Infomotions, Inc.Studies of political thought from Gerson to Grotius 1414-1625, by John Neville Figgis ... The Birkbeck lectures delivered in Trinity College, Cambridge, 1900. / Figgis, John Neville, 1866-1919

Author: Figgis, John Neville, 1866-1919
Title: Studies of political thought from Gerson to Grotius 1414-1625, by John Neville Figgis ... The Birkbeck lectures delivered in Trinity College, Cambridge, 1900.
Publisher: Cambridge, The University Press, 1907.
Tag(s): church and state; monarchy; political science history; machiavelli; luther; medieval; jesuits; pope; conciliar movement; theory; netherlands revolt; ecclesiastical; papalist reaction; religious; church; societas perfecta
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
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Size: 77,876 words (short) Grade range: 14-18 (college) Readability score: 38 (difficult)
Identifier: studiesofpolitic00figguoft
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University of 
St. Michael's College, Toronto 

C. F. CLAY, Manager. 
Hontion: FETTER LANE, E.C. 

ffilagjjoto: 50, WELLINGTON STREET. 

Hetpjis: F. A. BROCKHAUS. 

eto goth: G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS. 

Sambas ant) Calcutta: MACMILLAN AND CO., Ltd. 

[All Rights reserved.] 



1414 1625 


Rector of Marnhull ; sometime Lecturer in 
S. Catharine's College, Cambridge 

The Birkbeck Lectures delivered in Trinity College, 
Cambridge, 1 900 

Cambridge : 
at the University Press 




IT is now nearly seven years since these lectures were 
delivered. At the time I delayed publication in 
order to secure completeness. Since then, many causes 
have increased the delay, and made perfection farther 
off than ever. Still, I have read a good deal more in the 
six literatures, all so vast, with which the lectures deal, 
and the conclusions are based on a wider induction than 
when first set forth. The volume, however, is but a 
course of lectures, intended merely to convey sugges- 
tions, and not a comprehensive treatise. Some day, 
perhaps, Mr Carlyle will give us that. 

So far as the notes go I have made them as little 
numerous as possible. Those familiar with the litera- 
ture will be aware that adequately to illustrate by 
quotation topics in the text would swell this little volume 
into a Cyclopaedia. I have reduced the errors, both in 
text and notes, so far as was practicable for one with 
many other occupations, to whom the use of a great 
library has been the fleeting boon of an occasional 
holiday. In so vast a range of topics I cannot hope 
to have avoided mistakes. They will not, it is hoped, 
militate against such interest as the book may possess. 

vi Preface 

Increasing reading in this subject has had one main 
result. It has confirmed the writer in his opinion of the 
unity of the subject, of the absolute solidarity of the con- 
troversies of our own day with those forgotten conflicts 
which form the argument of these lectures. The debt 
of the modern world to the medieval grows greater as 
one contemplates it, and the wisdom of the later ages 
less conspicuous. Some phrases, especially in the first 
lecture, would be different if they were to be written 
again. A glance at Lord Acton's essays on " The 
Protestant Theory of Persecution," or "Political Thoughts 
on the Church," or his lectures on Liberty will show 
what I mean. The mention of his name leads me to 
say that the obligations of this book to great Cambridge 
teachers are too obvious to need more elaborate ex- 
pression. I feel, however, bound to set down here my 
gratitude to the Rev. T. A. Lacey for a suggestion 
respecting the Church as a societas perfecta, which 
more than anything else has helped to illuminate the 
subject, and is the main ground of any improvement there 
may be in the present form of the lectures on that in 
which they were delivered. The introductory lecture 
then, as now, is the least satisfactory ; and would have 
been omitted were not some such preface a necessity. 
Besides, it has for the writer a personal interest. The 
late Professor Maitland, whose kindness was even greater 
than his genius, was good enough to come and listen to 
it. Since then, while the book was being rewritten, 
nearly three years back, I asked his permission to 
dedicate the lectures to one who had taught me so 
much. At the very time when he accepted this sug- 
gestion with his accustomed graciousness, I felt that 
the end might come before my task was accomplished. 

Preface vii 

It has come. And now I can only say how unworthy 
of his memory is this bungling treatment of a subject 
some aspects of which he had himself illuminated. 
Maitland, as a student and a writer and a friend, touched 
nothing that he did not adorn ; and his grave needs 
fairer wreaths than most of us can offer. Yet the 
humblest of his pupils may be allowed to say that he 
wishes his work had been more worthy of his teacher. 

J. N. F. 

May, 1907. 



I. Introductory i 

II. The Conciliar Movement and the Papalist 

Reaction 35 

III. Luther and Machiavelli 62 

IV. The Poutiques and Religious Toleration . 108 

V. The Monarchomachi .... 133 

VI. The Jesuits 167 

VII. The Netherlands Revolt . . . .191 

Notes 220 

Index 255 



Emerson did not say whether it was a student of 
political theories who made the remark that "there is 
nothing new and nothing true, and nothing matters " ; 
yet this must assuredly be the first, though not the 
better thought of such a student. Rarely indeed can he 
declare of any political idea, that it is quite new. Even 
though it seems to him to appear for the first time, 
probably his feeling is due to ignorance and someone 
better informed could tell him differently. In regard to 
truth, the more one reads of man's notions about the 
meaning and method of civil society, the more often 
is one inclined in despair to say that truth has as little 
to do with politics as it has with most politicians. 

Whether, again, these ideas have much practical 
effect may well seem doubtful, when we see how circum- 
stances conquer principle, and necessity is the mother of 
invention. Political thought is very " pragmatist." 

Yet we must not leave the other side out of our 
reckoning. If ideas in politics more than elsewhere are 
the children of practical needs, none the less is it true, 
that the actual world is the result of men's thoughts 
The existing arrangement of political forces is depen- 

2 Introductory [lect. 

dent at least as much upon ideas, as it is upon men's 
perception of their interests. If we allow little to the 
theorist in momentary influence we must admit, that 
his is the power which shapes the " long result of time." 
The normal value, in fact, of political theories is a 
" long period value." The immediate significance of an 
Algernon Sidney or an Althusius is small and less than 
nothing as compared with a practical politician, like 
Maurice or Jeffreys. But his enduring power is vast. 
Hildebrand, Calvin, Rousseau, were doctrinaires, if ever 
there were such. Yet neither Bismarck, nor even 
Napoleon has had a more terrific strength to shape the 
destinies of men. In literature as in life, the thinker 
may be dull ; but it is with a significant dullness. 

In these Lectures we shall be regarding a Literature 
without charm or brilliancy or overmuch eloquence, 
voluminous, arid, scholastic, for the most part; dead it 
seems beyond any language ever spoken. Dust and 
ashes seem arguments, illustrations, standpoints, and 
even personalities. Its objects are forgotten, and even 
the echo of its catchwords rings faintly. Yet it was 
living once and effectual. And it is worth studying if 
we would understand the common facts of to-day. For 
these men whose very names are only an inquiry for the 
curious, are bone of our bone, and their thought like the 
architecture of the Middle Ages, is so much our common 
heritage that its originators remain unknown. It is 
because of this common heritage that the study seems 
to be worth making. Owing to the nature of the subject 
much that is said here will be dry. But I desire to 
confess that I have made no conscious effort to be dull. 
Such a confession will not be regarded by all as credit- 

i] Introductory 3 

No subject illustrates more luminously the unity of 
history than the record of political ideas. Although 
there is no value in erudition as such, it is not purpose- 
less erudition to dive into Gerson or Cusanus. They 
are, though we do not know it, a part of our own world ; 
and even from those forgotten controversies we may 
perhaps find something more than mere explanation of 
the world we live in. The study, remote and recondite 
though it appears, may give us an added sense of the 
dignity of our heritage and a surer grasp of principles 
amid the complexities of the modern world. 

It is not to revive the corpse of past erudition that I 
have any desire, but rather to make more vivid the life 
of to-day, and to help us to envisage its problems with a 
more accurate perspective. Otherwise my task would 
be as ungrateful as it is difficult. To raise once more 
the dust of controversies, which time has laid, seems 
both useless and disagreeable. There is no adventitious 
attraction to allure us. No one who has the descriptive 
faculty would seek for its material in the dignified 
decorum of John Torquemada, the inartistic invective of 
Boucher or Reynolds, or the exhaustive and exhausting 
lucubrations of Peninsular divines. The taste for the 
picturesque is often misleading. These lectures may be 
misleading but nobody shall call them picturesque. If 
they guide only into a blind alley, it will not be through 
an excess of " atmosphere." 

There is indeed as little of philosophical depth as 
there is of literary charm in this wilderness of books. 
With the exception of Hooker and Machiavelli none of 
these writers has the charm that conquers time. Mariana 
is indeed pleasant reading, and a few pamphleteers like 
Louis D'Orleans are amusing. But nobody travels 

4 Introductory [lect. 

through a desert merely for the sake of the oasis ; it 
is to get somewhere else, that men ride over the Sahara. 
And so here. We seek to see our own day as from a 
watch-tower ; and we are trying to know more closely 
y the road we have been travelling. Our subject is those 
changes in men's thoughts about politics which bridge 
the gulf between the medieval world and the modern. 
We cannot, indeed, cover all the time of transition, 
or even attempt to treat of every aspect of the revolu- 
tion. For there was a revolution. No theory of the 
unity of history, no rhetoric about continuous evolution 
and orderly change must blind us to the fact. The most 
significant illustration of this is the recent judgment of 
the House of Lords in the Free Church of Scotland 
Appeals. This judgment in its implication marks the 
final stage in that transposition of the spheres of Church 
and State which is, roughly speaking, the net result of 
the Reformation. In the middle ages the Church was 
not a State, it was the State; the State or rather the civil 
authority (for a separate society was not recognised) 
was merely the police department of the Church. The 
latter took over from the Roman Empire its theory of 
the absolute and universal jurisdiction of the supreme 
authority, and developed it into the doctrine of the 
plenitudo potestatis of the Pope, who was the supreme 
dispenser of law, the fountain of honour, including regal 
honour, and the sole legitimate earthly source of power, 
the legal if not the actual founder of religious orders, uni- 
versity degrees, the supreme "judge and divider" among 
nations, the guardian of international right, the avenger 
of Christian blood. All these functions have passed else- 
where, and the theory of omnipotence, which the Popes 
held on the plea that any action might come under their 

i] Introductory 5 

cognizance so far as it concerned morality 1 , has now been 
assumed by the State on the analogous theory that any 
action, religious or otherwise, so far as it becomes a matter 
of money, or contract, must be matter for the courts 2 . 

The change which substituted the civil for the ec- 
clesiastical authority is a part of our subject ; for though 
we can trace the later claims of the civil power in the 
controversies of the eleventh and the twelfth centuries, 
yet the main stages of the transition took place in the 
period before us, and its chief promoters were Martin 
Luther and Henry VIII and Philip II, who really worked 
together in spite of their apparent antagonism. 

But if we study this aspect of things, we must also 
study the other ; the steps by which some limits were 
imposed to the new autocracy of the State ; and the 
growth of the principles on which the distribution of 
power was justified. The task is no easy one. Yet 
something, even in six lectures, may be said which may 
susreest a little, even if it does not instruct much. We 
may see something of the way in which certain new-old 
ideas found expression more potent, though little more 
perfect than before ; how they allied themselves with 
political needs, and so were no mere dreams, but active 
forces ; how out of conflicts and controversies, in essence 
religious, modern politics have developed themselves. 

The difficulty of understanding the history of the 
Reformation is not lessened by the fact that in a 
very real sense the age of the Reformation is still pro- 
ceeding. As Newman said, "the Reformation set in 
motion that process of which the issue is still in the 
future." What I hope to do is to bring into a little 
clearer light the figures of modern politics, as seen upon 
this background. Whether the motive was opportunism 

6 Introductory [LECT. 

or conviction, the fact remains that to religious bodies 
the most potent expressions of political principles has 
been clue. Political liberty, as a fact in the modern 
world, is the result of the struggle of religious organisms 
to live. Of political principles, whether they be those 
of order or those of freedom, we must seek in religious 
and quasi-theological writings for the highest and most 
notable expressions. Treumann justly remarks that the 
democratic politics of the Scotch reformers were the 
result of their determination to prevent the whole of the 
monastic endowments from falling into the hands of the 
nobles 3 . 

Religious forces, and religious forces alone, have had 
sufficient influence to ensure practical realisation for 
political ideas. Reluctantly, and in spite of themselves, 
religious societies were led by practical necessities to 
employ upon their own behalf doctrines which are now 
the common heritage of the Western world. In fact 
that world, as we live in it and think it, was really forged 
in the clash of warring sects and opinions, in the secular 
feuds between the clergy and laity, Catholic and Pro- 
testant, Lutheran and Calvinist. 

In the great contest between Popes and Emperors 
the Middle Ages witnessed one more attempt of the 
Titans to scale the height of heaven. But they were 
hurled back, and the last of the Hohenstauffen perished 
in ignominy. In the period however with which we 
shall be concerned the old gods were displaced by 
new, save for the heroic and partly successful attempt, 
known as the Counter-Reformation, to bring back 
the Saturnian reign of the Papacy ruling a united 

We may trace back for ages that sovereign conception 

i] Introductory 7 

of the original contract, which may be unhistorical and 
unphilosophical, but is the bulwark of sixteenth and 
seventeenth century Liberalism, which only withdraws 
from English thought with Burke, and has its most 
renowned exponent in Rousseau. Manegold of Lauten- 
bach during the Investiture controversy makes use of the 
notion 4 . Later on Augustinus Triumphus of Ancona 
employs it in a form afterwards found serviceable by 
the Jesuits : the Baptismal vow in this view comprised 
a series of conditions which cannot be fulfilled by 
heretics or excommunicate persons and therefore they 
may be deposed 5 . Augustine also includes the Pope 
as a person who, in case of heresy, is ipso jure deprived 
of his jurisdiction. We may indeed find the source of 
the Counter-Reformation view of the inadmissibility of 
heretic royalty in this doctrine propounded by one 
who treats the Pope as head of the world-state. Even 
Augustinus Triumphus will not allow infidel monarchs to 
be disturbed, unless they molest the Church. The Pope 
has power even then, i.e., of an international order but 
not of the same kind as that which he wields over heresy, 
which is essentially rebellion 6 . Perhaps S. Thomas Aqui- 
nas may be taken as the beginning of the later medieval 
rationalising political thought, which either blends with 
or substitutes for the old mainly theocratic and Scriptural 
arguments, general considerations derived from the 
nature of political societies and founded on the "Politics" 
of Aristotle 7 . Anyhow it is to S. Thomas that many 
of the writers we shall discuss avowedly go back, and 
he is made the basis of the various systems of the 
Jesuits, and of their defence of resistance and even 
tyrannicide 8 . 

It was Lord Acton who said that " not the devil but 

8 Introductory [lect. 

S. Thomas Aquinas was the first Whig." With the 
revived study of Roman Law there had come an 
increasing reverence for the Law Natural with which 
even a Pope cannot dispense 9 . This notion was to be 
of great service to all theorists, who desired to subject to 
some limits the all-embracing activity of the modern 
state, whether these limits were internal and concerned 
the interests of individuals or external and imposed on 
the ground of international equity. 

It is not an accident that men like Machiavelli, 
and Hobbes, whose aim is to remove all restraints 
from the action of rulers except those of expediency, 
should be agreed in denying all meaning to the idea 
of natural law. On the other hand for Grotius with 
his theory of inter-state morality, for Du Plessis Mornay 
with his claim that the governor must have regard 
to the good of the governed, the notion of natural 
law which makes promises binding anterior to positive 
rules, is essential and obligatory. The basis of both 
the original contract and international law is the same. 
Both ideas have their necessary roots in the belief in the 
law of nature ; for so only in these days could the idea 
of right be justified against reason of state. 

To the same source there was due the idea of the 
fundamental equality of men 10 . In addition to this the 
study of civil law, while leading to the hardening of 
all theories of lordship whether public or private, tended 
on the one hand to individualism in regard to private 
property, and on the other naturally raised a controversy 
as to the import of the Lex Regia by which all power 
was surrendered to the Emperor. 

If this law be taken not as a mere historical fact in 
the history of a single people, but as a universal truth, 

i] Introductory g 

expressing the origin of civil authority, it may be used 
to assert either the omnipotence of the ruler, as being 
endowed with all authority, or the fundamental sove- 
reignty of the people, as the original of that authority. 
Why should the people make the absolute surrender 
contemplated by Hobbes? Why should they not say 
in the words of the oath of Aragon that the people has 
as much right and more power than the king 11 ? 

The tendency to argue thus was increased by the 
fact that there is no text of the Lex Regia in the 
Corpus but only an account of it. Salamonius in his 
very interesting dialogue De Principatu makes great 
play with this, and takes a text he does find to prove 
that the royal power is not irresponsible 1 ' 2 . It is also 
one of the most effective weapons of Papalist advocates. 
When they desired to shew the essential differences 
between Papal and regal authority and to rebut the 
assertion that royal power came " immediately from 
God alone " all they had to do was to quote this state- 
ment about the Lex Regia. For in so far as it was 
generally admitted as a good account of the popular 
origin of political authority, it made against the theory 
of the Divine right of Kings. It might almost be said 
that the foundation of the anti-autocratic theory of 
government in the sixteenth century lay in the use 
of the Lex Regia, to describe the origin of regal 
power 13 , and in that of the Digna Vox to indicate its 
limits 14 . It is in the atmosphere created by this 
text, together with the absolutist maxims, that since 
the prince was legibus solutiis 15 quod principi plactiit 
legis habet vigorem 16 , that all political discussion 
takes place. Even the maxim salus popidi suprema 
lex comes into general consciousness through a great 

i o Introductory [lect. 

advocate 17 , and we cannot over-estimate the influence 
of this legal atmosphere on the development of political 
thought, even on into modern times. Nor must we 
forget that the code as developed by Justinian, with the 
few additional extravagants which became authoritative, 
is at least as much a medieval as an ancient monument. 
Its conception of the duty of the government in regard to 
heresy and of the nature of the Christian Commonwealth 
is definitely medieval. Even if it has not that exag- 
gerated notion of the clerical authority which became a 
Western characteristic, its ideas are by no means those 
of the world of antiquity. Its fundamental idea is that 
of a uniform single state existing on a Christian basis, 
with a place for bishops no less than counts, and ortho- 
doxy a condition of citizenship a Civitas Dei in fact. 
Add to these the maxim which our own Edward took 
from the code quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbetur 1 * 
and made a basis for his theory of representation, 
and we see how large a part was played by Roman Law 
in the development of political thought. 

On the other hand we must not ignore the influence 
of feudalism in the same development. It tended more 
than anything else towards the growth of the doctrine of 
hereditary right, and the notion that the king's claims 
were unassailable, in fact towards the treating of the 
State as an estate. When feudalism decayed and 
property became pure dominium under the influence 
of the Roman Law, the king's estate underwent the 
same change. The Commonwealth under feudal notions 
is a pure Herrschafts-verband, not a Genossenschaft ; and 
the king's rights are those of a landed proprietor. 

Again, it is in the feudal system that the con- 
tractual theory of government took its rise ; for it is 

i] Introductory 1 1 

of its essence. It was feudalism which led to that 
comparison between private and public rights which 
makes "the case of the king" a precedent in private 
law 19 . In fact, as Professor Maitland pointed out, under 
feudalism there is no public law ; all rights are private, 
including those of the king 20 . It is this absence of a 
theory of the State as such which characterises especially- 
medieval history, except for the great Church as a whole. 
In the strict sense of the term, there is no sovereign in 
the Middle Ages ; only as we find even a little later in 
France, there is an etat which belongs to the king ; but 
there is also an Etat de la Repnbliqtie, while even a 
lawyer in the Paris Parlement has his etat. Only very 
gradually does State come to mean the organisation of 
the nation and nothing else. The change is probably 
due to the influence of Italian life and Machiavelli its 
exponent. For the contractual theory of government an 
atmosphere was needed, in which politics were argued 
on legal principles, in which public powers were assimi- 
lated to private rights, and in which some general 
system of law was assumed, and government was a 
matter of bargain. That atmosphere was afforded by 
feudalism and by the titles De Fendis in the completed 
editions of the Corpus. 

Of the original compact theory feudalism was an 
obvious basis ; not merely did the droit de defiance all 
but suggest, and the final clause of such documents as 
Magna Charta inevitably imply it, but the actual legal 
atmosphere of feudalism is that in which the theory was 
likely to arise. The two elements, the assimilation of 
public to private right, and the mutual nature of the 
tie between governed and governor, existed in the 
feudal system far more obviously than in any other ; 

1 2 Introductory [lect. 

and these two elements were necessary to the contract 

It could not have arisen except in an age when 
public rights were conceived inductively, inferred that 
is from particular rights of ruling lords, and in an age 
dominated by the idea of private law ; for the contract 
theory assumes the existence of private rights and private 
legal obligations as anterior to all public rights and indeed 
to the existence of the State. That is, the contract theory 
really has reference to the medieval world, when all public 
law except that of the Pope was inductive ; not to the 
modern world created by Bodin and Hobbes working 
hand in hand with political conditions in which the theory 
of the powers of the State is abstract and deductive, 
and is reasoned down from general ideas of necessary 

In the Middle Ages we see public right shaping itself 
out of private rights. The powers of the sovereign are the 
special attributes of a peculiarly placed person, whether 
prerogative of Crowns or privileges of Parliament. They 
are not the necessary attributes of public authority con- 
ceived as something quite other than any other rights. 
The casus regis (John's succession to the Crown, instead 
of that of his nephew) is to Bracton merely a case like 
any other case. The contractual theory is in fact the 
last phase of that juristic conception of politics which 
is largely medieval, but remained an influence till the 
eighteenth century. 

It is, if not medieval, an important part of the legacy 
of the Middle Ages to the modern world ; the juristic 
framework for schemes of popular rights and inter- 
national duty was the product of conditions that were 
past or passing. With the full recognition of the State, 

i] Introductory 1 3 

these juristic ideals passed away, although even now we 
sometimes see a moral justification for disobedience to 
the law masquerading as a legal right. 

The attitude of the common lawyers in the seven- 
teenth century was largely due to their failure to perceive, 
or their refusal to admit, the modern doctrine of sove- 
reignty. Yet even the claims of the sovereign State 
were no new discovery. Taken over and developed by 
the Papacy from the ancient Empire, the plenitudo potes- 
tatis asserted nothing less than this, and the Imperialist 
party grasped (at least in theory) at similar principles 
for themselves. The writer of the Tractatus Eboracensis 
under Henry II developed a theory of royal omnipotence 
by Divine right, as complete if not as systematic, as that 
which we shall have to consider later 21 . His theory of 
excommunication might have given hints to Erastus. 
His arguments on the superiority of royal to priestly 
authority might have arrested Wyclif. 

Yet when all is said (and in studying this subject 
one is at times inclined to deny that political doctrines 
ever began at all) there remains a great gulf fixed between 
medieval and modern thought. We in the twentieth 
century think of the State as essentially one, irresistible 
in theory and practice, with a uniform system of law 
and a certain government. Rights of personal liberty, 
of the security of property, of general protection, of legal 
equality, and religious liberty, are so generally recognised 
that however difficult it may be to agree upon an abstract 
basis we take them for granted and they have become 
a part of the furniture of our minds. In our view the 
world of politics is composed of certain communities 
entirely independent, territorially omnipotent, and to 
some extent morally responsible. A set of rules founded 

1 4 Introductory [lect. 

upon an insecure basis of custom, convenience, humanity, 
or natural reason admittedly exists, to which under the 
name of international law they pay a nominal, reluctant, 
and none too regular obedience which is however more 
regular and less reluctant than was the obedience six 
centuries ago paid to the common law by any decently 
placed medieval feudatory. 

Again, the theocratic and still more the jural concep- 
tion of political right has gone from the educated world. 
Providence, doubtless, has to do with politics as with 
other human affairs, and all Theists must allow that 
political associations have some divine sanction. But 
most are now agreed to relegate the part of Providence 
to that of final cause ; indeed there has been a revolution 
in political thought, not dissimilar to the substitution of 
efficient for final causes as an account of natural pheno- 
mena. I do not of course mean that all hold the same 
ethical theory, but that institutions and all alleged rights 
must be able to show some practical utility if their 
existence is to be maintained. All arguments but those 
of public policy are to a great extent laughed out of 
court. Now in the Middle Ages political argument 
went on the basis of alleged private rights, whether 
divine or purely human in origin. Of course arguments 
from convenience are found ; and at no time can institu- 
tions maintain themselves for which some form of utility 
cannot be argued. We have passed from the defence of 
rights to the realisation of right and it is not at all clear 
that we have gained. Perhaps it would be most accurate 
to say, that in the Middle Ages human welfare and even 
religion was conceived under the form of legality, and 
in the modern world this has given place to utility. 

Again, in the Middle Ages the omnipotent territorial 

i] Introductory j 5 

State, treated as a person and the coequal of other states, 
was non-existent. It might be a dream, or even a 
prophecy, it was nowhere a fact. What we call the 
State was a loosely compacted union with " rights of 
property and sovereignty everywhere shading into one 
another 22 " and the central power struggling for existence. 
Neither Normandy nor Burgundy, neither the dominions 
of Henry the Lion nor those of a Duke of Aquitaine, 
formed a State in the modern sense, yet how far can their 
rulers be regarded as in any real sense subjects? At 
last indeed, with the growth of federalism in idea and 
fact and in our own possessions beyond the seas, we are 
going back to a state of things in some ways analogous 
to the medieval. But the modern post-Reformation 
State par excellence is unitary, omnipotent, and irresistible, 
and is found in perfection not in England, but in France 
or the German States of the ancien regime. Joseph II 
dotted the i's of Luther's handwriting. 

Yet even granting that the King of France or 
Germany was a true sovereign in his temporal do- 
minions, the power of the Church and the orders was a 
vast inroad on governmental authority. It is to be 
noted that Suarez and others developed a doctrine of 
extra-territoriality out of rights preserved by the univer- 
sities and the monastic orders of the Church. There 
was one really universal order in Western Christendom 
and its right name was the Church. It was true the 
Canonists never got quite all that they wanted, yet as has 
been said " no one dreams that the King can alter the 
Common Law of the Catholic Church," and that Com- 
mon Law included a great deal of what is really civil 
law 23 . Nowadays it is to be decided on grounds of 
public policy how far the State shall permit the freedom 

1 6 Introductory [lect. 

of religious bodies, although our own views of policy 
may be, that interference is inexpedient because it is 
wrong. But at that time it was the State which existed 
on sufferance, or rather the secular authority, for the 
very term State is an anachronism. It would be an 
interesting point to determine accurately the causes 
which have led to the substitution in general use of the 
term State for Commonwealth or republic. I think that 
Italy and Machiavelli are important factors. The object 
of the civil power, the wielder of the temporal sword, 
within the Church-State was not attack, but defence 
against a claim to universal dominion. The Holy 
Roman Empire, the most characteristic of all medieval 
institutions, did indeed attempt to realise the idea of an 
all powerful State, but that State was the Church. The 
ideal was realised only very partially and then as a rule 
only by the undue predominance of the ecclesiastical 
element. Innocent III was a more truly universal 
power than most of the successors of Charles the Great. 
The conflict with the Popes which prevented the 
Emperors realising this idea was also an assistance to 
the gradual growth of national States, and the break-up 
of Christendom. That word is now merely a geo- 
graphical expression. It was a fact in the Middle Ages. 
The real State of the Middle Ages in the modern sense 
if the words are not a paradox is the Church. The 
priest in the Somnium Vividarii (a fourteenth century 
book) declares that all civil laws are at bottom canon 
laws 24 , in other words that there can be no true polity 
or real law which has not the sanction of the Pope's 
authority. Another illustration of the purely political 
theory of ecclesiastical office is to be found in the argument 
of that most uncompromising of Papalists, Augustinus 

i] Introductory 1 7 

Triumphus about Papal jurisdiction. After arguing 
that the lordship of the whole world belongs to the 
Pope, he declares that so far as jurisdiction is concerned 
a layman might well be Pope : and election would give 
him all rights except those of order 25 . 

It has been said that there is no Austinian sovereign 
in the medieval State. This is true of the individual 
kingdoms. It is not true of the Church. For nothing 
could be more Austinian in spirit than the Bull Sacro- 
sanctae Ecclesiae which promulgated the Sext in 1298 26 . 
There was no doubt that the canonists meant by the 
plenitudo potestatis everything that the modern means 
by sovereignty. Indeed one later writer says plainly 
that plena potestas means absoluta potestas. The second 
title of the Sext contains the statement, that law 
exists in the bosom of the Pope, and goes on to assert 
the principle that whatever the sovereign permits he 
commands 27 . There is another point. The medieval 
state had one basis of unity denied to the modern 
religion. Baptism was a necessary element in true 
citizenship in the Middle Ages and excommunication 
was its antithesis. No heretic, no schismatic, no excom- 
municate has the rights of citizenship. This principle, 
admitted as it was by Catholic princes, and founded on 
the Code of Justinian, was the ground of the Pope's 
claim to depose sovereigns, and of all the conflicts that 
ensued. Few really denied it till the Reformation. 
Philip of Spain's famous remark, that he would rather 
not reign at all than reign over heretics, was merely an 
assertion of medieval principles by a man who really 
believed in them. 

In regard to infidels there is a slightly different 

1 8 Introductory [lect. 

theory. The priest in the Somnium Viridarii does 
indeed declare that the dominion of no infidel can ever 
be really just, and hence war with the Turks is always 
permissible 28 . And this is the real principle of the 
Crusades. It is the view of thorough-going medievalism. 
Yet all the influences which later on were to develop into 
the theory of the indirect Papal power went towards 
admitting a limited right even among infidels. This is 
the view of Augustinus Triumphus 29 . This more 
moderate view is that infidel sovereigns do not hold 
their titles from the Pope and therefore may not be 
molested without cause. We may regard this as 
marking the end of the Crusading era and the be- 
ginning of modern views. This principle may be used 
so as to become a basis for agreement with heretic 
sovereigns, after they have become established, e.g., it 
might be right to depose Elizabeth, but not Victoria 
unless she began to persecute. We cannot over- 
estimate the change in men's minds required to pro- 
duce the ideal of heterogeneity in religion within one 

In these lectures we shall only see the beginning of 
it. When the change had been completed, it carried 
with it the entire destruction of theological politics and 
for a time undoubtedly assisted to spread the purely 
Machiavellian theory. In the Middle Ages politics 
was a branch of Theology, with whatever admixture 
derived from Aristotle and the Civil Law. Its basis 
was theocratic. Machiavelli represents the antithesis 
of this view, discarding ethical and jural as well as 
theological Criteria of State action. 

The Reformation on some sides of it retarded the 

i] Introductory 1 9 

secularising tendency, and made politics more, not less 
theological. Finally, owing to the clash of competing 
religions a theory of the State purely secular was 
developed. That however was in the future. 

Yet the change to the heterogeneous family of 
States, from a uniform Christendom with some shadow 
of deference to the Emperor and a real pre-eminence 
for the Pope, heralded and assisted that transition still 
incomplete from a state of a single religion to one of 
several. The notion that uniformity in religion is 
necessary to political stability was disproved by facts, 
and then became discredited in theory. This one 
change is significant of much else. The imaginative 
vision of the Middle Ages could see but one state 
worthy of the name upon earth, the Civitas Dei. 
Everything else, including the rights of kings, is mere 
detail and has but a utilitarian basis. The very contempt 
for the secular power paved the way to make it more 
secular, more non-moral, and to discredit the notion of 
right in politics. 

Further, before the modern world of politics could 
arise, it was needful not merely to deprive the Emperor 
of any shadowy claim to supremacy, but the Pope must 
be driven from his international position. The rise of 
Protestantism was the condition for the founding of 
International Law, as a body of doctrine governing the 
relations of States supposed to be free, equal, and in a 
state of nature. This was not true of the medieval 
princes, and their wars were, as Stubbs says, " wars 
for rights. " With the (international) state of nature 
arrived the period of "wars of interest." 

Of course all these statements are merely approxi- 
mate, we can say no more than that certain tendencies 

20 Introductory [lect. 

were dominant at one time rather than another. The 
theocratic ideal is still discoverable; and there was 
very little theocracy about the Venetian Constitution 
in the Middle Ages. In the same way there was some 
real equality and independence among nations long 
before Dante wrote the De Monarchia, and if the State 
is not to be called such because it is loosely knit, 
what are we to say of the British Empire to-day ? 
That, however, looks to the future. With all reservations 
there remains a broad difference between the self-sufficing 
unit of International Law, and the spoke in the wheel of 
medieval Christendom. The closer we look the more 
we see that it is the resemblance which is superficial, 
and the differences that are profound, between medieval 
and modern notions. 

It would require an intellectual revolution quite in- 
conceivable in magnitude to induce us to regard it as 
an argument for the Papal power, that the sun is superior 
to the moon, or that S. Peter gave two swords to Christ ; 
that the Pope is like Sinai, the source of the oracles of 
God, and is superior to all kings and princes, because 
Mount Sinai is higher than all other hills (which it is 
not); that when Daniel speaks of beasts, the writer meant 
that tyranny is the origin of earthly power ; that the 
command to feed my sheep, and the committal of the 
Keys to S. Peter gave to the Papacy the absolute political 
sovereignty of the world ; or on the other side that 
Adam was the first king, and Cain the first priest, that 
the text forbidding murder proves immediately the Divine 
origin of secular lordship, that unction is not indelible 
save in France, but there it is so because the oil is pro- 
vided by an angel. 

The endless discussions over the exact significance 

i] Introductory 2 1 

of irrelevant texts and the sophistry lavished upon those 
few that are relevant are barely intelligible to our eyes. 
To take an instance, it is argued that the words " My 
Kingdom is not of this world " so far from being an 
objection to the political claims of the Papacy are a 
support to them, as they prove that Christ's kingdom 
is of Divine and not of human origin. The same in- 
ference is drawn from His refusal to allow the multitude 
to make him King. Had he consented, his title would 
have been popular like that of an earthly monarch. The 
whole method rests on the belief that the most perfect 
polity can be discovered within the pages of the Old and 
New Testaments, and that the actions of Samuel, or 
Uzziah, or Jehoiada, or Ehud could be made into a system 
whereby all future political methods could be judged. 
All such arguments (and they go into endless detail) not 
merely illustrate the gulf between our own age, and those 
in which such considerations seemed serious and service- 
able, but very often deprive us of all sympathy for the 
men who lived in them, and are a hindrance to our dis- 
cerning the kernel beneath the thick husk of inconclusive 
ingenuity and illegitimate metaphor. 

The best illustration of the changed mental stand- 
point can be afforded by comparing the Unatn Sanctum 
or the decree Solitae of Innocent III, or even the De 
Monarchia, with the following passage dealing with 
religious bodies from Professor Sidgwick's Elements of 

"A stronger means of control without anything like 
establishment may be exercised in the form of a super- 
vision of the wealth of Churches derived from private 
sources. If indeed, the expenses of religious teaching 

2 2 Introductory [lect. 

and worship are defrayed by contributions from the in- 
comes of its members, it will be difficult for Government 
to interfere in the employment of such contributions, 
without measures of violent and invidious repression : 
but if they are paid from funds bequeathed to form 
a permanent endowment for the association, the case is 
different. Here, in the first place, Government may refuse 
to admit any religious society to the position of a cor- 
poration capable of holding and administering property, 
unless its organisation fulfils certain conditions, framed 
with the view of preventing its ' quasi-government ' from 
being oppressive to individual members of the association 
or dangerous to the State. Secondly Government may 
take advantage of a collision to bring the funds of any 
such society permanently under its control, in pursuance 
of its general duty of supervising the management of 
wealth bequeathed to public objects, and revising the 
rules under which it is administered, in the interest 
of the community at large. But further, the bequest 
of funds to be permanently employed in payment of 
persons teaching particular doctrines, is liable to supply 
a dangerously strong inducement to the conscious or 
semi-conscious perpetuation of exploded errors, which, 
without this support, would gradually disappear : hence 
it should be the duty of Government to watch such 
bequests with special care, and to intervene when neces- 
sary, to obviate the danger just indicated, by modifying 
the rules under which ancient bequests are administered." 
It will at once be seen that we are in a different 
world. Still further illustration might be the (un- 
conscious) coupling of kings and bishops, as the highest 
earthly authorities, in the Imitation, or the decretal 

i] Introductory 23 

in the Sext 30 forbidding the secular Courts to make the 
clergy pay their debts. The very title of Professor 
Sidgwick's chapter, 'The State and Voluntary Societies," 
is a proof of the distance the world has travelled since 
Boniface VIII promulgated the Unam Sanctam. 

Yet we must bear in mind that in political theory 
many of the medieval arguments and methods subsisted 
until the eighteenth century. In some form or other 
the discussion of theories of Divine Right lasted a 
thousand years ; while, as we have seen, many of the 
notions we regard as modern can be traced back to the 
medieval world, or even earlier. 

Mr Carlyle has recently demonstrated the continuity 
of political thought from Cicero to Rousseau 31 . Indeed 
it seems true that the root idea of equality on the 
one hand and absolute dominion on the other came 
from the ancient world through the Stoics, the Roman 
Law and the Fathers ; while the ideas of liberty and 
association in government are Teutonic, or in other 
words Whiggism is German, and Radicalism Latin. 
Yet if S. Thomas was the first Whig why was Whiggism 
as we know it so long in making an effective appearance? 
The answer to this is largely to be found in the unity of 
the medieval Church. So long as the Holy Roman 
Empire remained even an ideal, a really modern theory 
of politics could not be generally effective. Even after 
it had well developed into the theory of the Holy 
Roman Church with universal supremacy, no truly 
modern system of politics was possible, until that theory 
was shattered. Christendom, the union of the various 
flocks under one shepherd with divine claims, divine 
origin, and divine sovereignty, had to be transformed 
into Europe, the habitat of competing sects and com- 

24 Introductory [lect. 

pact nations, before the conditions of modern politics 

This process was of long duration. In Italy it was 
accomplished earlier, or rather the independence of the 
cities, and the secularisation of the Papacy in practice 
made possible a work like Machiavelli's long before 
trans-Alpine Europe could have produced it. Professor 
Sidgwick did well to call attention to the fact that the 
modern world in England, so far as politics are concerned, 
began at the Restoration 32 . From one point of view we 
might assert that the Middle Ages ended with the visit 
of Nogaret to Anagni, and from another it might be 
said to end only when the troops of Victor Emmanuel 
entered Rome and the Lord of the world became the 
prisoner of the Vatican, and of course it ended at 
different times in different places. Hence arises the 
extreme difficulty of disentangling the conflicting ten- 
dencies and complex political combinations of our 

So far as the Reformation helped to produce the 
compact, omni-competent, territorial, bureaucratic State, 
so far as directly or indirectly it tended to individual 
liberty, it must be regarded as modern in its results. But 
so far as it tended to revive theocratic ideals, theological 
politics, and appeals to Scripture in regard to the form 
of Government, it was a reversion to the ideals of the 
earlier Middle Ages, which were largely disappearing 
under the combined influence of Aristotle and the 

All that can be attempted in these lectures is to 
show how both one and the other tendency came to 
influence the thoughts and the lives of men ; how for 
instance the doctrine of natural law became the residuary 

i] Introductory 2 5 

legatee of the theory of Divine Right and assisted in the 
formation of international rules, popular sovereignty and 
later on individual rights; how on the other hand the 
theory cujus regio ejus religio was a stage in the process 
from " indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to definite, 
coherent heterogeneity," which marks the evolution 
of political and religious organisms, no less than of 

Before, however, we directly approach the subject, it 
may be well to trace some of the earliest steps of the 
movements, which prepared for the coming catastrophe. 
With the death of Frederick II in 1250 and the destruc- 
tion of the Hohenstauffen, the Papacy had to all appear- 
ance won a final victory in the secular contest ; and its 
supporters might and indeed did think, that little 
remained but to make more stringent the bonds that 
chained temporal rulers to their ecclesiastical superiors. 
It would bind kings in chains, and nobles in fetters of 
iron. The praises of God should be in the mouth of 
the Pope, and a two-edged sword in the hand of his 
vassals. But the Popes had reckoned without their 
guest. Owing to a variety of causes, of which not the 
least important was the success of the Popes in under- 
mining the Imperial authority, the national States had 
been left to develop in their own way, and though the 
most significant example was France, it was an English 
king who called himself entier empereur dans son 

The limitation on this regality involved in a recogni- 
tion, however grudging, of the Papal supremacy is very 
real ; clerical immunities, and appeals to Rome and the 
authority of the Canon Law made the power of even 
Edward I or Philip the Fair far less universal than that 

26 Introductory [lect. 

of even a weak modern State. It was true that the king 
could get out of the theoretic difficulty by saying that 
the Pope only exercised so much power as he allowed 
him ; and the Courts Christian were circumscribed by 
the royal writs. Practically, however, within certain 
limits the king could not exercise jurisdiction. But 
at any rate he was strong enough to repudiate the 
claims of the Pope, on any point which touched the 
national honour. And this was seen when Boniface VIII 
strained the medieval theory of Papal dominion to 
breaking point in the Unam Sanctam. As has been 
well said, " The drama of Anagni must be set against 
the drama of Canossa 33 ." France repudiated the Papal 
claims by the help of that body, assembled for the first 
time, which was after centuries of neglect to repudiate 
the claims of absolute monarchy, to cleanse the Augean 
stable of feudal corruptions and conflicting legal systems 
and to launch modern France on her career as a central- 
ised uniform democracy. 

Concurrently with this, Edward I united England 
more than it ever had been united in the past by the 
summoning of a parliament which should supersede 
or absorb feudal " Liberties," municipal privilege, pro- 
vincial home rule, and ecclesiastical immunity. The 
praemunientes clause was the herald of the Reformation, 
the death-knell, though it sounded two centuries before- 
hand, of the Church, as a non-national universal State. 
Popular liberty and national independence for a time 
went hand in hand. 

From the death of Boniface VIII to the rise of 
Luther we mark the upgrowth of ideas which were only 
to find their full fruition as the result of the Reformation. 
The French king put the Pope in his pocket and 

i] Introductory 2 7 

took him to Avignon. The Papal pretensions, while 
against the Imperial claims they grew more extravagant 
than ever, were no longer allowed to disturb the practice 
of the Gallican Liberties 34 . William of Ockham in his 
great anti-papal dialogue uses the admitted indepen- 
dence of the French king as an argument in favour of 
German freedom 35 . 

In this period we note the rise or rather the 
development of that notion of the secular power which 
was to conquer at the Reformation ; and at the same 
time the most notable medieval expressions of anti- 
autocratic theory. Pierre Dubois' little pamphlet De 
Recaperatione Terrae Sanctae is a mine of reforming 
ideas. Disendowment of the Church, and of monas- 
teries, absolute authority for the secular State, women's 
enfranchisement, mixed education, are all advanced in 
the one object of increasing the power of the French 
king, who is to be made Emperor and rule at Constan- 
tinople. International Arbitration was to decrease the 
horrors of war, and educated women were to be sent to 
the Holy Land in order to marry and convert both the 
Saracens and the priests of the orthodox Church, and 
also to become trained nurses and teachers. Studies 
are to be modernized, the law simplified. For the 
influence of the old theological and papal universities 
the writer had no respect. The whole spirit of the 
book is secular and modern. Bishop Stubbs was wont 
to declare that everything was in it including the new 
woman 36 . 

Dante in the great Ghibelline pamphlet the De 
Monarchia set up once more the authority of the 
Emperor. He saw in Henry of Luxemburg the chance 
of realising his dream of a Christian world-monarchy. 

28 Introductory [lect. 

Mr Bryce says this book is " not a prophecy but an 
epilogue." Perhaps it is fairer to say that it is both. 
In its ideal of a universal Empire realising the notion of 
the Civitas Dei, in its scholastic argumentation, in its 
reverence for Rome, the De Monarchia is certainly an 
epilogue, the last and the noblest expression of that 
conception of the Kingdom of God upon earth, the heir 
at once of the ancient world and the depositary of 
Christian tradition, which ever and anon gave to the 
struggles of the Middle Ages a touch of Romance, and 
redeemed its squalid brutality from contempt by its 
sense of the inherent dignity of human affairs. Both 
the form and the grandeur of this ideal were passing 
away when Dante wrote. But in so far as Dante sets 
the temporal above the spiritual Lord and asserts the 
right of the State to be, uncontrolled by ecclesiastical 
expediency, his work is a prophecy a prophecy of the 
modern State, and of that doctrine of the Divine Right 
of kings, which formed for long its theoretical justification 
against clerical pretensions. 

It was in the struggle between John XXII and Louis 
of Bavaria, the culmination of the long medieval conflict 
between sacerdotium and imperium, that the ideas of 
each side received their most complete expression. In 
this struggle Augustinus Triumphus wrote the book we 
have already discussed, and thus produced the most 
complete and uncompromising expression of the Papal 
claim to be sovereign of the world, which existed before 
the Reformation sharpened the pen of Bozius 37 . 

On the other side we have in the Defensor Pacts 
of Marsilius of Padua one of the most remarkable books 
in the history of politics. The contents are too well 
known to need a lengthy description. Here it will 

i] Introductory 29 

suffice to note that the author asserts (1) the complete 
authority of the civil power, and the purely voluntary 
nature of religious organisation, thus entirely repudiating 
every kind of political claim put forward for the ecclesi- 
astical organisation : (2) the consequent iniquity of perse- 
cution: (3) the original sovereignty of the people, implying 
the need of a system of representative government, 
whereby the action of the State may have the full force 
of the community at its back and the " general will " be 
no longer confused with particular interests or individual 

The importance of Marsiglio is illustrated by the fact 
that from that time forward there is hardly a Papalist 
pamphleteer who does not take him as the fons et 
origo of the anti-clerical theory of the State. Wyclif, 
for instance, is condemned for sharing his errors, in 
the day when Wyclif was a political not a theological 
heretic 38 . 

Another work, less interesting, less modern, more 
scholastic, and perhaps therefore more immediately 
effective, is the great dialogue of the English nominalist, 
William of Ockham. In this work the author sets the 
authority of the civil power very high, denounces the 
political claims of ecclesiasticism, asserts the supremacy 
of natural law, and the need of limitations to monarchical 

If we pass to England we find in Wyclif some- 
thing of the tone and the principles of a French anti- 
clerical. Scholastic in form, Wyclif's writings are 
modern in spirit. His De Officio Regis is the 
absolute assertion of the Divine Right of the king to 
disendow the Church. Indeed his stated theory is more 
Erastian than that of Erastus. His writings are a long- 

SO Introductory [lect. 

continued polemic against the political idea of the 
Church or rather the political claims of the clergy ; for 
his State is really a Church. How far his communism 
was more than theoretical is very doubtful. In practice, 
and now and then in theory, he was the supporter of 
aristocratic privilege 39 . Yet he asserts the duty of 
treating all authority as a trust, and there can be little 
doubt that he recognised the dignity of every individual 
as a member of the community in a way which we are 
apt to regard as exclusively modern. Wyclif indeed 
was in many respects more modern than Luther, as he 
was a deeper thinker except in his entire lack of senti- 
ment. His world of thought is the exact antithesis of 
medieval ideals, in regard to politics, ecclesiastical 
organization, ritual and external religion. 

These then are some illustrations of the fact that the 
old landmarks were disappearing and a new world was 
coming into being, at the close of the fourteenth century. 
It is impossible to do more than sketch them. 

What I have tried to do is to indicate that we must 
not study political theories apart from political con- 
ditions. We must never lose sight of the connection 
between theory and practice. In actual facts we shall 
find if not always the cause of new doctrines appearing 
at least the condition of their prevalence and efficacy. 
The reactions of practice upon theory, and theory 
upon practice, are abundantly illustrated in the centuries 
before us. 

The conditions for the growth of our modern politics 
were not afforded until the Reformation, or to be more 
accurate the intellectual revolution and practical cata- 
strophe which destroyed the system of the Middle Ages, 

i] Introductory 3 1 

both in the external framework of society and in the 
inward life of its members. 

It is this which makes it so hard at once to enter 
into the mind as distinct from learning the outward 
facts of the medieval world, and still harder to under- 
stand a period of transition like that before us. We 
are always in danger of reading our thoughts into 
their words ; of drawing modern deductions from non- 
modern premises. On the other hand the mere use 
of obsolete phrases and worn-out methods of discussion 
is apt to repel our sympathy. We are too often blinded 
by our dislike of the form to our agreement with the 
substance of writers of a long past age. Against all these 
dangers we must guard ourselves. Perhaps the most 
valuable of all the lessons which the study of this sub- 
ject affords is that of the permanence of fundamental 
notions amid the most varying forms of expression and 

Yet when all reservations have been made, there can 
be little doubt that it is right to treat the growth 
of political ideas, during the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries, as a branch of ecclesiastical history. With 
a few exceptions religion or the interests of some 
religious body gave the motive of the political thought 
of the period; to protect the faith, or to defend the 
Church, or to secure the Reform, or to punish idolatry, 
or to stop the rebellion against the ancient order of 
Christendom, or to win at least the right of a religious 
society to exist ; this was the ground which justified 
resistance to tyrants and the murder of kings ; or on the 
other hand exalted the Divinely given authority of the 
civil rulers. 

Except at the beginning with Machiavelli, and at 

32 Introductory [lect. 

the end among the Politiques and in the Netherlands, 
the religious motive is always in the foreground. 
Montaigne in an obiter dictum regards it as the supreme 
question of his day, " Whether religion justified resis- 
tance," and does not hint at other grounds, though the 
League put forward a good many political grievances, 
in addition to the toleration of heresy. 

On the whole, however, the religious motive was at 
the bottom of political thinking not only during the age 
of the Reformation, but for a century or more after it, and 
juristic methods determined its form. In the world 
of the Italian renaissance this was not the case. There 
politics were argued on a modern basis much earlier than 
in the North. In general, however, it was only in the 
clash of competing religions and the struggle for their 
existence that political liberty and secular politics as 
we know them were born. 

In connection with the movement for a reformation 
of the Church in head and members we shall find the 
medieval theory of limited monarchy raised to its 
highest power by the Conciliar party, and stated in 
a form which politicians in other ages found serviceable; 
while the triumphant Papacy framed for itself a theory 
of monarchy by Divine right, which was afterwards to 
be at the service of secular princes. This will form the 
subject of the next lecture. 

In the third we shall see how Luther's whole system 
rested on ideas of the relation of laymen to clerics, 
which led him naturally to exalt the State, and assert the 
Divine and uncontrollable authority of the Prince. 

Machiavelli explicitly represents that anti-clerical 
ideal of civil autocracy which has not yet reached its 
final development ; while his conception of the relation 

i] Introductory 33 

of the individual conscience to the development of the 
community owes much to the greatest of all communities, 
the Church, and found its fullest political outcome in the 
practice of ecclesiastical organisations. 

In the fourth Lecture I shall deal with the writers, 
Huguenots, Presbyterians, Ligueurs, who, in order to 
protect their own communion, formulated theories of 
natural rights, and derived from feudalism the idea of the 
original compact. We shall then see how the Jesuits 
took from the Protestants their theory of government, 
made it more universal, less aristocratic ; how political 
convenience led to a doctrine of tyrannicide ; how, 
when their political opportunism turned them for the 
nonce into revolutionaries, the universal ideas of law 
which were their peculiar heritage led them to lay the 
foundations of international jurisprudence. Lastly, in 
the sixth Lecture we shall see all or nearly all these 
ideas making themselves practically effective in the 
resistance to Philip of Spain, and producing in the 
Netherlands, its thinkers, and its Universities a centre of 
light whence the political education of the seventeenth 
century largely proceeded. 

We may guess, if we cannot discern, at something of 
the strength of the chain that at once unites and 
separates medieval views, grotesque, visionary and in- 
effectual as they seem to us, from the modern world 
and the dignified assurance of the Declaration of 
Independence or the flaming rhetoric of the Mar- 

The change from medieval to modern, though in 
some respects greater than that from ancient to modern, 
thought is gradual, unceasing and even yet unended. 
Our politics are largely due to ecclesiastical differences 

f. 3 

34 Introductory [lect. i 

which we are apt to despise, or to theological animosities 
which we ignore. To the fact that political thought 
after the end of the seventeenth century was so largely 
theological is due our inability to understand its 
methods, and to discern the kernel beneath the husk. 
To the fact that ecclesiastical bodies were in their 
necessity the nursing mothers of our modern political 
ideas is due their prevalence and indeed their existence. 
Only because these bodies were able to make good 
their right not to be exterminated (and after they 
had done so) could their doctrine shed its swaddling 
clothes and take shape to influence the modern world. 
To understand Rousseau you must read Rossaeus, and 
to appreciate the latter you must go back to Aquinas, 
to Hildebrand and to Augustine. The sonorous phrases 
of the Declaration of Independence or the Rights of 
Man are not an original discovery, they are the heirs 
of all the ages, the depositary of the emotions and 
the thoughts of seventy generations of culture. " Forty 
centuries look down upon you," was a truer picture 
of the mind of the Revolution than the military 
rhetorician knew or cared to know. 

In this attempt to trace a very small part of the 
embryology of modern politics we shall at least be able 
to discern on the one hand how near the present is to 
the past, and how slow is the growth from seed to 
harvest ; and on the other how different is the world of 
our ideas from that of which it is the child. Mariana 
planted, Althusius watered, and Robespierre reaped the 



PROBABLY the most revolutionary official document 
in the history of the world is the decree of the Council of 
Constance asserting its superiority to the Pope, and 
striving to turn into a tepid constitutionalism the Divine 
authority of a thousand years 1 . The movement is the 
culmination of medieval constitutionalism. It forms 
the watershed between the medieval and the modern 
world. We see in the history of the movement the 
herald of that struggle between constitutional principles, 
and the claims of autocracy in the State which was, save 
in this country and the Netherlands, to conclude by 
the triumph of the latter and the riveting of despotism 
upon the peoples until the upheaval of the French 

Eugenius IV is the forerunner of Louis XIV. For 
the most remarkable of all the facts about this movement 
is its failure. In this failure and in its causes are to be 
discerned at once the grounds of the religious revolution, 
the excuse for ultramontane ideals, and the general 
tendency to autocracy in all States. 

The failure of the Conciliar movement, either to 


36 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

restrain the Pope permanently, or to further the growth 
of federalism in the Church, forms the justification at 
once of the Reformation and of ultramontanism of 
ultramontanism on one side, for there must apparently 
have been some grounds for absolute monarchy, either 
in the nature of political society, or in the condition of 
the Christian Church, for the Papal monarchy to 
triumph in so overwhelming a fashion, over a movement 
so reasonable, and so respectable, supported by men 
of such learning and zeal as Gerson and Zabarella, 
secure as they were from all suspicion of heterodoxy by 
that auto-da-fe which made the reputation of John Hus 
of the Reformation, for the fate of the efforts of the 
Councils of Pisa and Constance and Basel and the 
triumph of vested interests over principle would seem to 
show, that all hope of constitutional reform of the 
Church was vain, and that Luther was justified in 
appealing to the laity to wield, in her spiritual welfare, 
that temporal sword with which traditional theory en- 
trusted kings and princes, for her material defence. 

As Cesarini told the Pope, unless the clergy of 
Germany were reformed, there would infallibly arise 
a worse schism, even though the present one should be 
concluded 2 . If the methods of 1688 produce no result, 
corruption of the body politic demands a 1789. Where 
the conservative liberalism of Gerson or Halifax had 
proved useless, recourse must be had to the revolution- 
ary idealism of Calvin or Rousseau. We may condemn 
as we will the violence of the Reformation, but it was 
a catastrophe rendered inevitable by the failure of 
milder methods. Cautery succeeded to physic. True 
indeed, internal reform eventually took place under the 
pressure of the new attack. The Counter-Reformation, 

n] the Papalist Reaction 37 

or whatever it be called, did attempt to save the Church 
from the scandals of the past, and to a certain extent 

But it did so by increased centralisation, and a 
hardening of temper, alien from earlier movements of 
reform. The Jesuits made the Papacy efficient, not by 
developing the variety of national differences, but by 
concentrating every power at the centre, and compen- 
sating for the loss of their Church in extension by its 
rigidity of discipline intensively. This process which 
had its last result at the Council of the Vatican began 
before the Reformation. The victory of Eugenius IV 
over the Council of Basel had its logical issue in the 
doctrine of Papal infallibility, its political expression 
in the theory of a community created serva 3 . The 
triumph of the. Pope over the Council is the beginning 
of the triumph of centralised bureaucracy throughout 
the civilised world 4 ; a triumph which was apparent 
everywhere but in England, up till 1789, and in many 
countries has only changed its form even as the issue 
of that Revolution. Even in England it was only the 
fortunate accident of religious differences, that saved 
the country from an efficient administrative despotism, 
inspired by men such as Bacon, Strafford, or Cromwell. 

All this was heralded by the Conciliar movement 
or rather by its failure 5 . Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini 
was more than the historian of the Council ; he was the 
prophet of the Papacy. Pupil of circumstances as he 
was he discerned which way the tendencies of the future 
were developing. Deserting the fathers of Basel in the 
knowledge that fortune, his real deity, had turned against 
them, he spent his whole life in making the Papacy 
a real power. Pius II, cultivated, literary, modern, 

38 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

prepared the way for Pius IX, narrow, credulous, and 
reactionary. Never have two such different men worked 
for the same ends, for they agreed in nothing but their 
humour and even there the later Pope had the 
distinction of decency. 

The principles of Constance are the last effort of 
medieval Constitutionalism. 

Their failure marks the beginning of the modern 
world. It paved the way for Luther and Machiavelli 
in the State, for Ignatius Loyola and Manning in the 
Church. It was not unnatural, however, that the Conciliar 
movement should fail. It was an attempt to borrow 
from the rising States of Western Europe, and from the 
schemes of Imperialists like Marsilius and Ockham 
a theory of limited monarchy, and a plan for some form 
of representative government in the Church. The cir- 
cumstances which made it possible to make the attempt 
were the scandal of the great schism, and the spectacle 
of a divided Church. 

But the moment the Council had put an end to the 
schism its real hold on public opinion was lost. The 
men who manoeuvred it were perhaps in their theories 
as much in advance of their time as the Whig leaders in 
1688. Just as the work of the latter would certainly 
have collapsed, had the one condition of its success 
the continued bigotry of the Stuarts disappeared, so 
when the only source of the Council's power, pontifical 
competition, was removed the Council ceased to have 
any but an academic importance. 

As I said at the beginning, the most revolutionary 
official document in the history of the world is the 
decree which asserts its powers. The theory of the 
ultimate sovereignty of the community had, it must be 

n] the Papalist Reaction 39 

remembered, been already proclaimed in regard to the 
civil State by Marsilius. It remained only for the 
fathers of Constance to apply the idea to the ecclesi- 
astical sphere. This is a crude way of putting it. 
Marsilius and Wyclif saw in imagination a single society 
in which all executive power was secular ; a State but 
also a Church ; the conciliar party saw also a single 
society of which kings and peoples were members ; 
but it was primarily a clerical hierarchy which had the 
power. It was not so much a taking over of principles 
from the State to the Church ; it was the application of 
those principles by men who held the traditional views 
(combated by Marsilius and Wyclif) in regard to the 
authority of the clergy. 

This decree is at once the expression of medieval 
Constitutionalism and its development. That the ideas 
which it expresses could ever have been applied to 
the Church without there being already in existence 
assemblies of estates, exercising the powers of a whole 
people, is unlikely. Yet the decree asserts the principles 
which underlay acts like the deposing of Richard II in 
a far more definite and conscious form than had yet 
been done ; and lays down a theory of the sovereignty 
of the community which was to pave the way for future 
controversy 6 . For a long time discussions had been 
proceeding as to whether Popes or kings held immedi- 
ately of God. In this decree we find the question 
definitely put which was eventually to supersede (though 
not for a long while) that conflict. Is the sovereignty 
of a community inherently in the ruler or in the 
representative organ of the people ? True there is no 
reference to politics but only to the special conditions 
of the Church. But the atmosphere of the day did 

4-0 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

not allow of questions of polity being raised in the 
Church, without their affecting theories of the civil 
power. It is easy to connect this decree with docu- 
ments like Magna Charta, easy also to see how much 
more self-conscious are the politics of the age which 
produced it. 

In the same way the decree Frequens 7 which directs 
the summoning of the Council at stated intervals, helped 
to prepare the way for the claims of the League, and the 
Parliament to a regular assembling of the Estates of 
the Realm. Yet here an earlier law directing annual 
Parliaments formed the precedent. 

The theorists andpamphleteers.Conradof Gelnhausen 8 , 
Henry of Langenstein 9 , Gerson and D'Ailly, who prepared 
the way for the Council, did not invent new principles, 
nor dig them up from a long forgotten past. They 
were not, like some of the Renaissance writers, driven 
back into the early history of Rome and Greece, for 
precedents, and theories. Theirs was no academic 
republicanism, like that of Etienne de la Boeotie 10 . 

They rest on a historical development of realised 
fact. They appear to have discerned more clearly than 
their predecessors the meaning of the constitutional 
experiments, which the last two centuries had seen in 
considerable profusion, to have thought out the principles 
that underlay them, and based them upon reasoning 
that applied to all political societies ; to have discerned 
that arguments applicable to government in general 
could not be inapplicable to the Church. In a word 
they raised the constitutionalism of the past three 
centuries to a higher power ; expressed it in a more 
universal form, and justified it on grounds of reason, 
policy and Scripture. This is why it seems truer to 

n] the Papalist Reaction 41 

regard the movement as medieval rather than modern 
in spirit. 

Yet it helped forward modern constitutional tenden- 
cies, because it expressed them in a form in which they 
could readily be applied to politics, especially by all 
those whose sympathies were at all ecclesiastical. It 
was the lament of an English royalist in the seventeenth 
century that the dangerous theories of the rights of the 
people first became prevalent with the Conciliar move- 
ment. And even Huguenot writers like Du PlessisMornay 
were not ashamed of using the doctrine of the Council's 
superiority over the Pope to prove their own doctrine of 
the supremacy of the estates, over the king. Owen calls 
them par excellence political divines. The principles of 
Constance are in fact almost as frequently cited in general 
politics as the law of Edward the Confessor or Magna 
Charta in English. In the writings of Barclay the name 
of Gerson occurs more than once as a bugbear. 

The movement was an audacious one. Nothing but 
the actual facts of inter-Papal rivalries could have given 
it any hope of success. The origin of the Papal power, 
and its relation to Councils need not be here discussed. 
For centuries however it had been extending its 
theoretical claims. From being the equal and some- 
times the second power in the Empire, the Popes had 
claimed to be the first and had largely made good 
their claim. They had set up and pulled down kings. 
From a claim to freedom to pursue their objects they 
had advanced to an assertion of supremacy over all 
kings and princes. 

Although indeed this claim was never admitted in 
full by the leaders of the laity, the clergy rarely denied 
it. However they might grumble, nations did not care 

42 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

to set up for themselves in religious matters, although 
the notion was distinctly put forward. The idea that 
Christendom was one was still predominant. With 
a visible unity felt as essential, the doctrines of the Divine 
right of civil power and the duty of submission as 
taught by S. Paul had been easily wrested from the 
service of kings to that of Popes. The claim of the 
Popes to exercise illimitable authority had been worked 
out logically by generations of canonists. Even in 
regard to such very independent monarchs as Edward I 
or Philip the Fair it was only after a struggle that it 
became necessary to permit concessions in practice, yet 
the claims in theory remained unaltered or even 
heightened. The principles of Clericis Laicos were never 
formally withdrawn. The Unam Sanctum was put into 
the Clementine Extravagants by an Avignonese Pope. 

As we saw last time the Papal theory was developed 
a little further by the contest between John XXII and 
Louis of Bavaria, while the practice of reservation and 
provisions continued to assert his power, any acts of the 
State to the contrary notwithstanding. 

Quod principi placait legis habet vigorem was at least 
as true of the Popes as of Justinian. Louis of Bavaria 
had been afraid of these claims, and yielded the real 
point at the critical moment. Claims so ancient, 
so intertwined with vested interests all over Europe, 
were not likely for any length of time to be resisted 
by a parcel 

" Of Dons and of Doctors, of Provosts and Proctors, 
Who were paid to monopolise knowledge." 

For that is what the Conciliar party really was. It had 
the weakness of a purely academic movement except in 
so far as it expressed the general desire to close the schism. 

By doing this the party decreed its own extinction. 

n] the Papalist Reaction 43 

Any chance of really popular support was removed by 
its attitude to the Bohemians. 

The European public, just beginning to awaken to 
the futility of medieval constitutionalism, was not going 
to make sacrifices, only to introduce the same thing into 
the government of the Church. There might be roseate 
dreams of representative government, of ruling by consent, 
of cabinet control, of a cardinalate formed to express 
the federal and nationalist principles inside the Imperial 
Church, of a mixed or limited monarchy in the Church, 
with the dangerous power of dispensation curbed, and 
the Pope obeying his own laws. But they remained 
dreams. Even the dreamers in some cases, like 
Nicolas of Cues, went over to the other side. The 
fathers of Constance separated with their work but 
half done. 

The Council of Ferrara, which was afterwards 
transferred to Basel, proved nearly as impotent as the 
Barebones' Parliament, and served to give point to a 
later saying of Bellarmin, that it might be all very well 
to base an aristocratic constitution, or a limited 
monarchy, on the Politics of a Greek City, but that 
Aristotle had not in view the problems of a country, still 
less those of an Empire State (the Church). By the 
end of the Council of Basel in 1449 it was abundantly 
clear, that whenever reform, more needed than ever, was 
to come it could not come from constitutionally 
summoned Councils even though they admitted the 
laity to vote 11 . 

You know the facts of the movement. Catharine of 
Sienna had preached at Avignon and elsewhere the 
duty of the Pope once more to make the eternal city 

44 TJie Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

his home. When however Gregory XII died in 1378 
the French Cardinals, who did not wish to lose their 
influence, refused to recognise the election of Urban VI 
as valid, and chose an anti-Pope (Clement VI). For 
forty years the schism went on, the successor on each 
side refusing to surrender his pretensions. The scandal 
of such a situation was manifest. Greater than ever 
was the need of reform, demands for which had been 
growing in strength for a long time. 

At Pisa a Council at last assembled with the object 
of ending the schism. Instead of this it succeeded 
merely in setting up a third competitor in the person of 
Alexander V, who was followed by Baldassare Cossa 
(John XXIII) in 1410. Since the other Popes refused 
to resign in his favour, and his reputation did not make 
the refusal strange, something had to be done. 

Just as the existence of States with different religions 
forced upon men the thought, that there must be a different 
bond of union of civil society than religious uniformity, 
so the spectacle of competing Popes drove men to 
consider seriously the claims of conciliar authority 
and to discuss in whom the power of the Christian 
community was ultimately inherent. The need of help 
from the secular power, and the hopes entertained of 
Sigismund led to a not unnatural development of the 
claims of the laity though most of the writers are very 
cautious in this respect. 

In 1414 the Council of Constance met. It had three 
objects: (1) to end the Schism, (2) to arrest the Hussite 
movement in Bohemia, (3) to reform the Church "in 
head and members." 

The second seemed easiest, but it did not prove so. 
Nationalism which in some ways the Council fostered, 

n] the Papalist Reaction 45 

was in this case too strong for them. There ensued 
a series of sanguinary wars, ending indeed in a victory 
over heresy, but not without a terrific struggle and the 
offer of important concessions. As to the third point 
little was done at all; there were some reforming decrees ; 
Martin V made concordats with the different nations ; 
annates, unreasonable Provisions and other abuses were 
condemned. A decree ordering the regular assembling 
of the Council was promulgated. The net result was 
however very small, except in regard to the Gallican 
liberties. We cannot disassociate the Pragmatic Sanction 
of Bourges in 1438 from the extremely independent and 
nationalist attitude taken up by Gerson and other 
members of the University of Paris, which was the real 
source of the Conciliar movement and its main support, 
certainly in its best days. The true trend of things how- 
ever was exhibited in the concordat of Bologna, in which 
the rising authority of the king in that State combined 
with the increasing power of the Pope to destroy for 
ever the rights of the laity and clergy in France. 

In regard to the schism the Council achieved its end. 
John XXIII refused to do as he had promised and 
abdicate. Eventually he fled from Constance, and after 
wandering about, and submitting to many humiliations, 
was deposed by the Council. Afterwards he was forced 
to sanction this deposition, and make confession of his 
crimes in a document far more humiliating than that 
imposed upon Richard II. 

Gregory XII, the representative of the Italian line 
of Anti-Popes, also resigned. Eventually Clement VIII, 
the successor of what had been the French and had 
become the Castilian line, did the same. 

46 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

But this was not all. The Council of Constance in 
the decree Frequens had decreed, that it should meet at 
regular intervals. In 1423 one was summoned at Sienna, 
but prorogued almost at once. The seven years interval 
allowed by the decree having elapsed, the need of 
reform still being pressed, the Hussite struggle by no 
means ended, the Pope (Martin V) reluctantly sum- 
moned a Council (at which he was not present) at Basel. 
Almost at once he strove to transfer it to Ferrara 
and so bring it to an end ; but on this point he had to 
give way. Gradually the numbers of the Council grew 
smaller and smaller until it dwindled into a mere band 
of irreconcilables. The real strength of the movement 
was gone by with the departure of Cardinal Cesarini in 
1438. The Pope made ingenious use of the request 
for assistance from Byzantium, and outwitted the 
Council in negotiations with the Greeks for the union 
of Eastern and Western Churches. He held a Council 
at Ferrara in 1438 which was afterwards transferred 
to Florence. 

The Basel fathers were summoned thither, but 
remained away. Eugenius IV, by apparently bringing 
to an end the schism with the East, restored the Papal 
prestige, although it was, as Aeneas Sylvius remarked, 
a strange fact that unity with the East was proclaimed 
at the very moment when the West was bitterly divided. 

The new Emperor, Albert II, accepted the reforming 
decrees of Basel, and Germany for the nonce remained 
neutral in the struggle. 

After affording a precedent to the Long Parliament 
by declaring that it was not to be dissolved without its 
own consent, the Council deposed Eugenius IV and 

n] the Papalist Reaction 47 

elected Amadeus of Savoy Pope by the name of 
Felix V. 

It is significant that since his time Europe has never 
known an anti-Pope. Aeneas Sylvius, who had seen that 
time was against the fathers, left them to their impotent 
eloquence, and after pretending to weigh the arguments 
made his peace with the Pope, and succeeded in 
restoring the obedience of Germany. The Council of 
Basel ended in 1449, the anti-Pope retired from business, 
w r hich he had found less lucrative than he expected. 
From time to time the threat of a Council was used 
as a means of diplomatic pressure ; Alexander VI was 
worried, as well he might be, by the thought of one, 
and in 1501 a hostile assembly actually met at Pisa. 
This was rendered impotent by the astuteness of Leo X, 
who himself summoned a Council at the Lateran where, 
of course, it was not dangerous. 

Thus the movement went on, or its relics lingered on 
until the Reformation. This fact is noteworthy. But for 
practical purposes it may be considered as closed in 1449. 

So much by way of introduction. 

Let us now seek to examine a little further into the 
governing ideas of the movement 7 . 

The writings I wish to treat of begin with Conrad of 
Gelnhausen 8 , and include many works by Jean Charlier 
Gerson, Chancellor of the University of Paris a man 
who enjoyed the reputation for sometime of being the 
author of the De Imitatione. The other chief French 
writer is Cardinal Pierre Ailly. We have from Germany 
Dietrich of Niem, Henry of Hesse or Langenstein, 
Gregory of Heimburg, and Cardinal Nicolas of Cues'. 

48 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

There was an Italian Cardinal Francesco Zabarella, 
who wrote the De ScJiismate ; and a Spaniard Andrea 
of Randulf. Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pius II) is 
also a prime authority for the ideas of the period. 

One point is clear. Speculation on the possible 
power of the Council, as the true depositary of sove- 
reignty within the Church, drove the thinkers to treat 
the Church definitely as one of a class, political societies. 
If it cannot be said that the thought was new, that the 
Church was a political society, it was certainly developed 
by a situation which compelled men to consider its con- 
stitution. Moreover since the constitution of the Church, 
whatever it may be, is undeniably Divine, universal 
principles of politics could be discovered by a mere 
generalisation from ecclesiastical government. The 
claim made that since the Church was a perfect society, 
it must have within itself all necessary means of action, 
and could not suffer its independence to be thwarted by 
the State, is one associated with later, and (in a different 
form) with earlier conflicts ; at this period however the 
notion is used to justify the deposing power of the 
Council as against the Pope. The Church being a 
perfect society cannot, it is urged, be without the means 
of purging itself, and may consequently remove even 
a Pope, if his administration is merely in destructionem 
instead of in aedificationem and thus opposed to the 
end of the Church, the salvation of souls. 

The habit of arguing about the Church as a political 
society and drawing inferences from the powers of other 
political societies and the constitution of the civil States 
prepared the way for the new form in which all questions 
between the spiritual and lay authority could be 

n] the Papalist Reaction 49 

discussed ; the form of a transaction between two 
societies distinct in origin and aim. 

The medieval struggles between Popes and Emperors 
are wrongly regarded as a conflict between Church and 
State, if by that is meant the relations between two- 
societies. The medieval mind, whether clerical or anti- 
clerical, envisaged the struggle as one between different 
officers of the same society, never between two separate 
bodies ; this is as true of Dante and Marsilius as it is 
of Boniface and Augustinus. It is this, and only this, 
that explains the ease with which the transition was 
made from the Papal, to the princely or municipal 
system of Church Government, alike by Luther and 
Musculus or Whitgift and Hooker. It is quite clear 
from the tone both of Whitgift and Hooker that 
the notion of Church and Commonwealth as two 
transacting bodies was novel. This could not have been 
the case, if the medieval controversies were not regarded 
as struggles for precedence between different officers of 
a single society, or at most the ambitions of rival depart- 
ments in one body. The claim made by Simanca 12 
and Bellarmin for the indirect power of the Popes is 
based partly on a right of international law ; they say 
that the Pope like any other sovereign may intervene to 
secure the interests of his subjects ; in this way they 
perhaps unconsciously placed the Church on an equality 
with other bodies politic, and prepared the way for the 
language of the Encyclical Immortale Dei 13 , which 
demands for the Church rights of independence as a 
societas genere et jure perfecta. 

The way for this was partly prepared by the consti- 
tutional problem set to the world by the great schism ; 
while we have evidence of the fact that the old ideas 

f. 4 

50 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

were still at work in the intermingling by writers like 
Nicolas of Cues of schemes for the constitution of the 
Empire with his plans of ecclesiastical reformation. 

A second point of interest in the Conciliar movement 
is that, arguing from the precedent of constitutional 
States, it decides upon the best form of government in 
general, and lays down the lines which controversy 
took until Whiggism succumbed to the influence of 

It could not be denied that the most perfect possible 
constitution was that which Christ had left to his Church ; 
nor was it denied by the Papalist antagonists of the 
Council. The question with them was one of fact. 

Now the belief of the Conciliar writers, which was 
derived really from the facts of the political world of 
their day but based in argument on appeals partly to 
Aristotle and partly to the Mosaic system, was that this 
constitution was a r no\ireia, a mixed, or as later times 
have called it a limited monarchy, in which while the 
monarchical principle is preserved the danger of tyranny 
should be removed by the power of a small body of 
permanent advisers, a continual council, and ultimately 
checked by a large representative assembly. The specu- 
lations on the nature of government were of more avail 
owing to the fact that they were not concerned, like most 
of the political theorising of the Middle Ages, with the 
controversy between the two great powers, spiritual and 
temporal, within the Church-State. At the same time 
there were discussions as to the rights of the laity in the 
Council, and the need of Imperial support drove men like 
Zabarella to a strong assertion of the claims of the 
successor of Constantine and Theodosius. This was 
carried farther at Basel. 

n] the Papalist Reaction 51 

The union of political principles with utilitarian 
notions, heightened by their religious significance, con- 
sidered with reference to a body which might be a 
model for all smaller States, and decided upon universal 
grounds, was the work of the Conciliar party and their 
opponents. That that discussion ultimately redounded 
to the benefit of monarchy in the Church was ominous 
for the cause of liberty for three centuries and a half ; 
that such liberty as existed took the form and acquired 
the influence it did was partly at least due to the fact that 
Gerson, D'Ailly, and Nicolas placed the constitutional 
monarchy in such high light that it could not be altogether 
obscured even in later and more subservient ages. 
Further than this, the victory of the Papalist reaction 
meant the victory of the unitary and Roman over 
the federalist and Teutonic conception of society. 
Had the Conciliar movement secured lasting success, 
the principles which were symbolised by the division of 
the Council into nations and in the Concordats with 
which it closed might have become fruitful in the future. 
As it was, alike in England and abroad, the notion of 
a single omni-competent social union set over against 
a mass of individuals became the normal idea of the 
State. The Commnnitas Communitatum becomes a mere 
collection of units ; and modern society is at once more 
individualistic and more socialistic than medieval. 

Only now, as a result partly of the United States 
Constitution and partly of other causes, is it beginning 
to dawn upon men's minds that we cannot fit the facts 
into the unitary State, as the true source of all power 
and the only ground of every right except so far as it 
is controlled by certain claims of the individual. 

That this process of education has yet to be accom- 


52 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

plished is very largely the result of that failure of 
Teutonic before Latin ideals of law and government, 
which is the lasting result of the triumph of the Papacy 
over the Council in the sixteenth century. 

. Probably the absorption of feudalism before an 
all-encroaching governmental omnipotence was necessary 
if the modern world was to enter upon its task. That 
this absorption was so generally accomplished is due 
partly to the direct influence of the spectacle of Papal 
monarchy, and partly to the prevalence of the ideas 
which it expressed. From 1450 onwards it seemed to 
most practical statesmen, and to all sovereigns, that 
"the tendency of advancing civilisation is a tendency 
towards pure monarchy "; and popular movements in 
every land were deemed by men like Cecil, or Strafford, 
or Richelieu, or sovereigns like Elizabeth and Charles I, as 
not merely wrong but stupid inefficient clogs upon the 
wheels of government, which would retard the progress 
of intelligence and enlightenment. Pure monarchy was 
the only gentlemanly form of government. 

Their attitude was that of Frederick the Great, and 
Joseph II. Even where pure monarchy was regarded 
as an ideal, it only gave way to a notion of the unlimited 
sovereignty of the State, however constituted, which 
is false to the facts of human life, and creates an 
unnecessary chasm between the individual and the 
supreme power, instead of bridging the gulf by the 
recognition of other and smaller societies, with inherent 
powers of life, not the result of the fiat of governmental 
authority. The point however is this. Constance and 
Basel saw the last, the most splendid, and in the event 
the most unfortunate of all the many medieval attempts 
to limit the sovereign power. Since the Church must 

n] the Papalist Reaction 53 

clearly be Divinely governed, the answers to the questions 
it put must be final as to the ideal of human society 
politically organised. 

These questions were old ones. Had the sovereign 
illimitable authority from the first, or did the Church 
confer his power, and if so on what condition ? Was he 
really solutus legibus ? Is it true that in the Church 
Quod principi placuit legis habet vigorem ? or was the 
opposing maxim the real one Quod omnes tangit ab 
omnibus approbatur} Was the prince (the Pope) lord 
or minister of the Church ? What in fact is the nature 
of dominion ? Might he be removed if his tyranny 
was patent and ruinous to the souls of men ? Or is it 
to be allowed to reverse the very end of the Church's 
being ? If not, was every private man a judge of his 
insufficiency, or must we await a public and formal 
pronouncement ? 

Is not a mixed government the principle of Moses, 
and the Jewish Church, the theory of Aristotle, the 
practice of every nation which is not being ruined ? 
Have we not an obvious mixture, our sovereign lord the 
Pope, our lords the Cardinals his continual council, and 
the prelates in council " virtually " representing the 
visible Church ? Are commands such without sanction ? 
Are those laws which " public approbation hath not 
made such"? Is not consent and user the essence of 
valid law? How far are unjust laws to be obeyed? 
Need they be considered laws at all, if we understand 
St Thomas aright? Can any government exist or claim 
rights apart from the consent of the governed ? Is 
there vested in any governor secular or ecclesiastical the 
dominion over the property and lives of individuals ? 
Can any power, however appointed, dispense with the 

54 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

precepts of natural law ? These and such like questions 
were actually asked ; they form the basis of political 
disunion until the days of Locke. Whatever we may 
think now, there is no doubt that such words as king, 
republic, aristocracy, and the maxims of the civil law, 
were then regarded as perfectly applicable to the 
concerns and the constitution of the Church. They did 
not anxiously argue from the State to the Church or vice 
versa, but from the idea of a society to its consequences. 
A very slight acquaintance with Locke or Algernon 
Sidney, to say nothing of the Vindiciae contra tyramios, 
will enable the reader of Gerson, and the Concordantia 
Cathotica to see how great is the debt of the politicians to 
the ecclesiastics. The crisis in the Church was thus, 
I think, responsible for bringing these questions before 
men in a more universal form than they had hitherto 
assumed ; the arguments for constitutional government 
were stripped of all elements of that provincialism, 
which might have clung to them for long, had they been 
concerned with only the internal arrangements of the 
national States ; and the theory of a mixed or limited 
monarchy was set forth in a way which enabled it to 
become classical. Certainly it was actually so used in 
later controversies. Whatever be the case with Basel, 
to the Council of Constance the eyes of Christendom 
were turned ; it was not for nothing that the greatest 
University in the world, which was far more influential 
than any such seminary now, was the main factory 
of its principles. Emperors might be the fathers of the 
Council, and kings its nursing mothers, but the child 
they nurtured was Constitutionalism, and its far off 
legacy to our own day was "the glorious revolution." 
The superiority of the interests of the Community over 

n] the Papalist Reaction 55 

those of its officers, asserted in 1414 and rendered 
nugatory in the Church, received a tardy justification at 
the hands of history in the State. On the other hand the 
Papacy took an enduring vengeance on those of its sub- 
jects who temporarily abased it ; and rising on the ruins 
of the medieval system more imposing and autocratic than 
before asserted in oracular tones the Divine irresponsi- 
bility of the Papal monarchy, and succeeded in making 
the ideals of autocratic rule the intellectual fashion of 
an age, which imitated the Pope even when it most 
opposed him. 

The discussions of Constance were, as we saw, far 
more purely political than those of the Middle Ages, 
because they were not concerned with the conflicts 
between ecclesiastical and spiritual authority, but with 
the depositary, the functions, and the limits, of sovereign 
power, in a perfect society. 

Still we must not forget that it was the politics of 
a Divine Society that were under discussion. The 
end of the Church is the salvation of souls ; so the 
doctrine of utility is sanctified, and expediency loses 
the touch of vulgarity which far more than his immor- 
ality repels men from Machiavelli. In one aspect the 
thought of Gerson and D'Ailly is very utilitarian and 
the main defence of their attitude towards the Popes 
was sains populi suprema lex. All this because they were 
idealists and cared little for utility in the narrower sense. 
For, whatever be thought of the doctrine of either 
side, it was not as in most topics of ordinary political 
controversy a question as to the balance of comfort and 
material well-being, but one between the ruin and the 
salvation of human nature. If the power of the Pope 
was really irresponsible, there was nothing to save men 

56 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

from eternal misery, should his policy drive that way. 
If the command "Feed My sheep" may be interpreted as 
the gift of an authority to starve them, it was not poverty, 
or disease, that would result, but the eternal destruction 
of the soul. For if the Pope transformed into its oppo- 
site the duty of promoting the edification of the 
Church, and pulled down instead of building up, there 
was on Papalist principles no surety for the souls of 

You remember how just before our own day, what 
was intended as a purely scientific course of Lectures on 
" Jurisprudence " was prefaced by John Austin with 
some lengthy chapters about the paramountcy of the 
Law of God and its revelation in the principle of 
utility. They are generally omitted now, even by the 
few students who read the living book instead of an ab- 
stract, from which the impress of the strong personality of 
the author is removed. They ought not to be forgotten, 
however, for they serve to show the highly practical 
character of such theorising, even when it is professedly 
purely scientific. 

But to the fathers of Constance, standing as they 
felt in the middle of the road of the Church, and with no 
mind to traverse Dante's terrific spiral, this principle, 
quoted by them often in its ancient form salus populi 
suprema lex, was the necessary bulwark against the 
Canonist theory of sovereignty (substantially the same 
as Austin's) ; that whatever legal and prescriptive 
rights could be alleged for the Papal Autocracy, the 
supreme need of the Church must override them. It 
was a case of right before rights. There is a point of 
view from which expediency is the same thing as right, 
and to men who were seeking for eternal life the short 

n] the Papalist Reaction 57 

period valuation, which gives to political expediency its 
ill fame, was impossible. 

For these men righteousness was pitted against rights, 
and they were willing to overthrow the latter, in their 
desire for the former. Hence we find their governing 
thought, reiterated in writer after writer, that the Church's 
necessity knows no law ; that Papal claims can plead no 
prescriptive title, when the Church needs that they 
should be disregarded ; that when the legal authority 
will not perform its functions, we are driven back to the 
pristinumjics inherent in the nature of human society; that 
we must not forget the end in the means ; and that the 
Pope's power itself and even his existence is the creature of 
the Church and may not abrogate its raison d'etre. For 
no Pope can dispense with natural law ; and natural law 
teaches the original equality of man, and the necessity 
of consent to the rightfulness of any government. 
Thus to Nicolas and Zabarella it is certain that the 
Christian community cannot be the mere slave of 
the Pope (for this was the theory of their opponents); 
he cannot be Lord, but must be the minister of all, 
as Christ said ; besides, the Christian Law is a law 
of liberty, and so the Christian cannot be the mere 
chattel of an autocrat. A king in the last resort may 
be assailed not as a king but as a public enemy ; the 
like is true of the Pope. Originally the whole power 
of the Church must have been in the community. 
S. Peter was only given the primacy by the consent of 
the other Apostles ; neither in the Church nor out of it 
does government exist without consent, and the end for 
which such consent was first given cannot be ignored. 
If the Church chose it could make the Archbishop of 
Trier universal head, and take away from Rome a 

58 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

prerogative founded on custom, consent and forgery 
(Nicolas of Cues denied the genuineness of the Donation 
of Constantine). In brief orb is major urbe. The Pope 
is a member of the body politic of the Church, of which 
Christ is the head ; and a diseased limb may be am- 
putated. The Church is indefectible; the right of the 
majority of the Council is secured by an appeal to the 
word of Christ : " Lo I am with you always." All 
the world can be saved without the Pope, but not 
without the Church. The Church, not the Pope, is 
the spotless bride of Christ. In the last resort, as a 
Council may continue, so it may meet without Papal or 
even imperial authority. If it be asked under whose 
authority in such a case the Council is summoned, it is 
to be answered, by authority of its head Jesus Christ. 
The Pope is the Vicar of the Church rather than of 

The destructive criticism of the autocracv of the 
Pope, the appeal from purely legal, to general consider- 
ations of utility and natural law, is one side of the 
movement. Its other aspect is constructive. The party 
aimed definitely at establishing a constitution for the 
Church. Treated as a whole it was nationalist, repre- 
sentative, and aristocratic. Election is to make the 
officers of the Church really represent their subjects. 
The Cardinals are no longer to be the Italian entourage 
of the Pope, but national leaders. As a matter of fact 
the custom of making national resident cardinals did 
not begin till after the Council. 

A brief account of the De Concordantia Catholica of 
Nicolas of Cues will give the best exposition of the 
ideals of the movement. Like the rest in being a Livre 
de circonstance, it is distinguished from them by its 

n] the Papalist Reaction 59 

elevation and breadth. As closing the Middle Ages 
we might compare it with that other Concordantia 
of Gratian, which expressed their spirit in its prime, 
and was the most influential political pamphlet ever 

Like the De Monarchia of Dante the work of Nicolas 
is at once a prophecy and an epilogue an epilogue in 
respect of its ideal of a rejuvenated Civitas Dei with 
Pope and Emperor again shining forth as twin though 
limited rulers ; a prophecy in its conception of society 
as organic, in its proclamation of the right to consent, 
in its universality. It is almost the last book which 
treats Christendom as a single organic system, in which 
a complete theory of politics, whole and parts, is set 

Its key-note is harmony. The author strives to 
find the harmony which unites earthly government to 
heavenly ; secular to spiritual ; he takes the various 
members of the body politic. The unity of the whole, 
not in spite of but manifested in and through difference, 
is the constant thought of the author, and the (indirect) 
Divine origin of all government, but he strives to har- 
monise the two notions of the Divine and human origin 
of authority. For if power is in the ultimate resort from 
God ; immediately, and apparently it comes from man. 
The consent and agreement of the Christian community 
is the origin of Papal authority, which is a delegation 
from the people, and may be removed at their will. 
The civil power is to be free from ecclesiastical 
interference, and unhampered by clericalism. Yet it 
needs reforming. The Emperor is to be surrounded by 
a continual Council and to do nothing apart from them. 
There is also to be an annual representative assembly at 

60 The Conciliar Movement and [lect. 

Frankfort. Electors are to give up their evil habits of 
corruption and the securing of concessions beforehand. 
Taxation must be reformed. Customs and laws, so far 
as possible, are to be unified. The book was written 
nearly seventy years before the " reception " of Roman 
law in Germany. 

Like Zabarella, Nicolas would grant to the Emperor 
large powers in regard to the Church ; while he sets 
very high the authority of the synods of single nations. 
Only for strictly universal legislation is a general Council 
necessary. Like Gregory of Heimburg, Nicolas of 
Cues appears to have doubted the efficacy of perse- 
cution, and had at least some leanings towards religious 

Whether or no this was really the case the Catholic 
Concord sheds a sunset glory over the medieval world. 
Its sweet reasonableness of tone, its calmness and 
serenity of argument, its lofty eloquence, the sanctified 
common sense which refuses to allow the absolute 
claims of legal rights upon a society which needs reno- 
vation, suggest a comparison with Hooker, to whose 
theory of Law that of Nicolas bears a strong re- 
semblance. Could indeed the ancient world have been 
reformed in the way Nicolas suggests, our debt to the 
Middle Ages might be even greater than it is ; nor 
should we have been divided from them by a revo- 
lution 14 . 

But it was not. The Papalist reaction, both in theory 
and practice, drove on with speed ; and helped, though 
indirectly, to secure the general development of abso- 
lutism in the next two centuries 15 . Reform when it 
came took a harder and more self-contained form than 
the federalist union of Nicolas's dreams. 

n] the Papalist Reaction 61 

This book however remains a magnificent expression 
of the ideal of a Christendom ruled by the principle of 
harmony, rather than that of uniformity, in which one 
polity shall still embrace both civil and spiritual activities, 
and brotherhood, the supreme principle of Christianity, 
shall become the inspiration of a delicately articulated 
society, the source of a varied and developing activity 16 . 



A CYNIC might remark that religion was merely the 
dyoovia/jia e? to Trapa-^prj/xa of the Reformation, its KTrjfia 
e? ael was the State. It was the function of Luther, of 
Zwingli, of Anglicans like Whitgift and Hooker, to 
transfer to the State most of the prerogatives that had 
belonged in the Middle Ages to the Church 1 . Or rather 
what happened was this ; the one society, with civil 
and ecclesiastical authorities functioning within, was con- 
ceived as a Church in the Middle Ages, as the Civitas 
Dei of Christendom, the Holy Roman Empire, an 
institution which is as much, if not more, a Church than 
a State ; by Protestantism the limits of society are 
narrowed to the nation or the territorial estate, while its 
nature is more that of a State than a Church. Or, to 
phrase it again differently, the medieval mind conceived 
of its universal Church-State, with power ultimately fixed 
in the Spiritual head bounded by no territorial frontier ; 
the Protestant mind places all ecclesiastical authority 
below the jurisdiction and subject to the control of the 
" Godly prince," who is omnipotent in his own dominion. 
It was not until the exigencies of the situation compelled 
the Presbyterians to claim rights independent of the 
State, that the theory of two distinct kingdoms is set 

lect. in] Luther and Machiavelli 63 

forth ; though it is proved speedily to be of service by 
all sides, and is adopted by Jesuits as against the civil 
power, by French royalists like Barclay as against 
ultramontane claims, and finds eventually in Warburton 
the most complete exponent of the contractual theory of 
government. The change is a change from a world- 
empire to a territorial State, and from ecclesiastical to 
civil predominance. In the first phase of the Reforma- 
tion, it was the civil power that reaped all or most of 
its fruits. By the destruction of the independence of 
the Church and its hold on an extra-territorial public 
opinion, the last obstacle to unity within the State was 
removed. The secularisation of monastic property meant 
on the one hand an increase of wealth to the prince, 
on the other restored a large mass of inhabitants to 
the jurisdiction of the ordinary authority. The true 
monastery is the State, said Erasmus ; by which he 
meant that the communal life, supposed to be the 
distinction of the monastery, ought to inspire all the 
members of a civil society, which should not con- 
sist of semi-private cliques. The violence of both 
Luther and Melanchthon in regard to the monastic ideal 
is at least partly political. They felt the monastic 
system to be a constant rebuke to their conception both 
of a Christian family and a Christian commonwealth. 
Only recently has the meaning of this denunciation been 
indicated by M. Combes, some of whose speeches are 
inspired by exactly the same notion, that loyalty to a 
small corporate society is incompatible with loyalty to 
the State, while the vow of obedience when understood 
completely is opposed to the development of individual 
conscience 2 . Further than this, the Reformation coin- 
cided either with the destruction of feudal privilege by 

64 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

the power of the State as in France, or else as in Germany 
with its elevation into a sovereignty. The authority of 
the Emperor decayed ; the authority of the Prince from 
being merely feudal became paramount and ubiquitous, 
largely through the influence of Luther. We may 
arrange the influence in this respect of Luther under 
the following heads. 

It was definitely an influence in favour of the lay 
authorities. Later on doubtless the Lutheran theologians 
tended to become hieratic and clerical. But so far as 
Luther's feelings were concerned, the whole bent of his 
mind was in favour of the sanctity of the lay power as 
against the ecclesiastical. Nor had he any means to his 
hand but the ruling classes of Germany. He therefore 
appealed to them and by so doing gave an immense 
increase to their power. It was true that certain phrases 
in the Liberty of a Christian Man, and his individualist 
tendency, might be and were interpreted in another way. 
So far as Luther, however, was concerned, the Anabaptist 
movement only had the effect of throwing him more 
strongly than ever on the side of authority. For the rest of 
the century " respectable " Protestantism was nervously 
apprehensive of being regarded as politically revolu- 
tionary. This is the motive of such books as Tyndale's 
Obedience of a Christian Man on the one hand, and of 
Cartwright's bitter resentment at Whitgift's attempt to 
show that his opinions were Anabaptist in tendency ; and 
the same note can be found in some of the Huguenot 

Luther's language and attitude were by no means 
always consistent ; yet he was quite justified in claiming 
to have done more than anyone else to promote princely 
authority 3 . Even his deviations from this are explicable. 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 65 

In regard to the peasants in 1525 we must bear in 
mind that Luther never allowed the right of overt 
resistance. The earlier phase of his attitude, in which he 
rebuked the nobles for oppression and showed some 
sympathy with the peasants, never amounted to more 
than a desire for the redress of their grievances. If his 
attitude at this time was not that of the violent instigator 
of carnage which he afterwards adopted, he never 
permitted the peasant to suppose that he regarded 
resistance to the powers that be as lawful. There was 
no change of theory, only a slight shifting of sympathy. 

It would indeed be hard to find a more thoroughgoing 
expression of the doctrine of " Passive Obedience," than 
that of Luther's first address to the peasants. He scoffs 
at the idea of standing up for one's rights, " Leiden, Leiden, 
Kreuz, Kreuz ist der CJiristenrecht, das undkein anderes*." 
Not only God's Law (both of the old and the new 
dispensation) but national law is against the right of the 
peasants to resist. If they are bent on resistance they had 
better give up the name of Christians and adopt some 
other more suitable, for our rights are not to resist, but 
to pray for our enemies and do good to our persecutors. 

In addition to this he asserts the necessity of 
inequalities of rank in the civil State, and declares that 
the third article would make all men equal, and reduce 
Christ's spiritual kingdom to a merely external earthly 
realm 5 . 

It was not in theory that Luther's attitude underwent 
a change. It was in the practical question, to what 
extent the lords were to exercise their right of oppression, 
and how far they were to make concessions, that he was 
inconsistent, and from a general assertion of the duty 

f. . k 

66 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

of just dealing passed to a support of indiscriminate 

Luther, in fact, rated both the office and the utility 
of the Christian prince so high, that it was natural that 
he should be a main supporter of the doctrine of passive 
obedience in its modern form 6 . We must not forget 
that the Middle Ages never denied the common 
interpretation of such texts as those of Romans xiii. 
and I Peter ii., which assert the religious duty of 
obedience to the powers that be, and the wickedness of 
rebellion. What the ordinary medieval theorist did was to 
assert that in the last resort the "powers that be" in the 
Commonwealth of Christendom were the ecclesiastical 
authorities ; hence it is only to the Pope that Passive 
Resistance is a possible duty ; as against the King active 
resistance is allowed, when authorized from Rome. In 
some cases doubtless this duty was claimed for the lay 
power, but even then there was a large reservation in 
favour of the Pope's authority. Now the movement in- 
augurated by Luther denied all coercive authority to the 
ecclesiastical officer ; as Melanchthon said, the power of 
making laws did not belong to the spiritual sword. 
Consequently the limitations of the text must apply to 
the civil power, and obedience was claimed unreservedly 
for the " godly prince " ; i.e., the ruler of a Christian 
State. It is the reiterated complaint of Whitgift against 
Cartwright that he allows to the Christian no more 
authority than to a Turkish prince. We shall see later 
on how it is to the ecclesiastical party, whether Jesuit or 
Presbyterian, that the purely secular theory of the civil 
State is due. To Luther, however, to the Protestants in 
Germany, to Zwingli and to the Anglican Divines, and to 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 67 

Althusius the civil power is essentially holy; it is formed 
for the purpose of fulfilling one great object of Christ's 
religion, the love of man towards his neighbour, which 
again is dependent on his love towards God. Hence 
he is far from the view that regards the civil power as 
a mere contrivance to secure external tranquillity and 
peace, and entirely external except so far as it obeys the 
Church. Luther, in fact, refuses to make that sharp 
distinction of sacred and secular so characteristic of the 
Latin world ; and paves the way for the exalted theory 
of the State entertained by Hegel and his followers. He 
is as much the spiritual ancestor of the high theory of 
the State, as the Jesuits and their allies are of the 
narrower, utilitarian theory. 

Yet in one respect must it not be admitted, that 
Luther was inconsistent ? Surely no one can assert that 
his life and his precepts did anything to maintain the 
tottering authority of the Empire. Was it not on the 
contrary the effect of his action, if not of his theory, to 
destroy the last relics of any practicable unity in the 
Empire, and to leave of it nothing but the corpse which 
crumbled at the touch of Napoleon ? Exactly. The 
Holy Roman Empire, of which it must be borne in mind 
the Pope was an official, as well as the Emperor, the 
Civitas Dei of the Middle Ages, received its death-blow 
from Luther. Its impotence was of long standing, and 
was due to the inability of Popes and Emperors to come 
to any working agreement. Maximilian, however, had 
done something to restore efficiency to the constitution. 
What Charles V might have done but for the religious 
revolution, we cannot say. But at any rate the religious 
revolution gave to the territorial magnates the last thing 
they needed to make their power into an autocracy and 


68 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

to rule out all effective interference from above. It is 
not of the secular head as universal monarch, not of 
a president of a federal State, that the Reformation 
affirmed the god-given authority. It tended to reduce 
the notion of any Divine superintendence of affairs 
from the international to the territorial sphere; and of 
the Divine origin of the ruler from a federal to a purely 
unitary power. Both inside and outside the Empire 
federalism was at a discount from the Reformation 
onwards. Either the Church became as in Protestant 
countries a purely national organization, helping at once 
to maintain and to vivify the principle of territorialism ; 
or as among the Roman Catholics, while remaining extra- 
territorial and non-national, it became more unitary, more 
compact, more autocratic than in the Middle Ages. 
There was far less of the federal spirit at Trent than 
at Constance, and the letter of Carlo Borromeo 
declaring that the last thing the Pope would consent to 
was the voting by nations is expressive of the spirit 
which became dominant in the Roman Church 7 . Every- 
where we see the triumph of the unitary system. The 
ideal of Christendom as a whole, with Pope and Emperor 
at its head, gave way to the notion of the godly prince ; 
and potent in some respects as was Luther's nationalist 
influence, it was not so much the German people as 
the sovereign territorial prince that reaped the benefit. 
The prince officially " most religious," within a nation 
unitary in religion, in finance, in bureaucratic manage- 
ment, striving to secure morality, and to repress vice 
as well as crime, is the ideal alike of the Reformation 
and the Counter-Reformation. Outside that limit, the 
reign of force proceeds unchecked, and international 
relations are less than ever subject to the notion of 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 69 

any guidance beyond that of the " law of the beasts." 
Luther's principles for the internal, and Machiavelli's 
practice for the external direction of the State were to 
be the ideal for many generations. 

This is true even of the " Catholic kings," and is of 
course obvious in the case of Venice and France. The 
sentiment of all Europe was against Paul V in his 
attempt to take up the position of a rigid canonist in 
regard to the Venetian Republic, and he had to give way. 
No Pope could afford, at any rate for some time, to risk 
a new investiture controversy. The saying of Maximilian 
that Luther might be useful some day proved literally 
true, and true for all Catholic princes until the French 
Revolution provoked by reaction an increase of the 
ultramontane spirit. It was only when, as in the case 
of France under Louis XIV, the King had given 
hostages to orthodoxy by the revival of the spirit of 
persecution that the Gallican spirit was beaten. On the 
whole, however, the supremacy of the common law of 
the land over everyone within its borders, including 
the clergy, triumphed universally with the Reformation. 
Luther's influence tended to give this the widest exten- 
sion possible. He based the Royal authority upon 
Divine right with practically no reservation ; and by 
asserting the duty of the prince to play the part of 
Josiah made it possible for an Elector Palatine to assert 
that his subjects' consciences belonged to him. The 
principle of Cujus regio, ejus religio was the seeming 
result of the competitive spirit in religion, coupled with 
the growth of territorial power. It exalted the power 
whose religion was dominant rather than the particular 
religion he might adopt. The uniformity of eccle- 

jo Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

siastical law which had formed a common law for the 
West gave place to an international system of religion ; 
only with the modern growth of toleration did religion 
from a public become a private matter, the concern of 
the individual. 

Whatever practical limitation to the power of the 
Sovereign might be recognized by the form of the State, 
the gain to its pretensions, whether king or republic, and 
the assurance of its legal omnipotence were lasting, and 
only to be measured by the destruction of any common 
extraterritorial authority. The increase of unity within, 
at the expense of all forms of federalism, and the denial 
of any kind of unity without, except such as was main- 
tained by the very shadowy forces of International Law, 
were at once the consequence and the condition of 
Luther's success. 

We must not exaggerate, and in the remaining 
lectures we shall be tracing the growth of the influ- 
ences that formed some check upon these tendencies. 
The practical abolition of benefit of clergy, the substi- 
tution of the ideal of the good householder for that of 
the saint and the monk, the unification of all powers 
within the State, the ascription of all coercive authority 
to the civil ruler, and the inculcation of the duty of 
absolute non-resistance are not, of course, Luther's sole 
work, even in politics ; but they are the most salient 
features of the whole movement, of whose spirit his 
career is a symbol. The Church had, in fact, been 
the first and greatest "immunist"; as it was the first 
so it was the last. If Bluntschli's much canvassed 
statement that the State is male and the Church 
female be accepted, we must regard the Middle Ages as 

in] Luther and Machiavelli yi 

the period par excellence of woman's rights, except that 
we have no right to speak of two societies. Of divided 
allegiance, of authorized separation of powers in the 
body politic, the Pope could say as was said of 
another independence, " I watched by its cradle, I 
followed its hearse." Richelieu, no less than Cecil 
or Parker, was a product of the Reforming movement. 
Had there been no Luther there could never have 
been a Louis XIV. In fact, the religion of the State 
superseded the religion of the Church. Its first form 
was the Divine Right of Kings. Luther and Machiavelli 
were two of the most important factors in the change. 
But its results lasted longer. The unified democracy of 
Rousseau's scheme, and the realization of " the Idea " 
in Hegel's State-system both owe something of their 
nature to this movement. Both start from the assump- 
tion that the State is man's chief good upon earth, that 
its authority is to be all pervading and irresistible, that 
its rights are inalienable, and that no individual rights, 
not even those of religion, can stand against it. Luther's 
conception of the State and of duty to one's neighbour 
directly paved the way for that of Hegel. 

The doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings is in its 
origin, as a rapid reference to Dante will show, an asser- 
tion of the rights of the lay as against the ecclesiastical 
power. Its purport is to deny all theories of ecclesias- 
tical supremacy. Whatever power may be granted to 
the spiritual authority by believers in this doctrine and 
it may be a good deal this much is denied, that the 
temporal power exists by its favour, that the State is 
but a department of the Church. The Divine Right of 
Kings asserts the inherent right of political society to 
exist ; that the civil sword is God's ordinance no less 

J 2 Ltd her and Machiavelli [lect. 

than the ecclesiastical ; or in the " terms of art," the 
power of the prince comes immediately from God, not 
mediately through Pope or Kirk. Hence the Prince or 
the State which he represents is accountable to none but 
God, and political sovereignty " is at all times so free as 
to be in no earthly subjection in all things touching the 
regality of the said power." 

The supporters of Divine Right were thinking first 
and foremost of the secular independence of foreign or 
internal ecclesiastical power, only secondarily of the 
Rights of the King or the State against the individual. 
Carried to its completest extent and interpreted without 
any reservations, the doctrine obviously might and does 
in some cases lead to the absolute destruction of in- 
dividual liberty and the absorption of all rights in the 
power of an arbitrary monarchy, and certainly of an 
uncontrollable State. This doctrine, so far as it rests on 
the notion of secular independence, was not new ; it had 
been forged in the conflicts of Pope and Emperor. In 
the 16th and 17th centuries, indeed, it became hardened 
and took up into it certain other elements, such as the 
doctrine of indefeasible hereditary right, which after- 
wards overshadowed the others. But it was the need 
of a Reformation, or rather the political aspect of the 
Reformation, which gave the doctrine a new vogue, and 
for a couple of centuries rendered political speculation 
rather more than less dependent on theology, or at least 
on Scripture, than it had been becoming. The influence 
of Aristotle, and later on of the Renaissance, was all 
away from the theological conception of politics ; we 
see the two combined in S. Thomas, while in Etienne 
de la Boeotie or in Machiavelli we see political thought 
entirely non-theological. 

in] Luther and Machiavelli jt> 

The tendency, however, was counteracted by the 
Reformation in Germany. Presbyterianism, both in 
theory and practice, alike in Germany, Heidelberg and 
in Scotland, was not less but more ecclesiastical in spirit 
and in pretensions than the medieval Church. It was 
not, indeed, quite the same, for the Presbyterian theory, 
whether in Cartwright or Melville, developed the notion 
of Church and State as two distinct societies with different 
aims and officers; to the medieval mind there was always 
one society with its temporal and spiritual officers. The 
same change, however (as we shall see), came over the 
Roman hierarchical doctrine ; and the Jesuits developed 
the notion of the Church as a societas perfecta over 
against the other societas perfecta. This theory is not 
necessarily one of the tutelage of the lay power by the 
ecclesiastical, like the ordinary hierarchical doctrine of 
the Middle Ages. There can, however, be no doubt, that 
in its earlier phase the Presbyterian doctrine was fully as 
ecclesiastical and anti-secular, as was the Romans ; that 
it equally denied all real independence to the civil ruler, 
and demanded that ecclesiastical interests should domi- 
nate in politics. 

When the Reformation is spoken of as redounding to 
the advantage of the civil ruler, and largely an expres- 
sion of the advent of the secular power to omnipotence, 
it is not of the Presbyterian or Calvinist side of it that 
we are thinking, but rather of the Reforming movement 
as it developed in Germany, England, or Sweden. There 
the movement was at bottom a lay movement. When 
Luther burnt the Corpus Juris Canonici, he symbolised 
and intended to symbolise the entire abolition of all 
claims, not only to superiority, but even to any kind 
of coercive or inherent jurisdiction in the Church. He 

74 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

destroyed, in fact, the metaphor of the two swords ; 
henceforth there should be but one, wielded by a rightly 
advised and godly prince. It is a curious fact that 
Luther, whose fundamental motive was a love of liberty 
and care for the rights of one's neighbours, should have 
been so powerful a supporter of absolutism. 

With his exalted view of the power of the Civil 
Governor, and with the very low view Luther took of 
the value of sacerdotal gifts, it is not surprising that 
Luther's accession to power resulted in those principles 
known as Erastian. Even here we must distinguish. 
Luther and the Zwinglians, who in this respect were 
very similar, did not really intend to make truth the 
sport of political exigencies, and to recognize in the civil 
magistrate the right to define the faith. Luther, at any 
rate in his earlier stages, makes large reserves in regard 
to matters of doctrine and order. Erastus himself says 
distinctly he is only considering the case of a State 
where but one religion is permitted, and that the true 
one, and left Heidelberg when in 1580 the new Elector 
reverted to Lutheranism 8 . The position of Protestantism, 
even of Knox, is that the godly prince, i.e., the lay 
power within the Church, has power to make the 
necessary reforms when the Pope will not : the king, 
in fact, is to do right, when no one else will. The 
administration and all coercive jurisdiction over the 
clergy in the last resort springs from the prince ; he 
is completely to be master in his own house. As 
Melanchthon said, legislative power does not belong 
to the Church, for so far as it is a kingdom at all it 
is one not of this world. The only Civitas Dei in any 
sense of the word commonwealth which is not purely 
metaphorical is the State ; to Luther the Anabaptist 

in] Luther and Machiavelii 75 

claim (which was very medieval in spirit) to find it in 
the Church, like the Peasants' claim that men are all equal, 
only produced a sharpened sense that the Kingdom of 
God is a purely inward, spiritual thing ; in fact he was 
largely instrumental in destroying, not merely the fact, 
but even the principle of liberty, so far as individuals 
were concerned, throughout Germany ; while Calvin, 
whose own motives were essentially those of iron 
authority and order, largely helped to produce those 
conditions which kept it alive both in practice or 
theory. The reason of this is that Calvin happened 
to influence permanently either a minority in a hostile 
State as in France or England, or a nation struggling 
to be free like the Dutch. That his principles were 
in themselves in no way based on any ideal of 
individual liberty may be illustrated from the history 
of Geneva, New England, Scotland, the Synod of 
Dort, and the Puritan Revolution. But just because 
as in the Netherlands and France Calvinism was in- 
extricably mingled with a struggle against tyranny and 
insurrection, which required a theoretical basis, or as in 
England it became the cachet of a persecuted minority, 
the determination not to be suppressed which these 
bodies of men displayed helped to keep alive the fire of 
liberty for other influences to fan into a flame. Luther, 
on the other hand, really believed in individual freedom, 
a fact which may be proved by a perusal of the Liberty 
of a Christian Man ; but while on the one hand his 
extreme conservatism and his literal view of the New 
Testament led him to a strong doctrine of non-resistance, 
on the other he saw in the existing condition of the 
Empire, that the person whose freedom at that 
moment it was most necessary to proclaim was not 

76 Luther mid Machiavelli [lect. 

the individual but the prince. As against Pope and 
Emperor his life and writings equally helped to make the 
princes realize for themselves the liberty of a Christian 
man 9 . So far as Luther really assisted to promote 
despotism, it is due partly to his being frightened by the 
Peasants' revolt, and the excesses of the Anabaptists, 
partly to the fact that, having substituted in his own 
mind a lay power for an ecclesiastical, to him the State 
was that which, in the Middle Ages, the Church had 
been, " a partnership in every art, a partnership in every 
science, in every virtue and all perfection." That this 
omnipotence was at the moment in the hands of indi- 
viduals, was probably only to his mind an accident ; 
it is as a matter of fact the reforming despots of the 
Aufklarung who are the final goal of Luther's efforts 9 . 
Undoubtedly the real effect of his writings was revo- 
lutionary. He did more than any other man to shorten 
what Acton called the " reign of the dead." But in 
politics, the revolution was one not in favour of liberty 
but against it, and so far from improving the position of 
the poor it rendered it more abject, and added contempt 
to misery. Freedom from a spiritual tyranny which was 
at bottom also political, was the actual motive vivid and 
present to his mind 10 . Luther's thought was essentially 
practical ; and he fell back upon the only power that 
could effect his ends. Even the Conciliar party fell 
back, to a large extent, upon the lay power, and that 
movement was not only nationalist, it was lay in its 
leaning. It is interesting to compare the Letter to the 
German nobility with the De Concordantia Catholica, and 
see how at this early stage Luther's views pointed on the 
one hand to the carrying forward of the idea of reform- 
ing the Church by the help of the Imperial power, and 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 77 

accompanied by a reformation of the State, which was 
the main theme of Nicolas of Cues, and on the other hand 
tended to eviscerate to all intents and purposes the term 
" Kingdom of God," and apply it either to the state of 
the believer's soul, righteousness, peace and joy, or to 
a purely invisible and unorganised collection of beings, 
both living and dead. The invisibility of the Church 
is, in fact, to Luther the condition and the counterpart 
of the visibility of the State which in its full sense is a 
new thing. 

Luther's position, and that of other Protestants like 
Musculus, or Hooker and Whitgift, was only possible 
because our phrase the conflicts of Church and State 
is a misnomer when applied to the struggle between Popes 
and Emperors in the Middle Ages ; it cannot be too often 
reiterated that the thinkers of the Middle Ages were not 
concerned with two separate and distinct societies, but 
merely with the relations between different officers or at 
most different departments of the society. Speaking 
generally the medieval mind puts the ecclesiastical 
officer at the head. Luther, following Wyclif and 
Dante, puts the civil at the head. Only later do we 
find, first in Presbyterians and afterwards in Jesuits, the 
distinct recognition of two societies whose relations are 
to be decided by some form of contract. 

In any case we must not confuse Luther with Hobbes. 
It is true that the effect of the Protestant movement in 
Germany was to give the prince an entirely unwarrantable 
authority over the religion of his subjects, which he 
thought he had a right to change at his will. It is also 
true that Erastianism in its strict sense leads logically 
and practically to Erastianism in its developed sense, 
which makes religion the plaything of statesmen who 

7 8 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

may or may not profess any themselves. But the actual 
thought of Luther stops far short of this. All that he and 
his imitators asserted is the right of the most religious 
and gracious King " to visit, redress, reform, order, correct 
and amend all manner of heresies, errors, schisms, abuses, 
offences, contempts, and enormities whatsoever, which by 
any manner of spiritual or ecclesiastical power, authority 
or jurisdiction can or may lawfully be reformed, ordered, 
&c, &c, to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of 
virtue, and the conservation of the peace and unity of this 
realm." Their doctrine was that all coercive authority was 
vested in the prince by Divine Right ; that the power of 
the State was absolutely vested in him ; that no other 
separate organization could exist except by his fiat, or by 
his delegation. The hostility of Melanchthon and others 
to monastic communities is largely based on this, that 
they set up a different bond of society to that of the 
commonwealth ; and possess a unity which is not of that 
of the civil State. No real social unities are to exist 
apart from the State ; the medieval notion of a com- 
munitas communitatum gives way to the civilian doctrine 
of the omni-competent State set over against a mass of 
individuals. That this doctrine was dangerous is true 
enough ; that it does not tally with the facts of life is 
also true ; that it took generations to work out and is 
only now receiving its complete interpretation in the 
speeches of M. Combes, the Judgments of the House of 
Lords in the Free Church Case, and in the aims of 
Dr Clifford is also true! But that for the time and at the 
moment Luther and his followers only intended to assert 
that the lay power must be supreme, and that the unitary 
State was a self-subsistent entity, having therefore,, a 
Divine sanction apart from the ecclesiastical, is all that 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 79 

we can say. The freedom of the lay power from a 
clerical control, and hence the sovereignty of the prince 
this is the sum and substance of their contention. This, 
as we know, worked out to mean the practical destruction 
of the Imperial authority on the one hand ; and the 
removal of all checks on princely tyranny on the other. 
Luther was far more revolutionary than he cared to admit 
or liked to believe. It is, however, against the unity 
of the Empire that his doctrines were subversive. In 
spite of his insistence on the duty of caring for one's 
neighbours, and of his condemnation of the evils of the 
newer capitalism, so far as concerned the peasants and 
the lower classes in general, Luther's supremacy worked 
for anything but amelioration. Above all, the dislike 
to the whole monastic ideal which characterised the 
reforming movement, helped to usher in that vulgar 
contempt for poverty, and the placing of comfort before 
character as an ideal, which is so distinctive of the 
modern as compared with the medieval world. This it 
is, perhaps, more than anything else that justifies 
Matthew Arnold's dictum that he was only a '' Philistine 
of Genius. " 

Luther is merely taken as typical of the whole 
movement of which he did not always do more than 
serve as the expression. The point is that with him the 
idea of the freedom of the lay powers to be found in 
Dante, in Marsiglio, in Wyclif, steps upon the stage of 
practical politics, and connects itself with that general 
tendency towards hereditary territorial sovereignty with- 
out which it could have had no lasting effect. His 
desire for a really omnipotent and reforming council puts 
him alongside of those Conciliar writers whom we dis- 
cussed last week. He did but develop some of their views 

80 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

about the rights of the laity and also of national 
independence. We cannot understand the movement 
which succeeded without reference to those which failed. 
The unity and universality and essential Tightness of the 
sovereign territorial State, and the denial of every extra- 
territorial or independent communal form of life, are 
Luther's lasting contribution to politics. Yet even the 
form which he gave to his ideas endured a long time. 
His return to the Scripture and the extremely literal 
interpretations which he favoured, coupled with his 
disbelief in ecclesiastical power, made that absolute 
reliance on the literal sense of the texts about non- 
resistance to temporal authority the cachet of all royalist 
writing for a couple of centuries. The idea that the 
" powers that be " could refer to ecclesiastical authorities 
(which we saw was the medieval gloss on an awkward 
passage) naturally appeared ridiculous, if the whole of 
the Papal authority was the wickedest of all usurpations. 
Luther's genuine belief in "Liberty" finds expression 
in the Liberty of a Christian Man, and he uses words 
about the necessity of consent to justify laws which 
might have been expanded into a programme of freedom. 
So far, however, as this was done by Karlstadt, the 
Peasants or the Anabaptists, Luther repudiated their 
glosses, and became more and more hostile to any claim 
to limit princely power. It was by transferring the 
notion of non-resistance from the Imperial to the 
princely, and from the ecclesiastical to the lay power, 
that Luther gave to the doctrine of the Divine Right of 
Kings such universal and enduring prevalence. Passive 
obedience even to the Emperor indeed was pretty nearly 
all that was wanted to enable Lutheranism to grow ; it 
was only when Charles was able seriously to undertake 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 81 

the subjugation of Protestantism, that some theory of 
princely resistance had to be found. 

For the years immediately succeeding the Diet of 
Worms, the practice of passive obedience, i.e., the mere 
non-fulfilment of the edict, was quite sufficient. So that 
for longer than he realized, Luther was able to believe 
both in the Imperial and the princely authority ; 
eventually, rather reluctantly he had to give up the 
former and justify the League of Schmalkalde. 

It is with Luther that the long catena of Protestant 
divines on the side of non-resistance quoted by Salmasius 
begins ; and he fixed, in this respect, or rather expressed 
the attitude of mind, which remained distinctively 
Protestant in all those countries (except Scotland) where 
Protestantism was national in character. 

Roughly speaking, what Luther did in the world of 
politics was to transfer to the temporal sovereign the 
halo of sanctity that had hitherto been mainly the privi- 
lege of the ecclesiastical ; and to change the admiration 
of men from the saintly to the civic virtues, and their 
ideals from the monastic life to the domestic, and all this 
as a part of the Divine ordering of the world. It was 
largely an accident that for the next two centuries these 
ideals redounded to the advantage of monarchy, and 
made the prince an autocrat in his own country. It 
only needed a change in the depositary of the sovereign 
power to make the same conceptions of the holiness of 
the State and the duty of non-resistance apply to the 
citizen of a democracy unified according to the ideas of 

We turn for a little to a teacher anything but religious. 
It would be impossible to gain any adequate notion of 

f. 6 

82 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

the intellectual forces, that made up the mind of the 
average European statesman from 1600- 1800 if we 
altogether omitted a consideration of the influence of 
Machiavelli. This must be the cause for his introduc- 
tion into this course of lectures; this and one or two 
other reasons to be noted presently. It is now generally 
recognised that it was not monarchy but efficiency for 
which Machiavelli cared, and that it was only as a means 
to an end that he recommended tyranny. His prefer- 
ence, as indicated in the Discorsi, was clearly for some 
form of republic or constitutional monarchy, of which he 
took the French to be an example 11 . It may, however, be 
pointed out that the ideal of efficiency, if it be exclusive, 
will almost invariably tend to become an apology for 
tyranny, whether that of mob or monarch. The moment 
a man begins to think of any particular reform as more 
important than any loss to human character that can 
accrue through waiting on the task of educating the 
public conscience to effect it, the moment, that is, he sets 
this or that object as an end itself irrespective of the 
men who are to reach it, he is bound to become impatient 
of average stupidity, contemptuous of all rules, legal, 
moral or customary, which delay the accomplishment of 
his ends. " The true type of Strafford was the revolu- 
tionary idealist hewing his way to his end without 
regard to obstacles." What is true of Strafford or 
Bacon, as apologists for despotism in their desire for 
the quick removal of abuses, is true of anarchists like 
Ravachoff or the Phoenix Park murderers, or terrorists 
like Robespierre, and many amiable socialists to-day. 
In all cases, the desire for some particular reform tends 
to remove that care for the gradual education of charac- 
ter, which is more important than any given measures, is 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 83 

always so easy to ignore or thrust aside in the enthusiasm 
of a great cause, and is yet at the basis of all true 
liberty, whether religious or civil. The cause for which 
Machiavelli laboured was, outside the religious sphere, as 
noble as a man could have, and the piercing eloquence 
of the last chapter of the Prince must find an echo in the 
hearts of many who denounce his system 12 . Yet, if once 
the safety of any particular country be set up as an end 
in itself, it is clear that any and all of the measures which 
Machiavelli approves may be not only necessary, but 
praiseworthy 13 . Moreover, as we now know, all he did 
was to express the actual and existing assumptions, on 
which the scramble of competition was carried out among 
Italian princes. 

What we are here concerned with is so much of those 
assumptions as were to influence in the future the politics 
of Europe. For this purpose we may for the moment 
rule out as of secondary importance all the means which 
may be justified from Machiavelli in regard to the 
internal relations of a ruler and his subjects, presuming 
that here, as elsewhere, Machiavelli had the future with 
him, and that efficient extra-legal autocracy was to be 
the ideal and practice for the government of European 
States for the next two and a half centuries. 

It is in International Politics, however, that Machia- 
velli has had his greatest influence. With territorialism 
dominant, and the unity, however vague, afforded by a 
single religious system with a recognised code of law, 
at an end, the relations between States became more 
definitely those of the " state of nature " than they had 
been since the early days of the Roman Republic ; the 
struggle for existence became more keen, and less 
obviously subject to any rules than it had ever been 


84 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

before among civilised peoples. Now the remarkable 
point about Machiavelli (and even of his adversaries) is 
what he omits 14 . I do not think it quite true to say that 
he is "inspired by the passionless curiosity of the man 
of science 15 " ; for the question at the back of his mind 
was never what is the true science of politics ; but what 
rules of prudence may be garnered from history or con- 
temporary experience to guide us here and now. But 
what distinguishes him from his predecessors is his 
entire discarding of any attempt to found a philosophy 
of right. To speak generally, all political speculation in 
the past few centuries might be described as directed 
to that end ; to Machiavelli, however, the questions which 
seemed of such importance to S. Thomas and the 
innumerable other writers on the subject of politics, 
xvhatever side they took, were simply beside the mark. 
He did not, probably, consciously omit them ; it never 
occurred to him to discuss them. The practical end ruled 
everything, and as has been said " he is the founder of 
utilitarian ethics." It is remarkable, too, that he ex- 
presses but the atmosphere of the Italy of his day. 
Even a writer definitely hostile to him, like Botero, in his 
work // Ragion di Stato, yet makes very much the same 
assumptions, and appeals to the same kind of motives. 

What has vanished from Machiavelli is the conception 
of natural law. So long as this belief is held, however 
inadequate may be the conception as a view of the facts 
of life, it affords some criterion for submitting the acts of 
statesmen to the rule of justice, and some check on the 
rule of pure expediency in internal and of force in ex- 
ternal politics. The more, however, law comes to be 
seen to be merely positive, the command of a law-giver, 
the more difficult is it to put any restraints upon the 

in] Luther and Macliiavelli 85 

action of the legislator, and in cases of monarchical 
government to avoid a tyranny. So long as ordinary 
law is regarded as to some extent merely the explication 
of law natural, so long there is some general concep- 
tion remaining by which governments may be judged ; 
so long, in fact, do they rest on a confessedly moral 
basis. And this remains true, however little their ordi- 
nary actions may be justifiable, however much they may 
in practice overstep their limits. When, however, natural 
law and its outcome in custom, are discarded, it is clear 
that the ruler must be consciously sovereign in a way he 
has not been before, and that his relations to other rulers 
will also be much freer especially owing to the confusion 
of jus naturale with jus gentium which is at the bottom 
of International Law. The despots of Italy were, in fact, 
in the Greek sense, tyrants, and Machiavelli did little 
more than say so. What gives him his importance is 
that what was true of the small despots of Italy was 
going to become true of the national monarchs of 
Europe. To Machiavelli the State, i.e., Italy, is an end 
in itself; the restraints of natural law seem mere moon- 
shine to a man of his positif habit ; and he substitutes 
the practical conceptions of reason of state as a ground 
of all government action, and the balance of pozuer as 
the goal of all international efforts, in place of the 
ancient ideals, inefficient enough but not insignificant, of 
internal justice and international unity. Now no one 
can deny that very largely they have been ruling in 
Europe ever since ; just as it was only three centuries 
and a half after his day, that Italy herself reached, under 
the leadership of Cavour, the goal, which Machiavelli had 
set before her, by methods which his typical man of 
virtu would scarcely have disdained. 

86 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

We have now to enquire how it was that this notion 
of natural law, which in some sense ruled speculation 
from Cicero to Rousseau, has disappeared so entirely 
before the gaze of Machiavelli. In the first place we 
must always remember his purpose. He was not writing 
abstract treatises on government, but looking at facts 
past or present with the hope of bringing peace to " the 
distressful country." He did not start from any ideals 
of government or desire to find them, he did not medi- 
tate on the philosophy of law. Social justice had to 
him no meaning apart from the one great end of the 
salvation of his country. He had the limited hori- 
zon and unlimited influence which always come of 
narrowing the problem. There is a sense in which it 
is quite true that salus populi is suprema lex ; for laws 
and rules suitable for ordinary times are not always 
suitable for emergencies, e.g., an interference with per- 
sonal liberty at other times intolerable, or an executive 
justice in essence purely administrative, could be endured 
even by the British Philistine, if there were real and 
immediate danger of invasion. Every nation would 
allow that there are emergencies in which it is the right 
and the duty of a government to proclaim a state of 
siege and authorize the suppression of the common 
rules of remedy by the rapid methods of martial law. 
Now what Machiavelli did, or rather what his followers 
have been doing ever since, is to elevate this principle 
into the normal rule for statesmen's actions. When his 
books are made into a system they must result in a 
perpetual suspension of the habeas corpus acts of the 
whole human race. It is not the removal of restraints 
under extraordinary emergencies that is the fallacy of 
Machiavelli, it is the erection of this removal into an 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 87 

ordinary and every-day rule of action. Machiavelli's 
maxims are merely the paradoxes of self-defence just 
as the mildest householder may adopt a ruse to get rid 
of a burglar, or defend himself with a revolver against 
violence. It is the transformation of these paradoxes 
into principles, that has been so dangerous. The net 
result of his writings has been that, in the long run, 
Machiavelli's principles have remained, as they ought, 
as a mere Dens ex machina for internal politics ; but 
have become a commonplace in International diplomacy. 
They are of little harm if they are regarded, like justi- 
fiable homicide, as a necessary breach of the law ; but 
when they come to be regarded as the law itself the 
situation alters. Paradoxes only become dangerous 
when they are transformed into platitudes. Machiavelli 
actually saw in Italy that the restraints of law and 
custom had broken down, and he strove to make the best 
of the existing conditions. The mistake of his followers 
is that they treat him as though he had been interpreting 
and laying down rules of universal validity, which it is 
quixotic even to desire to alter. 

But this is not all. There can, I think, be no doubt 
that the action of one community in its own real or 
supposed interests must have had an influence on the 
mind of the observer. The autocracy of the Papacy 
was founded on a theory of sovereignty, which was with 
Machiavelli beginning to pass over to the secular State. 
The dispensing power proclaimed more clearly and more 
universally than any other instrument that laws were 
but the creature of the ruler and might be disregarded 
at his will. The lines quoted by Pasquier show us how 
widespread was the feeling already voiced by Nicolas of 
Cues, that the crying need of the Church was that laws 

88 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

should be regarded as having something more than a 
merely positive sanction. 

"Je hay ces mots de puissance absolue, 
De plein pouvoir, de propre mouvement ; 
Aux saints Decrets ils ont pre"mierement 
Puis a nos loix la puissance tollue 16 ." 

It is true that the Pope was not supposed to 
have the power to dispense with natural laws, yet 
the jurisdiction for so long assumed and exercised 
in the matter of oaths must have largely rendered 
nugatory this restriction, and he was supposed to 
be able to dispense with bigamy. For this matter is 
decisive. It cannot be too often repeated that the funda- 
mental difference between Machiavelli and Grotius is 
concerned with this question. Grotius' contention, which 
is denied implicitly and explicitly by Machiavelli, is that 
human life is essentially a society, and that certain laws, 
of which fidelity to plighted word is the most important, 
are therefore as immutable as human nature. On this 
notion he rears the whole of his system. Now it was 
this system which had been shattered, or largely shat- 
tered, by the claims of the Popes to " interpret " the 
obligation of oaths. It is interesting to note that one 
of the most important instances of it was in direct 
support of that autocratic power which Machiavelli did 
so much to advance. Innocent III denied the right 
of a king to diminish his regality, even though he had 
sworn to the concession. This was erected by Bartolus 
into a general principle of the inalienability of sove- 
reignty 17 . It was exactly this notion, that charters 
and liberties were matters of royal favour, leaving the 
imperiutn unimpaired, which was at the bottom of the 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 89 

dealings of James I with his Parliament, which was 
largely at the basis of those actions of Charles I, that 
made the Commons distrust all his offers, and which 
continued down to our own day to disturb the attempts 
to bind monarchs to constitutional government. It is 
against this that Talleyrand protested in writing to 
Louis XVIII, that the rights he guaranteed bythe Charter 
must be recognised by him as inherent rights, not merely 
octroye'c, and therefore presumably capable of being with- 
drawn. The dispensing pozver "as a practice, the plenitudo 
potestatis as a theory, had for some time released the 
Popes from the restraints of law which was only what 
Machiavelli did for the princes. It was, moreover, in the 
history of the Church more than elsewhere, that the 
complete subjection of the individual conscience to the 
interest of the community was demanded and often 
obtained. The danger of Machiavellianism is that it 
demands of the individual in the service of the com- 
munity the sacrifice, not merely of his purse or his person, 
but also of his conscience. This we shall see exempli- 
fied (as indeed is inevitable) more completely in the 
history of the Church than elsewhere. 

The Council of Constance had decreed in its dealings 
with Hus that faith was not to be kept with heretics ; if 
for heretics we read enemies, and for Church read State, 
we have the whole of Machiavelli's system in this one 
decree. We must remember that the fundamental 
conception of a heretic is not a person who is in 
intellectual error, but a rebel against ecclesiastical 
authority, and hence the analogy to politics is even closer 
than might at first appear. Hus was condemned as a 
religious outlaw to whom human rights no more belonged. 
If the Church could do this there is nothing that the 

90 Ltd her and Machiavelli [lect. 

State might not also do in its interests, provided of 
course the existence of the State is a good thing 18 . 
Moreover it became customary to appeal to this decree 
in justification of practices generally known as Machiavel- 
lian. In the Satyre Menippee an instance is afforded. 

Compare the spirit of this famous decree, which 
practically declares the heretic a " rightless " person, 
with the extremely grudging condemnation of the 
principles of Jean Petit, who alleged that he had the 
support of the greatest canonists in favour of his thesis 
that a tyrant, i.e., a traitor, may be slain by anyone at 
any moment 19 . We shall see how strongly the tide has 
been running in the Church towards making the Law, 
whether positive or natural, a thing of nought where the 
interests of the community itself are concerned. If it is 
Machiavelli who declares that the end justifies the means, 
what is most original in him is his naivete. He says 
what other people thought, and he regards the civil state 
as an end in itself 20 . The hierarchical party regarded no 
secular State as of such importance that it could dispense 
with all obligations, but it tended so to regard the 
Church although, as we have said, it did not expressly 
deny that natural law was binding even on the Popes. 

It is, however, undoubted that that complete super- 
session of the individual by the social conscience which 
is the cachet of Machiavelli was carried to its highest in 
an ecclesiastical community 19 . The Society of Jesus 
expressly denies to the individual the duty of acting 
upon his conscience where it conflicts with the orders of 
the superiors 21 . 

If we take this in conjunction with the famous clause 
about the individual being quasi cadaver in the hands of 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 91 

the Society, we shall see how complete is the denial of 
any individual sense of right or wrong or at any rate its 
absorption in the social. 

The point to notice is that in both cases the error 
arises from preaching the doctrine of self-sacrifice in an 
unreal and artificial form. From the point of view of 
Christian ethics self-sacrifice, which means the spirit of 
giving, is not at all identical with the self-annihilation 
which is the last word of the Pessimism of modern times, 
and of some systems of Oriental ethics. Love does not 
destroy, it enhances individuality. The gulf between 
the Christian ideal of Love, and the ideals of Buddha, 
Schopenhauer and Tolstoi, which mean the destruction 
of the individual, is at bottom irreconcileable ; yet both 
by adversaries and believers, the mistake of confounding 
the one with the other is often made. Ethically what 
Machiavelli and the Jesuit Institutes alike demand is the 
complete absorption of the individuality by the social 
organism. Practically this will mean the tyranny of 
some one individual or group who can make the Society 
efficient. It makes no difference whether the community 
be religious or secular, except that the temptation to 
make the error is very much greater in the case of a 
religious body, whose ends are by all adherents recog- 
nised to be holy. The much abused morality of the 
Jesuits is only the most thorough-going form of an error, 
which will probably exist, so long as it is possible for 
men to conceive great ends, and to be impatient of the 
hindrances to their accomplishment. Still the fact 
remains that the principle leads commonly to the 
idealisation of an individual, who can promote these 
ends at the cost of ordinary rules of right ; whether 
it be Cesare Borgia, Bismarck, or Frederic II in the 

92 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

civil sphere, or Gregory XIII striking his medal and 
illuminating Rome in honour of the massacre of 
S. Bartholomew, or Escobar torturing reason in the 
effort to make morality smooth to the worldly-minded. 
The Society of Jesus, perhaps, gives us in the develop- 
ment of probabilism the truest object-lesson in the 
inevitable consequences of the acceptance of Machiavelli's 
principles in regard to communities. These principles 
are, briefly, that right and wrong are terms that have no 
meaning in regard to the relations between societies, 
although in the ordinary view the moral code is to retain 
unimpaired its authority over private life. 

The Society of Jesus, speaking broadly, transfers 
these principles to a religious body, i.e., it recognises, 
not that the end justifies the means, a most important 
point not to be here discussed 22 , but that the individual 
conscience is to be as nothing as compared with the 
commands of the community. The life of Parsons, the 
plot of Pius V against Elizabeth, and the actions of 
Garnet in regard to the conspirators of the Gunpowder 
Plot form the best commentary on this. This of course 
does not imply that the individual conscience ought not 
to be enlightened by the social reason. It is quite 
possible to think that Luther and Hus must have been 
wrong in carrying criticism to the point of rebellion. 
But that would not have made it right, for either 
thinking, as he did, of his duty to have acted differently. 
It may for instance be wrong to become an atheist ; but 
it is not merely the right, it is the duty of a convinced 
atheist to act on his belief. 

Having thus destroyed, in the interests of the Society 
(which is of course identified with those of religion), the 
individual conscience, men were driven on to destroy the 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 93 

sanction of morality even in private life. The obvious 
rule for conduct is assuredly that while a man is 
responsible not only for what he does but for what he 
thinks right to do, he is bound at any moment to carry 
out the course he deems right, after taking every means 
to enlighten his conscience. Probabilism directly denies 
this, it asserts that it is morally justifiable for a man to 
pursue the course, which he believes to be wrong, if only 
he can find a single authority of weight who declares it 
to be right, i.e., if Guy Fawkes thinks treason a sin, he 
is yet justified in committing it and still retaining his 
opinion, if only he can quote Mariana, say, on the other 
side. It is clear that this theory is entirely destructive 
of all morality in a world where opinion is not unanimous, 
for it takes away that individual sense of responsibility 
for action which is its very basis. It does not even make 
morality social. Yet this theory was so bound up with 
the interests of the Society, although it was a Dominican 
(Medina) not a Jesuit who invented it, that it gradually 
became practically impossible for its members to express 
any other view. Gonzalez himself made a heroic 
endeavour in conjunction with Pope Innocent XII to 
remove the stigma from the Society. It was all in vain, 
however ; it was with the utmost difficulty and only by 
the use himself of Machiavellian tactics, that he escaped 
being compelled to hold a general congregation which 
would certainly have deposed him, while every possible 
effort was put forth by the "assistants" and others to 
prevent the publication of his treatise against Probabilism. 
The history of the Society of Jesus is not merely in its 
common fame an exposition of the principles of Machia- 
velli ; it affords in its constitution the very completest 
exposition of his doctrine ; which is that the individual 

94 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

conscience is to be sacrificed to the community ; while 
its most characteristic moral principle extends into 
private life the same destruction of moral responsibility, 
which the ordinary follower of Machiavelli would leave 
untouched 23 . 

Other evidences can be given, if need be, that it is 
impossible to remove the very notion of morality from 
international affairs, without in the long run undermining 
it in private life. The principles of Machiavelli have not 
as a matter of fact been confined to the sphere of State 
actions. Roughly speaking it may be said to have been 
the belief of ordinary statesmen from Machiavelli's time 
to the triumph of his principles under Cavour and 
Bismarck that the code of morals, and of Christian 
morals, is obligatory on individuals, but that in inter- 
national matters any ideal of morality at all is not so 
much superfluous as pernicious, that " the Law of the 
beast " not only does but ought to reign unchecked with 
no attempt to interfere with the struggle of existence. 

Now, as a matter of fact, this conception has had 
to be extended. First of all the obvious distinction 
between commercial and private life causes a similar 
assertion to be made in matters of trade. Business is 
business ; and the " economic man " is held up, not as 
a mere rough generalisation from experience, but as the 
ideal of commerce. The evil wrought by the " orthodox " 
economists is not that they observed facts and deduced 
sequences of cause and effect, but that by so many of 
their followers, and still more by the average bourgeois 
their abstractions were regarded as ideals ; and their 
delineation of what (with certain reserves) commonly 
is, was regarded as a statement of what ought to be 
in the best of all possible worlds. It is not the facts 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 95 

observed but their erection into an ideal, which is 
the cause, rightly or wrongly, of the humanitarian 
attack on the old economists, led by men like Ruskin 
and Carlyle. 

The attack was directed against exactly the same 
notions as those of Machiavelli, only applied to commerce 
instead of the State. There was the same repulsion at 
seeing the meaner facts of daily life elevated into a 
principle ; the same horror at the denial that moral 
obligations could have any meaning in regard to trade 
relations. In both cases there was the same attempt to 
assert some fundamental principles of human brotherhood 
and to claim that they are deeper than the apparently 
impassable exclusiveness of national or commercial 
individualism ; and that at any rate the failure of men 
consistently to carry out the highest ideal is no reason 
for denying that such ideals ought to be striven for. 

Our generation has seen one further step taken in 
the extension of the principles of Machiavelli. The 
doctrines associated with the name of Nietzsche are 
exactly similar to those of Machiavelli, except that they 
are now purely limited to individual ends ; and that no 
sanctifying means in the thought of the community is 
allowed to interfere with the unchecked pursuit of 
individual strength. Machiavelli banishes the notion of 
right from politics. It is found impossible, however, to 
confine his principles within the limits originally allowed 
to them ; and the economists or rather some of their 
followers banish ethics from commerce ; and assert a still 
sharper distinction between family and business con- 
cerns than Machiavelli allowed between the State 
and the individual. Nietzsche goes one better and 
leaves triumphant, unashamed, the Uebermensch with 

96 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

his eagle of pride and his serpent of cunning, rejoicing 
pitilessly over the weak and suffering, and scorning the 
very notion of Love. The attempt of Nietzsche is to get 
rid of all ethical ideals which recognise the value of the 
sympathetic virtues. His frank return to the ethics of 
Paganism minus its better side is but the logical and 
inevitable outcome of the principles of Machiavelli 
when allowed unchecked predominance. For many 
generations of men it has been possible honestly to 
believe that all the notions of human life in society 
which underlie any claim to found an international code 
of ethics might be surrendered, while current ideals 
could retain their authority over the internal affairs 
of nations and still direct the conscience of individuals. 
This was an illusion inevitable perhaps in the general 
condition of affairs, but none the less an illusion. 
Nietzsche deserves the gratitude of all friends of 
humanity for the service he has done in tearing off the 
mask from human selfishness, and showing that the 
whole sphere of private life cannot in the long run be 
different from the ideals accepted in public affairs. 
Like Machiavelli too Nietzsche has the ill reputation 
which always attaches to one who removes that veil of 
respectability with which men love to disguise their real 
life. Nietzsche sees as Machiavelli saw the glaring and 
ridiculous contrasts between the high nominal aims and 
the actual life of most men ; he sees in men like 
Napoleon a difference from the average man not in the 
dominating selfishness of his aims, but only in the 
intellectual force and practical genius with which he 
strove for their accomplishment. So he bids us once 
more worship force in the person of Nietzsche and 
crucify Love in the person of Christ. The principles of 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 97 

Nietzsche are only the principles that animate the gods 
of the modern world, Jay Gould, Whittaker Wright and 
their numberless imitators ; only they are expressed with 
a scorn of convention and a savage contempt for the 
nominal ideas of men which the money worshipper has 
not enough lucidity of mind to understand. Just as 
Machiavelli sets up Cesare Borgia, as the ideal " saviour 
of society," and declares Christian ethics to be dangerous 
in their political effects, so does Nietzsche scoff at the 
very idea of a religion of Love, and bid us prepare for 
a " transvaluation of all values " in a world where selfish 
distinction is to be the supreme ideal force, and the 
only vice of conquering heroes will be their occasional 

It is impossible to understand Machiavelli without 
comparing him with Nietzsche whose Uebermensch is 
but Machiavelli's man of virtu stripped of those public 
ends which make even Cesare Borgia less odious. There 
is indeed a difference. Nietzsche's savage and cruel 
scorn has still some of the Teutonic barbarism against 
which the culture of Italy and the Renaissance protested. 
He has not the level gaze of Machiavelli into the world 
of fact, and he proclaims his love of iniquity with an 
ineffectual shriek. Machiavelli was always considering 
the practical problem, how is Italy to be saved ? The 
problem of Nietzsche so far as it is practical is simply 
this, how shall I best exhibit my scorn for the contrast 
between men's lives and their profession, my distaste 
for their inconsistencies, my hatred of anything that is 
meant by religion ? But no less than Machiavelli does 
Nietzsche lay bare some dominant tendencies of our 
modern world ; no less than Machiavelli does he make 
it necessary for Christians to see that in the coming 

f. 7 

Luther and Mack: lf 

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ioo Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

causing men to raise the question, what is the 
difference? That there is such a distinction is clear 
alike from the general practice and common judgment 
of mankind, as Bishop Creighton says : " There is a 
difference between public and private morality." 

It is, however, one thing to assert that there is a 
difference between the conduct of communities, or the 
relations of men in business and their private life, and 
quite another to assert that there is no rule of right at 
all in international matters. Here again Nietzsche helps 
us. The recognition of individuality means the definite 
repudiation of altruism, in the strictest sense, and exclu- 
sively considered. Moralists like Butler are right, not 
un-Christian, when they speak of a reasonable self-love 
in individuals ; and the wholesale melting of Christian 
ethics into mere sentimental benevolence which in the 
long run is destructive of everybody's personality is an 
error. So with the State. A regard for its own existence, 
safety, and strength is not to be treated, as it may easily 
be, as a concession to an iniquitous selfishness ; but as 
the right and duty of statesmen. 

This implies the right of self-defence of war, of the 
ruses which accompany war, and the stratagems of 
diplomacy in a state of things bordering upon war. In 
fact, self-defence carries with it among nations the same 
or similar consequences as it does among schoolboys. 
Unless these things are recognised as legitimate, in any 
conditions existing or likely for some generations to 
exist, it will be vain that preachers and moralists will 
thunder against the immorality of politics or the 
selfishness of nations. The rights of national individu- 
ality correctly understood, and its corollaries in practice, 
are the residuum of truth in Machiavelli's system, which 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 101 

gives it its appeal ; just as the right to personal 
development and its corollaries is the residuum of truth 
in the so-called ethics of Nietzsche. 

Also it must be recognised that in a state of things 
like international politics, where there is no recognised 
superior, and even International Law is but the voice 
of public opinion, the condition of affairs is very much 
more nearly akin to the state of nature as imagined by 
Hobbes than it is in relation of individuals. 

In the actual world men have the defects of their 
qualities. In forming moral judgments we commonly 
and rightly grade men's faults differently according to 
their circumstances. Cowardice is the supreme fault of 
a private soldier ; and in return for bravery, other 
faults are treated as venial in comparison. So it should 
be in the historical judgments of statesmen. Patriotism, 
sincerity and devotion to the interests of his country 
are the sine qua non for a statesman. If in the course of 
a career like Bismarck's, actions are committed which 
cannot be condoned, these actions are not to be admired, 
but are to be treated more leniently than any dereliction 
of his cardinal duty, devotion to his people. The error 
of Machiavelli and his followers is, that they assert such 
actions to be right ; the error of too many moralists 
is, that in their desire to secure the supremacy of 
the moral law, they assert that such actions are equally 
sinful with private vices. Assuredly the judgment of 
history ought to be that they are deeply blameworthy 
and not to be commended, but that they are to be 
regarded as the natural faults of a politician. We 
should in fact judge the statesman's crimes not as 
anything else but crimes, but still as crimes for which 
there is enormous temptation. 

102 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

This consideration, I think, it is which enables us to 
decide for the author in the attack which Lord Acton 
directed against the judgment of Bishop Creighton in 
his history. Acton's theory, as stated there and more 
completely elsewhere, was definitely that " great men are 
nearly always bad men," and that ultramontanism was 
a doctrine of murder and that no one who even defends 
such a doctrine can be other than ipso jure damned 24 . 

The length to which he carried this view will be even 
more apparent when some of his letters to Dollinger are 
published. In the first place it may be pointed out that 
the actual doctrine is a peculiar one ; because Newman 
(for he was included) and others either condoned perse- 
cution or praised those who did condone it, we are to 
make the assertion that they could not have been " in a 
state of grace." Acton is quite clear that what he 
condemns is Machiavellism in Church matters. But 
he uses the medieval notion, that we can know the 
condition of other men's souls in order to condemn these 
men for their failure to hold the modern notion of the 
duty of religious toleration. 

Now this appears to be unreasonable ; and entirely 
to lose sight of or rather to repudiate the consideration 
noticed above. It may well be that persecution is 
not only an error, but a crime ; it may well be, as 
Creighton himself pointed out, that those who condoned 
or approved persecution cannot, except they are intel- 
lectual underlings, be acquitted of moral blame therefor. 
But it is one thing to assert that toleration both is and 
always has been a Christian duty, that the failure to see 
this is on the part of a thinker not merely an error, but 
a sin, that so far as history makes moral judgments it is 
to condemn him ; and quite another to declare with 

m] Luther and Machiavelli 103 

Acton, that it is a sin in a different category from all 
other sins, that it subjects the doer to the last penalty, 
and that we know that it does so. 

Now it is the failure to perceive this, that runs 
through so much of the easily inflicted blame of 
statesmen's iniquities. Those who assert the inalienable 
supremacy of the moral law, and repudiate the principles 
of Machiavelli, are in the opinion of the writer not 
merely right, but asserting a truth, most eminently 
needed to-day, and needed especially by historians. 
For the first and most plausible temptation of the 
historical student is to accept the code of Machiavelli, 
and write accordingly ; and in the long run such 
acceptance, if widely followed, must debase the national 
conscience. In later days when his smaller works are 
forgotten, it will probably be found that the most endur- 
ing of all Acton's claims to greatness was his passionate 
insistence on the need of moral law in the lives of 
nations and Churches, no less than in those of individuals. 
The protest which he made both in season and out 
of season on this subject is his real contribution to his 
time. But along with this there went an absoluteness 
of statement which the subject will not bear. He 
too had the defects of his qualities and in order to 
ensure that we should not fall into the common error of 
average humanity and condone too readily the crimes 
of statesmen because they were successful, or those of 
Churchmen because they were sincere ; he sweeps 
into one net of indiscriminate and unrelieved condem- 
nation Newman and Fenelon, Rosmini and Dupanloup, 
and prophesies for them with certainty a future, of which 
he will not even profess to be assured in regard to the 
vilest and most criminal of mankind. With a deep 

104 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

reverence for the utterer of these condemnations, and 
for the general principles that guided him, I cannot but 
think that this extremity of over-statement injures the 
very causes he desired to promote and has a tendency 
to make it the ground of the too easy and too lasting 
victory of Machiavelli over all his adversaries. In 
human judgment it is, I think, undoubted that the 
statesman and the ecclesiastic must be allowed to 
have the defects of their qualities. While we are never 
to assert that these defects are merits (which is to justify 
Machiavelli) or that they ought not to have been 
avoided ; or that right ought not to rule in politics as 
elsewhere ; we are bound to admit that amid the 
innumerable temptations to which human nature is 
prone, there are certain more peculiarly dangerous to 
every condition of life, and that in considering the 
conduct of our fellows, we should be less rigid to those 
faults, whatever they may be, which are natural and 
incident to their position. 

There is, perhaps, one more consideration which 
needs to be urged. The code of morals considered as a 
code is in the Christian view not absolute. The rules of 
conduct are but the rough formulae by which is expressed 
the fundamental fact of Christian life, devotion to a 
Person. It may seem strange to seek in the very 
foundation of Christianity, love to God and man, for 
anything like an excuse for principles so universally 
execrated as those of Machiavelli or Escobar. But we 
have to consider not merely the obvious fact that from 
the Christian point of view such principles are odious, 
but also the other fact that no principles are widely 
prevalent without their possessing some real ground or 
appealing to some truth, however distorted may be the 

in] Luther and Machiavelli 105 

form in which it is represented. Now the cause, if not 
the excuse, of all systems which casuistically interpret 
the ordinary rules of morality is that fundamentally 
morality is not obedience to a code of rules, but a life of 
loving devotion to a Person. As William of Ockham 
said, it is only the first commandment which is absolute, 
all the rest are positive and therefore may on occasion 
be relaxed. This is the supreme difference between 
Christian morality, and mere systems of ethics, like that 
raised on the Categorical Imperative of Kant. So far as I 
can see, all those systems readily succumb to the destruc- 
tive dialectics of Mr G. E. Moore in his Principia Ethica. 
But the Christian system is left intact, because it is not 
(strictly speaking) a system at all. In his last chapter 
Mr Moore declares that " personal affections and artistic 
pleasures " are the only " true goods " in our experience. 
There is nothing in this incompatible with Christian 
ethics. The only difference between a Christian and 
Mr Moore is, that the former does, while Mr Moore (on 
grounds stated elsewhere) does not include among these 
the personal affection to God, and the Living Christ, 
which are at the basis of Christian living. It cannot be 
too often repeated that destructive criticism levelled at 
all the various schemes of ethics as immutable systems 
has no force against Christian ethics, of which the rules 
are nothing but inadequate and temporary formulae, 
expressing, in ordinary cases, the consequences in 
practical life of the love to God and our neighbour, 
which is their essence. 

But this is a digression, however important. The 
point is that the rules of morality are not of the nature 
of eternal truths, immutable in their authority but only 
rough statements of what in ordinary cases is man's duty. 

106 Luther and Machiavelli [lect. 

Hence the need of some consideration of those extra- 
ordinary cases when they do not hold, and also the 
extreme danger of making those exceptions into ordinary 
rules. As we saw, the real danger of Machiavelli is that 
he or the system attributed to him makes the exception, 
i.e., salus populi supremo, lex, into a rule of action. In the 
same way the danger of systems of casuistry, as actually 
studied, is that they inevitably direct attention to those 
limiting conditions, in which the ordinary maxim does 
not hold, or else to those doubtful cases, innumerable in 
theory, rare in practice, in which it is genuinely difficult 
to discern the right course of action. Even Probabilism 
would have no meaning, much less any danger, if there 
were no cases in which the judgment was in a difficulty ; 
for under these conditions there could be no differences of 
opinion among authorities, and there could be no chance 
for a man to take a course made tenable by some 
authority, whose reasonings he did not himself echo. 
Whether we like it or not, we cannot, in regarding 
human experience as a whole, deny that there are cases 
both in individual and national life in which circumstances 
do alter cases, and in such cases for instance as the 
favourite Jesuit case of a starving man and a loaf of 
bread, or the public one of a statesman's ruse to prevent 
an invasion, or an act of violence like Hodgson's murder 
of the princes in the Mutiny. In these cases it may be 
true that there is no ground for relaxing the ordinary 
code of morals (I am not speaking of law), but other 
instances could easily be found in which there clearly is 
such ground. As long as this is the fact and it always 
will be the fact it is idle to blame those who in cases 
of this sort take a different view from the moralist as to 
their duty. The excuse of Machiavelli is that he wrote 

in] LutJier and Machiavelli 107 

in a time when for his country such a condition was a 
fact ; the condemnation of Machiavellism is that it 
raised these maxims of an unquiet time, dangerous 
enough even then, into a universal system, denied the 
obligation of right and wrong in toto in regard to 
international politics and so asserted the truth of the 
individuality of national life that it entirely denied 
or ignored the companion truth of the solidarity of 



It would be misleading to pass from the ideas of 
non-resistance and the Divine authority of the ruler as 
defined by Luther, and the conception of the State as 
an end in itself superior to all rules of Law, natural 
and civil, to which Machiavelli gave currency, without 
some mention of that party in France, which in the 
sixteenth century carried these ideas to their fullest 
extent. It would be incorrect to give to the Politiques 
the attributes of a religious sect, although for the most 
part they were Catholics, and expressed what was for 
the next two centuries to be the dominant theory of 
Catholic princes in regard to the relation between the 
ecclesiastical and the civil State. Indeed the theory is 
undoubtedly still that of the foremost Roman Catholic 
States 1 . So much indeed was this the case that a 
Jesuit writer in the middle of the nineteenth century, 
seeking to restore the true conception of the relations of 
Church to State, declared that it had been largely forgotten 
owing to the prevalence of the ideas of the " regalist " 
writers 2 . These ideas come first into prominence in 
the Politiques, and find their next important expres- 
sion in the writings of Sarpi and other Venetians against 

lect. iv] The Politiques and Toleration 109 

the claims of Paul V to interfere with the "natural 
liberty given by God unto the State." Although there- 
fore the Politiques do not directly come within the scope 
of these lectures it seems necessary to consider them if 
our treatment is not to lack proportion. Moreover in 
view of the connection between Anglicanism in the 
seventeenth century and the doctrines of non-resistance 
and indefeasible hereditary right, it would be unreason- 
able to pass over in silence the first party whose very 
raison d'etre was the assertion of principles associated 
by Englishmen with the Caroline Divines, with Filmer, 
and with James I. Besides, the importance of the 
Politiques in the development of religious toleration 
alone makes them worthy of notice in any sketch of the 
growth of liberty, nor would it be possible to discuss 
the opinions of Jesuits and Ligueurs without saying 
something of their most notable adversaries. 

The writings of this party may be summarised as 
follows : In the war of pamphlets initiated by the 
League we have the Apologia Catholica of Du Bellay 
(1586), written to maintain the claims of Henry of 
Navarre against the Guisian propaganda ; the Brutum 
Fulmen of Hotman, written to denounce the inter- 
ference of Pope Sixtus V in French affairs in his Bull 
of excommunication directed against Henry of Navarre, 
as a relapsed heretic ; the Vindiciae of Servins, and other 
pamphlets republished in the third volume of Goldast's 
great collection. We must also include the De Regno 
of William Barclay, not a livre de circonstance but a 
complete treatise directed against all the Monarcho- 
machi, Buchanan, Brutus, i.e., the author of the Vindiciae 
contra Tyrannos, and Boucher ; the De Republica of 
Pierre Gregoire of Toulouse ; the Satyre Menippee, 

1 10 The Politiques and [lect. 

and more especially the closing speech which is not 
burlesque but gives the views of the loyal Catholics; the 
Six Livres de la Rdpublique of Jean Bodin, a scientific 
treatise, but none the less the work of a thorough-going 
Politique. The speeches of Michel de l'Hopital and the 
letters of the lawyer Pasquier throw valuable light on 
the growth of ideas, especially in the matter of religious 
toleration ; the general feeling can be gathered from 
Qaatre Excellents Discours of the Sieur de Fay. 

The rise and influence of the Politiques was indeed 
the most notable sign of the times at the close of the 
sixteenth century. The very existence of the party 
testifies to the fact that for many minds the religion of 
the State has replaced that of the Church, or, to be 
more correct, that religion is becoming individual while 
the civil power is recognised as having the paramount 
claims of an organized society upon the allegiance of 
its members. What Luther's eminence as a religious 
genius partially concealed becomes more apparent in 
the Politiques ; for the essence of their position is t.o 
treat the unity of the State as the paramount end, to 
which unity in religion must give way. Luther neither 
desired nor believed in toleration. It was the very 
raison d'etre of the Politiques, who for the most part 
proclaimed the duty of loyalty to a sovereign of a 
different religion, to proclaim the wisdom if not the 
duty of toleration, and to assert the notion of inde- 
feasible hereditary right. Their position in regard to a 
Huguenot claimant to the crown was exactly that of the 
Anglicans in regard to a Roman Catholic claimant in the 
years 1679-81, when the Exclusion Bill divided parties 
in England. Had James II followed the example of 
Henri IV and made his Church a matter of policy, 

iv] Religious Toleration 1 1 1 

there is little doubt that he could have established a 
despotism, not inferior to that which Henri left to his 
successors. There is, however, this difference between 
the Politiques and the Anglican defenders of Divine 
Right. The former were, as their name implied, far 
more secular and utilitarian, more modern, more 
Machiavellian in the strict sense, than their English 
counterparts. It can hardly be said that there is a 
single argument that is not common to both sides, 
except those drawn from the Salic Law. But yet in 
England the religious duty of obedience, and if neces- 
sary of suffering, looms largest, while in France it is 
primarily of the unity of the State, and the actual evils 
of rebellion that we hear. The difference is one of 
degree and proportion rather than of theory and state- 
ment. But even here there is some difference. For the 
Salic Law, through which alone the Bourbons had a 
claim to the throne, compelled their supporters to 
develop the doctrine of legitimism in a far more purely 
legal spirit than was ever the case in England. It is 
indeed frequently said that indefeasible hereditary 
right is a "fundamental law." Acts like 35 Henry VIII. 
c. 1, which gave the King power to alter the succes- 
sion, or 13 Elizabeth c. 1, which made it high treason 
to deny the power of Parliament to do so, are said to 
be ipso facto null. But this shadowy fundamental 
law is a very different thing from the definite words 
of the Salic Law, consecrated in its misinterpreta- 
tion by the national struggle in the Hundred Years' 
War. This then is the first distinction between the 
Politiques and later and earlier apologists for the Divine 
Right of Kings. They are more legal in spirit legiti- 
mism is the lineal descendant of the French monarchists, 

1 1 2 The Politiques and [lect. 

just as Passive Resistance is the collateral heir of 
the Anglicans. Legality is the watchword of the one 
party patience that of the other. The difference is 
slight in appearance, but it goes deeper than is at first 
obvious. In the Anglican the Divine Right of Kings is 
primarily a doctrine of the Church ; it expressed at once 
the tie that bound the Stuarts to Episcopacy and the 
differences between England and Rome, between Prelacy 
and Puritanism. To the Politique the Divine Right of 
Kings was rather the natural right of the State, it 
expressed his refusal to ruin the State for the sake of 
religion, his nationalism as against an "alien invasion," 
his disgust at the flagrant illegalities perpetrated by the 
League under the name of religion, the anti-clericalism 
of lawyers like Pasquet, and the anti-regularism of the 
secular priests. 

Hence it is that the English believers in Divine 
Right were the last to give up the theory of a uniform 
State, in which religious liberty was forbidden, and 
branded Hoadly as a heretic, not nearly so much 
because of his theological heterodoxy as owing to his 
political liberalism, so that the issue between the famous 
rivals in the Bangorian controversy was mainly that 
of religious toleration or its opposite 3 . The French 
sticklers for the same doctrine were, however, in this 
period the main instrument in the movement against 
persecution. Under the son and grandson of Henri, 
after the State had won its victory, this phase passed 
away. But in our period this is not so. The very 
meaning of the party is the reverse of this. Driven by 
the deplorable divisions of France to seek some shelter 
for human life other than that afforded by ecclesiastical 
sanction, some of the most moderate and far-sighted 

iv] Religious Toleration 1 1 3 

minds discerned it in the one institution which both 
parties could at least in words agree to reverence. 
Nobody desired civil anarchy, or at any rate professed 
to desire it, although Barclay in the De Regno tried to 
prove that this was the real drift of the Vindiciae contra 
Tyrannos. But unless religion could be removed from 
the sphere of public policy, there was no likelihood of 
anything but a continuance of this anarchy 4 . The most 
crying evil in France was the ruin of all the nobler 
elements of civilisation which followed in the wake of 
religious animosities. The violent Catholics were hoping 
for a restoration of peace and order, but only after such 
a decisive victory as should result in the wholesale 
extermination or banishment of their opponents. The 
spirit which animates the writings of Louis d'Orleans 
meant the destruction of unity in any State. Such a 
prospect was repugnant alike on grounds of humanity 
and policy to all those who were not wild partisans of 
the old ideal of religious unity. The Politiques were 
driven by the logic of facts to seek for a source of 
national unity deeper than the ancient religious founda- 
tion. For this was irretrievably shattered or seemed 
so, yet it appeared ridiculous to refuse the title of good 
Frenchmen to some of the most illustrious houses 
and some of the most industrious elements in the 
country. Hence, beginning with the efforts of L'Hopital 5 , 
enshrined for ever in his speeches, till after the 
Politiques definitely became a party with S. Bartholo- 
mew, an event which exhibited in its most lurid form 
the dangers of the ecclesiastical spirit, we find the 
gradual development of the view that loyalty must not 
be identified with orthodoxy, and that the State must, if 
needful, be saved at the cost of toleration. The policy 
f. 8 

1 1 4 The Politiques and [lect. 

of Elizabeth was the same principle less completely- 
carried out ; her statesmen claimed, and with substantial 
justice, that political, not religious, motives were at 
bottom of such persecution as they practised 6 , nor was 
there ever the same attempt to examine into thoughts 
as was inherent in the Spanish Inquisition and the old 
ideal of persecution for the sake of the heretic's soul. 
We may trace the development of ideas as follows. 
The medieval ideal regards civil and religious authority 
as but two different aspects of God's grace of rule ; 
rebellion against ecclesiastical powers or heresy is thus 
of the nature of treason, excommunication and outlawry 
are convertible terms, a Church without the State may 
be conceivable, but a State without a Church is not. 
Religion must be the business of government which 
merely wields the temporal sword for God's Church. 
Persecution, too, is not merely practised on politic 
grounds, but in order to save the soul of the victim. 
This ideal we call medieval. It lingered on, however, 
in the minds of many ; and found, perhaps, in the 
reign of King Jan of Leyden at Miinster its completest 
embodiment. But it inspired the thought of Calvin and 
Knox, was rarely absent from the minds of ecclesiastics, 
and was largely at the bottom of the Puritan revolution 
and the acts of the New England Colonies ; evidences 
of this may be found in the words of the Solemn League 
and Covenant 7 . The next stage is that forced upon the 
Empire by the logic of facts and consecrated in the 
religious peace of Augsburg, expressed in the phrase 
cujus regio ejus religio. In this stage unity in religion 
is an element in the unity of the State, religious 
differences must entail banishment ; but an imperial 
Church and a common religious law are abandoned ; 

iv] Religious Toleration 1 1 5 

each State goes its own way. This may be called 
international toleration. The next in order is the 
practice of Elizabeth, which is really tolerance for a 
consideration. Recusancy is allowed, but it must be 
paid for. The State makes a profit on its liberality and 
gives up the attempt to secure uniformity, except to 
the extent of forbidding all outward services or Churches 
which symbolise diversity. It is an attempt to secure 
the political advantages of religious uniformity, while 
reducing toleration to a minimum, and in a character- 
istically English fashion refusing to see what cannot 
be prevented. Dissent is put in the category of 
unrecognised but permitted vice. 

Lastly we come to the toleration of the Politiques. 
Their theory asserts definitely that the State is in fact 
indifferent to religious unity and gives up the entire 
attempt to identify Church with State, never abandoned 
in England till 1688, and not altogether even then. It 
does not deny the right of the civil ruler to persecute or 
even his duty. It is not an assertion that toleration is 
in theory or in general the right course ; but merely 
that it is a possible one, if circumstances make it 
expedient. It does not assert that persecution is always 
wrong, but only that toleration is sometimes right. This 
is the view of Bodin, Pasquier, L'Hopital, and in general 
of their party. " Persecute by all means in the early 
stages of a heresy ; keep it off, if you can, and if the cost 
in suffering or loss be not too excessive. But it may 
be excessive. In France at this moment it would be 
excessive. The new religion may be all its enemies 
declare it to be. But it is a fact It is here. We can 
only get rid of it at the cost of deluging the country 
with blood, or replenishing the population of our 


1 1 6 The Politiques and [lect. 

enemies. Religious uniformity is a blessing ; it is of 
the bene esse of a State. But it is not of the esse, and in 
case of need, we can live without it. Let us try and 
combine in the matters in which we have in common, 
the greatness and dignity of the national life, and 
allegiance to the sovereign. Let us endure as best 
we can the evil, real but unavoidable, of religious 
diversity. There are many evils like poverty and op- 
pression which exist in a State, but do not destroy it. 
The Huguenots are of this nature. We do not like them. 
But we are loath to deny them all part or lot in the 
land. We must put up with them, and take precautions 
against any political dangers that religious independence 
might produce." This is the attitude of the Politiques, 
different from other parties in their own day, different 
from our views to-day. It would have approved the 
persecution of Nero, but condemned that of Diocletian. 
Toleration to them is not a virtue or duty or religion, as 
it has since become ; it is a necessity, an experiment, a 
pis alter. What does come home to them with sacred 
authority, is the worth of the national life and loyalty to 
the monarchy which symbolises it 8 . 

Only in one or two thinkers such as Brown and 
Brentz and Castellio, Marnix (partially), and in one or 
two practical men like William the Silent, does toleration 
reach to the point of being regarded as a duty, and 
the tolerant habit of mind become an ideal". Their 
day, however, had not yet come. And their whole 
attitude of mind is very different from that of the party 
we are considering. It may, however, be pointed out that 
while the Politiqiies desired toleration for the sake of 
the State, Brown demanded it in the name of religion. 
In order to preserve the State the Politiques would leave 

iv] Religious Toleration 117 

religion alone. In order to secure reforms, which were 
not desired or likely to be desired by the majority or 
the magistrate, Brown cries " Hands off" to the civil 
ruler, and preaches absolute independence of magis- 
terial sanction. Thus when the Politiques had secured 
their object order and national unity their successors 
were free to destroy that very toleration on which 
it was based ; for the reason that their motive was 
never higher than expediency and national unity 
and their bias in favour of kingly authority made it 
irritating to find any sphere of national life in which 
royal wishes were not obeyed. The theory of Brown, 
however, passed over in some degree to the Indepen- 
dents, and to Cromwell, and to Milton, and was to 
become the basis of the modern theory of toleration, 
as developed by Locke, Hoadly, Warburton and the 
ordinary Whig writers of the eighteenth century. Its 
distinctive note is its firm insistence on toleration as 
a natural right. The title of Hoadly's pamphlet, The 
Common Rights of Citizens, expresses the idea in the 
form it influenced modern life and procured the abolition 
of Tests. The originality of Brown consists in his 
recognition of the futility of expecting his own religious 
system ever to be universally imposed (this separates 
him from the ordinary Puritans), and in his clear 
enunciation of the private and individual nature of 
belief. In both these views he may be paralleled by some 
of the earlier Anabaptists, but they always showed 
themselves anxious when they had the power to make 
their religion as universal and persecuting as the Roman. 
So, indeed, did the Independents with but slight 

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iv] Religious Toleration 119 

cerned almost entirely with the Emperor and had little 
to do with hereditary right. Like all those who found 
politics endangered by ecclesiastical pretensions, they 
asserted the immediate tenure of the crown from God 
alone and indefeasible hereditary right. Indeed, the 
situation of Henri IV made it incumbent upon the 
Politique* to enunciate all the doctrines and argu- 
ments associated with this view. The strength of the 
notion in the public mind is shown by the ridiculous 
claim set up by the Guisian party, that all the kings 
of the third race from Hugh Capet downwards were 
usurpers, and that the Guises alone represented the 
hereditary principle as being descended on the female 
side from Charles the Great. This did not last, 
for the fundamental principle of Ligueurs is the 
sovereignty of the people, but it showed the extent 
to which hereditary right was believed. Further, the 
"monitorial bull" of Pope Sixtus V to Henri III, 
and the assertion on behalf of the Cardinal of Lor- 
raine of the principle of extra-territoriality, made it 
necessary for the opposite party to assert the entire 
Selbstiindigkeit of the civil power. We are treated 
to all the usual arguments, the Scriptural, the legal, 
the philosophical, the natural, in the De Regno of 
Barclay ; " by Me kings reign," and " they that resist 
shall receive to themselves damnation," give the first, 
and the civilian maxims of the prince being solutus legi- 
bus, and his sole pleasure having legis vigerem, the second. 
The necessity of monarchy to secure the great end of 
unity is reiterated, and the usual illustrations from bees, 
geese and other birds are repeated with unconvincing 
frequency. The special rights of the Gallican Church 
us having no earthly superior are emphasized, and 

120 The Politiqties and [lect. 

recourse is had to the great decretal of Innocent III, 
Per Venerabilem 11 , in which these rights are admitted. 
Pithou's great collection is a counterblast to sedition, 
quite as much as it is to Papalism. The claims of the 
Pope to control monarchs are ridiculed by Hotman in 
his Briitun Fulmen, and Servins in his Vindiciae. 
Servins, like Pasquier, was a lawyer. We must bear 
in mind that in England the " professors of that great 
and ancient mystery the Common Law " were on the 
side of Parliament, as Clarendon laments. In France, 
however, this was not the case, partly through the 
influence of the Civil Law, partly because the law was 
clearly on the side of Henri IV, and there was not, 
as in England, the deep feeling against the illegality 
of the proceedings of Buckingham and Strafford. The 
lawyers were in the main on the side of Henri IV, and 
the Parliament of Paris was imbued with a spirit hostile 
to the Ligue and still more to the Seize, whose most 
unpopular act was the " execution " of the first president, 
Brisson ; and became for centuries the stronghold 
of opposition to ultramontane principles and Jesuit 

We may note that Barclay was a strong Catholic 
who began his work with an attack on George Buchanan, 
the tutor of James I, and only later on expanded it 
into its present form. He writes as definitely convinced 
that the true origin of the theory of rebellion is to be 
sought in the religious revolution, and runs back to 
Wyclif. So entirely one was the conception of European 
polity in the Middle Ages, that rebellion against its 
spiritual head is conceived to be the same thing as 
rebellion against its temporal authority. Barclay seems 
ignorant of the fact that Wyclif himself held a strongly 

iv] Religious Toleration 121 

Erastian theory of civil government, and that when he 
talks of the duty of renouncing rulers it was of ecclesiasti- 
cal rulers that he was almost exclusively thinking. The 
De Civili Dominio is directed not against temporal rulers 
or private property, but against ecclesiastical power and 
the temporalities of the Church, and the theory that gave 
the Pope the dominion of his " subjects' " property a 
theory which the Franciscan doctrine of trusts had 
sharpened. It cannot be repeated too often that the 
animus of Wyclif's doctrine of dominion founded on 
grace is entirely anti-ecclesiastical, that he did not desire 
to interfere with the ordinary relations between lords 
and serfs, except so far as by enriching the former with 
the endowments of the Churches he would render 
oppression of their inferiors less necessary. The bias of 
Wyclif in theory and practice is secular and aristocratic 
and royalist ; it is not really socialistic or politically 
revolutionary. So it is with Luther, only in a greater 
degree. Yet the Reformation was in itself so violent 
a loosening of the bands of authority that its supporters 
often unjustly were blamed with being adversaries of 
autocracy, which, as a matter of fact, they were forward 
to promote. Neither the credit nor the discredit which 
Barclay gives to Wyclif and Luther is justified by their 
theory, nor even by the definite and immediate effect of 
their influence. It has its justification, however, in the 
general state of mind which they expressed and in- 
tensified ; for it is that of a critical attitude towards 
existing institutions, and a spirit which is in essence 
revolutionary. So much more important in the long 
run are the real tendencies of personality than their 
conscious intellectual outcome. No amount of theorizing 
nor even of action on behalf of the temporal authority 

122 The Politiques and [lect. 

could prevent Wyclif or Luther being fundamentally 
revolutionary in spirit ; and in the long run influencing 
even political freedom. This alone is Barclay's justifi- 
cation. Probably, however, his error, due in part to the 
conception of civil and ecclesiastical rulers as officers in 
a single society, was due more fully to the Calvinistic 
nature of the French and Scottish Reformation. Writing 
as a strong monarchist, Barclay naturally reprehends 
Calvin's expressed preference for an aristocratic form 
of government ; it is, however, the disciples of Calvin 
rather than the master himself, who advanced the theory 
of resistance, and Calvin's own attitude was far more 
authoritarian than that of Luther. Luther's intolerance 
was merelv that of an enthusiast, Calvin's was that of 
a strong ruler, who dislikes all obstacles in the way of a 
uniform system. Calvin's bigotry was that of a lawyer 
or an inquisitor, Luther's that of a preacher or a 

It may be noted further that Barclay rightly discerns 
Buchanan's principles to be of universal import, and 
argues in the main on general principles, only devoting 
a couple of pages, out of the hundred which he gives to 
Buchanan, in refuting the special pleading he puts in 
derived from Scottish law and history. This alone 
should demonstrate the strange error of Ranke, who 
says that Buchanan's book is of particular and not 
general import. 

One more very important characteristic of the De 
Regno must be mentioned. Despite its array of other 
weapons, the main argument is utilitarian. It is clear 
from the frequency with which he returns to the thought 
that Barclay's own feeling was mainly aroused by a 
sense of the practical miseries of civil war. Over and 

iv] Religious Toleration 123 

over again he asks his opponents what possible advan- 
tage to the public welfare resistance to the ruler can 
ever bring ? " Can the suffering caused by the worst of 
tyrants," he urges, " be equal to that produced by a 
single year of insurrection ? Rate the evils of mis- 
government as high as you will, still they are less than 
those of anarchy 12 ." A somewhat similar thought is that 
of Luther, when he urges the priceless value of the 
security afforded by the law and the peace ensured by 
the civil ruler. 

Now this argument so far as external evils are 
concerned is based on facts ; and so far as temporary or 
minor tyranny is concerned has truth to support it. It 
is always safer to bear " those ills we have than fly to 
others that we know not of." This is the foundation 
of political quietism, and always remains the strongest 
support of any form of oppression. 

The only way effectively to meet it is to transfer the 
argument for liberty from utilitarian to moral grounds. 
The evils of oppression and of despotism are not 
primarily to be found in the suffering, but in the 
deterioration of character which they produce. The 
problem of poverty in our own days is not the lack of 
bread and cheese, but the diminished opportunity of 
nobility of life, which the education of children in slums 
brings with it 13 . The eternal argument for liberty, which 
is also its limitation, is the right of human nature to reach 
the noblest. This was discerned by Savonarola, and is 
the reason why political liberty has as a matter of fact 
followed in the wake of religious animosities. The 
Monarchomachi who were the targets of Barclay's scorn 
would one and all have replied that for political liberty 
as such they cared either little or nothing. What they 

124 The Politiques and [lect. 

did demand was the right to that religious worship which 
formed for them the atmosphere of the highest character. 
Throughout the struggle of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, it was the right of their own Church to exist as 
a trainer of character which drove Jesuits, Huguenots, 
Puritans and Dutchmen to become often in spite of 
themselves the promoters of liberty ; and found perhaps 
its completest expression in the volteface of the Anglican 
clergy which alone made possible the revolution of 1688. 
For all these men character was bound up with religious 
system ; many of them did not greatly care and some of 
them definitely disapproved of religious and political 
liberty. But they were one and all driven to fight for 
the existence of that society, whatever it was, which was 
for them the true home of the spirit, and could alone 
direct it to the highest ends ; this they did in spite of all 
theories of the risks of rebellion, or the evils of anarchy, 
and sometimes in astonishing contradiction to the 
principles which in other spheres they maintained. It is 
perhaps true to say, not that civil liberty is the child 
of religious liberty, but that liberty, whether civil or 
religious, was the work often reluctantly, sometimes 
unconsciously, undertaken by communities of men who 
had an end higher than political, who refused to submit 
religion to politic arguments, who fought for ends never 
entirely utilitarian 14 . 

How feeble is the mere political argument for liberty 
can be seen from a work like the Servitude Volontaire of 
Etienne de la Boeotie. It is interesting as showing the 
influence of the classical spirit entirely apart from 
religion. It is valuable, too, as showing us an early form 
of the problem set himself by Rousseau in the first words 
of the Social Contract, that namely of discovering why if 

iv] Religious Toleration 125 

man is born free he is everywhere in chains. We note 
too an entire absence of the historical spirit in the 
judgment of the Roman Empire. To La Boeotie, as to 
others, Julius Caesar was a mere tyrant, and he can 
discern none of the conditions which made the Empire 
at that time the only possible form of government. The 
reason is, that he treats of an anti-monarchical condition 
as an end in itself, not the means to an end ; and hence 
cannot see that, under certain conditions, despotism may 
be the best school of character. Such a thought is the 
sole real justification for the British rule in India ; for 
it can surely be maintained that it has exhibited 
an impartial justice, an avoidance of the evils of 
Oriental despotism, which no other government in that 
country has produced. To base liberty upon moral 
grounds is to lay it on its only enduring foundation, but 
it makes it also something different from the ideal of a 
doctrinaire or a Jacobin, and relative to the condition of 
the human mind at the epoch considered. There is no 
such thought as this in Le Contr'Un. Liberty, i.e., a 
republican government, is treated as the ideal, apart from 
all historical, natural or moral considerations. This 
pamphlet was a mere exercise, and had no practical 
influences 15 . 

Liberty was the work of enthusiasts but of enthusiasts 
for a different cause. It has lasted in England and the 
United States because it did not arise from purely 
political causes ; how far the liberty, equality and 
fraternity based on no other grounds are likely to be 
enduring, the future alone can determine. 

To the almost intolerable dulness of the writings of 
the supporters of Henri IV, save those of Du Plessis 
Mornay, there is one exception. The Satyre Menippee 

126 The Politiques and [lect. 

is a Rabelaisian amalgam of prose and verse, describing 
in burlesque the meeting of the so-called Estates of the 
League at Paris in 1593 to elect a King of France. 
Preceded by an allegorical frontispiece in which the 
Jesuits, the preachers, the rabble of France, the Papal Le- 
gate, and the Duchess of Montpensier are all facetiously 
delineated, the writer or writers give mock speeches on 
behalf of the various estates represented. There is much 
wit and not a little coarseness. The Satyre closes with 
a speech put into the mouth of D'Aubray, the repre- 
sentative of the Tiers Etat. It is an eloquent plea on 
behalf of the ancient laws of France and the rights of the 
natural prince. The motives real and imaginary of the 
various actors are ably dramatised. The whole gives a 
vivid picture of the various party passions and personal 
interests which were for a time united in the organisation 
of the League, but by their mutually exclusive pretensions 
prevented any real agreement except for the purposes 
of opposition. 

From art we turn to science. Jean Bodin is, next to 
Machiavelli, the most important political writer of the 
sixteenth century. So early as 1572 he had defended 
the cause of toleration ; for a time even he appears to 
have been a Huguenot, but his great work De la 
Republique proceeds from the standpoint of a scientific 
enquirer, and may be said to begin the long series of 
works written as scientific text-books on politics in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His book is the 
first treatise on sovereignty in the strict sense and was 
used very shortly after for lectures at Cambridge. All 
subsequent writers from Hobbes to Sidgwick and 
Professor Holland go back to him. His conception is 
derived from the civilian theory of Imperial omni- 

iv] Religious Toleration 127 

potence filtered through the Papalist writers; he tells 
us that the greatest of all the Canonists, Innocent IV, 
understood the subject profoundly 16 . His work has 
been so much discussed that it needs little more than 
mention. Suffice it to say that although in many 
previous works adumbrated and clearly present to the 
thought of such writers as Bartolus in regard to all States 
11011 recognoscentes superiorem, the attributes of legal 
sovereignty irrespective of forms or constitutions, omni- 
potent, indivisible, inalienable, are here set forth for the 
first time with scientific accuracy. But Bodin is not 
a purely scientific enquirer and has no doubt that 
monarchy is the best form of government and that 
France, England, Spain, are all pure monarchies with no 
real underived powers in Parliament or Castes or 
Estates. Like Filmer he cannot endure the " anarchy 
of a mixed monarchy," and asserts the incompetence 
of representative assemblies in any kingdom to give 
more than good advice. Bodin, however, is more than 
a theorist ; he gives practical advice to governments. 
He is strongly opposed to the confiscation of property 
of persons attainted of treason, and traces the appalling 
growth of criminals and bandits to this practice, for it 
suddenly reduces to beggary persons accustomed to 
luxurious living and incapable of practising or entering 
a trade ; in days when all trades were " mysteries," to 
which definite apprenticeship and membership were 
necessary, it would not merely be want of training which 
could bar the way. At any rate the world had not 
discovered cheating at bridge as a refuge for the destitute. 
We also find in Bodin speculations on the origin of 
national characteristics and the beginnings of that theory 
of climatic effects which played so great a part in Buckle's 

128 The Politiques and [lect. 

notorious work. He was a free trader in an age of 
bureaucracy, and, as we saw, a strong supporter of 
toleration as it was understood by the Politiques. Michel 
de l'Hopital in his Traite de la Reformation de la Justice 
is chiefly interesting for the evidence which his book 
affords of the entire absence of the spirit of legality in 
the tribunals of the day. The ideal of equality, which 
always seems to Englishmen a little ridiculous in French 
revolutionaries, is probably due to the fact that that 
limited part of it known as equality before the law did 
not exist in France before 1688. L'Hopital laments 
with reiteration and emphasis the way in which power is 
able to hinder the doing of ordinary justice, and mentions 
it as a special grace of Augustus that he only once 
interfered to save a favourite from the condemnation of 
the law. The need in the State, as it had been in the 
Church, is not for laws but their impartial administration. 
It was partly this sense that led to the idealisation of 
monarchy as the only power which was highly placed 
enough to prevent that oppression of interest and wealth 
which was a normal feature of the time. It was not 
merely the scientific theory of the modern State, but its 
practical tasks with which Bodin and his contemporaries 
were concerned. This is perhaps most evident of all in 
the lengthy treatise of Pierre Gregoire of Toulouse, De 
Republica. The author was a jurist, and it is from a 
jurist's standpoint that he writes. As a sincere Catholic he 
avoids awkward questions about the Pope, so far as may 
be ; but he asserts distinctly the independence of the 
civil power. The most noteworthy characteristic of the 
book is the complete envisaging of the functions of the 
modern State. Questions of marriage, the population, 
education, are all treated ; we observe how the ideals of 

iv] Religious Toleration 129 

Luther for the lay control of all civil matters are in 

substance accepted. For many of the questions here 

discussed would earlier have been considered merely 

to concern the spiritual authority. Although Gregory 

admits the right of the Pope to institute Universities 

he is clearly against any real ecclesiastical control of 

educational matters. We also find, as in Bodin, a 

certain amount of International Law. The dominating 

thought of Bodin and Gregory as that of Luther is the 

idea of the State as fulfilling the highest aims of the 

community ; politics is not for them, as for Jesuits and 

clericals, a mere secondary machinery, secular, utilitarian 

and mundane; it might almost be described in Lord 

Acton's phrase as " the art of doing on the largest scale 

what is right." But there is no notion of self-government. 

The task of the State is to be effected by a bureaucracy ; 

the fundamental notions of James, still more those of 

Cecil or Bacon, are very similar. Indeed the whole 

development of governmental activity, the labours of 

Colbert and Pombal, even those of Frederic II and 

Joseph II, are a commentary on this work. The advent 

of the State, the possibility of a strong central power, 

general obedience to which was a fact or a dream nearly 

realized (Gregory wrote after the triumph of Henri IV), 

rendered it necessary for thinkers to consider what 

government ought to do ; whereas the task of the 

Middle Ages had been the struggle of the State for 

existence. The situation is somewhat similar to the 

change in English politics after the final admission to 

the franchise of practically the whole male portion of the 

nation in 1884; politics began to turn from political to 

social and economic questions from the problem what 

ought a State to be men turned to the consideration what 

f. 9 

130 The Politiques and [lect. 

it ought to do. This to some degree was the case at 
the end of the sixteenth century. The struggle with 
clerical interference was or seemed to be at an end. All 
competing claims, feudal or federal, had disappeared. 
The inherent power of territorial kingship was assured in 
many countries and seemed to be in England, for 
Puritanism appeared a little cloud no bigger than a 
man's hand. The taking over by government of many 
tasks hitherto performed by the Church, the organization 
of industrial life, the development of trade, especially 
that over seas, the problems of the new capitalism, the 
promotion of culture, as understood since the Renais- 
sance, might seem fit to task the energies of all statesmen, 
and to some extent did so. The age of the grand 
monarque, its culture and its brilliancy, its glory and 
shame was the natural goal to which the Politiques were 
approaching. It was the failure to imitate or carry out 
in England this ideal of all " gentlemanly " kings, that 
was the inner tragedy of the Stuart regime. The 
uprising of the modern idea of public spirit is perhaps 
the best phrase in which to describe the significance of 
the party. 

One more related subject must be noticed. In 
Sully's Economes Roy ales we have something of an 
insight into the mind if not of Henri IV at least of 
his great minister. 

The " great design " of the Economes Royales is in its 
oft-reiterated outlines, as easy of detailing, as it was 
visionary. Europe is to be divided into fifteen equal 
powers, so balanced that none shall find it possible to 
menace the liberty of the others. These States are to form 
a sort of Christian Commonwealth, with rules of arbitra- 
tion so as to prevent war. There is to be a universal 

iv] Religious Toleration 131 

freedom of trade, and religious toleration. Now this 
design at first sight appears so chimerical, that it is hard 
to see how practical statesmen could have ever entertained 
it. There appears, however, to be no doubt that Sully 
really did think it worth putting forward. Even if 
we allowed that he had no other object than the 
desire to humble the House of Austria, we are 
driven to ask ourselves what it was in the general 
condition of things which made such means to reach 
the end conceivable. We notice first how the residuary 
legatee of the idea of unity of the medieval world is this 
conception of a body of States independent yet united 
by certain ties, whose action is to proceed by rules; 
in other words the idea of law as international ; secondly 
we notice how the practical principle of the balance of 
power is definitely put forward. 

Political arrangements are in future to be based 
on an equilibrium of forces deliberately maintained. 
Sully may have been a visionary but he struck the 
key-note of European politics, until the era of force 
gave way to that of ideas with the Revolution of 1689 17 . 
The notion of the " balance of power " is indeed Italian 
and arose from the fact that Italy in the fifteenth 
century realized on a smaller scale those conditions 
which developed in Europe in the seventeenth. Hinted 
at by Machiavelli and always in the background of his 
mind, the principle formed the basis of the action of 
Wolsey and the inaction of Elizabeth ; was definitely 
appealed to by Marnix de S. Aldegonde, as a reason for 
Europe assisting the Dutch against Philip II, and at the 
close of the century finds its full expression in the 
design which Sully attributed to Henri IV. 

Further it is to be remarked that the basis of the new 

132 The Politiqties and Toleration [lect. iv 

Europe is to be that of religious diversity but not 
complete toleration. The "great design" in fact takes the 
principle of cujus regio ejus religio from Germany and 
applies it to Europe at large. Here is no laying down 
of toleration as a principle ; but since three forms of the 
Christian religion have come to stay, facts must be faced, 
and no more fuss made about the matter. That is the 
real position of Sully, and it corresponds to what we 
have seen to be the attitude of the Politiques towards the 
religious difficulty in internal politics. 

The "great design" then is noteworthy as illustrating 
once more the fact that in the sixteenth century there 
came into definite though not final expression those 
principles which were to occupy the mind of Europe for 
two hundred years, and were to be the occasion if not 
the cause, of the groupings both of domestic and inter- 
national politics. 



In the last lecture we saw how the enduring work of 
the sixteenth century was the modern State. Its legal 
omnipotence and unity, the destruction of all com- 
peting powers, separate or privileged, were assured, and a 
universal all-embracing system of law became possible. 
We have now to consider another result of the Reforma- 
tion, popular freedom or rather its theoretical basis for 
except in the British Isles and the Netherlands it 
disappeared in Europe, until 1789. It is not too much 
to say that political liberty would not now-a-days exist 
anywhere but for the claim to ecclesiastical independence. 

It is the transformation of the desire to persecute 
into the claim to an inherent right to exist on the part 
of religious bodies that historically produces those 
limitations upon State action which are the securities 
of freedom. But this is not all. It was only by adding 
to political reasons a religious one, that the struggle for 
freedom in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ended 
in any but one way. As we have already seen, the forces 
in favour of absolutism and the general acquiescence 
therein were of immense strength ; the universal desire 
for efficiency and legislative activity all made the same 

134 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

way ; and a strong executive not only secured peace 
but was a necessity. With the decay of feudal and 
Papal influence there was one and only one motive, the 
religious, that could withstand the torrent of officialism, 
or in any way attenuate that orgy of centralisation which 
succeeded to the anarchy of feudalism. This may be 
seen first of all in the Church, which with the close 
of the Middle Ages became more and more a pure 
monarchy, until the rebellion of Luther deprived it of 
half its subjects and more than half its influence. It 
can be seen in every State in Europe, in none more 
obviously than in the Netherlands and England. The 
purely utilitarian argument was, for short periods, as we 
saw in our discussion of Barclay, entirely at the service 
of the central power and indeed always is 1 ; the suffering 
caused by a day of civil war is always greater than that 
of a year of tyranny. The dangers of tyranny are, as 
Savonarola discerned, in their main moral, and it is the 
narrowing of character which is the most grievous result 
of oppression. Hence it is only some moral or religious 
motive that can in an age like the sixteenth century 
be at all available against the dominant tendencies. At 
bottom the claim of a religious body, however bigoted 
or unreasonable or exclusive its tenets or methods, is 
always the claim to maintain intact a particular type of 
character ; and to maintain it by a right, which no 
argument from expediency can disturb. 

In his latest and not least valuable work, Mr Dicey 
shows how precarious is the plant of freedom when 
based on purely utilitarian grounds ; he points out how 
dangerous Benthamite Liberalism has been to the very 
individualism by which it set such store ; how by 
ridiculing all notions of inherent right in politics, and 

v] The Monarchomachi 135 

seeking to advance liberty under the cover of its utility 
which was supposed to be self-evident, Benthamism really 
prepared the way for that extension of the absolutism of 
the State which it abhorred, and forged those very chains 
of collectivism which fettered the freedom of its dreams. 
Now it was just this danger, or one analogous to it, 
from which both Rome and Geneva saved the constitu- 
tionalism of the sixteenth century. By basing the claim 
to freedom on Divine Right, it sought and on the whole 
succeeded in rinding a refuge, where the assaults of the 
mere Politique could not touch it ; so much so that 
monarchists had perforce to do the same. It is the 
influence of Luther or of Laud, not of Hobbes or 
Machiavelli, that is the real inspiration of Jacobites. 
Nelson might write of " The Common Interest of Kings 
and People" as being on the side of non-resistance, 
but the strength of royalism was the belief that it was a 
religious duty to obey " masters though froward." With 
such an argument, coupled with the general tendency to 
centralisation, the triumph of autocracy which as a fact 
was very general, must have been universal but for the 
claim of religious bodies to limit absolutism by their 
own existence or even their supremacy. What they 
desired, was not liberty or tolerance, but domination 
and independence happily the power of the State 
proved everywhere too strong for their desire (except 
perhaps for a brief period in Scotland) ; but though 
they did not gain dominion, they secured, what has been 
better, tolerance. Political liberty is the residuary lega- 
tee of ecclesiastical animosities. 

The Church was the first and last of immunists and 
the sects were likewise the first of Libertarians but 
only in spite of themselves. The two religious bodies 

136 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

which have done the most to secure " the rights of man " 
are those two which really cared least about individual 
liberty, and made the largest inroads upon private life 
wherever they obtained the supremacy the Roman 
Catholic Church and the Presbyterian. Their regard 
for their own supremacy or at any rate independence 
was so great that in countries like Scotland, where the 
government was either lukewarm or hostile to it, Presby- 
terianism proved a perpetual check upon the central 
power ; while in France, where a long struggle between 
the two took place, each in turn was led by circumstances 
to put forth a theory of political liberty, which was 
the direct parent of the doctrines triumphant in 1688, 
and through Locke the ancestor of those of 1789. 
Moreover even when absolutism had triumphed in 
France the very man, who in the interests of uniformity 
had revoked the Edict of Nantes, when he attempted 
in those of nationality to set the Pope at defiance found 
a very real limitation upon the dogma that he was 
himself the State. Despite the sonorous declarations 
of 1682, and the solid advocacy of Bossuet, Louis XIV 
was beaten by the spiritual power, the Gallican liberties 
succumbed to ultramontane orthodoxy, the eldest son 
of the Church discovered himself to be subject to 
the correction of his father, and the most Christian 
King found that his title was the tacit condition of 
a contract which he was unable to repudiate. No 
triumph of the Papacy except that of Leo XIII over 
Bismarck was greater than the comparatively un- 
regarded one which Innocent XII obtained over the 
grand monarque. 

It was the struggle for existence of the Reformation 
sects, that compelled them to put forward a general 

v] The Monarchomachi 137 

theory of government which imposes checks upon 
absolutism, and to investigate and revive all ancient 
institutions which were or might be the means of con- 
trolling it. Further than this the system of Calvinism 
was what neither Lutheranism nor Anglicanism nor 
Romanism was, a republican if not a democratic system. 
Practically it doubtless meant the oligarchy of the 
preachers or the tyranny " worse than Papal " of 
ruling elders ; certainly it did not favour individual 
liberty ; but it was opposed in theory to secular 
interference, and by its own methods to monarchical 
power ; and hence in spite of itself Calvinism in France, 
in the Netherlands and Scotland became either in 
the world of thought or in that of practice the basis of 
modern liberty. That it had of itself any such penchant 
is of course not the case ; and illustrations of the fact 
may be found in Geneva under Calvin and Beza, in the 
Calvinistic principalities of Germany, in New England, 
in the very idea of the Solemn League and Covenant, 
and in the treatment of Episcopacy in Scotland after 
1689. Yet James I was quite right in his dislike to the 
system as fettering his freedom, for the organisation of 
Scotch Presbyterianism, borrowed from the French, did 
undoubtedly prepare the way for popular government. 
This can easily be illustrated from Scotch history in the 
years 1637-41, and from France in the years of the 
religious wars. The point to note is that liberty is the 
result of religious competition ; otherwise it would have 
succumbed to the general monarchical tendencies. It is, 
perhaps, best to avoid profitless discussions by saying 
that liberty in this chapter is used in no natural or 
sublimated sense, but according to the usage of 
Professor Dicey as comprising certain legal rights 

138 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

practically secured. These are the rights to free- 
dom of discussion, worship, and person ; to security 
against unlawful taxation ; to some means of control 
over both legislative and executive. These notions were 
not new, nor, in principle, were the means by which they 
were secured what was new in the sixteenth century was 
the strength of the forces, which everywhere threatened 
and in most places destroyed them. The destruction of 
the forces that made for anarchy was also a very real 
destruction of those that made for liberty, whether feudal 
privileges, or municipal rights. Even the Canon Law and 
the theory of the Empire made a sovereign, omnipotent, 
and unitary State impossible in the Middle Ages except 
in the dreams of the extremer Canonists. As we have 
seen, however, all those competing or checking agencies 
had disappeared, and even in Catholic countries the 
claims of the clergy had ceased to make to any real extent 
an imperium in imperio. The civil law was triumphant. 
The conditions for a full theory of sovereignty existed 
and were active. There was a very real danger that 
this discovery for it was a discovery of a power that 
could not be bound by law because it could make law 
would produce a more enduring tyranny than any 
hitherto known and it did do this in some places, 
especially as in most States it was no assembly or 
republic to whose advantage this boon had come at last. 
In the next three lectures we shall be occupied with 
various phases of the struggle to set bounds to the 
parvenu and overweening renascence State. In many 
cases the struggle was unsuccessful except in the 
domain of theory but we shall see forming the theory 
of limited monarchy and of public law, as it passed 
through the Whigs and Grotius to the Europe of the 

v] The Monarchomachi 139 

eighteenth century. We shall find in general the follow- 
ing facts to be universal. 

(1) The primum mobile of all this struggle was 
religious. Civil rights are secondary, a means to an end, 
never successfully preserved either among Protestants 
or Catholics except where dangers to religious belief 
sharpen the determination to resist by a higher than 
utilitarian motive. 

(2) The argument almost invariably makes a con- 
tract the basis of the State. 

(3) It rests therefore on the conception of a law 
natural anterior to law in our sense. On the same 
conception the further structure of rules limiting the 
international irresponsibility of the State is raised. 

(4) The conception of law which makes it the 
arbitrary command of an irresponsible sovereign, " one 
or number," is denied in concordance with the theory 
of law that it is "the voice of reason, the harmony of the 
world 2 /' the foundation not the result of State authority. 

Now the nouveau fait, which made it feasible to set 
up these claims, was the difference between the religion 
of king and people in an age of persecution. The 
king's power in the Middle Ages was subject to many 
limitations, especially to those of the ecclesiastical 
power. But though he might be admonished and even 
deposed by the Pope his religion never differed from 
that of his subjects ; he might be a schismatic or ex- 
communicate, he was never really a heretic not even 
Frederic II was chargeable with this; his ferocious 
edicts in favour of persecution at a time when he 
desired to conciliate the Papacy are a proof at least 
of his public profession. But the Reformation changed 
all this. It made it possible for a king to be of a 

140 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

different confession from that of his people or from 
some influential section of it ; and this in an age when 
all religious bodies proclaimed the duty of persecution, 
as incumbent upon the sovereign of a Christian common- 
wealth, and indeed as the mark which distinguished it 
from an atheistic, Machiavellian State. John Knox, 
Beza, Luther were on this point in agreement with 
Boucher and Louis d'Orleans, and out of sympathy 
with the ideals of the Politiques. Now it was only by 
some claim to a right of insurrection (unless a theory of 
toleration could be accepted) that there was any chance 
for a persecuted religion to preserve its existence. Hence 
the claims to a deposing power were revived by Rome 
in an age when otherwise they would have fallen into 
oblivion. The very idea of the Counter-Reformation is 
a restriction upon the omnipotence of the civil power, 
and in some sense a denial of international indepen- 
dence. Its thesis is that (1) Sovereigns may not do 
what they will with their own in religious matters, 
(2) States are not mutually independent entities, but parts 
of a wider order, a commonwealth bound by certain 
rules with which they are not at liberty to dispense. 
The struggle for liberty is always conditioned by the 
presence or absence of this determining circumstance 
religious differences. They are the security alike of 
territorial sovereignty in Germany and (where they 
last long enough) of constitutional freedom in other 

For instance, in Germany, there was no growth either 
in theory or practice of liberty within the State ; on the 
contrary, as we have seen, the whole trend of thought 
and fact is toward absolutism. The exception is the 
Anabaptist movement, which served but to bring 

v] The Monarchomachi 141 

discredit on the ideas for which it stood, where it did 
not, as at Miinster, contradict them. The reason is that 
inside the German States, religious competition was not 
effective ; the comparative tolerance of the religious 
peace of Augsburg which substituted banishment for 
burning as the punishment of heresy, and the fact that 
exile did not mean leaving the Fatherland, rendered 
it needless for recalcitrants to have recourse, like 
Huguenots, to the theory and practice of rebellion. On 
the other hand if we take the Empire as a whole, there 
religious differences were truly effective and rebellion not 
only became common, it became normal, and eventually 
turned the prince into a sovereign and insurrection into 
lawful war. When the peace of Westphalia is spoken of 
as foundation of the modern public law of Europe, the 
meaning of the assertion ought to be more closely ap- 
prehended than it commonly is. What the treaties of 
Miinster and Osnabriick really did was legally to con- 
secrate the international liberties of Europe, as they had 
been secured by the religious revolution. The idea of 
a united Christendom was abandoned. Internationally 
religions were made equal. Pope and Emperor lost 
theoretically what they had long lost practically, their 
hegemony, and in a few years even the Imperial chancery 
grants to national monarchs the title of " majesty." The 
Canon Law ceased in fact to be international, which it 
most distinctly was in the Middle Ages ; became (subject 
to concordats) merely the conceded machinery for regu- 
lating a department of particular States. Further the 
sovereignty of the States of the Empire was admitted, and 
struggles for existence between Habsburg and Hohen- 
zollern would in future be wars not rebellions. In theory 
the dogma that all States are equal begins to supersede 

142 The Monarckomacki [lect. 

the medieval conception of a universal hierarchy of 
officials. Now all this was the direct and obvious result of 
religious differences ; it could not have taken place had 
Emperor and princes all remained of one religious com- 
munion. Indeed had the Emperors become Lutheran, 
their power would probably have been consolidated 
instead of shattered ; although there were, of course, many 
other than religious motives which contributed to princely 
preeminence. In this case we see the effects of religious 
difference in introducing liberty into international 
politics or rather making them international. We must 
bear in mind that this movement between States goes on 
pari passu, and is at least partly successful owing to the 
same causes, as the struggle between rival religions, 
inside the States, which emphasized that " division 
of power " on which liberty always depends. 

In the Middle Ages liberty depended, wherever it 
existed, on the division of power between overlords 
and tenants-in-chief, or between secular and ecclesiastical 
rulers ; in the conciliar era it was, or appeared to be, 
secured by the division of allegiance obtained by rival 
Popes ; in the sixteenth century it either existed or was 
claimed effectively only when and in so far as political 
unity, always tending to uniformity, was broken by the 
struggle between Protestant and Catholic, or between 
Lutheran and Calvinist, or between Anglican and 
Puritan. Only because neither party could subdue, 
exterminate, or banish the other was toleration the 
result of the Revolution of 1688. If there had been no 
competitor with Anglicanism, James II's removal might 
have only led to a system as narrowly uniform as 
that of France under Louis XIV. 

In the sixteenth century the whole course of the 

v] The Monarchomachi 143 

Reformation in Scotland effected the liberty of the 
people and helped to secure popular government, 
because the king was always unsympathetic and some- 
times hostile to the movement; but the very fact that it 
was general was unfavourable to true liberty, and the 
Episcopal Church was treated after 1688 with an 
intolerance which was nearly a century behind the treat- 
ment of the Nonconformists in England a . The Reforma- 
tion could not have that result in England, but helped 
to increase the royal power, until a party arose, who 
disliked the Elizabethan settlement, and were determined 
to destroy it at the bayonet's point. The case of the 
Netherlands is yet more important ; those provinces, 
in which the Catholic religion was dominant, did not 
find it necessary to carry their protest into proclaiming 
independence, and returned after a period of Sturm mid 
Drang to the Spanish allegiance. France, however, 
affords the most striking object of the truth, as it is 
also the most important treasury of literature embodying 
it. There, so long as the question was undecided, the 
right to political liberty was proclaimed, according as cir- 
cumstances dictated, alternately by the Huguenot and the 
ultramontane party. Eventually, however, the principle 
that the king must be of the same religion as the 
majority of his subjects was established by the sub- 
mission of Henri IV. The struggle ended with the gift 
of toleration to the minority, but the apparent gain was 
more than counteracted by the triumph of the principle 
of uniformity in the interested Catholicism of Henri IV, 
to whom religion was a matter of policy ; and eventually 
this principle ran its course till religious liberty was 
destroyed by Louis XIV in the interests of the unity 

144 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

of the State. In England a somewhat similar result 
obtained in 1688, but the security for freedom was 
greater in that, firstly, it was not merely local ; secondly, 
the differences between the Church and Nonconformists 
were less far-reaching ; and thirdly, the age of confes- 
sional conflicts was over, and rationalistic latitudinarian- 
ism was the dominant tendency in all bodies in the 
eighteenth century; fourthly, the connection of the party 
of freedom with aristocratic disaffection was less close 
than in France. At the same time we must bear in 
mind that even in England the regime of George III 
was comparable, if we allow for the difference of century 
and country, to that of Louis XIV, at least in its 
relation to already secured rights. George III threat- 
ened and for a time nearly overthrew those rights to 
personal liberty, freedom of discussion, and, at least in 
appearance, consent to taxation,- which the settlement 
had apparently guaranteed ; he was opposed to all those 
measures for the relief of Dissenters which were the 
logical outcome of the Revolution, and he succeeded 


in delaying, until the concession had lost all its grace, 
the merest justice to Roman Catholics 3 . In the strictest 
sense George III and Louis XIV and Philip II were 
national kings, they all alike represented with fidelity, 
the more admirable because it was unconscious, the most 
reactionary prejudices of their countrymen, all alike 
shared the limitations of Vhomme moyen sensuel. But 
all alike illustrate the danger to liberty in a modern 
centralised state that lies in a government which 
has no deep source of division among its governing 

Let us now trace this development a little more in 

v] The Monarchomachi 145 

detail. Ignoring the international aspects of the religious 
controversy let us keep to the internal politics of indi- 
vidual States. It was by the Protestants that the 
standard of revolt was first raised. Calvin the father 
of Presbyterianism was indeed very carefully guarded in 
his language, and avoids giving any countenance either 
to rebellion or democracy. He speaks with contempt 
of the mob. His own ideal was for an ecclesiastical 
oligarchy under the shadow of which he himself could 
rule. Theologically and politically he disbelieved in 
freedom. He declares himself abstractly in favour of 
aristocracy, but is very anxious to show that govern- 
ments are relative to historical development, and in 
this he is very modern. He is clear that government of 
whatever form is to be obeyed as a religious duty, and 
he will allow no private individual to resist his prince. 
To estates of the realm, as the protectors of the people, 
he allows considerable power ; and he makes a remark 
about those States, where in fact " ephors " exist for a 
"check on tyranny," which was of great service for future 
disputants, whose use of the term is alone significant of 
Calvin's influence. Like others he adduces the instances 
of Ehud and Judith as cases of special inspiration, and 
thus leaves a loophole whereby such sanction could be 
claimed on the one side for the murder of the Duke 
of Guise, and on the other for that of Henri III. His 
conclusion, however, in favour of passive obedience is 
explicit, and he cannot and was not cited as an authority 
for the theory of rebellion. For Calvin this position 
was possible*. But to his followers in Scotland and 
France it was no longer tenable. 

The course of the Scotch Reformation from the 
beginning to the deposition of Mary Stuart, and right 
f. 10 

146 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

on through the Bishops' wars to the Revolution, affords, 
perhaps, the most complete and consistent expression of 
the duty of rebellion, alike in theory and practice, which 
we possess outside ultramontane pamphleteering. In 
each case there is a similar claim in the background 
for an ecclesiastical independence which may mean 
supremacy. John Knox, while he allows his monarchs 
to play the part of Josiah, did not desire to tolerate any 
idolaters ; and had he been powerful enough would cer- 
tainly have made a "right faith" as much a condition of 
legitimacy as did the Counter-Reformation. So far as 
we can tell, his view of the office of the Christian 
propagandist knew no limits either of morality or law ; 
in other words his sense of the value of the particular 
religious society was as strong as that of the Jesuits, and 
like them he employed the means recommended by 
Machiavelli to attain his ends ; among those means 
murder and rebellion had a natural home in the 
Scotland of 1555-80. In Goodman's treatise, the sub- 
serviency of political to ecclesiastical considerations 
is yet more violently proclaimed ; he has a theory of 
rebellion to justify Wyatt's insurrection in favour of 
" that godly lady and meek lamb, Elizabeth," and would 
clearly like to control not merely internal but external 
policy by purely confessional considerations 5 . The same 
is also the case with leaders like Melville a little later. 
What they exhibit in general is first a theory of the 
limits of the supreme authority which may, or may 
not, become a theory of liberty ; and secondly the 
purely religious and even ecclesiastical character of 
this theory. This was the reason of James's dislike to 

The most generally important treatise on the sub- 

v] The Monarchomachi 147 

ject is, however, George Buchanan's short dialogue De 
Jure Regni apud Scotos. Written to justify the depo- 
sition of Mary Stuart, it contains in a short compass 
the two main arguments which were to be at the service 
of the popular party until the French Revolution ; 
the argument from precedent and the argument from 
principle. There is the historical argument, which might 
be used in any nation, which had a constitution in the 
Middle Ages, that checks on the sovereign authority 
were ancient, customary and by no means merely 
nominal. It is an appeal to the law of historical 
development and was used even in the conciliar move- 
ment. We must not suppose it to be only true of 
England, because ours is the only country where these 
ancient checks have survived to become the foundation 
of modern liberty. It is as true or nearly so of medieval 
France as of England ; and the favourite formula of 
pamphleteers is borrowed not from Britain, but Spain. 
If the historical argument had less place in the German 
States, at any rate in the Empire it was strong enough; 
and eventually successful. The independence of the 
sovereign prince of Germany is the final result, assisted 
by the Reformation, of a long historical development, 
which goes back to the very beginnings of lordship and 
service. In fact the triumphs of the historical principle 
are twofold: the territorial sovereignty and legal equality 
of small States is the crown of it in the one aspect ; the 
constitutional monarchy of England that of the other. 
The novelty is the absorption by the State in France or 
Spain of all competing jurisdictions on the one hand ; 
and on the other the destruction, even in idea, of any 
integral conception of Europe, more especially its re- 
ligious unity. 


148 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

The second aspect of Buchanan's book is the writer's 
theory of contract. In some form or other the anti- 
monarchical writers from this time forwards till Rousseau 
(and we can trace the idea backwards to Manegold of 
Lauterbach) all base their claim to check and if 
necessary to resist the monarch on the notion of the 
original contract. Once the notion can be popularised, 
that the obligations of government and protection are 
mutual and not one-sided, it is easy to protest effectively 
against tyranny, whether religious or political. The 
theory of contract raises to our eyes every possible objec- 
tion ; it is unhistorical, abstract and self-contradictory. 
Not only does history afford no evidence of it, but of 
even a tacit contract the general consciousness in our 
own or any other age is unaware. Not only does the 
conception seem abstract and doctrinaire, but it seems 
very bad abstraction, and to imply a doctrine false to 
all our notions of political organisms and public utility. 
It contradicts the evolutionary theory of politics, and 
substitutes for a just reliance on the hatred of men 
to oppression a conception of abstract rights, which is 
as patient of real tyranny as it is often active against 
imaginary injuries ; for a prince might easily keep his 
contract and yet be a tyrant, e.g., Philip II in Spain. 
Lastly, the conception is self-contradictory. For it 
assumes, as anterior to law, a purely juristic notion. If 
government is the result of a contract, what can make the 
contract binding, when there is ex hypothesi no sovereign 
authority to do so? These objections are all of them 
perfectly valid. Yet they must be used mainly as a 
means to help us to understand the condition of things 
which made such objections either imperceptible or in- 
admissible. Until the time of Filmer, and still more of 

v] The Monarchomachi 149 

Leslie, the arguments on the other side were not at 
all of the character above noted, but rather concerned 
with showing the Divinely given authority of the ruler, 
and the religious duty of invariable non-resistance 6 . 
Leslie's criticism of Hoadly, indeed, has in it much in 
substance what might be written by a modern, such as 
Austin ; as in form it is more brilliant and amusing 7 . 
But we have to consider the state of things under which 
such a theory seemed to many quite natural, and could 
be readily offered as an effective ground for practical 

In the first place to that age the theory did not appear 
unhistorical and hardly was so. For it was the natural 
outcome of feudalism. Whatever be the defects of feudal- 
ism, it was a system which recognised the reciprocity of 
rights and duties in regard alike to political and economic 
power, in a way which, save in a limited sphere, it has been 
impossible to do since. We have, it is true, at length 
secured a recognition of the duties of government, but 
it is by an almost complete consecration of the rights 
of property, and an entire disregard of moral obliga- 
tion of the owner, purchased by the absolute surrender 
of a portion of his wealth in the form of taxes. Now 
the feudal tie was essentially contractual ; and it was 
easy to see in the coronation oath the recognition of 
a similar contract on the part of the monarch, and in 
the Baptismal vow a somewhat similar condition on the 
part of the Christian. At any rate, the theory of con- 
tract rested on two conceptions which were as a matter 
of fact operative in recent history, first, the reciprocity 
of protection and obedience implied in the corona- 
tion oath and indeed the whole religious ceremony, 
second, the nature of the obligations which bound lord 

150 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

and vassal. We find writers like Du Plessis Mornay 
actually appealing to feudal customs as a ground for 
natural resistance. There is no doubt that as a 
matter of fact the idea of the contract owes much to 
the long prevalence of similar notions in all spheres. 
We must bear in mind that in all complete copies 
of the corpus juris there was the Liber de Feudis. 
For the Civil Law was not an ancient code that died 
with Justinian, but a body of doctrine that developed up 
to Henry VII. We may find further evidence in the 
Baptismal vow ; by many this is treated as imposing an 
obligation, which if the sovereign violates by heresy, he 
may justly be deposed. 

Secondly, the theory in the eyes of its supporters 
gained rather than lost by laying stress on the idea of right, 
beyond that of mere utility. The influence of Machiavelli 
was very great ; but a purely utilitarian theory of politics 
was not to be thought of, and perhaps never by itself be- 
came influential until the days of Bentham. As was said 
in the first lecture, we have seen the idea of right or 
public welfare in general gradually supplant the notions 
of rights in particular; it has not been proved that the 
change is beneficial. In some ways it tends to put 
liberty at the mercy of sentiment and minorities under 
the heel of majorities. Moreover the argument from 
this side was, as we have seen, mainly on the side of 
quiescence ; it is a very long view of public utility that 
can ever justify insurrection. At any rate in days when 
the claims of the Pope were based on ideas of Right, 
when those of his adversaries the kings were equally 
based on it, when the connection of law with politics 
was intimate and all action was conceived under legalist 
forms, and the causes of rebellion were commonly re- 

v] The Monarchomachi 151 

ligious, no view which did not make it legally right 
as well as expedient to rebel would have had any 
chance of convincing opinion or even of satisfying the 
consciences of the rebellious. Theories are taken up, as 
a rule, to quiet doubts that perplex supporters, rather 
than to answer opponents. The fautors of rebellion in 
Scotland, France and Holland needed to be assured that, 
in rising against the sovereign, they were not merely 
consulting their interests, but doing their duty and 
acting in defence of a legal right. The same fact is 
shown by the rather ridiculous attempt in 1688 to quiet 
the difficulties of non-resisting Tories by the use of the 
word " abdicate " to describe the deposition of James II. 
Lastly, and this is the most important point, the 
possibility of an original contract anterior to the State 
is significant of a world in which law, so far from being 
the offspring, was the parent of government. The theory 
was possible because the whole world was conceived as 
governed by law, divine, natural or positive ; while the 
distinctions between these kinds of law are only of a 
secondary and subordinate character. Law in its sense 
of universal rules of action is not confined to the merely 
private and municipal affairs of a definite kingdom ; but 
is descriptive of nearly all conceivable activities, human 
and divine ; the law of nature is literally a law of nature 
and in some minds is to be identified even with the 
instincts of the beasts. But in any case law in the sense 
of a uniformity of action is the dominant and endur- 
ing notion ; that of a command is special, particular, 
modern or ancient, not medieval at least not as de- 
scriptive of what is law and what is not. The classical 
passage of Hooker breathes the whole spirit of an age, 
and serves to enshrine the legacy of our days, of the world 

'/he Monarchomachi [VECT. 

and vassal We find writers like Jju Pie . lornay 
actually appealing to feudal cv mnd for 

natural resistant There is no doubt that as a 
matter of fart the idea of die contract owes much I 
the long prevalence of similar notions in all ,pher- 
We mu A bear in rninrl that in all corn:- opies 

of the corpus juris there was the Liber de Fewlis. 
For the Civil Law was not an ancient code that died 
with Justinian, hut a body of doctrine that developed up 
to Henry VII. We may find further evidence in the 
Baptismal vow; by many this is treated as imp \x\ 

obligation, which if the sovereign violates by heresy, he 
may justly be deposed. 

Secondly, the theory in the eyes of its supporters 
gained rather than lost by laying stress on the idea of right, 
beyond that of mere utility. The influence of Machiavelli 
was very great ; but a purely utilitarian theory of politics 
was not to be thought of, and perhaps never by itself 'be- 
came influential until the days of Bentham. As was said 
in the first lecture, we have seen the idea of right or 
public welfare in general gradually supplant the notions 
of rights in particular; it has not been proved that the 
change is beneficial. In some ways it tends to put 
liberty at the mercy of sentiment and minorities under 
the heel of majorities. Moreover the argument from 
this side was, as we have seen, mainly on the side of 
quiescence ; it is a very long view of public utility that 
can ever justify insurrection. At any rate in days when 
the claims of the Pope were based on ideas of Right, 
when those of his adversaries the kings were equally 
based on it, when the connection of law with politics 
was intimate and all action was conceived under legalist 
forms, and the causes of rebellion were commonly re- 


.-.-- - 

150 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

and vassal. We find writers like Du Plessis Mornay 
actually appealing to feudal customs as a ground for 
natural resistance. There is no doubt that as a 
matter of fact the idea of the contract owes much to 
the long prevalence of similar notions in all spheres. 
We must bear in mind that in all complete copies 
of the corpus juris there was the Liber de Feudis. 
For the Civil Law was not an ancient code that died 
with Justinian, but a body of doctrine that developed up 
to Henry VII. We may find further evidence in the 
Baptismal vow ; by many this is treated as imposing an 
obligation, which if the sovereign violates by heresy, he 
may justly be deposed. 

Secondly, the theory in the eyes of its supporters 
gained rather than lost by laying stress on the idea of right, 
beyond that of mere utility. The influence of Machiavelli 
was very great ; but a purely utilitarian theory of politics 
was not to be thought of, and perhaps never by itself be- 
came influential until the days of Bentham. As was said 
in the first lecture, we have seen the idea of right or 
public welfare in general gradually supplant the notions 
of rights in particular ; it has not been proved that the 
change is beneficial. In some ways it tends to put 
liberty at the mercy of sentiment and minorities under 
the heel of majorities. Moreover the argument from 
this side was, as we have seen, mainly on the side of 
quiescence ; it is a very long view of public utility that 
can ever justify insurrection. At any rate in days when 
the claims of the Pope were based on ideas of Right, 
when those of his adversaries the kings were equally 
based on it, when the connection of law with politics 
was intimate and all action was conceived under legalist 
forms, and the causes of rebellion were commonly re- 

v] The Monarchomachi 151 

ligious, no view which did not make it legally right 
as well as expedient to rebel would have had any 
chance of convincing opinion or even of satisfying the 
consciences of the rebellious. Theories are taken up, as 
a rule, to quiet doubts that perplex supporters, rather 
than to answer opponents. The fautors of rebellion in 
Scotland, France and Holland needed to be assured that, 
in rising against the sovereign, they were not merely 
consulting their interests, but doing their duty and 
acting in defence of a legal right. The same fact is 
shown by the rather ridiculous attempt in 1688 to quiet 
the difficulties of non-resisting Tories by the use of the 
word " abdicate" to describe the deposition of James II. 
Lastly, and this is the most important point, the 
possibility of an original contract anterior to the State 
is significant of a world in which law, so far from being 
the offspring, was the parent of government. The theory 
was possible because the whole world was conceived as 
governed by law, divine, natural or positive ; while the 
distinctions between these kinds of law are only of a 
secondary and subordinate character. Law in its sense 
of universal rules of action is not confined to the merely 
private and municipal affairs of a definite kingdom ; but 
is descriptive of nearly all conceivable activities, human 
and divine ; the law of nature is literally a law of nature 
and in some minds is to be identified even with the 
instincts of the beasts. But in any case law in the sense 
of a uniformity of action is the dominant and endur- 
ing notion ; that of a command is special, particular, 
modern or ancient, not medieval at least not as de- 
scriptive of what is law and what is not. The classical 
passage of Hooker breathes the whole spirit of an age, 
and serves to enshrine the legacy of our days, of the world 

154 Th e Monarchomachi [lect. 

but it had a deeper contemporary influence, just because 
it is a livre de circonstance and not a scientific treatise. 
The character of the argument may be briefly indicated. 
Unlimited obedience is due to God alone ; to the king as 
his delegate a limited submission, always bounded by 
God's law, is due. Between the Almighty on the one 
hand and king and people on the other there is 
an original contract, of which the covenant between 
Jehoiada and the Israelites is the model ; this contract 
is on God's side one of protection ; on that of the nation, 
maintenance of the true religion. If the king violates 
this covenant by persecuting the true religion, the people 
are absolved from allegiance to their mesne lord by their 
duties to God the overlord. A prince who persecutes 
the faith is a rebel against God, no more a lawful sovereign 
than a Pope deposed for heresy. It is evident how 
greatly this theory of resistance on the basis of the 
contract is framed for the express purpose of defending 
religion ; how the theory might be equally useful to 
ultramontanes ; how closely it is connected with feudal 
conceptions. In detail the author shows the great 
influence of the conciliar movement, for we find him 
arguing from the rights of councils over Popes to those 
of peoples over kings. Further, here, but still more in 
ultramontane arguments on the same side, we note how 
the medieval view of a Pope ceasing to be such ipso facto 
in a case of heresy becomes the origin of the claim that 
no Christian king is lawfully such who is heretical 8 ; it is 
not denied that infidel or Mohammedan sovereigns are 
lawful monarchs, but they have no compact such as is 
made by all Christians at their Baptism. 

This contract, however, is not the only one which 
the Vindiciae postulates. The writer goes on to another 

v] The Monarchomachi 155 

instrument between king and people, which makes 
allegiance depend on good government, and places civil 
rights on a firmer basis than that of the royal grant. 
Here again we reach what was to be the main ground of 
struggle for a long time. The claim of kings, who had re- 
cognised the significance of sovereignty, was not so much 
to thwart the actual exercise of the national customs, as 
to claim that they were matters of grace not of right. It 
is against this claim that the idea of a contract proved 
so valuable for it gave to the public the consciousness 
that their rights were no less rooted in the constitution 
of the country than were those of the king. The whole 
tendency of civilian lawyers was to deny this ; to treat 
as merely customary what hitherto had been regarded 
as legal, and to regard as readily alterable customs 
which had been treated as immutable. Some such 
theory as that of the original contract was needed to 
express the widespread consciousness that public rights 
and constitutional machinery were as much a part of the 
legal system as the admitted prerogatives of the crown. 

The contract theory starts from the view directly 
denied by the theorists of Divine Right, that the people 
is the true source of royal power ; and in this our author 
and the numerous imitators were more indebted to 
Roman Law than some of them knew for, as has been 
pointed out, the statements about the Lex Regia if 
treated as they were treated as a universal theory of 
government (there is a great deal of it in Barclay) imply 
that political authority springs from below and to that 
extent favour the notion of the ultimate sovereignty of 
the people. 

Both in this and still more in his theory of contract 
the author adopts and eloquently expounds that view of 

158 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

and in both cases the theory on inspection is seen to 
be relative to historical conditions and to owe its 
prevalence, not to intellectual curiosity, but to practical 

There are many other pamphlets, scattered through 
the Memoires des affaires d'etat sous Charles IX, and 
everything that Du Plessis Mornay writes is good reading, 
but there is little of substantial difference. Daneau's 
Politices Christianae may, however, be noted, as crystal- 
lizing the whole into a scientific treatise. 

The Huguenots, however, were not long in possession 
of the field; for they found in the claims of the Bourbon 
another and a better argument than theories of 
contract ; and the death of the Duke of Anjou in 
1584 turned them into thorough-going supporters of 
legitimism. Hereditary right and the Salic Law became 
their watchwords henceforth, and we must seek elsewhere 
for the succession to their older theories of liberty. 

The Ligue inherited a double portion of this spirit. 
The Seize were the forerunners of the Jacobin Club, and 
Louis d'Orleans and Boucher were writers compared 
with whom the Huguenots were mild and moderate men. 
Both the organization and the doctrines of the Ligue 
were democratic by preaching, and pamphleteering, 
by squibs, satires and poems it strove to appeal to 
all classes of the people. Its object was to assert 
either in the Guise or the Spanish interest the main 
principle of the Counter-Reformation, that a heretic 
could never be a lawful king. The principle was not 
really different from that of Knox and Goodman ; but 
it was laid down more universally, and attracted more 
attention. Since even the Papalists admitted that a 
heretic Pope ceased to be such, and that is the view of 

v] The Monarchomachi 159 

Gabriel Biel and John of Turrecremata, it is therefore 
obvious to assert with Reynolds that a Catholic king 
turning heretic becomes ipso facto a tyrant, and then 
by means of an argument analogous to that of the 
Vindiciae his deposition may be justified. There are 
many writings which express these views. The most 
important are the pamphlets of Louis d'Orleans, Jean 
Boucher's Sermons de la Simulee Conversion and the De 
Justa Abdicatione Henrici Tertii, Rossaeus' (Reynolds') 
De Justa Republicae Christianae Potestate. They are 
more violent and less original than the works of 
Hotman and Mornay, but Louis d'Orleans writes 
well. Indeed the Banquet de Philarete is full of 
imagination and a certain kind of eloquence. The 
Dialogue du Manant et MaJieustre is also worthy of 
note ; it expresses the more theocratic and less unworthy 
side of the Ligue ; and is indeed an apology for the 
democratic Seize against the aristocratic adherents of 
the Duke de Mayenne. It is distinguished by an 
evident sincerity, and was written towards the close of 
the siege of Paris. On the whole, however, the theory 
laid down is the same as that of the Huguenots. 
Barclay makes it a reproach to Boucher that he has 
borrowed almost all his notions from the Vindiciae. 
It may be worth while giving a brief account of the 
longest of all these works, that of William Reynolds 
under the nom de guerre Rossaeus, entitled De Justa 
Republicae Christianae Potestate. 

The author's argument is as follows : He begins 
by showing the necessity and naturalness of civil govern- 
ment, and shows how men are driven to unite into a 
sovereign society. Then on a view of the varieties, both 
contemporary and historical, of the constitutions of 

160 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

States he argues that no one form of government can 
have been originally established, but that the nature 
of the State and any limitations upon it are the 
result of the deliberate and purely arbitrary choice of 
the originally sovereign people. We find in Rossaeus 
what is also discernible in the Vindiciae and is the mark 
of all or nearly all the followers of this doctrine up 
to and after the Whig Revolution, the artificiality 
of the conception of the constitution. As against the 
theorists of Divine Right the libertarians are nearly 
all open to the reproach that they postulate a state of 
nature which is purely individualist and quite unhistori- 
cal, and that they make political constitutions the result 
of a conscious and definite choice on the part of a people 
supposed to have before their mind's eye the various 
forms of government and to have selected one as the best 
after due consideration. They prepare the way in fact for 
the rational savage of the eighteenth century, and have 
as little as he had to do with the history of social evolu- 
tion. On the other hand we notice in Rossaeus a very 
definite adoption of the idea that political society is a 
Genossenschaft. In this he goes to the root of the matter, 
for the issue is really between those who take this view 
and those who derive all political power from above, 
and made a State primarily a lordship. This is the 
significance of the patriarchal theory as developed by 
Filmer. It treats society as purely a Herrschaftsverband. 
The contrast between the two ideas runs right back to 
the earliest times 11 . It is in this more than anything 
else that we are able to discern in the libertarians the 
strongly Teutonic element, just as in the theorists of 
Divine Right there is a marked Latin and civilian factor. 
In the second chapter on the limited right of Christian 

v] The Monarchomachi 161 

kings Rossaeus makes use of this notion to declare (much 
as the Vindiciae had done) that kingship must be bounded 
by the end of its existence, i.e., the security and freedom 
of the subject. The individual could never have re- 
signed his rights to the State except that he might 
attain in return security for life and property. Thus a 
condition is understood in all government whether or 
no it be expressed: it must not contradict its own end 1 ' 2 . 
This is the same conception as the conciliar party 
had employed against the Pope. His power is given 
in aedificationem, it must not be used in destructionem. 
There is the statement of the limitations of all govern- 
mental theory very much as it afterwards appears in 
Locke. Government is a pooling of individual rights 
for the common needs of security ; since it starts from 
these rights its power is never omnipotent. This of 
course is in direct contradiction to the doctrine of Hobbes 
and Althusius, and later of Rousseau, who postulated 
indeed a very similar origin for governmental authority 
but gave it when formed unlimited, i.e., sovereign 
authority. All these united in taking their theory of 
the origin of political power from one side, and its 
nature and extent from the other of the combatants. 
But Rossaeus is not content with these merely civic ends, 
and proceeds, though by a different route, to the same 
conclusions as those of Du Plessis Mornay. Governors 
exist not only for life but for the good life ; and the 
encouragement of virtue is as much a fundamental con- 
dition of all government as is the security of life and 
property 12 . This is proved by the practice of all nations. 
Virtue requires religion for its adequate support, and 
hence no government is legitimate without the admission 
of the true religion. Even the governments of antiquity 

F. II 

1 62 The Monarckomachi [lect. 

allowed this as at once an extension and limitation of 
their powers ; and Christian peoples cannot be worse 
off than Pagans or Turks. The inference to readers 
who did not recognise toleration is obvious. No right- 
ful prince can tolerate heresy ; and a heretic king is 
ipso facto a tyrant. The usual arguments from coro- 
nation oaths are employed. An interesting point is that 
to the author the Spanish king is an example of a 
legitimately limited monarch, while Henry VIII and 
Elizabeth of course on the ground of their treat- 
ment of Protestantism are regarded as the worst of 
tyrants ruling by no law but their own caprice 13 . Nor 
was there, if the internal condition of Spain alone 
be considered, anything particularly laughable in such 
a view. Otherwise Mariana's famous book dedicated to 
Philip III would not have been possible. Even two 
centuries later that work could never have appeared 
dedicated (except in irony) to George III without sub- 
jecting its author to very considerable inconvenience. 
The author then proceeds to an enumeration of the 
characteristics of tyranny, which enables him to " deal 
faithfully " with the last Valois. He considers that the 
notes of tyranny may be reduced to three, (i) rapacious 
oppression, (2) corruption of morals, public and private, 
(3) hostility to the true religion. Under all these heads 
Henri III is clearly a tyrant to be classed with Nero, 
and Queen Elizabeth 14 . 

After this exhilarating chapter he devotes himself 
to a candid examination of Protestantism which he 
decides to be worse than Paganism ; this, however, is 
nothing to Calvinism, which is longe detestabilior. It is 
noteworthy how he argues from the needs of human 
nature as shown in all religious systems. His objection 

v] The Monarchomachi 163 

to Lutheranism in regard to sacrificial doctrine and 
prayers for the dead is based almost entirely on the 
universality of these customs in some form or other 15 . 
The rest of the book is concerned with proving the 
right of deposition of heretic kings both by foreign 
monarchs and their subjects, and the fact that Henri 
is a relapsed heretic and that no faith is to be attached 
to his promises 16 . There is nothing especially noteworthy 
except the length 830 closely printed pages with 
which these views are developed. 

It is, however, worthy of remark that, in the argu- 
ment about the disqualification of heresy, the author 
incidentally shows how even yet the doctrine of the 
Selbstdndigkeit of the nation has failed to penetrate. For 
he clearly considers the rules both of the Civil and Canon 
Law to be binding on individual States the kingdom 
of France is, he makes evident, only a member of 
the commonwealth of the Church and there exist to 
his hand the extremely severe constitutions of Justinian 
and others about the treatment of heresy 17 . We must 
bear in mind that the Corpus Juris in its complete 
form was not merely the law of the ancient world. 
Redacted posterior to S. Augustine, and under an 
Emperor half medieval, the conception of the place 
of the Church and the unity of religion, the notion of 
two powers equally from God, and the terms in which 
this is expressed, prepared the way for that develop- 
ment of ecclesiastical authority, which other causes 
concentrated in the hands of the Papacy and crystal- 
lised in the Canon Law. The usual examples from 
the Old Testament are employed by Rossaeus, and 
those from the Apocrypha ; they are more skilfully 
used than by some authors. It is also to be noted that 

11 2 

164 The Monarchomachi [lect. 

the writer endeavours to show that Calvinism if allowed 
to run its course will be as hostile to all secular power 
as ever was Rome, and will destroy the aristocracy. 
He makes out, as was easy, the strong case there was 
for fearing under developed Presbyterianism a clerical 
tyranny, and in this he may be compared to later 
Anglican writers. He also demonstrates the way in 
which the organization of " the religion " had been 
practically worked so as to make a State within the 
State, a new kingdom. He is eloquent on the revolu- 
tionary character of heresy, which will require all other 
institutions to be made new in accordance with its 
general spirit ; and makes great play with the earlier 
insurrectionary literature of the Huguenot party 18 . 

The book is not interesting nor eloquent nor par- 
ticularly well argued, and is greatly marred by its 
absurd exaggeration of style. But it affords as good 
evidence as any other of the way in which similar ideas 
of the nature of government were developed by either 
party ; of their subserviency to religious or ecclesiastical 
purposes ; of their dependence on views which go back 
through the Middle Ages to the later days of the 
ancient Empire ; and on that general conception of 
a universal Church State which is at least as old as 
S. Augustine. Orthodoxy is a fundamental law of the 
State in the real view of all these controversialists 19 . 
Speaking generally it may be said that the Ligue writers 
are both more democratic and more theocratic and more 
violent than the Huguenots 20 . They tend to say more of 
tyrannicide. The murder of Henri III was received 
with a chorus of delight. Boucher in the appendix to 
the De Justa Abdicatione Henrici Tertii can scarcely 
contain his transports. But the Huguenots never 

v] The Monarchomachi 165 

admitted that they were really resisting the king, and 
are ridiculed by their opponents for their pretence 
to be followed in England of separating the king from 
his council. The same, however, was the case with the 
Ligue, until the murder of the Duke of Guise drove 
them definitely to throw off allegiance to the tyrant and 
made the act of Jacques Clement in ridding the world of 
" the worst king of the worse race that was ruled " the 
consistent outcome of their declared principles. We 
cannot, however, really separate between the principles 
of Ligueurs and Huguenots. Both assert the cause 
of civil liberty ; both do so on the basis of an original 
contract, and combat the notion of absolute power 
responsible to God alone ; both develop their argument 
on religious lines and treat heresy or rather heresy 
combined with persecution as a proof of tyranny. The 
Ligueurs treat the national State as but a part of a 
larger whole, and in this perhaps lies their main differ- 
ence from the Huguenots, who go no further than to 
demand foreign princes' help in favour of "the religion"; 
they did not and could not talk of a Protestant 

The purely religious or at least ecclesiastical motive 
of both parties is of course obvious ; but with religion 
intermingled there were political grievances over taxa- 
tion and denial of justice to the people. Of course the 
pamphleteers were purer in their reasonings than the 
political leaders. The Ligue was doubtless largely a 
mere cover for the ambitious designs of the Guises. 
But that does not alter the fact of the predominantly 
religious character of the motive to which it was 
necessary to appeal. To all parties government is 
largely a theocracy it is Politices Christianae which 

1 66 The Monarchomachi [lect. v 

all affect to seek. The mere notion of utility is not 
enough to justify an insurrection. Right must be 
proved. Hence arises what we remarked, the pre- 
dominantly legal character of the argument. Every 
pamphleteer is occupied in proving that his party is 
de jure resisting somebody who by his own or others' 
action is usurping authority of which he is no longer 
legally seised. This is the animus no less of royalists 
against the Pope than of Huguenots and Ligueurs 
against an absolute monarch. 

What is clear throughout the discussion is the dread of 
the new absolutism of the State ; the determination to 
resist the notion of its universal authority ; to assert that 
there are spheres of life and bonds of association which 
do not arise from its fiat and cannot be dissolved by it ; 
and the practical connection of this with some interest, 
real or supposed, of religion. Even the theory of Divine 
Right was from one point of view, as Whitgift saw, an ad- 
mission of ends higher than those merely political in civil 
society ; for the lowest view of the State was taken only 
by professed Machiavellians, and those who divorced it 
in idea from all but immediate ends except in so far as 
it is inspired by the Church with a higher life. The 
conception of the State as purely secular was, however, 
more completely realized by that body whose theories 
we shall consider in the next lecture. 



From the Monarchomachi we naturally pass to the 
Jesuits, the real agents of the Counter- Reformation, 
and partly also of Spanish aggression. Nearly all the 
Jesuit writers of importance in the earlier years of their 
existence are Spaniards, or Philo-Spaniards. We must 
regard their attitude as partly, at least, determined by 
national feeling even in spite of their professed 
aims. The complete recognition of the sovereignty 
of the non-Imperial States would perhaps indeed 
almost certainly not have been a feature of Jesuit 
philosophising, had they sprung from a German origin. 
In that case there would have been an attempt to 
reinstate in its ancient prerogatives the Imperial Crown. 
As it is, however, they criticise Bartolus, and assert the 
complete equality of sovereign States and, in temporal 
concerns, the relatively independent character of royal 
power. They are thinking of their masters. The 
Spanish character of early Jesuitry is illustrated by 
the famous book of Juan Mariana, De Rege et Regis 
Institutione. This book was burnt by orders of the 
Parliament of Paris, and aroused a violent controversy 
on account of the tone in which it discussed the murder 

1 68 The Jesuits [lect. 

of Henri III. It was always declared that the Society- 
was not responsible for the doctrines, and in the second 
edition slight alterations were made which did not 
materially affect the passages incriminated \ But 
Lossen is of opinion that the Society is not really to 
be identified with this book of a man who by no means 
approved of the methods of Jesuit government, and 
wrote a treatise to point out its defects 2 . This view, I 
think, is well founded. The book is sui generis. It is 
unlike nearly all the treatises, whether occasional or 
philosophic, which the Jesuits produced in such numbers. 
Nor is it really of the same order as the books considered 
in the last lecture. Indeed it is easy to parallel Boucher 
with Becanus or D'Orleans with Parsons or Cardinal 
Allen ; and there is a very considerable resemblance 
between the Jesuit livres de circonstances and those of 
the Ligueurs. But except in practical conclusions this 
is not the case with the De Rege. Its whole tone is 
different ; it is very individual, very Spanish indeed 
it is not a Counter-Reformation pamphlet at all. It is 
far more comparable with the work of Sir John 
Fortescue, De Laudibus Legum Angliae, or Sir Thomas 
Smith's Commonwealth of England, or Claude de 
Seysell on the government of France, than with the 
pamphlets and treatises produced in such seething haste 
by the religious wars although it of course alludes to 
them. It is of especial interest, for it shows us the 
way of thinking that was natural to a Spaniard and 
the kind of atmosphere in which the greater works 
of Molina and Suarez, Vasquez and Salmeron were 
reared. It will then be convenient to consider this 
book which is short and interesting before we proceed 
to the great mass of writing. 

vi] The Jestdts 169 

The book is dedicated to the young prince of 
Asturias who was afterwards to be Philip III, and is 
in this respect a work of the same order as Bude's 
Institutio7i du Prince or, to go back to the original, the 
De Regimine Principum of Egidius Romanus. It is 
tutorial, and contains practical guidance for a good 
prince and the way to train a man for the metier 
du roi. 

Mariana opens with a description of the state of 
nature which in its sentiment heralds the day of 
Rousseau and the eighteenth century. 

The idea of a golden age, however, gives way not to 
internal individual greed, but to external danger ; and 
families must coalesce for defence. So arises the State, 
and by their voluntary surrender the multitude choose 
a ruler for certain ends. These ends are the measure 
of his power, and the writer goes on to argue against 
absolutism. Mariana makes it quite clear that he does 
not regard the King of Spain as having any rights of 
arbitrary taxation or legislation, and expresses his regret 
that some of the powers of constitutional freedom are 
falling into disuse. He of course denies the competence 
of the king in ecclesiastical causes, but says little of 
the Pope (as Lossen remarks), and regrets the wholesale 
secularisation of Church property that had been proceed- 
ing in Spain, no less than elsewhere. The chapter De 
Tyranno is what gave the book its fame and its infamy. 
Mariana followed nearly all writers since Bartolus in 
dividing tyrants into the two classes of usurpers, tyrants 
in the Greek sense, and legitimate sovereigns ruling 
oppressively ; but he makes less of the difference than 
most, owing to his taking a stronger view of the rights of 

1 70 The Jesuits [lect. 

individuals in regard to those of the second kind. For 
nearly all are agreed that a tyrant absque titulo may be 
slain by anyone. This was a very practical point. For 
it involved on the Protestant side the justification of the 
murders of the Guises and the Cardinal of Lorraine and 
in theory of Catharine de' Medici as may be seen from 
the Vindiciae. In the Papalist view, Elizabeth and William 
the Silent were tyrants (they had no title to rule), while 
to the Ligueurs Henri IV was le tyran de Beam. Mariana, 
however, and Buchanan are almost alone in allowing to 
the individual the right of tyrannicide against a legal 
ruler who is an oppressor. Both, in the last resort, 
permit to dispense with the formalities of a public 
deposition ; and Mariana's justification of the murder 
of Henri III treats him as a tyrant of this sort. He 
decides that a tyrant may be killed both openly and 
by craft but objects to poison when the victim drinks 
or eats it because this compels him to become a 
suicide. There is no harm in poisoning him through 
clothes or cushions. This distinction goes back to John 
of Salisbury's Policraticus, the earliest medieval apology 
for tyrannicide. 

In regard to other matters it is worthy of note that 
the writer in his chapter on " the Poor " definitely 
demands a regular poor-law, would like it imposed upon 
each municipality and recommends a more liberal 
employment of monastic and other ecclesiastical revenues 
for this purpose ; he disapproves loudly here and 
throughout the book of any secularisation of Church 
property, but he would see with pleasure the ancient 
fourfold division of tithe or something like it reintroduced, 
and the mass of indolent and luxurious clergy dimi- 

vi] The Jesuits 1 7 1 

nished. In the chapter on " spectacles " he expresses 
himself with Puritanical strictness on the evils of the 
modern stage, but unlike the Puritans recognises the 
necessity of having regard to the conditions of the 
public mind, and recommends that the stage be regu- 
lated, and the young, so far as possible, be kept away 
from it. In regard to the choice of Bishops he is 
content to leave it practically to the king, so long as 
he will choose men of light and leading. The most 
remarkable chapter, however, is the closing one, which 
is against the toleration of more than one religion in 
the same province. The argument is hardly theocratic 
at all, and distinguishes the book as perhaps the least 
ecclesiastical of all the books on this side in the period. 
The reasons for prohibiting more than one religion are 
that heretics cannot be relied on to keep their promises, 
and without this fundamental good faith societies cannot 
exist. The argument is the same in a different form 
as that of Locke, that atheism must not be tolerated, 
for that destroys the basis of the original contract, and 
removes the obligation to keep the pact. Mariana goes 
on to point out the practical impossibility of men of 
competing religions agreeing, and the extreme danger 
to the government of favour and even fairness between 
two bitterly hostile parties. This of course was true 
in an age when religious parties all believed in the duty 
of mutual extermination. In regard to the argument 
so often used that the Turks managed to tolerate other 
religions than their own and many of them, he declares 
the Turks no models for Christians, but goes on to point 
out that they did so only on the basis of denying all 
civil rights to the subject populations, and that, if that 
condition were accepted by heretics, toleration might be 

172 The Jesuits [lect. 

possible. This passage, and indeed the whole tone of the 
chapter which is eminently political, shows how far the 
author is from the reckless bigotry of Rose or Boucher, 
or the colder fanaticism of Beza or Cartwright. Pro- 
bably deliberately, he avoids any mention of the Roman 
claims, and any examination of heresies. There is 
far less of the idea of a universal state of Christendom 
than in the ordinary Counter-Reformation treatises ; 
but of imperialism there is a good deal, as was to be 
expected, and a certain amount of very sound advice 
anent the treatment of provinces according to their 
customs and modes of thought and character. The 
author is clearly not in favour of a merely centralised 
despotism ; while his knowledge of Spanish history and 
patriotism is so great that he is never at a loss for 
an instance. Quite apart from the chapter on the treat- 
ment of tyrants the work is a very remarkable one to 
have been published with an imprimatur in the heyday 
of the Spanish monarchy, and during the reign of 
Philip II ; it is a political treatise with references 
to religion, not a pamphlet in favour of a religious com- 
munity under a political guise like the Vindiciae. There 
is more of the historian than of the Jesuit in the book. 
If it has not the impressiveness and eloquence of Du 
Plessis Mornay it has a charm and a freshness that 
are all its own ; and is perhaps even stronger in its 
recognition of the sovereignty of the people as funda- 
mental to the State. Perhaps it is this recognition more 
than any other characteristic that assimilates Mariana's 
work to the ordinary treatises of the Jesuits on political 
matters. These treatises are not the least important 
effect of the renewed scholasticism, which it was the 
mission of the Jesuits to further. In form more often 

vi] The Jesuits 173 

than not they are a commentary, by way of dialectic 
discussion, on those parts of the Summa of S. Thomas 
which treat De Justitia et Jitre, and embrace the topics of 
the origin and nature of law and therefore a civil society, 
the limits and the competence of the law-giver. 
This is the case with works like those of Vasquez or 
Salmeron entitled commentaries, or Molina's De Justitia 
et Jure, and indeed with Suarez' De Legibus, though that 
starts less directly from S. Thomas. A little later, 
we have works like those of Petrus de Lugo and 
Sanctarelli, and even in Jouvency are found similar 
ideas awakening similar controversies. In addition to 
these we have controversial works like those of Parsons 
and Allen in England, or Tanner, Bellarmin and 
Suarez in reply to Sarpi and the other defenders of 
Venice against the Pope, besides the whole host of 
writers led by Bellarmine, who fought against James I 
and his apology for the oath of allegiance. In some 
of the treatises of moral theology it is also possible 
to find discussions of the right of tyrannicide. All the 
writings give one an insight into the mind of the Jesuits 
on political questions so long as the Counter-Reforma- 
tion was still proceeding. From the close of the 
religious wars in 1648 we may almost date their tacit 
surrender of the claim to pronounce on these questions, 
and their enlistment on the side of royalism, of 
which the most marked example was their support of 
Louis XIV, although this was conditioned by their 
controversies with the Jansenists. The views of these 
writers though similar are not always identical, and 
they are never official ; not only was the Society no more 
publicly committed to them than it was to Probabilism, 
but Aquaviva at the request of the French court issued 

174 The Jesuits [lect. 

an order in 1614 that they were not to meddle with 
politics at all 3 . 

It remains however true that the Jesuits were every- 
where regarded as the main supporters of the deposing 
power and the opponents therefore of the Divine Right 
of Kings ; that the easiest way of condemning Dissenters 
in England was to dub them Jesuits on the ground that 
they shared their views as to the rights of subjects to 
resist their sovereigns, and that this activity only ceased 
with the practical cessation of the opportunity of 
destroying heresy by arousing insurrection. The only 
chance left was that tried in England to reintroduce 
Roman Catholicism by despotic power, instead of 
exterminating Protestantism by an appeal to national 
traditions allied with religious conservatism. 

Of pure nationalism indeed the Jesuits were not and 
could not be the promoters except so far as it meant 
the Spanish Empire. For they were the upholders of 
the old idea of the unity of Christendom in a new form. 
It meant no longer a civil unity : there was to them, as 
Spaniards, no universal Empire except the Church ; no 
final authority but the Pope. But their treatises are full 
of the idea of the law that is more than national ; in 
spite of the recognised independence of States men like 
Suarez clearly regard the Corpus Juris as the common 
form of law, and though it is sometimes admitted that 
Roman Law as such does not bind, yet it is clearly 
a part of the general heritage, no less than is the Canon 
Law in matters ecclesiastical. The whole force of their 
appeal rests on the conception of a law that is higher 
than merely national custom. The Jesuits are far from 
being the sole, but they are the cardinal instance of that 
conception of law, as the embodiment of eternal justice, 

vi] The Jesuits 175 

which is everywhere struggling against the modern con- 
ception of it, as absolutely the command of the law-giver. 
This might not indeed apply to the Pope, a true 
sovereign, but in their view it did apply to everyone else. 
The most interesting thing in Suarez' great book is its 
table of contents ; what should make a man include under 
the same title so many kinds of law to our thinking 
nearly as disparate as the laws of cricket and the laws 
of political economy ? It is because, while differing in 
every other point, sanction, incidence and origin, they are 
yet alike in all, expressing in some form the idea of right ; 
in other words they are concerned with some notion of 
justice, an ethical conception anterior to the law in the 
stricter sense. For this very reason their thought of law 
is of wider import and more universal than ours ; and 
enters far more into theological or ethical discussion. 
It cannot be too often repeated that the only possible 
intellectual foundation for all the " liberal " conceptions 
of politics in those days and the form which they took 
is the prevalent legal atmosphere of discussion of every 
form of practical activity ; and also a belief in the 
eternal significance and the universal validity of those 
conceptions of right and justice, involved in the 
idea of law, which it was the work of Machiavelli, 
Hobbes and the royalists to disengage from it. Through- 
out these pages, long and tedious with dialectic, there 
runs the claim that law may be nullified because it 
embodies injustice as against the more modern view, 
that anything the law-giver bids or forbids is good law 
merely by his fiat. The confusion between ethics and 
law may be erroneous from the theoretical, yet from the 
practical standpoint, their entire separation was equally 
dangerous. At any rate it was some sense, that law 

176 The Jesuits [lect. 

was in its nature more than a mere command, that it 
implied justice and a right recognised but not created 
by it that gave all these writings their significance and 
their effect. Liberty was preserved where it was 
preserved, because right and law were identified in 
language, and not distinguished in thought or in other 
words because the moral element in legal obligation 
was not forgotten. 

It may seem that the last people likely to effect such 
results would be the Latinist lawyers, with their study of 
a system so eminently "imperative" as the Civil Law, but 
it must be pointed out that the content of the system 
had become so much a part of the organization of life 
that any other arrangement in many private concerns 
was and has remained unthinkable, that there are phrases 
at the very outset which strongly emphasize the ethical 
aspect of law, that the Canonists had further developed 
this notion (in spite of their insistence on the Papal 
sovereignty), and that the Canon Law made a 
natural bridge to connect legal rights with ethical and 
theological discussions. Besides this the jus gentium 
was the common law of nations. Modern " liberal " 
maxims are the result of an amalgam of law, ethics and 
theology. Moreover the system must be considered as 
a whole. On the one hand there is the Pope to whom 
all the attributes of a sovereign law-giver may be 
ascribed, and whose despotism by Divine Right framed 
the model for that of other absolutists, as we have 
already seen. On the other hand, and this is where the 
Jesuits impressed the theory of popular liberty even 
reaching to such men as Algernon Sidney, there is the 
ordinary king, whom they conceive as the mere creature 
of popular choice, the minister not the master of his 

vi] The Jesuits 177 

people, the dispensator not the dominus of their 

It is indeed, as we have seen, largely the conception 
implied in the argument from the lex regia on which 
Jesuits and others rely for their theory of popular sove- 
reignty. The king is head. True, but how ? Simply 
because the multitude transferred their power to him of 
their own accord. His authority springs from below, from 
the community ; he is its delegate. It is this which the 
Jesuits emphasize ; they do not indeed omit altogether 
the notion of a contract, but it is a matter of minor 
importance compared to the purely popular origin of 
power. Once this be admitted, all absolute claims are 
easily refutable, and indefeasible hereditary right becomes 
an impossibility. With Suarez and Molina political 
power is the inevitable result of the determination of 
men to live in a society 4 . In fact political authority 
arises out of the nature of a community as such. 
It is a contradiction in terms to talk of joining a 
community and giving it no power. If men live in a 
community, that community must essentially possess 
certain powers of organization. In other words a 
corporate body is something more than the sum of its 
members ; the greater Jesuits are on their way to the 
conception of the personality of corporate bodies, if they 
have not reached it. The nature of their own society 
would certainly teach them this. Nor must we forget 
in the development of the contractual theory the influence 
of monasticism. A " Leviathan " like that of Hobbes 
formed by the deliberate choice of its members, with 
absolutely sovereign rights, and no power of renunciation 
of obedience, was more nearly paralleled in a monastic 
order than in any " national " State ; when Melanchthon 

f. 12 

178 The Jesuits [lect. 

says that the true communal life is that of the State 
and not that of a religious order, he shows that the 
analogy of monastic institutions to the State was 
one that naturally occurred to the mind ; and it is 
possible, though it can hardly be proved, that the 
artificial theory of the State may have owed something 
of its prevalence to those bodies, in some respects 
states in themselves, which did arise by deliberate 
choice and contrivance. Anyhow the original sove- 
reignty of the people is a cardinal doctrine of the 
Jesuit thinkers, is more emphasized by them than by 
Protestant controversialists ; and if not separated in 
practice from some notion of a contract between the 
depositary of power and his subjects, is separable from 
it in thought. They prepared the way for Althusius 
and therefore for Rousseau. The governing thought of 
Suarez is that the community has its power immediately 
from God as a result of the fact of its being a society, in 
other words of something like Rousseau's social contract. 
The governing thought of the Vindiciae is that individuals 
come together to form a State for certain ends, and 
surrender some powers but not all to the body so 
formed. The Whig State is in fact a limited, the Jesuit 
and Jacobin State is an unlimited liability company. 

Molina, though he declares the State to derive its 
power not from a pact but immediately from God, yet 
denies to it absolute rights. On the other hand Suarez, 
while he asserts for the community rights per se, 
distinctly affirms that the government whatever it be 
is appointed under conditions. He ends in fact pretty 
much where the Whigs began 5 . 

But their object is nearly always ecclesiastical. 
They desire to emphasize the difference between ecclesi- 

vi] The Jesuits 179 

astical jurisdiction, which comes from above, and civil, 
which springs from below. The Pope has his power 
from God, he is his immediate vicar ; not so kings and 
emperors, theirs is from the people, their right is only- 
Divine so far as all things natural and worthy are 
Divine ; but to say the same of the Pope is to commit 
the heresy of conciliar agitators; and the two must be 
distinguished. This is the meaning of the deeply in- 
teresting treatise of Lainez on the right of Bishops 6 . 
His object is to deny that their powers of any sort 
have any other origin than the Papal grant; and to 
this end he distinguishes sharply between secular and 
ecclesiastical governments. 

Lainez brings out what, as Gierke says, is to be 
found in most Jesuit writers, the absolutely secular 
character of their conception of the civil power. It is 
a purely human institution for the worldly ends of peace 
and riches. It might be said that taking the civil 
State as a separate entity, they accepted a purely utili- 
tarian view of its activity. It is to them non-moral. 
Its laws have a merely outward sanction ; although 
it is a duty to obey them, in so far as they do not 
conflict with higher ends. Their idea of the civil power 
is, in fact, that of Locke and the individualists who 
regard the State as necessary for certain indispensable 
ends, but as in itself dangerous if unchecked, and 
rather evil than good in its activities. The Jesuit view 
is that the end of the State being purely external, it 
cannot be in the last resort worthy of high reverence ; 
and must be kept under tutelage, if man is to reach his 
highest. They separate sharply the civic life of man, 
which is external and partial, from his religious, which is 
internal and all-embracing 7 . 

12 2 

180 The Jesuits [lect. 

Since, however, men are not merely creatures of this 
world, their unworldly interests need protection and this 
is the office of the Church. The door is thus opened for 
the Papal claims, and the deposing power can be 
justified in the usual way. The point to notice is that 
they conceive the civil power as purely secular ; and to 
a certain extent as independent. This is at once similar 
to the view of Presbyterians like Cartwright or Melville, 
rebuked by Whitgift for their " Turkish," "Machiavellian " 
theoryof the State ; and opposed to the Protestant doctrine 
of Luther or the Anglicans who consecrate the activities 
of the State by treating the Church as its other aspect 
and entirely repudiate the dichotomy raised by Jesuits 
and Presbyterians. The one theory descends through 
Whigs to English individualism. The other is the 
ancestor of modern socialism, for Luther is the true 
forerunner of Hegel in his political views. 

The Jesuits were not great originators. Their view 
of the State was not new ; it is the hierarchical doctrine 
adapted to new circumstances. We find even in their 
views about tyrannicide little that is not an expansion of 
older views. Just as Probabilism was invented by a 
Dominican, although it became the cachet of seventeenth 
century Jesuits, so their view of the relation between 
civil and ecclesiastical powers, like that of the nature of 
law, can be found in other writers. The conceptions of 
law entertained by Soto, Navarra, and Covarruvias are 
fundamentally those of Suarez and Molina. Of the 
theory we have now to discuss it is the popularisation 
rather than the invention that is to be ascribed to the 

This theory is generally known as that of the 
indirect power of the Pope in regard to the civil ruler. 

vi] The Jesuits 1 8 1 

The Jesuits and others who hold the view do not claim 
for the Pope the monarchy of the world ; they do not 
assert that States are without a real being and some 
independence of their own ; the Pope is no longer 
universal ruler. The claims of the canonists and writers 
like Bozius to make him an Emperor are deliberately 
surrendered ; and the Unam sanctum undergoes careful 
interpretation. Bellarmine's treatise on the subject was 
actually put on the Index, because it only allowed the 
Pope an indirect power 8 . This is Bellarmine's own 
account ; even if the reason be not the true one, the 
fact that he could say so alone proves that from the 
ecclesiastical point of view he was regarded as an 
innovator. Now when we consider that his book was 
condemned by the Parliament of Paris as scandalous and 
inimical to the independence of kings and the Gallican 
liberties, it is clear that some explanation is needed. 
The truth is this. Under the mask of an indirect power, 
which is to interfere in politics in order to prevent laws 
being passed contrary to ecclesiastical liberty or against 
the virtue of the people, and may depose a monarch, if 
he attacks the immunities of the Church, it is clear that 
practical activity of the most dangerous kind might be 
exercised by the Popes ; and that the doctrine if carried 
to its extremes might be so used, as to mean a 
temporal sovereignty for the Pope, or at any rate an 
irritating suzerainty 9 . That with the Jesuit order 
triumphant it could have been so used is probable 
enough ; and all the evils of the Ligue might at any 
moment be repeated. This was obvious, and is the cause 
of the anger of the Parisian lawyers and later on of 
James I. 

But there is another aspect, and this must have struck 

1 82 The Jesuits [lect. 

the Pope. If the Pope's power in politics be only 
indirect, the civil power must have its own existence 
assured by rights other than Papal ; it is in idea 
independent. Moreover, the Pope may interfere to 
protect his own subjects, but so may the ruler of 
any State in the interests of his subjects who are 
residing abroad or even if they are not. In other words, 
while the Pope may interfere, it is as ruler of an 
independent community, not as head of the whole 
organization of which the civil State is but a part. And 
this is actually used as an argument by more than 
one writer to justify such interference. 

In a word, the relations of Church and State are 
international ; the Pope is no longer the head of one 
great community, of which the kingdoms are the 
provinces 10 . Whether Bellarmine quite saw this is doubt- 
ful, whether he even meant more than a verbal concession 
to the other side cannot be proved ; but taken in 
conjunction with their view of the different origins of 
civil and religious power, and the facts of the case in 
regard to Roman Catholics in England or Germany, and 
the depression of the Holy Roman Empire in favour of 
national States, there can I think be little doubt that the 
Jesuit view was really paving the way for a great change. 
No longer was Christendom a whole. That had dis- 
appeared absolutely with the religious peace of Augsburg 
and would be recognised finally in 1648. No longer was 
the great Church-State with its twin heads even an ideal. 
But (and this is true even of Catholic States) there are 
now a multitude of communities possessing within them- 
selves complete independence ; only " the liberty of each 
must not hinder the equal liberty of all," and so the Pope 
as head of one of these communities must interfere where 

vi] The Jesuits 183 

necessary for his subjects. It is true that in this case the 
members are scattered throughout the other communities, 
and are identified with the same physical persons as the 
subjects of the civil States. But we have henceforth two 
communities brought into relation ; no longer, as in the 
medieval view, one community with separate departments. 
The Jesuits are not always consistent, and sometimes, as 
was only natural, hark back to the older view. But the 
theory of the "indirect power" marks the change from the 
idea of one commonwealth with different officers to the 
modern conception of Church and State as two distinct 
social entities. In this sense it is epoch-making. It is true 
that the Gallican mind attempts but with little success 
to show that the " medieval " Papalists really meant no 
more, save in a few instances 11 ; but the problem has 
been how to get out of the political dangers aroused by 
the principles of the Unam sanctam without denying 
its verbal statements. This process went on until in our 
own day the theory of the Church as a societas perfecla 
was worked out again by the Jesuits, Palmieri and 
Tarquini 12 , and in the Encyclical Imnwrtale Dei 13 was 
proclaimed official. What it really does is to substitute 
for the claim of supremacy a claim to independence, 
which, under a system of toleration, never need mean 
any more ; and permits as complete a recognition of 
State power as is seen on the part of Roman Catholics 
in the United States or Prussia. At this time men were 
only feeling their way to such a notion, nor could it be 
realized until an age of toleration. 

But the theory of the Church as a societas perfecta 
was expressed even at this time by Simancas and is given 
by a conciliar writer as a ground for deposing the Pope 
i.e., the Church as a perfect society must have the power 

1 84 The Jesuits [lect. 

of purging itself from within, and therefore getting rid 
of an impossible Pope. On the Jesuit side, what is most 
remarkable is that they admit, grudgingly and reluctantly 
it is true, but still they do admit the State to be a societas 
perfecta ; or rather, confining that expression to the 
Church, they admit the State to have an existence 
independent of the Church, with its own origin, end, and 
limits. It is indeed to be kept in its limits, reminded of 
its origin, and confined to its end by the Church. But 
still it has independent rights and powers. 

Barclay makes use of the theory as against Papalist 
claims and is rebuked by Bellarmine for going too far in 
developing the independent rights of the State. It is, 
of course, always the power on the defensive that is most 
anxious to assert these rights, whether Barclay and Catholic 
royalists, or in our own day the Jesuits, for the power in 
possession is clearly a societas perfecta, if there be such a 
thing in nature ; what needs to be proved is that it is 
not the only one, i.e., that there are one or more other 
communities complete in themselves, whose powers are 
not derived from and not dependent on the other societas 
perfecta but merely recognised by it ; just as one State 
recognises another. In ecclesiastical matters the differ- 
ence is that the same person is a member of both bodies. 
In the Middle Ages, in all controversies, the State, if the 
term is to be used, means the hierarchy of lay officials, 
the Church that of ecclesiastical ; the contest is not 
between Church and State but between sacerdotium and 
regnum. Later on the State means the whole community, 
clerical and lay, and the Church the same persons in the 
religious aspect ; so that whereas in the medieval contro- 
versies the struggle, if it be ever correct to regard it as 
between two societies at all, is between two separate 

vi] The Jesuits 185 

departments consisting of different persons, but each 
within the same society, in modern times the controversy- 
is always one between two communities in which it may 
be that the same persons are members of both. The 
reason why it was possible to make the Civil Law and 
the Canon Law in any way harmonise, was that they 
were each conceived as laws regulating the members of 
the same society; while further the very decay of Imperial 
power in practice rendered both laws rather a set of 
ideal rules than entirely obligatory legal systems of the 
modern kind. At any rate until the " reception, " the 
acknowledged force of local customs or laws makes the 
whole Roman system rather a general norm to which 
law should try to conform than a purely positive juris- 
prudence ; all this helped the assimilation of legal, ethical 
and theological ideas, out of which grew both modern 
politics and international law. 

The conception of Church and State as two separate 
communities was not completely carried out among the 
Jesuits ; so far as the Papal power was concerned they 
were still under the influence of the ideal of a universal 
State of which the kingdoms were members ; and it was 
only gradually that they were forced to that admission 
of non-Catholic States as individuals, which though not 
the only, is the surest basis of the claims that both are 
perfect societies. In England it is only after the 
Toleration Act that in Churchmen like Warburton the 
idea comes up. But the Jesuits lay definite claim to 
the Church being a perfect society, they admit the same 
for the State in general, and they deny any final 
authority to the Empire ; thus making it a necessity to 
formulate in the future a distinct notion of two societies 
to be mutually recognised by Concordats. 

1 86 The Jesuits [lect. 

This idea was at the time carried furthest by English 
and Scotch Calvinists. In this they borrowed from 
the French. Not only was the organization of the 
Huguenot Churches the model for those of Scotland 
and England for they had the same problems, i.e., to 
make the system of Calvin national not merely municipal, 
and to do so from within, not as in Germany from above 
by princely authority but the conditions of the religious 
wars made it possible and even necessary for the ecclesi- 
astical organization to be largely used for civil purposes, 
to communicate with foreign princes, raise armies, levy 
taxes, and indeed perform much of the business of a 
government. Hence we find Rossaeus abusing the 
Huguenots and Coligni for their organization of an 
itnperium in imperio, while of course the Ligue was 
similar. In both cases it was not even an organized 
Church in the medieval sense of the official hierarchy, 
but a community in which lay and clerical elements 
worked together ; and it cannot be doubted that both 
Huguenots and Ligue helped forward the notion that 
Church and State were two distinct kingdoms, which 
might as corporate persons enter into relations with 
one another, but which differing in end and meaning 
were never the same, never merely separate aspects 
of one society, even though every member of the 
commonwealth, as was certainly intended in England 
and to some extent accomplished in Scotland, should 
be a member of both. 

However they came by it, it is certain that this 
notion of two distinct commonwealths, both visible, 
both coercive, both complete and self-sufficient, yet 
one with an earthly, the other a heavenly end, is to be 
found in the leaders of the Presbyterian movement in 

vi] The Jesuits 1 8 7 

England, Cartwright and Travers, and in the second 
stage of the Scottish Reformation. Mr Lacey has 
pointed out that this idea which is to be found in 
Melville is not in Knox, who held the view that Church 
and State were merely the different aspects of the same 
society, or, to be more accurate, that the civil and ecclesi- 
astical powers were each magistracies of that which in one 
aspect is called the Church, in the other the State. The 
real recognition is that of a corporate personality ; the 
end is the differentiating conception, and we are helped 
forward towards the idea of a "general will" which in the 
commonwealth, even if composed of the same persons, is 
different from that in the Church. In this respect 
Jesuits and Presbyterians work together, owing to the 
sharply ecclesiastical character of the theory of both 
parties, and to the actual fact no longer seriously to be 
denied of the Selbstdndigkeit of the State. In an age of 
increasing secular power and of competing religions, the 
Church as an organized community has to formulate 
afresh the notion of its significance ; for it is rapidly 
ceasing to be even ideally true that kings are its officers, 
and the dream of a universal State had disappeared with 
the failure of Charles V to secure the Empire for his son. 
The danger of the House of Austria to Europe might 
be greater, but the new Europe was clearly not going to 
be organized on any rearrangement of the old Imperial 

The Spanish origin of the dominant neo-scholasticism 
cannot be too greatly estimated as an element in this 
process of the freeing of the State, and the distinguish- 
ing of it from the Church. For Spain was a new power, 
and could not claim, like French Ligueurs, any ancient 
Papal recognition of temporal independence, i.e., their 

1 88 The Jesuits [lect. 

theory must be general, not particular. It was, then, 
a necessity to formulate for the Pope a theory which 
should leave him a position as head of the Church, but 
deny to the Church any claim to be a State including 
other States ; hence the importance of the recognition of 
the separate ends of the two, and the indirect nature of 
Papal authority. For this indirect power might, though 
it need not, be interpreted to mean no more and 
no less than that of any official exponent of ethics 
or theology, who must at times claim to deal with 
the basis of political authority, even if all he does 
is to tell people to obey the law on grounds of religious 
duty. In theory the Pope after this doctrine need be no 
more than a Professor Green expounding "the principles 
of political obligation." It has indeed been attempted 
to show that the medieval claims meant no more than 
this, but in face both of statements and of actual facts 
this attempt can only be recognised as ingenious rather 
than convincing. 

But this is not all. With State and Church recog- 
nised as independent societies, with the definitely declared 
recognition of national freedom, with territorialism more 
and more rampant in Germany, some theory of the 
relations between these bodies was a necessity. This 
theory was to take the form of international law in 
the next century. The Jesuits and the other Spanish 
philosophers, Navarra, Soto, Covarruvias, prepared the 
way for this ; they did this by frank recognition of the 
separateness of States, combined with their belief in the 
law natural as the basis and real authority of all laws, 
and with their inheritance of the amalgam of Civil and 
Canon Law as a body of ideal rules, not merely of positive 
obligation. The Spanish mind completes the amalgama- 

vi] The Jesuits 189 

tion of laws divine, civil and ecclesiastical into a single 
system ; it contemplates the universe as subject to the reign 
of jurisprudence, and Suarez' treatise is not only of laws, 
but of God the legislator ; he knows many kinds of law, 
eternal, natural, positive, but no distinction between 
them that is really fundamental ; his ethics is essentially 
legalist, and hence the danger of casuistry and the 
possibility of " Probabilism " which is not necessary to a 
system with no confessors. By easy stages he passes 
from law in the strictest sense to those portions of the 
Civil Law not enforced in Spain, but still felt to be law ; 
to Canon Law which if partly ecclesiastical positive law 
shades off frequently into practical morality ; and to the 
law natural, the dictates of reason and conscience, which 
alone gives to municipal laws their enduring validity, 
and lifts jurisprudence from being the science of 
individual litigation into a philosophy of the universe 14 . 
This was the atmosphere in which International Law 
grew up, and without which it was impossible that it 
should have grown up. It means at once the prevalence 
of Roman Law, yet its ideal character, the lingering 
conception of Christendom as a unity, coupled with 
the practical recognition of territorialism and the 
impossibility of making the Pope or the Emperor 
international arbiters. We find in Bartolus the begin- 
ning of this ; he emphasizes the independence of those 
cities non recognoscentes superiorem, and formulates from 
both civil law and morals some of those rules which are 
to regulate this intercourse. But to him Emperors and 
Popes are true lords of the world ; and it is heresy to 
doubt it. What he did for Italy had in the seventeenth 
century to be done for Europe. We have seen what 
is really a single attempt at a practical scheme in 

190 The Jesuits [lect. vi 

the great design of Sully. I forbear to cite the 
classical passage from Suarez. It is too familiar to need 
more than mention. The Jesuits laid the foundations of a 
new system partly because of their modernity and partly 
owing to their conservatism. They combined the new- 
recognition of political facts with ancient ideals of unity, 
and the older conception of law, as an eternal verity. 
These two elements of thought were both to be found 
and were necessarily found in the system of politics of 
that day. Without the one the conception of States 
as juristic and equal persons is impossible, equal not 
in power any more than are individuals, but in the 
fact of being able to direct themselves to conscious 
ends ; without the other the notion of a unity of these 
persons, and a bond binding them together, and certain 
limits of activity they may not overpass, would not have 
been possible, or would have taken longer to discern. 
The persistence of the notion of law natural, coupled with 
the actual facts of widespread and increasing prevalence 
of the Civil Law, its purest outcome, and also of the general 
reorganization of the Canon Law, formed the only possible 
atmosphere for that notion of the legal obligation of 
contracts which as we saw was the necessary condition and 
the true explanation of the popularity of the doctrine of 
the original contract, and is also at the very bottom of 
the whole system of Grotius in regard to international 



THE triumphant figure of the latter half of the 
seventeenth century is that of William the Silent. . The 
assured independence of the Netherlands is a greater 
achievement than the defeat of the Armada or the Battle 
of Ivry or the deposition of Mary Stuart. Henri IV 
sacrificed half of the principles for which he stood in 
order to secure success ; William the Silent sacrificed 
nothing but his life. In spite even of the religious 
intolerance of the Synod of Dort and persecution he 
would never have approved, the Netherlands were to the 
seventeenth what the England of the Revolution was to 
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a working 
model of free institutions, and the centre of light for the 
rest of Europe. Laud complains of the way in which 
books which he disliked got themselves printed in 
Amsterdam. In the struggle between liberty and 
authority the possession of a hostile printing press be- 
comes of capital importance. It is not in any novelty of 
ideas, so much as in their practical accomplishment, that 
the influence of the Netherlands was so important. 
Hitherto we have spoken of movements like the 
Conciliar or the Huguenot, which ultimately failed, 

192 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

however fertile in ideas ; or the Jesuits whose early excur- 
sions into popular politics were forgotten by the age which 
connected them entirely with the ancien regime. These 
movements, as we saw, had all their influence on the future, 
and were not merely heralds but makers of our modern 
world of thought. But it was the Netherlands that gave 
them the leverage which rendered them effectual until 
that was done even more powerfully by England. The 
Dutch revolt gathered up the various tendencies against 
absolutism, and made them effectual as a practical force 
and operative in the future ; its success enabled them to 
crystallize and take philosophical shape, just as the 
success of Henri IV made the same process possible for 
the theory of royalism, and was the condition sine qud 
non for such writers as Pierre Gregoire of Toulouse or 
Barclay. Dr Cunningham has taught us to look to the 
Dutch as the source of our commercial improvements in 
the seventeenth century. That " conscious imitation " of 
them of which he wrote is no less conspicuous in regard to 
politics. For they appeared to have solved the problem 
which others were discussing. They had shown how to 
combine liberty with order in a modern State, they had 
secured control over their own government, too much 
control as was afterwards apparent. During the early 
years of their revolution, the ideas of toleration had 
found deliberate expression, and if these were afterwards 
deserted, the example of William the Silent remained. 
They had paved the way for federalism ; and their 
existence rested on the principle of nationality, no less 
than on that of the right of resistance to tyranny ; the 
status of their leader was that of a small sovereign 
prince, and prepared the way for the recognition of the 
equality " before the Law " of all States, while their 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 193 

position in regard to the Emperor, like that of the Swiss, 
served still further to emphasize the passing away of the 
old European order. Their government was rather a 
limited monarchy than a republic. Ideas, which might 
otherwise have been buried for all time, could influence 
future developments because there was now a modern 
place where they could be seen actually at work not 
the relict of two Empires like Venice, nor the cast-off 
clothes of feudalism like Poland, but a living, growing 
community consciously occupied with modern problems, 
and shaping its destinies in accordance with principles 
destined after long obscuration to become generally 
recognised. The Dutch succeeded because they 
represented such different tendencies. On the one 
hand their success in throwing off the foreign yoke of 
Philip and organizing themselves as a territorial unity 
under a prince must be regarded as analogous to the 
process whereby the other German princes became 
sovereign and independent of the Empire. A great deal 
of the feeling against Philip was national. The case was 
stronger than that of Huguenots or Scotsmen, because 
the oppressor was always regarded as foreign, and some 
of the motives which in Germany made for princely 
absolutism were conjoined with those ideas of the rights 
of subjects against the prince, which were the watchwords 
of the Huguenots and the Ligue. In addition to this, 
there was the motive of European independence as 
against the overweening influence of the Spanish branch 
of the Habsburgs, and the danger of a universal monarchy 
of which it was believed that not only Spanish generals, 
whether military or Jesuit, were the herald but the Pope 
was the servant. The cause was not merely that of local 
independence or political liberty ; European freedom was 

f. 13 

194 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

interested 1 . Just as in the War of Liberation royal 
rights, national feeling and constitutional freedom all 
combined to unite Europe and England against 
universal monarchy and foreign absolutism in the 
person of Napoleon, so in the Netherlands revolt there 
were mingled with the ideas of the rights of individuals 
and the original contract the motives that inspired 
England against Spain, the Politiques against the Ligue, 
and some of the German princes against Charles V. The 
resistance was successful because it combined European, 
national, religious, and popular arguments for freedom 
in a single movement. The result is that, after it had 
settled down, we find expressed by the Dutch mind all 
these various tendencies, and reduced to system. Its 
European side finds expression in the system of 
International Law devised by Grotius ; its nationalist 
Protestantism in the attitude of the government towards 
the Remonstrants, and in the general belief in the rights 
of the secular prince to control religious ceremonies and 
suppress heresy, in which Grotius approaches English 
Protestants like Selden, and generally the low as 
opposed to the high view of Church power 2 . The same 
side is also shown in the territorialism of Grotius and his 
strong views about non-resistance. The popular theory 
of power becomes crystallized in Althusius. 

We must bear in mind, that if ever there was an 
instance of the superiority of intellect to force in human 
concerns, it is to be found in the success of the Dutch. 
It was not, as the oleographic theory of history teaches, 
because Philip was a monster of wickedness that he 
lost the Netherlands, but because like most kings, e.g., 
Louis XIV and George III, who have been thoroughly re- 
presentative of their peoples, he was stupid, and typified 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 195 

the Spanish character in its least tactful elements. He was 
opposed by a man who, whatever his faults, was above all 
things quick and adroit at using opportunities. The 
Dutch, indeed, were placed "in the Thermopylae of the 
universe"; and but for their resistance it is almost 
certain that European liberty would have succumbed to 
the universal aggression of Spain, and even England 
would have been endangered. I n the days of their triumph 
the Netherlands became the University of Europe ; 
if we remove from the first half of the seventeenth 
century the thinkers, publicists, theologians, men of 
science, artists, and gardeners who were Dutch, and take 
away their influence upon other nations, the record would 
be barren instead of fertile, despite the great name of 
Bacon. They form a natural conclusion to this series 
of lectures, for they carry on the tradition to the 
seventeenth century, and further than that exhibit the 
beginning of the gradual disentanglement of political 
from theocratic arguments, which was only completed at 
the close of the age. Stained at times with intolerance, 
which even the spectacle of their sufferings should not 
lead us to ignore, with leaders clever but opportunist, of 
whom it is well said that "only the extravagance of 
partisanship can make him a hero," exhibiting already 
some of those faults of obstinacy, avarice, and slowness, 
which a century later ruined them as a great power at 
the close of their most victorious war, with a fanaticism 
equal to the ultramontanes and a "provincialism" in 
itself as ignoble as that of Castile, they remain the 
pioneers of liberty in modern as distinct from medieval 
Europe, the one oasis in the desert of absolutism, the 
great source of intellectual and moral enlightenment, in 
the age of which the typical statesman was Richelieu, with 


196 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

his view of popular poverty as a source of strength to 
tyranny, and the typical Churchman Bossuet, le grand 
gendarme, or our own Laud, who with all his greatness, 
could not see any way but that of force for the pro- 
motion of righteousness ; while the typical political 
philosopher was Thomas Hobbes, in whom the 
meanest of all ethical theories united with unhistorical 
contempt for religion to justify the most universal of 
absolutisms. Again, as in the case of the sects and their 
influences, we shall see how it was rather in spite of 
themselves than for any other cause that the Dutch 
possessed the influence they did. Their supreme object 
was their own independence of the foreigner, and the 
preservation of their own religion and of local rights. 
The first object had nothing to do with political liberty 
proper, for it is secured equally well and often more ef- 
fectively under a national absolutism. The second in no 
way meant the toleration of other forms of faith, and even 
in their hours of direst distress, the Prince of Orange 
had the utmost difficulty in securing decent treatment 
for the Catholics. The third, indeed, had a connection 
with liberty and may have been the main cause which 
prevented a thorough absolutism. Certainly it helped 
towards a theory of federalism. But the real importance 
of the Netherlands lay in their success ; in an age when 
all the tendencies were the other way, and the Counter- 
Reformation had at least half conquered even in France, 
the Dutch were there a people who had united them- 
selves, had chosen their own head, had resisted at once 
their own sovereign, and the cause of universal monarchy, 
and proclaimed, if not tolerance, at any rate bounds to 
the progress of the Counter-Reformation. On the one 
hand this fact helped to inspire the princes in the Thirty 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 197 

Years' War, the last great effort at once of the Counter- 
Reformation, and of Imperial authority in other words 
the last attempt to restore the old order temporal as well 
as spiritual. On the other hand over England their 
influence was enormous ; there is no doubt that the 
Puritans feared (doubtless wrongly) that the movement 
led by Charles I and Laud was merely a part of the 
Counter-Reformation ; and the mere provision of the 
Netherlands as a place of refuge for malcontents was 
alone important, while the Dutch influence in the 
real attempt to produce a Counter-Reformation here is 
too obvious to need pointing out. What does need 
pointing out, is that our Revolution was only the cul- 
minating triumph of the Dutch mind ; that it was the final 
achievement of forces that had been at work for a century; 
that England owed at least a few peerages and pensions to 
the representatives of the nation, which had by both 
example and precept prepared her for constitutional 
liberty. It was not the defeat of the Armada but William 
of Orange who finally conquered Philip II. The House 
of Orange may be regarded as the educators of England 
When she had trained this country to keep alight the torch 
of liberty and enlightenment, her zvelthistorische mission 
was over, and she sank into a second-rate power. To 
estimate our debt to Holland is hard ; to over-estimate 
it is harder. The supreme fact is that it was a free 
State in a world rapidly tending to a uniformity of 
absolutism, a Calvinist Teutonic federalism, unlike 
anything else for Geneva was a Latin city-state, and 
its influence was over in France, until the days of 
Voltaire and Rousseau. 

Let us trace for a few moments the way in which the 
Dutch prepared the way for posterity. This work was 

198 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

so enduring because it was so slow. Like the English 
Parliament, the States-general only gradually, and 
almost in spite of themselves, threw off their allegiance. 
They began like the English and so did Huguenots and 
Ligueurs by warring against evil counsellors. They 
never reached the violent republicanism of the Ligue. 
They endeavoured to reconcile rebellion and loyalty by 
the assertion that their insurrection was justified by 
fundamental laws, and that if only he would give them 
ancient liberty and remove the troops, they would show 
to the king more loyalty than his own Spaniards. We 
can trace these ideas throughout the works of Marnix de 
S. Aldegonde, and the official documents, many of which 
he drew up e.g., the famous compromise of 1565, 
announcing a political resistance against the introduc- 
tion of the Spanish Inquisition, declaring that in such 
cases no guilt of rebellion is incurred, for their action is 
solely due to holy zeal for the glory of God, the majesty 
of the king, the public peace and the security of property. 
The terms both here and in the French troubles are 
remarkably similar to Parliamentary pamphlets in the 
early stages of the Civil War. Even when the States 
threw over Don John of Austria, and invited the Arch- 
Duke Matthias to assume the government, it was rather 
to secure to the elder branch of the House of Habsburg 
its ancient rights. The Union of Utrecht in 1579 did 
not abandon allegiance to Philip but was merely an 
agreement of the States to protect each other against any 
force that might be brought against them ; it arranged 
the government of the provinces, and above all laid down 
the independence of each province (not individuals) in 
regard to religion, and thus asserted generally the idea 
of freedom of conscience. The loss of the Walloon 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 199 

provinces was the greatest loss possible to religious 
toleration, because, had they remained, a general tolera- 
tion or at least local option in religious matters must 
have been a permanent principle of the federal State, not 
a mere temporary expedient. 

In the Apology of William the Silent, rebellion is a 
little further justified. It is noteworthy that William 
like others rests a good deal on the deposition of Pedro 
the Cruel in 1369 in favour of Philip's ancestor Enrique, 
and demands pertinently, if that resistance were lawful 
and Philip's title acquired by it is good, how the 
action of the Netherlands can be impugned. The 
truth of course is that indefeasible hereditary right was a 
new doctrine, that royalty having escaped the fetters of 
feudalism desired also to remove those of popular rights. 
The Netherlands revolt was indeed, to some extent, 
feudal in spirit ; it was at least partly due to the dislike 
of mesne lords to the suzerain becoming direct and 
absolute sovereign we may include municipalities in 
this and in this way forms another link between the 
medieval and the modern theory of liberty. 

Not till 1 581 did the States definitely depose Philip 3 . 
They alleged that it is notorious that if a Prince who is 
a Shepherd treats his subjects as though they were 
slaves, and destroys their privileges, he is no longer to 
be held their legitimate prince ; and especially after a 
public resolution of the States of the country they may 
abandon him. When petition has failed, they have no 
other means of preserving their ancient liberty, for which 
they are bound to expose themselves by the Law of Nature, 
especially when the Prince has solemnly undertaken to 
observe certain customs and on that condition alone 
obtained their allegiance. It is to be observed that this 

200 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

document is at once more emphatic and more general in 
its tone than is our Declaration of Right a century later. 
Its publication in several languages is alone proof of its 
wide influence. We must remember how important the 
Dutch press was as a means of publishing foreign 
heterodoxy 4 . 

This is the general line taken by the Dutch defenders 
of their liberty. I think, too, it can hardly be doubted 
that Barclay and perhaps Pierre Gregoire had them in 
view, in the one exception which they allow to the 
universality of the duty of non-resistance. One 
pamphleteer definitely puts the case on feudal grounds, 
arguing that the causes for which a vassal may lose his 
fief apply also to the lord. William argues from Philip's 
own action in making war against the Pope because he 
had not kept his contract as overlord of Naples. The 
joyeuse entree of Brabant was also used as a proof of the 
original contract, and might almost have suggested the 

By the close of the sixteenth century the independence 
of the Netherlands was practically assured. It remained 
for the Dutch to consolidate their victory and to crystallize 
into systematic treatises the principles of the movement. 
For our purpose we may confine ourselves to two 
writers, who on different sides expressed these principles 
Althusius and Grotius. The former was not himself 
a Netherlander, but he came to reside within the 
territory, was clearly influenced by the facts he found 
before him at Herborn and may be regarded as the 
representative publicist. His work Politica Methodice 
Digesta is, with the exception of Bodin's treatise, the 
most important of all works for the scientific student. 
Dr Gierke in a work, compared with which everything else 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 201 

on the subject is but prattle, has demonstrated the value 
of the book and traced its influence backwards and 
forwards. Perhaps, indeed, Treuman is right in saying 
that he rather exaggerates the importance of the book. 
There seems to be no proof forthcoming that it directly 
influenced Rousseau although the likeness of ideas is 
so great as to render that a highly probable conjecture. 
M. Dreyfus-Brisac, who quotes the relevant passages in 
his edition of Le Contrat Social, appears to think not 
proven the charge of plagiarism. Althusius writes as a 
professor not a pamphleteer. His book is emphatically 
not a livre de circonstance, and is perhaps for that 
reason charged (and I think justly) by Dr Gierke with 
a certain insipidity of tone. It has not the eloquence or 
the appeal of the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos and is less 

More, however, than any other writer does Althusius 
sum up the whole thought of the day. Like Albericus 
Gentilis he both quotes and knows the words of all 
previous publicists, and he appears to have been 
considerably influenced in the structure of his work 
by the dull and flat lucubration of Lambertus Daneus 5 . 
He makes considerable use of Gregory of Toulouse, 
Salamonius and of Patricius of Siena, a renaissance 
scholar who wrote a book De Repubtica with reference 
to the Italian city-states. He criticises Bodin, but he 
is indebted to him ; and in this as in other ways 
prepared the way for Rousseau, who combined with 
the royalist conceptions of legal omnipotence popular 
theories of the origin of power. 

Now this is just what Althusius does. If he does 
not accept quite ex animo the legal theory of sovereignty 
he is far nearer to it than are the Huguenots or the 


The Netherlands Revolt 


Whigs, who always as we have seen endeavour to 
deny the existence of any power in the State above the 
law, whether royal or parliamentary. The reason of this 
is that for them contract is a bond between governor and 
governed, which settles the relations of each and is 
therefore above legal review. 

To Althusius, however, the contract is social, it is the 
mutual agreement of all to live in an ordered society. 
His view is not essentially dissimilar from that of Suarez 
or Molina. There may indeed be another contract 
between whatever ruler the people, which is now a single 
power, may agree to set up, and themselves. In this he 
is different from Rousseau, who allows only a single 
contract the social ; but the practical result is very 
similar. In both cases the rights of sovereignty belong 
not to the ruler, whether one, many, or few, but to the 
members of the association. And the sovereignty of the 
people becomes the foundation of the State. Althusius 
does not display the profundity of the deeper thinking 
Jesuits, like Suarez and Molina, who evolve sovereign 
power from a community by the mere fact of its 
existence without any deliberate pact ; and thus pre- 
pare the way for the true theory of corporations, in 
which authority and self-dependence are inherent essen- 
tially, and not dependent on any agreement, since they 
arise from the nature of the case. But his doctrine of 
a social contract is far less artificial than that of the 
original contract, as ordinarily propounded ; and it 
escapes the logical absurdity which made Whigs even as 
great as Locke or Hoadly the legitimate sport of writers, 
like Filmer and Leslie, who were never weary of 
pointing out that law-makers must have existed before 
laws, and that the conception of the constitution of 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 203 

a State as unalterable was unthinkable. On Al- 
thusius' theory it was quite possible, as indeed on 
that of Rousseau, to assert the limited nature of all 
actual governmental authority, without making the 
formal error of declaring that laws could not be altered 
even by the legislature. 

By another conception, however, Althusius' system 
was preserved from the great practical danger of that of 
Rousseau, the enunciation of the sovereignty of the 
people in so violent a form, that there is nothing to check 
the tyranny of the majority or even a plebiscitary 
despotism. This defect was inherent in Rousseau's system, 
and appears in every modification of it, owing to the 
absolutely unitary conception of the State, entertained 
alike by Rousseau and by royalists, which is a legacy of 
the Roman Empire through the Papacy. Alike under 
the theory of Hobbes and that of Rousseau, or (in regard 
to the Church) under that of the Canonists or the Jesuits 
all power is ultimately concentrated at a single centre, 
and every form of right or liberty is of the nature 
of a privilege, tacitly or explicitly granted by the central 
authority, which may be king, nobles or people. 

The last three centuries have witnessed the victory 
of the principle that, so far as individuals are concerned, 
some rights or liberties shall always be practically, even 
if not theoretically, recognised by the modern State 
though even here the liberties of the subject are less 
fully assured than often seems the case. Yet the 
struggles in England, and still more the declaration of 
the rights of man, proclaim these liberties as the 
universal limit upon the practical exercise of the legal 
omnipotence of the central power. But owing partly to 
the very sharpness of the idea of a legal sovereign, partly 

204 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

to the long struggle to destroy illegitimate immunities, 
and to the arrogance of the Churches, partly to the 
influence of theories originally derived from city-states, 
partly even to the very recognition of those individual 
rights above mentioned, there is nothing like the same 
recognition of the reality of corporate communities apart 
from the fiat of the State. 

In other words, in spite of all actual Parliamentary 
institutions, the modern unitary State is still con- 
ceived as a Herrschaftsverband rather than a Genossen- 
schaft. The controversy over the right and the nature 
of Trades Unions, the Associations' Law in France, 
the ecclesiastical difficulty in Scotland, and even certain 
aspects of the education question all alike turn at bottom 
on the question whether the State creates or whether 
it only recognises the inherent rights of communities ; 
whether in the Jesuit phrase there may not be a societas 
perfecta besides the more obvious one of the State ; or 
whether in modern German phrase the corporate union 
be not real rather than fictitious personality, i.e. y possess- 
ing its own inherent life and powers that may be checked, 
but cannot in the nature of things be destroyed. This 
position is rendered the more important by the growth 
of federalism real in the United States, Switzerland and 
Germany, and quasi in this country. A conception of 
law and sovereignty which may fairly fit the facts in a 
unitary State becomes increasingly difficult of practical 
application to any developed federal community, and 
ceases to have any but a paper value. It may indeed be 
argued that the victory of the North in 1866 was really 
a victory for that idea, for it decided that the rights of 
the States were not ultimate, and went a step towards 
abolishing them except as delegations of the supreme 

vn] The N etherlands Revolt 205 

power. But it may be replied that just as individuals 
may have rights recognised by a State, which yet 
crushes a rebellion, so may societies. 

But the point to notice here is that this federalistic 
idea is to be found in Althusius and through him 
connects itself with the medieval theory of community 
life. There is not much difference between that idea of 
the comnumitas communitatum which the Middle Ages 
meant by the commons, and Althusius' notion of the 
State as above all else a consociatio consociationum. He 
definitely protests against those who refuse to consider 
the smaller associations such as the family as anything 
but economic. The novelty in him is his view of the 
State as entirely built up on the principle of associations 6 . 
Indeed the change of the connotation of commons from 
the view delineated above to the modern one of the 
mass of common people is significant of the whole 
development of thought from medieval to modern times, 
a development which in part will have to be retraced in 
face of the actual facts. In other words the Selb- 
standigkeit of the individual, as against an omnipotent 
State, has been the battle-ground of liberty for three 
centuries ; this has now given place to that of the Selb- 
stdndigkeit of societies. What the issue will be or when 
it will be decided it may not be possible for a historian 
to say before nineteen hundred has become three 
thousand. What these lectures have endeavoured to point 
out is that, as a matter of fact, this achievement of 
individual liberty was never attained and except for the 
short period of the Benthamite movement never sought 
merely for its own sake. Its achievement became 
feasible only because it was connected with the 
recognition of the right to exist of some society 

206 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

usually religious, which the civil magistrate did not 
desire to exist. It is often agreed that religious 
differences are the ground of modern liberty. It is a 
mistake to suppose, as we have shown, that this is 
because as a rule any or all religious bodies cared about 
such liberty. What they desired was the right to be, 
what they denied was the right of the State to suppress 
them as societies, and in standing up against State 
omnipotence they secured individual liberty in spite of 
themselves. Indeed they secured it so well that we have 
forgotten how it was secured and have to learn once 
more the lesson, that the State is something more than 
a mass of individuals. What is needed now-a-days is 
that as against an abstract and unreal theory of State 
omnipotence on the one hand, and an atomistic and 
artificial view of individual independence on the other, 
the facts of the world with its innumerable bonds of 
association and the naturalness of social authority should 
be generally recognised and become the basis of our 
laws, as it is of our life. 

Now, if Gierke at all exaggerates the importance of 
Althusius, the reason is doubtless because he is nearer 
than anyone else to those ideas of" realism," so dear to the 
great jurist's heart. Here, as in other matters, Holland 
led the way. Its government was federal. The rights 
of each province and even each town were recognised as 
inalienable. Hence, we find that Althusius starts, not, 
like some writers on politics, from the top, but from the 
bottom ; the unit of civil life is for him not the individual 
but the family, and he rises by a series of concentric 
circles from the family to the town, to the province, and 
the State. His State is a true Genossenschaft, a fellowship 
of all the heads of families, and he takes care to prevent 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 207 

the absorption of local and provincial powers into the 
central administration. It is not merely that he allows 
rights to families and provinces ; but he regards these 
rights as anterior to the State, as the foundation of it, and 
as subsisting always within it. He would no more deny 
or absorb them than a hive of bees would squash all 
the cells into a pulp. Only, be it remembered, it is not 
separate and equal cells, but differing and organic limbs 
of the body politic which he contemplates. He admits 
indeed the need of a central organ. This is to the whole 
like soul to body. It is significant that the old symbol 
of the relation of ecclesiastical to civil power is used to 
signify the relation of government to society. 

Into his doctrine of the influence of ephors, who are 
to prevent excesses of government, we need hardly go, as 
there is nothing here but what is paralleled elsewhere. 
The dependence of the theory on the peculiar facts of 
the Netherlands and on the nature of the struggle with 
Spain is fairly evident. The strength of the communal 
burgher element ; the federalistic tie ; the deliberate 
agreement to throw off the Spanish yoke ; the choice of 
the House of Orange all had their influence in shaping 
the theory, and in influencing future generations. How 
far American federalism was developed from these 
sources it would be hard to say. But the close con- 
nection of Puritanism with Dutch Calvinism must have 
prepared the ground. In England a pamphlet of 1642 
in praise of the Dutch system quotes almost verbatim 
the words of Boucher in favour of the rights of subjects. 

Even in his theory of contract Althusius, as we have 
seen, combines elements that are found commonly 
opposed in the sixteenth century ; with the general 
conception of the State entertained by the Dutch 

208 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

thinkers, the same is true. But for the Netherlands it 
might have seemed that there was no via media between 
the exaltation of royal power, and the general attitude 
of suspicion of the State and denial of sovereignty which 
characterised the Huguenot and Ligue and English 
Presbyterian writers and passed by them through the 
Whigs to the laisser-faire school of Radicals. 

There was also the controversy between the ideas of 
those who, recognising with Luther or the Politiques the 
sanctity of the civil power, were prepared to go all lengths 
in establishing the claims of the prince to deal with 
religion, and that other view typified by Jesuits, but held 
also by Presbyterians, that the State itself was a mere 
contrivance, of purely temporal significance, needing for 
inspiration the guidance of the Church, or at any rate 
unable to compete with the superior claims of the 
kingdom which, though not " of this world," was so very 
much in it, that its behests were paramount on any 
question involving morals. Now, as we saw, the develop- 
ment of the theory of two societies was due to the 
peculiar circumstances of the Huguenots in France, of the 
Presbyterians in England and Scotland, of the Roman 
Church as against an encroaching State. It was by no 
means bound up with what is ordinarily known as 
Calvinism, or with the practical working of it in Geneva, 
which was definitely a Church State. So in the Nether- 
lands. In spite of the toleration originally proclaimed 
by the Union of Utrecht, the ideal of religious uniformity 
eventually triumphed. Toleration was undoubtedly the 
ideal of William the Silent, who was essentially a 
Politique : and it was appealed to by the Arminians in 
the controversy of 1614. But they were allied with the 
party of the burgher oligarchy, and Maurice seized the 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 209 

opportunity of strengthening his power by making use 
of the Calvinist predilections of the populace. Exile and 
confiscation were then proclaimed against the Remon- 
strants ; and Calvinism, which had thus become a 
conservative force, attempted, just as it did in England, 
to repress by the strong hand the invasion of wider and 
more rational views. The party of Arminians in both 
Holland and England was the party of liberty or at 
least of change as against the authority of Calvinism, 
which, after it had been first an inspiration in the 
sixteenth century, and then in the seventeenth became a 
tradition, in the eighteenth died down into a prejudice. 
Now in Althusius, despite his federalism, we have no 
hint of any sort of independence for the Church ; it is 
not envisaged as a separate society. Its officers are 
merely a part of the general machinery of the State 7 . 
The latter, indeed, is conceived as holy ; and the author's 
view of the State is thus definitely that of Luther, the 
Anglicans, Zwingli, Erastus, as opposed to that of 
Jesuits and Presbyterians ; the difference being that 
in his case the sovereignty over religious matters is 
inalienably vested in the people, for the original contract 
of association can only disappear with the State, whereas 
the others as a rule vest it in " the godly Prince." The 
point to note is that Althusius holds a high not a 
low view of the State ; it is something consecrated, 
the embodiment of justice. His most frequent tag is 
that from S. Augustine, remota justitia, quid regno, nisi 
magna latrocinia? The rights of the State extend over all 
persons and all causes; there is no conception of a contract 
between Church and State, or an alliance between them. 
Grotius, who was imprisoned in the Arminian con- 
troversy, yet strongly maintained the Erastian view ; and 

f. 14 

210 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

in his lengthy treatise, De Jure Regni apud Sacra, he 
develops it in the ordinary way. But while it is the 
idea of a Christian commonwealth that rules the 
thoughts of both writers, it is more of the political than 
the theocratic side that they are thinking. The notion 
of a Church-State may be interpreted so as to lay 
emphasis on either one or the other aspect. It may 
become a pure theocracy, like the Anabaptist kingdom 
at Munster, the Puritan regime in England, and to some 
extent Laud's system ; or it may be a body politic in 
which uniformity of religious worship and the paramount 
authority of the secular government are the main 
elements. It may fulfil the ideas of Calvin or 
Savonarola ; it may express the aspirations of a Selden 
or a Bacon. Now the animus of both Althusius and 
Grotius is distinctly political. It is not a Church with 
civil officers that they mean by a Christian common- 
wealth, but a State with ecclesiastical among other 
ministers ; and in this respect again they display their 
kinship to other German princes. It is the ordered life 
of the community as a whole, consecrated to civil ends, 
with education, like religion, cared for, with all possible 
provision for leading the good life, and for correlating 
the smaller activities of town and provincial life with that 
of the State, which Althusius contemplates. Combining 
elements from both parties, in his conception of govern- 
mental activity, in his idea of the inalienability of 
sovereignty, in the whole notion of the wide com- 
petence of the State, Althusius is really more akin 
to bureaucratic statesmen of the type of Pierre 
Gregoire and Bacon, than he is to the enthusiasts of 
revolution. It is of the life of the community organized 
on a recognised basis of popular sovereignty that he is 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 211 

thinking far more than of the rights of subjects against 
their rulers. Hence his treatise had little or no influence 
on the next revolutionary movement, that of England ; 
and the Whig ideal is more individualistic, more sus- 
picious of government, more akin to the Vindiciae contra 
Tyrannos, than to anything to be found in Althusius. 
Only with the development of American independence 
and the reaction of the ideas it expressed on the 
Continent had Althusius (or at least his ideas) a chance 
in Europe. The indebtedness of Rousseau to Althusius 
may or may not be demonstrable ; that the conceptions 
of the two writers with the significant exception of 
federalism are similar and in some respects identical, 
there can be no doubt. 

If we turn to the final work of Grotius we see at 
work principles which at first sight are the opposite 
of what we should expect, but nevertheless are the 
result of the Netherlands revolt. With the rules of 
International Law these lectures are not concerned, 
with its foundations they are. It is indeed astonishing 
how large a space in the works of both Albericus 
Gentilis and Grotius' De fure Belli is occupied by the 
discussion of questions merely political ; nor must we 
forget that Albericus Gentilis wrote three dissertations 
on behalf of royal power, as against the theory of 
resistance. Here we observe how the territorialism, 
which was an element, though commonly overlooked, in 
the Dutch revolt, becomes an integral part of the system 
of International Law. Not only is territorial sovereignty 
a necessary assumption of International Law, but Grotius 
goes out of his way to condemn the theory of resistance, 
to show that by the lex regia popular power is wholly 
transferred to the prince. He admits indeed a rare 

14 2 

212 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

exception ; but so did even a royalist like Barclay. His 
definition of the cases in which resistance is justified 
is so narrow that it may be doubted whether any case 
but that of the Netherlands ever fell within it. It 
is the world of seventeenth and eighteenth century 
diplomacy which Grotius contemplates, with absolute 
princes for the most part, territorial sovereignty and the 
equality of the juristic persons of International Law. 
This latter doctrine, which we have seen in a more con- 
crete form in the grand dessein of Sully, was closely 
connected with Netherland influences ; for William the 
Silent in his apology appeals against Philip II to the fact 
of his being a sovereign prince, as good as he was 8 . The 
juristic equality of sovereigns was not beginning to be 
a fact until the close of the sixteenth century. 

With the general assumptions on which the system 
of Grotius rests, we were concerned in discussing the 
Jesuits. The fundamental basis of the whole system of 
Grotius is the claim that men are in a society bound 
together by a natural law which makes promises binding. 
This is also, as we saw, at the root of the doctrine of the 
original contract. It is the same with writers like 
Vasquez and Suarez and Albericus Gentilis, whose 
fundamental ideas are similar to those of Grotius. 
Albericus Gentilis indeed in his treatment of the 
social nature of men and his citation of authorities lends 
strong support to the view of Mr A. J. Carlyle, that 
the most decisive change in political thinking is that 
which came some time between the days of Aristotle 
and Cicero, and proclaimed the fundamental equality of 
men a doctrine ever since asserted, denied in our own 
day once more by Nietzsche and by others who are facing 
the problem of brown and yellow races. All these 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 213 

works are the true anti-Machiavel. They strike at the 
roots of his assumption ; which is that of the absolute 
separateness of States, the fundamental badness of human 
beings, and the universal prominence of self-interest and 
fear 9 . 

A study of Albericus Gentilis reveals an interesting 
link between Vasquez and Suarez and Grotius. In both 
Albericus Gentilis and Grotius we observe that their real 
originality lies not so much in their acceptance of 
Roman Law as a basis, as in their selection from it 
of only such parts as were suitable and really made 
for a higher morality. In this respect the value of 
the canonical jurisprudence was incalculable. Albericus 
Gentilis constantly appeals to general notions of equity, 
and to principles of the canonists, as against those who 
would decide by a mere pettifogging sophistry. In both 
cases we see, as we saw in our discussion of the Jesuits, 
how the Roman and Canon Law, and the maxims of theo- 
logians and philosophers were all combined in the system 
actually set forth. Had the Civil Law stood alone, its 
system was too hard and sometimes too narrow for a 
code of international morality to have been founded 
on it ; nor did it, except here and there, contem- 
plate international relations. But it did not stand 
alone ; for centuries men had been expounding it in 
conjunction with another system believed to be of equal 
or higher authority, and that system led on to the 
introduction of principles from any other sources 10 . 
Moreover, except in Italy, and in Germany only after the 
"reception" so recent as 1495, Roman Law was not 
authoritative, it had to make its way; it was every- 
where, France, Scotland, Spain, half accepted, i.e., its 
principles were generally regarded as decisive ; they 

214 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

could be employed when nothing prevented it ; but very 
often feudal rights and private privilege or local custom 
or national habit did prevent it; and so men were 
familiarised with the notion of a law universal in scope, 
commanding general reverence and awe, but yet not 
everywhere and always decisive like a modern statute or 
the Code Napoleon. All this, while it probably assisted 
the various nations to employ as much of the Civil 
Law as they could assimilate and no more, was also in 
favour of the foundation of a system like modern 
International Law which partly was and partly was not 
law in the sense of ordinary positive law. 

It is in a world of such conceptions that International 
Law was born and alone could be reared. It was not 
possible to frame it from a purely English system, and 
there was unless Selden be an exception no English 
lawyer of note in the days when men like Puffendorf or 
Vattel were names to conjure with. 

Into the merits of the controversy raised by the idea 
of International Law, we need not enter, especially as 
Professor Westlake has recently said nearly all that 
needs to be said on the matter 11 . But it may be pointed 
out that the theoretical question is admirably debated by 
Albericus Gentilis when he says that there is a sense in 
which right is claimed for public actions, and in which 
condemnation of non-omission is not the mere universal 
hostility to acts of cruelty or ungenerousness in other 
words, that in the relations of States there are, by general 
consent, certain causes of action to which the definitely 
legal stigma of a breach of obligation is attached, and 
vice versa : if this be admitted there must be some sense 
in which the word law is rightly used 12 . 

Lastly, the practical value of the work of Grotius was 

vi i] The Netherlands Revolt 215 

very great. The danger of Machiavelli was not that he 
dissected motive and tore the decent veil of hypocrisy 
from statesmen, but that he said or implied that these 
facts were to be the only ideal of action ; the service of 
Grotius, his forerunners and successors is not that they 
produced a scientific system under which State action 
could be classified, but that they succeeded in placing 
some bounds to the unlimited predominance of "reason of 
state." Machiavelli's was a rough generalisation from ob- 
served facts ; and, like all theories based on the universality 
of low motives, it contained a minimum of truth with 
a maximum of plausibility and was of great immediate 
practical utility. For its success it unconsciously assumes 
the existence of other motives, e.g., the religious, whose 
existence as a real power the whole system denies. The 
object of Grotius was not to make men perfect or treat 
them as such, but to see whether there were not certain 
common duties generally felt as binding, if not always 
practised, and to set forth an ideal. As Albericus 
Gentilis points out, he is concerned not only with what 
men do, but what they ought to do, and the jurist has 
ever to remember that jus is ars aequi et boni. 

The founders of International Law did not stop, 
they regulated the struggle of existence. That famous 
pamphlet The fight in Dame Europe? s scliool rests for its 
verisimilitude on a conception of Grotius and implies a 
contradiction of those of Hobbes and Machiavelli. 
International Law is like schoolboy honour or good 
form, it does not destroy selfishness or quarrelling or 
cheating ; but it proclaims that certain things are to be 
avoided and others are obligatory, and it unites even 
those most sharply divided as members in a single 
society. It does not solve the problem of man in 

216 The Netherlands Revolt [lect. 

society, but it recognises it. Now the theory of 
Machiavelli and Hobbes at bottom is the reverse of 
this ; it teaches that men are not in society at all except 
by accident and artifice ; and with all its superficial 
attractions it fails to reach the true facts ; that even 
hatred implies a relation, and that neither States nor 
individuals can have differences unless there be some 
atmosphere which unites them 13 . 

At any rate, I hope that enough has been said to 
point out how the intellectual no less than the 
practical conditions which made the work of Grotius 
possible and necessary were the result partly of age- 
long influences, partly of the peculiar effects of the 
religious revolution. The former explain the continued 
and ever-growing influence of the Civil Law, the 
ideal of the Holy Roman Empire, its connection 
with the Canon Law, which makes International 
Law a sort of legacy of the Middle Ages 14 . The 
foundations both of International Law and modern 
politics are the residuum which the medieval world 
passed on to its successor ; and the same may largely be 
said of the connection between feudalism and the 
contractual theory of government. But it was the 
religious revolution alone which produced the actual 
conditions to which all this was applied. On the one 
hand it helped in Germany and England towards that 
development of national unity, royal omnipotence, and 
administrative universality, which was to be the common 
form of the continental State till 1789 and the ideal of 
English statesmen for a long time. On the other hand, 
by the division it produced {a) between Emperor and 
princes, (b) between princes and subjects, and (c) between 
State and State, it shattered for ever the ancient 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 217 

conditions even as an ideal, and prevented the notion of 
international justice taking the form of a reconstituted 
Empire. This process was further assisted by the 
division between the two branches of the Habsburgs 
and the predominance of Spain, the conditions under 
which the early Jesuits imbibed their ideals. These 
general conditions assured the predominance of ter- 
ritorial sovereignty, the recognition of the non-religious 
basis of the State or at least of the multi-religious 
nature of the European State-system 15 , while the unity 
of humanity, which had been taught in some way from 
the time of the Stoics and impressed as an ideal on 
every generation from the time of Augustine to the 
Renaissance, prevented the final and deliberate outward 
recognition of the view that States have no duties to one 
another and that the international polity is a fortuitous 
concourse of atoms. It was these conditions compacted 
of the ancient ideas of human society and the immutable 
authority of the law natural, coupled with the modern facts 
of State independence and self-sufficiency and religious 
differences, that made International Law in the form 
which it took possible, i.e., it made it truly international 
and in the form of its expression really law. It made it 
a system fundamentally secular although it was in origin 
ethical and even theological. Of both the international 
and the municipal commonwealth the basis was becom- 
ing though it had not become frankly secular and the 
most remarkable advance towards this end was made in 
the theories of the Politiques. But religious divisions 
everywhere and the establishment of the Dutch Republic 
helped towards this end, while the latter, more than 
anything else, contributed towards the change of the idea 
of political authority from a lordship into an association; 

218 The Netherlands Revolt [ LEC t. 

this again was assisted both by Jesuit speculations on 
society in general and the actual nature and constitution 
of their own community. 

One final truth may be noticed. The doctrine of the 
unity of history is more impressively realized in a study 
of political thought than of any actual constitution. Lord 
Acton was of opinion that here more than anywhere else 
a continuous development could be demonstrated If 
the pages of a writer like Grotius, or still more Albericus 
Gentihs be studied carefully, it will be seen how to him 
the world was always one; that true principles in 
politics are to be found partly by reasoning, but still 
more by the distilled essence of thought ancient and 
modern by something akin at least to the comparative 
study of institutions and by the wise selection of 
historical instances which as in Machiavelli are valued 
always for their significance as parts of a system 
International Law is indeed a philosophy of history in 
the idea of its early exponents-just as the "law of the 
beasts is in that of Machiavelli, only while the latter 
like modern "naturalism" gives to its system the super- 
ficial clearness of an induction from a narrowed basis and 
an assumption of low motives, the former recognises that 
however imperfect its realization in fact some notion of 
righteousness had always regulated men's judgments of 
value, even if it had been belied by their action. Alike in 
international relations, in popular theory, and in absolutist 
apology, the idea of law and right is upheld in some form 
and utility merely and purely as such is repudiated by all 
except avowed followers of Machiavelli and Hobbes In 
this indeed lies the connection of all these doctrines 
both with theocratic assumptions and with medieval life 
the gradual supersession of these notions by that of 

vn] The Netherlands Revolt 219 

immediate and perceptible utility took two centuries to 
develop, and was largely helped by the general secular- 
isation of life which followed the destruction of religious 
unity and the Aufklarung of the eighteenth century. 
What is to be noted is that only through this revolution 
did ideas no less than facts take the shape in which they 
influenced the modern world. 



(i) The claim was set out by Innocent III in regard to the 
dispute between King John and Philip Augustus. His words are 
worth quoting, for they put in a nutshell the whole argument for 
Papal supremacy, and show how, on a purely legal theory of 
Christianity, the moral teacher was bound to elevate himself into 
a supreme judge in both private and public matters. They show 
also how foreign to the ideas of the time are modern notions of 
International Law. As the greater part of the letter was embodied 
in the Decretale, its principles became a part of the Statute Law 
of the Church. They are to be found in Decretale n. i, 1 3 I quo te 
the most important part : 

_ " Qui scrutator cordium est, ac conscius secretorum, quod charis- 
simum in Chnsto filium nostrum Philippum Regem Francorum 
illustrem, de corde puro et conscientia bona, et fide non ficta 
ddig,mus, et ad honorem et profectum et incrementum ipsius 
efficaciter aspiramus, exaltationem regni Francorum, sublimationem 
Apostohcae sedis reputantes, cum hoc regnum benedictum a Deo 
semper ,n ipsius devotione permanserit, et ab ejus devotione 
nullo unquam, sicut credimus, tempore sit discessurum : quia licet 
mterdum hinc inde fiant immissiones per Angelos malos, nos 
tamen qui Satanae non ignoramus astutias, circumventiones ipsius 
studebimus evitare, credentes quod idem Rex alius seduci fallaciis 
non se permittet. Non putet aliquis, quod jurisdictionem illustris 
Regis Francorum perturbare aut minuere intendamus, cum ipse 
jurisdictionem nostram nee velit, nee debeat impedire. Sed cum 
Dominus dicat in Evangelio : ' si peccaverit in te frater tuus, vade 
et cornpe eum inter te et ipsum solum: si te audierit, lucratus eris 
fratrem tuum : si te non audierit, adhibe tecum unum vel duos ut 

Introductory 221 

in ore duorum vel trium testium stet omne verbum : quod si non 
audierit, die Ecclesiae : si autem Ecclesiam non audierit, sit tibi 
sicut ethnicus et publicanus.' 

Et Rex Angliae sit paratus sufficienter ostendere, quod Rex 
Francorum peccat in ipsum, et ipse circa eum in correptione 
processit secundum regulam Evangelicam, et tandem quia nullo 
modo profecit, dixit Ecclesiae: quomodo nos qui sumus ad regi- 
men universalis Ecclesiae superna dispositione vocati, mandatum 
divinum possumus non exaudire; ut non procedamus secundum 
formam ipsius ; nisi forsitan ipse coram nobis vel Legato nostro 
sufEcientem in contrarium rationem ostendat ? Non enivi inten- 
dimus judicare de feudo, cujus ad ipsum spedat judicium, nisi 
forte juri communi per speciale privilegium, vel contrariam 
consuetudinem illiquid sit detr actum: sed decernere de peccato cujus 
ad nos pertinet sine dubitatione censura, quani in quemlibet exercere 
possumus et debemus. Non igitur injuriosum sibi debet Regia 
dignitas reputare, si super hoc Apostolico judicio se committat, cum 
Valentinianus, inclytus Imperator, suffraganeis Mediolanensis 
Ecclesiae dixisse legatur: ' Talem in pontificali sede constituere 
procuretis, cui et nos, qui gubernamus imperium, sincere nostra 
capita submittamus, et ejus monita (cum tanquam homines deli- 
querimus) suscipiamus necessario velut medicamenta curantis.' 
Nee sic illud humillimum omittamus, quod Theodosius statuit 
Imperator, et Carolus innovavit, de cujus genere Rex ipse noscitur 
descendisse : ' quicunque videlicet litem habens, sive petitor fuerit, 
sive reus, sive in initio litis, vel decursis temporum curriculis, sive 
cum negotium peroratur sive cum jam coeperit promi sententia, si 
judicium eligerit sacrosanctae sedis Antistitis, illico sine aliqua 
dubitatione (etiamsi pars alia refragetur) ad Episcoporum 
judicium cum sermone litigantium dirigatur.' Cum enim non 
humanae constitutioni, sed divinae potius innitamur, quia potestas 
nostra non est ex homine, sed ex Deo, nullus qui sit sanae mentis 
ignorat quin ad officium nostrum spectet de quocunque mortali 
peccato corripere quemlibet Christianum: et si correctionem 
contempserit, per districtionem Ecclesiasticam coercere. 

Quod enim debeamus corripere et possimus ex utriusque patet 
paginaTestamenti. CumclametDominusper prophetam: 'Clama, 
ne cesses, quasi tuba exalta vocem tuam, et annuncia populo meo 
scelera eorum': et subjungat ibidem: 'Nisi annunciaveris impio 
impietatem suam, ipse in iniquitate, quam operatus est, morietur : 
sanguinem autem ejus de manu tua requiram. J Apostolus quoque 

222 Notes 

nos monet corripere inquietos : et alibi dicit idem : ' Argue, ob- 
secra, increpa in omni patientia et doctrina.' Quod autem possimus, 
et debeamus coercere, patet ex eo, quod dicit Dominus ad prophe- 
tam, qui fuit de sacerdotibus Anathoth : ' Ecce constituo te super 
gentes et regna, ut evellas et destruas et dissipes et aedifices et 
plantes.' Constat vero quod evellendum, destruendum et dissi- 
pandum est omne mortale peccatum. Praeterea cum Dominus 
claves regni coelorum Beato Petro Apostolo tradidit, dixit ei : 
1 Quodcunque ligaveris super terram, erit ligatum et in coelis, et 
quodcunque solveris super terram, erit solutum et in coelis.' 
Verum nullus dubitat, quin omnis mortaliter peccans apud Deum 
sit ligatus. Ut ergo Petrus divinum judicium imitetur, ligare debet 
in terris quos ligatos constat in coelis. Sed forsan dicetur, quod 
aliter cum Regibus aliter cum aliis est agendum. Caeterum scriptum 
novimus in lege divina, Ita magnum judicabis, ut parvum, nee erit 
apud te acceptio personarum.' Quam Beatus Jacobus intervenire 
testatur : Si dixeris ei qui indutus est veste praeclara : Tu sede 
hie bene: pauperi vero, Sta tu illic, aut sede sub scabello pedum 

Ideoque universis vobis per Apostolicam sedem mandamus, et 
in virtute obedientiae praecipimus, quatenus postquam idem Abbas 
super hoc mandatum fuerit Apostolicum executus, sententiam ejus, 
imo nostram verius, recipiatis humiliter et faciatis ab aliis observari; 
pro certo scituri quod si secus egeritis, inobedientiam vestram 
graviter puniemus. Licet autem hoc modo procedere valeamus 
super quolibet criminali peccato, ut peccatorem revocemus a vitio 
ad virtutem, ab errore ad veritatem, praecipue cum contra 
pacem peccatur, quae est vinculum charitatis ; postremo cum inter 
Reges ipsos reformata fuerint pacis foedera, et utrinque praestito 
proprio juramento firmata, quae tamen usque ad tempus prae- 
taxatum servata non fuerint; nunquid non poterimus de juramenti 
religione cognoscere, quod ad judicium Ecclesiae non est dubium 
pertinere, ut rupta pacis foedera reformentur? Ne ergo tantam 
discordiam videamur sub dissimulatione fovere, praedicto Legato 
dedimus in praeceptis, ut (nisi Rex ipse vel solidam pacem cum 
praedicto Rege reformet, vel saltern humiliter patiatur, ut idem 
Abbas et Archiepiscopus Bituricensis de piano cognoscant, utrum 
justa sit querimonia, quam contra eum proponit coram Ecclesia 
Rex Anglorum, vel ejus exceptio sit legitima, quam contra eum per 
suas nobis literas duxit exprimendam) juxta formam sibi datam a 
nobis procedere non omittat." 

Introductory 223 

(2) A recent and most significant instance is the Scotch 
Church case, which, whatever its practical difficulties, is of the ut- 
most theoretical interest. The official edition of the Appeal shows 
how the House of Lords, in spite of itself and under the conception 
of merely interpreting the terms of a trust, was forced into a 
discussion of the doctrinal questions and the meaning of self- 
identity when predicated of societies. Hegel in the Law Courts is 
no inadequate description of Mr Haldane's speech. The following 
altercation with Lord James is irresistibly comic : 

Mr Haldane : " Your Lordship is assuming, if I may respect- 
fully say so, an anthropomorphic conception of the Supreme Being. 
It is very difficult to discuss these things, but I must say your 
Lordship is really assuming that the Supreme Being stands to a 
particular man in the relation of another man a cause external to 
him in space and time acting on space and time and separate from 
him as one thing is separate from another. The whole point of 
the speculative teaching has been that that is not so; the whole 
point of the Church has been that that is a totally inadequate 
conception, and that, at any rate without resorting to any 
explanation, they have to hold the two things as in harmony and 

Lord James of Hereford: -"Mr Haldane, till you told me so 
I had not the slightest idea that I was conceiving that." 

Mr Haldane : " I am afraid, my Lord, theologians would deal 
severely with your Lordship's statement " (p. 504). 

Lord fames of Hereford: " I am much obliged to you." 

Further on we have an illustration of the way in which the 
whole case turns on the idea of the inherent life of a community 
which is not the State and does not arise from its fiat. 

"The Church is like an organism; to use a metaphor I used 
before, the organism parts with every part of its material every few 
years, but its identity consists in this that it assimilates and parts 
during the period of its life with the old material and takes in fresh 
material; so the Church does not consist in the identity of its members. 
It is not A., B., and C. coming together and entering into a contract 
with each other which is to bind them and their estates ; on the 
contrary, it is the formation of an organisation which is to remain, 
like the life of the organism, notwithstanding the change which 
takes place in the constituent members. Now that that was the 
scheme or doctrine of the government of the Presbyterian Church 
is perfectly plain. You begin with the congregation, which is a set 

224 Notes 

of people who worship in a Church in a particular building, that is 
to say, under a certain kirk government. That kirk government is 
the government of the kirk session, which consists of the minister 
and elders; there is also a deacon's court, which deals with 
secular matters, but the minister and elders are the ruling body " 
(p. 514). 

Mr Haldane : " Well, my Lord, my argument at your Lord- 
ship's bar is this, that if you ask what is the test of identity, the 
test of the personal identity of this Church lies, not in doctrine, but 
in its life, in the continuity of its life as ascertained by the fact that 
the majority have continuously kept on doing these things which 
are within their competence, according to our opinion" (p. 518, 
Orr's Free Church of Scotland Appeals). 

Observe, that the House of Lords did not deny this power of 
development to a society, if such power appeared in the terms of 
the trust, only it refused to consider the Society except under the 
form of a trust, while Mr Haldane's argument is for the inherent 
life of a society. It is in fact, that idea of Suarez and Molina which 
he stands for r as against a notion which contemplates only the 
State and a mass of individuals. The meaning of the judgment 
is the refusal to consider a Church as anything but a mass of 
individuals. Individual rights are untouched; but the life of 
non-State Societies is to be denied. 

(3) Treumann, Die Monarchomachen, 23. 

(4) M.G.H. De Lite, 1. 365. 

Nonne clarum est, merito ilium a concessa dignitate cadere, 
populum ab ejus dominio et subjectione liberum existere, cum 
pactum pro quo constitutus est constat ilium prius irrupisse ? Nee 
illos quisquam poterit juste ac rationabiliter perfidie arguere, cum 
nihilominus constet ilium fidem prius deseruisse. Ut enim de rebus 
vilioribus exemplum trahamus, si quis alicui digna mercede 
porcos suos pascendos committeret, ipsumque postmodo eos non 
pascere, sed furari, mactare et perdere cognosceret, nonne 
promissa a mercede etiam sibi retenta a porcis pascendis cum 
contumelia ilium amoveret? 

There is an account of Manegold in Mr R. L. Poole's Illus- 
trations of the History of Mediaeval Thought. 

(5) Augustinus Triumphus in Summa de Ecclesiastica Potestate 
ed. 1473, Quaestio xxvi. 5. Mr Poole gives an admirable account 
of the views of this author in his chapter on "the hierarchical theory 
of the State." Op. cit. 

Introductory 22 5 

It is only, however, by perusal of a treatise like this or that of 
Bozius, asserting the world-monarchy of the Popes, that the real 
difference between this theory and that of indirect' power can be 
seen To Augustinus kingdoms are merely the stipettdia of princes 
for wielding the temporal sword of the Church. This illustrates 
the notion of the Church-State as a single society; it is only 
inside a part of it, i.e., the nation, that State and Church properly 
speaking compete. The State in fact is a specialised term, the 
secular organisation of the Commonwealth. 

(6) De Ecclesiastica Potestate, Qu. xxm. 

(7) S Thomas deals with the subject of politics in the Summa 
II i 90 sqq. and also in the De Regimine Principum, of which 
only the first book and the first six chapters of the second are by 
him the rest was added by Ptolemy of Lucca. 

On the influence of the Aristotelian spirit and the addition of 
naturrechtliche" ideas to those purely theocratic, see Gierke, in 
Professor Maitland's translation, Cambridge, 1900. 

(8) Cf Lossen, Die Lehre von Tyrannicide in der Christluhen 
Zeit He argues that, except Mariana, the Jesuits did not really 
do more than develop the views of S. Thomas, although in regard 
to tyrants they laid too much stress on an isolated and early 


(9) Even Augustinus Triumphus makes this reservation, XXII. 

It is very general. 

(10) See on this point, Carlyle, History of Political Thought in 

the West. -. . 

(11) This oath of Aragon is to be found in Du Hamel, Histoire 
Constitutionnelle de la Monarchic Espagnole, I. 2 1 5. It runs thus : 
Nos qui valemos tanto come vos, os hazemos nuestro rey y senor, 
con tal que nos guardeis nuestros fueros y libertades : y sino, no." 

(12) The actual text in the Code is as follows : 

Cum enim Lege antiqua, quae regia nuncupabatur, omne jus 
omnisque potestas populi Romani imperatori translata sunt 

potestatem. C. I. 17. i- ., 

It is well to have the terms of this before us, as it is at the 
bottom of a great deal of discussion on the origin and limits of 
sovereign authority. 

In Salamonius we have the definite statement of the univer- 
sality of politics : Phil. : Principals ipse est a natura sine hominum 
constitutione, et ideo ubique sibi ipsi similis tarn apud Romanes 
quam Parthos, Scythas, Medos et alias nationes omnes. Jur.: 

J 5 

226 Notes 

Talis est qualis suo cuique placet populo....Phil. : Jure ergo 
principatusilla competere dicendum quaepopulo placuerunt. Jur.: 
Convenit. Phil. : Ex his, si diligenter consideraris, palam sit. Jus 
principatus nihil aliud esse quam jus quoddam populi, et per hoc 
jure populi et auctoritate, quisque principatum agere ac leges 
constituere nee plus posse et valere quam ejus potest populus. 16. 
He goes on to declare that "Princeps se subjiciat non sibi, sed 
fiersonae se subjicit Civitatis." He goes on to argue that laws are 
of the nature of compacts, and that civil society is founded on a 
voluntary pact. 

(13) C. 1. 17. 1. 

Nos vero sanctionem omnem non dividimus in alias et alias 
conditorum partes, sed totam nostram esse volumus ; quid possit 
antiquitas nostris legibus abrogare ? 

Here is a very frank expression of the truth, that it is only by the 
recognition of the sovereign power of the legislator that the danger 
of a reign of the dead can be obviated. 

(14) C. 1. 14. 4. 

Digna vox est majestate regnantis legibus alligatum se 
principem profited ; adeo de auctoritate juris nostra pendet 


D. 1. 3. 31. 


D. 1. 4. 1. 


Cicero, De Legibus, 


C. v. 59. 5. 

There is an error in Stubbs' admirable note on the subject, 
Const. Hist. II. 132; the title is not 56 as there stated but 59. 
What Stubbs says in the text of Edward transmuting a "mere 
legal maxim into a great political and constitutional principle " is 
capable of a much wider extension, for it is typical of the whole 
way in which the medieval and Renaissance mind envisaged the 
Civil Law. It became, as we shall see, right down to the beginning 
of modern politics, not so much a jurist's code, as a compendium 
of political philosophy, and could be appealed to at any moment as 
an argument. The very first condition for understanding the rise 
of modern politics is that of realising how Scripture, Aristotle and 
the Corpus Juris, and above all this last, united to form the seed- 
plot of all political ideas. 

(19) See the use Bracton makes of this De Legibus Angliae. 
The point is further developed in my Divine Right of Kings, 
p. 24. To take a further illustration, it was because private and 

Introductory 227 

public rights were still partly undistinguished, that International 
Law was able to arise in the way it did. Grotius argues for War 
from the right of justifiable homicide, and the same is true of the 
application of many other principles, such as usucapion to the 
action of States. 

(20) Cf. Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, I. 512. 

(21) In M. G. H., Libelli De Lite, III. 663 : 

"Auctoritate divina simulque sanctorum patrum institutione 
reges in ecclesia Dei ordinantur, ut habeant potestatem regendi 
populum Domini, genus electum, gentem sanctam, qui est ecclesia 
sancta Dei. Ecclesia quippe Dei quid aliud est quam congregatio 
fidelium Christianorum in una fide spe et charitate in domo Dei 
cohabitantium?... Quern quidem principatum ita nonnulli distri- 
bruunt, ut dicant sacerdotem habere principatum regendi animas, 
regem vero regendi corpora, quasi animae possunt regi sine 
corporibus et corpora sine animabus. Quod nulla potest fieri 
ratione. Necesse est enim si beneregantur corpora, bene regantur 
et animae et e converso, quoniam utraque ideo reguntur, ut in 
resurrectione simul utraque salventur....Quae cum ita sint 
manifestum est quod rex habet principatum regendi eos qui sacer- 
dotali dignitate potiuntur. Non ergo debet excludi rex a regimine 
sanctae ecclesiae, id est populi Christiani, quia ita divideretur 
regnum ecclesiae et fieret desolatio."...He goes on to anticipate 
Wyclif : " Sacerdos quippe aliam praefigurabat in Christo naturam, 
id est hominis, rex aliam id est Dei. Ille superiorem qua equalis 
est Deo patri, iste inferiorem qua minor est patre." Ibid. 666. 

Rex principaliter sequitur Christum ex ejus vice et imitatione, 
episcopi vero interposita vice et imitatione apostolorum. 670. 

(22) This growth of utilitarian argument though it first became 
prominent in Machiavelli gained greatly in extension owing to 
the Benthamite movement. The appeal to the notion of right, 
when there is apparent chance of lessening suffering by disregarding 
it, is treated as almost immoral by many 'advanced' thinkers. Cf. 
Dicey, Law and Public Opinion, for the way in which Benthamism 
brought this habit into prominence, and left it as a legacy to the 
Collectivism of our day. Perhaps it is truer to say that it is the legal 
idea of right which has given way to one of the general welfare ; 
this is in accordance with the general change of political thought 
from the ideas of the Whigs, symbolised by Burke, to those of the 
Jacobins, expressed by Rousseau. From the modern reformer 
back to Machiavelli and even the Conciliar party " rights " are 
regarded with suspicion, as the enemies of Right or National 

15 2 

228 Notes 

Welfare, and whereas the Whig movement was an attempt to 
secure legal consecration for limitations on the sovereign power, the 
great tendency of all thorough-going reformers is to sweep away 
the vested interests, which masquerade under the name of legal 
rights, and to magnify the one power, whether King or Parliament, 
that can promote true justice. 

(23) Pollock and Maitland, 1. 68. 

(24) Op. cit. 

(25) See Augustinus Triumphus. 

(26) It may be worth while quoting the first few lines : 
Bonifacius...dilectis filiis Doctoribus et Scholaribus universis 

Bononiae commorantibus...salutem. Sacrosanctae Romanae Ec- 
clesiae (quam imperscrutabilis divinae providentiae altitudo uni- 
versis dispositione incommutabili praetulit Ecclesiis, et totius orbis 
praecipuum obtinere voluit magistratum) regimini praesidentes, 
assidua meditatione urgemur ; ut juxta creditae nobis dispensationis 
officium, subditorum commodis jugi, quantum nobis ex alto con- 
cessum fuerit, et sollicitudinis studio intendamus. 

Amplectimur voluntarios labores ut scandala removeamus ab 
ipsis, et quas humana natura lites cotidie invenire conatur, nunc 
antiquorum declaratione, prout nobis est possibile reprimamus... 
Universitati vestrae igitur per Apostolica scripta mandamus, 
quatenus librum hujusmodi... quern sub bulla nostra transmittimus, 
prompto suscipientes affectu, eo utamini de caetero in judiciis et 
scholis; nullas alias, praeter illas quae inferuntur aut specialiter 
reservantur in eo, Decretales aut Constitutiones a quibuscunque 
nostris praedecessoribus Romanis Pontificibus post editionem 
dicti voluminis promulgatas, recepturi ulterius, aut pro Decretalibus 

(27) II. 1 : Licet Romanus Pontifex (qui jura omnia in 
scrinio pectoris sui censetur habere) constitutionem condendo 
posteriorem, priorem, quamvis de ipsa mentionem non faciat, 
revocare noscatur ; quia tamen locorum specialium et personarum 
singularium consuetudines et statuta (cum sint facti et in facto 
consistant) potest probabiliter ignorare; ipsis, dum tamen sint 
rationabilia, per constitutionem a se noviter editam (nisi expresse 
caveatur in ipsa) non intelligitur in aliquo derogare. 

With regard to local customs being mere matters of fact, 
Bartolus used exactly the same principle in respect of the Emperor. 

(28) Goldast. This dialogue is in 1. 58 229. In a relatively 
brief space most of the arguments for and against regal and Papal 
sovereignty are therein set forth. 

Introductory 229 

(29) The matter is discussed in Maitland, Canon Law in England. 

(30) Seculares judices qui....personas Ecclesiasticas ad 
solvendum debita....dampnabili praesumptione compellant a 
temeritate hujusmodi per locorum ordinarios censura Ecclesi- 
astica decernimus compescendos. II. 2. 2. 

(31) History of Political Theory in the West, Chap. I. 

(32) Development of European Polity, Chap. 22. 

(33) Creighton, Papacy 1. 32. 

(34) Clement V in his decision about the " Unam Sanctam" 
only goes so far as to say that it made no difference ; the French 
king and people are no more subject than they were before to the 
Roman See. Thus an ample loophole was left for the development 
of future ultra-montane pretensions ; for it was easy enough to 
allege that the principles of the "Unam Sanctam" dated from at 
least the eleventh century. 

Extrav. Co?nm. v. 7. 2. 

(35) This dialogue is in Goldast, Vol. 11. 396 957. 

(36) The book is edited by M. Langlois, Picard 1891. 

I may refer to a brief account I wrote of Pierre Dubois, entitled 
A forgotten Radical, in the Cambridge Review, 1899. Renan 
has a long study of him in his Etudes sur la politique religieuse du 
regne de Philippe le Bel, and there is an article in the Victoria 
University Studies. 

(37) Bozius was an Oratorian. His treatise De Temporali 
Ecclesiae Monarchia appeared in 1602. 

(38) See the Bull of Condemnation in Shirley's edition of the 
Fasciculi Zizaniorum. 

(39) e -S- ms defence of the outrageous act of John of Gaunt 
in regard to the Sanctuary at Westminster. It forms a good part 
of the De Ecclesia. 


(1) The wording is as follows : 

Concilium generale faciens et ecclesiam catholicam reprae- 
sentans, potestatem a Christo immediate habet, cui quilibet 
cuiuscunque status vel dignitatis, etiamsi papalis existat, obedire 
tenetur in his quae pertinent ad fidem. Mirbt 155. 

The decree only refers in terms to the Council of Constance and 
the affairs of the moment. It is only by inference that it can be 
extended into a general assertion of conciliar omnipotence. 

230 Notes 

(2) In John of Segovia. 

(3) Cf. the phrase of Cajetan in his argument for Papal 
autocracy, printed in Rocaberti. 

(4) A very recent work brings out this fact with great ability. 
M. Gabriel PeYouse in his Le Cardinal Louis Aleman shews how 
among the main causes of the failure of the Council of Basle two 
were most prominent, (1) The Council, ignorant of the distinction 
between control and administration, attempted without training, 
knowledge or cohesion to grasp the whole governing activity of the 
Church, judicial, executive and legislative. It failed in the same 
way as the English Parliament failed in the seventeenth century ; 
owing to the extreme democratic tendency of some of its members, 
anything like leadership was distrusted, and even small committees 
were attacked and hampered. (2) Aleman was working for the 
medieval system as against the Roman Curia which was organising 
the modern Papacy. The book is so new that a phrase or two may 
be worth quoting. 

" Escorte - de the"ologiens scholastiques et de moines errants, 
lui-meme et jusqu'au fond homme du moyen age dans sa foi 
passionnee, dans sa croyance a l'unit combattit 
vainement l'eclosion de cette ere moderne, ou les papes italiens 
entourds de leurs humanistes diserts et de diplomates habiles aux 
compromis, allaient rdorganiser PEglise au moyen d'ingenieux 
concordats, au profit de leur pouvoir propre et des princes 
seculaires, aux de"pens des vieilles institutions me'die'vales les 
chapitres, le lien mdtropolitain, le principe electif des monasteres" 
(pp. 498, 9). Cf. also, " Tandis en effet que le nonce et la cour de 
Rome cherchaient a hater la moderne organisation de l'Eglise, la 
majority des Peres s'inspirait des principes de l'age precedent... 
Pouvoirs judiciaire et administratif, le'gislatif et meme exe'cutif, 
tout etait revendique - par les Peres, comme le droit exclusive de 
convoquer le concile suivant." (196.) 

On page 169 the author shews that the real purpose was 
" d'ajourner indefiniment aussi la dissolution du Concile, et de 
s'driger en jurisdiction permanente, but inavoue" des vrais disciples 
de Constance." 

The parallel to the Long Parliament is obvious. 

(5) If the deposition of Richard II be studied, it will be seen 
how far Parliament was from asserting any such definite theory of 
popular sovereignty as that proclaimed by the Council. The 
articles are in the Rolls of Parliament, vol. v. 

Conciliar Movement 231 

(6) See the decree in Mirbt 155. It should be read in 
connection with the later refusal of the Council of Basel to be 
dissolved without its own consent. In theory this was preserved 
even at the surrender in 1449. 

(7) For the literature of this and the other chapters, my 
Bibliography to the last chapter of Vol. III. of the Cainbridge 
Modern History may be cited. 

(8) Conrad is one of the earliest writers. His letter is in 
Martene and Durand's Thesaurus, vol. II. 1200 1226. It contains 
some interesting expressions. 

(9) Henry of Hesse and most of the writers will be found in 
Dupin's Gerson, vol. II. 

(10) Hubler has pointed out, how the Conciliar writers start 
partly from the notion of precedent, developing their consti- 
tutionalism in the same way as Hotman in France, as Coke and 
the common lawyers in England ; and partly from universal 
principles of political reasoning applicable to all societies, and 
more perfectly to the Church. The antithesis of this attitude is that 
of Etienne de la Boeotie. He is mainly interesting as shewing the 
way in which pure renaissance sentiment, unmixed with any flavour 
of medievalism or notions of historical development, might produce 
an abstract republicanism. To him, as to Machiavelli, the only 
history worth quoting is Roman, while he is of course without 
the Florentine's extraordinary keen insight into facts and existing 
tendencies. His general attitude is not unlike that of Shelley. 
Government to him is simply an American trust exploiting the 
masses in its own selfish lust. The one thing needful is to awaken 
the consciousness of the masses whose numbers will alone secure 
victory. He might almost have written the lines : 

Rise like lions after slumber 

In unvanquishable number ! 

* * * 

Ye are many, they are few. 

(11) It is, I think, remarkable that in the recent discussion 
about the position of the laity in the representative Church Council 
more attention has not been paid to the very strong assertions 
of the rights of laymen made by the Conciliar leaders both in 
Constance and Basel. We find these persons, who were un- 
deniably both orthodox and nationalist, with sympathies not 
dissimilar to English Churchmen, asserting very strongly the right 
of the lay power to be presented in the person of Emperor, Kings 

232 Notes 

and their ambassadors. It must be remembered, that in a 
democratic government like the English, elected members would 
naturally take the place of the ambassadors. High Papalists, like 
John of Torquemada, complain of the powers claimed for laymen. 

The documents quoted as Chapters XVI and XVII in the 
Consultationes printed by von der Hardt are among the most 
important bearing on this point. The first is attributed to the 
Cardinal of Cambrai, the second to the Cardinal of S. Marco. 
I quote the most important passages, interesting for the appeal 
they make to early Church history. 

"Sicut patet in Actibus Apostolorum et in historia Eusebii quae 
Actibus Apostolorum immediate subnectitur, quandoque in 
Conciliis congregabatur iota commiinitas Chris tianoru/n, quando- 
que Episcopi Presbyteri Diaconi, quandoque soli Episcopi sine 
Abbatibus, quandoque cum Episcopis Abbates, quandoque Im- 
perator convocabat et congregabat Concilium. Sicut haec varietas 
potest probari jure naturali et divino et ex historiis praedictis. 
...Item, eadem ratione, qua supra, non sunt excludendi a voce 
definitiva Sacrae Theologiae Doctores, ac juris Canonici et 
Civilis. Quibus et maxime Theologis, datur auctoritas praedicandi 
aut docendi ubique terrarum, quae non est parva auctoritas in 
populo Christiano, sed multo majus quam unius Episcopi vel 
Abbatis, ignorantis et solum titulati....Item quantum ad materiam 
terminandi praesens schisma et dandi pacem Ecclesiae, velle 
excludere Reges, Principes aut Ambasiatores eorum...a voce seu 
determinatione etiam conclusiva non videtur justum ac pium aut 
rationi consonum." von der Hardt, II. 224. 

Perhaps the most moderate attitude is that of the Cardinal 
of S. Marco : 

De ambasiata autem Regum et Principum clarum est, quod in 
iis quae conveniunt universalem Ecclesiam, utpote unionem 
Ecclesiae et fidem, admittendi sunt. Sed stare debent determina- 
tion! peritorum et doctorum in his quae sunt fidei. Ibid. 230 1. 

Zabarella's views in the De Schismate are very similar. 

(12) It is hardly necessary to say that in the eyes and the 
phraseology of the canonists the flock whether of Pope or Bishops 
are " subditi," even more completely than a nation is the subject of 
its King in common speech. 

(13) Simancas, De Papa (Rocaberti XIII. 277) : 

Cum respublica spiritualis perfecta sit, et sibi sufficiens, ut se 
ipsam indemnem servet, potest ea omnia facere, quae necessaria 

Conciliar Movement 233 

fuerint adsuum finem consequendum exercendo etiam jurisdictionem 
in eos, qui in rebus temporalibus alioqui sibi subjecti non essent. 
Quod quidem naturali jure cuicumque Principi facere contra 
aliorum rempublicam licet. 

A similar view is in Bellarmine, De Rom. Pont. v. 7. 

This passage is alone proof of the error made by the Bishop 
of Exeter in his Regnum Dei, wherein it is asserted that the 
notion of the Church as a " societas perfecta " is only modern and 

See the document in Denziger, Enchiridion, pp. 405 422. 

(14) A few of the more notable phrases of Nicolas may be here 

" Pulchra est haec speculatio, quomodo in populo omnes 
potestates tarn spirituales in potentia latent, quam etiam tempo- 
rales et corporales." 11. 19. 

It is nonsense to say " omne id jus esset quod Romanus 
Pontifex vellet," for the Pope is subject to the canons, and 
these are under natural law, contra quod etiam princeps potestatetn 
non habet, II. 14. Even the decretals owe their authority as much 
to long acceptance, as to Papal institution. We may compare 
with this a Gallican argument, that the French Church does not 
accept all decretals of the Pope ipso facto, but merely those 
consecrated by time in the corpus juris. II. 3. 

" Multa concilia etiam rite convocata errasse legimus." 

These passages serve to shew how the idea of natural law, 
partly embodied in the more general maxims of the Roman juris- 
prudence, partly in the intellectual atmosphere, was the real milieu, 
in which the constitutionalism of the day could alone thrive. This 
remained true right on to Rousseau. 

" Omnis constitutio radicatur in jure naturali ; et si ei contra- 
dicit, constitutio valida esse nequit." 11. 14, and again 

"Cum natura omnes sint liberi, turn omnis principatus...^ a 
sola concordantia et cotisensu subjectio. Nam si natura aeque 
potentes et aeque liberi homines sunt, vera et ordinata potestas 
nonnisi electione et consensu aliorum constitui potest, sicut etiam 
lex a consensu constituitur " ; going on to quote the phrase of 
S. Augustine used in the Decretum, "generale pactum societatis 
regibus obedire" as a proof of the contractual. 

" Papa non est universalis Episcopus sed super alios primus, et 
sacrorum Conciliorum non in Papa sed in consensu omnium 
vigorem fundamus." II. 13. 

234 Notes 

" Considerari enim primo legem Christianam liberrimam, ad 
quam nullus nisi sponte absque coactione accedit....Coactio proprie 
non est in ipsa Ecclesia descensione a Christo ; sed gratia est, quae 
ab ipsa plenitudine fontis capitis in ipsum Corpus Christi mysti- 
cum fluit. Unitas fidelium est ilia ad cujus servitium et obser- 
vantiam praesidentia est super singulos. Hinc unitas fidelium sive 
universale concilium Catholicae ecclesiae ipsam repraesentans est 
supra suum ministerium et praesidem." II. 28. 

(15) After the victory of the Pope over the Council it became 
impossible to deny that pure monarchy is the best form of 
government. In arguing in favour of a republic in Florence 
all that Savonarola is able to say is, that though the Papacy clearly 
proves absolutism to be the best form in general, yet circumstances 
alter cases, and for Florence in its then situation a republic is more 
fitted. He does not embrace the doctrine of the relativity of 
politics to the extent that Bartolus did. Cf. remarks on this 
subject in a paper in Royal Hist. Soc. Transactions, vol. XIX. 

John of Torquemada, whose chief treatise is in Rocaberti, 
is in reality the first modern exponent of the Divine Right of 
Kings : his book, with that of Lainez at the Council of Trent, would 
give a reader who knew nothing else a very good idea of the whole 
controversy. Even John of Torquemada, though he allows a Pope 
to dispense in cases of bigamy or homicide, admits that a Pope 
may be a heretic, and so ipso facto cease to be Pope. He can 
err in opinion, while in judgment he remains infallible. 

(16) The following form a very small selection of the passages 
which might be cited in illustration of the views of the Conciliar 
reformers. For citations from Gerson the reader is referred to 
Appendix B in my Divine Right of Kings. 

Conrad of Gelnhausen (1378) in Martene, Thesaurus II. 
1216 : 

Si ergo necessitas personae privatae imminens et forsitan 
peccatrici solvit vincula legis, quis ambigit, quod in tali et tanta 
necessitate Sanctae Ecclesiae... nulla lex humana edita super 
congregatione concilii generalis nonnisi auctoritate papae fienda 
possit obsistere quominus languor curetur in capite nee morbus 
inficiat totum corpus. 

ibid. 1225 : Convocatio concilii generalis sit summe necessaria 
pro bono communi, in quo etiam salus et utilitas omnium et 
singulorum Christi fidelium includitur et per consequens est omni 
privato commodo vel utilitati praeferenda. 

Conciliar Movement 235 

Henry of Hesse or Langenstein. Consilium Pads. 

Item quam periculosae sint bono communi et quam studiose 
sedandae sint, potentium et praesidentium dissensiones, tanquam 
civitatis et totius civilis amicitiae corruptione, nos docet etiam 
ille gentilis Aristoteles. 

Item casus novi et periculosi emergentes in Diocesi aliqua 
per Concilium particulare sive Provinciale emendantur. Igitur 
casus novi et ardui totum mundum concernentes per generale 
Concilium discuti debent. Quod enim omnes tangit, ab omnibus 
vel vice omnium tractari debet et convenit.... 

Quis enim nescit quodfuit impossibile regulariter Leges et Jura 
positiva institui, quae in nullo casu deficerent vel exceptionem 
paterentur....Et ergo est quaedam virtus, quam Aristoteles 5 Ethic, 
vocat iiruUeiav, quae est directiva justi legalis. Et ea melior et 
nobilior, quia per earn, modo excellentiori et perfectiori, obeditur 
menti et intentioni Legislatoris. Dupin's Gerson II. 823, 831. 

Andreas Majorensis (Hardt II. 157) : 

" Si Rex convocat Regnum, scilicet majores et principales regni 
sui, et tamen non habet ipse majorem potestatem quam totum 
Regnum." This is a fair example of the frequent use of the 
constitution of monarchy of the day, which is always taken for 
granted to create a precedent for the Church. Papa executor 
concilii, minister Christi. 

De Modis Uniendi : 

Omnes ergo constitutiones Apostolicae, sive leges factae in 
favorem Papae, cardinalium sive praelatorum intelliguntur et 
intelligi debent, ubi respublica Ecclesiastica directe vel indirecte 
publice vel occulte in parte vel in toto detrimento aut divisioni non 
videtur subesse. Et sic de legibus imperalibus et regalibus 
possumus intelligere. 

D'Ailly, De Jurisdictione Ecclesiastica (Hardt vi. 44, 6) : 

" Communitas ipsa sola habet immediatum et verum dominium 
et non praelatus aliquis, aut quaevis persona singularis," Hence 
the Pope is not lord, but " universalis dispensator. Papa non potest 
ad libitum detrahere bona Ecclesiarum ita quod quidquid ordinet 
de ipsis teneat. Hoc enim verum appareret si esset Dominus, sed 
cum sit minister et dispensator bonorum communitatis, in quo 
requiritur bona fides, non habet sibi collatam potestatem 
super bonis ipsis, nisi ad necessitatem vel communem Ecclesiae 

Zabarella definitely asserts that the sovereignty of the people is 

236 Notes 

inalienable, so that it is judge, whether Pope governs well or ill. 
" Neque unquam ita potuit transferre potestatem in papam, ut 
desinerit esse penes ipsam " (708) ; and the same is true of the lex 
regia and the Emperor. " Major est potestas populi quam magis- 
trate ipsius." Schardius, 709. 

Zabarella : 

Papa non potest immutare statum ecclesiae, vel impedire quae 
ad perpetuam utilitatem ordinata sunt. Ibid. 694. 

In eo quod dixi aliud papam, aliud sedem Apostolicam, videtur 
intelligenda sedes Apostolica pro ecclesia Romana, quae non 
censetur esse solus Papa sed ipse Papa cum cardinalibus, qui sunt 
partes corporis Papae. 701. In defectu magistratus revertimur 
ad jus pristinum ante constitutos magistratus, quo tempore cuique 
licebat jus sibi dicere. 691. 

The Pope cannot do everything, for even God can only do 
all things, praeter ea sola per quae dignitas ejus laederetur. 701. 

The treatises of Zabarella and Nicolas are in Schardius' 


(1) This is of course a very rough description. All through 
the Middle Ages the civil power was constantly asserting its claims ; 
but throughout society is conceived rather as a Church than a 
State, throughout it is recognised that "the common law of the 
Catholic Church" is not for princes to upset, while dreams like 
those of Wyclif and Marsiglio and the Conciliar adherents of 
Imperial and secular power must be regarded as anticipations 
of the tendencies, which triumphed in all states, Protestant and 
Catholic, in the sixteenth century. 

The claim, that either the Church or the State is a perfecta 
societas sibi sufficiens, is really remarkable for its admission that 
these other societies are also perfect. It is not because he stated 
that the Church was a perfect society, that Bellarmine made 
a change ; so much would have been admitted by any medieval 
papalist, indeed it was the essence of his claim. What is new 
is the tacit recognition that the State is also a perfect society. 
This was not always perceived by controversialists and they 
fall into inconsistencies in consequence. Barclay, De Potestate 
Papae, c. 17, Goldast ill. 651 sqq., ridicules Bellarmine for 


2 37 

arguing first that there are two societies, and then that the 
Pope, as head of the whole single society, can depose kings. 
In this he is within his rights, for Bellarmine is not quite con- 
sistent, and the conception is clearly not quite plain, as yet ; 
for Barclay will not rise to the notion of Warburton, that there 
can be two quite distinct societies although composed each 
of the same persons, differentiated as social persons by their 
separate ends. Indeed Barclay in one place denies, that if the 
Church is a separate society, it contains anyone but the Clergy ; in 
another, however, he seems to admit it. At any rate the argument 
of Barclay, of the absolute distinctness of the two powers, owing 
to their nature and purpose, is essentially an argument for the State 
being a perfect society, no less than the Church. Indeed he 
admits that the Church may use its own means of coercion, but 
that by their nature these are spiritual and not material and hence 
do not reach to the deposing power ; this concedes to the Church 
its reality and independence. Further Bellarmine's argument, that 
the Church may act in its own interests, i.e. deposing a persecuting 
heretic, is based on the notion of the Church, as one of the persons 
of international law, employing what is really war to maintain 
its rights. This is the true significance of the indirect Papal 
power, marks the real gulf between Jesuits and Canonists, and 
prepares the way for the doctrine of a "free Church in a free 
state." As we know that Bellarmine was rather less than more 
of a Papalist than his writings (see Dollinger-Reusch, Selbst- 
biographie), I think it right to say that he really gave up the 
extremer theory of Augustinus Triumphus and Bozius ; that the 
distinction is not merely, as Barclay tried to prove, one of words 
and sophistry. The whole argument as conducted by Barclay, and 
still more by his son John Barclay in his Vindicatio, is well worthy 
of study, arid though it seems ; a very cursory glance will shew how 
different is the atmosphere from that of the S omnium Viridarii. 

For the same purpose the Venetian advocates against Paul V, 
and James I's defence of his oath of allegiance are important. 
In all these cases, there is an attempt to reconcile the existence 
of two distinct authorities, incarnate in two separate societies, and 
to maintain that allegiance to one need not impair loyalty to 
the other. The effort of James I was really an attempt to do 
for the Papists, what Newman afterwards essayed in his letter 
to the Duke of Norfolk in reply to Mr Gladstone's Vaticanism. 
It may well be, that James would never have thought of the oath of 

238 Notes 

allegiance, but for the fact that he had been brought up under that 
system, which asserted so emphatically the doctrine of the two 

The real crux of the question is surrendered, when it is admitted 
that infidel or heretic sovereigns have genuine rights to their 
crown. Barclay of course entirely denies the right of the Pope to 
depose a heretic like Queen Elizabeth, and also the divine right 
of all clerical minorities. 

I quote the more important passages : 

Potest et Ecclesia seu Respublica Christiana appellari 
Christianorum tarn clericorum, quam Laicorum collectio qui in 
unum corpus adunati, Ecclesiasticis legibus sese subjiciunt, non 
quidem quatenus homines civilem Rempublicam componentes, sed 
quatenus in spiritualem coelum admissi. Eadem distinguendi 
ratione civilis temporalis et politica Respublica dici potest, vel quae 
ex infidelibus Principibus et rebus publicis constat, vel quae ex 
Christianis quidem, sed nullo ad Religionem respectu habito, 
componitur. Sed et ob charitatis sanctos nexus, et fidei commu- 
nionem, dicimus Rempublicam politicam accedentem ad Christum, 
ita jungi spirituali et Ecclesiasticae Reipublicae ut jam utraque 
dici possit unam Rempublicam Christianam componere, in qua sint 
duo Praefecti praecipui, quorum ille omnino omnibus in spiritua- 
libus ; hie omnino omnibus in temporalibus praesit. 

Vin, c. xiii. p. 901. 

Ex his patet, Bellarmine, Rempublicam Ecclesiasticam per- 
fectam et sibi sufficientem in ordine ad finem suum esse; sed ad 
ilium finem non necessarium posse uti et disponere de temporalibus 
rebus. Ibid. c. xvn. 926. 

Scribit Barclaius te iniuria potestatis Ecclesiasticam et civilem, 
quas antea duas unius Reipublicae potestates esse volueras, jam 
duas Respublicas appellare. Sed ne inutili lite certemus, sint sane 
duae Respublicae partiales, sint duae -Potestates in una Republica 
utrum vis. Nihil moror. Satis quod illae duae Potestates, sive 
Respublicae sunt sibi sufficientes ad suum finem, absque quod 
alterutra possit de rebus disponere ad alteram spectantibus. 
Utriusque potestatis conditor Deus non discrevit illarum modo 
fines, sed etiam actus etiam dignitates. Ibid. 929. 

Num potestas politica vim habet a Pontifice? Certe negas. 
Num Pontificis potestas in eodem genere sublimior est potestate 
Principum ? Negas quoque. Vis enim nullam temporalem. 
potestatem sublimiorem esse regia. Ibid. c. XXI. 946. 

Luther 239 

C. XXiv. p. 961 sqq. John Barclay makes great game with Bellar- 
mine for asserting that, though the Pope had no such power of his 
own, kings in accepting the Christian faith gave him tacitly a pact. 
This argument is remarkable, as founding the original compact on 
the Baptismal vow and also as a means whereby authority might be 
claimed for Pope as head of a single state against Catholic princes, 
but not against infidels or heretic princes when established, not 

Chap. xxxv. p. 1 1 12 he again asserts definitely, that both 
republics are perfect. 

Non igitur subordinata est Ecclesiasticae potestas Politica, 
cum non propter Ecclesiasticam constituta sit, sed ad civilem con- 
cordiam et adipisci suum finem absque illius ope possit, quod ut ipse 
fateris in Ethnicis saepe factum ; cum Ecclesiastica jam absque 
ilia esse queat, ut primis revera post Christum annis fuit cum 
denique neque ad finem, neque ad essentiam una ad aliam ordinem 
dicat, sed sint a sinu Dei, dignitatibus, officiis actibusque 
distinctae. cap. ill. 810. 

It can readily be seen, how similar the admissions here made on 
both sides are to the position of Cartwright and other Presbyterians, 
so strongly condemned by Whitgift and Hooker. The Presby- 
terians, however, had thought out their doctrine more completely 
than either Royalists or Jesuits, and were under no danger of 
confusing the Church with the Clergy. The position claimed 
for the State by Barclay, the Venetians, and implied by James I, 
is, however, entirely different from that asserted by Luther and the 
English Erastians. That position really arose from the denial 
of the Church, as a visible society by Luther, and the belief 
that all law was the same. Even in his more theological treatises, 
where Luther discovers the difference between law and faith, 
there is no sign that he regards civil law as distinct from moral, or 
as anything but a republication of the essential parts of the Sinaitic 
Code. Law is for Luther, whether natural, moral, or civil, all 
embodied in the ten commandments, and anything else is mere 
administrative regulation, whether in State or Church. Melanchthon 
does attach more importance to natural law ; but the notion of 
two republics, essentially distinct, is foreign, both to Luther and 
Anglican Divines, until the eighteenth century. 

Ostendi, supra, has potestates, spiritualem et temporalem ita 
esse distinctas ut neutra alteri quatenus talis est aut dominetur, 
aut pareat. W. Barclay, De Potestate Paflae, c. xxx. 669. 

240 Notes 

It is to be noted that Barclay, while in iheDe Regno he is opposed 
to Gerson's views of constitutional rights, is very well able to make 
use of the strong assertions of lay authority and national in- 
dependence, which formed another part of the Conciliar armoury. 

The two powers are liberae et sui juris et mutuo amore coirent ; 
there is in fact, as Warburton said later, an alliance between 
Church and State, only Barclay leaves to the Church a great 
deal more freedom than Warburton was able to do, writing when 
the Whig regime was flourishing, although Warburton desired 
the revival of Convocation, and was by no means the mere 
Erastian he is sometimes represented. We observe further: 

(a) The Venetian treatises are less interesting than those of 
Barclay and his son, but they establish some points. They are more 
definitely written from the standpoint of absolute territorialism ; 
the republic ever since 420 was omnino libera nata (299) in Fra 
Paolo's words. The notion of a State-paid clergy appears in the 
tract of the theologians, p. 338. 

(6) The author argues much in the manner of the Vindiciae, 
that the acceptance of a Christianity involves a contract with God, 
so that anyone violating it may be resisted, after the example of the 
Maccabean princes. He then goes on to argue, that the Clergy 
have no right to obey the Papal interdict, because if they do they 
will become false to their bargain. 

Dum Christiana religio recipitur, stabilitur quasi contractus per 
authoritatem divinam inter populum ilium fidelem et Ecclesiae 
ministros ; ut nimirum ministri populo verbum Dei concionentur 
&c. et populns vicissim iisdem victum et alia necessaria sub- 

(c) It is to be noted that the writer of one answer, in order to 
prove the right of the republic to control the formation of colleges 
and societies goes right back to early Imperial law, Trajan and 
Ulpian, and quotes the example of Julius Caesar, as related by 
Suetonius. The question of right is the same as that involved 
in the "Associations" law in France, and the idea of a corporate 
body existing only by the fiat or the concession of the State 
is at the bottom of some recent difficulties both in England and 

(d) The Venetian controversialists were acute enough to see 
the use that might be made of the Jesuit admissions, and frequently 
cite Molina and Bellarmine, as on their side. (Of course the 
inference would not have been admitted.) 

Luther 241 

(e) Lastly, the constant use of status for republic can be 
discerned in these treatises. There can, I think, be little doubt 
that it was largely the influence of Italy and especially Machiavelli 
which caused the term State to become everywhere predominant 
instead of commonwealth. The use of it in these tractates, as 
compared for instance with those of the French or Spanish 
writers, is evidence, though not conclusive, of this. Like the 
balance of power, reason of State, both name and thing, came 
from Italy whence nearly all modern politics can be derived. 

(2) Cf. Une Campagne Laique passim, with introduction by 
M. Anatole France. 

(3) Weiss nun fast alle Welt, dass Niemand so herrlich vom 
Kaiser und Gehorsam geschrieben, als ich. 

Mundt iv. 92. 
Luther, Wider den Meuchler zu Dresden. 
Cf. also Erlangen edition, Vol. XXXI. 83. 

(4) Greift ein Kind wohl, dass christlich Recht sei, nicht, sich 
strauben wider Unrecht ; nicht, zum Schwert greifen ; nicht, 
sich wehren ; nicht, sich rachen, sondern dahingeben Leib und Gut, 
dass er raube, wer da raubet ; wir haben doch genug an unserem 
Herrn, der uns nicht lassen wird, wie er verheissen hat. Leiden, 
Leiden, Kreuz, Kreuz ist der Christenrecht, das und kein 
anderes. Mundt II. 93. 

(5) Auf den Dritten A r tike I. 

Es will dieser Artikel alle Menschen gleich machen und aus 
dem geistlichen Reich Christi ein weltlich ausserlich Reich 
machen ; welches unmoglich ist. Denn weltlich Reich kann nicht 
bestehen, wo nicht Ungleichheit ist in Personen, das etliche 
frei sind, etliche gefangen, etliche Herren, etliche Unterthanen. 

Mundt II. 103. 

(6) Die Bauern wussten nicht, wie kostlich Ding es sei um 
Frieden und Sicherheit, dass einer mag seinem Bissen und Trunk 
frohlich und sicher geniessen, und dankten Gott nicht darum ; 
dass musste er jetzt auf diese Weise lehren, dass ihnen der Kiitzel 

Sendbrief an Caspar Milller. Mundt II. 132. 

Luther's view of the serf's position is here indicated: 
Der Esel wird Schlage haben und der Pobel mit Gewalt regieret 
sein ; dass wusste Gott wohl. Darum gab er der Obrigkeit nicht 
ein Fuchsschwanz, sondern ein Schwert in die Hand. 

Mundt 11. 132. 

F. 16 

242 Notes 

(7) See the Letter in Grisar I., Appendix. 

(8) The whole question of Erastus' views is discussed by me 
in a paper in the Journal of Theological Studies, 1900. I think 
that the distinction there made between the views of Erastus 
and those of Hobbes or Machiavelli is just. But I should not now 
write so largely of the power of the State as in the concluding 
paragraphs, nor deny the need of excommunication. 

(9) Cf. Luther v. Turks. 

Die Welt ist aus Ende kommen, das Romisch Reich ist fast 
dahin und zerrissen. Erlangen edition, xxxi. 74. 

It is significant that one of Luther's grounds for attacking the 
Turks is " sie trunken nicht Wein." What could be more 
cogent ? 

Luther knew very well that the office of the teacher is 
persuasion, and that all spiritual changes must first affect men's 
minds, and then outward institutions will tumble of themselves. 

Ich habe dem Papst ohne alle Faust mehr Schaden gethan, 
denn ein machtiger Kbnig thun mbchte. 

Mundt II. 76. 

(10) In Luther's reply to Henry VIII we see something of his 
true position : 

"Consuetudo, inquit, habet vim legis. Respondeo habeat vim 
legis in civilibus causis, sed nos in libertatem vocati sumus, quae 
nee legem nee consuetudinem ferre potest aut debet cum agamus 
in spiritualibus causis." Jena edition, II. 339. 

This should be compared with the view of a modern Lutheran, 
that the idea of law is unknown to the early Church, of which the 
organisation is purely "charismatic," and that the change to 
any system of law marks the beginning of Catholicism. 

Sohm, Kirchenrecht. 

Again Luther says : 

" Pro libertate ergo pugno, Rex pro captivitate pugnat." 

The captivity is to the dead hand of the past. 

(11) Cf. I, chaps. 10 and 58, also Discorso sulla Riforma v., 
and perhaps most strongly in DelP Arte delta Guerra, v. 169. 

(12) The same is true of the passages at the close of the 
Discorsi, and still more of that in the third book of the Arte delta 
Guerra : Non abbiamo noi vinto una giornata felicissamente ? 
Ma con maggior felicita si vincerebbe, se ni fusse concesso il 
metterla in atto. 191. 

Luther 243 

(13) The most important passage on this point : 

Dove si delibera al tutto della salute della patria, non vi 
debbe cadere alcuna considerazione ne di giusto, ne d' ingiusto, 
ne di pietoso, ne di crudele, ne di laudabile, ne d' ignominioso, 
anzi posposto ogni altro rispetto seguireal tutto quel partito che gli 
salvi la vita e mantengale la liberta. ill. 41. 

Yet in one of the few moral passages in his writings he declares 
in the previous chapter that territory acquired by fraud or breach 
of treaties can never be a source of glory. 

(14) His attitude to religion is simply that of a man who 
regards it as a force to be reckoned with. It is not his words, but 
the naivete of his tone that is really so remarkable^, this is all 
that it occurs to him to say about Joan of Arc. He speaks of the 
use of the military oath. 

La quale cosa, mescolata con altri modi religiosi, fece molte 
volte facile ai capitani antichi ogni impresa, e farebbe sempre 
dove la Religione si temesse ed osservasse....Ne' tempi de' padri 
nostri, Carlo VII re di Francia nella guerra che fece con gl' Inglesi, 
diceva consigliarsi con una fanciulla mandata da Iddio, la quale si 
chiamo per tutto la Pulzella di Francia : il che gli fu cagione della 

DeW Arte della Guerra, V. 227. 

(15) Sir Frederick Pollock, History of the Science of 
Politics. The statement is true of the way in which Machiavelli 
regards the facts of human life, religious, moral, and political. 
They are phenomena to be accounted for and made use of in 
his scheme. Every motive by which men are or appear to be 
moved is a force, and if rightly manipulated an asset, for the 
statesman. But the direct and practical aim of Machiavelli, 
breathing in all his writings, is love of Italy and her rescue from 
slavery, by any and every means. It is for this reason, for the sake 
of the community not the individual, that he prefers free govern- 
ment to tyranny in the Discorsi. 

(16) Pibrac quoted by Pasquier in his Letters, VI. 2, p. 155. 

(17) See my paper on Bartolus in Transactions of Royal Hist. 
Society, Vol. xix. 1905. 

(18) I quote the most important words : 

"Cum tamen dictus Johannes Huss fidem orthodoxam perti- 
naciter impugnans, se ab omni conductu et privilegio reddiderit 
alienum, nee aliqua sibi fides aut promissio de jure naturali divino 
et humano fuerit in praejudicium catholicae fidei observanda." 

16 2 

244 Notes 

The authenticity of this decree has been impugned, but without 
good reason, see Wylie, Council of Constance. Moreover, whether 
or no the decree be authentic, there is plenty of evidence that the 
views therein expressed represent the mind of the Council ; see 
some quoted by Creighton II. 30, 31. Acton's essay on "Paolo 
Sarpi " brings out more completely than anything else the way in 
which Machiavelli's doctrine was used in Italy indiscriminately by 
Church and State. 

(19) See in Dupin's Gerson, vol. v. 

(20) The nearest approach to this statement is in the Discorsi. 
It is to be wished that somebody would make a catena of the 

authorities who state the maxim definitely. Personally I have 
never actually found it in any Jesuit writer, though it perhaps 
may be inferred from the passages quoted below. 

(21) Cf. Constitutiones Societatis Jesu VI. 1. Chapter 5 goes 
further and admits that the vow of obedience may be allowed to 
induce to mortal sin in cases in which the superior commands 
in the name of Jesus Christ. It should, however, be stated that 
in Acton's opinion the real offence of the Order against ethics is 
not to be traced to either of these sources, but to later develop- 
ments. Doubtless the passages are "patient" of an orthodox 

(22) Mr G. E. Moore declares the doctrine of ends to be far 
superior to that of means in Principia Ethica 89 etc. From the 
Christian standpoint the truth in this view is that indicated below ; 
while for ordinary practical ethics the statement is simply made to 
warn the actor against the great danger of imagining exceptions 
to be more frequent than the rules of morality which may not 
be absolute, but are certainly general. 

(23) See the long account of Probabilism and Gonzalez' struggles 
in Dollinger-Reusch, Geschichte der moralen Streitigkeiten. 

(24) See the matter discussed and letters quoted in Life of 
Bishop Creighton, Chapter xm. The crucial statement is that of 
Creighton : " I am hopelessly tempted to admit degrees of criminality " 
(page 375). See also a Lecture by Creighton in The Quarterly 
Review, 1905, on " Historical Ethics." 

Politiques 245 


(1) The notes affixed to the vast collection known as the 
Memoires de la Ligue in the edition published in the middle of the 
eighteenth century afford the strongest evidence of the complete 
triumph of regalist principles over ultramontane. The editor has 
little sympathy with the Huguenots, yet even less with the seditious 
spirit of the Ligueurs and the Jesuits. 

(2) Tarquini in Juris Ecclesiastici Publici Institutiones. 

(3) See a paper of mine on " Hoadly and the Bangorian 
Controversy" in The Guardian, Oct. 1905. A very cursory glance 
at Sherlock's pamphlets against Hoadly will shew that what 
the former really opposed was the idea of religious toleration. 
The same is not, I think, the case with Law, nor indeed could this 
very well be the case with a non-juror. 

(4) L'intempe'rie de toute la Chretiente est aujourd'hui telle 
qu'il n'y a Royaume ni Etat, qui s'y puisse maintenir en paix sans 
la liberte" des deux Religions, voire qui ni se ruine si on s'opiniatre 
contre l'une. Memoires de la Ligue, II. 133. 

(5) See Dufey's Oeuvres Completes de Michel LHopital, vol. 1. 
441458 and 468 79. 

(6) See the famous pamphlet of Cecil On the Execution of 
Justice in England. 

(7) See clause II of that document in Gardiner, p. 269 : 
That we shall in like manner... endeavour the extirpation of 

Popery, prelacy, superstition, heresy... lest we partake in other 
men's sins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues ; 
and that the Lord may be one and His name one in the three 

(8) The following passage in Bodin is an illustration of the 
view, which can, however, be best studied passim in the Letters of 
Pasquier : 

Si tantus fuerit principum ac populorum in nova religione 
consensus, ut sine Reipublicae exitio prohiberi non possit ; sapien- 
tissimi quique Rerumpublicarum moderatores in eo genere guber- 
natorem imitantur, qui cum eo, quo cupiat, pergere non possit, eo 
quo potest cursum dirigit, ac saepe velificatione mutata, procellis 
ac tempestatibus obtemperat ne si portum tenere velit naufragium 
patiatur. Ferenda igitur ea religio est quam sine Reipublicae 
interitu conferre non possis. Salus enim Reipublicae extrema lex 
esset. HI - 8 - 

246 Notes 

(9) The crucial arguments are put by Brentz : 

" Multo satius est et praestabilius, ut quater aut decies falsa 
fides tolleretur, quam quod semel vera fides insectationem patiatur." 

See a discussion of these writings in my chapter on " Political 
Thought " in Cambridge Modern History. 

(10) There is an interesting passage in l'Hopital's Traite" de la 
Reformation de la Justice, in which he denies that nature teaches 
a mere struggle for existence and asserts that it is in essence 

He says that those who claim to rule without law assert that 
"Par la loy de nature les gros poissons mangent les petits, les loups 
et aultres bestes ravissantes, les aigles, les faulcons, les vautours, 
et autres oyseaux de proie mangent les oyseaux qui ont peu de 
force et de resistance.... Mais ces beaulx diseurs ont mal tudie" 
en la loy de nature laquelle est toute autre que celle qu'ils y 
se figurent, et qu'ils prennent des bestes brutes.... La verite - est 
que entre les bestes brutes, il ne se veoit jamais gueres que celles 
d'une meme espece s'entredeVorent et se fassent la guerre. Canis 
caninam non est, corvus corvi oculum non cruit. Au contraire 
les bestes se mettent en troupe pour se garantir contre celles qui 
leur sont naturellement ennemyes et qui sont d'aultre espece... 
C'est done principallement aux grands du monde a garder bien 
religieusement ceste loy de nature." 11. 47. 

(11) Decretale IV. 17, 13. 

(12) Nunquam enim Regis alicujus tanta saevitia vel 
rapacitas exstitit, quae cum civilis discordiae miseriis ex rebellio 
natae comparata non multis partibus minor sit. 

De Regno, 119. 

(13) By poverty I mean serious poverty, below Mr Seebohm's 
border-line, not of course the mere absence of many useless 

(14) By utilitarian I mean the word in its popular sense, of 
placing convenience before character. 

(15) The Renaissance was of course opposed to the historical 
spirit. The idea of development, or of the relativity of constitutions 
or systems, was entirely alien to it. Machiavelli uses the facts 
of history as so many instances on which to form an inductive 
science of politics ; but of the conception of politics as the result 
of national development or characteristics there is no trace. 

The arguments of Hotman drawn from the nature of early 
French institutions were ridiculed by this school. Barclay scoffs at 

Politiques 247 

Boucher's attempt to draw from the Liber De Feudis a right of 
deposition from the barbaric institutions of the Lombard kings. 
He makes however very good use of the originally insecure tenure 
of the feudal lord. 

Quasi vero jus monarchiae, quod fere cum ipso genere humano 
ortum traxit, ad incertas Longobardorum feudales consuetudines 
a Jurisconsultis quibusdam Mediolanensibus collectas, quae apud 
alias gentes partim incognitae et partim aliter atque aliter 
observatae sunt, exigatur, contrahaturque. Quis nescit Feudorum 
jus et consuetudinem non valde antiquam esse et omnia primum 
feuda precaria concedi solita, ut ubi domino visum esset, revoca- 
rentur. Deinde usu obtinuisse, ut ea domini non intra annum 
ex quo concesserant rapere possent. Post vero ut beneficia ejus- 
modi ad totum vitae tempus clientis beneficiarii protenderentur. 
Mox etiam unus ex beneficiariis filius, quern dominus nominasset, 
fratri in beneficio succederet. Tandem denique moribus inolevit 
ut feuda essent perpetua. De Regno, 401. 

(16) De Republica, 1. 8, p. 135 : Inter Pontifices is qui jura 
majestatis omnium optime norat, et qui fere omnium imperatorum 
aut principum Christianorum potestatem sibi subjecerat, summum 
imperium ejus esse dixit, qui ordinario juri derogare potest. 

(17) See Stubbs, Lectures on Medieval and Modern History, 



(1) I am of course using the word utilitarian with its ordinary 
meaning, and in no way begging any philosophical or religious 
question. Now from the highest point of view it is doubtless true, 
that in the long run the right course is the most useful. But as 
I pointed out in my last lecture, the moment convenience is put 
forward as a motive instead of character, the arguments against all 
forms of disturbance are conclusive, almost universally. 

(2) See on this point Overton and Relton, The English Church 
in the XVILIth century, 349 52. 

(3) See Dicey's Law and Public Opinion in England for 
a description of the uniformity enforced by convention and social 
pressure in the days of George III. 

248 Notes 

(4) Calvin's Institutes, Book iv. c. 20, more especially 8, 29 
32. Even in the last case it is only "Passive Resistance" that 
he allows, nowhere rebellion. 

(5) Goodman, How to obey. 

(6) See Filmer's Anarchy of a Mixed Monarchy. 

(7) Leslie's most important writings on this score are various 
pamphlets in reply to Hoadly and The Rehearsal. 

(8) Even Turrecremata admits, that a Pope though infallible 
may become a heretic ; if so, he ipso jure ceases to be a Pope. 
There is no danger of any ex cathedra false doctrine. 

(9) Quotations from this treatise will be found in notes to 
my Divine Right of Kings. The following however may be added 
here : 

Sequitur ergo tyrannum in populum tanquam feudi dominum, 
feloniam committere regni imperiique sacram majestatem laedere, 
rebellem esse, ac propterea in easdem leges incidere et longe 
graviores poenas mereri. 1. 187. 

(10) The writer has a great contempt for mob rule : 

An vero universam multitudinem, belluam, inquam, illam 
innumerorum capitum tumultuari et concurrere in earn rem, quasi 
agmine facto oportebit ? Quis vero in ea turba ordo esse queat ? 
Quae consilii, quae rerum gerendorum species ? Cum de universo 
populo loquimur, intelligimus eos, qui a populo authoritatem 
acceperunt, magistratus nempe rege inferiores a populo delectos, 
aut alia ratione constitutos, quasi imperii Consortes et Regum 
Ephoros, qui universum populi coetum representant. Intelligamus 
etiam Comitia quae nil aliud sunt, quam Regni cujusque Epitome, 
ad quae publica omnia negotia referantur. 1 1. 46. 

(11) Gierke's great work is really a comment on this contrast, 
and an illustration of the workings of the two notions throughout 

(12) As the book is not much read, I may cite one or two 
passages of Rossaeus' : 

Neque enim respublicae creatae sunt propter reges, sed reges 
electi sunt propter respublicam. Neque populi primo in unum 
coetum confluxerunt, ut regum bonum procurarent ; sed multitudo 
consociata reges elegit, qui multitudinis bono praeessent, et 
commodum adjuvarent. Ergo primae sunt reipublicae partes, 
secundae regum. c. 1. p. 33. 

(13) P. 40, c. 2. 

(14) Henry III is perfidiosissima apostata, impurissimus hypo- 

McmarcJiomachi 249 

crita, alter Mezentius Dei contemptor, millies ipso Mahomete vel 
Theomacho Graeco nequior et sceleratior (p. 170). 

(15) P. 159 sqq. The argument might almost be compared with 
Westcott or any modern writer arguing about the conception of the 
Atonement from the universal practice of religions. 

(16) He declares sains animarum suprema lex to be the rule 
of a Christian state ; and in the same way (613), answering to the 
digna vox of the State, there is another : digna et necessaria est vox 
ut princeps Christianus legibus Ecclesiae se devinctum profiteatur. 

(17) P. 129. 

(18) Pp. 342, 377, 381 3- 

(19) He makes very good use of Beza's argument against 
toleration and its consequences in Poland and Transylvania. 

569. Heretici regem Catholicum optimo jure in regno praesi- 
dentem, regem suum ferre nolunt. 1. 63. 

(20) Einer der wesentlichsten Unterschiede der katholischen 
und der reformierten Monarchomachen besteht in dem grosseren 
Radicalismus und in dem grosseren Mangel an Klarheit und 
Precision der ersteren. Landmann n. 

I think this is true about the first point ; there is all the difference 
between Whigs and Radicals, between Boucher and Du Plessis 
Mornay. But I do not think Suarez or Molina lacking in clearness 
or precision. 


(1) See especially the discussion in Reusch, Beil?'cige zur 
Geschichte des Jesuitenordens, also the crucial words in the two 
editions are compared in a note to my " Political Theories of the 
early Jesuits," Royal Hist. Soc. Trans. Vol. XI. 

(2) Die Lehre von Tyrannenmord. 

(3) Mariana De Rege. 

(4) See Du Prat, Le Pere Colon. 

(5) De Legibus ill. i, 2, 3. He dismisses in 3 of Chap. 2 
the views of folk, like Filmer, who derive all power from original 
parental authority, asserting that Adam's power was domestic 
not economic, and that a "perfect community'' is owing to the 
voluntary coalescence of several families. 

16 < 

250 Notes 

De Legibus III. 9. 4 : Sequitur secundo, etiam in principe 
supremo esse hanc potestatem eo modo et sub ea conditione 
sub qua data est et translata per communitatem. Further cap. 35 
he decides that princes, including the Pope, are bound by their own 
laws, and that not from any express or tacit contract, because that 
would mean a compact might release them, which is impossible. 
See the evils of the contrary view urged by Contarini in his 
Letter to Paul III. 

(6) Disputationes Tridentinae, edited by H. Grisar. It is 
notable, that in arguing against the Pope having received his power 
from the Church, Lainez takes it for granted that a lex regia 
can never be an entire abdication on the part of the people in 
favour of the monarch. 

(7) See Suarez' excellent chapter on the separation of 
powers, Hi. 11. His position is totally different from the medieval, 
that omnia jura civilia were at bottom canonica. The whole point 
of his view is, that the civil power as such is no more and no less 
than it was among the heathen before Christianity ; but that the 
Church has its own rights. An infidel prince may not be disturbed, 
unless he treats Christians ill, when war is of course justifiable ; but 
he will not say that infidels as such are without a just title, as 
the medievals do (e.g. S omnium Viridarii). Heretics are different, 
for the baptismal vow makes them a part of the Christian republic 
(ill. 10. 6). Cf. Bellarmine, De Rom. Pon. v. 7 : Quando Reges 
et Principes ad Ecclesiam veniunt, ut Christiani fiant, recipiuntur 
cum pacto tacito vel expresso, ut sceptra sua subjiciant Christo, 
et polliceantur se Christi fidem servaturos et defensuros etiam sub 
poena regni perdendi. Cf. De Trans. Imp. I. 12 (p. 1193). 

(8) See Reusch, Die Selbstbiographie des Cardinals Bellar- 

(9) On the other hand Molina definitely declares the civil 
State to be imperfect without the guidance of the Church. This 
confirms our view that the doctrine of the Church as a " societas 
perfecta" is only of importance when and in so far as it makes an 
admission, that the State is also in the same category. 

(10) Suarez, De Immunitate Ecclesiac, written against the 
Venetian claims is the strongest evidence of this. What he claims 
is really an extra-territorial position for clergy and monasteries ; 
while, since the rights of property exist jure naturae to a private 
man, d fortiori they must to any congregation of men, and 
especially to the Church. What he is clearly striving for is for the 

J e stiits 251 

recognition of the natural rights of a community other than the 
State. What he really asks is, whether " reason of State " is always 
to be decisive ? Or, as Molina put it, the Respublica Ecclesiae non 
minus sibi debet esse sufficiens, quam quaecunque Respublica 
secularis (547). 

(11) Gosselin, Pouvoir du Pape an Moyen Age (2 vols., 1845), 
is an elaborate but unsuccessful attempt in this direction. 

(12) The arguments are to be found in Palmiri, De Romano 
Pontijicc, and Tarquini, Juris Ecclesiastici Publici Instiiutioncs. 

(13) Cf. the document printed in Denziger's Enchiridion, 
405 sqq. It must be observed, that even Papalists like Bellarmine 
and Suarez admit limits to the Pope's power. Bellarmine says 
distinctly the enquiry is only whether the Pope has power to make 
just laws, nam injustae leges non sunt proprie dicendae leges {De 
Rom. Pont, in Disputatioues, I. 1025). Suarez appears to deny- 
that even God has power to alter natural law ; and has the same 
view as Bellarmine about the need of justice for a true law. 

(14) The following obiter dictum of Bellarmine illustrates 
the way of regarding law. The statements of Jesuits and 
Conciliar writers about secular government are very often the more 
remarkable as being purely occasional. Both Gerson and 
Bellarmine take for granted that in the civil State absolutism is 

Quemadmodum in Republica civili necessarie sunt leges civiles 
quae sunt quaedam quasi conclusiones deductae ex jure naturae, vel 
determinationes juris naturae, sic etiam in Ecclesia praeter legem 
Evangelicam necessarie sunt leges Ecclesiasticae, quae sunt etiam 
veluti deductae ex principiis Evangelii, vel determinationes. Ibid. 

Suarez' arguments, iv. 1, about the necessity of legislative 
power in the Church are based on its being a " societas perfecta," 
and have no special relation to the Papacy. Indeed, as one writer 
Vasquez saw, the power ecclesiastical was inherent in the nature of 
things and might have existed even were there no revelation. 
Cf. also Suarez, iv. 2 3 and c. 8, where he says, " potestates hae in 
suo esse plus quam genere distinguuntur." 

252 Notes 


(1) Marnix, CEuvres, Vol. Correspondance et Melanges 369, 
appeals to the idea of balance of power in his address to the 
princes of Europe to induce them to help the Netherlands. 

(2) De Imperio Summarum Potestatum circa Sacra. 

(3) See the document in Marnix, Ecrits Politiques, App. 

(4) Another early pamphlet De Jure Belli Belgici makes 
use of the ordinary feudal argument, that the same offences which 
justify the eviction of a vassal from his fief, give a right to exclude 
the lord from his ownership. 

(5) The only interesting things in Daneau are his insistence on 
the need of free education (including creches) for all, and of a 
"ladder of learning," and also on the need of provincial assemblies. 
He definitely denies, like others of this school, that there is 
a " sovereign " in the strict sense ; this is a fiction of the Bartolistae, 

VI. 3- 

(6) Doctrinam de consociatione privata conjugum et consan- 
guineorum, male meo judicio, quidam politici ex agro politico 
exterminant, et oeconomico ut propriam attribuunt. Nam hae 
consociationes omnis symbioticae privatae et pttblicae seminarium. 
Adempta igitur hac conjugum et consanguineorum doctrina, 
reliquarum consociationum cognitio imperfecta et manca erit, 
atque sine ea recte intelligi non poterit. c. III. 33. 

(7) On the question of toleration Althusius wavers ; he will 
tolerate for the sake of peace, if the State cannot subsist otherwise, 
but he will not allow Papists to have Churches, or heretics to 
hold office. His position is somewhat similar to that of Warburton, 
pp. 424 430. Marnix towards the end of his life refused toleration 
to Anabaptists {CEuvres). 

(8) Cf. Apology. 

(9) An quid magis ridiculum quam quod dicunt aliqui, tamen 
non ridiculiinterpretes juris, posse etiamnumimperatorem Romanum 
agere ad regnum Hispaniae, quod captum et possessum Saracenis 
diutissime fuit, et perdiu etiam tenetur ab Hispanis hominibus? 

Albericus Gentilis, De Jure Belli 1. 22. 
That the author should still find it necessary to write like 
this is a proof how slowly the Imperial and universal conception of 
politics vanished from men's ideals. The importance of Spain 
in the matter is again worth noticing. 

Netherlands Revolt 253 

Cf. also this passage : 

Sunt vero interpretes juris, qui sic exponunt de rege Francorum, 
eum praescriptione saltern esse exemptum ab imperatoris sub- 
jectione. Contra quos non apte affert Alciatus, quod nulla 
temporis praescriptio obtineat contra imperium. Ibid. 

(10) Cf. the argument of Albericus Gentilis that in England 
civilian lawyers were really the same as canonists. 

Anglus ut dixi nomine civilis indigitat etiam canonicum. 

Regales Disputationes I. 7. 

(n) In Public International Law. 

(12) Latet itaque jus istud. Sed et si sit omnino, revocabitur 
in controversiam ab aliis, qui Jus non natura sed opinione constare 
omne pertinaciter contendunt, atque adeo contendunt adversus nos, 
quibus hoc positum, et quam est, quaestiones bellicas jure definire 
gentium oportere, quod est naturae... habeo pro explorato jus 
aliquid naturae esse, quo et argumentum hoc tractetur bellicum. 

Albericus Gentilis, De Jure Belli I. 1. 
Grotius also sharply distinguishes between rights which being 
unnatural have a legal character, and rights which are purely 

(13) As Grotius puts it Fide sublataferis eritnt similes (ill. 2, 52), 
the doctrine of Machiavelli accepts this, and likens men to the 
anti-social animals. The conception alike of Grotius and the 
Monarchomachi are of a law anterior to all positive laws ; and this 
conception was erroneously assisted by the universal acceptance of 
the ideal perfection of the civil law, and its concomitant the canon 
law. Fidei enim ?ion tantum respublica qualibet conti?tetur, sed et 
tnagis ilia gentium societas (in. 25, 1). For this purpose there must 
be two conditions, the recognition (a) of a natural law, (b) of the 
duty of keeping promises. Thus, alike in the civil State of Locke 
and the international State of Grotius, the atheist is ruled out, 
because he is without the belief in God which would lead him 
to keep his oath. The importance of this condition is very great, 
not in itself, but as shewing how the ground on which international 
law arose is exactly the same as that which reared modern theories 
of the rights of States as against absolutism. The enemy in both 
cases is the same, the " Machiavellistica ac Turcica" theory of 
government, which subjects all rights private and public to the 
ruler's conception of immediate expediency. The French pamphlets 
in the wars of religion form perhaps the clearest evidence of this, 
but it is scattered through the literature of the time. 

254 No Us 

At nc'(|iic nos loquimur nunc dc his qui, fcrarum modo maglS 

quam hominum viventes, sine ulla omnino reii^.ionc sunt, hos cnim 
'iuasi piratas, communes hostes omnium, hello ptrsequtndos ti 
cogittdos in mora hominum arbitrarer, lli enim vera videntur 
injurii omnibus hominibus, qui in spei ic hominum agunt vitam 
brutorum brutissimorum.... Juris naturae est religio. El itaque ncc 
patrocinabitur pis istud expertibus ipsius. 

A. G., DiJ. B. i. 9. 39, 

GrOtlUS held a similar view (/></ />'. II. 20. 46). 

Moreovei (irntius ^ives a hint, tliat international law arises like 
the State by a sort of pact. In the one 1 ase, on the populai theory, 
individuals suriender a portion ol their lilierty in Order to secure 

peace and order ; in tin- other, States, as the persons ol international 

law, sin render a poll ion of their " natuial freedom,'' so as to sei tin 

the advantage of those mitigations oi the struggle for existence 

which the rules ol war and peace oiler to them. 

(i.|) (i Albericus Gentilis, Da Jure Btllii. 3: 
jus etiam, illis perscriptum libris Justiniani non civitatis est 
tantum, sed el gentium, et naturae. El aptatum sic est ad naturam 

liniversam, Ul inipcrio extincto, et ipsuin jus dm sepultum surrcxei il 
tamen, et in omnes se effudcrit Rentes hum. mas. Ergo et I'nmi- 

pihus siat, etsi esl privatis 1 onditum a Justiniano.... 

Quid? non apta I'rim ipihus ilia librorum Justiniani, Hoik .te 
vivere, Allei um non laedere, Suum cinque trilniere, l.iberos lucn, 
Iniuriam propulsaie. Cum omnibus hominibus co^nationem 

agnoscere, Commercia retinere, id genus reliqua, et quae ex ins 

quaeque in illis sunt libris lere totuin ? Isthaec jiu is ;;entiinn sunt, 

et juris bellici. 

GrOtiuS too treats < ivil law in the strict sense, as only a small 
pait ol the law ol any Slate. Much the larger is law natural. The 
1. 11 t thai nearly all continental .Stales looked largely to Koine 
for the source of their . ommon law is a further illustration of this 
view. Snare/ is quite definite in his statements, that there is 

no common imperial authority} and that the common law ol each 

nation is what that nation obeys without any intei leience from out- 
side ; but the notion of a Roman Law as a "source-book" 
undoubtedly helped to make possible the system of International 

Law in the form 11 actually took. 

(15) It is of vital importance, that GrotiuS admits the Turkish 
government l< share on an equality in the mass of rights and 



Absolutism, tendency towards, l ec 

tures 111. and l \ 

dreaded, 166 ; in modes n State, 

i<)i. 103 sqq. 
Acton, 1 mi, and Whigs, 7 ; criti 

cised, 10:, 1 .'() 1 on continuity "i 

political thought) 1 18 
Albericus Gentins, in ; hi'-,/.- fun 

lu'ili, 1 [3 sqq. 
Allliusius, j. ( , 1 5|, i()i , 1,)., ; his 

Politiea nittkoaict Digtsta, .'00 
iqq< ; Federalism, .'o,s 

Altruism, exaggerated by Schopen- 
hauer -iii* I Tolstoi 1 1 .in. 111. 

Anabaptists, effect on Protestantism, 
''! 75i "7- 'I' 

Aquinas, s. ThomaSi 7, 1 7.1 

,\i istotle, 7 

Augustinus TriumphuSi 7, t6, t8 

Balance "i Power, 131 

Ban lay, 63, [09, 113, 1 .'o, 155, 

|N|. 109, ;oo 

Bartolus, 88, 167, i(> () , i,s () 
Basel, < Council of, t.i. )' iqq< 

Hell. limine, ( ;, )( ), i J ;, , S i 

Bodin .mil modern State, ti, his 
Six Livrtt /v /> h\ : pnl>ii,/H<\ 1M1 

Bouchei . to 1 

Brow n. Robert, <>n Toleration, 1 1 7 

Bryce, cited, 18 

Buchanan, !"- Dtyun Rtgniapud 
s, o/esi 1 11, 1 .17 sqq. 

Calvin, views on political authority, 

1 ' '45 

< alvinism and liberty, 1 .17 ; i 1 *-. i oi 
Church, 186 

( larlyle, A. J., cited, - ;, 1 
Casuistry, its justification and 1 isles, 

I of' 

Church in Muieiie Ages, (. ix. In 
1 iih century, 1 .ecture 1 1. passim] 
claims) 1 lectures V. and vi . ; as 

>'. .'..' ,-. '. 1 .,;, .|N ; conflicts 
with si.ue in Middle Ages, 49 ; 
in relation to modern State, 
iSj,, t86 : Free oi Scotland, ca te, 

i .Millies, m. Emile, <<,<, 
Conccrdattiia Cathclica y sum 

marised, 58 sqq. 
Constance, Council of, 11 sqq, 
Constitutionalism <'i Middle Ag . 

culminates al ( lonstance, .;<> 
( Ireighton, M., 98, too ; defended 

against Acton, 10: 
Cunningham, w.. on conscious 

imitation 'i the Dutch, toi 

Dante, his Di Monarthia, 17 
Dialogut du Manant tt Makiustrti 

Dicey, 134 

Digna l 1 . 1) 

1 )is|ien.iiii' Powei , 88 

1 M\ in.- Right of Kings, 60 sqq, : 
comparison between English and 
French supporters of, 1 1 1 

I )'< >i leans, I .ouis, 113, 1 go 

Dubois Pierre, !"' Dt Recuperation* 
/',/>,!< Satttttu, analysed, 17 

Economists, 01 1 1 1 > 1 1 x and ethics, >) 1 

Ehud, 145 

Elisabeth, Queen, mu\ toleration, 

1 1., 



Erasmus, 63 

Erastianism, under Henry II in 

Wyclif, 30 ; theory, 74 
Etienne de la Boeotie, 124; Le 

Contr'Un, 231 
Eugenius IV, 46 

Federalism, 15, 68, 192 
Ferrara, Council at, 43 
Feudalism, its influence, 10; and 

original contract, n, 149 s,qq. ; 

in the Dutch revolt, 199 
Filmer, 160, 202 

Gallicanism, 45, 119, 136 

George III, a danger to liberty, 

Gierke, Otto, 179, 200, 206 
Gregoire, Pierre, his De Republica, 

128, 192, 200 
Grotius, natural law, 8, 190, 194, 

209 sqq. 

Hegel, his view of the State traced 
to Luther, 67, 71, 180 

Henri III, 162, 164, 165, 168 

Henri IV, Lecture IV. passim, 170, 

Heretics, attitude of Council of 
Constance towards, 90 ; kings, 

Hobbes, denies natural law, 8 ; on 
modern State, 1 2 ; not to be con- 
fused with Luther, 77, 203 

Hoadly, 112, 117, 202 

Hooker, 49, 62, 77 

Hotman, his Franco- Gallia analysed, 


Huguenots, 152 sqq., 186 

Infidels, as Kings, rights of, 18 

John XXIII, 65 

John of Salisbury on tyrannicide, 

Justinian, his system partly medi- 
eval, 10; view of religion, 17, 

15. l6 3 
Knox, John, intolerance of, 146 

L'H6pital and Toleration, no, 113 

Lainez, 179 

Laity, at the Council, 45, 50, 231 ; 
favoured by Luther, 64 

Law, Canon, 16; limits absolutism of 
State, 138 ; its diminished im- 
portance in modern times, 141, 
185 ; its effect on politics and 
international law, 213 

Law, International, basis, 8 ; 
modern, 1 4 ; relation to Protestant- 
ism, 19 ; to medieval ideals, 131 ; 
in Jesuits, 188 ; development of 
by Grotius and Albericus Gentilis, 
211 sqq. 

Law of Nature, 8 ; not in Machia- 
velli, 84 sqq. ; and original 
contract, 151 ; in Jesuits, 175 ; 
atmosphere of political discus- 
sions, 176, 199; its use by 
Grotius, 211 sqq. 

Law, Roman, and modern indi- 
vidualism, 8 ; source of political 
maxims, 9 sqq. ; in Jesuits, 174 
sqq., 185 ; in Albericus Gentilis, 


Legitimism, 1 1 1 

Leslie, 203 

Lex Regia, 8 sqq., 155, 165, 211 

Liberty, civil, due to religious 
quarrels, 6 ; depends on division 
of power, 142 ; legal atmo- 
sphere, 176 

Ligue, 158 sqq., 186 

Locke, his forerunners, 54, 156, 
161 ; Mariana, 171, 179 

Louis XIV, defeated in contest 
with the Pope, 136; revokes 
edict of Nantes, 143 

Maitland, F. W., n 

Manegold of Lautenbach, 7, 148 

Mariana, Juan de, 34, 162 ; his 

De Rege discussed, 168 sqq. 
Marnix de S. Aldegonde, 198 
Marsilius of Padua, his Defensor 

Pads, 28 
Melanchthon, hostility to monastic 

ideal, 63 ; against legislative 

power of Church, 66, 178 
Molina, 178 
Monarchy, absolute, triumphs with 

victory of Popes, 37 ; limited, as 



proclaimed by Council, 38 ; 

theory of modern, Lectures III. 

and IV. ; limitations on, Lectures 

V. and VI. passim 
Moore, Mr G. E., his Principia 

Ethica discussed, 105 
Mornay, Du Plessis, 8 ; author of 

Vindiciae contra tyrannos, 153; 

summary of, 154 sqq. 

Nietzsche, 95 sqq., 212 

Ockham, William of, cited, 27, 29, 

Original Contract, 7 ; its basis, 8 ; 

sources, 11 ; discussed, 148 sqq., 

199, 202 

Papacy, and Roman Empire, 4 ; and 
Hohenstauffen, 7, 25 ; and mon- 
archy, 26 ; paves the way for 
universal absolutism, 37 ; its 
claims, 41 ; meaning of its 
triumph, 51 ; its results, 60 
Passive Obedience in Luther, 65 
Philip II, worked with Luther, 5, 

17. 197. !99 
Pisa, Council of, 44 
Pius II and Pius IX, 38 
Plenitudo Potestatis, ascribed to 

Popes, 4 ; its meaning, 1 7 
Politics and theology, in Middle 

Ages, 18 ; continuity, 23 
Pope, may be deposed for heresy, 

7 ; may not dispense with natural 

law, 8 ; may have jurisdiction 

though a layman, 17; source of 

law, ibid. ; limitations on his 

power, 57 ; indirect power, 180 

Presbyterians, their theory of State 

and Church as separate kingdoms, 

62, 73, 136, 157 
Private rights and public law in 

Middle Ages, 12 ; in modern 

times, 14 
Probabilism, its connection with 

Machiavelli, 92 

Reformation, 5 ; retards secularising 
of politics, 18 ; revives theocratic 

ideals, 24 ; justified by failure of 

Councils, 36 
Religion, secret of modern liberty, 

6, 31, 124, 133, 144, 206 
Revolution between medieval and 

modern thought, 4, 13 
Rossaeus, De Justa Reipnblicae. 

Christianae Potestate, 159 sqq. 
Rousseau, his intellectual ancestry, 

34, 124, 148, 156, 161, 169 ; 

relation to Althusius, 200 ; uni- 
tary State, 203 

Salamonius, De Principatu, 9 

Salic Law, 1 1 1 

Satyre Menippee, 90, 126 

Schopenhauer, his pessimism op- 
posed to individuality, 91 

Sidgwick, cited, 21 

Simanca, 49 

Social Contract., compared with 
original contract, 201, 202 

Societas Perfecta, 73, 183; expresses 
true notion of corporations in 
relation to State, 203 

Somnium Viridarii, 16, 18 

Sovereignty in Middle Ages, 1 1 ; in 
Church, 13; mingled with pro- 
perty, 15; inalienable, 88, 138; 
of the people, 172 ; in Althusius, 

Spain, influence on Jesuit theories, 
167 ; seen in Mariana, 168, 187 

State, the modern, 5 ; limitations 
on, 8 ; no theory of in Middle 
Ages, 1 1 ; origin of term, ibid. ; 
abstract theory, 1 2 ; attributes of, 
13 ; post-Reformation, 15 ; medi- 
eval, 16 ; in relation to Church, 
16; secular 19; in Dante, 28; 
influence of Reformation upon, 
64, 70 ; in the writings of the 
Politiques, no sqq.; limited by 
religious forces, 134 ; novelty of 
its absolute power, 147 ; differing 
views of, 166; secular theory of 
held by Jesuits, 179; unitary, 
203 ; in relation to religious 
societies and federalism, 206 
Suarez, De Legibus, 189 sqq., 202 



Sully, his Economes Royales, 1 30 ; 
the great design, 190 

Territorialism in Germany, Lecture 
III. passim; in the Netherlands, 


Theology and politics in the Middle 
Ages, 18 

Tyndale, The Obedience of a Chris- 
tian Man, 64 

Tyrannicide, 164 ; in Mariana, 170 

Ultramontanism, justified by failure 
of Conciliar movement, 36 sqq. 

Unam Sanctam, 181 

Utility, theories of, 55, 123, 150, 

Venice, quarrel with Paul V, 69 
Vindiciae contra Tyrannos, 153 sqq. 

Warburton, 63 ; on Church as a 

community, 185 
Westphalia, peace of, its meaning, 

Whigs, 178, 180, 211 
Whitgift, his Erastianism, 49, 62, 

64, 66, 77 
William the Silent, 191, 192, 212 
Wyclif, similarity to Marsilius, 29 ; 

his De Officio Regis, ibid. ; his 

De Civili Dominio, 121 

Zabarella, De Schismate, 50 
Zwingli, 209 

Cambridge: printed by John clay, m.a. at the university press. 

JA 82 .F5 c.3 SMC 

Figgis, John Neville 
Studies of political 
thought from Gerson to 
Grotius, 1414-1625 


'. ' :'' v vN'-'' .V"-:': 





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