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Hypocrisy and heresy : language and concepts in early modern England Stewart, Patricia Weightman 1992

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HYPOCRISY AND HERESY: LANGUAGE AND CONCEPTS INEARLY MODERN ENGLAND.byPATRICIA WEIGHTMAN STEWARTM.A., Cambridge University, 1980M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1984A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of HistoryWe accept this thesis as conformingto t eguired standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAOctober 1992© Patricia Weightman StewartSignature(s) removed to protect privacyIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)____________________Department of________________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate (2J S’ /ZDE-6 (2188)Signature(s) removed to protect privacy11ABSTRACTThe two concepts of hypocrisy and heresy are completelydisparate in modern use, and yet they were related in two waysduring the early modern period. Firstly, both terms wereprominent charges in the polemical exchanges of the EnglishReformation. Consequently, in this thesis they provide usefultools for studying the effects of controversy on language.The meaning of hypocrisy and of heresy was of considerableconcern to many controversialists, and yet the resultingattempts at defining these terms contributed to theirdestabilization and incoherence.These terms were also related in a second respectthroughout the early modern period. Given the universalconviction at that time that there was only one “true” church,and given the consequent pressures imposed by churches (bothCatholic and Protestant) to enforce conformity to their ownreligions, it was inevitable that judgements had to be madeconcerning the convictions and internal beliefs of others.Such judgements were central in charges of heresy andhypocrisy; hence in this thesis the concepts of hypocrisy andheresy provide useful tools for studying early modernunderstandings of intentionality and judgement. The writingsof Sir John Cheke, William Perkins, Bishop Joseph Hall and SirFrancis Bacon are shown to display concern combined withconfusion and incoherence over these topics. However, SirThomas More’s Dialogue Concerning Heresies is shown to contain111an intricate and coherent analysis of intentionality andjudgement vis a vis heresy. But, More’s foundation forjudgement and knowledge was the consensus fidelium, afoundation which simply was not available to the laterProtestant writers.Lastly, Thomas Hobbes’s treatments of hypocrisy andheresy are examined. In effect, Hobbes negated the judgementof intentions where both concepts were concerned. Heacknowledged and accepted the separation of internal belieffrom external profession. Likewise he accepted theimpenetrable nature of the human mind and heart in a way hisforebears had not. By examining Hobbes’s treatment of theseconcepts in light of the polemical confusion and conceptualincoherence of the preceeding century, a better understandingof Hobbes’s philosophy is obtained and the relevance of earlymodern theology for intellectual history is demonstrated.ivTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract u-uiAcknowledgement vINTRODUCTION 11. Sixteenth Century Theology andthe History of Thought 132. The Instability of Language:Hypocrisy and Heresy in Early Modern Polemics . .503. The Incoherence of Concepts:Hypocrisy and Heresy in Early Modern Thought . . .964. The coherence of a Concept:Heresy, Intentionality and Judgementin Thomas More’s Dialogue Concerning Heresies ..1425. Seventeenth Century Philosophy:Hypocrisy and Heresy in the Works ofThomas Hobbes 206CONCLUSION 263BIBLIOGRAPHY 272VACKNOWLEDGEMENTThe subject matter of this thesis (the concern withlanguage and the problems surrounding judgement andintentions) has resulted from studying early modern thoughtwith Prof. M. Tolmie. Under his careful and constructiveguidance, these studies have been a revelation in terms of thescope and the implications of the material explored. I amdeeply grateful for all Prof. Tolmie’s perceptive insightsinto the literature of this period, for his constantencouragement, and his very generous devotion of time andthought to this enterprise. I would also like to thank Prof.E. Hundert both for inspiring my interest in intellectualhistory and for kindly co-supervising this project. His closereading of the thesis and his helpful suggestions concerningits implications have been greatly appreciated. In addition,my thanks go to Prof. P. Burns who set valuable time aside tointroduce me to the world of patristic studies. Hisinstruction has proved most useful in my reading of earlymodern theological controversies. I have also appreciated thehelp and guidance of several other members of the Faculty andStaff of the Department of History.Work for this thesis has been greatly facilitated byfinancial support from various quarters. My early researchwas assisted by Social Sciences and Humanities ResearchCouncil of Canada pre-Doctoral Fellowships for 1985-86 and1986-87, and Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fellowships for thesame period. A University of British Columbia GraduateFellowship for 1988-89 made completion of my researchpossible.Lastly, I would like to thank friends and family who havehelped in so many ways. In particular, the writing of thisthesis would not have been possible without the support andassistance of my husband and children, my parents, RachelCollins, Barbara Edgington, Kathy Stewart, Ronnie Lakowski andJudy Brownston. I am most grateful to them all.1INTRODUCTIONTwo central problems have prompted the content and theform of this thesis. In the first place, when readingsixteenth-century theological tracts I became aware that notonly theology and ecclesiology were in a state of flux, butalso several key words and concepts were far from stable.Time after time writers defined and redefined an importantseries of words and concepts such as “atheism”,“superstition”, “apostasy”, “heresy”, and “hypocrisy”,attempting to establish the meanings of these words, often inopposition to the definitions of other writers. The resultinginstability is significant sinceit had serious repercussionsboth at the time and later. Obviously, as I shalldemonstrate, such instability meant that controversialistsoften found themselves in difficulties when using these wordsand concepts in polemical exchanges and in structuredarguments. Less obviously, but equally importantly, theinstability has also had repercussions in the work ofhistorians analysing this period.A classical example of the difficulties encountered byhistorians is the protracted debate over the problem of“atheism” in early-modern England, and indeed, Europe. Eversince the 1942 publication of Lucien Febvre’s Le problème del’incroyance au XVI siècle, there has been disagreement aboutthe existence of “atheists” in the sixteenth and early2seventeenth centuries.’ Febvre’s argument has usually beensummarized as a denial of the possibility of “atheism” in suchan overwhelmingly religious age, while his opponents haveinsisted that “atheists” did, in fact, exist.2 However, asDavid Wootton has recently insisted in his review article,“Lucien Febvre and the Problem of Unbelief in the Early ModernPeriod”, historians have inaccurately oversimplified Febvre’sposition by focusing exclusively on this one work. Elsewhere,Febvre did not deny the existence of unbelief in the sixteenthcentury: rather he claimed that unbelief was “handicapped” bya philosophy and science which “made it impossible to separatesuccessfully the natural from the supernatural”.3 Such aseparation only came in the seventeenth century with Gassendiand Descartes, and hence sixteenth century unbelief wasdeprived of a vital ingredient. It lacked the separationwhich was “a necessary preliminary to denying persuasively theexistence of the supernatural”.4 While it is apparent fromthis argument that Febvre did not always deny the existence ofatheists in the sixteenth century, it is equally apparent, as‘ I have used the English translation of Febvre’s work.See Lucien Febvre, The Problem of Unbelief in the SixteenthCentury: The Religion of Rabelais, trans. B. Gottlieb(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982).For a helpful synopsis of this debate see DavidWootton, “Lucien Febvre and the Problem of Unbelief in theEarly Modern Period”, Journal of Modern History, 60, December1988, pp.695—730, especially pp. 695—703.Ibid., p. 702, and nn. 27 & 28 where Wootton citesFebvre’s works “accepting” sixteenth century atheism.Ibid., pp. 702—3.3Wootton points out, that he did consider sixteenth centuryatheism as intellectually “inferior” to later manifestations.He failed to acknowledge both the sophistication of sixteenthcentury thought concerning atheism and the important role thatthis earlier atheism played in later developments.One important aspect of the widespread debate overatheism has been what Wootton has called “the linguisticproblem”, namely, the confusion over what the word actuallymeant in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.6 Historianshave recognized the importance of the discrepancy between ourmodern understanding of atheism as the denial of God’sexistence, and the early modern understanding which they havedefined in various ways and with varying degrees offlexibility. Two of the most recent works on atheism inEngland, as distinct from Europe, have devoted attention tothe diverse, and often confusing, ways in which the word wasused. In A History of Atheism in Britain: From Hobbes toRussell, David Berman identifies and discusses the seventeenthcentury confusion surrounding “practical” atheism,“speculative” atheism, “absolute” atheism and “mixt” atheismto name but a few. Likewise, Michael Hunter has explored theIbid., p.727.6 Ibid., pp. 703—7.David Berman, A History of Atheism in Britain: FromHobbes to Russell, (London: Croom Helm, 1988), pp. 6-16.4diverse meanings given to the term in his article “The Problemof ‘Atheism’ in Early Modern England”.8 As Hunter explains,contemporaries themselves recognised that this was aword ‘of a very large extent’, being employed todescribe more things than one. This is shown by aseries of more or less convoluted attempts toclassify different types of ‘atheist’, and todistinguish ‘atheists’ proper from such otherclasses of person as hypocrites, temporisers,Epicures and ‘Common Profane persons’. . . .However, despite giving attention to discrepancies in themeaning of “atheism”, scholars (including Hunter) have stillconcentrated on determining whether or not there were“atheists” in England. Perhaps because this question hascaptured scholarly attention, other equally fundamentalquestions have not been explored in any detail: in particular,why was it that early modern writers themselves frequentlydisagreed over the meaning of “atheism”, and how diddisagreement about atheism relate to the escalating polemicalexchanges of the sixteenth century?Given historians’ failure to probe these questions, it ishardly surprising that the difficulties surrounding otherequally interesting words like “superstition”, “apostasy”,“heresy” and “hypocrisy” have not been explored. The lattertwo words, “heresy” and “hypocrisy”, are of particularMichael Hunter, “The Problem of ‘Atheism’ in EarlyModern England”, Royal Historica1 Society Transactions, 5series, vol. 35, 1985, pp. 135—157, especially pp. 138—44.Ibid., p. 142. The contemporaries here cited by Hunterare first, Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State(Cambridge, 1642), p. 378, and second, Thomas Adams, Workes,(1630), p. 16.5interest because in polemical exchanges early in the centurythey were employed as opposing terms of abuse by Catholics andProtestants. While Catholics charged Protestants with“heresy”, Protestants retaliated by charging Catholics with“hypocrisy”. Thus, while the modern reader perceives them astwo disparate concepts, in early Reformation polemics “heresy”and “hypocrisy” were connected, operating as terms of abuse.However, as the century progressed and the divisions anddisagreements of the Reformation escalated, so too did theuses and definitions of these two terms. Both words wereincreasingly used by Protestants against other Protestants.This precipitated profound changes in the very conceptsthemselves, changes which suggested that closer analysis ofthese words is necessary in order to understand the effects ofpolemical exchange on this language in the early modernperiod. Consequently, a concern with words and concepts wasthe first problem which prompted the form and content of thisthesis. The two words “heresy” and “hypocrisy” particularlylent themselves to closer systematic analysis because of theirpolemical relationship to one another. Hence these wordsprovide the central focus for the content of the thesis.Regarding the form of the thesis, the most effective methodfor examining the difficulties surrounding these terms was theclose textual analysis of works in which the terms werediscussed. Hence, the form is dominated by the detailedanalysis of relevant texts.6However, as I have already suggested, there was anotherrelated problem which came to my attention as I studiedsixteenth century understandings of “heresy” and “hypocrisy”.It became apparent that another parallel existed between thesetwo words because, in order to make a charge of either heresyor hypocrisy, judgement of another’s intentions was necessary.For example, in the case of hypocrisy the accuser indirectlyclaimed to know that there was a discrepancy between the wordsand/or actions of the accused on the one hand, and hisintentions on the other. In a typical scenario, the“hypocrite” would be charged with either uttering words orperforming actions which he did not mean in order to achievesome hidden, ulterior purpose. Alternately, the “hypocrite”would be charged with saying one thing and doing another, theimplication being that one or the other, words or actions,were an ill-intentioned ruse designed to hide the hypocrite’strue intentions. A parallel can be seen in the charge ofheresy. While superficially the charge was simply that theaccused maintained proscribed beliefs or opinions, in realityjudgement frequently involved an assessment of the accused’sintentions. For example, accusers had to assess how“obstinately” a belief was maintained. A distinction had tobe made between simple “error” and “heresy”, since one errordid not necessarily make a heretic. Similarly, under threatof burning at the stake, a “heretic” might claim not tobelieve errors of which his accusers thought him still guilty.Thus, heresy charges frequently involved an assessment of the7“inner beliefs”, the secretly held opinions, and therefore theintentions of the “heretic”. While not all controversialistsexplored these problems in detail, some being content toemploy the concepts of heresy and hypocrisy merely forpolemical impact, others were acutely aware of thedifficulties inherent within them. It was apparent in theworks of, for example, Sir Thomas More, Sir John Cheke,William Perkins, Bishop Joseph Hall and Sir Francis Bacon thatheresy and hypocrisy could also provide useful vehicles forexamining early modern approaches to the problems of judgementand intentionality.The problem of judgement of the intentions, of judgementof the “internal” world of another human being was compoundedfor these men by two further factors. Firstly, they allaccepted one fundamental axiom which seemed to negate anyattempt to know another’s intentions. They all accepted thatGod alone could see and know the hearts of men. Mere mortalswere simply incapable of penetrating one another’s facades andof knowing what lay in the hearts and thoughts of their fellowmen. As Thomas More so succinctly expressed the problem inhis Dialogue Concerning Heresies, “no man can loke intoanothers breste . . .“.‘° However, despite this acknowledgedlimitation, it was equally accepted that in reality men mustThe Complete Works of St. Thomas More, (henceforthcited as CW), 15 vols. (New Haven and London: Yale UniversityPress, 1963- ), vol. 6:1 (1981), A Dialogue ConcerningHeresies, Thomas M. C. Lawler, Germain Marc’hadour and RichardMarius, eds., p. 22/1—2.8pass judgements on the intentions and the “inner condition” ofothers. Given the universal conviction that there was onlyone “true” church, and given the consequent pressures imposedby churches (both Catholic and Protestant) to enforceconformity to their religions, it was inevitable thatjudgements had to be made concerning the convictions of othersand their internal beliefs. As Perez Zagorin has recentlydemonstrated in Ways of Lying: Dissimulation, Persecution, andConformity in Early Modern Europe, the Reformationprecipitated a particularly acute awareness of the problem of“lying”. That language could be employed just as effectivelyto conceal and deceive as it could to reveal and inform poseda serious problem in an era that saw the splintering ofreligious beliefs and yet continued to espouse the ideal ofconformity to one universal church. In England, as Zagorinpoints out, “Protestants were frequently confronted with moralconflicts as a result of the enforcement of conformity by theroyal state and established church”.”Zagorin’s work is of immense importance in drawingattention to the neglected subject of “lying” and in providingsuch a far reaching analysis of its causes, forms and effectsin early modern Europe. Zagorin’s work also acts as anexemplar of what I hope may be achieved in my own analysis.In examining dissimulation, Zagorin does not confine himself“ Perez Zagorin, Ways of Lying: Dissimulation,Persecution, and Conformity in Early Modern Europe,(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990), p. 222.9to the world of “religion” or to the world of “philosophy”,but demonstrates clearly that “the legitimation and practiceof dissimulation were major factors in the lives of religiousbodies, intellectuals, philosophers, and men of letters”.’2Zagorin shows that many of the problems confrontingtheologians and religious institutions were also thoseprompting the writings of “intellectuals” and “philosophers”.Obvious and inevitable as this interrelationship of philosophyand theology may seem, it is an interrelationship oftenoverlooked by English historians. There has been adetrimental tendency towards compartmentalization of thisperiod with the result that the falsely imposed boundariesbetween “religion” and “philosophy” have rarely been crossedby historians. Intellectual historians have not explored theramifications or relevance of the theological debates ofsixteenth and early seventeenth century England. And yet, asZagorin’s treatment of dissimulation clearly demonstrates, andas the problems inherent in the concepts of heresy andhypocrisy also suggest, these topics have considerablerelevance for intellectual history despite the often“theological” or “denominational” context in which they wereinitially discussed.Thus, my aim in writing this thesis has been to cross theboundary between philosophy and theology by exploring twodifferent problems relating to the words and concepts of12 Ibid., p. vii.10“heresy” and “hypocrisy”: firstly, the problem of instabilityof meaning, and secondly the problem of intentionality andjudgement. In addition, I have sought throughout to draw outthe relevance of these problems, and indeed of sixteenthcentury religious controversies in general, for intellectualhistory. To this end, in Chapter One I have demonstrated twothings: that the widely accepted distinction between matters“religious” and matters “philosophical” has been inimical tothe historical analysis of this period, and secondly that awide range of early modern theological material hasconsiderable significance for intellectual history. ChapterTwo provides a survey of controversial writings to demonstratenot only the prevalence of the terms “heresy” and “hypocrisy”and their frequent juxtaposition, but also that these conceptsbecame “unhinged” and highly unstable in meaning as a resultof polemical exchanges. In Chapter Three I have examined thearguments of several writers who attempted to provide moredetailed and carefully structured definitions of heresy andhypocrisy, and who also explored the link between theseconcepts and the problems of judgement and intentionality.The immense difficulty these writers encountered in presentingcoherent arguments on judgement and intentionality is readilyapparent. The lack of coherence was so marked that it led meto enquire whether any controversialist at this time had beenable to confront the complexities at the heart of eitherconcept, heresy or hypocrisy, and still succeed in building acoherent argument concerning the judgement of these of fences.11Thus, Chapter Four consists of an analysis of Sir ThomasMore’s interpretation of heresy as it is expressed in hispolemical work, the Dialogue Concerning Heresies.In the final Chapter, Thomas Hobbes’s treatment of heresyand hypocrisy is examined. Not only did Hobbes examine theseconcepts in remarkable detail, but he also put them both tosignificant and unusual uses. As we shall see, the mostmarked feature of his treatment of both heresy and hypocrisyis that he effectively removed the judgement of intentionsfrom both concepts. Hobbes acknowledged and accepted theseparation of internal belief from external profession.Likewise, he accepted the impenetrable nature of the humanmind and heart in a way that his forebears had not.Previously, it has usually been argued that Hobbes acceptedthis separation as a necessary addendum to his politicalphilosophy. In general his political philosophy has beenstudied as an “abstract, timeless scheme of equalapplicability to every time and place”,’3 the result beingthat the relevance of the political and religious climate ofhis own, and indeed preceeding eras, has been minimized. Andcertainly, my purpose is not to deny the overwhelming“political” impulse behind Hobbes’s writings, in particularLeviathan. However, what I will try to demonstrate is howmuch more we can understand about Hobbes’s approach to‘ David Johnston, The Rhetoric of Leviathan: ThomasHobbes and the Politics of Cultural Transformation,(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), p. xvii.12political and theological problems when they are examined inthe light of developments in the sixteenth and earlyseventeenth centuries. As David Johnston has observed in hisrecent study The Rhetoric of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes and thePolitics of Cultural Transformation:in both method and content Hobbes’s Leviathan owesat least as much to modes of thought that weredominant in the sixteenth century as it does to thescientific outlook of the seventeenth century andbeyond with which we usually associate his name.14Thus, by illustrating the instability surrounding heresyand hypocrisy in early modern England, and by exploring theproblems concerning judgement and intentionality which bothissues raised, Hobbes’s treatment of these two terms can beseen in an appropriate “early modern” context.Ibid., p.ix.13CHAPTER ONESIXTEENTH CENTURY THEOLOGY AND THE HISTORY OF THOUGHT.The polemical tracts of the English Reformation have amixed reputation amongst scholars. Credit has been givenwhere credit is indeed due, to the dominant figure of RichardHooker for example, but such exceptions are rare.’ Much ofthe material has been neglected or dismissed. In 1968 RainerPineas surveyed the output of his scholarly forebears andcontemporaries and wrote the following condemnation:Although a large proportion of the works publishedduring the Tudor period concern themselves withreligious controversy, this huge body of literaturehas been more often deplored than studied. Whatscant treatment the subject has received has oftenbeen from a theological point of view which usuallydisplays religious bias in favor of one side or theother, while such literary treatments as do existhave not gone into the matter in detail.Pineas therefore set out to provide a “literary” study of thepolemics of More and his antagonists. His work has since beenaccompanied by a few others, but the field still remains sadlyneglected or worse, reviled. A decade after Pineas, PeterMilward compiled his comprehensive work, ReligiousControversies of the Elizabethan Age, A Survey of PrintedSee, for example, C. S. Lewis, English Literature inthe Sixteenth Century Excluding Drama, (Oxford: ClarendonPress, 1954), p. 174, where Hooker is praised vis a vis the“deficiencies” of More’s controversial style.2 Rainer Pineas, Thomas More and Tudor Polemics,(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968), p. ix andrelevant notes.14Sources, and pointed once again to the continued neglect. Hewas “astonished” and indeed “scandalised-- to find that itwas largely virgin territory”, the few exceptions beingcontroversies which had indeed been studied, but from a“confessional” viewpoint.Even more alarming is the tendency of some historianswho, while not overtly grinding confessional axes, insteaddismiss theological writings as not only laborious but in somefundamental sense dead. Having examined a controversyconcerning the seven sacraments, Gordon Rupp cries out formodern critical analyses of certain volumes of controversy butdismisses others. The controversy itself he denounces as“labyrinthine”, involving “repetition”, “hackneyed quotations”and a wearisome “absence of Christian manners”. Rupp objectsto the “sanctimonious humbug” he found. All of this leaves afirm impression that because the debate fails to live up tosome mythical standard of etiquette, it deserves to beignored. Likewise, Patrick Collinson, who has devoted hiscareer to the history of the Elizabethan and JacobeanChurches, can dismiss the writings of several bishops byinquiringPeter Milward, Religious Controversies of theElizabethan Age: A Survey of Printed Sources, (London:Scolar Press, 1977), p. x.Gordon Rupp, “The Battle of the Books: The Ferment ofIdeas and the beginning of the Reformation” in Peter NewmanBrooks, ed., Reformation Principle and Practice, (London:Scolar Press, 1980), pp. 17—18.15who is prepared to engage seriously with thismountain of extinct* divinity . . . . And who isable to discuss such works in a comparative context,setting them alongside the scholarly productions ofother reformed churches?Such dismissals are alarming. The centrality of theology toany understanding of the sixteenth century is beyond dispute.These controversies demand attention, especially before anyjudgements can be made concerning the theology of the Churchin this period.6 Recently, several historians have isolatedspecific debates and provided comprehensive case studies oftheir chosen controversy. For example, the predestinariancontroversy has received detailed analysis in Dewey D.Wallace’s Puritans and Predestination: Grace in EnglishProtestant Theology, 1525 - 1695; the Admonition Controversyprovided very fertile ground for Peter Lake’s study Anglicansand Puritans? Presbyterianism and English Conformist Thoughtfrom Whit gift to Hooker; and debate about the worship ofimages received well deserved attention in Margaret Aston’sEngland’s Iconoclasts, volume 1.Studies like these are invaluable in helping to chartthis neglected territory. And yet, two substantial problemsPatrick Collinson, The Religion of the Protestants:The Church in English Society, 1559 - 1625, (Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 1982), p. 44. See also G. R. Elton’scriticism that Collinson pays too little attention totheology, in G.R. Elton, review of The Elizabethan PuritanMovement, by Patrick Collinson, Historical Journal, 11, 1968,pp. 586-88. Here, and throughout the text, * signifies myitalics.6 See, for example, Collinson, Religion of Protestants,pp. 81-82, where he comments upon the “common and amelioratingbond” of Calvinism in the Jacobean Church.16remain. Firstly, because these works focus on individualdebates they tend (of necessity) to neglect problems of widerconcern, problems evident throughout an entire range ofsixteenth-century literature and especially visible intheological controversies. Attention to individual debateshas obscured the wider implications, the parallels, thesimilarities and contrasts that are made possible by a widerperspective. Secondly, and very importantly, historiansapproaching these controversies have usually remained withinthe traditional perimeters of relevance binding religioussubject matter, failing to develop the relevance of theirmaterial for intellectual history. For example, Wallace keepshis analysis exclusively within the realms of theology andreligious history. Only in a brief conclusion does he attemptto examine the “social function in another age of a perceptionof reality alien to our own”, and even here he is moreconcerned with the social ramifications of religiousexperience than with the intellectual relevance of thiscontroversy. Likewise, Peter Lake’s analysis of theAdmonition controversy is particularly interesting because hemakes a specific and structured attempt to draw out thecontroversy’s relevance not only for religion, but also forpolitics. Thus, Lake works systematically through textsdrawing out their implications in these two spheres. WhileDewey D. Wallace, Jr., Puritans and Predestination,Grace in English Protestant Theology, 1525 - 1695, (ChapelHill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982), pp. 191-96.17this approach is very effective in demonstrating the religiousand political ramifications of the controversy, the coherenceof another aspect of Lake’s argument is sacrificed in theprocess and a topic which might well be of interest forintellectual history is sadly neglected. It is worthexamining in detail how Lake’s traditional religious/politicalpresentation of his material creates these difficulties.Lake accepts and employs the commonplace that“Calvinists” had a “dour” “wintry” and “austere” view of humannature. He also claims that the Elizabethan Church embodied a“Calvinist consensus” about predestination so that while therewere differences over certain issues between his threefactions (“conformists”, “puritans” and “presbyterians”) allthree embraced the Calvinist theology of predestination.8 Itwas this Calvinist Predestinarian theology that was at theheart of the “dour” Calvinist understanding of human nature.Thus we would expect all three “Calvinist” groups to exhibitthis austere view. At first all seems well in that Lakedemonstrates how the “un—Calvinist” Hooker held a “rather morebenign” view of human nature and of sin than his “dourlyCalvinist contemporaries”. The conformists too he describesas dour. However, the “Puritans” who are unequivocallyB Peter Lake, Anglicans and Puritans? Presbyterianismand English Conformist Thought from Whitgift to Hooker,(London: Unwin Hyman, 1988). On Whitgift’s dour “Calvinism”see, for example, pp. 61, 62, and 66. On the acceptance ofCalvinist predestination by all parties see p. 142. For somesubtlties within the “Conformist”, John Bridges’ position, seepp. 121—26.18described as “Calvinist” and therefore (we may anticipate)dour, are found arguing in unexpectedly positive terms.According to Lake, they were insisting that “what Godcommanded must needs be in the compass of man’s abilities” andthat the perfectability of man was possible in this life.9These views are inconsistent with “dour” Calvinism whichemphasized the inherent corruption of human nature since thefall. Thus, while Lake’s argument is illuminating in otherrespects, it illustrates the need for a closer study of thecontroversialists’ understandings of human nature. There is acontradiction within Lake’s analysis between his descriptionof “Calvinism” and the views of some of his “Calvinists”. Bystudying the Admonition controversy exclusively for itspolitical and religious significance, Lake has ignored aproblem which was important for the controversialists, namely,the nature of man, his limitations and his capabilities vis avis the nature of God.The “Conclusion” of Lake’s work highlights both his ownperspective and the resulting failure of insight. He claimsthat the cause of “anti-puritanism” was severely hampered inthe 1590’s by the collapse of the presbyterian threat.Lake, Anglicans and Puritans? For Hooker’s more benignview of human nature see pp. 150 and 166. On the Puritanargument that “what God commanded must needs be in the compassof men’s abilities”, see p. 104. For the Calvinist/antiCalvinist distinction see p. 189 where Lake writes “Calviniststended to emphasize divine omnipotence and human impotence,the miracle of grace and the entirely undeserving nature ofits recipients. Anti-Calvinists tended to emphasize divinejustice and mercy, human effort and the divine response toit”.19Hooker, he argues, had launched a “full-scale attack onCalvinist piety” while passing it off as acceptable antipresbyterianism.’° The likes of Bancroft and Whitgift hadneeded a “Presbyterian threat” in order to attack the moreserious and threatening “puritan mental set” which jeopardizedtheir political and ecclesiastical world views. Thus, whenthe Presbyterian threat diminished, Lake tells us that therefollowed in the 1590’s “a series of attempts to find analternative focus [than anti-presbyterianism] for anti-puritanpolemic”. Thus, Lake considers the theological debates of the1590’s only in relation to his own “religious” and “political”categorizations. He writes off debates about sabbatarianism,exorcism and Christ’s descent into hell as failures because“none of these issues quite fitted the bill .. .“; they didnot provide viable vehicles for continuing the anti-puritaninvective.However, if we take the debate about Christ’s descentinto hell as an example, it becomes apparent that the debatecould not have been a mere “focus for anti-puritan polemic”.In reality, this debate arose over issues crucial to theformulation of Protestant theology and its origins went backto theological changes precipitated by the break with Rome.The intensity and urgency of the debate, as well as themultiplicity of suggested resolutions, illustrate thewidespread and pressing concern with resolving the problems at‘° For the relevant passages in his conclusion see Lake,Anglicans and Puritans, pp. 239-40.20the heart of the controversy. Debate revolved around theinterpretation of the creedal formula that Christ “descendedinto hell” after his death on the cross, and this debate wasprecipitated by the Protestant denial that there were distinct“levels” within hell.” Catholics had believed that Christonly descended to the highest level of hell known as LimbusPatrum, or Abraham’s Bosom. From here, Christ had been ableto fulfill the various purposes of his visit to hell, but haddone so without suffering because pain was only inflicted uponthose in the lowest “levels” of hell, namely Gehenna andpurgatory. This Catholic interpretation was untenable forProtestants. Their initial schism from Rome had arisen overthe sale of indulgences for the remission of punishment inpurgatory. In rejecting the efficacy of indulgences, theProtestants also rejected the whole notion of purgatory and oflevels within hell, leaving them with substantial problems indetermining both why Christ descended to hell after his death,and also how he did so without suffering if hell wasexclusively a place of torment. Thus, debate about thiscreedal article began on the Continent in the earliest yearsof the Reformation, and was evident in England as early as1552.See P. W. Stewart, unpublished M.A. thesis, TheDescent into Hell: An Elizabethan Controversy, (University ofBritish Columbia, 1984), especially pp. 24-37 where theContinental background to the English debate is discussed.See also, Dewey D. Wallace, “Puritan and Anglican, TheInterpretation of Christ’s Descent into Hell in ElizabethanTheology”, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 69, 1978, pp.248—278.21In light of this background, Lake’s claim thatcontroversy over “the descent into hell was not connected withany doctrinal difference which would open the way for a moregeneral assault on puritan piety . . .“ is inadequate onseveral counts. Firstly, it implies that the controversyemerged in the 1590’s simply because the “Conformists” werelooking for a replacement vehicle for their anti-puritaninvective, whereas in reality disagreement had begun inEngland in 1552, had persisted through the Elizabethan periodand continued into the seventeenth century. The debate wasnot simply the product of a search for focuses for anti-puritan invective. Secondly, the assessment implies twoviewpoints within the debate, “Conformist” and “Puritan”,while close analysis of the debate reveals a kaleidoscope ofopinions about the meaning of the creedal article. The rangeof opinions escalated as debate continued and the escalationitself was of grave concern to some controversialists. BishopThomas Bilson outlined a long list of current opinions andwarned:it were to be wished, that in matters of sogreat weight and danger, we would rather try wherewe are, then hasten to go onward. But as waterbreaking her bankes still runneth and neuer stayeth;so some lighting on other mens inuentions neuerleaue adding till they marre all.’212 Thomas Bilson, The effect of certaine SermonsTovching the Fy11 Redemption of mankind by the death and bloudof Christ Jesvs, (London: P. Short for W. Burre, 1599) pp. 8-9.22His attempted solution to this chaos was not so much to insiston one authoritative formula but to “set downe certaine limitsbeyond which [Christians] may not go, as also to reiect suchextremities as by no meanes may be closed in the crosse ofChrist, without apparant impietie.”3Bilson’s attempts did not succeed and the debatecontinued into the first decade of the seventeenth century.Indeed, it may be argued that the demise of the debate hadmore to do with this escalating chaos of opinions than it didwith any failure to provide a focus for “anti-puritan”invective. In 1607 a new and revised Exposition of theThirty-Nine Articles by Thomas Rogers was published. The workhad first been published in 1585 and at that time a specificinterpretation of Christ’s descent was offered asauthoritative. By 1607, when Rogers was Chaplain toArchbishop Bancroft and was therefore propounding the“Catholic Doctrine of the Church of England”, theinterpretation of the article had disintegrated. A completechange was made from the fixed 1585 interpretation. Instead,the 1607 edition mentions the range of “different views thathad been entertained of the doctrine” but “does not stronglyadvocate any”.’ Rogers admits that the meaning of thearticle is not clearly known, but that until it becomes clear,Ibid., p. 9.Thomas Rogers, The Catholic Doctrine of The Church ofEngland, An Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles, ParkerSociety, ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1854),pp. xii and xiii.23certain extremes of belief must be opposed.’ That suchuncertainty and insecurity should be admitted in anauthoritative doctrinal work of the Church of England ispoignant evidence of the effects of a controversy which wentbeyond the pitting of “Conformists” against “Puritans”.Lastly, we must object that because of his focus on the“religious” and “political” implications of the debate, Lake’sassessment misses an important parallel between the Descentinto Hell and the Admonition controversy. Just as there wasevidence of conflicting opinions concerning human nature,human capabilities and limitations vis a vis divine nature inthe Admonition controversy, so too such concerns are evidentin the debate about Christ’s descent into hell. For example,one aspect of the debate revolved around the nature ofChrist’s atonement for the sins of mankind. In Catholicbelief atonement had been accomplished simply by the physicalshedding of Christ’s blood and his death upon the cross. Thebodily death of Christ had been sufficient to save mankind,body and soul. But several Protestant controversialistsargued that Christ’s descent into hell meant nothing otherthan Christ’s soul suffering while he was dying on the crossand that such soul suffering was a vital part of the atonementprocess.’6 They suggested that if the redemption of the‘ Ibid., pp. 59—61.6 Calvin had advocated this interpretation. See JohnCalvin, The Institution of the Christian Religion, trans., T.N., (London: R. Harrison, 1562), fol. 164. For Englishexpressions of this formula (often with variations) see, for24bodies of men had required the bodily death of Christ, thenthe redemption of the souls of men must have required at leastsome degree of soul suffering on Christ’s behalf, if not eventhe death of Christ’s soul: a God of justice would havedemanded this. In refuting this argument other Protestantsinsisted that as Christ was without sin, as he was an innocentsacrifice, there could be no soul suffering involved in hissacrifice for mankind: a God of love would not have inflictedsuch needless torment on his only son.’7 Thus, therequirements of “justice” were being pitted against the natureof “love”. And, in advancing their arguments about what wasnecessary to save mankind, the controversialists discloseddivergent views about the nature of mankind itself. Lake’sanalysis does not broach these larger issues about humannature or detect the parallel concerns running behind thesedebates because of his exclusive interest in the “religious”and “political” implications of the Admonition controversy.example, Alexander Hume, A Reioynder to Doctor Hil concerningthe Descense of Christ into Hell, (Edinburgh: R. Waldegrave,1593), p. 138; William Perkins, An Exposition of the Syrnboleor Creed of the Apostles, in The Complete Works of WilliamPerkins, (henceforth cited as “CW”), 3 vols., (London: JohnLeggat, 1616-18), vol. 1, p.233, col. 1, C-D; Henry Jacob, ATreatise of the Svfferings and victory of Christ, (Middleburg:R. Schilders, 1598), pp. 31-32; and Andrew Willet,Loidoromastix, (Cambridge: C. Legge, 1607), sig. ii.See, for example, John Northbrooke, SpiritvsEst . . . A breefe and pithie summe of the Christian faith,(London: J. Charlewood, 1582), fols. 12-14; Adam Hill, TheDefence of the Article: Christ descended into Hell, (London:W. Ponsonbie, 1592), fols. 8”-9; John Higgins, An Answere toMaster William Perkins, Concerning Christs Descension intoHell, (Oxford: J. Barnes, 1602), p. 9; and Thomas Bilson, Theeffect of certaine Sermons, pp. 8-9.25Margaret Aston’s work on Iconoclasm follows a less rigidapproach and consequently draws attention to some of thesebroader issues. Aston examines images and image breaking froma wide range of perspectives and, in the process, illustratesthat controversy about image worship entailed controversyabout human nature, about divine nature, and about the correctway of perceiving the two. Of particular interest is Aston’sdemonstration of a shift in focus that reformed beliefentailed, a “turning inwards from works to the fruits ofintrospective self-doubt. .“.‘ The iconoclastic processended where it had begun, “in the heart”.’9 Not only must theexternal world be changed through images being torn down, butthe human mind, the human heart must be reformed; mental“images” or “idols” must be banished before true worship of an“unseen” God could commence. Aston stresses both theimportance of the shift from external to internal and alsosome of its consequences. It affected language: “The ‘idols’of the Reformation, like the word ‘image’ itself, moved from apredominantly physical to a largely mental connotation”. Itaffected belief since it brought with it an ever expandingtendency to allegorize the external; “Antichrist and the devilwere . . . being interiorized . . . . Laurence Chaderton wentto some lengths to prove the existence of Satan in order to18 Margaret Aston, England’s Iconoclasts, vol. 1,(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), p.452. For discussion ofthe internal/external relationship, see the section entitled“Idols of the Mind”, pp. 452—466.Ibid., p. 460.26refute the many who wrongly supposed the devil to be a ‘foulcogitation of the mind’ . . •“. And it affected the view ofself; “Antichrist- the great beast who was the author ofidolatry - came increasingly to be thought of as the evil tobe combatted in every Christian breast”: “The spiritualenemies of the seventeenth century seemed to lurk more andmore in unlit corners of the mind”.20 Aston does not drawconclusions about these changes; she leaves that for heranticipated second volume on iconoclasm. But, in exploringiconoclasm from such varied perspectives, rather thanexclusively for its relevance to “religious” history, she hasalready opened the door to fresh insights.Clearly, then, many interesting problems are broached inthese recent works of Wallace, Lake, and Aston. And yet,equally clearly, a “controversy by controversy” approach failsto broaden the horizons sufficiently for some of the mostintriguing problems and parallels concerning, for example,human nature, to recieve the attention they deserve. Inaddition, while Aston’s work points the way, historians havenot probed the relevance of this material for intellectualhistory sufficiently. There are perhaps two reasons for this.First of all, the language of these debates is alien to thediscourse of modern intellectual history. Take, for example,the subject of Wallace’s work, Predestination. WhenIbid., p.465. Exactly the same tendency towards, andconcern about, allegorization can be detected in the debateabout Christ’s descent into hell. See Stewart, The Descentinto Hell, pp. 56-66.27discussion of Predestination remains confined (as it does inWallace’s work) within the theological language of “election”,“grace”, “freewill”, “Pelagianism”, “semi-Pelagianism”, and“Socinianism”, the debate inevitably seems restricted inrelevance to those for whom such terms had immediate meaningand impact. None of these terms are part of our contemporaryvocabulary for discussing human nature. But, if these issuesare extracted from this archaic language, we discover thatthis sixteenth century debate focused upon the strengths andweaknesses of human nature, the degree to which men cancontrol their own behaviour, the degree to which men arevictims of their own weaknesses or the degree to whichintellect can control emotion. When translated into theseterms, the relevance of this material for intellectual historyis immediately apparent.The seeming lack of relevance of the theological languagehas led intellectual historians, and even religioushistorians, to dismiss sixteenth century debate as marginal inthe history of thought.2’ Without exception, the intellectualhistory of England is considered to “begin” in the seventeenthcentury with Sir Francis Bacon and, more importantly, ThomasHobbes. These great political and philosophical thinkers have21 See above, pp. 14-15, the remarks of Rupp andCollinson. See also David Johnston, The Rhetoric ofLeviathan: Thomas Hobbes and the Politics of CulturalTransformation, (Princeton: New Jersey, Princeton UniversityPress, 1986), p. 214, where he sums up the widely acceptedview that “Hobbes is generally credited with offering a newversion of man and society that breaks sharply with an older,traditional view”.28been considered distinct from writers of the previous centurylargely because they have broken out of the constraints of atraditional theocentric world view. Hobbes’s work is singledout because of the starkness, the brutal coldness and hence,in some respects, the modernity of his world view. Hobbeshimself insisted upon an “absolute divorce between philosophyand theology”, a distinction which has inevitably contributedto the relegation of theology when matters “philosophical” arebeing examined. Much work has been done recently tomoderate the view that Hobbes successfully divorced“philosophy” from “theology”. Scholars have explored, forexample, his preoccupation with Christianity in the last twobooks of Leviathan and elucidated the “Christian morality”evident in his work. However, the balance has not beenredressed for sixteenth century theologians. In other words,while intellectual historians have recently explored thedegree to which “theology” permeates the thought of“philosopher” Hobbes, they have not questioned the degree towhich “philosophy” might permeate the writing of sixteenthcentury theologians.For Hobbes’s insistence on the divorce of philosophyfrom theology, see Arrigo Pacchi, “Hobbes and the Problem ofGod”, in G. A. J. Rogers and Alan Ryan, eds., Perspectives onThomas Hobbes, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 172-3,where Pacchi paraphrases Hobbes’s famous passage on thissubject from De Corpore: “[Hobbes] emphasizes that philosophycannot study the nature and attributes of God, because thiseverlasting, ingenerable, and incomprehensible being is notknowable by means of the usual scientific methods ofresolution and composition, and cannot be investigated withrespect to his possible generation”.29This brings us to the second reason why the relevance ofthis theological material for intellectual history has beenoverlooked. There has been a kind of unspoken prohibitionunderlying the approach of most intellectual historians tosixteenth century theology. Thesilent claim is that apersonal belief in a Christian God is a prerequisite for thismaterial having any relevance at all. Therefore, non-believers have not approached the material, tacitly intimatingthat thought begins where traditional Christianity ends, inthe mind of Thomas Hobbes. Believers have tended to studythis material for its relevance to the history of Christianityand denominationalism. Its relevance for the history ofthought itself has been largely, and mistakenly, ignored.However, just a brief examination of some sixteenthcentury theological writings will demonstrate that theintractable issues lying behind much of the debate are ofconsiderable importance in the history of intellectualthought. The “Reformation” was not only a breeding ground fordivergent, and often discordant, theologies, but played anintegral part in the enunciation of divergent and discordantviews of man. We have seen from secondary sources that theAdmonition controversy, the Predestinarian controversy andIconoclasm all entailed some debate about human nature. Thesame is true of debate over Christ’s descent into hell, as wesaw briefly from primary sources. One further example willserve to demonstrate the relevance of this theologicalmaterial for intellectual history. The example in question is30the considerable debate which revolved around the person ofChrist in the sixteenth century. Again we will find thatdisagreement about Christ’s nature entailed fundamentaldisagreements about all human nature since Christ was not only“God” but was also “man”. These sixteenth centurydisagreements about Christ can be very illuminating on severaldifferent levels and in order to demonstrate why, the theologyof Christ’s nature must be examined in a little more detail.Christ was believed to have two distinct natures orwills, one divine and the other fully human with the oneexception that Christ could not sin. Consequently, ifcontroversialists disagreed about Christ’s divine nature, theydivulged in the process a great deal about their ownunderstanding of “perfection”, of a perfection which laybeyond the scope of human capability. If they disagreed aboutChrist’s human nature they revealed their own views about theessence of human perfection. How would an ideal, a perfecthuman being behave and why? What would motivate him to behavein one way rather than another? What moral values would takeprecedence in a perfect human being, and why? All thesetopics were open for discussion when Christ’s human nature wasdebated. And lastly, when theologians discussed thedifferences between Christ’s human nature and their own theywere obliged to discuss the conflicts within human nature, andthe factors which inhibit human beings from achieving idealmoral behaviour. Why are human beings capable of conceivingidealized modes of behaviour and yet remain incapable of31maintaining those standards? What factors might contributetowards an increased ability to maintain standards? Can humanbeings change and “improve” their own behaviour; if not, whynot, and if so, how?We find all these complex and insoluble problems hauntingdebates about Christ in the sixteenth century. The twoeminent theologians John Colet and Erasmus expressedstrikingly different views on such issues early in thecentury. On his first visit to England in 1499 Erasmus becameinvolved in a heated debate with Colet about the nature ofChrist’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Later the twotheologians exchanged letters on the subject and in 1503Erasmus published a more detailed and considerably expandedanalysis of Christ’s agony entitled Disputatiuncula de Tedio,Pavore, Tristitia Jesu.23 The events in the Garden ofGethsemane lent themselves to analysis of Christ’s nature andmotivation because during his “agony” Christ displayed theseemingly human failings and human emotions of weakness andfear. If Christ had indeed been “afraid” to die, this neededexplanation. Could human perfection include “fear”, and if itcould, what was the purpose behind it?23 Erasmus, Disputatiuncula de Tedio, Pavore, TristitiaJesu, Opera Omnia, 10 tomes, (London: The Gregg Press, 1962)tome 5, fols. 1265-1294. For the exchange of letters betweenErasmus and Colet see Erasmus, Collected Works of Erasmus,trans. R. A. B. Mynors and D. F. S. Thompson, (Toronto:Toronto University Press, 1974), vol. 1, Letters 1 - 141, nos.108 — 111, pp. 202—19.32That Christ had been “afraid” was beyond dispute. Afterall, the biblical accounts portrayed Christ praying not justonce, but three times that “this cup might pass”. His soulwas “exceeding sorrowful even unto death” and his agony was soacute that “his sweat was as it were great drops of bloodfalling to the ground”.2 This fear on Christ’s behalfpresented two problems. Firstly, since Christ had a divinenature as well as a human one, it was assumed that in hisdivine nature he knew of his destiny to die for the sake ofmankind. It therefore seemed incongruous that his humannature expressed relutance to meet this divine destiny.Secondly, the reluctance to die expressed by Christ’s humannature brought his perfection into question because a perfecthuman nature should have been happy to die for God’s sake.Unless some explanation was offered for this “fear”, Christwould seem less “perfect” than many of the later Christianmartyrs who had met their deaths bravely and willingly for hissake.Matt. 27:39—44; Mark 14:33—42; Luke 23:41—44.2 See James Tracy, “Humanists Among the Scholastics:Erasmus, More and Lefèvre d’Etaples on the Humanity ofChrist”, Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook, vol. 5, 1985,pp. 31-2. On this dispute between Erasmus and Colet see also,Giovanni Santinello, “ Thomas More’s Expositio Passionis”,Studi sull ‘Umanesimo Europeo; Cusano E Petrarca, Lefèvre,Erasmo, Colet, Moro, (Padova: Edittrice Antenore, 1969), pp.76-116. A shortened version of this article is repeated in R.S. Sylvester and G. P. Marc’hadour, eds., Essential Articlesfor the study of Thomas More, (Hamden, Connecticut, ArchonBooks, 1977), pp. 455-61. Also, G. J. Fokke, s.j. “An Aspectof the Christology of Erasmus of Rotterdam”, EphemeridesTheologicae Lovanienses, vol. 54, 1978, pp. 161-87. ThomasMore also wrote extensively on the topic of Christ’s sadness33Erasmus and Colet presented strikingly differentsolutions to these problems, and in the process, showed justhow different their “philosophies” of human nature, humanperfection and perfection itself were. Regarding humannature, Erasmus’s view was both more sympathetic and moreoptimistic than Colet’s. He argued that human emotions werenot positive or negative emotions per Se, but were insteadcompletely neutral and could therefore be ascribed to Christwithout any impiety. Instead of being the harbingers of sin(as Colet understood them to be), Erasmus simply saw emotionsas natural conditions of the soul, comparing them with theequally natural functions of the body such as hunger andthirst which clearly were not sinful in themselves as Christfrequently displayed these normal manifestations of humanity.As Erasmus wrote in the De Tedio:It is part of the soul to sorrow, to rejoice, tohate, to dread, to be angry. It is characteristicof the body to hunger, to thirst, to be tired, to beweak, to be afflicted, to die. What do I take awayfrom the most perfect virtue of Christ if I shouldsay he hated, since in him there was no hatred,except avoidance of true evil. Why do I not asserthe is angry, if nothing is anything in his anger,except hatred of evil . • •Erasmus was quite prepared to accept that emotions did inreality often lead men to evil, but this was not because theywere evil in themselves. Rather it was because of a certain“corrupting of nature in us” that our emotions “search forin the Garden of Gethsemane in the De Tristitia Christi, CW,vol. 14 parts I & II.Erasmus, De Tedio, fol. 1277. Unpublishedtranslation by Natalie Johnson, p. 29.34shameful deeds”, and “flee those things which are desired”.27Thus, Erasmus argued that Christ did indeed display bothweakness and fear in the Garden of Gethsemane but the displayof these emotions in no way detracted from Christ’s supremecommitment to die for man’s sake. Fear of death did not mean,as Colet had suggested, that Christ was more concerned abouthimself than he was about mankind. Instead, fear of deathshowed just how much Christ loved mankind in that he wasprepared to take on this manifestation of humanity for oursakes. Once again Erasmus fell back on the analogy betweenbodily function and emotion of the soul to make his point:.nobody reasons in this way, that he loved less,because he was hungry. On the contrary heespecially loved, because he wished to feel hungerfor our sake.28Time and again throughout the debate Erasmus employedthese kinds of parallels, not only between body and soul butalso between the experiences of Christ and the experiences ofmen. The resulting stress on, and explication of Christ’shumanity, provided insight into the human condition itself andalso held out hope for the improvement of this condition viathe method of loving, and thereby learning from Christ. Instark contrast, Colet so carefully preserved the superhumanperfection of Christ that his Christ displayed the absoluteminimum of humanity. There were no parallels between Colet’sperfect Christ and sinful man and consequently there was27 Ibid., fols. 1276—7, trans. p. 28.28 Ibid., fol. 1282, trans. p. 41.35nothing man could “learn” from Christ’s behaviour at thismoment of crisis.29If we turn from humanity and concentrate on viewsexpressed about human perfection and perfection itself duringthe course of this debate, we find that equally interestinginsights are available. For Colet, human perfection containedno weakness or inconstancy, no vacillation or divisions ofwill. Colet equated unity of purpose with perfection ofpurpose, unity of motivation with perfection of motivation.Hence, we find that the perfect Christ could not possibly haveexperienced any division of will when facing death. Likewise,for Colet there could be no multiplicity of explanation -“truth” was simple and singular and it was only because of the“sterility” of human minds that multiple explanations arose.Here Colet turned theusual image of the fertility of natureon its head by arguing that “nothing is more imperfect thanoffspring born in numbers”. The “lower creatures of nature,like flies and ants” multiply in vast numbers because of theirsterility, while “the holy Spirit, who is the progenitor ofHoly Letters, [and] is fertility itself . . . begets in itselffor the sake of its power one . . . simple truth”.3° Thus,just as Christ could have had no division or multiplicity ofFor a detailed analysis of the intellectual world ofColet see John B. Gleason, John Colet, (Berkeley: Universityof California Press, 1989), especially pp. 95-125 where thedisagreement between Colet and Erasmus over Christ’s sufferingin the Garden of Gethsemane is discussed.30 Erasmus, De Tedio, fol. 1291-2, trans. p. 63.36will, so the Holy Word must have just one true meaning, andeven the “Spirit of God” or perfection itself was unitary, onemight even say isolated “retaining itself in itself, andkeeping itself in itself, by hiding its face from itself, asif unworthy, not out of envy, but out of the unworthiness ofmen” .As might be expected, Erasmus’s opinion on these matterswas very different. While Colet denounced multiplicity,Erasmus gladly embraced it, but attempted to contain it. Evenwithin the human perfection of Christ, what was dreadedaccording to one will was sought after according to another.From within his human nature Christ could both desire to dieand experience revulsion at the prospect of his own death.3Such a seeming division was compatible with human perfectionfor Erasmus because of the distinct but equally goodmotivations which could be attributed to each part of thedivision. Death was desired for the saving of mankind, butfear of death was experienced and expressed so that men mightlove and learn from Christ. Christ spoke “as a man, for men,to men and in the words of men, expressing man’s fears”, whenhe prayed to avoid death. He displayed fear, instead offearlessness, becauseIbid.32 Erasmus, Letters 1 — 141, p. 208.37it was better suited to our feelings for he [Christ]had determined to win our love, rather thanadmiration and whereas we admire fortitude, we loveand affectionately embrace that which is gentle andweak.This is a dramatically different understanding of humanperfection than Colet’s and the same may be said of Erasmus’sunderstanding of divinity, or perfection itself. There was nostress on the isolated singularity of truth, nor was there thesame huge gulf of unworthiness separating God and man, divineand human. Instead there was an all inclusive approach;contraries were contained and contradictions explained bytheir application to man.From this one example we can see just how revealing andhow problematic discussion of the person of Christ could be.The essence of the problem for Erasmus and Colet was definingthe divine/human relationship and they were not alone inhaving difficulties with this relationship. Scholars haverecently drawn attention to substantial difficulties inherentin Calvin’s treatment of the divinity and humanity ofChrist,3 and hence we should not be surprised thatIbid., pp. 208 and 210.See David Foxgrover, “The Humanity of Christ: WithinProper Limits”, Calviniana: Ideas and Influence of JeanCalvin, Robert V. Schnucker, ed., Sixteenth Century Essays andStudies, vol. X, 1988, pp. 93-105. Foxgrover summarizesprevious debate about Calvin’s interpretation of Christ andprovides references to key contributors, most notably FrancoisWendel, “Christ and His Work of Redemption”, in Calvin, TheOrigins and Development of His Religious Thought, trans.Philip Mairet, (New York: Harper, 1963); and Paul van Buren,Christ in Our Place: The Substitutionary Character ofCalvin’s Doctrine of Reconciliation, (Edinburgh: Oliver andBoyd, 1957). Foxgrover then demonstrates how Calvinjeopardized the divinity of Christ by asserting Christ’s38difficulties are manifest in the writings of other Protestanttheologians throughout the century.35 To offer just one moredetailed illustration of a theologian attempting to explicatethe divine/human relationship, but in fact simply showing usthe dire problems which the issue was capable of generating,it is worth turning to the work of William Perkins, a prolificand prominent theologian at the end of the sixteenthcentury. 36“authentically human character” to the point of risking“denying the sinlessness of Christ”, p. 94. The mostcomprehensive recent study of Calvin is William J. Bouwsma,John Calvin, A Sixteenth Century Portrait, (Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 1988). While Bouwsma does not examineCalvin’s interpretation of Christ in detail, he does exploreCalvin’s understanding of God and of man, and the tensionsbetween the two. See especially Part IV “The Abyss”.See Elizabeth K. Hudson, “English Protestants and theimitatio Christi, 1580 - 1620”, Sixteenth Century Journal,vol. XIX, No. 4, 1988, pp. 541-58. Hudson examines the worksof five English Protestants on the imitation of Christ findingboth “ambiguity” and “inconsistency” in their positions.36 See Richard A. Muller, “Perkins’ A Golden Chaine:Predestinarian System or Schematized Ordo Salutis?”, SixteenthCentury Journal, vol. IX, no. 1, 1978, pp. 69-81. Mullerclaims that Perkins “was arguably the most prominent Reformedtheologian on the scene in the late sixteenth century”, p.69.See also Perez Zagorin, Ways of Lying, p.235, where he refersto Perkins as “one of the most influential Calvinisttheologians of his time”. Also, Wallace, Puritans andPredestination, p.56, where Perkins is described as “one ofthe most important of the spiritual writers as well as anEnglish theologian of European reputation, who may well havebeen the most important figure in the emergence of Reformedscholasticism in England”. For one so prominent, a moderncomprehensive biography of Perkins is sadly lacking, althoughaspects of his life and theology have been studied in depth.For Perkins’ theology see R. T. Kendall, Calvin and EnglishCalvinism to 1649, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981).For the impact of Ramism on his work see Donald K. McKim, “TheFunctions of Ramism in William Perkins’ Theology”, SixteenthCentury Journal, vol. XVI, no. 4, 1985, pp. 503-17. ForPerkins’ casuistry see Zagorin, Ways of Lying, pp. 235-40 andworks cited therein.39Because of his involvement in many of the theologicalcontroversies which dominated the closing decades of thecentury, Perkins was obliged to broach the divine/humanrelationship on numerous occasions and from numerous angles.The result is confusion both in the views expressed aboutChrist himself, and in the conflicting accounts Perkinsoffered of human nature. For instance, Perkins’interpretation of Christ’s behaviour in the Garden ofGethsemane acknowledged Christ’s human weakness and fear (justas Erasmus had done) but at the same time managed to removethe possibility of a didactic purpose in this suffering.While Erasmus had suggested a battle within Christ’s humanwill, thereby making it a battle from which ordinary humanscould learn, Perkins insisted that Christ experienced a simpledissention from death in his entire human nature, while thedesire to die came exclusively from Christ’s divine will. Hewrote:The humane will of Christ did with an holydissention in some sort wil deliuerance from theagony of death, which notwithstanding the diuinewilled not.37Thus, on this occasion, Perkins did not suggest that Christexperienced any divisions of will with which human beingscould identify or from which they could learn. As thedivision was exclusively between the divine will on one handWilliam Perkins, A Christian and Plaine Treatise ofthe Manner and Order of Predestination, and of the Largenes ofGods Grace, CW, vol. II, p. 609, col. 1, B.40and the human will on the other, no didactic message could beobtained since there was no conflict within the human will.Elsewhere, however, Perkins did attempt to analyseChrist’s sufferings whilst giving them a strong didacticmessage, and the result is a breakdown in the coherence of hisanalysis. In a work on The Cornbate Betweene Christ and theDeuill . . .(which examined Christ’s temptations in thewilderness) Perkins maintained that Christ was tempted by thedevil and that man could learn from these temptations, butthat while Christ was tempted without sin, man was alwaystainted with sin when tempted, even if the temptation wasresisted. To demonstrate how incongruous this position was,it must be examined in more detail. Perkins began by arguingthat there were three steps involved in the devil’stemptation. First, the devil “conueyes into [man’s] mind,either by inward suggestion, or by outward obiect, the motionor cogitation of that sinne which he would haue him tocommit”.39 Next, by conveying these cogitations of sin, thedevil caused godly men to be “full of trouble, sorrow, andvexation . . . the whole man is disquieted, his thoughts andaffections are troubled, and his heart is vexed”.39 Christ,we are told, was subjected to both these stages of temptation.However, the third and final part of the process was reservedPerkins, The Combate Betweene Christ and the Deuilldisplayed: or A Commentarie vpon the Temptations of Christ,CW, vol. 3, p. 376, col. 1, B.Ibid., p. 376, col. 1, C.41for man alone. Although “a man doe not approoue, neitherentertaine with delight, the deuils temptations, yet shall hehardly keepe himselfe from the staine and taint of sinne,because the imaginations of his owne heart, are naturallyeuill”.° Thus, being naturally evil, man was always sinfulwhen tempted whereas Christ, having a perfect human nature,could be tempted without sin. Christ was excluded from thelast part of the process of temptation because he differedfrom all other men by being perfectly holy in his humannature, and therefore “he did not in the least measure receiueany corruption into his minde . . ‘!.‘Thus, up to this point in the argument, the distinctionbetween the sinless human Christ and naturally sinful man wasmaintained, but a problem arose when Perkins ascribed adidactic purpose to Christ’s temptations. Amongst the varioususes which Perkins ascribed to the temptations, he claimedthat they served as “a good direction for their comfort thatare troubled with blasphemous thoughts”.2 The comfort camefrom knowing that these blasphemous thoughts remained “theDeuils sinnes wholly, and become not ours, til we receiue themby some degree of delight or assent. . “ Here, man seemedcapable of rejecting temptation, and provided he did notIbid., vol. 3, p. 376, col. 1, D.Ibid.Ibid., p. 376, col. 2, A.Ibid., p. 376, col. 2, B.42“delight or assent” to it, he did not sin: the sin remainedwholly the devil’s. This contradicted Perkins’ previousanalysis in which man always sinned when tempted (even if thetemptation itself was resisted) because of man’s naturallyevil heart. Thus, in the process of expounding how man couldlearn from Christ’s temptation, Perkins had collapsed thedistinction between divine and human. In order to show thatman was as capable of rejecting temptation as Christ had been,Perkins had removed the naturally evil imaginations from man’sheart, thereby creating a substantial confusion in his“philosophy” of human nature.From these brief examples of Erasmus, Colet and Perkinswe can see that theological material can be highly revealingin areas other than pure “theology”. We can see these menaddressing problems concerning human capabilities and humanlimitations. The issue at the heart of their dispute was theability, or inability, of man to learn, to change, tocontribute to his own improvement. If man was not capable ofthis, then Christ’s life on earth had fulfilled no didacticpurpose. If man was capable of self-improvement, God’somnipotence as the redeemer of mankind could appear to bethreatened. Thus, debate about these issues often focused onthe person of Christ because, theoretically, he combined thesedidactic and redemptive roles. Finding and maintaining anacceptable balance between these two roles was the intractableproblem which bedevilled many theologians throughout thesixteenth century. Thus, in writing about Christ, theologians43struggled to balance two contradictory and conflictingunderstandings not only of Christ, but also of man. Eitherman was at the mercy of his own nature, unable to control it,let alone improve it, without external help from a powergreater than his own (i.e. God); or, through watching,studying and loving an example, man could emulate that exampleand consequently improve himself. While all writers agreedthat Christ embodied both roles, the natural tension betweenthese two contradictory alternatives was the cause ofdisagreement and confusion for many.Clearly, then, the confusion in sixteenth centuryunderstandings of Christ also demonstrates confusion insixteenth century views of man. The theology of this periodprovides revealing insights into early modern thought aboutthe very nature of man. However, the link between thistheology and emerging English “philosophy” can be demonstratedeven more directly. We find that the problems surrounding theissues of Christ’s natures and his roles on earth persistedinto the seventeenth century and that Thomas Hobbes himselfwas obliged to deal with them in his masterpiece, Leviathan.Hobbes began his analysis of the problem by asserting thatthere were, in fact, three roles ascribed to Christ inScripture:44The first of a Redeemer, or Saviour: The second of aPastor, Counsellor, or Teacher, that is, of aProphet sent from God, to convert such as God hathelected to Salvation: The third of a King, aneternall King, but under his Father, as Moses andthe High Priests were in their severall times.Clearly, Hobbes was dealing directly with the two “roles” ofChrist which have just been identified as problematic forsixteenth century theologians: Christ the Redeemer, andChrist the Teacher. If, then, we pose the obvious question ofhow Hobbes balanced the redemptive and didactic roles ofChrist, and how he related Christ’s humanity with his divinity(given that sixteenth century theologians had found thisrelationship so thorny) the rather surprising answer emergesthat he simply avoided the need for a “relationship”altogether. He managed to sidestep the problem completely byarguing that Christ fulfilled these “roles” at differenttimes. Hobbes’s argument must be examined closely to see howhe managed to employ the traditional Christian language of“Christ the Redeemer” and “Christ the teacher” whilstcompletely avoiding the sixteenth century problems surroundingthis language.Firstly, concerning Christ the Redeemer, Hobbes arguedthat the redemption of mankind took place only at the precisemoment when Christ died on the cross because this was the onlysacrifice which God was pleased to accept. As a result,Hobbes claimed, Christ could not correctly be termed“Redeemer” during his life. The argument ran as follows:Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, C. B. MacPherson, ed.,(Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1968), p.512.45For as much therefore, as he that redeemeth, hath notitle to the thing redeemed, before the Redemption,and Ransome paid; and this Ransome was the Death ofthe Redeemer; it is manifest, that our Saviour (asman) was not King of those that he Redeemed, beforehee suffered death; that is, during that time heeconversed bodily on the Earth.It will be noticed that Hobbes was careful to stipulate thatonly in his manhood was Christ not the “redeemer” during hislifetime. Therefore, Hobbes’s argument so far leaves open thepossibility that Christ was redeemer while living, but in hisdivinity. However, Hobbes proceeded to negate thispossibility by the following argument. Although Christianshad renewed their pact with God (and therefore with the“divine nature” of Christ) by baptism, and were consequentlyobliged to obey God (and therefore Christ) as a King, they hadto do this only when the King chose to reign in his Kingdom.Hobbes then relied on Christ’s own statements that his kingdomwas “not of this world” to show that, while here on earth,Christ renounced his kingship in this respect until his secondcoming. Consequently, neither in his manhood, nor in hisdivinity did Christ claim to be king during his own lifetime.Very neatly, Hobbes had completely removed one half of thedilemma which had perplexed sixteenth century theologians.Secondly, if we ask how Hobbes dealt with the issue ofChrist the Teacher we find that, once again, the traditionallanguage of the sixteenth century was retained, but the impactof the argument was not traditional. According to Hobbes,Christ had to achieve two things during his life on earth:Ibid., p. 514.46One to Proclaim himself the Christ; and another byTeaching, and by working of Miracles, to perswade,and prepare men to live so, as to be worthy of theImmortality Beleevers were to enjoy, at such time ashe should come in majesty, to take possession of hisFathers Kingdome.6Thus, Christ did indeed have a “teaching” role while here onearth. And yet, this teaching role bore little resemblance tothe didactic purpose that, for example, Erasmus or Perkins hadclaimed for Christ’s life. The whole emphasis was not onteaching men how to live “Christian” lives here and now but on“persuading and preparing” them to be believers in Christ asMessiah so that they might be worthy of immortality atChrist’s second coming. The detailed moral content ofChrist’s teaching and its implications for Christian life onearth had evaporated.What, then, may we conclude about Hobbes’s treatment ofthe redemptive and didactic roles of Christ when seen againstthe background of sixteenth century debate about these issues?The most striking feature is that while Hobbes retained thetraditional theological, language surrounding Christ (Christthe Redeemer, Christ the Teacher, Christ the King) he emptiedthese terms of their traditional content and used them insteadas tools in his own argument for the complete obedience ofChristians to temporal authority. Hence, a language wasretained but a whole series of questions and problems wasremoved. By arguing that Christ’s redemptive and didacticroles were not concurrent but rather consecutive Hobbes had6 Ibid., pp. 515—6.47removed the difficulty of trying to relate the divine and thehuman.Such observations have a twofold significance. Firstly,that Hobbes was using this language at all is interesting. Itconfirms the important interrelationship which I have beensuggesting between the “theology” of the sixteenth century andthe “philosophy” of the seventeenth. Consequently, itconfirms the need for closer scruitiny of these theologicalwritings by intellectual historians. Secondly, Hobbes usedthis theological language in a radical way. He detached theterms from their problematic meanings and redefined them tosuit the purposes of his own argument. Hobbes warned hisreaders in the “Epistle Dedicatory” to Leviathan that he wouldgive unusual meanings to “certain Texts of Holy Scripture”,considering this the aspect of his work “which perhaps maymost offend . . .“. Hobbes’s methodology of redefiningwords and reshaping language in general has been widelyacknowledged by historians of his political philosophy.42Hence, his redefining of theological language could be seensimply as a necessary additional application of the samemethodology. In other words, Hobbes’s theology, andIbid., “Epistle Dedicatory to Mr. Francis Godolphin”,p. 76.48 See, for example, Mark Hartman, “Hobbes’s Concept ofPolitical Revolution”, J. H. I., 47, 1986, p. 495, where hewrites “One of Hobbes’s main intellectual tactics was toappropriate the terminology of others and use it for differentpurposes”. For Hobbes’s use of Biblical language, see ArrigoPacchi, “Hobbes and Biblical Philology in the Service of theState”, Topoi, 7, 1988, pp. 231—39.48especially his use of theological words and axioms, could beseen exclusively as the outcome of his political philosophy.And certainly, the driving force of Hobbes’s politicalphilosophy cannot be disputed. However if, as we have seen,debate over Christ’s natures and his roles on earth had led tocontradictions and confusions concerning certain theologicalwords and axioms, this very confusion provides an illuminatingcontext in which to comprehend Hobbes’s reinterpretation ofthe words and axioms in question. Hence, while the drivingforce of Hobbes’s political philosophy is acknowledged, apotent factor in his reshaping of theological language can bediscerned in the confusion and contradictions surrounding thislanguage in earlier polemical use.This hypothesis would indicate that the controversies ofthe preceeding century could affect the very meaning andcoherence of the language in which the controversiesthemselves were conducted. Or, put another way, it suggeststhat polemics had the effect of “unhinging” or “destabilizing”words and concepts from their accepted framework of meaning,to the point that it became possible to use that same languagefor radically different purposes. In the above example, wehave seen Hobbes doing this with theological axioms, but thesame process could and did apply to other words and conceptscaught in these controversies. The main body of this thesiswill be devoted to exploring the parallel destabilization oftwo other words and concepts. In the chapters that follow wewill examine the effects of polemical exchange on the49concepts, “heresy” and “hypocrisy”. As I will demonstrate,these words were prominent within Reformation polemics and,because of the resulting pressures exerted upon them, becamehighly unstable as the century progressed. Once again, wewill find that writers repeatedly encountered difficulties inexpounding these concepts coherently, and we will also findHobbes eventually employing these “unhinged” or “destabilized”concepts for his own radically different purposes.50CHAPTER TWOTHE INSTABILITY OF LANGUAGE: HYPOCRISY AND HERESY IN EARLYMODERN POLEMICS.A relationship existed between the terms “heresy” and“hypocrisy” in Reformation polemics, a relationship which wewould not anticipate given their modern dissociated uses. Inthe earliest polemical exchanges of the Reformation, Catholicscharged Protestants with heresy, while Protestants retaliatedby charging Catholics with hypocrisy. Subsequently, theseopposing charges were employed repeatedly for specificreasons. But, as the century progressed, although the termscontinued to be used frequently, they were no longer confinedto these specific contexts. Protestants began to use bothterms in their polemics against other Protestants as well asagainst Catholics and, as a result, confusion arose over boththe application and the meaning of these terms. An analysisof the roles these words played in Reformation polemics formsthe subject matter of this chapter.However, before we study specific examples of thecontexts in which these terms were employed, and thedifficulties specific writers had in dealing with them, abrief illustration of the prevalence of these terms insixteenth century polemics is called for. Both “hypocrisy”and “heresy” (and their personalized forms “hypocrite” and“heretic”) played roles in the very first rounds of51Catholic/Protestant polemic and continued to appear in theworks of controversialists throughout the century. In some ofEngland’s earliest vernacular defences against Protestantismwe find Sir Thomas More constantly denouncing the “heresy” ofhis opponents, while on the other side of the polemical divideWilliam Tyndale railled against the “hypocrisy” of his RomanCatholic adversaries.1 That Protestants were “heretics” andCatholics were “hypocrites” became standard allegationsthroughout the decades that followed.One easily accessible means for seeing the prevalence ofthese terms is to study the volumes of the Parker Society.Instituted in 1840, the Parker Society’s mandate was “thePublication of the Works of the Fathers and Early Writers ofthe Reformed Church”.2 Since many of these works werecontroversial in nature, and since many followed the format ofciting opponents’ arguments before refuting them, the ParkerSociety volumes offer a useful and convenient window into thepolemical rhetoric of both Catholics and Protestants. Thereare fifty-five volumes in the Parker Society, the last ofwhich is a “General Index”. This index reveals sixty-fivecitations under “heresy”, sixty-seven under “heretics”, andSee, for example, Thomas More, CW, vol. 6:11, ADialogue Concerning Heresies, p. 855, the index citations to“heresy” and “heretics”. See also William Tyndale, An Answerto Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue, Parker Society ed., vol. 44,pp. 10, 140 & 194.2 See the title page of Select Works of John Bale, D.D.,Parker Society, ed., (Cambridge: The University Press, 1849),vol. 1, or the title page of any other volume.52thirty-eight under “hypocrisy”. There are also indexes to thewritings of individual authors, usually, but not always, inthe last volume of their own works.3 However, all theseindexes are far from accurate and are incomplete.Inaccuracies are evident even when the individual authorindexes are compared with the General Index. For example, theindividual index of Hugh Latimer’s works cites six referencesto hypocrisy (one of which is inaccurate), while the GeneralIndex cites only four. Of these four, only three matchlistings in the individual author index. Hence, in totalthere are seven listings for “hypocrisy”, three of which arepresent in both indexes, one of which is present only in theGeneral Index, and three of which are present only in theindex of Latimer’s works. More important still, all theseindexes are very far from complete. For every one use of“heresy” and “hypocrisy” that is cited, the pages teem withexamples that have not found their way into the indexes.Therefore, while these indexes are useful because theydemonstrate that both terms “heresy” and “hypocrisy” wereintegral to polemical exchanges at this time, theirinaccuracies and most significantly their incompleteness makeit important that the texts themselves be examined to obtain arepresentative picture. For instance, in his Obedience of aChristian Man, William Tyndale rebuked Catholic hypocrisy nineExceptions to this rule are to be found in theeditions of Thomas Becon, for example, where there is an indexappended to each individual volume. See, The Works of ThomasBecon, Parker Society, ed., vols. 2, 3, & 4.53times in a matter of twenty pages, with no record to be foundin any of the indexes. Thomas Becon also poured out un-citedvitriol against the Catholics:Antichrist, to enlarge his kingdom, taketh unto himinnumerable swarms of hypocrites,* as cardinals,patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons,subdeacons, monks, friars, canons, hermits . .And so his list continues, including no less than forty-onecategories of Roman Catholics with each and every one of themconsidered “hypocritical” by Becon. In like manner, we findThomas Harding making un-cited accusations of heresy againstEnglish Protestants in his dispute with John Jewel, Bishop ofSalisbury:these defenders [of the English Church] takeupon them the name of the church of England, settingforth thereby a face of authority . . . . Andverily herein they follow the wont of all heretics.For never was there any sect of heretics hitherto,which hath not claimed to be accounted and calledthe church.6The number of citations in the Parker Society’s indexes andthe ease with which uncited uses of both “heresy” and“hypocrisy” can be found help to demonstrate the prevalence ofWilliam Tyndale, Doctrinal Treatises and Introductionsto Different Portions of The Holy Scriptures, Parker Society,ed., vol. 42, pp. 322-42. Another example of Tyndale’sfrequent but uncited use of “hypocrisy” is in Expositions ofScripture and Practice of Prelates, Parker Society, ed., vol.43, pp. 4-14 where there are eleven uncited uses of the termin ten pages.Becon, Works, vol. 4, p. 506. For other examples ofBecon’s uncited charges see vol. 4, pp. 261, 269, 514, &528—9.6 The Works of John Jewel, Parker Society, ed., vol. 25,p. 150.54these terms in polemical tracts. Equally persuasive is thefact that these labels found their way into official andpolitical documents. These religious epithets had become suchcommonplaces that they occurred in a variety of non-theological literature. For example, in 1536, after theuprisings in Lincolnshire and the Yorkshire “Pilgrimage ofGrace”, one of Cromwell’s proteges, Sir Richard Morrison,published tracts denouncing the rebellions. In assessing thepossible causes of unrest, Morrison made the, by then,standard link between Rome and hypocrisy:I cannot think that the putting down of abbeys, thatis to say, the putting away of maintained lechery,buggery, and hypocrisy, should be the cause of thisrebellious insurrection.Henry VIII, Morrison claimed, had set a shining example to allforeign princes concerning the duties of kingship, “to redressthings of religion, to put down hypocrisy, and to restorehonesty to her place again”.8 Later in his reign Henryhimself provided a classical example of the polemical use ofboth terms “heresy” and “hypocrisy”. In his last speech toparliament in 1545 Henry made a plea for harmony and concordin matters of religion. He denounced name-calling per Se,requesting that such crimes be ammended to establish peace,David Sandler Berkowitz, ed., Humanist Scholarship andPublic Order: Two Tracts against the Pilgrimage of Grace bySir Richard Morison, (Washington: The Folger ShakespeareLibrary, 1984), p. 95.Ibid., pp. 97-8.55but in the process he offered examples of the very name-calling he denounced:One thing, which surely is amiss, and far out oforder, to the which I most heartily require you,which is, that charity and concord is not amongstyou . . . . Behold then what love and charity isamongst you, when the one calleth the other Hereticand Anabaptists, and he calleth him again Papist,Hypocrite and Pharisee . . . few or none preachtruly and sincerely the word of God . . . . Amendthese crimes . . . or else I whom God hath appointedhis Vicar, and high minister here, will see thesedivisions extinct and these enormities corrected,according to my very duty.9One final yardstick by which we can measure thewidespread use of these two labels, particularly in the latterhalf of the century, is to scan the titles of theologicaltracts written during this period. Peter Milward’s ReligiousControversies of the Elizabethan Age is a useful startingpoint yeilding such anti-Catholic titles as Lewis Evan’s workThe Hatefull Hypocrisie, and rebellion of the Romishe prelacie(1570), and John Nichols’ Iohn Niccols Pilgrimage, wherein isdisplaied the lives of the proude Popes, ambitious Cardinals,lecherous Bishops, fat bellied Monkes, and hypocriticalllesuites (1581). The Catholic attacks on Protestants areequally revealingly titled. For example, there is RichardShacklock’s translation of Stanislaus Hosius’s work attackingProtestantism which became known as The hatchet of heresiesA. G. Dickens and John Tonkin, The Reformation inHistorical Thought, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985), p. 62.56(1565), and Richard Bristow’s Demaundes to bee proponed ofCatholickes to the Heretickes (1576).’°However, Milward’s compilation of these titles alsoreveals some of the “unhinging” which was besetting thesepolemical labels. His chapters include many more titles ofworks containing the charge of heresy, but instead of beingwritten by Catholics against Protestants, we find they werewritten by Protestants against other Protestants. There isJohn Rogers’ The Displaying of an horrible secte of grosse andwicked Heretiques, naming themselves the Familie ofLove . . . (1579), and John Knewstub’s A Confutation ofmonstrous and horrible heresies, taught by H. N. and embracedof a number, who call themselves the Familie of Love (1579).What is more, we also find Protestants turning the charge ofheresy back onto Catholics. William Fulke’s response to threeCatholic theologians offers a prime example of this beingentitled D. Heskins, D. Sanders and M. Rastel, accounted(among their faction) three pillers and Archpatriarches of thePopish Synagogue . . . overthrowne, and detected of theirseverall blasphemous heresies (1579).’- In like manner,charges of “hypocrisy” were being laid not only by Protestantsagainst Catholics, but also by Protestants against otherProtestants. John Yates took over the assault on Arminius10 Peter Milward, Religious Controversies of theElizabethan Age: A Survey of Printed Sources, (London:Scolar Press, 1977), p. 20 no. 83; p. 53 no. 188; pp. 19—20no. 78; and p. 40 no. 147.Ibid., p. 34 no. 130; p. 35 no. 133; p. 7 no. 23.57when William Perkins died in 1602 by writing Gods Arraignementof Hypocrites: with an Inlargement concerning Gods decree inordering sinne. As likewise a Defence of Mr. Calvine againstBellarmine; and of Mr. Perkins against Arminius (16l5).’The use of “heresy” and “hypocrisy” in such diverse waysindicates that through polemical exchanges the words had comeunhinged from their original “Catholic versus Protestant”context. We should notice, however, that we are notnecessarily observing here a “progressive” unhinging throughtime in which conventional uses were increasingly overtakenthrough the course of the century. Certainly there is anelement of “development” involved since different applicationsof these words could only emerge as circumstances changed andpossibilities for new applications arose. However, these twolabels were sometimes inverted even in the earliestcontroversies of the century. For example, having beencharged with heresy by Thomas More, William Tyndale refutedthose charges by arguing that More was in fact a heretic, nothimself.3 Likewise, More returned Tyndale’s charge ofJ2 Ibid., p. 163 no. 592. Another interesting exampleof the “unhinging” of these polemical labels is provided byElliot Rose, Cases of Conscience: Alternatives open toRecusants and Puritans under Elizabeth I and James I,(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), p. 177 whereRose describes how “Cartwright called the bishops Phariseesfor their legalism in ritual matters, and Whitgift . .returned the epithet on the puritan party”.‘ See, for example, Tyndale, Works, Parker Society,ed., vol. 44, p. 162, where Tyndale wrote “And when M. Morecalleth it ‘heresy, to think that the married [priests] wereas pleasant to God as the unmarried,’ he is surely an hereticthat thinketh the contrary”.58hypocrisy back from whence it came by calling Protestants“hypocrites”.1- Such inversions were, and indeed still are, astandard occurrence in polemical exchange. Thus, what we arewitnessing here should not be seen as a linear progression,but rather as a state of flux induced by the complex anddisruptive nature of controversy.Such observations bring us back to the initial questionwhich must be examined, namely how and why these words becamepart of the polemical exchanges in the first place and how andwhy they came unhinged. It is to these problems that we willnow turn our attention, examining first the problem of heresy.The presence of the charge of heresy in Catholic polemicsagainst Protestants comes as no surprise. Throughout thehistory of the Catholic Church, adherence to a religiousopinion contrary to Church dogma had always been branded“heresy” by the Church. Hence, Protestant insistence on“justification by faith”, denial of transubstantiation, anddenunciation of purgatory made it inevitable that charges of“heresy” would form the core of Catholic responses to theseunorthodoxies.In order to understand how and why the concept of heresycame unhinged by polemical use we must recognize thatProtestants could not use the word as it had been defined bythe Catholic Church without accepting that they were indeedSee, for example, More, Dialogue Concerning Heresies,CW, vol. 6:1, pp. 422-24, where he charges Protestants withboth heresy and hypocrisy, and p. 426 where he charges themwith hypocrisy.59heretics. The Catholic definition of heresy made the Church,and therefore ultimately the Pope, the supreme authority indetermining the true faith. Although there was less clarityin the pre-Reformation understanding of heresy than emergedlater with the onset of the Counter-Reformation, certain keyfeatures of heresy were universally accepted. Heresy chargescould only be laid against those who had previously confessedthe Christian faith. Heresy entailed the rejection orcorruption of accepted dogma or, as St. Thomas Aquinas hadwritten, heresy was “a species of infidelity in men who,having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas”.While there may have been some lack of clarity amongstscholastic theologians concerning the exact content of theheterodox teaching which constituted heresy, there was nodoubt at all concerning the source of authority whichdetermined such issues. That authority was the Church andtherefore ultimately the Pope. Heresy was a willful rejectionof Church discipline and a breaking away from the communion ofthe faithful.6The Catholic Encyclopedia, 15 vols. (New York:Robert Appleton Co., 1910), s.v. “Heresy”. For a usefulbackground on heresy in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuriessee Gordon Leff, Heresy in the Later Middle Ages: TheRelation of Heterodoxy to Dissent c.1250-1450, 2 vols.,(Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1967); andEdward Peters, ed., Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe:Documents in Translation, (Philadelphia: University ofPhiladelphia Press, 1980).16 The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 17 vols., (Washington,D. C.: Catholic University of America, 1967), s.v. “Heresy”.60Such a definition of heresy could not be accepted by theProtestants without serious modifications and consequently wefind the concept of heresy was often at the centre ofdisagreement in Catholic/Protestant polemics where it waseasily warped and manipulated by polemical exchanges. WhenWilliam Tyndale rebuffed the Catholic argument that lay accessto the Bible precipitated heresy, he not only called thePapists “heretics” and “hypocrites” but he also redefinedheresy itself. It wasa dark cloud that springeth out of the blind heartsof hypocrites, and covereth the face of thescripture, and blindeth their eyes, that they cannotbehold the bright beams of the scripture.’7Elsewhere, denouncing scholastic disputations over theinterpretation of scriptural passages, Tyndale charged that“man’s foolish wisdom” was heresy:there is no other division or heresy in the worldsave man’s wisdom, and when man’s foolish wisdominterpreteth the scripture.’8John Bale’s Examination of Anne Askewe contained anotherbrief definition of heresy, his purpose having been todenounce the Roman Catholic definition and promote aProtestant one. His definition was based upon the authorityof the Word of God:Tyndale, Works, vol. 43, p.141.Tyndale, Works, vol. 42, p.160.61Heresy is not to dissent from the church of Rome inthe doctrine of faith, as Lanfrancus . . . andThomas Walden . . . defineth it; but heresy is avoluntary dissenting from the scriptures of God, andalso a blasphemous depraving of them for thewretched belly’s sake, and to maintain the pomps ofthis world. . . . Consider, then, whether he be thetheif that sitteth upon the bench, or he thatstandeth at the bar; the popish clergy thatcondemneth, or the innocent [Anne Askewe] that iscondemned.Thus, not only did Bale redefine heresy making it dependant onBiblical rather than Papal authority, he also employed thepolemical device of turning the charge of heresy back fromwhence it came, onto the Roman Catholics. In another example,Thomas Becon did not formally define heresy, but he madeexactly the same point as Bale when he argued that the“detestable heresies” of the early Church were due to theneglect of the holy Scriptures and an over-reliance on men’s“own judgements and fantasies”.°In all these examples, Protestants were attempting tosubstitute the authority of the Scriptures for the authorityof the Pope in their definitions. However, this was not theonly way in which the concept of heresy was coming unhingedthrough polemical exchanges. When definitions of heresy wereoffered in confrontational situations each party pounced uponthe faults and weaknesses evident in the definitions of theiropponents. Such was the case in the disputations of JamesPilkington, Bishop of Durham, whose arguments we will study inmore detail.Bale, Works, vol. 1, pp. 217-18.Becon, Works, vol. 2, p. 278.62Pilkington had preached a sermon at St. Paul’s Cross onJune 8’ 1561 concerning the reasons why that Cathedral hadbeen struck by lightening. In essence, he considered thedisaster was a warning of God’s wrath at the laxity of livingprevalent in London at the time. However, this sermonprecipitated a response by an unknown Catholic theologian who,of course, blamed the disaster on the fact that Protestantismrather than Catholicism was being preached in England. Withinthis response, the charge that Protestants were “heretics” wasmade. The people were so “blinded in heresy, . . . that theirhearts do not understand, their eyes do not see [and] theirears be stopped for hearing the truth”.2’ The Catholic authoralso appended “Certaine Questions” and answers to his work toassist the reader and it is here that certain “definitions”are offered. One of his questions was “Who is an heretic”?Predictably, the opponent gave a recognizably Catholicdefinition of a heretic, including the fact that heresy wasdetermined by the Catholic Church itself:He that teaches, defends, or maintains any erroneousopinion against the decrees, judgment, ordetermination of Christ’s catholic church, is anheretic 22In Pilkington’s response he argued that such a definitionof heresy was faulty. He pounced on his opponent’s obviousomission: the opponent had failed to make a distinction21 The Works of James Pilkington, Parker Society, ed.,vol. 35, p. 486.22 Ibid., p. 619.63between simple “error” and “heresy” which was the obstinatemaintenance of error. Proving “obstinacy” or “pertinacity”was an essential part of any heresy charge and it was centralto the problem of judging heresy. Without obstinacy there wasno evil intentionality and no malice, but only simple error.Here, then, polemical exchange had produced yet anotherinadequate definition of heresy because of the omission ofthis vital element. It is worth remarking that Protestantswere equally guilty of omitting this vital ingredient fromtheir own definitions of heresy. In the next example we shalllook at, the Protestant Bishop John Jewel made this error andwas brought up sharply by his Catholic opponent, ThomasHarding.However, before we turn to Jewel and Harding, there isone last aspect of Pilkington’s work which deserves attention.Within the definitions of heresy we have just reviewed, we cansee that the issue of authority over faith (and therefore overheresy) was absent. But this was not because Pilkington andhis opponent had avoided the topic. “Authority” wasdiscussed, but under a different heading. The opponent’sfirst question had been “Which is the Catholic church?” andhis answer was that the apostolical see of Rome was the trueChurch. He supported this definition with extracts fromcertain Church Fathers and then added:64Nor let heretics take any comfort to themselves, ifthey can frame out of the chapters of the scripturefor their purpose that which they say, seeing thedevil has alleged some things of scripture: for thescriptures consist not in reading, but trueunderstanding. 23Here, then, was the Catholic defence that “Scripture” couldnot be an adequate substitute for Papal authority indetermining matters of faith, and therefore matters of heresy,since Scripture could even be manipulated to support thedevil’s cause! The Bible could not be an effective authorityin this world without some authoritative method forinterpreting it. Pilkington attempted to refute thisargument, denouncing the authority of Rome and adding “theHoly Spirit” to “the Word” as sources of Protestant authority:the church is gathered by Christ and the apostlesfirst, and continues, not in the papistical but inthe apostolical faith, under Christ our head, whorules his church still by his Holy Spirit and word,and has not put it into the hands of any one onlygeneral vicar in the earth . . .Pilkington went on to use the historical factionalism andschism within the Roman Church as proof that it was not theone true church. Clearly, this debate also focused on thisissue of the authority of Rome which was central to theProtestant problem regarding heresy. Without an adequate“this worldly” authority to take the place of the Papacy inthe Catholic definition, all attempts to rebuff the charge,let alone to use it effectively against others were doomed tofailure.23 Ibid., p. 618.q Ibid.65Both the thorny problem of authority and the problem of“obstinacy” are present in the next case we will examine,namely the polemical exchanges between Bishop John Jewel andThomas Harding. Here once again Harding took the usualCatholic position by arguing that if Protestants rejected thefaith handed down by Popes through the centuries, then theymust indeed be heretics. He wrote:If ye have forsaken the faith ye were baptized in;if ye be gone from the faith which St. Eleutherius,pope and martyr, . . . preached in this land byDamianus and Fugatius; . . . if ye refuse the faithwhich Gregory the great, that holy pope, caused tobe preached to our ancestors the Englishnation . . . and have thereby dissolved the unity ofthe catholic church, and leave not to maintain thedoctrine whereby the same unity is dissolved; allthis presupposed, we see not but that this cry madeupon you is true; for then are ye heretics indeed.In response to this charge, Jewel attempted to build ahistorical refutation, claiming that Harding had mistaken theauthority from which the English Church had been founded. Ithad not received its authority from Rome and the Papacy butrather,the church and faith of Christ had been planted herea long while before . . . either by Joseph ofArimathaea, or . . . by St. Paul the apostle, .or . . . by Simon Zelotes, or by the Greeks, or bysome others.6Jewel, Works, vol. 25, p. 163. See also vol. 25, p.116 where Jewel paraphrases Hardings argument as follows:“that in his only holiness [the Pope] standeth the unity andsafety of the church; that whosoever is divided from him mustbe judged an heretic; and that without the obedience of himthere is no hope of salvation”.Jewel, Works, vol. 25, pp. 163-4.66Clearly, the historical foundations upon which the EnglishChurch hoped to bypass its allegiance to Rome were far fromauthoritative, although this argument concerning thehistorical independence of the English Church as the “true”Church was developed and refined in the following decades torebuff charges of “heresy” from Rome.However, Jewel did not leave the matter as a simpledispute over historical sources. Instead he insisted upon the“innocency” of the English Church of the charge of heresy.The English Church would “defend soberly and truly [its] owncause and innocency”. Harding responded that so long as theEnglish Church maintained the doctrines of Luther, Zwingli andCalvin, it could not have “the truth”. Truth was, as Jewelacknowledged, central to the issue. But how could “truth” bedetermined? Just as Pilkington had included the “Holy Spirit”in his account, so Jewel made a direct appeal for divineguidance and hence divine authority in ascertaining truth:This is the very issue of the case; whether thedoctrine that we profess be the truth or not whichthing through God’s grace by this our conference inpart may appear. I beseech God, the Author of alltruth and the Father of light, so to open our heartsthat the thing that is the truth indeed may appearto us to be the truth.27Yet such an appeal to God for truth did nothing to solve theproblem of authority over doctrine in this world. Hardingsimply denied that the Reformers had “truth” while Jewelinsisted that thousands of his Reformed bretheren had “borne27 Ibid., p. 184.67witness unto the truth in the midst of most painful tormentsthat could be devised • •“. The argument over “truth” hadreached a stalemate. As a result, Harding fell back onceagain to his original position that the faith of the RomanChurch was the “very catholic faith”, all else being heresy,while Jewel claimed once again that men should not be brandedheretics for following the “truth” rather than the Papacy 29•Next, Jewel objected that heresy charges should not belaid lightly because of the seriousness of the offence, andhere he offered a Protestant “definition” of heresy, omittingall reference to authority in this world and demonstrating theseriousness of the offence. Heresy was “a forsaking ofsalvation, a renouncing of God’s grace, a departing from thebody and Spirit of Christ”. Harding immediately rejected thisdefinition, showing it to be incorrect because it made everydeadly sin a heresy. In other words, Jewel’s definition hadomitted the requirement of obstinacy or pertinacity (just asPilkington’s opponent had done). Harding countered thatheresy was rather “a false doctrine against the right belief,by him that professeth the faith stubbornly* either avouchedor called in doubt.” In response to this challenge concerningthe correctness of his definition, Jewel attempted a sidestep, claiming that he had never intended to define heresy inthe first place. Yet, he went on to offer another definition8 Ibid., p. 187.Ibid., p. 195.68of heresy, thereby seriously undermining the credibility ofhis denial that he had been making a definition in the firstplace. If the content of this answer of Jewel’s is analysedclosely, the confusion in his position becomes readilyapparent. First of all he was indignant, denouncing the needfor a definition, and again claiming “truth” to be on hisside:Verily, M. Harding, this is but a simple quarrel.It was not my mind in this place to utter anydefinition of heresy, either right or wrong. Youknow right well that such curiosity in this kind ofwriting is not needful. It is sufficient our wordsbe true, although they include no definition.But in the very next sentence, Jewel offered a reviseddefinition of heresy, this time inserting “God’s word” as theauthority by which heresy could be judged in this world:For just proof of heresy three things necessarilyare required. First, that it be an error:secondly, that it be an error against the truth ofGod’s word; for otherwise every error maketh not anheresy: thirdly, that it be stoutly and wilfullymaintained . . . . 30However, having just offered this definition which madethe Bible the source of authority, Jewel then reverted to hisprevious point; no definition of heresy had been intended notonly because definition was not necessary as he had arguedbefore, but now because definition was too hard:30 Ibid., p. 210.69It was not so necessary in this matter so preciselyto seek us definitions. I thought it sufficientonly to declare the horror of heresy. For, astouching the definition, St. Augustine saith: .“To express by orderly definition what thing makethan heretic, as I judge, it is either impossible, orvery hard”.3’Jewel added to this point by challenging that Catholics hadbeen guilty of using the heresy charge too widely and withoutdue caution, given how difficult it was to define. But,rather than leaving the argument there, Jewel proceeded tocite various Catholic authors in an attempt to reinforce hispoint. Instead of reinforcement, however, he ended upundermining his point that heresy charges should be laid lessoften and with extreme caution because he concluded byintimating that all Catholics were heretics! QuotingAiphonsus de Castro, Jewel wrote:“Therefore it happeneth that they that so rashlypronounce and call every thing heresy, notconsidering whereof they speak, be often strickenwith their own dart, and fall into the same pit thatthemselves have digged for others. For this would Irather call heresy, to account men’s writings amongthe scriptures of God”.32This step by step examination of Jewel’s argument showsjust how incoherent his position had become and thecomplications that were besetting the concept of heresy duringthe course of Catholic/Protestant polemics.33 Nor was thisIbid., p. 211.32 Ibid., pp. 211—12.This “incoherence” in Jewel’s argument stands inmarked contrast with the praise he has previously received forthe logical, clear and careful nature of his work, and hisexhaustive use of authorities. See, for example, W. M.70limited extract we have studied the end of the debate sinceHarding and Jewel continued to toss the subject backwards andforwards in protracted disagreement. They examined biblicalexamples of the use of the word “heresy”, they argued overwhether Christ himself had been a “heretic” because he wascalled a “Samaritan”, and so it continued. However, the pointto be made here is that in attempting to fend off Catholiccharges of heresy, Protestants were obliged to define heresydifferently than their opponents, since they needed adifferent source of “this worldly” authority. The ensuingpolemical exchanges inevitably had the effect of “unhinging”the concept of heresy itself.Another example of Protestant difficulties in defining,and especially in implementing, the heresy charge can be seenin the Catechism of Thomas Becon.3 Here Becon laid out theproper approach of the civil magistrate when dealing with“heretics” in his realm. In effect, this task entailed a“Protestant” definition of both the crime of, and thepunishment for heresy. Ideally it also entailed a definitionwhich did not make it equally legitimate for Protestant“heretics” to be treated harshly in Catholic countries as itwas for Catholic heretics to be condemned in Protestantcountries, an ideal of which Becon was fully aware. TheCatechism took the form of a dialogue between father and son,Southgate, John Jewel and the Problem of Doctrinal Authority,(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962), p. 87.Becon, Works, vol. 3, pp. 1-410.71and in the sixth chapter, the “office and Duty of the TemporalMagistrate”, the problem of heresy was raised. It was agreedthat if heretics were obstinate and continued to profess theirheresies publicly despite careful instruction and admonition,then they could be put to death with legitimacy. However,considerable emphasis was given to the need for kindly andloving conference to correct errors. Because heresy was a“spiritual thing”, the instrument of correction should not beforce, but ratherthe sincere and pure word of God, with the faithfultestimonies of the old godly writers, and with theperfect consent of the apostolic and primitivechurch.Becon was falling back (just as Jewel had done) on acombination of the Scriptures and the early Church as theauthoritative sources for correct belief. And yet these two“authorities” were necessarily made subservient to theauthority of the civil magistrate since, if heretics failed torespond to the persuasivness of these authorities, “then maythe head ruler with a good conscience punish thoseheretics . . . whether it be by imprisonment, loss of goods,banishment, sword, or otherwise”.36 Becon offered scripturaljustification for these actions but there was no doubt thatauthority lay with the magistrate. If this was the case,there was a problem which Becon certainly recognized; hisdefinition of the charge and punishment of heresy made itIbid., p. 313.36 Ibid., p. 314.72equally legitimate to punish Protestant “heretics” with thesword in Catholic countries. His attempt to find a way aroundthis situation illustrates once again the intractable problemthat heresy itself presented for Protestants. Becon’ssolution to the problem was to attempt to insert a wedge inbetween the civil magistrate and the Papacy even in Catholiccountries. He argued that civil magistrates were called“gods” and “God’s ministers” in the Bible and thatconsequently they must heed God and not Rome. Since it wasthe Church that conducted heresy trials and passed sentences,only handing over confirmed heretics to the civil magistratefor the implementation of those sentences, Becon argued thatthe civil magistrate should reject the “tyranny of the bishopof Rome”, refusing to be his “hangman and bond—slave”.Rather, the magistrate should use his own discretionconcerning the necessity of meting out a harsh sentence.While this argument was designed to undermine theallegiance of Catholic Princes to the Pope, thereby permittingleniency in dealing with those heretics whose only crime hadbeen to reject “the pope’s decrees and ceremonies”, in effectthe argument reinforced the authority of the civil magistrate.Despite his previous emphasis on the “word of God”, Becon hadnot maintained an argument which made Scripture the ultimateauthority in matters of faith. A “this worldly” authority wasimperative. This was an uneasy situation for Becon since acivil magistrate was just as likely to be obedient to Rome ashe was to Protestantism. It is interesting, therefore, that73Becon concluded his remarks on this topic with a plea that allcivil magistrates should be directed by the “Holy Spirit”. Inother words, Becon made a plea to that other source of“authority” which Jewel had employed, the Holy Spirit, in thehope that “this worldly” authority (the civil magistrate)would be governed by “other worldly” authority (the HolySpirit), in favour of Protestantism, of course!God give all magistrates his holy Spirit, which maydirect them in all their ways, and so govern them inall their affairs, that they attempt nothingcontrary to the glory of God and the benefit of thecommonweal !Not surprisingly, this plea did not solve Protestantdifficulties since the “Holy Spirit” was an even lessimmediate or tenable source of authority in this world thanthe Bible was.These problems over authority haunted allProtestant/Catholic polemics concerning heresy, but equallythey also haunted Protestant use of the charge vis a vis otherProtestants. As we saw from the titles of certain polemicaltracts cited by Milward, Protestants used the charge of heresyagainst other Protestants, namely those sects whose beliefsthey considered too extreme. This was problematic because theauthorities by which erroneous beliefs were denounced wereoften the very same authorities by which extremists supportedtheir own “heretical” beliefs.Ibid., p. 317.74One of the sects which precipitated vehement denunciationand charges of “heresy” from Protestants was the “Family ofLove”. In polemical attacks on the Family we can see both thesources of authority that Protestant writers were using todenounce this “heresy”, and we can also see the problemsinherent in these authorities when used against otherProtestants. In John Roger’s work, The Displaying of anhorrible secte of grosse and wicked Heretiques, namingthemselves the Familie of Love, several difficulties areapparent.38 First of all, like other Protestants, the Familyof Love claimed authority for their beliefs from the earlyChurch, except they used a very extreme form of this argument.The Church of England had adopted a formula which accepted theteachings of the early Church until the sixth century whenRoman papal supremacy had been established. By this formulathe Papacy was made responsible for all the “errors” of theRoman Church, but the notion of the unity, authority andcatholicity of one universal Church could be preserved. Thisargument emphasized the importance of the visible Church asthe external “body of Christ”, with membership of that Churchbeing necessary for salvation. The English Church was atpains to preserve these features in order to demonstrate thatit was the one true Church. Thus, in polemics against RomanCatholicism the English Church did not reject the external38 John Rogers, The Displaying of an horrible secte ofgrosse and wicked Heretiques, naming themselves the Familie ofLoue, with the hues of their Authors, and what doctrine theyteach in corners, (London: George Bishop, 1578).75manifestation of a “catholic” Church, but rather blamed allthe errors of the Church on its subjection to Rome.However, members of the Family of Love claimed theirauthority from the early Church as well, only they went backone step further to the time of the Apostles. They arguedthat these men were closest to Christ and consequently werethe “purest” in their doctrine. Therefore the “true Church”must be founded on their principles. Thus, both sides wereusing the “Protestant” authority of the purity of the earlyChurch as a foundation for their beliefs, and were contrastingthis purity with the later decay and corruption of the Church,and yet they were using these arguments in different ways tosupport different, opposing institutions.Rogers found ways to attack the Family’s use of the“early Church” argument. He claimed that the true Church hadto have been visible throughout time and consequently havebeen manifest throughout the intervening centuries. TheFamily, on the other hand, had freely acknowledged that theirChurch had been hidden since the time of the Apostles.Therefore, according to Rogers, it could not be the trueChurch:And because H. N. and his family haue protested,that the trueth hath no where beene taught in theworld since the Apostles time, but now by thefamilie: how vaine this their assertion is, initself appeareth. For if trueth hath bene hidd andburied this 1500. yeares, where is become Christespromise, that he would be euerwith his to the end ofy world?39Ibid., sig. Av.76Despite such refutations of the Family’s position, disputeover the authority of the “early Church” and disagreementsover how it should be understood could only serve to castdoubt upon the validity of the “early Church” as a source ofauthority. Disagreement thereby undermined this “authority”which the Church of Engaind had used to denounce others forheresy.In the second place, there was a problem concerning theauthority of the Bible. Both the Family of Love and theChurch of England used the Bible as a source of authority butthey drew radically different interpretations and theologiesfrom its pages. Early in his work, Rogers challenged theFamily and its leader H. N. (Henry Niclaus) to “prove” theirdoctrine from the Scriptures:if the doctrine of H. N. be a trueth . . . why darenone of the Illuminate Elders (which cannot erre norsinne) come before the simple ones in Christesschole, and proue their authors doctrine good by theholy Scripture?40Yet, despite issuing this challenge, Rogers tacitlyacknowledged elsewhere that the Family of Love did support itsdoctrine from Scripture, the only problem being that theyinterpreted Scripture according to their own devices:They cannot abide any exposition of Scriptures, buttheir own, conferring one place of Scripture withanother, and so to say their mindes of it withoutany other bodies exposition.4’° Ibid.Ibid., sig. Kii.77The contradiction in Rogers’ statements is readily apparentsince if the Scriptures needed the exposition of others inorder to be interpreted correctly, then the “Holy Scriptures”per se could not be an adequate authority by which to disprovethe truth of the Family’s doctrines.Interpretation of the Scriptures was also a focus ofdisagreement in John Knewstub’s work, A Confutation ofMonstrous and horrible heresies, taught by H. N.2 Knewstub,like Rogers, had used Scripture to denounce some of theFamily’s doctrines. For example, he refuted one point byclaiming it was “A doctrine, which the whole course of theScripture doth utterly ouerthrow”.43 And yet, elsewhere,Knewstub attacked the Family’s use of the Bible because oftheir “allegorical” interpretations:To uphold the heresies of H.N. this is one especialland principall practice, that the History and natiuesence of the woorde of God, is altogether neglectedof him, and in steede thereof is intertained, anAllegorical and bastardly construction, which thingutterly defaceth the certentie of the sacredscripture, & maketh no other thing of it, then anose of waxe, which wil receiue as many sundryfigures, and impressions, as shal please a man topresse upon it: . . . Now if the woorde be made souncertayne, our faith which is grounded thereupon,cannot be sure.4John Knewstub, A Confutation of monstrous andhorrible heresies, taught by H. N. and embraced by a number,who call themselves the Familie of Love, (London: T. Dawson,1579).Ibid., sig. K7.Ibid., sig. L5.78However, despite this firm denunciation of allegoricalinterpretations in favour of the “literal” and “grammatical”sense, Knewstub had to allow that in parts of the Bibleallegorical interpretations were necessary. This was becauseat times the literal sense would “establishe some thingrepugnant, eyther to faith, or Charitie”.45 Knewstubattempted to lay restrictions on how allegoricalinterpretations should be made: they must “haue their meaningmade manifest, and beaten out, by the circumstances of theplaces, from whence they are taken . . .“. But such attemptedsolutions could only fuel the debate and disagreement over howthe Bible should be interpreted, and thereby undermine theBible’s validity as a source of authority in itself. Onceagain, the concept of heresy was seriously weakened andunhinged by the polemical debate surrounding the validity ofProtestant authority, in this case the Bible.The “early Church” had been problematic as a source ofauthority: so too had the Bible. And likewise, one lastsource of authority, the “holy Spirit”, was equallyproblematic as we can see by reverting to Roger’s text for amoment. As we have seen, Protestants defending the Church ofEngland had made appeals for divine guidance and for theassistance of the Holy Spirit, but the Family of Loveconfronted authorities with an extreme, and thereforeunacceptable, formulation of this argument. The Family made aIbid., sig. L9.79direct claim to revelation from God himself. Rogers describedthe situation in Munster where the Family of Lovepredominated:Nothing they taught nor published, but that whichthey affirmed to receiue from God by reuelation. . . . [H.N. claimed] that he hath receiued[his doctrine] not by mans ministrie, but at y mouthof God, whose sound and voyce he saith he hathheard.Rogers’ response to such claims to direct divine inspirationhighlight the acute difficulty Protestants were having inestablishing authority to denounce heresy. First he calledupon Scripture: “The Scriptures do teach vs to flee from suchmen as boast of such vanities, that they are taught byreuelation”. But then, having offered one or two scripturalexamples to support this claim, Rogers went on to argue that“Almightie God to teach his children vseth aiwayes the officeand ministrie of man”. Therefore, instead of directscriptural authority, the claim now was that God taught men toobey the ministry, or the Church. Thus, the Church had becomethe authority, but when Rogers tried to produce scripturalarguments to support this claim, he ran into difficulties. Hewas obliged to explain the anomaly of the Prophets who hadclaimed direct personal revelation from God. Consequently,Rogers was obliged to argue that the Prophets hadRogers, The Displaying, sigs. Avi’.80their testimonie of their calling ioyned with theiroffice, as a seale, & badge1 which was, a boldpublication of their message without feare, becauseit was a truth, and there was ioyned commonlytherewith the working of myracles: which sealesyour author [H. N.] wanteth.7Rogers was arguing that the Prophets had not only theiroffice, but also their “truth” and their “myracles” to confirmthat their revelation was directly from God, all of whichproofs H. N. lacked. Of course such claims could, and did,lead to bitter dispute over the nature of miracles and the“proof” of miracles, all in an effort to claim the desired butelusive authority for denouncing heretical beliefs.In conclusion, we can see that the range of theologicalissues which became enmeshed in these disputes over authoritywas extensive. Issue after issue was subjected to destructivepolemical exchanges. Inevitably, the more virulent thedisputes, the more the concept of heresy itself wasjeopardized. The Church of England continued to advance anofficial argument that it was the one true catholic Church,visible through history first of all in the early Church up tothe sixth century, and after in a variety of examples ofinsubordination to Rome. But, as we have just seen, itsattempt to defend its position and “prove” its authority oftencreated as many problems as it solved. While the aboveexamples illustrate how and why the concept of heresy wasunhinged by polemical exchanges in the course of the sixteenthcentury, it is important to be aware that we are notIbid., sig. Avi’.81describing here a developmental progression of arguments inwhich one writer “developed” on the basis of another’sarguments. To take an example, debate about miracles was notsimply the outcome of disagreement over divine inspirationbetween the Church of England and the Family of Love. All ofthe implications and ramifications of appealing to miracles asproof of divine approval had been fully examined earlier inthe century by Thomas More.48 Rather than a “progression”,the examples above are simply intended to demonstrate theweight and the thrust of arguments produced throughout thecentury, all of which helped to weaken (and unhinge) theconcept of heresy.An analogous “unhinging” may be demonstrated in the caseof hypocrisy to which we will now turn our attention. Firstof all we must enquire how this term entered intoProtestant/Catholic polemics to begin with. Why should theProtestants have selected this word as a key term in theirdenunciation of Catholics? To answer this question we mustlook at the authority upon which Protestants attempted tofound their break with Rome, namely the Bible. As we havejust seen, one of the cornerstones of Protestantism was theauthority of “the Word”, the authority of Scripture ratherthan the Catholic reliance on the authority of the Churchitself. Protestants charged that Catholics had deviated fromMore, Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:1,especially pp. 55-110. See also the analysis of this sectionof the Dialogue below, chap. 4, pp. 188-205.82the truth of Christ’s teaching. The true spirit of Christ’smessage had been lost because Catholics had allowed theauthority of the “word” to be subsumed by the pedantic andlegalistic accretions of men in general, and scholastictheologians in particular. Protestant theologians needed, andindeed found, Scriptural authority for rejecting such pedanticaccretions. Had not Christ denounced the pedantry andlegalism of the Pharisees who had stuck rigidly to the rulesof the Law, but had failed to understand or incorporate itsspirit? Thus, Protestants made the link between “Catholics”and “Pharisees” on a Biblical basis. The assimilation of thislink into popular parlance can be demonstrated by the exampleof Richard Tavener. Tavener was another of Thomas Cromwell’sproteges and polemicists, and in attempting to define theposition of the Royal Supremacy English Church as a via mediabetween Rome on the one hand and Lutheranism on the other,Taverner wrote:Some we call Pharisees, we beknave, we defye asnaughty papists . . . . Again, other some webeheretick, we call Lutherans . . .Here, then, as in Henry’s 1545 speech to Parliament we findthat Roman Catholics were labelled “Pharisees”, whileProtestants were “heretics”.5°However, if we turn to the Biblical passages from whichReformers were drawing this condemnation of Catholics, we canDickens and Tonkin, Reformation in HistoricalThought, pp. 61-2.50 See above p. 55 above.83see why the label “hypocrite” joined that of “Pharisee” in thepolemical literature. Christ’s great denunciation of thePharisees in the Gospels (Luke 11-12, but more forcefully inMatt. 23) was punctuated with the recurring refrain, “Woe untoyou, scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites”. The phrase isrepeated in Matt. 23 no less than seven times in a matter ofseventeen verses, making the link between Pharisees andhypocrites unavoidable for the reader. The link is soinsistent as to make it inevitable that the latter joined theformer as an anti-Roman slogan.Given, then, that “hypocrisy” entered theCatholic/Protestant polemics for specific reasons and within aspecific context, we must now enquire how and why the wordcame “unhinged”. There were immediate complications inherentin the Protestant charge of “hypocrisy” against the Catholicsand these stemmed from the very Biblical passage which hadfirst prompted the use of the term. The problem aroseconcerning the basis upon which a charge of hypocrisy could bemade. Within Matt. 23 there were two different strandsrunning through Christ’s attack on the Pharisees. Oneinvolved “foolishness and blindness”; the other involvedhypocrisy based on evil intentions. The chapter isinterspersed with both types of charge. For example, on thefirst premise, Christ had warned:84Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoevershall swear by the temple, it is nothing; butwhosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, heis a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether isgreater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieththe gold? Matt. 23:16-17.Here Christ was objecting to the Pharisees’ interpretation ofthe law, suggesting that they had not seen or had mistaken thetrue essence of the law. By calling the Pharisees “blind” and“foolish” for their interpretation of the law, Christ removedthe possibility of evil intentions.However, in other verses the Pharisees were charged withevil intentions and hypocrisy. For example:Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! forye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence makelong prayer: therefore ye shall receive greaterdamnation. Matt. 23:14.This, and other similar charges (see Matt. 23:27-28) involvedeliberate deception on the Pharisees’ behalf and thereforeChrist calls them “hypocrites”. But, a problem arises sincein some passages the charges of “blindness” and of “hypocrisy”appear to fuse intimating that blindness itself is an adequatebasis for charges of hypocrisy. The problem can be seenclearly in the following verses which must be quoted at lengthin order to demonstrate how one charge seems to slide intoanother:85Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! forye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and haveomitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement,mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, andnot to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides,which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woeunto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for yemake clean the outside of the cup and of theplatter, but within they are full of exhortion andexcess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first thatwhich is within the cup and platter that the outsideof them may be clean also. Matt. 23:23-26.Twice in these verses the initial charge of hypocrisy is laid,with overtones of malicious intent, and yet both times theconclusion drawn is that the Pharisees are blind, suggestingignorance rather than malice. Thus, an unusual situationemerges in which blindness, foolishness or even ignorance canappear adequate grounds for charges of hypocrisy to be made.Given this confusion in the Biblical passages, it is notsurprising that exactly the same confusion is evident in thecharges of some Protestants. Most often hypocrisy involvesevil intentions, but at times Catholics are accused ofhypocrisy simply for their belief in “justification by works”and in the mass, regardless of the intentions of thoseperforming the works. Some Reformers argued that those whobelieved such a theology were hypocrites simply because thetheology was wrong. Thus, William Tyndale could write:the faith of hypocrites is, that God forgiveth, andworks deserve it: and that same false faith, intheir own works, receiveth the mercy promised to themerits of their own works; and so Christ is utterlyexcluded.Tyndale, Works, vol. 43, p. 11.86In this passage, the only basis Tyndale offers for calling theCatholics “hypocrite&’ is that they believe they can bejustified by their own works. Likewise, Thomas Becon omittedintentionality from some of his charges of hypocrisy, writing“. . . none can forgive us our sins but God alone. Hath your[the Catholics’] broken bread been without beginning? Hath itmade all things? Yea, it is a creature itself, vile anddevilish, as ye use, or rather abuse it. Be ashamed, 0 yeshameless hyprocrites, thus to deface the glory ofGod.. .“.Thus, even from the very outset, the meaning of“hypocrisy” was unstable simply because of the source fromwhich it had been taken for polemical use. What is more, thisuse of “hypocrisy” omitting any attack on intentionality hadone very prominent and influential proponent, John Calvin.Calvin’s frequent and varied uses of “hypocrite” and“hypocrisy” have been noted by a recent biographer, William J.Bouwsma. Bouwsma shows how Calvin attacked hypocrisy withgreat vehemence and how Calvin’s understanding of the termshifted considerably depending upon context. Calvin certainlyused “hypocrisy” to attack intentionality, but when he usedthe term to attack Catholic theology per se (especiallyjustification by works) he often used it in a way thatcircumvented intentionality altogether. As Bouwsma remarks,“The most flagrant vehicle of hypocrisy, for Calvin, was . .2 Becon, Works, vol. 4, p. 279.87justification by works”.3 On this basis both pilgrims andpilgrimages also became hypocritical regardless of theintentionality of the pilgrim. Calvin wrote:if they sweat, [pilgrims] think that every stepought to be reckoned to their account by God, andthat God would be unjust unless he approved of whatis offered him at such trouble.5Hence, Bouwsma concludes that “In attacking as hypocrisy whatthe milder Erasmus had called superstition, Calvin seems tohave departed from normal usage, in which hypocrisy involvesdeliberate deception”. While Bouwsma has correctly pointedout that Calvin’s use of “hypocrisy” seems unusual to a modernreader, he has failed to detect its New Testament origin and,because his comparisons are with the Catholic Erasmus ratherthan with other Protestants, he has failed to see that amongstProtestants this use omitting deliberate deception was notentirely abnormal.Elsewhere, however, both Calvin and other Reformers usedthe charge of “hypocrisy” in the other form found in Matt. 23to launch a full scale attack on the intentionality of thePapists. Insinuations that evil purposes lurked behind theRoman insistance on “works” are rampant in the works ofWilliam Tyndale:William J. Bouwsma, John Calvin: A Sixteenth-CenturyPortrait, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 62.Ibid.Ibid.88Impure-hearted are all hypocrites, that do theirwork for a false purpose, either for praise, profit,or to be justified thereby; which painted sepulchres(as Christ calleth them) can never see God . • • •Or again quoting Luther, Tyndale writes:our holy hypocrites . . . feign many good works, oftheir own imagination, to be justified withal, inwhich is not one crumb of true faith, of spirituallove, or of inward joy, peace, and quietness ofconscience . . . they are even the rotten fruits ofa rotten tree.Likewise, Calvin launched direct attacks upon the intentionsof Papists: hypocrites “pretend to worship God by manyceremonies” while they indulge in “every cruelty, robbery andfraud”. At the same time they are fasting and hearing mass“to atone for frauds and villanies”, they are busy plottingfurther crimes.8Therefore, in both examples of Tyndale and Calvin we cansee two distinct ways in which Papists were charged withhypocrisy: first, there was an attack on the theology ofjustification by works per Se. Good works could not obtainGod’s favour and anyone who was blind enough or foolish enoughto think they could, must be a hypocrite. Secondly, there wasan attack on the intentionality of the Papists since those whoadvocated a theology of “works” were ill-intentioned in doingTyndale, Works, vol. 43, p. 26.Tyndale, Works, vol. 42, pp. 499-500. For otherexamples, see vol. 42, p. 191, vol. 43, pp. 112—3 & p. 130.Hugh Latimer also condemns the evil intentions of Papists, inThe Works of Hugh Latimer, Parker Society, ed., vol. 27,p. 287.Bouwsma, Calvin, p. 62.89so. What is more, both forms of attack could claim someBiblical foundation as we saw in Matt. 23.There were several additional reasons why “hypocrisy”remained prominent in sixteenth century polemics, and all ofthese factors contributed to its continued instability. Firstof all, Protestants in England were confronted with aparticular problem. Of those who had accepted Protestantismduring the reign of Edward VI, some were quite prepared torevert to Catholicism on Mary’s accession to the throne. Theonly possible conclusion to draw from this was that there hadbeen “hypocrites” amongst the Protestants of Edward’s reign.In the preface of his Comfortable Epistle to the AfflictedPeople of God, Thomas Becon argued that the return ofCatholicism to England in Mary’s reign had been God’spunishment for inadequate “reform” and also God’s test of thepurity of faith and conscience of the “reformed”. Those whohad failed God’s test must be branded as “hypocrites”:The patient and thankful bearing of the cross, whenit cometh, declareth evidently who is a true memberof the Church of Christ, and who is a rotten memberand a hypocrite. . . . the hypocrite and falseChristian in the time of prosperity seemeth torejoice in the truth of Christ’s gospel, and greatlyto favour the doctrine of the same: notwithstanding, when adversity cometh . . . then fleeth heback, then forsaketh he his Lord and Master, thenrunneth he out of the field like a coward.59For Becon, lapsed Protestants must be denounced by the samelabel as had applied to all Catholics. Hugh Latimer madeexactly the same point but with a slightly different emphasisBecon, Works, vol. 4, p. 203.90in the 1562 dedication of his Certain Sermons. Those who hadmade several “conversions” from Catholicism to Protestantismand back again must have been nothing more than hypocriticalCatholics all along. Addressing this group of “converts”,Latimer admonished:.the Spirit of the Lord is departed from you.And this is more evident in your manifold andmanifest perjuries, committed by you in king Henry’stime, in king Edward’s time, in queen Mary’s time.And what may be said of you at this time [1562], butthat you be false perjured hypocrites; bearing twofaces under one hood; being ready, likeweathercocks, to turn at all seasons as the winddoth carry you?6°Protestants in England, like Becon and Latimer, were obligedto acknowledge that there were “hypocrites” amongst their ownsimply because not all converts had remained faithful in timesof oppression.On the Continent, Protestants had reached the sameconclusion that there were indeed “hypocritical” Protestantsas well as hypocritical Catholics, but they had reached thisconclusion for different reasons. They discovered that somemembers of their churches claimed “reformed” faith, but werenot “reformed” in their lives. And again, the obvious labelfor these incomplete converts was “hypocrites”. Calvin inparticular was tormented by having such “hypocrites” in hiscongregation,6’but the most detailed comments on the problemcame from Henry Bullinger. Before we examine Bullinger’s60 Hugh Latimer, Works, vol. 27, pp. 315-6.61 Bouwsma, Calvin, p. 63.91views on this subject, we must point out that while he waswriting in a Continental context, his views were ofconsiderable influence in the English Church. In the latterpart of the sixteenth century there were three separateeditions of the English translation of Bullinger’s Decades, in1577, 1584 and finally in 1587. In his fifth Decade,Bullinger set out to define “the Holy Catholic Church; what itis, how far it extendeth, by what marks it is known, fromwhence it springeth, how it is maintained and preserved [and]whether it may err”.62 Bullinger drew various distinctionswhen defining the Church, one of which was between the churchtriumphant, “that great company of holy spirits in heaven,triumphing . . •“ and the church militant here on earth.63But the church militant needed further definition than thisbecause, Bullinger claimed, it could be considered two ways:either it was to be taken “strictly” as just “the faithful andelect of God” acting as an “inward and invisible church ofGod”; or it could be “more largely considered” to include notonly the elect but also those “who although they believe nottruly or unfeignedly, neither be clean nor holy in theconversation of their life, yet do they acknowledge andprofess true religion with the true believers . . .“. Inother words, Bullinger concludes, if the Church militant isunderstood in this wider sense “not so much as the wicked and62 Henry Bullinger, The Decades of Henry Bullinger,Parker Society, ed., vol. 10, p. 3.63 Ibid., p. 5.92hypocrites* . .. are excluded and put from thechurch . • “. By this definition there were indeedhypocrites within the militant Church of Christ.Bullinger’s definitions were far from complete and hecontinued by describing the opposite of the true Church ofChrist, namely the Church of the devil and antichrist.Bullinger itemized the groups which made up this “wickedchurch”, groups such as “the heathen, Turks, Jews, heretics,schismatics . . .“ and he concluded that “to these we may addhypocrites” since Christ had vehemently condemned hypocrisy inthe Bible.6 However, Bullinger recognized that this createda problem since he had now included hypocrites in both the“wicked church” and the outward communion of the militantChurch of Christ. Unlike the English situation where the same“hypocrites” were both Catholics and lapsed Protestants,Bullinger argued that the same hypocrites could not possiblybe part of both churches since the Bible confirmed that “good”and “evil” should not mix. He quoted both Christ’s and St.Paul’s remarks that there must be no “fellowship betwixt .truth and lying”.66 Thus, Bullinger acknowledged that a moredetailed examination of the problem was necessary.Bullinger’s solution to his difficulties was to arguethat there were, in fact, two different kinds of hypocrites.64 Ibid., pp. 7—8.6 Ibid., p. 11.66 Ibid., p. 12.93In essence, Bullinger suggested that hypocrites in the devil’schurch (in other words, Papists) were equivalent to the“blind” and “foolish” hypocrites of Matt. 23. From a“reformed” standpoint, these men were evil simply because theywere wrong, not because they harboured any evil intentionsbeneath a conforming facade. Hence, Bullinger described themas follows:there are certain hypocrites that put theirconfidence in their human justice and equity, doingall their works openly that they may be seen of men,firmly trusting and stiffly standing to men’straditions. 6•7All the adjectives describing these hypocrites appearmisplaced to the modern reader: they were “open”, theytrusted “firmly” and stood “stiffly”. There was no pretenceon their behalf. But, for Bullinger, their error wassufficient to label them hypocritical, just as Calvin hadpreviously branded some Catholics as hypocrites on the basisof error rather than evil intention.However, when we come to Bullinger’s description of thosehypocrites who were part of the militant Church of Christ,evil intentions leap to the fore. These hypocrites were“dissemblers”: “outwardly they agree” with Christ’s Church,“but inwardly and in mind they neither believe unfeignedly andsincerely, neither do they live holily”. Some of thesedissembling hypocrites would show themselves during this lifeby lapsing into heresy and schism; others would remain part ofIbid.94the Church for their entire lifetime, outwardly conforming“but inwardly giving themselves up to their own errors,faults, and wickedness”.68 Consequently, we can see thatBullinger had effectively used the distinction of Matt. 23 toexplain the necessary distinction between “Catholic”hypocrites and “Protestant” ones. Where other Protestantwriters had simply used both kinds of charge in their polemicsagainst Catholics, Bullinger separated them and applied themto different groups to satisfy the requirements of hisecciesiology.Bullinger’s definition of hypocrisy provides a goodexample of the effects of polemical exchange on words. Hisneed for a “two tiered” understanding of hypocrisy had, ineffect, reduced the force of the charge when directed againstCatholics. It was still a useful term in that it carried theimplied understanding of something “evil”, but Bullinger had(of necessity) removed malicious intention from its meaning inthis context. That Bullinger had been obliged to redefinehypocrisy to suit his argument is symptomatic of the unhingingeffects of polemics on this language.This process of “defining” and “redefining” inBullinger’s works draws our attention to a useful indicator wemay study to illustrate the “unhinging” or “destabilizing”process, namely the frequent attempts made to define the termsin question. As we have already seen in the cases of both68 Ibid.95heresy and hypocrisy, definitions were often at the centre ofdisagreement. However, as we have also seen in this chapter,the frequent attempts made to clarify the meaning of theseterms demonstrates far more effectively the instability ofwords caught at the heart of controversy. Thus, we havealready found numerous contradictory and incompatabledefinitions and redefinitions of both heresy and hypocrisythroughout this period. The objection could be raised thatthe definitions we have examined so far have usually beenoffered as small component parts of a larger polemicalargument. Perhaps, then, the meaning of these words was notof crucial importance to the polemicists and the coherence ofthe words themselves simply fell victim to the authors’ largerpolemical pursuits? As we shall see in the following chapter,such an argument can hold little water in the light of thedetailed and complex definitions of “heresy” and “hypocrisy”which some other early modern writers offered.96CHAPTER THREETHE INCOHERENCE OF CONCEPTS: HYPOCRISY AND HERESY IN EARLYMODERN THOUGHTIn the works we will examine in this chapter, definitionsformed a substantial part of the structure of the argument or,in some cases, whole pieces were written exclusively on thesubjects of “hypocrisy” or “heresy”. Consequently, meticulousattention was given by the authors to the words themselves, totheir meanings, and to the relationships between the terms inquestion. An examination of such kinds of writing can, andwill, serve a threefold purpose. Firstly, it can illustrateeven more extensive concern and confusion than we have alreadyoutlined over many terms surrounding religious concepts andcategories at this time, including, of course, hypocrisy andheresy. It will become apparent that “heresy” and “hypocrisy”were two of several terms caught in a condition of instabilityand incoherence during the course of Reformation polemics.Secondly, we will see that concern with these terms, andindeed instability over their meanings, endured well into theseventeenth century when the context in which they werediscussed was no longer simply “reformation polemics”. Forexample, they were discussed in detail by the “statesman” and“philosopher” Francis Bacon. Hence, we can witness theunsettling effects of reformation polemics on language bothlater than we might expect and in circles that were not97exclusively clerical or theologically preoccupied. Andlastly, when these lengthier definitions are examined, theauthors’ concern with, and confusion over the problem of humanintentionality is evident. When our attention is focused onthe concerns of these authors it will be possible todemonstrate the window which this language can provide intothe difficulties surrounding the judgement of humanintentions. Hence, the direct relevance of this material forthe intellectual historian will be apparent. And so, withthese three aims in mind, let us turn our attention to someworks in which heresy and/or hypocrisy were the exclusivefocus, or works in which definitions themselves were crucialto the authors’ enterprises.Sir John Cheke, the humanist scholar at Henry Viii’scourt, wrote a Treatise of Superstition which provides a goodexample of a work whose structure and argument relied upon thedefinition of key terms, including both hypocrisy and heresy.1It is also a work in which the issue of intentionality is avisible problem and hence it is worthy of more detailedexamination. Cheke’s purpose in this work was to define anddelineate “superstition” in order to root it out, therebyadvancing the cause of “true religion”. Right reason, which‘ Sir John Cheke, A Treatise of Superstition, in JohnStrype, The Life of the Learned Sir John Cheke, Knight,(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1821), pp. 183-218. For Cheke’sinvolvement in “humanist” court life during the reigns of bothHenry and Edward, see Maria Dowling, Humanism in the Age ofHenry VIII, (London: Croom Helm, 1986), especially chaps. 3,4, & 6.98God had prescribed, had to be distinguished from “what humanreason invents, what superstition dictates, [and] what theheat of man’s temper hurries him on to pursue”.2 For Cheke,making this distinction was imperative, but it was no easytask given the immense difficulty of discerning truth fromfalsehood. The instability, confusion and deception thatreigned when superstition was not distinguished from “rightreason” was vividly described:Craftiness imitates prudence; severity is oftentaken for justice; . . . stupidity is not easilydistinguished from temperance; . . . and not onlythe pretence of holiness, but what is even almost amere old wives superstition, puts itself off forreligion, and for the true worship of God.3From this, we can see that a central problem for Chekewas the urgent need to distinguish between truth andfalsehood, to have a means of penetrating deception. Such anenterprise obviously involved distinguishing between “true”religion, and the mere appearance of religion, and a part ofthis “distinguishing” process inevitably had to be thejudgement of people’s intentions. Hence, Cheke needed toestablish some foundations for making such judgernents and forfinding his way through the confusion and deception. Heemployed the method of “definitions” and we will examineCheke’s attempts at structuring concepts via definitionsshortly. But first, it is worth drawing attention to theinstability of this language, an instability which Cheke2 Ibid., p. 190.Ibid., p. 189.99acknowledged even while he was attempting to define it. Forexample, Cheke attempted at one point in his argument todefine “atheism”, but in his definition he admitted that theword was volatile and that he was coining the label “atheists”to suit his own purposes:For those who run out with loose inclinations, andare hurried withersoever their passion carries them;they are neither restrainedby reason from runningheadlong, nor are reclaimed by grace from an impureand flagitious life; who turn the grace of God intolasciviousness, and live as if God were altogetherwithout care of them; and who neither consider withthemselves, nor care whether there be a God or no,or whether he has any administration or foresight ofhuman affairs, or that he will recompense good menwith good things, and bad men with what is evil.The Scriptures mark them out under several titles;but it is most agreeable to our present purpose tocall them* Atheists.4Thus, Cheke acknowledged that the label “atheist” was far fromfixed in its meaning throughout this period. And to offer onefurther example of instability, Cheke was also prepared toadmit that even the word “superstition” which lay at the veryheart of his treatise was open to debate. Consequently, itneeded defining before his argument could proceed. While allmen agreed that superstition was wrong, there may, he claimed,be “some dispute as to the name. . .“. “The matter underdebate [would be] better understood, when the variety ofdoubtful meanings [was] taken away”. Therefore, Cheke wouldIbid., p. 198—99.100first speak of the name, and then take the thingunder examination; that when we are less perplexedabout the signification of the word, the thing mayoffer itself more fully and plainly to be treatedof.5By his redefinitions and his direct references to thevolatility of his terms, Cheke not only confirmed theunhinging of this language, but he also participated in theprocess itself.However, if we return to examine how Cheke tried toemploy definitions to structure his argument, we will findstill more problems. Cheke began by defining “religion”itself. It wasthe pure worship of God, for the retaining hisfavour, and the averting his wrath; revealed andprescribed to us by God himself, and not the deviceor invention of human counsel • •This religion, he claimed, had two parts. Firstly there wasthe “searching after knowledge” or “a kind of foundation-principle of human life”, and Cheke called this searching“sanctity”. Secondly, there was “action” or “piety”, whichwas the correct Christian behaviour required to turn“sanctity” into “practical divinity”. Thus, according toCheke, religion was comprised of a contemplative, theoreticalsearch for knowledge of God, combined with an active piety.Next, Cheke used this definition as his basis fordemonstrating various “errors” in religion. First he definederrors of sanctity which included “ignorance”, “depravedIbid., p. 201—2.6 Ibid., p. 194.101knowledge”, “pretended knowledge” and “heresy”. Cheke defineda heretic as one who “opens not the school of Christ, but setsforth a doctrine of his own, different from all others andrepugnant to the truth”.7 By this definition, Cheke had madeheresy exclusively an error of knowledge, and not of action.Hence, his definition warped the concept of heresy sinceheresy usually involved action in the public profession, oracting out, of false belief; if a “heretic” kept his falsebeliefs entirely to himself, he was no heretic. Next, Cheketurned his attention to errors of “action” only, and it ishere that we find his definition of hypocrisy. Thisdefinition was also warped since he defined hypocrites asthose who may appear pious, but were “internally empty of allgood works”. Hypocrites “propose to themselves another end ofall their actions than God has appointed”.8 This definitionhad unusual implications for the intentionality of thehypocrite. Clearly, intentionality played a part in Cheke’sdefinition since hypocrites “proposed to themselves” variousends for their actions. Intentions were, in fact, the part ofthe hypocrite that was being condemned. And yet, because ofCheke’s categorization of hypocrisy as an error of actiononly, intentions themselves were forced into the nonsensicalposition of being matters of action, and not of knowledge.Ibid., p. 196.8 Ibid., p. 199.102If we enquire why Cheke placed this unusual constructionon hypocrisy and heresy, the reason becomes apparent when werecall the purpose of his enterprise: to denounce that mostabominable of errors, superstition. Consequently, Chekedefined the superstitious as those in whom both knowledge andaction, both sanctity and piety were mistaken. Thedistinction Cheke made between the hypocritical and thesuperstitious was that while the former deceived others withtheir feigned piety, the latter were actually self-deceived.The superstitious were the most dangerous of all hiscategories because they believed their knowledge and theiractions comprised the correct worship of God whereas, inreality, both their piety and their sanctity were mistaken.We can now see clearly why all the previous errors,including both heresy and hypocrisy, were alloted to onecategory of error or the other despite the detrimental effectsthat this had on their definitions. It was so thatsuperstition alone could be defined as the worst error, beingan error of both categories, knowledge and action. Therefore,for Cheke, the sincere holding of “wrong” beliefs(superstition) was more dangerous than the evil intentionshiding behind a facade of “right” religion (hypocrisy).Clearly, Cheke’s attack was an attempt to denounce Catholicismas “superstition” while accepting what many other polemicistshad failed to acknowledge; that many Catholics “sincerely”believed their faith to be “true”. Hence, it is evident thatCheke subjected these categories to his own structure and103definitions for the purpose of building such an all-encompassing argument against Catholicism. This would suggestthat these categories and labels were “unhinged” from fixedmeanings and were in a condition of flux. This alone wouldaccount for Cheke’s freedom and liberty in structuring thecategories according to his own devices.Another author who deserves attention for his repeatedattempts to structure these categories and labels is WilliamPerkins. There are two factors which make Perkinsparticularly interesting for our purposes. First of all,historians repeatedly refer to Perkins as one of the mostprominent and influential theologians of the Elizabethanperiod, a fact which makes his thoughts on heresy andhypocrisy of considerable importance.9 Secondly, as anyreader of Perkins’ voluminous works soon realizes, he wasparticularly concerned with the ordering and structuring oftheology in general, and of theological terms and axioms inparticular. While historians are still probing the variousinfluences which contributed to Perkins’ stystematization,there is one unavoidable point of agreement amongst them:that Perkins displayed a keen awareness of the importance ofwords and of the need to communicate meaning in an easilyaccessible and structured manner.1° Consequently, it isSee above, p. 38, n. 36.‘° See in particular, Richard A. Muller, “Perkins’ AGolden Chaine: Predestinarian System or Schematized OrdoSalutis?”, Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. IX, no. 1, 1978,pp. 69-81, for a re-examination of the influence of Theodore104particularly interesting to study the efforts of such a writerto impose a structure on words like heresy and hypocrisy,words which were effectively lacking a coherent structurethroughout this period.Perkins offered several definitions of heresy andhypocrisy in the course of his writings, some definitionsbeing more detailed than others. At times he offered simpleone line definitions of both terms. Invariably, thesedefinitions did not touch upon the controversial issues whichsurrounded the words in question. For example, in A GoldenChaine or The order of the Causes of Saluation and Damnationheretics were defined succinctly as “such as erre withpertinacie in the foundation of religion”.’ No mention wasmade of the authority by which heretical beliefs would becondemned. Likewise, hypocrisy was defined briefly inPerkins’ Exposition vpon the 3 Chap. of the Revelations:Beza on Perkins. See Donald K. McKim, “The Functions ofRamism in William Perkins’ Theology”, Sixteenth CenturyJournal, vol. XVI, no. 4, 1985, pp. 503-17, for a forcefulstatement of Ramus’s influence on Perkins. Dewey D. Wallace,Puritans and Predestination: Grace in English ProtestantTheology, 1525 - 1695, (Chapel Hill: University of NorthCarolina Press, 1982), p. 56-61, supports the view thatPerkins was influenced by Ramism, while trying to establish awider Continental context of “Reformed Scholasticism” to whichPerkins’s works contributed. However, these writers areagreed upon the prominence of systematizing in Perkins’ works.Wallace makes the point most succinctly when he describesPerkins’ work as part of “a development of theologicaldefinition, consolidation, and elaboration that had long beenunder way on the Continent, often in response to polemicalneeds”, p. 56.“ William Perkins, A Golden Chaine or The order of thecauses of Saluation and Damnation, CW, vol. 1, p. 31,col. 2, A.105“Hypocrisie is, when a man seemes outwardly to be that whichhe is not inwardly”.-2 No mention was made of the maliceversus the foolishness or blindness of the hypocrite.Even in his more lengthy definitions Perkins appeared tohave clearly defined interpretations of both terms. In hisCommentarie vpon the Epistle to the Galatians, Perkins offereda systematic analysis of heresy, breaking it down intocomponent parts and demonstrating why each component was anecessary part of the definition. He began by drawing on thehistorical development of the word, claiming that it couldmean “any opinion, either good or bad”. However it then “morespecially” signified “any errour in religion”. But neither ofthese definitions was adequate for Perkins because “mostproperly” heresy should be defined as “an errour in thefoundation of Christian religion, taught and defended withobstinacie”.3 Perkins then broke this definition into partsto explain its compilation. For example, heresy was an errorin Christian religion rather than an error in Philosophy,which was no heresy. It was an error in religion, ie. indoctrine and not in “manners, order, [or] regiment” which wasschism rather than heresy. Perkins applied this method ofexplication to the entire definition, consequently appearingto have a clear, non—controversial understanding of the term.12 Perkins, Exposition vpon the 3 Chap. of Revelations,CW, vol. 3, p. 321, col. 1, C.Perkins, Comrnentarie vpon the Epistle to theGalatians, CW, vol. 2, p. 333, col. 2, B.106However, Perkins had not raised the issue behind all thecontroversy which was unhinging the concept of heresy. He didnot stipulate whether the Bible, or the Church, or the HolySpirit was the ultimate source of authority for determiningmatters of faith, and consequently he established no externalsource of authority for condemning heresy.But, Perkins did not completely neglect the problem ofjudgement. He argued instead for an internalized, selfjudgemental mechanism whereby the heretic would condemnhimself:Paul saith, Tit 3.11. that an heretike is peruerted,that is, put before the foundation: and condemned ofhimselfe in his sinne, that is to say, he erresobstinately euen against his owne conscience.’4Thus, in this definition, Perkins completely internalized theproblem of judgement. This had a two-fold effect. On the onehand, it had the benefit of avoiding the controversial issueof external authority, the issue which had precipitated the“unhinging” we have outlined. But on the other hand, whenstudied carefully this internalization of the judgementalIbid., p. 333, col. 2, B—C. See also vol. 3, p. 173,col. 1, D, where Perkins describes how “to distinguishheretics from true teachers”. Once again, the judgementprocess is problematic since Perkins accepts that hereticsoften have great wisdom, “worldly policie”, zeal and evenauthority. Via the use of these faculties, heretics had“pretended and perswaded many that they were called of God”.However, according to Perkins, what they lacked was “truesauing faith” and hence they often lived “in such notorioussinnes” and “for impietie they haue been and are archdeuills”. Thus, again, Perkins provided no mechanism forjudging the content of heretical beliefs; instead he virtuallyreduced heresy to a nebulous condemnation of the morality ofthose concerned.107process had serious implications both for the concept ofheresy itself, and for the intentionality of the “heretic”.If a “heretic” could and should condemn himself from withinhis own conscience, then the offence was being removed fromthe public arena into the private one. Heresy would cease toexist as an offence in which the outside world analysed andassessed the beliefs and the intentions of another accordingto certain acknowledged standards. What was more, theindividual who was undergoing this self-assessment was placedin a bizzare and self-contradictory position. On the onehand, in order to be a “heretic” he had to be “obstinate” inhis “error”, a condition which implied the repeated anddetermined assertion of the “error” and the resolute beliefthat the “error” was “true”. On the other hand, he had toknow from within his own conscience that his “truth” was, infact, “error”. The individual was therefore divided againsthimself. Not only could the external world not judge hisbeliefs and intentions, but he also was divided in himself bythe process of seif-judgement. Perkins did not explore any ofthese potential complications in his position, but both thepotential collapse of the concept of heresy and thecontradiction inherent in internalized seif-judgement areneatly encapsulated in his attempted definition of “heresy”.Just as Perkins had provided this lengthier definition ofheresy, so he also provided an extended definition ofhypocrisy. Once again he imposed a systematic approach to thesubject, but did not raise the issues which were causing the108“unhinging” in sixteenth century polemics. In The order ofthe Causes of Salvation and Damnation Perkins condemnedhypocrisy as the sin which “giueth to God painted worship,that is, if you regard outward behauiour, great sincerity, ifthe inward and hartie affections, none at all”.15 Perkinsthen proceeded to itemize the effects of hypocrisy and here heglossed over the problems which had emerged in polemicalexchanges. He did not stipulate whether hypocrites weremotivated by malice or by ignorance, but rather simplydescribed what they did. For example, he described theeffects of hypocrisy, two of which were[1] To seeke the pompe and glorie of the world, andby all meanes to enrich itselfe, notwithstanding itmakes a glorious shew of the seruice of God.[2]. It is sharpe sighted, and hath eagles eyes toobserue other mens behauiour, when in the regardingits owne, it is as blind as a beetle.16And so Perkins’ list of the “effects” of hypocrisy continued,providing examples of the external manifestations of hypocrisybut without probing the motivating force behind it.However, it would be wrong to conclude from theseexamples that Perkins completely avoided any difficulties withthis language. On the contrary, his works included somecomplex examples of problems with these categories. Thedifficulties arose when Perkins attempted to explicate therelationships among various categories of error. He tried toPerkins, The order of the causes, CW, vol. 1, p. 38,col. 2, A.16 Ibid.109structure these relationships on two separate occasions: oncein a treatise entitled How to Live, and that well: in allEstates and times, and again in his Treatise of MansImaginations.7 These two analyses provide Perkins’ mostdetailed treatments of heresy and hypocrisy, and hence theyneed to be examined closely.One noticable similarity between Perkins’ two analyses isthat on both occasions he did not structure hypocrisy andheresy as errors of “religion” as Cheke had done. Instead, heconsidered them both to be manifestations of either “unbelief”or “atheism”. This fundamental difference between Cheke andPerkins is particularly significant because in other respectstheir analyses bear considerable resemblance to each other.In the Treatise of Mans Imaginations Perkins adopted exactlythe same distinction as Cheke had employed between errors of“knowledge” on one hand, and errors of “practice” or “action”on the other. In addition, both authors defined andcategorized many of the same subjects including hypocrisy,heresy, atheism and idolatry. Thus, like Cheke, Perkinsdescribed hypocrisy as a fault in practice, and not inknowledge and hence, the same warping concerning theintentionality of the hypocrite applied in Perkins’ definitionPerkins, How to Live, and that well: in all Estatesand times. Specially, when helpes and comforts faile, CW,vol. 1, pp. 475-86 and A Treatise of Mans Imaginations.Shewing His naturall euill thoughts: His want of goodthoughts: The way to reforme them, CW, vol. 2, pp.454-83.110as had applied in Cheke’s.-8 But, where for Cheke hypocrisyhad been an error in the practice of religion, for Perkins itbecame a manifestation of atheism in practice. The effect ofthis fundamental change from “religion” to “atheism” or“unbelief” on words like hypocrisy and heresy was substantial.The tables had been turned so that the categories were nolonger defects in the maintenance of right belief, but wereinstead expressions of fundamental “unbelief”. Thus, byimplication, a heretic (for example) was no longer essentiallya Christian, albeit one who pertinaciously maintained anerroneous belief: instead he was a man whose hereticalunbelief amounted to a denial of God.This shift between Cheke and Perkins from “religion” to“atheism” presents us with a difficulty. So far, while wehave been aware that other categories such as superstition andatheism were affected by the unhinging of polemical languageat this time, we have been able to focus our attentionexclusively on heresy and hypocrisy. However, here it isobvious that some brief examination of Perkins’ understandingof “atheism” and “unbelief” is necessary since he categorizedheresy and hypocrisy as manifestations of both of them.As we have seen already in the introduction to thisthesis, atheism is a topic which has received considerablescholarly attention for the period of the sixteenth andseventeenth centuries. Scholars have often argued that theJ8 See above p. 101.111term did not have its modern meaning of “disbelief in theexistence of God”, and have pointed out the diversity of earlymodern definitions of the term.’9 Perkins’ definitions make auseful and significant contribution to discussion over themeaning of atheism because he specifically and self-consciously used “atheism” in two different ways. First ofall, he employed it in a wider sense which amounted to “moralatheism”, as scholars have called it: he called atheism “asinne whereby men sundry waies deny God”.2° In other words,men talked and acted in such a way as to flout God’s powerover them. Secondly, Perkins described what he considered tobe “the highest degree of Atheism”. Here, his definition wasequivalent to our modern understanding of atheism as aconviction that there is no God: as Perkins wrote, “when a mandoth auouch, holde, and maintaine, that there is no God atall; this is the highest degree of Atheism”.’ Obviously,then, Perkins used the word “atheism” in two different ways.Equally obviously, his definitions of atheism and hisunderstanding of unbelief would affect his definitions ofhypocrisy and heresy since he defined hypocrisy and heresy inone of these works as forms of “unbelief” and in the other asforms of “atheism”. Hence, we must look at these two examplesindividually.See above, Intro. pp. 1-3.20 Perkins, Treatise of Mans Imaginations, CW, vol. 2,p. 460, col. 2, B.Ibid., p. 461, col. 2, C.112In his How to Live, and that well, Perkins argued that acentral fault in men’s lives was their “vnbeleefe”. Hedescribed this unbelief in some detail, but he did not call itatheism:[Men] reiect and put away the rule of direction thatserues for the ordering of their hues. And thisthey doe, when they doe not beleeue & trust God inhis word. And we may not think, that this ourvnbeheefe is a small matter: because it is a mothersinne of all other sinnes: and it is the principalllaw of the kingdome of darknesse, not to beleeueGod. 22However, Perkins did not call this unbelief “atheism” becausein this work he reserved the label for more specific use. Heitemized the “seuen speciall fruits or sinnes” which proceededfrom generalized unbelief:The first [fruit] is Atheisme, when men deny God &his word. Atheisme hath two parts: Epicurisme &Temporising. Epicurisme is, when men contemningGods conunandements, threatenings, promises, care fornothing but meate, drinke, and pleasures.Temporising is when men imbrace religion so farrefoorth as they are forced by lawes & times, & nootherwise.23Thus, in this work, atheism was a specific category ofunbelief, and its meaning was effectively the “moral atheism”that scholars have described.However, Perkins’ analysis in the other work, A Treatiseof Mans Imaginations, was quite different. Here he set out todemonstrate that all man’s natural thoughts concerning notonly his neighbour and himself, but also God were evil. Man’s22 Perkins, How to Live, CW, vol. 1, p. 482, col. 1, B.23 Ibid., p. 482, col. 1, B—C.113first evil thought concerning God was “that there is no God”,a thought which entailed the sin of “atheism”:What a cursed thing this is, to thinke there is noGod: This thought bringeth forth the most notorioussinnes that can be, euen Atheisrne it selfe; which isa sinne whereby men sundry waies deny God.Thus, rather than all the categories including “atheism” beingtypes of “unbelief”, in this work they all becamemanifestations of “atheism”. Perkins divided atheism intoeither “atheism in practice” which he described as “that sinnewherby men deny God in their deeds, hues & conuersations” and“atheism in judgement” which was “that sin whereby in opinionand persuasion of heart men denie God”. He itemized anddefined three forms or degrees of atheism in practice, namely“hypocrisie”, “epicurisme” and “witchcraft”, and three degreesof atheism in judgement, namely wrongfull belief in God,idolatry, and atheism in the sense of “hold[ing] andmaintain[ing] that there is no God at all”. We can see fromthis more detailed description of atheism that Perkins usedthe word to cover all forms of what he had called “unbelief”in How to Live, but we can also see that he inserted one newvery specific use of atheism as a refusal to believe in theexistence of God.Having outlined Perkins’ uses of “atheism” and “unbelief”we must now enquire how the meanings of heresy and hypocrisywere affected by being defined as forms of this “atheism” andPerkins, Treatise of Mans Imaginations, CW, vol. 2,p. 460, col. 2, B.114“unbelief”, rather than as errors in “religion”. If we takefirst the issue of heresy we will discover that Perkins madeseveral changes in order to accommodate his restructuring ofthese categories. In How to Live heresy was Perkins’ second“sin of unbelief” following after atheism, which had been thefirst:The second fruit is Heresie, and that is, when mendistrust God in some article of faith.There are two points to notice about this definition. Firstof all, just as in the other lengthy definition we examined,26Perkins did not provide any “this worldly”, external authorityby which heresy could be judged. Thus, once again, Perkinsdid not broach the polemical problems surrounding this word,offering instead a “distrust” in the relationship between manand God over some article of faith.27 Secondly, it isimmediately apparent that Perkins’ structuring of heresy as a“sin of unbelief”, when it had always previously been aspecific form of belief, (albeit an erroneous one) had asubstantial effect on his definition of the word. NowherePerkins, How to Live, CW, vol. 1, p. 482, col. 1, C.26 See above, pp. 105-107.27 It could be argued that because the “distrust” wasover some “article of faith”, and since the “articles offaith” were formulas publicly approved by the authority of theChurch, Perkins was automatically assuming this “distrust”operated in the public arena. Such an argument is highlyplausible. My point is not to suggest that Perkins denied thevalidity of the public arena, or that he “interiorized” thecrime of heresy; but simply that by his failure to stipulatethe authority by which public judgements should be made, theend result of his arguments was to diminish the importance ofthe public arena in favour of the private one.115before have we seen this element of “distrust in God” formingpart of a definition of heresy. But since Perkins hadcategorized heresy as a form of unbelief, his abnormalinversion in which he defined erroneous belief as “distrust”or “disbelief” provided a method of dealing with thecontradictions inherent in his analysis of heresy, atheism andunbelief.Perkins’ difficulty with these terms is also apparent inA Treatise of Man’s Imaginations. This claim needs someexplanation because on first examination there appears to beno problem at all since Perkins did not even claim to define“heresy” in this work. Instead, he described what I havepreviously called “wrongfull belief in God” as one of themanifestations of atheism in judgement.28 However, if weexamine this “wrongfull belief” carefully we will discoverthat when Perkins applied it to Catholics, it was in fact acharge of “heresy”. Perkins’ first “degree” of atheism injudgement waswhen men holde, and accordingly worship the trueGod, creator of heauen and earth, but yet so, asthey conceiue of, and worship him otherwise then hehath reuealed himselfe in his word.9Perkins proceeded to attack the “three great religions” of theTurk, the Jew and the Papist as examples of this wrongfulworship, but he devoted nearly all his attention to the lastSee above, p. 113.Perkins, Treatise of Mans Imaginations, CW, vol. 2,p. 460, col. 2, D.116of these three religions, that of the Papists. He chargedthem with what amounted to “heresy” and yet he continued tocall it a form of atheism. He argued that although in somerespects Catholicism seemed to be “close to Scripture”, inother respects “wee shall find it to be close to Atheisme”.Perkins attacked the Catholic doctrines of justification by“works”, of transubstantiation, and their doctrine of Christ,claiming that because Catholics interpreted Christ’s officeswrongly they effectively robbed him of his offices alltogether. In his conclusion Perkins claimed that Catholicismcould not be a “true religion, but meere coloured Atheisme iniudgement”.3° Why did Perkins charge the Catholics with“atheism” when the charges really amounted to “heresy”?Obviously the format of his work, classifying all errors andsins as forms of atheism, must have been at the heart of thisabnormal state of affairs. If he wanted to attack Catholicismat all, he had to make it “atheistical” rather than“heretical”. But it is also possible that Perkins wanted toavoid the jarring contradiction in terms of calling a form of“belief”(heresy) an “unbelief”(atheism).However, to conclude this analysis of Perkins’ use of“heresy” vis a vis “atheism” and “unbelief”, there are twovery important points to be made. First of all, his abnormaluse of heresy and atheism clearly demonstrates just how“unhinged” these terms were throughout this period. If30 Ibid., p. 461, col. 2, B.117Catholics could be “atheists” and heresy was “unbelief” therecan be no doubt that, despite Perkins’ best endeavours toimpose structure, these words were chronically lacking instructure, and were indeed “unhinged”. Secondly, there isconsiderable significance in Perkins’ central shift whereby heturned all these categories into forms of unbelief instead oferrors in religion. To claim they were forms of “unbelief”not only made his denunciations more forceful and morecondemnatory, it also made it possible to “denounce” ratherthan “disprove” the error of others. While, occasionally,Perkins did offer biblical support for his denunciations ofCatholicism, he did so only when he saw fit. He was notenmeshed in the kind of “point by point” refutation which a“heresy” charge would have entailed. In general Perkinssimply made uncompromising and unsupported denunciationsrelying on his Protestant audience to “know” that thesebeliefs were “wrong”. Clearly, such a technique not only lentmuch needed unity to the Protestant position, but also removedthe need for a detailed refutation of Catholic theology.If we now turn our attention to Perkins’ definitions of“hypocrisy” as a form of “unbelief” and “atheism” in the twoworks under examination, we will find some interestingrepercussions as well. In How to Live, the first point tonotice is that Perkins completely avoided the difficultieswhich had surrounded this word in polemical exchanges. He didthis in two ways. First, it will be recalled that one of thedifficulties which had “unhinged” the word “hypocrisy” for118English Protestants was labelling lapsed Protestants who hadreverted to Catholicism in Mary’s reign as “hypocrites”.Becon and Latimer had both called this group “hypocrites”thereby “unhinging” the word from its “Catholic versusProtestant” context.3- However, Perkins completely avoidedthis difficulty by calling this lapsed group not “hypocrites”but “apostates”. Apostasy was Perkins’ third “sin ofunbelief”:and that is when men chaunge their faith andreligion. And this change is made, when the euilheart of vnbeleefe causeth them to depart from theliuing God. This hath bin the fault of the peopleof this land in the daies of persecution.3However, it would be wrong to presume from thisrelabelling that Perkins intended to reserve the label“hypocrites” exclusively for Catholics. On the contrary, hefailed to mention Catholics in his lengthy definition ofhypocrisy which was his fourth “sin of unbelief”:Hypocrisie . . . is to make a shew and pretence offaith, and to want the power of it in honest & godlyconuersation: or againe, hypocrisie is nothing else,but the vnbeleefe of the heart, couered ouer withthe false appearance of faith. And it is the commonsin of these times, in which a formall orceremoniall faith, and ceremoniall repentance bearea great sway. For men make the highest degree ofprofession that can bee, when they come to the Lordstable; and yet afterward take to themselues libertieto hue and doe as they list.33See above, pp. 89-90.Perkins, How to Live, CW, vol. 1, p. 482,col. 1, C.Ibid., p. 482, col. 1, D.119This lengthy and detailed description of hypocrisy isstriking for several reasons. It is clear that Perkins wasrelating the problem of hypocrisy to his fellow Protestantsand not to Roman Catholics, or even to lapsed Protestants.Hence, he had removed “hypocrisy” from the polemical contextand there is not even a passing reference made here to the“hypocritical” Papist.34 Instead, Perkins’ main concern wasthe discrepancy between the “profession” and the “living” ofProtestants. Their actions did not live up to, and oftencontradicted, their professions of faith and Perkinsconsidered this contradiction an adequate basis for callingthem “hypocrites”. However, there was a substantial problemwith this method of judging the sincerity of others: itimposed a standard of perfection on mankind, a standard whichmen invariably failed to meet. According to Protestanttheology, this failure was only to be expected because man wasnaturally sinful since Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in theGarden of Eden. Even with the help of God’s saving grace, asmembers of his elect, Protestants did not believe man wascapable of perfection. And yet, on the other hand,Protestants needed some way of knowing and judging whether ornot individuals possessed true “saving grace”. Obviously theIt should be noted, however, that Perkins did notrefrain totally from making polemical accusations in thiswork. In his closing remarks, he did attack “Papists” alongwith “Atheists” and “woridlings”: “it is a common offence toAtheists, Papists, worldlings, that such as pretend faith,faile in the righteousnesse of a good conscience”. p. 486,col. 2, D.120more “godly” the life and the more integration there wasbetween thought, word, and deed, the more likely it was thatmen possessed grace and were members of God’s elect.Thus, there was a perplexing problem. There was anurgent insistence upon the need for a more “godly” lifecombined with a simultaneous insistence upon the corrupt andsinful nature of fallen man. And “hypocrisy” was caught inthe middle of this dichotomy. Either, as Perkins had charged,all men were hypocrites because they inevitably fell short ofperfection. Or else some method of judgement was necessarywhich could distinguish the “hypocritical” (ie. ill-intentioned) from the “sincere” but imperfect Christian.While Perkins did not explore these larger problems inthis text, they were of central concern in the other work wehave been examining, A Treatise of Mans Imaginations. Hisactual definition of hypocrisy at first seems unremarkable.It was a form of atheism in practice:Hypocrisie is a sinne whereby men worship the trueGod, but yet in a false manner, giuing vnto God theoutward action, and holde backe from him the trueworship of the heart.35While at first this definition does not seem to explore thedifficulties we have just outlined, it does make a statementconcerning the inner world of the heart versus the outer worldof action. Perkins suggested that the outer world of actionwas “false” in itself unless it was accompanied by the “truePerkins, Treatise of Mans Imaginations, CW, vol. 2,p. 460, col. 2, B—C.121worship of the heart”. The heart, therefore, was the centreof human intentionality, and without a “true” intention toworship, all outward actions were false. In isolation, thisdefinition might seem adequate. However, when it iscontrasted with other arguments Perkins made in this work,serious problems arose concerning both intentionality andjudgement. Hence, we must examine Perkins’ wider argument.Perkins took a verse from Genesis (Genesis 8:21) as hisstarting point: “And the Lord said in his heart, I willhenceforth curse the earth no more for mans cause: for theImaginations of mans heart is euill euen from his youth”.Perkins used this text as his authority for arguing that allmen’s natural thoughts were evil. As he put it,The mind and understanding part of man is naturallyso corrupt, that so soone as hee can use reason, hedoth nothing but imagine that which is wicked, andagainst the Law of God.36Given that men’s thoughts were all evil, Perkins’ next problemwas how these naturally evil thoughts may be known, a questionwhich raised all the difficulties we have just outlinedconcerning the judgement of others’ thoughts and intentions.His answer was that man’s thoughts might be known in twodifferent ways, the first of which was “directly, [and]without meanes”. In other words there could be direct accessto another man’s thoughts but Perkins was quick to point outthat such access was God’s exclusive prerogative: “for nocreature in heauen or earth can immediately and directly knowe36 Ibid., p. 458, col. 2, A.122the thoughts of man”.37 Thus, God alone could look into theminds and hearts of men directly. However, Perkins claimedthat men’s thoughts could be known a second way, namely“indirectly, and by meanes”, there being three different“indirect” means. First of all, men could know another’sthoughts by “instinct” from God, although Perkins insistedthat this only happened at certain special times and forcertain special causes. Secondly, men could know another’sthoughts by “Reuealation from Scriptures”, and lastly, by“signes” such as speeches and actions.38 Consequently, theonly way that the thoughts of man could be known, withoutdivine assistance, was by these “signs” like speech andaction. Here, we must notice that a link is being postulatedbetween the thoughts of man and his outward persona, hisspeech and his actions. Automatically this suggestedsubstantial problems in the judgement of hypocrisy which wehave just seen Perkins define as a disparity between internalthoughts and external actions.But, this was not the only complication in Perkins’argument. In a lengthy and complex passage he dealt with theissues of hypocrisy, judgement and intention once again whenhe considered the need for complete obedience to God’s word:Ibid., p. 458, col. 2, D.38 Ibid., p. 459, col. 1, B. Perkins dismissed two otherways of knowing men’s thoughts as invalid: firstly, thePapists argued that Saints in heaven knew men’s thoughts as byreflection in the glass of the Trinity; and secondly,Astrologians claimed to know men’s thoughts, but Perkins didnot expand upon this claim or devote any time to refuting it.123wee may see how hard a thing it is truly &soundly to conuert a sinner vnto God, and how easilya man may deceiue his owne soule, & beguile theworld by hypocrisie: for a man by long exercise inthe word may haue a great measure of knowledge, &withall good wit, and memorie, and with themvtterance, and by a common gift of the spirit, beeable to teach the word truely, and to conceiueprayer to good purpose, and withall haue a cankredheart towards God, poysoned with this damnablethought, I will not obey the word of God: for eueryman that hath inwardly in him a purpose to hue,though but in one sinne, his heart is not vprightwith God, neither bee Gods graces, as faith, andrepentance found in his heart: for true repentanceis a purpose, and resolution to leaue all sinne, andto please God in all things.39There are two related problems in this passage. First of all,there is an unresolved conflict within the passage itselfbecause Perkins claimed that man was both self-deceived, andthat he was beguiling the world with hypocrisy. If a man wasindeed “beguiling” the world, then he possessed a hiddenpurpose or intention which conflicted with his outwardactions, but of which he himself was fully cognizant. If, onthe other hand, a man was deceiving his own soul, then he wasnot fully cognizant of his own thoughts or intentions.And this contradiction leads us to the related problem,namely Perkins’ confused pronouncements concerning self-knowledge and self-judgement. In the passage above, andelsewhere in this work, Perkins wrote as if man knew his own“purpose”, and his own thoughts. The very words “inwardly”held “purpose” in the passage above suggest man’s cognizanceof his own intentions. And elsewhere Perkins described how“all actions proceede from thoughts, the heart being theIbid., p. 465, col. 1, B-C.124fountaine of our deedes” which again suggested self—awarenessof intentions.40 However, Perkins contradicted thesestatements on several occasions, especially when writing aboutman’s “heart”. For example, when he argued that all men wereguilty of the thought “that there is no God”, he claimed thatmany would try to clear themselves from this charge byinsisting that they “neuer felt in themselues any suchconceits as this”. He continued:But we may easily deceiue our selues herein, for aman cannot alwaies discerne what be the thoughts ofhis owne heart. . . . since Adams fall, theconscience is corrupt by originall sinne, as bee allother powers of mans soule; whence it comes topasse, that conscience can not do his duty in giuingtrue testimony concerning mans imaginations: but aman may thinke euill, and yet his conscience nottell him: and therefore wee may not say, because wefeele not these euill thoughts in vs1 therefore weehaue them not . . . .Thus, Perkins argued that, in his natural state (i.e. withoutsaving grace) man was self-deceived, and could not even knowhis own intentions. As Perkins remarked in another passage onthis topic, “while men doe sooth vp themselues in their goodmeaning [i.e. intentions], they deceiue their owne heartsthrough ignorance of their naturall estate”. Perkins eventook this argument one step further, contradicting hisoriginal analysis of how the thoughts of man may be known. Wewill recall that, earlier in the work, he had argued thatIbid., p. 468, col. 1, C.Ibid., p. 461, col. 2, D — p. 462, col. 1, A.Ibid., p. 474, col. 2, C.125these thoughts could be known “indirectly by means” such asspeech and actions. However, later, he also boldly assertedthat “no man knoweth the thoughts of another; nay hee cannotfinde out his owne thoughts: . . . God alone is the searcher,of the hearts, [of men]”.43In conclusion, we have seen several examples of thecontradiction and confusion which was rampant in this workconcerning intentionality, judgement and the exact nature of“hypocrisy” itself. Without a clearer understanding of humanintentionality and a coherent basis for judging it, theconcept of hypocrisy was being subjected to incoherentdefinition and use. It was being “unhinged” by thecomplexities of Protestant theology rather than simply bypolemical exchange. “Hypocrisy” was caught between thedemands of two central Protestant doctrines: insistence uponthe naturally evil condition of man, but the equally forcefulinsistence that absolute purity of thought, word, and deed wasthe only reliable sign of having true “saving grace”.Given these complexities, and given that the term“hypocrisy” was caught in the middle of them, we should not besurprised to find that interest in the concept, and alsoproblems surrounding it, are evident even after the originalcontext of reformation polemics had ceased to dominatewriters’ approaches to it. Consequently, we find BishopJoseph Hall, 1574 - 1656, giving hypocrisy pride of place inIbid., p. 475, col. 1, B.126his Characters of Virtues and Vices, first published in 1608.Hypocrisy was the very first vice he considered; it would“lead [the] ring: worthily . . . because both she comethnearest to virtue, and is the worst of vices”. Likewise, inSatan’s Fiery Darts Quenched, written as late as 1645-6 andpublished in 1647, Hall again condemned hypocrisy:Of all creatures . . . out of hell, there is none soloathsome to God as the hypocrites; and that upon adouble provocation, both for doing of evil, and fordoing evil under a colour of good.While both these examples demonstrate Hall’s concern withhypocrisy, his most interesting work for our purposes was asermon entitled “The Hypocrite” delivered at court in February1629-30. Here we can see Hall’s awareness of the previouspolemical context in which Roman Catholics were labelled“hypocrites” but, lust as Perkins had done, Hall now insistedthat everyone was hypocritical. Some, Hall claimed, “wouldJoseph Hall, Characters of Virtues and Vices, in TheWorks of the Right Reverend Joseph Hall, D. D., ed. PhilipWynter, 10 volumes, (New York: AMS Press, 1969), vol. 6, p.106. For a brief discussion of Hall’s “casuistry”, see PerezZagorin, Ways of Lying: Dissimulation, Persecution andConformity in Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge: Mass., HarvardUniversity Press, 1990), pp. 242-44. In general, Hall’s workshave been studied more by English scholars than historians.See, for example, Frank Livingstone Huntley, Bishop JosephHall, 1574 — 1656: A biographical and critical study,(Cambridge: D. S. Brewer Ltd., 1979); Frank LivingstoneHuntley, Bishop Joseph Hall and Protestant Meditation inSeventeenth—Century England, (Binghamton, New York: Center forMedieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1981); Richard A.McCabe, Joseph Hall: A Study in Satire and Meditation,(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982); and Leonard D. Tourney,Joseph Hall, (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1979).Hall, Satan’s Fiery Darts Quenched: or, TemptationsRepelled. In Three Decades, Works, vol. 7, p. 258.127catch all the world in St. Peter’s net” but he would notfollow this route:were we clearly innocent of these crimes, Ishould be the first that would cast this stone atRome. But now that we share with them in thesesins, there is no reason we should be sejoined inthe censure.46Thus, for Hall, everyone was guilty of hypocrisy, having “theform of godliness, but deny[ing] the power thereof”. Halltook this text from 2 Timothy, 3:5 and used it to show howhypocrites appeared to be godly, but were in reality hiddendevils because they denied God’s power.What is of interest in Hall’s sermon is not simply thewidespread and vehement nature of his attack on hypocrisy, butalso the relationship which he described between hypocrisy andatheism. While Perkins had linked the two by defininghypocrisy as a manifestation of atheism in practice, Hallestablished a relationship of equals but opposites:He that hath but a form [of godliness] is anhypocrite; but he that hath not a form is anatheist. I know not whether I should sever thesetwo; both are human devils well met; an hypocrite isa masked devil, an atheist is a devil unmasked.Whether of them shall, without their repentance, bedeeper in hell, they shall once feel, I determinenot. Only let me assure them, that if the infernalTophet be not for them, it can challenge noguests.Once again hypocrisy and atheism were placed inrelationship to one another, but the volatility of this6 Hall, Sermon XXVIII: The Hypocrite. Set forth in asermon at the Court, February 28, 1629-30, Works, vol. 5, p.426.“ Ibid., pp. 431—2.128language is clearly demonstrated since Hall established a verydifferent relationship than Perkins had done.However, Hall did not restrict himself to establishingrelationships between hypocrisy and atheism; in a descriptivepassage he suggested that many heretics and the superstitiouswere also hypocrites. Where Perkins had described such men astypes of atheist, to Hall they were all hypocrites. Hall’sdenunciation of these enemies of “true religion” deservesattention, not only for its eloquence and virulence, but alsofor the sweeping judgements he passed on the intentions ofthose concerned. Judgement and intentionality were problemsthat perplexed and confused Hall just as they had Perkins. Aswe shall see, Hall frequently contradicted himself about howto judge and on what basis to judge others. In this firstexample, Hall considered all these enemies of religion,whether heretics, heathens, or Catholics, to be hypocritesbecause of their “pretended” holiness. In other words, Hallallowed for no error and no mistaken belief because he claimedthat all “wrong belief” was based on deliberate deception andpretence. The denunciation needs to be quoted at length:129[Let us] ascend unto a higher key of pretendedholiness, Do ye see some of the elect Manicheeslying upon hard mats, which St. Austin says weretherefore called Mattarii? Do ye see the penances ofthe three super-mortified orders of the Mahometansaints! do ye see an illuminate elder of theanabaptists rapt in divine ecstacies? do ye see astigmatical friar lashing himself to blood,wallowing in the snow naked, returning the lice intohis bosom? do ye see a nice humourist, that will notdress a dish, nor lay a cloth, nor walk abroad on aSunday; and yet make no conscience of cozening hisneighbour on the work-day?All these, and many others of the same kind,are swans; which, under white feathers, have a blackskin. These have a form of godliness, and are theworse for it. For as it is the most dangerous andkilling flattery that is brought in under a pretenceof liberty; so it is the most odious and perilousimpiety that is hid under a form of godliness.8Thus, Hall passed condemnatory judgement on the intentions ofall who maintained “false” beliefs.However elsewhere, discussing hypocrisy once more, Hallwithdrew completely from passing judgement on intentions,claiming that God alone could know the intentions of others.Instead, Hall argued that he would judge by appearances only:As hypocrisy is a common counterfeit of all virtues,so there is no special virtue which is not, to thevery life of it, seemingly resembled by some specialvice. . . . So the substance of every virtue is inthe heart: which, since it hath not a window madeinto it by the Creator of it, but is reserved underlock and key for his own view, I will judge only byappearance. I had rather wrong myself by credulity,than others by unjust censures and suspicions.49Hall had gone from passing sweeping judgements condemning theintentions of others to refraining from passing any judgementsexcept those based on appearance. He had completely abandonedIbid., pp. 430—1.Hall, The First Century of Meditations and Vows,Divine and Moral, Works, vol. 7, p. 457.130the possibility of knowing other men’s thoughts: the internalworld was utterly divorced from the external, and the externalcould provide an impenetrable sham.And yet, the more we examine Hall’s position concerningintentionality and judgement, the more confusing the picturebecomes. He contradicted both these two positions I haveoutlined in another sermon entitled The Deceit of Appearances.Taking John 7:24 as his text, “Judge not according to theappearance, but judge righteous judgement”, Hall stressed timeand again the importance of not judging by appearances.5°Appearances could not and should not be the foundation of anyjudgement because “if appearance might be the rule, goodshould be evil, evil good. There is no virtue that cannot becounterfeited; no vice that cannot be blanched”.5’ Thissermon is highly revealing because in it Hall insisted uponthe need to judge, and yet he displayed chronic confusion whenhe attempted to establish the basis for righteous judgement.Hall acknowledged that Christ’s command had been that we mustjudge: “our Saviour seals our commission, sets us upon thebench, allows us the act, but takes order for the manner: wemay judge, we may not judge according to the appearance”.5Hall proceeded to demonstrate why judgement should not be° Hall, Sermon VIII: The Deceit of Appearance.Preached before his Majesty, at His Court of Theobalds, onSunday September, 15, 1622, Works, vol. 5, p. 147.Ibid., p. 156.Ibid., p. 150.131based on appearance, showing how deceptive appearances couldbe in politics, religion and in the simple physical assessmentof others. And yet, at the end of the sermon, Hall foundhimself deliberating about what were acceptable grounds forjudgement. And here he ran into difficulties. He was obligedto fall back straight away on those very appearances he hadjust denounced:though we may not judge only by the appearance, yetappearance may not be neglected in our judgment. . . . Semblances are not always severed fromtruth.3At first Hall tried to argue that actions did not deceivewhere words and “shows” might. An act that looked evil wouldalways be evil; man had to trust the evidence of his own eyesin order to judge correctly in these situations:What do we with eyes if we may not believe theirintelligence? That world is past, wherein the gloss“the wanton embracements of another man’s wifemust pass, with a clerk, for a ghostly benediction”.Men are now more wise, less charitable. Words andprobable shows are appearances, actions are not.Yet, as soon as Hall had stated that words might deceive morethan actions, he was driven to temper this comment:Yet even our words also shall judge us: if they befilthy, if blasphemous, if but idle, we shallaccount for them, we shall be judged by them. . .I may safely say, nobody desires to borrow coloursof evil. If you do ill, think not that we will makedainty to think you so . . . .Ibid., p. 156—7.Ibid., p. 157.Ibid.132Thus, Hall had come full circle. Now both evil words and evilactions were an adequate basis for judging a man to be evil.But what of the “good”? After all, we have already seen Halldescribe hypocrisy as the “common counterfeit of all virtues”.If virtue could be counterfeited, how should men distinguishthe appearance of virtue from virtue itself? Hall did not haveany effective method for solving this problem. He sidestepped the issue by suggesting that if man was good, then hewould be judged to be good. He assumed that internal goodnesswould accompany the appearance of external goodness:if we do well, shall we not be accepted? If we becharitable in our alms, just in our awards, faithfulin our performances, sober in our carriages, devoutin our religious services conscionable in ouractions . . . we shall have peace with ourselves,honour with men, glory with God and his angels.6Therefore, despite considerable concern with the problem, Hallhad been unable to provide a method for penetrating theintentions of others. He had very successfully shown thepitfalls involved in judging by appearances and yet hadeffectively demonstrated that appearances, in the form ofwords and actions, were all man had to judge by.In like manner, the issue of intentionality alsodominated Hall’s approach to our other category of heresy.Problems surrounding the intentionality of the heretic wereevident when Hall broached the topic in a work entitled ThePeacemaker, a tract which laid “forth the right way of Peacein Matters of Religion”. Here Hall dealt extensively with the6 Ibid.133problem of heresy, defining it as “an error in faith withobstinacy”. However, Hall insisted that even an “error”could, and in the case of heresy did, involve evilintentionality on the heretic’s behalf:for . . . it is not falseness of judgment that makesan heretic, but perverseness of will. . . . They aremuch mistaken that slight the mistakings of theunderstanding, as no sins; rather, as that facultyhath more of the man than the other inferior, so theaberrations of that must be more heinous. But ifthe will did not concur to their furtheraggravation, in adhering to a falsity once received,they might seem rather to pass, with God and goodmen, for infirmities; but the least falsehoodjustified proves odious to both; how much more in soprecious a subject as religion.7Thus, an obstinate, perverse and indeed evil intention was atthe heart of the offence of heresy for Hall.However, this line of argument created some difficultieswhen Hall attempted to outline the appropriate punishment forheretics. Because the focus of The Peacemaker was the civilauthority’s role in maintaining peace and order in matters ofreligion, Hall needed to distinguish between those hereticswho simply but obstinately maintained false beliefs, and thosewho provoked civil unrest by promoting and spreading theirheresies. And yet, having asserted that all heresy involved“perversness of will”, Hall could not dismiss “peaceful”heresy as benign error, reserving harsh punishment for thosewhose erroneous beliefs caused civil unrest. Instead, Hallmade a distinction between what he called “mere” and “mixed”Hall, The Peacemaker, laying forth the Right Way ofPeace, in Matters of Religion, Works, vol. 6, p. 648.134heresies. He defined mere heresy as “a sole error in matterof faith stiffly resolved on, without any other concurrentmalignity”, whereas the more culpable “mixed” heresy was“intermingled with other mischievious ingredients, asblasphemy, infectious divulgation, seditious disturbance,malicious complottings, violent pursuit, treacherousmachinations, and the like”.58 Predictably, the former groupwere only to be subjected to “brotherly admonishings” and, inthe most obstinate cases “strong conviction” and “churchcensures”, whereas “mixed” heretics could and should besubjected to “bodily punishments”, to “the utmost of allpains, [and even] death itself”.Hall’s justification for this differentiation was thedamage done by mixed heretics to both Church and Commonwealth.As he put it in stark and uncompromising terms, “Even inspiritual matters, as well as civil, that rule is eternal,Salus populi, suprema lex [the people’s safety is the highestlaw]”.59 Clearly, such a bold statement had majorrepercussions for the concept of heresy itself. If we examinethe impications of Hall’s argument, we will find that theoffence of heresy had been dramatically diminished.Previously, false belief itself and the “obstinacy” with whichit was maintained had been at the heart of the heresy charge.If a false belief was maintained with obstinacy, that in58 Ibid., p. 649.Ibid., p. 650.135itself was an offence worthy of the most serious punishments.But Hall had placed “the safety of the people” at the heart ofhis judgement process. If the people were not endangered,then obstinate false belief only merited the mildestadmonition. In addition, while Hall had claimed that the“obstinacy” of all heretics had to be proven, obstinacy itselfhad been removed from the centre of the offence. Civil unrestwas now at the heart of the offence, and hence the need to“know” and “judge” the intentions of “heretics” hadsubstantially diminished.Thus, Hall’s writings on both hypocrisy and heresydisplayed concern and difficulty with the problems ofintentionality and judgement. And one final example of awriter with similar concerns is the renowned philosopher andstatesman, Francis Bacon, 1561 - 1626. Bacon’s concern withthese categories and issues may seem surprising since he wasno religious polemicist and certainly no theologian. And yet,his collection of Religious Meditations was appended to theearly editions of his Essays, and in these “Meditations” Baconoffered “Essay—style” musings on many of the categories wehave been examining, including atheism, hypocrisy and heresy.Bacon’s writings on these categories demonstrate twothings. Firstly, the “unhinging” of the categories is evidentonce more since Bacon related atheism to heresy, and heresy tohypocrisy in different configurations than the other writerswe have examined. For example, in “Of Heresies” Bacondescribed a structure in which “true religion” formed a middle136ground between “Superstition with superstitious heresies” onone side and “Atheism with profane heresies” on the other, thelatter being “more heinous than the rest”.6° This structureis different again than those of Cheke, Perkins, or Hall,showing that these relationships were far from fixed at thistime. Secondly, Bacon’s writing on hypocrisy in particulardemonstrates a specific interest in problems of intentionalityand judgement. In fact the whole focus of the work was howhypocrisy may be “known” or “distinguished”. His answer tothis problem was to differentiate between “works of sacrifice”which had greater “pomp” and in which hypocrites consequentlyexcelled, and works of mercy which frequently interfered with60 Francis Bacon, “Religious Meditations”, in The Worksof Francis Bacon, 7 vols., James Spedding, Robert Ellis &Douglas Heath, eds., (London: Longmans & Co., 1870), vol. 7,pp. 252-3. There has been considerable scholarly discussionconcerning Bacon’s method and purpose in writing the Essays,the style of which, as I have noted, is similar to his“Religious Meditations”. Disagreement arises over whether theEssays should be seen predominantly as literary exercisesbearing little or no relation to Bacon’s philosophy, orwhether they not only incorporate Bacon’s “civil” philosophybut, as some have claimed, provide “the ultimate novum organumof the doctrine of advancement in life”. R. C.Cochrane, “Francis Bacon and the Architect of Fortune”,Studies in the Renaissance, 5, 1958, p. 188, as cited by IanBox, “Bacon’s Essays: From Political Science to PoliticalPrudence”, History of Political Thought, vol. III, no. 1, Jan.1982. The most helpful analysis of the Essays is LisaJardine, Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse,(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), chap. 13 whereJardine establishes a balance between these two extremesarguing that, while Bacon “did not set out to give formaljustification for particular social and political beliefs”,neither should the Essays be “regarded as amusing excercisesin rhetorical equivocation”, pp. 227-8. On the debate overBacon’s attitude towards Christianity, see Timothy H.Paterson, “On the Role of Christianity in the PoliticalPhilosophy of Francis Bacon”, Polity, vol. 19, 1987, pp. 419-42.137the hypocrite’s desires and which they consequently avoided ifpossible. Hence, Bacon arguedThe way to convict a hypocrite . . . is to send himfrom the works of sacrifice, to the works ofmercy . . . . The works of . . . mercy are the workswhereby to distinguish hypocrites . . . forhypocrites seek by a pretended holiness towards Godto cover their injuries towards men.61Such an argument is similar to Hall’s position that “words”and “shows” might deceive, whereas “actions” would not.“Action” was crucial to Bacon’s argument as well and heprovided quotations to support his position. For example:Pure religion and undefiled before God and theFather is this, to visit the orphans and widows intheir •6However, like Perkins, Bacon ran into some contradictionwhen he began to discuss “hypocrites” who were “deceivingthemselves”. As we have already seen, he had describedhypocrites as having pretended holiness, and therefore ashaving private false intentions behind the facade of holiness.However, Bacon continued his “meditation” with an attack onthe excesses of monastic life, in which he describedhypocrites who were “deceiving themselves”, implying that theydid not even know their own intentions:There are some however of a deeper and more inflatedhypocrisy, who deceiving themselves, and fancyingthemselves worthy of a closer conversation with God,neglect the duties of charity towards theirneighbour, as inferior matters.6363 Bacon, Works, vol. 7, p. 249.62 Ibid.63 Ibid.138Thus, we can see not only Bacon’s interest and concern withmatters of judgement and intentionality, but also hisdifficulties in dealing with this problematic topic.There is one final remark of Bacon’s concerning bothheresy and hypocrisy with which we may conclude this survey oftreatments of these two terms. However, in order todemonstrate the relevance of this remark, we must firstsummarize briefly the results of our study of heresy andhypocrisy so far. Firstly, we have seen that both words“heresy” and “hypocrisy” were prominent in polemical exchangesthroughout the century. Secondly, we have seen that heresyand hypocrisy entered polemical exchanges as denunciations byCatholics against Protestants, and Protestants againstCatholics respectively. We also saw that the terms were“unhinged” by polemical exchanges. And thirdly, I have arguedthat the issue of intentionality was frequently evoked whenthese words were discussed in any depth. Thus, I have beendemonstrating certain associations, albeit highly unstableones, between these words during the sixteenth and earlyseventeenth centuries. Since these associations no longerexist in modern usage and the concepts of heresy and hypocrisyare now completely dissociated from each other, this previousdegree of affinity may surprise the modern reader. However,the final remark of Bacon’s to which I alluded provides acompelling example of this early modern “relationship” betweenheresy and hypocrisy. Bacon concluded his “Meditation” onhypocrisy by placing the terms in direct relation to one139another, claiming they were reverse sides of the same coin.He wrote:The works of mercy . . . are the works whereby todistinguish hypocrites. With heretics on thecontrary it is otherwise: for as hypocrites seek bya pretended holiness towards God to cover theirinjuries towards men; so heretics seek by a certainmoral carriage towards men to make a passage fortheir blasphemies against God.6Bacon’s neat formula is highly revealing because itdemonstrates both the association of these two concepts inearly modern minds, and that Bacon’s primary concern was theproblem of judging heresy and hypocrisy. For him the twoissues were related because they followed parallel patternswhere judgement was concerned. However, despite his focus onthe issue of judgement, it is important to recognize thatBacon in fact only made assumptions concerning the intentionsof hypocrites and heretics rather than providing anyfoundation for informed judgement. Although Baconacknowledged that intentions were central to the issue byusing such words as “pretended” holiness, and by suggestingthat heretics “seek” to use their moral carriage towards menas a foil for their blasphemies against God, he provided nomethod for proving the nature of another’s intentions. Hesimply contrasted two conflicting sets of behaviour and usedthe disparity between the two to cast aspersions regardingintentions. Or, put another way, Bacon took no account ofhuman nature, making no allowance for “error”, for “conflict64 Ibid.140of will”, or for human weakness. On both counts, he wasprepared to assert that there was deliberate deception and anevil intention simply because of the disparity between twotypes of behaviour.It might be argued that this over-simplification onBacon’s behalf was due to the brief “essay-like” nature of hiswritings on heresy and hypocrisy. And yet, while his writingswere brief, they were (as I have demonstrated) focused on theissue of judgement. Consequently, the omissions and indeedthe incoherence of Bacon’s analysis seems less likely to bethe result of brevity than the result of a failure on Bacon’sbehalf to confront the complexities at the heart of thesetopics. As we have seen, not only with Bacon, but also withCheke, Perkins and Hall, there was repeated awareness of theissue of intentionality, and awareness of the need to judge,but there was either failure or incoherence when thesesubjects were examined.In the light of this repeated incoherence, should weconclude that throughout the early modern period the conceptsof heresy and hypocrisy were destabilized in polemicalexchanges and that, while writers exhibited awareness of theproblems of intentionality and judgement, they were unable toprovide coherent solutions to these difficulties? Certainly,such conclusions seem justified in view of the treatments wehave examined so far. However, as I will demonstrate in thefollowing chapter, there was at least one notable exception tothis rule where the subject of heresy was concerned. In his141Dialogue Concerning Heresies, Thomas More not only confrontedthe issues of intentionality and judgement but he alsoprovided a coherent basis for passing judgement. He offered apossible reconciliation between the two seeminglycontradictory axioms: that man must needs judge his fellowman, but that “no man can loke into anothers breste . . .“.6 Thomas More, A Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol.6:1 p. 22, 1—2.142CHAPTER FOURTHE COHERENCE OF A CONCEPT: HERESY, INTENTIONALITY ANDJUDGEMENT IN THOMAS MORE ‘S “DIALOGUE CONCERNING HERESIES”.Sir Thomas More’s personal and direct involvement withheresy and heresy trials in his role of Lord Chancellor ofEngland has been well documented.’ And, it is not surprisingthat the effects of this direct and practical involvement areimmediately apparent in all of More’s polemical works,including the Dialogue Concerning Heresies. As Peter Milwardhas observed, “In all his [polemicalj writings it is More’saim to prove that his opponents are both heretics (in faith)and fools (in reason)”.2 Indeed, More’s polemical worksattack the problem of heresy and heretics from all angles. Forinstance, two of his works, The Apology and The Debellation ofSalem and Bizance deal predominantly with the many legalproblems besetting heresy laws in England at this time. Theseworks were direct responses to attacks made by the commonlawyer Christopher St. Germain. Since More had also received a1 See, for example, J. A. Guy, The Public Career of SirThomas More, (Brighton, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1980),chap. 8; Alistair Fox, Thomas More: History and Providence,(Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982), chaps. 4 & 5; RichardMarius, Thomas More: A Biography, (New York: Alfred A.Knopf, 1984), chap. 9; Louis A. Schuster, “Thomas More’sPolemical Career, 1523 - 1533”, The Complete Works of St.Thomas More, 15 vols., (New Haven, Yale University Press,1963—85), vol. 8:111, (1973), pp. 1135 — 1268.Peter Milward, “A Judgement Judged: C. S. Lewis on theMore - Tyndale Controversy”, Moreana, 17, 1980, p. 33.143legal training, he was able to meet St. Germain on his ownground, rebutting legal argument with legal argument.3 Incontrast, More’s The Answer to a Poisoned Book dealtspecifically with the theology of the Eucharist which had comeunder attack in England via the works of John Frith and GeorgeJoye.But what of the work on which our attention will focus inthis chapter, namely the Dialogue Concerning Heresies? As thetitle suggests, the central concept of this work is the natureof heresy itself; hence its pertinency to our subject matter.However, a word of caution must be added concerning this titlebecause the work has not always been known as the DialogueConcerning Heresies. Both the first and second editions had alengthy and detailed title which enumerated the issues coveredin the text rather than combining them all under the label of“heresies”. The work, first printed in 1529 and again in 1531was entitledMore, The Debellation of Salem and Bizance, John Guy,Ralph Keen, Clarence Miller and Ruth McGugan, eds., CW, vol.10, intro., pp. xvii-xciv. See also John Guy, “Thomas Moreand Christopher St. Germain: The Battle of the Books”, inAlistair Fox and John Guy, Reassessing the Henrician Age:Humanism, Politics and Reform, 1500-1550, (Oxford: BasilBlackwell, 1986), pp. 95—120.More, The Answer to a Poisoned Book, CW, vol. 11.144A dyaloge of syr Thomas / More knyghte: one of the /counsayll of oure souerayne lorde the kyng / &chauncellour of hys duchy of Lan=/caster. wherin betreatyd dyuers / maters / as of the veneration / &worshyp of ymagys & / relyques / prayng to / sayntys/ & goyng / on pylgrymage. / wyth many othere /thyngys touchyng the / pestylent sect of Luther and/ Tyndale / by the tone bygone in / Saxony / and bythe tother / laboryd to be brought in / to Englond.This was obviously More’s chosen title for the work, since itwas not till after his death when the third edition wasprinted in 1557 that the title refering to “heresies” wasadopted. The 1557 title ran as follows:A Dialogue concernynge / heresyes & matters ofreligi= / on / made in the yere of oure / Lorde. M.D. xxviii. by sir / Thomas More (than knight / andone of the priuy counsell / of kyng Henry the eyght/ & also Chauncelloure of / the duchy of Lancaster)/ To which work he / made this tytle / hereafter fo=/ lowynge.6More’s original title then followed. The discrepancy betweenthese two titles is significant since More clearly did notbrand the denial of worship of images, prayer to saints, andgoing on pilgrimages as “heresies” in his own title. And yetthe whole driving force and purpose behind his text was toprove that when maintained with obstinacy and maliciousintention such denials of Catholic Church practice were indeedheretical. As my analysis will demonstrate, More’s centralargument in the Dialogue was that “heresy” could only bedistinguished from “reasonable doubt” by judging anddetermining the malicious intentionality of the “heretic”.More, Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:11, p.549.G Ibid., p. 555.145More explored the numerous complexities involved in thejudgement process; the difficulty of determining another’s“intentions”, the need to establish how it is that humanbeings “know” the difference between “truth” or “error”, andthe need to establish an agreed source of authority to pass“judgement” on the beliefs and intentions of others. Hence,the text itself explores how it is that men can know somebeliefs to be true, and therefore judge other beliefs to beheretical. The Dialogue was More’s first commissioned workagainst heresy and the instructions More had received fromBishop Cuthbert Tunstal were to write in such a way that the“common man” could “see through the cunning malice ofheretics”.7 More therefore set out to demonstrate that malicewas necessary in order to “prove” heresy. Perhaps, then, Moredeliberately did not prejudge the “heretical” nature of theissues mentioned in his title, preferring instead to commencefrom a less judgemental position and then demonstrate throughthe course of the text how these sectarian denials of Catholicpractice could, and must, be condemned as “heresy”.However, before we explore the text itself to see howMore accomplished his task, there are two additional pointswhich need to be made. Firstly, while More clearly devotedmuch attention to the concept of heresy in his polemicalworks, the same cannot be said of our other category,hypocrisy. This is not surprising because, as we saw inIbid., pp. 439—40.146Chapter Two, in the initial rounds of polemical confrontation,hypocrisy was the charge aimed by Protestants againstCatholics. Thus, More used the term infrequently, rarelyemploying it except when recounting and/or rebutting aProtestant attack which included the charge of “hypocrisy”.8In such circumstances More did not analyse or examine theconcept closely and hence this chapter will focus exclusivelyon “heresy”.A second, and lengthier topic which needs examination isthe views historians have expressed about the Dialogue. WhileMore’s polemical works in general have often been ignoredand/or denounced, several historians have singled out theDialogue as worthy of particular praise. For example, RichardC. Marius summed up its special status when he described theDialogue as the “best” of More’s polemical works in English.9Brendan Bradshaw credited it with a “formidable quality”°while Rainer Pineas praised the “careful construction” of theDialogue, calling it a brilliant defence of the Church inwhich More’s dramatic devices made the arguments “persuasiveH Ibid., for example pp. 422-4 and 426. It is worthremarking, however, that More does draw attention to the issueof judgement vis a vis hypocrisy, writing “Nowe yf of suche assemyd good men we neuer had founden any for ypochrytes / albeit yt myght be that some were suche / yet wold we not I thynkesuppose that there were any so in dede / yf we neuer hadknowen it tryed & prouyd so”, p.24/27-3l.Marius, Thomas More, p.339.10 Brendan Bradshaw, “The Controversial Sir Thomas More”,Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 36, no. 4, Oct. 1985,p. 549.147and immediate”.-- For Pineas the Dialogue was “easily thesingle most brilliant among More’s many works of religiouscontroversy”.1-2And yet, despite the obvious praise andattention which this work has received from scholars, a markedcontradiction is evident when their comments about it areexamined. On one hand, scholars have frequently remarked uponMore’s skillful use of the dialogue form, his ability tocontrol and develop the characters and the subject matter in away that remains readable, convincing and entertaining.However, in contrast to this authorial control and structurewithin the work, scholars have also commented repeatedly onthe digressions, diversions, and the aimless meandering withinthe text which seems to go backwards and forwards over thesubject matter, picking up one topic here, dropping it there,returning to it time and again in a seamless, endless ebb andflow of conversation.Thus, historians have made strikingly dissonant claimsregarding this text and, before we examine the text itself indetail, these disagreements should be explored since theyillustrate the need for closer analysis of the Dialogue.Several attempts have been made to reconcile the dissonantclaims of the ordering control of the author on one hand andthe rambling disorder of conversation on the other. Pineas has‘1- Rainer Pineas, Thomas More and Tudor Polemics,(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968), pp. 217-8.‘ Rainer Pineas, review article of A DialogueConcerning Heresies, Yale Edition, Renaissance Quarterly,1982, no. 35, p. 617.148suggested that the meandering dialogue was More’s deliberateattempt to break away from the Latin scholastic treatise whichrelied upon logic to combat heresy. Not only had such works asFisher’s Assertionis Lutheranae Confutatio been unsuccessfulin halting the tide of heretical attacks, but in addition thetime had come to broach the problem on a popular level inEnglish, and this required a completely different format.3More’s dialogue form allowed for a digressive, non-scholasticapproach which appealed to the layman and also allowed for thecontrolled repetition of the vital arguments throughout thebook. By using the dialogue form More was not obliged toexhaust a subject once broached, but could “take it up, dropit, and then reinsert it wherever he [thought] it mosteffective”.’ Thus the seeming disorder and repetition isemployed to the author’s advantage to emphasize the importantarguments while avoiding tediousness. Walter M. Gordon offersa slightly different but compatible explanation in his articleon The Argument of Comedy in Thomas More’s Dialogue ConcerningHeresies. Gordon analyses the role of More’s “merry tales”within the dialogue and claims that while they are indeeddiversions and much needed distractions from the strict lineTh Pineas, Tudor Polemics, pp. 80-92, especially pp.85-6.Also see Pineas, “Thomas More’s Use of the Dialogue Form as aWeapon of Religious Controversy”, Studies in the Renaissance,7, 1960, pp. 193—206.‘ Ibid., p. 87. For More’s use of controlled repetitionand “digression” in his other works, see Louis L. Martz, “Moreas Author: The Virtues of Digression”, Moreana, vol. 16,1979, pp. 105—120.149of argument, transporting the reader to a less fraught andcontentious situation, they still manage to pursue the issuesat stake. Hence they serve a dual purpose of diffusingpotential confrontations between the dialogue’s characters,while at the same time bringing the reader round to theauthor’s point of view by a humorous rather than aconfrontational route.Brendan Bradshaw has offered one of the most detailedmodern accounts of the structure of the Dialogue, claimingthat it operates on three different levels. Firstly it is adefence of the Ecclesia Anglicana against the Reformers’claims of abuses and corruption. Secondly, it is atheological apology, a defence of Catholic tradition in thelight of the Lutheran appeal to sola Scriptura. And thirdly,More accommodated his defence to the demands of “the reform-minded young men who frequented the English universities”.’6Hence More adopted the “humanist” dialogue form and alsoincorporated the immediate concerns of this group regardingthe execution of the reformer Thomas Bilney and thesuppression of William Tyndale’s translation of the NewTestament into the vernacular. Bradshaw argues that Moretherefore pursued a necessary format to accomodate these threelevels. He intended to defend the actions of the English‘ Walter M. Gordon, “The Argument of Comedy in ThomasMore’s Dialogue Concerning Heresies”, Renaissance andReformation, 16—17, 1980—81, pp. 13—32.16 Bradshaw, “The Controversial Sir Thomas More”, p. 550.150Church regarding Bilney and Tyndale not as isolated issues butin the light of Catholic tradition. Consequently he first hadto divert attention away from those two issues, back to therealm of doctrine. This he did in Book I in which he arguedthat rather than using the sola Scriptura of the Lutherans tojudge the Church, the faith of the Church itself had been andalways should be the basis for examining and expoundingScripture. Book II was then devoted to the consequent issue:how do we know Christ’s true Church, given Luther’s denialthat the institutional Catholic Church was the true Church?The whole content of Book II is devoted to this issue. BookIII could then be an argued defence of the Church’s actions inthe cases of Bilney and Tyndale on the basis of Catholictradition, and Book IV could expand from those specific issuesto the more general problem of dealing with Lutheran “heresy”via the traditional methods available.7 On the basis of thisstructure, Bradshaw claims that the Dialogue exhibits“intellectual coherence” and that “it is not necessary toexplore the structure of A Dialogue beyond this point”.8Like Bradshaw, Brian Gogan has detected a possibleunderlying order in the Dialogue. In his book The Common Corpsof Christendom: Ecclesiological Themes in the writings of SirThomas More, Gogan is interested exclusively in More’s thoughtconcerning the nature and formulation of “the Church”, its17 Ibid., pp. 550—52.lB Ibid., p. 552.151relation to Scripture, revelation and faith.’9 Hence, while heoutlines “a certain logical order which may have beenintentional”, he offers little explanation for the dialogueform suggesting only that it is indicative of More’s “popular”approach in this particular work.2° Because Gogan devoteslittle attention to the dialogue form, he fails to make anydistinction between Thomas More, the author of the entirework, and the fictional representation of More as one of thetwo characters in the dialogue. As we shall see, to assumethat More himself and the fictional character of “Author” areone and the same is to miss much of the subtle interplaybetween the two fictional characters in the work.Bradshaw and Gogan, in concentrating upon the underlyingstructure of the work, tend to minimize the intricacies of thedialogue form while others, most notably Thomas Lawler in hisintroduction to the Yale edition, despite devoting moreattention to the dialogue form, have still found only apolemical “maze”.2’ Although Bradshaw acknowledges thatLawler employed this expression “with the best of intentions”,he still contrasts his demonstrated coherence with the implied‘ Brian Gogan, The Commom Corps of Christendom.Ecclesiological Themes in the writings of Sir Thomas More,(Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1982).° Ibid., pp. 133 & 136.‘ For Lawler’s use of the “maze” metaphor see DialogueConcerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:11, pp. 442-3.152incoherence of Lawler’s maze metaphor.22 This is, I think, aninjustice to Lawler. Bradshaw completely ignores theexplanation Lawler offers for his metaphor. Basing hisargument on some of More’s own definitions of heresy givenwithin the text of the Dialogue, that heresy is a “syde way”or a “faccyous way” from the common faith and belief, Lawlerdevelops these definitions to describe heresy as a digressionor diversion from the common way. One digression in faithleads to another, one issue leads to another in a “tangled butunbroken thread”, and hence for Lawler “the structure of theDialogue is the course of heresy itself, one digression orbypath leading to another, farther and farther from the commonway”.23 This explanation of the Dialogue is attempting to finda reason for the meandering, discursive, even rambling natureof the text, by claiming that it resembles the course ofheresy itself. While we may agree with Bradshaw’s underlyingstructure which explains the sequence of the books themselves,Bradshaw has offered no explanation for the ramblingdigressions within the books other than the obvious, that thework is a dialogue, not a work of scholastic logical argument.Lawler, on the other hand, is suggesting there is more to thedigressions than this; the course of the dialogue is thecourse of heresy itself.Bradshaw, “The Controversial Sir Thomas More”, p. 550,n. 49.More, Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:11, p.443.153Unfortunately, Lawler does not expand upon thissuggestion, leaving us with just More’s two definitions ofheresy as a “syde way” and a “faccyous way” to support hisclaim. He does not show us how the heretical mind isrepresented in the meandering of the text. More importantly,he does not explain why More decided to represent heresy tohis readers in this form. Hence we are obliged to some extentto agree with the criticisms of Pineas who, in writing a veryfavourable review of the Yale edition of the Dialogue, voicedjust one qualification which concerned Lawler’s essay:The very slight qualification is unfortunatelynecessary in that Lawler’s essay dealing with More’sview of heresy in the Dialogue is tendentious, whiledemonstrating insufficient familiarity with thenature and techniques of religious polemics, as wellas the tenets of literary criticism.What then may we conclude concerning these analyses ofthe Dialogue? Bradshaw offers an underlying structure, butdoes not probe the issue of the meanderings within the textbeyond a superficial dismissal that they are dictated byMore’s audience, while Lawler offers a rather ill-substantiated explanation for the meanderings, but fails todemonstrate coherence of structure. Consequently one feels inboth cases that the analysis is less than complete. And thesame may be said of one last study I would like to look at. Inhis work Incomplete Fictions, the Formation of EnglishRenaissance Dialogue, K.J. Wilson offers an interestingoverview of the development of English dialogue through thePineas, “Review Article”, p. 618.154Renaissance period and sees More’s two major dialogues, theDialogue Concerning Heresies and the Dialogue of Comfort askey examples of the evolution of dialogue at this time. Withinhis analysis Wilson draws attention to a feature of theDialogue Concerning Heresies which has not been commented uponso far. He writes:Frequent repetition, with minute variation,* of theMessenger’s questions together with patientrecapitulation of the argument in the Councillor’sresponses reveals More’s effort to accommodate hisdialogue to a diverse, troubled, and confusedaudience.25Wilson has pointed out, where others have not, that theDialogue’s repetitions are not simple restatements. He isoffering the same standard explanation for the repetitions,that they are for the benefit of More’s lay audience, but hedoes acknowledge that the content of the repetitions varies alittle. If this is the case, then perhaps they are notrepetitions in the strict sense of the word at all? Perhapsthey should be examined more carefully to see what importancemay be attached to the variations. Hence, with the remarks andcriticisms of these current analyses in mind, it is time toturn to the text of the Dialogue. We will examine what itreveals about More’s understanding of the concept of heresyitself, and about his views concerning the judgement ofintentions.K. J. Wilson, Incomplete Fictions: The Formation ofEnglish Renaissance Dialogue, (Washington, D. C.: The CatholicUniversity of America Press, 1985), p. 147.155In studying the structure of the Dialogue ConcerningHeresies there are two “levels” at which the text may beapproached. The dialogue of the work comprises an exchangebetween a character whom we shall call “Author”, a characterwho to all intents and purposes is a fictional representationof More himself, and a character whom we shall call“Messenger”. Messenger is the servant of a friend of “Author”who has been sent to discuss certain issues with Author andthen report back to his Master. The first “level” at which thetext may be studied is to examine what “Author” himself tellsus about the structure of the Dialogue when explaining why hewrote the book, and the second “level” is what we ourselvescan ascertain from the structure of the work. More went tosome lengths to introduce the reader to the Dialogue, and infact the Preface and chapter 1 are entirely devoted toestablishing the fictional cause, circumstances and format ofthe book. Hence, it is these chapters that I intend to studyfirst of all. It is my contention that while these pages doindeed recount a fictional process or structure according towhich the book was written, they also present the reader withsome of the complexities and problems that are the book’ssubject matter. They offer an introductory “musing” upon thenature of, and the relationship between, two problems whichbeset the Christian mind, doubt and heresy. The reader istaken through a process in order that he may reflect upon whatit means to “doubt”, upon the relationship between doubt and156heresy, and certain difficulties that are inherent in theconcept of heresy itself.We commence, according to the text, with the exactopposite of doubt, namely certainty. A friend of Author senthis “secrete sure* frende . . . with certayne* credence” todiscuss and converse with Author.6 Hence we are “certain”about Messenger. The matters to be discussed are “many suchematers / as beynge in dede very certayne and owt of doute*”(21/9-10). Hence the issues under discussion should have beencertain, but, with no explanations offered, we are told thatthese issues have been “of late by lewde people put inquestyon” (21/10-il). Thus, subject matter which should havebeen certain has been doubted. A certain situation and acertain relationship have been intruded upon by doubt and itsrepercussions are soon evident. Author and Messenger discussthe matters in question and Messenger goes on his way. But farfrom resolving the situation, we find that Author, whoinitially felt satisfied with the discussion, soon succumbs todoubt, not about the topics discussed which was where thedoubt originally lay, but about Messenger himself. Author“mystrustyd not his [Messenger’s] good wyll / and very welltrusted his wytte” but he thought he “had not well done . .to truste his onely memory” in reporting so complicated adiscussion (21/22-27). Author therefore thought he shouldMore, Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:1, p.21/8. Since the remainder of this chapter comprises a closetextual analysis of parts of the Dialogue, citations to itwill remain embedded in the text.157commit it all to writing. Author is at great pains to let thereader know that it is not in his nature to doubt, and yet inno time at all we find doubt has spread from concern aboutMessenger’s memory to prudent concern about Messenger’scharacter and intentions:thoughe I nothynge suspecte the messenger / as ingood fayth I do not / and to saye the treuth / am ofmy selfe so lytell mystrustynge / y he were lykevery playnly to shew hymselfe nought / whom I sholdetake for bad: yet syth no man can loke into anothersbreste / as it is therfore well done to deme thebeste / so were it not moche amysse in suche wyse toprouyde for the worste / as (yf a man happe to beworse than we take hym for) our good opynyon turnevs to none harme. [21/30-22/6]Author continues that he therefore wrote down the exchangebetween Messenger and himself to send to his friend just incase Messenger had “for any synyster fauour borne towarde ywronge syde purposely mangled the mater” (22/9-10). Here wehave a transition. Messenger has gone from being “certain” tohaving only his memory doubted, to having a precautionaryquestion-mark raised about his intentions, to being creditedwith possible sinister favour towards the Lutherans. This is adramatic transition in the situation and it draws ourattention to one vital characteristic of doubt. Doubt isinsidious and it breeds upon itself. It does not remainstatic, but spreads, reaching from one person to another andfrom one issue to another.Author resolves to dispell his doubt by writing down andsending the text of the discussion between himself andMessenger to his friend. He thought he could thereby set his158mind at rest. But doubt cannot be dispelled. The copies of histext could be corrupted by the Lutherans. Hence Author isdriven to a third resort. He will publish his own version ofthe discussion to preempt a corrupted Lutheran version. Herewe have the ‘justification” for the published text as we seeit and the reader might presume that doubt would be dispelledby this positive action.However, it is not! In Chapter I we find the “Letter ofCredence” which Messenger had brought when he first visitedAuthor. In the letter Author’s friend writes about Messenger’scharacter, recommending him to Author. Messenger is describedas so reliable that whatever is said to him, Author mustconsider it said directly to his friend. In other words,Messenger is described as totally trustworthy, as a faultlessconveyer of information “Not onely for his trouthe andsecretnesse / but also for his memory*” (25/25-6). HenceAuthor’s doubts about Messenger’s memory expressed in thePreface are thrown into sharp relief against this specificrecommendation of Messenger’s memory that Author received atthe outset. Before reading this letter the reader could thinkthat Author’s doubt about Messenger’s memory was a wiseprecaution, but now, given these specific reassurances, thereader is left wondering. Either the reader must conclude thatAuthor doubts his friend’s testimony concerning Messenger’smemory, or he must question whether Author doubts his friendper Se, because he questions Messenger’s integrity despite hisfriend’ s reassurances.159To confound confusion, next in the text is the letterAuthor wrote to his friend when the manuscript was delivered.We must remember that, according to the fiction created inthese first Chapters, this letter was written after the textwas written down, but before Author’s version of the book waspublished: in other words, it was written before the Preface.In this letter we find Author writing to his friend explainingwhy he needed to write down his discussion with Messengerrather than relying on the oral report Messenger had given tohis friend. Author begins by reiterating the friend’s claimsabout Messenger’s trustworthiness, and he also reiterates thetrust that he [Author] consequently places in Messenger,despite the fact that we, the readers, know that he no longertrusts Messenger at all:(. . . for the confydence y ye haue in hym / thewyt & lernynge that I founde in hym / and honestythat I so moche y more thynke hym to be of / inthat I perceyue you beyng of suche wysedome andvertue / to haue hym in so specyall trust) I neytherdo nor can byleue the contrary but that he hath ofall our communycacyon made you faythfully / playnand full reporte . . . . [26/13-19]The reader already knows from the Preface that the Author haddoubts about Messenger’s integrity, and yet here we find himrepeating platitudes of confidence and trust in Messenger. Isthe reader now to doubt the intentions of Author? The readernow suffers from doubt and has been drawn into a doubtingsituation just as the characters in the text have been.7 InRegarding the reader’s involvement in the controversy,see Eiléan nI Chuilleanáin, “The Debate Between Thomas Moreand William Tyndale, 1528-33: Ideas on Literature and160addition, the point is being made that written testimony isnot necessarily any more “truthful” or “reliable” than verbal.The simple process of writing cannot remove doubt. And ourdoubts about Author continue as we read his letter. He nowtells his friend that it is better to be able to read and reread such complex matters at one’s leisure rather than onlyhearing them once, suddenly, by word of mouth (26/22-27). Hemakes no mention of his own doubts about Messenger, or of hissuspicions concerning Messenger’s memory or his possiblesinister favour towards the Lutherans. The reader is left tomuse over the incomplete nature of this justification, but thediscrepancy between these comments and those in the Prefaceputs the reader on his guard about two things: first, we mustquestion Author’s statements with increased care, and second,we must not take written testimony as proof of truthfulness.Author, it seems, is quite capable of offering platitudes tohis friend to cover up his real mistrust of Messenger. If thisis the case then there must be a devastating irony in Author’scomments a few lines further on:Religion”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 39, no. 3,July 1988, p. 411, where he remarks that in theircontroversies both More and Tyndale “set out to involve thereader”.161And surely syr in this poynt / ye may make yourself e sure / that I shall neuer wyllyngly deceyueyour trust. And lest I myght hap to do it of ouersyght vnware . . . yet for as moche as I perceyuedby hym [Messenger] that some folke dowted / lestmany thynges were layd to the charge / not onely ofthat man [Thomas Bilney]28 ye wrote of / but also ofLuther hym selfe / otherwyse than coude be proued /I dyd so moche therm that I was suffred to se andshewe hym as well the bokys of the tone / as thevery actys of the court concernynge the other / thatwe myght bothe by so moche / the more surelywarraunt you the trouth. [27/1-111The process of doubt has just led the reader to questionAuthor’s integrity and to question the value of the writtenword in proving truth or falsehood, and here we find Authorpleading for credence on both these fronts!After this letter, the textresumes in a state ofconfusion. The reader is told one thing, then he is told thecontrary: doubt reigns supreme. For example the reader is toldagain that Messenger was sent to Author not because the friendhad any doubts about the matters in question but because thefriend saw others “doubting” and wanted to have answers forthem. Yet in the very next line Messenger reports that “somethynges . . . were also there so talked / that [the friend]wyst not well . . . whiche part [he] myght byleue” (27/33-28/1). The reader is left in a state of complete uncertaintyregarding whether the friend was “in doubt” or not. Thus, wemay conclude that this introduction to the text hasdemonstrated the nature and process of doubt, its insidiousgrowth and its effect on everyone who comes into contact withit.On Thomas Bilney, see below, pp. 169-170.162Next follows a transition in the text since the focusshifts from ‘doubt” to “heresy”. Heresy has been conspicuouslyabsent from the text to this point but is now introduced in astriking manner. As we shall see, the fundamental distinctionwhich is immediately made between doubt and heresy is one of“intentionality”. The issue is introduced as follows. Whendiscussing Tyndale’s New Testament translation Messengerreports that some say that it was burned partly to keep allknowledge of Christ’s gospel and God’s law from the people,except such parts as the clergy deign to impart now and then.According to Messenger, some say the clergy threaten “men withfyer as heretyques who so sholde presume to kepe [Englishtranslations of the Bible} / as though it were heresye for acrysten man to rede crystys gospell” (29/14-16). Thus, theintroduction of the concept of heresy is not a rebuttal ofsome key Protestant theological formula, but rather itcomprises an indignant exclamation. Surely, it cannot beheresy for a Christian man to read Christ’s gospel! And yet,in the passages which follow, Messenger demonstrates that thiscan indeed be heresy if the reader reads with misguidedintentionality. Some say, he reports, that if any text isapproached with the wrong frame of mind, it may be consideredheretical. If the text is misconstrued, misquoted or quotedout of context then even St. Paul may be charged with heresy,and St. John’s gospel may be found wanting (30/3-9). Thereader is informed that not everything a “heretic” says willbe untrue. After all, heretics are by definition “Christians”.163They have been baptized into the Church and exposed to thefaith of Christ. They are not pagans or infidels:Thoughe Luther were a deuyll / yet myght a manpercase say as he sayth in some thyng / & say treweynough. For neuer was there heretyque / that saydall false. Nor y deuyll hym selfe lyed not / whenhe called Cryst goddes sonne. [30/17-20]Thus Messenger’s account demonstrates two things:firstly, the acute difficulty involved in distinguishing“Christians” from “heretics” and therefore the difficulty of“judging” heresy; and secondly, Messenger shows thatintentionality is the key ingredient in making suchjudgements. Intentionality lies at the heart of heresy itself.Hence, it might indeed be heresy for a “crysten man to redecrystys gospell” if he were to do so with the wrongintentions. And the text continues to raise questions ofintentionality in the lines that follow but from a differentangle. Messenger reports that some people question whether itis right that those who have no intention of being heretical(namely poor, simple and unlearned men) should be charged withheresy and punished accordingly, even though they werefollowing the teachings of those they considered to bevirtuous learned men?These questions and queries about the nature of heresyand the intentionality of the heretic culminate in a passagewhere the complexity of the relationship between doubt andheresy is highlighted. The two concepts are juxtaposed inorder to point out the difficulties involved indifferentiating between them. We are shown that there is164immense complexity at the heart of the concept of heresy. In afascinating passage which brings together doubt and certainty,heresy and orthodoxy, Messenger claims that both he and hismaster are certainly not heretics. All the false doctrineswhich he is obliged to enunciate for the sake of hisdiscussion with Author are to be taken “as they were in dede /the mynde of other / whome ye wolde fayne answere / andsatysfye with reason . . .“ (32/27-29). They are not the mindor opinion of him or his master, “whiche dyd and wolde in allthynge stande and abyde / by the fayth and byleue of Crystescatholyke chyrche”. Hence, according to Messenger’sdefinition, because they maintain faith and belief he and hismaster are not heretics. Messenger is obliged to repeat“heresies” for the sake of the discussion with Author, butbecause he lacks heretical intention he claims he is not aheretic. However, most uncharacteristically Messengercontinues that he speaks for himself, not for others when heexpresses doubt about the judgements of this world, thejudgements of “some spyrytuall persons / in the pursuyng &condempnyng men for heretyques / or theyr workes forheresyes”. Messenger juxtaposes “reasonable doubt” on one handwith “heresy” on the other, claiming that the former is fullyjustified while the latter, of course, is not:165he thought he sayd (as of hymselfe) y men myghtwithout any parell of heresy* / for theyr owne parte/ notwithstandyng any mannes iudgement gyuen / yetwell and reasonably doubte* therm / For though hethought it heresy* / to thynke the oppynyons. of anyman to be good and catholyque / whiche ben heresyes*in dede / yet myght a man he thought without anypareil of heresy */ doubte* whyther he were anheretyke* or no / that were by mannes iudgementcondempned for one. . . . [32/36-33/6]Thus Messenger attempts to draw a distinction between themechanism by which a belief is known to be heretical and themechanism by which a man is declared a heretic. He claims toaccept the authority of “the Church” regarding “belief”, butto “doubt” the authority of “churchmen” regarding theorthodoxy of “believers”. In other words, Messenger acceptsrequired theological formulas but rejects the ability of mento judge others on these matters. In this way judgement itselfbecomes the central issue. As the arguments of Author willattempt to show, such distinctions between “belief” and“believers”, between the “Church” and “Churchmen” cannot bemaintained. If Churchmen are doubted, then so too is theChurch; the two cannot be separated without destroying thewhole. Author makes the same argument concerning “doubt” aboutChurch practices, rituals, theology and so on. If one aspectis doubted, then inevitably so are others. Doubt will spread,just as we witnessed it spreading from one person to another,one topic to another in the Preface and first part of ChapterI. Doubt then is not only destructive, it is a possibleforerunner of heresy. He who doubts runs the serious risk ofslipping into error, into a “syde way” or a “faccyous way” andconsequently into heresy. And yet, while the close166relationship between the two is illustrated, doubt and heresyare by no means synonymous in this passage. Both Messenger andAuthor accept that they are distinct concepts, but thedifficulty is to distinguish one from the other, establishinghow a “heretic” may be distinguished from one who only“doubts” or is “in error”.The difficulty inherent in this differentiation isemphasized and pursued in the following passage as well.Immediately after Messenger has expressed this “doubt” on hisown behalf, rather than on behalf of others, he offers us aself—description which is a perfect profile of an earlyLutheran. In response to an enquiry from Author about thenature of the aquaintance between Messenger and his Master,Messenger replies that he tutors his Master’s sons; he studiesLatin, denouncing other subjects such as Logic, Music,Arithmetic, Goemetry, Astronomy, and Philosophy since man’sreason gives “rather . . . blyndnesse than any lyght” (33/20-33). The only light for man is holy Scripture, and even itshould be approached from the text itself, not wasting anytime on glosses. God, he claims, will assist the faithfultowards interpreting the Bible, and Messenger supports hisclaim by citing two biblical passages (33/21-34/23). ClearlyMessenger rejects human reason, rejects human learning,follows the Lutheran tenet of sola Script ura and relies onbiblical texts to prove his point. Messenger has provided aself-description which makes him appear to be a Lutheran and aheretic. And yet Messenger has claimed that he is not a167heretic, preferring instead to consider that he only “doubtsreasonably”. The obvious question being raised, then, is canone be distinguished from the other, and if so how? Tohighlight this difficulty in differentiation, Author respondsto Messenger’s self-description by questioning whetherMessenger is indeed a Lutheran. Author has a good opinion ofMessenger but is “in doubte whether he [Messenger] were .fallen in to luthers secte” (34/28-30). If he appears to be aheretic, but claims that he is not, how can this situation bejudged? Author, then, is responding to the danger ofMessenger’s doubt. Doubt and heresy are not synonymous, butthey are related, and yet for the sake of judgement they mustbe distinguished. These problems are central to the work whichfollows.So much then for the introductory chapters in whichAuthor tells us about the structure of the work, and in whichMore introduces us to the problems surrounding two relatedconcepts, doubt and heresy. We must turn now to the secondtopic of interest concerning the structure of the Dialogue,and that is what we as readers can ascertain from thestructure of the work as a whole. The point to which I wish toreturn is to K.J. Wilson’s comment concerning the repetitionswithin the Dialogue. Wilson remarked in passing that therepetitions of Messenger’s questions contained “minutevariation” and it is my contention that these variations areworthy of closer scrutiny. Perhaps within these variations wemay unravel some of the complexities surrounding doubt and168heresy, and the necessary distinction between the two. Hencewe may reach a clearer understanding of the structure of thework itself.Messenger and Author reconvene the following day todiscuss the matters which Messenger had laid out the daybefore. And straight away Author, warning the reader of whatis to come, draws attention to the complexity of the issues atstake, and to his strategy in dealing with them:then I shewed vnto hym / that where he had purposedin short wordys / many longe thyngys / wherofthe rehersall were losse of tyme* / to hym y sowell knewe them all redy / I wolde (all superfluousrecapytulacyon set aparte)* as bryefly as Iconuenyently coude shewe hym my mynde in them all.[35/24—29]In this passage there is a two pronged warning aboutrepetitions. First of all, Author insists that whererepetition is unnecessary he will not indulge in it;consequently he does not repeat the list of matters to bediscussed. Secondly Author claims that he will avoid all“superfluous recapytulacyon”. The warning is loud and clear:Author will not be repetitious for repetition’s sake! Theseremarks of Author’s stand in marked contrast to the“repetition” which modern scholars have frequently remarkedupon. If Author firmly denounces “repetition”, and yet modernreaders claim that the work is riddled with “repetitions”,then these “repetitions” themselves certainly merit closerexamination. Is the work indeed repetitious despite Author’sclaims to the contrary, or have modern readers failed toappreciate some subtleties, some nuances or perhaps some169underlying function within these seeming restatements? One wayto unravel this problem is to follow one or two specificissues through the course of the text. If close attention ispaid to how a certain issue arises, how it is treated,analysed and resolved then a clearer understanding may beobtained of how and why such “repetitions” arise.The first issue which I intend to examine in this manneris the worship of images. I have singled out this issuebecause the discussion of images does at times seemrepetitious. In addition, as I hope to show, the discussion isnot only a confrontation between the orthodox and theheretical positions regarding images; it is also a carefullystructured confrontation designed to illustrate one keyingredient of heresy which distinguishes it from doubt, namelythe destructive and malicious intentionality of the heretic.How does this topic first arise within the Dialogue?Immediately following his denunciation of repetitions, Authorannounces the order in which he plans to deal with the issuesMessenger has raised. Author will “begyn where he [Messenger]bygan at the abiuracyon of the man he spake of” (35/29-30).The man in question was Thomas Bilney who had been forced torecant his heresy and carry a faggot (the usual punishment fora first offence of heresy) at Paul’s Cross on December 81527. However, Bilney relapsed into heresy: in 1531 he wastried again and on August l9 1531 he was burned at the170stake.29 Author rehearses the list of heresies with whichBilney had been charged:that we sholde do no worshyp to any ymages / norpray to any sayntes / or go on pyigrymagys / whichethyngys I suppose [Author adds] euery good crystenman wyll agre for heresyes. [37/17-20]However, this assertion is immediately challenged byMessenger. Some, he says, would not agree that these beliefsare heretical. Therefore some explanation of why such beliefsare heretical should be forthcoming. At first Author declinesto become involved in such an explanation:who so euer wyll say that these be no heresyes / heshall not haue me to dyspute it / whiche haue noconnynge in suche matters / but as it best becometha lay man to do in all thyngys / lene and cleue tothe comen fayth / and byleue of crystys chyrche.[37/30—341Thus, Author establishes immediately both the Church’s supremeauthority over such issues and his own consequent lack ofauthority as a mere layman. On the basis of the beliefs ofChrist’s Church, Author continues he is able to “know* it foran heresye / yf [he continues] an heresy be a secte and a sydeway (taken by any parte of suche as ben baptysed / and berethe name of crysten men) from the comen fayth and byleue ofthe hole chyrche besyde” (37/35-38/2). Here, then, is thedefinition of heresy used by Lawler and it is important tonotice that this definition is the only qualification placedupon Author’s knowledge or certainty that the charges broughtagainst Bilney were heretical. The point being made here isSee Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:11, p.603: 27/6.171that given this definition of heresy and given the commonfaith of Christendom since the time of the early Church, thenipso facto Bilney’s beliefs must be heresies. Consequentlythere is no subject for discussion and Author cannot and willnot debate this issue. However, Author is prepared to refutethe defences which are put forward in support of theseheretical beliefs, and it is to these defences that he nowturns his attention. The exchanges which follow display allthe so called “meanderings” and “repetitions” on which modernscholars have commented. Consequently the numerous threadsmust be followed carefully and systematically in the hope ofrevealing the structure and purposes behind them.The first issue which Author raises is the heretics’ useof biblical texts. Certain texts had been employed time andagain to argue that the Bible forbade the worship of images.Author refutes the heretical interpretations of these texts byrelying upon the Church Fathers’ interpretations of them.Thus, for example, although the heretics cited the OldTestament commandment forbidding “graven images”, Authorresponds that firstly, this commandment did not forbid the useof all images since the priests of the temple still had imagesof cherubim in the temple’s “secret place”, and secondly “thewordes spoken in the olde lawe to the iewys people prone toydolatry . . . sholde haue no place to forbyd ymages amongehis [Christ’s] crysten flocke / where his pleasure wolde be tohaue y ymage of his blessyd body hangyng on his holycrosse . . .“ (38/30-35). Next, Author supports these claims172by citing examples (mostly from the lives of Saints) where Godor Christ condoned the use of images. Lastly, Author uses anargument concerning the nature of language itself to emphasizenot only the validity of images, but also the impossibility ofworship without them. If, he argues, heretics allow that thename of Jesus should be venerated, then they must allow thathis image should be too:fayne wolde I wytte of these heretyques / yf theygyue honour to y name of our lorde / whiche name isbut an ymage representynge his person to mannesmynde and ymagynacyon / why and with what reason canthey dyspyse a fygure of hym carued or paynted /whiche representeth hym and his actes / farre moreplayne and more expressely. [39/35-40/5]Thus, Author has offered a three-pronged refutation of theheretics, using the authority of the Church Fathers, examplesfrom the lives of Saints, and an argument concerning thenature of language.However, Messenger’s response does not answer thesepoints systematically. Instead, he focuses only on the lastissue concerning words and images. Messenger cites a book, TheImage of Love, which he claims answers this argument ofAuthor’s. This was a work by one John Ryckes, first publishedanonymously in October 1525. The book was banned almostimmediately upon publication because of its hereticalnature.3°The first point to notice about Messenger’s use ofthis text is that despite its heretical content, Messengerattributes its author with certain admirable traits. TheSee Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:11,Appendix A, pp. 729-59, especially pp. 734-35.173author (whom we will call “Ryckes” from now on, even thoughthe text does not do so since confusion must be avoided withthe textual character of “Author”) is described by Messengeras a “very vertuous man contemplatyue & well lerned” (40/10).Thus Messenger introduces the issue of character, motivationand intentionality to the discussion. This will be picked uplater by Author. Next Messenger recites Ryckes’s argument thatthe use of images cannot be justified by their analogy withwords. Ryckes, Messenger claimssheweth full well that ymages be but lay mennesbokes / and therfore that relygyous men and folke ofmore parfyte lyfe / and more instructe in spyrytuallwysdome / sholde let all such dede ymages passe / &labour onely for the lyuely quycke ymage of loue andcharyte. [40/15-20]Thus, the truly religious should move towards the morespiritual worship and should reject all base, carnal imagery.Lastly, Messenger cites another argument from The Image ofLove which, to the unsuspecting reader, (or listener inAuthor’s case) seems to relate to this same issue. He claimsthat Ryckes speaks out boldly against the wealth wasted oncostly ornamentation in the Church. Such lavish decoration andornamentation would never have been condoned in the earlyChurch: “in theyr tyme they had trene chalyces and goldenprestes / and nowe haue we golden chalyces and trene prestes”(40/25-27). Both the reader and Author find nothing amiss withthis argument because of the obvious association betweenimages and ornamentation. We assume that this is anotherargument against images because wealth must be spent on174creating images as much as on ornamentation. In fact, however,Messenger has introduced a “red herring” into the discussionand it is only later that we are made to realize our error.For the time being, however, Author responds toMessenger, and once again he does not respond to all thepoints Messenger has made in systematic order. Instead, hedrops the original issue of the analogy between words andimages and picks up on the two new issues introduced byMessenger of “intentionality” and “ornamentation”. It isinteresting that even though Messenger had only made passingreference to the “virtue” of Ryckes, Author provides adetailed comment about intentionality in response:And verely of his [Ryckes’s] entente and purpose Iwyll not moche medle. For a ryght good man mayehappe at a tyme in a feruent vndyscrete / to sayesome thyng and wryte it to / whiche when heconsydereth after more aduysedly / he wolde be veryfayne to chaunge / but this dare I be bolde to say /that his wordes go somwhat further then he is ableto defende. [40/33-39]Here then, as in the Preface and Chapter I, attention is beingdrawn to the issue of intentionality. Author is adamant thatwe may not deduce intention either from outward appearancessuch as “virtue of living” or from just one spoken comment orwritten argument. He allows for error and will not condemn onthe basis of one misguided statement. Author then turns hisattention to the ornamentation of the Church, treating it asif it were indeed related to the issue of images. In hisresponse we see one fundamental tactic which is employed timeand again: he pounces on the pithy, catchy saying about175“trene” priests and golden chalices with which Messenger hadconcluded his comments and he takes the saying apart item byitem arguing that its contents are demonstrably untrue. It isperhaps here, in More’s treatment of these catch phrases, withtheir obvious popular appeal and yet their devastatingimplications for the well-being of the Church, that we seemost clearly his awareness of his broad lay audience. Time andagain he takes these sayings and works through them, showingtheir weaknesses, and concludes by turning them back onMessenger.3’Here Author’s attack is threefold: firstly,ornaments in the early Church probably were lavish, not woodenas Messenger has claimed; secondly, God has indicated hispleasure at being served with the best that man has, witnesshis approval of the lavish Ark of the Covenant and Solomon’sTemple; and thirdly, Messenger’s contemporaries would notapprove of wooden chalices. They would consider them dirty andimproper for the consecration of Christ’s blood. Author thenturns the saying back on Messenger showing that thecomparisons are inadequate and that Messenger had used a falsestatement simply for effect:31 See Dialogue Concerning Heresies, CW, vol. 6:11,Appendix A, pp. 758-9 concerning the source of this particularcatchphrase in Gratian’s Decretum.176But y worde I wene he set in for y pleasure thathe had in that proper comparyson bytwene trenechalyces and golden prestes of olde / and nowegolden chalyces and trene prestes. But of trouth Ithynke he sayth not trouth / that the chalyces weremade of trene when the prestes were made of golde /and shall fynde that then were of olde tyme many mochalyces made of golde / then he fyndeth noweprestes made of tre. [41/23-29]Once again, it should not surprise us to find thatMessenger does not respond to all these arguments of Author.He sidesteps the issue of intentionality, ignores the attackon his analogy, and instead picks up on two passing examplesthat Author had given, those of the Ark of the Covenant and ofSolomon’s Temple which showed God’s approval of lavishornamentation. Using arguments from The Image of LoveMessenger explains away these two examples of lavishness asexceptions to the rule. When the Ark and Solomon’s Temple werebuilt there were no needy people who were being deprived bysuch lavishness. Author then demonstrates the logicalabsurdity of such a defence. Even though there were no pooramongst the Israelites at the time the Ark was built, theremust have been many later while the Ark still existed. Surely,then, God would have “commaunded . . to breke it agayne &gyue it them / rather then kepe it in the arche” (42/23-24).Likewise, Solomon may have been rich, but this is no proofthat his people were: “For so may it happe that the prynce maybe most ryche when his people be most pore / and y ryches ofthe one causynge the pouerty of the other . . .“ (43/8-11).Messenger’s response to these arguments is fascinating.In two different respects it may be classified as a177“repetition” of an earlier argument, and therefore the subjectmatter of his remarks seems familiar to the reader. And yet,in no sense is it a simple repetition. Messenger claims thatThe Image of Love has one final answer that resolves the wholeissue which must be quoted at length:all those thynges y were vsed in the olde lawe /were but groce & carnall / and were all as a shadoweof the lawe of Cryst /and thefore the worshyppyng ofgod with golde and syluer & suche other corporallthynges ought not to be vsed amonge crysten people /but leuyng all that shadowe / we sholde drawe vs tothe spyrytuall thynges / and serue our lorde onelyin spyryte and spyrytuall thynges. For so he saythhym selfe that god as hym seife is spyrytuall / soseketh he suche worshyppers as shall worshyppe hymin spyryte / & in trouthe / y is in fayth / hope /&charyte of harte / not in y ypocrysy & ostentacyonof outward obseruaunce / bodyly seruyce / gay andcostely ornamentes / fayre ymages / goodly songe /flesshly fastynge / & all y rable of suchevnsauoury ceremonyes / all whiche are now gone as ashadow. And our sauyoure hym selfe whose fayth isour iustyfycacyon / calleth vpon our soule / and ourgood faythfull mynde / and setteth all those carnallthynges at nought. [43/17-33]The first argument with which the reader is familiar isthe “old law” versus the “new law”. We have already seenAuthor claiming that this argument from the Church Fathersshould be used to refute heretical claims that the worship ofimages was forbidden by the Old Testament commandment “thoushalte carue the none ymage” (38/l4-l5). According toAuthor, the Church Fathers had argued that the old law spokento the Jews (a people prone to idolatry) should not beunderstood to forbid images amongst Christss flock, where theThis biblical text comes from Exodus 20:4. Themarginal note in the 1557 edition of the Dialogue ConcerningHeresies is inaccurate.178new law had superceded the old. Hence, in this instance theheretical argument was that the old law prohibited images andtherefore the old law should be obeyed. However, in thepassage just quoted the position has been reversed. Here theheretical argument is that the new law should supercede theold. The new law, according to the heretics, prohibits“ornamentation” and “fayre ymages”* and therefore the new lawshould be obeyed rather than the old. Upon close examinationof the heretical argument we can see that this turnabout inposition occurred because of the aforementioned “slip” inMessenger’s account from discussion of “images” to discussionof “ornamentation”.33 By introducing “ornamentation” as if itwas the same thing as “images” the two issues became fused,thus detracting attention from the inconsistency of theheretical argument. Thus, what seems at first like arepetition, on closer examination becomes a series ofcarefully masked inconsistencies in the heretical position. Itis important to notice that within the text of the Dialogueattention has not been drawn so far to the slip between“images” and “ornamentation”. The fact that we have moved fromimages, to ornamentation, to a fusion of both issues has beenmasked so that, to all intents and purposes, the discussion isstill proceeding under the unifying rubric of “images”. Thissupposed unifying rubric masks inconsistency concerningwhether obedience is, or is not, due to the old law. It isSee above, pp. 173-74.179only after this inconsistency has passed us by that Messengerfinally draws attention to the images/ornamentation slip as weshall soon see.However, first, we must look at the other argument in thepassage above which seems familiar to the reader, namely theadvocation of the spiritual over the carnal. Messenger haspreviously recounted this argument from Ryckes when hedenounced images as being “lay mennes bokes”. The argument wasthat religious men should let dead carnal images pass andshould move instead towards the lively quick image of love andcharity.3 The essence of the argument is identical to thepassage now being examined and hence the reader may well thinkit a “repetition”. And yet there is an important respect inwhich the second statement introduces an issue that was absentfrom the first formulation. The initial statement passed novalue judgement on those who worship images. The spiritualpath is obviously preferred, but no aspersions are castconcerning the character of those laymen who worshippedimages. However, in the second formulation those who abide bythe carnal law, condoning costly ornamentation and “fayreymages” are accused of hypocrisy and ostentation. Thecorruption implied in hypocritical outward observances is thencontrasted with the purity, the “good faythfull mynde” ofthose living the “new law” of truth and spiritual worship.See above, p. 173.180Thus the nagging question of intention is brought to the foreagain and it is immediately picked up by Author.In the last comment Author made concerning intention hereserved judgement on Ryckes, refusing to condemn his motiveson the basis of one written or spoken error.3s However here,in response to the attack on those who worship “carnally”,Author now issues a serious warning about the intentions ofthose who advocate exclusively “spiritual” worship. They aredoing so in defiance of accepted practices of worship anddevotion since worship began. Consequently, Author introducesthe possibility that rather than being the epitome of truth,their spiritual worship could be inspired by “some euyllspyryte”. Author shows how God has always accepted bodilyworship and how therefore its rejection is more likely a“deuyllysshe deuyce” than it is the high point of spiritualperfection. Thus the intentions and motivations of theheretics are brought into question by Author in response tothe aspersions cast by Messenger on the intentions of thosewho worship “carnally”. And rather than simple repetition ofthe argument concerning the spiritual and the carnal we find asignificant development in the discussion about intention.Having issued this warning about intentions, Authorattempts to return to the subject of images, assuming (as thereader has all along) that Messenger maintained no distinctionbetween images and ornaments. Consequently, Author beginsSee above, p. 174.181“Nowe as for y ymages which ye call one of y shadowes”(44/19-20). But straight away Messenger interupts. Now thathis purpose behind fusing the two issues has been accomplished(ie. the seeming coherence in the heretical argument has beenestablished where in reality there is none) Messenger pullsAuthor up short, pointing out the distinction between the twoissues, a distinction which previously he was only too happyto blur. Now Messenger claims that The Image of Lovedistinguishes between ornaments and images. Ornaments, outwardobservances and bodily ceremonies were classified as shadowsof the old law. Images, on the other hand were treatedseparately in the book. The Image of Love recommended thatimages should either be abandoned completely or yf we wyllnedes haue any / care not how symple it be made” (44/25-6).Thus images are now extracted as a separate issue from allthose with which it had previously been joined together.Messenger now quotes back to Author the argument that the oldlaw forbids images and therefore the old law should be obeyed,the argument first enunciated by Author when he recited theheretics’ objections against images. Here, then, is yetanother seeming “repetition” concerning the old and the newlaw - the reader has seen exactly this statement before and hehas seen the same biblical citations used to support it. But,once again, this cannot be called a simple repetition sincenot only has the voice changed from that of Author citingheretics to that of Messenger citing Author, but also theheretical position has shifted again concerning obedience to182the old law. Where ornaments had been concerned, the old lawwas discarded in favour of the new. Now, however, the old lawmust be obeyed once again because the old law prohibits theworship of images!Consequently, what at first appear to be “restatements”turn out to be a series of shifts and changes in the hereticalargument. This last volte-face by Messenger, now rejecting thefusing of issues which previously he had joined together, isthe final twist which brings forth a long and detailedresponse from Author. At first glance Author’s response mayseem repetitious in that it covers some topics for a secondtime, but at each stage we can detect significant changes andvital new ingredients in the formulations of his responses.The first issue he deals with is the Old Testament passagewhich Messenger has cited. Author begins his response with anexact restatement of an earlier response - the prohibition ofimages in the old law was not a complete prohibition for “theyhad in the temple the ymages of cherubyn” (see 38/32-3 & 45/1-4). However since this response clearly had not prevented therepeated use of this argument as a valid denunciation ofimages (witness Messenger’s own restatement of it) Author nowadds an additional explanation of why this biblical quotationdoes not support the heretics’ position. It is an incompletequotation and, Author argues, according to the full quotationonly pagan images and idols were prohibited, not “Christian”images. Author’s second line of argument is that while the OldTestament commandment did not completely prohibit images per183Se, it was intended to ensure that “no man shall worshyp anyymage as god”. There is an appropriate degree of reverence dueto an image which is not the same as the full worship due toGod alone:But I suppose neyther scrypture nor naturall reasondoth forbede that a man may do some reuerence to anymage / not fyxynge his fynall intente in the ymage/ but referrynge it further to the honour of theperson that the ymage representeth . . . [45/32-37]Author’s third line of argument is particularlyinteresting. It involves yet another restatement but it alsoinvolves a new tactic, one which is frequently repeated byAuthor through the course of the Dialogue. We may recall atthe outset of the discussion Messenger’s very first defence ofthe heretical position was to claim that images were “but laymennes bokes” and that as such they should be set aside asdead images, with the lively quick images of love and charitybeing preferred. Now Author goes right back to this initialpremise, extracted by Messenger from The Image of Love, andAuthor argues that even if this premise was granted, it stillwould not mean that images should be denounced per Se:For where they say y ymages be but lay mennes bokes/ they can not yet say nay but that they benecessary yf they were but so. [46/10-12]How then may we best summarize Author’s strategy in thisdiscussion to date? The tactic employed by Author is, first ofall, to refute an initial statement by Messenger and toproceed with a discussion and refutation of several of theissues raised by that initial statement. Author allowsMessenger to circle around a subject, dropping some issues,184bringing in some new threads, often making several shifting“restatements” of the heretical arguments. But then Authorsteps in and changes tactics, suggesting that even ifMessenger’s initial premise was granted rather than refuted,the heretical position could still be shown to be in error.Author then proceeds to build on this new premise, claiming inthis case that images are not only “lay mennes bookes”; rather“they be good bokes bothe for lay men and for the lerned to”(46/12-13). He defends images as being better than books,reiterating and expanding upon his previous analogy betweenwords and images.36 Now Author demonstrates in detail thedegree to which the visual image is a more direct, moreimmediate and therefore a more effective communicator of anidea than the written or spoken word. He concludes:And yet all these names spoken / and all thesewordes wrytten / be no naturall sygnes or ymages butonely made by consent and agrement of men / tobetoken and sygnyfye suche thynge / where as ymagespaynted / grauen / or carued / may be so wellwrought and so nere to the quycke and to y trouth /that they shall naturally / and moche moreeffectually represent the thynge then shall the nameeyther spoken or wrytten. [46/26-32]The better and more detailed the image, the more effectivelyit will convey its message, lust as a description well writtenwill be more effective than one poorly written. Once again, weare covering a topic with which the reader is already familiarand yet here Author makes substantial additions to hisprevious statements on this topic.See above, p. 172.185What, then, is the purpose behind this structure? Theanswer is related to the issue of intentionality. As we haveseen through the course of our analysis, there has been aclear development in Author’s remarks on intention as thediscussion has unfolded. He has progressed from refusing topass judgement on the intentions of Ryckes since, he argued,judgement of intentions could not be made on the basis of onewritten or spoken error. But, later he warned that thoseheretics who continued to advocate exclusively spiritualworship despite centuries of tradition condoning bodilyworship as well, must take care lest they be inspired by evil,not good. In other words, the heretics’ flagrant disregard forapproved doctrine or practices brought their motivation intoquestion. And yet Author was still cautious at this point inthe discussion and did not charge the heretics outright withbeing ill-intentioned. However, now, after Messenger’s volteface and manipulation of the argument by deliberately fusingand then later differentiating between “images” and“ornaments”, Author is prepared to make a bold pronouncementconcerning the behaviour and intentionality of heretics. Theyknow full well that visual images surpass the spoken orwritten word as a means of communication, he argues.Consequently,they speke not agaynst ymages for any futheraunce ofdeuocyon/ but playnly for a malycyous mynde / tomynysshe & quenche mennes deuocyons. For they sewell ynoughe that there is no man but yf he loueanother / but he delyteth in his ymage or any thyngof his.[47/19—24]186It is significant that on this note, a vehementcondemnation of the intentions of heretics, the first lengthydiscussion of images draws to a close. Author now moves on toother topics and the issue is abandoned for the time being.This is not because the topic is fully exhausted. We havenoticed on several occasions during our analysis that althoughmultiple possible lines of argument were raised by onedisputant, often they were set aside by the other whoextracted just one or two lines to follow. Consequently, it isnot surprising that there is further discussion of imageslater on in the text. We will see, for example, that Messengerreintroduces the topic during a protracted debate aboutmiracles. However, first we must draw some conclusions aboutthis initial discussion of images. It has become evident thatwhile the discussion may appear to meander or ramble, with theintroduction of side issues here, the dropping of other issuesthere, and the re-treading over familiar seeming ground, this“meandering” is not without a very definite and importantpurpose. It is following a set pattern to demonstrate thedevious nature of heresy itself and ultimately the maliciousintentionality of the confirmed heretic. Thus, we may wellagree with Lawler that “the structure of the Dialogue is thecourse of heresy itself, one digression or bypath leading toanother, farther and farther from the common way”. However, wecan now place this claim on a firmer foundation than a singleextract from the text defining heresy as a “sydeway”. We cansee that the “meanderings” themselves are illustrating the187distinction between simple doubt on the one hand, and heresywith its ill-intentioned manipulations of these “meanderings”on the other. It becomes clear that malicious intentionalityis what distinguishes heresy from reasonable doubt.Thus, within the first discussion of images we have seenthat the “repetitions” in the work serve a definite purpose,and we have also seen that the confrontation between theorthodox and the heretical positions on images is meant to domore than merely convince the reader of the verity of theorthodox position. It is intended to make the reader explorethe nature of heresy itself. Consequently we can see that theintroductory “fiction” which we studied where the nature ofheresy was questioned vis a vis doubt is followed up in thebody of the text by a demonstration of the distinction betweenthe two. Author’s initial caution in passing judgement when noevidence regarding intentionality was available (witness hisreluctance to judge Ryckes) gradually changes (when Authorwitnesses Messenger’s manipulations and deceptive trickery)into a willingness to label as heretics those who display this“malycyous mynde” and evil intentionality.However, as I suggested in the introduction to thischapter, More was not only concerned with intentionality. Healso pursued the problems of authority and judgement as weshall see from the next topic I intend to study, thediscussion of miracles in Book I of the Dialogue. Authorityand judgement were central to the concept of heresy for Moresince the Catholic Church was confronted with “heretics” who188not only denied their own malice, but also denied theauthority of the Catholic Church itself to judge theirbeliefs. By arguing that they themselves were the “true”Church, Protestants denied the authority of the CatholicChurch to condemn their beliefs as “heretical”. Thus, thewhole foundation upon which judgement could be made was injeopardy. Indeed, if this attack was tracked to its ultimatesource, the very foundations of human knowledge were beingquestioned. If Protestants claimed to “know” that certainbeliefs were “true” in open defiance of Catholic authoritieswhich claimed to “know” that those same beliefs were false,then the nature of “knowledge” itself lay at the heart of thedisagreement. Consequently, within the course of the Dialogueand in particular in the discussion of miracles, More exploredthe foundations of knowledge itself in order to refuteProtestant arguments, and ultimately to justify denouncingthem as heretical.And, from the first introduction of the topic ofmiracles, the way in which heresy attacks the foundations ofknowledge is clearly being demonstrated. If we examine howmiracles are introduced into the text this attack becomesclear. Miracles themselves are first mentioned as a secondaryproof that God condones the use of images and pilgrimages.Author had been attempting to prove that God condoned the useof images and pilgrimages. His principal argument todemonstrate God’s support was that the “consensus fidelium”,the common faith of Christendom approved of images and189pilgrimages and that therefore God must have planted thisdevotion in men’s hearts:And surely I [Author] byleue this deuocyon soplanted by goddes owne hand in the hertes of thehole chyrche / that is to wyt / not the clargyeonely / but the hole congregacyon of all crystenpeople / that yf the spyrytualtye were of the myndeto leue it / yet wolde not the temporaltye suffreit. [54/20—25]However, as a secondary support for pilgrimages, Author addsthat since God has performed many miracles in certain places,this is clear confirmation that God wishes to be worshippedmore especially in those places. Author therefore enquireswhether Messenger will accept that miracles “prove” God’sapproval of any matter that is under dispute. Messenger agreesthat he will and consequently Author proceeds to offer severalbiblical examples of miracles taking place at places whichlater became the focus of pilgrimages. However, on the basisof these examples, Messenger claims that miracles themselveshave now become “the force and effect of all the profe”. And,despite having just agreed that he would accept miracles asproof, Messenger now backtracks and insists that he will onlyaccept miracles if two conditions apply. First, he would needto see the miracles performed himself in order to believethem, and second, he would need assurance that the miracleswere performed by God or some Saint and not by an eviltrickster, or worse the devil. By this round about route,Messenger’s “conditions” become the centre of the debate. Inother words, the debate now revolves around what constitutes“reasonable” grounds for believing that something is true or190false. The very foundations of human knowledge and humanbelief are under attack, as we shall see. And yet, beforedebate of Messenger’s “conditions” ensues, Author draws thereader’s attention to one crucial feature of the discussion.The whole discussion of miracles is itself a “syde way” sinceAuthor reiterates that his primary proof that God condonesimages and pilgrimages had been the consensus fidelium (62/17-19). The reader is witnessing here the escalation of heresyand its pernicious nature. More makes it abundantly clear thatthe nature of heresy is not simply to challenge Churchdoctrine concerning isolated issues such as “images” or“prayer to Saints” or “pilgrimages”. Despite the heretics’claims to the contrary, the attack will ultimately focus on,and raise doubts about, Christian belief itself. It willundermine all knowledge if it goes unchecked.37More employs one additional technique to alert the readerto the scale of the attack on “knowledge”. The reader is madeaware of the scope of the attack by a protracted discrepancybetween the two interlocutors over what they mean byIt is not surprising, given the links More hasestablished between the nature of heresy and theintentionality of the heretic, that as soon as the reader’sattention is drawn to the fact that this is a detour in theargument and is, in fact, another “heresy”, the reader’sattention is immediately drawn again to the intentionality ofMessenger. Messenger denies that he impugned miracles; he wasonly repeating what “some other say” (62/25/33). Ah yes,apologizes Author, “here euer my tonge tryppeth” (63/13/14).Thus, with this pertinent reminder of the close relationshipbetween the nature of doubt, the nature of heresy and theintentionality of the heretic, the lengthy discussion ofmiracles begins.191“miracles”. The discrepancy is glaring to the reader and yetAuthor and Messenger fail to broach it for over twenty pagesof text. Throughout these pages whenever Author cites miracleshe refers to authoritative sources using biblical examples andbiblical authority, or relying on such revered authorities asSt. Augustine. Messenger, on the other hand questions theproof of miracles on a completely different basis, relying onhis own contemporary experience to question the validity ofthe miracles/trickery and chicanery occurring at localshrines.38 Effectively, by having his interlocutors ignorethis discrepancy for so long, More obliges the reader toquestion the validity of the distinction between these twotypes of miracle. Messenger’s initially tacit, and finallyvoiced, insistance upon the validity of distinguishing betweenhis own times and biblical times is consequently challengedand questioned not only by Author, but also by the reader.39By the failure of the two fictional characters to clarify thediscrepancy in their subject matter, More obliges the readerto become aware of the possible scale of an attack which notonly rejects contemporary “miracles”, but also rejects themiracles in the Bible and the early Church. Thus, More hasThe discrepancy lasts from the beginning of thediscussion of miracles on p. 55 till p. 77 where Messengertries to establish a distinction between biblical andcontemporary miracles.° More’s tactic of bringing the reader into the dialoguecan be seen by, for example, Messenger’s remark that neitherhe “nor [he supposes] no good man ellys*” would doubt God’sperformance of miracles. See Dialogue Concerning Heresies,CW, vol. 6:1, 77/8—9.192drawn the reader’s attention to the absolute centrality forChristians of the issues being raised. Messenger and Authorare not simply discussing whether or not themiracles/chicanery at the local shrine ought to be believed.Rather they are discussing belief itself; how and why, and onwhat foundation can man “believe” or “know” anything.How, then, does More pursue the heretical attack onknowledge inherent in Messenger’s two conditions? Messengerhad refused to believe “miracles” unless he actually saw themoccur himself, and unless he could be sure they were the workof God and not the devil. He had rejected the word of others,and had rejected all authority relying only on his ownassessment of his own experiences concerning whether or not a“miracle” occurred. Therefore, by demanding that his two“conditions” be met before he will believe miracles, Messengerhad questioned established criteria for belief.Author’s response to this attack is to argue that the“conditions” themselves are untenable and unreasonable. Suchcriteria for belief would make believing many mattersvirtually impossible. For example, he enquires how a judgecould pass judgement if he rejected the witness of others? Toemphasize how vital the acceptance of the word of others is,More uses an example which digs at the heart of man’sknowledge and understanding of himself. A man would even beunsure who his own parents were if he rejected all but his owneye witness (63/28-64/6). Such criteria are therefore“unreasonable”.193But Messenger’s response develops this very issue of therelationship between reason and belief. In fact, thediscussion rapidly becomes more complex as the topics of“reason and nature” and their relationship not only to beliefbut also to truth are introduced. Messenger objects thatAuthor’s examples of the judge believing witnesses andindividuals believing their parents are not at all similar tothe problem at hand of whether or not to believe in miracles.For in the former case “it is reason* that [Messenger] sholdebyleue honeste men in all suche thynges as may be trew*”,whereas in the latter case it “were . . . agaynst all reason*to byleue men / be they neuer so many / seme they neuer socredyble / where as reason and nature* (of whiche twayne eueryone ys alone more credyble then they all) sheweth [him]playnly yt theyr tale is vntrew*. . .“ (64/14-21). In thispassage Messenger is using “reason and nature” as thetouchstones by which he believes or disbelieves, accepts orrejects information as true or false. But, if we examine theformulation of this “reason and nature” we can see that theyare simply the sum of Messenger’s own cognitive world. Theyare exclusively the outcome of his own experience, and nomore. Hence, “reason and nature” are based on Messenger’s ownempirical knowledge and this is the basis upon which hedetermines truth or falsehood. However, Author is quick topoint out the limitations of personal experience indetermining truth. He uses the example of a black man whoseown experience (ie. his “reason and nature”) tell him that all194men are black. Others tell him that some men are white. Whatshould he believe, his own mistaken “reason and nature”, orthe truth, accepted on the word/authority of others? (65/3-11)This challenge necessitates a re-examination of whatconstitutes “reason and nature”. Messenger shifts his groundand suggests that “reason and nature” are not simply personalexperience, but must incorporate “learning”: the black man“should have known” that heat makes skin black andconsequently he should accept the corollary that cold makesskin white. As Author points out, such a redefinition of“reason and nature” contradicts Messenger’s own “conditions”.The black man had only witnessed other black men with his owntwo eyes. To suggest that he should accept the existence ofwhite men on the basis of “learning” he does not haveundermines Messenger’s previous position. It would beanalogous to suggesting that, with additional learning, the“heretics” whose arguments Messenger is propounding shouldaccept miracles. In essence, Messenger and Author are debatingwhether “reason” is an individual or a communal faculty.Individual “reason” inevitably is the sum of an individual’sown experience and consequently it is limited by the veryscope of that experience. Hence it might not equate with the“truth”, as demonstrated by the example of the black man. If,however, “reason” is accepted to be a communal faculty,reliant for its formulation on the experiences and learning ofothers, then the communal verdict must be accepted overindividual conclusions. Messenger cannot have it both ways.195The issue is left unresolved at this point in the argument,but the reader’s attention has been alerted to the problemsinherent in the terms “reason and nature” as Messenger wasusing them. Without a clarification of how these two terms areto be understood, the reader becomes aware of the chaos intowhich any discussion of these topics will inevitably fall. Inother words, because no definition is forthcoming, the readeris left without any foundation upon which to build an argumentconcerning “reason and nature”.Next ensues a protracted series of examples through whichAuthor attempts to test Messenger’s adherence to the“condition” that he will believe only his own two eyes. Authorattempts to demonstrate and maintain the premise that failingto believe the testimony of others (when those concerned arecredible and have no motive for deception) may be just aslikely to lead to error as being too gullible in believing allthat one is told. He uses the example of a piece of gildedsilver, drawn out by the smith’s fire so that it is “I can nottell how many yardys” long, with the gilt continuing to coatit all (67/16). Messenger remains adamant that he will notbelieve this is possible even on the witness of ten thousandmen. He will not believe anything that he himself “knoweth bynature and reason [to be] vnpossyble” (68/20-22). Author thenupsets Messenger’s defence by informing him that he personallyhas seen this feat performed and could take Messenger towitness such a thing with his own two eyes.196Messenger’s response to this undermines his own positiononce again since he fails to adhere to his own “condition”. Heexpresses an inclination to trust Author, despite all hisprevious statements to the contrary and his insistance that hewould only believe his own eyes. When his response is examinedclosely we see that not only does Messenger move his position,but also the reader’s attention is drawn directly to theproblems inherent in believing spoken human witness. We aremade increasingly unsure of the shifty Messenger’s adherenceto his own position, and Messenger reduces even “trustworthy”Author to an imponderable unknown. Messenger remarks:it were harde to fynde [men]! whom I coulde bettertrust then your selfe / whom what so euer I hauemerely sayd / I could not in good fayth but byleue /in that you sholde tell me ernestly vpon your owneknowlege. But ye vse (my mayster sayth) to loke sosadly whan ye mene merely / y many tymes men doubtewhyther ye speke in sporte / whan ye mene goodernest. [68/32—69/2]Just as Messenger tried to shift the definition of “reason andnature” to suit his purposes, he now casts the whole of theprevious discussion into doubt by suggesting that perhaps hehad been speaking “merely” rather than seriously, and perhapsAuthor had been doing likewise. Once again the reader is leftwithout foundations, with no method for distinguishing thejests from the serious discussion. The impossibility ofpenetrating the consciousness and the intentions of another isbrought home to both the protagonists and the reader.Messenger has cut off the foundations of the discussion onceagain, leaving a state of confusion which neither he, nor197Author nor the reader can penetrate. This condition, ofcourse, implies serious problems for the judgement ofanother’s intentions, and hence for the judgement of heresy.However, Messenger still tries to find a way out of hisdifficulties without surrendering his “conditions”. Havingtried to shift ground concerning “reason and nature” andhaving tried to shift ground concerning his commitment to hisown speech, Messenger now attempts to shift ground concerning“miracles” themselves. He will still only believe his own twoeyes where miracles are concerned but now argues that thegoldsmith’s art is no “miracle”. It is incredible, strange andmarvellous, but it remains a “thyng that may be done”, whereasa miracle is “a thynge y can not be done” (70/2-3). Messengerattempts to define a “miracle” as an event which “reason andnature” teach can not be done. He anticipates that Author willfind this definition acceptable, but on the contrary, Authorrejects it outright. A dramatic and fundamental difference ofopinion between the two protagonists emerges as Author setsout to “prove” Messenger’s new definition faulty.Author’s proof rests upon precisely the same foundationsas Messenger used for his definition of a miracle, namely“reason and nature”. If, for Messenger, a miracle is an eventwhich “reason and nature” teach cannot be done, then Authorwill prove by “reason and nature” that this definition iswrong. Messenger has established those terms of reference andAuthor happily sets about “proving” him wrong within his ownterms. Yet, as we have already seen, these terms of reference198have no coherent meaning because there is no agreement betweenthe two characters about how “reason and nature” areformulated. Consequently, it is not surprising that there ismore confusion and disagreement concerning the use of theseterms in the passages that follow. Author questions whether“reason and nature” show there is a God or not. Messenger’sreply expresses uncertainty:Fayth sheweth me that surely . .. / but whythernature and reason shewe yt me or no that I doute /syth great reasoned men and phylosophers haue dowtedtherof. [72/20—22]Messenger is now using “reason and nature” in a differentsense again. No longer are they the outcome of his ownexperience and his own empirical knowledge, but they becomesynonymous with the authority of a few individual “reasoning”men or philosophers. In fact, Messenger is shifting terms ofreference altogether, relying on the authority of a fewindividual philosophers and upon “faith” to rebut Author’sargument from “reason and nature”.However, Author continues trying to prove God’s existenceby “reason and nature”, employing exactly the same argument heused previously. “Reason and nature” must be formulated by thecommunal verdict, not the individual. Hence he argues thatonly one or two isolated philosophers have doubted ordisbelieved the existence of God and consequently that “as oneswalow maketh not somer / so y foly of so few maketh nochaunge of the matter / against all the hole nomber of theolde phylosophers” (72/33—73/2).199Author also answers Messenger’s other arguments. Theidolatry of pagans does not argue against the existence ofGod; rather it “proueth that there was and is in all mennysheddys / a secrete consent of nature / that god there is / orellys they wold haue worssypped none at all” (72/29-31). Thus,belief in a god is innate in human nature according to Author.And last but not least, Author backs up his position from theBible. It is important to notice that Author does not use theBible as an authority per Se, but simply offers the examplefrom it of St. Paul, who “founde out by nature and reason /that there was a god . . .“ (73/3-4). Out of these argumentsthat Author offers, it is only the testimony of St. Paul thatbrings Messenger into agreement. Unlike Author, Messenger usesSt. Paul as an authority in itself, and he concurs withAuthor’s argument only on the grounds that “saynt Poule saythsO” (73/19). In fact, then, he does not submit to Author’sargument at all, since Author’s argument had been that “reasonand nature” could prove the existence of God, while Messengeraccepts that the existence of God may be discovered by “reasonand nature” exclusively because of his “faith” in St. Paul.Once again, More employs the tactic of allowing theinterlocutors to proceed as if agreement had been reached,even though we have seen that it had not. Author begins tobuild the next step in his argument, building as he is onunstable foundations. “Reason and nature”, he argues, do notteach Messenger that miracles cannot be performed. They simplyteach him that miracles cannot be performed by nature.200According to reason, God who is almighty can “of reason”perform miracles which are beyond nature. Thus Messenger oughtto accept the original premise and believe those honest menwho report such events. However, Messenger retaliates that ifGod’s creation, i.e. “nature” was perfect, then “reason”dictates that God would never do anything against the courseof such a perfect nature (74/17-18). Author’s responsediscusses the theology of the Godhead, but it remainsessentially an agrument from reason that “god in workynge ofmyracles doth nothyng agaynst nature / but some specyallbenefyte aboue nature” (75/15-16). Author then brings theargument back again to its original premise; that Messengershould, in accordance with “reason and nature”, believe goodhonest men who say they saw God perform a miracle.As we have just seen, after each new objection putforward by Messenger, Author tries to bring the discussionback to its original premise. Inevitably, Messenger is finallydriven to attack the premise itself. He has, he claims, neveryet spoken “with any man that coulde tell [him] that euer hesawe any [miracle]” (75/31-2). Therefore, he is still notbound to believe miracles despite Author’s repeated argumentsto the contrary. Author’s answer to this corners Messengeronce again. Perhaps, Author suggests, in his whole lifeMessenger may never meet anyone who was present at hisChristening. Would Messenger conclude from this that he wasnever Christened? Of course not, replies Messenger, for everyman “presumeth and byleueth that I am crystened / as a thynge201so commenly done / that we reken our selfe sure that no manleueth it vndone” (76/6-8). Messenger has completely abandonedhis requirement of personal eye witness and will acceptinstead a “common presumption”. Consequently, as Author pointsout, Messenger should accept the common presumption, theuniversal belief of all peoples both Christian and pagan sincethe beginnings of the world that there have been miraclesoutside the course of nature.If we pause to review the situation for a moment, we cansee that in one important respect the positions of the twoprotagonists have turned tables. Initially, Author argued thatthe common faith of Christendom was sufficient to prove God’sapproval of pilgrimages, images and worship of saints. Authorhad used examples from the Bible and from St. Augustine asauthorities and had put communal faith (not reason and nature)at the heart of his argument. His argument was above all oneof consensus in belief. Messenger, on the other hand, usinghis own personal experience or his “reason and nature” as hisfoundation had launched an attack on Author’s position. Now,however, the roles have changed because Author, attempting tosatisfy Messenger on the basis of “reason and nature”, has notonly shown the need for a redefinition of those terms toinclude “communal” rather than “individual” reason, but hasargued from this newly defined basis only to find Messengerretreating to arguments of faith, authority and universalbelief or consensus. However, there is one respect in whichAuthor’s argument has remained constant. Whether he was202arguing from “faith” or from “reason and nature” he alwaysinsisted upon the need for “consensus”. Messenger, on theother hand, switched from “individual” to “communal”, and from“reason and nature” to “faith” at will. Obviously, we areseeing once again the pernicious nature of heretical argumentswhich slide from one topic to another and from one foundationto another as the need arises. But, an even more fundamentalpoint is being made. More is demonstrating that it isessential to both the nature and the process of humandiscourse, and it is essential to human “knowledge” that theterms of reference, the foundations of that discourse be clearand agreed upon if the discourse is to make constructiveprogress. “Knowledge” cannot be built upon shiftingfoundations. Author can (and indeed does) follow and answerevery “shift” of ground that Messenger makes. The motion isoften circular as we have just witnessed. The effect canappear to be that the dialogue “meanders”, but this is farfrom the aimless, drifting meandering suggested by some moderncommentators. There is a clear and repeated purpose behindthese circles. They show the reader both the instability ofheretical arguments and the impossibility of making any groundagainst those arguments if the foundations of the discourseare not maintained by both parties concerned. Ultimately, thecircles point to the inescapable need for an “authority” toestablish the character and perimeters of those foundations,for without such an authority no discourse can proceed. And,as we have seen, More’s answer to this inescapable need for an203“authority” was “consensus”. Consensus is a vital ingredientin the formulation of “reason and nature” and hence of“knowledge”. Consensus is also a vital ingredient in theformulation of “faith” and hence of “beliefs”.Next, More applies this fundamental need for consensus toMessenger himself. The Dialogue continues to follow severalmore meanders concerning Messenger’s “conditions” untilMessenger finally embarks upon the largest “circle” or“meander” to date. He re-employs the very first argument usedat the outset of the Dialogue against images, but he now usesit against miracles. He reuses the biblical texts (Exodus 20and Psalm 113) denouncing image worship to argue that miraclesperformed at places of pilgrimage must be “false miracles”performed by the devil since God, via these biblical texts,had prohibited image worship. Effectively, Messenger haseither ignored, dismissed, or ridden roughshod over all ofAuthor’s previous point by point refutations of this biblicalargument against images. Consequently, Messenger now indulgesin an increasingly vitriolic crescendo of arguments againstimages and miracles. Clearly, Messenger had been able to slideand “meander” from argument to argument in this way simplybecause, as we have seen, there never was any fundamental“consensus” between himself and Author about the basis uponwhich they were proceeding. The fact that the two protagonistshad failed to dispute on common foundations, had failed tobuild agreement on the points discussed (despite appearancesto the contrary) was the reason for this major collapse in the204progress of the dialogue. In a crucial passage Author explainsthat this is precisely why he must now change tactics:fyrst wold I fayne mete with your obieccyons andanswere them forthwyth whyle they be freshe /sauynge that me semyth better for the whyle todyffer them / for as moch as some thyngys there be!wherupon it wyll be requysyte / that we fyrst bebothe agreed: without whyche we were lyke to walkewyde in wordys & ronne all at ryot so lose / thatour matter could neyther haue grounde / order / norende. [102/9—15]Author therefore sees the need, and indeed attempts toestablish foundations for a consensus upon which thediscussion can proceed. However, despite seeming to agree to anew central formula that “fayth is & aiway shalbe in his[Christ’s] chyrche” (111/1-6), Messenger continues to slip andslide and to shift the foundations of his argument. The“circles” and “meanderings” of the argument continue andMessenger attempts to re-employ arguments about both imagesand miracles to support the Protestant position.° However,having already followed both topics through several seeming“repetitions” we have seen that they were anything but simple“repetitions”. They were deliberate constructions within thetext designed to demonstrate the central features of heresy.What, then, can we conclude concerning More’sunderstanding of heresy in the Dialogue? From the initialdiscussion of images we saw that through the seeming° There is further discussion of images on, forexample, pp. 185, 209, 231 & 357. There is also furtherdiscussion of miracles on pp. 241-46. Hence my discussion ofthese topics is not exhaustive but simply meant to illustratethe purposes behind the Dialogue’s repetitions.205“repetitions” More was demonstrating both the devious natureof heresy and the malicious intentionality of the confirmedheretic. And within the discussion of miracles More exploredthe foundations necessary to judge heresy and the authority bywhich heretics could and must be condemned. More was not onlyfully aware that intentionality lay at the heart of the heresycharge, he was equally aware of the immense difficultyinvolved in judging the intentions of others. However, incontrast to Perkins, Hall and Bacon whose works displayedincoherence concerning the ability to judge another’sintentions, More not only explored the difficulties inherentin the judgement process but also offered a coherent solutionto this problem. The malicious intentions of heretics could beseen and proved by their failure to abide by the “consensus”in matters of knowledge and faith. And, most importantly, this“consensus” was not simply an agreement on matters of faith orknowledge from which “heretics” were excluded because theyheld completely opposing views. It was a “consensus” whichincluded them, and in which they had fully participated. Inother words, by their failure to abide by points to which theythemselves had previously agreed, the intentionality ofheretics could be proven both destructive and malicious.206CHAPTER FIVESEVENTEENTH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY: HYPOCRISY AND HERESY IN THEWORKS OF THOMAS HOBBES.As I indicated in the introduction, the main argument ofthis thesis is that the theological polemics of the sixteenthcentury affected issues (intentionality and judgement) andconcepts (hypocrisy and heresy) which have relevance forintellectual history. In the intervening chapters we haveseen how the two words “heresy” and “hypocrisy” came unhingedand how the concepts were destabilized by polemical exchanges.We have also seen the immense difficulties of some writers(Cheke, Perkins, Hall and Bacon) in dealing coherently withthe related issues of intentionality and judgement vis a visheresy and hypocrisy. In marked contrast, Thomas Moreexplored the complex problems lying at the heart of theconcept of heresy and provided a coherent justification forjudging the intentions of heretics. Consequently we have seennot only the effects of polemical exchange on these terms, butalso just how revealing a detailed examination of their usecan be.Given, then, that these words were “unhinged” andunstable in the late sixteenth and early seventeenthcenturies, there are two further issues requiring attention.Firstly, it will be recalled that in Chapter One we saw ThomasHobbes providing a radical interpretation of Christ’s roles onearth. We demonstrated how this interpretation used the207language of the sixteenth century controversy about Christ’sroles on earth, but put that language to new uses. In thesame way, we now need to examine Hobbes’s use of the terms“hypocrisy” and “heresy” in light of their earlier“unhinging”. Secondly, we must study how Hobbes dealt withthe problems of intentionality and judgement, problems thathad precipitated such incoherence in late sixteenth and earlyseventeenth century writers. By examining Hobbes’s use ofthese two terms in light of the previous complicationssurrounding them, a different perspective on Hobbes’s approachto these concepts may be obtained. In addition, thesignificance of this material for intellectual history will bedemonstrated.Hobbes, in particular, lends himself to this kind ofanalysis because although he is central to the emergence of“political philosophy” in seventeenth century England,scholars have increasingly remarked that he was also obligedto align his political ideology with a reality still dominatedby Christian theology. Recent scholarly focus on Hobbes’s“Christianity” has counteracted the previous imbalance inwhich Hobbes’s political philosophy was studied in isolation,and he personally was branded an “atheist”.’ However, as‘ For a brief synopsis of these positions see ArrigoPacchi, “Hobbes and the Problem of God”, in G. A. J. Rogersand Alan Ryan, eds., Perspectives on Thomas Hobbes, (Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1988), pp.171-187. Pacchi cites R. Polin,Dieu et les Hommes, (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France,1981) as the chief modern proponent of the view that Hobbes’s“philosophy” was “materialistic” and hence “atheistic”.208frequently happens with historical revisionism, the reboundhas been extreme at times, with several historians followingthe lead of F. C. Hood in arguing that the whole of Hobbes’spolitical philosophy was reliant upon the commands of aChristian God revealed through Scripture.2 A dispute hassubsequently ensued about the “sincerity” or “insincerity” ofHobbes’s Christianity, the central question being the“sincerity” of Hobbes’s theism versus his “insincerity” andatheism. Fortunately several historians have recognized theproblems inherent in a question formulated in these terms, andhave also insisted that by focusing on this ill-posed issueother more rewarding lines of enquiry have been overlooked.In particular, Arrigo Pacchi has argued that while the issueof Hobbes’s “sincerity” regarding theology is insoluble,Hobbes’s treatment of “theology” itself deserves moreattention. Pacchi has demonstrated the “multifarious” ways inwhich Hobbes aligned his political philosophy withChristianity and has concluded that:[Hobbes] was not only a philosopher, in the sense inwhich we now academically term this branch oflearning; he was a philosopher, a mathematician, anoptician, and a little bit of a theologian too,because theology exists in his thought next tophilosophy, albeit fundamentally distinct from it.3Thus, the attention which Hobbes devoted to “theology”per se is worthy of study. In like manner, Leopold Damrosch2 See F. C. Hood, The Divine Politics of Thomas Hobbes,(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964).Pacchi, “Hobbes and the Problem of God”, P. 187.209Jr. has analysed the debate between Hobbes and Bishop Bramhallmaking clear the focus of his attention:I am not concerned here . . . with either of the twomain topics in existing discussions of Hobbes onGod, the nature of his belief (or possible“insincerity”) and the place of God (or divinely-appointed moral law) in his philosophical system. Iam interested in Hobbes’s theology in the form inwhich it offended and bewildered Bishop Bramhall:its insistence on implications of Reformationdoctrine which Hobbes well knew that most Anglicansand many Puritans were unwilling to recognize.4Richard Sherlock has taken the argument one step further,suggesting that Hobbes himself was more interested in“theology” than in “theism”, and hence historians shouldfollow his lead. In his article “The Theology of Leviathan:Hobbes on Religion”, Sherlock claims that “theology, nottheism, is what interested Hobbes and it is where any properinterpretation of his analysis of religious questions shouldbegin”. And, finally, Mark Whitaker has added another twistto the argument. In his recent article “Hobbes’s View of theReformation”, Whitaker has insisted upon both the importanceof Hobbes’s theology and the significance of that theology forHobbes’s political thought. Whitaker argues that becauseHobbes had previously written two complete formulations of hispolitical philosophy in The Elements of Law and De Cive, anadditional explanation of the later Leviathan is necessary; anLeopold Damrosch Jr., “Hobbes as ReformationTheologian: Implications of the Free-Will Controversy”, J. H.I., 40, 1979, p. 340.Richard Sherlock, “The Theology of Leviathan: Hobbeson Religion”, Interpretation, Journal of Political Philosophy,10—11, 1982—83, p. 44.210explanation which goes beyond the bounds of Hobbes’s“political philosophy”. Hence, Whitaker views Leviathan asHobbes’s attempt at commenting upon, and influencing thedevelopments of English revolutionary politics. Therefore,the focus of Whitaker’s analysis is the “new” material inLeviathan, namely those aspects of the work which were absentfrom Hobbes’s previous two works, and most specifically thecontent of Books Three and Four in which Hobbes examined “AChristian Commonwealth” and “The Kingdome of Darknesse”. Inthese two books (Whitaker claims) Hobbes was arguing that“without a very different Christianity . . . there is no hopeof a very different polity”.6 Consequently, the central focusof Leviathan was to demonstrate the “incompleteness of theReformation”. What these analyses of Hobbes have in commonis an insistence upon the importance Hobbes gave to theology,both as a partial cause of, and as a possible solution topolitical unrest. As Whitaker has remarked, for HobbesPolitical subversion . . . had been caused .more than anything else by puritan ministers“joining the words of Holy Scripture togetherotherwise than is agreeable to reason”: and much ofLeviathan’s second half is devoted to clarifyingwhich words of Scripture are agreeable to reason,and which are not.7Thus, the central importance of Hobbes’s theologicalinterpretations has recently been recognized.6 Mark Whitaker, “Hobbes’s View of the Reformation”,History of Political Thought, Vol. IX, No. 1, Spring 1988, p.49.‘ Ibid., pp. 56—7.211However, while historians have paid increased attentionto Hobbes’s theology, they have not analysed his treatment ofheresy as carefully.8 They have tended to focus upon thepersonal threat of heresy charges under which Hobbes spent hislater years. This personal threat took the form of a Bill,first introduced into the House of Commons in October 1666, tore—establish heresy as a criminal offence in England.9 TheBill failed in the Lords, and an attempt to reintroduce it in1667 also failed. However, since the Commons committeeexamining the Bill had been authorized to gather informationspecifically about Leviathan, and since further attempts atpassing a heresy Bill persisted throughout the followingdecade (1674, 1675 and 1680) Hobbes was likely to consider thethreat of heresy charges still imminent.’0 This personalthreat has rightly been seen as the factor precipitatingHobbes’s six English and two Latin works covering heresyB See, for example, Alan Ryan, “Hobbes, Toleration, andthe Inner Life”, in David Miller and Larry Siedentop, eds.,The Nature of Political Theory, (Oxford: Clarendon Press,1983), p.204 where Ryan describes Hobbes’s HistoricalNarration concerning Heresy as “undistinguished”. The focuson Hobbes’s “atheism” in such influential works as Samuel I.Mintz, The Hunting of Leviathan: Seventeenth CenturyReactions to the Materialism and Moral Philosophy of ThomasHobbes, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970) hasalso contributed to the comparative neglect of his views onheresy.See Richard Tuck, Hobbes, (Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress, 1989), p. 33.‘° Tuck provides a succinct account of the personalthreat of heresy charges against Hobbes. See Tuck, Hobbes,pp. 27-39, especially pp. 33-4.212written between the Restoration and his death in 1679.” Andyet, the emphasis on the personal threat to Hobbes has tendedto overshadow an equally important aspect of his approach toheresy. In order to present a coherent political philosophyHobbes had been obliged to resolve the possible conflictbetween Church and State. Thus he also considered the problemof heresy in his earlier masterpiece, Leviathan, firstpublished in 1651. Although Hobbes devoted considerably lessattention to heresy in this text than he did in his laterworks, there can be no doubt that he had analysed the problemfully when he wrote Leviathan and that he had resolved it insuch a way that heresy posed no threat to his politicalphilosophy. What is more, this treatment of heresy inLeviathan laid the firm foundation for Hobbes’s approach tothe subject in all his later works. As we shall see, all thearguments of the later works concerning heresy are present inembryonic form in Leviathan. Thus, while Hobbes’s laterpreoccupation with heresy may well have been due to the perilsof his own position, he had fully explored and resolved theimplications of the charge for his political philosophy when“ These English works were A Dialogue between aPhilosopher and a Student of the Common Laws of England, AnHistorical Narration concerning Heresy, and the punishmentthereof, a new reply to Bishop Bramhall, a comment by Hobbeson the Scargill affair (no longer extant), Behemoth; or TheLong Parliament, and a short manuscript on heresy found atChatsworth. The Latin works were an appendix to the Latinedition of Leviathan which argued that under English law therecould be no punishment for heresy, and a verse, HistoriaEcclesiastica, which also dealt with heresy. See Tuck,Hobbes, p. 34 for details about these works.213he wrote Leviathan.’2 Hence, it is to Leviathan that we willturn first of all, after which we will study Hobbes’streatments of heresy in his later works.How and why, then, did Hobbes consider the topic ofheresy in Leviathan? The subject arose first not in parts IIIand IV where a “Christian Commonwealth” and the “Kingdom ofDarkness” were discussed, and hence where we might expect toencounter it. Instead, it was first discussed in Part 1, “ofMan”, where Hobbes was discussing the impact of “Ignorance ofthe signification of words”. He argued that because men areignorant, they are obliged to accept information on trust, theresult being that they often accept not only truth, “but alsothe errors; and which is more, the non-sense of them theytrust: For neither Error, nor non-sense, can without aperfect understanding of words, be detected”. Hence, out ofignorance men sometimes accept error and12 Several historians have acknowledged the consistencyof Hobbes’s writings on heresy. See, for example, Samuel I.Mintz, “Hobbes on the Law of Heresy: A New Manuscript”, J. H.I., 29, 1968, p. 410, where he acknowledges Hobbes’s fear ofheresy charges but insists that “it would be wrong to assumethat [Hobbes’s] researches into the law of heresy wereprompted by self-interest alone”. However, while acknowledgingHobbes’s “philosophical” need to redefine heresy, historianshave not explored the background against which this“redefinition” took place.214From [ignorance] it proceedeth, that men givedifferent names, to one and the same thing, from thedifference of their own passions: As they thatapprove a private opinion, call it Opinion; but theythat mislike it, Haeresie: and yet haeresiesignifies no more than private opinion; but hasonely a greater tincture of choler.3From this very first definition of heresy we can see thatHobbes had a dramatically different understanding of the wordthan any of the other writers we have examined. For example,in More’s case heresy had entailed the obstinate and, as wesaw, malicious rejection of a Christian truth in defiance ofChurch authority. Likewise, even Bishop Hall who in somerespects diminished the offence of heresy, still insisted that“preverseness of will” was at the heart of the offence. ForHobbes, on the other hand, heresy was the result of “error” in“opinion”, no mention being made of “truth” , of “malice” orof “evil intentionality”. Thus, we can already detect asubstantial discrepancy between Hobbes’s understanding ofheresy and those of other writers we have examined. Inaddition, Hobbes insisted in this definition that heresy wasstrictly “private” opinion and, although he did not expandupon the meaning of this at this point in the text, it is anissue he developed later in Leviathan.Hobbes’s next reference to heresy occurred in Part III,in the very lengthy Chapter 42 where he discussed “PowerEcclesiastical”. Within this chapter Hobbes refuted the‘- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme, andPower of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civill, C. B.Macpherson, ed., (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books,1968), p. 165.215arguments of Cardinal Bellarmine, the great defender of thetemporal power of the papacy. Bellarmine had argued thatChristians could not lawfully tolerate an infidel or “heretic”King because he might attempt to lead his people into heresy.Consequently, according to Bellarmine, the Pope had the rightto depose such a King. Hobbes’s refutation of this argumentwas that there could be no judge of heresy amongst a peopleexcept their own civil sovereign:For Haeresie is nothing else, but a private opinion,obstinately maintained, contrary to the opinionwhich the Publique Person (that is to say, theRepresentant of the Common-wealth) hath commanded tobee taught. By which it is manifest, that anopinion publiquely appointed to bee taught, cannotbe Haeresie; nor the Soveraign Princes thatauthorize them, Haeretiques. For Haeretiques arenone but private men, that stubbornly defend someDoctrine, prohibited by their lawfull Soveraigns.’Thus, heresy was a privately held opinion which was contraryto the publicly appointed opinion of the sovereign and thedistinction between “public” religion and “private” heresy hadcome to rest solely on the issue of authority. The moststriking feature of this definition is that, by insisting thatheresy was merely “private opinion”, Hobbes again avoided anyreference to “truth” or “falsehood”, to “right” or “wrong”belief. A “heresy” was no longer a “false belief” but wasrather a belief held simply in defiance of public authority.’Ibid., p. 605.Alan Ryan has noted another similar redefinition byHobbes concerning “justice” and “injustice”. He demonstrateshow Hobbes reduces these terms to mean “legal” and “illegal”,thereby avoiding the issues of the “goodness” or the “evil216And yet, Hobbes did retain the possibility of “error” inbelief although he insisted that this was something distinctfrom heresy. Christians, he argued, must submit to theirlawful soveraign even if he held “false beliefs” because theBible taught that it was always unjust to depose a lawfulsovereign:It is not therefore for want of strength, but forconscience sake, that Christians are to toleratetheir Heathen Princes, or Princes (for I cannot callany one whose Doctrine is the Publique Doctrine, anHaeretique) that authorize the teaching of anErrour. 16In this passage Hobbes preserved the concept of “heresy” andhe preserved the concept of “error in belief” but he claimedthat the two bore no relation to one another. Hobbes hadcompletely redefined heresy in such a way that it was nolonger related to the truth or falsehood of Christiandoctrine; it was simply a privately held belief which was notlegitimated in the public doctrine authorized by thesovereign. Hence, for Hobbes, a sovereign could not be aheretic. But, Hobbes also preserved the possibility of“error” leaving the substantial problem of how such “error”could be judged or known to be “error”. Hobbes did not fullyanswer this problem but was at pains to dismiss one crucialpossibility. Subjects could not judge the error or rectitudeof their sovereign’s beliefs themselves. Error (in thiscontext) was simply left as a concept lacking the requirednature” of any act. See, Ryan, “Hobbes, Toleration, and theInner Life”, p. 211.16 Leviathan, p. 606.217authority to give it content or substance. However, Hobbeshad achieved one central goal: the redefinition of heresy insuch a way that it offered no threat or challenge to thesupremacy of the soveraign.However, while he did not fully explore the issue ofjudgement in Leviathan, Hobbes did consider one last importanttopic, namely how heretics should be punished. What actionwas appropriate when heresy arose? Hobbes made two separateremarks on this issue, both of which tended towards alessening of the punishment to be inflicted. In the firstinstance, Hobbes discussed excommunication and its uses as apunishment. The Catholic Church (on the basis of St. Paul’sletter to Titus 3:10) had excommunicated heretics but Hobbesargued that this punishment was unwarranted. He quoted thebiblical passage in question, “A man that is an Haeretique,after the first and second admonition, reject”. Hobbes thenargued that in this context “to reject” did not mean“excommunicate” but rather “to give over admonishing him, tolet him alone, to set by disputing with him, as one that is tobe convinced onely by himselfe”.’7 In the second instance,Hobbes refuted the arguments of Bellarmine concerning thepowers of the Papacy. Here the biblical passage Matt. 7:15had been taken by the Roman Church to justify the execution ofheretics. Again, Hobbes cited the passage: “Beware of falseProphets which come to you in Sheeps clothing, but inwardly“ Ibid., p. 538.218are ravening Wolves”. The “wolves” had been interpreted byRome to be heretics and, on this basis, heretics were executedjust as a shepherd would kill a wolf that endangered hisflock. However, Hobbes objected that the Apostles were notcommanded to kill the wolves/heretics, but “to beware of, fly,and avoid them . . . Thus, in both cases wherepunishments for heresy were mentioned in Leviathan, Hobbestried to ameliorate the penalty, to argue that heresy did notdeserve the harsh penalties of excommunication and execution,but that it should rather be ignored and heretics avoided.What, then, may we conclude concerning Hobbes’s brieftreatment of heresy in Leviathan? There are, I think, threeimportant points to observe. Firstly, the sum of Hobbes’sapproach to heresy in Leviathan amounts to a diminution of theconcept. By reducing heresy to “private opinion”, by arguingagainst harsh punishments and by removing the issues of“truth” and “falsehood” from the concept, Hobbes effectivelylessened the importance and severity of the charge. Secondly,the impetus behind these changes went beyond Hobbes’s personalconcern for his own saftey. Clearly heresy was a crucialissue for his political philosophy since Hobbes needed toprovide a solution to the possible threat that Christianbelief could pose for a civil sovereign. He provided thissolution by insisting that individual Christians must always“tolerate” the “error” of their sovereigns, thereby removing18 Ibid., p. 607219the need for confrontation. And thirdly, we should noticethat because of the changes Hobbes made to heresy one otherimportant ingredient was removed from the concept. Not onlywas it no longer necessary to ascertain the “truth” or“falsehood” of beliefs, it was also no longer necessary todetermine the malicious intentions of the heretic. In fact,as we shall see, in one of his later works Hobbes was evenmore specific that “heretics” could not have an evil ormalicious intention, but even from his brief comments inLeviathan we can see that the need to judge intentions hadbeen removed.How, then, did Hobbes develop his analysis of heresy inhis later works? He touched upon the issue to varying degreesin Behemoth, in his Answer to Bishop Bramhall, in a manuscriptfound at Chatsworth (henceforth called the Chatsworthmanuscript), in A Dialogue between a Philosopher and a Studentof the Common Laws of England, in a comment upon the Scargillaffair, and in An Historical Narration concerning Heresy andthe Punishment Thereof. While these works differ from oneanother in theme and approach, many of the fundamentalarguments concerning heresy are common to all of them.Consequently, we will follow the argument of the most detailedwork, An Historical Narration concerning Heresy, and willsimply allude to parallel arguments in other works. The otherworks will only be examined in depth when they cover differentground than the Historical Narration.220The Historical Narration was written by Hobbes as anaddendum to his Answer to Bishop Bramhall, and thereforeHobbes concluded this Answer by explaining the need for hisHistorical Narration:Whereas his Lordship has talked in his discoursehere and there ignorantly of heresy, and some othershave not doubted to say publicly, that there be manyheresies in my Leviathan; I will add hereunto, for ageneral answer, an historical relation concerningthe word Heresy, from the first use of it amongstthe Grecians till this present time.’9Even within this brief explanation of the causes behind thewriting of the Historical Narration, Hobbes informed thereader of his intended approach to his topic. He wouldcommence with the word “heresy” rather than with the conceptof heresy. Thus, as we saw in Leviathan, Hobbes initiallyfocused his attention on the word itself and in doing so hesuccessfully removed it from its usual context andconnotations. The Historical Narration did not begin with ananalysis of heresy in the post-reformation English Church, oreven in the pre-reformation Roman Church. Instead, Hobbesremoved the word from these familiar frameworks and dissipatedits impact by discussing it first of all in the relativelyneutral context of Ancient Greece. Hobbes therefore commencedthe Historical Narration by telling the reader that‘ An Answer to a Book Published by Dr. Brarithall called‘The catching of Leviathan’ together with An HistoricalNarration Concerning Heresy, and the Punishment thereof, inThe English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, (hence forthcited as EW), 11 vols., Sir William Molesworth, ed., (London:John Bohn, 1839—1845), vol. iv, p.384.221The word heresy is Greek, and signifies a taking ofany thing, and particularly the taking of anopinion. After the study of philosophy began inGreece, and the philosophers, disagreeing amongstthemselves, had started many questions, not onlyabout things natural, but also moral and civil;because every man took what opinion he pleased, eachseveral opinion was called a heresy; which signifiedno more than a private opinion, without reference totruth or falsehood.2°Hobbes had detached the word from its usual theologicalframework and from its usual Christian definition of “falsebelief”. As a result, he could use the word in totally aliencontexts writing, for example, about the “heresy ofAristotle”, by which he meant no more than the “opinions” ofAristotle.2’ Hobbes then proceeded to argue that after thebirth of Christianity the philosophers, being better skilledin disputation and oratory than the common man, were the bestqualified to defend and propagate the Gospel. Because thesephilosophers naturally interpreted the Scriptures eachaccording to his own philosophical “heresy”, diversity andconflict arose within the Church itself and thesedisagreements became known as “heresies”. Instead of simply20 Ibid., p. 387.21 For parallel arguments concerning the word “heresy”see Behemoth, or The Long Parliament, Ferdinand Tönnies, ed.,second edition by M. M. Goldsmith, (London: Frank Cass andCo., 1969), pp. 8-9, and A Dialogue between a Philosopher anda Student of the Common Laws of England, Joseph Cropsey, ed.,(Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1971), pp. 123-4. The“Chatsworth Manuscript” deals exclusively with the EnglishStatutes concerning heresy and therefore does not include thisargument about the word itself. See Mintz, “Hobbes onHeresy”, pp. 412-14 where the entire manuscript is printed.222meaning opinion, the term became one of reproach.22 Hobbesdescribed how eventually authority was established within theChurch to settle these disputes. However, since the Churchitself lacked the power to inflict punishment (this being theexclusive right of the civil power), the only recourseavailable to the Church was to ostracize the offending member.Such a member was branded with “the name of heretic, inopposition to the whole church, that condemned his doctrine.So that catholic and heretic were terms relative; and here itwas that heretic came to be a name, and a name of disgrace,both together” •23In recounting some of the heresies of the early Church,Hobbes demonstrated just how volatile early beliefs were. Healso demonstrated the undesirable effect on religion when itwas intermingled with too much philosophy. But, it was whendiscussing the role of the Emperor Constantine that Hobbesmade the full thrust of his argument apparent. Havingconverted to Christianity, Constantine was the first Emperorto combine leadership of Church and State. Therefore, Hobbescarefully stressed certain salient features of Constantine’smanagement of the Arian Schism, the major heresy thatthreatened the unity of the Church in the fourth century A.D.Firstly, Hobbes insisted that Constantine only became involvedbecause the controversy was causing unacceptable bloodshed and22 EW, vol. iv, pp. 388-9. See also Behemoth, p.9 and ADialogue of the Common Laws, p.125.23 EW, vol.iv, p.390.223civil strife. Secondly, Constantine’s advice to the divineshe assembled at Nicea was that “what so ever they shoulddecree therein, he would cause to be observed”. As Hobbescommented:This may perhaps seem a greater indifferency, thanwould in these days be approved of. But so it is inthe history; and the articles of faith necessary tosalvation, were not thought then to be so many asafterwards they were defined to be by the Church ofRome.The central thrust of these comments was that the civilsovereign’s involvement in religion should be guided by therequirement of civil peace. A sovereign should intervene ifpeace was threatened and should enforce the minimum number ofarticles of faith necessary to ensure that peace was restored.Hobbes demonstrated how many of the articles agreed upon atNicea were aimed at settling the contentious issues lyingbehind the schism, the usual implication being that theformulas had more to do with the need for peace than they didwith the “truth” of the doctrine. Hobbes reasserted the samepoint when he explained why Constantine accepted the non-biblical word homoousios to define the relationship betweenGod the Father and God the Son:And in this again appeared the indifferency of theEmperor, and that he had for his end, in the callingof the Synod, not so much the truth, as theuniformity of the doctrine, and peace of his peoplethat dependeth on it.2Ibid., p. 392.Ibid., p. 393.224Although Hobbes paid careful attention to the content of theformulas agreed upon, often demonstrating how confusion overthe exact meaning or translation of one word had resulted in“mistaken” doctrine, he returned time and again to the needfor peace. The bishops subscribed to the final formulabecause it offered a way of governing the Church peacefully.26Thus, while Hobbes was at pains to show the defects of some ofthe theology, and he therefore charged Constantine severaltimes with “indifferency”, he condoned Constantine’soverwhelming emphasis on peace.Hobbes noted that the formula was only sent to bishops tosign and not to laymen, thereby making it a formula forpeaceful government and not for universal belief. However,Hobbes made two further points regarding this formula;firstly, no layman who expressed beliefs contrary to it couldbe punished because laymen never had been made aware of theformula in the first place;27 and secondly, even a bishopcould only be a heretic if he went so far as to contradict theformula “in plain and direct words” since “no man could bemade an heretic by consequence”.28 In other words, only if a26 Ibid., p. 397.27 Hobbes made a parallel argument, but concerning thecase of Bartholomew Legat in James I’s reign, in A Dialogue ofthe Common Laws, pp. 129-30. The Philosopher remarked that a“Declaration of what Articles [were] made heresy” was aprerequisite of the charge. Without public awareness and easypublic access to the approved and forbidden formulas, no mancould be charged legitimately with heresy.28 EW, vol. iv, p. 397.225bishop dissented openly could he be charged with heresy; acase could not be made that the implications of his wordstended towards heretical beliefs and consequently he was aheretic.What, then, had Hobbes achieved so far in his history ofthe word “heresy”? Firstly, by removing the word from itsfamiliar context and then writing a “history” of itsdevelopment, Hobbes had effectively redefined the term. Ashad been the case in Leviathan, heresy no longer meant falsebelief or false doctrine in comparison with the truth oforthodoxy. Instead it meant publicly disallowed formulas andtruth and error had vanished from the equation. Secondly,Hobbes had demonstrated that public peace was the mostimportant consideration in the formulation of doctrine to beallowed or disallowed. And thirdly, Hobbes had alreadyintroduced some restrictions on the scope of the charge ofheresy. There was no “heresy by consequence”, and no heresyunless the doctrinal formulas were readily available to clergyand laymen alike.As the Narration progressed, Hobbes increasingly focusedhis attention on the punishment of heretics and again, as inLeviathan, he argued against severe punishment. UnderConstantine, he claimed, there were no punishments other thandeprivation of living for the clergy and, if heresy persisted,banishment. He continued to repeat his former pointsconcerning the derivation of the word and the predominance of226the need for peace, but now he added the evolution of themethods for punishing heretics:thus did heresy, which at first was the name ofprivate opinion, and no crime, by virtue of a law ofthe Emperor, made only for the peace of the church,become a crime in a pastor, and punishable withdeprivation first, and next with banishment.9However, it is important to notice an allusion to a new issuehere, an issue which Hobbes explored in more detail in one ofhis other works, A Dialogue of the Common Laws. In the abovepassage Hobbes insisted that heresy was “no crime” and that itonly became a crime when specific edicts were passed by theEmperor. Hence, heresy was not a crime according to reasonand it was not a crime under common law. In fact it was onlya crime if and when specific statutes were passed to defineand enforce it.3° Later in the Historical Narration, as weshall see, Hobbes provided a detailed account of the heresystatutes in England showing that all the relevant statutes hadbeen repealed and hence there remained no legitimate methodfor bringing a charge of heresy.However, before he embarked upon this account, hediscussed the heresies which arose after the Council of Nicea.Many of these heresies were resolved at the Councils ofChalcedon arid of Carthage, and Hobbes’s analysis of thesecouncils demonstrated again how the creedal formulas agreedupon were specifically intended to deny certain heresies.Ibid., p. 399.30 See .4 Dialogue of the Common Laws, pp. 130-31.227According to Hobbes, the predominant factor determining theacceptance or rejection of different doctrines/heresies wasthe Roman Church’s lust for power. Emperors, he claimed, wereweak and negligent, allowing the Papacy to do as it pleased:There was no doctrine which tended to the powerecclesiastical, or to the reverence of the clergy,the contradiction whereof was not by one Council oranother made heresy, and punished arbitrarily by theEmperors with banishment or death.3’Hobbes did not discuss the centuries of papal supremacy in anydetail, claiming that it was such a well known story that he“need not insist upon it any longer”. However, when Hobbesdid refer to Rome he was at his most scathing, attacking themotivations and intentions of the Papacy. During the papalascendencythere was nothing so dangerous [to an ingenuous andserious Christian] as to enquire concerning his ownsalvation, of the Holy Scripture; the careless coldChristian was safe, and the skilful hypocrite asaint.Hobbes concluded his Historical Narration with an accountof the evolution of the charge and punishment of heresy inEngland. He traced the history of punishments against theLollards from mere imprisonment under Richard II, to theburning of obstinate heretics under Henry IV. Under Henry Vthe confiscation and forfeiture of lands and goods was addedand under Henry VIII, after the split with Rome, it wasEW, vol. iv, p. 402.32 Ibid., p. 403. Although the word “hypocrite” is usedhere, it is an isolated occurrence, whereas, as we shall seelater, in Behemoth Hobbes used the word repeatedly.228enacted that heretics should be burnt publicly if they eitherrefused to recant or if, having recanted, they relapsed intoheresy. Hobbes then followed the laws through the tangled webof the remaining years of the sixteenth century showing howEdward VI repealed Henry’s laws, leaving “no law at all forthe punishment of heretics”. Mary, however, restored Henry’sstatute, only to have Elizabeth repeal all Mary’secclesiastical laws. In addition, Elizabeth repealed allformer laws concerning the punishment of heretics. She didnot enact any new laws in their place but rather appointed acommission (the High Commission) to execute “powerecclesiastical”. The commission was “forbidden to adjudgeanything to be heresy, which was not declared to be heresy bysome of the first four general Councils”.33 But, Hobbes wasquick to point out that there was nothing in that commissionconcerning how heretics were to be punished. Thus, not onlywas there no statute law in England authorizing the punishmentof heretics, but also no man could justly be charged withheresy since the doctrines prohibited by the first fourcouncils had not been readily accessible to laymen. Hence,“no man could know how to beware of offending against them”.3Finally, under Charles, even the High Commission itself wasabolished and as a result, Hobbes argued, during theCommonwealth period when he wrote Leviathan, there were noEW, vol. iv, p. 405.Ibid., p. 406.229“human laws left in force to restrain any man from preachingor writing any doctrine concerning religion that hepleased” .Thus, with this historical annihilation of the heresycharge Hobbes ended his piece. Clearly, as had been the casein Leviathan, the whole thrust of the Historical Narration hadbeen to diminish the concept of heresy. Heresy no longerrelated to the truth or falsehood of beliefs, but merely totheir legality. If no statute laws existed to define specific“heresies” and if the people were not adequately informedabout which beliefs were legal and which were not, then therecould be no heresy. Hobbes added one final paragraph,exclusively in self—defence, concerning the content ofLeviathan. He objected that not only was there no legaldefinition of heretical beliefs when he wrote Leviathan, butalso the abolition of the High Commission had made theenforcement of heresy charges impossible. As a partinggesture, he reminded the reader that the Bible itselfrecommended meekness in “instructing those that opposethemselves” and not the “fierceness” of disputation with whichHobbes had found himself surrounded. While these closingpassages were obviously written in self-defence, they shouldnot be allowed to obscure the degree to which the arguments ofthe Historical Narration (and indeed Hobbes’s other laterIbid., p. 407. For a parallel analysis of EnglishStatute law, with a particular emphasis on punishments, seethe “Chatsworth Manuscript”, Mintz, “Hobbes on Heresy”, pp.412—14.230works on heresy) were totally consistent with those ofLeviathan. The demands of Hobbes’s political philosophy, andnot mere self-defence, had necessitated a redefinition ofheresy and consequently Hobbes took this already unstableconcept and redefined it to suit his own purposes.However, there is one aspect of Hobbes’s analysis ofheresy which we have not yet studied, namely theintentionality of the heretic. As we have seen, the issue wasalluded to in Leviathan where it seemed that the need todetermine the malicious intentionality of the “heretic” hadbeen removed. But Hobbes dealt with this issue inconsiderably more detail in one of his later works, A Dialoguebetween a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Laws ofEngland, which we will now examine. While the work repeatsmany of the arguments of the Historical Narration concerningheresy, its legalistic nature precipitated some specificstatements concerning the relationship between intentionalityand heresy which Hobbes did not make elsewhere. But, in orderto understand these statements fully we must first examine thenature of the text itself. As the title suggests, the worktook the form of a discussion between a Philosopher and astudent of the Common Law (in the text simply called“Lawyer”). This dialogue form has presented some problems forscholars because the characterizations are inconclusive attimes, and the progress and purpose of the interchanges is not231always apparent to the modern reader.36 The Lawyer usuallyacts as a mouthpiece for the legal opinions of the famouscommonlawyer, Sir Edward Coke and, as Joseph Cropsey (theeditor of the most recent edition) has pointed out, the“Dialogue is to some extent a polemic against Coke”.However, the Lawyer also voices some “famous Hobbesianconceptions” and therefore it would seem misleading to viewhim simply as “Coke”. Similarly, although the Philosophervoices many Hobbesian views, he cannot always be seen as thedirect or exclusive mouthpiece of “Hobbes the author”.The argument of the Dialogue remains consistent with thepolitical philosophy of Hobbes’s earlier works whilstdemonstrating the legal implications of his ideas. Cropseysuggests that Hobbes developed the practical politics of Baconand maintained “the king’s prerogative, the need for theassent of Parliament, and the indispensability ofsubordinating the common law (thus the legal profession) toStatute and Chancery, or equity”.38 The work is divided intoseven sections, two of which are of particular interest forour purposes; namely, “Of Crimes Capital” and “Of Heresy”.Both these sections demand attention not only for theircontent (which we will examine in due course) but also fortheir sequence since this is informative about Hobbes’s36 A Dialogue of the Common Laws, pp. 4-15.Ibid., p. 11.38 Ibid., p. 14.232approach to the charge of heresy. Hence, we will examine thesequence of these two sections first of all.The section “Of Crimes Capital” commenced with the Lawyeroffering the statute definition of “High Treason”. However,the Philosopher was unsatisfied with this definition andargued that treason was a crime of itself; it was “Malum inSe” and therefore a crime by reason and by common law just asmuch as by statute law. The section then moved from thediscussion of treason to the derivation and definition of“felonies” which, the Philosopher argued, were also “Crimes intheir own nature without the help of Statute”.39 Thus, theinterlocutors discussed particular felonies, for instancemurder, and they debated which other crimes fell into thecategory of “felonies”. Only when this discussion wascompleted did the interlocutors move on to discuss heresy, acrime which the Philosopher insisted was not “Malum in Se” andwhich consequently was a crime only under statute law. TheLawyer tried to defend heresy’s common law status but thePhilosopher was adamant that it was no crime according toreason or common law.4° In following this sequence ofdiscussion, placing heresy after all felonies includingmurder, the interlocutors were diverging from the order inwhich Coke had originally ranked “Crimes Capital”. He hadconsidered treason to be the primary capital crime but hadIbid., pp. 111—12.° Ibid., pp. 130—31.233ranked heresy as the next most serious, followed only later bymurder and other felonies.Thus, by two different methods, the Philosopher hadeffectively demoted the crime of heresy; he excluded it fromthe most serious category of crimes which were offences undercommon law, reason and statute law, and he placed heresy afterall other capital crimes in the order of discussion. AsCropsey has demonstrated, this demotion in the significance ofthe crime was further emphasized by the actual method oftransition from one section of the Dialogue to the next. ThePhilosopher concluded the discussion of “Crimes Capital” bysuggesting that they now proceeded “to Crimes not Capital”.The Lawyer responded by reminding him about heresy:Shall we pass over the Crime of Heresie, which SirEdw. Coke ranketh before Murder, but theconsideration of it will be somewhat long.4’The Philosopher did not respond directly but merely suggestedthat they deferred till the afternoon and, with no furthercomment, the subsequent section simply opened with adiscussion of heresy. Thus, not only had the twointerlocutors demoted heresy from the more prominent positionwhich Coke had given it, but the Philosopher had tacitlyquestioned whether heresy should be considered a capitaloffence at all. As Cropsey has concluded, the Philosopherclearly considered heresy to be “either a crime but notcapital, or conceivably not a crime at all”. Certainly “itIbid., p. 122.234[was] not one of those offences harmful of their own nature tolaw and mankind”.42 When we consider these views of thePhilosopher in the light of Hobbes’s approach to heresy in hisother works (where he undermined the importance of the chargeand even denied its very existence since the repeal of therelevant statutes) we may safely conclude that, in thissection of the Dialogue at least, the Philosopher’s views wereindeed those of Hobbes himself.So much then for the sequence of the sections “of CrimesCapital” and “Of Heresy” and what this sequence can tell us ofHobbes’s views about heresy. If we turn our attention to thecontent of these two sections we will find that it is equallyinformative. Again, the issues raised concerning treason andmurder need to be studied first as they were importantinfluences on the discussion of heresy. The section openedwith the Lawyer quoting the statute of 25 Edw. 3 whichdeclared what crimes constituted “High Treason”. It wastreason “when a Man doth Compass, or Imagine the Death of ourLord the King . . . “ and it was the two words “compassing”and “imagining” that formed the centre of the ensuing debateabout the intentionality of the criminal.43 The Philosopherenquired what these two words meant and how intentions couldbe judged, to which the Lawyer responded that, according toCoke, an open deed was the best proof of intention. Hence,42 Ibid., p. 35.Ibid., p. 101.235proof of intention to commit treason could best be provided bysome open deed such as the “providing of Weapons, Powder,Poyson, Assaying of Armour, sending of Letters, & c.”.However, this argument was rejected by the Philosopher whosuggested that to “compass” or “imagine” a crime waseffectively to “Design and Purpose” that crime. Design, heclaimed, “lyeth hidden in the Breast of him that is Accused;[and] what other Proof can there be had of it than wordsSpoken or Written”. Thus, the Philosopher was arguing thatintentions were best known by words rather than deeds. Hethen rebutted a further argument used by the Lawyer to defendCok&s emphasis on deeds rather than words:As for that Common saying, that bare words may makea Heretick, but not a Traytor, which Sir Edw. Cokeon this occasion maketh use of, they are to littlepurpose; seeing that this Statute maketh not thewords High Treason, but the Intention, whereof thewords are but a Testimony:These statements reconfirm the Philosopher’s position: words(either written or spoken) were the most direct expression ofintention, more so than deeds. This position is particularlyinteresting in view of Hobbes’s repeated insistence concerninghypocrisy that words were external and did not necessarilybear any relationship to the thoughts and intentions of anindividual. In Behemoth (as we shall see later) Hobbesstressed the impossibility of judging the intentions ofIbid., p. 107.Ibid.46 Ibid., pp. 107—8.236another from their words or deeds, and hence the impossibilityof “accusing” hypocrisy. Here, on the other hand, thePhilosopher was not only claiming that words were the mostdirect testimony of intentions, but also that intentionsthemselves lay at the heart of accusations of treason andhence intentions themselves must be accused.4It was this central issue of intentionality whichresurfaced later in the section when the interlocutorsdiscussed the distinction between murder and manslaughter andalso when they debated the felonious nature of suicide. Inthe case of murder vis a vis manslaughter the Philosopherquestioned whether actions performed on the spur of themoment, as in the heat of an argument, involved “maliceforethought”. If one man drew his sword during an argument,his action clearly denoted malicious intention, “but thewickedness of the Intention was nothing near so great” as ifhe had planned a murder.8 Concerning suicide, the LawyerHobbes made the link between words and intentionselsewhere in his works, although he also drew attention to theproblems inherent in using words as signs of another’sintentions. For example, in The Elements of Law, Natural andPolitic, he wrote “Though words be the signs we have of oneanother’s opinions and intentions; yet, because theequivocation of them is so frequent according to the diversityof contexture, and the company where with they go (which thepresence of him that speaketh, our sight of his actions, andconjecture of his intentions must help to discharge us of): itmust be extreme hard to find out opinions and meanings ofthose men that are gone from us long ago, and have left noother signification thereof but their books; which cannotpossibly be understood without history enough to discoverthose aforementioned circumstances, and also without greatprudence to observe them”. Cited by Tuck, Hobbes, p. v.A Dialogue of the Common Laws, p. 114.237suggested that he that “killeth voluntarily” was a felon byboth common and statute law. However, the Philosopherdisagreed:I conceive not how any Man can bear Animum fellum,or so much Malice towards himself as to hurt himselfvoluntarily, much less to kill himself; fornaturally, and necessarily the Intention of everyMan aimeth at somewhat, which is good to himself,and tendeth to his preservation: And therefore,methinks, if he kill himself, it is to be presumedthat he is not compos mentis, but by some inwardTorment or Apprehension of somewhat worse thanDeath,The dialogue continued with the two interlocutors debating howto judge a man’s “intention” towards himself, especially ifthe subject was dead.Thus, we can see clearly that intentionality and malicewere central to the whole section on “Crimes Capital” andthese same issues continued to be prominent in the followingsection on heresy. Much of this section covered familiarmaterial in that Hobbes again took the reader back to theGreek origins of the word and traced its etymology and historyin a manner similar to the Historical Narration and Behemoth.He also demonstrated again that heresy was no longer a crimeunder statute law since the earlier statutes defining thecrime and punishment had been repealed. However, within thesenow familiar accounts there was one new element which deservesattention. In the historical account, the Philosopherexplained how the terms “Catholic” and “heretic” had becomeopposites of each other. But the Lawyer interrupted:Ibid., pp. 116—7.238I understand how it [heresy] came to be a Reproach,but not how it follows that every Opinion condemnedby a Church that is, or calls it self Catholick,must needs be an Error, or a Sin. The Church ofEngland denies that Consequence, and that Doctrineas they hold cannot be proved to be Erroneous, butby the Scripture, which cannot Err; but the Church,being but men, may both Err, and Sin.°In this passage, the Lawyer had raised the two concepts of“error” and “sin” with regard to heresy. Clearly these termspointed towards the problem of the intentions of the“heretic”; whether he was simply “mistaken” in his belief, orwhether his belief was maliciously maintained. ThePhilosopher pursued these issues in his reply:In this Case we must consider also that Error, init’s own Nature, is no Sin: For it is Impossible fora Man to Err on purpose, he cannot have an Intentionto Err; and nothing is Sin, unless there be a sinfulIntention; much less are such Errors Sins, asneither hurt the Common—wealth, nor any private Man,nor are against any Law Positive, or Natural; suchErrors as were those for which Men were burnt in thetime when the Pope had Government of this Church.Here the Philosopher (and again I think, Hobbes) insistedthat there was a fundamental distinction between “error” onthe one hand and “sin” on the other. An error could not be asin, and intentionality itself formed the basis of this° Ibid., p. 126. It is worth remarking that, inopposing the Catholic position, the Lawyer has suggested thatScripture was not open to either error or sin, whereas theChurch, consisting of mere mortals, was open to both. Thisformula ignores the glaring problem of the interpretation ofScripture and the authority by which this should be done.Consequently, the Lawyer’s formula ignored, rather thansolved, the problems of the preceeding century concerning thisissue in the Church of England. Although Hobbes exploredthese issues in Leviathan, it is significant that he avoidedentering into them here.‘ Ibid.239distinction. Hobbes argued that a sin was only a sin if therewas sinful intention. Sinful intention created sin. However,according to Hobbes, man could not err on purpose, there beingno such thing as an “intention to err”. Thus, error and sinwere differentiated, and even polarized, by the issue ofintentionality. The former was defined by its very lack ofintentionality, while the latter existed only because of itsspecific intentionality. Consequently, this argumentconstituted yet another serious attack on the legitimacy ofthe crime of heresy itself.Hobbes’s use of these terms “error” and “sin” points to alarger issue in his writing and a larger distinction betweenhimself and the other writers we have studied. Hobbes’s useof error assumed that the individual “heretic” did notconsider that he was erring. Rather he considered “orthodoxy”to be at fault and his own beliefs to be true. On this level,then, Hobbes was claiming the individual had no intention toerr. The individual’s own view of his actions and his ownintentions determined the validity of his beliefs since noexternal standards were relevant. This position stood inmarked contrast with, for example, More’s. For More, aheretic had to have the error of his beliefs demonstrated tohim according to the external standards of the consenus ofChristian belief. Once such errancy had been demonstrated andexplained, if the individual persisted in his beliefs, then hehad (according to More) an intention to err, despite his owndenials to the contrary. In other words, the external240consensus formulated a verdict not only concerning theindividual’s beliefs, but also concerning his intentions inholding those beliefs. For More, the verdict of the consensustook precedence over the individual’s interpretation of hisown intentions.In light of this comparison with More, it is evident thatHobbes had removed one key ingredient from the charge ofheresy, namely the judgement of intentions. If, as Hobbesclaimed, a man could not “intend” error, and yet heresy hadbeen defined as the stubborn or obstinate maintenance oferror, then a man’s intentions had nothing whatsoever to dowith judging whether or not he was a “heretic”. Thus,although Hobbes discussed intentionality in relation toheresy, the outcome of his analysis was to remove thejudgement of intentions from the charge of heresy. A man’sbeliefs were judged to be heretical simply because theycontradicted the dictates of the civil sovereign and a man’sintentions in holding those beliefs were no longer relevant.2Undoubtedly, Hobbes’s removal of judgement of intentions fromthe crime of heresy was in line with his other arguments onheresy, all of which (as we have seen) served to diminish thescope of the offence.However, before we draw any broader conclusionsconcerning the relevance of his position, it is necessary toIn other words, the intentionality of the believervis a vis his beliefs was no longer central to the charge ofheresy.241enquire briefly what, if anything, Hobbes made of the otherconcept we have been studying, “hypocrisy”. And in order toassess this we must turn our attention to a different work,Hobbes’s analysis of the English Civil War in Behemoth, or TheLong Parliament. Unlike Leviathan in which the word“hypocrisy” appears infrequently and the concept is notsubjected to close analysis, Behemoth is riddled withreferences to “hypocrites” and “hypocrisy”, the issue beingplaced at the forefront of Hobbes’s analysis of the war.3Consequently, in order to examine Hobbes on hypocrisy, we willnow examine this text.In Behemoth Hobbes provided a “history” of the Civil Warfrom 1640 to 1660 in a dialogue between two characters, A andB. However, within the very first lines of the text Hobbesmade clear his preoccupation with the character and intentionsof the men who precipitated the Civil War. His history of thewar was more than a simple descriptive account of events butrather it focused on intentionality.5 Before anyAlthough the word “hypocrisy” is used infrequently inLeviathan, similar problems arise when it is used to those weshall encounter in Behemoth. For example, Hobbes wrote“seeing no man is able to discern the truth of another man’srepentence, further than by external marks, taken from hiswords and actions, which are subject to hypocrisy . . .“Leviathan, p. 500. This use of the term hypocrisy entails adisparity between internal thoughts and external words oractions, a disparity which, as we shall see, Hobbes in factlegitimated in Leviathan. Hence, to use the pejorative term“hypocrisy” when referring to a legitimated disparity seemsproblematic.Deborah Baumgold has remarked on Hobbes’s interest in“hypocrisy” in Behemoth. See Baumgold, Hobbes’s PoliticalTheory, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 121242explanations had been offered or any reasons given, characterA of the dialogue pronounced negative views of theperpetrators of the war in a dramatic and bold statement:A: If in time, as in place, there were degrees ofhigh and low, I verily believe that the highest oftime would be that which passed between the years of1640 and 1660. For he that thence, as from theDevil’s Mountain, should have looked upon the worldand observed the actions of men, especially inEngland, might have had a prospect of all kinds ofinjustice, and of all kinds of folly, that the worldcould afford, and how they were produced by theirdams hypocrisy* and self-conceit, whereof the one isdouble iniquity, and the other double folly.Thus, hypocrisy, that “double iniquity”, and self-conceit wereplaced at the heart of the Civil War and consequently were tohave prominence in Hobbes’s account of it. Character B echoedback this interest in intentionality when he responded that hewished to hear about the actions of that period and of “theircauses, pretensions, justice, order, artifice, and event”.And yet, despite this focus on hypocrisy and the evilintentions of the perpetrators of the war, Behemoth containsan explicit incongruity in Hobbes’s approach to hypocrisy, Onthe one hand, the text is littered with claims that others(usually the Presbyterians) were hypocrites. But, on theother hand, the text contains seemingly contradictorystatements which negate the very use of the term “hypocrite”.where she writes: Hobbes “did not intend [Behemoth] to be adescriptive history of the war, but only meant to tell thestory of the ‘injustice, impudence, and hypocrisy,’ the‘knavery, and folly’ of that Parliament that precipitated thewar”.Thomas Hobbes, Behemoth or The Long Parliament,Ferdinand Tönnies, ed., 2nd edition, (New York: Barnes &Noble, Inc., 1969), p. 1.243“Hypocrisy”, Hobbes wrote, “hath indeed this great prerogativeabove other sins, that it cannot be accused*”.56 It could notbe accused because man was unable to know the intentions ofothers: as Hobbes wrote “we cannot safely judge of men’sintentions”. Once again, Hobbes expressed the totalimpossibility of making accusations based on the intentions ofothers when he enquired “who can prove they [thePresbyterians] do not believe [what they pretend tobelieve]”.8 These negations of the charge of hypocrisy andof the possibility of judging intentions stand in starkcontrast to a whole series of contradictory remarks: forexample, “there were many [Parliamentarians] that haddiscovered the hypocrisy, and private aims of theirfellows”;9 and again, the Presbyterians “meant to force[Henrietta Maria] to hypocrisy, being hypocritesthemselves” 60Why would Hobbes include such contradictory statementsconcerning hypocrisy and intentionality in the text ofBehemoth? There is no simple answer to this question, butthere is one obvious possibility which must be dismissed. Thecontradictory statements cannot be attributed to Behemoth’s6 Ibid., p. 48.Ibid., p. 72.8 Ibid., p. 49.Ibid., p. 139.60 Ibid., p. 61.244presentation in dialogue form. Of the quotations alreadycited, contradictory comments come from the voices of bothcharacters A and B. Whereas in More’s dialogue, as we haveseen, the form itself played an important role in thestructure of his argument, the same techniques can not befound in Hobbes’s work. While it is indeed interesting, asRichard Tuck has pointed out, that Hobbes used this “humanist”style of writing in several of his later works, in generalboth scholars and Hobbes’s contemporaries have found littlespecific purpose behind this form of presentation. All havetended to agree with John Wallis’s now famous pronouncementthat the dialogues were conversations “between Thomas andHobbes”.6- There is none of the subtle play in Hobbes’sdialogue that was evident in More’s and most particularlythere was no literary device whereby the reader was broughtinto the dialogue process. Where More had used the dialogueform to involve the reader in the judgemental process, to makehim an integral part of the basis upon which heretics could bejudged with legitimacy, Hobbes simply used both characters toexpress his own views. Hobbes’s process was to inform thereader of a predetermined verdict (that the Presbyterians,amongst others, were hypocrites and were responsible for theCivil War), not to involve the reader in the making andpassing of that verdict.61 See Tuck, Hobbes, p. 35.245Perhaps, then, Hobbes was not attempting to employ the“humanist” dialogue form which was so much a vehicle ofexploration rather than indoctrination. Hobbes’s dialogue ismore strongly reminiscent of a catechism or of the“quaestiones” of scholasticism in which doctrine was expoundedby a system of questions and answers. The dialogue ofBehemoth in particular has more in common with the catechismalform as this was often the method by which the young learntfrom their superiors. In Behemoth there is precisely such asituation since character B described himself as having beentoo young to “see so well” during the Civil War years, whereascharacter A was described as having been “in that part of[his] age, wherein men used to see best into good and evil•I•62 In other words, character A had the age and wisdom ofthe “teacher” whereas character B was firmly cast in the roleof a student.63 The indoctrinating nature of the text as awhole has been pointed out by M. M. Goldsmith in hisintroduction to the second edition of Ferdinand Tönnies’edition of the work. Goldsmith concluded his introduction bystressing that Behemoth’s central message was that, in orderto avoid further insurrection and rebellion “men should betaught Hobbism”, or put even more strongly, “Hobbism should be62 Behemoth, p. 1.63 See Royce MacGillivray, “Thomas Hobbes’s History ofthe English Civil War: a Study of Behemoth”, J. H. I., 31,1970, pp. 179-198, especially pp. 179 and 184. MacGillivrayremarks that “it is . . . highly possible that . . . thedidactic function is part of the reason why Hobbes chose thedialogue form”.246established by authority”.6 Thus, while Goldsmith hasoffered a possible explanation for the dialogue form ofBehemoth, this explanation does not resolve the contradictionsconcerning hypocrisy.Perhaps, then, a closer examination of the text itself,rather than its structure, might reveal the purpose behindthese contradictions. As we have seen, the dialogue openedwith a firm statement of purpose and viewpoint. The purposewas to observe the period of the Civil War, and the viewpointwas to demonstrate the hypocrisy and self-conceit of those whoperpetrated the war. This viewpoint was common to bothcharacters A and B who proceeded to discuss what kinds ofpeople could have “seduced” the populace into war against theKing. Throughout the following descriptions of the Papists,Presbyterians, sectarians and others who perpetrated the war,there were constant reminders of Hobbes’s intention to examineonly “the story of [the perpetrators’] injustice, impudenceand hypocrisy”6 and not to provide a full “history” of thewar itself. The “pretended” powers and claims of the papacywere examined in detail, particularly the papal punishments ofexcommunication and of heresy, which were shown to rest upon“false” premises. The legitimacy of the Reformation inEngland was then demonstrated while the language denigrating6 Behemoth, intro, to second edition, p. xiv. See alsoMark Hartman, “Hobbes’s Concept of Political Revolution” J. H.I., 47, 1986, p. 493, where the didactic function of the textis stressed.6 Behemoth, p. 119.247the Papacy, particularly regarding moral integrity andhonesty, continued.66 For example, character B remarked that“there was never such another cheat in the world” as thePapacy and he praised such works as The Mystery of Iniquityand The Grand Imposture which chronicled the evil progress ofthe Pope’s power.67Next, attention was turned to the Presbyterians and “bywhat art and what degrees they became so strong”.68 It wasargued that they joined forces with certain gentlemen whodesired popular government in the civil state just as thePresbyterians had desired popular government in the Church.And, yet again, aspersions were cast on their motivations:And though it be not likely that all of them did itout of malice, but many of them out of error, yetcertainly the chief leaders were ambitious ministersand ambitious gentlemen. • • •Hobbes then argued that the Presbyterians used a whole seriesof false pretences and false techniques to win the favour ofthe people. One of the most dramatic charges related to theirtechnique of preaching. Hobbes claimed that their “godliness”was a pretence covering their seditious intentions:66 Ibid., pp. 18—22.67 Ibid., p. 20—21.68 Ibid., p. 23.69 Ibid.248no tragedian in the world could have acted the partof a right godly man better than these did; insomuchas a man unacquainted with such art, could neversuspect any ambitious plot in them to raise seditionagainst the state, as they then haddesigned . . . •70Thus, the Presbyterians were “actors” who, behind a pretenceof godliness, hid seditious ambitions. In effect, this was acharge that the Presbyterians were hypocrites since theirintentions were divergent from their professions. And Hobbesdid indeed proceed to charge them with hypocrisy. However, heoffered a completely different justification for doing so thanthe divergence between intentions and profession. Within thesame section Hobbes claimed that the Presbyterians werehypocrites because the proceedings which they had initiatedended in war and impious acts. Character B remarked:Who would think that such horrible designs as thesecould so easily and so long remain covered with thecloak of godliness? For that they were most impioushypocrites, is manifest enough by the war theirproceedings ended in, and by the impious acts inthat war committed.7’Here, then, Hobbes’s argument was that because the waritself was an evil, and because “impious” acts were committedduring it, the perpetrators of that war must have been evilthemselves, despite their outward pretence of godliness.Hence, the outcome of the Presbyterians’ actions, and nottheir own intentions in acting were at stake in thisaccusation of hypocrisy. Had Hobbes in effect reformulatedthe charge of hypocrisy in such a way as to avoid the‘° Ibid., p. 24.“ Ibid., p. 26.249judgement of intentions altogether? While this may be thecase in this one instance, it is not true of Hobbes’s use ofthe charge of hypocrisy in general. Elsewhere, as I havealready indicated, Hobbes used “hypocrisy” in such a way thatjudgement of the intentions was still clearly involved. Forexample, in a passage discussing the actions and intentions ofthe Presbyterian ministers, character A remarked that if thepreaching of the ministers was considered a basis forjudgement, then they would defend themselves by saying theythought their preaching was “agreeable to God’s revealed willin the Scriptures. If they thought so”, character Acontinued, “it was not disobedience, but error. And how canany man prove they thought otherwise?” Character B respondedwith the previously quoted comment that “Hypocrisy hath indeedthis great prerogative above other sins, that it cannot beaccused”.72 This defence of the Presbyterians relied on thefact that to judge hypocrisy it was necessary to judgeintentions, and this could not be done.Thus, the incongruity of the text of Behemoth concerning“hypocrisy” remains, although there is one final avenue worthexploring. At one point Hobbes seemed to suggest that humannature itself was an adequate basis for assuming the worstwhen judging the intentions of others. Characters A and Bwere discussing the nobility of Scotland and the reasons whythey were so averse to episcopacy. Character B cast72 Ibid., p. 48.250aspersions on their objection to episcopacy suggesting that itcould not be the result of extraordinary tender consciencesbecausein their lives they [the Scottish nobility] werejust as other men are, pursuers of their owninterests and preferments, wherein they were notmore opposed by the bishops than by theirPresbyterian ministers.Character A responded that he did not know why the nobilitydisliked episcopacy because he could not “enter into othermen’s thoughts, farther than [he was] led by the considerationof human nature in general”.74 However, on this very basis of“human nature” alone, character A went on to suggest that thenobility were hostile to episcopacy because of their own self-conceit, thirst for power, and unbridled greed. In this case,then, Hobbes seemed to suggest that human nature aloneentitled men to think the worst when assessing the intentionsof others.However, once again, such a conclusion would be an oversimplification of Hobbes’s position because within a matter ofpages he reversed this assessment of human nature in the caseof one individual. Character A would not accept the “veryuncharitable censure” of those who claimed that the Duke ofHamilton had failed to prevent the war in Scotland because hehad private ambitions to become King of Scotland by means ofthe very war he was supposed to prevent. Whereas previously,Ibid., p. 29.Ibid.251human nature had been a sufficient basis for assuming theworst about another’s intentions, here character A argued thatit was wrong “upon so little ground to judge so hardly of aman, that afterwards lost his life in seeking to procure theliberty of the King his master”.75 Thus, by redeemingHamilton from censure, Hobbes had tacitly rejected that humannature alone was a sufficient basis for always assuming theworst about the intentions of others.What, then, may we conclude concerning accusations ofhypocrisy in Behemoth? We have seen that Hobbes used the termtime and again and that one of the most persistent argumentsin this work concerned the evil intentions versus the outward“godliness” of those who perpetrated the war. On the otherhand, we have also seen that Hobbes repeatedly drew attentionto the impossibility of judging the intentions of others andhence the impossibility of “accusing” hypocrisy. Lastly, wehave seen that whenever Hobbes provided a foundation forjudging hypocrisy, he undermined it almost immediately. Inlight of these conclusions, we are bound to enquire whyHobbes, who built an entire political philosophy on clarity inthe definition of words and consistency in their use, wouldhave used the word and concept of hypocrisy in such a selfcontradictory manner? And the answer must lie, I think, in thecontradictory requirements of his “philosophy” versus his useof “rhetoric” or “polemics” in this work. As I willIbid., p. 31—2.252demonstrate, Hobbes’s “philosophy” as developed in Leviathanhad denied the possibility of knowing another’s intentions,thereby removing the necessary foundation for all charges ofhypocrisy. On the other hand, the rhetorical and polemicallanguage he employed in Behemoth drew upon the polemicallanguage of that time which, as we have seen, included chargesof hypocrisy. Hence, the rhetorical nature of Behemoth willbe illustrated first of all, after which the implications ofHobbes’s “philosophy” for the concept of hypocrisy will beexplored.As several scholars have recently noted, rhetoric,polemics, and the “art of persuasion” played a larger role inthe works of Hobbes than has previously been acknowledged.76Within this wider recognition of the role of rhetoric in hisworks, attention has been drawn to its use in Behemoth,especially for didactic purposes. In a recent article, NoamFlinker has presented a different interpretation of Behemoth,arguing that its purpose was not solely to teach “Hobbism” as76 A most influential work in this respect has beenDavid Johnston, The Rhetoric of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes andthe Politics of Cultural Transformation, (Princeton:Princeton University Press, 1986). In addition see, JeffreyBarnouw, “Persuasion in Hobbes’s Leviathan”, Hobbes Studies,vol. 1, 1988, pp. 3-25; William Sacksteder, “Hobbes:Philosophical and Rhetorical Artifice”, Philosophy andRhetoric, vol. 17-18, 1984-85, pp. 30-46; and Frederick G.Whelan, “Language and Its Abuses in Hobbes’ PoliticalPhilosophy”, American Political Science Review, vol. 75, 1981,pp. 59—75.253a remedy for political unrest.7 Flinker has claimed thatBehemoth displays a progressive breakdown in the ability ofcharacter A to teach character B. Character B commenced thedialogue as a receptive and keen student whereas, by the end,he was unable to memorize, let alone assimilate character A’sinstruction. Flinker explains this breakdown by suggestingthatHobbes was conceivably interested in confusing hisreaders by leading them to identify with ‘B’ inorder to convince them of the unreliability ofrhetoric and persuasion. In these terms, thedialogue form of Behemoth is a technique forrepudiating itself in favor of the less rhetoricallogic of the Leviathan.’8Clearly, Flinker is in agreement with other historians thatHobbes employed rhetorical devices in this text. Disagreementonly arises over what these rhetorical devices were intendedto demonstrate. It would be appealing to explain thediscrepancies over “hypocrisy” by agreeing with Flinker thatBehemoth displays a progressive breakdown of communication inorder to convince the reader of the unreliability of rhetoric.However, this solution is untenable. Flinker argues that thedialogue was effective in Book 1 of Behemoth and onlydeteriorated as the text progressed. But the discrepancies wehave noted concerning hypocrisy were present from the verybeginning of the work and hence cannot be explained in thisNoam Flinker, “The View From The ‘Devil’s Mountain’:Dramatic Tension in Hobbes’s Behemoth”, Hobbes Studies, 2,1989, pp. 10—22.78 Ibid., p. 20.254way. Consequently, while Flinker’s argument is suggestive ofa more subtle manipulation of the dialogue form by Hobbes thanhas previously been acknowledged, it cannot explain thediscrepancies surrounding “hypocrisy”.However, this complication aside, Flinker is in agreementwith other historians about Hobbes’s use of rhetoricaldevices. Since, then, Hobbes was employing and manipulatingthe current rhetoric surrounding the religious factions at theheart of the Civil War, we should not be surprised (given ouranalysis of the religious and polemical use of the termthroughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) atHobbes’s liberal use of the terms “hypocrisy” and “hypocrite”in this text. In addition, Hobbes’s contradictions whenproviding a foundation upon which hypocrisy could be judgedcan obviously be explained in the same way given the confusionwe found in many writers concerning how intentions should bejudged. Hence, Hobbes’s repeated use of the label “hypocrite”and his varied statements regarding the basis of theaccusation can easily be explained by the “rhetorical” natureof Behemoth.What, however, of Hobbes’s equally repeated insistencethat hypocrisy “could not be judged”, that another’sintentions could not be known? These statements have theirorigin not in Hobbes’s manipulation of rhetoric, but in his“philosophy”. In order to demonstrate this we must turn tosome of the intricate and detailed arguments in Leviathanwhere Hobbes insisted upon the deep and unbridgeable gulf255between the external, public world of words and actions andthe internal, private world of thoughts, beliefs and desires.For example, it was an error, Hobbes claimed, “to extend thepower of the Law, which is the Rule of Actions onely, to thevery Thoughts, and Consciences of men . . . “ Time andagain, he stressed the division between the external and theinternal, using precisely these dramatic terms to emphasizethe distinction between the two worlds:For internall Faith is in its own nature invisible,and consequently exempted from all humanejurisdiction; whereas the words, and actions thatproceed from it, as breaches of our Civillobedience, are injustice both before God and Man.8°The individual Christian, Hobbes maintained, was at liberty to“obey” by making external profession and yet hold internally,“in his heart”, a different belief:A private man has alwaies the liberty, (becausethought is free,) to beleeve, or not beleeve in hisheart . . . . But when it comes to confession ofthat faith, the Private Reason must submit to thePublique . . .The above quotations make it clear that Hobbes asserted adistinction between the private and the public worlds, betweeninner and outer, between internal and external. However,these quotations still leave some room for doubt regarding thefinal relationship between the two worlds. The possibilityremains that Hobbes ultimately reunited the two worlds byLeviathan, p. 700.80 Ibid., p. 550.81 Ibid., p. 478.256suggesting that the inner world must submit to the outer.After all, he laid constant stress on the need for individualconformity to the demands of public religion. However, in onecrucial passage, Hobbes provided an animated defence of theinner world whilst still insisting on conformity to external,public doctrine. The passage provides us with the bestpossible insight into the deep split which Hobbes maintainedbetween two separate but equally legitimate worlds, neitherone needing to impinge on the other. It is a lengthy passage,but worth quoting in full:But what (may some object) if a King, or a Senate,or other Soveraign Person forbid us to beleeve inChrist? To this I answer, that such forbidding isof no effect, because Beleef, and Unbeleef neverfollow mens Commands. Faith is a gift of God, whichMan can neither give, nor take away by promise ofrewards, or menaces of torture. And if it befurther asked, What if wee bee commanded by ourlawfull Prince, to say with our tongue, wee beleevenot; must we obey such command? Profession with thetongue is but an externall thing, and no more thenany other gesture whereby we signifie our obedience;8Hobbes went on to explain that in such circumstances aChristian had the same liberty as the prophet Elisha allowedto Naaman the Syrian, to believe in God “in his heart” and yetto denounce publicly such a belief by bowing to the idolRimmon. In adverse conditions, then, Hobbes allowed the twoworlds of faith and public worship to be completely separateand distinct.83 When the demands of the two worlds were82 Ibid., p. 527—8.83 Although Hobbes legitimated the disparity betweenprivate belief and public performance, it should be pointed257divergent men could fully and equally satisfy both. Publicobedience was all that could be demanded by the State, andinternal belief was adequate for the demands of Christianityin these circumstances.8Thus, there can be no doubt that Hobbes fully acceptedthe distinction and division between public and private,between internal and external. And while the above examplesall revolved around maintaining an inner belief versus anouter conformity to public religion, the internal/externaldivision is also evident in another area of Leviathan as well.In Hobbes’s view of man we find the operations of the humanbeing itself explained in precisely these terms. Mennaturally had secret thoughts of all kinds which werecompletely free to roam, being subject to no restraints and,indeed, no censure. Only when thoughts were expressedexternally as words did they need to be constrained becauseout that he did not advocate or promote feigning. The dividedstate in which the internal and the external worlds werecompletely divorced from each other was acceptable ifcircumstances required it, but even then, if individuals hadsufficient strength, they should die for their beliefs: “Foran unlearned man, that is in the power of an Idolatrous King,or State, if commanded on pain of death to worship before anIdoll, hee detesteth the Idoll in his heart, hee doth well;though if he had the fortitude to suffer death, rather thanworship it, he should doe better”. Leviathan, p. 674.8 Hobbes made one exception to his rule legitimatingthe disparity between internal and external. The disparitycould not be allowed in public figures or ministers becausethe unlearned man who might follow their example could notdiscern their “feigned” worship from “sincere” worship. Theonly way in which disparity could be made legitimate in apublic figure was if his abhorrence of idol worship was madejust as clear to the external world as his “worship” of theidol was. Leviathan, p. 674.258they had to conform to patterns that were socially andpolitically acceptable. For example:The secret thoughts of a man run over all things,holy, prophane, clean, obscene, grave, and light,without shame, or blame; which verball discoursecannot do, farther than the Judgement shall approveof the Time, Place and Persons.8And again:For, (I believe) the most sober men, when they walkalone without care and employment of the mind, wouldbe unwilling the vanity and Extravagance of theirthoughts at that time should be publiquely seen:which is a confession, that Passions unguided, arefor the most part meere Madnesse.86If the make up of man was such that his secret or innermostthoughts were not subject to shame, blame, or even restraint,then it is not surprising that the distinction between innerand outer was employed by Hobbes to legitimate a possible gulfbetween thoughts and words, between thoughts and actions orbetween private, internal belief and public, externalreligion.These statements concerning both the requirements ofChristian behaviour in the Commonwealth and the make up of manrelate directly to Hobbes’s understanding of man as a“person”. In Part I, chapter 16 of Leviathan, “Of Persons,Authors, and things Personated”, Hobbes’s definition of a“person” (once again tracing the etymology of the term)incorporated the concept of a “feigned”, “artificial person”or “actor”. From the Latin and Greek, Hobbes demonstrated how8 Leviathan, p. 137.86 Ibid., p. 142.259the word had meant a “disguise”, an “outward appearance”, or a“mask”. Hence, in his understanding of man as “person”, theability to represent or “personate” another meant that theexternal appearance could legitimately be distinct from, andindeed radically different from, the internal reality. AsHobbes wrote:A person, is he whose words or actions areconsidered, either as his own, or as representingthe words or actions of another man . . . . Whenthey are considered as his owne, then is he called aNaturall Person: And when they are considered asrepresenting the words and actions of an other, thenis he a Feigned or Artificiall person.a Person, is the same that an Actor is, bothon the Stage and in common ConversationClearly, in his understanding of man as “person”, as well asin his analysis of the appropriate political action forChristians, Hobbes had legitimated the very disparity betweeninternal thoughts and intentions on the one hand, and words oractions on the other that was central to the charge ofhypocrisy itself. Since he had made the disparity betweeninternal and external complete and legitimate wherecircumstances demanded it, he had also legitimated the verydisunity which lay at the heart of all accusations ofhypocrisy. Thus, the inevitable outcome of such a view of manand his relationship to society would be, in Hobbes’s ownwords, that “hypocrisy [could not] be accused”. Therefore,what we can see in Hobbes’s rejection of the charge ofhypocrisy in Behemoth is the logical outcome of a philosophy87 Ibid., p.217.260which allowed for disunity between thought and deed. At thesame time, however, this rejection of the charge is contrastedsharply with Hobbes’s rhetorical use of the charge to persuadehis readers of the evil nature of those who helped perpetratethe war.What then may we conclude from this? The most strikingfeature of Hobbes’s treatment of hypocrisy is that he rejectedthe possibility of passing judgement on the intentions ofothers. As we have seen, his philosophy demanded such arejection while the self—contradictory bases he offered forhis rhetorical uses of “hypocrisy” helped reinforce theimpossibility of judging intentions coherently. What is more,we may now recall that judgement of the intentions was the keyingredient which Hobbes had also removed from the charge ofheresy. Thus, in Hobbes’s treatment of these two concepts wecan detect a retreat from the possibility of knowing, andtherefore judging another’s thoughts and intentions. If,then, we now consider the implications of Hobbes’s treatmentof heresy and hypocrisy, one highly significant point isevident. Hobbes’s treatment of these two words stands inmarked contrast to More’s insistence, over a century before,that intentions could and must be judged, and his detailedprovision of a foundation upon which to make such judgements.More’s foundation was the “consensus of Christian believers”,in which he attempted to include the reader of his DialogueConcerning Heresies. His Dialogue provided a mechanism fordemonstrating the malice and destructive intentionality of261heretics, and thereby provided a mechanism that included thereader in passing a negative judgement on hereticalintentionality. In the intervening century, not only did the“consensus of Christian believers” break down but, viapolemical exchange, two central words and concepts whichrequired the judgement of intentionality became “unhinged” anddestabilized. At the same time writers repeatedly found thejudgement of intentions a problematic issue. The concurrentemergence of such difficulties at the same time as Christianconsensus was also breaking down was far fromcoincidental.Indeed, historians have drawn attention to certainramifications of this breakdown. For example, Perez Zagorinhas shown how the growing diversity of religions combined withthe continued demands for religious conformity contributed toan escalating awareness of the problem of “dissimulation”.88Dissimulation itself relied upon exactly the same “gulf”between internal belief and external profession as we havebeen studying here. Indeed, Zagorin concluded that the linkbetween religious breakdown and the growth of concern withdissimulation was such that the periods of “Reformation” and“Counter-Reformation” might well bear the additional name of“The Age of Dissimulation”.89However, while Zagorin has demonstrated the growth ofconcern with a specific problem, indeed the emergence ofZagorin, Ways of Lying.Ibid., p.330.262language and structured doctrines authorizing a gulf betweeninternal and external, it has been my aim to demonstrate the“destabilization” and disruption which Reformation polemicsprecipitated in the language and concepts caught in the heatof controversy. In studying the destabilization of “heresy”and “hypocrisy” we have seen not only the definitions of thewords come adrift, but also the impossibility of discussingthe central issues around which the concepts revolved (namelyintentionality) when the words themselves were unhinged.Hence, Hobbes’s removal of the issue of intentionality fromboth concepts, his redefinition of heresy and his self—contradictory position concerning hypocrisy bear witness notonly to the demands of his own political philosophy but alsoto the effects of “reformation” polemics on language andconcepts.263CONCLUSIONIn the preceeding chapters we have surveyed literaturespanning one hundred and fifty years from the writings ofThomas More in the 1520’s to the later works of Thomas Hobbesin the 1670’s. In the process I have tried to demonstratethree distinct features of this literature: firstly, thatearly modern theological writings have relevance forintellectual history; secondly that the two words “hypocrisy”and “heresy” were “destabilized” by polemical exchanges inthis period; and thirdly that problems of intentionality andjudgement lay at the heart of the more probing analyses ofthese concepts. Inevitably, any “conclusions” to a study ofthis nature are more likely to take the form of “suggestions”rather than conclusions in the strict sense of the word, andconsequently we will now consider some suggestions of furtheravenues to pursue and further possibilities to contemplate.On the most simple and most obvious level, a comment mustbe made about the variety and the quantity of works whichcould be studied to expand this analysis of “hypocrisy” and“heresy”. The range of available material is vast. As wehave already seen, the Parker Society’s volumes teem withcontroversies in which “heresy” and “hypocrisy” played a part.The substantial works of William Fulke, for example, deal with264the problem of heresy in some detail.’ Likewise, WilliamWhitaker’s Disputation on Holy Scripture, being a defence ofProtestantism against Rome, deals at length with the issues ofheresy and authority.2 As we have also seen, Peter Milward’sReligious Controversies of the Elizabethan Age, and indeed hisReligious Controversies of the Jacobean Age, demonstrate thewealth of literature available for exploration.2 RobertBrowne, the separatist who gave his name to the “Brownist”movement in the early 1580’s, wrote two works of interest forour purposes. In the first, A Treatise upon the 23. ofMatthewe, both for an order of studying and handling theScriptures . . ., he dealt with the very biblical chapter fromwhich much of the confusion surrounding hypocrisy first arose.In the second, A Booke which sheweth the life and manners ofall true Christians, and how unlike they are unto Turks andPapistes and Heathen folke .. .,Browne made a specificattempt to classify the “definitions and divisions” of theparts of divinity, making it an interesting work for further‘ The Works of William Fulke, Parker Society, ed.,(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1848), vol. 18, pp.5—124, pp. 373—393.2 William Whitaker, A Disputation on Holy Scripture,against the Papists, especially Bellarmine and Stapleton,Parker Society, ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1849) vol. 45.Peter Milward, Religious Controversies of theElizabethan Age, (London: Scolar Press, 1977), and Milward,Religious Controversies of the Jacobean Age, (London: ScolarPress, 1978).265study.4 Another useful source which yields yet more relevanttexts is the Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed inEngland . . . 1475- 1640. In its pages are such hidden gemsas John Bate’s The Portraiture of Hypocrisie, liuely andpithilie pictured in her colours: wherein you may view thevgliest and most prodigious monster that England hath bredde.This work is worthy of detailed study since it comprises adialogue between a “hypocrite” and a godly Christian. Itattempts to expose “the corruptions of [such] double facedprotestants . . . whose actions are not answerable to theirChristian profession” .However, there are other ways in which my survey suggestsfurther avenues to pursue. In the introduction, it will berecalled, I claimed that a whole series of words were in astate of flux and were frequently defined and redefined byearly modern writers. These words included “hypocrisy”,“heresy”, “atheism”, “superstition”, and “apostasy” to namebut a few. While I have singled out hypocrisy and heresy forexamination in this thesis, partly as a practical method fordefining my project and partly because of the particularpolemical “relationship” between the two concepts, the earlymodern literature on all of these categories deservesMilward, Elizabethan Controversies, p. 36, nos. 137 &138.John Bate, The Portraiture of Hypocrisie, liuely andpithilie pictured in her colours: wherein you may view thevgliest and most prodigious monster that England hath bredde,(London: Robert Robinson for John Dalderne, 1579), “To theChristian Reader”.266attention. Indeed, even the well studied category of atheismmight prove revealing where problems surroundingintentionality and judgement are concerned. Drawing upon theexisting secondary literature, there are several indicatorsthat it might prove rewarding to study atheism with the issuesof intentionality and judgement in mind. Take, for instance,the early modern insistance upon defining atheism thatscholars have called attention to. It might be suggested thatthe urgent attempts to define atheism and the virtualobsession with categorizing and classifying types andvarieties of atheists was prompted by the pressing need toascertain how atheists could be “known”. The very languagewhich contemporaries used to try and classify atheists isindicative of this need. The “practical atheist” was onewhose atheism could be detected from his living and hisactions, whereas the “speculative” or “philosophical” atheistwas one who might be “known” by his words.Indeed, further evidence of this pressing concern overhow atheism might be “known” is hinted at by Michael Hunter inhis article on “The Problem of ‘Atheism’ in Early ModernEngland” where he alludes to the “fastidiousness” of earlymodern writers in their definitions of true “atheism”. Hunterprovides the example of Thomas Fuller whose reluctance tooffer an instance of a “speculative Atheist” was partlybecause “we cannot see mens speculations otherwise then asthey cloth themselves visible in their actions, someAtheisticall speeches being not sufficient evidence to convict267the speaker an Atheist”.6 Clearly, the problem of judgingatheists, of “knowing” whether men were indeed atheists,revolved around judgement of the inner man, of “knowing” hisintentions. The problem was directly analogous to theproblems we have seen where the judgement of heresy andhypocrisy was concerned.Hunter also suggests that Francis Bacon exhibited asimilar reticence to Fuller when it came to citing speculativeatheists. And if we study Bacon’s two pronouncements onatheism (one in the Essays and one in the “ReligiousMeditations”) we find, once again, a concern with theintentionality of the atheist. The “atheist”, just like the“hypocrite”, was motivated by the “malice of his will”;indeed, “the great atheists . . . are hypocrites, which areever handling holy things, but without feeling”.8 In fact,the whole problematic relationship between the internalthoughts and feelings of men on the one hand, and theirexternal words and actions on the other, formed an importantpart of Bacon’s analysis of atheism.96 Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State,(Cambridge: 1642), p. 383 cited by Michael Hunter, “TheProblem of ‘Atheism’ in Early Modern England”, RoyalHistorical Society Transactions, 5 series, vol. 35, 1985, p.144.Francis Bacon, “Religious Meditations”, in The Worksof Francis Bacon, 7 vols., James Spedding, Robert Ellis &Douglas Heath, eds., (London: Longmans & Co., 1870), p. 251.B Francis Bacon, The Essays, John Pitcher, ed.,(Harmondsworth: Middlesex, Penguin Books, 1985), p. 109.Bacon, “Religious Meditations”, p. 251.268Nor were Bacon’s attempts to differentiate between theinternal state or intentions and the external appearancesimply evident in his writings on “atheism” and “hypocrisy”.His “Meditation” “Of Impostors” is directed at precisely thissame distinction. A truly religious man, he argues, willconduct himself with “mildness and sobriety and appliabledemeanour” in his dealings with his fellow men. He willreserve his expressions of ardour for his own, individual,private relationship with God:His carriage and conversation towards God is full ofexcess, of zeal, of extasy. Hence groansunspeakable, and exultations, and raptures ofspirit, and agonies.With “impostors” (and, he also argues, hypocrites) these roleswill be reversed:in the Church and towards the people [impostors] setthemselves on fire, and are carried as it were outof themselves, and becoming as men inspired withholy furies, they set heaven and earth together.But if a man should look into their times ofsolitude, and separate meditations, andconversations with God, he would find them not onlycold and without life, but full of malice* andleaven . . . •10Bacon, it seems, was concerned with knowing and judging whatother men “really” were. As was the case in his “Meditation”on hypocrisy which we examined earlier, so here Bacon was alsodriven to making pronouncements about the internal state andthe intentions of others based only upon their externalappearances. He provided no mechanism for exploring thecomplexities of this judgement process and, once again, made‘° Ibid., p. 250.269assertions concerning intentionality rather than providing anyfoundation for informed judgement. But, despite this failureon Bacon’s part, it is apparent that many of his “ReligiousMeditations” were dominated by the need to judge who these men“really” were and establish how they might be “known”.We can, I think, make two suggestions based on the bodyof this thesis and on this brief look at Bacon and at atheism.Firstly, there was considerable concern in the early modernperiod with how men could ascertain the “true” nature of theirfellow men. This concern was not only expressed in thepolemical language of “heresy” and “hypocrisy” and in thefrequent attempts to structure and analyse these concepts. Wemight now suggest that these concerns were expressed, andtherefore could also be studied, in other judgementalpolemical language caught in the religious controversies ofthe early modern period.Secondly, I think we can suggest one further possibilityworth contemplating. As I indicated in the introduction, oneof my purposes in this thesis has been to show the relevanceof early modern theology for intellectual history. Thus, Ihave shown the relevance of the polemical unhinging of“hypocrisy” and “heresy” and the relevance of the problemssurrounding intentionality and judgement for our understandingof Thomas Hobbes’s views on these subjects. However, perhapswe could develop the implications of this study one step“ Perez Zagorin, Ways of Lying, bears witness to thissame concern.270further. In this thesis we have examined a breakdown in“knowledge” and a breakdown in “authority”. The early modernwriters we have studied failed repeatedly to establish acoherent method for “knowing” the intentions of others.Likewise, in the disagreements over the nature and judgementof heresy, we have witnessed the repeated inability of writersto establish a coherent definition of heresy and theirrepeated inability to establish a coherent authority by whichheresy might be condemned. Time and again the attempts ofwriters to establish “knowledge” vis a vis the condition ofothers and to establish “authority” vis a vis false beliefsended in self-contradiction and incoherence. In both cases,writers lacked a coherent foundation upon which to base their“knowledge” and “authority”. The only exception to thisincoherence was found in the writings of Thomas More. As wesaw, More explored the concept of heresy and the judgement ofintentions coherently. However, in order to do so, he notonly saw the need to establish an agreed foundation upon whichall “knowledge” was based, he also took as his foundation the“consensus” of Christian believers. Clearly, this“foundation” was simply not available for Protestants. Hence,in some sense the confusion and incoherence we have witnessedin studying Protestant treatments of “heresy” and “hypocrisy”was related to the Protestant search for a coherent foundationfor “knowledge” and “authority”.In conclusion, then, what I would like to suggest is thatthe concern with epistemology, which has been remarked upon in271the seventeenth century “philosophical” works of Hobbes andLocke, should not be examined in isolation. Nor should we seethis concern with epistemology as emerging exclusively in theseventeenth century or exclusively from the scientificdevelopments and the “rationalism” of that era. 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The Common Corps of Christendom.Ecciesiological Themes in the writings of Sir ThomasMore. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1982.Guy, J. A. The Public Career of Sir Thomas More. Brighton,Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1980.Hood, F. C. The Divine Politics of Thomas Hobbes. Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1964.Huntley, Frank Livingstone. Bishop Joseph Hall, 1574 - 1656:A biographical and critical study. Cambridge: D. S.Brewer Ltd., 1979.276_________Bishop Joseph Hall and Protestant Meditation inSeventeenth—Century England. Binghamton, New York:Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1981.Jardine, Lisa. Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art ofDiscourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974.Johnston, David. The Rhetoric of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbesand the Politics of Cultural Transformation. Princeton,New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1986.Kendall, R. T. Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1981.Lake, Peter and Dowling, Maria, eds. 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Calvinalia: Ideas and Influence of JeanCalvin, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, vol. X,1988, 93—105.Glover, Willis B. “God and Thomas Hobbes”, in Hobbes Studies.Edited by K. C. Brown. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1965,141—168.Gordon, Walter M. “The Platonic Dramaturgy of Thomas More’sDialogues”. Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies,vol. 8, 1978, 193—215._________“The Argument of Comedy in Thomas More’s DialogueConcerning Heresies”. Renaissance and Reformation, vol.16—17, 1980—81, 13—32.Halliday, R. J., Kenyon, Timothy, and Reeve, Andrew.“Hobbes’s belief in God”. Political Studies, vol. XXXI,1983, 418—433.Hartman, Mark. “Hobbes’s Concept of Political Revolution”. J.H. I., vol. 47, 1986, 487—495.Hepburn, Ronald, “Hobbes on the Knowledge of God”, in Hobbesand Rousseau: A Collection of Critical Essays. Editedby Maurice Cranston and Richard S. Peters. New York:Doubleday, 1972, 85-108.Hudson, Elizabeth K. “English Protestants and the imitatioChristi, 1580 - 1620”. 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