« PoprzedniaDalej »
IN THEIR EFFECTS ON THE CIVILISATION OF EUROPE.
Written in Spanish
BY THE REV. J. BALMEZ.
Translated from the French Version
BY C. J. HANFORD AND R. KERSHAW.
JAMES BURNS, 17 PORTMAN STREET,
THIS translation has been made from the French version, to which the author added some notes not contained in the original Spanish. The French version is by M. Blanche, and was first published in Paris. It has since been reprinted in Belgium. The work has also been translated into Italian. For the translation of the third volume of the Belgium edition, containing from chapter forty-eight to the end, I am indebted to Mr. Robert Kershaw, of Liverpool; the rest is mine, as also the editing of the whole.
I regret that I have not been able to meet with a memoir of the author, who died last summer. Some slight notices of him which have fallen in my way will be found at the end of this Preface. I have added an Index, which I trust will be useful.
I have had the book printed in double columns and in small type, to comprise it in one volume, in order to make it cheap, and thereby gain as wide a circulation as possible. The Spanish and Italian editions were in four volumes.
The importance of the institution whose effects it is the chief object of this book to exhibit will be best stated in the words of Mr. Macaulay, in his article on Ranke, in the Edinburgh Review: "There is not, and there never was, on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when cameleopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, until it is lost in the twilight of fable. The Republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the Republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the Republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay-not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustin, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila. The number of her children is greater than in any