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tions—The spirit which presided over marriage-The marital love of
the middle ages-Heroic examples—The regard and respect evinced for
women

p. 72

CHAPTER VIL

CHAPTER XII.

Objection to the Catholic morality on the supposed ground of its incompatibility with the Christian doctrine of justification, refuted by the testimony of the holy fathers-Of the scholastic and mystic authors-Of the church herself in her liturgy-Of the laity, philosophers, and poets, and of the tombs and other material monuments of the middle agesConclusion

p. 545

ERRATA.
Page 192.-For conciatus read cruciatus.

454.-For confining read conferring.

OR,

AGES OF FAITH.

THE SIXTH BOOK.

CHAPTER I.

Now let us to the blind, external world descend, for some will say that we have hitherto seen only shadows of justice on ideal ground; yet, reader, after we shall have left the region of desires, and advanced some space along the path on which we are now entering, which seems with more realities beset, you will perhaps, at times, be well content to have incurred that charge. There may be moments in which you will feel like the pensive traveller at twilight hour, who journeys on through an obscure, cold forest, when he looks back with regret to the pleasant cloister's pale which had received him for a short space at noon; brings before his mind's eye the rich garniture of its sanctuary, and imagines that he still gazes upon each peaceful nook, which he had noted with such interest, remarking how sweetly it was for prayer and meditation meet; thinks too that he sees the solemn, hooded men, and their youthful disciples, assembled in angelic choir, leaving no place vacant, while rings aloud that quick melody,

“ Te lucis ante terminum."

Your feelings perchance will resemble his, when he contrasts this scene of peace and order which he has left, with the desert around him, dusk with horrid shades, and with his own wild state, solitary, wending he knows not whither—when o'er the broken passes, now each moment

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middle ages.

darker, there comes a gloomy sound, and a wind impetuous, sprung from conflicting vapours, drives all its might against the forest, plucks off the branches, hurling them afar, while beasts and shepherds fly.

“ Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt justitiam : quoniam ipsi saturabuntur;" truly mystic words of the Divine Ruler, which seem at first to promise no speedy consolation; for how can the natural thirst, ne'er quenched but from the well whereof the woman of Samaria craved, be ever satiated on that earth which is not his kingdom? It is true, a confidence in the ultimate triumph of justice characterized in a very remarkable manner the men of the

“ One finds” says William of Jumiège, “in almost every page of Scripture that the son's house is overthrown by the iniquities of a wicked father, and also conversely, that it is rendered firmer by the merits of a good father *.” Speaking again of the conquest of England by William, the same historian beholds only fresh proof of the justice of God. “The English,” he says, “were punished for the murder of the innocent Alfred, and for their remorseless massacre of Toustain; and on the following night God avenged them in causing a great slaughter of the Normands, because they had sought plunder, and their feet had been swift to shed bloodt.'' Such observations are common in all writers at that time, Nevertheless, profoundly was it felt in the hearts of those thoughtful men that the beatitude arising from the spectacle of justice was not reserved for them here. Follow St. Bonaventura in his meditations on the Baptist's death :

O God, how didst thou permit this?” exclaims the seraphic doctor. “What is to be thought of this, that John should thus die, who was of such perfection and sanctity that he was thought to be Christ? Consider the greatness and excellence of John. Peter is crucified, and Paul is put to death with the sword, but yet the dignity remains to the precursor. Rome is purpled with the blood of Martyrs, but John is admirable above them all. Who so gloriously announced? Who thus filled with the Holy Ghost even in his mother's womb? Of what other man does the Church celebrate the nativity? It was he who first preached penance; it was he who baptized the King

* Hist. Norman. Lib. VII. c. 1. + Ib. VII. 36.

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