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Thursday, November 5, 2020

The Catholic Church, and before it all ancient education, controlled the whole domain of means through which man was put into certain unordinary moods and withdrawn from the cold calculation of personal advantage and from calm, rational reflection. A church vibrating with deep tones; gloomy, regular, restraining exhortations from a priestly band, who involuntarily communicate their own tension to their congregation and lead them to listen almost with anxiety as if some miracle were in course of preparation; the awesome pile of architecture which, as the house of a god, rears itself vastly into the vague and in all its shadowy nooks inspires fear of its nerve-exciting power—who would care to reduce men to the level of these things if the ideas upon which they rest became extinct? But the results of all these things are nevertheless not thrown away: the inner world of exalted, emotional, prophetic, profoundly repentant, hope-blessed moods has become inborn in man through cultivation. What still exists in his soul was formerly, as he germinated, grew, and bloomed, thoroughly disciplined.