adopted them. Catholic communities critical, half biographical. We do not have, since that time, become infidel always agree with his literary judgand become Catholic again; but none
ments; but we find in him what is very has become Protestant.
rare in our time, the power of justly Here we close this hasty sketch of appreciating and heartily enjoying good one of the most important portions of things of very different kinds. He can the history of mankind. Our readers adore Shakspeare and Spenser without will have great reason to feel obliged denying poetical genius to the author to us if we have interested them suffi- of Alexander's Feast, or fine observaciently to induce them to peruse Pro- tion, rich fancy, and exquisite humour fessor Ranke's book. We will only to him who imagined Will Honeycomb caution them against the French trans- and Sir Roger de Coverley. He has lation, a performance which, in our paid particular attention to the history opinion, is just as discreditable to the of the English drama, from the age of moral character of the person from Elizabeth down to our own time, and whom it proceeds as a false affidavit has every right to be heard with respect or a forged bill of exchange would on that subject. have been, and advise them to study / The plays to which he now acts as either the original, or the English ver- / introducer are, with few exceptions, sion, in which the sense and spirit of such as, in the opinion of many very the original are admirably preserved. respectable people, ought not to be re
printed. In this opinion we can by no means concur. We cannot wish that any work or class of works which has exercised a great influence on the human mind, and which illustrates the · character of an important epoch in letters, politics, and morals, should dis