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Church. Now, when the decrees of the fathers and long usage have introduced other modes, what necessity is there for reviving antiquated practices which have long fallen into desuetude, especially as neither piety nor the salvation of the soul is concerned with them? Let us, then, I pray you, allow these things to rest. Not that I disapprove of their being embraced by scholars and lovers of antiquity; but I would not have them communicated to the common people and those who are fond of innovations, lest they give occasion to strife and sedition. There are unlearned and unqualified persons who having, after long ignorance, read or heard certain new opinions respecting baptism, the marriage of the clergy, ordination, the distinction of days and food, and public penitence, instantly conceive that these things are to be stiffly maintained and observed. Wherefore, in my opinion, the discussion of these points ought to be confined to the initiated, that so the seamless coat of our Lord may not be rent and torn. Seeing it is dangerous to treat such things before the multitude and in public discourses, I must decm it safest to “ speak with the many and think with the few," and to keep in mind the advice of Paul, Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God."'1
The new religious spirit which I have attempted to characterize as tinctured by Protestant opinions
· C. Calcagnini Opera, p. 195. I am indebted for the above version to McCrie's Reformation in Italy. p. 183.
but disinclined for severance from Rome, manifested itself about the same time in several groups. One of them was at Rome, where a society named the Oratory of Divine Love, including from fifty to sixty members, began to meet as early as the reign of Leo X. in the Trastevere. This pious association included men of very various kinds.
various kinds. Sadoleto, Giberto, and Contarini were here in close intimacy with Gaetano di Thiene, the sainted founder of the Theatines, and with his friend Caraffa, the founder of the Roman Inquisition. Venice was the center of another group, among whom may be mentioned Reginald Pole, Gasparo Contarini, Luigi Priuli, and Antonio Bruccioli, the translator of the Bible from the original tongues into Italian. The poet Marcantonio Flaminio became a member of both societies; and was furthermore the personal friend of the Genoese Cardinals Sauli and Fregoso, whom we have a right to count among thinkers of the same class. Flaminio, though he died in the Catholic communion, was so far suspected of heresy that his works were placed upon the Index of 1559. In Naples Juan Valdes made himself the leader of a similar set of men. His views, embodied in the work of a disciple, and revised by Marcantonio Flaminio, On the Benefits of Christ's Death, revealed strong Lutheran tendencies, which at a later period would certainly have condemned him to perpetual imprisonment or exile. This book had a wide circulation in Italy, and was influential in directing the minds
of thoughtful Christians to the problems of Justification. It was ascribed to Aonio Paleario, who suffered martyrdom at Rome for maintaining doctrines similar to those of Valdes. Round him gathered several members of the great Colonna family, notably Vespasiano, Duke of Palliano, and his wife, the star of Italian beauty, Giulia Gonzaga. Vittoria Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara, imbibed the new doctrines in the same circle ; and so did Bernardino Ochino. Modena could boast another association, which met in the house of Grillenzone ; while Ferrara became the headquarters of a still more pronounced reforming party under the patronage of the Duchess, Renée of France, daughter of Louis XII. These various societies and coteries were bound together by ties of friendship and literary correspondence, and were indirectly connected with less fortunate reforming theologians ; with Aonio Paleario, Bernardino Ochino, Antonio dei Pagliaricci, Carnesecchi, and others, whose tragic history will form a part of my chapter on the Inquisition.
It does not fall within the province of this chapter to write an account of what has, not very appropriately, been called the Reformation in Italy. My purpose in the present book is, not to follow the for
• Though as many as 40,000 copies were published, this book was so successfully stamped out that it seemed to be irrecoverably lost. The library of St. John's College at Cambridge, however, contains two Julian copies and one French copy. That of Laibach possesses an Italian and a Croat version. Cantù, Gli Eretici, vol. i. p. 360.
tunes of Protestantism, but to trace the sequel of the Renaissance, the merging of its impulse in new phases of European development. I shall therefore content myself with pointing out that at the opening of Paul III.'s reign, there was widely diffused throughout the chief Italian cities a novel spirit of religious earnestness and enthusiasm, which as yet had taken no determinate direction.
This spirit burned most highly in Gasparo Contarini, who in 1541 was commissioned by the Pope to attend a conference at Rechensburg for the discussion of terms of reconciliation with the Lutherans. He succeeded in drawing up satisfactory articles on the main theological points regarding human nature, original sin, redemption and justification. These were accepted by the Protestant theologians at Rechensburg and might possibly have been ratified in Rome, had not the Congress been broken up by Contarini's total failure to accommodate differences touching the Pope's supremacy and the conciliar principle. He made concessions to the Reformers, which roused the fury of the Roman Curia. At the same time political intrigues were set on foot in France and Germany to avert a reconciliation which would have immeasurably strengthened the Emperor's position. The moderate sections of both parties, Lutheran and Catholic, failed at Rechensburg. Indeed, it was inevi.
It should be observed, however, that Luther rejected the article on justification, and that Caraffa in Rome used his influence to prevent its acceptance by Paul III.
ATTEMPTED CATHOLIC REFORM.
table that they should fail; for the breach between the Roman Church and the Reformation was not of a nature to be healed over at this date. Principles were involved which could not now be harmonized, and both parties in the dispute were on the point of developing their own forces with fresh internal vigor.
The Italians who desired reform of the Church were now thrown back upon the attempt to secure this object within the bosom of Catholicism. At the request of. Paul III. they presented a memorial on ecclesiastical abuses, which was signed by Contarini, Caraffa, Sadoleto, Pole, Fregoso, Giberto, Cortese and Aleander. These Cardinals did not spare plain speech upon the burning problem of Papal misgovernment.
Meanwhile, the new spirit began to manifest itself in the foundation of orders and institutions tending to purification of Church discipline. The most notable of these was the order of Theatines established by Thiene and Caraffa. Its object was to improve the secular priesthood, with a view to which end seminaries were opened for the education of priests, who took monastic vows and devoted themselves to special observance of their clerical duties, as preachers, administrators of the sacraments, visitors of the poor and sick.
A Venetian, Girolamo Miani, at the same period founded a congregation, called the Somascan, for the education of the destitute and orphaned, and for the reception of the sick and infirm into hospitals.