Зображення сторінки

Η ζητώ ανθρώποις ωρέσκειν.-GA LATIANS, I. 10.
Ωστε εχθός υμών γέγονα αληθεύων υμίν.-GA LATIANS 1V. 16.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

MONTESINOS. Your last words, Sir Thomas, have left a weight upon my mind.

Nothing but religion, you said, can preserve our social system from putrescence and dissolution. This I entirely believe; and therefore a melancholy and fearful apprehension comes over me when I contemplate the present state of the Christian world. Throughout Papal Christendom there has been substituted for Christianity a mass of corruptions which nauseates the understanding, and at which the reasonable heart revolts. And in reformed countries I see the Church abroad, for the most part, starved by the government, and betrayed by the clergy; and, at home,



assailed by greater danger than has at any time threatened it since the accession of Elizabeth, when this nation was delivered from bondage. In comparing the age of Luther with the present times, this great difference is to be observed, that Infidelity, which was rife enough during the former period, kept safely then under the wing of the Romish Church, and exerted itself to uphold the system of imposture with which it had coalesced, and by which it flourished. It is strong enough now to claim supremacy, and to struggle for it, At that time it consisted simply in the disbelief of religion; it now implies the hatred of it; and, while it is vehemently engaged against Popery on the continent, acts in alliance with Popery, with equal vehemence, against the ecclesiastical Establishment here.

[ocr errors]


The difference is worthy of consideration, and its causes are easily to be traced. All men of learning in those days were, with very few exceptions, either monks or clergy; and they were not so many but that the Church and the Monasteries could provide for all. You have a numerous and rapidly increasing class of literary men, and a still more numerous one of persons who take their opinions from them with as im

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »