Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell Page: 2
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actually refer to two quite distinct phenomena, the mocking denial of the truth and relevance of
Scripture, and the intensification of spirituality among radical Protestants" (78). In fact, John
Calvin criticizes Libertinism and focuses primarily on French-speaking followers of Libertinism
located in Holland, Belgium, and Lower Germany (Farley 163). According to Calvin, this
"aberrant movement within Protestantism" was founded by Quintin of Hainaut, Bernard of
Moulins, and Claude Perceval in 1534 (Farley 163 and Calvin 200-201). These Protestant
Libertines viewed the "'devil,' 'world,' and 'sin' as imagining something to be real that is
nonexistent...They understand all of these things under a single word, i.e. "imagination" or
"cuider," which can also mean "belief," "supposition," and "thought" (234). Sixteenth-century
Libertines applied this idea of "cuider" to Jesus Christ and created him "out of the Spirit of God
which is in us all" (259). This creation of Christ germinated from what the libertines called
"suppositions" or the "world" or "cuider" (259).
In the 1500s, Libertines additionally advanced an idea that "we are all Christs, and what
was done in Him He has performed in us;" they make Jesus Christ "an image or model who
represents those things required for our salvation, yet they imagine that what was done in Him
has also been done in us" (260). Libertines agreed with basic Christian theology in terms of the
following: 1. since Christ was crucified and is part of us all, then all of humankind experienced
this same crucifixion and 2. Christ and his followers died for the sins of humanity. The
Libertines diverged from other Christian sects in that they believed that since Christ abolished
sin and all humans possess the "Spirit of God," then humans are not susceptible to hardships,
maladies, and other trials put upon them (260). Calvin accused Libertines of viewing Jesus
Christ as "nothing but an idol...which they carry about to the end that they might pretend that
they are free of God and of the world and are absolved from doing any good" (260). Libertines,
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Smith, Victoria. Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell, dissertation, May 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6051/m1/8/?q=rochester: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .