Romantic Morality: The Ideal
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Romantic Morality: The Ideal book
The pagan riot from which the church reacted so sharply was not the whole of the ancient civilization. This emancipation of human nature from theological restraint took place in far greater measure at the Renaissance. Human nature showed itself tired of being treated as a bankrupt, of being governed from without and from above. It aspired to become autonomous. Voltaire says that every Protestant is a Pope when he has his Bible in his hand. But in practice Protestantism has been very far from encouraging so complete a subordination of the general sense to the sense of the individual. Rousseau himself, though eschewing this crude appeal to final causes, scarcely got in theory at least beyond the stage of emotional deism. The romanticist indulged in the luxury of grief and was not incapable of striking an attitude. But as a rule he disdained the facile lachrymosity of the man of feeling as still too imitative and conventional.