Imatges de pÓgina

strength of will, — Gregory VII., — and venerate at one and the same time, do yet he failed to prolong it. One hundred but parcel out, not solve the problem ; and fifty years afterwards, the gigantic because the future cannot be fully reattempt had become but the dim record vealed until the past is entombed, and of a past never to return. With the by weakly prolonging the delay we run .successors of Innocent III. began the the risk of introducing gangrene into decline of the Papacy; it ceased to the wound. infuse life into humanity. A hundred The formula of life and of the law of years later, and the Church had be- life from which the Papacy derived its come scandalously corrupt in the high- existence and its mission was that of er spheres of its hierarchy, persecuting the fall of man and his redemption. and superstitious in the lower. A hun- The logical and inevitable consequendred years later it was the ally, and in ces of this formula were: one hundred more the servant of Cæsar, The doctrine of the necessity of meand had lost one half of Europe. diation between man and God;

From that time forward it has un- The belief in a direct, immediate, and ceasingly declined, until it has sunk to immutable revelation, and hence in a the thing we now behold it; - disinher- privileged class, – naturally destined to ited of all power of inspiration over civ- centralize in one individual, — the office ilization ; the impotent negation of all of which was to preserve that revelamovement, of all liberty, of all develop- tion inviolate ; ment of science or life ; destitute of all The inefficacy of man's own efforts sense of duty, power of sacrifice, or to achieve his own redemption, and faith in its own destiny; held up by the consequent substitution of unlimitforeign bayonets; trembling before the ed faith in the Mediator, for works, face of the peoples, and forsaken by hence grace and predestination more or humanity, which is seeking the path of less explicitly substituted for free-will; progress elsewhere.

The separation of the human race The Papacy has lost all moral basis, into the elect and the non-elect; aim, sanction, and source of action at The salvation of the one, and the the present day. Its source of action eternal damnation of the other; and, in the past was derived from a concep- above all, tion of heaven since changed, — from a The duality between earth and heavnotion of life since proved imperfect, - en, between the ideal and the real, befrom a conception of the moral law in- tween the aim set before man and a ferior to that of the new epoch in course world condemned to anathema by the of initiation, - from a solution of the fall, and incapable, through the impereternal problem of the relation between fection of its finite elements, of affordman and God since rejected by the ing him the means of realizing that aim. human heart, intellect, conscience, and In fact, the religious synthesis which tradition.

succeeded Polytheism did not contemThe dogma itself which the Church plate, nor did the historical succesonce represented is exhausted and con- sion of the epochs allow it to contemsumed. It no longer inspires faith, no plate, any conception of life embracing longer has power to unite or direct the more than the individual; it offered human race.

the individual a means of salvation in The time of a new dogma is ap- despite of the egotism, tyranny, and proaching, which will re-link earth with corruption by which he is surrounded heaven in a vaster synthesis, fruitful of on earth, and which no individual effort new and harmonious life.

could hope to overcome ; it came to It is for this that the Papacy expires. declare to him, The world is adverse And it is our duty to declare this, with- to thee; renounce the world and put out hypocritical reticence, or formulæ thy faith in Christ; this will lead thee of speech, which, feigning to attack and to heaven.

The new formula of life and its law conception of the slow, continuous pro– unknown at that day, but revealed gress of the human Ego throughout an to us in our own day by our knowledge indefinite series of existences, for the of the tradition of humanity, confirmed idea of an impossible perfection to be by the voice of individual conscience, achieved in the course of one brief exby the intuition of genius and the istence; it presents an absolutely new grand results of scientific research view of the mission of man upon earth, may be summed up in the single word and puts an end to the antagonism beProgress,* which we now know to tween earth and heaven, by teaching be, by Divine decree, the inherent ten- us that this world is an abode given to dency of human nature, — whether man wherein he is bound to merit salmanifested in the individual or the vation by his own works, and hence collective being, - and destined, more enforces the necessity of endeavoring, or less speedily, but inevitably, to be by thought, by action, and by sacrifice, evolved in time and space.

to transform the world, the duty of The logical consequences of the new realizing our ideal here below, as formula are:

far as in us lies, for the benefit of The substitution of the idea of a law future generations, and of reducing for the idea of a Mediator;— the idea to an earthly fact as much as may of a continuous educational revelation be of the kingdom — the conception — for that of an immediate arbitrary rev- of God. elation;

The religious synthesis which is The apostolate of genius and virtue, slowly but infallibly taking the place and of the great collective intuitions of of the synthesis of the past comprethe peoples, when roused to enthusiastic hends a new term, — the continuous action in the service of a truth, substi- collective life of humanity; and this tuted for the privilege of a priestly class; alone is sufficient to change the aim,

The sanctity of tradition, as the the method, and the moral law of our depository of the progress already existence. achieved; and the sanctity of individ- All links with heaven broken, and ual conscience, alike the pledge and useless to the earth, which is ready to the means of all future progress; hail the proclamation of a new dogma,

Works, sanctified by faith, substi- the Papacy has no longer any raison tuted for mere faith alone, as the cri- đêtre. Once useful and holy, it is now terion of merit and means of salvation. a lie, a source only of corruption and

The new formula of life cancels the immorality. dogma of grace, which is the nega- Once useful and holy, I say, because, tion of that capacity of perfectibility had it not been for the unity of moral granted to all men ; as well as that life in which we were held for more of predestination, which is the nega- than eight centuries by the Papacy, tion of free-will, and that of eternity we should not now have been prepared of punishment, which is the negation to realize the new unity to come; had of the divine element existing in every it not been for the dogma of human human soul.

equality in heaven, we should not now The new formula substitutes the have been prepared to proclaim the

dogma of human equality on earth. This sacred word, which sums up the dogma of the fuure, has been uttered by every school, but

And I declare it a lie and a source of ziarder to 1 by the inajority. Materialists have immorality at the present day, because warped the use of it, to express man's ever-increasmg power over the productive forces of the earth; if it seeks to perpetuate its authority

every great institution becomes such and men of science, to indicate that accumulation of fat: discovered and submitted to analysis which after its mission is fulfilled. The subtas led us to a better knowledge of secondary stitution of the enslavement for the Giuses. Few understand it as the expression of a providential conception or design, inseparable from

slaughter of the conquered foe was a for human hsc and foundation of our moral law, step towards progress, as was the subVOL. XX. NO. 117.



stitution of servitude for slavery. The temporary measure, to look forward formation of the Bourgeoise class was a to a return to a normal state of things, progress from servitude. But he who and to study the positive organic prinat the present day should attempt to ciple destined to govern that normal recede towards slavery and servitude, state. By keeping silence, you accusand presumptuously endeavor to per- tom the mass to disjoin the moral from petuate the exclusion of the proletarian the political, theory from practice, the from the rights and benefits of the ideal from the real, heaven from earth. social organization, would prove him- When once all belief in the past self the enemy of all civilization, past synthesis shall be extinct, and faith and future, and a teacher of immorality. in the new synthesis established, the

It is therefore the duty of all those State itself will be elected into a amongst us who have it at heart to Church; it will incarnate in itself a win the city of the future and the tri- religious principle, and become the umph of truth, to make war, not only representative of the moral law in the upon the temporal power, — who should various manifestations of life. dare deny that to the admitted repre- So long as it is separate from the sentative of God on earth ? — but upon State, the Church will always conspire the Papacy itself. It is therefore our to reconquer power over it in the induty to go back to the dogma upon terest of the past dogma. If separated which the institution is founded, and from all collective and avowed faith by to show that that dogma has become a negative policy, such as that adopted insufficient and unequal to the moral by the atheistic and indifferent French wants, aspirations, and dawning faith Parliament, the State will fall a prey to of humanity.

the anarchical doctrine of the soverThey who at the present day attack eignty of the individual, and the worthe Prince of Rome, and yet profess to ship of interest; it will sink into egovenerate the Pope, and to be sincere tism and the adoration of the accomCatholics, are either guilty of flagrant plished fact, and hence, inevitably, into contradiction, or are hypocrites. despotism, as a remedy for the evils

They who profess to reduce the prob- of anarchy. lem to the realization of a free Church For an example of this among modin a free State are either influenced by ern nations, we have only to look at a fatal timidity, or destitute of every France. spark of moral conviction. The separation of Church and State

III. is good as a weapon of defence against the corruptions of a Church no longer On the other hand, in opposition to worthy the name. It is — like all the the Papacy, but itself a source of no programmes of mere liberty — an im- less corruption, stands materialism. plicit declaration that the institution Materialism, the philosophy of all against which we are compelled to in- expiring epochs and peoples in decay, voke either our individual or collective is, historically speaking, an old pherights is corrupt, and destined to perish. nomenon, inseparable from the death

Individual or collective rights may of a religious dogma. It is the rebe justly invoked against the authority action of those superficial intellects of a religious institution as a remedial which, incapable of taking a compremeasure in a period of transition ; just hensive view of the life of humanity, as it may occasionally be necessary to and tracing and deducing its essential isolate a special locality for a given characteristics from tradition, deny the time, in order to protect others from religious ideal itself, instead of simply infection. But the cause must be ex- affirming the death of one of its incarplicitly declared. By declaring it, you nations. educate the country to look beyond the Luther compared the human mind to a drunken peasant, who, falling from Art, society, religion, — all these are one side of his horse, and set straight faculties inseparable from human life on his seat by one desirous of helping itself, progressive as life itself, and him, instantly falls again on the other eternal as life itself. Every epoch of side. The simile — if limited to peri- humanity has had and will have its own ods of transition — is most just. The social, artistic, and religious expression. youth of Italy, suddenly emancipated in every epoch man will ask of tradifrom the servile education of more than tion and of conscience whence he came, three centuries, and intoxicated with and to what goal he is bound; he will their moral liberty, find themselves in ask through what paths that goal is to the presence of a Church destitute of be reached, and seek to solve the proball mission, virtue, love for the people, lem suggested by the existence within or adoration of truth or progress, him of a conception of the Infinite, and destitute even of faith in itself. They of an ideal impossible of realization in see that the existing dogma is in fla- the finite conditions of his earthly exgrant contradiction of the ruling idea istence. He will, from time to time, that governs all the aspirations of the adopt a different solution, in proportion epoch, and that its conception of di- as the horizon of tradition is progresvinity is inferior to that revealed by sively enlarged, and the human conscience, human conscience, philoso- science enlightened; but assuredly it phy, and the improved conception of will never be a mere negation. life acquired by the study of the tra- Philosophically speaking, materialism dition of humanity, unknown to man is based upon a singular but constant previously to the discovery of his East- confusion of two things radically disern origin. Therefore, in order — as tinct; — life, and its successive modes they believe — to establish their moral of manifestation ; the Ego, and the orfreedom radically and forever, they re- gans by which it is revealed in a visible ject alike all idea of a church, a dogma, form to the external world, the nonand a God.

Ego. The men who, having succeeded Philosophically speaking, the unre- in analyzing the instruments by means fiecting exaggerations of men who have of which life is made manifest in a series just risen up in rebellion do not por- of successive finite phenomena, imagine tend any serious damage to human that they have acquired a proof of progress. These errors are a mere the materiality of life itself, resemble repetition of what has always taken the poor fool, who, having chemically place at the decay and death of every analyzed the ink with which a poem dogma, and will — as they always have was written, imagines he has penedone-sooner or later wear away. The trated the secret of the genius that day will come when our Italian youth composed it. will discover that, just as reasonably Life, - thought, - the initiative powas they, not content with denying the er of motion, — the conception of the Christian dogma, proceed to deny the Infinite, of the Eternal, of God, which existence of a God, and the religious is inborn in the human mind, – the life of humanity, their ancestors might aspiration towards an ideal impossible have proceeded, from their denial and of realization in the brief stage of our rejection of the feudal system, to the earthly existence, – the instinct of free rejection of every form of social organi- will, — all that constitutes the mysterization, or have declared art extinct for- ous link within us to a world beyond ever during the transition period when the visible, — defy all analysis by a the Greek form of art had ceased to philosophy exclusively experimental, correspond to those aspirations of the and impotent to overpass the sphere of human mind which prepared the way the secondary laws of being. for the cathedrals of the Middle Ages If materialists choose to reject the and the Christian school of art. teachings of tradition, the voice of hu


man conscience and intuition, to limit from their long habit of slavery, of rethemselves to the mechanism of ana- lapsing into egotism. lytical observation, and substitute their Now the tendency of the doctrines narrow, undirected physiology for biol- of materialism is to lead the mass to ogy and psychology, - if then, finding egotism through the path of interest. themselves unable by that imperfect Therefore it grieves me to hear them method to comprehend the primary preached by many worthy but inconlaws and origin of things, they child- siderate young men amongst us; and ishly deny the existence of such laws, I conjure them, by all they hold most and declare all humanity before their sacred, to meditate deeply the moral time to have been deluded and inca- consequences of the doctrines they pable, so be it. Nor should I, had preach, and especially to study their Italy been a nation for half a century, effect in the case of a neighboring nahave regarded their doctrines as fraught tion, which carried negation to the with any real danger. Humanity will extreme during the past century, and not abandon its appointed path for which we behold at the present day utthem; and to hear them — in an age terly corrupted by the worship of temin which the discoveries of all great porary and material interest, disinheritthinkers combine to demonstrate the ed of all noble activity, and sunk in the existence of an intelligent preordained degradation and infamy of slavery. law of unity and progress - spouting Every error is a crime in those whose materialism in the name of science, be- duty it is to watch over the cradle of a cause they have skimmed a volume of nation. Vogt, or attended a lecture by Mole- Either we must admit the idea of a schott, might rather one to God, — of the moral law, which is an amusement than anger.

emanation from him, - and the idea of But Italy is not a nation ; she is on- human duty, freely accepted by manly in the way to become one. And the kind, as the practical consequence of present is therefore a moment of grave that law, — or we must admit the idea importance ; for, even as the first ex- of a ruling force of things, and its pracamples set before infancy, so the first tical consequence, the worship of indilessons taught to a people emerging vidual force or success, the omnipofrom a long past of error and corrup- tence of fact. From this dilemma there tion, and hesitating as to the choice of is no escape. its future, may be of serious import. Either we must accept the sovereignThe doctrines of federalism, which, if ty of an aim prescribed by conscience, preached in France at the present in which all the individuals composing day, would be but an innocent Utopia, a nation are bound to unite, and the threatened the dissolution of the coun- pursuit of which constitutes the nation. try during the first years of the Revo- ality of a given people among the many lution. They laid bare the path for of which humanity is composed, foreign conquest, and roused the Moun- aim recognized by them all, and supetain to bloody and terrible means of re- rior to them all, and therefore religpression.

ious; or we must accept the soverSuch for us are the wretched doc- eignty of the right, arbitrarily defined, trines of which I speak. Fate has set of each nation, and its practical consebefore us a great and holy mission, quences, the pursuit by each indiwhich, if we fail to accomplish it now, vidual of his own interest and his own may be postponed for half a century. well-being, the satisfaction of his own Every delay, every error, may be fatal. desires, -and the impossibility of any And the people through whom we have sovereign duty, to which all the citito work are uneducated, liable to ac- zens, from those who govern down to cept any error which wears a semblance the humblest of the governed, owe obeof war against the past, and in danger, dience and sacrifice.


« AnteriorContinua »