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CEN T.merical notion, that Christ would descend in
XV. Puri person upon earth, armed with fire and sword, to
- extirpate heresy, and purify the church from its multiplied corruptions. These fanatical dreams they propagated every where, and taught them even in a public manner with unparalleled confidence and presumption. It is this enthusiastic class of the Hussites alone, that we are to look upon as accountable for all those abominable acts of violence, rapine, desolation, and murder, wlrich are too indiscriminately laid to the charge of the Hussites in general, and to their two leaders Ziska and Procopius in particular . It must indeed be acknowledged, that a great part of the Hussites had imbibed the most barbarous sentiments with respect to the obligation of executing vengeance upon their enemies, against
whom [x] From the following opinions and maxims of the Taborites, which may be seen in the Diarium Hussiticum of ByziNIUS, we may form a just idea of their detestable barbarity : “ Omnes legis Christi adversarii debent puniri septem plagis novissimis, ad quarum executionem fideles sunt provocandi.In isto tempore ultionis Christus in sua humilitate et miseratione 1.on est imitandus ud ipsos peccatores, sed in zelo et furore et justa retributione. In hoc tempore ultionis, quilibet fidelis, eiiain presbyter, quantumcunque spiritualis, est maledictus, QUI GLADIUM SUUM CORPORALEM PROHIBET A SANGUINE adversasiorum legis Christi, sed DEBET MANUS SUAS LAVARE IN EORUM SANGUINÉ et sanctificare.” From men, who adopted such horrid and detestable maxiins, what could be expected but the most abominable acts of injustice and cruelty ? For an account of this dreadful and calamitous war, the reader may consult (besides the ancient writers, such as SYLVIUS, THEOBALDUS, COCHLÆUS, and others) LENFANT, Histoire de la guerre des Hussites, which was published at Amsterdam in two volumes in 4to, in the year 1731. To this history it will, however, be advisable to add the Diarium Belli Husitici of BYZINIUS, a book worthy of the highest esteem, on account of the candour and impartiality with which it is composed, and which Mr LENFANT does not seem to have consulted. This valuable production has been published, though incomplete, in the sixth volume of the Relquze Manuscriptorum of the very learned John PETER LUDWIG. See also LEAU OBRE'S Supplement to the Histoire de la guerre des Itxssits, Lausanne, 1745, in 4to.
whom they breathed nothing but bloodshed and EN T fury, without any mixture of humanity or compassion. - VII. In the year 1433, the council of Basil The com.
motions in endeavoured to put an end to this dreadful war, Boiiemia and for that purpose invited the Bohemians to terminatheir assembly. The Bohemians, accepting this invitation, sent ambassadors, and among others PROCOPIUS their leader, to represent them in that council. But, after many warm debates, these messengers of peace returned without having ef. fected any thing that might even prepare the way for a reconciliation so long and so ardently desired. The Calixtines were not averse to peace; but no methods of persuasion could engage the Taborites to yield. This matter, however, was transacted with more success by ÆNEAS SYLViUs and others, whom the council sent into Bohemia to renew the conferences. For these new legates, by allowing the Calixtines the use of the cup in the holy sacra. ment, satisfied them in the point which they had chiefly at heart, and thereby reconciled them with the Roman pontif. But the Taborites remained firm, adhered inflexibly to their first principles; and neither the artifice nor eloquence of SYLVIUS, nor the threats, sufferings, and persecutions to which their cause exposed them, could vanquish their obstinate perseverance in it. From this period, indeed, they began to review their religious tenets, and their ecclesiastical discipline, with a design to render them more perfect. This review, as it was executed with great prudence and impartiality, produced a very good effect, und gave a rational aspect to the religion of this sect, who withdrew themselves from the war, abandoned the doctrines, which, upon serious' examination, they found to be inconsistent with the spirit and genius of the gospel, and banished from their communion all those whose disordered brains, or
CEN T. licentious manners, might expose them to rePuriu. proach [a]. The Taborites, thus new-modelled, u were the same with those Bohemian Brethren (or
Picards, i. e. Beghards, as their adversaries called them) who joined LUTHER and his successors at the reformation, and of whom there are at this day many of the descendants and followers in Poland and other countries.
VIII. Among the greatest part of the interpreters of scripture that lived in this century, we find nothing worthy of applause, if we except their zeal and their good intentions. Such of them as aimed at something higher than the character of bare compilers, and ventured to draw their explications from their own sense of things, did little more than amuse, or rather delude, their readers, with mystical and allegorical fancies. At the head of this class of writers is ALPHONSUS TOSTATUS, bishop of Avila, whose volum. inous commentaries upon the sacred writings exhibit nothing remarkable but their enormous bulk. LAURENTIUS VALLA is entitled to a more favourable judgment, and his small collection of Critical
and Grammatical Annotations upon the New Testament is far from being destitute of merit, since it pointed out to succeeding authors, the true method of removing the difficulties that sometimes present themselves to such as study with attention the divine oracles. It is proper to observe here, that these sacred books were, in almost all the kingdoms and states of Europe, translated into the language of each respective people, particu
[a] See ADRIANI REGENVOLSCHII Historia Eccles. provine ciar. Sclavonicar. lib. ii. cap. viï. p. 165.--Joach. CAMERAki Hiriorica Narratio de fratrum Ecclesiis in Bohemia, Morawin, er Polonia, Heidelb. 1605, in 4to.-Jo. Lasiti Historia frerum Bobemicorum, which I possess in manuscript, and of which the eighth Book was published in 8vo. at Amsterdam, in the year 1649.
larly in Germany, Italy, France, and Britain. This C E N T.
xv. circumstance naturally excited the expectations,
PART II. of a considerable change in the state of religion, and made the thinking few hope, that the doctrine of the church would be soon reformed by the light, that could not but arise from consulting the genuine sources of divine truth. . IX. The schools of divinity made a miserable The schofigure in this century. They were filled with basti
vines and teachers, who loaded their memory, and that of moralists their disciples, with unintelligible distinctions and hated and unmeaning sounds, that they might thus dispute and discourse with an appearance of method, upon matters which they did not understand. There were now few remaining, of those who proved and illustrated the doctrines of religion by the positive declarations of the holy scriptures, and the sentiments of the ancient fathers, and who, with all their defects, were much superior to the vain and obscure pedants of whom we now speak. The senseless jargon of the latter did not escape the just and heavy censure of some learned and judicious persons, who looked upon their method of teaching as highly detrimental to the interests of true religion, and to the advancement of genuine and solid piety. Accordingly various plans were formed by different persons, some of which had for their object the abolition of this method, others its reformation, while, in the mean time, the enemies of the schoolmen increased from day to day. The Mystics, of whom we shall have occasion to speak more largely hereafter, were ardently bent upon banishing entirely this scholastic theology out of the Christian church. Others, who seemed disposed to treat matters with more moderation, did not insist upon its total suppres. sion, but were of opinion, that it was necessary to reform it, by abolishing all vain, and useless subjects of debate, by restraining the rage of disG83
CE N T.puting that had infected the seminaries of theo
men with a happy temperature of mystic sensibi- .
cerning Learned Ignorance is still extant. Principally X. The litigious herd of schoolmen found a by the re new class of enemies equally keen, in the restostorers of polite liter- rers of Eloquence and Letters, who were not all, ature and however, of the same opinion with respect to the eloquence.
manner of treating these solemn quibblers. Some
. theology, [b] RiCH. SIMON, Lettres Choisies, tom. ii. p. 269. and Critique de la Bibliotheque Ecclesiastique M. Du Pin, tom. i. p. 491. -THOMASII Origines Histor. Philos. p. 56. and principally GERSONIS Merbodus Theologiam Studendi, in Launoii Historia Gymnas, Navarreni, tom. iv. opp. part I. p. 330. . .
[c] This work was published in folio at Rome, in the year 1512, and at Basil in 1513.