FREETHINKER: In general, one who reaches his conclusions by following the demands of reason, rather than those of authority; more particularly, one who rejects the supernatural elements of Christianity. The term was first used toward the close of the seventeenth century, though it does not seem to'have gained general currency till after the publication of Anthony Collins' Dis course of Freethinking (1713, see Collins, Anthony). The term then came to be applied specifically to the group of deistic writers formed by Collins, Woolston, Tindal, and others (see Deism). Although Collins defined freethinking as merely an attempt to judge a proposition according to the weight of evidence, his book was regarded as an attack on the fundamental tenets of Christianity; and from that day to this the term freethinker has carried with it, in the popular understanding, the implication of skeptic, infidel, and even libertine and atheist. The freethinker of to-day does not reject Christianity; he explains it.
FREE-WILL BAPTISTS. See Baptists, II., 4, c.
FREISING, BISHOPRIC OF: A bishopric or ganized by Boniface in the spring of 739 after his return from Rome, with the other Bavarian bish oprics, under the approval of Duke Odilo. It was of small extent; the boundary joined Augsburg on thp west, ran to the south along the ridge of the hills on the north side of the Inn valley, then along the top of the Mangfall range, and touched the river at the present Kufstein, following its course to Gars, where it turned to the north and came round to meet the Augsburg line again above Geisenfeld. In charge of it Boniface placed Erim bert, brother of Corbinian (q.v.). The number of monasteries it contained was large. The most im portant of them was that of St. Quirinus on the Tegernsee,'which goes back probably to the reign of King Pepin, and asserted its immediate depend ence on the Empire until the time of Louis the Bavarian.
The history of the diocese presents few features of more than local interest up to the Reformation, in which period it must be said that the preservation of Bavaria to the Roman Catholic faith is due rather to the zeal of the dukes than to the influ ence of the bishops. Both, however, were not unwilling to show a reasonable spirit, and the Synod of Salzburg in 1562, including Bishop Maurice von Sandizell of Freising (1559-66), assented to the laying before the Council of Trent of the concessions desired by Duke Albert V. of Bavaria and the Emperor Ferdinand-the marriage of the clergy and communion in both kinds. The next bishop, Ernest (1566-1612), was himself of the ducal family, which gave the see two more bishops, Albert Sigmund (165285) and John Theodore (1727-63). The title of prince-bishop was conferred by Ferdinand 11. upon the incumbents of the see. By the secularization of 1802-03 Freising was incorporated as a principality with the Bavarian Palatinate, except the portions situated in Austria and the Tyrol, which were given to Salzburg. By the concordat of 1817 a combined archbishopric of Munich and Freising took the place of the old bishopric (see Concordats and Delimiting Bulls, Vi., 2, § 2).
Bibliography: C. Meichelbeck, Hist. Frisinpeneia, 2 vols., Augsburg, 1724-29; Graf Hundt, in AMA, vols. xii.xiii.; K. Roth, Kozrohe Renner, Munich, 1854; idem, Verzeichnis der Freiainger Urkunden, ib. 1855; idem, Oertlichkeiten des Bisthums Freising, ib. 1856; S. Riezler, Geschichte Bayerns, Gotha, 1880; H. G. Gengier, Beid~w,6pe zur Rechtsgeschichte Bayerns, i. 58, 185 sqq., Leipsic, 1889; Rettberg, KD, i7. 257; Hauck, KD, i. 491.
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