Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/338

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322
SOCIOLOGY

hurried back to Poland before it began. He cannot be accused of complicity with what he calls the rage of Blandrata; he was no party to Dávid's incarceration at Déva, where the old man miserably perished in less than three months. He was willing that Dávid should be prohibited from preaching pending the decision of a general synod; and his references to the case show that (as in the later instances of Jacobo Paleology, Christian Franken and Martin Seidel) theological aversions, though they never made him uncivil, froze up his native kindness and blinded his perceptions of character. Blandrata ultimately conformed to the Catholic Church; hence Sozzini's laudatory dedication to him (1584) of his De Jesu Christi natura, in reply to the Calvinist Andrew Wolan, though printed in his works, was not used. The remainder (1579-1604) of Sozzini's life was spent in Poland. Excluded at first by his views on baptism (which he regarded as applicable only to Gentile converts) from the Minor or anti-Trinitarian ChuTch (largely anabaptist), he acquired by degrees a predominant influence in its synods. He converted the Arians from their avowal of our Lord's pre-existence, and from their rejection of the invocatio Christi; he repressed the semi-Judaizers whom he failed to convince. Through correspondence with friends he directed also the policy of the anti-Trinitarian Church of Transylvania. Forced to leave Cracow in 1583, he found a home with a Polish noble, Christopher Morsztyn, whose daughter Elizabeth he married (1586). She died in the following year, a few months after the birth of a daughter, Agnese (1587-1654), afterwards the wife of Stanislas Wiszowaty, and the progenitress of numerous descendants. In 1587 the grand-duke Francesco died; to this event Sozzini's biographers attribute the loss of his Italian property, but his unpublished letters show that he was on good terms with the new grand-duke, Ferdinando. Family disputes had arisen respecting the interpretation of his grandfather's will; in October 1590 the holy office at Siena disinherited him, allowing him a pension, apparently never paid. Failure of supplies from Italy dissolved the compact under which his writings were to remain anonymous, and he began to publish in his own name. The consequence was that in 1598 a mob expelled him from Cracow, wrecking his house, and grossly ill-using his person. Friends gave him a ready welcome at Luslawice, 30 miles east from Cracow; and here, having long been troubled with colic and the stone, he died on the 4th of March 1604. A limestone block with illegible inscriptions marks his grave.[1] His engraved portrait is prefixed to his works (the original is not extant); an oil-painting, formerly at Siena, cannot be considered authentic.

Sozzini's works, edited by his grandson Andrew Wiszowaty and the learned printer F. Kuyper, are contained in two closely printed folios (Amsterdam, 1668). They rank as the first two volumes of the Bibliotheca fratrum polonorum, though the works of Crell and Schlichting were the first of the series to be printed. They include all Sozzini's extant theological writings, except his essay on predestination (in which he denies that God foresees the actions of free agents) prefixed to Castellio's Dialogi IV. (1578, reprinted 1613) and his revision of a school manual Instrumentum doctrinarum aristotelicum (1586). His pseudonyms, easily interpreted, were Felix Turpio Urbevetanus, Prosper Dysidaeus, Gratianus Prosper and Gratianus Turpio Gerapolensis ( = Senensis). Some of his early verse is in Ferentilli's Scielta di stanze di diversi autori toscani (1579, 1594); other specimens are given in Cantù and in the Athenaeum (Aug. 11, 1877); more are preserved at Siena. Sozzini considered that his ablest work was his Contra atheos, which perished in the riot at Cracow (1598). Later he began, but left incomplete, more than one work designed to exhibit his system as a whole. His reputation as a thinker must rest upon (1) his De auctoritate s. scripturae (1570) and (2) his De Jesu Christo servatore (1578). The former was first published (Seville, 1588) by Lopez, a Jesuit, who claimed it as his own, but prefixed a preface maintaining (contrary to a fundamental position of Sozzini) that man by nature has a knowledge of God. A French version (1592) was approved by the ministers of Basel; the English translation by Edward Coombe (1731) was undertaken in consequence of the commendation in a charge (1728) by Bishop Smalbroke, who observes that Grotius had borrowed from it in his De veritate Christ. rel. In small compass it anticipates the historical argument of the “credibility” writers; in trying it by modern tests, it should be remembered that Sozzini, regarding it (1581) as not adequately meeting the cardinal difficulties attending the proof of the Christian religion, began to reconstruct its positions in his Lectiones sacrae (unfinished). His treatise on the Saviour renders a real service to theology, placing orthodoxy and heresy in new relations of fundamental antagonism, and narrowing the conflict to the main personal benefit of religion. Of the person of Christ in this treatise he says nothing; its one topic is the work of Christ, which in his view operates upon man alone; the theological sagacity of Sozzini may be measured by the persistency with which this idea tends to recur. Though his name has been attached to a school of opinion, he disclaimed the rô1e of a heresiarch, and declined to give his unreserved adhesion to any one sect. His confidence in the conclusions of his own mind has earned him the repute of a dogmatist; but it was his constant aim to reduce and simplify the fundamentals of Christianity. Not without some ground does the memorial tablet at Siena (inscription by Brigidi, 1879) characterize him as vindicator of human reason against the supernatural. Of his non-theological doctrines the most important is his assertion of the unlawfulness, not only of war, but of the taking of human life in any circumstances. Hence the comparative mildness of his proposals for dealing with religious and anti-religious offenders, though it cannot be said that he had grasped the complete theory of toleration. Hence, too, his contention that magisterial office is unlawful for a Christian.

Authorities.—For the biography of Sozzini the best materials are his letters; a collection is in his works; others are given by Cantù; more are preserved at Siena and Florence; his correspondence is open and frank, never sparing his weak points. The earliest life (prefixed to his works) is by S. Przypkowski (1636); in English, by J. Bidle (1653). This is the foundation of the article by Bayle, the Memoirs by J. Toulmin (1777), and the article by R. Wallace (Antitrin. Biog., 1850). Cantù's sketch in Gli Eretici d'Italia (1866) gives a genealogy of the Sozzini (needing revision). The best defence of Sozzini in his relations with Dávid is by James Yates (Christ. Pioneer, Feb. 1834); a less favourable view is taken by Dávid's Hungarian biographer Elek Jakab (Dávid F. Emléke, 1879). Of his system—best known through the Racovian Catechism (1605, planned by Sozzini and carried out by others, principally Valentine Schmalz); in English, by T. Rees (1818)—there is a special study by O. Fock, Der Socinianismus (1847). See also The Sozzini and their School, by A. Gordon (Theol. Rev., 1879; cf. Christian Life, Aug. 25, 1883). Use has been made above of unpublished papers in the archives of Florence, with others in the archives, communal library and collection of Padre Toti at Siena.

(A. Go.*)

SOCIOLOGY, a science which in the most inclusive sense may be defined as that of human society, in the same manner that Biology may be taken to imply the science of life. The word Sociologie was first used by Comte in 1839 as an equivalent of the expression, social physics, previously in use, and was introduced, he said, to describe by a single term that part of natural philosophy which relates to the positive study of the fundamental laws of social phenomena. The word is a hybrid, compounded from both Latin and Greek terms. It is now generally accepted in international usage; none of the terms, such as politics, political science, social economy, social philosophy and social science which have been suggested instead of it having succeeded in taking its place.

There has been in the past a certain hesitation, especially in England, to admit sociology as the title of a particular science in itself until it was made clear what the subject must be considered to cover. In certain quarters sociology is still often incorrectly spoken of as if it implied the practical equivalent of the science of politics. Henry Sidgwick, for instance, considered the word as usually employed in this sense, and while he himself recognized that sociology must have a wider scope than politics, he thought that in practice “the difference between the two subjects is not indeed great” (Elements of Politics). This view of sociology, which at one time widely prevailed, dates from an earlier period of knowledge. The difference between sociology and the science of politics is wide and is due to fundamental causes, a true perception of which is essential to the proper study of the science of society. It is a feature of organisms that as we rise in the scale of life the meaning of the present life of the organism is to an increasing degree subordinate to the larger meaning of its life as a whole. Similarly, as the advance from primitive society to society of a more organic type takes place, a marked feature of the change is the development of the principles through which the increasing subordination of the

  1. No trace is discoverable on the stone of the alleged epitaph:—
    Tota ruit Babylon; destruxit tecta Lutherus,
    Calvinus muros, sed fundamenta Socinus.”