POLITICAL THOUGHT IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
By the Rev. J. NEVILLE FIGGIS, M.A., sometime Lecturer in History at St Catharine's College, and Birkbeck Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at Trinity College.
Birth of modern, as distinct from medieval, political thought. . 736
Diminution in value of constitutional checks on monarchy. General tendency to autocracy . 737
Civil authority replaces ecclesiastical. Luther's address To the German Nobility . 738
Luther's revolution. Comparison of his Liberty of a Christian Man with the Twelve Articles of the peasants . 739
The Anabaptists. Politics and the Bible . 740
Luther's exaltation of the civil power. His ideal State . 741
The Reformation State Church. The prince summus episcopus. 742
Erastus not an Erastian. Supremacy of the civil power . 743
Pope Paul V and Venice. Fra Paolo Sarpi against Bellarmin and the canonist conception of civil authority . 744
Law and force. Idea of compulsion underlying all law and private right a modern conception . 745
Different conceptions of Law . 746
Law as a command. Theories of sovereignty . 747
Jean Bodin. His influence in creating the alliance between kings and theorists of sovereignty . 748
Existence of sovereignty denied by supporters of popular rights in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries . 749
Sovereignty inalienable. Ancient traditions of representative rights regarded as survivals from ages of incomplete comprehension . 750
The Divine Right of kings . 751
Henry IV the hero of legitimism. James I's True Law of Free Monarchy . 752
Passive Obedience. New theory of the Church as a visible kingdom, independent of the State . 753
The Politiques. Michel de L'Hôpital, Pasquier, Bodin . 754
Cujus regio ejus religio. Puritan intolerance . 755
Robert Browne. The Independents tolerant . 756
The Church a societas perfecta. Bellarmin. Molina. Suarez. . 757
Concordats. Founded on recognition of State and Church as distinct bodies 758
Jesuit conception of Church influence . 759
Hotman's Franco-Gallia, the earliest of modern constitutional histories . 760
The Vindioiae contra Tyrannos. Existing order in States as based on contracts between God and man, king and people . 761
The Original Compact. The State arises from voluntary surrender by individuals of part of their liberty for peace and security. . 762
The State an artificial contrivance. Background of natural law. 763
Jealousy of government. Principle of resistance . 764
French Catholic League founded on theory of lawfulness of resistance. Papalist writers . 765
The Jesuits. Tyrannicide. Caeca obedientia . 766
Althusius. His Politics . 767
Results of ecclesiastical competition. Sovereignty resident in the people as a whole. Birth of religious liberty . 768
Religious liberty the parent of political liberty . 769
POLITICAL THOUGHT IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
THE supreme achievement of the Reformation is the modern State. Our notions of citizenship are the result at once of the Protestant revolt and of its partial failure. As with all the ideas of Protestantism and of the Counter-Reformation, the origins of their political conceptions must be sought in the Middle Ages, although they may thence be traced back to the ancient world, Hellenic, Hebrew, and Christian. Still, it was through the crucible of the sixteenth century that medieval notions were passed before influencing the modern world.
The Conciliar movement of the fifteenth century witnessed the promulgation on the most impressive scale of those doctrines which treat all political power as a trust, and its holder as responsible to the community, liable to be deposed by it in cases of gross mis-government. Yet that movement ended in failure-save in so far as its fundamental principles could be subsequently invoked for different purposes. The claim of the Council to be superior to the Pope was always at the service of advocates of the rights of the people against the despotism of Kings. However, it remained nothing more than a claim.
Modern political thought, as distinct from medieval, begins, not with Gerson or Nicolas Cusanus, but with John of Torquemada's De Potestate Papae. In this work the arguments for monarchy are to be found set forth very much as they were to be quoted for a couple of centuries. Of course much of his argument is concerned with the Petrine texts. Yet it may be doubted whether the Divine right of monarchy ever had a more efficient defender.
Even before the star arose out of Wittenberg, many constitutional checks on monarchy were in existence. The system of Estates, the powers of Parliament and Parlements, the oaths of coronation, the Justicia of Aragon, the Conciliar eloquence, would all furnish inexhaustible precedents and arguments for what was to follow. But these checks were daily diminishing in practical value; and with the destruction of the evils of the feudal system its merits disappeared. The very
As a matter of fact, neither the ideas which we call liberal, nor the notions of despotism and of Divine right, are the creatures of the Reformation. Before it, the movement towards absolute monarchy
To transfer the allegiance of the human spirit from clerical to civil authority was roughly speaking the effect of the movement of the sixteenth century, alike in Catholic and Protestant countries. It was less successful in those lands or cities where Calvinism, manipulated by a highly trained ministry, obtained predominant or exclusive control. The result was achieved, partly by the sacrifice of earlier and larger aims, partly by their realisation. Luther firmly believed in the right of the laity to do what he told them; his whole tendency was individualist; and the statements of the Babylonish Captivity, that no Christian man should be ruled except by his own consent, doubtless represent the writer's real mind. The ideas at the bottom of that work are certainly capable of being made into a programme of political liberty, though the connexion is not so obvious as in the Conciliar writers of the fifteenth century. But Luther's effective struggle for freedom extended only to the Princes and the divines. His governing idea is the thought which inspired the address To the German nobility : that the actual holders of the civil power must carry out the necessary reform of the Church. For purely political liberty and the application to it of his doctrines he never really cared at all ; and circumstances drove him farther and farther from such ideas as even appear in his treatise on Weltliche Obrigkeit, or the first of his admonitions to the peasants. The whole bent of his mind was really in favour of secular authority. He really believed in its Divine origin and in that of human inequality. Indeed he definitely broke with the notion held for centuries, and derived partly from the Roman jurists, that all inequality was the consequence of the Fall, and was against nature. He felt, also, perhaps more strongly than anyone before or since, the incalculable value of the security afforded by the ruling power and of social peace. Besides, he succeeded as he did, because he was in the main stream of European development. Had he connected himself with movements purely popular, he would have been relegated to a backwater. On behalf of the authority of the civil power, however gained, and the real sanctity of home life and lay avocations, he was always prepared to do battle. He disbelieved in the political claims of the Church and in the religious claims of monastic life. For the common man and the civil governor he would fight, on the strongest religious grounds, against the competing authority of monastic ideals or ecclesiastical law. But it may be safely said that he never cared one jot for political liberty. To the ancient authority of the Emperor, bound up,
The movement started by Luther was in its essence revolutionary. So were the language of its leader and his ideas, however little he might desire to recognise the fact ; as he said later, we are now in a different world. But, like all revolutionary movements, the Reformation claimed to be conservative. The restoration of the ancient order was the cry not only of Luther, but of the Puritans. It is the indefeasible rights of the sovereign laity which he asserts against the temporary and illegitimate tyranny of the priesthood. The inalienable and Divine authority of Kings and Princes was to hew down the upas-tree of Rome, and wrest from the Papacy its usurped and unwarrantable powers. The claim of most revolutionaries to be at the bottom conservatives is rooted in human nature. The instinct which produces it is perhaps the strongest tribute to the value of continuity in constitutional development. In Luther's case it was strengthened by an external motive.
The revolution being, however it might disguise itself, a fact, it was natural that a party should arise to take the Reformers at their word, and assert that all Christians were equal, not only as priests but as kings. If a hierarchical order was proved either noxious or superfluous by the famous text, " Who hath made us kings and priests " ?-how was it better with the civil authority ? Why should the Emperor, alone of the powers that be, undergo banishment to the limbo of those that have been ? So thought Carlstadt and Münzer and the peasants. The notions of equality and fraternity, based on a Christian communism, and setting at nought all merely legal authority, which the reception of Roman law had rendered more aggressive and unelastic, produced the revolt of 1525. The connexion of all this with the principles of the Reformation, and its extension of the ideas at the bottom of Luther's Liberty of a Christian Man becomes evident in comparing with this tract the Twelve Articles of the "peasants. Their rebellion gave expression to forces long operative, and is to be regarded, like the revolt of Sickingen, as medieval rather than modern on its political side. The " great social forces" were marshalled against it. Luther's revolution was to consecrate
For a couple of centuries politics were to become not less but more theocratic than they were at the time of the outbreak of the Reformation. Pure politics, if in the last resort the child of the Reformation, took a long while to grow up. Their existence had to be justified^ as against the clerical control of civil matters. This was the work of the theorists of Divine Right; not until it had been accomplished could secular politics have free play. Besides this, the value attached to the Bible was a stumbling-block. The Old Testament contains a great deal of political history and can be used to support any side. Large sections of the Protestant world demanded that every institution should justify itself by an appeal to Scripture. Luther's attitude-and it was typical-towards Aristotle^ tended, even in politics, not to advance but to retard rational thinking. The deference paid to the letter of Scripture led men to find their political principles in the Bible, to a degree at least as great as in the earlier Middle Ages. Even Grotius repeats with approval the famous interpretation by St Thomas of the text '* Against thee only I have sinned" in the Fifty-first Psalm, as convincing proof of the irresponsibility of kings and their superiority to all rules of law. This enslavement to the letter of Scripture, which was a feature of the whole Reformation movement (including the Jesuits), reached its most emphatic and uncontrolled expression in the shortlived triumph of the Anabaptists of Munster, and in the doctrines which underlay it. Here indeed we see the attempt to construct a State on purely Biblical grounds, without any reference to historical
Luther's views are difficult to harmonise, for he had that quality of political leadership which is not afraid of self-contradiction. But the bent of his mind and the tendency of his acts are alike clear. So far as the two ancient supreme authorities were concerned, his attitude was one of resistance. Yet it was only necessity and the lawyers who convinced him, almost against his will, that active resistance to the Emperor on the part of the Schmalkaldic League was justifiable, because the Emperor was not legally the supreme authority. Charles V was essentially a conservative ; Luther, where he was successful, reduced Imperial authority to a shadow. On the other hand, Luther not only did not arrest, he actively assisted the development of the princely autocracy ; he asserted its Divine ordination and universal competence ; he proclaimed the duty of enduring tyranny as God's punishment for sins ; nor can it be said that he showed any sympathy for representative institutions. A compact territory governed by a religious autocrat, with family life well ordered, was his ideal. The Divine right of the secular authority, i.e. its equality of origin with that claimed by the Papacy, was asserted; and all smaller associations or rights were absorbed in that of the State. Not only feudal anarchy had been suppressed, by the lord having become either definitely a sovereign or a subject ; not merely had papal claims and clerical privilege been repudiated ; but guilds tended either to decay or abolition, and the monasteries, i.e. great competing celibate governments, were secularised. Nothing is more noteworthy than the political hostility of Melanchthon to the monastic ideal. Such denunciations of monkery are not mere abuse or meaningless bigotry. They are the expression of the feeling, that monasticism sets before men a different order from that of the political and a different ideal from the domestic.
The terrible days of 1525 made one thing clear to every one of the Reformers. They must at all costs dissociate the religious from the political revolution. The Anabaptist movement only deepened the view that the Princes and the prosperous middle classes must be made secure in the belief that reform was not opposed to respectability. On the one hand, the original necessity of legitimating the idea of the religious revolution led to an assertion of the sanctity inherent in the lay power and of the usurping nature of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, while the very notion of justification by faith only pointed to the overthrow of the legal system of the hierarchy. On the other hand, the actual extension of these ideas to the whole social order on the part of peasants and Anabaptists drove the Reformers to assert even more strongly that, while the Church as a visible, organised society was at best a necessary evil, the State was a Divine institution; resistance to it incurred the
Yet the religious leaders of the day are not to be charged with Erastianism in its developed meaning. They did not desire, and did not intend, that religion should be the sport of politics. But they intended that the laity in the person of the Prince should carry out necessary reforms " without tarrying for any " ; and they were determined that all coercive jurisdiction should be concentrated in the State. If a movement designed to remove the abuses and traditions of a thousand years, embodied as they were in the strongest of vested interests, were ever to succeed, it could only be by the employment of means at the moment revolutionary. The history of the Conciliar movement had proved the incapacity of the clergy, even assisted by the Emperor, to reform the Church. If the cleansing was to take place, the other power within the Church, the lay power, must be invoked. Luther could appeal to the Prince's jurisdiction because it was within the Church. But neither he nor anyone else desired to make religious belief the mere child of political expediency. The position of Hobbes and Machiavelli is not that of Luther, although these three are rivals for the preeminent place in the creation of the modern State. The Protestant ideal of a king was Josiah. No more than the Jewish chroniclers could the Reformers deny themselves the pleasure of branding monarchs who took a line different from their own as having done evil in the sight of the Lord. They were no more and no less Erastian than Laud, who magnified the ecclesiastical office of the King, because he knew that he would support the order of the Church, not because he recognised in him a right to upset it.
The refusal to admit any competing jurisdiction is most prominent in the famous controversy carried on by Erastus, to which reference has already been made in a previous volume. Erastus was not what we mean by an Erastian. This is proved by his words, that he is considering only the case of a State in which a single religion is tolerated as the true one ; and also by his action. For when the new Elector Palatine in 1576 changed the religion of his dominions once more to Lutheranism, which as a pure Erastian he had a right to do and to command his subjects obediently to accept, Erastus went into exile and died, not at Heidelberg, but at Basel. The real object of Erastus was to give clear expression to his denial of any right to coercive authority in the religious society apart from the State. He decided, in fact, to prevent the Evangelical Churches becoming what one of them claimed to be in Scotland and actually became in Geneva, a societas perfecta, with all its means of jurisdiction complete and independent. He was opposed, not to the free profession of truth, but to the political conception of a Church. The introduction of the " holy discipline " formed, and rightly formed, the ground of contention. It was the beginning of the theory soon to be proclaimed by Cartwright and Melville, that the Church as a visible kingdom was the rival of the State. Where it was admitted, we find either, as in the case of Calvin and Beza, the State entirely manipulated by ecclesiastical influences, in the interests of a system more tyrannical than Rome and more opposed to culture, or else, as in Scotland, the growth of a theory placing the Church as a distinct and independent society over against the State. There is no need to discuss how far Erastus was right. What is of importance is to know the nature of his contention, which runs as follows. In any State in which the true religion only is tolerated there exists no power but the civil which can authorise any actions of a directly or indirectly coercive nature ; and every attempt of the Church to claim such a power is to set up a new tyranny worse than the papal. The root of his desire was doubtless the fear of his own excommunication, which actually took place. Yet his protest reveals the whole spirit of the modern world. Had he seen a little further, he would have known that the true remedy was to remove the direct and not the indirect restriction on religious liberty. If toleration be admitted by the State, there is no danger in Church discipline because there are rival Churches ; excommunication has ceased to be tyrannical by becoming futile.
The principles of civil authority were of universal import. The gain to the Sovereign was as great, or nearly as great, in Catholic countries as in Protestant. It is well .known that the Spanish Inquisition was at least as much civil as ecclesiastical ; or rather, it belonged to the royal Church, not to the papal organisation. Orthodox Princes might thank the Protestants for giving them the true State, no less than the Popes for the true Church. The true meaning of the situation is apparent in
A comparison of medieval and modern statements of papal claims is instructive. They diverge more than is often supposed; though there is, of course, nothing to prevent the reassertion of old ideas, should circumstances ever again prove favourable. The claim of infallibility is not the culmination but the (implicit) surrender of the notions of right embodied in the Unam Sanctum. Instead of claiming, as is done in writings like those of Bozius or Augustinus Triumphus, the political sovereignty of the world, the Vatican Council merely asserted the supreme rights of its recognised head as a religious teacher in its own communion. Constructively, of course, this may be made to mean much more. But the decree of Infallibility is the expression of the fact that the Church has become more distinctly a religious body than in the Middle Ages, and is no longer a world polity. The Pope, from being the Lord of Lords, has become the Doctor of Doctors. From being the mother of States, the Curia has become the authoritative organ of a teaching society. The difference can be seen by comparing modern arguments for infallibility with earlier defences of sovereign jurisdiction. High Papalists, like John of Torquemada or Augustinus Triumphus, admit the possibility of the Pope being a heretic, and ipso facto ceasing to be Pope. In fact, the governing idea of the Counter-Reformation, that a heretical monarch has through his heresy become a private person, and may be treated as such-first appears in the Papalist theory.
Another aspect of the modern State is the irresistible force at its disposal. To us it appears a necessary attribute of any government, that it shall be able to compel practically universal obedience. Force is at the back of all law and every private right ; so much is this the case that it seems to us inseparable from the idea of law. The modern mind is not disposed to admit the existence of any legal right or duty, either public or private, which cannot be enforced by compulsion. But this is quite a new conception. It is the result of the struggles of the Middle Ages, and of the movements, political and religious, of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Indeed, the recognised need of such a power became the great support of tyranny. Long periods of impotence generated a belief in the Divine origin and necessity of political power. In the modern world government is occupied in administering the law and adapting it to fresh needs. In the Middle Ages it was occupied with a struggle for its own existence. " In the older feudal monarchy, not only was the monarch at no time sovereign, but neither was the State." Slowly, indeed, but surely, local franchises disappeared, private war diminished, and there came to be recognised a central authority giving force to a general system of law. The very fact of the " reception" of Roman law in continental countries in the fifteenth century shows how foreign to the actual life of the day was a uniform universal system of common law. Such law as existed was the outcome of local, feudal, or national custom rather than of the will of any lawgiver. For the Popes, indeed, legislation became a main business. The Decretale and the Sext are among the greatest of statute books; yet even in the case of the Papacy it was but gradually that the claim to be universal lawgiver developed out of the notion of supreme judge. But, when the Popes had made the discovery that they could legislate, they naturally developed alongside of their power a theory of its basis. This was derived largely from the civil law, partly from Aristotle, and partly from the Bible. Whencesoever they derived their theory, its nature is clear enough. The plenitudo potestatis of the Pope is the expression of the unity of the Church, and the sovereignty, Divine, inalienable, and illimitable of its ruler. The Popes claim not only to make but to annul the canons; their exercise of the Dispensing Power in the case of all rules which are merely positive and resting on human sanction, was the first form of the theory of sovereignty to influence the modern world. Bodin expressly says that Innocent IV understood the nature of sovereignty better than anyone else before him.
But to those who saw in law, not the success of effectual rulers, but the transient effort at social improvement or the recognition of principles of action-even to those who looked upon it merely as the decision of a Court interpreting immemorial custom, another view than the modern notion of positive law was a necessity. They discerned in legal rules, not the authority of the governor, but his purpose: namely justice,
But with the sixteenth century law more and more takes on the nature of embodied will, and discards other elements. This was assisted by the
The spirit of the new age displays itself decisively in the work of Bodin on the State. He discards the old title of the " government of Princes," and writes of a body politic in general, apart from the question of the nature of the government. Bodin had perceived, more clearly at any rate than his predecessors, that the fundamental nature of the State is independent of the form of government. He emphasised also the distinction between the "status civitatis"" and the "ratio gubernandi? In the great days of its power the " status " of Rome was popular, but the " ratio " oligarchic. He develops the notion of a sovereign authority, inalienable, imprescriptible, incapable of legal limitation, very much as through Hobbes, and Rousseau, and Austin, it has come down to us. But Bodin was not, any more than «Hobbes, a purely scientific enquirer. He was a Politique and a monarchist. He has the qualities of all who perceived with any clearness the fact of sovereignty, and also their defects ; thereby perhaps exhibiting his kinship to the medieval ideal which was always concerned with the unity of society. " Liberty depends
In their views of the nature of law the apologists of monarchy had the future with them, and showed deeper insight than their adversaries. They were in fact upholding the modern, as opposed to the medieval and obsolescent theory of law. Alike in the sixteenth and in the seventeenth
The idea that sovereignty is imprescriptible, and that no sovereign power can limit itself or alienate its prerogative, is familiar to us in the maxim that an Act of Parliament can do anything but make a man a woman. This idea was, as we know, not always recognised; both Richard II and Henry VII passed Acts of Parliament attempting to bind the future by fundamental laws ; and legitimism itself puts the law of succession beyond even sovereign competence. But when the notion obtained füll recognition, it came to be seen that no sovereign could make a binding promise, and that he could only declare an intention which circumstances might alter. Hence laws, charters, and treaties are only in force so long as the sovereign wills them. This doctrine, once grasped, released the monarch from all obligations and rendered nugatory any concessions he might be led by circumstances to make. It enabled the royalist to harmonise the fact of royal limitations or representative assemblies with the theory of sovereign rights. Both history and actual conditions made it pâturai and inevitable, that with the growth of the idea of sovereignty in the State the King should
It was against the Pope, not against the people, that the animus of the absolutist attack was directed. The theocratic notions of the Middle Ages, with their vivid belief in the Divine government of the
Connected with this doctrine, and at the root of its religious side, is the theory of Passive Obedience. This asserts the duty of the subject to submit to punishment rather than obey the Sovereign's command where it conflicts with conscience. This is not, then, a theory of unlimited obedience (as Hobbes bitterly remarks), but only of unlimited non-resistance. The doctrine goes back at least to Gregory the Great. It bases itself on the precepts of St Paul and St Peter, the practice of the early Christians, and the attitude maintained towards Julian the Apostate by the Church, towards Constantius and Valens by the orthodox. The Pope had claimed it as enuring to his benefit, and was resisted by the Concilier party. With the Reformation it became, for a while, the watchword of Protestants. Luther never swerved from it except under compulsion ; all his instincts were in its favour ; he was justified in claiming to be the strongest supporter of civil authority. Even where he admitted resistance, it never took the form of a denial of the rights of the sovereign power to the sole use of force ; he merely raised a question as to whether the Emperor or the independent States were actually sovereign ; whether, in fact, Germany was not rather a Confederation than an Empire. After the Peasants' Revolt the orthodox Reformers continually asserted the duty of non-resistance. William Tyndale proclaimed it in his Obedience of a Christian Man (1528). Even Calvin cannot justly be said to have asserted the right of insurrection. His language is cautious ; and he drops a hint about ephors, which was afterwards developed by others. Salmasius was quite justified, when opposing Milton, in claiming the bulk of Protestant
Henry IV was more than the hero of legitimism. He was the prince of the Politiques. The existence of this party, which was well named, was due to the religious dissensions, and more especially to the Massacre of St Bartholomew. The state of affairs was such that quiet men began to ask themselves whether religious discord ought to bring the State to destruction. Michel de l'Hôpital first expressed this view in the States General of 1561. He did not deny the right of the State to persecute, or the proposition that unity of religion is the true foundation of the unity of the State. He only asserted that, since unity of religion was now definitely broken, the cost of restoring it was too great. Toleration was, in fact, a pis-aller. This was the view of Pasquier and Bodin, and in regard to Europe in general, of Henry IV and Sully. The idea was to save at least the State from the wreckage. The State is founded on unity; true, and the more solidly the better. But, because all the unity desirable is unattainable, why throw away what remains? There will still be a State left ; for even Papalists do not now deny that a heathen Power is an ordered and justifiable State. They no longer assert with Augustinus Triumphus that none but a Christian government can be just, and that consequently war is always permissible against a heathen government without any grievance. The Politique!} are, in fact, the party of the -iroXireia ; admitting religious unity to be of the bene esse of the State, circumstances had led them to enquire whether it was of the esse. If they could not in their distracted country obtain the maximum of their desires as Catholics, why not be content with the possibilities obtainable by them as citizens ? The half loaf of toleration was better, in fact, than the famine of anarchy. They were modern, legal, and liberal in spirit. As against those who had attempted, under the guise of " the religion," a recrudescence of feudalism, and as against
This brings us inevitably to the mitigated toleration established in the Empire by the Religious Peace of Augsburg, and defined by the phrase " Ctigus regio ejus religio."" The principle that no heretic could rule a Christian State was abandoned. Such an idea was at least a step in the right direction, as compared with the notions of the Middle Ages or the Counter-Reformation. Besides, there is another aspect to the " Cujus regio ejus religio" principle. It did not abandon the occasional practice, but it abandoned the medieval theory, of persecution. The right to migrate could mean no less than that, while unity of religion was necessary to the State, there was no ground for burning the heretic for the good of his soul. Persecution to the extent of banishment is in fact treated as necessary for political reasons ; for as yet the ideas of Church and State as separate societies were not clearly realised, and it was not regarded as safe to have more than one religion in a State. But the principles of persecution, incarnate in Philip II and the Inquisition, are
The same principle was substantially that of Elizabeth. Whether or not we accept the assurances of Cecil to the Catholics, that they were persecuted for purely political reasons, it remains true that the English government refused to accept the responsibility of religious persecution for its own sake. To Cecil persecution was a necessary evil, to be justified on political grounds ; but it was not an ideal. After the papal Bull of 1571, deposing the Queen, there was ample room for asserting that a good Catholic could not be a good subject; and the Jesuits made matters worse by their attitude towards the oath of allegiance under James I. Anyhow, Cecil had to make his appeal to public opinion ; and the fact shows that public opinion was not what it had been on the subject. The outcry raised by Calvin's treatment of Servetus is another proof of this. This outcry, indeed, only caused men like Beza to restate in strong terms the theory of persecution; and the growth of Puritanism, wherever it became influential, meant the growth of intolerance. The only difference between Knox and Calvin and a Roman persecutor was, that Knox and Calvin asserted for themselves a freedom which they denied to others, and promoted a more anti-human tyranny than the Roman. To the Puritan mind as to Philip II, who declared that he would rather not reign at all than reign over heretics, orthodoxy was of the essence of citizenship. According to this view all foreign politics were to be regulated by confessional antipathies apart from other considerations. The Puritan objection to Anabaptism was due far more to a dislike of any system of communism than to the theocratic notions of Rotmann .and John of Leyden. Even against the ill-treatment of Anabaptists voices were raised. In Brenz and a few elect souls the principles of freedom were not extinguished by theological zeal ; and the few pages of Brenz on the claim to use the sword against Anabaptists lay down the true principles of all toleration. It is better, he says, to harbour fifty false ideas than to delay the triumph of one true one; and it is wrong to condemn men for constructive reasons. If their principles lead to murder, they will commit murder, and may be punished for that. William the Silent was a genuine believer in toleration, and did his utmost to stem the Calvinistic fanaticism of some among his supporters. Marnix de St Aldegonde, however, late in his life, affirmed in regard to the Family of Love the duty of the civil magistrate to persecute ; but even here he would allow force only within narrow limits.
The principle of religious toleration found one other important expression in the sixteenth century. The Politiques, as was said, asserted the indifference of the State to creeds, in order to prevent fanatical Catholics from tearing the kingdom of France asunder. We now come to those who maintained the same principle, in order to prevent undue delay in the triumph of the truth. The Puritan party in this country desired, as is well known, to capture the Church of England. Cartwright and his friends made a definite attempt to set on foot a thoroughgoing system of Presbyterianism, to be privately at work alongside of the Church as by law established. Repeated efforts were made to induce Parliament to reorganise the Church in the interests of the famous " discipline." Elizabeth, as we know, always thwarted these efforts, partly because she personally disliked them, partly because she did not choose to act apart from the Bishops.
The attempt, however, was never abandoned, and attained success after a sort with the overthrow of the royalists in the Civil War. But this did not seem likely in the earlier years of Elizabeth. Robert Browne suggested a different plan. Since the civil authority was unlikely to sanction a complete reversal of the existing order, he suggested that each congregation so disposed should make the change by itself. In his pamphlet Reformation without tarrying for any he asserted the independence of all authority, civil or spiritual, belonging to local religious communities, and the indifference of the State to religion. His position differed from that of the religious revolutionaries of Scotland, who established their new system, not indeed originally by constituted civil authority, but by the will of the nation, and eventually made the civil authority assent. Knox roused the community as a whole. Browne had no desire to do this. He merely claimed the right for any body of Christians, however small, to set up for themselves, and denied the right of the civil magistrate to interfere. To however limited an extent they may have practised toleration, either in old or new England, the Independents, so far as they were the inheritors of Brownism, founded their system on the principle of the separation of the spheres of religion and government, which logically resulted in toleration. The same may be said of one section of the Anabaptists, who preached a doctrine of political quietism and the independence of Churches.
One more theory which began its development in this age-the theory of the Church as a sodetas perfecta-did not indeed lead to toleration as its necessary consequence, but it made toleration possible. Forced by circumstances to recognise the sovereignty of the State and its unity within itself, the partisans of ecclesiastical power began to seek a new form for their principles, and to develop the notion of Church and State as two distinct, though related, societies. This view was not the same as the medieval, which very commonly identified the Church with the hierarchy, and in any case contemplated a single polity with
There are in Molina and Suarez statements which either express or imply the same notion. Among the Presbyterians, Melville is found telling James I that there is another kingdom equally real and self-sufficient with the State ; and the same view is emphatically held by Cartwright and Travers. It is clear that the Lutheran and earlier Protestant view of the Church, as essentially the invisible collection of the faithful, had been abandoned in favour of the Catholic conception of a visible society with its own means of government complete in itself. It was against this notion that Luther, and afterwards Erastus, strove. But it reappeared in all its strength in the Calvinistic communities after they became developed. This is the cause of the virulence of the Erastian
But one thing is clear. So soon as the State and the Church are recognised as in essence distinct, not merely as different departments of the same class, their relations may be settled by concordat. For this as in other matters the arrangements made at Constance prepared the way. In the concordats with Francis I the Papacy admitted the modern idea of the civil power, and thereby, it is said, escaped in France a danger like that which beset it in England and Germany. The conception of the Church as a societas perfecta like the State admits of the view that each has its own orbit, its own principles, and its own methods; and they need not collide with one another. The medieval view tends to deny all significance to the State apart from the Church. Molina, in whom both views jostle one another, says that the State is imperfect without the Church. German and Elizabethan Protestantism hold much the same view about the Church (as a visible society) apart from the State. Luther does not recognise any real society but the State, and the family as its lowest unit. This is the modern view, which sets the State on one side and the mass of individuals on the other, as opposed to the medieval view of a society, consisting of many other societies and powers, with a certain central point in the King and his Court. From the victory of unitary over federalistic ideals in the Church there followed a similar conquest in the State. The only limit to this all-devouring autocracy was furnished by the conception of the Church as a perfect society, or in other words a real body politic. This may of course lead to the claim that one society shall dominate the other on account of the superiority of its end. The Jesuits did so use the idea. But this result is by no means necessary, nor is it even the most natural development. In England, what may be termed the normal sixteenth century view long continued to be commonly maintained, and was held even by Laud. The Jesuits, and indeed most ecclesiastical champions, used the theory merely to reassert in another form the Hildebrandine ideal. They recognised the sphere of the State, as distinct from the Church, in a way which would not have commended itself to medieval writers; but they claimed for the Church a right to interfere, whenever it is necessary for her own ends. The distinction which Bellarmin and nearly all the Jesuits drew between direct and indirect temporal power may not have been worth much in practice, but it was a real distinction. Every
We have seen how the Reformation at once expressed and intensified the belief in the inherent sanctity of civil government in the form of the Divine Right of Kings. We come now to the most salient fact which counteracted the evils of this theory-the fortunate accident, that as a result of the movement for reform the sovereign was sometimes the adherent of a different confession to that of his subjects. But for this fact, there could have been in the seventeenth century few relics of any form of popular liberty or of any check on monarchical tyranny. The importance of having a central power which should carry on uniformly and with rapidity the administrative functions of a modern State, was in fact so great, that, with feudalism gone and the Church abased, there would have been scarcely a force left to withstand the monarchical tendency. Nor was there, as a matter of fact, any such force in those places where King and people were united in religion. Spain, the German States, a little later France, all witnessed the complete suppression of popular liberty until the time of the French Revolution. From the later Reformation period onwards until 1700, however, there was for a time nearly everywhere a body, larger or smaller, of subjects professing a religion different to that of their sovereign. We have already seen how this fact destroyed the last relics of Imperial unity, and produced the triumph of the territorial principle in Germany. But the Empire was, and long had been, in so anomalous a position that the effect of Luther's work was not, as he himself found, to destroy the principle of obedience to the civil power, but to strengthen it by denying that any power but that of the Prince was the civil power. In other countries, however, this was not the case. There, the differences between sovereign and subjects led to the expression of a theory of popular rights in the form in. which it passed over to the French Revolution. Of course this could not have been but for the generally admitted duty of sovereigns to persecute. As a matter of fact, it naturally produced what Montaigne called the supreme question of his time : whether, on the ground of religion, resistance to the legitimate sovereign was ever justifiable ? The great Reformers were, as we saw, very loth to admit any such thought. But even Luther, so far as the
Emperor was concerned, came to admit the right of the Princes to resist. And Scotland, long distinguished for its lawlessness, did not become more loyal, when to the fact of her sovereignty, Mary added the crime of "idolatry." Owing to the increased strength of monarchical ideas it became necessary to justify her deposition. George Buchanan, therefore, in addition to the rich and glowing details which he added to the people's knowledge of his Queen, wrote a dialogue entitled De Jure Regni apud Scotos. In this pamphlet he adopted the twofold argument that was to become so familiar in the next century, showing how, alike on grounds of past precedents (of which there was no lack), and of a general right of the governed to punish violators of the Original Compact, the Scots were justified in their action. He went farther than others in asserting for individuals the right of tyrannicide.
It was, however, in France, that the most influential manifesto of popular liberty was to appear. The Massacre of St Bartholomew aroused a not unnatural resentment among the Huguenots. These views were expressed in two famous books which laid down the main lines of discussion for another century-the Franco-Gallia of the great jurist, Francis Hotman, and the Vindictae contra Tyrannos, probably by Duplessis-Mornay. The Franco-Gallia is interesting for its strongly anti-Roman character. The Latin element in France Hotman detests and tries to minimise ; he was an early " Germanist," and hated appeals to the civil law. He sought to justify the right of the Estates General and other checking bodies by an appeal to history. His position may be compared to that of the English common lawyers of the Civil War. His conception of public authority is very vivid and interesting. The book strikes the keynote of the numerous historical vindications of liberty. The Franco-Gallia is the earliest of modern constitutional histories.
The Vindictae contra Tyrannos calls for deeper consideration. It lays down the fundamental argument in favour of liberty which was to influence two continents and to justify a series of revolutions of the utmost importance. In the concentrated force and noble passion of the writer there breathes an eloquence too often absent from works on this subject; in his lucid exposition and firm grasp of principles we have a foretaste of Locke, whose work indeed has most of the defects, without the originality, of the sixteenth century writer, but was fitted by its very faults to become the text-book of ordinary men. The writer professes to deal with the following questions :
(1) Whether subjects are in duty bound to obey their rulers, when their commands are contrary to the law of God ?
(2) Whether it be lawful to resist a ruler who is purposing to abrogate the law of God and is desolating the Church? Further- granting this-who may resist him ; how may they resist him ; and to what extent? '
(3) Whether and to what extent it be lawful to resist a Prince either oppressing or ruining the commonwealth ? Further, who may do this ; by what methods may he do it, and in virtue of what right ?
(4) Whether neighbouring Princes may lawfully succour, or are bound to succour, the subjects of other Princes who are persecuted for religion or suffer under flagrant tyranny ?
The questions have been stated in full ; for they afford valuable insight into the way in which political questions were approached in the sixteenth century, and exhibit the dependence of political thought on religious exigencies. The theory of the author is easy to summarise. The existing order in all States is based upon two contracts. The first is that between God on the one hand and King and people on the other, as contracting parties, by which God covenants to maintain the nation in prosperity so long as it serves Him and refrains from idolatry. (This agreement, which appears in a vast number of writers, is always supposed to be typified by the action of Jehoiada.) The second is that between King and people; they agree to obey on condition of good government, and only on this condition ; " bene imperanti bene obtem-peratur.""
These principles being laid down, resistance either to a tyrant or to a monarch attempting the religious perversion of his subjects becomes perfectly justifiable. It is of the latter that the writer is of course thinking; and religion alone gave the leverage to liberty, which otherwise would have perished in the development of the central power. But this permission of insurrection is severely limited. The Huguenot movement was not democratic. No right of the individual to rebel is recognised. For him is only recommended that recourse to prayers and tears which was to become so familiar to Englishmen in the next century. The right of resistance and deposition inheres in those whom the author, developing a phrase of Calvin, describes as "ephors'"^ that is to the assembly of estates and to those great officers who are not royal servants but public functionaries. This is the view of the great majority of the supporters of the Huguenot party.
The treatment of tyranny may be noticed. The probable author, Duplessis-Mornay, like most of his contemporaries, attached much importance to the distinction between the usurper, the "tyrannus absque titulo"" (in the Greek sense), and the " tyrannus in exercitio."" The latter may be legitimately slain only after having been deposed by public authority. Against the former any violence is justifiable; and it is hinted not obscurely that the Guises (and perhaps Catharine de' Medici) come under this head. The term " tyrant " was of wider extension then than now.
The fundamental notion of the writer is, that the State arises from the voluntary surrender by individuals of such portions of their natural liberty as are necessary for the purposes of peace and security. There is to
The implications of this theory are more important than its statements. Its origin or at any rate its prevalence is, together with the maxim of " no taxation without representation," the enduring legacy of feudalism to the modern world. The feudal tie is of the nature of a contract, and the feudal aid in origin a voluntary gift. Some of the arguments for the right of deposition in the Vindiciae and elsewhere are deliberately taken from admitted rules concerning the relations of lords and vassals. The idea of the original contract can be found in medieval writers. To us the idea is not so much false as difficult of comprehension. It seems both artificial and impossible. The first objection that occurs is on the score of evidence. This, however, is already met in the Vindiciae, which declares that the contract need be no more than tacit. The second and weightier objection is, that for a contract to be binding a state of law must exist, which ex hypoihesi arises only after the contract has been made. It seems more reasonable to justify insurrection as a moral necessity. But the author of the Vindiciae and his followers did not and could not do this. They were unable to separate law and morality, as we can ; and they demanded a proof, not that insurrection was a defensible act, but that it was a legal right. This they found in the conception of the Original Contract. It arose in an age which conceived of religion, morality, and revelation as above all things law. Positive law is, as has been seen, only one of many kinds of law, all equally named jus, and all deriving a main part of their validity from their conformity to the law natural. This law natural makes contracts binding apart from civil law. Such is the explanation of the sanction believed to exist both for the Original Contract and for International Law. They made their appeal to an age whose traditional conceptions were not those analysed by Bodin or latent in Machiavelli, but rather the wider and more ethical notions of a law mirrored to us for ever by the serene and gracious intelligence of Hooker. To law no slighter tribute can be paid than that " her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world ; all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, the greatest as not exempted from her power; both Angels and men and all creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent, admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy." Only the arrogance of an unhistorical dogmatism could brand this description as " fustian." But it relates to an order of ideas which in regard to positive law was passing away. In regard, however,
Like most writers on this side, the author of the Vtndiâae treats government as originally an artificial invention. Only the background of a law of nature made such a notion conceivable. With the growth of the historical habit of mind the belief faded away. The permanent value of the theory of the Divine Right of Kings arises from its insisting, as against theorists upholding ecclesiastical predominance, that the State has an inherent sanctity of its own ; and, as against the claim of popular rights, that it was a natural growth. The latter is best seen in Filmer. In the Vîndiciae, however, the State is the result of a definite act of choice ; and in Mariana and others we are treated to a description of life in " the state of nature," when civil society had not yet arisen. This is indeed essential to the belief in the contract theory, unless the word " tacit " be strained beyond what it will bear. Thus, while nothing is easier than to see the defects and even the absurdities of each of the two opposing theories, the Original Contract and the Divine Right of Kings, nothing could be more superficial than to repudiate the debt which the whole modern world owes to both doctrines. In an age dominated by theocratic conceptions and ideas of natural law, the latter was the only way in which the rightness of the State could be maintained; and the former was equally necessary, if the newly developing State were not to crush its subjects, both soul and body, under the Juggernaut car of efficiency. It is only as we realise how large an element in the mental atmosphere of the day was filled by the conception of natural law, soon to develop into that of natural rights, that a book like Mornay's becomes intelligible, and serves as a connecting link between the ideas of the medieval and the modern world.
Lastly, we observe that in the Vindiciae government is viewed with suspicion. It exists because it cannot be dispensed with; but, as we saw, it has only such powers as have been definitely surrendered to it. We have not here the spectacle of a power almost holy in its nature and Divine in origin, which claims the allegiance of all that is noblest in man. The grand conception of civil life which inspires the thoughts of Luther, and adds dignity even to Dante, is absent from this passionate protest against the misuse of royal authority. We have the limited power which Locke in later days expounded, and something of that jealousy of the State which afterwards became classic in the pages of Mill. The controversy is akin to that between the supporters of the Union and those of State rights in America. Indeed the actual ideas of Duplessis-Mornay were more completely realised in the American Constitution, as it presented itself to the believers in State rights, than in any other country; only for the individual we must in this interpretation substitute the legal person of the federated State.
But the greatest and most notable assertion of the principle of resistance was not made by Protestants. The brief period of Huguenot resistance soon ended; but the Counter-Reformation had a long life. The death of the Duke of Anjou in 1585 made Henry of Navarre heir presumptive, and rallied the Huguenots to the side of legitimism. The fulminations, empty though they were, of Sixtus V, and his attempts to dictate to the French whom they should not have as King, led naturally enough to an assertion of the independence of France, of the Gallican liberties, and of the Divine Right of Kings. The theory of resistance was now to prove of service to the party which was historically connected with it. The League was reformed. It professed the principle, so familiar to Englishmen, of protecting the King against evil counsellors, and the country against heresy. In the course of the operations of the League, and more especially after the murder of Henry III, it became incumbent on its supporters to take over the Huguenot theory of resistance, and to assert the doctrine of tyrannicide. There is little difference between the principles expounded by Reynolds in his De Justa Reďpublicae Christiana« Potestate, and by Boucher in the Sermons de la Simulée Conversion, and in the De Justa Abdications Henrici Tertii, from those already discussed. The tendency, however, is more democratic than in the Huguenot writers, who like the fathers of Constance were distinctly Whig in sentiment. We hear more of the sovereignty of the people, as became the party of the Paris mob. The case for the democratic, as opposed to the aristocratic element in the League, is well represented by the Dialogue de Manant et Maheustre, a bitter satire against the corruption and violence of the high-placed supporters of the League, and emphasises the purely democratic and religious element. There is little to cause surprise here. Papalism has always been incompatible with the Divine Right of Kings
It is to be noted that, apart from polemics, the typical form of the writings of the Jesuits on the subject is to be found in works entitled, De Jtistitia et Jure, consisting of dissertations on that portion of the
Summa of St Thomas which deals with law. The writings of the Jesuits are, in fact, a part of their revived scholasticism, and testify to their endeavour to treat the fundamental problems of law as a part of a general philosophy of life. These treatises are remarkable for their comprehensiveness, and endeavour to include all kinds of law, so that there is much irrelevant matter, while subjects like international law find a natural place, no less than canon or civil law. At the same time the method tends to a cosmopolitan conception of legal principles, not unimportant in the days when Roman law was replacing feudal custom all over the Continent ; and it intensifies the notion of natural law as the embodiment of universal principles which all particular legal systems should set forth.
The question of tyrannicide inevitably came up for discussion ; and there was only one conclusion possible for Ultramontanes in an age when the chief use of Machiavelli was to apply his principles to the advantage of religious organisations. To the Papalists William the Silent was a clear case of the " tyrannw absque tittdo,"" as, indeed, he is called, while Henry III of France was the cardinal instance of a tyrant in action. The murder of Henry was, indeed, only a case of retaliation after his own deliberate murder of the Guises ; nor can anyone, who has so much as a doubt on the side of regicide, condemn the act of Jacques Clément, who rid the world of "the worst prince of the worst race that ever ruled." Mariana glorified the deed, and, though he afterwards very slightly modified his language, he shares some sentiments of Milton and Cromwell. In spite of their strong and repeated assertions to the contrary, it is a purely idle proceeding to deny that the members of the Society of Jesus preached the duty of tyrannicide, and of the interference of the Pope in secular politics. Yet the Society was never corporately committed to the doctrine any more than it was to Probabilism, and may claim the benefit of Acquaviva's repudiation.
The Society of Jesus had other lessons for the politician. It was, indeed, an absolute monarchy, and offers an object-lesson in socialism ; for it was always conducted for its own purpose as a community, not for the personal wishes of the ruler for the time being. The duty of " caeca dbedientia" was proclaimed by visions and inculcated by its whole discipline. The famous phrase about the individual being " quasi cadaver " in the hands of the corporation, and the added clause in regard to breaches of morality for the purposes of the Society, are illuminating in their significance. The life of the Society was to furnish the individual conscience with its only motive. Like the modern State, the Jesuit Order contemplates no other bond of union beyond that of the individual and the community. The principle of making the will of the General the general will was secured by all kinds of precautions. By the Society every means was taken to prevent him from deflecting it from its end; there were to be no spectacles like those of the Borgia and
Farnese Popes who attempted to found dynasties. Except the Church, of which it is a pare, there is no political institution which so well repays consideration by the historical student as the Society of Jesus, quite apart from its religious and political activity. It enshrined the principle of Machiavelli, that nothing was to count beside efficiency ; and, even more effectually than he, it absorbed all individual volition, thought, and conscience into the service of the community.
Much of the whole thought of the day is summed up in the Politics of Althusius. To him, as to the medieval thinker, the community is not made up of individuals, but of a hierarchy of smaller communities. As the English House of Commons was originally the " communitas communitatum,"" so the State of Althusius is the State of Estates ; in his own words, the " consociatio consociationum.(tm) He traces the gradual development of civil authority from the family to the city, thence to the province, and, finally, to the State, his conception of which is thus definitely federal. To Althusius, as to Rousseau, there is one supreme authority founded on a contract, the people as a whole. Under all forms of government the inalienable rights of sovereignty remain with the people, of which Kings, or aristocrats, or assemblies, are merely the mandatories. At the same time, unlike Rousseau, Althusius recognises a second contract between the governor, whoever he be, and the people. This second pact is more like the Original Contract, as conceived by the majority of writers, and rendered classical by Locke. The former pact is better termed the Social Contract, which brings out its kinship to Rousseau's conception. Althusius, again, like Rousseau, exhibits none of the jealousy of government displayed by Locke and the Whig school. It is to him both omnipotent and holy ; and he naturally denies all separate existence to ecclesiastical authority.
The precepts of natural law are binding in his view ; and he quotes more frequently than any other passage the great phrase of St Augustine, "Remota justifia quid régna nisi magna latrocinia ? " Only, to him the notion of justice is civic righteousness, not the precepts of an ecclesiastical tutor. In the hierarchical view ecclesiastical authority does for the State what a director of conscience does for the individual ; the view of individual religion which dispenses with one kind of guardian also gets rid of the other. The principles of natural law, as expounded by Albericus, Grotius, and Suarez, are the expression of the belief that morality is something more than the creature of civic necessity ; and the latter is the view of Hobbes and Machiavelli. To Hobbes morality, religion, and truth have no meaning except as the precepts of the legal superior, who has no other consideration but political expediency to guide him ; and by him the human race is conceived as, above all things, the child of wrath. The view of Hobbes is the political counterpart of the Calvinistic theology, although such a statement would have been repudiated by both Hobbes and his opponents.
The inevitable reaction against that glorification of the civil State and of the monarch as its embodiment, which was the essence of a great deal of Protestantism, took the form of the resounding though not novel reassertions of the supremacy of natural law, and the contractual, and therefore limited, character of government. When men were familiarised with the idea of a natural law, which could make promises binding, and of the Original Contract resting upon it, some check might be placed on the uncontrolled action of political authority. These ideas, and these alone, could preserve the notion that government was a trust and not a right, and render it fruitful after many days. That these conceptions were not incompatible with the Protestant view of the sanctity of the State is proved by the writings of Hooker and Althusius. The idea of the State, which we may call the hierarchical, whether Jesuit or Presbyterian, expresses the need in a different form. In this view, as already indicated, the State is a mere convenience, and must be judged by its power to satisfy its objects. Its nature, products, and activity are no more mysteries than are those of a joint-stock company, and it ought to be equally obliged to publish its balance-sheets and be equally amenable to criticism. Above all, it must be always limited, and sometimes guided, by the superior rights of that other society which exists for eternal ends. It is in fact non-moral, and must be moralised or controlled by another power from without. Luther's State is, as has been pointed out, the Kulturstaat.
We may have our own opinion of the society which the clericalist desired to maintain. But it is not to be denied that the fundamental principle of ecclesiastical protagonists, the recognition of other societies beyond the State, so far from being an unwarrantable encroachment on civil rights, is the best preservative against the practical dangers which may, and sometimes do, follow from an acceptance of the undiluted conception of legal sovereignty. If the true test of liberty be the recognition of the claims of minorities, it must be conceded that Puritan Dissenters and Quakers in England, the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and the Roman Catholics in Ireland have all alike performed the service of showing that there are bonds of association which do not spring from the fiat of positive law, and may not, save in minor matters, be controlled by considerations of political expediency, justified by an abstract theory of sovereignty. For the true conception of the State it is needed first to realise the idea of sovereignty, and afterwards to realise its practical limitations. Religious liberty arose, not because the sects believed in it, but out of their passionate determination not to be extinguished, either by political or religious persecution. Political liberty was born, not so much in the notions of the Independents, as in the fact that they refused to be merged in other societies. Where this was not so, it did not arise. In the States of Germany, and in the Cantons of Switzerland, there was no liberty for the minority.
It is finally to be observed that religious liberty is rightly described as the parent of political. The forces in favour of monarchy were so strong that, apart from a motive appealing to conscience, making it a duty (even though a mistaken one in any individual case) to resist the government, there would have been no sufficient force to withstand the tyranny of centralisation which succeeded the anarchy of feudalism. This may be illustrated from the return of the Catholic portion of the Low Countries to Spanish allegiance, and perhaps best of all in the small States of Italy and the large ones of France and Spain. France gave to the world of thought the ideas of the Vindiciae, to that of fact the ideals of the Roi Soleil and the Dragonnades. Spain, which in the Justicia of Aragon had a model of freedom for admirers in all lands, closed her career with a lifeless despotism, based on the extinction by the Inquisition of all the forces that made for freedom. The nominal right of the Cortes succumbed to the real power of the Holy Office. It was only the religious earnestness, the confessional conflicts, and the persecuting spirit of the sixteenth century, that kept alive political liberty, and saved it from a collapse more universal than that which befell Republican ideals at the beginning of the Roman Empire. To the spiritual intensity of the Reformers and the doctrinal exclusiveness of the Confessions-at once the highest and the lowest expressions of " the theological age "-we owe the combination of liberty with order which is our most cherished possession to-day. If much is due to the virtues of these men, something also is owing to their vices.