Front Page Titles (by Subject) Chapter XXXI: That the first Reformers in the last Age retain'd the Doctrine of Compulsion. - A Philosophical Commentary on These Words of the Gospel, Luke 14.23, 'Compel Them to Come In, That My House May Be Full'
Chapter XXXI: That the first Reformers in the last Age retain’d the Doctrine of Compulsion. - 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
That the first Reformers in the last Age retain’d the Doctrine of Compulsion.
I have already represented it as a matter of great Scandal, that Persons rais’d up extraordinarily for retrieving the Church fal’n into utter Ruin and Desolation, to use the Words of the Geneva Confession, shou’d not have consulted the sacred and inviolable Immunitys of Conscience; and that having rejected so many Follys and Heresys of the Church of Rome, they shou’d retain the Doctrine of Constraint; a Doctrine in virtue of which she had made her self drunk with the Blood of the Saints, and fal’n into the principal Enormitys, which oblig’d a good part of the Christian Church to disown her for a Mother. There’s no need of many words to prove the Charge against the first Reformers, for the Fact is but too notorious.
All the World knows, that at Geneva, the Mother Church and Center of Unity of the Calvinists, the Party for the Reformation having prevail’d over the other, the Republick in 1535 forbid the Exercise of the Romish Religion, and order’d those who wou’d not renounce it to depart the City in three days, on pain of Imprisonment or Expulsion. It’s well known too, that in other Countrys where the Prince or Sovereign embrac’d the Reformation, he not only authoriz’d the publick Exercise of Protestantism<770> (which so far was very just and laudable) but also abolish’d the Mass, and carry’d it to that Extremity at last, as not to suffer those who persever’d in their old Religion to live in the Country. Now this was plainly exceeding the Bounds of Justice: for the Ministers of those days did not found the necessity of abolishing the Mass, on the political Reason which I shall touch anon, nor on the non-tolerating Principle of Papists; but on the Idolatry of the Church of Rome, which Kings and Princes, said they, were bound to destroy, in imitation of the ancient Godly Kings of Judah, who destroy’d the high Places, and the false Worships introduc’d by their Predecessors, who had done what was not right in the sight of the Lord. All the Arguments, which I have so much press’d against the literal Sense of the Parable, strike directly at every Law or Injunction of the Supreme Power, requiring People to abjure the Mass, on pain of Imprisonment, Banishment, Confiscation of Goods, &c. For it’s by no means respecting the Empire of Conscience, to annex Punishments to her refusing to embrace or reject any particular Religion.
Let the Mass then be an Idolatrous Worship, as much as you please: A Prince who having once believ’d it the true Worship of God, comes afterwards to look on it as Idolatry, is not to attack it in his Dominions by carnal and temporal Arms, but by Instruction; and if the way of instruction fail, the only lawful pretence that he can have for expelling his Popish Subjects, is, not that their Opinions are false, and their Worship half Pagan, but that they want the<771> requisite Qualifications for making a part of any Society, whereof the Prince is a Protestant; in which case it’s plain, they may be justly depriv’d of all the Rights and Privileges of this Society. Let’s explain this a little more clearly, and by a Thought perfectly new, and different from what has bin offer’d in the Commentary Part 2, ch. 5. and in the Preliminary Discourses p. 47.
A Political Reason for not tolerating Papists.
It’s plain that all human Societys are a Confederation of a certain number of Men, who mutually engage themselves to be aiding and assisting to each other against the common Enemy, to observe certain Laws necessary for maintaining the publick Tranquillity, and to obey him or them on whom they confer the Sovereign Power, for the putting those Laws in Execution, which individuals have consented to; or even for reforming ’em. It follows then that the Sovereign is oblig’d to maintain the publick Peace, by putting the Laws in Execution; and that the Subjects on their part are oblig’d to obey him.
But the better to be assur’d of their Obedience, it’s necessary he have a double. Tye upon ’em: one of which consists in the Fear of being punish’d by the Criminal Judg, if they transgress their Duty; the other consists in the fear of incurring the Wrath of God, if they disobey the higher Powers. It follows then, that Subjects must<772> take an Oath of Fidelity and Allegiance, as a Security and Test of their Obedience to the Prince, who hereby sees ’em subjected to the severe Laws of Providence, which beholds and avenges all the most secret Crimes, and especially those for the Punishment of which God is solemnly appeal’d to.
From whence I conclude, that he who can’t give the Sovereign these two Securitys, is unqualify’d to be a Member of the Commonwealth, and may be justly expel’d on this score, and banish’d, with Permission however to withdraw, and retire whither he please, he, his Wife, his Children, and Effects, &c. Now such is a Roman Catholick, with regard to a Protestant Sovereign, since he may without shocking his Religion, make a mock of all Oaths of Fidelity sworn to him.
I don’t say (and this is what I desire may be remark’d) that his Religion necessarily obliges him to look upon his Oath as null; I only say, that it permits him to do this, and furnishes him a Spiritual Sovereign, who can absolve him from this Oath, if he will have recourse to him, and who offers him withal the Felicitys of Heaven, and the Crown of Martyrdom, if he suffers by the Hand of his Prince for any Enterprize against him in favor of Catholicity; which weakens the Fear of the Civil Laws, and thus dissolves both the Tyes which the Subject was under. This is ground enough for a Protestant Sovereign’s never having an intire Confidence in a Catholick Subject. Yet I can’t think, unless there be other particular Reasons, that they ought to be banish’d out of Places where they<773> behave themselves quietly, and where their Numbers or Force give no Jealousy.
There being therefore only this one political Reason, which can render the Non-toleration of Roman Catholicks excusable; and the first Reformers not having this in View, it follows, that they were not quite so deep as the Papists, but however that they were in this fatal Error, That it is lawful to compel into the true Church; or which comes in the end to the same thing, That it’s lawful to condemn those to certain Punishments, who refuse to come into the true Church from a Principle of Conscience.
They cou’d not fairly alledg, in defence of their Non-Toleration, that the Roman Catholicks tolerated none; for had this bin their reason, they ought to have tolerated those Sects which do tolerate, but this they were far enough from. For not to speak of the Exploits in several Places against the Anabaptists, it’s notorious to all the World, that Servetus was punish’d with Death at Geneva; Valentine Gentilis imprison’d there, afterwards expel’d, and then beheaded at Bern; Ochin and Laschus ignominiously thrust out of Geneva in the depth of Winter: Men who undoubtedly held great Errors, but by no means that of Non-Toleration.
Before I come to make some Reflections on these things, it mayn’t be improper in this place to anticipate a Word or two of the Confutation of the Treatise of the two Sovereigns, and shew what a gross Mistake this Author is guilty of in his thirteenth Chapter. He pretends that my Principles destroy our Answer to the Popish Writers, when they object, that the Reforma-<774>tion was made in a tumultuous manner, by two or three Monks stirring up the People to shake off the Jurisdiction of the Church of Rome, by their own Authority: Our Answer, I say, that in Scotland, England, Swisserland, Geneva, and in several other Places, the Business of Reformation was carry’d on by the Authority of the Supreme Power, who order’d the inspecting into the State of Religion, and the examining it maturely by learn’d Men, and chang’d the Worship, and restor’d the Purity of God’s Service with the greatest Regularity and Order. He pretends, that by my Principles ’twas unjust in the Secular Authority to interpose, and that it renders the Reformation vicious in the manner of it; but he’s mistaken, and hides from his Reader the principal part of the Cause, as if he had lost his Minutes or green Bag. All that he says was transacted by the Sovereign Power, is very just, according to my Doctrine; my Principles assert the Authority of the Magistrate in Matters of Religion up to this Point: but that which I condemn, and he suppresses, is, That not content to establish the Reform’d Religion in their Dominions, and give it the Preheminence as they might justly do, they abolish’d every other kind of Worship, and condemn’d those to Punishments who cou’d not in Conscience depart from the Religion of their Fathers, or conform to that Plan of Reformation which had bin approv’d by their Princes,