CHAPTER III. PROGRESS OF CALVINISM
 Schwane, Dogmengeschichte der neuerenzeit. Cunningham, The
Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation, 1862.
(b) Calvinism in France.
Lavisse, Histoire de France (vols v.-vi.), 1904-5. De Meaux,
Les luttes religieuses en France au XVIe siecle, 1879. Imbart de
la Tour, Les origines de la Reforme, vols. i.-ii., 1904-9.
Hauser, Etudes sur la Reforme francaise, 1909. Capefigue,
Histoire de la reforme, de la ligue et du regne de Henri IV. , 4
vols., 1834. Maimbourg, Histoire du Calvinisme, 1682. Soldan,
Geschichte des Protestantismus in Frankreich bis zum Tode Karls
ix., 2 Bde, 1855. Baird, History of the Rise of the Huguenots in
France, 2 vols., 1879. See also bibliography, chap. iii. (a).
Many causes combined to favour the introduction of the reformed doctrines into France. Owing to the anti-papal attitude adopted by the French theologians during the Great Western Schism, there was still lurking in many circles a strong feeling against the Holy See and in favour of a national Church, over which the Pope should retain merely a supremacy of honour. Besides, the influence of the old sects, the Albigenses and the Waldenses, had not disappeared entirely, and the principles of the French mystics favoured the theory of religious individualism, that lay behind the whole teaching of the reformers. The Renaissance, too, was a power in France, more especially in Paris, where it could boast of powerful patrons such as Margaret of Navarre, sister of Francis I. and wife of the King of Navarre, the king's mistress, his favourite minister Du Bellay, and the latter's brother, the Bishop of Paris. Not all the French Humanists, however, were equally dangerous. A few of them were undoubtedly favourable to Luther's views, while many others, infuriated by the charges of unorthodoxy levelled against them, were inclined to look with complacency on whatever was condemned by their Scholastic opponents. The proximity of Strassburg, where Lutheran and Zwinglian doctrines found support, and the close relations existing between the Paris University and German scholars helped to disseminate among Frenchmen the writings of Erasmus, Luther, and Melanchthon and with them the new religious views.
Against the success of the Reformation in France was the fact that the people, Latin rather than Teuton in their sympathies, were thoroughly devoted to their religion and to the Holy See, that the bishops though nominated by the king according to the Concordat of 1516, were more zealous than their German brethren, that in the main Paris University, then the great centre of intellectual life in France, was thoroughly Catholic, and that the queen-mother, the chancellor of state, the leading ministers both lay and ecclesiastic, and the parliamentary authorities could be relied upon to offer Lutheranism their strongest opposition. Nor, however much Francis I. might be inclined to vacillate in the hope of securing the help of the German Protestant princes in his struggle with the empire, had he any desire to see his kingdom convulsed by the religious strife raging on the other side of the Rhine.
In 1521 the Parliament of Paris with the approval of the king forbade the publication of writings dealing with the new religious views. Luther's books were condemned, and the Paris University drew up a list of erroneous propositions extracted from the works of the German theologians (1523). At the request of the queen-mother the theological faculty of Paris formulated a plan for preventing the spread of the German errors in France, the main points of which were that heretical books should be forbidden, that the bishops should be exhorted to seek out such works in their dioceses and have them destroyed, and that the Sorbonne should have a free hand in maintaining religious unity. Yet in spite of these precautions a Lutheran community was formed at Meaux in the vicinity of Paris, and in the South of France, where the Waldensian party was still strong, Lutheran teaching found many supporters. In some places various attempts were made to imitate the tactics adopted so successfully at Wittenberg and Berne to bring about by force the discontinuance of Catholic worship. But these attempts failed, owing mainly to the independent attitude of the local parliaments and to the energy of the bishops, who removed one of the most dangerous weapons wielded by the heretics by insisting on a thorough reform of the clergy.