3. Economic Phase

Parallel with this process of political transformation went a line of cognate economic and social development. The old rigidity of social organization-the feudal separation of classes--gave way slowly with the development of an extensive world commerce and the rise of industry. The financial needs of the absolute state made it the friend of the rising commercial and industrial classes for whose protection laws are now enacted. The growth of economic freedom reacted in turn upon the development of the individual. The natural sciences came to the aid of the rising technical industries, and is this manner an alliance between the industrial and the learned classes was effected. The final result was a fluent intermin gling among the different classes of the population, revealing itself in the appearance of a powerful citizen class eager for political, economic, and spiritual liberty, the inheritors of a new literature and a new education that was tending to free itself from theological guardianship. England and Hol land were the models of this close union of commer cialism and liberty and as changed political con ditions had led to the formulation of a new political theory, so the transformation of economic facts in Europe brought forth a new economic and social theory, which, like the new theory of the State, bore a deep impress of the idea of natural rights. Bound up for a time with the theological teaching, it was developed into an independent theory by the English and French bourgeoisie and became, finally, antitheological and, to a degree, anti religious. Its independence was fully established by Adam Smith (d. 1790) and Quesnay (d. 1774). The spirit of individual freedom and courageous optimism appears more prominently in this eco nomic phase than in any other phase of the En lightenment. Unrestricted freedom of labor and of capital became inalienable human rights, and of all the ideas of the Enlightenment have main tained themselves longest and affected the world most.

4. Religious and Ethical Aspects

burden of established creeds, and the loos and ceaseless strife of theologians. Out Ethical of religious conflict in England came Aspects. the Levelers and Latitudinarians (qq.v.), and, in Germany, the Calixtines (see Huss, John, Hussites), together with the many attempts at religious union. A powerful cause contributing to the weakening of the religious influence was the patent inefficiency of established creeds as a force for morality. The rise of Pietism (q.v.) prepared the way for the Enlightenment. There comes a revolt against the belief in magic, witchcraft, and other superstitions. A growing spirit of humaneness, of active philanthropy, and of cosmopolitan tolerance, appears, indicated, for example, in the mitigation of the severity of judicial procedure. The tendency to


find a basis for morality independent of religion gains strength. In England and France societies are organized for the improvement of morals and manners; in the universities the elegance of Cicero and Seneca drives out the old scholasticism; and theological narrowness is combated by the spirit of universalism in the Neo-Stoic teachings of Justus Lipaius (d. 1606), who influenced Grotius, Descartes and Spinoza. The spirit of Humanism and the Renaissance thus persisted in the jurists and the philosophers of France and Holland.

In all these phases of the Enlightenment there appears, as yet, no conscious, thorough hostility to a theology restricted to its own field, but the desire rather to emancipate other branches of human interest from its away. Only gradually does a really independent method of thought arise, conditioned largely by the epistemological and moral theories of Stoicism. The theory of natural law first established its independence; natural religion and natural morality achieved their freedom with greater difficulty. Yet natural religion, in essence, was taught by theology itself and needed but the refutation of the doctrines of hereditary sin and the invalidity of the human intellect in order to gain the overhand over a revelation. Lord Herbert of Cherbury accomplished this in 1624 in his De verizate religiottis. Natural morality was freed from theology through the separation of the lax natures from the lez diving and sanction for it in the human reason was established by Francis Bacon (q.v.; d. 1626) and the French skeptics, especially by Charron in his Sagesse (1605). Bayle (d. 1705; See Bayle, Pierre) contrasted the universality of the moral instinct with the diversity and conflict between historical creeds. In these different ways Western Europe, in the seventeenth century, strove toward the attainment of an autonomous organon that should constitute a simple and unvarying norm for the guidance of the judgment on the matter of conflicting faiths and moral dogmas.

On the evolution of such a method of thought a profound influence was exercised by the natural sciences and the method which they employed. Two forces are discernible in this development-

(1) the impetus toward induction 5. The Hew supplied by Bacon and, more than

Knowledge. this, (2) the progress in mathematics and mechanics following the astronomical discoveries of Copernicus (d. 1543), Kepler (d. 1673), and Galileo (d. 164.2). The new knowledge united to the atomism of Gasaendi (d. 1655) established induction on a firm basis and found fullest expression in Newton (d. 1727), Huyghene (d. 1695) and Laplace (d. 1827). The laws of gravitation and inertia were both the basis and the impulse to extensive investigation in the various phases of the physical world. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are the centuries of the great physicists and mathematicians, and on the principles they outlined arse the sciences of optics, acoustics, chemistry, zoology, geology, physiology, and medicine. The influence of the new sciences was enormous. They destroyed the foundations of revelation and theology, and led to

the rise of new philosophic systems aiming at the interpretation and correlation of the results attained by the various sciences, the methods of which were mathematical, marked primarily by clearness of statement and preciseness of definition. The new scientific method entered even the fields of natural law, natural religion, and natural morality. Locks and Condillac made psychology the study of the laws of motion among psychic elements, and Quesnay interpreted social laws after the manner of laws of nature. Voltaire became the apostle of Newton and in France particularly the new sciences were perfected and disseminated. Nor were these in the beginning hostile to religion. The new knowledge showed itself capable of various interpretations. It was found consistent with deism by Locks and Voltaire, with ancient pantheism by Shaftesbury, with mystic pantheism by Spinoza, with spiritualism by Descartes, with theism by Leibnitz, and with materialism by the Encyclopedists (q.v.). Yet the whole aspect of the world of thought was changed. Miracles became impossible, except to the casuist; the earth was removed from its central position in the universe and became only a point in apace; anthropocentrism was destroyed. The spirit of the eighteenth century assumed its characteristic qualities; it became atomistic, analytic, mechanical, practical; entirely on the aide of the known and the evident, entirely opposed to all that was dark, mystic or fantastic.

Second only in importance to the mathematical sciences was the development of a new historical method, universal, secular, and philosophic, as opposed to the theological and antiquarian 6. The New historiography that came before. The

Historical great geog:aphical discoveries of the Method. age made the field of human interest co extensive with the world and fostered the study of history, geography and statistics. Tradition in state, religion, and law were put to the test of critical investigation. Machiavelli and Bodin were followed by the expounders of natural law whose studies lay in the field of politics and legal history, and the Deists who gave their atten tion to religion In manifold ways the French skeptics emphasized the relativity of the principles underlying state and religion. This principle of relativity found its moat ingenious exposition in Bayle's Dictionnaire laistorique et critique (1696) and its profoundest expression in Monteaquieu'a letlrea persanea (1727). A decisive blow at tra. ditional methods was administered by Bolingbroke's Letters on the Study arid Use of History (1738-52). Voltaire in his Essai sur dea m&-um et our l'ealmit des nations (1754-58) opened the succession of histories of civilization and universal histories which established the principle of the relativity of different civilizations and of the possibility of explaining history by natural laws. He was fol lowed by Turgot (d. 1781), Condorcet (d. 1794), Dupuis (d. 1809), and others in France, by Robert son (d. 1793), Gibbon (d.1794), and Hume (d. 1776) in England, and in Germany by Gatterer (d.1799), Schldzer (d. 1809), Heeren (d. 1842), Meiners (d 1810), J. D. Michaelis (d. 1791), and Spittler (d.


1810). If the age of the Enlightenment be called an unhistorical age, it is so only in the sense that it cultivated history not so much as an end in itself as for the purpose of obtaining support for its political and moral theories. And the influence of its investigations was enormous. They destroyed the idea of a history of the world based on Daniel, the Apocalypse, and St. Augustine, opened up vast realms of time, rejected the fall of man as the cardinal point in universal evolution, and created a new type of primitive man. Above all, it introduced a method analogous to the analytical and mechanical method of the natural sciences. It dealt with the individual as the historical unit, as a result of whose conscious, purposive actions social structures arise. And as the enormous diversity of human motive and impulse thus revealed necessitated the establishment of some norm for a unified interpretation of history, such a one was found in natural law, religion, and morality; and all deviations from the norm were ascribed to evil or cunning, to tyranny or priestly hypocrisy, to stupidity or ignorance. And thus historiography, because it had caught the spirit of the Enlightenment, became a powerful instrument for the dissemination of that spirit, though in the first place works may have been written with purposes deistic or materialistic, theological or anticlerical, skeptical or optimistic.


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