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discussion of literary and religious to- publication of the Bull against Luther, pics. The period assigned for its dis- but which it had allowed to remain a persion is the year 1546: and it is dead letter upon its statute-books. worthy of observation, that on the In consequence of the severity with first of May, in that very year, the which it was now carried into execuPope addressed a Bull to the Senate tion, Balthasar Alterius again interestof Venice, directing thein to suppressed himself for the persecuted Protesthe Lutheran heresy at Vincenza.* tants, and, with the view of obtaining
There can be no question but that it some mitigation of the edict which was this Papal mandate which occa- had been passed against them, wrote sioned the breaking np of the Protes- on their behalf to the Duke of Saxony, tant society at that place. There be- and the other leaders of the Reformalonged to it at this period, James de tion in Germany, and went himself Chiar, Julius Trevisanus, and Francis with the same view into Switzerland de Ruego, who were seized by the to intercede with the Swiss Governinquisitors; the first died in prison, ments to take up their cause. His and the other two were put to death benevolent exertions failed of their at Venice :-Lælius Socinus, Niccola object, and only served to incense Paruta, Valentine Gentilis, Darius So- against himself the power which he cinus, Francis Niger, and John Paul had aimed to soften: for on his reAlciatus, who all escaped, and ob- turn he was ordered either to rejoin tained an asylum among the Reformers the Church of Rome or quit the states, on the other side of the Alps. + and he immediately chose the latter
The Senate of Venice, by permitting alternative.* the Pope's Bull to be acted upon with Besides the territories of Venice, the such promptness and sanguinary vio- principles of the Reformation obtained lence, departed, for the first time, from a favourable reception in other states that cautious and lenient policy which in the north of Italy. The celebrated it had usually observed towards the Pagninus, writing to Pope Clement favourers of the Reformation in the VII., in January, 1525, states, that countries under its jurisdiction. What, many of the citizens of Florence were ever might have been the reasons of infected by the Lutheran heresy; and its conduct in this instance, they did he is careful to add, that he had not at once cease to operate : for the boured among them not without bemeasures to which it now assented nefit to many souls. + proved to be the forerunners of others There were, also, several Protesupon a still larger scale, which ulti- tants at Modena in 1512 and 1545, who mately effected the ruin of the cause attracted the notice of the See of of the Reformers in these states. The Rome ; and at Milan, so late as the Pope, finding that the Reformed doc- year 1536, Pope Paul III. complains, trines were gaining over proselytes in in a letter to Moronus, bishop of Mogreat numbers throughout Italy, issued dena, that there were many heresies strict orders to the officers of the In- condemned by the Church, openly quisition to use the utmost vigilance professed. The same Pope, writing to detect and seize the heretics, and to Cardinal Mantuanus in 1545, states, to suppress their books. These orders that he had been informed that there obtained the ready adoption and the were at Mantua some of the clergy active co-operation of the several go- and others who not only doubted but vernments into which they were sent. denied the doctrines of the Roman The Senate of Venice, on this occasion, Church, whom he exhorts him to evinced its zeal for the interests of take the proper methods to punishi the holy see, by re-enacting a decree or reclaim. At Bologna, also, there which it had passed against heretics were many converts to the Protestant in the year 1521, probably on the cause; and, it is stated, that in their
number they reckoned one individual be offered to furnish six thousand Hebrew; whilst Martyr himself atmen, should it be found necessary to tended to the department of theology, cppose, by force of arms, the mea- and delivered lectures on the Epistles sures of the court of Rome. *
of such influence and authority, that • Gerdes, ut supra, pp. 71, et seqq. This writer has given the Bull at leugth.
t Rees's Racovian Catechism. Histo- * De Porta, ut supra, Tom. I. Lib. ii. rical Introduction, pp. xx. &c. ; with the pp. 31, et seqq. authorities referred to in the Note. + Gerdes, pp. 9, 10.
of Paul. By the measures which he Whether at Ferrara, any proselytes now pursued, he soon imbued his were gained, does not decidedly ap- companions and fellow-labourers with pear. But in that government the the principles of the Reformation, and cause of the Italian Reformers derived gained over other converts from among great support from the friendship and the persons who were admitted to atinfluence of the Princess Renata, the tend his lectures. In the number of daughter of Louis XII. of France, who these proselytes was the celebrated Jewas married to the Duke of Ferrara rome Zanchius, at that time a inonk, and Modena. Her palace was the but who was afterwards Professor of resort of those who were favourable Divinity in the university of Strasburg. to the Reformation : and under her Some idea of the success with which roof those of them who in other states Martyr laboured may be formed from were persecuted for their opinions, the fact, that within one year after frequently obtained a ready and a safe he gave up his cowl, and went into asylum. t
voluntary exile, not less than eigh'Whilst the spirit of the Reforma- teen of his associates at the motion was spreading through the other nastery, quitted the place and joined states of Italy, it was found impossi- the Reformers in Switzerland and ble to prevent its manifesting itself in Germany. Martyr finding it no longthe Pope's territories, and at the very er safe to remain in Italy, went to threshold of the church of St. Peter's. Zurich, in company with Bernard For it appears, that even here, parti- Ochini, in 1542. He was followed by cularly in the town of Faenza, some Celsus Martinengus, who was aftermen were zealous and intrepid enough wards pastor of the Italian church at to preach against the Roman power. I Geneva, by Imanuel Tremellius,Jerome
T'he little republic of Lucca is enti- Zanchius, and others. * tled to particnlar notice, in connexion This sketch of the Italian Reformawith the history of the Italian Refor- tion must not be concluded without mation. It has been already observed, some notice of the churches which that Peter Martyr, after quitting Na- were formed in the Rhætian Alps. It ples, obtained the situation of prior of seems, that so early as the year 1523, the) monastery of St. Fridianus, at the attention of the court of Rome Lucca. After entering on this prefer- was drawn to the progress of heretical ment, he established a kind of colle- opinions in the valley of Tellina, in giate institution for the education of this district. The efforts that were young persons, in which Paul Laci- then made to suppress the rising spirit sius taught Latin ; Celsus Martinen- of religious inquiry, proved vain and gus, Greek; and Imanuel Tremellius, ineffectual; and, in a short time, the
population of those parts which were
included in the Swiss governinent of • Gerdes, pp. 59, 71, 84.
the Grisons, became converts to the + Idem. p. 23.
doctrines of Zwinglius. The Italian Les næurs depravées de l'Ordre being the language in common use, Ecclésiastique et de la Cour de Rome the exiles from Italy were naturally persuadèrent à bien des personnes, que induced to resort hither, and great tous les maux, qu'on éprouvoit, étoient numbers of them chose this district en exécution des jagemens de Dieu, qui for their permanent residence. From renoient venger les grands abus, qui se the Italian churches of this state, committoient journellement. On embrassoit en conséquence la Reforme, dans rich and Geneva, which had to boast, illustrious rank, who had been forced, ther circumstance to which important by the terrors of the Inquisition, to bid consequences are deservedly attached, adieu to their native Italy. *
others were afterwards formed at Zules maisons, et divers villes, particulièrement à Faenza, quoique Terre du Pape, among their ministers and members, of on y prêchoit contre l'Eglise Romaine ; numerous individuals of distinguished de manière que de jour en jour, le nom. learning and talents, and of noble and bre des Lutheriens, qui se faisoient nommer Evangelistes, saugmentoient. Giannone Hist. Civ. de Naples, apud Gerdes, * Adam in Vita Petri Martyris, pp. 33,
34 ; Gerdes, p. 80.
was the translation of the Scriptures The preceding statement contains a into the vernacular tongue. In 1530, brief abstract of the history of the Antonio Bruccioli printed, at Venice, Reformation in Italy, ns far, at least, an Italian version of the New Testaas respects the first manifestations of ment; and he followed up his design, open hostility to the doctrines and by a translation of the Old Testament, discipline of the Roman Church. The which was published in 1540. These subsequent ecclesiastical history of translations are erroneously classed, that country would supply many addi- by Le Long and Father Simon, among tional facts of an interesting kind, the Catholic versions; but they were which cannot now be noticed, but instantly disowned by the Roman which might be used as materials for Church, and placed in the catalogue of a work that is yet a desideratum in prohibited books.* this branch of literature-an Italian Exclusively of those who appear to Protestant Martyrology:
have acted in concert, or as associated In tracing the means by which the bodies, there were many individuals of work of reformation was carried on distinguished eminence who sided with in Italy, it is evident that a great part the friends of the Reformation in Italy, of its success is to be attributed to the and became exiles on account of their labours of churchmen, who, like Peter religion. In the number of these, we Martyr, employed themselves in ex. may here just mention the names of plaining the Scriptures, and instilling Olympia Fulvia Morata, a native of into the minds of their hearers the Mantua; Cælius Secundus Curio, born principles of the German or the Swiss of a noble family in Piedmont; Minus Reformers. But the most extensive Celsus, a native of Sienna ; and George effects in this way were produced by Blandrata, a physician of Piedmont, the general circulation of the writings afterwards the opponent and persecuof these eminent men, which were tor of Francis David, in Transylvania. translated into the Italian language, It may be remarked, in respect to and read with great avidity. + Ano. the Italian Reformers in general, that
most of those who were in çircum
stances to emigrate, and were fortu. * De Porta, ut supra, Tom. I. Pt. ü. nate enough to escape the agents of Cap. i. ii. ; Gerdes, p. 86.
the Inquisition, transported themselves, † One of the earliest of the works that in the first instance, to Switzerland, were translated was Melancthon's “Loci and obtained settlements in the GriCommunes,” which was printed at Venice sons, at Geneva, and in some of the about the year 1529, wder the following other states. Some of them were readititle : “ Principi della Theologia, di ly admitted into the Swiss churches, Ippofilo de Terra Nigra.” Afterwards whose opinions they had embraced, appeared, without the authors naine, and to whose discipline they did not Luther's explanation of the Lord's Prayer, and his Catechism, which latter, not be object to conform. ing suspected to be an heretical work,
In the course of time, as has already was greatly esteemed by the Catholics. been observed, churches were formed About the same period, Bucer published of their own body, to which ministers an Italian edition of his Cominentary on were appointed from among their exthe Psalms, under the feigned name of iled countrymen. Some of the more Aretius Felinus. Calvin's Catechism was learned of the ecclesiastics were apalso printed in Italian, without his name; pointed to professorships in the Swiss aud, in 1557, his Institutes were translated into Italian by Paschali, and dedicated to Galeazzo Caraccioli. In 1526, Bucer and his notes poisonous glosses-venetranslated Luther's “ Postillas” from the natorum glossematum. Bucer, in conseGerman into Latin, for the use of the quence of this complaint, afterwards Italian Reformers. Having taken some printed the altered passages in their oriliberties with his original in omitting and ginal state, in a separate book, in which altering some passages relating to the he inserted Luther's letters of remondoctrine of Consubstantiation, he drew strance. See De Porta, ut supra, Tom. upon himself the severe displeasure of I. Pt. ii. p. 8. Luther, who styled his preface sacrilege, * Gerdes, pp. 14 and 56.
and German Universities, and others making every allowance for these miswere invited to fill similar stations in representations, which were generally England; whilst some who went be- the work of the enemies of the parties, yond the Swiss and German Reformers who wished to heap upon them all the in their secession from the doctrines odium they could ; and a deeper stain, of the Church of Rome, found it ne- they well knew, they could not at that cessary to emigrate to Poland and time throw upon them, than that Transylvania, where they became in- which the very imputation of Unitastrumental in promoting the cause of rianism conveyed ; there is abundant Unitarianism.
evidence to shew, that a very large The history of the Reformation in number of persons gave up their TriItaly presents one fact which is wor- nitarian creed before they quitted Italy: thy of particular observation. It is This circumstance affords a good not a little singular, that in this coun- proof, that they prosecuted their theotry so large a proportion of the more logical inquiries with a manly freedom distinguished of those who seceded and fearless intrepidity of mind, and from the Roman Church should, at so with a becoming anxiety to follow the early a period, have been carried to truth wherever it might be found, and so great a length in calling in question whithersoever it might conduct them. and in rejecting the doctrine of the
R. S. Trinity. It seems to be generally ad- Erratum.-The reader is requested mitted, that those who formed the to correct the reference to Mosheim society at Vincenza, including in their in note *, col. 2, p. 5: it should be to number Lælius Socinus, were Anti- Vol. III. p. 387. trinitarians; and it may be inferred, that their opinions were pretty gene
Kendal, ral among the Italian Reformers, from Sir,
Feb. 14, 1822. the suspicion of Unitarian heresy HAVE the satisfaction to announce which appears to have attached to
to the Unitarian public, the estaalmost every person of learning and blishment of a Fellowship Fund in the distinction who quitted Italy on ac- religious society with which I am concount of his religious sentiments. This nected. Upon the regulations for masuspicion was, indeed, in many cases, naging the institution, and the objects wholly unfounded. It is extremely to which it is to be devoted, it is undoubtful, whether Valdesso, one of the necessary to enlarge, as they are confirst Reformers in Italy, dissented from formable to the well-known plan orithe popular faith on the doctrine of ginally suggested by the late Doctor the Trinity. In his “ Divine Consi. Thomson, and coincide with those derations, there is certainly nothing which have been so frequently detailed to impeach the orthodoxy of his creed in your pages. The great end we have on this head. Cælius Secundus Curio in view, is to join with our brethren has also been charged with holding in aiding the progress of the truth as Antitrinitarian sentiments, but with it is in Jesus, and we hope, that we out the shadow of evidence. Bernard shall strengthen our own hands by Ochini bas likewise been misrepre- contributing to strengthen theirs, in sented in relation to this point. He this great and good cause. has commonly been enumerated among It gives me additional pleasure to the members of the society at Vincen- state further, that at the time when za. But it does not seem likely that this establishment took place, it was he could ever have belonged to it, and unanimously resolved to have an anit is certain that he was not a wem- nual collection, the amount of which ber in 1546, when it was dispersed, should be alternately given to the as he had quitted Italy four years pre- College at York and to the London viously to that period. It appears, Unitarian Fund. The collection for moreover, evident, that he was at this this year will be appropriated to the time a Trinitarian, and had no diffi- use of the latter.
In following up culty in uniting with the Trinitarian both these plans, I have no doubt we churches, both in Switzerland and in shall soon be joined by the whole of England. Towards the close of his our society, when they see that the life, however, he changed his senti- pecuniary exertions are individually ments, and became an Unitarian. But below the notice of those whose means
are the most limited, but collectively for the evening. There are a few efficient and available to such valuable short rules prepared for the governpurposes.
ment of the society, which are subI am induced to mention another scribed by the members, each of whom subject of importance to a few neigh- is allowed to introduce his friends. bouring congregations, in the hope From amongst the gentlemen consti. that the information we want may be tuting the society, a number of persupplied by some of your correspond- sons are chosen to act as conductors; ents. The last Lord Wharton left
, by whose duty it is, in rotation, to deliver will, a number of Bibles to certain a short discourse on some religious Dissenting societies, (of which ours subject, of which a week's previous nowas one,) to be distributed, at the dis- tice has been given, so that every person cretion of the ministers, among the may, in the interval, acquaint himself young. For a considerable time this with the subject, and come prepared was done in conformity to the condi- to give his opinion. The meetings tions stated in the bequest, but about are opened by singing and prayer, and thirty years ago the distribution was concluded, after the debate, with a transferred to the clergy of the Esta- short prayer. By these means are the blishment, without any reason assign- great and leading doctrines of Christied, or any known authority for such a anity brought before their view, and deviation from the will of his Lord- become not only more thoroughly unship. This statement was made to derstood, but more deeply impressed the commissioners sent by Parliament upon the inind. Some are, thereby, to inquire into the abuses of Charities, led to inquire into the truth of those but they knew nothing of the subject, doctrines which they have, perhaps, and did not seem to consider it as adopted without inquiry, and professwithin the scope of their powers. If ed to believe without understanding. inserted in your miscellany, it may Its members are led into a more mipossibly meet the eye of one better in- nute examination of the evidence upon forined; and should this be case, any which their belief is founded; and explanation of the business, through that must naturally tend to a better the medium of the Repository, will be acquaintance with the Scriptures, and acceptable to many of its readers in to the elucidation of many parts of this part of the kingdom.
those writings which had before apJOHN HARRISON. peared to them “hard to be under
stood :" thus, too, are they better
Manchester, prepared “to give to every one that SIR,
Feb. 13, 1822. asketh of thein, a reason of the hope IT IT is with considerable diffidence that is in them." It also promotes
that I intrude upon the notice of an interest in that most pure religion the readers of the Monthly Reposi- which too many of the world are intory; but being convinced that the clined to think they sufficiently estisubject to which I wish to draw their mate by an attendance at a place of attention, is one which, if it were more public worship one day out of seven, universally considered, would be pro- and by now and then contributing toductive of much good, I have been wards the accomplishment of some thus induced to act, no less influ- desirable object or support of a chaenced by a principle of duty, than a ritable institution. It tends to the desire to promote the interests of Uni- instruction and improvement of each tarianism. A few months ago, a reli- individual, by all imparting their own gious society was formed by several information and knowledge for the ardent friends to the cause of pure benefit of the community. And, lastand uncorrupted Christianity in this ly, it excites a degree of fellowship town, for the purpose of promoting a and brotherly-kindness amongst the spirit of free inquiry, by the liberal members, and knits them more closediscussion of the leading doctrines of ly together in the support of that docChristianity. The meetings are held trine which they profess: an object, once every week, and the discussions I fear, more to be wished than realized carried on in a candid and impartial in the congregations of Unitarian manner, under the superintendence of Christians. It is to me a matter of a conductor who officiates as chairman regret, that they do not “exhibit the