Full text: The national Church of Sweden

§ 12.—HARD TYPE OF RELIGION IN 17r8 CENTURY.  3u 
§ 12.—CONCLUSION. MILITARY CHARACTER OF THE 
SWEDISH RELIGION IN THIS PERIOD. WHITE- 
LOCKE'S CONVERSATIONS. SVEDBERG’S CRITICISM 
OF THE FALSE LUTHERANISM OF HIS DAY. 
Thus the external fabric of the Swedish Church was 
completed, and the entire victory of Lutheran orthodoxy 
seemed secure. ‘‘ Pure doctrine,” without much freedom 
of thought or even feeling, was triumphant, and Luther’s 
subjective teaching about the individual soul’s justification 
by faith was turned into an intellectual assent to certain 
rather abstruse theological propositions, under the pressure 
of authority. Even these propositions were not developed 
with any originality within the country, but accepted from 
teachers mainly in the German Universities. It is im- 
possible not to admire those who had built up this fabric. 
They were men of undaunted energy, of deep piety and of 
thorough devotion to duty. They loved their country, and 
hated its enemies. Many of them had been court chaplains 
and field preachers in the army. They knew, and loved, 
and honoured their strong kings. They dreamt of a per- 
manent Swedish hegemony in Northern Europe. They 
hoped to spread Swedish Lutheranism all round the Baltic. 
[t is impossible not to see the strong military spirit which 
was, through them, infused into the Church. The char- 
acter of mind thus fostered in the high places of the Church 
is well illustrated by some remarkable conversations which 
Bulstrode Whitelocke, Cromwell’s ambassador to Sweden 
in 1653—1654, reports as taking place between himself and 
Archbishop Lenzus and the prince, afterwards Charles X. 
Whitelocke suggested to Lenzus that his Church went 
very near to claiming infallibility, and the archbishop came 
very near to acknowledging it. Karl Gustaf dwelt very 
much on the danger to the State of disunion in matters of 
religion. But neither of them showed any signs of admir- 
ing the toleration which existed (or was supposed to exist) 
in England. Svedberg, who outlived the Caroline age, 
and had all through his life something of the visionary
	        
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