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CONTENTS.

THE ROAD OF WISDOM.

Dangers of the new road, arising from the false wisdom which leads men from

the centre, 5. Avenue by the esteem of wisdom in the Catholic Church, 11.

The retreats of the wise, 12; honours paid to them, 15; wisdom in the ancient

sense not appreciated elsewhere, 17; wise men by right reason find an avenue,

23; faith is health of mind, 24; all is reasonable in Catholicity, 25; it distin-

guishes false from true lights, 27; it accepts an ur

true ideas, 29; its

thoughts are harmonious, 32; profound. The schoolmen, 35. The Catholic

philosophy of law, 36. Avenue by the humility of wisdom, 38. The pride of

sophists, 39. The simplicity and humility of Catholicism, 44. Avenue by the

religious character of wisdom, 46; its piety, 48; its dogmatic character, 52 ;

charge of ignorance as to science no obstacle to Catholicism, 53; wisdom seeks

the firm ground of faith, 57 ; concentration of mind, 60; acceptance of mys-

teries, 63. Avenue by the profound character of Catholic wisdom, 67 ; op-

posed to the type of wordy eloquence and popular display, 68. The Catholic

philosophy, 72; conversation, 77. Avenue by the pacific character of wisdom,

79. Avenue by the universal character of Catholicism, 87; it is rational and

traditional, 87. Simultaneous cultivation of the head and heart, 94. Meta-

physics, 96; evil of science when separated from religion,-its excellence

when combined with it, 104. The ideal of wisdom realized within the Church,

107.

CHAPTER II.-p. 114.

THE ROAD OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.

The forest recalls to memory the trees of the Bible. Avenue to Catholicism by

the Bible having been authoritatively derived from the Church, 116 ; by recog-

nizing that the Church is the central source of a true esteem and veneration

for the Bible, 117; by observing the inordinate views respecting it evinced by

others, 120; and the wise discipline of the Church respecting the use of the

Bible, 122. Avenue by the expositors of Scripture, 132. Avenue by its con-

tents, 136.

CHAPTER III.-p. 141.

THE ROAD OF CONTEMPLATION.

The forest invites to contemplation, 145; to which all men turn at times, 145.

Issue to Catholicity by a consideration of the brevity of the road of life, 146;

by the silence which reigns on this road, 150; by the piety which naturally

accompanies contemplation, 154 ; by the alienation from the world which it

involves, 157; by the pleasures attending it, 158; by the affinity which it

creates with Catholic lovers of nature, 161; by the studies which generally

attend it, 166; leading to a belief of Catholic doctrines, or to symbolic, posi-

tive, and mystic theology, 168. Avenue by the aggregate of all contemplative

impressions, 170.

CHAPTER IV.-p. 174.

THE ROAD OP DIVINE VIRTUE.

Analogy of the forest with morality, 175. This road followed by many in all

The avenues from it to Catholicism enumerated, 176-7; consti-

tuted by the insufficiency of nature unassisted, 177; by the supernatural cha-

racter of virtue in Catholicism, 179; first general impressions on beholding it,

180. Distinctions in detail; issue by its conformity with the Christian doc-

trine, 184; by its elevation above nature, 185 ; by its supernatural object, 190 ;

by its contempt of the world, 192 ; by its love of God, 194; by its conformity

to his will, 196; by its imitation, 199; by its love of men, 202; by its forgive-

ness of enemies, 203; by its resistance to the passions, 209; by its humility

and patience, 213; by its government of the tongue, 218; by its combina on

of good and noble qualities, 222 ; by its justice, 225 ; by its general diffusion

through all classes, 226; by its zeal, 233; by its independence of national

differences, 244.

CHAPTER V.- p. 246.

THE ROAD OF FALSE ASCETICS.

Objection that the antagonists of Catholicism lay equal claim to supernatural

virtue, and that what is sometimes so called in Catholics can repel men,

246; the objection removed by observing the deceptions on which it rests

by distinguishing the self-deceit of many, 248; the false patience, 250;

the false humility, 252; the false contempt of the world, and retreat, 255; the

false austerity, 257; the false virtue in general, the absence of human virtue,

of kindness, gentleness, and peace, which characterize the false asceticism,

263; issue by the just dislike it causes, and by distinguishing its errors of

conscience, 270.

CHAPTER VI.-p. 273.

THE ROAD OF NATURAL VIRTUE.

Avenues by observing that the supernatural virtues of Catholicism are combined

with all human graces, 274; suitable and conformable to man's nature, 275;

that they perfect nature, 276; that Catholicism recognizes human virtue, 278;

requires only what nature prescribes, 279; that nature laments disobedience

to Catholicity, 280; that it inculcates Catholic virtues, 281; the love of God,

281; care of the soul, 283; contempt of the world, 285; and of the vanities of

the upper classes, 287; control of the passions, 292; temperance, 297; avenue

by recognizing that Catholic manners are reasonable, natural, and amiable,

300.

CHAPTER VII.-P. 307.

THE LOWER ROAD OF DIVINE VIRTUE.

Issue by observing the practical utility of the supernatural element, 308; from

its making virtue secure, 310; from its rendering men judicious, 312; inde-

pendent of fame, 317; apt to profit by occasions, 319; valiant and frank, 320 ;

patient and calm, 321; masters of their passions, 322; avenue by observing

its influence on social manners, politeness, 326; the utility resulting from its

general character of justice, 330; from its political consequences, its influence

beneficial to the State, 332.

CHAPTER VIII.-P. 345.

THE ROAD OF THE SAVAGE MAN.

Study of the relative quality of trees-and application of the same comparisons to

man, as prelude to an observation of those who resist the supernatural ele-

ment, and substitute a system of mere natural morals, 346; men like trees

degenerate, 347. History of rationalism traced from Cain-fall of the Roman

empire-the middle ages, 347; opposition of the world in all ages, 350; scrutiny

of this opposition, general features of naturalism, 352; it is imperfect, 353; its

tendency to Paganism, 354; the lukewarm, 359; dissipated, 360; it is selfish,

360; faithless, 364; its influence on the ecclesiastical character, 364. It is

artful, 367; earthly, 367; avaricious, 370; licentious, 372; violent and unjust,

374; it wants charity, 379; its disobedience, 381; impiety, 382; doubt and in-

fidelity, 383; its hatred of supernatural virtue, 384; it renders men odious,

388; inconsistent, 390; unpoetical, 392; anti-historic, 393; extension of natu-

ralism, 395; need of escaping from it, 399.

CHAPTER 1X.-P. 401.

THE ROAD OF THE SOURCES AND REWARDS OF VIRTUE.

Avenue to the Church by the religious practices which are subservient and

essential to supernatural virtue, 402. Meditation, 402. Prayer—the holy

mass, 403. The cross, 405. Communion, 406. Confession, 407. Devotion to

the churches, saints, the dead, cemeteries, abstinence, silence, 409. Avenue

by the delights with which Divine virtue is allured and crowned, 414. Hap-

piness resulting from piety in general, 415; from contempt of the world, 419;

from humility, 421; from control of the passions, 422; from charity, 423.

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E are arrived at the last region of this forest,

and at the crossing of other roads, answering to those which bear a heavenly name,

“ A silvis silvas, et ab arvis arva ego cerno;" but, though we had promise of a happy change

on quitting the last road, the impressions caused by such tracts as we have been lately traversing do not yield all at once on leaving them. There we passed through scenes of ruin, that might recall the lines of the old poet, who views them as symbolical :

“ Beeches and broad oaks

Were blowen to the ground,
Turned upward their roots,

In tokening of dread.” It is with the moral as with the forest journey that represents it. There are pauses in life, and times of transition, when, without being directly influenced by any of the many forms of evil, there is an experience of distress, a consciousness of having caught infection from the air one breathed, occasioned by a general retrospect of them all. Human kindness, divine charity, wise moderation, all must have suffered from having been placed in hostility to others. We resemble at present travellers who have not yet recovered from the effects of visiting those cypress swamps in the states of Delaware and of Maryland, which are also called dismal swamps, and swamps of distress ; where the cedar and the bald cypress cover vast marshes, in which only bears and serpents live. The description given by Marbois in his letter to Malesherbes might convey an idea of

VOL. VI.

B

what we have seen and experienced upon the last roads. The drifted sand, under which the winds had covered the pine forest, leaving visible only the dead and withered tops of each tree; the deep and hardly passable morass ; the bears' walk; the snakes' grove and the stagnant pools, where toads and serpents bathe ; the menacing retreat of these serpents, hissing as they retire ; their sufferings in winter, when they take refuge in the hollow trees, in which they are sometimes sawed across ; the charcoal heaps, and black stems of trees half consumed by fire which the lightning kindled ; the spectacle of ruin there presented by prostrate cypress-trees, a hundred feet in length below their branches, and sixteen in circumference-trees which when once cut die for ever; the burning, in 1782, of four thousand acres of venerable cypress in less than twelve hours, when, if the wind had not changed, the narrator, Jones, who describes the same, would have perished with his family, the smoke being so thick that they could not see any thing three feet distant from them, and the only means to escape suffocation being to lie with their faces to the ground—though even then, with mouths closed, they inhaled ashes, which affected their tone of voice for a long time afterwards ; the terrors of this conflagration, so apt an image of the moral and political calamities we witnessed ; the flames rising to more than a hundred feet in height, lighting up the horizon to a distance of four hundred and twenty miles ; their fearful roaring; the sound of the falling trees; the atmosphere sparkling with kindled charcoal, rising to a prodigious height, and carried to a distance of fourteen miles from the place of destruction ;-all these scenes and incidents can recall the moral dangers and miseries from which we have but lately turned. But, in fine, we have turned from them, and we may now expect henceforth a different impression from our wanderings. “ Sta in viis pluribus," says St. Jerome, ut ad illam viam, quæ ad Patrem ducit, pervenias.” This whole journey supposes compliance with the precept.

Among the descriptions that we meet with of forest wanderings, there is an account of a change of scenery on a memorable occasion, that might be taken to represent the transition of views which is prepared for us here. Vasca Nunez and his companions, travelling to discover the sea beyond the mountains, had to traverse a region in some respects resembling that which we have just left. They were obliged to climb rocky precipices, to struggle through close and tangled forests, and to cross deep and turbulent streams; suffering from hunger and the attacks of hostile tribes, furiously yelling as they assailed them with arrows. They had, in fine, to scale the bald summit of the mountain, from which the long-desired prospect burst upon their view. We are arrived at a point which may remind

us of that moment when the Pacific Ocean was beheld by these discoverers. We have been slowly traversing dark and dangerous ways, yielding to many the experimental foretaste of eternal things; ways tortuous and wild, precipitous and mournful, re-echoing with the cries of men bent on our destruction; a journey during which every one more or less suffers injury; and of which we may say, in the words of an old poet,

5 En la forest d'ennuyeuse Tristesse,

Un jour m'avint qu'à par moy cheminoye.” And now, having arrived at the tracts corresponding with those ways which St. Bonaventure calls after the deiform operation of eternal things, it is as if a happier and more loving world were unfolded to us. We do not see the waters of the Pacific glittering in the morning sun, but we look down upon a beautiful and friendly region, in which we know are no implacable enemies, no savages, with airy monsters, whose shadowing wings do seem to cast a vail of death on all around, but only solenn avenues, through delightful groves, breathing peace and love, which, seen from a distance, may recall that prospect formed by the blue olive-trees of the academy, reaching to the mountains of Attica ; memorable spot, which, making all due reserves in consequence of its Pagan origin, is still associated with names that, conventionally at least, represent the study and the dignity of wisdom. How venerable are these long living galleries of aged trees!

“ In such green palaces the first kings reign’d,

Slept in their shade and angels entertain'd;
With such old councillors they did advise,
And, by frequenting sacred

groves, grew wise.” Into a valley, then, in a remote depth of the forest, closed by darkly wooded steeps, where the oldest oaks and beeches form a profound retreat, which is often, as poets say, a consolation of sad thoughts, descending thus pensive and disquieted, we find a tract covered with mulberries, forming a shade appropriate to the title of the first of these peaceful roads on which we enter ; since, if you will hear foresters, there are wise trees and foolish trees, to the former of which classes these belong: for as the mulberry-tree never puts forth its buds and leaves till all danger of inclement weather is passed away, as if resolved not to trust its blossoms to the churlish skies, it is therefore called the wise tree, being adopted by heralds as a hieroglyphic of wisdom, of which the property is, say they, to speak and do all things in season ; which description is as old as Pliny's time, for

“Some trees bud late and flower quickly, as the mul

he says,

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