Front Page Titles (by Subject) XXXVIII.: ST. AUSTIN'S WORDS Ibid. - A Philosophical Commentary on These Words of the Gospel, Luke 14.23, 'Compel Them to Come In, That My House May Be Full'
XXXVIII.: ST. AUSTIN’S WORDS Ibid. - Pierre Bayle, A Philosophical Commentary on These Words of the Gospel, Luke 14.23, ‘Compel Them to Come In, That My House May Be Full’ 
A Philosophical Commentary on These Words of the Gospel, Luke 14.23, ‘Compel Them to Come In, That My House May Be Full’, edited, with an Introduction by John Kilcullen and Chandran Kukathas (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- A Note On the Present Translation
- A Philosophical Commentary On These Words of the Gospel According to St. Luke, Chap. XIV. Ver. 23: Advertisement of the English Publisher.;
- Part the First.
- Chapter I: That the Light of Nature, Or the First Principles of Reason Universally Receiv’d, Are the Genuin and Original Rule of All Interpretation of Scripture; Especially In Matters of Practice and Morality.
- Chapter II: First Argument Against the Literal Sense of the Words, Compel ’em to Come In, Drawn From Its Repugnancy to the Distinctest Ideas of Natural Light.
- Chapter III: Second Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From Its Opposition to the Spirit of the Gospel.
- Chapter IV: The Third Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From Its Cancelling the Differences of Justice and Injustice, and Its Confounding Vertue and Vice, to the Total Dissolution of Society.
- Chapter V: The Fourth Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From Its Giving Infidels a Very Plausible and Very Reasonable Pretence For Not Admitting Christians Into Their Dominions, and For Dislodging ’em Wherever They Are Settl’d Among ’em.
- Chapter VI: The Fifth Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From the Impossibility of Putting It In Execution Without Unavoidable Crimes. That It’s No Excuse to Say, Hereticks Are Punish’d Only Because They Disobey Edicts.
- Chapter VII: The Sixth Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From Its Depriving the Christian Religion of a Main Objection Against the Truth of Mahometism.
- Chapter VIII: The Seventh Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From Its Being Unknown to the Fathers of the Three First Centurys.
- Chapter IX: The Eighth Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From Its Rendring the Complaints of the First Christians Against Their Pagan Persecutors All Vain.
- Chapter X: The Ninth and Last Argument Against the Literal Sense, Drawn From Its Tending to Expose True Christians to Continual Violences, Without a Possibility of Alledging Any Thing to Put a Stop to ’em, But That Which Was the Ground of the Contest Betw
- The Second Part.: Containing a Full Answer to All the Objections Which May Be Rais’d Against What Has Bin Before Demonstrated.the Second Part.: Containing a Full Answer to All the Objections Which May Be Rais’d Against What Has Bin Before Demonstrated.
- Chapter I: First Objection, That Violence Is Not Design’d to Force Conscience, But to Awaken Those Who Neglect to Examine the Truth. the Illusion of This Thought. an Inquiry Into the Nature of What They Callopiniatreté.58
- Chapter II: Second Objection, the Literal Sense Appears Odious, Only By Our Judging of the Ways of God From Those of Men. Tho the State That Men Are In, When They Act From Passion, Seems Likely to Lead ’em to Wrong Judgments, It Does Not Follow But God, B
- Chapter III: Third Objection: They Aggravate the Matter Maliciously, By Representing the Constraint Enjoin’d Byjesus Christ,under the Idea of Scaffolds, Wheel, and Gibbet; Whereas They Should Only Talk of Fines, Banishment, and Other Petty Grievances. the
- Chapter IV: The Fourth Objection: We Can’t Condemn the Literal Sense of the Words, Compel ’em to Come In, But We Must At the Same Time Condemn Those Laws Which God Gave the Jews, and the Conduct of the Prophets On Several Occasions. the Disparity, and Par
- Chapter V: The Fifth Objection: Protestants Can’t Reject the Literal Sense of the Parable, Without Condemning the Wisest Emperors and Fathers of the Church, and Without Condemning Themselves; Since They In Some Places Don’t Tolerate Other Religions, and H
- Chapter VI: Sixth Objection: the Doctrine of Toleration Can’t Chuse But Throw the State Into All Kinds of Confusion, and Produce a Horrid Medly of Sects, to the Scandal of Christianity. the Answer. In What Sense Princes Ought to Be Nursing Fathers to the
- Chapter VII: The Seventh Objection: Compulsion In the Literal Sense Cannot Be Rejected Without Admitting a General Toleration. the Answer to This, and the Consequence Allow’d to Be True But Not Absurd. the Restrictions of Your Men of Half-toleration Exami
- Chapter VIII: Eighth Objection: Compulsion In the Literal Sense Is Maliciously Misrepresented, By Supposing It Authorizes Violences Committed Against the Truth. the Answer to This; By Which It Is Prov’d, That the Literal Sense Does In Reality Authorize Th
- Chapter IX: An Answer to Some Objections Against What Has Bin Advanc’d In the Foregoing Chapter Concerning the Rights of an Erroneous Conscience. Some Examples Which Prove This Right.
- Chapter X: A Continuation of the Answer to the Difficultys Against the Rights of an Erroneous Conscience. an Examination of What They Say, That If Hereticks Retaliate On Those Who Persecute ’em, They Are Guilty of Injustice. Arguments to Prove, That a Fal
- Chapter XI: The Result From What Has Bin Prov’d In the Two Foregoing Chapters; and a Confutation of the Literal Sense, Let the Worst Come to the Worst.
- Part III.
- I.: St. Austin’s Words
- II.: St. Austin’s Words
- III.: St. Austin’s Words
- IV.: St. Austin’s Words
- V.: St. Austin’s Words
- VI.: St. Austin’s Words
- VII.: St. Austin’s Words
- VIII.: St. Austin’s Words
- IX.: St. Austin’s Words
- X.: St. Austin’s Words
- XI.: St. Austin’s Words
- XII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XIII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XIV.: St. Austin’s Words
- XV.: St. Austin’s Words
- XVI.: St. Austin’s Words
- XVII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XVIII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XIX.: St. Austin’s Words
- XX.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXI.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXIII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXIV.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXV.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXVI.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXVII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXVIII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXIX.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXX.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXXI.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXXII.: St. Austin’s Words
- XXXIII.: St. Austin’s Words Letter 164,148 to Emeritus.
- XXXIV.: St. Austin’s Words Letter 166,152 to the Donatists.
- XXXV.: St. Austin’s Words Ibid.
- XXXVI.: St. Austin’s Words Letter 204,154 to Donatus.
- XXXVII.: St. Austin’s Wordsibid.
- XXXVIII.: St. Austin’s Words Ibid.
- XXXIX.: St. Austin’s Words Ibid.
- Xl.: St. Austin’s Words Letter 167,160 to Festus.
- The Fourth Part, Or a Supplement to the Philosophical Commentary On These Words of Jesus Christ,compel ’em to Come In.
- The Preface<503>
- Chapter I: General Considerations On St. Austin’s Argument In Defence of Persecution; Shewing, That He Offers Nothing Which May Not Be Retorted, With Equal Force, Upon the Persecuted Orthodox.
- Chapter II: A Confirmation of the Foregoing Chapter, Chiefly By a New Confutation of the Answer Alledg’d At Every Turn Against My Reasonings; to Wit, That the True Church Alone Has a Right to Dispense With the Natural Rule of Equity, In Her Proceedings Ag
- Chapter III: The New Confutation of the Fore-mention’d Answer Continu’d, and Supported By Two Considerable Examples.
- Chapter IV: Another Way of Considering This Second Example.
- Chapter V: An Answer to the First Disparity Which May Be Alledg’d Against My Examples; to Wit, That Hereticks, In Giving an Alms, Do Well, Because They Give It to Those to Whom God Intended It Shou’d Be Given; But Do Ill, In Compelling to Come In, Because
- Chapter VI: A Parallel Between a Judg Who Shou’d Punish the Innocent, and Acquit the Guilty, From an Error In Point of Fact, and a Heretick Judg Who Shou’d Condemn the Orthodox.
- Chapter VII: Whether Heretical Ecclesiasticks May Be Blam’d For Having a Hand In the Trials and Condemnation of the Orthodox.
- Chapter VIII: An Abstract of the Answer to the First Disparity.
- Chapter IX: That a Judg Who Condemns an Innocent Person, and Acquits a Malefactor, Sins Not, Provided He Act According to Law.
- Chapter X: An Answer to a Second Disparity; to Wit, That When a Judg Gives Sentence Against a Person Falsly Accus’d of Murder, It’s an Ignorance of Fact; Whereas If He Condemns As Heresy What Is Really Orthodox, It’s an Ignorance of Right. I Shew That It’
- Chapter XI: An Answer to a Third Disparity; Which Is, That In Criminal Trials, the Obscurity Arises From the Thing It Self; Whereas In Those of Heresy, It Proceeds From the Prepossession of the Judges. I Answer, That Even Disinterested Judges, As the Chin
- Chapter XII: A Particular Consideration of One of the Causes Which Renders the Controversys of These Times So Cross and Intricate; to Wit, That the Same Principles Which Are Favorable Against One Sort of Adversarys, Are Prejudicial In Our Disputes With Ot
- Chapter XIII: An Answer to the Fourth Disparity; Which Is, That When a Judg Is Deceiv’d In a Cause of Heresy, He Is Guilty In the Sight of God; Because the Error In This Case Proceeds From a Principle of Corruption, Which Perverts the Will: an Evil Not In
- Chapter XIV: Examples Shewing That Men Continue In Their Errors Against the Interests of Flesh and Blood, and Their Own Inclinations.
- Chapter XV: That the Persuasion of the Truth of a Religion, Which Education Inspires, Is Not Founded On a Corruption of Heart.
- Chapter XVI: That the Strong Belief of a Falshood, Attended Even With the Rejecting Those Suspicions Which Sometimes Arise In Our Minds, That We Are In an Error, Does Not Necessarily Proceed From a Principle of Corruption.
- Chapter XVII: An Answer to What Is Objected, That All Errors Are Acts of the Will, and Consequently Morally Evil. the Absurdity of This Consequence Shewn; and a Rule Offer’d For Distinguishing Errors, Which Are Morally Evil, From Those Which Are Not.
- Chapter XVIII: A Discussion of Three Other Difficultys.first Difficulty. Knowing the Obliquity of the Motive, Is Not Necessary Towards Denominating an Action Evil.
- Chapter XIX: The Conclusion of the Answer to the Fourth Disparity.
- Chapter XX: The Conclusion and Summary View of the General Consideration, Hinted At In the Title of the First Chapter.
- Chapter XXI: An Answer to a New Objection: It Follows From My Doctrine, That the Persecutions Rais’d Against the Truth Are Just; Which Is Worse Than What the Greatest Persecutors Ever Pretended.
- Chapter XXII: That What Has Bin Lately Prov’d, Helps Us to a Good Answer to the Bishop of Meaux Demanding a Text, In Which Heresys Are Excepted Out of the Number of Those Sins, For the Punishing of Which God Has Given Princes the Sword.
- Chapter XXIII: A Summary Answer to Those Who Fly to Grace For a Solution of These Difficultys.
- Chapter XXIV: Whether the Arguments For the Truth Are Always More Solid Than Those For Falshood.
- Chapter XXV: A New Confutation of That Particular Argument of St. Austin, Drawn From the Constraint Exercis’d By a Good Shepherd On His Sheep.
- Chapter XXVI: A Small Sketch, Representing the Enormitys Attending the Doctrine of Compulsion By Some New Views, As the Destroying the Rights of Hospitality, Consanguinity, and Plighted Faith.
- Chapter XXVII: That Sodomy Might Become a Pious Action, According to the Principles of Our Modern Persecutors.
- Chapter XXVIII: An Examination of What May Be Answer’d to the Foregoing Chapter.
- Chapter XXIX: The Surprizing Progress Which the Doctrine of Compulsion Has Made In the World Over Many Centuries, Tho So Impious and Detestable. Reflections On This.
- Chapter XXX: That the Spirit of Persecution Has Reign’d, Generally Speaking, More Among the Orthodox, Since Constantine’s Days, Than Among Hereticks. Proofs of This From the Conduct of the Arians.
- Chapter XXXI: That the First Reformers In the Last Age Retain’d the Doctrine of Compulsion.
- The Language of the Translation
- Obsolete Or Unusual Words Or Meanings
- Bayle’s Use of Logic
- Religious and Philosophical Controversies
- Faith and Heresy
- Trinity and Incarnation
- Grace, Original Sin, Predestination
- The Eucharist
- Church and State
- The Rule of Faith
- Reason the Fundamental Rule
- The Bible
- Philosophical Controversies
- Alterations to the 1708 Translation
ST. AUSTIN’S WORDS
If we must always leave an evil Will to its natural Liberty, why so many Scourges and pier-<494>cing Goads to force the Children of Israel, in spite of all their Murmurings and Stiffneckedness, to move forward toward the Land of Promise, &c?
St. Austin here resumes the formerly-confuted Examples of St. Paul flung to the Ground, of a Father whipping his Children, of a Shepherd running after the lost Sheep, and bringing it home by fair or by foul means; on the neglect whereof God reproaches him with Sloth and Unfaithfulness. I have confuted all this so often, that I am e’en tir’d of it. Will Men never comprehend the essential Difference between Acts where the Good-will and Consent is indispensably necessary, and those where it is not; between Acts committed under a sense of their being displeasing to God, and those perform’d from an Opinion of their being agreeable to his Will? The Israelites who murmur’d, and refus’d to proceed towards the Land of Canaan, were not so brutish as to think their Behavior approv’d by God, or that their Conscience and Religion exacted this Refusal and these Murmurings; therefore they justly deserv’d to be punish’d: and the Punishments God inflicted on ’em were a proper means of reclaiming ’em from their Sin, because they were persuaded, that ’twas God who punish’d ’em for this very Sin. But a Schismatick or Heretick, whom the Convertists load with Chains and Dragoons, is far from believing, that ’tis God afflicts him on the score of his Opinions. On the contrary, he imagines, that God punishes him for his former want of Zeal for those very Opinions; and<495> therefore Dungeons, Dragoons, and Galleys can never redress that Evil, which the Convertists wou’d propose by ’em; as the Punishments inflicted on the Israelites might quell their Murmurings and Impatience.
Besides, with regard to the Conquest of the Land of Canaan, ’twas all one, whether the Israelites mov’d freely to it, or whether they mov’d from a Fear of Punishment. And therefore all lay in their marching on, and moving towards it. The Case of the General of an Army will illustrate this: He is not displeas’d, that his Men move to the Assault cheerfully, and with a sense of Honor; but cou’d he be assur’d, that the Fear of Punishment wou’d make ’em braver than their Love and Affection for him, he cou’d easily comfort himself upon their conquering with an Ill-will. If it hinders not their marching up to the Enemys Fire with equal Briskness and Ardor, it’s all that he desires. To consider then only the journying towards the Land of Canaan, and the attacking the Canaanites; ’twas equal to God, whether the People acted freely or from Fear: and therefore ’twas reasonable to punish ’em when they refus’d to march. But the Case is different, with regard to Religion and the Worship of God: here the Persuasion, the Affections and Good-will are essentially requisite; and St. Austin will find no example to the contrary.
I cant see his Reason for bringing St. Paul’s Conversion so often upon the Stage: Perhaps he imagines (which were a very poor Illusion) that if it were not for the Violence, which Jesus Christ exercis’d on his Body, his Mind had not<496> bin enlighten’d with the Knowledg of the Gospel. An Error! Jesus Christ cou’d have converted him without the least Bustle, and, as I may say, in his very Sleep. If he thought fit to do it in so remarkable and so signal a manner, ’twas that the Fame of it might have a good Effect and Influence on many others. But what’s all this to the Laws of Honorius, and the Dragoons of Lewis XIV?
If Solomon advises Fathers to chastise their Children, ’tis not with a Design of infusing into ’em such or such Opinions in Religion; (there’s no need of a Rod for this, Children believe all that’s told ’em) but to correct their naughty Humors, their Truancy, their over-eating themselves, their Love of Play; which if suffer’d to grow up to confirm’d Habits, might become incorrigible.
St. Austin writes this Letter to a Donatist, who had attempted to kill himself, but was prevented by some of the Myrmidons of the Convertists: and tells him, that since they had exercis’d a just Violence on him to save the Life of his Body, by a much stronger Reason they might do so, to save the Life of his Soul. To make way for my adding a word or two more in this matter, to what has bin said in another place; I shall consider this Donatist, as designing to kill himself from a Principle of Conscience. It’s plain, say they, on this Supposition, that there was a just Violence exercis’d on Conscience; therefore all constraining of Conscience is not unjust.
I answer, That Conscience may be forc’d two several ways; one way, as when a Catholick is hinder’d from falling on his Knees, as the Host<497> passes by, three or four Fellows seizing and holding him in a standing Posture by main force; or else seizing one of the Reform’d Religion, and bending his Knees to the Ground, as the Host passes: The other way, as when the Alternative is set before him of abjuring his Religion, or undergoing such and such Punishments. In the first Case, the Person constrain’d is not made to sin. In the second, he’s brought into a violent Temptation, and the Constraint is very often the occasion of his sinning. They who prevented the Donatist’s killing himself, exercis’d a Violence on his Conscience, in the first way only; and consequently laid him under no Temptation to Sin, so that they ought not to be blam’d for what they did: yet their Case is not to be put in comparison with the Case of those who constrain in the second way, as St. Austin, ever unhappy in his Comparisons, wou’d do. If any one wou’d know my Opinion concerning those, who in the way first represented, shou’d hinder a Catholick’s adoring what he believes his God; or who shou’d force a Protestant on his Knees as the Host passes by: I shou’d tell him, they’d do very ill, tho they did not constrain their Neighbor to the Commission of a Sin; for there’s no Sin in kneeling before an Idol, when this Genuflexion is not an Act of the Will.