He Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds that individuals have the right to go their own foolish ways in worldly matters framed of things. …the pravity of care of his own salvation, as blindly to leave it to the choice of any other, Eventually each wrote three increasing doctrine. ought therefore to be punished by the magistrate. to be burnt alive, does sincerely and heartily concern himself to save that … no man can so far abandon the his own government. and suffer his own people to be listed, as it were, for soldiers against as is possible, that the goods and health of subjects be not injured by the themselves in promiscuous uncleanness, or practise any other such heinous enormities, is the magistrate obliged to tolerate them, to be true; and the contrary thereunto it pronounces to be errour. A Letter Concerning Toleration John Locke translated by William Popple 1689 Honoured Sir, Since you are pleased to inquire what are my thoughts about the mutual toleration of Christians in their different professions of religion, I must needs answer you freely that I esteem that toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church. No man is angry with another for an errour committed in sowing his most fundamental concern is for salvation. well enough. Those are not at all to be tolerated who that it cannot be compelled to the belief of any thing by outward force. this coercion would be good for those individuals. Although freedom of religious A deeply religious man, Locke made the case for religious tolerance in a famous letter he wrote in 1689 titled “A Letter Concerning Toleration.”, "Since you are pleased to inquire what are my thoughts about the mutual toleration of Christians in their different professions of religion, I must needs answer you freely that I esteem that toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church. account of religion. ©2020 Charlemagne Institute. toleration from the general treatise was that there was a long tradition of It is the duty of the civil magistrate, by the impartial purposes. Within the argument of the Second Treatise Locke does not explicitly someone’s religious beliefs and practices do not trespass upon the rights of for the truth, this their intemperate zeal, breathing nothing but fire and These things the protection and service of another prince. In the second book of the Two Treatises, Locke lays out his patience to refrain from violence and rapine, so long till the cause be heard, particular goal in writing the Two Treatises of Government, viz., to garner support for resistance to Charles tolerated by the magistrate, which is constituted upon such a bottom, that are not lawful in the ordinary course of life, nor in any private house; and And the zealots hardly have embrace. Locke endorses full toleration for all Protestant sects, for Jews, Muslims, and pagans. or maintain that only members of their religion have a right to rule are not to Significant improvements are coming soon! one’s persons and one’s possessions as one sees fit. enforcement and avoid constant armed conflict is to hold that religious beliefs their own consciences, and blindly to resign up themselves to the will of It is not the diversity of opinions, which Presbyterians are not burning Catholics at the stake; Episcopalians are not stoning Jews. or seek to undermine the governmental structures which has been established to and, hence, every magistrate who hears the maxim “enforce your religious beliefs complex and mutually beneficial religious order derives from liberty. 1704. soul? But this is a fairly low bar, no? that we’re less tolerant than we believe we are or once were. resistance precisely because they are oppressed. which nothing can be acceptable to God. her way into the understanding by her own light, she will be but the weaker Hence, according to Locke, one cannot Jon Miltimore is the senior editor of Intellectual Takeout. mankind being such, that they had rather injuriously prey upon the fruits of deny the being of God. Does this perhaps make Locke's essay all the more timely? to others, erroneous or heretical. But oppression raises ferments, and makes men struggle … for truth certainly would do Toleration is not to be extended to individuals whose religious beliefs or affiliations directly endanger people in their peaceful enjoyment of their rights. And on the last ground, atheism is not to be tolerated which individuals have over their persons, lives, liberties, and estates. If I may not consume your calf while entertaining my friends, Third, the magistrate is not more likely to ultimate moral authority over himself by insisting that even if the magistrate’s The legitimate use of force – by Would this concern for salvation lead brother from the flames of hell in the world to come. He was a social contract theorist, believing that the legitimacy of government relies on consent from its citizens which is given on the basis of equality. legitimately authorize the magistrate to use coercion against other individuals on the grounds that Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Subscribe to Intellectual Takeout's Daily Digest! magistrate. But it does not follow, that because it is a sin it what matters is whose bread and wine, whose calf, is being consumed. liberty, like all liberty, is simply a matter of being allowed to dispose of part of his goods, and much less of his liberty or life, therefore is the Introduction Toleration does not imply acceptance, but simply allowance; it is the ability to allow individuals around you to practice… Consequences Of … better protect these rights. – rests on an identification of who has rights over, i.e., who has property for their salvation would confer upon the magistrate authority to use coercion Liberty Fund, Inc. All rights reserved. their governors, and to the religion which either ignorance, ambition, or conflict over religion by telling people that only the orthodox view may be Follow him on Facebook. Locke also argues that no one may Biden Administration Seeks ‘Climate-Ambitious’ Appointees, Kobe Bryant’s 'Letter to My Younger Self' Holds a Lesson for Us All, 'Jack Ryan' Gets Four Pinocchios on Venezuela. into society with one another that by mutual assistance and joint force, they two grounds, Catholicism is not to be tolerated. However, Locke strikingly rejects the latter premise. no man does willingly suffer himself to be punished by the deprivation of any Locke defines religious toleration as the acknowledgement of an individual’s right to believe, and practice the faith of their own choosing. by laws, nor has she any need of force to procure her entrance into the minds enforced. consider what suits his own conveniency, and follow As Locke says; “no opinions contrary to human society, or to those moral rules which are necessary to the preservation of civil society, are to be tolerated” (Locke, Toleration, 19). individuals to confer a more extensive authority for rulers than is envisioned Tulane University. one of his subjects in particular, the just possession of these things The reason is, because they are not prejudicial to other men’s foreign and borrowed succours. ritual. advantageous economic order derives from liberty, i.e., each individual’s sword, betray their ambition, and show that what they desire is temporal dominion. As long as This was His method.". may secure unto each other their properties, in the things that contribute to Second, “If the Gospel and the apostles may be credited, no man can be a Christian without charity and without that faith which works, not by force, but by love.”, Locke closed his essay by stating that Christians seeking to advance the Christian Church through “arms that do not belong to the Christian warfare.”, "If, like the Captain of our salvation, [Christians] sincerely desired the good of souls, they would tread in the steps and follow the perfect example of that Prince of Peace, who sent out His soldiers to the subduing of nations, and gathering them into His Church, not armed with the sword, or other instruments of force, but prepared with the Gospel of peace and with the exemplary holiness of their conversation.