« ПредишнаНапред »
foot” in the world.' And Christ saith, the calamity and confusion of things shall be so exceeding greai, that “if it were possible, the very elect should be deceived :"% and that these things shall come to pass, not among the Gentiles and Turks, but even in the holy place, in the temple of God, in the Church, and in the company and fellowship of those which profess the name of Christ.
Sect. 9. Albeit these same warnings alone may suffice a wise man to take heed he do not suffer himself rashly to be deceived with the name of the Church ; and not to stay, to make further inquisition thereof by God's word; yet beside all this, many fathers also, many learned and godly men, have often and carefully complained, how all these things have chanced in their life time. For even in the midst of that thick mist of darkness, God would yet there should be some, who though they gave not a clear and bright light, yet should kindle, were it but some spark, which men being in the darkness, might espy.
Hilary, when things as yet were almost uncorrupt, and in good case too : “ Ye are ill deceived," saith he, “ with the love of walls : ye do ill worship shonour] the Church : in that ye worship it in houses and buildings, ye do ill bring in the name of peace under roofs. Is there any doubt, but Antichrist will have his seat under the same? I rather reckon hills, woods, pools, marshes,
prisons, and quagmires, to be places of more safety : for . in these the prophets either abiding' of their accord, or
forced thither by violence, did prophesy by the Spirit of God."h
† (JEWELL, in his margin, refers to Daniel viii. He appears to quote v. 13: but if so, loosely, and with his own interpretation of “the sanctuary and host ;" of which it is that Daniel says “they shall be trodden under foot,” when the “transgression of desolation” takes placeplainly, one might suppose, referring to the destruction of the temple and the Jewish polity by the Romans.]
& Matth. xxiv. 24.
a “Male vos parietum amor cæpit: male Ecclesiam Dei in tectis, ædificiisque veneramini : male sub iis pacis nomen ingeritis. Anne ambiguum est, in iis Antichristum esse sessurum ? Montes mihi, et sylvæ, et lacus, et carceres, et voragines, sunt tutiores; in illis enim prophetæ, aut manentes, aut demersi, Dei SPIRITU prophetabant." HILARIus contra Auxentium.
GREGORY, as one which perceived and foresaw in his mind the wreck of all things, wrote thus of John, Bishop of Constantinople, the first of all others that commanded himself to be called by this new name, The Universal Bishop of Christ's whole Church : " If the Church," saith he, “shall depend upon one man, it will soon fall down to the ground.” i-Who is he, that seeth not how this is come to pass long since ? For long ago hath the Bishop of Rome willed to have the whole Church depend upon himself alone. Wherefore it is no marvel, though it be clean fallen down long ago.
BERNARD the Abbot, above four hundred years past, writeth thus : “ Nothing is now sincere and pure amongst the clergy: wherefore it resteth that the Man of Sin should be revealed.” k——The same BERNARD in his Treatise of the Conversion of St. Paul : “ It seemeth now,” saith he, “ that persecution hath ceased : no, no, persecution seemeth but now to begin, and that even from them which have chief pre-eminence in the Church. Thy friends and neighbours, O God, have drawn near, and stood up against thee : from the sole of the foot, to the crown of the head, there is no part whole. Iniquity is proceeded from the elders, the judges and deputies, which pretend to rule thy people. We cannot say now, Look how the people is, so is the priest: for the people is not so ill as is the priest. Alas, alas, O LORD God, the self-same persons be the chief in persecuting thee, which seem to love the highest place, and bear most rule, in thy Church.”] The same BERNARD a gain, Upon the Canticles, writeth thus : “All they are thy friends ; yet are they all thy foes : all thy kinsfolk; yet are they all thy adversaries. Being Christ's servants, they serve Antichrist. Behold in my rest, my bitterness is most bitter."
i "Si Ecclesia pendebit ab uno, tota corruet.” GREGOR. MAGN. Ep. ad Maurit. Imp. Lib. IV. Ep. 32.—“Universa Ecclesia a statu suo corruit, quando is, qui appellatur Universalis, cadit.” Ep. 76. Lib. IV.“Si unus Episcopus vocatur Universalis, universa Ecclesia corruit, si unus Universus cadit.” Ep. 188. Lib. VI.
* “Nihil jam integrum est in clero : superest ut reveletur homo peccati."
BERNARDI CLAREVALLENSIS Serm. 1 in Cono. de Pauli. m BERNARDI Serm. 33 in Cantic.
Roger Bacon also, a man of great fame, after he liad in a vehement oration touched to the quick the woful state of his own time : “ These so many errors,” saith he,“ require and look for Antichrist.”. Gerson complaineth that in his days all the substance and efficacy of sacred divinity was brought unto a glorious contention, [a contention for the sake of glory,) and ostentation of wits, and very sophistry. The poor men called Pauperes a Lugduno, [the poor men of Lyons, ]p men,
n In Libello de Idiomate Linguarum.
(Roger Bacon, better known as Friar Bacon, was the wonder of his age for learning. His skill in natural philosophy and mechanics, far beyond that of his contemporaries, procured for him the reputation, and the punishment, of a magician; by his theological learning, he obtained from his contemporaries the title of the Admirable doctor; and to his attainments in philosophy and theology he added an acquaintance with the Greek and Hebrew languages, in that age exceedingly rare. He flourished in the middle of the thirteenth century.]
• [John CHARLIER, surnamed Gerson, from the village in which he was born, was the greatest theologian of his age, and for strength of intellect, fervour of devotion, and fearlessness of zeal, inferior to none of any age. He was for many years Chancellor of the University of Paris, at that time one of the most important clerical dignities in France, or indeed in Europe. He attended the Councils held at Pisa in 1409 and at Constance in 1414, and exercised no small influence on their decisions, by his part in their debates, and especially by his writings. He was a firm and zealous opponent of the extravagant pretensions of the Popcs, and did more than any other man towards procuring the decision of the Council of Constance, renewed in that of Basle, and subsequently adhered to by the whole Gallican Church, that the Pope is subject to a General Council.
Gerson also distinguished himself by his strenuous opposition to the tenets of John Petit, a celebrated Parisian divine, who had maintained, in defence of the assassination of the Duke of Orleans by the Duke of Burgundy, that the murder of a political opponent is justifiable. This doctrine was condemned, at GERSON's suggestion, by the Council of Constance; and although the power of the Duke of Burgundy effected his expulsion from all his dignities, and put his life repeatedly in jeopardy, he ceased his opposition to it only with his life. He died in the humblo situation of a schoolmaster, at an advanced age, in 1429.
The admirable practical treatise on the Imitation of Christ, commonly ascribed to Thomas a Kempis, has been claimed as the production of GERSON, with much show of reason. Many portions of his acknowledged productions are scarcely inferior in devotional feeling and practical utility.)
p (This sect, one of the most eminent among the many which in the twelfth and following centuries prepared the way for the Reformation, had its origin in the pious zeal of a merchant of Lyons, in France, about the year 1160. From his surname Vaux, or VALDO, the followers whom he gradually acquired came to be known as Valdenses or Wal
as touching the manner of their life, not to be misliked, were wont boldly to affirm, that the Romish Church (whence alone all counsel, and all order, was then sought,) was the very same harlot of Babylon, and rout of devils, whereof is prophesied so plainly in the Apocalypse.
I know well enough the authority of these foresaid persons will be but lightly regarded amongst these men. How then if I call forth those for witness, whom they themselves have used to honour ? What if I say that ADRIAN (the Sixth]o the Bishop of Rome did frankly
denses, and were soon confounded with the far more ancient Valdenses, or inhabitants of the Valleys of Piedmont, who through the darkest ages of Romish corruption, had preserved in violate, in their sequestered nook, those primitive doctrines which the merchant of Lyons only revived in France, by the dissemination of the Scriptures. The Valdenses of Piedmont, consisting of a body of clergy and laity preserved by their poverty and seclusion from the corruption which pervaded Christendom, had maintained the character of an entire and regular branch of the Church catholic, in which the word and sacraments of CHRIST were duly ministered. The Valdenses of Lyons, originating in the zealous efforts of a pious layman to spread the word of God and its pure doctrines, possessed no regular ministry, and departed in many points both of discipline and doctrine from the model of Christianity.
For piety and purity of intention, however, equal praise belongs to both; and the active exertions of Peter VALDO and his associates, because they excited more attention, and were made on a more public stage, than the quiet perseverance in well-doing of the simple rustics of Piedmont, were probably most effectual in hastening on the glorious dawn of Reformation.
As to the opinions of the Poor men of Lyons; they "found fault," says JEWELL,"" with the lewd life of the clergy, with purgatory, with holy water, with pardons, and with other like deceivings of the people, They translated the Bible, and prayed in their natural known mother tongue. These were their errors. Therefore were they called 'detestable heretics :' (HARDING had called them so :) therefore were they condemned by your Church of Rome. But, God's name be blessed for ever! since that time the Pope's painted power hath still abated, and these 'poor detestable condemned heretics' have still increased." Defence, p. 408.]
Ö PLATINA, in Vit. Pontif.--[Adrian VI. succeeded Leo X. in the Papal see in 1522, and died in 1523. He was well disposed to reform the Papal corruptions as to practice, and set seriously about the work, but was prevented from effecting any thing important by the shortness of his reign.
"Thus he pronounced at Nuremberg in Germany, in the great assembly of the empire, by the mouth of CHEREGA'TUS, his Legate a Latere: 'A sacerdotibus iniquitatem,' &c. 'that the iniquity of the people grew from the priests : and that now, for the space of many years, there have been great and grievous offences committed in Rome : confess that all these mischiefs brast [burst] out first from the high throne of the Pope of Rome? PIGHIUS acknowledgeth herein to be a fault, that many abuses are brought in, even into the very Mass, which Mass otherwise he would have seem to be a most reverend matter. GERSON saith, that through the number of most fond ceremonies, all the virtue of the Holy Ghost, which ought to have full operation in us, and all true godliness, is utterly quenched and dead. Whole Greece and Asia complain,s how the bishops of Rome, with the marts of their purgatories and pardons [indulgences] have both tormented men's consciences, and picked their purses.
As touching the tyranny of the bishops of Rome, and their barbarous Persian-like pride ; to leave out others, whom perchance they reckon for enemies, because they freely and liberally find fault with their vices; the same men which have led their life at Rome, in the holy city, in the face of the most holy father, who also were able to see all their secrets, and at no time departed from the catholic faith—as for example, LAURENTIUS VALLA,
and that all this plague and mischief hath flowed unto all the inferior rulers of the Church, even from the high throne of the Pope's holiness.' (SLEIDAN, Lib. IV. Ann. 1523.) This same story is also extant printed at Cologne, in a book called Fasciculus Reruin Sciendarum." Defence, p. 409.)
ř Albert Pighius, a celebrated Roinish divine of the sixteenth century, was a bigotted adherent to the interests of the See of Rome, even in all the extent to which they are carried by what is called the Ultramontane class of hierarchists. Yet he was free in acknowledging the abominable corruption of manners which defiled the Roman court. He was in favour with Adrian VI. and his successors. He died in 1542.) op"Surely the Christian men that be this day in Greece and Asia, · the Pope, with all t
ith all the deformities of his Church. The Greek Emperor Michael Palæologus, for that he had submitted himself to the Pope in the late Council of Florence, was therefore afterward abhorred and hated of his people while he lived; and being dead, was forbidden Christian burial. (Paul. Æmil. Pantaleon.) Isidore, the Archbishop of Kiow in Russia, for that being returned from the said Council, he began for unity's sake to move the people to the like submission, was therefore deposed from his bishopric, and put to death. (Matth. A MICHONIA in Novo Orbe.) In such reverence the Churches of Asia and Greece have this day the Church of Rome.” Defence, p. 410s.
The modern Greeks, though themselves not inferior in corruption to the Church of Rome, inherit their fathers' prejudices against that Church ' in all their bitterness. Several amusing instances of this are given in the lately published travels of Dr. MADDEN.]
i["As for LAURENCE VALLA," says HARDING, "he was not in