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more value than "the "whole world.” We divine power, wisdom, and goodness. Nohave already noticed the assertion that the where in the inspired record is there the stars are of no use to man, and would slightest hint given that there are any merely add, that if they did nothing more beings in space except angels, men, devils, than declare to him “the glory of God," or and the persons of the Godhead-classes show “his handiwork," they would not be which include all those beings " in heaven," without a use, nor a use unworthy of them," on the earth,” in the sea, and “under the seeing that man is "a servant, subject, and earth," which John describes as joining in child of God, in a way so unique and the hymn to “the Lamb that was slain.” peculiar.”
Bearing in mind these things, we think Throughout the whole volume of revela- we are justified in asking for stronger tion, we cannot discover anything that sup- reasons than those which have been adports the idea of a plurality of worlds. The duced by our opponents, before we give our spirit and statements of the scriptures tend verdict in favour of the affirmative of this to insulate our earth from the rest of the question. universe as the scene of a special display of
HAS MONACHISM BEEN BENEFICIAL TO EUROPEAN SOCIETY?
NEGATIVE ARTICLE.-II. “Human societies are born, live, and die upon imbecility, and one swift step at the expense the earth; their destinies are there accomplished.
of succeeding inertia. Man, as a many-sided But they contain not the whole of man. After he has bound himself to society, there remains to
being, thus merged into the one-sided comhim the noblest part of himself."-M. Royer munity. He bound himself up in society. Collard.
All the activities which an imperfect developIn the history of human development we ment had created in him, he gave to his observe that all violent changes from old society-his order. He gave himself away. systems into new, all strides of preternatural But " after he had bound himself to society, progress, were invariably occasioned by that there remained to him the noblest part of impulsive kind of strength which proceeds himself.” But he knew it not. His partial from unity. They were brought about by a success had blinded him to his general failcollective body of men, by a society- an ure. The brightness of the one idea had order, binding themselves together and join- cast all others into the shade; and the many ing hands in a common cause. A league lights of intelligence which would have arisen was formed, and a compact was made, to in his soul, were thus put out by the brilcarry out the common design. But while liancy of one. the particular ends of the community were We have thus no faith in brotherhoods. We thus more swiftly attained, it is observable believe that communisms-monastic or otherthat this undue progress was purchased at wise inasmuch as they cramp the true other and greater costs than those of com- development, by decoying all the energies mensurate labour. In proportion as society into one channel, are alike derogatory to the advanced in its chosen track, in proportion individual, and baleful to the species. Their to the ardency with which the individual effect is to cultivate one side of the mind, was leagued to the event, and in proportion but leave the other in groping ignorance. to his ascendancy over circumstances, in the They tend to illuminate one faculty, but to same proportion were his unexercised powers leave the others in gross darkness. Nor is weakened, his unengaged faculties paralyzed, this assertion wanting in proof. The prin--and his true progress retarded. One excel- ciple which we thus inculcate is abundantly
lence was purchased at the expense of general evinced in every-day life. Look at the antiquary, the lawyer, the sectarian, the man of the earth was thinly populated, and there business. Now, are any of these fair speci- were no facilities for mutual intercourse. mens of humanity as it ought to be? With None of the modern aids to the diffusion of their intellect narrowed, their views distorted, knowledge, truth, and intelligence then extheir reason frail, their moral tone deprecia- isted. Printing was unknown. No schoolted; with all their elements unduly mixed, master was abroad. Collegiate instruction and their mental stature either dwarfed, was extremely limited. It was the fashion, monstrous, or otherwise morbidly dispropor- indeed, to esteem knowledge as ignoble. tionate, we find all of them to be embodi- The scribe was the only multiplier of wise ments of particular instincts or qualities, men's thoughts. But the long labours of rather than men. And all of them have this industrious and solitary worker were thus, by their communistic pursuits, ren-confined to the secluded libraries of the dered themselves incapable of acting the part church, to wbich none but the initiated and of men in the great drama of life.
| the influential had access. By this priestly But if the general operation of communism ultra-conservatism in knowledge the people is bad, we shall find that in the case of Mo- were kept for ages in ignorance; and if more nachism its effects were aggravated in a tenfold auspicious powers than those of the priestdegree by the peculiar features of the "mo- hood had not arisen, humanity would cernastic system of operation. The evils which tainly to this day have participated in the arise out of the abstract principle of moral barbarism, the darkness, and the moral slamonopoly are always great; but the action very which were the effects of monastic preof this principle was especially perverse in cedence. These are the glorious results of the instances of Monachism and its papal the papal creed. These were the ends so godfather. This case was again heightened ably accomplished by Papacy, and its scion, by the facilities which were offered for a mo- Monachism, when they had supreme power nopolization of the heart and head of huma- on the earth. From the fifth to the sixnity during the first dawn of man's struggles teenth century the Papal crown held prefor light and development. In estimating dominant sway in Europe. During the whole the good or bad influences of Monachism on of that time the emissaries of all the orders the progress of European civilization it is of priesthood were preternaturally active, and particularly requisite to take into note the omnipotent over the civilization of Europe. weight of collateral causes. “For in bis- At the beginning of the fifth century, when tory," says Guizot, “it is essential to set Paganism, Mohammedanism, and all heretics, great value upon the indirect influence of the Arians in particular, were either vanthings; for they are more efficacious than is quished or in a minority, the Roman church commonly supposed." Hence we are espe- began to feel her power, and to be incited, cially careful to point out the favourable by past conquests, into the attempt of greater opportunity which Monachism, in conse- victories. She now began to see her mission quence of its communistic strength, its con- clearly. Nothing short of universal control servative tone, and its bigotry, had of acting over the religious and social destinies of man banefully upon the civilization of early Eu- would satisfy her ambition. She looked tope. And when we recollect, also, that the round on humanity, and considered the institutors of the monastic order aimed not signs of the times, ere she took the initiative. only at religious power of the most rigorous cha- She saw that the barbarous customs, reliracter, but also at universal and most despotic gions, and bigotries descended from one genepolitical emperorship, we shall not be sur ration as heirlooms to the next; and that no prised to find that this power, when it came, man dreamed of altering or questioning the was abused, and that the priesthood was utility of these ancient institutions. Inmost jealous of any influences which were formation was stagnant, for there were no more benignant than their own.
adequate means of disseminating it. All Thus, in consequence of the worldly aspi- things considered, these astute priests were rations of papal power, we find that the satisfied that if, 'by the vigorous and sysascendancy of Monachism over all other early tematic power of any community, some new systems had a most pernicious effect on the idea, some startling revelation, could be im. efforts of humanity; for at that remote period. Malled through t social kness into every barbarian's susceptible bosom, and thus be for it; it gave freedom from error to the caused to address itself directly to the ex- rich, but it brought terrible anathemas on pecting ear and dumb wants of the age, the the head of the poor. In this way the poeffects of such an announcement would be pular faith was abused. A most crude like those of the swift lightning on a flitful superstition was taught instead of an enatmosphere. The full advantage of these lightening and ennobling Christianity. circumstances was taken; and Romanism Barbarism was preferable to this. And rose up to engage the popular ear, and to in enforcing this blind confidence on the igwork out her own destiny. The thunders of norant and turbulent populace, there was her despotic creeds were quickly heard over every care taken to make the servility most the length and breadth of Europe. And unmitigated; for should popular confidence now the liberties of mankind began to be be shaken by any insidious foe, the whole invaded. Romanism had possessed itself of work must crumble to dust. But the church, a name; and the instincts of the people, nevertheless, contrived to govern and to guide long in a state of dumb expectancy, began this complication of untoward elements; she to be captivated by the promises and immu- made them all work together, and conduce nities freely offered by the rising church. to her own aggrandizement. She held the The inind, which had grown vacant with reins of the popular sympathies with the unerlong absence of thought or object, now ring hand of papal cupidity and intolerance. started up into life, and found fresh material She had not raised a turbulent devil which on which to exert its passions. Thus the she could not control. mouldering fire of a torpid existence kindled. In this way we account for the prodigious into a raging and living flame. But while effects of Monachism, amongst other jugglerthe new doctrine thus pressed its way into ies, on the startled mind of Europe in the the minds of men, its effects were not merely middle ages. And this astounding effect we subjective on the mind, but objective on the maintain was owing, not so much to the inmanners. A new phase of existence began. herent grandeur or importance of the dogma, But we must mark, that although the course as to the systematic way in which it was of European civilization was thus arrested dispersed, and to the fact of the space of by a communistic power, and its activities time which had elapsed since the last budget warmly incited, the new impetus now im- of information had been promulgated. The pressed was a bad one, and it was always new fact owed its efficacy to the scarcity of retained under the unprincipled and most such visitations, not to its own merits. despotic guidance of Romanism; and the We invite great stress to be laid on the ends, therefore, to which the newly given theory just broached; and let it be rememimpression led, were carefully attended to by bered that Monachism is responsible for its a politic power. The people were thus kept influences in proportion to its capability of in a state of religious slavery. The church employing those influences. If it has wandictated to them their sacred creeds. By the tonly deprived humanity of knowledge, and church they lived; their souls were in the if, for its own interested purposes, it has hands of the church; and it was in the power of brought error and delusion into the hearts of the church to stand between the man and men, it deserves a more than common esehis Maker. It was in the power of one man cration; and instead of being beneficial to to snatch the fluttering soul of his fellow- European civilization, it has abused the simmortal from heaven or from hell; and the ple faith of our forefathers, and has most priest had the power of selling this mediation / basely usurped the liberties of conscience, in for so much base coin as he chose to name! order that the pernicious results may foster This was the new religion. Now, what were its own power. It is one of the facts of hisits legitimate effects on the unenlightened tory that the priesthood instilled only such minds of early Europe? It took away every notions into the popular ear as found favour man's responsibility; it told him that if he with itself. The character of these noskept friends with the priest bis soul was trums may be inferred from the fact that safe; it told him that it is by money, not by 1 in after times the work now achieved had to piety, that he is to be blessed; it proclaimed be undone, and that the people had to seek that he could do any atrocity if he could pay other guides than those they formerly had. The doctrines of the originators of Monachism question to such limits is truly a laughwere thus at first received with avidity; then able example of obtusity to unwelcome truth. they were questioned; and when humanity Must we inform “Stanislaus” that the monks had attained a moderate degree of intelli- were something more than the quiet neighgence, they were ejected by universal con- bours and“ good landlords," on which he lays sent. This is a suggestive fact. We are led so much stress? They played a conspicnous to ask, What was the need of reformation, part in European politics during many cenif there had existed nothing to be reformed ? turies, and were engaged in open hostilities And if the monastic institutions were so sa- against the political and religious liberties of lutary, why did human nature rebel against the whole world, to which they proved themthem, and all the nations of Europe rise up selves dangerous foes. Their policy was of to cast them out? But more of this here- an unscrupulous character, and all their deafter. We now aim only to direct cursory signs proved the possession of great foresight attention to the early operation of the papal and decision. The plan of their operations precursor of Monachism, and to point out the was most extensive, and the consequent facilities which it then possessed for prac- amount of evil which it led to occupied ages tising any species of influence on humanity. in counteracting, and in finally reducing to
Now we maintain that it is a case of gross a minimum. An opponent to the affirmative usurpation for any community to invade the side might honestly make out a better case liberty of thought. It is a flagrant arroga- for “ Stanislaus” than this writer has set betion of the powers of Deity, and the act is fore us. unjustifiable on any grounds whatever. All Let us, therefore, take up the question on mankind are liable to error, and the best of us historical grounds, and trace out the origin, are susceptible to unworthy temptations; it the practical effects, and the fall of the mois, therefore, wrong of any body of erring nastic order. This institution, as all are men to obtain possession of the secret be- aware, is a scion of the Church of Rome. liefs, and to aspire to hold the immortal des. It will be well, therefore, to turn to this tinies, of any portion of mankind. It is mother-church; and to ascertain, in the first impossible for man to have this power, and place, what was the nature of the internal not to abuse it. However honourable and conflicts, or of the external wants, which led philanthropic may have been the motives to the formation of the monastic order. We which originally led to the aim at this shall then be able to judge more intelligently behest, we know, both from history and from of the scope and aims of Monacbism. logical sequence, that the pure motive will. At the beginning of the fifth century we gradually become designing, and that the find the Romish church labouring under the consequences of one man dictating the moral delusion that its mission was accomplished, creed to another are most injurious to the and its power fully established. She had cause of true civilization and moral develop- vanquished Paganism, and her conquest oter ment.
the Arian heretics was thought certain. A Let us turn to history for the proof. For stringent body of laws had been drawn up in addition to Monachism being false in by the Emperor Theodosius, and under their principle, we shall learn that its effects on guidance the affairs of the church were adhumanity have even exceeded in atrocity the ministered successfully. But just at this legitimate deductions from that false princi- palmy time the Roman empire fell; and ple. And while “Stanislaus” has produced with it, of course, the Church of Rome. the authority of several writers and quarterly | The priesthood now, with its usual policy, reviewers to prove a few questionable acts of addressed itself to the heretics in power. In common courtesy, he has neglected to go into this step the church was but partially sucthe great question of the good or bad influ- | cessful; the new emperors were won over, ences of the monastic order on European but they did not enter so pliably into the society. He represents the monks as a party schemes of religion, and did not occupy the of harmless old gentlemen, bent on seclusion, same relative position, as the fallen dynasty. employing their time in bibliogical pursuits, In this struggle the fifth and sixth centuries and in distributing their superfluous goods were occupied; and it ended in the barbas to the piously indigent. To confine the Irians assuming even greater privileges over the church than had been enjoyed by the have had a very beneficial effect on society civilized Romans. The clergy sullenly suc- at this time. Nor did it much improve afcumbed to the indignities thus offered them; terwards; and when a slight reaction took but they refused to make use of their influ- place, the clergy became worse, and the ence for political ends, and were manful in abuses more flagrant, after it had subsided. their resistance against the depredations of In the seventh century, the church fought the neighbouring barbarians, who sought to with Mohammedanism, and confined it in prey upon the hoarded riches of the church. In Europe to Spain. During the crusades of this way, after a long and unsuccessful con- | | the twelfth century, Monachism again beflict to induce barbarism to be her tool, the came conspicuous. The monks were constant church was compelled to declare itself sepa- attendants upon the soldiers of the cross, for rated from the world, and to assume an their order was interested in the question of independent spiritual order. And thus, in the holy sepulchre. The monks instigated stead of religion modifying barbarism, we the combatants; they shrived the dying, find that the case was vice versâ; for, ac- promised a short purgatory, and possessed cording to Guizot, “ about this time bishops themselves of the valuables of the defunct. adopted the barbarian life, and without quit- From this period up to the sixteenth centing their bishoprics constituted themselves tury, Monachism continued the even tenor chiefs of banditti, roaming over the country, I of its way, without any remarkable event. pillaging and fighting, like the companions As before, it continued to meddle in political of Clovis. Gregory of Tours mentions several affairs, and was ceaseless in its grasping acbishops who passed their time after this tivity for worldly power. There are few fashion."
states in Europe which have not cause to Such was the state of the church when lament the officious interference of priestcraft Monachism sprung up. “It was at the with their government. It continued to commencement of the sixth century that St. make itself notorious by deeds of petty avaBenedict instituted his order amongst the rice with regard to the people; and it went monks of the West, who were then very few on to use its religious influence to embroil in number, but who subsequently multiplied | one state with another, and to oppose the prodigiously. The monks were not, up to progress of civilization. Its life depended that period, members of the clerical body, upon notoriety—upon dazzling the ignorant but were still regarded as laymen. No populace. No artifice was too mean for this doubt priests, and even bishops, had been end. The monks went even so far as to ansought out amongst them; but it was not till nounce, as an axiom of religion, that "the the end of the fifth century, and the begin means are justified by the end." Accordingly, ning of the sixth, that the monks in general when a thing to be done was more than were considered as forming part of the | usually questionable, they only said that it clergy, properly so called. After that, mat- was for the good of the church, and that ters were reversed; priests and bishops became sufficed. The natural consequence of this monks, conceiving that they thereby made loose morality was, that miracles were got new progress in the religious life. Thus the up, angels appeared, virgins winked, apostomonkish order took all at once an excessive lic relics were exhibited, indulgences were development in Europe. The monks struck sold, and other base deceptions practised the imagination of the barbarians more for- upon the people. Now, were these things cibly than the secular clergy; their number, likely to benefit European society? But the as well as the singularity of their life, had monks were driven to them, in support of an effect upon thern." * The secular order their church. These juggleries were part of thus merged into the monastical, and they their religious system; and without them, .continued amicably together during several the name of the church would have ceased centuries, growing depraved after the late to be heard in the land. The votaries of the reaction, sinking into corruption, while abuses church were alive to this, for the tricks and of all kinds prevailed. The operation of a indulgences were the direct and systemachurch thus conducted could not, therefore, tically conceived results of this knowledge.
There was, therefore, nothing in their con* Guizot: "History of Civilizatiòn in Europe." | duct to redeem it from the taint of open,