Thursday, August 27, 2009

26Nov1867, Rome: Death-in-Life

ROME, November 26th, 1867.
—Spent the fragment of the day left before sunset in a delightful drive and tie to the Villa Mellini. We were longing for a good view over the city and the Campagna, and it was perfect in the lovely serene light ; the endless plain, the many-shadowed mountains, the many-domed town, and St. Peter's like a mighty king above it all. How beautiful and peaceful it all looked ! but it is terrible to think of the last state of degradation and the hopeless bondage underneath. There seems to be a mysterious death-in-life in which Rome exists ; all earnest striving after truth crushed remorselessly out of her, political and religious freedom alike poisoned, and the terrible results crying to Heaven. And yet there is life too ; because (as I can't help believing) the true Eternal Catholic Faith still is stirring beneath all the fearful accumulated corruptions. But one fears that the Papacy, with its tyranny of ages, will drive out all that is true at last, and that a crash will come.

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