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the privileges and tranquillity that were granted to the Lutherans by the laws of the empire. The reputation of Calixtus found nevertheless some able defenders, who pleaded his cause with modesty and candour; such were Titius, Hildebrand, and other ecclesiastics, who were distinguished from the multitude by their charity, moderation, and prudence. These good men showed, with the utmost evidence, that the new creed, mentioned above, would be a perpetual source of contention and discord, and would thus have a fatal effect upon the true interests of the Lutheran church; but their counsels were overruled, and their admonitions neglected. Among the writers who opposed this creed, was Frederic Ulric Calixtus, who was not destitute of abilities, though much inferior to his father in learning, genius, and moderation. Of those that stood forth in its vindication and defence, the most considerable were Calovius and Strauchius. The polemic productions of these contending parties were multiplied from day to day, and yet remain as deplorable monuments of the intemperate zeal of the champions on both sides of the question. The invectives, reproaches, and calumnies, with which these productions were filled, showed too plainly that many of these writers, instead of being animated with the love of truth, and a zeal for a religion, were rather actuated by a keen spirit of party, and by the suggestions of vindictive pride and vanity. These contests were of long duration ; they were however at length suspended, toward the close of this century, by the death of those who had been the principal actors in this scene of theological discord, by the abolition of the creed that had produced it, by the rise of the new debates of a different nature, and by other circumstances of inferior moment, which it is needless to mention.
XXIII. It will be proper to give here some account of the The opinions accusations that were brought against Calixtus of Calixius. by his adversaries. The principal charge was, his having formed a project, not of uniting into one ecclesiastical body, as some have understood it, the Romish, Lutheran, and reformed churches, but of extinguishing the hatred and animosity that reigned among the members of these different communions, and joining them in the bonds of charity, mutual benevolence, and forbearance. This is the project, which was at first condemned, and is still known
under the denomination of syncretism. Several singular opinions were also laid to the charge of this great man, and were exaggerated and blackened, as the most innocent things generally are when they pass through the medium of malignity and party spirit. Such were his notions concerning the obscure manner in which the doctrine of the Trinity was revealed under the Old Testament dispensation; the appearances of the Son of God during that period; the necessity of good works to the attainment of everlasting salvation; and God's being occasionally the
f It is neither my design nor my inclination to adopt the cause of Calixtus; nor do I pretend to maintain, that his writings and his doctrines are exempt from error. But the . love of truth obliges me to observe, that it has been the ill hap of this eminent man to fall · into the hands of bad interpreters ; and that even those who imagine they have been more successful than others in investigating his true sentiments, have most grievously misunderstood them. Calixtus is commonly supposed to have formed the plan of a formal reconciliation of the Protestants with the church of Rome and its pontiffs ; but this notion is entirely groundless, since he publicly and expressly declared, that the Protestants could by no means enter into the bonds of concord and communion with the Romish church, as it was constituted at this time; and that if there had ever existed any prospect of healing the divisions that reigned between it and the Protestant churches, this prospect had entirely vanished since the council of Trent, whose violent proceedings and tyrannical decrees had rendered the union, now under consideration, absolutely impossible. He is further charged with having either approved or excused the greatest part of those errors and superstitions, that are looked upon as a dishonour to the church of Rome; but this charge is abundantly refuted, not only by the various treatises, in which he exposed the falsehood and absurdity of the doctrines and opinions of that church, but also by the declarations of the Roman catholics themselves, who acknowledge that Calixtus attacked them with much more learning and ingenuity than had been discovered by any other Protestant writer. * It is true, he maintained that the Lutherans and Roman catholics did not differ about the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith ; and it were to be wished that he had never asserted any such thing, or at least, that he had expressed his meaning in more proper and inoffensive terms. It must, however, be considered, that he always looked upon the popes and their votaries, as having adulterated these fundamental doctrines with an impure mixture or addition of many opinions and tenets, which no wise and good Christian could adopt; and this consideration diminishes a good deal the extravagance of an assertion, which otherwise would deserve the severest censure. We shall not enter further into a view of the imputations that were cast upon Calixtus, by persons more disposed to listen to his accusers, than to those who endeavour, with candour and impartiality, to represent his sentiments and his measures in their true point of view. But if it should be asked here, what this man's real design was; we answer, that he laid down the following maxims; first, “That if it were possible to bring back the church of Rome to the state in which it was during the first five centuries, the Protestants would be no longer justified in rejecting its communion. Secondly, that the modern members of the Romish church, though polluted with many intolerable errors, were not all equally criminal ; and that such of them, more especially, as sincerely believed the doctrines they had learned from their parents or masters, and by ignorance, education, or the power of habit, were hindered from perceiving the truth, were not to be excluded from salvation, nor deemed heretics ; provided they gave their assent to the doctrines contained in the Apostles' Creed, and endeavoured seriously to govern their lives by the precepts of the gospel.” I do not pretend to defend these maxims, which seem, however, to have many patrons in our times; I would only observe that the doctrine they contain is much less intolerable than that which was commonly imputed to Calixtus.
g Per accidens.
* Bossuet, in his Traite de la Communion sous les deux Especes, p. i. 8 ii. p. 19, speaks tbus of the eminent man now under consideration. Le fameux George Calixte, le plus habile des Lutheriens de notre tems, qui a ecrit le plus doctement contre nous, &c,
author of sin. These notions, in the esteem of many of the best judges of theological matters, have been always looked upon as of an indifferent nature, as opinions which, even were they false, do not affect the great and fundamental doctrines of Christianity. But the two great principles that Calixtus laid down as the foundation and groundvork of all his reconciling and pacific plans, gave much more offence than the plans themselves, and drew upon him the indignation and resentment of many. Those principles were, first, That “the fundamental doctrines of Christianity,” by which he meant those elementary principles from whence all its truths flow, “were preserved pure and entire in all the three communions, and were contained in that ancient form of doctrine that is vulgarly known by the name of the Apostles' Creed.” And, secondly, That “the tenets and opinions, which had been constantly received by the ancient doctors during the first five centuries, were to be considered as of equal truth and authority with the express declarations and doctrines of Scripture.” The general plan of Calixtus was founded upon the first of these propositions; and he made use of the second to give some degree of plausibility to certain Romish doctrines and institutions, which have been always rejected by the protestant church; and to establish a happy concord between the various Christian communions that had hitherto lived in a state of dissension and separation from each other. XXIV. The divines of Rintelen, Koningsberg, and Jena,
were more orless involved in these warm contests. riebe bates carni Those of Rintelen, more especially Henichius and the doctors of Musæus, had, on several occasions, and particuKoningsberg: larly at the conference of Cassel, shown plainly, that they approved of the plan of Calixtus for removing the unhappy discords and animosities that reigned among Christians, and that they beheld with peculiar satisfaction that part of it that had for its object union and concord among the protestant churches. Hence they were opposed with great animosity by the Saxon doctors and their adherents, in various polemic productions.
The pacific spirit of Calixtus discovered itself also at Koningsberg, John Laterman, Michael Behmius, and the
Debates carried on with
h See Abrah. Calovii Historia Syncrestica, p. 618. Jo. Georgii Walchii Introductio in controversias Lutheran, vol. i. p. 286.
Dryer and by a nen end to the
learned Christopher Dryer, who had been the disciples of that great man, were at little pains to conceal their attachment to the sentiments of their master. By this discovery, they drew upon them the resentment of their colleagues John Behmius and Celestine Mislenta, who were seconded by the whole body of the clergy of Koningsberg; and thus a warm controversy arose, which was carried on, during many years, in such a manner as did very little honour to either of the contending parties. The interposition of the civil magistrate, together with the decease of Behmius and Mislenta, .put an end to this intestine war, which was succeeded by a new contest of long duration between Dryer and his associates on the one side, and several foreign divines on the other, who considered the system of Calixtus as highly pernicious, and looked upon its defenders as the enemies of the church. This new controversy was managed, on both sides, with as little equity and moderation as those which preceded it.'
XXY. It must at the same time be acknowledged, to the immortal honour of the divines of Jena, that they and those of discovered the most consummate prudence, and Jena. ! the most amiable moderation in the midst of these theological debates. For though they confessed ingenuously, that the sentiments of Calixtus were not of such a nature, as that they could be all adopted without exception, yet they maintained, that the greatest part of his tenets were much less pernicious than the Saxon doctors had represented them; and that several of them were innocent, and might be freely admitted without any danger to the cause of truth. Solomon Glassius, an ecclesiastic, renowned for the mildness of his temper, and the equity of his proceedings, examined, with the utmost candour and impartiality, the opposite sentiments of the doctors, that were engaged in this important controversy, and published the result of this examination, by the express order of Ernest, prince of Saxe Gotha, surnamed the Pious. Musæus, a man of superior learning and exquisite penetration and judgment,
i See Christopher Hartkouch's Church History of Prussia, written in German, book ii. chap. x. p. 602.“ Molleri Cimbria Literata, tom. ii. p. 150. See also the Acts and Documents contained in the famous collection, entitled, Unschuldige Nachrichten, A. 1740, p. 144. A. 1742, p. 29. A 1745, p. 91. 'k This piece, which was written in German, did not appear in public till after the death of Glassius, in the year 1662; a second edition of it was published in 8vo. at Jena some years ago. The piece exhibits a rare and shining instance of theological moderation; and is worthy of a serious and attentive perusal.
the controversy relating to pietism.
adopted so far the sentiments of Calixtus, as to maintain, that good works might, in a certain sense, be considered as necessary to salvation; and that of the erroneous doctrines imputed to this eminent man, several were of little or no importance. It is very probable that the followers of Calixtus would have willingly submitted this whole controversy to the arbitration of such candid and impartial judges. But this laudable moderation offended so highly the Saxon doctors, that they began to suspect the academy of Jena of several erroneous opinions, and marked out Musæus, in a particular manner, as a person who had, in many respects, apostatized from the true and orthodox faith.
xxvI. These debates were suppressed, and succeeded by The rise of new commotions that arose in the church, and are ve commonly known under the denomination of the
pietistical controversy. This controversy was owing to the zeal of a certain set of persons, who, no doubt, with pious and upright intentions, endeavoured to stem the torrent of vice and corruption, and to reform the licentious manners both of the clergy and the people. But, as the best things may be abused, so this reforming spirit inflamed persons that were but ill qualified to exert it with wisdom and success. Many, deluded by the suggestions of an irregular imagination, and an ill-informed understanding, or, guided by principles and views of a still more criminal nature, spread abroad new and singular opinions, false visions, unintelligible maxims, austere precepts, and imprudent clamours against the discipline of the church; all which excited the most dreadful tumults, and kindled the flames of contention and discord. The commencement of pietism was indeed laudable and decent. It was set on foot by the pious. and learned Spener, who, by the private societies he formed at Francfort, with a design to promote vital religion, roused the lukewarm from their indifference, and excited a spirit of vigour and resolution in those who had been satisfied to lament, in silence, the progress of impiety. The remarkable effect of these pious meetings was increased by a book published by this well-meaning man,. under the title of Pious Desires, in which he exhibited a
1 For an account of the imputations cast upon the divines of Jena, and more especially on Musæus, see a judicious and solid work of the latter, entitled, Der Jenischen Theologen Ausfuhrlicke Erklarung, &c. See also Jo. Georgii Walchii Introductio in Controversias Ecclesiæ Lutherane, vol. i. p. 405.