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THIRTY-FIRST TALK           629



to a superstition. Then take all the work of the
Inquisition. ^That was another case. Remember, too,
the Massacre of S. Bartholomew and on another
occasion the Sicilian Vespers. The last may have
been partly political, but at any rate the Massacre of
S. Bartholomew was primarily a matter of religion.
No doubt political considerations came into it, as
they did with Constantine when he became a Christian,
thinking it a good card to play in the then position
of affairs in the Byzantine Empire. The ill-feeling
between the different sects of Christians was really
very largely responsible for the massacre. We hope
that such things as those would not occur in the
present day. I am afraid that it is not quite certain
that they might not, if any single religious body
should have the practically unlimited power which
the Roman Church had in the Middle Ages in Europe.
I am not sure that there might not be persecutions
still, that there might not be victims to superstitions.
I am afraid that ij; is by rit) means improbable.

There are many different varieties of this supersti-
tion, and they all come from ignorance and from
lack of sympathy with people. We who represent
Theosophy have got over national feeling to a large
extent. While, of course, we are patriotic, while we
prefer our own nationality to any other, we should
not like to think of ourselves as having been born in
any other country than our own, yet we have
members surely as intellectual, as spiritual, as