CHAPTER VIII

ANTITRINITARIAN PIONEERS IN THE GRISONS

AS SOON as the Inquisition in Italy grew active, increasing numbers of those that were suspected of having accepted the new doctrines began to follow the example of Ochino and Vermigli and seek safety in flight. The greater number of these made for Switzerland, to which the nearest and most convenient way of escape was through the land known as the Grisons (Ger. Graubünden), which must now claim our attention. This district lies between ranges of the Alps about the headwaters of the Rhine and the Inn. In Roman times it had borne the name of Raetia, and it now forms the southeastern and largest of the Swiss cantons; but in the sixteenth century it was an independent and highly democratic republic, composed of three federated leagues which in the fifteenth century had won freedom from their former oppressors.1 At the time of which we speak it also included some territory that now belongs to Italy, lying north and east of Lake Como — the counties of Chiavenna and Bormio and the populous Valtellina. Modern tourists know it for its profusion of the most beautiful Alpine scenery, and for such summer or winter resorts as Chur (Coire), Davos, St. Moritz and the Engadine. The population was of Italian origin, speaking in the Engadine a modification of the Latin tongue known as Ladin, and farther north, where it had been more mixed with German, a related dialect called Romansch.

The reformation at Zurich under Zwingli early spread among the churches in the Grisons, especially in the three valleys of Bregaglia, the Valtellina, and the Engadine. Despite the opposition of the priests it made such headway, and led to so much contention, that after a public discussion of matters in dispute, and in order to preserve domestic peace and prevent violence between the parties, the Diet of Ilanz in 1526, with the general consent of both sides, agreed to a decree granting equal liberty to each one to profess either the Catholic or the Reformed religion as he might choose, and strictly forbidding religious persecution by either side.2 This decree of Ilanz occupies an honorable place in the history of religious liberty, for it is earlier than any similar legislation elsewhere. It should not, however, be regarded as an instance of general toleration, for that was not realized until long afterwards. It applied only to the two parties of Catholics and Reformed, and instead of resting on the broad principle of freedom of conscience, it was simply an expedient for preventing mutual oppression and strife between the two; while against Anabaptists or members of any other sect it was utterly intolerant. It did, however, open the way for the further spread of reformed views.

The toleration thus opened to Protestants naturally made the Grisons the nearest safe place of refuge for those fleeing from the Inquisition, and Chiavenna and the Valtellina offered them a home in a mild climate, and among people of kindred race and speech. Fugitives from religious persecution therefore began to pass this way as early as 1542, some to settle here, but more to pass on to the greater opportunities of Protestant towns in Switzerland or Germany. According to Vergerio, by 1550 two hundred had entered the Grisons, a quarter of them educated and well known; and ten years later there had been eight hundred.3 The most of these held no heresies worse than those of Luther, and they were heartily welcomed by the rising Protestant churches in the Grisons, to which they furnished experienced and able preachers, not a few of them having been members of the preaching orders.

There were, however, also some that cherished unorthodox views about God and Christ, which they may have imbibed from the radical elements in the circle of Valdes at Naples, or from the reading of Servetus, or from contact with the radical Anabaptists of northern Italy. With the native intellectual keenness of Italians they tended especially to question such dogmas as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, predestination, atonement, resurrection and the sacraments; and as they often shared the views of the Anabaptists as to infant baptism, they tended in the popular mind to be identified with them. Some of them used their new-found freedom to indulge in very free doctrinal speculations, and also to preach these before they were matured or carefully tested, some attacking one article of the traditional creed, others another. The first to attract attention in this way were two that claimed to be disciples of Ochino, and had presumably been Capuchin monks: Francesco of Calabria, and Girolamo Marliano (or Milano), who had offered their services to the vacant churches of Fetan and Lavin respectively, both in the Lower Engadine, and had been gladly received.4 After about a year it was reported that these two, but especially Francesco, were beginning to teach some terribly wicked things. Girolamo, indeed, was soon forced to leave Lavin, and later went to Basel;5 but at Fetan, where the congregation had lately abolished the mass and removed the images from their little church, which still dominates the charming Alpine village lying on a sloping bench of land over a thousand feet above the rushing Inn, and facing mountain scenery of incomparable beauty and grandeur, Francesco by his eloquence and learning had won the enthusiastic adherence of his congregation, and stood his ground.

It was a critical period for the young and as yet loosely organized and ill-disciplined Protestant congregations of the Engadine. No standard of doctrine had been adopted, and everything was in flux. The wildest and rashest speculations might be preached as well as the soundest and most sober. A contemporary writer who was witness of developments gives a picture of the doctrinal chaos prevailing, which may well serve to illustrate a similar stage of development in other countries with which we shall later be concerned:

 Some were notable for their learning and sincere piety, sound in the faith, quiet and peaceable; but not a few were quite captious, and often gave much trouble to the more sober-minded ministers of the same synod in Raetia, and even to the rulers of the land. Nothing seemed to please them but to differ as widely as possible from the common practice and to utter the strangest doctrines of their own devising. These all professed, indeed, to believe whatever Holy Scripture taught, but when more closely examined they were found to be infected with the pestilent doctrines of the old heretics. Thus one would refuse to confess his belief in the holy Trinity; another would not venture to declare that Christ was God, equal with the Father; this one would declare that we are saved by the grace of God and hence that there was no need of Christ’s descending to earth, nor of his body and blood, since the whole work of our salvation is to be ascribed to the grace of God. Another, discriminating more sharply, said that we are indeed saved by Christ, yet not by his body suffering for us, but by the pain that he suffered in that body. Some declared that good and evil are from God himself, the source of all things; and that God himself rejoices in wicked deeds not less than in good ones. Some talked of nothing but divine predestination: that a man is saved though all his deeds are wicked; but that another can not escape damnation, let him believe what he will, and even if all his deeds are good. Some said there is no hell even though punishment is appointed for the wicked.6

 The teaching of such doctrines had a disastrous moral effect upon the people, and pressure came from all sides for the two congregations to dismiss their preachers. Lavin yielded to the pressure, but Fetan resisted it. As Francesco declared that he was prepared to defend his teaching publicly, a disputation was appointed in 1544 at Süss in the Middle Engadine, where he was cited to appear. The meeting was attended not only by the Protestant ministers of the Engadine, but by various persons of importance from neighboring regions, as well as by several Catholic priests. Proceedings lasted two days.7 Francesco had already been examined by a synod of the Protestant preachers, and found unsound in the faith, and had failed of being duly admitted as an approved member. Further public examination now proved unsatisfactory to those conducting it, for though he gave a hesitating assent to the test questions asked, he evidently did not sincerely believe in the deity of Christ. The final vote was adverse: that Francesco should be required to leave the Engadine as a disturber of the peace of State and church, and be expelled from the whole jurisdiction of the Grisons and the Tyrol. The church at Fetan protested that it was no concern of the other congregations whom they had for preacher, or what he believed, and that they would keep him whether the others would or no. But when the decree was then referred to the civil authorities to enforce at the expense of the Fetan church, the opposition yielded. The further history of Francesco is unknown, but it cost the preachers of the Engadine much labor to uproot the tares that he had sown in their field, and it was felt that had not this prompt action been taken, there would have been no hope of success; for, as will be seen, as much as twenty years later fire still remained in the ashes and threatened to burst into flame.

Four or five years after the affair of Francesco, there appeared in the Grisons at various places both south and north of the Alps an Italian Anabaptist missionary named Tiziano.8 His first name is unknown, nor is there any trace of his early life or of his later career or end; but from the testimony of Manelfi before the Inquisition at Bologna in 1551 9 we gather that he had been at the court of a Cardinal in Rome, and while there had begun to learn the doctrine of Luther, in which he was confirmed by Ochino. Probably in 1542 or soon afterwards he fled from Italy and went to Switzerland, and also formed a friendship with Renato and Negri and their circle at Chiavenna.10 Thus he became an Anabaptist, and went about teaching this doctrine and making converts to it in the Italian churches, and here and there in the Grisons. He appears to have won a numerous following in many places, and thus to have caused considerable concern to the Protestant churches, in their conflict with the Catholics. Wherever he went disputes sprang up which threatened the peace of both church and State. The church synod brought the matter to the attention of the authorities. The Council at Chur at length had Tiziano arrested; and fortunately for him, for the populace were so enraged that they threatened to put him to death, had he not been taken out of their hands. The civil authorities were not indisposed to inflict the extreme penalty; but the clergy, especially Gallicius (Saluz), deemed a milder punishment more expedient, lest his followers become more fanatical and dangerous than ever. Tiziano was put under examination as to his beliefs, but the answers he gave were evasive and unsatisfactory. Then a formal recantation was prepared, containing a specific denial of the offensive doctrines that he had been spreading. He hesitated, but as there appeared to be no choice but either to sign the recantation or to be put to death, he submitted. He was then sentenced by the magistrate to be flogged through the whole city, and forever banished from the Grisons, as were several of his followers.11 This was in 1547 or 1549.12 After this he returned to Italy and continued zealously to spread the Anabaptist doctrines, which some believe that he was the first to introduce into Italy.13 In the course of his missionary journeys he met Manelfi at Florence in 1548 or 1549 and converted and baptized him; and they went together to Vicenza where the doctrinal discussions were in progress. He was a member of the Anabaptist council at Venice in 1550, to which he had summoned the dele gates from the congregations in Switzerland where he had been well known; and he was (with Manelfi) one of the two Apostolic Bishops appointed to visit the churches after the council and instruct them in the beliefs there adopted. From then on he disappears from our sight.

From Tiziano’s recantation at Chur we are enabled to learn precisely what his doctrines were.14 He denied the Trinity, the eternal divinity of Christ, and the virgin birth. He held that the Scriptures had been falsified in many places. As an Anabaptist he opposed infant baptism, and held that no Christian might hold an office inflicting capital punishment. He was thus the most outspoken pioneer of our movement whom we have thus far encountered. He was evidently one of the leading spirits in shaping the conclusions of the council at Venice, and his activities form a connecting link between the development in Italy and that in the Grisons.

Francesco and Tiziano were but sporadic instances of a tendency that manifested itself in many widely scattered places in their generation. They appeared too early to be reckoned as adherents of a coherent movement, and their influence was ephemeral. But with Camillo Renato 15 we come at length to one who has a definite and influential historical relation to the stream whose origins we are trying to trace. He was a Sicilian scholar (hence sometimes called Camillus Siculus), who upon adopting the views of the Reformation dropped whatever may have been his original name, and substituted the significant one of Renato. He is said to have been one of the circle of Valdes at Naples. Soon after accepting the reformed religion he fell under suspicion, was imprisoned and tortured, and narrowly escaped life imprisonment or death.16 Escaping, he came to the Vakellina in 1542 at about the same time with Celio Secondo Curioni, with whom he formed a life-long friendship; and for several years he supported himself by serving as tutor to the children of the nobleman Rafaello Paravicini at Caspano, and by teaching a school at Traona.17 In 1545 he removed to Chiavenna, where opportunities for making a living were better.

Renato was a man of keen and fertile mind, of fine education, and of a shy and reserved nature which some interpreted as sly and crafty;18 persuasive and adroit in discussion, and very tenacious of his opinions. He was looked upon as the prime author of the radical doctrinal tendencies in the Grisons, and is said to have caused the churches more trouble and to have disturbed their peace more than any other.19 Tiziano was his disciple, and so probably was Francesco of Calabria. He was on intimate terms with Stancaro, 20 Negri, Laelius Socinus and other well-known heretics; and it was a common opinion in his time not only that he was the leader of the Anabaptists in the Grisons, but that all the Anabaptism in Italy could ultimately be traced back to him.21 Escaped from Italy, he at once entered upon an active correspondence with Bullinger, leader of the Reformation at Zurich, and although going beyond the views of Zwingli, he sought to make himself acceptable to the Swiss reformer. His theology, however, was cast in a different mold, for he was by temperament a mystic, akin to the Anabaptists.

At Chiavenna he at first had cordial relations with the pastor, Agostino Mainardo, an earnest but irritable and impatient spirit; but friction soon arose over difference of opinion, and strained relations were followed by open hostility. The beginning of the trouble lay in their different views of the Lord’s Supper, which Camillo regarded as only a commemorative meal in memory of the death of Christ; and he also held that baptism had no sacramental value, but was useful only as an outward sign to distinguish Christians from non-Christians. This of course involved opposition to infant baptism, as a meaningless or superstitious ceremony. He also had his own views on almost all points of Christian doctrine, although apart from the sacraments he would not state them positively, but expressed them in the form of doubts or questions, or proposed them as subjects for discussion. The doctrine of the Spirit was much more prominent in his thought than that of the Father or the Son, while the cardinal point was regeneration. In fact, he was essentially a radical Anabaptist. He denied the vicarious suffering of Christ, and he held that he had a nature corrupted by original sin, so that he might have sinned even if he did not actually do so; hence he was not essentially divine. It was difficult to draw him into controversy, for when hard pressed he became non-committal; but though such views and doubts were not expressed openly, but only to intimate friends, yet they gradually came to be more widely known.

Mainardo now began from the pulpit to preach against Camillo’s views, whereupon the latter abstained more and more from attending church, and many of his sympathizers followed his example. Mainardo then sought his end in another way. He composed a confession of twenty articles, of which the tenth explicitly condemned twenty-one objectionable teachings of Camillo, though without naming him.22 This he asked the members of the church individually to sign, but to his surprise many of them refused. Among these, taking the part of Camillo, were Negri and Stancaro; and the striking resemblance of his views to those later held by Laelius Socinus, who was at this very time living at Chiavenna, and was considered by his contemporaries to be an Anabaptist, strongly suggests that he was much influenced by Camillo.23

The ministers of the churches in the Grisons were much grieved over the schism in the flourishing church at Chiavenna, and the synod therefore intervened to compose the quarrel, requesting both Mainardo and Camillo to appear at Chur in order to explain their doctrine, and if possible come to agreement. Camillo did not obey the summons, nor send an excuse; but the confession which Mainardo presented was approved, and Camillo was ordered henceforth to keep the peace and to give Mainardo no further trouble. It was all to no purpose. The quarrel became more heated than ever; Mainardo was all but ready to resign his post, and Bullinger broke off relations with Camillo. Presently the tension was relaxed, Mainardo was persuaded to be more conciliatory, Stancaro had taken his departure, and the opposition for a time withdrew from the church. At length, acting upon a suggestion from Bullinger, four ministers were sent to Chiavenna in December, 1549 in the name of the synod to investigate the situation and discover a way of settlement. Camillo shrank from the ordeal, though he did his best to make a good showing; but after two days’ discussion the investigation resulted unfavorably for him. He was forbidden henceforth to preach in private or in public, and a declaration on the points in dispute was drawn up, mostly favoring Mainardo.24 Camillo accepted it with the rest, but only pro form a, for he now gathered a congregation of Anabaptists, nor would he surrender his favorite beliefs. A few months later he was therefore excommunicated. Early the next year another attempt at reconciliation was made. Two visitors appointed by the synod came to Chiavenna and assisted Mainardo and the elders of the church in preparing a confession of faith, ostensibly based on Scripture authority, but directly rejecting Camillo’s particular views, and adopting the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, and emphasizing the doctrine of the Trinity and of the deity of Christ.25 Camillo subscribed it, but his sincerity was doubted, and the synod refused to admit him until better assured of his change of mind.26 He had already removed from Chiavenna back to the Valtellina, where in spite of efforts to have him banished, he resumed his teaching at Sondrio in 1552. He found it fruitless to engage in further controversy. From Traona, in the year after the execution of Servetus at Geneva, he issued a long Latin poem denouncing Calvin for his part in the affair, and containing an eloquent plea for religious toleration.27 The last we know of him is that early in the seventies he was still living at Caspano, long since blind.28

The most active and persistent of Camillo’s followers in the contro versy at Chiavenna, though they did not agree in all points of doctrine, was Francesco Negri. 29 He was learned in Greek, Hebrew and theology, and highly esteemed by the scholars of his time, especially north of the Alps. He also had reputation as a man of letters, through a Catechism in the spirit of Luther and Zwingli,30 and his tragedy on Free Will, a dramatic treatment of theological questions, which had much reputation in its time. 31 Mainardo, however, characterized him as ‘a good man, but easily influenced.’32 He was born at Bassano about 1500, and was for a short time an Augustinian monk; but about 1525 he left the order, fled to Germany, embraced the Reformation, traveled widely, and made distinguished acquaintance among the reformers. After revisiting Italy he settled at Chiavenna as a teacher of Hebrew, and was there or in the Valtellina during most of the time from 1531 to 1550.

Negri took an active part in the schism in the church at Chiavenna (1547—1549), and took sides against Mainardo, though agreeing as to the sacraments now with Renato, now with Stancaro. He refused to sign the confession proposed by Mainardu, though in 1549 he signed that prepared in the name of the synod, and was thought to be quite orthodox as to the sacrament. But as he appears among the delegates from the Grisons at the Anabaptist council in Venice in 1550, and accepted the doctrines adopted there, it is clear that he was both Anabaptist and antitrinitarian at heart. After this he lived for a time at Tirano, and again at Chiavenna. In 1562 or 1563 he undertook the long journey to Poland, presumably to visit his son Giorgio, who had long lived at the court of Prince Nicholas Radziwill at Wilno.33 In the latter year he was with Lismanino, preaching to the little Italian congregation at Pii and in May of the next year, when on the point of returning to his family at Chiavenna, he died at Krakow. 34 In view of his later career, he may justly be reckoned as one of the pioneers of our movement.

Camillo might be excommunicated and put to silence, but he still continued to make his influence felt by keeping up relations with his followers both at Chiavenna and elsewhere. Not a few of the ministers of the churches in Bregaglia, Chiavenna county, and the Valtellina, and even one or two in the lower Engadine together with many of the laity, still cherished his views, especially as to the providence of God, predestination, and the merits of Christ’s death. Some held that as all things are subject to the plan and will of God, he is the author of both. good and evil. These were commonly called Libertines. To guard against the spread of bad doctrines and hold speculation within due bounds, the synod of the Grisons in 1553 adopted the Raetian Confession, 35 which all preachers were bound to subscribe. It especially emphasized the doctrines of the Trinity, predestination and baptism, and incorporated the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. It was not acceptable to a considerable number of the Italian preachers, who were disposed in general to favor latitude of belief, and some of whom (especially Pierpaolo Vergerio and Celso Martinengo) were regarded as favoring the views of Servetus. 36 Several of them at first refused to subscribe the confession as being too strict, and proposed forming a separate Italian synod, but they finally signed, with reservations. 37

Despite the new confession, the Italian ministers continued to think for themselves, though cautious in expression; especially Aurelio Scytarcha, pastor at Vicosoprano, Girolamo Turriano of Plurs, Michelangelo Florio of Soglio, Pietro Leone of Chiavenna and others who were unable to stomach the doctrines about God, the atonement and the like.38 They were confirmed in their thoughts a few years later by Alciati and Biandrata, who represented the radical element in the Italian church at Geneva, visited churches in the Grisons, 39 and were long to emerge as promoters of an antitrinitarian movement in Poland. They were also encouraged by Ochino, now pastor of the Italian congregation at Zurich. Mainardo, fearing that the old controversy was about to break out again, resorted to his old expedient, and demanded that the ministers subscribe the confession of the Chiavenna church. Some refused to do this as superfluous, in view of previous subscriptions; others could bind their consciences to nothing beyond Scripture and the Apostles’ Creed; and Leone, who had been a pupil of Camillo, wrote a book opposing subscription.40 Mainardo then had the recalcitrant ministers cited before the synod at Chur in 1561, while they in turn sought to win the support of the reformed churches in Switzerland by submitting a series of twenty-six questions, of which the burden was to inquire whether members must be forced to assent to detailed and abstruse statements, of often speculative doctrines in order to avoid the charge of heresy or the pain of excommunication. 41

The reply of the Zurich ministers was moderate in spirit, but the mind of the synod was less tolerant. When the case was brought up, Lodovico Fieri, one of the two recalcitrants at Chiavenna, was examined and, to the surprise of all, he boldly stated that he disagreed with the church in three points: he did not believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, nor equal to the Father, nor the creator of heaven and earth; and he proposed a discussion as to whether a man of blameless life should be considered a heretic for a simple error about the doctrine of the Trinity.42 The synod condemned and excommunicated Leone, the Diet ordered him arrested and tried, and as no further mention of him occurs, he was probably banished. 43 Fieri suffered a milder form of discipline, but was to be kept under close observation. He soon went to join the tolerant community of the Anabaptists in Moravia. The rest of the accused took counsel of prudence, made their peace with the church, and were received back into fellowship. Within the next year or two in the Lower Engadine dissensions broke out which were belated echoes of the teaching of Francesco at Fetan twenty years earlier, but after a short time they were composed.

Mainardo, worn out by his long struggles, died at Chiavenna in 1563; but his successor, Girolamo Zanchi, inherited his troubles, as did the latter’s successor, Scipione Lentulo. Fieri returned from Moravia in 1569, more ardent than ever in spreading his beliefs, and found sympathizers. Solomon of Plurs, who had been excommunicated for Arianism a little after Fieri, appeared on the scene, as did Francesco of Bagnocavallo, denying the deity of Christ.44 Lentulo complained of all this to the synod, and of the Arians and Anabaptists in the Valtellina; and at the request of the synod the Diet passed (1570) a decree ordering that all residents of the country must adhere to one of the two legal religions and subscribe its confession, and that if after diligent search any were found infected with Arian or Anabaptist doctrines they should be declared heretics, and forever banished.45

The decree actually was not strictly enforced, for only one or two were banished;46 but the ministers to whom it applied, headed by Turriano of Plurs, were outspoken in condemning it as unjust, infringing liberty of conscience, beyond the proper province of the secular power, and opening the door to a Protestant Inquisition as oppressive as the Roman. Several did not hesitate to write urging the abolishment of the decree.47 At the diet in 1571 there was a sharp conflict between Egli and Gantner,48  two ministers of Chur, over the punishment of heretics; and Celso, who was present at the debate, incorporated a large part of the acts of the synod into his In haereticis coercendis, 1577.49 The debate was long and heated, and ended in victory for the conservatives, who thereupon removed from the ministry Gantner and the Arianizing Italian ministers: namely, Camillo Sozini (brother of Lelio), Nicola Camulio, Turriano, and one Mario.50

Thus ended any organized effort to promote more liberal views, or even to tolerate them, in the Grisons; and any individuals still holding such views found it best to maintain a discreet reserve. The final recorded instance is that of Fabrizio Pestalozzi who, after seventeen years in exile, returned and was brought before the consistory at Chiavenna in 1595 and required either to renounce his opinions or else to leave the country.51

The slow process of time has brought its changes. Despite the horrible massacre of Protestants in the Valtellina in 1620 — the sacromacello — nine of the old Italian Protestant churches south of the Alps still exist, with a numerous membership. In 1867 acceptance of the Helvetic Confession ceased to be required of ministers in the Grisons churches, who were thenceforth required only to preach according to the Bible and the essential bases of the Protestant Church. The majority of the pastors are decidedly liberal, preaching a Christianity which no longer insists upon creeds or believes in miracles, and many of them do not accept the deity of Christ.52 The influence of Camillo, while it was smothered in the Grisons before the end of his century, long survived him abroad, working through his disciples as they scattered to Switzerland, England, Poland and Transylvania, where we shall trace it later.

In concluding this chapter, it is time to take account of the progress thus far made toward realizing the three principles spoken of at the beginning of this work as characteristic of the whole movement. The pioneers thus far considered achieved a considerable degree of mental freedom in religion, in that they quite emancipated themselves from the binding authority of creeds, confessions and traditions in so far as these were found unsupported by Scripture or unacceptable in themselves. They still willingly acknowledged the supreme authority of Scripture, indeed, but they found in it emancipation rather than oppression. The appeal to reason as the final authority in matters of religious truth was not to be confidently made until later, although some approaches to it were made as those touched with the spirit of Italian Humanism undertook to reconstruct the fabric of Christian doctrine, and objected to certain doctrines as unreasonable or incomprehensible. Tolerance also, as a personal attitude of mind, was in its fulness a late achievement; but an approach to it was made in the struggle for toleration at the Diet at Chur in 1561, and in the series of questions at that time submitted to the ministers at Zurich. The council at Venice, On the other hand, insisted on the acceptance of the doctrines there agreed to, on pain of excommunication. In fact, so long as to all parties the holding of correct doctrines was a matter of the very first importance, tolerance of incorrect ones would be not a virtue, but well-nigh a crime; and so long as each side strenuously insisted on propagating its own views, and on violently quarreling with those holding conflicting ones, the interference of secular power in the interest of peace by repression or persecution of the minority was little less than inevitable. From the time of Constantine down to the age of enlightenment, the prime cause of persecutions by the civil power has been quarrels between Christians over doctrine; and it was only when governments tried to hold the reins even, refusing to persecute one party in the interest of another, that true religious liberty for all was secured.