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Quoniam videbunt Deum-Influence of moral purity upon the intellectual character of those ages-Sanctity of the eminent men of the Catholic schools-Predominance of an intellectual conscience proved by the prevalence of faith-Cause and indications of its absence in the enemies of the church-Grounds of their ignorance considered-Grounds of their hostility to the Catholic religion considered—How the spiritual day begins and is perfected in the clean of heart
The love and cultivation of wisdom in ages of faith, indicated by the influence of the spiritual over the material power-The importance ascribed to knowledge-How truth was valued for its own sake: how earnestly it was loved-Men sought wisdom, not profit: desired all kinds of knowledge—The love for wisdom indicated by the number of collegiate foundations-Universities–By the privileges of scholars, and by the general features of the ancient scholastic character and manners
Glance at the series of eminent philosophers in ages of faith, who are made to pass as if processionally, classed in periods
General characteristics of all schools of philosophy in ages of faithReligion and philosophy were synonymous with the Fathers, with the scholastic doctors, and with the laymen who philosophized in the middle ages-–Testimony of reason and of the ancients to the wisdom of this view
Consideration of the objection that no grand questions were agitatedFaith superseded inquiry-Consequent inutility of discussions Curiosity and intellectual restlessness of the moderns the result of having lost faith-Groundlessness of the charge that there was no inquiry whatever —There remained magnificent subjects for discussion-Causes of the scholastic subtilty explained—Important disputes of the scholastics, Pernicious consequences of the modern subtilties
On the method of philosophy in ages of faith-Divisions of proofs appropriate to divisions of truths-A threefold inethod recognizedAuthority, testimony, and experiment or induction—The two former adopted in the sphere of religion and morals-The latter recognized as the proper method in physical science-The grounds of certainty ascertained-Reason, authority, or faith-Cause of faith, and mode of its acquirement–The inductive experimental philosophy excluded from the sphere of religion and morals—The philosophy of development and illustration adopted-Direction of studies by this rule-Method of instruction conformable to it
Other characteristics of the philosophy of ages of faith-Its humilityDanger of intellectual pride then estimated-The humble, docile spirit of the scholastic philosophers—Their humility in speculation, in regard to religion, to language-Change in the manners of the learned on the rise of the new opinions-Humility of the Catholic philosophers in submitting their writings to the holy see-Its practical character--Practice recognized as the source of knowledge—Practicability of the Catholic philosophy-Its clearness and communicability-All men could receive it-Error of the unintelligible philosophy-The imaginative and poetic character of the philosophy of the middle ages an indication of its truthArguments of the schoolmen to show the relation of the senses to intelligence-Mistake of modern writings in stating that theirs was merely imaginative-Its Catholicity-How heresy is opposed to philosophy, Unity of the church and of its philosophy-How it was Catholic in principles— Mystics and scholastics not antagonists—Catholic truth oneConsequent advantage to the intellect-Force of Catholic truth; its grandeur, its generous and ennobling influence, its warmth and expansiveness
How the clean of heart more immediately saw God first in creatures The study of nature in ancient times—In ages of faith-Not confined to scientific pursuits-Vanity recognized of mere human science-How far the sciences were cultivated in the middle ages-In what spirit they were pursued-Change of sentiment in this regard
How the clean of heart saw God in history, in miraculous operationsPiety, humility, and Catholicity obliged them to recognize the divine agency-Its unlimited power-The universality of its manifestations Miracles considered historically, philosophically-Objections refuted
How the impure sought to behold their God—A Supreme BeingAnalogous to their internal state-Origin of demoniac mysticism-Faith and superstition the two great rivals-Contest of the church with the latter, under the form of idolatry-Contest continued through the middle ages with sorcery and old errors in a new form—What is to be thought respecting the arts condemned by the church-Magic and demoniac mysticism considered-Historically-Philosophically-Books of magicians alone would justify the zeal of the church against all such arts-Defence of the ancient Catholic society from the charge of superstitionOrigin and termination of the ordeals-Abuse of religious practices exposed and prohibited-Error of the moderns in classing some ancient convictions among superstitions-Delusion here also distinguished from truth-Visions
How the clean of heart saw God in human records in the Gentile
p. 278. for et ad, read et ad quid !
AGES OF FAITH.
THE EIGHTH BOOK.
While the heavens are showing forth the glory of God, and the firmament is declaring the work of his hands, the records of men are fulfilling a purpose no less admirable, in attesting the operation and power of his grace, -ministry, that may not unjustly be styled divine, like that of the angel seen in mystic vision by the great contemplatist and poet of the three worlds, who, as he relates, when day was sinking, appeared before him, standing on the brink of the flame, with gladness in his looks. For he who traced in chronicles the ways of men in believing days of yore, and he who taught the wisdom of the schools,—the poet, too, conversant with the people's thoughts, and those who in written monuments transmitted what the middle ages from experience knew-all with one voice, whose lively clearness, we might truly add, far surpassed our human, sang,
« Blessed are the clean of heart."
This beatitude, say the scholastic commentators, is justly placed in sixth degree, since, on the sixth day, man was created in the image of his Maker, which image is obscured by sinful blot, but purged by grace, which prepares him for ascent to heaven ; and while the purity which yields it implies the possession of the other precious seeds of blessed life, the same is no less necessarily included in each of them; for, saith St.
Ambrose, citing one instance as sufficient proof, “ he who shows mercy loses the fruit of mercy, unless he be merciful with a clean heart ; for if he seek boasting, there is no fruit from his mercy.”
The path now before us leads still higher than any which we hitherto have followed, and yet it will not separate us from the earthly course ; for though divine, it is no less a human theme, and one essential to all studies that have historical knowledge, within certain limits, for their end; since, without accurate observation here, many things which are presented in the books of the middle ages, in the various institutions which flourished during that period, and in the different monuments of art which have survived the wreck of time, must remain inexplicable; for, whether the question relate to a Charlemagne founding monasteries, and presiding over the Christian world, to an Edward Confessor, legislating, to a Godfrey, mounting the throne of Jerusalem, to a St. Louis, hastening to the relief of the holy land, to a Ferdinand, recovering Spain from the Mahometans, to a Gregory the Seventh, enforcing the ecclesiastical discipline, to an Innocent the Third, according to nations which turned to it with one voice for protection from the violence of despotic power, the protection of the holy see, to a Thomas of Canterbury, dying for the freedom of the church, to a Bernard, directing the counsels of princes, to a Boniface, departing to convert heathen nations, to a Bruno, retiring into the desert, to a Dunstan, substituting monks for seculars, to a Francis, embracing poverty, to a Dominick, opposing heresy, to a Guercino, painting for altars, to a count of Anjou, building churches, or only to a duke of Aquitaine, taking up his pilgrim's staff, there will arise problems that adınit of no solution, if we do not take into account the conviction and the doctrine, which prevailed universally during those ages, respecting the beatitude of the clean of heart. Nor let any one disdain our solicitude, if it be remarked also, that some of those high pleasures, arising from the imagination and from poetry, are not altogether unconcerned with the view to which this subject leads. Who will not feel a charm in learning what were the thoughts, the religious and philosophic thoughts, of those different great, heroic, or engaging personages, with whose external form and character historians or poets may have made