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naftery



S£c. VIII. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 451

naflery for the benefit of attending the devotions
of the place. Life of Petrarch, Vol. 3. p. 452.

In A. D. 1351 great complaint was made of the
rigour with which prifoners in monafteries were
kept. Some were fentenced to perpetual confine-
ment, in perfe6t darknefs, where they lived on no-
thing but bread and water, and faw no perfon what-
ever ; fo that they died of defpair. On this ac-
count the king of France obliged the governors to
make the condition of their prifoners more tolerabis
in many refpefts.

The complaints of the incroachment of the
ttiendicants on the offices and emoluments of the
fecular clergy did not ceafe with the lafl period.
In A. D. 1357 'there were warm difputes between
the clergy of England and the mendicants. At
the head of the clergy was Richard Firrand, arch-
bifhop of Armach, and then chancellor of the uni-
verfity of Oxford. Both parties appealed to pope
Innocent, and the chancellor pleaded before him
at Avignon November 8th, a. d. 1357. In his
fpeech he maintained that tho' Jefus Chrifl was
poor, he was never a beggar, and the rule of the
order did not imply begging. Parifhioners, he
maintained, ihould confefs to their parifh priefts;
rather than to the mendicants. As a proof of thefe
incroachments, he faid that there were in hi^ diocefe
hiore than two thoufand perfons, of whom hardly

F f 3 forty



4S2 THE HISTORY OF Per. XX.

forty confeffed to him, and yet all received the fa-
crament, having confefTed, as they faid, to the
mendicants; fo that, he obferved, they might juftly
be fufpeded of abfolving perfons on condition of
their being charitable to their order.

As fome proof of this, he faid that, fincc
the friars had the privilege of confeffing per-
fons, they had built every where monafteries like
palaces, but never impofed any alms for the repair
of a parifh church, a high road, or a bridge; nor^
faid he, did the Franciicans enjoin the giving of
alms to the Dominicans. At the univeility they
inveighled fo many young perfons to join them,
that parents were afraid to fend their fons thithef.
In his time, he faid, there had been thirty thou-
fand ftudents at Oxford, but then hardly fix thou-
fand. They were fo numerous, and fo rapacious,
that in all the univerfity a good book could hardly
be found but among them. They bought up eve-
xy thing, and their libraries were magnificently
furnilhed.

He was anfwered by Roger Chenoc, a Fran-
cifcan ; but he refled his defence almoft w^holly on
the pope's bulls in favour of the order. After the
pleading, the pope, without deciding definitively,
publifhed a provincial bull in favour of the men-
dicants, and afterwards a confirmation of all their
privileges; they having, as Thomas Walfingham

fays,



Sec. VIII. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 45S

fays, fpent much money at the court of Rome.
In this conteft with the mendicants WickUffe, then
at Oxford, particularly diftinguifhed himfelf.

About the beginning of the fourteenth century
many of the Francifcans fcparated themfelves from
the reft for the fake of a more ftri6l obfervance of
their rule. Some of them had the approbation of
pope Celeftin, and were called /^or hermits, hav-
ing at their head Liberat of Meardo, and they
fettled in a fmall iflandnear Achaia. There they
were much harraffed, and perfecuted, in confe-
quence of being charged with many errors, efpe-
cially Manicheifm, and a ccnfempt of the papal
authority, tho' nothing of this was proved againft
them. Sometimes they were confounded with the
Apojlolics. Many of them came to Proverce, where
they joined thofc of the order who were called ^i-
ritual. Chment V appointed two cardinals lo
examine into the affair, and in the mean time he
exempted them from all perfecution.

Two new inilitutions in this period feem to.
have had their origin in the beft intention, accord-
ing to the ideas of devotion and virtue that pre-
vailed in thofe times. Eleazar, count of Arien
in the kingdom of Naples, of the noble family of
Sabran in Provence, engaged with his wife to live
in continence, at her propofal, from the time of
their marriage; fhe being then twelve years ofaae,

^ ^ ^ and



*54 THE HISTORY OF Per. XX.

and he fourteen. When he was twenty he re-»
gulated his family in the following manner. The
gentlemen and knights, and alfo the ladies, mar^
ried and unmarried, confeffed every week, and re-
ceived the communion every month; the ladies
fpent the morning in prayer, and works of piety,
and after dinner in fome bodily labour. Every
evening there was a fpiritual conference in his pre-
I fence, when he addreffed them with great zeal, fo
that his houfe was more like a monaftery than the
court of a great lord. Several other perfons regu-
lated their families after the model of this, and one
bifhop. Some time after this both the count and
his wife entered into the third order of St. Francis.
In A. D. 1322 Robert king of Naples made him
Governor of Charles his eldeft fon. He died on
an embalTy to Paris, and was canonized after hij

death.

In A. D. 1384 one Gerard Groot of Deventer,
a do£tor of the univerfity ot Paris, and a canon of
Utrecht, eftablifhed a new older, called the brothers
of common UJe, confifting of perfons of knowledge
and piety, who lived in common, and employed
themfeives in the inftruftion of youth. Thomas
a Kempis wrote the life of this Geraid, and great-
ly applauded his inflitution. Daring the fitting
of the council of Conflance one Grabon a Domi-
aican wrote againfl it, as unlawful, and contrary

to



Sec. IX. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 455

to the approved orders ; but Gerfon anfwered
Grabon, threatening him with the refentment of
the council, in the decifions of which his voice had
the greateft weight ; and in confequence of this he
was induced to retra6l what he had advanced.

We do not in this period meet with many per-
fons of diftinftion embracing the monaftichfe, but
about the year a. d. 1358, Peter, fon of the king
of Arragon, and Charles count of Alencon. couGn
german of John king of France, became mendi-
cants.



SECTION IX.

0/ the Reformers in this Period prior to Wick-

liffe.



W:



E have feen that, in every period
of this hiflory fince the prevalence of the great cor-
ruptions of the Catholic church, there have been
perfons who flrenuoufly oppofed them, and who
in general were expofed to grievous fufferings in
confequence of that oppofition. They may, there-
fore, be properly called reformers, whether their
labours had more or lefs effeft. But in this pe-
riod we find reformers of fingular eminence, and

F f 4 more



iS6 THE HISTORY OF 'Per. XX.

piorc renowned, as their hiftory is better known
to us. Of thcfe were Wickliffc in England, and
John Hus and Jeromq; pi Prague in Bohemia,
But before I give an account oi them, I fhall re-
cite what I hare been able to coHcft concerning
their predeccfTors in the North of Italy, and the
South of France, to emilTaries from whom, efpe-
cially from the Waldenfes, we can trace almoft
every attempt at reformation in other countries.
Being peifeculed at home, and full of zeal for
what they confidered as important truth (and
what, if Chriftianity itfelf be of importance, cer-
tainly was fo) they difperfed themfelves into all
parts of Europe, cfpecially to Flanders, where
manufa6lures, commerce, and opulence foon in-
troduced a liberal fpirit of free inquiry ; and alfo
into Bohemia, and other parts mod remote from
Rome, and where, confequently, they might ex-
pect to be more at reft from papal perfecution.

Mention was made in the preceding period of
Scgonelli, the chief of thofc who were called Apojlo^
lies in the North of Italy, and of the perfecution
raifed againft them. This did not difcourage others
from joining them, or following their example.
The moll diRinguilhed of thofe was Dulcin, in
Lombardy, who openly maintained that the church
of Rome y/as the wJiore of Babylon in the Revela-
tion^ thf\t no tythe ought to be given to any priefl;,

but



Sec. IX. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. i57

but fuch as were poor like the apo flies ; that prayer
has as much efBcacy in a wood, or a liable as in a
church, and that oaths are unlawful- His follow-
ers avoided as much as poflible making a declara-
tion of their faith, but, when compelled to it they
did it in the boldeft manner, without any regard
to the confequences, but without difcovering their
brethren. This Dulcin had not fewer than four
thoufand followers. Being driven from Milan,
they lived among the mountains. Ths pope had
a crufade preached againft them, and fent Domi-
nican inquifitors, who coUefted an army, and put
it under the command of Rainier, bifhop of Ver-
ceil. He purfued them fo clofeJy in a. d. 1308,
that a deep fnow falling at that time, many of them
perifhed of hunger and cold, including thofe that
were killed, not fewer than four hundred. About
an hundred and fifty were taken prifoners, and a-
mong them Dulcin himfelf, who was afterwards
put to death, his limbs feparated, and his bones
burned. But the fe6l was by no means extin-
guifhea. In a. d. 1372 many of his difciples in
Sicily preferved his bones and thofe of his difciples
9s alfo of the Fratricelli, as relicks, creeled churches
and chapels in their honour, and vifited them yearly
in great crouds, on the anniverfaries of their death.
Gregory XI wrote to the bifhops of Sicily to put
^ flop to thefe pradices.

Ffg Rai-



458 THE HISTORY OF Per. XX.

Rainier's objeft was to extirpate herefy by all
poffible means. He was a native of Placenza,
and had been himfelf a heretic feventeen years.
He then became a preaching friar, and Alexander
IV made him inquifitor of Lombardy. His hopes
of fuGcefs were founded on an interregnum in the
empire, and a vacancy in the fee of Milan. But
he durft not fet his foot in the dominions of Azo-
lino of Padua, who was a cruel tyrant, but a
triend of the Patarins, as oppofed to the pope.
Rolnnfon, p. 434. 439.

The heretics were alfo openly defended by
Uberto Pa^lavicino, who was mafler of Cremona,
Placenza, Milan, and.other places. He drove the
inquifitors from Milan, and banilhed Ramier, who
died in exile. About twelve years after the death of
Pallavicino the preaching friars were going to burn
a woman for herefy at Parma, when the mob rofe,
deftroyed the monaflery, and drove all the monks
cut of the city. Credible writers affirm that in the
fixteenth century a'l parts of Italy abounded with
heretics. lb. p. 446. 442.

The great number and refpe6lability of the
Waldenfes appears from the account given of them
by this Rainier, who had been one of them. He
fays that '= of all the fe£ls they were the moft
" dan-erous ; in the firll place becaufe they have
*' continued longer than any other, fome fay from

*' the



Sec. IX. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 45§^

f' the time of pope Silvefler, but others from the
*' time of the apoftles ; fecondly becaufe they are
** more generally difperfed, there being hardly any
" country into which they have not penetrated ;
" and thirdly becaufe of all the fefts they have
*' the greatefl; appearance of piety; but they in-
« veigh again ft the church of Rome and the ckrgy,
" and this draws crowds after them." L Enfant' s
Bajle, p. 1 1.

In A. D. 1332 the Waldenfes were fo numer-
ous in Piedmont, that pope John XXII gave a
commiflion to the inquifitorof Mantua, Albert de
Caftellain a Dominican, to profecute them. They
fometimes alTembled to the number of five hundred.
They rofe in arms againft theinquifitor, and killed
a clergyman, whom they fuppofed to have informed
againft them, and befieged the inquiiitor himfelf
in a caftle, fo that he v/as obliged to leave the
country. The chief of thefe people was Martin
Paftre, who after preaching publicly, and efcap-
ing the inquifitors twenty years, was at laft ap-
prehended.

Benedi6l XII, who was made pope in a. d.
1335, found heretics in various parts of the king-
dom of France. There were Waldenfes in Lyo-
nois, and Dauphine, Fratriceili and difciples of
Dulcin in Italy, and others in Germany, Bohe-
mia, and Dalmatia. On this account he fent out

two



460 THE HISTORY OF Per. XX.

two inqulfitors, one to Olmutz, and the other to
Prague, both Dominicans.

In A. D. 1351 Clement VI, being informed
that there were many heretics in the diocefe ot Em-
|)run in Dauphine, wrote to the bifhops, the ab-
bots, the clergy, and alfo to the lords and judges,
requefling that they would aid the inquifitors in ex-
tirpating them.

In A. D. 1373 Gregory XI complained to the
king of France of there being in his dominions
many perfons of the denomination of Beghards^ or
Turhpins, * who were no other than Waldenfes,
the Beghards having this name from their frequent
begging or praying, as they were called Lollards,
or Lullards, from their linging ; lullen, having that
meaning in Germany where that appellation \vs,i
given them. In Dauphine and the neighbouring
provinces the pope faid there was a great number
of Waldenfes protecled fiom the inquifitors by the
king's ofHcers. In confequence of this informa-
tion

* In Flanders and Artois peiTons in a very low and
abje6l condition were called, by way of proverb, the
children ofTurelupIny under the curse of nature ; owing-
it is conjeiJtured, to the family of fome perron of that
name having been remarkably unfortunate. Hence, by-
way of contempt and abhorrence, thefe reformers might
be called Turlupins. Beausobre in Lenfanfs Basky
p. 384,



Sec. IX. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 4St

lion the king exerted himfelf to flop the progrefs
of thefe fe6ls. At Paris their cloaths and books
were burned in the market place, and two of the
Turlupins, one called Jeanne d'Aubenton, were?
burned.

Heretics, as they were called, were found be-
yond the bounds of Italy, or France. In a. Do
1315 fome were difcovered by the Dominican in-
quifitors in AuRria, and they were burned at
Crems. They ufcd neither baptifm nor the Lord's
fupper, and in general defpifed the Roman hie-
rarchy. They faid there were more than eight
thoufand in Bohemia, Auflria, and the neigh*
bouring countries. They all died in triumph, and
ai'e faid to have paved the way for thofe who came
aftsr them in Bohemia and Germany.

It is no uncommon thing to charge perfons
with the fuppofed confequences of their opinions.
Thus they who very juftly laid little flrefs on the
rites of the chuich, the efficacy of which was fo ex-
ceffively magnified by the Catholics, and on all
external and corporeal aCis in general, and who laid
the greatefl: flrefs on inward piety, were fuppofed
to be of opinion that ail virtue and vice had fo
much their feat in the mind, as that, if this Was in
its right flate, the mod impure a6ls of the bod^
alone could not contaminate it. It is probable
that fome perfons vicioufly inclined may hav6

drawn



464 THE HISTOilY OF Per. X JC.

apprehended Co many heretics in thofe provinces,
that it was neceffary to build more prifons ; and
taxes were levied to fupport them.



SECTION X.

0/ Wickliffc and his FolIozoerL

J




E have feen that the difperfion oi
the Waldenfes was the means of exciting a fpiritof
oppofition to the corruptions of the church of
Rome in all parts of Europe. England did not
efcape this falutary influence ; but it is probable
that the greater number of thofe who vifited Eng-
land were immediately from Flanders, or Germa-
ny, from their having obtained the name ot Lol-
lards. Their opinions, and their zeal, were
adopted by yohn WiMi-ffe, who was born in a. d.
1324, and educated at Oxford, where he greatly
diftinguifhed himfelf by his application to litera-
ture, and efpecially in the contell that was then
carried on between the mendicant orders and the
other members of that univerfity. From oppofing
the incroachments of thofe friars, who were fup-
ported by the court of Rome, he was led to fee
more of the corruptions of that court, and of the

fyftem



5ec.X. the christian church. 46^

fyftem they maintained, than perhaps he would
othefvvife have done, tho', compared with later
reformers, he may be thought not to have proceed-
ed very far. He acknowledged feven facraments,
faying they were " tokens that may be feen of
** things that could not be feen ;" but he inveighed
againft the idle ceremonies of the church of Rome
in the adminiftration of them, and towards the lat-
ter part of bis life, he queftioned the do6lrine of
the real prefence of Ghrift in the cucharift, but did
not exprefs himfelf clearly on the fabje6l. He op-
pofed the do6irine of abfolufion and indulgences,
and tho' he believed a purgatory, and at one time
was of opinion th.it pious prayers might be of ufe
to perfons confined in it, he afterwards maintained
it to be a pernicious error. He rejeded prayers
to faints, the worfhip of images, and pilgrimages.
But the greateft offence he gave was whar he ad-
vanced againft the clergy, and the power of the
church. He denied the power of excommunica-
tion ; faying, there could be no herefy without a
bad life, and that no man can be properly excom-
municated who dees not firfl; excommunicate him-
felf. Tythes, he faid, were voluntary alms, and
might be given or withheld at the pleafure of the
people. Church endowments he confidered as the
root of all the corruption of the clergy, and oiltn
jviihed the church was again reduced to its primi-
VoL. IV. G g tive



464 THE HISTORY OF Pjjr. XJC.

apprehended fo many heretics in thofe provinces,
that it was neceffary to build more prifons ; and
taxes were levied to fupport them.



SECTION X.^

0/ Wickliffe and his FoUoweri,




E have feen that the difperfion oi
the Waldenfes was the means of exciring a fpiritof
oppolition to the corruptions of the church of
Rome in all parts of Europe. England did not
efcape this faiutary influence; but it is probable
that the greater number of thofe who vifited Eng-
land were immediately from Flanders, or Germa-
ny, from their having obtained the name of LoU
lards. Their opinions, and their zeal, wer6
adopted by John Wickliffe, who was born in a. d.
1324, and educated at Oxford, where he greatly
diftinguiflied himfelf by his application to litera-
ture, and efpecially in the contefl that was then
carried on between the mendicant orders and the
other members of that univerfity. From oppofing
the incroachments of thofe friars, who were fup-
ported by the court of Rome, he was led to fee
more of the corruptions of that court, and of the

fyftem



Sec.X. the christian church. 4dS

fyflem they maintained, than perhaps he would
otherv/ife hax^e done, tho', compared with later
reformers, he may be thought not to have proceed-
ed very far. He acknowledged feven facraments,
faying they were ■' tokens that m^^y be feen of
*' things that could not be feen ;" but he inveighed
againft the idle ceremonies of the church of Rome
in the adminiftration of them, and towards the lat-
ter part of his life, he queflioned the do£lrine of
the real prefence of Ghrift in the eucharift, but did
not exprefs himfelf clearly on the fubjeft. He op-
pofed the do6irine of abfolution and indulgences,
s^nd tho' he believed a purgatory, and at one time
lyas of opinion that pious prayers might be of ufe
to perfons confined in it, he afterwards maintained
it to be a pernicious error. He rejeded prayers
to faints, the worlhip of images, and pilgrimages.
But the greatefl; offence he gave was whar he ad-
vanced againft the clergy, and the power of the
church. He denied the power of excommunica-
tion ; faying, there could be no herefy without a
bad life, and that no man can be properly excom-
municated who dees not firft excommunicate him-
felf. Tythes, he (iiid, were voluntary alms, and
might be given or withheld at the pleafure of the
people. Church endowments he confidered as the
root of all the corruption of the clergy, and oltcn
wifhed the church was again reduced to its primi-
VoL. IV. Gg tive



466 THE HISTORY OF Per. XX.

tive poverty and innocence. He was ftill more
adverfe to the clergy having any fecular employ-
ment, but preferred their being married to the ob-
ligation of living in celibacy. Peter pence he
thought an iniquitous impofition.

It does not appear that WicklifFe denied the
fupremacy of the pope, or any of the more fun-
damental do6lrines then held by the church. He
was a rigid predeftinarian, and no doubt a trini-
tarian. He feems to have thought it wrong to take
away the life of man on any account, and tkat war
was utterly unlawful, and much more war in the
name of religion, fuch as the popes promoted dur-
ing the great fchifm. *' When," he faid, •' will
" the proud prieft of Rome grant indulgences to
" mankind to live in peace and charity, as he novyr
** does to fight, and kill one another.** That fuch
a man as this was looked upon with a jealous eye
by the popes, and the friends of the hierarchy, can-
not be wondered at.

In A. D. 1376 Gregory XI wrote to the arch-
bilhop of Canterbury, the univerfity of Oxford,
and the king of England, complaining of their
tolerating fo long the errors of Wickliffe, then
reflorof Lutterworth, and requiring thathefhould
be apprehended and examined. The errors with
which he charged him were nineteen in number,
fuch as have been enumerated. Accordingly he

was



Sfec.X. THE tHRtSTIAN CHURCH, 46?

Was examined by Courtney bifhop of London;
when he explained his prepofltions, but did n jt
retraft any of thenri. But being fupported by J^hn
of Ghent duke of Lancafter, who attended him iii
jperfon on this occafion, and alfo by lord P cy,
earl itiarfhal of England, nothing could be done
againft him.

Wickliffe, being now iri great confideration,
was confulted by the parliament about the lawful-
refs of employing the money that had been col-
leded for the ufe of the pope, in (he fervice of the
nation, and there could be no doubt but he would
fanflion the meafure the expediency of which was
univerfally allowed.

But as the influence of the duke of Lancafter
declined, the enemies of WicklifFe took their ad-
vantage of it; and in a. d. 1381 the archbifhop of
Canterbury called a council, in which the opinions
of WicklifFe were condemned; but he being exceed-
ingly popular, they did not venture to do any
thing againft his perfon. However, on the 20th
of June, two perfons who held his opinions were
examined, and declared to be heretics, and a pDwer
was obtained of the king to arreft and imprifon all
fuch.

WicklifFe himfelf died in peace in a. d. 1387*,
after fufFering by the ftroke of the palfy, which
feized him two years before, as he was preaching,

G g 2 He



469 THE HISTORY OF Per. XX.

He left many writings, but his chief work was the
tranflation of the Bible into Englilh.

So numerous were the difciples of WickliffQ
that at this lime it was faid that if two perfons were
met on the road, one might be fure that one of
them was a Lollard. Gilpin's LifeofWickli^e, p. 54.
This ftafe of things giving fome alarm to the
court of Rome, a council was held in London, in
conff.qaence of a letter from pope Boniface IX to
kmg Richard, in 1396, in which feveral articles
taken from the works of WicklifFe were condemned,
among which were the following ; that in the time
of the apollles the church had only priefls and
deacons ; that popes, patriarchs, and bifhops, were
the invention of pride ; that popes, cardinals, pa-
triarchs, aichbiOiops, bilTiops, their cfhcials and
deans, the monks and friars, were the agents of
Antichrift. Flewy, Vol. 20- p- 422.

If the tide turned again ft the followers of Wick-
lifFe in the reign of Richard II, it did much more
fo in the following reigns of Henry IV and V, who,
as their title to the crown was dubious, thought it
neceffary to pay court to the clergy. From them
a power was obtained, to ariefl, imprifon, and
fine, for herefy, without waiting for the king's
writ, which was necefTary before, and often with-
held. Having now the whole jurifdidion in their
own handj the perfecution aganift heretics raged

with



Sec.X. the christian church. 469

with the greateft violence, and many tVere the
viftims of their bigorry and intolerance.

The moft di fli.Mguiftied of thefe martyrs was
lord Cobham, who in the earlier part ol his life
had been a great favourite with Henry V, and de-
fervedly fo, as he was in all refpecis a moft ac-
complifhcd perfon, and ufeful to the king both in
council and in the field. As, however, he was an
avowed patron of the Wickliffites, and even en-
couraged fcholars from Oxford by ftipends, to pro-
pagate h's dodlrines in the country, he could not



Online LibraryJoseph PriestleyA general history of the Christian church, from the fall of the western empire to the present time (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 30)