Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

were not governed by the same laws; but, in the CENT.

XIII. greatest part of them, the hours that were not de-p

PART II. voted to prayer, meditation, or other religious exercises, were employed in weaving, embroidering, and other manual labours of various kinds. The poor, sick, and disabled Beguines were supported by the pious liberality of such opulent persons as were friends to the order. "

XLII. This female institution was soon imita- Beghards ted in Flanders by the other sex ; and consider- or Lo . able numbers of unmarried men, both bachelors and widowers, formed themselves into communi. ties of the same kind with those of the Beguines, under the inspection and government of a certain chief, and with the same religious views and purposes; still, however, reserving to themselves the liberty of returning to their former me thod of life [2]. These pious persons were, in the style of this age, called Beghards, and by a corruption of that term usual among the Flemish and Dutch, Bogards ; from others they received the denomination of Lollards; in France they were distinguished at first by that of Bons Valeis, or Bons Garpons, and afterwards by that of Beguines: they were also called the Fraternity of weavers, from thie trade which the greatest part of then exer-cised. The first society of the Beghards seems to have been that which was established at Antweri) in the year 1228, and continues still in a flourishing state ; though the brethren, of whom it is composed, have long since departed from their

primitive they are not yet published, we have a very remarkable passagen cited by Jos. GELD. A RYCKEL, in his Observationes ad Vitam S. Beggæ, sect. cxcvi. p. 355. The origin and charters of the convents of Beguines, that were founde i during this and the following century in Holland and Flanders, are treated in an ample manner by Aut. MIRÆus, in his Opera Historico-dipina matića, John BAPT. GRAMMAYE, in his Antiquitates Belgiæ, ANTON. SANDERS, in his Brabantia et Flandris illustraia, and by the other writers of Belgic history.

XIII.

CENT. primitive rule of discipline and manners. This

first establishment of the Beghards was followed PART II.

by many more in Germany, France, Holland, and Flanders; though, after all their success, their congregations were less numerous than those of the Beguines sa]. It is worthy of observation that the Roman pontifs never honoured the societies of the Beghards and Beguines with their solemn or explicit approbation, nor confirmed their establishments by the seal of their authority. They however, granted them a full toleration, and even defended them often against the stratagems and violence of their enemies, who were many in number. This appears by the edicts in favour of the Beghards, which the pontifs granted in compliance with the earnest solicitations of inany illustrious personages, who wished well to that society. It did not however continue always in a flourishing state. The greatest part of the convents, both of the Beghards and Beguines, are now either demolished, or converted to other uses. In Flanders, indeed, a considerable number of the latter still subsist, but few of the former are to be found

any where. Greek wri- XLIII. After the accounts hitherto given of

the rulers of the church, and of the monastic and other religious orders that were instituted or became famous during this century, it will not be improper to conclude this chapter, by mention

ing

ters.

[a] See RYCKELII Vita S. Begga, p. 635-ANT. SANDERII Frandria Illustrata, lib. c. xvi. p. 136.-Jo. Bapt. GRAMAYEI Antiquit. Fland, doo in Gandavo, p. 22.-AUB. MIRÆI Opera Diplom. Hist. tom. iii. c. clxviii. p. 145.--HELYOT, Hist. des Ordres, tom. vii. p. 248, who is, nevertheless, chargeable with many errors-“ GERHARDUS ANTONINUS, Pater Minister” (s0 the head of the order is called in our times) “ Beghardorum Antwerpiensium in Epistola ad Ryckium de Beghardorum origine et fatis," in RYCKELII Vita S. Beggæ, p. 489. This author, indeed, from a spirit of partiality to his order, conceals the truth designedly in various places.

ing briefly the Greek and Latin writers, who,CENT,

;. XIII. during the same period acquired a name by their son

1 PART IL learned productions. The most eminent among the Greeks were,

NICETAS ACOMINATUS, who composed a work entitled, The History and Treasure of the Orthodox Faith ;

GERMANUS, the Grecian patriarch, of whom we have yet extant, among other productions of less note, A Book against the Latins, and An Exposition of the Greek Liturgy;

THEODORUS LASCARIS, who left behind him several treatises upon various subjects of a religious nature, and who also entered the lists against the Latins, which was the reigning passion among such of the Greeks as were endowed with any tolerable parts, and were endowed with any tolerable zeal for the honour of their nation;

NICEPHORUS BLEMMIDA, who employed his talents in the salutary work of healing the divisions between the Greeks and Latins;

ARSENIUS, whose Synopsis of the Canon Law of the Greeks, is far from being contemptible ;

GEORGIUS ACROPOLITA, who acquired a high degree of renown, not only by his historical writings, but also by the transactions and negociations in which he was employed by the emperor MICHAEL;

JOHANNES BECcus or Veccus, who involved himself in much trouble, and made himself many enemies, by defending the cause of the Latins against his own nation with too much zeal;

GEORGE METHOCHITA, and CONSTANTINE MELITENIOTA, who employed, without success, their most earnest efforts to bring about a reconciliation between the Greeks and Latins;

GEORGE PACHYMERES, who acquired a name by his commentary upon DIONYSIUS, the pretended

chief

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CE N T.chief of the mystics, and by a history which he PART 1. composed of his own time; and, .

- GEORGE the Cyprian, whose hatred of the

Latins, and warm opposition to Veccus abovementioned, rendered him more famous than all

his other productions [6]. Latia wri- XLIV. The prodigious number of Latin

writers that appeared in this century, renders it impossible for us to mention them all; we shall therefore confine our account to those among them, who were the most eminent, and whose theological writings demand most frequently our notice in the course of this history. Such are,,,

JOACHIM, abbot of Flora in Calabria, who, though esteemed on account of his piety and knowledge, was, nevertheless, a man of mean parts and of a weak judgment, full of enthusiastic and visionary notions, and therefore considered, during his life and after his death, by the miserable and blinded multitude, as a prophet sent from above. The pretended prophecies of this silly fanatic are abundantly known, and have been frequently published [C];

STEPHEN LANGTON, archbishop of Canterbury, who wrote commentaries upon the greatest part of the books of scripture [d] ;

FRANCIS, the founder of the famous society of Friars-minors, or Franciscans, whose writings were

designed

[b] For a more ample account of all these writers, the reads er may consult the Bibliotheca Græca of FABRICIUS.

[c] The life of JOACHIM was written in Italian by GREGORY DI LAURO, and published in 4to at Naples in the year 1660. The first edition of his prophecies was printed at Venice, in the year 1517. and was followed by several new editions, to satisfy the curiosity of the populace, great and small.

1 [d] LANGTON was a learned and polite author for the age he lived in. It is to him we are indebted for the division or the Bible into chapters. He wrote commentaries upon all the . Eccks of the Old Testament, and upon St Paul's Epistles.

[ocr errors]

designed to touch the heart, and excite pious and C E N T. devout sentiments, but discover little genius, and past II. less judgment;

ALAN DE L'ISLE, a logician, who made no mean figure among the disputatious tribe, who applied himself also to the study of chemistry, and published several moral discourses, in which there are many wise and useful exhortations and precepts [c]; .

JACOBUS DE VITRÍACO, who acquired a name by his Oriental History; and JACOBUS DE VORAGINE, whose History of the Lombard's [f] was received with applause.

The writers of this century, who obtained the greatest renown on account of their laborious researches in, what was called, philosophical or dialectical theology, were ALBERTUS MAGNUS, THOMAS AQUINAS, and BONAVENTURA, who were, each of them, truly possessed of an inquisitive turn of mind, a sublime and penetrating genius, accompained with an uncommon talent of sounding the most hidden truths, and treating with facility the most abstruse subjects, though they are all chargeable with errors and reveries that do little honour to their memories [g]. The

other [e] Several of the name of Alan lived in this century, who have been strangely confounded both by ancient and modern writers. See JAQ. LE Bozur, Memoires sur l'Hist. d. Auxerre, tom. i. P: 300. & Dissert. sur l'Hist. Civil. et Eccles, de Paris, tom. ii. p. 293.

[f] Jac. ECHARDI Scripror. Domin. tom. i. p. 454.BOLLANDI Præf. ad Acia Sanctor. tom. i. p. 9.

[s] For an account of ALBERT, see ECHARD. Script. Dom. tom. i. p. 162.--For an account of THOMAS AQUINAS, who was called the Angel of the subolastics ainong other splendid titles, see the Acra Sanctorum, tom. i, Marii, p. 655, & ANT. Toron, Vie de St Thomas, Paris, 1377, in 410.We have also a circumstantial relation of whatever concerns the life, writings, and exploits of BONAVENTURA, the tutelary saint of the Lonnois in France, in the two fullowing books, viz. COLONIA, Histoire Literaire de la Ville de 210xi, tom, i. p. 307, and the

Hisioire

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »