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CENT. XIV. Though neither the doctrine of WICKLIFF was void of error, nor his life without reproach, yet it must be confeffed that the changes he attempted to introduce, both in the faith and difcipline of the church, were, in many refpects, wife, useful, and falutary [f]

His adverfaries,

XX. The monks, whom WICKLIFF had principally exafperated, commenced a violent profecution against him at the court of GREGORY XI, who, in the year 1377, ordered SIMON SUDBURY, archbishop of Canterbury, to take cognizance of the affair in a council held at London. Imminent as this danger evidently was, WICKLIFF efcaped it by the intereft of the duke of Lancaster, and fome other peers, who had an high regard for him. And foon after the death of GREGORY XI, the fatal fchifm of the Romish church commenced, during which there was one pope at Rome, and another at Avignon; fo that of course this controverfy lay dormant a long time. But no fooner was this embroiled ftate of affairs tolerably fettled, than the procefs wat against him was revived by WILLIAM DE COURTENAY, archbishop of Canterbury, in the year 1385, and was carried on with great vehemence, in two councils held at London and Oxford. The event was, that of the twenty-three opinions, for which WICKLIFF had been profecuted by the monks, ten were condemned as heretics, and thirteen as errors [g]. He himself, however, returned in fafety to Lutterworth, where he died peaceably, in the year 1387. This latter attack was much more dangerous than the former; but by what means he got fafely through it, whether by the intereft of the court, or by denying, or abjuring his opinions, is to this day a fecret [b]. He left many followers in England, and other countries, who were ftyled Wickliffites and Lollards, which laft was a term of popular reproach tranflated from the Flemish tongue into English. Wherever they could be found, they were terribly perfecuted by the inquifitors, and other inftruments of papal ven

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[] A work of his was published at Leipfic and Francfort in 4to. in the year 1753, entitled, Dialogorum Libri quatuor, which, though it does not contain all the branches of his doctrine, yet fhews fufficiently the fpirit of the man, and his way of thinking in general.

[(g) In the original Dr. MOSHEIM fays, that, of eighteen articles imputed to WICKLIFF, nine were condemned as hereftes, and fifteen as errors. This contradiction, which w we have taken theliberty to correct in the text, is perhaps an overfight of the learned author, who may have con founded the eighteen herefies and errors that were enumerated and refuted by WILLIAM WODFORD in a letter to ARUNDEL, archbishop of Canterbury, with the twenty-three propofitions that had been condemned by his predeceffor COURTNEY at London, of which ten were pronounced beretical, and thirteen erroneous. See the very curious collection of pieces, entitled, Fafciculus rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum ORTHUINI GRATII, published first at Cologn, by the compiler, in the year 1535, and afterwards at London in 1690, with an additional volume of ancient pieces and fragments by the learned Mr. EDWARD BROWN. The letter of WODFORD is at full length in the first volume of this collection, p. 191.]

[b] We have a full and complete Hiftory of the Life and Sufferings of John Wickliff, published in 180 at London in the year 1720, by Mr. JOHN LEWIS, who alfo published, in the year 1731, WICKLIFF'S English tranflation of the New Teftament from the Latin verfion, called the Vulgate. This tranflation is enriched with a learned Preface by the editor, in which he enlarges upon the life, actions, and fufferings of that eminent reformer. The pieces, relative to the controverfies which were fet on foot by the doctrines of WICKLIFF, are to be found in the learned work of WILKINS, entitled, Concilia Magna Britannia et Hibern, tom. iii. p. 116. 156.-See alfo BOULAY, Hiftor. Acad. Parif. tom. iv. p. 450.-ANT. WOOD. Antiqq. Oxonienf. tom. i. p. 183. 186, & paffim.


geance, and, in the council of Conftance, in the year 1415, the memory and CENT. XIV, opinions of WICKLIFF were condemned by a folemn decree: and about thirteen years after, his, bones were dug up, and publicly burnt..

XXI. Notwithstanding the Mendicants were thus vigorously attacked The impiety of on all fides, by fuch a confiderable number of ingenious and learned adver- the Francifcans. faries, they could not be perfuaded to abate any thing of their exceffive pride, to let bounds to their fuperftition, or to delift from impofing upon the multitude, but were as diligent as ever in propagating opinions highly detrimental to religion in general, and particularly injurious to the majefty of the fupreme Being. The Francifcans forgetting, in their enthufiaftic frenzy, the veneration that they owed to the Son of God, and animated with a mad zeal for advancing the glory of their order and its founder, impiously maintained, that the latter was a fecond CHRIST, in all refpects fimilar to the first; and that their inftitution and difcipline was the true gospel of JESUS. Yet fhocking as thefe foolish and impious pretenfions were, the popes were not afhamed to patronize and encourage them by their letters and mandates, in which they made no fcruple to affert that the abfurd fable of the ftigmas, or five wounds impreffed upon FRANCIS by CHRIST himself, on mount Alvernus, was worthy of credit, because matter of undoubted fact [i]. Nor was this all; for they not only permitted to be published without any mark of their disapprobation, but approved, and even recommended, an impious piece stuffed with tales yet more improbable and ridiculous than either of the abovementioned fictions, and entitled, The Book of the conformities of St. Francis with JESUS CHRIST, which was The Book of the compofed, in the year 1383, by BARTHOLOMEW ALBIZI, a Francifcan of conformities of Pifa, with the applaufe of his order. This infamous tract, in which the Son of God is put upon a level with a wretched miferable mortal, is an eternal

[i] The ftory of the marks or figmas, impreffed on FRANCIS is well known, as are alfo the letters of the Roman pontifs, which enjoin the belief of it, and which WADDING has collected with great care and published in his Annales Minorum, tom. viii. & ix. The Dominicans formerly made a public jeft of this ridiculous fable, but, being awed into filence by the papal bulls, they are now obliged to deride it in fecret, while the Francifcans, on the other hand, continue to propagate it with the most fervent zeal. That St. FRANCIS had upon his body the marks or impreffions of the five great wounds of CHRIST, is not to be doubted, fince this is a fact proved by a great number of unexceptionable witneffes. But as he was a moft fuperftitious and fanatical mortal, it is undoubtedly evident, that he imprinted on himself thefe holy wounds, that he might refemble CHRIST, and bear about in his body a perpetual memorial of the Redeemer's fufferings. It was cuftomary in these times, for fuch as were willing to be thought more pious than others, to imprint upon their bodies marks of this kind, that having thus continually before them a lively reprefentation of the death of CHRIST, they might preferve a becoming fenfe of it on their minds. The words of St. PAUL, Galat. vi. 17. were fufficient to confirm, in this wretched delufion, an ignorant and fuperftitious age in which the fcriptures were neither studied nor understood. A long lift of thefe figmatifed fanatics might be extracted from the Acta Sanctorum, and other records of this and the following century; nor is this ancient piece of fuperftition entirely abolished, even in our times.

as it may, the Francifcan monks having found these marks upon the dead body of their founder, took this occafion of making him appear to the world as honoured by heaven above the rest of mortals, and invented, for this purpose, the story of CHRIST's having miraculously transferred his wounds to him.


St. Francis.

CENT. XIV. monument of the outrageous enthufiafm, and abominable arrogance of the Franciscan order; and not lefs fo of the exceffive imprudence of the popes in extolling and recommending it [k].

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XXII. The Francifcans, who adhered to the genuine and auftere rule of their founder, and oppofed the popes, who attempted to mitigate the feverity of its injunctions, were not a whit wifer than thofe of the order, who acknowledged the jurifdiction and refpected the decifions of the Roman pontifs. By thefe antipapal Francifcans, I mean the Fratricelli or Minorites, and the Tertiaries of that order, otherwife called Beghards, together with the Spirituals, who refided principally in France, and embraced the opinions of PIERRE D'OLIVE. Thefe monaftic factions were turbulent and feditious beyond expreffion; they gave incredible vexation to the popes, and for a long time difturbed, wherever they went, the tranquillity both of church and ftate. About the beginning of this century [1], the lefs auftere Francifcans were outrageous in their refentment against the Fratricelli, who had deferted their communion [m]; upon which fuch of the latter, as had the good fortune to escape the fury of their perfecutors, retired into France in the year 1307, and affociated themfelves with the Spirituals or followers of PIERRE D'OLIVE in Provence, who had alfo formerly abandoned the fociety. Soon after this the whole Francifcan order in France, Italy, and other countries was divided into two parties. The one, which embraced the severe difcipline and abfolute poverty of St. FRANCIS, were called Spirituals; the other, which infifted upon mitigating the auftere injunctions of their founder, were ftyled the Brethren of the community. The latter, being by far the moft numerous and powerful, exerted themselves to the utmost to opprefs the former, whofe faction as yet was but weak, and, as it were, in its infancy; but notwithstanding this, they cheatfully fubmitted to thefe hardfhips, rather than return to the fociety of the who had deferted the rules of their mafter. Pope CLEMENT V having drawn the leaders of these two parties to his court, took great pains to compofe their diffenfions; nevertheless, his pacific fcheme advanced but flowly, on Occount of the inflexible obftinacy of each fect, and the great number of their mutual accufations. In the mean while the Spirituals of Tuscany, inftead of waiting for the deci

[*] Concerning ALBIZI and his book, fee WADDING, Annal. Minor. tom. ix. p. 158.-J. A. FABRICII Biblioth. Lat. medii avi, tom. i. p. 131SCHELHORNII Aman. Litter, tom. ii. p. 160. BAYLE'S Dictionary, at the article FRANCIS, and the Nouveau Dictionnaire Hift Grit. tom. i. at the article ALBIZI, p. 217. ERASMUS ALBERT made feveral extracts from this book, and published them under the title of the Alcoran of the Francifcans, which was frequently printed in Latin, German, and French; and in the year 1734, was published at Amfterdam in two volumes 8. in French and in Latin, with elegant cuts.

[The Conformities between CHRIST and St. FRANCIS are carried to forty in the book of ALBIZI, but they are multiplied to 4000 by a Spanish monk of the Order of obfervants, in a book published at Madrid in the year 165, under, the following title, Prodigiofum Nature et Gratia Portents. The Conformities mentioned by PEDRO DE ALVA ASTORGA, the auftere author of this most ridiculous book, are whimsical beyond expreffion. See the Bibliotheque des Sciences et des Beaux Arts, tom. iv. P. 318.]

In the years 1306 and 1


[m] WADDINGI Annales Minor. tom. vi. ad An. 1307. p. 91.

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fion of his holiness, chofe themfelves a prefident, and inferior officers, while CeNr. XIV, thole of France, being in the neighbourhood of Avignon, patiently expected the papal determination [n].

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XXIII. After many deliberations, CLEMENT V, in a general council held Deliberations at Vienne, in Dauphine, where he iffued out the famous bull, Exivi de para- the differences difo{o}, propofed an expedient for healing the breach between the jarring among the parties, by wife conceffions on both fides. He gave up many points to the Spirituals, or rigid Francifcans, enjoining upon the whole order the profeffion of abfolute poverty, according to their primitive rule, and the folemn renunciation of all property, whether common or perfonal, confining them to what was neceffary for their immediate fubfiftence, and allowing them even for that a very scanty pittance. He, however, on the other hand, permitted the Francifcans, who lived in places where it was extremely difficult to procure by begging the neceffities of life, to erect granaries and fore-boufes, where they might depofite a part of their alms as a fock in cafe of want; and ordered that all fuch granaries and ftore-boufes fhould be under the infpection and management of infpectors and ftore-keepers who were to determine what quantity of provifions fhould be laid up in them. And finally, in order to fatisfy the Brethren of the community, he condemned fome opinions of PIERRE D'OLIVE [p]. Thefe proceedings filenced, the monaftic commotions in France; but the Tufcan and Italian Spirituals were fo exceeding perverfe and obftinate, that they could not be brought to confent to any method of reconciliation. At length, in the year 1313, many of them, not thinking themselves any longer fafe in Italy, went into Sicily, where they met with a very friendly reception from king FREDERIC, the nobility and bishops [9].


XXIV. Upon the death of CLEMENT V, the tumult, which had been appeased by his authority, was revived in France with as much fury as ever. For, in the year 1314, ap hundred and twenty of the Spirituals made a violent attack upon the Brethren of the community, drove them out of the convents of Narbonne and Beziers by force of arms, and inflamed the quarrel in a yet higher degree by laying afide their antient habits, and affuming fuch as were fhort, ftrait, and coarfe. They were foon joined by a confiderable number from other provinces, and the citizens of Narbonne, where OLIVE was interred, enlifted themselves in the party. JOHN XXII, who was raifed to the pontificate in the year 1317, took great pains to heal this new diforder. The first thing he did for this purpofe was to publish a fpecial bull, by which he ordered the abolition of the Fratricelli, or Minorites, and their Tertiaries, whether Beguines, or Beghards, who were a body diftinct from the


[n] WADDINGI Annal. tom. iv. 1310, p. 172.-ECCARDI Corpus Hiftor. medii avi, tom. i. p. 1480.-BOULAY, Hift. Acad. Parif. tom. iv. p. 129.-ECHARDI Scriptor. Pracdiator. tom.i. p. 508, 509.

[] This bull is inferted in the Fus Canonicum inter Clementinas, tit. xi. De verbor. fignif. tom. ii. p. 1095. ed. Bëhmeri.

[p] WADDINGI Annal. tom. vi. p. 194. 197. 199.

[9] WADDINGI Annal. tom. vi. p. 213.214.-BOULAY, Hift. Acad. Parif. tom. iv. p. 152. 165-ARGENTRE, Collectio judicior. de novis error. tom. i. p. 392. .




CENT. XIV. Spirituals [r]. In the next place he admonished the king of Sicily to expel all the Spirituals who had taken refuge in his dominions [s]: and then ordered the French Spirituals to appear at Avignon, where he exhorted them to return to their duty; and, as the firft ftep to it, to lay afide their short, Strait habits with the fmall boods. The greatest part of them obeyed, but FR. BERNARD DELITIOSI, who was the head of the faction, and twenty four of the Brethren, boldly refufed to fubmit to the injunction. In vindication of their conduct, they alledged that the rules prefcribed by St. FRAN CIS were the fame with the gofpel of JESUS CHRIST; that the popes therefore had no authority to alter them; that the popes had acted finfully in permitting the Francifcans to have granaries and flore-boufes; and that they added to their guilt in not allowing thofe habits to be worn that were enjoyned by St. FRANCIS. JOHN, highly exafperated by this oppofition, gave orders that thefe obftinate Brethren fhould be proceeded against as heretics. And furely they deferved to be ranked among the vileft beretics, for daring thus audacioufly to oppofe the authority and majefty of the Roman fee. As for F. DELITIOSI, who was at the head of this fect, and who is fometimes called DELLI CONSI, he was imprifoned, and died in his confinement. Four of his adherents were condemned to the flames, in the year 1318, at Marfeilles [t], which odious fentence was accordingly executed without

The ridiculous



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XXV. Thus these unhappy friars, and many more of their fraternity difputes of the who were afterwards cut off by this cruel perfecution, fuffered merely for their contempt of the decifions of the pontifs, and for maintaining that the mftitute of St. FRANCIS, their founder, which they imagined he had established under the direction of an immediate infpiration, was the very Gospel of Chrift, and therefore not to be altered by the pope's authority. The controverfy, confidered in itself, was rather ridiculous than important, fince it did not affect religion in the leaft, but turned wholly on these two points, the form of the habits to be worn by the Francifcan order, and their granaries and store-boufes. The Brethren of the community, or the lefs rigid Francifcans, wore long, loose, and good habits, with ample hoods; but the Spirituals went in ftrait, fhort, and very coarfe ones, which they afferted to be precifely the dress enjoined by the inftitute of St. FRANCIS, and what therefore no power upon earth had a right to alter. And whereas the Brethren of the community, immediately after the harveft and vintage, were accustomed to lay up a stock of corn and wine in their granaries and cellars, the Spiritual Francifcans refolutely opposed this practice as entirely repugnant to the profeffion of abfolute poverty that had been embraced by [r] This law is called Sandla Romana, &c. and is to be found among the Extravagantes Jobannis XXII. tit. vii. De religiofis domibus, tom. ii. Jur. Canon. p. 1112.

[] WADDINGI Annal, Minor. tom. vi. p. 265. S.

[] BALUZII Vit. Pontif. Avenion. tom. i. p. 116. tom. ii. p. 341. et Mifcellan. tom. i. P. 195. 272. WADDINGUS Annal. Minor. tom. vi. p. 267. . 316. MARTENE Thefaur. Anecdotor. tom. v. p. 175. MARTINUS Fuldenfis, in ECCARDI Corpore Hiftor: medii avi, tom. i. p. 1725. et HERM. CORNERUS, ibid. tom. ii. p. 981. Hiftoire generale de Languedoc, tom. iv. p. 179. f. ARGENTRE Collectio Judicior. de novis errorib. tóm. i. p. 294. S.


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