Front Page Titles (by Subject) 63.: The Community of the Elect - Judgments on History and Historians
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63.: The Community of the Elect - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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The Community of the Elect
Luther had developed his doctrine according to the Bible as he understood it and had in his creed effaced everything papist. To be a Lutheran meant to be severed from the Roman Catholic church. The governments which attached themselves to his doctrine completely rooted out the papist elements in their areas. Their people then gradually became subject to a new ecclesiastical organism. We know the laments of Luther and all Lutheran reformers about their behavior otherwise: that the stopping of good works had brought about a total brutalization. But Luther considered his responsibility as fulfilled when the people remained removed from any papist influence; the rest he left to God—and he was not the governor of the electorate of Saxony. Next to the pulpit there come the secular authorities and not a controlling presbytery. Compulsion is confined chiefly to a person’s no longer being allowed to be a Catholic.
But he knew quite well that in addition to all this there still existed a doctrine of election by divine grace, of predestination, based chiefly on Romans, IX, and Luther went into this question in his De servo arbitrio.
But Luther at least did not concern himself more closely with the doctrine of the small number of the elect, their general proportion, which gives the doctrine of predestination its full fearfulness.
The Anabaptists had wanted to constitute a people of the elect, but their appeal to the spirit was anarchic and their goals, where they were able to organize, were in the beginning crassly materialistic; their decline was inevitable. Nevertheless, Hans Denk had taught the eventual blessedness even of the damned, including devils, which was consistent with the vision of a world empire. It uses ἀποκατάστασις ἁπάντών [the redemption of everybody] as final decoration.
The effect of the Reformation on Europe was, in the first decades, German, Lutheran. Its distinguishing doctrine was that of justification by faith, its distinguishing outward feature the complete abolition of good works. As for its form, wherever it could, it submitted to the state as a territorial church.
The first Protestants in France, England, Italy, and Spain were, or were called, Lutherans. The propaganda of Zwinglianism outside of Switzerland died out with the battle of Kappel. Denmark and Sweden became strictly Lutheran states.
However, toward the end of the 1540’s a new spirit becomes discernible in the Western countries: Calvinism. It becomes the Reformation of those countries that had an antipathy toward the Germans. Its characteristic doctrine was that of predestination, its distinguishing form the community which, if possible, was to be a community of the elect. Wherever it is able to do so it controls the state or at least does its best to impose its point of view upon it. Through their elders the communities supervise private life.
Subsequently this doctrine proves capable, to a much greater degree than the Lutheran, of forming communities in countries where the governments maintain Catholicism by force. Moreover, a doctrine of the “few elect” is necessarily missionary, something that Lutheranism never was.
It fights in France and is victorious in Scotland and Holland. In England it is met halfway by an old Lollard religion with its own doctrine of the small number of the elect. Furthermore, the Reformation takes this new direction after 1547, not as a free one, but with the imposition of a rigidly organized state church with royal supremacy against which the absolute spirit of predestination later has to stand its ground as a sect (later the Puritans).