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every one else, to hate the man who is wiser, richer, and more powerful than himself, and to spurn from him the ignorant, the poor, and the weak.
The Protestant spirit is not confined to sectarian bodies, it has invaded the Roman Church. If Anglican bishops in their charges attack all those religious truths to which they are themselves colour-blind, Roman prelates assail all those scientific truths of which they are themselves ignorant, as though they were inevitably destructive to religion. That same narrow spirit animates equally the Roman curia and the Puritan press, the Inquisition and the “ Church Association.” It is that same spirit which urges Pius IX. to proclaim his own personal infallibility, and which makes the sects split and splinter into smaller and yet smaller fragments, till each man's opinion becomes his only truth, and every man becomes his own god.
The principle of Persecution is by its very nature unCatholic. The development of the spirit of intolerance in the Roman communion inevitably followed the introduction of the autocratic principle,—the erection of the Papacy into a spiritual sovereignty. One evil led to another. Whether compulsion be used to make a man believe twelve articles of belief when he can only mentally grasp three, or to make a man surrender nine because the persecutor can only tolerate three, is immaterial, the principle is identical, the setting up of the belief of one man as the measure of belief to other men—a principle eminently Protestant. Consequently, Philip II. of Spain was more of a Protestant than a Catholic at heart, and William the Silent, ready to tolerate all religions, was a truer Catholic than his foe.
Luther and Calvin introduced the wedge to drive apart religion and morality, and Puritanism has forced apart religion and aesthetics. The beauty of holiness is taught to
be not one truth, but beauty to be one thing and holiness another thing, and both to be contrary the one to the other.
To any one with artistic taste, poetic feeling, and refined perceptions, there is something inexpressibly sad in passing from a Catholic to a Protestant country, it is like passing from sunshine into mist, from mountain variety and beauty into fens, well-drained, cut into square fields, but intolerably monotonous.
Few, unless they think over it, are aware how much they are indebted to Catholicism for the lovely ideas and pleasant memories which relieve the dreariness of their common life. The poets involuntary derive beautiful imagery fromı it, painters delight in it, architects build inspired by it. What would foreign travel be without Catholic sights? Few are uninfluenced by the beauty of that religion which bathes so large a portion of the Continent in rosy light; and it is only with a shudder that we pass into a Lutheran State or a Calvinistic Canton, to a leaden religious sky, and a people with ashes, white and ghastly, strewn over their lives. What would France, Belgium, the Rhine become, if Protestantized ?
“Great God, I had rather be
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
What is a grand old minster when it has fallen into Protestant hands? A shell. The spirit which vivified it is gone, and it looks thenceforth a corpse; beautiful still, with a beauty derived from the life which once animated it, but now dead and slowly decaying.
Not only has Protestantism divided morality from religion, and religion from beauty; it has not suffered truth to
stand intact. Religious truth is shivered into a thousand bits, and truth is set against truth. The Tridentine anathemas were hurled against no positive belief, but every Protestant Confession has been charged with explosive material to kill the faith of the simple, and to mangle that of men with wider compass. The Protestant public clamours “ad leones” for all who dare assert that there are men beyond the mountains, and the rulers of the Establishment, with rough impatient hand, cast out all who see further than themselves, or believe more strongly than do they.
CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUALITY
“ Would'st thou possess thy heritage, essay
By active use to render it thine own."-GOETHe's “Faust."
The will the individualizing faculty-Individual will and collective will—
The tendency of society to destroy individuality, Yet individuality is necessary for social advance—The rights of man were ignored before the appearance of Christianity— The slave had no rights logically or really—The poor had no place—The woman had no rights-nor had the child— The dogmatic basis of right laid down by ChristianityChristianity a social revolution—Testimony of the Apostles to its liberal character-Equality in the Church-The union of Church and State interfered with the emancipation of individuality—The doctrine of equality of rights ignored in the Middle Ages — Exaggeration of authority to the annihilation of liberty-Da Vinci freed science from authority and made observation the test of truth-Luther made the individual judgment the criterium of religious truths—Descartes made it the basis of philosophic certainty-Rousseau founded morality on the individual conscience—The French Revolution established politics on individual right.
UR first sentiment is faith in our own existence, our
second is belief in our liberty, our third is to hold ourselves capable of accomplishing that liberty, our fourth is to will to do so. This will follows upon the three first intuitions, because they express conviction in our real possession of ourselves in spite of the objectivity of the exterior world. To will is to bring our force, our energy into play, it is to impose our personality on what is outside
The will belongs to the very highest faculties of the soul, to those faculties whose place nothing can supply, which constitute the I-myself, and insulate me in the midst of my genus, Homo.
Will may be individual or collective, according as it proceeds from one person or from an agglomeration of individuals, as a family, a tribe, or a nation.
Collective will, which takes centuries to grow and centuries to act, is the most powerful: it holds the sceptre of the world. It was by this that Rome conquered the earth, it was by this that European sovereignties crushed feudalism, it was by this that revolutionary France triumphed at the moment when Europe, leagued against her, found her without army, without money, a prey to civil war and to the horrors of factions.
In the individual, will never reaches such greatness; but although the collective will is the concourse of a multitude of individual wills, there is in the will of each when it has reached a certain degree of excellence a sort of irresistible attraction which does not fail in the end to become the centre to a circle of more pliant and undecided wills. Then its power, multiplied by all these, acquires a force which surpasses the sphere of individuality.
In nature everything tends towards agglomeration, to centralization; men melt into one another, and their personality disappears in the mass. Tin ceases to be tin and copper to be copper, and the result is brass. Society is a
, gulf swallowing up individualities, it is a Maelström sucking in every man who comes within the attraction of its vortex, the stronger the personality of him who is absorbed, the more battered and crushed will it be in the churning of