Main Index

History of the Christian Church
by Henry C. Sheldon, Boston University
Thomas Y. Crowell and Company, New York; ©1895
With some revisions and type-setting by Sharon Mooney (2005)
All variations on the original Sheldon History volumes, including text revisions, greek art files associated with the text, and revised format by Sharon Mooney

Early Church, Volume One


I. Nature of the Christian Church
II. Periods
Three divisions in the history of the Christian Church, with their subdivisions or periods.
III. The Roman Empire As Related to the Introduction of Christianity
Condition of immorality throughout the Roman Empire prior to the emergence of Christianity. Frivolous lifestyles of the Roman emperors and the inhumanity Roman entertainment. Sheldon touches on slavery, divorce and infanticide within the Roman Empire, and the reasons behind the persecution of Christians by the Roman Emperor.
IV. The Jews of the Dispersion
The population and location of Jews at the period related to the Early Church. Henry Sheldon discusses the persecution and religious implications for the Jews to 30 A.D.

Chapter I : The Church Under the Apostles

I. Credibility of the Apostolic History
Comments on differences of personal beliefs between the Apostles and possible error in the Gospels.
II. Founding and Successive Eras of the Apostolic Church
Some of the events which occured between Christianity's beginnings in Judaism to an independent Christianity.
III. The Chief Apostles
Tracing what is known of the lives of the Apostles Peter, Paul, John, and one of the Apostles whose mysterious identity is in controversy, known only as James, "The Just".
IV. Charisms of the Apostolic Age
The recorded decline in miracles, speaking in tongues and prophecy following the Age of the Apostles.
V. Apostolic Church Government
Comments on the positions in Church government, apostles, prophets, evangelists, presbyters or bishops and deacons, and the role of women in the early church.

Chapter II : Struggle of Christianity With Heathenism

I. Spread of Christianity in the Heathen Empire
Statistics from historical records on the spread of Christianity in the early period of the Christian Church by geography and population. Quoting Tertullian, Christianity had became a force to reckon with.
II. The Attacks of Heathen Power
Christianity was yet illegal, the persecution and Martyrdom of Christians by Roman Emperors.
III. Attacks of Heathen Authors
The critics of Christianity before the Roman Empire legalized the religion. Including writers such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny, Lucian and Celsus.
IV. Christian Apology
Early Christian Apologetics, as it arose to counter criticism of Christianity and Scripture, during the time of the early Church. Sheldon explores several apologists during the era, including Quadratus, Aristo, Miltiades, Apolinaris of Hierapolis, Theophilus, Justin Martyr, Origen, Athenagoras, Minicius Felix and Clement of Alexandria.

Chapter III: Heresies and Christian Theology

I. Classification of Heresies
Defining Heresies in the Early Church.
II. The Judaistic Heresies
Heresies within early Christianity which sprang from Judaism and the Mosaic Law.
III. Gnosticism
Insightful look back into early Christianity and the causes of Gnostic heresies. Covering the theological views of Gnostics and the men who were responsible for the various systems of Gnosticism.
IV. Manichæism
Exploring the early Christian heretical doctrines known as Manichaeism, which was a mixture of Christianity and Zoastrianism. Persecuted in the Diocletian era, and refuted by Church fathers, this teaching gained followers well into the sixth century.
V. Monarchianism
The Heresy in early Christianity of anti-trinitarian theology.
VI. The Catholic Theologians and Theology
The rise of Catholic theology and refutation of heretical doctrines, the prominent theologians which shaped Catholic and Christian thought in the early era of Church History.

Chapter IV: Church Constitution and Discipline

I. The Clerical Hierarchy
Exploring the history behind the evolution of Catholicism and its hierarchy of clerical positions.
II. Counsels, Canon and Constitution
Covering the Councils and the stringent regulations that were adapted for admission into the cleric during the early church, including rules regarding sexual conduct.
III. Discipline
Theological views on ex communication and confession of sin in the early church.
IV. Schisms Connected with Questions of Discipline. Montanism
Montanism and its influence over the church in the Early Period. The founder and followers of Montanism, and how it spread throughout the near east, taking on new names and ultimately peculiarities were adapted by the Catholic Church.

Chapter V: Christian Worship and Life

I. Sacred Times
Sacred festivals of the Early Church and their origin including the love feast, and the change from the Jewish Saturday Sabbath to the observance of the Lord's Day, which took place on Sunday.
II. Ordinances
Origins of Baptism, and Christening, the sprinkling of water to baptize converts to Christianity in the Early Church.
III. Main Features of Christian Life
Early Christian lifestyle, including popular views on sexual relations, marriage, virginity, celibacy. How Christians viewed slavery in the period of the early church, and views on fasting and treatment of strangers, poor and the widow.
IV. The Catacombs and their Testimony
Archaeological and historical insight into Christian thought during early Christianity when burials of the dead took place inside catacombs. Historian Sheldon discusses when catacombs were commonly used, and the last known recorded date of a burial taking place within catacombs. He discusses symbolic icons found to decorate the catacombs and their possible meaning.
V. Men of Marked Individuality
The lives of Tertullian and Origen, describing the approximate date of birth and an overview on their vastly different lives and personalities.

The shift from a pagan majority to a Christian majority in the second period of the Early Church.
Chapter I : The Victory of Christianity over Heathenism, and the alliance with the state.

I. The Administration of Constantine and his Sons
The Emperor Constantine, who overtook the throne and legalized Christianity in the Early history of the Christian Church. Details from historians on the execution of Constantine's wife and sons. Upon the death of Constantine, his sons Constantius, Constantine the Younger, and Constans overtook the Empire and the history of what became of it.
II. Julian the Apostate
Summary of the life of Julian, Emperor, half brother of Constantine and his short reign over the Roman Empire. Julian's abandonment of Christianity, and belief that it would pass away and heathenism return to its original greatness in the Empire.
III. The Policy of the Succeeding Emperors
The Emperors who followed Julian on the throne and their use of power toward Christianity. Includes the account of Hypatia of Alexandria and her brutal murder by Christians, and underlying political motives.
IV. Heathen and Christian Apology
Early Christian Apologetics, as it arose to counter criticism of Christianity and Scripture, during the time of the early Church. Exploring various books written by the early Christian fathers.
V. Nature and Results of the Alliance Between Church and State
As the Christian Church gained influence throughout the Roman Empire, it began to gain political influence. New-found wealth was readily available to the clergy, and many claimed conversion to Christianity for personal benefit. Death penalties were inflicted upon some deemed heretics. Severe punishment upon women encouraged and to supersede laws offering special protection afforded to women.

Chapter II : Christianity on and Beyond the Borders of the Empire
The growth of Christendom in the early Church on and beyond the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Documents some of the martyrs, and the life of St. Patrick in Ireland.
Chapter III : Doctrinal Controversies

I. Causes and Features
Insight into the zealous dogmatism of the early church and its divisions on theological doctrines. Historians account some of the hostilities of the common person, swept away in controversies over doctrinal interpretation.
II. The Arian Controversy
The Arian Controversy which held the belief that Christ was to be esteemed neither truly divine nor truly human, neither God nor man; but a being intermediate between the two. Arianism was considered a heretical doctrine and was driven out by the Church.
III. The Christological Controversies
Further controversies of the early Christian Church on the person of Christ.
IV. The Origenistic Controversies
Athanasius, Epiphanius, Theophilus and other prominent figures in the early church; supporters and opposition to Origen's doctrines.
V. Controversies on Anthropology
The controversy which arose with the monk Pelagius from Britain. His doctrinal system were a denial of inherited corruption in the moral nature of man, a strong assertion of the freedom of the will, and a decided emphasis upon man's ability to work out his own salvation as opposed to his radical dependence upon divine grace.

Chapter IV : Church Constitution and Discipline

I. Election, Education, and Celibacy of the Clergy
The introduction of bishops voting, and celibacy in the clergy.
II. Developments in the Different Ranks of the Clergy
Early Christian deaconesses and the regulations set upon them, the institution of the papacy and power invested into Bishops.
III. Discipline
Penalties for crimes, including murder. The institution of Confession.
IV. Schisms Connected with Discipline
Schisms in the early Christian Church and some of the wanton violence and senseless deaths resulting from spiritual zealotry.

Chapter V : Worship and Life

I. Sacred Times, Rites and Services
Sacred festivals of the Early Church and their origins, including festivals to Mary, the mother of Jesus, the change from the Jewish Saturday Sabbath to the observance of the Lord's Day, which took place on Sunday.
II. Veneration of Saints, Relics, and Images
Relics worshipped by early Christians. Legends of healings by touching divine relics. Worship of martyrs and saints in early Christianity.
III. Miracles of Saints and Relics
Miracles in the early Church and deceptive inventions of the miraculous.
IV. General Tone of Christian Life
The Early Church and corrupted moral behavior of the times, comments by early church fathers.
V. Monasticism
Monasticism marked a move toward alienation of the world and its wealth. Extreme lifestyles and trends in early Christianity, including self-inflicted torture and solitude.
VI. Representative Men
Tracing lives of early prominent men of influence within Christianity. Athanasius, Basil and the two Gregories, Chrysostom, Augustine, Theodoret, Jerome and Ambrose.

Chapter VI : Products in the Artistic Spirit in the Early Church

I. Hymns and Liturgies
The introduction and spread of Hymns and Liturgies in the Early Christian Church.
II. Architecture
Architecture in Early Christianity, the majestic buildings erected as houses of worship; influences on Architectural design.
III. Painting
Artistic expression through painting and sculpture in early Christianity, and changes over time on how artists chose to portray Jesus.


I. Catholic Creeds
The Catholic Creeds in Early Christianity.
II. The Ignatian Problem
Fourteen arguments in favor of the Seven Epistles of the Middle Form as the genuine work of Ignatius.
III. The Placing of Hippolytus
Utilizing historical documents to attempt defining the rank and residence of Hippolytus.
IV. The Hatch-Harnack Theory of Early Christian Organization
Theory proposed in 1880 by Edwin Hatch to explain how the Administration evolved within early Christianity, and administration of charities.
V. Roman Bishops and Emperors
Table listing Bishops and Emperors who arose in the Roman Empire, by name and date of ascension.

Mediaeval Church, Volume Two



FIRST PERIOD (590-1073)

Chapter I
The Barbarian Tribes
Chronicle of events during the Barbarian Invasions of the Roman Empire and the downfall of the Roman Empire.

Chapter II
Extension of Christian Territory by Missionaries
During the Mediaeval period, the first Christian Missionaries who spread the Christian religion into heathen territories and an end of the Barbarian invasions.

Chapter III
Limitation of Christian Territory by Mohammedanism
Mohammed, and by what means he felt distinguished as a prophet, including commentary on the Koran, its influence and impact on civilization.

Chapter IV
Civil Patrons of Christianity
On the life of Charlemagne, Charles Martel and Pepin who restored a certain amount of order and dignity to the peoples of Europe following the Barbarian Invasions and the rise of feudalism.

Chapter V

Chapter VI
Church Constitution and Discipline
I. The Relations between Church and State
II. The Clergy in General
III. The Papacy
IV. Discipline

Chapter VII
Worship and Life

SECOND PERIOD (1073-1294)

Chapter I
Political Status of the Principle Countries of Europe
Chapter II
The Papal Theocracy and other Features of Church Constitution
I. Gregory VII and his more immediate successors
II. Alexander III. and Thomas Becket
III. Innocent III
IV. The Papacy from Innocent III to Boniface VIII
V. Various Features of Church Constitution

Chapter III
The Crusades
The Crusades were the first great enterprise which enlisted the common zeal of the Christian nations of Europe. All classes of society, from the king down to the peasant, sent forth the armed pilgrims who were to reclaim the holy places of the East. Hundreds of thousands, possibly several millions, of men were sacrificed in these expeditions.

Chapter IV
I. The Cistercians and their Great Representative
II. The Mendicant Orders
THIRD PERIOD (1294-1517)


Chapter I
Chief Political Developments

Chapter II
Popes and Councils

Chapter III
Representatives of Criticism and Reform

Chapter IV
The Waldenses
The Waldenses of the Medieval Church. The origin of this sect, and their founder Peter Waldo.

Chapter V
John Wycliffe and his followers
John Wycliffe, Biblical translator, his views as a reformer, his influence upon the Christian Church, and the tormentuous death suffered by Sir John Oldcastle/Cobham.

Chapter VI
John Huss and the Hussites
The life of John Huss, and his influence on Christian History.

Chapter VII
The Mystics
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
The Mediæval Greek Church
Chapter X
Mediæval Hymns, Architecture, and Painting
I. Hymns
II. Architecture
III. Painting
I. The Seven Sacraments
II. Genuineness of the Famous Bull of Adrian IV
III. Sorcery and Witchcraft
IV. Popes and Emperors

Modern Church Part One, Volume Three


FIRST PERIOD (1517-1648)


Chapter I Humanism and its Relation to the Reformation
The Renaissance era and Humanism in relation to Christianity, and its key figures at the beginning of the Reformation.

Chapter II The Empire at the Dawn of the Reformation
The empire becomes a mixture of monarchy and confederacy, the peasant revolts, the crumbling system of feudalism.

Chapter III The Reformation in Germany and the Scandinavian Countries

I. Luther till the Leipzig Disputation
The life of Luther, his formative years and aptitude toward learning and teaching. Many of the influences which shaped the life of Luther into a father of the Reformation.

II. Luther from the Opening of the Leipzig Disputation to the Close of the Diet of Worms
Luther lays the foundation for the Reformation, leading to the Diet of Worms in which Luther is condemned as a heretic.

III Luther and the German Reformation from the Diet of Worms to the Close of the Diet of Augsburg
Further struggles between the Catholic Church and the Protestants. Living in seclusion, Luther accomplishes translation of the Bible.

IV The German Reformation from the Diet of Augsburg to the Death of Luther
The Reformation takes hold on the majority of German population. The sexual ruthlessness following in its wake.

V. The German Reformation from the Death of Luther to the Death of Melanchthon
The tensions increase between the Church and Protestants. The lifetime accomplishments of Melanchthon.

VI. The Reformation in the Scandanavian Countries
The effect of the Reformation on Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The leading figures of influence during the Reformation in Scandinavia. Fluxuations between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism by the rulers.

Chapter IV The Reformation in Switzerland

I. The Reformation in German Switzerland
Contemporary to Luther, Swiss Reformer Zwingli and his peculiar doctrines, including Bullinger and his influence on churches abroad.

II. The Reformation in French Switzerland
William Farel, the pioneer of Reformation in French Switzerland. Calvin's arrival, and the severe penalties befalling those who disobeyed Calvin's strict code of conduct. The trial of Michael Servetus.

III. Bonds of Union Between the Reformed Churches in Switzerland and Elsewhere
Efforts by Bucer to establish union between the Swiss and the Lutheran churches prove uneventful.

Chapter V Protestantism in France

I. The Reformation in France during the Reign of Francis I
Tremendous persecution by Catholics upon Protestants in France during the reign of Francis. Protestantism begins its spread through France.

II. The Reformation in France during the Reign of Henry II
Persecution and Martyrdom of Protestant Christian heretics, including France's own political officials, with hope to model the system inquisition in Spain.

III. Protestantism in France from the Death of Henry II to the Accession of Henry IV
Sixteen year old Francis II, those who usurped authority over the throne, charges of treason and executions. Massacres of Huguenots, and their iconoclastic uprising, leading to the civil wars in France. After three civil wars, a peace was concluded in 1570, only to be betrayed by the Queen, Catharine de Medici. The Vatican's reaction to the massacres.

IV. Protestantism in France from the Accession of Henry IV to the Fall of La Rochelle Henry IV., a Roman Catholic grants religious freedom to the Huguenots, and murdered by a zealot. Henry's throne succeeded by Louis XIII.

Chapter VI Protestantism in Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands

I. Protestantism in Italy
Publications by Protestants begin circulating in Italy, disguised as works that even made their way into the Vatican and read by adherents of the Catholic religion. Protestantism begins gaining support. Inquisition begins against those suspected of heresy. Some of the Italian martyrs and the cruel means employed for execution.

II. Protestantism in Spain
Writings of Luther make their way into Spain. The New Testament is translated into Spanish. The inquisition begins to stamp out Protestantism. The barbaric means employed to silence the movement and its adherents.

III. Protestantism in the Netherlands
Historians estimate death toll of executions at hands of Roman Catholics. Iconoclastic rebellions, trials for heresy, and religious bigotry increases. Tensions between Christian denominations mount, and talk of war.

Chapter VII Protestantism in Great Britain and Ireland

I. The Reformation in England under Henry VIII
Henry VIII.'s reign, and controversial, unlawful marriage. The King's desire to shift loyalty from the Pope, to himself. Tyndale's work to translate the Bible into English and distribution thereof to the common person. England was set in such a state, that (quoting) those who were against the Pope were burned, and those who were for him were hanged.

II. The Reformation in England during the Reign of Edward VI
Reformation takes hold in England. The statute under which heretics had been burned since the rise of the Lollards is abolished. The Book of Common Prayer, a somewhat more Protestant influence, is introduced.

III. The Roman Catholic Restoration in the Reign of Mary
Queen Mary Tudor and Philip II., both of Spanish lineage, united in marriage, re-opening the alliance with Rome, and a fierce crusade against the Protestants is rekindled.

IV. Protestantism in England during the Reign of Elizabeth
Elizabeth's toleration of Protestant creeds draws the anger of the Pope and Roman Catholics in Europe. Assasination attempts on the Queen and those condemned as conspirators.

V. The Reformation of Scotland
Romish religion made a penal offence. John Knox on Queen Mary of Scots. The Queen becomes center of Roman Catholic plots, leading to imprisonment. Escaping to England, she spends her life as a prisoner.

VI. Protestantism in England and Scotland under James I. and Charles I.
Revised translation of the Bible issued during King James reign, and ready for publication in 1611. Furtherance of toleration toward Protestantism, and grievances of the Puritans.

VII. Protestantism in Ireland
Futile attempts to bring reform in Ireland, in either political and religious thought. Ireland, in its seclusion experienced little change from the mediaeval system.

Chapter VIII The Roman Catholic Church in the Time of the Reformation

I. The Popes and the Council
The Political Climate during the Reformation. The Council of Trent, measures to unify Roman Catholic forces, and a revival of Romanism sweeps through Europe.

II. The Inquisition
Events which occurred during the Inquisition, including the trial of Galileo.

III. The Jesuits
The rise and organization of the Jesuits. Devoted to Roman Catholicism, the Jesuit Society grew into the thousands and met with resistance from even the Roman Church, due to deceptive practices.

IV. Clerical Celibacy
Statistics of Priests who strayed from their vow of celibacy, and participated in concubinage.

Chapter IX The Thirty Years' War and the Peace of Westphalia
Events, religious and political that lead up to the war, the devastating effects of the war on Europe, and the peace process.

SECOND PERIOD (1648-1720)

Chapter I. France and other Countries under Roman Catholic Rule

I. Louis XIV. and his Court
Louis XIV., King of France and his lavish lifestyle of excess and adultery. Rome, as well as all other outside powers exercised no controlling influence on the affairs of state.

II. Chief Factors in the Religious and Intellectual Life of the Gallican Church
Vincent de Paul's charitable work. Bossuet's influential sermons. Blaise Pascal's defense of Jansenists vs. Jesuits. Madame Guyon, 17th century prophetess, Fénelon's writings on God.

III. Persecution of the Protestants in France
The monarchy of Louis XIV. was intolerant, a uniform system of faith and worship imposed leading to violent persecution throughout France with thousands of Hugeunots recanting and exiled.

IV. Gleanings from Various Countries under Romish Rule
The intolerance of religion was in full force and in one spectacle eighteen Jews and one Morisco were burned alive. The purchase of souls from purgatory. An overview of the political and religious powers in the last half of the seventeenth century.

Chapter II Great Britain and Ireland

I. The Era of Cromwell and the Commonwealth
The political system of Cromwell allows freedom for many Protestants, renewed prosperity, with the exception to the Quakers which Cromwell made no special pains to lend protection.

II. The Era of the Restored Stuarts
Charles II. and James receive the crown, and the nation is lulled into a state of moral laxity, followed by further intolerance and persecution.

III. The Reigns of William III and Anne
Developments which bring a greater tolerance toward Protestant denominations, including John Locke's Letters concerning Toleration. The political union of England and Scotland.

Chapter III Protestantism in Germany and the neighboring Countries

I. Individual Exceptions to the Current Dogmatism
Controversial fever broke out among German Protestants before the death of Luther, leading to a lengthy reign of dogmatism. Some of the influential authors and their writings during this period.

II. Calixtus and the Syncretists
Calixtus, tolerant toward adherents of all denominations sought to establish some common ground between the divided denominations.

III. Spener and the Pietists
Spener's Pietism was one example of Christian reform, awakening earnest study of scripture. On the whole, Pietism was a blessing to Germany and to Christendom, though teaching abstinence from worldly merriments.

IV. Zinzendorf and the Moravians
Zinzendorf is another note-worthy figure in reformation history. Details of the Moravians' peculiarities; some being the lot, love-feasts, feet-washings, and the fraternal kiss at the communion.

V. Tenor of Protestant History in Sweden, The Netherlands, and Switzerland
The Dutch Republic and some theological developments during the period, such as the Labadists, and the Mennonites, granted full toleration in 1626, bearing similar practices with Baptists and Quakers.

Chapter IV The Eastern Church
Events in Church History which took shape in Russia. Cyril Lucar adopts creed substantially identical to reformed theology. Philip, exalted to martyrdom for reproval of Ivan the Terrible for his cruelties.

Modern Church Part Two, Volume Four


Chapter I Great Britain and Ireland in the Eighteenth Century

I. The Nonjurors
Nonjurors, consisted of men refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the new dynasty which was required of those holding clerical, academic, or other offices.

II. The Deistical Controversy
Lord Edward Herbert seeks to find essential tenets of true religion, followed by numerous writers who began questioning portions of the Bible and intepretation.

III. The Moral and Religious Condition of England on the Eve of the Great Revival
The relaxation of the law against witchcraft, and a flourishing slave-trade went on, with scarce opposition. Moral decline preceding the Great Revival.

IV. The Great Revival

1. Beginnings of Methodism
The background of John and Charles Wesley, and details on other key individuals who were involved with the Great Revival, with record of violence by mob attacks on the Methodists.

2. Whitefield and Calvinistic Methodism
The life and background of George Whitefield, co-founder of the Methodist denomination. Calvinistic Methodism's influence on England and Wales following Whitefield's death.

3. Charles Wesley and Methodist Hymnology
Charles Wesley was known for his unique gift with sacred poetry. On the lives of John and Charles Wesley, his hymns and mournful passing.

4. John Wesley and Organized Methodism
The rise of organized Methodism, a thing Wesley expresses having not planned. Life of John William Fletcher. Relationship with the Church of England, doctrines of Methodism, and hierarchal positions within the clergy. Wesley's support of the anti-slavery movement and denounce of liquor traffic.

5. Results of the Revival
Institution of Sunday Schools, the work of Bible and Tract distribution, the impact of the Great Revival upon the common people, --in a time of French revolutionary zeal, and bonfires of Bibles honoring Paine.

V. English Dissenters
Gradual change in law affects trends in popular doctrines. Laws against Roman Catholics are relaxed, and the resulting outbreak of intolerance. Laws affecting the variegated denominations, and notable figures shaping Protestant Hymnology.

VI. Principal Developments in Scotland
Events leading up to formation of the United Presbyterian Church. David Hume's skeptical works. A woman burned for witchcraft, 1727, Christmas denounced as superstition.

VII. Ireland from the Revolution to the Union (1691-1800)
The sorrow of Roman Catholics under hostile law, and the oppression of the English against the citizens in Ireland. Laws prohibiting marriage of Roman Catholics and Protestants, position of influence, education, property rights.

Chapter II America in the Colonial Era

I. The Colonies in their Political Relations
Columbus' discovery. The Pope, a Spaniard immediately issues a bull, declaring the Spanish as primary owners of new land. European conquests in the American continents. Slavery, Abolitionists, the colonies and political relation to Europe.

II. The Colonies in their Relations to the Natives
Religious ceremonies and spiritual beliefs of Native Americans, Inca and Maya. Slavery, oppression, massacre and abuses endured by the Natives by the new settlers in America.

III. Roman Catholic Establishments
The burning of Aztec Libraries. Santa Rosa, patron saint of Lima. Inquisition in the South American continent by Catholics. The story of the miraculous Virgin of Guadalupe.

IV. Roman Catholics in the English Colonies
Colonial law governing restrictions and tolerance toward Catholics, Unitarians and Jews. Details on Maryland having passed the act of tolerance in 1649.

V. Church of England Establishments, and the Founding of the Protestant Episcopal Church
Early American colonies' ties to the Church of England, including levied taxation. Laws and penalties for those failing to attend church, including the death penalty.

VI. Congregational Establishments
Various American colonies, their sentiments toward the Church of England. Persecution against variegated denominations. The Salem Witch trial, Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening.

VII. Non-Established Communions

1. Presbyterians
During the eighteenth century, the Presbyterians were in small numbers and yet to become an official. The transformation and events which leads to the establishment of the Presbyterian Church.

2. Baptists
Establishment of the first Baptist congregations through the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The growth of the Baptist denomination, the effect of Calvinism, and denominations breaking off from Baptist faith.

3. Quakers or Friends
Persecution and territorities populated by the Quakers in the United States, their code and beliefs.

4. Methodists
The founders of the American-Methodist Church and establishments of congregations, and growth in the the Revolutionary war era.

5. Lutherans
Beginning with the first Lutherans, Swedes who settled in Delaware, Carolinas and Georgia. Overview of events for the Lutheran church in the Revolutionary War era.

6. Universalists
Organized Universalism traced back to John Murray. Supporters of Restorationism, and pecualiarities of the Universalist creed.

VIII. Questions of Morals and Reform
Colonial Sabbath decision. Opposition to theatre, inhumane conditions of prisons. Alcohol consumption and prohibition. Quakers first in abolition of slavery, followed by Methodists and Baptist Association of Virginia.

Chapter III
France and Other Roman Catholic Countries of Continental Europe from the Death of Louis XIV to the Overthrow of Napoleon I (1715-1815)

I. The Political Movement in France
Hunger and disillusionment provoke the French into political discontent. Many die of want, the King sent to the scaffold. In midst of national upheaval, Napoleon Bonaparte becomes ideal for imperial rule over France.

II. The Skeptical Movement
Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau and Guenée who shaped the era.

III. The French Church Prior to the Revolution
Controversies around the bull Unigenitus. Christian burial rites refused, to reject the bull was graver than 'the primal sin of Adam'. Jansenists and an overabundance of daily miracles, such as convulsions.

IV. The French Church in the Revolutionary Era
V. The French Church in the Napoleonic Era
VI. Chief Events in Austria, Italy, and Spain

Chapter IV
Germany and the Neighboring Protestant States (1720-1821)
I. General Glance at Germany
II. The Wolfian Era
III From Kant to Schleiermacher
IV. Chief Events in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Switzerland

Chapter V
The Russian Church (1725-1825)

Modern Church Part Three, Volume Five


Chapter I
Protestantism in Continental Europe Since Schleiermacher and the Union
I. Main Phases of the Political Movement in Germany
II. The Church in Germany viewed principally in its relation to the State
III. Prominent Developments in German Theology
IV. Outlines of Protestant History in Various Portions of the Continent

Chapter II
Romanism in Continental Europe Since The Fall of the First Napoleon
I. Mediæval Tendencies in the Sphere of Worship
II. Papal Absolutism and Infallibility
III Ecclesiastico-Political Matters

Chapter III
Great Britain and Ireland in the Nineteeth Century
I. General Survey of the Religious Field in England
II.Tractarianism, or Ritualism
III The Broad Church
IV. Some Facts Respecting English Dissenters
V. Church Polity and Religious Thought in Scotland
VI. Ireland
VII. Phases of Science and Philosophy in Britain

Chapter IV
America Since the Colonial Era.
I. The Expirament of a Free Church in the United States
II. Denominational Movements and Crises in the United States
1. Unitarians and Universalists
2. Congregationalists
3. Presbyterians and Reformed
4. Methodists
5. Baptists and Disciples
6. Episcopalians
7. Lutherans
8. Quakers
9. Roman Catholics
10. Mormons
11. Socialistic Communities
12. Denominational Statistics
III. Outlines of Canadian Church History
IV. Principle Developments in Spanish America and Brazil

Chapter V
The Eastern Church

Chapter VI
A Glance at Protestant Missions


I. The Bull Unigenitus on the Reading of the Scriptures
II. Popes and Emperors



THIS CHURCH HISTORY is designed to occupy a middle position between a mere compendium and those ponderous works which by their very mass are discouraging to all but professional investigators. It would have been very easy to have doubled the bulk of the production, but we are confident that in so doing we should not have increased its practical value.

Considerable attention has been paid to the demands of historical perspective. By passing lightly over subordinate themes, we have endeavored to secure space in connection with important topics for the presentation, not merely of conclusions, but also of the grounds of conclusions.

The work is not exclusively for professional students. We apprehend, in fact, that it has some special adaptations to the intelligent layman. At any rate, we have written with the conviction that a good knowledge of church history lies close to the vocation of every earnest-minded citizen. For one thing, it is very desirable that he should have in view such object lessons on the relations of Church and State as are furnished by a candid review of the Christian centuries.

A somewhat larger space would doubtless have been given to doctrinal history, had it not been for the author's conviction that the detailed treatment of this subject belongs to a separate branch. It will be noticed however, that the prominent heresies have been sketched, that the field of Catholic doctrine has been defined in the different eras, and that a relatively full account has been given of the principal theological and philosophical developments which have had place since the beginning of the critical era in the eighteenth century.

We have thought it proper to devote three out of the five volumes to the Modern Church, partly on account of the breadth and complexity of the later church history, and partly on account of the relative lack of comprehensive works for this division of the subject.

In a few instances convenience of grouping has led to a departure from the scheme of periods sketched in the introduction; but the tables of contents and the indexes will afford ready means for locating any topic.

It will be observed that on points at issue between Protestantism and Romanism we have taken more than average pains to brace our statements by documentary evidence.

The foot-notes refer to only a part of the sources consulted, but they indicate most of those having prime importance. In general, we have sought to be mindful of the maxim that, in this age of the world, it is far more important to give facts and arguments than to furnish a catalogue of the names and opinions of persons who have chanced to write about the facts. We are conscious, however, that we hare supplied no ideal illustration of the maxim.

April, 1894.

The French Church Prior to the Revolution

The French Church Prior to the Revolution

In the treatment of the preceding topics the general course of events belonging to the present subject has necessarily been anticipated. There are some special points, however, which may be accorded a brief attention, such as the extent of the protest against the bull Unigenitus; the amount of papal sanction given to the bull; the relation of the controversy to the insinuation of Ultramontanism; the crowning scandal of the controversy effected by imposing the bull upon the consciences of penitents as a condition of absolution; the closing stage of Jansenism; the downfall of the Jesuits; and the fortunes of Protestants.

Mention has been made of the fact that the majority of the bishops adhered to the bull Unigenitus. This adhesion was not the result of any fervent affection for that document. Some of them, doubtless, sharing the animosity of those who instigated the Pope to issue the bull, approved it as a means of annihilating the Jansenist party. A larger number probably were influenced by their double dependence upon King and Pope. They had learned that it was not easy to resist the will of Louis X1V., even when he was acting counter to Rome. In the Unigenitus affair they saw that King and Pope were united. Deeming it, therefore, hazardous to resist, and not being seriously troubled with theological convictions, they subscribed. The ensuing death of Louis gave, it is true, a temporary release from royal pressure; but to retract was a humiliating step, and also of doubtful prudence, since it would expose them to the Pope's displeasure, and would be very embarrassing in case the papal constitution should finally be sustained.

The position of the majority in the episcopate was too well explained to be of much weight with those whose independence was less hampered. In fact the protesting party greatly exceeded that of the subscribers. Voltaire, who had reached the verge of manhood at the publication of the constitution Unigenitus, thus describes the relative strength of the two parties, as the matter stood a few years later: "The Church of France continued to be divided into two parties, the accepters and the rejecters. The accepters were the hundred bishops who had adhered under Louis XIV. with the Jesuits and the Capuchins. The rejecters were fifteen bishops and the whole nation. The accepters enjoyed the support of Rome; the other party that of the universities, the parliaments and the people." Siècle de Louis XIV, chap. xxxvii., edit. 1829-40. Nearly a score of years were requisite to overcome the opposition so far as to secure a nominal assent to the detested constitution. It was only after forty-eight doctors had been expelled that the Sorbonne was constrained to subscribe in an unqualified manner (1729). As for the Parliament of Paris, it gave no voluntary assent, and the registration of the declaration for the execution of the constitution could be obtained only through the arbitrary mandate of the King (1730). Before reaching this result the government had signalized its inflexible resolution by afflicting numbers of the protesting clergy with fines, banishment, or imprisonment. The amount of violence used did not tend to increase the impression of the people respecting the holiness of the papal constitution. It was also a dubious element in the case that the infamous Dubois had been the means of turning the scale in favor of subscription at a crucial point in the controversy, and had been rewarded with a cardinal's hat.

It has been thought that Clement XI. doubted the wisdom of sending forth the bull which was to give him such an unenviable notoriety, and yielded with a measure of reluctance to the pressure of intemperate partisans. However this may have been, both he and the succeeding Popes made no concessions to the appeals with which they were assailed. Near the end of 1716 he issued briefs to various parties in France, wherein he insisted upon unqualified subscription and declared that to demand explanations of the bull was "to hanker after the fruit of the forbidden tree." Two years later, in a communication addressed to all Christians, he pronounced all who had refused or should refuse obedience to the bull contumacious, and sundered from communion with the apostolic see until they should thoroughly repent of their fault. 1 Magnum Bullarium Romanum, Continuatio, Pars ii. pp. 205-207. Innocent XIII. approved the position of his predecessor, declaring in letters to the King and the Regent that the bull Unigenitus condemned nothing but manifest errors. Benedict XIII., notwithstanding his anti-Molinist views in theology, commanded the strict observance of the bull (1725). Finally Benedict XIV,, in a brief, or encyclical letter, of the year 1756, gave this unmistakable decision: "Such is the authority of the constitution Unigenitus that no faithful Christian can refuse to submit to it, or oppose it in any way whatever, but at the risk of his eternal salvation." 2 Jervis, History of the Church of France, ii. 322. That the several Popes who had occasion to render a verdict upon the subject should have taken this ground is entirely explicable. They could not have done otherwise without exposing papal authority to the disgrace of a most glaring contradiction. For the constitution was from the start as plainly an ex cathedra document as it was possible for a pope to construct. It assumed to bind every member of the Roman Catholic Church, not to think, teach, or preach, any of the condemned propositions.

3 Omnes at singulas propositiones præinsertas, tanquam falsas, captiosas, etc., hac nostra perpetuò valitura constitutione declaramus, damnamus, et reprobamus; mandantes omnibus utriusque sexus Christifidelibus, ne de dictis propositionibus sentire, docere, ac prædicare aliter præsumant, quàm in hac eadem nostra constitutione continetur; ita ut quicumque illas, vel illarum aliquam conjunctim, vel divisim docuerit, defenderit, eliderit, aut de eis, etiam disputativè, publicè, ant privatim tractaverit, nisi forsan impugnando, ecclesiasticis censuris, aliisque contra similia perpetrantes a jure statutis pœnis ipso facto absque alia declaratione subjaceat.

To retract was out of the question on the part of those who had no higher interest than their own absolute authority. To explain was nearly equally out of the question. The bull had been issued, not against abstract propositions, but against sentences contained in a specific work. Some of these sentences were as clearly expressive of a definite idea as it was possible for language to frame. To allow, therefore, that they were not condemned in their apparent sense would be equivalent to allowing that they were not condemned at all, and so would expose the Pope to the charge of folly or malice in having sought to discredit the writing of an eminent author by marshaling against it an extended line of bugbears.

The circumstances and the issue of the strife involved a partial victory for Ultramontanism. The Gallican sentiment, cherished by a large part of the nation, was indeed far from being quenched. On the contrary, it was kindled in many minds to an intensity which threatened to burn away all real bonds of connection with Rome. But the exigencies of controversy naturally led the supporters of the papal constitution in the reverse direction. In their attempts to silence opponents they were in a manner driven to magnify the authority of the Pope, and the duty of unqualified obedience. The position taken by the majority of the bishops constrained them for the time practically to ignore, if not formally to deny, the principles of Gallicanism. Some of them indulged in statements of a decidedly ultra cast. Early in the strife the Archbishop of Arles made bold to declare that the opposers of the bull were more guilty than Adam was after the primal trespass. Various writings began to be circulated which advocated the infallibility of the Pope. In one of these the author was pleased to say that it was not less heretical to reject the bull Unigenitus than to deny the incarnation of the Word and the divinity of Jesus Christ. 1 Rocquain, L'Esprit Révolutionnaire avant la Révolution, pp. 8, 17, 36.

Whatever degree of assent the bishops may have given to formal statements of this class, some of them proceeded at length to act as if they were undoubtedly true. In 1749 and the following years a scheme was set on foot to honor the Unigenitus constitution by making it a kind of indispensable passport into paradise. In pursuance of this purpose, De Beaumont, Archbishop of Paris, issued the requisition that applicants for sacraments--at least in cases where there was any doubt about their frame of mind--should be required to produce "billets de confession," or certificates signed by orthodox priests, and testifying that the bearers cordially accepted the bull Unigenitus. This requisition was copied in nearly all the dioceses. The result was that some of the most conscientious men in the realm were denied the sacraments in the dying hour, and were left to expire without a title to Christian burial. Great wrath was naturally provoked; but it was a number of years before the tyrannous requisition was abandoned. The disreputable game of the "billets de confession" may well be characterized as a fitting conclusion to a peculiarly disgraceful chapter in religious history. In truth, the atheistic revel of the revolutionary era was scarcely more of a sacrilege against Christianity than was the whole ungodly fracas of which the bull Unigenitus was the central and the most responsible factor.

It may have been noticed that little mention has been made of the Jansenists in the above account. The reason has been that in the great party opposed to the papal constitution the Jansenists proper were not the most considerable fraction. Their Augustinian theology had never been acceptable to the larger portion of the French people. In the later stages of their history they had no great writers to recommend their theology, no names comparable with those which had adorned their early annals. Moreover, an unhappy episode inflicted much damage upon their reputation. As in previous times the zeal of rival parties in the Church had created a fruitful demand for miracles, so it was in case of the Jansenists. During the dark days when the unholy fiat which Jesuit malice had obtained from Rome was being made effectual against their adherents, their excited feelings were ready to claim relief in any appearance of supernatural intervention. The first token which met their watchful eyes was in 1725. A woman claimed to have been miraculously healed while accompanying a procession in which a priest who belonged to the appellant or protesting party was carrying the consecrated host. The Jansenists made much of the event; but soon it became unnecessary for them to dwell upon this single instance. In 1729 and the following years miracles in their behalf were, so to speak, an every-day occurrence. These were connected primarily with the grave of a Jansenist ascetic, François Pâris, in the cemetery of Saint Médard. It was claimed that sick people who visited this grave were supernaturally cured of their maladies. Extraordinary symptoms were sometimes manifested by the patients, such as convulsions, prophesyings, and trances. The like phenomena still appeared in other quarters after access to the wonder-working grave had been prevented by the authorities. Excessive enthusiasm ran into a crude physical rô1e, which justified the name convulsionnaires that was applied to the subjects of this overpowering excitement. At length the sober-minded among the Jansenists themselves were revolted, and constrained to censure the strange proceedings of their brethren as unworthy of religion.

It is needless to say that these miracles, especially when their credit was at its height, were not pleasing to the foes of Jansenism. As Roman Catholics, they were ready to welcome any quantity of prodigies, provided they should be rightly placed; but to have miracles at a Jansenist tomb was simply intolerable. The Jesuits in particular were cut to the heart. The glory of their order, it is true, was sustained by a record of all sorts of prodigies. But most of these occurred afar off, beyond the dim outlines of distant continents. An objector had a chance to say that the wonderful stories which were told had grown in the process of transmission. But here were miracles wrought beneath the eyes of critical Paris, miracles every way as well attested as any which had happened at the shrine of Becket. In their distress they could think of no safer expedient than to give the credit of the whole business to the devil. Not denying the strange workings of a mysterious power, they classed them among lying wonders. This was the position taken by one of their number in a writing published in 1737, under the title "Traité dogmatique sur les faux miracles du temps." Many others coincided with the Jesuits in this interpretation. Indeed the writer of the above treatise might have quoted Pope Clement XII., as well as the archbishop of Paris, in support of the view that the Jansenist miracles were wrought by the farer of the arch Deceiver. In the final result, while the Jansenists suffered discredit, their opponents also made but doubtful gains. The main advantage accrued to those who had no special love for either party, -- to the school of free-thinkers.

1 Barbier, Journal Historique du Règne de Louis XV., années 1729-1732; Grégoire, Histoire des Sectes Religieuses, tome ii. chap. 13; Martin, Histoire de France, tome xv.; Bauer, Kirchengeschichte der Neueren Zeit, pp. 513-518; Jervis, Church of France, ii. 281-287.

Before leaving the Jansenists, we may add a word respecting that memorial of their struggle which has been perpetuated in the Netherlands. In the time of persecution various representatives of their party had found a refuge in this region. Here the resident Roman Catholics awarded them so much sympathy as to fall themselves under suspicion and accusation. Adverse reports were carried to Rome, and the Pope was constrained in 1704 to depose the Archbishop of Utrecht. This measure, instead of subduing the minds of the people served to make them all the more friendly to the Jansenist interest. Finally, inasmuch as the Pope would not recognize the newly elected archbishop, it was decided in 1723 to install him without waiting longer for the papal authorization. From this date the succession has been continued in the episcopal see of Utrecht. At each new election of a bishop request is made of the Pope for confirmation. This is always refused, and so communion with Rome, though not repudiated in principle, is continually postponed.

About the time that the epidemic enthusiasm which spread from the grave of François Pâris was bringing discredit upon the Jansenist cause, the populace found occasion for irreverent witticisms in a book by the Bishop of Soissons, which was devoted to the memory of Marie Alacoque. 1 Barbier, Journal, i. 307, 308; Grégoire, Histoire des Sectes Religieuses, tome ii, chap. 20; Rocquain, L'Esprit Révolutionnaire avant la Révolution, pp. 80, 81. The book was a tribute to a form of religious distemper less violent than that of the convulsionnaires, but not many degrees superior in the sight of rational piety. This Marie Alacoque, whose story the bishop recounted, was supposed, near the end of the preceding century, to have been favored with the sight of the heart of Jesus in his opened breast. Stimulated by this fanciful vision, the mediæval faculty for materializing everything, which enters into the essence of the Romish Church, went to work to organize a specific devotion of the Sacred Heart. The Jesuits patronized the new auxiliary to a sentimental and superstitious worship. It did not, however, make great progress till the latter part of the century, when Clement XIII. gave it his approval.

A question soon arose as to whether the Pope had approved devotion to anything more than the symbolical heart, as distinguished from the physical organ.

A special devotion to the heart of Jesus fostered inevitably a parallel honor to Mary, and there are some indications that the latter was rendered in no grudging measure. One of the fervent writers of the time speaks of the heart of Mary as "the storehouse of divine compassions, the furnace of the celestial fire, the library of the Old and of the New Testament." 2 Grégoire, Histoire des Sectes, tome ii, chap. 20. Another peculiar form of devotion prevailed for a season, at least within a limited circle. As D'Argensan, writing in 1751, informs us, the Queen and a number of the court ladies made use of skulls as an aid to their piety. "They adorn," he says, "these heads of the dead with ribbons and pendants; or they illuminate them with lamps, and they meditate before them for a half-hour." 3 Mémoires, vii. 16, 17.

It is supposed that Clement XIII. had some reference to the existing needs of the Jesuits, for whom he had large sympathy, when he approved the devotion to the Sacred Heart, designing to supply thereby a means of encouragement and union to the members of the Order, and those who shared in their griefs. There was certainly occasion enough for any encouragement that the friendly Pontiff had to offer. The time of reckoning had come for the disciples of Loyola.

The conduct of the Jesuits just before the storm burst upon them cannot be said to have been specially odious. They had not been unusually aggressive and intriguing. The storm was not the offspring of fresh provocation; it was rather the accumulated retribution which the misconduct of generations had earned. There may have been indeed some special provocations at this juncture. But these did not necessarily affect the standing of the whole Order. Had there not been a foregoing history, begetting in many minds the conviction that incorrigible evil was ingrained into this society, it might have successfully met any temporary causes of objection and ill-will.

A Jesuit writer has expressed surprise that it was precisely in Portugal, where the Jesuits seemed to be so firmly entrenched, that the great attack upon them was begun. "At the court," he says, "they were not only the guides of the consciences and conduct of the royal princes and princesses, but also were made the advisers of the King and his ministers in the most important matters. No position in the administration of the State or the Church was awarded without their consent and their influence, so that in truth the higher clergy, the nobles, and the people vied with each other to obtain their intercession and favor." 1 Georgel, quoted by Theiner, Geschichte des Pontificats Clemens XIV. i. 5. These words used in justification of surprise might better be employed for a contrary purpose. The overgrown influence of the Jesuits in Portugal is by itself a large part of the explanation of the attack upon them. To a statesman like Pombal, confident, energetic, and aggressive, it seemed a thing intolerable that a parcel of ecclesiastics should so completely dominate the nation. Having once entered upon the task of reducing their influence, he doubtless found that either he or they would have to go under. He therefore utilized to the full whatever might be turned to the discredit of the Jesuit fathers. He found in their mercantile projects a cause for complaint. Their alleged complicity in the armed rebellion of the natives in Paraguay gave him a vantage ground against them. Still more their alleged complicity in an attempt to assassinate the King (1758) gave him a formidable advantage. In 1759 came the unsparing edict for their banishment. They were sent in a body to their spiritual father, the Pope.

The news from Portugal caused a profound sensation in France, and in all likelihood raised the question in many minds whether the example of the sister realm might not be successfully imitated. As it happened, there was no occasion to harbor this inquiry for a long time. The impolicy of the Jesuits themselves placed effective weapons in the hands of their opponents. One of the fathers of the Order, Antoine Lavalette, who resided in Martinque, had engaged in large mercantile enterprises. The capture of several of his ships entailed so great a loss on the French firms with which he was financially connected that they were compelled to go into bankruptcy. The creditors of the bankrupt merchants then sued Lavalette and his immediate superior. It being hopeless to secure from them the large sum that was owed, they next tried the expedient of making the Order itself, as a corporate body in the realm, responsible. The Marseilles tribunal agreed to their plea. But the Jesuits were not convinced. Being advised that their establishments had no such oneness in law that all could be held to account for the liabilities of each, they concluded that they would try a legal shift rather than pay the money. With strange fatuity they submitted their case to the Parliament of Paris, the very body which had long and fiercely contended against their schemes. In answer to the claim that the Order could not be held responsible for the debt of a member, the Parliament asked for their constitution. This document, till then unknown to the public, was produced. It is needless to say that it made no favorable impression upon the minds of zealous Gallicans. Those who insisted that the State could not endure the unlimited authority claimed by the foreign ecclesiastic dwelling in the Vatican, were naturally jealous of an institute which delivered a powerful company of men within the realm, body and soul, to a foreign head. The determination of Parliament mounted at once beyond the affair of Lavalette. The examination of the books of casuistry which followed was rather a means of justifying its resolution to overthrow the Society than a basis of judgment.

An attempt was made to save the Jesuits by a compromise measure, providing that certain restrictions agreeable to Gallicanism should be accepted by the Order. A scheme of this kind, endorsed by the King, was forwarded to Rome. The response was a rejection of the proposal, uttered either by the Pope or the General, in these unequivocal words: "Sint ut sunt, aut non sint,"--"let them be as they are, or let them cease to be." Public opinion in France dictated the latter alternative. The royal order for the suppression of the Society was issued in November, 1764. This did not prohibit the residence of former members in France. But sentence of banishment was near at hand; it fell upon them in 1767.

Clement XIII. was profoundly disturbed by the overthrow of the Jesuits in France. As a means of censuring past and checking future assaults he issued the bull Apostolicum (January, 1765). This is nothing less than a warm commendation of the Order, wherein the Pope pronounces the charges made against its principles to be malicious and unfounded, and repels them in these terms: "We publish and declare that the Institute of the Society of Jesus savors in the highest degree of piety and sanctity both on account of the high end which it specially contemplates, namely, the defence and propagation of the Catholic religion, and also on account of the means which it applies to the attainment of this end." 1 Bullarii Romani Continuatio, Clemene XIII., iii, 38, 39.

This commendation was vain. The nations did not consider it necessary to ask the Pope what they should think of the Jesuits. Against the tempest which had begun to blow, the apostolic voice was no better than common breath.

The next and most far-reaching visitation upon the doomed Order was in the Spanish dominions, European and American. The decree of banishment was issued in 1767. An insurrection of the preceding year is presumed to have afforded the pretext. Beyond this all is involved in obscurity. There was no public process, and the King did not deign to assign a single specific reason for his summary measure. The following announcement to the Pope gives his motive for this secrecy: "To spare the world a great scandal, I will keep forever in my own heart the abominable plot which has necessitated these rigors. Your Holiness should believe me upon my word. The safety of my life demands of me a profound silence in this matter." 1 Crétineau-Joly, Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus, v. 302.

The kingdom of Naples and Sicily was made forbidden ground to the Jesuits (1767), as also the duchy of Parma (1768). In connection with the latter, Clement XIII. conceived that a suitable occasion had been given for the manifestation of his displeasure, some steps adverse to papal control having been added to the unkind treatment of his favorites. Reviving an old claim that this territory was a fief of the papacy, he undertook to treat the Duke of Parma as a rebellious vassal, and launched against him a sentence of excommunication. The boldness of the act was its only recommendation. The duke was related to the sovereigns of Spain, France, and Naples. Resenting the papal onslaught as an insult to the Bourbon family, they made reprisals by seizing papal territory. Nor was this all; they laid a formal demand upon the Pontiff to wholly abolish the Order of Jesuits. Whether Clement XIII. would have resisted this formidable combination was not to be made manifest. His death in 1769 transferred the fate of the Order to the hands of his successor.

Clement XIV. came to the papal throne, if not under an implicit engagement to fulfill the demand of the sovereigns, with far less of disinclination to do so than was cherished by the preceding Pope. Amiable and moderate in disposition, he was ready to study the interests of peace. As the Bourbon governments continued to press their demand, that of Spain being especially energetic and pertinacious, he at length gave them satisfaction. The brief for the dissolution of the Order of Jesuits was issued in 1773. In this writing, after taking note of precedents for dissolving orders, and calling attention to the numerous dissensions of which the Jesuits had been the occasion, and which it seemed impossible to prevent or allay, the Pope thus pronounced his decision: "Actuated by so many and important considerations, and, as we hope, aided by the presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, compelled besides by the necessity of our ministry, which strictly obliges us to conciliate, maintain, and confirm the peace and tranquillity of the Christian republic, and remove every obstacle which may tend to trouble it; having further considered that the said Company of Jesus can no longer produce those abundant fruits and those great advantages with a view to which it was instituted, approved by so many of our predecessors, and endowed with so many and extensive privileges; that on the contrary, it was very difficult not to say impossible, that the Church could recover a firm and durable peace so long as the said Society subsisted; in consequence hereof, and determined by the particular reasons we have alleged, and forced by other motives which prudence and the good government of the Church have dictated, the knowledge of which we reserve to ourselves ...we suppress and abolish the said Company."

Clement XIV. died the next year. His sickness was such as to lead some nearest to his person to believe that he had been poisoned. The question as to who administered the poison--supposing death to have been effected by that cause--lies too purely in the region of speculation to be considered here.

Cast out of their own household the Jesuits found refuge with the heretic and the schismatic. Doubtless it was not for the purpose of heaping coals of fire on their heads in the apostolic sense that Frederic II. of Prussia and the Russian Empress Catharine II. gave friendly entertainment to the members of the proscribed Order. Frederic had recently acquired territories largely Roman Catholic in population. He had promised to allow these territories to remain in statu quo as respects religion. The resident Jesuits were acceptable to the people. They were also largely employed as teachers, and it would make some trouble to supply their places. He therefore concluded to let them rest in peace. In communicating with the Pope upon the subject, he mischievously suggested that, inasmuch as he was a heretic, his Holiness was not able to release him from his obligation to keep his word, or from the duty of being an honest man. 1 Crétineau-Joly, v. 465. The motives of Catharine were very much the same as those of Frederic. She thought that she could safely use the Jesuits in the recently acquired Polish territory. Here they were allowed to receive novices. In fact Russian patronage served in a special sense to carry the Order through the period of legal nonentity.

It is interesting to note that adversity brought some dogmatic ameliorations to the minds of the Jesuits. As they were awaiting their fate in France a streak of genuine Gallican light shot across the leaden sky of their Ultramontanism. The illumination was sudden, and doubtless was not very permanent. But while it lasted, it had its effect. One hundred and sixteen fathers, including provincials and superiors, gave their written assent to the strong Gallican articles of the Assembly of 1682. 1 Crétineau-Joly, v. 260, 261; Theiner, Geschichte des Pontificats Clemens XIV., i. 21-23. A few years later some of their brethren in Germany were favored with a similar illumination, in virtue of which they gave their support to theses utterly irreconcilable with Ultramontane maxims. 2 Theiner, ii. 490, 491.

The interior broils of the French Church were not so engrossing in this period as to withdraw attention entirely from the duty of vexing the Protestants. There were intervals indeed during which they received a measure of indulgence. Some of the harsher provisions against them were left very largely in abeyance during the regency of the Duke of Orleans. But a bitter atonement was usually exacted for such a season of relative quiet. To permit the harvest to grow was to create an extra demand for the use of the scythe. So we find the government issuing in 1724 a peculiarly cruel edict. "To the penalty of death decreed against preachers was added the galleys for life for men, and perpetual imprisonment for women, against all who did not inform against them. It was enjoined on curés, or vicars, to visit the sick suspected of heresy, and to exhort them in private and without witnesses. An arbitrary fine was decreed against relatives, friends, or servants, who should prevent the curé from having access to the sick, and the galleys for life against concealed Protestants who should exhort or assist the sick secretly. The law condemning every Protestant, who should be cured after having refused the sacraments, to the galleys for life, and to confiscation of property as a backslider, was confirmed; if the sick man died his memory was to be prosecuted, and his property confiscated. Formerly it was necessary that the refusal of the sacraments should be attested by a magistrate; now the testimony of the curé was sufficient. The parish priest was constituted an official informer. Parents were forbidden to consent to the marriage of their children in foreign countries, without express permission from the King, under penalty of the galleys for life for men, and perpetual banishment for women, with confiscation of property. At the same time the new Catholics (and under this title were comprehended all Protestants, according to the fiction of the law of 1715, which denied that there were any Protestants remaining in France) were ordered to observe in their marriages the formalities prescribed by the holy canons and the ordinances. A11 civil status was thus annihilated for Protestants; there were thenceforth in France, before the law, only Catholics, and backsliders liable to the galleys." 1 Henri Martin, Histoire de France, tome xv., pp. 118, 119, in Eng. translation. An equally unsparing edict was issued in 1745.

While the practice was not perseveringly kept on a level with this barbarous code, there were numerous instances of intolerable vexation. Now and then a preacher was visited with a capital sentence. Bénezet was hanged in 1752, Lafage in 1754, Rochette in 1762.

It was first in 1788, on the eve of the Revolution, that a scant measure of legal toleration was granted to the Protestants. Even then the concession provoked the protest of the clergy. It required a very special tuition to instil into them the lesson of tolerance. The Faculty of Theology in Paris had not yet learned the alphabet of the subject in 1766. In their censure of a work published in that year they declared that religious intolerance was an essential principle of Catholicism. Rocquain, Esprit révolutionnaire avant la Révolution, p. 262. "The Assemblies of the clergy held from the accession of Louis XVI. up to the Revolution continually complained of the attempts of the Protestants to secure liberty of conscience. The following words appear in the report of the Abbé de 1a Rochefoucauld presented in 1789: 'This sect, which in the midst of its ruins retains the audacious and independent spirit which it had from its origin, wishes to usurp for falsehood the rights which belong only to the truth.'" 1 De Pressensé L'Église et la Révolution Française, p. 23.

The Skeptical Movement

The Sceptical Movement

An acute observer of events wrote in 1158: "The loss of religion in France cannot properly be attributed to the English philosophy, which has gained at Paris only a hundred philosophers, but to the hatred conceived toward the clergy which now runs to an excess. Scarcely can these ministers of religion show themselves on the streets without being hooted; and cell this comes from the bull Unigenitus, and from the disgrace of the Parliament."1 D'Argenson, Mémoires, viii. 35 The next year the same writer expressed himself in terms like these: "It is the priests who push from all sides into these troubles and this disorder, and so the minds of men are turned to discontent and disobedience, and everything is moving onward to a great revolution in religion as well as in government." 2 Ibid, viii. 242.

That this verdict of a contemporary has considerable plausibility cannot be denied. It is reasonable to suppose that the bull Unigenitus, violently enforced as it was, was provocative of skepticism. When an authority, claiming supreme and divine right over Christendom, condemned propositions which have an exact equivalent in the New Testament, and undertook to teach men that the fear of an unjust excommunication ought to hinder one from doing his duty, 3 All shuffling apart, no different meaning can be drawn from the condemnation of the following: Excommunicationis injustæ metus, nunquam debet nos impedire ab implendo debito nostro: nunquam eximus ab ecclesia, etiam quando hominum nequitiâ videmur ab ea expulsi, quando Deo, Jesu Christo, atque ipsi ecclesiæ per charitatem affixi sumus. it is not strange that various individuals, who had imperfectly learned the art of blind obedience, and did not wish to be put to shame by pagans, should think it time to look around for some system compatible with common sense and instinctive morality. Nor will it be strange if the like quest should yet be repeated in France and elsewhere, now that the action of the Vatican council has assigned to this specimen of papal wisdom an indubitable place in the moral code of the Romish Church. Still, it is not proper to burden a single cause with responsibility for results which have flowed from several causes. While the Unigenitus scandal had a baleful efficiency, it but added momentum to a current already started. Back of the sceptical movement of the eighteenth century in general lay the intolerant dogmatism which dominated so large a part of Europe through the seventeenth century. In France especially this dogmatism had taken on a hideous aspect from the time that Louis XIV. laid his hand to the task of extirpating Protestantism. While thus despotic intolerance provoked reaction, the moral levity and corruption which invaded the higher circles of French society in the first half of the eighteenth century favored laxity of belief. Men who lived practically as materialists and epicureans were not well braced against the materialistic and agnostic creed. An appreciable influence may also be attributed to the sensational philosophy and deistical school of England. The soil had been so well prepared in France that the types of thought which they presented could hardly fail to take root there.

An early work of Montesquieu, which achieved no little popularity, gives us a token of relaxed belief. In his "Persian Letters" (1721), we see, if not the same sparkle and piquancy which were put into the "Praise of Folly," a freedom in dealing with the affairs of the Church as bold as that which Erasmus had exhibited in his humorous critique. These Letters, assuming to be written by Persian visitors in France, make the Pope to figure as the head magician, who enforces belief in defiance of mathematics and the evidences of the senses, and who, in order to keep up the habit of belief in Christians, issues articles from time to time, a recent and much talked of constitution being an example. Remarks in a similar vein are passed upon various classes of ecclesiastics. A principal function of the bishops, it is said, is the granting of dispensations. It is characteristic of Christianity that it imposes an infinite number of practices, and inasmuch as it is esteemed more difficult to fulfill these practices than to support bishops to dispense from them, the latter alternative is chosen. This dispensing power reaches even to the canceling of a sworn engagement. Confessors are a kind of dervishes who do not suit the interests of heirs so well as the physicians. Casuists have a great function to perform in showing men how many sins they can commit without periling their salvation by a mortal fault. They are also very useful in taking away from sins their sinful quality by persuading the doer that they were not really sins, if being an acknowledged principle that it is not the act itself, but rather the conviction of the doer respecting the act, which determines its moral character. A commentator is one who searches the Bible to find there his own views, -- a method that is fruitful of variety; in fact, there are about as many points of dispute as there are lines in the Scriptures. A heretic does not fare the same in all regions. In France and Germany he will get clear by making a distinction; but in Spain and Portugal they do not care to listen to dogmatic refinements. A peculiar stroke of politeness has place in Spain. As a captain there will not beat a soldier without first asking his permission, so the Inquisition never burns a Jew without making excuses to him. The numerous stories told about the wrestling of the old monks with the devil indicate that they did not keep very good company. The monastic institute is at present a great check upon national progress. From this point of view, "it is certain that the religion of the Protestants gives them an infinite advantage over the Catholics. I venture to say that, in the condition in which Europe is now found, it is not possible for the Catholic religion to subsist five hundred years." 1 See Letters xxiv., xxix., xxv., lvii., Ixxviii.,lxxv., xciii., cxvii.,cxxiv.

The veil of humor is not so thick as to hide effectually the real opinions of the author of the "Lettres Persanes. " Their import, conjoined with other evidence, leaves no doubt that the papal system was to him a dead letter. His positive creed is not determined with quite the same certainty. Probably it affiliated with that type of deism which was outlined later in the century by Rousseau. He is said to have persevered in his way of thinking to the end. To the Jesuits, who approached him in his last sickness, and urged upon him the duty of retracting, he made only this answer:
"I have always respected religion; the morality of the gospel is the best gift that God could have made to mankind."

Montesquieu died in 1755. Voltaire was then at the middle point of his career. More than twenty-five years before, he had taken the pen of the author, and he was unceasingly occupied with literary tasks till his death in 1778.

In Voltaire more than in any other Frenchman, the sceptical revival of the eighteenth century found its impersonation. He supplied to it a more penetrative genius and a vaster industry than any one of his countrymen besides.1 The genius of the Genevese Rousseau was doubtless equally penetrating, but his literary activity was less extensive. In the latter respect, indeed, he has few equals in the annals of literature. He was as prodigiously busy in his way as was his contemporary, John Wesley, in a far different way.

As respects the native endowments of Voltaire, it is sufficiently obvious that he was a man of great swiftness and versatility of intellectual movement. With these gifts was associated another which made for them a well-nigh perfect vehicle. Voltaire was a great word artist. Never was language a more obedient subject to any one than was the French speech to him. The very clearness of his discourse was adapted to work conviction by giving an impression of mastery. Add to this a subtle wit, a unique gift for raillery, and one can see that this man was well prepared to impress powerfully that restless generation.

What has been said describes brilliancy rather than profundity. The latter, in fact, cannot be claimed for Voltaire. While in many relations he showed an admirable keenness of perception, he was not largely endowed with the philosophic faculty, and his impetuous temper was opposed to the prolonged and severe reflection which needs to be expended upon the deeper problems of human thinking. He had no aptitude or relish for anything transcendental. To the realm of grandeur and spiritual suggestiveness he was well-nigh a stranger, as appears from his estimate of the antique poets, of Shakespeare, and of others. 2 The following from Martin may be compared: "An essentially active and polemic genius, with little depth and immense surface, he rejected what was profound like what was obscure, what was abstract like what was subtle, and turned with instinctive repugnance from everything that was mysterious." (Histoire de France, tome xv., p 330 in Eng translation.) Dwelling always upon the surface of the earth in his emotions and affections, he was conspicuously lacking in the sense for the ideal and the infinite. A real awe for holiness seemed to be no part of his experience. Taste rather than principle was at the basis of such repugnance as he entertained for gross vices. Any great amount of moral fastidiousness certainly cannot be ascribed to the author of "La Pucelle."

Some of the biographers of Voltaire credit him with a fair measure of truthfulness. Probably he was truthful in the sense that he would not lie for the mere pleasure of the performance. But when occasion pressed he did not spare a falsehood, and his life was prolific in pressing occasions. The way in which he evaded responsibility for his books involved a continuous chain of deceitful innuendoes from the beginning to the end of his career. The expedients which he employed to gain admission to the French Academy justify the statement that he crawled to the coveted honor over a road paved with flatteries and falsehoods. His presentation of himself for the communion, and insistence upon his title to absolution as being a good Catholic, was an audacious stroke in mendacity, which might well have provoked the Father of Lies to envy. Voltaire, it is true, had his excuse; but the excuse when sifted down amounts simply to the conclusion that his personal comfort and safety were so precious as to justify any amount of crookedness. In the company of his friends, Voltaire himself was not far from putting the case in this form. Being asked one day by his secretary what he would have done if he had been born in Spain, he replied: "I would have gone to mass every day; I would have kissed the sleeve of the monks; and I would have tried to set fire to all their convents." This may have been the language of pleasantry; but in what different light did he figure when posing before a Romish altar as a good Catholic, while at the same time he was laboring with full energy to tear down the whole fabric of Roman Catholic faith and authority?

If the above shows the weakest and basest side of Voltaire in respect of feeling and conduct, his abhorrence of intolerance and his generous efforts in behalf of outraged Protestants and other victims of oppression present his best side. It cannot, indeed, be claimed that his habit of thought and feeling provided any complete basis for tolerance. There was in his mind too little respect for man as man. The pride of intellect which made him look with a species of contempt upon the masses, and allowed him to speak of them as canaille, was not intrinsically the best sort of foundation for a high type of tolerance. Still it would be niggardly not to credit Voltaire with an honest and intense abhorrence of intolerant bigotry. A long series of acts sustains his words on this subject, and makes credible his assertion that he felt a touch of fever on each returning anniversary of the Saint Bartholomew massacre. One will be the less tempted to see mere rhetoric in this declaration, when he remembers that still in Voltaire's time that stupendous crime was publicly celebrated as a great triumph of the Christian Church. 1 In the city of Toulouse the anniversary of the massacre was regularly celebrated as a two days' festival, under sanction of municipal law and e.papal bull. (Parton, Life of Voltaire, ii. 353.)

The intolerance practiced in the assumed interest of Christianity, if it did not create the infidel animosity in the heart of Voltaire, supplied it with fuel, and added to it many degrees of intensity. Ultimately, as is well known, a tolerably white heat was reached. In the private correspondence of Voltaire, during the last twenty years of his life, this intensified animosity glared forth in the formula Écrasez l' Infâme, "Crush the Monster."

What is the meaning of these sinister-looking words? Some have supposed them to refer to the Christian religion, or even to the central figure in that religion. That Voltaire had no faith in Christianity as a revealed religion, and would have been glad to see it displaced by a deistic creed, is entirely certain. But that he meant to apply this intolerant formula specifically and unqualifiedly to the Christian religion, admits of some doubt. A biographer who may be presumed to have looked carefully through the evidence draws this conclusion: "The 'Infâme' of Voltaire was not religion, nor the Christian religion, nor the Roman Catholic Church. It was religion claiming supernatural authority, and enforcing that authority by pains and penalties. This is the fairest answer to the question, taking his whole life into view."2 Parton, Life of Voltaire, ii. 286. Carlyle, who had no inconsiderable occasion to look into the views and schemes of the great sceptic, says: "Voltaire is deeply alive to the horrors and miseries which have issued on mankind from a Fanatic Popish Superstition, or Creed of Incredibilities,- which (except from the throat outwards, from the bewildered tongue outwards) the orthodox themselves cannot believe, but only pretend and struggle to believe. This, Voltaire calls ' The Infamous;' and this -- what name can any of us give it? The man who believes in falsities is very miserable. The man who cannot believe them, but only struggles and pretends to believe, and yet, being armed with the power of tile sword, industriously keeps menacing and slashing all round, to compel every neighbor to do like him, -- what is to be done with such a man ? Human Nature calls him a Social Nuisance; needing to be handcuffed, gagged, and abated. Human Nature, if it be in a terrified and imperiled state, with the sword of this fellow swashing around it calls him 'Infamous,' and a Monster of Chaos. He is indeed the select Monster of that region; the Patriarch of all the Monsters, little as he dreams of being such . . . More signal enemy to God, and friend of the Other Party, walks not the Earth in our day." (History of Frederick the Great, xiii. 6, 7.)

Not disputing this conclusion, we would still suggest that if the aggressive ecclesiasticism of the Romish Church was reckoned by Voltaire an inseparable characteristic, he certainly had an ardent desire for the destruction of that Church.

In writings designed for the public, ridicule, generally managed with sufficient skill to avoid the appearance of brusqueness, was Voltaire's favorite weapon of attack. Nor was this belligerent facetiousness wholly confined to words. His jesting ran over into deeds, when by feigning sickness he forced an unwilling priest to grant him absolution, or when he secured a friendly letter from the Pope, or when finally he obtained from Rome a piece of the hair shirt of Saint Francis, to serve as a relic in the church which he had built upon his estate at Ferney. The relic is said to have arrived on the same day as the portrait of Madame Pompadour, the potent mistress of the King,-- a circumstance which led Voltaire to remark that he was now very well both for this world and for the other.

The positive creed of Voltaire requires no prolix description, since it was neither extensive nor original. It was essentially the deistic creed of Bolingbroke, to whose tuition he was not a little indebted in his earlier years. While granting the existence of God, he had small confidence in the soul's immortality. It is thought, however, that near the close of life he became less doubtful upon the latter subject.

Opposition to the current faith was so much of a recommendation in the eyes of Voltaire, that the greater part of the radical unbelievers shared his regard, not-withstanding considerable divergence, in some instances, from his platform. The sceptical school -- if school it can be called exhibited in truth but moderate homogeneity. Buffon, the distinguished naturalist, the first three volumes of whose work were published in 1749, appears in peculiar contrast with Voltaire, inasmuch as he had a tolerably firm faith in immortality, and only a wavering belief in the existence of God. Among the chief authors of the 'L Encyclopedia " (1750-1765) D'Alembert gravitated toward universal scepticism, while Diderot embraced a sort of pantheistic naturalism. Positive atheism and materialism were represented by D'Holbach, Lamettrie, and Helvetius. As regards the tone of the "Encyclopedia," it should be noticed that a prudent regard to the peril of suppression dictated a measure of reserve and compromise. We find D'Alembert writing as follows, in answer to some strictures from Voltaire: "Doubtless we have some bad articles on theology and metaphysics; but with a theological censorship and an official privilege, I defy you to make them better. There are other articles, less conspicuous, in which all errors are corrected. Time will demonstrate the distinction between what we have thought and what we have said." 1 Quoted by Jervis, Church of France. ii. 335.

While the "Encyclopedia " was in process of publication, a work appeared (1762), which caused the sceptics to look askance. Not a few of them, Voltaire included, felt that there was an alien vein in the new production that boded no good to their cause. We refer to the treatise on education, "Émile, on De L'Éducation," by Jean Jacques Rousseau. In the midst of this treatise occurs the Savoyard Vicar's profession of faith. While this assumes to be simply a specimen of religious method, or of the manner in which a pupil may be led into the domain of pious belief, it is doubtless a compendium of Rousseau's own convictions. A glance into it will show that the sceptics of the era had reason to regard if with a jealous eye. It was not congenial to their negations. While it admitted grave objections to positive revelation, if recognized elements foreign to their system, since it gave a large significance to the innate religious sentiment of man, and eloquently portrayed the unique power of the Christian oracles to satisfy this sentiment. As compared with the writings of contemporary free-thinkers, that of Rousseau had somewhat of a constructive tendency. It was fitted to serve as a stepping-stone out of the blankness into which they were leading. That it exerted a far-reaching influence cannot properly be questioned.

Rousseau does not make his spokesman, the Savoyard Vicar, entirely to discard reasoning in favor of innate sentiment or spontaneous feeling. Arguments for theism are presented with a fair degree of cogency, and the truth is discreetly set forth that among possible hypotheses all of which are attended with difficulties, the one which best explains known facts is to be preferred. Grounds are also given for predicating the immateriality of the soul. Among these the weighty consideration is touched upon, that materialism, with its mechanical necessity, makes nugatory the distinction between truth and error, between correct and mistaken judgments. But interspersed with discussions of this kind, the opinion is expressed that philosophy has no plummet wherewith to sound these deep subjects, and fends rather to confusion than to enlightenment. "Never has the jargon of metaphysics," it is said, "discovered one single truth." Again it is remarked: "I perceive God in His works, I feel Him in myself, I see Him all around me; but as soon as I attempt to discover where He is, what He is, what is His substance, He escapes me, and my troubled spirit no longer perceives anything. ... The more I force myself to contemplate this infinite essence, the less I understand it; but it exists; that suffices me; the less I understand it, the more I adore, I humble myself before Him and say: Being of beings, I am because Thou art; it is to raise myself to my source that I meditate upon Thee without ceasing. The most worthy use of my reason is to annihilate itself before Thee: this is the rapture of my spirit, this the charm of my feebleness, to feel myself overwhelmed by Thy grandeur."

In determining the rules of conduct, as in searching for the knowledge of God, philosophy is a vain dependence. The law of right is expressed in the spontaneous convictions and emotions of the soul. " All which I feel to be good is good; all that which I feel to be evil is evil: the best of all casuists is the conscience, and it is only as a man begins to haggle with if that he has recourse to the subtleties of reasoning."

The fountain of religious and moral truth being thus within, an external revelation, it is concluded, cannot be strictly necessary. At least, to make eternal salvation depend upon the acceptance of a particular external revelation involves enormous difficulties. In that case every man would be under obligation to sift the evidence for and against different systems claiming to be revealed from Heaven. The study of their relative claims would be a life and death matter; no other task would be comparable with this in solemnity and import. From this tremendous labor not a single individual of the race could be excused. "If the son of a Christian does well to follow, without a profound and impartial examination, the religion of his father, why would it be evil for the son of a Turk to follow in like manner the religion of his father ? " It impeaches the benevolence of God thus to hang the immortal destiny of men upon a choice which in so many instances must be extremely difficult or even impossible. The expedient of the Romanist in asserting the authority of the Church provides no legitimate relief. To be told, "The Church decides that the Church has the right to decide," does not give a man any rational foundation. He is just as much bound to test this assumed right as he is to test the authority of the assumed revelation, and the former task is every whit as difficult as the latter.

This vigorous protest against a necessary dependence upon external revelation is not meant to be taken as an unequivocal denial of such a revelation. When it comes to the Christian oracles, Rousseau, without stopping to balance arguments, declares that there are proofs which he cannot combat, as well as objections which he cannot solve. It is in this connection that the spirited and oft-quoted passage occurs: "I confess that the majesty of the Scriptures astonishes me, the holiness of the gospel speaks to my heart. Behold the books of the philosophers, with all their pomp; how petty they are in comparison with those writings ! Is it possible that a book at once so sublime, and so simple, should be the work of men? Is it possible that he whose history it contains should have been himself only a man ? Is that the tone of an enthusiast or of an ambitious sectary? What mildness, what purity in his manners! what touching grace in his teachings! what elevation in his maxims ! what profound sagacity in his discourse ! what presence of mind, what skill, and what justice in his replies! what sovereignty over the passions! Where is the man, where is the sage, who knows how to act, to suffer, and to die without feebleness and without ostentation?... If the life and death of Socrates were those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus were those of a God. Will you tell me that the gospel history was invented at pleasure? My friend, it is not so that invention occurs; and the facts respecting Socrates, doubted by no one, are less perfectly attested than those respecting Jesus Christ. In reality this supposition only pushes back the difficulty without overcoming it; it would be more inconceivable that several men should have agreed in fabricating this book than it is that one alone should have furnished the subject. a company of Jewish writers could never have invented either the tone or the morals which are found here; and the gospel has marks of truth so great, so striking, so perfectly inimitable, that the inventor of them would be more astonishing than the hero. With all that, however, this same gospel is full of things incredible and repugnant to reason, and which it is impossible for any man of sense to conceive or to admit. What ought we to do in the midst of all these contradictions? To be always modest and circumspect; to respect in silence that which we are able neither to reject nor to comprehend, and to humble ourselves before the Great Being, who alone knows the truth."

It cannot be denied that Rousseau presented a needful offset to the dry intellectual schemes of the philosophers or would-be philosophers. Sentiment has a place as well as logic in the sanctuary of man's being, and it serves in no small degree to mirror to him the spiritual verities with which it is his high privilege to be conversant. But has not Rousseau exalted overmuch the function of mere sentiment, or unreasoned emotion? For our part, we do not hesitate to answer that some of his utterances savor of a misleading extreme. No doubt it may be urged that he is in orthodox company. It often happens that the pulpit responds to the strictures of rationalism with an appeal to sentiment very much in the style of Rousseau. It is well that the appeal should be made; but let the due restriction be applied. Sentiment must have a framework of rationality to grow upon, if it is to rise in beauty and healthfulness. Let go the demand for industrious thoughtfulness and genuine rationality, and there is no telling what superstitions will invade the religious realm, what vagaries, what puerilities, what fooleries with relics and the like, what grievous list of mere doll-baby attachments. As religion is properly the function of the whole man, so the safeguard of its purity lies in the exercise of all the faculties. In the right synthesis of history, reason, and emotion is provided the basis of a normal and healthy religious life.

Rousseau's sentimental deism, or semi-scepticism, may be regarded as the concluding phase of French free-thinking in the eighteenth century. The vulgar atheism which cropped out at the crisis of the Revolution was rather a phase of frenzy than of any kind of thinking.

To arrest an advancing scepticism, like that which has been described, was obviously no easy task. Its insinuating methods and unfixed character embarrassed the effort to bring it to close quarters. Even with the best management a speedy victory was not likely to be forthcoming. But the actual management of the subject was far from being well chosen and efficient. The feeble and inconsequent efforts of the authorities to suppress the offending writings sufficed for little else than to irritate the sceptics, and to inflame their zeal. While the appeal to force and authority was thus abortive, there was at the same time a dearth of fresh and effective argumentation. "Most of the replies were not above the rank of indigested balderdash." 1 De Pressensé, L'Église et la Révolution Française, p. 14. Orthodox intellect seemed to have become a missing article in France. A few writers, however, showed that complete sterility had not been reached. Duguet used his pen to good advantage in his Traité des Principes de la Foi Chrétienne." But the most trenchant apology was written by Antoine Guenée, under the title "Lettres de quelques, Juifs, Portugais, Allemands, et Polonais à M. de Voltaire." We know from the words of Voltaire himself that he was touched to the quick by Guenée's criticism, at once polite and deft.