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Title: Christianity and Morals
Author: Edward Westermarck
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eBook No.: 1600581.txt
Language: English
Date first posted: August 2019
Date most recently updated: August 2019

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_Author of_




_Ph.D., Hon. LL.D. (Glasgow and Aberdeen), Hon. Ph.D. (Upsal)
Late Martin White Professor of Sociology at the
University of London_



_First published 1939_

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London




The meaning attached to the terms religion and magic, pp.
1-6.--Distinction between "natural" and "supernatural" phenomena or
causes, p. 1 _sq._--Mediæval conceptions of magic, p. 3 _sq._--The
theory that religion is essentially social and magic anti-social, or
at any rate non-social, p. 6 _sq._--White and black magic, p. 3
_sq._--Connections between religion and magic, pp. 4-6.--The word
religion used in a concrete sense, p. 5 _sq._--The foundation of the
moral consciousness entirely different from that of religion, p.
6.--All moral concepts, which are used as predicates in moral
judgments, based on one or the other of the two moral emotions, moral
approval and moral disapproval or indignation, p. 6.--The moral
emotions retributive emotions, approval, like gratitude, forming a
subspecies of retributive kindly emotion, and disapproval, like anger
and revenge, forming a subspecies of resentment, p. 6.--The moral
emotions distinguished from the non-moral retributive emotions by
being disinterested and, at least within certain limits, impartial, p.
6 _sq._--Different classes of conditions under which disinterested
retributive emotions arise, pp. 8-12.--The co-operation of the
altruistic sentiment with sympathy productive of disinterested
retributive emotions, when an individual towards whom we are kindly
disposed is hurt or benefited, p. 9 _sq._--Such emotions also directly
produced by the cognition of outward signs of resentment or kindly
feeling in others, pp. 10-12.--Or by disinterested antipathies or
likings, p. 11 _sq._--How disinterestedness and a certain degree of
impartiality have become characteristics of that particular kind of
retributive emotions which we call moral emotions, pp. 12-14.--Those
characteristics of moral disapproval to be sought for in its
connection with tribal custom, which was the earliest rule of duty on
account of the public disapproval called forth by its transgression,
p. 13 _sq._--As public disapproval is the prototype of moral
disapproval, so is public approval, expressed in moral praise, the
prototype of moral approval, p. 14.--Yet moral disapproval and
approval have not always remained inseparably connected with the
feelings of any special society, p. 14 _sq._--The theory of the
emotional origin of moral judgments does not imply that such a
judgment affirms the existence of a moral emotion in the mind of the
person who utters it, but it implies that the qualities assigned to
the subjects of moral judgments and expressed by moral concepts are
generalisations of tendencies to feel either moral approval or
disapproval, interpreted as dynamic tendencies in the phenomena which
gave rise to the emotion, p. 15 _sq._--The relations between the
concepts which are used as predicates in moral judgments and the moral
emotions, pp. 16-20.--Analysis of "ought" and "duty," p. 16 _sq._--Of
"bad" and "wrong," p. 17.--Of "right" as an adjective and as a
substantive, p. 17.--Of "injustice" and "justice," pp. 17-19.--Of
"good" and "virtue," p. 18.--Of "merit," p. 19 _sq._



The malevolence of savage gods, p. 21.--The improvement of gods, p. 21
_sq._--Selection of gods according to their usefulness, p. 21
_sq._--Their good qualities magnified in worship, p. 23 _sq._--Gods
induced by invocations to reward virtue and punish vice, p. 24
_sq._--The magical forces which give efficacy {vi} to curses or oaths
personified as supernatural beings or transformed into attributes of
the chief god, p. 25 _sq._--Gods as moral specialists, pp. 25-7.--The
notion of a persecuting ghost replaced by an avenging god, p. 26
_sq._--The guardianship of gods extended to the whole sphere of
justice or morality at large, pp. 26-8.--The influence of the
religious sanction upon morality, pp. 28-31.--Religious devotion
accompanied with laxity of morals, pp. 29-31.--Criticism of
philosophers' and theologians' assumption that moral judgments possess
objective validity, pp. 31-9.--The variability of moral judgments and
its causes, pp. 34-9.--The cause of substantial similarities of moral
judgments, p. 39.



The records of the moral teaching of Jesus, p. 40 _sq._--Personal
anger and vindictiveness condemned by Jesus, pp. 41-3.--The
injunctions of forgiveness and kindness to enemies by no means
exclusively Christian tenets, pp. 43-5.--Why resentment springing from
personal motives is condemned, p. 46 _sq._--The moral indignation of
Jesus often intense, pp. 47-9.--The reprobation of the lost and the
idea of fiery torment in hell, pp. 49-52.--Differences between the
teaching of the gospels and that of the Old Testament as regards
divine retribution for unrighteousness, p. 52 _sq._--The infliction of
penal suffering upon guiltless persons in consequence of the sins of
others contrary to the nature of moral indignation, pp. 53-5.--The
belief in divine retribution after death open to criticism on the plea
of being at variance with the moral justification of punishment, pp.
55-7.--Forgiveness on the ground of repentance, pp. 57-9.--The emotion
of moral approval, of which moral praise or reward is the outward
manifestation, very prominent in the teaching of Jesus, pp.
60-2.--Attempts to extenuate the presence of promises of reward in the
gospels, p. 62 _sq._--Moral judgments commonly passed upon acts
without much regard being paid to their motives, p. 63.--The teaching
of Jesus an ethic of inwardness, in agreement with that of the
Prophets, p. 64 _sq._--That moral qualities are internal recognised by
all great moralists, p. 65 _sq._--No indication that Jesus regarded
the hope of reward as an obstacle to gaining it, p. 66 _sq._--The
hedonistic trait in his ethics, p. 67 _sq._--The allegation that the
evangelical ethics are completely anti-eudemonistic, p. 68 _sq._



The disinterestedness which distinguishes the moral emotions from
other, non-moral, retributive emotions emphasised by Jesus, pp.
70-3.--The Golden Rule, pp. 70-3.--The precept, "Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself," pp. 72-5.--The "fatherhood" of God, p. 75
_sq._--The "universal brotherhood of men," p. 76 _sq._--Tenets of
universal love laid down by Stoics and Eastern moralists, p. 77
_sq._--Criticism of the conclusion that the love of neighbour follows
from the love of God, p. 78 _sq._--The altruistic sentiment underlying
the injunction of neighbourly love, p. 79.--Almsgiving as a religious
duty also connected with the belief in the efficacy of the curses and
blessings of the poor, pp. 81-3.--And with sacrifice, the poor
becoming the heirs of the god, p. 83 _sq._--Jesus' insistence upon
those of the ten commandments which forbid men to do harm to their
neighbours, p. 85.--His attitude towards the commandment, "Honour thy
father and thy mother," p. 85 _sq._--The Jewish divorce law,
p. 87.--Jesus' teaching concerning divorce, p. 87 _sq._ {vii}


THE ETHICS OF JESUS (_concluded_)

The Jewish Sabbath law, p. 89.--Jesus' attitude towards it, p.
91.--The attitude of the early Christians, p. 91 _sq._--The Christian
Sunday rest, p. 92 _sq._--Fasting, p. 93 _sq._--Jesus not an ascetic,
but leading a very simple wandering life, p. 94.--His opinion that
wealth is of no value to a man, but a peril, p. 95 _sq._--His
insistence upon prayer, p. 96.--Upon humility, p. 96 _sq._--The
pre-eminence of faith in his teaching, particularly in connection with
his miracles, pp. 97-100.--The faith in Jesus, p. 100 _sq._



The conversion of Paul, pp. 102-4.--Belonging to a type familiar to
students of modern conversions, p. 103 _sq._--Faith in Christ as a
divine being and a saviour the keystone of Paul's teaching, p. 104
_sq._--Justification by faith, p. 105.--Paul as the minister of Christ
to the Gentiles, p. 106.--Presumable influence of Stoicism and the
Logos-doctrine upon his universalising of Christianity,
pp. 106-8.--His view of redemption as a mystery with magical elements
in it, p. 108 _sq._--His sacramentalism in regard to baptism, pp.
109-11.--The Eucharist and Paul's conception of it, pp. 111-13.--His
doctrine of redemption through the crucified and risen Christ, pp.
113-15.--The origin of his doctrine of justification by faith, p.
115.--Whatever else his conception of faith may imply, it presupposes
in the first place the acceptance of some fact as true, and such a
belief cannot be a proper object of moral judgment, p. 115
_sq._--According to Paul the faith itself is a gift of God, and
salvation depends upon an "election of grace," p. 116 _sq._--The wrath
of God, aroused by the sin of man, supposed to be appeased by the
vicarious suffering of Jesus, p. 117.--The idea that all mankind are
doomed to death on account of Adam's sin, p. 117 _sq._--The idea of
Christ's death being a sacrifice, p. 118.--Reconciliation of Paul's
statements as regards the fulfilling of the law and justification by
faith alone, pp. 118-20.--The great emphasis laid on charity in
agreement with what we find in ancient and modern narratives of
conversion, p. 120 _sq._--From the moral point of view a positive
danger in a doctrine that relies upon love of fellow-men and good
deeds as the fruits of faith, p. 121 _sq._--Another line of thought in
the Pauline epistles which is in more harmony with the teaching of
Jesus as recorded in the synoptic gospels, p. 122-4.--Paul's moral
contempt and horror of the flesh and his identification of it with
sin, pp. 124-6.--Sexual indulgence regarded by him as the worst of all
sins of the flesh, p. 126.--His attitude towards marriage, p. 126
_sq._--His sexual asceticism may have been rooted in Greek ideas,
Pythagorean and others, p. 127.--The notion that he who performs a
sacred act or enters a holy place must be free from sexual pollution,
p. 127 _sq._--Why sexual intercourse is looked upon as unclean and
defiling, p. 128 _sq._



Throughout the history of Christianity we notice, as regards the means
of procuring salvation, the antithesis between works and faith:
between the moralistic view that eternal life is the reward of a moral
life wrought out essentially by our own power and the view that it
depends entirely on divine grace, connected with the faith in Christ
as our redeemer through his death on the cross--in other words,
broadly speaking, the contrast between the teaching of Jesus as
reported in the synoptic gospels and the Pauline formula of
justification by faith alone, p. 130.--In the sub-apostolic period the
moralistic mode of thought very prominent in the 'Shepherd' {viii} of
Hermas, p. 130 _sq._--In the 'Didache,' p. 131.--In the 'Second
Epistle of Clement of Rome,' p. 132.--In the genuine epistle of
Clement there is an echo of Paul's teaching, but no real Paulinism, p.
132 _sq._--The letter bearing the name of James looks like a definite
polemic against Paul's teaching of justification by faith only, p. 133
_sq._--The Epistle to the Hebrews an addendum to the series of Pauline
epistles, although faith does not mean for the writer quite the same
thing as for Paul, p. 134 _sq._--Paulinism well marked in the
'Catholic Epistle' of Barnabas, p. 135.--Ignatius the chief
representative of Paulinism among the Apostolic Fathers, p. 135
_sq._--The antithesis of Paul between law and gospel and between wrath
and grace carried to an extreme by Marcion, pp. 136-8.--The early
Christian Apologists--Aristides, Justin, Athenagoras, Tatian,
Theophilus, and Minucius Felix--earnest moralists, pp. 138-40.--The
views of Justin, pp. 138-40.--Of Tertullian, pp. 140-2.--Of Irenæus,
p. 142.--Of Clement of Alexandria, pp. 142-4.--Of Origen, p. 144 _sq._



The theology of Augustine essentially a Pauline reaction against the
prevailing piety, though modified by popular Catholic elements, p.
146.--The conversion of Augustine, p. 146.--According to him, faith in
the truth guaranteed by the Catholic Church, love, and merit
successive steps in the way of final salvation, p. 147.--They are all
God's gifts, no man being justified by the merits of his own deeds,
but by free grace, p. 147.--The elect saved because predestinated by
God, p. 147 _sq._--All men infected by Adam's sin and the sins of
their parents, as well as burdened by their own sins, being unable to
refrain from sin, p. 148.--Christ a mediator who appeases the wrath of
God by presenting a unique sacrifice in order to let the devil receive
his rights, p. 148.--Augustine's doctrine of the future state somewhat
moralised by his admission of different degrees of damnation and
felicity, pp. 148, 149, 151 _sq._--The relation between the grace of
God and the faith, love, and merit of man in his doctrine of salvation
a moral absurdity, God rewarding man with eternal felicity for what he
himself has given him, p. 149.--The problem of free will and moral
responsibility, and the difference between determinism and fatalism,
p. 149 _sq._--Criticism of Augustine's conception of original sin, p.
150 _sq._--The view that the death of Christ was a ransom paid to the
devil, p. 151.--Augustinianism, generally speaking, accepted by the
Western Church, and said to be finally brought to completion by
Luther, p. 152.--Thomas Aquinas its greatest champion in Catholicism,
particularly with regard to the doctrines of God, predestination, sin,
and grace, but with a timid revision of it in a moralistic direction,
pp. 152-4.--His doctrines of merit and free will, p. 153
_sq._--Distinction between precepts and counsels, between a higher and
a lower Christian life, p. 154 _sq._--A solid foundation for it in our
moral consciousness, which distinguishes between duty and merit, and
admits that a man can do more than his duty, p. 155 _sq._--Difference
between duty and the supreme moral ideal, p. 156.--Objectionable
features in the Roman Catholic doctrine of merit, p. 156
_sq._--Modifications of Augustine's doctrine of original sin, p. 157
_sq._--Different explanations of the atonement of Christ, pp.
158-62.--Anselm's theory, pp. 158-60.--Other theories, pp. 160-2.--The
doctrines of salvation through the suffering and death of Jesus,
implying the idea of vicarious merit or vicarious punishment, from the
moral point of view a distressing chapter in the history of Christian
dogmas, pp. 162-4.--The modifications of Augustinianism which took
place in Scholasticism had generally a moralistic tendency, the
ethical interest being particularly predominant in Abelard, p.
164.--The Reformation implied an Augustinian reaction and a
restoration of Paulinism, p. 164.--Luther's insistence upon
justification by faith alone, pp. 1 64-6--His acceptance of the
Augustinian doctrines of the entire incapacity of fallen man, of the
bondage of the will, and of {ix} predestination, p. 166.--While
denying all human merit, he believed in the merit of Christ, who not
only died for us but also kept the law for us, p. 166 _sq._--The other
Reformers in substantial, but not complete, agreement with Luther, p.
167 _sq._--Calvin's doctrine of predestination, p. 169 _sq._--The
reign of terror established by him at Geneva, p. 170.--Reformation a
protest not only against doctrines taught by the Catholic Church, but
also against moral abuses practised in its name, p. 171.--The
demoralising effects of the doctrine of justification by faith alone
and the denial of the value of good works, p. 171 _sq._--Pelagianism,
from a moral point of view, superior to the doctrines of both
Catholics and Protestants, p. 172 _sq._



The ethical value of the doctrine that good works are essential to
salvation much reduced by the ascription of merit to ascetic practices
in particular, p. 174.--The beginnings of Christian asceticism, p. 174
_sq._--Fasting, pp. 175-7.--Other forms of asceticism, such as
filthiness, p. 177.--The most important form abstinence from sexual
relationships, pp. 177-81.--Enthusiasm for virginity, pp.
178-81.--Scholastic distinction between sinful and innocent
concupiscence, p. 181.--Celibacy imposed upon persons who had been
married before, p. 182 _sq._--Compulsory celibacy imposed upon the
clergy in the Western Church, p. 183 _sq._--In the Eastern Church the
lower grades of clergy allowed to marry, p. 184.--The demands for the
celibacy of the clergy and the double standard of moral excellence
rejected by the Reformation, p. 184.--Its attitude towards asceticism,
p. 184 _sq._--Asceticism, as involving suffering or privation supposed
to be pleasing to God and to appease his anger, p. 185 _sq._--The
practice of flagellation, p. 186 _sq._--Suffering not only sought as a
means of wiping off sin, but also with a view to preventing the
commission of sin, p. 187 _sq._--Ideas underlying fasting, pp.
188-90.--Ideas underlying religious celibacy and abstinence from
sexual intercourse, pp. 190-3.--Sexual intercourse regarded as
defiling, p. 191 _sq._



Various doctrines of the sacraments, pp. 194-7.--Their number, p.
197.--Baptism, pp. 197-201.--Infant baptism, pp. 199-201.--The
Eucharist, pp. 201-7.--No moral justification for the saving effect
attributed to baptism and the Eucharist, p. 207 _sq._--The Roman
Catholic sacrament of penance, pp. 208-12.--For the inner penitent
temper, the confession of sin, and the satisfaction, which together
constitute the sacrament of penance, Luther substituted repentance
alone, springing from faith, p. 212 _sq._--Confession serving as a
means of purgation, p. 212.--The ethical foundation of the sacrament
of penance, p. 212 _sq._--Its degeneration especially through the
practice of indulgences, p. 213.--Harnack's objection to Luther's
insistence that the whole life of a man should be penitence,
particular acts of repentance being of no use, p. 213.



Homicide of any kind condemned as a heinous sin by the early
Christians, p. 214.--Their total condemnation of warfare, p. 214
_sq._--This attitude towards war soon given up, pp. 215-17.--The
clergy forbidden to engage in warfare, p. 217 _sq._--Penance
prescribed for those who had shed blood on the battlefield, p.
218.--Instances of wars being forbidden by popes, p. 218.--The
military Christianity of the crusades, pp. 218-21.--Chivalry, pp.
221-3.--The practice of private war, pp. 223-4.--The attitude of the
Church towards {x} it, p. 224.--The Truce of God, p. 225.--The
abolition of private war mainly due to the increase of the authority
of emperors or kings, p. 225 _sq._--War looked upon as a divine
institution or as a judgment of God, pp. 226-9.--Religious protests
against war, pp. 229-31.--Conscientious objectors, p. 231
_sq._--Freethinkers' objections to war, p. 232 _sq._--The idea of a
perpetual peace, p. 233.--The awakening spirit of nationalism and the
glorification of war, p. 233 _sq._--Arguments against arbitration, p.
234 _sq._--The prohibition of needless destruction in war, p. 235
_sq._--Pagan philosophers' attitudes towards war, p. 236.



The killing or exposure of infants in ancient Greece and Rome, pp.
237-40.--The practice of exposing new-born infants vehemently
denounced by the early Christian Fathers, p. 240.--Christian horror of
infanticide, p. 240 _sq._--The punishment of it in Christian
countries, p. 241 _sq._--Feticide in pagan antiquity, p. 242
_sq._--Christian views about it, pp. 243-5.--Contraception, p. 245
_sq._--Capital punishment, pp. 246-50.--The horror of blood-pollution,
p. 247 _sq._--Opinions as to suicide in ancient Greece and Rome, p.
251 _sq._--Among the Christians, pp. 252-5.--Why suicide was condemned
by the Church, pp. 253-5.--The secular legislation influenced by the
Church, p. 255.--The treatment of suicides' bodies in Europe, p. 255
_sq._--More humane feelings towards suicides, p. 256 _sq._--Attacks
upon the views of the Church and upon the laws of the State concerning
suicide, p. 257 _sq._--Modern philosophers' arguments against suicide,
p. 258 _sq._--Criticism of Durkheim's opinion as regards the moral
valuation of suicide in the future, p. 259.



Jesus' attitude towards the question of possessions, p.
260.--Primitive Christian communism, p. 260.--The surrender of private
property fundamental in monastic communism, p. 260.--The patristic
view that this principle was the most perfect way of life, but that
for mankind in general some organisation of ownership became
necessary, p. 261 _sq._--Thomas Aquinas' views as regards private
property, p. 262.--Almsgiving considered one of the chief instruments
of salvation, p. 262 _sq._--The prominence of charity among the
civilised nations of the East, among the Hebrews, and in ancient
Greece and Rome, pp. 263-5.--Difference between the charity of the
Christians and that taught by the Stoics, p. 265 _sq._--Christian
charity referring to the brotherhood of believers only, p. 266
_sq._--Leading to the breeding of parasites and beggars, p. 267.--The
Christian doctrine on labour, pp. 267 _sq._--The ecclesiastical
legislation on the subject of "usury," p. 269.--The question of trade,
pp. 269-71.--The Reformers' attitude in economic matters, pp.
271-4.--Their insistence on labour within one's calling as a divinely
ordained duty, p. 271 _sq._--Their attitude towards almsgiving and
mendicancy, p. 272.--Calvin's influence upon economic ethic leading to
the religious sanction of capitalism, pp. 272-4.--The economics of
Puritanism, pp. 274-7.--Of Methodism, p. 277.--The teaching of Jesus
recognised as not applicable to economics, pp. 277-81.--Conflicting
religious opinions about the proper treatment of the poor, p.
278.--The competitive economic system not in agreement with the maxim
that you ought to love your neighbour as yourself, but not opposed to
the intrinsic nature of the moral emotions, pp. 278-80.--At the same
time certain generally accepted moral principles very often ignored in
our business life, p. 280 _sq._--The collapse of the influence of
Christianity upon economics, p. 281. {xi}



Slavery essentially an industrial institution, which implies
compulsory labour beyond the limits of family relations, but the
master's authority not necessarily absolute, p. 282.--Christianity's
recognition of slavery as part of its Jewish heritage, pp.
282-4.--Slavery at Rome, pp. 284-6.--The attitude of the Church
towards slavery, pp. 286-92.--The alleged causes of its extinction in
Europe, pp. 289-93.--The chief cause presumably the transformation of
slavery into serfdom, p. 293.--Serfdom itself merely a transitory
condition destined to lead up to a state of entire liberty, p.
293.--The attitude of the Church towards serfdom, p. 293 _sq._--The
negro slavery in the colonies of European countries and the Southern
States of America, and the legislation related to it, pp.
294-302.--The support given to it by the clergy, pp. 302-4.--The
abolition of it, p. 304.--The want of sympathy for, or positive
antipathy to, the coloured race, p. 305.--Islam's attitude towards
slavery, p. 305 _sq._



Christian condemnation of lying, p. 307 _sq._--From early times,
however, a much less rigorous doctrine, pp. 308-10.--The doctrine of
mental reservation rejected by Protestant moralists, and a less formal
view as regards falsehood adopted by them, p. 310.--Puritan insistence
upon literal truthfulness, p. 310.--According to the Catholic doctrine
unbelief a greater sin than all sins of moral perversity, p. 311.--The
Church the guarantor of the truth of her doctrines, p. 311
_sq._--According to the Protestants also, faith in the Church, their
own Church, or at any rate faith in Christ, necessary for salvation,
p. 312 _sq._--In the case of unbelief the worldly authorities
considered to be compelled to appease God's anger, p. 313.--Religious
persecution practised both by Catholics and Protestants, pp.
313-18.--The Inquisition, p. 314 _sq._--Various reasons for the
persecutions, but the principal one unquestionably the doctrine of
exclusive justification by faith, pp. 318-20.--The persecutions by no
means ineffective, which was scarcely a triumph of truthfulness, p.
320.--The spirit of truth impaired by the Christian Churches also by
softer means, p. 320 _sq._--All knowledge other than that of religious
truth regarded not only as valueless but even as sinful, pp.
321-3.--The allegation that the modern world owes its scientific
spirit to Christianity, p. 323.--What religious toleration implies,
p. 324.



Marriage regarded as a sacrament, p. 326 _sq._--The consent of the
parties necessary, p. 327.--The consent of their parents or guardians,
pp. 327-31.--The lowest age at which a person may marry, p. 331.--The
degrees of relationship within which no marriage might be concluded
greatly extended by the Church, pp. 331-3.--Prohibitions on the ground
of "spiritual relationship," p. 333.--Difference of religion a bar to
intermarriage, p. 333 _sq._--Christianity and polygamy, pp.
334-6.--Monogamy the only recognised form of marriage in Greece and
Rome, p. 336.--The power which the Roman father possessed over his
daughter generally transferred by marriage to the husband, p.
337.--Marriage with _manus_ gradually superseded by a form of wedlock
which conferred on the husband scarcely any authority at all over his
wife, p. 337 _sq._--The remarkable liberty granted to married women
not agreeable to the opinion which the new religion held about the
{xii} female sex, pp. 338-40.--Women excluded from sacred functions on
account of their uncleanness, p. 339.--The Church largely responsible
for those heavy disabilities with regard to personal liberty, as well
as with regard to property, from which married women have suffered up
to quite recent times, pp. 341-3.



European legislation with regard to divorce revolutionised by
Christianity, p. 344.--The dissolubility of a valid Christian
marriage, at least if it had been consummated, denied by the Western
Church, p. 344 _sq._--Non-Christian marriage, even though consummated,
dissoluble in certain circumstances, p. 345 _sq._--Separation from bed
and board, p. 346.--Divorce _a vinculo matrimonii_, p. 347.--The
influence of the Western Church upon secular legislation, pp.
347-9.--The Eastern Church on the contrary greatly influenced by the
secular law, p. 349.--The doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage
rejected by the Reformers, p. 349 _sq._--The Fathers of English
Protestantism as a body more conservative than the brethren on the
Continent, p. 350.--The Report known as _Reformatio Legum_, p.
351.--The revival of the old Canon Law in England, p.
351.--Parliamentary divorce, p. 352.--The legal principle of the
indissolubility of marriage at last abandoned in England, p. 352.--On
the Continent impetus to a more liberal legislation on divorce given
by the philosophy of the eighteenth century, p. 353 _sq._--In the
course of the nineteenth century divorce made legal in several Roman
Catholic countries, p. 354.--The most general grounds for divorce, p.
354 _sq._--The English law until quite recently the only one in Europe
that recognised none but sexual reasons for the dissolution of
marriage, p. 355 _sq._--Divorce by mutual consent, and the arguments
against and in favour of it, pp. 356-9.



All forms of sexual intercourse outside marriage looked upon as mortal
sins in either sex, p. 360 _sq._--In this respect a fundamental
difference between the Christians and the pagans, although even in
pagan antiquity chastity in men was enjoined by a few as a duty, p.
361 _sq._--The attitude of the Christians towards prostitution, p. 362
_sq._--In the Christian condemnation of adultery no distinction made
between husband and wife, contrary to the general attitude of the
pagans, p. 363 _sq._--The Christian condemnation of all forms of
sexual intercourse outside marriage minutely expressed in the
Penitentials, p. 364 _sq._--In the case of extra-matrimonial
connections considerable discrepancy between Christian doctrine and
public opinion in Christian countries, pp. 365-8.--The treatment of
illegitimate children, p. 367 _sq._--In some existing laws relating to
adultery a distinction made between husband and wife, p. 368.--In
modern legislation adultery, if punishable at all, generally an
indictable offence, p. 368 _sq._--The early Christians' horror of
sodomy, determined by ancient Hebrew ideas and strengthened by the
habits of the Gentiles, p. 369 _sq._--Heretics accused of it as a
matter of course, p. 370 _sq._--Pederasty in Greece and Rome, p. 371
_sq._--Throughout the Middle Ages and later sodomy punishable by
death, p. 372 _sq._--A change in the attitude towards homosexual
practices brought about by the rationalistic movement of the
eighteenth century, p. 373 _sq._--Arguments against punishing them, p.
374 _sq._--Various circumstances that have affected modern opinion
about homosexuality, pp. 375-7.--Christian attitude towards bestiality
also determined by Hebrew Ideas, p. 377 _sq._--Kant's view about it,
p. 378. {xiii}



Jesus' sympathy for animals alleged to be as universal as Buddha's, p.
379.--The regard for them in Buddhism, p. 380 _sq._--In Brahmanism, p.
380.--In Jainism, p. 380 _sq._--In Taoism, p. 381.--In China, p.
381.--In Japan, p. 381 _sq._--Its sources, p. 382.--The attitude
towards animals in Zoroastrianism, pp. 382-4.--In Islam, p. 384.--In
ancient Greece and Rome, pp. 384-6.--Among the Hebrews, p. 386
_sq._--In Christianity, pp. 387-9.--The views of modern philosophers
and legislators, p. 390.--Indifference to animal suffering
characteristic of public opinion in Christian Europe up to quite
modern times, p. 390 _sq._--Laws against cruelty to animals, p.
391.--Humane feelings towards animals in Europe, pp. 391-3.--The
influence of human thoughtlessness upon the treatment of animals and
upon the moral ideas relating to it, p. 393.



INDEX OF PERSONS, pp. 413-22.






CHRISTIANITY is in the first place a religion but, as in the case of
many other religions, it contains moral aspects closely connected with
the purely religious ones.

The term religion has been used in many different senses, and it is
therefore necessary that I should define what I mean by it. I take
religion in the abstract, so to speak, as distinguished from any
concrete religion, to be a belief in and a regardful attitude towards
a supernatural being, on whom man feels himself dependent and to whom
he makes an appeal in his worship. This definition seems to be in
agreement with the most common usage of the word. It has been
criticised on the ground that it would not apply to genuine Buddhism.
But Buddhism was originally a metaphysical and ethical doctrine, which
was transformed into a religion when the old gods of Brahmanism came
back, when Buddha himself was deified, and Buddhism incorporated most
of the local deities and demons of those nations it sought to convert.

The belief in supernatural beings is undoubtedly based on a feeling of
uncanniness or mystery. Men distinguish between phenomena that they
are familiar with and consequently ascribe to "natural" causes, and
other phenomena that seem to them unfamiliar and mysterious and are
looked upon as "supernatural," or are supposed to spring from
"supernatural" causes. We meet with this distinction among savages as
well as civilised races. It may be that in the mind of a savage the
natural and supernatural often overlap, that no definite line can be
drawn between the phenomena which he refers to one class and those
which he refers to the other; but he certainly sees a difference
between events of everyday occurrence or ordinary objects of nature
and other events or objects which fill him with a feeling of wonder or
mysterious {2} awe. The feeling of mystery and the germ of a
distinction between the natural and the supernatural are found even in
the lower animal world. The horse fears the whip, but it does not make
him shy; on the other hand, he may shy when he sees an umbrella opened
before him or a paper moving on the ground. The whip is well known to
the horse, whereas the moving paper or the umbrella is strange,
uncanny, let us say "supernatural." I had a mule that took no notice
of a volley of guns discharged close to her, because she had been in
war and was used to the sound, whereas she might take fright when she
met a goat or saw an unusually large stone at the side of the road.
Dogs and cats are alarmed by an unusual noise or appearance, and
remain uneasy till they have by examination satisfied themselves of
the nature of its cause.[1] Even a lion is scared by an unexpected
sound or the sight of an unfamiliar object;[2] and we are told of a
tiger who stood trembling and roaring in a paroxysm of fear when a
mouse tied by a string to a stick had been inserted into its cage.[3]
Little children are apt to be terrified by the strange and irregular
movements of a feather as it glides along the floor or lifts itself
into the air.[4]

[Footnote 1: C. Lloyd Morgan, _Animal Life and Intelligence_ (London,
1890-91), p. 339; G. J. Romanes, _Animal Intelligence_ (London, 1895),
p. 455 _sq._]

[Footnote 2: Gillmore, quoted by J. H. King, _The Supernatural_,
i (London, 1892), p. 80.]

[Footnote 3: Basil Hall, quoted _ibid._ i. 81. See also _ibid._ i. 78
_sqq._; T. Vignioli, _Myth and Science_ (London, 1882), p. 58 _sqq._]

[Footnote 4: J. Sully, _Studies of Childhood_ (London, 1895), p. 205

Supernatural qualities are not only attributed to beings who are able
to work wonders at will: the supernatural, like the natural, may also
be looked upon in the light of mechanical energy, which discharges
itself without the aid of any volitional activity. Such energy is
utilised in magic. In religion, man appeals to or worships
supernatural beings by natural means, such as prayers, offerings,
abstinences and so forth; in magic, he attempts to influence either
natural or supernatural objects or persons by supernatural means which
act mechanically and coercively. The religious attitude is in its
nature respectful and humble, the magical attitude is domineering and
self-assertive. At the root of the difference between religion and
magic there is thus a difference in the mental state of the persons
who practise them. So far as religion is concerned, this agrees well
with the notion so forcibly expressed by Schleiermacher, that the
religious feeling is in its essence a feeling of dependence; whereas
the word magician invariably suggests the idea of a person who claims
to possess power and to know how to wield {3} it in the magic art. In
order to achieve his aim he may make use of spirits, but then he
coerces them; if he tried to gain their assistance by propitiation,
his attitude would be religious, not magical.

This view of magic finds support in mediæval conceptions of it. It is
true that the theologians mostly attributed the success of magic to
demons, who were enticed by men to work marvels; but the demons were
able to do so largely through their superior knowledge of the forces
of nature.[5] And besides the marvels worked by spirits, there were
others which were produced without their aid, simply by the wonderful
virtues inherent in certain objects of nature. To marvels wrought in
this manner William of Auvergne applied the term "natural magic."[6]
Albertus Magnus likewise associated magic with natural forces and the
stars, as well as with demons;[7] and Thomas Aquinas, though upholding
the opinion that magic is due to demons, gives us a glimpse of a
different conception of it, according to which magicians were able by
personal qualifications, by subtle use of occult natural properties,
by rites and ceremonies, and by the art of astrology, either to work
wonders directly and immediately or to coerce demons to work wonders
for them.[8]

[Footnote 5: L. Thorndike, _A History of Magic and Experimental
Science_, ii (London, 1923), pp. 343, 973.]

[Footnote 6: _Ibid._ ii. 343.]

[Footnote 7: _Ibid._ ii. 553.]

[Footnote 8: _Ibid._ ii. 604 _sq._]

Another view concerning the difference between religion and magic has
been expressed by certain writers, from Robertson Smith onwards, who
maintain that religion is social in its aim and magic at any rate
non-social,[9] or that magic includes "all bad ways, and religion all
good ways, of dealing with the supernormal, bad and good as the
society concerned judges them."[10] This use of the terms, however, is
not in agreement with the most authoritative traditional usage.
Besides black magic there is also white magic. Even mediæval
theologians distinguished between good and bad magic. William of
Auvergne (†1249), whose works present an unexpectedly detailed picture
of the magic and superstition of his time, sees no harm whatever in
"natural magic," unless it is employed for evil ends; he observes that
the workers of it are called _magi_, because they do great things
(_magna agentes_), whereas others, {4} who work magic by the aid of
demons, are to be regarded as evil-doers.[11] Albertus Magnus defends
the Magi of the gospel story and tries to exculpate them from the
practice of those particular evil, superstitious, and diabolical
occult arts which Isidore and others had included in their definitions
of magic. "They were not devoted to any of these arts," he says, "but
only to magic as it has been described; and this is praiseworthy." He
was himself a believer in occult forces and marvels in nature, showed
a leaning to the occult sciences, and was called, even by his
panegyrists, _magnus in magia_ and _in magicis expertus_.[12] In the
_Liber aggregationis_, a very popular treatise on magic which has been
ascribed to Albertus but is of dubious authenticity, it is said that
magical science (_scientia magicalis_) is not evil, since by knowledge
of it evil can be avoided and good attained.[13]

[Footnote 9: W. Robertson Smith, _Lectures on the Religion of the
Semites_ (London, 1894), p. 264; É. Durkheim, _Les formes élémentaires
de la vie religieuse_ (Paris, 1912), p. 60 _sqq._; H. Hubert and M.
Mauss, 'Esquisse d'une théorie générale de la magie,' in _L'Année
sociologique_, vii (Paris, 1904), p. 1 _sqq._]

[Footnote 10: R. R. Marett, _Anthropology_ (London, _s.d._), p. 209

[Footnote 11: Thorndike, _op. cit._ ii. 347.]

[Footnote 12: _Ibid._ ii. 550, 551, 553 _sq._]

[Footnote 13: _Ibid._ ii. 726.]

Nor does the definition according to which magic includes all bad ways
and religion all good ways of dealing with the supernormal seem to me
at all suitable for the purpose of scientific classification. It
implies, for example, that a prayer to a god for the destruction of an
enemy must be classified as religion if it is offered in a cause which
is considered just by the community, but as magic if it is disapproved
of. When a man makes a girl drink a love-potion in order to gain her
favour, it is religion if their union is desirable from the society's
point of view, but if he gives the same drink to another man's wife it
is magic. The best part of what has been hitherto called imitative or
homœopathic magic no longer remains magic at all; if water is poured
out for the purpose of producing rain, it is homœopathic magic only in
case rain is not wanted by the community, but if it is done during a
drought it is religion. The acceptance of the view that the very same
practices are religious or magical according as they have social or
anti-social ends would overthrow well-established and useful terms and
deprive us of the comprehensive, convenient, and in every respect
appropriate attribute "magical" for all sorts of supposed impersonal
occult or supernatural forces.

In spite of the essential difference between religion and magic they
have, nevertheless, been connected with each other in various ways.
Owing to the element of mystery which is found in both, magical forces
may be personified as spirits or gods, or be transformed into divine
attributes or lead to divine injunctions; and magical practices may
become genuine acts of religious worship, or acts of worship may
become magical {5} practices. Numerous instances of such
transformations have been given in my book on the _Origin and
Development of the Moral Ideas_. For example: the magical forces which
give efficacy to curses have been personified as supernatural beings,
like the Greek Erinyes of parents,[14] beggars,[15] and guests,[16]
and the Roman _divi parentum_,[17] _dii hospitales_,[18] and
_Terminus_;[19] or they may be transformed into attributes of the
chief god, as in the case of Jupiter Terminalis or [Greek: Zeu\s
o(/rios].[20] The injurious energy attributed to work performed on the
seventh day developed into a religious prohibition,[21] and the
uncanny feeling experienced in mentioning the name of a supernatural
being readily leads to the belief that he feels offended if his name
is pronounced.[22] Curses and blessings become prayers;[23] and on the
other hand, prayers become spells which are believed to constrain the
gods to whom they are addressed. This appears from the words of many
formulas that are used as magical incantations. Assyrian incantations
are often dressed in the robe of supplication and end with the
formula, "Do so and so, and I shall gladden thine heart and worship
thee in humility."[24] Vedic texts which were not originally meant as
charms became so afterwards. Incantations are comparatively rare in
the Rig-Veda, and seem even to be looked upon as objectionable, but
towards the end of the Vedic period the reign of Brahma, the power of
prayer, as the supreme god in the Indian pantheon began to dawn.[25]
The prayer is imbued with supernatural energy owing to the holiness of
the being to whom it is addressed, and its constraining force may then
be directed even against the god himself.

[Footnote 14: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the Moral
Ideas_, i (London, 1912), p. 623.]

[Footnote 15: _Ibid._ i. 561.]

[Footnote 16: _Ibid._ i. 585.]

[Footnote 17: _Ibid._ i. 624.]

[Footnote 18: _Ibid._ i. 585.]

[Footnote 19: _Ibid._ ii (1917), p. 68.]

[Footnote 20: _Ibid._ ii. 68.]

[Footnote 21: _Ibid._ ii. 286 _sq._]

[Footnote 22: _Ibid._ ii. 640 _sqq._]

[Footnote 23: _Ibid._ i. 564 _sq._, ii. 66-8, 120-3, 658, 686-90, 731.]

[Footnote 24: K. L. Tallqvist, 'Die assyrische Beschwörungsserie
maqlû,' in _Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicæ_, xx (Helsingfors,
1895), p. 22.]

[Footnote 25: H. Oldenberg, _Die Religion des Veda_ (Berlin, 1894),
p. 311 _sqq._; E. W. Hopkins, _The Religions of India_ (London, 1896),
p. 149; R. Roth, 'Brahma und die Brahmanen,' in _Zeitschrift der
Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft_, i (Leipzig, 1846), pp. 67,
71; J. Darmesteter, _Essais orientaux_ (Paris, 1883), p. 132.]

But the connection between religion and magic may be still more
intimate. I have hitherto spoken of religion in the abstract, as
distinguished from any concrete religion. In the popular sense of the
word, which certainly must be respected, a religion may include many
practices which are what I have called magical. In the ancient
religions of the East religion {6} and magic are indissolubly mixed up
together. According to Mohammedan orthodoxy the Arabic words of the
Koran work miracles. The Christian sacraments of baptism and the
Eucharist are rooted in magical ideas, and the efficacy ascribed to
them has always retained a more or less magical character.[26]
Although the magical and the strictly religious attitudes differ from
each other, they are not irreconcilable, and may therefore very well
form parts of one and the same religion; there is no such thing as _a_
magic being opposed to _a_ religion. By a religion is generally
understood a system of beliefs and rules of behaviour which have
reference to, or are considered to be prescribed by, one or several
supernatural beings whom the believers call their god or gods--that
is, supernatural beings who are the objects of a regular cult and
between whom and their worshippers there are established and permanent
relationships. If it is admitted that the word "religion" may thus be
legitimately used in two different senses, an abstract and a concrete,
I think there is little ground left for further controversy as regards
the relation between religion and magic.

[Footnote 26: _Infra_, ch. x.]

While the origin of religion may be traced to the feeling of
uncanniness and mystery, the moral consciousness has an entirely
different foundation. For a discussion not only of the general
relations between religion and morality, but also of my particular
subject--the relations between Christianity and morals--I find it
necessary to give a summary of my views concerning the nature of the
moral consciousness, which I have expounded in detail in earlier
works.[27] The reader will notice what a fundamental position these
views occupy in my arguments.

[Footnote 27: _The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_, two
volumes (London, 1912, 1917), and _Ethical Relativity_ (London, 1932).]

All moral concepts, which are used as predicates in moral judgments,
are ultimately based on one or the other of the two emotions, moral
approval and moral disapproval or indignation. Both of them belong to
a wider class of emotions, which I have called retributive emotions.
Moral disapproval is a kind of resentment, by which I understand a
hostile attitude of mind towards a living being (or something taken
for a living being) conceived as a cause of inflicted pain; moral
approval is a retributive kindly emotion, that is, a friendly attitude
of mind towards such a being conceived as a cause of pleasure. They
are related to other kinds of resentment or retributive kindly
emotion: moral disapproval to anger and the feeling of revenge, and
moral approval to gratitude. But the moral emotions {7} differ from
those non-moral retributive emotions by being disinterested and, at
least within certain limits, impartial. If some one inflicts an injury
upon me, or upon a friend of mine, and I feel indignant in
consequence, my indignation can be called a moral emotion only if it
is felt independently of the fact that it was I or my friend who was
hurt; it must be possible to assume that I should have experienced the
same emotion if another similar person in similar circumstances had
been subjected to the same treatment. Otherwise my emotion of
resentment would have been not moral disapproval, but personal anger.
So also, the kindly emotion which I feel for a benefactor can be
called moral approval only on condition that it is disinterested and
impartial; otherwise it would be personal gratitude.

The origin of retributive emotions may be explained by their
usefulness to the species. Resentment, like protective reflex action,
from which it has gradually developed, is a means of protection for
the animal owing to its tendency to remove a cause of danger. The
disposition to experience it may consequently be regarded as an
element in the animal's mental constitution that has been acquired
through the influence of natural selection in the struggle for
existence. And as natural selection accounts for the origin of the
disposition to feel resentment, so also it accounts for the origin of
the disposition to feel retributive kindly emotion. Both of these
emotions are useful to the species: by resentment evils are averted,
by retributive kindliness benefits are secured. But retributive
kindliness is of much less frequent occurrence in the animal kingdom
than resentment. In a very large number of species not even the germ
of it is found, and where it occurs it is generally restricted within
narrow limits. Anybody may provoke an animal's anger, but only towards
certain individuals is it apt to feel retributive kindliness. The
limits for this emotion are marked off by the conditions under which
altruistic sentiments tend to arise. In its primitive form we find it
among animals living in groups, including the small group consisting
of mother, or parents, and offspring. The associated animals take
pleasure in each other's company, and with this pleasure is intimately
connected kindliness towards its cause, the companion himself, who is
conceived as a friend. The altruistic sentiment would never have come
into existence without such reciprocity of feeling. That there is such
an enormous difference between the prevalence of resentment and that
of retributive kindly emotion is easily explained by the simple fact
that the living in groups is an advantage only to certain species, and
that even gregarious animals have many enemies but few friends.

{8} This explanation of the origin of resentment and retributive
kindly emotion also holds true of the moral emotions in so far as they
are retributive emotions; it accounts for the hostile attitude of
moral disapproval towards the cause of pain and for the friendly
attitude of moral approval towards the cause of pleasure. But it still
remains for us to consider the origin of those elements in the moral
emotions by which they are distinguished from other, non-moral,
retributive emotions. First, how shall we explain their

We have to distinguish between different classes of conditions under
which disinterested retributive emotions arise. In the first place, we
may feel disinterested resentment, or disinterested retributive kindly
emotion, on account of an injury inflicted, or a benefit conferred,
upon another individual with whose pain, or pleasure, we sympathise
and in whose welfare we take a kindly interest. Our retributive
emotions are, of course, always reactions against pain or pleasure
felt by ourselves; this holds good of the moral emotions as well as of
anger, revenge, and gratitude. The question to be answered, then, is,
Why should we, quite disinterestedly, feel pain calling forth
disapproval because our neighbour is hurt, and pleasure calling forth
approval because he is benefited?

That a certain act causes pleasure or pain to the bystander may be due
to the close association that exists between these feelings and their
outward expressions. The sight of a happy face tends to produce some
degree of pleasure in him who sees it; the sight of bodily signs of
suffering tends to produce a feeling of pain. Moreover, sympathetic
pain or pleasure may be the result of an association between cause and
effect, between the cognition of a certain act or situation and the
feeling generally evoked by this act or situation: a blow may cause
pain to the spectator before he has witnessed its effect on the victim.

But the sympathetic feeling that results from association alone is not
what is popularly called sympathy: it lacks kindliness. Arising merely
from the habitual connection of certain cognitions with certain
feelings in the experience of the spectator, it is, strictly speaking,
not at all concerned with what the other individual _feels_. On the
other hand sympathy, in the popular sense of the word, requires the
co-operation of the altruistic sentiment or affection, a disposition
of mind that is particularly apt to display itself as kindly emotion
towards other beings. This sentiment, only, induces us to take a
kindly interest in the feelings of our neighbours. It involves a
tendency, or willingness, and, when strongly developed, gives rise to
an eager desire, to sympathise with their pains and pleasures. But the
altruistic {9} sentiment is not merely willingness to sympathise, it
is above all a conative disposition to promote the welfare of its
object. It is true that sympathetic pain, unaided by kindliness, may
induce a person to relieve the suffering of his neighbour, but then he
does so, not out of regard to the feeling of the sufferer, but simply
to get rid of a painful cognition. The sight of the wounded traveller
may perhaps have caused scarcely less pain to the Pharisee than to the
good Samaritan; yet it would have been impossible for the latter to
dismiss his pain by going away, since he felt a desire to assist the
wounded man, and this desire would have been ungratified if he had not
stopped by the wayside.

The co-operation of the altruistic sentiment with sympathy also
produces in us disinterested retributive emotions, when the individual
towards whom we are kindly disposed is hurt or benefited. In the
tendency to feel such emotions, however, there is a great difference
between resentment and retributive kindliness. Resentment towards an
enemy is itself, as a rule, a much stronger emotion than retributive
kindly emotion towards a benefactor. And as for the sympathetic forms
of these emotions, it is not surprising that the altruistic sentiment
is more readily moved by the sight of pain than by the sight of
pleasure, considering that it serves as a means of protection for the
species. Moreover, sympathetic retributive kindliness has powerful
rivals in the feelings of jealousy and envy, which tend to excite
anger also towards him who bestows the benefit on the other
individual. As an ancient writer observes, "many suffer with their
friends when the friends are in distress, but are envious of them when
they prosper."[28] Among the lower animals there seems to be no trace
of retributive kindly emotion felt as a result of pleasure taken in
kindness shown to another individual. On the other hand, there is
sympathetic resentment in consequence of an inflicted injury. A
mammalian mother is as hostile to the enemy of her young as to her own
enemy. Social animals defend members of their own group, which
evidently involves some degree of sympathetic anger. When a young
monkey which had been seized by an eagle cried for assistance, "the
other members of the troupe, with much uproar, rushed to the rescue,
surrounded the eagle, and pulled out so many feathers, that he no
longer thought of his prey, but only how to escape."[29] Speaking of a
group of chimpanzees in confinement, Professor Köhler says that if one
of them was {10} attacked before the eyes of the others, great
excitement went through the whole group; and that even the lightest
form of punishment, such as pulling the ear of the offender, often
stirred single members of the group to much more decisive action.[30]
Among domesticated animals sympathetic resentment may be felt even
when the individual who is hurt belongs to another species. We are
told by a trustworthy authority of a dog at Liverpool who saved a cat
from the hands of some young ruffians: he rushed in among the boys,
barked furiously at them, terrified them into flight, and carried the
cat off in his mouth to his kennel, where he nursed it.[31] The dog
who flies at any one who strikes, or even touches, his master is a
very familiar instance of sympathetic resentment.

[Footnote 28: Quoted by L. Schmidt, _Die Ethik der alten Griechen_,
i (Berlin, 1882), p. 259.]

[Footnote 29: C. Darwin, _The Descent of Man_ (London, 1890), p. 101

[Footnote 30: W. Köhler, _The Mentality of Apes_ (London, 1927),
p. 286 _sq._]

[Footnote 31: C. Williams, _Dogs and Their Ways_ (London, 1863),
p. 43.]

Among a gregarious species of animals the members of a herd are at
ease in each other's company, suffer when they are separated, rejoice
when they are reunited, and very frequently display affection by
defending each other, helping each other in distress and danger, and
perform various other services for each other.[32] Among men the
members of the same social unit are tied to each other with various
bonds of a distinctly human character--the same customs, laws,
institutions, magic or religious ceremonies and beliefs, notions of a
common descent, and so forth. As men generally are fond of that to
which they are used or which is their own, they are also naturally apt
to have likings for other individuals whose habits, ideas, and
feelings are similar to theirs. Uncivilised peoples are as a rule
described as kind towards members of their own community or tribe.
Within these limits they are charitable and generous and their customs
relating to mutual aid are often much more stringent than our own; and
this applies even to the very lowest among them.

[Footnote 32: Darwin, _op. cit._ p. 100 _sqq._; P. Kropotkin, _Mutual
Aid_ (London, 1902), ch. i _sq._; F. Alverdes, _Social Life in the
Animal World_ (London, 1927), p. 133 _sq._]

While disinterested resentment may thus be felt in consequence of an
injury inflicted upon another individual as a reaction against
sympathetic pain, it may also be directly produced by the cognition of
the signs of resentment. In the former case it is really independent
of the emotion of the injured individual; we may feel resentment on
his behalf though he himself feels none. In the latter case it is an
emotion reflected through the medium of its outward expression in
another individual. We are told that among bees, ants, and termites
{11} signs of anger felt by one individual may awaken, the whole
community to a high pitch of excitement.[33] A group of the captive
chimpanzees studied by Köhler might be thrown into a state of blind
fury by the angry cries of one of its members, "even when the majority
of its members have seen nothing of what caused the first cry, and
have no notion of what it is all about."[34] When the yells and
shrieks of a street dog-fight are heard, dogs from all sides rush to
the spot, each dog being apparently ready to bite any of the others.
So, too, in an infuriated crowd of men one gets angry because the
other is angry, and often the question Why? is hardly asked. This form
of disinterested resentment is of great importance both as an
originator and, especially, as a communicator of moral ideas; it is,
in fact, the main foundation of moral tradition. Men are inclined to
sympathise with the resentment of persons for whom they feel regard;
hence an act which, though harmless by itself, is forbidden by God and
man may be not only professed but actually felt to be wrong. The
punishment inflicted by the society, which as a rule is an expression
of its moral indignation, may also, by arousing such a feeling, lead
to the idea that it deserves to be punished. Children, as everybody
knows, grow up with their ideas of right and wrong graduated, to a
great extent, according to the temper of the father or mother; and men
are not seldom, as Hobbes said, "like little children, that have no
other rule of good and evill manners, but the correction they receive
from their Parents and Masters."[35] Any means of expressing
resentment may serve as a communicator of the emotion. Besides
punishment, language deserves special mention. Moral disapproval may
be evoked by the very sounds of words like "murder," "theft,"
"cowardice," and others, which not merely indicate a certain mode of
behaviour but also express the opprobrium attached to it. By the use
of some strong word the orator raises the indignation of a sympathetic
audience to its pitch.

[Footnote 33: S. J. Holmes, _The Evolution of Animal Intelligence_
(New York, 1911), p. 209.]

[Footnote 34: Köhler, _op. cit._ p. 288.]

[Footnote 35: T. Hobbes, _Leviathan_, i. 11 (Oxford, 1881), p. 76.]

There is yet a third way in which disinterested resentment may arise.
In many cases people feel hostile to a person who inflicts no injury
on anybody. There are in the human mind what Bain called
"disinterested antipathies," or sentimental aversions, "of which our
fellow-beings are the subjects, and on account of which we overlook
our own interest as much as in {12} displaying our sympathies and
affections."[36] Differences of taste, habit, and, opinion easily
create similar dislikes; and these, too, have played a prominent part
in the moulding of the moral consciousness. The antipathy which is so
commonly felt against anything unusual, new, or foreign, may lead to
the idea that it is wrong; and when a certain act which does no
harm--apart from the painful impression it makes on the
spectator--fills people with disgust or horror, they may feel no less
inclined to inflict harm upon the agent than if he had committed an
offence against person, property, or good name. Such resentment may
also arise from the observation of the feelings of others. As Abraham
Tucker said, "we grow to love things we perceive them fond of, and
contract aversions from their dislikes."[37]

[Footnote 36: A. Bain, _The Emotions and the Will_ (London, 1880),
p. 268.]

[Footnote 37: A. Tucker, _The Light of Nature Pursued_, i (London,
1840), p. 154.]

We have already noticed that sympathy, in the popular sense of the
word, may produce not only disinterested resentment but disinterested
retributive kindliness as well: when taking a pleasure in the benefit
bestowed upon our neighbour we are disposed to look with kindness on
the benefactor. Moreover, as resentment may be produced by the
cognition of outward signs of resentment in others, so kindly emotion
may be produced by the signs of kindliness. Even a dog may be
well-disposed towards a stranger when he sees a friend--whether a man
or another dog--be friendly to him. Language communicates emotions by
terms of praise as well as by terms of condemnation; and a reward,
like a punishment, has some tendency to reproduce the emotion from
which it sprang. Finally, men have disinterested likings as they have
disinterested dislikes. As an instance of these may be mentioned the
common admiration of courage when felt irrespectively of the object
for which it is displayed--a feeling which has even elevated it to an
independent virtue, and in any case tends to influence the moral verdict.

Having found the origin of disinterested retributive emotions, we have
also partly explained the origin of the moral emotions. But, as we
have seen, these emotions are not only disinterested, they are also
impartial in a wider sense. The possibility of such impartiality,
however, is explained by the answer to the more general question, how
disinterestedness and a certain degree of impartiality have become
characteristics of that particular kind of retributive emotions that
we call moral emotions. The solution of this problem is not difficult
to find. It lies in the fact that society is the birth-place of the
moral {13} consciousness; that the first moral judgments expressed not
the private emotions of isolated individuals, but emotions felt by the
society at large; that tribal custom was the earliest rule of duty.

Customs are not merely public habits--the habits of a certain circle
of men, a racial or national community, a rank or class of
society--but they are at the same time rules of conduct. As Cicero
observes, the customs of a people "are precepts in themselves."[38] We
say that "custom commands" or "custom demands," and even when custom
simply allows the commission of a certain class of actions, it
implicitly lays down the rule that such actions are not to be
interfered with. And the rule of custom is conceived of as a moral
rule which decides what is right and wrong. The Greek idea of the
customary, [Greek: to\ no/mimon], shows the close connection between
morality and custom; and so do the words [Greek: e)/thos, ê)=thos],
and [Greek: ê)thika/], the Latin _mos_ and _moralis_ the German
_Sitte_ and _Sittlichkeit_. Moreover, in early society customs are not
only moral rules but the only moral rules ever thought of. The savage
strictly complies with the Hegelian command that no man must have a
private conscience.

[Footnote 38: Cicero, _De officiis_, i. 41.]

What does it mean that custom is a rule of conduct? It implies that
every deviation from custom is apt to call forth public disapproval.
In the lower stages of civilisation, especially, custom is a tyrant
who binds man in iron fetters, and who threatens the transgressor not
only with general disgrace, but often with bodily suffering or even
death. In its ethical aspect custom is nothing but a generalisation of
emotional tendencies, applied to certain modes of conduct and
transmitted from generation to generation. Now if custom is a moral
rule, the public disapproval aroused by its transgression may be
properly called a moral emotion. Moreover, where all the duties of a
man are expressed in the customs of the society to which he belongs,
the characteristics of moral disapproval are naturally to be sought
for in its connection with custom. Custom is fixed once for all, and
admits of no purely individual preferences. It is equally binding for
me and for you and for all the other members of the society. A breach
of it is equally wrong whether I myself am immediately concerned in
the act or not; this involves disinterestedness. So also the
condemnation of it is independent of the relationship in which the
parties concerned in it stand to me personally; this implies
impartiality in a larger sense. And all this holds true whatever be
the origin of any particular custom. It may have originated in
selfishness {14} or partiality; the leading men of the society may at
first have prohibited certain acts because they found them
disadvantageous to themselves or to the class of people with whom they
particularly sympathised. Where custom is an oppressor of women, this
oppression may, in some measure at least, be traced back to the
selfishness of the men. Where custom sanctions slavery, it is
certainly not impartial to the slaves. Yet in one case as in the other
custom is assumed to be in the right, irrespectively of one's own
station, and the women and the slaves themselves are expected to be of
the same opinion. Such an expectation is by no means a chimera.[39]
Under stable social conditions, largely owing to men's tendency to
share the resentment of their superiors, the customs of a society are
willingly submitted to and recognised as right by the great majority
of its members, whatever be their station.

[Footnote 39: For instances of this see my _Ethical Relativity_,
p. 111.]

As public disapproval is the prototype of moral disapproval, so is
public approval, expressed in public praise, the prototype of moral
approval: it is characterised by the same disinterestedness and
impartiality. But of the two emotions public disapproval, being at the
root of custom and leading to the infliction of punishment, is by far
the more impressive. Hence it is not surprising that the term "moral"
is etymologically connected with _mos_, which always implies the
existence of a social rule the transgression of which evokes public
disapproval. Only by analogy has it come to be applied to the emotion
of approval as well.

Though moral disapproval and approval have taken their place in the
system of human emotions as public emotions felt by the society at
large, they have not always remained inseparably connected with the
feelings of any special society. The unanimity of opinion that
originally characterised the members of the same social unit was
disturbed by its advancement in civilisation. Individuals arose who
found fault with the moral ideas prevalent in the community to which
they belonged, criticising them on the basis of their own individual
feelings. To deny such individuals the right of speaking in the name
of morality true and proper would be to attach to this term a meaning
which, in its narrowness, would be utterly different from the
established usage of it. All that is required is that their
retributive emotions should possess that disinterestedness and
impartiality which have become moral characteristics in connection
with custom, but may differ from public approval and disapproval
either in intensity or with regard to the facts by which they are
evoked. Indeed, the dissent from {15} the orthodox views of morality
often arises from the conviction that the apparent impartiality of
public feelings is an illusion. In the course of progressive
civilisation the moral consciousness has tended towards a greater
equalisation of rights, towards an expansion of the circle within
which the same moral rules are applicable. And this process has been
largely due to the example of influential individuals and their
efforts to raise public opinion to their own standard of right.

My earlier statement that the predicates of all moral judgments are
ultimately based on moral emotions by no means implies that such a
judgment affirms the existence of a moral emotion in the mind of the
person who utters it: he may do so without feeling any emotion at all.
No doubt, to say that a certain act is good or bad may be the mere
expression of an emotion felt with regard to it, just as to say that
the sun is hot and the weather cold may be the mere expression of a
sensation of heat or cold produced by the sun or the weather. But such
judgments express subjective facts in terms which strictly speaking
have a different meaning. To attribute a quality to something is not
the same as to state the existence of a particular emotion or
sensation in the mind that perceives it. This, however, does not imply
that the term used to denote the quality may not have a subjective
origin. I maintain, on the contrary, that the qualities assigned to
the subjects of moral judgments really are generalisations derived
from approval or disapproval felt with regard to certain modes of
conduct, that they are tendencies to feel one or the other of these
emotions interpreted as qualities, as dynamic tendencies, in the
phenomena which gave rise to the emotion. A similar translation of
emotional states into terms of qualities assigned to external
phenomena is found in many other cases: something is "fearful" because
people fear it, "admirable" because people admire it. When we call an
act good or bad, we do not _state_ the existence of any emotional
tendencies, any more than, when we call a landscape beautiful, we
state any characteristics of beauty: we refer the subject of the
judgment to a class of phenomena which we are used to call good or
bad. But we are used to call them so because they have evoked moral
approval in ourselves or in other persons from whom we have learnt the
use of those words.

Most people follow a very simple method in judging of an act.
Particular modes of conduct have their traditional labels, many of
which are learnt with language itself; and the moral judgment commonly
consists simply in labelling the act according to certain obvious
characteristics which it presents in common with others belonging to
the same group. We hear {16} that some one has appropriated another's
property, this is theft, it is wrong; some one tells an untruth, this
is lying, it is wrong; some one gives money to a needy person, this is
charity, it is good; and so forth. But when we examine the nature of
these acts we find that they are apt to give rise to or, as we may
also put it, to become the objects of, certain emotions, either of
disapproval or approval, and it is the tendency to feel one or the
other of these emotions that has led people to call them bad or good.
Those who first established the use of these and all other moral
concepts felt disapproval or approval and expressed in the concepts
their tendency to feel such an emotion in the given circumstances.
This is what may be called the intrinsic meaning of the terms. I do
not say that those who use them are aware of this meaning. We are
often unable to tell what is really implied in a concept that we
predicate to a certain phenomenon. When any one is asked what he means
by saying that something is or exists, or that something is the cause
of something else, I suppose that everybody who is not a philosopher,
and even many a philosopher, feels somewhat bewildered. If we want to
find out the intrinsic meaning of a term we have to examine the
circumstances in which it is used. And in analysing the predicates of
moral judgments, we are guided by the fact that if we ourselves
emphatically and truly mean what we say when we pronounce such a
judgment, we recognise that we are apt, or at least think we are apt,
to feel a moral emotion of either approval or disapproval with regard
to that on which the judgment is pronounced.

In order to show that the concepts which are used as predicates in
moral judgments are ultimately based upon emotions it is necessary to
examine the relations between the concepts and the emotions. This is a
task which has been much neglected by the moralists of the emotional
school, from Adam Smith to McDougall, although it is evidently a
matter of paramount importance. I have undertaken it in my earlier
works, and shall now only give a brief summary of my views. The import
of the moral concepts is not a topic that requires, for the right
understanding of the main subject of my book, as detailed a treatment
as the nature of the emotions underlying them.

Moral disapproval has led to the concepts of ought and duty, right and
wrong, justice and injustice. Every "ought"-judgment contains
implicitly a prohibition of that which ought _not_ to be done. Nobody
would ever have dreamt of laying down a moral rule if the idea of its
transgression had not presented itself to his mind. We may reverse the
words of the Apostle and say that where no transgression is, there is
no law; {17} the law-breaker is, in a way, the law-maker. When Solon
was asked why he had specified no punishment for one who had murdered
his father, he replied that he supposed it could not occur to any man
to commit such a crime.[40] We may certainly applaud him who is
faithful to his duty in circumstances where the average man would have
felt a strong temptation to yield to a contrary impulse. There is no
contradiction in the omission of an act being disapproved of and the
performance of it being praised; but "ought" and "duty" only express
the tendency of an act's omission to call forth moral disapproval and
say nothing about the consequences of its performance. The tendency in
a phenomenon to arouse moral disapproval is directly expressed by the
terms "bad" and "wrong."

[Footnote 40: Diogenes Laertius, _Solon_, 10; Cicero, _Pro S. Roscio
Amerino_, 25.]

"Right" is what is in conformity to duty, unless this term is simply
used to point out that something is "not wrong." And like the
adjective "right" is also the substantive denoting "a right" rooted in
the emotion of moral disapproval. To have a right to do a thing is to
be allowed to do it, either by positive law, in the case of a legal
right, or by the moral law, in the case of a moral right; in other
words, to have a moral right to do a thing implies that it is not
wrong to do it. But generally the concept of "a right" means something
more than this. From the fact that an act is allowable follows, as a
rule, that it ought not to be prevented; and this character of
inviolability is largely included in the very concepts of rights. That
a man has a right to live does not merely mean that he commits no
wrong by supporting his life, but it chiefly means that it would be
wrong of other people to prevent him from living, that it is their
duty to refrain from killing him, or even, as the case may be, that it
is their duty to help him to live.

Closely connected with the notions of wrongness and rightness are the
notions of injustice and justice. "Injustice" implies a violation of
some one's right; "justice," in the strict sense of the term, involves
the notion that a duty to somebody, a duty corresponding to a right in
him, is fulfilled. But at the same time "injustice" and "justice" are
not simply other names for violating or respecting rights. When we
style an act "unjust" we emphasise that it is not impartial, when we
style an act "just" we point out that an undue preference would have
been shown some one by its omission. It is the emphasis laid on the
duty of impartiality that gives justice a special prominence in
connection with punishments and rewards. A man's rights depend to a
great extent upon his actions. Other things being equal, the criminal
has not the same rights to {18} inviolability as regards reputation,
freedom, property, or life as the innocent man; the miser and the
egoist have not the same rights as the benefactor and the
philanthropist. On these differences in rights, due to differences in
conduct, the terms "just" and "unjust" lay stress; for in such cases
an injustice would have been committed if the rights had been equal.
When we say of a criminal that he has been "justly" imprisoned, we
point out that he was no victim to undue partiality, as he had
forfeited the general right to freedom on account of his crime. When
we say of a benefactor that he has been "justly" rewarded, we point
out that no favour was partially bestowed upon him in preference to
others, as he had acquired the special right of being rewarded. But
the "justice" of a punishment or a reward, strictly speaking, involves
something more than this; as we have seen, what is strictly just is
always the discharge of a duty corresponding to a right that would
have been in a partial manner disregarded by a transgression of the
duty. If it is just that a person should be rewarded he ought to be
rewarded, and to fulfil this duty is to do him justice. Again, if it
is just that a person should be punished he ought to be punished, and
his not being punished is an injustice towards all those whose
condemnation of the wrong act finds its recognised expression in the
punishment, inasmuch as their rightful claim that the criminal should
be punished, their right of resisting wrong, is thereby violated in
favour of the wrongdoer. Moreover, his not being punished is an
injustice towards other criminals, who have been, or who will be,
punished for similar acts, in so far as they have a right to demand
that no undue preference should be shown anybody whose guilt is equal
to theirs. Retributive punishment may admit of a certain latitude as
to the retribution. It may be a matter of small concern from the
community's point of view whether men are fined or imprisoned for the
commission of a certain crime. But justice demands that in equal
circumstances all of them should be punished with the same severity,
since the crime has equally affected their rights. The emphasis which
"injustice" lays on the partiality of a certain mode of conduct always
involves a condemnation of that partiality, and is thus a concept that
is obviously based on the emotion of moral disapproval. And so is the
concept of "justice," whether it involves the notion that an injustice
would be committed if a certain duty is not fulfilled, or it is used,
more loosely, to denote that a certain course of conduct is "not
unjust." But the word "just" may also emphasise the impartiality of an
act in a tone of praise. Considering how difficult it may be to be
perfectly impartial {19} and give every man his due, especially when
one's own interests are concerned, it is only natural that men may be
applauded for being just, and, consequently, that to call a person
"just" may be to praise him. So also, "justice" is used as the name
for a virtue, "the mistress and queen of all virtues."[41] But all
this does not imply that an emotion of moral approval enters into the
concept of justice as such. It only means that one word is used to
express a certain concept, which ultimately derives its import from
moral disapproval, and in addition an emotion of approval. That the
concept of justice by itself has no reference to the emotion of
approval is shown by the fact that it is no praise to say of an act
that it is "only just."

[Footnote 41: Cicero, _De officiis_, iii. 6.]

From the concepts springing from moral disapproval we shall pass to
those springing from moral approval. Foremost among these ranks the
concept of goodness. The word "good" is applied to a great variety of
objects. But whatever all other good things may have in common,
"goodness," in the emphatically moral sense of the word has a
characteristic of its own, which makes it widely different from any
other "good": it is a concept rooted in the tendency to feel the
emotion of moral approval, it is the general expression for moral
praise. The word "virtue," again, is usually applied to denote a
disposition of mind characterised by some special kind of goodness. He
who is habitually temperate possesses the virtue of temperance, he who
is habitually brave the virtue of courage, he who is habitually
generous the virtue of generosity. Even when a man is simply said to
be "virtuous," this epithet is given him, more or less distinctly,
with reference to some kind or kinds of goodness: it may mean that he
has many virtues, or that he has much of one. A Supreme Being who is
regarded as all-good is not called virtuous.

Like the notions of goodness and virtue, the "meritorious" derives its
origin from the emotion of moral approval; but while the former merely
express a tendency to give rise to such an emotion, the "meritorious"
implies that the object to which it refers "merits" praise, that it
has a just claim to praise, in other words, that it ought to be
recognised as good. This makes the term "meritorious" more emphatic
than the term "good," but at the same time it narrows its province in
a peculiar way. Just as the expression that something ought to be done
implies the idea that it possibly may not be done, so the statement
that something is meritorious, in pointing out its goodness, implies
{20} the idea that this goodness may fail to receive due recognition.
It would be blasphemous to call the acts of a God who is conceived to
be infinitely good "meritorious," since it would suggest a thinkable
limitation of his goodness.



THE gods of uncivilised peoples are to a large extent of a malevolent
character, but they are not exclusively so; and though they as a rule
take little interest in any kind of human conduct that does not affect
their own welfare, some of them are also opposed to acts of ordinary
wrongdoing. Among peoples of a higher culture, again, the gods are on
the whole benevolent to mankind when duly propitiated. They resent by
preference offences committed against themselves personally; but in
many cases they at the same time avenge social wrongs of various
kinds, act as superintendents of human justice, and are even looked
upon as the originators and sustainers of the whole moral order of the
world. The gods have thus experienced a gradual change for the better;
until at last they are described as ideals of moral perfection, even
though, when more closely scrutinised, their goodness and notions of
justice are found to differ materially from what is deemed good and
just in the case of men.[42]

[Footnote 42: See my book _The Origin und Development of the Moral
Ideas_, ii (London, 1917), ch. l _sq._]

The malevolence of savage gods is in accordance with the theory that
religion is born of fear. The assumed originators of misfortunes were
naturally regarded as enemies to be propitiated; while fortunate
events, if attracting sufficient attention and appearing sufficiently
marvellous to suggest a supernatural cause, were commonly ascribed to
beings who were too good to require worship. But growing reflection
has a tendency to attribute more amiable qualities to the gods. The
religious consciousness of men becomes less exclusively occupied with
the hurts they suffer, and comes more and more to reflect upon the
benefits they enjoy. The activity of a god which displays itself in a
certain phenomenon, or group of phenomena, appears to them on some
occasions as a source of evil, but on other occasions as a source of
good; hence the god is regarded as partly malevolent, partly
benevolent, and in all circumstances as a being who must not be
neglected. Moreover, a god who is by nature harmless or good may by
proper worship be induced {22} to assist man in his struggle against
evil spirits. The protective function of nature gods becomes
particularly important when the god is humanised also with regard to
his shape, and consequently more or less dissociated from the natural
phenomenon in which he originally manifested himself. Nothing, indeed,
seems to have contributed more to the improvement of nature gods than
the expansion of their sphere of activity. When supernatural beings
can exert their power in the various departments of life, men
naturally choose for their gods those among them who with great power
combine the greatest benevolence.

Men have selected their gods according to their usefulness. We have
many direct instances of such "supernatural selection." Among the
Maori "a mere trifle, or natural casualty, will induce a native (or a
whole tribe) to change his Atua."[43] The negro, when disappointed in
some of his speculations, or overtaken by some sad calamity, throws
away his fetish, and selects a new one.[44] When hard-pressed the
Samoyed, after having invoked his own deities in vain, addresses
himself to the Russian god, promising to become his worshipper if he
relieves him from his distress; and in most cases he is said to be
faithful to his promise, though he may still try to keep on good terms
with his former gods by occasionally offering them a sacrifice in
secret.[45] North American Indians attribute all their good or bad
luck to their Manitou, and "if the Manitou has not been favourable to
them, they quit him without any ceremony, and take another."[46] Among
many of the Indians of Central America there was a regular and
systematic selection of gods. Father Blas Valera says that their gods
had annual rotations and were changed each year in accordance with the
superstitions of the people. "The old gods were forsaken as infamous,
or because they had been of no use, and other gods and demons were
elected. . . . Sons when they inherited either accepted or repudiated
the gods of their fathers, for they were not allowed to hold their
pre-eminence against the will of their heir. Old men worshipped other
greater deities, but they likewise dethroned them, and {23} set up
others in their places when the year was over. . . . Such were the
gods which all the nations of Mexico, Chiapa, and Guatemala
worshipped, as well as those of Vera Paz, and many other Indians. They
thought that the gods selected by themselves were the greatest and
most powerful of all the gods."[47] These are crude instances of a
process which in some form or other must have been an important motive
force in religious evolution by making the gods better suited to meet
the wants of their believers. We find traces of it even in the Old
Testament. "Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and
will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and
raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace;
then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a
pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I
will surely give the tenth unto thee."[48] The Hebrews thought of the
national religion as constituted by a covenant rite in which the
parties were Yahve and Abraham,[49] as also by a formal covenant
sacrifice at Mount Sinai, where half of the blood of the sacrificed
oxen was sprinkled on the altar and the other half on the people;[50]
and the idea of sacrifice establishing a covenant between God and man
is also apparent in the Psalms.[51] Robertson Smith and his followers
have represented the covenant practices as acts of communion,[52] but
similar methods of covenanting, which I have found in Morocco, have
led me to believe that those employed by the ancient Hebrews in
covenanting with the deity aimed at transferring conditional curses
both to the men and to their god.[53] Such covenanting naturally
presupposed a kind of selection.

[Footnote 43: J. S. Polack, _Manners and Customs of the New
Zealanders_, i (London, 1840), p. 233.]

[Footnote 44: J. Leighton Wilson, _Western Africa_ (London, 1856),
p. 212.]

[Footnote 45: A. Ahlqvist, 'Unter Wogulen und Ostjaken,' in _Acta
Societatis Scientiarum Fennicæ_, xiv (Helsingfors, 1885), p. 240. The
ancient Scandinavians abandoned their old gods when they found that
the Christian God was better able to satisfy their wants (H. Ljungberg,
_Den nordiska religionen och kristendomen_ [Stockholm and Köpenhamn,
1938], p. 315).]

[Footnote 46: Bossu, _Travels through Louisiana_, i (London, 1771),
p. 103; J. G. Frazer, _Totemism_ (Edinburgh, 1887), p. 55.]

[Footnote 47: Blas Valera, quoted by Garcilasso de la Vega, _First
Part of the Royal Commentaries of the Yncas_, i (London, 1869),
p. 124 _sq._]

[Footnote 48: _Genesis_ xxviii. 20 _sqq._]

[Footnote 49: _Ibid._ xv. 8 _sqq._]

[Footnote 50: _Exodus_ xxiv. 4 _sqq._]

[Footnote 51: _Psalms_ 1. 5.]

[Footnote 52: W. Robertson Smith, _Lectures on the Religion of the
Semites_ (London, 1894), lec. ix _sqq._; E. S. Hartland, _The Legend
of Perseus_, ii (London, 1895), p. 236; F. B. Jevons, _An Introduction
to the History of Religion_ (London, 1896), p. 225.]

[Footnote 53: See my _Ritual and Belief in Morocco_, i (London, 1926),
ch. x.]

Men not only select as their gods such supernatural beings as may be
most useful to them in the struggle for life, but also magnify their
good qualities in worshipping them. Praise and exaggerating eulogy are
common in the mouth of a devout worshipper. In ancient Egypt the god
of each petty state was within it said to be the ruler of the gods,
the creator of the world, the giver of all good things.[54] So also in
Chaldea the god of a {24} town was addressed by its inhabitants with
the most exalted epithets, as the master or king of all the gods.[55]
The Vedic poets were engrossed in the praise of the particular deity
they happened to be invoking, magnifying his attributes to the point
of inconsistency.[56] The Hindus say that by praise a person may
obtain from the gods whatever he desires.[57] There is a Chinese story
that amusingly illustrates this little weakness of so many gods. At
the hottest season of the year there was a heavy fall of snow at
Soochow. The people, in their consternation, went to the temple of the
Great Prince to pray. Then the spirit moved one of them to say: "You
now address me as Your Honour. Make it Your Excellency, and, though I
am but a lesser deity, it may be well worth your while to do so."
Thereupon the people began to use the latter term, and the snow
stopped at once.[58] "Every virtue, every excellence," says Hume,
"must be ascribed to the divinity, and no exaggeration will be deemed
sufficient to reach those perfections with which he is endowed."[59]
But though the tendency of the worshipper to extol his god beyond all
measure is largely due to the idea that praise or flattery is as
pleasant to superhuman as to human ears, it may also be rooted in a
sincere will to believe or in genuine veneration. That nations of a
higher culture, especially, have a strong faith in the power and
benevolence of their gods, is easy to understand when we consider that
such peoples have been most successful in their national endeavours.
As the Greeks attributed their victory over the Persians to the
assistance of Zeus, so the Romans maintained that the grandeur of
their city was the work of the gods whom they had propitiated by

[Footnote 54: A. Wiedemann, _Religion of the Ancient Egyptians_
(London, 1897), p. 11.]

[Footnote 55: F. Mürdter and F. Delitzsch, _Geschichte Babyloniens und
Assyriens_ (Calw and Stuttgart, 1891), p. 24.]

[Footnote 56: A. A. Macdonell, _Vedic Mythology_ (Strassburg, 1897),
p. 16 _sq._; A. Barth, _The Religions of India_ (London, 1882), p. 26;
E. W. Hopkins, _The Religions of India_ (London, 1896), p. 139.]

[Footnote 57: W. Ward, _A View of the History, Literature, and
Religion of the Hindoos_, ii (London, 1817), p. 69.]

[Footnote 58: H. A. Giles, _Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio_,
ii (London, 1880), p. 294.]

[Footnote 59: D. Hume, _Philosophical Works_, iv (London, 1875),
p. 353.]

[Footnote 60: Cicero, _De natura deorum_, iii. 2.]

The benevolence of a god, however, does not imply that he acts as a
moral judge. A friendly god is not generally supposed to bestow his
favours gratuitously; it is therefore not a matter of course that he
should meddle with social morality out of sheer kindliness and of his
own accord. But by an invocation he may be induced to reward virtue
and punish vice. {25} The retributive activity of many gods is
evidently very closely connected with the blessings and curses of men.
In order to actualise their good or evil wishes men appeal to a
supernatural being, or simply bring in his name to give their appeal
that mystic efficacy which the plain word lacks; and if this is
regularly done in connection with some particular kind of conduct, the
idea may grow up that the supernatural being rewards or punishes it
even independently of any human invocation. In Morocco the very patron
saint of a village is expressly said not to care about the behaviour
of its inhabitants outside the precincts of his sanctuary; yet I found
that some particular saints not only resent theft committed at their
own shrines, but also punish robbers who merely pass by, either
preventing them from proceeding further until they are caught, or
making it impossible for them to sell the stolen object, so that they
are found out at last. In these cases their hostility to an offence
which does not concern them personally is obviously due to the fact
that those saints have been so often appealed to in oaths taken by
persons suspected of theft that they have at last come to be looked
upon as permanent enemies of thieves and guardians of property. At Fez
there are certain saints who are said to be so much opposed to
wrongdoers that they do not even suffer them to live in the
neighbourhood of their shrines, and these saints are exactly those by
whom it is considered most dangerous to swear; hence I assume that
they have acquired their remarkable moral sensitiveness just by being
such severe avengers of perjury.

Moreover, as I have pointed out before, the magical forces which give
efficacy to curses may be personified as supernatural beings or may be
transformed into attributes of the chief god. Various departments of
social morality have thus come to be placed under the supervision of
gods--such as charity, hospitality, the right of property, and the
submissiveness of children. Gods are also frequently looked upon as
guardians of truth and good faith, which I take to be mainly due to
the common practice of confirming a statement or promise by an oath. A
god is not only more powerful than ordinary mortals, but may also
better know whether the sworn word be true or false; it is no doubt on
account of their superior knowledge that sun or moon or light gods are
by preference appealed to in oaths.[61] Owing to its invocation of
supernatural sanction, perjury is considered the most heinous of all
acts of falsehood, but it has a tendency to make even the ordinary lie
or breach of faith a {26} matter of religious concern. If a god is
frequently appealed to in oaths, a general hatred of lying and
faithlessness may become one of his attributes. There is every reason
to believe that a god is not, in the first place, appealed to because
he is looked upon as a guardian of veracity and good faith, but that
he has come to be looked upon as a guardian of these duties because he
has so often been appealed to in connection with them.

[Footnote 61: See _The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_,
ii. 115, 116, 121 _sq._]

Where the oath is an essential element in the judicial proceedings, as
it was in the archaic State, the consequence is that the guardianship
of gods is extended to the whole sphere of justice. Truth and justice
are repeatedly mentioned hand in hand as matters of divine concern,
and the same gods as are appealed to in oaths or ordeals are also
frequently described as judges of human conduct.[62] Zeus presided
over assemblies and trials;[63] according to a law of Solon, the
judges of Athens had to swear by him.[64] And the Erinyes, the
personifications of oaths and curses, are sometimes represented by
poets and philosophers as guardians of right in general.[65]

[Footnote 62: See _The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_,
ii. 115, 116, 121, 122, 686, 687, 699.]

[Footnote 63: L. R. Farnell, _The Cults of the Greek States_,
i (Oxford, 1896), p. 58.]

[Footnote 64: Pollux, _Onomasticum_, viii. 12. 142.]

[Footnote 65: E. Rohde, _Psyche_ (Freiburg i. B. and Leipzig, 1894),
p. 246.]

We have still to consider another set of facts that have tended to
make gods moral specialists. In the case of homicide the notion of a
persecuting ghost may be replaced by an avenging god. Confusions are
common in the world of mystery; doings or functions attributed to one
being may be transferred to another. Among some North American
Indians, though the revengeful ghost of the murdered man was not lost
sight of, the deed was at the same time looked upon as offensive to
Wakanda, "the Great Spirit"; no one wished to eat with the murderer;
they said: "If we eat with the man whom Wakanda hates for his crime,
Wakanda will hate us."[66] In the Chinese books there are numerous
instances of persons haunted by the souls of their victims on their
death-bed, and in most of these cases the ghosts state expressly that
they are avenging themselves with the special authorisation of
Heaven.[67] The Greek belief in the Erinyes of a murdered man
originated no doubt in the earlier notion of a persecuting ghost,
whose anger or curses in later times were personified as an
independent spirit.[68] And {27} the transformation went further
still: the Erinyes were represented as the ministers of Zeus, who by
punishing the murderer carried out his divine will. Zeus was
considered the originator of the rites of purification; at his altar
Theseus underwent purification for the shedding of kindred blood.[69]
The ritual uncleanness ascribed to a manslayer was thus transformed
into spiritual impurity.

[Footnote 66: J. Owen Dorsey, 'Omaha Sociology,' in _Annual Report of
the Bureau of Ethnology_, iii (Washington, 1884), p. 369.]

[Footnote 67: J. J. M. de Groot, _The Religious System of China_,
vol. iv, book ii (Leyden, 1901), p. 441.]

[Footnote 68: See C. O. Müller, _Dissertations on the Eumenides of
Æschylus_ (London and Cambridge, 1853), p. 155 _sqq._; Rohde, _op.
cit._ p. 247; _idem_, 'Paralipomena,' in _Rheinisches Museum für
Philologie_, neue Folge, xv (Frankfurt a. M., 1895), p. 6 _sqq._]

[Footnote 69: Farnell, _op. cit._ i. 66 _sqq._; Rohde, _Psyche_,
p. 249; _idem_, in _Rheinisches Museum_, neue Folge, xv. 18;
P. Stengel, _Die griechischen Kultusaltertümer_ (München, 1898), p. 140.]

It has been said that when men ascribe to their gods a mental
constitution similar to their own they _eo ipso_ consider them to
approve of virtue and disapprove of vice.[70] But this conclusion is
certainly not true in general. Malevolent gods cannot be supposed to
feel emotions that essentially presuppose altruistic sentiments, and,
as already said, an invocation may be required to induce a benevolent
god to interfere with the worldly affairs of men. Moreover, where the
system of private retaliation prevails, not even the extension of
human analogies to the world of supernatural beings would lead to the
idea of a god who of his own accord punishes social wrongs. But it is
quite probable that such analogies have in some cases made gods
guardians of morality at large, especially ancestor gods. These may
readily be supposed not only to preserve their old feelings with
regard to virtue and vice, but also to take a more active interest in
the morals of the living; and they are notoriously opposed to any
deviation from ancient custom. I also admit that the conception of a
great or supreme god may perhaps, independently of his origin, involve
retributive justice as a natural consequence of his power and
benevolence towards his people. Yet it is obvious that even a god like
Zeus was more influenced by the invocation of a suppliant than by his
sense of justice. Farnell points out that the epithets which designate
him as the god to whom those stricken with guilt can appeal are far
more in vogue in actual Greek cult than those which attribute to him
the function of vengeance and retribution.[71] Hermes was addressed by
thieves as their patron.[72] According to the {28} Talmud, "the thief
invokes God while he breaks into the house."[73] In Morocco the sultan
of all the saints, Mûlai ʿAbdlqâder, has the epithet "the patron of
liars," and is said to be compelled to assist thieves and liars who
invoke him, although he may afterwards punish them for their
behaviour. The Italian bandit begs the Virgin herself to bless his

[Footnote 70: Adam Smith, _The Theory of Moral Sentiments_ (London,
1887), p. 232 _sq._; C. Darwin, _The Descent of Man_ (London, 1890),
p. 95; C. P. Tiele, _Elements of the Science of Religion_,
i (Edinburgh and London, 1897), p. 92 _sq._]

[Footnote 71: Farnell, _op. cit._ i. 66 _sq._]

[Footnote 72: L. Schmidt, _Die Ethik der alten Griechen_, i (Berlin,
1882), p. 136.]

[Footnote 73: E. Deutsch, _Literary Remains_ (London, 1874), p. 57.]

At the same time we must again remember that men ascribe to their gods
not only ordinary human qualities but excellences of various kinds,
and among these may also be a strong desire to punish wickedness and
to reward virtue. The gods of monotheistic religions in particular
have such a multitude of the most elevated attributes that it would be
astonishing if they had remained unconcerned about the morals of
mankind. If flattery or genuine veneration makes the deity all-wise,
all-powerful, all-good, they also make him the supreme judge of human
conduct. And there is yet another reason for investing him with the
moral government of the world. The claims of justice are not fully
satisfied on this earth, where it only too often happens that virtue
is left unrewarded and vice escapes unpunished, that right succumbs
and wrong triumphs; hence persons with deep moral feelings and a
religious or philosophical bent of mind are apt to look for a future
adjustment through the intervention of the deity, who alone can repair
the evils and injustices of the present. This demand of final
retribution is sometimes so strongly developed, that it even leads to
the belief in a deity when no other proof of his existence is found
convincing. Kant maintained that, since an accurate correspondence
between happiness and moral worth is not to be expected in a mere
course of nature, we postulate a moral and all-powerful Supreme Being
who establishes such correspondence. Not even Voltaire could rid
himself of the notion of a rewarding and avenging deity, whom, if he
did not exist, "it would be necessary to invent."

The belief in a god who acts as a guardian of worldly morality
undoubtedly gives emphasis to its rules. To the social and legal
sanctions a new one is added, which derives particular strength from
the supernatural power and knowledge of the deity. The divine avenger
can punish those who are beyond the reach of human justice and those
whose secret wrongs even escape the censure of their fellow-men. But
on the other hand, there are also certain circumstances which detract
considerably from the influence of the religious sanction when
compared with other sanctions of morality. The supposed punishments
and rewards of the future life have the {29} disadvantage of being
conceived as very remote; and fear and hope decrease in inverse ratio
to the distance of their objects. Men commonly live in the happy
illusion that death is far off, even though it is in reality very
near, and, therefore, the retribution after death also appears distant
and unreal and is comparatively little thought of by the majority of
people who believe in it. Moreover, there seems to be time left for
penance and repentance. Manzoni himself admitted, in his defence of
Roman Catholicism, that many men think it an easy matter to procure
that feeling of contrition by which, according to the doctrine of the
Church, sins may be cancelled, and therefore encourage themselves in
the commission of crime through the facility of pardon. The frequent
assumption that the moral law would scarcely command obedience without
the belief in retribution beyond the grave is contradicted by an
overwhelming array of facts. We hear from trustworthy witnesses that
unadulterated savages follow their own rules of morality no less
strictly, or perhaps more strictly, than civilised people follow
theirs. Nay, it is a common experience that contact with a higher
civilisation exercises a deteriorating moral influence upon the
conduct of uncultured races, although we may be sure that Christian
missionaries do not fail to impart the doctrine of hell to their
savage converts.

It has also been noticed that a high degree of religious devotion is
frequently accompanied with great laxity of morals. The orientalist
Wallin, who had an intimate and extensive knowledge of Mohammedan
peoples, often found that those Moslems who attended to their prayers
most regularly were the greatest scoundrels.[74] "One of the most
remarkable traits in the character of the Copts," says Lane, "is their
bigotry"; and at the same time they are represented as "deceitful,
faithless, and abandoned to the pursuit of worldly gain, and to
indulgence in sensual pleasure."[75] Among two hundred Italian
murderers Ferri did not find one who was irreligious; and Naples,
which has (or had?) the worst record of any European city for crimes
against the person, is also the most religious city in Europe.[76] On
the other hand, according to Havelock Ellis, "it seems extremely rare
to find intelligently irreligious men in prison."[77] Most religions
contain an element which {30} constitutes a real peril to the morality
of their votaries. They have introduced a new kind of duties--duties
towards gods; and even where religion has entered into close union
with worldly morality, much greater importance has been attached to
ceremonies or worship or the niceties of belief than to good behaviour
towards fellow-men. People think that they may make up for lack of the
latter by orthodoxy or pious performances. A Christian bishop of the
seventh century, who was canonised by the Church of Rome, described a
good Christian as a man "who comes frequently to church; who presents
the oblation which is offered to God upon the altar; who doth not
taste fruits of his own industry until he has consecrated a part of
them to God; who, when the holy festivals approach, lives chastely
even with his own wife during several days, that with a safe
conscience he may draw near the altar of God; and who, in the last
place, can repeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer."[78] A scrupulous
observance of external ceremonies--that is all which in this
description is required of a good Christian. Smollett observes in his
_Travels into Italy_ that it is held more infamous to transgress the
slightest ceremonial institution of the Church of Rome than to
transgress any moral duty; that a murderer or adulterer will be easily
absolved by the Church, and even maintain his character in society;
but that a man who eats a pigeon on a Saturday is abhorred as a
monster of reprobation.[79] Simonde de Sismondi wrote: "The more
regular a vicious man has been in observing the commandments of the
Church, the more he feels in his heart that he can dispense with the
observance of that celestial morality to which he ought to sacrifice
his depraved propensities."[80] And how many a Protestant does not
imagine that by going to church on Sundays he may sin more freely on
the six days between? In reply to Starbuck's question, "What does
religion mean to you?" a sixty-seven years old business man wrote: "I
find that the most religious and pious people are as a rule those most
lacking in uprightness and morality. The men who do not go to church
or have any religious convictions are the best. Praying, singing of
hymns, and sermonising are pernicious--they teach us to rely on some
supernatural power, when {31} we ought to rely on ourselves." William
James recognises in this man a sufficiently familiar type.[81]

[Footnote 74: G. A. Wallin, _Reseanteckningar från Orienten åren
1843-1849_, iii (Helsingfors, 1865), p. 166.]

[Footnote 75: E. W. Lane, _An Account of the Manners and Customs of
the Modern Egyptians_ (London, 1896), p. 551.]

[Footnote 76: Havelock Ellis, _The Criminal_ (London, 1895), p. 156.]

[Footnote 77: _Ibid._ p. 159.]

[Footnote 78: W. Robertson, _The History of the Reign of the Emperor
Charles V._, i (London, 1806), p. 282 _sq._]

[Footnote 79: Smollett, quoted by Lord Kames, _Sketches of the History
of Man_, iv (Edinburgh, 1788), p. 380.]

[Footnote 80: J. C. L. Simonde de Sismondi, _Histoire des républiques
italiennes du moyen âge_, xvi (Paris, 1826), p. 419.]

[Footnote 81: W. James, _The Varieties of Religious Experience_
(London, etc., 1903), p. 92.]

We come at last to a point in which religion, or rather the Christian
revelation, is supposed to have exercised a profound influence on
moral ideas: it is said to have invested them with objective validity.

All exponents of normative ethics assume that they possess such
validity: that the moral values belong to a reality which exists
whether there be a mind that perceives it or not, that what is said to
be good or bad, right or wrong, cannot be reduced merely to what
people think to be good or bad, right or wrong. It makes morality a
matter of truth and falsity, and to say that a judgment is true
obviously means something different from the statement that it is
thought to be true. If a certain course of conduct is objectively
right it must be thought to be right by all rational beings who judge
truly of the matter and cannot, without error, be judged to be wrong.

Certain philosophers, like Mill and Kant, have adduced rational
arguments to prove the objectivity of their first principles and
thereby the existence of ethical truths. These have been rejected for
good reasons, and the advocates of moral objectivity have generally
resorted to a more convenient method of establishing it: they assume
that there are self-evident moral principles perceived by intuition.
But how can I know if a proposition is really self-evident or only
supposed to be so? In the case of theoretical truths no truth is
admitted to have a claim to self-evidence which is not generally
accepted as self-evident or axiomatic by all those whose intellect is
sufficiently developed to have an opinion on the matter worthy of any
consideration at all; to speak with Sidgwick, the absence of
disagreement between experts must be an indispensable negative
condition of the certainty of our beliefs.[82] As a matter of fact,
however, in the case of moral principles enunciated as self-evident
truths disagreement is radical. Some "moral specialists" say it is an
axiom that I ought not to prefer my own lesser good to the greater
good of another; whilst others not only deny the self-evidence, but
thoroughly disagree with the contents, of this proposition. According
to Sidgwick the assertion that pleasure is the only rational ultimate
end of action is an object of intuition;[83] according to Moore, also
a professor of moral philosophy, {32} the untruth of this proposition
is self-evident.[84] The latter finds it self-evident that good cannot
be defined;[85] but others, who have no smaller claim to the epithet
"moral specialists," are of the very contrary opinion. What should we
say if two professors of mathematics quarrelled about the axiom that
"if equals be added to equals the wholes are equal," to which Sidgwick
compares one of his moral axioms?[86]

[Footnote 82: H. Sidgwick, _The Methods of Ethics_ (London, 1913),
p. 341 _sq._]

[Footnote 83: _Ibid._ p. 201.]

[Footnote 84: G. E. Moore, _Principia Ethica_ (Cambridge, 1922),
pp. 75, 144.]

[Footnote 85: _Ibid._ pp. 6, 8, 148.]

[Footnote 86: Sidgwick, _op. cit._ p. 382 _sq._]

But besides rational arguments and intuitive insight that have been
alleged to prove the objectivity of moral judgments there are also
theological arguments. In spite of all his efforts to base his own
theory on a non-theological basis, Rashdall feels compelled to admit
that, in his opinion, the belief in God is the logical presupposition
of an "objective" or absolute morality. "A moral ideal," he says, "can
exist nowhere and nohow but in a mind; an absolute moral ideal can
exist only in a Mind from which all Reality is derived. Our moral
ideal can only claim objective validity in so far as it can rationally
be regarded as the revelation of a moral ideal externally existing in
the mind of God."[87] He invalidates, however, in another place this
argument by saying that "the belief in the objectivity of our moral
judgments is a necessary premise for any valid argument for the belief
either in God, if by that be understood a morally good or perfect
Being, or in Immortality."[88] The two statements that objective
morality presupposes the belief in God, and that the belief in God
presupposes objective morality, lead combined to the logical
conclusion that there is no valid evidence _either_ for the existence
of God _or_ for the objectivity of moral judgments. According to Dean
Inge, "Christianity lifts psychology out of mere subjectivism, and
morality out of mere relativism. . . . The Christian point of view
gives to conduct an absolute value."[89] Bishop Bohlin, after a
penetrating review of the claim to objective validity made by
normative moralists, arrives at the conclusion that only a divine
revelation can give morality such validity.[90]

[Footnote 87: H. Rashdall, _The Theory of Good and Evil_, ii (London,
1924), p. 212.]

[Footnote 88: _Idem_, _Is Conscience an Emotion?_ (London, 1914),
p. 194.]

[Footnote 89: W. R. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Moral Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 44.]

[Footnote 90: T. Bohlin, _Das Grundproblem der Ethik_ (Uppsala and
Leipzig, 1923), p. 428 _sqq._]

The theological argument in favour of the objective validity of moral
judgments, which is based on belief in an all-good God who has
revealed his will to mankind, contains of course {33} an assumption
that cannot be proved scientifically. But even if it could be proved,
would that justify the conclusion drawn from it? Those who maintain
that they possess in such a revelation an absolute moral standard and
that, consequently, any mode of conduct which is in accordance with it
must be objectively right, may be asked what they mean by an all-good
God. If God were not supposed to be all-good, we might certainly be
induced by prudence to obey his decrees, but they could not lay claim
to _moral_ validity; suppose the devil were to take over the
government of the world, what influence would that have on the moral
values--would it make right wrong and wrong right? It is only the
all-goodness of God that might give his commandments absolute moral
validity. But to say that something is good because it is in
accordance with the will of an all-good God is to reason in a circle;
if goodness means anything, it must have a meaning which is
independent of his will. God is called good or righteous because he is
supposed to possess certain qualities that we are used to call so: he
is benevolent, he requites virtue and vice, and so forth. For such
reasons do we add the attributes goodness and righteousness to his
other attributes, which express qualities of an objective character,
and by calling him all-good we attribute to him perfect goodness.[91]
As a matter of fact, there are also many theologians who consider
moral distinctions to be antecedent to the divine commandments. Thomas
Aquinas and his school maintain that the right is not right because
God wills it, but that God wills it because it is right.

[Footnote 91: _Cf._ Shaftesbury, _Characteristicks_, ii (London,
1733), p. 49 _sq._: "Whoever thinks there is a God, and pretends
formally to believe that he is just and good, must suppose that there
is independently such a thing as justice and injustice, truth and
falsehood, right and wrong; according to which he pronounces that God
is just, righteous, and true." A similar remark has been made by
G. Stumpf (_Vom ethischen Skeptizismus_ [Leipzig, 1909], p. 22) and
G. Heymans (_Einführung in die Ethik auf Grundlage der Erfahrung_
[Leipzig, 1914], p. 8).]

1 have thus arrived at the conclusion that the attempts of
philosophers and theologians to prove the objective validity of moral
judgments give us no right to accept such validity as a fact. I am now
prepared to take a step further and assert that it cannot exist. The
reason for this is that in my opinion the predicates of all moral
judgments, all moral concepts, are ultimately based on emotions, and
that, as is very commonly admitted,[92] no objectivity can come from
an emotion. It is of course true or not that we in a given moment have
a certain emotion; but in no other sense can the antithesis {34} of
true and false be applied to it. The cognition which gives rise to an
emotion is of course either true or false; in the latter case the
emotion may be said to be felt "by mistake"--as when a person is
frightened by some object in the dark which he takes for a ghost, or
is indignant with a person to whom he imputes a wrong that has been
committed by somebody else; but this does not alter the nature of the
emotion itself. We may call the emotion of another person
"unjustified," if we feel that we ourselves should not have
experienced the same emotion had we been in his place, or, as in the
case of moral approval or disapproval, if we cannot share his emotion.
But to speak, as Brentano does, of "right" and "wrong" emotions,
springing from self-evident intuitions and having the same validity as
truth and error,[93] is only another futile attempt to objectivise our
moral judgments. The same may be said of Nicolai Hartmann's assertions
that "the sense of value is not less objective than mathematical
insight,"[94] and that the criterion of the genuine and the spurious
sense of value "is nothing else than the primary consciousness of
value itself," which is also an intuition.[95] But I find in his book
no clear criterion of this "primary consciousness of value" as
distinguished from any other feeling of value. Very generally the
so-called intuitions are nothing but objectivised emotions, or
emotional tendencies formulated as judgments, calculated to give moral
values an objectivity they do not in reality possess.

[Footnote 92: See my book _Ethical Relativity_ (London, 1932), p. 60 n.]

[Footnote 93: F. Brentano, _Vom Ursprung sittliches Erkenntnis_
(Leipzig, 1921), p. 18 _sqq._]

[Footnote 94: N. Hartmann, _Ethik_ (Berlin and Leipzig, 1926), p. 141.]

[Footnote 95: _Ibid._ pp. 55, 105 _sq._]

Although all moral judgments are ultimately based on emotions, the
influence that intellectual factors exercise on such judgments is very
great indeed. Emotions are determined by cognitions and differ in
nature or strength according as the cognitions differ. This has been a
very important cause of the variations of moral judgments: the same
course of conduct is differently judged of because different notions
are held as to its nature or implications. If a person tells an
untruth we are apt to feel indignant; but if, on due consideration of
facts, we find that his motive was benevolent, for instance to save
the life of the person to whom it was told, our indignation ceases and
may be followed by approval. And, to take another instance, at the
lower stages of civilisation there is a considerable lack of
discrimination between intentional injuries and accidental ones, and
even among ourselves the outward event exercises a {35} great
influence upon moral estimates.[96] But if it is clearly realised that
a certain event is the result of merely external circumstances, that
it was neither intended by the agent nor could have been foreseen by
him, then there could be no moral disapproval at all. Such an event
could not even call forth a feeling of revenge. Sudden anger itself
cools, down when it appears that the cause of the inflicted pain was a
mere accident. Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over
and being kicked.

[Footnote 96: We notice this influence even in certain rules and
doctrines of mediæval Christianity. The principle laid down by
Augustine (_Sermo CLXXX._ 2, in Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_, xxxviii.
973), and adopted by Canon Law (Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 22. 2. 3),
that "ream linguam non facit, nisi mens rea," was not always acted
upon. Various penitentials condemned to penance a person who, in
giving evidence, swore to the best of his belief, in case his
statement afterwards proved untrue; and in other cases also penances
were prescribed for mere misfortunes. If a person killed another by
pure accident, he had to do penance--in ordinary cases, according to
most English penitentials, for one year, according to various
continental penitentials, for five or seven years; whereas, according
to the Penitential of Pseudo-Theodore, he who accidentally killed his
father or mother was to atone his deed with a penance of fifteen
years, and he who accidentally killed his son with a penance of twelve
(see _The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_, i. 230). The
Scotists even expressly declared that the external deed has a moral
value of its own, which increases the goodness or badness of the
agent's intention; and though this doctrine was opposed by Thomas
Aquinas, Bonaventura, Suarez, and other leading theologians, it was
nevertheless admitted by them that, according to the will of God,
certain external deeds entail a certain accidental reward, the
so-called _aureola_ (F. A. Göpfert, _Moraltheologie_, i [Paderborn,
1899], p. 185).]

The variability of moral valuation also depends in a large measure
upon different cognitions arising from different situations and
external conditions of life. We find, for example, among many peoples
the custom of killing or abandoning parents worn out with age or
disease. It prevails among a large number of savage tribes and
occurred formerly among several Asiatic and European nations,
including the Vedic people and peoples of Teutonic extraction. It is
particularly common among nomadic hunting tribes, owing to the
hardships of life and the inability of decrepit persons to keep up in
the march. In times when the food-supply is insufficient to support
all the members of a community it also seems more reasonable that the
old and useless should have to perish than the young and vigorous. And
among peoples which have reached a certain degree of wealth and
comfort the practice of killing the old folks, though no longer
justified by necessity, may still go {36} on, partly through survival
of a custom inherited from harder times, and partly from the humane
intent of putting an end to lingering misery. What appears to most of
us as an atrocious practice may really be an act of kindness, and is
commonly approved of, or even insisted upon, by the old people
themselves. Or take the widespread custom of infanticide. Among the
lower races custom often decides how many children are to be reared in
each family, and not infrequently the majority of infants are
destroyed. This wholesale infanticide is also mainly due to the
hardships of savage life. Urgent want is frequently represented by our
authorities as the main cause of it; and their statements are
corroborated by the conspicuous prevalence of this custom among poor
tribes and in islands whose inhabitants are confined to a narrow
territory with limited resources. For a similar reason infanticide is
or has been a custom among many peoples of a higher civilisation.

The variability of moral judgments further originates in different
measures of forethought or knowledge based on experience of the
consequences of conduct, and in different beliefs. In almost every
branch of conduct we notice the influence which the belief in
supernatural forces or beings or in a future state has exercised upon
the moral ideas of mankind, and the great diversity of this influence.
Religion or superstition has, on the one hand, stigmatised murder and
suicide, on the other hand it has commended human sacrifice and
certain cases of voluntary self-destruction. It has inculcated
humanity and charity, but has also led to cruel persecutions of
persons embracing another creed. It has emphasised the duty of
truth-speaking, and has itself been a cause of pious fraud. It has
promoted cleanly habits and filthiness. It has enjoined labour and
abstinence from labour, sobriety and drunkenness, marriage and
celibacy, chastity and temple prostitution. It has introduced a great
variety of new duties and virtues, quite different from those which
are recognised by the moral consciousness when left to itself, but
nevertheless in many cases considered more important than any other
duties or virtues.

From this motley crowd of influences I shall single out one the result
of which has been particularly revolting to the moral feelings of
Christians, namely human sacrifice. It is found not only among many
savages, but occurred in early times among all Indo-European peoples,
the Semites, and the Japanese, and in the New World among the Mayas
and the Aztecs, who practised it on an enormous scale. The gods were
supposed to be gratified by such offerings--because they had an
appetite {37} for human flesh and blood, or because they required
attendants, or because they were angry and could only be appeased by
the death of him or those who aroused their anger or some
representative of the offending community, or--who could exactly tell
why? The principal thing is that people know or believe that on some
certain occasion they are in danger of losing their lives; they
attribute this to the designs of a supernatural being; and by
sacrificing a man they hope to avert the danger from themselves by
gratifying that being's craving for human life. That this principle
mainly underlies the practice of human sacrifice appears from the
particular circumstances in which it generally occurs. In such cases
it is mostly a matter of public concern, a method of ensuring the
lives of many by the death of one or a few--absurd, no doubt,
according to our ideas, but not an act of wanton cruelty. When
practised for the benefit of the community or in a case of national
distress, it is hardly more cruel than to compel thousands of men to
suffer death on the battlefield on behalf of their country.

In so far as differences of moral opinions depend on different degrees
of reflection, on knowledge or ignorance of specific religious or
superstitious beliefs, or on different conditions of life and other
external circumstances, they do not clash with that universality which
is implied in the notion of the objective validity of moral judgment,
as in every kind of truth. But the case is different with some other
dissimilarities of moral opinion, which are due to other causes.

When we study the moral rules laid down by the customs of savage
peoples we find that they in a very large measure resemble the rules
of civilised nations. In every savage community homicide is prohibited
by custom, and so is theft. Savages also regard charity as a duty and
praise generosity as a virtue, indeed their customs relating to mutual
aid are often more exacting than our own; and many of them are
conspicuous for their avoidance of telling lies. But in spite of the
great similarity of moral commandments, there is at the same time a
difference between the regard for life, property, truth, and the
general well-being of a neighbour which displays itself in savage
rules of morality and that which is found among ourselves: it has,
broadly speaking, only reference to members of the same community or
tribe. Among peoples more advanced in civilisation the social unit has
grown larger, the nation has taken the place of the tribe, and the
circle within which the infliction of injuries is prohibited has
extended accordingly. A distinction is still very frequently made
between injuries committed against compatriots and harm done to
foreigners, but both law and {38} public opinion may show a very great
advance in humanity with regard to the treatment of the latter. And
when we come to rules laid down by moralists and professedly accepted
by a large portion of civilised mankind, we find such as have
reference to the whole human race. It seems to me obvious that the
dominant cause of this expansion of moral rules has been the widening
of the altruistic sentiment. But this sentiment varies in different
individuals both in strength and with reference to its objects. And
this variability will always prevent the moral rules from being
anything like uniform.

The variations of the altruistic sentiment in range and strength are
also responsible for other differences of moral opinion. Even among
ourselves there is no unanimity as to the dictates of duty in cases
where a person's own interests collide with those of his fellow-men.
Sidgwick admitted that his axiom of "rational benevolence," according
to which, other things being equal, no one must prefer his own lesser
good to the greater good of another, is more rigid than the view of
common sense,[97] and I fail to see that any process of reasoning or
"intuition" could ever harmonise the different views. As Höffding
said, no reasoning can change an egoist into a utilitarian; his
position is so far unassailable.[98] While everybody will agree that
some amount of self-sacrifice is a duty in certain circumstances, the
amount and the circumstances can hardly be fixed in general rules, and
on the whole, in cases of conflicting interests the judgment must to a
large extent remain a matter of private opinion. Kant, that high
priest of ethical rationalism, wrote that it is impossible to assign
definite limits how far I am bound to sacrifice to others a part of my
own welfare without hope of recompense. "This duty, therefore, is only
indeterminate; it has a certain latitude within which one may do more
or less without being able to assign its limits definitely."[99]

[Footnote 97: Sidgwick, _op. cit._ pp. 9, 13.]

[Footnote 98: H. Höffding, _Etik_ (Köbenhavn and Kristiania, 1913),
p. 35.]

[Footnote 99: Kant, _Einleitung zur Tugendlehre_, 8 (_Gesammelte
Schriften_, vi [Berlin, 1914]), p. 393.]

That moral judgments could not possibly possess that universality
which is characteristic of truth becomes particularly obvious when we
consider that their predicates vary not only in quality but also in
quantity. There are no degrees of truth and falsehood; but there are
degrees of goodness and badness, virtues and merits may be greater or
smaller, a duty may be more or less stringent, and if there are no
degrees of rightness, the reason for it is that right means simply
conformity to the rule of duty. These quantitative differences of {39}
moral estimates are due to the emotional origin of all moral concepts.
Emotions vary indefinitely in strength, and the moral emotions form no
exception to this rule. It should be noticed, however, that the
quantity of the estimate expressed in a moral predicate is not
identical with the intensity of the moral emotion which a certain
course of conduct arouses on a particular occasion. We are liable to
feel more indignant if an injury is committed before our eyes than if
we read about it in a newspaper, and yet we admit that the degree of
badness is the same in either case. The comparative quantity of moral
estimates is determined by the intensity of the emotions which their
objects tend to evoke in exactly similar circumstances.

But in spite of all differences of moral ideas there are most
substantial similarities, which are due to the facts that they are all
based on moral emotions, and that moral emotions are retributive
emotions characterised by disinterestedness and impartiality. I have
discussed these facts at a length which may have seemed exorbitant,
but which I have found necessary for expressing and justifying my
views on Christian morals.



THE thesis that moral judgments are based on retributive emotions may
seem to have been a strange introduction to the discussion of the
ethics of the New Testament with their doctrine of love and
forgiveness. But I maintain that this thesis is nowhere confirmed more
strongly than in the teaching of Jesus as recorded in the three
synoptic gospels.

While the Gospel of John is of great value for the history of the
teaching of the early Catholic Church and the edifice of Catholic
doctrines based on it, it is now very generally admitted to be a
comparatively late document which does not give us an authoritative
account of the work and teaching of Jesus, but represents a
tendentious interpretation of the tradition. The synoptic gospels are
founded on a tradition about Jesus which had been preached and taught
in the Church either orally or else in small collections capable of
expansion.[100] Almost all scholars are now agreed that the short
Gospel of Mark, which is earlier than its two companions, has been
one of their sources; but that they in addition used also another
source, now lost, which has been designated Q. As regards the amount
of reliable information which the three gospels contain, it has been
pointed out that wherever we can observe the methods of the synoptists
we see how little they valued strict accuracy in the reproduction of
their authorities, and how fully they felt themselves justified in
treating the details with literary freedom.[101] There is no doubt
that Jesus never uttered the discourses attributed to him, but that
they are artificial compositions of which the most which we can hope
is that they employ authentic logia. On closer examination these
discourses break up into a number of disjointed sayings or, at best,
into small groups of sayings, which appear to be for the most part the
work of the primitive community or of the gospel redactors.[102]

[Footnote 100: M. Dibelius, _A Fresh Approach to the New Testament and
Early Christian Literature_ (London, 1937), p. 66.]

[Footnote 101: A. Jülicher, _An Introduction to the New Testament_
(London, 1904), p. 368.]

[Footnote 102: _Cf._ C. Guignebert, _Jesus_ (London, 1935), p. 235.]

{41} It is a question whether the tradition, which had only
recollection to sustain it, was sufficiently complete and precise to
enable us to comprehend what Jesus said and meant. Harnack avers that
the synoptics give us a clear idea of Jesus' teaching in regard both
to its main features and to its individual application.[103] According
to Dibelius, "the message of Jesus has been preserved for us in the
first three gospels self-consistently and unspoiled."[104] Professor
R. H. Lightfoot, again, concludes that the gospels yield us little
more than a whisper of the voice of Jesus.[105] Wrede says it should
be borne in mind that only the earliest stratum of the material of the
three gospels existed before the elaboration of the Pauline theology,
and that a considerable part of it came into being alongside or after
that theology, nay even--here and there--under its influence.[106] In
any case the ethics of Jesus are quite distinct: the principle of
divine reward and punishment is the keystone of his moral teaching,
which is thus an expression of retributive emotions--the basis of all
moral judgments.

[Footnote 103: A. Harnack, _What is Christianity?_ (London and New
York, 1904), p. 32.]

[Footnote 104: Dibelius, _op. cit._ p. 35.]

[Footnote 105: R. H. Lightfoot, _History and Interpretation in the
Gospels_ (London, 1934), p. 225.]

[Footnote 106: W. Wrede, _Paul_ (London, 1907), p. 155.]

It should be remembered that moral emotions are _disinterested_
retributive emotions. Personal anger and vindictiveness are strongly
condemned by Jesus:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth
for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil:[107] but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other
also. . . . Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your
enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you"
(_Matthew_ v. 38, 39, 43 _sq._).

[Footnote 107: The Revised Edition has "him who is evil," but also
"evil" as an alternative. J. B. Lightfoot (_On a Fresh Revision of the
English New Testament_ [London, 1891], p. 274) thinks that the former
rendering is more likely to be the correct one; and N. Söderblom
(_Jesu bärgspredikan och vår tid_ [Stockholm, 1899], pp. 19, 194)
insists on it.]

"If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also
forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will
your Father forgive your trespasses" (_ibid._ vi. 14 _sq._). See also
_ibid._ xviii. 34 _sq._

{42} "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother
sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto
him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times
seven" (_ibid._ xviii. 21 _sq._).

"When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that
your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven
forgive your trespasses" (_Mark_ xi. 25 _sq._).

"Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that
curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him
that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that
taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every
man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask
them not again. . . . Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend,
hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall
be the children of the Highest. . . . Forgive, and ye shall be
forgiven" (_Luke_ vi. 27-30, 35, 37).

The injunction of forgiveness, however, is not always unqualified.
According to Luke, Jesus said: "If thy brother trespass against thee,
rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against
thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to
thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."[108] He also gave the
following injunction: "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go
and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear
thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then
take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three
witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to
hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the
church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."[109]
Moreover, according to some manuscripts and the Authorised Version of
the English Bible, Jesus said: "Whosoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment";[110] whereas the
qualifying clause "without a cause" is lacking in other
manuscripts--both the {43} _Codex Sinaiticus_ and the _Vaticanus_--and
in the _Vulgate_,[111] and has been omitted in the Revised Version of
the English Bible. It would of course be absurd to blame a person for
expressing moral indignation at an act simply because he himself
happens to be the offended party.

[Footnote 108: _Luke_ xvii. 3 _sq._]

[Footnote 109: _Matthew_ xviii. 15-17.]

[Footnote 110: _Ibid._ v. 22. Adalbert Merx (_Die vier kanonischen
Evangelien nach ihrem ältesten bekannten Texte_ [Berlin, 1897], p. 231
_sqq._) has tried to show that this passage belonged to the original
text; and Söderblom (_op. cit._ p. 9) considers his argument
convincing. The passage is found in the very early Gothic version
(_Die gotische Bibel_, ed. by W. Streitberg [Heidelberg, 1908], p. 2).
For this information I am indebted to my friend Professor Hugo

[Footnote 111: As also in the German and Swedish translations.]

The injunctions of forgiveness and kindness to enemies are by no means
exclusively Christian tenets. We find them in the Old Testament. "Thou
shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart. . . . Thou shalt not
avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people."[112]
"Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he
shall save thee."[113] "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to
eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt
heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward
thee."[114] "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray,
thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of
him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to
help him, thou shalt surely help with him."[115] Sirach says: "Forgive
thy neighbour the injury (done to thee), and then, when thou prayest,
thy sins will be forgiven."[116] In the apocryphal book 'The Testament
of the Twelve Patriarchs,' which is supposed to have been written more
than a century before the life and teaching of Jesus, we read: "If a
man sin against thee, speak peaceably to him, and in thy soul hold not
guile; and if he repent and confess, forgive him. . . . But if he be
shameless and persisteth in his wrongdoing, even so forgive him from
the heart, and leave to God the avenging."[117] In the Talmud it is
said that "whosoever does not persecute them that persecute him,
whosoever takes an offence in silence, he who does good because of
love, he who is cheerful under his sufferings--they are the friends of

[Footnote 112: _Leviticus_ xix. 17 _sq._]

[Footnote 113: _Proverbs_ xx. 22.]

[Footnote 114: _Ibid._ xxv. 21 _sq._]

[Footnote 115: _Exodus_ xxiii. 4 _sq._]

[Footnote 116: _Ecclesiasticus_ xxviii. 2.]

[Footnote 117: 'The Testament of Gad,' vi. 3, 7, in R. H. Charles,
_The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs_ (London 1908),
p. 156 _sqq._]

[Footnote 118: E. Deutsch, _Literary Remains_ (London, 1874), p. 58.
_Cf._ A. Katz, _Der wahre Talmudjude_ (Berlin, 1893), p. 11 _sq._]

The Koran, while repeating the old rule "an eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth,"[119] at the same time teaches that paradise is "for
those who repress their rage, and those who pardon men; God loves the
kind."[120] Mohammedan tradition puts the {44} following words in the
mouth of the Prophet: "Say not, if people do good to us, we will do
good to them, and if people oppress us, we will oppress them: but
resolve that if people do good to you, you will do good to them, and
if they oppress you, oppress them not again."[121] Goldziher
emphasises Mohammed's opposition to the traditional rule of the Arabs
that an enemy is a proper object of hatred;[122] and Syed Ameer Ali
has collected various passages from the writings of Mohammedan
scholars which prove that, in spite of what has often been said to the
contrary, forgiveness of injuries is by no means foreign to the spirit
of Islam.[123] That "the sandal-tree perfumes the axe that fells it,"
is a saying in everyday use among the Mohammedans of India.[124] And
Lane often heard Egyptians forgivingly say, on receiving a blow from
an equal: "God bless thee," "God requite thee good," "Beat me

[Footnote 119: _Koran_, ii. 190: "Whoso transgresses against you,
transgress against him like as he transgressed against you."]

[Footnote 120: _Ibid._ iii. 125. _Cf. ibid._ xxiii. 98, xxiv. 22,
xli. 34.]

[Footnote 121: S. Lane-Poole, _The Speeches and Table-Talk of the
Prophet Mohammad_ (London, 1882), p. 147.]

[Footnote 122: I. Goldziher, _Muhammedanische Studien_, i (Leiden,
1896), p. 15 _sqq._]

[Footnote 123: Ameer Ali, _The Ethics of Islâm_ (Calcutta, 1893),
pp. 7, 26 _sqq._]

[Footnote 124: J. J. Pool, _Studies in Mohammedanism_ (Westminster,
1892), p. 226.]

[Footnote 125: E. W. Lane, _An Account of the Manners and Customs of
the Modern Egyptians_ (London, 1896), p. 314 _sq._]

Kindness to enemies was inculcated by Chinese moralists. "Recompense
injury with kindness," says Lao-Tsze.[126] According to Mencius, "a
benevolent man does not lay up anger, nor cherish resentment against
his brother, but only regards him with affection and love."[127] In
the 'Laws of Manu,' the mythical Hindu legislator, the following rule
is laid down for the twice-born man: "Against an angry man let him not
in return show anger, let him bless when he is cursed."[128] It is
said in the Buddhist 'Dhammapada': "Hatred does not cease by hatred at
any time; hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule. . . . Among men
who hate us we dwell free from hatred. . . . Let a man overcome anger
by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by
liberality, the liar by truth."[129]

[Footnote 126: _Tâo Teh King_, ii. 63. 1; in _The Sacred Books of the
East_, xxxix (Oxford, 1891). According to _Thâi-Shang_, 4 (_ibid._ xl.
[1891]), a bad man "broods over resentment without ceasing."]

[Footnote 127: Mencius, v. 1. 3. 2; in J. Legge, _The Chinese
Classics_, ii (Oxford, 1895).]

[Footnote 128: _The Laws of Manu_, vi. 48; in _The Sacred Books of the
East_, xxv (Oxford, 1886). _Cf. ibid._ viii. 313; M. Monier Williams,
_Indian Wisdom_ (London, 1893), pp. 444, 446; J. Muir, _Additional
Moral and Religious Passages metrically rendered from Sanskrit
Writers_ (London, 1875), p. 30.]

[Footnote 129: _Dhammapada_, i. 5, xv. 197, xvii. 223; in _The Sacred
Books of the East_, x (Oxford, 1898). _Cf. Jātaka Tales, Buddhist
Birth Stories_ (London, 1880), i. 22; H. Oldenberg, _Buddha_ (London,
1882), p. 298.]

The principle of forgiveness had also advocates in Greece {45} and
Rome. In one of the Platonic dialogues, Socrates says: "We ought not
to retaliate or render evil for evil to any one, whatever evil we may
have suffered from him"; though he adds that "this opinion has never
been held, and never will be held, by any considerable number of
persons."[130] In Stoicism the condemnation of anger and resentment is
abundant. "Mankind is born for mutual assistance, anger for mutual
ruin."[131] "Anger is a crime of the mind; . . . it often is even more
criminal than the faults with which it is angry."[132] "The truly
great mind, which takes a true estimate of its own value, does not
revenge an insult because it does not feel it."[133] "We all are bad.
. . . There is only one thing which can afford us peace, and that is
to agree to forgive one another."[134] "If any one is angry with you,
meet his anger by returning benefits for it."[135] "To suppose that we
shall become contemptible in the eyes of others unless in some way we
inflict an injury on those who first shewed hostility to us, is the
character of most ignoble and thoughtless men."[136] "The Cynic loves
those who beat him."[137] He is the best and purest "who pardons
others as if he sinned himself daily, but avoids sinning as if he
never pardoned."[138] "The best way of revenge is not to imitate the
injury."[139] "Though we are not just of the same flesh and blood, yet
our minds are nearly related, being both extracted from the Deity. . .
. Nor can I find it in my heart to hate or to be angry with one of my
own nature or family. For we are all made for mutual assistance."[140]
"Remember always, when you are angry, that rage is the mark of an
unmanly disposition. Mildness and temper are not only more human, but
more masculine too."[141] "This is the way to disarm the most
insolent, if you continue kind and unmoved under ill usage."[142] Some
of these statements breathe rather dignity or pride than kindness; and
Seneca makes the acute remark that "the most contemptuous form of
revenge is not to deem one's adversary worth taking vengeance
upon."[143] Paul says, as it was said in the Proverbs, that if you
feed your enemy when he hungers and give him drink when he thirsts,
you will "heap coals of fire on his head."[144]

[Footnote 130: Plato, _Crito_ p. 49.]

[Footnote 131: Seneca, _De ira_, i. 5.]

[Footnote 132: _Ibid._ i. 16, ii. 6.]

[Footnote 133: _Ibid._ iii. 5. _Cf. ibid._ ii. 32, iii. 25; Seneca,
_De clementia_, i. 5.]

[Footnote 134: _Idem_, _De ira_, iii. 26.]

[Footnote 135: _Ibid._ ii. 34.]

[Footnote 136: Epictetus, _Fragmenta_, 70.]

[Footnote 137: _Idem_, _Dissertationes_, iii. 22, 54.]

[Footnote 138: Pliny, _Epistolæ_, ix. 22 (viii. 22).]

[Footnote 139: Marcus Aurelius, _Commentarii_, vi. 6.]

[Footnote 140: _Ibid._ ii. 1.]

[Footnote 141: _Ibid._ xi. 18.]

[Footnote 142: _Ibid._ xi. 18.]

[Footnote 143: Seneca, _De ira_, ii. 32.]

[Footnote 144: _Romans_ xii. 20.]

{46} A person who feels resentment may be a proper object of moral
disapproval, not on account of the resentful impulse as such, but
because it has been allowed to develop either into an intention or
into a deliberate wish to make the other person suffer or, at any
rate, into a wish that he shall have to suffer; and the word
resentment may be vaguely used in all these cases. Jesus' commandment,
"Love your enemies," may imply something more than the next one, "Do
good to them that hate you": it may enjoin you to try to check your
anger; but it cannot reasonably make it an obligation for you to have
a tender feeling towards your enemy. As Kant said,[145] "love, as an
affection, cannot be commanded," and the reason for this is that it
cannot be produced by any effort of will. But it is easy to see why
thoughtful and sympathetic minds disapprove of resentment and
retaliation springing from personal motives. Such resentment is apt to
be partial. It is too often directed against persons whom impartial
reflection finds to be no proper objects of indignation, and still
more frequently it is unduly excessive. As Butler said, "We are in
such a peculiar situation with respect to injuries done to ourselves,
that we can scarce any more see them as they really are, than our eye
can see itself."[146] "As bodies seem greater in a midst, so do little
matters in a rage"; hence the old rule that we ought not to punish
whilst angry.[147] The restraining rule of like for like, which is
frequently found among peoples whose customs permit or enjoin private
revenge, has largely a social origin.[148] As resentment involves no
accurate balancing of suffering against suffering, there may be a
crying disproportion between the act of revenge and the injury evoking
it; a revengeful mind, said Sir Thomas Browne, "holds no rule in
retaliations, requiring too often a head for a tooth, and the supreme
revenge for trespasses, which a night's rest should obliterate."[149]
But if the offender is a person with whose feelings men are ready to
sympathise, their sympathy will keep the desire to see him suffer
within certain limits; and if, in ordinary circumstances, they tend to
sympathise equally with both parties, the injurer {47} and the person
injured, and, in consequence, confer upon these equal rights, they
will demand a retaliation which is only equal in degree to the
offence. The more the moral consciousness is influenced by sympathy,
the more severely it condemns any retributive infliction of pain which
it regards as undeserved; and it seems to be in the first place with a
view to preventing such injustice that teachers of morality have
enjoined upon men to love or be kind to their enemies.

[Footnote 145: Kant, _Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten_, sec. i
(_Gesammelte Schriften_, iv [Berlin, 1911]), p. 399.]

[Footnote 146: J. Butler, 'Sermon IX.--Upon Forgiveness of Injuries,'
in _The Analogy of Religion_, etc. (London, 1893), p. 469.]

[Footnote 147: Plutarch, _De cohibenda ira_, 11; Montaigne, _Essais_,
ii. 31. "The sword of justice is ill-placed in the hands of an angry
man" (Seneca, _De ira_, i. 19).]

[Footnote 148: See E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i (London, 1912), p. 178 _sq._]

[Footnote 149: T. Browne, _Christian Morals_, iii. 12 (Cambridge,
1716), p. 94.]

Quite different from the resentment and retaliation springing from
personal motives are moral resentment and the punishment in which it
finds its expression. The moral indignation of Jesus was often
intense. His attacks on the Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers were
vehement in the extreme:

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the
kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves,
neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and
for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the
greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is
made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. . .
. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of
mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of
the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and
not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a
gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the
platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. . . . Woe
unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto
whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are
within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye
also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of
hypocrisy and iniquity. . . . Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers,
how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (_Matthew_ xxiii. 13-15,
23-25, 27, 28, 33).

"Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love
salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the
synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows'
houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive
greater damnation" (_Mark_ xii. 38-40).

In the Gospel of Luke there are similar attacks on the Pharisees and
scribes, and on the lawyers as well (xi. 39 _sqq._, xx. 46 _sq._).

{48} The moral indignation of Jesus even led him to violent activity.
He "went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and
bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers,
and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is
written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have
made it a den of thieves."[150]

[Footnote 150: _Matthew_ xxi. 12 _sq._ See also _Mark_ xi. 15-17;
_Luke_ xix. 45 _sq._]

Resentment, moral and non-moral, varies indefinitely in intensity, and
the same is the case with the act of retaliation to which it may lead.
According to the teaching of Jesus, the future punishment of sinners
is often enormous. As this is a fact which Christian apologists have
ignored or smoothed over, I shall add other quotations from the
gospels to those referring to the Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers:

"Whosoever shall say (to his brother), Thou fool, shall be in danger
of hell fire" (_Matthew_ v. 22).

"If thy right eye (or, 'thy right hand') offend thee pluck it out (or,
'cut it off'), and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee
that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body
should be cast into hell" (_ibid._ v. 29 _sq._). See also _ibid._
xviii. 8 _sq._; _Mark_ ix. 43-48.

"The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (_Matthew_ viii. 12).

"Whosoever shall not receive you (the disciples), nor hear your words,
when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your
feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land
of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city"
(_ibid._ x. 14 _sq._).

"Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell"
(_Matthew_ x. 28).

"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty
works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they
would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto
you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of
judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto
heaven, shalt be brought down to hell. . . . It shall be more
tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee"
(_ibid._ xi. 21-24). See also _Luke_ x. 12-15.

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out
of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And
shall cast them into a furnace of fire, there shall be wailing and
gnashing of teeth. . . . So shall it {49} be at the end of the world;
the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth" (_Matthew_, xiii. 41, 42, 49 _sq._).

"Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it
were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and
that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (_ibid._ xviii. 6). See
also _Mark_ ix. 42.

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and before him shall be
gathered all nations, "he shall separate them one from another, as a
shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep
on his right hand, but the goats on the left. . . . Then shall he say
unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into
everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And
these shall go away into everlasting punishment" (_Matthew_ xxv.
31-33, 41, 46).

"He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never
forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation" (_Mark_ iii. 29).
_Cf. Matthew_ xii. 31 _sq._; _Luke_ xii. 10.

"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (_Luke_ xiii. 3, 5).

"Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping
and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and
Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves
thrust out" (_ibid._ xiii. 27 _sq._).

The rich man of the parable died and was buried, "and in hell he lift
up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and
Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, . . . I am tormented in
this flame" (_ibid._ xvi. 22-24).

When Jesus was asked, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" he said:
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will
seek to enter in, and shall not be able."[151] On another occasion, in
his Sermon on the Mount, he said: "Wide is the gate, and broad is the
way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
leadeth into life, and few there be that find it."[152] He also said:
"There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called,
but few are chosen."[153] Modern theology pretends to be better
informed. In Hastings' _Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_ we read
that New Testament teaching, taken as a whole, suggests the salvation
of the great bulk of mankind and {50} reprobation as the rare
exception.[154] In support of this statement the author quotes some
inconclusive passages from John and Timothy and only one from the
synoptic gospels, namely the saying that "the Son of man is come to
save that which was lost."[155] He is also very optimistic as to the
condition of the lost. He says that the general principle of the
judgment will be the loss of faculties which have been abused, and
continues: "It is not necessary to regard the condition of the lost as
absolutely intolerable, though, in contrast with the bliss of the
redeemed, it will appear most sad. Its sadness will consist mainly in
regret for the loss of the Beatific Vision, and remorse for the
criminal folly which has led to their degradation from the rank of
responsible beings. On the other hand, their condition may admit of
important alleviations. Thus they can sin no more, and will perform
the will of God unerringly, which will surely be for their good.
Moreover, their enjoyment of natural goods, though impaired, will not
be destroyed. In fact, it even seems possible to regard their
condition as one of relative happiness of a purely natural kind."[156]
I should have thought that there could not be much enjoyment of
natural goods or happiness in the furnace of hell.

[Footnote 151: _Luke_ xiii. 23 _sq._]

[Footnote 152: _Matthew_ vii. 13 _sq._]

[Footnote 153: _Ibid._ xxii. 13 _sq._ See also _ibid._ xx. 16.]

[Footnote 154: C. Harris, 'State of the Dead (Christian),' in J.
Hastings, _Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, xi (Edinburgh, 1920),
p. 836 _sq._]

[Footnote 155: _Matthew_ xviii. 11.]

[Footnote 156: Harris, _loc. cit._ p. 837.]

It is, however, nowadays a widespread opinion that Jesus did not
believe in fiery torment in hell. The statements referring to it in
the gospels are said to be either non-authentic--later glosses added
in oral tradition or by the evangelists[157]--or to be interpreted in
a figurative sense. It is argued that they are chiefly found in the
first gospel, "the Jewish gospel," and are absent from the parallel
passages in the other gospels; but the fire of hell is nevertheless
mentioned also by Mark and Luke. Another argument is that they are
inconsistent with Jesus' true and original gospel of the love of God,
which compels us to regard them as metaphorical. But, as Dr. Cadoux
remarks, "to have recourse to figurative interpretation whenever
Jesus' words clash with modern knowledge or belief, in order to
maintain the complete conformity of our beliefs with his words, is an
unnatural and forced proceeding, which does violence to the instinct
of truth."[158] The explanation of the gospel passages concerning hell
seems simple enough. It is generally admitted that Jesus shared with
his Jewish contemporaries other beliefs {51} which are now held
untenable. The later pre-Christian Jewish writings contain a variety
of detailed descriptions of future punishment in which torment and
destruction by fire are constant features.[159] Of particular
importance is the passage in which Isaiah speaks of the damnation of
the wicked, when "the Lord will come with fire . . . to render his
anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames," and of the carcasses of
the men that have transgressed against him; "for their worm shall not
die, neither shall their fire be quenched."[160] This passage is
evidently the source of Mark's reference to hell "where their worm
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."[161]

[Footnote 157: Lily Dougall and C. W. Emmet, _The Lord of Thought_
(London, 1922), p. 249.]

[Footnote 158: C. J. Cadoux, _Catholicism and Christianity_ (London,
1928), p. 214.]

[Footnote 159: _Ibid._ p. 523; F. Schwally, _Das Leben nach dem Tode
nach den Vorstellungen des alten Israel und des Judentums
einschliesslich des Volksglaubens im Zeitalter Christi_ (Giessen,
1892), p. 174 _sqq._]

[Footnote 160: _Isaiah_ lxvi. 15, 24.]

[Footnote 161: _Mark_ ix. 43-48.]

The immense bulk of Christians have naturally regarded hell and its
agonies as material facts. Origen, who was a Platonist and a heretic
in many respects, was severely censured for assuming that the souls of
the unpurified ones pass into a cleansing fire which is only temporary
and figurative, simply consisting in the torments of conscience;[162]
and in the ninth century Scotus Erigena showed unusual audacity in
questioning the locality of hell and the material tortures of the
condemned.[163] Some great Protestant divines, like Jeremy Taylor and
Jonathan Edwards, were anxious to point out that the fire of hell is
infinitely more painful than any fire on earth, being "fierce enough
to melt the very rocks and elements."[164] This awful punishment also
exceeds in dreadfulness anything which even the most vivid imagination
can conceive, because it will last not for a passing moment, nor for a
year or a hundred, thousand, million, or milliard years, but for ever
and ever. In case any doubt should arise as regards the physical
capacity of the damned to withstand the heat, we are assured by some
reputed theologians that their bodies will be annealed like glass or
asbestos-like or of the nature of salamanders,[165] which was already
suggested by Augustine.[166] It would seem that even the felicity of
the few who were saved must be seriously impaired by their
contemplation of this endless and undescribable misery, but we are
told that the case is just the reverse. They become {52} as merciless
as their god. Thomas Aquinas says that a perfect sight of the
punishment of the damned is granted them that they "may enjoy their
beatitude and the grace of God more richly."[167] And the Puritans,
especially, have revelled in the idea that "the sight of hell torments
will exalt the happiness of the saints for ever," as a sense of the
opposite misery always increases the relish of any pleasure.[168]

[Footnote 162: Origen, [Greek: peri\ a)rchô=n], ii. 10. 4; _idem_,
_Contra Celsum_, v. 15, vi. 26.]

[Footnote 163: H. H. Milman, _History of Latin Christianity_,
ix (London, 1864), p. 88 n. k.]

[Footnote 164: W. R. Alger, _A Critical History of the Doctrine of a
Future Life_ (Philadelphia, 1864), p. 516 _sq._]

[Footnote 165: _Ibid._ pp. 518, 520.]

[Footnote 166: Augustine, _De civitate Dei_, xxi. 4.]

[Footnote 167: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, iii. Supplementum,
xciv. 1. 2.]

[Footnote 168: J. Edwards, _Works_, vii (London, 1817), p. 480; Alger,
_op. cit._ p. 541.]

It was only in the nineteenth century that, at last, a more
considerable number of Christians began to feel shocked by the ancient
doctrine of eternal punishment. Nowadays, according to Dr. Major, the
general belief in the English Church is "that the soul at death passes
into the spirit world, and never again has anything to do with its
fleshly integument, which has been deposited in the grave"; and a
conviction has grown up that heaven and hell are thought of not as
localities but as personal states, and that there is every degree of
purgatory between them.[169] Thus Mr. R. H. Charles has tried to show
that the fire spoken of by Jesus is not to be conceived sensuously,
but as a symbol of the divine wrath, and that the place of punishment
for the wicked is apparently a place of spiritual punishment
only.[170] Modern theology constantly falls back upon symbolism as an
interpretation of unpalatable statements found in the gospels. This,
it is said, safeguards the Saviour's infallibility. But what about his
honesty? In the recent Report of the Commission on Christian Doctrine
appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York it is argued that
eschatological beliefs are inevitably expressed in symbolical
language, being matters in respect of which "eye hath not seen, nor
ear heard," and the essence of hell is described as "exclusion from
the fellowship of God."[171] This implies that Jesus said what he did
not mean, but terrified the simple and ignorant people to whom he
spoke, and countless succeeding generations, by words which it has
taken nearly two thousand years for learned theologians to decipher.

[Footnote 169: H. D. A. Major, 'Towards Prayer Book Revision,' in
_The Church and the Twentieth Century_, ed. by G. L. H. Harvey,
p. 99 _sq._]

[Footnote 170: R. H. Charles, _A Critical History of the Doctrine of a
Future Life in Israel, in Judaism, and in Christianity_ (London,
1913), pp. 399, 475.]

[Footnote 171: _Doctrine in the Church of England_ (London, 1938),
pp. 203, 219.]

As to the conception of the divine retribution for unrighteousness
there are important differences between the teaching of the gospels
and that of the Old Testament. According to the latter, {53} the
judgment of God is carried out in this life, according to the former
predominantly after death. Among the Jews the belief in a future state
began only in prophetic times, when it was clearly spoken of for the
first time in the following passage in the book of Daniel: "Many of
them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to
everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they
that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament."[172] But
belief in the resurrection of individuals and a final judgment had
become elements of Jewish religion when Jesus was born.[173] The other
difference between the ideas of retribution in the Old Testament and
in the gospels was due to the Hebrew belief that sin affects the
nation through the individual and entails guilt on succeeding
generations. The anger of the Lord is kindled against the children of
Israel on account of Achan's sin.[174] The sin of the sons of Eli is
visited on his whole house from generation to generation.[175] Because
Saul has slain the Gibeonites, the Lord sends in the days of David a
three years' famine, which ceases only when seven of Saul's sons are
hanged.[176] The notion of a jealous God who visits the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate him,[177] is also frequently met with in the Old
Testament Apocrypha.[178]

[Footnote 172: _Daniel_ xii. 2 _sq._]

[Footnote 173: A. Schweitzer, _Die Mystik des Apostels Paulus_
(Tübingen, 1930), p. 89 _sq._]

[Footnote 174: _Joshua_ vii. 1.]

[Footnote 175: _1 Samuel_ ii. 21 _sqq._]

[Footnote 176: _2 Samuel_ xxi. 1 _sqq._]

[Footnote 177: _Exodus_ xx. 5, 7; _Numbers_ xiv. 18; _Deuteronomy_
v. 9. _Cf. Leviticus_ xxvi. 39.]

[Footnote 178: _Ecclesiasticus_ xvi. 4, xli. 5 _sqq._; _Wisdom of
Solomon_ iii. 12, 16 _sqq._]

The infliction of penal suffering on guiltless persons in consequence
of the sins of others is contrary to the nature of moral indignation,
which, as a retributive emotion, is a hostile attitude of mind towards
a living being conceived as a cause of pain. The retribution of a god
is in many cases nothing but an outburst of sudden anger, or an act of
private revenge, and is as such particularly liable to lack sufficient
discrimination. It may also be extended beyond the limits of
individual guilt, because sin is looked upon as a kind of material
substance which may be transmitted from parents to offspring. To this
day the Jews in Morocco sometimes go on their New Year's Day to the
seashore or to a spring and remove their sins by throwing stones into
the water. The words of the Psalmist, "Wash me thoroughly from mine
iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin,"[179] {54} were not altogether a
figure of speech. That sin is contagious was expressly stated by
Novatian, who said that "the one is defiled by the sin of the other,
and the idolatry of the transgressor passes over to him who does not
transgress."[180] In this materialistic conception of sin there is an
obvious confusion between cause and effect, between the sin and its
punishment. This carries with it the idea that the injurious energy
inherent in sin will sooner or later discharge itself to the
discomfort or destruction of anybody who is affected with it. The sick
Chinese says of his sickness, "It is my sin," instead of saying, "It
is the punishment of my sin";[181] and both in Hebrew and in the Vedic
language the word for sin is used in a similar way.[182] "In the
consciousness of the pious Israelite," says Schultz, "sin, guilt, and
punishment, are ideas so directly connected that the words for them
are interchangeable"; the prophets frequently and emphatically declare
that there is in sin itself a power which must destroy the
sinner.[183] Finally it should be noticed that while the resentment of
a man is a matter of experience, that of a god is a matter of
inference. That some particular case of suffering is a divine
punishment may therefore be assumed on the ground of the conviction
that a certain heinous sin cannot be left unpunished. When the sinner
himself escapes all punishment, leading a happy life till his death,
the conclusion is thus near at hand that any grave misfortune which
befalls his descendants is the delayed retribution of the offended
god.[184] Such a conclusion may especially force itself upon a mind
which has no idea of a hell with _post mortem_ punishments for the

[Footnote 179: _Psalms_ li. 2.]

[Footnote 180: Novatian, quoted by A. Harnack, _History of Dogma_,
ii (London. 1896), p. 119.]

[Footnote 181: J. Edkins, _Religion in China_ (London, 1878), p. 134.]

[Footnote 182: M. Holzman, 'Sünde und Sühne in den Rigvedahymnen und
den Psalmen,' in _Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und
Sprachwissenschaft_, xv (Berlin, 1884), p. 9.]

[Footnote 183: H. Schultz, _Old Testament Theology_, ii (Edinburgh,
1892), pp. 306, 308 _sq._]

[Footnote 184: _Cf._ Isocrates, _Oratio de pace_, 120; Cicero, _De
natura deorum_, iii. 38.]

But a moral consciousness which is sufficiently guided by
discrimination and sympathy cannot acquiesce in penal suffering being
inflicted upon the guiltless. Protests against it are heard from
different quarters both with reference to human justice and with
reference to the retribution of gods. Plato lays down the rule that
"the disgrace and punishment of the father is not to be visited on the
children."[185] According to Roman law, "crimen vel poena paterna
nullam maculam filio infligere {55} potest."[186] The Deuteronomist
enjoins: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children,
neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man
shall be put to death for his own sin."[187] And Jeremiah and Ezekiel
broke with the old notion of divine vengeance by extending the law of
individual responsibility to the sphere of religion. "Every one shall
die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his
teeth shall be set on edge."[188] "The soul that sinneth, it shall
die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall
the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the
righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be
upon him."[189]

[Footnote 185: Plato, _Leges_, ix. 854.]

[Footnote 186: _Digesta_, xlviii. 19. 26. _Cf. ibid._ xlviii. 19. 20.]

[Footnote 187: _Deuteronomy_ xxiv. 16. _Cf. 2 Kings_ xiv. 6.]

[Footnote 188: _Jeremiah_ xxxi. 30.]

[Footnote 189: _Ezekiel_ xviii. 20. For Talmudic views, see
E. Deutsch, _op. cit._ p. 52.]

While the belief in divine retribution after death favours the
acceptance of the principle of individual responsibility, it lays
itself open to criticism on the plea of being at variance with the
moral justification of punishment. The punishment which society
inflicts on a criminal is intrinsically an expression of its moral
indignation. For ages it was looked upon as a matter of course that a
person who has committed a crime should have to suffer for it because
he deserves to be punished. This is still the notion of the multitude,
as also of a host of theorisers, who by calling punishment an
expiation, or a reparation, or a restoration of the disturbed
equilibrium of justice, or some similar term, only endeavour to give
philosophical sanction to a social institution which is rooted in an
emotion. But the infliction of pain is not an act which the moral
consciousness regards with indifference even in the case of a
criminal; and to many enlightened minds with keen sympathy for human
suffering it has appeared both unreasonable and cruel that the State
should wilfully torment him to no purpose. It may certainly be thought
that men have no right to give vent to their moral resentment in a way
which hurts their neighbours, unless some benefit may be expected from
it. In the case of many other emotions we hold that the conative
element in the emotion ought not to be allowed to develop into a
distinct volition or act; and it would seem that a similar view might
be taken with reference to the aggressiveness of moral disapproval. It
is a notion of this kind that is at the bottom of the condemnation of
retributive punishment. But at the same time punishment itself is
defended. It is only looked upon in {56} a different light, not as an
end in itself but as the means of attaining an end. It is to be
inflicted not because wrong has been done, but in order that wrong be
not done. Its object is held to be either to deter from crime, or to
reform the criminal, or by means of elimination or seclusion to make
it physically impossible for him to commit fresh crimes.

A punishment inflicted after the death of the culprit cannot serve the
aim of eliminating a dangerous individual, because he can no longer do
any harm. Nor can it be of any use as a means of deterring him from
committing fresh crimes, because he is incapable of doing it. Nor can
it be supposed to have any reformatory effect of value to him or to
anybody else, if the punishment is eternal. The only thing that may be
gained by it is that the threat of it may intimidate the living. In an
earlier chapter I have drawn attention to certain facts which seem to
detract considerably from its usefulness in this respect; but to
inspire fear of damnation has certainly been a prominent object of
Christian moralists from the very beginning till our own times, and
not without some degree of success.[190]

[Footnote 190: _Supra_, p. 28 _sq._; _infra_, p. 406 _sq._ ]

On the other hand, as I have endeavoured to show in detail
elsewhere,[191] those theorists who think it possible to make
punishment independent of moral resentment are victims of an illusion.
Whether they are advocates of the theory of determent or the theory of
reformation, it has escaped them that they themselves are under the
influence of the very principle they reject, because they have failed
to grasp its true import. Rightly understood, resentment is preventive
in its nature; it is not only aroused by pain, but is a hostile
attitude towards its cause, and its tendency is to remove this cause.
And it may aim at its removal by bringing about repentance in the
offender, which is the reformationists' object of punishment. Thus
resentment not only gives rise to punishment, but readily suggests as
its proper end either determent or amendment or both. But first of all
moral resentment raises a protest against wrong. And whatever
theorists may say on the matter, the immediate aim of punishment has
always been to give expression to the righteous indignation of the
society which inflicts it.

[Footnote 191: Westermarck, _op. cit._ i. 82 _sqq._; _idem_, _Ethical
Relativity_ (London, 1932), p. 78 _sqq._]

The dependence of punishment upon moral resentment also shows itself
in the fact that its degree is influenced by the degree of the
resentment. Though a severe punishment may be the most effective
deterrent, our feelings object to its application if the crime is
slight; and in any case they put a limit to the {57} intensity of
suffering to be inflicted upon a criminal, whatever his crime may be.
In former times burning was a penalty for certain offences which were
considered particularly atrocious, but it is utterly revolting to the
moral consciousness of modern men. Yet its agonies lasted only for a
few minutes. What, then, shall we say of the everlasting torments in
the furnace of hell as a punishment even for persons who "desire to
walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest
seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; which devour
widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers"?[192] The only thing
which can be said in excuse of them is that their horror is never
clearly perceived by any one who predicts them.

[Footnote 192: _Luke_ xx. 46 _sq._]

Side by side with the doctrine of retribution there is in the gospels
the message of forgiveness. John the Baptist preached the baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins, "and there went out unto him all
the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptised of
him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins." And he preached,
saying: "There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of
whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have
baptised you with water: but he shall baptise you with the Holy
Ghost."[193] "After that John was put in prison, Jesus came into
Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The
time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and
believe the gospel."[194] "I am not come to call the righteous, but
sinners to repentance."[195] "Pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,
. . . forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. . . . For if ye
forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive
you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your
Father forgive your trespasses."[196] Yet there is a limit to
forgiveness: "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto
men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven
unto men."[197]

[Footnote 193: _Mark_ i. 4, 5, 7 _sq. Cf._ _Matthew_ iii. 1, 2, 5, 6,
11; _Luke_ iii. 2, 3, 16.]

[Footnote 194: _Mark_ i. 14 _sq. Cf. Matthew_ iv. 17.]

[Footnote 195: _Luke_ v. 32. See _infra_, p. 68.]

[Footnote 196: _Matthew_ vi. 9, 12, 14 _sq. Cf. Luke_ xi. 2, 4.]

[Footnote 197: _Matthew_ xii. 31 _sq._; _Mark_ iii. 29; _Luke_ xii. 10.]

That repentance is followed by forgiveness is found in other religions
besides Christianity. According to Zoroastrianism, one element of
atonement consists in repentance, as manifested by avowal of the guilt
and by the recital of a formula, the _Patet_.[198] {58} It is said in
the Laws of Manu: "In proportion as a man who has done wrong, himself
confesses it, even so far he is freed from guilt, as a snake from its
slough. . . . He who has committed a sin and has repented, is freed
from that sin, but he is purified only by the resolution of ceasing to
sin and thinking 'I will do so no more.'"[199] According to the
Rig-Veda, the god Varuna inflicts terrible punishments on the hardened
criminal, but is merciful to him who repents; to Varuna, the cry of
anguish from remorse ascends, and before him the sinner comes to
discharge himself of the burden of his guilt by confession.[200] So,
also, Zeus pardons the repentant.[201] The main doctrine of Judaism on
the subject of atonement is comprised in the single word Repentance.
No teachers, says Montefiore, "exalted the place and power of
repentance more than the Rabbis. There was no sin for which in their
eyes a true repentance could not obtain forgiveness from God."[202]
According to the Talmud, a space of only two fingers' breadth lies
between hell and heaven: the sinner has only to repent sincerely, and
the gates to everlasting bliss will spring open.[203]

[Footnote 198: J. Darmesteter, 'Introduction to the Vendidâd,' in _The
Sacred Books of the East_, iv (Oxford, 1880 ), p. lxxxvi.]

[Footnote 199: _The Laws of Manu_, xi. 229, 231, _cf._ xi. 228, 230;
in _The Sacred Books of the East_, xxv (1886).]

[Footnote 200: _Rig-Veda_, trans. into German by A. Ludwig (Prag,
1876, etc.), i. 25. 1 _sq._, ii. 28. 5 _sqq._, v. 85. 7 _sq._, vii.
87. 7, 88. 6 _sq._, 89. 1 _sqq._; A. Barth, _The Religions of India_
(London, 1882), p. 17.]

[Footnote 201: _Ilias_, ix. 502 _sqq._]

[Footnote 202: C. G. Montefiore, _Hibbert Lectures on the Religion of
the Ancient Hebrews_ (London, 1892), pp. 524, 335 n.]

[Footnote 203: Deutsch, _op. cit._ p. 53. _Cf. ibid._ p. 56; Katz,
_op. cit._ p. 87 _sq._; G. F. Moore, 'Sacrifice,' in Cheyne and Black,
_Encyclopædia Biblica_, iv (London, 1903), p. 4224 _sq._]

But repentance not only blunts the edge of moral indignation and
recommends the offender to the mercy of men and gods: it is the sole
ground on which pardon can be given by a scrupulous judge. When
sufficiently guided by deliberation and left to itself, without being
unduly checked by other emotions, the feeling of moral resentment is
apt to last as long as its cause remains unaltered, that is, until the
will of the offender has ceased to be offensive; and it ceases to be
offensive only when he acknowledges his guilt and repents. It is true
that the mere performance of certain ceremonies is frequently supposed
to relieve the performer of his sin,[204] and the same end is thought
to be attained by pleasing God in some way or other, by sacrifice, or
almsgiving, or the like. But such ideas are objectionable to the moral
consciousness of a higher type. They are based on the crude notion
that sin is a material {59} substance which may be removed by material
means; or on the belief that an offender may compound with the deity
for sinning against him, in the same way as he pacifies his injured
neighbour, by bribery or flattery. Hence the Reformation proscribed
offerings for the redemption of sins, together with the trade in
indulgences; and we meet with an analogous movement in other
comparatively advanced forms of religion. In reformed Brahmanism
repentance is declared to be the only means of redeeming
trespasses.[205] The idea expressed in the Psalms, that God delights
not in burnt offerings, but that the sacrifices of God are a broken
and a contrite heart,[206] became the prevailing opinion among the
Rabbis, most of whom regarded repentance as the _conditio sine quâ
non_ of expiation and the forgiveness of sins.[207]

[Footnote 204: See E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i. 53 _sqq._]

[Footnote 205: E. Goblet d'Alviella, _Hibbert Lectures on the Origin
and Growth of the Conception of God_ (London, 1892 ), p. 263.]

[Footnote 206: _Psalms_ li. 16 _sq._]

[Footnote 207: Moore, _loc. cit._ col. 4225.]

That moral indignation is appeased by repentance, and that repentance
is the only proper ground for forgiveness, is due, not to the
specifically moral character of such indignation, but to its being a
form of resentment. This is confirmed by the fact that an angry and
revengeful man is apt to be in a similar way influenced by the sincere
apology of the offender. As Aristotle said, men are placable in regard
to those who acknowledge and repent their guilt: "there is proof of
this in the case of chastising servants; for we chastise more
violently those who contradict us, and deny their guilt; but towards
such as acknowledge themselves to be justly punished we cease from our
wrath."[208] In the case of revenge external satisfaction or material
compensation is often allowed to take the place of genuine repentance,
and the humiliation of the adversary may be sufficient to quiet the
angry passion. But the revenge felt by a reflecting mind is not so
readily satisfied. It wants to remove the cause which aroused it. The
object which resentment is chiefly intent upon, Adam Smith observes,
"is not so much to make our enemy feel pain in his turn, as to make
him conscious that he feels it upon account of his past conduct, to
make him repent of that conduct, and to make him sensible, that the
person whom he injured did not deserve to be treated in that
manner."[209] The delight of revenge, says Bacon, "seemeth to be not
so much in doing the hurt, as in making the party repent."[210]

[Footnote 208: Aristotle, _Rhetorica_, ii. 3. 5.]

[Footnote 209: Adam Smith, _The Theory of Moral Sentiments_ (London,
1887), p. 138 _sq._]

[Footnote 210: Bacon, _Essays_, iv, 'Of Revenge.' _Cf._ Montaigne,
_Essais_, ii. 27.]

{60} While Jesus was capable of feeling intense moral indignation, his
emotion of moral approval, of which moral praise or reward is the
outward manifestation, plays an even more prominent part in his
teaching, as is shown by the innumerable cases in which eternal reward
is promised for righteousness. Modern theologians have been
disconcerted by this fact and tried to minimise it. They have said
that the hope of reward and consequently a eudemonistic motive
"sometimes" is found in the teaching of Jesus;[211] that "it cannot be
denied that the idea of reward and punishment now and then peeps out
from the context of Christian ethics";[212] that "no doubt Jesus did
on occasion make an appeal to self-interest."[213] To disclose the
inaccuracy of these statements, for which ignorance should be no
excuse, the following quotations from the gospels may suffice:

[Footnote 211: T. Bohlin, _Das Grundproblem der Ethik_ (Uppsala and
Leipzig, 1923), p. 438.]

[Footnote 212: A. Nygren, _Filosoflsk och kristen etik_ (Lund and
Leipzig, 1923), p. 312.]

[Footnote 213: E. W. Hirst, _Jesus and the Moralists_ (London, 1935),
p. 102.]

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are
they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be
filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed
are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the
peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are
they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and
persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,
for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward
in heaven" (_Matthew_ v. 5-12).

"When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand
doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in
secret himself shall reward you openly. . . . When thou prayest, enter
into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father
which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward
thee openly" (_ibid._ vi. 3, 4, 6).

"If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also
forgive you" (_ibid._ vi. 14). See _supra_, p. 57.

"When thou fasteth, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou
appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret:
and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly"
(_ibid._ vi. 17 _sq._).

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter {61} into
the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which
is in heaven" (_ibid._ vii. 21).

"Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken
him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock" (_ibid._ vii.
24). See also _Luke_ vi. 47 _sq._

"Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth
to the end shall be saved" (_Matthew_ x. 22).

"He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a
prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of
a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever
shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water
only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no
wise lose his reward" (_Matthew_ x. 41 _sq._). See also _Mark_ ix. 41.

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of
their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear" (_Matthew_ xiii. 43).

"Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose
his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he
shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (_ibid._ xvi. 25
_sq._). See also _ibid._ x. 39; _Mark_, viii. 35 _sq._; _Luke_,
ix. 24 _sq._

"Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or
father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake,
shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life"
(_Matthew_ xix. 29). See also _Mark_ x. 29 _sq._; _Luke_
xviii. 29 _sq._

"And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate
them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the
goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on
the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come,
ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I
was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me
in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in
prison, and ye came unto me. . . . Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as
ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have
done it unto me. . . . The righteous [shall go] into life eternal"
(_Matthew_ xxv. 32-36, 40, 46).

"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate
you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name
as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap
for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven" (_Luke_
vi. 22 _sq._).

{62} "Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing
again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of
the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye
therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye
shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned:
forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto
you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running
over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that
ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" (_ibid._ vi. 35-38).

"Seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things (food and drink and
clothing) shall be added unto you" (_ibid._ xii. 31).

"When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy
brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also
bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a
feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt
be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be
recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (_ibid._ xiv. 12-14).

"Every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth
himself shall be exalted" (_ibid._ xviii. 14).

When Jesus was asked by a certain ruler what he should do to inherit
eternal life, and heard that he had kept all the commandments, "he
said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing; sell all that thou hast,
and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come, follow me" (_ibid._ xviii. 18, 20-22). See also _Matthew_,
xix. 16, 18-21; _Mark_ x. 17, 19-21.

As it, after all, cannot be denied that the gospels contain promises
of reward, attempts have been made to extenuate their presence. It is
said that they serve a "pedagogical" purpose being intended to
influence people with a moral consciousness of an inferior type;[214]
that Jesus for this reason made use of an idea which was prevalent in
Jewish thought, but in such a way as to abolish it "by transforming
the reward into a gift of love, which transcends the claims that can
be raised by the worker";[215] that the gospels speak of reward not to
make people desirous of it, but to teach people that righteousness is
pleasing to God, and must be followed by reward. When the world shows
itself hostile to the good man, this belief serves {63} to cheer and
comfort him and make him persevere and progress in goodness.[216] This
seems to be the general doctrine in Lutheran theology. But Luther
admits that such an unselfish belief is hardly ever found in actual

[Footnote 214: C. Stange, _Die christliche Ethik_ (Göttingen, 1892),
p. 92; Bohlin, _op. cit._ p. 438; Nygren, _op. cit._ p. 312; Hirst,
_op. cit._ p. 102.]

[Footnote 215: H. Jacoby, _Neutestamentliche Ethik_ (Königsberg,
1899), p. 51.]

[Footnote 216: K. Thieme, _Die sittliche Triebkraft des Glaubens_
(Leipzig, 1895), p. 179 _sq._]

[Footnote 217: _Ibid._ p. 195.]

It is easy to see why Christian theologians are perplexed by the
promises of rewards in the gospels. Moral judgments are influenced by
the motives of conduct. They are passed on intentions and deliberate
wishes and the motive of an act may itself be an intention or
deliberate wish but one referring to another act. When Brutus helped
to kill Cæsar in order to save his country, his intention or
deliberate wish, or hope, to save it was the reason, and therefore the
motive, for his intention to kill Cæsar. But if we more carefully
analyse our moral judgments, we find that they are not really passed
on intentions or deliberate wishes in the abstract, but on the persons
who have them: _they_ are held blamable or worthy of praise on account
of their intentions or wishes, because the moral emotions are
reactionary attitudes towards living beings. Now we do not feel the
emotion of moral approval or retributive kindliness towards a person
if we recognise that he does a thing only in the selfish hope of being
benefited by it, for example, if he saves another person from drowning
merely because he expects a reward for it. The reason for this is not
the specifically moral character of moral approval, but the fact of
its being a retributive emotion. We do not feel grateful either to a
person who bestows a benefit upon us, if we find that he does it only
in his own interest.

As a matter of fact, however, moral judgments are commonly passed on
acts without much regard being paid to their motives. Moral
indignation and moral approval are in the first place aroused by
conspicuous facts, and whilst intentions are expressed in the acts
themselves, their motives are not. Men desire that certain acts shall
be performed, and other acts refrained from. The motives, or conative
causes of acts and forbearances are not equally interesting, and they
are often mixed, uncertain, and hidden. As a mediæval writer puts it,
"the devil himself knoweth not the thought of man."[218] Though we
would not praise a person for some deed which we clearly recognise to
reflect no merit on his will, the benefit which results from a good
act easily induces us to exaggerate the goodness, of the {64} agent.
On the other hand, it is success alone that confers upon a man the
full reward which he deserves; good intentions without corresponding
deeds meet with little applause even when the failure is due to mere
misfortune. But it is only from ignorance or want of due reflection
that moral judgments are influenced by outward deeds. Owing to its
very nature the moral consciousness, when sufficiently thoughtful,
regards the will as the only proper object of moral disapproval or
moral praise.

[Footnote 218: Quoted by F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, _The History
of the English Law before the Time of Edward I._, ii (Cambridge,
1898), p. 474.]

The teaching of Jesus certainly laid stress on the motives of conduct.
It has been described as an ethic of inwardness: "he rebukes
acquisitiveness rather than wealth, lust rather than adultery, hatred
rather than war or violence."[219] He condemned the Pharisees, whose
leaven was hypocrisy,[220] who for a pretence made long prayer, who
made clean the outside of the cup and the platter, but whose inward
part was full of wickedness.[221] He said: "That which cometh out of
the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of
men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye,
blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within,
and defile the man."[222] But in breaking with Pharisaism on the point
of its mechanical conception of duty Jesus reverted, in fact, to the
position taken up by the Prophets of Israel, whose teachings he must
often have listened to in the synagogue at Nazareth.[223] "The Lord
said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with
their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and
their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore,
behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even
a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall
perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."[224]
"Thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your
fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the
Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and
inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn
that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. . . . O
Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou {65} mayest be
saved."[225] "Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye
have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit."[226] In
the rabbinical literature few sayings are quoted more frequently than
the adage which closes those tractates of the Mishna which deal with
the sacrificial law: "He that brings few offerings is as he that
brings many; let his heart be directed heavenward."[227] In the Talmud
it is said: "Before a man prays let him purify his heart";[228] "Sin
committed with a good motive is better than a precept fulfilled from a
bad motive";[229] "No charity is rewarded but according to the degree
of benevolence in it."[230]

[Footnote 219: W. R. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Modern Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 51.]

[Footnote 220: _Luke_ xii. 1.]

[Footnote 221: _Supra_, p. 47.]

[Footnote 222: _Mark_ vii. 20-3. See also _Matthew_ xv. 18-20.]

[Footnote 223: _Cf._ H. H. Henson, _Christian Morality_ (Oxford,
1936), p. 102.]

[Footnote 224: _Isaiah_ xxix. 13 _sq._]

[Footnote 225: _Jeremiah_ iv. 3, 4, 14. _Cf. ibid._ xxiv. 7.]

[Footnote 226: _Ezekiel_ xviii. 31. _Cf. ibid._ xi. 19, xxxvi. 26.]

[Footnote 227: Montefiore, _op. cit._ p. 484.]

[Footnote 228: _Ibid._ p. 174.]

[Footnote 229: _Nazir_, fol. 23_b_, quoted by P. I. Hershon,
_Treasures of the Talmud_ (London, 1882), p. 74.]

[Footnote 230: _Sukkah_, fol. 49_b_, quoted _ibid._ p. 11. See
_infra_, p. 80.]

That moral qualities are internal has indeed been recognised by all
great moralists. Confucius required an inward sincerity in all outward
practice, and poured scorn on the Pharisaism which contented itself
with cleaning the outside of the cup and platter.[231] He said that
"in the rites of mourning exceeding grief with deficient rites is
better than little demonstration of grief with superabounding rites;
and that in those of sacrifice exceeding reverence with deficient
rites is better than an excess of rites with but little
reverence."[232] "Sacrifice is not a thing coming to a man from
without; it issues from within him, and has its birth in his heart.
When the heart is deeply moved, expression is given to it by
ceremonies."[233] The virtuous man offers his sacrifices "without
seeking for anything to be gained by them."[234] "The Master said:
'See what a man does, mark his motives.'"[235] The popular Taoist work
called 'The Book of Secret Blessings' inculcates the necessity of
purifying the heart as a preparation for all right-doing; and in
another Taoist work it is written: "If you form in your heart a good
intention, although you may not have done any good, the good spirits
follow you. If you form in your heart a bad intention, although you
may not have done any harm, the evil spirits follow you."[236] One of
the Pahlavi texts puts the following {66} words into the mouth of the
Spirit of Wisdom: "To be grateful in the world, and to wish happiness
for every one; this is greater and better than every good work."[237]
The religious legislator of Brahmanism, whilst assuming in accordance
with the popular view that the fulfilment of religious duty will
always be rewarded to some extent, whatever may be the motive,
maintains that the man who fulfils his duties without regard to the
rewards which follow the fulfilment, will enjoy the highest happiness
in this life and eternal happiness hereafter.[238] "He who is pure in
heart is the truest priest," said Buddha.[239] According to
'Dhammapada,' "if a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain
follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the
carriage. . . . If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness
follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him."[240] In his
description of the Buddhists of Mongolia the Rev. James Gilmour
observes: "Mongol priests recognise the power of motive in estimating
actions. . . . The attitude of the mind decides the nature of the act.
He that offers a cup of cold water only, in a proper spirit, has
presented a gift quite as acceptable as the most magnificent of

[Footnote 231: _Cf._ J. Legge, _The Religions of China_ (London,
1880), p. 261 _sq._; J. Girard de Rialle, _La mythologie comparée_
(Paris, 1878), p. 214.]

[Footnote 232: _Lî Kî_, ii. 1. 2. 27; in _The Sacred Books of the
East_, vol. xxvii. (Oxford, 1885). _Cf. Lun Yü_, iii. 4, 3; in
J. Legge, _The Chinese Classics_, i (Oxford, 1893).]

[Footnote 233: _Lî Kî_, xxii. 1.]

[Footnote 234: _Ibid._ xxii. 2.]

[Footnote 235: _Lun Yü_, ii. 10. 1 _sq._]

[Footnote 236: R. K. Douglas, _Confucianism and Taouism_ (London,
1889), pp. 272, 270.]

[Footnote 237: _Dînâ-î Maînôgî Khirad_, lxiii. 3 _sqq._; in _The
Sacred Books of the East_, xxiv (Oxford, 1885).]

[Footnote 238: J. Talboys Wheeler, _The History of India_, ii (London,
1869), p. 478.]

[Footnote 239: E. W. Hopkins, _The Religions of India_ (London, 1896),
p. 319.]

[Footnote 240: _Dhammapada_, 1 _sq._; in _The Sacred Books of the
East_, x (Oxford, 1898).]

[Footnote 241: J. Gilmour, _Among the Mongols_ (London, [1892]), p. 239.]

Although Jesus insisted on inwardness and purity of heart, there is no
indication that he regarded the hope of reward as an obstacle to
gaining it. How could anybody make a promise and at the same time
require that it should not influence the conduct of the promisee?
There is no inconsistency between benevolence being the immediate
spring of action and the hope of reward being the ultimate motive for
it: a person may aim at his own happiness as his ultimate end and at
the same time aim sincerely at the happiness of his neighbour as a
means to that end. Kant said that "morality is not properly the
doctrine how we should make ourselves happy, but how we should become
worthy of happiness."[242] But then he placed the virtuous man in a
most precarious position. Even though he know that he is worthy of
happiness, and even may hope to participate in it,[243] he must not
allow any such hope to slip in {67} as a motive for his conduct; for
if he does so, he ceases to be virtuous and will not get the happiness
he hopes for.

[Footnote 242: Kant, _Kritik der praktischen Vernunft_, i. 2. 5
(_Gesammelte Schriften_, v [Berlin, 1913], p. 129 _sq._).]

[Footnote 243: _Idem_, _Kritik der reinen Vernunft_, Transcendentale
Methodenlehre, ii. 2 (_Gesammelte Schriften_, iii [1911], p. 525

This was not the teaching of Jesus. To desire to gain divine favour,
with everything implied in it, must certainly have been regarded by
him as a right motive for our conduct. But then it cannot be said that
there is in his message "no support for a hedonistic ethic."[244] He
represents heaven as a place where his followers will receive ample
compensation for all their present suffering.[245] They will enjoy the
company of the great and good of former ages. Jesus will be there
himself, in glory, to welcome them into everlasting habitations, and
they will see God, the Father who is in heaven, face to face. They
will have their old bodies,[246] and Jesus does not even scruple to
throw into the picture a dash of material felicity, speaking of the
drinking of wine in his Father's kingdom.[247] There is, however, this
difference, mentioned in all the synoptic gospels,[248] that the
children of resurrection will neither marry nor be given in marriage,
but be as the angels of God in heaven. Neither can they die any

[Footnote 244: Hirst, _op. cit._ p. 101.]

[Footnote 245: _Cf._ J. Stalker, _The Ethic of Jesus_ (London, 1909),
p. 36 _sq._]

[Footnote 246: _Matthew_ v. 29 _sq._, x. 28, xxvii. 52.]

[Footnote 247: _Ibid._ xxvi. 29.]

[Footnote 248: _Ibid._ xxii. 30; _Mark_ xii. 25; _Luke_ xx. 35.]

[Footnote 249: _Luke_ xx. 36.]

The ethics of Jesus are not only hedonism, but egoistic hedonism, as
defined by Sidgwick, that is, "a system which prescribes actions as
means to the end of the individual's happiness or pleasure."[250] It
cannot be said that the section of eighteenth-century hedonists who
supported their theory by theological considerations[251] contradicted
the teaching of Jesus, when they looked upon self-love as the ground
for accepting the will of God as our rule; nor that Waterland did so
in his 'Sermon on Self-Love,' in which he said: "The wisest course for
any man to take is to secure an interest in the life to come. . . .
There can be no excess of fondness, or self-indulgence, in respect of
eternal happiness. This is loving himself in the best manner, and to
the best purposes. All virtue and piety are thus resolvable into a
principle of self-love. . . . It is with reference to ourselves, and
for our own sakes, that we love even God himself."[252] Paley defined
virtue bluntly as "the doing good to mankind, in obedience to the will
of God, and for the {68} sake of everlasting happiness."[253] This
motive is in agreement with Augustine's saying that in the heavenly
city "there is only the piety that serves the true God and expects a

[Footnote 250: H. Sidgwick, _The Methods of Ethics_ (London, 1913),
p. 89.]

[Footnote 251: See Westermarck, _Ethical Relativity_, p. 15 _sqq._]

[Footnote 252: D. Waterland, 'Sermon on Self-Love,' in _The English
Preacher_, i (London, 1773), p. 101 _sq._]

[Footnote 253: W. Paley, _The Principles of Moral and Political
Philosophy_, i. 7 (**_Works_ [Edinburgh, 1834], p. 9).]

[Footnote 254: Augustine, _De civitate Dei_, xiv. 28.]

The most authoritative description of the ethics of Jesus as egoistic
hedonism comes from a theologian of the highest repute, Nathan
Söderblom, the late Archbishop of Sweden. He wrote in his book on the
Sermon on the Mount: "If it is asked _why_ everything which is
commanded in the Sermon on the Mount is to be done, why we ought to
love our enemies, not to put away our wife, and so forth, the ultimate
answer, according to Jesus, is not, for the common good or progress of
mankind, but the only uniform and satisfactory explanation of his
whole ethics and injunction of piety runs: in order to save our soul.
The infinite value of the individual human soul is the leading idea in
the Sermon on the Mount and the whole message of Jesus. To this fact
many of the moderns are perfectly blind." Jesus does not advocate "a
careful weighing of one's own good against the good of others, but a
ruthless egoism: build thou _thy_ house upon a rock, so that it shall
stand when the floods come and the winds blow."[255]

[Footnote 255: Söderblom, _op. cit._ p. 43.]

Another well-known Swedish theologian, professor Nygren, says on the
contrary that "the evangelical ethics are the most anti-eudemonistic
of all ethical theories,"[256] and even goes so far as to allege that
according to the teaching of Jesus (as well as that of Paul) God's
relations to the human beings are in no way influenced by their
behaviour, but depend exclusively upon the nature of his love, which
is "spontaneous" or "prompted by no motive."[257] In support of this
allegation he quotes repeatedly the saying, "I came not to call the
righteous, but sinners";[258] Luke adds: "to repentance."[259] This
has been said to be clearly a gloss, since there is no notion at all
that Jesus had brought with him into the world any new way of
procuring forgiveness of sins but that of repentance.[260] It has been
pointed out that the prodigal son in the parable is {69} nearer his
father than the elder brother, and that there is more joy in heaven
over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety-nine just men. But the
prodigal son showed his repentance in thought and in word and in act;
and while we do not generally feel any positive pleasure because a
person acts rightly, it is different when a sinner repents. Even
Luther, whose authority is appealed to for the doctrine that God's
love is prompted by no motive, demanded in the first of his
ninety-nine theses that a Christian's whole life should be a
continuous penitential act.

[Footnote 256: Nygren, _op. cit._ p. 313.]

[Footnote 257: _Ibid._ pp. 251, 252, 271; _idem_, _Urkristendom och
reformation_ (Lund, 1932), pp. 17, 71, 72, 74, 76, 78 _sqq._]

[Footnote 258: _Matthew_ ix. 13 (R.V.); _Mark_ ii. 17 (R.V.); Nygren,
_Urkristendom och reformation_, pp. 23, 27, 40, 78, 80, 153, 156.]

[Footnote 259: _Luke_ v. 32.]

[Footnote 260: H. Rashdall, _The Idea of Atonement in Christian
Theology_ (London, 1919), p. 24; W. B. Barnes, _The Forgiveness of
Jesus Christ_ (London, 1936), p. 16.]

I am at a loss to understand how Professor Nygren can ignore sayings
like these: "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you
again";[261] "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give
account thereof in the day of judgment; for by thy words thou shalt be
justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned";[262] "The Son of
man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he
shall reward every man according to his works";[263]--and the number
of others quoted above. The principle of reward and punishment
permeates all the moral teaching of Jesus.

[Footnote 261: _Matthew_ vii. 2; _Luke_ vi. 38.]

[Footnote 262: _Ibid._ xii. 30 _sq._]

[Footnote 263: _Ibid._ xvi. 27.]



WHILE Jesus' doctrine of punishment and reward is an outcome of the
retributive character of the moral emotions, his teaching also
emphasises that disinterestedness which distinguishes them from other,
non-moral, retributive emotions. This he does in his enunciation of
the "Golden Rule": "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do
to you, do ye even so to them";[264] or "As ye would that men should
do to you, do ye also to them likewise."[265] The disinterestedness of
the moral emotions also finds an echo in the rebuke: "Why beholdest
thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the
beam that is in thine own eye? . . . Thou hypocrite, first cast out
the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast
out the mote out of thy brother's eye."[266]

[Footnote 264: _Matthew_ vii. 12.]

[Footnote 265: _Luke_ vi. 31.]

[Footnote 266: _Matthew_ vii. 3, 5; _Luke_ vi. 41 _sq._]

The Golden Rule is much older than Christianity and, especially in its
negative form, widespread. In the Sanskrit work 'Mahabharata' it is
said: "Let no man do to another that which would be repugnant to
himself; this is the sum of righteousness; the rest is according to
inclination. In refusing, in bestowing, in regard to pleasure and to
pain, to what is agreeable and disagreeable, a man obtains the proper
rule by regarding the case as like his own."[267] Similar words are
ascribed to Confucius. When Tsze-kung asked if there is any one word
which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life, the Master
answered: "Is not Reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done
to yourself, do not do to others." And in another utterance Confucius
showed that the rule had for him not only a negative, but also a
positive form. He said that, in the way of the superior man, there are
four things to none of which he himself had as yet attained: to serve
his {71} father as he would require his son to serve him, to serve his
prince as he would require his minister to serve him, to serve his
elder brother as he would require his younger brother to serve him,
and to set the example in behaving to a friend as he would require the
friend to behave to him.[268] In Greece Isocrates enunciated the
maxim: "Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to
you."[269] Aristotle, when questioned how we should behave to our
friends, is quoted by Diogenes Laertius as saying: "Exactly as we
would they should behave to us."[270] Seneca wrote: "Let us put
ourselves in the place of him with whom we are angry. . . . We are
quite willing to do to others what we cannot endure should be done to
ourselves";[271] and Epictetus: "That which thou wouldst not suffer
thyself, seek not to lay upon others."[272] In its negative form the
Golden Rule is also found in the earlier Judaism. Tobit said to his
son: "Take heed to thyself, my child, in all thy works, and be
discreet in thy behaviour; what thou thyself hatest, do to no
man."[273] When a heathen came to the famous rabbi Hillel and said to
him that he would embrace Judaism on condition that he were taught the
whole doctrine during the time that he stood on one leg, the rabbi
replied: "What thou doest not like, do not do to thy neighbour; that
is the whole doctrine, all the rest is only explanation."[274]
According to Augustine the precept that we must not do to others what
we do not wish them to do to us, is a rule of behaviour which is by
nature inherent in the human mind;[275] and Hobbes speaks of the "laws
of nature" expressed in "this one sentence, approved by all the world,
Do not that to another, which thou thinkest unreasonable to be done by
another to thy selfe."[276] They were perfectly right for the simple
reason that disinterestedness is an essential characteristic of the
moral emotions, without which there could be no moral precepts at all.

[Footnote 267: _Mahabharata_, xiii. 5571 _sq._, in J. Muir, _Religious
and Moral Sentiments metrically rendered from the Sanskrit_ (London,
1875), p. 107. _Cf. Pantschatantra_, iii. 104, trans. by Th. Benfey,
ii (Leipzig, 1859), p. 235.]

[Footnote 268: _Lun Yü_, xv. 23, in J. Legge, _The Chinese Classics_,
i (Oxford, 1893); _Chung Yung_, xiii. 4 (_ibid._). _Cf. Lun Yü_,
xii. 2; _Chung Yung_, xiii. 3.]

[Footnote 269: Isocrates, _Nicocles_, 61. _Cf. idem_, _Ad Demonicum_,

[Footnote 270: Diogenes Laertius, _De clarorum philosophicorum vitis_,
v. 21.]

[Footnote 271: Seneca, _De ira_, iii. 12.]

[Footnote 272: Epictetus, _Fragmenta_, 42.]

[Footnote 273: _Tobit_, iv. 14 _sq._]

[Footnote 274: _Shabboth_, 31_a_, quoted by A. Drews, _The Witnesses
of the Historicity of Jesus_ (London, 1912), p. 266 _sq._ For other
parallels see C. Taylor, _Sayings of the Jewish Fathers_ (Cambridge,
1897), p. 142 _sq._]

[Footnote 275: Augustine, _De doctrina Christiana_, iii. 14 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, xxxiv. 74).]

[Footnote 276: T. Hobbes, _Leviathan_, ii. 26. 8 (Oxford, 1881), p. 210.]

The Golden Rule also occurs in its prohibitive shape--"that which ye
will that other men do not unto you, do not that to other men"--in the
earliest quotations of it which are {72} found in Christian literature
outside the gospels. In this negative form it is already attached to
the Apostolic Decree as early as the Western text to the Acts xv. 29,
dating from the opening years of the second century if not from a
still earlier period, and, in spite of its absence from the received
text, it continued to hold a place in this passage of the Acts down to
a comparatively late date.[277] The negative form is also observable
in post-Biblical Christian writings.[278]

[Footnote 277: J. E. Carpenter and G. Harford, _The Composition of the
Hexateuch_ (London, 1902), p. 10; A. Harnack, 'Das Aposteldecret (Act
15, 29) und die Blass'sche Hypotese,' in _Sitzungsberichte der
Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin_,
Jahrgang 1899 (Berlin, 1899), p. 151 _sq._]

[Footnote 278: W. A. Spooner, 'Golden Rule,' in J. Hastings,
_Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, vi (Edinburgh, 1913), p. 311.]

It is not difficult to explain why the negative Golden Rule is more
widely spread than the positive one. Negative commandments spring from
the disapproval of acts, whereas positive commandments spring from the
disapproval of forbearances or omissions, and the indignation of men
is much more easily aroused by action than by absence of action. A
person who commits a harmful deed is a more obvious cause of pain than
a person who causes harm by doing nothing, and this naturally affects
the question of guilt in the eyes of most people. Moreover, the Golden
Rule implies that it cannot be right for A to treat B in a manner in
which it would be wrong for B to treat A, unless there is some
difference between the natures or circumstances of the two individuals
which can be regarded as a reasonable ground for difference of
treatment; and such differences are generally more restricted in the
case of acts that are forbidden than in the case of acts that are
positively enjoined. The negative commandments are also more distinct:
they condemn certain definite modes of behaviour, while the rules of
benevolence often are more comprehensive. It seems that almost from
the outset the rule of the gospels was in need of explanation and some
limitation. In certain Latin versions the words "good things" were
inserted after the word "whatsoever." Those who made the insertion
recognised evidently that it is not everything which we may wish for
ourselves that we are bound to do for others. We might wish for
ourselves, for instance, some form of illicit or undesirable pleasure,
and yet cannot be bound to provide for others such pleasure or assist
them in obtaining it for themselves.[279]

[Footnote 279: _Ibid._ p. 312.]

The disinterestedness of the moral emotions partly underlies the rule,
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," which {73} occurs both in
the Old Testament[280] and in the three synoptic gospels.[281] But
this maxim contains much more than the disinterestedness of the
conception of duty. When a person pronounces an act right or wrong, it
implies that it is so _ceteris paribus_, whether he does it to another
or another does it to him, but this has nothing to do with the
particular nature of the act. When my own interests clash with those
of my neighbour, I may have the right to prefer my own lesser good to
the greater good of another, but only on condition that the other
person also, in similar circumstances, is admitted to have the right
to prefer his own lesser good to my greater good. No such right to
prefer one's own lesser good to the greater good of another is
recognised in the precept, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself";
but this precept owes its origin to the strength of the altruistic
sentiment in him who laid down the rule, and not merely to the
disinterestedness of his moral emotions.

[Footnote 280: _Leviticus_ xix. 18.]

[Footnote 281: _Matthew_ xix. 19, xxii. 39; _Mark_ xii. 31; _Luke_
x. 27.]

The precept inculcating love of one's neighbour is rooted in the
altruistic sentiment, which, as I have pointed out above, has produced
moral emotions, as distinguished from other retributive emotions not
only by their disinterestedness, but also by their impartiality in
other respects. Now the altruistic sentiment varies greatly both in
strength and expanse, and so does consequently the love of neighbour
which is prescribed as a duty by different moral codes. The groups of
neighbours to which these rules refer may vary indefinitely, without
interfering with the impartiality required by the moral emotions from
which they sprang. If it is considered wrong of a person to cheat
another belonging to his own group but not wrong to cheat a foreigner,
the impartiality of the moral emotion of disapproval, which underlies
the concept of wrongness, merely leads to a general rule that applies
to all similar cases independently of the nationality of him who holds
the view. If I maintain that a foreigner, or a member of another class
in my own society, has a duty towards me but that I have not the same
duty towards him, my opinion can be morally justified only on
condition that there is some difference in the circumstances affecting
the morality of the case. The impartiality of my moral emotions does
not prevent me from promoting the welfare of my own family or country
in preference to that of other families or countries. But they tell me
that I must allow anybody else to show a similar preference for his
family or country.

{74} The question is, then, who is my neighbour whom I ought to love
as myself? This question was put to Jesus by a lawyer who asked him
what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered him by
telling the parable of the traveller who fell among thieves and was
left half dead, of the priest and the Levite who passed by on the
other side, and of the good Samaritan who took care of the wounded
man; and he then asked the lawyer which of those three he thought was
"neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that
shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou
likewise."[282] This has been alleged to prove that in the thought of
Jesus the idea of neighbour had lost all such limitations as in the
earlier Jewish interpretation were imposed by national animosity, and
embraced all men irrespective of race. Much significance has also been
attached to the word "men" in the passage, "All things whatsoever ye
would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (_Matthew_
vii. 12),[283] and to the word "whosoever" in the passage, "Whosoever
shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my
brother, and sister, and mother" (_ibid._ xii. 50; _Mark_ iii.
35).[284] As to the alleged implications of these two passages, it
must be said to be a poor case that is considered to need the support
of such strained interpretations; indeed, the latter of them directly
contains an important limitation. And the parable of a Samaritan who
takes pity on a wounded stranger is scarcely a clear answer to the
question: Who is my neighbour whom I should love as myself?

[Footnote 282: _Luke_ x. 25-37.]

[Footnote 283: H. Bisseker, 'Brotherly Love (Christian),' in Hastings,
_op. cit._ ii (1909), p. 873.]

[Footnote 284: E. W. Hirst, _Jesus and the Moralists_ (London, 1935),
p. 25.]

On the other hand, there is good evidence in the gospels that Jesus
had not entirely discarded Jewish exclusiveness in these matters. He
seems to have felt himself as one who had come with a message to the
people of Israel. When he sent out his disciples as travelling
apostles, he "commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the
Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go
rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach,
saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand."[285] Again, a Syrophœnician
woman came from the environs of Tyre, "and cried unto him, saying,
Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously
vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples
came and besought him, {75} saying, Send her away; for she crieth
after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost
sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him,
saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to
take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs." When the woman,
admitting the truth of this, made the remark that the dogs eat of the
crumbs which fall from their masters' table, Jesus "answered and said
unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou
wilt." And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.[286] By
the children whose bread should not be cast to the dogs, Jesus
obviously meant the Jews.[287] It was to Jewish sinners that Jesus
addressed himself; his life was spent in wandering over the narrow
strip of ground between Capernaum and Jerusalem. He is sometimes
represented as speaking of the gospel being preached "among all
nations," or "throughout the whole world," or "to every
creature";[288] but these utterances are scarcely congruous with his
belief in the imminence of the end of the world.[289] As Dean Rashdall
observes, "there is no critically unassailable evidence that he ever
spoke of actually converting the world to his gospel or making
gentiles into members of a worldwide Church."[290]

[Footnote 285: _Matthew_ x. 5-7.]

[Footnote 286: _Ibid._ xv. 21-8. _Cf. Mark_ vii. 24-30.]

[Footnote 287: _Cf._ A. Aall, _The Hellenistic Elements in
Christianity_ (London, 1931), p. 25.]

[Footnote 288: _Matthew_ xxiv. 14; _Mark_ xiii. 10, xiv. 9, xvi. 15;
_Luke_ xxiv. 47. The commandment reported by _Matthew_ xxviii. 19
could not have been uttered by Jesus (see A. Harnack, _History of
Dogma_, i [London, 1894], p. 79, n. 1).]

[Footnote 289: _Matthew_ iv. 17, xxiv. 34 _sq._; _Mark_ i. 15,
xiii. 30 _sq._; _Luke_ xxi. 32 _sq._]

[Footnote 290: H. Rashdall, _The Idea of Atonement in Christian
Theology_ (London, 1919), p. 17.]

It has been argued that the belief in a common divine fatherhood
compels us to regard every man as a neighbour whom we ought to love as
ourselves. Among the Jews their common descent from Abraham was always
felt to bind them together in mutual obligations. The novelty
introduced by Jesus, we are told, lies in the fact that he grounded
such obligations on a common descent from God: "by substituting the
Father in Heaven for father Abraham, Christ made morality universal.
This phrase, which places not a certain number of men, but all men, in
the relation of brotherhood to each other, destroys at once the
partition-wall between Jew and Gentile, Greek and barbarian."[291] Mr.
Hirst writes: "Since the love of God is a Father's love, man, being
God's child, must love {76} him with filial devotion and other men as
brothers."[292] And Bishop Bohlin maintains not only that the
principle of a human brotherhood is derived from that of the
fatherhood of God, but even that without their belief in God as a
Father the Christians could never have formed the idea of a common
human brotherhood.[293] As a matter of fact, however, we find in the
gospels neither the belief in a common divine fatherhood nor the idea
of a common human brotherhood.

[Footnote 291: J. R. Seeley, _Ecce Homo_ (London, 1892), p. 122 _sq._]

[Footnote 292: Hirst, _op. cit._ p. 49. He even says that "the
Christian should love himself, not of course for his own sake, but as
being the child of the Heavenly Father" (_ibid._ p. 21).]

[Footnote 293: T. Bohlin, _Das Grundproblem der Ethik_ (Uppsala and
Leipzig, 1923), p. 44.]

By careful study of the passages in the New Testament in which God is
spoken of as a Father, Professor Mead has found that he is called so
with reference either to Christ in particular or to Christ's
believers. When Jesus is especially addressing the Pharisees or others
who are not in sympathy with him, he never calls God their Father. He
nowhere distinctly declares that the fatherhood of God is universal,
but he is recorded distinctly to assert that it is not universal. When
certain of the Jews, in their dispute with Jesus, said to him: "We be
not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God," he replied:
"If God were your Father, ye would love me. . . . Ye are of your
father the devil."[294] Again, when we examine the New Testament
passages which speak of men as the sons or children of God, we find
that the gospels, and particularly the words of Jesus as recorded
there, present not a single declaration to the effect that all men are
children of God. Wherever the conception is found, it clearly and
unmistakably is limited to a portion of mankind. On one occasion Jesus
said that those who love their enemies become the children of the
heavenly Father.[295] Paul said: "As many as are led by the Spirit of
God, they are the sons of God."[296]

[Footnote 294: _John_ viii. 41, 42, 44.]

[Footnote 295: _Matthew_ v. 44 _sq._]

[Footnote 296: _Romans_ viii. 14. See also _Galatians_ iv. 5;
_Philippians_ ii. 14 _sq._; _Ephesians_ i. 5.--C. M. Mead, 'The
Fatherhood of God,' in _The American Journal of Theology_, i (Chicago,
1897), pp. 577-600. See also H. E. Guillebaud, _Why the Cross?_
(London, 1937), pp. 49-59.]

Nor do we find in the gospels the notion of a universal brotherhood.
In a passage quoted above Jesus says that his brother is he who does
the will of God.[297] John puts into his mouth a saying in which he
enjoins on his disciples brotherly love of a very narrow compass: "A
new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have
loved you, {77} that ye also love one another. By this all men know
that ye are my disciples, if ye love one to another."[298] It has been
pointed out that the prevalent sense of [Greek: a)delpho/s] in the New
Testament is that of "fellow-Christian"--a restricted meaning which is
sometimes markedly imposed by the immediate context[299]--and that the
love required frequently refers to the brotherhood of believers
only.[300] Even Paul, in spite of his cosmopolitan outlook, wrote to
the Romans: "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another";[301] and to the Thessalonians: "As
touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye
yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it
toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia."[302] In another
epistle he wrote: "As we have . . . opportunity, let us do good unto
all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."[303]
Hospitality towards strangers is represented as a duty in the New
Testament,[304] as it was by the Jews, but sometimes its exercise is
expressly confined to the case of fellow-Christians.[305] Otherwise
there is nothing specifically Christian about it. Hospitality seems to
be a universal custom among the lower races whilst in their native
state, as also among the early peoples of culture. But there is no
doubt that it is in the main based on egoistic considerations,
particularly connected with superstitious ideas about the unknown
mysterious stranger, who is looked upon as a potential cause of evil
if he is treated badly, and as a potential benefactor if he is
received as a guest.[306] The latter idea is expressly mentioned as
the reason for the injunction in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "Be not
forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained
angels unawares."[307]

[Footnote 297: _Supra_, p. 74.]

[Footnote 298: _John_ xiii. 34 _sq._ See also _ibid._ xv. 12, 17.]

[Footnote 299: See, for example, _1 Corinthians_ v. 11, vi. 6.]

[Footnote 300: Bisseker, _loc. cit._ p. 873.]

[Footnote 301: _Romans_ xii. 10.]

[Footnote 302: _1 Thessalonians_ iv. 9 _sq._]

[Footnote 303: _Galatians_ vi. 10.]

[Footnote 304: _Matthew_ xxv. 43, 45; _Romans_ xii. 13; _1 Timothy_
v. 10; _Hebrews_ xiii. 2.]

[Footnote 305: _3 John_ 5-8.]

[Footnote 306: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i (London, 1912), p. 572 _sqq._]

[Footnote 307: _Hebrews_ xiii. 2.]

As to the contention that without their belief in God as a father the
Christians could never have formed the idea of a common human
brotherhood, it should be noticed that tenets of universal love have
been laid down both by the Stoics and by Eastern moralists, who had no
notion of a divine fatherhood. The Chinese teachers of morality
inculcated benevolence to all {78} men, without making any reference
to national distinctions.[308] Mih-tsze, who lived in the interval
between Confucius and Mencius, even thought that we ought to love all
men equally; but this called forth protests as abnegating the peculiar
devotion due to relatives.[309] In 'Thâi-Shang' it is said that a good
man will feel kindly towards every creature, and should not hurt even
the insect tribes, grass, and trees.[310] Buddhism enjoins the duty of
universal love: "As a mother, even at the risk of her own life,
protects her son, her only son, so let a man cultivate goodwill
without measure toward all beings, . . . unhindered love and
friendliness toward the whole world, above, below, around."[311]
According to the Hindu work 'Panchatantra' it is the thought of
little-minded persons to consider whether a man is one of ourselves or
an alien, the whole earth being of kin to him who is generously

[Footnote 308: _Lun Yü_, xii. 22; Mencius, vii. 1. 45, in Legge, _op.
cit._ ii (1895); R. K. Douglas, _Confucianism and Taouism_ (London,
1889), pp. 108, 205.]

[Footnote 309: J. Edkins, _Religion in China_ (London, 1878), p. 119;
Legge, _op. cit._ ii. 476 n. 45; J. J. M. de Groot, _The Religious
System of China_, vol. ii, book i (Leiden, 1894), p. 684.]

[Footnote 310: _Thâi-Shang_, 3; in _The Sacred Books of the East_,
xl (Oxford, 1891).]

[Footnote 311: Quoted by T. W. Rhys Davids, _Hibbert Lectures on . . .
the History of Indian Buddhism_ (London, 1881), p. 111.]

[Footnote 312: Muir, _op. cit._ p. 109.]

Much importance has been attached to the fact that in the teaching of
Jesus the two commandments enjoining the love of God and the love of
neighbour, which in the Old Testament occur in different books,[313]
have been put together in the saying: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto
it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."[314] This combination
has led to the conclusion that the love of neighbour follows from the
love of God, and cannot exist without it.[315] I find no evidence for
such a conclusion in the saying that the second commandment is "like
unto"[316] the first. They are like each other in so far that both are
commandments of love. But the word "love" cannot mean the same in both
cases. The love of God implies reverence, gratitude,[317] devotion,
and trust or faith; the love of neighbour means practically
benevolence. Love as a {79} pure emotion cannot, of course, be
commanded, but it readily develops into a volition, and becomes then a
proper object of moral judgment. It is absurd, however, to suppose
that benevolence towards a fellow-man could be merely derivative from
the love of God. If it were, I am afraid that there would not be much
of it even in the Christian world; as Dean Inge says, "'love of God'
is talked about more often than felt,"[318] and while "god-fearing" is
a common epithet for a devout Christian, "god-loving" is not found
even in dictionaries. Paul speaks extremely rarely of the love of God.
Instead of saying that the love of neighbour follows from the love of
God, we may rather say, with John, that a man cannot love God, whom he
has not seen, if he does not love his brother, whom he has seen.[319]

[Footnote 313: _Deuteronomy_ vi. 5; _Leviticus_ xix. 18.]

[Footnote 314: _Matthew_ xxii. 37-9; _Mark_ xii. 30 _sq._]

[Footnote 315: A. Nygren, _Filosofisk och kristen etik_ (Lund and
Leipzig, 1923), pp. 294, 298.]

[Footnote 316: In _Luke_ (x. 27 _sq._) these words are not found at all.]

[Footnote 317: "We love him, because he first loved us" (_1 John_,
iv. 19).]

[Footnote 318: W. R. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Modern Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 52.]

[Footnote 319: _1 John_ iv. 20.]

The altruistic sentiment, of which benevolence is a manifestation, is
found in all mammalian species, at least as displayed in the mother's
love of her young, and the duty of benevolence in every human society.
There is no doubt that it was such a sentiment that led Jesus to
enjoin men to love their neighbours as themselves, and to regard this
duty as a command of God. His infinite kindness towards the sick, the
needy, and the distressed is abundantly proved throughout the gospels,
and finds its most touching expression in the words: "Come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take
my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light."[320]

[Footnote 320: _Matthew_ xi. 28-30.]

Among the positive duties resulting from benevolence almsgiving holds
a prominent position in the teaching of Jesus. He said: "Give to him
that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou
away."[321] When a young ruler who asked him what he should do that he
might inherit eternal life, and told him that he had kept all the
commandments from his youth, Jesus answered: "Yet lackest thou one
thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou
shalt have treasure in heaven."[322] Eternal life is promised to those
who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger,
clothe the naked, visit the sick.[323]

[Footnote 321: _Ibid._ v. 42. See also _Luke_ vi. 30.]

[Footnote 322: _Luke_ xviii. 20-2. See also _Matthew_ xix. 16, 18-21;
_Mark_ x. 17, 19-21.]

[Footnote 323: _Matthew_ xxv. 34, 36, 40, 45 _sq._]

{80} This insistence on the duty of charity, which for ages was
destined to exercise a paramount influence on Christian morals,
belonged to the Jewish heritage. "Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto
thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land"; "for this
thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all
that thou puttest thine hand unto."[324] Even "if thine enemy be
hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to
drink: . . . the Lord shall reward thee."[325] Especially in the Old
Testament apocrypha and in rabbinical literature almsgiving assumed an
excessive importance--so much so that the word which in the older
writings means "righteousness" in general came to be used for
almsgiving in particular.[326] "Shut up alms in thy storehouses; and
it shall deliver thee from all affliction."[327] "As water will quench
a flaming fire, so alms maketh an atonement for sins."[328] "For alms
doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. Those that
exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life."[329] The
charitable man is rewarded with the birth of male issue.[330]
Almsgiving outweighs all other duties.[331] He who averts his eye from
charity commits a sin equal to idolatry.[332] It must be extended
equally to Jew and Gentile.[333] To such an extreme was almsgiving
carried by the Jews that, while the giver must devote to charity at
least a tenth of his income, some rabbis at length decreed that no man
should give more than a fifth, lest he should come to seek charity
himself.[334] But charity is not sufficient in itself: kind thoughts
and words must go with it. To give liberally to the poor, but with
sullen look, is to rob the deed of all virtue.[335] "Sow [a reward]
for yourselves in giving alms as charity, you will reap according to
the benevolence."[336] Like Jesus, the rabbis insisted that charity
should be done in secret.[337] He that gives alms publicly is a
sinner; indeed, "better give no alms at all, than give them in

[Footnote 324: _Deuteronomy_ xv. 11, 10. See also _ibid._ x. 18, xiv.
29, xv. 7-9, xvi. 11, 14, xxiv. 19-21; _Leviticus_ xix. 9 _sq._, xxv.
35; _Psalms_ xli. 1; _Proverbs_ xiv. 21.]

[Footnote 325: _Proverbs_ xxv. 21 _sq._]

[Footnote 326: W. E. Addis, 'Alms,' in T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black,
_Encyclopædia Biblica_, i (London, 1899), p. 118. _Cf._ C. G.
Montefiore, _Hibbert Lectures on . . . the Religion of the Ancient
Hebrews_ (London, 1892), p. 484 _sq._]

[Footnote 327: _Ecclesiasticus_ xxix. 12.]

[Footnote 328: _Ibid._ iii. 30.]

[Footnote 329: _Tobit_, xii. 9. _Cf. ibid._ i. 3, 16 _sq._, ii. 14,
iv. 7-12, xii. 8 _sq._]

[Footnote 330: _Baba Bathra_, fol. 10_b_.]

[Footnote 331: _Idem_, fol. 9_a_; _Sukkah_, fol. 49_b_.]

[Footnote 332: _Kethuboth_, fol. 68_a_.]

[Footnote 333: _Giṭṭin_, fol. 61_a_.]

[Footnote 334: _Kethuboth_, fol. 50_a_.]

[Footnote 335: _Baba Bathra_, fol. 9_b_.]

[Footnote 336: _Sukkah_, fol. 49_b_.]

[Footnote 337: _Baba Bathra_, fol. 9_b_.]

[Footnote 338: _Ḥagiga_, fol. 5_a_.]

{81} While the duty of almsgiving is in the first place based on the
altruistic sentiment and, therefore, is apt to assume a religious
character where the deity is looked upon as a being who is kindly
disposed towards mankind and a guardian of morality, there are also
some special reasons why it has been so strenuously enjoined by
religions of a higher type, including others besides Hebrewism and
Christianity.[339] There is an idea that niggardliness exposes a
person to supernatural danger, whereas charity and liberality may
entail supernatural reward, on account of the curses or blessings of
the poor. The ancient Greeks believed that the beggar had his
Erinys,[340] his avenging demon, who was evidently a personification
of his curse.[341] It is said in the Proverbs: "He that giveth unto
the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a
curse";[342] and in Deuteronomy: "Thou shalt not oppress an hired
servant that is poor and needy, . . . lest he cry against thee unto
the Lord, and it be sin unto thee."[343] The same idea is expressed in
Ecclesiasticus: "Turn not away thine eye from the needy, and give him
none occasion to curse thee: for if he curse thee in the bitterness of
his soul, his prayer shall be heard of him that made him. . . . A
prayer out of a poor man's mouth reacheth to the ears of God, and his
judgment cometh speedily."[344] In a very early Christian work, the
'Shepherd' of Hermas, it is said: "Beware, ye that glory in your
riches, lest perhaps they groan who are in want, and their sighing
come up to God, and ye be shut out with your goods without the gate of
the tower."[345] And a poor man is able not only to punish the
uncharitable by means of his curse, but also to reward the generous
giver by means of his blessing; as it is said in Ecclesiasticus:
"Stretch thine hand unto the poor, that thy blessing may be perfected.
A gift hath grace in the sight of every man living."[346] While he who
withholdeth corn shall be cursed by the people, "blessing shall be
upon the head of him that selleth it."[347] Hermas writes that as the
vine is supported by the elm, so is the rich man helped by the prayers
of the poor. "The poor {82} praying unto the Lord for the rich are
heard by him; and their riches are increased, because they minister to
the poor of their wealth."[348]

[Footnote 339: Westermarck, _op. cit._ i. 549 _sqq._]

[Footnote 340: _Odyssey_, xvii. 575.]

[Footnote 341: Æschylus (_Eumenides_, 416 _sq._) expressly designates
the Erinyes by the title of "curses" ([Greek: a)rai\]) and Pausanias
(_Descriptio Græciæ_, viii. 25. 6) derives the name Erinys from an
Arcadian word signifying a fit of anger. _Cf._ Westermarck, _op. cit._
i. 60 n. 3.]

[Footnote 342: _Proverbs_ xxviii. 27.]

[Footnote 343: _Deuteronomy_ xxiv. 14 _sq. Cf._ _ibid._ xv. 9.]

[Footnote 344: _Ecclesiasticus_, iv. 5 _sq._, xxi. 5.]

[Footnote 345: Hermas, _Pastor_, i. 3. 9.]

[Footnote 346: _Ecclesiasticus_ vii. 32.]

[Footnote 347: _Proverbs_ xi. 26.]

[Footnote 348: Hermas, _op. cit._ iii. 2.]

The curses and blessings, no doubt, partly account for the fact that
almsgiving has come to be regarded as a religious duty. They have not
necessarily the character of an appeal to a god, but may be believed
to possess a purely magical power, independently of any superhuman
will. This belief is rooted in the close association between the wish,
more particularly the spoken wish, and the idea of its fulfilment. The
wish is looked upon in the light of energy which may be
transferred--by material contact, or by the eye, or by means of
speech--to the person concerned, and then becomes a fact. This
process, however, is not taken quite as a matter of course. There is
always some mystery about it, and one--though not the only--method of
giving the curse or the blessing that supernatural quality which alone
can bring about the result desired is to invoke in it a god. His own
feelings need not be considered at all: his holy name may simply be
brought in to impart to it that mystic efficacy which the plain word
lacks. In the Talmud there are traces of the idea that the name of the
Lord might be used with advantage in any curse however
undeserved.[349] But with the deepening of the religious sentiment
this idea has to be given up. A righteous and mighty god can scarcely
agree to be a mere tool in the hand of a wicked curser. Hence the
curse comes to be looked upon as a prayer, which is not fulfilled if
undeserved; as it is said in the Proverbs, "the curse causeless shall
not come."[350] And the same is the case with a blessing. In ancient
days Jacob could take away his brother's blessing by deceit;[351] the
blessing acted in the same way as a medicine, which cures the patient
just as well if it is stolen as if it is bought. But later on its
efficacy was limited by moral considerations. The Psalmist declares
that only the offspring of the righteous can be blessed,[352] and
according to the Apostolic Constitutions, "although a widow who eateth
and is filled from the wicked, pray for them, she shall not be
heard."[353] On the other hand, curses and blessings, when well
deserved, continued to draw down calamity or prosperity upon their
objects, by inducing God to put them into effect. This notion prevails
both in {83} Judaism and Mohammedanism,[354] and underlies the
Christian oath and benediction. As an uncharitable man deserves to be
punished and a charitable man merits reward, the curses and blessings
of the poor will be heard by a righteous God. "The Lord will plead
their cause."[355]

[Footnote 349: _Makkoth_, fol. 11_a_; _Berakhoth_, foll. 19_a_, 56_a_.]

[Footnote 350: _Proverbs_ xxvi. 2.]

[Footnote 351: _Genesis_ xxvii. 23 _sqq._]

[Footnote 352: _Psalms_ xxxvii. 26.]

[Footnote 353: _Constitutiones Apostolicæ_, iv. 6. _Cf. Jeremiah_,
vii. 16.]

[Footnote 354: _Cf._ T. K. Cheyne, 'Blessings and Curses,' in Cheyne
and Black, _op. cit._ i. 592; I. Goldziher, _Abhandlungen zur
arabischen Philologie_, i (Leiden, 1896), i. 29 _sqq._]

[Footnote 355: _Proverbs_ xxii. 23.]

Besides the belief in the efficacy of curses and blessings there is
another, and more important, reason for the extraordinary stress which
the higher religions lay on the duty of charity, namely the connection
between almsgiving and sacrifice. When food is offered as a tribute to
a god, he is supposed to enjoy its spiritual part only, while the
substance of it is left behind and is in many cases eaten by the poor.
And when the offering is continued in ceremonial survival in spite of
the growing conviction that, after all, the deity does not need and
cannot profit by it, the poor become the heirs of the god. The chief
virtue of the act then lies in the self-abnegation of the donor, and
its efficacy is measured by the "sacrifice" which it costs him.

Many instances may be quoted of sacrificed food being left for the
poor or being distributed among them,[356] whilst in other cases
almsgiving is itself regarded as a form of sacrifice, or takes the
place of it.[357] When the destruction of the temple with its altar
filled the Jews with alarm as they thought of their unatoned sins,
Johanan ben Zakkai comforted them saying: "You have another means of
atonement as powerful as the altar, and that is the work of charity,
for it is said, 'I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.'"[358] Several
other passages show how closely the Jews associated almsgiving with
sacrifice. "He that giveth alms sacrificeth praise."[359] "As
sin-offering makes atonement for Israel, so alms for the
Gentiles."[360] "Almsdeeds are more meritorious than all
sacrifices."[361] An orphan is called an "altar to God."[362] Alms
were systematically collected in the synagogues, and officers were
appointed to make the collection.[363] So also among the early
Christians the collection of {84} alms for the relief of the poor was
an act of the Church life itself. Almsgiving took place in public
worship, nay formed itself a part of worship. Gifts of natural
produce, the so-called oblations, were connected with the celebration
of the Lord's Supper. They were offered to God as the first-fruits of
the creatures (_primitiæ creaturarum_), and a prayer was said: "O
Lord, accept also the offerings of those who to-day bring an offering,
as Thou didst accept the offerings of righteous Abel, the offering of
our father Abraham, the incense of Zachariah, the alms of Cornelius,
and the two mites of the widow." These oblations were not only used
for the Lord's Supper, but also formed the chief means for the relief
of the poor. They were regarded as sacrifice in the most special
sense; and as no unclean gift might be laid upon the Lord's altar,
profit made from sinful occupations was not accepted as an oblation,
neither were the oblations of impenitent sinners.[364]

[Footnote 356: Westermarck, _op. cit._ i. 565 _sq._]

[Footnote 357: _Ibid._ i. 566 _sq._]

[Footnote 358: K. Kohler, in _Jewish Encyclopedia_, i (New York and
London, 1901), p. 467; _Hosea_ vi. 6.]

[Footnote 359: _Ecclesiasticus_ xxxv. 2.]

[Footnote 360: Quoted by J. Levy, _Neuhebräisches Wörterbuch über die
Talmudim_, iv (Leipzig, 1889), p. 173.]

[Footnote 361: _Ibid._ iv. 173.]

[Footnote 362: _Constitutiones Apostolicæ_, iv. 3.]

[Footnote 363: Addis, _loc. cit._ p. 119.]

[Footnote 364: G. Uhlhorn, _Die christliche Liebesthätigkeit_,
i (Stuttgart, 1882), p. 135 _sqq._; A. Harnack, _History of Dogma_,
i (London, 1894), p. 205.]

The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of almsgiving as a
sacrifice of thanksgiving which continues after the Jewish altar has
been done away with.[365] Like sacrifice, almsgiving was connected
with prayer, as a means of making the prayer efficacious and
furnishing it with wings; the angel said to Cornelius: "Thy prayers
and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God."[366] When the
Christians were reproached for having no sacrifice, Justin wrote: "We
have been taught that the only honour that is worthy of Him is not to
consume by fire what He has brought into being for our sustenance, but
to use it for ourselves and those who need."[367] So also Irenæus
observes that sacrifices are not abolished in the New Testament,
though their form is indeed altered, because they are no longer
offered by slaves, but by freemen, of which just the oblations are the
proof.[368] And God has enjoined on Christians this sacrifice of
oblations, not because He needs them, but "in order that themselves
might be neither unfruitful nor ungrateful."[369] Augustine says: "The
sacrifice of the Christians is the alms bestowed upon the poor."[370]

[Footnote 365: _Hebrews_ xiii. 14 _sqq._]

[Footnote 366: _Acts_ x. 4; Cyprian, _De opere et eleemosynis_, 4;
Chrysostom, _Homilia VII, de Pœnitentia_ (Migne, _Patrologicæ cursus_,
_Ser. Gr._, **xlix. 332 _sq._).]

[Footnote 367: Justin, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 13.]

[Footnote 368: Irenæus, _Adversus hæreses_, iv. 18. 82.]

[Footnote 369: _Ibid._ iv. 17. 5.]

[Footnote 370: Augustine, _Sermo XLII_. 1 (Migne, _op. cit._ xxxviii.

By pointing out the magical and ritualistic elements in the formation
of the religious duty of almsgiving I have, of course, {85} by no
means wanted to undermine its altruistic foundation, but only to
explain why it has attained the same supreme importance as is
otherwise attached only to devotional exercises. And this is certainly
a problem by itself, for which the belief in a benevolent God
interested in the worldly morality of his believers affords no
adequate solution.

The altruism of the ethics of Jesus is also apparent in his insistence
on those of the ten commandments which forbid men to do harm to their
neighbours. Somewhat different was his attitude towards the
commandment, "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be
long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." It is unlike
the others through its appeal to the worldly interests of those who
follow it. Among the Hebrews, as among many other peoples,[371] the
connection between filial submissiveness and religious beliefs was in
a large measure due to the extreme significance attributed to parental
blessings and curses. They thought that parents, and especially a
father, could thereby determine the fate of their children;[372] and
we have every reason to assume that the reward which in the fifth
commandment is held out to respectful children was originally the
result of parental blessings. We meet with this idea in
Ecclesiasticus, where it is said: "Honour thy father and mother in
word and deed, that a blessing may come upon thee from them. For the
blessing of the father establisheth the houses of children; but the
curse of the mother rooteth out foundations."[373] But a long life on
earth was a poor reward compared with the eternal life in heaven.
Jesus taught that every one that had forsaken father or mother for his
name's sake would inherit everlasting life.[374] His church was a
militant church. He had come not to send peace, but a sword, "to set a
man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her
mother."[375] Being chiefly addressed to the young, the new teaching
naturally caused much disorder in families. Fathers disinherited their
converted sons,[376] and children thought that they owed no duty to
their parents when such a duty was opposed to the interests of their
souls. According to Gregory the Great, we ought to ignore our parents,
hating them, and flying from them when they are an obstacle to us in
{86} the way of the Lord;[377] and this became the accepted theory of
the Church.[378] But it was not only in similar cases of conflict that
Jesus spoke disparagingly of family ties that previously had been
regarded with religious veneration. In all circumstances the
relationship between child and parent was put in the shade by the
relationship between man and God: "Call no man your father upon the
earth: for one is your Father which is in heaven."[379] And what would
an orthodox Jew have thought if he heard the words: "If any man come
to me and hate not his father and mother, . . . he cannot be my
disciple."[380] In his own conduct he did not always follow the law.
When he, at the age of twelve, went to Jerusalem with his parents at
the feast of the Passover, he tarried behind without their knowledge,
and was found by them in the temple only after three days. The mother
reproved him saying: "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold,
thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing"; but afterwards he "was
subject unto them."[381] Yet on one occasion his brusque treatment of
his mother and brothers surprised the people around him: "There came
then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto
him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto
him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he
answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked
round about them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and
my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my
brother, and my sister, and mother."[382] According to John, the
mother of Jesus was at a marriage in Cana, to which also he and his
disciples were called. "When they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus
saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what
have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." Afterwards,
however, he turned water into wine.[383] Yet in spite of utterances
which must have jarred upon Jewish ears, the fifth commandment was
left formally intact. It was mentioned by Jesus together with the
other commandments which he enumerated in his answer to the man who
asked him what he should do that he might inherit eternal life.[384]

[Footnote 371: Westermarck, _op. cit._ i. 621 _sqq._]

[Footnote 372: _Genesis_ ix. 25 sqq., xxvii. 4, 19, 23, 25, 27 _sqq._,
xlviii. 9, 14 _sqq._, xlix. 4, 7 _sqq._; _Judges_ xvii. 2.]

[Footnote 373: _Ecclesiasticus_ iii. 8 _sq. Cf._ _ibid._ iii. 16.]

[Footnote 374: _Matthew_ xix. 29; _Mark_ x. 29 _sq._;
_Luke_ xviii. 29 _sq._]

[Footnote 375: _Matthew_ x. 34 _sq._; _Luke_ xii. 51-3.]

[Footnote 376: Tertullian, _Apologeticus_, 3.]

[Footnote 377: Gregory the Great, _Homiliæ in Evangelia_, xxxvii. 2
(Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_, lxxvi. 1275).]

[Footnote 378: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 101. 4.]

[Footnote 379: _Matthew_ xxiii. 9.]

[Footnote 380: _Luke_ xiv. 26.]

[Footnote 381: _Ibid._ ii. 42-8, 51.]

[Footnote 382: _Mark_ iii. 31-5. See also _Matthew_ xii. 46-50.]

[Footnote 383: _John_ ii. 1-4, 6, 9.]

[Footnote 384: _Matthew_ xix. 19; _Mark_ x. 19; _Luke_ xviii. 20. See
also _Matthew_ xv. 4; _Mark_ vii. 10.]

{87} In an important point Jesus opposed the Jewish marriage law. In
his teaching concerning divorce he stood up for the interests of the
wife. The right of the husband to divorce his wife at his pleasure was
the central thought in the system of Jewish divorce law, although the
rabbis gradually tempered its severity by certain restrictive
measures. Two restrictions are already found in the Deuteronomic code:
the husband shall not put his wife away all his days if he has falsely
accused her of ante-nuptial incontinence,[385] or if he has ravished
her before marriage;[386] but his loss of the right to divorce her in
these cases was really a penalty inflicted upon him on account of his
own offensive behaviour. To these restrictions the Mishna added a few
others;[387] but in the same period the very theory of the law was
challenged by the school of Shammai, who held that according to
Deuteronomy the husband cannot divorce his wife unless he has found
her guilty of sexual immorality. The ancient doctrine was strongly
supported by the school of Hillel, who went so far as to say that a
man can divorce his wife even for the most trivial reason, for
instance, for spoiling his food or if he sees another woman who
pleases him better. Both schools based their opinions on the same
passage in the Deuteronomic text: "When a man hath taken a wife, and
married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes,
because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her
a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of
his house."[388] But the school of Shammai maintained that the
expression "some uncleanness" (lit. "the nakedness of a thing")
signified sexual immorality; whereas the school of Hillel interpreted
it to mean anything offensive to the husband and, besides, pressed the
clause "if she find no favour in his eyes."[389] In legal respects the
opinion of Hillel prevailed, although divorce without good cause is
said to have been morally disapproved of by the rabbis in

[Footnote 385: _Deuteronomy_ xxii. 13 _sqq._]

[Footnote 386: _Ibid._ xxii. 28 _sq._]

[Footnote 387: D. W. Amram, _The Jewish Law of Divorce according to
Bible and Talmud_ (London, 1897), p. 45 _sq._]

[Footnote 388: _Deuteronomy_ xxiv. 1.]

[Footnote 389: Amram, _op. cit._ p. 32 _sqq._; M. Mielziner, _The
Jewish Law of Marriage and Divorce in Ancient and Modern Times_
(Cincinnati, 1884), p. 118 _sq._; J. Bergel, _Die Eheverhältnisse der
alten Juden_ (Leipzig, 1881), p. 29; S. R. Driver, _A Critical and
Exegetical Commentary on Deuteronomy_ (Edinburgh, 1895), p. 270.]

[Footnote 390: Amram, _op. cit._ pp. 24, 52 _sq._]

In the sayings of Jesus there are various passages bearing upon the
question. A man who puts away his wife and marries {88} another
commits adultery,[391] he who marries a divorced wife is guilty of the
same crime,[392] and so is a woman who puts away her husband and is
married to another man.[393] A man shall cleave to his wife, "they
twain shall be one flesh"; and "what God hath joined together, let no
man put asunder."[394] According to Matthew, however, Jesus, like
Shammai and his school, taught that a man might put away his wife for
fornication, but for no other reason. This exception is considered to
be an interpolation.[395] But Dean Inge asks whether it was not
Christ's method to make statements in an unguarded form, leaving it to
the common sense of his hearers to make the necessary qualifications;
and he thinks it is a tenable view that the case of adultery was not
in the speaker's mind at the time, and even that to a Jew the right of
divorce for adultery might have been too obvious to need
reaffirmation.[396] In any case, though the rule laid down by Jesus
was, from the wife's point of view, a great improvement on the
orthodox Jewish law, its stringency has certainly been a lasting cause
of much matrimonial unhappiness in the Christian world.

[Footnote 391: _Matthew_ v. 32, xix. 9; _Mark_ x. 11; _Luke_ xvi. 18.]

[Footnote 392: _Matthew_ v. 32, xix. 9; _Luke_ xvi. 18.]

[Footnote 393: _Mark_ x. 12.]

[Footnote 394: _Matthew_ xix. 5 _sq._; _Mark_ x. 7-9.]

[Footnote 395: Th. Keim, _The History of Jesus of Nazara_, v (London,
1881), p. 32 _sq._; N. Söderblom, _Jesu bärgspredikan_ (Stockholm,
1899), p. 14 _sq._; K. Lake, _The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul_
(London, 1911), p. 142; F. G. Peabody, _Jesus Christ and the Social
Question_ (New York, 1915), p. 152 _sqq._]

[Footnote 396: Inge, _op. cit._ p. 370.]


THE ETHICS OF JESUS (_concluded_)

THE ethical teaching of Jesus discussed in the two last chapters was
found to be an expression of intense moral emotions in which both the
retributive and the altruistic elements come out very prominently.
Specific religious and eschatological beliefs were blended with the
ideas springing from those emotions. Our duties to neighbours were
founded upon our submission to the will of God,[397] and their
sanctions were rewards or penalties for obedience or disobedience to
his commandments. But those beliefs have not essentially altered the
contents of the commandments, as is testified by the innumerable
parallels between the teaching of Jesus and that of other moralists.
We even find that certain doctrines which had crept into the moral
system of the Jews from their religion, but were alien to the
emotional origin of morals, were opposed by him. This is particularly
apparent in his attitude towards the sabbath.

[Footnote 397: _Cf. Matthew_ vii. .21, xii. 50; _Mark_ iii. 35;
_Luke_ xi. 28.]

It has been alleged that the abundant regulations of the rabbis had
"tended to obscure in the general mind the original character and
intention of the sabbath law."[398] These are evidently supposed to be
explained by the words in the decalogue: "Remember the sabbath day, to
keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the
seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not
do any work. . . . For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the
sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore
the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."[399] It is
evident, however, that the institution of the sabbath was not due to
any idea of giving a weekly day of rest to men and animals, but to the
belief that it was inauspicious or dangerous to work on the seventh
day; and there seems to be no doubt that the reason for this belief
was the mystic connection which in the opinion of the ancient Hebrews
existed between human activity and the changes of the moon. I have
pointed out in another work that such a superstition is found among
{90} many peoples in different parts of the world.[400] It has been
sufficiently demonstrated that the sabbath originally depended upon
the new moon, and this carries with it the assumption that the Hebrews
must at one time have observed a sabbath at intervals of seven days
corresponding to the moon's phases.[401] In the Old Testament the new
moon and the sabbath are repeatedly mentioned side by side;[402] thus
the oppressors of the poor are represented as saying: "When will the
new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may
set forth wheat?"[403] Among modern Jews, at the feast of the new
moon, which is held every month on the first or on the first and
second days of the month, the women are obliged to suspend all servile
work, though the men are not required to interrupt their secular

[Footnote 398: H. H. Henson, _Christian Morality_ (Oxford, 1936),
p. 106.]

[Footnote 399: _Exodus_ xx. 8-11.]

[Footnote 400: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, ii (London, 1917), p. 284 _sqq._]

[Footnote 401: J. Wellhausen, _Prolegomena to the History of Israel_
(London, 1885), p. 112 _sqq._; M. Jastrow, 'The Original Character of
the Hebrew Sabbath,' in _The American Journal of Theology_, ii
(Chicago, 1898), pp. 314, 327; H. Webster, _Rest Days_ (New York,
1916), ch. viii.]

[Footnote 402: _2 Kings_ iv. 23; _Isaiah_ i. 13; _Hosea_ ii. 11.]

[Footnote 403: _Amos_ viii. 5.]

[Footnote 404: J. Allen, _Modern Judaism_ (London, 1830), p. 390 _sq._]

Wellhausen suggested that the rest on the sabbath was originally the
consequence of that day being the festal and sacrificial day of the
week, and only gradually became its essential attribute on account of
the regularity with which it every eighth day interrupted the round of
everyday work. He argues that the sabbath as a day of rest cannot be
very primitive, because such a day "presupposes agriculture and a
tolerably hard-pressed working day-life."[405] But this argument
appears quite untenable when we consider how frequently changes of the
moon are believed to exercise an unfavourable influence upon work of
any kind. That the superstitious fear of doing work on the seventh day
developed into a religious prohibition, is only another instance of
the tendency of magic forces to be transformed into divine volitions.
Like the ancient Hebrews, the Assyrians and Babylonians looked upon
the seventh day as an "evil day"; and though they do not seem
generally to have abstained from work on that day, there were royal
taboos connected with it. The king was not to show himself in his
chariot, not to hold court, not to bring sacrifices, not to change his
clothes, not to eat a good dinner, nor even to curse his enemies.[406]

[Footnote 405: Wellhausen, _op. cit._ p. 114.]

[Footnote 406: E. Schrader, _Die Keilinschriften und das Alte
Testament_, edited by H. Zimmern and H. Winckler (Berlin, 1903),
p. 592 _sq._; H. Hirschfeld, 'Remarks on the Etymology of Sabbāth,'
in _Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_, 1896 (London), p. 358;
Jastrow, _loc. cit._ pp. 320, 328.]

{91} Jesus exasperated the Pharisees by his treatment of the sabbath.
He healed sick people on that day,[407] and defended it himself by
saying that "it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days."[408] When
the Pharisees blamed him for allowing his disciples to pluck the ears
of corn as they went through cornfields on the sabbath, he replied:
"The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. Therefore
the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."[409] In defence of the
Pharisees it has been pointed out that they authorised breaches of the
sabbatic law in certain contingencies; that they "permitted, nay
required, the performance of all necessary works of mercy, but refused
to extend the licence too indiscriminately, and never reconciled
themselves to the theory that in general the performance of a duty
justified the infringement of a prohibition."[410] On such grounds
even the accuracy of the reports concerning the indignant Pharisees
has been called in question. Drews argues that since healing by merely
stretching out one's hand over the patient, as Jesus is said to have
done on the sabbath, was not forbidden by the rabbis, the Pharisees
could not have been "filled with madness" on such an occasion.[411]
But all Pharisees can scarcely be supposed to have been unanimous as
to the emergencies in which the sabbath law might be disregarded; and
Jesus certainly traversed the Pharisaic position when he treated on
the sabbath long-standing diseases, lingering maladies, and,
generally, cases where the treatment could be postponed without fear
of dangerous consequences.[412] We know that the early Christians
considered the sabbath to have been abolished by Christ. Jewish
converts no doubt continued to observe it, but this met with
disapproval. In one of the epistles of Ignatius we find the
exhortation not to "sabbatise," which was expanded by the subsequent
paraphraser of these compositions into a warning against keeping the
sabbath, after the manner of the Jews, "as if delighting in
idleness."[413] And in the fourth century a Council of the Church
enacted that "the {92} Christians ought not to judaise and rest on the
sabbath, but ought to work on that day."[414]

[Footnote 407: _Matthew_ xii. 13, 15; _Mark_ iii. 5; _Luke_ vi. 10,
xiii. 13, xiv. 4.]

[Footnote 408: _Matthew_ xii. 12. See also _Luke_ xiv. 3.]

[Footnote 409: _Mark_ ii. 23, 24, 27 _sq._ See also _Matthew_ xii. 1,
2, 8; _Luke_ vi. 1, 2, 5.]

[Footnote 410: I. Abrahams, _Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels_,
1st series (Cambridge, 1917), p. 135.]

[Footnote 411: A. Drews, _The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus_
(London, 1912), p. 236.]

[Footnote 412: Abrahams, _op. cit._ p. 135.]

[Footnote 413: Ignatius, _Epistola ad Magnesias_, 9; E. V. Neale,
_Feasts and Fasts_ (London, 1845), p. 89.]

[Footnote 414: _Concilium Laodicenum_, can. 29 (Labbe-Mansi, _Sacrorum
Conciliorum collectio_, ii. 580).]

Nor was the Christian Sunday originally in any way a substitute for
the Jewish sabbath. It was from early times a recognised custom among
the Christians to celebrate the first day of the week in memory of
Christ's resurrection by holding a form of religious service; but
there was no sabbatic regard for it, and it was chiefly looked upon as
a day of rejoicing.[415] Tertullian is the first writer who speaks of
abstinence from secular care and labour on Sunday as a duty incumbent
upon Christians, lest they should "give place to the devil."[416] But
it is extremely doubtful whether the earliest Sunday law really had a
Christian origin. In 321 the Emperor Constantine issued an edict to
the effect that all judges and all city people and tradesmen should
rest on "the venerable Day of the Sun," whereas those living in the
country should have full liberty to attend to the culture of their
fields, "since it frequently happens that no other day is so fit for
the sowing of grain or the planting of vines."[417] In this rescript
nothing is said of any relation to Christianity, nor do we know that
it in any way was due to Christian influence.[418] It seems that
Constantine, in his capacity of Pontifex Maximus, only added the day
of the sun--whose worship was the characteristic of the new
paganism--to those inauspicious days, _religiosi dies_, which the
Romans of old regarded as unsuitable for worldly business and
especially for judicious proceedings.[419]

[Footnote 415: Justin Martyr, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 67;
_Didache_, 14; Barnabas, _Epistola catholica_, 15; Ph. Schaff,
_History of the Christian Church: Anti-Nicene Christianity_
(Edinburgh, 1884), p. 202 _sqq._; J. A. Hessey, _Sunday_ (London,
1889), p. 29 _sqq._]

[Footnote 416: Tertullian, _De oratione_, 23.]

[Footnote 417: _Codex Justinianus_, iii. 12. 2 (3).]

[Footnote 418: _Cf._ A. H. Lewis, _A Critical History of Sunday
Legislation_ (New York, 1888), p. 18 _sqq._; H. H. Milman, _History of
Latin Christianity_, ii (London, 1867), p. 291 _sq._]

[Footnote 419: Gellius, _Noctes Atticæ_, iv. 9. 5, vi. 9. 10; Varro,
_De lingua Latina_, vi. 30; Neale, _op. cit._ pp. 5, 6, 86, 87, 206;
W. W. Fowler, _The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic_
(London, 1899), p. 8 _sq._ The Greeks, also, had "unblest and
inauspicious" days, when no court or assembly was to be held, and work
was to be abstained from (Plato, _Leges_, vii. 800; R. Karsten,
_Studies in Primitive Greek Religion_ [_Öfversigt af Finska
Vetenskaps-Societetens Förhandlingar_, xlix, Helsingfors, 1906-1907,
no. 1], p. 90).]

But although the obligatory Sunday rest in no case was a continuance
of the Jewish sabbath, it was gradually confounded with it, owing to
the recognition of the decalogue, with its {93} injunction of a weekly
day of rest, as the code of divine morality. From the sixth century
upwards vexatious restrictions were made by civil rulers, councils,
and ecclesiastical writers,[420] until in Puritanism the Christian
Sunday became a perfect image of the Pharisaic sabbath, or even
excelled it in the rigour with which abstinence from every kind of
worldly activity was insisted upon. The theory that the keeping holy
of one day out of seven is the essence of the fourth commandment
reconciled people to the fact that the Jewish sabbath was the seventh
day and Sunday the first. In England, in the seventeenth century,
persons were punished for carrying coal on Sunday, for hanging out
clothes to dry, for travelling on horseback, for rural strolls and
walking about.[421] And there were Scotch clergymen who taught their
congregations that on that day it was sinful even to save a vessel in
distress.[422] Until quite recently the Scottish Sunday was observed
with amazing rigour. Not only were ordinary recreations disallowed,
but a ban was put even upon books and music, except such as were
recognised as religious in the narrow sense. Indeed, no recreation
remained but whisky-drinking; and a writer in Hastings' _Encyclopædia
of Religion_ attributes a great part of the drunkenness which is still
common in Scotland to this strange Sabbatarianism.

[Footnote 420:  Hessey, _op. cit._ p. 87 _sqq._]

[Footnote 421: G. Roberts, _The Social History of the People of the
Southern Counties of England in Past Centuries_ (London, 1856), p. 244

[Footnote 422: H. T. Buckle, _History of Civilization in England_,
iii (London, 1894), p. 276.]

Jesus inaugurated his ministry by a fast of forty days;[423] the Jews
associated fasting with divine revelations.[424] It also held a
prominent position in Jewish ritual and in the Christian Church as
well; but it is seldom mentioned by Jesus, though allusions to it have
been interpolated in several places in later manuscripts of the New
Testament.[425] To some extent he took it for granted. He said to his
disciples: "When ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad
countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto
men to fast. . . . But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and
wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy
Father which is in secret."[426] He speaks with scorn of the {94}
Pharisee who "stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee,
that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers. . .
. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess."[427]
It was objected to Jesus that while the disciples of John and the
Pharisees used to fast, his disciples did not fast. Jesus replied:
"Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is
with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot
fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away
from them, and then shall they fast in those days."[428] Fasting after
a death is a widespread practice,[429] and is also mentioned in the
Old Testament. David and his people fasted for Saul and Jonathan until
even on the day when the news of their death arrived.[430]

[Footnote 423: _Matthew_ iv. 2; _Luke_ iv. 2.]

[Footnote 424: _Exodus_ xxxiv. 28; _Deuteronomy_ ix. 9; _Daniel_
ix. 3.]

[Footnote 425: _Matthew_ xvii. 21; _Mark_ ix. 29; _Acts_ x. 30; _1
Corinthians_ vii. 5. See W. R. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Modern
Problems_ (London, 1932), p. 98. The word "fasting" has been omitted
in the Revised Edition.]

[Footnote 426: _Matthew_ vi. 16-18.]

[Footnote 427: _Luke_ xviii. 11 _sq._]

[Footnote 428: _Mark_ ii. 18-20. See also _Matthew_ ix. 14 _sq._;
_Luke_ v. 33-5.]

[Footnote 429: Westermarck, _op. cit._ ii. 298 _sqq._]

[Footnote 430: _2 Samuel_ i. 12. _Cf. ibid._ iii. 35.]

Jesus was not an ascetic like John the Baptist, who lived in the
wilderness clothed with camel's hair and neither ate bread nor drank
wine, but subsisted on locusts and wild honey.[431] He "came eating
and drinking" and was even accused of being "a gluttonous man and a
winebibber" who ate and drank with publicans and sinners.[432] He
accepted invitations of Pharisees to dine in their houses, and
according to John he was present at a wedding where he turned water
into wine.[433] But he led a very simple wandering life, indifferent
to all comfort. When a certain man came and said that he wished to
follow him wherever he went, Jesus replied: "The foxes have holes, and
the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to
lay his head."[434] And when he sent his disciples to preach the
kingdom of God and to heal the sick, he said to them: "Provide neither
gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your
journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves"; but
admonished them to rely upon private hospitality.[435] On another
occasion he said to his disciples: "Take no thought for your life,
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what
ye shall put on. . . . For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have
need of all these things."[436]

[Footnote 431: _Matthew_ iii. 1, 4; _Mark_ i. 4, 6; _Luke_ iii. 2,
vii. 33.]

[Footnote 432: _Matthew_ ix. 10 _sq._, xi. 19; _Mark_ ii. 15 _sq._;
_Luke_ v. 29 _sq._, vii. 34.]

[Footnote 433: _John_ ii. 1, 6-9.]

[Footnote 434: _Matthew_ viii. 19 _sq._; _Luke_ ix. 57 _sq._]

[Footnote 435: _Matthew_ x. 5, 9-11; _Mark_ vi. 7-10; _Luke_ ix. 2-4.]

[Footnote 436: _Matthew_ vi. 25, 32; _Luke_ xii. 22, 30.]

{95} In the opinion of Jesus wealth is of no value to a man but a
peril: "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he
cannot be my disciple."[437] "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the
kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be
filled. . . . But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received
your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall
hunger."[438] "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the
kingdom of God! . . . It is easier for a camel to go through the eye
of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of
God."[439] The beggar Lazarus died, "and was carried by the angels
into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried. And in
hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar
off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham,
have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his
finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst
thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is
comforted, and thou art tormented."[440]

[Footnote 437: _Luke_ xiv. 33.]

[Footnote 438: _Ibid._ vi. 20, 21, 24 _sq._ Matthew (v. 3, 6) writes
"the poor in spirit" and "they which do hunger and thirst after

[Footnote 439: _Mark_ x. 23, 25; _Matthew_ xix. 23 _sq._; _Luke_
xviii. 24 _sq._]

[Footnote 440: _Luke_ xvi. 22-5.]

Jesus speaks of the folly of hoarding in the parable of the rich man
who built greater barns: "God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy
soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be,
which thou hast provided?"[441]  Moreover, the end of the world was at
hand: "Ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man
cometh."[442] The attitude of Jesus towards wealth was also connected
with the idea that we ought to give in charity any superfluity of what
we possess.[443] But the principal reason why Jesus was so severe upon
the rich was the nothingness of all earthly possessions and their
imperilling the soul. "He that layeth up treasure for himself . . . is
not rich toward God."[444] "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon
earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break
through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . .
. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. . . . No
man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love
the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the {96}
other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."[445] "What shall it profit a
man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"[446]

[Footnote 441: _Ibid._ xii. 20.]

[Footnote 442: _Matthew_ xxv. 13.]

[Footnote 443: _Luke_ xii. 33. See also _supra_, p. 79.]

[Footnote 444: _Luke_ xii. 21.]

[Footnote 445: _Matthew_ vi. 19-21, 24, See also _Luke_ xvi. 13.]

[Footnote 446: _Mark_ viii. 36. See also _Matthew_ xvi. 26; _Luke_
ix. 25.]

This disdain for temporal anxieties and worldly goods has taken us to
a new department in the ethics of Jesus, where the determining factor
is no longer the natural constitution of the moral consciousness, but
the influence of specific religious ideas. Such influence is also
apparent in the importance which he attached to certain ritual
practices, contrary to his disregard of certain others, such as the
keeping of the sabbath, fasting, and sacrifice: "I will have mercy,
and not sacrifice."[447] Prayer holds a very prominent position in his
teaching: "Men ought always to pray, and not to faint."[448] "All
things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall
receive."[449] "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall
find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that
asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
knocketh it shall be opened."[450] "But when ye pray, use not vain
repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be
heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for
your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name"; and so forth.[451] Isaiah also condemned those
who did honour to the Lord with their lips, but had removed their
heart far from him.[452]

[Footnote 447: _Matthew_ ix. 13, xii. 7.]

[Footnote 448: _Luke_ xviii. 1. See also _ibid._ xxi. 36.]

[Footnote 449: _Matthew_ xxi. 22.]

[Footnote 450: _Ibid._ vii. 7 _sq._; _Luke_ xi. 9 _sq._]

[Footnote 451: _Matthew_ vi. 7-13.]

[Footnote 452: _Isaiah_ xxix. 13 _sq._]

Prayer is an act of humility, and the spirit of humility pervades the
teaching of Jesus throughout: "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in
heaven. . . For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever."[453] "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the
earth."[454] "Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he
that shall humble himself shall be exalted."[455] It has been said
that there is no more distinguishing mark of Christian ethics than
humility.[456] But it was also insisted upon by the Prophets. Micah
said: "What {97} doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."[457]

[Footnote 453: _Matthew_ vi. 10, 13; _Luke_ xi. 2.]

[Footnote 454: _Matthew_ v. 5.]

[Footnote 455: _Ibid._ xxiii. 12; _Luke_ xiv. 11.]

[Footnote 456: J. Stalker, _The Ethic of Jesus_ (London, 1909), p. 210.]

[Footnote 457: _Micah_ vi. 8.]

Prayer and humility presuppose faith, which was stressed by the
Prophets,[458] and assumed pre-eminence in the teaching of Jesus. "The
apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith"; and he answered: "If
ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this
sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in
the sea; and it should obey you."[459] When Jesus caused a fig-tree
which had leaves but no fruit suddenly to wither away, the disciples
who saw it marvelled and said: "How soon is the fig-tree withered
away." Jesus answered and said to them: "Verily I say unto you, If ye
have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to
the fig-tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou
removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. . . . And
nothing shall be impossible unto you."[460]

[Footnote 458: _Isaiah_ vii. 9: "If ye will not believe, surely ye
shall not be established"; _ibid._ xxviii. 16: "He that believeth
shall not make haste"; _ibid._ xxx. 15: "Thus saith the Lord God, the
Holy One of Israel; . . . in quietness and in confidence shall be your
strength"; _Habakkuk_ ii. 4: "The just shall live by his faith."]

[Footnote 459: _Luke_ xvii. 5 _sq._]

[Footnote 460: _Matthew_ xxi. 19-22, xvii. 20. See also _Mark_
xi. 22 _sq._]

Jesus particularly often speaks of faith in connection with his
miracles. When he had entered into Capernaum, a centurion came and
said to him: "Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy,
grievously tormented." Jesus answered that he would come and heal him.
The centurion said: "I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my
roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I
am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this
man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my
servant, Do this, and he doeth it." When Jesus heard this, he
marvelled and said to the people who followed him: "Verily I say unto
you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." And he said
to the centurion: "Go thy way; and as thou has believed, so be it done
unto thee." And the servant was healed at once.[461]

[Footnote 461: _Matthew_ viii. 5-10, 13. See also _Luke_ vii. 1-10.]

A woman who was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years came
behind Jesus and touched the hem of his garment, saying within
herself: "If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole." Jesus
turned round, and when he saw her he said: "Daughter, be of good
comfort; thy faith hath made {98} thee whole." And the woman was made
whole from that hour.[462]

[Footnote 462: _Matthew_ ix. 20-2. See also _Mark_ v. 25-34; _Luke_
viii. 43-8.]

Two blind men asked Jesus to have mercy on them. He asked them:
"Believe ye that I am able to do this?" They answered: "Yea, Lord."
Then he touched their eyes, saying: "According to your faith be it
unto you." And their eyes were opened.[463]

[Footnote 463: _Matthew_ ix. 27-30.]

The woman of Canaan, mentioned above, whose daughter was vexed with a
devil and who implored Jesus to heal her, but was rebuffed by him with
the words, "It is not meet to take the children's bread and to cast it
to dogs," replied: "Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which
fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus said to her: "O woman,
great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt." And her
daughter was made whole from that very hour.[464]

[Footnote 464: _Supra_, p. 74 _sq._; _Matthew_ xv. 22-8. See also
_Mark_ vii. 25-30, where Jesus is reported to have said, not "Great is
thy faith," but, "For this saying go thy way."]

Once when Jesus was in a house preaching and there were many people
gathered, four men came carrying a man sick of the palsy, but could
not make their way through the crowd. They then uncovered the roof
where he was, and when they had broken it up they let down the bed in
which the sick man lay. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the
sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee." Some of the
scribes sitting there reasoned in their hearts: "Why doth this man
thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" Then
Jesus, who read their thoughts, said: "That ye may know that the Son
of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of
the palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy
way into thine house." And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and
went forth before them all.[465]

[Footnote 465: _Mark_ ii. 1-12. See also _Matthew_ ix. 2-7;
_Luke_ v. 17-25.]

A man brought to Jesus his son who had been vexed with a dumb spirit
since he was a child. He had spoken to the disciples that they should
cast him out, but they could not, and now he implored Jesus, saying:
"If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us."
Jesus answered: "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him
that believeth." Straightway the father of the child cried out, and
said with tears: "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." And Jesus
cast the devil out. When the disciples asked him why they could not do
it, Jesus answered, according to Mark: {99} "This kind can come forth
by nothing, but by prayer and fasting"; and according to Matthew:
"Because of your unbelief. . . . Howbeit this kind goeth not out but
by prayer and fasting."[466] But in these cases the word "fasting" is
an interpolation.[467]

[Footnote 466: _Mark_ ix. 17-29; _Matthew_ xvii. 14-21.]

[Footnote 467: _Supra_, p. 93.]

A blind man came to Jesus, who asked him: "What wilt thou that I
should do unto thee?" The blind man answered: "Lord, that I might
receive my sight." Jesus said to him: "Go thy way; thy faith hath made
you whole." And immediately he received his sight.[468]

[Footnote 468: _Mark_ x. 46-52. See also _Luke_ xviii. 35-43.]

A man who was a ruler of the synagogue fell down at Jesus' feet, and
besought him that he would come into his house, because he had a young
daughter who was dying; but the people thronged him. Then there came
some one from his house and said to him: "Thy daughter is dead;
trouble not the Master." But when Jesus heard it he said: "Fear not:
believe only, and she shall be made whole." When he came into the
house he "took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And
her spirit came again, and she arose straightway."[469]

[Footnote 469: _Luke_ viii. 41, 42, 49-51, 54 _sq._ See also
_Mark_ v. 35, 36, 39, 41 _sq._]

When Jesus entered into a certain village ten lepers met him, and,
standing afar off, cried out: "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." When
he saw them he said to them: "Go shew yourselves unto the priests." As
they went they were cleansed. But one of them, who was a Samaritan,
when he saw that he was healed, turned back and glorified God with a
loud voice and fell down on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him
thanks. Jesus said to him: "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are
the nine? . . . Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."[470]

[Footnote 470: _Luke_ xvii. 12-17, 19.]

When Jesus was dining in a Pharisee's house, a woman who was a sinner
brought an alabaster box of ointment, and, standing behind him
weeping, began to wash his feet with tears, wiped them with the hair
of her head, kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now
the Pharisee spoke within himself: "This man, if he were a prophet,
would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth
him: for she is a sinner." Jesus turned to the woman, and said to the
Pharisee: "Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou
gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with
tears, and wiped them with the hairs of {100} her head. Thou gavest me
no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to
kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman
hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her
sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom
little is forgiven, the same loveth little." And he said to her: "Thy
sins are forgiven. . . . Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."[471]

[Footnote 471: _Luke_ vii. 36-9, 44-8, 50.]

Faith, then, is said to enable a person to work miracles, and to be a
ground for the remission of sins and a cure for sickness. Faith in
whom or in what? It has been alleged that Jesus nearly always uses the
word with the meaning of trust in the power and goodness of God.[472]
In proof of this reference is made to the stories of the centurion
whose servant was ill, of the four men who carried to Jesus the
paralytic, and of the woman whose faith was shown by her answer that
the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. In
these, and in the other cases of faith recorded in connection with his
miracles, I can find nothing more than the belief that Jesus could
cure sickness or forgive sins. This is particularly obvious from the
question he put to the two blind men, "Believe ye that I am able to do
this?" and from their eyes being opened immediately after their
answer, "Yea, Lord." On several occasions the faith was not even
displayed by the person who was cured, but by the supplicant.

[Footnote 472: W. Morgan, 'Faith (Christian),' in J. Hastings,
_Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, v (Edinburgh, 1912), p. 689.]

In any case faith, whether in God or in Jesus, is no moral quality,
since the proper object of moral judgment is always the will; and the
reward for it is therefore no moral reward, but only a favour. At the
same time there can be no objection to such a favour from the moral
point of view; whereas the case is quite different with the
condemnation or punishment of the absence of faith. Of this little is
heard in the sayings of Jesus reported in the synoptic gospels, but we
nevertheless find there the germ of a doctrine which subsequently
assumed enormous importance in Christian theology. He said: "Whosoever
. . . shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my
Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him
will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."[473] Dean
Rashdall suggests that here the representation of the evangelists may
have been more or less coloured by the later belief of Christ's
followers and by the teaching of Paul and the {101} whole early Church
as to the importance of faith in Christ.[474] Jesus is also reported
to have said: "He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but
he that believeth not shall be damned."[475] Such reflection on the
necessity of baptism betrays the relatively late origin of the
passage; and it is known not to have been an original part of Mark's
gospel.[476] If Jesus had regarded salvation as conditional on belief
in his Messiahship we might expect him to have emphasised it. This is
what he did according to John.[477] But, as said above, the fourth
gospel cannot be recognised as a reliable source of information about
the teaching of Jesus.

[Footnote 473: _Matthew_ x. 32 _sq._ See also _Luke_ xii. 8 _sq._]

[Footnote 474: H. Rashdall, _The Idea of Atonement in Christian
Theology_ (London, 1919), p. 21.]

[Footnote 475: _Mark_ xvi. 16.]

[Footnote 476: J. V. Bartlet, 'Baptism (New Testament),' in Hastings,
__op. cit.__ ii (1909), p. 376.]

[Footnote 477: _John_ iii. 15, 16, 18, 36, vi. 40, 47, viii. 24, xx.
31, etc.]



THERE was once a great persecution against the church at Jerusalem. A
young man, whose name was Saul, then entered into every house, and
haling men and women committed them to prison. After that he went to
the high priest and desired of him letters to Damascus to the
synagogues, that if he found there any disciples of the Lord, whether
they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he
journeyed he came near Damascus; and suddenly there shone round about
him a light from heaven. He fell to the ground, and heard a voice
saying to him: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" He said: "Who
art thou, Lord?" He heard the answer: "I am Jesus whom thou
persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." He said,
astonished and trembling: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" The
answer was: "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee
what thou must do." The men who journeyed with him stood speechless,
hearing a voice but seeing no man. When Saul rose from the ground he
was blind, and was led by them and brought into Damascus. There was in
the city a certain disciple, named Ananias, who also had a vision in
which Jesus commanded him to go and inquire for a man called Saul, of
Tarsus. "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the
Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." Ananias went to the
house where Saul was staying, put his hands on him, and told him that
Jesus had sent him, that Saul might receive his sight, and be filled
with the Holy Ghost. Immediately there fell from his eyes as it had
been scales. He arose and was baptised, and preached straightway in
the synagogues that Christ was the Son of God.[478]

[Footnote 478: _Acts_ viii. 1, 3, ix. 1 _sqq._]

There are in the Acts two other accounts of the vision and conversion
of Paul, represented as speeches delivered by himself.[479] In one of
them, that addressed to King Agrippa, Ananias is not mentioned at all,
but Jesus is alleged to have said to Paul: "I have appeared unto thee
for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these
things which thou {103} hast seen, and of those things in the which I
will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the
Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn
them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God,
that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them
which are sanctified by faith that is in me." In his epistles Paul
does not describe his vision, but insists that he has received the
gospel by the revelation of Jesus Christ, "when it pleased God, who
separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To
reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen."[480]
He also writes: "Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen
Jesus Christ our Lord?"[481] And after pointing out that Jesus was
seen by all the apostles he adds: "And last of all he was seen of me
also, as of one born out of due time."[482]

[Footnote 479: _Ibid._ xxii. 6 _sqq._, xxvi. 12 _sqq._]

[Footnote 480:  _Galatians_ i. 11, 12, 15 _sq._]

[Footnote 481: _1 Corinthians_ ix. 1.]

[Footnote 482: _Ibid._ xv. 7 _sq._]

From all these accounts it is obvious that Paul's conversion was due
to a vision in which he believed himself to have seen Christ risen in
celestial glory; he was evidently predisposed to visions and
trances.[483] His vision of the risen Christ belonged to a type which
is familiar to students of modern conversions, in which a complete
division is established in the twinkling of an eye between the old
life and the new. Those who have had such an experience carry away a
feeling of its being a miracle. Voices are often heard, lights are
seen, or visions are witnessed, and it always seems, after the
surrender of the personal will, as if an extraneous higher power had
flooded in and taken possession of the person, as if he were partaking
directly of Christ's substance, as if the deity were present in him.
Of this he has a joyous conviction, which has been called faith _par
excellence_.[484] According to James, the most striking conversions of
that kind have been permanent.[485] So also Starbuck has found that
"the effect of conversion is to bring with it a changed attitude
towards life, which is fairly constant and permanent, although the
feelings fluctuate. . . . The persons who have passed through
conversions, having once taken a stand for the religious life, tend to
feel themselves identified with it, no matter how much their religious
enthusiasm declines."[486]

[Footnote 483: _Acts_ xvi. 9, xxii. 17 _sq._, xxiii. 11, xxvii. 23
_sq._; _2 Corinthians_ xii. 1 _sqq._; _Galatians_ ii. 2.]

[Footnote 484: W. James, _The Varieties of Religious Experience_
(London, etc., 1903), ch. x _passim_.]

[Footnote 485: _Ibid._ pp. 257, 268.]

[Footnote 486: E. D. Starbuck, _The Psychology of Religion_ (London,
1899), pp. 360, 357.]

{104} Of all these characteristics of conversion there is evidence in
Paul's own sayings: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature."[487] "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet
not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the
flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave
himself for me."[488] "In him we live, and move, and have our
being."[489] "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the
Spirit is life because of righteousness."[490] "We have the mind of
Christ."[491] "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you."[492] "To me to live is Christ."[493]
According to Deissmann, the formula "in Christ" or "in the Lord" is
found 164 times in the Pauline epistles.[494] The most conspicuous
characteristic of all the elements of the conversion crisis is the
ecstasy of happiness produced.[495] And Paul speaks again and again of
the joy of faith, and exhorts his disciples to rejoice.[496] He says
that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith."[497] He speaks of "long-suffering with
joyfulness";[498] and after recording his own torments and perils he
writes: "I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for
when I am weak, then am I strong."[499]

[Footnote 487: _2 Corinthians_ v. 17. See also _Galatians_ vi. 15;
_Colossians_ iii. 10; _Ephesians_ iv. 24.]

[Footnote 488: _Galatians_ ii. 20.]

[Footnote 489: _Acts_ xvii. 28.]

[Footnote 490: _Romans_ viii. 9 _sq._]

[Footnote 491: _1 Corinthians_ ii. 16.]

[Footnote 492: _Ibid._ iii. 16.]

[Footnote 493: _Philippians_ i. 21.]

[Footnote 494: G. A. Deissmann, _Paulus. Eine kultur- und
religionsgeschichtliche Skizze_ (Tübingen, 1925), p. 111.]

[Footnote 495: James, _op. cit._ p. 254; A. C. Underwood, _Conversion:
Christian and Non-Christian_ (London, 1925), p. 153 _sqq._]

[Footnote 496: _Romans_ xii. 12, xiv. 17, xv. 13; _2 Corinthians_
i. 24, ii. 3, vi. 10, viii. 2; _Philippians_ i. 25, ii. 17 _sq._,
iii. 1, iv. 4; _1 Thessalonians_ v. 16.]

[Footnote 497: _Galatians_ v. 22.]

[Footnote 498: _Colossians_ i. 11. See also _ibid._ i. 24.]

[Footnote 499: _2 Corinthians_ xi. 23-33, xii. 10.]

Faith in Jesus Christ is the keystone of Paul's whole teaching. But
this faith was not a belief in his miracles, nor even a belief in his
Messiahship. In his estimation Christ was a divine being in whom
"dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,"[500] "the image" of
God,[501] and "the firstborn of every creature,"[502] "the Son" of
God[503] who "sitteth on the right hand of God."[504] And the Christ
who had revealed himself {105} to Paul in his glory was the crucified
and risen Christ, whom he now knew as a saviour, and whose message he
felt called to preach to the world. As Christ had risen from the
grave, so also those who through their belief in it were possessed by
him would rise and be justified. Jesus our Lord "was delivered for our
offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus
Christ. . . . Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from
wrath through him . . . by whom we have now received the
atonement."[505] "Since by man came death, by man came also the
resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ
shall all be made alive."[506] "He which raised up the Lord Jesus
shall raise up us also by Jesus."[507] "When Christ, who is our life,
shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."[508] "Some
man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they
come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it
die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall
be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his
own body. . . . So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in
corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it
is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; It
is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. . . . The
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and
we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality."[509]

[Footnote 500: _Colossians_ ii. 9.]

[Footnote 501: _Ibid._ i. 15, iii. 10; _2 Corinthians_ iv. 4.]

[Footnote 502: _Colossians_ i. 15.]

[Footnote 503: _Ibid._ i. 13; _Galatians_ ii. 20.]

[Footnote 504: _Colossians_ iii. 1. _Cf. Ephesians_ i. 20.]

[Footnote 505: _Romans_ iv. 25, v. 1, 9, 11.]

[Footnote 506: _1 Corinthians_ xv. 21 _sq._]

[Footnote 507: _2 Corinthians_ iv. 14.]

[Footnote 508: _Colossians_ iii. 4.]

[Footnote 509: _1 Corinthians_ xv. 35-8, 42-4, 52 _sq._]

By faith every one will be saved. The gospel of Christ "is the power
of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first,
and also to the Greek. . . . For the same Lord over all is rich unto
all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved."[510] God "hath made of one blood all nations of
men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. . . . That they should
seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him."[511]
"There is no respect of persons with God."[512] "There is neither Jew
nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor
female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus";[513] "Christ {106} is
all, and in all."[514] And Paul had been commanded to "be the minister
of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God."[515]

[Footnote 510: _Romans_ i. 16, x. 12 _sq._]

[Footnote 511: _Acts_ xvii. 26 _sq._]

[Footnote 512: _Romans_ ii. 11.]

[Footnote 513: _Galatians_ iii. 28. See also _Colossians_ iii. 11.]

[Footnote 514: _Colossians_ iii. 11.]

[Footnote 515: _Romans_ xv. 16. See also _Galatians_ i. 16;
_Ephesians_ iii. 6.]

For this task he was pre-eminently suited. True, he was a Jew of the
tribe of Benjamin,[516] "a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee."[517] As
Deissmann remarks, he "never departed from the national and religious
communion of his people; he retained with pride the name Hebrew, and
the even more significant names Israelite and Seed of Abraham, just as
he also reckoned himself one of the Israel of God."[518] He calls even
the unconverted Jews "my brethren, my kinsmen according to the
flesh";[519] he could write that unto the Jews be became as a Jew that
he might gain the Jews, "to them that are under the law, as under the
law";[520] he constantly makes quotations from the Old Testament. But
he was a native of Tarsus in Cilicia,[521] a Græco-Roman town, and
spent most of his life before his conversion there; and he was a Roman

[Footnote 516: _Romans_ xi. 1; _Philippians_ iii. 5.]

[Footnote 517: _Acts_ xxiii. 6; _Philippians_ iii. 5.]

[Footnote 518: Deissmann, _op. cit._ p. 77.]

[Footnote 519: _Romans_ ix. 3.]

[Footnote 520: _1 Corinthians_ ix. 20.]

[Footnote 521: _Acts_ xxii. 3.]

[Footnote 522: _Ibid._ xvi. 37, xxii. 25, 27, 29, xxiii. 27.]

At the beginning of our era Tarsus was a city of considerable
importance, which had reached a position of high standing on account
of its intellectual life and the general love of knowledge displayed
by his inhabitants. It had a university which was a centre of
Hellenistic philosophy, and even surpassed those of Athens and
Alexandria in respect of the eagerness of its students and in filling
its classroom with its own people, though it did not surpass them in
equipment or in standing and fame as a seat of learning.[523] In
Tarsus Paul came from his early boyhood in close contact with the
Græco-Roman world. He was a man of education, who had received a Greek
training. Greek was the only language which he used in his epistles,
and he read his Old Testament first and chiefly in Greek translation.
Even though it cannot be proved that he possessed such accurate
knowledge of Greek literature and philosophy as some of the Church
Fathers have attributed to him,[524] he did not hesitate to enter into
discussion with persons trained in Greek philosophy.[525] It is of
particular interest to note that a famous philosopher, Athenodorus (74
B.C.-A.D. 7), who had influenced {107} considerably the thought of
Seneca, had lived in Tarsus very near the time of which we are
speaking, and whose teaching was undoubtedly influential in the
university of Tarsus after his death.[526] There is reason to believe
that Paul was brought up in a society which was permeated by
Stoicism.[527] It is not improbable that his conversion, as has been
found to be the case with other religious conversions,[528] was
connected with a previous preparation for it in his own mind in the
form of a subconscious incubation which, when ripe, burst into flower.
If so, it is no wonder that he freed Christianity from its
nationalistic fetters, and transformed it into a world-religion of

[Footnote 523: Strabo, iv. 10. 13, p. 674; W. Ramsay, _The Cities of
St. Paul_ (London, 1907), p. 232 _sq._]

[Footnote 524: Socrates, _Historia ecclesiastica_, iii. 16.]

[Footnote 525: _Acts_ xvii. 18 _sqq._]

[Footnote 526: Ramsay, _op. cit._ p. 217 _sqq._]

[Footnote 527: See E. V. Arnold, _Roman Stoics_ (Cambridge, 1911),
p. 24.]

[Footnote 528: James, _op. cit._ p. 230.]

In Greece, philosophers had long before opposed national narrowness
and prejudice. Democritus of Abdera said that every country is
accessible to a wise man, and that a good soul's fatherland is the
whole earth.[529] The same view was expressed by Theodorus, one of the
later Cyrenaics, who denounced devotion to country as ridiculous.[530]
The Cynics in particular, attached slight value to the citizenship of
any special state, declaring themselves to be citizens of the
world.[531] But, as Zeller observes, in the mouth of the Cynic this
doctrine was meant to express not so much the essential oneness of all
mankind, as the philosopher's independence of country and home.[532]
It was the Stoic philosophy that first gave to the idea of a
world-citizenship a definite positive meaning, and raised it to
historical importance. The citizen of Alexander's huge empire had in a
way become a citizen of the world; and national dislikes were so much
more readily overcome since the various nationalities comprised in it
were united not only under a common government but also in a common
culture.[533] Indeed, the founder of Stoicism was himself only half a
Greek. But there is also an intrinsic connection between the
cosmopolitan idea and the Stoic system in general. According to the
Stoics, human society has for its basis the identity of reason in
individuals; hence we have no ground for limiting this society to a
single nation. We are all, says Seneca, members of one great body,
{108} the universe; "we are all akin by Nature, who has formed us of
the same elements, and placed us here together for the same end."[534]
As Marcus Aurelius puts it, "the world is in a manner a state,"
including all rational beings, to which the individual states are
related as the houses of a city are to the city collectively.[535] And
the wise man will esteem it far above any particular community in
which the accident of birth has placed him.[536]

[Footnote 529: Stobæus, _Florilegium_, xl. 7, vol. ii. 80. _Cf._ P.
Natorp, _Die Ethika des Demokritos_ (Marburg, 1893), p. 117, n. 41.]

[Footnote 530: Diogenes Laertius, _Vitæ philosophorum_, ii. 98 _sq._]

[Footnote 531: _Ibid._ vi. 12, 63, 72, 98; Epictetus,
_Dissertationes_, iii. 24. 66; Stobæus, xlv. 28, vol. ii. 252.]

[Footnote 532: E. Zeller, _Socrates and the Socratic Schools_ (London
1855), p. 326 _sq._; _idem_, _The Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics_
(London, 1892), p. 327.]

[Footnote 533: _Cf._ Plutarch, _De Alexandri Magni fortuna aut
virtute_, i. 6, p. 329.]

[Footnote 534: Seneca, _Epistulæ_, xcv. 52.]

[Footnote 535: Marcus Aurelius, _Commentarii_, iii. 11, iv. 4.]

[Footnote 536: Seneca, _De otio_, iv. 1; _idem_, _Epistulæ_,
lxviii. 2; Epictetus, _Dissertationes_ iii. 22. 83 _sqq._]

Besides Stoic influence there may have been another cause that made
for the universalising of Christianity, namely the Logos-doctrine, of
which elements are clearly discernible in the Pauline epistles; it is
difficult to doubt that this doctrine influenced his conception of
Christ. It could look back to a long history, but assumed definite
shape as a metaphysical theory particularly in the religious
philosophy of Philo Judæus of Alexandria, who was a contemporary of
Jesus. According to this theory nobody can approach God--the
immaterial, unknowable, ineffable, self-existent Being. Nor was it
possible that God should intervene directly in the process of
creation; only indirectly could his function as cause of the universe
be accomplished. God proceeded therefore according to a plan. He made
use of an image of his own essence, an ideal image that remains
intimately united with himself. The universe comes into existence
through the instrumentality of this divine mediator. All that it
possesses of spirit, soul, of forms and values, of patterns and ideas,
issues from, or is rooted in, the supreme Reason, the Logos. The term
_Logos_ stood for many things, but in the teaching of Philo it was the
equivalent of the world's wisdom or the world's image.[537] And in
this sense it appears in Pauline literature. Jesus is spoken of as
"the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For
by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in
earth, visible and invisible."[538]

[Footnote 537: A. Aall, _The Hellenistic Elements in Christianity_
(London, 1931), pp. 57-9, 62 _sq._]

[Footnote 538: _Colossians_ i. 15 _sq._ See also _supra_, p. 104.]

Paul looked upon the process of redemption as a mystery. He declares
that the wisdom he speaks of is "not the wisdom of this world," but
"the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God
ordained before the world unto our glory. . . . Let no man deceive
himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let
him become {109} a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this
world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise
in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of
the wise, that they are vain."[539] But the redemption is not only a
mystery: there is also magic in it. This appears from the importance
which Paul attaches to baptism and the Eucharist.

[Footnote 539: _1 Corinthians_ ii. 6 _sq._, iii. 18-20. _Cf.
Colossians_ i. 26 _sq._]

There is no evidence that Jesus instituted baptism, but every reason
to believe that he did not do so. It never appears among the
conditions of discipleship. The passage in Mark's gospel about him who
believes and is baptised is not an original part of it.[540] John's
report of Jesus' answer to Nicodemus, that "except a man be born of
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
God,"[541] cannot be relied upon. And the same is the case with the
commandment attributed to Jesus by Matthew, "Go ye therefore, and
teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,"[542] which has been regarded as the
central piece of evidence for the traditional view of the institution
of baptism by Jesus.[543] Harnack points out that for two reasons
Jesus could not have uttered it. First, it is only a later stage of
the tradition that represents the risen Christ as delivering speeches
and giving commandments--Paul knows nothing of it; secondly, the
Trinitarian formula is foreign to the mouth of Jesus and has not the
authority in the Apostolic age which it must have had, if it descended
from Jesus himself.[544] Further, if Paul had known of such a
commission to baptise he could hardly have said, as he does: "Christ
sent me not to baptise, but to preach the gospel."[545] At the same
time he knows of no other way of receiving the Gentiles into the
Christian community than by baptism. He writes: "By one Spirit are we
all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we
be bond or free."[546] We may perhaps assume that the practice of
baptism was continued in consequence of Jesus' recognition of John the
Baptist and his baptism, even after John himself was removed; in the
fourth gospel it is said that Jesus did not baptise, but that his
disciples did.[547] John had preached "the baptism of repentance for
the remission of {110} sins";[548] and Paul also regarded baptism as a
cleansing from sin,[549] but predominantly as a reincarnation of
Christ's death and rising to immortality; "Know ye not, that so many
of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as
Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted
together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that
henceforth we should not serve sin."[550]

[Footnote 540: _Supra_, p. 101.]

[Footnote 541: _John_ iii. 5.]

[Footnote 542: _Matthew_ xxviii. 19.]

[Footnote 543: See K. Lake, 'Baptism (Early Christian),' in J. Hastings,
_Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, ii (Edinburgh, 1909), p. 380.]

[Footnote 544: Harnack, _op. cit._ i. 79 n. 1. See also C. Clemen,
_Primitive Christianity and its non-Jewish Sources_ (Edinburgh, 1912),
p. 214.]

[Footnote 545: _1 Corinthians_ i. 17.]

[Footnote 546: _Ibid._ xii. 13.]

[Footnote 547: _John_ iv. 2.]

[Footnote 548: _Mark_ i. 4.]

[Footnote 549: This is obviously implied in _1 Corinthians_ vi. 11.]

[Footnote 550: _Romans_ vi. 3-6. See also _Colossians_ ii. 12.]

Lietzmann observes that Paul's mystic sacramentalism in regard to
baptism was in closest contact with the belief of the church of the
"Hellenists" and must surely have appeared to many a Corinthian as an
infallible means of purging away sin and as a guarantee of future
salvation.[551] In the Mysteries which at that time were spread
throughout Asia Minor and Greece we find rites of ablution from which
a new birth was expected; mention was made of "dying" in the
figurative sense, as the high priest of Isis says in Apuleius;[552]
use was made of the magic power of a name or some other formula; and
the result was considered to be salvation due to the union of the
initiate with the god.[553] Tertullian noticed the resemblance, and
argued that demons, whose chief employment was to prevent mankind from
embracing the worship of the true God, endeavoured to preoccupy the
minds of men by imitating rites having some similarity to those which
were to be observed under the gospel, and that baptism was thus by
their suggestion introduced into the Eleusinian mysteries as a mode of
initiation, being an imitation of Christian baptism.[554] The
Eleusinian purificatory bath, from which the candidate emerged a new
man with a new name, was also referred to by Greek Fathers, especially
Clement of Alexandria, as a parallel to the Christian rite of baptism
both in its nature and in its intended effects.[555] In any case we
must {111} assume that the pagan sacrament influenced the latter and
increased the importance attached to baptism in the Christian world.

[Footnote 551: H. Lietzmann, _The Beginnings of the Christian Church_
(London, 1937), p. 184.]

[Footnote 552: Apuleius, _Metamorphoses_, xi. 21.]

[Footnote 553: Clemen, _op. cit._ p. 230; K. Lake, _The Earlier
Epistles of St. Paul_ (London, 1911), p. 389 _sq._]

[Footnote 554: Tertullian, _De baptismo_, 5. See also Justin,
_Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 62.]

[Footnote 555: Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, v. 11 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, ix. 107).]

Various writers regard Paul's sacramental conception of baptism as an
alien body in his system as a whole, incongruous with his general
doctrine of justification by faith;[556] and, though he no doubt
considered faith a necessary preliminary to it, it is fairly obvious
that he attributed to baptism magical efficacy. Some statements to
this effect have already been quoted, and others may be added, such
as: "By one Spirit are we all baptised into one body";[557] "As many
of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ."[558]
Paul's reference to the Corinthian custom of baptism for the
dead--"What shall they do which are baptised for the dead, if the dead
rise not at all? why are they then baptised for the dead?"[559]--also
supports this view. It has been argued that he leaves us in the dark
as to his own opinion about it.[560] But it seems more to the point
that he does not reprove the Corinthians for practising it.[561]

[Footnote 556: W. Heitmüller, _Taufe und Abendmahl bei Paulus_
(Göttingen, 1903), p. 22 _sq._; H. J. Holtzmann, _Lehrbuch der
neutestamentlichen Theologie_, ii (Tübingen, 1911), p. 198; H. J.
Weinel, _Biblische Theologie des neuen Testaments_ (Tübingen, 1928),
p. 251.]

[Footnote 557: _1 Corinthians_ xii. 13.]

[Footnote 558: _Galatians_ iii. 27.]

[Footnote 559: _1 Corinthians_ xv. 29.]

[Footnote 560: E. Eidem, _Det kristna livet enligt Paulus_ (Stockholm,
1927), p. 122 n. 2.]

[Footnote 561: _Cf._ A. Loisy, _Les mystères païens et le mystère
chrétien_ (Paris, 1914), p. 275.]

Like baptism the Last Supper is mentioned in the synoptic gospels.
They contain three passages dealing with it. When eating with his
disciples Jesus "took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to
them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and
when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of
it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament,
which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of
the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the
kingdom of God."[562] There is a similar account in Matthew, which is
dependent on Mark.[563] The third account, found in Luke, contains the
addition, "This do in remembrance of me."[564] This does not occur in
some early Western authorities, and is therefore regarded by almost
all critics as a later insertion influenced by the passage in
Corinthians on the subject.[565] It {112} has also been contended by
many scholars that the account of Mark (on which Matthew depends)
shows traces of Pauline influence, especially in the language which
describes the cup as "my blood of the new testament, which is shed for
many."[566] Conybeare argues that the agreement is so close that
either Mark must have copied Paul or Paul Mark, and that the latter
hypothesis is ruled out by the fact that the Pauline epistle is older
than the Gospel of Mark.[567] Montefiore observes how difficult it is
to believe that a Palestinian or Galilæan Jew could have suggested
that, in drinking wine, his disciples were, even symbolically,
drinking blood, considering the horror with which the drinking of
blood was regarded by the Jews.[568]

[Footnote 562: _Mark_ xiv. 22-5.]

[Footnote 563: _Matthew_ xxvi. 26-9.]

[Footnote 564: _Luke_ xxii. 15-20.]

[Footnote 565: W. Sanday, 'Jesus Christ,' in J. Hastings, _A
Dictionary of the Bible_, ii (Edinburgh, 1899), p. 636; P. Gardner,
_The Religious Experience of Paul_ (London and New York, 1911),
p. 113; Holtzmann, _op. cit._ i. 377.]

[Footnote 566: Loisy, _op. cit._ p. 284; Holtzmann, _op. cit._ i. 368
_sq._; M. Goguel, _The Life of Jesus_ (London, 1933), p. 448.]

[Footnote 567: F. C. Conybeare, _Myth, Magic, and Morals_ (London,
1909), p. 270.]

[Footnote 568: C. G. Montefiore, _The Synoptic Gospels, edited with an
Introduction and a Commentary_, i (London, 1927), p. 332.]

In any case it is a widespread opinion that the only trace of a mystic
meaning given to the Eucharist in the gospels is a later incorporation
that could have no meaning save in the mystery-salvation through
Christ as conceived by Paul. For him it was a sacrament and a mystical
re-enactment of the death and resurrection of Christ through which the
believer participates in his immortality, the bread and wine being an
incarnation of his body and blood: "The cup of blessing which we
bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which
we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being
many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one
bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat the
sacrifices partakers of the altar?"[569] In reproving the Corinthians
for profaning the Lord's Supper Paul wrote to them: "As often as ye
eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till
he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup
of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the
Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread,
and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily,
eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's
body."[570] As Loisy observes, "in the ardent imagination of the
Apostle, the bread broken for the Lord's Supper assimilates itself to
Christ crucified for the elimination of sin, the wine of the cup
identifies itself with the blood spilt for the salvation of
mankind."[571] The {113} "worthy" participation in the Supper may have
presupposed faith, but the essence of the rite was undoubtedly the
magical effect ascribed to the bodily communion with Christ by
partaking of his body and blood.

[Footnote 569: _1 Corinthians_ x. 16-18.]

[Footnote 570: _Ibid._ xi. 26-9.]

[Footnote 571: Loisy, _op. cit._ p. 286.]

It is obvious that the sacramental form of the Eucharist exhibited by
Paul cannot have been a creation of Jesus, nor can it have come from
strict Judaism; but there were striking parallels to it in the pagan
world. There was a series of cults in the Roman Empire which offered a
happy immortality to their initiates, and the method of obtaining it
was by means of sacraments. In several of those mysteries blood played
a very important part. It was an extremely common belief in the
ancient world that by drinking the blood it was possible to absorb the
qualities of the god whose blood was used.[572] All the mystery gods
were intercessors and saviours, and the object of the initiates was to
attain, through identification with the god, a share in his blessed
immortality.[573] Paul was plainly aware of those pagan parallels.
After speaking of the bread and the cup of communion, he refers to the
things which the Gentiles "sacrifice to devils, and not to God," and
warns the Corinthians that they "cannot be partakers of the Lord's
table, and of the table of devils."[574] The Corinthians evidently
regarded the Eucharist as food and drink by consuming which they
enjoyed participation in the life of Jesus; just as the participants
in the Eleusinian mysteries believed that they became [Greek:
e)/ntheoi]] by means of a meal in which they partook, in some
mysterious manner, of the body of Dionysus.[575] The words of dislike
and contempt with which Paul speaks of the pagan mysteries do not
prove that he was uninfluenced by them. His own terminology rather
suggests the reverse. He may have been, half-unconsciously, allured by
them. Where ideas are in the air men may catch them by a sort of
infection, and often without any notion whence they came.[576]

[Footnote 572: _Cf._ F. Cumont, _Les religions orientales dans le
paganisme romain_ (Paris, 1929), p. 64.]

[Footnote 573: Ch. Guignebert, _Jesus_ (London, 1935), p. 446 _sq._]

[Footnote 574: _1 Corinthians_ x. 20 _sq._]

[Footnote 575: K. Lake, _The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul_ (London,
1911), p. 213 _sq._]

[Footnote 576: C. G. Montefiore, _Judaism and St. Paul_ (London,
1914), p. 116 _sq._; Gardner, _op. cit._ p. 80.]

The centre of Paul's Christianity is the doctrine of redemption
through the crucified and risen Christ. He never speaks of Jesus as a
teacher or of his teaching, he extremely seldom appeals to any words
of Jesus as a moral norm, he never refers to his example of life in
any concrete situation.[577] His {114} preoccupation with the death
and resurrection of Jesus was no doubt immediately due to his vision,
but to this vision he may have been predisposed by pagan cults known
to him from his boyhood at Tarsus, which were much occupied with
divine beings who had died and had risen again, who were, in fact, for
ever dying and for ever rising again, to the joy of their worshippers.
We have evidence that his native city was thronged with such
mysteries, the myths and rites of Isis and Osiris, of Dionysus,
Cybele, and Attis. The leading deities were Sandon-Herakles and
Baal-Tarz. The former was popularly associated with the same ideas of
death and resurrection as pervaded the worship of Adonis, Tammur, and
Osiris. Baal-Tarz, again, pre-eminently "Lord of Tarsus," was the
giver of vegetation and every good gift, and his picture, as seen on
the coins of the fourth century before Christ, looks as noble as the
Greek Zeus, whom he greatly resembled in character. Hans Böhlig has
made it perfectly clear that Paul adopted his terminology, and perhaps
his method of unfolding the redemptive scheme of a deified Christ, to
the preconceptions of his Gentile fellow-citizens, who from childhood
had been taught the mystic religion of Sandon.[578] But the
resemblance between Paul's teaching and the mystery religions is not
merely a formal one, apart from its sacramentalism, of which I have
already spoken. In those religions, also, there was a divine saviour
through which the believers hoped to reach a state of salvation not
only in this life but in the world beyond the grave. While the
synoptists emphasise a speedy coming of the Son of man to judge the
nations and to found a reign of saints upon earth, Paul turned the
eyes of Christians towards a spiritual heaven where he who dies with
Christ will live for ever. This is a doctrine of the same class as the
doctrines taught by pagan mystery religions.[579] From the moral point
of view there is of course an enormous difference between Christ and
the pagan gods. But those writers who maintain that Paul was in no way
influenced by the mysteries--not even indirectly by the atmosphere
which they diffused--fail to account for those points in which his
teaching so closely resembles them.

[Footnote 577: Eidem, _op. cit._ pp. 236, 243, 250.]

[Footnote 578: C. M. Cobern, _The New Archæological Discoveries and
their Bearing upon the New Testament and upon the Life and Times of
the  Primitive Church_ (New York and London, 1928), p. 542 _sq._;
H. Böhlig, _Die Geisteskultur von Tarsos im augustinischen Zeitalter_
(Göttingen, 1913), pp. 67 _sqq._, 89 _sqq._]

[Footnote 579: _Cf._ Loisy, _op. cit._ pp. 248, 249, 333, 349, 357,
etc.; Gardner, _op. cit._ p. 87 _sqq._; Harnack, _op. cit._ ii.
(1896), p. 10.]

At the same time Paul says himself that "Christ died for our {115}
sins according to the scriptures."[580] Among the early Christians
there was a belief that the Old Testament had prophesied the Passion
of Christ.[581] There was, in particular, the famous prophecy in which
Isaiah deals with the voluntary suffering and death of the servant of
Yahveh, who "bore the sin of many."[582] This has obviously been the
source of the words which Mark puts into the mouth of Jesus: "The Son
of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give
his life a ransom for many"; and, "This is my blood of the new
testament, which is shed for many."[583] Johannes Weiss quotes with
approval Jülicher's assertion that "Jesus himself never referred to
his obligation to bear the form of a servant or to the mediatorial
work of his death and sacrifice."[584]

[Footnote 580: _1 Corinthians_ xv. 3.]

[Footnote 581: _Matthew_ viii. 17; _Mark_ ix. 12; _Acts_ iii. 18,
viii. 32 _sq._; _1 Peter_ i. 10 _sq._, ii. 24 _sq._]

[Footnote 582: _Isaiah_ lii. 13-liii. 12.]

[Footnote 583: _Mark_ x. 45, xiv. 24.]

[Footnote 584: J. Weiss, _Paul and Jesus_ (London and New York, 1909),
p. 11.]

It has been alleged that Paul's doctrine of justification by faith
also is due to Hellenic influence,[585] while he himself refers to the
Old Testament as his authority.[586] But it seems that the immense
importance which he attaches to faith was in the first place the
outcome of his ecstatic vision. This is suggested by knowledge which
we have of other sudden conversions. "Beliefs," says William James,
"are strengthened wherever automatisms corroborate them. Incursions
from beyond the transmarginal region have a peculiar power to increase
conviction."[587] There has been much discussion about the meaning of
faith (_pistis_) in Paul's vocabulary.[588] He says himself that the
word of faith which he teaches is "that if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath
raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."[589] Whatever else
Paul's conception of faith may imply, such as trust, "enthusiastic
adhesion,"[590] and obedience,[591] it {116} presupposes in the first
place the acceptance of some fact as true; and such a belief cannot be
a proper object of moral judgment. But even if the sin of unbelief, as
Thomas Aquinas argues, has its cause in the will because it consists
in "contrary opposition to the faith, whereby one stands out against
the hearing of the faith,"[592] it could not be imputed to anybody who
never heard of the faith. Paul considers this question in connection
with his tenet that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved: "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not
believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not
heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? . . . I say, Have
they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and
their words unto the ends of the world."[593] Even now, after the
lapse of nearly two thousand years this reassuring statement has not
become true. In another passage, however, there is an indication that
God might have mercy even upon unbelievers.[594]

[Footnote 585: Loisy, _op. cit._ p. 360.]

[Footnote 586: _Romans_ x. 11.]

[Footnote 587: James, _op. cit._ p. 478.]

[Footnote 588: See, for example, J. Weiss, _Das Urchristentum_
(Göttingen, 1917), p. 322 _sqq._; R. Gyllenberg, _Pistis_, ii
(Helsingfors, 1922), p. 2 _sqq._; W. H. P. Hatch, _The Idea of Faith
in Christian Literature_ (Strasbourg, 1925), p. 9 _sq._; Eidem, _op.
cit._ pp. 96 n., 115 _sqq._; E. Wissmann, _Das Verhältnis von [Greek:
pi/stis] und Christusfrömmigkeit bei Paulus_ (Göttingen, 1926), pp.
38, 40, 66, 67, 81 _sqq._; C. A. A. Scott, _Christianity according to
Paul_ (Cambridge, 1927), p. 102 _sqq._]

[Footnote 589: _Romans_ x. 9.]

[Footnote 590: W. Sanday and A. C. Headlam, _Critical and Exegetical
Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans_ (Edinburgh, 1911), p. 33 _sq._]

[Footnote 591: See W. Schlater, 'Glaube und Gehorsam,' in _Beiträge
zur Förderung christlicher Theologie_, v. (Gütersloh, 1901), fasc. 6.]

[Footnote 592: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 10. 1.]

[Footnote 593: _Romans_ x. 13, 14, 18.]

[Footnote 594: _Ibid._ xi. 32.]

In the most important cycle of Paul's teaching salvation is not, as it
is generally depicted in the synoptic gospels, a reward for righteous
conduct. "A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the
law."[595] "Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up
unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law
was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be
justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer
under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in
Christ Jesus."[596] "To him that worketh not, but believeth on him
that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
righteousness."[597] And the faith itself is a gift of God: "God hath
dealt to every man the measure of faith."[598] Salvation depends upon
an "election of grace."[599] "Whom he did foreknow he also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be
the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate,
them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and
whom he justified, them he also glorified."[600] "Is there
unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will
have mercy on whom {117} I will have mercy, and I will have compassion
on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth,
nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. . . .
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will
he hardeneth."[601]

[Footnote 595: _Romans_ iii. 28. See also _ibid._ iii. 20, iv. 5,
ix. 31 _sq._; _Galatians_ ii. 16, iii. 11; _Ephesians_ ii. 8 _sq._]

[Footnote 596: _Galatians_ iii. 23-6.]

[Footnote 597: _Romans_ iv. 5.]

[Footnote 598: _Ibid._ xii. 3. See also _1 Corinthians_ ii. 5;
_Philippians_ i. 29; _Ephesians_ ii. 8. This point has been very
strongly emphasised by A. Deissmann, _op. cit._ p. 132.]

[Footnote 599: _Romans_ xi. 5.]

[Footnote 600: _Ibid._ viii. 29 _sq._]

[Footnote 601: _Romans_ ix. 14-16, 18.]

Those who believe are justified by the grace of God "through the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a
propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness
for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of
God."[602] Christ "died for all, that they which live should not
henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and
rose again. . . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto
himself not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed
unto us the word of reconciliation."[603] It is thus by the vicarious
suffering of Jesus that the wrath of God, aroused by the sin of men,
is appeased. How is that possible? Paul writes: "As by one man sin
entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all
men, for that all have sinned. . . . If by one man's offence death
reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of
the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to
condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came
upon all men unto justification of life. . . . As sin hath reigned
unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto
eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."[604]

[Footnote 602: _Ibid._ iii. 24 _sq._]

[Footnote 603: _2 Corinthians_ v. 15, 19. See also _Romans_ viii. 32;
_1 Corinthians_ xv. 3, 4, 14, 17; _Galatians_ i. 4; _Colossians_
i. 13, 14, 20; _Thessalonians_ i. 10.]

[Footnote 604: _Romans_ v. 12, 17, 18, 21.]

The idea that all mankind are doomed to death on account of Adam's
sin, which Paul no doubt had imbibed from his Jewish upbringing, is
explicable by the conception of sin as a kind of material substance or
infection which is transmitted by propagation.[605] As we have seen
above, the Prophets already broke with the old notions of divine
vengeance by declaring that "every one shall die for his own
iniquity," that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."[606] And
Ezekiel added that as the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him,
so also "the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him."[607]
This is in agreement with the fact that the moral emotions of
disapproval or approval, in their capacity of retributive emotions,
are hostile {118} or friendly attitudes of mind towards living beings
conceived as causes of pain or pleasure. They cannot admit that a
person is punished or rewarded on account of another person's
behaviour. There cannot be a merit by transfer.

[Footnote 605: _Supra_, p. 53 _sq._]

[Footnote 606: _Ibid._ p. 55.]

[Footnote 607: _Ezekiel_ xviii. 20.]

But apart from this, Paul's doctrine of redemption raises the question
how Christ's suffering and death could be a means of justification at
all. Paul says that "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."[608]
The idea of Christ's death being a sacrifice is also found in the
Epistle to the Ephesians,[609] the authorship of which is disputed,
and is set forth in detail in the Epistle to the Hebrews,[610] which
is related to Paulinism. The bloody sacrifices of the law have been
succeeded by the redemption which Christ obtained for us "by the
sacrifice of himself" being offered "to bear the sins of many."[611]
"We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ
once for all. . . . By one offering he hath perfected for ever them
that are sanctified. . . . There is no more offering for sin."[612]
This theory was subsequently elaborated by Cyprian. Christ's suffering
and death constituted a sacrifice calculated to propitiate an angry
God; and this thought was never afterwards lost sight of in the West.
I shall return to this subject in a following chapter.

[Footnote 608: _1 Corinthians_ v. 7.]

[Footnote 609: _Ephesians_ v. 2.]

[Footnote 610: _Hebrews_ ch. ix _sq._]

[Footnote 611: _Ibid._ ix. 26, 28.]

[Footnote 612: _Ibid._ x. 10, 14, 18.]

Are we to conclude then that the teaching of Paul is devoid of all
ethical significance. By no means. He asks: "What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. . . .
Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God
forbid."[613] His epistles are full of moral injunctions. On the one
hand he wrote that "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the
law";[614] that he found "the commandment, which was ordained to life,
. . . to be unto death";[615] that "the law worketh wrath";[616] that
"the strength of sin is the law."[617] But on the other hand he also
wrote that "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and
good."[618] Different explanations have been given of these
contradictory statements;[619] but the most satisfactory one seems to
be that when Paul speaks of the law he does not always mean the same
thing.[620] He does not definitely distinguish {119} between ritual
and the strictly ethical parts of the Israelitish legislation. But he
says that no man should be judged "in meat, or in drink, or in respect
of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are
a shadow of things to come."[621] He contrasts "the circumcision,
which is outward in the flesh," with the circumcision "of the
heart."[622] And above all, he makes the parallel statements that all
the law is fulfilled in one word, namely this: "Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself";[623] and that "he that loveth another hath
fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou
shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false
witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment,
it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself. . . . Therefore love is the fulfilling of the
law."[624] He also writes: "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and
curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that
weep. . . . Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest
in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you,
live peaceably with all men. . . . Avenge not yourselves, but rather
give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will
repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if
he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of
fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with
good."[625] "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness,
long-suffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if
any man have a quarrel against any. . . . And above all these things
put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."[626] "Though I
speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have
the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and
have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to
feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not
charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily
provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, {120} but
rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things,
hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth. . . .
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of
these is charity."[627]

[Footnote 613: _Romans_ vi. 1, 2, 15.]

[Footnote 614: _Galatians_ iii. 13. See also _ibid._ iv. 4 _sq._;
_Romans_ vii. 6, x. 4.]

[Footnote 615: _Romans_ vii. 10.]

[Footnote 616: _Ibid._ iv. 15.]

[Footnote 617: _1 Corinthians_ xv. 56.]

[Footnote 618: _Romans_ vii. 12.]

[Footnote 619: See, for example, A. Juncker, _Die Ethik des Apostels
Paulus_, i (Halle, 1904), p. 167 _sqq._; Weiss, _Das Urchristentum_,
p. 427 _sq._; W. Wrede, _Paul_ (London, 1907), p. 77 _sq._]

[Footnote 620: _Cf._ Eidem, _op. cit._ p. 303 _sqq._]

[Footnote 621: _Colossians_ ii. 16 _sq._]

[Footnote 622: _Romans_ ii. 28 _sq. Cf._ _Colossians_ ii. 11.]

[Footnote 623: _Galatians_ v. 14.]

[Footnote 624: _Romans_ xiii. 8-10.]

[Footnote 625: _Ibid._ xii. 14, 15, 17-21.]

[Footnote 626: _Colossians_ iii. 12-14.]

[Footnote 627: _1 Corinthians_ xiii. 1-8, 13. The chapter in question
has been regarded by some writers as a later interpolation, but this
opinion has not been generally accepted (Eidem, _op. cit._ p. 187 n. 2).]

How can these sayings be reconciled with the doctrine of justification
by faith only? An obvious answer would be that faith produces, or
manifests itself in, obedience to the law and charity; that good works
are not the condition of righteousness, but righteousness, received as
a divine gift by faith, is the condition of good works. There are
passages in the epistles which directly express this idea: "Do we then
make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the
law."[628] "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer
therein?"[629] Faith "worketh by love";[630] in another passage love
is said to belong to "the fruit of the Spirit."[631] If Christ lives
in the believer it must influence his whole conduct. The
Christlikeness of the faithful is in some passages expressed in
imperatives: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so
walk ye in him";[632] "Look not every man on his own things, but every
man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was
also in Christ Jesus";[633] "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so
fulfil the law of Christ."[634]

[Footnote 628: _Romans_ iii. 31.]

[Footnote 629: _Ibid._ vi. 2.]

[Footnote 630: _Galatians_ v. 6.]

[Footnote 631: _Ibid._ v. 22.]

[Footnote 632: _Colossians_ ii. 6.]

[Footnote 633: _Philippians_ ii. 4 _sq._]

[Footnote 634: _Galatians_ vi. 2.]

The great emphasis which Paul lays on charity is quite in agreement
with what we find in modern narratives of conversion. "I had more
tender feeling towards my family and friends";--"I spoke at once to a
person with whom I had been angry";--"I felt for every one, and loved
my friends better";--"I felt everybody to be my friend";--"I began to
work for others";--these are so many expressions from the records
collected by Starbuck.[635] Sainte-Beuve observes that in Christians
of different epochs there is a fundamental and identical spirit of
piety and charity, common to those who have received grace; an inner
state which before all things is one of love and humility, of infinite
confidence in God, and of severity for one's self, accompanied with
tenderness for others. The fruits peculiar to this condition of the
soul have the same savour in all, under distant suns and in different
surroundings, in Saint Teresa of Avila just as in any Moravian brother
of {121} Herrnhut.[636] Justin Martyr wrote about the wonderful change
in manners of other converts: "We, who loved nothing like our
possessions, now produce all we have in common and spread our whole
stock before our indigent brethren; we, who were pointed with mutual
hatred and destruction, and would not so much as warm ourselves at the
same fire with those of a different tribe on account of different
institutions, now since the coming of Christ cohabit and diet
together, and pray for our enemies; and all our returns for evil are
but the gentlest persuasives to convert those who unjustly hate us,
that by living up to the same virtuous precepts of Christ they might
be filled with the same comfortable hopes of obtaining the like
happiness with ourselves, from that God who is Lord of all things. . .
. I could give you a proof of the influence of such bright examples
from many converts among us, who from men of violence and oppression
were transformed into quite another nature."[637] Pagans bore witness
to the correctness of the picture drawn by the apologetics.[638] Pliny
wrote in a letter to **Trajan that Christians said they had bound
themselves by an oath not to commit any wicked deed, but to abstain
from theft and robbery and adultery, and not withhold a deposit when
reclaimed.[639] In recent times the Welsh revival of 1904-5 was
accompanied by a real decrease in crime. Family life was restored by
the abandonment of drinking habits, long-standing quarrels were made
up, enemies were reconciled, ancient wrongs repaired, bad debts paid,
stolen property restored.[640] Nowadays we also hear of moral
reformation among converts to the Oxford Movement. A manifestation of
the altruism of converted men and women is their missionary
zeal--their burning desire to tell others of their experience that
they may share their blessings. Throughout the history of Christianity
those who have experienced the more sudden kind of conversion have
generally been the most zealous missionaries.[641] Foremost among
these was Paul.[642]

[Footnote 635: Starbuck, _op. cit._ p. 127. See also James, _op. cit._
pp. 274, 280 _sqq._]

[Footnote 636: C.-A. Sainte-Beuve, _Port-Royal_, i (Paris, 1876), p. 106.]

[Footnote 637: Justin, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 17, 20.]

[Footnote 638: E. von Dobschütz, _Christian Life in the Primitive
Church_ (London, 1904), p. 371.]

[Footnote 639: Pliny, _Epistulæ_, x. 96 (97). 7.]

[Footnote 640: H. Bois, _Le Réveil au pays de Galles_ (Toulouse,
_s.d._), pp. 582, 586 _sqq._]

[Footnote 641: Underwood, _op. cit._ p. 234 _sqq._; W. Lawson Jones,
_A Psychological Study of Religious Conversion_ (London, 1937), p. 270.]

[Footnote 642: _Cf._ Eidem, _op. cit._ p. 171.]

From the moral point of view, however, there is positive danger in a
doctrine that relies upon love of fellow-men and good deeds as the
fruits of faith. To an ecstatic convert like {122} Paul faith may seem
a sufficient source of such love and anything it carries with it, but
in an established religion the faith of the ordinary believer may fail
entirely to produce similar effects. Already in the Apostolic age his
formula about righteousness and salvation by faith alone was taken
advantage of as a cloak of laxity; it was said that one might have the
true faith though in this case that faith remained dead or was united
with immorality.[643] James evidently saw this danger when he wrote in
his Epistle: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he
hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . Faith
without works is dead."[644] Ordinary men are not mystics; and
ecstatic converts are dangerous founders of religious creeds. The
emphasis laid on orthodox belief has not only, more than anything
else, brought the Christian religion into conflict with the nature of
moral emotions and ideas, but also, through the persecutions to which
it has led, been one of the most potent causes of misery in the
Christian world.

[Footnote 643: Harnack, _op. cit._ i (1894), p. 173.]

[Footnote 644: _The Epistle of James_ ii. 14, 20.]

But we notice also another line of thought in the Pauline epistles,
which is more in harmony with the teaching of Jesus as recorded in the
synoptic gospels. He writes to the Romans not only that a man is
justified by faith without the deeds of the law, but also that God
will show himself as a righteous judge "who will render to every man
according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well
doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But
unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey
unrighteousness, indignation and wrath. . . . We shall all stand
before the judgment seat of Christ. . . . Every one of us shall give
account of himself to God."[645] In other epistles he writes: "We must
all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad."[646] "Every man shall receive his own
reward according to his own labour. . . . Every man's work shall be
made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be
revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort
it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall
receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer
loss."[647] "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also {123} reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;
but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life
everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season
we shall reap, if we faint not."[648]--"Whatsoever ye do, do it
heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord
ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord
Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he
hath done: and there is no respect of persons."[649] When Paul
mentions the deeds of men he does not overlook their cast of mind. He
speaks of "the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus
Christ,"[650] when the Lord will come and "bring to light the hidden
things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the

[Footnote 645: _Romans_ ii. 5-8, xiv. 10, 12.]

[Footnote 646: _2 Corinthians_ v. 10. See also _ibid._ ix. 6.]

[Footnote 647: _1 Corinthians_ iii. 8, 13-15.]

[Footnote 648: _Galatians_ vi. 7-9.]

[Footnote 649: _Colossians_ iii. 23-5.]

[Footnote 650: _Romans_ ii. 16.]

[Footnote 651: _1 Corinthians_ iv. 5. See also _ibid._ xiii. 3;
_2 Corinthians_ ix. 7.]

It may be argued that if a person is justified by his faith, which is
a gift of God, and good deeds are manifestations of it, his "reward"
for them is really due to the faith which God has given him, and that
the damnation of a person who has done evil is due to the fact that he
has not received the gift of faith from God; whereas if he receives
such a gift, and is justified thereby, he will do no evil again. Such
a conclusion might be drawn from the following passage: "Know ye not
that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not
deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor
covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit
the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but
ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God."[652] But Paul was not a consistent
thinker. On the one hand he teaches that justification depends upon
faith alone, that faith is a gift of God, that man's work really is
God's work,[653] nay that it even was God who gave Israel "the spirit
of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should
not hear";[654] but on the other hand he also looks upon the activity
of the human will as a factor of importance.[655] His inconsistency is
nowhere more glaring than in the passage in which he tells the
Philippians to work out their own salvation {124} "with fear and
trembling," and then adds immediately: "For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."[656] When he speaks
of the retribution for good and evil deeds, he is obviously moved by
his moral consciousness, which repeatedly finds expression without any
reference to justification by faith. In his epistles to the Romans and
to the Corinthians he frequently refers to "conscience," or
_syneídēsis_, a term which he evidently had adopted from his
Hellenistic surroundings,[657] and speaks of the "witness" it
bears.[658] And he finds a conscience not only among the Christians,
but in every man;[659] and makes the following remarkable statement:
"Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the
law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law,
do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the
law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written
in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their
thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."[660]

[Footnote 652: _1 Corinthians_ vi. 9-11.]

[Footnote 653: _Philippians_ i. 6; _1 Thessalonians_ v. 24;
_Ephesians_ i. 11, ii. 10.]

[Footnote 654: _Romans_ xi. 8.]

[Footnote 655: See, for example, _1 Corinthians_ vii. 36 _sq._,
ix. 17, x. 27, xiv. 1, xvi. 12; _Philemon_, 14. _Cf._ Eidem,
_op. cit._ p. 98 _sqq._]

[Footnote 656:  Philippians ii. 12 _sq._]

[Footnote 657: _Cf._ Eidem, _op. cit._ p. 331.]

[Footnote 658: _Romans_ ii. 15, ix. 1; _2 Corinthians_ i. 12.]

[Footnote 659: _2 Corinthians_ iv. 2.]

[Footnote 660: _Romans_ ii. 13-15.]

As Christ lives in the believer he must not soil his body: "Know ye
not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth
in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."[661] And as
Christ was crucified, so the believer must crucify his flesh that he
also may live eternally in the spirit, for the flesh is evil and
contrary to the spirit. "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because
of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the
Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that
raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies
by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. . . . If ye live after the flesh,
ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the
body, ye shall live."[662] "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom
of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."[663] "Walk in
the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the
flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh:
and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the
things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under
the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry,
witchcraft, {125} hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and
such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in
time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the
kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have
crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the
Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain
glory, provoking one another, envying one another."[664] "To be
carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and
peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that
are in the flesh cannot please God. . . . They which are the children
of the flesh, these are not the children of God."[665]

[Footnote 661: _1 Corinthians_ iii. 16 _sq._]

[Footnote 662: _Romans_ viii. 10, 11, 13.]

[Footnote 663: _1 Corinthians_ xv. 50.]

[Footnote 664: _Galatians_ v. 16-26.]

[Footnote 665: _Romans_ viii. 6-8, ix. 8.]

Though Paul connects his idea that the believer must die to the flesh,
that he might live immortally in the spirit, with the death and
resurrection of Christ, it may be asked where he had learnt to have
such a moral contempt and horror of the flesh and to identify it with
sin. This is not a Jewish conception. As Montefiore points out, Paul
could not possibly have taken sin so sombrely as he did, had he been
simply a Palestinian rabbi of his day. To the rabbinic Jew repentance
and forgiveness were forces greater than sin, greater than the evil
inclination. To Paul it was not so. He was no rabbinic Jew, and of the
Law he knew little more than the fetters. He had always the horrid
feeling of the unconquered evil inclination gnawing within his
soul.[666] Nor did the rabbis oppose flesh and spirit in the same way
as they are opposed in the writings of Paul. The spirit and flesh
doctrine of the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans could not
have been devised by anyone who to his rabbinic antecedents merely
added a conviction that the Messiah had appeared in the person of
Jesus.[667] The man who devised that doctrine had been subjected to
other influences. Paul, who was a Greek Jew, may have derived his idea
of the sharp severance between flesh and spirit and his condemnation
of the flesh from the Judaism of the Diaspora, which was greatly
influenced by its Græco-Oriental environment. The antithesis of spirit
and body was an old Platonic idea, and the doctrine that bodily
enjoyments are low and degrading was taught by many pagan
philosophers; even a man like Cicero says that {126} all corporeal
pleasure is opposed to virtue and ought to be rejected.[668] And in
the Neo-Platonic and Neo-Pythagorean schools of Alexandria an ascetic
ideal of life was the natural outcome of their theory that God alone
is pure and good, and matter impure and evil.

[Footnote 666: Montefiore, _Judaism and St. Paul_, p. 114 _sq._]

[Footnote 667: _Ibid._ p. 79 _sq._]

[Footnote 668: Cicero, _De officiis_, i. 30, iii. 33.]

Paul's identification of flesh with evil led to various ascetic rules.
"Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all
things."[669] "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the
earth."[670] He submits himself to fastings, watchings, cold, and
nakedness;[671] he subdues his body after the manner of athletes;[672]
and he looks for similar action on the part of other seriously-minded
followers of Christ. "I keep under my body, and bring it into
subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others,
I myself should be a castaway."[673]

[Footnote 669: _1 Corinthians_ ix. 25.]

[Footnote 670: _Colossians_ iii. 5.]

[Footnote 671: _2 Corinthians_ xi. 27.]

[Footnote 672: _1 Corinthians_ ix. 26.]

[Footnote 673: _Ibid._ ix. 27.]

The worst of all sins of the flesh is sexual indulgence: "Flee
fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he
that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know
ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God, and ye are not your own."[674] Even marriage is
permitted to man as a restraint, however imperfect, on the sinful
licentiousness of the sexual impulse (Paul said nothing about
propagation): "It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife,
and let every woman have her own husband. . . . I say therefore to the
unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But
if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than
to burn." He that giveth his virgin in marriage "doeth well; but he
that giveth her not in marriage doeth better."[675] For this
inferiority of marriage to the unmarried state he gives the following
reason: "He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the
Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for
the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is
difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman
careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body
and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the
world, how she please her husband."[676]

[Footnote 674: _Ibid._ vi. 18 _sq._]

[Footnote 675: _Ibid._ vii. 1, 2, 8, 9, 38.]

[Footnote 676: _Ibid._ vii. 32-4.]

This attitude towards marriage was utterly inconsistent with Jewish
ideas: to marry and to have children were {127} considered matters of
fundamental importance in Israel through all periods of its history.
Nor does it receive much support from the synoptic gospels. Jesus was
not himself married and he is reported to have said that in the
resurrection, there will be neither marriage nor giving in marriage,
but that those who rise will be as the angels in heaven.[677] When the
disciples, after hearing Jesus' saying about divorce, wondered if it
was good for a man to marry, he answered them that "all men cannot
receive this saying, save they to whom it is given," and that there
are "eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of
heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive
it."[678] Paul writes to the Corinthians: "Concerning virgins I have
no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment."[679] His view
that celibacy is better than marriage was undoubtedly connected with
his horror of sexuality as the worst sin of the flesh; and for this
there must have been some reason.

[Footnote 677: _Supra_, p. 67.]

[Footnote 678: _Matthew_ xix. 11 _sq._]

[Footnote 679: _1 Corinthians_ vii. 25.]

There was a small class of Hebrews, the Essenes, who renounced
marriage, and esteemed "continence and the conquest over our passions
to be virtue."[680] We have no evidence that Paul was influenced by
them, but his sexual asceticism, like theirs,[681] may have been
rooted in Greek ideas, Pythagorean and others. I wish particularly to
draw attention to the notion that he who performs a sacred act or
enters a holy place must be free from sexual pollution. In Greece
priestesses were not infrequently required to be virgins, if not for
their whole life, at any rate for the duration of their
priesthood;[682] and there were eunuch priests connected with the
cults of the Ephesian Artemis,[683] the Phrygian Cybele,[684] and the
Syrian Astarte.[685] Moreover, those who took part in certain
religious festivals were obliged to be continent for some time
previously.[686] Paul tells husbands and wives: "Defraud ye not one
the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give
yourselves to {128} fasting and prayer."[687] Again, Herodotus informs
us that both the Greeks and the Egyptians "made it a point of religion
to have no converse with women in the sacred places, and not to enter
them without washing, after such converse";[688] and so far as the
latter are concerned this statement is corroborated by a passage in
the 'Book of the Dead.'[689] Before entering the sanctuary of Mên
Tyrannos, whose worship was extended over the whole of Asia Minor, the
worshipper had to abstain from garlic, pork, and women, and had to
wash his head.[690] Among the Hebrews, also, it was a duty incumbent
upon all to be free from sexual defilement before entering the
temple.[691] Now if, as Paul said, every believer is "the temple of
God," he too must, consequently, be free from such defilement.

[Footnote 680: Josephus, _De bello Judaico_, ii. 8. 2. See also
Solinus, _Collectanea rerum memorabilium_, xxxv. 9 _sq._]

[Footnote 681: O. Zöckler, _Askese und Mönchtum_, i (Frankfurt a. M.,
1897), p. 126.]

[Footnote 682: Strabo, xiv. 1. 23; Tertullian, _Ad uxorem_, i. 6;
_idem_, _De exhortatione castitatis_, 13; W. Götte, _Das Delphische
Orakel_ (Leipzig, 1839), p. 78 _sq._; H. Blümner, _The Home Life of
the Ancient Greeks_ (London, 1893), p. 325.]

[Footnote 683: Strabo, xiv. 1. 23.]

[Footnote 684: Arnobius, _Adversus gentes_, v. 7.]

[Footnote 685: Lucian, _De dea Syria_, 15, 27, 50 _sqq._]

[Footnote 686: W. Wachsmuth, _Hellenische Alterthumskunde_, ii (Halle,
1846), p. 560.]

[Footnote 687: _1 Corinthians_ vii. 5.]

[Footnote 688: Herodotus, ii. 64.]

[Footnote 689: A. Wiedemann, _Herodots zweites Buch_ (Leipzig, 1890),
p. 269 _sq._]

[Footnote 690: P. Foucart, _Des associations religieuses chez les
Grecs_ (Paris, 1873), pp. 119, 123 _sq._]

[Footnote 691: _Leviticus_ xii. 4, xv. 31.]

In order to explain in full the ascetic attitude towards sex, we have
still to consider _why_ sexual intercourse is looked upon as unclean
and defiling. This implies that it is a presumed mysterious cause of
danger. That the danger is supposed to be particularly alarming in the
case of contact between the polluted individual and anything holy is
merely an instance of the general belief that holiness is exceedingly
sensitive to, and readily reacts against, external influences: indeed
it is not only exceptionally susceptible to influences that are, or
are supposed to be, injurious in other cases as well, but it is even
affected or influenced by various acts or omissions which are
otherwise considered perfectly harmless.[692] It should be noticed
that the mere discharge of sexual matter, even when quite involuntary
and unaccompanied with any sexual desire, is held to be polluting both
in Leviticus[693] and in the Christian Penitentials.[694] It seems
that the polluting effect ascribed to the discharge of such matter is
largely due to its mysterious propensities and the veil of mystery
which surrounds the whole sexual nature of man. There is the secrecy
drawn over the sexual functions, and the feeling of sexual shame,[695]
which give them the appearance of something illicit and sinful. But
the {129} defiling effects attributed to sexual intercourse are also,
no doubt, connected with the notion that woman is an unclean being.
Particularly during menstruation and childbirth she is supposed to be
charged with mysterious baleful energy, presumably on account of the
marvellous nature of these processes and especially the appearance of
blood; and such regular temporary defilement of a specifically
feminine character may easily lead to the notion of the permanent
uncleanness of the female sex.

[Footnote 692: E. Westermarck, _Ritual and Belief in Morocco_, i
(London, 1926), p. 250 _sqq._]

[Footnote 693: _Leviticus_ ch. xv.]

[Footnote 694: F. W. H. Wasserschleben, _Die Bussordnungen der
abendländischen Kirche_ (Halle, 1851), pp. 559, 560, 600.]

[Footnote 695: I have discussed the origin of sexual modesty in my
book _The History of Human Marriage_, ii (London, 1921), ch. x.]



THROUGHOUT the history of Christianity the principal subject of
interest has been the question of salvation; but as to the means of
procuring it there has been diversity of opinion. We have first and
foremost to notice the antithesis between works and faith: between the
moralistic view that eternal life is the wages and reward of a moral
life, wrought out essentially by our own power, and the view that
eternal life depends entirely on divine grace, connected with the
faith in Christ as our redeemer through his death on the cross. In
other words, there is, broadly speaking, the contrast between the
moral teaching of Jesus as reported in the synoptic gospels and the
Pauline formula of justification by faith alone.

In the sub-apostolic period both views are represented. The moralistic
mode of thought is very prominent in the 'Shepherd' of Hermas, dating
from the first half of the second century,[696] which is an important
document for the Church Christianity of the age. "The true fast," he
says, "is this: do nothing wickedly in thy life, but serve God with a
pure mind, and keep his commandments, and walk according to his
precepts, nor suffer any wicked desire to enter into thy mind. But
trust in the Lord, that if thou dost these things, and fearest him,
and abstainest from evil work, thou shalt live unto God."[697] "Fear
God, and put thy trust in him, and love truth and righteousness, and
do that which is good. If thou shalt do these things, thou shalt be an
approved servant of God. . . . If thou shalt not observe these
commands, but shalt neglect them, thou shalt not be saved, nor thy
children, nor thy house."[698] "But if besides those things which the
Lord hath commanded, thou shalt add some good thing, thou shalt
purchase to thyself a greater dignity, and be in more favour with the
Lord than thou shouldst otherwise have been."[699] Here we have the
{131} doctrine of merit in germ. Faith is repeatedly spoken of.[700]
By faith "the elect shall be saved . . . From faith proceeds
abstinence, from abstinence simplicity, from simplicity innocence,
from innocence modesty, from modesty discipline and charity."[701]
"Put on faith, and trust in God, and thou shalt receive all that thou
shalt ask. . . . Faith promises all things, and perfects all
things."[702] But this faith is faith in God, not in Christ. In the
extensive writing of Hermas there is no mention of the death and
resurrection of Christ. But the Son of God laboured very much, and
suffered much, that he might blot out the offences of those whom the
Father delivered to him. "For no vineyard can be digged without much
labour and pains. Wherefore having blotted out the sins of his people,
he showed to them the paths of life, giving them the law which he had
received of the Father."[703]

[Footnote 696: M. Dibelius, _A Fresh Approach to the New Testament and
Early Christian Literature_ (London, 1937), p. 132.]

[Footnote 697: Hermas, _Pastor_, iii. 5. 1.]

[Footnote 698: _Ibid._ ii. 12. 3. _Cf. ibid._ i. 1. 3, i. 2. 3,
i. 3. 5, ii. 1. 8, iii. 6. 1, iii. 8. 7, iii. 10. 4.]

[Footnote 699: _Ibid._ iii. 5. 3. _Cf. ibid._ ii. 4. 4.]

[Footnote 700: _Ibid._ i. 3. 5, 6, 8, i. 4. 1, ii. 1, ii. 6. 1 _sq._,
ii. 8, ii. 12. 5.]

[Footnote 701: _Ibid._ i. 3. 8.]

[Footnote 702: _Ibid._ ii. 9.]

[Footnote 703: _Ibid._ iii. 5. 6.]

The same paramount importance attached to morality is shown in the
'Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,' which is usually cited by its Greek
name as the 'Didache.' There also nothing is said about the death and
resurrection of Jesus and the redemption of mankind. Thanks are given
to God for the knowledge of faith and immortality which he has made
known to us through Jesus, his servant,[704] who has shown us the way
of life in his teaching. The way of life "is this: first, thou shalt
love the God who made thee; secondly, thy neighbour as thyself; and
all things whatsoever thou wouldst not have befall thee, thou too, do
not to another."[705] Then there is a series of sayings of Jesus, an
enumeration of the commandments of the decalogue, and various other
ethical injunctions.[706] Particular emphasis is laid on almsgiving as
a ransom for our sins.[707] After this there is a description of the
way of death, which contains all sorts of wickedness and is full of
curse.[708] At the end we read the comforting words: "If thou art able
to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, thou shalt be perfect; but if thou
art not able, what thou art able, that do."[709] The warning is given;
"Watch for your life's sake; let your lamp not go out, and your loins
not be relaxed, but be ready; for ye know not the hour in which our
Lord cometh. . . . In the last days the false prophets and the
corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into
wolves, and love shall be turned into hate. . . . Then all created men
shall come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble
and shall {132} perish. But they that endure in their faith shall be
saved from this curse."[710]

[Footnote 704: _Didache_, 10.]

[Footnote 705: _Ibid._ 1.]

[Footnote 706: _Ibid._ 1-4.]

[Footnote 707: _Ibid._ 4.]

[Footnote 708: _Ibid._ 5.]

[Footnote 709: _Ibid._ 6.]

[Footnote 710: _Didache_, 16.]

To the moralistic group of writings belongs also the so-called 'Second
Epistle of Clement of Rome,' which was in fact a sermon delivered by a
presbyter to the Church. He quotes the saying of Jesus: "Whosoever
therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before
my Father which is in heaven,"[711] and asks: "Wherein must we confess
him?" His answer is: "In doing those things which he saith, and not
disobeying his commandments--by worshipping him not with our lips
only, but with all our heart, and with all our mind."[712] "If we do
the will of Christ we shall find rest; but if not, nothing shall
deliver us from eternal punishment if we shall disobey his
commands."[713] "Beautiful, therefore, is almsgiving, even as
repentance from sin. Better is fasting than prayer, but almsgiving is
better than both. Love covereth a multitude of sins. But prayer out of
a good conscience delivereth from death."[714] "Let us repent. Let us
recover ourselves unto that which is good, for we are full of much
madness and evil. Let us wipe away from us our former sins, and repent
with all our hearts, and be saved."[715] "Blessed are they who obey
these ordinances. Though for a short season they suffer affliction in
the world, they shall gather in the immortal fruit of the

[Footnote 711: _Matthew_ x. 32.]

[Footnote 712: Clement of Rome, _Epistola II. ad Corinthios_, 3.]

[Footnote 713: _Ibid._ 6.]

[Footnote 714: _Ibid._ 16.]

[Footnote 715: _Ibid._ 13.]

[Footnote 716: _Ibid._ 13.]

In the genuine epistle of Clement, which is of an earlier date, there
is an echo of Paul's teaching. We "are not justified by ourselves,
neither by our own wisdom, or knowledge, or piety, or the works which
we have done in the holiness of our hearts," but by faith. This,
however, is "that faith by which God almighty has justified all men
from the beginning,"[717] not faith in the Pauline sense of the word.
"We must fix our minds by faith towards God, and seek those things
that are pleasing and acceptable unto him."[718] "We see how all
righteous men have been adorned with good works; wherefore even the
Lord himself, having adorned himself with his works, rejoiced. Having
therefore such an example, let us without delay fulfil his will, and
with all our strength work the work of righteousness. The good workman
with confidence receives the bread of his labour; but the sluggish and
lazy cannot look him in the face that sets him on work. We must
therefore be ready and forward in well-doing; for from him are all
things. {133} And thus he foretells us, 'Behold, the Lord cometh, and
his reward is with him, even before his face, to render to every one
according to his work'" (_Isaiah_ xl. 10, lxii. 11).[719] "Let the
wise man shew forth his wisdom, not in words but in good works,"[720]
we are "justified by our actions, and not our words."[721] "Happy then
shall we be, beloved, if we shall have fulfilled the commandments of
God, in the unity of love: that so, through love, our sins may be
forgiven us. For so it is written, 'Blessed are they whose iniquities
are forgiven, and whose sins are covered'" (_Psalms_ xxxii. 1).[722]
Clement also speaks of keeping the commandments of Christ.[723] He
calls him "our high priest and protector,"[724] whose blood, being
shed for our salvation, has obtained the grace of repentance for all
the world.[725] There shall be a future resurrection of which God has
made our Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits, raising him from the
dead; and some other guarantees of our own resurrection are also
mentioned, among others that of the wonderful bird phœnix, seen in
Arabia.[726] Though Clement occasionally directly refers to Paul there
is no genuine Paulinism in his epistle. "The Roman Christians," says
Lietzmann, "had not felt the least breath of the Pauline spirit. It is
not an eviscerated Paulinism but a Hellenistic proselyte Christianity
that we meet with here in a pure form, an independent growth from a
root in the early Church, of importance for the future."[727]

[Footnote 717: Clement of Rome, _Epistola I. ad Corinthios_, 32.]

[Footnote 718: _Ibid._ 35.]

[Footnote 719: _Ibid._ 33 _sq._]

[Footnote 720: _Ibid._ 38.]

[Footnote 721: _Ibid._ 30.]

[Footnote 722: _Ibid._ 50.]

[Footnote 723: _Ibid._ 49.]

[Footnote 724: _Ibid._ 64.]

[Footnote 725: _Ibid._ 7. _Cf. ibid._ 21.]

[Footnote 726: _Ibid._ 24 _sq._]

[Footnote 727: H. Lietzmann, _The Beginnings of the Christian Church_
(London, 1937), p. 267.]

The letter bearing the name of James, which was known in Rome at the
end of the first century or shortly after, and was accepted into the
canon of the Western Church in the fourth century,[728] looks like a
definite polemic against Paul's teaching of justification by faith
only, although his name is not mentioned.[729] "What doth it profit,
my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can
faith save him? . . . Faith without works is dead. Was not Abraham our
father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the
altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was
faith made perfect? . . . By works a man is justified, and not by
faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works,
when she had received {134} the messengers, and had sent them out
another way?"[730] But unlike Paul, the author of this epistle means
by faith merely belief, or the acceptance of something as true: "Thou
believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also
believe, and tremble."[731] There is no reference to the resurrection
of Jesus, whose name is mentioned only twice, and then quite

[Footnote 728: F. B. Clogg, _An Introduction to the New Testament_
(London, 1937), p. 146 _sq._]

[Footnote 729: See Dibelius, _op. cit._ p. 227 _sq._]

[Footnote 730: _The Epistle of James_ ii. 14, 20-2, 24 _sq._]

[Footnote 731: _Ibid._ ii. 19.]

[Footnote 732: _Ibid._ i. 1, ii. 1.]

An addendum to the series of the Pauline epistles is the Epistle to
the Hebrews, which was quoted already by Clement of Rome[733] and was
accepted as canonical by the Eastern Church from early times, but in
the West only since the fourth century.[734] The author's conception
of Jesus and his work is similar to Paul's, although he expresses it
in his own way. Jesus is the Son of God, by whom he has made the
worlds.[735] He became man and equal to us in every respect: "In all
things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might
be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to
make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself
hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are
tempted."[736] Being thus the perfect representative of humanity in
the sight of God, he sanctified us once for all by offering his
body,[737] and "became the author of eternal salvation unto all them
that obey him."[738] "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice
for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God."[739] "If we sin
wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there
remaineth no more sacrifice for sins."[740] Sore punishment awaits him
"who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the
blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy
thing."[741] The writer cites the saying about the righteous man who
lives by faith.[742] But faith does not mean for him personal trust in
Christ, as it meant for Paul: "Faith is the substance of things hoped
for, the evidence of things not seen. . . . Through faith we
understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that
things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. . . .
Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to
God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him."[743] We {135} have Jesus as "the author and
finisher of our faith";[744] but, the writer also speaks of the faith
of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and other saints
of the past, "of whom the world was not worthy."[745] There is some
Judaising moralism in the comforting saying addressed to the readers,
that God would not be so unjust as to forget their work and their
loving deeds which they had done to his honour at an earlier date and
were now doing in the service of the saints.[746]

[Footnote 733: Clement, _Epistola I._, 36.]

[Footnote 734: Clogg, _op. cit._ pp. 134, 142.]

[Footnote 735: _The Epistle to the Hebrews_ i. 2.]

[Footnote 736: _Ibid._ ii. 16-18.]

[Footnote 737: _Ibid._ x. 10.]

[Footnote 738: _Ibid._ v. 9.]

[Footnote 739: _Ibid._ x. 12.]

[Footnote 740: _Ibid._ x. 26.]

[Footnote 741: _Ibid._ x. 29.]

[Footnote 742: _Ibid._ x. 38.]

[Footnote 743: _Ibid._ xi. 1, 3, 6.]

[Footnote 744: _The Epistle to the Hebrews_ xii. 2.]

[Footnote 745: _Ibid._ xi. 4 _sqq._]

[Footnote 746: _Ibid._ vi. 10.]

Tertullian attributed this epistle to Barnabas,[747] who is
interpreted in Acts as one able to give consolation,[748] but this
seems to be a mere guess. There is, however, another writer current
under the name of Barnabas, whom Origen even describes as "Catholic,"
that is canonical.[749] The Paulinism of his epistle is well marked.
Faith, love, and hope of that life which is to come are the
characteristics of a Christian;[750] and the assistants of our faith
are fear and patience.[751] **"Our Lord vouchsafes to give up his body
to destruction, that through the forgiveness of our sins we might be
sanctified, that is, by the sprinkling of his blood";[752] and he
"shall come to judge both the quick and the dead."[753] As his kingdom
was founded upon the cross, "they that put their trust in him shall
live for ever";[754] whereas "a man will justly perish, if having the
knowledge of the way of truth, he shall nevertheless not refrain
himself from the way of darkness."[755] The whole of Christianity was
already foretold in the Old Testament; it is as if it had been said
there: "Put your trust in Jesus, who shall be manifested to you in the
flesh."[756] But the Jews were not worthy to receive the covenant
which God had promised to give them, because they had transgressed his
commandments, being deceived by the evil one.[757] There is also a
moral strain in this epistle: "Learning the just commands of the Lord,
. . . we should walk in them. For he who does such things shall be
glorified in the kingdom of God. But he that chooses the other part
shall be destroyed together with his works. For this cause there shall
be both a resurrection and a retribution."[758]

[Footnote 747: Tertullian, _De pudicitia_, 20.]

[Footnote 748: _Acts_ iv. 36.]

[Footnote 749: Clogg, _op. cit._ p. 145.]

[Footnote 750: Barnabas, _Epistola catholica_, 1.]

[Footnote 751: _Ibid._ 2.]

[Footnote 752: _Ibid._ 5.]

[Footnote 753: _Ibid._ 7.]

[Footnote 754: _Ibid._ 8.]

[Footnote 755: _Ibid._ 5; _cf._ 20.]

[Footnote 756: _Ibid._ 6.]

[Footnote 757: _Ibid._ 9, 14.]

[Footnote 758: _Ibid._ 21.]

The chief representative of Paulinism among the Apostolic Fathers is
Ignatius, who was bishop of Antioch in the beginning {136} of the
second century.[759] We have seven letters from his hand, all written
in imitation of the epistles of Paul. Like him, he speaks of believers
both "being found in Christ," and of "having Christ within
themselves,"[760] and exhort them to keep their bodies "as the temples
of God."[761] "Faith and charity in Christ Jesus . . . are the
beginning and end of life; for the beginning is faith, the end
charity. And these two, joined together, are of God."[762] Nothing is
to be preferred to them.[763] Jesus Christ died for us, that we, by
believing in his death, might escape death;[764] and "he was also
truly raised from the dead by his Father, after the manner as he will
also raise up us who believe in him, by Jesus Christ, without whom we
have no true life."[765] On the other hand, if people "believe not in
the blood of Christ, it shall be them to condemnation."[766] He calls
faith "the flesh of the Lord" and charity "the blood of Jesus Christ":
"Renew yourselves in faith, that is, the flesh of the Lord; and in
charity, that is, the blood of Jesus Christ."[767] All other things
which concern a holy life are the consequences of faith and
charity.[768] "Let your works be your charge, that so you may receive
a suitable reward."[769] We must not judaise: "If we still continue to
live according to the Jewish law, we do confess ourselves not to have
received grace."[770]

[Footnote 759: Lietzmann, _op. cit._ p. 315.]

[Footnote 760: Ignatius, _Epistola ad Trallianos_, 2.]

[Footnote 761: _Idem_, _Epistola ad Philodelphenses_, 7.]

[Footnote 762: _Idem_, _Epistola ad Ephesios_, 14.]

[Footnote 763: _Idem_, _Epistola ad Magnesios_, 1; _idem_, _Epistola
ad Smyrnæos_, 6.]

[Footnote 764: _Idem_, _Trallianos_, 2; _idem_, _Smyrnæos_, 6.]

[Footnote 765: _Idem_, _Trallianos_, 9.]

[Footnote 766: _Idem_, _Smyrnæos_, 6.]

[Footnote 767: _Idem_, _Trallianos_, 8. _Cf._ _idem_, _Romanos_, 7.]

[Footnote 768: _Idem_, _Ephesios_, 14.]

[Footnote 769: _Idem_, _Epistola ad Polycarpum_, 6.]

[Footnote 770: _Magnesios_, 8.]

The antitheses of Paul between law and gospel and between wrath and
grace were carried to an extreme by Marcion. He was a native of Sinope
in Pontus, where his father was bishop, but as a grown man he came to
Rome in the reign of Antoninus Pius, and gained influence in the
Church there until sharp oppositions arose. He separated himself from
the Church Catholic and founded his own Church, which spread with such
rapidity that wherever Christians were numerous about the year 160
there were probably Marcionite communities. The work in which he
brought his teaching together has not been preserved, and its contents
can therefore only be deduced from the notices which are found in the
writings of opponents, particularly in Tertullian's five volumes
against Marcion. {137} They have been assembled by Harnack,[771]
and I shall avail myself of his collection.

[Footnote 771: A. Harnack, _Marcion: das Evangelium vom fremden Gott_
(Leipzig, 1921).]

Contrary to some other writers of the age, Marcion explained the Old
Testament in its literal sense and rejected every allegorical
interpretation. He recognised it as the revelation of the creator of
the world and the god of the Jews, but placed it, just on that
account, in sharpest contrast to the gospel. This god created the
world out of material substance; and he also created Adam weak in body
and soul and then, tolerating the wiles of the devil through the Law,
he brought sin and death upon mankind. His character was stern
justice, and therefore anger, contentiousness, and unmercifulness. He
wished to enforce the carrying out of his commandments by a system of
punishments which rested upon the idea of retaliation: an eye for an
eye, a tooth for a tooth, blood for blood was its principle, and this
made him an unmerciful judge who punished the sins of the fathers on
the children down to the fourth generation. His ideal was
"righteousness," and therefore he might be called the "righteous God."

But there is also another god, the good God of love, who was
absolutely unknown before Christ, but was revealed by him. Men were
also in every respect strange to him; but out of pure goodness and
mercy he espoused their cause, as he could not bear to have them any
longer tormented by their just and yet malevolent god. Rejecting Old
Testament righteousness, Christ preached the gospel of the unknown
God, taught gentleness and patience instead of cruelty and wrath, love
of enemies and forgiveness instead of hate and retribution,
compassionate kindness instead of calculating righteousness. He taught
these things as the will of God and showed them forth in both word and
deed. Then he died on the cross the death accursed by the creator god
(_Galatians_ iii. 13), and thereby paid him the ransom money and thus
redeemed us, "the strangers," from our previous owners and gained us
for the good God; and not only those of us who were then living or who
should live, but also the dead. For he descended into hell and
liberated all the sinners, the whole multitude of heathen who suffered
in the fiery wrath of the revenging god. The difference between the
two gods had been clearly expounded by Paul, whom Christ had inspired
by a special revelation, lest the gospel of the grace of God should be
lost by falsifications. None of the twelve apostles whom Christ chose
had understood him; they had regarded him erroneously as the Messiah
of the Jewish god. {138} Therefore Christ had revealed the truth once
again and had called Paul as its herald, who alone had maintained it
in its purity. Marcion set himself boldly to the task of restoring the
genuine and true gospel which had been known to Paul, by removing the
Judaising interpolations and altering the text. But his gospel had
also been misunderstood, nay his epistles had been falsified in many
passages, in order to make them teach the identity of the god of
creation and the God of redemption. And Marcion attempted to purify
them too from interpolations and restore the genuine Paulinism, which
was just the gospel itself.

Nearly all ecclesiastical writers from Justin to Origen opposed
Marcion. He was said to be the most wicked and shameless of all
heretics, worse than a heathen, a blasphemous emissary of demons, the
first-born of Satan.[772] Yet he was too important to be ignored.
Harnack maintains that the duty of accommodating herself to the
Pauline epistles was actually forced upon the Church by Marcion and
some other heretics, and that, but for this constraint, she would
hardly have incorporated them with the canon.[773] Whatever else may
be said about Marcion we must give him credit for having perceived
clearly the vital difference between the teaching of Jesus as reported
in the synoptic gospels and the teaching of Paul, as we know it, which
modern theologians have been so apt to slur.

[Footnote 772: A. Harnack, _History of Dogma_, i (London, 1894),
p. 284 _sq._]

[Footnote 773: _Ibid._ ii (1896), p. 51.]

The early Christian Apologists--Aristides, Justin, Athenagoras,
Tatian, Theophilus, and Minucius Felix--are earnest moralists. Man was
created free to choose; there is no virtue where there is no choice,
and evil may therefore be necessary for the production of virtue.[774]
Justin introduces Jesus with the formula "the teacher Christ,"[775]
represents him as the Socrates of the barbarians, and propounds the
theory that this teacher is the incarnate reason of God.[776] The
prophets of the Jews, however, were also inspired by the divine wisdom
or Logos;[777] hence the Mosaic law comprehended the unchangeable and
fundamental principles of morality, and those who had lived up to it
before the coming of Christ would be saved by him.[778] Man is
naturally endowed with a "sperm of Logos."[779] But a revelation of
the rational was necessary because he had {139} fallen under the sway
of demons, and by the appearance of Christ the very Logos, or Reason
itself, took upon himself a human form and nature to assist man and
rescue him from the power of the demons, and thus enable him to follow
his reason and freedom to do what is good.[780] God is "the Father of
righteousness,"[781] who rewards goodness and punishes wickedness.
"Every one is stepping forward into everlasting misery or happiness
according to his works."[782] They who walk according to the will of
God, "and demonstrate their worthiness by their works, we are sure
will be admitted into the Divine presence, there to reign with him,
where corruption and suffering never come";[783] whereas every one
according to his demerits shall suffer in eternal fire.[784] But no
one can be accountable for any action of his unless mankind has the
power to choose the good and refuse the evil. "For if it be not so,
but all things are determined by fate, then farewell freedom of will;
and if this man is destined to be good, and that evil, then neither
the one nor the other can be justly approved or condemned."[785] "By
maintaining, therefore, that future events have been foretold by the
prophets, we do not maintain that the things foretold came to pass by
any fatal necessity, but from that divine prescience which foresees
all the actions of men, without necessitating them to act."[786] Only
this is destiny, inevitable destiny, that those who choose to walk in
the paths of virtue shall meet with proportionate returns of honour,
and those who prefer the contrary course shall be punished
accordingly, for God has not made man like trees or beasts, without
the power of election.[787]

[Footnote 774: E. Hatch, _Hibbert Lectures on the Influence of Greek
Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church_ (London, 1890), p. 232.]

[Footnote 775: Justin, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 4.]

[Footnote 776: _Ibid._ 5.]

[Footnote 777: _Ibid._ 33, 36.]

[Footnote 778: Justin, _Dialogus cum Tryphone Judæo_, 45.]

[Footnote 779: _Idem_, _Apologia II. pro Christianis_, 8.]

[Footnote 780: Justin, _Apologia I._, 5.]

[Footnote 781: _Ibid._ 6.]

[Footnote 782: _Ibid._ 12.]

[Footnote 783: _Ibid._ 10.]

[Footnote 784: _Ibid._ 12, 21.]

[Footnote 785: _Ibid._ 43.]

[Footnote 786: _Ibid._ 44.]

[Footnote 787: _Ibid._ 43.]

But although Christ is considered to have accomplished salvation as a
divine teacher and to be a redeemer by helping men to withstand the
power of evil demons, Justin also refers to the cross, saying that the
sinless Christ submitted to his ignominious death in obedience to the
will of his Father, in order that he might rescue them from the
penalty due to their sins,[788] and that in order to secure the
benefits from Christ's death repentance and a renunciation of our past
evil habits are necessary.[789] He also says that men are purified by
faith through the blood and death of Christ,[790] and that we are sure
to have a life incorruptible if we ask for it in faith.[791] But it
has {140} been pointed out that these are mere words which have
nothing at all corresponding to them in Justin's general system of
thought. To him Christianity is essentially the belief, founded on the
words of Christ, that God rewards righteousness with eternal life, and
punishes wickedness with eternal punishment.[792]

[Footnote 788: Justin, _Dialogus cum Tryphone Judæo_, 41.]

[Footnote 789: _Ibid._ 44, 95.]

[Footnote 790: _Ibid._ 13.]

[Footnote 791: Justin, _Apologia I._, 16.]

[Footnote 792: M. von Engelhardt, _Das Christenthum Justins des
Märtyrers_ (Erlangen, 1878), p. 199 _sqq._]

The other Apologists mentioned above did not enter closely into the
significance of Christ. They, also, maintained that true wisdom can be
learnt only by divine revelation, from the prophets and Christ, whose
teaching was identical with or a continuation of theirs.[793] But
while Minucius Felix, like the Greek Apologists, perceives the
teachings of the prophets and Christ to be divine truth,[794] he also
says that Christian truth chiefly presents itself as the wisdom
implanted by nature in every man,[795] and finds Christian ethics to
be the expression of the Stoic.[796] That the moral interest is
dominant in all the Apologists is the more natural on account of the
calumnious accusations circulated against the Christians. Aristides, a
philosopher of Athens, portrays Christianity by portraying Christian
morality. The Christians "know and believe in God, the creator of
heaven and earth, by whom all things consist, . . . and from whom they
have received the commandments which they have written in their
hearts, commandments which they keep in the hope and expectation of
the world to come."[797]

[Footnote 793: Athenagoras, _Legatio pro christianis_, 7; Tatian,
_Oratio adversus Græcos_, 29; Theophilus, _Ad Autolycum_, i. 14.]

[Footnote 794: Minucius Felix, _Octavius_, 34.]

[Footnote 795: _Ibid._ 16.]

[Footnote 796: _Ibid._ 31 _sqq._]

[Footnote 797: Aristides, _Apologia_, 15.]

Tertullian was the first Apologist after Justin who considered it
necessary to give a detailed account of Christ as the incarnation of
the Logos.[798] He repeatedly urges that the whole work of Christ is
comprised in the death on the cross, and indeed that this death was
the aim of his mission;[799] we are redeemed by the blood of the Lord
and the Lamb,[800] and such is the efficacy of this blood, that it not
only cleanses men from sin and brings them out of darkness into light,
but preserves them also in a state of purity if they continue to walk
in the light.[801] He also speaks of a repentance which is justified
by faith, _pœnitentiam ex fide justificatam_,[802] and of
justification by faith without the {141} ordinances of the law.[803]
But in Tertullian the mystic doctrine of salvation is rudimentary, and
there are many inconsistencies in his treatment both of dogmatic and
moral questions. In the first place he was a moralist and a legalist,
who looked upon the whole life of the Christian after baptism as
strictly a life under the law, its motives being hope of reward and
fear of punishment and the result determined purely according to legal
standards. He tells us that God keeps a register of our works,[804]
that we shall be restored to life to answer for them, whether they be
good or evil.[805] All good works are in general meritorious, but
merit in a peculiar sense attaches to such as go beyond the strict
demands of God. Tertullian distinguishes between precepts and
counsels, between _jussa_ and _suasa_, in consequence of expressions
found in Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians,[806] a distinction
which had previously been made by Hermas.[807] The retribution is
strictly according to merit.[808] "The worshippers of God shall be
clothed upon with a substance proper for everlasting duration, and
fixed in a perpetual union with God; but the profane and the hypocrite
shall be doomed to a lake of overflowing fire, and fuelled with
incorruptibility from the divine indefectible nature of that flame
which torments them."[809] But Tertullian also speaks of a kind of
purgatory, where, in the interval between death and the general
resurrection, the souls of those who are destined to eternal happiness
undergo a purification from the stains which even the best men
contract during their lives.[810]

[Footnote 798: Tertullian, _Apologeticus_, 21.]

[Footnote 799: _Idem_, _De baptismo_, 11; _idem_, _Adversus
Marcionem_, iii. 8.]

[Footnote 800: _Idem_, _De pudicitia_, 6. _Cf._ _idem_, _Ad uxorem_,
ii. 3.]

[Footnote 801: _Idem_, _De pudicitia_, 19.]

[Footnote 802: _Idem_, _Adversus Marcionem_, iv. 18.]

[Footnote 803: _Ibid._ iv. 35.]

[Footnote 804: Tertullian, _Apologeticus_, 36.]

[Footnote 805: _Ibid._ 48.]

[Footnote 806: Tertullian, _Ad uxorem_, ii. 1; _1 Corinthians_, vii.]

[Footnote 807: _Supra_, p. 130.]

[Footnote 808: Tertullian, _Adversus gnosticos scorpiace_, 6; _idem_,
_De patientia_, 10.]

[Footnote 809: _Idem_, _Apologeticus_, 48.]

[Footnote 810: _Idem_, _De anima_, 57 _sq._]

Of predestination we find no trace in Tertullian's writings. When men
sin the guilt is strictly and properly their own,[811] for they
possess by nature freedom of will.[812] "Some argue," he says, "that
whatever happens, happens by the will of God; for if God had not
willed, it would not have happened. But this is to strike at the root
of all virtue, and to offer an apology for every sin. The sophistry,
moreover, of the argument is not less glaring than its pernicious
tendency. For if nothing happens but what God wills, God wills the
commission of crime; in other words, he wills what he forbids. . . .
Man has also a will, which ought always to coincide with the will of
God, but is often at variance with it."[813] But at the same time he
says that {142} man's freedom of will is subject to the influence of
divine grace.[814] Tertullian has often given a Stoic colouring to
Christian ethics and rules of life.

[Footnote 811: _Idem_, _De monogamia_, 14.]

[Footnote 812: _Idem_, _De anima_, 21.]

[Footnote 813: _Idem_, _De exhortatione castitatis_, 2.]

[Footnote 814: Tertullian, _De anima_, 21.]

The influence of Paul shows itself clearly in Irenæus, although it was
by no means so great as the frequency of his citations from him might
suggest.[815] He adopted from Paul the thought that Christ's real work
of salvation consists in his death on the cross,[816] but his
moralistic teaching differed from Paul's. He applied the benefits of
Christ's work to those who listen to the Saviour's words and adorn
them with works of righteousness.[817] Christ is the teacher who
reforms mankind by his preaching, calling upon them to direct their
freedom of will to obedience to the divine commandment and thereby
strengthening this freedom.[818] The fundamental knowledge of God and
the moral law of nature were already revealed to man and placed in his
heart by the creator.[819] He who preserves these, as the patriarchs
did, is justified.[820] But the great majority of men wandered away
from God; hence he gave his people the written law, the decalogue,
though it contains nothing else than the moral law of nature, which
had fallen in oblivion.[821] Christ did not abolish it, but extended
and fulfilled it.[822] It is the same truth which we can learn from
the prophets and again from Christ and the apostles. It is Christ that
**prophesied and appeared in the Old Testament; he is the householder
who produced both Old and New Testaments.[823]

[Footnote 815: See J. Werner, _Der Paulinism des Irenæus_ (Leipzig,
1889), p. 213 _sq._]

[Footnote 816: Irenæus, _Contra hæreses_, ii. 20. 3.]

[Footnote 817: _Ibid._ iv. 36, 6.]

[Footnote 818: _Ibid._ v. 1. 1, iii. 23. 2, iii. 5. 3, iv. 24. 1.]

[Footnote 819: _Ibid._ iv. 13. 1, iv. 15. 1.]

[Footnote 820: _Ibid._ iv. 16. 3.]

[Footnote 821: _Ibid._ iv. 16. 3.]

[Footnote 822: _Ibid._ iv. 13. 1.]

[Footnote 823: _Ibid._ iv. 2. 3, iv. 9. 1.]

In the Alexandrian school of catechists, which was modelled to some
extent after the manner of the Academy of Plato, Greek philosophy was
made to serve the purpose of Christian apologetics. The goodness of
God and the responsibility of man are the central ideas. According to
Clement of Alexandria, it is the will of God that he who obeys the
commandments and repents his sins should be saved.[824] The law and
the gospel are only parts of the same economy, in which the same God
is revealed to mankind: "There is in truth one covenant of salvation,
extending from the foundation of the world to our time, which,
according to the difference of generations and {143} seasons, is
supposed to be given in different forms."[825] Before the coming of
the Lord philosophy was necessary to the Greeks for
justification,[826] but it was much later than the philosophy of the
Hebrews, from which it was in fact borrowed.[827] Yet the Greek
philosophy, though it possessed the Logos--the source of all the true
knowledge to which man attains--is not sufficient for salvation, which
must be obtained through faith in Christ; for that which was hidden
from former generations is now revealed to mankind.[828] "The law was
given to the Jews, philosophy to the Greeks, until the advent of
Christ, who was to collect all men, Greeks and barbarians into one
peculiar righteous people through the teaching of faith."[829] The Son
of God is the saviour of all men; "but especially, as the Apostle
says, of those who believe."[830]

[Footnote 824: Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, ii. 16 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, viii. 1012).]

[Footnote 825: _Ibid._ vi. 13 (Migne, ix. 328).]

[Footnote 826: _Ibid._ i. 5 (Migne, viii. 717).]

[Footnote 827: _Ibid._ i. 14 (Migne, viii. 757).]

[Footnote 828: _Ibid._ v. 13 (Migne, ix. 128).]

[Footnote 829: _Ibid._ vi. 17 (Migne, ix. 392).]

[Footnote 830: _Ibid._ vi. 17 (Migne, ix. 393).]

Clement speaks of the redemption of man as effected by the death of
Christ,[831] but he really regards Christ as of no importance to
"gnostics"--who are wise men and not merely simple believers--except
as a teacher, who "taught the good life, in order that afterwards as
God he might grant everlasting life."[832] God confers eternal
salvation on those who work together with him in knowledge and good
actions; the performance of his commandments being in our power.[833]
This freedom of will, however, does not exclude the operation of
divine grace: "by grace we are saved," but not without good
works.[834] Clement also speaks of justification by faith, referring
to the Epistle to the Hebrews, which he ascribes to Paul.[835] He
quotes almost all the epistles of Paul, and yet there is not much of
Paul in his teaching. He defines faith as the rational assent of a
soul free to choose,[836] and, in another place, as obedience to the
word.[837] But knowledge is superior to faith,[838] through knowledge
faith is perfected;[839] or the first saving change is from heathenism
to faith, the second is from faith to knowledge, which is perfected in
love.[840] If the choice were proposed to the gnostic either to {144}
know God or to obtain eternal salvation, he would choose the former.
And he does not strive to attain to the knowledge of God for any
consequences which will flow from the attainment: he does not do good
for fame nor for reward.[841] Clement's strict moralism is also
apparent in his sayings that different degrees of reward will be
assigned to different degrees of virtue,[842] and that in inflicting
punishment God does not wish to avenge himself but "has three things
in view: to amend the transgressor, to admonish those who can be saved
by example, and to prevent the injured party from becoming an object
of contempt, and being thereby exposed to future injustice."[843] Sins
committed after baptism are to be purged by public confession and
profession of repentance; and if the purifying discipline does not
take place in this life, it must do so after death, being effected by
fire, "not by a destructive, but a discriminating fire, pervading the
soul which passes through it."[844]

[Footnote 831: Clement of Alexandria, _Pædagogus_, i. 5 (Migne, viii.
277), i. 6 (Migne, viii. 301), i. 11 (Migne, viii. 365), ii. 8 (Migne,
viii. 488).]

[Footnote 832: _Idem_, _Cohortatio ad gentes_, 1 (Migne, viii. 61).]

[Footnote 833: _Idem_, _Stromata_, vii. 7 (Migne, ix. 469).]

[Footnote 834: _Ibid._ v. 1 (Migne, ix. 16).]

[Footnote 835: _Ibid._ ii. 4 (Migne, viii. 944).]

[Footnote 836: _Ibid._ v. 1 (Migne, ix. 12), v. 13 (Migne, ix. 128).]

[Footnote 837: Clement of Alexandria, _Pædagogus_, i. 13 (Migne,
viii. 372).]

[Footnote 838: _Idem_, _Stromata_, vi. 14 (Migne, ix. 332).]

[Footnote 839: _Ibid._ vii. 10 (Migne, ix. 477).]

[Footnote 840: _Ibid._ vii. 10 (Migne, ix. 481).]

[Footnote 841: Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, iv. 22 (Migne,
viii. 1348).]

[Footnote 842: _Ibid._ iv. 6 (Migne, viii. 1248).]

[Footnote 843: _Ibid._ iv. 24 (Migne, viii. 1364).]

[Footnote 844: _Ibid._ vii. 6 (Migne, ix. 449).]

Like Clement his great disciple Origen modified the gospel doctrine of
the state of sinners after death, with its everlasting torments in the
fire of hell. He assumed that the souls of the unpurified ones pass
into a cleansing fire which is only temporary and figurative, simply
consisting in the torments of conscience;[845] and that in the end all
the spirits in heaven and earth, nay even the demons, are purged and
brought back to the Logos-Christ.[846] But he treated this doctrine as
an esoteric one: "for the common man it is sufficient to know that the
sinner is punished."[847] Origen regarded the two Testaments as the
absolute reliable divine revelation, while he also recognised
revelations of God in Greek philosophy;[848] but he maintained that
the Christianity which is fitted for the comprehension of the
multitude is the best doctrine only in a relative sense, that the
"common man" must be reformed by the prospect of rewards and
punishments, and that the truth can be communicated to him only in
veiled forms and images.[849] When faith is elevated to knowledge and
clear vision, it is found that God rewards in justice and punishes in
kindness.[850] No spirit can be saved without entering into fellowship
with the Logos, who, as also the Apologists maintained, has been
revealing himself from the {145} beginning. In the lower stages this
is effected through faith and sure conviction of the reality of a
historical fact; the redeeming death of Christ, but in the higher
stage it is accomplished through knowledge and love, which grasp the
eternal essence of the Logos.[851] For this purpose the wise man
requires a perfect, in other words, a divine teacher; while "to know
Christ crucified is the knowledge of babes."[852]

[Footnote 845: Origen, [Greek: peri\ a)rchô=n], ii. 10. 4; _idem_,
_Contra Celsum_, v. 15, vi. 26.]

[Footnote 846: _Idem_, [Greek: peri\ a)rchô=n], i. 6. 1 _sqq._,
iii. 6. 1 _sqq._]

[Footnote 847: _Idem_, _Contra Celsum_, vi. 26.]

[Footnote 848: _Ibid._ ii. 335.]

[Footnote 849: _Ibid._ iii. 78 _sq._]

[Footnote 850: Origen, [Greek: peri\ a)rchô=n], ii.  5. 3 _sq._]

[Footnote 851: C. Bigg, _The Christian Platonists of Alexandria_
(Oxford, 1913), p. 211 _sq._]

[Footnote 852: Origen, _Contra Celsum_, iii. 28, 61; _idem_,
_Commentaria in Evangelium Joannis_, i. 20 _sqq._]

Porphyry says of Origen: "His outward life was that of a Christian and
opposed to the law, but in regard to his views of things and of the
Deity he thought like the Greeks, inasmuch as he introduced their
ideas into the myths of other peoples";[853] and we can everywhere
verify this observation from his works and particularly from the books
written against Celsus. In the East the history of the Church during
the succeeding centuries is the history of Origen's philosophy; and
among the theologians of ecclesiastical antiquity he was the most
important and influential alongside of Augustine.

[Footnote 853: Eusebius, _Historia ecclesiastica_, vi. 19.]



IN the West Augustine dominated more or less the history of piety and
dogma from the beginning of the fifth century to the eve of
Reformation, and continued to exert his influence afterwards as well.
His own reformation was essentially a Pauline reaction against the
prevailing piety, though a Paulinism modified by popular Catholic
elements.[854] Like Paul, Augustine experienced a sudden conversion, a
momentary ecstacy in which he became absorbed in the love of God, and
his mind underwent a complete change; he had been a slave of lust, as
he describes himself, but was now set free from all propensity to
sensual indulgence. The conversion took place when he was in his
thirty-second year. He tells us in his 'Confessions' that in Milan,
where he was staying, he retired into a garden and, greatly agitated,
cast himself down under a fig-tree, and, weeping in most bitter
contrition of his heart, prayed to God to put an end to his
uncleanness. Then he heard from a neighbouring house a voice, "as of a
boy or girl," singing and repeating the words, "_Tolle lege_" ("take
up and read"). "Instantly," he writes, "with a changed countenance, I
began to think most intently, whether boys in any kind of game used to
sing such a phrase; nor could I remember ever to have heard the like.
So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to no
other than a divine command, to open the book and read the first
chapter I should find. . . . I seized, opened, and in silence read the
passage upon which my eyes first fell: 'Let us walk honestly, as in
the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and
wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts
thereof'" (_Romans_ xiii. 13 _sq._). Then his friend Alypius, who was
with him, disclosed to him the following passage, "Him that is weak in
the faith receive" (_ibid._ xiv. 1).[855]

[Footnote 854: _Cf._ H. Reuter, _Augustinische Studien_ (Gotha, 1887),
p. 494 _sqq._]

[Footnote 855: Augustine, _Confessiones_, viii. 12.]

Next to the conversion of Paul, there has been no other conversion
fraught with so far-reaching consequences in the {147} history of
Christianity as that of Augustine. In innumerable passages Augustine,
like Paul, extols faith as the element in which the soul lives, as the
beginning, middle, and end of piety. But to him the object of the
faith which is necessary for salvation was the truth guaranteed by the
Catholic Church, which he regarded as infallible in consequence of its
authority as based on apostolicity.[856] Augustine had forced his way
through scepticism to the truth of the Church and looked upon the
latter as the rock on which his faith was founded. It constitutes a
real unity with Christ, so that all Catholics are "the true members of
his body"; whereas heretics and schismatics "are cut off from this
body,"[857] and consequently cannot be saved. At the same time, faith
is only a preliminary condition of salvation. We must not fancy that
faith by itself protects from future judgment: it is only the faith
that works in love, faith and work, that does so.[858] Faith and hope
without love are useless; it is love that decides the measure of
goodness possessed by a man.[859] According to Augustine, faith, love,
and merit are successive steps in the way to final salvation; and this
became the view of the Catholic Church.

[Footnote 856: _Idem_, _Contra epistolam Manichæ_, i. 5.]

[Footnote 857: _Idem_, _De civitate Dei_, xxi. 25.]

[Footnote 858: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 67 _sq._]

[Footnote 859: _Ibid._ 117.]

But while the conception of merits, which had been current in the
Church from the days of Tertullian[860] and Cyprian[861] was accepted
by Augustine, he reconciled this principle--as also Ambrose had
done[862]--with the doctrine of grace, by teaching that God crowned
his own gifts in crowning our merits.[863] A man is justified not by
the merits of his own deeds, but by free grace. Faith and love and
merits are all God's gifts;[864] and "no one is saved except by
undeserved mercy, and no one condemned except by a deserved
judgment."[865] As Paul taught in his epistle to the Romans, the elect
are saved because God, in virtue of his eternal decree of salvation,
has predestinated, chosen, called, justified, sanctified, and
preserved them.[866] He would not have been blamed if he had redeemed
no one after Adam's fall; so neither is he to be blamed if in his
mercy he redeems only a few, that none may boast of his own merits.
God's will is expressed in the case of the lost as much as in that of
the saved: "in the very deed by which they opposed his {148} will, his
will regarding them was done."[867] When Adam, in the hope of becoming
like God, transgressed his command not to eat the fruit, all
conceivable sins were compressed into his sin; and children are
infected not only by Adam's sin, but also by the sins of their
parents, nay even unbaptised infants will receive damnation.[868]
Indeed, their very birth is corrupt, because their parents have
produced them in sinful lust.[869] Adam's fall was all the more
dreadful as it was easy for him to observe God's command and refrain
from sin. He might have forborne one fruit when there were so many
besides it, and no lust then opposed his will.[870] But the Fall of
man was the suicide of his free will, and since then he is subject to
the dreary necessity of being unable to refrain from sin.[871] And
even inherited sin is enough for damnation.

[Footnote 860: _Supra_, p. 141.]

[Footnote 861: Cyprian, _De habitu virginum_, 23.]

[Footnote 862: Ambrose, _De viduis_, 12.]

[Footnote 863: Augustine, _De gratia et libero arbitrio_, 15; _idem_,
_De gestis Pelagii_, 35; _idem_, _Epistola CXCIV_.]

[Footnote 864: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 30-2, 107.]

[Footnote 865: _Ibid._ 94.]

[Footnote 866: Augustine, _De prædestinatione sanctorum_, 17 (34).]

[Footnote 867: **Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 98-100.]

[Footnote 868: _Ibid._ 45; Augustine, _De peccato originali_, 31.]

[Footnote 869: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 34, 46; _idem_, _De nuptiis et
concupiscentia_, ii. 15.]

[Footnote 870: _Idem_, _De civitate Dei_, xiv. 12. On the primitive
state see _idem_, _De correptione et gratia_, 28-33.]

[Footnote 871: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 30.]

Since all men are by nature children of wrath, and are burdened both
by original sin and their own sins, a mediator was necessary, who
should appease that wrath by presenting a unique sacrifice. That this
was done constitutes the grace of God through Jesus Christ, who was
conceived not by the _libido matris_, but by faith and therefore
sinlessly.[872] Christ, the man who was deemed worthy to be assumed by
God to form one person with him, is the most splendid example of grace
given _gratis_ and not according to merits.[873] He submitted to
death, not from compulsion, but in order to let the devil receive his
rights.[874] He became a sacrifice for sin, representing our sin in
the flesh in which he was crucified, "that in some way he might die to
sin, in dying to the flesh," and from the resurrection might seal our
new life.[875]

[Footnote 872: _Ibid._ 34, 41.]

[Footnote 873: _Ibid._ 36.]

[Footnote 874: _Ibid._ 49.]

[Footnote 875: _Ibid._ 41.]

In the future state there will be different degrees both of
felicity[876] and damnation. Those of the latter will depend in each
case on the measure of sin; those will have the mildest punishment who
have only original but not actual sin.[877] It is credible that a
purifying fire exists for _believers_ even after death.[878] In the
intermediate state departed souls may obtain mitigation through the
mass and the alms of survivors in the Church; for there are many souls
not good enough to be able to dispense with this provision, and not
bad enough not to be {149} benefited by it. What the Church does for
the dead, is not inconsistent with the sayings of Paul in his epistle
to the Romans (xiv. 10) and in his second epistle to the Corinthians
(v. 10). For those who are wholly good it is a thanksgiving, for those
not altogether bad an atonement, for those entirely wicked it is
resultless, but gives comfort to the survivors; nay, while it makes
remission complete, it renders damnation more tolerable.[879] After
the judgment there are only two states, though there are different
grades in them. We must believe in the eternal duration of the pains
of hell, although we may perhaps suppose that from time to time God
lightens the punishment of the lost, or permits some sort of
mitigation. "Death will continue without end, just as the collective
eternal life of all saints will continue."[880]

[Footnote 876: Augustine, _De civitate Dei_, xxii. 30.]

[Footnote 877: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 93.]

[Footnote 878: _Ibid._ 69.]

[Footnote 879: _Ibid._ 110.]

[Footnote 880: _Ibid._ 111-13.]

From the moral point of view the relation between the grace of God and
the faith, love, and merit of man in Augustine's doctrine of salvation
is an absurdity. If the latter are gifts of God, he rewards man with
eternal felicity for what he himself has given him; and if man's
freedom of will is restricted in such a way as to make him unable to
refrain from sin, he might possibly reject the offer of the gift, but
he certainly deserves no reward for refraining from doing so.

Augustine's idea that God has predestinated some persons to salvation
and others to damnation takes us to the problem of free will and moral
responsibility. We have seen that a moral emotion is a reactionary
attitude of mind towards a person conceived as the cause of a certain
mode of conduct, and that a moral judgment is consequently passed on
him as the cause of it. But we impute a person's conduct to _him_ only
in so far as we consider it to be due, directly or indirectly, to his
will. This is not the case if he acts under compulsion. In such
circumstances even ordinary anger tends to cease; as Seneca said, "Who
but an unjust person can be angry with what is done under
compulsion?"[881] When a man's whole conduct is determined by an
external power ruling over human affairs, a god or an all-powerful
fate, he can obviously not be held responsible for what he does under
the influence of such constraint; the logical outcome of radical
fatalism is a denial of all moral imputability and a rejection of all
moral judgment. The same has been said to apply to determinism.
Determinism has been confounded with fatalism, causation confounded
with compulsion, the cause which determines the will being looked upon
in the light of a constraining power outside the will. This {150} is
an obvious mistake. While fatalism presupposes the existence of a
person who is constrained by an outward power, determinism regards the
person himself as in every respect a product of causes. It does not
assume any part of his will to have existed previous to his formation
by these causes; his will cannot possibly be constrained by them
because there is nothing to constrain, it is made by them. When we say
of a person that he is influenced by external circumstances or subdued
by fate, we regard _him_ as existing independently of that which
influences or subdues him, we attribute to him a will, or character,
which is acted upon from the outside. He would have been different if
he had lived under different conditions of life, or if fate had left
him alone. But how could we say that he would have been different if
he had been the offspring of different parents? _He_ would not have
existed at all. This is the pivot of the whole question. A moral
emotion and a moral judgment presuppose the existence of a certain
individual with an innate character, it is towards him that the
emotion is felt, on him that the judgment is passed; beyond that they
cannot go. In the very strictest sense of the term, the proper subject
of moral judgment is the innate character,[882] and any succeeding
change a person's character undergoes is imputable to _him_ only in so
far as it is caused by the character with which he was born. The moral
consciousness should, so far as possible, consider the influences to
which his innate character has been subjected from the outside world,
but it cannot consider the causes from which it sprang. To do so would
be foreign to its very nature. The moral emotions are no more
concerned with the origin of the innate character than the æsthetic
emotions are concerned with the origin of the beautiful object: when
we enjoy the music of a violin, we do not consider that it is produced
by the rubbing of hairs from a horse-tail against the dried intestines
of sheep. In their capacity of retributive emotions, they are
essentially directed towards sensitive and volitional entities
conceived, not as uncaused themselves, but only as causes of pleasure
or pain.

[Footnote 881: Seneca, _De ira_, ii. 30.]

[Footnote 882: See my book _Ethical Relativity_ (London, 1932), p. 177

Nor can Augustine's conception of original sin satisfy even the most
elementary moral claims. His opinion of the enormity of Adam's sin
shocked even a schoolman like Duns Scotus, who argued that the act to
which he allowed himself to be led was not in its nature an immoral
act, but only transgression of a command imposed for the purpose of
testing, and that Adam accordingly sinned only indirectly against the
command to love God, while at the same time he transgressed the law of
{151} neighbourly love by overpassing, through his pliancy, the proper
limit. His sin did not arise from uncontrolled self-love, but had its
root in uncontrolled love for the partner associated with him, which,
however, was not libidinous, since in the primitive state there was no
_libido_.[883] The punishment for his offence was also enormous, and
unjust beyond all bounds; it consisted not only in his own death but
in the death of all other men, his descendants, who were supposed to
be infected with his sin. And at the same time they had also, for no
fault of theirs, to pay for the sin contracted by their parents
producing them in sinful lust.

[Footnote 883: K. Werner, _Johannes Duns Scotus_ (Wien, 1881),
p. 412.]

It would seem that from the Augustinian point of view the salvation of
man might have been accomplished simply by the grace of God, without
the assistance of the death of Christ; but Paul had written that
"Christ died for all," and this had to be explained. Augustine,
however, had no new explanation to offer. Origen, though considering
that the crucified Christ was of no account for the gnostic, was the
first to set up the theory that the devil had acquired a legal claim
on men, and therefore to regard the death of Christ (or his soul) as a
ransom paid to the devil. He associated this view with the notion of a
deception practised on the devil. By his successful temptation the
devil acquired such a right, and this right could not be destroyed,
but only bought off. God offered the devil Christ's soul in exchange
for the souls of men. But this proposal of exchange was insincere, as
God knew that the devil could not keep hold of Christ's soul, because
a sinless soul could not but cause him torture. The devil agreed to
the bargain and was duped; hence Christ did not fall into the power of
death and the devil, but overcame both.[884] This theory was widely
accepted, by Augustine and Gregory the Great amongst others. The
latter gives it in a very drastic form: the humanity of Christ was the
bait, the fish--that is the devil--snapped at it, and was left hanging
on the invisible hook, Christ's divinity.[885] But in Augustine we
also find echoes of another thought, namely that God must be
propitiated. This view, too, had been expressed by Origen, who was the
first to introduce into the Church a theology of sacrifice or
propitiation based on the death of Christ.[886]

[Footnote 884: Harnack, _History of Dogma_, ii (London, 1896), p. 367
n. 1.]

[Footnote 885: Gregory the Great, _Moralia_, xxxiii., 7.]

[Footnote 886: Harnack, _op. cit._ ii. 307 n. 1, iii. (1897), p. 308.]

While Augustine insisted on the eternal duration of the pains of hell,
he moralised somewhat this doctrine by admitting {152} different
degrees of damnation. The notion of different degrees of damnation and
blessedness did not originate in him, but seems to have been very
common even before his days.[887] Nor was his suggestion of a
purifying fire after death a novel one. The idea of a kind of
purgatory is found in Tertullian,[888] and Clement and Origen had
assumed a purgatory in the shape of a cleansing fire.[889] From the
East this conception passed to Ambrose, who established it in the
West, after the way for it had been prepared by Tertullian.[890] The
scriptural proof was Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians (iii.

[Footnote 887: Harnack, _op. cit._ iii. 188 n. 1.]

[Footnote 888: _Supra_, p. 141.]

[Footnote 889: _Supra_, p. 144.]

[Footnote 890: Harnack, _op. cit._ iii. 189 n. 1.]

Augustinianism was accepted by the Western Church, though "with the
secret reservation that it was to be moulded by its own mode of
thought," when it did not harmonise with the tendencies of the Church.
Its greatest and most influential champion was Thomas Aquinas,
particularly with regard to its doctrines of God, predestination, sin,
and grace. The turning from Realism to Nominalism was an
anti-Augustinian movement, but in the fourteenth century Bradwardine,
on whom Wyclif was dependent as a theologian, gave the impulse to
Augustinian reactions which accompanied the history of the Church till
the time of Staupnitz and Luther, and prepared the way for the
Reformation. It has been said that the work of Augustine was finally
brought to completion by Luther, since Augustine, by going back to
Paulinism, began the work of breaking down and re-casting the ruling
dogmatic tradition and of restoring theology to faith. In Roman
Catholicism the Augustinian reaction of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries partly embodied itself in the decrees of Trent, but was
fully checked again, after a struggle for three hundred years, in the
nineteenth century.[891]

[Footnote 891: _Ibid._ vi (1899), pp. 169, 170, 275.]

Augustine's doctrine that faith in the truth guaranteed by the
Catholic Church is necessary for salvation, was universally accepted
by the Church. It was admitted that a certain belief or "unbelief"
never is by itself a sufficient ground for damnation; but Thomas
Aquinas points out that there is yet a sin of unbelief consisting in
"contrary opposition to the faith, whereby one stands out against the
hearing of the faith, or even despises faith," and that, though such
unbelief is in the intellect, the cause of it is in the will. He adds
that in those who have heard nothing of the faith, unbelief has not
the character of a sin, "but rather of a penalty, inasmuch as such
{153} ignorance of divine things is a consequence of the sin of our
first parent."[892] The sin of unbelief is greater than all sins of
moral perversity.[893]

[Footnote 892: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 10. 1 _sq._]

[Footnote 893: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 10. 3.]

In spite of Thomas' adherence to Augustinianism we find in him a timid
revision of it in a moralistic direction. He makes an earnest
endeavour to assert the sole efficacy of divine grace, but his line of
statement takes ultimately a different direction. Although "without
grace man cannot merit eternal life,"[894] there must for
justification co-operate a movement of free will, a movement of faith,
and a hatred of sin[895]--in other words there is an intermingling of
grace and self-action; and only then justification takes place.[896]
Man cannot acquire merit before God in the absolute sense of strict
righteousness, but certainly in virtue of a benevolent arrangement of
God. "Meritorious work of man can be looked at in two ways: on the one
hand in so far as it proceeds from free will, on the other hand in so
far as it proceeds from the grace of the Holy Spirit."[897] Thus,
according to Thomas, the process of grace realises itself with the
consent of free will, but this consent is at the same time an effect
of grace. Other theologians, such as Halesius, Bonaventura, and
Scotus, yielded to a much more decided tendency to render the doctrine
of grace less effectual by means of the doctrine of merit; and from
the middle of the fourteenth century their views gained the ascendancy
in the Church through the victorious conflicts of the Scotists against
the Thomists.[898] According to Scotus, merit always precedes
grace.[899] The Council of Trent declared that "while God touches the
heart of man by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, neither is man
himself utterly without doing anything while he receives that
inspiration, forasmuch as he is also able to reject it, yet is he not
able, by his own free will, without the grace of God, to move himself
unto justice in His sight."[900]

[Footnote 894: _Ibid._ ii.-i. 109. 5.]

[Footnote 895: _Ibid._ ii.-i. 113. 3-5.]

[Footnote 896: _Ibid._ ii. 8. 113. 6.]

[Footnote 897: _Ibid._ ii.-i. 114. 3.]

[Footnote 898: Harnack, _op. cit._ vi. 300 _sq._]

[Footnote 899: R. Seeberg, _Die Theologie des Johannes Duns Scotus_
(Leipzig, 1900), p. 301 _sq._; Werner, _op. cit._ p. 418 _sqq._]

[Footnote 900: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_,
sess. vi. ch. 5.]

As to the election of grace, Thomas took over Augustine's doctrine of
predestination in all its strictness: in virtue of his decree God
determines some to be elected and others to be reprobated.[901]
Bonaventura, on the other hand, makes predestination dependent on
prescience and limits the causation of God by teaching that another
contingent cause is the free {154} will of man.[902] In the ninth
century Rabanus had already declared that when God foresees evil, he
predestines punishment for those who should not deserve to be redeemed
by grace;[903] and John of Damascus, whose doctrines became final in
the Greek Church, taught that God, in virtue of his omniscience, knows
everything from all eternity, and therefore assists by his grace those
who will avail themselves of it.[904]

[Footnote 901: Thomas, _op. cit._ i. 23. 3.]

[Footnote 902: Bonaventura, _Sententiæ_, i. 40. 2. 1.]

[Footnote 903: Harnack, _op. cit._ v. (1898), p. 298.]

[Footnote 904: John of Damascus, _De fide orthodoxa_, ii. 29 _sq._,
iv. 22.]

It was not easy for Thomas to construe the doctrine of free will,
since in the doctrine of God he had applied throughout the thought of
sole divine causality, even the consent of man's will being conceived
as an effect of divine grace. But he wants free will in order to
strengthen the Augustinian concept of merit. His doctrine of grace
culminates in the "evangelical counsels." He points out, as others had
done before him, that there are both precepts and counsels. A precept
is compulsory, whereas a counsel is dependent on the option of him to
whom it is given. Precepts are necessary to, and also sufficient for,
eternal life, "but there ought to be counsels regarding those things
by which man can attain the appointed end better and more readily."
They consist in relinquishing entirely, so far as it is possible, the
benefits of this world, such as the possession of outward goods,
sexual pleasures, and the possession of honours; and the adoption of
even one of these counsels has a corresponding worth, _e.g._ when one
gives alms to a poor man beyond what is obligatory, abstains from
marriage for a long time for the sake of prayer, or does good to his
enemies in excess of what is due, and so forth. The following of these
counsels is a ground of merit in a still higher degree than the
following of the commands, so that here in a pre-eminent way it holds
good, that God gives eternal life to man, not merely in grace, but
also by virtue of divine righteousness.[905] All merit, so far as it
proceeds from the free will is _de congruo_, and so far as it proceeds
from grace _de condigno_.[906] The doctrine that eternal salvation
must be merited by good works is common to all the mediæval schoolmen,
and the Council of Trent stamped it with its approval. It decreed that
"to those who perform good works on to the end, and who hope in God,
there is to be offered eternal life, both as grace mercifully promised
to the sons of God through Christ Jesus, and as a reward to be {155}
faithfully rendered, in terms of the promise of God himself, to their
good works and merits."[907] Bellarmine briefly sums up the Roman
Catholic point of view when he says: "The common opinion of all
Catholics is that good works are truly and properly meritorious, and
that not merely of some particular reward, but of eternal life

[Footnote 905: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-i. 108. 4,
ii.-ii. 184 _sqq._]

[Footnote 906: F. Loofs, _Leitfaden zum Studium der Dogmengeschichte_
(Halle a. S., 1906), p. 551 _sq._]

[Footnote 907: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_,
sess. vi. ch. 16.]

[Footnote 908: R. Bellarmine, _De justificatione_, v. 1.]

The distinction between command and counsel, between a higher and a
lower Christian life, is in agreement with Paul's saying that the
virgin state is superior to the married, but that he who marries has
not sinned.[909] A similar distinction meets us in many later writers,
such as Hermas,[910] Tertullian,[911] Cyprian,[912] Origen,[913]
Ambrose,[914] Augustine.[915] It has certainly a solid foundation in
our moral consciousness, in so far that a command implies the concept
of duty, which is based on the emotion of moral disapproval, and a
counsel implies the concept of goodness, which derives its origin from
the emotion of moral approval.[916] But at the same time goodness and
meritoriousness, the latter of which lays claim to praiseworthiness,
are not identical with the superobligatory. Although the concept of
duty has nothing to do with praise, we may nevertheless praise a
person for doing his duty and even consider him worthy of praise.
Practically, no doubt, there is a general antagonism between duty and
merit. We praise, and especially we regard as deserving praise, only
what is above the average, and we censure what is below it. But
although thus most acts that are deemed meritorious fall outside the
ordinary limits of duty as roughly drawn by the popular mind, we are,
on the other hand, often disposed to attribute merit to a man on
account of an act which from a strict point of view is his duty, but a
duty that most people in the same circumstances would have left
undischarged. This shows that the antagonism between duty and merit is
not absolute. And in the concept of merit _per se_ no such antagonism
is involved.

[Footnote 909: _1 Corinthians_ vii. 25 _sqq._]

[Footnote 910: Hermas, _Pastor_, ii. 4. 4, iii. 5. 3.]

[Footnote 911: Tertullian, _Ad uxorem_, i. 3, ii. 1; _Adversus
Marcionem_, i. 29; _De monogamia_, 1; _De pudicitia_, 16.]

[Footnote 912: Cyprian, _De habitu virginum_, 23.]

[Footnote 913: Origen, _Commentarii in Epistolam B. Pauli ad Romanos_,
iii. 3.]

[Footnote 914: Ambrose, _De officiis ministrorum_, i. 11; _idem_, _De
viduis_, 12.]

[Footnote 915: Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 121, etc.]

[Footnote 916: See _supra_, pp. 16, 17, 19.]

But while "meritorious" is not identical with "superobligatory," it is
obvious that if a course of conduct which is not regarded as a duty is
held to be meritorious, it is _eo ipso_ {156} admitted that a man can
do more than his duty. This is denied both by those who derive
goodness from duty and consider that what is good is what ought to be
done, and by those who derive duty from goodness and consider that
everybody ought to do the best he is able to do. Duty, which is the
minimum of morality, in so far that it implies that the opposite mode
of conduct is wrong, is identified with the supreme moral ideal, which
requires the best possible conduct for its realisation. This rigorism
is not supported by our practical moral judgments, but is a mere
theory, which may be traced either to the direct or indirect influence
of Protestant theology with its denial of all works of supererogation,
or to the endeavour of normative moralists to preach the most elevated
kind of morality they can conceive. For my own part I do not see how
such a doctrine could serve any useful purpose at all. The recognition
of a "superobligatory" does not lower the moral ideal, but on the
contrary tends to raise it; and at the same time it makes it more
possible to vindicate the moral law and administer it more strictly.
It is nowadays a recognised principle in legislation that a law loses
much of its weight if it cannot be enforced. If the realisation of the
highest moral ideal is commanded by a moral law, such a law will
always remain a dead letter, and morality will gain nothing. It seems
to me that far above the anxious effort to fulfil the commandments of
duty stands the free and lofty aspiration to live up to an ideal,
which, unattainable as it may be, threatens neither with blame nor
remorse him who fails to reach its summits. Does not experience show
that those whose minds are constantly prepossessed with thoughts of
duty are apt to become inhuman, intolerant, indeed intolerable?

At the same time there are in the Roman Catholic doctrine of merit
certain very objectionable features. It implies that a good deed
stands in the same relation to a bad deed as a claim to a debt; that
the claim is made on the same person to whom the debt is due, that is
God, even though it only be by his mercy; and that the debt
consequently may be compensated for in the same way as the infliction
of a loss or damage may be compensated for by the payment of an
indemnity. This doctrine of reparation comes inevitably to attach
badness and goodness to external acts rather than to mental facts. No
reparation can be given for badness. It can only be forgiven, and
moral forgiveness can be granted only on condition that the agent's
mind has undergone a radical alteration for the better, that the
badness of the will has given way to repentance. This point was
certainly not overlooked by the Catholic moralists, {157} but even the
most ardent apology cannot explain away the idea of reparation in the
Catholic doctrine of the justification of man.[917] Penance consists
of contrition, confession, and satisfaction, and contrition itself is
chiefly "a willingness to compensate."[918] Moreover, vicarious
efficacy is attributed to good deeds. It is said that Christ has done
more by his suffering than was required for redemption, and that even
many saints have acquired for themselves merit which God's grace
rewards. This surplus merit, or "treasury of supererogatory works,"
must necessarily fall to the benefit of the Church, since neither
Christ nor the saints can derive further advantage from it. The theory
of a treasury of merits which the Church administers and from which
indemnifications can be derived for the sins of others was first
adopted by Halesius,[919] but owes its recognition within the Catholic
Church chiefly to Thomas Aquinas.[920] It has been argued that, since
we are all regenerated unto Christ by being washed in the same
baptism, made partakers of the same sacraments, and especially of the
same meat and drink, the body and blood of Christ, we are all members
of the same body. "As, then, the foot does not perform its functions
solely for itself, but also for the benefit of the eyes; and as the
eyes exercise their sight, not for their own, but for the common
benefit of all the members; so should works of satisfaction be deemed
common to all the members of the Church."[921]

[Footnote 917: A. Manzoni, _Osservazioni sulla morale cattolica_
(Firenze, 1887), p. 100.]

[Footnote 918: _The Catechism of the Council of Trent_, ii. 5. 22.]

[Footnote 919: Harnack, _op. cit._ vi. 263 n. 1.]

[Footnote 920: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. Supplementum, xxv. 1.]

[Footnote 921: _The Catechism of the Council of Trent_, ii. 5. 72.]

Augustine's doctrine of original sin was modified to some extent by
Thomas. The sin which originated with Adam was loss of natural
goodness, and accordingly led to rebellion of the lower parts of man
against the higher, but the natural capacity to know and to will the
good was only weakened, not eradicated; that sin could remove it is
unthinkable.[922] He thus emphasised the negative side of sin more
strongly than Augustine. Yet he taught a stricter doctrine than
Anselm, who really only accentuated the negative side, and began to
waver even in regard to the character of guilt; he rejected the
damnation of infants.[923] To him Duns Scotus attached himself. He
separated the question about concupiscence, which is natural, from the
question about original sin; and there remains for it merely the being
deprived of the supernatural good, which {158} certainly has a
disturbing effect upon the nature of man, while however nothing is
really lost of the natural goodness. The guilt of inherited sin, which
is considerably reduced even in Thomas, appears in Duns quite
insignificant. Even the consequences of sin are presented by him in
another light: it has not attacked the very nature of man.[924]
Scholasticism ultimately lost sight entirely of the Augustinian
starting-point.[925] In its decree on original sin the Council of
Trent rejects in strong terms Pelagianism, which denies that sin can
be inherited, but the positive propositions are so shrewdly
constructed that it is always _possible_ still to connect with them a
meaning that widely diverges from that of Augustine.[926]

[Footnote 922: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-i. 82 _sqq._]

[Footnote 923: Anselm, _De conceptu virginali et originali peccato_,
27 _sq._]

[Footnote 924: Seeberg, _op. cit._ p. 218.]

[Footnote 925: Harnack, _op. cit._ vi. 305.]

[Footnote 926: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_, sess. v.
'Decree concerning original sin.' _Cf._ Harnack, _op. cit._ vii. 58.]

Augustine's answer to the question how Christ's suffering and death
can be a means of justification, namely, that it is a ransom paid to
the devil, who has acquired a legal claim on men--a theory which had
previously been set forth by Origen--was accepted by the most
important of the Western Fathers. This, however, did not exclude the
other thought that Christ's suffering and death constituted a
sacrifice presented by him to God in order to propitiate him. But
rival explanations were also suggested. Among these Anselm's theory in
his _Cur Deus homo_ deserves special consideration because it has
given the impulse to permanent treatment of the subject and is still
regarded in our own day and by evangelical theologians, too, as
essentially a model; both Luther and Calvin took over many of its
presuppositions, and quite recently Principal Denney described _Cur
Deus homo_ as "the truest and greatest book on the Atonement that has
ever been written."[927] It is an attempt to prove both the necessity
of the appearing of the God-man and the necessity of his death. Anselm
denies that the devil had obtained any claim upon us, since over
against God he has absolutely no right.[928] Every rational creature
owes to God entire subjection to his will. This is the only honour
that God demands, and he who does not pay it dishonours God by
withholding from him his own. This robbery he cannot tolerate, he must
defend his honour; hence every sinner must furnish a
satisfaction.[929] But what can man give God which he was not already
required to give him in any case? He has nothing that he can render
back for his sin,[930] and how much he would {159} have to do! Even
the smallest disobedience entails an infinite guilt,[931] and man has
therefore to furnish an infinitely great satisfaction.[932] The
incapacity of human nature to furnish such satisfaction can make no
change on this law, which follows from the honour of God.[933] So
there remains only one solution: there must be some one who shall pay
to God for the sin of man something greater than all that is apart
from God, but since there is nothing above all that is not God save
God, no one is able to make this satisfaction save God. Again, it
cannot be made by anybody save man; consequently, it is necessary that
the God-man shall make it.[934] If the God-man surrenders his life
voluntarily to God, the satisfaction sought for is obtained; it must
be his life, because only this he is not under obligation to offer to
God.[935] The worth of such a life as a satisfaction is infinite; the
acceptance of the death of such a God-man is an infinite good for God
which far surpasses the loss by sin.[936] The God-man acts for
himself, by no means as the representative of mankind; and the Father
must recompense him for that.[937] Though nothing can be given to the
Son, since he has all, it would be outrageous to assume that the whole
action of the Son should remain without effect. Hence it is necessary
that it should be for the advantage of another, and if this is willed
by the son the Father cannot object, otherwise he would be unjust.
"But to whom more fittingly shall he impart the fruit and recompense
of his death than to those for whose salvation, as true reason has
taught us, he made himself man, and to whom, as we have said, he gave
in dying the example of dying for righteousness' sake? In vain surely
shall they be imitators of him, if they are not to be partakers of his
merit. Or whom shall he more justly make heirs of that which is due to
him, but which he does not need, . . . than his own parents and
brethren, whom he looks on, burdened in their poverty with so many and
so great debts, and languishing in the depths of misery, that what
they owe for their sin may be remitted to them, and what, by reason of
their sin, they lack, may be given to them?"[938] Anselm's theory does
not guarantee to the individual that he really becomes saved; it aims
rather at only showing for all the possibility of their being saved.
Whether they shall be so depends "on the measure in which men come to
partake of so great grace, and on the degree in which they live under
it," that is, on how they fulfil the commandments of {160} holy
scripture.[939] This statement introduces a moral element into the
theory, which it otherwise lacks. It is true that the suffering of
Christ is not regarded as a vicarious punishment: Anselm did not say,
like Athanasius, that justice was satisfied by his taking upon himself
the punishment to be inflicted for our sins.[940] But at the same time
the benefit he provided was to make us "partakers of his merit."

[Footnote 927: J. Denney, _The Death of Christ_ (London, etc., 1911),
p. 295.]

[Footnote 928: Anselm, _Cur Deus homo_, i. 6 _sq._]

[Footnote 929: _Ibid._ i. 11.]

[Footnote 930: _Ibid._ i. 20.]

[Footnote 931: _Ibid._ i. 21.]

[Footnote 932: _Ibid._ i. 23.]

[Footnote 933: _Ibid._ i. 24.]

[Footnote 934: _Ibid._ ii. 6.]

[Footnote 935: _Ibid._ ii. 11.]

[Footnote 936: _Ibid._ ii. 14.]

[Footnote 937: _Ibid._ ii. 20 (19).]

[Footnote 938: _Ibid._ ii. 20 (19).]

[Footnote 939:  Anselm, _Cur Deus homo_, ii. 20 (19).]

[Footnote 940: Athanasius, _Adversus Arianos_, i. 60.]

The meritoriousness of the work of Christ rapidly came to the front.
It was strongly emphasised by the Lombard and Thomas Aquinas, both of
whom combined various points of view which had been furnished by
earlier theologians. By his passion, says Thomas, Christ merited
_exaltatio_,[941] but as the exaltation could not be conferred upon
him it passed over to the Church of which he is the head, "the head
and the members are, as it were, one mystical person, and thus the
satisfaction of Christ belongs to all believers just as to his own
members."[942] Both Thomas and the Lombard are in agreement with
Abelard's view that the death of Christ is a proof of love, which
awakens counter-love.[943] The Lombard writes: "So great a pledge of
love having been given to us, we are both moved and kindled to love
God who did such great things for us; and by this we are justified,
that is, being loosed from our sins we are made just. The death of
Christ therefore justifies us, inasmuch as through it charity is
stirred up in our hearts."[944] Duns Scotus, again, and his school
abandoned the principle of strict equivalence, which was fundamental
to Anselm, in favour of a theory which makes the efficacy of the
atonement depend upon the gracious acceptance of God rather than upon
its own inherent merit constituting it an exact equivalent for the
punishment deserved by man.[945] Neither Catholics nor Protestants,
however, have maintained that the self-sacrifice of Christ acts
automatically as a means of salvation. To the Catholic theologian the
atonement only forms the basis of the whole system of ecclesiastical
machinery upon which man's salvation is supposed to depend. To the
Protestant it is his warrant for rejecting this machinery as
superfluous. Through the atonement of Christ the price of man's
redemption has been paid once for all, but he can appropriate its
benefits only through faith.[946]

[Footnote 941: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. 49. 6.]

[Footnote 942: _Ibid._ iii. 48. 2.]

[Footnote 943: Harnack, _op. cit._ vi. 78, 79, 81.]

[Footnote 944: Peter the Lombard, _Sententiæ_, iii. 19. 1.]

[Footnote 945: Seeberg, _op. cit._ p. 284 _sqq._]

[Footnote 946: _Cf._ W. A. Brown, 'Expiation and Atonement
(Christian),' in Hastings, _Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_,
v (1912), p. 645.]

{161} That the suffering and death of Christ was a propitiatory
substitutionary sacrifice, or a penalty of guilt in the interests of
God, has undoubtedly remained the most popular view. In Anglican
Article II. it is said that the Son of God "suffered, was crucified,
dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice,
not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men."
A recent writer asserts that the teaching of the New Testament is
faithfully expressed in the popular hymn:

  Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
  In my place condemned He stood;
  Sealed my pardon with His blood:
  Hallelujah! what a Saviour.[947]

Yet there is an increasing number of disbelievers even within the
Church. An English theologian asks if the theory that Jesus, by his
propitiatory sacrifice and by his resurrection, has restored to
mankind what had been lost by the Fall can be held to-day by people of
education; and he adds, "It is doubtful even if those who profess to
believe in propitiatory sacrifice really do believe in it; and how
rapidly they are diminishing in numbers."[948] The bishop of
Birmingham writes that "in some way or another the fact of the
atonement must be preserved," but that "we can no longer maintain the
Evangelical tradition which uses for the atonement a substitutionary
theory of the death of Christ";[949] yet he does not tell us what
other explanation should take its place. In the last century a Swedish
bishop, the famous poet Esaias Tegnér, called the doctrine of a
blood-atonement "a butcher's idea, blasphemous against both God and
reason."[950] While the older Evangelicals hold a particularly crude
doctrine of the atonement, the liberal modern ones, though they have
retained a full recognition of Christ's work of redemption, have
deliberately discouraged attempts to inquire too closely into the
manner in which it was accomplished.[951] The authorities of the
Church of England even declared in their Report (in spite of Article
II.) that "the Church as a whole has never formally accepted any
particular explanation of the fact."[952] It has been argued that
there never {162} can be a single theory of the atonement, since
"God's plan of salvation is too vast to be embraced in any one single
explanation."[953] But though none of the many theories of the
atonement is held finally satisfactory, there is said to be neither
doubt nor difficulty about the fact itself, the saving power of the
cross of Christ being a matter of common Christian experience.[954] It
is alleged that we "perceive" the effect of the cross,[955] and that
what took place at Calvary "can be apprehended only by faith."[956]
But faith is no testimony. Dr. Murray maintains that "Our Lord's own
words . . . leave no doubt that with clear consciousness and
deliberate intent in accordance with the prophetic anticipation
(Isaiah liii. 10-12),[957] He accepted the position as victim on
behalf of His people with the institution of the sin-offering
prefigured."[958] But modern scholars have denied that Jesus ever
spoke such words;[959] and even Mr. Thornton, who attaches much
importance to Old Testament Servant-prophecies as a basis for the
theology of the atonement, does not seem quite convinced that they are
mistaken. He writes, however, that "even if our Lord never spoke such
words as those in Mark x. 45, there still remains the possibility that
His life and teaching as a whole, crowned by the death and
resurrection, are most fitly interpreted in the light of the Servant
passages."[960] But according to the Hebrew text Israel was smitten
for its own iniquities, not for the iniquities of other peoples; and,
as Dujardin remarks, the idea of Israel atoning for the sins of the
world was impossible before the Christian era.[961] Dean Rashdall
maintains that "the only doctrine of the atonement which can with any
certainty, or even with any probability, be traced back to our Lord
himself is the simple doctrine that his death, like his life, was one
of self-sacrifice for his followers."[962]

[Footnote 947: H. E. Guillebaud, _Why the Cross?_ (London, 1937),
p. 181.]

[Footnote 948: H. D. A. Major, 'Towards Prayer Book Revision,' in _The
Church and the Twentieth Century_, edited by G. L. Harvey (London,
1930), p. 74.]

[Footnote 949: The bishop of Birmingham (Dr. E. W. Barnes),
'Foreword,' in _The Church and the Twentieth Century_, p. x.]

[Footnote 950: E. Tegnér, _Samlade skrifter_, iii (Stockholm, 1920),
p. 447.]

[Footnote 951: L. Elliott Binns, 'Evangelicalism in the Twentieth
Century,' in _The Church and the Twentieth Century_, p. 369.]

[Footnote 952: _Doctrine in the Church of England_ (London, 1938), p. 90.]

[Footnote 953: P. Green, _Our Lord and Saviour_ (London, 1928), p. 78.
See also J. G. Riddell, _Why did Jesus die?_ (London, 1938), p. 60 _sq._]

[Footnote 954: Riddell, _op. cit._ p. 63; J. Dickie, _The Organism of
Christian Truth_ (London, _s.d._), p. 43; H. R. Mackintosh, _The
Christian Experience of Forgiveness_ (London, 1927), p. 194.]

[Footnote 955: Mackintosh, _op. cit._ p. 195.]

[Footnote 956: Riddell, _op. cit._ p. 31.]

[Footnote 957: See _supra_, p. 115.]

[Footnote 958: J. O. F. Murray, _The Obedience of the Cross_ (London,
1938), p. 36.]

[Footnote 959: _Supra_, p. 115.]

[Footnote 960: L. S. Thornton, _The Doctrine of the Atonement_
(London, 1937), p. 55.]

[Footnote 961: É. Dujardin, _The Source of the Christian Tradition_
(London, 1911), p. 189.]

[Footnote 962: H. Rashdall, _The Idea of Atonement in Christian
Theology_ (London, 1919), p. 45.]

From the moral point of view the doctrines of salvation {163} through
the suffering and death of Jesus and the various explanations given of
it make a distressing chapter in the history of Christian dogma. All
of them imply the idea of vicarious merit or of vicarious punishment
or of both. Yet moral justification is claimed for them. In the Report
of the Archbishops' Commission we are told that "the Cross is a
satisfaction for sin so far as the moral order of the universe makes
it impossible that human souls should be redeemed from sin except at a
cost. . . . The redeeming love of God, through the life of Jesus
Christ sacrificially offered in death upon the Cross, acted with
cleansing power upon a sin-stained world, and so enables us to be
cleansed."[963] So also Harnack refers to the demand that sin must be
expiated by suffering, and to the conviction that the expiation may be
effected by the suffering of a righteous person. "No reflection of the
'reason,' no deliberation of the 'intelligence,'" he says, "will ever
be able to expunge from the moral ideas of mankind the conviction that
injustice and sin deserve to be punished, and that everywhere that the
just man suffers, an atonement is made which puts us to shame and
purifies us. It is a conviction which is impenetrable."[964] An idea
of this kind is found among children. M. Piaget has shown that they
accept the equity of collective punishment if the guilty one is
unknown, not in the least because the group is responsible as a whole
for the fault of one of its members, but simply because there must be
punishment at all costs.[965]

[Footnote 963: _Doctrine in the Church of England_, p. 92 _sq._]

[Footnote 964: A. Harnack, _What is Christianity?_ (London, 1904),
p. 162.]

[Footnote 965: J. Piaget, _Le jugement moral chez l'enfant_ (Paris,
1932), p. 279.]

To me it seems that even the slightest degree of reflection should
show how incompatible the infliction of punishment on an innocent
person in place of the culprit is with the very nature of our moral
consciousness, moral indignation being a hostile attitude of mind
towards a living being conceived as a cause of pain. Dean Inge says
that "it may be worth while to distinguish between vicarious
punishment, which is immoral, and vicarious suffering, which love is
willing to endure."[966] Other writers[967] refer to John's saying,
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends."[968] This is quite true, but does not explain _why_ the
self-sacrifice of {164} Christ makes amends for the sins of mankind.
Our moral consciousness does not admit that the execution of an
innocent person can cancel the guilt of a criminal, and, in addition,
finds it outrageous that, as in the present case, the sinner, in order
to benefit by the death of the innocent person, must have faith in
such an order of things established by a righteous God. It sounds like
mockery to be told that "the righteousness of God may be discerned in
the death of Christ."[969] The Socinians argued that the doctrine of
vicarious suffering blunts the conscience and leads easily to moral
laxity;[970] and the doctrine of vicarious merit may certainly have a
similar effect.

[Footnote 966: W. K. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Moral Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 54 _sq._]

[Footnote 967: _E.g._, the bishop of London (Dr. Winnington Ingram),
'Are we forgetting the Message of the Cross?' in the _Daily Mail_,
April 14, 1938; R. Fangen, _Paulus_ (Stockholm, 1937), p. 64.]

[Footnote 968: _John_ xv. 13.]

[Footnote 969: Riddell, _op. cit._ p. 99.]

[Footnote 970: _The Racovian Catechism_ (London, 1818), v. 8, p. 306.]

The modifications of Augustinianism which took place in Scholasticism
had generally a moralistic tendency. The ethical interest is
particularly predominant in Abelard, who was sure that what answers to
the moral law also is holy and good before God, and consequently
endeavoured to show that in the doctrinal system of the Church the
principles of morality shall have as much justice done to them as the
fundamental theological speculations on nature.[971] That his success
in carrying conviction was small is not to be wondered at; his
contemporaries felt repelled by many of his propositions. They
certainly suffered from contradictions; but above all, the conflict
between morality and the religion of the Church was too great to allow
any considerable modifications of her dogmas or their interpretations.

[Footnote 971: Harnack, _History of Dogma_, vi. 40 n.]

The Reformation implied an Augustinian reaction and a restoration of
Paulinism. It substituted the Bible for the authority of the Church,
and the kernel and marrow of the Bible was in particular the epistles
of Paul. Luther passed through a crisis of the same kind as that which
Paul had experienced in his day. It implied the conviction that in
faith in Jesus he had a gracious God, who had revealed himself in the
gospel, that is, in the incarnated, crucified, and risen Christ. We
are justified by faith alone, this justification is the forgiveness of
sins,[972] and the faith through which it takes place should make the
believer feel an absolute confidence in his own personal and complete
salvation.[973] Sometimes he pushes his insistence upon faith, and
faith only, to the point of disparaging repentance. {165} "Priests,"
he declares, "err and are mad, not to absolve people unless they are
contrite, and they ask, 'Son, do you grieve for your sins?'" They
should only say, "Dost thou, believe? Believe and have confidence."
"Thus Christ, said to the sinful woman, 'Thy sins are forgiven thee. I
absolve thee, go in peace, because thou believest.'"[974] The
Schoolmen had developed the hint contained in Paul's expression "faith
working by love," and distinguished between an "unformed" faith--a
mere intellectual belief--and a "formed" faith, which includes love,
and which alone justifies and saves. But to Luther the doctrine that
we are saved by faith formed by charity is an abominable
blasphemy.[975] "We can be saved without charity, . . . but not
without pure doctrine and faith."[976] "No good work can profit an
unbeliever to justification and salvation; and, on the other hand, no
evil work makes him an evil and condemned person, but that unbelief,
which makes the person and the tree bad, makes his works evil and
condemned. Wherefore, when any man is made good or bad, this does not
arise from his works, but from his faith or unbelief."[977] But Luther
even denied that we can do any good work at all. Among the famous
ninety-five theses which he nailed on the church door of Wittenberg
there were the assertions that "the just man sins in every good work,"
and that "our best work is a venial sin." But in his explanation the
last thesis is withdrawn in favour of the assertion that every good
work of the just man is a mortal sin if it were judged by the judgment
of God.[978] Both Augustine and the Schoolmen had taught that after
justification, with the assistance of divine grace and of the divine
spirit, the Christian really did become capable of good works,
well-pleasing to God, and this was just what Luther in his more
dogmatic moments categorically denied.[979] Yet in his more moderate
statements he can declare that the sanctifying grace given after the
man has been justified by faith enables him to do good works. He
writes: "If thou believest, good works will {166} necessarily follow
thy faith,"[980] and even: "He believeth not truly if works of charity
follow not his faith."[981] At the same time the good works which are
done when the man has been justified are not really done by him but by
God. "To sleep and to do nothing is the work of Christians," he
exclaims in a sermon on Jacob's dream.[982] As Luther grew older, his
conception of faith became more and more intellectual, till at last it
comprised little beyond the assent of mind to certain articles of an
orthodox creed.[983] "One little point of doctrine," he says, "is of
more value than heaven and earth; therefore we do not suffer it
(_i.e._ doctrine) to be injured in the smallest particular. But at
errors of life we may very well connive."[984]

[Footnote 972: K. Holl, _Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kirchengeschichte_,
i (Tübingen, 1927), pp. 69, 71, 75, 117.]

[Footnote 973: Luther, 'Operationis in Psalmos, 1519-1521,' in
_Werke_, v (Weimar, 1892), p. 395.]

[Footnote 974: _Idem_, 'De sacerdotum dignitate Sermo,' _ibid._
iv (Weimar, 1886), p. 658. See also 'Assertio omnium articulorum M.
Lutheri per bullam Leonis novissimam damnatorum, 1520,' _ibid._
vii (Weimar, 1897), p. 119.]

[Footnote 975: _Idem_, 'In epistolam S. Pauli ad Galatas Commentarius
[1531], 1535,' _ibid._ xl. i (Weimar, 1911), p. 254.]

[Footnote 976: _Ibid._ xl. ii (Weimar, 1914), p. 51.]

[Footnote 977: _Idem_, 'Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen.
1520,' _ibid._ vii. (Weimar, 1897), p. 32 _sq._]

[Footnote 978: _Idem_, 'Assertio omnium articulorum M. Lutheri per
bullam Leonis X. novissimam damnatorum,' _ibid._ vii (Weimar, 1897),
pp. 136, 138 _sq._]

[Footnote 979: _Cf._ H. Rashdall, _The Idea of Atonement in Christian
Theology_ (London, 1919), p. 402.]

[Footnote 980: Luther, 'Predigten des Jahres 1523,' in _Werke_,
xii (Weimar, 1891), p. 559.]

[Footnote 981: _Idem_, 'In epistolam S. Pauli ad Galatas
Commentarius,' _ibid._ xl. ii (Weimar, 1914), p. 37.]

[Footnote 982: _Idem_, 'Predigten Luthers gesammelt von Joh. Poliander
1519-1521,' _ibid._ ix (Weimar, 1893), p. 407.]

[Footnote 983: See C. Beard, _The Reformation of the Sixteenth
Century_ (London, 1885), p. 132, and the references.]

[Footnote 984: Luther, 'In epistolam S. Pauli ad Galatas
Commentarius,' in _Werke_, xl. ii (Weimar, 1914), p. 52.]

Luther took over the Augustinian doctrine of the entire incapacity of
fallen man and of the bondage of the will. True, he describes Paul's
teaching of the derivation of human sin from Adam as "a laughable
doctrine," and asks what can be more ridiculous than the fact that
Adam, by taking a bite of an apple, put all men, to the very end of
the world, into the power of death.[985] But he knows how to answer
charges of this kind. "It is," he says, "a quality of faith that it
wrings the neck of reason and strangles the beast, which else the
whole world, with all creatures, could not strangle. But how? It holds
to God's Word: lets it be right and true, no matter how foolish and
impossible it sounds."[986] The Fall itself and the penalties which it
brought with it were predestined. Luther accepted Augustine's doctrine
of predestination.

[Footnote 985: _Idem_, 'Auslegung des 15. Capitels der I. Epistel St.
Pauli an die Corinther, von der Auferstehung der Todten (anno 1534),'
in _Sämtliche Schriften_, viii (Halle, 1742), col. 1240 _sq._]

[Footnote 986: _Idem_, 'Ausführliche Erklärung der Epistel an die
Galater,' _ibid._ viii. 2042.]

Although Luther would not hear of any human merit, he believed in the
merit of Christ, who, as the Confession of Augsburg put it, "suffered
and died that he might reconcile the Father to us, and be a sacrifice,
not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of
men."[987] Christ's righteousness is {167} imputed to us.[988]
"Christ, that rich and pious husband, takes as a wife a needy and
impious harlot, redeeming her from all her evils and supplying her
with all his good things. It is impossible now that her sins should
destroy her, since they have been laid upon Christ and swallowed up in
him."[989] Our faith in Christ makes his piety ours, and makes our
sins his. He was the greatest of all sinners, "because he assumed in
his body the sins we had committed, to make satisfaction for them by
his own blood."[990] "He was crucified and died for us, and offered up
our sins in his own body."[991] And Christ is represented as not
merely dying instead of us, but also as keeping the law instead of us.
"This is the gospel . . . that the law has been fulfilled, that is, by
Christ, so that it is not necessary for us to fulfil it, but only to
adhere and be conformed to him who fulfils it."[992] We meet with this
idea also in the Reformed Church. Jonathan Edwards says that "Christ's
perfect obedience shall be reckoned to our account, so that we shall
have the benefit of it, as though we had performed it ourselves."[993]
But Dean Rashdall is probably right in saying that Luther's
"insistence on correctness of doctrine and his contempt for 'mere
morality' would be difficult to parallel from any previous

[Footnote 987: _Augustana Confessio_, art. 3.]

[Footnote 988: Luther, 'Sermo de triplici iusticia, 1518,' in _Werke_
ii (Weimar, 1884), p. 44 _sq._]

[Footnote 989: _Idem_, 'Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen.
1520,' _ibid._ vii (Weimar, 1897), p. 26.]

[Footnote 990: _Idem_, 'In epistolam S. Pauli ad Galatas
Commentarius,' _ibid._ xl. i (Weimar, 1911), p. 433.]

[Footnote 991: _Ibid._ xl. i (Weimar, 1911), p. 224.]

[Footnote 992: _Idem_, 'Sermo Dominica II. Adventus' (1516), in
_Werke_, i (Weimar, 1883), p. 105.]

[Footnote 993: J. Edwards, 'Justification by Faith Alone,' in _Works_,
vi (London, 1817), p. 257.]

[Footnote 994: Rashdall, _op. cit._ p. 414.]

The other Reformers were, generally, in substantial agreement with
Luther.[995] Zwingli likewise substituted the authority of the Bible
for the authority of the Church, and preached the justification by
faith alone. He denied, however, that he was dependent on Luther (who
was exactly of his own age), and though he spoke in admiring language
of him, he would not be called a Lutheran. He says he took his
doctrine from Scripture and preached it before even he heard the name
of Luther.[996] A {168} distinction has been drawn between their
attitudes towards Scripture: Luther, it is said, was willing to abide
by any existing doctrine or usage which he did not find expressly
forbidden by it, whereas Zwingli demanded distinct warrant of it for
whatever he was willing to allow. But the latter took a wider view of
what Scripture was. He was more biblical than Pauline: he did not so
exclusively as Luther take his gospel from Paul's epistles and then
read it into the whole Bible. It is significant that the Epistle to
the Romans finds no place in his scheme of scriptural
instruction.[997] He was much more than Luther a humanist, and more a
moralist as well. He writes, for instance, that the Christian life is
"an innocent life after Christ's pattern";[998] that "we are not born
that we may live to ourselves, but that we may be all things to all
men";[999] that "it is the part of a Christian man not to talk
magnificently of doctrines, but always with God to do great and hard
things."[1000] And his more reasonable view of the sacraments[1001]
caused an irreparable breach between him and Luther, which became a
rock on which Reformation was wrecked.

[Footnote 995: Melanchthon, who may be taken in general as the
systematiser of Luther's thought, however, did not accept his doctrine
of predestination (R. Bring, _Förhällandet mellan tro och gärning inom
luthersk teologi_ [_Acta Academiæ Aboensis_, ix. Ábo, 1934]), p. 94

[Footnote 996: Zwingli, _Werke_, i (Zurich, 1828), p. 253 _sqq._]

[Footnote 997: Beard, _op. cit._ p. 239 _sq._]

[Footnote 998: Zwingli, 'De vera et falsa religione commentarius,' in
_Opera_, iii (Turici, 1832), p. 201.]

[Footnote 999: _Idem_, 'Quo pacto adolescentes formandi,' in _Opera_,
iv (Turici, 1841), p. 155.]

[Footnote 1000: _Ibid._ in _Opera_, iv. 158.]

[Footnote 1001: _Infra_, pp. 196, 197, 206.]

Calvin was a full generation younger than Luther and Zwingli. He is
the only one of the great Reformers who can justly be called
international. In Switzerland the influence of Zwingli paled before
that of his countryman, the Genevese Reformer. Calvinism soon found a
footing even in Germany, especially in the Palatinate. In France it
was the religion of the Huguenots. In its strength the Dutch Republic
was sustained, and the American Republic was founded. It partly turned
the current of the English Reformation in the direction of Puritanism.
It made Scotland what it is. Its leading ideas are generally ideas
which Zwingli had already put forward in a less precise and systematic
form; but in his great work, the 'Institution of the Christian
Religion,' he gathered up all the diverse threads of the new thought
and wove them into a homogeneous system. In his appeal from the
authority of the Church to Scripture he took the Bible much more as a
whole than Luther did. He was full of a Hebrew spirit, and used
references to the Old Testament to modify the too great humanity of
the gospel. This accounts for the fact that among the English Puritans
of the seventeenth century the Mosaic {169} legislation and the Jewish
kingdom and church took a place to which the earlier history of
Christianity offers no parallel. Like Luther, Calvin was an
Augustinian in assuming the absolute foreknowledge and determining
power of God, the servitude of the human will, the corruption and
incapacity of man's nature. To him, however, the main thing was not
the sinner's personal relation to Christ and his appropriation of the
Saviour's work, but the awful omnipotence of the Divine decree fixing
the unalterable succession of events, shutting out all co-operation of
the human will. God chose certain individuals as his elect,
predestining them to salvation from eternity by "his gratuitous mercy,
totally irrespective of human merit," and consigned the remainder to
eternal damnation, by "a just and irreprehensible, but
incomprehensible judgment."[1002] To apply earthly standards of
justice to God's sovereign decrees is meaningless and an insult to his
majesty, since he and he alone is free, subject to no law. To assume
that human merit and guilt play a part in determining the destiny of
man would be to think of God's absolutely free decrees, which have
been settled from eternity, as subject to change by human influence,
an impossible contradiction. And since his decrees cannot change, it
is as impossible for those to whom his grace has been granted to lose
it, as it is impossible to attain it for those to whom he has denied

[Footnote 1002: Calvin, _Institutio Christianæ religionis_, iii. 21. 7.]

[Footnote 1003: See Max Weber, _Gesammelte Aufsätze zur
Religionssoziologie_, i (Tübingen, 122), p. 92 _sq._]

It might seem that such ideas must be fatal to morals and produce
slackness of will. Yet we find that Calvinists have been among the
most strenuous of men: Calvin himself, John Knox, William of Nassau,
Oliver Cromwell, and many others. This is congruous with the fact that
"no true Calvinist, save one perhaps here and there, ever believes
that he is finally reprobate; . . . on the contrary, he feels himself
to be an instrument of the Omnipotent Will, and bends to whatever toil
he undertakes in the unshakable conviction that he is on the side of
God."[1004] Indeed, it is held to be an absolute duty to consider
oneself chosen, and to combat all doubts as temptations of the devil,
since lack of self-confidence is the result of insufficient faith,
hence of imperfect grace.[1005] In order to attain such
self-confidence, intense worldly activity, which serves to increase
the glory of God, is recommended as the most suitable means. However
useless good works might be as a means of attaining salvation,
nevertheless they are indispensable as a sign of election. They are
the technical means, not of {170} purchasing salvation, but of getting
rid of the fear of damnation.[1006] Lutherans have again and again
accused this line of thought of reversion to the Catholic doctrine of
salvation by works. But the God of Calvinism did not demand of his
believers an accumulation of individual good works to one's credit.
The Calvinist's conviction of salvation depends rather on a systematic
self-control, on a life of good works combined into a unified system.
Max Weber observes that it is no accident that the name of Methodists
stuck to the participants in the last great revival of Puritan ideas
in the eighteenth century.[1007]

[Footnote 1004: Beard, _op. cit._ p. 257.]

[Footnote 1005: Weber, _op. cit._ i. 105.]

[Footnote 1006: Weber, _op. cit._ i. 105, 106, 110.]

[Footnote 1007: _Ibid._ i. 111 _sqq._]

Calvin's conception of God's law shows itself in the reign of terror
which he established at Geneva. He laid down in the 'Institution' that
the Church has not the right of the sword to punish or restrain and
knows of no punishment save exclusion from the Lord's Supper,[1008]
but he used the State as its instrument in punishing, for the honour
of God, such acts as he assumed to be opposed to the Divine mind and
purpose. They were many and varied, and the punishments inflicted were
worse than Draconian. Adultery was repeatedly punished with death.
Banishment, imprisonment, in some cases drowning, were penalties
inflicted on unchastity. It was a punishable offence to wear clothes
of forbidden stuff or make; to give a feast to too many guests or of
too many dishes; to dance at a wedding. A child was beheaded for
having struck father and mother.[1009] Calvinism accounts for the
strict home discipline among the English Puritans, with its liberal
use of the rod. Its doctrine of original sin led to an utter distrust
of child nature. Even Bunyan bids parents remember that children are
cursed creatures, whose wills, being evil, are to be broken.[1010]

[Footnote 1008: Calvin, _op. cit._  iv. 11. 3.]

[Footnote 1009: Beard, _op. cit._ pp. 249, 250, 255.]

[Footnote 1010: H. G. Wood, 'Puritanism,' in Hastings, _op. cit._
x (1918), p. 513.]

The English Reformation has no name to show beside those of Luther,
Zwingli, and Calvin. But during the reign of Edward VI. communications
were opened with the Reformed Churches of the Continent, which
resulted in a strong foreign influence of Protestant theologians,
whose theology was more Calvinistic than Lutheran. It was when this
influence was at its height that the English Prayer-book was shaped
and the foundation laid of the Thirty-nine Articles. At the same time
the English Reformation is characterised by the continuity of the
Anglican Church which makes it impossible to fix the point where the
old Church ends and the new begins; she is the heir of the Catholic
tradition as well as of the Reformation. The materials of the
Prayer-book were quarried in the mines of English mediæval {171}
piety, while the theology of the Thirty-nine Articles is that of the
Confession of Augsburg. During the reign of Elizabeth there was a
growing prevalence of Calvinistic theology. Puritanism, which was
chiefly Calvinistic, spread in every diocese, and in the Nine Lambeth
Articles of 1595 the main points of Calvinism were laid down with
uncompromising rigidity.[1011] They were never imposed upon the
English Church, but in the following century Puritanism was still in
the ascendant. It did not, however, establish itself as the
controlling power in English religion. While Scotland was strongly
Calvinistic and Presbyterian, the Puritans in England did not capture
the Church, and were compelled to struggle hard for the right to
follow their own consciences.[1012]

[Footnote 1011: Beard, _op. cit._ p. 320.]

[Footnote 1012: H. Balmforth, 'Disrupta membra: Developments in
England,' in _History of Christian Thought_, ed. by E. G. Selwyn
(London, 1937), p. 154.]

Reformation was a protest not only against doctrines taught by the
Catholic Church, but also against moral abuses practised in its name,
such as benefactions being accepted in atonement for flagrant sin, and
escape from purgatory being bought of wandering indulgence-mongers in
any market-place. But at the same time the Reformers rejected the
sound moral principles which were defiled by such corrupt practices.
They denied altogether the value of good deeds, however sincere, and
the different degrees of sinfulness of which the doctrine of purgatory
was an expression; and while they condemned to eternal damnation the
most virtuous man who lacks the orthodox belief, which has nothing to
do with morality, Luther, as we have seen, even went so far as to
promise salvation to the greatest sinner who has such a belief. No
wonder that such an attractive doctrine was taken advantage of. Von
Döllinger has accumulated a vast mass of evidence to show that the
immediate result of the Reformation was a dissolution of morals; that
the restraint of religion was relaxed, and that the characters of the
Protestant preachers themselves were by no means without stain. Part
of this evidence is drawn from the works of Catholic theologians, who
were altogether out of harmony with the Reformation; part from those
of humanists who grew dissatisfied with it before they died; part from
the utterances of men who retreated from the Protestant into the
Catholic ranks. All of them lay the blame of the neglect of morals
upon the doctrine of justification by faith alone.[1013] Evidence from
such sources is certainly {172} not above suspicion; but there remain
a series of painful confessions of disappointment with the moral
results of their work on the part of the Reformers themselves, and
especially of Luther. "In passage after passage Luther declares that
the last state of things was worse than the first; that vice of every
kind had increased since the Reformation; that the nobles were greedy,
the peasants brutal; that the corruption of morals in Wittenberg
itself was so great that he contemplated shaking off the dust of his
feet against it; that Christian liberality had altogether ceased to
flow; and that the preachers were neither held in respect nor
supported by the people. Towards the close of his life, these
complaints became more bitter and more frequent. Sometimes the Devil
is called in to account for so painful and perplexing a state of
things. . . . But it is significant that Luther himself does not
altogether acquit the doctrine of justification--though in his view
misapprehended--of blame in this matter."[1014] Harnack writes: "The
holding to the 'faith alone' ('fides sola') necessarily resulted in
dangerous laxity. What would really have been required here would have
been to lead Christians to see that only the 'fides caritate formata'
has a real value before God. . . . If one has persuaded himself that
everything that suggests 'good works' must be dropped out of the
religious sequence, there ultimately remains over only the readiness
to subject one's self to faith, _i.e._ to the pure doctrine. . . . The
Lutheran Church had to pay dearly for turning away from 'legal
righteousness,' 'sacrifice,' and 'satisfactions.' Through having the
resolute wish to go back to _religion_ and to it alone, it neglected
far too much the moral problem, the 'Be ye holy, for I am
holy.'"[1015] Thus the demoralising effect of Paul's teaching of
justification by faith alone, which already was noticed in Apostolic
times, was again testified at the Reformation.

[Footnote 1013: J. J. I. von Döllinger, _Die Reformation, ihre
Entwicklung und ihre Wirkungen im Umfange des Lutherischen
Bekenntnisses_ (Regensburg, 1846-8).]

[Footnote 1014: Beard, _op. cit._ p. 145 _sq. Cf._ Rashdall, _op.
cit._ p. 417.]

[Footnote 1015: Harnack, _op. cit._ vii. 256, 267.]

In the history of moral protests against Christian dogmas Pelagianism,
which played an important part in the beginning of the fifth century,
has to be mentioned; indeed, it has been justly said that in the study
of no other controversy can we learn so much about the connection and
the distinction between morality and religion. The two earnest monks
Pelagius and Cælestius and their associate, the wordly bishop Julian
of Eclanum, taught that as God's highest attributes are his goodness
and righteousness, everything created by him must be good, and that
human nature must remain so indestructively, though it may be modified
accidentally. To its constitution belongs the will as free choice, and
this free choice, with which reason is {173} implied, is the highest
good in man's constitution. We are free to abstain from sin, as Adam
was before the fall: his sin--which Julian esteemed of slight
account--was not transmitted. The doctrine of inherited or original
sin is blasphemous and absurd: it annuls God's righteousness, it
contradicts the fact that there can be no sin where there is no free
will, it leads to the condemnation of marriage when original sin is
assumed to be propagated by sexual intercourse. In the discussion of
divine grace the statements of the Pelagians are often contradictory
or ambiguous. Sometimes it is said to be necessary to every good work,
sometimes to facilitate goodness, and sometimes to be superfluous. The
two latter positions, which to a certain extent can be combined, seem
to give their real opinion; "for it was assuredly the chief intention
of Pelagius to deprive Christians of their indolent reliance on grace,
and Julian's main object was to show that the human constitution bore
merit and salvation in its own lap." There are three states of grace.
In the first place, there is the grace of creation, which is so
glorious that even heathens and Jews may be perfect men; Julian sneers
at the saying that the virtuous of the heathen are only splendid
vices. In the second place, grace denotes the law of God; indeed all
grace, in so far as it is not nature, can have no other character than
that of illumination and instruction (_doctrina_) which facilitates
the doing of good. Thirdly, grace means the grace of God through
Christ, which also is at bottom "illumination and instruction": Christ
works by his example. Pelagius and Julian admit that the habit of
sinning was so great that Christ's appearance was necessary. This
grace through Christ is quite compatible with the righteousness of
God, because the latter does not preclude an increase of benefit, but
that grace is given according to our merits; in any other case God
would have been unjust.[1016]

[Footnote 1016:  For the Pelagian doctrine see Harnack, _op. cit._
v. 188-203; F. Wörter, _Der Pelagianismus_ (Freiburg, i. B., 1874);
F. Klasen, _Die innere Entwicklung des Pelagianismus_ (Freiburg, i. B.,
1882); A. Bruckner, _Julian von Eclanum_ (Leipzig, 1897); _idem_, _Die
vier Bücher Julians von Æclanum an Turbantius_ (Berlin, 1910).]

The Pelagians never came to form a sect or schismatical party. They
were suppressed, chiefly by the influence of Augustine, in the years
after A.D. 418, without it being necessary to apply any special force,
and in the West Pelagianism brought upon itself a kind of universal
anathema. Although the subsequent development of Christian thought has
tended to confirm certain individual propositions of the Pelagian
system, it was rejected both by Catholics and Protestants. From a
moral point of view it was superior to the doctrines of both.



THE ethical value of the doctrine that good works are essential to
salvation is much reduced by the fact that merit is particularly
ascribed to works which our moral consciousness is apt to regard as
indifferent or even to disapprove of, namely, ascetic practices, not
in the sense of strict self-discipline but of deliberate maltreatment
of the body.

Such practices were not prescribed in the original body of Christian
doctrine as necessary to salvation, but the ascetic principle soon
made way for itself in the development of the Christian Church. The
beginnings of early Christian asceticism were due to the influence of
Greek and Judæo-Hellenic philosophy. According to the conception of
Eastern theologians religion and morality were closely bound together:
"God does not accept doctrine without good works, nor works separated
from the dogmas of religion."[1017] But there was one kind of good
works which did not appear to be merely subordinate to religious faith
and hope, but seemed to anticipate the future blessings or to put man
into the condition of being able to receive them immediately. This was
asceticism, which was regarded as the adequate and principal
disposition for the reception of salvation. The achievement of more
positive morality appeared as a minimum, to which the shadow of
imperfection always clung. Clement of Alexandria deemed the
performance of any act by which the senses are gratified, for the
purpose of obtaining that gratification, derogatory from Christian
perfection, nay even sinful:[1018] "a sensual life is unseemly,
opprobrious, hateful, and contemptible."[1019] Origen remained an
enthusiastic panegyrist of world-renunciation and mortification of the
flesh, even after he had repented the hyper-ascetic excesses of his
youth, especially his self-emasculation.[1020] John of Damascus
characterised asceticism as a salutary means of correcting the
deterioration {175} of the human state: "Asceticism and its toils were
not invented to procure the virtue that comes from without, but to
remove superinduced and unnatural vileness, just as we restore the
natural brightness of iron by carefully removing the rust, which is
not natural, but has come to it through negligence."[1021]

[Footnote 1017: Cyril of Jerusalem, _Cathesis_, iv. 2.]

[Footnote 1018: Clement of Alexandria, _Pædagogus_, ii. 10 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, viii. 508).]

[Footnote 1019: _Ibid._ iii. 7 (Migne, _Ser. Gr._, viii. 608).]

[Footnote 1020: Eusebius, _Historia ecclesiastica_, vi. 8.]

[Footnote 1021: John of Damascus, _De fide orthodoxa_, iii. 14.]

Western Christianity kept real life more distinctly in view. In spite
of the asceticism which Ambrose also preached, he constantly discussed
all the concrete affairs of the time and the moral wants of the
community. He thus represents the intimate union of the ascetic ideal
with energetic insistence on positive morality,[1022] and this union
the Western mediæval Church never lost, however much practical life
was subordinated to the contemplative. Augustine looked upon the
ascetic life as the ideal for the individual, but at the same time
broke through the barren system which made blessedness consist in
contemplation alone by urging the monastic ascetics to engage in
active work; and although the _merita_ which he said would be crowned
at the Judgment were works thoroughly ascetic, he did not consider it
necessary for everybody to practise asceticism.[1023] Before his time
Clement had distinguished between ordinary and extraordinary rules of
life, the latter of which are laid down for Christians perfected in
knowledge, but are too pure and spiritual to be comprehended by the
great mass of believers.[1024] Tertullian had also, like Augustine,
made a difference between precepts and counsels, and the same was
subsequently done by Thomas Aquinas, who considered the following of
the counsels, by relinquishing the benefits of this world, to be more
meritorious than the following of the precepts.[1025]

[Footnote 1022: Th. Förster, _Ambrosius Bischof von Mailand_ (Halle a.
S., 1884), p. 186 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1023: A. Harnack, _History of Dogma_, v (London, 1898),
pp. 138, 209 n. 3, 235.]

[Footnote 1024: Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, i. 1 etc.]

[Footnote 1025: _Supra_, pp. 141, 155.]

In Christian asceticism fasting came gradually to hold a prominent
position. In the primitive Church there were two weekly fast-days,
which undoubtedly were a Pharisaic inheritance, although the days were
different. It is said in the 'Didache' that the "hypocrites" fast on
Monday and Thursday, but that the Christians should fast on Wednesday
and Friday;[1026] and fasting is also prescribed as preparatory to
baptism, both for the baptiser and the baptised.[1027] Fasting was an
accompaniment of prayer. In the 'Shepherd' of Hermas we read: "All
prayer needeth humiliation; fast therefore, and thou shalt {176} learn
from the Lord that which thou dost ask."[1028] Clement of Alexandria
also speaks of fasting on Wednesday and Friday,[1029] and from his day
these fasts became more and more general both in the East and the
West.[1030] In Tertullian's time a half-fast terminating at three in
the afternoon was kept in the Catholic Church, though he contended
that the fast ought to be prolonged till the evening.[1031] These were
voluntary fasts, and observed on the authority of tradition, Wednesday
being selected because on that day the Jews took counsel to destroy
Christ, and Friday because that was the day of his crucifixion. But
there was also a fast that was considered obligatory upon all
Christians, namely, the Lent fast, consisting in a total abstinence
from food during the interval between Christ's passion and
resurrection.[1032] The Montanists were anxious to introduce a more
rigorous discipline in the observance of fasts, and their two weeks'
"xerophagy," which implied abstinence from flesh and wine, induced the
Church to prolong her Lent fast.[1033] Indeed, she gradually extended
the fast which lasted for forty hours, the time when Christ lay in the
grave, to forty days, in imitation of the forty days' fasts of Moses,
Elijah, and Christ.[1034] A custom which is known to have existed at
the beginning of the fifth century and subsequently, slowly, became
general in the Western Church is that of observing every Saturday as a

[Footnote 1026: _Didache_, 8.]

[Footnote 1027: _Ibid._ 7.]

[Footnote 1028: Hermas, _Pastor_, i. 3. 10.]

[Footnote 1029: Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, vii. 12 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, ix. 504).]

[Footnote 1030: O. Zöckler, _Askese und Mönchtum_ (Frankfurt a. M.,
1897), p. 154.]

[Footnote 1031: Tertullian, _De jejuniis_, 2, 10.]

[Footnote 1032: _Ibid._ 2; Irenæus, quoted by Eusebius, _op. cit._
v. 24.]

[Footnote 1033: Zöckler, _op. cit._ p. 155.]

[Footnote 1034: Leo I., _Sermo XLIV._ (_alias_ XLIII.); Jerome,
_Commentarii in Jonam_, 3 (Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_, xxv. 1140);
Augustine, _Epistola LV._ (_alias_ CXIX.), 'Ad inquisitiones
Januarii,' 15 (Migne, xxxiii. 217 _sq._); Funk, 'Die Entwicklung des
Osterfastens,' in _Theologische Quartalschrift_, lxxv (Tübingen,
1893), p. 209.]

[Footnote 1035: Zöckler, _op. cit._ p. 434 _sq._]

Many other fasts of a longer or shorter duration were also introduced,
before religious festivals or in connection with them; so that in the
Roman Catholic Church, since the ninth century, fasting is more or
less obligatory on about 120 days of the year.[1036] But a
conscientious member of the Greek Church abstains from flesh at least
180 days and from fish as well about 140 days. Most of these fasts are
known to have existed there from the fourth or sixth century
onwards.[1037] There are, in addition, compulsory individual fasts
connected with baptism, confirmation, communion, ordination, and
nuptials, as also penitential {177} fasts.[1038] Besides these there
are voluntary fasts. Of some of these incredible stories have been
told as the highest proof of excellence. Jerome declares that he had
seen a monk who for thirty years had lived exclusively on barley bread
and muddy waters while another, who lived in an old cistern, kept
himself alive on five dried figs a day.[1039] Of a famous saint it is
asserted that for three years his only nourishment was the sacrament,
which was brought him on Sundays.[1040] In Mesopotamia and part of
Syria there existed a whole sect known by the name of "Grazers," who
never lived under a roof, but spent their time for ever on the
mountain-side and ate grass like cattle.[1041]

[Footnote 1036: _Ibid._ p. 435 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1037: _Ibid._ pp. 302, 305.]

[Footnote 1038: _Ibid._ p. 439 _sq._]

[Footnote 1039: Jerome, _Vita Pauli_, 6.]

[Footnote 1040: Rufinus, _Historia monachorum_, 15.]

[Footnote 1041: Sozomen, _Historia ecclesiastica_, vi. 33.]

There were other ascetic practices equally appalling. We read of
hermits who lived in deserted dens of wild beasts, or in dried-up
wells, or in tombs; who disdained all clothes, and crawled abroad like
animals covered only by their matted hair; who spent forty days and
nights in the middle of thornbushes, and for forty years never lay
down.[1042] In the early days of Christian monasticism "the
cleanliness of the body was regarded as the pollution of the soul."
The saints who were most admired were those who had become one hideous
mass of clotted filth. Athanasius relates with enthusiasm how St.
Antony, the patriarch of monasticism, never washed his feet, "nor even
endured so much as to put them into water, unless compelled by
necessity."[1043] St. Simeon Stylites, who was generally pronounced to
be the highest model of a Christian saint, bound a rope round himself
so that it became imbedded in his flesh and caused putrefaction; and
it is said that "a horrible stench, intolerable to the bystanders,
exhaled from his body, and worms dropped from him whenever he moved,
and they filled his bed."[1044] Even a philosopher like Clement of
Alexandria asserts that while women may bathe for cleanliness and
health, men may only bathe for health.[1045]

[Footnote 1042: Evagrius, _Historia ecclesiastica_, i. 21 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, lxxxvi. 2475 _sqq._); W. E. H. Lecky,
_History of European Morals_, ii (London, 1890), p. 108 _sq._]

[Footnote 1043: Athanasius, _Vita S. Antoni_, 47.]

[Footnote 1044: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 111 _sq._]

[Footnote 1045: Clement of Alexandria, _Pædagogus_, iii. 9 (Migne,
_Ser. Græca_, viii. 617).]

The most important form of asceticism has been abstinence from sexual
relationships. From the earliest period there were circles of ascetics
in the Christian communities who required of all, as an inviolable law
under the name of Christian perfection, {178} complete abstinence from
marriage. As Jesus had been unmarried and his mother was a virgin, did
not this represent the divine ideal for men and women who sought to be
like him? The Marcionites permitted no union of the sexes, and those
who were married had to separate ere they could be received by baptism
into the community.[1046] Hierarcas, a disciple of Origen who lived at
the close of the third and in the first half of the fourth century,
insisted on the suppression of the sexual impulse as a demand of the
Logos-Christ, and consequently required celibacy as a Christian
law.[1047] The Eustathians also condemned marriage. They were opposed
by the Synod of Gangra;[1048] but the numerous tractates _De
virginitate_ show how near the great Fathers of the Church came to the
Eustathian view. Clement of Alexandria combats the notions of the
heretics who, like Marcion, enjoined abstinence from marriage in order
that the world created by the Demiurge might not be peopled; or, like
Tatian, dared to ascribe the institution of marriage to the devil,
contending that the binding of the woman to the man, mentioned by Paul
(1 _Corinthians_ vii. 39), meant the union of the flesh to
corruption.[1049] But he limits the lawful use of marriage to the
procreation of children.[1050] According to Methodius, in whom we have
the final stage of Greek theology, marriage is not forbidden,[1051]
but unstained virginity is ranked high above the married state. It is
the condition of Christlikeness,[1052] and all Christians must strive
towards it. It is like a spring flower, always softly exhaling
immortality from its white petals.[1053] It is "the flower and first
fruits of incorruption, and therefore the Lord promises to admit those
who have preserved their virginity into the kingdom of heaven."[1054]

[Footnote 1046: Harnack, _op. cit._ i. 277.]

[Footnote 1047: _Ibid._ iii. 98.]

[Footnote 1048: C. J. von Hefele, _Conciliengeschichte_, i. (Freiburg
i. B., 1873), p. 779 _sq._]

[Footnote 1049: Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, iii. 3, 12.]

[Footnote 1050: _Ibid._ ii. 23.]

[Footnote 1051: Methodius, _Convivium decem virginum_, ii. 1 _sq._]

[Footnote 1052: _Ibid._ i. 5.]

[Footnote 1053: _Ibid._ vii. 1.]

[Footnote 1054: _Ibid._ i. 1.]

The apologist Justin asserts that the Christians either abstained from
marriage altogether or married with the sole view of having children,
and that such as refuse to marry contain perpetually within the bounds
of chastity.[1055] According to Athenagoras, procreation is the
measure of a Christian's indulgence in appetite, just as the
husbandman throwing the seed into the ground awaits the harvest, not
sowing more upon it. "Many among us," he adds, "both men and women,
have grown old in a state of celibacy, through the hope that they
{179} shall thereby be more closely united to God. But if the
condition of virgins and eunuchs is more acceptable to God and even
thoughts and desires exclude us from his presence, surely we shall
renounce the act when we shun the very wish."[1056] Tertullian, on the
authority of the new prophecy of Montanus, if not actually condemning
marriage, yet on all occasions gives a decided preference to a life of
celibacy. Commenting on the words of the Apostle that "it is better to
marry than to burn," he points out that what is better is not
necessarily good. It is better to lose one eye than two, but neither
is good; so also, though it is better to marry than to burn, it is far
better neither to marry nor to burn.[1057] Marriage unfits the soul
for devotional exercises.[1058] It "consists of that which is the
essence of fornication,"[1059] and is only allowed under the gospel in
condescension to human infirmity. "The union of the sexes was, it is
true, in the beginning blessed by God, being devised for the purpose
of peopling the earth, and on that account permitted."[1060] On the
other hand, continence "is a means whereby a man will traffic in a
mighty substance of sanctity";[1061] the Lord himself opens the
kingdoms of the heavens to eunuchs.[1062] Yet when Tertullian is
opposing Marcion and other heretics who condemned marriage altogether,
he speaks of it as a pure and honourable state;[1063] and he even
breaks out into a glowing description of the blessedness of that
marriage in the celebration of which none of the forms required by the
Church has been omitted.[1064] He was himself married; but the Romish
commentators attempt to get rid of this perplexing fact by saying that
when he became a priest, he ceased to cohabit with his wife. If Jerome
consented to praise marriage, it was merely because it produced

[Footnote 1055: Justin, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 29.]

[Footnote 1056: Athenagoras, _Legatio pro Christianis_, 33.]

[Footnote 1057: Tertullian, _Ad uxorem_, i. 3; _idem_, _De
monogamia_, 3.]

[Footnote 1058: _Idem_, _De exhortatione castitatis_, 9 _sq._]

[Footnote 1059: _Ibid._ 9.]

[Footnote 1060: _Idem_, _Ad uxorem_, i. 2, See also _idem_, _De
exhortatione castitatis_, 5.]

[Footnote 1061: _Idem_, _De exhortatione castitatis_, 10.]

[Footnote 1062: _Idem_, _De monogamia_, 3.]

[Footnote 1063: _Idem_, _De anima_, 27; _idem_, _Adversus Marcionem_,
v. 15.]

[Footnote 1064: _Idem_, _Ad uxorem_, ii.]

[Footnote 1065: Jerome, _Epistola XXII._ 20.]

Ambrose celebrated virginity as the real novelty in Christian
morality: this virtue is our exclusive possession, the heathen had it
not.[1066] It works miracles: Mary, the sister of Moses, leading the
female band, passed on foot over the straits of the sea, and by the
same grace Thecla was reverenced even by lions, so that the unfed
beasts, lying at the feet of their prey, underwent a holy fast,
neither with wanton look nor sharp {180} claw venturing to harm the
virgin.[1067] But Ambrose admitted that though virginity is the
shortest way to the camp of the faithful, the way of matrimony also
arrives there, by a longer circuit.[1068] According to Augustine,
pride in relation to God and concupiscence show that man is sinful in
soul and body; but the emphasis falls on concupiscence, the lust of
the flesh. The _motus genitalium_, independent even of will, teaches
us that nature is corrupt. But although the involuntariness of the
impulse should exclude the possibility of its being sinful, Augustine
concludes that there is a sin which belongs to nature and not to the
sphere of the will. Children possess original sin because their
parents have procreated them in lust,[1069] whereas Christ was sinless
because he was not born of marriage.[1070] Augustine imagined
paradisiacal marriages in which children were begotten without lust,
or, as Julian says jerkingly, were to be shaken from trees. Similar
views had been expressed before, by Marcion and others. Gregory of
Nyssa,[1071] and in a later time John of Damascus, held the opinion
that virginity belonged to the nature of man and that if Adam had
preserved his obedience to the Creator some harmless method of
vegetation would have peopled paradise with a race of innocent and
immortal beings--an opinion which was opposed by Thomas Aquinas, who
maintained that the human race from the beginning was propagated by
means of sexual intercourse, but that such intercourse originally was
free from all carnal desire.[1072] One would think that Augustine's
conception of the sinfulness mingled with all procreation should have
led him to reject marriage. But he argues that many things are
permitted by the Apostles, although they are sinful, matrimonial
intercourse being one of these, and that many things which custom has
brought us to look on lightly, for example unchastity, are dreadful,
even though Church discipline itself has become lax in dealing with
them.[1073] So far as marriage is concerned, this argument is
extraordinary considering that Augustine ranked concupiscence
practically above alienation from God, and treated original sin,
resulting from it, as if it were more serious than actual sin, in so
far that while the former can only be washed out by baptism, the
latter can be atoned for by penance.[1074]

[Footnote 1066: Ambrose, _De virginibus_, i. 4.]

[Footnote 1067: Ambrose, _Epistola LXIII._ 34 (Migne, _Ser. Latina_,
xvi. 1198 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1068: _Ibid._ 40 (Migne, xvi. 1200).]

[Footnote 1069: Augustine, _De nuptiis et concupiscentia_, ii. 15.]

[Footnote 1070: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 34, 41.]

[Footnote 1071: Gregory of Nyssa, _De hominis opificio_, 17.]

[Footnote 1072: H. von Eicken, _Geschichte und System der
mittelalterlichen Weltanschauung_ (Stuttgart, 1887), p. 437 _sq._]

[Footnote 1073: Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 78, 80.]

[Footnote 1074: Harnack, _op. cit._ v. 220.]

{181} It is interesting to notice that Pelagius almost rivalled his
great antagonist Augustine in his praise of virginity. He deduced not
inherited sin, which he denied, but the actual existence of sin from
the snares of the devil and sensual lusts, and condemned concupiscence
accordingly. Pelagius' associate, Bishop Julian, however, argued that
if the substance of the flesh was good, its desires, which frequently
do not spring from the will, must have been permitted by the Creator;
and he attacked inexorably Augustine's view that marriage is allowed
although concupiscence is sinful. The case of marriage, which is
unthinkable without sexual desire, convinced Julian that the latter is
in itself indifferent and innocent, while excess follows from a fault
of the will. Christ himself possessed concupiscence.[1075]

[Footnote 1075: F. Klasen, _Die innere Entwicklung des Pelagianismus_
(Freiburg i. B., 1882), p. 195 _sq._]

In Scholasticism a clear distinction is drawn between sinful and
innocent concupiscence: the latter is involved in man's earthly nature
and is kept within appointed limits, as it may be as a result of his
baptism. Duns Scotus, who found no reason to regard the sperm as more
infectious than blood and saliva, also separated the question about
concupiscence, which he regarded as natural, from the question about
original sin.[1076] Following Augustine, the Catholic Church declared
sexual desire to be sinful, but at the same time accepted marriage.
Before his time, in the earlier part of the fourth century, the
Council of Gangra expressly condemned any one who maintained that
marriage prevented a Christian from entering the kingdom of God;[1077]
but at the end of the same century a Council also excommunicated the
monk Jovinian because he denied that virginity is more meritorious
than marriage.[1078] The Church declared marriage a sacrament.
Virginity is ordained to the good of the soul in the contemplative
life, which is to "think of the things of the Lord"; marriage, on the
other hand, is ordained to the good of the body, the bodily
multiplication of the human race, and belongs to the active life,
because husband and wife, living in the married state, are under
necessity to think of "the things of the world."[1079] The Council of
Trent condemned any one who does not regard the unmarried state as
better than the married.[1080]

[Footnote 1076: R. Seeberg, _Die Theologie des Johannes Duns Scotus_
(Leipzig, 1900), p. 218.]

[Footnote 1077: _Concilium Gangrense_, can. 1 (Labbe-Mansi, _Sacrorum
Conciliorum collectio_, ii. 1106).]

[Footnote 1078: _Concilium Mediolanense_, A.D. 390 (_ibid._ iii. 689

[Footnote 1079: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 152, 4.]

[Footnote 1080: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_, sess. xxiv,
can. 10.]

{182} Yet the Church by no means encouraged the adoption of virginity
as a general practice among her members, but on the contrary
resolutely declared war on all attempts to make it a law for
everybody. While she distinguished between a higher and a lower,
though sufficient, morality, she repudiated any claim that the higher
morality should be the only authoritative one. A religion that
commanded all alike to renounce the world would have closed the world
against it. She graded her members as priests, monks, and laity, and
assigned to them different standards of duty.

The earliest form of compulsory celibacy was imposed on persons who
had been married before. The command in the First Epistle to Timothy
(iii. 2, 12) that a bishop and a deacon should be the husband of one
wife was believed, rightly or wrongly, to be prohibitory of second
marriages. But such marriages were in early times looked upon as more
or less discreditable or inadmissible even if contracted by the laity.
Hermas says that if a husband or a wife dies the party which survives
does not sin in marrying again; "howbeit, if he shall remain single,
he shall thereby gain to himself great honour before the Lord."[1081]
But if a man puts away an unfaithful wife and marries another woman,
he too commits adultery.[1082] According to Justin, divorced persons
who contract new marriages are guilty of the same crime.[1083]
Athenagoras calls a second marriage a "decorous adultery," for Christ
says that "whosoever puts away his wife and marries another commits
adultery"; and he who cuts himself off from his first wife, even
though she be dead, is a concealed adulterer.[1084] Clement of
Alexandria does not pronounce second marriages positively unlawful,
but asserts that a man who marries again after the decease of his wife
falls short of human perfection.[1085] Tertullian, referring to the
injunction of the Apostle, argues that what is forbidden to the clergy
is not allowed to the laity: all Christians are really priests, who in
case of need must exercise the functions of the priesthood and
consequently must also live up to its standard of morality.[1086] And
he also adduces another argument: you have lost your wife, it was
therefore the will of God that you should become a widower; by
marrying again you cease to be a widower, and thereby strive against
the will of God.[1087] This doctrine was {183} branded by the Church
as heretical when it was elevated into an article of belief by the
Montanists; but those who married a second time were subject to
penance. In 484 we find the Pope Gelasius obliged to remind the
faithful that marriages of this kind are not to be refused to laymen.
On the other hand, it became firmly and irrevocably established that
no husband of a second wife was admissible to holy orders.[1088] The
Council of Elvira, in 365, which admitted that in cases of extreme
necessity a layman might administer baptism, was careful to specify
that he must not be a "digamus," or husband of a second wife.[1089]
The restriction on the priesthood, however, was not easily enforced.
Jerome asserts that the world is full of prelates who evade it, not
only in the lower orders but in the episcopate.[1090]

[Footnote 1081: Hermas, _op. cit._ ii. 4. 4.]

[Footnote 1082: _Ibid._ ii. 4. 1.]

[Footnote 1083: Justin, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 15.]

[Footnote 1084: Athenagoras, _op. cit._ 33.]

[Footnote 1085: Clement of Alexandria, _Stromata_, iii. 1 (Migne,
_Ser. Græca_, viii. 1104).]

[Footnote 1086: Tertullian, _De exhortatione castitatis_, 7.]

[Footnote 1087: _Ibid._ 2.]

[Footnote 1088: H. C. Lea, _History of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the
Christian Church_, (London, 1907), p. 24 _sq._]

[Footnote 1089: _Concilium Eliberitanum_, A.D. 305, ch. 38
(Labbe-Mansi, ii. 12).]

[Footnote 1090: Jerome, _Epistola LXIX._ 2.]

The rule in question drew for the first time a distinct line of
separation between the great body of the faithful and those who
officiated as ministers of Christ. Shortly afterwards there was a
revival of the Levitical law that required the priesthood to marry
none but virgins.[1091] The Council of Elvira declared in the most
positive manner that all concerned in the ministry of the altar should
maintain entire abstinence from their wives under pain of forfeiting
their positions;[1092] but this was simply the legislation of a local
synod in Spain, and its canons were not entitled to respect or
obedience beyond the limits of the churches directly represented. At
the end of the fourth century we find, for the first time, a papal
command imposing perpetual celibacy as an absolute rule of discipline
on the ministers of the altar.[1093] Energetic protests were not
wanting, nor the more perplexing stubbornness of passive resistance.
The most energetic endeavours to enforce the celibacy of the clergy
were made, in the latter part of the eleventh century, by Gregory
VII., who ordered that no one in future should be admitted to orders
without a vow of celibacy, and authorised the laity to withdraw their
obedience from all prelates and priests who disregarded this rule. He
was resolved that his decree should not remain, like the decretals of
innumerable Councils, a mere protest, and took immediate measures to
have it enforced wherever the authority of Rome extended.[1094] Yet
the reform for which he laboured was not carried through in the
various {184} Roman Catholic countries till the end of the twelfth or
even late in the thirteenth century.[1095]

[Footnote 1091: Lea, _op. cit._ i. 27.]

[Footnote 1092: _Concilium Eliberitanum_, ch. 33 (Labbe-Mansi,
ii. 11).]

[Footnote 1093: Lea, _op. cit._ i. 62.]

[Footnote 1094: _Ibid._ i. 185 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1095: Zöckler, _op. cit._ p. 446.]

In the Eastern Church, where sexual asceticism continued to flourish
as in its birthplace, there is no trace of any official attempt to
render it universally imperative. The East only preserved the
traditions of earlier times, as recorded in the Apostolic
Constitutions and Canons, prohibiting marriage in orders and the
ordination of digami, but imposing no compulsory separation on those
who had been married previous to ordination.[1096] In these respects
the early traditions of the Greek Church have remained unaltered to
the present day. The lower grades of the clergy are free to marry, and
they are not separated from their wives when promoted to the sacred
functions of the diaconate or priesthood. The bishops, again, are
selected from the regular clergy or monks, and, being bound by the vow
of chastity, are of course unmarried and unable to marry.[1097]

[Footnote 1096: Lea, _op. cit._ i. 91.]

[Footnote 1097: _Ibid._ i. 97.]

The Reformation of the sixteenth century rejected the demands for the
celibacy of the clergy. This was due not only to its denial of merits
of any kind, but also to its rejection of the double standard of moral
excellence which was accepted by Catholicism, and of its different
attitude towards asceticism in general and towards sexual abstinence
in particular. Luther appreciated all the lawful enjoyments of life.
"If our Lord God," he said, "may make excellent large pike and good
Rhenish wine, I may very well venture to eat and to drink. Thou mayest
enjoy every pleasure in the world that is not sinful: that thy God
forbids thee not, but much rather wills it. And it is pleasing to the
dear God whenever thou rejoicest or laughest from the bottom of your
heart."[1098] The German Pietism of the seventeenth century, however,
returned to the principles and practices of strict asceticism in the
matters both of fasting and of abstinence from worldly pleasures and
enjoyments; even strolls, games, and laughter were condemned by the
more rigorous section of Pietists. Calvin attached much importance to
a strict ecclesiastical discipline as a means of holiness.[1099] This
gave birth to the austere holiness of Scottish Presbyterianism and
English Puritanism with their occasional excesses of harsh casuistry
and Sabbatarian gloom. Among the Evangelicals there was a real
distrust of pleasure as pleasure. Sport was {185} accepted if it
served a rational purpose, that of recreation necessary for physical
efficacy, but in so far as it became purely a means of enjoyment, it
was strictly condemned. Sexual intercourse was permitted, even within
marriage, only as the means willed by God for the increase of his
glory according to the commandment, "Be fruitful and multiply." A
moderate vegetable diet and cold baths were remedies against sexual
temptations.[1100] Children were kept away from the fire in cold
weather; and if flagellation had gone out of fashion in the
monasteries, it was religiously practised in schools and in the home.
We read of a typical Evangelical of the eighteenth century, John
Fletcher of Madeley, who sat up every week for reading, meditation and
prayer, and lived wholly upon vegetarian food.[1101] The early
Methodist and Baptist sects even favoured the principle of celibacy.
These tendencies to withdrawal from the world led for the most part to
no permanent results. But a more enduring character belongs to the
ascetic efforts of various branches of British and American Methodism,
particularly in the sphere of the crusade against alcohol.[1102]

[Footnote 1098: K. Hagen, _**Deutschlands literarische und religiöse
Verhältnisse im Reformationszeitalter_, ii (Erlangen, 1843), p. 232.]

[Footnote 1099: Calvin, _Institutio Christianæ religionis_, iv. 12.]

[Footnote 1100: Max Weber, _Gesammelte Aufsätze zur
Religionssoziologie_, i (Tübingen, 1922), pp. 170, 171, 184, 187.]

[Footnote 1101: W. R. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Modern Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 132 _sq._]

[Footnote 1102: Zöckler, _op. cit._ p. 572 _sqq._; _idem_, 'Asceticism
(Christian),' in J. Hastings, _Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_,
ii (Edinburgh, 1909), p. 79.]

A common characteristic of all forms of asceticism is that it involves
suffering or privation, and in religious asceticism this is supposed
to be pleasing or gratifying to the deity, or lead to something having
such an effect. From the days of Tertullian and Cyprian the Latins
were familiar with the notion that the Christian has to propitiate
God, that cries of pain, sufferings and deprivations are means of
appeasing his anger, that God takes strict account of the quantity of
the atonement, and that where there is no guilt to be blotted out
those very means are regarded as merits.[1103] According to the
doctrine of the Church, penitential asceticism should in all grave
cases be preceded by sorrow for the sin and also by confession, either
public or private; but only too often the notion was adopted that the
outward practice itself was a compensation for sin, that a man was at
liberty to do whatever he pleased provided he was prepared to do
penance afterwards, and that a person who, conscious of his frailty,
had laid in a large stock of vicarious penance in anticipation of
future necessity, had a right "to work it out," {186} and spend it in
sins. How largely ascetic practices are due to the idea of expiation
is indicated by the fact that they scarcely occur among nations which
have no vivid sense of sin like the Chinese before the introduction of
Taoism and Buddhism,[1104] and the ancient Greeks, Romans, and
Scandinavians. In Greece, however, people sometimes voluntarily
sacrificed a part of their happiness in order to avoid the envy of the
gods, who would not allow to man more than a moderate share of good
fortune. Yet, though fear is a tremendous incentive to
self-mortification, the impulse to expiate and do penance may also be
an immediate and spontaneous expression of self-despair and devotion.
"There are saints," says William James, "who have literally fed on the
negative principle, on humiliation and privation, and the thought of
suffering and death, their souls growing in happiness just in
proportion as their outward state grew more intolerable."[1105]

[Footnote 1103: Tertullian, _De jejuniis_, 7; _idem_, _De
resurrectione carnis_, 8; _idem_, _De patientia_, 13; Harnack, _op.
cit._ ii. 110, 132 _sqq._, iii. 311.]

[Footnote 1104: A. Réville, _La religion Chinoise_ (Paris, 1889),
p. 221.]

[Footnote 1105: W. James, _The Varieties of Religious Experience_
(London, etc., 1903), p. 50. See also _ibid._ p. 302.]

The most extreme instance of the infliction of suffering as a means of
salvation was the practice of flagellation. In this practice there was
a considerable difference between Eastern and Western Christians. The
former aimed at weeping in their devotional acts, tears being a sign
of contrition, and as self-scourging was thought by them to be an
excellent expedient for obtaining tears, they had frequent recourse to
it for the purpose of bringing them into this saving state. Western
Christians, on the other hand, resorted to flagellation as a direct
and immediate method of compensation for past sins.[1106] It came into
prominence in Europe in the eleventh century through the practices of
the monk Dominicus Loricatus and Cardinal Peter Damian. It was
advocated as a substitute for the reading of penitential psalms, a
thousand strokes of the lash being equal to ten psalms; but the most
complete course went up to three million strokes.[1107] The first
serious outbreak of public flagellation began in Italy just after the
middle of the thirteenth century; and a still more famous gregarious
outbreak came about a hundred years later, and led to the formation of
the Brotherhood of the Flagellants, whose members, stripping to the
waist, lashed themselves with scourges, sometimes knotted and
sometimes supplied with iron points which embedded themselves in the
flesh. They believed that their blood would {187} mingle with the shed
blood of Christ, and that this penitential flagellation, continued for
thirty-three days and a half, would wash the soul free of all taint of
sin. Being voluntary, it was thought to be more meritorious than
martyrdom, and to supply the want of all other good works.[1108] When
the Flagellants thus felt that the means of salvation were in their
own hands, and that the mediation of the Church and its priesthood
could be dispensed with, the Church launched her anathemas against
them, and on several occasions they were forced to seal their
testimonies at the stake. The mania then took the form of private
whipping, and in cells and rooms they belaboured the sinful flesh with
infinite satisfaction. This was especially the case in Bavaria, which
may be termed the classic land of the scourge.[1109]

[Footnote 1106: W. M. Cooper, _Flagellations and the Flagellants_
(London, _s.d._), p. 115.]

[Footnote 1107: Zöckler, _op. cit._ p. 529 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1108: R. M. Jones, 'Flagellants,' in J. Hastings,
_Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, vi (Edinburgh, 1938), p. 49
_sq._; Cooper, _op. cit._ p. 117.]

[Footnote 1109: Cooper, _op. cit._ p. 118.]

Suffering is not only sought as a means of wiping off sins committed,
but is also endured with a view to preventing the commission of sin.
This is another important idea upon which Christian asceticism rests.
The gratification of every worldly desire is sinful, the flesh should
be the abject slave of the spirit intent upon unearthly things. Man
was created for a life in spiritual communion with God, but yielded to
the seduction of evil demons, who availed themselves of the sensuous
side of his nature to draw him away from the contemplation of the
divine and lead him to the earthly. Goodness, therefore, consists in
renouncing all sensuous pleasures, in separating from the world, in
living solely after the spirit, in imitating the perfection and purity
of God, The contrast between good and evil is the contrast between God
and the world, and the conception of the world includes not only the
objects of bodily appetites but all human institutions. This
antithesis of spirit and body, which we have met with already in Paul,
was an old Platonic conception, which the Fathers of the Church
regarded as the contrast between what was precious and what was to be
mortified. In the Neo-Platonic and Neo-Pythagorean schools of
Alexandria, an ascetic ideal of life was the natural outcome of their
theory that God alone is pure and good, and matter impure and evil.
The idea that man ought to liberate himself from the bondage of
earthly desires is the conclusion of a contemplative mind reflecting
upon the short duration and emptiness of all bodily pleasures and the
allurements by which they lead men into misery and sin. And separation
from the material world is the ideal of the religious enthusiast whose
highest aspiration {188} is union with God conceived as an immaterial
being, as pure spirit.

There are yet other ideas at the bottom of particular ascetic
practices. Fasting is frequently adopted as a means of having
supernatural converse, or of acquiring supernatural powers.[1110]
Chrysostom says that fasting "makes the soul brighter, and gives it
wings to mount up and soar on high."[1111] An idea of this kind partly
underlies the common practice of abstaining from food before or in
connection with the performance of a magical or religious
ceremony;[1112] but there is also another ground for this practice.
The effect attributed to fasting is not merely psychical, but it also
prevents pollution.[1113] In Christianity we meet with it as a rite of
purification, when practised before a religious festival or a
religious rite, like prayer or a sacramental act. In the early Church
catechumens were accustomed to fast before baptism.[1114] At least as
early as the time of Tertullian it was usual for communicants to
prepare themselves by fasting for the reception of the
Eucharist;[1115] and to this day Roman Catholicism regards it as
unlawful to consecrate or partake of it after food or drink.[1116] The
Lent fast itself was partly interpreted as a purifying preparation for
the holy table;[1117] but its archetype, the fast which lasted for
forty hours only, the time when Christ lay in the grave, belonged to
the very common type of fasting after a death. The mourning fast may
be ascribed to different causes,[1118] but in this case it was
undoubtedly an expression of sorrow.

[Footnote 1110: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, ii (London, 1917), p. 292 _sq._]

[Footnote 1111: Chrysostom, _In Cap. I. Genes. Homil. X._ 2 (Migne,
_Ser. Græca_, liii. 83). _Cf._ Tertullian, _De jejuniis_, 6 _sqq._;
B. Haug, _Die Alterthümmer der Christen_ (Stuttgart, 1785), pp. 476,

[Footnote 1112: Westermarck, _op. cit._ ii 293 _sqq._ Among the Jews
fasting was a means of giving special efficacy to prayer (L. Löw,
_Gesammelte Schriften_, i [Szegedin, 1889], p. 108; W. Nowack,
_Lehrbuch der hebräischen Archäologie_, ii [Freiburg i. B. and
Leipzig, 1894], p. 271; I. T. Benzinger, 'Fasting, Fasts,' in
_Encyclopædia Biblica_, ii [London, 1901], p. 1507), and fasting and
praying became in fact a constant combination of words (_Judith_,
iv. 9, 11; _Tobit_, xii. 8; _Ecclesiasticus_, xxxiv. 26).]

[Footnote 1113: Westermarck, _op. cit._ ii. 294 _sq._]

[Footnote 1114: Justin Martyr, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 61;
Augustine, _De fide et operibus_, vi. 8.]

[Footnote 1115: Tertullian, _De oratione_, 19.]

[Footnote 1116: _The Catechism of the Council of Trent_, ii. 4, 6.]

[Footnote 1117: Jerome, _In Jonam_, 3 (Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_,
xxv. 1140).]

[Footnote 1118: Westermarck, _op. cit._ ii. 302 _sqq._]

Moreover, there is a close connection between fasting and almsgiving.
This was the case among the Jews[1119] and from {189} Judaism the
combination of fasting and almsgiving passed over into Christianity.
We read in the 'Shepherd' of Hermas: "That day on which thou fastest
thou shalt taste nothing at all but bread and water; and computing the
quantity of food which thou art wont to eat upon other days, thou
shalt lay aside the expense which thou shouldst have made that day,
and give it unto the widow, the fatherless, and the poor. And thus
thou shalt perfect the humiliation of thy soul, that he who receives
of it may satisfy his soul, and his prayer come up to the Lord God for
thee. If, therefore, thou shalt thus accomplish thy fast, as I command
thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable unto the Lord, and thy fast
shall be written in his book."[1120] Aristides writes that if there is
among Christians "a man who is poor or needy, and they have not an
abundance of necessaries, they fast two or three days that they may
supply the needy with their necessary food."[1121] According to
Augustine, alms and fasting are the two wings which enable a man's
prayer to fly upward to God.[1122] But fasting without almsgiving "is
not so much as counted for fasting";[1123] that which is gained by the
fast at dinner ought not to be turned into a feast at supper, but
should be expended on the bellies of the poor.[1124] And if a person
is too weak to fast without injuring his health he should give more
plentiful alms.[1125] Tertullian calls fastings "sacrifices that are
acceptable to God."[1126] But fasting, as well as temperance, has also
from early times been advocated by Christian writers on the ground
that it is "the beginning of chastity,"[1127] whereas "through love of
eating love of impurity finds passage."[1128] Thomas Aquinas says that
fasting serves principally three ends: "First, to repress the
concupiscences of the flesh; hence the Apostle says, 'In fastings, in
chastity,' because by fasting chastity is preserved. Secondly, it is
taken up that the mind {190} may be more freely raised to the
contemplation of high things; hence Daniel, after a three weeks' fast,
received a revelation from God. Thirdly, to satisfy for sin."[1129]
That fasting serves the general purpose of religious asceticism as a
means of propitiating God by self-inflicted suffering is also kept in
view by Tertullian when he explains its necessity as the result of
Adam's fall. He fell by yielding to his appetite, and from this fact
it follows that the sure way for man to regain the favour of God is to
mortify his appetite: Adam offended by eating, his descendants must
remedy the evil consequences of the offence by fasting.[1130]

[Footnote 1119:  _Ibid._ ii. 317.]

[Footnote 1120: Hermas, _op. cit._ iii. 5. 3.]

[Footnote 1121: Aristides, _Apologia_, 15.]

[Footnote 1122: Augustine, _Enarratio in Psalmum XLXII._ 8 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, xxxvi. 482).]

[Footnote 1123: _Idem_, _Sermones **supposititii_, cxlii. 2, 6 (Migne,
xxxix. 2023 _sq._); Chrysostom, _In Matthæum Homilia, LXXVII._ (_al.
LXXVIII._) 6 (Migne, _Ser. Græca_, lviii. 710).]

[Footnote 1124: Augustine, _Sermones **supposititii_, cxli. 4 (Migne,
xxxix. 2021). _Cf. Canons enacted under King Edgar_, 'Of Powerful
Men,' 3 (_Ancient Laws and Institutes of England_ [London, 1840],
p. 415); _Ecclesiastical Institutes_, 38 (_ibid._ p. 486).]

[Footnote 1125: Augustine, _Sermones **supposititii_, cxlii. 1 (Migne,
xxxix. 2022 _sq._); Chrysostom, _In Cap. I. Genes. Homil. X._ 2
(Migne, _Ser. Græca_, liii. 83).]

[Footnote 1126: Tertullian, _De resurrectione carnis_, 8.]

[Footnote 1127: Chrysostom, _In Epist. II. ad Thessal. Cap. I. Homil.
I._ 2 (Migne, _Ser. Græca_, lxii. 470).]

[Footnote 1128: Tertullian, _De jejuniis_, 1.]

[Footnote 1129: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 147. 1.]

[Footnote 1130: Tertullian, _De jejuniis_, 3.]

So also religious celibacy and abstinence from sexual intercourse are
enjoined or commended as means of self-mortification supposed to
appease an angry god. We find them side by side with other ascetic
observances practised for similar purposes. Among the early Christians
those young women who took a vow of chastity "did not look upon
virginity as any thing if it were not attended with great
mortification, with silence, retirement, poverty, labour, fastings,
watchings, and continual praying. They were not esteemed as virgins
who would not deny themselves the common diversions of the world, even
the most innocent."[1131] Tertullian enumerates virginity, widowhood,
and the modest restraint in secret on the marriage-bed among those
fragrant offerings acceptable to God which the flesh performs to its
own especial suffering.[1132] But sexual asceticism may be traced to
other sources as well.

[Footnote 1131: C. Fleury, _An Historical Account of the Manners and
Behaviour of the Christians_ (London, 1698), p. 128 _sq._]

[Footnote 1132: Tertullian, _De resurrectione carnis_, 8.]

In various religions a priestess is regarded as married to the god
whom she is serving, and is therefore forbidden to have sexual
intercourse with any man. In the Egyptian texts there are frequent
references to "the divine" consort, a position which was generally
held by the ruling queen, and the king was believed to be the
offspring of such a union.[1133] As Plutarch states, the Egyptians
thought it quite possible for a woman to be impregnated by the
approach of some divine spirit, though they denied that a man could
have corporeal intercourse with a goddess.[1134] Nor was the idea of a
nuptial relation between a woman and the deity foreign to the early
Christians. Cyprian {191} speaks of women who had no husband and lord
but Christ, with whom they lived in a spiritual matrimony--who had
"dedicated themselves to Christ, and, retiring from carnal lust, vowed
themselves to God in flesh and spirit."[1135] In the following words
he condemns the cohabitation of such virgins with unmarried
ecclesiastics, under the pretence of a purely spiritual connection:
"If a husband come and see his wife lying with another man, is he not
indignant and maddened, and does he not in the violence of his
jealousy perhaps even seize the sword? What? How indignant and angered
then must Christ our Lord and Judge be, when he sees a virgin,
dedicated to himself, and consecrated to his holiness, lying with a
man! and what punishments does he threaten against such impure
connections. . . . She who has been guilty of this crime is an
adulteress, not against a husband, but Christ."[1136] According to the
gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, the Virgin Mary had in a similar manner
dedicated herself as a virgin to God.[1137]

[Footnote 1133: A. Wiedemann, _Herodots **zweites Buch mit sachlichen
Erläuterungen_ (Leipzig, 1890), p. 268. _Cf._ A. Erman, _Life in
Ancient Egypt_ (London, 1894), p. 295 _sq._]

[Footnote 1134: Plutarch, _Numa_, iv. 5; _idem_, _Symposiaca
problemata_, viii. 1. 6 _sq._]

[Footnote 1135: Cyprian, _De habitu virginum_, 4, 22. _Cf._ Methodius,
_Convivium decem virginum_, vii. 1.]

[Footnote 1136: Cyprian, _Epistola LXII., ad Pomponium de virginibus_,
3 _sq._ (Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_, iv. 368 _sqq._). See also
J. Neander, _General History of the Christian Religion and Church_,
i (Edinburgh, 1847), p. 378. The Council of Elvira decreed that such
fallen virgins, if they refused to return back to their former
condition, should be denied communion even at the moment of death
(_Concilium Eliberitanum_, A.D. 305, ch. 13 [Labbe-Mansi, ii. 8]).]

[Footnote 1137: _The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew_, 8 (_Anti-Nicene
Christian Library_, xvi [Edinburgh, 1870], p. 25). See also _The
Gospel of the Nativity of Mary_, 7 (_ibid._ xvi. 57 _sq._).]

An extremely important cause of sexual asceticism is the view that
sexual intercourse is defiling, and that sexual pollution is
particularly injurious to holiness, as also to anybody who comes into
contact with anything holy--a view the origin of which I have
discussed in an earlier chapter.[1138] The Christians prescribed
strict continence as a preparation for baptism[1139] and the partaking
of the Eucharist.[1140] They enjoined that no married persons should
participate in any of the great festivals of the Church if the night
before they had lain together;[1141] and in the 'Vision' of Alberic,
dating from the twelfth century, a special place of torture,
consisting of a lake of mingled lead, pitch, and resin, is represented
as existing in hell for the punishment of married people who have had
intercourse on Sundays, church {192} festivals, or fast-days.[1142]
They abstained from the marriage-bed at other times also, when they
were disposed more freely to give themselves to prayer.[1143] Newly
married couples were admonished to practice continence during the
wedding-day and the night following, out of reverence for the
sacrament; and in some instances their abstinence lasted even for two
or three days.[1144] The Penitential of Theodore commands those who
contract a first marriage to abstain from entering a church for thirty
days, after which they are to perform penance for forty more.[1145]
The Syrian philosopher Jamblichus speaks of the belief that "the gods
do not hear him who invokes them, if he is impure from venereal
connections."[1146] A similar notion prevailed among the early
Christians; with reference to a passage in the First Epistle to the
Corinthians (vii. 5), Tertullian remarks that the Apostle added the
recommendation of a temporary abstinence for the sake of adding
efficacy to prayers.[1147] Carried further, the idea underlying all
these rules and practices led to the notions, that celibacy is more
pleasing to God than marriage and a religious duty for those members
of the community whose special office is to attend to the sacred cult.
For a nation like the Jews, whose ambition was to live and to
multiply, celibacy could never become an ideal; whereas the
Christians, who professed the utmost indifference to all earthly
matters, found no difficulty in glorifying a state which, however
opposed it was to the interests of the race and the nation, made men
pre-eminently fit to approach their god. Indeed, far from being a
benefit to the kingdom of God by propagating the species, sexual
intercourse was on the contrary detrimental to it by being the great
transmitter of the sin of our first parents.

[Footnote 1138: _Supra_, p. 128 _sq._]

[Footnote 1139: Augustine, _De fide et operibus_, vi. 8.]

[Footnote 1140: Jerome, _Epistola XLVIII._ 15 (Migne, xxii. 505 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1141: Gregory the Great, _Dialogi_, i. 10 (Migne, lxxvii.
200 _sq._); Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 324.]

[Footnote 1142: Albericus, _Visio_ (Ariano, 1899), ch. 5, p. 17; J. O.
Delepierre, _L'enfer décrit par ceux qui l'ont vu_ (London, 1864-5),
p. 57 _sq._ On this subject see also J. Müller, _Das sexuelle Leben
der christlichen Kulturvölker_ (Leipzig, 1904), pp. 52, 53, 120 _sq._]

[Footnote 1143: Jerome, _Epistola XLVIII._ 15 (Migne, xxii. 505);
Fleury, _op. cit._ p. 75.]

[Footnote 1144: L. A. Muratori, _Dissertazioni sopra le antichità
Italiane_, 20, vol. i (Milano, 1836), p. 347.]

[Footnote 1145: G. May, _Social Control of Sex Expression_ (London,
1930), p. 63.]

[Footnote 1146: Jamblichus, _De mysteriis_, iv. 11.]

[Footnote 1147: Tertullian, _De exhortatione castitatis_, 10.]

Finally, it was argued that marriage prevents a person from serving
God perfectly, because it induces him to occupy himself too much with
worldly things.[1148] Though not contrary to the act of charity or the
love of God, says Thomas Aquinas, it is {193} nevertheless an obstacle
to it.[1149] This was one, but certainly not the only, cause of the
obligatory celibacy which the Roman Church imposed upon her clergy.
Even in the East, where there was no such compulsory celibacy, we find
Eusebius stating that it is becoming in those, who are engaged in the
ministry of God to abstain from their wives in order to be relieved
from family cares and anxieties.[1150]

[Footnote 1148: Vincentius Bellovacensis, _Speculum naturale_
(Venetijs, 1494), xxx. 43.]

[Footnote 1149: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 184, 3.]

[Footnote 1150: Eusebius, _Demonstratio evangelica_, i. 9.]



IN previous chapters we have considered two different trends of
thought as regards the means of procuring salvation. On the one hand
there is the moralistic view that salvation is the reward of a moral
life wrought out essentially by our own power, and on the other hand
there is the belief that it depends upon divine grace, connected with
the faith in Christ as our redeemer through his death on the cross. In
the Catholic Church the two views were combined by the idea that
merits are the gifts of God, while in Protestantism justification was
declared to be due to faith alone and good works to be merely the
fruits of faith. But as a matter of fact, whatever importance was
attached either to merits or to faith, the doctrine of salvation was
at the same time influenced by the belief in a mystical efficacy of

What is a sacrament? It was found easier to describe the particular
rites called by that name than to give a general definition of it.
Augustine made various statements on the notion of the sacrament, but
evolved no harmonious theory on the subject. He says that when "the
Word is added to the element . . . a sacrament is constituted, itself
being, as it were, a visible Word";[1151] and in many passages the
sign is described as a figure, although at the same time it is not an
empty **sign. "It is not that which is seen that feeds, but that which
is believed."[1152] The gift conveyed in the Eucharist is a spiritual
gift, and the eating and drinking are a spiritual process.[1153] That
of which we partake is not the sensual flesh, but of this flesh we
receive its essence, the spirit which quickens it.[1154] The
Schoolmen's doctrine of the sacraments has its root in that of
Augustine, but goes beyond it both formally and materially. The "word"
disappears behind the sacramental sign, and the conception becomes
still more magical. The definition of the Lombard, which lies at the
foundation of the later definitions, runs thus: {195} "That is
properly called a sacrament which is a sign of the grace of God, and a
form of invisible grace in such a way that it bears the image thereof
and exists as a cause. Sacraments, therefore, are instituted for the
purpose, not merely of signifying, but also of sanctifying."[1155]

[Footnote 1151: Augustine, _In Joannis evangelium_, lxxx. 3.]

[Footnote 1152: _Idem_, _Sermo CXII._ 5.]

[Footnote 1153: _Idem_, _Sermo CXXXI._ 1.]

[Footnote 1154: _Idem_, _In Joannis evangelium_, xxvii. 5.]

[Footnote 1155: Petrus Lombard, _Sententiæ_, iv. 2.]

Thomas Aquinas, however, does not accept without guarding clauses the
statement that the sacrament "exists as a cause." He says that it only
"in some way" causes grace; that the principal cause of grace is God,
who works as the fire does by its warmth, communicating in grace his
own nature, and that the sacrament is merely an "instrumental cause,"
which acts through the impulse it receives from the principal agent.
Anyhow, "the sacraments of the new law are at the same time causes and
signs, and hence it is commonly said of them that they effect what
they symbolise."[1156] But while the principal cause of grace is God,
the humanity of Christ is, so to speak, a conjoined instrument.
Yielding himself up as an offering and sacrifice to God, he initiated
by his passion the ritual of the Christian religion, "whence it is
manifest that the sacraments of the Church have their efficacy
principally from the passion of Christ, of which the virtue is in some
way united to us through receiving the sacraments, as a sign of which
there flowed from Christ as he hung upon the cross water and blood, of
which the one relates to baptism, the other to the Eucharist, which
are the most potent sacraments."[1157] The ultimate end of the
sacrament is life eternal; and a sacrament may thus be defined as "a
sign commemorative of what went before, namely, the passion of Christ,
and representative of what is effected in us by the passion of Christ,
namely, grace, and anticipatory, that is, predictive of future
glory."[1158] It must always be a sensible thing, because it
corresponds with the nature of man that he should attain to the
knowledge of intelligible, through sensible things.[1159] Though the
inner effect of the sacrament, which is justification, can be produced
only by God, a man (the priest), by way of administering it, becomes
an instrumental cause of that effect.[1160] Whether he is good or bad
does not come into account here, since "the instrument does not work
by its own form of virtue, but by the virtue of him by whom it is
moved."[1161] Bad servants commit a mortal sin when they celebrate the
sacraments, but the sin does not extend to the receiver, "who {196}
does not communicate with the sin of the bad minister, but with the

[Footnote 1156: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, iii. 62. 1.]

[Footnote 1157: _Ibid._ iii. 62. 5.]

[Footnote 1158: _Ibid._ iii. 60. 3.]

[Footnote 1159: _Ibid._ iii. 60. 4.]

[Footnote 1160: _Ibid._ iii. 64. 1.]

[Footnote 1161: _Ibid._ iii. 64. 5.]

[Footnote 1162: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, iii. 64. 6.]

The doctrine of Thomas underwent afterwards considerable modification
from the time of Duns Scotus onwards--although Scotus himself, in
spite of his criticism, does not stand very far from him in his
doctrine of the sacraments,[1163]--but became finally dominant. This
is noticeable in what the Council of Trent has to say on the subject.
In the prologue to the decree of Session vii, it declares that "by
means of the sacraments all true righteousness either begins or,
having been begun, is increased or, having been lost, is restored." As
in the doctrine of Aquinas, a regard to faith is lacking, and this
silence is the more significant since it shows that just the sacrament
itself as externally applied is held to be the means of salvation. In
the canons, anathema is pronounced on those who assert that man can be
justified before God without the sacraments by faith alone;[1164] on
those who teach that the sacraments are instituted for the sake of
only nourishing faith;[1165] on those who say that "grace is not
conveyed _ex opere operato_ by the sacraments of the new law, but that
faith alone in the divine promise is sufficient for obtaining
grace."[1166] If the negative definitions which the Council adopted in
these and other statements are translated into a positive form, they
come close to Thomism. They are really protests against Protestantism.

[Footnote 1163:  See Harnack, _op. cit._ vi (London, 1899), p. 219
_sqq._; R. Seeberg, _Die Theologie des Johannes Duns Scotus_ (Leipzig,
1900), p. 346 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1164: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_,
sess. vii, can. 4.]

[Footnote 1165: _Ibid._ vii. 5.]

[Footnote 1166: _Ibid._ vii. 8.]

Luther insisted that the sacraments do not become efficacious in their
being celebrated, but in their being believed in. He maintained that
both baptism and the Eucharist, which were the only sacraments
recognised by him, work forgiveness of sin and thereby procure life
and blessedness, but not without faith. He says that in baptism "this
is not done certainly by the water, but by the Word of God, which is
with and beside the water, and by the faith which trusts in such Word
of God in the water";[1167] and so also the eating of the bread and
the drinking of the wine in the Eucharist must be combined with faith
in the Word in order to produce forgiveness of sins, for only then it
can be said with truth, "This bread is my body, this wine is my
blood."[1168] According to Zwingli, on the other hand, "all sacraments
are so far from conferring grace that {197} they do not even bring or
dispense it. . . . Sacraments are given for a public testimony of that
grace which is previously present to each individual. . . . A
sacrament is a sign of a sacred thing, that is, of grace which has
been given."[1169] Calvin again, tried to steer a middle course
between the theories of Luther and Zwingli. He defined a sacrament as
"an external sign, by which the Lord seals to our consciences his
promises of goodwill towards us, in order to sustain the weakness of
our faith, and we in our turn testify our piety towards him, both
before himself and before angels as well as men."[1170] But was not
the sacrament then a superfluity, since the true will of God was
sufficiently known through the Word, and the sacrament could make us
no wiser? Calvin makes the reply: "Sacraments bring with them the
clearest promises, and, when compared with the Word, have this
peculiarity that they represent promises to the life, as if painted in
a picture." They are like seals which are affixed to diplomas and
other public deeds, which "are nothing considered in themselves, and
would be affixed to no purpose if nothing were written on the
parchment, and yet this does not prevent them from sealing and
confirming when they are appended to writing."[1171]

[Footnote 1167: Luther, 'Der kleine Catechismus,' in _Sämmtliche
Werke_, xxi (Erlangen, 1832), p. 17.]

[Footnote 1168: _Ibid._ xxi. 20.]

[Footnote 1169: Zwingli, 'Fidei ratio,' in _Eine Auswahl aus seinen
Schriften_ (Zürich, 1918), p. 748 _sq._]

[Footnote 1170: Calvin, _Institutio Christianæ religionis_,
iv. 12. 1.]

[Footnote 1171: _Ibid._ iv. 14. 5.]

The doctrine of the sacraments was developed under the disadvantage of
not knowing for certain to what sacred acts the general conceptions
were to be applied. As to their number the greatest vacillation
prevailed for centuries. Still, theology had already wrought for long
with the number seven, before this number was officially recognised by
the Church,[1172] which happened in 1439.[1173] The only sacred acts
in a pre-eminent sense, which had been handed down from ecclesiastical
antiquity were baptism and the Eucharist.

[Footnote 1172: Harnack, _op. cit._ vi. 201 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1173: Eugene IV., 'Decretum,' in Labbe-Mansi, _Sacrorum
Conciliorum collectio_, xxxi (Venetiis, 1798), col. 1054 _sqq._]

Baptism was regarded as the bath of regeneration, by which the sins of
the past were blotted out. Speaking of "the repentance of baptism,"
Hermas says that when we go down into the water we receive the
forgiveness of our sins; we "go down under the obligation unto death,
but come up appointed unto life."[1174] According to the 'Didache,'
the pronouncing of the name of Father and Son and the Holy Spirit is
essential, but if immersion is not practicable water may be poured
upon the {198} head thrice.[1175] Personal faith was looked upon as a
necessary condition.[1176] Tertullian argues that baptism, in order to
be effectual to the pardon of sin, presupposes a renunciation of all
sinful habits on the part of him who is to receive it; men are
admitted to baptism because they have repented and reformed their
lives, not in order that they may afterwards repent and reform.[1177]
The converts from heathenism went through a course of instruction in
the principles and doctrines of the gospel, and were subjected to a
strict probation before they were admitted to the rite of baptism.
Tertullian says that this rite must not be hastily conferred; and
recommends delay in the case not only of infants but also of unmarried
persons and widows, whom he considers particularly exposed to
temptation.[1178] He and the Christians of his day were impressed by
the belief that the external rite was absolutely necessary to
salvation, and thought it better that it should be performed by a
layman than that it should not be performed at all. But although he
maintains that the laity possess the right to administer baptism in
case of necessity, he does not extend this right to women, and
stigmatises the attempt on their part to baptise as a most flagrant
act of presumption.[1179]

[Footnote 1174: Hermas, _Pastor_, ii. 4. 3, iii. 9. 16.]

[Footnote 1175: _Didache_, 7.]

[Footnote 1176: Justin Martyr, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 61;
Tertullian, _De baptismo_, 14; _idem_, _De pœnitentia_, 6.]

[Footnote 1177: Tertullian, _De pœnitentia_, 6.]

[Footnote 1178: _Idem_, _De baptismo_, 18.]

[Footnote 1179: _Ibid._ 17; Tertullian, _De præscriptione
hæreticorum_, 41.]

Augustine considers likewise baptism indispensable for salvation. Its
necessity rests on the "stamp," and it cannot be rendered invalid by
sin or heresy;[1180] it may even cause a momentary forgiveness of sin
in the case of heretics.[1181] But the importance of the Catholic
Church is strictly guarded. Baptism is set in the foreground as the
grand mystery in the cross of Christ, for according to Paul it is
nothing but the similitude of Christ's death; but the death of Christ
crucified is nothing but the remission of sin, that as in him a true
death took place, so in us a true remission of sins.[1182] Thomas
Aquinas asserts that while generally the sacraments as a whole are
necessary to salvation, this applies specifically, in the strictest
sense, to baptism.[1183] It is the medicine for the consequences of
the Fall, and lays the basis of the new life. It has thus both a
negative and a positive effect. It abolishes the guilt both of
original {199} sin and of the previously committed sinful deeds
without exception.[1184] The penalty is thereby remitted, and the
disorder of the passions is rectified, so that man is now capable of
resisting or keeping within appointed limits the concupiscence which
is involved in his earthly nature.[1185] The positive effect of
baptism is summed up in the term "regeneration."[1186] Baptism cannot
be repeated.[1187] It is valid when it is performed with water and
with the words of institution, and is regularly dispensed by the
priest. Yet in an emergency a deacon,[1188] and even a layman, nay a
woman, can baptise.[1189] The Council of Trent only systematised the
earlier doctrine and practice of baptism,[1190] which, in fact, had
not essentially altered in the Church since the middle of the second
century. In the 'Confession of Augsburg' the Lutherans asserted the
absolute necessity of baptism quite as emphatically as the Tridentine
theologians.[1191] The Anglican Article XXVII. speaks of baptism as a
sign of regeneration "whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive
Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church," the promises of the
forgiveness of sin being visibly signed and sealed. The Archbishops'
Commission on Doctrine in the Church of England admits that the
baptism of infants cannot clean from actual sin, since no such sin has
been committed, but maintains that it "is a means of deliverance from
the domination of influences which predispose to sin."[1192]

[Footnote 1180: Augustine, _De peccato originali_, i. 34.]

[Footnote 1181: _Idem_, _De baptismo_, i. 19.]

[Footnote 1182: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 52.]

[Footnote 1183: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. 66. 2, iii. 68. 1 _sq._]

[Footnote 1184: _Ibid._ iii 69. 1 _sq._]

[Footnote 1185: _Ibid._ iii. 69. 4.]

[Footnote 1186: _Ibid._ iii. 66. 9, iii. 69. 10.]

[Footnote 1187: _Ibid._ iii. 66. 9.]

[Footnote 1188: _Ibid._ iii. 67. 1.]

[Footnote 1189: _Ibid._ iii. 67. 3 _sq._]

[Footnote 1190: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_, sess. vii.]

[Footnote 1191: _Augustana Confessio_, art. 9.]

[Footnote 1192: _Doctrine in the Church of England_ (London, 1938),
p. 187.]

Infant baptism is a subject of great, though melancholy, interest. We
have no testimony regarding it from an earlier time than that of
Irenæus[1193] and Tertullian, but then it had already become quite
general. Tertullian alludes to the custom of having sponsors, who
made, in the name of the children brought to the font, those promises
which they were unable to make for themselves. He thinks, however,
that it is more advantageous to delay baptism till the children are
growing up and are able to know Christ; "for why is it necessary for
the sponsors also to be thrust into danger?"[1194] Augustine, on the
other hand, regarded infant baptism as indispensable: even the
youngest children who have done nothing sinful pass justly into
damnation if they die unbaptised, because they possess {200} original
sin and are burdened with concupiscence. He admitted, however, that
the punishment of such children was of the mildest sort.[1195] Other
writers were more severe; Fulgentius condemned to "everlasting
punishment in eternal fire" even infants who died in their mother's
womb.[1196] But the notion that unbaptised children will be tormented
gave gradually way to a more humane opinion. In the middle of the
twelfth century Peter Lombard determined that the proper punishment of
original sin, when no actual sin is added to it, is loss of heaven and
the sight of God, but not positive torment.[1197] This doctrine was
confirmed by Innocentius III. and shared by the whole troop of the
Schoolmen, who assumed the existence of a place called _limbus_ or
_infernus puerorum_, where unbaptised infants will dwell without being
subject to torture.[1198] But the older view was again set up by the
Protestants, who generally maintained that the due punishment of
original sin is, in strictness, damnation in hell, although many of
them were inclined to think that if a child dies by misfortune before
it is baptised, the parents' sincere intention of baptising it,
together with their prayers, will be accepted with God for the
deed.[1199] Luther, who declared that baptism is useless in the
absence of faith,[1200] nevertheless retained infant baptism not only
as a symbol, but as an efficacious act.[1201] The Confession of
Augsburg emphatically condemns the doctrine of the Anabaptists that
God would not damn a little child for a drop of water.[1202] Zwingli
regarded the salvation of the unbaptised children of Christians as
certain, and hoped apparently for the salvation of all other infants
as well.[1203] But the damnation of infants who died unbaptised was an
acknowledged belief of Calvinism,[1204] although an exception was made
for the children of pious parents, provided "there is neither sloth,
nor contempt, {201} nor negligence."[1205] Yet in the latter part of
the eighteenth century Toplady, who was a violent Calvinist, avowed
his belief in the universal salvation of all departed infants, whether
baptised or unbaptised;[1206] and a hundred years later Dr. Hodge
thought he was justified in stating that the common belief of
evangelical Protestants was that all who die in infancy are
saved.[1207] The accuracy of this statement, however, seems somewhat
doubtful. In 1888 Mr. Prentiss wrote of the doctrine of infant
salvation independently of baptism: "My own impression is that, had it
been taught as unequivocally in the Presbyterian Church even a third
of a century ago by a theologian less eminent than Dr. Hodge for
orthodoxy, piety, and weight of character, it would have called forth
an immediate protest from some of the more conservative, old-fashioned

[Footnote 1193: Irenæus, _Contra hæreses_, ii. 22. 4.]

[Footnote 1194: Tertullian, _De baptismo_, 18.]

[Footnote 1195: Augustine, _De peccatorum meritis et remissione_,
i. 16; _idem_, _Enchiridion_, 93.]

[Footnote 1196: Fulgentius, _De fide_, 27.]

[Footnote 1197: Petrus Lombard, _op. cit._ ii. 33. 5.]

[Footnote 1198: W. Wall, _The History of Infant-Baptism_, i (Oxford,
1862), p. 460 _sq._]

[Footnote 1199: _Ibid._ i. 462, 468.]

[Footnote 1200: Luther, 'Der grosse Catechismus,' in _Sämmtliche
Werke_, xxi (Erlangen, 1832), p. 133.]

[Footnote 1201: _Ibid._ xxi. 136 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1202: _Augustana Confessio_, i. 9.]

[Footnote 1203: Zwingli, 'De providentia Dei,' in _Opera_, iv (Turici,
1841), p. 125 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1204: Calvin, _op. cit._ iv. 15. 10: "Even infants bring
their condemnation with them from their mother's womb; for although
they have not yet brought forth the fruits of their unrighteousness,
they have its seed included in them. Nay, their whole nature is, as it
were, a seed of sin, and, therefore, cannot but be odious and
abominable to God"; A. Norton, _Tracts concerning Christianity_
(Cambridge, 1852), p. 179 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1205:  Calvin, _op. cit._ iv. 15. 22; W. Anderson,
'Introductory Essay' to W. Logan, _Words of Comfort for Parents
Bereaved of Little Children_ (London, 1851), p. xxi.]

[Footnote 1206: A. M. Toplady, _Works_ (London, 1852), p. 645 _sq._]

[Footnote 1207: C. Hodge, _Systematic Theology_, i (London and
Edinburgh, 1871), p. 26 _sq._]

[Footnote 1208: G. L. Prentiss, 'Infant Salvation and its Theological
Bearings,' in _The Presbyterian Review_, iv (New York, 1883), p. 559.
See also Anderson, _loc. cit._ p. xxiii.]

Like the sacrament of baptism, the Eucharist also evidently owes its
sacramental character to Paul. He looked upon it as a mystical
re-enactment of the death and resurrection of Christ through which the
believer participates in his immortality, the bread and wine being an
incarnation of his body and blood. A similar conception is found in
the Gospel of John, where the following words are put into the mouth
of Jesus: "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal
life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat
indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and
drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."[1209] In this
respect there was a great resemblance between the teaching of Paul and
John and certain mystic saviour cults in the Græco-Roman world, in
which the believer shares in and is assimilated to a divine being who
dies and is reborn to immortal life.[1210] In the case of Pauline
Christianity the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine, as well
as baptism, were efficacious sacraments, as the instruments of an
intimate union with Christ through faith, but they were not sufficient
for salvation.

[Footnote 1209: _John_ vi., 54-6.]

[Footnote 1210: _Supra_, p. 118.]

The Lord's Supper soon became the central point both for the worship
of the Church and for its very life as a Church, the common meal being
a fitting expression of the brotherly unity {202} of the
community.[1211] It is said in the 'Didache': "On the Lord's day do ye
assemble and break bread, and give thanks, after confessing your
transgressions, in order that your sacrifice may be pure. But every
one that hath controversy with his friend, let him not come together
with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be
profaned."[1212] Agapes, or love-feasts, were held in connection with
the Supper, and the bread and wine for the holy celebration were taken
out of the payments in kind that were necessary for them. The
presentation of the elements for the holy ordinance was also extended
to the offering of gifts for the poor brethren.[1213] The wealthy and
the willing, for every one is at liberty, contribute as they think
fitting; and this collection is deposited with the bishop, who out of
this relieves the orphan and the widow, and such as are in bonds, and
strangers that come from afar.[1214]

[Footnote 1211: _Cf. 1 Corinthians_ x. 17, xii. 13.]

[Footnote 1212: _Didache_, 14.]

[Footnote 1213: _Supra_, p. 84.]

[Footnote 1214: Justin, _op. cit._ 67.]

But in the first place the Lord's Supper was a blessing to the
individual who partook of it. Ignatius calls the breaking of bread
"the medicine of immortality, our antidote that we should not die, but
live for ever in Christ Jesus."[1215] As to the connection between the
elements and the body and blood of Christ, he seems to have expressed
himself in a strictly realistic way in several passages,[1216] but in
others he gives evidence of a very different conception, as when he
equates the flesh of the Lord partaken of at the Supper with faith and
the blood with love,[1217] or when he calls the blood "incorruptible
love"[1218] and the gospel "the flesh of Christ."[1219] Justin, on the
other hand, presupposed the identity, miraculously produced by the
Logos, of the consecrated bread and the body he had assumed; in this
we have undoubtedly to recognise an influence of pagan mysteries where
"bread and a cup of water, with a certain form of words" were made use
of as an initiation ceremony, according to Justin at the instigation
of evil spirits.[1220] Tertullian says that owing to the devil the
consecration of the bread in the Eucharist was imitated in the
mysteries of Mithra.[1221] Harnack observes that "there was plainly a
remodelling of the ritual in imitation of the ancient mysteries and of
the heathen sacrificial system," and that this fact is admitted by
Protestant scholars of all {203} parties.[1222] But the doctrine in
question is essentially that of Paul, and there is no reason to
suppose that the pagan influence was only of a later date.

[Footnote 1215: Ignatius, _Epistola ad Ephesios_, 20.]

[Footnote 1216: See, for example, _idem_, _Epistola ad Smyrnæos_, 7.]

[Footnote 1217: _Idem_, _Epistola ad Trallianos_, 8.]

[Footnote 1218: _Idem_, _Epistola ad Romanos_, 7.]

[Footnote 1219: _Idem_, _Epistola ad Philodelphenses_, 5.]

[Footnote 1220: Justin, _op. cit._ 66.]

[Footnote 1221: Tertullian, _De præscriptione hæreticorum_, 40.]

[Footnote 1222: Harnack, _op. cit._ ii. 138.]

Clement and Origen, like Ignatius, assign a spiritual significance to
the flesh and blood of Christ. According to the former, "there is a
twofold blood of the Lord: the one carnal, by which we are redeemed
from corruption, the other spiritual, by which we are anointed,"[1223]
"His notion," says Bishop Kaye, "seems to have been that by partaking
of the bread and wine in the Eucharist, the soul of the believer is
united to the Spirit, and that by this union the principle of
immortality is imparted to the flesh."[1224] In Origen's view the
eucharistic body is only the word of God or of Logos as being a
substitute for his appearance in the flesh; whenever he speaks of the
Supper, or in a more general sense of eating of the flesh or of the
drinking of the blood of Christ, he does this without any reference to
the body which he had as a man or to the blood which flowed in the
veins of this body.[1225] But Origen's disciple Gregory of Nyssa
maintained that the actual body of Christ as immortal is the only
remedy against death, and that it therefore must be partaken of bodily
in the Supper; through the act of consecration the bread and wine are
changed into the flesh and blood of the Lord in order that by
partaking of them our body may be transformed into the body of
Christ.[1226] Chrysostom agreed with Gregory in the assumption of an
essentially corporeal effect of the participation, and speaks like him
of a refashioning and transforming of the elements which Christ
effects through the priest by means of the invocation. He says that
Christ, in proof of his love, has given us his body pierced with
nails, "that we might hold it in our hands and eat it; for we often
bite those whom we love much."[1227] The classical doctrine of the
Lord's Supper in the Greek Church up to the present day is that of
John of Damascus, who perfected the conception of the identity of the
eucharistic and the real body of Christ. By {204} the Holy Ghost bread
and wine are received into the body of Christ. The eucharistic body is
that which was born of the virgin, not, however, by a
transubstantiation, as if the body of Christ descended suddenly from
heaven and took the place of the elements, but by a transformation and
assumption, just as in the incarnation. The bread-body is received
into the real body and is thus identical with it.[1228]

[Footnote 1223: Clement of Alexandria, _Pædagogus_, ii. 2 (Migne,
_Ser. Græca_, viii. 409).]

[Footnote 1224: J. Kaye, _Some Account of the Writings and Opinions of
Clement of Alexandria_ (London, _s.d._), p. 265.]

[Footnote 1225: G. E. Steitz, 'Die Abendmahlslehre der griechischen
Kirche in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwickelung,' in _Jahrbücher für
deutsche Theologie_ x (Gotha, 1865), p. 99.]

[Footnote 1226: Gregory of Nyssa, _Oratio catechetica magna_, 37.
_Cf._ Steitz, _loc. cit._ p. 466 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1227: Chrysostom, _In Epistolam primam ad Corinthios Homilia
XXIV._ 4; Steitz, _loc. cit._ x. p. 466 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1228: John of Damascus, _De fide orthodoxa_, iv. 13. _Cf._
Steitz, _loc. cit._ xii (1867), pp. 216, 275 _sqq._]

Roman Catholic writers are desirous to allege Tertullian's authority
in support of the doctrine of transubstantiation. He speaks indeed of
"the feeding on the fatness of the Lord's body, that is, on the
Eucharist,"[1229] and of "our flesh being fed on the body and blood of
Christ, in order that our soul may be sated with God."[1230] But when
compared with other passages in his writings these appear to have been
used in a figurative sense.[1231] And in other places he expressly
calls the bread only the representation of the body of Christ.[1232]
So also Augustine resists the realistic interpretation of the
Supper.[1233] But towards the end of the period of Louis the Pious,
Paschasius Radbertus asserted as doctrine what had been felt by the
majority, that the real historical body of Christ is sacrificed in the
Mass and partaken of in the Lord's Supper.[1234] At the beginning of
the thirteenth century the doctrine of transubstantiation was
practically settled by the Lateran Council of 1215. The words run:
"There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no
one whatever can be saved, in which Jesus Christ is at once priest and
sacrifice, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrifice
of the altar under the appearances of bread and wine, the bread being
transubstantiated into the body, and the wine into the blood by divine
power, so that for the effecting of the mystery of unity we receive of
his what he received of ours. And this sacrament especially no one can
administer but the priest who has been duly ordained according to the
Church authority which Jesus Christ himself gave to the Apostles and
their successors."[1235] The conception of the {205} Eucharist as a
sacrifice is already found in the early Church;[1236] and Cyprian's
statement that every celebration of the Lord's Supper is a repetition
or imitation of Christ's sacrifice of himself, and therefore has an
expiatory value, still continues to be repeated by the Romish Church
to the present day.[1237] While Greek Catholicism interpreted the
Eucharist as the mystery whereby life eternal was mediated to the
faithful, the Eucharist of Latin Catholicism centred more upon the
sacrifice, forgiveness rather than immortality being mediated by

[Footnote 1229: Tertullian, _De pudicitia_, 9.]

[Footnote 1230: _Idem_, _De resurrectione carnis_, 8.]

[Footnote 1231: See John, bishop of Bristol, _The Ecclesiastical
History of the Second and Third Centuries illustrated from the
Writings of Tertullian_ (London, _s.d._), p. 224 _sq._]

[Footnote 1232: Tertullian, _Adversus Marcionem_, i. 14, iii. 19,
iv. 40; _idem_, _Ad uxorem_, ii. 5; _idem_, _De anima_, 17; _idem_,
_Adversus Judæos_, 10.]

[Footnote 1233: Augustine, _Enarratio in Psalmum xcviii._ 9; _supra_,
p. 194.]

[Footnote 1234: Harnack, _op. cit._ v. 311 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1235: Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum collectio_, xxii. 982.]

[Footnote 1236: See _supra_, p. 202; Harnack, _op. cit._ i. 209 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1237: Harnack, _op. cit._ ii. 137 _sq._]

[Footnote 1238: _Cf._ J. Moffatt, _The First Five Centuries of the
Church_ (London, 1938), p. 145.]

Thomas Aquinas, who gives a systematic exposition of the notion of
transubstantiation,[1239] says of the effects of the Eucharist that it
conveys grace, gives aid for eternal life, blots out venial sins but
not mortal sins, guards against future transgressions, and as a
sacrifice profits the spectators also, although it as a sacrament
profits only the receiver.[1240] Although in strict theory
comparatively slight results were attributed to the Eucharist as a
sacrifice, the people looked upon it as much more important than the
sacrament, which formed the central part of divine service. And the
dignity of the priest came most distinctly to view when he in the Mass
appeared as priest of the body of Christ and in a very real sense as
the mediator between God and men. But the doctrine of
transubstantiation increased the dignity of the priest also in his
capacity of administering the sacrament because, in order that the
wine might not be spilt and the sacrament thereby profaned, it was
considered safer that the layman should receive it only in the form of
the bread, while the priest drank the cup in the name of all.[1241] In
defiance of history, the Council of Trent alleged that the doctrine of
transubstantiation had always prevailed in the Church.[1242]

[Footnote 1239: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. 73 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1240: _Ibid._ iii. 79. 1-4, 6 _sq._]

[Footnote 1241: _Ibid._ iii. 80. 12.]

[Footnote 1242: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_,
sess. xiii, ch. 3 _sq._]

Luther rejected the Scholastic doctrine of transubstantiation on the
grounds that it lacks support in revelation and is not the most
reasonable way of asserting the presence of the real flesh and blood
of Christ; but he does not claim that all others also should reject
it. His own opinion is that in the consecrated sacrament the
substances of the bread and wine remain, although the real flesh and
blood of Christ are there also. Why should not Christ be able to
include his body within the substance of the bread as well as within
the accidents? "In the {206} sacrament it is not necessary to the
presence of the real body and real blood that the bread and wine
should be transubstantiated, so that Christ may be contained beneath
the accidents; but while both bread and wine continue there, it can be
said with truth, 'This bread is my body, this wine is my blood,' and
conversely."[1243] When Melanchthon went to hold conferences with
Butzer, Luther could give him the instruction, that "in and with the
bread the body of Christ is truly partaken of, that accordingly all
that takes place actively and passively in the bread takes place
actively and passively in the body of Christ, that the latter is
distributed, eaten and masticated with the teeth."[1244] Brenz, who
after Luther's death was among the most active opponents of union with
the Reformed theologians, asks what would be the consequence if, by
any accident, the consecrated bread were eaten by a mouse. He decides
that the mouse would have eaten the true body of Christ.[1245]

[Footnote 1243: Luther, 'De captivitate Babylonica ecclesiæ præludium.
1520,' in _Werke_, vi (Weimar, 1888), p. 508 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1244: Harnack, _op. cit._ vii. 264.]

[Footnote 1245: D. Schenkel, _Das Wesen des Protestantismus_,
i (Schaffhausen, 1845), p. 563 _sq._]

Zwingli allowed only a symbolical explanation of the body and blood of
Christ in the sacrament. Calvin, again, stood between Zwingli and
Luther: the body of Christ is not now present on earth anywhere as
substance, but it is present as power, and in the Eucharist it is so
to our benefit.[1246] The Socinians expressly rejected the Catholic,
Lutheran, and Calvinistic doctrines of the Supper, and attempted to
restore to the Eucharist its original meaning. The Racovian Catechism
of 1609, in which their doctrines are set forth in detail, says that
"it is an institution of the Lord Christ, that believers in him should
break and eat bread and drink of a cup together, with the view of
commemorating him, or showing forth his death." He is said to have
instituted that rite because he wished the remembrance of this to be
above all other things celebrated in the Church; for of all the
actions which he undertook with a view to our salvation, his death was
the most difficult and exhibited the strongest proof of his love
towards us.[1247]

[Footnote 1246: Calvin, _op. cit._ iv. 17. 18.]

[Footnote 1247: _The Racovian Catechism_ (London, 1818), p. 263 _sq._]

The sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist are rooted in magical
ideas, and the efficacy ascribed to them has always retained a more or
less magical character. In the Report of the Archbishops' Commission
on Doctrine in the Church of {207} England it is said that there is
"at once a sharp distinction of Sacraments from magic. In magic the
use of the formula is held to enable the wizard to control powers
other than human. Belief in the efficacy of Sacraments is rooted in
faith in the revealed will of God to bestow gifts of grace through
certain appointed signs."[1248] But then, how is it that the appointed
signs are so similar to certain pagan rites with which Christianity
had come into contact, and which certainly contained a lot of magic?
Wizards are not necessary for the performance of magical acts. In
magic man simply makes use of supernatural means which act
mechanically. Eusebius tells the story of a sick old man who was
longing to die, and whose wish was fulfilled by a few drops from a
moistened piece of Eucharistic bread being dropped into his
mouth.[1249] But in the case of the Eucharist there really is a wizard
who administers it, or what else shall I call the priest who,
according to the main tradition of the Church, has to celebrate the
rite in order to make it valid?[1250] Is he not supposed to possess
some quality capable of bringing about a supernatural effect which
other persons lack? The bishop of Birmingham, who was not a member of
the Commission, writes that the modern world rejects as an absurdity
such priestly pretensions as this that any priest could associate the
spiritual presence of Christ with the consecrated elements of bread
and wine.[1251]

[Footnote 1248: _Doctrine in the Church of England_, p. 128.]

[Footnote 1249: Eusebius, _Historia ecclesiastica_, vi. 44.]

[Footnote 1250: _Doctrine in the Church of England_, p. 132.]

[Footnote 1251: The bishop of Birmingham (E. W. Barnes), 'Foreword,'
in _The Church and the Twentieth Century_, edited by G. L. H. Harvey
(London, 1936), p. xv.]

For the saving effect attributed to baptism and the Eucharist there is
no moral justification. A righteous God does not forgive a sinner
unless he repents, and if he repents he is forgiven without any
external rite. Repentance is not much spoken of in connection with
those sacraments. In the case of baptism it was formerly expected of
converts. In Tertullian's time the teachers who undertook to prepare
the catechumens for reception at the baptismal font insisted on the
necessity of repentance and amendment of life.[1252] But he tells us
that when the proselyte heard that baptism conferred upon him who
received it the remission of all his former sins, he persuaded himself
that he might with safety defer the work of repentance, and passed the
time allotted for his probation in a more unrestrained enjoyment of
those worldly and sensual pleasures {208} in which he knew that after
baptism he could not indulge without forfeiting his hopes of eternal
happiness. So general had this practice become that Tertullian devotes
a considerable portion of the tract _De pœnitentia_ to the exposure of
its wickedness.[1253] When infant baptism was introduced repentance
ceased of course even nominally to be required of him who was going to
be baptised.

[Footnote 1252: Tertullian, _De pœnitentia_, 1-5.]

[Footnote 1253: See particularly _ibid._ 6.]

While baptism blots out the sins of the past, the Roman Catholic
Church has another sacrament for the remission of sins committed
afterwards, that of penance, which became practically the most
important means of grace. Certain statements of Jesus[1254] left no
doubt as to the general power vested in the Church to forgive all
manner of sins; such is the belief reasserted in the decree
_Lamentabili_ of 3rd July 1907. In the earliest times it was held by
the Christian Church that after baptism, while lighter sins needed
only to be confessed to the gracious God,[1255] serious sins excluded
the offender altogether from the community.[1256] But this rigorous
practice was soon broken through, and by a public confession of sins
even gross sinners were allowed restoration, though at first not more
than once. Hermas gives assurances of forgiveness for all sins except
blasphemy against the Lord and betrayal of the brethren; but "to the
servants of God there is but one repentance"[1257]--a restriction
which later writers apply to public penance only.[1258] Tertullian
treats as a fixed regulation a custom established in the course of the
latter half of the second century, according to which a baptised
person in the case of a first relapse might be restored to the favour
of God and of the Church by making a public confession of his guilt.
It was not sufficient that the offender felt the deepest remorse: he
was required to express his contrition by some public acts which
consisted in various external marks of humility. The penitent was
clothed in the meanest apparel; he lay in sack-cloth and ashes; he
either fasted entirely or lived upon bread and water; he passed whole
days and nights in tears and lamentations, he embraced the knees of
the presbyters as they entered the church, and entreated the brethren
to intercede by their prayers in his behalf. In this state of
degradation and exclusion from the communion of the {209} faithful he
remained a longer or a shorter period, according to the magnitude of
his offence; and when that period was expired the bishop publicly
pronounced his absolution, by which he was restored to the favour of
God and to the communion of the Church.[1259] The benefits of this
penance could be obtained only once.[1260] But although a penitent who
relapsed could not be reconciled to the Church in this world,
Tertullian does not exclude him from all hope of pardon in the next.
He expressly distinguishes between remission of sins by the Church and
by God; and affirms that the sincere penitent, though he may not by
his tears and lamentations obtain readmission into the Church, may yet
secure his reception into the kingdom of heaven.[1261] In the tract
_De pœnitentia_ he spoke as if all crimes committed after baptism
might once, though only once, be pardoned upon repentance.[1262] But
in the tract _De pudicitia_, which was written after he became a
Montanist, we find him drawing a distinction between greater and less
offences, between those which could not and those which could be
pardoned by the Church.[1263] Among the venial sins he classes such as
being angry without a cause and allowing the sun to go down upon our
wrath, acts of violence, evil-speaking, rash swearing, non-performance
of contracts, and white lies; and among the heinous sins, homicide,
idolatry, fraud, denial of Christ, blasphemy, adultery,
fornication,[1264] and even second marriages.[1265] Of these he says
that there is no remission, and that even Christ will not intercede
for those who commit them. _De pudicitia_ was directed against an
edict, issued by Pope Calixtus, which allowed adulterers and
fornicators to be readmitted to the communion of the Church if they
had done penance. In another tract Tertullian maintained that the
stain of mortal sin after baptism could only be washed away by
martyrdom, by the baptism of the sinner in his own blood.[1266] The
milder practice with regard to the sins of the flesh prevailed, and in
the latter part of the third century certain concessions were allowed
in the case of relapse into idolatry. Moreover, the assumption that
there can be only one repentance after baptism became untenable.[1267]

[Footnote 1254: _Matthew_ xvi. 19, xviii. 18; _John_ xx. 21-3.]

[Footnote 1255: _1 John_ i. 9.]

[Footnote 1256: F. Loofs, _Leitfaden zum Studium der Dogmengeschichte_
(Halle, 1906), p. 205.]

[Footnote 1257: Hermas, _Pastor_, iii. 9. 19, ii. 4. 1.]

[Footnote 1258: Tertullian, _De pœnitentia_, 7, 9; Origen, _Homilia in
Leviticum_, xv. 2; Ambrose, _De pœnitentia_, ii. 95.]

[Footnote 1259: Tertullian, _De pudicitia_ 5, 13, 18.]

[Footnote 1260: _Idem_, _De pœnitentia_, 7, 9.]

[Footnote 1261: _Idem_, _De pudicitia_, 3, 11, 18.]

[Footnote 1262: _Idem_, _De pœnitentia_, 8.]

[Footnote 1263: _Idem_, _De pudicitia_, 1, 2, 18.]

[Footnote 1264: _Ibid._ 19.]

[Footnote 1265: _Ibid._ 1.]

[Footnote 1266: Tertullian, _Scorpiace_, 6.]

[Footnote 1267: Harnack, _op. cit._ ii. 111 _sq._]

An important change was that private confession in the presence of the
priest became the rule. This state of matters {210} began in the
Iro-Scottish Church, where penitential regulations were drawn up for
the laity, who were directed to confess their sins to the priest, as
the monks had long been enjoined to do in their cloisters. From
Ireland books dealing with penance came to the Anglo-Saxons and Franks
and to Rome.[1268] The Fourth Lateran Council definitely laid down the
rule that "every believer of either sex, after arriving at the years
of discretion, must by himself faithfully confess all his sins at
least once a year to his own priest, and must study to carry out to
the best of his ability the repentance enjoined upon him."[1269]

[Footnote 1268: Harnack, _op. cit._ v. 325.]

[Footnote 1269: Mansi, xxii. 1007 _sqq._]

This doctrine appears in perfected form in Thomas Aquinas. He shows
that penance is a sacrament, and that the words "I absolve thee" are
the form of it; for this sacrament receives its full effect from those
things which are spoken by the priest. These words have been appointed
by Christ (_Matthew_ xvi); and the general rule that God alone
forgives sin is not violated by the priest's absolution, since the
priests are "authorised ministers."[1270] The salvation of the
sinner--that is, that his sin be removed from him--is not possible
without the sacrament of penance, in which there operates the virtue
of Christ's passion through the absolution of the priest together with
the work of the penitent, who co-operates with grace for the
destruction of sin. "When once anyone has fallen into sin, love,
faith, and mercy do not deliver the man from sin without penitence;
for love requires that a man grieve for the offence committed against
his friend, and that a man be anxious to satisfy his friend; faith
also requires that he seek to be justified from his sins through the
virtue of the passion of Christ, which operates in the sacraments of
the Church; rightly directed mercy also requires that a man find a
remedy in his repenting for the misery into which his sin has plunged
him."[1271] "Penitence is twofold, namely, internal and external. That
is internal penitence in which one grieves over sin committed, and
such penitence ought to last till the close of life. . . . That is
external penitence in which one shows external signs of grief, and
verbally confesses his sins to the priest who absolves him, and makes
satisfaction according to the priest's judgment; and such penitence
does not need to continue till the end of life, but only for a time
determined by the measure of the sin."[1272] Thomas--as others had
done before him--distinguishes between attrition and contrition: the
former is a certain displeasure over sins committed, but only an
approach to perfect contrition, {211} which is a perfect penitent
disposition.[1273] As to the necessity of confession, he points out
that though according to divine law only those guilty of mortal sin
after baptism are obliged to confess, yet according to positive law
(that is, the decree of the Council of 1215) all Christians must
confess at least once a year,[1274] and that a dispensation exempting
from confession can on no account whatever be given.[1275] As to the
administrator of confession it is said that as "he only is the
minister of the sacraments in which grace is given who has a ministry
in connection with the true body of Christ," confession must be made
to him only.[1276] But it is conceded that "in case of necessity a
layman supplies the place of the priest, so that it is possible to
make confession to him."[1277] Thomas very strongly accentuates the
reticence of the minister: "it is of the essence of the sacrament that
one conceal confession, and he sins as a violator of the sacraments
who reveals confession."[1278] The confession made before the priest
is followed by absolution. Thomas has developed the doctrine of "the
power of the keys," and pointed out that the priest's absolution is
"the instrumental cause" of the forgiveness of sin.[1279] He explains
that even the bad priest retains the keys.[1280] But absolution is
preceded by the appointment of satisfaction, if such has not already
been made; here the priest acts as a skilled physician and impartial
judge.[1281] This performance is the necessary manifestation of sorrow
through works that are fitted to furnish a certain satisfaction to the
injured God, especially prayer, fasting, and alms.[1282] It is shown
that one can render satisfaction for another; yet this thesis has its
guarding clauses.[1283]

[Footnote 1270: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. 84. 1, 3.]

[Footnote 1271: _Ibid._ iii. 84. 5.]

[Footnote 1272: _Ibid._ iii. 84. 8.]

[Footnote 1273: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 1. 2.]

[Footnote 1274: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 6. 3.]

[Footnote 1275: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 6. 6.]

[Footnote 1276: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 8. 1.]

[Footnote 1277: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 8. 2.]

[Footnote 1278: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 11.]

[Footnote 1279: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 17 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1280: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 19. 5.]

[Footnote 1281: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 12 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1282: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 15. 3.]

[Footnote 1283: _Ibid._ iii. Suppl. 13. 2.]

Thomas' doctrine of the sacrament of penitence underwent modifications
made by the Scotists,[1284] but it became permanent in substance. The
Council of Trent declared that "the universal Church has always
understood that the entire confession of sins is of divine right
necessary for all who have fallen after baptism, because Christ has
left behind him priests, representatives of himself, as overseers and
judges to whom all mortal offences are to be made known";[1285] and it
pronounced anathema on any one who shall deny that, "for the entire
and perfect {212} remission of sins, three acts are required in the
penitent, forming, as it were, the material of the sacrament of
penance, namely contrition, confession, and satisfaction, which are
called the three parts of penance."[1286] Thus the party which
declared attrition to be enough for saving reception of the sacrament
did not succeed in asserting itself. At the same time attrition is
called "imperfect contrition" and is described as "a gift of God and
an impulse of the Holy Spirit"; and it is said that although attrition
cannot of itself conduct the sinner to justification, "it disposes him
to obtain the grace of God in the sacrament of penance."[1287]

[Footnote 1284: D. A. W. Dieckhoff, _Der Ablassstreit_ (Gotha, 1886),
p. 19 _sq._]

[Footnote 1285: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_,
sess. xiv, ch. 4.]

[Footnote 1286: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_,
sess. xiv, can. 4.]

[Footnote 1287: _Ibid._ sess. xiv, ch. 4.]

For the inner penitent temper, the confession of sin, and the
satisfaction, Luther substituted repentance alone, which he conceived
of as the crushed feeling about sin awakened by faith, and he also
abolished the necessity for priestly co-operation by substituting for
the Catholic sacrament of penance the thought of justification by
faith. This became the general Protestant doctrine. In England the
Wesleyans have Church discipline, and so had the Calvinistic and
Presbyterian bodies, but no confession, while the Salvation Army
practises and recommends public confession. The Anglicans do not
prescribe auricular confession, but merely advise it, when necessary,
to satisfy one's conscience, and to the sick if they feel their
conscience troubled. The Oxford Movement revived it to a considerable
extent.[1288] It should be noticed that confession, even when
unconnected with any formal absolution, serves as a means of
purgation. We find this also among savages. "The Akikuyu of British
East Africa hold that sin is essentially remissible, and one needs
only to confess it. The confession is made, usually, to a sorcerer or
to a medicine-man who expels the sin by a ceremony in which one
subjects himself to the effects of a pretended emetic, _kotahikio_, a
word derived from _tahikia_, 'to vomit.'" Such a view is found among
some American Indians as well, the words "to vomit" and "to confess"
being synonymous, or nearly so.[1289]

[Footnote 1288: E. L. van Becelaere, 'Penance (Roman Catholic),' in
J. Hastings, _Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, ix (Edinburgh,
1917), p. 715.]

[Footnote 1289: H. S. Darlington, 'The Confession of Sins,' in _The
Psychoanalytic Review_, xxiv (1937), p. 150 _sq._]

The sacrament of penance differs from the other sacraments by having a
distinctly ethical foundation. The starting-point is the contrition,
or at any rate attrition, of the penitent, while the real sacrament is
the external acts of him and the priest.[1290] {213} But as the
contrition did not constitute the actual sacrament, the opinion could
easily creep in that in the case of sacramental penitence the addition
of the sacrament completes the imperfect contrition; and as a matter
of fact this opinion became dominant.[1291] The priest became the most
important person. As Joh. von Paltz says, very few men are really
contrite, though every one can bring himself in the end to an
imperfect contrition, and then the priest, through the sacrament of
penance, transfers the imperfect contrition into a perfect one and
saves the soul of the penitent.[1292] The satisfaction preceding
absolution, again, became a sheer travesty through the practice of
indulgences, which implied the exchange of more arduous penitential
acts for very small performances, such as the payment of penance
money--with such excellent result that the Church dispensed from the
temporal pains of purgatory all, whether living or departed, who
either themselves or vicariously performed those ecclesiastical

[Footnote 1290: See Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. 84. 1.]

[Footnote 1291: Dieckhoff, _op. cit._ p. 12.]

[Footnote 1292: J. von Paltz, _Cœlifodina_, published 1510, quoted by
Dieckhoff, _op. cit._]

The practice and theory of indulgences were strenuously attacked by
Wyclif and Huss, by Wesel and Wessel, and, as everybody knows, by
Luther. But his own doctrine that only such repentance has value
before God as springs from faith, is also open to severe criticism,
though of a very different kind. It alienates repentance widely from
the sphere of morality, and is fraught with serious consequences. It
makes it as constant as faith. The first of Luther's ninety-five
theses runs: "Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ in saying: 'Repent ye,'
etc., intended that the whole life of believers should be penitence."
A Lutheran theologian remarks that if men are told that they must
constantly repent, and that particular acts of repentance are of no
use, there are few who will ever repent.[1293]

[Footnote 1293: Harnack, _op. cit._ vii. 252 _sq._]



IN the preceding chapters we have studied Christian ethics as
expressed in theories of salvation, and examined how far these
theories are in agreement with the nature of our moral emotions. The
remaining portion of the book will be devoted to a discussion of the
influence which Christianity has exercised in concrete cases upon
ideas and behaviour within different branches of morality.

It inspired a greater regard for human life than was felt anywhere in
pagan society. The extraordinary importance it attached to this
earthly life as a preparation for the life to come naturally increased
the guilt of any one who, by cutting it short, not only killed the
body, but probably to all eternity injured the soul; and in a still
higher degree than most other crimes, homicide was regarded as an
offence against God, because man had been made in his image.[1294]
Gratian says that even the slayer of a Jew or a heathen has to undergo
a severe penance, "quia imaginem Dei et spem futuræ conversionis
exterminat."[1295] The early Christians, in fact, condemned homicide
of any kind as a heinous sin; and in this, as in all other questions
of moral concern, the distinction of nationality or race was ignored
by them.

[Footnote 1294: L. Thomassin, _Dictionnaire de discipline
ecclésiastique_, ii (Paris, 1856), pp. 1069, 1074.]

[Footnote 1295: Gratian, _Decretum_, i. 50, 40.]

The sanctity which they attached to the life of every human being led
to a total condemnation of warfare, sharply contrasting with the
prevailing sentiment in the Roman Empire. In accordance with the
general spirit of their religion, as also with special passages in the
Bible,[1296] they considered war unlawful in all circumstances. Justin
Martyr quotes the prophecy of Isaiah, that "nation shall not lift up
sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,"[1297]
and proceeds to say that the instruction in the Word of God which was
given by the {215} twelve Apostles "had so good effect that we, who
heretofore were continually devouring each other, will not now so much
as lift up our hand against our enemies."[1298] Lactantius asserts
that "to engage in war cannot be lawful for the righteous man, whose
warfare is that of righteousness itself."[1299] Tertullian asks: "Can
it be lawful to handle the sword, when the Lord himself has declared
that he who uses the sword shall perish by it?"[1300] And in another
passage he states that "the Lord by his disarming of Peter disarmed
every soldier from that time forward."[1301] Origen calls the
Christians the children of peace, who, for the sake of Jesus, never
take up the sword against any nation; who fight for their monarch by
praying for him, but who take no part in his wars, even though he urge
them.[1302] It is true that even in early times Christian soldiers
were not unknown; Tertullian alludes to such as were engaged in
military pursuits together with their heathen countrymen.[1303] But
the number of Christians enrolled in the army seems not to have been
very considerable before the era of Constantine,[1304] and though they
were not cut off from the Church, their profession was looked upon as
hardly compatible with their religion. Basil says that soldiers, after
their term of military service has expired, are to be excluded from
the sacrament of the communion for three whole years.[1305] And
according to one of the canons of the Council of Nice, those
Christians who, having abandoned the profession of arms, afterwards
returned to it, "as dogs to their vomit," were for some years to
occupy in the Church the place of penitents.[1306]

[Footnote 1296: _Matthew_ v. 9, 39, 44, xxvi. 52; _Romans_ xii. 17;
_Ephesians_ vi. 12.]

[Footnote 1297: _Isaiah_ ii. 4.]

[Footnote 1298: Justin, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 39.]

[Footnote 1299: Lactantius, _Divinæ institutiones_, vi ('De vero
cultu'), 20.]

[Footnote 1300: Tertullian, _De corona_, 11.]

[Footnote 1301: _Idem_, _De idolatria_, 19.]

[Footnote 1302: Origen, _Contra Celsum_, v. 33, viii. 73.]

[Footnote 1303: Tertullian, _Apologeticus_, 42.]

[Footnote 1304: E. Le Blant, _Inscriptions chrétiennes de la Gaule
antérieures au VIII. siècle_, i (Paris, 1856), p. 84 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1305: Basil, _Epistola CLXXXVIII., ad Amphilochium_, can. 13
(Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, xxxii. 681 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1306: _Concilium Nicænum_, A.D. 325, can. 12 (Labbe-Mansi,
_Sacrorum Conciliorum collectio_, ii. 674).]

A divine law which prohibited all resistance to enemies could
certainly not be accepted by the State, especially at a time when the
Empire was seriously threatened by foreign invaders. Christianity
could therefore never become a State religion unless it gave up its
attitude towards war. And it gave it up. In 314 a Council condemned
soldiers who, from religious motives, deserted their colours.[1307]
Athanasius, "the {216} father of orthodoxy," ventured to say that it
was not only permissible, but praiseworthy, to kill enemies in
war.[1308] Ambrose eulogised the warlike courage which prefers death
to bondage and disgrace, and claimed the Old Testament warriors as
spiritual ancestors; nay, he adopted the classical maxim that one who
does not defend a friend from injury is as much at fault as he who
commits the injury.[1309] Augustine, who was forced to face the
question by the havoc of the Teutonic migrations and the peril of the
Empire, explored the subject very fully. He tried to prove that the
practice of war was quite compatible with the teaching of the New
Testament. The soldiers who were seeking for a knowledge of salvation
were not directed to throw aside their arms and renounce their
profession, but were advised to be content with their wages.[1310] St.
Peter baptised Cornelius, the centurion, in the name of Christ,
without exhorting him to give up the military life.[1311] St. Paul
himself took care to have a strong guard of soldiers for his
defence.[1312] And was not the history of David, the "man after God's
own heart," an evidence of those being wrong who say that "no one who
wages war can please God."[1313] When Christ declared that "all they
that take the sword shall perish with the sword," he referred to such
persons only as arm themselves to shed the blood of others without
either command or permission of any lawful authority.[1314] A great
deal depends on the causes for which men undertake war, and on the
authority they have for doing so. Those wars are just which are waged
with a view to obtaining redress for wrongs, or to chastising the
undue arrogance of another State. The monarch has the power of making
war when he thinks it advisable, and, even if he be a sacrilegious
king, a Christian may fight under him, provided that what he enjoined
upon the soldier personally is not contrary to the precept of
God.[1315] In short, though peace is our final good, though in the
City of God there is peace in eternity,[1316] war may sometimes be a
necessity in this sinful world.

[Footnote 1307: _Concilium Arelatense I._, A.D. 314, can. 3
(Labbe-Mansi, _op. cit._ ii. 471). _Cf._ Le Blant, _op. cit._ i.

[Footnote 1308: Athanasius, 'Epistola ad Amunem monachum,' in Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, xxiii. 1173.]

[Footnote 1309: Ambrose, _De officiis ministrorum_, i. 35, 36, 40.]

[Footnote 1310: Augustine, _Epistola CXXXVIII. ad Marcellinum_, 15
(Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_, xxxiii. 531 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1311: _Idem_, _Epistola CLXXXIX. ad Bonifacium_, 4 (Migne,
xxxiii. 855).]

[Footnote 1312: _Idem_, _Epistola XLVII. ad Publicolam_, 5 (Migne,
xxxiii. 187).]

[Footnote 1313: _Idem_, _Epistola CLXXXIX. ad Bonifacium_, 4 (Migne,
xxxiii. 855).]

[Footnote 1314: _Idem_, _Contra Faustum Manichæum_, xxii. 70.]

[Footnote 1315: _Ibid._ xxii. 75.]

[Footnote 1316: _Idem_, _De civitate Dei_, xix. 11.]

By the writings of Augustine the theoretical attitude of the Church
towards war was definitely settled, and later theologians {217} only
reproduced or further elaborated his view. Thomas Aquinas says that
there are three requisites for a war to be just. The first thing is
the authority of the prince by whose command the war is to be waged.
It does not belong to a private person to start a war, for he can
prosecute his claim in the court of his superior. But since the care
of the commonwealth is entrusted to princes, it belongs to them not
only to defend it with the sword against inward disturbances by
punishing malefactors, but also to protect it from enemies without by
the sword of war. The second requisite is a just cause, so that they
who are assailed should deserve to be assailed for some fault that
they have committed; as Augustine says: "Just wars are usually defined
as those which avenge injuries, in cases where a nation or city has to
be chastised for having either neglected to punish the wicked doings
of its people, or neglected to restore what has been wrongfully taken
away." The third requisite is a right intention of promoting good or
avoiding evil; as Augustine says: "Eagerness to hurt, bloodthirsty
desire to revenge, an untamed and unforgiving temper, ferocity in
renewing the struggle, lust of empire,--these and the like excesses
are justly blamed in war."[1317]

[Footnote 1317: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 40. 1.]

Yet it was not with a perfectly safe conscience that the Church thus
sanctioned the practice of war. There was a feeling that a soldier
scarcely could make a good Christian. In the middle of the fifth
century, Leo the Pope declared it to be contrary to the rules of the
Church that persons after the action of penance--that is, persons then
considered to be pre-eminently bound to obey the law of Christ--should
revert to the profession of arms.[1318] Various Councils forbade the
clergy to engage in warfare,[1319] and certain canons excluded from
ordination all who {218} had served in an army after baptism.[1320]
Penance was prescribed for those who had shed blood on the
battle-field.[1321] Thus the ecclesiastical canons made in William the
Conqueror's reign by the Norman prelates, and confirmed by the Pope,
directed that he who was aware that he had killed a man in a battle
should do penance for one year, and that he who had killed several
should do a year's penance for each.[1322] Occasionally the Church
seemed to wake up to the evils of war in a more effective way: there
are several notorious instances of wars being forbidden by popes. But
in such cases the prohibition was only too often due to the fact that
some particular war was disadvantageous to the interests of the
Church. And while doing comparatively little to discourage wars which
did not interfere with her own interests, the Church did all the more
to excite war against those who were objects of her hatred.

[Footnote 1318: Leo Magnus, _Epistola XC. ad Rusticum_, 12 (Migne,
liv. 1206 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1319: One of the Apostolic Canons requires that any bishop,
priest, or deacon who devotes himself to military service shall be
degraded from his ecclesiastical rank (_Canones ecclesiastici qui
dicuntur Apostolorum_, 83 [74] [C. C. J. Bunsen, _Analecta
Ante-Nicæna_, ii, London, 1854, p. 31]). The Councils of Toulouse, in
633 (ch. 45, in Labbe-Mansi, x. 630), and of Meaux, in 845 (can. 37,
_ibid._ xiv. 827), condemned to a similar punishment those of the
clergy who ventured to take up arms. Gratian says (_Decretum_, ii. 23.
8. 4) that the Church refuses to pray for the soul of a priest who
died on the battle-field. But notwithstanding the canons of Councils
and the decrees of popes, ecclesiastics frequently participated in
battles (Nicolaus I., _Epistolæ et Decreta_, 83 [Migne, cxix. 922];
W. Robertson, _The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V._,
i [London, 1806], pp. 330, 385; R. Ward, _An Enquiry into the Foundation
and History of the Law of Nations in Europe from the Time of the
Greeks and Romans to the Age of Grotius_, i [London, 1795], p. 365
_sq._; H. T. Buckle, _History of Civilization in England_ [London,
1894], i. 204, ii. 464; J. F. Bethune-Baker, _The Influence of
Christianity on War_ [Cambridge, 1888], p. 52; E. Dümmler, _Geschichte
des Ostfränkischen Reichs_ [Berlin and Leipzig, 1862-88], ii. 637).]

[Footnote 1320: H. Grotius, _De jure belli et pacis_, i. 2, 10. 10; J.
Bingham, _Antiquities of the Christian Church_, iv. 4. 1 (_Works_, ii.
[Oxford, 1855], p. 55).]

[Footnote 1321: _Pœnitentiale Bigotianum_, iv. 1. 4 (F. W. H.
Wasserschleben, _Die Bussordnungen der abendländischen Kirche_ [Halle,
1851], p. 453); _Pœnit. Vigilanum_, 27 (_ibid._ p. 529); _Pœnit.
Pseudo-Theodori_, xxi. 15 (_ibid._ p. 587 _sq._). _Cf. La mort de
Garin le Loherin_ (Paris, 1846), p. 213: "Ainz se repent et se claime
cheti; Ses pechiés plore au soir et au matin, De ce qu'il a tans homes
mors et pris."]

[Footnote 1322: D. Wilkins, _Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ et Hiberniæ_,
i (London 1737), p. 366.]

It has been suggested that the transition from the peaceful principles
of the primitive Church to the essentially military Christianity of
the crusades was chiefly due to the terrors and the example of Islam.
"The spirit of Mohammedanism," says Lecky, "slowly passed into
Christianity, and transformed it into its image." Until then, "war was
rather condoned than consecrated, and, whatever might be the case with
a few isolated prelates, the Church did nothing to increase or
encourage it."[1323] But this view is hardly consistent with facts.
Christianity had entered on the war-path already before it came into
contact with Mohammedanism. Wars against Arian peoples had been
represented as holy wars, for which the combatants would be rewarded
by Heaven.[1324] The war which Chlodwig made upon the Visigoths was
not only undertaken with the approval {219} of the clergy, but it was
"properly their war, and Chlodwig undertook it in the capacity of a
religious champion in all things but the disinterestedness which ought
to distinguish that character." Remigius of Reims assisted him by his
countenance and advice, and the Catholic priesthood set every engine
of their craft in motion to second and encourage him.[1325] In the
Church itself there were germs out of which a military spirit would
naturally develop itself. The famous dictum, "Nulla salus extra
ecclesiam," was promulgated as early as the days of Cyprian. The
general view of mediæval orthodoxy was that those beyond the pale of
the Church, heathen and heretics alike, were unalterably doomed to
hell, whereas those who would acknowledge her authority, confess their
sins, receive the sacrament of baptism, partake of the Eucharist, and
obey the priest, would be infallibly saved. If war was allowed by God,
could there be a more proper object for it than the salvation of souls
otherwise lost? And for those who refused to accept the gift of grace
offered them, could there be a juster punishment than death? Moreover,
had not the Israelites fought great battles "for the laws and the
sanctuary?"[1326] Had not the Lord Himself commissioned them to
attack, subdue, and destroy his enemies? Had he not commanded them to
root out the natives of Canaan, who, because of their abominations,
had fallen under God's judgment, and to kill man and beast in the
Israelitish cities which had given themselves to idolatry, and to burn
all the spoil, with the city itself, as a whole offering to
Jehovah?[1327] There was no need, then, for the Christians to go to
the Mohammedans in order to learn the art of religious war. The Old
Testament, the revelation of God, gave better lessons in it than the
Koran, and was constantly cited in justification of any cruelty
committed in the name of religion.[1328]

[Footnote 1323: W. E. H. Lecky, _History of European Morals from
Augustus to Charlemagne_, ii (London, 1890), p. 251 _sq._]

[Footnote 1324: J. Gibb, 'The Christian Church and War,' in _The
British Quarterly Review_, lxxiii (London, 1881), p. 86.]

[Footnote 1325: T. Greenwood, _The First Book of the History of the
Germans_ (London, 1836), p. 518.]

[Footnote 1326: _1 Maccabees_ xiii. 3. Thomas Aquinas (_op. cit._
ii.-ii. 188. 3) quotes this passage in support of the doctrine that
fighting may be directed to the preservation of divine worship.]

[Footnote 1327: _Deuteronomy_ xiii. 15 _sq._]

[Footnote 1328: _Cf._ B. Constant, _De la religion_, ii (Paris, 1825),
p. 229 _sq._]

It was thus in perfect consistency with the general teachings of the
Church that she regarded an exploit achieved against the infidels as a
merit which might obliterate the guilt of the most atrocious crimes.
Such a deed was the instrument of pardon to Henry II. for the murder
of Becket,[1329] and was supposed to be the means of cure to St. Louis
in a dangerous illness. {220} Fighting against infidels took rank with
fastings, penitential discipline, visits to shrines, and almsgivings,
as meriting the divine mercy.[1330] He who fell in the battle could be
confident that his soul was admitted directly into the joys of
paradise.[1331] And this held good not only of wars against
Mohammedans. The massacres of Jews and heretics seemed no less
meritorious than the slaughter of the more remote enemies of the
gospel. Nay, even a slight shade of difference from the liturgy of
Rome became at last a legitimate cause of war.

[Footnote 1329: G. Lyttelton, _The History of the Life of King Henry
the Second_, iii (London, 1771), p. 96.]

[Footnote 1330: _Cf._ H. H. Milman, _History of Latin Christianity_,
iv (London, 1867), p. 209.]

[Footnote 1331: _Cf._ F. Laurent, _Études sur l'histoire de
l'Humanité_, vii (Paris, 1865), p. 257.]

It is true that these views were not shared by all. At the Council of
Lyons, in 1274, the opinion was pronounced, and of course eagerly
attacked, that it was contrary to the examples of Christ and the
apostles to uphold religion with the sword and to shed the blood of
unbelievers.[1332] In the following century Bonet maintained that,
according to the Scriptures, a Saracen or any other disbeliever could
not be compelled by force to accept the Christian faith.[1333]
Franciscus a Victoria declared that "diversity of religion is not a
cause of just war";[1334] and a similar opinion was expressed by
Soto,[1335] Covarruvias a Leyva,[1336] and Suarez.[1337] According to
Balthazar Ayala, the most illustrious Spanish lawyer of the sixteenth
century, it does not belong to the Church to punish infidels who have
never received the Christian faith, whereas those who, having once
received it, afterwards endeavour to prevent the propagation of the
gospel, may, like other heretics, be justly persecuted with the
sword.[1338] But the majority of jurisconsults, as well as of
canonists, were in favour of the orthodox view that unbelief is a
legitimate reason for going to war.[1339] And this principle was,
professedly, acted upon to an extent which made the history of
Christianity {221} for many centuries a perpetual crusade, and
transformed the Christian Church into a military power even more
formidable than Rome under Cæsar and Augustus. Very often religious
zeal was a mere pretext for wars which in reality were caused by
avarice or desire for power. The aim of the Church was to be the
master of the earth, rather than the servant of heaven. She preached
crusades not only against infidels and heretics, but against any
disobedient prince who opposed her boundless pretensions. And she
encouraged war when rich spoils were to be expected from the victor,
as a thankoffering to God for the victory He had granted, or as an
atonement for the excesses which had been committed.

[Footnote 1332: Bethune-Baker, _op. cit._ p. 73.]

[Footnote 1333: H. Bonet, _L'arbre des batailles_ (Bruxelles and
Leipzig, 1883), iv. 2, p. 86.]

[Footnote 1334: Franciscus a Victoria, _Relectiones Theologicæ_
(Lugduni, 1587), vi. 10, p. 231. Yet infidels may be compelled to
allow the gospel to be preached (_ibid._ v. 3. 12, p. 214 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1335: D. Soto, _De justitia et jure_ (Lugduni, 1582),
v. 3. 5, fol. 154.]

[Footnote 1336: D. de Covarruvias a Leyva, _Regulæ, Peccatum_,
ii. 10. 2 (_Opera omnia_, i [Antverpiae, 1638], p. 496).]

[Footnote 1337: Suarez, quoted by E. Nys, _Le droit de la guerre et
les précurseurs de Grotius_ (Bruxelles and Leipzig, 1882), p. 98.]

[Footnote 1338: B. Ayala, _De iure et officiis bellicis et disciplina
militari_ (Duaci, 1582), i. 2. 29 _sq._]

[Footnote 1339: Nys, _op. cit._ p. 89; _idem_, in his Introduction to
Bonet's _L'arbre des batailles_, p. xxiv.]

Out of this union between war and Christianity there was born that
curious bastard, Chivalry. The secular germ of it existed already in
the German forests. According to Tacitus, the young German who aspired
to be a warrior was brought into the midst of the assembly of the
chiefs, where his father, or some other relative, solemnly equipped
him for his future vocation with shield and javelin.[1340] Assuming
arms was thus made a social distinction, which subsequently derived
its name from one of its most essential characteristics, riding a
war-horse. But Chivalry became something quite different from what the
word indicates. The Church knew how to lay hold of knighthood for her
own purposes. The investiture, which was originally of a purely civil
nature, became, even before the time of the crusades, as it were, a
sacrament.[1341] The priest delivered the sword into the hand of the
person who was to be made a knight, with the following words: "Serve
Christi, sis miles in nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti,
Amen."[1342] The sword was said to be made in semblance of the cross
so as to signify "how our Lord God vanquished in the cross the death
of human lying";[1343] and the word "Jesus" was sometimes {222}
engraven on its hilt.[1344] God Himself had chosen the knight to
defeat with arms the miscreants who wished to destroy his Holy Church,
in the same way as he had chosen the clergy to maintain the Catholic
faith with Scripture and reasons.[1345] The knight was to the body
politic what the arms are to the human body: the Church was the head,
Chivalry the arms, the citizens, merchants, and labourers the inferior
members; and the arms were placed in the middle to render them equally
capable of defending the inferior members and the head.[1346] "The
greatest amity that should be in this world," says the author of 'The
Book of the Ordre of Chyualry,' "ought to be between the knights and
clerks."[1347] The several gradations of knighthood were regarded as
parallel to those of the Church.[1348] And after the conquest of the
Holy Land the union between the profession of arms and the religion of
Christ became still more intimate by the institution of the two
military orders of monks, the Knights Templars and Knights of St. John
of Jerusalem.

[Footnote 1340: Tacitus, _Germania_, 13. According to Honoré de Sainte
Marie (_Dissertations historiques et critiques sur la chevalerie_
[Paris, 1718], p. 30 _sqq._), Chivalry is of Roman, according to some
other writers, of Arabic origin. L. Gautier (_La Chevalerie_ [Paris,
1884], pp. 14, 16) repudiates these theories, and regards Chivalry as
"un usage germain idéalisé par l'Église." See also A. Rambaud,
_Histoire de la civilisation française_, i (Paris, 1893), p. 178 _sq._]

[Footnote 1341: W. Scott, 'An Essay on Chivalry,' in _Miscellaneous
Prose Works_, vi (Edinburgh, 1827), p. 16; C. Mills, _The History of
Chivalry_, i (London, 1826), p. 10 _sq._ For a description of the
various religious ceremonies accompanying the investiture, see _The
Book of the Ordre of Chyualry or Knyghthode_ (Westminster, 1484?),
fol. 27_b sqq._ _Cf._ also A. Favyn, _The Theater of Honour and
Knight-Hood_, i (London, 1623), p. 52.]

[Footnote 1342: Favyn, _op. cit._ i. 52.]

[Footnote 1343: _Ordre of Chyualry_, fol. 31_a sq._]

[Footnote 1344: Mills, _op. cit._ i. 71.]

[Footnote 1345: _Ordre of Chyualry_, fol. 11_b_.]

[Footnote 1346: _Le Jouuencel_ (Paris, 1493), fol. 94 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1347: _Ordre of Chyualry_, fol. 12_a_.]

[Footnote 1348: Scott, _loc. cit._ p. 15.]

The duties which a knight took on himself by oath were very extensive,
but not very well defined. He should defend the holy Catholic faith,
he should defend justice, he should defend women, widows, and orphans,
and all those of either sex that were powerless, ill at ease, and
groaning under oppression and injustice.[1349] In the name of religion
and justice he could thus practically wage war almost at will. Though
much real oppression was undoubtedly avenged by these soldiers of the
Church, the knight seems as a rule to have cared little for the cause
or necessity of his doing battle. "La guerre est ma patrie, Mon
harnois ma maison: Et en toute saison Combatre c'est ma vie," was a
saying much in use in the sixteenth century.[1350] The general
impression which Froissart gives us in his history is, that the age in
which he lived was completely given over to fighting, and cared about
nothing else whatever.[1351] The French knights never spoke of war but
as a feast, a game, a pastime. "Let them play their game," they said
of the cross-bow men who were showering down arrows on them; and "to
play a great game," _jouer gros jeu_, was their description of a
battle.[1352] Previous to the institution of Chivalry there certainly
existed {223} much fighting in Christian countries, but knighthood
rendered war "a fashionable accomplishment."[1353] And so
all-absorbing became the passion for it that, as real injuries were
not likely to occur every day, artificial grievances were created, and
tilts and tournaments were invented in order to keep in action the
sons of war when they had no other employments for their courage. Even
in these images of war--which were by no means so harmless as they
have sometimes been represented to be[1354]--the intimate connection
between Chivalry and religion displays itself in various ways. Before
the tournament began, the coats of arms, helmets, and other objects
were carried into a monastery, and after the victory was gained the
arms and the horses which had been used in the fight were offered up
at the church.[1355] The proclamations at the tournaments were
generally in the name of God and the Virgin Mary. Before battle the
knights confessed and heard mass; and when they entered the lists,
they held a sort of image with which they made the sign of the
cross.[1356] Moreover, "as the feasts of the tournaments were
accompanied by these acts of devotion, so the feasts of the Church
were sometimes adorned with the images of the tournaments."[1357] It
is true that the Church now and then made attempts to stop these
performances.[1358] But then she did so avowedly because they
prevented many knights from joining the holy wars, or because they
swallowed up treasures which might otherwise with advantage have been
poured into the Holy Land.[1359]

[Footnote 1349: _Ordre of Chyualry_, fols. 11_b_, 17_a_; De la Curne
de Sainte-Palaye, _Mémoires sur l'ancienne chevalerie_, i (Paris,
1781), pp. 75, 129.]

[Footnote 1350: F. de la Nouë, _Discours politiques et militaires_
(Basle, 1587), p. 215.]

[Footnote 1351: See Sir James Stephen's essay on 'Froissart's
Chronicles,' in his _Horæ Sabbaticæ_, i (London, 1891), p. 22 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1352: Sainte-Palaye, _op. cit._ ii. 61.]

[Footnote 1353: J. G. Millingen, _The History of Duelling_, i (London,
1841), p. 70.]

[Footnote 1354: Sainte-Palaye, _op. cit._ i. 179, ii. 75; C. D. Du
Cange, 'Dissertations ou Réflexions sur l'histoire de S. Louys,' in
Petitot, _Collection complète des Mémoires relatifs à l'histoire de
France_ (Paris, 1819-29), iii. 122 _sq._; Honoré de Sainte Marie, _op.
cit._ p. 186.]

[Footnote 1355: Sainte-Palaye, _op. cit._ i. 151.]

[Footnote 1356: _Ibid._ ii. 57.]

[Footnote 1357: _Ibid._ ii. 57 _sq._]

[Footnote 1358: Du Cange, _loc. cit._ p. 124 _sqq._; Honoré de Sainte
Marie, _op. cit._ p. 186; Sainte-Palaye, _op. cit._ ii. 75.]

[Footnote 1359: Du Cange, _loc. cit._ p. 125 _sq._]

Closely connected with the feudal system was the practice of private
war. Though tribunals had been instituted, and even long after the
kings' courts had become well-organised and powerful institutions, a
nobleman had a right to wage war upon another nobleman from whom he
had suffered some gross injury.[1360] On such occasions not only the
relatives, but also the {224} vassals, of the injured man were bound
to help him in his quarrel, and the same obligation existed in the
case of the aggressor.[1361] Only greater crimes were regarded as
legitimate causes of private war,[1362] but this rule was not at all
strictly observed. We read of a nobleman who declared war against
Frankfort, because a lady residing there had promised to dance with
his cousin, but danced with another; and the city was obliged to
satisfy the wounded honour of the gentleman.[1363] The barons fled to
arms upon every quarrel; he who could raise a small force at once made
war upon him who had anything to lose. The nations of Europe were
subdivided into innumerable states of inferior rank, which were almost
independent, and declared war and made treaties with all the vigour
and all the ceremonies of powerful monarchs. Contemporary historians
describe the excesses committed in prosecution of these intestine
quarrels in such terms as excite astonishment and horror; and great
parts of Europe were in consequence reduced to the condition of a
desert, which it ceased to be worth while to cultivate.

[Footnote 1360: The right of private war generally supposed nobility
of birth and equality of rank in both the contending parties (Ph. de
Beaumanoir, _Les coutumes du Beauvoisis_ [Paris, 1842], lix. 5 _sq._,
vol. ii. 355 _sq._; W. Robertson, _The History of the Reign of the
Emperor Charles V._, i [London, 1806], p. 329). But it was also
granted to the French _communes_ and to the free towns in Germany,
Italy, and Spain (A. Du Boys, _Histoire du droit criminel des peuples
modernes_, ii [Paris, 1858], p. 348).]

[Footnote 1361:  Du Cange, _loc. cit._ pp. 450, 458.]

[Footnote 1362: _Ibid._ p. 445 _sq._; W. Arnold, _Deutsche Urzeit_
(Gotha, 1879), p. 841; C. G. von Wächter, _Beiträge zur deutschen
Geschichte_ (Tübingen, 1845), p. 46.]

[Footnote 1363: Von Wächter, _op. cit._ p. 57.]

The Church made some feeble attempts to put an end to this state of
things. Thus, about the year 990, ordinances were directed against the
practice of private war by several bishops in the south of France, who
agreed to exclude him who violated their ordinances from all Christian
privileges during his life, and to deny him Christian burial after his
death.[1364] A little later, men engaged in warfare were exhorted, by
sacred relics and by the bodies of saints, to lay down their arms and
to swear that they would never again disturb the public peace by their
private hostilities.[1365] But it is hardly likely that such
directions had much effect as long as the bishops and abbots
themselves were allowed to wage private war by means of their vidames,
and exercised this right scarcely less frequently than the
barons.[1366] {225} Nor does it seem that the Church brought about any
considerable change for the better by establishing the Truce of God,
involving obligatory respite from hostilities during the great
festivals of the Church, as also from the evening of Wednesday in each
week to the morning of Monday in the week ensuing.[1367] We are
assured by good authorities that the Truce was generally disregarded,
though the violator was threatened with the penalty of
excommunication.[1368] Most barons could probably say with Bertram de
Born: "La paix ne me convient pas; la guerre seule me plait. Je n'ai
égard ni aux lundis, ni aux mardis. Les semaines, les mois, les
années, tout m'est égal. En tout temps, je veux perdre quiconque me
nuit."[1369] The ordinance enjoining the _treuga Dei_ was transgressed
even by the popes.[1370] It was too unpractical a direction to be
obeyed, and was soon given up even in theory by the authorities of the
Church. Thomas Aquinas says that, as physicians may lawfully apply
remedies to men on feast-days, so just wars may be lawfully prosecuted
on such days for the defence of the commonwealth of the faithful, if
necessity so requires; "for it would be tempting God for a man to want
to keep his hands from war under stress of such necessity."[1371] And
in support of this opinion he quotes the First Book of the Maccabees,
where it is said: "Whosoever shall come to make battle with us on the
sabbath day, we will fight against him."[1372]

[Footnote 1364: 'Charta de Treuga et Pace per Aniciensem Praesulem
Widonem in Congregatione quamplurium Episcoporum, Principium, et
Nobilium hujus Terræ sancita,' in J. Dumont, _Corps universel
diplomatique du droit des gens_, i (Amsterdam, 1726), p. 41.]

[Footnote 1365: R. Glaber, _Historiæ sui temporis_, iv. 5 (M. Bouquet,
_Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France_, x [Paris, 1760],
p. 49); Robertson, _op. cit._ i. 335.]

[Footnote 1366: N. Brussel, _Nouvel examen de l'usage général des
fiefs en France_, i (Paris, 1750), p. 144. How much the prelates were
infected by the general spirit of the age, appears from a
characteristic story of an archbishop of Cologne who gave to one of
his vassals a castle situated on a sterile rock. When the vassal
objected that he could not subsist on such a soil, the archbishop
answered: "Why do you complain? Four roads unite under the walls of
your castle" (A. Du Boys, _Histoire du droit criminel de l'Espagne_
[Paris, 1870], p. 504).]

[Footnote 1367: Glaber, _op. cit._ v. i (Bouquet, _op. cit._ x. 59);
C. D. Du Cange _Glossarium ad scriptores mediæ et infimæ Latinitatis_,
vi (Parisiis, 1736), p. 1267 _sq._; C. J. F. Henault, _Nouvel abrégé
chronologique de l'histoire de France_ (Paris, 1752), p. 106.]

[Footnote 1368: Du Cange, _Glossarium_, vi. 1272; E. Nys, _op. cit._
p. 114.]

[Footnote 1369: A. F. Villemain, _Cours de littérature française,
Littérature du moyen âge_, i (Paris, 1830), p. 122 _sq._]

[Footnote 1370: Belli, _De re militari_, quoted by Nys, _op. cit._
p. 115.]

[Footnote 1371: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 40. 4.]

[Footnote 1372: _1 Maccabees_ ii. 41.]

It seems that the main cause of the abolition of private war was not
any measure taken by the Church, but the increase of the authority of
emperors or kings. In France the right of waging private war was
moderated by Louis IX., checked by Philip IV., suppressed by Charles
VI.[1373] In England, after the Norman Conquest, private wars seem to
have occurred more {226} rarely than on the Continent, probably owing
to the strength of the royal authority, which made the execution of
justice more vigorous and the jurisdiction of the King's court more
extensive than was the case in most other countries.[1374] Freeman
mentions as the last instance of private war in England one from the
time of Edward IV.[1375] In Scotland the practice of private war
received its final blow only late in the eighteenth century, when the
clans were reduced to order after the rebellion of 1745.[1376] While,
then, it is impossible to ascribe to the Church any considerable part
in the movement which ultimately led to the entire abolition of
private war, we have, on the other hand, to take into account the
encouragement which the Church gave to the warlike spirit of the time
by the establishment of Chivalry,[1377] and by sanctioning war as a
divine institution. Before a battle, the service of mass was usually
performed by both armies in the presence of each other, and no warrior
would fight without secretly breathing a prayer.[1378] Pope Adrian IV.
says that a war commenced under the auspices of religion cannot but be
fortunate;[1379] and it was commonly believed that God took no less
interest in the battle than did the fighting warriors. Bonet, who
wrote in the fourteenth century, puts to himself the question, why
there are so many wars in the world, and gives the answer, "que toutes
sont pour le pechié du siecle dont nostre seigneur Dieu pour le pugnir
permet les guerres, car ainsi le maintient l'escripture."[1380] The
Catechism of the Council of Trent brings home that there are on record
instances of slaughter executed by the special command of God Himself,
as when the sons of Levi, who put to death so many thousands in one
day, after the slaughter were thus addressed by Moses: "Ye have
consecrated your hands this day to the Lord."[1381] Even quite modern
Catholic writers refer to the canonists who held that a State might
lawfully make war upon a heretic people which is spreading heresy, and
upon a pagan people which prevents the preaching of the gospel.[1382]

[Footnote 1373: Robertson, _op. cit._ i. 55, 56, 338 _sqq._;
H. Hallam, _View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages_,
i (London, 1860), p. 207; Brussel, _op. cit._ i. 142.]

[Footnote 1374: Brussel, _op. cit._ i. 343 _sq._]

[Footnote 1375: E. A. Freeman, _Comparative Politics_ (London, 1896),
p. 328 _sq._]

[Footnote 1376: T. J. Lawrence, _Essays on some disputed Questions in
Modern International Law_ (Cambridge, 1885), p. 254 _sq._]

[Footnote 1377: I do not understand how Gautier can say (_op. cit._
p. 6) that Chivalry was the most beautiful of those means by which the
Church endeavoured to check war.]

[Footnote 1378: Mills, _op. cit._ i. 147.]

[Footnote 1379: Laurent, _op. cit._ vii. 245.]

[Footnote 1380: Bonet, _op. cit._ iv. 54, p. 150.]

[Footnote 1381: _The Catechism of the Council of Trent_, iii. 6. 5.]

[Footnote 1382: W. E. Addis and T. Arnold, _A Catholic Dictionary_
(London, 1903), p. 944.]

{227} In its attitude towards war Protestantism was in general
agreement with Catholicism. Luther defended vigorously the Christian
soldier.[1383] Calvin argued that war is a branch of the work of
retributive justice which has been entrusted by God to the civil
magistrate, and that it has the same moral justification as the police
measures which protect the citizens against criminals. If it be
objected that the New Testament does not expressly permit Christians
to fight, it is to be observed that the gospel does not undertake to
legislate about civil polity, and that it presupposes the Old
Testament, "in which the greatest men of God, like Moses and David,
were mighty men of valour in the service of God."[1384] The subject
received prominence in the Protestant Confessions, which found it
desirable to allay any misgivings that might be felt by princes as to
the political implications of evangelical religion. They explicitly
claimed for the State the right of waging war, and the Anabaptists
were condemned because they considered war unlawful for a
Christian.[1385] Even the necessity of a just cause as a reason for
taking part in warfare, which was reasserted at the time of the
Reformation, was subsequently allowed to drop out of sight. It is
noticeable that in the Anglican Article XXXVII., which is to the
effect that a Christian at the command of the magistrate may wear
weapons and serve in the wars, the word _justa_ in the Latin form
preceding the word _bella_ has been omitted altogether. The Lutheran
clergy, however, have followed the tradition of the Catholic Church
that military service is inconsistent with the clerical office;[1386]
and the Anglican Church reaffirmed its adherence to it during the
recent war by forbidding the clergy to offer themselves for such
service. The Reformed Churches have occasionally left it to ministers
to judge for themselves as to whether the necessity was such as to
require them to offer their services as fighting men to the State.
This was lately done by the Church of Scotland.[1387]

[Footnote 1383: Luther, _Ob Kriegsleute auch im seligen Stande sein
können_, 1526.]

[Footnote 1384: Calvin, _Institutio Christianæ religionis_, 1559,
iv. 20. 10-12.]

[Footnote 1385: _Augsburg Confession_, i. 16; _Second Helvetic
Confession_ xxx. 4.]

[Footnote 1386: H. Martensen, _Christian Ethics. Special Part. Second
Division_ (Edinburgh, 1882), p. 236.]

[Footnote 1387: W. P. Paterson, 'War,' in J. Hastings, _Encyclopædia
of Religion and Ethics_, xii (Edinburgh, 1921), p. 680.]

Nor did the old opinion that war is a providential institution and a
judgment of God die with the Middle Ages. Bacon looks upon wars as
"the highest trials of right; when princes and states that acknowledge
no superior upon earth shall put themselves upon the justice of God,
for the deciding of their controversies by such success as it shall
please Him to give on {228} either side."[1388] Réal de Curban says
that a war is seldom successful unless it be just, hence the victor
may presume that God is on his side.[1389] According to Jeremy Taylor,
"kings are in the place of God, who strikes whole nations, and towns,
and villages; and war is the rod of God in the hands of
princes."[1390] And it is not only looked upon as an instrument of
divine justice, but it is also said, generally, "to work out the noble
purposes of God."[1391] Its tendency, as a theological writer assures
us, is "to rectify and exalt the popular conception of God," there
being nothing among men "like the smell of gunpowder for making a
nation perceive the fragrance of divinity in truth."[1392] By war the
different countries "have been opened up to the advance of true
religion."[1393] "No people ever did, or ever could, feel the power of
Christian principle growing up like an inspiration through the
national manhood, until the worth of it had been thundered on the
battle-field."[1394] War is, "when God sends it, a means of grace and
of national renovation"; it is "a solemn duty in which usually only
the best Christians and most trustworthy men should be commissioned to
hold the sword."[1395] According to Proudhon, it is the most sublime
phenomenon of our moral life,[1396] a divine revelation more
authoritative than the gospel itself.[1397] The warlike people is the
religious people;[1398] war is the sign of human grandeur, peace a
thing for beavers and sheep. "Philanthrope, vous parlez d'abolir la
guerre; prenez garde de dégrader le genre humain."[1399]

[Footnote 1388: Bacon, _Letters and Life_, i (_Works_, viii [London,
1862]), p. 146.]

[Footnote 1389: G. de Réal de Curban, _La science du gouvernement_,
v (Paris, 1764), p. 394 _sq._]

[Footnote 1390: J. Taylor, _The Whole Works of_, xii (London, 1822),
p. 164.]

[Footnote 1391: 'The Sword and Christianity,' in _The Boston Review.
Devoted to Theology and Literature_, iii (Boston, 1863), p. 261.]

[Footnote 1392: _Ibid._ iii. 259, 257.]

[Footnote 1393: T. A. Holland, _A Time of War_ (Brighton, 1885), p. 14.]

[Footnote 1394: _Boston Review_, iii. 257.]

[Footnote 1395: 'Christianity and War,' in _The Christian Review_,
xxvi (Rochester, 1861), p. 604.]

[Footnote 1396: P.-J. Proudhon, _La guerre et la paix_, ii (Bruxelles,
[1861]), p. 420.]

[Footnote 1397: _Ibid._ i. 62, ii. 435.]

[Footnote 1398: _Ibid._ i. 45.]

[Footnote 1399: _Ibid._ i. 43.]

In order to prove the consistency of war with Christianity appeals are
still, as in former days, made to the Bible: to the
divinely-sanctioned example of the ancient Israelites, to the fact
that Jesus never prohibited those around him from bearing arms, to the
instances of the centurions mentioned in the gospel, to Paul's
predilection for taking his spiritual metaphors from the profession of
the soldier, and so on.[1400] According to {229} Canon Mozley, the
Christian recognition of the right of war was contained in
Christianity's original recognition of nations.[1401] "By a fortunate
necessity," a universal empire is impossible.[1402] Each nation is a
centre by itself, and when questions of right and justice arise
between these independent centres, they cannot be decided except by
mutual agreement or force. The aim of the nation going to war is
exactly the same as that of the individual in entering a court, and
the Church, which has no right to decide which is the right side,
cannot but stand neutral and contemplate war forensically, as a mode
of settling national questions, which is justified by the want of any
other mode.[1403] A natural justice, Canon Mozley adds, is inherent
not only in wars of self-defence; there is an instinctive reaching in
nations and masses of people after alteration and readjustment, which
has justice in it. And there are wars of progress which, so far as
they are really necessary for the due advantage of mankind, are
approved of by Christianity.[1404] As a matter of fact, it would be
impossible to mention a single instance of a war waged by a Protestant
country, from any motive whatsoever, to which the bulk of its clergy,
being in the service of the State, have not given their sanction and
support. As Mr. Gibb observes, the Protestant minister has been as
ready with his Thanksgiving Sermon for the victories of a profligate
war as the Catholic priest has been with his _Te Deum_; "indeed, the
latter was probably the more independent of the two, because of his
allegiance to Rome."[1405] The opposition against war has generally
come from other quarters.

[Footnote 1400: See, for example, E. H. Browne, _An Exposition of the
Thirty-Nine Articles_ (London, 1887), p. 827 _sq._; _Christian
Review_, xxvi. 603 _sq._]

[Footnote 1401: J. B. Mozley, _Sermons preached before the University
of Oxford_ (London, 1883), p. 119.]

[Footnote 1402: _Ibid._ p. 112.]

[Footnote 1403: _Ibid._ p. 100 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1404: _Ibid._ p. 104 _sq._ So also Rothe, in his
_Theologische Ethik_, iii (Wittenberg, 1848), p. 960, defends the war
of conquest as legitimate in order to the replacement of a lower by a
higher civilisation.]

[Footnote 1405: Gibb, _loc. cit._ p. 90.]

There have been, and still are, Christian sects which, on religious
grounds, condemn war of any kind. In the fourteenth century the
Lollards taught that homicide in war is expressly contrary to the New
Testament; they were persecuted partly on this account.[1406] Of the
same opinion were the Anabaptists of the sixteenth century, who
suffered imprisonment and death rather than bear arms; their
insistence upon peace was the main cause of the constant war made upon
them. They could claim on their side the words of men like Colet and
Erasmus. From the pulpit of St. Paul's Colet thundered that "an unjust
{230} peace is better than the justest war," and that, "when men out
of hatred and ambition fight with and destroy one another, they fight
under the banner, not of Christ, but of the Devil."[1407] According to
Erasmus, "nothing is more impious, more calamitous, more widely
pernicious, more inveterate, more base, or in sum more unworthy of a
man, not to say of a Christian," than war. It is worse than brutal; to
man no wild beast is more destructive than his fellow-man. When brutes
fight, they fight with weapons which nature has given them, whereas we
arm ourselves for mutual slaughter with weapons which nature never
thought of. Neither do beasts break out in hostile rage for trifling
causes, but either when hunger drives them to madness, or when they
find themselves attacked, or when they are alarmed for the safety of
their young. But we, on frivolous pretences, what tragedies do we act
on the theatre of war! Under colour of some obsolete and disputable
claim to territory; in a childish passion for a mistress; for causes
even more ridiculous than these, we kindle the flame of war.
Transactions truly hellish are called holy wars. Bishops and grave
divines, decrepit as they are in person, fight from the pulpit the
battles of the princes, promising remission of sins to all who will
take part in the war of the prince, and exclaiming to the latter that
God will fight for him, if he only keeps his mind favourable to the
cause of religion. And yet, how could it ever enter into our hearts,
that a Christian should imbrue his hands in the blood of a Christian!
What is war but murder and theft committed by great numbers on great
numbers! Does not the gospel declare in decisive words that we must
not revile again those who revile us, that we should do good to those
who use us ill, that we should give up the whole of our possessions to
those who take a part, that we should pray for those who design to
take away our lives? "The man who engages in war by choice, that man,
whoever he is, is a wicked man; he sins against nature, against God,
against man, and is guilty of the most aggravated and complicated

[Footnote 1406: G. G. Perry, _A History of the English Church. First
Period_ (London, 1881), pp. 455, 467.]

[Footnote 1407: J. R. Green, _History of the English People_,
ii (London, 1878), p. 93.]

[Footnote 1408: Erasmus, _Adagia_ (Coloniæ Allobrogum, 1612),
iv. 1, col. 893 _sqq._]

In Protestantism the chief opponents of war have been sectarians.
Among these the Quakers are the most important. By virtue of various
passages in the Old and the New Testament,[1409] they contend that all
warfare, whatever be its peculiar features, circumstances, or
pretexts, is wholly at variance with the Christian religion. It is
always the duty of {231} Christians to obey their Master's high and
holy law--to suffer wrong, to return good for evil, to love their
enemies. War is also inconsistent with the Christian principle that
human life is sacred, and that death is followed by infinite
consequences. Since man is destined for eternity, the future welfare
of a single individual is of greater importance than the merely
temporal prosperity of a whole nation. When cutting short the days of
their neighbour and transmitting him, prepared or unprepared, to the
awful realities of an everlasting state, Christians take upon
themselves a most unwarrantable responsibility, unless such an action
is expressly sanctioned by their divine Master, as was the case among
the Israelites. In the New Testament there is no such sanction, hence
it must be concluded that, under the Christian dispensation, it is
utterly unlawful for one man to kill another, under whatever
circumstances of expediency or provocation the deed may be committed.
And a Christian who fights by the command of his prince, and in behalf
of his country, not only commits sin in his own person, but aids and
abets the national transgression.[1410]

[Footnote 1409: _Isaiah_ ii. _sqq._; _Micah_ iv. 1 _sqq._; _Matthew_
v. 38 _sqq._, xxvi. 52; _Luke_ vi. 27 _sqq._; _John_ viii. 36;
_Romans_ xii. 19 _sqq._; _1 Peter_ iii. 9.]

[Footnote 1410: J. J. Gurney, _Observations on the Distinguishing
Views and Practices of the Society of Friends_ (London, 1834), p. 375

Similar views, however, are also found independently of any particular
form of sectarianism. According to Dr. Wayland, all wars, defensive as
well as offensive, are contrary to the revealed will of God,
aggression from a foreign nation calling not for retaliation and
injury, but rather for special kindness and goodwill.[1411] Theodor
Parker, the Congregational minister, looks upon war as a sin, a
corrupter of public morals, a practical denial of Christianity, a
violation of God's eternal love.[1412] W. Stokes, the Baptist,
observes that Christianity cannot sanction war, whether offensive or
defensive, because war is an "immeasurable evil, by hurling unnumbered
myriads of our fellow-men to a premature judgment and endless
despair."[1413] Even before the outbreak of the Great War it was said
that those who compared the state of opinion during later years with
that of former periods, could not fail to observe a marked progress of
a sentiment antagonistic to war in the various sections of the
Christian Church.[1414] Yet the duties which compulsory military
service imposes upon the male population of most Christian countries
presuppose that a Christian should have no scruples {232} about taking
part in any war waged by the State; and they are recognised as binding
by the clergy of those countries. What, then, about "conscientious
objectors"? In France, during the Great War, the authorities
considered that it was not the business of the State to decide whether
a man's dislike of fighting was due to conscience, want of patriotism,
or personal cowardice; and in consequence the few who refused to serve
were shot. In England, even after compulsory service was instituted,
men were allowed to plead conscientious scruples; but things were not
made pleasant for them, and they were on the whole condemned by public

[Footnote 1411: F. Wayland, _The Elements of Moral Science_ (London,
1863), pp. 375, 379.]

[Footnote 1412: T. Parker, _A Sermon of War_ (Boston, 1846), p. 23.]

[Footnote 1413: W. Stokes, _All War inconsistent with the Christian
Religion_ (London, 1855), p. 41.]

[Footnote 1414: _Cf._ Gibb, _loc. cit._ p. 81.]

[Footnote 1415: W. K. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Modern Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 310.]

It is significant that the protest against war which has, presumably,
exercised the widest influence on public opinion, came from a school
of moralists whose tendencies were not only anti-orthodox, but
distinctly hostile to the most essential dogmas of Christian theology.
Bayle, in his 'Dictionary,' calls Erasmus' essay against war one of
the most beautiful dissertations ever written.[1416] He observes that
the more we consider the inevitable consequences of war, the more we
feel disposed to detest those who are the causes of it.[1417] Its
usual fruits may, indeed, "make those tremble who undertake or advise
it, to prevent evils which, perhaps, may never happen and which, at
the worst, would often be much less than those which necessarily
follow a rupture."[1418] To Voltaire war is an "infernal enterprise,"
the strangest feature of which is that "every chief of the ruffians
has his colours consecrated, and solemnly prays to God before he goes
to destroy his neighbour."[1419] He asks what the Church has done to
suppress this crime. Bourdaloue preached against impurity, but what
sermon did he ever direct against the murder, rapine, brigandage, and
universal rage, which desolate the world? "Miserable physicians of
souls, you declaim for five quarters of an hour against the mere
pricks of a pin, and say no word on the curse which tears us into a
thousand pieces."[1420] Voltaire admits that in certain circumstances
war is an inevitable curse, but rebukes Montesquieu for saying that
natural defence sometimes involves the necessity of attack, when a
nation perceives that a longer peace would {233} place another nation
in a position to destroy it.[1421] Such a war, he argues, is as
illegitimate as possible. "It is to go and kill your neighbour for
fear that your neighbour, who does not attack yon, should be in a
condition to attack you; that is to say, you must run the risk of
ruining your country, in the hope of ruining without reason some other
country; this is, to be sure, neither fair nor useful."[1422] The
chief causes which induce men to massacre in all loyalty thousands of
their brothers and to expose their own people to the most terrible
misery, are the ambitions and jealousies of princes and their
ministers.[1423] Similar views are expressed in the great
'Encyclopédie.' "La guerre est le plus terrible des fléaux qui
détruisent l'espèce humaine: elle n'épargne pas même les vainqueurs;
la plus heureuse est funeste. . . . Ce ne sont plus aujourd'hui les
peuples qui déclarent la guerre, c'est la cupidité des rois qui leur
fait prendre les armes; e'est l'indigence qui les met aux mains de
leurs sujets."[1424]

[Footnote 1416: Bayle, _Dictionnaire historique et critique_,
vi (Paris, 1820), p. 239, art. Erasme.]

[Footnote 1417: _Ibid._ ii. 463, art. Artaxata.]

[Footnote 1418: _Ibid._ i. 472, art. Alting (Henri).]

[Footnote 1419: Voltaire, _Dictionnaire philosophique_, art. Guerre
(_Œuvres complètes_ xl [_s.l._, 1785], p. 562).]

[Footnote 1420: _Ibid._ xl. 564.]

[Footnote 1421: Montesquieu, _De l'esprit des lois_, x. 2 (_Œuvres_
[Paris, 1887], p. 256).]

[Footnote 1422: Voltaire, _op. cit._ xl. 565.]

[Footnote 1423: _Ibid._ pp. 466, 564.]

[Footnote 1424: _Encyclopédie méthodique_, Art militaire, ii. 618 _sq._]

However vehemently Voltaire and the Encyclopædists condemned war, they
did not dream of a time when all wars would cease. Other writers were
more optimistic. In the early part of the eighteenth century Abbé
Saint-Pierre--whose abbotship involved only a nominal connection with
the Church--published a project of perpetual peace, which was based on
the idea of a general confederation of European nations.[1425] This
project was much laughed at; Voltaire himself calls its author "un
homme moitié philosophe, moitié fou." But once called into being, the
idea of a perpetual peace and of a European confederation did not die.
It was successively conceived by Rousseau,[1426] Bentham,[1427] and
Kant.[1428] But on the other hand it met with a formidable enemy in
the awakening spirit of nationalism.

[Footnote 1425: Saint-Pierre, _Projet de Traité pour rendre la paix
perpétuelle entre les souverains Chrétiens_.]

[Footnote 1426: Rousseau, _Extrait du Projet de paix perpétuelle, de
M. l'Abbé de Saint-Pierre_ (_Œuvres complètes_, i [Paris, 1837], p.
606 _sqq._).]

[Footnote 1427: J. Bentham, _A Plan for an universal and perpetual
Peace_ (_Works_, ii [Edinburgh, 1843], p. 546 _sqq._).]

[Footnote 1428: Kant, _Zum ewigen Frieden_.]

The Napoleonic oppression called forth resistance. Philosophers and
poets sounded the war-trumpet. The dream of a universal monarchy was
looked upon as absurd and hateful, and the individuality of a nation
as the only possible security {234} for its virtue.[1429] War was no
longer attributed to the pretended interests of princes, or to the
caprices of their advisers. It was praised as a vehicle of the highest
right,[1430] as a source of national renovation.[1431] By war, says
Hegel, "finite pursuits are rendered unstable, and the ethical health
of peoples is preserved. Just as the movement of the ocean prevents
the corruption which would be the result of perpetual calm, so by war
people escape the corruption which would be occasioned by a continuous
or eternal peace."[1432] Similar views have been expressed by later
writers. War is glorified as a stimulus to the elevated virtues of
courage, disinterestedness, and patriotism.[1433] It has done more
great things in the world than the love of man, says Nietzsche.[1434]
It is the mother of art and of all civil virtues, says Ruskin.[1435]
Others defend war, not as a positive good, but as a necessary means of
deciding the most serious international controversies, denying that
arbitration can be a substitute for all kinds of war. Questions which
are intimately connected with national passions and national
aspirations, and questions which are vital to a nation's safety, will
never, they say, be left to arbitration. Each State must be the
guardian of its own security, and cannot allow its independence to be
calmly discussed and adjudicated upon by an external tribunal.[1436]
Moreover, arbitration would prove effective only where the
contradictory pretensions could be juridically formulated, and these
instances are by far the less numerous and the less important.[1437]
And would it not, in many cases, be impossible to find impartial
arbiters? Would not arbitration often be influenced by a calculation
of the forces which every power interested could bring into the field,
and would not war be resorted to where arbitration failed to reconcile
conflicting {235} interests, or where a decision was opposed to a
high-spirited people's sense of justice? The prediction of such
difficulties hampering the work of a League of Nations has, indeed,
been amply confirmed by recent events.

[Footnote 1429: Fichte, _Reden an die deutsche Nation_ (Leipzig,
1824). _Cf. idem_, _Ueber den Begriff des wahrhaften Krieges_
(Tübingen, 1815).]

[Footnote 1430: Arndt, quoted by M. Jähns, _Ueber Krieg, Frieden und
Kultur_ (Berlin, 1893), p. 302.]

[Footnote 1431: P. J. A. von Feuerbach, _Ueber die Unterdrückung und
Wiederbefreiung Europens_ (München and Leipzig, 1813).]

[Footnote 1432: Hegel, _Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts_,
§ 324, p. 317 (English translation [London, 1896], p. 331).]

[Footnote 1433: See, for example, P. Mabille, _La guerre_ (Paris,
1884), p. 139.]

[Footnote 1434: Nietzsche, _Also sprach Zarathustra_, i (Chemnitz and
Leipzig, 1883), p. 63.]

[Footnote 1435: Ruskin, 'Crown of Wild Olive, Lecture on War,' in
_Works_, vi (Keston, Orpington, 1873), pp. 99, 105.]

[Footnote 1436: T. J. Lawrence, _op. cit._ p. 275 _sq._; H. Sidgwick,
'The Morality of Strife,' in _International Journal of Ethics_,
i (London and Philadelphia, 1891), p. 13.]

[Footnote 1437: Geffken, quoted by Jähns, _op. cit._ p. 352 n. 2.]

It is said that, although Christianity has not abolished war, it has
nevertheless, even in war, asserted the principle that human life is
sacred by prohibiting all needless destruction. The Canon 'De treuga
et pace' laid down the rule that non-resisting persons should be
spared;[1438] and Franciscus a Victoria maintained not only that
between Christian enemies those who made no resistance could not
lawfully be slain,[1439] but that even in war against the Turks it was
wrong to kill children and women.[1440] This doctrine of mercy,
however, was far in advance of the habits and general opinion of the
time.[1441] If the simple peasant often was spared, that was largely
from motives of prudence,[1442] or because the valiant knight
considered him unworthy of the lance.[1443] As late as the seventeenth
century, Grotius was certainly not supported by the spirit of the age
when he argued that, "if justice do not require, at least mercy does,
that we should not, except for weighty causes tending to the safety of
many, undertake anything which may involve innocent persons in
destruction";[1444] or when he recommended enemies willing to
surrender on fair conditions, or unconditionally, to be spared.[1445]
Pufendorf, in echoing the doctrine of Grotius,[1446] spoke to a world
which was already convinced; and in the eighteenth century Bynkershoek
stands alone in giving to a belligerent unlimited rights of
violence.[1447] In reference to the assumption that this change of
opinion is due to the influence of the Christian religion, it is
instructive to note that Grotius, in support of his doctrine, appealed
chiefly to pagan authorities; and that even savage peoples, without
the aid of Christianity, {236} have arrived at the rule which in war
forbids the destruction of helpless persons and captives.[1448]

[Footnote 1438: Gregory IX., 'Decretales,' i. 34. 2 (in _Corpus juris
canonici_, ed. by A. Friedberg, ii [Lipsiae, 1881]).]

[Footnote 1439: Franciscus a Victoria, _op. cit._ vi. 13, 35, 48,
pp. 232, 241, 246 _sq._]

[Footnote 1440: _Ibid._ vi. 36, p. 241.]

[Footnote 1441: _Cf._ W. E. Hall, _A Treatise on International Law_
(Oxford, 1890), p. 395 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1442: B. d'Argentré, _L'histoire de Bretaigne_ (Paris,
1618), p. 391.]

[Footnote 1443: Mills, _op. cit._ p. 132.]

[Footnote 1444: Grotius, _op. cit._ iii. 11. 8.]

[Footnote 1445: _Ibid._ iii. 11. 14 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1446: S. Pufendorf, _De jure naturæ et gentium_
(Amstelodami, 1688), viii. 6. 8, p. 885.]

[Footnote 1447: C. van Bynkershoek, _Questiones juris publici_
(Lugduni Batavorum, 1737), i. 1, p. 3: "Omnes enim vis in bello justa
est"; Hall, _op. cit._ p. 395 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1448: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i (London, 1912), p. 335 _sq._]

It is also remarkable that Augustine was under an obligation to Cicero
for his attitude towards war, which was adopted by the Church.
According to Cicero, a war, to be just, ought to be necessary, the
sole object of war being to enable us to live undisturbed in peace.
There are two modes of settling controversies, one by discussion, the
other by a resort to force. The first is proper to man, the second is
proper to brutes, and ought never to be adopted except where the first
is not available. And when we obtain the victory we are bound to
exercise consideration towards those whom we have conquered by force,
and to receive into our protection those who throw themselves upon the
honour of our general and lay down their arms.[1449] Seneca
anticipates Erasmus in his condemnation of war, which he regards as a
"glorious crime," comparable to murder. "What is forbidden in private
life is commanded by public ordinance. Actions which, committed by
stealth, would meet with capital punishment, we praise because
committed by soldiers. Men, by nature the mildest species of the
animal race, are not ashamed to find delight in mutual slaughter, to
wage wars, and to transmit them to be waged by their children, when
even dumb animals and wild beasts live at peace with one
another."[1450] History attests that the Romans, in their intercourse
with other nations, did not act upon Cicero's and Seneca's lofty
theories of international morality; as Plutarch observes, the two
names "peace" and "war" are mostly used only as coins, to procure, not
what is just, but what is expedient.[1451] This remark has never
ceased to be true. War is a rock on which Christian principles have
suffered the most miserable shipwreck.

[Footnote 1449: Cicero, _De officiis_, i. 11.]

[Footnote 1450: Seneca, _Epistulæ_, 95.]

[Footnote 1451: Plutarch, _Vita Pyrrhi_, xii. 3, p. 389.]



WHILE the early Fathers utterly failed to put a stop to war, they
succeeded in their endeavour to bring about a change of ideas with
regard to another practice involving the destruction of human life, to
wit, the practice of exposing new-born infants, which was very common
in the Pagan Empire.

The exposure of deformed or sickly infants was an ancient custom in
Greece; in Sparta, at least, it was enjoined by law. It was also
approved of by the most enlightened among the Greek philosophers.
Plato condemns all those children who are imperfect in limbs, as also
those who are born from depraved citizens, to be buried in some
obscure and unknown place; he maintains, moreover, that when both
sexes have passed the age assigned for presenting children to the
State, no child is to be brought to light, and that any infant who is
by accident born alive shall be done away with.[1452] Aristotle not
only lays down the law with respect to the exposing or bringing up of
children, that "nothing imperfect or maimed shall be brought up," but
proposes that the number of children allowed to each marriage shall be
regulated by the State, and that, if any woman be pregnant after she
has produced the prescribed number, an abortion shall be procured
before the fetus has life.[1453] These views were in perfect harmony
with the general tendency of the Greeks to subordinate the feelings of
the individual to the interest of the State. Confined as they were to
a very limited territory, they were naturally afraid of being burdened
with the maintenance of persons whose life could be of no use. It is
necessary, says Aristotle, to take care that the increase of the
people shall not exceed a certain number, in order to avoid poverty
and its concomitants, sedition and other evils.[1454] It has been said
that the exposure of healthy infants, which was frequently practised
in Greece, was hardly approved of by {238} public opinion, although
tolerated,[1455] except at Thebes, where it was, according to Ælian, a
crime punishable by death.[1456] But recent researches have revealed
the extraordinary prevalence of infanticide in ancient Greece.
According to Mr. Zimmern, it remained a universal custom, so far as we
know at least down to the fourth century, that it was within the
discretion of the father whether a new-born child should be allowed to
live. On the fifth day after birth, at the earliest, the infant was
solemnly presented to the household and admitted to its membership. Up
to the time of this ceremony the father had a complete power of
selection, and it appears that this was quite frequently exercised,
particularly in the case of female infants. The provision of a dowry
for his daughters weighed heavily on a Greek father's mind, and what
was easier than to evade it by pleading inability at the outset? When
it was decided that the infant was not to be "nourished," it would be
packed in a cradle or a pot, and exposed in a public place. The
Athenian "had a traditional abhorrence of violence, and interfered
when he could on behalf of the helpless. If he consented to exercise
his immemorial right over his own offspring, he did so with regret,
for the sake of the city and his other children, because it was more
merciful in the long run."[1457] Dr. Inge has found from the speeches
of Isæus, who lived in the fourth century before Christ, that in the
pedigrees of eleven typical Athenian families, belonging to the middle
class, the names of 97 males are mentioned, and of only 37
females.[1458] Mr. Tarn writes that the prevalence of infanticide in
Greece has been strenuously asserted from the literary texts, and as
strenuously denied, but that for the late third and the second
centuries the inscriptions are conclusive. "Of some thousand families
from Greece who received Milesian citizenship _c._ 228-220, details of
79, with their children, remain; these brought 118 sons and 28
daughters, many being minors; no natural causes can account for those
proportions. . . . More than one daughter was practically never
reared, bearing out Poseidippus' statement that 'even a rich man
always exposes a daughter.' Of 600 families from Delphic inscriptions,
second century, just one per cent. reared two daughters."[1459]
Polybius says that the Greeks in the middle {239} of the second
century refused to rear more than one or, at most, two children;[1460]
and, according to Tarn, there is plenty of evidence to bear him

[Footnote 1452: Plato, _Respublica_, v. 460 _sq._]

[Footnote 1453: Aristotle, _Politica_, vii. 16, p. 1335.]

[Footnote 1454: _Ibid._ ii. 6, p. 1265.]

[Footnote 1455: L. Schmidt, _Die Ethik der alten Griechen_,
ii (Berlin, 1882), pp. 138, 463; C. F. Hermann-H. Blümner, _Lehrbuch
der Griechischen Privatalterthümer_ (Freiburg i. B. and Tübingen,
1882), p. 77.]

[Footnote 1456: Ælian, _Variæ historiæ_, ii. 7.]

[Footnote 1457: A. Zimmern, _The Greek Commonwealth_ (Oxford, 1931),
p. 330 _sq._]

[Footnote 1458: W. R. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Modern Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 263.]

[Footnote 1459: W. W. Tarn, _Hellenistic Civilisation_ (London, 1930),
p. 92 _sq._]

[Footnote 1460:  Polybius, _Historiarum reliquiæ_, xxxvi. 17. 7.]

[Footnote 1461: Tarn, _op. cit._ p. 92.]

In Rome custom or law enjoined the destruction of deformed infants.
According to a law of the Twelve Tables, referred to by Cicero,
monstrous abortions were not suffered to live.[1462] With reference to
a much later period Seneca writes: "We destroy monstrous births, and
we also drown our children if they are born weakly and unnaturally
formed"; he adds that it is an act of reason thus to separate what is
useless from what is sound.[1463] But there was no tendency in Rome to
encourage infanticide beyond these limits. While the Greek policy was
to restrain, the Roman policy was to encourage population. Being
engaged in incessant wars of conquest, Rome was never afraid of being
over-populated, but, on the contrary, tried to increase the number of
its citizens by according special privileges to the fathers of many
children, and exempting poor parents from most of the burden of
taxation.[1464] The power of life and death which the Roman father
possessed over his children undoubtedly involved the legal right of
destroying or exposing newborn infants; but it is equally certain that
the act was in ordinary circumstances disapproved of.[1465] An ancient
"law," ascribed to Romulus--which according to Mommsen could have been
merely a priestly direction[1466]--enjoined the father to bring up all
his sons and at least his eldest daughter, and forbade him to destroy
any well-formed child till it had completed its third year, when the
affection of the parent might be supposed to be developed.[1467] In
later times we find exposure of children condemned by poets,
historians, philosophers, jurists. Among nefarious acts committed in
sign of grief on the day when Germanicus died Suetonius mentions the
exposure of newborn babes.[1468] Epictetus indignantly opposes the
saying of Epicurus that men should not rear children: "Even a sheep
will not desert its young, nor a wolf; and shall a man?"[1469] {240}
Julius Paulus, the jurist, pronounced him who refused nourishment to
his child, or exposed it in a public place, to be guilty of
murder[1470]--a statement which is to be understood, not as a legal
prohibition of exposure, but only as the expression of a moral
opinion.[1471] On the other hand, though the exposure of healthy
infants was disapproved of in Pagan Rome, it was not generally
regarded as an offence of very great magnitude, especially if the
parents were destitute.[1472] During the Empire it was practised on an
extensive scale, and in the literature of the time it is spoken of
with frigid indifference. Since the life of the victim was frequently
saved by some benevolent person or with a view to profit,[1473] it was
not looked upon in the light of downright infanticide, which in the
case of a healthy infant seems to have been strictly prohibited by

[Footnote 1462: Cicero, _De legibus_, iii. 8.]

[Footnote 1463: Seneca, _De ira_, i. 15.]

[Footnote 1464: Montesquieu, _De l'esprit des lois_, xxiii. 20 _sq._
(_Œuvres_ [Paris, 1837], p. 398 _sqq._); W. E. H. Lecky, _History of
European Morals_, ii (London, 1890), p. 27.]

[Footnote 1465: J. Denis, _Histoire des théories et des idées morales
dans l'antiquité_, ii (Paris, 1856), p. 110.]

[Footnote 1466: T. Mommsen, _Römisches Strafrecht_ (Leipzig, 1899),
p. 619.]

[Footnote 1467: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, _Antiquitates Romanæ_,
ii. 15.]

[Footnote 1468: Suetonius, _Caligula_, 5.]

[Footnote 1469: Epictetus, _Dissertationes_, i. 23.]

[Footnote 1470: _Digesta_, xxv. 3. 4.]

[Footnote 1471: G. Noodt, 'Julius Paulus, sive de partus expositione
et nece apud veteres,' in _Opera omnia_, i (Lugduni Batavorum, 1767),
p. 465 _sqq._; F. Walter, _Geschichte des Römischen Rechts bis auf
Justinian_, § 538, vol. ii (Bonn, 1861), p. 148 _sq._; Spangenberg,
'Ueber das Verbrechen des Kindermords und der Aussetzung der Kinder,'
in _Neues Archiv des Criminalrechts_, iii (Halle, 1819-20), p. 10
_sqq._; Mommsen, _op. cit._ p. 620 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1472: Quintilian, _Declamationes_, 306; Plutarch, _De amore
prolis_, 5.]

[Footnote 1473: L. Lallemand, _Histoire des enfants abandonnés et
délaissés_ (Paris, 1885), p. 59; Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 28.]

[Footnote 1474: Mommsen, _op. cit._ p. 619.]

The practice of exposing new-born infants was vehemently denounced by
the early Christian Fathers.[1475] They tried to convince men that if
the abandoned infant died, the unnatural parent was guilty of nothing
less than murder, while the fact that such foundlings, girls and boys,
were trained up for the service of lust formed another argument
against exposure.[1476] The enormity of the crime of causing an
infant's death was enhanced by the notion that children who had died
unbaptised were doomed to eternal perdition.[1477] According to a
decree of the Council of Mentz in 852, the penance imposed on the
mother was heavier if she killed an unbaptised than if she killed a
baptised child.[1478] In the year 1556 Henry II. of France made a law
which punished as a child-murderess any woman who had concealed her
pregnancy and delivery, and whose child was found dead, "privé, tant
du saint sacrement de baptesme, que {241} sépulture publique et
accoustumée."[1479] This statute--to which there is a counterpart in
England in the statute 21 Jac. 1, c. 27,[1480] and in the Scotch law
of 1690, c. 21[1481]--thus went so far as to constitute a presumptive
murder, avowedly under the influence of that Christian dogma to which
Lecky generously attributes, in the first instance, "the healthy sense
of the value and sanctity of infant life which so broadly
distinguishes Christian from Pagan societies."[1482]

[Footnote 1475: See J.-F. Terme and J.-B. Montfalcon, _Histoire des
enfans trouvés_ (Paris, 1840), p. 67 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1476: Justin Martyr, _Apologia I. pro Christianis_, 27, 29.]

[Footnote 1477: _Cf._ Spangenberg, _loc. cit._ p. 20.]

[Footnote 1478: _Canon Hludowici regis_, 9 (G. H. Pertz, _Monumenta
Germaniæ historica, Leges_, iii [Hannoveræ], p. 413).]

[Footnote 1479: Isambert, Decrusy, and Armet, _Recueil général des
Anciennes Lois Françaises_, xiii (Paris, 1828), p. 472 _sq._]

[Footnote 1480: W. Blackstone, _The Commentaries on the Laws of
England_, iv (London, 1876), p. 198.]

[Footnote 1481: J. Erskine of Carnock, _Principles of the Law of
Scotland_ (Edinburgh, 1890), p. 560.]

[Footnote 1482: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 23.]

If the Pagans had been comparatively indifferent to the sufferings of
the exposed infant, the Christians became all the more cruel to the
unfortunate mother, who, perhaps in a fit of despair, had put to death
her new-born child. The Christian emperor Valentinian I. made
infanticide a capital offence.[1483] According to the 'Coutume de
Loudunois,' a mother who killed her child was burned.[1484] In Germany
and Switzerland she was buried alive with a pale thrust through her
body;[1485] this punishment was prescribed by the criminal code of
Charles V., side by side with drowning.[1486] Until the end of the
eighteenth or the beginning of the nineteenth century infanticide was
a capital crime everywhere in Europe, except in Russia.[1487] Then,
under the humanising influence of that rationalistic movement which
compelled men to rectify so many preconceived opinions,[1488] it
became manifest that an unmarried woman who destroys her illegitimate
child is not in the same category as an ordinary murderess.[1489] It
was pointed out that shame and fear, the {242} excitement of mind, and
the difficulty in rearing a poor bastard, could induce the unfortunate
mother to commit a crime which she herself abhorred. That no notice
had been taken of all this is explicable from the extreme severity
with which female unchastity was looked upon by the Church. At present
most European law-books do not punish infanticide committed by an
unmarried woman even nominally with death.[1490] In France the law
which regards infanticide as an aggravated form of _meurtre_[1491] has
become a dead letter;[1492] and Stephen wrote in 1888 that in England
no woman seems for a long time to have been executed for killing her
new-born child under the distress of mind and fear of shame caused by
childbirth.[1493] Yet the law takes its grim course. The Judge dons
his black cap, the death sentence is pronounced, and although reprieve
is certain, the unfortunate prisoner is condemned to cruel and
unnecessary mental torture. In order to put an end to this gruesome
formality, Lord Dawson's Infanticide Bill, which was given a second
reading in the House of Lords shortly before this was written,
provided that a woman proved guilty of causing the death of her baby,
under the age of twelve months, should be convicted of manslaughter
and not of murder.

[Footnote 1483: _Codex Theodosianus_, ix. 14. 1; _Institutiones_,
ix. 16. 7.]

[Footnote 1484: J. Tissot, _Le droit pénal_, ii (Paris, 1860), p. 40.]

[Footnote 1485: E. Osenbrüggen, _Das Alamannische Strafrecht_
(Schaffhausen, 1860), p. 229 _sq._; _idem_, _Studien zur deutschen und
schweizerischen Rechtsgeschichte_ (Schaffhausen, 1868), p. 358.]

[Footnote 1486: Charles V., _Die Peinliche Gerichtsordnung_, art. 131
(Heidelberg, 1842).]

[Footnote 1487: D. de Feyfer, _Verhandeling over den Kindermoord_
(Utrecht, 1866), p. 225; H. von Fabrice, _Die Lehre von der
Kindsabtreibung und vom Kindsmord_ (Erlangen, 1868), p. 251.]

[Footnote 1488: A. F. Berner, _Lehrbuch des Deutschen Strafrechtes_
(Leipzig, 1881), p. 497.]

[Footnote 1489: Bentham maintained (_Theory of Legislation_ [London,
1882], p. 264 _sq._) that infanticide ought not to be punished as a
principal offence. "The offence," he says, "is what is improperly
called the death of an infant, who has ceased to be, before knowing
what existence is--a result of a nature not to give the slightest
inquietude to the most timid imagination; and which can cause no
regrets but to the very person who, through a sentiment of shame and
pity, has refused to prolong a life begun under the auspices of

[Footnote 1490: de Feyfer, _op. cit._ p. 228. For modern legislation
on infanticide, see also Spangenberg, in _Neues Archiv des
Criminalrechts_, iii. 360 _sqq._; von Fabrice, _op. cit._ p. 254 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1491: _Code Pénal_, arts. 300, 302.]

[Footnote 1492: R. Garraud, _Traité théorique et pratique du droit
pénal Français_, iv (Paris, 1891), 251.]

[Footnote 1493: J. F. Stephen, _A History of the Criminal Law of
England_, iii (London, 1883), p. 86.]

Hand in hand with the custom of infanticide goes feticide, or the
destruction of the embryo before it has left the mother's womb. In
ancient Greece, as we have seen, it was in certain circumstances
recommended by Plato and Aristotle, in preference to infanticide. In
Rome it was prohibited by Septimius Severus and Antoninus, but the
prohibition seems to have referred only to those married women who, by
procuring abortion, defrauded their husbands of children.[1494] During
the Pagan Empire abortion was extensively practised, either from
poverty, or licentiousness, or vanity; and although severely
disapproved of by some,[1495] it was probably regarded by the average
Romans {243} of the later days of Paganism as so venial as scarcely to
deserve censure.[1496] Seneca thinks Helvia worthy of special praise
because she had never destroyed her expected child within her womb,
"after the fashion of many other women, whose attractions are to be
found in their beauty alone."[1497] The Romans drew a broad line
between feticide and infanticide. An unborn child was not looked upon
as a human being, it was a _spes animantis_ not an _infans_.[1498] It
was said to be merely a part of the mother, as the fruit is a part of
the tree till it becomes ripe and falls down.[1499]

[Footnote 1494: _Digesta_, xlvii. 11. 4. _Cf._ W. Rein, _Das
Criminalrecht der Römer_ (Leipzig, 1844), p. 447.]

[Footnote 1495: Paulus, quoted in _Digesta_, xxv. 3. 4.]

[Footnote 1496: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 21 _sq._]

[Footnote 1497: Seneca, _Ad Helviam_, 16.]

[Footnote 1498: Spangenberg, 'Ueber das Verbrechen der Abtreibung der
Leibesfrucht,' in _Neues Archiv des Criminalrechts_, ii (Halle, 1818),
p. 23.]

[Footnote 1499: _Ibid._ ii. 22.]

Very different opinions were held by the Christians. A sanctity,
previously unheard of, was attached to human life from the very
beginning. Feticide was regarded as a form of murder. "Prevention of
birth," says Tertullian, "is a precipitation of murder; nor does it
matter whether one take away a life when formed, or drive it away
while forming. He also is a man who is about to be one. Even every
fruit already exists in its seed."[1500] Augustine, again, makes a
distinction between an embryo which has already been formed and an
embryo as yet unformed. From the creation of Adam, he says, it appears
that the body is made before the soul. Before the embryo has been
endowed with a soul it is an _embryo informatus_, and its artificial
abortion is to be punished with a fine only; but the _embryo formatus_
is an animate being, and to destroy it is nothing less than murder, a
crime punishable with death.[1501] This distinction between an animate
and inanimate fetus was embodied both in Canon[1502] and Justinian
law,[1503] and passed {244} subsequently into various law-books.[1504]
And a woman who destroyed her animate embryo was punished with

[Footnote 1500: Tertullian, _Apologeticus_, 9.]

[Footnote 1501: Augustine, _Questiones in Exodum_, 80; _idem_,
_Questiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti_, 23 (Migne, _Patrologiæ
cursus_, xxxiv.-xxxv. 626, 2229).]

[Footnote 1502: Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 32. 2. 8 _sq._]

[Footnote 1503: As regards the time from which the fetus was
considered to be animate a curious distinction was drawn between the
male and the female fetus. The former was regarded as _animatus_ forty
days after its conception, the latter eighty days. This theory,
however--which was derived, as it seems, either from an absurd
misinterpretation of _Leviticus_ xii. 2-5, or from the views of
Aristotle (_De animalibus historiæ_, vii. 3; _cf._ Pliny, _Historia
naturalis_, vii. 6)--was not accepted by the glossarist of the
Justinian Code, who fixed the animation of the female, as well as of
the male, fetus at forty days after its conception; and this view was
adopted by later jurists (Spangenberg, in _Neues Archiv des
Criminalrechts_, ii. 37 _sqq._).]

[Footnote 1504: von Fabrice, _op. cit._ p. 202 _sq._; Berner, __op.
cit.  p. 501; W. E. Wilda, _Das Strafrecht der Germanen_ (Halle,
1842), p. 720 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1505: Fleta, _seu Commentarius Juris Anglicani_ (London,
1735), i. 23, 12 (England); Charles V.'s _Peinliche Gerichts Ordnung_,
art. 133; Spangenberg, in _Neues Archiv des Criminalrechts_, ii. 16.]

The criminality of artificial abortion was increased by the belief
that an _embryo formatus_, being endowed with an immortal soul, was in
need of baptism for its salvation. In his highly esteemed treatise 'De
Fide,' written in the sixth century, Fulgentius says: "It is to be
believed beyond doubt that not only men who are come to the use of
reason, but infants, whether they die in their mother's womb, or after
they are born, without baptism, in the name of the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost, are punished with everlasting punishment in eternal fire,
because, though they have no actual sin of their own, yet they carry
along with them the condemnation of original sin from their first
conception and birth."[1506] And in the 'Lex Bajuwariorum' this
doctrine is expressly referred to in a paragraph which prescribes a
daily compensation for children killed in the womb on account of the
daily suffering of those children in hell.[1507] Subsequently,
however, Fulgentius' dictum was called in question, and no less a
person than Thomas Aquinas suggested the possibility of salvation for
an infant who died before its birth.[1508] Apart from this, the
doctrine that the life of an embryo is equally sacred with the life of
an infant was so much opposed to popular feelings, that the law
concerning feticide had to be altered. Modern legislation, though
treating the fetus as a distinct being from the moment of its
conception,[1509] punishes criminal abortion less severely than
infanticide.[1510] The very frequent occurrence of it is an evidence
of the comparative indifference with which it is practically looked
upon by large numbers of people in Christian countries; and there is
to-day in more than one of these countries a growing demand for legal
facilities of abortion. A moral ground for this demand is that
legalised abortion, allowed only by skilled operators, will kill off
the demand for quack abortion with its direful results.[1511] In {245}
Great Britain it is only allowed where there is danger to the woman's
life or health.

[Footnote 1506: Fulgentius, _De fide_, 27.]

[Footnote 1507: _Lex Bajuwariorum_, viii. 21 (vii. 20).]

[Footnote 1508: W. E. H. Lecky, _History of the Rise and Influence of
the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe_, i (London, 1893), p. 360 n. 2.]

[Footnote 1509: A. Henke, _Lehrbuch der gerichtlichen Medicin_
(Berlin, 1859), § 99, p. 75; Berner, _op. cit._ p. 502.]

[Footnote 1510: von Fabrice, _op. cit._ p. 199.]

[Footnote 1511: _Cf._ D. White, 'Religion and Sex,' in _The Church and
the Twentieth Century_, ed. by G. L. H. Harvey (London, 1936), p. 294.]

The best preventive against abortion is the use of contraceptives; it
is particularly for this reason that in Soviet Russia instruction in
contraception may be obtained freely by any one seeking it.[1512] But
any such interference with the course of nature is contrary to the old
Catholic rule that the only legitimate object of sexual intercourse
even between husband and wife is the continuance of the human species.
This rule was confirmed by the Pope's encyclical of December 31, 1930,
forbidding the use of contraceptives on the ground that "the connubial
act is naturally designed to evoke new life."[1513] Among orthodox
Christians of other confessions we also find, to some extent, the
theory that sexual intercourse is justifiable only as a means of
generation; but it is certainly on the wane. Some interesting
information on this point comes from America. Dr. Katharine B. Davis,
who carried out a study on a thousand educated married women and about
a thousand unmarried college women, put to them the question, "Are
married people justified having intercourse except for the purpose of
having children?" Only a small minority (15·3 per cent.) of those
answering definitely this question replied negatively.[1514] The
enormous frequency of the use of contraceptives also bears testimony
to people's feelings concerning it. The leader in the movement has
been France, a largely Catholic country, where it started in the
middle of the last century in the great cities and in the fertile
districts of the south;[1515] and the proportion of Catholic women who
apply for advice at Margaret Sanger's clinic in New York is only one
percentage lower than the proportion of Protestant women.[1516] In
England the change in public opinion since the time when Bradlaugh,
who was regarded as the protagonist of the movement, was called "the
unsavoury member for Northampton," has been enormous.[1517] Dr. A. W.
{246} Thomas wrote in 1906: "From my experience as a general
practitioner, I have no hesitation in saying that 90 per cent. of
young married couples of the comfortably-off classes use
preventives";[1518] and this rough estimate does not seem to be over
the mark.[1519] In Germany birth control was very prevalent before the
War,[1520] and greatly increased afterwards.[1521] In the United
States 74·11 per cent. of the 985 married women who answered Dr.
Davis's question referring to the use of contraceptives admitted
it.[1522] At the same time contraception has still many opponents also
in Protestant countries, and not only on political grounds as lowering
the birth-rate. In Denmark there seems to be quite a widespread
feeling against it.[1523] But it is obvious that those who condemn it
are defending a lost cause. Even among Anglican clericals there has in
this respect been a decisive breach with ecclesiastical tradition.
Though the 15th Resolution of the Lambeth Conference of 1930
concerning the use of contraceptives by Christians was so carefully
conditioned that it might well appear practically valueless, the large
Committee of Bishops who considered the subject of marriage and sex
frankly stated in their 'Report' that the prohibition of the use of
preventive methods is not founded on any directions given in the New
Testament, nor has behind it the authority of any Œcumenical Council
of the Church, and that "the Communion which most strongly condemns in
principle all preventive methods, nevertheless in practice recognises
that there are occasions when a rigid insistence on the principle is

[Footnote 1512: Fannie W. Halle, _Die Frau in Sowjetrussland_ (Berlin,
etc., 1932), p. 202; Margaret Sanger, 'Birth Control in Soviet
Russia,' in _Birth Control Review_, June 1935 (New York), p. 3.]

[Footnote 1513: F. E. Traumann, 'Das Rundschreiben des Papstes Pius XI
über die christliche Ehe und die Sexualreform,' in _Zeitschrift für
Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpolitik_, xviii (Berlin and Köln, 1931),
p. 124.]

[Footnote 1514: Katharine B. Davis, _Factors in the Sex Life of
Twenty-two Hundred Women_ (New York and London, 1929), p. 355 _sqq._
See also G. V. Hamilton, _A Research in Marriage_ (New York, 1929),
p. 382.]

[Footnote 1515: H. Harmsen, _Bevölkerungspolitik Frankreichs_ (Berlin,
1927), reviewed in _Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft und
Sexualpolitik_, xv (Berlin and Köln, 1929), p. 588.]

[Footnote 1516: Havelock Ellis, _More Essays of Love and Virtue_
(London, 1931), p. 36 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1517: Inge, _op. cit._ p. 273.]

[Footnote 1518: A. W. Thomas, 'The Decline in the Birth Rate,' in
_British Medical Journal_, 1906, vol. ii (London), p. 1066.]

[Footnote 1519: See Havelock Ellis, _Studies in the Psychology of
Sex_, vi (Philadelphia, 1923), p. 589.]

[Footnote 1520: L. D. Pesl, 'Fruchtabtreibung und Findelhaus,' in
_Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpolitik_, xv (Berlin and
Köln, 1928), p. 260.]

[Footnote 1521: A. Moll, 'Der "reaktionäre" Kongress für
Sexualforschung,' _ibid._ xiii (Bonn, 1927), p. 330; F. Burgdörfer,
_Der Geburtenrückgang und die Zukunft des deutschen Volkes_ (Berlin,
1928), quoted _ibid._ xvi (Berlin and Köln, 1929), p. 67. See also A.
V. Knack, 'Die Wegbereitung einer vernunftgemässen Bevölkerungspolitik,'
in A. Weil, _Sexualreform und Sexualwissenschaft_ (Stuttgart, 1922),
p. 203.]

[Footnote 1522: Davis, _op. cit._ p. 14. See also Hamilton, _op. cit._
p. 134.]

[Footnote 1523: S. Ranulf, 'Die moralische Reaktion gegen
neomalthusianische Propaganda in Dänemark,' in _Zeitschrift für
Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpolitik_, xvi (Berlin and Köln, 1929),
p. 47 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1524: H. H. Henson, _Christian Morality_ (Oxford, 1936),
p. 216 _sq._]

The early Christians' regard for human life also displays itself in
their condemnation of capital punishment.[1525] But when {247} the
Church obtained an ascendency, the condemnation was modified into the
doctrine that a priest must not take part in a capital charge. If he
passed a sentence of death, he was punished with degradation and
imprisonment for life;[1526] nor was he allowed to write or dictate
anything with a view to bringing about such a sentence.[1527] From the
twelfth century, at least, he might assist at judicial proceedings
resulting in a sentence of death, if only he withdrew for the moment
when the sentence was passed.[1528] These rules were due to that
horror of blood-pollution which is so generally felt in the case of
anybody or anything connected with the religious cult.

[Footnote 1525: H. Hetzel, _Die Todesstrafe in ihrer
kulturgeschichtlichen Entwicklung_ (Berlin, 1870), p. 71 _sqq._; L.
Günther, _Die Idee der Wiedervergeltung_, i (Erlangen, 1889), p. 271;
Lactantius, _Divinæ institutiones_, vi. 20: ". . . occidere hominem
sit semper nefas, quem Deus sanctum animal esse voluit."]

[Footnote 1526: Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 23. 8. 30.]

[Footnote 1527: _Concilium Lateranense IV._, A.D. 1215, ch. 18 (Mansi,
_Sacrorum Conciliorum collectio_, xxii. 1007).]

[Footnote 1528: Gerhohus, 'De ædificio Dei,' 35 (Migne, _Patrologiæ
cursus_, cxciv. 1282).]

The shedding of blood is commonly prohibited in sacred places.[1529]
At Athens the prosecution for homicide began with debarring the
criminal from all sanctuaries and assemblies consecrated by religious
observances.[1530] According to Greek notions purification was an
essential preliminary to an acceptable sacrifice.[1531] Hector said:
"I shrink from offering a libation of gleaming wine to Zeus with hands
unwashed; nor can it be in any way wise that one should pray to the
son of Kronos, god of the storm-cloud, all defiled with blood and
filth."[1532] In Morocco it is a common, though not universal, rule
that a man who has slain another person is never afterwards allowed to
kill with his own hands the sacrificial sheep at the "Great
Feast."[1533] When David had in his heart to build a temple, God said
to him: "Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast
been a man of war, and hast shed blood."[1534] A decree of the
penitential discipline of the Christian Church, which was enforced
even against emperors and generals, forbade {248} any one whose hands
had been imbrued in blood to approach the altar without a preparatory
period of penance.[1535]

[Footnote 1529: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i (London, 1912), p. 380.]

[Footnote 1530: Aristotle, _De republica Atheniensium_, 57; C. O.
Müller, _Dissertations on the Eumenides of Æschylus_ (London and
Cambridge, 1853), p. 103.]

[Footnote 1531: J. Donaldson, 'On the Expiatory and Substitutionary
Sacrifices of the Greeks,' in _Transactions of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh_, xxvii (Edinburgh, 1876), p. 433; L. R. Farnell, _The Cults
of the Greek States_, i (Oxford, 1896), p. 72.]

[Footnote 1532: _Iliad_, vi. 266 _sqq. Cf._ Vergil, _Æneid_, ii. 717

[Footnote 1533: E. Westermarck, _Ritual and Belief in Morocco_
(London, 1926), i. 237, ii. 12.]

[Footnote 1534: _1 Chronicles_ xxviii. 2 _sq._]

[Footnote 1535: Lecky, _History of European Morals_, ii. 39.]

While, from fear of contaminating anything holy, casual restrictions
have thus been imposed on all kinds of manslayers, whether murderers
or those who have killed an enemy in righteous warfare, more stringent
rules have been laid down for persons permanently connected with the
religious cult. Adair states that the "holy men" of the North American
Indians, like the Jewish priests, were by their function absolutely
forbidden to shed human blood, "notwithstanding their propensity
thereto, even for small injuries."[1536] The Druids of Gaul never went
to war; it is true, they sacrificed human victims to their gods, but
those they burnt.[1537] The Christian Church, whilst ostentatiously
sticking to her principle that "the Church does not shed blood,"[1538]
had frequent recourse to the convenient method of punishing heretics
by relegating the execution of the sentence of death to the civil
power, with a prayer that the culprit should be punished "as mildly as
possible and without the effusion of blood," that is, by the death of
fire.[1539] To the same class of facts belong those decrees of the
Church which forbade clergymen taking part in a battle, for which
Thomas Aquinas gives the reason that fighting "tends to the spilling
of blood."[1540] It is said that this was taken so literally that
martial prelates in the Middle Ages went into battle with heavy maces,
with which they could pound their enemies into pulp without breaking
the skin.[1541] If a priest killed a robber in order to save his life,
he had to do penance till his death; the hands which had to distribute
the blood of the Lamb of God were not to be polluted with the blood of
those for whose salvation it was shed.[1542] He must not even perform
a surgical operation by help of fire or iron.[1543]

[Footnote 1536: J. Adair, _The History of the American Indians_
(London, 1775), p. 152.]

[Footnote 1537: Cæsar, _De bello Gallico_, vi. 14, 16. _Cf._ H.
d'Arbois de Jubainville, _La civilisation des Celtes_ (Paris, 1899),
p. 254.]

[Footnote 1538: E. Katz, _Ein Grundriss des kanonischen Strafrechts_
(Berlin and Leipzig, 1881), p. 54.]

[Footnote 1539: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 41.]

[Footnote 1540: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 40. 2.]

[Footnote 1541: Inge, _op. cit._ p. 309.]

[Footnote 1542: L. Thomassin, _Dictionnaire de discipline
ecclésiastique_, ii (Paris, 1856), pp. 1069, 1074.]

[Footnote 1543: _Concilium Lateranense IV._, A.D. 1215, ch. 18 (Mansi,
xxii. 1007).]

In spite of the early Christians' condemnation of the punishment of
death, the number of capital offences became considerably greater than
before under the Christian emperors and, in {249} Teutonic countries
under the Christian kings.[1544] During the Middle Ages and later the
severity of the penal codes, in general, increased very greatly; and
the chief explanation of this lies in their connection with despotism
or religion or both.[1545] Every crime came to be regarded as a crime
against the king. Indeed, breach of the King's peace became the
foundation of the whole criminal law of England; the right of pardon,
for instance, as a prerogative of the Crown, took its origin in the
fact that the king was supposed to be injured by the crime, and could
therefore waive his remedy.[1546] But the king was not only regarded
as the fountain of social justice: he was also regarded as the earthly
representative of the heavenly lawgiver and judge.[1547] The Christian
Church and Christian governments adopted the Hebrew notions[1548] that
it is man's duty to avenge offences against God, that every crime
involves a breach of God's law and is punishable as such, and that
hardly any punishment is too severe to be inflicted on the
ungodly.[1549] The principle stated in the Laws of Cnut, that "it
belongs very rightly to a Christian king to avenge God's anger very
deeply, according as the deed may be,"[1550] was acted upon till quite
modern times, and largely contributed to the increasing severity of
the penal codes. It was therefore one of the most important steps
towards a more humane legislation when, in the eighteenth century,
this principle was superseded by the contrary doctrine, "Il faut faire
honorer la Divinité, et ne la venger jamais."[1551]

[Footnote 1544: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 42, 43 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1545: See Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i. 193 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1546: R. R. Cherry, _Lectures on the Growth of Criminal Law
in Ancient Communities_ (London, 1890), pp. 68, 105.]

[Footnote 1547: E. Henke, _Grundriss einer Geschichte des deutschen
peinlichen Rechts und der peinlichen Rechtswissenschaft_, ii
(Sulzbach, 1809), p. 310; J. F. H. Abegg, _Die verschiedenen
Strafrechtstheorieen_ (Neustadt a.d. O., 1835), p. 117; A. Du Boys,
_Histoire du droit criminel de l'Espagne_ (Paris, 1870), p. 323.]

[Footnote 1548: _Cf._ W. Robertson Smith, _Lectures on the Religion of
the Semites_ (London, 1894), p. 162 _sq._]

[Footnote 1549: H. von Eicken, _Geschichte und System der
mittelalterlichen Weltanschauung_ (Stuttgart, 1887), p. 563 _sqq._;
Abegg, _op. cit._ p. 111 _sq._; W. E. Wilda, _op. cit._ p. 530 _sq._;
Günther, _op. cit._ ii. 12 _sqq._; Henke, _op. cit._ ii. 310 _sq._; H.
Brunner, _Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte_, ii (Leipzig, 1892), p. 587.]

[Footnote 1550: _Laws of Cnut_, ii. 40.]

[Footnote 1551: Montesquieu, _op. cit._ xii. 4 (_Œuvres_, p. 282).]

In modern times the views of the early Christians regarding capital
punishment have been revived by the Anabaptists[1552] {250} and the
Quakers;[1553] but the powerful movement in favour of its abolition
chiefly derives its origin from the writings of Beccaria and the
French Encyclopædists. The great motive force of this movement has
been sympathy with human suffering and horror of the destruction of
human life--feelings which have been able to operate the more freely,
the less they have been checked either by the belief in the social
expediency of capital punishment, or by the notion of a vindictive god
who can be conciliated only by the death of the offender. During the
last century Western legislation has undergone a radical change with
reference to the punishment of death. In several European and American
States it has been formally abolished, or is nowadays never
inflicted,[1554] whilst in the rest it is practically restricted to
cases of wilful murder. But it still has as strenuous advocates as
ever. It is said that the abolition of it would remove one of the best
safeguards of society;[1555] and, as usual, religion is also called in
to give strength to the argument. Several writers have argued that the
statements in the Bible which command capital punishment have an
obligatory power on all Christian legislators;[1556] and we meet with
the assertion that its object is not the protection of civil society,
but to carry out the justice of God, in whose name "the judge should
sentence and the executioner strike."[1557] But I venture to believe
that the chief motive for retaining the punishment of death in modern
legislation is the strong hold which the principle of talion has on
the minds of legislators as well as on the public mind. This
supposition derives much support from the fact that capital punishment
is popular only in the case of murder. "Blood, it is said, will have
blood, and the imagination is flattered with the notion of the
similarity of the suffering, produced by the punishment, with that
inflicted by the criminal."[1558]

[Footnote 1552: W. J. McGlothlin, 'Anabaptism,' in J. Hastings,
_Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, i (Edinburgh, 1908), p. 411.]

[Footnote 1553: J. J. Gurney, _Observations on the Distinguishing
Views and Practices of the Society of Friends_ (London, 1834), pp. 377
n. 1, 389.]

[Footnote 1554: Günther, _op. cit._ iii. 347 _sqq._; F. von Liszt,
_Lehrbuch des deutschen Strafrechts_ (Berlin, 1912), p. 258 _sq._]

[Footnote 1555: For arguments against and for its abolition, see
Westermarck, _Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_, i. 494

[Footnote 1556: C. J. A. von Mittermaier, _Die Todesstrafe_
(Heidelberg, 1862), p. 128 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1557: W. L. Clay, _The Prison Chaplain_ (Cambridge, 1861),
p. 357.]

[Footnote 1558: J. Bentham, _The Rationale of Punishment_ (London,
1830), p. 101.]

*      *      *      *      *      *

In no question of morality was there a greater difference between
classical[1559] and Christian doctrines than in regard to {251}
suicide. The Greek tragedians frequently give expression to the notion
that suicide in certain circumstances is becoming to a noble
mind.[1560] According to the Platonic Socrates, however, "there may be
reason in saying that a man should wait, and not take his own life
until God summons him";[1561] and Aristotle maintains that he who
kills himself from rage commits a wrong against the State.[1562] But
the opinions of the philosophers were anything but unanimous.[1563]
Plato himself, in his 'Laws,' has no word of censure for him who
deprives himself by violence of his appointed share of life under the
compulsion of some painful and inevitable misfortune, or out of
irremediable and intolerable shame.[1564] According to Epicurus, we
ought to consider "whether it be better that death should come to us,
or we go to him."[1565] The Stoics, especially, advocated suicide as a
relief from all kinds of misery.[1566] Seneca remarks that it is a
man's own fault if he suffers, as, by putting an end to himself, he
can put an end to his misery. "As I would choose a ship to sail in, or
a house to live in, so would I choose the most tolerable death when
about to die. . . . Human affairs are in such a happy situation, that
no one need be wretched but by choice. Do you like to be wretched?
Live. Do you like it not? It is in your power to return from whence
you came."[1567] Epictetus opposes indiscriminate suicide on religious
grounds: "Friends, wait for God; when he shall give the signal and
release you from this service, then go to him; but for the present
endure to dwell in the place where he has put you."[1568] But such a
signal is given often enough: it may consist in incurable disease,
intolerable pain, or misery of any kind. "Remember this: the door is
open; be not more timid than little children, but as they say, when
the thing does not please them, 'I will play no longer,' so do you,
when things seem to you of such a kind, say I will no longer play, and
be gone: but if you stay, do not complain."[1569] Pliny says that the
power of dying when you please is the best {252} thing that God has
given to man amidst all the sufferings of life.[1570]

[Footnote 1559: See Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, ii (1917), p. 247 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1560: See L. Schmidt, _Die Ethik der alten Griechen_,
ii (Berlin, 1882), p. 442 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1561: Plato, _Phædo_, p. 62.]

[Footnote 1562: Aristotle, _Ethica Nicomachea_, v. 11. 3.]

[Footnote 1563: See K. A. Geiger, _Der Selbstmord im klassischen
Altertum_ (Augsburg, 1888), p. 5 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1564: Plato, _Leges_, ix. 873.]

[Footnote 1565: Epicurus, quoted by Seneca, _Epistulæ_, 26.]

[Footnote 1566: See Geiger, _op. cit._ p. 15 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1567: Seneca, _Epistulæ_, 70. See _idem_, _De ira_, iii. 15;
_idem_, _Consolatio ad Marciam_, 20.]

[Footnote 1568: Epictetus, _Dissertationes_, i. 9. 16.]

[Footnote 1569: _Ibid._ i. 24. 20, i. 25. 20 _sq._, ii. 16. 37 _sqq._,
iii. 13. 14, iii. 24. 95 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1570: Pliny, _Historia naturalis_, ii. 5 (7).]

It seems that the Roman people, before the influence of Christianity
made itself felt, regarded suicide with considerable moral
indifference. Vergil enumerates self-murderers not among the guilty,
but among the unfortunate, confounding them with infants who have died
prematurely and persons who have been condemned to die on a false
charge.[1571] Throughout the whole history of pagan Rome there was no
statute declaring it to be a crime for an ordinary citizen to take his
own life, though it was prohibited in the case of soldiers.[1572] The
self-murderer's rights were in no way affected by his deed, his memory
was no less honoured than if he had died a natural death, his will was
recognised by law, and the regular order of succession was not
interfered with.[1573] On the other hand, it seems to have been the
general opinion in Rome that suicide in certain circumstances is an
heroic and praiseworthy act.[1574] Even Cicero, who professed the
doctrine of Pythagoras that we should not abandon our station in life
without the orders of God,[1575] approved of the death of Cato.[1576]

[Footnote 1571: Vergil, _Æneid_, vi. 426 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1572: _Digesta_, xlix. 16. 6. 7.]

[Footnote 1573: F. Bourquelot, 'Recherches sur les opinions et la
législation en matière de mort volontaire pendant le moyen âge,' in
_Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes_, iii (Paris, 1841), p. 544;
Geiger, _op. cit._ p. 64 _sqq._; C. van Bynkershoek, _Observationes
Juris Romani_ (Lugduni Batavorum, 1710), iv. 4, p. 350.]

[Footnote 1574: C. F. Stäudlin, _Geschichte der Vorstellungen und
Lehren vom Selbstmorde_ (Göttingen, 1824), p. 62 _sq._]

[Footnote 1575: Cicero, _Cato Major_, 20 (72 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1576: _Idem_, _De officiis_, i. 31 (112).]

The earlier Christian Fathers still allowed, or even approved of,
suicide in certain cases, namely, when committed in order to procure
martyrdom,[1577] or to avoid apostasy, or to retain the crown of
virginity. To bring death upon ourselves voluntarily, says Lactantius,
is a wicked and impious death; "but when urged to the alternative,
either of forsaking God and relinquishing faith, or of expecting all
torture and death, then it is that undaunted in spirit we defy that
death with all its previous threats and terrors which others
fear."[1578] Eusebius and other ecclesiastical writers mention several
instances of Christian women putting an end to their lives when their
chastity was in danger, and their acts are spoken of with tenderness
or even {253} admiration, nay some of them were admitted into the
calendar of saints.[1579] This admission was due to the extreme honour
in which virginity was held; Jerome, who denied that it was lawful in
times of persecution to die by one's own hands, made an exception for
cases in which a person's chastity was at stake.[1580] But even this
exception was abolished by Augustine. He allows that the virgins who
laid violent hands upon themselves are worthy of compassion, but
declares that there was no necessity for their doing so, since
chastity is a virtue of the mind which is not lost by the body being
in captivity to the will and superior force of another. He argues that
there is no passage in the canonical Scriptures which permits us to
destroy ourselves either with a view to obtaining immortality or to
avoiding calamity. On the contrary, suicide is prohibited in the
commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," namely, "neither thyself nor
another"; for he who kills himself kills no other but a man.[1581]
This doctrine, which assimilates suicide with murder, was evidently
not the Hebrew view on the subject, since in the few cases of suicide
which are mentioned in the Old Testament no censure is passed on the
perpetrator of the deed,[1582] and of Ahithophel it is said that he
was buried in the sepulchre of his father;[1583] but it became the
doctrine of the Church.[1584] Nay, self-murder was declared to be the
worst form of murder, "the most grievous thing of all";[1585]
Chrysostom had already insisted that "if it is base to destroy others,
much more is it to destroy one's self."[1586] It was even said that
Judas committed a greater sin in killing himself than in betraying his
master Christ to a certain death.[1587] The self-murderer was deprived
of rights which were granted to all other criminals. In the sixth
century a Council of Orleans enjoined that "the {254} oblations of
those who were killed in the commission of any crime may be received,
except of such as laid violent hands on themselves";[1588] and a
subsequent Council denied self-murderers the usual rites of Christian

[Footnote 1577: See J. Barbeyrac, _Traité de la morale des Pères de
l'Église_ (Amsterdam, 1728), pp. 18, 122 _sq._; A. Buonafede, _Istoria
critica e filosofica del suicidio_ (Venezia, 1788), p. 135 _sqq._;
Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 45 _sq._]

[Footnote 1578: Lactantius, _Divinæ institutiones_, vi. 17.]

[Footnote 1579: Eusebius, _Historia ecclesiastica_, viii. 12, 14;
Ambrose, _De virginibus_, xiii. 7; Chrysostom, _Homilia encomiastica
in S. Martyrem Pelagiam_ (Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_,
l. 579 _sqq._).]

[Footnote 1580: Jerome, _Commentarii in Jonam_, i. 12 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, xxv. 1129).]

[Footnote 1581: Augustine, _De civitate Dei_, i. 16 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1582: _1 Samuel_ xxxi. 4 _sq._; _1 Kings_ xvi. 18;
_2 Maccabees_ xiv. 4 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1583: _2 Samuel_ xvii. 23.]

[Footnote 1584: Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 23. 5. 9. 3.]

[Footnote 1585: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 64. 5. 3.]

[Footnote 1586: Chrysostom, _In Epistolam ad Galatas commentarius_,
i. 4 (Migne, _Ser. Græca_, lxi. 618 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1587: J. de Damhouder, _Praxis rerum criminalium_
(Antverpiæ, 1570), lviii. 2 _sq._, p. 258. See Gratian, ii. 33. 3. 3.
38. At the trial of the Marquise de Brinvilliers in 1676, the
presiding judge said to the prisoner that "the greatest of all her
crimes, horrible as they were, was, not the poisoning of her father
and brothers, but her attempt to poison herself" (G. Ives, _The
Classification of Crimes_ [London, 1904], p. 36).]

[Footnote 1588: _Concilium Aurelianense II._, A.D. 533, can. 15
(Labbe-Mansi, viii. 837). See also _Concilium Autisiodorense_,
A.D. 578, can. 17 (_ibid._ ix. 913).]

[Footnote 1589: _Concilium Bracarense II._, A.D. 563, cap. 16
(Labbe-Mansi, ix. 779).]

According to the Christian doctrine, as formulated by Thomas Aquinas,
suicide is utterly unlawful for three reasons. First, everything
naturally loves itself and preserves itself in being; suicide is
against a natural inclination and contrary to the charity which a man
ought to bear towards himself, and consequently a mortal sin.
Secondly, by killing himself a person does an injury to the community
of which he is a part. Thirdly, "life is a gift divinely bestowed on
man, and subject to His power who 'killeth and maketh alive'; and
therefore he who takes his own life sins against God, as he who kills
another man's slave sins against the master to whom the slave belongs,
and as he who usurps the office of judge on a point not referred to
him; for to God alone belongs judgment of life and death."[1590] The
second of the three arguments is borrowed from Aristotle, and is
entirely foreign to the spirit of early Christianity. The notion of
patriotism being a moral duty was habitually discouraged by it, and,
as has been truly observed, "it was impossible to urge the civic
argument against suicide without at the same time condemning the
hermit life, which in the third century became the ideal of the
Church."[1591] But certain other arguments were deeply rooted in some
of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity--in the sacredness of
human life, in the duty of absolute submission to God's will, and in
the extreme importance attached to the moment of death. The earthly
life is a preparation for eternity; sufferings which are sent by God
are not to be evaded, but to be endured.[1592] The man who
deliberately takes away the life which was given him by the Creator
displays the utmost disregard for the will and authority of his
Master; and, worst of all, he does so in the very last minute of his
life, when his doom is sealed for ever. His deed, as Aquinas says, is
"the most dangerous thing of all, because no time is left to expiate
it by repentance."[1593] He who kills a fellow-creature does not in
the same degree renounce the protection of God; he kills only the
body, whereas the self-murderer {255} kills both the body and
soul.[1594] By denying the latter the right of Christian burial the
Church recognises that he has placed himself outside her pale.

[Footnote 1590: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 64. 5.]

[Footnote 1591: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 44.]

[Footnote 1592: _Cf._ Augustine, _De civitate Dei_, i. 23.]

[Footnote 1593: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 64, 5. 3. _Cf._
Augustine, _De civitate Dei_, i. 25.]

[Footnote 1594: Damhouder, _op. cit._ lxxxviii. 1 _sq._, p. 258.]

The condemnation of the Church influenced the secular legislation. The
provisions of the Councils were introduced into the law-books. In
France Louis IX. enforced the penalty of confiscating the
self-murderer's property,[1595] and laws to the same effect were
passed in other European countries.[1596] Louis XIV. assimilated the
crime of suicide to that of _lèse-majesté_.[1597] According to the law
of Scotland, "self-murder is as highly criminal as the killing of our
neighbour."[1598] So also in England suicide is regarded by the law as
murder committed by a man on himself;[1599] and, unless declared
insane, the self-murderer forfeited his property as late as the year
1870, when forfeitures for felony were abolished.[1600]

[Footnote 1595: _Les Établissements de Saint Louis_, i. 92 (ed. by
P. Viollet [Paris, 1881-6], vol. ii. 150).]

[Footnote 1596: Bourquelot, _op. cit._  iv. 263; E. Morselli, _Il
suicidio_ (Milano, 1879), p. 196 _sq._]

[Footnote 1597: Louis XIV., 'Ordonnance criminelle,' A.D. 1670,
xxii. 1, in Isambert, Decrusy, and Taillandier, _op. cit._ xviii. 414.]

[Footnote 1598: Erskine of Carnock, _op. cit._ p. 559.]

[Footnote 1599: Stephen, _op. cit._ iii. 104. For earlier times see
H. de Bracton, _De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliæ_, fol. 150 (ed.
by T. Twiss, London, 1878-9, vol. ii. 504 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1600: Stephen, _op. cit._ iii. 105.]

The horror of suicide also found a vent in outrages committed on the
dead body. Of a woman who drowned herself in Edinburgh in 1598 we are
told that her body was "harled through the town backwards, and
thereafter hanged on the gallows."[1601] In France, as late as the
middle of the eighteenth century, self-murderers were dragged upon a
hurdle through the streets with the face turned to the ground; they
were then hanged up with the head downwards, and finally thrown into
the common sewer.[1602] In most cases, however, the treatment to which
suicides' bodies were subjected was not meant as a punishment, but was
intended to prevent their spirits from causing mischief. All over
Europe wandering tendencies have been ascribed to their ghosts. In
some countries the corpse of a suicide is supposed to make barren the
earth with which it comes in contact, or to produce hailstorms or
tempests or drought. The practice of burying suicides apart from other
{256} dead has been very widespread in Europe, and in many cases there
are obvious indications that it arose from fear.[1603] In England
persons against whom a coroner's jury had found a verdict of _felo de
se_ were buried at cross-roads, with a stake driven through the body
in order to prevent their ghosts from walking--a custom which was
formally abolished only in 1823 by 4 Geo. IV., c. 52.[1604] For the
same purpose the bodies of suicides were in many cases burned. And
when removed from the house where the act had been committed, they
were commonly carried out, not by the door, but by a window, or
through a perforation specially made for the occasion in the door, or
through a hole under the threshold, in order that the ghost should not
find its way back into the house, or perhaps with a view to keeping
the entrance of the house free from dangerous infection.[1605]

[Footnote 1601: A. Ross, 'Superstitions as to burying suicides in the
Highlands,' in _Celtic Magazine_, xii (Inverness, 1887), p. 354.]

[Footnote 1602: F. Serpillon, _Code Criminel, ou Commentaire sur
l'Ordonnance de 1670_, ii (Lyon, 1784), p. 223.]

[Footnote 1603: Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the Moral
Ideas_, ii. 254 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1604: Stephen, _op. cit._ iii. 105. I have elsewhere
suggested that suicides may have been buried at cross-roads because
the cross was supposed to disperse the evil energy ascribed to their
bodies. Both in Europe and India the cross-road has since ancient
times been a favourite place to divest oneself of diseases or other
evil influences (_op. cit._ ii. 256 _sq._ n. 1).]

[Footnote 1605: Westermarck, _op. cit._ ii. 256 _sq._]

Side by side with the extreme severity with which suicide is viewed by
the Christian Church, however, we find even in the Middle Ages
instances of more humane feelings towards its perpetrator. In mediæval
tales and ballads true lovers die together and are buried in the same
grave; two roses spring through the turf and twine lovingly
together.[1606] In the later Middle Ages, says Bourquelot, "on voit
qu'à mesure qu'on avance, l'antagonisme devient plus prononcé entre
l'esprit religieux et les idées mondaines relativement à la mort
volontaire. Le clergé continue à suivre la route qui a été tracée par
Saint Augustin et à declarer le suicide criminel et impie; mais la
tristesse et le desespoir n'entendent pas sa voix, ne se souviennent
pas de ses prescriptions."[1607] The revival of classical learning,
accompanied as it was by admiration for antiquity and a desire to
imitate its great men, not only increased the number of suicides, but
influenced popular sentiments on the subject.[1608] Even the Catholic
casuists, and later on philosophers of the school of Grotius and
others, began to distinguish certain cases of legitimate suicide, such
as that committed to avoid dishonour {257} or probable sin, or that of
a condemned person saving himself from torture by anticipating an
inevitable death, or that of a man offering himself to death for the
sake of his friend.[1609] Sir Thomas More, in his _Utopia_, permits a
person who is suffering from an incurable and painful disease to take
his own life, provided that he does so with the agreement of the
priests and magistrates; nay, he even maintains that these should
exhort such a man to put an end to a life which is only a burden to
himself and others.[1610] Donne, the well-known Dean of St. Paul's,
wrote in his younger days a book in defence of suicide, "a
Declaration," as he called it, "of that paradoxe, or thesis, that
Self-homicide is not so naturally sin, that it may never be
otherwise." He there pointed out the fact--which ought never to be
overlooked by those who derive their arguments from "nature"--that
some things may be natural to the species, and yet not natural to
every individual member of it.[1611] In one of his essays Montaigne
pictures classical cases of suicide with colours of unmistakable
sympathy. "La plus volontaire mort," he says, "c'est la plus belle. La
vie despend de la volonté d'aultruy; la mort, de la nostre."[1612]

[Footnote 1606: See Bourquelot, _loc. cit._ iv. 248; F. B. Gummere,
_Germanic Origins_ (London, 1892), p. 322.]

[Footnote 1607: Bourquelot, _loc. cit._ iv. 253.]

[Footnote 1608: _Ibid._ iv. 464; Morselli, _op. cit._ p. 35.]

[Footnote 1609:  Buonafede, _op. cit._ p. 148 _sqq._; Lecky, _op.
cit._ ii. 55.]

[Footnote 1610: T. More, _Utopia_ (London, 1869), p. 122.]

[Footnote 1611: J. Donne, _Biathanatos_ (London, 1648), p. 45. Donne's
book was first committed to the press in 1644, by his son.]

[Footnote 1612: Montaigne, _Essais_, ii. 3 (_Œuvres_, Paris, 1837),
p. 187.]

The rationalism of the eighteenth century led to numerous attacks both
upon the views of the Church and upon the laws of the State concerning
suicide. Montesquieu advocated its legitimacy:--"La société est fondée
sur un avantage mutuel; mais lorsqu'elle me devient onéreuse, qui
m'empêche d'y renoncer? La vie m'a été donnée comme une faveur; je
puis done la rendre lorsqu' elle ne l'est plus: la cause cesse,
l'effet doit donc cesser aussi."[1613] Voltaire strongly opposed the
cruel laws which subjected a suicide's body to outrage and deprived
his children of their heritage.[1614] If his act is a wrong against
society, what is to be said of the voluntary homicides committed in
war, which are permitted by the laws of all countries? Are they not
much more harmful to the human race than self-murder, which nature
prevents from ever being practised by any large number of men?[1615]
Beccaria pointed out {258} that the State is more wronged by the
emigrant than by the suicide, since the former takes his property with
him, whereas the latter leaves his behind.[1616] According to Holbach,
he who kills himself is guilty of no outrage on nature or its author;
on the contrary, he follows an indication given by nature when he
parts from his sufferings through the only door which has been left
open. Nor has his country or his family any right to complain of a
member whom it has no means of rendering happy, and from whom it
consequently has nothing more to hope.[1617] Others eulogised suicide
when committed for a noble end,[1618] or recommended it on certain
occasions. "Suppose," says Hume, "that it is no longer in my power to
promote the interest of society; suppose that I am a burthen to it;
suppose that my life hinders some person from being much more useful
to society. In such cases my resignation of life must not only be
innocent but laudable."[1619] Hume also attacks the doctrine that
suicide is a transgression of our duty to God. "If it would be no
crime in me to divert the Nile from its course, were I able to do so,
how could it be a crime to turn a few ounces of blood from their
natural channel? Were the disposal of human life so much reserved as
the peculiar province of the Almighty that it were an encroachment on
his right for men to dispose of their own lives, would it not be
equally wrong of them to lengthen out their lives beyond the period
which by the general laws of nature he had assigned to it? My death,
however voluntary, does not happen without the consent of Providence;
when I fall upon my own sword, I receive my death equally from the
hands of the Deity as if it had proceeded from a lion, a precipice, or
a fever."[1620]

[Footnote 1613: Montesquieu, _Lettres Persanes_, 76 (_Œuvres_ [Paris,
1837], p. 53).]

[Footnote 1614: Voltaire, _Commentaire sur le livre Des délits et des
peines_, 19 (_Œuvres complètes_, v [Paris, 1837], p. 416); _idem_,
_Prix de la justice et de l'humanité_, 5 (_ibid._ v. 424).]

[Footnote 1615: _Idem_, _Note to Olympie acte v, scène 7_ (_Œuvres
complètes_, i [Paris, 1836], p. 826 n. _b_); _idem_, _Dictionnaire
philosophique_, art. Suicide (_ibid._ viii. 1836, p. 236).]

[Footnote 1616: C. Beccaria Bonesana, _Dei delitti e delle pene_, § 35
(_Opere_, i [Milano, 1821], p. 101).]

[Footnote 1617: P. H. D. d'Holbach, _Système de la nature_, i (Paris,
1821), p. 369.]

[Footnote 1618: In the early part of the nineteenth century this was
done by J. F. Fries, _Neue oder anthropologische Kritik der Vernunft_,
iii (Heidelberg, 1831), p. 197.]

[Footnote 1619: Hume, 'Suicide,' in _Philosophical Works_, iv (London,
1875), p. 413.]

[Footnote 1620: _Ibid._ iv. 407 _sqq._]

Thus the main arguments against suicide which had been set forth by
Christian theologians were scrutinised and found unsatisfactory or at
least insufficient to justify that severe and wholesale censure which
was passed on it by the Church and the State. But a doctrine which has
for ages been inculcated by the leading authorities on morals is not
easily overthrown; and when the old arguments are found fault with new
ones are invented. Kant maintained that a person who disposes of his
own life degrades the humanity subsisting in his person and {259}
entrusted to him to the end that he might uphold it.[1621] Fichte
argued that it is our duty to preserve our life and to will to live
not for the sake of life, but because our life is the exclusive
condition of the realisation of the moral law through us.[1622]
According to Hegel it is a contradiction to speak of a person's right
over his life, since this would imply a right of a person over
himself, and no one can stand above and execute himself.[1623] Paley,
again, feared that if religion and morality allowed us to kill
ourselves in any case, mankind would have to live in continual alarm
for the fate of their friends and dearest relations[1624]--just as if
there were a strong temptation for men to shorten their lives which
could be overcome only by religious and moral prescriptions. But
common sense is neither a metaphysician nor a sophist. When not
restrained by the yoke of a narrow theology, it is inclined in most
cases to regard the self-murderer as a proper object of compassion
rather than of condemnation, and in some instances as a hero. The
legislation on the subject therefore changed as soon as the religious
influence was weakened. The laws against suicide were abolished in
France by the Revolution,[1625] and afterwards in various other
continental countries;[1626] whilst in England it became the custom of
jurymen to presume absence of mind in the self-murderer--perjury, as
Bentham said, being the penance which prevented an outrage on
humanity.[1627] These measures undoubtedly indicate not only a greater
regard for the innocent relatives of the self-murderer, but also a
change in the moral ideas concerning the act itself. Durkheim thought
that the more lenient judgment passed on it by the public conscience
of the present time is merely accidental and transient.[1628] But then
he failed to notice that the chief cause of the extreme severity with
which it was treated in Christian countries was an antiquated
theology, which stands no chance of being revived.

[Footnote 1621: Kant, _Metaphysische **Anfangsgründe der Tugendlehre_
(Königsberg, 1803), p. 73.]

[Footnote 1622: Fichte, _Das System der Sittenlehre_ (Jena and
Leipzig, 1798), p. 339 _sqq._ See also _ibid._ pp. 360, 391.]

[Footnote 1623: Hegel, _Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts_, § 70,
Zusatz, p. 72.]

[Footnote 1624: W. Paley, _Principles of Moral and Political
Philosophy_, iv. 3 (_Complete Works_, ii [London, 1825], p. 230).]

[Footnote 1625: A. Legoyt, _Le suicide ancien et moderne_ (Paris,
1881), p. 109.]

[Footnote 1626: Bourquelot, _loc. cit._ iv. 475.]

[Footnote 1627: J. Bentham, _Principles of Penal Law_, ii. 4. 4
(_Works_, i [Edinburgh, 1838], p. 479 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1628: É. Durkheim, _Le Suicide_ (Paris, 1897), p. 377.]



JESUS' attitude towards the question of possessions was that we should
seek first the kingdom of God and not to be anxious for the morrow. He
allowed everybody to earn his living by work; many of his parables
dealt with the use of money, without any reproof on account of its
possession; he did not denounce ownership in goods or land, except
among the small missionary group of his immediate disciples. But he
condemned wealth, which he regarded as a peril to the soul.

The story of the rich young ruler who was told by Jesus that he would
have treasure in heaven if he sold all that he had and distributed to
the poor, was regarded by the early Christians as a counsel of
perfection. It was apparently followed by many of the adherents to the
little community of believers at Jerusalem which is mentioned in
Acts.[1629] The essence of its primitive communism was the formation
of a common fund, which was applied in the first instance to the
relief of the necessities of the poorer members; but another
outstanding feature of the community was fellowship expressed in
common meals. The communistic organisation of the little Church in
Jerusalem may have been an isolated experiment--Paul knows nothing of
such communism[1630]--but the common fund maintained by weekly
subscription from rich and poor of which he speaks, the relief of the
necessities of the poorer members, and the expression of the spirit of
brotherhood in the Agape or Love-feast, became normal features of
Church-life.[1631] On the other hand, the surrender of private
property was fundamental in monastic communism. "The principle is that
the monk may _possess_ nothing--nothing whatsoever--may look on
nothing as his own, but must always recognise that whatever he may
have for his personal use is all the common property of the community
and that he must not have anything at all except what the abbot has
given him or permitted him to have."[1632]

[Footnote 1629: _Acts_ ii. 44-7, iv. 32-5.]

[Footnote 1630: _1 Corinthians_ xvi. 2; _2 Corinthians_ ix. 7,
xii. 14.]

[Footnote 1631: H. G. Wood, _Communism, Christian and Marxist_
(London, 1935), p. 23 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1632: Cuthbert Butler, _Benedictine Monachism_ (London,
1924), p. 147.]

{261} The patristic view was that this principle was the most perfect
way of life, but that for mankind in general some organisation of
ownership became necessary, human nature being what it is. Clement of
Alexandria argues that if the gospel required men to renounce their
worldly possessions, it would be impossible for them to fulfil our
Saviour's injunctions to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and so
forth; and the precepts of the Gospel would be found at variance with
each other.[1633] But wealth is like a viper, which is harmless if man
knows how to take hold of it, though if he does not, it will twine
round his hand and bite him.[1634] Wealth ill-directed is the citadel
of wickedness, and they who are earnest about their salvation must
understand that all possession is for use.[1635] Property is limited
to the necessary minimum of existence; all that is superfluous must be
given away. But for different positions in life the existence minimum
which is permitted is different.[1636] According to Ambrose, it was
the will of God that the earth should be the common possession of men,
and should furnish its fruits to all; hence it is just that the man
who claims for his private ownership that which was given to the human
race in common should at least distribute some of this to the
poor.[1637] So also Augustine maintains that the right of possession
is limited by the use to which it is put, and that a man who does not
use his property rightly has no valid claim to it.[1638] He very
contemptuously sets aside the claim of the Donatists to hold as their
property that which they had accumulated by their labour.[1639]

[Footnote 1633: Clement of Alexandria, _Quis dives salvatur? passim_.]

[Footnote 1634: _Idem_, _Pædagogus_, iii. 6.]

[Footnote 1635: _Ibid._ ii. 3.]

[Footnote 1636: _Ibid._ ii. 1.]

[Footnote 1637: Ambrose, _In Psalmum David CXVIII. Expositio_,
viii. 22 (Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_, xv. 1303 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1638: Augustine, _Sermo L._ 4.]

[Footnote 1639: _Idem_, _Epistola XCIII._ 11.]

Similar doctrines are laid down by Gratian, the compiler of the Canon
Law in the twelfth century. He says that by the law of nature all
things are common to all men, and that private property is lawful only
as an accommodation to the imperfect and vicious character of human
nature.[1640] He cites a passage from Ambrose denouncing as unjust and
avaricious the man who consumes in luxury what might have supplied the
needs of those who are in want, and refers to a saying which he
attributes to Jerome, to the effect that a man who keeps for himself
more than he needs is guilty of taking that which belongs to
another.[1641] At the same time, however, he appeals to the {262}
authority of Augustine when he urges that the needs of different
people vary, and that the rich are therefore not required to use the
same food as the poor, but may have such food as their infirmity has
made necessary for them, though they ought to lament the fact that
they require this indulgence.[1642] These principles are somewhat
modified by Thomas Aquinas. According to him private property, while
not an institution of the natural law is not contrary to it, but a
thing added to it by human reason.[1643] And it is not only lawful for
a man to have property of his own, but also necessary to human life
for various reasons: because every one is more careful to look after a
thing that is his own private concern than after what is common to all
or to many; because there would be confusion if every one
indiscriminately took the management of anything he pleased; and
because a peaceful state of society is thus better ensured, every one
being contented with his own lot, whereas disputes arise not
uncommonly among those who have any possession in joint stock. But a
man ought not to hold exterior goods so exclusively as his own, that
he does not readily share them with others in their need.[1644]
Aquinas even maintains that if "a need be so plain and pressing that
clearly the urgent necessity has to be relieved from whatever comes to
hand, as when danger is threatening a person and there is no other
means of succouring him, then the man may lawfully relieve his
distress out of the property of another, taking it either openly or
secretly; nor does this proceeding properly bear the stamp of either
theft or robbery."[1645] But it is only his superfluity that a person
is obliged to distribute in alms: every one must first provide for
himself and for those the care of whom is incumbent on him, and not
deprive himself of so much of his own goods that he becomes unable to
pass his life suitably to his state and to the calls of business. Yet
it is praiseworthy to do so in the case of extreme need in some
private person or in the commonwealth.[1646]

[Footnote 1640: Gratian, _Decretum_, dist. viii. 1.]

[Footnote 1641: _Ibid._ dist. xlvii. 8. 3, dist. xlii. 1.]

[Footnote 1642: Gratian, _Decretum_, dist. xli. 3.]

[Footnote 1643: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 66. 2. 1.]

[Footnote 1644: _Ibid._ 66. 2.]

[Footnote 1645: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 66. 7.]

[Footnote 1646: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 32. 5 _sq._]

In conformity with the doctrine that if a man possesses more than he
needs, he has no personal right to it by natural law, but is only a
steward of God, as well as with the direct teaching of Christ,
almsgiving became one of the chief instruments of salvation. Very soon
the charitable activity merged itself in ascetic achievements whose
principal aim was not to help the poor but to secure eternal life for
the donor. In the 'Didache' {263} it is said: "If thou hast anything,
by thy hands thou shalt give a ransom for thy sins."[1647] Countless
times is the thought expressed that almsgiving is a safe investment of
money at good interest with God in heaven.[1648] Cyprian establishes
an arithmetical relation between the number of alms-offerings and the
blotting out of sins.[1649] According to Augustine, "God is to be
propitiated for past sins by alms"; and at the Last Judgment the
decision turns on almsgiving.[1650] He also speaks of the mitigation
obtained by departed souls through the alms of survivors, as well as
through the Mass, saying that there are many souls not good enough to
be able to dispense with this provision, and not bad enough not to be
benefited by it.[1651] "The food of the needy," says Leo the Great,
"is the purchase-money of the kingdom of heaven."[1652] "As long as
the market lasts," says Chrysostom, "let us buy alms, or rather let us
purchase salvation through alms."[1653] The habit was gradually
introduced to redeem with alms, after the fashion of the Teutonic
_wergeld_, the various penitential penalties. The rich man is only a
debtor; all that he possesses beyond what is necessary, belongs to the
poor, and ought to be given to them.[1654] The poor, no longer looked
down upon, became tools of salvation. To them was given the first
place in the church and in the Christian community. Chrysostom says of
them: "As fountains flow near the place of prayer that the hands that
are about to be raised to heaven may be washed, so were the poor
placed by our fathers near to the door of the church, that our hands
might be consecrated by benevolence before they are raised to
God."[1655] Gregory the Great announces, and the Middle Ages re-echo:
"The poor are not to be lightly esteemed and despised, but to be
honoured as patrons."[1656]

[Footnote 1647: _Didache_, 4.]

[Footnote 1648: See G. Uhlhorn, _Die christliche Liebesthätigkeit_,
i (Stuttgart, 1882), p. 270.]

[Footnote 1649: Cyprian, _De opere et eleemosynis_, 24.]

[Footnote 1650: Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 70, 72, 73, 75, 77.]

[Footnote 1651: _Ibid._ 109.]

[Footnote 1652: Leo the Great, _Sermo X., de Collectis_, 5.]

[Footnote 1653: Chrysostom, _Homilia VII., de Pœnitentia_, 7.]

[Footnote 1654: Uhlhorn, _op. cit._ i. 294 _sq._]

[Footnote 1655: Chrysostom, _De verbis Apostoli, Habentes eumdem
spiritum_, iii. 11.]

[Footnote 1656: Gregory the Great, quoted by Uhlhorn, _op. cit._ i. 315.]

It has been claimed that the virtue of charity "is beyond dispute one
of the greatest gifts which Christianity has bestowed on the
world."[1657] As to this it may be pointed out that it has also, since
ancient times, been very prominent among the civilised nations of the
East and often strenuously enjoined {264} by their religions;[1658]
and that the Christian insistence on it belonged to its Jewish
inheritance.[1659] "The Hebrew race throughout its entire history, has
been endowed with a peculiar sense of responsibility for its weaker
brethren, and in modern life is excelled by no element in any
community in thoroughness and magnificence of organised
charity."[1660] Nor can we blame the ancient Greeks and Romans for
neglecting their poor. Among them slavery in a great measure replaced
pauperism; and what slavery did for the very poor, the Roman system of
clientage did for those of a somewhat higher rank.[1661] Moreover, the
relief of the indigent was an important function of the State.[1662]
The Areopagus provided public works for the poor.[1663] At Rome
gratuitous distribution of corn was the rule for many centuries;[1664]
agrarian laws furnished free homesteads to the landless on conquered
or public territory.[1665] Nerva enjoined the support of poor children
in all the cities of Italy.[1666] The tablet Veleia records the
charitable measures adopted by Trajan, which were continued by
Hadrian.[1667] All the emperors from Vespasian to Marcus Aurelius made
liberal provision for the higher studies.[1668] But while the emperors
were responding to the call of charity by using the resources of the
State, private benevolence is said to have been even more active.
Friedländer writes that the rich and great were always expected to
employ their excess both to support the poor and to allow them to
participate largely in their own pleasures and to afford them
advantages and amusements in which the modern world gives them no
share. In public buildings, institutions, and feeding the poor private
generosity went hand in hand with communal {265} activity.
"Endowments, gifts, and legacies for purchase of oil and meal for free
distribution or cheap sale were frequent and endowments to put poor
parents in the position to educate their children up to wage-earning
age not unusual."[1669] Nor were the aged and the sick forgotten. The
countless gifts and legacies to the colleges, which were the refuge of
the poor in that age, in every region of the Roman world, are an
irresistible proof of an overflowing charity. Dill says that Pliny had
a conception of the uses and responsibilities of wealth which, in
spite of the teaching of Galilee, is not yet very common; "although he
was not a very wealthy man, he acted up to his principles on a scale
and proportion which only a few of our millionaires have yet reached."
And Pliny, whose lavish generosity is a commonplace of social history,
is only a shining example of a numerous class of more obscure
benefactors, as the stone records abundantly tell those who care to
read them.[1670] Stoicism inculcated the duty of charity. "The wise
man will help those who weep, but not imitate them. He will give his
hand to the shipwrecked, hospitality to the exile, and aid to the
poor; not proudly, like many who wish to seem compassionate, . . . but
like a man who helps his fellow-men on account of the universal
brotherhood."[1671] Beneficence and liberality are "virtues that are
the most agreeable to the nature of man."[1672] Peabody observes: "It
was in this soil of the surviving traditions of Rome and the still
flourishing traditions of Israel that the philanthropy of the
Christian religion took root. Without such a soil Christian charity
would have been a seed sown by the wayside."[1673]

[Footnote 1657: P. Gardner, _Evolution in Christian Ethics_ (London,
1918), p. 124.]

[Footnote 1658: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i (London, 1912), p. 549 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1659: _Supra_, p. 80.]

[Footnote 1660: F. G. Peabody, _Jesus Christ and the Social Question_
(New York, 1915), p. 228.]

[Footnote 1661: W. E. H. Lecky, _History of European Morals_,
ii (London, 1890), p. 73.]

[Footnote 1662: G. Boissier, _La religion romaine d'Auguste aux
Antonins_, ii (Paris, 1874), p. 206.]

[Footnote 1663: J. A. Farrer, _Paganism and Christianity_ (London and
Edinburgh, 1891), p. 183.]

[Footnote 1664: Naudet, 'Des secours publics chez les Romains,' in
_Mémoires de l'Institut Royal de France, Académie des Inscriptions et
Belles-Lettres_, xiii (Paris, 1838), p. 43 _sq._]

[Footnote 1665: _Ibid._ p. 71 _sq._]

[Footnote 1666: Aurelius Victor, _Epitome_, xii. 8.]

[Footnote 1667: S. Dill, _Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius_
(London, 1904), p. 192.]

[Footnote 1668: _Ibid._ p. 192.]

[Footnote 1669:  L. Friedländer, _Roman Life and Manners under the
Early Empire_, ii (London, 1909), p. 228.]

[Footnote 1670: Dill, _op. cit._ p. 193 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1671: Seneca, _De clementia_, ii. 6. 2.]

[Footnote 1672: Cicero, _De officiis_, i. 14.]

[Footnote 1673: Peabody, _op. cit._ p. 230.]

There was, however, an essential difference between the charity of the
Christians and that taught by the Stoics. Among the former
indiscriminate almsgiving was looked upon as a duty, in accordance
with the precept given by Jesus: "Give to him that asketh thee, and
from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." Hermas said
that they who receive without a real need shall give an account for it
to God, whereas "he that gives shall be innocent; for he has fulfilled
his duty as he received it from God; not making any choice to whom he
should give, and to whom not."[1674] In a much later age Thomas
Aquinas denied that it is our duty to give alms to a {266} person who
is not in need,[1675] but nevertheless raised the question whether we
are bound to do the work of mercy to a distressed client if there is
an appearance of possible relief for him by his own exertions or
otherwise, and answered it by saying that "you are not absolutely
bound under pain of sin to relieve his distress; though if you do
relieve him without such absolute obligation, your generosity is to be
commended"[1676]--though he might do it himself by his own exertions.
A different spirit meets us in the sayings of Seneca. The wise man
"will choose out the worthiest with the utmost care, and never give
without sufficient reason; for unwise gifts must be reckoned among
foolish extravagances; his purse will open easily, but never
leak."[1677] "He errs who thinks it easy to give alms; it is very
difficult, if they are to be distributed with any purpose, and not
merely thrown away by chance. . . . Never do I take more pains in any
investments than in these."[1678] "Giving to a base man is neither
noble nor generous."[1679] Cicero likewise points out that the virtues
of beneficence and liberality involve many precautionary
considerations. Thus "we are to take care lest our kindness should
hurt both those whom it is meant to assist and others," and "it ought
to be rendered to each in proportion to his worth"; "they who do
kindnesses which prove of disservice to the person they pretend to
oblige, should not be esteemed beneficent nor generous, but injurious
sycophants."[1680] Again, whilst among the Christians attention was
concentrated on the supposed profit which almsgiving brought to the
bestower, Seneca laid down the rule, "Give the kindness for its own
sake, thinking only of the receiver's interests."[1681]

[Footnote 1674: Hermas, _Pastor_, ii. 2.]

[Footnote 1675: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 32. 5.]

[Footnote 1676: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 71. 1.]

[Footnote 1677: Seneca, _De vita beata_, xxiii. 5.]

[Footnote 1678: _Ibid._ xxiv. 1.]

[Footnote 1679: Seneca, _De beneficiis_, iv. 9, 3.]

[Footnote 1680: Cicero, _op. cit._ i. 14.]

[Footnote 1681: Seneca, _De beneficiis_, iv. 9. 1.]

In one respect, however, Christian charity was not always unlimited.
In the Epistles of the New Testament the love spoken of frequently
refers to the brotherhood of believers only.[1682] Clement of Rome
insists that charity shall be "without respect of persons, alike
towards all such as religiously fear God."[1683] The principle of the
Church was, "Omnem hominem _fidelem_ tuum esse fratrem." As an
instance of this may be mentioned the attempts made in the latter part
of the Middle Ages by Councils and sovereigns to abolish the ancient
custom of seizing the goods of persons who had been shipwrecked: they
concerned Christian sailors only, whereas the robbing of {267}
shipwrecked infidels was not prohibited.[1684] Nor was that principle
followed by the Catholics alone: in the seventeenth century the Scotch
clergy taught that food and shelter must on no occasion be given to a
starving man unless his opinions were orthodox.[1685] How different
was the Stoic maxim that the wise man will give his hand to the
shipwrecked and aid to the poor on account of the universal
brotherhood. Among the Jews also we meet with a rule of similar
loftiness: it is said in the Talmud, with reference to the treatment
of the poor, that no distinction should be made between such as are
Jews and such as are not.[1686]

[Footnote 1682: _Supra_, p. 76 _sq._]

[Footnote 1683: Clement of Rome, _Epistola I._, 21.]

[Footnote 1684: F. Laurent, _Études sur l'histoire de l'Humanité_,
vii (Paris, 1865), pp. 323, 413 n. 3; H. von Eicken, _Geschichte und
System der mittelalterlichen Weltanschauung_ (Stuttgart, 1887), p. 570.]

[Footnote 1685: H. T. Buckle, _History of Civilization in England_,
iii (London, 1894), p. 277.]

[Footnote 1686: Giṭṭin, fol. 61_a_, quoted by A. Katz, _Der wahre
Talmudjude_ (Berlin, 1898), p. 38. _Cf._ A. Chaikin, _Apologie des
Juifs_ (Paris, 1887), p. 10.]

Thus it cannot be denied that the kind of charity which was
established by Christianity and continued during the longest period of
its existence suffered from grave defects, in theory and practice,
which had been avoided outside its pale and are utterly condemned by
enlightened moral opinion. The ideal of poverty, which was supported
both by the belief in the redeeming effect of almsgiving and the
teaching of Jesus, and the desire to imitate his own poor life and
that of his apostles, led to the breeding of parasites and beggars,
hordes of whom were turned out by the mendicant orders in particular.
It also led to the depreciation of work. It is true that the contempt
in which manual labour was held by the ancient pagans[1687] could not
be shared by the early Christians. Jesus had been born in a
carpenter's family, his apostles belonged to the working class, and so
did originally most of his followers. Origen accepts with pride the
reproach of Celsus, when he accuses Christians of worshipping the son
of a poor workwoman, who had earned her bread by spinning,[1688] and
contrasts with the wisdom of Plato, that of Paul the tent-maker, of
Peter, the fisherman, of John, who had abandoned his father's
nets.[1689] In the Epistles to the Thessalonians the duty of personal
industry is pressed on them; "if any would not work, neither should he
eat."[1690] But the teaching of Jesus makes it quite plain that he
considered work of value only in so far as it is necessary to life;
all that men have to do is to live by the day, trusting their heavenly
Father {268} to provide for the morrow. The ancient Fathers also say
remarkably little about work; the significance of labour in a calling
for the exercise of the Christian life and the furtherance of the
kingdom of God is never expressed by any of them.[1691] In the
original sinless state of mankind labour was unknown. It was to punish
man for his disobedience that God caused him to eat daily bread in the
sweat of his face.[1692] Since then work is a necessity; but the
contemplative life is better than the active life.[1693] Bonaventura
points out that Jesus preferred the meditating Mary to the busy
Martha,[1694] and that he himself seems to have done no work till his
thirtieth year.[1695] Work is of no value by itself; its highest
object is to further contemplation, to macerate the body, to curb
concupiscence.[1696] For this purpose, indeed, it was strongly
insisted upon by several founders of religious orders. According to
St. Benedict, "idleness is an enemy to the soul; and therefore at
certain seasons the brethren ought to occupy themselves in the labour
of their hands, and at others in holy reading."[1697] St. Bernard
writes: "The handmaid of Christ ought always to pray, to read, to
work, lest haply the spirit of uncleanness should lead astray the
slothful mind. The delight of the flesh is overcome by labour. . . .
The body tired by work is less delighted with vice."[1698] But the
active life must not be pursued to such an extent as to hinder what it
is intended to promote; for it is impossible for any man to be at once
occupied with exterior actions and at the same time apply himself to
divine contemplation.[1699] Thomas Aquinas says that while he who has
nothing else to live upon is bound to work, it is a sin to try to
acquire riches beyond the limit of those which are necessary to his
life according to his rank and station.[1700]

[Footnote 1687: See Westermarck, _op. cit._ ii. 278 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1688: Origen, _Contra Celsum_, i. 28 _sq._]

[Footnote 1689: _Ibid._ vi. 7.]

[Footnote 1690: _1 Thessalonians_ iv. 11; _2 Thessalonians_ iii. 10.]

[Footnote 1691: _Cf._ E. Troeltsch, _The Social Teaching of the
Christian Churches_ (London and New York, 1931), p. 184 _sq._]

[Footnote 1692: _Genesis_ iii. 19.]

[Footnote 1693: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 182. 1 _sq._; von
Eicken, _op. cit._ p. 488 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1694: Bonaventura, _Meditationes vitæ Christi_, 45 (_Opera_,
xii [Venetiis, 1756], p. 452).]

[Footnote 1695: _Ibid._ 15 (_Opera_, xii. 405).]

[Footnote 1696: Guigo, _Epistola ad Fratres de Monte-Dei_, i. 8 (in
St. Bernard, _Opera omnia_, ii [Parisiis, 1719], p. 214): "Non
spiritualia exercitia sunt propter corporalia, sed corporalia propter
spiritualia"; von Eicken, _op. cit._ p. 491 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1697: St. Benedict, _Regula monachorum_ (Lipsiae, 1895), 48.]

[Footnote 1698: St. Bernard, _De modo bene vivendi_, 51 (_op. cit._
ii. 883 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1699: _Speculum monachorum_, in St. Bernard, _op. cit._
ii. 818; von Eicken, _op. cit._ p. 494 _sq._ _Cf._ Thomas Aquinas,
_op. cit._ ii.-ii. 182. 3.]

[Footnote 1700: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 187. 3, 118. 1.]

However restricted was the amount of work which might {269} serve as a
source of income, the acquisition of money without work was prohibited
in the ecclesiastical legislation on the subject of "usury." This word
did not signify, as nowadays, an excessive rate of interest on a loan,
but the taking of any payment for a loan of money. At first the
prohibition of lending money for gain was a disciplinary regulation
binding only on the clergy, but it was subsequently extended to the
laity in Western Europe by the capitularies of Charles the Great and
various Councils. It was ordained that manifest usurers should not be
admitted to communion, nor, if they died in their sin, receive
Christian burial, and that no priest should accept their alms. The
wills of unrepentant usurers--of usurers who did not make
restitution--should be without validity; and any person who denied
that usury was a sin should be treated as a heretic.[1701] The
prohibition of usury was in the first place an attempt to enforce the
precept, "Lend, hoping for nothing again,"[1702] but it was also
supported by references to the Jewish law (_Exodus_ xxii. 25), which
only permitted interest to be taken from aliens,[1703] while the evils
of usury were abundantly illustrated by the grievous results exercised
by that practised by the Jews.[1704] There was further the feeling
that usury was an exploitation of distress, and, as Leo X. ruled in
the fifth Lateran Council, an "attempt to draw profit and increment,
without labour, without cost, and without risk, out of the use of a
thing that does not fructify." In those days there was but a very
small field for the investment of capital;[1705] and as ample security
was usually given for the return of the money lent, and the
alternative to lending was that the money remained idle in the hands
of its possessor, he was just in the same position when his money came
back to him as if he had never parted with it. In the sixteenth
century the theory arose that not all taking of reward was usurious,
but only the taking more than a certain percentage.[1706]

[Footnote 1701: W. J. Ashley, _An Introduction to English Economic
History and Theory_, i (London, 1894), p. 148 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1702: _Luke_ vi 35.]

[Footnote 1703: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 78. 1. 2.]

[Footnote 1704: Ashley, _op. cit._ i. 156.]

[Footnote 1705: _Cf._ W. Roscher, _Political Economy_, ii (New York,
1878), p. 128.]

[Footnote 1706: Ashley, _op. cit._ p. 154.]

A particularly difficult question was that of trade. It was suspect
from the ascetic point of view because it assumed pleasure in
possession and in gain, and it was suspect from the point of view of
the principle of love because it meant taking away from one to give to
another and enriching oneself at the expense of others; as the trader
does not himself add to the {270} value of his wares, and yet gains
more for them than he has paid, his gain--it was argued--must be
another's loss.[1707] Even Augustine wrote that business is itself an
evil, because "it turns men from seeking true rest, which is
God."[1708] More sober churchmen, such as Leo the Great, however,
replied that, it is the way in which a man carries on his trade that
determines whether it is good or bad: "The nature of their gains
either excuses or condemns the trafficker, because there is an
honourable and a base kind of profit."[1709] So also Aquinas admits
that gain "does not essentially involve any element of vice," since
there is nothing to hinder it from being referred to an end which is
necessary or even honourable. Thus it is lawful when the trader refers
the moderate gain which he seeks to the sustenance of his family or to
the relief of the distressed, or when he "applies to trade on behalf
of the public interest, that the necessaries of life may not be
wanting to his country, and seeks gain, not as an end, but as the
wages of his labour."[1710] In any case, "to sell a thing dearer or
buy it cheaper than it is worth, is a proceeding in itself unjust and
unlawful."[1711] But what is the just price, representing the value of
a thing? Aquinas maintained that prices should correspond with the
labour and costs of the producer, though they may vary with "the
diversity of place or time."[1712] To him value was something
objective, something outside the will of the individual purchaser or
seller, something attached to the thing itself, existing whether he
liked it or not, and that he ought to recognise.[1713] The principle
of the Roman law, on the other hand, had been that the price of a
thing was entirely a matter to be determined by free contract;[1714]
and so also several Schoolmen of the fourteenth century, emphasising
the subjective element in value, insisted that the essence of value
was utility, and drew the conclusion that a fair price was most likely
to be reached under freedom of contract, since the mere fact that a
bargain had been struck showed that both parties were satisfied.[1715]

[Footnote 1707: Troeltsch, _op. cit._ p. 116; J. Kautz, _Theorie und
Geschichte der National-Oekonomik_, ii (Wien, 1860), p. 209.]

[Footnote 1708: Augustine, quoted by Gratian, _op. cit._  dist.
lxxxviii. 12.]

[Footnote 1709: Leo the Great, _Epistola CLXVII._ 11 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, liv. 1206).]

[Footnote 1710: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 77. 4.]

[Footnote 1711: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 77. 1.]

[Footnote 1712: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 77. 4. 2.]

[Footnote 1713: _Cf._ W. Endemann, _Studien in der
romanisch-kanonistischen Wirthschafts- und Rechtslehre_, ii (Berlin,
1883), p. 37.]

[Footnote 1714: Justinian, _Digesta_, iv. 4. 16.]

[Footnote 1715: R. H. Tawney, _Religion and the Rise of Capitalism_
(London, 1933), p. 40.]

{271} While trade, when conducted properly, was admitted to laymen,
Aquinas rules that it must not be practised by clerics, who "ought to
abstain, not only from things in themselves evil, but also from things
that have the appearance of evil." This observation applies to trade
"both because it refers to earthly gain, of which the clergy ought to
be despisers; as also because of the vices frequently found in persons
engaged in trade," a merchant being "hardly free from sins of the
lips" (_Ecclesiasticus_ xxvi. 28); and because trade too much
entangles the soul in secular cares and withdraws from spirituality;
hence the Apostle says: "No man being a soldier to God, entangleth
himself with secular business" (_2 Timothy_ ii. 4).[1716] As a matter
of fact, however, this rule was constantly transgressed. From time to
time complaints are made that priests engage in trade, as also that
they take usury; and from the middle of the thirteenth century a
continuous wail arises against the avarice of the Church.[1717] While
she did little at any time to curb the greed of the strong, Mammon's
victory within the bosom of the Church herself was still more signal,
"inspiring it to the discovery and cultivation of doctrines and rites
which became ever finer instruments for the acquisition of
wealth."[1718] She capitalised the fear of purgatory by selling
exemptions from torment, and went further still by selling the right
to sin, under the name of "indulgence."

[Footnote 1716: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii., 77, 4. 3.]

[Footnote 1717: Tawney, _op. cit._ p. 28 _sq._]

[Footnote 1718: J. A. Hobson, _God and Mammon_ (London, 1931), p. 20

This state of things was from the outset denounced by the Reformers.
But in other respects their attitude in economic matters was far from
revolutionary. "In the sixteenth century," says Mr. Tawney, "religious
teachers of all shades of opinion still searched the Bible, the
Fathers, and the _Corpus Juris Canonici_ for light on practical
questions of social morality, and, as far as the first generation of
reformers was concerned, there was no intention, among either
Lutherans, or Calvinists, or Anglicans, of relaxing the rules of good
conscience, which were supposed to control economic transactions and
social relations. If anything, indeed, their tendency was to interpret
them with a more rigorous severity, as a protest against the moral
laxity of the Renaissance, and, in particular, against the avarice
which was thought to be peculiarly the sin of Rome.**"[1719] Most
characteristic features of the mediæval economic ethics reappear in
Lutheranism; but a novelty was the insistence on {272} labour within
one's calling as a divinely ordained duty.[1720] A person's endeavour
ought not to exceed the requirements of his rank, and it is against
all law, both natural and divine, to wish to rise in the world; we
ought to be satisfied with a very moderate standard of living, and not
try day and night to reach something higher.[1721] The mediæval
prohibition of usury was taken for granted, nay demanded with
increased urgency by Luther, though the later Lutherans did not
perpetuate his severe attitude towards it;[1722] he even denounced the
payment of interest as compensation for loss and the practice of
investing in rent-charges, both of which the canon law in his day
allowed.[1723] But in its attitude towards almsgiving and mendicancy
Lutheranism differed radically from that of the mediæval Church. Its
doctrine of justification by faith alone deprived almsgiving of all
merit and, consequently, of all attraction as a means of salvation. No
beggars should be tolerated in Christian countries, and each town
should organise charity for the support of the honest poor.[1724]

[Footnote 1719: Tawney, _op. cit._ p. **85.]

[Footnote 1720: Max Weber, _Gesammelte Aufsätze zur
Religionssoziologie_, i (Tübingen, 1922), p. 69 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1721: Luther, 'Kirchenpostille,' in _Sämmtliche Werke_,
x (Erlangen, 1827), p. 233 _sq._; Weber, _op. cit._ i. 76; Troeltsch,
_op. cit._ p. 870.]

[Footnote 1722: Troeltsch, _op. cit._  p. 870.]

[Footnote 1723: Luther, 'An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation von
des christlichen Standes Besserung. 1520,' in _Werke_, vi (Weimar,
1888), p. 466.]

[Footnote 1724: _Ibid._ vi (Weimar, 1888), p. 450.]

Like Luther, Calvin advocated labour as a universal duty and condemned
mendicancy and indiscriminate almsgiving; the ecclesiastical
authorities should regularly visit every family to ascertain whether
the members were idle, or drunken, or otherwise undesirable. He, too,
regarded work as the practical exercise of a calling appointed by God,
as well as a method of self-discipline and of diverting evil desires.
The Calvinistic economic ethic, moreover, agreed with the Lutheran one
in its urgent desire for modesty and moderation, its observance of
distinctions in rank, and its campaign against luxury, which was
prosecuted with unexampled severity by laws against it, and which was
checked ecclesiastically by the moral tribune.[1725] But at the same
time Calvin influenced the Reformed economic ethic in a manner which
was utterly alien to the spirit of Lutheranism, and led to the
religious sanction of capitalism.

[Footnote 1725: Troeltsch, _op. cit._  641.]

While Luther considered that the most admirable form of life was the
self-contained family life of the peasant, based as far as possible on
primitive methods of production, Calvin set the profits of trade and
finance on the same level of {273} respectability as the earnings of
the labourer and the rents of the landlord. He quite approved of the
fact that greater profits were made in trade than in agriculture,
since they were simply the reward of carefulness and industry.[1726]
He rejected the canonical veto on usury and the scholastic theory of
money. He argued that the payment of interest for capital is as
reasonable as the payment of rent for land, and only urged that it
should not exceed the amount dictated by natural justice and the
Golden Rule.[1727] In his opinion the supposed scriptural prohibition
of usury rests on an error of translation, referring not to interest
as such but to the abuse of it.[1728]

[Footnote 1726: _Ibid._ p. 642.]

[Footnote 1727: _Ibid._ p. 643; Tawney, _op. cit._ p. 107.]

[Footnote 1728: Margaret James, 'The effect of the religious changes
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on economic theory and
development,' in _European Civilization Its Origin and Development_ by
various contributors under the direction of E. Eyre, v (Oxford, 1937),
p. 45.]

The direction which the ethics of Calvinism evolved was evidently
connected with the conditions which governed the practical situation
in Geneva. Calvin, who himself had a great deal to do with questions
of industrial production, found capitalism acceptable as a calling
which suited the existing conditions of the city, and which was
capable of being combined with loyalty, seriousness, honesty, thrift,
and consideration for one's neighbour.[1729] Mr. Tawney feels that
"there have been few systems in which the practical conclusions flow
by so inevitable a logic from the theological premises."[1730] To me
it seems much more likely that Calvin's theological deductions were
mainly influenced by economic circumstances. The dogma of
predestination is the core of his theology. God has chosen certain
individuals as his elect, predestined to salvation from eternity,
while the remainder have been consigned to eternal damnation. The aim
of man's existence is not salvation, to which human effort is quite
irrelevant, but the glorification of God; good works are not a way of
attaining salvation, but are indispensable as a proof that salvation
has been attained.[1731] But why are the good works of Calvinism not
such as were conceived of by Jesus and the mediæval Church, but such
as suited urban industry and commercial enterprise? Why is profit
looked upon as the sign of the blessing of God on the faithful
exercise of one's calling, and success as the hall-mark of godliness?
It may be that the Puritans' excessive deference to the Old Testament
had something to do with that association of divine favour and mundane
prosperity, which also marked {274} the religion of ancient
Israel.[1732] But I maintain that the chief solution of the problem
lies in the influence of the capitalist spirit over theological dogma.
Mr. Tawney himself points out that there was plenty of this spirit in
fifteenth-century Venice and Florence, in South Germany and Flanders,
for the simple reason that these areas were the greatest commercial
and financial centres of the age, though all were, at least nominally,
Catholic, and that the development of capitalism in Holland and
England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was due, not to the
fact that they were Protestant powers, but to "large economic
movements, in particular the Discoveries and the results which flowed
from them."[1733]

[Footnote 1729: Troeltsch, _op. cit._ p. 642 _sq._]

[Footnote 1730: Tawney, _op. cit._ p. 108.]

[Footnote 1731: _Supra_, p. 169 _sq._]

[Footnote 1732: _Cf._ H. H. Henson, _Christian Morality_ (Oxford,
1936), p. 278.]

[Footnote 1733: Tawney, _op. cit._ p. 319 _sq._]

The "ethic of the calling" was most consistently set forth in
Puritanism, which was an offshoot of Calvinism and is rightly regarded
as the most representative interpretation of Protestant morality among
English-speaking peoples. It was most elaborately and authoritatively
expounded by Baxter in his _Christian Directory_. The first duty of a
Christian is to make the most of his powers and possessions in
whatever might be his calling. "It is for action that God maintaineth
us. . . . It is action that God is most served and honoured by."[1734]
"Keep up a high esteem of time and be every day more careful that you
lose none of your time, than you are that you lose none of your gold
and silver. And if vain recreations, dressings, feastings, idle talk,
unprofitable company, or sleep, be any of them temptations to rob you
of any of your time, accordingly heighten your watchfulness."[1735]
"You may cast off all such excess of worldly cares or business as
unnecessarily hinder you in spiritual things. But you may not cast off
all bodily employment and mental labour in which you serve the common
good. Every one that is a member of Church or Commonwealth must employ
their parts to the utmost for the good of the Church and the
Commonwealth."[1736] "He is most beholden to God, that is most
exercised in good works: the more we _do_, the more we receive from
him."[1737] Unwillingness to work is a symptom of the lack of grace.
Wealth does not except any one from this unconditional command.[1738]
Wealth and poverty come of God's gifts, and either is to be accepted
as from him. The seventeenth-century moralists do not ignore the
spiritual and moral dangers {275} of wealth, indeed they are most
anxious to direct the man of means in the employment of his money. But
as they regard the possession of wealth as something ordained of God,
they take up a conservative attitude towards class distinctions and
class standards of living.[1739] Differences in wealth are incidental
to God's education of mankind. "We may this day be rich, tomorrow we
may be beggars; for the riches be chanceable unto us, but not unto
God: for God knoweth when, and to whom, he will give them or take them
away again."[1740] In the midst of many wise cautions against
prodigality Baxter reserves the expenditure necessary for the
maintenance of class distinctions. When he asks, "What may be
accounted prodigality in the costliness of apparel?" the answer begins
with the sentence: "Not that which is only for a distinction of
superiors from inferiors, or which is needful to keep up the vulgar's
reverence to magistrates."[1741] And when he discusses how far the
rich may spend on themselves while the poor suffer want, he writes:
"It must be confessed, that some few persons may be of so much worth
and use to the commonwealth (as kings and magistrates) and some of so
little; that the maintaining of the honour and succours of the former,
may be more necessary than the saving of the lives of the latter. But
take heed lest pride or cruelty teach you, to misunderstand this, or
abuse it for yourselves."[1742] Professor Barker observes that
"Puritanism helped to dig the gulf--which is apparent in the history
of English thought, and not least of English education, from the end
of the seventeenth century onwards--between a possessional class,
regarded as justified in its possessions by its moral and spiritual
merits, and a class of labouring poor conceived as condemned to
poverty by its moral and spiritual defects."[1743] Although the
Puritans regarded riches as God's gift and no man as absolute owner,
but all men as God's stewards who must render an account of their
stewardship, they seldom attached much weight to the claim which the
poor can make on the rich in virtue of the social character of all

[Footnote 1734: R. Baxter, _A Christian Directory; a Summ of Practical
Theologie and Cases of Conscience_, i (London, 1678), p. 376.]

[Footnote 1735: _Ibid._ ii (1677), p. 70.]

[Footnote 1736: _Ibid._ i. 111; _cf. ibid._ i. 336.]

[Footnote 1737: _Ibid._ i. 107.]

[Footnote 1738: _Ibid._ i. 108 _sqq._, 376.]

[Footnote 1739: H. G. Wood, 'The influence of the Reformation on ideas
concerning wealth and property,' in _Property Its Duties and Rights_.
Essays by various writers (London, 1913), p. 148.]

[Footnote 1740: H. Latimer, _Works_, i (Cambridge, 1844), p. 478.]

[Footnote 1741: Baxter, _op. cit._ iv (1677), p. 223.]

[Footnote 1742: _Ibid._ iv. 225.]

[Footnote 1743: E. Barker, _National Character and the Factors in its
Formation_ (London, 1927), p. 209. See also W. Cunningham, _The Moral
Witness of the Church on the Investment of Money and the Use of
Wealth_ (Cambridge, 1909), p. 26.]

[Footnote 1744: Wood, _loc. cit._ pp. 156, 162.]

The Puritan divines followed Calvin in rejecting the Canon {276} Law
against usury. In his book _De conscientia_, which was the most
influential work on social ethics written in the first half of the
seventeenth century, Ames argues that there is no difference between a
man who buys a farm and takes a rent for it--which is considered
just--and a man who lends the money to another to buy the farm and
gets that other to pay interest instead of rent.[1745] But although
the Puritan moralists generally admitted the right to take interest,
they were never tired of insisting on moderation in terms on which
money is lent. Baxter's counsels are somewhat vague, and he does not
refer to any statutory limitation of interest, but he is clear that
all usury is sinful when it is against justice and charity. The
attitude of Puritanism towards monopolies, both in theory and
practice, is also in line with Baxter's repudiation of getting all you
can for your goods.[1746] The Christian must not desire "to get
another's goods or labour for less than it is worth." He must not
secure a good price for his own wares "by extortion working upon men's
ignorance, error or necessity." Rivalry in trade is inevitable, but
the Christian must not snatch a good bargain "out of greedy
covetousness, nor to the injury of the poor." And so forth.[1747]

[Footnote 1745: W. Ames, _De conscientia et eius iure_ (Amstelodami,
1631), p. 384.]

[Footnote 1746: Wood, _loc. cit._ pp. 141-3, 145.]

[Footnote 1747: Selections from those parts of the _Christian
Directory_ which bear on social ethics are published by Jeannette
Tawney, _Chapters from Richard Baxter's Christian Directory_ (London,

Of the rules of morality elaborated by Baxter, Mr. Tawney remarks that
"they were like seeds carried by birds from a distant and fertile
plain, and dropped upon a glacier," where they were at once embalmed
and sterilised in a river of ice. He finds the roots of their failure,
not merely in the obstacles offered by the ever more recalcitrant
opposition of a commercial environment, but in certain tendencies in
Puritanism itself, which were to make it later a potent ally of the
movement against the control of economic relations when political and
economic changes had prepared a congenial surrounding for their
growth. This rejection of all traditional restrictions on economic
enterprise was not only the temper of the English business world after
the Civil War, but it took place in all other Calvinist countries as
well.[1748] In any case it was another instance of capitalism
triumphing over religious doctrine, when the wave of commercial and
financial expansion came, in the form of companies, colonies,
capitalism in textiles, in mining, in finance, and so forth. As Miss
James observes, "Puritanism was {277} strongest among those classes
who were best able to take care of themselves and had nothing to gain
and all to lose by the interference of Church and State in economic

[Footnote 1748: Tawney, _op. cit._ p. 226 _sq._]

[Footnote 1749: Margaret James, _Social Problems and Policy during the
Puritan Revolution_ (London, 1930), p. 16.]

We notice a similar development within Methodism. While the early
Wesleyans buoyed up enthusiasm, kept their virtue amid the temptations
of the world, and were distinguished by devotion to public and private
charities, their restrictive austerity weakened when the early
enthusiasm waned. The theory of the divine ownership, which ordered
the disposition of all money above the bare needs of the individual
for the good of the community, was taken seriously only in the early
vital period of the revival. Hand in hand with the altering economic
social status of society members, the sense of class consciousness
began to assert itself. And at the end of the century, after Wesley's
death, philanthropy was in danger of being defined again in the old
traditional terms of dutiful alms. Wesley and the early Methodists
were felt to be too radical, and a rising group of prosperous
Methodists repudiated the inconvenient part of the teaching by the
apparently innocuous judgment that in this respect Wesley was simply
impracticable.[1750] Of the Established Church of England it has been
said that its ordinary attitude, as expressed in Congresses or other
authoritative utterances "is one of platitudinarianism, loose, suave,
non-committal, on all important proposals of economic reform. This is
due partly to a genuine disbelief in its competency to handle economic
issues, partly to its feeling of personal sympathy with the wealthy
business classes whose assistance is more than ever needed to enable
it to carry on the recognised work of a modern parish."[1751]

[Footnote 1750: W. J. Warner, _The Wesleyan Movement in the Industrial
Revolution_ (London, 1930), p. 247.]

[Footnote 1751: Hobson, _op. cit._ p. 46.]

The teaching of Jesus can certainly not be recognised as applicable to
economics. This is due not merely to the enormous difference between
the social conditions of Judæa in the time of Jesus and those of the
modern world, but also to certain general precepts which lack the
support of the moral consciousness in any circumstances. One is that
we should respond to every call of need, even though this should
involve indiscriminate charity. Backed up by the hope of heavenly
reward this rule was followed in a large measure by early and mediæval
Christianity, but with unfortunate results. The Reformation brought
about a change, and even led to a religious doctrine {278} which was
utterly inconsistent with Jesus' recommendation of poverty as a state
of blessedness and his warning against anxiety for the morrow. The
poor were no longer looked upon as God's friends, but as objects of
his hatred. Prosperity was the reward for moral superiority and the
sign of salvation, poverty the punishment for moral failings and the
sign of damnation. In connection with Puritanism a school of opinion
arose that regarded with repugnance the whole body of social theory of
which both private charity and public relief had been the expression.
"The generall rule of all England," wrote a pamphleteer in 1646, "is
to whip and punish the wandring beggars." The poor are the victims,
not of circumstances, but of their own "idle, irregular, and wicked
courses," and the truest charity is not to enervate them by relief,
but so to reform their characters that relief may be unnecessary. The
rigours of economic exploitation were preached as a public duty. Some
thought that salvation might be found by reducing the number of days
kept as holidays. Bishop Berkeley, with the conditions of Ireland
before his eyes, suggested that all sturdy beggars should be seized
and made slaves to the public for a certain term of years.[1752]
Innumerable writers advanced schemes for reformed workhouses which
should be places at once of punishment and of training.[1753] When we
thus find within Christianity itself such absolutely conflicting
religious opinions about the proper treatment of the poor, we have
certainly good reason for accepting the modern view that this
department of economics should be governed by social considerations in
a humanitarian spirit without the interference of any religious
doctrine at all.

[Footnote 1752: G. Berkeley, _Works_, iii (Oxford, 1871), p. 387.]

[Footnote 1753: Tawney, _op. cit._ pp. 264-7, 270.]

Besides the duty of indiscriminate almsgiving there is another rule
which should be observed in economic relations if these are to be
regulated by the teaching of Jesus, namely, the maxim that you ought
to love your neighbour as yourself. This rule would of course, as Mr.
Hobson points out, be completely impracticable in the intricacies of a
highly organised national or world market, where "no man knows whom he
serves or who consumes the goods to the making of which he contributes
some fractional share."[1754] But this is not the only objection that
may be raised to its application. Contrary to the Golden Rule, it is
not merely an expression of the disinterestedness of the concept of
duty, which implies that when an act is pronounced to be my duty it is
so independently of any reference it might have to me personally. This
has nothing to do with {279} the particular nature of the act. When my
own interests clash with those of my neighbour, I may have the right
to prefer my own lesser good to the greater good of another, though
only on condition that the other person also, in similar
circumstances, is admitted to have the right to prefer his own lesser
good to my greater good. No such right to prefer one's own lesser good
to the greater good of another is recognised in the precept, "Thou
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." As I have pointed out
above,[1755] this precept owes its origin to the strength of the
altruistic sentiment in him who laid down the rule, and not merely to
the disinterestedness of his moral emotions.

[Footnote 1754: Hobson, _op. cit._ p. 50 _sq._]

[Footnote 1755: _Supra_, pp. 38, 73.]

The altruistic sentiment varies in range and strength, and in so far
as it is stronger in some persons than in others, it is more apt to
influence their consciences with regard to their own conduct and their
judgments on other people's conduct. The utilitarian proposition, "I
ought not to prefer my own lesser good to the greater good of
another," which, as Stuart Mill pointed out, is identical with the
precept of Jesus,[1756] presented itself to Sidgwick as no less
evident than the mathematical axiom that "if equals be added to equals
the wholes are equal"; he called it the axiom or principle of
"rational benevolence." He admitted that the duty of benevolence as
recognised by common sense seems to fall somewhat short of this
principle; but he thought "that a 'plain man' in a modern civilised
society, if his conscience were fairly brought to consider the
hypothetical question, whether it would be morally right for him to
seek his own happiness on any occasion if it involved a certain
sacrifice of the greater happiness of some other human being--without
any counterbalancing gain to any one else,--would answer
unhesitatingly in the negative."[1757] Well, in many cases he
undoubtedly would, but in other cases he most decidedly would not.
Suppose that if I by sacrificing my own life could save another
person's life, which is a greater good to him or to others than my
life is to me or others, would it be my duty to make such a sacrifice?
Or suppose that I endeavour to obtain a good which another person also
tries to obtain, and that I do so in spite of my belief that it will
be a lesser good to me than it would be to him if he succeeded in
achieving it; would common sense condemn my action, even though I
could claim no counterbalancing gain to any one else as an excuse for
my behaviour? For example, would it require that I, being a merchant,
should abstain from some business if it is likely that {280} another
competing merchant would make a larger profit than I could by engaging
in the business?[1758] Can anybody doubt that common sense, without
hesitation, would answer these questions in the negative? It seems
fairly obvious that Sidgwick has considerably exaggerated even that
limited support his principle of rational benevolence could receive
from the "plain man." Everybody will undoubtedly agree that some
amount of self-sacrifice is a duty in certain circumstances, but the
amount and the circumstances cannot be fixed in general rules, and on
the whole, in cases of conflicting interests the judgment must to a
large extent remain a matter of private opinion. Hutcheson, in whose
system benevolence is the very essence of virtue and who was
apparently the author of the utilitarian formula that "that action is
best which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest
numbers,"[1759] goes so far as to say that "we do not positively
condemn those as evil, who will not sacrifice their private interest
to the advancement of the positive good of others, unless the private
interest is very small, and the public good very great."[1760]

[Footnote 1756: J. S. Mill. _Utilitarianism_ (London, 1895), p. 24

[Footnote 1757: H. Sidgwick, _The Methods of Ethics_ (London, 1913),
p. 382 _sq._]

[Footnote 1758: _Cf._ G. Cohn, _Etik og sociologi_ (Kjöbenhavn and
Kristiania, 1913), p. 62 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1759: F. Hutcheson, _An Inquiry into the Original of our
Ideas of Beauty and Virtue_ (London, 1753), p. 185.]

[Footnote 1760: _Idem_, _An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the
Passions and Affections. With Illustrations on the Moral Sense_
(London, 1756), p. 318.]

What has been said of our right to prefer our own lesser good to the
greater good of another also applies to preferring our own good when
it may involve a lessening of somebody else's good, as is generally
the case in competition. There is nothing in the intrinsic nature of
the moral emotions that prevents us from doing so, provided that we
allow the other person in similar circumstances to increase his own
good. The indictment made against our economic system that it is
necessarily wrong because it is competitive is therefore unjustified,
although it is certainly incompatible with the teaching of Jesus.
This, of course, does not imply that it will be regarded as right in
all circumstances. There are certain generally accepted moral
principles which cannot be transgressed without disapproval, and these
principles are very often ignored in our business life. "Look at the
results of our present capitalistic system," says Dr. Lofthouse,
"which places those who have only their labour to sell, where the
market is overstocked, in the position of slaves; at the operations of
money and finance in the modern world, whereby those who possess the
power of dispensing or withholding credit can control the whole of
industry, capital {281} and labour alike. The result is what every one
can recognise and no one can overcome; poverty and distress in a world
where science and skill can supply its wants as quickly as they can
arise; and a universal shortage, experienced and dreaded, which makes
every man look on his neighbour as his foe; which binds men into
groups whose mutual rivalries leave the rivalries of individuals far
behind; and a heartless or despairing acquiescence in the misery that
flows from defeat or from the terrors that still hang over the
world."[1761] Professor Knight remarks that if there is anything on
which divergent interpretations of Christianity would have to agree,
it would be the admission that the Christian conception of goodness is
the antithesis of the competitive system.[1762] "Compromise," writes
Mr. Tawney, "is as impossible between the Church of Christ and the
idolatry of wealth, which is the practical religion of capitalist
societies, as it was between the Church and the State idolatry of the
Roman Empire."[1763]

[Footnote 1761:  W. F. Lofthouse, _Christianity in the Social State_
(London, 1936), p. 99 _sq._]

[Footnote 1762: F. H. Knight, _The Ethics of Competition and other
Essays_ (London, 1935), p. 72.]

[Footnote 1763: Tawney, _op. cit._ p. 286.]

It is not my task, however, to examine in detail the moral
implications of the present economic system, which operates partly by
competition and partly by monopoly. I am concerned with the influence
of the Christian religion on economics; and this influence has
decidedly collapsed. "The established Episcopal Church of this
country," says Mr. Hobson, "has inclined, in its ordinary preaching
and teaching, to renounce all claims to regulate business life in
conformity with Christian principles, as distinct from inculcating the
ethics of personal integrity and justice." Among the nonconformists
there are Christian Socialists, who have made "a pathetic attempt to
rally some remnant of belief and moral authority for the
churches."[1764] But on the Continent the break of Socialism with the
religion of the churches, Catholic or Protestant, is almost complete,
largely accepting Marx's asseveration that the idea of God must be
destroyed, being the keystone of a perverted civilisation. In his
conflict with God, Mammon has carried the day.

[Footnote 1764: Hobson, _op. cit._ p. 46 _sq._]



THERE still remains a branch of economics where we might expect to
find conspicuous traces of Christian influence, especially as the very
objects that it is concerned with are human beings--I mean the
institution of slavery.

Slavery is essentially an industrial institution, which implies
compulsory labour beyond the limits of family relations. The master
has a right to avail himself of the working power of his slave,
without previous agreement on the part of the latter. This I take to
be the essence of slavery; but connected with such a right there are
others which hardly admit of a strict definition, or which belong to
the master in some cases though not in all. He is entitled to claim
obedience and to enforce this claim with more or less severity, but
his authority is not necessarily absolute, and the restrictions
imposed on it are not everywhere the same. Voluntary slavery is spoken
of, as when a person sells himself as a slave, but this is only an
imitation of slavery true and proper: the person who gives up his
liberty confers upon another, by contract, either for a limited period
or for ever the same rights over himself as a master possesses over
his slave. If slavery proper could be based upon a contract between
the parties concerned, I fail to see how to distinguish between a
servant and a slave.

Christianity recognised slavery from the beginning. Paul wrote: "By
one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or
Gentiles, whether we be bond or free."[1765] But he also wrote: "Let
every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou
called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made
free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a
servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being
free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the
servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called,
therein abide with God."[1766] Masters are told to give to their
servants {283} that which is just and equal;[1767] but in the first
place servants are commanded to obey in all things their masters
"according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but in
singleness of heart, fearing God."[1768] Peter says that they shall be
subject to their masters with all fear; "not only to the good and
gentle but also to the froward."[1769] There are a few references to
slavery in the Apostolic Fathers. Ignatius writes: "Overlook not the
men and maid-servants: neither let them be puffed up; but rather let
them be the more subject, to the glory of God, that they may obtain
from him a better liberty. Let them not desire to be set free at the
public cost, that they be not slaves to their own lusts."[1770]
Barnabas tells masters not to be bitter in their commands towards any
of their servants that trust in God.[1771] The same injunction is
found in the 'Didache,' together with the order that slaves shall be
subject to their lords, "as to God's image."[1772]

[Footnote 1765: _1 Corinthians_ xii. 13. See also _Galatians_ iii. 27
_sq._; _Colossians_ iii. 11.]

[Footnote 1766: _1 Corinthians_ vii. 20-4.]

[Footnote 1767: _Colossians_ iv. 1. See also _Ephesians_ vi. 9.]

[Footnote 1768: _Colossians_ iii. 22. See also _Ephesians_ vi. 5-8;
_1 Timothy_ vi. 1 _sq._; _Titus_ ii. 9 _sq._]

[Footnote 1769: _1 Peter_ ii. 18.]

[Footnote 1770: Ignatius, _Epistola ad Polycarpum_ 4.]

[Footnote 1771: Barnabas, _Epistola catholica_, 19.]

[Footnote 1772: _Didache_, 4.]

Christianity's acceptance of slavery belonged to its Jewish heritage.
Among the Hebrews the slave class consisted of captives taken in
war;[1773] of persons bought with money from neighbouring nations or
from foreign residents in the land;[1774] of children of slaves born
in the house;[1775] of native Hebrews who had been sold by their
fathers,[1776] or who either alone or with their wives and children
had fallen into slavery in consequence of poverty,[1777] or who had
been sold by the authorities as slaves on account of theft when unable
to pay compensation for the stolen property.[1778] Slaves of foreign
extraction were not to be emancipated, but should remain slaves for
ever.[1779] But in no case had the master absolute power over his
slave. Whether the latter was an Israelite or a foreigner, his life,
and to some extent his body, were protected by law. If a man by blows
destroyed an eye or a tooth, or any other member belonging to his
manservant or maid-servant, he was bound to let the injured person go
free.[1780] And a master who smites his slave so that he dies under
his hand, "shall be surely punished"; but if the slave {284} continues
to live for a day or two after the assault, the master goes free on
the score that the slave is "his money."[1781] In the Talmud masters
are repeatedly admonished to treat their slaves with kindness;[1782]
and emancipation of slaves is practically encouraged in various
ways,[1783] in spite of the dictum of certain rabbis that he who
emancipates his slave transgresses the positive precept of Leviticus
xxv. 46, "They shall be your bondmen for ever."[1784]

[Footnote 1773: _Deuteronomy_ xx. 14.]

[Footnote 1774: _Leviticus_ xxv. 44 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1775: _Genesis_ xiv. 14.]

[Footnote 1776: _Exodus_ xxi. 7.]

[Footnote 1777: _Ibid._ xxi. 2 _sq._; _Leviticus_ xxv. 39, 47.]

[Footnote 1778: _Exodus_ xxii. 3.]

[Footnote 1779: _Leviticus_ xxv. 46.]

[Footnote 1780: _Exodus_ xxi. 26 _sq._]

[Footnote 1781: _Exodus_ xxi. 20 _sq._]

[Footnote 1782: _Ecclesiasticus_ xxxiii. 31; A. Katz, _Der wahre
Talmudjude_ (Berlin, 1893), p. 59 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1783: J. Winter, _Die Stellung der Sklaven bei den Juden in
rechtlicher und gesellschaftlicher Beziehung nach talmudischen
Quellen_ (Breslau, 1886), p. 41.]

[Footnote 1784: _Berakhoth_, fol. 47_b_, quoted by P. I. Hershon,
_Treasures of the Talmud_ (London, 1882), p. 81; R. Samuel, quoted by
T. André, _L'esclavage chez les anciens Hébreux_ (Paris, 1892), p. 180

Paul also knew the slavery of the Græco-Roman world. The power,
originally unlimited, which the Roman master had over his slave was
during the Pagan Empire limited in various ways. Claudius[1785] and
Antoninus Pius[1786] put check on his legal right to kill his slave.
The Lex Petronia, A.D. 61, forbade masters to compel their slaves to
fight with wild beasts.[1787] In the time of Nero an official was
appointed to hear complaints of the wrongs done by masters to their
slaves.[1788] But in those days when Roman slavery had lost its
original patriarchal and, to speak with Mommsen,[1789] "in some
measure innocent" character, when the victories of Rome and the
increasing slave-trade had introduced into the city innumerable
slaves, when those simpler habits of life which in early times
somewhat mitigated the rigour of the law had changed--the lot of the
Roman slave was often extremely hard, and numerous acts of shocking
cruelty were committed.[1790] At the same time we also hear, from the
early days of the Empire, that masters who had been cruel to their
slaves were pointed at with disgust in all parts of the city, and were
hated and loathed.[1791] And with a fervour which can scarcely be
surpassed Seneca and other Stoics argued that the slave is a being
with human dignity and human rights, born of the same race as
ourselves, living the same life, and dying the {285} same death--in
short, that our slaves "are also men, and friends, and our
fellow-servants."[1792] Epictetus even went so far as to condemn
altogether the keeping of slaves. "What you avoid suffering yourself,"
he says, "seek not to impose on others. You avoid slavery, for
instance; take care not to enslave. For if you can bear to exact
slavery from others, you appear to have been yourself a slave."[1793]
These teachings could not fail to influence both legislation and
public sentiment. Imbued with the Stoic philosophy, the jurists of the
classical period declared that all men are originally free by the Law
of Nature, and that slavery is only "an institution of the Law of
Nations, by which one man is made the property of another, in
opposition to natural right."[1794]

[Footnote 1785: Suetonius, _Claudius_ 25.]

[Footnote 1786: Gaius, _Institutionum juris civilis commentarii_,
1, 53; _Institutiones_, i. 8. 2.]

[Footnote 1787: _Digesta_, xlviii. 8. 11. 2.]

[Footnote 1788: Seneca, _De beneficiis_, iii. 22. 3.]

[Footnote 1789: T. Mommsen, _History of Rome_, iii (London, 1894),
p. 305.]

[Footnote 1790: W. E. H. Lecky, _History of European Morals from
Augustus to Charlemagne_, i (London, 1890), p. 302 _sq._]

[Footnote 1791: Seneca, _De clementia_, i. 18. 3.]

[Footnote 1792: _Idem_, _Epistolæ_, 47; _idem_, _De beneficiis_,
iii. 28; Epictetus, _Dissertationes_, i. 13. See also the collection
of statements referring to slavery made by F. M. Holland, _The Reign
of the Stoics_ (New York, _s.d._), p. 186 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1793: Epictetus, _Fragmenta_, 42.]

[Footnote 1794: _Institutiones_, i. 3. 2.]

Considering that Christianity has commonly been represented as almost
the sole cause of the mitigation and final abolishment of slavery in
Europe, it deserves special notice that the chief improvement in the
condition of slaves at Rome took place at so early a period that
Christianity could have absolutely no share in it. Nay, for about two
hundred years after it was made the official religion of the Empire
there was an almost complete pause in the legislation on the
subject.[1795] Beyond a law of Constantine, to the effect that a
master who put his slave to death in a non-judicial way was to be
punished as a murderer,[1796] the Christian emperors seem to have done
little to guard the life of the slave. Whilst it was provided that any
master who applied to his slave certain atrocious tortures with the
object of killing him should be deemed a manslayer, it was
emphatically said that no charge whatever should be brought against
him if the slave died under moderate punishment, or under any
punishment not inflicted with the intention of killing him.[1797]
Arcadius and Honorius even passed a law refusing protection to a slave
who should fly to a church for refuge from his master;[1798] but this
law was, in the West, followed by regulations of an opposite
character.[1799] Under Justinian certain reforms were
introduced:--enfranchisement was facilitated in various ways;[1800]
{286} the rights of Roman citizens were granted to emancipated slaves
who had previously occupied an intermediate position between slavery
and perfect freedom;[1801] and though the law still refused to
recognise the marriages of slaves, Justinian gave them a legal value
after emancipation in establishing rights of succession.[1802] But the
inferior position of the slave was asserted as sternly as ever. He
belonged to the "corporeal" property of his master, he was reckoned
among things which are tangible by their nature, like land, raiment,
gold, and silver.[1803] The constitution of Antoninus Pius restraining
severity on the part of masters was enforced, but the motive for this
was not evangelic humanity.[1804] It is said in the 'Institutes' of
Justinian: "This decision is a just one; for it greatly concerns the
public weal, that no one be permitted to misuse even his own

[Footnote 1795: _Cf._ Lecky, _op. cit._  ii. 64.]

[Footnote 1796: _Codex Theodosianus_, ix. 12. 1.]

[Footnote 1797: _Ibid._ ix. 12; Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 62 _sq._]

[Footnote 1798: _Codex Theodosianus_, ix. 45. 3.]

[Footnote 1799: C. Babington, _The Influence of Christianity in
promoting the Abolition of Slavery in Europe_ (Cambridge, 1846),
p. 37; É. Biot, _De l'abolition de l'esclavage ancien en Occident_
(Paris, 1840), p. 239.]

[Footnote 1800: _Institutiones_, i. 5 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1801: _Institutiones_, i. 5. 3, iii. 7. 4.]

[Footnote 1802: _Ibid._ iii. 7 pr.]

[Footnote 1803: _Ibid._ ii. 2. 1.]

[Footnote 1804: _Cf._ H. H. Milman, _History of Latin Christianity_,
ii (London, 1867), p. 14.]

[Footnote 1805: _Institutiones_, i. 8. 2.]

It is strange that the inconsistency of slavery with the tenet, "Do to
others as you would be done by," though emphasised by a pagan
philosopher, never seems to have occurred to any of the early
Christian writers. The principle that all men are spiritually equal in
Christ does not imply that they should be socially equal in the world.
Slavery does not prevent anybody from performing the duties incumbent
on a Christian, it does not bar the way to heaven, it is an external
affair only, nothing but a name. He only is really a slave who commits
sin.[1806] Augustine says that slavery is a burden which has justly
been laid upon the back of transgression. Man when created by God was
free, and nobody was the slave of another until that just man Noah
cursed Ham, his offending son; slavery, then, is a punishment sent by
Him who best knows how to proportionate punishment to offence,[1807]
and the slave himself ought not to desire to become free.[1808] Not
one of the Fathers of the Church hints that slavery is unlawful or
improper. In the early age martyrs possessed slaves, and so did
abbots, bishops, popes, monasteries, and {287} churches;[1809] Jews
and pagans only were prohibited from acquiring Christian slaves.[1810]
So little was the abolition of slavery thought of that a Council at
Orleans, in the middle of the sixth century, expressly decreed the
perpetuity of servitude among the descendants of slaves.[1811] On the
other hand, the Church showed a zeal to prevent accessions to slavery
from capture, but her exertions were restricted to Christian prisoners
of war.[1812] As late as the nineteenth century the right of enslaving
captives was defended by Bishop Bouvier.[1813]

[Footnote 1806: Gregory Nazianzen, _Orationes_, xiv. 25 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, xxxv. 891 _sq._); _idem_, _Carmina_,
i. 2. 26. 29 (_ibid._ xxxvii. 853), i. 2. 33. 133 _sqq._ (_ibid._
xxxvii. 937 _sq._); Chrysostom, _In cap, IX. Genes. Homilia XXIX._ 7
(_ibid._ liii. 270); _idem_, _In Epist. I. ad Cor. Homilia XIX._ 5
(_ibid._ lxi. 158); Ambrose, _In Epistolam ad Colossenses_, 3 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, xvii 439).]

[Footnote 1807: Augustine, _De civitate Dei_, xix. 15.]

[Footnote 1808: _Idem_, _Ennaratio in Psalmum CXXIV._ 7 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, xxxvii. 1653).]

[Footnote 1809: C. Babington, _The Influence of Christianity in
promoting the Abolition of Slavery in Europe_ (Cambridge, 1846),
p. 22; J. Potgiesser, _Commentarii juris Germanici de statu servorum_
(Lemgoviæ, 1736), i. 4. 8, p. 176; L. A. Muratori, _Dissertazioni
sopra le antichità Italiane_, i (Milano, 1836), p. 244.]

[Footnote 1810: _Concilium Toletanum IV._, A.D. 633, can. 66
(Labbe-Mansi, _Conciliorum collectio_, x. 635); R. Blakey, _The
Temporal Benefits of Christianity_ (London, 1849), p. 397; K. H.
Digby, _Mores Catholici_, ii (London, 1846), p. 341; L. Cibrario,
_Della schiavitù e del servaggio_, i (Milano, 1868), p. 272;
A. Rivière, _L'Église et l'esclavage_ (Paris, 1864), p. 350.]

[Footnote 1811: _Concilium Aurelianense IV._, about A.D. 545, can. 32
(Labbe-Mansi, ix. 118 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1812: _Concilium Rhemense_, about A.D. 630, can. 22
(Labbe-Mansi, x. 597); Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 12. 2. 13 _sqq._;
C. Baronius, _Annales Ecclesiastici_, A.D. 1263, ch. 74, xxii. 124;
E. Le Blant, _Inscriptions chrétiennes de la Gaule antérieures au VIII.
siècle_, ii (Paris, 1865), p. 284 _sqq._; Babington, _op. cit._ pp. 51
_sqq._, 94 _sq._; E. Nys, _Le droit de la guerre et les précurseurs de
Grotius_ (Bruxelles and Leipzig, 1882), p. 114.]

[Footnote 1813: J.-B. Bouvier, _Institutiones philosophicæ_ (Paris,
1844), p. 566.]

Like the Apostles, Councils and popes reminded slaves of their duties
towards their masters, and masters of their duties towards their
slaves. The Council of Gangra, about the year 824, pronounced its
anathema on any one who should teach a slave to despise his master on
pretence of religion;[1814] and so much importance was attached to
this decree that it was inserted in the epitome of canons which
Hadrian I. in 773 presented to Charlemagne in Rome.[1815] But there
are also many instances in which masters are recommended to show
humanity to their slaves.[1816] According to Gregory IX. "the slaves
who were washed in the fountain of holy baptism should be more
liberally treated in consideration of their having received so great a
benefit."[1817] Slaves who had taken refuge from their masters in
churches or monasteries were not to be given up until the master had
sworn not to punish the fugitive;[1818] or they were {288} never given
up, but became slaves to the sanctuary.[1819] Faithful to her
principle that human life is sacred, the Church made efforts to secure
the life of the slave against the violence of the master; but neither
the ecclesiastical nor the secular legislation gave him the same
protection as was bestowed upon the free member of the Church and
State. Various Councils punished the murder of a slave with two years'
excommunication only, if the slave had been killed "sine conscientia
judicis";[1820] and the same punishment was adopted by some
Penitentials.[1821] Edgar made the penance last three years, whereas
if a freeman was killed, the penance was of seven years'
duration.[1822] Facts do not justify Lecky's statement that, "in the
penal system of the Church, the distinction between wrongs done to a
freeman, and wrongs done to a slave, which lay at the very root of the
whole civil legislation, was repudiated."[1823] The Church prohibited
the sale of Christian slaves to Jews and heathen nations.[1824] The
Council of Chalons, in the middle of the seventh century, ordered that
no Christian should be sold outside the kingdom of Clovis, so that
they might not get into captivity or become the slaves of Jewish
masters;[1825] and some Anglo-Saxon laws similarly forbade the sale of
Christians out of the country, and especially into bondage to heathen,
"that those souls perish not that Christ bought with his own
life."[1826] The clergy sometimes {289} remonstrated against
slave-markets; but their indignation never reached the trade in
heathen slaves,[1827] nor was the master's right of selling any of his
slaves whenever he pleased called in question at all.

[Footnote 1814: _Concilium Gangrense_, can. 3 (Labbe-Mansi, ii. 1102,
1106, 1110).]

[Footnote 1815: 'Epitome canonum, quam Hadrianus I. Carolo magno
obtulit, A.D. DCCLXXIII.,' in Labbe-Mansi, xii. 863.]

[Footnote 1816: Babington, _op. cit._ p. 58 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1817: Baronius, _Annales Ecclesiastici_, A.D. 1238, ch. 62,
vol. xxi. 204.]

[Footnote 1818: Milman, _op. cit._ ii. 51; Rivière, _op. cit._ p. 306;
A. Du Bois, _Histoire du droit criminel des peuples modernes_,
ii (Paris, 1858), p. 246 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1819: 'Concilium Kingesburiense sub Bertulpho,' in D.
Wilkins, _Concilia Magnæ Britannicæ et Hibernicæ_, i (London, 1737),
p. 181.]

[Footnote 1820: _Concilium Agathense_, A.D. 506, can. 62 (Labbe-Mansi,
viii. 335); _Concilium Epaonense_, A.D. 517, can. 34 (_ibid._ viii.
563); _Concilium Wormatiense_, A.D. 868, can. 38 (_ibid._ xv. 876).]

[Footnote 1821: _Pœnitentiale Cummeani_, vi. 29 (F. W. H.
Wasserschleben, _Die Bussordnungen der abendländischen Kirche_ [Halle,
1851], p. 480); _Pœnitentiale Pseudo-Theodori_, xxi. 12 (_ibid._ p.

[Footnote 1822: _Canons enacted under Edgar, Modus imponendi
pœnitentiam_, 4, 11 (_Ancient Laws and Institutes of England_ [London,
1840], p. 405 _sq._).]

[Footnote 1823: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 66. Lecky states (_ibid._ ii. 66
_sq._) that the Council of Illiberis excluded for ever from the
communion a master who killed his slave. I have only been able to find
the following enactment made by a Council held at Illiberis in the
beginning of the fourth century: "Si qua domina furore zeli accensa
flagris verberaverit ancillam suam, ita ut in tertium diem animam cum
cruciatu effundat; eo quod incertum sit, voluntate, an casu occiderit;
si voluntate, post septem annos; si casu, post quinquennii tempora,
acta legitima pœnitentia, ad communionem placuit admitti" (_Concilium
Eliberitanum_, ch. 5 [Labbe-Mansi, ii. 6]).]

[Footnote 1824: _Concilium Rhemense_, about A.D. 630, can. 11
(Labbe-Mansi, x. 596); _Concilium Liptinense_, A.D. 743, can. 3
(_ibid._ xii. 371); C. J. Hefele, _Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte,
Archäologie und Liturgie_, i (Tübingen, 1864), p. 218; _idem_, _A
History of the Councils of the Church_, v (Edinburgh, 1896), p. 211.]

[Footnote 1825: _Concilium Cabilonense_, about A.D. 650, can. 9
(Labbe-Mansi, x. 1191).]

[Footnote 1826: _Laws of Ethelred_, v. 2, vi. 9; _Laws of Cnut_, ii. 3.]

[Footnote 1827: K. D. Hüllmann, _Stædtewesen des Mittelalters_,
i (Bonn, 1826), p. 80 _sq._; C. Loring Brace, _Gesta Christi_ (London,
1890), p. 229; Rivière, _op. cit._ p. 325.]

The assertion made by many writers that the Church exercised an
extremely favourable influence upon slavery surely involves a great
exaggeration. As late as the thirteenth century the master had
practically the power of life and death over his slave.[1828]
Throughout Christendom the purchase and the sale of men, as property
transferred from vendor to buyer, was recognised as a legal
transaction of the same validity with the sale of other merchandise,
land or cattle.[1829] Slaves had a title to nothing but subsistence
and clothes from their masters, all the profits of their labour
accruing to the latter; and if a master from indulgence gave his
slaves any _peculium_, or fixed allowance for their subsistence, they
had no right of property in what they saved out of that, but all that
they accumulated belonged to the master.[1830] A slave or a freedman
was not allowed to bring a criminal charge against a free person,
except in the case of a _crimen læsæ majestatis_[1831] and slaves were
incapable of being received as witnesses against freemen.[1832] The
old distinction between the marriage of the freeman and the
concubinage of the slave was long recognised by the Church: slaves
could not marry, but had only a right of _contubernium_, and their
unions did not receive the nuptial benediction of a priest.[1833]
Subsequently, when conjunction between slaves came to be considered a
lawful marriage, they were not permitted to marry without the consent
of their master, and such as transgressed this rule were punished very
severely, sometimes even with death.[1834]

[Footnote 1828: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, i (London, 1912), p. 427 _sq._]

[Footnote 1829: Potgiesser, _op. cit._ ii. 4. 5, p. 429; Milman, _op.
cit._ ii. 16.]

[Footnote 1830: Potgiesser, _op. cit._ ii. 10, p. 528 _sqq._; C. D. Du
Cange, _Glossarium ad scriptores mediæ et infimæ Latinitatis_, vi
(Parisiis, 1736), p. 451; W. Robertson, _The History of the Reign of
the Emperor Charles V._, i (London, 1806), p. 274.]

[Footnote 1831: Potgiesser, _op. cit._ iii. 3. 2, p. 612.]

[Footnote 1832: Ph. de Beaumanoir, _Les coutumes du Beauvoisis_
(Paris, 1842), xxxix. 32, vol. ii. 103; Du Cange, _op. cit._ vi. 452;
Potgiesser, _op. cit._ iii. 3. 1, p. 611.]

[Footnote 1833: Potgiesser, _op. cit._ ii. 2. 10 _sq._, p. 354 _sq._]

[Footnote 1834: _Ibid._ ii. 2. 12, p. 355 _sq._]

The gradual disappearance of slavery in Europe during the {290} latter
period of the Middle Ages has also commonly been in the main
attributed to the influence of the Church.[1835] But this opinion is
scarcely supported by facts. It is true that the Church in some degree
encouraged the manumission of slaves. Though slavery was considered a
perfectly lawful institution, the enfranchisement of a
fellow-Christian was deemed a meritorious act, and was sometimes
recommended on Christian principles. At the close of the sixth century
it was affirmed that, as Christ had come to break the chain of our
servitude and restore our primitive liberty, so it was well for us to
imitate him by making free those whom the law of nations had reduced
to slavery;[1836] and the same doctrine was again proclaimed at
various times down to the sixteenth century.[1837] In the Carlovingian
period the abbot Smaragdus expressed the opinion that among other good
and salutary works each one ought to let slaves go free, considering
that not nature but sin had subjected them to their masters.[1838] In
the latter part of the twelfth century the prelates of France, and in
particular the archbishop of Sens, pretended that it was an obligation
of conscience to accord liberty to all Christians, relying on a decree
of a Council held at Rome by Pope Alexander III.[1839] And in one of
the later compilations of German mediæval law it was said that the
Lord Jesus, by his injunction to render unto Cæsar the things which
are Cæsar's and unto God the things that are God's, indicated that no
man is the property {291} of another, but that every man belongs to
God.[1840] Slaves were liberated "for God's love," or "for the remedy"
or "ransom of the soul."[1841] In the formularies of manumission given
by the monk Marculfus in the seventh century we read, for instance:
"He that releases his slave who is bound to him, may trust that God
will recompense him in the next world";[1842] "For the remission of my
sins, I absolve thee";[1843] "For the glory of God's name and for my
eternal retribution," etc.[1844] Too much importance, however, has
often been attached to these phrases. For the most trivial
occurrences, such as giving a book to a monastery, are commonly
accompanied by similar expressions;[1845] and it appears from certain
formulas that slaves were not only liberated, but also bought and
sold, "in the name of God."[1846]

[Footnote 1835: T. Clarkson, _An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of
the Human Species_ (London, 1788), p. 19 _sq._; Biot, _op. cit._
p. xi.; Abbé Thérou, _Le Christianisme et l'esclavage_ (Paris, 1841),
p. 147; H. Martin, _Histoire de France jusqu'en 1789_, iii (Paris,
1878), p. 11 n. 2; J. Balmes, _El Protestantismo comparado con el
Catolicismo en sus relaciones con la civilizacion Europea_,
i (Barcelona, 1844), p. 285; Blakey, _op. cit._ p. 170; J. Yanoski,
_De l'abolition de l'esclavage ancien au moyen âge_ (Paris, 1860),
p. 75; A. Cochin, _L'abolition de l'esclavage_, ii (Paris, 1861),
pp. 349, 458; E. Littré, _Études sur les Barbares et le Moyen Age_
(Paris, 1867), p. 230 _sq._; P. Allard, _Les esclaves chrétiens depuis
les premiers temps de l'Église_ (Paris, 1876), p. 490; P. Tedeschi,
_La schiavitù_ (Piacenza, 1882), p. 68; W. E. H. Lecky, _History of
the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe_,
ii (London, 1893), pp. 216, 236 _sqq._; H. S. Maine, _International
Law_ (London, 1888), p. 160; B. Kidd, _Social Evolution_ (London, 1894),
p. 168; W. F. Lofthouse, _Christianity in the Social State_ (London,
1936), p. 96.]

[Footnote 1836: Gregory the Great, _Epistolæ_, vi. 12 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, lxxvii. 803 _sq._); Gratian, _op. cit._ ii. 12.
2. 68; Potgiesser, _op. cit._ iv. 1. 3, p. 666 _sq._]

[Footnote 1837: Babington, _op. cit._  p. 180.]

[Footnote 1838: Smaragdus, _Via Regia_, 30 (L. d'Achery,
_Spicilegium_, i [Parisiis, 1723], p. 253).]

[Footnote 1839: De Boulainvilliers, _Histoire de l'ancien gouvernement
de la France_, i (La Haye and Amsterdam, 1727), p. 312.]

[Footnote 1840: _Speculum Saxonum_, iii. 42 (M. Goldast, _Collectio
consuetudinum et legum imperialium_ [Francofordiæ ad Mœnum, 1613],
p. 158).]

[Footnote 1841: Du Cange, _op. cit._ iv. 460 _sqq._; Potgiesser, _op.
cit._ iv. 12. 5, p. 751 _sqq._; Muratori, _op. cit._ i. 249;
Robertson, _op. cit._ i. 323; Milman, _op. cit._ ii. 51 _sq._]

[Footnote 1842: Marculfus, _Formulæ_, ii. 32 (Migne, _Patrologiæ
cursus_, lxxxvii. 747).]

[Footnote 1843: _Ibid._ ii. 33 (Migne, lxxxvii. 748).]

[Footnote 1844: _Ibid._ ii. 34 (Migne, lxxxvii. 748).]

[Footnote 1845: Babington, _op. cit._ p. 61 n. 6.]

[Footnote 1846: _Formulæ Bignonianæ_, 2, 'Venditio de servo' (S.
Baluze, _Capitularia regum Francorum_, ii [Parisiis, 1677], p. 497:
"Domino magnifico fratri illi emptori, ego in Dei nomine ille

Nor can we suppose that it was from religious motives only that
manumissions were encouraged by the clergy. It has been pointed out
that "as dying persons were frequently inclined to make considerable
donations for pious uses, it was more immediately for the interest of
churchmen, that people of inferior condition should be rendered
capable of acquiring property, and should have the free disposal of
what they had acquired." It also seems that those who obtained their
liberty by the influence of the clergy had to reward their
benefactors, and that the manumission should for this reason be
confirmed by the Church.[1847] And while the Church favoured
liberation of the slaves of laymen, she took care to prevent
liberation of her own slaves; like a physician she did not herself
swallow the medicine which she prescribed to others. She allowed
alienation of such slaves only as showed a disposition to run
away.[1848] The Council of Agatho, in 506, considered it unfair to
enfranchise the slaves of monasteries, seeing that the monks
themselves were daily compelled to labour;[1849] and, as a matter of
fact, the slaves of monasteries {292} were everywhere among the last
who were manumitted.[1850] In the seventh century a Council at Toledo
threatened with damnation any bishop who should liberate a slave
belonging to the Church, without giving due compensation from his
property, as it was thought impious to inflict a loss on the Church of
Christ;[1851] and according to several ecclesiastical regulations no
bishop or priest was allowed to manumit a slave in the patrimony of
the Church unless he put in his place two slaves of equal value.[1852]
Nay, the Church was anxious not only to prevent a reduction of her
slaves, but to increase their number. She zealously encouraged people
to give up themselves and their posterity to be the slaves of churches
and monasteries, to enslave their bodies--as some of the charters put
it--in order to procure the liberty of their souls.[1853] And in the
middle of the seventh century a Council decreed that the children of
incontinent priests should become the slaves of the churches where
their fathers officiated.[1854]

[Footnote 1847: J. Millar, _The Origin of the Distribution of Ranks_
(Edinburgh, 1806), p. 274 _sq._]

[Footnote 1848: Gratian, _op. cit._ ii. 12. 2. 54.]

[Footnote 1849: _Concilium Agathense_, can. 56 (Labbe-Mansi,
viii. 334).]

[Footnote 1850:  H. Hallam, _View of the State of Europe during the
Middle Ages_, i (London, 1837), p. 221.]

[Footnote 1851: _Concilium Toletanum IV._, A.D. 633, can. 67
(Labbe-Mansi, x. 635).]

[Footnote 1852: Gratian, _op. cit._ ii. 12. 2. 58; Potgiesser, _op.
cit._  iv. 2. 4, p. 673.]

[Footnote 1853: Du Cange, _op. cit._ iv. 1286; Potgiesser, _op. cit._
i. 1. 6 _sq._, p. 5 _sqq._; Robertson, _op. cit._ i. 326.]

[Footnote 1854: _Concilium Toletanum IX._, A.D. 655, can. 10
(Labbe-Mansi, xi. 29).]

The disappearance of mediæval slavery has further, to some extent,
been attributed to the efforts of kings to weaken the power of the
nobles.[1855] Thus Louis X. and Philip the Long of France issued
ordinances declaring that, as all men were by nature free, and as
their kingdom was called the kingdom of the Franks, they would have
the fact to correspond with the name, and emancipated all persons in
the royal domains upon paying a just compensation, as an example for
other lords to follow.[1856] Muratori believes that in Italy the wars
during the twelfth and following centuries contributed more than
anything else to the decline of slavery, as there was a need of
soldiers and soldiers must be freemen.[1857] According to others, the
disappearance of slavery was largely effected by the great famines and
epidemics with which Europe was visited during the tenth, eleventh,
and twelfth centuries.[1858] The number of slaves was also
considerably reduced by the ancient usage of enslaving prisoners of
war being replaced by the more humane practice of accepting ransom for
{293} them, which became the general rule in the latter part of the
Middle Ages, at least in the case of Christian captives.[1859] But it
seems that the chief cause of the extinction of slavery in Europe was
its transformation into serfdom.

[Footnote 1855: Robertson, _op. cit._ i. 47 _sq._; Millar, _op. cit._
p. 276 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1856: Decrusy, Isambert, and Jourdan, _Recueil général des
anciennes lois Françaises_, iii. 102 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1857: Muratori, _op. cit._ i. 234 _sq._, _idem_, _Rerum
Italicarum scriptores_, xviii (Mediolani, 1731), pp. 268, 292.]

[Footnote 1858: Biot, _op. cit._ p. 318 _sqq._; J. A. Saco, _Historia
de la esclavitud_, iii (Paris and Barcelona, 1878), p. 241 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1859: R. Ward, _An Enquiry into the Foundation and History
of the Law of Nations in Europe_, i (London, 1795), p. 298 _sq._;
Babington, _op. cit._ p. 147; B. Ayala, _De jure et officiis bellicis
et disciplina militari_ (Angers, 1591), i. 5, 19. In the sixteenth
century the statutes of some Italian towns make mention of the sale of
slaves, who probably were Turkish captives (Nys, _op. cit._ p. 140).]

This transformation has been traced to the diminished supply of
slaves, which made it the interest of each family to preserve
indefinitely its own hereditary slaves, and to keep up their number by
the method of propagation. The existence and physical well-being of
the slave became consequently an object of greater value to his
master, and the latter found it more profitable to attach his slaves
to certain pieces of land.[1860] Moreover, the cultivation of the
ground required that the slaves should have a fixed residence in
different parts of the master's estate, and when a slave had thus been
for a long time engaged in a particular farm, he was so much the
better qualified to continue in the management of it for the future.
By degrees he therefore came to be regarded as belonging to the stock
upon the ground, and was disposed of as a part of the estate which he
had been accustomed to cultivate.[1861]

[Footnote 1860: H. Storch, _Cours d'économie politique_, iv (St.
Pétersbourg, 1815), p. 260; J. K. Ingram, _A History of Slavery and
Serfdom_ (London, 1895), p. 72.]

[Footnote 1861: Millar, _op. cit._ p. 263 _sqq._]

But serfdom itself was merely a transitory condition destined to lead
up to a state of entire liberty. I have elsewhere discussed the causes
of this process.[1862] As a quite subordinate one may be mentioned
instances of lords liberating their villeins at the intercession of
their spiritual confessors, the clergy availing themselves of every
opportunity to lessen the formidable power of their great rivals, the
temporal nobility.[1863] The influence which the Church exercised in
favour of the enfranchisement of serfs was even less than her share in
the abolition of slavery proper.[1864] She represented serfdom as a
divine institution,[1865] as a school of {294} humility, as a road to
future glory.[1866] Luther was horrified when the German peasants
demanded that villeinage should end, because "Christ has delivered and
redeemed us all, the lowly as well as the great, without exception, by
the shedding of his precious blood."[1867] According to him, the
spiritual kingdom of Christ must not be changed into an external
worldly one: "An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of
persons. Some must be free, others serfs, some rulers, others
subjects. As St. Paul says, 'Before Christ both master and slave are
one.'"[1868] The Catholic Church, again, was herself the greatest
serf-holder; and so strenuously did she persist in retaining her
villeins, that after Voltaire had raised his powerful outcry in favour
of liberty, and Louis XVI. himself had been induced to abolish "the
right of servitude" in consideration of "the love of humanity," the
Church still refused to emancipate her serfs.[1869]

[Footnote 1862: Westermarck, _op. cit._ i. 701 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1863: Thomas Smith, _The Common-wealth of England_ (London,
1635), p. 250; F. M. Eden, _The State of the Poor_, i (London, 1797),
p. 10; S. Sugenheim, _Geschichte der Aufhebung der Leibeigenschaft und
Hörigkeit in Europa_ (St. Petersburg, 1861), p. 109.]

[Footnote 1864: _Cf._ Rivière, _op. cit._ p. 511; Babington, _op.
cit._ p. 148 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1865: Bonaventura, quoted by F. Laurent, _Études sur
l'histoire de l'Humanité_, vii (Paris, 1865), p. 522: "Non solum
secundum humanam institutionem, sed etiam secundum divinam
dispensationem, inter Christianos sunt domini et servi." See also
Adalbero, _Carmen ad Rotbertum regem Francorum_, 291, 292, 297 _sqq._
(in M. Bouquet, _Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France_,
x [Paris, 1865], p. 70).]

[Footnote 1866: Laurent, _op. cit._ vii. 523.]

[Footnote 1867: J. S. Schapiro, _Social Reform and the Reformation_
(New York, 1909), p. 139.]

[Footnote 1868: Luther, 'Ermahnung zum Frieden auf die zwölf Artikel
der Bauerschaft in Schwaben. 1525,' in _Werke_, xviii (Weimar, 1908),
p. 327.]

[Footnote 1869: H. Hettner, _Geschichte der **französischen Literatur
im achtzehnten Jahrhundert_ (Braunschweig, 1894), p. 169; Babington,
_op. cit._ p. 108; Sugenheim, _op. cit._ p. 156 _sqq._; Laurent, _op.
cit._ vii. 537 _sq._]

Not long after serfdom had begun to disappear in the most advanced
communities of Christendom a new kind of slavery was established in
the colonies of European states. It grew up in circumstances
particularly favourable to the employment of slaves. Whether slave or
free labour is more profitable to the employer depends on the wages of
the free labourer, and these again depend on the numbers of the
labouring population compared with the capital and land. In the rich
and underpeopled soil of the West Indies and in the Southern States of
America the balance of the profits between free and slave labour was
on the side of slavery. Hence slavery was introduced there, and
flourished, and could be abolished only with the greatest

[Footnote 1870: J. S. Mill, _Principles of Political Economy_,
i (London, 1865), p. 311.]

From the moral point of view negro slavery is interesting chiefly
because it existed in the midst of a highly developed Christian
civilisation, and nevertheless, at least in the British colonies and
the United States, was the most brutal form of slavery ever known.
First there was the capture of the negroes in Africa, then the "middle
passage" with its indescribable {295} horrors, and lastly the
miserable existence in the new country. It may be worth while to
consider more closely some points of the legislation relating to this
particular outgrowth of Christian civilisation.

In America, as elsewhere, the state of slavery was hereditary. The
child of a female slave was itself a slave and belonged to the owner
of its mother, even if its father was a freeman, whereas the child of
a free woman was free even if its father was a slave.[1871] When the
slave-trade was prohibited, heredity remained the only legitimate
source of slavery; but even then a freeborn negro was far from safe.
In the British colonies and in all the Slave States except one, every
negro was presumed to be a slave until he could prove the
reverse.[1872] A man who, within the limits of a slave-holding State,
could exhibit a person of African extraction in his custody was
exempted from all necessity of making proof how he had obtained him or
by what authority he claimed him as a slave. Nay more, through direct
action of Congress it became law that persons known to be free should
be sold as slaves in order to cover the costs of imprisonment which
they had suffered on account of the false suspicion that they were
runaway slaves. This law was repeatedly put into effect. "How many
crowned despots," says Professor von Holst, "can be mentioned in the
history of the Old World, who have done things which compare in
accursedness with this law to which the democratic republic gave

[Footnote 1871: G. M. Stroud, _A Sketch of the Laws relating to
Slavery in the several States of the United States of America_
(Philadelphia, 1856), p. 16 _sqq._; T. R. R. Cobb, _An Inquiry into
the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States of America_
(Philadelphia and Savannah, 1858), p. 68; J. Stephen, _The Slavery of
the British West India Colonies delineated_, i (London, 1824), p. 122;
_Le Code Noir_ (Paris, 1767), Édit du mois de Mars 1685, art. 13,
p. 35 _sq._, and Édit donné au mois de Mars 1724, art. 10, p. 288 _sq._
In Maryland, according to an early enactment, which obtained till the
year 1699 or 1700, all the children born of a slave were slaves "as
their fathers were" (Stroud, _op. cit._ p. 14 _sqq._). In Cuba the
nobler parent determined the rank of the offspring (F. W. Newman,
_Anglo-Saxon Abolition of Negro Slavery_ [London, 1889], p. 17).]

[Footnote 1872: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 369 _sq._; Stroud, _op. cit._
pp. 125, 126, 130; Cobb, _op. cit._ p. 67; J. D. Wheeler, _A Practical
Treatise on the Law of Slavery_ (New York and New Orleans, 1837), p. 5.]

[Footnote 1873: H. von Holst, _The Constitutional and Political
History of the United States_, i (Chicago, 1876), p. 305.]

Slaves were defined as "chattels personal in the hands of their
respective owners or possessors, and their executors, administrators,
and assigns, to all intents and purposes whatsoever."[1874] In the
British colonies and the American Slave States {296} they were at all
times liable to be sold or otherwise alienated at the will of their
masters, as absolutely as cattle or any other personal effects. They
were also liable to be sold by process of law for satisfaction of the
debts of a living, or the debts or bequests of a deceased master, at
the suit of creditors or legatees. They were transmitted by
inheritance or by will to heirs at law or to legatees, and in the
distribution of estates they were distributed like other
property.[1875] No regard was paid to family ties. Except in
Louisiana, where children under ten years of age could not be sold
separately from their mothers,[1876] no law existed to prevent the
violent separation of parents from their children or from each
other.[1877] And what the law did not prevent, the slave-owners did
not omit doing; thus Virginia was known as a breeding-place out of
which the members of one household were sold into every part of the
country.[1878] All this, however, holds true of the British colonies
and the Slave States only. In the Spanish, Portuguese, and French
colonies plantation slaves were real estate, attached to the soil they
cultivated. They partook therewith of all the restraints upon
voluntary alienation to which the possessor of the land was there
liable, and they could not be seized or sold by creditors, for
satisfaction of the debts of the owner.[1879] As regards the sale of
members of the same family the 'Code Noir' expressly says: "Ne
pourront être saisis et vendus séparément, le mari et la femme, et
leurs enfans impubéres, s'ils sont tous sous la puissance du même

[Footnote 1874: J. Brevard, _An Alphabetical Digest of the Public
Statute Law of South Carolina_, ii (Charleston, S.C., 1814), p. 229;
O. H. Prince, _A Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia_ (Athens,
U.S., 1837), p. 777. In the French _Code Noir_ (Édit du mois de Mars
1685, art. 44, p. 49; Édit donné au mois de Mars 1724, art. 40, p. 305
[Paris, 1767]), slaves are declared to be "meubles."]

[Footnote 1875: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 62; Stroud, _op. cit._ p. 84;
W. Goodell, _The American Slave Code in Theory and Practice_ (New
York, 1853), p. 63 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1876: L. Peirce, M. Taylor, and W. W. King, _The
Consolidation and Revision of the Statutes of the State_ [_Louisiana_]
(New Orleans, 1852), pp. 523, 550 _sq._]

[Footnote 1877: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 62 _sq._; Stroud, _op. cit._
p. 82.]

[Footnote 1878: C. H. Pearson, _National Life and Character_ (London,
1893), p. 210.]

[Footnote 1879: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 69.]

[Footnote 1880: _Code Noir_, Édit du mois de Mars 1685, art. 47,
p. 51; Édit donné au mois de Mars 1724, art. 43, p. 306.]

A slave could make no contract; he could not even contract marriage,
in the juridical sense of the word. The association which took place
among slaves and was called marriage was virtually the same as the
Roman _contubernium_, a relation which had no sanctity and to which no
civil rights were attached.[1881] {297} The master could whenever he
liked separate the "husband" and "wife," he could, if he pleased,
commit "adultery" with the "wife," and was the absolute owner of all
the children born by her. A slave had "no more legal authority over
his child than a cow has over her calf." On the other hand, the common
rules of sexual morality were not enforced on the slaves. They were
not admonished for incontinence, nor punished for "adultery," nor
prosecuted for "bigamy." Incontinence was rather thought a matter of
course in the slave. We are told that even in Puritan New England
female slaves in ministers' and magistrates' families bore children,
black or yellow, without marriage, that no one inquired who their
fathers were, and that nothing more was thought of it than of the
breeding of sheep or swine. And concerning the "slave-quarters"
connected with the plantations the universal testimony was that the
sexes were there "herded together promiscuously, like beasts."[1882]
In the answer given to a query which, in 1835, was presented to a
Baptist Association of ministers, the fact leaks out that slave
cohabitation was enforced by the authority of the masters for the
increase of their human chattels.[1883]

[Footnote 1881: Cobb, _op. cit._ p. 240 _sqq._; Stroud, _op. cit._
p. 99; Goodell, _op. cit._ p. 105 _sqq._; Wheeler, _op. cit._ p. 199.]

[Footnote 1882: Goodell, _op. cit._ p. 111.]

[Footnote 1883: _Idem_, _Slavery and Anti-Slavery_ (New York, 1852),
p. 185.]

Yet though slaves were regarded as chattels, the master could not do
with his slave exactly what he pleased. The life of the slave was in
some degree protected by law. In most of the British colonies it was
only by force of comparatively recent acts, made for the most part
subsequent to the year 1797, that the same punishment was prescribed
for the murder of a slave as for the murder of a free person. Prior to
this period the former crime was subject only to a small pecuniary
penalty, in Barbadoes not exceeding £15.[1884] In the French colonies,
according to the 'Code Noir,' a master who killed his slave should be
punished "selon l'atrocité des circonstances."[1885] In all the North
American Slave States there was a time when the murder of a slave,
whether by his master or a third person, was atoned for by a fine. In
South Carolina this was the case as late as 1821, and only since then
the wilful, malicious, and premeditated killing of a slave, by
whomsoever perpetrated, was a capital offence in all the slave-holding
States.[1886] But this does not mean that no distinction was made
between the killing of a slave and the killing of a freeman. In South
Carolina, according to an enactment of 1821, he who killed a slave on
a sudden heat or {298} passion was punished simply with a fine of five
hundred dollars and imprisonment not exceeding six months.[1887] In
the Statutes of Tennessee the law referring to the wilful murder of a
slave contained the provision that it should not be extended to "any
person killing any slave in the act of resistance to his lawful owner
or master, or any slave dying under moderate correction";[1888] and a
very similar provision was made by the laws of Georgia.[1889] In other
words, a correction causing the death of the victim was not
necessarily immoderate in the eye of the law. In a still higher degree
the life of the slave was endangered by another law, which prevailed
universally both in the Slave States and in the British colonies.
Neither a slave, nor a free negro, nor any descendant of a native of
Africa whatever might be the shade of his complexion, could be a
witness against a white person, either in a civil or a criminal
case.[1890] This law placed the slave, who was seldom within the view
of more than one white man at a time, entirely at the mercy of this
individual, and its consequences were obvious. Speaking of slavery in
the United States in 1853, Goodell remarks: "Upon the most diligent
inquiry and public challenge, for fifteen or twenty years past, not
one single case has yet been ascertained in which, either during that
time or previously, a master killing his slave, or indeed any other
white man, has suffered the penalty of death for the murder of a
slave." Nevertheless, murders of slaves by white men had been
notoriously frequent.[1891]

[Footnote 1884: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 36, 38.]

[Footnote 1885: _Code Noir_, Édit donné au mois de Mars 1724, art. 39,
p. 304.]

[Footnote 1886: Brevard, _op. cit._  ii. 240 _sq._; Stroud, _op. cit._
p. 55 _sq._]

[Footnote 1887: Stroud, _op. cit._ p. 64.]

[Footnote 1888: R. L. Caruthers and A. O. P. Nicholson, _A Compilation
of the Statutes of Tennessee_ (Nashville, Tenn., 1836), p. 677.]

[Footnote 1889: Prince, _op. cit._ p. 787.]

[Footnote 1890: Brevard, _op. cit._  ii. 242; Stroud, _op. cit._
p. 106 _sq._; Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 166, 174. In the French colonies,
also, slaves could not be legal witnesses, but their testimony might
be heard by the judge, merely to serve as a suggestion, or
unauthenticated information, which might throw light on the evidence
of other witnesses (_Code Noir_, Édit du mois de Mars 1685, art. 30,
p. 44).]

[Footnote 1891: Goodell, _The American Slave Code_, p. 209 _sq._]

In the North American Slave States and in the colonies of all European
Powers the master could inflict any number of blows upon his slave,
but if he mutilated him he was fined or subjected to a very moderate
term of imprisonment.[1892] Again, the maltreatment of another
person's slave was regarded as an injury done to the master. In the
Negro Act of 1740 for South Carolina it was prescribed that if a slave
was beaten by any person who had not sufficient cause or lawful
authority for so {299} doing, and if he was maimed or disabled by such
beating from performing his or her work, the offender should pay to
the owner of the slave "the sum of 15 shillings current money per
diem, for every day of his lost time, and also the charge of the cure
of such slave."[1893] But if the beating of the slave caused no loss
of service to his master, the offender was not, as a rule, punished by
law.[1894] A decision of the Supreme Court of Maryland established
expressly the law to be, in that State, that trespass would not lie by
a master for an assault and battery on his slave, unless it were
attended with a loss of service.[1895] If, on the other hand, the
offender was a slave and his victim a white man the injury was
regarded in a very different light. We read in an act of Georgia
passed in 1770: "If any slave shall presume to strike any white
person, such slave . . . shall . . . for the second offence suffer
death: But in case any such slave shall grievously wound, maim, or
bruise any white person, though it shall be only the first offence,
such slave shall suffer death."[1896] And to offer violence, to
strike, attempt to strike, struggle with, or resist any white person,
was, even by the latest meliorating laws issued in the British
colonies, declared to be a crime in a slave which, if the white person
had been wounded or hurt, and in some islands even without that
condition, should subject the offender to death, dismemberment, or
other severe penalties.[1897]

[Footnote 1892: 'Negro Act' of 1740, § 37, in Brevard, _op. cit._
ii. 241; Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 36 _sq._; B. Edwards, _The History of
the British West Indies_, ii (London, 1819), p. 192.]

[Footnote 1893: Brevard, _op. cit._ ii. 231 _sq._]

[Footnote 1894: Of all the Slave States, so far as I know, Kentucky
was the only one where the owner of a slave might bring an action of
trespass against any one who whipped, stroke, or otherwise abused the
slave without the owner's consent, notwithstanding the slave was not
so injured that the master lost his services thereby (C. S. Morehead
and M. Brown, _A Digest of the Statute Laws of Kentucky_, ii
[Frankfort, Ky., 1834], p. 1481).]

[Footnote 1895: T. Harris and R. Johnson, _Reports of Cases argued and
determined in the General Court of Appeals of the State of Maryland
from 1800 to 1805, inclusive_, i (Annapolis, 1821), p. 4.]

[Footnote 1896: Prince, _op. cit._ p. 781.]

[Footnote 1897: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 188; Edwards, _op. cit._
ii. 202 _sq._]

The law also took care to prohibit the master from doing things which
were considered injurious to the community or the State. There was a
great fear of teaching negroes to read and write. William Knox, in a
tract addressed to "the venerable Society for propagation of the
Gospel in foreign parts" in the year 1768, remarks that "instruction
renders them less fit or less willing to labour," and that, if they
were universally taught to read, there would undoubtedly be a general
insurrection of the negroes leading to the massacre of their
owners.[1898] A similar fear underlies the laws on the subject which
we meet with in the {300} codes of some of the Slave States, According
to the Negro Act of 1740 for South Carolina, any person who instructed
a slave in writing was subject to a fine of one hundred pounds;[1899]
but this enactment was later on considered too liberal. A law of 1834
placed under the ban all efforts to teach the coloured race either
reading or writing, and the punishment was no longer a pecuniary fine
only, but, besides, imprisonment for six months or a shorter time or,
if the offender was a free person of colour, whipping not exceeding
fifty lashes.[1900] In Georgia a law of 1770, which prohibited the
instruction of slaves in reading and writing, was in 1833 followed by
an act which extended the prohibition to free persons of colour.[1901]
In Louisiana the teaching of slaves was punished with imprisonment for
not less than a month nor more than twelve months.[1902] North
Carolina allowed slaves to be acquainted with arithmetical
calculations, but sternly interdicted instruction in reading and
writing;[1903] whilst Alabama warred with the rudiments of reading,
forbidding any coloured persons, bond or free, to be taught not only
reading and writing, but spelling.[1904] In all these States the
prohibition referred to the master of the slave as well as to other
persons. In Virginia, on the other hand, the master might teach his
slaves whatever he liked, but others might not.[1905]

[Footnote 1898: W. Knox, _Three Tracts respecting the Conversion and
Instruction of the Free Indians and Negro Slaves in the Colonies_
(London, 1789), p. 15 _sq._]

[Footnote 1899:  Brevard, _op. cit._ ii. 243.]

[Footnote 1900: D. J. McCord, _The Statutes at large of South
Carolina_ (Columbia, S.C., 1836-41), vii. 468.]

[Footnote 1901: Prince, _op. cit._ pp. 658, 785.]

[Footnote 1902: Peirce, Taylor, and King, _op. cit._ p. 552.]

[Footnote 1903: _The Revised Statutes of North Carolina passed by the
General Assembly at the Session of 1836-7_, xxxiv. 74, cxi. 27,
vol. i. (Raleigh, 1837), pp. 209, 578.]

[Footnote 1904: C. C. Clay, _A Digest of the Laws of the State of
Alabama_ (Tuskaloosa, 1843), p. 543.]

[Footnote 1905: _The Code of Virginia_, cxcviii. 31 _sq._, vol. ii
(Richmond, 1849), p. 747 _sq._; Stroud, _op. cit._ p. 142.]

There is yet another point in which the master's power was restricted
in a most unusual manner: in many cases he was not allowed to liberate
his slave, or great obstacles were put in the way of manumission, both
in many of the Slave States[1906] and throughout the British West
Indies prior to the Emancipation Act.[1907] In Saint Christopher, in
the year 1802, a tax of £1,000 was imposed on the manumission of any
slave who was not a {301} native of, or had not resided for two years
within, the island, while natives or residents might be enfranchised
at half that price. But the authors of this enactment went further
still. They considered that a master, though unwilling to pay £1,000
or £500 for the legal enfranchisement of his slave, might, during his
own life, make him or her practically free by not exercising his own
rights as master. Hence they enacted "that if any proprietor of a
slave should, by any contract in writing or otherwise, dispense with
the slave's service, or should be proved before a justice of peace not
to have exercised any right of ownership over such slave, and
maintained him or her at his own expense, within a month, the slave
should be publicly sold at vendue by the provost-marshal; and should
become the property of the purchaser, and the purchase-money should be
paid into the colonial treasury."[1908] In St. Vincents £100 should be
paid into the treasury for each slave sought to be manumitted,[1909]
whilst in Barbadoes a person minded to manumit a slave should pay £50
to the churchwarden of the parish in which he resided.[1910] Very
different were the Spanish laws on the subject of manumission.
According to a law of 1528, a negro slave who had served a certain
length of time was entitled to his liberty upon the payment of a
certain sum, not less than twenty marks of gold, the exact amount to
be settled by the royal authorities.[1911] In 1540 a law was issued to
the effect that "if any negro, or negress, or any other persons
reputed slaves, should publicly demand their liberty, they should be
heard, and justice be done to them, and care be taken that they should
not on that account be maltreated by their masters."[1912] Nay, a
slave who wished to change his master and could prevail on any other
person to buy him by appraisement, could demand and compel such a
transfer,[1913] and a master who treated his slaves inhumanly could be
by the judge deprived of them.[1914] In the French islands a negro who
had been cruelly treated, contrary to royal ordinances, was forfeited
to the crown, and acquired, if not freedom, at least deliverance from
a tyrannical master;[1915] but the Court which {302} adjudged the
offence might also decree the sufferer to be manumitted.[1916] In most
of the British colonies and American Slave States, on the other hand,
the slave had no legal right to obtain a change of master when cruel
treatment made it necessary for his relief or preservation.[1917] The
exceptions to this rule[1918] were few and of little practical value.

[Footnote 1906: Morgan, _Civil Code of Louisiana_, p. 29 _sqq._;
_Revised Statutes of North Carolina_, cxi. 58, vol. i. 585; Brevard,
_op. cit._ ii. 255 _sq._ (South Carolina); Prince, _op. cit._ p. 787
(Georgia); Stroud, _op. cit._ p. 231 (Alabama); T. J. F. Alden and
J. A. van Hoesen, _Digest of the Laws of Mississippi_ (New York, 1839),
p. 761; J. Haywood and R. L. Cobbs, _The Statute Lams of the State of
Tennessee_, i (Knoxville, 1831), p. 327 _sq._]

[Footnote 1907: Cobb, _op. cit._ p. 282.]

[Footnote 1908: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 401 _sq._]

[Footnote 1909: Cobb, _op. cit._ p. 282 _sq._]

[Footnote 1910: S. Moore, _The Public Acts in force; passed by the
Legislature of Barbados_ 1762-1800 (London, 1801), p. 224 _sq._]

[Footnote 1911: A. Helps, _The Spanish Conquest in America_,
iv (London, 1861), p. 373.]

[Footnote 1912: _Recopilacion de leyes de los reinos de las Indias_,
vii. 5. 8, vol. ii (Madrid, 1841), p. 321.]

[Footnote 1913: Barre Saint Venant, quoted by Stephen, _op. cit._
i. 119 _sq._]

[Footnote 1914: Edwards, _op. cit._ iv. 451.]

[Footnote 1915: _Code Noir_, Édit du mois de Mars 1685, art, 42, p. 48
_sq._; Édit donné au mois de Mars 1724, art. 38, p. 303 _sq._]

[Footnote 1916: Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 119.]

[Footnote 1917: _Ibid._ i. 106; Stroud, _op. cit._ p. 93.]

[Footnote 1918: Morgan, _Civil Code of Louisiana_, art. 192, p. 33;
Morehead and Brown, _op. cit._ ii. 1481 (Kentucky); Edwards, _op.
cit._ ii. 192 (Jamaica); Stephen, _op. cit._ i. 106 (some other
British colonies).]

This extraordinary system of slavery was not only recognised by
Christian governments, but was supported by the large bulk of the
clergy, Catholic[1919] and Protestant alike. In the beginning of the
abolitionist movement the Churches acknowledged slavery to be a great
evil, but with the making of this acknowledgment they believed that
they had done their share, and denied that there was any obligation on
them, or even that they had any right, to proceed against the
slave-holders. But things did not stop here. The lamentations of
resignation were gradually changed into excuses, and the excuses into
justifications.[1920] The Bible, it was said, contains no prohibition
of slavery; on the contrary, slavery is recognised both in the Old and
New Testaments. Abraham, the father of the faithful and the friend of
God, had slaves; the Hebrews were directed to make slaves of the
surrounding nations; St. Paul and St. Peter approved of the relation
of master and slave when they gave admonitions to both as to their
reciprocal behaviour; the Saviour himself said nothing in condemnation
of slavery, although it existed in great aggravation while he was upon
earth. If slavery were sinful, {303} would it have been too much to
expect that the Almighty had directed at least one little word against
it in the last revelation of His will?[1921] Nay, God not only
permitted slavery, but absolutely provided for its perpetuity;[1922]
it is the very legislation of Heaven itself;[1923] it is an
institution which it is a religious duty to maintain,[1924] and which
cannot be abolished, because "God is pledged to sustain it."[1925]
According to some, slavery was founded on the judgment of God on a
damned race, the descendants of Ham (as Augustine said); according to
others it was only in this way that the African could be raised to a
participation of Christianity and civilisation.[1926] With the name of
"abolitionist" was thus associated the idea of infidelity, and the
emancipation movement was branded as an attempt to spread the evils of
scepticism through the land.[1927] According to Governor Macduffie, of
South Carolina, no human institution is more manifestly consistent
with the will of God than slavery, and every community ought to punish
the interference of abolitionists with death, without the benefit of
clergy, "regarding the authors of it as enemies of the human
race."[1928] It is true that religious arguments were also adduced in
favour of abolition. To hold men in bondage was said to be utterly
inconsistent with the inalienable rights which the Creator had granted
mankind, and still more obviously at variance with the dictates of
Christian love.[1929] Many clergymen also joined the abolitionists.
But it seems that in the middle of the nineteenth century the Quakers
and the United Brethren were the only religious bodies that regarded
slave-holding and slave-dealing as ecclesiastical offences.[1930] The
American Churches were said to be "the bulwarks of American

[Footnote 1919: The attempts to represent the Roman Catholic clergy as
ardent abolitionists (A. Cochin, _L'abolition de l'esclavage_,
ii [Paris, 1861], p. 443; S. de Locqueneuille, _L'esclavage, ses
promoteurs et ses adversaires_, [Liège, 1890], p. 193) are certainly
not justified by facts. Among the Catholics of the United States there
were some advocates of emancipation, but their number was not large
(Goodell, _Slavery and Anti-Slavery_, p. 195 _sq._; T. Parker,
_Collected Works_, vi [London, 1864], p. 127 _sq._). Dr. England, the
Catholic bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, undertook in public to
prove that the Catholic Church had always been the uncompromising
friend of slave-holding (Parker, _op. cit._ v [1863], p. 57). In
Brazil it was common for clergymen not only to possess slaves, but to
buy and sell them with as little scruple as other merchandises (L. A.
da Fonseca, _A escravidão, o clero e o abolicionismo_ [Bahia, 1887],
pp. 28, 33). Bishop Bouvier wrote (_op. cit._ p. 568): "Servi autem
dominis suis obedire, sortem suam patienter tolerare et officia sibi
imposita fideliter exsequi debent, quoadusque libertas ipsis
concedatur. Meminerint præsentem vitam esse momentaneam, futuram vero

[Footnote 1920: Von Holst, _op. cit._ ii. 231 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1921: A. Barnes, _The Church and Slavery_ (Philadelphia,
1857), p. 15; J. G. Birney, _Letter to the Churches_ (on the subject
of slavery) (_s.l._, 1834), p. 3 _sq._; A. T. Bledsoe, _An Essay on
Liberty and Slavery_ (Philadelphia, 1857), p. 138 _sqq._; Gerrit
Smith, _Letter to Rev. James Smylie_ (New York, 1837), p. 3; Cobb,
_op. cit._ p. 54 _sqq._; Goodell, _Slavery and Anti-Slavery_, pp.
154-6, 167, 176, 181, 184, 186, etc.; T. Parker, _op. cit._ v. 157.]

[Footnote 1922: Thornton, quoted by Goodell, _Slavery and
Anti-Slavery_, p. 147; Fisk, quoted _ibid._ p. 147.]

[Footnote 1923: Bledsoe, _op. cit._ p. 138.]

[Footnote 1924: Smylie, quoted by Gerrit Smith, _op. cit._ p. 3.]

[Footnote 1925: Quoted by Goodell, _Slavery and Anti-Slavery_, p. 347.]

[Footnote 1926: Barnes, _op. cit._ p. 16.]

[Footnote 1927: _Ibid._ p. 18; Newman, _op. cit._  p. 56; Bledsoe,
_op. cit._  p. 223.]

[Footnote 1928: Newman, _op. cit._ p. 53; von Holst, _op. cit._
ii. 118 n. 1.]

[Footnote 1929: J. J. Gurney, _Observations on the Distinguishing
Views and Practices of the Society of Friends_ (London, 1834), p. 390;
'Anti-Slavery Declaration of 1833,' quoted by Goodell, _Slavery and
Anti-Slavery_, p. 398; J. G. Birney, _Second Letter on the subject of
Slavery_ (_s.l._ [1834?]), p. 1.]

[Footnote 1930: Parker, _op. cit._ v. 56.]

[Footnote 1931: Von Holst, _op. cit._ ii. 230.]

{304} Nobody would suppose that this attitude towards slavery was due
to religious zeal. It was one of those cases, only too frequent in the
history of morals, in which religion is called in to lend its sanction
to a social institution agreeable to the leaders of religious opinion.
Many clergymen and missionaries were themselves slave-holders,[1932]
the chapel funds largely rested on slave property,[1933] and the
ministers naturally desired to be on friendly terms with the more
important members of their respective congregations, who were commonly
owners of slaves. It is interesting to notice how slow the
anti-slavery movement among the Quakers was towards practical
achievement. It was in 1675 that a companion of George Fox, after
visiting Barbadoes, delivered a remonstrance to Friends in Maryland
and Virginia against slave-holding; but although from that time on
sporadic protests against it were made in Pennsylvania, "the Society
gave these memorials a cold reception. The love of gain and power was
too strong on the part of the wealthy and influential planters and
merchants, who had become slaveholders, to allow the scruples of the
Chester meeting to take the shape of discipline." Not until John
Woolman had devoted the latter part of his life (from 1742 to 1762) to
a crusade against slave-dealing and slave-holding was the Society
solidly converted to the cause of abolition.[1934] But Adam Smith
makes the remark that the resolution of the Quakers in Pennsylvania to
set at liberty all their slaves, was due to the fact that the
principal produce there was corn, the raising of which cannot afford
the expense of slave cultivation; had the slaves "made any
considerable part of their property, such a resolution could never
have been agreed to."[1935] As regards the Parliamentary act against
the slave trade in 1807 and the emancipation of all slaves in British
dominions in 1833, it has been pointed out that "the success of the
abolitionists lay, among other things, in the economic aspects of the
question. While the long battle for the abolition of the slave trade
was being waged, it became evident that it would be far cheaper to
increase the number of slaves by propagation than to continue
importing fresh supplies from Africa; and later, when the
abolitionists turned their attention to the extinction of slavery
itself, the change in the economic condition of the West Indies gave
added impetus to the anti-slavery cause."[1936]

[Footnote 1932: Barnes, _op. cit._ p. 13; Goodell, _Slavery and
Anti-Slavery_, pp. 151, 186 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1933: Newman, _op. cit._ p. 53.]

[Footnote 1934: J. A. Hobson, _God and Mammon_ (London, 1931), p. 39

[Footnote 1935: Adam Smith, _An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of
the Wealth of Nations_ (Edinburgh, 1863), p. 172.]

[Footnote 1936: E. L. Griggs, _Thomas Clarkson_ (London, 1936), p. 20.]

{305} To explain the establishment of colonial slavery, the laws
relating to it, and the difficulties in the way of its abolition, it
is necessary to consider not only economic conditions and the motive
of self-interest, but also the want of sympathy for, or positive
antipathy to, the coloured race. The negro was looked upon almost as
an animal, according to some he was a being without a soul.[1937] Even
the free negro was a pariah, subject to special laws and regulations.
In the Code of Louisiana it is said: "Free people of colour ought
never to insult or strike white people, nor presume to conceive
themselves equal to the whites; but, on the contrary, they ought to
yield to them on every occasion, and never speak or answer them but
with respect, under the penalty of imprisonment, according to the
nature of the offence."[1938] The 'Code Noir' prohibited white men and
women from marrying negroes, "à peine de punition et d'amende
arbitraire";[1939] and in the Revised Statutes of North Carolina we
read: "If any white man or woman, being free, shall marry with an
Indian, negro, mustee or mulatto man or woman, or any person of mixed
blood to the third generation, bond or free, he shall, by judgment of
the county court, forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred dollars to
the use of the county."[1940] In Mississippi a free negro or mulatto
was legally punished with thirty-nine lashes if he exercised the
functions of a minister of the gospel.[1941] Coloured men in the North
were excluded from colleges and high schools, from theological
seminaries and from respectable churches, as also from the town hall,
the ballot, and the cemetery where white people were interred.[1942]
The Anglo-Saxon aversion to the black race is thus expressed by an
English writer: "We hate slavery, but we hate the negroes still
more."[1943] Among the Spaniards and Portuguese racial antipathies
were not so strong, and their slaves were consequently better

[Footnote 1937: Von Holst, _op. cit._ i. 279; M. M. Malloch, 'How the
Church dealt with Slavery,' in _The Month_, xxvii (London, 1876),
p. 454.]

[Footnote 1938: Quoted by Stroud, _op. cit._ p. 157.]

[Footnote 1939: _Code Noir_, Édit donné au mois de Mars 1724, art. 6,
p. 286.]

[Footnote 1940: _Revised Statutes of North Carolina_, lxxi. 5, vol. i.
386 _sq._]

[Footnote 1941: Alden and Van Hoesen, _op. cit._ p. 771.]

[Footnote 1942: Parker, _op. cit._ v. 58; Goodell, _Slavery and
Anti-Slavery_, p. 200.]

[Footnote 1943: Seward, quoted by Newman, _op. cit._ p. 54.]

[Footnote 1944: L. Couty, _L'esclavage au Brésil_ (Paris, 1881), p. 8

As the slavery existing in Mohammedan countries has partly served as
an excuse for their annexation by Christian powers, it is interesting
to compare Islam's attitude towards slavery with that which not long
before had prevailed in the Christian world. The slave should be
treated with kindness; the Prophet said: {306} "A man who behaves ill
to his slave will not enter into paradise." The master should give to
his slaves of the food which he eats himself, and of the clothes with
which he clothes himself. He should not order them to do anything
beyond their power, and in the hot season, during the hottest hours of
the day, he should let them rest. He may marry them to whom he will,
but he may not separate them when married; nor must he separate a
mother from her child. The Prophet said: "Whoever is the cause of
separation between mother and child, by selling or giving, God will
separate him from his friends on the day of resurrection." To liberate
a slave is regarded as an act highly acceptable to God, and as an
expiation for certain sins. These rules, it should be added, are not
only recognised in theory, but derive additional support from general
usage. In the Mohammedan world the slave generally lives on easy terms
with his master. He is often treated as a member of the family, and
occasionally exercises much influence upon its affairs.[1945] This
could of course not be expected in the case of colonial slavery; and
some of its laws were no doubt inspired by fear on account of the
multitude of slaves in a wealthy nation.

[Footnote 1945: Westermarck, _op. cit._ i. 686 _sq._]



IN the New Testament there are several passages condemning lying.
According to the Apocalypse, whosoever loveth and maketh a lie "may
not enter the heavenly city,[1946] but all liars shall have their part
in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."[1947] In the
Epistle to the Ephesians it is said: "Putting away lying, speak every
man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of
another."[1948] Paul wrote to the Colossians: "Lie not one to another,
seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds."[1949] In his
first letter to the Corinthians, however, he describes himself as
something of a hypocrite:[1950] "Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, That
I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the
law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are
without law, as without law (being not without law to God, but under
the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law. To
the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all
things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do
for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with

[Footnote 1946: _Revelation_ xxii. 15.]

[Footnote 1947: _Ibid._ xxi. 8.]

[Footnote 1948: _Ephesians_ iv. 25.]

[Footnote 1949: _Colossians_ iii. 9.]

[Footnote 1950: _Cf._ A. Nygren, _Urkristendom och reformation_ (Lund,
1932), p. 149.]

[Footnote 1951: _1 Corinthians_ ix. 20-3.]

According to Augustine, a lie is always and necessarily sinful; it is
not permissible even when told with a view to saving the life of a
neighbour, "since by lying eternal life is lost, never for any man's
temporal life must a lie be told."[1952] Yet all lies are not equally
sinful: the degree of sinfulness depends on the mind of the liar and
on the nature of the subject on which the lie is told.[1953] Jokes
which "bear with them in the tone of voice, and in the very mood of
the joker a most evident indication that he means {308} no deceit, are
not accounted lies, though the thing he utters be not true."[1954]
This statement is also incorporated in Gratian's _Decretum_.[1955]
Thomas Aquinas discusses with his usual thoroughness the questions
whether a lie is always a sin, and whether every lie is a mortal sin.
"A lie has the character of sinfulness, not only from the damage done
to a neighbour, but also from its own inordinateness. Now it is not
lawful to employ any unlawful inordinateness for the hindering of
hurts and losses to others; as it is not lawful to steal in order to
give alms. And therefore it is not lawful to tell a lie to deliver
another from any danger whatever. It is lawful, however, to hide the
truth prudently under some dissimulation, as Augustine says." A lie is
a mortal sin, if it is opposed to charity by being uttered either to
the injury of God or to the hurt of our neighbour in his person,
wealth, or good name. "But if the end intended be not contrary to
charity, neither will the lie be a mortal sin in this respect; as
appears in a jocose lie, that is intended to create some slight
amusement, and in an officious lie, in which is intended even the
advantage of our neighbour."[1956]

[Footnote 1952: Augustine, _De mendacio_, 6.]

[Footnote 1953: _Idem_, _Enchiridion_, 18; _idem_, _De mendacio_, 21.
For Augustine's views on lying see also his treatise _Contra
mendacium_, addressed to Consentius (Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus_, xl.
517 _sqq._).]

[Footnote 1954: Augustine, _De mendacio_, 2; _idem_, _Quæstiones in
Genesim_, 145, _ad Gen._ xliv. 15 (Migne, xxxiv. 587).]

[Footnote 1955: Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 22. 2. 12, 17 _sq._]

[Footnote 1956: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, ii.-ii. 110. 3

From early times, however, we meet within the Christian Church a much
less rigorous doctrine, which soon came to exercise a more powerful
influence on the practice and feelings of men. It was argued that an
untruth is not a lie when there is a "just cause" for it; and as a
just cause was regarded not only self-defence, but also zeal for God's
honour. This zeal, together with an indiscriminate devotion to the
Church, led to those "pious frauds," those innumerable falsifications
of documents, inventions of legends, and forgeries of every
description, which made the Church a veritable seat of lying, and most
seriously impaired the sense of truth in the minds of
Christians.[1957] Thus by a fiction Papacy, as a divine institution,
was traced back to the age of the Apostles; and in virtue of another
fiction Constantine was alleged to have abdicated his imperial
authority in {309} Italy in favour of the successor of St.
Peter.[1958] The Bishop of Rome assumed the privilege of disengaging
men from their oaths and promises. An oath which was contrary to the
good of the Church was declared not to be binding.[1959] The theory
was laid down that as faith was not to be kept with a tyrant, pirate,
or robber, who kills the body, it was still less to be kept with an
heretic, who kills the soul.[1960] Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and most
of the later Fathers even charged God with falsehood in dealing with
his enemy, the devil, by offering him Christ's soul in exchange for
the souls of men, although he knew that the devil could not keep hold
of Christ's sinless soul, which would only cause him torture.[1961] It
would not have been the first time that God had recourse to deceit for
the purpose of carrying out his plans. In order to ruin Ahab he
commissioned a lying spirit to deceive his prophets;[1962] and once he
threatened to use deception as a means of taking revenge upon

[Footnote 1957: W. Gass, _Geschichte der christlichen Ethik_,
i (Berlin, 1881), pp. 91, 92, 236 _sqq._; J. H. Newman, _Apologia pro
vita sua_ (London, 1873), p. 349 _sq._; J. L. von Mosheim, _Institutes
of Ecclesiastical History_, i (London, 1863), p. 275; C. Middleton, _A
Free Inquiry into the Miraculous Powers, Which are supposed to have
subsisted in the Christian Church_ (London, 1749), _passim_; W. E. H.
Lecky, _History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism
in Europe_, i (London, 1893), p. 396 _sqq._; H. von Eicken,
_Geschichte und System der mittelalterlichen Weltanschauung_
(Stuttgart, 1887), pp. 654-6, 663; A. Harnack, _History of Dogma_,
iii (London, 1897), pp. 184, 185, 219 _sq._]

[Footnote 1958: Von Eicken, _op. cit._ p. 656; R. Lane Poole,
_Illustrations of the History of Mediæval Thought in the Departments
of Theology and Ecclesiastical Politics_ (London, 1884), p. 249.]

[Footnote 1959: Gregory, IX., _Decretales_, ii. 24. 27.]

[Footnote 1960: J. Simancas, _De catholicis institutionibus liber_
(Romæ, 1575), xlvi. 52 _sq._, p. 365 _sq._]

[Footnote 1961: See _supra_, pp. 151, 158.]

[Footnote 1962: _1 Kings_ xxii. 20 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1963: _Ezekiel_ xiv. 7 _sqq._]

Private protestations were thought sufficient to relieve men in
conscience from being bound by a solemn treaty or from the duty of
speaking the truth; and an equivocation, or play upon words in which
one sense is taken by the speaker and another sense intended by him
for the hearer, was in some cases also held permissible. According to
Alfonso de' Liguori--who lived in the eighteenth century and was
beatified in the nineteenth, and whose writings were declared by high
authority not to contain a word that could be justly found fault
with[1964]--there are three sorts of equivocation which may be
employed for a good reason, even with the addition of a solemn oath.
We are allowed to use ambiguously words having two senses, as the word
_volo_, which means both to "wish" and to "fly"; sentences bearing two
main meanings, as "This book is Peter's," which may mean either that
the book belongs to Peter or that Peter is the author of it; words
having two senses, one more common than the other or one literal and
the other metaphorical--for instance, if a man is asked about
something which it is in his interest to conceal, he may answer, "No,
I say," that is, "I say the word {310} 'no'."[1965] As for mental
reservations, again, such as are "purely mental," and on that account
cannot in any manner be discovered by other persons, are not
permissible; but we may, for a good reason, make use of a "non-pure"
mental reservation, which in the nature of things is discoverable,
although it is not discovered by the person with whom we are
dealing.[1966] Thus it would be wrong secretly to insert the word "no"
in an affirmative oath without any external sign; but it would not be
wrong to insert it in a whispering voice or under the cover of a
cough. The "good reason" for which equivocations and non-pure mental
reservations may be employed is defined as "any honest object, such as
keeping our goods spiritual or temporal."[1967] In support of this
casuistry it is uniformly said by Catholic apologists that each man
has a right to act upon the defensive, that he has a right to keep
guard over the knowledge which he possesses in the same way as he may
defend his goods; and as for there being any deceit in the
matter--why, soldiers use stratagems in war, and opponents use feints
in fencing.[1968]

[Footnote 1964: F. Meyrick, _Moral and Devotional Theory of the Church
of Rome. No. I. S. Alfonso de' Liguori's Theory of Truthfulness_
(London, 1855), p. 3.]

[Footnote 1965: Alfonso de' Liguori, _Theologia moralis_ (Bassani,
1822), iii. 151, vol. i. 249.]

[Footnote 1966: _Ibid._ iii. 152, vol. i. 249.]

[Footnote 1967: _Ibid._ iii. 151, vol. i. 249.]

[Footnote 1968: Meyrick, _op. cit._ i. 25.]

Protestant moralists reject the doctrine of mental reservation, and
adopt a less formal view as to falsehood than is taken by the Roman
Catholic theologians. They teach that the malice of lying consists in
its being an offence against justice, truth being a debt which we owe
our fellow-men, and that when that debt ceases falsehood is
legitimate.[1969] But there have also been the Puritan insistence on
literal truthfulness and distrust of works of imagination, alike
poetry and romance, and the early Quakers' battle against insincerity
in their theeing and thouing and refusal of giving titles of respect.
Thomas Ellwood wrote in his autobiography: "I durst not say, Sir,
Master, My Lord, Madam (or My dame); or say Your Servant to any one to
whom I did not stand in the real relation of a servant, which I had
never done to any. . . . Again, the corrupt and unsound form of
speaking in the plural number to a single person, _you_ to one,
instead of _thou_, contrary to the pure, plain, and single language of
truth, _thou_ to one, and _you_ to more than one, which had always
been used by God and men, and men to God, as well as one to another .
. . hath greatly debased the spirits and depraved the manners of

[Footnote 1969: G. H. Joyce, 'Mental Reservation,' in J. Hastings,
_Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics_, viii (Edinburgh, 1915), p. 555.]

[Footnote 1970: _The History of the Life of Thomas Ellwood, written by
his own hand_ (London, 1900), p. 19.]

{311} According to the Catholic doctrine, formulated by Aquinas, the
most grievous and mortal of all lies is that which is contrary to the
charity of God, whose truth is obscured or misrepresented by it; and
"a lie of this nature is not only opposed to the virtue of charity,
but also to the virtue of faith and religion."[1971] As Augustine
said, "it is far more tolerable to lie in those things that are
unconnected with religion than to be deceived in those without belief
in, or knowledge of, which God cannot be worshipped."[1972] In
agreement with Augustine, who defined faith as "cum assensione
cogitare," Aquinas also asserts that it is "an act of the intellect,
assenting to divine truth by command of the will, moved by God's
grace; and thus is under the control of freewill in reference to God.
Hence the act of faith may be meritorious."[1973] So also unbelief is
in the intellect, but the cause of it is in the will, and therefore it
is a sin, and indeed a sin greater than all sins of moral
perversity.[1974] By insisting that unbelief is "in the will as its
prime mover" Aquinas thinks that he has proved its sinful character.

[Footnote 1971: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-i. 110. 4.]

[Footnote 1972: Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 18.]

[Footnote 1973: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 2. 9.]

[Footnote 1974: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 10. 2 _sq._]

The faith which the Christian Churches have regarded as an
indispensable condition of salvation implies belief in the power and
dignity of Christ as Messiah and Lord and in the reality of his
redemption. In the Catholic conception of faith it is faith in the
Church, who is the guarantor of the truth of her doctrines.[1975] What
then about those who have never heard of Christ and his Church, and
whose unbelief therefore cannot possibly be due to their will? Some
early Fathers admitted the possible salvation of pagans--Justin Martyr
expressly said that Socrates and Heraclitus in the sight of God were
Christians[1976]--but the vast majority of the Fathers and the Church
held a different opinion.[1977] "Hold most firmly," said Fulgentius,
"and doubt not that not only all pagans but also all Jews, heretics,
and schismatics who depart from this present life outside the Catholic
Church are about to go into eternal fire, prepared for the devil and
his angels."[1978] This doctrine was deemed so prominent and
unquestionable that the Council of Carthage, in the fourth century,
made it one of the test-questions put to every bishop before {312}
ordination.[1979] Aquinas, again, argues that in those who have heard
nothing of the faith, unbelief has not the character of a sin, but
rather of a penalty, inasmuch as such ignorance of divine things is a
consequence of the sin of our first parent, and that, consequently,
"unbelievers of this class are damned for other sins that cannot be
forgiven without faith, but they are not damned for the sin of

[Footnote 1975: _Ibid._ ii.-ii. 10. 12.]

[Footnote 1976: Justin, 'Apologia II. pro Christianis,' in _Opera
omnia_, ed. by F. Sylburg (1593), p. 65.]

[Footnote 1977: J. Barbeyrac, _Traité de la morale des Pères de
l'Église_ (Amsterdam, 1728), p. 159; W. Palmer, _A Treatise on the
Church of Christ_, i (London, 1842), 12.]

[Footnote 1978: Fulgentius, _De fide_, 81.]

[Footnote 1979: Palmer, _op. cit._ i. 13.]

[Footnote 1980: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._  ii.-ii. 10. 1.]

All the Lutherans and Reformed and the sects which separated from them
held that faith in the Church, their own Church, or at any rate faith
in Christ, was necessary for salvation.[1981] Luther is clear that
outside Christendom there is no forgiveness and can be no
holiness.[1982] Calvin says: "Beyond the bosom of the Church, no
remission of sins is to be hoped for, nor any salvation."[1983] The
Anglican Article XIII. denies that "works done before the grace of
Christ" are pleasant to God; "yea rather, for that they are not done
as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but
they have the nature of sin." In the Westminster Confession of Faith
the divines declared the opinion that men not professing Christianity
may be saved to be "very pernicious, and to be detested";[1984] and in
their Larger Catechism they expressly said that "they who, having
never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and believe not in him,
cannot be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives
according to the light of nature, or the laws of that religion which
they profess."[1985] Among the leading Reformers Zwingli was the only
one who openly and unequivocally repudiated the doctrine of exclusive
salvation. In a Confession of Faith which he wrote just before his
death he described that future "assembly of all the saintly, the
heroic, the faithful, and the virtuous," when Abel and Enoch, Noah and
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will mingle with "Socrates, Aristides, and
Antigonus, with Numa and Camillus, Hercules and Theseus, the Scipios
and the Catos," and when every upright and holy man who has ever lived
will be present with God. On reading this Luther said he despaired of
the salvation of Zwingli.[1986] Even in the case of Christians errors
in belief on such {313} subjects as church government, the Trinity,
transubstantiation, original sin, and predestination, have been
declared to expose the guilty to eternal damnation.[1987] In the
seventeenth century it was a common theme of certain Roman Catholic
writers that "Protestancy unrepented destroys salvation,"[1988] while
the Protestants on their part taxed Du Moulin with culpable laxity for
admitting that some Roman Catholics might escape the torments of

[Footnote 1981: Palmer, _op. cit._ i. 13.]

[Footnote 1982: Luther, 'Der grosse Katechismus 1529,' pt, ii. art. 1,
in _Sämmtliche Werke_, xxi (Erlangen, 1832), p. 98 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1983: Calvin, _Institutio Christianæ religionis_, iv. 1. 4.]

[Footnote 1984: _The Confession of Faith_, x. 4.]

[Footnote 1985: _The Larger Catechism_, Answer to Question 60.]

[Footnote 1986: Zwingli, 'Fidei Christianæ expositio,' in _Opera_, iv
(Turici, 1841), p. 65; J. B. Bossuet, _Histoire des variations des
Eglises Protestantes_, i (Paris, 1688), p. 72 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1987:  E. Abbot, 'Literature of the Doctrine of a Future
Life,' in W. R. Alger, _A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future
Life_ (Philadelphia, 1864), p. 863.]

[Footnote 1988: M. Wilson, _Charity Mistaken, with the Want whereof
Catholickes are unjustly charged, for affirming . . . that Protestancy
unrepented destroys Salvation_ (St. Omer, 1630).]

[Footnote 1989: Abbot, _loc. cit._ p. 860.]

Unfortunately it was not left to the Almighty alone to avenge the
injury done to him by the sin of unbelief, but in this case also the
principle that it belongs to the worldly authorities to appease his
anger was acted upon. And a lie about divine things is not only an
offence against God, but also a corruption of the faith, whereby the
life of the soul is sustained; and this is much worse than to temper
with the coinage, which is only an aid to temporal life. "Hence," says
Aquinas, "if coiners or other malefactors are at once handed over by
secular princes to a just death, much more may heretics, immediately
they are convicted of heresy, be not only excommunicated, but also
justly done to die." [1990]

[Footnote 1990: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 11. 3.]

The opinions of the early Fathers on persecution were divided. Those
who wrote when a pagan or heretical power was supreme were the
champions of toleration, but those who wrote when the Church was in
the ascendency usually inclined to persecution. Foremost among the
latter was Augustine. As long as the Donatists had the upper hand in
Africa he stood for the rights of conscience, but when the balance of
material force was with Catholicism he changed his mind. It was
merciful, he contended, to punish heretics even by death, if this
could save them or others from the eternal suffering that awaited the
unconverted; and he adduced as applicable precedents all the worst
persecutions mentioned in the Old Testament.[1991] From the moment the
Church obtained civil power under Constantine the general principle of
coercion was admitted and acted on both against Jews, heretics, and
pagans.[1992] The first law that has come {314} down to us in which
the penalty of death is annexed to the simple profession of a heresy,
is law 9 'De Hereticis' in the Theodosian Code, which was made by
Theodosius the Great, but it was applicable only to some sects of
Manichæans.[1993] For a long time, however, the clergy were reluctant
to sanction the death of heretics, though very desirous to suppress
their worship by force, and to banish their teachers from the empire.
Spain was the first country to shed a Christian's blood for the sake
of Christian orthodoxy. The emperor and the bishops responsible for
murdering Priscillian were Spaniards; and it was in a letter to a
Spanish bishop (in 447) that Bishop Leo of Rome frankly rejoiced to
think how the civil power aids the Church's "law of gentleness" by
inflicting capital punishment on heretics like the Priscillians.[1994]

[Footnote 1991: Augustine, _Contra Gaudentium_, i. 19; _idem_, _Contra
epistolam Parmeniani_, i. 8; _idem_, _Epistola XCIII._ 17.]

[Footnote 1992: H. H. Milman, _History of Latin Christianity_,
ii (London, 1864), p. 33 _sq._; Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 13 _sqq._]

[Footnote 1993: _Codex Theodosianum_, xvi. 8.]

[Footnote 1994: J. Moffatt, _The First Five Centuries of the Church_
(London, 1938), p. 100 _sq._]

After the suppression of paganism in the Roman Empire, however,
religious persecution was very rare for centuries, because heresies
scarcely appeared, and the few that arose were quite insignificant.
But as soon as the revival of learning commenced there was a change.
This happened in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In 1199
Innocentius III. issued a decree which led to the foundation of the
Inquisition.[1995] Shortly afterwards began the massacre of the
Albigenses in the south of France. The papal legate wrote jubilantly
that at the capture of Béziers nearly 20,000 persons were killed--men,
women, and children together. When some of the soldiers asked how they
should distinguish orthodox from heretics, the legate gave the order,
"Kill them all, for God knows his own."[1996] In 1215 the Fourth
Council of the Lateran enjoined all rulers as they desired to be
esteemed faithful, to swear a public oath that they would labour
earnestly, and to the full extent of their power, to exterminate from
their dominions all those who were branded as heretics by the
Church.[1997] She excommunicated princes who refused to execute the
heretics whom the Inquisition handed over to them.[1998]

[Footnote 1995: G. G. Coulton, _The Inquisition_ (London, 1929), p. 20

[Footnote 1996: H. C. Lea, _A History of the Inquisition_, i (New
York, 1906), p. 154.]

[Footnote 1997: N. Eymericus, _Directorium Inquisitorum_ (Romæ, 1578),
p. 60.]

[Footnote 1998: Coulton, _op. cit._ p. 49.]

In 1231 burning alive was made the regular mode of execution; and it
took place after the constancy of the victim had been tried by the
most excruciating torture. Not infrequently he was burnt alive by a
slow fire, which was said to give him {315} more time for
repentance.[1999] It was the invariable rule to confiscate the entire
property of the impenitent heretic[2000]--a rule which the Sicilian
inquisitor Paramo justified on the ground that the crime of the
heretic is so great that something of his impurity falls upon all who
are related to him, and that the Almighty--whom he terms the First
Inquisitor--deprived both Adam and his descendants of the Garden of
Eden.[2001] Nay, all the possessions of a person ceased to be his from
the mere fact that he had been accused of heresy.[2002]

[Footnote 1999: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 34.]

[Footnote 2000: Eymericus, _op. cit._ iii. 110 _sqq._, p. 390.]

[Footnote 2001: L. Paramo, _De origine et progressu Sanctæ
Inquisitionis_ (Matriti, 1598), i. 2. 7, p. 45.]

[Footnote 2002: Lea, _op. cit._ i. 517.]

The number of persons who suffered death at the stake cannot be given
with any confidence. Llorente, who had free access to the archives of
the Spanish Inquisition, assures us that by that tribunal alone more
than 31,000 persons were burnt, and more than 290,000 condemned to
punishments less severe than death.[2003] On August 24 (St.
Bartholomew's Day) 1572 began the famous massacres in France in which
about 70,000 Huguenots were slain. After the beginning of the
eighteenth century, persecution became less sanguinary, though in
Spain over a thousand persons are said to have been burnt in the first
half of the century.[2004] But there was no relaxation in Catholic
theory. In 1808 Napoleon abolished the Spanish Inquisition; but when
his power fell, it was restored there and in the Papal States.[2005]
In 1885, in the encyclical 'Immortale Dei,' Leo XIII. blamed all
States that granted equal rights to every creed; and in 1888 he issued
another encyclical, in which he laid down that the State ought to
profess only Catholicism, and that "although in the extraordinary
condition of these times the Church usually acquiesces in certain
modern liberties . . . because she judges it expedient to permit them,
she would in happier times exercise her own liberty."[2006] In _The
Catholic Encyclopedia_, published in New York between 1907 and 1914,
it is said that the rigours of the Inquisition offend the feelings of
later ages in which there is less regard for the purity of faith, but
that they did not antagonise the feelings of their own time, when
heresy was looked upon as more malignant than treason. "Toleration
came in only when faith went out; lenient measures were {316} resorted
to only where the power to apply more severe measures was

[Footnote 2003: J. A. Llorente, _Histoire de l'Inquisition d'Espagne_,
iv (Paris, 1818), p. 271.]

[Footnote 2004: C. J. Cadoux, _Catholicism and Christianity_ (London,
1928), pp. 570, 573.]

[Footnote 2005: _Ibid._ p. 574.]

[Footnote 2006: _Ibid._ p. 578 _sq._]

[Footnote 2007: J. Wilhelm, 'Heresy,' in _The Catholic Encyclopedia_,
vii. (New York, 1910), p. 262.]

Religious persecution was not peculiar to the Catholics but was also
practised by the Protestants, though on a smaller scale. The early
documents of the Reformation contain brilliant declarations of the
rights of conscience;[2008] it was, of course, only by an appeal to
those rights that the Reformers could justify their own attitude
towards Roman Catholicism. But it is one thing to claim liberty for
oneself, and another to accord it to others. All round about Luther
and Melanchthon sprang up a crop of heresies with which they had no
sympathy.[2009] Luther writes to the Elector John, begging him to
silence a certain Hans Mohr, who was spreading Zwinglian opinions in
Coburg;[2010] and in another place he lays down as a rule for the
treatment of unbelievers in an evangelical State that if after
instruction they still persist, they are to be made to hold their
tongues.[2011] But his intolerance chiefly spends itself in violent
words, and he objects to inflicting capital punishment in cases of
heresy. In 1526 he writes in reference to Anabaptists: "It is not
right, and I think it great pity, that such wretched people should be
so miserably slain, burned, cruelly put to death; every one should be
allowed to believe what he will. If he believes wrongly, he will have
punishment enough in the eternal fire of hell."[2012] In another
letter he writes: "I am slow to adopt the judgment of blood, even
where it is abundantly deserved. . . . I can in no way admit that
false teachers should be put to death; it is enough that they should
be banished."[2013] Melanchthon was less merciful. He writes that
sedition ought to be suppressed by the sword, and that blasphemers,
even if not seditious, should be put to death by the civil magistrate;
there were precedents for this course in the law of Moses.[2014] And
he did not hesitate to express his entire approval of the burning of
the "blasphemer", Servetus, whom Calvin had arrested and condemned to
the {317} flames,[2015] although he was only a wayfarer in Geneva,
over whom neither Calvin nor the magistrates of the city had a shadow
of jurisdiction. Calvin lays down with great distinctness the duty of
repressing heresy by force.[2016] Even Zwingli, who speaks of a heaven
in which Christians may expect to meet the wise and good of heathen
antiquity, approved of putting false teachers to death,[2017] which
actually happened when Anabaptist leaders were judicially drowned in
the Lake of Zürich.[2018]

[Footnote 2008: Luther, 'Von weltlicher Oberkeit, wie weit man ihr
Gehorsam schuldig sei. 1523,' in _Sämmtliche Werke_, xxii (Erlangen,
1833), p. 59 _sqq._; 'Sermon vom Bann. 1519,' _ibid._ xxvii (Erlangen,
1833), p. 50 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2009: See C. Beard, _The Reformation of the Sixteenth
Century_ (London 1885), p. 170 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2010: Luther, _Briefe, Sendschreihen und Bedenken_,
iii (Berlin, 1827), p. 256 _sq._]

[Footnote 2011: _Ibid._ iii. 498.]

[Footnote 2012: Luther, _Sämmtliche Werke_, xxvi (Erlangen, 1830),
p. 256.]

[Footnote 2013: _Idem_, _Briefe, Sendschreihen und Bedenken_, iii. 347

[Footnote 2014: Ph. Melanchthon, 'Epistolæ, v.,' in _Opera_, ii (Halis
Saxonum, 1835), p. 17 _sq._]

[Footnote 2015: _Idem_, 'Epistolæ, xii.,' in _Opera_, viii (1841),
p. 362.]

[Footnote 2016: P. Henry, _The Life and Times of John Calvin_,
ii (London, 1849), p. 241.]

[Footnote 2017: Zwingli, 'Fidei Christianæ expositio,' in _Opera_,
iv (Turici, 1841), p. 65.]

[Footnote 2018: H. Bullinger, _Reformationsgeschichte_ (Frauenfeld,
1838), i. 382, ii. 14.]

In England, on the accession of Elizabeth, a law was made prohibiting
any religious service other than the Prayer-book, the penalty for the
third offence being imprisonment for life. Both before the
Reformation, and during the Reformation, and after the
Reformation--down to 1678--it was a rule of the common law that an
Englishman could be burned as a heretic by virtue of a State
writ.[2019] Presbyterians, through a long succession of reigns, were
imprisoned, branded, mutilated, scourged, and exposed in pillory; many
Catholics under false pretences were tortured and hung; Anabaptists
and Arians were burnt alive. In Ireland the religion of the immense
majority of the people was banned and prescribed, and when in 1626 the
Government manifested some slight wish to grant it partial relief,
nearly all the Protestant bishops assembled to protest in a solemn
resolution against the indulgence.[2020] When the Reformation
triumphed in Scotland, one of its first fruits was a law which
declared that whoever either said mass, or was present while it was
said, should for the first offence lose his goods, for the second
offence be exiled, and for the third offence be put to death.[2021]
According to Lecky, it was in Scotland, in 1697, that the last
execution for heresy on British soil took place, and in Scotland
again, in 1727, that the sin of witchcraft was last punished with
death by any British authority. He believes that in no part of
Protestant Europe prosecutions for witchcraft were so frequent,
persistent, and ferocious as there. It was to the ministers that the
persecution was mainly due; and in 1736 the associated Presbytery
{318} left a solemn protest against the repeal of the laws against
witchcraft as an infraction of the express word of God.[2022] The
Puritans, who, when a minority, demanded freedom as passionately as
minorities always will, were no lovers of toleration for its own sake:
"where they controlled the State, as they showed in New England, they
were ready to enforce conformity to their own views, and to exert a
discipline no less drastic than that of their enemies." Even Cromwell,
who called God to witness that "no man in England doth suffer for the
testimony of Jesus," was unable in his hour of triumph to grant
freedom to Anglicans and Catholics.[2023]

[Footnote 2019: E. Barker, in the review of a book in _The
Sociological Review_, xxix (London, 1937), p. 210.]

[Footnote 2020: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 39 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2021: Buckle, _History of Civilization in England_,
iii (London, 1894), p. 82.]

[Footnote 2022:  W. E. H. Lecky, _A History of England in the
Eighteenth Century_, ii (London, 1878), pp. 80, 83.]

[Footnote 2023: E. Barker, _National Character and the Factors in its
Formation_ (London, **1927), p. 203.]

After discussing the persecutions of the Christian Churches, Dean
Inge[2024] expresses the opinion that almost everything which offends
the antagonists of Christianity comes from ecclesiasticism, not from
Christianity. True, in its early days there were no other persecutions
than those of which the Christians themselves were the victims. But it
cannot be denied that early Christianity contained seeds productive of
the persecuting spirit. It accepted the divine authority of the Old
Testament. Like other monotheistic religions that attribute human
emotions and passions to their godhead--Zoroastrianism and
Mohammedanism--that of the Hebrews was an intolerant religion. Yahveh
said: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. . . . I the Lord thy
God is a jealous God." In the pre-prophetic period the existence of
other gods was recognised, but they were not to be worshipped by
Yahveh's people. Nor was any mercy to be shown to their followers, for
Yahveh was "a man of war."[2025] The god of Christianity inherited his
jealousy; and Augustine and other advocates of religious persecutions
expressly appealed in justification of them to those mentioned in the
Old Testament. Polytheism, on the other hand, is by nature tolerant: a
god who is always used to share with other gods the worship of his
believers cannot be a very jealous god. Among the early Greeks and
Romans it was a principle that the religion of the State should be the
religion of the people, as its welfare was supposed to depend upon a
strict observance of the established cult; but the gods mainly cared
for external worship, and took little notice even of expressed
opinions. Philosophers openly {319} despised the very rites which they
both defended and practised; and religion was more a pretext than a
real motive for the persecutions of men like Anaxagoras, Protagoras,
Socrates, and Aristotle.[2026] In the collection of Roman laws before
Constantine we search in vain for any enactment aimed at free thought,
and in the history of the Emperors there was no prosecution of
abstract doctrine. The measures by which the Romans in earlier times
repressed the introduction of new religions were largely suggested by
worldly considerations; and it has been sufficiently proved that the
persecutions of the Christians during the pagan Empire sprang from
motives quite different to religious intolerance. Liberty of worship
was a general principle of the Imperial rule. That it was denied the
Christians was due to their own aggressiveness, as also to political
suspicion. They grossly insulted the pagan cult, denouncing it as the
worship of demons; they refused to offer sacrifice on behalf of the
Emperor; and calamities that fell upon the Empire were in consequence
regarded by the populace as the righteous vengeance of the offended
gods. Their proselytism disturbed the peace of families and towns.
Their secret meetings aroused suspicion of political danger; and this
suspicion was increased by the doctrines they professed. They
considered the Roman Empire a manifestation of Antichrist, they looked
forward with longing to its destruction, and many of them refused to
take part in its defence. The greatest and best among the pagans spoke
of the Christians as "enemies," or "haters of the human race."[2027]

[Footnote 2024: W. R. Inge, _Christian Ethics and Moral Problems_
(London, 1932), p. 196.]

[Footnote 2025: _Exodus_ xv. 3.]

[Footnote 2026: L. Schmidt, _Die Ethik der alten Griechen_,
ii (Berlin, 1882), p. 24 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2027: E. Westermarck, _The Origin and Development of the
Moral Ideas_, ii (London, 1917), p. 649.]

An ecclesiastical reason for the Christian persecutions was
undoubtedly that the cohesion and power of the Church, which regarded
itself as the sole possessor of divine truth, depended upon a strict
adherence to its doctrines. There were also worldly grounds for them.
One was greed. The inquisitor Eymeric complained in 1375: "In our days
there are no more rich heretics, so that princes, not seeing much
money in prospect, will not put themselves to any expense; it is a
pity that so salutary an institution as ours should be so uncertain of
its future."[2028] Another ground which induced Christian princes to
persecute heretics was fear of their political influence. Certain
heresies, as Manichæism and Donatism, were expressly declared to
affect the common welfare; and the Frankish kings treated heretics not
only as rebels against the Church, but as traitors to the State, as
confederates of hostile Visigoths or Burgundians or {320}
Lombards.[2029] But whatever other grounds there may have been for the
persecutions committed by the Christians, the principal one was
unquestionably the doctrine of exclusive justification by faith; and
this was not an ecclesiastical invention, but the leading idea in the
Pauline epistles. Thus Paul, who before his conversion had been
persecuting the Christians, became afterwards an indirect cause of
religious persecution on an infinitely greater scale, to which there
has been no parallel outside Christendom. It is significant that the
reviver of Paulinism, Augustine, also was the spiritual father of

[Footnote 2028: Coulton, _op. cit._ p. 47.]

[Footnote 2029: H. H. Milman, _History of Latin Christianity_,
ii (London, 1867), pp. 33, 61.]

The persecutions were by no means ineffective. Before operating in any
district the inquisitors used to make a proclamation offering pardon
under certain conditions to those who confessed and retracted their
heresies within thirty or forty days; and Mariana says that when such
a proclamation was made on the first establishment of the Inquisition
in Andalusia, 17,000 recantations followed.[2030] This was presumably
regarded as a triumph of truth; but it was scarcely a triumph of
truthfulness. Augustine himself writes that we must avoid the lie and,
even when we err in our thought, must always say what we think.[2031]
But it is not only by persecutions that the Christian Churches have
impaired the spirit of truth: they have also done it by softer
means--by inducing the State to make the profession of a certain
creed, or at any rate the performance of certain religious rites, a
condition of the enjoyment of full civic rights. And this is what even
Protestant countries have been doing up to our own time. In the case
of the clergy, too, there is considerable inducement to insincerity.
Mr. Harvey writes in a book on _The Church and the Twentieth Century_:
"It is to be feared that even now the Church is not universally
regarded as pre-eminently the home of truthfulness. The more
intelligent layman suspects his clergyman of practising a good deal of
mental reservation."[2032] "While a man's livelihood and the happiness
of his wife and children," says the Rev. R. Roberts, "are dependant on
his defence of orthodoxy he is most certainly forced into conformity.
. . . It is orthodoxy holding the pistol of starvation at the
heretic's head in the name of religion."[2033] {321} According to Dean
Rashdall the most deadly result of the doctrine of justification by
faith is that it has fostered the belief that honest thinking is
sinful and blind credulity meritorious. "It deters the clergy from
study, from thought, and from openly teaching what they themselves
really believe."[2034]

[Footnote 2030: I. Mariana, _Historiæ de rebus Hispaniæ_,
ii (Moguntiæ, 1605), bk. xxiv, ch. 17.]

[Footnote 2031: Augustine, _Enchiridion_, 22.]

[Footnote 2032: G. L. H. Harvey, 'Nova et vetera,' in _The Church and
the Twentieth Century_, ed. by himself (London, 1936), p. 420.]

[Footnote 2033: R. Roberts, 'The Tyranny of Intolerance,' in _R.P.A.
Annual 1913_ (London), p. 46 _sq._]

[Footnote 2034:  H. Rashdall, _The Idea of Atonement in Christian
Theology_ (London, 1919), p. 429.]

The highest regard for truth is not to profess it, but to seek for it.
In this respect the Christian Churches have been most lamentably
deficient. While the knowledge of religious truth has been held to be
a necessary requirement of salvation, all other knowledge was for a
long time regarded not only as valueless but even as sinful. "The
wisdom of this world," says Paul, "is foolishness with God."[2035]
Tertullian expresses the ecclesiastical contempt of scientific
knowledge in the famous formula, _Credo quia impossibile_, "I believe
because it is impossible." Lactantius in particular expatiated on the
nothingness of all worldly wisdom.[2036] According to Aquinas,
eagerness to learn the truth may be a vice; as "when one seeks to
learn the truth about creatures without reference to the due end,
which is the knowledge of God. Hence Augustine says: 'We must not
gratify a curiosity, idle and sure to be thrown away over the study of
creatures; but we must make of that study a ladder to ascend to
immortal and everlasting goods.'"[2037] Throughout the Middle Ages
there is a conflict between the learning of the Church and the study
of the classics. The latter might be useful only as a dialectic
training calculated to promote a scientific exposition and defence of
the ecclesiastical doctrines.[2038] Aquinas points out that "though
the study of philosophy in itself is lawful and praiseworthy, still
because some philosophers abuse it to assail the faith, the Apostle
says:[2039] 'Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ.'"[2040]

[Footnote 2035: _1 Corinthians_ iii. 19.]

[Footnote 2036: Lactantius, _Divinæ institutiones_, iii. 3, etc.]

[Footnote 2037: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 167. 1.]

[Footnote 2038: H. von Eicken, _op. cit._ p. 591 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2039: _Colossians_ ii. 8.]

[Footnote 2040: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ ii.-ii. 187. 1. 3.]

For centuries afterwards, as Lecky remarks, "every mental disposition
which philosophy pronounces to be essential to a legitimate research
was almost uniformly branded as a sin, and a large proportion of the
most deadly intellectual vices were deliberately inculcated as
virtues. It was a sin to doubt the opinions that had been instilled in
childhood before they had {322} been examined. It was a virtue to hold
them with unwavering, unreasoning credulity. It was a sin to notice
and develop to its full consequences every objection to those
opinions, it was a virtue to stifle every objection as a suggestion of
the devil. It was sinful to study with equal attention and with an
indifferent mind the writings on both sides, sinful to resolve to
follow the light of evidence wherever it might lead, sinful to remain
poised in doubt between conflicting opinions, sinful to give only a
qualified assent to indecisive arguments, sinful even to recognise the
moral or intellectual excellence of opponents. In a word, there is
scarcely a disposition that marks the love of abstract truth, and
scarcely a rule which reason teaches as essential for its attainment,
that theologians did not for centuries stigmatise as offensive to the

[Footnote 2041: Lecky, _op. cit._ ii. 87 _sq._]

Lecky adds that from this frightful condition was Europe at last
rescued by the intellectual influences that produced the Reformation.
This may be true in a manner, but it was not the Reformation itself
that marked the change. It held out no hand of welcome to awakening
science; and it has been justly observed that even at a later time the
divines who looked most askance at it and claimed for their statements
an entire independence of modern knowledge were those who most loudly
declared their allegiance to the theology of the Reformation.[2042]
With Luther himself reason and faith were mortal enemies: what
Scripture imposes upon us was precisely what reason would bid us
reject. "All the articles of our Christian faith," he writes, "which
God has revealed to us in His Word are in presence of reason sheerly
impossible";[2043] and when his natural reason rebelled against the
violence which orthodox faith offered to it, the revolt was ascribed
to the direct agency of the devil.[2044] In the middle of the
seventeenth century a powerful party was rising in England who said
that all learning was unfavourable to religion, and that it was
sufficient for everybody to be acquainted with his mother-tongue
alone.[2045] Mr. Harvey asserts that the Church of the nineteenth
century lost the reputation of putting truth in the first place;
though the position is not so bad as it was when Hort could speak of
"a favourable specimen of the conventional English ecclesiastical
scholar, who does not willingly violate {323} truth, but has never
discovered that there is such a thing as truth."[2046]

[Footnote 2042: Beard, _op. cit._ p. 298.]

[Footnote 2043: Luther, 'Ausführliche Erklärung der Epistel an die
Galater. 1523,' in _Sämtliche Schriften_, viii (Halle, 1742),
col. 2042.]

[Footnote 2044: _Idem_, 'Auslegung des vierzehenten funfzehenten und
sechzehenten Capitels St. Johannis. 1538,' _ibid._ viii. 571.]

[Footnote 2045: L. Twells and others, _The Lives of Dr. E. Pocock_,
etc. (London, 1816), p. 176.]

[Footnote 2046: Harvey, _loc. cit._ p. 403; _Life and Letters of F. J.
A. Hort_, ii (London, 1896), p. 102.]

Nevertheless we are told, even by highly respectable writers, that the
modern world owes its scientific spirit to the extreme importance
which Christianity assigned to the possession of truth, of _the_
truth.[2047] According to Réville, "it was the orthodox intolerance of
the Church in the Middle Ages which impressed on Christian society
this disposition to seek truth at any price, of which the modern
scientific spirit is only the application. The more importance the
Church attached to the profession of the truth--to the extent even of
considering involuntary error as in the highest degree a damnable
crime--so much the more the sentiment of the immense value of this
truth arose in the general persuasion, along with a resolve to conquer
it wherever it was felt not to be possessed. How otherwise can we
explain that science was not developed and has not been pursued with
constancy, except in the midst of Christian societies?"[2048] This
statement is a curious instance of the common tendency to attribute to
the influence of the Christian religion almost anything good which may
be found among Christian peoples. But surely, the patient and
impartial search after hidden truth, for the sake of truth, which
constitutes the essence of scientific research, is not congenial to,
but the very opposite of, that ready acceptance of a revealed truth
for the sake of eternal salvation, which was insisted on by the
Churches. And what about that singular love of abstract knowledge
which flourished in ancient Athens, where Aristotle declared it a
sacred duty to prefer truth to everything else,[2049] and Socrates
sacrificed his life on its altar? The modern scientific spirit is only
a revival and development of a mental disposition which for ages was
suppressed by the persecuting tendencies of the Church, as also--it
must be added--by the extreme contempt of learning displayed by the
barbarian invaders and their descendants. Even when they had settled
in the countries which they had conquered, the Teutons {324} would not
permit their children to be instructed in any science, for fear lest
they should become effeminate and averse from war;[2050] and long
afterwards it was held that a nobleman ought not to know letters, and
that to write and read was a shame to gentry.[2051]

[Footnote 2047: D. G. Ritchie, _Natural Rights_ (London, 1895),
p. 172. _Cf._ A. Kuenen, _Hibbert Lectures on National Religions and
Universal Religions_ (London, 1882), p. 290.]

[Footnote 2048: A. Réville, _Prolegomena of the History of Religions_
(London, 1884), p. 226.]

[Footnote 2049: Aristotle, _Ethica Nicomachea_, i. 6. 1. Ritchie argues
(_op. cit._ p. 172) that a devotion to truth as such was in the
ancient world known only to a few philosophers. T. Fowler is probably
more correct in saying (_Progressive Morality_ [London, 1895], p. 114;
J. M. Wilson and Fowler, _Principles of Morals_, ii [Oxford, 1887],
pp. 45, 220 _sq._) that it was more common amongst the Greeks than
amongst ourselves.]

[Footnote 2050: Procopius, _De bello Gothorum_, i. 2; W. Robertson,
_The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V._, i (London,
1806), p. 234; J. G. Millingen, _The History of Duelling_, i (London,
1841), p. 22 _sq._ n. †.]

[Footnote 2051: Alain Chartier, quoted by De la Curne de
Sainte-Palaye, _Mémoires sur l'ancienne chevalerie_, ii (Paris, 1781),
p. 104. See also F. De la Nouë, _Discours politiques et militaires_
(Basle, 1587), p. 238; G. Lyttelton, _The History of the Life of King
Henry the Second_, ii (London, 1767), p. 246 _sq._]

Religious toleration certainly does not mean passive indifference with
regard to dissenting religious ideas. The tolerant man may be a great
propagandist. He may do his utmost to suppress by arguments what he
considers to be a false belief. He may even favour stronger measures
against those who do mischief in the name of religion. But he does not
persecute anybody for the sake of his faith. Nor does he believe in an
intolerant and persecuting god.



THE founder of Christianity did not prescribe any particular ceremony
in connection with marriage, but it has been assumed that the
celebration of it among Christians was from the very first accompanied
with suitable acts of religious worship. The testimony of the Fathers,
from the middle of the third century onwards, shows that marriages
contracted without any formal benediction did occur, but they were
discountenanced by the Church.[2052] Yet, though the dogma that
marriage is a sacrament gradually developed from the words in the
Epistle to the Ephesians [Greek: to\ mustê/rion tou=to me/ga
e)sti/n]],[2053] in the Vulgate translated "Sacramentum hoc magnum
est," and was fully recognised in the twelfth century,[2054] marriage
without benediction was nevertheless regarded as valid in the Church
till the year 1563, when the Council of Trent decreed that thenceforth
no marriage should be considered valid unless celebrated by a presence
of two or three witnesses.[2055]

[Footnote 2052: Tertullian, _Ad uxorem_, ii. 9; _idem_, _De
pudicitia_, 4.]

[Footnote 2053: _Ephesians_ v. 32.]

[Footnote 2054: A. von Scheurl, _Das gemeine deutsche Eherecht_
(Erlangen, 1882), p. 15.]

[Footnote 2055: E. Roguin, _Traité de droit civil comparé. Le mariage_
(Paris, 1904), pp. 103, 104, 128 _sqq._]

Marriage was already instituted by God in Paradise for the propagation
of the human race; but according to Thomas Aquinas it was only raised
to the position of a sacrament by Christ, inasmuch as he made it the
picture of his union with the Church, thereby establishing anew its
indissoluble character, and also united with marriage a saving
gift.[2056] It may seem strange that marriage was made a sacrament, in
view of the extraordinary reverence in which virginity was held; but
as a matter of fact there was an intrinsic connection between the
sanctification of marriage and the worship of virginity. By declaring
marriage a sacrament the Church got some control over the _copula
carnalis_ which even in marriage was not supposed to differ materially
from fornication, and brought that union of the sexes under
ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Moreover, it was in some measure {326}
purified by the priest's "sacramental" blessing.[2057] But the office
of the priest was not restricted to the performance of the nuptial
ceremony: according to Catholic rituals he had also to bless the
bridal bed, and this was considered one of the most important of
marriage rites. Thus in England, in the papal times, no marriage could
be consummated until the bed had been blessed. On the evening of the
wedding-day, when the married couple sat in state in the bridal bed,
before the exclusion of the guests, one or more priests, attended by
acolytes swinging to and fro lighted censers, appeared in the crowded
chamber to bless the couch, its occupants, and the truckle-bed, and
fumigate the room with hallowing incense;[2058] and the parties were
also sprinkled with holy water.[2059] The object of the ceremony was
partly to bestow upon the couple a long life and progeny and other
good things, but partly also to protect them against evil influences;
as appears from the formula given in the manual for the use of
Salisbury, where it is said: "Benedic, Domine, thalamum istum et omnes
habitantes in eo; ut in tua pace consistant, et in tua voluntate
permaneant; et in amore tuo vivant et senescant et multiplicentur in
longitudine dierum. . . . Qui custodis Israel, custodi famulos tuos in
hoc lecto quiescentes _ab omnibus fantasmaticis demonum
illusionibus_."[2060] The idea that sexual intercourse is defiling,
even when practised by husband and wife, shows itself in various
prescriptions relating to it which have been mentioned in an earlier

[Footnote 2056: Thomas Aquinas, _Summa theologica_, iii. Suppl. 41. 1,
42. 2 _sq._]

[Footnote 2057: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. Suppl. 42. 1.]

[Footnote 2058: J. C. Jeaffreson, _Brides and Bridals_, i (London,
1872), p. 98.]

[Footnote 2059: F. Douce, _Illustrations of Shakespeare_ (London,
1839), p. 123.]

[Footnote 2060: _Ibid._ p. 123. In Norway the custom of the clergy
blessing the bridal bed still persisted in the beginning of the
seventeenth century, although formally abolished by the Reformation
(T. F. Troels-Lund, _Dagligt Liv i Norden i det 16 Aarhundrede_, xi
[Köbenhavn, 1904], p. 66 _sq._). Among German Catholics it is found to
this day (E. H. Meyer, _Badisches Volksleben im neunzehnten
Jahrhundert_ [Strassburg, 1900], p. 306; K. Reiser, _Sagen, Gebräuche
und Sprichwörter des Allgäus_, ii [Kempten, 1894], p. 250 _sq._).]

[Footnote 2061: _Supra_, p. 191 _sq._]

The Reformers maintained that matrimonial affairs belong not to the
Church, but to the jurists; Luther called marriage a "worldly thing,"
and Calvin put it on the same level as housebuilding, farming, or
shoe-making.[2062] This opinion, however, was not accepted by the
legislators of the Protestant countries. Marriage certainly ceased to
be thought of as a sacrament, but continued to be regarded as a divine
institution; and sacerdotal nuptials became no less obligatory on
Protestants than on {327} Catholics. It was the French Revolution that
first gave rise to an alteration in this respect. The Constitution of
September 3, 1791, declares in its seventh article, title ii: "La loi
ne considère le mariage que comme contrat civil. Le pouvoir législatif
établira pour tous les habitants, sans distinction, le mode par lequel
les naissances, mariages et décès seront constatés et il désignera les
officiers publics qui en recevront les actes."[2063] To this
obligatory civil act a sacerdotal benediction may be added, if the
parties wish it. Since then civil marriage has gradually become
widespread in the Christian world, also among Roman Catholics,
although, by a papal decree of 1907, it has been declared to be not
only sinful and unlawful, which it was before, but actually null and
void.[2064] In some countries, as in England, the parties may choose
the religious or the civil rite, just as they like, both making
marriage equally valid by law.[2065]

[Footnote 2062: Havelock Ellis, _Sex in Relation to Society_ (London,
1937), p. 350.]

[Footnote 2063: E. Glasson, _Le mariage civil et le divorce_ (Paris,
1880), p. 253; Roguin, _op. cit._ p. 140 _sq._]

[Footnote 2064: Ellis, _op. cit._ p. 345 n. 1.]

[Footnote 2065: See Roguin, _op. cit._ p. 141 _sqq._; Glasson, _op.
cit._ p. 282.]

The decisive external sign of the sacrament of marriage is the
expressed "consensus" of the partners to the marriage.[2066] Under the
jurisprudence of Justinian a father could not force his son or
daughter in marriage.[2067] But at the same time the right of a voice
in his children's marriages was stoutly maintained: the consent of the
head of the family remained essential to the validity of the marriage
of any one under his power, irrespective of age.[2068] Canon Law also
adopted the principle that no marriage can be concluded without the
consent of the persons who marry; but, unlike Justinian law, as a
consequence of its doctrine that marriage is a sacrament, it ruled
that, however young the bridegroom and bride may be, the consent of
their parents or guardians is not necessary to make the marriage
valid.[2069] The Church disapproved of marriages contracted without
such consent: the lack of it was a "prohibitory impediment"
(_impedimentum impediens_) rendering the marriage illicit, but not a
"diriment impediment" (_impedimentum dirimens_) rendering it null and
void.[2070] The stipulations of Canon Law influenced secular {328}
legislation. An edict of Clothaire I. in 560 prohibited the forcing of
women to marry against their will.[2071] According to the Laws of
Cnut, no woman or girl could be compelled to marry a man whom she
disliked.[2072] In an Anglo-Saxon betrothal formula from the tenth
century the girl's consent is unconditionally required.[2073] And
various early Teutonic law-books in continental countries likewise
prohibited the forcing of a woman into marriage against her

[Footnote 2066: Thomas Aquinas, _op. cit._ iii. 42. 1.]

[Footnote 2067: _Codex Justinianus_, v. 4. 14; _Digesta_, xxiii. 2.
21. _Cf._ W. A. Hunter, _A Systematical and Historical Exposition of
Roman Law_ (London, 1903), p. 680.]

[Footnote 2068: O. Karlowa, _Römische Rechtsgeschichte_, ii (Leipzig,
1901), p. 174; Hunter, _op. cit._ p. 680.]

[Footnote 2069: Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 27. 2. 2.]

[Footnote 2070: E. Friedberg, _Lehrbuch des katholischen und
evangelischen Kirchenrechts_ (Leipzig, 1909), p. 422; A. Winroth,
_Offentlig rätt. Familjerätt: Äktenskapshindren_ (Lund 1890), p. 52.]

[Footnote 2071: J. M. Pardessus, _Loi Salique_ (Paris, 1843), p. 666.]

[Footnote 2072: _Laws of Cnut_, ii. 75.]

[Footnote 2073: F. Roeder, _Die Familie bei den Angelsachsen_ (Halle
a. S., 1899), p. 24 _sq._]

[Footnote 2074: J. J. Nordström, _Bidrag till den svenska
samhälls-författningens historia_, ii (Helsingfors, 1840), p. 15
_sq._; W. E. Wilda, _Das Strafrecht der Germanen_ (Halle, 1842),
p. 803; K. Weinhold, _Die deutschen Frauen in dem Mittelalter_,
i (Wien, 1882), p. 304; Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 55 _sq._; J. M. Ludlow,
'Consent to Marriage,' in W. Smith and S. Cheetham, _A Dictionary of
Christian Antiquities_, i (London, 1875), p. 434 _sq._]

As to the canonical prescription that a marriage is valid without the
consent of parents or guardians, it seems that the English temporal
law more or less acquiesced in it, although it regarded "wardship and
marriage" as a valuable piece of property.[2075] In England, by the
common law, the marriages of minors who had attained the age of
consent--fixed at fourteen years for males and twelve years for
females--were valid without the consent of parents until the year
1753, when Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act (26 Geo. 2, c. 33, 11)
declared such marriages void.[2076] According to the present law of
England, "where a person, not being a widower nor widow, is under the
age of twenty-one years, the father, if living, or, if he is dead, the
guardian or guardians, or one of them, or if there is no guardian
lawfully appointed, then the mother, if she has not remarried, has
authority to consent to his or her marriage; and such consent is
required except where there is no person having authority to give
it."[2077] Yet the marriage of a minor without the requisite consent
is not invalid, whether it is by banns or licence or superintendent
registrar's certificate; but there may be forfeiture of all the rights
and interest in any property accruing to the offending party by force
of the marriage.[2078] In Scotland, on the other hand, no consent of
parents or guardian {329} is required even for minors who have
attained the age of puberty;[2079] and by the common law of the United
States, which was not affected by Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act, the
marriage of minors without the parental consent is likewise good.
There are "statutes which forbid the celebration of the nuptials of
minors without permission from the parent or guardian; but, in the
absence of a clause of nullity, which most of them do not contain, a
marriage in disobedience is valid, while yet the participators in it
may be subject to a penalty or punishment."[2080]

[Footnote 2075: F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, _The History of the
English Law before the Time of Edward I._, ii (Cambridge, 1898),
p. 389. _Cf._, however, Roeder, _op. cit._ p. 25.]

[Footnote 2076: W. Blackstone, _The Commentaries on the Laws of
England_, i (London, 1876), p. 408 _sq._]

[Footnote 2077: Earl of Halsbury, _The Laws of England_, xvi (London,
1911), p. 296.]

[Footnote 2078: _Ibid._ xvi. 297 _sq._]

[Footnote 2079: J. Erskine of Carnock, _Principles of the Law of
Scotland_, ed. by J. Rankine (Edinburgh, 1890), p. 61.]

[Footnote 2080: J. P. Bishop, _New Commentaries on Marriage, Divorce,
and Separation_, i (Chicago, 1891), p. 239 _sq._]

In the later Middle Ages German women were able to marry without
parental consent, though at the risk of being disinherited.[2081] The
'Schwabenspiegel,' which is a faithful echo of canonical ideas, says
that when a young man has completed his fourteenth year he can take a
wife without the consent of his father, that a maiden is marriageable
at twelve years, and that her marriage subsists even if contracted in
spite of her father or other relatives.[2082] But the feelings of the
people seemed to have been opposed to such a marriage and required the
consent of parents. Ulrich von Lichtenstein says in his 'Frauenbuch':
"A girl who has no parents should follow the advice of her kinsfolk;
if she gives herself to a man of her own accord, she may live with
shame."[2083] Attempts were made to induce the Church to change its
law on the subject, but in vain; the matter was definitely settled at
the Council of Trent, after a lively discussion.[2084] Luther and
other Reformers were of a different opinion: they maintained that a
marriage contracted without the consent of parents should be regarded
as invalid, unless the consent was given afterwards.[2085] This
principle was gradually accepted by most legislators in Protestant
countries, but with the modification that parental consent could be
refused for good {330} reasons only and, in case of need, the consent
of the authorities could take its place.[2086]

[Footnote 2081: W. T. Kraut, _Die Vormundschaft nach den Grundsätzen
des deutschen Rechts_, i (Göttingen, 1835), p. 326; R. Schroeder,
_Lehrbuch der deutschen Rechtsgeschichte_ (Leipzig, 1902), p. 733; R.
Sohm, _Das Recht der Eheschliessung aus dem deutschen und canonischen
Recht geschichtlich entwickelt_ (Weimar, 1875), p. 51 _sq._; B.
Friedberg, _Das Recht der Eheschliessung in seiner geschichtlichen
Entwicklung_ (Leipzig, 1865), p. 104 _sq._]

[Footnote 2082: _Der Schwabenspiegel_, Landrecht (Tübingen, 1840),
§ 55.]

[Footnote 2083: Weinhold, _op. cit._ i. 305.]

[Footnote 2084: Friedberg, _Das Recht der Eheschliessung_, p. 122
_sq._; Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 52 _sq._]

[Footnote 2085: H. Colberg, _Ueber das Ehehinderniss der Entführung_
(Halle, 1869), p. 114 _sqq._; Friedberg, _Das Recht der
Eheschliessung_, p. 105 _sq._; _idem_, _Lehrbuch des katholischen und
evangelischen Kirchenrechts_, p. 422 _sq._]

[Footnote 2086: Colberg, _op. cit._ p. 121; Friedberg, _Das Recht der
Eheschliessung_, p. 106; Sohm, _op. cit._ p. 206 _sq._ n. 16.]

In Catholic countries, also, the canonical doctrine met with
opposition; legislators declared parental consent to be necessary for
the validity of a marriage, and no appeal could be made in the case of
refusal.[2087] In France and other Latin countries the Roman notions
of parental rights and filial duties left behind traces which lasted
throughout the Middle Ages and long after. Bodin wrote, in the latter
part of the sixteenth century, that although the monarch commands his
subjects, the master his disciples, the captain his soldiers, there is
none to whom nature has given any command except the father, "who is
the true image of the great sovereign God, universal father of all
things."[2088] Henry II. of France decreed, in 1556, that a marriage
contracted by a minor without the consent of ascendants was null and
void; and the later legislation went further in the same direction. If
a marriage was contracted without such consent by a person who was
below the age of twenty-five, it was annulled; if contracted by a
person between twenty-five and thirty, it was valid, but
disinheritance might be the consequence; and if contracted by a person
above the age of thirty, it had still to be notified to the ascendant
by "three respectful acts."[2089] Indeed, according to the French
'Code Civil,' a son under twenty-five and a daughter under twenty-one
could not, until 1907, marry without parental consent.[2090] According
to the present law of France, a son and daughter under the age of
twenty-one cannot marry without the consent of the father and mother,
or of the father only if they disagree, or of the survivor if one be
dead. If both father and mother are dead, or in a condition which
renders them unable to consent, the grandparents take their place.
Between the ages of twenty-one and thirty the parties must still
obtain parental consent, but if this be refused it can be regulated by
means of an act before a notary, and if the consent is not given
within thirty days the marriage can take place without it.[2091] In
Italy the consent of parents, or of the father, or of the survivor if
one of the parents is dead, is required for a son who has not
completed his twenty-fifth year and for a daughter who has not
completed {331} her twenty-first; but in case of refusal of consent
provision is made for an appeal to court.[2092]

[Footnote 2087: Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 53.]

[Footnote 2088: J. Bodin, _De Republica_ (Ursellis, 1601), i. 4, p. 31.]

[Footnote 2089: I.-E. Guétat, _Histoire élémentaire du droit français_
(Paris, 1884), p. 364 _sq._]

[Footnote 2090: _Code civil_, art. 148.]

[Footnote 2091: _Ibid._ arts. 148-51, 154.]

[Footnote 2092: _Codice civile del regno d'Italia_, §§ 63, 67.]

The Justinian principle that a father cannot force his child in
marriage has been universally adopted in Christian countries, but, as
we have just seen, not the canonical rule that the consent of the
persons who contract a marriage is always sufficient to make it valid.
The value of this concession was much reduced by the fact that the
Church adopted the stipulation of the Roman law concerning the lowest
age at which a person was allowed to marry--fourteen years for a man
and twelve for a woman. This regulation is still in force in Great
Britain, in some of the United States, and in several Roman Catholic
countries; but the general tendency of the later legislation has been
to raise the age-limit, which may even be as high as twenty-one for
men and eighteen for women. In many countries, however, where the
canonic age-limit has not been preserved, the obstacle to marrying at
an earlier age than that which the law admits may be removed by

[Footnote 2093: Westermarck, _The History of Human Marriage_,
i (London, 1921), p. 387 _sq._]

Under the influence of the ascetic ideas prevalent in the Church the
degrees of relationship within which no marriage was allowed were
greatly extended. In the Eastern Church marriage was prohibited within
the seventh degree according to the Roman method of computing degrees
of relationship, which was to count from one of the parties up to a
common ancestor and then down to the other party, so that, for
example, first cousins were held to be related in the fourth degree
and uncle and niece in the third. This rule is still in force in the
Eastern Church.[2094] The Western Church went still farther in her
prohibitions. The forbidden degrees became gradually as many as seven
according to the new Western reckoning, or "canonical computation," by
which seven degrees were practically equivalent to seven generations;
brother and sister were related in the first degree, first cousins in
the second degree, second cousins in the third degree, and similarly
beyond.[2095] The seventh degree seems to have been chosen by rigorous
theorists who would have forbidden a marriage between kinsfolk however
remote; for it seems to have been a common rule among the Teutonic
peoples that for the {332} purposes of inheritance kinship could not
be traced beyond the seventh generation, and so to prohibit marriage
within seven degrees was to prohibit it among all persons who for any
legal purpose could claim blood-relationship with each other.[2096]
The fourth Lateran Council, held A.D. 1215 under Innocent III.,
reduced the prohibited degrees from seven to four, that is, marriage
was permitted beyond the degree of third cousins;[2097] and since then
there has been no change.[2098] The forbidden degrees of the Western
Church thus almost coincide with those of the Eastern Church, the
fourth degree of canonical computation corresponding to the seventh
and eighth degrees of the Roman reckoning.[2099] But there is this
important difference between the legislation of the two Churches, that
in the Eastern Church no dispensation is held possible from any of the
prohibited degrees,[2100] whereas in the West dispensation is not only
allowed but has since early times been practised on a very large
scale. It does not seem, however, that the field of the Levitical
prohibitions was entered upon by the papal dispensing claims till the
fifteenth century.[2101]

[Footnote 2094: J. Zhishman, _Das Eherecht der Orientalischen Kirche_
(Wien, 1863), p. 241 _sqq._ For the reckoning of degrees see _ibid._
p. 217 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2095: J. Freisen, _Geschichte des Canonischen Eherechts bis
zum Verfall der Glossenlitteratur_ (Tübingen, 1888), p. 393 _sqq._;
O. D. Watkins, _Holy Matrimony_ (London, 1895), p. 702 _sq._ For the
canonical computation see Freisen, p. 423 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2096: Pollock and Maitland, _op. cit._ ii. 387 _sq._;
Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 181.]

[Footnote 2097: _Concilium Lateranense IV._, ch. 50 (Labbe-Mansi,
_Sacrorum Conciliorum collectio_, xxii. 1037 _sq._).]

[Footnote 2098: Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 405 .]

[Footnote 2099: _Cf._ Zhishman, _op. cit._ p. 253.]

[Footnote 2100: _Ibid._ p. 713.]

[Footnote 2101: Watkins, _op. cit._ p. 704.]

The Reformers went in principle back to the prohibited degrees of the
Mosaic law.[2102] Henry VIII. declared in 1540 that nothing, "God's
law except, shall trouble or impeach any marriage without the
Levitical degrees"; as the farthest of which was considered that
between uncle and niece.[2103] In Catholic countries also the
ecclesiastical law of prohibited degrees has ceased to be recognised
by the legislators. The prohibition of marriage between cousins is a
late survival of it in a few lawbooks, unless it has been removed
quite recently.[2104] The Catholic Church forbids marriage with a
deceased wife's sister, though the prohibition may be dispensed
with.[2105] In England such marriages were condemned by the canon law
of the English Church, and their illegality was confirmed in
1835;[2106] and, as is well known, it was only after many futile
attempts and in the face of very strong opposition that an Act
legalising marriage with a {333} deceased wife's sister in the United
Kingdom was passed in 1907.[2107] Marriage with a deceased brother's
widow was also prohibited by Canon Law,[2108] and is prohibited by the
laws of many, especially Latin, countries although dispensation is
easily obtained.[2109]

[Footnote 2102: A. von Scheurl and E. Sehling, 'Eherecht,' in J. J.
Herzog, _Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche_,
ed. by A. Hauck, v (Leipzig, 1898), p. 210; Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 186.]

[Footnote 2103: H. J. Stephen, _New Commentaries on the Laws of
England_, ii (London, 1914), p. 386.]

[Footnote 2104: Westermarck _op. cit._ ii. 101.]

[Footnote 2105: Roguin, _op. cit._ p. 87 _sq._]

[Footnote 2106: _Ibid._ p. 88.]

[Footnote 2107: Earl of Halsbury, _op. cit._ xvi. 284.]

[Footnote 2108: Roguin, _op. cit._ p. 87 _sq._]

[Footnote 2109: _Ibid._ p. 88; Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 206.]

The Church not only encumbered marriage with all those prohibitions on
the ground of kinship, but introduced a new obstacle to it by
establishing the so-called _cognatio spiritualis_, or "spiritual
relationship." The Emperor Justinian passed a law forbidding a man to
marry a woman for whom he had stood godfather in baptism, the tie of
the godfather and godchild being so analogous to that of father and
child as to make such a marriage appear improper.[2110] To this law
the Church added various other prohibitions on account of spiritual
relationship, for instance, against marriage between the minister of
the sacrament and the person baptised and that person's parents as
well, between a godfather and a sister of the godchild, between two
sponsors, and between a sponsor and the child of another sponsor born
after the act of baptism. Similar impediments arose from relationships
created by confirmation.[2111]

[Footnote 2110: _Codex Justinianus_, v. 4. 26.]

[Footnote 2111: For prohibitions on account of spiritual relationship
see Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 508 _sqq._; Zhishman, _op. cit._ p. 265
_sqq._; Watkins, _op. cit._ p. 700 _sqq._; A. Boudinhon, 'Impediments,
Canonical,' in _The Catholic Encyclopedia_, vii (New York, 1910),
p. 697; Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 183.]

In addition to these prohibitions difference of religion was made a
bar to intermarriage. As according to the law of the Talmud and the
Rabbinical code a Jew could not marry a Christian,[2112] so also were
marriages between Jews and Christians forbidden by the latter--by
Constantine and later emperors and by various Councils; and during the
Middle Ages they were universally avoided.[2113] Indeed, owing to the
intense Jewish hatred for the sacred name of Christ, the early Church
was more opposed to wedlock with Jews than with pagans. Although Paul
indicates that a Christian must not marry a heathen,[2114] and {334}
Tertullian calls such an alliance fornication,[2115] the Church, in
early times, often even encouraged marriages of this sort as a means
of propagating Christianity; and it was only when its success was
certain that it actually prohibited them.[2116] When the 'Decretum' of
Gratian was published, in the twelfth century, the impediment
_disparitas cultus_ became part of the Canon Law of the Church,[2117]
and from that time forward all marriages contracted between Catholics
and infidels were held to be invalid unless a dispensation had been
obtained from the ecclesiastical authority. Marriages between
Catholics and heretics, on the other hand, were considered valid,
though illicit if a dispensation _mixtæ religionis_ had not been
obtained; but there had been much opposition to such unions from early
times, and various Councils had legislated against them. The Council
of Trent declared all matrimonial unions between Catholics and
non-Catholics null and void, unless entered into before the
ecclesiastical authority; but by degrees the Popes felt constrained to
make various concessions for mixed marriages. "The Church," says
Taunton, "has always abhorred these marriages both on account of the
danger of perversion and the difficulty of educating the offspring, as
well as on account of the _communicatio in sacris_."[2118] The
Protestants also originally forbade them.[2119] But mixed marriages
are not now contrary to the civil law either in Roman Catholic or
Protestant countries. The case is, or has been, different in countries
belonging to the Greek Church, where the ecclesiastical restrictions
were adopted by the State. The Eastern Church declared marriages
between Catholics and heretics null and void, and has also shown
herself opposed to marriages with members of the Roman Church; and in
Russia various laws were passed ordering that such marriages be not
permitted unless the children of the union were to be brought up in
the Orthodox faith.[2120]

[Footnote 2112: M. Mielziner, _The Jewish Law of Marriage and Divorce
in Ancient and Modern Times_ (Cincinnati, 1884), p. 45 _sq._]

[Footnote 2113: _Ibid._, p. 46 n. 6; K. Kohler, 'Intermarriage,' in
_Jewish Encyclopedia_, vi (New York and London, _s.d._), p. 611; L.
Löw, _Gesammelte Schriften_, iii (Szegedin, 1898), p. 175; R. Andree,
_Zur Volkskunde der Juden_ (Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1881), p. 48;
A. Neubauer, 'Notes on the Race-Types of the Jews,' in _The Journal of
the Anthropological Institute_, xv (London, 1886), p. 19.]

[Footnote 2114: _1 Corinthians_ vii. 39.]

[Footnote 2115: Tertullian, _Ad uxorem_, ii. 3.]

[Footnote 2116: Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 212.]

[Footnote 2117: Gratian, _Decretum_, ii. 28. 1. 1.]

[Footnote 2118: E. Taunton, _The Law of the Church_ (London, 1906),
p. 439.]

[Footnote 2119: Von Scheurl and Sehling, _loc. cit._ p. 211.]

[Footnote 2120: Zhishman, _op. cit._ p. 519 _sqq._; W. Fanning,
'Marriage, Mixed,' in _The Catholic Encyclopedia_, ix (New York,
1910), p. 698 _sq._; Winroth, _op. cit._ p. 213 _sqq._]

It has been asserted that Jesus "definitely condemned polygamy,"[2121]
and was unusually explicit "in his insistence that marriage should be
monogamous."[2122] Such conclusions have been drawn from the saying
that a man who puts away his wife and marries another commits
adultery. But in 1 Timothy it is {335} said that a bishop and a deacon
must be "the husband of one wife"[2123] which seems to suggest that
polygamy was not actually held unlawful for other Christians and
occasionally occurred among them, though no doubt monogamy was assumed
as the normal and ideal form of marriage. That injunction, however,
has been interpreted as a prohibition of contracting a second marriage
by persons who had been married before; and, as we have seen, such
marriages were actually held objectionable even if contracted by the
laity.[2124] Augustine points out that among the ancient fathers it
was lawful for the husband of a barren wife to take another woman that
from her might be born sons common to both, and adds that he would not
hastily pronounce whether it still was lawful for him to do so, with
the good will of the wife.[2125] It has been argued that it was not
necessary for the first Christian teachers to condemn polygamy because
monogamy was the universal rule among the peoples in whose midst they
were preaching; but this is certainly not true of the Jews, who still
both permitted and practised polygamy in the beginning of the
Christian era. Some of the Fathers accused the Jewish rabbis of
sensuality;[2126] but no Council of the Church in the earliest
centuries opposed polygamy, and no obstacle was put in the way of its
practice by kings in countries where it had occurred in the times of
paganism. In the middle of the sixth century Diarmait, king of
Ireland, had two queens and two concubines.[2127] Polygamy was
frequently practised by the Merovingian kings. Charlemagne had two
wives and many concubines; and one of his laws seems to imply that
polygamy was not unknown even among priests.[2128] This, of course,
does not mean that such a practice was recognised by the Church; nor
must the permissions granted to kings be taken as evidence of her
rules, for, as the Council of Constantinople decided in 809, "Divine
law can do nothing against Kings."[2129] Yet in the earlier part of
the Middle Ages the strenuous general rule of monogamy was relaxed in
certain exceptional circumstances, as {336} in cases of sexual
impotency and of enforced or voluntary desertion.[2130]

[Footnote 2121: H. H. Henson, _Christian Morality_ (Oxford, 1936),
p. 203.]

[Footnote 2122: E. W. Hirst, _Jesus and the Moralists_ (London, 1935),
p. 14.]

[Footnote 2123: _1 Timothy_ iii. 2, 12.]

[Footnote 2124: _Supra_, p. 182.]

[Footnote 2125: Augustine, _De bono conjugali_, 15.]

[Footnote 2126: S. Krauss, _Talmudische Archäologie_, ii (Leipzig,
1911), p. 28.]

[Footnote 2127: H. d'Arbois de Jubainville, _Cours de littérature
celtique_, vi (Paris, 1899), p. 292.]

[Footnote 2128: A. Thierry, _Narratives of the Merovingian Era_
(London, 1845), p. 17 _sqq._; F. von Hellwald, _Die menschliche
Familie_ (Leipzig, 1889), p. 558 n. 1; H. Hallam, _View of the State
of Europe during the Middle Ages_, i (Paris, 1840), p. 420 n. 2.]

[Footnote 2129: W. Smith and S. Cheetham, _A Dictionary of Christian
Antiquities_, i (London, 1875), p. 207.]

[Footnote 2130: H. Ellis, _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_,
vi (Philadelphia, 1923), p. 499.]

In later times Philip of Hesse and Frederick William II. of Prussia
contracted bigamous marriages with the sanction of the Lutheran
clergy.[2131] Luther himself approved of the bigamy of the former, and
so did Melanchthon.[2132] On various occasions Luther speaks of
polygamy with considerable toleration. It had not been forbidden by
God; even Abraham, who was a "perfect Christian," had two wives. God
had allowed such marriages to certain men of the Old Testament in
particular circumstances, and if a Christian wanted to follow their
example he had to show that the circumstances were similar in his
case;[2133] but polygamy was undoubtedly preferable to divorce.[2134]
In 1650, soon after the Peace of Westphalia, when the population had
been greatly reduced by the Thirty Years War, the Frankish _Kreistag_
at Nuremberg passed the resolution that thenceforth every man should
be allowed to marry two women.[2135] Certain Christian sects have even
advocated polygamy with much fervour. In 1531 the Anabaptists openly
preached at Munster that he who wants to be a true Christian must have
several wives.[2136] Among the Mormons the duty of polygamy, when
economic resources permitted, was urged upon men, both as a means of
securing eternal salvation and as a step in harmony with their earthly
interest. Group-marriage or, as it was called, "complex marriage" was
practised by the Oneida Community in Madison county, New York, which
was established in 1848 by John Humphrey Noyes and consisted mostly of
New England Puritans. All the men within the community were the actual
or potential husbands of all the women; and this community of wives
was based on Noyes' interpretation of certain passages of the New
Testament, though he also appealed to the law of nature in support of

[Footnote 2131: Friedberg, _Lehrbuch des katholischen und
evangelischen Kirchenrechts_, p. 436, note to § 143.]

[Footnote 2132: J. Köstlin, _Martin Luther_, ii (Berlin, 1903), p. 475

[Footnote 2133: _Ibid._ i. 693 _sq._]

[Footnote 2134: _Ibid._ i. 347, ii. 257.]

[Footnote 2135: Von Hellwald, _op. cit._ p. 559 n.]

[Footnote 2136: _Ibid._ p. 558 n. 1.]

[Footnote 2137: J. H. Noyes, _History of American Socialism_
(Philadelphia and London, 1870), p. 624 _sqq._]

In no case was it Christianity that first introduced obligatory
monogamy into Europe. There can be little doubt that monogamy was the
only recognised form of marriage in Greece. Concubinage existed at
Athens at all times, and was hardly censured by public opinion, but it
was well distinguished from {337} marriage: it conferred no rights on
the concubine, and the children were bastards.[2138] Roman marriage
was strictly monogamous. A second marriage concluded by a married
person was invalid, although it was not subject to punishment during
the Republic and the early Empire; Diocletian was the first who
punished bigamy.[2139] Liaisons between married men and mistresses
were not uncommon by the close of the Republic;[2140] but such a
relation was not considered lawful in after times. According to the
jurist Paulus, a man who had an _uxor_ could not have a _concubina_ at
the same time.[2141]

[Footnote 2138: Westermarck, _op. cit._ iii. 48 _sq._]

[Footnote 2139: T. Mommsen, _Römisches Strafrecht_ (Leipzig, 1899),
p. 701.]

[Footnote 2140: Cicero, _De oratore_, i. 40, § 183.]

[Footnote 2141: _Digesta_, i. 16. 144.]

In ancient times the power which the Roman father possessed over his
daughter was generally, if not always,[2142] by marriage transferred
to the husband.[2143] When marrying a woman passed in _manum viri_, as
a wife she was _filiæ loco_, that is, in law she was her husband's
daughter.[2144] And as the Roman house-father originally had the _jus
vitæ necisque_ over his children, the husband naturally had the same
power over his wife. But from her being destitute of all legal rights
we must not conclude that she was treated with indignity. On the
contrary, she generally had a respected and influential position in
the family;[2145] and though the husband could repudiate her at will,
it was said that for five hundred and twenty years _a condita urbe_
there was no such thing as a divorce in Rome.[2146] As Lord Bryce
points out, we cannot doubt that the wide power which the law gave to
the husband "was in point of fact restrained within narrow limits, not
only by affection, but also by the vigilant public opinion of a
comparatively small community."[2147] Gradually, however, marriage
with _manus_ fell into disuse, and was, under the Empire, generally
superseded by marriage without _manus_, a form of wedlock which
conferred on the husband scarcely any authority at all over his wife.
Instead of passing into his power, she remained in the power of her
father; and since the tendency of the later law was to reduce the old
_patria potestas_ to a nullity, she became {338} practically
independent.[2148] She could bring an action against others and, with
some limitations, against her husband also. She could hold property
and dispose of it freely--a very considerable portion of Roman wealth
thus passed into the uncontrolled possession of women; and the tyranny
exercised by rich wives over their husbands--to whom it is said they
sometimes lent money at high interest--was a continual theme of

[Footnote 2142: A. Rossbach, _Untersuchungen über die römische Ehe_
(Stuttgart, 1853), p. 64; H. S. Maine, _Ancient Law_ (London, 1885),
p. 155.]

[Footnote 2143: Or, properly speaking, to the husband's father, if he
was alive.]

[Footnote 2144: B. W. Leist, _Alt-arisches Jus Civile_, i (Jena,
1892), p. 175.]

[Footnote 2145: Rossbach, _op. cit._ pp. 36, 117.]

[Footnote 2146: Valerius Maximus, ii. 1 (_De matrimoniorum ritu_), 4;
Aulus Gellius, _Noctes Atticæ_, iv. 3. 1.]

[Footnote 2147: Lord Bryce, _Studies in History and Jurisprudence_,
ii (Oxford, 1901), p. 389.]

[Footnote 2148: Rossbach, _op. cit._ pp. 30, 42; Maine, _op. cit._
p. 155 _sq._; L. Friedländer, _Darstellungen aus der Sittengeschichte
Roms_, i (Leipzig, 1881), p. 418 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2149: F. Girard, _ Manuel élémentaire du droit romain_
(Paris, 1898), p. 160 _sq._]

This remarkable liberty granted to married women was not agreeable to
the opinion which the new religion held about the female sex. The
Hebrews represented woman as the source of evil and death on
earth--"Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all
die";[2150] and this notion passed into Christianity--"Adam was not
deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the
transgression."[2151] Tertullian maintains that a woman should go
about in humble garb, mourning and repentant, in order to expiate that
which she derives from Eve, the ignominy of the first sin, and the
odium attaching to her as the cause of human perdition. "Do you not
know," he exclaims, "that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on
this sex of yours lives in this age; the guilt must of necessity live
too. You are the devil's gateway; you are the unsealer of that
[forbidden] tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law; you
are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to
attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your
desert--that is, death--even the Son of God had to die."[2152] In the
'Testament' of Reuben, one of the "twelve Patriarchs," it is said:
"Evil are women. . . . Women are overcome by the spirit of fornication
more than men, and in their heat they plot against men; and by means
of their adornment they deceive first their minds, and by the glance
of the eye instil the poison, and then through the accomplished act
they take them captive. . . . If you wish to be pure in mind, guard
your senses from every woman."[2153] According to Gregory
Thaumaturgus, "a person may find one man chaste among a thousand, but
a woman never."[2154] At the Council of Mâcon, in 585, a bishop
expressed the opinion that woman had no soul; {339} but he was
corrected by his colleagues.[2155] Some Fathers of the Church,
however, were careful to emphasise that womanhood only belongs to this
earthly existence, and that on the day of resurrection all women will
appear in the shape of sexless beings.[2156]

[Footnote 2150: _Ecclesiasticus_ xxv. 24.]

[Footnote 2151: _1 Timothy_ ii. 14.]

[Footnote 2152: Tertullian, _De cultu feminarum_, i. 1.]

[Footnote 2153: 'The Testament of Reuben,' 5 _sq._, in R. H. Charles,
_The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs_ (London 1917), p. 28 _sq._]

[Footnote 2154: Gregory Thaumaturgus, _Metaphrasis in Ecclesiasten_,
vii. 28 (Migne, _Patrologiæ cursus, Ser. Græca_, x. 1007 _sq._).]

[Footnote 2155: Gregory of Tours, _Historia Francorum_, viii. 20.]

[Footnote 2156: Hilary, _Commentarius in Matthæum_, xxiii. 4 (Migne,
_Patrologiæ cursus_, ix. 1045 _sq._); Basil, _Homilia in Psalmum
CXIV._ 5 (_ibid. Ser. Græca_, xxix. 492).]

On account of their uncleanness women were excluded from sacred
functions, in striking contrast with both heathen and heretical
practice. In the early Church, it is true, there were "deaconesses"
and clerical "widows," but their offices were merely to perform some
inferior services of the church,[2157] and even these very modest
posts were open only to virgins or widows of a considerable age.[2158]
Whilst a layman could in case of necessity administer baptism, a woman
could never, as it seems, perform such an act.[2159] Nor was a woman
allowed to preach publicly in the church, either by the Apostle's
rules or those of succeeding ages,[2160] and it was a serious
complaint against certain heretics that they allowed such a practice.
"The heretic women," Tertullian exclaims, "how wanton are they! they
who dare to teach, to dispute, to practise exorcisms, to promise
cures, perchance, also, to baptise"![2161] A Council held at Auxerre
at the end of the sixth century forbade women to receive the Eucharist
into their naked hands;[2162] and in various canons women were
enjoined not to come near to the altar while mass was
celebrating.[2163] To such an extent was this opposition against women
carried that the Church of the Middle Ages did not hesitate to provide
herself with eunuchs in order to supply cathedral choirs with the
soprano tones inhering by nature in women alone.

[Footnote 2157: L. Zscharnack, _Der Dienst der Frau in den ersten
Jahrhunderten der christlichen Kirche_ (Göttingen, 1902), p. 99
_sqq._; C. Robinson, The _Ministry of Deaconesses_ (London, 1898),

[Footnote 2158: Robinson, _op. cit._ pp. 113, 114, 125.]

[Footnote 2159: J. Bingham, _Works_, iv (Oxford, 1855), p. 45;
Zscharnack, _op. cit._ p. 93.]

[Footnote 2160: Bingham, _op. cit._ v. 107 _sqq._; Zscharnack, _op.
cit._ p. 73 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2161: Tertullian, _De præscriptionibus adversus hæreticos_,
41. _Cf. idem_, _De baptismo_, 17.]

[Footnote 2162: _Concilium Autisiodorense_, A.D. 578, can. 36
(Labbe-Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum collectio_, ix. 915).]

[Footnote 2163: _Canones Concilii Laodiceni_, 44 (Labbe-Mansi,
ii. 581, 589); _Epitome canonum, quam Hadrianus I. Carolo Magno obtulit,
A.D. DCCLXXIII._, in Labbe-Mansi, xii. 868; _Canons enacted under King
Edgar_, 44, in _Ancient Laws and Institutes of England_ (London,
1840), p. 399.]

The low opinion held about women affected also their social {340}
status. Paul's saying that among those who have been baptised into
Christ and put on Christ there is neither male nor female, all being
the children of God by faith,[2164] did not imply that they were equal
in this world. As the head of every man is Christ and the head of
Christ is God, so is the man the head of the woman; and as the man is
the image and glory of God, so is the woman the glory of the man. "For
the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the
man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause
ought the woman to have power on her head."[2165] While husbands
should love their wives and not be bitter against them, wives should
submit themselves to their husbands, "as it is fit in the Lord."[2166]
In support of the former rule the Epistle to the Ephesians appeals to
the husband's love of himself: men ought to love their wives "as their
own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever
yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it."[2167]
Augustine says that a good _mater familias_ must not be ashamed to
call herself her husband's servant (_ancilla_).[2168] Principal
Donaldson observes that, although the woman has been continually said
to owe her present high position to Christianity, as well as to the
influence of the Teutonic mind, an examination of the facts has led
him to the opinion that there was no sign of this revolution in the
first three centuries of the Christian era, and that the position of
women among Christians was lower, and the notions in regard to them
were more degraded, than they were in the first.[2169]

[Footnote 2164: _Galatians_, iii. 27 _sq._]

[Footnote 2165: _1 Corinthians_ xi. 3, 7-10.]

[Footnote 2166: _Colossians_ iii. 18 _sq._]

[Footnote 2167: _Ephesians_ v. 28 _sq._]

[Footnote 2168: Augustine, _Sermo XXXVII._ 6.]

[Footnote 2169: J. Donaldson, _Woman_ (London, 1907), p. 148.]

The latest Roman law, so far as it is touched by the Constitutions of
the Christian emperors, already bears some marks of a reaction against
the liberal doctrines of the great Antonine jurisconsults, who assumed
the equality of the sexes as a principle of their code of
equity.[2170] This tendency was supported by Teutonic custom and law.
Among the Teutons a husband's authority over his wife was the same as
a father's over his unmarried daughter,[2171] and gave him in certain
circumstances a right to kill or sell his wife.[2172] It certainly
contained more than {341} the Church could approve of; but she is all
the same largely responsible for those heavy disabilities with regard
to personal liberty, as well as with regard to property, from which
married women have suffered up to quite recent times. The systems,
says Sir Henry Maine, "which are least indulgent to married women are
invariably those which have followed the Canon Law exclusively, or
those which, from the lateness of their contact with European
civilisation, have never had their archaisms weeded out."[2173]

[Footnote 2170: Maine, _op. cit._ pp. 154, 156.]

[Footnote 2171: H. Brunner, _Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte_, i (Leipzig,
1887), p. 75; C. L. E. Stemann, _Den danske retshistorie indtil
Christian V.'s Lov_ (Kjöbenhavn, 1871), p. 323.]

[Footnote 2172: J. Grimm, _Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer_ (Leipzig,
1899), p. 450 _sq._; Brunner, _op. cit._ i. 75; R. Schröder, _Lehrhuch
der deutschen Rechtsgeschichte_ (Leipzig, 1898), p. 303.]

[Footnote 2173: Maine, _op. cit._ p. 159.]

Nor did the Reformers improve the position of married women. In
agreement with the dictum of Paul, an extensive masculine domination
of a patriarchal kind belongs to the very essence of Lutheranism,
which looks upon the physical superiority of man as the expression of
a superior relationship willed by God. The house-father represents the
law; he is the bread-winner, the pastor, and the priest of his
household. By submission to her husband the wife atones for Eve's
transgression, although she ought to be considered on a level with him
so far as religion is concerned.[2174] In England, where from the
Norman Conquest onwards the unmarried woman, on attaining her
majority, became fully equipped with legal and civil rights,[2175] the
wife remained in every respect subject to her husband. Blackstone
wrote: "The very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended
during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into
that of the husband: under whose wing, protection and cover, she
performs every thing. . . . For this reason, a man cannot grant any
thing to his wife, or enter into covenant with her: for the grant
would be to suppose her separate existence, and to covenant with her
would be only to covenant with himself." He is bound to provide her
with necessaries, but for anything besides necessaries he is not
chargeable. If she be injured in her person or property, she can bring
no action for redress without his concurrence, neither can she be sued
without making him a defendant. In criminal persecutions she may be
indicted and punished separately, but she is considered as acting
under his orders, and in some felonies (though not treason or murder)
she is excused, if acting under his constraint. "The husband also (by
the old law) might give his wife moderate correction. For, as he is to
answer for her misbehaviour, the law thought it reasonable to intrust
him with the power of restraining her, by domestic chastisement, in
the same {342} moderation that a man is allowed to correct his
servants or children. . . . But, with us, in the politer reign of
Charles II., this power of correction began to be doubted: and a wife
may now have security of the peace against her husband; or, in return,
a husband against his wife. Yet the lower rank of people, who were
always fond of the old common law, still claim and exert their ancient
privilege: and the courts of law will still permit a husband to
restrain a wife of her liberty in case of any gross
misbehaviour."[2176] Blackstone wrote two centuries after the
Reformation; but, as I said, the reformers did not improve the status
of the wife. The influence of the Old Testament rather tended to
harden their views of the prerogatives of the husband. This is
particularly noticeable in Puritanism. Baxter published in 1650 a
book, called _The Husband's Authority Unvail'd_, in which "it is
moderately discussed whether it be fit or lawfull for a _good man_ to
beat his _bad Wife_." He maintains that if wives "cannot or will not
cary, in some degree, conformable to the Prescript and Patern of that
_Weaker Vessell_ set down as moulded and framed by the holy Ghost;
they must permit their Husband, in some proportion, to exercise that
knowledge and coactive power which God hath imparted to him"; and
"they must not disdain a little scratch on their Body, or to be
deplum'd of a little Pride by their discreet and conscientious
_Husband_ for their good."[2177]

[Footnote 2174: E. Troeltsch, _The Social Teaching of the Christian
Church_ (London and New York, 1931), p. 546.]

[Footnote 2175: Pollock and Maitland, _op. cit._ ii. 435.]

[Footnote 2176: Blackstone, _Commentaries on the Laws of England_,
i (Oxford. 1765), p. 430 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2177: Quoted by Sir Josiah Stamp, _Motive and Method in a
Christian Order_ (London, 1936), p. 123 _sqq._]

After English women had acquired personal protection from the
wife-beating husband, their property, except when protected by
settlement, still remained at the absolute disposal of their lord and
master. That protection was a privilege of the daughters of the
propertied classes; but there was literally no protection for the wife
of a drunkard struggling to support her children by the labour of her
hands from the husband who should choose to sponge upon what she
earned. It was only by the Married Women's Property Act of 1870 that
such earnings were emancipated from the husband's control. In 1882 the
same principles were applied to all property; and the English law,
which was the most backward in Europe, became the most forward.[2178]
But there have been movements in the same direction in other
countries, though the process is not yet complete.

[Footnote 2178: L. T. Hobhouse, _Morals in Evolution_, (London, 1915),
p. 223.]

It has thus taken nearly 2,000 years for the married woman to get back
that personal independence which she enjoyed under {343} the later
Roman law, but lost through the influence which Christianity exercised
on European legislation. And it may be truly said that she has
regained it, not by the aid of the Churches, but despite their

[Footnote 2179: See J. McCabe, _The Religion of Woman_ (London, 1905),
ch. vi, 'The Churches and the Modern Woman Movement.']



CHRISTIANITY revolutionised European legislation with regard to
divorce. In pagan times Roman law was as liberal as possible so far as
the husband's right to divorce his wife was concerned, and in the case
of a "free" marriage, which implied that the wife did not fall under
the _manus_ or power, of her husband, equally liberal with regard to
the wife's right to dissolve the marriage. The dissolution of such a
marriage could be brought about either by mutual agreement between
both parties or by the will of one party only, and in this respect the
legal position of the wife was the same as that of the husband.[2180]
The rules of divorce which were recognised in the case of a free
marriage were afterwards extended to marriages with _manus_; and in
the end marriage with _manus_ fell into disuse altogether.[2181]

[Footnote 2180: R. Sohm, _The Institutes_ (Oxford, 1907), p. 475
_sq._; W. A. Hunter, _A Systematical and Historical Exposition of
Roman Law_ (London, 1903), p. 691.]

[Footnote 2181: Sohm, _op. cit._ p. 476; Karlowa, _Römische
Rechtsgeschichte_, ii (Leipzig, 1901), p. 189.]

In the New Testament there are various passages bearing upon the
question of divorce.[2182] A man who puts away his wife and marries
another commits adultery against her, and a woman who puts away her
husband and is married to another is guilty of the same crime: "What
God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." There are, however,
two exceptions to this rule. Like Shammai and his school, Jesus
taught, according to St. Matthew, that a man might put away his wife
for fornication, which, however, has been considered to be an
emendation made by the editor of the first gospel, but for no other
reason;[2183] and Paul lays down the rule that if a Christian is
married to an unbeliever and the latter departs, the Christian "is not
under bondage."[2184] But, largely under the influence of Augustine,
the Western Church gradually made up her mind to deny the
dissolubility of a valid Christian marriage, at least if it had been
{345} consummated.[2185] Her doctrine on the subject was in the
twelfth century definitely fixed by Gratian and Peter Lombard;[2186]
it was dogmatically asserted by the Council of Trent,[2187] and was in
the nineteenth century reaffirmed by Pius IX. and Leo XIII.[2188] A
consummated Christian marriage is a sacrament and must as such remain
valid for ever. It represents the union between Christ and the Church,
and is consequently as indissoluble as that union.[2189] It is also
permanent according to the law of nature, because only as permanent
can marriage fulfil its object. And God made it so at the very
beginning of our race, when He decreed[2190] that a man shall leave
his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they
shall be one flesh.[2191]

[Footnote 2182: _Matthew_ v. 32, xix. 3 _sqq._; _Mark_ x. 2 _sqq._;
_Luke_ xvi. 18; _Romans_ vii. 2; _1 Corinthians_ vii. 10-15, 39.]

[Footnote 2183: See _supra_, p. 88.]

[Footnote 2184: _1 Corinthians_ vii. 15.]

[Footnote 2185: E. Loening, _Geschichte des deutschen Kirchenrechts_,
ii (Strassburg, 1878), p. 607 _sqq._; E. von Moy, _Das Eherecht der
Christen in der morgenländischen und abendländischen Kirche bis zur
Zeit Karls des Grossen_ (Regensburg, 1838), p. 11 _sqq._; J. Freisen,
_Geschichte des Canonischen Eherechts bis zum Verfall der
Glossenlitteratur_ (Tübingen, 1885), p. 770 _sqq._; A. Esmein, _Le
mariage en droit canonique_, ii (Paris, 1891), p. 49 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2186: Esmein, _op. cit._ ii. 73 _sqq._; Gratian, _Decretum_,
ii. 32. 7. 2: "Nulla ratione dissolvitur conjugium, quod semel initum

[Footnote 2187: While the indissolubility of marriage on the ground of
adultery was expressed in somewhat guarded terms (_Canones et decreta
Concilii Tridentini_, sess. xxiv, can. 7) out of consideration for the
Eastern Church (see Esmein, _op. cit._ ii. 305), the other causes for
divorce were expressly condemned in the fifth canon, where it is said:
"Si quis dixerit, propter hæresim, aut molestam cohabitationem, aut
affectatam absentiam a coniuge dissolvi posse matrimonii vinculum:
anathema sit." This condemnation was particularly directed against the

[Footnote 2188: Esmein, _op. cit._ ii. 307.]

[Footnote 2189: Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 802 _sq._; Loening, _op. cit._
ii. 610 _sq._]

[Footnote 2190: _Genesis_ ii. 24.]

[Footnote 2191: Esmein, _op. cit._ i. 64 _sqq._]

On the other hand, a Christian marriage which has not been consummated
is not indissoluble; it is only by consummation that such a marriage
becomes a sacrament and a symbol of the union between Christ and the
Church.[2192] The Council of Trent decreed that "matrimony contracted
but not consummated" might be dissolved by "the solemn profession of
religion by one of the married parties";[2193] and it may also be
dissolved for other reasons by an act of Papal authority.[2194]
Non-Christian marriage is not a sacrament, even though
consummated;[2195] hence it is in {346} certain circumstances
dissoluble, in accordance with Paul's dictum that a Christian married
to an infidel is not under bondage if the latter depart. Innocent III.
declared authoritatively that if, in the case of a marriage between
two infidels, one of them became a Christian, the convert was
justified in entering into another marriage, provided that either the
non-Christian was unwilling to live with the other or such
cohabitation would cause the blasphemy of the Divine name or be an
incentive to mortal sin.[2196] It was argued that this so-called
_privilegium Paulinum_ is no exception to the rule that Christian
marriage is indissoluble, because in the case in question the marriage
is dissolved not by the Christian but by the infidel, and the Church
has nothing to do with the marriages of infidels.[2197]

[Footnote 2192: Gratian, ii. 27. 2. 39; Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 802

[Footnote 2193: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_, xxiv. 6.]

[Footnote 2194: A. Ballerini, _Opus theologicum morale_, ed. by D.
Palmieri, vi (Prati, 1892), p. 367 _sq._; Freisen, _op. cit._ pp. 212,
213, 826 _sq._; F. Walter, _Lehrbuch des Kirchenrechts aller
christlichen Confessionen_, ed. by H. Gerlach (Bonn, 1871), p. 714
_sq._; E. Friedberg, _Lehrbuch des katholischen und evangelischen
Kirchenrechts_ (Leipzig, 1909), p. 503.]

[Footnote 2195: Friedberg, _op. cit._ p. 503; Esmein, _op. cit._
i. 222.]

[Footnote 2196: Ballerini, _op. cit._ vi. 325. See also Friedberg,
_op. cit._ p. 503.]

[Footnote 2197: Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 806 _sqq._]

While asserting the indissolubility of a Christian marriage the Church
admitted a _divortium imperfectum_ or _separatio quoad thorum et
mensam_, a "separation from bed and board," which discharged the
parties from the duty of living together but at the same time left
them husband and wife and consequently unable to marry any other
person. According to the Council of Trent, such separation may take
place "for many causes," either for a determinate or for an
indeterminate period.[2198] The chief cause is adultery or other
carnal sin, equivalent to it; but Augustine had already spoken of a
_fornicatio spirituale_ as a ground for separation,[2199] and this
view was accepted by Gratian, who regarded as such apostasy,[2200]
heresy,[2201] and incitement to evil deeds.[2202] Subsequently a
distinction was made between permanent and temporary separation.[2203]
According to some writers, perpetual separation may be granted only
for _fornicatio carnalis_, unless it has been condoned or unless both
parties have been guilty of it.[2204] According to others, it may also
be granted for defection of the faith whether by the rejection of
Christianity or by heresy, and on account of entrance into religious
life on the part of the wife or of the husband or by the reception of
Holy Orders on the part of the husband. The cases justifying temporary
separation may be summed up under the general notion of "danger to
body or soul."[2205]

[Footnote 2198: _Canones et decreta Concilii Tridentini_, xxiv. 8.]

[Footnote 2199: Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 836.]

[Footnote 2200: Gratian, ii. 1. 6.]

[Footnote 2201: _Idem_, ii. 28. 2. 2.]

[Footnote 2202: _Idem_, ii. 28. 1. 5.]

[Footnote 2203: Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 837.]

[Footnote 2204: _Ibid._ p. 830 _sqq._; Friedberg, _op. cit._ p. 508;
Walter, _op. cit._ p. 716.]

[Footnote 2205: Ballerini, _op. cit._ vi. 381 _sqq._; A. Lehmkuhl,
'Divorce,' in _The Catholic Encyclopedia_, v (New York, 1909), p. 63

Yet in spite of the theory of the indissolubility of Christian {347}
marriage, the Roman Catholic doctrine gives ecclesiastics a large
practical power of dissolving marriages which may have appeared
perfectly valid. The Church recognised a legal process which was
popularly, though incorrectly, called a divorce **_a vinculo
matrimonii_ "from the bond of matrimony," in case the union had been
unlawful from the beginning on the ground of some canonical
impediment, such as relationship or earlier engagement of marriage.
This only implied that a marriage which never had been valid would
remain invalid; but practically it led to the possibility of
dissolving marriages which in theory were indissoluble. For, as Lord
Bryce observes, "the rules regarding impediments were so numerous and
so intricate that it was easy, given a sufficient motive, whether
political or pecuniary, to discover some ground for declaring almost
any marriage invalid."[2206]

[Footnote 2206: Lord Bryce, _Studies in History and Jurisprudence_,
ii (Oxford, 1901), p. 434; W. E. H. Lecky, _Democracy and Liberty_,
ii (London, 1899), p. 193 _sq._; F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, _The
History of the English Law before the Time of Edward I._,
ii (Cambridge, 1898), p. 393.]

The doctrine of the Western Church influenced profoundly the secular
legislation of the countries in which she was established. For a long
time, however, it was not accepted in full by the legislators. The
Christian emperors laid down certain grounds on which a husband could
divorce his wife and a wife her husband without blame. According to
Constantine, a man was allowed to dissolve the marriage if the wife
was an adulteress, a preparer of poisons, or a procuress; and the wife
could do so if her husband was guilty of murder, prepared poisons, or
violated tombs.[2207] After some further legislation on the subject by
later emperors,[2208] Justinian repealed the earlier constitutions and
resettled the grounds of divorce. A marriage could be dissolved for a
variety of specified reasons. Thus, a man might repudiate his wife if
she committed adultery, and a wife might repudiate her husband if he
took a woman to live in the same house with her, or if he persisted in
frequenting any other house in the same town with any woman after
being warned more than once by his wife or her parents or other
persons of respectability.[2209] At the same time the old right of
either party to dissolve the marriage at will by simple notice to the
other party was not formally abolished even by the legislation of the
Christian Empire; but it was provided that when a marriage was
dissolved without any statutory ground of divorce, the offending {348}
party should suffer certain penalties. When a wife repudiated the
marriage without sufficient cause she forfeited her dowry, and when
the husband was the offender he was deprived of his _donatio propter
nuptias_, in other words, he was required actually to pay over the
_donatio_ he had covenanted to pay.[2210] Justinian also prohibited
divorce by mutual consent--which until then seems to have taken place
without any legal check whatever--except when the husband was
impotent, when either he or the wife desired to enter a monastery, and
when either of them was in captivity for a certain length of
time.[2211] Subsequently Justinian even enacted that persons
dissolving a marriage by mutual consent should forfeit all their
property and be confined for life in a monastery.[2212] But his nephew
and successor, Justin the Second, repealed his uncle's prohibitions
relating to this kind of divorce.[2213]

[Footnote 2207: _Codex Theodosianus_, iii. 16. 1.]

[Footnote 2208: _Ibid._ iii. 16. 2 (Honorius and Theodosius); _Codex
Justinianus_, v. 17. 8. 2 (Theodosius and Valentinian).]

[Footnote 2209: _Novellæ_, cxvii. 8 _sq._]

[Footnote 2210: Sohm, _Institutes_ p. 476; Hunter, _op. cit._ p. 692

[Footnote 2211: _Novellæ_, cxvii. 12.]

[Footnote 2212: _Ibid._ cxxxiv. 11.]

[Footnote 2213: _Ibid._ cxl. 1.]

The facility of divorce by mutual consent also remained in the Roman
codes of the German kings, and, as under the older Roman legislation,
a man might besides divorce his wife for certain offences.[2214] Those
subjects of the Western rulers who elected to live under the old
Teutonic systems of law seem to have had an equal facility.[2215] Thus
the dooms of Æthelbirht, Christian though they be, suggest that the
marriage might be dissolved at the will of both parties or even at the
will of one of them.[2216] Even the Anglo-Saxon and Frankish
penitentials allow a divorce in various cases.[2217] According to
Theodore's Penitential the husband may divorce an adulterous wife and
marry another, and she, too, may marry again, though only after five
years of penance;[2218] but a wife cannot dissolve the marriage on
account of the adultery of her husband.[2219] The husband may also
marry another woman if the wife is carried into captivity[2220] or if
she deserts him, but in the latter case only after five years have
elapsed and with the bishop's consent.[2221] Since the days of
Charlemagne, however, the canonical doctrine of the {349}
indissolubility of marriage entered the secular legislation of German
peoples, and in the tenth century the ecclesiastical rules and courts
gained there exclusive control of this branch of law.[2222] At a
somewhat earlier date the provisions of the Roman law had been
superseded by new rules enforced by the Church in the regions where
the imperial law had been observed.[2223]

[Footnote 2214: Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 776 _sqq._; O. D. Watkins,
_Holy Matrimony_ (London, 1895), p. 380 _sq._]

[Footnote 2215: _Ibid._ p. 778 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2216: _Laws of Æthelbirht_, 79 _sqq. Cf._ Pollock and
Maitland, _op. cit._ ii. 393.]

[Footnote 2217: Freisen, _op. cit._ p. 785 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2218: _Pœnitentiale Theodori_, ii. S (in A. W. Haddan and
W. Stubbs, _Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents relating to Great
Britain and Ireland_, iii [Oxford, 1878], p. 199).]

[Footnote 2219: _Ibid._ ii. 12. 6 (vol. iii. 199).]

[Footnote 2220: _Ibid._ ii. 12. 23 (vol. iii. 200 _sq._).]

[Footnote 2221: _Ibid._ ii. 12. 19 (vol. iii. 200).]

[Footnote 2222:  H. Brunner, _Grundzüge der deutschen
Rechtsgeschichte_ (München and Leipzig, 1913), p. 224.]

[Footnote 2223: Lord Bryce, _op. cit._ ii. 433.]

While the Western Church in the matter of divorce at last completely
triumphed in the countries under her sway, the Eastern Church, instead
of shaping the secular law, was on the contrary greatly influenced by
it. It is true that the Council of Trullo in 692 expressly condemned
divorce by mutual consent, and that largely in consequence of this
condemnation the emperor Leo III. (the Isaurian) in 740 put a stop to
the legality of it; and at the end of the ninth century the
prohibition against it was reinforced, never again to be
relaxed.[2224] But of the long list of specified grounds of divorce
which were admitted by the secular law none, except that of absence
without tidings, appears even to have been questioned by the Eastern
Church. "The enactments of the emperors and princes as to the grounds
of divorce," says Zhishman, "never met with an ecclesiastical
contradiction. No Council, no patriarch, no bishop of the East has
ever in that matter called the emperors to account, assigned penalties
to them, or forced them to the repeal of their enactments."[2225] The
grounds of divorce with the right of remarriage are those admitted by
the laws of Justinian with certain modifications introduced in later
times. In the Eastern Churches divorce is permitted on the following
grounds, with penalty attached: high treason, designs of either of the
partners on the life of the other, adultery, circumstances affording
presumption of adultery or equivalent to adultery, the procuring of
abortion, difference of religion arising from the conversion to
Christianity of one of the partners, and the acting as sponsor for
one's own child in baptism. There are further grounds for divorce,
without penalty attached, namely: impotence, absence without tidings
received, captivity and slavery, insanity and imbecility, the
undertaking of monastic obligations, and episcopal consecration.[2226]

[Footnote 2224: Zhishman, _op. cit._ p. 104 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2225: _Ibid._ p. 115.]

[Footnote 2226: _Ibid._ pp. 107 _sqq._, 729 _sqq._ A summary of
Zhishman's account is given by Watkins, _op. cit._ p. 353 _sqq._]

The canonical doctrines that marriage is a sacrament and that it is
indissoluble save by death were rejected by the Reformers. They all
agreed that divorce, with liberty for the {350} innocent party to
remarry, should be granted for adultery, and most of them regarded
malicious desertion as a second legitimate cause for the dissolution
of marriage.[2227] The latter opinion was based on Paul's dictum that
a Christian married to an unbeliever "is not under bondage" if the
unbeliever depart, which was broadened by Luther so as to include
malicious desertion even without a religious motive.[2228] The same
reformer admits that the worldly authorities may allow divorce also on
other strong grounds,[2229] and mentions himself obstinate refusal of
conjugal intercourse as sufficient cause for it.[2230] Several
reformers went farther than Luther.[2231] Lambert of Avignon argued
that if a wife leaves her husband because she is constantly
ill-treated by him without cause, this should be counted as
repudiation by the man and not as desertion by the woman;[2232] and
Melanchthon likewise justified divorce in the case of
ill-treatment.[2233] The views of the Reformers exercised a lasting
influence upon the Protestant legislators both in Germany and in other
continental countries. Thus the Danish law-book issued by Christian V.
in 1684 mentions as sufficient grounds for divorce desertion for at
least three years, impotence which has lasted for the same period, and
leprosy which has been concealed and communicated to the other
party.[2234] The Swedish code of 1734 allows divorce for malicious
desertion, for long absence without tidings, and for bodily incapacity
or incurable contagious disease deliberately concealed.[2235]

[Footnote 2227: Friedberg, _op. cit._ p. 514 _sq._; Walter, _op. cit._
p. 719 _sq._ For the opinions of the continental Reformers see
particularly L. Richter, _Beiträge zur Geschichte des
Ehescheidungsrechts in der evangelischen Kirche_ (Berlin, 1858), p. 6

[Footnote 2228: H. L. von Strampff, _Dr. Martin Luther: Ueber die Ehe_
(Berlin, 1857), pp. 381, 393.]

[Footnote 2229: _Ibid._ pp. 354, 399.]

[Footnote 2230: _Ibid._ p. 394.]

[Footnote 2231: See Richter, _op. cit._ p. 31 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2232: _Ibid._ p. 32.]

[Footnote 2233: _Ibid._ p. 33 _sq._; Friedberg, _op. cit._ p. 514

[Footnote 2234: _Kong Christian den Femtis Danske Lov_, ed. by V. A.
Secher (Kjöbenhavn, 1878), iii. 16. 15. 2 _sq._, iii. 16. 16. 4.]

[Footnote 2235: _Sveriges Rikes Lag, till efterlefnad stadfästad år
1736_, ed. by N. W. Lundequist (Stockholm, 1874), Giftermåls-Balk,
xiii. 4, xiii. 6, xiii. 8.]

The Fathers of English Protestantism as a body were more conservative
than the brethren on the Continent. But they were unanimous in
allowing the husband to put away an unfaithful wife and contract
another marriage; and prevailing opinion appears also to have accorded
a similar privilege to the wife on like provocation, although there
were undoubtedly some in the Protestant ranks who were not so liberal
in her behalf.[2236] A {351} general revision of the ecclesiastical
code, with special attention directed to the law of divorce, was
contemplated in the earlier days of the Reformation. A commission of
leading ecclesiastics was for this purpose appointed by Henry VIII.
and Edward VI. The commissioners drew up the elaborate report known as
_Reformatio Legum_, in which they recommended that "divorces from bed
and board," which had been rejected by nearly all the English
reformers of the sixteenth century as a papist innovation,[2237]
should be abolished, and in their place complete divorce, with liberty
for the innocent party to marry again, should be allowed in cases of
adultery, desertion, and cruelty, as also in cases where a husband not
guilty of deserting his wife had been for several years absent from
her in circumstances which justified her in considering that he was
dead, and in cases of such violent hatred as rendered it in the
highest degree improbable that the husband and wife would survive
their animosities and again love one another. The whole scheme,
however, fell to the ground, partly in consequence of King Edward's
premature death.[2238] Yet the principle represented by it was carried
out in practice. In 1548, some years before the commission had
completed its report, the new doctrine had been in a measure sustained
by the well-known case of Lord Northampton, whose second marriage was
declared valid by an Act of Parliament. Under Elizabeth this decision
seems to have been deemed good law until 1602, when, in the Foljambe
case, it was decided that remarriage after judicial separation was
null and void.[2239] After the revival of the old canon law, says
Jeaffreson, "our ancestors lived for several generations under a
matrimonial law of unexampled rigour and narrowness. The gates of exit
from true matrimony had all been closed, with the exception of death.
Together with the artificial impediments to wedlock, the Reformation
had demolished the machinery for annulling marriages on fictitious
grounds. Henceforth no man could slip out of matrimonial bondage by
swearing that he was his wife's distant cousin, or had loved her
sister in his youth, or had before his marriage stood godfather to one
of her near spiritual kindred."[2240]

[Footnote 2236: G. E. Howard, _A History of Matrimonial Institutions_,
ii (Chicago and London, 1904), p. 71 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2237: _Ibid._ ii. 73.]

[Footnote 2238: J. Macqueen, _A Practical Treatise on the Appellate
Jurisdiction of the House of Lords and Privy Council. Together with
the Practice on Parliamentary Divorce_ (London, 1842), p. 467; H. D.
Morgan, _The Doctrine and Law of Marriage, Adultery, and Divorce_,
ii (Oxford, 1826), p. 227 _sqq._; J. C. Jeaffreson, _Brides and
Bridals_, ii (London, 1872), p. 319 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2239: Howard, _op. cit._ ii. 79 _sqq._; Jeaffreson, _op.
cit._ ii. 323 _sq._; Morgan, _op. cit._ ii. 229 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2240: Jeaffreson, _op. cit._ ii. 339.]

In the latter part of the seventeenth century a practice arose {352}
in England which in a small degree mitigated the rigour of the law.
While a valid English marriage could not be dissolved by mere judicial
authority, it might be so by a special Act of Parliament. Such a
parliamentary divorce was granted only for adultery: to a husband
whose own conduct had been free from reproach, if he had previously
obtained a divorce from bed and board in the ecclesiastical court, but
to a wife only in aggravated cases, such as incestuous intercourse of
her husband with some of her relations.[2241] But it was a remedy
within the reach of the wealthier classes only: owing to the triple
cost of the law action, the ecclesiastical decree, and the legislative
proceedings, it could be obtained only through the expenditure of a
fortune sometimes amounting to thousands of pounds.[2242] As a matter
of fact, up to and including the year 1857, no more than 317 divorce
bills passed,[2243] and the practice had already been in operation for
a hundred and thirty years when, in 1801, a married woman for the
first time obtained a divorce of this kind.[2244]

[Footnote 2241: W. Blackstone, _The Commentaries on the Laws of
England_, ed. by R. M. Kerr, i (London, 1876), p. 416 _sq._; Macqueen,
_op. cit._ p. 471 _sqq._; Morgan, _op. cit._ ii. 237 _sqq._;
Jeaffreson, _op. cit._ ii. 341 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2242: Howard, _op. cit._ ii. 107 _sq._; Blackstone, _op.
cit._ i. 417.]

[Footnote 2243: W. Burge, _Commentaries on Colonial and Foreign Laws_,
iii. (London, 1910), p. 862.]

[Footnote 2244: Macqueen, _op. cit._ p. 474 _sq._]

In the civil divorce law of 1857 the legal principle of the
indissolubility of marriage was at last abandoned, though only after
stubborn resistance. For the dilatory and expensive proceedings of
three tribunals was substituted one inquiry by a court specially
constituted to exercise this jurisdiction, a new "Court for Divorce
and Matrimonial Causes." On this court was conferred all the authority
of the ecclesiastical courts in matrimonial causes, as also power to
grant "divorce from the bond of matrimony," as a right, not as a
privilege. Such a divorce, however, could only be granted to a husband
whose wife had been guilty of adultery and to a wife whose husband had
been guilty of incestuous adultery, bigamy with adultery, rape,
sodomy, bestiality, or adultery coupled with cruelty or with desertion
without reasonable excuse for two years and upwards. "Cruelty" has
been defined as "conduct of such a character as to have caused danger
to life, limb, or health (bodily or mental), or as to give rise to a
reasonable apprehension of such danger."[2245] In Scotland the courts
began to grant divorces very soon after the Roman connection had been
repudiated, and in 1573 a statute {353} added desertion to adultery of
the husband or the wife as a ground for divorce.[2246]

[Footnote 2245: Earl of Halsbury, _The Laws of England_, xvi (London,
1911), p. 473 _sq._]

[Footnote 2246:  Lord Bryce, _op. cit._ ii. 435; J. Erskine of
Carnock, _Principles of the Law of Scotland_, ed. by J. Rankine
(Edinburgh, 1890), p. 77.]

On the Continent a fresh impetus to a more liberal legislation on
divorce was given in the eighteenth century by the new philosophy with
its conceptions of human freedom and natural rights. If marriage is a
contract entered into by mutual consent it ought also to be
dissolvable if both parties wish to annul the contract. In the
Prussian 'Project des Corporis Juris Fridericiani' of 1749, "founded
on reason and the constitutions of the country," it is admitted that
married people may demand with common consent the dissolution of their
marriage.[2247] The 'Project' never became law; but in practice
divorce was freely granted by Frederick II. _ex gratia principis_ at
the common request of husband and wife.[2248] In the Prussian
'Landrecht' of 1794 divorce by mutual consent is admitted if the
couple have no children and there is no reason to suspect levity,
precipitation, or compulsion.[2249] In France the new ideas led to the
law on divorce of September 20, 1792, previous to which date the Roman
canon law had prevailed. In the preamble of the new law it is said
that marriage is merely a civil contract, and that facility in
obtaining divorce is the natural consequence of the individual's right
of freedom, which is lost if engagements are made indissoluble.[2250]
Divorce is granted on the mutual desire of the two parties,[2251] and
even at the wish of one party on the ground of incompatibility of
temper, subject only to a short period of delay and to the necessity
of appearing before a family council who are to endeavour to arrange
the dispute.[2252] It was said that divorce was instituted in order to
preserve in marriage "cette quiétude heureuse qui rend les sentiments
plus vifs."[2253] Marriage would no longer be a yoke or a chain, but
"l'acquit d'une dette agréable que tout citoyen doit à la patrie. . .
. Le divorce est le dieu {354} tutélaire de l'hymen. . . . Libres de
se séparer, les époux n'en sont que plus unis."[2254]

[Footnote 2247: _Project des Corporis Juris Fridericiani_ (Halle,
1749), i. 2. 3. 1. 35, p. 56.]

[Footnote 2248: E. Roguin, _Traité de droit civil comparé. Le mariage_
(Paris, 1904), p. 334.]

[Footnote 2249: _Allgemeines Landrecht für die Preussischen Staaten_
(Berlin, 1828-32), § 716.]

[Footnote 2250: 'Loi sur le divorce, 20 septembre 1792' (in _Lois
civiles intermédiaires_), i (Paris, 1806), p. 325.]

[Footnote 2251: _Ibid._ i. 2, ii. 1 _sqq._ (vol. i. 2), ii. 1 _sqq._
(vol. i. 326 _sqq._).]

[Footnote 2252: _Ibid._ i. 3, ii. 8 _sqq._ (vol. i. 326, 328 _sqq._).]

[Footnote 2253: H. Taine, _Les origines de la France contemporaine_,
iii (Paris, 1881), p. 102.]

[Footnote 2254: L. Mortimer-Ternaux, _Histoire de la Terreur
1792-1794_, iv (Paris, 1864), p. 408.]

Twelve years later, in 1804, the law of 1792 was superseded by the new
provisions in Napoleon's 'Code civil des Français.' Divorce was made
more difficult. Mere incompatibility of temper is no longer recognised
as a cause for it. Marriage may still be dissolved on the ground of
mutual consent, but on certain conditions only: the husband must be at
least twenty-five years of age and the wife twenty-one; they must have
been married for at least two years and not more than twenty years,
and the wife must not be over forty-five years of age; the parents or
the other living ascendants of both parties must give their
approval;[2255] and the mutual and unwavering consent of the married
couple must sufficiently prove "that their common life is
insupportable to them, and that there exists in reference to them a
peremptory cause of divorce."[2256] At the Restoration in 1816 divorce
was abolished in France;[2257] but it was re-enacted by a law of 1884,
the provisions of which were simplified by later laws. The divorce law
of the Napoleonic Code was again introduced, but with important
changes, one of which was that divorce by mutual consent had
disappeared. In the course of the nineteenth century divorce was made
legal in several Roman Catholic countries even in the case of marriage
between Catholics.[2258] In the United States South Carolina stands
alone in granting no divorce whatsoever, which is the more remarkable
as no state has fewer Roman Catholic citizens.[2259] It is the only
Protestant community in the world which nowadays holds marriage
indissoluble, as result of which it has been necessary for the
authorities to enact special legislation concerning the personal and
property rights of extra-legal wives and children.[2260]

[Footnote 2255: _Code civil des Français_ (Code Napoléon) (Paris, An
XII.-1804), art. 275 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2256: _Ibid._ art. 233.]

[Footnote 2257: E. Glasson, _Le mariage civil et divorce_ (Paris,
1880), p. 266.]

[Footnote 2258: E. Westermarck, _The History of Human Marriage_,
iii (London, 1921), p. 342.]

[Footnote 2259: Lord Bryce, _op. cit._ ii. 440.]

[Footnote 2260: M. F. Nimkoff, _The Family_ (Cambridge, Mass., 1934),
p. 456.]

The most general grounds for divorce are offences of some kind or
other committed by either husband or wife, and entitling the other
party to demand a dissolution of the marriage. In this respect the two
spouses are as a rule on a footing of perfect equality; but there are
exceptions to the rule. While any act of adultery in the wife is
everywhere a sufficient cause for {355} dissolving the marriage, there
are still laws that do not allow the wife in all circumstances to
demand a divorce from an adulterous husband. Desertion, or "malicious"
desertion, or desertion "without just cause or excuse," is very
frequently mentioned as a ground of divorce, especially in Protestant
law-books. In most countries in which divorce is allowed,
ill-treatment of some kind is a sufficient reason for it. An extremely
frequent ground of divorce is the condemnation of one of the parties
to a certain punishment or his or her being convicted of a certain
crime. Some law-books mention as causes for divorce the husband's
neglect of the duty to support his wife although he is able to do so
(in many jurisdictions of the United States), drunkenness, inveterate
gambling habits, or ill-treatment of children. Moreover, certain
circumstances are recognised grounds of divorce which do not involve
guilt in one of the parties but are supposed to make marriage a burden
for the other spouse, such as impotence in the husband or wife, some
loathsome disease, and insanity or incurable insanity. The Swiss code
contains a provision to the effect that, even though none of the
specified causes for divorce exists, a marriage may be dissolved if
there are circumstances seriously affecting the maintenance of the
conjugal tie.[2261]

[Footnote 2261: Westermarck, _op. cit._ iii. 343 _sqq._]

The English law was until quite recently the only one in Europe that
recognised none but sexual reasons for the dissolution of marriage.
The Majority Report of the Royal Commission of 1909 recommended that
divorce should, in the future, be obtainable for the following
reasons: adultery; wilful desertion for three years and upwards;
cruelty; incurable insanity after five years' confinement; habitual
drunkenness found to be incurable from the first order for separation;
and imprisonment under commuted sentence of death.[2262] These
recommendations were deprecated by the Minority Report, which
declared, on the one hand, that there was no public demand for any
such concessions, and on the other hand, that, as the experience of
other countries proved, the granting of the concession was invariably
followed by a sudden and serious increase in the number of demands for
divorce.[2263] The recommendations of the Majority Report were
ignored, with the exception of the proposal that in the case of
adultery women should be placed on an equality with men,[2264] which
became law in 1923. "But that," says {356} Dr. Havelock Ellis, "left
the law in the highly unsatisfactory condition of only being able to
grant the relief of divorce to unhappily married couples when they
have agreed to commit either adultery or perjury. In 1936 an extremely
temperate Marriage Bill, initiated by Mr. A. P. Herbert, was
introduced into the House of Commons; it was framed in so moderate a
spirit in order (as Mr. Herbert put it) 'to secure, for the first
time, agreement of the majority of churchmen and to relieve the
conscience of the clergy.' . . . Even this Bill, however, was whittled
down in its passage through Parliament, but became law in 1937 as the
Matrimonial Causes Act."[2265]

[Footnote 2262: _Royal Commission on Divorce and Matrimonial Causes,
Report of the Commissioners_, § 329.]

[Footnote 2263: _Ibid. Minority Report_.]

[Footnote 2264: _Report of the Commissioners_, § 219.]

[Footnote 2265: Havelock Ellis, _Sex in Relation to Society_ (London,
1937), p. 306.]

Legislators are still imbued with the idea that a marriage must
inevitably end in a catastrophe, either by the death or some great
misfortune of one of the consorts or by the commission of a criminal
or immoral act, which is evidently regarded as a more proper ground or
excuse for dissolving the marriage than the mutual agreement of both.
Divorce by mutual consent, which was recognised by Roman law and for a
short time in France at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of
the nineteenth century, is nowadays legal in a few countries only. It
remained so in Belgium and Rumania after it was abolished in France,
but in both countries the old barriers of the Code Napoléon were
preserved, which made it very rare in practice. The civil code of
imperial Austria permitted such divorce to Jews--though to no other
citizens--in accordance with the principle of the Rabbinic law that
the court has no right to interfere when both parties declare that
their marriage is a failure and that they desire to dissolve it. In
Mexico the marriage may be dissolved, after the observance of certain
formalities, by the mutual agreement of the parties when they have
been married for at least a year. In Portugal a divorce may be
obtained after a separation _de facto_ by mutual consent for ten
years. In Denmark marriage may be dissolved upon the common
application of the parties after living apart for one year and a half,
and in Norway and Guatemala after one year's separation in accordance
with a decree of separation, and such a decree may itself have been
obtained by mutual consent. The laws of Sweden, Finland, Greece, and
Costa Rica admit likewise consensual separation; and a separation may,
upon the application of either husband or wife, be converted into a
divorce, in Denmark after two years and a half, in Norway, Finland,
Greece (apparently), and Costa Rica after two years, and in Sweden
after one year. In the Soviet law there are no such restrictions. It
goes in fact even further than the French law {357} of 1792 by simply
stating that "the grounds for divorce may be either the mutual consent
of the parties or the desire of one of them."[2266]

[Footnote 2266: E. Westermarck, _The Future of Marriage in Western
Civilisation_ (London, 1936), p. 210 _sqq._]

The unequivocal recent trend of Western legislation has been to
increase the legal facilities of divorce, and, as Dr. Ellis remarks,
"in no civilised country is there any progressive movement for adding
to the legal impediments";[2267] and there is every reason to believe
that this trend will continue in the future. The unreasonable
impediments to divorce are only the diluted effects of the Canon Law
with its total prohibition of divorce, in conformity with the ascetic
spirit of Christianity. In many Catholic countries the Church has
already lost her power to enforce this prohibition, and in some of
them it has even been succeeded by a remarkably liberal divorce law,
owing to the fact that her grounds of divorce have been largely copied
from the earlier law relating to judicial separation (a very
convenient procedure), which could be obtained more easily than
divorce in most Protestant countries.[2268] We may take for granted
that the canonic dogma of the indissolubility of marriage, in spite of
papal protests, will before very long lose its hold on the legislation
of the rest of the Catholic world; and so also the idea that a divorce
mostly presupposes a delinquent, which is likewise rooted in the
ascetic tendencies of early Christianity, is undoubtedly doomed. The
divorce laws of the different Western countries will, no doubt, always
vary in details; but I think one may safely predict that divorce by
mutual consent will, sooner or later, be generally recognised by them.
It has in recent years been established in an increasing number of
countries; and elsewhere it is strongly advocated by enlightened
opinion both in Europe and America.

[Footnote 2267: H. Ellis, _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_,
vii (Philadelphia, 1928), p. 508.]

[Footnote 2268: Westermarck, _The History of Human Marriage_, iii. 357

Some curious objections have been raised to it, besides the general
one that it would make divorce too easy and thereby lessen the
"sanctity of marriage." In his evidence before the Royal Commission,
Lord Gorell argued that divorce by mutual consent would in practice
"probably prove to amount to divorce at the will of either party who
could make the other's life unbearable in order to force a
consent."[2269] A similar objection might be made to the chief ground
of divorce which is recognised {358} everywhere: it might give rise to
the practice of one of the partners hectoring the other by adulterous
behaviour with a view to coercing the latter into suing for a divorce.
Another argument which has been adduced against divorce by mutual
agreement is that it might lead to a precipitated dissolution of the
marriage. Mr. Groves asks: "How many of the marriages that have now
achieved happiness would have been dissolved in the early days of
matrimonial adjustment had there been in the past a social code built
upon divorce by mutual consent?" He answers: "No one knows, but men
and women of experience have estimated that it would have been as high
as fifty per cent."[2270] (Another opponent of divorce by mutual
consent writes, on the contrary, that such consent to the dissolution
of marriage "is comparatively rare, for it is a matter of human
experience that one of the partners very often refuses to release the
other.")[2271] Precipitation is by no means infrequent when a marriage
is dissolved on other grounds; many divorced couples would perhaps
remarry if they did not fear it would make them ridiculous.[2272] It
is just where divorce is possible on the ground of mutual consent that
legislators have taken precautions to prevent a hasty step: they have
done so in all modern laws which recognise such a ground for divorce,
particularly by requiring previous separation for a certain period,
with the single exception of the Soviet law.

[Footnote 2269: _Royal Commission on Divorce and Matrimonial Causes,
Minutes of Evidence_, Lord Goreli's Evidence, § 139.]

[Footnote 2270: E. R. Groves, _The Marriage Crisis_ (New York, etc.,
1928), p. 136.]

[Footnote 2271: R. De Pomerai, _Marriage, Past, Present and Future_
(London, 1930), p. 258.]

[Footnote 2272: _Cf._ W. J. Robinson, _Woman, Her Sex and Love Life_
(New York, 1923), p. 358.]

On the other hand, the arguments in favour of divorce by mutual
consent seem unanswerable. Milton, who was its first protagonist in
Christendom, insisted that "marriage is not a mere carnal coition, but
a human society";[2273] that the just ground for divorce is
"indisposition, unfitness, or contrariety of mind, arising from a
cause in nature unchangeable, hindering and ever likely to hinder, the
main benefits of conjugal society, which are solace and peace";[2274]
and that it is a violent, cruel thing "to force the continuing of
those together, whom God and nature in the gentlest end of marriage
never joined."[2275]  Dr. Lichtenberger observes that "the dissolution
of loveless marriages now is regarded as less immoral than their
continuance. The enlightened conscience rebels against compulsion in
sex relations, regarding it as a species of rape as revolting within
the marriage {359} bond as it is without."[2276] Mr. Shaw makes the
acute remark: "To impose marriage on two unmarried people who do not
desire to marry one another would be admittedly an act of enslavement.
But it is no worse than to impose a continuation of marriage on people
who have ceased to desire to be married."[2277]

[Footnote 2273: J. Milton, 'The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce,'
in _The Prose Works of_, i (London, 1806), p. 373.]

[Footnote 2274: _Ibid._ i. 347 _sq._]

[Footnote 2275: _Ibid._ i. 353.]

[Footnote 2276: J. P. Lichtenberger, _Divorce_ (New York and London,
1931), p. 454 _sq._]

[Footnote 2277: G. B. Shaw, _Getting Married_ (London, 1913), p. 167.]



IN an earlier chapter I have spoken of abstinence from sexual
relationships as the most important form of Christian asceticism, of
the high appreciation of virginity, of the obligatory celibacy of the
clergy, and of the sinfulness attributed to concupiscence. While the
gratification of it in marriage was condoned, all other forms of
sexual intercourse were looked upon as mortal sins.

The horror of them found an echo in the secular legislation of the
first Christian emperors. Panders were condemned to have molten lead
poured down their throats.[2278] In the case of forcible seduction
both the man and woman, if she consented to the act, were put to
death.[2279] Even the innocent offspring of illicit intercourse were
punished for their parents' sins with ignominy and loss of certain
rights which belonged to other, more respectable, members of the
Church and the State; some mediæval lawbooks treated them as almost
rightless beings, on a par with robbers and thieves.[2280] Persons of
different sex who were not united in wedlock were forbidden by the
Church to kiss each other; nay, the sexual desire itself, though
unaccompanied by any outward act, was regarded as sinful in the
unmarried.[2281] Consequently, anything that would tend to arouse a
feeling of sexual excitement or a temptation to lust was condemned.
The Church prescribed punishment for the writing or reading of
lascivious books, singing wanton songs, dancing suggestive dances,
wearing improper clothing, bathing in mixed company, frequenting the
theatre, or permitting suspected vigils or pernoctations of women in
churches under pretence of {361} devotion.[2282] In the standard of
purity no difference of sex was recognised, the same obligations being
imposed upon man and woman.

[Footnote 2278: W. E. H. Lecky, _History of European Morals from
Augustus to Charlemagne_, ii (London, 1890), p. 316.]

[Footnote 2279: _Codex Theodosianus_, ix. 24. 1.]

[Footnote 2280: _Concilium Claromontanum_, A.D. 1095, can. 11
(Labbe-Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum collectio_, xx. 817**); H. von
Eicken, _Geschichte und System der mittelalterlichen Weltanschauung_,
(Stuttgart, 1887), p. 573.]

[Footnote 2281: "Perit ergo et ipsa mente virginitas." E. Katz, _Ein
Grundriss des kanonischen Strafrechts_ (Berlin and Leipzig, 1881),
p. 114 _sq._ For the subject of kissing see also Thomas Aquinas, _Summa
theologica_, ii.-ii. 154. 4.]

[Footnote 2282: J. Bingham, _Origines Ecclesiasticæ_, vi (London,
1829), p. 386 _sqq._]

In this respect there was a fundamental difference between the
Christians and the Pagans. In Greece the chastity of an unmarried girl
was anxiously guarded.[2283] According to Athenian law, the relatives
of a maiden who had lost her virtue could with impunity kill the
seducer on the spot.[2284] Virginity was an object of worship.
Chastity was the pre-eminent attribute of sanctity ascribed to Athene
and Artemis, and the Parthenon, or virgin's temple, was the noblest
religious edifice of Athens. It is true that a certain class of
courtesans occupied a remarkably high position in the social life of
Greece, being admired and sought after even by the principal men. But
they did so on account of their extraordinary beauty or their
intellectual superiority; to the Greek mind the moral standard was by
no means the only standard of excellence. The Roman, on the other
hand, regarded the courtesan class with much contempt. He encouraged
brothels, but only entered them with covered head and face concealed
in his cloak. He tolerated the prostitute, but sharply curtailed her
privileges. She could go almost naked if she pleased, but might not
even wear the _vitta_ or the _stola_; she must not ape the emblems of
the respectable Roman matron.[2285] The names of prostitutes had to be
published on the ædile's list, as Tacitus says, "according to a
recognised custom of our ancestors, who considered it a sufficient
punishment on unchaste women to have to profess their shame."[2286]
But both in Rome and Greece pre-nuptial unchastity in men, when it was
not excessive,[2287] or did not take some especially offensive form,
was hardly censured by public opinion. The elder Cato expressly
justified it.[2288] Cicero says: "If there be any one who thinks that
youth is to be wholly interdicted from amours with courtesans, he
certainly is very strict indeed. I cannot deny what he says; but still
he is at variance not only with the licence of the present age, but
even with the habits of our ancestors, and with what they used to
consider allowable. For when was the time that men were not used to
act in this manner? When was such {362} conduct found fault with? When
was it not permitted? When, in short, was the time when that which is
lawful was not lawful?"[2289] Epictetus only went a little step
further. He said to his disciples: "Concerning sexual pleasures, it is
right to be pure before marriage, as much as in you lies. But if you
indulge in them, let it be according to what is lawful. But do not in
any case make yourself disagreeable to those who use such pleasures,
nor be fond of reproving them, nor of putting yourself forward as not
using them."[2290] Here chastity in men is at all events recognised as
an ideal.

[Footnote 2283: J. Denis, _Histoire des théories et des idées morales
dans l'antiquité_, i (Paris, 1856), p. 69 _sq._]

[Footnote 2284: L. Schmidt, _Die Ethik der alten Griechen_, ii
(Berlin, 1882), p. 193.]

[Footnote 2285: H. Ellis, _Sex in Relation to Society_ (London, 1937),
p. 207.]

[Footnote 2286: Tacitus, _Annales_, ii. 85.]

[Footnote 2287: Valerius Maximus (_Facta dictaque memorabilia_,
ii. 5. 6) praises "frugalitas" as "immoderato Veneris usu aversa."]

[Footnote 2288: Horace, _Satiræ_, i. 2. 31 _sq._]

[Footnote 2289: Cicero, _Pro Cœlio_, 20 (48).]

[Footnote 2290: Epictetus, _Enchiridion_, xxxiii. 8.]

Yet even in pagan antiquity there were a few who enjoined it as a
duty.[2291] Musonius Rufus emphatically asserted that no union of the
sexes other than marriage was permissible,[2292] and Dio Chrysostom
desired prostitution to be suppressed by law.[2293] Similar views grew
up in connection with the Neo-Platonic and Neo-Pythagorean
philosophies, and may be traced back to the ancient masters
themselves. We are told that Pythagoras inculcated the virtue of
chastity so successfully that when ten of his disciples, being
attacked, might have escaped by crossing a bean-field, they died to a
man rather than tread down the beans, which were supposed to have a
mystic affinity with the seat of impure desires.[2294] Plato, again,
is in favour of a law to the effect that "no one shall venture to
touch any person of the freeborn or noble class except his wedded
wife, or sow the unconsecrated and bastard seed among harlots, or in
barren and unnatural lusts." Our citizens, he says, ought not to be
worse than birds and beasts, which live without intercourse, pure and
chaste, until the age for procreation, and afterwards, when they have
arrived at that period and the male has paired with the female and the
female with the male, "live the rest of their lives in holiness and
innocence, abiding firmly in their original compact."[2295]

[Footnote 2291: Denis, _op. cit._ ii. 133 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2292: Musonius Rufus, quoted by Stobæus, _Florilegium_,
vi. 61.]

[Footnote 2293: Denis, _op. cit._  ii. 149 _sqq._]

[Footnote 2294: Jamblichus, _De Pythagorica vita_, 31 (191). _Cf._
F. B. Jevons, in Plutarch's _Romane Questions_ (London, 1892),
p. lxxxviii _sq._]

[Footnote 2295: Plato, _Leges_, viii. 840 _sq. Cf._ Xenophon,
_Memorabilia_, i. 3. 8.]

With regard to prostitution, the attitude of the Christians was not so
uniform as might have been anticipated. While it was denounced as
immoral by the more independent and irresponsible divines, others
tended reluctantly to justify it as a means of avoiding greater
evils.[2296] Foremost among these was {363} Augustine. In a treatise
written in 386 to vindicate the divine regulation of the world, we
find him declaring that just as the executioner, however repulsive he
may be, occupies a necessary place in society, so the prostitute and
her like, however sordid and ugly and wicked they may be, are equally
necessary; "remove prostitutes from human affairs and you would
pollute the world with lust."[2297] Christian emperors, like their
pagan predecessors, were also willing to derive a tax from
prostitution; and when, from time to time, some vigorous ruler sought
to repress it by severe enactments these were of no avail. During a
thousand years these enactments were repeated again and again in
various parts of Europe, and invariably with the same fruitless or
worse than fruitless results.[2298] In England, in the fourteenth
century, prostitution was carried on largely in licensed stews in
Southwark, because brothels were forbidden within the city of London,
and the bishop of Winchester, who was lord of the manor, had as such
jurisdiction over and a profit from the stews, the inmates of which
were popularly known as "Winchester Geese." It seemed not to
disconcert the bishop or the Church that these women, from whom they
profited, were not permitted to receive the rites of the Church while
they lived, nor a Christian burial upon their death. There was a
cemetery appointed for them far from the parish church, for, as Coke
said, brothel-houses were prohibited by the law of God.[2299]

[Footnote 2296: Havelock Ellis, _op. cit._ pp. 207, 235.]

[Footnote 2297: Augustine, _De ordine_, ii. 4.]

[Footnote 2298: Ellis, _op. cit._ p. 207 _sq._]

[Footnote 2299: G. May, _Social Control and Sex Expression_ (London,
1930), p. 105.]

As Christianity in its condemnation of unchastity in the unmarried
made no distinction between man and woman, it made no distinction
between husband and wife in its condemnation of adultery. If
continence is a stringent duty for unmarried persons independently of
their sex, the observance of the sacred marriage vow must be so in a
still higher degree. And in this respect also the Christian view
differed essentially from the Pagan one. The Romans defined adultery
as sexual intercourse with another man's wife; on the other hand, the
intercourse of a married man with an unmarried woman was not regarded
as adultery.[2300] The ordinary Greek feeling on the subject is
expressed in the oration against Neæra, ascribed to Demosthenes, where
the licence accorded to husbands is spoken of as a matter of course:
"We keep mistresses for our pleasures, concubines for constant
attendance, and wives to bear us {364} legitimate children and to be
our faithful housekeepers."[2301] But at the same time the idea that
fidelity in marriage ought to be reciprocal was not entirely unknown
in classic antiquity. In a lost chapter of his 'Economics' Aristotle
points out that it for various reasons is prudent for a man to be
faithful to his wife but that nothing is so peculiarly the property