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XXXVI. Soon after the commencement of this C E N T. century, the famous sect of the Cellite Brethren, XIV.
PART II. and Sisters arose at Antwerp: they were also styled the Alexian Brethren and Sisters, because St The secto
the Cellite ALEXIUS was their patron; and they were named brethren Cellites, from the cells in which they were used to and sisters,
The Lola live. As the clergy of this age took little care lards. of the sick and dying, and deserted such as were infected with those pestilential disorders which were then very frequent, some compassionate and pious persons at Antwerp formed themselves into a society for the performance of these religious offices which the Sacerdotal orders so shamefully neglected. Pursuant to this agreement, they visited and comforted the sick, assisted the dying with their prayers and exhortations, took care of the interment of those who were cut off by the plague, and on that account forsaken by the affrighted clergy, and committed them to the grave with a solemn funeral dirge. It was with reference to this last office, that the common people gave them the name of Lollards (u). The A a 2
[n] Many writers have given us large accounts concerning the secť and name of the Lollards, yet none of them are to be commended for their fidelity, diligence, or accuracy on this head. This I can confidently assert, because I have carefully and expressly inquired into whatever relates to the Lollands; and from the most authentic records concerning them, both published and unpublished, have collected copious materials from whence their true history may be compiled. Most of the German writers, as well as those of the other countries, affirm, that the Lollards were a particular sect, who differed from the church of Rome in many religious points ; and that WALTER LolHARD, who was burnt in this century at Cologn, was their founder. How so many learned men came to adopt this opinion is beyond my comprehension. They indeed refer to Jo. TriTHEMIUS as the author of this opinion ; yet it is certain, that no such account of these people is to be found in his writings. I shall therefore endeavour, with all possible brevity, to throw all the light I can upon this matter, that they who are fond of Ecclesi. astical history may have a just notion of it.
('EN Texample of these good people had such an exPARIII. u tenisive influence, that in a little time societies of
the The term lol.bard, or lullbard, or, as the ancient Germans write it lolleri, lulleri, is compounded of the old German word luilen, lollan, lallen, and the well known termination bard, with which many of the old High Dutch words end. Lollen, or lullen, signines to sing with a low voice. It is yet used in the same sense among the English, who say, lull a-sleep, which signifies to sing any one into a slumber with a sweet indistinct voice. See FRANC. JUXII Etymologicum Anglicanum, ab EDVARDO LyE, Oxon. 1743, fol. under the word lollard. The word is also used in the same sense among the Flemings, Swedes, and other nations, as appears by their respective Dictionaries. A. mong the Germans, both the sense and pronunciation of it have undergone some alteration ; for they say lallen, which signifies. to pronounce indistinctly, or stammer. Lolbard, therefore, is a. singer, or one who frequently sings. For as the word beggen, which universally signifies to request any thing fervently, is applied to devotional requests or prayers, and, in the stricter sense in which it is used by the High Dutch, denotes praying fervently to God; in the same manner the word lollen, or lullen, is. transferred from a common to a sacred song, and signifies in its most limited sense to sing a hymn. Lolhard, therefore, in the vulgar tongue of the ancient Germans, denotes a person who is continually praising God with a song, or singing hymns to his honour. HOSCEMIUS, a canon of Liege, has well apprehended and expressed the force of this word in his Gesta Pontificum Leodiensium lib. i. cap. xxxi. in Jo. CHAPEAVILLI Gestis Por. ci ficuaz Tungrensium et Leodiensium, tom. ii. p. 350. s. “In the same year (1309, says he, certain strolling hypocrites, who were called Lollards, or praisers of God, deceived some women of quality in Hainault and Brabant." Because those who praised God generally did it in verse, therefore, in the Latin style, of the middle age, to praise God, meant to sing to him, and such as were frequently employed in acts of adoration were called religious singers. And as prayers and hymns are regarded as a certain extemal sign of picty towards God, therefore, those who aspired after a more than ordinary degree of piety and religion, and for that purpose were more frequently occupied in singing hymns of praise to God than others, were, in the common popular language, called Lolhards. Hereupon the word acquired the same meaning with that of the term Beghard, which denoted a person remarkable for piety; for in all the old records, from the eleventh century, these two words are synonimous : so that all who are styled Beghards are also called Lollards, which may be proved to a demonstration from many authors, and particularly from many passages in the writings of FELIX MALLEOLUS
the same sort of Lollards, consisting both of mence NT. and women, were formed in most parts of Ger
many more against the Beggards : so that there are precisely as many sorts of Beggards as of Lollards. Those whom the monks now call Lay Brothers, were formerly named Lollard Brethren, as is well observed by BARTHOL. SCHOBINGER, Ad Joach. Vadianum de collegiis monasteriïsque Germania Veter. lib. i. p. 24. in GolDASTI Scriptor. rerum Alemannicarum, tom. iii.
The Brethren of the free spirit, of whom we have already given a large account, are by some styled Beggards, by others Lollards. The followers of GERHARD GROOTE, or Priests of the communily, are frequently called Lollard Brethren. The good man WALTER, who was burnt at Cologn, and whom so many learned men have unadvisedly represented as tk-, founder of the sect of the Lollards, is by some called a Beggard, by others a Lollard, and by others a Minorite. The Franciscan Teriiaries, who were remarkable for their prayers and other pious exercises, often go by the name of Lollords. The Cellite Brethren, or
Alexians, whose piety was very exemplary, did no socner appear in Flanders about the beginning of this century, than the people gave them the title of Lollards, a term much in use at that time. A particular reason indeed for their being distinguished by this name was, that they were public singers, who made it their business to inter the bodies of those who died of the plague, and sang a dirge over them in a mournful and indistinct tone as they carried them to the grave. Among the inany testimonies that might be alleged to prove this, we shall confine ourselves to the words of Jo. BAPT. GRAMAYE, a man eminently skilled in the history of his country, in his Work, entitled, Antwerpia, lib. i. cap. vi. p. 16. “ The Alexians," says he, “ who constantly employed themselves about funerals, had their rise at Antwerp; at which place, about the year 1300, some honest pious laymen formed a society. On account of their extraordinary temperance and modesty, they were styled Matemanni (or Moderatists) and also LOLLARDS, FROM THEIR ATTENDANCE ON FUNERAL OBSEQUIES. From their cells they were named Cellite brethren." To the same purpose is the following passage in his work, entitled, Lovanium, p. 18. which is inserted in the splendid folio edition of the Belgic Antiquities, published at Louvain in 1708: “ The Alexians, who were wholly engaged in taking care of funerals, now began to appear. They were laymer, who having wholly devoted themselves to works of merey were named LOLLARDS and Matemanni (or Moderarists). They made it their sole business to take care of all such as were sick or out of their senses. These they attended both privately and publicly, and buried the dead.” The saned learned author tells us, that he transcribed some of these particulars from an old diary
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CE N T.many and Flanders, and were supported partly by
V.,, their manual labours, and partly by the charitaPART II.
ble donations of pious persons. The magistrates and inhabitants of the towns, where these brethren and sisters resided, gave them peculiar marks of favour and protection on account of their great usefulness to the sick and needy. But the clergy, whose reputation was not a little hurt by them, and the Mendicant friars, who found their profits diminished by the growing credit of these newcomers, persecuted them vehemently, and accused them to the popes of many vices and intolerable
errors, written in Flemish rhyme. Hence we find in the Annals of Holland and Utrechi, in Ant. MATTHÆI Analect. vet. ævi, tom. i. p. 431. the following words : “ Die Lollardtjes die brochten, de dooden by een, 1. e, the Lollards who collected the dead bodies ;' which passage is thus paraphrased by MATTHÆUS, “ The managers of funerals, and carriers of the dead, of whom there was a fixed company, were a set of mean, worthless creatures, who usually spoke in a canting mournfal tone, as if bewailing the dead; and hence it came to pass, that a street in Utrecht, in which most of these people lived, was called the Loller street.” The same reason that changed the word Beggard from its primitive meaning, contributed also to give, in process of time, a different signification to that of Lollard, even its being assumed by persons that dishonoured it. For among those Lollards, who made such extraordinary pretences to piety and religion, and spent the greatest part of their time in meditation, prayer, and such-like acts of piety, there were. many abominable hypocrites, who entertained the most ridiculous opinions, and concealed the most enormous vices, under the specious mask of this extraordinary profession. But it was chiefly after the rise of the Alexians, or Collitas, that the name Lollard became infamous. For the priests and monks, being inveterately exasperated against these good mea, propagated injurious suspicions of them, and endeavoured to persuade the people, that, innocent and beneficent as the Lollards seemed to be, they were in reality the contrary, being tainted with the most pernicious sentiments of a religious kind, and secretly addicted to all sorts of vices. Thus by degrees it came to pass, that any person, who covered heresies, or crimes, under the appearance of piety, was called a Lollard. So that it is certain this was not a name to denote any one particular sect, but was form. erly common to all persons and all sects, who were supposed to be guilty of impiety towards God and the church, under an ex temal profession of extraordinary piety.
errors. Hence it was, that the word Lollard, C E N T.
XIV. which originally carried a good meaning, became part II. a term of reproach to denote a person, who, un ar der the mask of extraordinary piety, concealed either enormous vices, or pernicious sentiments. But the magistrates, by their recommendations and testimonials, supported the Lollards against their malignant rivals, and obtained many papal constitutions, by which their institute was confirmed, their persons exempted from the cognizance of the inquisitors, and subjected entirely to the jurisdiction of the bishops. But as these measures were insufficient to secure them from molestation, CHARLES, duke of Burgandy, in the year 1472, obtained a solemn bull from pope Sixtus IV. ordered that the Cellites, or Lollards, should be ranked among the religious orders, and delivered from the jurisdiction of the bishops; and Pope Julius II. granted them yet greater privileges in the year 1506. Many societies of this kind are yet subsisting at Cologn, and in the cities of Flanders, though they have evidently departed from their ancient rules [w]. . . XXXVII. Among the Greek writers of this Greek wricentury the following were the most eminent. · NICEPHORUS CALLISTUS, whose Ecclesiastical History we have already mentioned;
MATTHÆUS BLASTARES, who illustrated and explained the canon laws of the Greeks;
BARLAAM, who was a very zealous champion in behalf of the Grecian cause against the Latins;
[w] Besides many others, whom it is not proper to mention here, see ÆGID. GELLENIUS, De admirandi sacra et civili magnitudine urbis Coloniæ, lib. iii. Syntagm. li. p. 534. 598. 603.—Jo. Bapt. GRAMAYE, in Antiquit. Belgicis.--ANTON. SANDERUS, in Brabantia et Flandria illustratis.-AUB. MiRÆUS, in operibus Diplomatico Historicis, and many other writers of this period in many places of their works. I may add, that those who are styled Lollards, are by many called die Nollbruder, from Nollen, an ancient German word.