Front Page Titles (by Subject) 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. - A Philosophical Commentary on These Words of the Gospel, Luke 14.23, 'Compel Them to Come In, That My House May Be Full'
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. - 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 new Confutation of that particular Argument of St. Austin, drawn from the Constraint exercis’d by a good Shepherd on his Sheep.
First Defect of this Comparison, That the Evil from which they wou’d preserve the Heretick by constraining him, enters with him into the Church; whereas the Wolf does not enter the Fold with the Sheep that’s thrust in by main Force.
The Comparison of the good Shepherd, who to save his Sheep from the Jaws of the Wolf, thrusts ’em into the Fold, if need be, by main Force, has appear’d so dazling to the Gentlemen Convertists; that not content to have preach’d it a thousand times over to their People, and publish’d it to the World in imitation of St. Austin, they have taken it for the Fancy, or Design, before the Books which they had dedicated to the King of France on this Subject. For which reason, because I have two Thoughts against the unjustness of this Comparison, over and above what I have already said in my third Part, p. 305. I hope my Readers won’t take it ill, if I edg ’em in here by way of Supplement.
The first of these Thoughts is, That the Shepherd never uses this Constraint, when he sees his Sheep already in the Wolf’s Power: all his En-<725>deavors then amount to driving the Wolf away, and depriving him of his Prey; and he’d think he had committed a gross Fault, if he drove the Wolf towards the Fold, and forc’d him in along with the Sheep that he has fast in his Clutches. Yet this Imprudence wou’d be more excusable than that of Persecutors who extort the signing a Formulary; because a Wolf shut into the Fold may possibly be knock’d on the head there, nor wou’d it be a hard matter to find a sure way to dispatch him: But a Heresy shut into the Church along with a false Convert, is a lurking Distemper which it’s no easy matter to cure. Be that how it will, the Comparison is still defective. The good Shepherd forces his Sheep into the Fold, not when they are seiz’d by the Wolf, but before they are fal’n into his Clutches. The Convertists force Hereticks into the Church when actually of a piece with the Error, and there shut ’em in with the Enemy, who holds ’em, as they pretend, in Thraldom.
A Confutation of those who say, That since a Heretick must be damn’d unless he is constrain’d, it can do no harm to constrain him.
And here I can’t forbear expressing my astonishment at what I have heard some Catholicks say, and even read in Letters written from France, That People shou’d not be troubl’d, to think that the Dragoons made numbers of the Hugonots sign, who were persuaded that what they sign’d was false; because at worst these false Converts cou’d but damn themselves, and they<726> wou’d be damn’d without this: so that since either way they must be damn’d, better chuse that which puts a stop to the Scandal, of having a multiplicity of Sects in the same Country.
I own, this makes me question whether I am in a Christian Country; for what becomes of all the Morality of the Gospel, if we authorize so monstrous a Thought? Are we ignorant, that Holiness requires we shou’d do our utmost to prevent God’s being offended, and his Holy Name dishonor’d; and that Humanity, and much more Christian Charity, forbid us to enhance the Guilt, or enflame the Account of our Neighbor? Yet these two sacred Obligations are destroy’d by the Maxims of these wicked Convertists, who having it in their Power to let the Heretick rest in his first Sin, to wit, his Heresy according to them, force him to add Hypocrisy, and a Sin against Conscience, to his Error: whence it follows, that he offends God in more ways than otherwise he wou’d have done, and treasures up for himself a more insupportable degree of Hell Torments, than simple Heresy cou’d have merited.
According to this fine Maxim of Morality, it might be lawful to tempt Hereticks, by the powerfullest Sollicitations, to get drunk, to cut one another’s Throats, calumniate each other, live promiscuously: Men and Women in all carnal Pollutions, rob, filch, and steal from one another. For if the stopping a visible Schism, be a Good which counterballances those Sins of Hypocrisy, into which Hereticks are thrown; the Good which might accrue to the Church, from this Peoples living the most<727> dissolute Lives, and thereby becoming a Foil to the good Lives of Catholicks, wou’d ballance all the Sins which they might be tempted to commit.
Let’s now proceed to my other Thought.
Second Defect of the foresaid Comparison; That it proves invincibly, either the Pretensions of the Court of Rome over the Temporal Rights of Princes, or that the Church may depose Princes who persecute her.
One’s strangely surpriz’d, and can hardly forbear laughing, when he reads in Bellarmin or Suarez, that these Words of Jesus Christ to St. Peter, Pasce oves meas, feed my Sheep, mean, that the Pope may depose Heretick Kings, or absolve their Subjects from their Oaths of Allegiance.
But it’s most certain, if once the Conduct of Shepherds be made the Rule for Pastors of Souls, and it be proper to argue from one to the other, that nothing can be more convincing, within the Borders of the Church of Rome, than the Reasons of these Jesuits: for in fine, there’s a natural Right in Shepherds, a Right inseparable from their Charge, of defending their Sheep against the Attempts of the Wolf, by every kind of way that they can devise, either by letting loose their Dogs at him, or by setting Traps or Snares to catch him, or by laying poison’d Flesh or other Baits in his way, or by shooting him dead with a long Gun. Seeing then the Roman Catholicks are agreed, that the Pope is the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the Supreme Pastor of<728> Souls; and since they can’t but own, that a Heretical persecuting Prince, who by his Wiles and his Violences draws the Children of his Kingdom after him into Perdition, is a destroying Wolf with regard to the Church; they must, if they reason consequentially, agree with Bellarmin and Suarez, that the Pope ought to make this Prince away, by the shortest way that he can think of, quocunque modo potest, either by letting loose the neighboring Princes and Potentates against him, or by stirring up his own Subjects to Rebellion, or by Poison or Assassination.
It’s pleasant enough to see, how Mr. Maimbourg answers this Similitude of the good Shepherd, in Chap. 27. of his History of the Church of Rome. This, says he, is a Sophism not only false and opposite to all the Rules of right reasoning, but impious also and detestable, which leads directly to Parricide, and is a just ground for burning the Books which advance it. He might reasonably have judg’d so, if he were of my Principles; but approving Compulsion, as he did, and supporting it by the Example of the Shepherd, it had bin impossible for him to shew, that the Ultramontans reason’d amiss. He had bin harder set here, than by another Comparison of theirs, taken from the States General of France, to shew, that as the King of France has the whole Monarchical Power vested in him, even when for the Good of his Kingdom he thinks fit to call together the three Estates; so the Pope, who can’t follow a juster Model for governing the Church than that of the Kings of France, is always superior to a Council.
Poor Maimbourg was at a loss to answer this Difficulty.<729>
But let the Command, Feed my Sheep, be address’d to whom it will, it must be own’d that it confers a right of making away persecuting Princes, if the Conduct of Shepherds be a Rule for Imitation.