On Monasticism

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility…  vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind…  why…  are ye subject to ordinances (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men?  Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

Col. 2:18-23

“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”

Rom. 10:2







Order of Contents

Articles  18+
Books  2
Quote  1

Historical Theology  1
History  8+
.     Women  2
Encyclopedia  1
Latin  7



Articles Critiquing Monasticism


Luther, Martin – ‘Of the Vows of Monks, Friars & such other’  in The Last Will & Last Confession of Martin Luther’s Faith...  (Wesel, 1543), 3rd part, no page number

Becon, Thomas – The Relics of Rome…  (London: Day, 1563)

‘Of monastical sects, and first of Heremites’
‘Of Monks’
‘Of Friars, and of the diversity of that sect’
‘Of Nuns and of the diversity of that sect’
‘Of the monastical apparel’

Bullinger, Henry – pp. 1135-39  of 10th Sermon of 5th Decade  in Fifty Godly & Learned Sermons Divided into Five Decades…  (London: 1577)

Marbeck, John – ‘Monks’  in A Book of Notes & Common Places…  (London: East, 1581), pp. 737-41

Willet, Andrew

* The Sixth General Controversy concerning the Superstitious Orders & Sects of Monks & Friars  in Synopsis Papismi…  (London: Orwin, 1592), pp. 231-65  ToC

Willet (1562–1621) was a reformed, conforming Anglican clergyman, controversialist and prolific writer.  He was known for his anti-papal works.

Hexapla in Genesin & Exodum…  (London: Haviland, 1633), on Genesis

ch. 4, 2nd Confutation: ‘Monkery not known to the old world’
ch. 12, 2nd Confutation: ‘Against Monks that pretend Abraham’s example’
ch. 19, 3rd Confutation: ‘Monkish and solitary life makes not more holy’
ch. 28, 3rd Confutation: ‘Jacob’s ladder does not signify the monastical profession’
ch. 43, 1st Confutation: ‘Monks despised of the Jews’

ch. 15, controversy 11, ‘Against the superstitious orders of monks and friars’  in Hexapla, that is, a Sixfold commentary upon the…  epistle…  to the Romans...  (Cambridge: Legge, 1611), pp. 711-12

* Fulke, William – on Mt. 3:1, section 1  in Confutation of the Rhemish Testament  (d. 1598; NY: Leavitt, 1834), pp. 41-42

Fulke (1538–1589) was an English puritan divine.  This section is similar to Cartwright’s, but shorter.  The Rhemish Testament (1582) was a Romanist version of the New Testament translated from the Latin Vulgate, with pro-Romanist notes.  Romanists twisted the example of John the Baptist in the desert for a precedent for Monasticism.

“Notwithstanding Cartwright’s illegal expulsion from his lecture and fellowship, the sameness of their duties, with their congeniality of character, temper, theological opinions, and detestation of the Romish idolatry, cemented Fulke and Cartwright in the most harmonious intimacy and brotherhood.  Fulke was greatly instrumental in persuading Cartwright to accede to the solicitations which were made to him for his answer to the Rhemish Testaments: ‘but when he found that by the tyrannical prohibition of Archbishop Whitgift, Cartwright was forbidden to proceed, he undertook to answer it himself.  This work was entitled ‘A Confutation of the Rhemish Testament;’ in which he gave notice that the reader might some time be favoured with a more complete answer from Cartwright.'” – Preface, p. 3; see also bot. of p. 1 & top of 2



Sutcliffe, Matthew – Section 3, ‘That [true] catholics use not after the Popish manner to separate man and wife upon occasion of monastical vows’  in A Challenge concerning the Romish Church, her Doctrine & Practises…  (London: 1602), ch. 1, pp. 7-11

* Perkins, William – 4th Question: ‘Whether Monastical or Monkish Vows Bind or No?’  in The Whole Treatise of the Cases of Conscience...  (Cambridge: Legat, 1606), bk. 2, ch. 14, pp. 412-23

White, John – Digression 45, ‘Touching Monks and religious orders holden among the Papists…’  in The Way to the True Church, wherein the principal motives persuading according to Romanism…  are familiarly disputed  (London: Bill, 1608), pp. 306-13

White (1570–1615) was an Anglican clergyman, known as a royal chaplain and controversialist.  He was the only translator of the KJV who was not English.

* Rous, Francis – ch. 9, ‘A cure of that monastical melancholy, that cuts off a Christian’s hands, and turns him all into eyes’  in The Diseases of the Time, attended by their Remedies  (London: Stansby, 1622), pp. 208-21

Rous was a Westminste divine.

Beard, Thomas – ch. 7, ‘Delusions by Monastical Vows & the Sacraments of the Romish Church’  in Antichrist: the Pope of Rome…  (London: 1625), pt. 3, pp. 380-96

Saravia, Adrien – ch. 6, ‘The possessions of Monks are not all of like nature’  in Vindiciæ sacræ [Vindication of Sacred Things]. A treatise of the honor and maintenance due to ecclesiastical persons  (d. 1612; London: Cotes, 1629), pp. 24-26

Saravia (1530-1612) was a Dutch reformed divine who was at one time a prebend of Canterbury.

Cameron, John – An Examination of those Plausible Appearances which seem Most to Commend the Romish Church…  (Oxford: Turner, 1626)

ch. 27. ‘That the Cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Monks and Nuns of the Romish Church, are not of Apostolical institution’
ch. 38. ‘That there is nothing which deserves to be admired in the life of the Monks of the Romish Church’
ch. 39. ‘A resolution of certain doubts which may be framed concerning some things in the precedent Chapter’
ch. 40. ‘That the profession of Monks is not a note of true humility, and that their life has nothing Angelical in it’
ch. 41. ‘That the profession of Monks is contrary to true piety’

* Downame, George – §20. ‘Of Counsels & Monastical Vows’  in ch. 7, ‘A Catalogue of the Errors of the Church of Rome’  in On the Antichrist, bk. 3, appended to Richard Baxter, The Safe Religion…  (London: Miller, 1657), pp. 442-44

* Leigh, Edward – ‘The Monks’  in A System or Body of Divinity…  (London: Lee, 1654), bk. 6, ch. 3, pp. 479-81

Du Moulin, Pierre

10th Demand, ‘That Priests and Monks may break the vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity that they have made to God’  in Father Cotton a Jesuite, the King’s Confessor, his Two & Thirty Demands to the [Reformed] Ministers of France, with the Answers…  (London: 1614), pp. 11-12

Du Moulin (1568-1658) was a Huguenot minister in France who also resided in England for some years.

The Novelty of Popery, opposed to the Antiquity of True Christianity…  (London: White, 1662)

bk. 1, ch. 15, ‘Of the antiquity of the Roman Church. A treatise wherein it is showed that the ceremonies of the Roman Church are descended from the ancient heretics…’, 28. ‘Of unshod monks’, p. 52

bk. 7, 4th controversy, ch. 11, ‘Of affected austerity; Reasons whereby the Cardinal maintains professed slovenliness; The original of monks’, pp. 499-504

* Corbet, John – §14. ‘The nature of Monastic Vows of Obedience, Poverty & Chastity Considered’  in ‘Of Divine Worship, in Three Parts’  in The Remains of the Reverend & Learned Mr. John Corbet…  (London: Parkhurst, 1684), pt. 1, pp. 181-82

Corbet (1620-1680) was a congregationalist puritan who was ejected in 1662.





Primrose, Gilbert – Jacob’s Vow, Opposed to the Vows of Monks & Friars…  (London: Kyngston, 1617)  237 pp.  ToC

Primrose (ca. 1580-1642) was a Scottish minister and a pastor in France and London.  Romanists used Jacob’s vow as justification for monastic vows.

Gen. 28:20-22  “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that Thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto Thee.'”

Du Moulin, Pierre – The Monk’s Hood Pulled Off, or the Capucin Friar Described…  (London: Collins, 1671)  186 pp.  ToC

Du Moulin (1568-1658) was a Huguenot minister in France who also resided in England for some years.





Thomas Cartwright

Confutation of the Rhemists’ Notes, Glosses & Annotations on the New Testament…  (d. 1603; [Leiden] 1618), on Mt. 3:1, pp. 9-11

“This monkish and hermetic life is first of all contrary to the nature of man when the same was uncorrupt, for whom it was not judged good to be alone, but contrariwise thought convenient that he should have one of the same nature to keep him company, not only in marriage for creations’ sake, but for other helpful and comfortable society.  Now therefore that he is fallen from that sufficiency whereby he was passingly more able to live by himself than now he is, it is evident to uphold himself in any commendable estate agreeing with his creation, it is needful that he lean upon the company of his like.  Wherefore Solomon says:

‘Two are better than one, for that they have a good reward of their labor: For if the one fall the other may raise up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone, for if he fall, there is no second to lift him up. Likewise if two sleep together, they get warmth, but how should one alone come to any thread that is not soon broken.’ (Eccl. 4:9, etc.)

The philosophers, which saw as far as the natural eye was able to pierce, esteemed a man naturally companionable, and him that naturally without constraint of banishment and such like severed himself from the society of men, they deemed either to be a god or else esteemed to be a wild beast; they would have said a devil if they had as much knowledge of him as of God.

Secondly, as this solitary life is an enemy to mankind, so is it to the communion of saints in the Church of God: for if they have any singular gifts that take their flight into the wilderness, the sentence of our savior Christ pulls their wings: That no man lights a candle to put it under a bushel, but rather sets it in the candlestick of some society, where it may give light to all that are round about (Mt. 5:15): whether also is referred that such personages are called the salt of others, which has need to approach and be applied to that flesh which it must season and deliver from putrefaction.

And if he be void of such gifts, or have not in any great measure, then also is it meet that he should join himself to their company, by whom he may have supply of his wants, that by daily conversation with the wise he may learn wisdom?  And if neither any man should have need of him, nor he need of any, yet the desire of being in the congregation of God’s people, to see the beauty of the house of God, in the participation of the Word and sacraments would call him, would so inflame him as to cause him to speed himself as fast from the forsaken wilderness to the place of the assembly of God’s people, as the hart pursued of the dogs, makes footmanship to the soil. (Prov. 13:20, Ps. 42 & 43).

For David, being many years a hermit according to your description, that is, one that lived in erema, or wilderness, did notwithstanding the Lord’s calling into that place, feel the horror of the wilderness, through desire he had to go with the rest of the people unto the house of God (Ps. 84).  If therefore it be a pleasant paradise unto you which was unto him a horrible and desolate waste: if you voluntarily fly from that which he did so thirstily pursue, and if you greedily seek thither from whence he so desirously departed, it is easy for all men to see that your hermits and monks are of another spirit than David was.

But the example of the primitive church conducted by the hands of the apostles is very pregnant against these wild asses whose habitations are in the wilderness: for Luke bears witness that as many as believed were together in one place (Acts 2:44), and that they communicated not only in spiritual things, but nourished love by society in their bodily repasts [meals].  Whereupon it may be easily perceived that as amongst birds they are the uncleanest and most hateful that covet the desolate places, so amongst men they are most to be detested that forsake the mutual society of their brethren.

Against this, and for foundation of hermits and monks, is alleged:

First, that John was in the wilderness.  Whereunto our men answering that it was no such wilderness but that there were towns in it, are charged with shameless perverting of the place.  Howbeit take that away which you have falsely surmised of us, that we expound a wilderness which is full of towns, and the shame of your ignorance will return upon yourselves.  For if you had not been inured or unready in the Word, you should have known out of the prophet, who wills the wilderness with their cities to lift up their voice.  Those places which in comparison of others [are] more peopled are called wildernesses, are not so naked of their inhabitants, but that they may have diverse towns and villages planted in them.  Hereupon the self-same quarter of the wilderness of Jordan where John was, there was the town of Bethabara builded upon the bank of the river.

Here therefore it is manifest that the entrance into his ministry was not in such a wilderness as the Jesuits imagine, but in a plain inhabited of men.  The reason whereof is that, as the first captivity and stroke of God’s judgment began about those parts of Jordan, so to them also first should be offered the saving health, which was able to comfort them over all their desolations.  There are two other places, and but two (as far as I remember) famous by John’s ministry, and those are:

1. The waters of Salem.
2. The waters of Enon, which are so called of the two towns Salem and Enon, set upon the brink of those waters.

So that John’s whole ministry, so far as may appear, was executed in habitable places, where the cause assigned by the Holy Ghost why John haunted those places is to be observed, namely: for the abundance of waters that were there fit for his ministry in the holy sacrament of baptism, whereby it is evident that John came not to those places for that they were not so much peopled as others, but rather for seeking the commodity of water.

Now therefore, if it be enough to make a hermit or a monk to remain in such a wilderness as John did, I can direct you to fitter fathers and founders of your kind of hermits.  You have therefore Nabal the churl which dwelt in the wilderness of Maon; you have also the Ziphims, which dwelt in the wilderness of Zyph, that would have betrayed David into the hands of Saul: these are more like birds of your feather.  Or if these you like not, you have the heathen men which are called Iaponici, who live after the same sort that your monks do, and in like laws.

Now for the closing up of John’s ministry, it appears to have been in the court of Herod, whether a man would think that it should be hard for you to prove that he repaired to the end that he might live in a wilderness.  And if it were granted you which you would have, yet considering that whatsoever was done here was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, and by calling of the Lord, it can give no warrant unto you which undertake this of your own head, without commandment or instruction out of the Word.

The same reason is there of his authority in diet and apparel, which is frankly confessed on our part to have been after a base and homely sort: howbeit such it was notwithstanding as the country (for abundance of camels and plenty of locusts and wild honey which was there) did afford.  For this special diet and apparel, whereby Saint John, declining from a more liberal entertainment, which has priestly estate did yield him, conformed himself to the baser and poorer sort of people, was not a fancy of his own, but that wherein he had the light of the Word to go before him:

1. First, that he might more lively represent the ministry of Elijah, whereunto he was diversely like, especially in the restoring of the true worship of God.

2. Secondly, by commandment which being expressed in his drink, was wisely both of John, and of his parents, by proportion and convenience, translated unto his meat and clothing: considering that it would have been as an old piece in a new garment, if his drink being by God’s prescription thin and common, his meat and apparel should have been exquisite and picked.

Further, seeing that John’s ministry has no succession, neither in respect of his calling which was immediately from God, nor of his office, which was to prepare the way for the former coming of our savior Christ, it is manifest that the office being at an end, the things that were annexed unto it cannot continue.

After this, Chrysostom is brought for the confirmation of these orders, wherein occasion is given to note how their orders of hermits and monks crept first into the church.  In time of persecution, good men were glad to make the wilderness, as it were, the cities of their refuge from the face of tyrants that pursued them.

This the apostle to the Hebrews does plainly set forth, where diverse amongst sufferings for the truth, he adds that some wandered in the wilderness, in mountains, and hid themselves in dens and holes of the earth, clad in badgers’ and goats’ skins (Heb. 11:38), in which number it is apparent that Elijah, upon whom you would also father this profession, is contained.

He adds that therefore they were in the wilderness, because the world (that dwelt in cities and villages) were not worthy of them.  If therefore you now forsake the people by example of these hermits, it is evident that you condemn your popish towns and cities as profane and utterly unworthy of your company.

And that which the epistle to the Hebrews witnesses of diverse times of the Law, the same do the ecclesiastical writers of diverse alike times under the Gospel, as appears by the example of Paulus of Thebes, supposed most commonly to be the prince of the monks and hermits, which took the wilderness only as a remedy in persecution raised against him.

Further, the apostle in the said epistle, and St. John witnesses of the whole estate of the church, that it should be in this respect a hermit, wherefore the cause of this hermetic life, being through peace of the church taken away, the kind of life ought to have gone withal.
But as the churches, by an unadvised imitation drew the interrogatories ministered in the primitive church, to those which were of years to profess their faith in baptism, unto young children: even so with like unadvisedness, the state of the hermits, which properly agreed unto the persecuting times, was translated unto the peaceable times of the church.

It was no marvel therefore, although Chrysostom and others did fall sometimes into the commendation of the monkish and hermetic life. But their hermits and monks are so unlike the pope’s creatures, that it is a marvel that they would fetch meat at the father’s hands to nourish this cattle with, of whom they could not well be ignorant but that they should receive more stripes than their meat is worth.

1. For first, they were not within any degree of church ministry, whereby they were, by so much the freer to live unto themselves.

2. Secondly, they were not as caged as yours as, but it was left free unto them, whether they would repair to the company of other monks or not.

3. Thirdly, they were bound to wash the guests’ feet.

4. Fourthly, there was permitted unto them care of wives, of family, and private possession, so that the same were moderate and not against the care of the soul: contrary to your laws, which thrust upon them the vow of wilful poverty.

5. Fifthly, their diet throughout was very sparing, whereas your monks feed so fat, that their fatness and great bellies are grown into a proverb.

6. Sixthly, the ancient monks got their living with the labor of their hands, whereof also they were bound to give an account unto their father; yours are idle bellies, which live off the labors of others only.

7. Seventhly, they were not too notorious by singular weed, or kind of apparel, least men passing by should stand gazing upon them, or point them out with the finger?  Yours are.  Hither also is to be referred that they had no rasure [shaving] command, only it was provided that they should have their hair long, as women have, where yours are crown shaven.  Likewise, in the virgins at that time, it was sharply reproved if they did cut off their hair, whereas you commend it highly, as a virtue in your nuns that they clip their hair.

8. Eighthly, many of the monks in the elder times remaining monks, retained their wives, which to you is an abomination, who thrust upon them the vow of continual continency.

Last of all, these were obedient unto their bishop or pastor, as well as other of the body of the church: yours are exempted from his obedience.  So that in vowing obedience of your own invention, you disavow the obedience which the Lord has commanded unto you.

Now touching your testimonies, Chrysostom has not that John [the Baptist] was Prince of the Hermits, as you would untruly insinuate: but of the monks, without mention of the hermits.  Which also, if they have no manner of ground out of the Evangelist, have we not cause to be offended with Chrysostom?  And we would think the Jesuits themselves should not be altogether pleased with him; saying that they like well that the truth be always spoken against, so that it be by a friend of the truth, under whom they may cover their deadly hate against it.  Otherwise how will they digest that he says, The soul of the monks is without grief or passion and their bodies be as Adam’s before the fall.

Jerome, speaking of anchorites and monks, reckons up the opinions of others, how some esteem Elijah the author of them: other some John Baptist; which opinions Jerome does apparently nip in the head, affirming Elijah more than a monk, and John a prophet from his birth: and therefore none that made choice of any special vocation.
But that the most part, one Paulus of Thebes, the prince of that sect: where it is to be observed that this monkish and hermetic birth is so obscure that the father of it is unknown.

Secondly, the nearest guess that can be had of the parentage of it, leaves it altogether in the filth of man’s invention.

Last of all, that all our monks and hermits and bastard and degenerate children from their father Paulus of Thebes, the likelist prince of their profession, whom Jerome affirms to have taken the wilderness, not of his voluntary will, but persecuted even of his nearest friends.

Touching Isidorus, if all speak truth that are learned: he (for his time wherein he lived) should be worthy of credit.  He flourished about Pope Gregory’s days the great, when this kind of cattle was not dainty.  And therefore if the stream of common error carried him to the liking and praising of such a seat, there is no learning nor wisdom in the world (without a special grace from God) which was able to resist such a forcible drift.

Howbeit Isidorus was not so wedded to the monks as the Jesuits, who of six kinds of monks rejects three as very bad: where there is not with the Jesuits no order of monks which are not sacred; who, wheresoever they do but find the name of a monk, by and by they think that it is ground good enough to plant monkery upon.

In Bernard, your purveyor has deceived you, for we find no such treatise as you give the title of.  In a sermon of John’s nativity, he greatly commends him: but with no mark either of monk or hermit.  Neither has he any other thing that makes for your purpose.”



Historical Theology

On the Reformation

Biot, Francois – pt. 1, ‘The Position of the Reformers on Religious & Monastic Life’  ToC  in The Rise of Protestant Monasticism  tr. W.J. Kerrigan  (Baltimore: Helicon: 1963), pp. 7-64






Bale, John – The Acts of English Votaries comprehending their unchaste practices and examples by all ages…  (Wesel, 1546)

The first spring of monkery in Britain
Heresy in Britain arises of monkery
Chastity, Monks, Monasteries & Penance
English monks become Antichrist’s Apostles
Oxford shurned. And Aleuinus’ monks
Monkery augmented by Dunstane



Morton, Thomas – ch. 20, ‘Three other confessed Romish Innovations, viz. in the Order of Eremites, Monks, and Law of single life of the Clergy’  in A Catholic Appeal for Protestants, out of the Confessions of the Roman Doctors…  (London: 1609), bk. 4, ‘Of the Faith of the Roman Church in respect of the Antiquity & Novelty thereof’, pp. 536-38

Jurieu, Pierre – pp. 158-69  of 12th Letter, ‘An Article of Antiquity. The beginning of the History of Christianity of the Fourth & Fifth Ages. Of the Original of Monks…’  in The Pastoral Letters…  (London, 1689)




Gavin, Antonio – A Short History of Monastical Orders in which the Primitive Institution of Monks, their Tempers, Habits, Rules, and the condition they are in at present, are treated of  (London, 1693)  312 pp.  ToC

Gavin (fl. 1726) wrote numerous books against popery.



Biot, Francois – The Rise of Protestant Monasticism  tr. W.J. Kerrigan  (Baltimore: Helicon: 1963)  172 pp.  ToC

Knowles, David – Christian Monasticism  (World University Library, 1969)  260 pp.  ToC

Duckett, Eleanor Shipley – The Gateway to the Middle Ages: Monasticism  in Ann Arbor Paperbacks  (1938; University of Michigan Press, 1988)  255 pp.  ToC  with biblio

Lawrence, C.H. – Medieval Monasticism: Forms of religious life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages  3rd ed.  (London: Longman, 1989)  233 pp.  ToC



History of Female Monasticism

In the Middle Ages

Eckenstein, Lina – Women under Monasticism: Chapters on Saint-Lore & Convent Life between A.D. 500 & A.D. 1500  (NY: Russell & Russell, 1963)  510 pp.  ToC


In the Early Modern Era

van Wyhe, Cordula – Female Monasticism in Early Modern Europe: an Interdisciplinary View  (Ashgate, 2008)  300 pp.  ToC





ed. Johnston, William M. – Encyclopedia of Monasticism, vol. 1 (A-L), 2 (M-Z)  (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000)

This work encompasses non-Christian monasticism.






Pareus, David – Theological Collections of Universal Orthodox Theology, where also All of the Present Theological Controversies are Clearly & Variously Explained  (1611 / 1620), vol. 2

collection 6, disputation 20, ‘Of Monks & the Monastic Perfection’, pp. 270-74

Pareus (1548-1622)

collection 9, disputation 15, ‘Of the Vanities of Bellarmine about the Controversy of Monks, Book 2’, pp. 467-70

Scharp, John – 6. ‘Of Monastics’  in A Course of Theology, in which All the Dogmas & Controversies of Faith Agitated in this Generation Between Us & Papists are Handled one by one and the Arguments of Bellarmine are Responded to  (Geneva, 1620), vol. 2, pp. 440-87

On Monastics  440
Origin of Monastics  441
.      Objections  443
Vows of Monastics  446
.      Objections  450
Vows  456
Causes of Vows  460

1. Whether a Christian may vow to God and whether his vows are accepted by God?  460
.       Objections  461
2. Whether all without exception, even juniors with unwilling parents and ignorant married wives are able to vow?  462
.       Objections  464
Matter of the vow  465

1. Whether all which is from the vow, though it is not a lawful precept from God, yet is properly the worship of God?  465
.       Objections  466
2. Whether the promise which is in baptism is properly a vow?  469
.      Objections  469
3. Whether voluntary poverty is able rightly to be vowed to God?  471
.      Objections  472
4. Whether religious obedience may be rightly vowed?  474
.      Objections  475
5. Whether a vow of continence may be rightly vowed?  476
.      Objections  478

1. Whether all vows oblige the conscience and are to be served?  484
2. Whether any be able to dispense contra the vow?  485

Monastic clothing  485
.        Objections  486
Tonsure  486-87

Sharp (1572-1648) was Scottish though was also influential in France.

Alsted, Johann Heinrich – ‘On Monastics’  in Polemical Theology, Exhibiting the Principal Eternal Things of Religion in Navigating Controversies  (Hanau, 1620; 1627), pt. 4, Controversies with the Romanists, pp. 414-26

1. Whether the monastic life be proved?  414
2. Whether a certain origin of the monk is able to be known?  415
3. Whether the monastics of our time differ in the thing itself from those holy men Enoch and Elijah and those first monastics of the New Testament?  416
4. Whether works of supererogation are the foundation of the monk?  417
5. Whether vows in the New Testament are able to have a place?  420
6. Whether monastic vows are proved?  421
7. Whether the desert life is proved?  424
8. Which persons are able to vow?  424
9. Whether the clothing and tonsure of monastics is proved?  424
10. Whether monastics are obliged to labor with their hands?  425-26

Maresius, Samuel – 9. ‘On Monastics & Pseudo Religionists’  in A New Synopsis of Elenctic Theology, or an Index of the Controversies of Faith out of the Sacred Scriptures  (1646-1647), vol. 1, pp. 362-415

Maresius (1599-1673)

Schaller, Jacob – Disputation 10 of the 5th Exercise on Bellarmine, bk. 2, ‘Of Monastics,’ ch. 46, 3rd Argument, on the Poverty of Monastics, due to that Communion  (Strassburg, Germany, 1660)

Schaller (1604-1676) was a Lutheran professor of practical philosophy at Strassburg, Germany.

Voetius, Gisbert – Ecclesiastical Politics  (Amsterdam, 1663-1676), vol. 3, pt. 2, bk. 4, tract 4, Of Ecclesiastical Supererogators

Section 1, Of Monasticism in General

1. Of the Suppositions & Fundamentals of Monasticism  925

2. Of the Efficient, Fundamental & Occasional Causes of Monasticism  929

3. Of Examples of Monasticism, which are Produced out of Scripture and Antiquity  940


Section 2, Of Monastics in General

1. A Description of a Common Monk.  A General Description and Subject Theses [Quaestionibus], and the Note of a Monk is Exhibited.  950

2. Doctrinal Issues, Moral Suppositions  and the Foundation of Monasticism  964

3. Explications of Textual Questions about the Suppositions and Foundation  976

4. Historical Questions about the Suppositions and Fundamentals of Monasticism  985

5. The Primary Divisions of Monastics from the Form, or Rules, and from the Subject  993

6. Of Monastics in Excess, etc.  997

7. Of Monastics in Defect  1002

8. Of Moderate Monasticism in-between Excess & Defect  1004

9. Some Problems on Rules and Examples [Analogiis] of Them, especially of Cloppe, are Explicated  1012

10. Of the Strictest [Religiosis], or the Monks of the Society of Jesus  1021


Tract 4, Section 3

Of Examples [? Analogis] & Relations of Monasticism, Brotherhoods & Holy Soldiers

1. Of Brotherhoods in General  1034

2. Of Brotherhoods of Mary  1048

3. Reasons for Brotherhoods are Attacked, Objections and Exceptions are Refuted and some Questions are Responded to  1067

4. Of the Holy War of the Pope, or the Religious Ordinances of Knights [Equitum] in the Roman Church  1080

5. Of the Johannites  1087

6. Questions are Responded to About Holy Soldiers  1095

7. Of the Ordinance of the Johannites in the Belgic Federation, Whether it ought to be Retained or Set Aside  1102

8. Reasons for Demanding the Recovery of the Johannites are Dissolved  1111

9. Some other Objections for the Recovery of the Johannites are Refuted  1118

10. Is the Order of the Equestrian Johannites Neutral?  1123

11. Hypothetical, or Historic-Theological Questions  1125

12. Questions of Controversy Between Papists  1128
.           Addenda  1129



Sutcliffe, Matthew – A Disputation on Monastics & their Institutes & Practices, Against Robert Bellarmine…  (London, 1603)  152 pp.  no ToC

Sutcliffe (1550-1629) was a reformed Anglican clergyman, academic and lawyer.  He became Dean of Exeter, and wrote extensively on religious matters as a controversialist.




“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils…  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”

1 Tim. 4:1-3




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