The Heroic Life of Saint Vincent de Paul
- ISBN-13: 9781503325210
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: Nov 21, 2014
- Pages: 284 pages
- Dimensions: 0.64 x 9.0 x 6.0 inches
EVERY HOUR, every minute even, brings change and transformation to this world of ours. There is a constant evolution in nature, in history, in man and all his works, wherein we see, as though it followed some order that must be obeyed, an unending repetition of the process of creation and decay, of destruction and re-birth. And all this we see moving toward a definite end, an end unknown to us but yet inevitable, and at the same time so difficult and so far off as to appear unattainable except in that divine world where alone the perfect and unchanging are to be found. Nature herself, although she seems so unfathomable, shows us striking examples of the profound modifications which, in spite of her apparent uniformity, she herself has brought about in the course of the ages, or to which she submits from those who master her. Savage and inaccessible countries which for centuries have resisted all human progress have given way before this force in nature, a movement as mysterious as a law coming from on high. What an astonishing contrast, for instance, between the North Africa of a century ago and that of to-day ! Yesterday a land of silent, desert wastes - hic sunt leones was the designation of the older maps - now a country dotted with settlements and marked with roads and the caterpillar tracks of the trans-Sahara automobiles! In every part of the world it is the same story, in France no less, or even more than elsewhere, and especially in those provinces where to a greater or lesser extent are to be seen the differences in race and in customs that are responsible for so many changes, for the making and unmaking of so much local history. The district of the Landes, which will be taken as the point of departure in this study, offers an excellent example of the working out of these historical variations. This district, despite its natural and peculiar beauty, now somewhat lost, and the fact that geographically it has shown little change, gives to-day no adequate idea of what it was at the end of the sixteenth century. Indeed at that time the Landes, along with others among the more flourishing provinces, would have presented an appearance hardly recognizable to-day: disturbed, stormy, racked with fears, torn by perpetual dissensions. Under the double curse of religious and civil war, the most hateful passions were aroused. None could escape. Men were caught up by these two forces, which after all were but one, and absorbed even against their will. Stand aside and declare oneself neutral? Quite impossible! "Advance and take the oath," was the neverceasing cry. "Swear on the Bible or by the Cross, and make your choice quickly. Are you for the Church or for the Reformation, Catholic or Protestant?" There was no middle ground. All must take their stand; otherwise, suspected by both parties, attacked by both and defended by none, the chances of death were doubled.
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