Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IV.: ANSWERS TO THE OBJECTIONS WHICH MAY BE BROUGHT AGAINST THE FOREGOING PROPOSITIONS. - The Triumph of the Cross
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CHAPTER IV.: ANSWERS TO THE OBJECTIONS WHICH MAY BE BROUGHT AGAINST THE FOREGOING PROPOSITIONS. - Girolamo Savonarola, The Triumph of the Cross 
The Triumph of the Cross, trans. from the Italian, edited, with an Introduction by the Very Rev. Father John Procter, S.T.L. With a frontispiece portrait of the author (London: Sands & Co., 1901).
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ANSWERS TO THE OBJECTIONS WHICH MAY BE BROUGHT AGAINST THE FOREGOING PROPOSITIONS.
But perhaps some one will say: If your assertions be true, surely it is strange that no pagan historian or orator should make any mention of them; but that they, who minutely describe the wars and other doings of men, should pass over in silence the works of Christ, which are so much greater and more wonderful. Exception must be made in the case of certain historians, who, wishing to refute Christianity, have rendered testimony to its truth.
To these objections we reply, that it is false to say that pagan historians have not written concerning Christ and His Church. For not only have many authors, both Greek and Latin, treated fully and eloquently of His praises, but many of them have been converted to His Faith, and have propagated it by their preaching and their writing.1 And, if our objectors should reply, that they allude not to those who, after their conversion, have written about Christ, but to those who have remained in their errors; our answer is, that our Faith has confirmed its converts to such a degree, that, not only have they written of the praises of Christ and of the Church, but they have not hesitated to shed their blood for His religion. For not only have those brought up from their infancy as Christians written in behalf of their Faith, but likewise innumerable and well-known men, of different nations, have embraced the truth in their more mature years. And it is a much more convincing proof of the truth of Christianity, that its converts should have died for it, than if they had remained heathens and had written volumes in its praise. What wonder that proud and incredulous men should have neglected to narrate the works of Christ, when, beholding His miracles, they refused to accept His Faith!
There are two further reasons why pagan historians have not written in praise of Christ. One reason is the providence of God; the other their own blindness. God moves all things, both corporeal and spiritual, and cares for all things; and no one can move himself to write, unless he be inspired thereto by God. Therefore, the heathen historians have not written of Christ, because God did not move them to do so.
Now, Divine Providence did not inspire them to write for three reasons. First, God ordinarily makes use of fitting means to achieve an end, and the pagan philosophers, who were stained by infidelity and other vices, were not fit to write of the pure and holy works of Christ and of His Church.
Secondly, as Christ is Truth itself, and came into the world to give testimony of the truth, it was not seemly that men, who, like the pagan poets, orators and historians, perpetuated lies and fables and praised the foulest deeds, should have defiled the pure truths of Christ by writing of Him.
Thirdly, the heathen orators had none but the eloquence which springs from natural reason; they sought rather to magnify themselves than to declare the truth. As the works of Christ, on the other hand, are above natural reason, it is evident that these pagans were not fit men to treat of them.
Another cause which prevented the heathen writers from bearing witness to Christ was the blindness, caused by their sins, especially pride and vain-glory, which so completely darkened their hearts that they took no account of the miracles wrought by Christ, such as the restoration of sight to the blind, the raising of the dead, and so many other wonders, which none but God could perform. Furthermore, as the heathen authors had been nurtured, from their infancy, in the worship of their gods, and in idolatrous fables, they, naturally, entertained a hatred for Christianity, the sworn enemy of idolatry. They would not, therefore, write anything in favour of the Church, both on account of their detestation of her, and for fear of exciting the displeasure of the tyrants who persecuted the Christians.
Again, we must remember that these poets and orators, by their egregious flattery, cultivated the good graces of princes, in the hope of being rewarded by them; and, as they knew that there was nothing to be gained from Christians who loved truth and professed poverty, it is not surprising that they did not write about Christ. Now, on the contrary, when the Church possesses temporal dominion, there is no lack of poets and orators to sing the praises of her princes and prelates; they often even mingle with their eulogies many things which are not true. If the Gentile authors did not espouse the cause of Christ, we need not go far to find the reason of their silence.
[1 ]E.g., St. Ignatius the Martyr, St. Polycarp, St. Clement of Alexandria, etc.—Editor.