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religious condition of Europe under the sway of Hildebrand, may be assigned (as a true consequence) to the part taken and the course pursued by the great men we have named :-the fate of mankind through a long night of ignorance and malign tyranny was sealed when Ambrose, Augustin, and Jerom, combined to crush dissent. · Shall we apportion the blame among the three ? If it were attempted to do so, a distinction, often requisite, must be made between personal criminality, and the actual ill consequence of a fatal course of conduct; for while it is Jerom who must bear almost alone the blame of indulging a despotic and malignant temper, it was the opposite qualities of Augustine-his mildness and his piety, that gave to his influence a permanent efficacy. Mankind would have sickened at the arrogance of the one, if the other had not stood by his side. The bishop of Milan perhaps should take station between the two.13
13 Jerom had much more to do with these dissidents than either Ambrose or Augustine. The bishop of Milan, in an epistle to pope Syricius, reporting the result of a council of seven or eight bishops, held there for the condemnation of certain heretics, assures his holiness of their perfect concurrence with the papal court :--Jovinianum, &c. &c. quos Sanctitas Tua damnavit, scias apud nos quoque, secundum judicium tuum, esse damnatos. All were no better than Manichees, whose impious doctrine - clementissimus exsecratus est imperator (Theodosius)—and whose sectators had been expelled from Milan.
The allusions made by Augustine to Jovinian are in a somewhat better style; and it appears from them that his opinion was formed upon hearsay. See De Pec. Merit. et remis. b. iii. c. 7, and De Nupt. b. ii. c. 5; where we learn that Jovinian had first dared to call
Fanaticism, as we assume, combines always malign and imaginative sentiments, and in some instances the former, in others the latter, predominate. Thus, in the case of the despotic champion of existing establishments, the darker ingredient prevails over the brighter, or quite excludes it. But with the ambitious propagator of novel dogmas, or the factious chief of a sect, the imaginative element is ordinarily paramount; and it is not until after the temper has been impaired by exposure to irritation that the irascible and vindictive passions take the lead in the character. The religious demagogue is at first an Enthusiast only, and rises to fanaticism upon the winds of strife. Moreover the natural progression of his sentiments involves another unfavourable turn; for the public course he pursues, and the emergencies which, as head of a party, he encounters, present many occasions wherein neither his enthusiasm nor his fanaticism-neither poetry nor tragedy, will bear him clear of the perplexing embarrassments that surround him. He has recourse therefore to guile; and from that fatal moment every sentiment assumes a new relative
Ambrose – Manichee — the common epithet then of theological contempt, and flung from side to side like Methodist or Calvinist, Taking Augustine's own account of the matter, as stated a little further on, in the same treatise, it must be granted that Jovinian had some reason ou his side when he charged the Church with favouring Manichæism by her idolatry of virginity. To the same purport see Contra duas cpist. Pelag. b. i. c. 1. Contra Julian. b.i. c. 2.
position, or itself undergoes transformation. It is as when a single drop of some potent essence is suffused in a chemical compound; what just before was colourless, or of a brilliant hue, is now, and in a moment, turgid; the splendour of the rainbow is gone ; an earthy feculence clouds the liquor ; - heat too is evolved, and noxious fumes rise from the surface.
The despot remains nearly the same from the commencement to the close of his career ; for pride and hatred are steady qualities, and arrogance is stagnant. But the demagogue, or factious leader, passes through three stages of character at least; and when he comes to the goal is often hardly to be recognized as the being who started. The Despot too, is very nearly the same personage under every diversity of ecclesiastical system. But the sectarist or schismatic receives a specific character from the circumstances that surround him, and from the qualities of the body from which he breaks off. This accidental influence may be either for the worse or the better ; and in truth when the body is in an extreme degree corrupt, and the objection insisted upon by the separatist is in the main reasonable, we cannot be justified on the ground merely of some extravagance or vehemence of conduct, to designate the Objector as a Fanatic. A man who takes up a righteous cause may speak or act fanatically, and yet well deserve our respect and gratitude. He alone should be
called fanatic, whose course of conduct was at first prompted by impetuous passions; and who throughout it, shrinks from the calm ordeal of reason.
Protestantism has been reproached on account of its fruitfulness in factions : the same reproach unquestionably attaches, and in an equal degree, to the ancient Church, and especially in the era of its highest secular prosperity. But the Church of Rome boasts of her unity; and she may be allowed to do so. Not now to mention the terrible means she has employed to quash rising schism, we should bear in mind that main principle of her polity which has left a wide field open always to spiritual enterprise and ambition. Protestant Churches have failed to calculate upon certain unalterable tendencies of human nature, and have made no provision for giving vent to exuberant zeal. The very same minds which, during the first four centuries, or among ourselves, would have headed a faction, and given their name to a hostile and separate communion, have, under the fostering care of the Papacy, lent their extravagance to the Church itself, and have proved its most efficient supporters.
Either as Founder of a new order, or as Regenerator of an old one, energetic and ungovernable spirits saw before them at all times an open field. It is true that a curbing hand was held by the popes upon this species of ambition;
yet the restraint was not more than enough to enhance, by difficulty, the passion for enterprise. The young and frenzied devotee, after astounding the monasteries of his native province by unheard-of severities-- by portentous whims — by wastings, whippings, visions, ecstasies; and after imposing upon his superiors an unfeigned terror by turbulences of behaviour-always thoroughly catholic, and therefore so much the more difficult to be dealt with, obtained their ready leave (with flaming credentials in his hand) to beg his way bare-foot from Spain, France, or Germany, to Rome.—At the foot of the Sovereign Pontiff he threw himself in the dust - prostrate, body and soul:-there he wept and raved his season:already he had vowed himself the “ dauntless Chevalier of the Virgin," and only waited permission to fight her battles, and those of the Church, under sanction of its Head. During the weeks or months of suspense, his austerities and his pretensions roused a hundred jealousies among the comers and goers of the papal court: feuds and seditions made a perpetual din under the windows of the Vatican; and it seemed as if all the demons had flocked together to thwart if possible the holy purpose of the new adventurer, from whose hand they expected many a terrible buffet. At length the Holy See, having proved the constancy of the candidate ; or shall we rather say, having ascertained that his frenzy was of the sort which, though it might be