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XIII.

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. II. Doctors, Church-Government, &c. 205 ation [f]. And here let it be observed to the CE N T. astonishment of all, in whom the power of super-PARTIL. stition has not extinguished the plainest dictates of common sense, that this fiction, ridiculous and impious as it was, found patrons and defenders even among the pontifs [8].

XXX. It is however certain, that the Mendi- Contests cant orders, though they were considered as the be De main pillars of the hierarchy, and the principal nicans and supports of the papal authority, involved the.

"cans. pontifs, after the death of DOMINIC and FRANCIS, in many perplexities and troubles, which were no sooner dispelled than they were unhappily renewed; and thus the church was often reduced to a state of imminent danger. These tumults and perplexities-began with the contests between the Dominicans and Franciscans about pre-eminence, in which these humble monks loaded each other with the bitterest invectives and the severest accusations both in their writings and their discourse, and opposed each other's interests with all the fury of disappointed ambition, Many schemes were formed, and various measures were employed, for terminating these scandalous dissensions ; but the root of the evilstill remained, and the flame was rather covered than extinguished [c]. Besides this, the Franciscans were early divided among themselves, and split into several factions, which gathered strength and consistence from day to day,

and [f] See Jo. LAUNOII Lib. de Viso Stockiï Oper. tom. ü. part II. p. 379.--Acta Sanctor. tom. iii. Mensis Maii ad diem xvi.—THEOPH. RAINAUDI Scapulare Marianum, tom. vii. opp. p. 614.

[8] The late pope BENEDICT XIV. notwithstanding his pretended freedom from superstition and priestly fraud, has deigned to appear among the supporters of this gross fiction, though he defends it with his usual air of prudence and timidity, in his book De Festis B. Mariæ Virg. lib. ii. cap. vi. p. 472. tom. x, opp. edit. Rom.

[b] See the Alcoran des Cordeliers, tom. i. p. 256. 266. 278. &c. Luc. WADDINGI Annales Minor. tom. iii. p. 330.

PARTIT

divisions

CENT and not only disturbed the tranquillity of the Xill. uchurch, but struck at the supreme jurisdiction and

prerogatives of the Roman pontifs. And whoever considers with attention the series of events that happened in the Latin church from this remarkable period, will be fully convinced that the Mendicantorders, whether through imprudence or design we shall not determine, gave several mortal blows to the authority of the church of Rome, and excited in the minds of the people those ardent desires of a reformation in the church, which produced, in after-times, such substantialand such

glorious effects. Intestine XXXI. The occasion of these intestine divi

hesions among the Franciscans, was a dispute about among the Francie- the precise meaning of their rule. Their founder cans occa- and chief had made absolute poverty one of their sioned by different indispensable obligations. The religious orders explications before his time were so constituted, that, though of their Tule.

no single monk had any personal property, yet the whole community, considered as one collective body, had possessions and revenues, from whence each individual drew the means of his subsistence. But the austere chief of the Franciscans absolutely prohibited both separate and collective property to the monks of his order; and neither the individual nor the community were permitted to possess either fund, revenue, or any worldly goods [i]. This injunction appeared so severe to several of the Friars minors, that they took the liberty to dispense with it as soon as their founder was dead; and in this they were seconded by the Roman pontif, GREGORY IX. who, in the year

1231 [i] The words of the rule itself relating to this point are a, follow : C. vi. “ Fratres sibi nihil approprient, nec domum, nec locum, nec aliquam rem : sed sicut peregrini et advenæ in hoc sæculo, in paupertate et humilitate famulantes Dominó, vadant pro eleemosyna confidentur ...(i. e. let them be sturdy beggars)... Hæc est illa celsitudo altissimæ paupertatis, quæ vos cariçsimos meos fratres hæredes et reges regni coelorum instituit."

1231, published an interpretation of this rule,C ENT. which mitigated considerably its excessive rigour, X

11804 PART II. [k]. But this mitigation was far from being agreeable to all the Franciscans; it shocked the austere monks of that order, those particularly who were called the Spiritual [2], whose melancholy temper rendered them fond of every thing harsh and gloomy, and whose fanatical spirit hurried them always into extremes. Hence arose a warm debate,,which INNOCENT IV. decided, in the year 1245, in favour of those who were for mitigating the severity of the rule in question. By this decree of the pontif it was enacted, that the Franciscan friars should be perınitted to possess certain places, habitations, goods, and chattels, books, Esc. and to make use of them, but that the property, of all these things should reside without the consent of the Ronan pontif they might neither be soil, changed, nor transferred, under any pretext whatsoever. This edict was considered by the gloomy part of the order as a most pernicious depravation of their holy rule ; and was, consequently, opposed and rejected by them with indignation. Hence many of these spiritual mal-contents retired into the woods and desarts, while others were apprehended, by CRESCENTIUS, the general of the Society, and sent into exile [m].

XXXII. The face of affairs was, however, soon changed in their favour, when, in the year 1247, JOHN of Parma was chosen general of the

order

[k] This bull was published by EMMANUEL RODERIC, in his Collectio privilegiorum regularium Mendicantium, et non Mendicantium, tom. i. p. 8.

[1] Luc. WADDINGII Annal. Minor. tom. iii. p. 99. they were also called Zelatores, and Cæsarians, from their chief, CÆSARIUS.

[m] Luc. WADDINGII. Annal. Minor. tom. iv. p. 128. and tom. iii. p. 171.

Ĉ EN T.order. This famous ecclesiastic, who was zeala

XIII. Purtuously attached to the sentiments of the spiritual, b r recalled them from their exile, and inculcated

upon all his monks a strict and unlimited obedience to the very letter of the rule that had been drawn up by St FRANCIS [n]. By this reform, he brought back the order to its primitive state; and the only reward he obtained for his zealous la_ bours "was to be accused as a rebellious heretic at the tribunal of the Roman pontif, ALEXANDER IV. in consequence of which he was obliged to resign his post. He had also the mortification to see the monks who adhered to his sentiments cast into prison, which unhappy lot he himself escaped with great difficulty [0]. His successor, the famous BONAVENTURA, who was one of the most eminent scholastic divines of this century, proposed steering a middle course between the two contending factions, having nothing so much at heart as to prevent an open schism. Nevertheless, the measures he took to reconcile the jarring parties, and to maintain a spirit of union in the order, were not attended with the degree of success which he expected from them ; nor were they sufficient to hinder the less austere part of the Franciscans from soliciting and obtaining, in the year 1247, from ALEXANDER IV. a solemn renewal of the mild interpretation which INNOCENT IV. had given of the rule of their founder [p]. On the other hand, the faction that adhered to the sentiments of JOHN of Parma maintained their cause with such success, that, in an assembly of the order, held in the year 1260, the explication of INNOCENT was abrogated and annulled, especially in those points wherein it

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differed

[n] Luc. WADDINGII Annal. Minor. tom. iž. p. 171.
[o] Id. ibid. tom. iv. p. 4. ,

[e] This edict of ALEXANDER IV. is published by WADDINGIUS, Annal. Min. tom. iv. p. 446. among the Rccords. ,

differed from that which had been formerly given C EN T.

* XIII. by GREGORY IX. [9].

PART II. XXXIII. This dispute concerning the true

Another sense of the rule of St FRANCIS was followed by contestaanother of equal moment, which produced new risco among

the Franand unhappy divisions among the monks of that ciscans, order. About the commencement of this cen-concerning

the Evertury, there were handed about in Italy several lasting Gom pretended prophecies of the famous JOACHIM, pel of the

abbot Joaabbot of Sora in Calabria [r], whom the multi-chim. tude revered as a person divinely inspired, and equal to the most illustrious prophets of ancient times. The greatest part of these predictions were contained in a certain book, entitled, The everlasting Gospel, and which was also commonly called, I be Book of Joachim [s] This JOACHIM, whether

. : a real [9] The interpretation of GREGORY mitigated the rule of St FRANCIS ; but that of INNOCENT went much farther, and seemed to destroy its fundamental principles. See WADDINGI Annales Minor. tom. iv. p. 128. The lamentable divisions that reigned among the monks of this famous order, are described, in an accurate and lively manner, by BONAVENTURA himself, in a letter, which is extant in the Annales now cited, tom. iv. p. 58.

D [t] The resemblance that there is between the words Sora and Flora, has probably led Dr Mosheim here into a slight mistake. Sora is not in Calabria, but in the province of Capua. It must therefore have been Flora, that our author intended to write, as SPANHEIM, FLEURY, and the other ecclesiastical historians have done.

[s] The MERLIN of the English, the MALACHY of the Irish, and NOSTRADAMUS of the French, those pretended soothsayers, who, under the illusory, or feigned persuasion of a di: vine impulse, sung in uncouth verse, the future revolutions of church and state, are just what we may suppose the JOACHIM of the Italians to have' been. Many predictions of this latter were formerly handed about, and are still to be seen ; nay, they have passed through various editions, and have been illustrated by the lucubrations of several commentators. It is not to be doubted, that JOACHIM was the author of various predictions, and that he, in a particular manner, foretold the reformation of the church, of which he might easily see the absolute necessity. It is however certain, that the greatest part of the predictions and VOL. III.

writings

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