The characteristic of the rationalists was the attempt to explain away the New Testament miracles as coincidences or naturally occurring events, while at the same time they held as tenaciously as possible to the accuracy of the letter of the New Testament narratives.
Long before his death he had become alienated from the advanced school of Catalan nationalists, and endeavoured to explain away the severe criticism of Castile in which his Historia de Cataluna y de la Corona de Aragon (1860-1863) abounds.
He endeavoured to explain away certain of the contradictions which are found in Kant's system by saying that much of the language is used in a popular sense for the sake of intelligibility, e.g.
He asks his readers, after weighing the evidence advanced, to determine "whether he (Erigena) used his philosophy to explain away his theology, or to bring out what he conceived to be the fullest meaning of it."
Then, wholly unexpectedly, came a letter from Capo d'Istria upbraiding Ypsilanti for misusing the tsar's name, announcing that his name had been struck off the army list, and commanding him to ?ay down his arms. Ypsilanti's decision to explain away the tsar's letter could only have been justified by the success of a cause which was now hopeless.