Chapter V – Sects and Heresies Accompanying the New Movement
The seeds of skepticism, disbelief, and speculative license, had been scattered here and there as early as the fourteenth century by William of Ockham and that class of schoolmen who embraced the “nominalistic” principles as modified in some of his productions. [See Middle Age, p. 353.] At the middle of the following century a stronger impulse was communicated in the same direction by the literati of southern Europe,* owing partly to the feverish thirst which had been there excited for the works of Greek philosophers, and partly to a predilection felt in several quarters for the wild and mystic Cabbala of the Jews. No sooner, therefore, was the pressure of the papal yoke abated** than multitudes of free thinkers, who had hitherto been yielding a hollow and occasional compliance with the ritual institutions of the Church, began to ventilate their theories more publicly, and even went so far as to establish independent organizations, with the hope of leavening the whole of western Christendom. Their fundamental tenet was the self-sufficiency of human reason, or the right of private Christians to determine, each one for himself, the course to be pursued in all religious matters: little or no deference being paid to formularies, creeds, and immemorial usages of the Church, nor even to the voice of Holy Scripture, where its oracles appeared at variance with those inspirations which were held to flow directly from the source of light and wisdom to the individual spirit.
*[Ibid. p. 355. John Sturmius, in a scarce epistle “Ad Cardinales Delectos” (Argentor. 1538), sign. D, 2, makes the following complaint on this subject: “Nam quid potest ibi syncerum dici ubi pro religione superstitio, pro Divina sapientia hominum philosophia, pro Christo Socrates, pro sacris Scripturis Aristoteles atque Plato in Ecclesiam irruperunt? Neque haec ita intelligi velim, quasi reprehendam philosophiae studium ... sed sic se res habet, ut nisi divinitatis cognitio praemonstratrix, mens ipsa hominis errans et vaga ad loco spinosa deviaque deducatur.”]
**[“The dam, which for so many centuries had repelled human understanding from truth, was too suddenly torn away, for the outbreaking torrent not to overflow its appointed channel.” Schiller, Hist. of Revolt of the Netherlands, p. 382, Lond. 1847.]
The promoter of such lawless speculations, it is true, was frequently excited, in the first instance, by the Reformation movement. He accompanied it so long as it accorded with his notions, or held forth a prospect of complete emancipation from authority; but when he ascertained its real character, especially the strong determination it continued to evince in favour of the absolute supremacy of an objective revelation, as distinguished from his dreamy self-reliance, and onesided spiritualism, he seems to have been immediately converted into one of its implacable opponents: while the leaders of the movement, although differing from each other on some minor topics, uniformly* saw in him the special instrument of Satan for corrupting, thwarting, and discrediting the work which they were straining every nerve to carry out.
*[See, for instance, Luther’s behaviour on the appearance of Anabaptism, above. The innovators were at first treated with more tenderness in Switzerland (above): yet Zwingli afterwards wrote vehemently against them in his Elenchus contra Catabaptistas, and Bullinger in his Adversus omnia Catabaptistarum prava Dogmata, ed. Tiguri, 1535. The former is even said to have urged the magistrates of Zürich to punish them capitally (using the expression “Qui iterum mergit, mergatur”: see Brandt, Hist. of Reform. in Low Countries, I. 58). Hooper in like manner was an energetic opponent of them (above). The denunciations of John Knox are no less clear and frequent: “Sone after that God had sowen his good sede, began the deuill to sowe the cockell and darnell, I mean the pestilent secte of anabaptistes, whose frutes did sodeinly appere to the great slander of Christes Euangill, and to the grief of many godly heartes”: Answer to a great nomber of blasphemous cauillations (1560), p. 408. While Ridley in a letter to Bradford, not long before his martyrdom, supplies the following additional testimony: “Whereas you write of the outrageous rule that Satan, our ghostly enemy, beareth abroad in the world, whereby he stirreth and raiseth up so pestilent and heinous heresies, as some to deny the blessed Trinity, some the Divinity of our Saviour Christ, some the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, some the baptism of infants, some original sin, and to be infected with the errors of the Pelagians, and to rebaptize those that have been baptized with Christ’s baptism already; alas, Sir, this doth declare this time and these days to be wicked indeed!” Works, p. 367, ed. P.S.]
First Race of Anabaptists.
The great majority of these revolutionary spirits were at first distinguished by the general name of Anabaptists,* owing to the prominence they gave to their denial of the Church’s teaching on the efficacy of infant baptism,** and their consequent reiteration of the sacred rite in cases where it was administered in childhood. But this feature of their system can hardly be regarded as its principal characteristic. The first race of Anabaptists who sprang up, as we have seen, while Luther was concealed at Wartburg (1521), under the guidance of an obscure draper of Zwickau, named Claus (Nicholas) Storch, were animated by a deep conviction that the kingdom of Christ would be ere long established visibly on earth, and that the subjects of it, guided by a light within them, would be all exempted from human laws and human magistrates, and even raised above the elementary stages of religious knowledge furnished by the holy Scriptures. Thus, apart from minor aberrations which this picture served to stimulate, the Anabaptist opened his career with three main principles of action. Placing himself in the position*** of the Israelites of old, he laboured to subvert existing institutions for the sake of realizing his visions of a Millennial kingdom. In anticipation of that kingdom he subordinated the written Word of God to inspirations of the individual preacher.*4 And as one example of his disregard for old traditions, he rejected infant baptism on the ground that it was quite superfluous, if not utterly absurd.
*[So general was the term that John Gastius, whose work De Anabaptistarum Exordio etc. appeared at Basel in 1546, makes mention of seven distinct sects (pp. 496 sq.).]
**[Cf. above. We see from evidence there adduced how difficult the question of infant baptism appeared at first sight even to one of the most thoughtful of the Reformers. Zwingli also confesses (Werke, II. i. 245, new ed.) that for some time before he wrote (1525), he had been the victim of like misgivings: cf. above. Bucer even seems to have felt at one period that infant baptism might be placed among the “res non-necessariae” (Scripta Duo Adversaria, pp. 142, 145, Argentorati, 1544); but afterwards when pressed by his opponent he maintained the following ground (p. 248): “Baptisma infantium et ab Apostolis acceptum fuit, ut vetustissimi Patres affirmant, et certo concluditur ex Scripturis” etc. It should also be remembered that some of the sectaries themselves estimated the effects of baptism very highly when it was administered to conscious and believing subjects: see Der Wiedertläufer Lehr and Geheimniss aus heil. Schrift widerlegt, durch Justum Menium (1530) in Luther’s Works, Wittenberg, ed. II. 292, and Möhler’s Symbolik, II. 162, Lond. 1843. Schenkel in like manner (Das Wesen des Protestantismus, I. 462 sq., Schaffhausen, 1846) adduces extracts to shew that Servetus held the most ultra-Mediaeval opinions in this matter. Still their general leaning was in the very opposite direction: sacraments being treated as “nothyng els than outward sygnes of our profession and felowship, as the badges of capitaines be in warre.” Hermann’s Consultation, sign. t, viii. Lond. 1547.]
***[Ranke, Reform. III. 566, who shews that the idea of introducing the millennial reign by force was adopted gradually. The imaginations of the Anabaptists would be stimulated by the version of the Hebrew prophets, which appeared under the auspices of Hetzer and Johannes Denk as early as 1527, i.e. five years before Luther’s version was completed.]
*4[The insufficiency of the Bible was one of the first points agitated by the prophets of Zwickau (Ranke, II. 22), their reasons being that the written word was inefficacious (“unkräftig”), and therefore that men are to be taught only by the Spirit: see Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretschn. I. 534. This belief in a continuous inspiration of the same kind as that vouchsafed to the founders of Christianity induced Nicholas Storch to appoint twelve apostles from among his own followers, some being of his own trade. The more intelligent of that number were Marcus Stübner and Martin Cellarius, students from Wittenberg: always, of course, excepting the erratic Carlstadt.]
The Peasants’ war [Above.] which broke on many parts of Germany in 1524 afforded an example of the way in which these principles might be applied. But long before a check was given to their extravagancies in that country, the fermentation they produced had spread on every side, and roused the indignation both of civil and ecclesiastical authorities. [Ranke, III. 570 sq.] The emissaries of Anabaptism found their way to Switzerland [Above.] in 1525, and in Sweden had created serious disturbances as early as the autumn of 1524.* It was not, however, till a party of them rose in Holland and Westphalia, when they were established in the town of Minster** that the ultimate tendencies of their opinions were fully brought to light. At the beginning of 1534 that city swarmed with Anabaptists, and so formidable was their influence that in the month of February they possessed themselves of the supreme power by substituting for the old authorities a number of their own fraternity, chiefly peasants and unlettered artisans. Such of the inhabitants of Münster as demurred to these proceedings and afterwards refused to abjure their baptism were ruthlessly ejected in the depth of winter, every street re-echoing the fanatic cry, “Out with the ungodly.” But the bishop of Münster, aided by some neighbouring princes, instantly resolved to strike a blow for the recovery of his jurisdiction. The city was beleaguered on all sides (May, 1534); while John Bockhold of Leyden, an adventurer who had gradually been elevated at the instigation of Anabaptist “prophets” to the rank of “king of Sion,” inspired his frantic followers with a hope that God would signally interpose for the confusion of their enemies. This hope, however, was eventually disappointed. The fortifications of the town were stormed on the 24th of June, 1535; an awful carnage followed, and many leaders of the revolution shared the fate of their king, being tortured to death with red-hot pincers in the market place of Münster. It is worthy of remark that in the rescue of the city from their dominion, Reformer and Romanist were fighting side by side, – a fact which tended in some measure to promote a better understanding between the two Confessions, or at least to shew the strong aversion of the Lutheran states to Anabaptist doctrines.
*[Geijer, Hist. of the Swedes, by Turner, p. 112. The two emissaries were Knipperdolling, afterwards one of the leaders of the sanguinary fanatics of Münster, where his bones are still kept in an iron cage in the church tower, and Melchior Rink, a disciple and colleague of Thomas Münzer: above.]
**[On the troubles, that ensued see Brandt, Reform. I. 61 sq.; Ranke, III. 573 sq.; and Jochmus, Gesch. der Kirchen-reformation zu Münster und ihres Untergangs durch die Wiedertäufer, Münster, 1825.]
These doctrines had in truth assumed the most flagitious character. They may have been advocated here and there by simple-hearted Christians, who, captivated by the bright ideal of a Christian Church which filled the earliest dreams of Anabaptism, yielded their assent to its erroneous dogmas, without plunging into all the depths of immorality;* but the influence of that system on the many was disastrous and disgusting. It became, as modified by John of Leyden, a revolting compound of fanaticism and sensuality. The Bible was the only book there tolerated, and that on the condition that the orthodox interpretation must be sought exclusively among the Anabaptist “prophets”. [Ranke, III. 583.] All who were admitted to the “true baptism” had every thing in common. They were incorporated into a fraternity that was to constitute the germ of the Millennial kingdom; and in their monarch they accordingly beheld the representative of God Himself, the lord of all the earth. Yet these exalted visions had no power to check the outburst of the basest and the coarsest passions. [Ibid. 587 sq.] On the contrary, they served to madden and intoxicate their subjects. The abolition of all oaths and vows resulted in a general disregard of social and domestic obligations, and the union of depravity and bloodshed which appalls us in the history of the Münster Anabaptists has scarcely any equal in the registers of human crime.
*[Thus in the Layman’s Guide of John Anastasius (Brandt, I. 99), the writer while deploring the errors of the Anabaptists, allows that even in Holland, “some of them lived unblameably and died bravely for the articles which they believed to be Divine.]
One result of their suppression in that city was the gradual abatement of their vehemence in preaching doctrines adverse to the general order of society. But in the meanwhile their feverish and unbridled speculations, varying often from each other, and related only by the wild confusion of ideas common to the great majority, had forced them into more direct collision with the central dogmas of the Church. Some of their extravagancies are most apparent as we trace the progress of the English reformation, which after the catastrophe of Münster, had begun to be affected by the Anabaptist leaven:* but they meet us also more or less in every district of the continent in which the same religious spirit was fermenting. Guided by their special hatred of all Lutheran tenets, one class of Anabaptists argued strongly for the freedom of the human will, rejected the doctrines of original sin** and the atonement, and even urged the competence of man to earn his own salvation by a course of virtuous living.*** They assailed the common formula by which salvation was attributed to “faith only”.*4 They rejected all the sterner views of God’s predestination: they believed in the defectibility of Divine grace. [See a forcible statement of their reasons in John Knox’s Answer to a great nomber of blasphemous Cauillaticms, &c. (1560), pp. 236 sq.] The agitation of these questions seems to have propelled another section of the Anabaptists into the denial of our blessed Lord’s Divinity, [The followers of Johannes Denk may be quoted as examples: see above.] – a phase of misbelief which will be noticed more at length hereafter.
*[See above. The proclamation of 1538 adverts to their heresies in general terms; but two years later (see Stat. 32, Hen. VIII. c. 49, § 11) the following points are specified as held by persons then excluded from the king’s pardon: “That infants ought not to be baptized, and if they be baptized they ought to be rebaptized when they com to lawfull age: That it is not leafull for a Christen man to beare office or rule in the Commen Welth: That no mans laves ought to be obeyed: That it is not leafull for a Christen man to take an othe before any judge: That Christe toke no bodily substaunce of our blessed lady: That Synners aftre baptisme cannot be restored by repentaunce: That every maner of Death, with the tyme and houre thereof, is so certainly prescribed, appointed and determyned to euery man of God, that neither any prince by his sworde can altre it, ne any man by his owne wilfulnes prevent or change it: That all things be common and nothing severall.” Owing to this rigorous policy of Henry VIII, the Anabaptists made small progress in this country during his reign: but on the accession of Edward, they abounded in the south of England, more especially in Kent and Essex: Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 87. On the character of their tenets, see Hooper’s letter (June 25, 1549), Ibid. pp. 65, 66: and Lewis, Hist. of the Rise and Progress of Anabaptism in England, Lond. 1738.]
**[In addition to the authorities cited above, see Hermann’s Consultation, Lond. 1547, sign. t, iiii. sq. Writing of the Anabaptists he says: “Bicause they admitte not original sinne, they also refuse the baptisme of chyldren, and in as muche as in them lyeth, they drawe awaye the moste parte of men from God and eternall saluation”: sign. t, vii; cf. v, ii. In like manner the eighth of the English Articles of 1552 complains “that the Anabaptistes doe now a daies renue” the heresy of Pelagius. See also the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, De Haeresibus, c. 7, Oxon. 1850.]
***[One of the stoutest advocates of this view was Johannes Denk, a young and learned Anabaptist, whose doctrines were diffused in two or three years in the Rhine district, in Switzerland, in Franconia, in Swabia, and even as far as Moravia: see an article by Heberle, in the Studien und Kritiken, 1855, 4tes Heft, pp. 817 sq. As Ranke had already observed (Reform. III. 559), “the basis of his doctrine is, that God is love; which, he said, flesh and blood could never have understood, had it not been embodied in certain human beings, who might be called divine men, or the children of God. But in one of them, love was supremely exemplified: – in Jesus of Nazareth. He had never stumbled in the path marked out by God: He had never lost his unity with God: He was a Saviour of His people, for He was the forerunner of all those who would be saved. This was the meaning of the words, that all should be saved by Christ.”]
*4[Möhler, on this account, welcomes them as to some extent among his own fellow workers in demolishing Lutheranism: Symbolik, II. 165, Engl. transl.]
In the former party the prevailing tone of thought was strongly rationalistic: but a second school was more inclined to mysticism. They started from a deep conviction that humanity was now degenerate and corrupt, but argued, [Ranke, III. 563.] that as the taint of evil is restricted to the “flesh,” it cannot penetrate into the better and more spiritual province of man’s being. In spite however of these dualistic distinctions, they felt that harmony can be effected between the two component elements of human nature. The task of bringing it about they allotted to the Saviour: and as it would seem, in order to secure that He should Himself be altogether sinless, they maintained that His humanity was peculiar,* not consisting of flesh and blood which He derived from the substance of the Virgin. Their views respecting predestination were most rigorous,** and they even pleaded that a man who is indeed regenerate*** is exempted from the possibility of sinning, and remains the temple of the Holy Ghost whatever be the quality of his outward actions. One or both these schools were also “universalists”,*4 i.e. contended for the restoration of all things, and even for the ultimate conversion of the Evil Spirit. Others advocated [Reform. Leg. c. xii.] the materialistic notion that souls will sleep throughout the interval between death and judgment. Others went so far [Ibid. c. xiii.–xv.] as to defend polygamy, as well as the community of goods, impugned the lawfulness of oaths and warfare, and denied the jurisdiction of the civil magistrate. Their unworthy speculations touching the authority of the Bible, the nature and efficacy of the sacraments, the office of the Church, the jurisdiction of the clergy, and all species of ecclesiastical discipline, we gather with sufficient clearness from the facts adverted to above. In short, if Anabaptism had prevailed, it would have reared its throne upon the ruins of all ancient institutions, and have trampled under foot the Word of God itself.
*[See, for instance, Hooper’s treatise (1549) entitled A Lesson of the Incarnation of Christ, Later Writings, ed. P. S., where this Docetic view is refuted. Joan of Kent was burnt for holding it (May 2, 1550). The heresy is thus stated in the Reformatio Legum Eccl. c. 5: “Alii Eum sic Deum judicant ut hominem non agnoscant, et de corpore nugantur de coelo Divinitus assumpto, et in virginis uterum lapso, quod tanquam in transitu per Mariam quasi per canalem aut fistulam praeterfluxerit.”]
**[“They maintain a fatal necessity, and that beyond and besides that will of His, which He has revealed to us in the Scriptures, God hath another will by which He altogether acts under some kind of necessity.” Original Letters, ed. P. S. pp. 65, 66.]
***[See, for instance, the propositions maintained by Champneys in Strype’s Cramer, II. 92, 93, ed. E. H. S. Augsburg Confession, Part I. Art. XII. and Reform. Leg. Eccl., de Haeresibus, c. 9. The natural consequence of this tenet was “antinomianism”. To show the great variety of strange opinions that now agitated the Church, it is stated in the same chapter of the Reformatio Legum that other Anabaptists held an opposite view, viz, that sin after baptism, or regeneration, is possible, and when committed, absolutely unpardonable.]
*4[“Nec minor est illorum amentia, qui periculosam Origenis haeresim in hac aetate nostra rursus excitant; nimirum omnes homines (quantumcunque sceleribus se contaminaverint) salutem ad extremum consecuturos, cum definito tempore a justitia Divina poenas de admissis flagitiis luerint.” Reform. Leg. c. xi. They sought to establish their theory on the terminability of future punishment partly by referring to abstract ideas of God and partly by broaching new interpretations of the word “eternal” and other scriptural phraseology. See Heberle’s article, above cited. In p. 830, note, the arguments are summed up as follows: “Gott könne und möge nicht ewig zürnen; so heisse ewig nicht immerwährend, sondern lang.”]
Second Race of Anabaptists, or Mennonites.
Ere long, however, a new body of extreme reformers issued from obscurity, and occupied a prominent place in the commotions of the period. Unlike the earlier race of Anabaptists, they possessed a single leader, a more uniform and definite system of opinions, and an organization more coherent and compact. Their founder was a clergyman of Wittmarsum in Friesland, named Menno Symons or Simonis, who, after devoting a considerable time to the study of the New Testament * and the works of the Reformers, abandoned his pastoral duties at the age of forty (1536), and became the founder of a sect in Holland over whom he continued to preside till June 13, 1561. Although his followers have in vain attempted to establish their antiquity** and independence of the Anabaptists proper, it must be at once conceded that the principles of the sect are free from nearly all the dark fanaticism which stains the records of the older party. The chimeras, rising out of their belief in a Millennium, were gradually exploded; and so far from advocating the idea of a continuous “inspiration,” the Mennonites had soon grown notorious for their strict and even servile deference to the phraseology of the Bible. Menno, while distinguished for his zeal and industry, was far less cultivated than some other leaders of the period, and the practical bent of his own mind induced him to disparage human learning, to ridicule “the wisdom of the worldlings,” and especially to throw aside a large proportion of the theological terminology then current in the schools.*** It was impossible, however, for this system to maintain its ground, unless provided with some formal statement of the doctrines it was aiming to disseminate. Accordingly, in Menno’s lifetime, he contrasted portions of his own teaching with the corresponding dogmas of the Roman and Reformed communities;*4 and after his death the “Confession of Waterland” drawn up in 1580 by two Mennonite preachers, Ris and Gerard, was accepted in many questions as the public test of orthodoxy. [The Latin form in Schyn, Hist. Christianorum, etc. pp. 172 sq.] It commences with a vague expression of belief in the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and Incarnation, and then determines that the guilt of Adam has not been transmitted to his progeny, although some taint of sinfulness was through his fall ingrained into the several members of the human species, so as to disturb, without destroying, the equilibrium of the will. [This appears to be the right interpretation of Art. IV and Art. V when taken together: cf. Möhler, II. 181, 182.] The death of Christ is viewed as a propitiatory sacrifice, of which the benefits extend to all mankind without exception, he only failing in the end to profit by it, who through willfulness refuses to embrace the offered mercy, and so dies incorrigible.*5 The faith which in their system constituted the subjective ground of pardon and justification, is a faith that “worketh by love,” – a faith that leads men to participate in that true righteousness, which Christ, through the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, will infuse into the Christian soul.*6 Of such members, and of such alone, the Church of God consists, according to its proper definition. [Art. XXIV.] It is also capable of being recognized by certain visible badges or mnemonic actions, called the sacraments, in respect of which Menno’s language is in harmony with that of Zwingli and the earlier Swiss reformers. [See Art. XXX. sq., and above.] Owing to his theory of original sin, no place was left for infant baptism; but the ostensible ground, on which that usage was at first rejected both by him and by his followers, is said to be the absence of direct and unequivocal warrants in the writings of the New Testament. [Above.] Unlike the more fanatic race of Anabaptists, who considered that every Christian was entitled to assume the functions of a teacher, Menno entrusted the government of the system he had founded to a regular ministry, with strict injunctions that the several ordinances they prescribed should always be deducible from the letter of the Word of God.*7 But the connection of Menno’s principles with those of Anabaptism is betrayed at least in one particular, – in his speculations touching the nature of the civil and spiritual authorities, and their relation to each other. He taught obedience,*8 it is true, to every officer of state in all things not actually prohibited by the Word of God; but so adverse in his eye were civil functions to the genius of the Gospel, and so incompatible with a belief in the reality of that spiritual kingdom which our Lord has constituted in the Church, that earnest Christians, he contended, could not with a safe conscience undertake the duties of the secular functionary, and were more especially precluded from engaging in all kinds of war.
*[Among other lives of him there is one by a preacher of the Mennonite community, Menno Synionis geschildert, von B. K. Roosen, Leipzig, 1848. The best sources for their general history are found in Schyn’s Hist. Christianorum, qui in Belgio, faederato Mennonitae appellantur, Amstelodami, 1723; the same writer’s Hist. Mennon. plenior Deductio, 1729; and Menno’s Works (in Dutch), collected in 1646. After 1570 the Dutch name for the sect was “Doopsgezinden” = Dippers.]
**[Thus Schyn (Deductio, c. 1) wishes to connect them with the early Christians, who are said to have rejected infant baptism “ex institutione Domini nostri Jesu Christi, exemplisque Apostolorum,” and also with the Waldenses. The resemblance in the latter case is not entirely destitute of point: see Middle Age, p. 294, n. 3, and for Peter of Bruis, Ibid. p. 290, n. 3.]
***[See Menno’s Works, pp. 666 sq., and other passages quoted in Gieseler, III. ii. p. 94, n. 8 (ed. Bonn). For example, they were opposed to all definitions respecting the Holy Trinity, and to such words as _Ļ_______ and “Persona”. The same aversion to dogmatic statements, couched in phraseology not found in the holy Scripture, is still manifest even after they had been compelled to publish a confession of their faith (1580): cf. Schyn, Deductio, p. 82, where such words as _________ are repudiated, “quia sacra Scriptura ea haud novit, et periculosum est de Deo aliis ac Scripturae verbis loqui.” A similar feeling urged them to denounce the use of oaths &c., which they thought in violation of the letter of the Bible, to adopt the washing of the brethren’s feet as an indispensable ceremony, and to reject infant baptism as both “superstitious and antichristian”: see Menno’s Works, p. 882.]
*4[The treatise was entitled Van het rechte Christen geloove, and appeared in 1556. The Lutherans he charges with holding that faith is alone necessary to salvation, and with gross departures from the moral law: the English and Zwinglians with serious errors respecting the Incarnation, with teaching that there are “two Sons in Christ”.]
*5[Art. VII. The following extract will shew the nature of their tenets on the Divine decrees: “Omnes, qui poenitentes et credentes gratiosum istud Dei in Christo beneficium admittunt aut accipiunt, atque in ea perseverant, sunt et manent per Ejus misericordiam electi, de quibus Deus ante jacta mundi fundamenta decrevit, ut regni at gloriae coelestis participes evaderent.”]
*6[Art. XX, Art. XXI. The difference, at least in phraseology, between the Mennonite and the Lutheran is here complete: cf. above.]
*7[“In hac sua sancta Ecclesia Christus ordinavit Ministerium Evangelicum, nempe doctrinam Verbi Divini, usum sacrorum Sacramentorum, curamque pauperum, ut et Ministros ad perfungendum istis ministeriis: atque insuper exercitium fraternae allocutionis, punitionis et tandem amotionis eornm, qui in impoenitentia perseverant quae ordinationes in Verbo Dei conceptae solnmmodo juxta sensum ejusdem Verbi exequendae sunt.” Art. XXV.]
*8[Art. XXXVII. After stating that we must pray for those in authority, and pay taxes &c. without murmuring, the article proceeds: “Potestatem hanc politicam Dominus Jesus in regno Suo spirituali, Ecclesia Novi Testamenti, non instituit, neque hanc officiis Ecclesiae Suae adjunxit: neque discipulos aut sequaces Suos ad regalem, ducalem, vel aliam vocavit ... sed passim ab Eo (Cui voce e coelo audita auscultandum erat) vocantur ad imitationem inermis Ejus vitae et vestigia crucem ferentia; et in Quo nihil minus apparuit, quam mundanum regnum, potestas et gladius. Hisce omnibus igitur exacte perpensis (atque insnper, non pauca cum munere potestatis politicae, conjuncta esse, ut bellum gerere, hostibus bona et vitam eripere etc. quae vitae Christianorum, qui mundo mortui esse debent, aut male aut plane non conveniunt), hinc a talibns officiis et administrationibus nos subducimus.”]
The Mennonites [The authorities for the subsequent history of the Mennonites are as above. Cf. Mosheim, Eccl. Hist. III. 136, sq.] were broken, during the lifetime of their founder, into two parties, (1) the Waterlanders, or “coarse” Mennonites, who afterwards became the leading sect, and flourished in that district of North Holland whence their name has been derived, and (2) the “refined” Mennonites, who were chiefly Flemings, Frieslanders, and Germans; each of these again comprising a separate confraternity. They were all for some years exposed to sharp and sanguinary persecutions, chiefly owing to their reputed connection with the earlier race of Anabaptists: but in Holland most of them were able to elicit some favours from William, prince of Orange, and ultimately obtained a formal toleration in 1626. A few offshoots of the sect are also traceable in other regions, in Switzerland, in the Palatinate, and even in Moravia, from whence, after being roughly handled, they were all extruded by Ferdinand II in 1622, and driven into Hungary and Transylvania.
The same initial impulse, that gave birth to all the varied and conflicting forms of Anabaptism, stimulated somewhat different tendencies in persons whom we may consider the precursors of the Unitarians, or Socinians. They constitute the rationalistic party of that stirring epoch. What the Anabaptist had been anxious to effect by the remodelling of social life, the Antitrinitarian for the most part dreamed of doing by the expurgation of theology.* Devoted in some cases to the study of the pagan writers, and exulting in the consciousness of intellectual freedom, he either overleapt or trampled underfoot those ancient boundaries by which the supernatural elements of Christianity were fenced from the intrusions of irreverent criticism. At first, however, some of the promoters of the heresy were actuated by reasons which contained a very large admixture of the Anabaptist spirit. John Denk, [Above. Hetzer, one of Denk’s associates, espoused the same tenets and was executed in 1529 at Constance.] whose writings more than those of any other person influenced the development of the rationalistic phase of Anabaptism, had impugned the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and laboured to establish a belief in the simple manhood of our blessed Saviour. Others, who were also ranked with Anabaptists, pushed their speculations into the same mysterious provinces, adopting [Trechsel, as above, Bk. I. § I.] in one case the misbelief of Arius, in a second that of Sabellius, in a third that of Photinus. Among the earliest works in which the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was openly assailed is the De Trinitatis Erroribus of an Aragonese physician named Servede [See references, as above.] (Servetus), which appeared in 1531. Its author had accompanied Charles V to Italy in 1529, and in the following year took up his residence at Basel, where he allied himself with the Reformers. The notions which he there elaborated spread in many quarters, and more especially infected a considerable number of persons in Lombardy,** all of whom were dissatisfied with the present aspects of religion, and anxious to reform the Church by striking at the root of creeds and catechisms, as well as by repudiating infant baptism and the current views on justification. Of these misbelievers the greater part, including Bernardino Ochino, [Above, and Trechsel, Bk. II. pp. 221 sq.] were gradually ejected by the Inquisition, and betaking themselves to Switzerland procured a shelter in the Grisons, at Zürich, and also at Geneva,*** in which town Servetus after many wanderings*4 was at last committed to the flames upon a charge of blasphemy (Oct. 27, 1553). Meanwhile a fresh asylum was discovered by the leading, spirits of this school in some of the chief towns of Poland. A literary club, [Above.] of which the president was an Italian, Lismanini, provincial of the order of Franciscans, seems to have been the first arena where the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was openly called in question, and the agitations thus occasioned were aggravated during the visit of another Italian, Laelius Socinus,*5 in 1551. But the latter had suggested rather than avowed the heresy with which his name was afterwards associated, leaving his nephew, Faustus Socinus,*6 who settled at Cracow in 1579, to fix the special character of the Unitarian creed, to harmonize discordant views with reference to the nature and the offices of Christ, and thus by giving to their system a colder tone and a more critical direction, to separate it altogether from the feverish agitations of the day.
*[See Trechsel’s works Die protestantiechen Antitrinitarier (1st Book, including Servetus and his predecessors, Heidelberg, 1839: 2nd Book, extending as far as the elder Socinus, Heidelberg, 1844). Möhler (Symbolik, II. 322) contends with justice that Socinianism “bequeathed to a later period the work of its own consummation, namely, the entire abandonment of those elements of supernaturalism, which in its origin it had not wholly rejected”: but when he urges that Socinianism itself is a legitimate product of the Reformation, he forgets the real parent and the circumstances of the birth. Socinianism, as modified by the Socini, came from Italy, where long before the outbreak of the Lutheran movement, skepticism and infidelity had been most rife: see above. Zanchi, himself an Italian (above) complained to Bullinger, when writing from Chiavenna, of the heterodoxy of his countrymen on these subjects, and used to say, “Hispania [the birthplace of Servetus] gallinas peperit, Italia fovet ova, nos jam pipientes pullos audimus”: quoted in Gieseler, III. ii. p. 62, n. 6 (ed. Bonn).]
**[Trechsel, Bk. II. p. 391. The doctrines rejected by these Antitrinitarians were said to have been imported into Christianity “per philosophos Graecos”.]
***[A community of Antitrinitarians began to form in Geneva as early as 1542, which was the year when the Inquisition instituted its first proceedings against them: Trechsel, Bk. II. p. 280.]
*4[After leaving Basel he travelled in France under the name of Michael de Villeneuve, settling at last in Vienne, where he published (1553) his Christianismi Restitutio: totius ecclesiae apostolicae ad sua limina vocatio etc. This work abounds in wild and impious speculations, and exposed the author to the officers of the Inquisition, from whom, however, he escaped and fled for refuge to Geneva. A similar execution took place at Bern in 1566, when John Valentinus Gentilis was beheaded for uttering Antitrinitarian doctrines. See the contemporary narrative of Benedict Aretius, entitled Valent. Gentilis justo captitis supplicio Bernae affecti brevis historia, Geneva, 1567.]
*5[He was a native of Siena, but fled from Italy in 1547. He afterwards travelled in Switzerland, France, England and Belgium, and was in Poland during part of the year 1551 and again in 1558. His chief residence however was at Zürich, where he managed to conceal his heretical opinions, and died May 14, 1562.]
*6[He survived till 1604. See the short Life by a Polish knight, Przypcovius, prefixed to the Works of Faustus Socinus (in two volumes, folio), Irenopoli, 1656; and Toulmin’s Memoirs of the Life, Character, &c. of Faustus Socinus, Lond. 1777. The expulsion of the entire sect from Poland in 1658 and the “establishment” of Socinianism in Transylvania have been noticed already.]
Among the principal characteristics of Socinianism, as represented in his works and those of his immediate followers,* we notice the comparatively high position there awarded to the teaching of the Bible.** Some inaccuracies they granted may have crept into it here and there, but only with respect to smaller matters which in no degree abate its paramount authority.*** Yet this admission in the judgment of Socinians was compatible with a denial of our blessed Lord’s Divinity. They looked upon Him as a man, although, as it was acknowledged, not a mere man, seeing that He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and therefore may be called, and is, the Son of God.*4 Before entering on His public labours, He was thought to have been elevated into the immediate presence of God Himself, in order that He might be there invested with authority; and as the high reward of the obedience which He shewed in His capacity of Pattern-man, of Teacher, and of Legislator, He was finally admitted to a share of the Divine sovereignty, and made in one sense equal with the Father. For this reason we may fairly be required*5 to offer Christ a secondary kind of adoration, provided only that it never trenches on the worship which we pay to God Himself. Socinus in like manner denied the personality and proper Godhead of the Holy Spirit, and betrayed inadequate conceptions touching the nature and efficacy of Divine grace. Original sin [Opp. II. 540, 541.] had not been recognized in the construction of his system: neither did he view the death of Christ as in any way conducing to the reestablishment of those relations between God and man which are subverted by iniquity. Christ, it is conceded, by virtue of His bright example urges men to acts of self-denial and the practice of repentance, and by His powerful intercession helps them to subdue the evil tendencies of their nature; but every trace*6 of mediation and satisfaction being thus obliterated, the justification of the sinner is ascribed to a forensic act of God, by which he graciously remits the penal consequences of transgression to all persons who, from faith in Christ as the Revealer, have fulfilled the precepts of the moral law.*7 The teaching of Socinus on many kindred questions (such, for instance, as the doctrine of the sacraments [See his treatise De Ecclesia, Opp. I. 350, 351.]) may be inferred from what is known already of his system. In one respect he seems to have originated a theory widely different from that of the rationalistic school of Anabaptists, whom at other times be followed. He affirmed the ultimate annihilation of the damned; whereas they commonly explained [Above.] the word “eternal” in such a manner as to warrant a belief in the corrigibility and therefore in the actual restoration of all created beings.
*[Their writings are all collected in the Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum, quos Unitarios vocant, Irenop. 1656. That which approaches most nearly to the character of a symbolical book is the Racovian Catechism; above, and Toulmin, pp. 258 sq.]
**[For example, Faustus Socinus declares (Opp. II. 362) that he regarded “God only as his Instructor, and the sacred Scriptures as his only guide”: see other passages to the same effect in Toulmin, pp. 162 sq. The authority of the Bible as a genuine revelation is also strongly affirmed in his (unfinished) Lectiones Sacrae; Opp. I. 290, col. 2, where he even urges that “reason” can hardly be adduced in opposition to Divine truths, “cum Christiana religio non humanae rationi ullo pacto innitatur, sed tota ex voluntate Dei pendeat, et ex ipsius patefactione.”]
***[Thus with regard to the alleged discrepancies in the Gospels, Socinus wrote as follows (De Auctoritate S. Scripturae, Opp. I. 267, col. 1): “Dico igitur, quod attinet ad repugnantias aut diversitates, quae in Novi Testamenti scriptis inveniantur, nullam esse, quae aut non videatur quidem vera, sed tamen non sit, aut non in re sit parvi, seu potius nullius inomenti.”]
*4[See, for instance, the chapter of the Raconian Catechism, “De Cognitions Christi,” where examples will be found of that shallow and in many cases violent criticism, by which the principal texts declaring our Saviour’s preexistence and Divine nature are explained away.]
*5[The strong convictions of Socinus on this point are fully stated in his controversy with a section of his followers who were distinguished as the “Non adorantes”: see the Disputatio inter F. S. et Christianum Francken, de honore Christi (Opp. II. 767 sq.; of. Toulmin, pp. 382; 383), and more especially De Jesu Christi invocatione etc., a disputation between Socinus and Francis David, superintendent of the Unitarians in Transylvania (Opp. II. 709 sq.).]
*6[Thus the Racovian Catechism in cap. viii. (“De Morte Christi”), after pointing out how the death of Christ was necessary in order to teach us how to die and to confirm the promise of God to man, asks the question: “Nonne est etiam aliqua alia mortis Christi causa?” To which the answer is, “Nulla prorstis; etsi nunc vulgo Christiani sentiunt, Christum morte Sua nobis salutem meruisse, et pro peccatis nostris plenarie satisfecisse, quae sententia fallax est, et erronea, at admodum perniciosa”: cf. Toulmin, pp. 178 sq.]
*7[See Möhler’s investigation of this point (II. 340, 341), where he rejoices to find Socinus refuting “the Protestant doctrine on faith and works”.]
The founder of this sect of mystics was Caspar Schwenckfeld,* a Silesian noble, born in 1490. At the earliest outbreak of the Reformation, he allied himself with Lutheranism, contributing to the success which it experienced in his neighbourhood. His mind, however, was ill-balanced, hasty and fanatical; and perplexed by the portentous aspects of the Eucharistic controversy which opened in 1525, he fancied that the true solution of the mystery** involved in our Saviour’s language was communicated to himself by a particular revelation. According to his view the sacraments are not media or conductors by which God imparts to man the supernatural gifts of grace; but, on the contrary, these gifts come down into the soul of the regenerate immediately, or rather spring up in it, owing to the inhabitation of the Word of God, who therefore can dispense with*** the external Word contained in holy Scripture, as well as with all other species of “creaturely” intervention. The root of these notions lay in wild and half-Docetic views respecting the Incarnation of our blessed Lord. Schwenckfeld, it is true, defended himself against the imputation of denying the humanity entirely; but be nevertheless persisted in affirming that the flesh of Christ is not the flesh of a created being;*4 that the mortal nature He inherited from His Virgin mother was only the transient form assumed by a humanity which came from heaven, and had its origin in God the Father; and that in His present state of glorification, His whole being is so deified, that even the human nature is properly Divine, though not confounded altogether with the Godhead.*5 Christ, the Logos, having thus entered into the line of humanity, and invested it with an ineffable glory, is the life and sustenance of all regenerate spirits, dwells in them continually, becomes to them the root of righteousness, and so prepares them for a full participation of the Divine essence and perfections.
*[See J. Wigand, De Schwenckfeldismo, Lipsiae, 1587, and Erbkam, Gesch. der protestant. Sekten in Zeitalter der Reformation, Hamburg, 1848, pp. 357 sq.]
**[Erbkam, p. 360, where an account is given of his intercourse with Luther and Bugenhagen at Wittenberg on the sacramental question. His own leanings were then in the direction of Zwinglianism, for in his interpretation of the “words of institution,” he made _____ the predicate (“what bread is, that is my Body, viz. food”).]
***[He declares that the “almighty eternal Word proceeds out of the mouth of God directly and immediately, and not through the Scripture, external Word, sacrament or any other created thing (“kreatürlichkeit”) in earth or heaven”: see the German original in Gieseler, III. ii. p. 104, n. 5 (ed. Bonn). He rejected the Lutheran view of justification on the same ground, as too historical, resting too much on promises contained in a cold and lifeless document; Ibid. p. 109, n. 10. Bp. Alley was probably referring to this peculiarity when he spoke of “Swinckfeldians and other fantasticall heades, which do depraue the holye Scripture”: Poore Man’s Librarie, I. 171, a. Lond., 1565; cf. John Knox’s account of his interview with an Anabaptist in London “the winter before the death of king Edward”: Answer to a great nomber of blasphemous Cauillations, &c. pp. 405 sq.]
*4[See Dorner’s investigation of this dogma in his Entwicklungs-gesch. der Lehre von der Person Christi, pp. 207 sq. Stuttgart, 1839, and Hahn’s Schwenckfeldii sententia de Christi Persona, Vratislav. [Breslau], 1847.]
*5[His own explanations may be seen in his Confession, of which extracts are printed in Gieseler, as above, pp. 104–108.]
Although the author of these transcendental tenets had numerous followers in Silesia, he was himself compelled to quit the country in 1528. We next find him consorting with various sections of the Anabaptists,* and occasionally with Swiss Reformers; yet none of them appear to have entirely satisfied his theory of religion. About the year 1540, when the chief positions he had occupied were understood by the Reformers, Schwenckfeld was denounced as a Eutychian heretic;** and in spite of all the sympathy which he exacted here and there by his unblemished life and earnestness of purpose, these denunciations were continually repeated*** after his death, which took place on the 10th of December, 1562.
*[Ranke (Reform. III. 563) thinks it highly probable that Schwenckfeld’s influence contributed largely to the development of the more mystical forms of Anabaptism (see above), according to which the body of Christ was not created, but derived from heaven. And it is certain that Melchior Hoffmann, who headed this party until his imprisonment at Strasburg (1533), acknowledged Schwenckfeld as his coadjutor.]
**[See, for instance, Melanohthon’s Works, ed. Bretschn. IX. 324 sq. In the Kirchen-Ordnung of Brunswick (cited above) the “Schwenckfeldianer” are denounced with other misbelievers.]
***[Thus, their errors are solemnly repudiated in the Appendix to the Formula Concordiae (Franke, Libri Symbol. Eccl. Luther. Part III. pp. 214, 215). In addition to the points above mentioned, they were charged with holding that a man truly regenerate can fulfill the whole law, that a Church cannot exist without active power of excommunication, and that ministers cannot officiate rightly who are not truly renovated, just and pious.]
Family of Love.
A coarser species of fanaticism is traceable to one David George,* or Joris, a native of Delft in Holland, who was born as early as 1501. In 1536 he made himself conspicuous by laying claim to special revelations, and attempting to compose the differences which separated the two branches of Dutch Anabaptism; [Brandt, Reform. I. 74 sq.] and soon afterwards proceeded with untiring diligence to organize a system of his own. Three years later he was driven out of East Friesland, and ultimately to Basel, where, assuming a new name, he passed, until his death, in 1556, as one of the Reformers. The main peculiarity of this adventurer consisted** in affirming that he was the second David, in whom as the Messiah, born after the Spirit, ancient prophecy would reach its true accomplishment. The Word of God, he argued, was in him exhibited with all its spirituality; and therefore he was sent into the world to raise men out of their subjection to the introductory economies, such as had been instituted under the Old and New Testaments: and thus securing for his followers a complete emancipation from every phase of legalism, he preached a new and higher dispensation which was to be characterized by perfect righteousness and perfect love. But long before the death of David George, the principles of these Libertines, as they were now occasionally styled, had found a second advocate in Henry Niclas, or Nicholas, born at Amsterdam. Quitting his birthplace in 1533, he fled, on the suppression of the Minster Anabaptists, to Emden in West Friesland, where he undertook, in a series of fantastic publications, to combat all existing varieties of religion,*** whether Romish or Reformed, and thus establish what he termed the Family of Love.*4 After the Low Countries, [See Brandt, Reform. I. 105.] England was the theatre in which this sect appears to have obtained the greatest number of adherents. As early as 1552 it gained a footing in Kent, [Strype’s Cranmer, II. 410, ed. E. H. S.] and notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of Cranmer and the royal Council, was extensively propagated in some other districts. In the reign of Mary, traces of it were detected in the town of Colchester,*5 in the Isle of Ely, and in various districts of the Eastern Counties; and more than once during the reign of Elizabeth*6 it threatened to diffuse itself in all parts of England, culminating about the year 1579. The main positions of the sect as modified by Henry Niclas were substantially the same as those already noticed. It shewed itself a compound of principles derived from the more mystical schools of Anabaptism and of the most sweeping Antinomianism. Relying on a series of special revelations, the Familists explained away the “letter of the Bible”; affirming, for example,*7 that the birth of Christ “of the Virgin Mary out of the seed of David,” means only the promulgation of “pure doctrine out of the seed of love”. Although the conduct of some members was apparently correct and irreproachable,*8 “divers fell into gross and enormous practices; pretending in excuse thereof that they could, without evil, commit the same act which was sin in another to do.”*9 On this account especially they were exposed to the tribunals of the bishops and the civil magistracy, and in the course of the next generation the sect appears to have gradually died out. [One of their last assailants was Henry More, in his Mystery of Iniquity, e.g. pp. 187, 188, Lond. 1664.]
*[See the Historia vitae, doctrinae ac rerum gestarum Davidis Georgii haeresiarchae, by Nicolas Blesdyk, his son-in-law, Deventr. 1642, and a still earlier Life (German and Latin) composed in 1559 “durch den Rector und die Universität einer löblichen Stadt Basel.” His name was perpetuated in Davidistae and Davidians, of which the former occurs in the Liturgia Peregrinorum Francofordiae (ed. 1555), and the latter in Becon’s Works, ed. P. S. p. 415. A more contemptuous title of the sect was “Davists.”]
**[His works are all in Dutch (the principal being T’ Wonderboeck, published in 1542, and again, with additions, in 1550): see extracts and references in Gieseler, III. ii. p. 54, n. 9 (ed. Bonn). On his “life and doings,” see The Displaying of an horrible sect of grosse and wicked Heretiques, naming themselues the Family of Loue, &c. by J. R. [John Rogers], Lond. 1579, sign. A iiii. sq.]
***[“Henrie gaue himselfe to writing of bookes, which he put in print, especially one among the rest, which was the chiefe, called The glasse of righteousnes the lesse: for he compiled two bookes of that title, wherein he certifieth his Familie of loue, that they must passe foure most terrible castels ful of combersome enemies, before they come to the house of loue: the first is John Caluine, the seconde the Papistes, the third Martin Luther, ye fourth ye Anabaptists: and passing these daungers they may be of the famine, else not: this is testified by a man of credite, one Adrian Gisling, who did read the same in a Dutche booke” &c. Rogers, Ibid. A iiii. b.]
*4[One of those which rendered him notorious was entitled Euangelium Regni, the Gospel and ioyfull message of the kingdome. See the large extracts from it in Knewstub’s Confutation of monstrous and horrible heresies, taught by H. N. and embraced of a number, who call themselues the Familie of Loue, London, 1579. Another work “translated out of Base Almain” and circulated in England, was the “Memorabilia Opera Dei: certain wonderfull Works of God which hapned to H. N. even from his youth,” &c., published [without date] by Tobias, a Fellow Elder with H. N. in the Household of Love.”]
*5[See the remarkable narrative of William Wilkinson, entitled A Confutation of certaine Articles deliuered vnto the Familye of Loue, with the exposition of Theophilus, a supposed Elder in the sayd Familye vpon the same Articles, Lond. 1579, [??]. iii. sq. [For the use of this and other scarce tracts relating to the Familists, the writer was indebted to Dr. Corrie, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge.]]
*6[For a royal proclamation “against the Sectaries of the Family of Love” bearing date Oct. 3, 1580, see Wilkins, IV. 297. “In many shires of this our countrie,” writes Rogers (Pref. A iii. b), “there are meetings and conventicles of this familie of love, and into what number they are grown, my heart reweth to speake,” &c.: cf. Parker’s Correspondence, ed. P. S. pp. 61, 321, and Stowe’s Chron. p. 679, the latter of whom narrates “the disclosing of Dutch Anabaptists”.]
*7[See the form of abjuration in Wilkins, IV. 296. The numerous points contested by the Familists may be inferred from the running titles in Wilkinson’s Confutation (see n. 2), “No Church,” “No Truth,” “No Baptisme,” “No Ministrie,” “Of uniting into God,” “Blasphemy,” “H. N. Da[vid] Ge[orge] his scholler,” “H. N. an heretique,” “No learning,” “H. N. must be beleued,” “Reuelations,” “Of Shrift,” “Gospel a literal seruice,” “Scripture learned,” “Religion dissembled,” “Libertie to sinne,” “Libertines,” “Lyfe proveth not Religion,” “Triall by Scripture,” “Heretickes punished”.]
*8[This is reluctantly admitted, for example, by Wilkinson, in his Epistle Dedicatorie; and in “the judgement of a godly learned man, W. C.,” prefixed to Knewstub’s work (as shove), we have the following passage: “But howsoever they seduce some goodly and zealous men and women of honest and godly conversation, placing them at the porch of their Synagogue, to make a shewe of holinesse, and to stand there as baites and stalles to deceive others: yet alas who can without blushing vtter the shame that is committed in the inwarde roomes, and as it were in the heart of that Synagogue of Satan?”]
*9[Such is the confession of William Penn (Pref. to the Journal of George Fox, I. 7, 8, Lond. 1852), who finds, however, many germs of truth among the mystics of the sixteenth century.]
Brownists, or Independents.
Robert Browne,* although he did not graduate in Cambridge, was a member of Corpus Christi College. There, attracted by the zeal and talents of Thomas Cartwright, he allied himself with the earlier race of English Puritans, and swelled the clamour they were raising against the liturgy, the ritual and the organization of the Church. [See above.] As early as 1571, the founder of the Brownists, then domestic chaplain to the duke of Norfolk, refused to sign those Articles of Religion [Neale, I. 280.] which related to public worship and ecclesiastical government. In 1581 the violence of his invectives against the whole church system led to his temporary incarceration at Norwich. About the same time he put forth a Treatise on Reformation without tarrying for any,** which brought him once more under the sentence of the magistrate, and after his dismissal he reverted to his former courses, traversing the country and denouncing bishops, vestments, ecclesiastical courts, and other matters then distasteful to the Puritans.*** He next attempted to establish a separate congregation, where his principles might be fully carried out; but on perceiving the approach of danger he fled with some of his admirers to Middleburg, near Flushing, where a party of Englishmen united in acts of worship on the model recommended by himself and Cartwright.*4 He did not, however, experience the satisfaction he expected, and about 1585 we find him in his native country, where he was reconciled to the community he formerly maligned, and instituted to the rectory of Thorpe-Achurch, near Oundle in Northamptonshire (1591).*5 But his conformity was not fatal to the sect he had established. Many of his followers continued to meet together in various parts of England, [Sir Walter Raleigh (quoted in Neale, I. 543) estimated their number in 1592 at 20,000, dispersed chiefly in Norfolk and Essex.] and after being persecuted with great severity, were driven across the Channel, and settled at Amsterdam and other parts of Holland about the year 1595.*6
*[On the founder of Brownism and its early fortunes, see Neale, Hist. of the Puritans, I. 374 sq. Lond. 1732; Heylin, Hist. of the Presbyterians, pp. 295 sq. Oxf. 1670; and Hanbury’s Hist. Memorials relating to the Independents, I. 18 sq. Loud. 1839. Fuller (Church Hist. Cent. XVI. pp. 166 sq. Lond. 1656) may also be consulted. Browne, he says, returned from Zealand “with a full crie against the Church of England, as having so much of Rome, she had nothing of Christ in her discipline.”]
**[In 1582 appeared at Middleburg, where the press was unrestrained, A Book which sheweth the Life & Manners of all true Christians. Browne, the author, seems to have been already on the Continent. In 1584 he retreated to Scotland, and perhaps in 1585 to England: Hanbury, p. 23.]
***[It is to this period that John Prime refers in his Exposition and Observations vpon Saint Paul to the Galathians (Oxf. 1587), pp. 248, 249, writing of “Brown that shameles reuiler of our sacraments, a railer at our ministerie, that saucy reproacher of the state and parliament by name, and the very divider, as much as in him lieth, of the body of Christ which is His Church.”]
*4[A new Prayer Book, derived from the Genevan form of Calvin, was drawn up ostensibly for the sole use of this body of Nonconformists in 1586: see P. Hall’s Reliquiae Liturgicae, Vol. I. Bath, 1847.]
*5[Browne was excommunicated by Lindsell, bishop of Peterborough, about 1590, and so great an impression did this act make upon him that he sought for readmission to the Church. It is thought by some, however, that his conformity was hollow, and that his subsequent preferment was due to the influence of Thomas Lord Burghley, afterwards Earl of Exeter, his patron and kinsman. He died at last (1630) on his way to Northampton gaol, whither he was committed for a breach of the peace. Heylin, p. 297.]
*6[Brandt, Reform. I. 479, who gives the eleven Articles alleged by the Brownists in justification of their schism. On their previous sufferings see Neale, I. 379, 389, 545 sq.]
The controversies of this body with the English theologians did not involve discussions of specific dogmas. They held* indeed that the church system was full of “antichristian abominations,” that the Prayer Book was substantially the pope’s mass book, that ordination according to the present form was blasphemous, and therefore that the Church of England had entirely forfeited its Christian character: yet one ground on which they rested their secession was the principle that every congregation of Christian men constitutes a Church, of which all the members are equal, and equally entitled to govern and instruct themselves. Hence their preachers were simple delegates of the congregation made and unmade by the popular voice, and only authorized to minister within the limits thus prescribed to them. These democratic elements, inherent more or less in the constitution of Reformed communities, at length obtained a perfect mastery in England during the time of the Great Rebellion.
*[See, among other evidence, a controversy between Francis Johnson, a Brownist, and H. Jacob. Jacob’s chief work is entitled A defence of the churche and ministery of Englande, Middleburg, 1599. Johnson published an answer in the following year. In George Gyfford’s Short Reply vnto the last printed books of Henry Barrow and John Greenwood, the chief ringleaders of our Donatists in England (Lond. 1591), we have other indications of the state of feeling among these early Nonconformists. Two of the charges brought against them are as follows (p. 97): “That ye say the best part of the booke of common praier is no better then a peece of swines flesh, and abomination to the Lord.” “That ye say the greatest minister hath no more power to binde or loose the least member, than the said member hath to binde or loose him; and so with the Swinckfeldians, destroy the whole power of the ministry: cf. Egerton Papers (ed. Lond. Camd. Soc. 1840) pp. 166 sq.
Chapter VI – The Counter-Reformation.
While some who had originally embraced the principles of Luther were disposed to push them into scandalous consequences, and while others used them as a cloak of heresy and a pretext for the wildest innovations, a different party, hovering on the opposite borders of the Reformation movement, shewed a very keen desire to check the progress of confusion, and if possible to reestablish concord in those quarters where the central facts and verities of Christianity were held alike by all the combatants.
At the head of this mediating school* was Desiderius Erasmus, whom we saw** allied with the Saxon and Swiss Reformers in the opening stages of their work, but afterwards recoiling from many of their positions and evincing no wish to break entirely from the Mediaeval system. The plan of reconciliation he propounded was of course provisional, designed to terminate as soon as the prevailing doubts could be authoritatively settled by the convocation of a council fairly representing all branches of the Western Church. Till then at least he pleaded for much greater latitude in points of doctrine;*** he recommended the curtailment of those rites and usages which gave offence to the Reformers and ministered to superstition; but was, notwithstanding, anxious at all hazards to reduce the vehemence of controversy and preserve intact the visible unity of Christendom.
*[See Tabaraud’s Hist. critique des projets formés depuis trois cents ans pour la réunion des Communions Chrétiennes (Paris, 1824), ch. IX.]
**[Above. The treatise there referred to seems to have been his commentary on the 83rd Psalm, which he dedicated under the title De amabili Ecclesiae Concordia Liber. Tabaraud, p. 288.]
***[He dwells on the same topic in an epistle written “ad J. Carondiletum, archiep. Panormitanum” as far back as 1522 (Epist. Lib. XXVIII. Ep. 8): “Imo hoc demum est eruditionis theologicae, nihil ultra quam sacris literis proditum est definire, verum id quod proditum est bona fide dispensare. Multa problemata nunc rejiciuntur ad synodum ____________: multo magis conveniebat quaestiones ejusmodi in illud rejicere tempus cum sublato speculo et aenigmate videbimus Deum do facie.”]
Another of these moderators was George Wizel (Vicelius), [See Neander’s Comment. de G. Vicelio, Berol. 1839.] who as early as 1525 officiated as a Lutheran pastor, but abandoned his calling at the end of six years, apparently through apprehension lest some branches of the “new learning,” and more especially the doctrine of justification as stated by the Wittenbergers, might issue in licentiousness of life and civil anarchy. In 1533 he published* his Methodus concordiae ecclesiasticae, and subsequently in 1564 a kindred work entitled Via Regia. His object was to bring about a general pacification, by recalling men to the more earnest study of the Bible and the earlier Fathers, instead of the Mediaeval class books then current in the schools;** by using the vulgar tongue in public worship; by reducing the number of private masses; by reforming the whole system of indulgences; by forbidding all direct addresses to the saints; by expurgating the legenda; and in other ways conciliating the moderate party of Reformers, so as to attract them into union with the system from which they had been deeply alienated, if not forcibly expelled.
*[Tabaraud, pp. 295 sq. Both these treatises (with others by the same writer) are reprinted in Brown’s Fasciculus, II. 703 sq. In his Adhortatio ad Concilium (Ibid. p. 783), he expresses a hope that the schism will be quickly healed: “Nec diffido facile reduci posse, si amputentur modo superstitiosa, inutilia, perniciosa, immodica, idque dolenter magis, quam inimice. Audio undique qui percupiant redire, si non ita deterrerent odiosa offendicula.”]
**[Thus be commences his Methodus Concordiae (in Brown, p. 752) as follows: “Ecclesia contra concedat aliquid parti, in excussione dogmatum, quae vocant scholastica, quibus multi tragicum hoc et immane saeculmn acceptum ferunt. Nam si moderni theologi prisca theologia contenti esse quam recentem excogitare maluissent, vix fuisset tot haeresibus pressa Ecclesia. Carere ea absque detrimento potest multis vocum inanitatibus, quas saeculis aliquot praeter necessitatem invenit monastica atque academica scientia, et inventas imprudenter ingessit quorundam fastus, adeo ut carnificinae simul et gehennae tradatur ovicula Christi, quae illas non certo crediderit. Suaserim itaque sobrietatem iis, qui e scholis supersunt. Ineant obsecro cum animo suo rationem, quam Christianae professioni congruat, non solum novum docendi genus invehere, verum etiam nova quaedam docere quae nescivit antiquitas.”]
But one of the most active, candid, and intelligent advocates of reconciliation was George Cassander,* born in the Low Countries (1515). To this object he devoted his whole life, in spite of the continual animadversions which his writings elicited from both the parties whom he wished to mollify and reunite. His principal work was undertaken at the request of the emperor Ferdinand I, who, finding himself comparatively independent of the Papal court, [Above.] attempted to propitiate his Lutheran subjects in the closing year of his reign (1564). With this object he employed Cassander, then engaged at Duisburg on a similar errand,** to draw up a summary of Christian doctrine, in the order of the Augsburg Confession, so as to mark those articles in which there was a prospect of agreement. Hence the famous Consultatio de Articulis Religionis inter Catholicos et Protestantes controversis, where Cassander, resting*** on the Holy Scriptures as the basis of belief, and reverting to the Fathers of the first six centuries for the exposition of all doubtful texts, proposes to relinquish the erratic speculations of later theologians, together with those portions of the liturgy and discipline of the Church that swerved from ancient models. He next suggests the application of his general principle to many of the topics then dividing Christians from each other, and even dares to ask for a considerable limitation of the functions exercised by Roman pontiffs.*4
*[Tabaraud, p. 299. Cassander’s collected Works, of which many had been condemned at the council of Trent, were published in Paris, 1616.]
**[While the guest of William, duke of Cleves, he examined the whole question of infant baptism, with especial reference to the arguments of the Anabaptists. See two treatises on this subject in his Works, pp. 703–779.]
***[“Divina Scriptura, tanquam certissima quaedam regula, veteres in controversiis, quae statim post Apostolorum discessum extiterant, dijudicandis usi sunt: sed saepe in his contentionibus evenit, ut de sensu et intelligentia harum Divinarum literarum non conveniret, ac non paucae controversiae ortae sint, quarum in iis Divinis literis non tam certa et aperta explicatio reperiebatur. Quare semper necesse fuit ad consensum universalem vetustissimarum Ecclesiarum, tanquam ad publicum et firmissimum testimonium vivae apostolicae doctrinae et verae scriptorum apostolicorum intelligentiae provocare, quod et hodie usu venire videmus. ... Elucet autem hoc publicum Ecclesiae testimonium maxime in iis scriptoribus atque scriptis, quae fuerunt ab aetate Constantini usque ad aetatem Leonis, vel etiam Gregorii.” Praef. The same principles had been already (1561) enunciated in his De Officio pii Viri in hoc Ecclesiae Dissidio, which being published anonymously was attacked by Calvin on the supposition that its author was Baudouin (Balduinus), the celebrated lawyer.]
*4[In noticing this point, Tabaraud remarks (pp. 304, 305): “Parmi les abus manifestes qui avoient servi de prétexte an schisme, et qui contribuoient ą l’entretenir, on doit mettre en premiŹre ligne la puissance exorbitante du pape, porté ą cette époque ą un excŹs, qui faisoit gémir les bons catholiques.” Other mediators are mentioned by this writer, among the rest Beatus Rhenanus, and later in the century Martin Fumée. A work of different character, but purporting to aim at the same results, was the De Strategematibus Satanae in Religionis Negotio, by a native of Trent, Aconzio (Acontius), who relinquished Romanism in 1557, and taking refuge in England dedicated his production to queen Elizabeth (1565). He outraged his patrons, however, by the extreme “liberalism” of his suggestions, and was excommunicated by Grindal on suspicion of “anabaptisitical and Arian” tendencies. Strype’s Life of Grindal, p. 45, Lond. 1710.]
In addition to these formal measures for securing the unity of Western Christendom, there had always been a party, who, without being fully conscious either of their opposition to the Medieval tenets or of their close approximation to the ground of the Reformers, acted for a while as moderators between the two great bodies in collision. Of these we saw a bright example in Gaspar Contarini. [Above. He also assisted in drawing up a reformatory scheme in 1588: see above.] Lasting benefits resulted from his efforts at the Colloquy of Ratisbon, and his conciliatory spirit was shared by a large circle of acquaintance, embracing among others Reginald Pole. To their writings may be added those of John Wild* (or Ferus), a learned Franciscan who died at Mentz, Sept. 3, 1554. His sermons, and still more his numerous exegetical treatises, all savour strongly of the Lutheran spirit; or rather they shew that he was able to return by independent processes to fountains from which many of the Lutheran tenets were immediately derived.
*[See Dieterich, Dissert. Minor. de Joanne Fero, monacho et concionatore Moguntino, teste veritatis Evangelicae, Altorf. 1723, and (the continuator of) Fleury, Hist. Eccl. liv. CL. ch. lxviii; the latter of whom observes: “Quelques-uns de ses traitez ont été corrompus par les Protestants, et see ouvrages n’ont pas été agréables ą la congrégation de l’Index.” On the 16th of June, 1559, his Commentary on St. Matthew was suppressed by order of the doctors of the Sorbonne (Ibid. liv. CLIV. ch. liii.), “parcequ’il contenoit beaucoup d’erreurs, et mźme des heresies.”]
While points of contact were thus multiplied in one direction, other theologians who had no sympathy whatever with the Lutheran movement were stimulated by it to withdraw the more extravagant positions of the schoolmen, and assist in the diffusion of intelligence and the promotion of administrative reforms. Confronted by ardent preachers of the “new learning,” the champions of scholasticism looked out for engines of defense analogous to those by which they were assaulted. Eck, at the suggestion of Campeggio, aimed at counteracting the influence of Melanchthon’s Loci Communes by putting forth in 1525 a rival publication, entitled Loci Communes contra Haereticos.* Emser, who was also conspicuous for his hatred of the Lutherans, undertook in 1527 a new translation of the Bible** into German, with the hope of satisfying wants expressed in every quarter: while vernacular treatises, such as that of Berthold,*** bishop of Chiemsee, which appeared in 1528, evince the clear determination of some prelates to keep pace with the necessities of the age, and furnish what they deemed the best corrective of those doctrines which the Wittenbergers were disseminating in all quarters through the agency of the press.
*[First printed, and dedicated to Henry VIII of England in 1525, i.e. four years after the corresponding work of Melanchthon. A fourth edition enlarged and amended appeared at Tübingen in 1527, and was especially directed “adversus Lutheranos.”]
**[Cf. Audin, Hist. de Luther, I. 493 sq.; Waddington, Reform. II. 19 sq. It was very little more than a fraudulent reprint of Luther’s version. In 1534 the counter-reformation party obtained another German Bible (based upon the Vulgate) from the pen of Dietenberger, a Dominican of Mentz; and in 1537 Eck issued his translation, following the Vulgate for the Old Testament, and Emser’s Lutheran version for the New: being prompted, as he says in the Preface, solely by a wish to counteract “viele falsche Dolmetschungen.”]
***[The title is Tewtsche Theologey (reprinted at Munich, 1852). It was probably meant to rival the mediaeval treatise Eyn teutsch Theologia, which Luther edited at the very outbreak of the Reformation: see Middle Age, p. 357, n. 4.]
The same determination was in other provinces combined with strenuous efforts to remove at least a portion of the gross abuses in the manners of the clergy and their general administration of church affairs, – abuses which had proved so scandalous to laymen, and had given to the Reformer his chief pretext for opening an assault on the ecclesiastical system. This necessity, as we have seen, was felt occasionally by popes themselves, [Above.] and councils in like manner entered here and there upon the same course of action. Thus, a synod of the province of Sens, held at Paris (1528), and most violent in its condemnation of Lutheranism,* confesses the existence of corruptions. [See the “Decreta morum,” as above, 465 sq.] Some restraints are placed upon the dress and conduct of ecclesiastics; ministers and people are charged to be decorous in the celebration of public worship; images of a lascivious or unscriptural character are interdicted, and the credulity of those who thirsted for new miracles rebuked. All music adverse to devotion is excluded from the churches, and directions given in order to secure the better execution of parochial ministrations, as well as more exemplary and efficient preachers.** Similar injunctions were promulgated at the same period by the French clergy assembled in the council of Bourges. [Labbe, XIV. 426 sq.] But a council gathered in 1536 by Hermann, archbishop of Cologne, who himself, as we have seen, became eventually a convert to the Lutheran doctrines, was exclusively devoted to the reformation of the clergy and the disciplinary system of the Church. [Ibid. 484 sq.] In every part of their acts we may discern how great had been the pressure of the times,*** and how considerable was the fraction even of those adhering to distinctive doctrines of the Mediaeval Church, who had been elevated by the moral agitations of that epoch, and made alive to the necessity of promoting domestic reformations in each country.
*[e.g. “Unum illud videmus in primis hactenus observatum ab iis, qui propagandis haeresibus animum intenderint, ut ea sibi dicenda putent, quae maxime placitura videantur; quo prurientes multitudinis aures demulceant, et a severioribus patrum avertant institutis. Hac ratione Mahometica quondam pestis invaluit. Hoc aucupio Lutherus,” etc. Labbe, XIV. 455.]
**[§ XXXVI, where it is significantly added: “Quod si secus fecerint, aut si populum more scurrarum vilissimorum, dum ridiculas et aniles fabulas recitant, ad risus cachinnationesque excitaverint: aut, quod deterius est, si praelatis Ecclesiae, principibus, sacerdotibusque detraxerint, ac tandem populum ab obedientia superiorum retraxerint, eumdemque ab solutione decimarum ac aliorum, ad quae jure Divino et positivo sunt omnes obstricti, abalienaverint; nos volumus tales tam ineptos et perniciosos concionatores ab officio praedicationis suspendi,” etc.]
***[Among other striking proofs of this, the clergy are incited (Pars II. c. 5) to the constant reading of the Bible (“nunquam a manibus eorum liber legis, hoc est Biblia, deponatur”). Then follows a promise to undertake the revision of the Breviary. “Nam cum olim a sanctissimis patribus institutum sit, ut solae Scripturae sacrae, in Ecclesia recitarentur, nescimus qua incuria acciderit, ut in earum locum successerint alia cum his neutiquam comparanda, atque interim historiae Sanctorum tam inculte ac tam negligenti judicio conscriptae, ut nec auctoritatem habere videantur, nec gravitatem. Deo itaque auctore, deque consilio capituli nostri, ac theologorum, aliorumque piorum virorum reformationem breviariorum meditabimur”: Pars II. c. 6; cf. c. 11. This project for revising the Breviary was elsewhere carried out in the same year by cardinal Quignones, who published under the authority of Clement VII the first edition of his Breviarium Romanae Curiae, ex sacra et canonica Scriptura, necnon Sanctorum historiis summa vigilantia decerptis, accurate digestum: cf. above. Part VI of the above council contains, in twenty-seven chapters, the temperate directions of Hermann and the other prelates for the due “ministration of the Word.”]
But these measures, instituted here and there in separate provinces of Christendom, and with a view to the redress of local grievances, were all at length compounded into one grand effort by the convocation of the Council of Trent. Here it is that the machinery was provided for working out the counter-reformation; here it is that all the Churches in communion with Rome determined the last development of their principles, and here the canons and decrees were framed, which fastened on those Churches their peculiar characteristics, and stereotyped their aberrations from the primitive and apostolic faith.
The convocation of a general council had been long demanded in all parts of western Christendom.* But the pontiffs, either entangled in political affairs, or trembling lest the scenes of Basel and Constance might be reenacted under less favourable circumstances, and their own prerogatives impugned with even greater freedom, suffered all the most critical years of the controversy to expire without acceding to the urgent wishes of their subjects. The bull of Paul III, convoking such a synod and fixing its precise locality, was only promulgated May 22, 1542, and even then, as new obstacles continued to emerge in various quarters, the first session was not actually held until the 13th of December, 1545, two months before the death of the great Wittenberg reformer, and soon after the massacre of four thousand Vaudois, [Above, and Sarpi, I. 209, ed. Courayer.] who had ventured to express their sympathy with the reforming movement.
*[See above. The project for convening a council to be held at Mantua (May 23, 1537) being found abortive, the pope was induced to convene another at Vicenza (May, 1538): but not a single prelate came. Jealousies that now sprang up between the pope and emperor (above), stopped all further progress till May, 1542, when the results of the first colloquy of Ratisbon (above) alarmed the papal consistory (cf. Ranke, Popes, I. 201 note) and led to more serious negotiations. The bull, on the authority of which actual proceedings were taken, is dated Nov. 19, 1544. On the general history of those proceedings, see Sarpi [al. Pietro Soave Polano], Historia del Concilio Tridentino (translated into French, with critical and other notes, by Courayer, Amsterdam, 1751); and Pallavicini’s Istoria del Concilio di Trento, best edition, Roma, 1665. Ranke, Popes, III. 304 sq., has a valuable “Criticism of Sarpi and Pallavicini.” The best edition of the Decrees themselves is in the Libri Symbolici Eccl. Catholicae, ed. Streitwolf and Klener, Gottingae, 1846.]
As soon as the proceedings opened,* it was obvious that the representatives, though mostly Italians, were men of different schools: and all the early sessions witnessed to the difficulty they experienced in coming to a definite agreement on questions of the day. At length, however, it was ruled** that in choosing their terminology, a charitable regard should be always had to the discordant sentiments of both parties, and that certain questions should thus continue open, in order that the whole energy of the council might be concentrated on the various forms of misbelief which they were more especially engaged in controverting. It was also ruled, after many struggles, that questions of faith and practical reforms connected with them, should be discussed concurrently. Hence the ultimate form of the transactions issued by this council. The decrees on doctrine appear either as dogmatic treatises (“Doctrinae”), or as short and pithy propositions (“Canones”). The former often represent the Romish doctrine with considerable fullness; the latter are denunciations of all classes of opponents: while intermixed with both of these we find a number of “Decreta de Reformatione,” i.e. ordinances relating to the ritual, discipline, and general organization of the Churches in communion with the Roman pontiff.
*[The Galilean bishops, for example, seconded by Spaniards and a few Italians, proposed at the outset to modify the title of the Council by adding the words “Ecclesiam universam repraesentans,” after the precedents of Basel and Constance (Sarpi, I. 241). At the fourth session there was a hot contest between the Franciscans and Dominicans on the “immaculate conception” of the Virgin: Ibid. pp. 313 sq.]
**[Ibid. II. 30. This resolution was prompted by a violent dispute of the Franciscans and Dominicans respecting the manner of our Lord’s Presence in the Eucharist.]
The chief promoters* of the council, anxious to make their work as full and systematic as possible, commenced the more important business by determining the canon of Holy Scripture. This subject was accordingly opened at a congress held Feb. 22, 1546, and two decrees relating to it promulgated at the fourth session (April 8). It was then decided** by a vast majority of the representatives (between sixty and seventy in number) that unwritten traditions, which have been received either from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the impulse of the Holy Spirit, and continuously, transmitted in the Church, are all to be accepted with respect and veneration equal to that which other Christians claim for Holy Scripture. On proceeding to a kindred topic, that respecting the several books which form the Canon, there was less unanimity; some*** desiring that no catalogue whatever should be published, others that distinctions should be drawn between canonical and deutero-canonical writings, while a third party, which eventually prevailed, contended for the importance of publishing a list of books, but were averse to the proposed distinctions.
*[These were, of course, the papal legates, cardinal John del Monte (afterwards pope Julius III), the cardinal-priest of Santa Croce, named Marcellus Cervinus, and the cardinal-deacon, Reginald Pole, who however did not rejoin the Council in 1546, on the plea of ill health: cf. Ranke, Popes, I. 208, 209, and note. The pope’s instructions to these legates may be seen at large in Raynaldus, Annul. Eccl. ad an. 1545, § 47.]
**[“... perspiciensque hanc veritatem et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis, et sine scripto traditionibus, quae ab ipsius Christi ore ab Apostolis acceptae, aut ab ipsis Apostolis, Spiritu Sancto) dictante, quasi per manus traditae, ad nos usque pervenerunt; orthodoxorum patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam veteris, quam novi Testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus sit auctor; necnon traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores pertinentes, tamquam vel ore tenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu Sancto dictatas, et continua successione in Ecclesia Catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia suscipit et veneratur.” For a Lutheran refutation of this article, see the elaborate work of Chemnitz, Examen Concilii Tridentini, Part. I. pp. 5–96, Francof. 1578. One of the few opponents of it in the synod was Nachianti (Naclantus), bishop of Chiozza, who went so far as to affirm that the placing of Scripture and traditions on the same level was impious: see Sarpi, I. 293, together with Courayer’s note, and Mendham’s Memoirs of the Council of Trent, pp. 59, 60, Lond. 1834.]
***[Sarpi, I. 263, 267. At the same time was published a Decretum de editione et usu sacrorum librorum, asserting the “authenticity” of the Vulgate version, correctly printed (cf. Mendham, p. 67); “et ut nemo illam rejicere quovis praetextu audeat vel praesumat.” Then follows a warning against all new interpretations and all doctrines of development, “ut nemo suae prudentiae innixus, in rebus fidei, et morum ad aedificationem doctrinae Christianae pertinentium, sacram Scripturam ad suos sensus contorquens, contra eum sensum, quem tenuit et tenet sancta mater Ecclesia, cujus est judicare de vero sensu et interpretatione Scripturarum sanctarum, aut etiam contra unanimem consensum patrum, ipsam Scripturam sanctam interpretari audeat; etiamsi hujusmodi interpretationes nullo umquam tempore in lucem edendae forent.” The lame attempts of Möhler to reconcile this decree with any freedom of inquiry or any scientific exegesis of the Bible may be seen in his Symbolik, II. 60 sq.: cf. Sarpi, I. 274–276.]
This twofold edict, which on its appearance seems to have startled all the Christian world, the pontiff [Sarpi, I. 286.] in the number, may be said to have determined the character of all future business: and the ultra-montane prelates, flushed with their successes, lost no time in handling the chief dogmas in respect of which Reformers were unanimous in their belief that the Scholastics had departed from the Holy Scriptures and were swerving fast in the direction of Pelagianism. These were the dogmas of original sin and justification. The decree relating to the former was read in the fifth session (June 17). Instead [Cf. Möhler’s apology, I. 66, 67.] of laying down a full and scientific exposition of the doctrine which, it was discovered, the feelings of the present meeting could not bear, the prelates confined themselves to the publication of five anathemas, stating what original sin is not. Four of these are levelled at the tenets of Anabaptists or extravagant Reformers; while the last condemns the doctrines of the Saxonschool, according to which sin is not entirely extirpated by the grace of baptism, but only “shaven, or not imputed”.*
*[“Si quis per Jesu Christi Domini nostri gratiam, quae in baptismate confertur, reatum originalis peccati remitti negat, aut etiam asserit non tolli totum id, quod veram et propriam peccati rationem habet, sed illud dicit tantum radi, aut non imputari; anathema sit.” Sess. V. § 5. See Chemnitz, Examen, “De reliquiis peccati originalis,” Part. I. pp. 108 sq. The Council grants, however, that there is in the regenerate a concupiscence (or “fomes”), inclining to sin, but not sinful. On the connection of this decree with the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, see Sarpi, I. 312 sq., Pallavicini, Lib. VII. c. 7]
The subject of justification, which had been the source of many earlier controversies at this period, was encumbered by far greater difficulties. It therefore occupied the synod until Jan. 13, 1547, when an elaborate decree was promulgated, in sixteen chapters and thirty-three canons; all of them plainly tending to magnify the human element or factor in the process of salvation, and one in particular anathematizing those who might demur to the assertion, that the good works of the justified man, as wrought by him through the help of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, do truly deserve increase of grace and eternal life.* According to the Tridentine doctors, faith is the beginning, root and basis of justification, and is essential to all further progress; yet it only becomes efficacious when love has been conjoined with it as the animating and plastic principle. Justification in like manner has two aspects, one negative, the other positive: it is both forgiveness of sins and sanctification.** By it the union of the will of man with all forms of evil is annihilated, so that righteousness becomes inherent in the soul of the believer, who can by the grace of God fulfill the law, and be restored to the original freedom of humanity. As the Spirit of Christ has been transfused into his spirit, he feels himself entitled to pass onward from the thought of some initial righteousness, gratuitously imputed to him, and reposes on a conviction that he will be at last accepted and rewarded, because the righteousness of Christ is so appropriated as to produce in him a righteousness which he can truly call his own.
*[Sess. VI. can. XXXII. The next canon publishes the anathema against all who think that this tenet derogates in any measure from “the glory of God or the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord”: see also cap. viii where an explanation is offered of the phrase “justificari gratis”. Chemnitz (Part. I. p. 205), makes the following remark respecting this theory of human merit: “Concilium igitur Tridentinum dicit, bona renatorum opera vere promereri vitam aeternam. Atque ita simpliciter repetunt et stabiliunt scholasticorum commenta de merito condigni; quod scilicet renatorum opera in hac vita in charitate facta, ex condigno mereantur vitam aeeternam: hoc est, quod vita aeterna ex debito justititae Divinae retribuenda sit bonis operibus.” On the other hand, the Council was far from sanctioning the notion that man is at all able of himself to reach the state of justification “sine praevenienti Spiritus Sancti inspiratione”: see Can. I. II. III.]
**[Quamquam enim nemo possit esse justus, nisi cui merita passionis Domini nostri Jesu Christi communicantur: id tamen in hac impii justificatione fit, dum ejusdem sanctissimae passionis merito per Spiritum Sanctum, caritas Dei diffunditur in cordibus eorum, qui justificantur, atque ipsis inhaeret unde in ipsa justificatione cum remissione peccatorum haec omnia simul infusa accipit homo per Jesum Christum, Cui inseritur, fidem, spem et caritatem”: cap. vii.]
On the contrary, some influential members of the council,* approximating closely to the tenets of the Lutheran, drew, as he did, very sharp distinctions between imperfect righteousness inwrought into the human spirit, and that perfect righteousness which is freely attributed to man in virtue of his incorporation into Christ, the second Adam. This party was, however, silenced by a large majority, while the leaders of the Reformation movement, who had anxiously observed the course of the proceedings, were horrorstruck by the denunciations of their favourite dogma. It was also ruled** on the same occasion that no living man may presume to rank himself among the number of those who have been predestinated to eternal life, in such a way at least as to infer his impeccability or the certainty of his recovering from the consequence of any sin he may commit; and further [Cap. XV.] that the grace of justification is lost not only by open infidelity where faith itself has perished, but also by each act of deadly sin.
*[On the various discussions, all of which turned in reality upon the truth or falsehood of opinions held by men like Gaspar Contarini, see Sarpi, I. 335 sq. From the account of Laurentius Pratanus, written on the spot (among Le Plat’s Monum. ad hist. Concil. Trident. spectant. pt. VII. p. 21), we learn that some of the representatives extolled “the virtue of faith” in a wonderful manner, especially Richard Pates, sometime bishop of Worcester, and the Neapolitan bishop of Cava. Pole also warned the assembly not to reject an opinion simply because it was held by Luther (Ranke, Popes, I. 204): and even Seripando, who, as general of the Augustinian friars, had no love for the Wittenberg deserter, shewed a strong leaning to the same side (Ibid. p. 205).]
**[Cap. xii., this clause however being added: “nam, nisi ex speciali revelatione, sciri non potest, quos Deus Sibi elegerit.” The tenderness of the Council in speaking of predestination is explained by the circumstance that many of the leading representatives were strongly Augustinian in their views. See an account of the warm discussions on this subject in Sarpi, I. 367 sq.]
The prelates next determined to treat upon the doctrine of the sacraments, in order as before to meet objections urged by the Reformers against the number, nature, and effect of those ordinances. Thirty canons* were accordingly compiled and read at the seventh session (March 3); but the labours of the representatives had not extended far beyond the questions relating to baptism and confirmation when reports of a contagious disease afforded a convenient pretext for translating the council to Bologna** (March 11).
*[Of these, thirteen relate to sacraments in general (which are declared to be seven in number and no more): fourteen to baptism; and three to confirmation. The sixth of the first series is as follows: “Si quis dixerit sacramenta nova legis non continere gratiam quam significant; aut gratiam ipsam non ponentibus obicem non conferre; quasi signa, tantum externa sint acceptae per lidera gratiae, vel justitiae, et note) quaedam Christianae professionis, quibus apud homines discernuntur fideles ab infidelibus; anathema sit”: cf. above; Chemnitz, Examen, “De Opere operato,” Part. II. pp. 24 sq., and Möhler, Symb. 288 sq. Another canon of the series (§ XI) denounces those who affirm that the intention of the minister (“intentionem saltem faciendi, quod facit ecclesia”) is not required for the efficacy of the sacrament: cf. Chemnitz, as above, pp. 30 sq., and for the disputes to which this canon gave rise in the council, see Sarpi, I. 430 sq.]
**[Above. The “Bulla facultatis” (Feb. 22, 1547) is reprinted in Libri Symb. Eccl. Cathol. ed. Streitwolf, II. 43, 44; but there is little doubt respecting the insincerity of the pontiff: see Mendham, as before, p. 119, and p. 121, note.]
Before this time, however, something was effected in the cause of reformation,* agreeably to principles laid down at the commencement of the business. The need of such reforms was shewn to be most urgent by representatives of the imperial party; and several of the Spaniards, whom we shall hereafter see defending the inherent rights of bishops, did not hesitate to speak most freely on these topics, and even to reflect on the dictation of the Roman pontiff and his legates.** But, owing to the dexterity of the latter, and the vast preponderance of Italians in the synod, all discussions of this class were so guided or diverted as to save the grandeur of the papacy.*** The non-residence of bishops, one of the main sources to which the heresies and other evils of the age were not unfrequently ascribed, was made the subject of a decree in the sixth session (Jan. 13); and just before the transfer of the council a series of new regulations was drawn up in condemnation of pluralities, episcopal and otherwise, and with a view to the correction of abuses and anomalies in the general administration of the Church.
*[The opening sentences of the first “Decretum de Reformatione” deserve notice: “Eadem sacrosancta synodus, eisdem praesidentibus, et apostolicae, sedis legatis, ad restituendam collapsam admodum ecclesiasticam disciplinam, depravatosque in clero at populo Christiano mores emendandos, se accingere volens, ab iis, qui majoribus ecclesiis praesunt, initium censuit esse sumendum. Integritas enim praesidentium salus est subditorum.” Libr. Symb. Eccl. Cath. II 30.]
**[The very important letters and papers of Vargas, a doctor of law, who attended the council in behalf of the emperor, furnish curious matter in illustration of this point as of many others. See respecting them Mendham’s Memoirs of the Council of Trent, p. 144, note. Vargas complains bitterly of the papal legates, and declares that the mainspring of all the business was at Rome: “A titulo de dirigir, los legados del papa se applican todo el concilio assi: y ninguna cosa se haze, ni propone, ni discute, ni difine, sino lo que ellos quieren, segun el orden que de Roma tienen, y cada hora se les embia. Los prelados que el papa tenia aqui salariados no lo podian negar, y se dolian dello con los otros hombres pios”: ed. Le Vassor, p. 15, Amsterdam, 1699.]
***[Thus the Preface to the second “Decretum de Reformationse” ends with the significant clause: “Salva semper in omnibus sedis apostolicae auctoritate.” The account of Massarello, secretary of the Council (see Mendham, Pref. ix. x.), is to the same effect. Writing on the 8th of Feb. 1547, he observes: “Sed id imprimis attendendum est, quod, licet aliqui dixerint, quod Concilium non potest facere reformationem ... hoc verum non est, quia concilium hoc legitime congregatum omnia potest in his, quae sibi a sua Sanctitate demandata sunt, in aliis autem nihil potest. ... In his autem quae Concilium non potest, et proprie spectant ad pontificem, asserunt legati, se paratissimos futuros mediatores, ut sua Sanctitas ea concedat, quae a sua Sanctitate petuntur”: in Raynald. Annal. Eccl. ad an. 1547, § 31.]
Many of the prelates,* satisfied already that the more important business of the council was all planned at Rome, were strongly adverse to a project of translation, which would bring them nearer to the pontiff, and in obedience to the wishes of the emperor continued to withhold their sanction.** It also happened that the quarrel between these potentates was more and more embittered during the next few years. Partly therefore to intimidate the pope, and partly to extinguish feuds now raging in all districts of the German empire, Charles V determined to put forth a scheme of mediation called the Interim Augustanum [See above.] on his own authority (May, 1548): while the king of France, who from political rivalry espoused the quarrel of the Roman curia, was no less desirous*** of producing a considerable circumscription of the ultra-papal claims.
*[A brief account of all the “fathers” who had taken part in the proceedings up to this time, is given in the Libri Symb. Eccl, Cathol., as before, II. 50 sq.]
**[About one-third of the prelates actually remained at Trent for some months, and negotiations were opened with the pontiff in order, if possible, to bring the council back.]
***[His instructions to the French ambassadors at Bologna (Aug. 12, 1547) are printed in Le Plat, Monum. III. 647 sq.]
The Council of Trent continued in a state of absolute suspension till March 14, 1551, when the new pontiff, Julius III, himself employed as chief legate in the former business of the meeting, made arrangements [See the “Bulla Resumptionis” in Libr. Synth. Eccl. Cath. II. 59 sq.] for its reestablishment at Trent; and the proceedings were accordingly resumed, at this time with the full concurrence of the emperor, although in spite of angry protests from the king of France,* who threatened even to convoke a national synod. The first important subject which occupied the representatives was the mysterious and much-contested doctrine of the Eucharist. In reference thereto it was finally decided at the thirteenth session (Oct. 11, 1551), that after the consecration of the elements, our Lord Jesus Christ, very God and very man, is verily, really and substantially contained under the species of bread and wine;** that each element contains the same as both together do; that in the consecration of these elements, there is a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of Christ’s body, and a conversion of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of His blood, so as to justify the use of the term “transubstantiation”; that the highest form of worship (“Latria”) is therefore rendered by the faithful to the sacrament of the altar. With respect to the communicants it is decided that no man who is conscious of deadly sin should approach the holy Eucharist without previous confession and absolution; and that while even the impenitent receive Christ sacramentally, and those who communicate in will receive Him spiritually, the highest order of communicant is he who receives both sacramentally and spiritually, in faith, and will, and act.*** This decree, extending to eight chapters, is accompanied by eleven canons, which anathematize*4 the Lutheran and Calvinistic tenets, as well as the more lax hypothesis of Zwingli and the aberrations of Anabaptism.
*[A misunderstanding had arisen between Henry II of France and Julius with reference to the duchy of Parma. Accordingly, Amyot was dispatched to Trent in order to protest against the whole proceedings of the “convention”. The letters which he bore denied that the council was general, and therefore urged that neither the king nor his people would be bound by its decisions: “imo vero se testari palam ac denuntiare, ad eadem se remedia ac praesidia descensurum, si necesse videretur, quibus majores sui, Francorum reges, in re consimili causaque uti consuevissent; nec sibi quidquam antiquius fore, secundum fidei ac religionis integritatem, libertate et incolumitate Ecclesiae Gallicae.” See the whole document in Le Plat, IV. 241. This threat appears to have mollified the pontiff: Sarpi, II. 6.]
**[Cap. i. Courayer (on Sarpi, II. 46) remarks on this chapter: “Si par ces termes réellement et substantiellement le Concile n’a voulu établir qu’une présence effective et véritable, sans en déterminer la maniŹre; c’est la doctrine de l’Antiquité, et plusieurs Protestans l’ont reconnu avec sincerité. Mais si par le terme de présence substantielle on a voulu nous faire entendre une présence corporelle et organique, c’est ce que ni la raison ni l’autorité ne nous permettent de croire.” That the latter was the view intended by the ruling spirits of the Council is obvious from the language of the Catechismus Romanus, which they authorized by anticipation. It is there stated (Part. II. c. iv. qu. 27), “Jam vero hoc loco etiam a Pastoribus explicandum est, non solum verum Christi corpus, et quidquid ad veram corporis rationem pertinet, veluti ossa et nervos, sed etiam totum Christum in hoc sacramento contineri.”]
***[“Tertios porro sacramentaliter simul et spiritaliter; hi autem sunt, qui ita se prius probant et instruunt, ut vestem nuptialem induti, ad Divinam hanc mensam accedant”: cap. viii.]
*4[Thus the first “canon” classes together all those who affirm that Christ is only present “in signo vel figura [the Zwinglian hypothesis] aut virtute” [the Calvinistic hypothesis]: and in “canon II” all those who demur to the idea of any physical change in the elements without denying the real presence [the Lutheran hypothesis]: cf. can. VIII.]
The next subject treated by the prelates under the head of Christian doctrine refers to “the sacrament of penance”. It is maintained (Nov. 23, 1551) that this ordinance was instituted by our Lord Himself; that in its nature and design it is distinct from baptism; that it is composed of three parts or acts, contrition, confession, and absolution; that in it the priest is empowered to exercise the functions of a judge,* allotting to the sinner special acts of prayer and mortification, in the hope that he may thus regain the purity communicated to him at his baptism; and further that the outward part or sign of the sacrament is contained in words by which the sentence of absolution is pronounced. It had been previously determined [Cap. iv.] that contrition, which is necessary to the efficacy of this sacrament, consists of inward sorrow and abhorrence of the sin committed; yet that even the imperfect stage of it, which the scholastics termed attrition, as arising merely from the natural sense of shame or servile dread of punishment, may, where it operates in excluding the wish to sin, be welcomed as a gift of God, and may “dispose” the sinner to obtain forgiveness through the sacrament of penance.** It is also granted that satisfaction, or those penalties for sin imposed on the offender by himself or by the priest in order to avert its temporal consequence, is only made availing through the satisfaction of Christ from whom all our sufficiency proceeds:*** After a fresh series of anathemas, fifteen*4 in number, levelled at all persons who venture to dispute the truth of any of these positions, the sacrament of extreme unction is defined in three chapters and protected by another list of corresponding fulminations.
*[Cap. vi. Some further light is thrown upon this office by the ninth “canon”: “Si quis dixerit, absolutionem sacramentalem sacerdotis non esse actum judicialem, sed nudum ministerium pronuntiandi vel declarandi remisea esse peccata confitenti, modo tantum credat se esse absolutum; aut sacerdos non serio, sed joco absolvat; aut dixerit, non requiri confessionem poenitentis, ut sacerdos ipsum absolvere possit; anathema sit.” See Courayer’s note on Sarpi, II. 65.]
**[“... declarat non solum non facere hominem hypocritam, et magis peccatorem, verum etiam donum Dei esse, et Spiritus Sancti impulsum, non adhuc quidem inhabitantis, sed tantum moventis, quo poenitens adjutus viam sibi ad justitiam parat. Et quamvis sine sacramento poenitentiae per se ad justificationem perducere peccatorem nequeat, tamen eum ad Dei gratiam in sacramento poenitentiae impetrandam disponit.” The same chapter repels as calumnious the accusation that “Catholic writers” have ever taught “sacramentum poenitentiae absque bono motu suscipientium gratiam conferre.” The improvement of the tone of Romish theologians with reference to “attrition” is conceded by Chemnitz: Part II. p. 207.]
***[Cap. viii; yet even here we notice the old disposition to place man’s sufferings in the same line with Christ’s, and lose sight of the distinction between suffering from the consequence of sin and suffering in the cause of Christ: “Accedit ad haec, quod, dum satisfaciendo patimur pro peccatis, Christi Jesu, Qui pro peccatis nostris satisfecit, ex Quo omnis nostra sufficientia est, conformes efficimur certissimam quoque inde arrham habentes, quod si compatimur et conglorificabimur.”]
*4[One of the most unblushing is the sixth: “Si quis negaverit, confessionem sacramentalem vel institutam, vel ad salutem necessariam esse jure Divino: aut dixerit, modum secrete confitendi soli sacerdoti, quem Ecclesia Catholica ab initio semper observavit, et observat, alienum esse ab institutione et mandato Christi, et inventum esse humanum: anathema sit.”]
At the fifteenth session (Jan. 23, 1552), where the doctors had intended to adjudicate upon the “sacrifice of the mass” and the “sacrament of orders,” the course of proceeding was changed to allow a hearing to certain envoys from Maurice of Saxony and the duke of Würtemberg, who had appeared at Trent, to plead the cause of Lutheranism before the members of the council. [See above, and Libri Symb. Eccl. Cathol. 87 sq. for the “safe conduct.”] They spoke most freely on some points of reformation, to the great delight of the more timid representatives;* but the sudden outbreak of the war in Germany, and the continual altercations that arose between the imperial and the papal authorities, induced the legates to procure a fresh suspension of the business: which accordingly took place on the 28th of April, 1552. In this second period of the council, as in that already noticed, a few questions of administrative reform had been discussed and carried, the principal relating to the rights, the functions and the jurisdiction of bishops.
*[Thus Vargas (as translated by Le Vassor, Lettres et Mémoires, p. 468) has the following notice of them, Jan. 24, 1652: “Les envoiez du duc Maurice de Saxe, et ceux du duc de Virtemberg ont dit aujourd’hui fort au long en pleine congrégation ce qua nous n’osons pas dire nousmesmes sur le chapitre de la reformation” etc. The legates had, however, been instructed beforehand by the pontiff to prevent all fresh discussion of doctrines (Mendham, p. 159), and when the Würtemberg ambassadors remonstrated on the unfairness of subjecting their creed to merely papal judges, they were only met by renewed demands of submission. (Ibid. pp. 160, 161.)]
On the death of pope Julius III the choice of the cardinals lighted on Marcellus II,* from whose character all friends of reformation were prepared to augur that a limit would be placed, in his pontificate, to the abuses and distractions by which the Church of Rome was grievously afflicted. Marcellus died, however, on the twenty-second day after his election, leaving the tiara to a very different wearer, one who from his vigorous intellect, the general severity of his rule, and his intractable temper, revived the picture of those earlier pontiffs, who had founded and cemented the towering edifice of Roman despotism. Paul IV was always actuated by hatred of the emperor,** whom he regarded as the patron of heretics and the opposer of Italy. Political events, however, soon compelled him to renounce his thought of vengeance, [Ranke, Popes, I. 310.] but only left him greater liberty for indulging his second passion, which was to restore the Roman curia to its old predominance among the western potentates. Caraffa, it is true, had little or no faith in diets, colloquies, or general councils.*** He, therefore, aimed at compassing his object either by acts of autocratic violence, or by adding to the outward pomp and decency of worship, or by correcting some administrative abuses that came under his immediate notice. This pontiff breathed his last on the 18th of August, 1559; and as his death was followed by fresh clamours of the Romish states demanding the completion of the works inaugurated by the recent council, the next pontiff, Pius IV, from policy as well as principle became alive to the importance of yielding to the public voice.*4 Accordingly, after a suspension of ten years, a council naming itself oecumenical again assembled at Trent, Jan. 18, 1562.
*[See Ranke, Popes, I. 284 sq. He was the cardinal of Santa Croce, the second legate at the opening of the Council of Trent.]
**[Ibid. p. 291. The Neapolitan house of Caraffa from which he sprang had always sided with the French party against the Spanish and Germans, and, in addition to this hereditary hatred, Paul IV believed that the growth of Protestantism was mainly due to the conduct of Charles V, who favoured the reformers out of jealousy to himself. When Charles retired to the convent, in 1556, the pontiff was somewhat relieved: yet his violent and domineering temper continued to be always visible. For instance, he imprisoned cardinal Morone on a charge of heresy (above), and deprived cardinal Pole of his legateship (above), for similar reasons.]
***[When the necessity of consulting a general council was suggested to him, he was transported with rage, and would not endure the thought of discussing religious questions “in the midst of the Lutherans,” adding: “Que c’étoit une chose fort inutile d’envoyer dans les montagnes une soixantaine d’évźques des moins habiles, et une quarantaine de docteurs des moins éclairés, comme on avoit fait déją deux foie, et de croire que ces gens-lą fussent plus propres pour réformer le monde, que le vicaire de Jésus-Christ assisté de l’avis de tous les cardinaux qui sont les colonnes de toute la Chrétienté,” &c. Sarpi, II. 153.]
*4[See the “Bulla Celebrationis” in Libr. Symb. Eccl. Cath. II. 95 sq., and Ranke, Popes, I. 334. Pius IV seems to have acted on the advice or at the impulse of his nephew, Carlo Borromeo.]
But the proceedings of this body had lost their former interest in the eyes of the spectators and dissentients. It is true “safe conducts’ [Libr. Symb. II. 105 sq.] were extensively offered to the continental Protestants; our queen Elizabeth,* and even the czar of Muscovy himself, [Sarpi, II. 207.] were urged to send their delegates and share in the deliberations; yet as neither Pius nor his chief advisers ever dreamed of proposing to reopen those discussions which had ended, through one-sided advocacy, in a sweeping censure of the Reformation and its champions, we shall scarcely wonder that these invitations were disregarded by the whole body of Reformers. Elizabeth of England took her place among the multitude of Christians in east and west, who then and afterwards repudiated the authority of the council as neither holy, free, nor general. Its later course indeed had only an occasional reference to matters lying beyond the jurisdiction of the pontiff. The great bulk of mediaeval doctrines as recast or vindicated in the earlier sittings of the conclave had during the interval of ten years been commonly accepted by the counter-reformation party. [Ranke, Popes, I. 335 and note.]
*[See Le Bas, Life of Bishop Jewel, pp. 113 sq., and Jewel’s Epistola ad D. Scipionem (Works, IV. 1093 sq. ed. P. S.). Scipio was a Venetian who wrote to Jewel, expressing his regret and amazement that the English had declined to send an ambassador to Trent. Cf. the reasons alleged by the Princes “of the Augsburg Confession” in Le Plat, Monum. IV. 57: [archbp. Parker’s] Godly and necessarye Admonition of the Decrees and Canons of the Council of Trent, London, 1564: and Geddes, The Council of Trent no free assembly, London, 1697.]
It was, however, made apparent when the prelates reassembled that the task of settling the dogmatic points remaining open, but still more of framing rules of discipline that might possess an absolute and universal authority, was beset with most gigantic difficulties. As soon as ever the proceedings were resumed,* the Spanish section of the representatives contended that bishops are not simply nominees or vicars of the pope, but that episcopal authority no less than papal rests on a Divine appointment; thereby impugning, half unconsciously, the very foundation of that autocratic system which had been gradually consolidated in western Christendom since the days of Hildebrand and Innocent III.** Amid the agitation of these questions envoys came from Ferdinand, the emperor, to press for changes equally distasteful in some quarters, and especially to members of the Roman curia. He resolved to second the general wish of his own subjects, by suggesting [See the propositions in Le Plat, Monum. V. 264 sq., and Ranke’s remarks on them, Ibid. p. 338, note.] that the nomination of the cardinals should be reformed in order to secure the appointment of more exemplary pontiffs. He insisted on the desirableness of administering the cup to laymen, of permitting priests to marry, of relaxing the laws on fasting, of erecting schools, of purifying the breviary and other service books, of circulating more intelligible catechisms, and of reforming convents. When the cardinal of Lorraine appeared at the head of the French prelates, he supported these Germanic propositions,*** pleading more especially for communion in both kinds: and therefore, had the principle of “vote by nations” been adopted at this juncture, it is not unlikely that the Romish system would have undergone considerable changes. Still we must remember that the Spaniards, though distinguished by their anti-papal boldness and their clear convictions on the subject of episcopacy, united with the Italians in denying the propriety of all concessions to the moderate school of the Reformers, and that both in the numerical preponderance of the papal partizans, and in their diplomatic artifices, the Roman curia still preserved abundant means for warding off the blow by which its independence had been threatened.
*[The first resistance of the Spaniards was offered to the phrase “proponentibus legatis ac praesidentibus,” at the reading of a decree for the continuation of the council (Jan. 18, 1562). The archbishop of Granada (Guerrero) headed this opposition: see Sarpi, II. 261. On the 11th of March twelve articles of reform were submitted for examination, when the same prelate opened the question whether residence was binding on bishops by the Divine law. He affirmed that it was so, on the ground that episcopacy is a Divine institution. The papal legates, on the contrary, dreaded nothing more than that claims to the jus Divinum should be conceded to any save their master: and the article which gave rise to the contest was for the present withdrawn. See the disputes at length in Sarpi, II. 286 sq., 328: and cf. Mendham, pp. 248 sq.]
**[“This assertion [of the original authority of bishops] struck at the very root of the whole ecclesiastical system. The independence of the inferior authorities of the church, which the popes had so carefully laboured to keep down, must have been restored by the development of this principle.” Ranke, Popes, I. 337.]
***[See the Mémoire in Le Plat, IV. 562; Sarpi, II. 322, 357, 519 sq. To add to the confusion, the Spaniards and French reopened the old quarrel as to the supremacy of a general council, and the duty of the pontiff himself to bow to its decisions.]
When the council proved peculiarly intractable,* when the position of affairs looked almost desperate, and no other expedient was at hand for quieting a turbulent section of the doctors there assembled, the pontiff sought relief in private negotiations, [Ranke, Ibid. pp. 344 sq.] with the emperor, with Philip II of Spain, and also with the family of Guise who then directed almost entirely the counsels of the French monarch. So very skillful were these fresh maneuvers, that without conceding aught by which the papal power would be materially abridged, the several courts were soon induced to interpose and check the zeal of their own representatives. As soon as this had been effected** the more trying business of the council was resumed, and brought to a more amicable close. In reference even to the question of episcopacy,*** the Spanish bishops ultimately yielded, only with the understanding that the words of the decree should be so chosen as to leave them at liberty to reproduce their arguments at any future time. Similar adroitness was exhibited in stifling or restraining fresh discussions, while the members of the council finally proceeded in the same spirit to deliberate on their definitions of Christian doctrine.
*[“The French jested about the Holy Ghost being brought to Trent in a knapsack. The Italians talked of Spanish eruptions and French diseases, by which all the faithful were visited in turn. When the bishop of Cadiz said, that there had been renowned bishops, aye, and fathers of the church, whom no pope had appointed, the Italians broke forth in a general outcry, insisted on his departure, and talked of anathema and heresy. The Spaniards retaliated the anathema on them. Sometimes mobs assembled, shouting Spain! Italy! Blood flowed in the streets, and on the ground consecrated to peace.” Ranke, Popes, I. 340; Mendham, pp. 251, 252. Owing to this riotous spirit no session could be held from Sept. 17, 1562, until July 15, 1563.]
**[Morone, who had been the pope’s agent in mollifying the emperor, left Innsbruck, June 25, 1563, after a visit of nearly two months.]
***[The revised form of the seventh canon as introduced Oct. 30, 1562, was as follows: “Si quis dixerit, non fuisse a Christo Domino institutum, ut essent in Ecclesia catholica episcopi, ac eos, cum in partem sollicitudinis a Pontifice Romano, Ejus in terris Vicario, assumuntur, non esse veros at legitimos episcopos, presbyteris superiores, et eadem dignitate eademque potestate non potiri, quam ad haec usque tempora obtinuerunt: anathema sit.” Mendham, p. 248, note. To this the archbishop of Granada and others wished to add a clause, affirming that the episcopate was of Divine right. The pope had endeavoured to parry this blow, by declaring that “bishops held the principal place in the church, but in dependence upon the pope.” This, however, did not satisfy the champions of episcopacy, who remained immoveable until July, 1563; and in the end, the canon was pared down and resolved into the two following (“De Ordine,” can. VII. VIII.), so as to evade the question touching the Divine institution of bishops and their absolute dependence on the pope: “Si quis dixerit, episcopos non esse presbyteris superiores; vel non habere potestatem confirmandi et ordinandi; vel eam, quam habent, illis esse cum presbyteris communem: vel ordines ab ipsis collatos sine populi vel potestatis saecularis consensu aut vocatione irritos esse; aut eos, qui nec ab ecclesiastica et canonica potestate rite ordinati nec missi sunt, sed aliunde veniunt, legitimos esse verbi at sacramentorum ministros; anathema sit. Si quis dixerit, episcopos qui auctoritate Romani pontificis assumuntur, non esse legitimos et veros episcopos, sed figmentum hominum; anathema sit.” The vagueness and ambiguity of this language elicited the special praise of the Jesuit Lainez: Mendham, p. 262: cf. above.]
The question touching the propriety of administering the Eucharist in both kinds* had been warmly discussed and absolutely closed on the eve of the twenty-second session (Sept. 16, 1562), when the majority voted that it should be left for the pope to act therein as he judged best. On the following day (Sept. 17) the council promulgated its decision with reference to the sacrifice of the Mass: contending among other things, that as the same Jesus Christ, who once offered Himself upon the cross, is there contained, and immolated without shedding of blood (“incruente”) in the Christian sacrifice, this latter is truly propitiatory, and that by it we obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.** It was also ruled that masses may be offered not only for the sins and wants of Christians while on earth, but also for those who having departed this life are still in need of purification. At the same time numerous regulations were drawn up, providing for a better celebration of this sacrifice, and in other ways contributing to bring about more decency and reverence in public worship. [See the “Decretum de observandis et evitandis in celebration missae,” Libri Symb. Eccl. Cathol. I. 82 sq.]
*[The “Doctrina de communione sub utraque specie, et parvulorum” was issued July 16, 1562; but whether the chalice might in certain cases be conceded, was still a subject of discussion: see Sarpi, II. 339 sq., and the “Decretum super petitione concessionis calicis” in Lib. Symb. Eccl. Cath. I. 84.]
**[Cap. ii. where it is added: “Una enim eademque est hostia, idem nunc offerens sacerdotum ministerio, Qui Seipsum tunc in cruce obtulit, sola offerendi ratione diversa. Cujus quidem oblationis cruentae, inquam, fructus per hanc incruentam uberrime percipiuntur: tantum abest, ut illi per hanc quovis modo derogetur.” The meaning of this decree is further illustrated by the third (of nine) “canons,” which as usual follow the decree: “Si quis dixerit, missae sacrificium tantum esse laudis, et gratiarum actionis, aut nudam commemorationem sacrificii in cruce peracti, non autem propitiatorium; vel soli prodesse sumenti; neque pro vivis et defunctis, pro peccatis, poenis, satisfactionibns, at allis necessitatibus offerri debere: anathema sit.”]
The discussion of the sacrament of orders,’ which came next in point of time, occasioned, as we saw, [pp. 293, 295.] the most intemperate controversies. At last, however, a decree was promulgated (July 15, 1563) affirming the reality of a visible priesthood which consists of different grades, and has been gifted with peculiar and indelible characteristics. Bishops, it was also granted, are in some respect successors of apostles’, and as such they occupy a chief place in the orders of the hierarchy, are superior to priests, and execute specific functions, as ordination and confirmation. The four dogmatic chapters bearing on these topics are accompanied by eight canons, where anathemas are hurled at many of the continental theories with reference to the nature of the ministerial office and the need of ordination*. A different series of resolutions, which appeared at the same time, promoted additional reforms among the bishops and clergy’. Some of those indeed were miserably insufficient in the eyes of the ‘reforming’ states, especially the French’, whose ambassador spoke as usual with the greatest freedom on the subject; but their protests being ultimately overruled, the legates once again resolved to expedite the business of the council, and avert, if possible, all future outbreaks of rebellion.
Cap. iv.: ‘ Proinde saorosanota synodns declarat, prEeter ceteros eoclesiasticos gradus, episoopos, qui in Apostolorum locum sucoesserunt, ad huno hierarchicum ordinem prEscipue pertinere:’ evading the question, however, touching the mode in which authority has been transmitted to them.
One has been cited above, p. 295, n. 3. Another runs in this wise: Si quis dixerit, non ease in Novo Testament° sacerdotium visibile et externum; vel non ease potestatem aliquam oonsecrandi et offerendi veram Corpus et Sanguinem Domini, et peocata remittendi et retinendi; Bed officium tantnm, et nudum ministerium priedioandi evangelium; vel eos, qui non predicant, prorsus non ease sacerdotes; anathema sit;’ can. a. of. Chemnitz, Examen, Part. at pp. 239, 240.
Libri Synth. Eccl. Cathol. n. 119 sq.
Sarpi (n. 558 sq.) gives a fall account of their Articles of Reforma-tion’ submitted to the council at the beginning of 1563, and also of the protestation of Du Ferrier (En. 118 sq.), and its consequences (pp. 159 sq.).
In the 24th session (Nov. 11) a decree was issued on the subject of marriage, which, it is alleged on the authority of “universal tradition,” should be ranked among “the sacraments of the new law,” while fresh anathemas were pronounced on various misbelievers, and especially in condemnation of those who objected to the compulsory celibacy of regulars and ecclesiastics.*
*[Si quis dixerit, clericos in sacris ordinibus constitutos, vel regulares, castitatem solemniter professos, posse matrimonium contrahere, contractumque validum esse, non obstante lege ecclesiastica, vel voto; et oppositum nil aliud esse, quam damnare matrimonium; posseque omnes contrahere matrimonium, qui non sentiunt se castitatis, etiam si eam voverint, habere donum; anathema sit; cum Deus id recte petentibus non deneget, nee patiatur nos supra id, quod possumus, tentari”: can. IX.]
The last session was opened Dec. 3, and on that and the following day the body of Romish doctrine may be said to have been perfected. Decrees were published respecting purgatory, the invocation of saints, the worship of images and relics, and the granting of indulgences. Of purgatory almost nothing is defined,* except that such a state or place exists, and that the souls detained therein are really aided by the suffrages of the faithful and the sacrifice of the Mass. The invocation of saints is justified upon the ground that holy men departed continue to offer up petitions for us, and that it is good and useful to desire their sympathy and ask them for the benefit of their intercessions.** Images, those doctors argued, ought to receive due veneration; not because they have any Divinity or virtue in them, but because, by honouring them, the honour is reflected or transmitted from them to those beings whom they represent: while pardons or indulgences are justified, and said to have been always granted, because the Church originally received the power of so acting from Jesus Christ Himself, and because indulgences must prove highly serviceable to the Christian. Yet with reference to all these controverted topics,*** considerable care is manifested by the council to banish some of the more scandalous practices which had been frequent, if not general, in the period just preceding. The only point in which the vehement protests of Reformers were entirely inefficacious, was the absolute supremacy of the Roman pontiff. That, although the limitation of it had been foremost in the thoughts of many persons by whom the council was promoted, is not sensibly reduced in any one of the decrees.*4 On the contrary, the life of Christendom, so far as it depended on the see of Rome, was thereby made to center more and more completely in the person, will, and wishes of the popes. The oscillations of that mediating party, who were anxious in the early stages of the Reformation to profit by the zeal and learning of such men as Luther, were seldom visible after the promulgation of the rigorous edicts fabricated in the middle of the sixteenth century. Still these edicts wrought a multitude of changes which imparted new vitality to the administrative system of the Romish Church. Discipline was often reestablished in the diocese, the convent, and the parish. Pluralities were all discountenanced; appeals and dispensations made less frequent and practicable. A higher class of seminaries was established for the moral and intellectual training of the clergy; stricter rules were now drawn up for the direction of their lives and ministrations; while the articles of faith,*5 to be hereafter pressed upon the conscience of the pastor and expounded to his flock, were often less erratic, impious and revolting, than the speculations of some Mediaeval doctors.*6
*[The Catechismus Romanus (Part. I. cap. VI. qu. 3) supplies the deficiency as follows: “Praeterea est Purgatorius ignis, quo piorum animae ad definitum tempus cruciatae expiantur, ut eis in aeternam patriam ingressus patere possit, in quam nihil coinquinatum ingreditur.”]
**[“Illos, vero,” it is added, “qui negant sanctos, aeterna felicitate in coelo fruentes, invocandos esse; aut qui asserunt, vel illos pro hominibus non orare; vel eorum, ut pro nobis etiam singulis orent, invocationem esse idololatriam; vel pugnare cum verbo Dei, adversarique honori unius mediatoris Dei et hominum Jean Christi; vel stultum esse, in coelo regnantibus voce vel mente supplicare; impie sentire”; cf. Chemnitz, Examen, Part. II. p. 136 sq.]
***[Thus with regard to indulgences the decree continues: “Abusus vero, qui in his irrepserunt, et quorum occasione insigne hoc indulgentiarum nomen ab haereticis blasphematur, emendatos et correctos cupiens, praesenti decreto generaliter statuit, pravos quaestus omnes pro his consequendis, unde plurima in Christiano populo abusuum causa fluxit, omnino abolendos esse. Ceteros vero, qui ex superstitione, ignorantia, irreverentia, aut aliunde quomodocumque provenerunt; cum ob multiplices locorum et provinciarum apud quas hi committuntur corruptelas commode nequeant specialiter prohiberi, mandat omnibus episcopis, ut diligenter quisque hujusmodi abusus ecclesiae suae colligat, eosque in prima synodo provinciali referat, etc.”: cf. Chemnitz, Part. III. pp. 43 sq. One more decree was added on the same occasion, “De delectu ciborum, jejuniis et diebus festis.”]
*4[See above. On the last day but one of the meetings a special provision (c. XXI.) was inserted with the same object: “Postremo sancta synodus, omnia et singula, sub quibuscumque clausulis et verbis, quae de morum reformatione atque ecclesiastica disciplina, tam sub fel. rec. Paulo III ac Julio III quam sub beatissimo Pio IV, pontificibus maximis, in hoc sacro concilio statuta sunt, declarat, ita decreta fuisse, ut in his salva semper auctoritas sedis apostolicae et sit, et esse intelligatur.” Libr. Symb. Eccl. Cathol. II. 214. The feelings of the majority were further shown by committing to the pontiff the formation of a Catalogus Librorum prohibitorum, the preparation of a Catechism (the Catechismus Romanus, which appeared under his auspices in 1566), and the purification of the Breviary and Missal: cf. Mendham, pp. 320 sq.]
*5[A short summary of this was furnished by what is often called the Creed of Pius IV, or “Forma Juramenti Professionis Fidei, a cathedralibus et superioribus ecclesiis, vol beneficiis curam animarum habentibus, et locis Regularium et Militiarum praeficiendis, observanda”: in Libr. Symb. Eccl. Cathol. I. 98–100.]
*6[“I hold it,” says Ranke (Reform. I. 268, note), “to be the fundamental error of Möhler’s Symbolik, that he considers the dogma of the council of Trent as the doctrine from which the Protestants seceded; whilst it is much nearer the truth to say, that it was created by a reaction of Protestantism.”]
Before quitting Trent, the members of the council* in one body formally affixed their signatures to the official acts. On that occasion the number amounted to two hundred and fifty-five, of whom four were papal legates, two cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops, one hundred and sixty-eight bishops, thirty-nine proctors of absentees, seven abbots, and seven generals of religious orders. Nothing will more satisfactorily evince the party bias under which the whole of the proceedings were conducted, than the fact that of this number one hundred and eighty-nine were Italians, some of them mere creatures, not to say stipendiaries, of the Roman curia. On the 6th of January, 1564, the decrees of the council were confirmed by a papal instrument,** which gave the only sanction that was wanting to render the decisions valid in the eyes of those who recognized the infallibility of the pontiff. But although a large majority of Christians in the Romish communion were thus obliged to acquiesce in, all the edicts of this synod, it was found distasteful in some quarters, and has never yet been able to command a plenary obedience from the Gallicans of France. [See Conrayer’s Discours Historigue on this subject, at the end of Sarpi, III. 225–243.]
*[See the subscriptions in Libr. Symbol. II. 220 sq., and a brief account of the “fathers,” “orators” (ambassadors), and divines, who took part in some or all of the proceedings during this last period of the council, Ibid. pp. 224 sq.]
**[Ibid. pp. 232 sq.: cf. Sarpi, III. 203 sq. This “bulla confirmationis” absolutely inhibits all private interpretations of the synodal acts, and reserves the privileges of sole expositor to the Roman see: “Ad vitandum praeterea perversionem at confusionem, quae oriri posset, si unicuique liceret, prout ei liberet, in decreta concilii commentarios et interpretationes suas edere: apostolica auctoritate inhibemus omnibus, tam ecclesiasticis personis, cujuscumque sint ordinis, conditionis et gradus, quam laicis, quocumque honore ac potestate praeditis, praelatis quidem sub interdicti ingressus ecclesiae, aliis vero, quicunque fuerint, sub excommunicationis latae sententiae poenis, ne quis sine auctoritate nostra audeat ullos commentarios, glossas, annotationes, scholia, ullumve omnino interpretationis genus super ipsius concilii decretis quocumque modo edere, aut quidquam quocumque nomine, etiam sub praetextu majoris decretorum corroborationis aut executionis aliove quaesito colore, statuere. Si cui vero in eis aliquid obscurius dictum et statutum fuisse, eamque ob causam interpretatione aut decisione aliqua egere visum fuerit; ascendat ad locum, quem Dominus elegit, ad sedem videlicet apostolicam, omnium fidelium magistram, cujus auctoritatem etiam ipsa sancta synodus tam reverenter agnovit.”]
In executing the mandates of the pope and his Tridentine doctors, several prelates of the age displayed no ordinary zeal and vigilance, and reaped on every side a harvest of “conversions”. For example, six provincial councils [Labbe, XV. 242, 337, 365, 408, 556, 706.] held at Milan under Carlo Borromeo, [See above.] between the years 1565 and 1582, abound with indications of the new and better spirit which had permeated many dioceses in communion with the Roman pontiff. Yet the brilliant victories of the counter-reformation party are frequently ascribable to different agencies. These were, first, the Inquisition, and secondly, the order of the Jesuits. At the time when they were both called into existence and proceeded at all hazards to repel and counterwork the enemies of Rome, the pope was actually dethroned in more than half of Europe. The various provinces of Scandinavia and Great Britain were entirely lost, a large majority of the German states, which had been influenced exclusively by Wittenberg divines, and very many of the Swiss cantons, roused by emissaries from Zürich on the one side and Geneva on the other, had declared themselves uncompromising foes of Mediaeval tenets; in Ireland, in Bohemia and Moravia, in Poland, Hungary, and Transylvania, nay, the Netherlands and France itself,the same discordant elements were now everywhere at work, and threatened to produce an utter abnegation of the papal supremacy.
We have seen already how these elements were counteracted and suppressed in Spain, [Above.] in Italy, [Above.] and other provinces of Europe,* where popes and emperors had full sway, and dared to execute the ancient edicts [See Middle Age, p. 290, and n. 2.] for exterminating schism and misbelief. It was pope Paul IV, whose ardour, while he was yet a cardinal, led to the erection of a fresh tribunal for the whole world, analogous to that which had consumed so many holocausts of Moors and Jews and Protestants in the peninsula of Spain. The bull** which authorized this institution was published July 21, 1542. The immediate consequence in Italy was a general reign of terror, in the midst of which a large band of academics and reformers fled and sought a home beyond the Alps, especially in Switzerland. Hence a leading principle of the Inquisitor was that “to heretics, and especially to Calvinists, no toleration must be granted.” [See Caraffa’s rules in Ranke, Popes, I. 212, 213.] When cardinal Caraffa was himself exalted to the papal chair (1555), the rigours of the Inquisition were, if possible, intensified.*** To him is also due the publication of a fuller Index librorum prohibitorum*4 (1559), by which he hoped that he should be enabled to dry up the main sources of heretical pravity, if he could not stifle every whisper which was raised against the pontiff and the schoolmen. In a constitution [Limborch, Ibid. I. 152, 153.] of Pius V (1566), a fresh demand was made of absolute obedience to the mandates of the Inquisitor-general: princes, judges, and all secular magistrates, were earnestly implored to lend their help, and, under the succeeding popes, [Ibid. pp. 153 sq.] the organization of this merciless tribunal was still more developed, and treatises*5 drawn up for the instruction of the various officials now employed in carrying out its sanguinary objects. Yet the harshness and inhumanity of these measures often issued in their own defeat. A few southern states of Christendom alone accepted the intervention of the “Holy Office”; the rest excluding it either from religious principle, or from a dread lest the atrocities which it perpetrated should provoke a general rising of their subjects and imperil the established forms of faith and worship.
*[Above. On the occasional reappearance of Inquisitors in Germany and France at the early stages of the Reformation, see Limborch, Hist. of the Inquisition, Bk. I, ch. xxviii., Lond. 1731.]
**[Six cardinals (of whom the future pontiff, Paul IV, was one) were then made inquisitors-general “in all Christian nations whatsoever”. The following is the substance of their instructions as abridged by Limborch (Ibid. ch. xxix.: Vol. I. p. 151): “To proceed without the ordinaries, against all hereticks, and suspected of heresy, and their accomplices and abettors, of whatever state, degree, order, condition, and preeminence, and to punish them, and confiscate their goods: to depute a procurator-fiscal, notary and other officials necessary to the aforesaid affair: to degrade and deliver over to the secular court by any prelate deputed by them, the secular and regular clergy in holy orders: to curb opposers, to call in the assistance of the secular arm, and to do everything else that should be necessary: to substitute everywhere Inquisitors, with the same or a limited power: to take cognizance of appeals from other Inquisitors to them: to cite, forbid and absolve, in the court and out of it, simply or conditionally, from all ecclesiastical sentences, censures and punishments, all that should appeal to them.”]
***[His peremptory bull of March 1, 1559, is printed at length in Raynald. Annal. Eccl. ad an. 1559, § 14. – Another proof of his disposition was shewn in the establishment of the festival of San Dominico in honour of the great Inquisitor (Ranke, Ibid. I. 314): cf. above.]
*4[The first of these Indices appeared in 1549, under the auspices of the papal legate at Venice, Joh. della Casa: but its effects were slight compared with those produced by the edict of Paul IV. See it with notes aniong the Works of Vergerius (I. 236). The immediate consequences of it are thus described by a contemporary, Natalis Comes, quoted by Gieseler, III. i. p. 510, n. 35 (ed. Bonn.): “Tanta concremata est omnis generis librorum ubique copia et multitudo, ut Trojanum prope incendium, si in unum collati fuissent, apparere posset. Nulla enim fuit bibliotheca vel privata, vel publica, quae fuerit immunis ab ea clade, ac non prope exinanita.” See more on these subjects in Mendham’s Literary Policy of the Church of Rome, &c., 2nd ed. Lond. 1830: and a modern apology for the Inquisition in Balmez, Protestantism and Catholicity, c. XXXVI, Eng. transl.]
*5[Two of these were the Light of the Inquisition, by Bernard of Como, with annotations by Francis Pegna (Rom. 1584), and in the following year Eymeric’s Directory of the Inquisitors, with the commentaries of Pegna. Other works relating to the subject will be found in a collection entitled Tractatus Illustrium Jurisconsultorum de Criminalibus Inquisitionis, Venet. 1584.]
Meanwhile, however, the current of the Reformation was retarded, and occasionally reversed, by the untiring efforts of the Jesuits. The founder of this body, it is true, himself took part in the remodelling of the Inquisition, [Ranke, Popes, I. 211.] but the principles on which his followers acted were persuasive and pacific. Ignatius Loyola* (Inigo Lopez de Recalde), the youngest scion of a noble Spanish house, was born in the province of Guipuscoa (1491), and educated at the court of Ferdinand the Catholic. Though not untainted by the vices of his age and station, Ignatius, even in his early manhood, and when thirsting for the reputation of the perfect soldier, gave some passing intimations of his future destiny. [He actually composed a romance of chivalry, the hero of which was the first Apostle: Ranke, Popes, I. 182.] By nature ardent, visionary, and romantic, all these tendencies were strengthened in him and developed during a long illness caused by wounds which he received in defending Pampeluna against the French in 1521. The tales of chivalry, by which his youthful imagination had been fired, were then exchanged for the Legenda Aurea, and other writings more or less distinguished by the same phantastic spirit. Stimulated by the glowing and unworldly pictures there presented, he resolved to dedicate himself in future to the service of religion, and emulate the deeds of Christ, St Francis, and St Dominic.** Accordingly on his recovery he tore himself away from all his kindred and associates; he visited the hermits in the solitudes of Montserrat; on the eve of the Annunciation, 1522, he suspended his lance and shield before a wonder-working image of the Virgin,*** abandoning thereby a temporal for a spiritual knighthood; and as he was more and more convinced of the enormity of moral evil, his austerities became more rigorous, and his self-reproaches more emphatic and enduring. Yet unlike the Wittenberg reformer, who was then secluded also, in the castle of Wartburg, Ignatius Loyola had only a slender knowledge of the Scriptures; he had never been distinctly pointed to the way of reconciliation with God, nor to the real source of spiritual manliness and grace. When consolation came at last, its origin was in a series of reveries and visions*4 where, as he believed, the very deepest mystery of the Christian faith was sensibly revealed to him, and so imprinted on the soul that neither life nor death could afterwards obliterate the image, nor disturb the secret current of his joy.
*[See the earliest Lives of him in the Acta Sanctorum, Jul. Tom. VII. pp. 634 sq.; and cf. Is. Taylor’s Loyola and Jesuitism in its Rudiments, Lond. 1849, and Busz, Die Gesellschaft Jesu, Mainz, 1853.]
**[“Aderat interim Divina misericordia, quae ex lectione recenti his cogitationibus alias subjiciebat. Cum enim vitam Christi Domini nostri ac sanotorum legeret, tum apud se cogitabat, seoumque ita colligebat: Quid si ego hoc agerem, quod fecit beatus Franciscus? Quid si hoc, quod beatus Dominicus?” Acta antiquissima, as above, § 2.]
***[All this was conceived in the spirit of ancient chivalry: “Itaque statuit ad arma sua (ut inter milites dicitur) vigilias agere tota, nocte una neque sedens neque jacens, sed vicissim stans et flexus genua ante altare Dominae nostrae Montis Serrati, ubi vestimenta sua deponere statuerat, et Christi arma induere” etc.: Ibid. § 17. To this period it is usual to refer the composition of his extraordinary Exercitia Spiritualia (often printed), the idea of which was suggested by a similar work of Garcia de Cisneros (Ranke, Popes. I. 232, note). The Exercises occasionally breathe the same military spirit, Christ and His host encamped at Jerusalem being opposed to Satan and his host whose metropolis lay at Babylon. Thirty days are devoted to the performance of these exercises, in order that the spirit may be thus thoroughly concentrated on itself, and the religious fancy stimulated to higher measures of ecstatic contemplation. The work, however, is comparatively speaking unenthusiastic, which has led to the hypothesis that the first draft of Ignatius Loyola was materially altered in subsequent revisions.]
*4[Thus at Manresa, where he repeated the ascetic practices in which he engaged at Montserrat, “he stood fixed on the steps of San Dominico and wept aloud: for he thought in that moment the mystery of the Holy Trinity was visibly revealed to him. The whole day he spoke of nothing else.” Ibid. I. 188. A similar vision with similar effects appeared to the abbot Ralph of Fountains: see Dugdale, Monast. V. 304, new ed.]
After wandering in this mood as far as Jerusalem (1523), in the hope of there accelerating the conversion of infidels, Ignatius went to Barcelona, to Alcala, and finally to Paris (1528), where he thought to qualify himself for more efficient public teaching by a regular course of study. Such a course, however, proved distasteful to him,* and instead of falling cordially into the habits of the university, he laboured with no ordinary tact to spread his own enthusiastic and ascetic principles among the more able of his fellow students. Two whom he especially influenced** were Faber, a Savoyard, and Xavier, a native of Navarre, and in their society it was that, in a cell of the college of St. Barbara at Paris, he suggested and discussed the first idea of the “Company of Jesus”.*** When matured*4 their chivalrous project was to sacrifice their lives in absolute poverty at Jerusalem for the conversion of the Saracens, and the edification of Christians; or should obstacles arise and frustrate this intention, they vowed to place themselves unreservedly at the disposal of the pope for any kind of service he thought proper to enjoin.
*[“Quoties audiebat magistrum praelegentem, tam multis interturbabatur spiritualibus rebus, ut audire attente non posset.” Acta antiquissima, § 82. This eccentricity, which in Spain exposed him to the suspicion of “Lutheranism,” was still objectionable in the eyes of the authorities. He completed his college course, however, learning Latin, graduating in philosophy, and studying theology under the care of the Dominicans.]
**[See Ranke’s description, as above, pp. 192 sq. Excepting Faber all the earliest converts were Spaniards, e.g. Salmeron, Lainez and Bobadilla.]
***[The name (in Spanish, Compania de Jesus), when first chosen, was designed to mark the spiritual knighthood of the members. “Placuit omnibus,” writes one of the biographers of Ignatius Loyola (Acta Sanct. Jul. Tom. VII. p. 471), “ut a militari vocabulo Societas Jesu (suis enim cohortibus milites, quas vulgo Societates seu Compagnias appellant, ab ipsis fere ducibus nomen indunt) appellaretur.”]
*4[In 1534, the year when the papal supremacy was destroyed in England, Ignatius and his party met in the crypt of the church of Montmartre, on the feast of the Assumption, and after receiving the Eucharist from Faber, already a priest, bound themselves together by a solemn oath and completed their dedication to the service of Christ and of the Virgin.]
In the beginning of 1537, we find Ignatius Loyola with eight of his companions at Venice, [There the members of the nascent order remained a year, working in parties of three each, for the conversion of profligates.] ready to embark upon their eastern pilgrimage. But the outbreak of hostilities between the Turks and Venetians made it necessary to abandon their idea of labouring in Palestine. Meanwhile they associated themselves with Caraffa, who had lately taken part in founding the confraternity of Theatins,* and entering into priest’s orders, opened their sacred warfare in the bold and indefatigable spirit of their leader, by preaching penitence and practicing such acts of self-renunciation as were then almost unknown in the luxurious towns of Lombardy and central Italy. In 1543, the new order received the unconditional approbation of the pontiff.** He saw in it the aptest instrument which that age supplied for warding off the bold aggressions on his own supremacy.*** The Jesuits by their rules were secularized far more than any of their predecessors. They were liberated from offices of common worship, which not only absorbed the time of a conventual order, but seriously impaired the force and freedom of its action on the world around it: while their zeal was uniformly directed to three objects made imperative by the moral agitations of that epoch, – plain and earnest preaching, the work of guiding and relieving consciences by means of the confessional, and most of all the superintending of educational establishments and otherwise securing the affections and cooperation of the young.*4
*[This order, which arose in 1524, under the auspices of Gaetano da Thiene and Caraffa, was intended to meet the cry for some thorough reformation of the clergy: see Helyot, Hist. des Ordres Religieux, IV. 76 sq. The members were priests bound by monastic vows, and pledged to the duties of preaching, administration of the sacraments, and visiting the sick. Many of their sermons were delivered in the open air. The Barnabites, founded at Milan in 1530, were a kindred order; Helyot, Ibid. IV. 106 sq., Paris, 1792.]
**[See the various documents in Litterae apostolicae, guibus Institutio, Confirmatio et varia Privilegia continentur Societatis Jesu, Antverp. 1635. As early as Sept. 27, 1540, the pontiff confirmed the rules of the order, but limited the number of members to sixty. Of these, Ignatius was elected president, or general, with the most arbitrary powers, so that the fortune, person, and conscience of the whole fraternity were placed in his hands, and the one principle of action in the Jesuit was simple and unreasoning obedience. As one of this order boasted in the following century: “Volvitur et revolvitur hominis unius nutu Societatis universae tanta moles, moveri facilis, difficilis commoveri” (quoted in Gieseler, III. ii. p. 603, n. 2, ed. Bonn).]
***[Thus in the Formula Vivendi of the order, as approved by the pope (Litterae apostol., as above, pp. 9 sq.), the general statement of obedience to him, as the “Vicar of Christ,” is heightened by the following passage: “Ad majorem tamen nostrae Societatis humilitatem [self-surrender and the suppression of all human instincts being among its first principles], ac perfectam uniuscujusque mortificationem, et voluntatum nostrarum abnegationem summopere conducere judicavimus, singulos nos ultra illud commune vinculum speciali voto astringi, ita ut quidquid modernus et alii Romani Pontifices pro tempore existentes jusserint, ad profectum animarum at fidei propagationem pertinens, et ad quascunque provincias nos mittere voluerint, sine ulla tergiversatione aut excusatione, illico, quantum in nobis fuerit, exequi teneamur; sive miserunt nos ad Turcas, sive ad quoscunque alios infideles, etiam in partibus, quas Indicas vocant, existentes, sive ad quoscunque haereticos seu schismaticos, seu etiam ad quosvis fideles.” The speeches of Lainez, their second general, at the Synod of Poissy and the council of Trent, are specimens of the earnest but unscrupulous way in which, this pledge had been redeemed: see Sarpi, XX. 234 sq., 339 sq. ed. Courayer.]
*4[Cf. Ranke’s remarks, I. 199, where he truly adds: “Thus, out of the visionary schemes of Ignatius, arose an institution of singularly practical tendency; out of the conversions wrought by his asceticism, an institution framed with all the just and accurate calculation of worldly prudence.”]
Of all the marvels that distinguish the Reformation period, the progress of this Order is among the most extraordinary. In Spain, in Italy, in Portugal, a crowd of enthusiastic converts flocked to it from all gradations of society.* Schools and colleges, under the management of Jesuits, were built, enlarged, and multiplied continually. In some of these the learning was at first directly secular; but the spirit of Ignatius Loyola, sobered with the lapse of years, was ever present in such gifted teachers as Lainez and Canisius; operating with unwonted power upon the feelings and imaginations of the pupils, and establishing in every province a kind of “spiritual standing army,” which was ready at the shortest notice to do battle for the “old religion,” and to propagate whatever might seem true and fitting to the pope.
*[This rapid influx of converts necessitated a development of the constitution of the Order. It consisted finally of four classes, noviciates or scholastici, coadjutors, professors of the three vows, and professors of the four vows. Of these the coadjutors were the most influential, being composed of learned, priests who were expressly devoted to the education of the young: cf. Rauke, Popes, I. 222.]
When the founder of this mighty system breathed his last in 1556, the company had possessed itself of thirteen provinces, [Ranke, Popes, I. 235.] besides the Roman, seven belonging to Spain and Portugal and their colonies. Yet no very marked successes had hitherto attended its operations either in France, in Germany, or in the Low Countries. The first establishment of Jesuits at Vienna [Ibid. II. 26.] dates from 1551, thirty members of the order having arrived in that year under the auspices of the king of the Romans, Ferdinand, who, on ascertaining the meagerness of the theological education then received by his clergy, placed the management of the university in the hands of Le Jay, an active and accomplished Jesuit. About the same time other lodgments* were effected at Cologne and Ingolstadt, from whence the emissaries issued with incredible rapidity, to labour with their wonted fervour and success.** In the third quarter of the sixteenth century, owing largely to such efforts, the tide of Reformation was beginning to be turned, [Above.] in Bavaria, in the Tyrol, in parts of Franconia and Swabia, in southern Austria, and in the Rhenish provinces; while members of the Company of Jesus were actively at work, from time to time, in Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Bohemia and Moravia, in Switzerland, in the Netherlands, and in Great Britain. [See each separately above.]
*[Ibid. pp. 27 sq. Some few of the early race of teachers were furnished by the “Collegium Germanicum” which was founded at Rome by Julius III in 1552: but the majority were Spaniards and Italians, who “conquered the Germans on their own soil, in their very home, and wrested from them a portion of their own country” (p. 36).]
**[E.g. in one district of Germany “fourteen cities and market towns, and above two hundred villages, containing in all 62,000 souls, were brought back to the catholic faith” in the single year 1586 (Ibid. p. 126).]
But as all these victories of the counter-reformation party were facilitated by dissensions in the camp of the Reformers, so the mightiness of the reaction was itself diminished in proportion as the youthful fervour of the Jesuits evaporated, or was spent in mutual quarrels and domestic factions.* One of the disputes in which they were entangled by the theologians of their party, and which threatened more than once to bring them under the heavy lash of the Inquisitors, had reference to the long-contested doctrines of grace and freewill.** Ignatius Loyola was himself a Thomist, and, as such, he had commended to their special reverence the elaborate writings of Aquinas.*** But when feuds arose between the Jesuits and that order (the Dominican) of which he was esteemed the greatest luminary, his writings began to be disparaged by authorities of the former body, and at last their general, Aquaviva, openly departed from several of his main positions.*4 The plea put forward was, that more recent doctors had improved upon Aquinas, had elucidated many points which he was forced to leave in comparative obscurity, and, what was more important still, had furnished them with sharper and more serviceable weapons for assaulting both the Saxon and Swiss Reformers. This controversy, which ere long resolved itself into a struggle between the Jesuits and Dominicans, attained its highest point during the sixteenth century, when Molina, of the Company of Jesus and professor in the university of Evora in Portugal, published his treatise entitled Liberi arbitrii cum gratiae donis, Divina praescientia, providentia, praedestinatione et reprobatione, concordia (1588). The author ventures to reject the Augustinian theory of predestination, [Ibid. pp. 306, 307.] asserting that events do not happen because God foreknows them, but rather that God foresees them because they will happen: while, in reference to the human aspect of this question, he contends that man is able to do good works without any assistance beyond the general gifts of God in nature,*5 but that having raised himself by his inherent faculties so as to perform some elementary acts of penitence and faith, he then receives the supernatural grace of sanctification. The work of his acceptance is thus made so far Theandric, that Divine and human elements cooperate in nearly equal proportions. As these thoughts were running counter to the general stream of theology, reformed and unreformed, the Jesuits found it no easy matter to survive the storms they had excited, particularly in Spain,*6 where the Dominicans were able to invoke the succour of the Inquisition, and were in other respects a formidable body. At last appeals were made to Rome itself, Oct. 9, 1596, on which the controversy appeared to have assumed an almost national character; the French siding with the Jesuits, and the Spaniards with their adversaries: while the pontiff, trembling lest he should offend either of these parties, and so deprive the papacy of its most learned and devoted champions, resolved*7 to leave the question altogether in suspense. He thereby illustrated two important truths, which are indeed emphatically urged upon our notice by the history of the Reformation, (1) that even the most rigorous institutions are unable to eradicate those principles of the human heart and understanding which issue in religious differences; and (2) that the most despotic rulers have been forced to admit the necessity of granting, with respect to one mysterious class of topics, a considerable latitude of belief.
*[One of these was due to the circumstance that in the early years of the Order a vast preponderance of the abler members were of Spanish extraction. Accordingly the fifth general, Aquaviva, who was a Neapolitan (elected 1581), had to struggle with a large body of discontented subjects: Ranke, Popes, II. 292 sq.]
**[As early as 1560 the Jesuits of Cologne, in their Censura de praecipuis Doctrinae Coelestis Capitibus, Colon. 1560, had given utterance to Pelagian or semi-Pelagian sentiments: see Chemnitz, Theologiae Jesuvitarum praecipua Capita, Lips. 1563.]
***[See Constitutiones, Part. IV. c. 14 (“In theologia legetur vetus et novum Testamentum et doctrina scholastica divi Thomae”). Lainez had already in a Declaratio of 1558 appended other instructions, authorizing the “Master of the Sentences” (Peter Lombard), and any other divine whose work the general might deem “his nostris temporibus accommodatior.” The pontiff also, Pins V, shewed a bias in the same direction, by censuring in 1567 the Augustinian (anti-Jesuit) teaching of Bajus at Louvain: see the condemned propositions in Leydecker, Histor. Jansenismi, pp. 278 sq. Traj. ad Rhenum, 1695. On the other hand the theological faculty at Louvain, in 1586, condemned the teaching of the two Jesuits Less and Hamel, who, as they avow, in order to keep as far as possible from the standing ground of the Reformers, had adopted principles hardly distinguishable from those of Pelagius. It is worthy of remark that, on the same occasion, the University as positively condemned the lax opinions of these Jesuits touching the inspiration of Holy Scripture, into which also they were drawn by their desire to oppose the Protestants at every turn: see the condemned propositions in Serry, Hist. Congregationum de Auxiliis divinae Gratiae sub Clement. VIII. et Paul. V., pp. 11 sq., Lovan. 1700: and Mr. Lee’s Inspiration of Holy Scripture, pp. 438, 439. Perhaps the most able and candid of the Jesuit controversialists, in the second half of the sixteenth century, is Robert Bellarmine, a Tuscan, who died Sept. 17, 1621. His Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei (best edition, Venet. 1596) has ever since kept its ground among standard polemical treatises: see Vita del Card. Bellarmino, by Giacomo Fuligati, Roma, 1624.]
*4[The Ratio atque Institutio Studiorum drawn up under his authority appeared at Rome in 1586. It was denounced in Spain as “el mas peligroso, temerario y arrogante que jamas havia salido in semejante material”: Ranke, Popes, II. 304, note.]
*5[Thus the second of the extracts made by the Congregatio de Auxiliis in 1597 (Serry, as above, pp. 241 sq.) runs as follows: “Potest homo per vires naturae cum solo concursu generali Dei assentiri mysteriis supernaturalibus sibi propositis at explicatis (qualia sunt Deum esse triunum in personis, Christum esse Deum, et similia), tanquam a Deo revelatis, actu mere naturali.”]
*6[Ranke, II. 308 sq. “From that time a complete division arose between the two orders. The Dominicans would have nothing more to do with the Jesuits, a large majority of whom, if not all, took part with Molina.”]
*7[The first suspension took place after Clement VIII had attended “sixty-five meetings and thirty-seven disputations on all the points which could possibly come under discussion.” Ibid. p. 314. The subject was reopened under Paul V, whose leaning clearly was against the Jesuits, but after fresh discussions he also had not the courage to condemn them: p. 365.]