Gibbon has criticized it with the utmost frankness, not to say severity; but, after every abatement, it is unquestionably a surprising effort for a mind so young, and contains many thoughts which would not have disgraced a thinker or a scholar of much maturer age.
The questions which lived in the earlier and more formative period of his life concerned mainly the idea of the church, the historical interpretation of the documents which described the persons who had created the Christian religion, especially the person and work of its founder; but those most alive in his later and maturer time chiefly related to the philosophy of religion and ethics.
He heard from this same teacher bold criticisms of Romish teaching concerning the sacraments, monastic vows and papal indulgences, and unconsciously he was thus trained for the great remonstrance of his maturer life.
As a youth he had joined the league of Schmalkalden, but this adhesion, as well as his subsequent declaration to stand by the confession of Augsburg, cannot be regarded as the decision of his maturer years.
We cannot write a history of the varied origin of logic, beyond putting the rudimentary logic of the proposition in the De Interpretatione before the less rudimentary theory of categories as significant names capable of becoming predicates in the Categories, and before the maturer analysis of the syllogism in the Analytics.
Lord George Bentinck, who, in his youth, had been private secretary to Canning, but who in his maturer years had devoted more time to the turf than to politics, placed himself at their head.
Two thousand summers have imparted to the monuments of Grecian literature, as to her marbles, only a maturer golden and autumnal tint, for they have carried their own serene and celestial atmosphere into all lands to protect them against the corrosion of time.