JANOW, ya'nef, MATTHIAS OF: The first of the so-called precursors of Huss; d. in Prague Nov. 30, 1394. He descended from a noble Bohemian family and studied theology in Prague and Paris, where he remained nine years, to which was due his title of magister Parisiensis. In 1381 he was appointed canon in the cathedral of St. Vitus in Prague and confessor. He was not a great preacher, but exercised influence through his pastoral labors and writings. He considered that the abuses of the Church started from the papal schism, and that they could be healed only by moral renovation. Therefore he was intent upon church reform. In his writings he addressed himself to the common people. The reforms which he advocated were the abolition of all human additions to Christianity (doctrinal and ceremonial), and a return of believers to the love of Jesus and the simple foundation on which rested the Apostolic Church. He laid special stress on frequent communion, since he regarded the Lord's Supper as the most important means for spiritual growth, and emphasized the common priesthood of believers. He was a diligent student of the Bible and wrote from 1388 to 1392 various treatises which he later collected under the title Regulae veteris et novi testamenti. Parts of this work were erroneously ascribed to Huss and embodied in the Nuremberg collection of his works (vol. i., pp. 376-471).


BIBLIOGRAPHY. J. P. Jordan, Die Vorläufer des Hussitentums in Böhmen, Leipsic, 1846; F. Palacky, Geschichte von Böhmen, iii. 1, pp. 173 sqq., Prague, 1851; idem, Documenta Joannis Hus, pp. 699 sqq., ib. 1869 (the retractation of Janow); E. H. Gillett, Life and Times of John Hus, pp. 26 sqq., Philadelphia, 1870; A. H. Wratislaw, John Hus, pp. 61 sqq., London, 1882; J. Loserth, Wiclif and Hus, ib. 1889; Count Lützow, John Hus, pp. 3-60, ib. 1909.


    Origin of Movement (§ 1).
    Cornelius Jansen (§ 2).
    Jansenism Condemned by Pope (§ 3).
    Arnauld and Pascal (§ 4).
    Quesnel. The Bull Unigenitus (§ 5).
    Acceptants and Appellants (§ 6).
    Convolutionists (§ 7).
    Close of Controversies (§ 8).

1. Origin of Movement.

The religious movement known as Jansenism originated in the controversy on the doctrine of grace. It divided the Roman Catholic Church of France for over a century and developed a puritanical and separatist spirit in many ways analogous to that of French Calvinism. Since the writings of Augustine, after Paul, chiefly determined the belief of both Luther and Calvin, the Counter-Reformation was driven into an attitude of practical, though veiled, hostility toward his special teachings. They had had a powerful influence in


the Middle Ages on the mystics and the scholastics, which left its mark on the Thomistic theology of the Dominican order. At the Council of Trent, in regard to the doctrines of grace and of sin, they opposed the Scotist tendency toward semi-Pelagianism exemplified in the Franciscans and Jesuits. These latter, however, were victorious in the main, and soon boldly developed their deductions from the concessions made to them. The Pauline and Augustinian doctrine was now upheld especially by Michael Bajus (q.v.), professor of Louvain. The Franciscans obtained the condemnation of seventy-six of his propositions in 1567 and 1579. When the Jesuit Molina in 1588 taught semi-Pelagianism, the Dominicans brought serious charges against him. In order to settle the dispute between the two orders, Clement VIII. convoked in 1597 a congregatio de auxiliis to define decisively the relation of grace to conversion, but it was dissolved in 1607 by Paul V. As the gulf between the Roman Catholic Church and the churches of the Reformation became wider, the spirit of semi-Pelagianism in life and doctrine assumed larger dimensions in the Roman Catholic Church, and as Thomism degenerated into a lifeless scholasticism, it is not strange that the doctrine of Augustine became, in 1612, a new revelation for two young and zealous students of the University of Louvain, Cornelius Jansen and Duvergier de Hauranne, afterward abbé of St. Cyran (see DUVERGIER DE HAURANNE).

Cornelius Jansen.

Cornelius Jansen (b. at Acquoy in North Holland Oct. 28, 1585; d. at Ypres [66 m. w. of Brussels, Belgium] May 6, 1638) studied theology at the college of Adrian VI. in Louvain, where he formed an intimate acquaintance with Duvergier. He declined a position as teacher of philosophy, hating Aristotle as the father of scholasticism, and believing Plato's ideas of God and virtue superior to those of some Roman Catholic theologians. As president of the college of St. Pulcheria he taught theology. By continually reading the writings of Augustine, Jansen came to the conviction that the Roman Catholic theologians of both parties had deviated from the doctrine of the primitive Church, and in 1621 he resolved, with his friend Duvergier, to work for reform. For this purpose he entered into intimate connections with prominent Irish divines, and with the leaders of the new French Congregation of the Oratory. At his instigation, the University of Louvain excluded Jesuits from positions as teachers, and, in behalf of the university, he undertook journeys to Madrid, in 1623 and 1627, with reference to certain encroachments of the Jesuits. In 1630 he was appointed regius professor of Holy Scripture in Louvain, and in 1636 bishop of Ypres. He laid down the results of his studies of Augustine in his comprehensive work, Augustinus, seu doctrina Sancti Augustini de humanae naturae sanitate, aegritudine, medicina adversus Pelagianos et Massilienses (3 vols., Louvain, 1640). The first volume gives a historical exposition of the semi-Pelagian heresies; the second sets forth the Augustinian doctrine as to the state of innocence and the fall; while the third treats of the grace of Christ and of predestination in the spirit of Augustine. While the work was still in the press at Louvain, strenuous efforts were made by the Jesuit party there, through the papal nuncio at Cologne, to prohibit its appearance, but in vain. It was immediately reprinted in Paris and Rouen. The bull In eminenti (1642) reproached Jansen for the renewal of the heresies of Bajus, but he had then been dead for four years. It was only after a resistance of several years on the part of bishops, universities, and provincial estates that the bull was published in the Spanish Netherlands and its subscription enforced.

3. Jansenism Condemned by Pope.

The leader of the Jansenist party after the death of Jansen and Duvergier was Antoine Arnauld (see ARNAULD), the learned doctor of the Sorbonne, who, in 1643, published De la fréquente communion on the basis of the doctrine of predestination as taught by Augustine and Jansen. At the same time the Jesuits were eagerly at work to effect the condemnation of the Jansenist principles, being aided in their efforts by the French Dominicans, while the Dominicans of Spain and Italy took the part of Jansen. The University of Louvain requested the assistance of the Sorbonne in repelling the encroachments of the Jesuits and preventing the condemnation of Jansen's doctrines. As no particular doctrines of Jansen had been condemned as heretical in the papal bull, the Jesuits attempted to formulate, in the shape of definite propositions, the heresy of which they accused him. These were finally reduced to five, and in 1650 forwarded to Rome. They are as follows: (1) Some commandments of God are impossible of execution by the just, and the grace by which they might be truly fulfilled is lacking; (2) in the state of fallen nature inward grace is never resisted; (3) in the fallen state merit and demerit do not depend on a liberty which excludes internal necessity; freedom from external constraint suffices; (4) the semi-Pelagians admitted the necessity of an inward prevenient grace for the performance of every (good) act, even for the first act of faith; their heresy consisted in their assertion that this grace was of such a nature that the will of man was able either to resist or to obey it; (5) it is semi-Pelagian to say that Christ died or shed his blood for all men without exception. Pope Innocent X. condemned these theses in 1653 in the bull Cum occasione. Although this bull was confirmed neither by the assembly of the clergy nor by parliament, it was sent to the different dioceses for subscription, at the instigation of the Jesuits. The Jansenists declared their willingness to condemn the five theses in their heretical sense, but not as propositions of Jansen. Most of the Jansenists admitted the infallibility of the pope in matters of faith, but not as to facts of merely human knowledge. In 1654 the pope declared that these condemned theses were really in Jansen's Augustinus, and that their condemnation as the teaching of Jansen would have to be subscribed on pain of deprivation. Under these circumstances hundreds of the "party of grace" signed the condemnation.


4. Arnauld and Pascal.

In 1654 a priest at St. Sulpice, in Paris, refused absolution to the duke of Liancourt because of his protection of a priest who had refused subscription. Thereupon Antoine Arnauld (q.v.) published his Lettre à une personne de qualité, from which two propositions were immediately extracted by his opponents: (1) The grace of God, without which we can not do anything good, had left Peter at the time when he denied the Lord; (2) since not everybody can convince himself that the five condemned theses are in Jansen, a submission of respectful silence under the papal decision suffices; the submission of faith can not be required for the fact. Arnauld was expelled from the Sorbonne (1656), and eighty doctors went out with him rather than sign his excommunication. At this time Blaise Pascal (q.v.) sent forth his Lettres à un provincial, in the first of which he attacked the Thomists for opposing the teachings of Jansen and Arnauld, while they themselves, according to him, with their mechanical view of predestination, really shared their views. In the following letters he attacked the casuistry and moral theology of the Jesuits. But Louis XIV. was intent upon thoroughly eradicating Jansenism. In 1660, at an assembly of the French clergy, a formulary was prepared which condemned the five propositions of Jansen, and subscription was again required not only from the clergy, but now from nuns as well. Those who refused were imprisoned, De Sacy, one of the most excellent men of the Port Royal group, in the Bastile. Arnauld insisted upon the distinction between fait and droit, though in 1656 Alexander VII. in the constitution Ad sanctam beati Petri sedem, had again laid down the "fact" that Jansen had taught the five theses in an objectionable sense. In 1664 he issued a new constitution in which he required all clergy to accept by a new signature the papal pronouncements of 1642, 1653, and 1656. Four bishops would promise no more as to the fact, and a number of others signed with reservations intended to protect the doctrine of Augustine. The strength of the opposition impressed both the Curia and the king. After some hesitation, the distinction between fait and droit and the possibility of a "respectful silence" was admitted by Pope Clement IX. in 1668, and thus a temporary peace was established. This "peace of Clement IX." was evidently a defeat for the Curia, which practically admitted that the situation was beyond its control unless it was supported by the secular arm.

5. Quesnel.
The Bull Unigenitus.

The dissensions were revived by the publication of Quesnel's Nouveau Testament en français avec des reflexions morales (1693), which was dedicated to Noailles, at that time bishop of Châlons. But before the development of this new stage, Jansenism of the older period had come to an end. Louis XIV. became more and more jealous of his authority and inclined to assure the pardon of his sins by the persecution of heretics. He availed himself of a dissension which had broken out among the Jansenists themselves, by urging Pope Clement XI. to adopt severe measures against them. The pope was glad to seize an opportunity to assert his authority over the Gallican Church, and issued the bull Vineam Domini (1705) in which the five theses of Jansen were unconditionally condemned. The nuns of Port Royal refused to subscribe the bull, and their convent was suppressed in 1709 and destroyed a year later. In the mean time Cardinal de Noailles had become archbishop of Paris. By his protection of Quesnel's "New Testament " he had incurred the hatred of the Jesuits, who influenced the pope to condemn certain propositions which Le Tellier, the Jesuit confessor of the king, had selected from the New Testament of Quesnel. Thereupon the pope issued, in 1713, the bull Unigenitus, in which 101 propositions from Quesnel were condemned as Jansenistic or otherwise heretical. Among these, however, were not only some which may be found almost literally in Holy Scripture and in Augustine, but even some substantially identical with the decrees of the Council of Trent, as, for instance, the second, "The grace of Jesus Christ is necessary for all good works; without it nothing (truly good) can be done"; the twenty-sixth, "No grace is imparted except through faith"; the twenty-ninth, "Outside of the Church no grace is given"; and the fifty-first, "Faith justifies when it is operative, but it is operative only through love." The bull was laid before the assembly of the French clergy and accepted by the majority. Noailles prohibited the book; but before he accepted the bull, he asked the pope for several explanations. The parliament obeyed the order of the king to enter the bull in the laws of the kingdom, with the reservation, however, that its views regarding excommunication should not interfere with loyalty to the king. The Sorbonne split into different parties, and some of its most prominent teachers were banished from Paris or lost their right of voting. The king, intolerant of resistance, thought of settling the matter by a national council, but the pope would not hear of so risky a measure; and at his death in 1715, Louis XIV. left the Jansenist question in the greatest confusion and bitterness of feeling.

6. Acceptants and Appellants.

The successor of Louis XIV., the frivolous duke of Orléans, cared for neither party, considering the principles of both equally foolish. The exiles were allowed to return, and the Sorbonne withdrew its half-hearted acceptance of the bull Unigenitus. Accordingly, the pope threatened Noailles with deprivation and even excommunication. But now a number of hitherto submissive bishops began to ask for explanations, and in 1717 several of them appealed from the pope and his bull to a future general council. These were called Appellants, in distinction from the Acceptants, who accepted the bull. Almost twenty bishops, the faculty of Paris and two other theological faculties, and a large part of the secular and monastic clergy joined the cause of the Appellants. They were stigmatized as Jansenists by their opponents, though in some cases unjustly. Noailles also took the part of the Appellants, after a vain attempt at mediation. The Party of the Acceptants was headed by Mailly, archbishop of Reims. But Dubois, the favorite of the regent, was ambitious of a cardinal's hat,


and took sides against the Appellants; and Louie XV., led by his former teacher, Cardinal Fleury, oppressed them in every way. Nosilles was compelled to submit (1728), and in 1730 the bull was formally registered as the law of the kingdom.

7. Convolutionists.

A young Jansenist clergyman, François de Pâris, had died in 1727 as a result of his ascetic practises, with his "appeal" in his hand, and some miraculous cures performed at his grave were looked upon as a divine confirmation of the cause of the Appellants; even children fell into convulsions and trances on his grave, prophesying and testifying against the bull. Infidels were carried away by the fanaticism of the thousands who knelt at the grave of Pâris in the churchyard of St. Médard. In 1732 the king ordered the graveyard to be closed; but portions of earth which had been taken from the grave were equally efficacious, and the number of convulsionary prophets of coming ruin to Church and State continued to increase until the movement ended in strife, and sometimes in moral disorder, after giving occasion to the skeptics to draw conclusions unfavorable to the miracles of Christianity.

8. Close of Controversies.

The Jansenists of the first generation had endeavored to enforce the practise of confession to the parish priest, not to friars and Jesuits, but the subsequent persecution compelled them to confess to appellant priests. On their death-bed, however, they had to confess to their regular pastor if they wished to be buried with the rites of the Church. Under the influence of the Jesuits, Beaumont, archbishop of Paris, resolved to refuse the last rites of the Church to all those who produced no evidence that they had confessed when in health to their parish priest. When a priest in 1752 accordingly refused absolution to an Appellant, the archbishop was summoned before parliament and threatened with confiscation of his revenues. Most of the bishops took the side of the archbishop, in defense of the unrestricted right of the Church to control the sacraments, while other parliaments took sides with that of Paris, on the ground that it was trying to protect citizens against clerical oppression. In 1753 the king forbade the parliament to meddle in ecclesiastical affairs, and its members were dispersed and banished; but in the following year they were recalled, although they still insisted upon their rights, and the archbishop who still refused absolution to Appellants was exiled. The bishops, supported by the king, requested the decision of the pope, who now manifested considerably more caution in regard to the bull Unigenitus by refusing the sacraments only to such Appellants as were recognized as such publicly and by law. The king referred grievances concerning the refusal of the sacraments to spiritual courts, but with the right of appeal to secular courts. The dissensions of Jansenism ceased only with the excitement preceding the expulsion of the Jesuits. The literature on these disputes from the time of the bull Unigenitus comprises three or four thousand volumes in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The best earlier literature is given in Schaff, Creeds, i. 102. Consult: T. Bouvier, Hist. du Jansénisme, Strasburg, 1864; S. P. Tregelles, The Jansenists; their Rise, Persecutions and existing Fragments, London, 1851; R. F. W. Guettée, Jansénisme et Jésuitisme, Paris, 1857; R. Rapin, Hist. du Jansénisme, Paris, 1865; idem, Mémoires sur l'eglise 1644-99, ed. L. Aubineau, 3 vols., ib. 1865; F. X. Linsenmann, M. Bains und die Grundlegung des Jansenismus, Tübingen, 1867; W. H. Jervis, The Gallican Church, i. chaps. xi.-xiv., ii. chaps. v. vi., viii., 2 vols., London, 1872; A. Schill, Die Constitution Unigenitus, Freiburg, 1878; E. L. T. Henke, Neuere Kirchen-geschichte, ed. Gass, ii. 97 sqq., Halle, 1878; A. Vandenpeerenboom, Cornelius Janseniue, Bruges, 1882; A. Ricard, Les Premiere Jansénistes, Paris, 1883; L. Séche, Les Derniers Jansénistes, 1710-1870, 3 vols.; ib. 1891; C. Gilardoni, La Bulle Unigenitus, Vitry-le-François, 1892; idem, L'Abbaye de Haute-Fontaine et le Jansénisme, ib. 1894; C. Callewaert, Janseniua évêque d'Ypres, Louvain, 1893; Mrs. M. Tollemache, French Jansenists, London, 1893; G. Doublet, Le Jansénisme dans l'ancien diocése de Vence, Paris, 1901; J. Gaillard, Un prélat janséniste. Choart de Buzeuval, évéque de Beauvais, 1651-79, ib. 1902; A. M. P. Ingold, Boussuet et le Jansénisme, ib. 1904; V. Durand, Le Jansénisme au xviii. siécle et Joachim Colbert, évêque de Montpellier (1696-1738), ib. 1907; Cambridge Modern History, v. 82 sqq., New York, 1908. The bull Unigenitus is given in Lat. in Reich, Documents, pp. 386-389. The reader should consult also for further light on the subject the literature given under PASCAL, BLAISE; PORT ROYAL; and QUESNEL, PASQUIER.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely