Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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Christianity has assimilated the entire spirituality of an innumerable number of men who were by nature submissive those enthusiasts of humiliation and reverence both refined and coarse.  It has in this way freed itself from its own original rustic coarseness—of which we are vividly reminded when we gaze upon the oldest image of St.  Peter the Apostle –it has become a very knowing religion with thousands of wrinkles arrière-pensées and subterfuges on its countenance.  It has made European humanity more clever and not only cunning in a theological sense.  By this spirit in conjunction with the power of profound conviction and the loyalty of devotion—it has fashioned the most refined individuals which have ever existed in human society: the figures of the higher ranks of the Catholic clergy especially when these priests have sprung from a noble family and have brought to their work—from the very beginning—an innate grace of gesture and the eye of command.  Here the human face acquires that aspect of spiritualisation that reflects the continual ebb and flow of two kinds of happiness (the feeling of power and the feeling of submission) that attend a way of living that masters the beast in man.  Here the activity of blessing forgiving sins and representing the Almighty keeps alive in the soul—and even in the body—the awareness of a supreme mission where we find that noble contempt concerning the perishable nature of the body of health and of happiness that is peculiar to born soldiers: their pride lies in obedience—a distinctly aristocratic trait; their pride and their idealism arise from the absolute impossibility of their task.  The surpassing beauty and subtleties of these princes of the Church have always proved to the people the truth of the Church; whereas a momentary brutalisation of the clergy (such as came about in Luther's time) always tended to encourage the contrary belief.  Will this beauty and human subtlety the harmony of figure of intellect and task come to an end when religions come to an end?  And can nothing higher be attained or even conceived?  

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