Chapter II – The Swiss School of Church Reformers, and Its Propagation.
As Luther stands unrivalled in the group of worthies who conducted what is termed the Saxon Reformation, Zwingli’s figure is originally foremost in the kindred struggles of the Swiss. He was born* on New Year’s day, 1484, and was thus Luther’s junior only by seven weeks. His father was the leading man of Wildhaus, a parish in the Toggenburg, where, high above the level of the lake of Zürich, he retained the simple dignity and truthfulness that characterized the Swiss of olden times, before they were so commonly attracted from their native pastures to decide the battles of adjacent states.** Huldreich Zwingli, being destined for the priesthood, sought his elementary education at Basel and Bern, and after studying philosophy for two years at the university of Vienna, commenced his theological course at Basel under the care of Thomas Wyttenbach, a teacher justly held in very high repute.*** At the early age of twenty-two, Zwingli was appointed priest of Glarus (1506). He carried with him into his seclusion a passionate love of letters, and especially of that untrodden field of literature which was exciting the profoundest admiration of the age, – the classical remains of Greece and Rome. To these he long devoted his chief interest; for although he was not unacquainted with the writings of the Middle Ages, scholasticism had never any charm for him, and exercised but little influence on his mental training. Thus while Luther undervalued the wisdom of the heathen poets and philosophers, Zwingli venerated them as gifted with an almost supernatural inspiration.*4
*[On the boyhood and early training of Zwingli, see Schuler’s Huldreich Zwingli, Zürich, 1819. The best contemporary Life of him is by Oswald Myconius, the reforming preacher, who died at Basel in 1552. It is reprinted in Stäudlin’s Archiv für Kirchengesch. Vol. I.]
**[Their services were especially solicited by the pope on one side, and the French on the other. Hence arose the custom of pensions by which a French party had acquired general ascendancy in Switzerland at the beginning of the sixteenth century: Ranke, Ref. III. 65, 66.]
***[He belonged to the same school as Erasmus, and besides inspiring his pupils with a love of classical literature, excited them against the more extravagant of the Mediaeval notions. Zwingli says (Opp. III. 544, ed. Schuler) that he learned from Wyttenbach “solam Christi mortem pretium esse remissionis peccatorum.”]
*4[Ranke, III. 63. Walter (Gualther), his son-in-law, whose Apology for him was prefixed to the edition of his works which appeared in 1545, has to answer the following charge among others: “Quosdam ex Ethnicorum numero, homines impios, crudeles, horrendos, idololatras et Epicuri de grege porcos, Sanctorum coetui adnumeravit”: sign. _.]
At the same time other traits no less distinctive in his character were strongly brought to light. Zwingli was from first to last a genuine republican, not only by the accident of birth in the Helvetic confederacy, but as it seemed by an original instinct of his nature. Hence we find the pastor of Glarus busily engaged in politics, composing patriotic allegories [These were entitled Der Labyrinth, and Fabelgedicht vom Ochsen und etlichen Thieren, written in 1510.] in denunciation of “the foreigners,” taking the field with his courageous flock, and even present at the battle of Marignano, where his countrymen at last succumbed beneath the chivalry of France (1515).
But in the meanwhile an important change was passing over the complexion of his private studies. In 1513 he applied himself with characteristic ardour to the cultivation of the Greek language,* and accepting the principles of exegesis then advocated by Erasmus, resolved that the Bible, and especially the New Testament in the original, should be in future his great touchstone for determining the nature and the limits of religious truth. In all this process, notwithstanding some analogies, the course of Zwingli had diverged considerably from that of the Wittenberg reformer. Luther, as we saw, was forced into collision with the Church authorities by an internal pressure of the conscience, a profound and overwhelming impulse of his moral sensibilities. Though disciplined to habits of submission, and by nature indisposed to break away from the traditions of the past, he was nevertheless unable to repress the storm of holy indignation that arose within him on beholding the practical substitution of man’s righteousness for Christ’s, [Cf. above.] of justification by the law for justification by faith. But if this error had been once corrected, Luther’s quarrel with the dominant school of theologians would in all probability have ceased. Zwingli, on the contrary, [Ranke, Ref. III. 96.] had no such reverence for the Church, and no such bond of union with antiquity. His thoughts were for the most part circumscribed within his native mountains, and concentrated on the parish where his lot was cast. That joyous heart, of which his cheerful countenance [“Ingenio amoenus et ore jucundus supra quam dici possit erat,” is the description of him by Oswald Myconius. He had also a fine musical taste.] was the unfailing index, had been well-nigh unacquainted with the spiritual tempests in which Luther learned to fathom the abyss of human depravity, and tested the victorious power of faith: and therefore what the Saxon friar undertook as the result of holy impulses and spiritual intuitions, the Swiss clergyman was rather aiming to achieve by the employment of his critical and reasoning faculties. He rose at length to controvert established usages and dogmas of the Church, because he had not found them in his careful study of the Greek Testament.
*[“Coepi praedicare Evangelium,” he writes in 1523, “antequam Lutheri nomen unquam audivissem. Atque in eum usum ante decem annos operam dedi Graecanicis literis, ut ex fontibus doctrinam Christi haurire possem”: Opp. (ed. Gualther, 1545), I. fol. 38 a. He did not indeed condemn the reading of the Fathers, himself studying Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine and Chrysostom, and, like Erasmus, feeling a strong preference for Jerome’s commentaries. Still he spoke of brighter days not far distant when Christians would value nothing but the Word of God (“ut neque Hieronymus neque caeteri, sed sola Scriptura Divina apud Christianos in pretio sit future”): Ibid. I. fol. 37 b.]
The Swiss reformer had thus many points in common with Erasmus, and accordingly as soon as the literary chieftain came to Basel in 1514, frequent communications [See, for instance, Erasmi Epist. Lib. XXXI. ep. 52.] passed between them. “There is nothing,” wrote Zwingli, “of which I am prouder than to have seen Erasmus.” But in 1516 he began to manifest far greater boldness than his learned correspondent.* Having been transferred to Einsiedeln** in the autumn of that year, he laboured to divert his people*** from the grosser forms of image worship and other like corruptions, and even wrote to his diocesan, the bishop of Constance, urging the necessity of minor reformations. Two years later he was appointed to a preachership in the collegiate church of Zürich (Jan. 1, 1519) where he found a more appropriate arena for his eloquence, and where his force of character at once exalted him to the position he retained during the rest of his life. His efforts had at this period a threefold tendency, – to vindicate the absolute supremacy of Holy Scripture, and establish what he deemed a juster method of interpretation;*4 to purify the morals*5 of the citizens; and to recall the Swiss confederation to those principles of independence on which it had been founded. In the spring of 1519 some correspondence took place between the Zurichers and Leo X respecting a Franciscan friar*6 who had ventured to reopen the disgraceful traffic that drew forth the animadversions of Luther in 1517. The obnoxious agent was immediately withdrawn, and so amicably that the Swiss reformer, who directed the resistance of his fellow townsmen, still continued to enjoy a pension given him by the pope.*7 In the following year, however, his harangues at Zürich had induced the cantonal authorities to publish a decree enjoining that pastors should henceforth have perfect liberty to preach all doctrines that could claim the warrant of the Holy Scriptures, and thus threatening to precipitate a crisis very near at hand. [Ranke, Ref. III. 73.] The fermentation spread from day to day in all the orders of society. Accordingly, in 1522, a formal charge was made against the innovators*8 by the bishop of Constance, and substantiated before the chief authorities of the canton, but without eliciting a favourable answer.
*[Erasmus was, however, the chief agent in determining his course: Opp. I. fol. 55 b, ed. Gualther. He had learned from a poem of his friend that Christ was the true “Patron” of the sinner and the helpless. “Hunc enim vidi unicum esse thesaurum pii pectoris, quin coepi scriptis Bibliorum Sacrorum veterumque patrum diligentius intendere, certius quiddam ex his de divorum intercessione venaturus. In Bibliis Sacris plane nihil reperi. Apud quosdam veterum de ea re inveni, apud alios nihil.”]
**[His removal to this lonelier district (“Eremitorium”) was chiefly caused by the hatred of the French party in Glarus: cf. p. 100, n. 2: but it must have conduced to the development of Zwingli’s principles by securing him more leisure for reading and reflection. According to a letter of Capito (quoted in Middle Age, p. 412, n. 5), he was then meditating on a plan “de pontifice dejiciendo.”]
***[Waddington, II. 271, 272. In a passage cited by Gieseler (III. i. p. 139, n. 29, ed. Bonn.; V. 304, ed. Edinb.) he declares that as early as this period (1517) he plainly told the cardinal of Sitten (Sion) “dass das ganze Papsitthum einen schlechten Grund habe, and das allweg mit gwaltiger heiliger Schrift.”]
*4[Instead of preaching exclusively from the select passages of Holy Scripture contained in the “Lectionarium,” he expounded whole books, beginning with St Matthew (“idque absque humanis commentationibus ex solis fontibus Scripturae Sacrae”): Opp. I. fol. 37 b, ed. Gualther. In his Architeles (an apologetic treatise, dated Aug. 23, 1522), he mentions the order in which the other books were taken, and gives his reasons for adopting it: Ibid. I. fol. 132 b.]
*5[His friend Oswald Myconius (Ad Saeerdotes Helvetiae, Tiguri, 1524, pp. 5, 6) enlarges on the moral and spiritual improvements he effected; and his own personal character, which after early youth had been most exemplary (cf. Opp. I. fol. 227 a), added force to his exhortations.]
*6[See, respecting this “Tetzel of Switzerland,” Waddington, Ref. II. 272, 273. One of his earliest opponents was Bullinger, dean of Bremgarten, whose son Henry became distinguished as a Swiss reformer, and has left an account of the circumstances in his Hist. of the Reformation (reaching to 1532): ed. J. J. Hottinger, I. 17 sq. From this period Zwingli was suspected of “Lutheranism” (cf. Opp. I. 37 b sq. ed. Gualther), although he seems to have proceeded very independently: above. He wrote, for instance, in 1523 (Opp I. 38 a): “Nec ignoro Lutherum multa adhuc dare infirmis, ubi aliter posset, in quibus ei non subscribo, ut in sermone De decem Leprosis audio (non enim legi) sum aliquid tribuere confessioni auriculari,” etc.]
*7[It amounted to 50 gulden, and was granted, ostensibly at least, to encourage him in the prosecution of his studies: but one object of his patron may have been political, viz. to command the services of such a man in the struggle of the papacy against the French. He openly resigned it in 1520. His importance was felt to be so great that even after the Reformation was fairly commenced pope Adrian wrote him a cajoling letter (Jan. 23, 1523), preserved in Bullinger (as above), I. 83. The same feeling had induced the legate (1518) to appoint him as one of the acolyth-chaplains of the pope: see Waddington, II. 278.]
*8[Many of the Zürichers violated the rale of fasting in the Lent of 1522, which was the original cause of the bishop’s interference. Zwingli’s letter giving an account of the circumstances is printed in the new edition of his works (III. 7 sq.). He next justified the conduct of the innovators in a vernacular treatise entitled Von Erkiesen and Fryheit der Spysen, and very soon afterwards (cf. D’Aubigné’s note, Ref. II. 533, Edinb. 1838) broke through the law of celibacy by marrying a widow of Zürich, Anna Reinhardt; not, however, making his marriage public till April, 1524. This fact throws light upon the movement which he headed in the summer of 1522, for the sake of inducing the Diet and the bishop of Constance to legalize the marriage of priests: see his Works, I. fol. 110 sq. ed. Gualther.
We may ascertain the very quick development of the reforming tenets at this epoch from the Sixty-Seven Articles,* or propositions, which Zwingli offered to maintain before the senate and people of Zürich as early as January 1523. His triumph, in the estimation of his audience, was complete, since all the main positions he advanced were absolutely undisputed.** Acting on the principle that every Christian congregation and community is competent to regulate its own affairs,*** the men of Zürich afterwards proceeded with a large amount of unanimity to place themselves beyond the jurisdiction of the bishop (Oct. 28), and organize a system of Church government in accordance with the new convictions. The obvious effect of their proceedings was revolutionary. While the Saxon doctors were content with the removal of such practices as ministered to superstition or were calculated to obscure the memory of Christ, the Zwinglians soon became persuaded that ritual of all kinds was adverse to the freedom and simplicity of the Gospel,*4 interfered with rather than promoted the edification of the worshipper, and therefore ought to be curtailed at least in every one of these particulars which “have no ground or warrant in God’s Word:”*5 The leading characteristics of the Mediaeval system, which, after its theory of human merit, had most excited the hostility of Zwingli, were the use of images and the established doctrine of the Mass. [These points were especially considered in the Isagoge, above mentioned, fol. 274 b sq.] He dedicated a separate treatise [De Canone Missae Epichiresis (dated Oct. 9, 1523); Ib. fol. 175 b sq.] to the latter of these topics, examining the structure of the Eucharistic office, and evincing his desire to see it utterly abolished, rather than amended or recast. A vigorous adversary of these changes had to be encountered in the bishop of Constance, [Waddington, Ref. II. 303, 304.] who endeavoured to regain his hold upon the Zürichers in 1524; but those whom he addressed were deaf to his expostulations, as well as to remonstrances that issued from the other cantons. [The most decided antagonists were those of Lucern, Freyburg and Zug (Ibid. pp. 296 sq.).] Zwingli had, in truth, become the oracle of the whole community.
*[Printed in both German and Latin by Niemeyer, Libr. Symb., pp. 3 sq. In the July of the same year he published, also in German, a very copious exposition of those Articles, which was rendered into Latin by his schoolfellow and ardent coadjutor, Leo Judae (Opp. I. fol. 3–fol. 109, ed. Gualther).]
**[His chief opponent was John Faber, the vicar-general of the bishop of Constance, and originally favourable to the Reformation, but now a vigorous advocate of Medievalism: see, for instance, a philippic of Justus Jonas (Tiguri, 1523) entitled Adversus Joannem Constant. Vicarium, scortationis patronum, etc. Several members of religious orders had also begun to assail Zwingli as early as 1519, and were not silenced until their foundations were converted into schools (1524).]
***[See Ranke, Ref. in. 79 sq. The inhabitants of the canton were prepared for these changes by the discourses of Zwingli, of the abbot of Cappel, and of Conrad Schmid, and still more by Zwingli’s Brevis et Christiana in Evangelicam doctrinam Isagoge (Opp. I. fol. 264 sq. ed. Gualther), written originally in Swiss-German (1523), and circulated by the authority of the canton.]
*4[e.g. Zwingli makes the following statement in the Ratio Fidei, addressed to Charles V in 1530 (Niemeyer, p. 31): “Credo cerimonias, quae neque per superstitionem fidei neque verbo Dei contrariae sunt (quaquam hujusmodi nescio an quae inveniantur) per charitatem tolerari, donec lucifer magis ac magis allucescat, posse,” etc. Ebrard (Das Dogma vom heiligen Abendmahl, Frankf. 1846, II. 58 sq.) has endeavoured to defend Zwingli against the charge of revolutionizing the ritual system. Calvin, it is urged, was the real culprit.]
*5[Hence the simplification, amounting almost to the annihilation, of their ancient liturgy: see Daniel’s Codex Liturg. Eccl. Reform. Proleg. pp. 5 sq., and the formularies which he prints. At Easter, 1525, as Ranke also remarks (III. 88), the Mass was reduced to “a regular love feast”.]
Meanwhile a kindred agitation was proceeding in the most enlightened spot of Switzerland, – the university and town of Basel. [The fullest account is given by J. J. Herzog, Das Leben Johannis OEkolampads and die Reformation der Kirche zu Basel, Basel, 1843.] Its chief author was John Hausschein, or OEcolampadius, whom we saw in correspondence with Melanchthon as early as the disputation of Leipzig. [Above: Herzog, I. 107.] On the recommendation of Capito,* another of his friends, he was advanced in 1515 to a preachership in the cathedral of Basel, and numbered in the brilliant circle of divines and scholars who rejoiced in the society of Erasmus. ** This position he exchanged in 1518 for another preachership at Augsburg, [Herzog, I. 132 sq.] but on finding it beyond his powers, he modestly retreated to a convent at Altomünster in the diocese of Freising (April 23, 1520). At first he was resolved to spend his days in private study and devotion, [Ibid. I. 143 sq.] but the preference he had learned to cherish for the doctrines of the Wittenberg reformers made him more and more an object of suspicion,*** and eventually induced him to revisit Basel (Nov. 16, 1522). He now proceeded, after his reestablishment in the university, to place himself in close relation with Zwingli, [Ibid. pp. 212 sq.] who was making rapid strides in the adjoining canton. For some time the work of reformation at Basel was thwarted by the opposition of the bishop and one party of the academics. It advanced, however, in the senate, [Ibid. pp. 280 sq. At this period (1525) Wycliffe’s Trialogus (see Middle Age, p. 387) was published at Basel, and could not fail to make a deep impression.] who not only recognized the principle that OEcolampadius was at liberty to preach whatsoever was commanded, or repudiate whatsoever was condemned, in Holy Scripture, but permitted disputatious [Ibid. I. 234 sq. One of the reforming challengers was William Farel, a French exile, of whom more will be heard hereafter.] to be held in which a number of the Mediaeval tenets were openly impugned (1523, 1524). A similar tendency of public feeling was soon afterwards betrayed at Bern, [See Kuhn’s Reformatoren Berns in XVI. Jahrhundert, Bern, 1828.] whose citizens at first regarded Luther and his writings with distaste approaching to abhorrence. Softened by the eloquence of Sebastian Meyer and Berchthold Haller, many of them were prepared to follow in the steps of Zurich, when a demonstration of the anti-reforming party, planned by Eck, the indefatigable foe of Luther, was arranged, at a general assembly of the Swiss cantons, to be held at Baden (May 16, 1526). [Herzog, II. 4–20. The invitation proceeded from the diet of Lucern (March 23): Bullinger, as above, I. 337.]
*[Herzog, I. 118. Wolfgang Capito himself had quietly sown the seeds of Reformation in Basel, where he became professor of divinity. He afterwards belonged to the intermediate school of Strasburg (cf. above, and Jung’s Gesch. der Reform. der Kirche in Strasburg, I. 86 sq.), where he died in 1541. In 1537 he dedicated a treatise entitled Responsum de Missa, Matrimonio et jure Magistratus in religione to Henry VIII of England, on which see archbishop Cranmer’s letter to the author in Cranmer’s Works, ed. Jenkyns, I. 192. Capito was backed in his reformatory efforts by Hedio, who also migrated to Strasburg.]
**[Erasmus taught him “to seek for nothing but Christ in the Holy Scriptures” (Herzog, I. 121), and while preparing the first edition of the New Testament, employed him in comparing the quotations there made with the Hebrew original (Ibid. 120).]
***[The general tone of his sermons was in favour of the Lutherans, and a treatise adverse to the practice of compulsory confession (Ibid. I. 175) added to the indignation of his brother monks. In April 1522 (some time after his flight), we find him with Francis von Sickingen at Ebernburg, where he continued preaching the reformed opinions till November.]
The object of the chief promoters was to counteract the power of Zwingli. He, however, did not answer* to the challenge ; and accordingly the principal burden [One of his chief coadjutors was Haller of Bern (Herzog, II. 10); while Eck was supported by John Faber (above).] of the disputation was imposed on OEcolampadius, who contested the established doctrines of transubstantiation, the sacrifice of the mass, the intercession of the Virgin and the saints, the use of images, and purgatory. Eck was no less energetic on the other side, defending his positions with great learning and acumen; and after eight and twenty days, the audience being strongly in his favour, a decree, subscribed by nine out of the twelve cantons who recognized the meeting, was drawn up in condemnation of the Zwinglian movement. Still, in spite of this very serious check, the Reformation was, in the course of the three following years, established by various agencies not only in Appenzell, Mühlhausen, Biel, Schaffhausen, Constance, St Gall, Glarus and Toggenburg, but also in the haughty state of Bern, and finally in Basel.** Of the five cantons where it was resisted no less vigorously, the principal was Lucern, from which a bosom friend of Zwingli, Oswald Myconius, [Above, p. 101, n. 1. He ultimately succeeded OEcolampadius at Basel.] had been forcibly expelled (1522). In April, 1529, their hatred of the Reformation urged them to conclude a treaty with the house of Austria, and the bitter conflict [See Ranke’s full account, Bk. VI. ch. II. IV.] that ensued could only be decided on the sanguinary field of Cappel, where Zwingli, true to all his patriotic and military principles, was left among the slain (Oct. 11, 1531).***
*[He had been warned that his life was in danger (Opp. ed. Schuler, VII. 483): cf. Waddington, II. 313. See his allusions to the Disputation (Opp. II. fol. 114, ed. Gualther) and various tracts and letters on the subject (Ibid. fol. 565–fol. 601).]
**[On the political rivalries contributing to the success of the Reformation in those cantons, see Ranke, Ref. III. 107, 108. The Bernese were considerably influenced by a disputation (the counterpart of that held at Baden), which was opened on the 7th of January, 1528: cf. Waddington, II. 331 sq. Haller was the chief representative of the Reformers, but was reinforced by Zwingli, OEcolampadius and a host of other theologians (Herzog, II. 62). Bucer was among them. After a feeble resistance the ten Theses Bernenses (Niemeyer, p. 15) were accepted by the vast assemblage as portions of the future creed of the community.]
***[“He was found dying by two common soldiers, who exhorted him to confess himself to a priest, or, as it already seemed too late for that, at least to receive the blessed Virgin and the saints into his heart. He made no answer, and only shook his head; they did not know who he was; they thought him some obscure ‘stubborn heretic,’ and gave him a death-stroke.” Ibid. p. 406.]
Before this crisis in the fortunes of his country he had learned to systematize the doctrines of the early Swiss reformers, more especially in his well-digested Commentary on True and False Religion,* which appeared in 1525 to the delight of his disciples. Notwithstanding all the heavy charges** brought against him then and afterwards, it seems impossible to convict him of departure from the central verities of Christianity, such as the Incarnation, the Atonement, the Personality of the Holy Spirit, and other tenets of that class. But with respect to the condition of the human subject, and the application to him of the means vouchsafed for his recovery, Zwingli was at variance with all other branches of the Christian Church. He modified the doctrine of original sin*** to make it harmonize with the rest of his theological system. Deeply conscious of the absolute sovereignty of God,*4 he shrank from every form of thought and practice that appeared to be resolvable into the worship of the creature, and in this way had been driven to disparage all external agencies and media instituted for the culture of the human spirit, and as such entitled to respect and reverence. Zwingli was persuaded that the grace of God is always given to man immediately, without the intervention of church, or priest or sacrament. He therefore held that Baptism*5 was no means of grace, but merely the external badge of membership in a community, the sign that he was formally devoted to the service of Christ, or the certificate of spiritual life, which if at all imparted, was imparted independently of the material element. Prolonged discussions with the Anabaptists,*6 who had found their way to Switzerland [Herzog has given interesting accounts of their conferences with OEcolampadius at Basel: I. 301 sq., II. 75 sq.] as early as 1525, had only tended to develop these ideas, and consequently it is difficult to screen their author from the charge of insincerity when he accepted Luther’s definition*7 at the conference of Marburg (1529). The same conception of the sacraments was even more explicitly avowed when Zwingli turned to the examination of the Eucharist.*8 As he dissociated all idea of spiritual blessing from the act of baptism, so the consecrated Bread and Wine had in his theory no more than a mnemonic office, putting him in mind of Christ and of his union with a Christian body, but inoperative altogether beyond the province of the intellect. This theory, at first elaborated by the criticism of the sacred text, was afterwards supported by recondite speculations on the nature of the Saviour’s glorified humanity.*9 Like Carlstadt, he contended that the Body of Christ being now locally in heaven cannot be “really” distributed to faithful souls on earth: which drew from Luther,*10 now become the furious enemy of both, the counter-argument, that the humanity of Christ in virtue of its union with the Godhead is exalted far above all natural existences, and being thus no longer fettered by the sublunary conditions of time and space may be communicated in and by the Eucharistic elements.
*[Opp. II. fol. 158 b–fol. 242 b: ed. Gualther. It is a system of theology arranged under twenty-nine heads, and is said to have been composed in fulfillment of a promise he had made “multis trans Alpes doctis piisque hominibus, quorum nonnulli multa mecum de plerisque fidei rebus coram contulerant.”]
**[e.g. At Marburg he had to satisfy the Lutherans respecting his belief in the Divinity of our blessed Lord (above), and Walter (Gualther) in the elaborate Apology prefixed to his works was under the necessity of repelling the charge of Nestorianism which scene had brought against him (sign. _ 5).]
***[See his Declaratio de Peccato Originali: Opp. II. fol. 115 b sq. He did not deny that the contagion, whatever it might be, extended to all (cf. his Reply to Eck’s Propositiones, Ibid. II. fol. 578 b): but maintained that its damnatory effect was certainly removed in the case of such children as were born of believing parents, and probably in the case of others. Walter, his apologist, writing after the doctrine of original sin had been restated in the most rigorous form by Calvin (Instit. lib. III. c. 28), is anxious to reduce the amount of divergency as far as possible (sign. _ 3). But see Zwingli’s own defense: Opp. II. 89 b, 90 sq. His notions on this subject were closely connected with difficulties relating to infant baptism and the solvability of the heathen: cf. Laurence, Bampton Lect. pp. 295 sq., Oxf. 1838.]
*4[See Herzog, I. 317. With this conviction is to be associated his doctrine of predestination (see his Ratio Fidei, in Niemeyer, p. 19), which he derived rather from the nature of God than of man, and which in fact bordered on the heathen view of a philosophical necessity: cf. Hagenbach, II. 260, Edinb. 1852.]
*5[He wrote a formal treatise De Baptismo (Opp. II. 56 b sq.), and handled the subject in many other places, e.g. in the De Vera et Falsa Religione (Ibid. fol. 199 sq.). In the first he writes “Baptismus foederis vel pacti signum est, non in hunc finem institutum, ut eum qui baptizari solet justum efficiat vel fidem baptizati confirmet. Impossibile enim est ut res aliqua externa fidem hominis internam confirmet et stabiliat” (fol. 63 b).]
*6[See especially his Elenchus contra Catabaptistas, II. fol. 7 sq. He thought that the defense of infant baptism was much simplified by dissociating it from all idea of remission of sins (cf. II. 121 b), and thus represented the baptism ordained by Christ as standing on the same level with John’s baptism (II. 74, 200).]
*7[Zwingli there signed the following statement (Seckendorf, Lib. II. p. 138, col. 1): “Baptismum esse sacramentum ad fidem a Deo institutum et praeceptum, non nudum signum aut tesseram professionis Christianae, sed et opus Dei, in quo fides nostra requiritur et per quam regeneramar.” For this and other reasons Luther was persuaded that the Swiss reformer had acted dishonestly: cf. Dyer, Life of John Calvin, p. 181, Lond. 1850.]
*8[“Nihil ergo eorum, quae externa sunt, fidem firmare vel nos in illa certiores reddere potest. Quod idem simili ratione de Eucharistia quoque, vel Coena Domini pronunciamus”: Opp. II. 63 b. Cf. above, and Zwingli, De Vera a Falsa Religione (II. fol. 202–fol. 216). In this treatise he refers (fol. 209 a) to Wycliffe and the Waldenses as also holding the opinion that “est” = “significat” in the words of institution: sad some of his resent biographers (cf. Gieseler, III. i. p. 192, n. 27, ed. Bonn.) assert that even while at Glarus he was acquainted with their writings, and also with the work of Ratramn (Middle Age, p. 167). He certainly implies at the opening of the present section that he had arrived at his new theory some time before he published it to the world. OEcolampadius, who adopted substantially the same view as the result of his discussions with the Anabaptists (Herzog, I. 320 sq.: II. 93–115, 222 sq.), expounded it with so much critical ability that Erasmus, writing to Pirkheimer (June 5, 1526), said he would himself have regarded it with favour “nisi obstaret consensus Ecclesiae.” He supposed, however, that the doctrine of the Swiss did not exclude the idea of a spiritual, or virtual presence of Christ (“modo adsit in symbolis gratia spiritualis”): and Walter, the apologist of Zwingli, is anxious to establish the same construction (“Verum Christi Corpus credimus in Coena sacramentaliter et spiritualiter edi, a religiosa fideli et sancta mente”: Praef. sign. _ 5). If Zwingli ever held this view of “spiritual manducation,” he must have embraced, or developed it, only a short time before his death. The passage of his writings most in favour of it has been referred to above, p. 50, n. 2.]
*9[See, for instance, the chapter “De Alloeosibus duarum Naturarum in Christo,” in his Exegesis Eucharistiae Negotii ad Martinum Lutherum (1527); Opp. II. fol. 351 b sq.]
*10[See, for instance, his Grosses Bekenntniss (Walch, XX. 1180 sq.), where he denounces the Zwinglian hypothesis as absolutely “diabolical” and as a freak of the unsanctified reason of its author: cf. below, Chap. III., on later phases of this controversy.]
The fall of Zwingli, instantly succeeded as it was by the death of OEcolampadius,* seemed at first a fatal blow to their party: but ere long the vigorous efforts of two able followers, Henry Bullinger and Oswald Myconius, were successful** in replacing it to some extent upon its former basis. Fresh auxiliaries were also unexpectedly arriving. Hitherto the reformation had penetrated those cantons only which were peopled by the German-speaking Swiss: but in the year preceding the death of Zwingli a profound impression been made at NeufchČtel by William Farel,*** a Frenchman, who proceeded with the same impulsive zeal and eloquence to rouse the slumbering spirits of Geneva. He had actually succeeded in compassing the overthrow of papal power*4 (Aug. 26, 1535), when a second of his countrymen, the doctor who was afterwards to give an appellation to no inconsiderable party in the Western Church, appeared on the same arena.
*[He died at Basel, Nov. 24, 1531. In the October of the previous year he had been visited by a deputation of Waldenses, who were desirous of knowing more about the Reformation: see Herzog’s Romanische Waldenser, pp. 333–376, Halle, 1853. Among other things OEcolampadius told them that the Swiss Reformers attached less importance to the Apocalypse, the second and third epistles of St. John, the second of St. Peter, and the Epistle of St. Jude, than to the other writings of the Sacred Canon.]
**[On the vicissitudes which it had to encounter, see Hess, Lebensgesch Bullingers, Zürich, 1828 sq. Bullinger afterwards enjoyed a high reputation among some of the English Reformers, partly owing to the generosity with which he had entertained the Marian refugees at Zürich, and partly on account of his anti-Romish and anti-Lutheran writings. Many of his communications on these subjects will be found in the Zürich Letters and the Original Letters published by the Parker Soc.]
***[He was a native of Gap, in Dauphiné (b. 1489), and on being expelled from France by the denunciations of the Sorbonne, he went to Basel (cf. above), and afterwards diffused the principles of the Reformation as far as Moutiers in Savoy. The fullest life of him is by Kirchhofer, Zürich, 1831: cf. Ranke’s Civil Wars and Monarchy in France, I. 205 sq. Lond. 1852.]
*4[The nature of the constitution of Geneva facilitated this result. It was formed of three distinct powers, (1) that of the prince-bishop, who was nonresident, (2) that of the duke of Savoy, who had acquired the vice-regency, (3) that of the burgesses, who at this period were generally republican in their tendencies, and as such had cultivated the friendship of the Swiss, especially of Bern, in order to counterbalance the encroachments of the bishop and the duke (Gaberel, Hist. de l’Eglise de GenŹve, I. 62, GenŹve, 1853). Farel, on arriving there (1532), produced credentials with which the Bernese had furnished him, and although he was expelled in the first instance, he returned under the same protection at the end of the following year (1533), and accompanied by Viret and Froment, pushed the reformation with the greatest vigour. At length, after considerable turbulence, the council of Two Hundred published an order proclaiming the adoption of the reformed religion based upon the Gospel (Gaberel, I. 162–168).]
John Chauvin, Cauvin or Calvinus,* was a Picard born at Noyon, July 10, 1509, his father being one of the notaries in the ecclesiastical court of that place, and secretary to the bishop. At the age of fourteen he indicated a precocious aptitude for classics, dialectics and philosophy, under the tuition of Mathurin Cordier (Corderius) at the High School of Paris, and subsequently entered the universities of Orleans and Bourges, in both of which he studied jurisprudence also with singular devotion and success.** His mind, however, had already been directed to the higher fields of theological investigation,*** and on the death of his father he not only gave himself entirely to these studies, but cast in his lot with an obscure and struggling confraternity at Paris who were bent on expediting reformations in the Church. Yet, notwithstanding the acuteness of his moral instincts and the general severity of his character,*4 Calvin proved himself deficient in that Christian heroism [In the Preface above cited he confesses: “Ego qui natura timido, molli et pusillo animo me esse confiteor.”] which is everywhere conspicuous in the history of the Wittenberg reformer. When the prospects of his party had been darkened in the French metropolis, chiefly through the violence and indiscretion [On the posting up of anti-papal placards at Paris (Oct. 18, 1534) by some of the more intemperate reformers, see Dyer, pp. 29 sq.] of the members, he fled with some of his companions to Basel (Oct. 1534).
*[Three Lives of Calvin, written from different standing points, are (1) by Henry (a German evangelical), Hamburg, 1835–1844, (2) by Audin (a French ultra-montanist), Paris, 1841, and (3) by Dyer, our impartial fellow countryman, Lond. 1850. The most favourable of his earlier biographers was Beza, his disciple and successor at Geneva.]
**[At the age of twenty-one the University of Orleans invited him to give his judgment touching the divorce of Henry VIII (Dyer, p. 8). He pronounced against the lawfulness of marriage with a brother’s widow.]
***[He was originally destined for holy orders, and his father accordingly secured him a chaplaincy in the cathedral of Noyon before he was twelve years old. Somewhat later (in 1527, when Calvin was eighteen) he was presented to a living, for although not of age to be ordained, he had received the tonsure, and was thus thought capable of holding it, and even of preaching occasionally (Ibid. p. 7). One of these preferments he afterwards sold, to the disgust of Audin (I. 63). He traced his own “conversion” to a sudden call of God (see the account in his Preface to the Comment. on the Psalms): but we may fairly suppose that it was accelerated by his intercourse at Bourges with Melchior Wolmar, the German professor of Greek: Dyer, p. 9.]
*4[Thus at school he never joined in the amusements, and much less the follies of the other boys, and even reprimanded them with severity (“severus omnium in suis sodalibus censor,” according to Beza).]
It was there, in the society of Bucer, Capito, and other kindred spirits, that he finished the original draft* of the Institutio Christianae Religionis, ere long advanced to the position of a textbook for the Calvinists in every part of Europe. In it, as finally expanded and revised, they found a masterly statement of their views of Christianity. The work is divided into four books, the first relating to our knowledge of God as the Creator; the second to our knowledge of Him as the Redeemer; the third to the conditions on which man receives the grace of Christ, and the effects that follow such reception; and the fourth to the external media and supports by which he is united to the Christian community, and afterwards retained in his connection with it. In handling these great questions at the age of twenty-seven, the author shews that he had already** grasped the leading thoughts that enter into the construction of the system of theology with which his name has ever been associated; for all his bold conceptions of original sin, election,*** reprobation, church polity, corrective discipline, and even his peculiar doctrine of the sacraments, are there consistently advanced, although it may be not completely balanced, rounded, and matured.
*[The oldest Latin edition now extant is dedicated to Francis I, and in a copy before the present writer, the dedicatory letter bears date “Basileae, Calend. Augusti, an. 1536” [not 1535], but Henry (followed by Dyer) makes it probable that the Institutio had already appeared in French.]
**[One of the minor changes in subsequent editions was the withdrawal of passages that spoke, as he believed, too freely in favour of religions toleration (Dyer, p. 34).]
***[Archbp. Laurence seems to overstate his case when he endeavours to shew (Bampton Lectures, pp. 347 sq. Oxf. 1838) that Calvin’s original idea of election differed from his later: cf. Dyer, as above, p. 34, note.]
In all this treatise, more especially if we compare it with Melanchthon’s Loci Communes, we discern not only the effect produced on Calvin by his legal education, but the workings of an independent mind. With him begins the second generation of reformers. While accepting most of the conclusions of Erasmus and the Wittenberg divines, he could by no means view them as indisputable. A course of laborious study concentrated on the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures had been spent in verifying those conclusions, in determining the place of single doctrines in relation to the rest, and in binding all of them together in a modern Summa Theologiae. The speculative and dictatorial element in Calvin’s genius had betrayed itself in his contempt for the dogmatical decisions of the Church, and his presumptuous undervaluing of the terminology, if not the doctrines, of the ancient creeds.* There was accordingly a special fitness in the theater on which he had been called to act;** for as the civil constitution of Geneva had been recently subverted, the principles of government which he adduced were calculated to attract republican sympathies by giving laymen fresh importance in the administration of church affairs, while, on the other hand, he carried with him a body of religious doctrine that controlled and even captivated for the moment by its novelty, compactness and concinnity of form.
*[He was accused of Arianism as early as 1536 (Dyer, pp. 68 sq.), and Lutheran writers (e.g. Gerhard, Loci Theolog. II. 1431 sq. Jena, 1625) stigmatized the “Calviniani” most severely. Bp. Bull has also vehemently impeached his orthodoxy on the same subjects, because he had spoken of the Nicene prelates as “fanatici,” and characterized expressions like “Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine,” etc. as mere ________í_: Defensio Fidei Nicenae, Sect. IV. cap. I. § 8 (p. 255, ed. 1703). Still his writings and conduct seem to prove that although he disparaged the terms “Trinity” and “Person,” and would not subscribe to the three Creeds upon the ground that to impose them on the conscience of individuals is an act of tyranny (Dyer, p. 70), it would be unjust to rank him either with Tritheists, Arians or Socinians. His own appeal was to the Catechismus Genevensis, of which he was himself the author: see it in Niemeyer, pp. 126 sq.]
**[After his departure from Basel (perhaps at the close of 1535), he had visited Ferrara (see above), and also his native town (Dyer, p. 36). It was then his intention to settle at Basel or Strasburg, but owing to the wars between France and the emperor, he was compelled to adopt the circuitous route through Savoy and Geneva. On reaching the latter place (towards the end of August, 1536: cf. Gaberel, Hist. de l’Eglise de GenŹve, I. 202), Farel, in a moment of so-called inspiration, threatened him with the curse of heaven, if he refused to share the task of carrying out the reformation.]
At first, however, the extreme severity* of the Calvinistic discipline was more than his new flock would tolerate. Both Farel and himself were banished (May 22, 1538), after they had fully carried out their principles and also planted them securely in Lausanne.** Their chief crimes*** were that they resisted the magistrates of the republic, who would fain have brought some features of their ritual into harmony with that of Bern, and ultimately refused to administer the Holy Communion to the Genevese until the city manifested a more docile spirit, and was purged from its more scandalous corruptions. Calvin now betook himself to Strasburg, where he was advanced to a professorship of theology, and where he also acted as the pastor of the French congregation. At the same time he established more intimate relations with the German Protestants, especially*4 with Bucer and Melanchthon. His leisure hours at Strasburg were generally devoted to his favourite studies: and to them accordingly we owe the earliest of those Commentaries, which, in spite of all their blemishes, have elevated Calvin to the foremost rank of biblical divines. His growing reputation soon inspired the Genevese with a desire to reinstate him as the spiritual head of their republic. Troubles also had befallen them;*5 and it was felt in many quarters that their obstinate resistance to the godly discipline of the reformers had provoked the indignation of Heaven. [Ranke, Civil Wars &c. in France, I. 215: cf. Hooker, Eccl. Pol. Pref. ch. II. § 3.] Calvin, therefore, was invited by the Council to return, and after hesitating for a while arrived at Geneva on the 13th of September 1541. Henceforth his power*6 was not less Hildebrandine than his temper and capacity. The exercise of spiritual jurisdiction was absolutely vested in a consistory, of which he was himself the standing president, and whose decisions, often harsh and merciless,*7 were guided by his sovereign will. Nor was the dogmatism of Calvin limited to the minute republic of the Genevese. His rugged spirit chafed continually amid the controversies that distracted western Christendom;*8 and foreign states, in admiration of his wondrous power and learning, did not scruple to receive direction from his lips.*9 Although he found himself unable to compose the scandalous contest of the Lutheran and Zwinglian doctors, he at length succeeded in establishing a theological concordat between the French and German cantons of Switzerland; and thus, with the cooperation of the mild and moderate Bullinger, consolidated the Helvetic reformation. The document by which this union was achieved is known as the Consensus Tigurinus [Printed in Niemeyer, pp. 191 sq. On its history and composition, see the editor’s Praef. pp. xli–xlv.] (1549). It is devoted chiefly to the question of the sacraments, and must have tended to invest those institutions with a somewhat higher dignity in the opinion of the Swiss reformers. Calvin viewed them not as merely outward badges of Christianity, but as “organs”*10 in the hands of God Himself, by which it often [“Utilitas porro, quam ex Sacramentis percipimus, ad tempus, quo ea nobis administrantur, minime restringi debet” etc. § XX.] pleases Him to operate with saving efficacy on the spirit of the faithful recipients, or by which at least He certifies them that they really belong to Him. But Calvin’s rigorous doctrine of predestination, and the absolute inadmissibility of regenerating grace, compelled him always to restrict the possible benefit*11 of the sacraments to one peculiar class of subjects; other Christians, or the non-elected, being, in his view, partakers of no more than the material element. His doctrine of the Eucharist is particularly observable, because it rises [On the transition from the Zwinglian to the Calvinistic doctrine, compare the Formula Concordiae (of the Lutherans): Part II. cap. VII. § 4.] far above the low and frigid theories of his predecessor, Zwingli. While contending no less strenuously that Christ, as to His natural Presence, is in heaven, [§ XXV.] he taught that there is, notwithstanding, in the Eucharist, a mystical Presence of the Lord; His glorified humanity, though locally absent, being virtually, and in effect, communicated for the sustenance of the faithful, simultaneously with the participation of the outward elements.*12
*[E.g. The preachers quoting 1 St. Peter 3:3, would not allow the adorning of brides “plicatura capillorum” (Ranke, Civil Wars, &c. in France, I. 214, note). Graver subjects of contention immediately arose (Dyer, pp. 74 sq.), and it is probable from a MS. Vie de Farel (Ranke, as before), that Anabaptists circulated immoral principles, thus aggravating the licentiousness of the Genevese. The subsequent struggles of Calvin with the “Patriots” of Geneva, as they called themselves, or “Libertines” as he nicknamed them, fill many pages of his biography.]
**[This was the effect of a disputation (Oct. 1, 1536) in which Calvin, Farel and Viret were conspicuous. On the last of these reformers, see Jacquemont’s Viret, Reformateur de Lausanne, Strasburg, 1836.]
***[See Dyer, pp. 79 sq. Gaberel, I. 218 sq. A synod held at Lausanne in mid-lent, 1538, was adverse to Calvin and Farel, who thereupon carried their appeal in person to another meeting of Swiss Reformers, held at Zürich (April 29). A reconciliation was here effected between the rival ministers of Bern and Geneva, but in spite of the remonstrances of the Bernese ambassadors addressed to the Council of Geneva (May 22), the general assembly of this latter place determined on the banishment of the refractory ministers.]
*4[He met both of these divines at the diet of Ratisbon (1541), whither he had been sent as the Lutheran’ representative of the Strasburgers. The contrast between himself and Melanchthon is forcibly shewn by one of his letters to the Wittenberg professor on the subject of the Interim: Calvin, Epist. cf. Epist. arm He seems to have had a higher opinion of Luther (see Dyer, pp. 182 sq.), and even on the much disputed doctrine of the Eucharist, he was during his residence at Strasburg suspected by the Swiss party of ‘ Lutheranism :’ Ibid. p. 401.]
*5[Gaberel (ch. IX.) gives an account of “GenŹve pendant l’exil de Calvin”. Some French and other ecclesiastics assisted the ex-bishop, Pierre de la Baume, in his attempts to reenter his old diocese, and through the treachery of the “first syndic” of Geneva, their scheme was at one moment not unlikely to be realized.]
*6[The ecclesiastical code on which it was founded, and in which we recognize the hand of the accomplished lawyer, was, to use the expression of M. Gaberel (I. 266) “un phénomŹne législatif, dont l’équivalent ne se présente que chez les Spartiates et les Hébreux.” It will be hereafter considered more particularly in the chapter On the Constitution and Government of the Church.]
*7[The case of the Spanish physician, Servetus (Miguel Servede), who was burnt at Geneva (Oct. 27, 1553) for publishing and defending anti-Trinitarian and Pantheistic errors, is fully examined by all the three biographers above mentioned,: cf. also Quarterly Review, No. 176, pp. 551 sq. The instances there quoted of divines who justified and even applauded Calvin’s conduct in this tragedy, may be augmented by the name of Field, who in his treatise Of the Church (I. 288, ed. Eccl. H. S.) alludes to “the just and honourable proceeding” against Servetus. The truth is, what are now called the principles of toleration were not understood by any of the great religious parties. Beza on this occasion put forth an elaborate treatise De Haereticis a civili Magistratu puniendis, to show that such punishment ought in certain cases to be capital.]
*8[See, for instance, his Antidoton adversus Articulos Facultatis Theologicae Sorbonicae, in reply to twenty-five Articles of doctrine issued in 1542; or his Defensio sanae et orthodoxae Doctrinae de Servitute et Liberatione humani Arbitrii, directed against a work of Pighius on this subject, and published at Geneva, 1543. He also levelled tracts at Anabaptists, Libertines, and finally at “Nicodemites” (temporizing Frenchmen, who although reformers at heart, complied with Romish rites and customs, thus going to Christ secretly, and in the spirit of Nicodemus). In addition to these struggles he had numerous controversies more personal in their nature, e.g. with Sebastian Castellio (Dyer, pp. 168 sq.), who adopted loose opinions touching some portions of Holy Scripture; and with Jerome Bolsec; who had ventured to impugn the Calvinistic theory of predestination (Ibid. pp. 265 sq. pp. 388, 389). Castellio afterwards revived the predestinarian controversy (Ibid. pp. 440 sq.).]
*9[Hooker, Eccl. Pol. Pref. ch. II. § 4 (I. 133, 134, notes: Oxf. 1841). On his correspondence with Crammer respecting a “General Reformed Confession of Faith,” see Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, pp. 71, 72, notes; and Dyer, pp. 290–295. He was also called in to arbitrate respecting the “Troubles of Frankfort” (1555), on which occasion he manifested very little sympathy with the English Prayer Book (Opp. VIII. 98). His influence in determining the future course of Knox in Scotland will be traced below: pp. 138 sq.]
*10[In § VII. they are called “noteae ac tesserae Christianae professionis et societatis,” but in § XIII. it is added, “Organa quidem sunt, quibus efficaciter, ubi visum est, agit Deus; sed ita, ut totum salutis nostrae opus Ipsi uni aceeptum ferri debeat.” In § XVII. the “Consensus” repudiates “illud Sophistarum commentum, quod docet Sacramenta novae Legis conferre gratiam omnibus non ponentibus obicem peccati mortalis”: thus alluding to a phrase which afterwards entered largely into discussions on this subject. Calvin’s own favourite mode of representing the sacrament of baptism in particular was to view it as obsignatory of blessings which already appertained to the recipient as a child of grace: e.g. “Semper tenendum hoc principium est, non conferri baptismum infantibus, ut filii Dei fiant et haeredes; sed quia jam eo loco et gradu censentur apud Deum, adoptionis gratiam baptismo obsignari in eorum carne.” See other passages in Schenkel, Das Wesen des Protestantismus, I. 466, 467, Schaffhausen, 1846.]
*11[Nam reprobis peraeque ut electis signa administrantur; veritas autem signorum ad hos solos pervenit”: § XVII. The same idea is stated in § XVI: “Nam quemadmodum non alios in fidem illuminat quam quos praeordinavit ad vitam; ita arcana Spiritus Sui virtute efficit, ut percipiant electi quae offerunt Sacramenta.”]
*12[This view is not so positively stated in the “Consensus” as in Calvin’s Institutio, lib. IV. c. 17, passim. It reappeared in all the later Calvinistic confessions, e.g. the “Helvetica posterior,” the French (see especially Art. XXXVI: Niemeyer, p. 325), the Belgic and the Scottish, and was also very emphatically advanced in the Consensus Sendomiriensis (above).]
The physical and intellectual activity of Calvin only terminated with his death (May 27, 1564). The mantle of his office, and to some extent his autocratic spirit, then descended upon Theodore de BŹze, or Beza, under whom* Geneva for a while continued to preserve its high celebrity as one stronghold of the Reformation. Thither fled a multitude of refugees from Italy [Gaberel among the “PiŹces Justificatives” appended to Vol. I. has given a list of Italian refugees beginning at the year 1550: pp. 170 sq.] and other countries, where the champion of the new opinions could no longer hold his ground. Its influence also was peculiarly felt in France,** with which it was united in close relations, not only by the ties of language and geographical position, but still more in virtue of the Gallican sympathies which it derived from Farel, Calvin, Beza, Viret, and their coadjutors.
*[The best modern life of him is Schlosser’s Leben des Theod. de Beza. After a youth spent in dissipation he visited Geneva and came under the mighty influences of Calvin, by whose exertions he was made professor of Greek at Lausanne (Nov. 6, 1549). He afterwards (see below) took an active part in the struggles of the French Protestants, returning to Geneva not long before Calvin’s death. He kept up a correspondence with the Puritans in the Church of England, writing very freely to Grindal bishop of London against the sacerdotal vestments and other regulations of the Prayer Book: see Strype’s Life of Grindal, pp. 112–114: Lond. 1710.]
**[ See, for instance, the original correspondence that passed between the French Protestants and the “vénérable compagnie” of ministers at Geneva, from 1561 to 1564, in Gaberel, as above, pp. 80 sq.]
It appears, however, that if we except a small accession to their numbers which the Swiss reformers gained from Savoy, [See J. J. Hottinger, Helvet. Kirchengesch. III. 887 sq. Zürich, 1708.] Calvin’s death may be regarded as the culminating point of the religious system he had founded. The great counter-movement, of which traces were discerned in other countries, [Above.] penetrated almost every, canton of the Helvetic confederacy. Its leader in this region was Carlo Borromeo,* archbishop of Milan (1569–1584), who combined, as it would seem, a spirit of profound devotion with abhorrence of the Calvinist, and of all other adversaries of the Roman pontiff.** Under his patronage [Cf. Hottinger, as above, pp. 907 sq.] the Order of the Jesuits was established in Lucern and Freyburg, bands of Capuchins began to wander in the districts where the reformation was but half-established; and a college, [The difficulties he found in realizing this project (1679) are described by the continuator of Fleury, Hist. Eccles. liv. LXXV. ss. 33 sq.] organized at Milan for the purpose, constantly supplied them with a higher class of priests than could be trained in Switzerland itself. The spirited reaction thus commenced was afterwards promoted by the formation of the Golden League [Hottinger, III. 931 sq.] of 1586, in which the Romish cantons bound themselves to stand by each other in defending their position against the Calvinistic party: while at the commencement of the following century, the Genevese and their immediate neighbours had to tremble for their lives and liberties no less than for their religion, owing to the inroads of the duke of Savoy and the titular bishop of Geneva, the ascetic Francois de Sales. [See De Marsollier, Vie de S. Francois de Sales, Paris, 1747.]
*[For the most favourable picture of him, see Sailer, Der heil. Karl Borromeus, Augsb. 1823. His writings, from which extracts are there given, were chiefly ascetical. His great anxiety in carrying out the “reformations” ordered by the Council of Trent was shown in the series of provincial synods which he held at Milan (1565–1582): Labbe, XV. 242 sq.]
**[The “Case of a Minorite Friar [addicted to Protestantism] who was sentenced by S. Charles Borromeo to be walled up, and who having escaped was burnt in effigy,” has been edited by the Rev. R. Gibbings (Dublin, 1853) from “records of the Roman Inquisition.”]
The patriarch of the reformers in this country was Jacques LefŹvre [De Félice, Hist. of the Protestants of France, I. 2 sq. Lond. 1853: Ranke, Civil Wars, &c. I. 189 sq.] who was born in Picardy, at Estaples. When Luther was arraigned before the Diet of Worms, LefŹvre was already verging on the age of seventy. He had travelled far and wide, especially in Italy, where he experienced the fresh impulses that followed the revival of ancient literature. As early as 1512 he was persuaded by his study of St Paul’s Epistles that the received opinions touching human merit were at variance with the genuine form of Christianity; and his friend Brićonnet,* bishop of Meaux, arriving at the same conclusion, ventured for a while to undertake the reformation of that diocese. But although the monarch, Francis I, was not politically adverse** either to the Lutheran movement or to the kindred agitation that sprang up in his own dominions, the ancient dogmas, in so far as they are separable*** from the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiffs, found a number of unflinching advocates in the college of the Sorbonne, which constituted the Theological faculty of Paris. Luther’s Prelude on the Babylonish Captivity, when submitted*4 to these doctors in 1521, had been proscribed as blasphemous and heretical; and two years later, the proceedings of Brićonnet having been exposed before the same tribunal, vigorous measures*5 were instituted in the hope of strangling the new brood of “vipers” at their birth. Yet even at this period the reformers had secured an able protectress in the literary and eccentric Margaret of AngoulČme,*6 sister of the reigning monarch and grandmother of Henry IV. When she was married in 1527 to Henry d’Albret, king of Navarre, the petty district of Béarn became a refuge of the persecuted, many scholars of distinction being thus from time to time attracted to her court. Partly through the influence she exerted, and still more from a desire to counterwork the policy of his great rival Charles V, her brother had grown anxious to cement political connections with the Protestants of Germany; [Above.] but in 1534, the tempest that drove Calvin [Above.] and some others like him into Switzerland, was almost fatal to the progress of the new opinions. The barbarous persecution that cut off so many of their leading representatives extended also to the peaceful Vaudois*7 of Provence, whose massacre in 1545 is one of the most sickening passages among the bloodstained annals of that region. Still in spite of manifold reverses, some perhaps attributable*8 to the lawless zeal of the reformers, some to the confusion of their cause with that of Anabaptism, and the rest to the inexorable hostility*9 of the Parisian doctors, they had risen to no small importance in the state [De Félice, I. 52; Ranke, II. 233, 234.] when Francis was in 1547 succeeded by his son Henry II. It was the reign of this dissolute monarch, married to a niece of pope Clement VII, Catharine de’ Medici, that witnessed the formation of two parties [Miller, Hist. philos. illustrated, III. 77.] headed by the rival families of Guise and Bourbon, and associated afterwards with the great religious movements of the day. The policy of Henry was however still more uniformly hostile to the Protestants than that of his predecessor. He determined that no deviation*10 from the ruling faith should be permitted in his kingdom; edicts [On the extreme severity of the “edict of Chateaubriand” (June 25, 1551), see Smedley, I. 56–58.] in denunciation of “heresy” were multiplied, and the registers of the Sorbonne abound with evidence of the alacrity then manifested by the doctors to repress all forms of innovation. [Many of the culprits (as in Germany, above) were members of religious orders.] But neither calumnies, nor gibbets, nor the sword, were found sufficient for this purpose. In the hour of greatest danger, the reformers had the courage to assemble and complete the organization of their new religious system. [De Félice, I. 69 sq. Smedley, 1. 62, 76-82.] Hitherto they had been little more than scattered units animated by a common hatred of the Mediaeval errors and corruptions, and so far as they professed to recognize a human leader symbolizing with the Wittenberg divines. But in 1555 the “Christaudins,” “Lutheriens” or “Faithful” of Paris, formally accepted the Genevan discipline projected by their able fellow countryman, and four years later, when this organization was adopted in other places, published with his sanction a Confession*11 of their faith in forty Articles (May, 1559). Its character, as might have been anticipated, is strictly Swiss or Calvinistic.
*[Besides enlisting LefŹvre (“Jacobus Faber Stapulensis”) in this work, he made use of the services of William Farel (above), of Gerard Ruffi or le Roux (see Schmidt’s Gérard Roussel), and for a short time of Calvin himself (Dyer, p. 20). At length, however, when the storm increased, Brićonnet “took shelter in his mystic obscurity”: Ranke, as before, p. 194.]
**[Ranke, Ibid. pp. 195, 196. He declared in negotiating with the Lutherans (above) that he had only put to death a few fanatics, who were bent on exciting a sedition in his capital: Smedley, Hist. of the Reformed Religion in France, I. 33, 34, Lond. 1832. Melanchthon, whom Francis invited (1585) to assist in the direction of ecclesiastical affairs, had already (in 1534) corresponded with Guillaume du Bellay, and drawn up a Consilium de moderandis controversiis religionis ... ad Gallos: Opp. ed. Bretsch. III. 741 sq. The elector of Saxony, however, refused his consent (Aug. 24, 1535): Ibid. II. 909, 910.]
***[While repudiating the ultra-papal claims (cf. Middle Age, p. 338), and n. 2), the doctors of the Sorbonne had no sympathy with any teaching that opposed the notions of the schoolmen, especially of Aquinas.]
*4[On his probable motives in allowing his dispute with Eck to be referred to them, see above. Melanchthon (as we have seen) defended him against their Determinatio.]
*5[On the earlier executions, see De Félice, I. 10 sq. The noblest victim of the Sorbonne was Louis de Berquin, who was a friend of Erasmus, and translated some of the minor works of Luther and Melanchthon into French. He was burnt Nov. 10, 1529.]
*6[Also known as Margaret of Valois, and therefore not unfrequently confounded with the more notorious Margaret of Valois, the first queen of Henry IV. The Lettres de Marguerite d’Angoulźme have been collected by M. Génin (Paris, 1841), but neither they nor the editor’s Notice have enabled us to understand her character. Her poem entitled Le Miroir de l’Ame pécheresse, which excited the indignation of the Sorbonne (Génin, p. 111), was very acceptable to the Protestants; while another work, the Heptameron, a collection of licentious tales (professedly in imitation of Boccaccio’s Decamerone), represents her in a far more equivocal light: cf. Génin, pp. 93 sq.; De Félice, I. 22 sq. On her deathbed she signified her cordial adherence to the religion of her forefathers.]
*7[They had fallen under suspicion by joining in the deputation sent to Basel in 1530 (see above). On the 28th of April, 1545, the towns of Merindol and CabriŹres, with twenty-eight villages, were literally destroyed; the number of the slain being estimated at four thousand. Although Francis may not have directly authorized these atrocities, they went unpunished: De Félice, I. 44 sq.; Dyer, Life of Calvin, pp. 193–197.]
*8[This was fully admitted by John Sturmius, writing from Paris (March 4, 1535) to Melanchthon (ed. Bretsch. II. 855); and Ranke (I. 198) conjectures that the Anabaptist fanatics were mixed up with some of the commotions that arose in Paris.]
*9[E.g. they absolutely rejected Melanchthon’s Consilium (above), and thus placed themselves in direct antagonism to the court, by whom that document was favourably received: see Seckendorf, Lib. III. pp. 104–106.]
*10[Ranke, Civil Wars, &c. I. 226 sq. He was warmly supported by the constable Anne de Montmorency and the cardinal of Lorraine, son of the duke of Guise.]
*11[See it in Niemeyer, pp. 311 sq. and among the “PiŹces Justificatives” appended to Gaberel’s Hist. de l’Eglise de GenŹve, as before. The Latin version of it was made in 1566 (Niemeyer, pp. 327 sq.). In Art. V the Three Creeds are accepted “pour ce qu’ils sont conformes ą la Parole de Dieu,” and in Art. VI the compilers declare “Détestons toutes sectes et hérésies, qui ont esté reietées par les saints Docteurs, comme saint Hylaire, saint Athanase, saint Ambrose, saint Cyrille.” The articles, or canons, of discipline were also forty in number.]
At this epoch the reformers numbered in their ranks a fraction of the chief nobility, and even members of one royal house: the principal being Anthony of Bourbon, king of Navarre, together with the queen Jeanne d’Albret; his brother Louis, Prince of Condé; the Admiral de Coligny; and his brother, the seigneur d’Andelot. During the reign of Francis II, as well as that of his father, Henry, the faction of the Guises was upon the whole predominant, deriving fresh importance from the king’s marriage with their relative, Mary Queen of Scots; while the Bourbon family attempted to advance its interest by invoking the cooperation of the Protestants, or Huguenots,* as the new religionists began at length to be entitled. The ambitious and astute queen mother, Catharine de’ Medici, is said to have formerly evinced a bias in their favour; Coligny and the other leaders of the party had hoped to find in her a second Esther [De Félice, I. 91.]; but on falling under the influence of the Guises, she became estranged from them, averse to their opinions, and indifferent to their sufferings. Plots** had given rise to counterplots, by which the leading Bourbons*** were eventually left at the mercy of their adversaries, when the early death of Francis conduced to their deliverance. Since the Guises were not members of the royal family, they could not lawfully aspire to the regency constituted during the minority of Charles IX; and therefore, at the impulse of wounded pride, ambition, and fanaticism, they entered on a course of policy that plunged the nation into one of those politico-religious wars from which it suffered till the close of the sixteenth century.
*[The common derivation of the name is from Eidgnots or Eignots (= Eidgenossen), the “confederate” party at Geneva, who entered into an alliance with the Swiss cantons against the duke of Savoy (above): but Beza, writing when the sobriquet was introduced, informs us that it originated at Tours in 1560, and was used to characterize the nightly gatherings of the Protestants, who bore some resemblance to Hugnet the wild huntsman of popular superstition; cf. Ranke, I. 259, note.]
**[One of the worst is known as the Huguenot “conspiracy of Amboise” (1560), designed to rid the kingdom of the Guises, without attempting anything against the royal family. The chief mover was Geoffrey de la Barre, a friend of Calvin, which led to the implication of Calvin in the business: see Dyer, Life of Calvin, pp. 478–480.]
***[See the narrative in Smedley, I. 140 sq. At the same juncture the cardinal of Lorraine resolved to force every Frenchman at the peril of his life to sign a creed which he called the “Huguenot’s Rat-Trap,” drawn up by the Sorbonne in 1542: De Félice, I. 108: cf. above.]
During the brief interval which followed the death of Francis II and the temporary depression of the Guises, the Huguenots secured a very large accession to their numbers.* Enthusiastic agents were continually training at Geneva under Calvin’s own eye, [Dyer, p. 485.] prepared whenever opportunity was offered to go forth and circulate the principles which they had gathered from his lectures. So very influential grew his followers in France, that Catharine, who was elevated to the regency, now felt herself constrained to treat them with some show of deference. She had even signified a wish to bring about the reconciliation of the two religious parties,** and on the proposition of the Huguenot leaders, Coligny and the prince of Condé, it was determined that an amicable meeting,*** of the nature of a synod, should take place at Poissy on the 9th of September, 1561. The Romish party, who assembled in considerable numbers, were confronted by Calvin’s chief disciple, the accomplished Theodore Beza, [See the account in Schlosser’s Leben des Theodor de Beza, pp. 101 sq., Dyer’s Life of Calvin, pp. 488 sq., and Smedley, I. 161 sq.] and by other ministers and lay deputies of the Huguenots: the main subjects of discussion being the doctrine of the Eucharist, and what was even more difficult, the jurisdiction and authority of the Church. The principles of the Swiss reformers were also ably advocated by Peter Martyr, [Bullinger also had been consulted by Beza respecting the language he should employ: Dyer, p. 488.] who arrived from Zürich while the Colloquy was proceeding (Sept. 21); but if we except the clear reiteration of Calvin’s language on the virtual, as distinguished from the physical, manducation of Christ through the reception of the consecrated elements,*4 no present good resulted from the labours of this meeting.*5 It had little or no force in checking the disastrous outbreak of hostilities. Although an edict was promulgated in January 1562*6 removing all the penalties that heretofore had been suspended over their religious exercises, the massacre of several Huguenots at Vassy (March 1, 1562), while unarmed and congregated in the act of worship, [See Smedley, I. 219 sq.; De Félice, I. 150 sq.] roused their brethren into fury: they demanded the immediate punishment of the duke of Guise by whom that outrage had been fully sanctioned, if not directly instigated. Many towns immediately declared their sympathy with the Huguenots, and others were induced, ere long, to take up arms in their behalf. Beza*7 who remained in France for some time after the Colloquy of Poissy, was actively engaged among the combatants, inspiring his disciples with fresh courage, and assisting at the councils of their military leaders, Condé and Coligny. The first battle was now fought at Dreux (Dec. 19, 1562), [Ranke, I. 320 sq.] and though contested obstinately on both sides, resulted in the overthrow and dispersion of the Huguenots. They were, however, liberated from this new embarrassment immediately afterwards by the assassination of the duke of Guise,*8 and the conclusion of the peace of Orleans, which was followed by an edict of Pacification published at Amboise March 19, 1563, and promising religious liberty*9 to Calvinists, although the measure of it was much inferior to what they had previously enjoyed.
*[ De Félice, I. 114, 115. They were spreading most in Poiton, Saintonge, Aquitaine, Provence, Languedoc, Dauphiné, and especially in Normandy.]
**[She was influenced, doubtless, by the deliberations of the Estates which opened Dec. 13, 1560. Religious questions occupied a large portion of the time, and indicated unmistakably that many changes would be acceptable even to the moderate Romanists: see Ranke, 277 sq.]
***[Many of the French prelates viewed the conference with suspicion, thinking that it would proceed to the determination of matters which ought rather to be settled at the Council of Trent. The fears of this party would be much increased when they read the letter addressed by Catharine to the pope (Aug. 4, 1561), suggesting numerous relaxations of the church law in favour of the separatists. The whole of this remarkable document, which is ascribed to Montluc, the “reforming” bishop of Valence, is in De Thou (Thuanus) Hist. sui Temporis, lib. XXVIII. c. 6.]
*4[“In the commission, to which the most learned and moderate men on the Catholic side were appointed, they actually agreed to a formula concerning the spiritual reception through faith, which was satisfactory to both parties”: Ranke, Civil Wars, &c. I. 294: cf. Smedley, I. 195. This formula, however, was rejected by the other prelates to whom it was referred, and still more absolutely by the Sorbonne.]
*5[One inauspicious consequence to the Huguenots was the secession of king Anthony of Navarre, who had been for some time oscillating between contradictory views of the Eucharist (Ranke, I. 309; De Félice, I. 145 sq.). He died very soon afterwards, and his wife, who continued to be one of the most zealous reformers, brought up their son (the future Henry IV) in her principles.]
*6[Ranke, I. 297. The Huguenots on receiving this indulgence had to “bind themselves by a solemn oath to teach no other doctrines than those contained in the books of the Old and New Testaments, and in the Creed of the Council of Nicaea, to submit to the municipal law, and not to hold their synods without permission from the royal officers.”]
*7[Like other ministers he not only maintained that war was lawful, but enjoined it as a duty under present circumstances; i.e. in order to liberate the crown from the Guise party as well as to assert the binding force of the edict of January. This justification appeared satisfactory to Philip, landgrave of Hessen, and also to the Queen of England: Ranke, I. 318, 319. On Elizabeth’s manifesto in favour of the Huguenots (or, more correctly, against the Guises), see Smedley, I. 243, 244. In the wars that followed, the Huguenots received material support from foreign Protestants.]
*8[The assassin was a fanatical Huguenot named Poltrot de Merey. On the question touching the complicity of the Calvinistic leaders in this act, see Dyer, Life of Calvin, pp. 506–508.]
*9[They were guaranteed the freedom of public service only in those towns and cities which were in their hands on March 7, 1563; one place being moreover allotted in every bailiwick, outside of which they were permitted to hold their religions meetings: Ranke, I. 326, 327. Coligny expressed his strong dissatisfaction on learning the terms of the treaty as negotiated by Condé: De Félice, I. 169.]
This settlement accordingly became a mere suspension of hostilities: it gave the combatants on either side a breathing time, which they employed in preparations for a longer and a bloodier conflict (1567–1570). One act of violence* was rapidly succeeded by another; the atrocious pictures of the ordinary civil war were darkened in this case by deeds of private vengeance** and the outburst of fanaticism, regardless of all discipline, and deaf to all the gentler instincts of humanity; and when at length the tempest seemed to be exhausted,*** and the Huguenots again assembled in great numbers at the French capital, the transient calm was broken by the shrieks and execrations rising from the diabolical massacre, that was perpetrated under the guidance of Catharine de’ Medici, on the morning of St Bartholomew (Aug. 24, 1572).*4 By it there fell in Paris, according to the most moderate calculation, two thousand Protestants, and in France at large as many as twenty thousand. The noble-hearted Coligny perished in this number, while the two young cousins, Henry prince of Condé and Henry of Navarre,*5 escaped with difficulty; both of them compelled to purchase safety by the temporary abjuration of their faith.
*[The enormities committed are chargeable almost equally on both factions. De Félice, in particular, laments the relaxation of discipline among the Huguenots, and also their fanatical outrages. “They broke the consecrated vessels, mutilated the statues of the saints, and scattered their relics. These excesses produced in the hearts of the Catholics a rage which it is impossible to describe.”]
**[Soon after the battle of St Denis (Nov. 10, 1567), which proved fatal to the Constable Montmorency, his place was supplied by the youthful Duke of Anjou. Under him the war was reopened (March 13, 1569) by a victory over the Huguenots at Jarnac, where Condé; their general was taken prisoner, and assassinated with the approbation of the duke: Smedley, I. 322, 323. Henry of Navarre was henceforth recognized as “Protector” of the Huguenots.]
***[The peace of St Germain-en-Laye was concluded Aug. 8, 1570, and provided that the Huguenots should be in future unmolested on account of their religion: Ibid. I. 343, 344.]
*4[See the excellent narrative in Ranke, Civil Wars, &c. II. 1–51: and cf. Audin; Hist. de la Saint-Barthélemy, Paris, 1826. The horror which the massacre excited in England is well expressed by Sir Thomas Smith, in Smedley, II. 55.]
*5[Henry of Navarre was not restored to the Huguenots till 1576: on his escape see Smedley, II. 133. His cousin died prematurely in 1588.
But after the Calvinistic party rose again, and proved its heroism at the siege of La Rochelle, the new monarch, Henry III, who succeeded in 1574, saw reason for increased alarm at the predominance of the Guises. The ecclesiastical predilections of this family, no less than their political interests, were more and more identified with the advances of an ultra-Romish faction in the state; and therefore, instead of uniting with the feeble king in his pacificatory measures, they finally proceeded to negotiate a League [On its origin and character see Ranke, II. 137 sq.] with Philip II of Spain, in order to secure the extirpation of reformed opinions, not in France only, but in the Netherlands. Their attitude became in truth so menacing as to drive the king into open war with them, and ultimately to effect a reconciliation between himself and the political Huguenots [Ibid. pp. 225 sq.] (1589). Immediately afterwards Henry was assassinated, [The assassin was Jacques Clément, a Dominican of Sens, on wham see Smedley, II. 273 sq.] and notwithstanding the papal interdict against the Bourbons,* his crown descended to their branch of the royal family as represented by the protestant Henry of Navarre, whose struggles with the League were only terminated four years later by his own abandonment of Protestantism** (June 25, 1593). He did not, however, withdraw his sympathies entirely from his old adherents; and accordingly, while the principles on which he governed France were tending to bind up her wounds and silence many of her wildest factions, they had also the effect of vindicating in some measure the forgotten liberties of the Galilean Church.*** The perfect freedom of the Huguenots in matters of religion was also guaranteed in the celebrated document [See, respecting it, Benoist, Hist. de l’édit de Nantes, Delft, 1693.] entitled, from the place of its publication, the “Edict of Nantes,” and solemnly declared to be perpetual and irrevocable (1598).
*[See the imperious bull of Sixtus V (Sept. 9, 1585) in Goldast, Monarch. Imperii, III. 124. On its arrival in Paris, Pierre de l’Estoile (Mémoires, p. 299, ed. Petitot, 1825) remarked the general indignation with which it was received by the Parliament, one member going so far as to recommend that it should be burnt “en presence de toute l’Eglise Gallicane.” Henry IV was exempted from its operation with some difficulty by Clement VIII (Sept. 17, 1595).]
**[He seems to have been determined chiefly by political considerations (cf. Ranke, II. 339 sq.), which led him, as he pleaded, “to sacrifice his convictions to his duty.” He was influenced doubtless by his friend and minister, the duke de Sully (Baron de Rosny), who although a Calvinist, belonged to a lax or “liberal” section of the party. Their principles are indicated by the following extract from the Mémoires de Sully (IV. 47, Paris, 1827): “Si les protestans ne croient pas tout ce que les catholiques croient, du moins ceuxci ne peuvent-ils nier que nous ne croyens rien qu’ils ne croient comme nous, et que ce que nous croyons renferme ce que la religion Chrétienne a d’essentiel; le Decalogue, le Symbole des Apôtres et l’Oraison Dominicale étant le grand at général fondement de notre commune croyance. En voilą assez.” Henry had a very different adviser, and the Huguenots a very different champion, in Philippe de Mornay (seigneur Duplessis), a learned and zealous reformer: see De Félice, I. 263 sq. One of his most celebrated works (1598) is entitled, De l’institution, usage et doctrine du Saint Sacrament de l’Eucharistie en l’Eglise Ancienne.]
***[There was already in Prance a considerable party adverse to those decisions of the Council of Trent which related to the constitution of the Church and its reform: see Ranke, I. 332.]
The fears that Scotland entertained of her immediate neighbour had for centuries induced her rulers to negotiate alliances with France. [At first the influence of the French was employed in mediating between England and Scotland, but after 1346 they frequently instigated the Scots to invade the neighbouring kingdom.] At the beginning of the Reformation period this connection led to the ascendancy of French interests in the government; and in proportion as Henry VIII of England advocated his selfish scheme for expediting the union of the two crowns, the leaders of the Scottish nation had been still more under the necessity of looking to their continental friends for counsel and support. The second queen of James V of Scotland was Mary of Lorraine, a daughter of the duke of Guise, whose family we saw identified with projects aiming at the extirpation of the Huguenots, and the establishment of ultra-Romanism. [Above.] It was accordingly to be expected, that during the minority of the daughter of James V, the celebrated Mary Queen of Scots, by whom he was succeeded in 1542, and also after the marriage of this princess to the dauphin in 1558, the foreign influence would not only continue to prevail, but throw up barriers in the way of those who undertook to urge the reformation of the Scottish Church.
Yet, notwithstanding the resistance thus offered by political arrangements, Scotland was ultimately shaken in its turn by the great convulsions of the sixteenth century. It is possible that some faint echoes of the Lollard doctrines* lingered here and there; but he who first disseminated the characteristic tenets of the Lutherans was Patrick Hamilton. His name occurs among the earliest entries at the Hessian University of Marburg. [Above; cf. Ranke, Ref. II. 539.] On returning to his native country, where he enjoyed the rank of titular abbot of Ferne,** we find him preaching with considerable freedom and effect against the practical corruptions of the Church, ascribing them to serious errors in the general teaching of the clergy, and propounding the ideas he had imported from Germany on the nature of baptism, faith, freewill, penances, auricular confession and purgatory. He was also charged with holding that the popes are “Antichristian,” and that every priest has been invested with as much authority as they.
*[Respecting the “Lollards of Kyle,” who to the number of thirty persons were cited before the King and his Council in 1494, see Knox, Hist, of the Reform. in Scotland (reprinted for the Wodrow Society, Edinb. 1846, I. 7 sq. The tenth and eleventh articles would be especially obnoxious to the authorities: “That everie faythfull man or woman is a preast”: “That the unctioun of kingis ceassed at the cuming of Christ” (p. 9). Knox welcomed these precursors on the ground that God had thereby retained within the realm “some sponk of His light, evin in the tyme of grettast darkness”: p. 10.]
**[According to Mr. Laing, the editor of Knox, Hamilton “was not in holy orders” (I. 14, n. 3); yet the contrary is plainly stated in John Frith’s contemporaneous preface to A Brief Treatise of Mr. Patrike Hamilton, called Patrike’s Places: “who, to testifie the truth, sought all meanes, and tooke upon him Priesthode (even as Paule circumcised Timothy, to wynne the weake Jewes,) that he might be admitted to preache the pure Word of God” (Ibid. p. 20) : cf. Spotswood, Hist. of the Church and State of Scotland, pp. 62, 63, Lond. 1677; Calderwood, Hist. of the Kirk of Scotland (reprinted for the Wodrow Soc. Edinb. 1842), I. 73 sq.; and P. Lorimer, Precursors of Knox (including Patrick Hamilton, Alexander Alane, or Alesius, and Sir David Lindsay), Lond. 1857.]
Opinions of this startling character excited the abhorrence of the ecclesiastical rulers,* and brought their chief abettor to the stake (March 1, 1528). The same hostility was afterwards manifested by the parliament of Scotland, when “the smoke of Patrick Hamilton having infected as many as it blew upon”,** a rigorous act was passed (June 12, 1535) “against those who hold, dispute or rehearse, the damnable opinions of the great heretic Luther.*** But this fulmination also proved inefficacious: the German theology was more and more insinuated into the understandings of the thoughtful and the hearts of the devout; the cleric, monk and friar whom it had impressed, were half-unconsciously creating a predisposition for it in the feelings of their flock and neighbourhood; and after England consummated her quarrel with the papacy in 1534, and had begun to manifest decided leanings towards Lutheranism, a shelter was provided there for such of the reforming propagandists*4 as could hold their ground no longer in the sister kingdom. By this means the progress of the reformation in Scotland was made to coincide with the growth and diffusion of a spirit less opposed to union with the English. In 1543 their monarch opened fresh negotiations*5with the view of facilitating such a union, and of thereby strengthening the foundations of the Church in Britain. At first the regent,*6 with one section of the Scottish nobility, less favourable to the French connection, and more jealous of the power then wielded by clergymen in general, and particularly by cardinal Beatoun, “the Wolsey of Scotland,” were not unwilling to discuss the overtures of Henry VIII; but the ungracious form in which they were advanced was ultimately fatal to the project. Beatoun’s, or the “French,” party was now reconciled to the antagonistic faction headed by the weak and wavering regent,*7 and in 1545 the cardinal thought himself in a position to proceed in extirpating all the numerous forms of misbelief that menaced what he deemed the interests of the true religion.
*[Their sentence is given by Calderwood, I. 78 sq., as well as a “Letter Congratulatorie” from the “Master and Professors of Theology at Louvain” (April 21, 1528), commending their orthodoxy and promptness in dispatching the misbeliever. The same doctors mention that England, “the next neighbour” of the Scots, was then altogether free from heresy, owing partly to “the working of the bishops, among which Roffensis [i.e. Fisher of Rochester] hath shewed himself an Evangelicall Phoenix,” and partly to the influence of the King (Henry VIII, who was “another Mattathias of the new law” (p. 82).]
**[The author of this expression was “a meary gentillman, named Johnne Lyndesay, famylliar to Bisohope James Betoun” (Knox, I. 42), who had observed that after Hamilton’s death the new opinions spread with great rapidity. Respecting the principal sufferers, of whom a majority seem to have been mendicants, see Calderwood, I. 86 sq.]
***[This, according to Bp. Keith, Hist. of the affairs of Church aid State in Scotland, I. 27 (reprinted for the Spottiswoode Society, Edinb. 1844), was in ratification of proceedings which began ten years before. Five years later a reformatory act was passed (March 14, 1541), requiring “all archbishops, bishops, ordinaries and other prelates, and every kirkman in his own degree, to reform themselves, their obediences and kirkmen under them, in habit and manners to God and man,” etc. Ibid. p. 29. Other evidence exists to shew that on the death of James V (1542) the need of reformation was more generally felt; e.g. it was allowed by the parliament (March 15, 1543) that all persons might have “the Holy Writ, to wit, the New Testament and Old, in the Vulgar tongue, in English or Scotch, of a good and true translation,” &c. Ibid. p. 89.]
*4[Of this number the more influential were (1) the Dominican, Alexander Seaton, who became chaplain to the duke of Suffolk (Calderwood, I. 87 sq.); (2) Alexander Ales (Alesse, Alesius, or Alane), a canon and priest in St Andrews, whom we find disputing in the English convocation (?) as the guest of Cromwell in 1536 (Ibid. I. 93 sq.: cf. Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, p. 38), and afterwards installed as professor of divinity at Leipzig, where he died March 17, 1565; (3) Sir John Borthwick, who had been cited before the authorities in 1540, for contending, among other things, “that all these heresies, commonly called the heresies of England, or at the least the greatest or most part of them ... are to be observed of all faithful Christians, as most true and conformable to the law of God” (Calderwood, I. 114 sq.). Borthwick was received with open arms by Henry VIII, and sent on an embassy to the German Protestants: cf. Keith, as above, p. 20, n. 1.]
*5[His design was to effect a match between the prince of England (the future Edward VI), and the young queen of Scotland: see Carte, Hist. of England, III. 171, Lond. 1752. After the failure of this negotiation the “English” party, some of whom were pensioners of Henry VIII, continued to possess considerable influence.]
*6[This was the earl of Arran, the second person in the realm, who seems to have been originally well disposed towards the reformation: Keith, I. 91 sq. Hence Knox (I. 125) speaks of his “defection from Christ Jesus” in 1545.]
*7[On thus changing sides, the “Governor,” Arran, vindicated his orthodoxy by complaining that “heretics more and more rise and spread within this realm, sowing damnable opinions contrary to the faith and laws of Holy Kirk, acts and constitutions of this realm.”]
It was during the persecutions instigated by this able, powerful and misguided prelate* that a cleric, destined to be known as the reformer of his countrymen, appeared on the arena of Scottish history. John Knox** was born at the village of Gifford, in East Lothian (1505). After completing his elementary education at Haddington, Knox was sent to the university of Glasgow [His biography has been written at great length by M’Crie, 2nd ed. Edinb. 1840: cf. Quarterly Review, IX. 418 sq.] (1522). About 1530 he was admitted to the order of the priesthood, and connected, it is probable, with some religious establishment not far from his native village, of which he seems to have remained an inmate upwards of ten years. The speculations of the Schoolmen that occupied his principal thoughts while he resided in the University, were now exchanged for the commentaries of St Jerome and the various works of St Augustine. By the latter he was gradually induced to contemplate the Christian religion under aspects which had hitherto escaped his notice. He became dissatisfied with the empty ritualism and frigid uniformity of public worship; the wealth, the luxury, the ambition of ecclesiastics roused his fiery and impulsive temper into absolute hostility; and when George Wishart,*** who became acquainted with the English reformation*4 at Cambridge (1543), was barbarously put to death (March 1, 1546), the sentiments of Knox*5 were such as led him to avow his perfect sympathy with the reformers. Beatoun, the chief promoter of this execution, was himself murdered [Knox, I. 171 sq., Keith, I. 107 sq. The former characterizes the tragedy in a marginal note as “the godly fact and woordis of James Melven” (the chief murderer): p. 177.] on the 29th of the following May by certain zealots, who contended that persons guilty of flagrant crimes against the laws of God and of society had justly forfeited their lives, and therefore might be put to death by any private individual. With these murderers Knox proceeded to ally himself in the most public manner, by taking refuge with them in the town of St Andrews*6 (April 10, 1547); and when the fortress, after a vigorous resistance, finally capitulated to the French (July 30), he was transported in the forty-second year of his age to Rouen, and detained among the other prisoners until February, 1549.
*[For a good sketch of cardinal Beatoun, see Lodge’s Portraits, I. 99–111, Lond. 1849. Although like other prelates of the period, he professed himself in favour of reformation so far as the lives of the clergy were concerned (p. 107), he was himself guilty of the grossest irregularities: cf. Keith, I. 112, 113, and the editor’s notes.]
**[Here he studied under the celebrated John Major, principal regent and professor of philosophy and divinity, “whose wourd then was holden as an oracle in materis of religioun” (Knox. I. 37: cf. M’Crie. I. 7 sq.).]
***[Knox, I. 125 sq., Calderwood, I. 186 sq. The latter speaks of him as not only “singularlie learned in divinitie and humane sciences,” but also as “cleerlie illuminated with the spirit of prophecie.” Bp. Keith also judges Wishart favourably, but his editor (I. 103, 110), relying on information subsequently brought to light, contends that the “martyr” was “a most active conspirator against the cardinal,” by whom he was accordingly apprehended and destroyed. On the other side, see the reply of Knox’s editor, I. 536, who maintains that Wishart’s character was “irreproachable”.]
*4[He seems to have been residing at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1543, after visiting other places in England, between that year and 1538. For the Articles brought against him and his Answers, see Knox, I. 155 sq.]
*5[See his own allusion to the intercourse between them (I. 137), where he says that he “had awaited upoun him carefullie from time to time,” apparently in the strange capacity of sword bearer: Keith, I. 104, note. In 1544 Knox is said to have abandoned all idea of acting as a priest, and engaged himself as tutor in the family of Hugh Douglas of Long-Niddry.]
*6[See his own account, I. 185. He first thought of visiting “the schooles of Germany,” adding in a parenthesis, “Of England then he had no plesur, be reassone that the Paipes name being suppressed, his lawes and corruptionis remaned in full vigour.” While taking refuge at St Andrews, Knox received what he calls his “first vocatioun by name to preache.” The caller was John Rough, or Rowght, who himself retired to England before the capitulation of the fortress, and settling on a benefice at Hull, was burnt in the reign of Mary: Calderwood, I. 251. The vehement boldness of Knox even in his first preaching is most characteristic. In throwing out his challenge to the “Romane Kirk,” he says, “I no more dowbt but that it is the synagog of Sathan, and the head thairof, called the Pape, to be that man of syne, of whome the Apostle speakis, then that I doubt that Jesus Christ sufferred by the procurement of the visible Kirk of Hierusalem: Hist. of Reform. I. 189.]
It was at this conjuncture that the English Privy Council, anxious to secure fresh links of union with the Scots, appointed Knox to a preachership at Berwick-on-Tweed.* They afterwards went so far as to enroll him in the list of the royal chaplains (Dec. 1551), [In this capacity he was consulted (Oct. 1552) respecting the revision of the Articles of Religion: see Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, p. 75.] and even recommended him for the bishopric of Rochester, apparently upon the ground that his impetuosity might drive the cautious primate** into more decisive measures. Knox, however, felt that reformations such as had been consummated by a Cranmer and a Ridley were too sensitive in dealing with the ancient formularies,*** and therefore he steadily declined the honours offered him in England, which he quitted altogether as soon as the fires of Smithfield had been lighted up under queen Mary.*4 His principal retreat was at Geneva. There he found himself connected with the celebrated teacher whose congenial spirit instantly commanded his respect; and excepting the interval of six months when his consistent hatred of the English ritual makes him figure in the controversy called the “Troubles of Frankfort,”*5 he continued in immediate communication with the Genevese reformer. Partly owing to this intercourse extending more or less*6 over five years, and partly to the natural texture of his genius, Knox was, on his ultimate return to Scotland (May 2, 1559), fully penetrated by the Calvinistic principles.
*[Early in the year 1550 he came into collision with Tunstall, Bp. of Durham, who tried to curb his immoderate zeal in denouncing the “idolatry of the mass”. Hence originated his treatise called A Vindication of the doctrine that the Mass is Idolatry (Works, ed. Laing, III. 33–70). It was delivered by him at Newcastle, April 4, 1550, before the Council of the North for public affairs, and in the presence of Tunstall.]
**[See the letter of Northumberland to Cecil (Oct. 28, 1552) in Tytler’s England under Edw. VI. &c. II. 142. It was suggested that he would prove “a whetstone to quicken and sharp the bishop of Canterbury, whereof he hath need.”]
***[What he most of all disliked in the Prayer Book was the rubric on kneeling at the Holy Communion, and it was probably in deference to his scruples that the Declaration on this subject was added in October, 1552 (cf. Knox’s Works, ed. Laing, III. 80). Yet the concession does not appear to have satisfied him: cf. Ibid. p. 279.]
*4[See his Godly Letter to the faithful in London, Newcastle, &c., and his Admonition to the Professors of God’s truth in England (Ibid. III. 165 sq., 263 sq.). His editor allows (p. 256) that the “obnoxious terms applied to Queen Mary and to her husband, as well as to Gardiner, Bonner and the marquess of Winchester, may have contributed, in no small degree, in evoking that spirit of persecution which has so indelibly stamped the character of blood or: her reign.”]
*5[He was invited to Frankfort by the Marian exiles in September, 1554, and repaired to that city in the following November. On the troubles that ensued, see Dyer’s Life of Calvin, pp. 421 sq., Calderwood, I. 284 sq. Knox absolutely refused to administer the Holy Communion according to the English service book. He was, however, vigorously resisted by Cox (the future bishop of Ely), who arrived at Frankfort March 13, 1555, and soon afterwards forced him to retire. Bishop Ridley, just before his martyrdom, deplored the captious and innovating spirit of Knox, asking why he will not follow “the sentence of the old ancient writers”; and adding, “From whom to dissent without warrant of God’s Word, I cannot think it any godly wisdom” (Dyer, p. 434).]
*6[In the autumn of 1555 he landed near Berwick, and spent the winter in Edinburgh, disseminating his principles in private: in the following summer he established himself with his wife and mother-in-law (Mrs. Bowes) at Geneva. In 1557 his prospects seemed to brighten at home, but on arriving at Dieppe, he judged it prudent to retreat once more.]
The English throne was now in the possession of Elizabeth, whom Knox had irreconcilably offended by a savage treatise written at Geneva in 1558, “against the monstrous Regiment of Women”.* The revolutionary tendency of his ideas, both civil and religious, were also most distasteful to archbishop Parker** and the leading statesmen of the sister country, so that speaking generally the Scottish reformation, in all the later stages of its progress, was dissociated more and more completely from the English. In the absence of Knox, the party whom he represented seem to have enjoyed a large amount of toleration:*** their numbers had accordingly increased, and certain of the aristocratic leaders called the “Lords of the Congregation”*4 had sufficient influence to intimidate the government. But on his reappearance in Scotland*5 it was thought expedient to pursue a more repressive line of policy; [E.g. The preachers who disobeyed the Regent’s citation, to appear before her on the 10th of May, were denounced rebels: Ibid. I. 441, Keith, I. 189.] while the reformers on the other side were loud in their petitions and remonstrances, thus threatening to precipitate the crisis already near at hand. A sermon preached by Knox at Perth [On its reception of the reformed doctrines, see Calderwood, I. 438 sq., and on the storms that followed, Keith, I. 189 sq.] immediately after his return, aroused the ire of what he terms a “rascal multitude” against the use of images (June 25). One act of violence and insubordination was followed by another, and in many places their iconoclastic fury hurried men into still more unjustifiable excesses. It was made the very foremost duty of “professors” to eradicate idolatry, and this, the wilder spirits urged, could only be effected by demolishing the abbeys and the other places and monuments thereof.”*6 Mary of Guise, the queen-regent, was naturally appalled on hearing of these sad occurrences: she placed herself immediately at the head of the troops and issued forth to quiet the insurgents;*7 but her presence added fresh intensity to a rebellion which her recent policy had doubtless very much exasperated.
*[The author had in his eye the Queen of Scotland as well as Queen Mary of England. On the accession of Elizabeth he was induced to lay aside a “Second Blast” on the same question, and even wrote to Cecil from Dieppe (April 10, 1559), offering to exempt Elizabeth from the operation of his arguments, provided she could be brought to confess “that the extraordinarie dispensatiun of God’s great mercie maketh that lawful to her, which both nature and God’s law doth denie unto all weomen”: Calderwood, I. 435: cf. another of Knox’s apologies to the Queen in his Hist. II. 28 sq.]
**[Thus in writing to Cecil, Nov. 6, 1559, he prays that God may preserve the Church from such a visitation as Knox had attempted in Scotland, “the people,” he adds, “being orderers of things:” Correspondence, ed. P. S. p. 165.]
***[They seem to have even considered the Queen-regent as their friend, addressing their petitions to her, and receiving friendly answers. Her ultimate estrangement from them was due partly to their own violence, and partly to the urgent remonstrances of her French relatives, the duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine. Respecting her character, see Spotswood, pp. 148, 149.]
*4[The name of “Congregation was taken up by the Professors” in 1558 (Calderwood, I. 327), a “Band” having been signed at Edinburgh in the preceding year (Dec. 3, 1557), by which the adherents of it, headed by the earl of Argyle, formally renounced “the congregation of Satan, with all the superstitious abominatioun and idolatrie therof.” It is very remarkable that this congregation of “the lords and barons professing Christ Jesus” determined to use the English Prayer Book: Ibid. p. 328: cf. Keith, I. 155, n. 1, Knox, I. 275, n. 6. The English Liturgy, however, was soon afterwards replaced (1564) by the Forme used in the English congregation at Geneva, as approved by Calvin in 1556: see the edition of it by Cumming, Lond. 1840.]
*5[He had been burnt in effigy at the Cross of Edinburgh in 1556, and in 1558 published at Geneva his Appellation from the cruell and most unjust sentence pronounced against him by the false bishops and cleargie of Scotland (in Calderwood, I. 347–411).]
*6[Although Knox was not directly the instigator of the barbarous havoc that arose in 1559, his sermons could not fail to rouse the passions which led to the perpetration of it. He excused himself at Perth by urging that the demolition of the churches was the work “not of the gentilmen, neyther of theme that war earnest professouris, bot of the raschall multitude”: Hist. I. 322: cf. Quarterly Review, Vol. LXXXV. 148 sq.]
*7[Knox, I. 324, Keith, I. 193. The former has printed (pp. 326 sq.) two letters addressed (1) to the Queen-regent, and (2) the nobility of Scotland, by the “Congregation of Christ Jesus”; little calculated to promote a pacification. Accordingly, in a very short time “the professors” of Perth “resolved to resist,” and were aided by “the professors of the west”: Calderwood, I. 451 sq. On the last day of May (1559), the whole body of reformers entered into an engagement (“Band”) “to concur and assist together in doing all thingis required of God in His Scripture, that may be to His glorie; and at their haill poweris to distroy, and away put, all thingis that doifs dishonour to His name, so that God may be trewlie and puirlie wirschipped,” etc. Knox, I. 344. On the 21st of October they proceeded to suspend the Queen-regent “from authoritie within Scotland,” “for the preservatioun of the commoun-wealth, and for that her synnes appeared incurable”: Ibid. p. 443.]
According to the principles of Knox and his allies, a disaffected people may actively resist the government of the country whensoever it is guilty of serious maladministration, and especially if the religion which it patronizes be antagonistic to their own convictions. By propounding this doctrine he conciliated a large band of followers, some disgusted like himself with the corruptions of the age and fervently desirous of promoting a spiritual resuscitation, others influenced mainly by political aversion to the government or by their patriotic dread of France, whose dauphin had recently obtained the matrimonial crown of Scotland (1558). [Calderwood, I. 416. Francis II, husband of Mary queen of Scots, died after a reign of seventeen months and in his seventeenth year (Dec. 5, 1560).] By enlisting every species of jealousy and disaffection, Knox was able, on the 28th of August, 1559, to send a favourable report* of his advances to his correspondent at Geneva; and in the spring of the following year the “Lords of the Congregation” concluded a treaty** with the sister kingdom, in virtue of which an English fleet blockaded Leith, while English troops were occupied in counteracting the reinforcements which had been lately sent across from France. The flames of civil war thus kindled and fomented were raging in all quarters when Mary of Guise expired at Edinburgh (June 10, 1560). Her death became the signal for negotiating terms of peace, and so gigantic had been the march of revolution and reform, that on the 17th of the following August, the “Confession of Faith believed by the Protestants of the realm of Scotland” [Printed in Knox, II. 95 sq. from the original edition.] was submitted to the Parliament, and ratified without a struggle.***
*[Calvin’s reply to this communication (Epist. CCLXXXV) is dated Nov. 8. It is characterized by more than his usual “moderation and good sense” (Dyer, p. 471). Although Knox was writing amid the thunders of the French cannon, he asked his correspondent to decide whether the children of papists and excommunicated persons should be admitted to Baptism? Calvin answered in the affirmative, provided suitable sponsors could be found; thus running counter to Knox’s own impression, and also to that of the English Puritans: cf. Whitgift’s “Table of dangerous doctrines,” prefixed to The Defense, ed. 1574.]
**[See respecting this treaty, which was concluded on Feb. 27, 1560, Keith’s tenth chapter. Elizabeth was influenced by her antipathy to Mary, Queen of Scotland, and her dread lest the predominance of a Romish faction in the sister-kingdom might lead to her own deposition. The plea she put forward was that Scotland ran the risk of becoming subject to the French: see the “contract” as subscribed at Berwick, in Knox, II. 45 sq. The Scottish “lords and barons” next entered into a fresh contract (April 27, 1560), “for expulsioun of the said strangeris, oppressouris of our libertie, furth of this realme, and recovery of oure ancient fredomis and liberties:” basing this patriotic movement on a wish “that the treuth of Goddes Word may haif free passage within this realme, with due administratioun of the sacramentis and all thingis depending upoun the said Word”: Ibid. pp. 61 sq.]
***[The Earl Marisehall, Wm. Keith, voted in favour of the Confession chiefly on the following ground : “Seing that my lordis Bischoppis, who for thair learing can, and for the zeall that thei should bear to the veritie, wold, as I suppose, ganesay any thing that directlie repugnes to the veritie of God; seing, I say, my lordis Bischoppis heir present speakis nothing in the contrair of the doctrine proponed, I can nott but hold it to be the verie trewth of God, and the contraire to be deceavable doctrine.” Ibid. p. 122. Two acts of Parliament were immediately added, (1) against the Mass, (2) for abolishing the jurisdiction of the pope.]
We may now inquire more closely into the organization of the new ecclesiastical establishment, and ascertain the special character of the dogmas promulgated in the new Confession. Its compilers seem to have convinced themselves that they were standing in relation to the Mediaeval Church in the exact position which the Hebrews occupied with reference to the old inhabitants of Canaan. For this reason, had the more enthusiastic “professors” been allowed to follow out their principle unchecked, no trace of Medievalism would have survived in Scotland. As it was, such traces were but indistinct, and very few in number. Knox and his coadjutors acting on the persuasion that they were themselves exclusively the “Congregation of Jesus Christ,” denounced the elder race of clergymen as “the generation of Antichrist,” as “pestilent prelates and their shavelings”.* Hence the constitution of the reformed community, in order to avoid the slightest contact or alliance with the past, renounced not only the traditions relating to public worship,** but ere long proceeded to discard the government of bishops. They did not, it is true, originally in their “First Book of Discipline” [Reprinted in Knox’s Works, II. 183 eq.] accept the Calvinistic hypothesis, which levelled all distinctions in the order of the ministers, and went so far as to associate laymen with them in the regulation of the church affairs: but the disparity which they continued for a while, by granting larger jurisdiction to the class entitled “superintendents,”*** presented little more than the shadow of episcopacy.*4 After lasting in this form thirty years it vanished altogether, when the parliament accepted the Presbyterian models chiefly through the representations of Andrew Melville*5 (1592).
*[In a manifesto with this title (Ibid. I. 335), Knox and his followers sent the clergy what he calls “sum declaratioun of our myndis”: “Yea, we shall begyn that same warre which God commanded Israell to execut agains the Cananites; that is, contract of peace shall never be maid, till ye desist from your oppin idolatrie and crewell persecutioun of Godis childrein.”]
**[Even the modern Liturgy which they accepted at the hands of Calvin (above) did not restrict the minister to the use of the very words of the prayers, and therefore was preparing the way for its own abrogation. The feelings of Knox and his party with respect to ancient ritualism will be gathered from a passage like the following, which occurs in the letter addressed to “their brethren, the bishops and pastors of God’s Church in England,” in behalf of the earliest race of Puritans (Dec. 27, 1566; Knox’s Works, II. 545, 546): “If surplice, corner-cap and tippet have been the badges of idolaters in the very act of their idolatry, what hath the preachers of Christian libertie, and the rebukers of superstition to do with the dregs of that Romish Beast? Yea, what is he that ought not to fear, either to take in his hand, or on his forehead, the prints and marks of that odious Beast?” Even James VI (afterwards James I of England) in characterizing the Kirk of Scotland as the sincerest kirk of the world on account of its abrogation of festivals, &c. adds: “As for our neighbour Kirk in England, their service is an evil said mass in English: they want nothing of the mass but the liftings.” See Russell’s Church in Scotland, II. 28, note, Lond. 1834.]
***[Respecting them, their “dioceses,” and the mode of their election, see the Book of Discipline, Ibid. pp. 201 sq. Knox has also given us the form employed on the appointment of John Spotswood (father of the archbishop), who was nominated as “superintendent” of Lothian in July, 1560, and admitted to the office on the 9th of March, 1561: Ibid. pp. 144 eq. Two bishops, Alexander Gordon of Galloway, and Adam Bothwell of Orkney, conformed to the new regime: Keith, I. 250, n. 1.]
*4[By the Scottish people the superintendents were called “tulchan” bishops, a tulchan being a calf’s skin stuffed with straw, in order to make a cow give her milk freely. In the short Life of archbishop Spotswood prefixed to his History (Lond. 1677), it is incorrectly stated that his father “exercised fully the power and discharged faithfully the office of a bishop, though under another name.” Episcopacy in the proper meaning of the term was not reestablished till Oct. 21, 1610, when the archbishop of Glasgow and two bishops were consecrated in London (Spotswood, p. 514), and proceeded to reorganize all the ancient Scottish sees (1612): the Parliament at the same time rescinding the statute of 1592 which had established “Presbyterianism”.]
*5[Knox, who died Nov. 24, 1572, had acquiesced in the progressive development of his modified episcopacy, and in the concession of greater privileges to the “Superintendents”: cf. Spotswood, p. 260, who gives the conclusions of a church convention held at Leith, Jan. 12, 1572, restoring the ancient titles of “archbishop” and “bishop,” and in other ways departing from the First “Book of Discipline”. Melville, however, after associating for some time with Beza at Geneva, returned to his native country in 1574, and during the next twenty years assailed the shadow of Scottish prelacy with unremitting vigour: cf. M’Crie’s Life of Andrew Melville, Edinb. 1824, with the contemporary accounts of Spotswood. The Second Book of Discipline, which is mainly due to Melville’s influence, was drawn up as early as 1578 (Spotswood, pp. 289 sq.), but though inserted in the registers of the General Assembly in 1581, it could not obtain the parliamentary ratification until 1592. Very interesting revelations on the acts of the General Assembly from 1560 to 1618 are preserved in the Book of the Universal Kirk of Scotland, published for the Bannatyne Club, 1839–1845.]
In matters of doctrine, if we recollect how furious was the storm in which the Scottish reformation had been cradled and how absolute was the fanaticism of many of its chief promoters, the tenacity with which it clung to the more cardinal points of Christianity appears almost miraculous. The truth is that John Knox, like other leading spirits of the age, has to be studied under very different, and, as it would seem, irreconcilable aspects. In the wilder passages of his life we hear him execrating misbelief and misbelievers in a strain of harshness bordering on brutality; but there were moments when amid the lull of controversy he retreated to his closet,* communed deeply with himself and God, and after patiently investigating the mysterious problems of the Bible, reasoned with comparative sobriety upon the nature of the means to be adopted in transmitting “Christ’s Evangel” to posterity. Accordingly the first Confession indicates no wish whatever to break away from the traditional terminology of the Church,** so far as concerns the doctrines of the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation and Atonement of the Saviour, and the Godhead of the Holy Ghost. Its language with respect to original sin, election, good works and other topics belonging to the same category, is in unison with the teaching of the Genevese reformer, [The same leaning was manifested by the formal recognition of Calvin’s Catechism, in the “Buke of Discipline”: Ibid. II. 210.] rather than with corresponding definitions of the English Articles which Knox had once at least been able to subscribe. [Above.] The statement “Of the civil magistrate” is characterized by greater moderation than the history of its chief compiler would have led us to expect.*** It reprobates all opposition to the powers that be, asserts that kings and other rulers have been entrusted “chiefly and most principally” with “the reformation and purgation of religion,” and declares that “whosoever deny unto them their aid, counsel and comfort, while the princes and rulers vigilantly travail in the executing of their office, that the same men deny their help, support and counsel to God.” But this Confession is still more remarkable for the comparative sobriety and elevation of the statements it put forward on the doctrine of the Sacraments. These are two in number, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, and are so efficacious in sealing the assurance of the union which subsists between the Head and members of the Christian body that the authors of the manifesto [Cap. XXI.] “utterlie dampne the vanitie of those that affirme sacramentis to be nothing else but naked and bair signes.” “By baptisme,” they continue, “we ar ingrafted in Christ Jesus to be maid partakaris of His justice, by the whiche our synes are covered and remitted”; while “in the Supper, rychtlie used, Christ Jesus is so joyned with us, that He becumis the verray nurishement and foode of our saullis”.*4
*[ See, for instance, his Briefe Sommarie of the Work by Balnaves on Justification (written on board the French galley in 1548), Works, III. 13 sq., and his treatise On Predestination, published at Geneva in 1560. Yet even in the latter of these works the polemical element preponderates throughout. It is an Answer to a great nomber of blasphemous cauillations written by an Anabaptist. He imputes the authorship of many of these cavillations to Calvin’s enemy, Castellio (see above), and others to Pighius, “that pestilent and peruers Papist” (p. 38, ed. 1560).]
**[e.g. in speaking of General Councils (cap. XX), it begins: “As we do nott raschelie dampne that whiche godlie men assembled togidder in General Connsallis, lanchfullie gathered, have approved unto us,” &c.]
***[In 1563 when Knox was called before the royal Council, and charged with seditious practices, he defended himself by urging that he always inculcated these principles. Yet on the same occasion “directing his speech to the Queen with a wonderful boldness, he charged her in the name of the Almighty God, and as she desired to escape His heavy wrath and indignation, to forsake that idolatrous religion which she professed, and by her power maintained against the statutes of the realm.” Spotswood, p. 188.]
*4[After stating that they repudiate transubstantiation, their formulary proceeds: “And yit, notwithstanding the far distance of place whiche is betwix His Bodye now glorifeid in heavin and us now mortall in this earth, yit we most assuredlie beleve, that the bread which we break is the communioun of Christis Body, and the cupp which we bliss is the communioun of His Bloode. So that we confesse and undowttedlye beleve, that the faithfull, in the rycht use of the Lordis Table, so do eatt the Body and drynk the bloode of the Lord Jesus, that He remaneth in thame and thai in Him; yea, that thai ar so maid flesche of His flesche, and bone of His bones, that as the Eternall Godheid path gevin to the flesche of Christ Jesus (which of the awin conditioun and nature was mortall and corruptible) lyfe and immortalitie, so doeth Christ Jesus, His flesche and bloode eatten and drunken by us, give to us the prerogatives”: p. 114.]
This Confession, and the Book of Discipline by which it was accompanied, became the standard of Scottish orthodoxy, to the exclusion of all other symbols. For as soon as the widowed queen, after an absence of thirteen years, had been invited to return from France (1561), the bolder class of preachers ardently declaimed against the celebration of the Mass in her presence, and occasionally assailed her with the vilest epithets. Knox himself contended that idolatry in the queen, as in all others, ought to be regarded as a capital offence;* and when at length the horrible murder of the earl of Darnley, her husband, excited still more odium against the crown, partly on the ground that Mary was thought to have been herself accessory to the murder,** and partly that she had been leaguing with her uncles for the extirpation of the Protestants*** in Scotland and elsewhere, she was no longer able to withstand the machinations of her disaffected subjects. They ultimately shut her up in Lochlevin Castle, and forced her to abdicate (1567): the crown descended to her infant son: and under four successive regents, of whom the Earl of Murray, who had long been recognized as the leader of the reformation party, was the first and chief, their principles were deeply rooted, and, ere long, were almost universally diffused. The last hope of the minority, who looked with favour on the Mediaeval system, perished when the ill-starred Mary queen of Scots exhausted her full cup of sufferings on the English scaffold (Feb. 8, 1587).
*[See his own full report (Works, II. 425 sq.) of the discussion between himself and secretary Lethington at the General Assembly held in June, 1564. Lethington concedes that the idolater is commandit to dey the deith,” but next inquires “by whome?” “Be the peopill of God” is Knox’s answer, quoting the Old Testament. “But their is no commandiment gevin to the peopill,” said the Secretary, “to punisch thair king gif he be ane idoliter.” To which Knox answers, “I find no moir privilege grantit unto kingis be God, moir than unto the peopill, to offend Godis majestie”; p. 441: cf. pp. 442, 443, where he endeavours to refute “the judgementis” of Luther, Melanchthon, Bucer, Musculus and Calvin on this subject. In his treatise On Predestination, Knox has not only justified the execution of Servetus (pp. 206 sq.), but has given such a definition of “blasphemy” (p. 209) as would involve nearly all persons differing from himself in the same awful charge, and thus necessitate their extirpation.]
**[It is impossible to enter here upon the vexed questions connected with the life of Mary queen of Scots. Two of the more recent historians of the period, Tytler (Hist. of Scotland, Vol VII) and Chalmers (Life of Mary), have again undertaken her defense: while a majority of the “Presbyterian” writers, from Knox to M’Crie are equally persuaded of her guilt.]
***[See above. The brutal assassination of Rizzio, who appears to have been a pensioner of the pope, was stimulated partly by a wish to frustrate the intended persecution (M’Crie’s Life of Knox, II. 145 sq.), and it is remarkable that one of the few learned champions of Medievalism in Scotland, John Black, a Dominican, was also murdered at Holyrood House on the same night (March 8, 1565–6): cf. Appendix, No. IV of the new edition of Knox, II. 592 sq.]
In Scotland we have seen the Reformation introduced as the result of a successful opposition to reputed tyranny and maladministration of the civil power. The same phenomena occur in one important section of the Spanish Netherlands, where the resistance had been also mainly stimulated by religious principles derived from the great doctor of Geneva. Numerous predispositions, it is true, existed in the country, long before the seven United Provinces had courage to defy the despotism of Spain; and organized their new republic. Early in the fifteenth century a school of pious mystics represented by such men as Thomas ą Kempis [See Middle Age, p. 348.] had revived a genuine spirit of devotion in their own immediate neighbourhood; while Wessel, acting under the protection of the bishop of Utrecht, anticipated most of Luther’s favourite conclusions. [Ibid. p. 360 and n. 1.] Hatred of the pope and hierarchy had been afterwards excited [Miller, Phil. Hist. III. 46.] in the Netherlanders on hearing of the butcheries perpetrated by the Inquisition in Spain;* and when Erasmus of Rotterdam began as early as 1500 to expose the ignorance and vices of the age, his works would naturally be read by many of the educated class in Holland. That reforming principles had been already introduced in 1521 is obvious from the fact that Charles V republished Luther’s condemnation in his patrimonial territories, and charged his subjects, under heavy penalties, to banish and discountenance the writings “of the said Luther, whether in Latin, Flemish, or any other modern language.” [See the manifesto in Brandt’s Hist. of the Reform. in and about the Low Countries, I. 40 sq., Lond. 1720.] Adrian VI, the “reforming” pontiff, was himself a native of Utrecht, [Ibid. p. 46.] and his acquaintance with Erasmus favoured the idea suggested by his previous conduct that he would resolutely take in hand the purification of the western Churches; yet so far was he from manifesting any love of Lutheranism that, on ascending the pontifical throne, he threatened to become its bitterest enemy.** After his death the movement was still more vigorously resisted in the Netherlands; the penal edicts which the emperor had not sufficient strength to execute in Germany were mercilessly carried out in his hereditary dominions; and although the successive representatives of the crown, Margaret of Savoy, who died in 1530, and his own sister Mary, widow of the king of Hungary [Above: cf. Schröckh, Kirchengesch. seit der Reform. II. 367 sq., Leipzig, 1804.] had mitigated these severities, and even shewn some bias for the new opinions, it has been asserted that no less than fifty thousand persons*** were put to death on religious grounds during the reign of Charles V. But in this frightful number we must reckon Anabaptists of almost every class who swarmed especially in Holland, Friesland and Brabant, and whose fanatical outrages*4 appeared in many instances to justify the stringent line of policy adopted for their extirpation.
*[The emperor Maximilian, who had been connected with the Netherlands by his marriage with Mary of Burgundy, put his son Philip the Fair in possession of those provinces in 1494. Philip was married two years later to a daughter of Ferdinand of Spain; and thus the future emperor Charles V, their son, born at Ghent, Feb. 24, 1500, was lord of the kingdoms of Spain, of the two Sicilies, of the New world, and of the Netherlands.]
**[For instance, he wrote to Erasmus (Nov. 1, 1522), urging him to enter the lists against the Wittenberg reformers (Ibid. p. 47). We afterwards find him consulting Erasmus touching the best means of checking the new movement. His correspondent told him that although the Wycliffites had been apparently crushed in England by resorting to the arm of the civil power, the present malady had penetrated too deep to be cured, either by cutting or by burning (Ibid. p. 49).]
***[This is the lowest calculation: Schröckh, II. 356. Grotius raises the number to 100,000. Prescott (Hist. Philip II. Bk. II. c. 1) shews that the lower estimate is a monstrous exaggeration, and points out that the frequent renewal of the edicts, nine times during Charles’s reign, intimates the lax way in which they were executed. One of the first preachers of reformation was the pastor of Mels near Antwerp (Brandt, I. 51), and as early as 1525 converts abounded in other parts of Brabant (Ibid.). Executions for religion now became very numerous, and in 1536 the Englishman, William Tyndale, who had translated the New Testament into his mother tongue and printed it in 1525, was strangled and burnt at Vilvorde, near Brussels. A life of him is prefixed to his writings as collected for the Park. Soc. 1848 sq. The influence he exerted in Belgium is shewn by the three books which Latomus (the Louvain controversialist) wrote against him: Latom. Opp. fol. 183–fol. 195, Lovan. 1579.]
*4[See below, Chap. V. After the reduction of Münster, and the dethronement and barbarous death of the Anabaptist “king,” in 1535, the edicts of Charles V increased still further in severity (cf. Brandt, I. 79 sq.) : the theological faculty of Louvain exercising a proportionate vigilance in the censorship of the press (Ibid. p. 85), especially with regard to versions of the Bible which had appeared in Low German as early as 1525.]
The principles of “orthodox” reformers were originally in strict accordance with the school of Wittenberg,* but in the Netherlands, as in many other districts, the Lutheran modes of thought were gradually replaced by those of Calvin,** owing chiefly to the circumstance that not a few of the later teachers had been influenced by the Huguenots of the adjoining kingdom. When Charles V discovered that his ordinary measures had all failed to crush the innovating spirit of his subjects, he determined to invoke the help of the Spanish Inquisitors (1560). [Brandt, I. 88 sq.: cf. Schiller, Revolt of the Netherlands, I. 394 sq., Lond. 1847.] Emboldened by the progress of his arms in Germany, he lost no time in raising up this merciless tribunal; and Philip II, whose bigotry indisposed him to moderate its operation, found a number of most willing instruments among the Netherlandish prelates,*** particularly in Granvella, [See Schiller’s sketch of him, as above, I. 419 sq.] the cardinal bishop of Arras, an able and astute administrator. Two years after his accession to the helm of government, the Protestants, who ran a constant risk of being confounded with Anabaptists, endeavoured to disarm the hatred of himself and of his royal master, by drawing up a regular confession*4 of their faith in thirty-seven Articles (1562). The project was originated in 1559 by Guido de Bres, a Walloon, who, from both his position and the manner in which his own convictions were matured, had naturally adopted the French Confession as the basis of his work.*5 He thereby fixed the Calvinistic principles*6 in Holland.
*[Luther’s Epistle to the Christians in Holland and Brabant (De Wette, II. 362) was written immediately after the death of the first two martyrs, who suffered at Brussels (July 1, 1523). See also his letter to the Antwerp converts (De Wette, III. 60), warning them, in 1525, against a new phase of Anabaptism, the sect of the “Libertines” (“ein leibhaftiger Rumpelgeist”). A good specimen of the reformed theology of Holland in its Lutheran stage is furnished by the Layman’s Guide of John Anastasius, on whom see Brandt, I. 96–99.]
**[Gieseler I. 559, n. 14b) quotes the following passage from a letter of Viglius van Zuichem (president of the supreme court at Brussels), dated May 23, 1567: “Confessioni autem Augustanae [i.e. of Augsburg] paucissimi eorum adhaerent, sed Calvinismus omnium pene corda occupavit. ... Ostio per Lutheranos semel patefacto ad ulteriora errorum dogmata omnes prope progrediuntur”: cf. Brandt, I. 215, 239, respecting controversies between the two bodies at Amsterdam in 1566, and at Antwerp in 1567.]
***[The number of these he increased (in 1559) from four to seventeen (Brandt, I. 133), and thus offended the nobles by adding to the importance of the clergy. This was one of the chief political causes of the revolt of the Netherlands. But if it be remembered that the provinces so called were really a bundle of states without political or ecclesiastical unity, Philip’s design of forming a national church cannot be condemned. The bishoprics already existing were Utrecht, Arras. Tourney and Cambray: the first subject to the archbishop of Cologne, the three others to the archbishop of Rheims. Both the metropolitans were outside the jurisdiction of the lord of the Netherlands. For these Philip substituted three archbishoprics and fourteen bishoprics. It was the anomalous condition of ecclesiastical affairs that left the way open for the propagation of heresy as well as reformation.]
*4[The Latin version of it, with the title Confessio Belgica is printed in Niemeyer, pp. 360 sq. Before 1562 they had made use of the formularies of faith and worship drawn up for their fellow-countrymen who took refuge in London during the time of Edward VI, and assembled under the ministry of John Utenhovius a nobleman of Ghent: see the important communication of Martin Micronius, another refugee, in Original Letters, ed. P. S. pp. 570 sq. These formularies were Flemish translations of works which had been compiled partly by John Laski for the benefit of the East-Frieslanders (cf. above, p. 70, n. 4), and partly by Martin Micronius himself: gee Niemeyer’s Praef. p. lii.]
*5[Brandt, I. 142. The original French draft of the Confession was examined and revised by Adrian Saravia and others. In 1566 it was more solemnly accepted in a synod of the reformers held at Antwerp, where the celebrated Francis Junius (Du Jon) appears to have been employed in criticizing it. “Nevertheless,” adds Brandt, “the Dutch reformed skreened themselves sometimes behind the Ausburgian Confession, because it was not so disagreeable at court as the French or Calvinian, since the latter sect was supposed to be more addicted to tumults and uproars than the Lutheran.”]
*6[The organization of the Church on the Genevan model was not, however, accomplished till 1573: see Brandt, I. 308. In the following year the first provincial synod held at Dort enjoined that the Heidelberg Catechism, which is also Calvinistic in its character, should be taught in all churches jointly with the Belgic Confession: Ibid. p. 311. In 1577 appeared a body of canons and ecclesiastical laws, which are printed in Brandt, Ibid. I. 318 sq.]
In the meantime Granvella could not be induced to mitigate the rigours of his administration; the number of the disaffected was accordingly increased, atrocious persecutions not unfrequently embittering the feelings of the nobles,* while they ultimately goaded others into overt acts of lawlessness and rapine. [On the iconoclastic tumults of 1566, see Brandt, I, 191 sq., and compare the apology of the reforming party, Ibid. p. 258.] The leaders of the movement were now ready to accept the contumelious name of “Gueux”, [See Schiller, I. 495 sq.; Brandt, I. 167. The word, which may have been corrupted from the Dutch “guits,” is retained in French and signifies “beggar”.] entered into a confederacy [Brandt, I. 162. It was formed in the house of Philip van Marnix (Feb. 26, 1566).] for checking the advances of the Inquisition (1566), met in public for the celebration of their worship, and only waited till a favourable opportunity occurred for breaking off the heavy yoke of the oppressor. But their patience was exhausted during the administration of the duke of Alva, who appeared among them at the head of a Spanish army, and proceeded with the work of violence and bloodshed. It was in the midst of these terrible disasters that William prince of Orange openly espoused the cause of Protestantism,** or rather that of civil and intellectual freedom. Aided by a host of coadjutors, none of whom excelled the ever-active Philip van Marnix,*** lord of St Aldegonde, he took the field in 1568. At first the heroism of their party was ineffectual, but in 1579 it had so far prospered in its desperate struggle as to consummate the independence of Holland by rending the seven northern provinces from their connection with the other ten. In those perhaps the Protestant doctrines, harmonizing more completely with the wants and genius of the people, had been more disseminated from the very first; and it is certain that towards the close of the century they had become predominant [As early as 1581 the exercise of the Romish religion was formally interdicted in Holland: Brandt, I. 377.] in every quarter, chiefly owing to the foundation of the University of Leyden,*4 and of other educational establishments in which the new opinions were exclusively maintained.
*[It was in 1563 when the Prince of Orange and the counts Egmont and Horn all ventured to remonstrate against the policy of Granvella. In the following year they effected his removal (Brandt, I. 145) without destroying his influence. At this time, however, they had not openly espoused the cause of the reformers, but seem to have cherished a project for uniting the hostile religious parties, chiefly by the aid of the learned and conciliatory George Cassander, a native of Flanders, who died in 1566 (Ibid. p. 146: cf. above). Philip II answered this proposal by sending peremptory orders (1565) for the execution of the canons recently framed at Trent (Brandt, p. 153).]
**[Still he does not appear to have been actuated by strong religious convictions. “He defended the rights of the Protestants, rather than their opinions, against Spanish oppression; not their faith, but their wrongs had made him their brother”: ‘ Schiller, I. 408.]
***[On this eminent person and his times, see Wilhelm Broes, Filip van Marnix, Amsterdam, 1840, and three articles in the Revue des Deux Mondes, 1854, Tome VI. pp. 471 sq. One of his more distinguished publications is entitled Tableaux des Differens de in Religion (La Rochelle, 1601), where he examines the arguments adduced by the two great parties of the day in favour of their respective creeds.]
*4[One of its first luminaries was Adrian Saravia, the bosom friend of Hooker, who was appointed to the professorship of divinity in 1582, but afterwards compelled to throw himself on the protection of the English Church, owing to his strong convictions respecting episcopacy, which he put forth, in opposition to Beza, in his De diversis Gradibus Ministrorum Evangelii (Opp. ed. 1611). A second luminary was Francis Junius (above), who, after distinguishing himself as a biblical scholar at Heidelberg, became divinity professor at Leyden in 1592: see the autobiography prefixed to his Works, Geneva, 1613.]
The other provinces might have also followed their example, had not a succeeding Spanish governor, the duke of Parma, laboured to divert the movement,* by enlarging the political rights of the inhabitants on the express condition that they should henceforth enlist with him in counteracting the advance of misbelievers. Traces of reaction accordingly grew more visible from day to day until the efforts of the Jesuits finally succeeded in reestablishing the papacy not only at Tournay, Lille, and many other places on the French border, but in districts where the opposite party had once threatened to preponderate, – the rich and populous cities of Flanders and Brabant.
*[See the convention made at Arras (May 17, 1579), in Dumont, Corps Universel Diplomatique, V. pt. I. 350. On the murder of the prince of Orange (July 10, 1584), the sovereignty of the Netherlands was offered by his disconcerted party first to the king of France, and next to Queen Elizabeth. Although the latter would not accept the proffered dignity, she sent auxiliaries in 1586 under the Earl of Leicester, who soon obtained enormous influence even in the conduct of ecclesiastical affairs: see Brandt, I. 403 sq.; Carte, Hist. of England, III. 598 sq. Thus he who proved himself at home, according to Fuller, the “patron-general of the non-subscribers,” insisted while in Holland on the most rigorous adherence to the Belgic Confession: Brandt, I. 405. He was recalled in 1588 (Ibid. p. 423), the year when English politicians were relieved from the necessity of entering into alliances with foreign Protestants by the defeat of the Invincible Armada.]
Chapter III – Conflicts Between the Saxon and the Swiss Reformers.
The progress of the continental Reformation, to say nothing for the present of the various shades of Anabaptism and of other wild and revolutionary sects, developed two distinct types of doctrine, both of which, in all their leading characteristics, have been transmitted from that period to our own. They are conveniently distinguished as the Saxon and the Swiss, or, in more technical phraseology, as “Lutheran” or Protestant and “Calvinistic” or Reformed. The earlier struggle of the schools embodying these varieties of faith, of feeling, and of worship, has been noted in the previous chapters, and in tracing their propagation through the different states of Europe, many an instance of unseemly altercation and collision was presented to our view. For example, when their founders were reluctantly drawn together at Marburg (1529), for the purpose of adjusting, as far as might be, the divergencies in their respective confessions, Luther was persuaded more and more that the two schools were actuated by a very different spirit,* and that reconciliation was impossible.
*[“Ihr habt einen andern Geist als wir”: cf. Daniel’s Codex Liturg. Eccl. Reform., Proleg. p. 3, Lips. 1851. On the whole history of this important Conference, see Schmitt’s work, entitled Das Religions-gesprach zu Marburg, Marb. 1840. On the interviews relating to the Eucharist, a full account is given by Ebrard (Das Dogma vom heiligen Abendrnahl, II. 311 sq. Francof. 1846), whose work, however, as Kahnic (Die Lehre vom Abendmahle, p. 340, Leipzig, 1851) complains, is not so much a history as “an apology for the doctrine of the Reformed.” The version of the latter will be found in the treatise just cited, pp. 374 sq. It was not unnatural for Romanists of the age to make use of these quarrels of the reformers as an argument in condemnation of the numerous changes they had wrought. Bossuet’s Variations is the most successful of the later attempts that have been made with the same object; but the Jansenist controversy in his own communion was sufficient proof that storms are not rendered impossible even when the doctrine of papal or conciliar infallibility is admitted.]
The turning point of all their controversies was the doctrine of the Eucharist, which also furnished one of the main criteria for determining how other subjects, more or less vitally connected with it, had been contemplated by the writers on both sides of the discussion. It is true that Bucer and the school of Strasburg in submitting the Tetrapolitan Confession* to the emperor Charles V, as well as in their subsequent acts of mediation, were disposed to underrate the magnitude of the controversy, and even to represent it as little more than verbal; but so long as it continued in its original shape, the disputants were plainly justified in ascribing to it vast importance. During the lifetime of Zwingli the question to be solved was whether Christians might regard the consecrated elements as media or conductors, really and truly uniting them with Christ, or whether the thing signified being absolutely incapable of association with the outward sign, the Eucharist was merely an external badge of membership in some confederation called the Church.
*[Above. Schenkel, Das Wesen des Protestantismus, § 46 (I. 535 sq., Schaffhausen, 1846), has investigated the principles of this mediating party (“die Vermittler”): cf. Ebrard, II. 367 sq. and Kahnis, pp. 382 sq. Bucer’s ultimate position seems to have been as follows: “Quod Corpus Christi vere et substantialiter a nobis accipiatur, cum sacramento utimur: quod panis et vinum sint signa exhibitiva quibus datis et acceptis simul detur et accipiatur Corpus Christi”: it being added by way of qualification, “panem et corpus uniri non per substantiarum mixtionem, sed quatenus datur cum sacramento, id quod sacramento promittitur, h.e. quia uno posito aliud ponitur. Nam quoniam utrimque in eo consentiatur, quod panis et vinum non mutentur, ideo sacramentalem ejusmodi conjunctionem sese statuere.” Schenkel, Ibid. p. 545, n. 3. On these grounds rested the Concordia Vitebergensis (1536): see above. The tenacity with which Bucer clung to his quasi-Lutheran theory in opposition to John Laski and others, who symbolized more fully with the Swiss, is seen in the angry letter of Martin Micronius, dated London, Oct. 13, 1550: Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 572; cf. Ibid. p. 652.]
At length, however, when Calvin had transferred the disputations into far loftier ground,* the combatants with greater reason might have been expected to lay down their arms, and even to embrace each other. Partly owing to the influence exercised by the conciliatory Bucer, but still more to Calvin’s reputation and his powerful arguments, the leading Swiss divines** had gradually receded more and more from the position occupied by Zwingli, till the controversy was no longer touching the reality of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, nor of His actual communication then and there to every faithful recipient. So far the Lutheran and Calvinist were now agreed: yet while the former taught that Christ was present in the elements and so connected with them after consecration, that even the wicked to their detriment became partakers of His glorified humanity, the latter contended no less strenuously that Christ is not communicated in or through, but rather with the consecrated Bread and Wine; the union of the outward and inward parts of the sacrament being always conditioned by the faith of the recipient, and the communication of Christ to the believing soul effected only in a mystical or supersensuous way by some specific action of the Holy Ghost.*** Nor could the Eucharistic controversy [Ebrard, tr. 526.] be long restricted to the how; polemics felt themselves conducted further in the logical development of their ideas, and henceforth they enquired more narrowly into the what. That Christ was verily and indeed communicated somehow or other to the faithful, and communicated in virtue of some connection with the elements themselves, had been conceded alike in Switzerland and Germany; but when it was demanded whether the thing communicated was the corporal matter of our Saviour’s glorified humanity (the Lutheran hypothesis), or whether it was the complex Person of the Christ, Divine no less than human (which the Calvinist as vigorously maintained), the disputants had launched on questions full of the profoundest mystery, because relating to the mode in which the properties of the Godhead and the manhood coexist and interpenetrate each other in the undivided Christ. [On the opening of these questions by Zwingli, see above.]
*[See above. It is worth observing, that Calvin speaks in no measured terms of Zwingli’s aberrations on the doctrine of the sacraments: e.g. in writing to Viret (1542) he characterizes the original dogma of the Zürich reformer as “profana,” and in a letter to Zebedaeus (1539) as “falsa et perniciosa”. Other passages of the same kind are collected in Gieseler, III. pt. ii. p. 171, n. 44 (ed. Bonn).]
**[The Zürichers at first demurred and the Bernese continued their opposition still longer: see Thomas, La Confession Helvétique, pp. 98 sq., GenŹve, 1853: Ebrard, as above, II. 484 sq. The Confessio Helvetica Posterior composed by Ballinger in 1562, and avowedly in more general harmony with the Augsburg Confession, was formally accepted by the Swiss in 1566, and thus constituted the last of their symbolical books (in Niemeyer, pp. 462 sq.). For its declaration “De Sacra Coena Domini,” see pp. 518–523.]
***[The following extract from a Confessio Fidei de Eucharistia, drawn up by Farel, Calvin and Viret, and signed by the Strasburgers, Bucer and Capito, is a remarkable proof that the humanity was then deemed the inward part of the Eucharist: “Vitam spiritualem, quam nobis Christus largitur, non in eo duntaxat sitam esse confitemur, quod Spiritu Suae nos vivificat, sed quod Spiritus etiam Sui virtute carnis Suae vivificae nos facit participes, qua participatione in vitam aeternam pascamur”: quoted in Schenkel, I. 565, n. 1.]
Of those who shrank from the discussion of the awful topics thus propounded, none was more conspicuous than Melanchthon. [Above.] Satisfied on reaching the conclusion that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, and that His presence is most truly efficacious in all persons who faithfully receive Him, the devout Reformer invariably discouraged those ulterior speculations, and at length, when he had partially succeeded at Wittenberg itself, attempted to cement a union with his fellow workers in Switzerland. It was in the execution of this purpose that, having obtained the sanction* of Luther, he published in 1540 a new edition of the Augsburg Confession, known as the Confessio Variata, where, together with some subordinate changes on other topics, he hoped to state the doctrine of the Eucharist in such a manner as to reconcile the more judicious members of the two, great parties. Ere long, however, many of the sterner Lutherans were prepared to combat such modification on the ground that it amounted to a virtual surrender of the truth delivered to the ancient Church. Their opposition was confirmed by the intemperate fulminations which Luther had himself [ ] put forth not long before his last illness, with the hope of crushing every remnant of those Zwinglian errors that continued to deny the doctrine of the real presence. According to the same objectors, Melanchthon so far wavered on the subject** as to justify a strong suspicion that he would eventually recede still further from the principles of his great colleague; and his fresh compliance [Above.] with the Leipzig Interim, though it related to a different class of questions, naturally tended to diminish their respect for him, and shook their faith in his consistency. The death of Luther in the midst of these conflicting elements relaxed the powerful ties that hitherto had bound his followers into one community. The Philippists, or party favourable to Melanchthon, who appear to have been most numerous in the Electorate of Saxony,*** were now publicly charged with holding too elastic notions on the hierarchy and ritual of the Church, [Above.] with modifying some of Luther’s fundamental principles touching the relation of the grace of God to human freedom, [Above.] and most of all with manifesting partial sympathy for Calvin’s doctrine of the Eucharist, on which account they were at last entitled “Crypto-Calvinists”.
*[“Dass diese Variata bloss die Geltung einer Privatschrift gehabt, ist eine Chimäre.” Ebrard, II. 526. Respecting the motives of Melanchthon for advocating the change, see Francke’s Libr. Symb. Eccl. Luther., part I. Proleg. p. xxviii. n. 13, and for Luther’s position with respect to it, Ebrard, II. 473 sq., Kahnis, pp. 390 sq.]
**[That Melanchthon was in truth dissatisfied with the rigorous definitions of the Wittenbergers is next to certain. In addition to the passages quoted above, we find him writing as follows: “Egoque, ne longissime recederem a veteribus, posui in usu sacramentalem Praesentiam, et dixi, datis his rebus, Christum vere adesse et efficacem esse. Id profecto satis est [cf. Hooker’s Eccl. Pol. V. LXVII. 2]. Nec addidi inclusionem, aut conjunctionem talem, qua affigeretur __ ____ __ ____, aut ferruminaretur, aut misceretur. Ego vero realem (conjunctionem) pono, hoc est, ut signis positis adsit vere Christus efficax”: quoted, with other like passages, in Schenkel, I. 553, n. 1: cf. Kahnis, pp. 389 sq. Calvin, however, at a critical juncture, strove in vain to draw from him a confession that they held precisely the same doctrine: see Dyer, Life of Calvin, pp. 409, 410. The most important difference between them was that Calvin’s theory of the Eucharist was traversed by his other theory of absolute predestination, which Melanchthon strongly repudiated: see Thomas, La Confession Helvétique, p. 105, and below.]
***[The opposite party (“Flacianists,” above) seem to have been strongest in ducal Saxony (that is, the States of the Ernestine dukes) and the north of Germany. In 1557 they called upon Melanchthon to revoke his errors, and from the record of the fruitless negotiations that passed between him and them, we ascertain the more prominent subjects of complaint (Opp. ed. Bretschn. IX. 23 sq.): “Rejiciantur omnes contrarii errores Papistarum, Interimistarum, Anabaptistarum, Sacramentarioram. ... Ex articulo de justificatione tollantur omnes corruptelae, pugnantes cum sincera doctrina Apostolica et Angustana confessione, praecipue corruptelae de necessitate operum ad salutem. ... Ne fiat conciliatio cum Papistis do caeremoniis, etc.”]
It seems that hatred of Melanchthonism was secretly at work in stimulating a revival of this latter controversy, which took place in 1552. The author of the new commotion [See the account at length in Ebrard, II. 536 sq., and Dyer, pp. 402 sq., and cf. the remarks of Kahnis, pp. 403 sq.] was Joachim Westfal, one of the Lutheran ministers at Hamburg. He began with an assault on the Consensus Tigurinus,* the joint work of Bullinger and Calvin. At first indeed the Swiss divines made no reply to his production; but the barbarous conduct of some ultra-Lutherans** in refusing an asylum to John Laski, or A’Lasco, and a number of religious emigrants who had accompanied him from England (Sept. 1553), on the outbreak of the Marian troubles, roused the indignation of the Genevese reformer; and the controversy [The various works in reply to Westfal are enumerated by Gieseler, III. ii. p. 218, n. 18 (ed. Bonn).] that ensued, though modified occasionally by the gentleness of Bullinger, could only tend to widen and perpetuate the breach that yawned between the two great parties of the day. Until this period Calvin seems to have believed himself in general harmony [Cf. Ebrard, II. 545.] with the adherents of the Augsburg Confession: he had lived on friendly terms with them at Strasburg, and had never openly renounced their fellowship: but so violent was the feud excited by the works of Westfal and his numerous abettors, that when Calvin came to Frankfort in 1556, he was observed to stand aloof entirely from the Lutheran ministers. [Dyer, p. 438.] Laski also, who for many years had mingled freely in the Eucharistic controversy,*** laboured to promote a better understanding between the hostile confessions. [Dyer, p. 437.] He was driven to desist, however, when Brentz,*4 an ultra-Lutheran of Würtemberg, required that Calvinists should not only sign the Augsburg formulary, but profess their faith in what had now become a cardinal tenet of the Saxon school, the omnipresence of Christ’s glorified humanity.
*[Above. He also directed his attack against Peter Martyr, whose work De Sacramento Eucharistiae had appeared at Zürich in 1552. Peter Martyr’s determined hostility to the Augsburg Confession, and to Lutheranism in general, afterwards induced him to migrate from Strasburg to Zürich: cf. Zurich Letters, ed. P. S. II. 48, 111.]
**[The refugees, one hundred and seventy-five in number, were driven by stress of weather into the Danish port of Helsingör (Oct. 13), but the magistrates compelled them to re-embark, on finding who and what their leader was (cf. above). Some German towns followed this example. At length the sufferers found a resting place at Dantzig.]
***[He was considerably at variance with Bucer on the subject in 1550 (above), and in 1552 appeared at London his Brevis et dilucida de sacramentis Ecclesiae Christi tractatio, where, in compliance with the wish of Calvin, he expresses himself favourably on the subject of the “Consensus Tigurinus”: see “Epistola ad Regem” prefixed to the treatise, sign. *6. His account of the Lutheran doctrine will be found on fol. 36 b. Fourteen years later (1566) he put forth a tract in conjunction with Valerandus Pollanus, Robert Horn, and others, for the purpose of defending himself and them against the charge of deviating on the subject of the Eucharistic presence from the statements of the Augsburg Confession. The title begins Purgatio Ministrorum in Ecclesiis Peregrin. Francofurti, etc. Basil. 1566, mense Decembri.]
*4[See Ebrard’s chapter entitled “Brenz und die Ubiquität,” (II. 646 sq.). The necessity of believing in the ubiquity of Christ’s glorified Body was involved in many of Luther’s arguments as early as 1525, but the first writer who insisted upon it as an article of the faith was Timann, a minister of Bremen (1555). It may be said to have been fully developed in the treatise of Brentz (1561) entitled De Personali Unione duarum Naturarum in Christo et ascensione Christi in coelum ac sessione Ejus ad dexteram Dei Patris, qua vera Corporis et Sanguinis Christi praesentia in Coena explicata est et confirmata.]
During the next ten years the Eucharistic quarrel was still more embittered, and the alienation rising out of it and other like disputes grew almost universal. This melancholy result appeared from the continuous struggles of the two great parties even in remote districts, such as Hungary [Above.] and Sweden,[ Above: Poland, northern states of Germany. The word “Zwinglianer” is meant to designate the Swiss school in general.] but particularly in one German province that became notorious for the acrimony of its theological disputations, – viz. the Palatinate. Perhaps there is no country where the Reformation gained a footing that experienced so many alternations of worship and belief.** In sixty years it twice adopted Lutheran tenets and twice relinquished them for the conclusions of the Genevese reformer. We have seen [Above: cf. Ebrard, II. 577.] that, notwithstanding the diffusion of reforming modes of thought, the Roman pontiff was not actually dethroned in the Palatinate till 1546. The agents then employed were, for the most part, in alliance with Melanchthon; and accordingly his modified opinions on the Eucharist and other subjects, as expressed in the Confessio Variata, had obtained a general currency. Being himself a native of the district, he was much respected in the university of Heidelberg, which he visited in 1557, and thereby strengthened [Ebrard, II. 580.] the impression which the fame of his piety and writings had produced. But in the following year, the ultra-Lutherans, who misconstrued his unwillingness to speak distinctly on the Eucharistic question, repeated the attempts to undermine his influence.*** Loud in their assertions that the orthodoxy and integrity of the Reformation were in danger, they prevailed in gaining the ear of the elector Otho Henry (1556–1559), and on the arrival of Heshus, whom he nominated general superintendent of the Church in the Palatinate, the old materials of controversy were all lighted up afresh.*4 The “Crypto-Calvinist” selected for attack was one of the deacons of Heidelberg, William Klewitz (Klebitius). There is perhaps nothing in the earlier phases of the quarrel, sickening as they often are, that matches the extreme acerbity of the present combatants; and Frederic III, who succeeded Otho in 1559, exerting what was now an ordinary stretch of the prerogative, endeavoured to suppress the furious agitation by displacing both the leaders, and enjoining silence on the rest. He afterwards proceeded to evince a bias for the ritual and dogmatic system of the Calvinists, although discarding not a few of the more startling peculiarities [Ibid. pp. 598 sq.] developed by the writers of that school.
*[Schiller, Thirty Years’ War, p. 37, Lond. 1847. After the last of these changes, which were all effected arbitrarily by the civil power, the Calvinistic teachers that were given to the elector Frederic IV, at the age of nine years, “were ordered, if necessary, to drive the Lutheran heresy out of the soul of their pupil with blows.”]
**[They seem to have been instigated more especially by the proceedings of a Conference held at Frankfort in 1558, when, stung by the reproaches of the anti-reformation party, the Protestant princes determined to publish a decree (March 18), enjoining all persons to hold fast by the Augsburg Confession, and at the same time adding determinations on certain points then controverted. Respecting the Eucharist it is decreed, “dass in dieser, des Herrn Christi, Ordnung seines Abendmals er wahrhaftig, lebendig, wesentlich und gegenwärtig sey, auch mit Brod und Wein, also von ihm geordnet, uns Christen sein Leib und Blut zu essen und zu trinken gegeben, und bezeuget hiermit, dass wir seine Gliedmassen seyen, applicirt tuns sich selbst und seine gnädige Verheissung, und wirkt in uns”; see Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretschn. IX. 489 sq. One of the princes who subscribed this pacificatory document was Christopher, duke of Würtemberg; but as if to shew that he believed it condemnatory of Zwinglians and Calvinists, he proceeded to banish them from his territories. At the same time John Frederic, duke of Saxe-Gotha, placed himself at the head of the extreme Lutherans, and published a Confutatio (Jena, 1559) of the chief “corruptelae” and sectarians of his age, including both the “Synergistic” or “freewill” party and the Zwinglians.]
***[On a contemporary dispute at Bremen, between Timann (above) and Hardenberg, a Crypto-Calvinist, and its connection with the present troubles, see Ebrard, II. 582 sq. Melanchthon died in the midst of this “rabies theologorum” (April 19, 1560).]
Under his auspices the Heidelberg, or Palatine, Catechism, so deeply cherished and so widely circulated by the moderate Calvinists of later times,* was given to the public. The compilers of it were Olevianus and Ursinus, the former symbolizing with the doctor of Geneva, the latter with Melanchthon. They availed themselves of the existing catechisms, especially of one arranged by Calvin for the members of his flock, and of a second which had been constructed by John Laski in 1553. Yet notwithstanding these affinities the work has steered away as far as possible from speculative topics, while in its exposition of the Eucharist it has retained the middle place marked out by the Confessio Variata. [Niemeyer, pp. 409–411; Ebrard, pp. 604 sq.] In the following reign, however, that of Louis IV, which commenced in 1576, these changes were as suddenly reversed by the establishment of ultra-Lutheran tenets. Ministers suspected of a leaning either to the modified principles of Melanchthon, or still more to Calvinism, were very roughly handled, being driven from their parishes, and even chased across the frontiers. The persecution raged till 1583, when Frederick IV, the new elector, determined to fetch back the exiles, and revive the interdicted usages and doctrines. Calvinism, in its most rigorous form, was subsequently taught from every pulpit; and at the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, the south of Germany exhibited the shocking spectacle of Lutherans and Reformed recoiling from each other, in the hour of need, with hatred scarcely less implacable than that which animated both of them in the hostility they bore to Rome. [Schiller, Thirty Years’ War, p. 88.]
*[It is said to combine “l’intimité de Luther, la clarté de Mélancthon, et le feu de Calvin”: Thomas, La Confession Helvétique, p. 113: see it (German and Latin) in Niemeyer, pp. 390 sq., with the editor’s Praef. pp. lvii sq. The compilers seem to have followed the order of the Epistle to the Romans, omitting ch. ix–xi.]
For, as the century advanced, these two great parties found their principles diverging more and more, and even threatening to result in a complete antagonism. Postponing for the present the investigation of their numerous liturgical differences, which nevertheless had been produced in a considerable measure by their different conceptions of the Eucharist, [See Kahnis, Die Lehre vom Abendmahle, p. 424.] we may observe again that they regarded the most central dogma of the Incarnation from two distinct points of view. [Above.] The Lutherans, to establish their peculiar ideas of ubiquity, had dwelt with special emphasis upon the union of Divine and human in the Person of the Christ; the Calvinists, in order to evade the force of such an argument, as uniformly placed a greater stress on the distinctness of the Natures. Thus the former were exposed to charges of Eutychianism; the latter of a tendency in the direction of Nestorianism. But though such formidable accusations frequently recurred, they were outnumbered by a second class of controversies, relating either to Calvin’s dogma of predestination abstractedly considered, or to its effect in traversing the sacramental tenets [Above.] advocated by himself and members of his party. Melanchthon who on other points has been suspected of approximating closely to the Genevese reformers, was on this entirely at variance with them.* And the opposition which he offered accordingly to the Consensus Tigurinus was perpetuated and intensified by the more rigorous followers of Luther. So long indeed as Calvin seemed to take his stand in the position occupied by St Augustine, he was uniformly treated with respect; but no sooner was it made apparent that, through his identifying the grace of regeneration and the grace of perseverance, he limited the efficacy of sacraments to the particular class of Christians destined to be ultimately saved, than feelings of disapprobation, bordering on disgust, found utterance in the public manifestoes of the Lutherans, as well as in the writings of their principal divines.**
*[Hence when Calvin forwarded the “Consensus Tigurinus” to him, he refused to endorse it (see Ebrard, II. 530): and the “Consensus Genevensis,” drawn up by the Swiss during the controversy of Calvin with Bolsec (above), was equally distasteful to Melanchthon. “A cet égard,” says Thomas, La Confession Helvétique, p. 105, “c’est lui, parmi les Réformateurs, qui s’éloigna le plus de Calvin dont it se rapprocha tellement sur d’autres points.” According to the same writer Ballinger himself “Melanchthonized” on the subject of predestination; pp. 141, 142.]
**[Thus to take the case of baptism as handled by Gerhard (Loci Theol. IV. 816, Jenae, 1623). After quoting an objection of the Anabaptists, he says that it was borrowed from Beza and his party, “qui statuunt infantes quosdam, absoluto Dei decreto rejectos, non regenerari, etiamsi millies baptizentur.” In the name of the Lutherans, however, he declares: “Sed cum hoc errore nobis nihil est commercii, qui infantes etiam reprobos, h.e. eos qui progressu aetatis a gratia excidunt, et aeternum pereunt, atque hoc modo se reprobos esse ipso actu ostendunt, vere per baptismum regenerari dicimus.” As early as 1569 the Kirchen-Ordnung of Brunswick and Lüneburg (pp. 64, 65, Hannover, 1853) rebuked certain “Calvinisten” for their teaching on the subject of infant baptism, particularly for representing that sacrament as little more than obsignatory of grace already communicated to the elect; (baptismum sane jam non pro medio ullo nostrae salutis, sed pro obsignaculo potius habere nos, oportet intelligamus, nedum ut per baptismum primum omnium Christo Domino inseramur,” is, for example, the view of Laski, De Sacramentis Ecclesiae, fol. 10 b, Lond. 1552). The Saxons even proceeded further, and in a series of Articuli Visitatorii issued at the close of the century, described the general teaching of the Calvinists on infant baptism as “falsa et erronea”’ (Francke’s Libri Symbol. Eccl. Lutheranae, Pars III. Append. p. 119). The following are specimens of the tenets there censured: “Non omnes, qui aqua baptizantur, consequi eo ipso gratiam Christi aut donnm fidei, sed tantum electos. ... Electos et regenitos non posse fidem et Spiritum Sanctum amittere aut damnari, quamvis omnis generis grandia peccata et flagitia committant.”]
These feelings are betrayed especially in the Formula Concordiae, the last in order of the Lutheran Confessions, or symbolical books. On the death of Melanchthon in 1560, the party who were treading in his footsteps and abstaining, like himself, from arbitrary speculations on the nature of the presence in the Eucharist, had constantly exposed themselves to the assaults of more decided Lutherans.* Controversies which then raged in many quarters, most of all in the distracted Church of the Palatinate, were pouring rancour into these deplorable divisions; and it was accordingly made obvious that, unless some measures were devised for settling the more prominent and irritating questions of the day, the mighty system raised by Luther and his coadjutors was in danger of exploding. Three persons now came forward to superintend the work of pacification.** They were Andrea, chancellor of the university of Tübingen, Chemnitz, the most able theologian in the north of Germany and ecclesiastical superintendent of Brunswick, and Chytraeus, a professor in the university of Rostock. After several interruptions they completed their task at Bergen near Magdeburg in 1577, from which circumstance the Formula of Concord has been termed the “Book of Bergen”. It consists of two parts, (1) the “Epitome” or outline of the Christian faith, according to the views of Lutheran orthodoxy, and (2) the “Solida Declaratio,” a lucid and elaborate exposition of the former. In this treatise, coloured as it is by all the disputations*** of the period, we behold the full development of Lutheran tenets under a scholastic and coherent shape, not only as they stand contrasted with Tridentine Romanism and Anabaptism of every hue, but also as distinguished from the characteristic features simultaneously brought out in the productions of the Swiss reformers. The Book of Concord, where the various symbolical writings of the Saxon school had been combined in 1580, was not indeed accepted with absolute unanimity in all the states and churches which continued to revere the memory of Luther.*4 Still the principles consolidated in the formulary of this period will be found to have exercised a very general sway in Lutheran communities at the conclusion of the sixteenth century.
*[One of the last persecutions inflicted by the ultra-Lutherans occurred in Saxony itself (1574). The elector Augustus had been induced chiefly by the arguments of Peucer, son-in-law of Melanchthon, to adopt the Calvinistic statements respecting the Eucharistic presence, which were formally accepted by the “Consensus Dresdensis” (Oct. 1571). As soon, however, as the “Crypto-Calvinists” expressed themselves more plainly in their Exegesis perspicua Controversiae de Coena Domini (1574), many of their leaders were imprisoned, and others had to seek for safety in flight: see Gieseler, III. ii. p. 267. (ed. Bonn). After these reverses, “Philippism,” or “Crypto-Calvinism,” was principally found in the Palatinate, in Nassau, and in Anhalt. The principles which it continued to avow are stated at length (1579) in the Repetitio Anhaltina (Niemeyer, pp. 612 sq.), “extructa super fundamentum S. Literarum, juxta consensum totius orthodoxae antiquitatis, et scholasticorum sinceriorum, cum quibus consentit et Lutherus, ubi hunc locum [i.e. respecting the hypostatic union] ex professo et solide tractat.”]
**[See Anton’s Gesch. der Concordienformel, Leipzig, 1779, and Franeke’s Praef. to the third part of the Libri Symbolici Eccl. Luther., where the work is printed at length.]
***[Thus of the eleven chapters contained in the “Epitome,” the first, De Peccato Originis, is meant to vindicate the truth against Flacius Illyricus (above); the second, De Libero Arbitrio, against the Synergistic party (above) and others, who appeared to swerve in the direction of Pelagianism; the third, De Justitia fidei coram Deo, against Osiander and his school (above); the fourth, De bonis Operibus, with reference to the Majoristic controversy (above); the seventh, De Coena Domini, against the Sacramentarii (Zwingli, Calvin and the rest); the eighth, De Persona Christi, against the same; the eleventh, De aeterna Predestinatione et Electione Dei, against the same (the object being to establish a distinction between the prescience of God and His predestination, and to affirm the conditional character of the Divine decrees). To which is added, in the form of an Appendix, a condemnation of heresies and sects which had never embraced the Augsburg Confession, – Anabaptists, Schwenkfeldians, new Arians, and Anti-trinitarians.]
*4[E.g. The Formula of Concord was not received in Denmark, see Münter, III. 304, note. The feelings it excited in the several states of Germany may be inferred partly from the names of the subscribers (Franke, III. pp. 15 sq.), and partly from evidence collected in Gieseler, III. ii. pp. 302 sq. (ed. Bonn). An illustration of the way in which it was regarded by the reforming party in the Netherlands, is furnished by Brandt, I. 364, 365.]