The aim of the work was to reform Protestant theology by means of the fundamental ideas of the Reden, to put an end to the unreason and superficiality of both supernaturalism and rationalism, and to deliver religion and theology from a relation of dependence on perpetually changing systems of philosophy.
Viewed in this light Petrarch anticipated the Italian Renaissance in its weakness - that philosophical superficiality, that tendency to ornate rhetoric, that preoccupation with stylistic trifles, that want of profound conviction and stern sincerity, which stamp its minor literary products with the note of mediocrity.
It has been impossible to avoid an air of superficiality, and the repetition of facts known to every schoolboy, in this sketch New of so complicated a subject as the Renaissance, - embracing many nations, a great variety of topics and an indefinite period of time.
Both kinds reflect in their Voltairian superficiality Bolingbroke's manner of life, which was throughout uninspired by any great ideas or principles and thoroughly false and superficial.
In the eyes of a Chinese connoisseur, no blue-and-white porcelain worthy of consideration exists, or ever has existed, except the kai-pien-yao, with its imponderable pdle, its wax-like surface, and its rich, glowing blue, entirely free from superficiality or garishness and broken into a thousand tints by the microscopic crackle of the glaze.