History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe
by W. E. H. Lecky
Footnotes to Chapter III
1:305. Spinoza was, as far as I know, the first writer who dwelt much on the possible or probable falsification of some portions of the Old Testament by the insertion of wrong vowel-points, a subject which was a few years since investigated in a work on Hebrew Interpolations, by Dr. Wall, of Dublin University. Some of the remarks of Spinoza about the Jewish habit of speaking of the suggestions of their own minds as inspirations are still worth reading, but with these exceptions the value of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus seems to me to be chiefly historical.
2:305. See, on Lessing's views, a clear statement in Amand Salute's Hist. Critique du Rationalisme en Allemagne. Strauss, in the Introduction to his Life of Jesus, gives a vivid sketch of the progress of German Rationalism; and the manner in which he there treats the subject of miracles illustrates very clearly the wide use made of the term 'reason' in German criticism.
3:305. See his Religion within the Limits of the Reason.
1:307. This has been well noticed by Archbishop Whately -- I think in his Annotations to Bacon.
2:307. For a full view of the extent to which these amusements were carried on and diversified in England, see Strutt's Sports and Pastimes of the English People. Sir Thomas More was accustomed to boast of his skill in throwing the 'cock stele;' and, to the very last, bull-baiting was defended warmly by Canning, and with an almost passionate earnestness by Windham.
1:308. As Macaulay, with characteristic antithesis, says: 'If the Puritans suppressed bull-baiting, it was not because it gave pain to the bull, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.' The long unsuccessful warfare waged by the Popes against Spanish bull-fighting forms a very curious episode in ecclesiastical history; but its origin is to be found in the number of men who had been killed. An old theologian mentions that, in the town of Concha, a bull that had killed seven men became the object of the highest reverence, and the people were so gratified that a painting representing the achievement was immediately executed for the public square (Concina, De Spectaculis, p. 283). The writers who denounced Spanish bull-fighting contrasted it specially with that of Italy, in which the bull was bound by a rope, and which was therefore innocent (Ibid. p. 285). Bull-fighting was prohibited under pain of excommunication by Pins V., in 1567. In 1575 Gregory XIII. removed the prohibition except as regards ecclesiastics, who were still forbidden to frequent bull-fights, and as regards festal days, on which they were not to be celebrated. Some Spanish theologians having agitated much on this subject, Sixtus V., in 1586, confirmed the preceding bull. At last, in 1596, Clement VIII., moved by the remonstrance of the Spanish king and the discontent of the Spanish people, removed all prohibitions (in Spain) except those which rested on the monks, only enjoining caution. At present bull-fights are usually performed on festal days, and form part of most great religious festivals, especially those in honour of the Virgin! On this curious subject full details are given in Thesauro, De Pnis Ecclesiasticis (Romæ, 1640), and in Concina, De Spectaculis (Romæ, 1752). Among the Spanish opponents of bull-fighting was the great Jesuit Mariana. It is curious enough that perhaps the most sanguinary of all bull-fights was in the Coliseum of Rome, in 1333, when the Roman nobles descended into the arena and eighteen were killed (Cibrario, Economia Politica) vol. i. pp. 196, 197); but the Pope was then at Avignon. Michelet has noticed that while bull-fighting was long extremely popular in Rome, the Romagna, and Spoleto, it never took root in Naples, notwithstanding the long domination of the Spaniards.
1:312. As Lami and Lanzi have shown, this legend probably resulted from a confusion of names; a Florentine monk, named Luca, of the eleventh century, being, there is much reason to believe, the chief author of the 'portraits by St. Luke.' They are not, however, all by the same hand, or of exactly the same age, though evidently copied from the same type. Others think they are Byzantine pictures brought to Italy during the time of the Iconoclasts and of the Crusades.
1:315. In France especially the persecution on this ground was frightful. Thus, Bodin tell us that in 1539 the magistrates of Angers burnt alive those who were proved to have eaten meat on Friday if they remained impenitent, and hung them if they repented. (Demon. des Sorciers, p. 216.) In England the subject was regarded in a very peculiar light. Partly because Anglicanism clung closely to the Fathers, and partly because England was a maritime country, fasting was not only encouraged, but strictly enjoined; and a long series of laws and proclamations were accordingly issued between 1548 and the Restoration enjoining abstinence on Wednesdays and Fridays, and throughout Lent; 'considering that due and godly abstinence is a mean to virtue, and to subdue men's bodies of their souls and spirits; and considering, also, especially that fishers, and men using the trade of fishing in the sea, may thereby the rather be set on work.' See a list of these laws in Hallam's Const. Hist. vol. i. A homily also enjoins fasting on the same complex ground. There are some very good remarks on the tendency of theologians to condemn more severely error than immorality, and in condemning different errors to dwell most severely on those which are purely speculative, in Bayle, Pensées Diverses, cxcix. He says: 'Si un docteur de Sorbonne avoit la hardiesse de chanceler tant soit peu sur le mystère de l'Incarnation, ... il couroit risque du feu de la Grêve; mais s'il se contentoit d'avancer quelques propositions de morale relâchée, comme le fameux Escobar, on se contenteroit de dire que cela n'est pas bien, et peut-être on verroit la censure de son livre.'
1:316. 'Sic et Epicurus omnem cruciatum doloremque depretiat modicum quidem contemptibilem pronuntiando magnum vero non diuturnum. Enimvero nos qui sub Deo omnium speculatore dispungimur, quique æternam ab eo pnam providemus merito soli innocentiæ occurrimus et pro scientiæ plenitudine et pro magnitudine cruciatus non diuturni verum sempiterni.' (Tertullian, Apol., cap. xlv.)
2:316. The opinions of this last Father on the subject, which are very little known, are clearly stated in that learned book, Dallæus, De Pnis et Satisfactionibus (Amsterdam, 1649), lib. iv. c. 7. For Origen's well-known opinions, see Ibid. lib. iv. c. 6.
3:316. A long chain of quotations establishing this will be found in Swinden, On the Fire of Hell (London, 1727); and in Horberry's Enquiry concerning Future Punishment (London, 1744).
1:317. See the long argument based on these grounds in St. Aug. De Cir. Dei, lib. xxi, cc. 1-9. Minutius Felix treats the same subject in a somewhat ferocious passage: 'Ipse rex Jupiter per torrentes ripas et attain voraginem jurat religiose: destinatam enim sibi cure suis cultoribus pnam præscius perhor rescit: nec tormentis aut modus ullus aut terminus. Illic sapiens ignis membra urit et reficit: carpit et nutrit sicut ignes fulminum corpora tangunt nec absumunt: sicut ignes Ætnæ et Vesuvii et ardentium ubique terrarum flagrant nec erogantur: ita pnale illud incendium non damnis ardentium pascitu[r?] sed inexesa corporum laceratione nutritur. (Octavius, cap. xxxv.)
1:318. This fact had been noticed by several early English divines (Barrow and Berkeley among the number); but it was brought into especial relief by Warburton, who, as is well known, in his Divine Legation, based a curious argument in favour of the divine origin of the Levitical religion upon the fact that it contained no revelation of a future world. Archbishop Whately, who strongly took up the view of Warburton concerning the fact, has, in one of his Essays on the Peculiarities of the Christian Religion, applied it very skilfully to establishing the divine origin, not indeed of Judaism, but of Christianity, because Christianity does contain a revelation of the future world. Both these writers contend that the well-known passage in Job does not refer to the resurrection. The subject has been dwelt on from another point of view by Chubb, Voltaire, Strauss, and several other writers. On the growth of the doctrine among the Jews, see Mackay's Religious Development of the Greeks and Hebrews, vol. ii. pp. 286-297.
2:318. Denis, Histoire des Idées Morales dans l'Antiquité, tom. i. pp. 18, 19.
3:318. Ibid. pp. 104-106.
1:319. On the place representations of Tartarus had in the mysteries, see Magnin, Origines du Théâtre, tom. i. pp. 81-84.
2:319. The Manichæans are said to have believed that the souls of the dead were purified in the sun; that they were then borne in the moon to the angels; and that the phases of the moon were caused by the increase or diminution of [its?] freight. (Beausobre, Hist. Critique du Manichéisme. tom. i. pp. 243, 244.)
1:320. Dallæus, De Pnis et Satisfactionibus, lib. iv. c. 9. Some of the ancients had a notion about fire being the portal of the unseen world. Herodotus (lib. v. c. 92) tells a curious story about Periander, a tyrant of Corinth, who invoked the shade of his wife; but she refused to answer his questions, alleging that she was too cold; for though dresses had been placed in her tomb, they were of no use to her, as they had not been burnt.
2:320. Scoti was at first the name of the Irish; it was afterwards shared and finally monopolised by the inhabitants of Scotland. Erigena means, born in Erin -- the distinctive name of Ireland. There is an amusing notice of Scotus Erigena in Matthew of Westminster (An. 880).
1:321. He is regarded in the first light by M. Guizot in his History of Civilisation; and in the second by M. St. Rend Taillandier, in his able and learned treatise on Scotus.
2:321. On the doctrines of Scotus, and especially on that about hell, see Talliandier, Scot Erigène, pp. 176-180; Ampere, Hist. Littéraire de la France, tom. iii. p. 95; Alexandri, Hist. Eccles., tom. vi. pp. 361-363. According to this last writer, Scotus admitted literal torments for the devil, but not for man.
1:322. The details of many of these visions are given in their full force in Swinden; and in Plancy, Dictionnaire Infernale, art Enfer. Dean Milman, in his Hist, of Latin Christianity, has noticed this passion for detailed pictures of hell (which seems to date from St. Gregory the Great) with his usual force and justice.
1:323. St. Thomas Aquinas says, 'Beati in regno clesti videbunt pnas damnatorum, ut beatitudo illis magis complaceat.' (Summa Suppl., quæst. xciv. art 1.)
1:325. Swinden, p. 129.
1:329. 'Quæ tunc spectaculi latitudo! Quid admirer! Quid rideam! ubi gaudeam! ubi exultem, spectans tot et tantos reges, qui in clum recepti nuntiadantur, cum ipso Jove et ipsis suis testibus in imis tenebris congemescentes! Item præsides persecutores dominici nominis sævioribus quam ipsi flammis sævierunt insultantibus contra Christianos liquescentes! quos præterea sapientes illos philosophos coram discipulis suis una conflagrationibus erubescentes, quibus nihil ad Deum pertinere suadebant, quibus animas aut nullas aut non in pristina corpora redituras affirmabant! Etiam poetas non ad Rhadamanti nec ad Minois, sed ad inopinati Christi tribunal palpitantes. Tunc magis tragdi audiendi magis scilicet vocales in sua propria calamitate. Tunc histriones cognoscendi solutiores multo per ignem. Tunc spectandus auriga in flammea rota totus rubens; tunc xystici contemplandi non in gymnasiis sed in igne jaculati; nisi quod ne tunc quidem illos velim visos, ut qui malim ad eos potius conspectum insatiabilem conferre qui in dominum desævierunt. Hic est ille dicam fabri aut quæstuariæ filius, sabbati destructor, Samarites et dæmonium habens. Hic est quem a Juda redemistis, hic est ille arundine et colaphis diverberatus, sputamentis dedecoratus, felle et aceto potatus. Hic est quem clam discentes subripuerunt ut resurrexisse dicatur, vel hortulanus detraxit ne lactucæ suæ frequentia commeantium læderentur. Ut talia spectes, ut talibus exultes quis tibi prætor, aut consul, aut quæstor, aut sacerdos de suâ liberalitate præstabit? Et tamen hæc jam quodammodo habemus per fide[?][?] spiritu imaginante repræsentata.' (Tertullian, De Spectac., cap. xxx.)
1:331. We shall have ample evidence of this in the next chapter. At present it is sufficient to say that the use of the slow fire in burning heretics was in many districts habitual. In that curious book, the Scaligerana (a record of the conversation of Joseph Scaliger, by an intimate friend who lived in his house), we have a horrible description of one of these executions in Guienne: 'J'avois environ seize ans que je vis brusler un Jacobin qui fermoit la bouche aux Papistes: on le dégrada et on le brusla à petit feu, le liant avec des cordes mouillées par les aisselles près la potence, et là on mettoit le feu dessous tellement qu'il estoit demy consumé avant qu'il rut mort.' (Art. Heretici. See, too, art. Sorciers.) See, too, Cousin's account of the execution of Vanini.
1:332. In cases of heresy and treason, but the first were of course by far the most common. As one of the old authorities on the subject says: 'In crimine hæresis omnes illi torquendi sunt qui in crimine læsæ majestatis humanæ torqueri possunt; quia longe gravius est divinum quam temporalem lædere majestatem, ac proinde nobiles, milites, decuriones, doctores, et omnes qui quantâlibet prærogativâ præfulgent in crimine hæresis et in crimine læsæ majestatis humanæ torqueri possunt ... quo fit quod minores viginti quinque annis propter suspicionem hæresis et læsæ majestatis torqueri possunt, minores etiam quatuordecem annis terreri et habenâ vel ferulâ cædi.' (Suarez de Paz, Praxis Ecclesistica et Scularis , p. 158.)
2:332. The extraordinary ingenuity of the mediæval tortures, and the extent to which they were elaborated by the clergy, is well shown in an article on torture by Villegille, in Lacroix, Le Moyen Age et la Renaissance (Paris, 1848), tom iii. The original works on the subject are very numerous, and possess a great but painful interest. Perhaps the fullest is Marsilius' (a lawyer of Bologna) Tractatus de Quæstionibus (1529 and 1537 -- both editions in black letter). Marsilius boasted that he was the inventor of the torture that consisted of depriving the prisoner of all sleep a torture which was especially used in the States of the Church: 'In Statu Ecclesiastico hi duo modi magis in usu sunt, ut et tormentum taxillorum, et vigiliæ per somni subtractionem, quem modum invenisse asserit Marsilius.' (Chartario Praxis Interrogandum Reorum [Romæ, 1618], p. 198.) Besides these works, there are full accounts of the nature of the tortures in Simancas' De Catholicis Institutionibus, Eymericus' Directorium Inquisitorum, and many other works to which they refer.
1:333. On the extent to which it was employed by the Catholics, under Mary, in the trials of Protestants, see Strutt's Manners of the English People, vol. iii. p. 46; and on the extent to which it was employed by Protestants in the trials of Catholic priests, see Hallam, Const. Hist. (ed. 1827), vol. i. p. 159; and the evidence collected in Milner's Letters to a Prebendary. Bishops Grindal and Coxe suggested the application of torture to the Catholic priests. (Froude, Hist., vol. vii. pp. 418, 419.) See, too, Barrington On the Statutes, pp. 80, and 440, 441.
2:333. The suppression of one department of torture was effected in France as early as 1780, and was one of the measures of refom conceded to the revolutionary party. All torture, however, was not abolished till the Revolution was actually triumphant, and the abolition was one of the first acts of the democrats. (See Loiseleur, Sur les Pienes.) Besides the essays of Montaigne, torture was denounced in the Sagesse of Charron, in the Contrains-les Entrer of Bayle, and in many parts of the writings of Voltaire (see, e. g., art. Torture, in Phil. Dict.) and his contemporaries.
1:334. Buckle's Hist., vol. ii. p. 140, note. Luis Vires, a rather famous Spanish philosopher, in his Annotations to St. Augustine, had protested against torture as early as the first half of the sixteenth century. His opinions on this subject were vehemently denounced by a bishop named Simancas, in a very remarkable book called De Catholicis Institutionibus ad prcavendas et extirvandas Hæreses (1569), to which I shall have occasion hereafter to refer. Simaucas observes that 'Inquisitores Apostolici sæpissime reos torquere solent;' he defends the practice with great energy, on the authority of theologians; and he gives a very vivid description of different modes of torture the Inquisitors employed in their dealings with heretics (pp. 297-309.) See also, on this horrible subject, Llorente, Hist. of the Inquisition. Simancas notices that, in other countries, criminals were in his day tortured in public, but in Spain in secret (p. 305).
2:334. On the influence of Beccaria, see Loiseleur, pp. 335-338. Morellet's translation passed through seven editions in six months.
1:335. There is, perhaps, one exception to this. Beccaria grounded much of his reasoning on the doctrine of the social compact. I cannot, however, think that this argument had much influence in producing the change.
2:335. It is worthy of notice that St. Augustine perceived very clearly the evil of torture, and stated the case against it with his usual force and terseness: 'Cum quæritur utrum sit nocens cruciatur et innocens luit pro incerto scelere certissimas pnas' (De Civ. Dei, lib. xix. cap. 6); but he concluded that it was necessary.
1:336. The tendency of all penal systems constructed under the influence of the clergy to make the legal code coextensive with the moral code, and to make punishments as much as possible of the nature of expiation, is well known. As a modern instance of this, Sweden is perhaps the most remarkable. See the striking book of Mr. Laing, upon its present condition.
1:341. This theory is developed in the Phdon. The Greeks had an extreme fear of the dead, and consequently a strong predisposition to see ghosts.
2:341. 'Not one of them (the early Fathers) entertained the same opinion as the majority of Christians do at the present day, that the soul is perfectly simple, and entirely destitute of all body, figure, form, and extension. On the contrary, they all acknowledge it to contain something corporeal, although of a different kind and nature from the bodies of this mortal sphere. But yet they are divided into two opinions. For some contend that there are two things in the soul -- spirit, and a very thin and subtle body in which this spirit is clothed.... Those who follow Plato and the Platonists (i. e. Clement, Origen, and their disciples), adopt the Platonic doctrine respecting the soul also, and pronounce it to be most simple in itself, but yet always invested with a subtle body. But the others, who keep far aloof from Plato, and consider his philosophy to be prejudicial to Christian principles, repudiate this doctrine of his as well, and maintain that the soul altogether is nothing more than a most subtle body.... They very frequently assail the Platonists with bitter invectives, for inculcating that the soul is of a nature most simple, and devoid of all concretion.' -- Note by Mosheim to Cudworth's Intell. System (Harrison's ed.), vol. iii. p. 325. Mr. Hallam says: 'The Fathers, with the exception, perhaps the single one, of Augustine, had taught the corporeity of the thinking substance.' (Hist. of Lit.)
1:342. Cudworth, vol. iii. p. 318. The same Father based his doctrine of the soul in a great measure on apparitions. (Ibid. p. 330.)
2:342. 'Corporalitas animæ in ipso evangelio relucebit. Dolet apud inferos anima cujusdam, et punitur in flammâ et cruciatur in linguâ et de digito animæ felicioris implorat solatium roris.' -- Tertullian, De Anima, cap. vii.
3:342. Ibid. cap. ix. I should mention that this book was written after Tertullian had become a Montanist, but there is no reason to believe that this had anything to say to his psychology.
1:343. See on this subject Maury, Légendes Pieuses, pp. 125-127.
2:343. Maury, Légendes Pieuses, p. 124. There is an example of this in the Triumph of Death, by Orcagna, at Pisa. In the Greek churches the souls of the blessed were sometimes represented as little children clasped in the mighty hand of God. (Didron, Iconographie, p. 216.)
2:344. See Schmidt, Études sur le Mysticisme Allemand du XIVe Siècle, in the Mémoires des Sciences Morales et Politiques de l'Institut de France, tom, ii.
3:344. The following passage from Vives is interesting both as giving a concise view of the notions prevailing about spontaneous generation, and on account of the very curious notion in it about mice: 'De viventibus alia generationem habent spontaneum, ut muscæ, culices, formicæ, apes: quæ nec sexum ullum habent. Alia ex commixtione sexuum prodeunt, ut homo, equus, canis, leo. Sunt quæ ambiguam habent procreationem, ut mures; nam eorum alii ex sordibus sine concubitu, alii ex coneubitu proveniunt.' (De Anima, lib. i.) Van Helmont, as is well known, gave a receipt [sic: recipe?] for producing mice. St. Augustine, after taking great pains to solve different objections to the goodness of Providence, oddly enough selects the existence of mice as an impenetrable one which faith alone can grasp: 'Ego veto fateor me nescire mures et ranæ quare creati sunt aut muscæ, aut vermiculæ.' (De Genesi contra Manichæos, c. xvi.)
1:345. Thus, Melanchthon deals, in a tone of the most absolute assurance, with the great question of the cause of the difference of sex: 'Mares nascuntur magis in dextrâ parte matricis, et a semine quod magis dextro testiculo oritur. Fmellæ in sinistrâ matricis parte nascuntur.' Melanchthon, De Anima, p. 420.
1:346. The sharp line Descartes tried to draw between the body and the soul explains his doctrine of animals, which has often been grossly misunderstood. Thought, he contended, is the essence of the soul, and all that is not thought (as life and sensibility) is of the body. In denying that brutes had souls, he denied them the power of thought, but left them all besides. This distinction in its full rigidity would now be maintained by very few; and Stahl gave psychology an impulse in quite another direction by his doctrine (which seems to have been that of Aristotle), that the soul includes the vital principle -- all that separates living from dead bodies. He thus founded the psychology of animals, and in a great measure fused psychology and medicine. There is a clear statement on this point in Maine de Biran, Nouveaux Rapports Physiques et Morales. There is at present a remarkable revival of the doctrine of Stahl in France in the writings of Tissot, Boullier, Charles, and Lemoine.
2:346. A doctrine, however, something like that of the old Fathers, but applied to the bodies of the blessed, has been lately advocated in two very ingenious American books -- Hitchcock's Religion of Geology, and Lectures on the Seasons. The author has availed himself of Reichenbach's theories of 'odic light,' &c.
3:346. Descartes himself gives us the opinion of his contemporaries on the subject: 'Bien que la commune opinion des théologiens soit que les damnés sont tourmentés par le feu des enfers, néanmoins leur sentiment n'est pas pour cela qu'ils sont deçus par une fausse idée que Dieu leur a imprimée, d'un feu qui les consume, mais plutôt qu'ils sont véritablement tourmentés par le fen; parceque "comme l'esprit d'un homme vivant, bien qu'il ne soit pas corporel, est néanmoins détenu dans le corps, ainsi Dieu par sa toute-puissance peut aisément faire qu'il souffre les atteintes du feu corporel après la mort."' (Réponses aux Sixième Objections.)
4:346. This was, as far as I know, the last of the great controversies concerning the locality of hell -- a question which had once excited great attention. The common opinion, which St. Thomas had sanctioned, was that it was in the centre of the earth. Whiston, however, who denied the eternity of punishment, contended that it was the tail of a comet; while Swinden (whose book seems to have made a considerable sensation, and was translated into French) strenuously contended that it was the sun. According to Plancy (Dict. Infernal, art. Enfer), some early theologians not only held this, but explained the spots in the sun by the multitude of the souls.
1:349. Barrington, On the Statutes (London, 1769), p. 461.
2:349. Sir Thomas More, in his Utopia (book i.), gives a frightful description of the misery and the crimes resulting from the ejectments necessitated by this change. He speaks of twenty men hung on one gibbet.
1:350. Barrington, pp. 461, 462.
3:350. Barrington says this was the case when he wrote, which was in 1766.
4:350. He asks 'whether we may not, as well as other nations, contrive employment for our criminals; and whether servitude, chains, and hard labour for a term of years, would not be a more discouraging as well as a more adequate punishment for felons than even death itself.' (Querist, No. 54.)
5:350. See Romilly's Life for many statistics on the subject.