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Mooted Questions of History 

Mooted Questions 
of History 



Author of "The Church and the 
Law," "Outlooks and Insights," etc. 


Copyright, 1895, 1900, 

Second Impression 



THE plan pursued in the following pages 
is to give, under each topic, a succinct state- 
ment of the facts, embodying the lead- 
ing points of information necessary to a 
clear view ; and to follow this with quo- 
tations from some well-known historians, 
indicating briefly their judgment upon the 
whole case, or upon controverted points 

Several new chapters and some fifty 
quotations have been added in the re- 
vision. It has not been deemed advis- 
able to enlarge the treatment of any of 
the topics, inasmuch as the merit sought 
for the book is brevity. 'A number of foot- 
notes, however, have been added. 




I. THE "DARK AGES" ...... 16 


III. " THE MONKS OF OLD " .... 52 

IV. THE PAPAL POWER ...... 65 

V. THE CRUSADES ........ 84 


VII. SAVONAROLA ........ 107 



X. INDULGENCES ........ 140 


TANTISM .... .... 153 



LIBERTY ......... 171 






BESS" 211 



MEW'S DAY 249 











IN an essay which he contributed to the 
" Edinburgh Review " nearly seventy 
years ago, Macaulay indicates his con- 
ception of the good historian by suggesting 
that if Lord Clarendon, instead of filling 
hundreds of folio pages with copies of state 
papers, had condescended to be "the Bos- 
well of the Long Parliament," he would 
have proven not only more interesting but 
also more accurate. In a subsequent essay 
written in review of Hallam's " Constitu- 
tional History of England," Macaulay says 
that the ideal history is "a compound of 
poetry and philosophy,'* something which 
calls into play the imagination as well as 
the reason. These are the opinions of a 


comparatively recent historian, and yet they 
present a decided contrast with current con- 
ceptions of what good historical writing 
should be. 

Macaulay, who will perhaps be remem- 
bered more as an essayist than as an historian, 
said enough, in the article to which I have 
alluded, to make clear, even to the historians 
of his own age, the prime necessity of greater 
accuracy ; yet such is not the lesson that he 
particularly enforces. With him, it is still 
a question of style rather than of facts, of 
ability to interest rather than the ability to 
separate the chaff of legend from the grain 
of truth. The modern essayist reviews 
the ancient historians, but his criticism is 
not that they are deficient either in rhetoric 
or interest : Herodotus manufactures the 
speeches he puts in the mouths of Aristides 
and Gelon. History as written by Thucy- 
dides " calls into play the imagination quite 
as much as the reason." Xenophon places, 
on the pages of his sober chronicles, dreams, 
omens, and prophecies for which he asks 
equal credence. As for Livy, " no historian 
with whom we are acquainted has shown 
so complete indifference to truth," says 


Macaulay. And so on with the rest 
of the ancients. " Nothing," says Profes- 
sor Mahaffy, " shows more clearly the won- 
derful importance of style and literary 
genius than the way in which such 
authors as Tacitus and Thucydides blind 
modern commentators in questions of evi- 
dence. Tacitus has been clearly proven 
from his own statements thoroughly 

As for the modern historians, Macaulay 
thinks that the best of them have been 
" seduced from truth not by their imagina- 
tion but by their reason." Hume he re- 
gards as an accomplished advocate, with 
all the vices of the special pleader. Robert- 
son and Gibbon are little better. President 
Adams of Wisconsin University, in a " Man- 
ual of Historical Literature," published 
some years ago, continues these rather un- 
favorable judgments on well-known histo- 
rians. For instance, he thinks that for 
the purpose of strict historical information 
the account which Hume gives of a partic- 
ular period of history is of no more value 
than the account of Sir Walter Scott in 
"The Fortunes of Nigel." The likes and 


dislikes of Froude are too intense ever to 
allow him to be strictly judicial. Indeed, 
during an interchange of amenities, Pro- 
fessor Freeman has intimated that Froude 
was constitutionally unable to tell the truth. 
Kinglake, who may be said to have held a 
brief against Napoleon Third, writes as " an 
energetic hater." As for Macaulay him- 
self, while the consummate art of his " His- 
tory of England" as a literary creation is 
conceded, yet he is always the victim of an 
intense partisan spirit, and therefore all of 
his writings have " something of the flavor 
of a political pamphlet." 

Of Yon Hoist's " Constitutional History 
of the United States," which enforces so 
gloomy a view of our institutions, Pres- 
ident Adams says : " If the judicious 
pecuniary support given to the author 
for the prosecution of his investigation by 
the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, 
and alluded to in the preface of the third 
volume, had been granted for the express 
purpose of subsidizing a systematic at- 
tempt to undermine the foundation of 
republican institutions and throw ridicule 
upon them in the eyes of the royalists, 


the academy would have abundant rea- 
sons to be satisfied with the result." 

" What is history," asked Napoleon, "but 
merely fable agreed upon ? " De Maistre did 
not hesitate to indict all the history of the 
last three centuries as a conspiracy against 
truth. "As time rolled on," to use the words 
of Ignatius Donnelly, " it was seen that the 
greater part of history was simply recorded 
legends ; while all the rest represented the 
passions of factions, the hates of sects, or 
the servility and venality of historians." 

But at last we reach an epoch when it is 
increasingly true that 

u The legendary tales that pleased of yore 
Can charm an understanding age no more." 

A new science of history has come into be- 
ing with the present generation. The in- 
terest that we have in the historians of the 
past becomes chiefly a literary interest. 

History perhaps can never become an 
exact science ; the human element will in- 
evitably assert itself to some extent. Race 
and religious sympathies will warp human 
judgments ; but if we have more faith- 


fulness to scientific methods of investiga- 
tion a more careful application of the 
rules of evidence in reviewing old au- 
thorities and new testimony, with truer and 
broader perspectives, there are grounds 
for expecting excellent results in the future! 
We may mention, as points of excellence in 
the history that the present age is writing : 
first, the disposition to look for the best 
means of information, to consult and to 
weigh adequately documentary sources; 
second, the disposition to discuss and in- 
vestigate facts more critically, to revise pre- 
viously held judgments, and to gain a true 
perspective of events ; and third, greater 
impartiality and a more sincere disposition 
to seek and publish truth for truth's sake. 

The more scientific method of historical 
writing owes its beginning to the disposi- 
tion on part of historians to go to the best 
documentary sources for their facts. Pos- 
sibly we may say that the Bollandists in 
the compilation of the " Acta Sanctorum " 
were the real originators of this method. 
Their care and erudition in throwing the 
chaff of legendary miracles and wonder- 
working out of the lives of the saints 


whom they commemorated, had about it 
many of the methods of the best modern 

Michelet, in 1836, claims to have been 
the pioneer of the "documentary age" of 
history; but at that time most of the 
archives were still closed to the investi- 
gator. The new epoch really began in 
1859. Then, Italy leading the way, most 
of the other governments of Europe threw 
open their archives. As late as June, 1895, 
Lord Acton said in an address at Oxford : 
" We are still at the beginning of the 
documentary age which will tend to make 
history independent of historians." Kanke, 
one of the most careful as well as the most 
colorless of historians, did most of his work 
prior to the documentary age, and all of his 
seventy volumes, in the opinion of Lord 
Acton, might be rewritten to advantage. 
President Adams, in discussing Hazlitt's 
Life of Napoleon, says that all histories of 
the Napoleonic epoch written prior to the 
publication of "the Napoleon Correspond- 
ence " must be regarded as incomplete and 
imperfect. As illustrating the influence of 
the introduction of new documentary evi- 


deri'ce upon accepted historical opinions, we 
may mention the unfavorable impression 
which the recent publication of the Me- 
moirs of Barras has had on the reputation 
of Josephine. The throwing open of the 
Spanish archives discovered the letters' of 
De Quadra, an envoy of Spain to the court 
of Queen Elizabeth, and these letters threw 
new light on one of the dark deeds of the 
reign, the suspected murder of Amy 
Robsart. As the wife of Lord Dudley she 
stood in the way of his ambition to wed 
the queen. All evidence of the suspected 
crime had been removed so far as the Brit- 
ish state papers went, as indeed they 
might, for this tragedy of guilty love was 
enacted almost at the steps of the throne. 
But here, after four hundred years, comes 
testimony showing that even in high court 
circles the advisability of poisoning the 
neglected wife was considered some time 
in advance of her death. 

Especially with reference to the view 
which historians have taken of the middle 
ages have later researches worked a revolu- 
tion. Palgrave says that for years a " dead- 
set " was made against those ages as periods 


of darkness and superstition. This conspir- 
acy against the middle ages received a set- 
back in the scholarly work of Hallam, but 
upon other grounds even Hallam has be- 
come obsolete. " Researches in France and 
Germany," says President Adams, "have 
added so much to the fund of mediaeval 
history that very little of what has been 
written thirty years ago can now be re- 
garded as conclusive authority." As to 
the influence of more careful and impartial 
criticism of later historians, many instances 
might be furnished of old errors dispelled 
and truer conceptions arrived at. The ap- 
plication of the rules of evidence to methods 
of historical research is finely illustrated in 
the discussion by John Fiske of the William 
Tell myth ; or in the discussion by Baring- 
Gould of the story of the alleged female 
Pope Joan. The William Tell myth had 
found its way for years into respectable his- 

x^tory unquestioned. Swiss patriotism swore 
by it. Indeed, one adventurous writer who 
doubted this interesting story was con- 

A demned in 1760 by the Canton of Uri, in 
Switzerland, to be burned to death. 

The story of the female Pope Joan re- 


ceives credence even in so pretentious a 
work as Mosheim's " Ecclesiastical History." 
Both myths appear to have originated some 
two hundred years after the time, it is 
alleged, Pope Joan and William Tell, re- 
spectively, lived. Both stories were repeated 
time and time again in different countries, 
and grew in detail as they grew in age. 
Modern historians have found both entirely 
unsupported by any credible testimony. 
Fiske shows how the William Tell story 
makes its appearance in Denmark, Iceland, 
and the Rhine country, every detail being 

' identical, even to the passage where Tell 
explains that the arrow was hidden "to kill 
thee, tyrant, had I slain my son." 

Referring to contemporary accounts of 
the famous "Popish plot," Macaulay indi- 
cates something of the hereafter of partisan 
history by remarking : " These stories [one 
of which represented that the Catholics 
started the great London fire of 1666] are 
now altogether exploded. They have been 
abandoned by statesmen to aldermen, by 
aldermen to clergymen, by clergymen to old 

N women, and by old women to Sir Harcourt 


There are other stories which have also 
gotten down to the credulity of Sir Har- 
court Lees or his counterparts in our gener- 
ation. It is scarcely necessary to allude to 
them here ; they have passed from history 
to controversy, from controversy to legend- 
ary, and from legendary to a place beside 
the narratives of Baron Munchausen and 
the escapades of Little Red Riding Hood. 
There are historical traditions, however, 
that are in the process, and not so far ad- 
vanced as these. Aldermen yet believe 
them. Clergymen (sad to say) tell them. 
Or, if given up in such quarters, old women 
still pin their faith to them, and make them 
the material for nursery yarns to bias the 
minds of children, and unconsciously affect 
the adult judgment in after years. 

Of course there is some iconoclasm about 
this sifting of the old legends. We are de- 
prived of some picturesque incidents. Doubt 
is thrown upon the " winged words " of many 
historical figures. We can no longer be 
sure that Louis XIV. said " I am the state," 
or that Galileo declared, " It still moves," 
or that Wellington said at Waterloo, " Up, 
guards, and at them." But these interest- 


ing episodes may be still preserved. The 
classification is wrong, It is only necessary 
to transfer them from the department of 
history to that of fiction. 

In the matter of gaining a truer perspec- 
tive of the past, the modern historian is 
also at an advantage. In the earlier 
years of the century the historians, who in- 
structed the English-speaking races, made 
Napoleon and Wellington of equal stature. 
Time has left Bonaparte still monumental, 
but Wellington has dwindled in the great 
Corsican's shadow. In the eighteenth cen- 
tury Brutus was the pet of the liberty-lov- 
ing orators and publicists ; in the nineteenth 
century this judgment is reversed, and it is 
perceived that Caesar was the real friend of 
the democratic movement, and Brutus but 
a heroic reactionary. There was recently 
published Babbington's " Fallacies of Race 
Theories/' wherein such carelessly accepted 
opinions as that of Tacitus on the ancient 
Germans and that of Mommsen on the 
ancient Gauls are subjected to analysis and 
found wanting. Tacitus was never in Ger- 
many, yet because he praised the Germans 
as a chaste and virtuous people he has be- 


come a race authority. Mr. Babbington 
says : " The Germans, who assume to be our 
teachers in history as in everything else, 
make the cause of their ancestors a personal 
one, ransack all the writers of antiquity to 
prove the virtues of the Teutons and the 
vices of the Romans," and as a consequence 
" the measure of liberty and virtue modern 
nations possess is attributed to the influence 
of German blood and German ideas ; " which 
position is not at all so certain when we go 
back of the race eulogists and re-examine 
the facts. 

The truth of history is most commonly 
tampered with, not by pure inventions, but 
rather in matters of more or less plausibil- 
ity concerning the details which color 
events ; of going to the question of motives 
which determine the credit or the guilt 
of acts and occurrences. 1 

1 As Professor Prothero truthfully said at Edinburgh 
University : " Take any great movement you please 
the Crusades, for instance, or the Reformation ; analyze it 
as minutely as possible, ascertain all its conditions, its gen- 
eral causes, its immediate occasions there remains the 
incalculable human element, which defies the processes of 
exact science. We cannot be certain of this man's mo- 
tives, nor measure the influence which that man exerted. 


A careful sifting process is necessary to 
get at the undoubted facts in all contro- 
verted cases, and, as the ordinary reader 
cannot afford the time or expense of origi- 
nal investigation and research, it seems a 
more practical course to call in the repu- 
table historians of all schools and sects, and 
from their testimony to get as near to the 
truth as possible. 1 

We must not permit ourselves to be the 
dupes of those fierce partisans who lived in 
other ages and wished their opponents to be 
misjudged by posterity. We are not prop- 
erly part of this elder age of the world 
unless we share its maturer judgment, 
and unless we possess its ability of seeing 
through the one-sided details presented by 
the skilled apologists of parties and sects, 
in less instructed centuries, to defend their 
actions or to asperse the conduct of their 

The human element in the subject calls out the human 
element in the student. Not only is the investigation 
obscured, but the sympathies of the investigator are 
aroused, and his judgment is liable to be warped at every 
turn. History alone suffers from this doubly distorting 
medium. Other sciences are free from its effects." 

1 " Historic truth never can be elicited save by com- 
parison," says Sir Francis Palgrave ("History of Nor- 
mandy and England," Preface). 


Neither do we want to inherit the parti- 
san prejudices of conflicts waged in former 
centuries. Our condition for a cooler and 
more deliberate judgment is better, and our 
perspective for giving the facts their just 
importance is also better. We must not 
have the opinions of angry, uncharitable, 
unwise men forced upon us ; but we must 
seek for ourselves the broad, dispassionate, 
accurate view that alone can make the 
lessons of the past helpful. Our loyalty to 
Truth is above all loyalty to any institution 
or party, past or present. 

In a survey of a series of controverted 
historical topics, this will occur as a safe 
method of procedure : 

1. What are the facts of the case, as 
fairly conceded by all sides ? 

2. What is a just estimate from a gen- 
eral survey of the matter, on the basis of 
these facts ? 

3. Is this estimate borne out by the 
opinions of historians who are ranged, so 
far as the general issue goes, on the other 
side ? If that be the case, then the facts 
and the conclusions may be regarded as 
reasonably certain. 



"I know nothing of those ages which knew 
nothing." . . . / have often thought I should 
have liked to ask him how he came to know so 
curious and important a fact respecting ages 
of which he knew nothing. MAITLAND. 

IT has been pertinently said, that the 
" darkness " of certain mediaeval cen- 
turies is all in the minds of the per- 
sons applying the term. From those distant 
shores of the past, very few echoes reach 
us in these first years of the twentieth cen- 
tury. Superficial observation has concluded 
that there was " little going on/' and that 
the entire population was, as the phrase 
is, " sunk in ignorance," not to mention 
" superstition " and " barbarism." 

De Maistre's notion that history is " a 
conspiracy against truth" receives some 
illustration in this attitude towards the 
middle ages. " A dead set," says Sir Fran- 


cis Palgrave, "has been made against the 
middle ages as periods immersed in dark- 
ness, ignorance, and barbarity. But, most 
of all, have these censures been directed 
against mediaeval Christianity." l Fleury 
indicates that this conspiracy to blacken 
the middle ages began with the Humanists 
of the Renaissance period. Their move- 
ment was a reaction against the old learn- 
ing ; to commend the new tone they wished 
to impart to civilization, it was necessary 
to deprecate the old. The Reformation 
readily adopted the same unfavorable view ; 
and the sceptical writers of the eighteenth 
century had a natural antipathy to ages 
dominated, as the mediaeval centuries were, 
by Christianity. The more researchful his- 
torian of the nineteenth century has been 
disturbing this censorious judgment against 
the middle ages, by manifesting a disposi- 
tion to go over the ground again in a more 
scientific spirit. 

The term " dark ages " has been deemed 
comprehensive enough to cover the ninth, 
N tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth cen- 
turies. The masses in those ages could 

1 History of Normandy and England (Preface). 


neither read nor write. We find in legal 
instruments of the time : " And the afore- 
said lord hath declared, that he does not 
yknow how to sign his name, owing to the 
fact of his being a nobleman." And a 
knight being asked to read the Scriptures, 
retorted : " I am not a clerk ; I have a 
family to support." l 

Illiteracy, however, is not ignorance. Nor 
would inability to read mean as much in 
the ninth century as it does in the twen- 
tieth. Let the world of to-day lose the 
" art preservative of the arts," printing ; 
let the newspaper vanish from the land, 
and the cheap school book be a thing of 
the past; throw us back to the condition 
of manuscript books, multiplied slowly and 
painfully, and instead of five million illit- 
erates, such as we have to-day in this land 
of light and progress, we might have twenty 
or thirty millions. 

The illiterate people in the ages previous 
to the invention of printing were more 
intelligent, for their time, than are the illit- 
erate of to-day. To be unable to read 

1 Maitland, however, inclines to think that illiteracy was 
not so common as these instances might seem to indicate. 


nowadays means backwardness, neglect of 
opportunities, and stupidity. Quite the 
contrary in the mediaeval epoch : illiteracy 
was excusable, and, in a certain sense, 
fashionable, inasmuch as it was a common 
condition. The naturally intelligent, who 
in our day would be " common-schooled," 
were, in that epoch, illiterate. 

Another consideration that must be borne 
in mind in instituting comparisons between 
the ninth and the nineteenth century is 
the circumstances of mediaeval civilization. 
For over three centuries (to A. D. 750) civi- 
lized Europe was the field of successive 
waves of barbarian conquest. Franks, 
Goths, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Yandals, Alans, 
Huns, and Lombards followed each other 
with destructive incursions. One .wave 
pushed the other further on. The barba- 
rians apparently did not conquer for the 
purpose of occupying the soil and building 
up empires, but for the purpose of plunder. 
The condition was consequently one of con- 
tinued commotion through several genera- 
tions. The case of the Vandals is in point : 
they pushed through France and settled for 
a time in Spain ; later, eighty thousand of 


them crossed, under Genseric, to Carthage, 
where a Vandal empire was established for al- 
most a century ; and the Vandals, organized 
as pirates, came down upon the commerce 
of the Mediterranean and even returned to 
desolate Rome. Attila inflicted himself as' 
the " scourge of God " upon Christian Europe. 
The Northmen broke the calm after the 
other barbarians had subsided, and the 
Moslem invasion from the South was only 
checked by Charles Martel after a desperate 
battle (A. D. 732). The assimilation of ten 
successive waves of northern barbarians, 
and the blow such invasions meant to exist- 
ing and civilizing institutions made the 
task of mediaeval society most difficult and 

Civilization had, in fact, to be begun over. 
We do not call a boy decrepit because he 
lacks the strength of a man. Neither 
ought we to slur the society of the tenth 
century as " dark " and " ignorant " because 
it did .not rapidly attain the standards of our 
day. There is no responsibility where the 
conditions are natural and inexorable. The 
mediaeval centuries were constantly forcing 
the civilization and culture of European 


society forward. It was the germinating 
epoch of the modern world. There was no 
standing still, no retrogression. There was 
constant advance. In the epoch that in 
the retrospect seems most hopeless and un- 
progressive, i. e., about the close of the 
tenth century, several conspicuous inventions 
were made that the modern world finds of 
indispensable value : clocks were constructed 
by the monk Gerbert, the musical scale by 
the monk Guy, and another monk in 1285 
devised spectacles. 1 Common schools for 
the masses date even a little earlier, and 
some of the great universities of modern 
Europe were founded in the spirit of im- 
provement that strongly evinced itself. 

The nineteenth century goes back to the 
eleventh to admire the magnificent Gothic 
architecture that flourished in that epoch, 
leaving monuments that are copied in the 
finest temples of to-day. 2 And the state of 

1 Gunpowder was invented about the year 1278. 
Arabic notation came into use about the year 1275. 
Paper was manufactured from rags early in the twelfth 
century. In the same century the mariner's compass 
came into use. 

2 Under the influence of Pugin, the second quarter of 
the nineteenth century saw a revival, especially in Eng- 


architecture has been shrewdly accepted by 
historians as one of the safest gauges of the 
progress attained in the other arts. 

Out of a library of the literature of the 
middle ages, consisting of great folios of 
"the Fathers/' tomes of historical annals 
and " monkish chronicles," and a whole de- 
partment of poetry and fiction, three great 
books have come down to us from those 
centuries, each bearing the stamp of immor- 
tality. Thomas Aquinas (1224-74) left to 
the world the " Summa Theologica," which 
has for six hundred years been the standard 
authority on the teachings of the great 
church of Christendom. 

Dante (1265-1321) wrote the "Divina 
Coinmedia," which has won him a name in 
the world of literature unsurpassed by any 
writer of the Christian era, Shakespeare 
alone excepted. 

Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471) wrote the 
" Imitation of Christ," which has been 
translated into more languages than any 
other book except the Bible. In the 

land and America, of the Gothic architecture of the 
fifteenth century. It had been discarded for three hun- 
dred years, but now it was enthusiastically revived. 


Cologne library there are samples of six 
hundred editions of this work, brought out 
in the nineteenth century alone. 

HALL AM: Limits of the epoch 

"It is not possible to fix accurate limits to 
the middle ages ; though the ten centuries 
from the fifth to the fifteenth seem, in a 
general point of view, to constitute that 

Hallam, The Middle Ages, pref . to first edition. 

GOLD WIN SMITH: "Ages of light" 

"Hume and Robertson," says Gold win 
Smith, "have long been consigned to dis- 
grace for their want of accurate erudition, 
especially in relation to the middle ages, 
which to them are merely the dark ages : 
while to the medievalist of our day they 
appear to be the special ages of light/' 

PALGBAVE: Unjust disparagement of the 
middle ages 

"Abstractedly from all the influences 
which we have sustained in common with 
the rest of the civilized commonwealth, our 
British disparagement of the middle ages 


has been exceedingly enhanced by our griz- 
zled ecclesiastical or church historians of 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. . . . 
These 6 standard works/ accepted and 
received as Canonical Books, have tainted 
the nobility of our national mind. An ade- 
quate parallel to their bitterness, their 
shabbiness, their shirking, their habitual 
disregard of honor and veracity, is hardly 
afforded, even by the so-called ' Anti-Jaco- 
bin' press during the revolutionary and 
Imperial wars. The history of Napoleon, 
his generals, and the French nation, col- 
lected from these exaggerations of selfish 
loyalty, rabid aversion, and panic terror, 
would be the match of our popular and 
prevailing ideas concerning Hildebrand, or 
Anselm, or Becket, or Innocent III., or 
mediaeval Catholicity in general, grounded 
upon our ancestral traditionary ' standard 
ecclesiastical authorities,' such as Burnett's 
' Reformation,' or Fox's ' Book of Martyrs.' 
. . . The scheme of, and intent of, me- 
diaeval Catholicity was to render faith the 
all-actuating and all-controlling vitality. . . . 
So far as the system extended, it had the 
effect of connecting every social element 


with Christianity. And Christianity being 
thus wrought up into the mediseval system, 
every mediaeval institution, character, or 
mode of thought afforded the means or vehi- 
cle for the vilification of Christianity. Never 
do these writers, or their School, whether in 
France or in Great Britain, Voltaire or 
Mably, Hume, Robertson, or Henry, treat 
the Clergy or the Church with fairness, 
not even with common honesty. If histori- 
cal notoriety enforces the allowance of any 
merit to a priest, the effect of this extorted 
acknowledgment is destroyed by a happy 
turn, a clever insinuation, or a coarse innu- 
endo. Consult, for example, Hume, when 
compelled to notice Archbishop Hubert's 
exertions in procuring the concession of the 
Magna Charta ; and Henry, narrating the 
communications which passed between 
Gregory the Great and Saint Austin." 

Sir Francis Palgrave, History of Normandy and 
England. London: Macmillan & Co., 1878. (Pref- 
ace, pp. xiv-xviii.) 

EMERSON: Human thought never more 

" In modern Europe the middle ages 
were called the Dark Ages, ten centuries, 


from the fifth to the fifteenth. Who dares 
to call them so now ? They gave us deci- 
mal numbers, gunpowder, glass, chemistry, 
and Gothic architecture; and their paint- 
ings are the delight and tuition of our 
age. . . . The darkness of those times 
arises from our own want of information, 
not from the absence of intelligence that 
distinguished them. Human thought was 
never more active and never produced 
greater results in any period of the 

Emerson, " Progress of Culture," in Letters and 
Social Aims, p. 204. Boston, 1895. 

C ABL YLE : Shakespeare the flowerage of the 
middle ages 

" This glorious Elizabethan era, with its 
Shakespeare as the outcome and flowerage 
of all which had preceded it, is itself at- 
tributable to the Catholics of the middle 
ages. The Christian faith, which was the 
theme of Dante's song, had produced the 
practical life which Shakespeare was to 

Carlyle, " Hero and Poet." 


MAITLAND: Our grandsires of the dark 

" I cannot help wishing that the reader 
who has formed his idea of the dark ages 
only from some modern popular writers 
I do not mean those who have written pro- 
fessedly on the subject could be at once 
fairly thrown back into the midst of them. 
I cannot help thinking that he would feel 
very much as I did the first time that I 
found myself in a foreign country. A thou- 
sand novelties attracted my attention. . . . 
Well, and these old folks of the dark ages 
were our grandfathers and grandmothers ; 
and, in a good many points, vastly like our- 
selves, though we may not at first see the 
resemblance in the few smoky family pic- 
tures which have come down to us ; but 
6 had they not eyes ? ' ' had they not hands, 
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, pas- 
sions, fed with the same food, hurt with 
the same weapons, subject to the same 
diseases, healed by the same means, 
warmed and cooled by the same winter 
and summer ' as we are ? ' Yes ; but they 
knew nothing.' Well, then it is strange to 


think how they could do and say so much 
as they did without any knowledge." 

Maitland, The Dark Ages, pp. 30-31. London: 
John Hodges, Pub., 1890. 

BLACKSTONE in error 

The professors of law in the Universities 
of Cambridge and Oxford, collaborating on 
a " History of English Law before the Time 
of Edward I./' conjointly declare: "Black- 
stone's picture of a nation divided into two 
parties ' the bishops and clergy ' on the 
one side contending for their foreign juris- 
prudence ; ( the nobility and the laity ' on 
the other side adhering ' with equal perti- 
nacity to the old common law ' is not a 
true one. It is by 6 Popish clergymen ' that 
our English law is converted from a rude 
mass of customs into an articulate system ; 
and when the ' Popish clergymen/ yield- 
ing at length to the Pope's commands, no 
longer sit as the principal justices of the 
king's court, the golden age of the common 
law is over." 

STOKES : The task of the Church 

Frederick Stokes, in his Introduction to 
Maitland's " Dark Ages," thus sums up the 


situation : " Almost every vestige of civiliza- 
tion had perished under the attacks of the 
Teutonic invaders. The work of founding 
a polity and a civilization had to be recom- 
menced, and this is one of the salient facts 
to be borne in mind in judging of the Dark 
Ages. The men of those ages had to re- 
create the political and social world. They 
had to rebuild almost from the foundation. 
Not quite ; for Christianity, the basis of 
European civilization, had not only sur- 
vived the storms of the age of invasion, but 
had to a large extent converted the barba- 
rians themselves." 

HALL AM: What the Church did 

" It was no crime of the clergy that the 
Huns burned their churches, or the Nor- 
mans pillaged their monasteries. It was 
not by their means that the Saracens shut 
up the supply of papyrus, and that sheep- 
skins bore a great price. Europe was al- 
together decayed in intellectual character, 
partly in consequence of the barbarian 
incursions, partly of other sinister influences, 
acting long before. We certainly owe to 
the Church every spark of learning which 


then glimmered, and which she preserved 
through that darkness to rekindle the light 
of a happier age." 

Hallam, Middle Ages, ch. ix. (Notes). 

SCHLEGEL : Achievements of the time 

" In the middle age, however, as in anti- 
quity, the era of the foundation of states 
and nations, the era of legislation preceded 
that of the arts and of general refinement. 
... Of ignorance, however, and defective 
civilization, it is scarcely possible to ac- 
cuse an age wherein the Mediterranean was 
covered with ships as richly laden, and its 
coasts by commercial cities as prosperous 
and powerful, as the most flourishing epoch 
of Greece ... an age wherein architecture 
soared with a new flight and painting at- 
tained such high and hitherto unparal- 
leled development and perfection ; an age 
wherein philosophy almost too widely cul- 
tivated became an affair of state and 
practical life, wherein all the historical 
and literary knowledge which was at that 
time by any channels accessible was pur- 
sued with passionate eagerness and desire, 
when natural science and mathematics 


were investigated and studied with untir- 
ing eagerness, until at last the two grand 
discoveries by which the mind of man 
attained its majority, the discovery of the 
new hemisphere and planetary motions, 
that is, of the true magnitude of the 
heaven and earth, crowned the research 
and labors of centuries." 

Course of Lectures on Modern History, by Frede- 
rick Schlegel ; edition of Bohn's Library, London, 
1849, Lectures 9 and 10, pp. 118-119. 

HALL AM: Mediaeval common schools 

" The praise of having originally estab- 
lished schools belongs to some bishops and 
abbots of the sixth century. They came in 
place of the Imperial schools, overthrown 
by the barbarians. In the downfall of that 
temporal dominion, a spiritual aristocracy 
was providentially raised up, to save from 
extinction the remains of learning and of 
religion itself. Some of these schools seem 
to have been preserved in the south of 
Italy, though merely, perhaps, for elemen- 
tary instruction. . . . The cathedral and 
conventual schools, created or restored by 
Charlemagne, became the means of pre- 


serving that small portion of learning 
which continued to exist. They flourished 
most, having had time to produce their 
fruits, under his successors, Louis the 
Debonair, Lothaire, and Charles the Bald." 

Hallam, Introd. to Lit. of Europe, vol. i. p. 27. 
New York : Harper Bros. 

MAITL AND : Churchmen well read 

"If the modern ecclesiastic should ever 
meet with a crop-eared monk of the tenth 
century, he may, if he pleases, laugh at him 
for not having read Virgil ; but if he should 
himself be led to confess that, though a 
priest of Christ's Catholic church, and 
nourished in the languages of Greece and 
Rome till they were almost as familiar to 
him as his own, he had never read a single 
page of Chrysostom or Basil, of Augustine 
or Jerome, of Ambrose of Hilary if 
he should confess this, I am of the opin- 
ion that the poor monk would cross him- 
self, and make off without looking behind 

Maitland, The Dark Ages, p. 207. London: 
John Hodges, Pub., 1890. 


FKOUDE : The Mediaeval clergy 

"Never in all their history, in ancient 
times or modern, never that we know of, 
have mankind thrown out of themselves 
anything so grand, so useful, so beautiful as 
the Catholic church once was .... Wisdom, 
justice, self-denial, nobleness, purity, high- 
mindedness, these are the qualities before 
which the free-minded races of Europe have 
been contented to bow ; and in no order of 
men were such qualities to be found as they 
were found six hundred years ago in the 
clergy of the Catholic church." 

James Anthony Froude, Lecture I. on the " Times 
of Luther and Erasmus" (Short Studies on Great 
Subjects, vol. i.)- 

BOSANQUET: An epoch of architecture 

" We speak sometimes of the ' Dark 
Ages/ and in matters of the exact science 
perhaps they were dark enough. Yet we 
must deduct something from our youthful 
ideas of their obscurity when we find that 
our truest lovers of beauty fix the building- 
age of the world between the years 500 
and 1500 of our era. Architecture, more 
than any other art, is an index to the 


happiness and freedom of the people ; and 
during this period of a thousand years an 
architecture pure in its principles, reason- 
able in its practice and beautiful to the 
eyes of all men, even the simplest, covered 
Europe with beautiful buildings from Con- 
stantinople to the north of Britain. In 
the presence of this manifestation of free 
and productive intelligence, unmatched even 
in ancient Greece and Rome, and utterly 
unmatchable to-day, we may usefully re- 
flect upon the expressive and constructive 
force of Christendom, even in its darkest 
hours. The more closely we examine the 
question, the less ground we shall find for 
the conception of the middle ages as a long 
sleep followed by a sudden awakening. 
Rather we should consider that ancient 
Greece was the root, and ancient Rome 
the stem and branches of our life; that the 
Dark Ages, as we call them, represent its 
flower, and the modern word of science 
and political freedom the slowly matured 

Bosanquet, The Civilization of Christendom, 
eh. iii. 


FERGUSSON : Excellence of mediaeval archi- 

"Not even the great Pharaonic era in 
Egypt, the age of Pericles in Greece, nor 
the great period of the Roman Empire, 
will bear comparison with the thirteenth 
century in Europe, whether we look to the 
extent of the buildings executed, their won- 
derful variety and constructive elegance, 
the daring imagination that conceived 
them, or the power of poetry and of lofty 
religious feelings that is expressed in every 
feature and in every part of them." 

Fergusson, History of Architecture. 

HALLAM: An intellectual impulse in 1O7O 

" About the latter part of the eleventh 
century a great ardor for intellectual pur- 
suits began to show itself in Europe, which 
in the twelfth broke out into a flame. 
This was manifested in the numbers who 
repaired to the public academies or schools 
of philosophy." 

Hallam, Middle Ages, ch. ix. p. 604. 

DURTJY : Greatness of the thirteenth century 

" The most remarkable period of the 
middle ages is the thirteenth century. 


Two great popes, Innocent III. and In- 
nocent IV., then occupied the chair of St. 
Peter ; a saint sat on the throne of France, 
and on that of the Empire a prince upon 
whom the gaze of the world has rested 
ever since, Frederick II. Italy tempora- 
rily regained her independence. England 
established her public liberties, wrote her 
great charter, instituted her parliament. 
The crusades failed; but the results of 
these great enterprises were still dazzl- 
ingly manifest. That great movement of 
men ]ed to a great movement of things 
and ideas. Commerce, industry, letters, 
the arts advanced by leaps and bounds; 
schools multiplied; studies progressed; na- 
tional literature was started; great names 
appeared : Albertus Magnus ; Thomas Aqui- 
nas, Roger Bacon, Dante." 

History of France (ch. xv.) by Victor Duruy, 
Member of the French Academy. New York : 
Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. 



There was never found in any age of the 
world either philosophy, or sec/, or religion, 
or law, or discipline, which did so highly exalt 
the good of the community, and increase pri- 
vate and particular good, as the holy Christian 
faith. BACON. 

THE moral forces in society were all 
throughout the middle ages en- 
gaged in a stupendous labor of 

1. In the pagan world slavery was an es- 
tablished and unquestioned condition. Plato 
made it the topic of eulogy in his " Repub- 
lic." But all the instincts of Christianity 
were hostile to human bondage. " It is 
not ordained," protested St. Augustine, 
" that man should rule over man ; his do- 
minion is solely over brute creation." Reit- 
erated by the canons of the Church and in 
the writings of her school-men, these ideas 
slowly but surely undermined the custom 


of slavery. First by improving the condi- 
tion of the slave, then by protecting his 
freedom when manumitted, and finally by 
making it a meritorious act to give freedom 
to serfs and to ransom captives, the Church 
accomplished a mighty stride in the path of 
human equality. 

2. The elevation of woman proceeded 
on a similar principle. Marriage was 
made a sacrament, and chastity a virtue. 
Monogamy was prescribed; polygamy de- 
nounced. From being an inferior, the wife 
was raised to the position of a companion and 
an equal. So transcendent a change could 
have come only through powerful religious 
conviction. 1 

i The place of honor assigned by the Church to the 
Virgin Mother of God, and the sanctity and protection 
given to nuns and pious women, under the teachings 
of the Church, silently but surely elevated the whole 
mediaeval conception of woman. Mrs. Jameson says: 
*' The protection and better education given to women 
in these early communities, the venerable and distin- 
guished ranks assigned to them, when as governesses of 
their order they became in a manner dignitaries of the 
Church ; the introduction of their beautiful and saintly 
effigies clothed with all the insignia of sanctity and 
authority into the places of worship and books of 
devotion, did more, perhaps, for the general cause 
of womanhood than all the boasted institutions of 


3. Chivalry was the efflorescence of this 
religious sentiment under the conditions 
of feudalism. Its cardinal principles were 
courage, gentleness of manner, and respect 
for sacred things. Undoubtedly it oper- 
ated as a most potent solvent against 
barbarism and the attributes of the rude 
warrior. 1 

1 The four qualities of true knighthood were valor, 
loyalty, courtesy, and munificence, that is, a disdain for 
money, and a disposition generously to relieve distress 
and reward service. Burke's description of chivalry 
is familiar ; he speaks of it as " the unbought grace of 
life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly 
sentiment and heroic enterprise." " Never, nevermore," 
he says, " shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank 
and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, 
that subordination of the heart, which kept alive even in 
servitude itself the spirit of an exalted freedom : " and 
he adds, " that sensibility of principle, that chastity of 
honor which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired 
courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled 
whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half 
its evil by losing all its grossness." 

" A very fascinating picture of chivalous manners has 
been drawn by a writer of considerable reading and. 
still more considerable ability, Mr. Kenelm Digby, in his 
* Broad Stone of Honor.' The bravery, the courteous- 
ness, the munificence, above all, the deeply religious 
character of knighthood and its reverence for the Church, 
naturally took hold of a heart so susceptible of these 
emotions, and a fancy so quick to embody them. St. 
Palaye himself is a less enthusiastic eulogist of chivalry, 


, 4. The " Truce of God," originating in 
France about 1050, and spreading into Ger- 
many and England, was another device of 
the Church against the ferocity of the age. 
It was made ground for excommunication 
to do battle on four days of the week 
(Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), 
corresponding with the passion and resur- 
rection of Christ. Council after council 
reiterated this decree. A wonderful cessa- 
tion of feudal strife and bloody knight 
errantry ensued as a consequence. 
v 5. The establishment of trade unions, 
guilds, and corporations was one of the 
most progressive steps in the history of the 
middle ages. 1 Religion had much to do with 

because he has seen it more on the side of mere romance, 
and been less penetrated with the conviction of its 
moral excellence." Hallam, Middle Ages, part ii. ch. 
ix. page 597 (note). 

1 Referring to the trade corporations of the middle 
ages, Duruy says : " The members of a corporation ob- 
tained from it mutual protection, and aid for old men, 
widows, and orphans. Each had a patron saint, festi- 
vals, and a treasury. The chiefs prevented frauds and 
watched over the observance of the regulations. These 
regulations required a long and strict apprenticeship, 
and assured to the members of the corporation the 
monopoly of their industry ; so that for each profession 
the number of masters was fixed by the corporation 


these associations ; they bore the names of 
saints and respected certain church holidays. 
Sandi, in his " Civil History of Venice/' 
counts over sixty trade corporations in that 
city at the beginning of the fifteenth cen- 
v^tury. The Hanseatic League was modelled 
after religious communities, even to the 
extent of enjoining celibacy. 

6. The influence of the Church was nat- 
urally exerted in favor of the poor and the 
decrepit. 1 Hospitals were placed by the 
secular governments under the charge of 
bishops and religious orders, and asylums 
were respected as Church property. 

7. The mitigation of the criminal code, 
the restraint of tyranny, the protection of 
the weak as against the exactions of the 
strong, and the inculcation of gentle man- 
ners were direct consequences of Christian 
teachings. The Sermon on the Mount was 
the great text of the mediaeval preacher; 

itself. The result was that there was no competition, 
because there was no liberty, and prices were maintained 
at a high rate. But this severe discipline was neces- 
sary to an infant industry." (Duruy, History of France, 
ch. xv.) 

1 See Gasquet's Henry VTIT. and the English Mon- 
asteries, vol. i. p. 107 ; vol. ii. pp. 95, 101. 


and, indeed, no lessons were more in demand 
and of more wholesome effect. 

FISHER : The Mediaeval Church 

" The Church of the middle ages I do 
not consider a mitigated evil, but an in- 
calculable benefit to society. . . . Even the 
papacy, as is shown, was in the medi- 
aeval period in many respects a beneficial 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, prefatory 
note to 2d ed., 1883. 

GIBBON: A salutary antidote 

" The authority of the priests operated in 
the darker ages as a salutary antidote. They 
prevented the total extinction of letters, 
mitigated the fierceness of the times, shel- 
tered the poor and defenceless, and preserved 
or restored the peace and order of civil 

Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the 
Roman Empire, ch. Ixi. (vol. vi. p. 230, Harper 
Bros. ed. 1880). 

ADAMS : Fusion of races 

"Here, then, is the work of the middle 
ages. To the results of ancient history were 


to be added the ideas and institutions of the 
Germans, to the enfeebled Roman race was 
to be added the youthful energy and vigor 
of the German. Under the conditions which 
existed this union could not be made a 
harmonious and homogeneous Christendom, 
could not be formed, except through anarchy, 
ignorance, and superstition." 

Gr. B. Adams, Civilization during the Middle Ages, 

GUIZOT : Promoted peace 

" She [the Church] combated with much 
pertinacity and perseverance the great vices 
of the social condition, particularly slav- 
ery. . . . The Church did not labor less 
worthily for the improvement of civil and 
criminal legislation. . . . Finally, she en- 
deavored by every means in her power to 
suppress the frequent recourse which at 
this period was had to violence, and the 
continual wars to which society was so 

Guizot, History of Civilization, Lecture 6. 

GUIZOT: The Church overcame barbarism 

" No society ever made greater efforts 
than the Christian Church did from the 


fifth to the tenth century to influence the 
world about it and to assimilate it to itself. 
When its history shall become the partic- 
ular object of our examination, we shall 
more clearly see what it attempted. It 
attacked, in a manner, barbarism at every 
point in order to civilize it and rule over 

Gkiizot, History of Civilization, vol. i. Lecture 3, 
p. 75. 

MACAULAY: The Church abolished slavery 

" Before the Reformation came, she [the 
Church] had enfranchised almost all the 
bondsmen in the Kingdom [England]." 

Macaulay, History of England, vol. i. p. 33. 

LECKY: Passing of the gladiator 

" The extinction of the gladiatorial spec- 
tacle is, of all the results of early Christian 
influence, that upon which the historian 
can look with the deepest and most un- 
mingled satisfaction." 

Lecky, History of European Morals, vol. ii. ch. iv. 
p. 38 (D. Appleton & Co., 1877). 


DUBUY: Manifold work of the Church 

"Before even thinking of constituting 
the State intelligently, it was necessary to 
elevate the individual and the family ; this 
double task was the work of the middle ages. 
The Church worked at it energetically 
by establishing the sanctity of marriage, 
even for the serf ; by preaching the equality 
of all men in the eyes of God ; by proclaim- 
ing, through its maintenance of the principle 
of election, the rights of intelligence in the 
face of the feudal world which recognized 
only the rights of blood ; by raising to the 
chair of St. Peter a serf like Adrian IV. or 
the son of a poor carpenter like Gregory 

History of France (p. 125), by Victor Duruy. 
New York : Crowell & Co., Publishers. 

LECKY: The Church protected the people 

"The relations of rulers to their subjects,' 
and of tribunals to the poor, were modified 
by the intervention of the Church. When 
Antioch was threatened with destruction on 
account of its rebellion against Theodosius, 
the anchorites poured forth from the neigh- 


boring deserts to intercede with the ministers 
of the Emperor, while Archbishop Flavian 
went himself as a suppliant to Rome. St. 
Ambrose imposed public penance on Theo- 
dosius on account of the massacre of 
Thessalonica. Synesius excommunicated 
for his oppression a governor named An- 
dronicus ; and two French councils, in the 
sixth century, imposed the same penalty on 
all great men who arbitrarily ejected the 
poor. St. Abraham, St. Epiphanius, and 
St. Basil are all said to have obtained the 
remission or reduction of oppressive imposts. 
To provide for the interest of the widows 
and orphans was part of the ecclesiastical 
duty, and a Council of Macon anathematized 
any ruler who brought them to trial with- 
out first apprising the Bishop of the diocese. 
A council of Toledo, in the fifth century, 
threatened with excommunication all who 
robbed priests, monks, or poor men, or 
refused to listen to their expostulations. . . . 
As time rolled on, charity assumed many 
forms, and every monastery became a centre 
from which it radiated. By the monks the 
nobles were overawed, the poor protected, 
the sick tended, travellers sheltered, prisoners 


ransomed, the remotest spheres of suffering 

Lecky, History of European Morals, vol. ii. ch. iv. 
pp. 83-84 (ed. of D. Appleton & Co., 1877). 

FISHER : Saved Europe from anarchy 

" The feudal system was an atomic con- 
dition of political society. In this state of 
things the Church, through its hierarchical 
organization under one chief, did a benefi- 
cent work for civilization, by fusing the 
peoples, as far as its influence went, into a 
single community and subjecting them to a 
uniform condition. The mediaeval papacy, 
whatever evils may have been connected 
with it, saved Europe from anarchy and 

History of the Reformation, by George P. Fisher, 
D.D., Professor of Eccl. Hist, in Yale College, 
ch. ii. p. 32 (ed. of Chas. Scribner & Sons, 1883). 

LECKY : Christian charity in the middle ages 

" In no form of charity was the beneficial 
character of the Church more continually 
and more splendidly exercised than in 
redeeming captives from servitude. . . . 
St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, 


St. Csesarius of Aries, St. Exuperius of 
Toulouse, St. Hilary, St. Remy, all melted 
down or sold their church vessels to free 
prisoners. St. Cyprian sent a large sum 
for the same purpose to the Bishop of 
Nicomedia. St. Epiphanus and St. Avitus, 
in conjunction with a rich Gaulish lady 
named Syagria, are said to have rescued 
thousands. St. Eloi devoted to this object 
his entire fortune. St. Paulinus of Nola 
displayed a similar generosity. . . . When, 
long afterward, the Mohammedan conquests 
in a measure reproduced the calamities of 
the barbarian invasions, the same unwearied 
charity was displayed. The Trinitarian 
monks, founded by St. John of Matha in 
the twelfth century, were devoted to the 
release of Christian captives, and another 
society [Our Lady of Mercy] was founded 
with the same object in view by St. Peter 
Nolasco in the following century.' 7 

Lecky, History of European Morals, vol. ii. ch. iv. 
pp. 73-74 (ed. of D. Appleton & Co., 1877). 

FKOUDE : The Church as a teacher 

" Never, in all their history, in ancient 
times or modern, never, that we know of, 


have mankind grown out of themselves any- 
thing so grand, so useful, so beautiful as the 
Catholic Church. In these times of ours, 
well-regulated selfishness is the recognized 
rule of action ; every one of us is expected 
to look out for himself first and take care 
of his own interests. At the time I speak 
of, the Church ruled the State with the 
authority of a conscience, and self-interest, 
as a motive of action, was only named 
to be abhorred. The bishops and clergy 
were regarded freely and simply as the 
immediate ministers of the Almighty ; and 
they seem to me to have really deserved 
that high estimate in their character. Wis- 
dom, justice, self-denial, nobleness, purity, 
high-mindedness these are the qualities 
before which the freeborn of Europe have 
been contented to bow ; and in no order of 
men were such qualities found as they were 
found six hundred years ago in the clergy 
of the Catholic Church. They were allowed 
to rule because they deserved to rule, and 
in the fulness of reverence kings and nobles 
bent to their power, which was nearer to 
their own. Over prince and subject, chief- 
tain and serf, a body of unarmed, defence- 


less men reigned supreme by the magic of 
sanctity. They tamed the fiery Northern 
warriors who had broken in pieces the 
Roman empire. They taught them they 
brought them really and truly to believe -r 
that they had immortal souls, and that they 
would one day stand at the awful judg- 
ment bar, and give account of their lives 

Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects (vol. i.), 
" Times of Erasmus and Luther," Lecture 1. 

HALL AM: On chivalry 

" The best school of moral discipline 
which the middle ages afforded was the 
institution of chivalry. . . . The spirit of 
chivalry left behind it a more valuable 
successor. The character of knight gradually 
subsided in that of gentleman; and the 
one distinguishes European society in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as much 
as the other did in the preceding ages. A 
jealous sense of honor, less romantic but 
equally elevated ; a ceremonious gallantry 
and politeness; a strictness in devotional 
observances ; a high pride of birth, and 
feeling of independence of any sovereign 


for the dignity it gave ; a sympathy for 
martial honor, though more subdued by 
civil habits, are the lineaments which 
prove an indisputable descent." 

Hallam, Middle Ages, part ii. ch. ix. 



1 envy them, those monks of old , 
Their books they read, their beads they told. 

/ like a church ; I like a cowl ; 

I love a prophet of the soul ; 

And on my heart monastic aisles 

Fall like sweet strains, or pensive smiles. 


WHATEVER view may now obtain 
respecting monasteries, there can 
be no doubt that " the monks of 
old " * enjoyed the average good opinion of 
their age. In times of violence the mon- 
astery lands were held inviolate ; the monk 

1 St. Anthony (250-356) is regarded as the founder of 
monachism. In 529 St. Benedict re-organized monachism, 
and the Benedictine rule gradually prevailed in the 
monasteries all over western Europe. Waves of reform, 
such as those inaugurated at Cluny and Citteaux, 
transpired during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. 
In the thirteenth century the Dominicans and Franciscans 


travelled without retinue. The avarice of 
the half-pagan nobility led to the suppres- 
sion and spoliation of the rich monasteries 
at the time of the Reformation. But pop- 
ular favor was still on the side of the 
monks. We have an instance of this in 
English history. In 1536 all the northern 
counties of England rose in rebellion at the 
suppression of the lesser monasteries. This 
uprising was known as the " Pilgrimage of 

What are now called " the extinct 
virtues " voluntary poverty, chastity, and 
obedience were the monastic vows chiefly 
insisted upon until the sixth century. Then 
St. Benedict added the requirement of 
manual labor, and among the rocks of 
Subiaco, forty miles from Rome, the foun- 
dations were laid for the monasticism of 

1. The old monastic maxim which Car- 
lyle so much admired, " Labor is prayer," 
naturally yielded marked results. The 
monks improved the rude agricultural 
science of their age, bringing to their tasks 
in the field the keenness of study and con- 
templation. Immense tracts of land in 


the Hercynean woods, in the morasses of 
Holland, in the forests of Burgundy, and 
the fens of Lincolnshire, were caused to 
bloom as a garden by their labor. The 
most populous country in Europe to-day 
stretches between St. Omer and Liege. It 
was formerly a marsh, transformed by 
cowled and hooded tillers. 

2. Cities and centres of population grew 
up about the fortresses of industry and 
peace established by monks. Under the 
shadow of the abbey, the husbandman was 
free from feudal rapacity. The etymology 
of such place-names as Munich is sufficiently 

3. The poor and weak were the especial 
solicitude of the mediaeval monasteries. 
England's " poor laws " date from the sup- 
pression of the abbeys. Prior to that time, 
this social burden and duty was discharged 
by organized church agencies. " The monks,' ' 
says Edmund Burke, " were the sole channel 
through which the bounty of the rich could 
reach the poor in any continued stream, and 
the people turned their eyes towards them in 
all distresses." 

4. In times of barbarous forays, feudal 


warfare and social violence, the peaceful, 
contemplative, and religious mind naturally 
sought a retreat for safety and kindred 
association. Weariness and adversity also 
craved a refuge. In this respect monas- 
teries were an inevitable product of the age. 
" father abbot," says Wolsey in Shake- 
speare's play, 

" An old man broken by the storms of state 
Is come to lay his weary bones among you; 
Give him a little earth, for charity." 

5. Some of the " great books " of the 
world were written in these mediaeval re- 
treats. " The Imitation of Christ " and the 
" Spiritual Combat " breathe of the solemn 
stillness and interior peace of monastic life. 
Our world may aspire to, but it can never 
quite realize, the contemplative spirit of 
those works. 

6. The literature of antiquity was safely 
stored away in the monasteries until the 
period of the Renaissance. It was the labor 
of years to multiply the classical authors, 
but even in an age of manuscript books 
rich libraries were found in many abbeys. 
The thirty-two thousand manuscript books 


in the great library at Paris are almost 
entirely in the handwriting of monks. The 
Bible was copied and illuminated, and the 
annals and chronicles of every country were 
for several centuries recorded solely by 

7. The schools of the middle ages were 
of monastic origin. The synods of the 
clergy and the capitularies of Charlemagne 
directed that schools should be opened in 
connection with the abbeys. Free common 
schools were an invention of the monks. 
The universities were a natural outgrowth. 
That of Paris, although springing from a 
small monastery school, had thirty thousand 
students in the time of Abelard. The 
majority of existing European universities 
date from the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries. 1 

8. Quite naturally, minds educated in 
the monasteries began, eventually, to rule 
in the affairs of Church and State. Pope 
Gregory VII., called Hildebrand, came from 

1 The growth of Oxford and Cambridge universities 
in England synchronizes with "the coming of the friars." 
These were not monastic universities ; nevertheless the 
monastic influence built them up. 


the monastery of Cluny to work a great 
revolution in ecclesiastical polity. Peter the 
Hermit drew all Europe into the Crusades. 
Lanfranc, Roger Bacon, and Thomas Aqui- 
nas exerted influences of the most far- 
reaching character upon the thought and 
temper of their times. 

9. Monopolizing the learning of the age, 
the monastery generally led the way in 
science and material progress. Alchemy, 
medicine, astronomy, geography, and other 
natural sciences were distinct tendencies of 
monastic studies in the fifteenth century. 
The numerous inventions made by monks 
clocks, gunpowder, the musical scale, specta- 
cles, etc. are easily recalled. 

10. One is impressed with the necessity 
of organized forces in the work of civiliza- 
tion and Christianization accomplished in 
the middle ages. There was an eternal fit- 
ness that the monasteries should undertake 
this mission. Fortresses of culture against 
barbarian invasions, they subsequently be- 
came centres from which missionaries issued 
forth to subjugate the world. A counter 
invasion was undertaken by surpliced 
monks in the very cradle of the Goths 


and Vandals. They penetrated Russia and 
Scandinavia, and built their outposts in 
Iceland and Greenland. 

Abuses, of course, crept in. Worldly- 
minded abbots were installed by the secular 
arm. Great wealth carried its inevitable 
temptations, and religion was disfigured by 
barbarism. But the sum total was progress, 
and the debt of society must be paid by a 
favorable and a liberal judgment. 

FROUDE : The monastic system 

" Let us now turn to another vast feature 
of the middle ages I mean the monas- 
teries. . . . The monks, as the brother- 
hoods were called, were organized in different 
orders with some variety of rule, but the 
broad principle was the same in all. They 
were to live for others, not for themselves. 
They took vows of poverty that they might 
not be entangled in the pursuit of money ; 
they took vows of chastity, that the care of 
a family might not distract them from the 
work which they had undertaken. Their 
efforts of charity were not limited to this 
world. Their days were spent in hard bod- 
ily labor, in study, or in visiting the sick. 


At night they were on the stone floors 
of their chapels, holding up their withered 
hands to heaven, interceding for the poor 
souls who were suffering in purgatory. 
The world, as it always will, paid honor 
to exceptional excellence. The system 
spread to the furthest limits of Christen- 
dom. . . . And gradually lands came to 
them, and wealth, and social dignity, all 
gratefully extended to men who deserved 
well of their fellows; while no landlords 
were more popular than they, for the sanc- 
tity of the monks sheltered their depend- 
ents as well as themselves." 

James Anthony Froude, Times of Erasmus and 
Luther (Short Studies on Great Subjects, vol. i. 
pp. 56-58, Longmans, Green, & Co., 1884). 

MAITLAND : What the monasteries were 

" It is impossible to get even a superfi- 
cial knowledge of the mediaeval history of 
Europe, without seeing how greatly the 
world of that period was indebted to the 
monastic orders ; and feeling that, whether 
they were good or bad in other matters, 
monasteries were beyond all price in those 
days of misrule and turbulence, as places 


where ( it may be imperfectly, yet better 
than elsewhere) God was worshipped as 
a quiet and religious refuge for helpless in- 
fancy and old age, a shelter of respectful 
sympathy for the orphan maiden and tfye 
desolate widow as central points whence 
agriculture was to spread over bleak hills 
and barren downs and marshy plains, and 
deal bread to millions perishing with hunger 
and its pestilential train as repositories 
of the learning which then was, and well- 
springs of the learning that was to be as 
nurseries of art and science, giving the 
stimulus, the means, and the reward to in- 
vention, and aggregating around them 
every head that could devise and every 
hand that could execute as the nucleus of 
the city which, in after days of pride, should 
crown its palaces and bulwarks with the 
towering cross of its cathedral." 

Maitland, The Dark Ages, p. 2 (John Hodges, 
Pub., London, 1890). 

deeply seated principle 

" But the most philosophical mode of 
viewing .its [monachism's] relation to Chris- 


tianity is to recognize that monachism has 
made a part of every creed which has at- 
tained a certain stage of ethical and theo- 
sophical development ; that there is a class of 
minds for which it always has had a power- 
ful attraction, and which can otherwise 
find no satisfaction ; and consequently, that 
Christianity, if it is to make good its claim 
to be a universal religion, must provide ex- 
pression for a principle which is as deeply 
seated in human nature as domesticity 
itself, albeit limited to a much smaller sec- 
tion of mankind." 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., vol. xvi. p. 698. 

EMERTON : Monks led the age 

" So we have, over and over again, great 
waves of monastic reform sweeping over 
European society, and carrying with them, 
let it be fairly understood, usually all that 
was best and most forward-looking in the 
community. The conclusion we have to draw 
from this fact is that the mediaeval world 
was right; and it knew its own needs, and 
was trying to provide for them in its own 
way. Our business is, not to criticise these 
means of social improvement, but and 


this is far more difficult to understand 

Mediaeval Europe, p. 558, by Ephraim Emerton, 
Prof, of History in Harvard University. Boston : 
Gmn & Co., 1894. 

LECKY: Industrial advances led by the 

" Here, again, the influence of the Church 
was exerted with unwavering beneficence 
and success. The fathers employed all 
their eloquence in favor of labor; but it 
is to the monks, and especially to the Bene- 
dictine monks, that the change is pre- 
eminently due. At a time when religious 
enthusiasm was directed towards the mo- 
nastic life as towards the ideal of perfection, 
they made labor an essential part of their 
discipline. Wherever they went, they re- 
vived the traditions of old Roman agricul- 
ture, and large tracts of France and Belgium 
were drained and planted by their hands. 
The monks of the order of St. Basil devoted 
themselves especially to painting, and all 
the mediaeval architects whose names have 
come down to us are said to have been ec- 
clesiastics, till the rise of those great lay 


companies who designed or built the cathe- 
drals of the twelfth century. A great num- 
ber of the towns of Belgium trace their 
origin in this manner to the monks. . . . 
By these means the contempt for labor 
which had been produced by slavery was 
corrected, and the path was open for the 
rise of the industrial classes which followed 
the crusades." 

Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, vol. ii. pp. 

L.ECKY: Monks as builders 

" In France, the low countries, and Ger- 
many they were pre-eminently agriculturists. 
Gigantic forests were felled, inhospitable 
marshes were reclaimed, barren plains culti- 
vated by their hands. The monastery often 
became the nucleus of a city. It was the 
centre of civilization and industry, the sym- 
bol of moral power in an age of turbulence 
and war." 

Lecky, History of European Morals, vol. ii. eh. iv. 
p. 184. 

Hallam : Monasteries preserved books 

" The monasteries were subjected to strict 
rules of discipline, and held out, at the worst, 


more opportunities for study than the 
secular clergy possessed, and fewer for 
worldly dissipations. But their most im- 
portant service was as secure repositories 
for books. All our manuscripts have been 
preserved in this manner, and could hardly 
have descended to us by any other channel ; 
at least there were intervals when I do not 
conceive that any royal or private libraries 

Hallam, Middle Ages, ch. ix. part i. p. 484. 


Then wakes the power which in the age of iron 
Burst forth to curl the great, andraive the low. 
Mark where she stands around her form I 

The awful circle of our solemn church. 

BULWER LYTTON, Richelieu, IV. 2. 


* f' | "\HE Bishop of Rome was so much 

annoyed by Lombard free-booters, 

-*- towards the middle of the eighth 

century, that he called upon Pepin, the 

French king, to come over the Alps and 

establish peace. When Pepin subdued the 

Lombards, he made the Pope sole ruler of 

Rome and the country near by. 1 

i During the pontificate of Gregory I., known as 
Gregory the Great (590 to 604), the Pope gradually 
became the political ruler of Rome. Nominally, Rome 
was under the jurisdiction of the Exarchate of Ravenna, 
who was the representative of the emperor at Constanti- 


This was a great advantage to the spirit- 
ual head of the Christian Church. It 
relieved him from the influence and annoy- 
ance of petty kings and princes. But the 
Papal office was not hereditary. The petty 
kings had an opportunity of stepping in a't 
the death of the Pope and exercising con- 
siderable influence in selecting his successor. 
For their busy interference they claimed 
the privilege of appointing the bishops in 
their neighborhoods, and controlling the 
religious patronage. If they happened, as 
they frequently did, to be avaricious per- 
sons, there were scandalous sales of the 
best bishoprics and other unexemplary 

During the tenth century good men bit- 
terly deplored the number of such abuses. 
Some of the Popes were appointed as the 
creatures of German emperors. Many im- 
portant sees were filled by court favorites 
utterly unworthy of sacred offices. 

The Church soon made a stupendous 
effort to free itself from such worldly vassal- 

nople. When Pepin carne to Rome to repel the Lom- 
bards, he gave the entire Exarchate (extending east to 
the Adriatic) to the Pope. 


age. It found a wise and adroit Moses in 
the monk Hildebrand. 1 His first step was 
to advise the Pope to designate a college 
of cardinals, which should thereafter have 
the naming of Roman pontiffs. Later on, 
Hildebrand was himself chosen Pope, and 
took the name of Gregory VII. 

A ceremony called the " investiture " of 
bishops, or the conferring upon them of the 
ring and crosier of their office by the em- 

1 It is significant of the social power of the Church, 
that this man who defied kings was the son of a humble 
carpenter. Born in Tuscany A. D. 1013 and educated in 
Rome, he became a monk at the famous monastery of 
Cluny in France. He served a long apprenticeship in 
the work of the Church before he was called to the high- 
est place in its government. He was virtually the ad- 
viser and counsellor of five of the Popes who preceded 
him, influencing them all towards measures which re- 
formed and elevated the Church of the times. It was 
not until he had attained his sixtieth year that Hilde- 
brand himself became Pope. When he died in exile 
(A. D. 1085) he said, " I have loved justice and hated 
iniquity, therefore I die in exile." Newman says : 
" Gregory thought he had failed : so it is ; often a cause 
seems to decline as its champion grows in years, and to 
die in his death ; but this is to judge hastily ; others are 
destined to complete what he began. No man is given 
to see his work through. 'Man goeth forth unto his 
work and to his labor until the evening,' but the evening 
falls before it is done." Essays, Grit, and Hist., vol. ii. 
p. 316. 


peror, had grown to mean more than a 
mere formality. The substance went with 
it; the actual selection of the bishop was 
implied in his investiture. 1 Henry IV. of 
Germany had been particularly insistent 
in his exercise of this prerogative. The 
Church was disgraced by the "bishops" 
thus thrust upon her. 

Gregory VII. cut the Gordian knot by 
prohibiting the investiture and censuring 
any prince who kept it up. 

The manner in which the emperor met 
this papal act illustrates his conception of 
the civil ruler's power. He called a meeting 
of his bishops and deposed Gregory from 
the papal office, not forgetting to set up one 
of his own court favorites in the former's 

Gregory VII. saw that he must fight the 
devil with fire. His counterblast came at 
once (A. D. 1076) in a proclamation absolv- 

1 " The ring and crosier, it was asserted by the Papal 
advocates, were the emblems of that power which no 
monarch could bestow ; but even if a less offensive sym- 
bol were adopted in investitures, the dignity of the 
Church was lowered, and her purity contaminated when 
her highest ministers were compelled to solicit the 
patronage or the approbation of laymen." Hallam, 
Middle Ages, ch. vii. part i. p. 655. 


ing the German people from allegiance to 
Henry. The ground taken was that the 
emperor had broken his coronation oath. 
That oath required him to protect the 
Church and respect his people's liberties. 
It happened that just then Henry was fail- 
ing in both particulars. The act of Gregory 
met with a wonderful response. Every- 
where the monks and friars denounced 
Henry as no longer fit to rule. The lords 
gathered and repudiated him. He was a 
king without a throne, and it became the 
highest policy on his part to repent. 

This he did by a famous journey to 
Canossa. The Pope forgave him too easily, 
not discerning his purpose of revenge, for 
he subsequently drove Gregory from Rome, 
and the aged pontiff died in exile. But the 
Papal policy was fixed, and in the year 1122 
the German emperor formally resigned the 
alleged right of " investiture/' 1 

Gregory deposed Henry in self-defence ; 
some of Gregory's successors kept up the 
war in Africa with the same object in view. 

1 This was by virtue of the famous "Concordat 
of Worms." Meanwhile Henry V. had succeeded 
his father as emperor of Germany. 


A great contest with Frederick Barbarossa, 
Emperor of Germany, was ended in 1177. 
The Papal authority won again. A few 
years afterwards King John of England 
asked the Pope to order the French king to< 
give Normandy back to Britain, implying 
that authority for such an act resided in the 
Roman See. Innocent III. did not do so, 
but he afterwards found occasion to de- 
clare John's throne forfeited, and to absolve 
the English from their allegiance. 


For two centuries following Hildebrand's 
struggle with Henry IV. it seems to have 
been the generally received opinion that the 
Pope might depose sovereigns where such 
valid reasons existed as oppression of the 
people, heresy, and vice. The precise basis 
of this opinion is not clear. Some regard 
it as a development of feudalism, the Pope 
being recognized as the suzerain of all the 
sovereigns of Christendom. As a matter of 
fact, many rulers, at different times, placed 
their dominions under the direction of the 
Pope, or invoked the papal authority to 


recover their possessions. The deposing 
power may also have developed from a 
disposition to regard the Pope as the arbiter 
in disputes between Christian rulers. Still 
another view regards the deposing power as 
the received public law of the middle ages 
from the fact that Kings and Emperors 
in order to reign lawfully had to profess 
the Catholic faith and be in communion 
with the Pope. Fenelon found a basis for 
the deposing power in the fact that the Pope 
was the final judge of all political contracts 
involving " allegiance." He, as the chief 
pastor of the Church, was bound, in dis- 
puted cases, to instruct people consulting 
him as to whether they were obliged to 
keep their oaths of fealty. 

It seems clear that the deposing power of 
the Pope never was, and is not now, regarded 
as an article of Catholic faith. Pius IX. 
in a sermon quoted by Cardinal Soglia, 
said : u No one now thinks any more of the 
right of deposing princes, which the Holy 
See formerly exercised, and the supreme 
pontiff even less than any one." l 

1 Ferraris, Papa, quoted in Addis and Arnold's 
Catholic Dictionary. 


It was a species of international law 
which the events of history, religious and 
political upheavals, have practically abro- 
gated. But while it was exercised, and 
during the ages when people recognized it, 
it undoubtedly served to promote liberty 
and to curb the cruelty and cupidity of 

In our age the people do almost every 
year what the Popes did but rarely. The 
breed of kings has improved ; there were 
numbers of mediaeval monarchs who ought 
to have been deposed, but who were let 
alone. The Papal anathemas struck men 
like Henry IV. and John Lackland, who 
richly deserved the scaffold. 


Of the two hundred and sixty Popes, 
seventy-nine have been canonized by the 
Catholic Church as saints, pre-eminent for 
their holiness. 

Some fifteen or twenty of the remainder 
have been variously accused of immorality, 
political ambition, and criminal intrigue. It 
is noteworthy that the characters of several 


thus accused have been vindicated by Prot- 
estant biographers. Voigt, in his Life of 
Gregory VII., Hurter's Innocent III., Eich- 
horn, Luden, Mueller, and Leopold Ranke 
have cleared up much fiction and partisan 
tradition reflecting upon the moral charac- 
ter of a dozen Pontiffs. 

An instance of the absurdity of some of 
these fables is found in the story of Pope 
Joan. A learned woman, disguised as a 
man, succeeded, so the narrative runs, in 
deceiving the churchmen and securing her 
own selection to the Papal throne, which 
she occupied for nearly three years. This 
story is traced back to within two hundred 
years of the alleged date of the female 
Pope's pontificate. It is found wanting in 
a single element of authenticity, and no 
modern historian gives it any credence. 1 

The tenth century furnishes us the most 
certain instances of immoral or bad Popes. 
Society was then in a transitional state. 
Rome was described as the "hostelry of 
nations." The " bad Popes " are variously 
estimated by Catholic writers as from six 
to twenty. " We have forty-three virtuous, 

1 See Baring-Gould's Myths of the Middle Ages. 


to one bad pope/' says Cardinal Gibbons 
(Faith of our Fathers, chap. xi.), " while 
there was a Judas Iscariot among the 
twelve Apostles." 

Writers like Leopold Ranke (History of 
the Popes) describe the Roman Pontiffs of 
the first ages and of later times (since the 
rise of Protestantism) as irreproachable in 
their moral characters. Yoigt ( Gregory VII., 
vol. ii. p. 98) says : " The Holy See was 
the only tribunal that could set any limits 
to imperial despotism as a second defender 
of humanity." Roscoe (Life of Leo X., vol. 
i. p. 53) says : " The Popes may in general 
be considered as superior to the age in 
which they lived." 

FISHER: The mediaeval papacy 

"The mediaeval papacy, whatever evils 
may have been connected with it, saved 
Europe from anarchy and lawlessness." 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. ii. p. 32. 

!Lilly : Hildebrand an apostle of liberty 

" Gregory (VII.) was the savior of politi- 
cal freedom too. He was the founder of 


communal liberty in Italy, the apostle of 
Italian independence." 

W. S. Lilly, Chapters in European History, vol. i. 
p. 183. 

SOTJTHEY: The savior of Europe 

" If the Papal power had not been adapted 
to the conditions of Europe, it could not 
have subsisted. It was the remedy for some 
of the greatest evils. We have to look to 
the Abyssinians and Oriental Christians, to 
see what Europe would have become with- 
out the Papacy. It was morally and in- 
tellectually the conservative power of 
Christendom. Politically, it was the sa- 
vior of Europe. For, in all probability, 
the West, like the East, must have been 
overrun by Mohammedanism, and sunk in 
irredeemable degradation if, in that great 
crisis of the world, the Church had not 
roused the nations to a united and prodi- 
gious effort commensurate with the danger. 
In the frightful state of society which some- 
times prevailed, the Church everywhere pre- 
sented a controlling and remedial influence." 

Southey, Book of the Church. 


WHEATON: Papal authority a blessing 

"The influence of the Papal authority, 
though sometimes abused, was then felt as 
a blessing to mankind ; it rescued Europe 
from total barbarism ; it afforded the only 
asylum and refuge from feudal oppression." 

Wheaton, History of the Laws of Nations, p. 33. 

COMTE: A basis of judgment 

" The papal hierarchy," says Comte, " in 
fact, constituted, in the middle ages, the 
main bond among the various European 
nations, after the decline of the Roman 
sway ; and in this view the Catholic influ- 
ence ought to be judged, as De Maistre 
truly remarked, not only by the ostensible 
good which it produced, but yet more by 
the imminent evil which it silently obvi- 
ated, and which, on that account, we can 
only inadequately appreciate." 

GUIZOT: The Papacy and liberty 

" When a pope or bishop proclaimed that 
a sovereign had lost his rights, that his sub- 
jects were released from their oath of fidel- 
ity, this interference, though undoubtedly 


liable to the greatest abuse, was often, in 
the particular case to which it was directed, 
just and salutary. It generally holds, in- 
deed, that where liberty is wanting religion, 
in a great measure, supplies its place. In 
the tenth century the oppressed nations 
were not in a state to protect themselves or 
to defend their rights against civil violence 
religion, in the name of Heaven, placed 
itself between them/' 

Guizot, History of Civilization, vol. i. Lecture 5, 
p. 124, 3d Am. ed. (Hazlitt's Notes). 

COQUEREL: Despotism prevented 

"In those ' dark' ages we see no example 
of tyranny comparable to that of the Do- 
mitians at Rome. A Tiberius was impos- 
sible then ; Rome would have crushed him. 
Great despotisms exist when kings believe 
that there is nothing above themselves. 
Then it is that the intoxication of un- 
limited power produces the most fearful 

Coquerel, Essai sur 1'Hist. Generate du Chris- 
tianisme, p. 75. 


ROBERTSON: A real benefit 

" The Pontifical monarchy taught the 
nations and kings to regard themselves 
mutually as compatriots, as being both 
equally subject to the divine sceptre of re- 
ligion ; and this centre of religious unity 
has been throughout many ages a real 
benefit to the human race." 

Robertson, Charles V. 

SISMONDI : The Pope defender of the people 

" In the midst of the conflicts of jurisdic- 
tions, the Pope alone proved to be the de- 
fender of the people, the only pacifier of 
great disturbances. The conduct of the 
Pontiffs inspired respect, as their benefi- 
cence merited gratitude." 

Sismondi, History of the Italian Republics. 

LiEIBNITZ : Hindered many evils 

" It must be confessed that the solicitude 
of the Popes concerning the canons and 
Ecclesiastical discipline, was from time to 
time most beneficial ; and that, by influ- 
encing kings, in season and out of season, 
either by the authority of their office or by 


the threat of ecclesiastical censures, the 
Pontiffs hindered many evils. And noth- 
ing was more common than that kings 
should subject themselves, in their treaties, 
to the censure and correction of the Pope, 
as in the treaty of Bretigny in 1360, and in 
the treaty of Staples in 1492." 

Leibnitz, De actorum publicorum usu. 

LEIBNITZ: The Pope as umpire among the 

" If all would become Catholics and be- 
lieve in the infallibility of the Pope, there 
would not be required any other umpire 
than that of the Vicar of Jesus Christ. If 
the Popes resumed the authority which they 
had in the time of Nicholas the First or 
Gregory the Seventh, it would be the means 
of obtaining perpetual peace and conducting 
us back to the golden age." 

Leibnitz, Id. 

LECKY: Popes who saved Home 

" But everywhere amid this chaos of dis- 
solution we may detect the majestic form of 
the Christian priest mediating between the 
hostile forces, straining every nerve to 


lighten the calamities around him. When 
the Imperial city was captured and plun- 
dered by the hosts of Alaric, a Christian 
church remained a secure sanctuary, which 
neither the passions nor the avarice of the 
Goths transgressed. When a fiercer than 
Alaric had marked out Rome for his prey, 
the Pope St. Leo, arrayed in his sacerdotal 
robes, confronted the victorious Hun, as 
the ambassador of his fellow-countrymen, 
and Attila, overpowered by religious awe, 
turned aside in his course. When, twelve 
years later, Rome lay at the mercy of Gen- 
seric, the same Pope interposed with the 
Vandal conqueror, and obtained from him 
a partial cessation of the massacre." 

Lecky, History of European Morals, vol. ii. ch. iv. 

PALGBAVE : A Pope's moral courage 

"Hildebrand, sparing neither the bribed 
nor the bribers, incurred the inveterate 
odium of all the delinquents. Hildebrand 
had no respect to persons or judgment. 
Sin levelled emperors and beggars before 

Sir Francis Palgrave, History of Normandy and 
England, vol. i. p. 112. 


SCHLEGEL: Origin of the Papal power 

" Hence the high authority which Rome 
then exercised over kings and emperors 
was grounded, first, on a political claim 
growing out of the circumstances which 
accompanied the revival of the western em- 
pire ; and secondly, on the general opinion 
of that time respecting the subordination of 
the temporal to the spiritual power." 

Schlegel, Philos. of Hist., p. 137. 

LOTGABD : Kings appealed to the Pope 

" This doctrine, hostile as it might be to 
the independence of sovereigns, was often 
supported by the sovereigns themselves. 
Thus, when Richard I. was held in captiv- 
ity by the emperor, his mother, Eleanor, 
repeatedly solicited the Pontiff to procure 
his liberation by the exercise of that au- 
thority which he possessed over all tem- 
poral princes. Thus, King John Lackland 
(whose excesses afterwards provoked against 
himself the animadversion of the Church) 
invoked the aid of the same authority to 
recover Normandy from the King of France. 
At first, indeed, the Popes contented them- 



selves with spiritual censures ; but in an age 
when all notions of justice were modelled 
after the feudal jurisprudence, it was soon 
admitted that princes, by their disobedience, 
became traitors to God ; that as traitors 
they ought to forfeit their kingdoms, the 
fees which they held of God ; and that 
to pronounce such sentence belonged 
to the Pontiff, vicegerent of Christ upon 

Lingard, History of England, vol. iii. of the 3d 
London ed./p. 35, note. 

SCHLEGEL : A voice against despotism 

" By the princes themselves was the 
head of the Church first called upon to de- 
cide weighty matters of state and to exert 
influence over the affairs of Europe. . . . We 
cannot deny, on examining closely the wants 
of the situation and the spirit of those times, 
that it accomplished much good ; that not 
seldom it protected the oppressed cause of 
justice. ... It seemed desirable and whole- 
some that even against the mightiest rulers 
one voice dared still to be raised alone for 
justice a voice of which he should stand 


in awe ; which he could not silence by mere 

A Course of Lectures on Modern History, by Fred- 
eric Schlegel, Bonn's Popular Library, London, 
1849, Lectures 6-7, p. 88. 


Then blame not those who, by the mightiest lever 
Known to the moral world, imagination, 
Upheave (so seems it) from her natural station 
All Christendom ; they sweep along (was never 
So huge a host) to tear from the unbeliever 
The precious tombs, their haven of salvation. 


RELIGIOUS fervor and devotion were 
not the only causes of those on- 
slaughts of United Europe against 
Mohammedan Asia, called the Crusades. 
The immediate purpose was to protect the 
liberty and life of Christian pilgrims visiting 
Jerusalem. There was a continuous breach 
of international rights in this respect, to 
redress which, any spirited modern nation 
would take up the sword. But the deep, 
underlying motive was the apprehension of 
Christian Europe for its own safety. 


"Mussulman impiety," said the contem- 
poraneous Pope Urban II., 1 " has overspread 
the fairest regions of Asia ; Ephesus, Nice, 
and Antioch have become Mohammedan 
cities; the barbarous hordes of the Turks 
have planted their colors on the very shores 
of the Hellespont, whence they threaten 
war to all our states of Christendom. 
Unless you oppose a mighty barrier to their 
triumphant course, how can Europe be 
saved from invasion, how can the storm be 
averted which has so long threatened to 
burst upon our countries ? " 2 

With Christian civilization it was a war 
of self-preservation. 

1. In this respect the Crusades were a 
notable success. Instead of waiting, as dis- 
united states, to receive the blow of Moham- 
medan invasion, the nations of Europe 
" took time by the forelock," welded them- 
selves into unity, and made the aggressive 
move themselves. The Saracens and Selju- 

1 He addressed a great council at Piacenza, in 1095, at 
which two hundred bishops and nearly four thousand 
priests were present. 

2 Michaud, History of the Crusades, vol. i. Michaud's 
work continues (despite some errors) to be the great 
standard authority on the Crusades. 


kians were beaten to the ground. The issue 
for supremacy was inevitable between the 
religion born at Galilee and that born at 
Mecca. Rome saw farthest ahead. 1 

The first (A. D. 1090), fifth (A. D. 1201), 
and sixth (A. D. 1228) Crusades were the 
most important, at least in their results. 

In 1099 the first Crusaders captured 
Jerusalem and set up a Christian kingdom 
there which lasted eighty-eight years. In 
1205 a Latin empire was established in 
place of the Greek empire at Constantinople, 
and the Eastern schism appeared to be at an 
end. But this union of the Eastern and 
Western churches lasted only until 1261, 
when the Latin empire was overthrown. 
Jerusalem again came into the possession of 
the Christians by treaty in 1229 (as a result 
of the sixth Crusade), but in 1242 the hordes 
of Jenghiz Khan again swept away the 
Christian dominion ; nor did the subsequent 
Crusaders ever get as far as the Holy City. 
The last or ninth Crusade went out, A. D. 
1270, under St. Louis, King of France. 

1 It is in this connection that Cardinal Newman re- 
marks that those who in our time speak so bravely 
against the Pope owe it to the Pope that they can speak 
at all. 


Nazareth was taken, but there the enterprise 
ended. 1 

2. From the East the returning Crusaders 
brought back new inventions, new fabrics 
like the silk manufacture, alchemy, the 
Arabic notation, and all the impetus to 
science and letters that came from contact 
with Syria, Greece, and other strange 
lands. 2 In the history of civilization this 
alone was sufficient to compensate for the 
blood and treasure expended in these 

3. The Crusades were a blow at feudalism, 
cutting off the petty nobility and securing 
more orderly government. Travelling be- 
came easier. The enfranchised boroughs 
and the free cities sprang up by reason of 
the Crusades. 

4. The art of navigation was improved 
in the transport of armies. Nations built 

1 It is estimated that nearly two million people lost 
their lives in the two centuries of the Crusades. The 
cessation of private warfare at home nearly counter, 
balanced this loss. 

2 However beneficial attrition with other civilizations 
proved, we must not fall into the error of those who, in 
their eagerness to disparage Christianity, imagine that 
Moorish or Saracen civilization was superior to the Chris- 
tian civilization of the middle ages. 


navies. The mariner's compass was brought 
into use. 

5. And from this circumstance came the 
growth of commerce and the upbuilding of 
Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and Florence, those 
great mediaeval marts whose trade with 
Asia and Africa was of world-wide note, 
and whose population of bankers and mer- 
chants laid the foundation of our modern 
commercial law as we read it. 

Thus a movement undertaken in what to 
materialists seems a spirit of fanaticism and 
superstition, justified itself even in their 
eyes by promoting Europe's material growth. 

BISHOP STUBBS : The Crusades a benefit to 

"The Crusades are not, in my mind, 
either the popular delusions that our cheap 
literature has determined them to be, nor 
Papal conspiracies against kings and peoples, 
as they appear to the Protestant con- 
troversialist. . . . They were the first great 
effort of mediaeval life to go beyond the 
pursuit of selfish and isolated ambition ; 
they were the trial feat of the young world 
essaying to use, to the glory of God and the 


benefit of man, the arms of its new knight- 
hood. . . . That in the end they were a 
benefit to the world no one that reads can 
doubt ; and that in their course they brought 
out a love for all that is heroic in human 
nature the love of freedom, the honor of 
prowess, sympathy with sorrow, persever- 
ance to the last, and patient endurance 
without hope, the chronicles of the age 
abundantly prove ; proving moreover that 
it was by the experience of those times 
that the former of these virtues were real- 
ized and presented to posterity." 

Lectures on Mediaeval and Modern History, p. 157, 
by Wm. Stubbs, D.D. , Bishop of Chester, Regius 
Prof, of Modern History at Cambridge and Edin- 
burgh. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1885. 

ADAMS : A universal stimulus 

" The Crusades had a most profound effect 
on the people of Europe. The age was one 
of great stir and stimulus. Mind was 
aroused. The crusaders were brought into 
contact with better civilization than their 
own and were taught that they had many 
things yet to learn. Before the age of the 
Crusades had closed, and produced at least 


in part by them, there occurs the great 
intellectual epoch of the thirteenth century 
which created the scholastic system in 
philosophy and founded the universities of 
Europe. . . . An even more immediate effeqt 
of the Crusades was the stimulus which they 
gave to commerce, and the changes which 
followed in this direction were as far reach- 
ing and profound as the intellectual." 

European History, p. 217, by Geo. B. Adams, Pro- 
fessor of History in Yale University. New York : 
The Macmillan Co., 1899. 


" Such a purpose and aim was the Cru- 
sades, during well-nigh two centuries, for 
Europe; and the answer which Christian 
Europe made to the appeal is a signal testi- 
mony of the preparedness of the middle 
ages for noble thoughts and noble deeds. 
To the high thoughts which they kindled 
in so many hearts, to the religious consecra- 
tion which they gave to the bearing of 
arms, we are indebted for some of the fair- 
est aspects of chivalry, as it lives on a 
potent and elevating tradition to the present 
day. Thus to them we owe the stately 


courtesies of gallant foes able to under- 
stand and to respect one another, with 
much else which has lifted up modern war- 
fare into something better than a mere 
mutual butchery, even into a school of 
honor in which some of the gentlest and 
noblest men have been trained/' 

Archbishop Trench, Lectures on Mediaeval Church 


" They [the Crusades] failed, indeed, to 
establish the permanent dominion of Latin 
Christendom, whether in New Rome or 
Jerusalem, but they prolonged, for nearly 
four centuries, the life of the Eastern Empire, 
and by so doing they arrested the tide of 
Mohammedan conquests as effectually as it 
was arrested for Western Europe by Charles 
Martel on the plains of Tours." 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., article " Cru- 
sades," vol. vi. p. 629. 

Cox: Crusades saved Europe 

"We must not forget that by rolling 
back the tide of Mohammedan conquest 


from Constantinople for upward of four 
centuries they [the Crusades] probably 
saved Europe from horrors the recital of 
which might even now make one's ears 

G. W. Cox, The Crusaders, ch. xv. p. 224. 


"The Crusades undoubtedly produced a 
powerful economic effect by transferring, in 
many cases, the possessions of the feudal 
chiefs to the industrious classes, whilst, by 
bringing different nations and races into 
contact, by enlarging the horizon and the 
conception of the populations, as by afford- 
ing special stimulus to navigation, they 
tended to give a new activity to inter- 
national trade." 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., vol. xix. p. 352. 

GUIZOT : Enlarged the ideas of Europe 

"The principal effect, then, of the 
Crusades was a great step towards the 
emancipation of the mind, a great progress 
towards enlarged and liberal ideas. . . . 
Such, in my opinion, are the real results of 


the Crusades, on the one hand extension of 
ideas and the emancipation of thought, on 
the other a general enlargement of the 
social sphere and the opening of a wider 
field for every sort of activity: they pro- 
duced at the same time more individual 
freedom and more political unity." 

Guizot, History of Civilization, vol. i. Lecture 8. 

LA CBOIX: Developed commerce 

" The effect of the Crusades was, never- 
theless, a complete revolution in the man- 
ners and customs of the western nations : the 
suppression of servitude, the founding of 
the free towns, the alienation and the 
division of the feudal laws and the develop- 
ment of the commercial system." 

Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages, 
p. 134, by Paul La Croix, Curator of the Imperial 
Library of the Arsenal, Paris. London : Chapman 
and Hall, 1874. 

ROBERTSON: Promoted chivalry 

" The same spirit of enterprise which had 
prompted so many gentlemen to take arms 
in defence of the oppressed pilgrims of 
Palestine, incited others to declare them- 


selves the patrons and avengers of injured 
innocence at home. When the final reduc- 
tion of the Holy Land under the dominion 
of infidels put an end to these foreign 
expeditions, the latter was the only employ? 
ment left for the activity and courage of 
adventurers. To check the insolence of 
overgrown oppressors ; to rescue the help- 
less from captivity ; to protect or to avenge 
women, orphans, and ecclesiastics, who 
could not bear arms in their own defence ; 
to redress wrongs and remove grievances 
were deemed acts of the highest prowess 
and merit. Valor, humanity, courtesy, jus- 
tice, honor, were the characteristic qualities 
of chivalry." 

William Robertson, History of the Reign of the 
Emperor Charles V. 



1 would rather die ten times over than make 
a schism. ERASMUS. 

IT is worthy of remark that six of the 
earlier heresies in the history of the 
Church should have arisen respecting 
the divine persons of the Godhead. The 
Arians (325) taught that Christ was infe- 
rior to the other persons of the Trinity. 1 
The Macedonians (381) taught that the 
Holy Ghost was inferior. The Nestorians 
(431) taught that there were tivo persons 
(not two natures) in Christ. The Eutych- 
ians (451) taught that there was but one 

1 The Arians constituted by far the most consider- 
able heresy of the early ages. Arius died in 336, but 
Arianism prospered after his death. The West Goths 
received Christianity in the Arian form, and the East 
Goths and Lombards also were Arians. This heresy 
dominated Spain and Africa and Northern Italy for 
more than a hundred years, nor did it decline until the 
end of the sixth century. 


nature the divine. The Monothelites 
(680) held that Christ had no human will. 
The Manichseans (280-1215) taught that 
Christ did not assume a real human body, 
but merely appeared in one, like the angels 
of the Old Testament. 

The Pelagian heresy denied the doctrine 
of original sin. The Iconoclasts opposed 
sacred images. And the heresy of Beren- 
garius (1078) denied the real presence of 
Christ in the Eucharist. 

During the latter middle ages the most 
famous heresies .were those of the Albigenses 
and Waldenses, condemned by the Council 
of Lateran in 1179; and the teachings of 
Wycliffe and his disciple, Huss, condemned 
by the Council of Constance in 1414. 

These may be styled premature Protes- 
tantisms, from the fact that they expressed 
the religious unrest of their time. The 
Calvinists were proud to trace their an- 
cestry to the Waldenses, and Wycliffe is 
sometimes styled the prototype of English 

The Albigenses were so styled after Albi, 
a town in southern France, where the sect 


became numerous about 1200. Pope Inno- 
cent III. sent Peter, of Chateau-neuf, and 
three other monks to convert them; but 
they murdered Peter and terrified his fol- 
lowers. Count Raymond of Toulouse sided 
with them, and they carried things with 
a high hand. The murder of the Pope's 
legate was the occasion of a crusade against 
Toulouse and Albi, led by Simon of Mont- 
fort, at the head of a French army. The 
war 1 lasted intermittently from 1209 to 
1227, and finally drifted from a religious 
to a political contest. The Albigenses were 
utterly crushed. 

Respecting the nature of the Albigensian 
teachings, contemporary writers agree in 
connecting them with the Manichaeans. 

This, too, is Bossuet's opinion. Hallam 
and Mosheim substantially coincide with 
him. Identification with Manichaeism is re- 
garded as a damning indictment against 
the Albigenses. The judicial records of the 

1 The battle of Murret (1213) decided the war against 
the Albigenses. Raymond of Toulouse was then de- 
posed, and Simon de Montfort, who had led the Crusa- 
ders, and whose son figures as the founder of the English 
Parliament, was given the fiefs that formerly belonged to 



middle ages are full of the blackest crimes 
attributed to this sinuous and surreptitious 

Mani, a Persian teacher of the third 
century, compounded Paganism and Chris- 
tianity into a system of doctrines, which 
persisted through the centuries in vari- 
ous forms and under various names. One 
author counts over seventy Manichaean 

The popular and legal dislike towards the 
Manichaeans was due, not so much to their 
theological vagaries as to their reputed 
immoralities. They were described as Me- 
diseval Mormons. They inculcated devil- 
worship, denied the divinity of Christ, 
rejected the Old Testament, and repudiated 
the observance of Sunday. 

Their midnight orgies, their hatred of 
marriage, their incests, fornications, and 
suicides were the scandals of the middle 
ages. They united secrecy and hypocrisy 
as methods of covering their tracks. 

In France they were called, from their 
origin, Bulgarians; in some parts of Italy, 
Publicans, a corruption of the word Pauli- 
cians ; in the provinces, where they were 


most numerous, Provincials, or, after 1208, 
Albigenses, from the town of Albi in Lan- 
guedoc ; in the Milanese Territory, Cathari, 
i. e., the Pure, or Paterenes and Paterinians, 
a name which they had usurped from the 
anti-simoniacal Catholic Church party in 
Milan; in Belgium, Piphiler or Weavers, 
from the trade which the greater number 
of them followed, and sundry other names ; 
but the generic term, Manichseans, was 
given to them universally, and was accepted 
by themselves in their disputations with 

The Albigenses held many of the Mani- 
chaean doctrines and rivalled them in many 
points of violence and debauchery. " I 
have seen on all sides," says Stephen, 
Abbot of St. Genevieve, describing to the 
King of France the condition of Albigen- 
sian Toulouse, " churches burned and ruined 
to their foundations ; I have seen the dwell- 
ings of men changed into the dens of wild 

The Waldenses, who were also termed 
Yaudois and Poor Men of Lyons, were fol- 
lowers of Peter Waldo, a merchant of Lyons. 


In 1160 Waldo, affected by the death of a 
fellow merchant, gave his property to the 
poor, and led a life of poverty. In teach- 
ing that malefactors ought not to be con- 
demned, but should be allowed to go at 
large, after the manner of the tares 
described in the parable, the Waldenses 
came into conflict with the civil power. 
They denounced oaths as sinful, and advo- 
cated Communism. The Mass and Purga- 
tory were eliminated from their religion. 
They thought the clergy ought to hold no 
property. Ultimately some of them drifted 
into the immoral and pagan customs of 
the Albigenses. The fact that they existed 
about the time and in the neighborhood of 
the Albigenses has led to their being con- 
founded with these more unworthy sectaries. 

The heresies of Wycliffe (1324-84) and 
John Huss (1375-1414) bore fruits in the 
Lollards of England and the Bohemian 
Brethren of Prague. Henry V. put down 
the former on the charge of conspiracy, and 
the Bohemian Brethren, after a bloody civil 
war, expired of inanition. 

Wycliffe continued a priest of the Catholic 


Church to the time of his death. His 
divergence from Catholic teaching had refer- 
ence to the supremacy of the Pope in spirit- 
ual matters, which he partly controverted, 
and to certain regulations respecting the 
authority of Bishops over priests. He 
seems to have recanted his views prior to 
his death. 

Huss followed Wycliffe in most points, 
but was. more violent in his methods. He 
attended the Council of Constance under a 
safe conduct from the Emperor Sigismund. 
The council condemned his teachings as 
heretical, and heresy being at that time a 
violation of the civil as well as the ecclesi- 
astical law, the secular arm took hold of 
Huss after the council had got through 
with him. He was burned at the stake 
July, 1414. 

HALL AM : The Albigenses were Manichaeans 

" The tenets ascribed to them [the Albi- 
genses] by all contemporary authorities 
coincide so remarkably, with those held by 
the Paulicians, and in earlier times by the 
Manichaeans, that I do not see how we can 
reasonably deny what is confirmed by sepa- 


rate and uncontradicted testimonies, and 
contains no intrinsic want of probability." 

Hallam, View of the Middle Ages, ch. ix. part ii. 

MILMAN: Adverse to Christian morals , 

" Western Manichgeism, however, though 
it adhered only to the broader principles of 
Orientalism, the two co-equal conflicting 
principles of good and evil, the eternity of 
matter, and its implacable hostility to spirit, 
aversion to* the Old Testament as the work 
of the wicked Demiurge, the unreality of 
the suffering Christ, was, or became, more 
Manichaean than its Grecian parent, Pauli- 
cianism. . . . Western Manichseism is but 
dimly to be detected in the eleventh cen- 
tury. . . . But in the twelfth century Mani- 
ch seism is rampant, bold, undisguised. 
Everywhere are Puritans, Paterines, Popu- 
lars, suspected, or convicted, or confessed 
Manichseans. . . . The chief seat of these 
opinions was in the south of France. . . . 
Their religion was chivalry, but chivalry 
becoming less and less religious ; the mis- 
tress had become the saint, the casuistry of 
the Court of Love superseded that of the 
confessional. There had grown up a gay 


license of manner adverse not only to the 
austerity of monkish Christianity but to 
pure Christian morals." 

Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christian- 
ity, vol. v. ch. viii. pp. 159-163. New York: 
Sheldon & Co., 1861. 


" The descent of the Albigenses may be 
traced with tolerable distinctness from the 
Paulicians, a sect that sprang into existence 
in the Eastern Church during the sixth cen- 
tury. The Paulicians were agnostics, and 
were accused by their enemies and persecutors 
of holding Manichsean doctrines which, it is 
said, they vehemently disowned. Their 
creed, whatever it may have been precisely, 
spread gradually westward through Europe. 
In the ninth century it found many ad- 
herents in Bulgaria, and three hundred 
years later it was maintained and defended, 
though not without important modifications, 
by the Albigenses in the south of France. 
. . . They [the Albigenses] inherited and 
used, as has already been said, certain 
doctrines of eastern origin, such as the 
Manichaean dualism, diocetism in relation 


to the persons of Christ, and a theory of 
metempsychosis. They seem, like the Mani- 
chaeans, to have disowned the authority of 
the Old Testament ; and the division of their 
adherents into the perfecti and credences is 
similar to the Manichsean distinction between 
electi and aucKtori" 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., vol. i. p. 454. 

: Manichsean opinion in the twelfth 

" Nothing is more curious in Christian 
history than the vitality of the Manichsean 
opinions. That wild, half-poetic, half- 
rationalistic theory of Christianity appears 
almost suddenly in the twelfth century, in 
living, almost irresistible power, first in its 
intermediate settlement in Bulgaria, and on 
the borders of the Greek Empire, then in 
Italy, in France, in Germany, in the remote 
West at the foot of the Pyrenees. The 
chief seat of these opinions was in the south 
of France." 

H. H. Milman, History of Latin Christianity, 
book ix. ch. viii. 


SCHAFF-HERZOG : Their violence 

"In a short time the Albigenses had 
congregations with schools and charitable 
institutions of their own. Then they drove 
away the Roman Catholic priests from the 
churches, took possession of the buildings, 
and elected their own priests and bishops. 
. . . This state of things caused, of course, 
great alarm at Rome." 

The Schaff-Herzog Dictionary, vol. i., article on 

STEPHEN : Albigensian immoralities 

" The imputations of irreligious heresy and 
shameless debauchery, which have been cast 
with so much bitterness on the Albigenses 
by their persecutors, and which have been 
so zealously denied by their apologists, are 
probably not ill-founded, if the word Albi- 
genses be employed as synonymous^ ( with 
the words Provenceaux or Languedo^aans, 
for they were apparently a race among 
whom the hallowed charities of domestic 
life, and the reverence due to divine ordi- 
nances and the homage due to divine truth, 
were often impaired, and not seldom extin- 


guished by ribald jests, by infidel scoffing, 
and by heart-hardening impurities. Like 
other voluptuaries, the Provenceaux (as 
their remaining literature attests) were 
accustomed to find matter for merriment in 
vices which would have moved wise men to 

Sir J. Stephen, Lectures on the History of France, 
Lecture 7. 


They never fail who die 

In a great cause. The block may soak their gore, 
Their heads may sodden in the swn, their limbs 
Be strung to city gates and castle walls ; 
But still their spirit walks abroad. 


ABOUT the time that Columbus was 
setting out on his first voyage of 
discovery (1492), a Dominican friar, 
Jerome Savonarola, forty years of age, was 
rising into fame as a moral and political 
leader at Florence. 

His influence began as a pulpit orator 
and a moral reformer. In the course of 
events he became a law-giver to the people 
of Florence, a virtual dictator over the 
politics as well as the morals of the city; 
and then, towards the years of his down- 
fall, the victim of a bitter partisan struggle. 
Six short years (1492-98) saw him first the 


idol of the people and afterward done to 
death under a cloud of popular infamy by 
the same fickle populace who had once 
idolized him and whom he had so greatly 

He had come to Florence in 1482 ; i but 
it was not until seven years later that he 
began to acquire fame as a preacher in that 
city. His sermons were jeremiads, de- 
nouncing and lamenting the vices of the 
age, and predicting the dire punishments 
which God had in store for Florence. He 
did not spare the rulers, either of church or 
state. Lorenzo de' Medici was then the 
the autocrat of Florence, where the Medicis 
had ruled for half a century. Savonarola 
was uncompromising in his opposition to 
Lorenzo. The latter induced an Augus- 
tinian friar, Mariano, to attack Savonarola. 
Mariano was discomfited ; and, later, retired 
to Rome, where his bitter enmity to Savon- 
arola continued. Lorenzo died in 1492 and 
was succeeded by his son Piero. The moral 
and political condition of Florence con- 
tinued to degenerate under Piero de' Medici. 
As a result, the influence and power of 
Savonarola, as a censor of the evil moral 


condition of the city, increased. He became 
prior of St. Mark's, and his ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction was made an independent one. 

In 1494 Charles VIII. of France in- 
vaded Italy with 60,000 men. Calamity 
and misery followed his march. Savona- 
rola went at the head of a delegation of 
Florentines to meet the French king at 
Pisa. In the mean time the Florentines 
expelled Piero de' Medici. Largely through 
the influence of Savonarola, the visit of the 
French was not as disastrous as it might 
have been. A new government was set 
up at Florence which was nominally a re- 
public. Savonarola was now by common 
consent the law-giver to his people as well 
as the moral censor of the city. The years 
1494-97 were, more or less, years of a rigor- 
ous puritanism for the people of Florence. 

A reaction was inevitable. Savonarola's 
denunciations had offended Pope Alexander 
VI. The expelled Medici were his enemies. 
The young bloods of Florence bridled under 
his rigorous morality. The aristocratic 
party opposed him. These enmities began 
in 1496, and their machinations finally 
effected his downfall. Savonarola was 


forced into a conflict with the Pope ; first 
by his refusal to visit Rome, then by his 
opposition to the Pope's order uniting the 
Florentine and Tuscan Dominicans. The 
Pope's purpose was to withdraw Savonarola 
from Florence. Finally, towards the middle 
of 1497, Alexander VI. excommunicated 
Savonarola ; * not on the ground of heresy, 
however, but on account of his disobedience 
in the affair of the union of the Dominican 
congregations. In the latter part of that 
year Savonarola celebrated mass and later 
resumed preaching, notwithstanding the 
ban of excommunication. Then the Pope 
threatened to issue an interdict against the 
city of Florence, unless the Signory or 
government would exclude Savonarola from 
the pulpit or imprison him or send him to 
Rome. The pressure of this threat, and the 
final preponderance in the government of 
Florence of the party opposed to him, led 
to Savonarola's arrest, his trial and his 
death, May 23, 1498. He was first hung, 
and then his body was burned. 

1 Rev. J. L. O'Neil, O.P., in a recent work, " Was Savon- 
arola Excommunicated?" (Boston: Marlier, Callanan & 
Co., Publishers), has raised an interesting question. 


Such is the story of Savonarola. His 
conflict with the Pope grew out of political, 
moral, and disciplinary issues rather than 
out of any questions of doctrine. 1 In all 
his difficulties he proclaimed himself " a 
true son of the Church." His indiscretions 
and his faults were due to his excessive 
earnestness and his devotion to the welfare 
of the people who put him to death. His 
motives were good and his life was unself- 
ish. He was a devout and holy man, 
though doubtless at times an enthusiast 
and a visionary. 

The elements of opposition, unable to 
meet him directly on the issue of good 
government vs. oligarchy and debauchery, 
pulled wires at Eome. They sought to get 
him disciplined on some matter of ecclesias- 
tical regulation or procedure. He undoubt- 
edly erred in disobeying the commands of 
his superior ; he erred in the more impor- 
tant consequences of his first error, by 
continuing to officiate as a priest after 

1 " It did not occur to him to doubt the institutions of 
his Church or to question her authority," says Mrs. Oli- 
phant (The Making of Florence). " He was no apostle 
of reform (as understood by Luther)," says Symonds 
(Hist. Renaissance). 


he had been excommunicated. His enemies 
had him technically in the wrong as 
they planned. 

History has since reversed the judgment 
of those days. Savonarola is now generally 
regarded as a great and good man. One of 
the later Popes, it is said, contemplated 
canonizing him as a saint of the Church. 
He was revered by St. Philip Neri and 
many other saintly men. Raphael painted 
him among the doctors of the Church. 
Fifteen Italian bishops in 1898 took part in 
the Savonarola commemorative exercises at 

C ANTtT : Savonarola's career 

" Savonarola *' was " a man of faith, of 
superstition, of genius, abounding in char- 
ity. Contrary to Luther, who confided en- 
tirely in reason, he believed in personal 
inspiration. Arguments in his favor, as well 
as against him, may be drawn from his 
works, which, as a whole, evidence his 
attempt to harmonize reason with faith, 
Catholicity with political freedom. ... In 
no wise did he impugn the authority of 
the Roman See, although he resisted one 


whom he believed to be an illegitimate oc- 
cupant of that See, and against whom he 
tried to invoke a council which would re- 
form the Church legitimately. Pride re- 
sulted from popularity, opposition induced 
excess, but he worked with a pure con- 
science and without personal ambition. His 
opinions he endeavored to propagate by ex- 
ample, and not by force ; he believed in the 
efficacy of truth. . . . Thinking to guide a 
mob by means of passion and of the hurly- 
burly of street crowds, he fell a victim to 
one and the other, as commonly happens. 
. . . The fame of Savonarola remains sus- 
pended between heaven and hell, but all 
deplored his death, and especially, perhaps, 
those that had caused it. ... Not one of 
the followers of the great friar figures 
among the disciples of Luther or among the 
betrayers of his country's liberty. Michel- 
angelo, who raised bastions for his native 
city, and also the grandest church in Chris- 
tendom, always venerated Savonarola." 

Cesare Cantti, Gli Eretici d' Italia, Torina, 1865, 
vol. i. pp. 234-235. 



RANKE : His asceticism 

" Among these rich, influential, educated, 
and solemn people [the people of Florence] 
a Dominican, Hieronymus Savonarola of 
Ferrara, had succeeded in making himself 
universally esteemed. He was, it is true, 
strict with himself and others, a solitary 
walker, a monk by inclination, and a man 
who also knew how to control his harsh 
voice. He admonished his monasterial 
brethren to give up all their property. He 
spared no one, not one of his fellow-citi- 
zens, the Brescians, the Florentines, nor his 
liege lords, the Pope and Lorenzo de' Medici, 
and all this could not help securing him 
a certain influence. But what made him 
really powerful were, before all else, his 
doctrines and his prophetic gifts." 

Von Ranke, History of the Roman and German 
People, p. 85. 

NEWMAN : A favourable view 

In his sermon on the mission of St. Philip, 
Cardinal Newman depicts Savonarola as " a 
true son of St. Dominic in energy, in sever- 
ity of life, in contempt of merely secular 
learning : a forerunner of St. Pius the Fifth 


in boldness, in resoluteness, in zeal for the 
honor of the house of God, and for the res- 
toration of holy discipline. It was the truth 
of his cause, the earnestness of his convic- 
tions, the singleness of his aims, the impar- 
tiality of his censures, the intrepidity of 
his menaces, which constituted the secret 
of his success." 

CREIGHTON: The lesson of his career 

" Savonarola's fate (says Creighton) is a 
type of the dangers which beset a noble 
soul drawn by its Christian zeal into con- 
flict with the world. More and more he 
was driven to fight the Lord's battle with 
carnal weapons, till the prophet and states- 
man became inextricably entangled, and the 
message of the new life was interwoven 
with the political attitude of the Florentine 
Kepublic. Little by little he was driven 
into the open sea, till his frail bark was 
swallowed by the tempest. He encouraged 
Florence to adhere to an untenable position 
till all who wished to bring Florence into 
union with Italian aspirations were driven 
to conspire for his downfall." 

Creighton, History of the Papacy, vol. iii. p. 247. 


CREIGHTON: Later attitude of churchmen 

" Even a pope so purely secular as Alexan- 
der VI. is said in latter years to have re- 
gretted Savonarola's death. Julius II. or- 
dered Raffaelle to place him among the 
doctors of the Church in the great fresco of 
the ( Disputa,' and his claims to canoniza- 
tion were more than once discussed. The 
Church evidently grieved over his loss when 
he was gone, when political difficulties had 
passed away, and the memory of the fer- 
vent preacher of righteousness remained." 

Creighton, History of the Papacy, vol. iii. p. 248. 

Macaulay: Savonarola not a Protestant 

" The spirit of Savonarola had nothing in 
common with the spirit, religious or politi- 
cal, of the Protestants of the North." 

Macaulay's Essays (Von Ranke) . 


" Thou hast set Thy Word as a light to my 
feet." THOMAS A KEMPIS (A. D. 1425). 

IT is ascertained that at least twenty- 
two versions, or different translations, 
of the Bible existed in the various 
tongues of Europe before Luther was born. 
Over seventy editions of the entire Bible in 
vernacular tongues were printed during the 
seventy years intervening from 1460 to 
1530. 1 The Bible was printed twenty times 
in the German language before Luther's 
translation appeared (1530). 

Two copies of a German Bible, printed 
in 1466, are preserved in the Senatorial 
library at Leipsic. The Mazarin Bible is 

1 The " Reportoriurn Bibliographicum," printed at 
Tubingen, reckons consecutively ninety-eight distinct edi- 
tions before the year 1500, independently of twelve other 
editions which, together with the Latin text, presented 
the glossa ordinaria or the postillas of Lyranus." 


considered the earliest complete book pub- 
lished. It was printed in Latin about 14 5 5. 1 

A German edition of the Bible, published 
in 1460, is the earliest book printed with 
metal type and on both sides of the leaf. 

Rev. Dr. Maitland, a learned divine of 
the Church of England, estimates that fifty 
Latin editions of the Bible were published 
before Luther was born. " To say nothing 
of parts of the Bible or of books whose 
place is uncertain, we know of at least twenty 
editions of the whole Latin Bible printed in 
Germany alone before Luther was born." 2 

Sickendorf, a biographer and disciple of 
Luther, mentions three German editions of 
the Bible, published at Wittenberg in 1470, 
1483, and 1490. 3 

Menzel, in his history of Germany, says : 
" Before the time of Luther the Bible had 
already been translated and printed in both 
High and Low Dutch." 4 

Throughout the middle ages the Bible 
was the great popular book of Europe. 
Dr. Maitland says that the very literature 

1 Hallam, Literature of Europe, vol. i. p. 96. 

2 Maitland, The Dark Ages, p. 469. 

8 Commentaries on Luther, libr. i. sec. 51. 
4 Menzel, vol. ii. p. 223. 


of the time is written in the words and 
phrases of Scripture. 

Fragments of Bishop Uphilas' Scriptural 
translation, written in the fourth century, are 
our oldest specimens of the Gothic tongue. 
The Venerable Bede and King Alfred both 
contributed Anglo-Saxon translations of 
parts of the Bible. In the fourteenth cen- 
tury John de Tarvisa made a full English 

The Protestant biblical scholar. Bishop 
Usher, states that the first French transla- 
tion of the Bible was made in 1478. It 
was successively republished sixteen times 
before 1546. A Flemish translation by 
Merland, in 1210, is also mentioned by 
Usher. Seven editions of this version were 
printed before Luther's translation appeared. 

The complete Bible in Spanish was edited 
by Boniface Ferrer, in 1405. The Spaniards 
are to be credited, too, with the first poly- 
glot edition of the Sacred Scriptures. 1 This 

1 Carranza. the celebrated Archbishop of Toledo, says 
in the Prologue to his "Commentaries": "Before the 
heresies of Luther appeared, I do not know that the 
Holy Scriptures in the vulgar tongue were anywhere 
forbidden. In Spain the Bible was translated into Span- 
ish by order of the Catholic sovereigns, at the time when 


edition was printed in six different lan- 
guages at Madrid, in 1515, under the 
auspices of Cardinal Ximenes. Italian 
translations of the Bible were common 
throughout the middle ages, and numerous 
editions were printed at Venice, Florence, 
Naples, and Rome prior to Luther's time. 
A Bohemian Bible was published at Prague 
in 1488. There are Danish authorities who 
state that the Icelanders had an entire 
translation of the Scriptures in the thir- 
teenth century. 

One of the greatest books of the middle 
ages is the " Imitation of Christ " by Thomas 
a Kempis, published about the year 1425. 

We find in its pages the best evidence of 
the mediaeval attitude and^ practice in the 
matter of Bible-reading. A Kempis, who 
was a monk in the archdiocese of Cologne, 
had himself made a MS. copy of the Bible. 
In the first book, chapter i. of the " Imita- 
tion," there are some useful directions about 
reading the Holy Scriptures : 

" All Holy Scripture should be read in the 

the Moors and Jews were allowed to live among the 
Christians according to their own law." 


spirit in which it was written. Our curiosity 
is often a hinderance to us in reading the 
Scriptures, when we wish to understand and 
to discuss, where we ought to pass on in 
simplicity. ... If thou wilt derive profit, 
read with humility, with simplicity, with 
faith, and never wish to have the name of 

In the eleventh chapter of the fourth 
book he says : 

" I shall have moreover for my consola- 
tion and a mirror of life Thy Holy Books, 
and above all Thy Most Holy Body for my 
especial remedy and refuge. . . . Whilst 
detained in the prison of this body I 
acknowledge that I need two things, food 
and light. Thou hast therefore given to 
me, weak as I am, Thy Sacred Body for the 
nourishment of my soul and body, and Thou 
hast set Thy word as a light to my feet. 
Without these two I could not live ; for the 
word of God is the light of soul and Thy 
Sacrament is the bread of life. These also 
may be called the two tables set on either 
side in the storehouse of Thy holy Church." 

The mediaeval mind, as here laid bare, 
does not seem to raise any questions as to 


whether it is wise to read the Bible or as to 
whether the Bible is difficult to procure. 
These matters are evidently not even con- 
templated as possible issues ; on the contrary, 
the excellence of Scripture reading and its 
necessity as "the light of the soul" are 
dwelt upon. Be it remembered, too, that 
this manual of A Kempis came at once into 
the hands of the laity as well as of the 
clergy, for it went into the vernaculars of 
every nation in Europe only a few years 
after its first publication. 

In 1877 Mr. H. Stevens published, at 
South Kensington, a " List of Bibles in the 
Caxton Exhibition," respecting which an 
English paper makes this comment : " This 
catalogue will be very useful for one thing, 
at any rate, as disproving the popular fable 
about Luther '$ finding the Bible for the first 
time at Erfurt about 1507. Not only are 
there many editions of the Latin Vulgate 
long anterior to that time, but there were 
actually nine German editions of the Bible 
in the Caxton Exhibition earlier than 1483, 
the year of Luther's birth, and at least three 
more before the end of the century." 


HALLAM: The Bible in the vernacular 

" In the eighth and ninth centuries, when 
the vulgate had ceased to be generally 
intelligible, there is no reason to suspect 
any intention in the Church to deprive the 
laity of the Scriptures. Translations were 
freely made into the vernacular languages, 
and, perhaps, read in churches. . . . Louis 
the Debonair is said to have caused a Ger- 
man version of the New Testament to be 
made. Otfrid, in the same century, rendered 
the gospels, or, rather, abridged them, into 
German verse. This work is still extant.'' 

Hallam, Middle Ages, chap. ix. part ii. 

BLUNT : The Bible open to the laity 

The well-known Anglican writer, Dr. 
Blunt, in his " History of the Reformation " 
(vol. i. pp. 501-502) tells us that " there has 
been much wild and foolish writing about the 
scarcity of the Bible in the ages preceding 
the Reformation. It has been taken for 
granted that the Holy Scripture was almost a 
sealed book until it was printed in English 
by Tyndal and Coverdale, and that the only 
source of knowledge respecting it before 


then was the translation made by Wycklrffe. 
The facts are . . . that all laymen who 
could read were, as a rule, provided with 
their Gospels, their Psalter, or other devo- 
tional portions of the Bible. Men did, in 
fact, take a vast amount of personal trouble 
with respect to the productions of the Holy 
Scriptures ; and accomplished by head, hand, 
and heart what is now chiefly done by paid 
workmen and machinery. The clergy studied 
the Word of God and made it known to the 
laity ; and those few among the laity who 
could read had abundant opportunity of 
reading the Bible, either in Latin or Eng- 
lish, up to the Reformation period." 

MAITLAND: The Bible in the dark ages 

" To come, however, to the question, Did 
people in the dark ages know anything 
of the Bible ? Certainly, it was not as 
commonly known and as generally in the 
hands of men as it is now, and has been 
almost ever since the invention of printing 
the reader must not suspect me of wish- 
ing to maintain any such absurd opinion ; 
but I do think that there is sufficient 
evidence (1) that during that period the 


Scriptures were more accessible to those 
who could use them, (2) were, in fact, more 
used, and (3) by a greater number of per- 
sons, than some modern writers would lead 
us to suppose." 

Maitland, The Dark Ages, p. 220. 

MAITLAND: The Bible in Germany 

Dr. Maitland says : "To say nothing of 
parts of the Bible, or of books whose place 
is uncertain, we know of at least twenty 
different editions of the whole Latin Bible 
printed in Germany only, before Luther 
was born. . . . Before Luther was born 
the Bible had been printed in Rome, Naples, 
Florence, and Piacenza, and Venice alone 
had furnished eleven editions." 

Maitland, The Dark Ages, p. 469. 

KEUSS : The Bible often printed 

Reuss says : " No book was so frequently 
published, immediately after the first inven- 
tion of printing, as the Latin Bible, more 
than one hundred editions of it being struck 
off before the year 1520." 


HAL LAM: The First German Bible 

" The first German printed Bible, bearing 
the arms of Frederick III., issued from the 
Mainz press in 1462. In 1462 Faust 
published a Bible commonly called the 
Mentz Bible." 

Hallam, Introd. to Literature, part i. Lecture 3. 

Another version appeared in 1466, two 
copies of which are still preserved in the 
Senatorial library at Leipsic. Other ver- 
sions were published rapidly. 

MAITL AND : A fable about Luther 

" Before Luther was born the Bible had 
been printed in Rome, and the printers had 
the assurance to memorialize his Holiness, 
praying that he would help them off with 
some copies. It had been printed, too, at 
Naples, Florence, and Piacenza ; and Venice 
alone had furnished eleven editions. No 
doubt, we should be within the truth if we 
were to say that beside the multitude of 
manuscript copies, not yet fallen into dis- 
use, the press had issued fifty different 
editions of the whole Latin Bible; to say 
nothing of Psalters, New Testaments, or 


other parts. And yet, more than twenty 
years after, we find a young man who had 
received " a very liberal education," who 
" had made great proficiency in his studies 
at Magdeburg, Eisenach, and Erfurt," and 
who, nevertheless, did not know what a 
Bible was, simply because " the Bible was 
unknown in those days. [This refers to 
the absurd story as told by D'Aubigne, 
of Luther " discovering " a Bible for the 
first time when he was twenty years old]." 

Maitland, The Dark Ages, p. 506. 

NOTE. Dr. De Costa, in the " Catholic World Maga- 
zine" for August, 1900, tells the story of the chained 
Bible at Erfurt in 1507: 

"No doubt there was a chained Bible at Erfurt in 1507. 
Chained Bibles were found two hundred years later, 
as chained directories are seen to-day in hotels. The 
preface of the pre-Luther German Bibles stated that the 
book was 'for the use of unlettered simple folk, lay and 
spiritual.' They were quoted freely in sermons, and 
when Luther's edition appeared, Zwingle, a fellow- 
reformer, charged Luther with changing and mutilating 
the Word of God, which was deliberately done in the 
King James' translation, as the revised edition now 



Then sculpture and her sister arts revived, 
Stones leaped to form and rocks began to live, 
With sweeter notes each rising temple rang, 
A Raphael painted and a Vida sang. 


THERE was a gradual recovery from 
barbarism and disorder all through- 
out the middle ages ; but the epoch 
usually referred to as that of the " Revival 
of Learning" comes towards the close of 
mediaeval history. What had been going 
on at a slow pace during the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries then broke into a canter 
and a gallop ; and the rapidity with which 
new things came into use inventions 
crowding in upon each other, commerce 
broadening into discovery, and the material 
comforts of the people vastly improving 
tended to make the people feel a new 
strength and take a more cheerful view of 


Although " the horologue of Time does not 
peal out the passage from one era to another," 
the epoch of the Revival may be said to date 
from the invention of printing in 1440. It 
culminated about the end of the century, in 
what was termed " the Golden Age " of 
Pope Leo X. Leo was one of the Medici, a 
Florentine family, justly famed for its 
patronage of the arts. 

The manifestations of the epoch were in 
its literature, its discoveries, and its politi- 
cal and material advances. 

The nations began to develop their ver- 
naculars. Poetry and history were writ- 
ten in other tongues besides the scholastic 
Latin. England had her Chaucer, and Italy 
her Petrarch. Vigorous German, elegant 
French, and sonorous Spanish were rounded 
and polished into literature. 

The rise of free cities, the development 
of commerce, the Hanseatic league, and the 
spread of the Italian banking system were 
other features of the age. 

Marco Polo, the famous Venetian naviga- 
tor, had daring competitors in Bartholomew 
Diaz and Vasco da Gama. They rounded 
the Cape of Good Hope and planted Euro- 



pean outposts in the Indies. Finally Co- 
lumbus comes with his discovery of a new 
world, 1492, year of the greatest event 
in the Christian era. 

The cannon booming at the siege of 
Constantinople, in 1453, was a clear arid 
emphatic announcement to the world that 
the age of gunpowder was at hand. 

1. The fall of that city, then the capital 
of Greek culture, sent scores of learned 
refugees into Italy, Germany, and France, 
where they were received with open arms 
and installed as teachers in the universities. 1 

2. This, and the invention of printing 
an almost contemporaneous occurrence 
are considered the two great causes of the 
revival of learning. 

The Greeks roused a new interest in 
classical study. Simultaneously there was 
a new interest in scientific study, partly but 
not entirely due to contact with the Arabs 
and Moors. The literature of every coun- 

i " The drooping Muses then he westward called, 

From the famed city by Propontic sea, 
What time the Turk the enfeebled Grecian thralled : 
Thence from their cloistered walks he set them 



try felt the impulse of this awakened con- 
verse. It was a "new birth" to letters, 
and the epoch has been fitly so called, the 

As for printing, it is easy to imagine its 
vast importance. 1 It went into immediate 
and universal use. The Bible was in type 
A. D. 1455. Pamphlets, political screeds, 
satires, lampoons, caricatures, and popular 
songs were sent into circulation by the 
thousands. Letters were brought down to 
the masses. 

We may properly add as other and more 
remote causes of the revival : 

3. The Crusades, which, the more they 
are studied, the more drastic does their in- 
fluence on European civilization appear. 

4. The great universities, founded in the 
twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, 
under the fostering care of the Church, now 
efflorescing under the ray of reflected light 

1 u Gutenberg, without knowing it, was the Mechan- 
ist of the New World. In creating the communications 
of new ideas, he had assured the independence of reason. 
Every letter of this alphabet which left his fingers con- 
tained in it more power than the armies of kings and the 
thunder of pontiffs. It was mind which he furnished 
with language." LAMARTINE. 


let in from the East ; stored with the in- 
tellectual energies of the preceding ages and 
conserving the libraries of Europe. 

The larger number of the great univer- 
sities of modern Europe were established in 
the middle ages. Those of Paris, Oxford', 
Bologna, and Ferrara were in existence for 
a century or more prior to A. D. 1000. As 
to the age of the others, the following are 
the most generally accepted dates: Sala- 
manca, 1200 ; Cambridge, 1280 ; Prague, 
1358; Vienna, 1365; Ingolstadt, 1372; 
Leipsic, 1408 ; Louvain, 1425 ; Basle, 1469; 
Alcala, 1517. 

Considering the population and condition 
of Europe at the time, fifteen universities 
was a generous allowance; and it hardly 
accords with the popular notion of the cul- 
ture of those days that so great provision 
was required for higher education. This is 
especially true when we are informed that 
Oxford had a larger enrolment during the 
middle ages than it has had at any time since, 
some three thousand halls being required 
for the convenience of students, and the 
attendance varying from 5000 to 25,000. 
The eloquence of Abelard is said to have 


drawn nearly 30,000 students to the Uni- 
versity of Paris, and they came from all 
parts of Europe. The reconquest from 
barbarism must have been in an advanced 
stage, when the mind of Europe created 
such emporiums of learning. 

HALLAM: Mediaeval universities 

" At Oxford, under Henry III., it is said 
there were 30,000 scholars, an exaggera- 
tion which seems to imply that the real 
number was very great. A respectable 
writer asserts that there were fully 10,000 
at Bologna about the same time. ... At 
the death of Charles VII. in 1453, it [the 
University of Paris] is said to have con- 
tained 25,000 students." 

Hallam, View of the Middle Ages, ch. ix. part ii. 

ADAMS : Scholasticism organized the univer- 

" In another direction the age of scholas- 
ticism exerted a permanent influence upon 
the intellectual history of the world. This 
was in the organization of the universities 
of Europe. The intense eagerness to learn 
which characterized the times seized upon 


the best of the already existing schools and 
transformed them. The number of students 
grew enormously, and at the same time the 
number and skill of the teachers. The 
branches of learning began to be differen- 
tiated from one another, and teachers and 
students to specialize in their studies. New 
methods of study were also introduced, 
dialectics in theology and the use of Jus- 
tinian's code in law. With the increase in 
numbers, these schools took on a more defi- 
nite organization and became great self- 
governing communities of a democratic cast, 
or at least democratic after a certain stage in 
the course of education had been reached. 
Together they formed indeed a kind of 
international community with a common 
language, very frequent immigration from 
one to another, and a recognized standing 
in any one for those who held the degrees 
of another. In most of these universities 
the student life and much of the instruction 
centred in the college system, which survives 
to-day in the English universities." 

European History (p. 264), by Geo. B. Adams, 
Professor of History in Yale University. New 
York: The Macmillan Co., 1899. 


SCHAFF: Renaissance matured under the 

" This literary and artistic movement ex- 
tended from the fourteenth to the middle 
of the sixteenth century. It is variously 
styled the Revival of Letters., the age of 
Humanism, by the French term Renaissance, 
and the Italian Rinascimento. In the wid- 
est sense the Renaissance comprehends the 
revival of literature and art, the progress of 
philosophy and criticism, the discovery of 
the solar system by Copernicus and Galileo, 
the extinction of feudalism, the development 
of the great nationalities and languages of 
modern Europe, the emancipation of en- 
slaved intelligence, the expansion and 
freedom of thought, the invention of the 
printing press, the discovery and exploration 
of America and the East ; in one word, all 
the progressive developments of the later 
middle ages. . . . The Renaissance was 
born in the Republic of Florence, under the 
patronage of the Medici family, and matured 
in Rome under the patronage of the Pope. 
From these two centres it spread all over 
Italy, France, Germany, Holland, and Eng- 
land. It ascended the papal throne with 


Nicholas V. (1447-55), the founder of the 
Vatican Library, and was nurtured by his 
successor, Pius II. (1458-64), Sixtus IV. 
(1471-84), who founded the Sistine Chapel, 
Julius II. (1503-13), who called Bramante, 
Michael Angelo, and Raphael to Rome, and 
Leo. X. (1513-22), who gave them the 
most liberal encouragement in their works 
of art. The Renaissance was the last great 
movement of history in which Italy and the 
Popes took the lead." 

The Renaissance (ch. ii. pp. 9-10), by Philip Schaff , 
D.D., Prof, of Church History in Union Theological 
Seminary. New York : G-. P. Putnam & Sons, 1891. 

PASTOR: Encouraged by the Church 

" The partial and short-sighted view 
which condemned the whole Renaissance 
movement as dangerous to faith and morals, 
cannot be considered as that of the Church. 
At this time, as throughout the whole of 
the middle ages, she showed herself to be 
the patroness of all wholesome intellectual 
progress, the protectress of all true culture 
and civilization." 

History of the Popes (since the close of the Mid- 
dle Ages), by Dr. Ludwig Pastor, Prof, of His- 
tory in the University of Innsbruck, vol. i. p. 54. 
London: John Hodges, Pub., 1891. 


SYMONDS: Italy led the way 

" The reason why Italy took the lead in 
the Renaissance was that Italy possessed a 
language, a favorable climate, political 
freedom, and commercial prosperity, at a 
time when other nations were still semi- 
barbarous. It was at the beginning of the 
fourteenth century, when Italy had lost 
indeed the heroic spirit which we admire in 
her Communes of the thirteenth, but had 
gained instead ease, wealth, magnificence, 
and that repose which springs from long 
prosperity, that the new age at last began." 

J. A. Symonds, Renaissance in Italy, Age of the 
Despots, ch. i. 

PASTOR: Nicholas V. and the revival of 

" It has often been said that the Renais- 
sance itself ascended the Papal Throne with 
Nicholas V. Yet it must not be forgotten 
that the great Pontiff was throughout on 
the side of the genuine and Christian Re- 
naissance. The founder of the Vatican Li- 
brary, like Fra Angelico whom he employed 
to paint his study in that palace, knew how 


to reconcile his admiration for the intellec- 
tual treasures of the past with the claims of 
the Christian religion ; he could honor both 
Cicero and St. Augustine, and could appre- 
ciate the grandeur and beauty of heathen 
antiquity without being thereby led to 
forget Christianity. The leading idea of 
Nicholas V. was to make the capital of 
Christendom the capital also of classical 
literature and the centre of science and art. 
The realization of this noble project was, 
however, attended with many difficulties and 
great dangers. If Nicholas V. overlooked 
or underestimated the perils which threat- 
ened ecclesiastical interests from the side of 
the heathen revolutionary Renaissance, this 
is the only error that can be laid to his 
charge. His aim was essentially lofty and 
noble, and worthy of the Papacy. The fear- 
lessness of this large-hearted man in face of 
the dangers of the movement a fearless- 
ness which has in it something imposing 
strikes us all the more forcibly when we 
consider the power and influence which the 
Renaissance had at this time attained in 
Italy. The attempt to assume its guidance 
was a great deed and one worthy of the 


successor of the Gregories and the Inno- 

Pastor's History of the Popes, ch. i. p. 55. 


" The Renaissance must, indeed, be viewed 
mainly as an internal process whereby spirit- 
ual energies latent in the middle ages were 
developed into actuality and formed a men- 
tal habit for the modern world. The pro- 
cess began in Italy, and gradually extended 
to the utmost bounds of Europe, producing 
similar results in every nation and establish- 
ing a common form of civilization." 

Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th ed., vol. xx. p. 238. 



Let us do no injustice to the beliefs of our 
ancestors. HINDOO SAYING. 

iHE word " indulgence/' according 
to Webster, is derived from the 
Latin verb indulgere, "to be kind 
or tender to one." He defines an indulgence 
to be : " Remission of the temporal punish- 
ment due to sins, after the guilt of sin has 
been remitted by sincere repentance ; abso- 
lution from the censures and public penances 
of the Church." 1 

This, though not fully explicit, does not 
differ greatly from the definition given by 
Catholics themselves in their catechisms and 
by their recognized authorities, both before 

i An indulgence is thus denned by the Century Dic- 
tionary : " A remission of the punishment still due to sin 
after sacramental absolution, this remission being valid 
in the court of conscience and before God, and being 
made by an application of the treasure of the Church on 
the part of a lawful superior." This definition in respect 
to clearness also leaves something to be desired. 


and after the time of the Protestant Refor- 
mation. As a definition, however, it may 
not prove so clear and comprehensive as the 
average reader would desire. Indulgences 
have played a part in history, and it is quite 
important to obtain a right grasp of their 
nature and object. 

We clear the ground for this right under- 
standing by stating what indulgences are 
not. They are not licenses to commit sin ; 
neither are they pardons for sins already 
committed. Having disposed of these mis- 
apprehensions, we may take up Webster's 
definition and examine its terms. 

An indulgence is a remission granted by 
the Pope or Church " of the temporal pun- 
ishment due to sins : " a discharge or par* 
don from some kind of punishment which 
would otherwise have to be endured. 

But what is meant by " temporal punish- 
ment due to sins" ? In the Bible (2 Kings 
xii. 13-14), the Prophet Nathan says to 
David : " The Lord also has taken away 
thy sin ; nevertheless, because thou hast 
given occasion to the enemies of the Lord 
to blaspheme, for this thing the child that 
is born of thee shall surely die." Though 


the eternal guilt of David's sin was forgiven, 
the temporal punishment was still to be ex- 
piated. The Church imposed penances upon 
its repentant children as a commutation of 
the temporal punishment due sin. Among 
the early Christians, severe penances were 
imposed on those of the faithful who con- 
fessed to grievous sins. Violation of the 
Sabbath day, by any servile work, for in- 
stance, was punished by three days on bread 
and water. Perjury was punishable by the 
sinner being obliged to sell all his goods and 
give the proceeds to the poor. In the 
course of time it became a more general 
practice to remit these severe penances upon 
the penitent complying with certain condi- 
tions, such as prayer and almsgiving ; and 
this mitigation or remission was regarded 
an indulgence on the part of the Church. 

It never was the teaching of the Church, 
nor the belief of the Christians in any age, 
that an indulgence was a forgiveness of sin, 
much less a license to commit sin. 

Luther, when he attacked the alleged 
traffic in indulgences, did not question the 
right of the Church to grant them, nor did 
he say that they were not of great spiritual 


value. 1 It was somewhat later in his career 
that he came out against the whole teaching 
on indulgences ; it was not until he struck 
at other Catholic teachings, such as Papal 
supremacy, priestly celibacy, and the neces- 
sity of good works for salvation. 

Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, together 
with confession and repentance, were the 
conditions prescribed in the famous bull of 
Leo X., proclaiming an indulgence. Even 
D'Aubigne' says : " In the Pope's bull some- 
thing was said of repentance of the heart 
and confession of the lips." 2 Pope Leo X. 
desired to use the alms thus contributed in 
completing St. Peter's Cathedral at Rome, 3 
than which 

" What could be 

Of earthly structures in His honor piled 
Of sublimer aspect ? Majesty, 
Power, glory, strength, and beauty, all are aisled 
In this eternal ark of worship undefiled." 

1 He did not as yet impugn the doctrine of indulgen- 
ces itself, and he expressed his conviction that their good 
father, the Pope, must be altogether unaware of the ex- 
tent to which such abuses [sale of indulgences] were al- 
lowed to prevail." Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. xx. 
p. 326. 

2 Vol. i. p. 214. 

8 St. Peter's was begun in 1506 and completed in 
1629. It cost nearly fifty million dollars. 


John Tetzel, a Dominican friar, was com- 
missioned by the Archbishop of Mentz and 
Magdeburg to preach the indulgence in 
Germany. Luther, an Augustinian friar, 
was moved to denounce Tetzel's methods 
and to point out his mistakes. At first the 
conflict seemed to be merely a " monkish 

As to what Tetzel's mistakes were, there 
is a mass of controversy. It was charged 
that his way of presenting the advantages 
of indulgences to the people partook of the 
nature of a sale. Still, D'Aubignc?, an ultra- 
Protestant historian, tells us that " the 
hand that delivered the indulgence could 
not receive the money, that was forbid- 
den under the severest penalties/' 1 Con- 
fession and repentance were always made 

But the very payment of money as a part 
of a religious duty, whether for alms or for 
practical good works, could quite easily 
take on the appearance of a purchase. Es- 
pecially would this be the ease if the other 
and more essential requirements, such as 
true sorrow, humble confession, and full 

i Vol. i. p. 214. 


reparation, were slurred over and the most 
stress laid upon almsgiving. 

An eminent Catholic authority (Cardinal 
Gibbons in his " Faith of our Fathers," 
page 393) says : " Tetzel's conduct was 
disavowed and condemned by the repre- 
sentative of the Holy See. The Council of 
Trent, which was held some time after- 
wards, took effectual measures to put a 
stop to all irregularities regarding indul- 
gences, and issued the following decree : 
( Wishing to correct and amend the abuses 
which have crept into them, and on oc- 
casion of which this signal name of Indul- 
gences is blasphemed by heretics, the holy 
Synod enjoins in general, by the present 
decree, that all wicked traffic for obtaining 
them, which has been the fruitful source of 
many abuses among the Christian people, 
should be wholly abolished.' " l 

Indulgences as defined A.D. 15OO 

The following definitions of indulgences 
are taken from popular books of instruction 
that were current in Germany at the end 

1 Sess. xxv., Dec. de Indulgentiis. 


of the fifteenth and the beginning of the 
sixteenth century. 

The Seelenfuehrer says : " Know ye, that 
indulgence does not forgive your sins, but 
only remits the punishment which you 
have deserved. Know ye, that you can 
obtain no indulgence when you are in sin, 
and have not confessed and truly repented, 
and really determined to improve your life ; 
for otherwise all is to no purpose." 

The Summa Johannis, of the year 1480, 
declares that " only he who sincerely repents 
of his sins can gain the indulgence ... if 
the man be in a state of mortal sin he can- 
not gain the indulgence, for it is not given 
to sinners." 

" To those who said that indulgence was 
forgiveness of sins for money, and therefore 
that it could be bought," the explanation of 
the Articles of the Creed (A. D. 1486), re- 
marks : " That it was a question of the 
praise and honor of God, and not of the 
collection of money." 

Again, " The indulgence is not given to. 
those who simply contribute to the building 
of churches, unless they are in a state of 
grace, and give out of piety, in true faith, 


with great confidence in the communion of 
Saints, and their merits, in whose honor 
and praise the churches are built, and with 
special confidence in the mercy and help 
of God." 

See Janssen, History of the German People, vol. 
i. pp. 41-42. 

Documentary Evidences 

For a full and scholarly review of the 
documentary aspects of the indulgence of 
1517 the reader is referred to Janssen's 
"History of the German People," and es- 
pecially to the fourteenth letter in his An 
mein Kritiker (To my Critics), Freiburg, 
1882. The bull proclaiming the indul- 
gence and the instructions to the preachers 
of the indulgence throughout Germany are 
quoted to show that confession, sincere re- 
pentance, and fasting were conditions to be 
insisted upon with much emphasis from all 
who sought the indulgence. Even Tetzel, 
in his anti-theses, directed against Luther's 
theses, is quoted as explaining that no 
indulgence can be gained except by sincere 
repentance and confession. No alms were 
to be demanded ; contributions were to be 


voluntary. " That in spite of the strict regu- 
lations of the instructions to the preachers 
of the indulgence, grievous abuses occurred, 
I have," says Janssen, " set forth in my 
history (vol. ii. p. 77)." All the documents 
of the case have been gathered by Kapp, 
a Lutheran authority (Leipsic, 1721), and 
Janssen's citations are to Kapp's collection. 

Decrees of the Council of Trent (A.D. 1545) 

The Council of Trent asserts that the 
power of conferring indulgences was given 
by Christ to the Church; that she has 
always used this power; that the use of 
indulgences, as being most salutary, is to 
be retained in the Church ; that those are 
condemned by the Council who say that 
the Church has no power of granting them. 
In granting them, moderation is to be ob- 
served, lest Church discipline be enervated. 
Abuses are to be reformed. All evil gains 
are to be abolished. Other abuses, that 
cannot be specially prohibited, are to be 
reported in the Provincial Synod by the 
Bishop, reviewed by the other Bishops in the 
Synod, and referred to the Pope, "that thus 
the gift of the holy indulgences may be dis- 


pensed to all the faithful, piously, holily, 
and incorruptibly." 

Sess. xxv. ch. 21, Waterworks translation, p. 

" It is decreed that these heavenly treas- 
ures of the Church are administered not 
for gain but for godliness." 

Sess. xxv. ch. 9. 

CARDINAL WISEMAN: Defines indulgences 

The learned Cardinal Wiseman, in a 
pastoral letter, says : " Many persons will 
be inclined to incredulity when I tell them 
that an indulgence is no pardon for sin of 
any sort, past, present, or future. It is no 
more than a remission by the Church, in 
virtue of the keys, of a portion, or the 
entire, of the temporal punishment due to 


Cardinal Wiseman, London Tablet, June 17, 

CARDINAL GIBBONS: Defines indulgences 

" The word indulgence originally signified 
favor, remission, or forgiveness. Now it is 
commonly used in the sense of unlawful 
gratification, and of free scope to the 


passions. Hence, when some ignorant or 
prejudiced persons hear of the Church 
granting an indulgence, the idea of license 
to sin is at once presented to their minds. 
An indulgence is simply a remission, in 
whole or in part, through the superabun- 
dant merits of Jesus Christ and His saints, 
of the temporal punishment due to God on 
account of sin, after the guilt and eternal 
punishment have been remitted. It should 
be borne in mind that, even after our guilt 
is removed, there often remains some pun- 
ishment to be undergone, either in this life 
or in the next, as an expiation to divine 
sanctity and justice." 

Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of Our Fathers, pp. 

WILMERS : Definition by a Jesuit authority 

" An indulgence is a remission of temporal 
punishment due to sin after the sin itself 
has been remitted, granted outside the sac- 
rament of penance. In the sacrament of 
penance the temporal punishment is com- 
muted into a lighter penance ; by indul- 
gence it is remitted ; not simply, however, 
but by the application of the satisfactions 


of Christ and of the saints intrusted to 
the Church's keeping. . . . Indulgences are 
salutary, not only because they remit tem- 
poral punishment due to sin, but also be- 
cause they encourage sinners to become 
reconciled to God, and promote the fre- 
quentation of the sacraments and the 
practice of good works. If, at times, alms- 
giving is prescribed as a condition for gain- 
ing an indulgence, the indulgence is in that 
case no more purchased for money than 
heaven is purchased by any other alms given 
with a view to eternal salvation.'' 

Handbook of Christian Religion (pp. 360-362), 
by Rev. W. Wilmers, S. J. New York: Benziger 
Bros., Pub., 1891. 

teaching stated 

" Indulgence in Roman Catholic theology 
is defined as the remission, in whole or in 
part, by ecclesiastical authority, to the peni- 
tent sinner of the temporal punishment due 
for sin. It must carefully be borne in mind 
that in Roman Catholic orthodoxy indul- 
gence is never absolutely gratuitous, and 
that those only can, in any circumstances, 
validly receive it who are in full communion 


with the Church, and have resorted to the 
sacrament of penance, in which alone, after 
due contrition and confession, provision is 
made for the graver penalty of sin." 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. xii. pp. 846-847. , 

ADAMS: Money was given as alms 

"A letter of indulgence was a written 
document granted by some one in authority 
in the Church, by which, in view of some 
pious act, the temporal penalties of sin 
were said to be remitted or changed in 
character in favor of the holder. The letter 
itself, which was written in Latin as an of- 
ficial document of the Church, stated that 
the remission was of no avail without due 
repentance and forsaking of sin. For three 
centuries or more it had been customary in 
the Church to grant these letters in return 
for donations of money to be applied to 
charitable uses or to advance the interests 
of the Church on the theory that the gift of 
alms was a pious act which might take the 
place of penance in other forms." 

European History (p. 302), by Geo. B. Adams, 
Professor of History in Yale University. New 
York: The Macmillan Co., 1899. 



For, in fact, it is the age that forms the 
man, not the man that forms the age. . . . If 
Luther had been born in the tenth century, he 
would have effected no Reformation. If he 
had never been born at all, it is evident that the 
sixteenth century could not have elapsed with- 
out a great schism in the church. 


CAUSE and pretext are two different 
things. The occasion for the out- 
break of Lutheranism in Germany 
was the method pursued by Tetzel and 
other monks in the preaching and grant- 
ing of indulgences. As well might we at- 
tribute the American Revolution to the 
destruction of the gunpowder stored at 
Lexington and Concord, where 

" the embattled farmer stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the world," 


as to make Tetzel's extravagance and abuse 
the cause of the Protestant revolution. The 
Lexington gun set in motion multiform and 
latent causes that reached back for a gen- 
eration. The fight on indulgences broad- 
ened into a clash of authority that swept 
into its current causes existing for centuries. 

These causes existed from the beginning 
of the Christian era, and they exist to-day. 
During the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 
turies they expressed themselves in the 
heresies of Berengarius, the Albigenses, 
Peter Waldo, Huss, and Wycliffe. They 
have since continued to operate with Prot- 
estantism, splitting it up into numbers of 
warring sects, by means of local and pro- 
vincial reformation-moves, such as the 
Methodist secession from the Church of 

The Protestant Reformation, in fact, does 
not differ in cause from the great heresies 
which preceded it. All had their source 
in the tendency of the human mind to set 
private judgment above established author- 
ity, whether in religion, law, or letters. 

The time was not ripe for a successful 
revolution when Wycliffe wrote, or when 


Berengarius preached ; or these men lacked 
Luther's alternate cunning and boldness ; 
or they failed to lay hold of the means and 
methods of success which he eagerly grasped. 
Here was the difference : it was not in cause, 
it was merely in circumstance and success. 

The moral and material condition of the 
Church was not bad at the epoch Luther 
appeared. It was worse a century earlier 
at the time of the " great schism." The 
circumstances of the Lutheran movement, 
which made it a successful revolution, may 
be briefly stated as follows : 

1. It everywhere sought the protection 
and support of princes. The Emperor 
Maximilian, Frederick, Elector of Saxony, 
and Philip of Hesse were Luther's stead- 
fast friends. In the first instance, they 
favored him because of their dislike of the 
Papal power. Afterwards he made it their 
interest to join forces with him. He flat- 
tered their power. He taught that they 
were rulers by divine right, and that un- 
questioning obedience was the religious 
duty of the subject. He made them the 
arbiters on ecclesiastical questions. A 
church subservient and accommodating to 


the civil power was exceedingly agreeable 
to potentates whose absolutism had always 
been, more or less, interfered with by bish- 
ops and Popes. In Sweden, Gustavus 
Vasa patronized the Reformation ; in Den- 
mark, Christian II. ; in England, Henry 
VIII., for a time, and Elizabeth ; in France, 
the Court of Navarre and the Prince of 
Conde ; in the Netherlands, William of 

2. It utilized the rich lands and treas- 
ures of the monasteries with astute policy. 
To the kings, electors, and petty princes 
the reformers virtually said : " Embrace 
our cause and we will give you the wealth 
of. the monasteries and the churches. It 
will pay you well. It will fill your cof- 
fers, and the new religion will put a salve 
upon your consciences by calling this expe- 
dition of plunder a new crusade, a stroke 
against the minions of Satan and the dis- 
ciples of anti-Christ." The bait to avarice 
worked powerful conversions ; the adhesion 
of princes to the new creed being followed 
by a public profession of faith by way of 
a raid on the convents. The Elector of 
gaxony filled his sideboard with vessels 


taken from the sacristies of churches. 
Luther remarked with shrewd humor : 
"The ostensories of the churches made 
many converts to the new gospel." Gus- 
tavus Vasa, in Sweden, Christian of Den- 
mark, and Henry VIII. of England, made 
the suppression of the monasteries the first 
act in the drama of the Reformation. 

After the wealth of the Church had gone 
to the kings and princes, and through them 
to the court favorites, the reformers could 
sagely say : " Our fortunes and yours are 
inseparable. If we fall, you lose your new 
properties. You read your title to them 
through our teachings. Let the old re- 
ligion reconquer and there will have to be 

3. There is no doubt that the abolition 
of celibacy brought to the Protestant move- 
ment a great body of ex-monks who worked 
for it with the zeal of men working for the 
gratification of desires and their own sal- 
vation from social obloquy. The Teutonic 
knights went over in a body, on this prin- 
ciple. The vituperation and vigor of the 
new gospel came, in a large degree, from 
this following. 


4. The art of printing was another, and, 
perhaps, a principal reason for the success, 
in 1517, of what had failed in the previous 
centuries. The reformers made instant and 
effective use of this means of sowing broad- 
cast their views. They multiplied books; 
pamphlets, satires, burlesques, caricatures, 
and fiery appeals. These methods naturally 
moved the populace and won partisans. 

BISHOP STUBBS : Won by force 

" Where Protestantism was an idea only, 
as in France and Italy, it was crushed out 
by the Inquisition ; where, in conjunction 
with political power, and sustained by 
ecclesiastical confiscation, it became a 
physical force, there it was lasting. It is 
not a pleasant view to take of the doctrinal 
changes, to see that where the movements 
toward it were pure and unworldly, it failed ; 
where it was seconded by territorial greed 
and political animosity, it succeeded." 

Bishop Stubbs, Lectures on Mediaeval and Modern 
History, p. 233. 

MACAULiAY : Methods of the Reformers 

" We cannot but remember that libels 
scarcely less scandalous than those of 


Hebert, mummeries scarcely less absurd 
than those of Clootz, and crimes scarcely 
less atrocious than those of Marat, disgrace 
the early history of Protestantism." 

Macaulay's Essays : " Burleigh." 

HAL.LAM : Current fallacies 

" Whatever may be the bias of our minds 
as to the truth of Luther's doctrines, we 
should be very careful, in considering the 
Reformation as a part of the history of 
mankind, not to be misled by the superficial 
and ungrounded representations which we 
sometimes find in modern writers, like 
D'Aubigne, for example. Such is this, that 
Luther, struck by the absurdity of the pre- 
vailing superstitions, was desirous of intro- 
ducing a more rational system of religion ; 
or, that he contended for freedom of in- 
quiry, and the boundless privileges of indi- 
vidual judgment ; or, what others have been 
pleased to suggest, that his zeal for learn- 
ing and ancient philosophy led him to at- 
tack the ignorance of the monks and the 
crafty policy of the Church, which with- 
stood all liberal studies. These notions 
are merely fallacious refinements, as every 


man of plain understanding excepting, 
perhaps, D'Aubigne who is acquainted 
with the writings of the early reformers 
or who has considered their history, must 

Hallam, History of Literature, vol. i. p. 165. 

MOSHEIM: Much violence 

"For every impartial and attentive ob- 
server of the rise and progress of the Refor- 
mation will acknowledge that wisdom and 
prudence did not always attend the trans- 
actions of those that were concerned in this 
glorious cause ; that many things were done 
with violence, temerity, and precipitation : 
and what is still worse, that several of the 
principal agents in this great revolution 
were actuated more by the impulse of pas- 
sions and views of interest than by a zeal 
for the advancement of true religion." 

Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History. 

HALLAM: Force used in England 

" An historian whose bias was certainly 
not unfavorable to Protestantism (Burnett, 
vol. iii. pp. 190, 196) confesses that all en- 
deavors were too weak to overcome the aver- 


sion of the people towards reformation, and 
even intimates that German troops were sent 
for from Calais on account of the bigotry 
with which the bulk of the nation adhered 
to the old superstition. This is somewhat 
an humiliating admission, that the Protes- 
tant faith was imposed upon our ancestors 
by a foreign army. It is certain that the 
re-establishment of popery on Mary's acces- 
sion must have been acceptable to a large 
part or perhaps the majority of the nation." 

Hallam, Const. Hist, of England, vol. i. ch. ii. 

MACAULAY : How Protestantism succeeded 
in England 

"A king whose character may be best 
described by saying that he was despotism 
itself personified, unprincipled ministers, a 
rapacious aristocracy, a servile Parliament, 
such were the instruments by which Eng- 
land was delivered from the yoke of Rome. 
The work which had been begun by Henry, 
the murderer of his wives, was continued by 
Somerset, the murderer of his brother, and 
completed by Elizabeth, the murderer of 
her guest.'* 

Macaulay's Essays : " Hallam." 


SMILES : In Ireland 

" The ' Reformation from Popery ' was 
completed in Elizabeth's reign. The history 
of this movement in Ireland is, throughout, 
one of merciless persecution, of wholesale 
spoliation, and of murderous cruelty. The 
instruments by which it was accomplished 
were despotic monarchs, unprincipled min- 
isters, a rapacious aristocracy, and venal 
and slavish parliaments. It sprung from 
brutal passion, was nurtured in selfish and 
corrupt policy, and was consummated in 
bloodshed and horrid crime. 6 The work 
which had been begun by Henry, the 
murderer of his wives, was continued by 
Somerset, the murderer of his brother, and 
completed by Elizabeth, the murderer of 
her guest/ Such was the e Reformation/ 
and such were its instruments; and the 
consequences which flowed from it, at least 
in Ireland, were of a kindred character for 
centuries to come." 

Samuel Smiles, History of Ireland and the Irish 
People under the Government of England. 


" In Sweden the Reformation was estab- 
lished concurrently with the political revo- 


lution which placed Gustavus Yasa on the 
throne. It was, however, only too appar- 
ent that the patriot king was largely influ- 
enced by the expectation of replenishing his 
exhausted exchequer from the revenues of 
the Church, and, as in Germany and Eng- 
land, the assent of the nobility was gained 
by their admission to a considerable share 
in the confiscated property." 

Encyclopaedia Britannica: " Reformation," vol. 
xx. p. 336. 


Reputation is an idle and most false im- 
position ; oft got without merit, and lost with- 
out deserving. SHAKESPEARE. 

LUTHER and Melanchthon were the 
leaders of Protestantism in Ger- 
many, Calvin and Zwinglius in 
France and Switzerland, and John Knox 
in Scotland. In England and Sweden the 
monarchs, Henry VIII. and Gustavus Vasa, 
were the reformers. 

Luther was a man of force, audacity, and 
great power of expression. He is criticised 
for his violence, his cunning, and his roy- 
stering. Melanchthon was the scholar of 
the Reformation, and the gentleman, too, 
perhaps. Beyond the charge of wavering 
in his doctrines and frequently changing 
his views, he is the least assailed of any 
of the reformers. Calvin was the master 


of a polished and logical style. His char- 
acter was grave, gloomy, and despotic. 
Zwinglius was impetuous and warlike; he 
died at the head of a band of soldiers in 
15.31. Knox, who has been termed the 
"ruffian of the Reformation," was coarse, 
violent, and gloomy, but master of a style 
of rude eloquence that swayed what he 
termed the "rascally multitude." 

All of these men, except Calvin and 
Melanchthon, had been ordained priests 
prior to their rupture with the Church. 
Luther married a nun ; Knox signalized his 
revolt from Rome by taking a wife, and Cal- 
vin and Zwinglius married wealthy widows. 

Luther's sermons are the best evidences 
of his style. His shrewd adaptation of 
doctrines to please princes and conciliate 
powerful magnates shows his cunning and 
astuteness. He permitted Philip of Hesse 
to have two wives, but he enjoined secrecy 
lest the " rough peasants '' might also claim 
that privilege. His "Table Talk" purports 
to be a collection of his wit and wisdom 
delivered at the Black Eagle tavern, where 
he met boon companions and drank copious 
quantities of wine. The famous saying, 


u Who loves not woman, wine, and song 
Remains a fool his whole life long," 

is Goethe's rendering of a sentiment very 
generally attributed to Luther. Hallam 
seems to believe the supposition " almost 
justified that there was a vein of insanity 
in his very remarkable character." l 

Calvin's vindictiveness is sufficiently 
shown in his conduct towards Servetus. 
He lured his victim to Geneva and then 
had him condemned to death. Geneva was 
governed by Blue Laws of a much stricter 
kind than those which prevailed in the New 
England colonies. At times the sway of 
Calvin is comparable to the French " Reign 
of Terror/' and the character of Marat, as 
drawn by Carlyle, has resemblances to that 
of Calvin. 

FKOUDE: An unfavorable view of the Re- 

" Lord Macaulay can hardly find epithets 
strong enough to express his contempt for 
Archbishop Cranmer. Mr. Buckle places 

1 Constitutional History of England, vol. i. ch. ii. 
p. 73 n. 


Cranmer by the side of Bonner, and hesi- 
tated which of the two characters is the 
more detestable. . . . An unfavorable es- 
timate of the Reformers, whether just or 
unjust, is unquestionably gaining ground 
among our advanced thinkers. " 

James Anthony Froude, Short Studies on Great 
Subjects, Times of Erasmus and Luther, vol. i. p. 
48. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1884. 

SCHAFF-HERZOG : Condoned bigamy 

" Here we may mention his [Luther's] at- 
titude towards the second marriage of Philip 
of Hesse. This prince, loving another woman 
than his wife, secured the opinion from 
the Reformer that while monogamy was the 
original institution of God, cases might arise 
to justify bigamy ; but the second marriage 
should, for prudential reasons, be kept 
secret. The marriage took place March 3, 
1540, in the presence of Melanchthon." 
Schaff-Herzog Dictionary, article on Luther. 

TYTLER: A dispensation for polygamy 

"While the tenets of Luther were 
rapidly gaining ground in the North, the 
following fact will convince us that he ar- 


rogated to himself an authority very little 
short of that of the Pope in Germany. 
Philip, the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, had 
taken a disgust at his wife, a princess of 
the house of Saxony, who, he alleged, was 
intolerably ugly and addicted to drunken- 
ness. The secret was that he had fallen in 
love with a young lady of the name of 
Saal, whom he wanted to marry. Luther 
at this time, with five of his followers, was 
holding a kind of synod at Wittenberg, for 
the regulation of matters regarding the 
Church. The Landgrave presented to him 
a petition, setting forth his case, in which 
he at the same time insinuated that in 
case Luther and the doctors should refuse 
him a dispensation of polygamy he should 
perhaps be obliged to ask it of the Pope. 
The synod were under considerable diffi- 
culty. The interest of the Landgrave was 
too considerable to be disregarded, and at 
the same time, to favor him, they must as- 
sume to themselves a power of breaking a 
law of Scripture. The temporal considera- 
tion was more powerful than the spiritual 
one. They agreed to give Philip a dispen- 
sation for polygamy, and he accordingly 


married his favorite, even with the con- 
sent of his former wife." 

Tytler, Universal History, vol. iv. book vi. ch. 
xx. p. 290. New York : Harper Bros., Pub., 1857. 

SCHAFF-HERZOG: Calvin's intolerance 

"It is idle to shield Calvin from the 
charge of bringing about Servetus' death, 
. . . but at the same time it is easy to ex- 
cuse him on the ground of the persecuting 
spirit of the age. Strange as it may seem, 
the Protestants who had felt the persecu- 
tions of Rome were ready to persecute all 
who followed not with them." 

Schaff-Herzog Dictionary, article on Calvin. 

HALLAM: Knox advocated persecution 

"In a conversation with Maitland, he 
[Knox] asserted most explicitly the duty 
of putting idolaters to death. Nothing can 
be more sanguinary than the Reformer's 
spirit in this extraordinary interview. St. 
Dominick could not have surpassed him. 
It is strange to see men professing all the 
time our modern creed of charity and tolera- 
tion extol these sanguinary spirits of the 
sixteenth century." 

Hallam, Const. History of England, vol. i. ch. iil 
p. 147 n. 


JOHN KNTOX: A reformer's idea of tolera- 

" While the posterity of Abraham/' says 
Knox, " were few in number, and while they 
sojourned in different countries, they were 
merely required to avoid all participation 
in the idolatrous rites of the heathen; but 
as soon as they prospered into a kingdom, 
and had obtained possession of Canaan, they 
were strictly charged to suppress idolatry, 
and to destroy all the monuments and in- 
centives. The same duty was now incum- 
bent on the professors of the true religion 
in Scotland : formerly, when not more than 
ten persons in a country were enlightened., 
it would have been foolishness to have de- 
manded of the nobility the suppression of 
idolatry. But now when knowledge had 
been increased," etc. 

Quoted in Dr. M'Crie's Life of John Knox, vol. 
ii. p. 122. 



Decide all controversy by 
Infallible artillery ; 
And prove their doctrine orthodox 
By apostolic blows and knocks ; 
Call fire and sword and desolation 
A godly-thorough-Reformation. 

BUTLER: Hudibras. 

TO what does the world of to-day owe 
such religious liberty as it pos- 
sesses ? Certainly to no principle 
or tendency born of the religious upheaval 
of the sixteenth century. The Spanish 
Inquisition was not abolished until 1814. 
Catholic emancipation from the persecution 
of English Protestantism did not transpire 
until 1829. The nineteenth century came, 
but the laws of Saxony, disqualifying 
Catholics from holding property, still per- 
sisted in the " cradle of the Reformation." 
Down to 1850 it was still a capital offence 


for any Catholic clergyman to cross the 
Danish frontier ; down to 1876 only Prot- 
estants could hold office in New Hampshire ; 
and even in our own day no Catholic may 
hold an office of trust or honor in Sweden. 
The Protestant Keformation sought to sub- 
stitute one form of orthodoxy for another. 
The old orthodoxy fought for its life ; if 
Protestantism triumphed, it knew that the 
rack and the fagot would be its fate. 
Keligious hate and suspicion were engen- 
dered, and persecutions followed as a natural 
consequence. Religious liberty came only 
after the Reformation movement had run 
its course, and freedom of conscience is a 
reaction rather than a result. 

Luther taught and preached the propriety 
and need of religious persecution. So did 
Calvin. The heavy treatise that the latter 
wrote on the "Punishment of Heretics" 
may still be consulted by any reader who 
wishes to study the arguments justifying 
the burning of human beings for religious 
differences. Luther had his victim in Karl- 
stadt, whom he banished and exiled. Calvin 
had his victim in Serve tus, whom he decoyed 
to Geneva and burned. 


These apostles were zealously followed in 
this particular by all their disciples. Beza, 
in France, and the leading English church- 
men, even down to the eighteenth century, 
were believers in the right and duty of 
persecution for religious convictions. 1 

The policy of nations was guided by that 
belief. The first condition of religious in- 
tolerance a union of Church and State 
was taken at the start by every country 
which adopted Protestantism. The triumph 
of the Eeformation was always marked by 
the immediate promulgation of laws against 
Catholics and dissenters. This was the 
case in Hesse and Saxony ; under Gustavus 
Yasa in Sweden ; under Elizabeth in Eng- 
land ; and under the House of Orange in 
the Netherlands. 

The colonists of Massachusetts, fleeing 
from religious tyranny, and of whom we 
might naturally expect they would spurn that 

1 An article in the Westminster Confession of Faith 
(CXX1I. p. 86, ed. 1845) asserts that " the civil magistrate 
hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order that the 
truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies 
and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in 
worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all 
the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and 


which had exiled them, were yet so im- 
bued with the cult of the Keformation time 
that they re-enacted on American soil the 
odious intolerance of their mother country. 
Quakers were imprisoned, Baptists were 
banished, and " Papists " were pilloried and 
tortured. Men had to forget the unnatural 
feelings born of the Reformation time, and 
to revert to natural common-sense before 
they concluded to give up persecution. 
The hates, the envies, and the prejudices of 
the religious upheaval had to be cleared 
away before men's minds could calmly arrive 
at an earnest desire for toleration. When 
there is an outcropping of the old spirit, we 
may be sure that it is a reversion to what 
has been termed the "fury of the Ref- 
ormation time." * 

LECKY : Catholic and Protestant persecution 

"Catholicism was an ancient Church. 
She had gained a great part of her influ- 

1 " It is very strange and very humiliating for human 
reason that when the middle age had vanished ; when 
Charron and Montaigne had just written those books so 
impregnated with the spirit of scepticism, precisely then, 
in the full light of the sixteenth century, persecution of 
sorcerers entered on the most violent phase. " (Rambaud, 
History of Civilization, vol. i. p. 571, Paris, 1883.) 


ence by vast services to mankind. She 
rested avowedly on the principle of author- 
ity. She was defending herself against ag- 
gression and innovation. . . . She might 
point to the priceless blessings she had be- 
stowed upon humanity, to the slavery she 
had destroyed, to the civilization she had 
founded, to the many generations she had 
led with honor to the grave. She might 
show how completely her doctrines were 
interwoven with the whole social system, 
how fearful would be the convulsion if 
they were destroyed, and how absolutely 
incompatible they were with the acknowl- 
edgment of private judgment. These con- 
siderations would not make her blameless, 
but they would, at least, palliate her guilt." 
" But what shall we say of a church that 
was but a thing of yesterday; a church 
that had as yet no services to show, no 
claims upon the gratitude of mankind; a 
church that was by profession the creature 
of private judgment, and was in reality 
generated by the intrigues of a corrupt 
court, which nevertheless suppressed by 
force a worship that multitudes deemed 
necessary to salvation ; which by all her 


organs and with all her energies perse- 
cuted those who clung to the religion of 
their fathers ? What shall we say of a 
religion which comprised at most but a 
fourth part of the Christian world, and 
which the first explosion of private judg- 
ment had shivered into countless sects, 
which was nevertheless so pervaded by the 
spirit of dogmatism that each of these sects 
asserted its distinctive doctrines with the 
same confidence, and persecuted with the 
same unhesitating violence, as a church 
which was venerable with the homage of 
twelve centuries ? ... So strong and so 
general was its intolerance that for some 
time it may, I believe, be truly said that 
there were more instances of partial toler- 
ation being advocated by Roman Catholics 
than by orthodox Protestants." 

Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, vol. i. p. 51, ed. 


GUIZOT: Violation of conscience 

" The Reformation of the sixteenth cen- 
tury was not aware of the true principles 
of intellectual liberty. ... On the one 
side it did not know or respect all the 


rights of human thought ; at the very 
moment it was demanding these rights 
for itself it was violating them toward 
others. On the other hand it was unable 
to estimate the rights of authority in the 
matters of reason." 

Guizot, History of Civilization, pp. 261-262. 

HAZLITT: Protestant persecution 

" It is evident, moreover, . . . that the 
Reformers, just as much as the Papists, 
held it a right to inflict coercion, physical 
pains, and death upon those who denied 
what they regarded as the essential faith ; 
it was a century and a half before Protest- 
ants learned definitely that they had no 
right to inflict death, imprisonment, stripes, 
or fines upon heretics. . . . Calvin burnt 
Servetus for heresy; the mild Melanchthon 
approved the act ; so did Bucer. (Calv. 
Epist. p. 147, Genoa, 1575.) Calvin, in 
his letter to the Earl of Somerset, Lord 
Primate of England (Epist. 67), speaking 
of the Papists and of the fanatic sect of 
" Gospellers," says expressively, " they ought 
to be repressed by the avenging sword." 
Speaking of executions in England for re- 


ligious opinions, Hazlitt says : " It appears 
many were put to death in the reign of 
Henry VIII. ; some in the time of Edward 
VI. ; one hundred and sixty Roman Catho- 
lics in the reign of Elizabeth ; sixteen or 
seventeen in that of James ; and more 
than twenty by the Presbyterians and 

Hazlitt, notes to his edition of Guizot's History 
of Civilization, pp. 266-267. 

HALL AM: "The deadly original sin" 

" Persecution is the deadly original sin of 
the reformed churches ; that which cools 
every honest man's zeal for their cause in 
proportion as his reading becomes more 

Hallam, Constitutional History of England, vol. i. ' 
ch. ii. p. 105. 

STRICKLAND : Persecution upheld by all 

" It is a lamentable trait in human nature 
that there was not a sect established at the 
Reformation that did not avow, as part of 
their religious duty, the horrible necessity 
of destroying some of their fellow-creatures 


on account of what they severally termed 
heretical tenets." 

Strickland, Queens of England. 

BRYCE : Inconsistency and intolerance 

" The will of the sovereign, as in Eng- 
land, or the will of the majority, as in 
Holland, Scandinavia, and Scotland, im- 
posed upon each country a peculiar form 
of worship, and kept up the practices of 
mediaeval intolerance without their justifi- 
cation. Persecution, which might be at 
least excused in an infallible Catholic and 
Apostolic Church, was peculiarly odious 
when practised by those who were not 
Catholic, who were no more apostolic than 
their neighbors, and who had just revolted 
from the most ancient and venerable author- 
ity in the name of rights which they now 
denied to others." 

Bryce, Holy Roman Empire, ch. xviii. p. 328. 

GIBBON: Reformers defended persecution 

" The patriot reformers were ambitious 
of succeeding the tyrants whom they had 
dethroned. They imposed, with equal vigor, 
their creeds and confessions ; they asserted 


the right of the magistrate to punish the 
heretic with death." 

Gibbon, Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
ch. liv. 

MACAUL.AY: Dishonest as well as intol- 

"Rome had at least prescription on its 
side. But Protestant intolerance, despot- 
ism in an upstart sect, infallibility claimed 
by guides who acknowledge that they had 
passed the greater part of their lives in 
error, restraints imposed on the liberty of 
private judgment at the pleasure of rulers 
who could vindicate their own proceedings 
only by asserting the liberty of private judg- 
ment, these things could not long be borne. 
Those who had pulled down the crucifix 
could not long continue to persecute for 
the surplice. It required no great sagacity 
to perceive the inconsistency and dishonesty 
of men who, dissenting from almost all 
Christendom, would suffer none to dissent 
from themselves; who demanded freedom 
of conscience, yet refused to grant it; who 
execrated persecution, yet persecuted ; who 
urged reason against the authority of one 


opponent, and authority against the reason 
of another." 
Macaulay's Essays, " Hampden." 

MACAULAY: Protestants persecuted each 

"In the Palatinate a Calvinistic prince 
persecuted the Lutherans. In Saxony a 
Lutheran prince persecuted the Calvinists. 
Everybody who objected to any of the ar- 
ticles of the Confession of Augsburg was 
banished from Sweden. In Scotland Mel- 
ville was disputing with other Protestants 
on questions of ecclesiastical government. 
In England the jails were filled with men 
who, though zealous for the Reformation, 
did not exactly agree with the Court on all 
points of discipline and doctrine. Some 
were persecuted for denying the tenet of 
reprobation; some for not wearing sur- 

Macaulay's Essays (Review of Von Ranke's Hist, 
of Popes). 

LECKY: Intolerance of the Scotch and 

" When the Reformation triumphed in 
Scotland, one of its first fruits was a law 


prohibiting any priest from celebrating, or 
any worshipper from hearing mass, under 
pain of the confiscation of his goods for 
the first offence, of exile for the second, 
and of death for the third. That the Queen 
of Scotland should be permitted to hear 
mass in her own private chapel was publicly 
denounced as an intolerable evil. ' One 
mass/ exclaimed Knox, ( is more fearful to 
me than if ten thousand armed enemies were 
landed in part of the realm.' In France, 
when the government of certain towns was 
conceded to the Protestants, they immedi- 
ately employed their power to suppress 
absolutely the Catholic worship, to prohibit 
any Protestant from attending a marriage 
or a funeral that was celebrated by a priest, 
to put down all mixed marriages, and to 
prosecute to the full extent of their power 
those who had abandoned their creed. In 
Sweden, all who dissented from any article 
of the Confession of Augsburg were at once 
banished. As late as 1690 a synod was 
held at Amsterdam, consisting partly of 
Dutch and partly of French and English 
ministers, who were driven to Holland by 
persecution, and in that synod the doctrine 


that the magistrate has no right to crush 
heresy and idolatry by the civil power was 
unanimously pronounced to be 6 false, scan- 
dalous, and pernicious/ ' 

Lecky's Rationalism in Europe, vol. ii. pp. 

BUCKLE : Scotch bigotry worse than French 

" It must be admitted that in Scotland 
there is more bigotry, more superstition, 
and a more thorough contempt for the 
religion of others, than there is in France. 
And in Sweden, which is one of the oldest 
Protestant countries in Europe, there is, not 
occasionally but habitually, an intolerance 
and a spirit of persecution which would 
be discreditable to a Catholic country, but 
which is doubly disgraceful when proceed- 
ing from a people who profess to base their 
religion on the right of private judgment." 

Buckle, History of Civilization in England, vol. i. 
p. 264. 

GREEN : In England 

"The suffering of the Protestants had 
failed to teach them the worth of religious 
liberty; and a new code of ecclesiastical 


laws, which was ordered to be drawn up by 
a board of commissioners as a substitute 
for the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, 
although it shrank from the penalty of 
death, attached that of perpetual imprison- 
ment or exile to the crimes of heresy', 
blasphemy, and adultery, and declared 
excommunication to involve a severance of 
the offender from the mercy of God and his 
deliverance into the tyranny of the devil." 

Green, History of the English People, etc., 
book vi., ch. L, " The Reformation," p. 226. 

GREEN : " Heretics ought to be put to death " 

" The spirit of Calvinistic Presbyterianism 
excluded all toleration of practice or belief. 
. . . For heresy there was to be the 
punishment of death. Never had the 
doctrine of persecution been urged with 
such a blind and reckless ferocity. ' I 
deny/ wrote Cartwright, ' that upon repent- 
ance there ought to follow any pardon of 
death. Heretics ought to be put to death 


Id., book vi., ch. v., " England and the Papacy." 


GREEN: The policy of the Huguenots 

" If the Protestant lords in Scotland had 
been driven to assert a right of noncon- 
formity, if the Huguenots of France were 
following their example, it was with no 
thought of asserting the right of every man 
to worship God as he would. From the 
claim of such a right, Knox or Coligni 
would have shrunk with even greater horror 
than Elizabeth. What they aimed at was 
simply the establishment of a truce till, by 
force or persuasion, they could win the 
realms that tolerated them for their own." 

Green, History of the English People, etc., book 
vi., ch. iii., " England of Elizabeth." 

FISHER: Milton's "liberality" 

" Even Milton, it may be observed here, 
did not carry his doctrine of liberty of 
conscience so far as to lead him to favor 
the toleration of the mass and other cere- 
monies of Roman Catholic worship, which, 
as being idolatrous, he thought should be 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. xv. 



The splendid empire of Charles V. [1546- 
1555] was erected on the grave of liberty. 


THE denial of free will by the early 
Protestants, and Luther's exaggera- 
tion of the obedience due princes, 
were tendencies adverse to progress in 
civil liberty ; but their influence was slight 
compared with that of other circumstances 
growing out of the conflict of creeds. 

No inconsiderable progress had been 
made in political freedom at the epoch 
when Luther appeared. In England, 
France, Spain, and Germany, we find Par- 
liaments, States General, Cortes, and Diets. 
The people had acquired representative 
forms. The ancient liberties of England 
were formulated in the Magna Charta; 


there was trial by jury and there was the 
habeas corpus. Free cities flourished ; and 
in Italy, the Republics of Genoa, Venice, 
Sienna, Florence, and Pisa conserved great 
popular liberties. With the natural mo- 
mentum of progress and the art of print- 
ing, there should have been no halt or 

Unhappily, this was precisely what oc- 
curred after the Protestant movement was 
fairly launched. In some instances, popu- 
lar excesses, the revolts of the Anabaptists, 
and the anarchy caused by the new teach- 
ing led to a reaction towards strong gov- 
ernment. In other places the reformers 
courted the support of the princes and 
kings by clothing them with religious au- 
thority taken from the Pope. The prince, 
uniting the authority of head of the State 
and head of the Church, became absolute 
and uncurbed. 

This was the case in England, where the 
Parliament showed itself the pliant tool 
of Henry VIIL, and where James I. pro- 
claimed the doctrine of kingly divine right. 
It explains the unequalled absolutism of the 
Lutheran princes of Germany and the King 


of Prussia, even as late as the eighteenth 
century. The same train of events blotted 
out all representative forms in Denmark 
under Frederick III. in 1669, and in 
Sweden under Charles XI. in 1680. 

In fact, Protestantism and absolutism 
were simultaneous eras. A century after 
Luther, representative government had 
fallen into decay. Strong centralized mon- 
archies ruled all Europe, in France by 
virtue of the religious wars, and in Spain 
by reason of contagious example abroad. 

The liberty of the press, which was little 
restricted during the first half -century of 
printing, becomes the subject of close sur- 
veillance in the epochs of religious conflict 
ensuing. The freedom with which Eras- 
mus criticises princes in the early portion 
of the sixteenth century is punished as se- 
dition in the seventeenth. Milton makes a 
timid and unavailing plea for more liberty; 
yet things have only slightly bettered even 
a hundred years after Milton. 

We might naturally expect that in the 
turmoil of religious conflict there would be a 
notable loss of respect for life and property. 
The persecution of recusants and the confis- 


cation of church property were not without 
a demoralizing influence on the safety of 
human life and the security of all kinds of 
property. Law and liberty go hand in 
hand. In the midst of civil conflict and 
religious hatred the conditions for progress 
in political freedom, were decidedly un- 
favorable. There was universal regress, 
and then slow recovery. Civil liberty 
made greater strides in the first thirty 
years of the nineteenth century than in all 
the three hundred years preceding. 

GUIZOT: Unfavorable to free institutions 

"In Germany, far from demanding po- 
litical liberty, the Reformation accepted, I 
shall not say servitude, but the absence of 
liberty [p. 259]. ... It rather strength- 
ened than enfeebled the power of princes ; 
it was rather opposed to the free institu- 
tions of the middle ages than favorable to 
their progress [p. 258]. . . . In England it 
consented to the existence of a church as 
full of abuses as ever the Romish Church 
had been, and much more servile [p. 
259]. ... It doubtless left the mind sub- 
ject to all the chances of liberty or thral- 


dom which might arise from political 

Guizot, History of Civilization, pp. 258, 259. 

HALL, AM: Withdrew liberty of judgment 

" The adherents to the Church of Rome 
have never failed to cast two reproaches 
on those who left them : one, that the Re- 
form was brought about by .intemperate 
and calumnious abuse, by outrages of an 
excited populace, or by the tyranny of 
princes; the other, that, after stimulating 
the most ignorant to reject the authority of 
their Church, it instantly withdrew this 
liberty of judgment and devoted all who 
presumed to swerve from the line drawn by 
law to virulent obloquy and sometimes to 
bonds and death. These reproaches, it may 
be a shame to us to own, can be uttered 
and cannot be refuted." 

Introduction to the History of Literature, vol. i. 
p. 200, sec. 34. 

BRYCE: Excesses of fantastic sects 

" The remark must not be omitted, in 
passing, how much less than might have 


been expected the religious movement did 
at first actually effect in the way of pro- 
moting either political progress or freedom 
of conscience. The habits of centuries 
were not to be unlearned in a few years, 
and it was natural that ideas struggling 
into existence and activity should work 
erringly and imperfectly for a time. By 
a few inflammable minds liberty was carried 
into antinomianism, and produced the wild- 
est excesses of life and doctrine. Several 
fantastic sects arose, refusing to conform 
to the ordinary rules without which human 
society could not subsist." 

Bryce, Holy Roman Empire, ch. xviii. p. 326. 

SCHLEGEL : Luther favored absolutism 

" Luther was by no means an advocate for 
democracy . . . but he asserted the absolute 
power of princes, though he made his ad- 
vocacy subservient to his own religious 
views and projects. It was by such con- 
duct and the influence which he thereby 
acquired, as well as by the sanction of the 
civil power, that the Reformation was 
promoted and consolidated. Without this, 


Protestantism would have sunk into the 
lawless anarchy which marked the proceed- 
ings of the Hussites, and to which the war 
of the peasants rapidly tended, and it would 
have been inevitably suppressed, like all 
other popular commotions." 

Schlegel, Philosophy of History, vol. ii. p. 205 : 
Appleton, New York, Publisher. 

GREEN ; Constitutional guards swept away 

"The one great institution which could 
still offer resistance to the royal will was 
struck down. The Church became a mere 
instrument of the central despotism. The 
people learned their helplessness in rebellions 
easily suppressed and avenged with ruthless 
severity. A reign of terror, organized with 
consummate and merciless skill, held Eng- 
land panic-stricken at Henry's feet. The 
noblest heads rolled on the block. Virtue 
and learning could not save Thomas More ; 
royal descent could not save Lady Salisbury. 
The execution of queen after queen taught 
England that nothing was too high for 
Henry's ' courage' or too sacred for his 
( appetite.' Parliament assembled only to 


sanction acts of unscrupulous tyranny, or 
to build up by its own statutes the great 
fabric of absolute rule. All the constitu- 
tional safeguards of English freedom were 
swept away. Arbitrary taxation, arbitrary 
legislation, arbitrary imprisonment were 
powers claimed without dispute and un- 
sparingly exercised by the Crown." 

Green, Hist, of the English People, book vi. ch. i. 

MACAULAY: Absolutism in England 

" The immediate effect of the Reforma- 
tion in England was by no means favorable 
to political liberty. The authority which 
had been exercised by the Popes was trans- 
ferred almost entire to the King. Two 
formidable powers, which had often served 
to check each other, were united in a single 
despot. If the system on which the 
founders of the Church of England acted 
could have been permanent, the Reforma- 
tion would have been, in a political sense, 
the greatest curse that ever fell on our 

Macaulay's Essays, " Hampden." 

SCHJLEGEL : Civil liberty suffered 

" Not only freedom of thought, but civil 
liberty also suffered much in many states 
of Europe, and especially in Germany from 
the religious schism. In this country the 
revolt of the peasants and the discontent 
of the nobles were the pretext ; the power 
of the princes, so augmented by the confis- 
cation of church property and their own 
close alliance with each other, was the 
cause of these numerous restrictions upon 
ancient freedom." 

Schlegel, Lectures on Modern History (Lectures 
15 and 16), p. 209. 

GREEN : Political chaos in England 

"All that men saw was political and re- 
ligious chaos, in which ecclesiastical order 
had perished, and in which politics was 
dying down into the squabbles of a knot of 
nobles over the spoils of the church and 


Green, Hist, of the English People, book vi. 
ch. i., " The Reformation." 

ALLISON: Evil social results 

Sir A. Allison, in his " History of 
Europe/' says : " The great sin of the Ref- 
ormation was the confiscation of so large 
a portion of the property of the Church 
for the aggrandizement of temporal am- 
bition and the enriching of the nobility 
who had taken a part in the struggle. 
Almost all the social evils under which 
Great Britain is now laboring may be 
traced to this fatal and most iniquitous 
spoliation, under the mask of religion, 
of the patrimony of the poor on the occa- 
sion of the Reformation." 
Allison, Hist, of Europe. 

GREEN: Oppression of the poor 

" In 1549 Devonshire demanded, by open 
revolt, the restoration of the mass and the 
Six Articles, as well as a partial re-estab- 
lishment of the suppressed abbeys. The 
Agrarian discontent woke again in general 
disorder. Enclosures and evictions were 
going steadily on, and the bitterness of the 
change was being heightened by the results 
of the dissolution of the abbeys. Church 


lands had always been underlet, the monks 
were easy landlords, and on no estates had 
the peasantry been as yet so much exempt 
from the general revolution in culture. 
But the new lay masters, to whom the 
abbey lands fell, were quick to reap their 
full value by a rise of rents, and by the 
same processes of eviction and enclosure 
as went on elsewhere." 

Green, Hist, of the English People, book vi. ch. i. 

GREEN: Anarchy in Ireland 

"While the reckless energy of the re- 
formers brought England to the verge of 
chaos it brought Ireland to the verge of 

Id. , book vi. ch. i. 



There 's such divinity doth hedge a king, 
That treason can but peep to what it would. 

THAT kings hold their power directly 
from God, and consequently are 
responsible to Him only for their 
acts, is, in substance, the doctrine of " the 
divine and indefeasible right of kings." 
The teaching of the Catholic and Papal 
theologians made monarchs responsible to 
the people from whom they immediately 
held their authority. Louis of Bavaria, 
in his struggle against the Pope, was the 
first strong advocate of the divine-right 
theory. To bolster up his authority against 
the censures of Rome, he sought to read 
his title direct from the Deity rather than 
through the good graces of his Christian 


The rise of the great monarchies in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries made 
this mischievous theory really formidable. 
When James I. published his plea for what 
Pope wittily calls 

u The right divine of Kings to govern wrong," 

he was ably answered by the Jesuit theo- 
logian Suarez. The theologians saw in 
the divine right of kings a piece of hypo- 
critical politics aiming at the destruction 
of the Church's spiritual independence and 
the substitution of Caesarism and absolutism. 
So the theory operated in the case of 
Louis XIV., with his autocratic boast, 
" L'etat cest moi." He made it the basis 
for usurping Papal prerogatives. Finally, 
democracy has come round to the views 
of the churchmen on the subject, and the 
people-king is the only custodian of divine 
rights recognized in our day. 

The principle, Cujus regio, ejus religio, 
is the expressive Latin of a peace plan 
adopted at the treaty of Augsburg, in 1555, 
and indorsed nearly a hundred years later 
at the treaty of Westphalia. The religion 


of the prince or elector of a state was to 
determine the religion of his subjects. 
Menzel describes this principle as " a result 
of Luther's well-known policy." The re- 
formers succeeded in all cases by winning 
the civil authority on their side at the 
beginning. To enforce the religion of the 
prince upon his subjects always brought 
on a struggle, and it was needful to lay 
hold of a plan like that asserted in Cujus 
regio, ejus religio. In one instance that 
of Pf alz the religion of the people was 
changed arbitrarily four times within eighty 
years by reason of this principle. Its sur- 
vival in Germany, especially among the 
Lutheran princes, is a noticeable circum- 
stance even to-day. Yet there never was 
a theory more odious, both in the light of 
civil and of religious liberty. 

MAINE : A Kef ormation theory 

" It is notorious that as soon as the 
decay of the feudal system had thrown the 
mediaeval constitutions out of working 
order, and when the Reformation had dis- 
credited the authority of the Pope, the 
doctrine of the divine right of kings rose 


immediately into an importance which had 
never before attended it." 

Henry Simmer Maine, Ancient Law, p. 334. 

MACAUL.AY: Not a mediaeval doctrine 

"In the middle ages the doctrine of 
indefeasible hereditary right would have 
been regarded as heretical; for it was al- 
together incompatible with the high pre- 
tension of the Church of Rome." 

Macaulay, History of England, vol. i. p. 56. 

FISHER: On the Protestant side 

"It is remarkable that in opposition to 
these novel dogmas [of the Jesuits] there 
appeared on the Protestant side a theory of 
the divine right of kings and the related 
doctrine of passive obedience. . . . The 
advocates of freedom and revolt against 
spiritual authority are equally strenuous 
for slavish maxims of political obedience." 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. xiv. pp. 



To the universities the Reformation brought 
desolation. FROUDE. 

THE revival of literature was well 
under way when the Protestant 
Reformation burst forth. Print- 
ing, paper manufacture, the fall of Con- 
stantinople, and the discovery of America 
were four important impulses to progress 
that had transpired during the latter half 
of the fifteenth century. 

In literature and art Europe was decid- 
edly moving forward. The Reformation, 
largely from the nature of the case and 
incidentally by reason of its teachings, 
tended to retard this literary and intellec- 
tual advancement. 

1. It was a revolution accompanied 
everywhere by turmoil and disorder. 
Force, rather than reason, decided the 


fate of the conflict. Cabals and plots, 
surprises and coup d'fitats, wars, sieges, and 
massacres, were the events of the day. 
These conditions have never favored literary 
and intellectual progress at any period of 
the world's history. Men's minds are 
drawn away from the pursuits of peace, 
the culture of the arts and the sciences, 
the upbuilding of useful knowledge. There 
is no stability of national desire. The 
concern of every man is for the protec- 
tion of the goods he has life and prop- 
erty rather than for acquisition and 

2. Such literature as most prevailed in 
the Reformation period was of the contro- 
versial order ; and this, not scholarly or 
valuable, but fashioned after the pattern 
set by Luther, rough, violent, disputa- 
tious, and bad-tempered. The literary field 
was overgrown with this kind of weed, and 
seemingly sterile to the production of aught 

3. For nearly fifty years (1520-70) 
England produced no literature of notable 
value, and in Germany the sterility and 
blight in letters lasted for two hundred 


years after Luther. Not until the time of 
Leibnitz did Germany begin to repossess a 

4. The breaking up of the monasteries, 
which constituted the common-school sys- 
tem of the middle ages, had an unfavorable 
effect on literature as well as upon the 
intelligence of the masses. 

There was everywhere a falling off in 
the attendance at the universities. The 
essential importance of these nurseries of 
learning was never greater, relatively, than 
at the time of the Reformation. Their 
injury was the hurt of everything intellec- 
tual throughout Europe. 

5. Certain forms of Protestantism were 
distinctly unfavorable to literature. The 
Anabaptists burned libraries and decried 
education. Calvinism warred on art and 
poetry, as frivolous and diabolical. Among 
the Puritans there was a dislike for all 
kinds of human learning which were not 
Biblical or theological in their purposes. 

The theatre was an abomination ; and the 
study of the classics to which England 
owed her literary renaissance was likened 
unto the pursuit of false gods. 


6. Growing out of the suspicion and 
hate of warring creeds, stricter censorship 
was established over the press. 1 Books 
were condemned and suppressed. Authors 
were constrained to tell half truths. Criti- 
cism was gagged. The heterodox in poli- 
tics and science was punished equally with 
the heterodox in religion. There was far 
greater freedom of thought and speech in 
the Europe of the fifteenth century than 
in the Europe of the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries. 

HALLAM: Reformation appealed to the 

"The most striking effect of the first 
preaching of the Reformation was that it 
appealed to the ignorant." 

Hallam, Int. to Literature of Europe, vol. i. p. 181. 

i There were many curbs on the liberty of the press 
during Elizabeth's reign. "In 1559," says Strype, "by 
the Queen's injunction, no one might print any book or 
paper whatever, unless the same was first licensed by the 
royal council or by the ordinary. By a decree of the 
Star Chamber no one was to print under the penalty of 
a year's imprisonment, except in London and in either 
of the two universities. No one was to print any book, 
matter, or thing whatever, until it shall have been seen 
and allowed by the Archbishop of Canterbury or the 
Bishop of London, and every one selling books printed 
contrary to this regulation is to suffer three months' 


FROUDE: Goethe's opinion 

"A greater man than either Macaulay 
or Buckle the German poet, Goethe 
says of Luther that he threw back the in- 
tellectual progress of mankind for centuries 
by calling in the passions of the multitude 
to decide on subjects which ought to have 
been left to the learned. Goethe in saying 
this was alluding especially to Erasmus. 
Goethe thought that Erasmus and men like 
Erasmus had struck on the right track, and 
if they could have retained the direction of 
the mind of Europe there would have been 
more truth and less falsehood among us at 
this present time. The party hatreds, the 
theological rivalries, the persecutions, the 
civil wars, the religious animosities which 
have so long distracted us, would have been 
all avoided and the mind of mankind would 
have expanded gradually and equably with 
the growth of knowledge." 

James Anthony Froude, Lecture on the Times 
of Luther and Erasmus (Short Studies on Great 
Subjects), vol. i. p. 48. 

GREEN: In England 

Among the effects of the Reformation 
in England during Edward VI. 's reign, 


Green notes that " divinity ceased to be 
taught in the universities; students had 
fallen off in numbers ; libraries were scat- 
tered and burned; and the intellectual 
impulse had died away." 

Green, Hist, of the English People, book vi. ch. i. 
p. 367. 

FROUDE : In Edward VI.'s reign 

" Missals were chopped in pieces with 
hatchets, college libraries plundered and 
burned. The divinity schools were planted 
with cabbages, and the Oxford laundresses 
dried clothes in the schools of art." 

Froude, History of England, vol. v. ch. v. 

GREEN : At the universities 

" Classical learning, indeed, all but 
perished at the universities in the storm 
of the Reformation, nor did it revive here 
till the close of Elizabeth's reign." 

Green, book vi. ch. vii. ("England of Shake- 
speare "). 

FISHER: A censorship over books 

"In Protestant countries, after the 
Reformation, the supervision of the print- 
ing and circulation of books devolved upon 


the State. A tiring and meddlesome cen- 
sorship and sometimes a severe penal code 
were established by various governments." 
Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. xv. p. 527. 

MATTHEW ARNOLD: A literary estimate 

Matthew Arnold (Schools and Univer- 
sities of the Continent, p. 154), speaks of 
the Elizabethan literature as the work of 
" men of the Renaissance, not men of the 
Reformation." Taine, in his " History of 
English Literature," entitles his chapter on 
the Elizabethan age " The Pagan Renais- 


MOTLEY: In the Netherlands 

Motley describes the iconoclastic move- 
ments of the Reformation in the Nether- 
lands. " The Netherlands,'* he says, 
" possessed an extraordinary number of 
churches and monasteries. Their exquisite 
architecture and elaborate decoration had 
been the earliest indication of intellectual 
culture displayed in the country. All that 
science could invent, all that art could 
embody, all that mechanical ingenuity 
could dare, all that wealth could lavish, 


all gathered round these magnificent 
temples. . . . And now, for the space of 
only six or seven days and nights, there 
raged a storm by which all these treasures 
were destroyed. Nearly every one of these 
temples were rifled of their contents. Art 
must forever weep over this bereavement. 
. . . The mob rose in the night in Antwerp, 
and began by wrecking the great cathedral 
church of Our Lady, and before morning 
they sacked thirty churches within the 
walls. . . . They destroyed seventy chapels, 
forced open all the chests of treasure, 
covered their own squalid attire with the 
gorgeous robes of the ecclesiastics, and 
burned the splendid missals and manu- 
scripts. . . . Hardly a statue or picture 
escaped destruction. The number of 
churches desecrated has never been counted. 
In the single province of Flanders four 
hundred were sacked." 

Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, vol. i. ch. vii. 

BUCKLE: Unfavorable to learning- 

"For, though the Protestant Reforma- 
tion was a consequence of this progress 
[revival of learning] , it was for some time 


unfavorable to it, by encouraging the ablest 
men in the discussion of questions inacces- 
sible to human reason, and thus diverting 
them from subjects in which their efforts 
would have been available for the general 
purposes of civilization. Hence we find 
that little was really accomplished until 
the end of the sixteenth century, when 
the theological fervor began to subside in 
England and France, and the way was 
prepared for that purely secular philosophy 
of which Bacon and Descartes were the 
exponents, but by no means the creators.'* 

Buckle, History of Civilization in England, voL i. 
p. 329. 

ERASMUS: "Literature languishes" 

A contemporary of Luther, the learned 
Erasmus, testified in 1528 : " Wherever 
Lutheranism reigns, there literature utterly 
perishes." (Quoted by Hallam, Lit. of 
Europe, vol. i. p. 165.) In the same year 
he wrote in another letter : " I dislike these 
gospellers on many accounts, but chiefly 
because, through their agency, literature 
languishes, disappears, lies drooping, and 
perishes; and yet, without learning, what 



is men's life ? They love good cheer and a 
wife; for other things they care not a 
straw." In a letter to Melanchthon he 
states that " at Strasburg the Protestant 
party had publicly taught, in 1524, that it 
was not right to cultivate any science, and 
that no language should be studied except 
the Hebrew." 
Epistle 714. 

PBESCOTT : Iconoclasm broke loose 

" The loss occasioned by the plunder of 
gold and silver plate might be computed. 
The structures so cruelly defaced might be 
repaired by the skill of the architect. But 
who can estimate the irreparable loss occa- 
sioned by the destruction of manuscripts, 
statuary, and paintings ? It is a melan- 
choly fact that the earliest efforts of the 
reformers were everywhere directed against 
those monuments of genius which had been 
created and cherished by the generous pat- 
ronage of Catholicism." 

Prescott, Philip II. 



1 think the truth is, she was not half so good 
as she had been made out and not half so bad 
as she had been made out. DICKENS (on 
Queen Elizabeth). 

THESE expressions give us are mark- 
able illustration of how religious 
animosity may color history. The 
unimpeachable truth is that Mary was at 
least as good as Elizabeth, and Elizabeth 
was at least as bloody as Mary. 

Both royal ladies persecuted, but with 
this difference : Mary persecuted Protes- 
tants, and Elizabeth persecuted Catholics. 
In our day either kind of persecution is 
equally wrong and reprehensible. Not so 
in other and less tolerant days. The age 
that coined these expressions thought Mary 
"bloody" for the killing she did, but it 
thought Bess " good " because she did her 


killing on the other side. Judgments which 
depend upon " whose ox is gored " are of no 
historical value. Adjectives like " good " 
and " bloody," based on such judgments, 
are little better. 

The victims of Mary's persecution 
numbered two hundred and eighty-four, 
according to Burnett; two hundred and 
eighty-eight, according to Strype ; " above 
two hundred," says Miss Strickland, and 
"almost two hundred," according to 
Lingard. They were chiefly laymen, few 
clergymen suffering death. 

The Catholic victims under Elizabeth 
amounted to one hundred and ninety-one 
according to Dodd, and to two hundred and 
four according to Milner. 1 " Many others," 
says Hallam, " died of hardship in prison." 
Lingard ascertains from contemporary lists 

1 " It is probable that not many more than two hun- 
dred Catholics were executed, as such, in Elizabeth's 
reign, and this was ten score too many. Dodd reckons 
them at 191 ; Milner has raised the list to 204. Fifteen 
of these, according to him, suffered for denying the 
Queen's supremacy, 126 for exercising their ministry, and 
the rest for being reconciled to the Romish Church. 
Many others died of hardships in prison, and many were 
deprived of their property." J. L. Motley, Hist, of the 
United Netherlands, ch. xvdi. with footnote. 


that one hundred and twenty-four Catholic 
priests were executed. Challoner thinks 
that the number of priests alone who suf- 
fered death was nearly two hundred. Many 
hundred recusants died in prison. 

Mary's persecution lasted four years ; 
Elizabeth's, forty-four. The fines for 
recusancy, the banishments, the imprison- 
ments, and torture which characterize 
Elizabeth's reign are more impressive of 
the horrors of persecution than even the 
hangings and burnings at Tyburn. Strype 
tells us that at one of the assizes in 
Hampshire four hundred recusants were 
presented, and at another in Lancashire, 
six hundred. Bridge water states that at 
one time twenty Catholic recusants died 
of infectious disease in York Castle. 

" The rack seldom stood idle in the tower 
for all the latter part of Elizabeth's reign," 
says Hallam. " Such excessive severities," 
he continues, " under the pretext of treason, 
but sustained by very little evidence of any 
other offence than the exercise of Catholic 
ministry, excited indignation throughout a 
good part of Europe." l 

1 Const, History of England, vol. i. p. 201. 


As to the comparative characters of 
Mary and Elizabeth, Miss Strickland's 
%f Queens of England " seems to place a 
much higher estimation on that of the 
former than on the latter. 

MACAULAY: Mary had provocation 

" The Catholics did not, at the time of 
Elizabeth's accession, rise in arms to seat a 
pretender to the throne. But before Mary 
had given or could give provocation, the 
most distinguished Protestants attempted 
to set aside her rights in favor of the Lady 
Jane. That attempt and the subsequent 
insurrection of Wyatt furnished as good 
a plea for the burning of Protestants as 
the conspiracies of Mary against Elizabeth 
furnish for the hanging and embowelling of 

Macaulay's Essays, " Hallam." 

SOUTHEY: Mary had some excuse 

" If any person may be excused for hating 
the Reformation, it was Mary. She regarded 
it as having arisen in this country from her 
mother's wrongs, and enabled the king to 
complete an iniquitous and cruel divorce, 


It had her exposed to inconvenience and 
even danger under her father's reign, to 
vexation and restraint under her brother; 
and, after having been bastardized in con- 
sequence of it, an attempt had been made 
to deprive her of the inheritance, because 
she continued to profess the Eoman Catholic 

R. Southey, Book of the Church, ch. xiv. 

HALL AM: Mary's respect for the consti- 

" It is due, indeed, to the memory of one 
who has left so odious a name, to remark 
that Mary was conscientiously averse to 
encroach upon what she understood to be 
the privileges of her people. A wretched 
book having been written to exalt her 
prerogative on the ridiculous pretence that, 
as queen, she was not bound by the laws of 
former kings, she showed it to Gardiner, 
and on his expressing his indignation at 
the sophism, threw it herself into the fire." 

Hallam, Constitutional Hist, of England, vol. i. 
p. 55. 


GREEIST : In Elizabeth's reign 

" To modern eyes there is something even 
more revolting than open persecution in a 
policy which branded every Catholic priest 
as a traitor and all Catholic worship as 
disloyal. . . . An act to retain the Queen's 
Majesty's subjects in due obedience pro- 
hibited the saying of mass even in private 
houses, increased the fine on recusants to 
twenty pounds a month, etc. ... If we 
adopt the Catholic estimate of the times, 
the twenty years which followed [1580- 
1600] saw the execution of two hundred 
priests, while a yet greater number perished 
in filthy and fever-stricken gaols in which 
they were plunged. The work of recon- 
ciliation with Rome was arrested by this 
ruthless energy." 

Green, Hist, of the English People, book vi. ch. v., 
" England and the Papacy." 

MACATJLAr: Mary and Elizabeth 

" Being herself [Queen Elizabeth] an 
Adiaphorist, having no scruple about con- 
forming to the Romish Church when con- 
formity was necessary to her own safety, 
retaining to the last moment of her life 


a fondness for much of the doctrine and 
much of the ceremonial of that church, she 
yet subjected that church to a persecution 
even more odious than the persecution with 
which her sister had harassed the Prot- 
estants. We say more odious. For Mary 
had at least the plea of fanaticism. She 
did nothing for her religion which she was 
not prepared to suffer for it. She had held 
it firmly under persecution. She fully be- 
lieved it to be essential to salvation. If 
she burned the bodies of her subjects, it 
was in order to rescue their souls. Eliza- 
beth had no such pretext. In opinion she 
was little more than half a Protestant. 
She had professed, when it suited her, to 
be wholly a Catholic." 
Macaulay's Essays, " Burleigh and his Times." 


In the heroic days when Ferdinand 
And Isabella ruled the Spanish land, 
And Torquemada, with his subtle brain. 
Ruled them, as Grand Inquisitor of Spain. 

TWENTY-TWO thousand persons 
suffered death for theft in England 
during the thirty-eight years of a 
single reign. The justice of our ancestors 
was a bloody affair. 

Sir James Stephen, in his " History of 
Criminal Law of England " (p. 467), says : 
" If the average number of executions in 
each county were twenty, a little more 
than a quarter of the executions in Devon- 
shire, in 1598, this would make eight 
hundred executions a year in the forty 
English counties " or eighty thousand in 
the course of a century. Mackay, in a 
work entitled " Curious Superstitions " (p. 
237), says that forty thousand witches were 


put to death in England from 1600 to 
1680. 1 

The Spanish Inquisition dealt with po- 
lygamy, witchcraft, treason, heresy, and a 
variety of other offences. During the fif- 
teen years that Torquemada was Chief In- 
quisitor, the historian Mariana says that 
two thousand executions were reported. 
Llorente estimates the capital punishments 
under the Spanish Inquisition at thirty 
thousand, during the three centuries of its 
existence. According to Llorente, 2 the 
Spanish tribunal took cognizance of many 
crimes besides heresy, of sins against 
nature; of ecclesiastical and monastic im- 
moralities; of blasphemy, usury, and sacri- 
legious theft; of all crimes connected with 

1 Hefele shows that at Nordingen a Protestant 
town of Germany, having then a population of six thou- 
sand the authorities burned in four years (1590-94) 
thirty-five sorcerers. Applying these proportions to 
Spain, where sorcery was then at least as prevalent, 
there should have been in four years fifty thousand sor- 
cerers executed in that country ; that is, twenty thousand 
more than Llorente assigns as victims of every kind to 
the Spanish Inquisition during its career of three hun- 
dred and thirty years. 

2 Llorente was an ex-priest and a discharged official of 
the Inquisition. He had a motive for blackening the 
institution as much as he could. 


the employes or affairs of the tribunal ; of 
traffic in contraband of war, and of every 
kind of sorcery and superstition. 

There are positive complaints of gross 
inaccuracy against Llorente, and some glar- 
ing mistakes are pointed out in his history. 1 

He took a novel method of making an 
authority of himself. Having obtained cus- 
tody of the archives of the Inquisition when 
Joseph Bonaparte captured Madrid, he used 
select portions, chosen with the avowed in- 
tent of blackening its record, and then burnt 
the original documents so that no future his- 
torian could gainsay him from the records. 

The Spanish Inquisition is merely a 
tangible instance of the civil polity that 
prevailed contemporaneously throughout 
Europe. 2 There was also a Portuguese 

1 He says, for instance, " that during the first year of 
its existence [1481] the sole tribunal of Seville burned 
two thousand, all of whom belonged to the dioceses of 
Seville and Cadiz." In support of this charge he cites 
Mariana; but a reference to Mariana shows that the 
number two thousand includes all the persons executed 
under Torquemada, and throughout his entire jurisdic- 
tion, that is, in the whole of Castile and Leon, during 
fifteen years of Torquemada's inquisitorship. 

2 " The Spaniards of the sixteenth century were indis- 
putably the noblest nation of Europe ; yet they had the 
Inquisition and Philip II." (Carlyle.) 


Inquisition and a Roman Inquisition. 
There was a Protestant Inquisition in Eng- 
land under Henry VIII. 1 and Elizabeth, and 
a Calvinistic Inquisition at Geneva. There 
was an American colonial Inquisition dur- 
ing the Salem witchcraft. The civil polity 
of those times made treason to faith a 
crime against the State. 

To determine whether the accused was 
really guilty of heresy, a tribunal was set 
up, with priests among the judges. They 
were theological experts in the employ of 
the State. The tribunal was regarded as 
a political institution. Just as witchcraft 
came before the courts in England and 
America as a crime against the State, so 
witchcraft and heresy went before the 
tribunal called the Inquisition, 

1 Victor Duruy, in his " History of Modern Times " 
(Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1894), says that under 
Henry VIII. *' an inquisition more terrible than that of 
Spain covered England with funeral piles. Among the 
victims are counted two queens, two cardinals, three arch- 
bishops, eighteen bishops, thirteen abbots, five hundred 
priors or monks, fourteen archdeacons, sixty canons, more 
than fifty doctors, twelve dukes, marquises, or earls, 
twenty-nine barons, three hundred thirty-five nobles, 
one hundred ten women of rank; in all, seventy-two 
thousand capital condemnations" (p. 181.) 


The Pope, who had consented to the es- 
tablishment of the Spanish Inquisition, 
eventually found himself at variance with 
it. Sixtus IV. complained of its severity, 
and admonished the Spanish monarchs to 
be more merciful. A later Pope excommu- 
nicated the Inquisitors of Toledo ; and Papal 
antipathy kept the institution out of Italy. 1 
But this Church hostility did not persuade 
the Spaniards to give up what they thought 
a very useful political machine. The spirit 
of the age was with it. It was founded in 
a moment of victory over the Moorish in- 
vaders, and with the purpose of putting 
down secret plots of rebellion. Jews, pre- 
tending to be Catholic converts, but con- 
tinuing their ancient religious ceremonies 
in secret, and cherishing a bitterer hatred 
of Christianity, were to be ferreted out. It 
was argued that this was demanded for the 
sake of the public peace and security ; and 
the Inquisition was deemed the effective 
means to the end. 

1 " Moreover, he [the Pope] refused to allow the 
Spanish government to introduce their Inquisition into 
Naples, or the Milanese, which then belonged to Spain, 
from his disapprobation of its rigor." Newman's 
Lecture on Catholicism in England, p. 202. 


The inquisition as a tribunal to exam- 
ine heretics had first come into existence 
at the synod of Toulouse, in 1229, 
when the Albigenses had been put down 
and all southern France was in a state of 
disorder. 1 The secret crimes of the Mani- 
chaeans could be dealt with only, it was 
argued, by an inquisitorial tribunal com- 
posed of men expert in detecting the hereti- 
cal opinions which prompted such crimes. 
Thus the first Inquisition commended itself 
to the law and order party of the middle 
ages. And its record suggested its useful- 
ness, for their purpose, to Ferdinand and 
Isabella, when the task of consolidating 
their reconquered kingdom presented itself. 
It continued to exist in Spain until abolished 

1 It is said that St. Dominic was the first to propose 
such a tribunal. For a time none but Dominicans were 
appointed inquisitors; later, the Franciscans were also 
appointed. The Spanish Inquisition was established in 

The congregation of Cardinals, known as " The' Holy 
Inquisition," was instituted by Pope Paul III. in 1542. 

In France the Inquisition was virtually a state court, 
until the time of the Reformation. The Court Inquisi- 
tor in 1530 was found to be a Calvinist. It was deemed 
well therefore to transfer the powers of this court to the 
bishops, which was done about the year 1560. 


by Joseph Bonaparte early in the present 

GUIZOT: A political tribunal 

Guizot remarks : " The Inquisition was at 
first more political than religious, and 
destined rather for the maintenance of 
order than the defence of faith." 

History of Civilization, Lecture 11. 

JBANKE : The Inquisition a state court 

" In the first place, the inquisitors were 
royal officers. The kings had the right of 
appointing and dismissing them. . . . The 
courts of the Inquisition were subject, like 
other magistracies, to royal visitors. . . . 
( Do you not know/ said the king [to Xime- 
nes] , 6 that if this tribunal possess jurisdic- 
tion, it is from the king it derives it ? ' . . . 

" In the second place, all the profit of the 
confiscations by this court accrued to the 
king. These were carried out in a very 
unsparing manner. Though the fueros 
(privileges) of Aragon forbade the king 
to confiscate the property of his convicted 
subjects, he deemed himself exalted above 
the law in matters pertaining to this court. 


. . . The proceeds of these confiscations 
formed a sort of regular income for the 
royal exchequer. It was even believed, 
and asserted from the beginning, that the 
kings had been moved to establish and 
countenance this tribunal more by their 
hankering after the wealth it confiscated 
than by motives of piety. . . . 

" In the third place, it was the Inquisition, 
and the Inquisition alone, that completely 
shut out all extraneous interference with 
the state. The sovereign had now at his 
disposal a tribunal from which no grandee, 
no archbishop, could withdraw himself. 
As Charles knew no other means of bring- 
ing certain punishment on the bishops who 
had taken part in the insurrection of the 
Communidades (or communes that were 
struggling for their rights and liberties), 
he chose to have them judged by the 
Inquisition. . . . 

" It was, in spirit and tendency, a political 
institution. The Pope had an interest in 
thwarting it, and he did so; but the king 
had an interest in constantly upholding it." 

Leopold Ranke. The Ottoman and Spanish Em- 
pires, pp. 78-79. (Ed. Phila., 1845.) 

FISHER : A machine to repress sedition 

" The Spanish Inquisition, in its peculiar 
form, was set up by Ferdinand and Isabella, 
in the first instance, for the purpose of 
discovering the converts from Judaism, 
who returned to their former creed. . . * . 
It was an institution for stifling sedition as 
well as heresy. Hence it was defended by 
the Spanish sovereign against objections 
and complaints of the Pope." 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. xi. p. 


" In its earlier stage the Inquisition was 
quite as much a civil as an ecclesiastical 
tribunal, being especially directed against 
the exclusive privileges and immunities 
claimed by the hereditary nobility ; and 
although under Cardinal Ximenes the sup- 
pression of heresy became one of its chief 
functions, it was long regarded with no 
friendly feelings by Rome." 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. xx. p. 324. 



" It was easy for the king [Philip II. of 
Spain] to employ the forces of one kingdom 
to crush the liberties of the others. And 
Philip possessed a formidable weapon in 
the Inquisition, which he did not scruple 
to use for secular purposes. Political 
independence was crushed with the same 
relentless severity as religious dissent." 
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., vol. xxii. p. 829. 

cruel than some criminal courts of the 

" Hefele, in his ' Life of Ximenes/ and 
in the article ' Inquisition/ in Wetzer and 
Welte, has shown that the methods of the 
Inquisition were, in some respects, less 
cruel than those of the criminal courts of 
the day." 

Schaff-Herzog Dictionary, article on " Inquisi- 

" Heresy " in Spain 

In Nicholas Eymerich's " Official Direc- 
tory of the Inquisition" (A. D. 1567), one 
of the crimes classed as " heresy " is selling 
arms or ammunition to the French. 


Adverse to the Jesuits 

" The Jesuits were from first to last 
obnoxious to the Inquisitions of the penin- 
sula. The hostility seen in the arrest of 
St. Ignatius, the persecution of St. Francis 
Borgia, friend of Carranza, the arrest of 
the Provincial, and the attempt to cen- 
sure the whole Order, in 1586, the action 
against the Bollandists, the persecution of 
Vieyra, the action of the Portuguese In- 
quisition against the Society of Jesus, and 
the burning of Father Malagrida, the 
hostility in all these is too clear and posi- 
tive to be questioned. And, strange as it 
may seem, Jesuits help to swell the num- 
bers of the sufferers for whom Llorente, 
and such blind followers as Rule, evoke 
the tears of Protestants. ... Of canonized 
saints, not only St. Ignatius, St. Francis 
Borgia, but even St. Teresa was denounced 
by the Inquisition. Nor has any Grand 
Inquisitor or official of that later tribunal 
since the origin of Protestantism been 
beatified or canonized by the Church." 

The American Catholic Quarterly Review, vol. i. 
p. 629. 


injure Spain 

" The activity of the Holy Office [of the 
Spanish Inquisition] was at first directed 
against the Jews whose obstinate adherence 
to their faith, in spite of persecution, was 
punished by an edict for their expulsion in 
1492. Their departure deprived Spain of 
many industrious inhabitants; but its im- 
portance has been much exaggerated by 
authors who have failed to notice that it 
was followed not by the decline of Spain, 
but by the period of its greatest prosperity." 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., vol. xxii. p. 
326, " Spain." 


Dr. Johnson was asked on one occasion what 
was meant by a "Jesuit." The Doctor not 
inaptly replied: "Every one who is cleverer 
than one's self." 

PROTESTANTISM swept everything 
before it during the first forty 
years of its existence. It acquired 
a strength and an expansion that it has 
never since attained. For a time France 
was debatable ground. An ambassador of 
Venice reported that nine-tenths of the 
German people had embraced Protestant- 
ism (A. D. 1558). Scarcely a thirtieth of 
the population of Austria remained Catho- 
lics. In Transylvania the people confiscated 
all the church property. In Poland the 
Protestants took possession of the parish 
churches and obtained a majority in the 
Diet; in Bohemia and Hungary Protes- 
tantism was in the ascendancy, and there 


were hundreds of thousands of Belgian 
Calvinists. " There remain firm to the 
Pope/' he continued, "only Spain and 
Italy with some few islands, and those 
countries possessed by your Serenity in 
Dalmatia and Greece." 

A Catholic reaction, or " counter-refor- 
mation," ensued about the middle of the 
sixteenth century, and by the year 1575 
the reflux wave had entered southern Ger- 
many. There was a century of conflict, 
ending with the treaty of Westphalia in 
1648. The result remains to this day : 
The entire debatable territory was won 
back by the Catholic party ; France and 
Austria were confirmed in the old faith; 
Belgium, Poland, and Southern Germany 
were reconquered. 

To a certain extent this result was due 
to a natural re-awakening of the Catholic 
faith among the people. The reconquest 
was certainly aided by princes like Duke 
Albert of Bavaria and the Emperor Fer- 
dinand of Austria. After the polity of 
the times, these rulers did not scruple to use 
constraint. But the fact remains that the 
chief element of the victory was force of 


conviction. 1 And the teaching and preach- 
ing that produced the result were largely 
that of the Jesuits. 

This new order has its place in the 
history of Europe notably on account of its 
struggle with Protestantism. The original 
design of Loyola, its founder, was to convert 
the Saracens and establish headquarters at 
Jerusalem. But the great order drifted 
from the outset into its appointed work. 

We observe that there was no hurry in 
laying the foundations of the " Society of 
Jesus." After he had conceived the notion, 
Loyola 2 spent several years attending the 
Spanish universities. Here he was annoyed 
by the Inquisition, and never after appears 
to have been an admirer of that tribunal ; 
he refused, later on, to allow Jesuits to 

1 As to this matter, Macaulay says, in his essay on 
" Von Ranke's History of Popes " : " It is moreover not 
to be dissembled that the triumph of the Papacy was to 
be chiefly attributed not to the triumph of arms but to a 
great reflux of public opinion." 

2 Ignatius Loyola was the youngest of thirteen chil- 
dren. He was born in 1491 in Spanish Biscay. His 
father was a nobleman. When in his thirtieth year his 
thoughts were turned towards a religious life by reading 
the Lives of the Saints, as he lay suffering from a wound 
received during a gallant defence of Pompeluna. 


serve on it. The year 1534 found him at 
the University of Paris, where he lived 
intimately with Peter Faber and Francis 
Xavier. They, and a few Spanish students, 
were his first recruits. The group agreed 
to separate for a time and meet in Venice 
by 1537. At Venice, Ignatius worked 
among the poor with Father Carraffa, who 
afterwards became Pope. The order was 
formally approved at Rome in 1540. Strict 
obedience to the Pope, and willingness to 
serve the Church wherever he appointed, 
were elements in the Jesuit plan that 
strongly commended it to the Pontiff. The 
Catholic world needed such an order at 
that time. 

Once approved at Rome, the new organi- 
zation experienced rapid growth. This, too, 
notwithstanding the extended special train- 
ing required of its members. But the plan 
of the order satisfied the best and most 
intelligent religious feeling of the time. At 
Louvain University eighteen young men, 
then in their master's degree, joined the 
Jesuits the first year of its foundation. The 
order at once developed some strong leaders 
like Francis Borgia, Duke of Gandia, 


Eoderigo in Portugal, Peter Canisius in 
Germany, and Francis Xavier. When 
Ignatius, who was its first general, died in 
1556, there were thirteen provinces of the 
order. Jesuits had penetrated the forests of 
Brazil, and nearly a hundred followers of 
Xavier were at work in India and China. 1 
The personal merit of the members was 
one source of their popularity and influence. 
The education they provided was gratui- 
tous. Unquestionably, their methods of 
teaching were a great advance upon those 
of the times. Their schools obtained that 
instant prestige which the world knows how 
to give meritorious innovations. Protestant 
pupils left their own universities to attend 
those of the Jesuits. They educated the 
cardinals, the bishops, and the counsellors 
of state, but refused to accept any of these 
dignities themselves. 2 Their preaching drew 

1 In 1565 there were in Europe thirty-five hundred 
Jesuits, and in 1580 there were over five thousand of the 
order in various parts of the world. 

2 Among the pupils of the Jesuits were the following : 
Popes Gregory XIII., Benedict XIV., Pius VII., St. Fran- 
cis of Sales, Cardinal de Berulle, Bossuet, Cardinal de 
Fleury, Cardinal Frederico Borromeo, Flechier, Cassir.i, 
Seguier, Montesquieu, Malesherbes, Tasso Galileo, Cor- 
neille, Descartes, Moliere, Jean Baptiste Rousseau, Gol- 


the multitudes to their churches. Their 
care of the sick and interest in the poor 
conciliated the people. Their good man- 
ners made them desired in higher circles. 
They became confessors to the nobles and 

The " counter-reformation " in Germany 
was won by calling in the Jesuits. At first 
they were known as "Spanish priests; " but 
they established universities and multiplied 
their membership. They swarmed at every 
point of conflict. In one year forty thou- 
sand converts were made in Austria. 1 Ba- 
varia was won back after a hard struggle. 
The Rhine provinces were next reconquered. 
A Jesuit was chosen King of Poland. 2 They 
were in every court and council directing 

doni, Tournefort, Fontenelle, Muratori, Buffon, Gresset, 
Canova, Tilly and Wallenstein, Conde* ; the Emperors 
Maximilian and Ferdinand, many princes of Savoy, 
Nemours, and Bavaria, Don John of Austria. 

1 In 1626 the Emperor of Germany ordered an exami- 
nation to be made as to the number of heretics converted 
by the Jesuits in his dominion. The number was placed 
at one million. (Cretineau-Joly, History of the Society 
of Jesus, vol. iii. p. 210.) 

2 This was John Casimir, who had entered the order 
in 1643. He was not yet a priest when he succeeded to 
the throne in 1648. 


the movements of Catholic princes. Prot- 
estantism everywhere recognized its new 
foeraen. Melanchthon, on his death-bed, 
in 1560, is reported to have said : "Alas! 
What is this ? I see the whole world being 
filled with Jesuits." In England and 
Sweden severe and sanguinary treatment 
was visited upon them. During one year 
(1570) the Huguenots put forty Jesuits to 
death. 1 But the Jesuits were not deterred. 
"They dare everything," said their ad- 
mirers. They entered Russia and tried to 
convert Turkey. Hallam, in his " Litera- 
ture of Europe," notes the multitude of lead- 
ing names that the Jesuits furnished in all 
departments of thought and investigation 
during the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies. They wrote the books of Latin 

Francis Xavier and his followers made a 
million converts in India. There were, 
in 1610, seven hundred and fifty thousand 
Japanese Catholics. Father Nobili assumed 
the habit of the priestly caste in India (the 

1 They were on their way to the missions in Brazil 
when they were captured by a Calvinistic pirate, Jacques 
Sourie. See Cretineau-Joly, History of the Society of 


Brahmins), and induced seventy of them 
to labor with him. In Paraguay the Jes- 
uits built up an Indian nation and civilized 
it. In North America they established a 
chain of missions stretching from Quebec 
to New Orleans. 

Yet, after the lapse of two hundred and 
thirty-three years, the same authority that 
founded the Jesuit order caused it to be 
suppressed. Pope Clement XIV., to " pro- 
mote concord in the Church " and peace 
among the nations, abolished the order in 
1773. The opinion of the world had 
changed. Spain, where the society was 
cradled, became its bitterest opponent, and 
Austria, whose fortunes the Jesuits had 
served in trying times, concurred in the 
decree. The flood-tide of enmity, which 
the Jesuits "had been encountering for many 
years, then had its way. 

The order was either too united, top 
virtuous, too astute, or too able to be an 
object of indifference. 1 It aroused the 

1 It is difficult to find an inclusive reason for the fact, 
but the fact remains nevertheless, that from the begin- 
ning the Jesuits encountered everywhere opposition and 
enmity. At Paris in 1565 one Jesuit writer says that 


jealousy of other orders. Ambitious men 
envied the power it obtained in the civil 
governments. The " spirit of the age" in 
the eighteenth century was schooled against 
it; the Jesuits stood for the established 
conditions in Church and State. The wfyole 
force of social and political innovation was 
directed against them. The Jansenists 
an able, intellectual sect and the Ency- 
clopaedists, headed by Voltaire and D'Alem- 
bert, fought against them. Finally, three 
great political ministers combined to crush 
them, Pombal in Portugal, D'Aranda in 
Spain, and Choiseul in France. The pres- 
sure of the Bourbon courts was mainly 
responsible for their suppression. 

Through their two centuries of activity, a 
mass of hostile criticism and detraction was 
accumulated against the Jesuits. They 
were accused of complicity in the assas- 

" on all street-corners were placards against us, and not 
a play was written that did not contain a satire against 
us." They were subject to insults in the streets. In / 
1595 they were expelled from Paris by the opposition of / 
the University and Parliament. They were banished 
from Venice in 1605. These are but a few of a long 
series of attacks which they suffered in all the Catholic 


sination of Henry III. of France ; a Jesuit 
(Father Garnet) was among those who paid 
the penalty of the Gunpowder plot ; Pom- 
bal sought to implicate them in an attempt 
on the life of the King of Portugal; 
D'Aranda made Charles III. of Spain believe 
that they were conspiring to depose him 
in favor of his brother. The Dominican 
order accused them of heretical teachings 
with regard to predestination and free will, 
and with tolerating Pagan customs in 
Chinar. Pascal, in his famous " Provincial 
Letters," attacked them as lax casuists. 
The Parliament of Paris their inveter- 
ate foe claimed to discover among their 
effects a book called the " Monita Secreta," 
which contained alleged rules of a nature 
very damaging to the order's reputation. 1 

In all these charges there was more or 
less circumstantial evidence, but a thorough 
lack of conclusive proof. The bankruptcy 
of a commercial house of Martinique served 
as a pretext for suits against the order in 
France which seriously crippled it. 

1 " The credit of the order was, however, far more seri- 
ously damaged by the publication at Cracow, in 1612, of 
an ingenious forgery . . . entitled Monita Secreta." Ency- 
clopaedia Britannica, vol. xiii. p. 650. 


There were twenty-three thousand Jes- 
uits (of whom nearly twelve thousand were 
priests) at the time of the suppression, 
in 1773. The order was re-established in 
1814, and its present membership is said 
to be about fourteen thousand. 

MACAULAY: Jesuits led the counter move- 

" In the Order of Jesus was concentrated 
the quintessence of the Catholic spirit ; and 
the history of the Order of Jesus is the 
history of the great Catholic reaction. That 
order possessed itself at once of all the 
strongholds which command the public 
mind, of the pulpit, of the press, of the 
confessional, of the academies. Wherever 
Jesuits preached, the church was too small 
for the audience. The name of Jesuit on a 
titlepage secured the circulation of a book. 
It was in the ears of the Jesuit that the 
powerful, the noble, and the beautiful 
breathed the secret history of their lives. 
It was at the feet of the Jesuit that the 
youth of the higher and middle classes 
were brought up from childhood to man- 
hood, from the first rudiments to the courses 


of rhetoric and philosophy. Literature and 
science, lately associated with infidelity or 
with heresy, now became the allies of 
orthodoxy. Dominant in the south of 
Europe, the great order soon went forth 
conquering and to conquer. In spite of 
oceans and deserts, of hunger and pesti- 
lence, of spies and penal laws, of dungeons 
and racks, of gibbets and quartering-blocks, 
Jesuits were to be found under every dis- 
guise and in every country ; scholars, 
physicians, merchants, serving-men; in the 
hostile court of Sweden, in the old manor- 
house of Cheshire, among the hovels of 
Connaught; arguing, instructing, consoling, 
stealing away the hearts of the young, 
animating the courage of the timid, hold- 
ing up the crucifix before the eyes of the 

"... The old world was not wide enough 
for this strange activity. The Jesuit in- 
vaded all the countries which the maritime 
discoveries of the preceding age had laid 
open to European enterprise. They were 
to be found in the depths of the Peruvian 

mines, at the marts of the African slave- 


caravans, on the Spice Islands, in the ob- 
servatories of China. They made converts 
in regions which neither avarice nor curios- 
ity had tempted any of their countrymen 
to enter ; and preached and disputed in 
tongues of which no other native of the 
West understood a word." 

Macaulay's Essays (" Review of Von Ranke's 
History of Popes"). 

RANKE : A talented order 

" Such a combination of competent knowl- 
edge and indefatigable zeal, of study and 
persuasiveness, of pomp and asceticism, of 
world-wide influence and unity in the gov- 
erning principle, was never beheld before 
or since. They were assiduous and vision- 
ary, worldly-wise and filled with enthusi- 
asm, were competent men whose society 
was gladly courted, devoid of personal in- 
terest, each laboring for the advancement 
of the rest." 

Ranke, History of Popes, book v. p. 169. 

MACKINTOSH: Their intellectual record 

They [the Jesuits] maintained the high- 
est station as a religious body in the lit- 


erature of Catholic countries. No other 
association ever sent forth so many disci- 
ples who reached such eminence in depart- 
ments so various and unlike. While some 
of their number ruled the royal penitents 
at Versailles or the Escurial, others were 
teaching the use of the spade and the shuttle 
to the naked savages of Paraguay ; a third 
body daily endangered their lives in an 
attempt to convert the Hindus to Christian- 
ity; a fourth carried on the controversy 
against the Reformers ; a portion were at 
liberty to cultivate polite literature; while 
the greater part continued to be employed 
either in carrying on the education of 
Catholic Europe, or in the government of 
their society, and in ascertaining the ability 
and disposition of the junior members, so 
that well-qualified men might be selected 
for the extraordinary variety of offices in 
their immense commonwealth. The most 
famous Constitutionalists, the most skilful 
casuists, the ablest schoolmasters, the 'most 
celebrated professors, the best teachers of 
the humblest mechanical arts, the mission- 
aries who could most bravely encounter 
martyrdom, or who with the most patient 


skill could infuse the rudiments of religion 
into the minds of ignorant tribes or pre- 
judiced nations, were the growth of their 
fertile schools." 

Sir Jas. Mackintosh, Review of the Causes of 
Revolution of 1688. 

FISHER : Their political ethics 

"In the theory of popular sovereignty 
and of the social compact the peculiar 
tendencies of Catholic theology are most 
apparent. This was advocated by Lainez, 
the second General of the Jesuits, by the 
eminent Spanish Jesuit Mariana, and by 
Bellarmine. It is the doctrine that power, 
as far as temporal rule is concerned, 
originally resides, by ' the gift and appoint- 
ment of God, in the people. ... It is curi- 
ous to observe the widest speculations of 
Locke, Eousseau, and Jefferson, as to the 
origin of government and the right of 
revolution, were anticipated by the Jesuitic 
scholars of the sixteenth century. It is 
remarkable that in opposition to these 
novel dogmas there appeared on the Prot- 
estant side a theory of the divine right of 
kings and the related doctrine of passive 


obedience. . . . The advocates of freedom 
and revolt against spiritual authority are 
equally strenuous for slavish maxims of 
political obedience." 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. xiv. 
pp. 505-506. 

M2CKY: Jesuits favored democracy 

" They [the Jesuits] saw, what no others 
of the Catholic Church seemed to have 
perceived, that a great future was in store 
for the people, and they labored, with a zeal 
that will secure them everlasting honor, to 
hasten and direct the emancipation. By a 
system of the boldest casuistry, by fearless 
use of their private judgment in all matters 
which the Church had not strictly defined, 
and by a skilful employment and expansion 
of some of the maxims of the school men, 
they succeeded in disentangling themselves 
from the traditions of the past, and in giv- 
ing an impulse to liberalism wherever their 
influence extended." 

Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, vol. ii. p. 147. 

FISHER : Their educational system 

66 Their system of educational training 
was according to a strict method ; but their 


schools were pervaded by their peculiar 
religious spirit. It was largely through 
their influence that the profane or secular 
tone of culture that had prevailed in the 
cities of Italy was superseded by a culture 
in which reverence for religion and the 
Church was a vital element." 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. xi. p. 

FISHER: Jesuit scholars 

" Among the members of this society, 
and among their pupils who were learned 
by it, there is included a long list of men 
who are distinguished for services rendered 
to science and learning." 

Fisher, History of the Reformation, ch. xv. p. 

VOLTAIRE'S testimony 

Voltaire, a pupil of the Jesuits, disliked 
them and labored hard for their suppression, 
yet in a letter, Feb. 7, 1746, he bears this 
testimony: "During the seven years that 
I lived in a college of the Jesuits, what 
have I seen there ? Lives the most frugal, 
the hours of the day divided between their 


care of us and the exercise of their austere 
profession. I call as witnesses the thou- 
sands of men educated as I was. Therefore 
it is that I am lost in astonishment at any 
one daring to accuse them of teaching a 
relaxed or corrupt morality. ... I make 
no scruple in proclaiming that there is 
nothing more iniquitous, more shameful to 
humanity than to accuse of relaxed moral- 
ity men who live in Europe the severest 
lives and who go seeking the most cruel 
deaths to the extremities of Asia and 

WARD: The "Counter-Reformation" 

" A well-known sentence in Macaulay's 
Essay on Ranke's ' History of the Popes ' 
asserts correctly enough that in a particu- 
lar epoch of history the Church of Rome, 
having lost a large part of Europe, not 
only ceased to lose but actually regained 
nearly half of what she had lost. Any 
fairly correct use of the familiar phrase 
'the Counter-Reformation' must imply that 
this remarkable result was due to a move- 
ment pursuing two objects, originally dis- 


tinct, though afterwards largely blended, 
viz., the regeneration of the Church of 
Rome and the recovery of the losses in- 
flicted upon her by the early successes of 

A. W. Ward, The Counter-Reformation, pp. 7, 8. 



Assassination has never changed the history 
of the world. DISRAELI, Speech, 1865. 

THE word Huguenot (oath-bound) in- 
dicates that the French Protestants 
of the sixteenth century were a 
closely organized community. Their reli- 
gious apostle was Calvin, and their preaching 
and actions were bold, loud, and aggressive. 
That the adherents of the new and the old 
faith should come to blows was inevitable. 
There were not wanting political reasons, 
such as the jealousies existing between the 
houses of Guise and Cond^, to bring the 
quarrel to a head. The court of Navarre 
was Protestant ; that of France was Catho- 
lic, and under the influence of the Duke of 


In 1559 transpired what is known as the 
" Conspiracy of Amboise." It was an effort 
of Conde*, Coligny, and other Huguenot 
leaders to seize the king (Francis II.) and 
substitute their own influence over him 
for the Guise influence. This attempt was 
checkmated, but it left both factions rest- 
ing on their arms. 

Three Huguenot rebellions followed, 
1562, 1567, and 1568, in all of which 
they were defeated. The conduct of the 
Huguenots, however, tended to exasperate 
the great majority of the nation. They 
gave up the ports of Havre and Dieppe to 
their country's hereditary foes, the English; 
and they invited German guerilla bands 
across the frontier to pillage Normandy. 
A Huguenot emissary from Orleans assassi- 
nated the Duke of Guise. 1 Once again an 
attempt was made to kidnap the King of 
France at Monceau. Besides these things 
there were, in the popular mind, num- 
berless instances of Huguenot excess and 
cruelty. Brequimaut, the leader of the re- 

1 The Guises accused Coligny of complicity in this 
murder. So the younger Guise was only too ready to 
assassinate Coligny in 1572. It was a vendetta. 


formers, in 1568, wore a necklace composed 
of the ears of assassinated priests. Baron 
D'Adrets, after taking the fortress of Mont- 
brison, compelled the Catholic prisoners to 
leap from the battlements into the sur- 
rounding moats, where they were caught on 
the upraised pikes of his soldiers. The 
Michelade, a massacre of the Catholics of 
Nismes, occurred in 1567 ; and similar acts 
of violence were perpetrated at Montauban, 
Valence, and even in Paris. Evidences of the 
burning of churches, plundering of monas- 
teries, and hunting of priests were but too 

These facts furnish some explanation 
though no justification of the frenzy and 
cruelty of the scenes which transpired 
throughout many of the towns of France 
during the latter days of August and part 
of September, 1572. Mobs rose and fell 
upon the Huguenot inhabitants with mur- 
derous effect. According to Ranke, twenty 
thousand persons perished. Lingard es- 
timates the number as less than two 
thousand, and he cites the reformed mar- 
tyrologist, who procured lists from the 
ministers in all the different towns, and 


published the result in 1582, showing the 
names of only seven hundred and eighty- 
six persons. In their varying estimates of 
the number of victims, the majority of 
French historians do not go above ten 
thousand. It is not probable that the 
actual number was much over three thou- 
sand. 1 

1 Massacres are precisely the events of history over 
which there is the greatest exaggeration. There have 
been bloody reprisals of this kind, like the Sicilian Ves- 
pers (A. D. 1282), where over thirty thousand French 
were massacred, that far exceeded in fatality that of 
St. Bartholomew. Victor Hugo says : " One man is 
killed in Paris it is murder. The throats of fifty 
thousand people are cut in the East it is a question." 
The Armenian and Bulgarian atrocities of our own time 
have cost more lives than many of the much advertised 
cruelties of religious persecution. Much, in fact, de- 
pends on who are killed rather than on how many are 
killed. The French " reign of terror " killed nobles 
with relatives whose lamentation roused Europe. Yet 
Carlyle says: " This convention, now grown anti- Jaco- 
bin, did, with an eye to gratify and fortify itself, 
publish lists of what the Reign of Terror had per- 
petrated, lists of persons guillotined. The lists, cries 
splenetic Abbe Montgaillard, were not complete. They 
contained the names of how many persons, thinks 
the reader? Two thousand, all but a few. There 
were above four thousand, cries Montgaillard." 
Carlyle, French Revolution, " The Guillotine," book vii, 
ch. vi. 


This bloody uprising called the Massa- 
cre of St. Bartholomew's Day was all due 
to the apprehensive malice of the Queen 
regent, Catharine de' Medici, a singular 
woman, Catholic in name, Atheist in belief, 
and accustomed to having Calvinistic ser- 
mons read to her during meals. She it 
was who fired the mine of religious hate 
which otherwise might never have exploded 
in so sanguinary a fashion. She feared the 
political aspirations of Admiral Coligny, 
the Huguenot leader; and by her insti- 
gation Charles IX. gave the word that 
Coligny should die. The threats of the 
Huguenot chiefs at this outrage were so 
loud that a dangerous uprising was ap- 
prehended. It was then resolved to ex- 
terminate Coligny 's principal followers, 
who were at that time rendezvoused at 
Paris. This was done. The populace joined 
in the work, and the Massacre of St. Bar- 
tholomew ensued. 

Charles IX. put a righteous construction 
on his bloody deed, in reporting it to the 
courts of Christendom. He was quick to 
represent it as a stroke of self-defence 
whereby, on a " memorable night, by the 


destruction of a few seditious men, the 
king had been delivered of immediate 
danger of death, and the realm from the 
perpetual terror of civil war." These were 
the words of the envoys, and on their 
strength the Pope ordered a " Te Deunr" 
and struck a medal commemorating the 
preservation of Charles IX.'s precious life. 
Even Queen Elizabeth, the great friend of 
the Huguenots, was apparently satisfied by 
the insinuating explanation of the French 

There was no attempt made to give the 
massacre anything but a political color. 
The only bright circumstance in the de- 
plorable occurrence was the action of the 
Archbishop of Lyons and the Bishops of 
Lisieux, Bordeaux, Toulouse, and other 
localities, in sheltering the fleeing Hugue- 
nots and restraining the popular violence. 

Instances are cited of the occasion being 
utilized for private revenge and for plunder. 
Not a few Catholics perished as a conse- 
quence, among them a priest at Bourges, 
and a canon of Notre Dame at Paris. 
" The possession of wealth," says Mezeray, 
"an envied position, or the existence of 


greedy relations, stamped a man as a 
Huguenot." l 

When the Massacre of St. Bartholomew 
was first reported at Kome, the event was 
given the appearance of a Huguenot in- 
surrection against the king, which had been 
fortunately put down. Church authorities 
naturally exhibited that international comity 
which is expected between friendly powers 
when one nation has escaped a political 
disaster. The following extract from 
Guizot's History of France (vol. iv. ch. 
xxxiii. p. 384), ascribed to a Catholic 
authority, makes it very clear that the 
Pope did not sympathize with any deed of 
bloodshed : " When, however, later on a 
detailed and faithful account of the mas- 
sacre reached the Pontiff, he condemned it 
at once and left no doubt as to his horror 
at the deed. When asked by the Cardinal 
why he wept, Gregory answered, <I weep 

1 Duruy says that the slaughter was continued by the 
dregs of the population. They killed their own creditors 
and enemies and those whom they wished to rob or 
plunder. This bloody affair did not weaken the Hugue- 
nots. By the Peace of Rochelle in 1573 that party ob- 
tained liberty of conscience. The next year Charles IX. 
lied a miserable death. 


at the means the king used, exceedingly 
unlawful and forbidden by God, to inflict 
such punishment. I fear that one will fall 
upon him, and that he will not live very 
long. I fear, too, that amongst so many 
dead, there died as many innocent 'as 
guilty. " 

MAC AUL AY : Huguenot rebellion 

" For, beyond all doubt, the proceedings 
of the Huguenots, from the conspiracy of 
Amboise to the battle of Moncontour, had 
given much more trouble to the French 
monarchy than the Catholics have ever 
given to the English monarchy since the 
Reformation ; and that too with much less 


Macaulay's Essays, " Hallam." 

BUCKLE: Huguenot intolerance 

"It is on account of these things that we 
ought not to be surprised that during many 
years the French Protestants, who affected 
to appeal to the right of private judgment, 
were more intolerant of the exercise of that 
judgment by their adversaries than were 
the Catholics. Thus, while the Catholics 


were theoretically more bigoted than the 
Protestants, the Protestants became prac- 
tically more bigoted than the Catholics." 

Buckle, History of Civilization, vol. ii. pp. 52-53. 
London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1882. 

BUCKLE: Forbearance of the majority 

" Whatever may be the popular notion 
respecting the necessary intolerance of the 
Catholics, it is an indisputable fact that 
early in the seventeenth century they dis- 
played in France a spirit of forbearance 
and a Christian charity to which the 
Protestants could make no pretence." 

Buckle, History of Civilization, vol. ii. p. 65. 

DURUY: As to the number of victims 

"Accounts differ as to the number of 
the slain. Some estimate it at ten thou- 
sand, some at four thousand, and still others 
at two thousand. The last statement is 
the most probable." 

Victor Duruy, History of France, p. 348. Trans, 
by Mrs. M. Carey. Pub., T. Y. Crowell & Co. 

LINGARD : About fifteen hundred victims 

" The reformed martyrologist adopted a 
measure of ascertaining the real number, 



which may enable us to form a probable 
conjecture. He procured, from the ministers 
in the different towns where the massacres 
had taken place, lists of the names of the 
persons who had suffered or were supposed 
to have suffered. He published the result 
in 1582 ; and the reader will be surprised 
to learn that in all France he could discover 
the names of no more than seven hundred 
and eighty-six persons. Perhaps, if we 
double that number, we shall not be far 
from the real amount." 

Lingard, History of England, vol. viii. note T. 

RANKE'S estimate 

"According to the most moderate cal- 
culation there fell two thousand persons in 
Paris alone, and the number massacred in 
France was not less than twenty thousand/' 

Leopold Ranke, Civil Wars and Monarchy in 
France, ch. xv. (last paragraph). 

WHITE : The number of victims 

" Probably the number of victims [in 
Paris] may have amounted to six thousand, 
but to reduce it as low as sixteen hundred 
for all France, which Dr. Lingard has done, 
is monstrously absurd. All that we know 


positively is that a certain number of bodies 
were burned, and beyond that all is con- 
jecture. ... If it be necessary to choose 
from these haphazard estimates, that of De 
Thou [twenty thousand] is preferable, from 
the calm, unexaggerating temper of the man. 
But whatever be the number, not all the 
waters of the ocean can efface the stain 
upon the character of those concerned in 
the massacre. A few of the murderers 
men of overheated fanaticism may have 
truly believed they were doing God a 
service by putting heretics to death. For 
these we may feel pity even while we con- 
demn. But the majority were impelled by 
the lowest of all possible motives jealousy 
and ambition filled the breast of Catharine 
de Medicis; Anjou was envious of merits 
and virtue. . . . Guise dreamed but of re- 
venge. . . . The Massacre of St. Bartholo- 
mew arose out of the paltriest and most 
selfish of motives. . . . The plea of religion 
was never put forward, though it is a plea 
too often employed to extenuate what can- 
not be justified." 

Henry White, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew, 
pp. 459-462. New York: Harper Bros., 1868. 


FLEURY : The clergy and the massacre 

" The clergy, in spite of all the ill-usage 
they had received from the heretics, saved 
as many of them as they could in various 

Fleury, torn. xxxv. ch. xxxix. p. 170. 



Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade 
For gentle peace, in freedom's hallowed shade. 


THE Edict of Nantes (1598), pro- 
claimed about a quarter of a cen- 
tury after the Massacre of St. 
Bartholomew, was something more than 
an edict of religious toleration. It was 
a treaty of peace which established the 
political autonomy of the Huguenot party. 
To obtain peace, Henry IV. felt compelled 
to barter, oO some extent, the political unity 
of his kingdom. The edict consisted, ac- 
cording to Guizot, of ninety-one open arti- 
cles and fifty-two secret articles. The 
" secret articles " were so held in order to 
allay public indignation. 

One of the secret articles placed fully 
two hundred towns of France under con- 
trol of the Huguenots, and provided taxes 
for the garrison thereof by Huguenot sol- 


diers and their fortification against the rest 
of France. Guizot speaks of this state of af- 
fairs as constituting a "Calvinistic republic." 
The king proclaimed that his motive 
was " to arrange matters so that the holy 
name of God might be adored by all 'his 
subjects; and if it had not pleased him 
to enjoin that divine worship should have 
but one form, he wished that it should 
have, at least, one intention, and be so 
regulated that it should cause no trouble 
among his people." 

Referring to Cardinal Richelieu's policy, 
which began a quarter of a century after 
the Edict of Nantes, M. Guizot observes 
that " the rebellion of the reformers, their 
irregular political assemblies, their alliance 
with foreigners, occupied him [the cardi- 
nal] far more than their ministers' teach- 
ings. ... It was a state within a state 
that the reformers were seeking to found 
and the cardinal wished to upset." Guizot 
was himself a French Protestant. 

The Huguenot inhabitants of Rochelle, 
in 1627, very deliberately invited the as- 
sistance of England as against their own 


king, and the fleet of the Duke of Buck- 
ingham was welcomed by them with ac- 
claim. As to their prohibition of Catholic 
worship, Buckle, in his " History of Civil- 
ization/' says : " The Protestants soon 
learned to despise that great Edict of 
Nantes, by which their liberties were se- 
cured, and proceeded to rob and murder 
that very party to whom they owed a tol- 
eration which had been reluctantly conceded 
by the prejudices of the age. They were 
not content to exercise their own religion 
unless they could also trouble the religion 
of others. At La Rochelle, which for im- 
portance was the second city in the king- 
dom, they would not permit the Catholics 
to have a single church in which to cele- 
brate what for centuries had been the sole 
religion in France, and was still the religion 
of an enormous majority of Frenchmen." 

Nearly a hundred years later (1685) 
the Edict of Nantes was revoked by Louis 
XIV. So far as the revocation did away 
with the condition of affairs whereby the 
kingdom was weakened and divided in its 
political jurisdiction, it was undoubtedly 


wise and politic. All the best men in 
France praised it. So far as it interfered, 
as it did, with the religious liberty of the 
Protestants, it was entirely indefensible. 
Pope Innocent XI., who was then Pope, disap- 
proved of the revocation (Gaillardin, History 
of the Reign of Louis XIV., vol. v. p. 111). 

It may be observed, in explanation of 
this act of persecution, that France, a 
Catholic country, was at that time alone 
in Europe in tolerating a dissenting faith. 
In Holland and Sweden Catholicity was 
prohibited. In Ireland Catholic priests 
were hunted like wolves, and Catholics 
were forbidden, by law, to have schools 
or schoolmasters. But to every fair-minded 
person in our age, the Revocation, especially 
in the rigors visited upon the oppressed 
Huguenots who rose in rebellion, seems an 
utterly cold-blooded and repellent proceed- 
ing throughout. 

Madame de Maintenon is sometimes un- 
justly accused of prompting Louis XIV. to 
this measure, but Voltaire declared : " She 
had nothing to do with it ; that is a certain 

Points of gross exaggeration occur in esti- 


mating the number of Huguenots who fled 
from France on account of Louis XIY/s revo- 
cation. Some follow Hume in placing the 
figures at about five hundred thousand. The 
Duke of Burgundy, a pupil of Fenelon and 
a contemporary, places the number at sixty- 
eight thousand, and Benoit, a Protestant 
authority, makes it two hundred thousand. 1 

Without any new tax, the revenues of 
France were increased in the years follow- 
ing the Huguenot exodus, and there was 
no marked commercial or industrial de- 
pression, such as the pride of the Hugue- 
nots would fain have the world believe. 
Any one of Louis XIV/s many wars was 
more costly to France than the Huguenot 

Victor Duruy, the French historian, tells 
us that before the revocation there were 
a million Protestants in France (Modern 
History, ch. xxi.). To-day there are about 

i " The only historian who professes to have pursued 
the inquiry in exact detail is Capefigue, and from his 
minute scrutiny of the cartons des ge'ne'ralites, as pre- 
pared in the closing years of the seventeenth century, he 
obtains a computation of two hundred and twenty-five 
thousand or two hundred and thirty thousand." R. L. 
Poole, Hist, of the Huguenots of the Dispersion, ch. iii. 


seven hundred thousand French Protes- 
tants. This act of persecution failed in 
the purpose of extirpating Protestantism 
in France. 

ADAMS: What the Revocation was 

" In October, 1685, the Edict of Nantes 
was formally revoked. The Huguenots 
were deprived of the privilege of public 
worship and of their civil rights. The new 
edict did not deprive them of their religion. 
They were allowed to remain Protestants, 
but they lost all legal rights and were 
exposed to constant danger in person and 

Growth of the French Nation, pp. 227-228, by 
George B. Adams, Professor of History in Yale 

DURUY : How the Revocation was received 

" This disastrous and criminal measure 
was hailed with gratitude by a great part 
of the nation." 

History of France, p. 443. 

GUIZOT : The Huguenot exodus 

" Yauban, however, remained very fur 
from the truth when he deplored in 1688 


'the desertion of one hundred thousand 
men, the withdrawal from the kingdom of 
sixty millions of livres, the enemy's fleet 
swelled by nine thousand sailors the best 
in the kingdom, the enemy's armies by six 
hundred officers and twelve thousand sol- 
diers who had seen service.' ' 

Guizot, Outlines of French History, p. 412. 

MARTIN : The number who left France 

"The amount from two hundred thou- 
sand to two hundred and fifty thousand 
from the Kevocation to the commencement 
of the following century [1700] seems most 

Martin, History of France, part vii. p. 53. 



They bribed the flock, they bribed the son, 
To sell the priest and rob the sire ; 
Their dogs were taught alike to run 
Upon the scent of wolf and friar. 

Forbid to plead, 

Forbid to read, 

Disarmed, disfranchised, imbecile 

What wonder if our step betrays 

Thefreedman born in penal days f 


RELIGIOUS persecution in Ireland 
lasted longer and was of a more 
sanguinary and bitter character 
than any of the persecutions of history, the 
persecutions of the early Christians alone 

Prior to the Reformation there had been 
an English occupancy and settlement of a 
portion of Ireland, characterized by much 
intermittent border and feudal warfare. 
But the " iron age " for Ireland began with 
the reign of Elizabeth, and it lasted nearly 


three hundred years. From 1560 religious 
animosity motived and inspired England's 
oppression of Ireland. 

In other instances of religious perse- 
cution, the oppressors were of the same 
nationality as those whose consciences they 
violated, and this circumstance humanized 
(if the word may be used) and limited the 
duration of the persecution. But in the 
case of Ireland the persecuting force came 
from a foreign nationality; and national 
prejudice intensified and sustained the re- 
ligious animosity of the persecution. 

There were superadded to this persecuting 
spirit, thus intensified by national prejudice, 
certain other attributes which further in- 
creased its hatefulness. In Austria and 
France Catholics persecuted Protestants 
for the purpose of converting them. In 
Sweden Catholics were persecuted with the 
same mistaken zeal. But in Ireland the 
persecution of the Catholics was undertaken . 
during the Elizabethan period, with the ul- 
terior purpose of robbing them of their 
lands ; l during the succeeding reigns this 

1 Dr. Richey, in his " Short History of Ireland," says 
of the causes of Irish rebellion under Elizabeth: "But the 


religious tyranny was kept up witli the 
more or less plainly expressed purpose of 
exterminating the Irish inhabitants, as a 
people unregenerate and intractable ; l and 
when it was seen that massacre and banish- 
ment would not exterminate them, the 1 per- 
secution was continued under a penal code, 
which sought to debase them socially and 
degrade them intellectually, not that they 

hatred and suspicion of all that was Irish, the desire to 
utilize the country for the benefit of the English, and the 
greed for grants of lands and forfeited estates in this as 
in many other occasions, influenced the conduct of the 
government, the miserable results of which form the 
staple of our subsequent history." 

" They [the English Government] believed that the 
one effectual policy for making Ireland useful to England 
was, in the words of Sir John Davis, " to root out the 
Irish " from the soil, to confiscate the property of the 
septs, and plant the country systematically with English 
tenants. . . . Many Irish proprietors were executed on 
the most frivolous pretexts, and these methods of obtain- 
ing confiscations were so systematically and skilfully 
resorted to, that it soon became evident to chiefs and 
people that it was the settled policy of the English 
government to deprive them of their land." Lecky, A 
History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i. 
ch. i. p. 14. 

1 Joyce, in his " History of Ireland," ch. xv., says : 
" I fear that we must admit that during the reign of 
Elizabeth assassination was not merely a thing of occa- 
sional occurrence, but a recognized mode of dealing with 
Irish chiefs." 


might be converted, but that " Protestant 
ascendancy " (a phrase of the times) might 
be maintained and perpetuated. 

There are incidents in the fearful perse- 
cution to which the Irish were subjected 
for nearly three centuries, that parallel 
every lurid crime in the history of persecu- 
tion, whether political or religious. At the 
very outset (in the first years of Elizabeth's 
reign) there was, for instance, the massacre 
of Mullaghmast 1 beside which the mas- 
sacre of Glencoe sinks into insignificance. 
The devastation with fire and sword of 
South Ireland, after the suppression of the 
Geraldine revolt, outrivals, in atrocity, any- 
thing in the Thirty Years' War. 2 The mas- 

1 "The massacre of Mullaghmast, as it was called, 
stands out in the Irish annals as a most atrocious deed 
of blood. If the story be even partly true, Glencoe was a 
trifle compared to it." Cambridge Historical Series : 
Ireland, ch. iv., by Wm. O'Connor Morris. 

2 u Great tracts were deserts of a more hideous aspect 
than the battlefields of a Thirty Years' war." Morris, 
Ireland, ch. iv. p. 115. 

Edmund Spenser thus describes what he saw in 
Monster after the suppression of the Geraldine revolt : 
" Out of every corner of the woods and glynnes they 
came creeping forth upon their hands, for their legges 
could not bare them, they looked like anatomies of death, 
they spake like ghosts crying out of their graves ; they 


sacres and forays of English expeditions, 
which provoked and signalized the first 
years of the insurrection of 1641, destroyed 
more people than the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew's Day. Cromwell's ruthless 
treatment of the vanquished people of 
Drogheda and Wexford is a bloodier page 
than the sack of Magdeburg. 1 The twelve 

did eate the dead carrions, happy where they could finde 
them, yea and one another soone after, insomuch as the 
very carcasses they spared not to scrape out of their 
graves : and if they found a plot of watercresses or sham- 
rocks there they flocked as to a feast for the time : that 
in short space of time there were none (that is people) 
almost left, and a most populous and plentifull country 
suddainely left void of man and beast." 

"More men, women, and children were killed by 
starvation in pursuance of the orders of the Lord Presi- 
dent [in Elizabeth's reign] where there was no longer an 
Irish soldier in arms, than perished in the three French 
revolutions by the crimes of the Jacobins, the Reds, and 
the Communists. The persecution of English Protestants 
by Mary had been merciless, but Elizabeth murdered 
more Irish Catholics in a week in Munster than Mary 
murdered English Protestants in her entire reign." A 
Bird's Eye View of Irish History, by Sir Charles Gavan 
Duffy, K. C. M. G., p. 61. 

1 " He besieged Drogheda, which was held for the 
king, and put to the sword the entire garrison, and the 
population of all ages and both sexes, nobody being 
spared. The massacre continued for several days ; it is 
admitted that between three and four thousand persons 
were butchered in cold blood ; and a score or two of the 


years of warfare between 1641 and 1653 
had been characterized in Ireland by few 
pitched battles, that of Benburb, where 
not to exceed four thousand men fell, being 
the most conspicuous. The armies in the 
field did not aggregate over forty thousand 
men on either side. Yet such had been the 
butchery and devastation committed by the 
victors, that one-third of the people (accord- 
ing to English authority) were killed off. 1 

inhabitants who alone escaped were sent as slaves to the 
tobacco plantations." Duffy, A Bird's Eye View of 
Irish History, p. 115. 

" The sieges of Drogheda and Wexford, however, and 
the massacres that accompanied them, deserve to rank 
in horror with the most atrocious exploits of Tilly or 
Wallenstein, and they made the name of Cromwell eter- 
nally hated in Ireland." Lecky, A History of Ireland 
in the Eighteenth Century, vol. i. ch. i. p. 101. 

i " The war ended at last in 1652. According to the 
calculation of Sir W. Petty, out of a population of 
1,466,000, 616,000 had in eleven years perished by the 
sword, by plague, or by famine artificially produced. 
504,000, according to this estimate, were Irish, 112,000 of 
English extraction." Lecky, A History of Ireland in 
the Eighteenth Century, vol. i. ch. i. p. 104. 

" One of the Puritan soldiers [Colonel Lawrence] has 
left us a picture of Ireland under the rule of the saints, 
which bears small resemblance, it must be confessed, to 
the New Jerusalem. * The plague and famine had so 
swept away the whole counties, that a man might travel 
twenty or thirty miles, and not see a living creature, either 
man, beast, or bird, they being all dead, or had quitted 


The Irish exodus, after Cromwell laid his 
mailed hand on the country, exceeded all 
the Huguenot exodus after the revocation 
of the Edict of Nantes. Thirty-four thou- 
sand Irish soldiers alone left their country, 
between 1650 and 1655, to enter the Ser- 
vice of Catholic countries. 

A new cruelty, happily not imitated 
by any other persecuting power, followed 
Cromwell's conquest. A thousand Irish 
boys were sold as slaves to the Barbadoes, 
and a thousand Irish girls under fifteen were 
sent, as slaves, to Jamaica. 1 Sir William 
Petty says that over six thousand Irish were 
thus herded together and sold into slavery. 2 

these desolate places. Our soldiers would tell stories of 
the places where they saw smoke, it was so rare to see 
smoke by day, or fire or candle by night." Duffy, 
A Bird's Eye View of Irish History, p. 123. 

1 " By the direct agency of Cromwell's son a rape like 
Herod's was committed on the children of the poorer 
classes, of whom he caused one thousand boys to be sold 
as slaves and one thousand innocent Irish girls to be 
sent to Jamaica, to a fate which would scarcely be ade- 
quately avenged if the authentic ruler spent an eternity 
in the region to which Cavalier toasts assigned him. 
The admitted aim of the Lord Protector was to extirpate 
the Irish race, and his policy is still known among them 
as the 'Curse of Cromwell.'" Duffy, A Bird's Eye 
View of Irish History, p. 120. 

2 " Some contemporary accounts made the whole 


The spoliation of the persecuted people 
proceeded at the same time. Under Eliza- 
beth and James I., a fourth of the island 
was taken from the Catholics and vested in 
English adventurers and land-grabbers. 
Cromwell's spoliation was more wholesale; 
he appointed a day when all the native and 
Catholic population were required to take 
themselves off to the province of Connaught, 
under penalty of death, leaving the other 
provinces of Ireland to be given to English 
Protestants. The penalty for any Catholic 
who was found east of the Shannon after a 
day named was death. " To hell or Con- 
naught," was Cromwell's command to the 
conquered people. 

The era of the Penal Code, which lasted 
for more than two generations during the 
eighteenth century, was virtually an effort 
on the part of the persecuting power to 
debase and degrade, intellectually and so- 
cially, a people whom they could not exter- 
minate. Four-fifths of the Irish continued 
to be Catholics. The Protestant, or "As- 
cendancy," party constituted an English 

number of children and adults so transplanted one hun- 
dred thousand." McGee, History of Ireland, vol. ii. 
p. 55, 


garrison in Ireland, oppressing the people 
by the whole power of England, which 
stood back of it. Catholics could hold no 
offices; could not become lawyers, doctors, 
nor teachers ; could not purchase land ; 
could not own a horse valued at more than' 
five pounds ; they could not have schools of 
their own, nor send their children abroad 
to be educated. 1 In fact, they had no legal 
status in a land where they were four-fifths 
of the population. It was laid down from 
the bench of justice that the mere existence 
of the " Papist " in Ireland was not to be 
presumed. The law sought to corrupt their 
social fealty by permitting a son who be- 
came a Protestant to dispossess his father, 

1 " One statute prohibited a Papist from instructing 
another Papist ; another prohibited a Protestant from 
instructing a Papist; a third provided that no Papist 
should be sent out of Ireland to receive instruction. If 
these three laws had duly been capped by a fourth order- 
ing for execution every Papist who neglected to provide 
a first-class education for his children, the whole edifice- 
would have been beautifully complete and symmetrical." 
Lectures by Professor J. W. Barlow, M. A., Professor 
of Modern History in Trinity College, Dublin. 

The Irish, however, in many cases educated their chil- 
dren by stealth in hedge schools : 

" Beside the lonely rath, beneath the mountain fern, 
The schoolmaster and scholars met feloniously to learn" 


and an unfaithful wife to obtain a jointure 
by giving up her religion. The purpose of 
this code was to enforce illiteracy among 
four-fifths of the nation; to deprive them 
of the name of religion ; to reduce them to 
the position of hewers of wood and drawers 
of water; to take out of their lives all 
ambition for industrial betterment and all 
faith in human justice; to make them 
savages, outlaws, and pariahs. And this 
code prevailed and was enforced beyond 
the middle of the eighteenth century ; and 
its last vestiges were not swept away even 
in the memory of living men. 

LELAND: A policy of extermination 

" The favorite object of Irish governors 
and the English Parliament was the utter 
extermination of all the Catholic inhabi- 
tants of Ireland. Their estates were al- 
ready marked out and allotted to their 
conquerors, so that they and their posterity 
were consigned to inevitable ruin/' 

Leland, Hist, of Ireland, vol. iii. p. 192. 


CARTE: Puritan hatred of the Irish 

" It was confidently averred that Sir John 
Clotworthy, who well knew the designs of 
the faction that governed in the House of 
Commons of England, had declared there 
in a speech, 'that the conversion of the 
Papists in Ireland was only to be effected 
by the Bible in one hand and the sword in 
the other ; ' and Mr. Pym gave out that he 
would not leave a priest in Ireland. To 
the like effect Sir William Parsons, out of a 
strange weakness or a detestable policy, pos- 
itively asserted, before many witnesses at a 
public entertainment in Dublin, that within 
a twelvemonth no Catholic should be seen 
in Ireland." 

Carte, Life of Ormonde, vol. i. p. 235. 

LECKY: The alleged massacre of 1641 

" It has been asserted by numerous writers, 
and is still frequently believed, that the 
Ulster rebellion began with a general and 
indiscriminate massacre of the Protestants, 
who were living without suspicion among 
the Catholics, resembling the massacre of 
the Danes -by the English, the massacre 


of the French in the Sicilian Vespers, or 
the massacre of the Huguenots at St. Bar- 
tholomew. ... As is almost always the 
case in a great popular rising, there were, 
in the first outbreak of the Rebellion, some 
murders, but they were few ; and there was 
at this time nothing whatever of the nature 
of a massacfe." 

Lecky, A History of Ireland in the Eighteenth 
Century, vol. i. ch i. pp. 46-47. 

MORRIS: Ireland under Cromwell 

"Ireland lay prostrate at the feet of Crom- 
well; the doom of the great Puritan was 
sternly enforced. Some of the leaders of 
the Rebellion of 1641 had perished; some 
remained to fall into the hands of the hang- 
man. The religion of the great body of the 
Irish people was proscribed, as idolatry to 
be purged out of the land ; the celebration 
of the Mass was made a crime ; not a few 
priests who tried to live among their flocks 
and to do their sacred office in secret, were 
carried off to the West Indies and sold as 
slaves. This was the fate, too, of many of 
the Irishry who had appeared in arms ; 
merchants from Bristol contracted for the 


odious traffic of shipping them to Barbadoes 
for the planters ; hundreds were doubtless 
thrown to the sharks on the voyage; but 
the descendants of the exiles are still known 
as what are called ' the low whites ' of the 
island/ 7 

Ireland, by Wm. O'Connor Morris, County Court, 
Judge of the United Counties of Roscommon and 
Sligo (in the Cambridge Historical Series, edited 
by G. W. Prothero), p. 153. 

BURKE: The meaning of "Protestant as- 
cendancy " 

" Protestant ascendancy is neither more 
nor less than the resolution of one set of 
people in Ireland to consider themselves as 
the sole citizens in the commonwealth, 
and to keep a dominion over the rest by 
reducing them to absolute slavery under a 
military power." 

Burke's Works, vol. v. p. 239. 

MORRIS : Threefold object of the Penal Code 

" It was the first object, however, of the 
Penal Code and of its authors, the ruling 
Protestant caste, to divorce the Catholics 


as completely as possible from the land, the 
source of wealth and political power, and 
to deprive them even of the remnant they 
still retained, after the wrongs they had 
endured for ages. The second great object 
of the Penal Code was to shut out the Irish 
Catholic from any place of trust in the 
state, nay, from the pale of civilized life. 
He had been forbidden, we have seen, to 
have a seat in his country's Parliament ; he 
was erelong deprived of the elective suf- 
frage ; he was excluded ' from the corpora- 
tions, from the magistracy, from the Bar, 
from the Bench, from the County Grand 
Juries, even from the Parish vestries ; ' he 
could not 'be a Sheriff, a solicitor, a game- 
keeper, a constable/ The proscription 
went even lower down ; the Irish Catholic 
could not serve in the Army or on the 
Fleet; he could not possess any arms or 
weapons ; he was, in a word, ' only recog- 
nized by law for repression and punish- 
ment/ and disentitled to nearly all the 
rights of a freeman. And while this people 
of Pariahs, who, be it observed, formed the 
overwhelming majority of the community 
as a whole, ' was excluded in its own 


country, from almost every profession and 
from every government office, from the 
highest to the lowest/ the Code went out 
of its way, so to speak, to humiliate 
the whole body of the Irish Catholics, to 
degrade them, in a word, to the position, of 
outcasts. It is unnecessary to point out 
how the laws as to the land could make 
the life of a Catholic owner wretched ; a 
rebellious son, an adulterous wife could 
defy his authority and simply rob him ; and 
it should be added that even in his dying 
hour he could not commit his children to 
the care of a guardian of his own faith, he 
was compelled to devolve this trust to a 
Protestant. . . . The last great object of 
the Penal Code was to destroy the organ- 
ization of the Church of the Irish Catho- 
lics and to make their religion a byword 
and a reproach. Catholic Archbishops, 
bishops, deans, and vicars-general were 
doomed to exile ; if they returned to Ire- 
land they were guilty of high-treason and 
liable to the frightful penalties annexed 
to the crime. The same law was applied 
to the regular clergy. Monks, friars, and 
even nuns could not remain in Ireland ; if 


they did they carried their lives in their 

Ireland, by Wm. O'Connor Morris, County Court, 
Judge of the United Counties of Rosconimon and 
Sligo (in the Cambridge Historical Series, edited 
by G. W. Prothero), pp. 203-205. 

LECKY: The Penal Code 

" It was directed not against the few, but 
against the many. It was not the persecu- 
tion of a sect, but the degradation of a 
nation. It was the instrument employed 
by a conquering race, supported by a neigh- 
boring Power, to crush to the dust the 
people among whom they were planted. 
And, indeed, when we remember that the 
greater part of it was in force for nearly 
a century, that its victims formed at least 
three-fourths of the nation, that its degrad- 
ing and dividing influence extended to every 
field of social, political, professional, intel- 
lectual, and even domestic life, and that .it 
was enacted without the provocation of any 
rebellion, in defiance of a treaty which dis- 
tinctly guaranteed the Irish Catholics from 
any further oppression on account of their 
religion, it may be justly regarded as one 


of the blackest pages in the history of 

Lecky, A History of Ireland iu the Eighteenth 
Century, vol. i. ch. ii. pp. 169, 170. 

BURKE: A diabolical machine 

Edmund Burke says that " the Penal Code 
was a machine of wise and elaborate con- 
trivance, and as well fitted for the oppres- 
sion, impoverishment, and degradation of a 
people and the debasement in them of hu- 
man nature itself, as ever proceeded from 
the perverted ingenuity of men/' 

Burke's Works, vol. iii. p. 495. 

DR. JOHNSON: Irish persecutions unpar- 

" The Irish," said Dr. Johnson, " are in 
a most unnatural state, for we there see 
the minority prevailing over the majority. 
There is no instance, even in the Ten Per- 
secutions, of such severity as that which 
the Protestants of Ireland have exercised 
against the Catholics." 

Boswell's Life of Johnson, ch. xxix. 


Every great scientific truth goes through three 
stages: fast, people say it conflicts with the 
Bible; next, they say it has been discovered 
before; lastly, they say they always believed 

NEARLY two centuries before Gali- 
leo, the probability of the earth's 
motion around the sun was 
broached by Cardinal Cusa. 1 But the 
learned world merely tolerated the supposi- 
tion, and held firmly to the Ptolemaic or 
geocentric theory. About the middle of 
the sixteenth century Copernicus, a Polish 
priest, published his great work on the 
revolution of the heavenly bodies, and the 
theory was then called the Copernican 
theory. The learned world was still uncon- 

1 The Copernican theory was foreshadowed centuries 
before Copernicus. An Irish scholar, Virgilius, Bishop 
of Salzburg, had in the eighth century taught the exist- 
ence of antipodes. 


vinced; the theory was looked upon as a 
clever piece of guesswork. 

In 1596 Kepler, "the founder of modern 
astronomy/' then teaching at the Univer- 
sity of Tuebingen, offended the Lutheran 
theological faculty by advocating the truth 
of Copernicanism. These Lutheran inquisi- 
tors condemned the theory of the earth's 
motion as heretical; and Kepler had to 
quit their university and find refuge in a 
Jesuit college. 

Galileo had his first brush with the 
churchly scientists in 1615. He thought 
he found the Copernican theory to be some- 
thing more than a mere probability, and he 
proceeded to advocate it as an established 
truth. Especially did he concern himself 
with explaining away the eternal Biblical 
nut of his opponents, Joshua's order com- 
pelling the sun to stand still. This brought 
him into the full stream of exegetical dis- 
cussion, and certain churchmen denounced 
his writings before the Eoman Inquisition. 
We can only remark of the Roman Inquisi- 
tion that it was a fallible tribunal, and no 
wiser than its day. Secchi, the astronomer, 
tells us that " none of the real proofs of the 


earth's rotation upon its axis were known 
at the time of Galileo." Not until Reau- 
mur had ascertained the velocity of light, 
and Newton the laws of gravitation, was 
the scientific truth of the system established. 
Bacon in England, Descartes in France, 
Tycho Brahe in Germany, and all the uni- 
versities of Europe were contemporaneously 
sceptical of, and prejudiced against, Coper- 
nicanism, equally with the conscientious 
Biblical scholars who made up the Roman 
Inquisition. The Inquisition found that the 
earth's moving about the sun was an idea 
at variance with Holy Writ, and they placed 
the book of Copernicus on the Index. Gali- 
leo was admonished to let the subject rest ; 
and he agreed to do so. 

Subsequently, in 1633, the matter again 
came before the Inquisition because of a 
book written by Galileo, in which, con- 
trary to the command of the Inquisition, he 
had again argued in favor of Copernicanism. 
With the exception of being threatened with 
torture unless he told the truth as to his 
intentions in publishing his book, Galileo 
was well treated during this second trial. 
The Inquisitors, with such wisdom as was 


current in their day, again bolstered up the 
old Ptolemaic system as the only theory 
which would accord with Joshua's com- 
mand to the sun, and condemned Galileo's 
teaching as a false opinion, opposed to 
Scripture. 1 

Galileo was at the time well liked at 
Rome, the reigning Pope being a personal 
friend of his. A month after his trial he 
was peacefully living at home, pursuing his 
scientific studies and occasionally visiting 
his daughters at a convent in which they 
were cloistered nuns. Practically the only 
penalty imposed upon him was a periodic 
recitation of the seven Penitential Psalms. 2 
He received a pension from the Papal gov- 

1 There is no mention of papal approval in the origi- 
nal manuscript of Galileo's trial, published by Henri 
L'Epinois; and Von Gebler, who thoroughly studied 
the question, says distinctly there was no such approval 
or confirmation. (Von Gebler, Galileo Galilei, translated 
by Mrs. Joseph Sturge, p. 236.) 

2 The actual sentence pronounced upon him by the 
Inquisition is expressed in these words : " We condemn 
you to the formal prison of the Holy Office, for a period 
determinable at our pleasure ; and by way of salutary pen- 
ance we order you during the next three years to recite 
once a week the seven penitential psalms, reserving to 
ourselves the power of moderating, commuting, or taking 
off the whole or part of the said punishment and penance." 


eminent, and died (1642), as he had lived, 
a very religious man. 

Allegations that Galileo was tortured by 
the Inquisition, or cast into a dungeon, or 
sentenced to imprisonment, are without 
foundation ; and the decrees of the Roman 
Inquisition, while they illustrate the falli- 
bility of churchmen, are strenuously objected 
to by Catholics as in no manner constitut- 
ing the action of the Church, since they were 
neither the decrees of a general council nor 
the ex cathedra promulgations of the Pope. 1 

WHE WELL : Statement of the case 

" The ecclesiastical authorities were natur- 
ally adverse to express themselves in favor 
of a novel opinion, startling to the common 
mind, and contrary to the most obvious 

1 Muratori, who wrote many years before the works of 
Galileo were removed from the Index, says that the 
Copernican system was condemned, " not by an edict of 
the Supreme Pontiff, but by the Congregation of the 
Holy Office. . . . To-day this system is everywhere in 
vogue, and Catholics are not forbidden to hold it." 
Tiraboschi admires the " Providence of God in favor of 
His Church ; since at a time when the majority of theo- 
logians firmly believed that the Copernican system was 
contrary to the Sacred Scripture, the Church was not per- 
mitted to give a solemn decision on the matter." 



meaning of the words of the Bible. And 
when they were compelled to pronounce they 
decided against Galileo and his doctrines. 
He was accused before the Inquisition in 
1615, but at that period the result was that 
he was merely recommended to confine him- 
self to the mathematical reasonings upon 
the system and to abstain from meddling 
with the Scripture. . . . But in 1632 he 
published his Dialogo, etc. . . . The result 
was that Galileo was condemned for his in- 
fraction of the injunction laid upon him in 
1615. . . . This celebrated event must be 
looked upon rather as a question of deco- 
rum than a struggle in which the interests 
of truth and free inquiry were deeply con- 
cerned. The general acceptance of the 
Copernican theory was no longer a matter 
of doubt. Several persons in the highest au- 
thority, including the Pope himself, looked 
upon the doctrine with favorable eyes, and 
had shown their interest in Galileo's dis- 
coveries. They had tried to prevent his 
involving himself in trouble by discussing 
the question on Scriptural grounds. . . . 
Throughout the course of the proceedings 
against him, Galileo was treated with great 


courtesy and indulgence. He was con- 
demned to a formal imprisonment and a 
very light discipline. ... It has some- 
times been asserted or insinuated that 
Galileo was subjected to bodily torture, . . . 
but M. Biot more justly remarks (Biogr. 
Universelle, art. ' Galileo ') that such a pro- 
cedure is incredible. To the opinion of M. 
Biot we may add that of Delambre, who 
rejects the notion of Galileo having been 
put to torture." 

History of Inductive Sciences, vol. i. pp. 282-284, 
by Wm. Whewell, D.D., Master of Trinity College, 
Cambridge. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1869. 

Contemporary opinion 

On Jan. 10, 1634, Descartes writes to 
Father Marsenne : "Of course, you are well 
aware that Galileo has been up before 
the Inquisition, and his opinion about the 
earth's motion has been condemned as 
heretical. But as I have not yet heard 
that this censure has been authorized by 
the Pope (that is, officially), but merely by 
a congregation of cardinals, I have not yet 
abandoned all hope." Gassendi says : "For 
myself, I reverence the decree whereby 


certain cardinals are said to have approved 
of the earth's stationariness. For though 
the Copernicans maintain that these texts 
of Scripture are not to be taken literally 
nevertheless, since these texts are explained 
differently by men whose authority (as is 
manifest) is so great in the Church, for that 
reason I stand on their side, and do not 
blush on this occasion to hold my intellect 
captive. Not that on that account I deem 
it an article of faith ; for so far as I know 
that is not asserted by [these cardinals] 
themselves, nor is it promulgated and re- 
ceived throughout the Church." In 1651 
Father Riccioli, S. J., writes : " It is not 
as yet of faith that the sun moves and the 
earth remains stationary by reason of the 
Congregational decrees, inasmuch as neither 
the Pope, nor any council approved by him, 
has issued a definition upon this point." 

Nature of the Index 

" The Church gives her decisions of doc- 
trine, not through the declarations of any 
such tribunals as the Holy Office or the 
Congregation of the Index. These are only 
subordinate working offices or bureaus for 


the expediting of business. They are not 
clothed with her supreme authority. When 
she defines doctrines it is through her 
General Councils and through the voice of 
her Supreme Pontiff, speaking ex cathedra" 

American Cath. Quar. Review, vol. vii. p. 104. 

The decree revoked (A.D. 1752) 

"Galileo, on Feb. 26, 1616, properly 
closed his case then before the Holy Office. 
Another congregation, that of the Index, 
had taken up the matter, and on March 
5th published a general disciplinary rule 
and enactment prohibiting henceforth books 
that upheld the Copernican theory as ab- 
solute truth, that theory being erroneous 
and contrary to the Holy Scripture, and 
also requiring that such books already 
published should be so amended as to pre- 
sent the theory in an hypothetical form, or 
mere theory, not as an established positive 
truth. . . . The Congregation of the Index 
acted as it had been declared it would act. 
In 1752 the decree of 1616, against teach- 
ing Copernicanism as an absolute truth, 
was revoked." 

American Cath. Quar. Review, vol. vii. p. 94. 


"Let alone" the better policy 

" Still, we may regret that the Congrega- 
tion of the Index did not accept the wise 
counsels of Cardinal Barberini, and of others 
agreeing with him, and abstain altogether 
from enacting the decree." 

American Cath. Quar. Review, vol. vii. p. 113. 

SCHAFF-HERZOG : Unfounded statements 

" The published documents of the trial do 
not sustain the charge that he [Galileo] 
was tortured. He made public recantations 
the next day. The famous legend that, on 
rising from his knees after his recantation, 
he exclaimed, ' E pur si muove ' (And yet 
it does move), seems to have no adequate 

Schaff-Herzog Dictionary, article on " Inquisi- 
tion." Philip Schaff, D.D., Editor, Union Theologi- 
cal Seminary, N. Y. The Christian Literature Co., 
Publishers, N. Y., 1888. 

moves " 

" The legend according to which Galileo, 
rising from his knees, after repeating the for- 
mula of abjuration, stamped on the ground 


and exclaimed 'E pur si muove/ is, as may 
be readily supposed, entirely apocryphal. 
The earliest ascertained authority for it is 
the seventh edition of an Historical Dic- 
tionary published at Caen in 1789." 
Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. x. p. 34. 


Vengeance has no foresight. NAPOLEON. 

THREE lurid episodes in the history 
of religious persecution in Eng- 
land are the Gunpowder Plot 
(1605), the "revelations" of Titus Gates 
(1678-82), and the Lord Gordon riots 
(1780). Each has its own significance, 
the Gunpowder Plot illustrating to what 
desperate straits persecution may drive bold 
men ; the Gates revelations discovering the 
almost incredible gullibility of a bigoted 
nation and its ruthless readiness to revenge 
its blind fears upon the weak minority; and 
the Lord Gordon riots forming an instance 
of a frequent tendency in English Protestant- 
ism to assert itself in mob uprisings. 

There were scarcely a dozen English 
Catholics in the secret of the Gunpowder 


Plot (1605). It was a most desperately 
formed plan to blow the king, lords, and 
commons of England into eternity, to seize 
the heir to the throne, and to proclaim a 
Catholic protectorate. It is not probable 
that, in any event, the plot could have gone 
further than the explosion of the thirty-six 
barrels of gunpowder that Guy Fawkes 
was prepared to fire in the vault under 
the Parliament building. A Catholic peer, 
Lord Mounteagle, whom the conspirators 
wished to save from the wreck, was warned 
not to attend Parliament on the day ap- 
pointed; upon which information he took 
steps to frustrate the conspiracy. But the 
fact that a rational Catholic thus pre- 
vented this murderous plot of a dozen of 
his frenzied co-religionists did not save the 
whole English Catholic community. They 
all felt the heavy hand of Protestant resent- 
ment. If they had ground for complaint 
before the 5th of November, 1605, they 
were given double ground for mourning 
after that date. 

They had expected better things of James 
I. when he came to the English throne in 
1603 ; his mother (Mary Queen of Scots) 


had been a Catholic, and Catholics had bled 
in her defence. James might at least 
suspend the harsh laws against the poor 
Papists. But he did not. All the fines 
for not attending Protestant worship were 
freshly enforced against them; twenty 
pounds a month, and a forfeiture of two- 
thirds of their goods, if the fine remained 
unpaid, was the penalty, and a horde of 
Scotch court followers were enriched by it. 
The Catholics of England were pauperized. 
Every man connected with the Gunpowder 
Plot especially Robert Catesby, the real 
instigator of it had suffered personally 
for his religion. Disappointment, despair, 
and resentment were the feelings that pos- 
sessed them. Henry IV. of France advised 
James that while these men must be pun- 
ished, he should recognize the evil of perse- 
cution in driving men to such deeds, and 
goad the Catholics no further. This wis- 
dom was too advanced for the English 
Parliament of that day. It enacted addi- 
tional penal laws, debarring Catholics from 
the practice of law or surgery, from residing 
in London, and from acting as executors. 
Catholic parents were fined a hundred 


pounds for every child they failed to have 
baptized as a Protestant, and the king was 
empowered to seize, if he desired, two-thirds 
of the goods of Catholics failing to attend 
Protestant worship. James exercised this 
power by granting to his favorites the right 
of " making profit " out of certain specified 
nobles. 1 The Earl of Northumberland was 
fined 300,000. 

One feature of the Gunpowder Plot was 
the attempt to connect the Jesuits with it. 
The Jesuit provincial, Father Garnet, was 
executed because it appeared that he had 
some knowledge of the existence of the con- 
spiracy, indirectly obtained under seal of the 
confessional. It was claimed for him that he 
had done all in his power to dissuade the des- 
perate men from their purpose. The offence 
charged against him was his being privy to 
the plot and not revealing it ; he contending 
that the secrecy of the confessional obliged 
him to refrain from turning informer. 2 

1 The very words used in one of the state papers of 
the time are these : u A list of such recusants as his 
Majesty hath granted liberty to his servants to make 
profit of." 

2 An English Catholic priest, Father Gerard, is the 
author of a book published a few years ago and entitled 


The charge has been made, and there are 
some grounds for the theory, that the Gun- 
powder Plot was .concocted by James I.'s 
prime minister, Robert Cecil, with a view to 
solidifying his power. Lord Cobham, for 
instance, tells us that King James was in 
the habit of speaking of the 5th of Novem- 
ber " as Cecil's birthday." (Advocate of 
Conscience Liberty, p. 225, A. D. 1665.) 

Carte the historian (History of England, 
vol. iii. p. 757, London, 1747) thinks it 
not improbable that Cecil knew all about 
the plot. A contemporary Protestant bishop 
of Gloucester says of Cecil : " The great 
statesman had intelligence of all this, and 
because he would show his service to the 
State, he would first contrive and then 
discover a treason, and the more odious 
and hateful the treason were, his service 
would be the greater and more acceptable." 
Bishop Usher is quoted as holding a like 

" What was the Gunpowder Plot ? " in which he argues 
" that the true history of the Gunpowder Plot is now 
known to no man; that the history commonly received 
is certainly untrue." Father Gerard inclines to the 
opinion that the plot was encouraged by Cecil. 


GARDINER: Where the blame rests 

" The blame of the gunpowder plot does 
not lie with ' the Papists.' It lies, at the 
most, on a small body of conspirators, and 
even in their case the government must 
bear a share of it, not because it invented 
or encouraged the plot, but because by 
reinforcement of the penal laws it irri- 
tated ardent and excited natures beyond 

Gardiner: What was the Gunpowder Plot? p. 8. 
Longmans, Green, & Co., London, 1897. 

GARDINER: Jesuits did not originate the 

"The government theory that Garnet 
and the other Jesuits had organized the plot 
was undoubtedly false. That there was a 
plot at all is undoubtedly owing to James's 
conduct in receding from his promises." 

Gardiner: What was the Gunpowder Plot? pp. 
199, 200. Longmans, Green, & Co., London, 1897. 

GREEN: Father Garnet's position 

" Though he [Garnet] had shrunk from 
all part in the plot, its existence had been 
made known to him by another Jesuit, 


Greenway, and horror-stricken, as lie had 
represented himself to have been, he had 
kept the secret and left Parliament to its 

Green, Hist, of the English People, book vii. 
ch. iii. 


The rabble gather round the man of news 
and listen with their mouths open; some tell, 
some hear, some judge of news, some make it, 
and he that lies most loud is most believed. 


Of all things wisdom is the most terrified with 
epidemical fanaticism, because of all enemies it 
is that against which she is the least able to 
furnish any kind of resource. BURKE. 

THE influence of the Gunpowder Plot 
affected the imagination of suc- 
ceeding generations of English- 
men. Jesuits and " plotting Papists " were 
credited with every dire and damaging 
occurrence. The air of England for two 
centuries was surcharged with prejudice 
against them. When two-thirds of London 
was burned, in 1666, the catastrophe was 
placed at the door of the Catholics, and the 
pillar erected to commemorate the great 


fire bore that groundless charge against 
them for nearly two hundred years. 1 (It 
was finally erased in 1830 by order of the 
London aldermen.) 

The stories, perpetrated by Titus Gates in 
1678 against the Catholics, pandered to this 
deep-rooted, gullible, and insensate preju- 
dice. Gates was an adventurer of bad 
character; his success and the gratitude he 
evoked by " his providential disclosures " 
induced other adventurers to follow his 
example. One of these was a convict 
named Bedloe ; another was a young man 
named Dangerfield, who had been convicted 
of numerous crimes ; there were a dozen in 
all, some of them imported from Ireland, 
to prove the existence of a Popish plot 

All united in alleging that there was a 
Catholic conspiracy to murder the king, 
massacre the Protestants, and bring in a 
French army of subjugation. There were 
numerous variances, contradictions, and 

1 Pope makes reference to this circumstance in these 
lines : 

" Where London's column pointing to the skies 
Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies." 


inconsistencies in the testimony of these 
men; but their explanations that they 
" were sick/' or " did not recollect clearly/' 
or " were mistaken in the details," were 
accepted by the gullible public. The kill- 
ing of Godfrey, a magistrate before whom 
Gates had made his deposition, was the 
circumstance which first gave credibility 
to the disclosures. It was never discovered 
who killed Godfrey, but the Jesuits were 
immediately blamed. Then began a series 
of prosecutions running through several 
years, and resulting in the execution of a 
large number of Catholics, among them 
twenty-four priests and several noblemen. 
The evidence against these men is now 
admitted to have been the purest fabrica- 
tion on the part of the brood of informers 
whom Oates's success had stimulated. At 
one time several thousand Catholics were 
jailed, and nearly thirty thousand of them 
expelled from London. The Duke of York 
(subsequently James II.) was forced into 
exile ; the Queen herself was accused by 
Gates ; and a measure was passed by which 
the Catholic peers were excluded from the 
House of Lords, to which they did not 


again return for one hundred and fifty 

Political leaders, like Shaftesbury, fo- 
mented the plot for partisan reasons, 
whether they credited it or not. There 
were undoubtedly many persons, aside from 
the Catholics, who saw the entire falseness 
of the imposture, but the mob spirit carried 
them off their feet or silenced them. Sir 
William Temple was threatened by Lord 
Fairfax for doubting the justice of execut- 
ing certain priests. " He would tell every- 
body I was a Papist, affirming that the plot 
must be handled as if it were true, whether 
it was so or no." l 

Such was this sanguinary hoax which 
for five years imposed on the English nation, 
dealing death to the innocent and control- 
ling the politics of the court and commons. 
Gates was finally brought to justice, ex- 
posed, and severely punished ; but he lived 
long enough to be pardoned and pensioned 
when William of Orange came to the 

1 Temple, vol. ii. p. 506. 


FOX: An indelible disgrace 

"Although, . . . upon a review of this 
truly shocking transaction, we may be 
fairly justified in imputing to the greater 
part of those concerned in it rather an 
extraordinary degree of blind credulity than 
the deliberate wickedness of planning and 
assisting in the perpetration of legal mur- 
ders; yet the proceedings on the popish 
plot must always be considered as an indeli- 
ble disgrace upon the English nation, in 
which king, parliament, judges, witnesses, 
prosecutors have all their respective, though 
certainly not equal, shares." 

C. J. Fox, History of the Early Fart of the Reign 
of James II. 

MACAULAY : The nation went mad 

"The capital and the whole nation went 
mad with hatred and fear. The penal laws, 
which had begun to lose something of their 
edge, were sharpened anew. Everywhere 
justices were busied in searching houses 
and seizing papers. All the gaols were 
filled with Papists. London had the aspect 
of a city in a state of siege. The train- 
bands were under arms all night. Prepa- 


rations were made for barricading the great 
thoroughfares. Patrols marched up and 
down the streets. Cannons were planted 
round Whitehall. No citizen thought him- 
self safe unless he carried under his coat a 
small flail loaded with lead to brain the 
Popish assassins." 

Lord Macaulay, History of England, vol. i. ch. ii. 

GOLD WIN SMITH: The infamy of Oates 

" Of all vile informers in the pillory of 
history, the highest stand Titus Oates and 
Bedloe, men of infamous characters and 
lives, who with stories of Catholic plots for 
the assassination of the king, the invasion 
of the kingdom, and the massacre of all 
Protestants, monstrous as a maniac's 
dream, swore away the lives of a long 
train of Roman Catholics, ending with 
the aged Lord Stafford and the blameless 
Archbishop Plunkett." 

Goldwin Smith, United Kingdom, vol. vi. p. 42. 


Bigotry has no head and cannot think, no 
heart and cannot feel. When she moves it is in 
wrath, when she pauses it is amidst ruin ; her 
prayers are curses, her God is a de?non, her 
communion is death. O'CoNNELL. 

IN 1778 the British Parliament passed, 
without any serious opposition, a bill 
relieving Catholics from certain severe 
disabilities, under a statute passed in the 
reign of William III. Papists were again 
permitted, by this relief measure, to inherit 
lands and to sustain schools of their own. 
Immediately bigotry took offence. Prot- 
estant Associations were formed throughout 
England and Scotland to repeal the Catholic 
relief measure and to rivet the shackles. 
Lord George Gordon was president of these 
associations. Parliament paying little at- 
tention to their petitions, the Protestant 


Associations were ordered by Gordon to 
come in a great body and present their 
petition en masse. 

Out of their assemblage developed a nu- 
merous London mob (June, 1780), which, 
inflamed by fanatics and inspired by the 
pillage of liquor stores, started to purge 
London of the Papists. For several days 
the mobs had the metropolis of England 
more or less in their power. The prisons 
were opened, and the thief, the robber, and 
the incendiary came out to aid the cause. 
At one time thirty-six fires were raging 
within the city limits. Houses were looted 
and property was destroyed. 1 

The riots were finally put down by call- 
ing in the military forces, but not until five 

1 Edmund Burke describes the mob as made up of 
dissolute and unruly people. He himself was the object 
of attack because he had favored the law relieving 
Catholics of their disabilities. The leaders of the mob 
called him a Jesuit in disguise and nicknamed him 
"Neddy St. Omers." The residence of Lord Mansfield 
was destroyed, and the looting of Landale's distillery 
furnished the mob abundantly with liquor. It was ne- 
cessary for people to chalk " No Popery " on their houses 
to save themselves from attack. Even the Jews put up 
signs on their homes, such as " This is the House of a 
True Protestant ! " 


hundred persons were killed and many mil- 
lions of property destroyed. Lord Gordon 
went free of punishment, owing to the skil- 
ful defence of Erskine. His erratic career 
was closed with his conversion to Judaism 
in 1793, just prior to his death in Newgate 

LECKY : Gordon and his movement 

"The worst part of the persecution of 
Catholics was based upon a law of William 
III., and in 1778 Sir George Savile intro- 
duced a bill to repeal those portions of this 
Act which related to the apprehending of 
Popish bishops, priests, and Jesuits, which 
subjected these and also Papists keeping a 
school to perpetual imprisonment, and 
which disabled all Papists from inheriting 
or purchasing land. 

"It is an honorable fact that this Relief 
Bill was carried without a division in either 
House, without any serious opposition from 
the bench and with the concurrence of 
both parties in the State. The fanatical 
party had unfortunately acquired an un- 
scrupulous leader in the person of Lord 
George Gordon, whose name now attained 


a melancholy celebrity. He was a young 
man of thirty, of very ordinary talents, and 
with nothing to recommend him but his 
connection with the ducal house of Gordon. 
A Protestant association consisting of the 
worst agitators and fanatics was formed, 
and at a great meeting held on May 29, 
1780, and presided over by Lord George 
Gordon, it was determined that twenty 
thousand men should march in the Parlia- 
ment House to present a petition for the 
repeal of the Relief Act." 

W. E. H. Lecky, History of England in the Eigh- 
teenth Century, vol. iii. ch. xiii. 

GOLD WIN SMITH: " A Protestant maniac 

" A great anti-Catholic association was 
formed under Lord George Gordon, a Prot- 
estant maniac who ended by turning Jew. 
For three days the great city was in the 
hands of an infuriated and intoxicated 
rabble, which revelled in destruction, arson, 
and every kind of outrage." 

Goldwin Smith, The United Kingdom, vol. ii. 
p. 230. 


Such was the commonwealth founded by 
a Catholic upon the broad moral law I have 
here laid down that faith is an act of the 
will, and that to force men to profess what 
they do not believe is contrary to the law of 
God, and to generate faith by force is mor- 
ally impossible. CARDINAL MANNING. 

IN the last and revised edition of Ban- 
croft's History of the United States, 
that sweeping credit which he gave 
to Lord Baltimore and the Catholic colonists 
of Maryland, as the first to establish reli- 
gious toleration and freedom of conscience 
on this continent, is considerably toned 

Bancroft seems to have been more or less 
influenced by the researches and arguments 
of a school of historical writers who rather 
resented the disposition of Catholic wri- 
ters to plume themselves on the Maryland 


instance. The controversy has continued 
since Bancroft's death ; and there are now 
more materials available upon which to base 
a fair conclusion. 

Maryland was settled in 1634 ; Rhode 
Island was settled in 1636, the former 
under the auspices of the Catholic Lord 
Baltimore, the latter under the auspices of 
the expelled Salem preacher, Roger Wil- 
liams. The Calverts (who founded the 
Maryland colony) as well as Williams pro- 
ceeded in their new enterprises on a plan 
of toleration ; Williams' s plan being some- 
what more indefinite though broader in the- 
ory than that of the Maryland proprietor, 
but the Maryland experiment having the 
merit of being a practical exhibition of tol- 
eration from the outset. 

In both colonies a condition of religious 
freedom existed from the first settlement. 
Bancroft says in his last edition (vol. i. p. 
162), in speaking of the Maryland colony : 
" Toleration grew up in the colony silently, 
as a custom of the land." Of course, 
as a matter of chronology, Maryland being 
settled A. D. 1634 and Rhode Island A. D. 


1636, the credit of being the first colony 
to establish religious freedom belongs to 

To Maryland also belongs the credit for 
the first duly enacted law of toleration 
(April 21, 1649). 

Both colonies had earlier declarations on 
the subject, but these declarations and 
directions were without the sanction of 
direct legislation. 

Thus in 1633 (according to the "Gal- 
vert Papers "), Lord Baltimore, in the first 
article of his instructions to his Lieuten- 
ant-Go vernor, Leonard Calvert, and com- 
missioners, directed that "no scandal or 
offence be given to any of the Protes- 
tants" who were among the colonists, 
that they "treat the Protestants with as 
much mildness and favor as justice will 
permit." (Browne's George and Cecilius 
Calvert, pp. 46-47, 27 Maryland Hist. Soci- 
ety, 32.) In 1638 a Catholic was fined 
for speaking disrespectfully of Protestants. 
"Thus . . .", says Brown (History of a Pala- 
tinate, p. 70), "the principle of toleration 
was enforced and placed on record." In 
1639 the second assemblage of the Colonial 


lawmakers of Maryland "conferred to all 
Christian inhabitants of Maryland all liber- 
ties which an Englishman enjoyed at home" 
(Bancroft, vol. i. p. 164) ; and in 1640 an- 
other enactment was "practically inter- 
preted as in harmony with that toleration 
of all believers in the divinity of Jesus 
Christ which was the recognized usage 
of the land " (Bancroft, vol. i. p. 165). 
(These citations are from the last edition 
of Bancroft's History.) 

The compact drawn by Roger Williams 
in 1636 impliedly rules out any legislation 
on matters of conscience by declaring that 
the settlers bind themselves to submit to 
all orders of the governing body " only in 
civil things." In 1640 there were declara- 
tions by the town of Newport that " none 
be accounted a delinquent for Doctrine/' 
and in 1641 that " liberty of conscience 
in point of Doctrine is perpetuated." 
These were declarations of principles, but 
of course not specific enactments. 

The charter of 1643 was silent on the 
subject of religious freedom. It was not 
until the charter of 1663 was granted that 
the usage of toleration in Rhode Island was 


clearly and openly intrenched in the law. 
The charter declared that " no person should 
be molested or disqualified or called into 
question for any difference of opinion in 
matters of religion." 

How Rhode Island's toleration would 
have stood the test if it covered a condition 
of affairs which found Catholics and Prot- 
estants dwelling side by side (as in Mary- 
land), is purely a matter of conjecture. 1 Up 
to 1680, according to Governor Sanford, 
no Catholics had settled in Rhode Island 
(Chalmers' Political Annals, p. 284) ; but in 
the year 1719 a law was enacted (with 
very little danger visible, in justification) 
excluding Catholics from all political rights 
in Rhode Island. 

" To Jews who had inquired if they could 

1 The mere profession of a belief in " liberty of con- 
science " did not in those days mean what it does in our 
days. It meant just what it might be interpreted to 
mean. Thus, Cromwell during his Irish campaign, in 
negotiating for the surrender of an Irish fortress, wrote 
the Governor of Ross to say that he " would not meddle 
with any man's conscience," but added, " If by liberty of 
conscience you mean a liberty to exercise the Mass [the 
Catholic form of worship], I judge it best to use plain 
dealing and to tell you now that where the Parliament of 
England have power, that will not be allowed of." 


find a home in Rhode Island, the assembly 
of 1684 made answer : ' We declare that 
they may expect as good protection here as 
any stranger not being of our nation, re- 
siding among us, ought to have/ ' (Ban- 
croft, vol. i. p. 365.) 

This was offering the Jews hardly any 
better status than that of the Indians, and 
one capable of any sort of interpretation. 

The Maryland experiment in religious 
toleration was a practical one, from the out- 
set, in that Catholics and Protestants were 
settled side by side, and also in that the 
invitation to Protestant settlers was express 
and cordial. There is testimony to the 
effect that a majority of the first colonists 
(counting the servants) were Protestants. 
Johnson, in " The Foundation of Maryland" 
(p. 32), says of the first colonists of Mary- 
land : " 128 out of 220 were Protestants." 
The freeholders, or freemen, however, were 
mostly Catholics, and under the Charter 
only the freemen exercised political rights. 
Browne, in his " History of a Palatinate " 
(p. 70), concludes that down to 1642 there 
was no Protestant church nor Protestant 


minister in the Maryland colony. Father 
White's Relation (p. 25) informs us that in 
1638 many of the Protestant settlers had 
become converts. 

Governor Sharpe's MS. letter book, under 
date of Dec. 15, 1758, states that " a ma- 
jority of the inhabitants were confirmed 
Papists till the revolution [of 1688]." 

Be this as it may, there is no doubt 
that the inspiring influence for religious 
freedom in Maryland proceeded from Lord 
Baltimore and his Catholic heirs and suc- 
cessors in the proprietary government, and 
that the controlling power under which reli- 
gious toleration was fostered lay in the Cath- 
olic majority of the first local assemblages. 
From the very outset the Protestants were 
not merely free to exercise their religion, 
but the freemen among them participated 
equally with the Catholic freemen in the 
offices of the colony. Captain Thomas 
Cornwaleys, a Protestant, was one of the 
most important figures from the first years 
of the colony. He was a member of the 
Council, and later commander of the forces 
and Assistant Governor. Thus we have in 
the Maryland colony a status, not merely of 


toleration, but something very much resem- 
bling religious equality. Lord Baltimore, in 
appointing a Protestant governor in 1648, 
prescribed an oath containing the following 
significant paragraph: 

" Nor will I make any differences of per- 
sons in conferring offices, rewards, or favors 
proceeding from the authority which his 
said lordship has conferred upon me, as his 
lieutenant here, for or in respect of their 
said religion respectively, but merely as I 
shall find them faithful and well deserv- 
ing of his said lordship and to the best of 
my understanding endowed with moral vir- 
tues and abilities fitting for such rewards, 
offices, or favors." 

The famous Act of Toleration of 1649 
was drafted by Lord Baltimore himself, and 
approved by the Colonial Assembly without 
any alteration. This law, although not com- 
paring with our present status of religious 
equality, was far in advance of the political 
ethics of the day. Its leading provision 
was as follows : 

" Be it therefore also by the lord pro- 
prietary, with the advice and assent of this 
assembly, ordained and enacted, except as in 


this present case is before declared and set 
forth, that no person or persons whatsoever 
within this province of the islands, ports, 
harbors, creeks or havens thereunto belong- 
ing, professing to believe in Jesu Christ 
shall from henceforth be any wise troubled, 
molested or discountenanced for or in his 
or her religion, nor in the free exercise 
thereof within this province or the islands 
thereunto belonging, nor any way compelled 
to beleefe or exercise of any other religion 
against his or her consent." (See Bacon's 
Laws of Mary]and, 1649, vol. i. ; McMahon's 
History of Maryland, p. 226 ; Bozman's His- 
tory of Maryland, vol. ii. p. 335, and 
McSherry's History of Maryland, p. 65, 
" Proceedings and Acts of Assembly ; " 
Maryland Historical Society Publications, 
1883, pp. 244-247 ; Scharf 's History, vol. 
i. pp. 174-177.) 

1 After the severe penal codes of the times the Mary- 
land Act also enacts punishment of death against any 
one who should blaspheme or curse God or deny Christ 
or the Trinity. By the law of Scotland blasphemy was 
punishable by death. Any one convicted for the third 
time of reasoning against the persons of the Trinity 
was doomed to death by a statute passed in the reign 
of William III. (1695, ch. ii.). 



The comments of two leading American 
jurists on this subject are here subjoined; 
subsequent research has not materially im- 
paired the justice of their observation. 

Mr. Justice Story, in his " Commentaries 
on the Constitution," said : " It is certainly 
very honorable to the liberality and public 
spirit of the proprietary that he should 
have introduced into his fundamental policy 
the doctrine of general toleration and equal- 
ity among Christian sects (for he does not 
appear to have gone further), and have thus 
given the earliest example of a legislator 
inviting his subjects to the free indulgence of 
religious opinion. This was anterior to the 
settlement of Ehode Island, and therefore 
merits the enviable rank of being the first 
recognition among the colonists of the glo- 
rious and indefeasible rights of conscience." 

Kent, in his " Commentary on American 
Law," says : " This legislative act of Mary- 
land, in favor of religious toleration, was 
prior in time to any in America, if not in 
any country "(vol. ii. part iv. sec. 24, p. 36). 
And further : " The charter of Rhode Island 
of 1663 established a freedom of religious 
opinion and worship with extraordinary lib- 


erality for that early period of New Eng- 
land history." 

BKOWNE : Maryland first 

" While as yet there was no spot in Chris- 
tendom where religious beliefs were free 
and when even the Commons of England 
had declared against tolerations, he [Balti- 
more] founded a community wherein no 
man was to be molested for his faith." 

W. H. Browne (Librarian of Johns Hopkins 
University), History of a Palatinate : Maryland, 
ch. iii. p. 45. 

LODGE : Toleration from the outset 

" Yet there can be no doubt of the fact 
of religious toleration in Maryland at the 
very outset, and there were two very good 
reasons for its existence. The all-powerful 
Lord Proprietary and the principal men in 
Maryland were Catholics, and Catholicism 
was oppressed and hated in England. To 
oppress Catholics would have been great 
folly on the part of Protestant colonists, and 
to oppress Protestants would have been 
ruin to the proprietary." 

Lodge, History of the English Colonies in Amer- 
ica, New York, 1882, p. 97. 


FISKE: Lord Baltimore himself drew the 
Act of Toleration 

" This famous statute, commonly known 
as the ' Toleration Act/ was drawn up by 
Cecilius [Lord Baltimore] himself, and 
passed the assembly exactly as it came 
from him without amendment." 

John Fiske, Old Virginia and her Neighbors, vol. 
i. p. 309. 

FISKE : A liberal act for the age 

" Nevertheless for the age in which it 
was enacted this statute was eminently 
liberal, and it certainly reflects great credit 
on Lord Baltimore. . . . Such a policy as 
was announced in this memorable Tolera- 
tion Act was not easy to realize in the 
seventeenth century." 

John Fiske, Old Virginia, vol. i. p. 811. 

JOHNSON : Toleration in Maryland 

" From 1634 until 1689 no man was 
ever molested in Maryland on account of 
his religious opinions, except in the short 
intervals of Ingle's occupation, the sway of 
the Protector's Commissioners, and Fendall'j 
brief usurpation." 

Johnson, The Foundation of Maryland, p. 156. 


BROWNE: Religion of the first settlers of 

"It seems probable that most of the 
6 gentlemen adventurers/ as they were called, 
were Catholics, and most of the laborers and 
servants, Protestants. " 

Browne, Hist, of a Palatinate : Maryland, p. 22. 

JOHNSON : Conclusions of fact 

"First: That Lord Baltimore did not 
undertake the management and develop- 
ment of this Province ' without any special 
sense of responsibility to the community/ 
and 'that religious toleration in Maryland 
must be not attributed solely to the very 
commonplace motive of self-interest/ 

" Second : That the Act concerning reli- 
gion was not the ' echo ' of any British 
order, or ordinance of the Long Parliament, 
securing or declaring Religious Toleration, 
because the Puritans in England always, 
and on every occasion, when in power, per- 
secuted all who differed with them in 
opinion, nor was it the work of the Protes- 
tant majority in the Province, because 
whenever they obtained control of the 
Government, they immediately followed the 


example of their fellows at home in perse- 
cuting all others, as in 1645 under Ingle, 
in 1654 under Cromwell's Commissioners, 
and in 1659 under Fendall, the renegade 
Governor of Baltimore." (p. 157.) 

" Cecil Calvert died on Nov. 30, 1675, 
and was succeeded by his son, Charles, who 
retained the control of the Province until it 
was wrested from him by the Revolution of 
the Protestant Association in 1689. The 
life of Cecil was spent in struggles to found 
and maintain the institutions of liberty in 
Maryland. From June 20, 1632, until his 
death, more than forty- three years, he had 
passed through the most eventful epoch of 
English history. He saw Parliamentary 
institutions overthrown, and the whole 
power of government usurped by the king. 
He saw the monarchy destroyed, and all 
governmental functions absorbed by the 
Parliament. He witnessed the expulsion of 
the Parliament again, and liberty and law 
prostrate under the dominion of the sword, 
and then he lived to see the ancient balance 
of the Constitution restored, with Kings, 
Lords, and Commons re-established, after an 
interregnum of nearly twenty years, and 


right and justice once again trampled upon, 
in the frenzy of a political and religious re- 
action. Under all these extraordinary con- 
vulsions of society, and revolutions of 
government, he succeeded in planting and 
preserving in Maryland the rights of legis- 
lation by the freemen, of Habeas Corpus, of 
Trial by Jury, of Parliamentary taxation, of 
security of Martial Law, and of Liberty 
of Conscience." (pp. 154-155.) 

" He [Lord Baltimore] therefore adopted 
and declared that [Liberty of Conscience] 
to be the principle on which the foundations 
of Maryland should be laid, and he from 
the first intended to secure all those rights, 
privileges, and franchises, not alone to 
Koman Catholics, nor yet alone to English- 
men, but to all Christian people of all the 
nations of all the world. That in doing 
this he was supported by the whole social 
influence of the Roman Catholics of Eng- 
land and the power of the Society of 
Jesus, who thereby sought to secure for 
members of their Church Religious Lib- 
erty denied them in England. From 
the landing at St. Mary's on the 27th 
of March, 1634, to this day, Liberty of Con- 


science has been the fundamental institution 
of Maryland. Under it the Puritans settled 
at Province, the Quakers at West River, 
and the Presbyterians on the Patuxent." 
(pp. 158-159.) 

Bradley T. Johnson, The Foundation of Mary- 
land and the Origin of the Act concerning Religion, 
of April 21, 1649. 



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