Selections from Bayle's Dictionary

By Pierre Bayle; E. A. Beller et al. | Go to book overview

Anabaptists , a Sect, which sprung up soon after the Rise of Lutheranism. Nicolas Storch, Mark Stubner, and Thomas Munzer, gave birth to it, in the Year 1521. It was founded upon the Abuse of a Doctrine, which they had read in a Book, published by Luther, in the Year 1520, De Libertate Christiana. This Proposition, which they met with in it, "A Christian Man is Master of every thing, and is subject to no one," and which Luther intended in a very good Sense,A seemed to them calculated to influence the Vulgar.

[Namely That, which he affixed to it, in explaining his meaning, when he perceived in what manner these People perverted his Expressions. "Which Words, written and interpreted by Luther in a good Sense, and explained by the opposite Aphorism, 'The same is a Servant of All, and Subject to All,' were perverted to a worse meaning by Men, impatient of their own, and the Peace of Others."1 His most zealous Adversaries confessed, that he disapproved of the seditious Behaviour, which seemed to be accidently owing to his Doctrine. Father Maimbourg relates, that the Rebels, having sent their public Declaration to Martin Luther, were disappointed in their Expectation of its receiving his Approbation;2"For," adds he, " Luther perceiving that many accused him of giving Occasion to this Rebellion, by the Books, which he had written in the Vulgar Tongue, in Defence of Evangelical Liberty, against the Tyranny of those, who overlaid it by human Traditions, answered this Accusation in a long Discourse, in which he shews them, that the Scripture enjoins Obedience to Princes and Magistrates, even though they should abuse the Power, which God has intrusted them with; that they ought to address themselves to God, and in

A

____________________
1
Frider. Spanhemius, de Origine, Progressu, Sectis, & Nominibus, Anabaptistarum, p.196. I make use of the Edition inserted in the Gangraena Theologiae Anabaptisticae of Cloppenbourg.
2
Maimbourg History of Lutheranism, Book I, p.114, Dutch Edit.

-26-

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Selections from Bayle's Dictionary
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Editorial Notes xxxiii
  • ABDAS 3
  • ADAM 8
  • ANABAPTISTS 26
  • AUGUSTIN 49
  • BERNARD 77
  • CASTILE 83
  • CONSTANCE 93
  • DAVID 96
  • Hobbes 125
  • JAPAN 142
  • KNUZEN 153
  • MANICHEES 157
  • POQUELIN 183
  • PYRRHO 202
  • REMOND 225
  • RUGGERI 241
  • SARAH 262
  • SPINOZA 291
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