Beacon Lights of History, Volume VI

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      E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Charlie Kirschner,
 and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
 Editorial note:
 Project Gutenberg has an earlier version of this work, which is titled Beacon Lights of History, Volume III, part 2: Renaissance and Reformation.  See E-Book#1499, or   The numbering of volumes in the earlier set reflected the order in which the lectures were given.  In the current (later) version, volumes were numbered to put the subjects in historical sequence.














     The antiquity of Poetry
 The greatness of Poets
 Their influence on Civilization
 The true poet one of the rarest of men
 The pre-eminence of Homer, Dante, Shakspeare, and Goethe
 Characteristics of Dante
 His precocity
 His moral wisdom and great attainments
 His terrible scorn and his isolation
 State of society when Dante was born
 His banishment
 Guelphs and Ghibellines
 Dante stimulated to his great task by an absorbing sentiment
 Dante's passion for Beatrice analyzed
 The worship of ideal qualities the foundation of lofty love.
 The mystery of love
 Its exalted realism
 Dedication of Dante's life-labors to the departed Beatrice
 The Divine Comedy; a study
 The Inferno; its graphic pictures
 Its connection with the ideas of the Middle Ages
 The physical hell of Dante in its connection with the Mediaeval doctrine of Retribution
 The Purgatorio; its moral wisdom
 Origin of the doctrine of Purgatory
 Its consolation amid the speculations of despair
 The Paradiso
 Its discussion of grand themes
 The Divina Commedia makes an epoch in civilization
 Dante's life an epic
 His exalted character
 His posthumous influence

     The characteristics of the fourteenth century
 Its great events and characters
 State of society in England when Chaucer arose
 His early life
 His intimacy with John of Gaunt, the great Duke of Lancaster
 His prosperity
 His poetry
 The Canterbury Tales
 Their fidelity to Nature and to English life
 Connection of his poetry with the formation of the English Language
 The Pilgrims of the Canterbury Tales
 Chaucer's views of women and of love
 His description of popular sports and amusements
 The preponderance of country life in the fourteenth century
 Chaucer's description of popular superstitions
 Of ecclesiastical abuses
 His emancipation from the ideas of the Middle Ages
 Peculiarities of his poetry
 Chaucer's private life
 The respect in which he was held
 Influence of his poetry

     Marco Polo
 His travels
 The geographical problems of the fourteenth century
 Sought to be solved by Christopher Columbus
 The difficulties he had to encounter
 Regarded as a visionary man
 His persistence
 Influence of women in great enterprises
 Columbus introduced to Queen Isabella
 Excuses for his opponents
 The Queen favors his projects
 The first voyage of Columbus
 Its dangers
 Discovery of the Bahama Islands
 Discovery of Cuba and Hispaniola
 Columbus returns to Spain
 The excitement and enthusiasm produced by his discoveries
 His second voyage
 Extravagant expectations of Columbus
 Disasters of the colonists
 Decline of the popularity of Columbus
 His third voyage
 His arrest and disgrace
 His fourth voyage
 His death
 Greatness of his services
 Results of his discoveries
 The mines of Peru and Mexico
 The effects on Europe of the rapid increase of the precious metals
 True sources of national wealth
 The destinies of America
 Its true mission

     The age of Savonarola
 Revival of Classic Literature
 Ecclesiastical corruptions
 Religious apathy; awakened intelligence; infidel spirit
 Youth of Savonarola
 His piety
 Begins to preach
 His success at Florence
 Peculiarities of his eloquence
 Death of Lorenzo de' Medici
 Savonarola as a political leader
 Denunciation of tyranny
 His influence in giving a constitution to the Florentines
 Difficulties of Constitution-making
 His method of teaching political science
 Peculiarities of the new Rule
 Its great wisdom
 Savonarola as reformer
 As moralist
 Terrible denunciation of sin in high places
 A prophet of woe
 Contrast between Savonarola and Luther
 The sermons of Savonarola
 His marvellous eloquence
 Its peculiarities
 The enemies of Savonarola
 Savonarola persecuted
 His appeal to Europe
 The people desert him
 Months of torment
 His martyrdom
 His character
 His posthumous influence

     Michael Angelo as representative of reviving Art
 Ennobling effects of Art when inspired by lofty sentiments
 Brilliancy of Art in the sixteenth century
 Early life of Michael Angelo
 His aptitude for Art
 Patronized by Lorenzo de' Medici
 Sculpture later in its development than Architecture
 The chief works of Michael Angelo as sculptor
 The peculiarity of his sculptures
 Michael Angelo as painter
 History of painting in the Middle Ages
 Da Vinci
 The frescos of the Sistine Chapel
 The Last Judgment
 The cartoon of the battle of Pisa
 The variety as well as moral grandeur of Michael Angelo's paintings
 Ennobling influence of his works
 His works as architect
 St. Peter's Church
 Revival of Roman and Grecian Architecture
 Contrasted with Gothic Architecture
 Michael Angelo rescues the beauties of Paganism
 Not responsible for absurdities of the Renaissance
 Greatness of Michael Angelo as a man
 His industry, temperance, dignity of character, love of Art for Art's sake
 His indifference to rewards and praises
 His transcendent fame

     Luther's predecessors
 Corruptions of the Church
 Luther the man for the work of reform
 His peculiarities
 His early piety
 Enters a Monastery
 His religious experience
 Made Professor of Divinity at Wittenberg
 The Pope in great need of money to complete St. Peter's
 Indulgences; principles on which they were based
 Luther, indignant, preaches Justification by Faith
 His immense popularity
 Grace the cardinal principle of the Reformation
 The Reformation began as a religious movement
 How the defence of Luther's doctrine led to the recognition of the supreme authority of the Scriptures
 Public disputation at Leipsic between Luther and Eck
 Connection between the advocacy of the Bible as a supreme authority and the right of private judgment
 Religious liberty a sequence of private judgment
 Connection between religious and civil liberty
 Contrast between Leo I. and Luther
 Luther as reformer
 His boldness and popularity
 He alarms Rome
 His translation of the Bible, his hymns, and other works
 Summoned by imperial authority to the Diet of Worms
 His memorable defence
 His immortal legacies
 His death and character

     Importance of the English Reformation
 Cranmer its best exponent
 What was effected during the reign of Henry VIII
 Thomas Cromwell
 Suppression of Monasteries
 Their opposition to the revival of Learning
 Their exceeding corruption
 Their great wealth and its confiscation
 Ecclesiastical courts
 Sir Thomas More: his execution
 Main feature of Henry VIII.'s anti-clerical measures
 Fall of Cromwell
 Rise of Cranmer
 His characteristics
 His wise moderation
 His fortunate suggestions to Henry VIII
 Made Archbishop of Canterbury
 Difficulties of his position
 Reforms made by the government, not by the people
 Accession of Edward VI
 Cranmer's Church reforms: open communion; abolition of the Mass; new English liturgy
 Marriage among the clergy; the Forty-two Articles
 Accession of Mary
 Persecution of the Reformers
 Reactionary measures
 Arrest, weakness, and recantation of Cranmer
 His noble death; his character
 Death of Mary
 Accession of Elizabeth, and return of exiles to England
 The Elizabethan Age
 Conservative reforms and conciliatory measures
 The Thirty-nine Articles
 Their doctrines and discipline
 The great Puritan controversy
 The Puritans represent the popular side of the Reformation
 Their theology
 Their moral discipline
 Their connection with civil liberty
 Summary of the English Reformation

     The counter-reformation effected by the Jesuits
 Picture of the times; theological doctrines
 The Monastic Orders no longer available
 Ignatius Loyola
 His early life
 Founds a new order of Monks
 Wonderful spread of the Society of Jesus
 Their efficient organization
 Causes of success in general
 Virtues and abilities of the early Jesuits
 Their devotion and bravery
 Jesuit Missions
 Veneration for Loyola; his "Spiritual Exercises"
 Singular obedience exacted of the members of the Society
 Absolute power of the General of the Order
 Voluntary submission of Jesuits to complete despotism
 The Jesuits adapt themselves to the circumstances of society
 Causes of the decline of their influence
 Corruption of most human institutions
 The Jesuits become rich and then corrupt
 Ésprit de corps of the Jesuits
 Their doctrine of expediency
 Their political intrigues
 Persecution of the Protestants
 The enemies they made
 Madame de Pompadour
 Suppression of the Order
 Their return to power
 Reasons why Protestants fear and dislike them

     John Calvin's position
 His early life and precocity
 Becomes a leader of Protestants
 Removes to Geneva
 His habits and character
 Temporary exile
 Convention at Frankfort
 Melancthon, Luther, Calvin, and Catholic doctrines
 Return to Geneva, and marriage
 Calvin compared with Luther
 Calvin as a legislator
 His reform
 His views of the Eucharist
 Excommunication, etc
 His dislike of ceremonies and festivals
 The simplicity of the worship of God
 His ideas of church government
 Absence of toleration
 Church and State
 Exaltation of preaching
 Calvin as a theologian; his Institutes
 His doctrine of Predestination
 His general doctrines in harmony with Mediaeval theology
 His views of sin and forgiveness; Calvinism
 He exacts the same authority to logical deduction from admitted truths as to direct declarations of Scripture
 Puritans led away by Calvin's intellectuality
 His whole theology radiates from the doctrine of the majesty of God and the littleness of man
 To him a personal God is everything
 Defects of his system
 Calvin an aristocrat
 His intellectual qualities
 His prodigious labors
 His severe characteristics
 His vast influence
 His immortal fame

     Lord Bacon as portrayed by Macaulay
 His great defects of character
 Contrast made between the man and the philosopher
 Bacon's youth and accomplishments
 Enters Parliament
 Seeks office
 At the height of fortune and fame
 His misfortunes
 Consideration of charges against him
 His counterbalancing merits
 The exaltation by Macaulay of material life
 Bacon made its exponent
 But the aims of Bacon were higher
 The true spirit of his philosophy
 Deductive philosophies
 His new method
 Bacon's Works
 Relations of his philosophy
 Material science and knowledge
 Comparison of knowledge with wisdom

     A brilliant portent
 The greatness of the sixteenth century
 Artists, scholars, reformers, religious defenders
 Maritime discoveries
 Literary, ecclesiastical, political achievements
 Youth of Galileo
 His early discoveries
 Genius for mathematics
 Professor at Pisa
 Ridicules the old philosophers; invents the thermometer
 Compared with Kepler
 Galileo teaches the doctrines of Copernicus
 Gives offence by his railleries and mockeries
 Theology and science
 Astronomical knowledge of the Ancients
 Utilization of science
 Construction of the first telescope
 Galileo's reward
 His successive discoveries
 His enemies
 High scientific rank in Europe
 Hostility of the Church
 Galileo summoned before the Inquisition; his condemnation and admonition
 His new offences
 Summoned before a council of Cardinals
 His humiliation
 His recantations
 Consideration of his position
 Greatness of mind rather than character
 His confinement at Arceti
 Opposition to science
 His melancholy old age and blindness
 Visited by John Milton; comparison of the two, when blind
 Consequence of Galileo's discoveries
 Later results
 Vastness of the universe
 Grandeur of astronomical science

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