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whom the cure of souls was committed, and whoC ENT. considered themselves as the spiritual guides of Sul

O PART II. the multitude. Nor did the influence and credit of the Mendicånts end here ; for we find in the history of this and of the succeeding ages, that they were employed, not only in spiritual matters; but also in temporal and political affairs of the greatest consequence, in composing the differences of princes, concluding treaties of peace, concerting alliances, presiding in cabinet-councils, governing courts, levying taxes, and other occupations, not only remote from, but absolutely inconsistent with, the monastic character and profession. XXIV. We must not however imagine, that The

nicans. all the Mendicant friars attained to the same de: gree of reputation and authority; for the power of the Dominicans and Franciscans surpassed greatly that of the other two orders, and rendered them singularly conspicuous in the eyes of the world. During three centuries, these two fraternities governed, with an almost universal and absolute sway, both state and church, filled th: most eminent posts ecclesiastical and civil, taught in the universities and churches with an authority, before which all opposition was silent; and maintained the pretended majesty and prerogatives of the Roman pontifs against kings, princes, bishops, and heretics, with incredible ardour and equal success.' The Dominicans and Franciscans were, before the Reformation, what the Jesuits have been since that happy and glorious period, the very soul of the hierarchy, the engines of the state, the secret springs of all the motions of the one and the other, and the authors or directors of every great and important event both in the religious and political world. DOMINIC, a Spaniard by birth, a native of the village of Calarago, descendant of the illustrious hous; of Guz02


the ill of the viMOMINIC


CE N T. man, and regular canon of Osma, a man of a fiery XIII.,, and impetuous temper, and vehemently exas

perated by the commotions and contests which the heretics of different denominations had excited in the church, set out for France with a few companions, in order to combat the sectaries, that were multiplied in that kingdom. This enterprize he executed with the greatest vigour, and, we may add, fury, attacking the Albigenses and the other enemies of the church with the power of eloquence, the force of arms, and subtilty of controversial writings, and the terrors of the inquisition, which owed its form to this violent and sanguine priest. Passing from thence into Italy, he was honoured by the Roman pontifs INNOCENT III. and HONORIUS III, with the most distinguished marks of their protection and favour; and, after many labours in the cause of the church, obtained from them the privilege of erecting this new fraternity, whose principal design was the extirpation of error, and the destruction of heretics. The first rule which he adopted for the new society was that of the Canons of St Aufustin, to which he added several austere precepts and observances. But he afterwards changed the discipline of the canons for that of the monks; and, holding a chapter of the order at Bologna in the year 1220, he obliged the brethren to take a vow of absolute poverty, and to abandon entirely alltheir revenues and all their possessions. He did not live long enough to see the consequences of this reformation, for he died the year following at Bologna [9]. His monks were, at

first, . [9] See Jac. ECHARD. and QUETIF in Scriptoribus Ord. Dominic. tom. i. p. 84.-Acta Sanctor. April. tom. iii. p. 872. ---NicoL. JANSENII Vila S. Dominici, Antwerp, 1622, in 8vo. Add to these the long list of writers mentioned by FABRICIUS, in his Bibliotheca Lat. med. avi, tom. ii. p. 137. and also ANTONI BREMONDI Bullarium Ordinis Dominicani, published some years ago at Rome.

first, distinguished by the denomination of preach-ce NY. ing friars, because public instruction was the main XIII. end of their institution; but were afterwards cal-PARTI, led Dominicans after their founder [r]. [* Just before his death DOMINIC sent GILBERT DE FRESNEY with twelve of the brethren into England, where they founded their first monastery at Oxford in the year 1221, and soon after, another at London. In the year 1276, the mayor and aldernen of the city of London gave them two whole streets by the river Thaines, where they erected a very commodious convent, whence that place is still called Black-Friars, for su the Dominicans were called in England.]

The Fran. • XXV. FRANCIS the founder of the famous ciscans. order that bear his name, was the son of a mer-' ;,,, chant of Assisi, in the province of Umbria, and a young man who led, for some time, a most debauched and dissolute life. Upon his recovery from a severe fit of sickness, which was the consequence and punishment of his licentious conduct, he changed his method of living, and, as extremes are natural to men of warm imaginations, fell into an extravagant kind of devotion, that looked less like religion than alienation of mind. Some time after this [s], he happened to be in a church, where he heard that passage of the scriptures repeated, in which Christ addresses his apostles in the following manner; Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor



[r] The Dominicans are called Fratres Majores in several of the ancient records ; see ANT. MIATTHÆI snalecta vet. ævi, tom. ii. p. 172. This appellation, however, by which the Dominicans were set in opposition to the Franciscans, who call themselves Fratres Minores, is rather a term of derision than a real name. In France the Dominicans are called Yacobins, from the street where their first convent was erected at Paris, in the year 1218, which street was dedicated to St James, and is still known by the name of Rue de St Jaques.

[s] In the year 1203.

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XIII. se u shoes, nor yet staves, for the workman is worthy of

his meat (t). This produced a powerful effect upon his mind, made him consider a voluntary and absolute poverty as the essence of the gospel and the soul of religion, and prescribe this poverty as a sacred rule both to himself and to the few that followed him. Such was the commencement of the famous Franciscan order, whose founder and chief was, undoubtedly, a pious and wellmeaning man, though grossly ignorant, and manifestly weakened in his intellect by the disorder from which he had but lately recovered. Nevertheless the new society, which appeared to INNOCENT III. extremely adapted to the present state · of the church, and proper to restore its declining credit, was solemnly approved and confirmed by HONORIUS III. in the year 1223, and had al

ready made a considerable progress when its de, vout founder was called from this life in the year

1226. FRANCIS, through an excessive humility, would not suffer the monks of his order to be called Fratres, i. e. brethren, or friars, but Fra. terculi, i. e. 'little brethren, or friars-minors [u], by which denomination they still continue to be distinguished [2]. The Franciscans came into Eng

land [1] Matthew, x. 9. 10.

[n] They were called Frairicelli by the Italians, Freres Mimeurs by the French, and Fratres Minores by the Latin writers.

[w] BONAVENTURE wrote a life of St Francis, which has passed through several editions. But the most ample and circumstantial accounts of this extraordinary man are given by LUKE WADDING, in the first volume of his Annal. Minorum, which contains a complete history of the Franciscan order, confirmed by a great number of authentic records, and the best edition of which is that published at Rome in 1731, and the following years, in eighteen volumes in folia, by JOSEPH MARIA FONSECA AB Ebora. It is to the same WADDING that we are obliged for the Opuscula Sci. Francisci, and the Bibliotbeca Ordinis Minorum, the former of which was published in 4to at iniwerp, in the year 1623, and the latter at Rone, in 4to like

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land in the reign of HENRY III. and their first C E N T. establishment was at Canterbury.

PART II. XXVI. These two celebrated orders restored by the church from that declining condition in which

"nent serviit had been languishing for many years, by the ces renderzeal and activity with which they set themselves cd to the

Roman to discover and extirpate heretics, to undertake pontifs by various negotiations and embassies for the interests the Domi:

°nicans and of the hierarchy, and to confirm the wavering Francija multitude in their implicit obedience to the Ro-cans. man pontifs. These ghostly rulers, on the other hand, sensible of their obligations to the new monks, which, no doubt, were very great, not only employed them in every affair they looked upon as of high importance, and raised them to the most eminent stations in the church, but also accumulated upon them employments and privileges, which, if they enriched them on the one hand, could not fail to render theni odious on the other [x], and to excite the envy and complaints of other ecclesiastics. Such, among many other extraordinary prerogatives, was the permission


they wise, in 1650. The other writers, who have given accounts of the Franciscan order, are mentioned by Jo. Alb. FABRICIUS, in his Bibliotheca Lat. medii ww, tom. ii. p. 573.

[x] The popes were so infatuated with the Franciscans, that these whom they could not enploy more honourably in their civil negotiations or domestic al airs, they made their publicar's beadies, Go. See for a confirmation of this, the following passages in the Histor. Major. of MATTHEW Paris? Fratres minores et prædicatores (says he) invitos, ut credinius, jam suos fecit dominus papa, non sine ordinis eorum læsione et scandalo, teloniarios et bedellos,' p. 634.- Non cessavit papa recunian aggregare, faciens de Fratribus prædicatoribus et minoribus, etiam invitis, non jam piscatoribus hominum, sed nummorum,' p. 639. Cons. p.602. 664.- Erant Minores et Prædicatores magnatum consiliatores et nuntii. etiam domini papa secretarii : nimis in hoc gratiam sibi secularem comparantes ;' ad. An. 1236. p. 354.– Facti sunt eo tempore Predicatores et Minoles regum consiliarii et unti speciales, út sicut quendam mollibus induti in domibus regum erant, ita tunc qui ilibus vestiebantur, in cormibus, cameris, et palatiis essent prircipum :' ad tn. 1239. p.

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