Origin of the work:
1646 – 1670 Elbląg, Leszno, Sárospatak, Amsterdam
An unpublished work, the manuscript of which is no longer available
This is one of Comenius’ last irenic treatises, concerning how Christians might be reconciled. Comenius worked on the piece over a long period, but did not complete it.
Negotiations regarding the reconciliation of the Polish church, which opened in August 1645 in Toruń, ended in failure, and the Polish King Wladislaw IV gave serious consideration to the calling of a new forum in which only Catholics and Reformists would participate. This eventuality spurred Comenius to start work on the treatise named above. In doing so, he was also reacting to requests from several quarters. The lack of success at the Toruń meeting, however, the fault for which lay at the door of the Reformed convert to Catholicism Bartoloměj Nigrinus, as well as with the repeated attacks on the Polish evangelicals, thawed the participants. Ultimately even the Catholic bishops found his approach distasteful and withdrew their support. It was thus that Nigrin, a highly educated and capable man, albeit of unquiet and infirm character, soon died in rejection and poverty. The holding of the planned peace conference was eventually prevented by war with the Cossacks, and the king’s untimely death.
This work was to be one of the morning stars (Aurora) of a new age, to which Comenius therefore originally considered adding his pan-remedial collection.
This now lost treatise is mentioned by Comenius in his letter to Montanus (the Ad Montanum); he writes that it comprised these eight chapters:
1. The true causes of the terrible discord between Christians;
2. On their despicable odiousness and harmfulness;
3. Why is the reconciliation of Christians required?
4. If it necessary to demand and seek it, how then it may be demanded and sought (this generally and completely, that all the roots of all the disagreements might be torn out)
5. Whether there can be hope for such perfect reconciliation, and on what basis
6. On the means necessary for such reconciliation
7. On the fitting use of those means, that the desired success may not fail to arise
8. On the triumph of Christ, the Prince of Peace, should Christians be willing to submit to His law of peace
For further study, see also:
J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp387-388