History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe
by W. E. H. Lecky
Footnotes to Chapter IV.
1:66. Bayle, who was a great coward about his books, published this under the title 'Contrains-les d'entrer, traduit de l'Anglois du Sieur Jean Fox de Bruggs, par M. J. F.: à Cantorberry, chez Thomas Litwel.'
2:66. See, for a full development of this, ch. i.
1:67. 'Sans exception il faut soumettre toutes les lois morales à cette idée naturelle d'équité qui, aussi bien que la lumière métaphysique, illumine tout homme venant au monde.' And therefore he concludes 'que tout dogme particulier, soit qu'on l'avance comme contenu dans l'Ecriture, soit qu'on le propose autrement, est faux lorsqu'il est refuté par les notions claires et distinctes de la lumiére naturelle, principalement à l'égard de la morale.' (ch. i.)
1:68. 'Tout homme aiant éprouvé qu'il est sujet à l'erreur, et qu'il voit ou croit voir en vieillissant la fausseté de plusieurs choses qu'il avoit cru véritables, doit être toujours disposé à écouter ceux qui lui offrent des instructions en matière même de religion. Je n'en excepte pas les Chrétiens; et je suis persuadé que s'il nous venoit une flotte de la terre Australe où il y eut des gens qui fissent connoître qu'ils souhaitoient de conférer avec nous sur la nature de Dieu et sur le culte que l'homme lui doit, aiant appris que nous avons sur cela des erreurs damnables, nous ne ferions pas mal de les écouter, non seulement parceque ce seroit le moien de les désabuser des erreurs où nous croirions qu'ils seroient, mais aussi parceque nous pourrions profiter de leurs lumières, et que nous devons nous faire de Dieu une idée si vaste et si infinie que nous pouvons soupçonner qu'il augmentera nos connoissances à l'infini, et par des degrés et des manières dont la variété sera infinie.' (Part i. c. 5.)
1:72. 'Ceux qui distinguent l'intolérance civile et l'intolérance théologique, se trompent à mon avis. Ces deux intolérances sont inséparables. Il est impossible de vivre en paix avec des gens qu'on croit damnés; les aimer seroit haïr Dieu qui les punit: il faut absolument qu'on les ramène ou qu'on les tourmente.... On doit tolérer tous les religions qui tolèrent les autres, autant que leur dogmes n'ont rien de contraire aux devoirs du citoyen; mais quiconque ose dire hors de l'Eglise point de salut, doit être chassé de l'état, à moins que l'état ne soit l'Eglise, et que le prince ne soit le pontife.' (Contrat Social, liv. iv. c. 8.)
1:75. Bull delivered at St. Maria Maggiore on the Feast of the Assumption, 1882. The whole bull is given by Lamennais, Affaires de Rome, pp. 318-357.
1:78. Religion of Protestants, p. 44 (ed. 1742).
1:79. A full description of them is given in Neal's History of the Puritans. In 1648 the Presbyterians tried to induce the Parliament to pass a law by which any one who persistently taught anything contrary to the main propositions comprised in the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation should be punished with death, and all who taught Popish, Arminian, Antinomian, Baptist, or Quaker doctrines, should be imprisoned for life, unless they could find sureties that they would teach them no more. (Neal, vol. ii. pp. 338-340.) The Scotch were unwearied in their efforts to suppress liberty of conscience, and in 1645 their Parliament addressed the English Parliament: 'The Parliament of this kingdom is persuaded that the piety and wisdom of the honourable houses will never admit toleration of any sects or schisms contrary to our solemn league and covenant;' and at the same time published a solemn 'declaration against toleration of sectaries and liberty of conscience.' (Ibid. pp. 211-222.) Among the notions started by the Anabaptists was that of a sleep of the soul between death and judgment, against which Calvin wrote a book with the barbarous title of Psychopannychia. This very harmless notion was one of those which, when obstinately persisted in, the Presbyterians of 1648 wished to punish with an indefinite period of imprisonment. (Neal, vol. ii. p. 339.)
2:79. 'Popery, Mahometanism, infidelity, and heathenism are the way to damnation; but liberty to preach up and to practise them is the means to make men Papists, Mahometans, Infidels, and Heathens; therefore this liberty is the way to men's damnation.' (Holy Commonwealth, 2d Preface.)
1:80. Political Aphorisms, 23, 24.
2:80. A System of Politics, ch. vi. Passages very similar occur in the Oceana, and, indeed, all through the writings of Harrington. The following is, I think, a very remarkable instance of political prescience: 'If it be said that in France there is liberty of conscience in part, it is also plain that while the hierarchy is standing this liberty is falling, and that if ever it comes to pull down the hierarchy, it pulls down that monarchy also. Wherefore the monarchy and hierarchy will be beforehand with it, if they see their true interest.' (System of Politics, ch. vi.)
2:81. 'Truth, indeed, came once into the world with her Divine Master, and was a perfect shape most glorious to look on; but when He ascended, and his Apostles after Him were laid asleep, then straight arose a wicked race of deceivers, who, as the story goes of the Egyptian Typhon with his conspirators, how they dealt with the good Osyris, took the virgin Truth, hewed her lovely form into a thousand pieces, and scattered them to the four winds. From that time ever since the sad friends of Truth, such as durst appear, imitating the careful search that Isis made for the mangled body of Osyris, went up and down gathering up limb and limb, still as they could find them. We have not yet found them all, Lords and Commons, nor ever shall do till her Master's second coming.' (Areopagitica.)
1:82. See his tract, Of true Religion, Heresy, Schism, Toleration, published in 1673. He does not, however, seem to have understood the Socinian heresy exactly as it is now understood.
2:82. 'As for tolerating the exercise of their (the Catholics') religion, supposing their State activities not to be dangerous, I answer that toleration is either public or private, and the exercise of their religion as far as it is idolatrous can be tolerated neither way: not publicly, without grievous and unsufferable scandal given to all conscientious beholders; not privately, without great offence to God, declared against all kind of idolatry though secret. Ezech. viii. 7, 8, and verse 12, &c.; and it appears by the whole chapter, that God was no less offended with those secret idolatries than with those in public, and no less provoked than to bring on and hasten his judgments on the whole land for them also.' (Ibid.) It is of course open to supposition, and not very improbable, that this passage, being written after the Restoration, when Catholicism had become a serious menace to the liberty of England, emanated rather from the politician than from the theologian.
3:82. Chillingworth published The Religion of Protestants in 1637, one year before he took orders -- which last step he had many scruples about.
1:83. Sec. 22. He desires that they should be absolutely tolerated, unless, indeed, they openly preach such doctrines as the non-observance of faith with heretics, or that a pope can absolve subjects from the oath of allegiance, or that an heretical prince may be slain by his people.
1:84. On which Coleridge remarks, I think, a little too severely: 'If Jeremy Taylor had not in effect retracted after the Restoration, if he had not, as soon as the Church had gained power, most basely disclaimed and disavowed the principle of toleration, and apologised for the publication by declaring it to have been a ruse de guerre, currying pardon for his past liberalism by charging, and most probably slandering, himself with the guilt of falsehood, treachery, and hypocrisy, his character as a man would have been almost stainless.' (Notes on English Divines, vol. i. p. 209.)
2:84. E. g. in Quakerism -- that strange form of distorted rationalism, which, while proclaiming doctrines absolutely subversive of national independence, and indulging in extravagances almost worthy of Bedlam, maintained in the most unequivocal language the absolute inefficiency of mere religious ceremonies, the possibility of salvation in any Church, and the injustice of every form of persecution.
1:87. His opponent was Archdeacon Proast, whose pamphlets were printed in the University.
1:89. Annuaire des Deux Mondes, 1858, p. 463. In the previous year an attempt had been made by the Government to moderate the fierce intolerance of the Swedish law; but the bill, though adopted by the Houses of the Middle Class and of the Peasants, was rejected by those of the Nobles and of the Clergy. A slight -- unfortunately very slight -- modification was effected in 1860.
1:96. This very painful recurrence, which occupies such an important place in all religious biographies, seems to be attached to an extremely remarkable and obscure department of mental phenomena, which has only been investigated with earnestness within the last few years, and which is termed by psychologists 'latent consciousness,' and by physiologists 'unconscious cerebration' or the 'reflex action of the brain.' That certain facts remain so hidden in the mind, that it is only by a strong act of volition they can be recalled to recollection, is a fact of daily experience; but it is now fully established that a multitude of events which are so completely forgotten that no effort of will can revive them, and that their statement calls up no reminiscence, may nevertheless be, so to speak, imbedded in the memory, and may be reproduced with intense vividness under certain physical conditions. This is especially the result of some diseases. Thus, e. g., there is a case on record of an ignorant woman repeating, in a delirium, certain words which were recognised as Hebrew and Chaldaic. When she returned to consciousness she knew nothing of these words, she had no notion of their meaning; and being told that they were Hebrew and Chaldaic, she could recollect no possible way in which she could have acquired them. A searching investigation into her antecedents was instituted; and it was found that when a girl she had been servant to a clergyman who was accustomed to walk up and down his passage reading those languages. The words were hidden in the mind, were reproduced by disease, and were forgotten when the disease had passed. (Carpenter, Human Physiology, p. 808.) It is said that a momentary review of numbers of long-forgotten incidents of life is the last phenomenon of consciousness before the insensibility that precedes drowning. But not only are facts retained in the memory of which we are unconscious, the mind itself is also perpetually acting -- pursuing trains of thought automatically, of which we have no consciousness. Thus it has been often observed, that a subject which at night appears tangled and confused, acquires a perfect clearness and arrangement during sleep. Thus the schoolboy knows that verses learnt by heart just before sleep are retained with much greater facility than those which are learnt at any other time. Thus, in the course of recollection, two facts will often rise in succession which appear to have no connection whatever; but a careful investigation will prove that there is some forgotten link of association which the mind had pursued, but of which we were entirely unconscious. It is in connection with these facts that we should view that reappearance of opinions, modes of thought, and emotions belonging to a former stage of our intellectual history, that is often the result of the automatical action of the mind when volition is altogether suspended. It is especially common (or, at least, especially manifest) in languor, in disease, and, above all, in sleep. M. Maury, who has investigated the subject with his usual great ability, has shown that in sleep hyperæsthesia of the memory is very common; that not only facts, but processes of thought that belong altogether to the past, are reproduced; and that a frequent dreamer will often be brought under the influence of vices in which he had once indulged, but by which in his waking hours he is rarely or never overcome. There can be little doubt that when we are actively reasoning this automatic action of the mind still continues, but the ideas and trains of thought that are thus produced are so combined and transformed by the reason, that we are unconscious of their existence. They exist nevertheless, and form (or greatly contribute to) our mental bias. It is impossible to review this most suggestive subject without suspecting that the saying, 'habit is a second nature,' represents more than a metaphor; that the reason is much more closely connected with the will than is generally imagined; and that the origin of most of those opinions we attribute to pure reasoning, is more composite than we suppose. This important subject was first incidentally pointed out by Leibnitz. After his time it seems, except in as far as it was connected with the animism of Stahl, to have been almost unnoticed till very recently. Sir W. Hamilton (in his Essays) has treated it from a psychological, and Drs. Laycock (The Brain and the Mind) and Carpenter (Human Physiology, pp. 799-819) from a medical, point of view. Mr. Morell, following in the steps of Stahl, has availed himself of it (Mental Philosophy) to explain the laws of generation, ascribing the formation of the ftus to the unconscious action of the soul; and M. Maury (Le Sommeil et les Rêves) has shown its connection with the phenomena of sleep. See, too, Tissot, Sur la Vie; and Saisset, L'Ame et la Vie.