Front Page Titles (by Subject) Chapter VII: Whether Heretical Ecclesiasticks may be blam'd for having a hand in the Trials and Condemnation of 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 VII: Whether Heretical Ecclesiasticks may be blam’d for having a hand in the Trials and Condemnation of 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
Whether Heretical Ecclesiasticks may be blam’d for having a hand in the Trials and Condemnation of the Orthodox.
We have seen in the foregoing Chapter, that neither the Prince, nor Courts of Justice, are any way to blame on the score of persecuting the Orthodox; On whom then does the Blame fall? Does it fall on the Doctors and other Churchmen, who only pronounce such a Man a Heretick? But so far the Fault they are guilty of is not what we call Persecution, Murder, Crime; ’tis at most but Ignorance or Error, or the wrong qualifying an Opinion. Every Man who thinks his own Religion true, is oblig’d if requir’d, to declare it such: Now it’s the same thing to say, my Religion is true; and to say, the Religion which is opposite to mine is false. Therefore when an Assembly of the Romish Clergy, requir’d to declare what they think of the Tenets of Protestants, affirm they are Hereticks; they do no more in the main, than declare that the Church of Rome, which these directly oppose, is Orthodox. Now I wou’d fain know, whether<568> Persons, sincerely persuaded of this, can dispense with declaring, when duly cited by the Magistrate, that Protestants are Hereticks. And as they don’t precisely, by this Declaration, do any Injustice to Protestants; I mean, don’t disturb ’em in their Persons or Estates: we can’t reasonably fix the Fault on them. If the Magistrates, pursuant to this Declaration, order Fires to be kindled for burning Protestants, or condemn ’em to any other kind of Punishment; it’s only an accidental consequence of what the Doctors were in Conscience oblig’d to declare.
Is it not plain, that a Casuist who’s of Opinion, that a Woman’s forcing Abortion before her Fruit’s quick, is actual Parricide; and who declares this as his Opinion before the criminal Judges; can’t justly be charg’d with Cruelty, or reputed the Cause of their hanging a Mother convicted of a Crime of this kind, which they pronounce a Parricide? I maintain, tho he knew the Judges waited only for his Opinion to condemn this Woman, that he is oblig’d in Conscience to declare it Parricide. And for the same reason, tho the Inquisitors know, that the Judges, upon their pronouncing such a Man a Heretick, will certainly put him to Death; yet they ought not to be reputed the Authors of his Punishment; because it’s only an accidental Consequence of their Decision: inasmuch as the Law of God ordains, according to the Notions of Persecutors, that Hereticks be punish’d.
But I’l suppose further, that the same Ecclesiastical Judges, who declare such a certain Opinion Heresy, declare also, that they who obstinately maintain it are punishable; still I don’t<569> see how they can be branded with Cruelty. For on a supposition, that the Scripture makes Hereticks obnoxious to the Sword of the Magistrate; an Assembly of Ecclesiastical Hereticks errs not in forming this Decision or Canon, Hereticks are punishable by the Secular Arm, because the Position is really a reveal’d Truth. This being the Case, the conditional Proposition, If John Huss be a Heretick, he is punishable by the Secular Arm, is as true, as if it were to be met with in so many Words in Scripture; since it’s certain, that where any universal Proposition is express’d in Scripture, all the particular Propositions contain’d under it are Scripture. Implicitly and virtually, say you; however it be, they are Scripture in such a sense, as satisfys us of their Certainty, no less than if we read ’em explicitly in the sacred Text.
But what will follow, when an Assembly of Hereticks pronounces absolutely; John Huss is a Heretick, therefore he deserves to be deliver’d over to the Secular Arm to be punish’d? I answer once again, That if the Assembly act from a sincere Principle, ’twill at most be answerable only for its Persuasion of the Truth of a false Religion; and if they can get over this in the Sight of God, they’l hear no more of the matter; they may safely punish John Huss.
The reason is, that upon a supposition of St. Austin’s Doctrine, there’s an indissoluble Connexion made by the very Finger of God, between being a Heretick, and being punishable. It’s certain too, there’s an indissoluble Connexion, and which no way depends on us, between believing a thing to be true, and believing that<570> which contradicts it false. So that when you once suppose a Man persuaded firmly of the Divinity of his Religion, he must of necessity be firmly persuaded, 1. That they who impugn it are Hereticks. 2. That they are punishable. And if you remonstrate, that there’s Cruelty in their believing ’em punishable; I answer, That you can’t reasonably blame ’em, because they have found the Connexion of these two things, Heretick and Punishable, ready made to their hand and fated in Scripture; as well as the Connexion of these two, Homicide and Punishable. As therefore there is no Cruelty in declaring, that such and such deserve Death, after they have bin convicted of Murder by due Course of Law; so there is none in declaring, that they who are convicted of Heresy by the ordinary Forms and Practice of the Country, are likewise punishable.
’Twill now appear, That I have perform’d more than I at first propos’d; for I perceive, that my reasons, if good, will serve to acquit even those, who shou’d take on ’em the whole Process of Persecution, from beginning to end; a King, for example, who shou’d himself interrogate the Party accus’d of Heresy, hear his Defence, weigh and examine it, take the Advice of his Council, and in the Issue pronounce him guilty and convict of the Crime he stood accus’d of, and consequently punishable. St. Austin cou’d not reasonably have any thing more to say against a Prince, who dealt thus by the Orthodox, than that he was in an Error; for the Error once suppos’d, it is not the Arian Prince punishes the Orthodox, but the Gospel-Law.<571>
Is it not a horrible thing, that so great a Saint shou’d maintain a Doctrine, which discharges the whole Odium of the Persecutions and Sufferings of infinite numbers of the Faithful, immediately on the Divinity? For ’tis plain from this Doctrine, that nothing were blameable in a Heretick Persecutor, but his being born in a false Religion, and having receiv’d from it almost invincible Impressions by Education; things upon which he was not consulted, and for which he cannot be answerable.