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CE N T. come incarnate, in her person, for the salvation wat u of a great part of mankind. According to her

doctrine, “ None were saved by the blood of JE-,
“ sus, but true and pious Christians; while the
“ Jews, Saracens, and unworthy Christians, were
" to obtain salvation through the Holy Spirit
" which dwelt in her, and that, in consequence
" thereof, all that had happened to CHRIST, during
“ his appearance upon earth in the human nature,
“ was to be exactly renewed in her person, or
“ rather in that of the Holy Ghost, which was
" united to her." This mad woman died at Mi-
lan in the year 1281, in the most fragant odour
of sanctity, and her memory was not only held in
the highest veneration by her numerous followers
and the ignorant multitude, but was also honour-
ed with religious worship both in public and in
private. Her sect, nevertheless, was discovered
by the curious eye of persecution in the year
1300, and fell into the clutches of the inquisitors,
who destroyed the magnificent monument that
had been erected in her honour, had her bones
raised and committed to the flames, and in the
same fire consumed the chief leaders ofthis wretch-
ed faction, among which there were persons of

both sexes [f]. The sect

XIV. It was upon predictions similar to those Galled A- mentioned in the preceding section, that the sect postles.

of the apostles founded its discipline. The members of this sect made little or no alterations in the doctrinal part of the public religion ; what

they

[f] The Milanese historians, such as BERNARD, CORIUS, and others, have related the adventures of this odd woman; but their accounts are very different from those given by the learned MURATORI, in his Antiqq. Italicæ medii ævi, tom. v. p. 91. and which he has drawn from the judicial proceedings of the court, where the extraordinary case of this female fanatic was examined. We are informed by the same excellent author, that a learned writer, named PURICELLI, composed a history of WILHELMINA, and of her sect.

they principally aimed at, was, to introduce C E N T.

XIII. among Christians the simplicity of the primitive part II. times, and more especially the manner of life that red was observed by the apostles. GERHARD SAGARELLI, the founder of this sect, obliged his followers to go from place to place as the apostles did, to wander about cloathed in white, with long beards, dishevelled hair, and bare heads, accompanied with women, whom they called their Sisters. They were also obliged to renounce all kinds of property and possessions, and to preach in public the necessity of repentance, while in their more private assemblies they declared the approaching destruction of the corrupt church of Rome, and the establishment of a purer service; and a more glorious church, that, according to the prophecies of the abbot JOACHIM, was to arise from its ruins. No sooner was the unhappy leader of this faction committed to the flames ist; than he was succeeded in that character by a bold and enterprising fanatic, named DULCINUS, à native of Novara, who published his predictions with more courage, and maintained them with more zeal, than his predecessor had done, and who did not hesitate to declare that, in a short tiine, the Roman pontif BONIFACE VIII. with the corrupt priests and the licentious monks, were to perish by the hand of the emperor FREDERIC III. son of PETER, king of Arragon, and that a new and most holy pontif was to be raised to the head of the church. These visionary predictions were, no doubt, drawn from the dreams of the abbot JOACHIM, who is said to have declared, among other things, that an emperor called FREDERIC III. was to bring to perfection what FREDERIC II. had left unfinished. Be that as it may, DULCINUS appeared with intrepid assurance at the head of U 2

the [8] This unhappy man was burnt alive at Pdrma, in the ear 1300.

XII. PARTI

CE N T. the apostles; and acting not only in the character

u of a prophet, but also in that of a general, he

assembled an army to maintain his cause, and perhaps to accomplish, at least in part, his predictions. He was opposed by RAYNERIUS, bishop of Vercelli, who defended the interests of the Roman pontif, and carried on, during the space of two years and more, a most bloody and dreadful war against this chief of the apostles. The issue of this contest was fatal to the latter, who, after several battles fought with obstinate courage, was at length taken prisoner, and put to death at Vercelli in the most barbarous manner in the year 1307, together with Margaret, whom he had chosen for his Spiritual Sister, according to the custom of his sect. The terrible end of DULCINUS was not immediately followed by the downfal of his sect, which still subsisted in France, Germany, and in other countries, and stood firm against the most vehement efforts of its enemies until the beginning of the xvth century, when, under the pontificate of BONIFACE IX. it was totally extir

pated [6]. A true ac- XV. This famous JOACHIM, abbot of Flora,

whose fanatical predictions turned the heads of so the heresy that was many well-meaning people, and excited them to imputed to

attempt Joachim.

Sh] I composed in the German language an accurate history in three books, of this famous sect, which is very little known in our times, and I have in my hands materials, that will furnish an interesting addition to that history. That this sect subsisted in Germany, and in some other countries, until the pontificate of BONIFACE IX. is evident from the Chronicle of HERMAN CORNERUS, published by Jo. GEORGE ECHARD, in his Corpus Historicum medii ævi, tom. ï. p. 906. and may be sufficiently demonstrated by other authentic testimonies. In the year 1402, a certain member of this apostolical sect, whose name was WILLIAM, or WILHELMUS, was burnt alive at Lubeck. See CorNERUS, loc. cii. p. 1185. The Germans, who were accustomed to distinguish by the name of Beghards all those who pre. tended to extraordinary piety, and sought, by poverty, and begging, an eminent reputation for sanctity and virtue, gave this title also to the sect of the Apostles.

count of

attempt reforming the church by the sword, and en T.

xu. to declare open war against the Roman pontifs, pat: did not fall under the suspicion of heresy on acabar count of these predictions, but in consequence of a new explication he had given of the doctrine of a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead. He had in an elaborate work attacked very warmly PETER LOMBARD, the master of the sentences, on account of the distinction this latter writer had made between the Divine Essence, and the three Persons in the Godhead ; for JOACHIM looked upon this doctrine as introducing a fourth object, even an essence, into the Trinity. But the good man was too little versed in metaphysical matters, to carry on a controversy of such a subtile nature, and he was betrayed by hisignorance so far as to advance inconsiderately the most rash and most exceptionble tenets. For he denied that there was any thing, or any essence, that belonged in common to the three Persons in the Trinity, or was jointly possessed by them; by which doctrine the substantial union between the three Persons was taken away, and the unity of the Father, Son, and ! Holy Ghost was reduced from a natural simple, and numerical unity, to a moral one only; that is, to such an unity as reigns in the councils and opinions of different persons, who embrace the same notions, and think and act with one accord. This explication of the trinity was looked upon by many as very little different from the Arian system; and therefore the Roman pontif, INNOCENT III. pronounced, in the year 1215, in the counsel of the Lateran, a damnatory sentence against the doctrine of JOACHIM, which sentence, however, did not extend to the person or fame of the abbot himself. And, indeed, notwithstanding this papal sentence, JOACHIM has at this day a considerable number of adherents and defenders, more especially among those of the Franciscans who are

called

U

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CE N T. called Observants. Some of these maintain that PART II

is the book of this abbot was corrupted and interpolated by his enemies, while the rest are of opinion that his doctrine was not thoroughly ung derstood by those that opposed it [i].

[1] See DAN. PAPEBROCHIUs. Disquis. Histor. de Florensi Ordine, Prophetiis, Doctrina, B. Joachimi, in Actis Sanctorum, Maii, tom. vi. p. 486. which contains The Life of Joachim, and several other pieces of consequence. See also NATAL. ALEXANDER, Hist. Eccles. Sæc. xiii. Diss. ii. p. 331.-Luc. WAD. DINGI Annal. Minor. tom. iv. p. 6.

THE

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