Chap 1G: Moral Education

ARTICLE 3: Educational Institutions for People of all Ages

190 The educational institutions for people of all ages are chiefly those for religious instruction.

  • It aims to prepare them for a better world in a life to come.
    • Its teachers, like other teachers, may depend on:
      • the voluntary contributions of their students
      • a fund given by their country such as:
        • a landed estate
        • a tithe or land-tax
        • an established salary or stipend
    • Their exertion, zeal, and industry, will be much greater with voluntary contributions than a fixed fund.
  • The teachers of new religions always had a big advantage in attacking those ancient and established systems of the clergy.
    • The clergy rested on their benefices and neglected to keep up the faith and devotion in the people.
      • They turned indolent and became incapable of defending their own establishment.
      • The clergy of an established and well-endowed religion frequently become men of learning and elegance.
        • They possess all the virtues of gentlemen.
        • But they are apt to gradually lose the qualities which:
          • gave them authority and influence over the inferior ranks of people
          • was the original causes of the success and establishment of their religion
      • When such a clergy is attacked by popular and bold enthusiasts, they feel as defenceless as the indolent, effeminate, and full-fed Asian nations when they were invaded by the active, hardy, and hungry Mongols.
        • During such an emergency, such clergy can only call on the civil magistrate to persecute their adversaries as disturbers of the public peace.
          • The Roman catholic clergy called on the civil magistrates to persecute the protestants.
          • The Church of England called on the civil magistrates to persecute the dissenters.
  • In general, every religious sect which was legally secured for a century or more, could not vigorously defend itself against any new attacking sect.
    • Sometimes, the established church may have the advantage in terms of learning and good writing.
    • But the adversaries constantly have the popular advantage.
  • In England, the art of popularity was long neglected by the well-endowed clergy of the established church.
  • Popularity is presently chiefly cultivated by the dissenters and the Methodists.
  • Independent provisions were made for dissenting teachers by means of voluntary subscriptions, trust rights, and other evasions of the law.
    • Those provisions very much abated the zeal and activity of those teachers.
    • Many of them became very learned, ingenious, and respectable men.
    • But in general, they ceased to be very popular preachers.
  • The Methodists have less than half the learning of the dissenters and are much more in vogue.

191 In the Roman church, the industry and zeal of the inferior clergy are kept more alive by the powerful motive of self-interest than in the Protestant church.

  • Many of the parochial clergy derive their subsistence from the voluntary oblations of the people.
  • Confession improves this source of revenue.
    • The mendicant orders derive their whole revenue from confessions.
    • Confessions are similar to the policy of some armies: no plunder, no pay.
  • The parochial clergy are like those teachers whose reward depends on:
    • their salary
    • the fees or honoraries from their pupils
  • These must always depend on their industry and reputation.
  • The mendicant orders are like those teachers whose subsistence depends on industry.
    • They use every art to animate the devotion of common people.
  • The orders of St. Dominic and St. Francis are two great mendicant orders.
    • Machiavelli observed that their establishment in the 13th and 14th centuries revived the languishing faith and devotion of the Catholic Church.
  • In Roman Catholic countries, devotion is supported by the monks and the poorer parochial clergy.
    • They are careful to maintain the necessary discipline over their inferiors, but they seldom teach the people.

192 According to David Hume, the most illustrious philosopher and historian of the present age:

  • Most of the arts and professions in a state promote society’s interests and are also useful to some people.
  • The constant rule of the magistrate, except on the first introduction of any art, is to leave the profession to itself and trust its encouragement to the individuals who benefit from it.
  • Artisans find that their profits rise by the favour of their customers.
    • They increase their skill and industry as much as possible.
      • Their skills are always nearly proportioned to the demand, because their skills cannot be altered easily.

193 But there are also some professions which bring no advantage or pleasure to anyone.

  • The supreme power must alter its conduct with regard to those professionals.
    • It must give them public encouragement for their subsistence.
  • It must provide against negligence by:
    • annexing honours to their profession
    • establishing a long subordination of ranks and a strict dependence
    • some other expedient
  • Those employed in the finances, fleets, and magistracy are examples of such people.

194 At first sight, it may naturally be thought that ecclesiastics belong to the first class.

  • Their encouragement, as well as that of lawyers and physicians, may safely be entrusted to people who are attached to their doctrines.
  • This will undoubtedly encourage their industry and increase their skill daily from their increasing practice, study, and attention.

195 But at closer inspection, we shall find that the clergy’s interested diligence is very harmful.

  • Every wise legislator will study to prevent it.
  • It has even a natural tendency to pervert the true religion by infusing into it a strong mixture of superstition, folly, and delusion.
  • Each ghostly practitioner will inspire the most violent abhorrence of all other sects to render himself more precious and sacred.
    • He will continually endeavour to excite the languid devotion of his audience.
    • He will pay no regard to truth, morals, or decency in the doctrines inculcated.
  • The tenets which best suits his disorderly affections will be adopted.
  • Customers will be drawn to religious gatherings which address the passions and credulity of people.
  • In the end, the civil magistrate will realize his big mistake in creating a fixed establishment for the priests.
    • In reality, he can most decently amend such a situation by bribing the priests’ indolence by:
      • assigning them stated salaries
      • rendering it superfluous for them to be more active than preventing their flock from straying to new pastures
  • In this way, ecclesiastical establishments become advantageous to the political interests of society in the end.

196 But whatever were the effects of the provision of the clergy, they perhaps were unintentional.

  • Times of violent religious controversy were generally times of violent political faction.
  • On such occasions, each political party found or imagined it for its interest to be allies with the contending religious sects.
  • This could be done only by adopting or favouring the tenets of that sect.
  • The sect necessarily shared in the victory of its ally over its enemies.
  • Those enemies of the sect were therefore also the enemies of that party.
  • The clergy of this winning sect would become complete masters of the field.
    • Their influence and authority with the people would be at its highest.
  • They would be powerful enough:
    • to over-awe the leaders of their own party
    • to oblige the civil magistrate to respect their opinions and inclinations
  • Their first demand was generally that the civil magistrate should silence and subdue their adversaries.
    • Their second demand was that he should bestow an independent provision on themselves.
      • Since they contributed to the victory, it seemed reasonable that they should share in the spoil.
      • They were weary of humouring and depending on the people for subsistence.
      • In making this demand, they consulted their own ease and comfort without foreseeing its effect on the influence and authority of their order.
      • The civil magistrate was seldom very forward to grant it.
        • Necessity always forced him to submit after many delays, evasions, and excuses.

197 If politics never called in the help of religion, it would probably have dealt equally and impartially with all the different sects.

  • The conquering party would have allowed every man to choose his own priest and religion.
  • There would have been many religious sects.
  • Almost every congregation would make a little sect in itself with its own tenets.
  • Each teacher would feel the need to preserve and increase the number of his disciples.
  • Because of the competition, no single teacher would have very great success.
  • The interested and active zeal of religious teachers can be dangerous and troublesome only when:
    • only one sect is tolerated
    • the society is divided into two or three great sects
    • the teachers of each sect act in concert and under a regular discipline and subordination
  • But that zeal must be innocent when the society is divided into thousands of small sects.
  • No one could be big enough to disturb the public peace.
  • The teachers of each sect would have more enemies than friends.
    • They would be forced to have that candour and moderation not found in great sects.
  • The tenets of those great sects are supported by the civil magistrate.
    • They are venerated by all who see no other alternative.
  • The teachers of each little sect would find themselves alone.
    • They would be forced to respect other sects and make mutually convenient and agreeable concessions to one another.
  • In time, it would probably reduce their doctrine to that pure and rational religion, free from absurdity, imposture, or fanaticism, which wise men throughout history wished to see established.
    • This ideal religion perhaps never will be established in any country because positive law was always and will be influenced by popular superstition and enthusiasm.
  • The sect called Independents was a sect of very wild enthusiasts.
    • Towards the end of the civil war, they proposed a non-ecclesiastical government to be established in England.
    • If it were established, by this time it would probably have produced philosophical good temper and moderation in religion despite having very unphilosophical origins.
  • It was established in Pennsylvania.
    • The law there favours no single sect despite having the most numerous Quakers.
    • It has produced this philosophical good temper and moderation.

198 Though this equality of treatment should not produce this good temper and moderation in most religious sects, the excessive zeal of each sect would not produce harmful effects if:

  • those sects were sufficiently numerous
  • each of them were consequently too small to disturb the public peace

It would produce several good effects.

  • If the government left them alone and obliged them to leave each other alone, they would naturally subdivide themselves fast enough to become sufficiently numerous.

199 In every civilized society which has the distinction of ranks, there were always two schemes or systems of morality.

  • The strict or austere
    • This is generally admired and revered by the common people.
  • The liberal or loose system
    • The loose is commonly more esteemed and adopted by people of fashion.
  • The vices of levity is apt to arise from great prosperity and leads to the excess of gaiety and good humour.
    • Our disapproval of levity is the principal distinction between those two opposite systems.
  • In the loose system, the following are generally treated with much indulgence and are easily excused or pardoned:
    • luxury
    • wanton and even disorderly amusement
    • the less-restrained pursuit of pleasure
    • the breach of chastity which do not lead to gross indecency, falsehood or injustice
  • In the strict system, those excesses are extremely abhorred and detested.
  • The vices of levity are always ruinous to common people
    • A single week’s thoughtlessness and dissipation is often sufficient to:
      • undo a poor workman forever
      • drive him to commit enormous crimes
  • Wise common people always abhor and detest such excesses.
    • Their experience reminds them of its immediate fatality to people of their condition.
  • On the contrary, the disorder and extravagance of several years will not always ruin a man of fashion.
    • Those people consider excess as their advantage and looseness as one of the privileges of their fortune.
    • They regard such excesses with a slight disapproval.

200 Almost all religious sects began among the common people from whom they drew their earliest and most numerous proselytes.

  • The austere system of morality was adopted by those sects.
    • It best recommend their reformation plan to those common people.
  • Most of them gained credit by refining this austere system to the point of folly.
    • This excessive rigour gave them more of the respect and veneration of the common people.

201 A man of rank and fortune is a distinguished member of a great society.

  • Society attends to every part of his conduct.
    • It obliges him to attend to his own conduct himself.
  • His authority and consideration depend very much on the respect of his society.
    • He dares not do anything which would disgrace or discredit him.
    • He is obliged to strictly observe the moral system approved by his society for persons of his rank and fortune.
  • On the contrary, a man of low condition is not distinguished in any great society.
    • While he remains in a country village, his conduct may be attended to, and he may be obliged to attend to it himself.
    • In this situation only does he have a character to lose.
    • But as soon as he comes into a great city he is sunk in obscurity and darkness.
      • No one observes or attends to his conduct.
      • He will very likely neglect it himself and abandon himself to vice.
      • He never emerges from this obscurity until he becomes a member of a small religious sect.
        • He then acquires some consideration he never had before.
        • All his fellow sect members are interested to observe his conduct.
        • He is liable to be punished or expelled from the sect if he enters any scandal.
  • In little religious sects, the morals of common people were always remarkably regular and orderly.
    • The morals of those little sects were generally more regular than in the established church but were frequently disagreeably rigorous and unsocial.

202 There are two very easy and effective remedies the state might use, to correct, without violence, the  unsocial or disagreeably rigorous morals of such little sects.

203 The first remedy is the study of science and philosophy.

  • The state could make it universal among all people of middling rank and fortune:
    • by instituting a probation for anyone who:
      • wished to exercise any liberal profession
      • wished to be a candidate for any honourable office of trust or profit
  • If the state imposed education on people of the middling rank learning, it would have no problem providing them with proper teachers.
    • The people would soon find better teachers than what the state could provide.
  • “Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition;”
    • If science were kept away from the superior ranks of people, the inferior ranks could not be much exposed to it.

204 The second remedy is the frequency and gaiety of public diversions.

  • The state could easily dissipate the gloom which nurse popular superstition by encouraging proper public amusement through:
    • painting, poetry, music, dancing
    • dramatic representations and exhibitions
  • Public diversions were always hated by all the fanatical promoters of those popular frenzies.
  • The good humour inspired by those diversions were inconsistent with that mental temper fittest for superstitions or which those promoters could best work on.
    • Dramatic representations frequently exposed those promoters to public ridicule.

205 In a country where the law did not favour any single religion, it would be unnecessary for any religion to be dependent on the executive power.

  • The sovereign would not appoint or dismiss them from their offices.
    • His only concern would be to maintain the peace among religions as with among the citizens.
  • It is opposite in countries which have a state religion.
    • The sovereign can only be secure if he can influence the teachers of that religion.

206 “The clergy of every established church constitute a great incorporation.”

  • They can act in concert and pursue their interest with one plan and one spirit, as if they were directed by one man.
  • Their interest as an incorporated body is never the same with that of the sovereign.
    • It is sometimes directly opposite to it.
  • Their great interest is to maintain their authority with the people.
    • This authority depends on the importance of the doctrine they inculcate for avoiding eternal misery.
  • Should the sovereign deride or doubt their doctrine or protect those who doubted or derided their doctrine, the independent clergy will immediately proscribe him as a profane person.
    • They will employ all the terrors of religion to oblige the people to ally themselves to a more orthodox and obedient prince.
  • The princes who have dared to rebel against the church would be charged with rebellion and heresy.
  • “But the authority of religion is superior to every other authority.”
    • “The fears which it suggests conquer all other fears.”
  • When the religious teachers propagate subversive doctrines to the people, the sovereign can only maintain his authority through a standing army.
    • Even a standing army cannot give him any lasting security.
      • The soldiers are usually drawn from the people.
        • They can be soon corrupted by those very doctrines.
  • The precarious rule of the sovereign who is unable to influence the clergy of the state religion is proven by:
    • the revolutions continually caused by the Greek clergy at Constantinople
    • the convulsions continually created by the Roman clergy in Europe

207 Articles of faith and all other spiritual matters are not within the department of a temporal sovereign.

  • He is seldom qualified for instructing spiritual matters to the people.
  • His authority on such matters can seldom be sufficient to counterbalance the united authority of the established church.
  • The public peace and his own security frequently depends on the doctrines of the church.
  • He should be able to influence their decisions because he can seldom directly oppose them.
    • He can influence it only by the fears and expectations which he may excite in the church:
      • The fear of deprivation or other punishments
      • The expectation of further preferment

208 In all Christian churches, the benefices of the clergy are freeholds which they enjoy during life or good behaviour.

  • They could never maintain their authority with the people if they could be removed for every slight disobligation of the sovereign or his ministers.
    • The people would see them as mercenary dependents of the court and would have no confidence in their instructions.
  • If the sovereign attempts irregularly, by violence, to deprive any clergymen of their freeholds because of propagating some seditious doctrine, he would only render the clergy and their doctrine ten times more popular.
    • They would be therefore 10 times more troublesome and dangerous than before.
  • In almost all cases, fear is a wretched instrument of government.
    • It should never be employed against anyone who desires independence.
    • Terrifying them only irritates their bad humour.
    • It will strengthen their opposition which more gentle usage might soften or eliminate.
  • The violence of the French government to force their parliaments or courts of justice to enact any unpopular law, very seldom succeeded.
  • The means commonly employed, however, the imprisonment of all the refractory members, one would think were forcible enough.
  • The princes of the house of Stewart sometimes used similar means to influence the English parliament.
    • They generally found them equally stubborn.
  • The English parliament is now managed in another way.
  • The Duke of Choiseul made a very small experiment about 12 years ago on the Paris parliament.
    • He demonstrated that all French parliaments could be managed more easily.
    • That experiment was not pursued.
  • Management and persuasion are always the safest instruments of governments.
    • Force and violence are the most dangerous.
    • But man’s natural insolence makes him always disdain the good instrument except when he cannot use the bad one.
  • The French government could use force.
    • It therefore disdained to use management and persuasion.
  • I believe that there is no order of men upon whom it is so dangerous, or rather so perfectly ruinous, to employ force and violence, as upon the respected clergy of any established church.
    • The rights, privileges, and personal liberty of every clergy member are more respected than those of any person of equal rank and fortune even in the most despotic governments.
    • This is true in all degrees of despotism, from the gentle government of Paris to the violent government of Constantinople.
    • Though this order of men can scarce ever be forced, they may be managed as easily as any other.
      • The sovereign’s security and the public peace depends very much on how the sovereign manages them.
  • Those means consist in the preferment which he has to bestow upon them.

209 In the ancient constitution of the Christian church, the bishop of each diocese was elected by the joint votes of:

  • the clergy
  • the people of the episcopal city

The people did not long retain their right of election.

  • When they had it, they almost always acted under the influence of the clergy who were their guides in spiritual matters.
    • The clergy soon grew weary of managing them.
    • They found it easier to elect their own bishops themselves in the same way, the abbot was elected by the monks of the monastery.
  • All the inferior ecclesiastical benefices comprehended within the diocese were collated by the bishop.
    • He bestowed them on such ecclesiastics as he thought proper.
  • “All church preferments were in this manner in the disposal of the church.”
    • The sovereign might have some indirect influence in those elections but he had no direct means of managing the clergy.
    • The ambition of every clergyman naturally led him to court his own order more than the sovereign.

210 Through most of Europe, the Pope gradually drew to himself:

  1. First, the Consistorial benefices
    1. These were a collation of the territories of bishops and abbies
  2. Afterwards, most of the inferior benefices within each diocese.
  • Only what was barely necessary was left to the bishop to give him a decent authority over his own clergy.
    • This arrangement worsened the condition of the sovereign than before.
  • Europe clergy formed into a spiritual army which could be now be directed by one head on one plan.
    • The clergy of each country was a detachment of that army.
    • Its operations could easily be supported by other detachments around it.
  • Each detachment was independent of the sovereign who maintained it.
  • Each depended on the foreign sovereign in the Pope.
  • He could at any time turn it against each sovereign, supported by the other detachments.

211 Those arms were most formidable.

  • Before the establishment of arts and manufactures in ancient Europe, the clergy’s wealth gave them the same influence over the common people as those of the great barons had over their respective vassals, tenants, and retainers.
  • The mistaken piety of princes and private persons bestowed on the church the great landed estates.
    • With those estates came the same jurisdictions as those of the great barons, and for the same reason.
    • In those great landed estates, the clergy or their bailiffs, could easily keep the peace without the king’s support.
    • No one could keep the peace without the clergy’s support.
  • The clergy’s jurisdictions in their particular baronies were equally independent.
    • They were equally exclusive of the authority of the king’s courts, as those of the great temporal lords.
  • The clergy’s tenants were like the tenants of the great barons.
    • They were almost all tenants at will and entirely dependent.
    • They could be called out to fight in any quarrel which the clergy engaged them in.
  • In addition to the rents of those estates, the clergy possessed a very large portion of the rents of all the other estates in every European kingdom in the tithes.
    • Most of the revenues from both rents were paid in kind, in corn, wine, cattle poultry, etc.
    • The quantity greatly exceeded what the clergy could themselves consume.
    • There were no arts nor manufactures which they could exchange for their surplus.
      • The clergy could only derive advantage from this immense surplus by employing it as the great barons employed their like surplus.
        • They used it in the most profuse hospitality and extensive charity.
        • The ancient clergy’s hospitality and charity was very great.
          • They maintained:
            • The poor of every kingdom
            • Many knights and gentlemen who travelled from monastery to monastery for subsistence under pretence of devotion
  • The retainers of some prelates were as many as those of the greatest lay-lords.
    • The retainers of all the clergy combined were perhaps more numerous than those of all the lay-lords.
    • “There was always much more union among the clergy than among the lay-lords.”
  • The clergy were under a regular discipline and subordination to the papal authority.
    • The lay lords were under no regular discipline or subordination.
      • They were always jealous of one another and the king.
  • The union of the tenants and retainers of the clergy would have made them more formidable than those of the great lay lords even if they were fewer.
  • The hospitality and charity of the clergy gave them the command of a great temporal force.
    • It increased very much the weight of their spiritual weapons.
    • Those virtues procured the clergy the highest respect and veneration of the poor who were fed by them.
    • The possessions, privileges, doctrines of the clergy appeared sacred to the common people that their violation became the most wicked act.
  • In this state, the sovereign frequently found it difficult to resist the confederacy of a few great nobles.
    • He found it more difficult to resist the united force of the clergy in his own dominions who were supported by the clergy of neighbouring dominions.
    • We may wonder how he ever was able to resist the clergy in such circumstances.

212 The privileges of the clergy in those ancient times appear most absurd to us today.

  • For example, the benefit of the clergy is their total exemption from the secular jurisdiction in England.
    • It was the natural consequences of the state of things then.
  • How dangerous must it have been for the sovereign to punish a clergyman who was considered sacred?
    • The sovereign could only leave him to be tried by the ecclesiastical courts.
    • To protect the honour of their own order, those courts would be interested to restrain their members from committing enormous crimes.

213 Around the 10th-13th centuries in Europe, the constitution of the Roman church may be considered as the most formidable combination ever formed against the authority and security of civil government.

  • It is also against the liberty, reason, and happiness of mankind, which can flourish only where civil government is able to protect them.
  • In that constitution, the grossest superstitions were supported by the private interests of so many people.
    • This kept them safe from the assault of human reason.
    • Though human reason might have been able to unveil some of the delusions of superstition, it could never have dissolved the ties of private interest.
    • Had this constitution been attacked by only by the feeble efforts of human reason, it must have endured forever.
  • But that immense and well-built fabric which could never be shaken by all human wisdom and virtue was naturally weakened and then destroyed in some parts.
    • It is now likely to crumble entirely perhaps within a few more centuries.

214 The gradual improvements of arts, manufactures, and commerce which destroyed the power of the great barons destroyed the whole temporal power of the clergy in Europe.

  • In the produce of arts, manufactures, and commerce, the clergy, like the great barons, found something for which they could exchange their rude produce.
    • They discovered the means of spending their whole revenues on their own persons without sharing with other people.
    • Their charity became gradually less extensive and their hospitality less profuse.
    • Their retainers became fewer and dwindled away.
  • The clergy, like the great barons, wished to get more rent from their landed estates to have more to spend for their own private vanity and folly.
    • But this rent increase could only be got by granting leases to their tenants, who became independent.
  • In this manner, the ties of interest which bound the inferior ranks of people to the clergy were gradually broken and dissolved.
    • They were even broken and dissolved sooner than those which bound the same people to the great barons.
  • Most church benefices were much smaller than the estates of the great barons.
    • The possessor of each benefice was able to spend its revenue on himself much sooner.
  • During the 14th and 15th centuries, the power of the great barons was in full vigour in most of Europe.
    • But the temporal power of the clergy over the people was very much decayed.
    • By that time, the power of the church was very nearly reduced in Europe to what arose from her spiritual authority.
      • Even that spiritual authority was much weakened when it ceased to be supported by the charity and hospitality of the clergy.
  • The poor no longer looked on the clergy as the comforters of their distress and the relievers of their indigence.
    • They were provoked and disgusted by the vanity, luxury, and expence of the richer clergy.

215 In this situation, the European sovereigns endeavoured to recover the influence they once had in the disposal of the great benefices of the church.

  • They procured to the deans and chapters of each diocese the restoration of their ancient right of electing the bishop, and to the monks of each abbacy that of electing the abbot.
  • The re-establishing of this ancient order was the object of several statutes enacted during the 14th century.
    • Particularly, it was the object of the statute of provisors in England and the Pragmatic sanction established in France in the 15th century.
  • To render the election valid, it was necessary that the sovereign should:
    • consent to it beforehand
    • approve of the person elected
  • Though the election was still free, he had all the indirect means of influencing the clergy.
  • Before the reformation, the pope’s power in the collation of the great church benefices was most effectively and universally restrained in France and England.
    • In the 16th century, the Concordat gave French kings the absolute right of presenting to all the consistorial benefices of the Gallican church.

216 Since the establishment of the Pragmatic sanction and of the Concordat, the French clergy were shown less respect to the decrees of the papal court than the clergy of any other Catholic country.

  • In all the disputes which their sovereign has had with the pope, they have almost constantly taken side with the sovereign.
  • This independence of the French clergy on the Roman court was principally founded on the Pragmatic sanction and the Concordat.
  • In the earlier monarchies, the French clergy was as much devoted to the pope as any foreign clergy.
  • Robert was the second prince of the Capetian race.
    • When he was most unjustly excommunicated by the Roman court, his servants threw the victuals to the dogs.
    • They refused to taste anything he touched.
    • The clergy presumably taught them to do so.

217 The claim of collating to the great benefices of the church was a claim frequently shook and sometimes overturned by the Roman court.

  • In this manner, some of the greatest Christian sovereigns were restrained, modified, or given up in Europe even the reformation.
  • The clergy had now less influence over the people, so the state had more influence over the clergy.
  • The clergy had less power and less inclination to disturb the state.

218 The authority of the Roman church was declining when the disputes which gave birth to the reformation began in Germany and soon spread throughout Europe.

  • The new doctrines were very popular everywhere.
  • They were propagated with all that enthusiastic zeal which commonly animates the spirit of party when it attacks established authority.
  • The teachers of those doctrines were perhaps not more learned than the divines who defended the established church.
    • They in general were better acquainted with:
      • ecclesiastical history
      • the origin and progress of the opinions on which the authority of the church was established
    • They thereby had some advantage in every dispute.
    • The austerity of their manners gave them authority with the common people.
    • The people contrasted the strict regularity of their conduct with the disorderly lives of their own clergy.
    • They had more popularity and arts in gaining proselytes than their adversaries.
      • The church had long neglected those arts as useless.
  • The reason of the new doctrines recommended them to some people.
    • Their novelty recommended them to many people.
    • The hatred for the established clergy recommended them to even more people.
    • The zealous, passionate, and fanatical, though rustic, eloquence recommended them to the most people.

219 The success of the new doctrines was almost so great everywhere that the princes who were on bad terms with the Roman court were able to overturn the church in their own dominions.

  • The church, which lost the respect and veneration of the inferior ranks of people, could not resist.
  • The Roman court was disobliged with the smaller princes in northern Germany.
    • It probably considered them too insignificant to be worth managing.
  • They universally established the reformation in their own dominions.
  • The tyranny of Christiern II and of Troll, the Archbishop of Upsala, enabled Gustavus Vasa to expel them both from Sweden.
    • The pope favoured the tyrant and the archbishop.
    • Gustavus Vasa easily established the reformation in Sweden.
    • Christiern II was afterwards deposed from the Danish throne where his conduct made him as odious as in Sweden.
    • The pope still favoured him.
    • Frederic of Holstein took the throne and followed the example of Gustavus Vasa.
  • The magistrates of Berne and Zurich had no quarrel with the pope.
    • They established the reformation in their respective cantons very easily.
  • Some of the clergy in those cantons rendered the whole order odious and contemptible.

220 In this critical situation, the papal court was at pains to cultivate the friendship of the powerful French and Spanish sovereigns.

  • At that time, the Spanish king was the Emperor of Germany.
  • With their assistance, they were able to suppress or obstruct the progress of the reformation in their dominions with great difficulty and bloodshed.
  • It was well enough inclined to be complaisant to the king of England.
    • But it offended a greater sovereign, Charles V, king of Spain and emperor of Germany.
  • Henry VIII did not embrace most of the doctrines of the reformation.
    • Yet the prevalence of the reformation enabled him to:
      • suppress all the monasteries
      • abolish the authority of the Roman church in his dominions
  • The patrons of the reformation were somewhat satisfied that he went so far but not any further.
    • They possessed the government in the reign of his son and successor.
    • Without any difficulty, they completed the work which Henry VIII begun.

221 In some countries where the government was weak, unpopular, and not firmly established, as in Scotland, the reformation was strong enough to overturn the church and the state which supported the church.

222 There was no general tribunal among the followers of the reformation in Europe like that of the court of Rome or an ecumenical council which could settle disputes.

  • Disputes between the followers of the reformation in different countries could never be decided.
    • Many disputes arose among them.
  • The most interesting were about the government of the church and the right of conferring ecclesiastical benefices.
    • These gave birth to the Lutheran and Calvinistic sects, the two principal parties of the reformation.

223 The Lutherians and the Church of England:

  • preserved the episcopal government
  • established subordination among the clergy
  • gave the sovereign the disposal of all the bishoprics and other consistorial benefices within his dominions
  • made the sovereign the real head of the church
  • favoured and admitted the right of presentation in the sovereign and all lay patrons, without depriving the bishop his right of collating the smaller benefices within his diocese.

From the beginning, this system of church government was favourable to peace, order, and submission to the civil sovereign.

  • The Church of England always valued herself on the unexceptionable loyalty of her principles.
  • Under such a government, the clergy naturally endeavour to recommend themselves to the sovereign, the court, and the nobility.
    • They court those patrons:
      • sometimes by vile flattery
      • frequently by cultivating those arts gain them the esteem of people of rank and fortune by:
        • their useful and ornamental knowledge
        • the decent liberality of their manners
        • the social good humour of their conversation
        • their contempt of the hypocritical austerities which fanatics inculcate and pretend to practise, so that:
          • the clergy will be venerated
          • the common people will abhor the men of rank and fortune who do not practise austerities
    • Such a clergy are very apt to neglect their influence and authority over people of lower ranks.
    • They are listened to, esteemed, and respected by their superiors.
      • But before their inferiors, they are frequently incapable of effectively defending their own moderate doctrines against the attacks of the most ignorant enthusiast.

224 The Calvinists [“followers of Zuinglius”], on the contrary:

  • granted to the people of each parish the right of electing their own pastor
    • The right of elections only caused disorder and confusion.
    • It corrupted the morals of the clergy and the people.
  • established perfect equality among the clergy, which then produced perfectly agreeable effects.

225 As long as the people could elect their own pastors, they were under the influence of the clergy’s most fanatical.

  • The clergy became fanatics to preserve their influence in those popular elections.
    • They preferred the most fanatical candidate.
  • A small matter as the appointment of a parish priest frequently created a violent contest in all neighbouring parishes which  joined the quarrel.
    • When the parish was in a great city, it divided all the people into two parties.
      • When that city was a city-state or a capital of a small republic like Switzerland or Holland, disputes of this kind threatened to create:
        • a new schism in the church
        • a new faction in the state
  • In those small republics, the magistrate had to assume the right of presenting to all vacant benefices in order to preserve the public peace.
  • Scotland is the most extensive country where this presbyterian church government was established.
    • The rights of patronage in Scotland were abolished by the act which established presbytery in the beginning of William III’s reign.
    • This act allowed certain classes to buy, for a very small price, the right of electing their own pastor.
    • This act established a constitution which was allowed for 22 years.
    • It was abolished by the 10th of queen Anne, ch. 12 because of the disorders it created.
  • In so extensive a country as Scotland, however, a tumult in a remote parish was unlikely to disturb the government.
  • The 10th of queen Anne restored the rights of patronage.
  • The cure of souls is the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the parish.
  • Though in Scotland, the benefice is given to the person presented by the patron, the church sometimes requires a certain concurrence of the people before she confers the cure of souls on the presentee.
    • She sometimes delays the settlement till this concurrence can be procured, to preserve the peace of the parish.
  • The tampering of the neighbouring clergy to procure or to prevent this concurrence are perhaps the causes which principally keep up whatever remains of the old fanatical spirit in the clergy or in the Scottish people.

226 The equality which the presbyterian form of church government establishes among the clergy, consists in:

  1. The equality of authority or ecclesiastical jurisdiction
  2. The equality of benefice.

In all presbyterian churches, the equality of authority is perfect, but the equality of benefice is not.

  • The difference between benefices are seldom so big to tempt the possessor to flatter his patron in order to get a better benefice.
  • In all the presbyterian churches where the rights of patronage are thoroughly established, it is by nobler and better arts that the established clergy endeavour to gain the favour of their superiors by:
    • their learning
    • their life’s regularity
    • the faithful and diligent discharge of their duty
  • Their patrons even complain of the independence of their spirit.
  • They are apt to construe into ingratitude for past favours, but which at worst, perhaps, is seldom any more than that indifference which naturally arises from the consciousness that no further favours of the kind are ever to be expected.
  • There is scarce perhaps to be found anywhere in Europe a more learned, decent, independent, and respectable set of men than the presbyterian clergy of Holland, Geneva, Switzerland, and Scotland.

Words: 6643

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s