The performances of Los Comuneros were attended by members of the different parties; the utterances of the different characters were taken to represent the author's personal opinions, and every speech which could be brought into connexion with current politics was applauded by one half of the house and derided by the other half.
But the actual doctrine taught by Massenbach, who was now a colonel, may be summarized as the doctrine of positions carried to a ludicrous excess; the claims put forward for the general staff, that it was to prepare cut-anddried plans of operations in peace which were to be imposed on the troop leaders in war, were derided by the responsible generals; and the memoirs on proposed plans of campaign to suit certain political combinations were worked out in quite unnecessary detail.
Though he lived in an atmosphere of alchemy, he derided the notion of the alkahest or universal solvent, and denounced the deceptions of the adepts who pretended to effect the transmutation of metals; but he believed mercury to be a constituent of all metals and heavy minerals, though he held there was no proof of the presence of "sulphur comburens."
Even in the 12th century there were some who detected, and derided, the fictitious character of Geoffrey's "History."
It contains in fact nothing more questionable than an attempted deduction of the orthodox Nicene doctrine, unpalatable, however, to Edwards's immediate disciples, who were too little speculative to appreciate his statement of the subordination of the " persons " in the divine " oeconomy," and who openly derided the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son as " eternal nonsense "; and this perhaps was the original reason why the essay was not published.