His diary reveals a tender and devout private life which has been overlooked by those who have only considered the versatile facility and persuasive expediency that marked the successful public career of the bishop, and earned!
The chief points were (I) the lawfulness and expediency of certain terms employed by the Jesuits in naming God Almighty, such as Tien, " Heaven," and Shang-ti, " Supreme Ruler" or "Emperor," instead of Tien-Chu, " Lord of Heaven," and in particular the erection of inscribed tablets in the churches, on which these terms were made use of; 2 (2) in respect to the ceremonial offerings made in honour of Confucius, and of personal ancestors, which Ricci had recognized as merely "civil" observances; (3) the erection of tablets in honour of ancestors in private houses; and (4), more generally,- sanction and favour accorded to ancient Chinese sacred books and philosophical doctrine, as not really trespassing;on Christian faith.
Religion began to be identified with the state; and the king combated heresy and dissent, not only as a religious duty, but as a matter of political expediency, unity of faith being obviously conducive to unity of law.
Sagasta loyally furnished the queen with a constitutional pretext for carrying out her desire, and tendered the resignation of the whole cabinet, so that Her Majesty might consult, as usual, the party leaders and generals on the grave question of the expediency of entrusting to new ministers or to the Liberals the mission of testing the new electoral system.
The latter and a strong and influential body of Conservatives, chiefly young politicians, dissented from the easy-going views of Romero Robledo and of Canovas on the expediency of reforms to correct the notorious and old-standing abuses and corruption of the municipalities, especially of Madrid.