Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER V.: A CHRISTIAN LIFE IS THE BEST POSSIBLE MEANS FOR ATTAINING TO HAPPINESS. - The Triumph of the Cross
CHAPTER V.: A CHRISTIAN LIFE IS THE BEST POSSIBLE MEANS FOR ATTAINING TO HAPPINESS. - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- The Truth of Faith Manifested By the Triumph of the Cross.
- Book I.
- Chapter I.: How By Means of Visible Things We Arrive At the Knowledge of Such As Are Invisible.
- Chapter II.: How the Triumph of Christ Testifies to the Truth of Our Faith.
- Chapter III.: Containing Certain Fundamental and Irrefragable Principles.
- Chapter IV.: Answers to the Objections Which May Be Brought Against the Foregoing Propositions.
- Chapter V.: The Mode In Which Our Argument Must Be Conducted.
- Chapter VI.: The Existence of God.
- Chapter VII.: God Is Not a Body, Nor the Form of a Body, Nor Is He a Complex Substance.
- Chapter VIII.: God Is the Perfect and Supreme Good, and Is of Infinite Power; He Is In Every Place; and He Is Immutable and Eternal.
- Chapter IX.: God Is One.
- Chapter X.: God Knows All Things Perfectly, and Acts of His Own Will, and Not From Natural Necessity.
- Chapter XI.: The Providence of God Extends Over All Things.
- Chapter XII.: The End to Which Man Is Guided By Divine Providence.
- Chapter XIII.: Man’s Last End Cannot Be Attained In This Present Life.
- Chapter XIV.: The Soul of Man Is Immortal.
- Book II.
- Method Observed Throughout This Book.
- Chapter I.: Some True Religion Exists In the World.
- Chapter II.: Religion Is Both Interior and Exterior.
- Chapter III.: No Better Life Can Be Found Than the Christian Life.
- Chapter IV.: The End Presented to Us By the Christian Religion Is the Best Which Can Possibly Be Conceived.
- Chapter V.: A Christian Life Is the Best Possible Means For Attaining to Happiness.
- Chapter VI.: The Christian Life Is a Most Sure Means of Attaining to Beatitude.
- Chapter VII.: The Faith of Christ Is True, Because It Causes Men to Lead a Perfect Life.
- Chapter VIII.: The Doctrines Taught By Christianity Are True, and Come From God.
- Chapter IX.: The Truth of the Faith Proved By Arguments Founded On the Prayer and Contemplation of Christians.
- Chapter X.: Proofs of the Truth of the Christian Religion Founded On Its External Forms of Worship.
- Chapter XI.: The Truth of Christianity Evidenced By Its Effects On the Interior Life of Christians.
- Chapter XII.: The Truth of Christianity Manifested By Its Visible Effects On the Lives of Christians.
- Chapter XIII.: The Truth of the Faith Demonstrated By the Wonderful Works of Christ, Especially Those Which Pertain to His Power.
- Chapter XIV.: The Truth of Christianity Shown By Arguments Based On the Wisdom of Christ.
- Chapter XV.: The Truth of Christ’s Teaching Is Proved By His Goodness.
- Chapter XVI.: The Truth of Christianity Is Proved By the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of Christ, Considered Collectively.
- Book III.
- Method Observed Throughout This Book.
- Chapter I.: God Contains Within Himself, and Can Perform, an Infinite Number of Things Surpassing Human Understanding.
- Chapter II.: An Examination of Certain Articles of the Christian Creed Which Exceed the Limits of Human Understanding.
- Chapter III.: The Mystery of the Trinity Is Neither Unreasonable Nor Incredible.
- Chapter IV.: The Christian Doctrine of Creation Is Neither Incredible Nor Unreasonable.
- Chapter V.: The Christian Teaching Concerning the Sanctification, Glory, and Resurrection of Rational Creatures Contains No Article Which Is Either Impossible, Or Unreasonable.
- Chapter VI.: The Doctrine of the Damnation of the Wicked Is One Befitting Christianity.
- Chapter VII.: The Doctrine of the Incarnation of the Son of God Is, In No Sense, Incredible, Unseemly, Or Unreasonable.
- Chapter VIII.: The Belief In the Virginal Birth of Christ Is Consistent With Reason, and His Life Befitted, In All Respects, His Dignity.
- Chapter IX.: The Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Is Neither Unreasonable Nor Incredible.
- Chapter X.: Our Belief In the Passion of Christ, In the Other Mysteries of His Humanity, and In All the Articles Defined By the Church, Is Strictly Consistent With Reason.
- Chapter XI.: The Christian Religion Most Prudently Establishes the Two Precepts of Charity, As the Foundation of Our Whole Moral Life.
- Chapter XII.: The Excellence of the Moral Teaching of the Church.
- Chapter XIII.: The Perfect Reasonableness of the Christian Constitution and Code of Judicial Law.
- Chapter XIV.: The Sacraments of the Church Have Been Instituted By Christ, and Are Admirably Adapted to the Needs of Mankind.
- Chapter XV.: The Number of the Sacraments Is Reasonable.
- Chapter XVI.: The Rites Used In the Administration of the Sacraments Are Both Reasonable and Seemly.
- Chapter XVII.: Answers to Certain Objections Brought Against the Doctrine of the Blessed Eucharist.
- Chapter XVIII.: The Reasonableness of the Ceremonies of the Church.
- Book IV.
- Introduction. Method Observed Throughout This Book.
- Chapter I.: No Religion Except Christianity Can Be True.
- Chapter II.: The Defective and Erroneous Religions Taught By Heathen Philosophers.
- Chapter III.: The Futility and Superstition of the Traditions of Astrology.
- Chapter IV.: Idolatry Is of All Things the Most Vain.
- Chapter V.: A Refutation of the Jewish Perfidy and Superstition.
- Chapter VI.: The Malicious Untruthfulness of Heretics.
- Chapter VII.: The Utter Irrationality of the Mahometan Religion.
- Chapter VIII.: The Christian Religion Will Remain True and Unwavering Unto the End.
- Chapter IX.: Epilogue.
A CHRISTIAN LIFE IS THE BEST POSSIBLE MEANS FOR ATTAINING TO HAPPINESS.
If the vision of God be the end of human life, God, who has made nothing in vain, must have given us some means of attaining to it. For, just as it would be useless for us to possess the power of motion, had we not limbs wherewith to move, so would it be futile to be created for an end, if we have no means of reaching it. The Christian religion teaches, that the means whereby we are to attain to the vision of God are, purity of heart, and grace, together with all the virtues supernaturally infused into the soul.
We shall see how true and how reasonable this doctrine is, if we remember that a means must be proportioned to its end. Now, as the end of man is the supernatural vision of God, the Supreme Object of intelligence, there is needed, in order to attain to it, perfect purity of heart, consisting in a complete aversion of the mind and heart from the love of corporeal things, together with a conversion to things incorporeal and Divine. This purity of heart is far more explicitly enjoined by the Christian religion than by any philosopher. Christianity has included all that philosophy has taught on the subject; at the same time defining more clearly what is meant by this purity of heart, and showing that mere natural virtue, such as is inculcated by philosophers, is not sufficient for the attainment of an end infinitely superior to nature. Christianity teaches that the purity of heart which springs from temperament, imagination, natural religion, from the influence of the heavenly bodies, or from any other created thing, will not suffice to bring us to the vision of God. Our purity must be the fruit of Divine grace. A fuller explanation of the subject may be found in the treatise on The Simplicity of Christian Life, in which it is shown that purity of heart, and the perfect Christian life, is not the result of natural love, nor is it the creation of the imagination nor even of reason; that it is not influenced by the heavenly bodies nor by any spiritual creatures; but that it comes from the grace of God, supernaturally infused into the soul. We need not repeat all that is written in that book, about the most perfect means for attaining the perfection of the Christian life. Suffice it to say, that the life of a true Christian, which embraces the highest form of a holy life, both natural and supernatural, is most conducive to perfect happiness.
De Simplicitate Vitæ Christianæ. This little work consists of five short treatises, or, as the author calls them, “Books”. It is from the pen of Savonarola himself. It was first published in Italian at Florence in the year 1496, and afterwards, in Latin, at Venice, and at the Ascension Press in Paris. As the title suggests, it treats of certain practical and simple rules, which help souls to attain to the perfection of the Christian life. I do not know of any existing English translation of this booklet.—Editor,