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book, entitled, Crypto Papismus novæ Theologice Helmstadiensis, in which Calixtus was charged with a long list of errors. Though this production made some small impression on the minds of certain persons, it is nevertheless probable, that Buscher would have almost universally passed for a partial, malicious, and rash accuser, had his invectives and complaints rendered Calixtus more cautious and prudent. But the upright and generous heart of this eminent man, which disdained dissimulation to a degree that bordered upon the extreme of imprudence, excited him to speak with the utmost frankness his private sentiments, and thus to give a certain measure of plausibility to the accusations of his adversary. Both he and his colleague Conrad Horneius maintained, with boldness and perseverance, several propositions, which appeared to many others beside Buscher, new, singular, and of a dangerous tendency; and Calixtus more especially, by the freedom and plainness with which he declared and defended his sentiments, drew upon him the resentment and indignation of the Saxon doctors, who in the year 1645, were present at the conference of Thorn. He had been chosen by Frederic William, elector of Brandenburg, as colleague and assistant to the divines he sent from Koningsberg to these conferences; the Saxon deputies were greatly incensed to see a Lutheran ecclesiastic in the character of an assistant to a deputation of reformed doctors. This first cause of offence was followed by other incidents, in the course of these conferences, which increased the resentment of the Saxons against Calixtus, and made them accuse him of leaning to the side of the reformed churches. We cannot enter here into a circumstantial account of this matter, which would lead us from our main design. We shall only observe, that when these conferences broke up, the Saxon doctors, and more especially Halseman, Weller, Scharfius, and Calovius, turned the whole force of their polemic weapons against Calixtus; and, in their public writings, reproached him with apostacy from the principles of Lutheranism, and with a propensity toward the sentiments both of the reformed and Romish churches. This great man did not receive tamely the insults of liis adversaries. His consummate knowledge of the philosophy that reigned in the schools, and his perfect acquaintance
Cic. Popery disguised under the mask of the new Theological system af Helmstadt.
with the history of the church, rendered him an able disputant ; and accordingly he repelled, with the greatest vigour, the attacks of his enemies, and carried on, with uncommon spirit anderudition, this important controversy, until the year 1656, when death put an end to his labours, and transported him from these scenes of dissension and tumult into the regions of peace and concord.
XXII. Neither the death of Calixtus, nor the decease of his principal adversaries, were sufficient to ex- The continua tinguish the flame they had kindled; on the con- these decor trary, the contest was carried on, after that period, with more animosity and violence than ever. The Saxon doctors, and more especially Calovius, insulted the ashes, and attacked the memory of this great man with unexampled bitterness and malignity; and, in the judgment of many eminent and worthy doctors, who were by no means the partisans of Calixtus, conducted themselves with such imprudence and temerity, as were every way adapted to produce an open schism in the Lutheran church. They drew up a new kind of creed, or confession of the Lutheran faith, which they proposed to place in the class of what the members of our communion call their symbolical books, and which, of consequence, all professors of divinity and all candidates for the ministry would be obliged to subscribe, as containing the true and genuine doctrine of the Lutheran church. By this new production of intemperatelzeal, the friends and followers of Calixtus were declared unworthy of the communion of that church; and were accordingly supposed to have forfeited all right to
d Those who desire to be more minutely acquainted with the particular circumstances of this famous controversy, the titles and characters of the books published on that occasion, and the doctrines that produced such warm contests, and such deplorable divisions, will do well to consult Walchius, Carolus, Weisman, Arnold, and other writers; but above all, the third volume of the Cimbria Literata of Mollerus, p. 121, in which there is an ample account of the life, transactions, and writings of Calixtus. But, if any reader should push his curiosity still further, and be solicitous to know the more secret springs that acted in this whole affair, the remote causes of the events and transactions relating to it, the spirit, views, and characters of the disputants, the arguments used on both sides ; in a word, those things that are principally interesting and worthy of attention in controversies of this kind, he will find no history that will satisfy him fully in these respects. A history that would throw a proper light upon these important matters, must be composed by a man of great eandour and abilities ; by one who knows the world, has studied human nature, is furnished with materials and documents that lie as yet concealed in the cabinets of the curious, and is not unacquainted with the spirit that reigns, and the cabals that are carried on in the courts of princes. But were such a historian to be found, I question very much, whether, even in our times, he could publish without danger all the circumstances of this memorable contest. e The title of this new creed was Consensus repetili Fidei veræ Lutherane. VOL. IV.
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 ne! 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 stoodforth 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 Tle opinions accusations that were brought against Calixtus
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 bis doctrines are exempt from error. But the love of truth obliges me to observe, that it has been the ill bap 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 bave 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 disbonour to the church of Rome; but this Charge is abundantly refuted, not only by ibe various treatises, in wbich 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 lie 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 bad 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 beretics; 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 Calixtys.
g Per accidens.
* Bossuet, in his Traite de la Communion sous les deur Especes, p. i. fii. p. 12, speaks thus of the eminent raan now under consideration. L. fameur George Calixte, le plus habile des lutheriens de notre tems, qui a ecrit le plus doctement contre nous, &e.
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 groundwork 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, condly, 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. Debates at Those of Rintelen, more especially Henichius and the doctor of Musæus, had, on several occasions, and particuKoningaberg. 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
h See Abrah. Calovii Historia Syncrestica, p. 618. Jo. Georgii Walchii Introductio in controversias Lutheran, vol. i. p. 286;