Front Page Titles (by Subject) 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. - A Philosophical Commentary on These Words of the Gospel, Luke 14.23, 'Compel Them to Come In, That My House May Be Full'
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. - 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).
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- 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
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.
I Desire my Reader to weigh well this Enthymeme. The Precept of Alms-giving, of defending the Fatherless and Widow, of punishing the Guilty, and delivering the Innocent, leaves us such a Latitude of examining, whether the Party be Poor, Widow, Fatherless, Guilty, Innocent; that when our Lights and Means of Information, sincerely and diligently apply’d, lead us into Judgments and Practices, which sute not the real Condition of the Subjects with whom we are concern’d, but only with that Condition which we believe ’em in, we by no means transgress the Law of God.
If therefore it were true, as St. Austin pretends, that God has given the Sword to Princes, in order to compel Hereticks into the Church by dint of Punishment; they might fulfil the Command, altho the compel’d Partys were Hereticks, not really, but in the Opinion of their Judges only.
Let’s remember, that St. Austin has prov’d the Right of persecuting from that Passage of<563> St. Paul, which imports, that the Powers which are, are ordain’d by God for the Punishment of Evil-doers: in consequence whereof Mons. de Meaux challenges the Protestants arrogantly enough, to shew him a Text of Scripture, in which Hereticks are excepted out of the number of those Evil-doers, against whom God has arm’d the Powers ordain’d. Let’s grant ’em their Demand for a while, we shall see they’l be no great Gainers by it.
Because, as a Prince is oblig’d to no more, with regard to the Administration of Justice, than the appointing throout his Dominions, Judges of Integrity and Understanding (’twere ridiculous to pretend, he’s oblig’d to judg all Causes himself in Person, this were absolutely impossible) and hearing the fair Appeals, if such shou’d be, of his Subjects from the ordinary Courts of Judicature; it’s plain, he discharges his Duty in this respect towards God, if he enjoin his Judges to dispense exact Justice to all his Subjects, and to punish Offenders, that is, according to St. Austin, Murderers, Robbers, Sodomites, Sorcerers, Hereticks, &c. insomuch as a Prince, who gives such Injunctions, has done his part. Consequently, as it is not the Prince’s Fault, if his Judges, Men of Integrity and Capacity, happen to condemn a Man as a Murderer, who, tho at bottom innocent of the Fact, is yet legally convicted of it; or acquit a Murderer, where the Crime cannot be fairly prov’d upon him; so, neither will it be his Fault, if the same Judges punish a Man as a Heretick, who, tho not really such in the Judgment of God, is yet fairly convicted of Heresy, according to the Principles and Religion of the<564> Judges. Here then we find a Heretick Prince free from all blame, tho the Orthodox throout his Dominions be punish’d as Evil-doers.
But what will become of the Judges? I’m of Opinion, they may be justify’d upon these two Accounts: 1. Because they do not ordinarily judg upon the Fact; they refer that Judgment to the Ecclesiasticks, who, after the necessary Examination and Interrogations, pronounce the Party a Heretick, and deliver him over to the Secular Arm; that is, to the Magistrates, who hereupon condemn him to such Punishment as they see proper. 2. That if they do judg upon the Fact, and declare the Party a Heretick, they proceed upon Depositions of credible Witnesses, or upon his own Confession (for tho he won’t own himself a Heretick, yet he’l confess that he holds such and such Opinions, which his Accusers damn as Heresy) and by the Principles and Laws of their Religion and Country. So that the same Sincerity of Mind, which makes ’em assert the Truth of their own Religion, obliges ’em to declare and brand as Hereticks, all those who impugn it.
Upon the first of these two Accounts, the Judges are perfectly blameless, and have no more to answer for, in condemning a Heretick (St. Austin’s Notion once presuppos’d) than the Judges of this Kingdom wou’d have, for condemning a Criminal, upon the Verdict of a Jury legally chosen and impannel’d: The Judges in this Case, being only the Mouth of the Law, to declare what Punishment is due to the Crime, and to order the inflicting of it. It matters not whether the Party be innocent; let the Jury<565> look to that if they have brought in their Verdict without sufficient Proof. But the Judges have nothing to answer for; it being most certain, that whoever is under the Circumstances, in which they are oblig’d to suppose the accus’d, deserves the Punishment to which they sentence him.
The Case is exactly the same, when a Man being accus’d of Heresy, the Magistrates refer the Inquest upon the Fact, to those who have properly the Cognizance of matters of this Nature, to the Doctors in Divinity, to the Universitys, the Synods, the Chapters, the General Assemblys, the Councils, to the Tribunals of the Inquisition, the natural Judges of what is Orthodox and what not. If these, who are the proper and competent Judges, declare the Heresy; the Secular Arm can do no less than sentence the Evil-doer to the Punishment which the Law of God ordains; nor shall it be answerable before God, for any Error of Judgment, in those whose Province it is to declare, what is Heresy and what is not.
Let’s represent this whole reasoning in a Syllogism:
Hereticks are punishable;
John Huss is a Heretick,
Therefore John Huss is punishable.<566>
The Major is clearly and expresly contain’d in Scripture, according to St. Austin, and all the other Apologists for forcing of Conscience. The Minor is a Fact attested by the natural Judges in this case; the Magistrates therefore must pronounce the Conclusion, and can never go upon two surer grounds than the two Premises of this Syllogism.
They don’t condemn upon quite so sure Grounds, when they themselves judg of the Fact; I mean, when they judg that the Opinions of the Party accus’d are heretical: yet even here they are blameable on no other account, than believing themselves in the true Religion. Now this is what all the Men of Worth and Honor in the World are guilty of; since they continue in the Religion they profess, on no other account, than because they believe it the best. So that judging such or such a Man to be a Heretick, can only be Ignorance, or an Error at most: and consequently all the Malignity and Turpitude attending the Persecution of the Orthodox, resides, properly speaking, in the pretended Command of Persecuting. I had reason then to maintain, that the condemning the Orthodox to Death, wou’d become warrantable and lawful, if God had in general commanded the putting Hereticks to Death.
For we can find no Subject to lodg the Crime in: since Sovereigns, who enjoin their Judges to punish Evil-doers (and in this number God reckons Hereticks, according to my Adversarys) are not answerable for the Conduct of their Judges, in extending their Punishments to Persons, who tho not in reality Evil-doers, are convicted<567> however by due Course of Law; and because these Judges either don’t take cognizance of the Fact, or try it according to the most authentick Rules and Forms in use: whereupon they have the Scripture for a clear and positive Rule for the punishment of the Offence.