Rationalism and Its Effects
(a) Anti-Christian Philosophy of the Eighteenth Century.

Lecky, /History of the Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe/, 1913. Windleband-Tufts, /A History of Philosophy/, 1898. Uberweg-Morris, /History of Philosophy/, 2nd edition, 1876. Turner, /History of Philosophy/, 1906. Binder, /Geschichte der philosophie ... mit Rucksicht auf den Kirchlichen Zustande/, 1844- 45. Lanfrey, /L'Eglise et les philosophes au XVIIIe siecle/, 1879. Faguet, /Etude sur le XVIIIe siecle/, 1890. Lange, /History of Materialism/, 1877 (Tr. from German). Stephen, /History of English Thought in the XVIIIth Century/, 1881. Taine, /Les origines de la France contemporaine/ (vol. ii.), 1907.

In the Middle Ages the theory that human reason was to be placed above faith found able exponents, and more than once men arose who questioned some of the fundamental principles of Christianity, or who went farther still by rejecting entirely the Christian revelation. But such views were expounded in an age when the outlook of society was markedly religious, and they exercised no perceptible influence on contemporary thought. Between the fourteenth century and the eighteenth, however, a great change had taken place in the world. Dogmatic theology had lost its hold upon many educated men. The Renaissance movement ushering in the first beginnings of literary and historical criticism, the wonderful progress made in the natural sciences, revolutionising as it did beliefs that had been regarded hitherto as unquestionable, and the influence of the printing press and of the universities, would in themselves have created a dangerous crisis in the history of religious thought, and would have necessitated a more careful study on the part of the theologians to determine precisely the limits where dogma ended and opinion began.

But the most important factor in arousing active opposition to or studied contempt of revealed religion was undoubtedly the religious revolution of the sixteenth century, and more especially the dangerous principles formulated by Luther and his companions to justify them in their resistance to doctrines and practices that had been accepted for centuries by the whole Christian world. They were driven to reject the teaching authority of the visible Church, to maintain that Christ had given to men a body of doctrines that might be interpreted by His followers in future ages as they pleased, and to assert that Christians should follow the dictates of individual judgment instead of yielding a ready obedience to the decrees of Popes and Councils. These were dangerous principles, the full consequence of which the early Reformers did not perceive. If it was true, as they asserted, that Christ had set up no visible authority to safeguard and to expound His revelation, that for centuries Christianity had been corrupted by additions that were only the inventions of men, it might well be asked what guarantee could Luther or Calvin give that their interpretation of Christ's doctrine was correct or binding upon their followers, and what authority could they produce to warrant them in placing any dogmatic restrictions upon the freedom of human thought? The very principles put forward by the Reformers of the sixteenth century to justify their rejection of certain doctrines were used by later generations to prepare the way for still greater inroads upon the contents of Christianity, and finally to justify an attitude of doubt concerning the very foundations on which Christianity was based. Empiricism, Sensualism, Materialism, and Scepticism in philosophy, undermined dogmatic Christianity, and prepared the way for the irreligious and indifferentist opinions, that found such general favour among the educated and higher classes during the eighteenth century.

The movement, that owed so much of its widespread popularity on the Continent to the influence of the French rationalistic school, had its origin in England, where the frequent changes of religion during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, the quarrels between the Puritans and the High Church party, and the spread of revolutionary principles during the reign of Charles I., had contributed not a little to unsettle the religious convictions of a large section of the community. Many individuals, influenced by pantheistic teaching, did not believe in the existence of a personal God distinct from the world; others, while holding fast to the belief in a personal supreme Being, rejected the Trinity and the Incarnation, and a still larger section insisted on the subjection of Christian revelation to the judgment of reason, and as a consequence on the rejection of everything in Christianity that flavoured of the supernatural. The works of these men were imported from the Netherlands into France in spite of all restrictions that could be imposed by the police authorities, and their views were popularised by a brilliant band of /litterateurs/, until in a short time Deism and Naturalism became quite fashionable in the higher circles of French society.

The principal writers of the English school were Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1581-1648), whose works tended to call in question the existence of a supernatural religion; John Hobbs (1588-1679) the apostle of absolute rule, who saw in religion only a means of keeping the people in subjection; John Locke (1632-1704), nominally a Christian himself, whose philosophy of Empiricism and Sensualism barred the way effectively against belief in a supernatural religion; Charles Blount (1630-93), who like Flavius Philostratus sought to discredit Christianity by setting up Apollonius of Tyana as a rival of Christ; Collins, the patron of free-thinkers (1676-1729); John Toland (1670-1722), who although originally a believer in Christian revelation tended more and more towards Pantheism; and Tyndal (1656- 1733), who changed from Protestantism to Catholicism and finally from Christianity to Rationalism. In England Deism and Naturalism secured a strong foot-hold amongst the better classes, but the deeply religious temperament of the English people and their strong conservatism saved the nation from falling under the influence of such ideas.

In France the religious wars between the Catholics and Calvinists, the controversies that were waged by the Jansenists and Gallicans, the extravagances of the /Convulsionnaires/, the flagrant immorality of the court during the rule of the Duke of Orleans and of Louis XV., and the enslavement of the Church, leading as it did to a decline of zeal and learning amongst the higher clergy, tended inevitably to foster religious indifference amongst the masses. In the higher circles of society Rationalism was looked upon as a sign of good breeding, while those who held fast by their dogmatic beliefs were regarded as vulgar and unprogressive. Leading society ladies such as Ninon de Lenclos (1615-1706) gathered around them groups of learned admirers, who under the guise of zeal for the triumph of literary and artistic ideals sought to popularise everything that was obscene and irreligious. Amongst some of the principal writers who contributed largely to the success of the anti-Christian campaign in France might be mentioned Peter Bayle (1647-1706), whose /Dictionnaire historique et critique/ became the leading source of information for those who were in search of arguments against Christianity; John Baptist Rousseau (1671-1741), whose life was in complete harmony with the filthiness to which he gave expression in his works; Bernard le Boivier de Fontenelle (1657- 1757), who though never an open enemy of the Catholic Church contributed not a little by his works to prepare the way for the men of the Enclyclopaedia; Montesquieu (1689-1755), whose satirical books on both Church and State were read with pleasure not only in France but in nearly every country of Europe; D'Alembert (1717-83) and Diderot (1713-84), the two men mainly responsible for the /Encyclopedie/; Helvetius (1715-1771), and the Baron d'Holbach, who sought to popularise the irreligious views then current among the nobility by spreading the rationalist literature throughout the mass of the poorer classes in Paris.

But the two writers whose works did most to undermine revealed religion in France were Francois Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire (1694-1778), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). The former of these was born at Paris, received his early education from the Jesuits, and was introduced while still a youth to the salon of Ninon de Lenclos, frequented at this time by the principal literary opponents of religion and morality. His earliest excursions into literature marked him out immediately as a dangerous adversary of the Christian religion. He journeyed in England where he was in close touch with the Deist school of thought, in Germany where he was a welcome guest at the court of Frederick II. of Prussia, and settled finally at Ferney in Switzerland close to the French frontiers. Towards the end of his life (1778) he returned to Paris where he received a popular ovation. Poets, philosophers, actresses, and academicians vied with one another in doing honour to a man who had vowed to crush /L'Infame/, as he termed Christianity, and whose writings had done so much to accomplish that result in the land of his birth. The reception given to Voltaire in Paris affords the most striking proof of the religious and moral corruption of all classes in France at this period. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born at Geneva and reared as a Calvinist. Later on he embraced the Catholic religion, from which he relapsed once more into Calvinism, if indeed in his later years he was troubled by any dogmatic beliefs. His private life was in perfect harmony with the moral tone of most of his works. He had neither the wit nor the literary genius of Voltaire, but in many respects his works, especially /Le Contrat Social/, exercised a greater influence on the France of his own time and on Europe generally since that time than any other writings of the eighteenth century. His greatest works were /La Nouvelle Heloise/ (1759), a novel depicting the most dangerous of human passions; /Emile/, a philosophical romance dealing with educational ideas and tending directly towards Deism, and /Le Contrat Social/, in which he maintained that all power comes from the people, and may be recalled if those to whom it has been entrusted abuse it. The /Confessions/ which tell the story of his shameless life were not published until after his death.

To further their propaganda without at the same time attracting the notice of the civil authorities the rationalist party had recourse to various devices. Pamphlets and books were published, professedly descriptive of manners and customs in foreign countries, but directed in reality against civil and religious institutions in France. Typical examples of this class of literature were the /Persian Letters/ of Montesquieu, /A Description of the Island of Borneo/ by Fontanelle, /The Life of Mohammed/ by Henri de Bouillon Villiers, and a /Letter on the English/ from the pen of Voltaire. The greatest and most successful work undertaken by them for popularising their ideas was undoubtedly the /Encyclopedie/. The professed object of the work was to give in a concise and handy form the latest and best results of scholarship in every department of human knowledge, but the real aim of the founders was to spread their poisonous views amongst the people of France, and to win them from their allegiance to the Catholic Church. In order to escape persecution from the government and to conceal their real purposes many of the articles were written by clerics and laymen whose orthodoxy was above suspicion, and many of the articles referring to religion from the pen of the rationalistic collaborateurs were respectful in tone, though a careful reader could see that they did not represent the real views of the author. Sometimes references were given to other articles of a very different kind, where probably opposite views were established by apparently sound arguments. The originator of the project was D'Alembert, who was assisted by Diderot, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Condillac, Buffon, and D'Holbach. The work was begun in 1750, and in spite of interruptions and temporary suppressions it was brought to a successful conclusion in 1772. The reviewers and the learned world hailed it with delight as a veritable treasure-house of information. New and cheap editions of it were brought out for the general public, and in a remarkably short time the influence of the Encyclopaedists had reached the lowest strata of French society. Many of those in authority in France favoured the designs of the Encyclopaedists, and threw all kinds of obstacles in the way of those who sought to uphold the teaching of the Church, but soon they had reason to regret their approval of a campaign that led directly to revolution.

(b) The Aufklarung Movement in Germany.

See bibliography (viii. a). Tholuck, /Abriss einer geschichte der Umwalzung seit 1750 auf dem Gebiete der Theologie in Deutschland/, 1839. Staudlin, /Geschichte des Rationalismus und
Supranaturalismus/, 1826. Bruck, /Die rationalistischen Bestrebungen im Kath. Deutschland/, 1867. Weiner, /Geschichte der Kath. Theologie in Deutschland/, 1889. Wolfram, /Die Illuminantem in Bayern und ihre Verfolgung/, 1898-1900.

In Germany the religious formularies, composed with the object of securing even an appearance of unity or at least of preventing religious chaos, were not powerful enough to resist the anti-Christian Enlightenment that swept over Europe in the eighteenth century. At best these formularies were only the works of men who rejected the authority of the Church, and as works of men they could not be regarded as irreformable. With the progress of knowledge and the development of human society it was thought that they required revision to bring them more into harmony with the results of science and with the necessities of the age. The influence of the writings imported from England and France, backed as it was by the approval and example of Frederick II. of Prussia, could not fail to weaken dogmatic Christianity among the Lutherans of Germany. The philosophic teaching of Leibniz (1646-1710), who was himself a strong upholder of dogmatic Christianity and zealous for a reunion of Christendom, had a great effect on the whole religious thought of Germany during the eighteenth century. In his great work, /Theodicee/, written against Bayle to prove that there was no conflict between the kingdoms of nature and grace, greater stress was laid upon the natural than on the supernatural elements in Christianity. His disciples, advancing beyond the limits laid down by the master, prepared the way for the rise of theological rationalism.

One of the greatest of the disciples of Leibniz was Christian Wolf (1679-1754), who was not himself an opponent of supernatural religion. The whole trend of his arguments, however, went to show that human reason was the sole judge of the truths of revelation, and that whatever was not in harmony with the verdict of reason must be eliminated. Many of his disciples like Remiarus, Mendelssohn, and Garve developed the principles laid down by Wolf until the very mention of dogma was scouted openly, and Theism itself was put forward as only the most likely among many possible hypotheses. In the revulsion against dogmatic beliefs the party of the Pietists founded by Spener towards the end of the seventeenth century found much support, while the Conscientiarians, who maintained that man's own conscience was the sole rule of faith, and that so long as man acts in accordance with the dictates of conscience he is leading the life of the just, gained ground rapidly. Some of its principal leaders were Matthew Knutzen and Christian Edlemann who rejected the authority of the Bible. The spread of Rationalism was strengthened very much by the appearance of the /Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek/, founded in 1764 by Nicolai in Berlin, through the agency of which books hostile to Christianity were scattered broadcast amongst a large circle of readers.

These rationalistic principles, when applied to the Bible and the interpretation of the Bible, helped to put an end to the very rigid views regarding the inspiration of the sacred writings entertained by the early Lutherans. Everything that was supernatural or miraculous must be explained away. To do so without denying inspiration the "Accommodation" theory, namely that Christ and His apostles accommodated themselves to the mistaken views of their contemporaries, was formulated by Semler (1725-1791). But more extreme men, as for example, Lessing (1729-1781), who published the /Wolfenbuttler Fragments/ written by Reimarus in which a violent onslaught was made upon the Biblical miracles more especially on the Resurrection of Christ, attacked directly the miracles of Christianity, and wrote strongly in favour of religious indifference.

The rationalistic dogmatism of Wolf when brought face to face with the objections of Hume did not satisfy Immanuel Kant (1720-1804), who in his /Critique of Pure Reason/ (1781) denied that it was possible for science or philosophy to reach a knowledge of the substance or essence of things as distinguished from the phenomena, and that consequently the arguments used generally to prove the existence of God were worthless. In his own /Critique of Practical Reason/ (1788), however, he endeavoured to build up what he had pulled down, by showing that the moral law implanted in the heart of every human being necessarily implied the existence of a supreme law-giver. For Kant religion was to be identified with duty and not with dogmatic definitions. Such a line of defence, attempting as it did to remove religion from the arena of intellectual discussion, thereby evading most of the objections put forward by the rationalistic school, was a dangerous one. It led gradually to the rejection of external revelation, and to dogmatic indifference. Such a theory in the hands of Herder and above all of Schleiermacher (1768-1834) meant an end to Christian revelation as generally understood. For Schleiermacher religion was nothing more than the consciousness of dependence upon God. Given this sense of dependence, variations in creeds were of no importance. Between the religion of Luther and the religion of Schleiermacher there was an immense difference, but nevertheless it was Luther who laid down the principles that led to the disintegration of dogmatic Christianity, and in doing what he did Schleiermacher was but proving himself the worthy pupil of such a master.

The unrestrained liberty of thought, claimed by so many Protestant reformers and theologians and ending as it did in the substitution of a natural for a supernatural religion, could not fail to have an influence in Catholic circles. Many Catholic scholars were close students of the philosophical systems of Wolf and Kant in Germany, and of the writings of the Encyclopaedists in France. They were convinced that Scholasticism, however valuable it might have been in the thirteenth century, was antiquated and out of harmony with modern progress, that it should be dropped entirely from the curriculum of studies, and with it should go many of the theological accretions to which it had given rise. Catholicism, it was thought, if it were to hold the field as a world-wide religion, must be remodelled so as to bring it better into line with the conclusions of modern philosophy. Less attention should be paid to dogma and to polemical discussions, and more to the ethical and natural principles contained in the Christian revelation.

The spread of Gallicanism and Febronianism and the adoption of these views by leading rulers and politicians, thereby weakening the authority of the Pope and of the bishops, helped to break down the defences of Catholicity, and to make it more easy to propagate rationalistic views especially amongst those who frequented the universities. As a rule it was only the higher and middle classes that were affected by the /Aufklarung/. Everywhere throughout Europe, in France, in Spain, in Portugal, in Germany, and in Austria this advanced liberalism made itself felt in the last half of the eighteenth century, particularly after the suppression of the Jesuits had removed the only body capable of resisting it successfully at the time, and had secured for their opponents a much stronger hold in the centres of education.

It was in Germany and Austria that the /Aufklarung/ movement attracted the greatest attention. The Scholastic system of philosophy had been abandoned in favour of the teaching of the Leibniz-Wolf school and of Kant. The entire course of study for ecclesiastical students underwent a complete reorganisation. Scholasticism, casuistry, and controversy were eliminated. Their places were taken by Patrology, Church History, Pastoral Theology, and Biblical Exegesis of the kind then in vogue in Protestant schools.

The plan of studies drawn up by Abbot Rautenstrauch, rector of the University of Vienna (1774), for the theological students of that institution meant nothing less than a complete break with the whole traditional system of clerical education. In itself it had much to recommend it, but the principles that underlay its introduction, and the class of men to whom its administration was entrusted, were enough to render it suspicious. The director of studies in Austria, Baron von Swieten, himself in close contact with the Jansenists and the Encyclopaedists, favoured the introduction of the new plan into all the Austrian universities and colleges, and took good care, besides, that only men of liberal views were appointed to the chairs. In the hands of professors like Jahn and Fischer, Scriptural Exegesis began to partake more and more of the rationalism of the Protestant schools; Church History as expounded by Dannenmayr, Royko, and Gmeiner, became in great part an apology for Gallicanism; the Moral Theology taught by Danzer and Reyberger was modelled largely on a purely rational system of ethics, and the Canon Law current in the higher schools was in complete harmony with the views of Febronius and Joseph II.

The Prince-bishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne spared no pains to propagate these liberal views amongst those who were to be the future priests in their territories. In the University of Mainz Isenbiehl's views on Scripture brought him into conflict with the Church; Blau, the professor of dogma, denied the infallibility of the Church and of General Councils; while Dorsch, the professor of philosophy, was an ardent disciple of Kant. A similar state of affairs prevailed at the University of Trier, at Bonn which was established for the express purpose of combatting the ultramontanism and conservatism of Cologne, and to a more or less degree at Freiburg, Wurzburg, Ingolstadt, and Munich. By means of the universities and by the publication of various reviews these liberal theories were spread throughout Germany. An attempt was made to reform the discipline and liturgy of the Church so as to bring them into harmony with the new theology. Many advocated the abolition of popular devotions, the substitution of German for the Latin language in the missal and in the ritual, and the abolition of clerical celibacy.

In Bavaria matters reached a crisis when Weishaupt, a professor of canon law in Ingolstadt, founded a secret society known as the /Illuminati/ for the overthrow of the Church and the civil authority, to make way for a universal republic in which the only religion would be the religion of humanity. His speculative views were borrowed largely from the Encyclopaedists, and his plan of organisation from the Freemasons. At first the society was confined to students, but with the accession of the Freiherr von Knigge it was determined to widen the sphere of its operations. Every effort was made to secure recruits. The Freemasons gave it strong support, and Ferdinand of Brunswick became one of its members. It had its statutes, ritual, and decrees. Fortunately the members quarrelled, and were foolish enough to carry their controversies into the public press. In this way the Bavarian government became acquainted with the dangerous character of the sect of the /Illuminati/, and a determined effort was made to secure its suppression (1784-1785).

(c) Freemasonry.

Gould, /History of Freemasonry/, 3 vols., 1883-87. Findel, /Geschichte der Freimaurer/, 3 auf., 1870 (Eng. Trans.). Claudio Jannet, /Les precurseurs de la Franc-maconnerie au XVIe et au XVIIe siecle/, 1887. Deschamps et Jannet, /Les societes secretes et la societe/, 1882. Kloss, /Geschichte der Freimaurer in England, Ireland und Schottland/, 1847. Hughan, /Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry/, 1884.

Whatever about the value of the fantastic legends invented to explain the origin of Freemasonry it is certain that the first grand lodge was formed in London on the Feast of St. John the Baptist (1717). That before this date there were a few scattered lodges in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and that these lodges were the sole remaining relics of a peculiar trade guild, composed of masons and of some of the higher classes as honorary members, there can be little doubt. The society spread rapidly in England, Scotland, and amongst the Protestant colony in Ireland. From Great Britain its principles were diffused throughout the rest of Europe. Freemason lodges were established in Paris (1725-1732), in Germany (1733), Portugal (1735), Holland (1735), Switzerland (1740), Denmark (1745), Italy (1763), and Sweden (1773). The Freemasons were bound together into a secret society, the members of which were obliged by oath and by the threat of severe penalties to obey orders and to maintain silence regarding its affairs. The society had its ritual, its degrees of apprentice, fellow, and master, and its passports and signs. The particular lodges in each country were united under a national grand lodge, and though the various attempts that have been made to bring about an international organisation have failed, yet there can be little doubt that Freemasons throughout the world maintain the closest relations, and at least in general policy act usually as one man. Freemasonry was patronised by members of the royal family in England, by Frederick II. of Prussia, Francis I. of Austria, the Grand Duke Francis Stephen of Tuscany, and by Philip Duke of Orleans, who accepted the office of grand master in France. Its members were recruited principally from the higher and middle classes, as the entrance fees and expenses made it impossible for anybody except the comparatively wealthy to become members. At the time when the society was formed it was the nobility and middle classes who formed public opinion in most countries, and it was thought that if these classes could be won over to support the principles of Freemasonry, they in turn could influence the mass of the people.

Freemasonry was established at a time when Deism and Naturalism were rampant in England, and it secured a foothold in most of the continental countries in an age noted for its hostility to supernatural religion. In the first article of the /Old Charges/ (1723) it is laid down that, "A mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law, and if he really understands the art he will never be a stupid atheist or an irreligious libertine." The precise meaning of this injunction has been the subject of many controversies, but it is clear from the continuation of the same article that the universal religion on which all men are agreed, that is to say, a kind of natural Christianity, was to be the religion of Freemasonry. The society professed to be non-sectarian in its objects, but the whole tendency of the rules and of the organisation in its practical working has been to promote contempt for dogmatic orthodoxy and for religious authority, and to foster a kind of modified Christianity from which specifically Catholic doctrines have been eliminated.

In France and in Austria Freemasons and Rationalists worked hand in hand for the overthrow of the established Church and for the spread of atheistical views. The society professed also to forbid political discussions, but here too the articles of the constitution are intentionally vague, and it is fairly evident that in most of the revolutions that have disturbed the peace of Europe during the last hundred years Freemasons have exercised a very powerful influence. For many reasons the anti-religious and revolutionary tendencies of Freemasonry have been more striking in the Latin countries, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, than in England or Germany. In 1877 the Grand Orient of France abolished the portions of the constitution that seemed to admit the existence of God and the immortality of the soul, and remodelled the ritual so as to exclude all references to religious dogma. This action led to a rupture between the Grand Orient and the lodges of England, Germany, and America. Yet many of the Freemasons in these latter countries sympathised with the attitude of their French brethren, and insisted on interpreting after their own fashion the very ambiguous formula by which the existence of a grand architect is recognised. There can be no doubt that even in England a man may be a Freemason accepting loyally all its articles, and yet refuse to believe in the existence of a personal God distinct from the world. Freemasonry aims at establishing a spirit of comradeship and brotherhood among its members. They are bound to aid one another in every possible way and practically in all conceivable circumstances. However objectionable such a practice, and however dangerous to the public weal and to the interests of the state it may be, it is precisely this feature of the society that won for it its greatest number of adherents.

Freemasonry was condemned by Clement XII. in 1738. In the constitution /In eminenti/, in which this condemnation was promulgated, he explained the reasons that induced him to take this step. These were the anti-religious tendencies of the society both in its theory and practice, the oaths of secrecy and obedience to unknown superiors, and the danger to Church and State involved in such secret combinations. This condemnation has been renewed by several of his successors, as for example Benedict XIV. (1751), Pius VII. (1821), Gregory XVI. (1832), Pius IX. (1865), and Leo XIII. (1884). Since 1738 Catholics have been forbidden under penalty of excommunication to become members of the society or to promote its success. According to the constitution /Apostolicae Sedis/ (1869), which is in force at the present time, excommunication is levelled against those who join the Freemasons or similar bodies that plot against the Church and established authority, as well as against those who favour such organisations and do not denounce their leaders.

(d) The Suppression of the Society of Jesus.

Cretineau-Joly, /Clement XIV. et les Jesuites/, 1847. De Ravignan, /Clement XIII. et Clement XIV./, 1856. Theiner, /Histoire du pontificat de Clement XIV. d'apres des documents inedits des arch. secr. du Vatican/, 2 vols., 1852. Weld, /The Suppression of the Society of Jesus in the Portuguese Dominions/, 1877. Rosseau, /Regne de Charles III. d'Espagne/, 1907. Riffel, /Die Aufhebung des Jesuitenordens/, 3 auf., 1855. Foley, /Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus/, 1877. Hogan, /Hibernia Ignatiana/, 1880. Taunton, /The Jesuits in England/, 1901.

From its foundation by St. Ignatius of Loyola and its approval by Paul III. the Society of Jesus had remained true to the teaching and spirit of its holy founder and loyal to the Holy See. In the defence of the Church, especially in Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and France, in the domain of education and of literature, in the work of spreading Christianity amongst the races and peoples in India, China, Japan, and America, the Jesuit Fathers took the foremost place. They laboured incessantly to stay the inroads of heresy, to instil Catholic principles into the minds of the rising generation, and to win new recruits to take the place of those who had gone over to the enemy.

But their very success was sufficient to arouse the wrath of their adversaries and the jealousy of their rivals. Lutherans and Calvinists, enraged by the success of the Counter-Reformation, denounced the Jesuits as enemies of progress and enlightenment, whose very existence was a danger to the peace and the liberty of Europe. These charges were re-echoed by Jansenists and Gallicans, by infidel philosophers and absolutist politicians, and, stranger still, by many whose orthodoxy could not be questioned, but whose judgment was warped by their annoyance at the wonderful success of a comparatively young organisation. The Jesuits were accused of favouring laxity of morals on account of the support given by some of them to Probabilism, of sympathising with Pelagianism on account of the doctrine of Molina, of supporting tyrannicide on the strength of the work of Mariana, of upholding absolutism on account of their close relations with the rulers of France, and Spain, and of seeking to undermine governments and constitutions by their secret political schemes and their excessive wealth. Garbled extracts taken from the works of individual Jesuits were published as representing the opinions of the body, and the infamous /Monita Secreta/, purporting to contain the instruction of Aquaviva to his subjects, was forged (1612) to bring discredit upon the Society.[1]

More than once the combined assaults of its enemies seemed on the point of being crowned with success. During Aquaviva's tenure of office as general (1585-1615) the society was banished from France and from Venice, while the demands of the Spanish Jesuits for a Spanish superior, backed as it was by the influence of the court, threatened to destroy the unity of the Society. Again in the time of Paul Oliva (1664-1681) and Charles Noyelle (1682-1686) controversies regarding Jansenism, Probabilism, the /Regalia/, and the Gallican Declaration of the French clergy (1682), endangered the existence of the Society in France, and threatened to lead to misunderstandings with the Holy See, but under the Providence of God these dangers were averted, and the eighteenth century found the Jesuits still vigorous in Europe and not less vigorous in their labours among the heathen nations.

But their opponents though beaten time and again were not disheartened. The infidel philosophers of the eighteenth century recognised in the Jesuits the ablest defenders of the Catholic Church. If only they could succeed in removing them, as Voltaire declared, the work of destroying the Church seemed comparatively easy. Hence they united all their forces for one grand assault upon the Society as the bulwark of Christianity. They were assisted in their schemes by the Jansenists, eager to avenge the defeat they had received at the hands of the Jesuits, and by the absolutist statesmen and rulers of Europe, who aimed at the enslavement of the Church, and who feared the Jesuits as the ablest exponents of the rights of religion and of the Holy See. The Jesuits controlled to a great extent Catholic education both lay and clerical, and it was hoped that by installing teachers devoted to state supremacy and Enlightenment in their place the future of absolutism and of rationalism might be assured.

The attack on the Jesuits was begun in Portugal during the reign of Joseph Emmanuel (1750-1777). He was a man of liberal views, anxious to promote the welfare of his country, as well as to strengthen the power of the crown. In accomplishing these objects he was guided by the advice of the prime minister, Joseph Sebastian Carvalho, better known as the Marquis of Pombal.[2] The latter had travelled much, and was thoroughly imbued with the liberal and rationalistic spirit of the age. He regarded the Catholic Church as an enemy of material progress, and the Jesuits as the worst teachers to whom the youth of any country could be entrusted. A treaty concluded with Spain, according to which the Spaniards were to surrender to Portugal seven of the Reductions of Paraguay in return for San Sacramento, afforded him the long desired opportunity of attacking the Jesuits (1750). The Indians on the Reductions, who had been converted by the Jesuits, were to be banished from their lands to make way for mining operations in search of gold, and though the Jesuits tried hard to induce their people to submit to this decree, the Indians, maddened by the injustice and cruelty of the treatment of the Portuguese, rose in revolt. The Jesuits were blamed for having fomented the rebellion. By orders of Pombal they were arrested and brought to Portugal, where the most extravagant charges were published against them in order to damage them in the eyes of the people.

The Portuguese government appealed to Benedict XIV. to take action against the Society. The Pope appointed Saldanha an apostolic visitor to examine into the charges that had been made. Though the instructions laid down for the guidance of the visitor were precise in every detail, Saldanha, unmindful of the restrictions imposed by the Pope and without hearing any evidence that might favour the accused, decided against the Jesuits and procured the withdrawal of their faculties in Lisbon (1758). In September of that year a plot directed against one of the royal officials, but supposed to have for its object the murder of the king, was discovered and attributed without any evidence to the Jesuits. They and many of their supposed allies among the nobility were arrested and thrown into prison; their schools were closed, and various fruitless attempts were made to induce the younger members to disown the Society. Finally in September 1759 a decree of banishment was issued against the Jesuits. Most of them were arrested and despatched to the Papal States, while others of them, less fortunate, were confined as prisoners in the jails of Portugal. Father Malagrida, one of the ablest and most saintly men of the Society, was put to death on a trumped-up charge of heresy (1761). Clement XIII. (1758-1769) made various attempts to save the Society, and to prevent a breach with Portugal, but Pombal determined to push matters to extremes. The Portuguese ambassador at Rome suddenly broke off negotiations with the Holy See and left the city, while the nuncio at Lisbon was escorted to the Spanish frontier (1760). For a period of ten years (1760-1770) friendly relations between Rome and Portugal were interrupted.

In France the Jesuits had many powerful friends, but they had also many able and determined enemies. The Jansenists who controlled the Parliament of Paris, the Rationalists, the Gallicans, and not a few of the doctors of the Sorbonne, though divided on nearly every other issue, made common cause against the Society. They were assisted in their campaign by Madame de Pompadour, the king's mistress, for whom the Jesuit theology was not sufficiently lax, and by the Duc de Choiseul, the king's prime minister. The well-known Jesuit leanings of Louis XV. and of the royal family generally, imposed a certain measure of restraint upon the enemies of the Society, until the famous La Valette law suit offered its opponents an opportunity of stirring up public feeling and of overcoming the scruples of the weak-minded king. The Jesuits had a very important mission in the island of Martinique. The natives were employed on their large mission lands, the fruits of which were spent in promoting the spiritual and temporal welfare of the people. La Valette, the Jesuit superior on the island, had been very successful in his business transactions, and encouraged by his success, he borrowed money in France to develop the resources of the mission. This money he could have repaid without difficulty, had it not been that during the war between France and England some vessels bearing his merchandise were seized by the English (1755). La Valette was in consequence of this unable to pay his creditors, some of whom sought to recover their debts by instituting a civil process against the procurator of the Paris province. For several reasons the Jesuits, though not unwilling to make a reasonable settlement, refused to acknowledge any responsibility. The creditors insisted on bringing the case to trial, and the court at Marseilles decided in their favour. The Jesuit procurator then appealed to the Parliament of Paris, at that time strongly Jansenist in its tendencies. The Parliament, not content with upholding the verdict, took advantage of the popular feeling aroused against the Society to institute a criminal process against the entire body (1761).

A commission was appointed to examine the constitutions and privileges of the Jesuits. It reported that the Society was dangerous to the state, hostile to the /Gallican Liberties/, and unlawful. The writings of Bellarmine and Busenbaum were ordered to be burned, and the famous /Extrait des Assertions/, a kind of blue-book containing a selection of unpopular views defended by Jesuit writers, was published to show the dangerous tendencies of the Society and to prejudice it in the eyes of the people. The Provincial of the Jesuits offered for himself and his subjects to accept the Declaration of the French clergy and to obey the instructions of the bishops, but the offer, besides being displeasing to the Roman authorities, did not soften the wrath of the anti-Jesuit party, who sought nothing less than the total destruction of the Society.

Louis XV. endeavoured to bring about a compromise by procuring the appointment of a vicar for France. With this object he called a meeting of the French bishops (1761), the vast majority of whom had nothing but praise for the work of the Jesuits, and wished for no change in the constitution of the Society. Similar views were expressed by the assembly of the French clergy in 1762. Clement XIII. laboured energetically in defence of the Jesuits, but in open disregard of his advice and his entreaties, the decree for the suppression of the Society was passed by Parliament in 1762, though its execution was delayed by orders of the king. Meanwhile proposals were made to the Pope and to the general, Ricci,[3] for a change in the constitution, so as to secure the appointment of an independent superior for France, which proposal was rejected by both Pope and general. In 1763 the Jesuit colleges were closed; members of the Society were required to renounce their vows under threat of banishment, and, as hardly any members complied with this condition, the decree of banishment was promulgated in 1764. Clement XIII. published a Bull defending the constitution of the Society, and rejecting the charge against its members (1765), while the French bishops addressed an earnest appeal to the king on its behalf (1765).

The example of Portugal and France was soon followed by Spain. Charles III. (1759-1788) was an able ruler, anxious to restore the former greatness of his country by encouraging the establishment of industries and by favouring the introduction of foreign capital and foreign skill. He was by no means irreligious, but he was influenced largely by the liberal tendencies of the age, as were also in a more marked degree his two principal ministers Aranda and de Roda. Popular feeling was aroused by the favour which the king showed towards French capitalists and artisans, and in some places ugly commotions took place. The ministers suggested to the king that the Jesuits were behind this movement, and were the authors of certain dangerous and inflammatory pamphlets. Secret councils were held, as a result of which sealed instructions were issued to the governors of all towns in which Jesuit houses were situated that on a fixed night the Jesuits should be arrested (1767). These orders were carried out to the letter. Close on six thousand Jesuits were taken and hurried to the coast, where vessels were waiting to transport them to the Papal States. When this had been accomplished a royal decree was issued suppressing the Society in Spain owing to certain weighty reasons which the king was unwilling to divulge. Clement XIII. remonstrated vigorously against such violent measures, but the only effect of his remonstrances was that the bishops who defended the papal interference were banished, those who would seek to favour the return of the Society were declared guilty of high treason, and the punishment of death was levelled against any Jesuit who attempted to land in Spain.

In Naples, where Ferdinand, son of Charles III. of Spain then ruled, the suppression of the Jesuits was planned and carried out by the prime minister, Tanucci, a man hardly less unfriendly to the Society than Pombal. The Jesuits were arrested without any trial, and were sent across the frontier into the Papal States (Nov.1767). Much the same fate awaited them in the territories of the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, where the minister du Tillot had pursued for years a campaign against the rights of the Catholic Church. In 1768 Clement XIII. issued a strong protest against the policy of the Parmese government. This aroused the ire of the whole Bourbon family. France, Spain, and Naples demanded the withdrawal of this /Monitorium/ under threat of violence. The Papal States of Avignon and Venaissin were occupied by French troops, while Naples seized Benevento and Pontecorvo. Various attempts were made to secure the support of the Empress Maria Theresa, and to stir up opposition in the smaller kingdoms of Italy. But Clement XIII., undaunted by the threats of violence of the Bourbons, refused to yield to their demands for the suppression of a Society, against which nothing had been proved, and against which nothing could be proved except its ardent defence of the Catholic Church and its attachment to the Holy See. In January 1769 an ultimatum was presented by the ambassadors of France, Spain, and Naples demanding the suppression of the Society. The Pope refused to agree to it, but before the threats it contained could be carried into execution Clement XIII. passed away (Feb.1769).

In the conclave that followed the Bourbon rulers made every effort to secure the election of a Pope favourable to their views. Their representatives were instructed to use the veto freely against all cardinals known to be favourable to the Jesuits. After a struggle lasting three months Cardinal Ganganelli was elected and took the title Clement XIV. (1769-1774). He restored friendly relations with Parma, opened negotiations with Portugal, created the brother of Pombal a cardinal, appointed Pereira, one of the court theologians, to a Portuguese bishopric, despatched a nuncio to Lisbon, and brought about a formal reconciliation (1770).

It is not true that before his election Clement XIV. had bound himself formally to suppress the Jesuits. Hardly, however, had he been crowned when demands were made upon him by the representatives of France and Spain similar to those presented to his predecessor. Clement XIV. promised to agree to the suppression (1769), but asked for time to consider such a momentous step. In the hope of satisfying the opponents of the Jesuits the Pope adopted an unfriendly attitude towards the Society, and appointed apostolic visitors to examine into the affairs of the seminaries and colleges under its control, from most of which, as a result of the investigation, the Jesuits were dismissed. He offered to bring about a complete change in the constitution of the Society, but this offer, too, was rejected. Charles III. of Spain forwarded an ultimatum in which he insisted upon the instant suppression of the Society under threat of recalling his ambassador from Rome. This ultimatum had the approval of all the Bourbon rulers. Faced with such a terrible danger, the courage of Clement XIV. failed him, and he determined to accept the suppression as the lesser of two evils (1772). In July 1773 the Brief /Dominus ac Redemptor noster/, decreeing the suppression of the Society in the interests of peace and religion, was signed by the Pope. The houses of the Jesuits in the Papal States were surrounded by soldiers, and the general, Ricci, was confined as a prisoner in the castle of St. Angelo. The decree was forwarded to the bishops to be communicated by them to the Jesuits resident in their dioceses. In most of the countries of Europe the decree of suppression was carried out to the letter, the Jesuits as a body submitting loyally to the decision of the Pope.

Catharine II. of Russia, however, and Frederick II. of Prussia were impressed so favourably by the work of the Jesuits as educators that they forbade the bishops to publish the decree in their territories. In 1776 an agreement was arrived at between Pius VI. and Frederick II., according to which the Jesuits in Prussian territory were to be disbanded formally and were to lay aside their dress, but they were permitted to continue under a different name to direct the colleges which they possessed. The Empress Catherine II. of Russia continued till her death to protect the Society. In 1778 she insisted upon the erection of a novitiate, for which oral permission seems to have been given by Pius VI. In the other countries many of the Jesuits laboured as secular priests, others of them united in the congregation, known as the Fathers of the Faith (1797), and others still in the congregation of the Fathers of the Sacred Heart. In 1803 the English Jesuit community at Stonyhurst was allowed to affiliate with the Russian congregation; in 1804 the Society was re-established with the permission of Pius VII. in Naples, and in 1814 the Pope issued the Bull, /Sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum/ formally re-establishing the Society. Strange to say the very next year (1815) a persecution broke out against the Jesuits in Saint Petersburg, and in 1820 they were expelled from Russian territory.

It was fear of the Bourbon rulers that forced Clement XIV. to agree to the suppression of the Jesuits. By sacrificing a society that had been noted for its loyal defence of and submission to the Pope, he had hoped to restore peace to the Church, and to avert the many calamities that threatened its very existence in France, Spain, Portugal, and Naples. But he lived long enough to realise that his weakness led only to new and more exorbitant demands, and that the professors, who had taken the chairs vacated by the Jesuits, were only too ready to place their voices and their pens at the disposal of the civil power and against the Holy See. The suppression of the Society was hailed as a veritable triumph by the forces of irreligion and rationalism. The schemes that this party had been concocting for years were at last crowned with success; the strongest of the outposts had been captured, and it only remained to make one last desperate assault on the fortress itself. The civil rulers, who had allowed themselves to be used as tools for promoting the designs of the rationalists and the Freemasons, had soon reason to regret the cruelty and violence with which they treated the Society of Jesus. In a few years the Revolution was in full swing; the thrones of France, Spain, Portugal and Naples were overturned, and those members of the royal families, who escaped the scaffold or the dungeon, were themselves driven to seek refuge in foreign lands, as the Jesuits had been driven in the days of Clement XIV.
-- -- -- -- --

[1] On the /Monita Secreta/, cf. Bernard, /Les instructions secretes des Jesuites/, 1903. Duhr, /Jesuitenfabeln/, 1904. Gerard, /Jesuit Bogey/, etc. (/The Month/, Aug., 1901, p.179).

[2] Du Breuil, /Un ministre philosophe, Carvalho, marquis de Pombal/ (/Revue historique/, 1895, pp.1 sqq.).

[3] Carayon, /Le pere ricci et la suppression de la compagnie de Jesus en 1773/, 1869.

(e) Failure of Attempts at Reunion. Protestant Sects.

Bossuet, /Oeuvres completes/, 1846 (vii.). /Oeuvres de Leibniz/, etc., 1859. Kiefl, /Der Friedensplan des Leibniz fur Wiedervereinigung der getrennten Kirchen/, 1903. Lescoeur, /De Bossueti et Leibnitii epistolarum commercio circa pacem inter Christianos conciliandam/, 1852. Tabaraud, /Histoire critique des projets formes depuis trois cents ans pour la reunion des communions chretiennes/. Kahnis, /Der innere gang des deutschen Protestantismus/, 3 Auf., 1874. Franke, /Geschichte der protestantism Theologie/, 1865. Erbkam, /Geschichte der protestantischen Sekten im Zeitalter der Reformation/, 1848.

Whatever hopes there might have been of restoring unity to the Christian world during the early years of the Reformation movement, the prospects of a reunion became more and more remote according as the practical results of the principle of private judgment made themselves felt. It was no longer with Luther, or Calvin, or Zwingli that Catholic theologians were called upon to negotiate, nor was it sufficient for them to concentrate their attention upon the refutation of the /Confessio Augustana/ or the /Confessio Tetrapolitana/. The leading followers of the early Reformers found themselves justified in questioning the teaching of their masters, for reasons exactly similar to those that had been alleged by their masters in defence of their attack on the Catholic Church. The principle of religious authority having been rejected, individuals felt free to frame their own standard of orthodoxy, and were it not for the civil rulers, who interfered to preserve their states from the temporal dangers of religious anarchy, and to supply by their own power some organisation to take the place of the Catholic hierarchy, Calvinism and Lutheranism would have assumed almost as many forms as there were individuals who professed to accept these religious systems. As it was, despite the religious formularies, drawn up for the most part at the instigation and on the advice of the civil rulers, it proved impossible for man to replace the old bulwarks established by Christ to safeguard the deposit of faith. As a consequence new sects made their appearance in every country that accepted the reformed doctrine.

In France some attempts were made by Cardinal Richelieu to bring about a reunion between the Catholics and the Calvinists. In taking these steps he was influenced more by considerations of state than by zeal for the welfare of the Church, but the gulf separating the two parties was too wide to be bridged over even by French patriotism. In Poland, where unity was particularly required and where the disastrous consequences of religious strife were only too apparent, Ladislaus V. determined to summon a conference at Thorn in 1645 to discuss the religious differences, but though it was attended by representatives from several states of Germany it produced no good results.

In Germany the work, that had proved too great for the theologians, was undertaken by the princes in 1644, with no better results. Later on, at the instigation of the Emperor, Christopher Royas de Spinola, an Austrian bishop, spent the last twenty years of his life (1675- 1695) in a vain effort to put an end to the religious dispute. Heedless of repeated rebuffs, he passed from court to court in Germany till at last at Hanover he saw some prospect of success. Duke Ernest August assembled a conference of Lutheran theologians (1679), the principal of whom was Molanus, a Protestant abbot of Loccum. The Lutheran theologians were willing to agree that all Christians should return immediately to their obedience to the Pope, on condition, however, that the decrees of the Council of Trent should be suspended, and that a new General Council composed of representatives of all parties should be assembled to discuss the principal points in dispute. On his side Royas was inclined to yield a good deal in regard to clerical celibacy and the authority of secular princes in ecclesiastical affairs. Innocent XI., while not approving of what had been done, praised the bishop for the efforts he had made to bring about a reunion.

Leibniz, the librarian and archivist of the Duke of Brunswick, having taken already some part in the work of bringing about a reconciliation, entered into a correspondence with Bossuet, the Bishop of Meaux. He favoured a compromise on the basis of acceptance of the beliefs of the first five centuries, and published his /Systema Theologicum/ as a means of bringing the Catholic standpoint before the minds of his co-religionists. Bossuet and the French historian Pellisson reciprocated his efforts, but the schemes of Louis XIV. and the hopes of the English succession entertained by the House of Brunswick out an end to all chances of success.

From the beginning, though Luther and Zwingli were at one in their opposition to Rome, they were unable to agree upon a common religious platform. The Sacramentarian controversy, confined at first to Luther and Carlstadt, grew more embittered after Zwingli had espoused openly the side of the latter. Several German princes having embraced the views of Zwingli, it was felt necessary to preserve some kind of unity amongst the Reformers, especially in view of the threatening attitude assumed by Charles V. A conference was called at Marburg (1529), at which Luther, Melanchthon, Osiander, and Agricola agreed to meet Zwingli, Oecolampadius, Butzer, and the other Swiss leaders. The conference failed to arrive at a satisfactory agreement, but in 1536 the Concord of Wittenberg was concluded, whereby it was hoped that peace might be restored by the adoption of a very ambiguous formula. Luther, however, refused to allow himself to be bound by the agreement, and the controversy went on as violently as before.

In the meantime Calvin had undertaken to preach doctrines on the Eucharist entirely different from those put forward by either Zwingli or Luther, with the result that Zurich found itself in conflict with Geneva as it had found itself previously in conflict with Wittenberg. To restore some semblance of unity among the Swiss Reformers Bullinger, the recognised head of the Zurich party, entered into communication with Calvin, and a doctrinal agreement was arrived at known as the /Consensus Tigurinus/ (The Zurich Concord) in 1549. Later on this was confirmed by the /Confessio Helvetica/ (1564).

After the death of Luther in 1545 Melanchthon became the acknowledged head of the Lutheran party. On many questions he was inclined to disagree with the doctrine of his master. His teaching in regard to the Eucharist began to approximate more closely to the views of Calvin, so that the Impanation and Companation theories of Luther lost favour in Germany. The Philippists or Crypto-Calvinists gained ground rapidly in the country, with the result that the German Protestants were split up into hostile sections. A conference was held at Naumburg in 1561, but it broke up without having done anything to restore religious unity. At last in 1576 the Elector August of Saxony summoned an assembly of theologians to meet at Torgau, for the discussion of the differences that had arisen between the orthodox followers of Luther and the Crypto-Calvinists or followers of Melanchthon. Jacob Andrea, chancellor of the University of Tubingen, was the life and soul of the reunion movement. Taking the plan of agreement that had been formulated by him as a basis for discussion the conference drew up the /Book of Torgau/, copies of which were despatched to the Lutheran princes and theologians for an expression of their opinion. When this had been received the /Book of Torgau/ was revised (1577) and a Formula of Concord (/Formula Concordiae/) was compiled, embodying the Confession of Augsburg, Melanchthon's Apology for this Confession, the Articles of Schmalkald and the two Catechisms issued by Luther (1577). But as there was no authority to enforce this Formula several of the states refused to accept it.

In Saxony under Christian I. (1586-91) the Philippists in favour at court triumphed over their adversaries, but on the death of Christian the orthodox Lutherans secured the upper hand, and Nicholas Crell, the prime minister and chancellor of Saxony during the previous reign, was thrown into prison, and later on he was put to death (1601). Calvinism continued to make steady progress in Germany. It was introduced into the Palatinate during the reign of Frederick III. (1583), and though suppressed by his son and successor, it gained the upper hand. Similarly in Hesse-Cassel, in Lippe, Brandenburg, and Anhalt, it gained many new adherents. All attempts at peace amongst the warring sects having failed, Calvinism was recognised formally at the Peace of Westphalia (1648).

Violent controversies broke out among the Lutheran party in Germany on many other matters besides the Eucharist. One of the early followers of Luther named Agricola,[1] afterwards a professor of Wittenberg (1539), in his efforts to emphasise the teaching of his master on good works proclaimed that the spirit of fear so characteristic of the Old Testament had given way to the mildness and love of the New, and that, therefore, Christians who had received justification were no longer under the obligations of the law. This is what was known as /Antinomism/, a form of error not unknown amongst the early Gnostics and amongst some of the heretical sects of the Middle Ages. Agricola was assailed violently by Luther (1538-40), fled to Berlin (1540), and returned at a later period to make his submission, but Luther refused all his attempts at reconciliation. Melanchthon, however, adopted a more friendly attitude. The controversy continued for years, and /Antinomism/ of a much more exaggerated form spread into other countries, particularly into England, where Parliament was obliged to legislate against its supporters during the reign of Charles I.

Closely associated with the Antinomist controversy was another known as the /Osiandrist/,[2] from the name of one of its principal participants, Andrew Osiander. The latter, a professor of Hebrew at Nurnberg, perceiving the dangerous results of Luther's teaching on good works sought to introduce some modifications that would obviate the danger involved in the latter's apparent contempt for good works. For this reason he condemned the general absolution that had been introduced to replace auricular confession, and insisted upon the elevation of the Host as a profession of belief in the doctrine of the Real Presence. Having become involved in a sharp dispute with his colleagues at Nurnberg he left the university, and accepted a professorship at Konigsberg in Prussia (1549), where he was supported by the ruler Duke Albert. In regard to Justification he taught that forgiveness of sin and satisfaction should not be confounded with Justification, that the latter is effected by the indwelling of God in the person of the justified, that though the human nature of Christ is a necessary condition for redemption it is by the divine nature that the indwelling of God in man is effected, and that on account of this indwelling the holiness of God is imputed to the creature. This teaching aroused considerable opposition. Osiander was denounced by Morlin and others as Anti-Christ. Duke Albert sought the views of leading theologians only to find that as they were divided themselves they could lay down no certain rules for his guidance. Osiander died in 1552, but the quarrel continued and for a time it seemed as if it would lead to rebellion. Finally the adversaries of Osiander triumphed, when they secured the insertion of their views in the Prussian /Corpus Doctrinae/ (1567) and the execution of Funk the leading supporter of Osiandrism (1601). Another professor of Konigsberg at this period, Stancarus, maintained that Redemption is to be attributed to the human nature rather than to the divine nature of Christ, but he was expelled from the university, and denounced on all sides as a Nestorian.

On this question of good works a violent controversy broke out after the Leipzig /Interim/ (1548). Luther had depreciated entirely the value of good works as a means to salvation. On this point, however, Melanchthon was willing to make considerable concessions to the Catholics, as indeed he did in 1535 and 1548, when he admitted that good works were necessary for acquiring eternal happiness. This view was supported warmly by Major, a professor at Wittenberg, who was denounced by Amsdorf as an opponent of Luther's doctrine of Justification (1551). Amsdorf, Flacius, and others maintained that good works were a hindrance rather than an aid to salvation, while Major clung tenaciously to the position that good works were meritorious. /Majorism/, as the new heresy was called, was denounced in the most violent terms because it involved a return to the doctrine of the Papists. Major was suspended from his office as preacher (1556) and was obliged to make a recantation (1558).

The /Adiaphorist/ controversy broke out in connexion with the Leipzig /Interim/ (1548). In this attempt at reconciliation Melanchthon was not unwilling to yield in many points to the Catholic representatives, and to agree that several of the doctrines and practices of the Church that had been assailed by Luther were at least indifferent and might be admitted. For this he was attacked by Matthias Flacius, surnamed Illyricus[3] on account of the place of his birth, a professor of Hebrew at Wittenberg since 1544. The latter protested against the concessions made by Melanchthon, denounced as impious the union of Christ with Belial, and returned to Magdeburg, where he was joined by Amsdorf and others who supported his contention. He was driven from the city and at last died at Frankfurt in 1575.

The question of man's co-operation in his conversion gave rise to what was known as the /Synergist/ controversy. Luther had laid it down as a first principle that man contributed nothing to the work of his own conversion, but though Melanchthon agreed with this view in the beginning, he was disposed at a later period to attribute some activity to the human will, at least in the sense that it must struggle against its own weakness. This view was strengthened and developed by John Pfeffinger, a professor at Leipzig, who taught publicly the necessity of man's co-operation (1550), and published a treatise in defence of this position (1555). Pfeffinger's doctrine aroused the opposition of Amsdorf, Flacius, and the other leaders of the orthodox Lutheran party. Leipzig and Wittenberg joined hands to support the doctrine of co-operation, while the majority of the professors at Jena took the opposite side. One of the latter however, Strigel, supported Pfeffinger, and a public disputation was held at Gotha under the presidency of Duke John Frederick. The Lutheran party demanded the punishment of Strigel and his supporters so vigorously that the Duke was obliged to arrest them, but, annoyed by the attempt of the Lutherans to set up a religious dictatorship to the detriment of the supremacy of the civil ruler, he established a consistory composed of lawyers and officials whose duty it was to superintend the religious teaching in his territory. The anti-Synergists, having protested against this measure as an infringement of the rights of the spiritual authority, were expelled, and Jena entered into line with Wittenberg and Leipzig for the defence of Synergism. With the change of rulers came once more a change of doctrine. The princes, alarmed by the violence of the controversy, assembled a conference at Alternburg in 1568 which lasted four months without arriving at any agreement. On the accession of the Elector August the leading opponents of the Synergists, including a large number of the superintendents and preachers, were deprived of their offices.

By his lectures and teaching at the University of Hemstadt George Calixt[4] gave rise to a new and prolonged discussion known as the /Syncretist/ controversy. The Duke of Brunswick having refused to accept the /Formula of Concord/, the professors at the university which he had founded felt themselves much more free in their teaching than those in other centres of Lutheranism. Calixt denied the ubiquity of Christ's body and the attribution of divine qualities to Christ's human nature. Though a strong opponent of several distinctly Catholic or Calvinist beliefs he saw much that was good in both, and he longed for a reunion of Christendom on the basis of an acceptance of the beliefs and practices of the first six centuries. He was charged with aiming at a confusion of all religions, and in proof of this charge it was alleged that he rejected the Lutheran teaching on Original Sin and on man's natural powers of doing good even before justification, that he defended the meritorious character of good works, the supremacy of the Pope, at least /de jure ecclesiastico/, and the sacrifice of the Mass (1639). In 1643 a disputation was held, in which Hornejus, a colleague of Calixt, supported his doctrine especially on the meritoriousness of good works. The appearance of Calixt at the conference summoned by the King of Poland in Thorn (1645) to promote a reunion with Rome, and the friendly attitude which he had adopted towards the Catholics and the Calvinists helped to increase the suspicions of his adversaries. Calixt died in 1656, but for years after his death the spirit of toleration, that he had done so much to foster, was one of the distinguishing features of the University of Helmstadt. It was during this controversy that the Branch Theory, namely, that Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism formed three divisions of the one true Church, was formulated clearly for the first time.

Amongst the Calvinists the extremely crude doctrine on Predestination taught by Calvin soon proved too much for the faith of many of his followers. Several of them, holding fast by Calvin's teaching, contended that regardless of Original Sin God had created some for glory and others for damnation, that Christ had died only to save the elect, and that to these alone is given the grace necessary for salvation (Supralapsarians). Others, horrified by the cruelty of such a doctrine, maintained that the decree predestining some to hell followed the prevision of Original Sin (Infralapsarians). This view had been put forward by Theodore Koonhort, and had found considerable support, but it was attacked by the majority of the Calvinist ministers, and a bitter controversy ensued. The orthodox party summoned to their assistance Arminius[5] (Hermanzoon), a distinguished young Calvinist preacher, who had attended the lectures of Beza in Geneva, but whose strict views were modified considerably by a sojourn in Italy. Instead of supporting the Supralapsarians, his sympathies were entirely on the side of the milder doctrine, and after his appointment to a professorship at Leyden (1603) he became the recognised head of the Infralapsarians. His chief opponent was Gomar, also a professor at Leyden, who accused Arminius of Semi-Pelagianism. Arminius, while repudiating such a charge as groundless, rejoined by pointing out that according to his adversaries God was the author of sin. Both appeared before an Assembly of the States in 1608 to defend their views, and though the majority were inclined to favour Arminius, silence was imposed upon the two principals and upon their followers. In the next year Arminius himself died (1609), but his doctrines were upheld by Episcopius supported by the learned jurist, Oldenbarneveld, and the Humanist, Grotius. In replying to the charge of heresy brought against them the followers of Arminius presented to the States a Remonstrance embodying their doctrines (1610) and on this account they were styled Remonstrants. The States adopted a neutral attitude at first, but, as the Gomarists or anti-Remonstrants violated the injunction of silence by founding separate communities, the authorities were inclined not merely to tolerate but to support the Remonstrants.

Maurice, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Holland, anxious to strengthen his position by allying himself with the orthodox Calvinists, began a bitter campaign against the Arminians. Oldenbarneveld and Grotius were arrested and brought before the synod of Dordrecht (1617), at which the former was condemned to death, while Grotius was imprisoned for life though he succeeded in escaping after two years. Another Synod was held at Dordrecht (Nov.1618-April 1619) to which representatives came from all parts of Holland, the Palatinate, England, and Scotland. From the beginning the followers of Arminius were admitted only as accused persons, and were called upon to defend themselves against the charge of heresy. Against them the authority of Calvin was urged as if it were infallible. As the Arminians were suspected of republican principles William of Orange and his supporters were decidedly hostile. The Remonstrants, despairing of getting an impartial hearing, left the Synod. The five Articles contained in the Remonstrance were discussed, and decrees were issued regarding those portions of Calvin's doctrine that had been called in question. It was agreed that faith is the pure gift of God to be given by God to those whom He has predestined by His own mercy and without any reference to their merits for election; that Christ died only for the elect; that man's will does not co-operate in the work of his conversion; and that the elect are exempted from the dominion of sin, so that although they may be guilty of serious crimes they can never become enemies of God or forfeit the glory to which they were predestined. The decrees of the Synod of Dordrecht were received generally in Holland, Switzerland, France, in the territory of the Elector of Brandenburg, and in Hesse, but in the other portions of Calvinist Germany and in the greater part of England they met with serious opposition.

/Anabaptists/.[6] -- The belief that baptism could not be conferred validly on infants who have not arrived at the use of reason was held by many of the Middle Age sectaries, and was revived at the time of the Reformation. Its supporters, claiming for themselves the liberty of interpreting the Scriptures according to their own judgment, maintained that they had divine sanction for their teaching. The leaders of the sect in Saxony and Thuringia were Thomas Munzer and Nicholas Storch. They represented the extreme left of the Lutheran party maintaining the equality of men and the community of property. In Zwickau, where the movement originated, violent disturbances broke out, and the leaders retired to Wittenberg where they were joined by Carlstadt. It required the presence of Luther himself to prevent the city from falling completely into their hands. Owing to the dangerous character of the radical principles defended by the Anabaptists several princes of Germany joined hands for their suppression. They were defeated at the battle of Frankenberg (1525) and Munzer was arrested and put to death. Before his execution he returned to the Catholic Church.

Despite this defeat the party made considerable progress in West Germany and in the Netherlands, where the people were so disgusted with their political and social conditions that they were ready to listen to semi-religious, semi-social reformers like the Anabaptists. They took possession of the city of Munster in Westphalia. The two principal leaders were John of Leyden (a tailor) and John Matthyas or Matthieson (a baker), the former of whom was appointed king. The city was besieged and captured in 1535, and the principal Anabaptists were put to death. In Switzerland the movement made considerable progress. From Switzerland it spread into southern Germany, but the triumph of the princes during the Peasants' War destroyed the hopes of the extreme Anabaptists, and forced the sect to discard most of its fanatical tendencies. The leader of the more modern Anabaptist sect was Menno Simonis, a priest who joined the Society in 1535, and after whom the Anabaptists are called frequently Mennonites.[7] The latter rejected infant baptism and Luther's doctrine of Justification by faith alone. They protested against oaths even in courts of law and capital punishment.

/Schwenkfeldians/.[8] -- This sect owes its origin to Caspar von Schwenkfeld (1489-1561), a native of Silesia, who, though attached to many of the doctrines of Luther, believed that Luther was inclined to lay too much stress on faith and external organisation to the exclusion of real religion. He thought that more attention should be paid to the mystical and devotional element, in other words to the personal union of the individual soul with God. According to him, this should be the beginning and end of all religion, and if it could be accomplished organisation and dogma were to be treated as of secondary importance. He rejected infant baptism, regarded the sacraments as mere symbols, denied the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and maintained that in the Incarnation the human nature of Christ was in a sense deified. Schwenkfeld held several interviews with Luther in the hope of winning him over to his opinions but without success. Owing to his quarrel with the master, Schwenkfeld was banished from Strassburg in 1533, and condemned by a Lutheran assembly at Schmalkald in 1540. His doctrines found considerable support in Silesia and in the states of several German princes, though it was only after Schwenkfeld's death that his followers began to organise themselves into separate communities. Owing to persecution many of them fled to America where they settled in Pennsylvania (1634). In 1742 the sect was tolerated in Prussia.

/Socinianism/.[9] -- The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity found many opponents in Latin countries about the time of the Reformation. Michael Servetus, Gentilis, Campanus, and Blandrata, attacked the Trinity from different points of view, but by far the most dangerous adversaries of the doctrine were Laelius Socinus (1525-1562) and his nephew Faustus Socinus (1539-1604). The former of these became a member of a secret society founded at Vicenza (1546) for the discussion and propagation of anti-Trinitarian views (1546). The principal members of this body were Gentilis, Blandrata, Alciatus, and Laelius Socinus, a priest of Siena and a man who stood in close relationship with some of the leading Lutherans and Calvinists. When the society at Vicenza was suppressed several of the prominent members fled to Poland for asylum. Laelius Socinus, though he remained at Zurich, was looked up to as the guiding spirit of the party till his death in 1562. His nephew Faustus Socinus then stepped into the place vacated by his uncle. The anti-Trinitarians in Poland, who had begun to style themselves Unitarians since 1563, had established themselves at Racow. In 1579 Faustus Socinus arrived in Poland, at a time when the anti-Trinitarians were divided into opposing factions, but in a short while he succeeded in winning most of them over to his own views. The doctrines of Socinus and of his principal disciples were explained in the /Catechism of Racow/ (first published in 1605) and in the numerous theological works of Socinus. In 1638 the Socinians were banished from Poland, and violent measures were taken against them by most of the Catholic and Protestant princes of Europe.

Though Socinus professed the greatest respect for the Sacred Scriptures as the one and only source of all religion, he claimed the right of free interpretation even to the extent of rejecting anything in them that surpassed the powers of human understanding. In this respect he was as much a rationalist as any of the extreme rationalists who fought against Christianity in the eighteenth century. God, he maintained, was absolutely simple and therefore there could be no Trinity; He was infinite, and therefore could not unite Himself with human nature, as was assumed in the doctrine of the Incarnation; the Holy Ghost was not a person distinct from the Father, but only the energy and power of the Father as manifested in the sanctification of souls. Christ was not God; He was merely the Logos born miraculously and deputed by God to be a mediator for men. He ascended into Heaven, where He was in some sense deified and endowed with supreme dominion over the universe. Hence in opposition to the Unitarians Socinus maintained that Christ should be worshipped as God. He died on the cross according to the command of the Father, but it was by His example of obedience and by His preaching rather than by the vicarious sacrifice of His life that man's redemption was effected. The work of redemption which Christ began on earth is continued in Heaven through His intercession with the Father. From this notion of the redemption it followed as a logical consequence that the sacraments could not be regarded as channels of grace or as anything more than external signs of union with the Christian body. The Socinian doctrine was condemned by Paul IV.[10] (1555) and by Clement VIII. (1603).

/Pietism/.[11] -- This movement among the Lutherans resembled closely some of the developments of Mysticism in the Catholic Church during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Its object was to direct attention to the spiritual and ethical side of religion regardless of dogma and external organisation. One of its greatest leaders was Spener,[12] a student at Geneva, and later on a preacher at Frankfurt. In his endeavours to bring religion to bear on the daily lives of the people and to awaken in them a sense of their personal relations to God he founded the /Collegia Pietatis/, private assemblies for the study of the Scriptures, for the discussion of the means of redemption, and for a general revival of religious zeal. With the same object in view he wrote the /Pia Desideria/ (1567), which was much prized as a spiritual reading book by the devout Lutherans of Germany. He emphasised the idea of a universal priesthood, which he thought had been somewhat neglected by the leaders of the Lutherans, advocated for those who were destined for the ministry a training in spiritual life rather than in theological lore, encouraged good works as the best means of securing eternal bliss, objected to polemical discussions, and welcomed the establishments of private societies for the promotion of Christian perfection. About the same time Franke and Anton undertook a similar work in Leipzig by founding the /Collegium Philobiblicum/ principally for students and members of the university. This society was suppressed at the instigation of the Lutheran faculty of theology, and the two founders of it were dismissed. In a short time Spener was appointed to an office in Berlin and was received with great favour at the court. By his influence three of his leading disciples, Franke, Anton, and Breithaupt were appointed professors in the University of Halle, which from that time became the leading centre of Pietism in Germany. Students flocked to Halle from all parts of Germany, from Denmark, and from Switzerland. An attempt was made to explain away Luther's teaching on good works, and to insist on the practical as distinct from the intellectual aspect of Christianity. This relegation of dogma to a secondary place, and the establishment of private assemblies to supplant the ecclesiastical organisation and the established liturgy, led to the development of separatist tendencies and ultimately to the promotion of dogmatic indifference. It is a noteworthy fact that Semler was one of the students most sincerely attached to Pietism at Halle.

/Herrnhuters/.[13] -- This sect was only a development of the Moravian Brothers founded in 1457 by one of the Hussite leaders. It owes its development in the eighteenth century to Count Zinzendorf (1700-1760), a wealthy nobleman and a Pietist of the school of Spener. A number of the Moravian or Bohemian Brethren having appealed to him for a suitable place to establish a settlement, he offered them portion of his estate at Hutberg (1722). As they were inclined to quarrel amongst themselves he undertook in person the work of organisation. He appointed a college of elders to control the spiritual and temporal affairs of the community, together with a college of deacons to superintend specially the temporal wants of the brethren. Like the Pietists generally he paid little attention to dogmatic differences, allowing the Lutherans, Calvinists, and Moravians to have their own separate elders. As he was anxious to undertake missionary work he received Holy Orders, and wished to preach in Bohemia, but the Austrian government refused to allow him to continue his work in that province, and even secured his banishment from Saxony. He went through Europe visiting Holland and England and established some of his communities in both these countries, after which he returned to Herrnhut in 1755. During his lifetime Zinzendorf was looked upon as the head of the whole community, but after his death it was much more difficult to preserve unity. The Herrnhuters made some progress in Germany, but their greatest strength at the present day is to be found in England and the United States.

/Swedenborgians/.[14] -- The founder of this sect was Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), who was born at Stockholm, and educated at the University of Upsala. He was a very distinguished student especially in the department of mathematics and physical science, and after an extended tour through Germany, France, Holland, and England he returned and settled down in Sweden, where he was offered and refused a chair at Upsala. From 1734 he began to turn to the study of philosophy and religion. After 1743, when he declared that Our Lord had appeared to him in a vision, had taught him the real spiritual sense of Scripture, and had commanded him to instruct others, he abandoned his mathematical pursuits and turned entirely to religion. As Judaism had been supplanted by Christianity, so too, he maintained, the revelation given by Christ was to be perfected by that granted to himself. He rejected the Justification theory of Luther, the Predestination teaching of Calvin, the doctrines of the Trinity, of Original Sin, and of the Resurrection of the body. The one God, according to him, took to Himself human flesh, and the name, Son of God, was applied properly to the humanity assumed by God the Father, while the Holy Ghost was but the energy and operation of the God Man. The new Jerusalem, that was to take the place of the Christian Church, was to be initiated on the day he completed his great work /Vera Christiana Religio/ (1770). He claimed that the last Judgment took place in his presence in 1757. During his own life he did little to organise his followers except by establishing small societies for the study of the Bible, but after his death the organisation of the new Jerusalem was pushed on rapidly. From Sweden the sect spread into England, where the first community was established in Lancashire in 1787, and into America and Germany. For a long time the Swedenborgians were persecuted as heretics in Sweden.
-- -- -- -- --

[1] Kawerau, /J. Agricola/, 1881. Elwert, /De antinomia Agricolae/, 1837.

[2] Moller, /Dr. Andreas Osiander/, 1870.

[3] Preger, /M. Flacius Illyrikus und seine Zeit/, 2 Bde., 1859-61.

[4] Dowling, /The Life and Correspondence of Christ/, 1863.

[5] Maronier, /Jacobus Arminius/, 1905. De Bray, /Histoire de l'eglise Arminienne/, 1835.

[6] Keller, /Geschichte der Wiedertaufer und ihres Reichs/, 1880.

[7] Schyn, /Historia Christianorum qui Mennonitae appellantur/, 1723.

[8] Hofmann, /Caspar Schwenkfelds Leben und Lehren/, 1897.

[9] Bock, /Historia Antitrinitariorum maxime Socinianismi/, 1774-84. Lecler, /F. Socin/, 1884.

[10] Denzinger, op. cit., no.993.

[11] Ritchl, /Geschichte des Pietismus/, 1880-6.

[12] Hossbach, /Ph. J. Spener und seine Zeit/, 1853.

[13] Camerarius, /Historica narratio de Fratrum Orthodoxorum ecclesiis/, etc., 1625. Hamilton, /A History of the Moravian Church or the Unitas Fratrum/, 1900.

[14] Tafel, /Documents concerning the Life and Character of E. Swedenborg/, 1875-77. Gorres, /Emanuel Swedenborg, seine visionen und sein verhaltniss zur Kirche/, 1827.

chapter vii the age of
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