THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY -- VOLUMES 1 & 2
5. POLITICS AND CHURCH (FROM THE INTRODUCTION OP COMPULSORY CONFESSION, 1215, TO THE FRENCH REVOLUTION)
I have explained on page 240 to what extent in this brief survey I regard Politics and Church as connected; more profound reasons for this connection are adduced in the introduction to the division "The Struggle."  Moreover, no one will, I take it, deny that in the development of Europe since the thirteenth century the actually existing relations between Church and Politics have had decisive influence in many very important matters, and practical politicians are unanimous in asserting that a complete severance of the Church from the political State -- i.e., the indifference of the State in regard to ecclesiastical affairs -- is even to-day impossible. If we examine the pertinent arguments of the most Conservative statesmen. we shall find them even stronger than those of their doctrinaire opponents. Consult, for example, Constantin Pobedonoszev's book Problems of the Present. This well-known Russian statesman and supreme procurator of the Holy Synod may be regarded as a perfect type of the reactionary; a man of liberal views will seldom agree with him in politics; moreover, he is a member of the Orthodox Church. Now he expresses the opinion that the Church cannot be separated from the State, at any rate, not for long, simply because it would soon inevitably "dominate the State," and lead to a subversion in the theocratic sense! This assertion by a man who is so well acquainted with Church affairs and is most sympathetic towards the Church seems to me worthy of attention. He at the same time expresses the fear that as soon as the State introduces the principle of indifference towards the Church, "the priest will invade the family and take the place of the father." Pobedonoszev, therefore, ascribes such enormous political importance to the Church, that as an experienced statesman he fears for the State, and as an orthodox Christian for religion. should the Church get a free rein. That may give Liberals something to think about! It may in the meantime justify my standpoint, though I proceed from quite different premisses, and have quite different objects in view from those of the adviser of the Autocrat of all the Russias.
I intend, in fact, as this section, like the rest, must necessarily be brief, to direct my attention almost exclusively to the part played by the Church in Politics during the last six hundred years, for it is in this way that I expect to show what still lives on among us as a fatal legacy of former times. What has been already mentioned does not require repetition, and it would be equally superfluous to summarise what everyone learns at school.  Here a new field beckons to us, and we have before us the prospect of deep insight into the innermost workshop of world-shaping Politics. In other respects, of course, Politics are a mere matter of accommodating and adapting, and the past has little interest for the present; but here we see the permanent motives, and learn why only certain accommodations were successful, while others were not.
The Reformation is the centre of the political development in Europe between 1200 and 1800; its significance in politics resembles that of the introduction of compulsory Confession in religion. By the Confession (not only of great, publicly acknowledged and atoned sins, as formerly, but of daily misdeeds, secretly confided to the priest) the Roman religion had two tendencies forced upon her, both of which removed her ever further from the Gospel of Christ -- the tendency to a more and more absolute priestly hierarchy, and the tendency to an ever greater weakening of the inner religious aspect; scarcely fifty years had passed since the Vatican synod of 1215, when the doctrine was preached that the sacrament of atonement required not repentance (contritio) but only fear of hell (attritio). Religion was henceforth altogether externalised, the individual was unconditionally handed over to the priest. Obligatory Confession means the complete sacrifice of the personality. The conscience of earnest men all over Europe rose in revolt against this. But it was only the reforming activity of Luther that transformed the religious ferment, which had been seething throughout Christendom for centuries,  into a political power, and the reason was that he fused the numerous religious questions into one Church question. It was only in this way that a decisive step towards freedom could be taken. Luther is above all a political hero; we must recognise this in order to judge him fairly and to understand his pre-eminent position in the history of Europe. Hence those remarkable, significant words: "Well, my dear princes and lords, you are in a great hurry to get rid of me, a poor solitary man, by death; and when that has been accomplished, you will have won. But if you had ears to hear, I would tell you something strange. What if Luther's life were worth so much before God that, if he were not alive, not one of you would be sure of his life or authority, and that his death would be a misfortune to you all?" What political acumen! For subsequent history frequently proved that princes who did not absolutely submit to Rome were not sure of their lives; the others, however, according to Roman doctrine did not possess independent authority and never could possess it, as I have irrefutably proved in chap. viii., not only on the basis of numerous Papal bulls, but also as an inevitable conclusion from the imperialistic, theocratic premisses.  Now if we supplement the passage quoted by numerous others, where Luther emphasises the independence of the "secular government" and separates it completely from the hierarchy of a divinely appointed individual, where he desires to see "Spiritual law swept away from the first letter to the very last," the essentially political and national character of his Reformation is clear to all. In another passage he says: "Christ does not make princes or nobles, burgomasters or judges; that duty he lays upon reason; reason deals with external things, where there must be authorities."  That is surely the very opposite of the Roman doctrine, according to which every secular position, as prince or serf, every profession, as teacher or doctor, is to be regarded as an ecclesiastical office (see p. 165), in which above all the monarch rules in the name of God-not of reason. We may well exclaim with Shakespeare. ""Politics, O thou heretic!" This political ideal is completed by the constant emphasising of the German nation in contrast to the " Papists." It is to the "Nobility of the German nation" that the German peasant's son addresses himself, and that in order to rouse them against the alien, not on account of this or that subtle dogma, but in the interest of national independence and of the freedom of the individual. "Let not the Pope and his followers claim to have done great service to the German nation by the gift of this Roman Empire. First, because they have conferred no advantage on us thereby but have abused our simplicity; secondly, because the Pope has sought not to give us the Imperial Sovereignty, but to arrogate it to himself, in order to subjugate all our power, freedom, property, bodies and souls, and through us (had God not prevented it) the whole world."  Luther is the first man who is perfectly conscious of the importance of the struggle between imperialism and nationalism; others had only a vague idea of it, and either, like the educated citizens of most German cities, had confined its application to the religious sphere, had felt and acted as Germans, without, however, seeing the necessity of revolt in ecclesiastical and political matters; or, on the other hand, had indulged in fantastic daring schemes, like Sickingen and Hutten, the latter of whom made it his clear endeavour "to break the Roman tyranny and put an end to the foreign disease"; but they did not comprehend what broad foundations must be laid if war was to be declared with any prospect of success against so strong a citadel as Rome.  Luther, however, while calling upon princes, nobles, citizens and people to prepare for the strife, does not remain satisfied with the merely negative work of revolt from Rome; he also gives the Germans a language common to all and uniting them all, and lays hold of the two points in the purely political organisation which determined the success of nationalism, namely, the Church and the School.
Subsequent history has proved how impossible it is to keep a Church half-national, that is, independent of Rome and yet not decisively severed from the Roman community. France, Spain, and Austria refused to sign the resolution of the Council of Trent, and France especially, so long as it possessed Kings, fought vigorously for the special rights of the Gallic Church and priesthood; but gradually the most rigid Roman doctrine gained more and more ground, and to-day these three countries would be glad to receive, as a gift of grace. the no longer up-to-date but yet comparatively free standpoint of the Council of Trent. And as far as Luther's school-reforms are concerned -- which he sought to carry through with all the strength that a solitary giant has at his disposal-the best proof of his political sagacity is the fact that the Jesuits immediately followed in his footsteps, founded schools and wrote school-books with exactly the same titles and the same arrangement as those of Luther.  Freedom of conscience is a splendid achievement, as long as it forms the basis of genuine religion; but the modern assumption that every Church can harmonise with every system of politics is madness. In the artificial organisation of society the Church forms the inmost wheel, that is, an essential part of the political mechanism. This wheel may, of course, have more or less importance in the whole mechanism, but its structure and activity are bound to exercise influence upon the whole. And who can study the history of Europe from the year 1500 to the year 1900 and refuse to admit that the Roman Church has manifestly exercised a powerful influence upon the political history of nations? Look first at the nations which (in virtue of the numbers and pre-eminence of Catholics) belong to the Roman Church, and then at the so-called "Protestant" nations! Opinion may vary regarding them; but who will deny the influence of the Church? Many a reader may offer the objection that this is due to difference of race, and I myself have laid so much stress on the physical structure as the basis of the moral personality, that I should be the last to question the justice of this view;  but nothing is more dangerous than the attempt to construct history from a single principle; nature is infinitely complex; what we call race is within certain limits a plastic phenomenon, and, just as the physical can affect the intellectual, so too the intellectual may influence the physical. Let us suppose, for example, that the religious reform, which for a time surged so high among the Spanish nobility of Gothic descent, had found in a daring, fiery prince, a man capable -- though it were with fire and sword -- of freeing the nation from Rome (whether he belonged to the followers of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, or any other sect is absolutely and manifestly of no moment, the only important matter is the complete severance from Rome); does anyone believe that Spain, saturated as its population may be with Iberian and Chaotic elements, would stand to-day where it does stand? Certainly no one believes that, no one at least who, like myself, has looked upon these noble, brave men, these beautiful, high-spirited women, and has seen with his own eyes how this hapless nation is enslaved and gagged by its Church -- "priest-ridden" as we say -- how the clergy nip every individual spontaneous effort in the bud, encourage crass ignorance and systematically foster childish, degrading superstition and idolatry. And it is not the faith, not the acceptance of this or that dogma, that exercises this influence, but the Church as a political organisation, as we clearly see in those freer lands where the Roman Church has to compete with other Churches, and where it adopts forms which are calculated to satisfy men who stand at the highest stage of culture. It is still more manifest from the fact that the Lutheran, as also the other Protestant systems of dogma -- purely as such -- possess no great importance. The weak point in Luther was his theology;  if it had been his strong point, neither he nor his Church would have been of any use for the political work which he accomplished" Rome is a political system; it had to be opposed by another political system; otherwise there would only have been a continuance of the old struggle, which had gone on for fifteen hundred years, between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. Heinrich von Treitschke may call Calvinism "the best Protestantism" if he pleases;  Calvin was, of course, the real, purely religious Church reformer and the man of inexorable logic; for nothing follows more clearly from the consistently argued doctrine of predestination than the insignificance of ecclesiastical acts and the invalidity of priestly claims; but we see that this doctrine of Calvin was much too purely theological to shake the Roman world; moreover it was too exclusively rationalistic. Luther, the German patriot and politician, went differently to work. No dogmatic subtleties filled his brain; they were of secondary moment; first came the nation: "For my Germans I was born, them I will serve!" His patriotism was absolute, his learning limited, for in the latter he never quite threw off the monkish cowl. One of the most authoritative theologians of the nineteenth century, Paul de Lagarde, says of Luther's theology: "In the Lutheran system of dogma we see the Catholic scholastic structure standing untouched before us with the exception of a few loci, which have been broken away and replaced by an addition which is united to the old by mortar only, but unlike it in style";  and the famous authority on dogma, Adolf Harnack, who is no Catholic either, confirms this judgment when he calls the Lutheran Church doctrine (at least in its further development) "a miserable duplicate of the Catholic Church."  This is meant as a reproach on the part of these Protestant authorities; but we, looking at the matter from the purely political standpoint, cannot possibly accept it as such; for we see that this essential character of the Lutheran reform was a condition of its political success. Nothing could be done without the princes. Who would seriously assert that the princes who favoured reform were actuated by religious enthusiasm? We could certainly reckon on fewer than the fingers of one hand those of whom such an assertion could be made. It was political interests and political ambition, supported by the awakening of the spirit of national independence, that settled the matter. Yet all these men, as also the nations, had grown up in the Roman Church, and it still exercised a strong spell over their minds. By offering merely a "duplicate" of the Roman Church, Luther concentrated the prevailing excitement upon the political side of the question, without disturbing consciences more than was necessary. The hymn beginning
ends with the line:
That was the right keynote to strike. And it is quite false to say, as Lagarde does, that "everything remained as it was." The separation from Rome, for which Luther contended with passionate impetuosity all his life, was the greatest political upheaval that could possibly have taken place. Through it Luther has become the turning-point in the history of the world. For no matter how pitiful the further course of the Reformation was in many respects to be -- when greedy, bigoted princes" of unexampled incapacity," as Treitschke says, destroyed with fire and sword the spirit of Germany which had at last awakened, and handed the country over to the care of the Basques and their children -- Luther's achievement was not lost, for the simple reason that it had a firm political foundation. It is ridiculous to count the so- called" Lutherans" and estimate Luther's influence thereby -- the influence of a hero who emancipated the whole world, and to whom the Catholic of to-day is as much indebted as every other person for the fact that he is a free man. 
That Luther was more of a politician than a theologian naturally does not preclude the fact that the living power which he revealed flowed from a deep inner source, namely, his religion, which we must not confuse with his Church. But the discussion of this point is out of place in this section; here it suffices to say that Luther's fervent patriotism was a part of his religion. But one thing more is noteworthy, namely, that so soon as the Reformation revealed itself as a revolt against Rome, the religious ferment, which had kept men's minds in constant fever for centuries, ceased almost suddenly. Religious wars are waged, but Catholics (like Richelieu) calmly league themselves with Protestants against other Catholics. Huguenots, it is true, wrestle with Gallicans for predominance, Papists and Anglicans zealously behead one another -- but everywhere it is political considerations that occupy the foreground. The Protestant no longer learns the whole of the four Gospels by heart; new interests now claim his thought; not even the pious Herder can be called orthodox in the Church sense, he had listened too faithfully to the voice of nations and of nature; and the Jesuit, as confessor of monarchs and converter of nations, shuts both eyes to all dogmatic heterodoxies, if he can but promote Rome's interests. We see how the mighty impulse that emanated from Luther drives men away from ecclesiastical religion; they do not, of course, all take the same, but totally divergent, directions; the tendency, however -- as we can see even in the nineteenth century -- is increasing indifference, an indifference which first affects the non-Roman Churches, as being the weakest. This, too, is a fact of Church history which is most important for our understanding of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for it belongs to the few things which do not (as Mephistopheles says of politics) always begin at the beginning again, but follow a definite course. People say and complain, and some exult, that this means a defection from religion. I do not believe it. That would only be so if the traditional Christian Church were the quintessence of religion, and J hope I have clearly and irrefutably proved that that is not the case (see chap. vii.). Before that assertion could be valid, we should also have to make the extraordinary assumption that a Shakespeare, a Leonardo da Vinci, a Goethe, had had no religion: this point I shall touch upon again. Nevertheless this development means without doubt a decrease of ecclesiastical influence on the general political constitution of society; this tendency is apparent even in the sixteenth century (in men like Erasmus and More) and has been growing ever since. It is one of the most characteristic features in the physiognomy of the new world which is arising; at the same time it is a genuinely Teutonic and in fact old Indo-European feature.
I had not the slightest intention of even sketching the political history of six centuries on twenty pages, the one thing that seemed to me absolutely necessary was to put in a perfectly clear light the fact that the Reformation was a political act and indeed the most decisive of all political acts. It gave back their freedom to the Teutonic nations. No commentary is needed: the importance of this fact for a comprehension of past, present and future is self-evident. But there is one event which I should not like to pass over in this connection, the French Revolution.
It is one of the most astonishing errors of the human judgment to regard this catastrophe as the morning of a new day, a turning-point in history. The Revolution was inevitable simply because the Reformation had not been able to succeed in France. France was still too rich in pure Teutonic blood silently to fall into decay like Spain, too poor in itself to free itself completely from the fatal .embrace of the theocratic empire. The wars of the Huguenots have from the first this fatal feature, that the 'Protestants contend not only against Rome but also against the Kingship and oppose the latter's endeavours to create a national unity, so that we see the paradoxical spectacle of the Huguenots in league with the ultramontane Spaniards and their opponent, Cardinal Richelieu, in alliance with the protagonist of Protestantism, Gustavus Adolphus. But experience has proved that everywhere, even in Catholic countries, a strong Kingship is the most powerful bulwark against Roman politics; moreover it is (as we have seen in the previous section) the surest way to attain to great individual freedom on the basis of firmly established conditions. Thus the cause of the Huguenots stood upon tottering feet. They were in a still worse position when they finally surrendered, and -- giving up all political aspirations -- remained a purely religious sect; for then they were annihilated and scattered. The number of the exiles (leaving the murdered out of account) is estimated at more than a million. Consider what a power might in the intervening two centuries have grown out of that million of human beings! And they were the best in the land. Wherever they settled in new abodes, they brought with them industry, culture, wealth, moral strength, great intellectual achievements. France has never recovered from this loss of the choicest of its population. Thenceforth it fell a prey to the Chaos of Peoples, and soon afterwards to the Jews. To-day it is a well-known fact that the destruction and exile of the Protestants was not the work of the King, but of the Jesuits; La Chaise is the real author and executor of the anti-Huguenot movement. The French were formerly no more inclined to intolerance than other Teutons; their great legal authority, lean Bodin, one of the founders of· the modern State, had, though a Catholic himself, in the sixteenth century demanded absolute religious tolerance and the rejection of all Roman interference. Meantime, however, the nationless Jesuit -- the "corpse" in the hands of his superiors (vol. i. p. 575) -- had wormed his way to the throne; with the cruelty, certainty and stupidity of a beast he destroyed the noblest in the land. And after La Chaise was dead and the Huguenots annihilated, came another Jesuit, Le Fellier, who succeeded in getting the licentious King, who had been brought up in the crassest ignorance by his Jesuit teachers, so thoroughly under his power by the fear of hell, that his order could now proceed to the next struggle in Rome's interest, namely, to the destruction of all genuine, even Catholic religion; this was the struggle against the orthodox but independent Catholic clergy of France. The main object in this case was to destroy the national independence of the Gallican Church which the most pious Kings of the early ages had asserted, and at the same time the last traces of that profoundly spiritual mystic faith which had always struck such deep roots in· the Catholic Church, and now in Janssen and his followers threatened to grow into a far-reaching moral power. This object too was attained. Whoever desires to inform himself of the real Origines de la France contemporaine can do so, even without reading Taine's comprehensive work; he only requires to study carefully the famous Papal bull Unigenitus (1713), in which not only numerous doctrines of Augustine, but also the fundamental teaching of the Apostle Paul, are condemned as "heretical" he may then take up any handbook of history and see how this bull, designed especially against France, was enforced. It is a struggle of narrow-minded fanaticism. allied to absolutely unscrupulous political ambition, against all the learning and virtue which the French Catholic clergy still possessed. The most worthy prelates were dismissed and reduced to misery; others, as also many theologians of the Sorbonne, were simply thrown into the Bastille and so silenced; others again were weak, they yielded to political pressure and threats, or were bought with gold and benefices.  Yet the struggle lasted long. In a pathetic protest the most courageous of the bishops demanded a universal concilium against a bull, which, as they said, "destroyed the firmest foundations of Christian ethics, indeed the first and greatest commandment of the love of God"; the Cardinal de Noailles did the same, also the University of Paris and the Sorbonne -- in fact, all Frenchmen who were capable of thinking for themselves and were seriously inclined to religion.  But the same thing happened then as happened after the Vatican Council in the nineteenth century: the oppressive power of universalism prevailed; the noblest of men, one after the other, sacrificed their personality and truthfulness at this altar. Genuine Catholicism was rooted out as Protestantism had been. Thus the time was ripe for the Revolution; for otherwise there was nothing left for France but -- as already suggested -- Spanish decline. But this gifted people had still too much vigour for that, so it rose in rebellion with the proverbial rage of the long-suffering Teuton, but devoid of all moral background and without one single really great man. "A great work was never accomplished by such little men," Carlyle exclaims in reference to the French Revolution.  And let no one offer the objection that I overlook the economic conditions; these are well known, and I do estimate their importance highly; but history offers no example of a mighty rebellion brought about solely by economic conditions; man can bear almost any degree of misery, and the more wretched he is, the weaker he becomes; hence, the great economic upheavals, with the bitter hardships involved (see p. 355), have always, in spite of a few rebellions, taken a comparatively peaceful course, because some accustomed themselves gradually to new, unfavourable circumstances, others to new claims. History too, proves the fact: it was neither the poor oppressed peasant nor the proletariat that caused the French Revolution, but the middle classes of the citizens, some of the nobles, and an important section of the still nationally inclined clergy, and these were stirred and spurred on by the intellectual elite of the nation. The explosive in the case of the French Revolution was "grey brain- matter." It is most essential, if we wish to understand such a movement, to keep our eyes riveted upon the innermost wheel of the political machine, that wheel which connects the individual's inner being with the Community. In decisive moments everything depends on this connection It may be a matter of indifference whether we call ourselves Catholics or Protestants or what not; but it matters a great deal whether on the morning of battle the soldiers sing Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott or lascivious opera songs: that was seen in 1870. Now, when the Revolution broke out, the Frenchman had been robbed of religion, and he felt so clearly what was lacking that he sought with pathetic haste and inexperience to build it up on every side. The assemblee nationale holds its sessions sous les auspices de l'Etre supreme; the goddess of reason in flesh and blood -- a Jesuit idea, by the way -- was raised upon the altar; the declaration des droits de l'homme is a religious confession: woe to him who does not accept it! Still more clearly do we see the religious character of these endeavours in the most influential and impassioned spirit among those who paved the way for the Revolution -- in Jean Jacques Rousseau, the idol of Robespierre, a man whose mind was full of longing for religion.  But in all these things such ignorances of human nature and such superficiality of thought are revealed that we seem to see children or madmen at work. By what confusion of historical judgment could the whole nineteenth century remain under the delusion -- and let itself be profoundly influenced thereby -- that the French by their "Great Revolution" had kindled a torch for mankind? The Revolution is the catastrophe of a tragedy, which had lasted for two hundred years; the first act closed with the murder of Henry IV, the second, with the rescinding of the Edict of Nantes, while the third begins with the bull Unigenitus and ends with the inevitable catastrophe. The Revolution is not the dawn of a new day, but the beginning of the end. And though a great deal was accomplished, the fact cannot be overlooked that this was to a large extent the work of the Constituante, in which the Marquis de Lafayette, the Comte de Mirabeau, the Abbe Comte Sieyes, the learned astronomer Bailly -- all men of influence through their culture and social position -- played the leading part; to some extent also it was the work of Napoleon. Thanks to the Revolution this remarkable man found nothing left but the work of the Constituante and the political plans of men like Mirabeau and Lafayette, otherwise tabula rasa; this situation he exploited as only a brilliant, absolutely unprincipled genius, and (if the truth must be told) short-sighted despot, could.  The real Revolution -- le peuple souverain -- did nothing at all but destroy. Even the Constituante was under the sway of the new God that France was to present to the world, the God of phrase. Look at the famous droits de l'homme -- against which the great Mirabeau thundered in vain, finally exclaiming: "At least do not call them rights; say simply: in the public interest it has been determined ..." -- they are, however, still regarded by serious French politicians as the dawn of freedom. At the very beginning we find the words: "L'oubli ou le mepris des droits de l'homme sont l'unique cause des malheurs publics." It is impossible to think more superficially or to judge more falsely. It was not the rights, but the duties of men that the French had forgotten or despised, and so brought about the national catastrophe. That is manifest enough from my previous remarks and is confirmed step by step in the further course of the Revolution. This solemn proclamation is based, therefore, from the very outset, on an untruth. We know what Sieyes cried out in the assembly, "You wish to possess freedom and you do not even know how to be just!" the rest of the proclamation is essentially a transcription by Lafayette of the Declaration of Independence of the Anglo-Saxons settled in America, and this Declaration, too, is little more than a word for word copy of the English "Agreement of the People" of the year 1647. We can understand why so clever a man as Adolphe Thiers in his History of the Revolution hurries over this declaration of the rights of humanity, remarking merely that "it is a pity time was wasted on such pseudo-philosophical commonplaces."  But the matter cannot be regarded so lightly, for the sad predominance which this riding to death of abstract principles of "freedom of humanity" acquired over statesmanlike insight into the needs and possibilities of a definite people at a definite moment, continued to spread like an infectious disease. Let us hope the day may come when every sensible person will know the proper place for such things as the Declaration, namely, the waste-paper basket.
Rome, the Reformation, the Revolution, these are three elements which still influence politics, and so had to be discussed here. Nations, like individuals, sometimes reach a parting of the ways, where they must decide whether it is to be right or left. This was in the sixteenth century the case with all European nations (with the exception of Russia and the Slavs who had fallen under Turkish sway); the subsequent fate of these nations, even to the present and for the future, is determined in the most essential points by the choice then made. France at a later time wished completely to retrace her steps, but she had to pay dearer for the Revolution than Germany for her frightful Thirty Years War, and the Revolution could never give her back what she failed to acquire at the Reformation. The Teutons in the narrower sense of the word -- the Germans, Anglo-Saxons, Dutch, Scandinavians -- in whose veins much purer blood still flows, have, as we see, grown stronger and stronger since that turning-point in history and this justifies us in concluding that Luther's policy was the right one. 
In this connection I ought specially to call attention to the scattering of the Anglo-Saxons over the world as perhaps the most important phenomenon in modern politics; but it is only in the course of the nineteenth century that this fact has begun to reveal its almost incalculable importance, so that here I may content myself with general allusions, all other considerations being left to a later occasion. One point strikes us at once, that this extraordinary expansion of a small but strong people is likewise rooted in the Reformation. Nowhere is the political character of the Reformation so manifest as in England; here there were no dogmatic strifes at all; even from the thirteenth century the whole people knew that it did not wish to belong to Rome;  the King -- influenced by very worldly considerations -- had only to cut the connection, and the separation was at once complete. It was only at a· later time that some dogmas, which the English had never really adopted, were expressly rescinded: some few ceremonies too, especially the cult of the Virgin, which at all times had been repulsive to the people, were done away with. For that reason, after the Reformation, everything had remained as it had been, and yet all was fundamentally new. The expansive power of the nation, which Rome had held in check, immediately began to assert itself, and hand in hand with this -- and all the more rapidly, as it was to form the basis of that further development -- came the building up of a strong, liberal constitution. The great work was attacked simultaneously from all sides; the sixteenth century, however, was chiefly devoted to carrying out the work of the Reformation (in which the formation of powerful Nonconformist sects played a leading part), the seventeenth to the stubborn struggle for freedom, the eighteenth to the acquirement of colonial possessions. Shakespeare has correctly foreshadowed the whole process in the last scene of his Henry VIII: the first thing is a sincere recognition of God (the Reformation) then greatness will no longer be determined by descent, but by walking in the paths of honour (freedom resulting from strict performance of duty); the men thus strengthened shall then emigrate, to found "new nations." The great poet lived to witness the prosperity of the first colony, Virginia, and in The Tempest he has celebrated the wonders of the West Indian Islands -- the new world which began to reveal itself to the eyes of men, with its unknown plants and undreamt-of animals. Four years after his death the glorious Puritans had undertaken with still greater energy the work of colonisation; after untold hardships they founded New England, not from lust of gold, but, as their solemn proclamation testifies, "from love to God," and because they desired It a dignified Church service tinged by no Papism." Within fifteen years, twenty thousand English colonials, mostly from the middle classes, had settled there. Then Cromwell appeared, the real founder of the British Navy and hence of the British Empire.  Clearly recognising what was necessary, he boldly attacked the Spanish colossus, took from it Jamaica, and was making preparations to conquer Brazil, when death robbed his country of his services. Then for a time the movement came to a standstill: the struggle against the reactionary ambitions of Catholically inclined princes once more demanded all men's energies; in England, as elsewhere, the Jesuits were at work; they supplied Charles II with mistresses and gold; Coleman, the soul of this conspiracy against the English nation, wrote at that time, "by the complete destruction of pestilent heterodoxy in England ... the Protestant religion in all Europe will receive its death-blow."  It was only about the year 1700, when William of Orange had banished the treacherous Stuarts and finally laid the foundations of the constitutional State -- when the law had been passed that henceforth no Catholic could occupy the English throne (either as Consort or as Queen) -- that the Anglo-Saxon work of expansion began anew, and it was supported by numerous German Lutherans and reformed churchmen, who were fleeing from persecution, as also by Moravian brethren. Soon (about 1730) there lived in the flourishing colonies of England more than a million human beings, almost all Protestants and genuine Teutons, upon whom the hard struggle for existence exercised the same influence as strict artificial selection. Thus there arose a great new nation, which violently severed its connection with the Mother Country at the close of the century, a new anti-Roman power of the first rank.  But this separation in no degree weakened the expansive power of the Anglo-Saxons, who were joined as before by numerous Scandinavians and Germans. Scarcely had the United States severed their connection when (1788) the first colonists landed in Australia, and South Africa was wrested from the industrious but not very energetic Dutch. These were the beginnings of a world-empire which has grown enormously in the nineteenth century. And not only in the founding of such "new nations," as they floated before Shakespeare's mind, but also in the less important task of ruling alien peoples (India), one fact has invariably proved itself, that such things could be permanently, gloriously and fully achieved only by Teutons and only by Protestants. The huge South American continent remains quite outside of our politics and our culture; nowhere have the Conquistadores created a new nation; the last Spanish colonies are to-day saving themselves from ruin by going over to other nations. France has never succeeded in founding a colony, except in Canada, which, however, first flourished after England's intervention.  Real power of expansion is found only among Anglo-Saxons, Germans and Scandinavians, even the related Dutch have shown in South Africa more perseverance than power of expansion; the Russian expansion is purely political, the French purely commercial, other countries (with the exception of some few parts of Italy) reveal none at all.
If men did not lose their way and go astray by overattention to the incalculable details of history, they would long ago have been clear regarding the decisive importance of two things in politics, namely, race and religion. They would also know that the political conformation of society -- especially the conformation of that innermost wheel, the Church -- reveals the most secret powers of a race and of its religion, and thus becomes the greatest promoter of civilisation and culture, or, on the other hand, that it can altogether ruin a people by impeding the development of its capacities and favouring the growth of its most perilous tendencies. That Luther recognised this fact testifies to his pre-eminent greatness and explains the importance of the part which he played in the political organisation of the world. Goethe regarded it as the first and foremost historical duty of the Germans "to break the Roman Empire and raise up a new world."  But for the Wittenberg nightingale this would scarcely have been achieved. Truly, when those who share Luther's political views (no matter what they think of his theology) look at the map of the world to-day, they have every reason to sing with him:
1. See also Author's Introduction, vol. i. p. lxxx.
2. See in the preceding section, p. 352, the remarks about monarchical absolutism being a means of attaining national independence and of winning back freedom; also the remarks on p. 330 f. and the whole of chap. viii.
3. See p. 95 f.
4. I know of no more impressive document concerning the assassination of princes directed by Rome than the complaint of Francis Bacon (in 1613 or 1614) against William Talbot, an Irish lawyer, who had indeed been ready to take the oath of allegiance, but declared, in reference to an eventual obligation to murder the excommunicated King, that he submitted in this, as in all other "matters of faith," to the resolutions of the Roman Church. Lord Bacon then gives a concise description of the murder of Henry III and Henry IV of France and of the various attempts to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and James I. This brief contemporary account breathes that atmosphere of assassination, which, for three centuries, from throne to peasant's cottage, was to encompass the aspirations of the rising Teutonic world. If Bacon had lived later, he would have had plenty of opportunity to complete his account; Cromwell especially, who had made himself the representative of Protestantism in all Europe, was in daily, hourly danger. Whenever a misguided proletarian of the present day attempts to assassinate a monarch, the whole civilised world breaks out in exclamations of indignation, and all such criminal attempts are commonly put down as consequences of defection from the Church; formerly it was a different story, monks were the murderers of Kings and God had directed their hand. Pope Sixtus V, on hearing of the murder by the Dominican Clement, joyfully exclaimed in the consistorium: "Che 'l successo della morte del re di Francia si ha da conoscer dal voler espresso del signor Dio, e che percio si doveva confidar che continuarebbe al haver quel regno nella sua prolletione" (Ranke: Papste, 9th ed. ii. 113). The fact that Thomas Aquinas had considered murder of tyrants one of the "godless means" was naturally not applied here, for it was a question not of tyrants but of heretics (who are proscribed, see p. 174) or too free-thinking Catholics, like Henry IV.
5. Von weltlicher Obrigkeit.
6. Sendschreiben an den christlicher Adel deutscher Nation. An assertion which an unbiased witness, Montesquieu, later confirms: "Si les Jesuites etaient venus avant Luther et Calvin, ils auraient ete les maitres du monde" (Pensees diverse).
7. In order to comprehend how universal the religious revolt from Rome was in Germany a considerable time before Luther, the reader should consult the works of Ludwig Keller and especially the smallest of those known to me, entitled Die Anfange der Reformation und die Kelzerschulen (published among the works issued by the Comenius Society). We get an idea of the prevailing sentiment throughout all Germany in Luther's time from the unprejudiced and famous legate Alexander, who, writing on February 8, 1521, from Worms, informed the Pope that nine-tenths of the Germans were for Luther, while the remaining tenth, though not exactly in favour of Luther, yet cried out, Down with the Roman Court! Alexander often emphasises the fact that almost all the German clergy were against Rome and for the Reformation. (See the Depeschen vom Wormser Reichstage, 1521, published by Kalkoff,) Zwingli accurately described the part played by Luther amid the universal revolt when he wrote to him: "There have been not a few men before you who recognised the sum and essence of evangelical religion as well as you. But from all Israel no one ventured to join battle, because they feared that mighty Goliath who stood threateningly in all the weight of his armour and strength."
8. Nowhere can we feel the warm heart-throb of the Teuton better than when Luther begins to speak of education. He tells the Nobles that, if they seriously desire a Reformation, they should above all effect "a thorough reformation of the Universities." In his Sendschreiben an die Burgermeister und Ratsherren aller Stadte in deutschen Landen he writes in reference to schools, "If we gave one Gulden to oppose the Turks, here it were proper, even though they were at our throats, to give 100 Gulden, if but one boy might therewith be educated,"... and he, urges every citizen henceforth to give all the money, that he has hitherto thrown away on Masses, vigils, annual holidays, begging monks, pilgrimages and "all such rubbish," to the school, "to educate the poor children -- which would be such a splendid investment."
9. See vol. i. p. 320, vol. ii. p. 50, &c.
10. Harnack (Dogmengeschichte, Grundriss, 2nd ed. p. 376) writes: "Luther presented his Church with a Christology which for scholastic inconsistency far surpassed the Thomistic."
11. Historische und polilische Aufsatze, 5th ed. ii. 410.
12. Uber das Verhultnis des deutschen Staates zu Theologie, Kirche und Religion.
13. Dogmengeschichte, para. 81.
14. Concerning Luther's act of liberation which benefited the whole world -- even the strictly Catholic States -- Treitschke says (Politik i. 333): "Since the great liberating act of Luther, the old doctrine of the superiority of Church over State is for ever done away with, and that not only in Protestant countries. Of course it is hard to convince a Spaniard that he owes the independence of the Crown to Martin Luther. Luther expressed the great thought that the State is in itself a moral system, without requiring to lend its protecting arm to the Church; this is his greatest political service."
15. From the earliest times these were the favourite tactics at Rome. Alexander's letter to the Curia of April 27, 1521, gives an authentic account of the attempts to bribe Luther. In the same place we can see how the enthusiasm of Eck and others was kept warm by presents of money, benefices, &c., and how carefully they were enjoined to be "absolutely silent" on the matter (May 15, 1521).
16. Cf. Dollinger und Reusch: Geschichte der Moralstreitigkeiten in der romisch- katholischen Kirche I. Div. i. chap. v. § 7. Cardinal de Noailles always deseribes the Jesuits straight away as "the protagonists of depraved morals."
17. Critical Essays (Mirabeau).
18. The words which he puts in the mouth of Heloise are beautiful and specially applicable to the French of that time: "Peut-etre vaudrait-il mieux n'avoir point de religion du tout que d'en avoir une exterieure et manieree, qui sans toucher 1e coeur rassure la conscience (Part III. Letter xviii.).
19. The words which he puts in the mouth of Heloise are beautiful and specially applicable to the French of that time: "Peut-etre vaudrait-il mieux n'avoir point de religion du tout que d'en avoir une exterieure et manieree, qui sans toucher 1e coeur rassure la conscience (Part III. Letter xviii.).
20. When speaking of Napoleon's genius as a statesman, we must never forget (among other things) that it was he who finally reduced the Gallican Church to ruins, thus irretrievably delivering over the great majority of the French to Rome and destroying every possibility of a genuine national Church. He it was also who enthroned the Jews. This man -- devoid of all understanding for historical truth and necessity, the impersonation of wicked Caprice -- is a destroyer, not a creator, at best a codifier, not an inventor; he is a minion of the Chaos, the proper complement to Ignatius of Loyola, a new personification of the anti-Teutonic spirit.
21. Chap. iii.
22. Such a view is not to be obscured by sectarian narrowness: this is proved by the fact that the Bavarians -- who are still Catholic and lovers of freedom -- at the Electoral Assembly of the year 1640 not only sided with the Protestants in all important questions, but even, when the latter, represented by characterless princes, dropped their claims, asserted them again and contended for them in opposition to the faithless Habsburgs and cunning prelates (cf. Heinrich Brockhaus, Kurfurstentag zu Nurnberg, 1883, pp. 264 f., 243, 121 f.).
23. In the year 1231 proclamations were scattered over the whole country, fixed to walls, carried from house to house: "Rather die than be ruined by Rome!" What innate political wisdom!
24. Seeley: The Expansion of England, 1895, p. 146.
25. Cf. Green: History of the English People, vi. p. 293. Capital has been made of the fact that some perjurers and forgers misled the whole country by the discovery of a pretended, trumped-up plot of the Jesuits, but this does not disprove the fact of there having been a great international conspiracy, which was directed from Paris, a fact which has been established beyond doubt by numerous diplomatic documents and authentic Jesuit correspondence.
26. On September 3, 1783, the treaty was signed by which Old England relinquished its claims to New England. It is well known to what an extent "some few heroes and men of mark" were the heart and soul of this undertaking also; though the new nation to begin with did not choose a King, it honoured the personality of its founder by adopting as national emblem the stars and stripes, the old coat of arms which had been conferred on the Washingtons by English Kings. (This coat of arms can still be seen on the tombstones of the Washingtons in the church of Little Trinity, in London.)
27. How matters would have stood but for this intervention is seen from the fact that the Catholic priests there had already carried their point with regard to the "prohibition against the printing of books and that a "heretic" was strictly forbidden to live in the land!
28. November 1813, Conversation with Luden.
29. Though they take from us body, wealth, honour, wife and child: let it pass, it profiteth them not; the Kingdom must surely remain to us.