JMC : Philosophy of Literature / by Brother Azarias

Chapter VIII.
Literature and the Reformation.

THE sixteenth century was a transition period. Men's minds were in fermentation on all subjects. The aspects of society were changing. The Crusades were past, and the Crusaders had brought with them from the East many an intellectual novelty. The press had been invented, and reading-matter was disseminated more freely among the people. The New World had been discovered, and every day accounts were coming from it that exceeded the brightest dreams of wonderland. Monks, not a few, had lost the primitive spirit of their institution, and lay an incubus on society. "Monasteries," says Caesar Cantù, "formerly active centres of thought and of the fine arts, were plunged into the torpor of old age and the remissness of opulence."{1} The clergy loved their own ease too well; they were too great pleasure-seekers and gold-coveters to attend to their flocks with that pastoral spirit of simplicity and good faith that is to be witnessed in the Church to-day. The bishops were no better. They looked for emoluments and court favor. Even the better class of ecclesiastics gave themselves up to the intellectual luxury of admiring Plato and imitating Cicero. While a general laxity of morals in all orders of religious life -- among priest and monk, pope and cardinal -- was bringing odium on the Church, and weakening her hold upon the people -- especially upon the Teutonic races -- the seeds of regeneration were germinating in her own body. She was even then the mother of sanctity. A host of great saints, both men and women, arose -- Loyola (1491-1556), Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562), Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582), Philip Neri (1513-1595), Charles Boromeo (1538-1584) -- all representatives of large classes of equally holy persons, -- and all of them sincerely and energetically put their hands to the work of reform. New religious orders were founded, and old ones reformed. The spirit of primitive Christianity became once more the animating principle of religious congregations; and the bright flame of charity and zeal with which they were enkindled spread among the people and ascended to the high places in the Church, The Council of Trent sealed the good work. The Catholic hierarchy at last realized that with themselves should begin the reformation they would see established; they therefore pronounced the most withering denunciations upon the clerical and religious abuses of the day.

In the meantime, all this laxity had fostered the spirit of rationalism; and Luther, when most vehemently throwing himself behind the ramparts of faith alone and the Bible, was a rationalist so long as he undertook to take revelation apart, to examine it piecemeal, and to accept and reject at will whatever suited him. Revelation must be taken in its entirety, or rejected altogether. Human reason cannot logically constitute itself judge of the supernatural, for the supernatural is beyond its sphere of reckoning. In attempting to do so, it is no longer calm reason; it is blind rationalism; it is reason intoxicated. And such in its effect is the principle of private judgment that was at the foundation of the new religion. Blacksmiths left their anvils, and shoemakers their lasts, to preach the new inspiration they had received. For the first time in the world's history was the spectacle presented of a religion without an altar, a self-constituted priesthood, and a faith in mystery subjected to reason. This is the philosophy of the Reformation. It is the religious current of rationalism.

Now, the spirit of rationalism invariably tends to break away from the moorings of tradition, from all that goes to make up the past glory of a people, and dwell alone in the self-sufficiency of its own cold reasonings. It can destroy, but it never builds up; it can teach man his rights, but it forgets his duties; it can dethrone one ruler, only to set up a thousand despotisms in his stead. It feeds principally on dreams and abstractions, and is the sport of imagination, even when loudest in its appeal to reason; it is crossed in the world of reality, and frustrated in its designs; for man, being a creature of education, cannot forget in a day what he has spent centuries in learning. It contemns, ignores, desecrates the old, and pays homage to the new. A spirit possessed of these characteristics is unable to inspire a literary master-piece. Recall the eighteenth century. It is the embodiment of philosophical and political rationalism. It has given us the materialism of Locke and Abbé Condillac, and the giant efforts of the cyclopaedists; but in all that the century has of its own, we perceive few influences favorable to literature.{2} The master genius of the age writes tragedy; but it is noteworthy that he forgets his hostility to Christianity, and once more resumes the chain of traditions; it is no longer Voltaire the sophist; it is the docile child of humanity, repeating in his own way the language that humanity has known from the beginning.

Thus considering the historical significancy of the Reformation as the religious current of rationalism, we would be led to conclude summarily that it is composed of elements better suited to the retarding of society than to its advancement. But thought has been developed since the sixteenth century. Let us not commit ourselves to the sophism, post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Let us examine the Reformation in its nature, in its relations, and in its results, and see if it possesses any new element capable of fostering letters and intellectual development.

1. The Reformation in its nature was not favorable to literature. It added no new idea to thought. It asserted no positive doctrine that had not been previously professed. It simply denied certain parts that had as much authority for their belief as those it retained. But negation is not productive. It ends in nihilism.

2. The Reformation in its relations is unfavorable to letters. By the illogical habits of mind it begets, it is ruinous to thought. For example, it bases belief on the Scriptures alone, and professes to throw tradition overboard; still it knows only by tradition that the Book it reveres is genuine. Again, it is cut up into a vast number of sects, each of which chips off from revelation whatever suits its purpose. One believes in the Trinity, another rejects it as an absurdity. Yet both call themselves a part of Christianity, and each believes it is the same Christianity, that both denies the Trinity and accepts it at the same time. Each individual member may not assert as much to himself; but practically his intelligence lives in this contradiction. He accepts and rejects with the same breath.{3} The numerous controversies to which the Reformation gave rise were not favorable to letters. They absorbed the intellectual energies of the sixteenth and of the greater part of the seventeenth centuries. Controversial works are one-sided; and a one-sided book, no matter with what ability it is written, does not appeal to our common humanity. It is wanting in the essential conditions of general classic. Its life, with rare exceptions, is ephemeral. It passes away with the occasion that gave it birth.

3. The Reformation in its results has been unfavorable to literature. Its immediate effect was to destroy the literary spirit. Erasmus said that wherever it prevailed, letters went to ruin.{4} Hallam remarks that "the first effects of the great religious schism in Germany were not favorable to classical literature."{5} Minds of intelligence were too busy in getting up the arguments in favor of the religious tenets they adopted, to think of cultivating poetry, or philosophy, or history, or the dignified eloquence that becomes a classic standard. But it is said that Protestantism did good afterwards; especially that it caused the Elizabethan era of letters, and emancipated the human intellect Let us consider each of these statements.

In name and to all appearance the Elizabethan era was Protestant. But the new religion sat on the people's consciences an ill-fitting garment, and the old religion they still cherished in their hearts. Indeed, they scarcely knew that they had changed their religious belief. Ignorant as they then were -- they must have been nearly as ignorant as they are today, and there is no more benighted people in Christendom than the lower class in England{6} -- they could have scarcely been able to realize the difference. They knew not the full meaning of the changes made in the external ceremonies; they said the same prayers that they had been saying from their childhood; their Book of Common Prayer was merely a modified translation of the Roman Missal. The only fact they realized was that they had to pay no more "Peter's pence" to support a power about which they knew little and cared less; and that they considered a gain. Whatever training the learned and great of those times had, it was the same that their ancestors had been receiving. And though the new spirit of rationalism had pervaded nearly every branch of letters, still the tone of poetry remained intact, and the Shakespearean drama is preëminently Catholic in its grandest and purest passages. Compare the Elizabethan poets with those of the golden era of Spain. They are contemporaries; they are also identical in spirit, though one lives within sight of the auto-da-fê, and the other basks in the smiles of a queen who hates and persecutes Catholics. Their peculiarities may all be accounted for by difference of country and individual idiosyncrasy.{7}

It is further alleged that the Reformation created an enlightened Christianity, and emancipated the human intellect. It has been seen in what the nature of that enlightenment consists, and how a medley of contradictions has in consequence been saddled on the mind. The word "emancipation" is a misnomer for that undue preponderance given to reason, and that love of speculation characteristic, of the whole Aryan race, but especially persistent in the Teutonic and Scandinavian families, developed to the extreme under rationalistic influence. The preponderance is undue, because man in acquiring knowledge has need of more than reason alone; the instinct of faith is equally strong within him, and he who lays most stress on the supremacy of reason, when he comes to analyze his opinions, will find that he too is only repeating -- that he is an unconscious disciple. Now, taking emancipation of the intellect for what it is worth in its literal sense, it is apparent that the throwing off of all restraint is not good for the intelligence. It impedes the development of thought. Without wholesome restraint, the mind wanders; it has no starting-point, no goal; it gropes about like a blind man, and takes hold of the first idea it meets; it rejoices in what it considers a grand discovery, and puts out as new what every passer-by has already perceived and taken as a matter of course. Its normal condition is scepticism. Is not this in a nutshell the history of liberal thought since the Reformation? Look at the world-authors since then, and examine what is fundamental in their writings. We will begin with those who have come into more immediate contact with the spirit afloat.

There is Montaigne. He is professedly a Catholic. But so great is the confusion of ideas in the sixteenth century, a man's outward profession may be one thing, and the life-giving principle of his writings may be entirely the opposite. For that reason no stress is to be laid on the religious profession of an author. It proves nothing. He is the child and spokesman of his age; when not of its predominant spirit, of the reactionary spirit it necessarily induces. What then is the spirit that pervades the Essais? On every page of this sincere book -- ce livre de bonne foy -- there is clearly stamped a total absence of conviction. One of his most characteristic essays is that in which he goes to show that everybody ought to be familiar with the thought of death. He rightly considers it the supreme act of life. The day of our death he calls "the master-day; it is the day that judges all others."{8} He calls that a beastly in difference -- cette nonchalance bestiale -- that refuses to think of it. Now, the outcome of all this solicitude is that he would like death to find him in a mood indifferent to his coming, and while planting cabbage.{9} It is thus he trifles with subjects of the greatest moment. He is a complete sceptic. "The essence of his opinion," says Pascal, "consists of that doubt that doubts of itself, and of that ignorance that ignores itself."{10} In all this there is no progress. No idea is made to germinate and bring forth fruit that might be considered a boon to humanity. All that fund of knowledge, that power of expression, and that richness of illustration that abound in the Essais are stricken with barrenness under the chilling influence of scepticism.

There is Rabelais. The Curé of Meudon is also a child of the rationalistic spirit that gave birth to the Reformation. His works breathe the same atmosphere of scepticism. He ridicules everything sacred. All authority -- be it king or cardinal, priest or magistrate -- is torn to tatters in his inimitable romance. The only law it inculcates is: Do what you like -- Fay ce que vouldras.{11} If Montaigne trifled with grave subjects, Rabelais jested at them. He laughed away seriousness; he laughed away responsibility; he laughed away thought; he laughed away all man's better emotions; he even for a while laughed Protestantism out of France. Jest is sometimes wholesome; but not such jest. Its licentiousness too often shocks. It is too frequently out of place. It is grim as the laugh of a death-head. Rabelais supplied a powerful lever with which to move the foundations of society. He should have procured the wherewith to clear away the rubbish that had been accumulating for centuries. He did shake down the cobwebs, but it was by making the whole edifice totter.

There is Descartes, the Luther of philosophy. He declared war upon Aristotle and the scholastics; he divorced theology from philosophy, and thus opened the door to many of the philosophic vagaries now agitating the world of thought. He took a part of philosophy for the whole; for the supernatural order is a living fact, and in every sound philosophy must be taken into consideration as an essential factor in the production of thought, the progress of life, and the march of society. His fundamental principle, Cogito, ergo sum, gives him his own identity, and nothing more. Hence, his proof of the existence of God is defective. He knows that God is, from the idea of perfection in his mind; but how knows he that the idea conforms to the object? His methodical doubt excludes all knowing of it. Thus, the spirit of rationalism would lead him one way, while his faith directed him to an opposite result. Fichte is Descartes reduced to logical consistency.{12}

These men were rationalistic, and yet they were not children of the Reformation. It is because the rationalistic spirit of their day pervades all classes of intelligence and checks thought. Great minds beneath its influence feel the ground of certainty move from under their feet; and whether they abandon themselves to the current, as did Montaigne and Rabelais, or with Descartes attempt to direct its course, they are borne along with it, and their writings give testimony to its universal sway. Let us take, as representative authors of each of the three succeeding centuries, men who all of them lived and died in a Protestant atmosphere: Leibnitz, the philosopher, of the seventeenth; Burke, the statesman, of the eighteenth, and Goethe, the poet, of the nineteenth century -- intellectual giants of their times, who wielded in their respective departments vast and permanent influence. Is not the secret of their strength due to the religious influence of the spirit they were inhaling in every breath, and which pervaded their thoughts and gave color to their views? It is perceptible in their manner of writing; it crops out in many a phrase; it is inwoven in their thoughts; but of all that is permanent and influencing in their works, not a jot or tittle is traceable to the rationalistic spirit that they inhaled.

In Leibnitz there are two men -- Leibnitz the courtier and diplomatist and Leibnitz the philosopher. It was as a courtier and diplomatist that he labored to bring about a reconciliation between the two great religious parties. Catholic France was in the ascendant, and what more efficient means of keeping on good terms with this great power? He sought to establish the reconciliation upon a basis of compromise. But his primary idea was that of a civil and political union; later on, he attempted the religious union only to abandon it as a hopeless task. "I worked hard," he writes to Fabricius in 1697, "to settle religious controversies, but I soon learned that the reconciling of doctrines was labor in vain. Then I imagined a species of truce of God."{13} Though a Protestant seeking the best terms for his own creed, he went back to a mediaeval and Catholic custom for his model. He sought to establish an intellectual truce of God, a suspension of judgment upon disputed points till they should have been arbitrated upon by a competent court of appeal. But he soon learned the futility of such an attempt, be it ever so well-intentioned. He ceased to hope for more than civil toleration. In 1698, he wrote: "I have labored for civil toleration; as regards ecclesiastical toleration, the day will never come when the two parties will not mutually condemn each other."{14} Such was the spirit in which he corresponded with Pellisson and Bossuet. During ten years, letters were exchanged at varying intervals. At times the subject would be dropped, and again renewed; but it ended in no practical results either for the individuals or for the parties they represented. The hopes of the Hanoverian House to succeed to the throne of England extinguished the already cooling ardor of Leibnitz. It is the man of policy who, in order to set himself right with Burnet, spoke of his controversy with Bossuet and the hopes Catholics had entertained of his entering the Church, as a thing of the past.{15} It is the man of policy who penned these lines: "Our whole right to the throne of Great Britain is based on our hatred of the Roman religion. This is why we should avoid all show of indifference towards that church."{16} Let us leave the courtier seeking above all things the good pleasure and temporal well-being of his master, and turn to the philosopher.

As a philosopher truly encyclopaedic in the extent of his knowledge, Leibnitz had no peer among his contemporaries. His fertile genius touched upon no subject that it did not advance. In mathematics, in jurisprudence, in philology, in metaphysics, in history, he made discoveries and originated ideas that, even at the present day, are instructive, profound and suggestive. He seemed to possess special insight into the world of matter and the world of mind. Throughout his letters are sentences of great wisdom; his very conjectures have frequently become commonplace truths. Now this truly philosophical mind left, as the outcome of his controversy with Bossuet, a remarkable book with a remarkable history. He planned an innocent ruse, by which a Catholic divine was to write an explantion of Christian doctrine on so broad a basis, that it could be approved by the Protestant Universities, while he would write an explanation which could receive Catholic approval. Both works being published, the two parties would be enabled to see more clearly what little difference there really was in the essentials of their Christianity and how easily they might unite upon these essentials. Actuated by these motives, he wrote a system of theology that no Protestant could reasonably reject. Therein he leaves aside all prejudice as far as it is possible for man to do so; and having invoked the Divine assistance, he listens to the teachings of the sacred Scriptures, venerable antiquity, sound reason and well-authenticated facts, and draws his conclusions independently of any received system. Now, what is the outcome of this impartial investigation, carried on as though he were a neophyte coming from another world and addicted to none of the prevailing creeds?{17} Leibnitz, in his Systema Theologicum, produced the Summa of St. Thomas in epitome. His acute philosophical mind deduced the whole essential body of the Catholic faith as the one rational form of religious doctrine that follows from the premises of the knowledge of God and a Divine revelation. For a whole century this book lay unknown. Its discovery was a surprise to the literary world. Catholics seized upon it with avidity and published editions and translations of it in several modern tongues.{18} They knew not then the web of diplomacy in which the book was shrouded. The additional light that has been thrown on the circumstances under which Leibnitz wrote it, by his own letters,{19} shows that he was not giving the inner convictions of his soul, but rather that he was putting forth "an ultimatum of Protestantism."{20} And though he may not have had the faith to accept all that he therein demonstrated -- for one's faith comes not according to the degree. of one's knowledge -- still, the fact remains that his acute philosophical mind deduced the whole essential body of Catholic dogma as the one rational form of religious truth that flows from the premises of the knowledge of God and a Divine revelation. He was granted a glimpse of the unity and consistency, the grandeur and holiness of the Catholic Church, and it caused him to grow lukewarm towards the creed in which he was educated. "He does not attend the Lutheran communion, but he is otherwise a good man:" this was the testimony of the Landgrave of Hesse, who knew him intimately. He himself would at one time insist that he belonged to the body of the Catholic Church. In 1691, he wrote to Madame de Brinon: "You are right in believing me to be a Catholic at heart. I am so even openly; for it is only obstinacy that makes the heretic; and of that, thank God, my conscience does not accuse me."{21}

Again, the spirit that animates the philosophy of Leibnitz is the same that inspired the genius of St. Thomas and dictated the Scholastic philosophy of which he frequently wrote in terms of praise.{22} With the Schoolmen he held that "philosophy and theology are two truths which agree one with the other." "It is very remarkable," says Balmes, speaking of the coincidence between his views and those of St. Thomas on pantheism, "that under an historical as well as a metaphysical aspect, Leibnitz agrees with St Thomas; both express the same idea in very similar words.{23} Nowhere in his writings do we find a profound truth evoked, even by his genius, from the cold negations of rationalism, religious or philosophic. On the contrary, their historical significancy is that they are reactionary against that spirit; and therefore is Leibnitz in truth a child of Scholasticism.

The genius of the great modern statesman kept equally intact from the political rationalism of his age. It is a matter of historical evidence that the great conservative statesmen of Europe since the days of Edmund Burke -- De Maistre, De Bonald, Goerres, Schiegel -- have made the deep philosophical vein of thought underlying his luxuriant eloquence their careful study. And that school is pre-eminently Catholic. Take Burke's master-piece, Reflections on the Revolution in France. The principles running through it -- those principles that are the secret of his political far-sightedness, in consequence of which he saw a measure in all its bearings, and grasped its ultimate result long before his contemporary statesmen had mastered its first elements -- are the very opposite of those dictated by the spirit of rationalism. That spirit cried liberty. Edmund Burke asks: "Is it because liberty in the abstract may be classed among the blessings of mankind, that I am seriously to felicitate a madman, who has escaped from the protecting restraint and wholesome darkness of his cell, on his restoration to the enjoyment of light and liberty?" That spirit would destroy religion. Edmund Burke says: "We know, and what is better, we feel inwardly that religion is the basis of civil society, and the source of all good and of all comfort." That spirit tore away the constitution of France. He calls it not a noble effort of genius, a triumph of humanity, and the like; he rather considers it the result of sloth, inability to wrestle with difficulties, and a degenerate fondness for tricking short-cuts. "It is this inability to wrestle with difficulty which has obliged the arbitrary assembly of France to commence their schemes of reform with abolition and total destruction. . . . Your mob can do this as well as your assemblies. The shallowest understanding, the rudest hand, is more than enough to the task."{24} He stemmed the current manfully, and broke its powerful waves on the shores of England. His life was a warfare against it. If Leibnitz reacted against the religious and philosophical rationalism of the seventeenth century, Burke reacted against the political rationalism of the eighteenth.

The poet of the century -- of its partial return to naturalism, of its scepticism, of its sentimentalism -- owes nothing to the Reformation. He held aloof from all creeds.{25} Whatever religious sentiment he possessed, he imbibed from the pantheistic teachings of his favorite Spinoza. But that was not deep. He was a modern pagan. His life was a splendid bubble; it lacked seriousness, and was the realization nothing more than self. But all that is positive in his poetry is drawn from the same source from which poets have drunk from the beginning. The relations of the real and the ideal, the warring of intellect and heart, human aspirations and natural love -- such are the themes of this magnificent, many-sided dreamer. Calmly and coldly, like his own Mephistopheles, does he stand apart from men and human concerns and weave his magnificent time-verities into that expression most interpretive of the aspirations of the age. Wherever he is powerful the Reformation has no say. He fathoms human nature in all its varia depths and soundings, from the idyllic simplicity of Hermann and Dorothea to the complex, world-embracing character-study of Faust, which sums up man's oscillations between the finites and the infinite. It is an old theme.

There is an element of modern thought which the Reformation has been instrumental in producing. It is a spirit of Biblical criticism -- that irreverent, self-destructive criticism which animated the Neo-Platonists, and which, in our own day, has inspired Rénan and Strauss. Revelation requires a divinely appointed authority to be its custodian and expounder. The Reformation, in making reason sole judge of revealed truth, ignored this authority, and sowed the seed that has germinated into the Vie de Jésus and the Alte und der Neue Glaube, the fruits of which are a cosmic sentiment that would substitute music and poetry for prayer and the sacred Scriptures.

There now remains for us but to draw the inevitable conclusion. It is that the Reformation has not only been unfavorable to intellectual development in its nature and relations, but that results go to show that this intellectual development has gone on, that world-authors have written and impressed succeeding times, in spite of its principles, which are rationalistic, negative -- no principles at all -- the destruction of thought and logic where they obtain; and finally, that all that is genuine and lasting in literature since then, is either reversionary or reactionary.{26}

{1} Histoire Universelle, t. xv., 1. xv., ch. xvi., p. 11, in which chapter the reader will find this outline more fully and masterly traced. See also ch. xix., pp. 89, 90. See also Janssen's great work, Geschichte des Deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters. Freiburg, 1887, Bändei, vi. This historical monument of vast erudition, patient research, and impartial judgment, supersedes all other works on the period of the Reformation in Germany. In studying the Reformation in England, consult Father Bridgett's Life of the Blessed John Fisher, 1888; Queen Elizaketh and the Catholic Hierarchy, by Bridgett and Knox, 1889. Father Gasquet, Henry VIII and the English Monasteries, 2 vols., London, 1889, and S. Hubert Burke's Historical Portraits. 4 vols.

{2} Les influences qui dominent la littérature du XVIIIe siècle sont, au contraire, la philosophie sceptique, l'imitation des littératures modernes, et la réforme politique. -- VILLEMAIN, Littéra. ture au XVIIIe Siècle, t. i., p. 2.

{3} We occasionally see the various sects of Protestantism likened to the primitive colors of white light after it has passed through the prism. It is a pretty figure, but a splendid sophism. There is no contradiction in the colors of the rainbow. Their relations are expressed by the different degrees of intensity with which waves of light reach the eye. They are of the same kind, whereas contradictories are different in nature, and can never agree. Their reconciliation would involve their annihilation.

{4} Ubicunque regnat Lutherianismus, ibi literarum est interitus. (Ep. 1162, 1528.)

{5} Literature of Europe, vol. i., p. 339.

{6} See London Labor and London Poor, by Mr. Henry Mayhew; also, Father Thébaud's Irish Race, pp. 470-474.

{7} See A. W. von Schlegel's Lectures on Dramatic Poetry; the Lectures treating of Shakespeare and Calderon. In philosophy, erudition, and eloquence there was at this period in Spain but mediocrity. L'inquisition arrêtait l'essor de la pensée. (Caesar Cantù, Hist. Un., t. xv. p. 563.)

{8} "C'est le maistre iour ; c'est le iour iuge de tous les aultres; c'est le jour, dict un ancien, qui doibt iuger de toutes mes annees passees." -- Livre i., ch. xviii.

{9} Ie veux . . . . que la mort me trouve plantant mes choulx, mais nonchalant d'elle, et encores plus de mon jardin imparfaict. -- L. i., ch. xix.

{10} "C'est dans ce doute qui doute de soi, et dans cette ignorance qui s'ignore, que consiste l'essence de son opinion." -- Pensées, tome i., p. 278.

{11} "Toute leur vie estoit employée, non par loix, statutz ou reigles, mais selon leur vouloir et franc arbitre. Se leuoyent du lict quand bon leur sembloit; beuvoyent, mangeoyent, traualloyent, dormoyent, quand le desir leur venoit. Nul ne les esueilloit, nul ne les parforceoit ny à boyre, ny à manger, ny à faire chose aultre quelconcque. Ainsi l'avoit estably Gargantua. En leur reigle n'estoit que ceste clause: FAY CE QUE VOULDRAS." -- Gargantua, liv. i., ch. 57.

{12} Our strictures on Descartes may sound ill on the ears of his numerous admirers. We have yet to get as impatient of him as did Pascal: "Je ne puis pardonner à Descartes: il avoit bien voulu, dans toute sa philosophie, pouvoir se passer de Dieu; mais il n'a pu s'empêcher de lui faire donner une chiquenaude pour mettre le monde en mouvement; après cela il n'a plus que faire de Dieu." -- Pensées, Ire Partie, art. x., 41.

{13} OEuvres, vol. ii. intro. XLV., Ed. A. Foucher de Careil.

{14} To Fabricius, ibid.

{15} Letter, Dec. 14, 1705.

{16} To Fabricius, Oct. 15, 1708. (OEuvres, vol. ii., intro. xcix.

{17} See the opening sentence of the Systema Theologicum.

{18} Abbé Emory in 1819 gave the first edition; the Prince de Braglie made a French translation of it; in 1825, Lorenz Doller published a German-Latin edition. Later, Dr. Russell of Maynooth published an English translation.

{19} Published for the first time in 1860 by A. Foucher de Careil.

{20} Foucher de Careil, OEuvres de Leibnitz, t. ii., intro. p. xcvii. But when this painstaking editor adds that the Systema was "nothing less than the religious testament of Leibnitz," we cannot agree with him. The after-conduct of Leibnitz is sufficient refutation of the assertion.

{21} OEurves, t. i., p. 163, Lettre xliii.

{22} He was wont to say: "Aurum latere in stercore illo scholastico barbariei." Lettre 3ème à Remond de Montmort, Opera, t, v., p. 13. OEuvres, t. ii. intro., xcvii.

{23} Fund. Phil., bk. I., Note to ch. x.

{24} Works, vol. i., p. 531.

{25} "Was mich nämlich von der Brüdergemeine so wie von andern werthen Christenseelen absonderte, war dasselbige, worüber die Kirche schon mehr als einmal in Spaltung gerathen war." -- Aus Meinem Leben, 3r Th., 15es Buch.

{26} We deem it necessary to apologize for having dwelt so long on the Reformation. It is now a dead issue. But so many writers on general literature have fallen into the sophism, post hoc, ergo propter hoc, and attributed to the Reformation results that belong not to it in the remotest degree, we thought it well to lay stress on its character and place in the history of thought. We have said nothing stronger of it than have its greatest champions. Guizot says; "The religious revolution of the sixteenth century did not understand the true principles of intellectual liberty." "The first reformers," says Madame de Stael, "thought themselves able to place the pillars of Hercules of the mind according to their own lights; hut they were mistaken to hoping to make those who had rejected all authority of this kind in the Catholic religion submit to their decisions as infallible." -- De l'Allemagne, p. 523.

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