Norway (Norweg. Norge), the western portion of the Scandinavian peninsula, which, together with Sweden, forms one joint kingdom, is situated between 57° 58' and 71° 10' N. lat., and between 50 and 28° E. long. It is bounded on the E. by Sweden and Russia, and on every other side is surrounded by water, having the Skager Rack to the S., the German Ocean to the W., and the Arctic Sea to the N. Its length is about 1100 miles, and its greatest width about 250 miles; but between the lats. of 67° and 68° it measures little more than 25 miles in breadth. The area is given as 122,280 square miles, and the population (in 1885) as 1,806,900. The whole of the Scandinavian peninsula consists of a connected mountain mass, which, in the southern and western parts of Norway, constitutes one continuous tract of rocky highlands, with steep declivities dipping into the sea, and only here and there broken by narrow tracts of arable land. Of the numerous summits which lie along the water-shed, and which rise above the line of perpetual snow, the highest, known as the Galdhbpig, has an elevation of 8300 feet. The mean level of the range, which seldom rises more than 4000 feet above the sea, is occupied by extensive snow-fields, from which glaciers descend to the edge of the sea, while here and there the vast snow- plain is broken by fjords (i.e. friths), some of which, as the Folden Fjord, penetrate upwards of seventy miles through the rocky masses. These inlets run, in many cases, through the middle of long and broad finely wooded valleys, enclosed by rocky walls, which are either quite bare, or covered with lichens or mosses or stunted brushwood, among which falls of water pour perpendicularly down the mountainside. The Scandinavian range consists principally of primitive and transition rock, and exhibits almost everywhere the effects of glacial action, the glaciers and moraines presenting the same appearances as in the Swiss alpine district. The numerous islands which skirt the coast of Norway, and must be regarded as portions of the range, present the same characters as the continental mass. Some of these, as the islands of Alsten and Donnes, rise perpendicularly from the sea with peaks penetrating beyond the snow-line, which lies here at an elevation of 4000 feet. Norway abounds in lakes and streams; according to some topographers there are upwards of 30,000 of the former, of which the majority are small, while none have an area exceeding 200 square miles. The chief rivers of Norway are the Glommen, Laagen, Lovgen, Drammen, Otter, and Vormen. The first of these has a course of 400 miles; but the majority of the Norwegian streams, all of which rise at great elevations, have a comparatively short course, and are unfit for navigation, although they are extensively used to float down timber to the fjords, whence the wood is exported in native ships to foreign ports. These fjords, or inlets of the sea, which form so characteristic a feature of Norwegian scenery, and give with their various sinuosities a coast-line of upwards of 8000 miles, form the outlet to numerous rapid streams and waterfalls, which leap or trickle down the edges of the treeless fields or mountain flats above.
Climate, Soil, etc. — The peculiar physical character of Norway necessarily gives rise to great varieties of climate in different parts of the country. The influence of the sea and of the Gulf Stream, and the penetration of deep inlets into the interior, greatly modify the severity of the climate on the western shore, and render it far superior to that of the other Scandinavian countries in the same latitude. On the coast generally rain and fogs prevail; while in the region near the North Cape storms are almost incessant, and rage with extraordinary violence. In the interior the air is clear and dry. The longest day, which in the south is eighteen hours, may be said to be nearly three months in the high latitudes of the northern districts, where the longest night lasts almost an equal length of time. In Norway Proper — the winters as a rule are long and cold, and the summers, which rapidly follow the melting of the snows in April and May, are warm and pleasant. On the islands, however, the heats of summer are often insufficient to ripen corn. The protracted winter of the northern regions follows almost suddenly on the disappearance of the sun, when the absence of solar light is compensated for by the frequent appearance of the aurora borealis, which shines with sufficient intensity to allow the prosecution of ordinary occupations. It is estimated that one thirty-eighth of the area of Norway lies within the region of perpetual snow, while a large extent of the mountain districts affords no produce beyond scanty grasses, mosses, lichens, and a few hardy berry-yielding plants. Only birch and juniper grow north of 670, which is the boundary of the pine. The Scotch fir, Pinus sylvestris (Norwegian, Furu), and spruce, P. abies (Norwegian, Gran), cover extensive tracts, and, with birch, constitute the principal wealth of Norway. The hardier fruits, as strawberries, gooseberries, cherries, and raspberries, are abundant and excellent of their kind. Hemp, flax, rye, oats, and barley are grown as far north as 66°; but although agriculture has been more systematically pursued of late years, the crops are not always sufficient, for home consumption, and hence it is found absolutely necessary to import annually considerable quantities of corn and potatoes. In 1812 there was so great a famine that the people made bread from the bark of elm. In the northern parts, in the upper valleys, the rearing of cattle constitutes an important branch of industry. The herds and flocks are driven from the distant farms to the pasture-lands in these high mountain valleys, known as Saterdale, where they remain till the approach of cold weather obliges the herdsmen to return with their charges to the shelter of the farms. Although the' cattle and horses are small, they are generally strong and capable of bearing much hard labor. The fisheries of Norway are of great importance, and not only yield one of the most important articles of home consumption, but at the same time constitute one of the most profitable sources of foreign export. Fish is caught in almost every stream and lake of the interior, as well as in the fjords of the coast, and in the bays and channels which encircle the numerous islands skirting the long sea-line of Norway. Salmon, herring, and cod are of the greatest importance, the latter alone giving employment to some 16,000 or 18,000 men. The mineral products, which comprise silver, copper, cobalt, iron, chrome ironstone, etc., yield an annual return of nearly $800,000. The richest mines are situated in the south. Latterly some productive copper-works have also been opened in northern districts. Ship-building in all its branches is almost the only industrial art that is extensively and actively prosecuted. In many parts of the country there are absolutely no special trades, the inhabitants of the small fishing-ports, no less than the inmates of the widely separated farms, employing their leisure during the long winter in weaving, spinning, and making the articles of clothing and the domestic implements required in their households. The fauna of Norway includes the bear, wolf, lynx, elk, otter, reindeer, red- deer, seal, the elder-duck, and many other kinds of sea-fowl, blackcock, capercailzie, and a great variety of small game.
Government, etc. — Although Norway constitutes one joint kingdom with Sweden in regard to succession, external policy, and diplomacy, it is in all other respects an independent state, having its own government, legislative machinery, finances, army, and navy. The king is indeed commander-in- chief of all the forces of the country, whether military or naval; but he can neither augment nor decrease their number, nor proclaim peace or war, without the assent of the Norwegian Parliament (Storthing), which consists of natives of the country; nor, except in time of war, can he bring foreign soldiers within the frontiers, or send native troops out of Norway. He must visit Norway once every year, and in his. absence affairs are administered in the name of his representative, who may be a Swede, and who is entitled viceroy if he be of royal birth. Norway is divided into twenty amts, or administrative circles, subdivided into fifty-five bailiwicks, and each of these is presided over by a rural magistrate. Norway has a representative government, based on the constitution which was established in 1814, and modified in 1869. The constitution is purely democratic in its character. The Council of State constitutes the highest court of justice, under whose jurisdiction the provincial magistrates or "amtmaend" administer justice, in conjunction with the bailiffs and sorenskriver, or advocates, who preside over rural petty courts. These lower courts are controlled by the Stift- Overrette, or Diocesan Courts of Justice, while the latter are, in their turn, under the High Court of Appeal, or Hiieste Ret, which is located at Christiania. Once every year the Storthing, or legislative chamber, meets, and is composed of representatives who are elected by the freehold voters of their several districts. The Storthing votes the taxes. which are collected by officers of the-king of Sweden and Norway; it proposes laws, which must be ratified by the king-; but if they pass the Storthing three times, they acquire validity even without the king's sanction.
Race, Language, etc. — With the exception of some 25,000 Lapps and Finns, living in the most remote northern regions, the inhabitants of Norway are generally a pure Scandinavian race, akin to the North Germanic nations of Aryan descent. The genuine Norwegians are of middle height, with strong, well-knit, muscular frames, of fair skin, with light flaxen or yellow hair, and blue eyes. In character they may be said to be frank, yet cautious and reserved, honest, moderate, religious, and superstitious, more from an inveterate love of clinging to the forms, thoughts, and creed of their ancestors than from fanaticism. Their love of country, and their irrepressible fondness for the sea, by the very anomaly which these apparently contradictory propensities exhibit, show them to be the true descendants of the sea-roving Northmen of old. Of late years emigration has continued steadily to increase at a rate which threatens to be a serious evil to so thinly populated a country as Norway, but which is easily explained by the small portion of land capable of cultivation. The general diffusion of education, and the perfect equality and practical independence which they have known how to secure and retain for themselves, notwithstanding their nominal incorporation with the other Scandinavian kingdoms, give to the poorest Norwegians a sense of self- respect and self-reliance which distinguish them favorably from those of the same class in other countries. The population of Norway is chiefly rural, only about eleven per cent. living in towns. Christiania, the principal city, has not more than 125,000 inhabitants, while Bergen and Trondhjem have. respectively only 43,000 and 24,000. The physical character, and consequent climatic relations of Norway, leave a very small proportion: (according to some writers only about two per cent.) of the area capable of being cultivated; for it may be stated generally that the valleys are the only habitable and agriculturally productive parts of the country, the mountain- ridges which separate the lowlying lands being covered with bare masses of gneiss and mica schists, in the fissures of which the only vegetation is juniper, fir, aspen, birch, and stunted beech trees. There are few villages, and the isolated farmsteads are often separated from one another by many miles. The cultivators of the land are in most instances also the proprietors, less than one third of the whole number being tenants only. The peasants, more especially in the amts remote from towns, retain their ancient provincial costumes, which are, for the most part, highly picturesque, consisting, among the women, of ample woolen skirts and brightly colored knit bodices, fastened and adorned with silver or brass clasps. and buckles. Music is much cultivated by all classes of the people, and the national songs and melodies which are the favorites are for the most part of a melancholy character. Danish is the language in ordinary use both in writing and speaking, although dialects nearer akin to the old Norse are spoken by the dalesmen and mountaineers of special districts. Since the separation of the country from Denmark, a strongly national tendency has been manifested by some of the best Norwegian writers, and attempts have been made to reorganize these dialects into one general Norwegian language, and thus, in fact, to revive the ancient Norse, or Icelandic, which has been preserved in Iceland in almost perfect purity since its first introduction into the island in the 9th century by colonists from the Scandinavian mother-lands.
History, Secular and Religious. — The early history of Norway is comprised in that of the other Scandinavian countries, and is, like theirs, for the most part fabulous. It is only towards the middle of the 10th century, when Christianity was introduced. that the mythical obscurity in which the annals of the kingdom had been previously plunged begins to give place to the light of historical truth. The introduction of Christianity, which was the result of the intercourse the Norwegians had with the more civilized parts of Europe through their maritime expeditions, destroyed much of the old nationality of the people and the heathenism which they had hitherto cherished, although the sanguinary feuds which had raged among the rival chiefs of the land can scarcely be said to. have lost their ferocity under the sway of the milder religion. The first introduction of Christianity into Norway is generally ascribed to Hakon, a prince of the country, before the middle of the 10th century. This person had received a Christian education at the court of Athelstan king of England. On returning to his own land he found his countrymen zealously devoted to the worship of Odin; and having himself embraced Christianity, he was under the necessity of worshipping in secret. At length, having gained over some of his most intimate friends to the side of Christianity, he resolved, as he had become master of the kingdom, to establish Christianity as the religion of the country. Accordingly, he proposed, A.D. 950, before an assembly of the people, that the whole nation should renounce idolatry, and worship the only true God, and Jesus Christ his Son. He suggested also that the Sabbath should be devoted to religious exercises, and Friday observed as a fastday. These royal propositions were indignantly rejected both by nobles and people; and the king, to conciliate his enraged subjects, yielded so far as to take part in some of the ancient sacred rites and customs. In particular, at the celebration of the Yule festival, he consented to eat part of the liver of a horse, and to drain all the cups drunk to his honor. In consequence of this sinful participation in manifest idolatry, he was soon after seized with the most painful remorse, and he died deeply penitent for the scandal he had brought upon Christianity.
In a short time, however, the way was opened for the more effectual admission of the Christian religion by the elevation to the throne of Olaf I, a Norwegian king, who was favorable to Christianity. "This Olaf," to quote from Neander, "had traveled extensively in foreign lands: in Russia, Greece, England, and the neighboring parts of Northern Germany. By intercourse with Christian nations, in his predatory excursions, he had obtained some knowledge of Christianity, and had been led, by various circumstances, to see a divine power in it. In some German port he had become acquainted, among others, with a certain ecclesiastic from Bremen, Thangbrand by name, a soldier priest, whose temper and mode of life were buit little suited to the spiritual profession. This person carried about with him a large shield, having on it a figure of Christ on the cross, embossed in gold. The shield attracted Olaf's particular notice. He inquired about the meaning of the symbol, which gave the priest an opportunity of telling the story of Christ and Christianity. Observing how greatly Olaf was taken with the shield, Thangbrand made him a present of it, for which the Norse chieftain richly repaid him in gold and silver. He moreover promised to stand by him if he should ever need protection. In various dangers by sea and on the land, which Olaf afterwards encountered, he believed that he owed his life and safety to this shield; and his faith in the divine power of Jesus thus became stronger and stronger. At the Scilly Isles, on the southwest coast of England. he received baptism, and returned to Norway, fully resolved to destroy paganism. In England he had met again with the priest Thangbrand. Olaf took him back to Norway in capacity of a court clergyman; but no good resulted from his connection with this person of doubtful character. Inclined of his own accord to employ violent measures for the destruction of paganism and the spread of Christianity, he was only confirmed in this mistaken plan by Thangbrand's influence." On reaching Norway, and taking possession of the government, Olaf directed his chief efforts towards the introduction of Christianity as the religion of the country. He everywhere destroyed the heathen temples, and invited all classes of the people to submit to baptism. Where kindness failed, he had recourse to cruelty. His plans, however, for the Christianization of his subjects were cut short in the year 1000. He died in a war against the united powers of Denmark and Sweden.
Norway now passed into the hands of foreign rulers, who, though favorable to Christianity, took no active measures for planting the Christian Church in their newly acquired territory, and the pagan party once more restored the ancient rites. But this state of matters was of short continuance. Olaf the Thick (usually surnamed the Saint), who delivered Norway- from her foreign rulers, came into the country in 1015, when already a decided Christian, with bishops and priests whom he had brought with him from England. He resolved to force Christianity upon the people, and accordingly the obstinate and refractory were threatened with confiscation of their goods, and in some cases with death itself. Many professed to yield through fear, and submitted to be baptized; but they continued secretly to practice their pagan ceremonies. In the province of Dalen the idolaters were headed by a powerful man named Gudbrand, who assembled the people, and persuaded them that if they would only bring out a colossal statue of their great god Thor, Olaf and his whole force would melt like wax. It was agreed on both sides that each party should try the power of its own god. The night preceding the meeting was spent by Olaf in secret prayer. Next day the colossal image of Thor, adorned profusely with gold and silver, was drawn into the public place, where crowds of pagans gathered around the image. The king stationed beside himself Kolbein, one of his guard, a man of gigantic stature and great bodily strength. Gudbrand commenced the proceedings by challenging the Christians to produce evidence of the power of their God, and pointing them to the colossal image of the mighty Thor. To this boastful address Olaf replied, taunting the pagans with worshipping a blind and deaf god, and calling upon them to lift their eyes to heaven, and behold the Christian's God as he revealed himself in the radiant light. At the utterance of these words the sun burst forth with the brightest effilgence, and at the same moment Kolbein demolished the idol with a single blow of a heavy mallet which he carried in his hand. The monster fell, crumbled into fragments, from which crept a great multitude of mice, snakes, and lizards. The scene produced a powerful effect upon the pagans, many of whom were from that moment convinced of the utter futility of their idols. The severity, however, with which Olaf had conducted his government, prepared the way for the conquest of the country by Canute, king of Denmark and England. The banished Olaf returned, and, raising an army composed wholly of Christians, made arrangements for a new struggle. He fell mortally wounded in battle, Aug. 31, 1030 — a day which was universally observed as a festival by the people of the North in honor of Olaf, whom they hesitated not to style a Christian martyr. This monarch, whose memory was long held in the highest estimation, had labored zealously for the spread of Christianity, not only in Norway, but also in the islands peopled by Norwegian colonies, such as Iceland, the Orkneys, and the Faroe Islands. His short reign was, in fact, wholly devoted to the propagation of the new faith by means the most revolting to humanity. His general practice was to enter a district at the head of a powerful army, summon a council, or Thing, as it was called, and give the people the alternative of fighting with him or being baptized. Most of them preferred baptism to the risk of fighting with an enemy so well prepared for the combat, and thus a large number made a nominal profession of Christianity.:On the death of king Canute, Nov. 12,1035, Olaf's son, Magnus I, recovered possession of the Norwegian throne; and thenceforth, till 1319, Norway continued under the sway of native kings, who were also devoted adherents of Christianity, i.e. of a Christianity as they understood it. They were zealous for the upbuilding of Romish Christianity, and even shared in the crusading movement for regaining Palestine. Indeed, ever since the light of Christianity had dawned on Scandinavia, a general desire prevailed among the people, to visit the Holy Land. Several of the Norwegian kings and princes had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre; and during the reign of Magnus Barfoed, a chieftain named Skopte equipped a squadron of five vessels, and set sail, accompanied by his three sons, for Palestine; but died at Rome, where he had stopped to perform his devotions. The expedition was continued, by his sons, none of whom survived the journey. The fame of this exploit, and the marvelous tales of other pilgrims, led Sigurd, the king of Norway, to undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Fired with a love of wild adventure and an avaricious desire of plunder, the royal pilgrim set out with a fleet of sixty vessels, surmounted with the sacred banner of the cross, and manned with several thousand followers. After wintering in England, where they were hospitably treated by Henry I, the Norwegian crusaders proceeded on their voyage, and after encountering many hardships, plundering various places, and barbarously murdering tribes of people who refused to become Christians, they paid the accustomed visit to Jerusalem and the other holy places. Sigurd, on his return home, was solicited by the king of Denmark to join him in an attack upon the inhabitants of Smaland, who, after being nominally converted to Christianity, had relapsed into idolatry, and put to death the Christian missionaries. The king of Norway responded to the invitation, and, passing into the Baltic, punished the revolted pagans, and returned to his country laden with booty. After a reign of twenty-seven years, Sigurd died in 1130. From this period Norway became, for more than a century, a prey to barbarous and destructive civil wars. In the midst of these internal commotions, cardinal Nicholas, an Englishman by birth, and afterwards known as pope Adrian IV, arrived in Norway as legate from the Romish see. The chief object of his mission was to render the kingdom ecclesiastically independent of the authority of the archbishop of Lund-an arrangement which was earnestly desired by the Norwegian kings. An archiepiscopal see was accordingly erected at Trondhjem, and endowed with authority, not only over Norway, but also over the Norwegian colonies. Rejoicing in their spiritual independence, the people readily consented to pay the accustomed tribute of Peter's pence to Rome, but they strenuously resisted the attempt made by the pope's legate to insist upon the celibacy of the. clergy. "In various other things," says Snorre, "the papal legate reformed the manners and customs of the nation during his stay, so that there never came to this land a stranger who was more honored and beloved both by princes and people." The Church of Norway had now accepted a metropolitan at the hands of the pope of Rome, and this acknowledgment of subjection to the Romish see was soon followed by other concessions which seriously compromised the liberties of the country. The ambitious prelate of the see of Trondhjem was desirous of adopting every expedient to add to the influence and authority of the primacy. With this view he succeeded in bringing it about that the realm was hereafter to be held as a fief of St. Olaf, the superior lord being represented by the archbishops of Trondhjem, whose consent was made indispensable to filling the vacant throne. On the demise of the reigning king, the crown was to be religiously offered to St. Olaf. in the cathedral where his relics were deposited, by the bishops, abbots, and twelve chieftains from each diocese, who were to nominate the successor with the advice and consent of their primate. Thus taking advantage of the incessant contentions for the sovereignty by which the country-was agitated and disturbed, the Romish primate secured for the see of Trondhjem a perpetual control over the future choice of the Norwegian monarchs. The crown was now declared an ecclesiastical fief, and the government almost converted into a hierarchy. A young adventurer named Sverre seized on the crown of Norway, and his title was ratified by the sword as well as by the general acquiescence of the nation. The primate, however, refused to perform the usual ceremony of coronation, and, fearing the royal displeasure, fled to Denmark. Thence he transmitted an appeal to Rome, in consequence of which the pope launched the thunders of the Vatican against Sverre, threatening him with excommunication unless he instantly desisted from his hostile measures against the primate. The sovereign, having been educated for the priesthood, was well skilled both in canon law and ecclesiastical, and he found no difficulty, therefore, in showing, both from Scripture and the decrees of councils, that the pope had no right to interfere in such disputes between kings and their subjects. Anxious for peace, however, Sverre applied for a papal legate to perform the ceremony of his confirmation, but was refused. The king was indignant at this proceeding on the part of Rome; and reproaching the Roman ambassador with duplicity, ordered him forthwith to leave his dominions. As a last resource, the enraged monarch summoned together the prelates of the realm, and caused himself to be crowned by bishop Nicholas, who had been elected through his influence; but the proceeding was condemned by pope Alexander III, who excommunicated both the royal and the clerical offender. Deputies were soon after dispatched to Rome, who succeeded in obtaining a papal absolution for the king; but on their return they were detained in Denmark, where they suddenly died, having previously pledged the papal bull to raise money for the payment of their expenses. The important document thus found its way into the hands of Sverre, who read it publicly in the cathedral of Trondhjem, alleging that the deputies had been poisoned by his enemies. The whole transaction seemed not a little suspicious; the Norwegian king was charged by the pope with having forged the bull, and procured the death of the messengers; and on the ground of this accusation the kingdom was laid under an interdict (q.v.). Bishop Nicholas now abandoned the king, whose cause he had so warmly espoused, fled to the primate in Denmark, and there raising a considerable army, invaded Norway; but Sverre, aided by a body of troops sent from England by king John, succeeded in defeating the rebels. The king did not long survive this victory, but worn out by the harassing contests to which for a quarter of a century he had been subjected, died about this time.
It had for a long time been the evident tendency of the government of Norway to assume the form of a sacerdotal and feudal aristocracy. This tendency, however, was arrested to some extent by the first princes of the house of Sverre, who asserted the rights of the monarch against the encroachments of the clergy and the nobles. But it was more difficult to contend with the Romish see, which has often been able to accomplish more by secret machinations than in open warfare. While affecting to renounce the right with which the archbishop of Trondhjem had been invested of controlling the choice of the monarch on every vacancy the papal Church induced the crown to confirm the spiritual jurisdiction of the prelates with all the ecclesiastical endowments, even to the exclusion of lay founders from their rights of patronage. The prelates were allowed to coin money, and maintain a regular body-guard of one hundred armed men for the archbishop, and forty for each bishop. One concession was followed by another; and the archbishop of Trondhjem, taking advantage of the youth and inexperience of Erik, son of Magnus Hakonson, who ascended the throne in 1280, at the age of twelve, extorted from him at his coronation an oath that he would render the Church independent of the secular authority. Having gained this point, the artful primate proceeded to act upon it by publishing an edict that imposed new fines for offenses against the canons of the Church. The king's advisers refused to sanction the bold step taken by the primate; and to vindicate his spiritual authority, he excommunicated the royal counselors. The king in turn banished the primate, who forthwith set out for Rome to lay his case before the pope. When on his way home again he died in Sweden, and his successor having acknowledged himself the vassal of Erik, the contest was terminated, and the pretensions of the clergy reduced within more reasonable limits. In the latter part of the 14th century, the three kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden were united under one sovereign: and. this union of Calmar, as it was called, existed nominally at least from 1397 to 1521, during which long period there was an incessant struggle for superiority between the crown and the clergy.
Reformation in Church and State. — So harassing were the repeated encroachments of the Romish hierarchy to the Norwegian government and people, that the Reformation was gladly welcomed as likely to weaken the power and abridge the prerogatives of the papists. Many of the Norwegian youth had studied at Wittenberg and other German universities, where they had imbibed the doctrines and principles of the Reformers, and on their return home they found both rulers and people ready to embrace the Reformed faith. But what tended chiefly to facilitate the progress of the Reformation in Norway was the election of Christian III to the throne by the lay aristocracy of the kingdom. As he had himself been educated in the Protestant faith, his accession was violently opposed by the archbishop of Trondhjem and the other Romish prelates. The zeal of the monarch, however, was only quickened by the opposition of the clergy, and he resolved to introduce the reformed worship as the religion of the state. A recess was accordingly passed and signed by more than four hundred nobles with the deputies of the commons, providing:
"1. That the temporal and spiritual power of the bishops should be forever taken away, and the administration of their dioceses confided to learned men of the Reformed faith, under the title of superintendents.
2. That the castles, manors, and other lands belonging to the prelates and monasteries should be annexed to the crown.
3. That their religious houses should be reformed; the regular clergy who might not choose to be secularized to be allowed to remain in their respective cloisters, upon condition that they should hear the Word of God, lead edifying lives, and that their surplus revenues should be devoted to the support of hospitals and other eleemosynary establishments.
4. That the rights of lay patronage should be preserved; the clergy to exact from the peasants only their regular tithe, one third of which should be appropriated to the support of the curate, one third to the proprietor of the church, and the remainder to the king, for the use of the university and schools of learning." The king consulted Luther upon the manner of carrying this recess into effect, and by his advice, instead of secularizing the Church property, he reserved a certain portion for the maintenance of the Protestant worship, and the purposes of education and charity; but a large part of the ecclesiastical lands ultimately came into the possession of the nobility by successive grants from the crown. Thus fell the Romish hierarchy in Denmark and Norway; and its destruction marked the epoch of the complete triumph of the lay aristocracy over the other orders of the state, which they continued to enjoy until the revolution of 1660.
The cause of the Reformation met with little opposition in Norway. From its first introduction it continued to hold its ground, and to diffuse itself among all classes of the people with the most gratifying rapidity. The Church became strictly Lutheran, and, though nominally episcopal, the bishops were vested only with the power of superintendents. Matters went on smoothly without any peculiar occurrence to disturb the ordinary course of events. But towards the end of the last century the Church was much quickened, spiritually, through the efforts of Hans Nielsen Hauge (q.v.), a remarkable person, who has earned for himself the honorable appellation of the Norwegian Reformer. Hauge was not a dissenter from the established Lutheran Church of Norway. Neither in his preaching nor his writings did he teach any difference of doctrine. He enforced purer views of Christian morality, while he taught at the same time the doctrines of the Church.
He called for no change of opinion or of established faith, but for better lives and more Christian practice among both clergy and laity. And he taught only the doctrines of the Church, casting out the fables and wicked imaginings of men — lifting up his voice against the coldness, the selfishness, the worldliness, and the skepticism of the clergy-for even into Norway neology had made its way, though it has never had such a hold upon the whole Church as in the sister country, Denmark. His followers called themselves Vakte" awakened;" and esteemed themselves members of the congregation of saints. But they never called themselves nor were esteemed dissenters; they professed the doctrines of the Church-from the sinful slumbers and negligence of which they had come out and separated themselves. They met, it is true, to hear their favorite preacher, and occasionally by themselves for religious purposes in the open air or in private dwellings, but they did not on that account withdraw themselves from the communion of the Church. They were, and are, in fact, a kind of Methodists, such as the Methodists were before they constituted themselves a separate body, with separate places of worship. At the same time it is probable that, had circumstances been favorable, they might have become a regular dissenting body. Had the laws and circumstances of Norway been such as those of England and Scotland when Wesley and Erskine laid the foundation of the two leading sects in those countries, the Haugeanere — for by this name they are generally distinguished in Norway had probably long ago separated from the Church. But the law forbade the establishment of conventicles, and, if it had not, the Norwegians are too poor to support any dissenting clergy. So long as they simply made profession of spiritual quickening, they were tolerated and even kindly considered by the Scandinavian governments. But the more uneducated and the less refined of the Haugeans became after a time disturbers of the public peace. Thus among their more extraordinary proceedings were the methods they adopted for driving out the devil, the results of which were occasionally maiming and death. Such outrages, of course, could not be permitted; the conservation of the public peace and of the lives of the people called for government interference. Inquiries were instituted, and Hauge was arrested in October, 1804. The affair was delegated to an especial commission in Christiania. The reformer .could not be accused of being directly accessory to the outrages of his followers; but the prejudice was strong against him, and he was arraigned upon two charges: first, for holding assemblies for divine worship without lawful appointment; and, second, for teaching error, and contempt of the established instructors. Nine years had elapsed since he began his career, during which he had suffered much, and undergone much persecution. The matter was now taken into court, and, after a trial prolonged for ten years, he was first condemned to hard labor in the fortresses for two years, and to pay all the expenses; but the sentence was afterwards commuted in the supreme court to a fine of one thousand dollars, the expenses of the trial. In 1816, finally, this sentence also was commuted, and with this decision ended the public life of Hauge. All persecution ceased, and his mind became calmer; his continual anxiety, his itinerancies, and his preachings ceased. He lived peaceably, was pious, and respected by all-a man of blameless life and unimpeachable integrity. Though he no longer went about preaching, he still kept up a close communication with his followers; and he probably did as much real good during his retirement as during the years of his more active life. He confirmed by advice and example the lessons he had formerly taught; and the great moral influence which his strenuous preaching exercised upon the clergy did not cease even with his death. He lived nearly twenty years after the period of his trial, and died as late. as March 29,1824. The effect of his labors as a Christian reformer is still felt in Norway. The Haugeanere are found in every part of the country, and form a body of men held in high esteem for their peaceable dispositions and their pious lives. Remaining still in communion with the Church, the influence of their example is extensively felt. and the effect upon the religious character of the people at large is everywhere acknowledged to be of a most beneficial description.
The political connection which, ever since the union of Calmar, had subsisted between Norway and Denmark, was brought to a close in 1814, Bernadotte, king of Sweden, having received Norway in compensation for the loss of Finland. Norway was united with Sweden on the understanding that it should retain the newly promulgated constitution, and enjoy fill liberty and independence within its own boundaries. These conditions were agreed to and strictly maintained; a few unimportant alterations in the constitution, necessitated by the altered conditions of the new union, being the only changes introduced in the machinery of government. Charles XIII was declared joint king of Sweden and Norway in 1818. Since the union, Norway has firmly resisted every attempt on the part of the Swedish monarchs to infringe upon the constitutional prerogatives of the nation; and during the reign of the first of the Bernadotte dynasty, the relations between him and his Norwegian subjects were-marked by jealousy and distrust on both sides. Since the accession of Bernadotte's son, Oscar I, in 1844, perfect harmony and good-will have existed, and Norway has continued to make rapid progress towards a state of political security and material prosperity far greater than it ever enjoyed under the Danish dominion. The Norwegians have in this union with Sweden regained the free constitution of which Denmark had deprived them.
The religion of the country is Episcopal Lutheran. Until lately no places of worship of other denominations were permitted to exist. But in the Parliament of 1845 an act of general toleration was passed, which gave religious liberty to all Christians. No Mormons, however, were then allowed to reside in the country. They must emigrate to some more tolerant country, as the United States. Since the separation of Norway from Denmark and its annexation to Sweden, the Norwegian Church is subject to the constitution of the Danish Lutheran Church, as settled by Christian V in 1683, and also to the Danish ritual, as laid down in 1685. But efforts have been put forth from time to time to have some alterations brought about. As recently as 1857 there was a proposal made in the Storthing for the establishment of a parish council, consisting of the clergymen of the parish and a certain number of laymen chosen from the communicants or members of the Church. The ecclesiastical hold on the civil relations of Norway seems almost incredible to outsiders. Everything is conditioned in the state by one's relation to the State Church. Indeed, it almost defies our credulity when we are told that such laws as the following still stand on the Norwegian statute books, and,. what is worse still, are rigidly enforced. It is enacted that no one can fill a civil office who is not a member of the Lutheran Church, and has partaken of the communion in it; that any one thus holding office immediately loses it on uniting with any other than the Lutheran Church; that every citizen must be confirmed between the ages of fourteen and nineteen; that within one week of his confirmation he must partake of the Lord's Supper, according to the Lutheran form; that if one fail in this until nineteen years old he is imprisoned; and that marriages are only regarded as fully legitimate when performed under the auspices of the Lutheran Church. The people, however, have the matter in hand, and in 1873 an immense mass meeting was held in Christiania, the capital of Norway, where resolutions were adopted in favor of the repeal of all the oppressive religious laws. And it was a meeting that had national force and importance. Its members consisted of regularly chosen delegates from all parts of the country, and while the great audience was from the masses, the decisions were regarded as of incalculable bearing on the future life of the nation. The king attended the sessions, and listened very earnestly to the proceedings. The delegates declared that the members of a Church have a full right to express their opinions; that they should enjoy perfect liberty of conscience; that in case of being wronged, they have the right to appeal to the civil authorities; and that if their appeal does not meet with favor, they have the right to organize themselves into an independent Church. There is every prospect that this convention will have the final effect of changing the old laws of Norway, and, among other benefits resulting therefrom, of removing the barriers that have been set up persistently against missions from non- Scandinavian or non-Lutheran churches. Two missions are supported in Norway by American Protestants, but they are more or less watched by the Swedish authorities. The Baptists have been measurably successful; the Methodists are increasing in numbers, and acquiring much property. Their headquarters are at Christiania, under the superintendence of a regularly appointed pastor.
As the ecclesiastical organization has hitherto existed, the whole management of ecclesiastical matters has belonged to the government, and, in certain cases, to the bishop or to the probst (q.v.). The proposed alterations will in all probability yet become the law of the land, thus admitting the lay element into the government of the Church, and give general and broad religious liberty. The election of clergymen, under the present regime, is vested, in the first instance, in. the ecclesiastical minister of state, who, with the advice of the bishop, selects three candidates, from whom the king appoints one to the vacant parish. A bishop is elected by the probsts in the vacant bishopric, and the choice made must receive the royal sanction. The clergy consists of three orders — bishops, probsts, and priests — differing from each other not in rank. but in official duty. The priest is required to preach, to administer the sacraments, to dispense confirmation, and to preside at the board which in every parish manages the poor-fund. The probst, who is also a priest or clergyman of a parish, is bound, in addition to the discharge of his ordinary clerical duties, to make an annual visitation of the different parishes within his circuit, to examine the children in the different schools, and also the candidates for confirmation, to inspect the Church records, and all the ecclesiastical affairs of the parish. Of all these things the probst must render a regular report every year to the bishop. The bishops, of whom there are six in Norway, are required to visit their bishoprics with the utmost regularity; but from the large number of parishes under the superintendence of each bishop, he can only visit the whole in the course of three years. At the invitation of the bishop, all the children attending school assemble in the church to be examined, along with the candidates for confirmation, and those young people who have been confirmed since the last visitation. The ceremony of confirmation is performed in the Norwegian Church by the minister of the parish once or twice a year. The ordination of a clergyman belongs exclusively to the bishop, but it is not considered as communicating any special gifts or graces. The induction of the priest or clergyman is performed by the probst. Students of theology, after attending a university for a certain time, are allowed to preach, although they may not have completed their studies.
The directory for the public worship. of God in the Norwegian Church is to be found in the Kirke-Ritual of 1685, with its appendix, the Alterbog of 1688. The rules there given are based upon the book of liturgy (Ordinants), which was compiled by a royal committee' in the year 1537, and revised by Luther himself. Though it has not, in its present shape, the same fullness and completeness it had originally, still the chief materials and the frame and order of the Norwegian liturgy very much resemble those of the Deutsche Messe of 1526, that hand-book of liturgy in which Luther, not satisfied with his own former directions in the Formulo Missa of 1523, laid down the principles of an evangelical service for the guidance of such congregations as acknowledged him as their leader into the truth of the Holy Scriptures. The sermon keeps its place as the central part of public worship, and constitutes, together with the lessons from Scripture, hymns and prayers, the chief part of it, while the communion is the highest. The liturgy arranges the service in three parts, In the first, the opening part of it, the congregation turn to God in prayers and songs, confessing themselves to be sinners, but expressing at the same time their penitent hope that God, for Christ's sake, will visit them, and satisfy their spiritual hunger. In the second part, the main body of the service, the worshippers receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God and the sacraments. To this part belong the lessons of "the epistle" and "the gospel," the sermon, and the ministration of the sacraments, when there are persons to be baptized or communicants-all interwoven with hymns and short prayers. In the concluding part, the congregation give thanks through prayers and praise to the Most High for his blessings, implore his grace, that they may retain what he has bestowed upon them, and show it forth in fruits of grace, and finally they receive the benediction. The Church of Norway administers the Lord's Supper as often as it is asked for. The form largely resembles that of the Romish Church, and, though in both kinds, the wafer is still used instead of bread. But as an ecclesiastical body, it has repudiated the popish doctrine of transubstantiation, with its consequences — adoration of the elements, and the idea of an atoning sacrifice, prepared and offered up in the Lord's Supper. To be sure, it has been said that it is difficult for any but a hair-splitter to perceive the difference between the Lutheran and the Roman Catholic doctrine of "the real presence;" but the reason for this difficulty might be found, not so much in the matter itself, as in the want of investigation on the side of the observer. Many appear to think that the right name for the Lutheran doctrine of "the real presence" would be consubstantiation, as if it taught a commixture of the substances.
The truth is, that the Lutheran Church has never tried to explain the mysterious union, in which it believes, between Christ's body and blood and the visible elements of the holy supper. It confines itself to repudiating consubstantiation (see Schmid, Dogmatik d. Ev. Luth. Kirche , p. 439, 445, 591) as well as transubstantiation, and all other such palpable deviations from the truth, involving more or less the idea of a physical, local, and circumscriptive manner of presence of the body and blood of Christ in the eucharist, as futile endeavors to define the incomprehensible. The Church of Norway, nevertheless, unlike other Protestant bodies, combines with the holy ordinance of the Lord's Supper the practice of confession, and consequently absolution. This must not be understood, however, to bear any comparison to the "auricular confession" of the Church of Rome, in. which an enumeration of sins is enjoined as necessary, and which is a corollary of priestly usurpation of power as judge of the conscience; and thus the Norwegian ministry repudiates, of course, every thought of such confession before the minister being the ordinary, not to speak of the only way of obtaining from God the remission of sins. The confession in this greatly purified — though it must be confessed still objectionable, because misleading — form was retained in the Lutheran. Church originally as a secret and individual but voluntary confession for the aid of troubled and oppressed consciences. Afterwards it was enjoined upon all as a necessary condition for being admitted to the Lord's Supper, in order that the minister might ascertain if the person applying for admittance to the communion really was in a state of penitence, and had sufficient knowledge of the elements of saving truth for a blessed partaking of it. The power to absolve is not considered, moreover, to belong to the clergyman as an individual, but to be vested in the Church, in whose name the forgiveness of sin is pronounced. Absolution, then, according to this view, is not a power given to the clergy, but to the Church or body of believers which is represented by the clergy. Before the act of absolution a sermon is preached, the object of which is to.prevent any other than true penitents from applying for absolution. The rite itself is thus performed. The penitents kneel before the altar, and the clergyman, laying his hands on their heads, utters these words, "I promise you the precious forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost." Having received the absolution, the penitents retire to their seats, and a hymn is sung, at the close of which the clergyman chants the words of the institution of the Holy Supper, the congregation again kneeling before the altar, and then the elements are distributed.
With relation to schools, Norway has a very creditable history. Provision is made for the instruction of all classes of the people. Wherever thirty children can be found in a neighborhood, a common-school is to be established in a regular school-house; and to provide for remote and thinly settled districts, "ambulatory schools" have been established by law, whose teachers travel from one farm to another, giving instruction to the children of each in turn, and living with the peasants. The result is that it is almost impossible to find a young Norwegian who cannot at least read and write. One reason undoubtedly for the general fundamental education there is the system of compulsory attendance on school. Every child is required by law to be in the school from seven or eight years of age to the time of confirmation, which is usually in the fifteenth year — parents or guardians of such children as may absent themselves being subject to a fine. In the very lowest of these schools instruction is given in reading, knowledge of the Christian religion, selections relating to history, geography, and knowledge of nature, writing, arithmetic, and singing. The law declares that all common-schools shall maintain a Christian character, and religious instruction be considered of primary importance. The school is always opened and closed with prayer or singing, or both. Of course there are many grades of schools above the common; as the public schools, the high schools, the normal, Latin, high civic schools, and the like. In these higher schools public opinion has demanded — and it has been sanctioned by recent law — a reduction in the attention paid to the study of the classics, and a proportionate increase in the study of modern languages and natural science — a part of the great movement that is reaching all lands. The old Norse tongue and the English are both made obligatory branches of study. The schools of Norway culminate in the national university at Christiania. Indeed, it may be claimed that the inner life of the Church of Norway has been not a little affected by the founding of the university at Christiania in 1811, and the separation of the country from Denmark in 1814. Previously the clergy were uniformly educated at the University of Copenhagen, where German rationalism prevailed to a melancholy extent. Danes were frequently appointed to the pastoral charge of parishes, to the great annoyance of the people, who were most unwilling to receive their ministrations. But from the time that the Norwegian students of theology had the privilege of attending their own national university a new life seemed to be infused into them, and from that aera may be dated the dawn of a true spiritual light in the Church of Norway. Two excellent men, Hersleb and Stenersen, disciples of the celebrated Danish theologian Grundtvig, exercised a very favorable influence over the theological students. Hauge also, both by his sermons and his printed treatises, had done much to revive true religion among the people; and the Haugeanere, being allowed perfect freedom of worship, have spread themselves over a great part of the country, and are recognized, wherever they are found, as a quiet, inoffensive, pious people. It is an important feature in the Norwegian Church at the present time that a large number of both the clergy and laity are disciples of the Danish theologian Grundtvig, and hence receive the name of Grundtvigians. Not that they are dissenters from the Lutheran Church, but they entertain peculiar opinions on several points of doctrine, somewhat analogous to those of the High-Churchmen in the Church of England. They hold, for example, that the act of ordination conveys peculiar gifts and graces, and hence maintain extreme views as to the sacredness of the clergy as distinguished from the laity. They hold high opinions as to the value of tradition, and attach a very great importance to the Apostles' Creed, which they regard as inspired. With respect to many portions of Scripture they are doubtful as to their inspiration; but they have no doubt as to the inspiration of the Creed, and that it contains enough for our salvation. Accordingly they are accustomed to address to the people such words as these: "Believe in the words in which you are baptized; if you do your soul is saved." They consider the Bible a useful, and even a necessary book for the clergy, but a dangerous book for laymen. They hold a very singular opinion as to the importance of "the living words," and maintain that the Word preached has quite a different effect from the Word read. They even go so far as to declare that faith cannot possibly come by reading, and must come by hearing, referring in proof of their statement to Ro 10:14. Even. in the schools which happen to be in charge of Grundtvigians we find this principle carried into operation, everything being taught by the living voice of a schoolmaster, and not by a written book. Grundtvig, the founder of this class of theologians, who died Sept. 2, 1872, lacking but a few days of ninety years, was bishop, and resided at Copenhagen. He was the head of a large body of disciples, not only in Norway, but to a still greater extent in Denmark. Many of the most learned clergymen in both countries really belong to this school.
The Church establishment comprises, according to Thaarup, six bishops, the oldest of whom is primate, 80 probsts, and about 440 pastors of churches and chapels. There are 440 prestegilds or parishes, many of them of large extent, containing from 5000 to 10,000 inhabitants, and requiring four or five separate churches or chapels. The incomes of the bishops may be reckoned about $4000, and of the rural clergy from $800 to $1600. The sources from which these are derived are a small assessment of grain in lieu of tithe from each farm, Easter and Christmas offerings, and dues for marriages, christenings, and funerals, which are pretty high. There are far prices, as in Scotland, by which payments in grain may be converted into money. In every prestegild there are several farms, besides the glebe, which belong to the living, and are let for a share of the produce, or at a small yearly rent, and a fine at each renewal. One of these is appropriated to the minister's widow, as a kind of life annuity. The Norwegian clergy are a well-informed body of men, possessing much influence over their flocks, and conscientious in the discharge of their duties. According to the census of 1866, the population was composed of 1,696,651 Lutherans, 3662 sectarians, 1038 Mormons, 316 Roman Catholics, 15 Greek Catholics, and 25 Jews. The Romanists and Jews have. only in very recent times secured permission to settle in Norway. See Thorlak, Historia rerum Norvagicarum (Copenh. 1711);. Schoning, Norges Riges Historiie (Soroe, 1771); Munch, Det Noiske Folk's Historie, vol. i-vi (Christ. 1852-59); Blom, Das Konigreich Norwegen (Leips. 1843, 2 vols. 8vo); Bowde, Norway, its People, Products, and Institutions (Lond. 1867, 8vo); Hurst's Hagenbach, Ch. Hist. 18th and -19th Centuries (see Index in vol. ii); Maclear, Hist. of Christian Missions in the Mid. Ages; Brit. and For. Ev. Rev. Oct. 1868, art. iii, which should be read with corrections in April, 1869, p. 430-435; and the excellent articles by the Rev. Gideon Draper in the Methodist (N. . Aug. 1872).