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CIN T. a real or fictitious person we shall not pretend to

XIII.

A 11. determine, among many other future events, spow foretold the destruction of the church of Rome,

whose corruptions he censured with the greatest severity, and the promulgation of a new and more perfect gospel in the age of the Holy Ghost, by a set of poor and austere ministers, whom God was to raise up and employ for that purpose. For he divided the world into three ages, relative to the three dispensations of religion that were to succeed each other in it. The two imperfect ages, to wit, the age of the Old Testament, which was that of the Father, and the age of the New, which was under the administration of the Son, were, according to the predictions of this fanatic, now past, and the third age, even that of the Holy Ghost, was at hand. The Spiritual, i, e, the austere Franciscans, who were, for the most part, well meaning, but wrong-headed enthusiasts, not only swallowed down, with the most voracious and implicit credulity, the prophecies and doctrines that were attributed to JOACHIM, but applied these predictions to themselves, and to the rule of discipline established by their holy founder St FRANCIS [1]; for they maintained, that he

delivered writings, which were formerly attributed to him, were composed by others; and this we may alfirm even of the Everlasting Gospel, the work, undoubtedly, of some obscure, silly, and visionary author, who thought proper to adorn his reveries with the celebrated name of JOACHIM, in order to gain them credit, and io render them more agreeable to the multitude. The title of this senseless production is taken from Revelations xiv. 6. and it contained three books; the first was entitled, Liber Cancordia teriiaris, i, e. The Book of the harmony of Truih; the second, épocalypsis Nova, or New Revelations; and the third, Psalterium decem Chordarum, i, e. The Ten-stringed Harp. This account was taken from a manuscript of that work, in the library of the Sorbonne, by Jac. CCHARD, who has published it in his Scriptores Dominic. tom. i. p. 202..

[1] This is acknowledged even by WADDING, notwithstanding liis partiality in favour of the spiritual or austere Franciscans. See his Annal. Minor, tom, iv. p. 3--6.

XIII.

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delivered to mankind the true gospel, and that he CENT. was the angel whom St JOHN saw flying in the part II. midst of heaven [u].

XXXIV. At the very time that the intestine Gerhard's divisions among the Franciscans were at the be greatest height, one of the Spiritual friars, whose name was GERHARD, undertook the explication of the Everlasting Gospel attributed to JOACHIM, in a book which appeared in the year 1250, under the title of Introduction to the Everlasting Gospel [w].

In. [u] Revel. xiv. 6. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of beaven, baving the everlasting gospel 10 preach unio then that dwell on the earth, &c.---See on this subject BALUZII Miscellan. tom. i. p. 221. 228. 235. 246.--ECHARDI Scrip:or. Dominic. tom. i. p. 202.-Codex Inquisit. Tholosanæ a LIMBORCHIO edit. p. 301. 302. 305, &c.

[w] As the accounts given of this book, by ancient and modern writers, are not sufficiently accurate, it may not be improper to offer here some observations that may correct their mis. takes. 1. They almost all confound the Everlasiing Gospel, or The Gospel of the Holy Ghost, (for so was it also called, as we are told by GUILL. DE ST AMOUR, in his book De Periculis noviss. Tempor. p. 38.) with the Iniroduction to the Everlasting Gospel. But these two productions must be carefully distinguished from each other. The Everlasting Gospel was attributed to the abbot JOACHIM, and it consisted in three books, as has been already observed. But the Introduction to this Gospel was the work of a certain Franciscan monk, who explained the obscure predictions of the pretended Gospel, and applied them to his order. The Everlasting Gospel was neither complained of by the university of Paris, nor condemned by the Roman pontif, ALEYANDER IV. but the Introduction was complained of, condemned, and burnt, as appears evidently from the letters of the abovementioned pontif, which are to be seen in BOULAY'S Histor. Academ. Paris. tom. iii. p. 292. The former consisted, as productions of that nature generally do, in ambiguous predictions and intricate riddles, and was consequently despised or neglected ; but the latter was dangerous in many respects. 2. It is farther to be observed, that the ancient writers are not agreed concerning the author of this Introduction. They are unanimous in attributing it to one of the Mendicant friars; but the votaries of St FRANCIS maintain, that the author was a Dominican ; while the Dominican party affirm as obstinately, that he was a Franciscan. It is however certain, that the greatest part of the learned are of opinion, that the author of the infaP. 2

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CE N T. In this book, the fanatical monk, among other PART 1. enormities, as' insipid as impious, inculcated the

following mous work in question was John of Parma, general of the Franciscans, who is known to have been most warmly attached to the spiritual faction of that order, and to have maintained the sentiments of the abbot JOACHIM with an exeessive zeal. See Luc. WADDING. Annal. Minor. tom. iv. p. 9. who endeavours to defend himn against this accusation, though without success. (See also the Acta Sanctorum, tom. iii. Martii, p. 157for John of Parma, though he preferred the Gospel of St FRANCIS to that of Christ, has, nevertheless, obtained a place among the saints.) The learned ECHARD is of a different opinion, and has proved, in his Scripror. Dominican, tom. i. p. 202, 203. from the curious manuscripts yet preserved in the Sorbonne, relating to the Everlasting Gospel, that GERHARD, a Franciscan friar, was the author of the infamous Introduction to that book. This GERHARD, indeed, was the intimate friend and companion to JOHN of Parma, and not only maintained, with the greatest obstinacy, the cause of the spiritual, but also embraced all the sentiments that were attributed to the abbot JOACHIM, with such an ardent zeal, that he chose to remain eighteen years in prison rather than to abandon them. See WADDINGI Annal. Minor. tom. iv. p. 4.7. The Franciscans, who were called observantes, i. e. vigilant, from their professing a more rigid observance of the rule of their founder than was practised by the rest of their order, place GERHARD among the saints of the first rank, and impudently affirm, that he was not only endowed with the gift of prophecy, but also with the power of working miracles. · See WADDINGII Annales Min. tom. iii. p. 213, 214. It is to be observed, 3dly, That whoever may have been the writer of this detestable book, the whole Mendicant order, in the judgment of the greatest part of the historians of this age, shared the guilt of its composition and pub lication, more especially the Dominicans and Franciscans, who are supposed to have fallen upon this impious method of deluding the multitude into a high notion of their sanctity, in order thus to establish their dominion, and to extend their authority beyond all bounds. This opinion however is ill-founded, not withstanding the numbers by which it has been adopted. The Franciscans alone are chargeable with the guilt of this horrid production, as appears most evidently from the fragments of the book itself, which yet remain; but we are obliged in justice to observe farther, that this guilt does not even lie upon all the Franciscans, but only on that faction of the order, which is known under the title of the Spiritual. Perhaps we might go still farther, and allege, that the charge ought not to be extended even to all the members of this faction, but to such

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following detestable doctrine ; " That St FRAN-C E NT, “ cis, who was the angel mentioned in the Re-p;

PART II. " velations, xiv. 6. had promulgated to the world " the true and everlasting gospel of God; that • the gospel of Christ was to be abrogated in

the year 1260, and to give place to this new “ and everlasting gospel, which was to be substi66 tuted in its room; and that the ministers of s6 this great reformation were to be humble and 66 bare-footed friars, destitute of all worldly * emoluments [x]." When this strange book was published at Paris in the year 125+, it excited in the doctors of the church, and, indeed, in all good men, the most lively feelings of horror and indignation against the Mendicant friars, who had already incurred the displeasure of the

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public alone as placed an idle and enthusiastic confidence in the abbot JOACHIM, and gave credit to all his pretended prophecies. These observations are necessary to the true understanding of what has been said concerning the Everlasting Gospel by the following learned men ; Jo. ANDR. SCHMIDIUS, Singular Disserlai. Helmst. 1700, in 40.--Usserius, De successione Ecclesiar. Occident. c. ix. sect. 20. p. 337.-- BOULAY, Hist. Acad. Paris. tom. ill. p. 292.-NATAL. ALEXANDER, Histor. Eccles. Sæc, xiü. Artic. iv. p. 78.---Luc. WADDING. Annal. Mi* nor. tom. iv. p. 9.--Upon the whole it may be affirmed, that the book under consideration is not, as the greatest part of the learned have imagined, a monument of the arrogance of the Mendicant orders, but rather a proof of the impious fanaticism and extravagance of an handful of Franciscuterie

[x] See GUIL. DE ST AMORE, De Periculis bouiss. Tempor. p. 38, 39. who observes, that the book under consideration was not indeed published before the year 1254, but that the opinions contained in it had an earlier origin, and were propagated even in the year 1200. Several of the ancient writers have given large extracts from this infamous book, see HERM. CORNERI Chronicon, in EcCARDI Corpore Histor. medii ævi, tom. ii. p. 850..Chronocon. Egmondanum, in ANT. MATTHÆI Analectis veteris ævi, tom. ii. p. 517.-RICOBALDUS apud ECCARDUM, loc. cil. tom. i. p. 1215.--But there is a great difference between these extracts, which seems to have arisen from this, that some drew their citations from the Everlasting Gospel of JOACHIM, while others drew theirs from the Introduction of GERHARD, not sufficiently distinguishing the one work from the other.

CE N T. public on other accounts. This universal ferPART 11. ment engaged the Roman pontif, ALEXANDER

IV. though much against his will, to order the suppression of this absurd book in the year 1255; he, however, took care to have this order executed with the greatest possible mildness, lest it should hurt the reputation of the Mendicants, and open the eyes of the superstitious multitude. But the university of Paris was not satisfied with these gentle and timorous proceedings; and consequently its doctors repeated without interruption their accusations and complaints, until the extravagant production, that had given such just and general offence, was publicly committed to the flames [y].

XXXV. The intestine flame of discord, that The famous con- had raged among the Franciscans, and was smostitution of brand

100 101 thered, though not extinguished, by the prudent relating to management of BONAVENTURA, broke out anew the rule of with redoubled fury after the death of that pacific St Francis.

doctor. The Franciscan monks, who were fond of opulence and ease, renewed their complaints against the rule of their founder, as unreasonable and unjust, demanding what it was absolutely beyond the power of man to perform. Their complaints, however, were without effect; and their schemes were disconcerted by the Roman pontif, NICOLAS III. who leaned to the side of the austere Franciscans; and, in the year 1279, published that famous constitution, which confirmed the rule of St FRANCIS, and contained an ac. curate and elaborate explication of the maxims it recommended, and the duties it prescribed [x].

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Nicol

[y] See BOULAY, Hist. Acad. Paris. tom. iii. p. 299.JORDANI Chronicon, in MURATORII Antiqq. Ital. tom. iv. p. 998.

[x] Some affirm, that this famous Constitution was issued out by Nicolas IV. but their opinion is refuted by WADDING, in his Annal. Min. tom, v. p. 73.

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