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party pamphleteer. This has made it possible for him to introduce into what he calls A History of the Inquisition direct attacks on the faith of the Church, a defence of John Huss, with tracts on witch craft, on intellect and faith, on the beatific vision, and the Immaculate Conception. The suppression of the Templars is lugged forward at great length, and the religious orders, in their ideal and their practice, are flouted systematically. Whatever such a work may be, it is certainly in no real sense history; nor is it much concerned with the truth about the celebrated tribunals of the Inquisition. Very evidently the design of the author from the beginning has been to make a running attack all along the Church's history in the Middle Ages, not forgetting the apostolic times and our own day. He declares it to have been “the teaching of the Church that a man might lead a life of unimaginable crime and at any moment purchase his salvation.” Of the practical piety of St. Augustine and his age he can only say that it was a “triumphant theurgy setting to work with remorseless vigor to extirpate its fallen rival,” namely, the pagan gods. To Mr. Lea it“ might appear a truism to say that belief is independent of volition;" to Jesus Christ voluntary belief appeared a condition of salvation.' In sum, it is hard to say whether Mr. Lea's work is not directed against the Christian religion itself.?
Secondly, Mr. Lea has undoubtedly had many sources for historical investigation ready to his hand. He notably makes use of what has been gathered together by such bitter enemies of the Church as the two Moliniers in France, Tocco and Villari in Italy, and other shining lights of what has been styled the Masonic and anti-Christian school. Why he has so utterly neglected all the sources which might have given him an insight into the spiritual and higher life of the ages he so ill-treats we have no means of explaining. We think we can understand his impatience of the ordinary Catholic defences of those times; but what can be said of his policy of silence toward the conclusions of more scientific Catholic students ?
As to his method of writing, Mr. Lea certainly throws no small quantity of dust from all imaginable authorities into our eyes; but where, in the midst of his arbitrary and one-sided assertions and wilfully chosen instances, can the reader find the means of checking off the judgments proposed to his acceptance? From Mr. Lea's volumes alone he could scarcely know that such judgments had ever validly been called in doubt. In saying this we do not accuse Mr. Lea of being controversial in manner; he is simply and everywhere assertive. He may be sure that serious historical
· St. Mark, xvi., 16.
2 Vol. iii., pp. 477, 395, 573. 3 For A. Molinier, see former article, October, 1887, page 702, following Douais.
students of every kind will take his assertions for what they are worth.
Finally, Mr. Lea has proved one thing beyond all dispute: he is incompetent to deal with the material he has gathered. This material is largely theological, and he is innocent of theology. It is bound up with the applications of the canon law, and his boasted jurisprudence does not reach so far as to understand the elementary terms used by the canonists. His subject properly exemplifies the social movement of the entire civilized world during many ages, and apparently Mr. Lea's only knowledge of the course of civilization consists in certain lofty general formulas, borrowed for the most part, concerning the evolution of humanity. Of any analysis of the many elements, religious, political, social and physical, which concur in the development of the human race, of any effort to follow out their activity and assign to each its own special part in the total result, Mr. Lea is quite guiltless. History is to him an immense pudding, where all must be taken in the lump with the exception of the unsavory anecdotes which he pulls out in triumph like so many plums. Even a pudding has an order of top and bottom and sides. The order of heaping together historical material round the commonplaces of the subject is somewhat similar -undigested and indigestible. It is the order in which Mr. Lea places before the student this most disappointing and most exasperating of recent attempts at history. “Quarrels over Burials," “Sexual Disorders,” “Clerical Immunity,” “The Monastic Orders;" Simony,” “Demoralization of the Church,” “Morals of the Laity," " Materials for the Improvement of Humanity;"-are two specimen groups of titles taken at random from the first and last chapters of the entire work. True, all this can easily be made blazing with scandal, and then-such plums of nasty detail! But is such competency the result of any trustworthy historical science?
Last of all, our tests have come to naught if they do not forcibly remind the reader that not only speculative history is sinned against in these three volumes, and the men of a past age grievously misrepresented, but, practically, a serious injustice is thus done to a large body of his fellow-citizens. Mr. Lea has done all that in him lies to revive and to perpetuate the Inquisition mythology, His volumes will not live except as they support partisan attacks on the great Roman Catholic Church. Non-Catholics will judge whether this is in the interests of truth. We Catholics
We Catholics may feel some natural distress at the renewed odium thus cast upon us; but by this time we are used to this kind of religious persecution. We are not ashamed of our brethren of the Middle Ages, whenever they were faithful to our Holy Mother the Church. She was infallible then as now. It is our own beloved Pius IX. who canonized St. Peter Arbues, the third of their martyred Inquisitors.
ART AND RELIGION.
Annual Lecture of Sir Frederick Leighton, President of the Royal
Academy. London. The Decline of Art. By Francis Turner Palgrave, Professor of Poetry
HE literature of the fine arts is written and being written
in several languages and many books. In recent years no. theme has been more popular or prolific. Numerous quarto, royal octavo and octavo volumes (generally illustrated) on the subject may be found in all the large libraries, and every year adds to the number. The higher class of periodicals give it as much space as they give serious social and political questions. Indeed the fine arts have periodicals of their own, almost always enriched with engravings of every kind which are veritable livraisons de luxe, exquisite productions of the arts of the engraver and printer. The biographical branch of the subject is also cultivated with assiduity. If the movement goes on, and there are no signs of its slackening, the “lives of the painters” will soon outnumber the “lives of the poets,” and both together the “lives of the saints”; for though art is dying (so we are told and we fear truly told), artists and poets are multiplying. Their name to-day is legion, and to-morrow, or at least in the proximate future, will be legions on legions, while the saints are fewer and fewer in each generation.
All this would imply that the fine arts occupy an important place in modern thought and enlist in their service a large share of the activities of civilized man. Such indeed is the case. Art schools, academies of art, picture galleries, art museums, etc., exist in the principal cities of Europe and America. With us these institutions are of recent origin and, of course, much inferior to those in the European capitals; but they are rapidly increasing in numbers and especially in the quantity and quality of their contents. There are also annual exhibitions of the new works of the studios, while extraordinary occasions are signalized by extraordinary displays. An exhibition or exposition of arts and manufactures is the chief means now employed to celebrate the anniversary of a great event in the history of a nation. The Philadelphia exposition was the chief feature of our centennial fête of the Declaration of Independence. Republican France intends in the same way to celebrate next year the hundredth anniversary of the sack of the Bastile, though a black fast in sackcloth and ashes would be a more appropriate commemoration. We need not argue that the great attraction of these immense shows are the picture galleries, and consequently that the managers and artists make every effort to give them all the splendor and éclat possible. The desire to behold works of art-a desire which has been much stimulated by the exhibitions—is well-nigh universal, and the desire to possess them a passion with the wealthy and refined. The production of them, of paintings especially, has naturally assumed enormous proportions. If quantity could compensate for lack of quality, we should hear no lamentations over the decadence of art. There are probably a hundred thousand pictures turned off the easel every year in Europe and America. These productions are not perishable in the sense that furniture, machinery and even houses are perishable, and therefore are increasing beyond computation.
Not a few of them sell for high prices and some of them for very large sums—tens and tens of thousands. Modern French pictures have sold at auction in New York for forty, fifty, sixty and seventy thousand dollars. Ownership of those costly canvases is the badge of the millionaire. In these days, Art for the most part ministers to luxury, fashion and sensuality, and her guerdon is gold. She has forgotten her native language and the glory of her youth, and serves gladly in the temples of Mammon and the Cyprian Venus; but though her hand has not lost its cunning, her soul has lost its inspiration. This brings up the question we propose to discuss: Is there a vital and necessary relation between religion and art?
As both are as old as historic time, and as relics of both are found in many countries and of many epochs, the data for answering the question are not wanting. Indeed most of those relics or remains, those shattered but message-laden monuments of antiquity, seem to show that the two sprang up together in unity and indivisibility, and long remained inseparable. Prehistoric and historic ruins from China to Peru, and from Egypt to Thibet, are teniple ruins or mausoleums. The mausoleum was also a temple and the temple a mausoleum. The buildings erected in honor of the gods, and consecrated to their worship, are the only memorials left of many vanished empires, forgotten dynasties and dead though not forgotten theocracies—the only works of man in far distant ages which time has not been able utterly to destroy, as if the tutelary deities, when they abandoned them, cast upon them as a parting gift the last ray of their own immortality.
The genesis of art is found in man's consciousness of the supernatural, and the irresistible impulse of his spiritual nature to give it objective reality, that is, to give it external form and expression. We are told of the reindeer etching of the prehistoric man on a bone, and of Giotto, when a shepherd boy, drawing sheep on a rock; but all antiquity testifies that the temple or the tomb (the latter was always a shrine and the former almost always a mausoleum) was the first architectural creation and the birth-place of sculpture and painting. Nor is the evidence less strong in favor of poetry and music being primitive and spontaneous expressions of religious feeling and adoration. The ästhetic principle is twinrooted with the sense of the supernatural—that profoundest as well as loftiest sentiment of the soul. In the sphere of the supernatural the arts have reached their highest perfection. In their strivings to express the supernatural they have created that beauty in divers forms which is the most precious and delightful of the works of man, and is worshipped even by those who scoff at the spiritual ideas of which it is the glorious rhythmic utterance in the audible, or the bright consummate flower of expression in the visible world. The beauty of holiness preceded and produced the holiness of beauty. Of old, and for ages, art was the Iris-winged messenger between the visible and invisible world—the chosen interpreter of the oracles and ordinances of Heaven, and the bearer in return of prayer and the odor of sacrifice. Hence in the ancient world all great art was religious art, pure and simple, or heroic art, which was a blending of the natural and supernaturalthe human and divine. In the beginning the sky-born Muses sang of Zeus the Supreme, and next of the inferior deities. Later they swept the chords of the heroic harp and breathed through the shepherd's reed. They told of gods, demigods, heroes and fair women whose bright eyes set fire to walled cities; of the joys and vicissitudes of battle, the glory of victory, the dark decrees of the inexorable fates; of the blessings as well as the tragedies of life, the tender as well as the warlike virtues, and lastly of the golden age and sylvan pomp of Arcadia, and the calm pleasures of the pastoral life. The poet, being of their kindred and in communion with them, was able to see and hear them one summer night as the “glorified train,” led by Apollo, streamed over Thessalian hills and vales, on their way to Olympus their “endless abode":