The influence of such a man cannot pass away, and has not passed away, for it cannot be doubted that his views have been embraced by enlightened Catholics from his day to ours,—by such men as Pascal, Fenelon, and Lacordaire, and thousands like them, who prefer ritualism and auricular confession, and penance, monasticism, and an ecclesiastical monarch, and all the machinery of a complicated hierarchy, with all the evils growing out of papal domination, to rationalism, sectarian dissensions, irreverence, license, want of unity, want of government, and even dispensation from the marriage vow. Which is worse, the physical arm of the beast, or the maniac soul of a lying prophet? Which is worse, the superstition and narrowness which excludes the Bible from schools, or that unbounded toleration which smiles on those audacious infidels who cloak their cruel attacks on the faith of Christians with the name of a progressive civilization?—and so far advanced that one of these new lights, ignorant, perhaps, of everything except of the fossils and shells and bugs and gases of the hole he has bored in, assumes to know more of the mysteries of creation and the laws of the universe than Moses and David and Paul, and all the Bacons and Newtons that ever lived? Names are nothing; it is the spirit, the animus, which is everything. It is the soul which permeates a system, that I look at. It is the Devil from which I would flee, whatever be his name, and though he assume the form of an angel of light, or cunningly try to persuade me, and ingeniously argue, that there is no God. True and good Catholics and true and good Protestants have ever been united in one thing,—in this belief, that there is a God who made the heaven and the earth, and that there is a Christ who made atonement for the sins of the world. It is good morals, faith, and love to which both Catholics and Protestants are exhorted by the Apostles. When either Catholics or Protestants accept the one faith and the one Lord which Christianity alone reveals, then they equally belong to the grand army of spiritual warriors under the banner of the Cross, though they may march under different generals and in different divisions; and they will receive the same consolations in this world, and the same rewards in the world to come.
Villari’s Life of Savonarola; Biographie Universelle; Ranke’s History of the Popes. There is much in “Romola,” by George Eliot. Life of Savonarola, by the Prince of Mirandola.
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THE REVIVAL OF ART.