We cannot indeed regard them,with the ancients, as the best part of his history, for the majority of them are obviously unhistorical, and nearly all savour somewhat too much of the rhetorical schools to be perfectly agreeable to modern taste.
And when he heaps suspicion, not on Christian dogmas, but on beliefs of which the resemblance to Christian tenets is sufficiently patent, the real aim is so transparent that his method seems to partake rather of the nature of literary eccentricity than of polemical artifice; yet by this disingenuous indirectness he gave his argument that savour of duplicity which ever after clung to the popular conception of deism.
Theology loses its savour when studied in a spirit of merely scientific curiosity; and it does not concern the lay Christian.
In his sacred poems he affected to avoid every word with the slightest savour of paganism; and he blamed the poets for their allusions to pagan divinities.
The great churches of those cities are wholly unlike those of Sicily; but, while some features show us that we are in Italy, while some features even savour of the Saracen, others distinctly carry us away to Caen and Peterborough.