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HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
From The Renaissance To The French Revolution

Volume I

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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