Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/688

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the course of events. For the Fifth of Lateran came to naught. Though admonished by Cajetan and Aegidius of Viterbo, dissolute prelates could not reform disorderly monks; Leo X cared only to rid himself of the Pragmatic Sanction. Popes, Cardinals, Curia went forward headlong to the double catastrophe of the Diet of Worms and the sack of Rome.

That which revolutionaries aimed at,—John of Goch, John Rucherath of Oberwesel, Gansfort of Groningen, and finally, Luther, was the pulling down of the sacerdotal, Sacramental system;-hence the abolition of the Mass and the Hierarchy. That which Catholic reformers spent their lives in attempting, was to make the practice of clergy and faithful harmonise with the ideals inherited from their past. Shrines, festivals, pilgrimages, devotions, brotherhoods, new religious Orders like the Minims of St Francis of Paola, and the Third Orders of Regulars, had no other design except to carry on a tradition which came down from St Benedict, St Augustine, St Jerome, the Fathers of the Desert, the ancient Churches. Justification by faith alone, the unprofitableness of Christian works and virtues, the right of free enquiry, with no appeal to a supreme visible tribunal, were all ideas unknown to the Catholic populations, abhorrent and anarchic in their eyes. From the general view which has been taken we may conclude that no demand for revolution in dogma was advanced save by individuals; that the daily offices and parochial ministrations were fulfilled with increasing attention; that abuses, though rife, were not endured without protest; that the source of mischief was especially in the Roman Court, which encouraged learning but made no strenuous effort to restore discipline; that the true occasions, whether of rebellion or reform, were not the discoveries and inventions of a progressive age, but deep-seated moral evils, and above all the avarice and ambition of worldly-minded prelates, thrust upon the sees of Christendom against the express injunctions of Canon Law; that the Bible was open, antiquity coming to be understood, an immense provision of charity laid up for the sick, the indigent, the industrial classes, for education and old age; that decrees of many Synods in every country of the West pointed out the prevailing diseases and their various remedies; and that if in course of time the Council of Trent yielded the essence and the sum of all these efforts, it is entitled to the glory of the Catholic Reformation.