By Walter Rex (auth.)
The solitary and erudite determine of Pierre Bayle occupies a place of specific curiosity in French letters; we're happy to acknowledge in his proposal the germ of the guidelines which reached their achievement within the eighteenth century. His personal age doesn't appear to have been really able to obtain him. compelled into exile by means of the Catholics, he used to be censured and pressured via the Protestants in Holland. it's to be anticipated that his outspoken enemies might have declared him a chance to faith and morality; but to his extra reasonable contemporaries, too, he was once occasionally a "problem," and one senses an occasional reserve towards him even in his ultimate buddies. As for most of the people, the Nouvelles de l. a. Republique des lettres may perhaps certainly have obtained the "universal applause" Des Maizeaux acknowledged it had, but there has been voluminous feedback additionally. His fantastic Dictionary, which most likely accomplished the widest flow of any of his works in the course of his lifetime, additionally elicited the main assault, censure and discontent. furthermore, although Bayle had earned repute, he didn't have within the eyes of his contemporaries relatively of these in France - the significance which he has for us at the present time. different figures appeared nonetheless grander than he within the last a long time of the 17th century: in philosophy and metaphysics, the e normous method of Malebranche, the final major try in France to set up a synthesis of Christianity and cause, attracted way more admiration, or feedback, than Bayle.
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Extra resources for Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy
16 I am using this word in the modern sense, which, it would seem, is the way the critics have used it. Bayle himself distinguishes two kinds of "atheists": (I) those who deny the existence of God in order to ply their vices with more abandon, and (2) those who have the misfortune of being born in ignorance of Him. Bayle says repeatedly that he is only interested in the second species. However, to this group he tacitly adds a third composed of those chaste intellectuals like Epicurus who became "atheists" for philosophical reasons.
53 The only authority is that of the Apostles. The Catholics are like the Gabaonites, covering up their novelty with the appearance of Antiquity. Edme Aubertin (the most illustrious Protestant scholar of the period) likewise says that Catholics are like the inhabitants of Gideon, putting old wine in new bottles to make one think they came from afar. Thus like the Jews, Samaritans, the Arians, Donatists and pagans, they allege their traditions and Antiquity, instead of the Word of God. Even the unanimous consent of the Fathers is fallible.
Columbia University Press, 1931), pp. 20-33; and in Comelia Serrurier, Pierre Bayle en Hollande: Etude historique et critique (Apeldoom, 1912), pp. 47-67. The best brief analysis of it is in Hazard,LaGrise, I, pp. 206-215. For a Protestant theologian's discussion of certain parts of the work, v. Emile Jeanmaire, Essai sur la critique religieuse de Bayle, These presentee a la Faculte de Theologie protestante de Strasbourg ... (Strasbourg, 1862), pp. 41-51. Jean Delvolve in his Religion, critique et philosophie positive chez Pierre Bayle (Paris, 1906), pp.