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CE N T. that his doctrine resembled, in a striking manner, *: 1. the religious system of the ancient Gnostics and

Manichæans; though at the same time, it is possible that the Greeks may have falsified his tenets in some respects. BASILIUS maintained, that the world and all animal bodies were formed, not by the Deity, but by an evil demon, who had been cast down from heaven by the Supreme Being; from whence he concluded, that the body was no more than the prison of the immortal spirit, and that it was, therefore, to be enervated by fasting, contemplation, and other exercises, that so the soul might be gradually restored to its primitive liberty ; for this purpose also wedlock was to be avoided, with many other circumstances which we have often had occasion to explain and repeat in the course of this history. It was in consequence of the same principles, that this unfortunate enthusiast denied the reality of Christ's body, which, like the Gnostics and Manichæans, he considered only as a phantom, rejected the law of Moses, and maintained that the body, upon its separation by death, returned to the malignant mass of matter, without either the prospect or possibility of a future resurrection to life and felicity. We have so many examples of fanatics of this kind in the records of ancient times, and also in the history of this century, that it is by no means to be wondered, that some one of them more enterprising than the rest should found a sect among the Greeks. The name of this sect was taken from the divine mercy, which its members are said to have incessantly implored; for the word bogmilus, in the Mysian language, signifies calling out for mercy from above [n].

III. · [n] See AnnA COMNENA Alexiados, lib. xv. p. 384. edit. Venetæ.-ZONARAS Annalium, lib. xviii. p. 336.-Jo. Christ. Wolf, Historia Bogomilorum, published at Willeberg, in 4to,


he Latin


III. The Latin sects were yet more numerous C E N T. than those of the Greeks, and this will not appear

0 XII. at all surprising to such as consider the state of religion in the greatest part of the European pro-che

sects and vinces. The reign of superstition, the vices of the abuses the clergy, the luxury and indolence of the pon-from

whence tifs and bishops, the encouragement of impiety they by the traffic of indulgences, increasing from day to sprung. day, several pious, though weak men, who had the cause of CHRIST and of his religion at heart, easily perceived that both were in a most declining and miserable state, and therefore attempted a reformation in the church, in order to restore Christianity to its primitive purity and lustre. But the knowledge of these good men was not equal to their zeal, nor were their abilities in any proportion to the grandeur of their undertakings. The greatest part of them were destitute both of learning and judgment, and, involved in the general ignorance of the times, understood but very imperfectly the holy scriptures, from whence Christianity was derived, and by which the abuses that had been mingled with it could only be reformed. In a word, few of these well-meaning Christians were equal to an attempt so difficult and arduous as an universal reformation; and the consequence of this was, that while they avoided the reigning abuses, they fell into others that were as little consistent with the genius of true religion, and carried the spirit of censure and reformation to such an excessive length, that it degenerated often into the various extravagancies of enthusiasm, and engendered a number of new sects, that became a new dishonour to the Christian cause.


1712.-SAM ANDREÆ Diss. Bogomilis in Jo. Voicti Bib. liotheca Historiæ Hæresiologice, tom. i. part II. p. 121. CHR. AUG. HEUMANNI Dissertai. de Bogomilis,

CENT. IV. Among the sects that troubled the Latin

Thi,, church during this century, the principal place is PART II.S

due to the Gatharists, wb; n we have had already Catha- occasion to mention [0]. This numerous faction,

leaving their first residence, which was in Bulgaria, spread themselves throughout almost all the European provinces, where they occasioned much tumult and disorder; but their fate was unhappy.; for, wherever they were caught, they were put to death with the most unrelenting cruelty [p]. Their religion resembled the doctrine of the Manichæans and Gnostics, on which account they commonly received the denomination of the former, though they differed from the genuine and primitive Manichæans in many respects. They all indeed agreed in the following points of doctrine : viz. That matter was the source of all evil; that the Creator of this world was a being distinct from the Supreme Deity; that CHRIST was not clothed with a real body, neither could be properly said to have been born, or to have seen death; that human bodies were the pro. duction of the evil principle; and that baptism and the Lord's Supper were useless institutions, destitute of all efficacy and power. They exhorted all who embraced their doctrine to a rigorous abstinence from animal food, wine, and wedlock, and recommended to them in the most pathetic terms the most severe acts of austerity and mortification. They moreover treated with the utmost contempt all the books of the Old Testament, but expressed a high degree of veneration for the New, particularly for the Four Gospels ;

and, [2] See CENT. III. PART II. CH. V. sect. XVIII. but principally for that sort of Carharises here mentioned, see above CENT. XI. PART II. CH. V. sect. II.

[p] See the accounts given of this unhappy and persecuted sect by CHARLES PLESSIS D'ARGENTRE, in his Collectio ju.. dicioram de novis erronibus, tom. i. in which, however, several circumstances are omitted.

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fate in the und be deliverer kind [9]: ob they The divid

and, to pass over many other peculiarities in their c ENT. doctrine, they maintained, that human souls, endued with reason, were shut up by an unhappy fate in the dungeons of mortal bodies, from whence they could not be delivered by fasting, mortifica-' tion, and continence of every kind [7].

V. These principles and tenets, though they The Cathawere adopted and professed by the whole sect, rists divid

Cl, ed into two yet were differently interpreted and modified by sects. different doctors. Hence the Gatharists were divided into various sects, which, however, on account of the general persecution in which they were all involved, treated each other with candour and forbearance, disputed with moderation, and were thus careful not to augment their common calamity by intestine feuds and animosities. Out of these different factions arose two leading and principal sects of the Catharists, which were distinguished from the rest by the number of their respective followers, and the importance of their differences. The one approached pretty nearly to the Manichæan system, held the doctrine of two eternal Beings, from whom all things are derived, the God of light, who was also the Father of Jesus Christ, and the principle of darkness, whom they considered as the author of the material world. The other believed in one eternal principle, .. the FATHER of CHRIST, and the Supreme God by whom also they held that the first matter was created; but they added to this, that the evil being, after his rebellion against God, and his fall from heaven, arranged this original matter according to his fancy, and divided it into four elements, in order to the production of this visible VOL. III.


[2] Besides the writers which shall be mentioned presently, see the Disputatio inter Catholicum et Paterinum, published by MARTENE, in his Thesaur. Anecdotor. tom. v. p. 1703. as also BONACURSI Manifestatio Hæresis Carharorurn in Luc. DACHERII Spicilegio, tom. i. p. 208.

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C E N T.world. The former maintained, that Christ being

y clothed with a celestial body descended thus into PART II Ciomed in the womb of the Virgin, and derived no part of

his substance from her; while the latter taught, that he first assumed a real body in the womb of Mary, though not from her [r]. The sect, which held the doctrine of two principles, were called Albanenses, from the name of the place where their spiritual ruler resided; and this sect was subdivided into two, of which one took the name of BALAZINANSA, bishop of Verona, and the other that of JOHN DE LUGio; bishop of Bergamo. The sect which adhered to the doctrine of one eternal principle was also subdivided into the congregation of Baioli, the capital town of the province, and that of Concoregio, or Concorezzo. The Albigenses who were settled in France, belonged to the church or congregation of Baioli (s).

VI. In the internal constitution of the church that was founded by this sect, there were many rules and principles of a singular nature, which

wę [r] See Bern. MONETA, in summa adversus Catharos et Waldenses, published at Rome, in the year 1743, by THOM. AgGUST. RICHINI, who prefixed to it a dissertation concerning the Cathari, that is by no means worthy of the highest encomiums. MONETA was no mean writer for the time in which he lived. See Lib. i. p. 2. & 5. Lib. ii. p. 247, &c.

[s] RAINERI SACHONI summa de Catharis ei Leonistis in MARTENE Thesaur. Anecdot. tom. v. p. 1761. 1768.- PERE GRINUS PRESCIANUS in MURATORII Antiq. Ilal. medii ævi, tom. v. p. 93. who exhibits, in a sort of table, these different sects, but by a mistake places the Albigenses, who were a branch of the Baiolenses, in the place of the Albanenses; this, perhaps, may be an error of the press. The opinions of these Boiolenses, or Bagnolenses, may be seen in the Codex Inquisitionis Tolosané, which LIMBORCH published with his History of the Inquisition. The account, however, which we have in that history (Book I. Ch. VIII.) of the opinions of the Albigenses is by no means accurate. A great variety of causes has contributed to involve in darkness and perplexity the distinctive characters of these different sects, whose respective systems we cannot enlarge upon at present.

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