Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

was refused by the doge and senate, who, sixteen hundred, all of whom are when he was at last condemned, freed condemned; but only eighty-eight him from the punishment of the fire by have as yet been put to death... an express decree. It was the will of God that he should bear his testimony to ...Even to-day a decree has passed, the truth for so long a time: and that, that a hundred grown-up women like a person affixed to a cross, he should, shall be put to the question, and as from an eminence, proclaim to all the world the restoration of Christianity, and afterwards executed......It is now the revelation of Antichrist. At last, eight o'clock, and I shall presently this pious and excellent man, whom nei- hear accounts of what was said by their threatenings nor promises could these obstinate people as they were move, sealed his doctrine by an undaunted martyrdom, and exchanged the filth and led to execution."Yet the writer protracted tortures of a prison for a styles all this nothing but "a watery grave." pp. 235, 236. dreadful act of justice!" And to the behaviour of the martyrs he thus bears testimony: "The meekness and patience with which they went to martydom and death, was incredible. Some of them at their death professed themselves of the same faith with us, but the greater part died in their cursed obstinacy. All the old men met their death with cheerfulness, but the young exhibited symptoms of fear."-This took place in the year 1560, under the government of the Marquis di Buccianici, "to whose brother, it is said, the Pope had promised a cardinal's hat, provided the province of Calabria was cleared of heresy." Well may we say of the Church of Rome,-Thou that art "drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus!" such have been thy methods of extirpating what thou hast falsely called "heresy !" such the means by which thou hast pretended to uphold and to propagate the faith of "the Lamb of God," which was hailed as bringing, along with "glory to God in the highest," " peace on earth, goodwill to men!" Assuredly the day of thy recompence is coming! "Great Babylon shall come in remembrance before God." And, oh! what shall thy account be, “when the earth shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain! "

Dr. M'Crie gives us a deeply affecting account of the expulsion and banishment, amid the severities of an Alpine winter, of the whole Protestant population of Locarno; when it was proposed by the Papal Nuncio, and successfully as far as the first part of his proposal was concerned, that they should be dismissed without their property and their children; the former to be confiscated, and the latter retained and brought up in the Catholic faith. This is followed by a horrid relation of the massacre of the Waldenses of Calabria ; in which, besides thousands destroyed by military execution, numbers perished under the tortures inflicted on them by the Inquisitors; and eighty-eight men, whose death was to be followed by that of at least an equal number of women, are particularly described as led out one by one, and having their throats cut by a single executioner. "I shudder," says a Roman Catholic narrator of the atrocious deed, "while I think of the executioner, with the bloody knife in his teeth, the dripping napkin in his hand," to throw over the faces of his successive victims, "and his arms besmeared with gore, going to the house and taking out one after another, just as a butcher does the sheep which he means to kill." "According to orders," he adds, 'waggons are already come to away the dead bodies, which are appointed to be quartered, and hung upon the public roads from one end of Calabria to the other...... The heretics taken in Calabria amount to

66

carry

Dr. M'Crie closes this chapter with accounts of several distinguished individual martyrs. We select one or two.

[ocr errors]

Pomponio Algieri, a native of Nola, when attending the university of Padua, in the kingdom of Naples, was seized and, after being examined in the presence

of the podesta, was sent bound to Venice, His answers, on the different examinations which he underwent, contain a luminous view of the truth, and form one of the most succinct and nervous refutations of the principal articles of Popery, from Scripture and the decretals, which is any where to be found. They had the effect of spreading his fame through Italy. The senators of Venice, from regard to his learning and youth, were anxious to set him at liberty; but as he refused to abandon his sentiments, they condemned him to the galleys. Yet, yielding to the importunities of the nuncio, they afterwards sent him to Rome, as an acceptable present to the newly elected pope, Paul IV., by whom he was doomed to be burned alive, in the twenty-fourth year of his age. The Christian magnanimity with which the youthful martyr bore that cruel death, terrified the cardinals who attended to grace the spectacle. A letter written by Algieri, in his prison at Venice, describes the consolations by which he was refreshed and upheld under his sufferings, in language to which I scarcely know a parallel. It appears from this interesting document, that the friends of evangelical

truth were still numerous in Padua.

"Ludovico Paschali was a native of Cuni, in Piedmont, and having acquired a taste for evangelical doctrine at Nice, left the army, to which he had been bred, and went to study at Lausanne. When the Waldenses of Calabria applied to the Italian church at Geneva for preachers, Paschali was fixed upon as eminently qualified for that station. Having obtained the consent of Camilla Guerina, a young woman to whom he had previously been affianced, he set out, along with Stefano Negrino. On their arrival in Calabria, they found the country in that state of agitation which we have already described; and, after labouring for some time to quiet the minds of the people, and comfort them under persecution, they were both apprehended at the instance of the inquisitor. Negrino was allowed to perish of hunger in prison. Paschali, after being kept eight months in confinement, at Cosenza, was conducted to Naples, from which he was transferred to Rome. His sufferings were great, and he bore them with the most uncommon fortitude and patience, as appears from the letters, equally remarkable for their sentiment and pious unction, which he wrote from his prisons to the persecuted flock in Calabria, to his afflicted spouse, and to the church of Geneva.... My state is this,' says he, in a letter to his former hearers; I feel my joy increase every day as I approach nearer to the hour in which I shall be offered as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to the Lord Jesus Christ, my faithful Saviour; yea, só inexpressible is my joy, that I seem to myself to be free from captivity, and am prepared to die, not only once, but

many thousand times, for Christ, if it were possible; nevertheless, I persevere in imploring the Divine assistance by prayer, for I am convinced that man is a miserable creature, when left to himself, and not upheld and directed by God.'...At last, on the eighth of September 1560, he was brought out to the conventual church of Minerva, to hear his process publicly read; and next day he appeared, without any diminution of his courage, in the court adjoining the castle of St. Angelo, where he was strangled and burnt, in the view of the pope and a party of cardinals assembled to witness the spectacle." pp. 279, 280, 283, 284, 286, 287.

Pietro Carnesecchi makes a distinguished figure in this history. He was a Florentine of good birth, and liberally educated. From his

youth, says our author, it appeared that he was destined to stand before kings, and not before mean men. Possessing a fine person, and a quick and penetrating judgment, he united affability with dignity in his manners, and was at once discreet and generous.

[ocr errors]

"Sadolet praises him as a young man of distinguished virtue and liberal accomplishments; and Bembo speaks of him in terms of the highest respect and affecsion. He was made secretary, and afterwards apostolical prothonotary, to Clement VII., who bestowed on him two abbacies, one in Naples, and the other in France; and so great was his influence with that pope, that it was commonly said, that the church was governed by Carnesecchi rather than Clement.' Yet he conducted himself with so much modesty and propriety in his delicate situation, as not to incur envy during the life of his patron, and to escape disgrace at his death. But the advancement of Carnesecchi in the career of worldly honour, which he had commenced so auspiciously, was arrested by a different cause. At Naples he formed an intimacy with Valdez, from whom he imbibed the Reformed doctrines, and, as he possessed great candour and love of truth, his attachment to these doctrines daily acquired strength from reading, meditation, and conference with learned men. During the better days of Cardinal Pole, he made one of the select party which met in that prelate's house at Viterbo, and spent the time in religious exercises. When his friend Flaminio, startling at the thought of leaving the Church of Rome, stopped short in his inquiries, Carnesecchi displayed that mental courage which welcomes truth when she tramples on received prejudices, and follows her in spite of the hazards which environ her path."

He was repeatedly screened by the favour of successive pontiffs, but compelled to fly his country. At length, however, Cosmo, the grand duke of Tuscany, under whose protection he was then living, was required by Pius V. to deliver him up, as a dangerous heretic, who had long laboured in various ways to destroy the Catholic faith, and been the instrument of corrupting the minds of multitudes; and that prince complied with the demand.

[ocr errors]

We have the testimony of a popish historian, who consulted the records of the Inquisition, to the constancy with which Carnesecchi adhered to his sentiments. With hardened heart,' says he, and uncircumcised ears, he refused to yield to the necessity of his circumstances, and rendered the admonitions, and the often-repeated delays granted him for deliberation, useless; so that he could not by any means be induced to abjure his errors, and return to the bosom of the true religion, as Pius wished, who had resolved, if he repented, to visit his past crimes with a milder punishment than they merited. We will [shall] not run great risk of transgressing the law of charity, by supposing that the inquisitors detained him fifteen months in prison with the view of having the credit of proclaiming him a penitent; and that no confession would have saved him from a capital punishment. On the 3d of October 1567 he was beheaded, and his body committed to the flames." pp. 292, 293. Dr. M'Crie's sixth and last chapter relates to Foreign Italian Churches, with Illustrations of the Reformation in the Grisons—a district amidst the Rhetian or eastern range of the Alps, which was made, by most of the Italian emigrants, their first refuge on quitting their native country, and by many of them their permanent abode. In the districts dependent upon the Grisons, and lying between the Alps and Italy, including the Valteline, Chiavenna, and Bormio, were more than twenty Protestant churches, under the pastoral care, till the end of the sixteenth century, of exiles from Italy. But the same fate eventually befel the Protestants here as in Italy; and in the year 1620 the Protestants of the Valteline were indiscriminately massacred; the southern depend

encies of the republie revolted;
and the Grisons suffered a tempo-
rary subjugation by the combined
arms of Austria and Spain.

In this connexion we meet with a
far less favourable account of the
celebrated Cardinal Borromeo than
we have received from some other
quarters. "It was the great object
of his ambition, from an early period
of life, to oppose an effectual barrier
to the progress of heresy, and to re-
pair and prop the fabric of Popery,
which he saw tottering on its base.
For this end he pursued the same
done with respect to Paganism: he
course as in early times Julian had
aimed to remove abuses, and to re-
form the clergy; and he erected semi-
naries, in which young persons of ta-
lent might be trained, and qualified
to encounter the Protestants with
their own weapons.

"All the celebrated champions of the
Catholic faith, from Bellarmine to Bossuet,
proceeded from the school of Borromeo.
It would have been well if the cardinal
had confined himself to methods of this
kind; but, beside abetting the most violent
opinions within his own diocese, he in-
measures for suppressing the Reformed
dustriously fomented dissensions in foreign
countries, leagued with men who were
capable of any desperate attempt, and
busied himself in providing arms for sub-
jects who were ready to rebel against
their lawful rulers, and to shed the blood
358, 359.
of their peaceable fellow-creatures." pp.

heard of among civilized nations,
"A new species of outrage, un-
was resorted to. Bands of armed
Valteline, seized the Protestants
men haunted the roads of the
unawares, and carried them into
Italy," where they were delivered
according to the usages of that de-
to the Inquisition, and dealt with
testable tribunal.

became a constant traffic in the Valteline;
"The practice of man-stealing now
and at every meeting of the diet, for a
course of years, complaints were made
that some persons had been carried off,
native citizens of the Grison republic."
including not only exiles from Italy, but
pp. 359 361.

But we must forbear to follow our
author into the details of this part
of his history; and we shall draw our

1

account of this interesting volume to a conclusion, by collecting into one view the information dispersed throughout it concerning three other persons of remarkable and interesting character.

"Celio Secundo Curione, or Curio, was born at Turin in 1503, and was the youngest of twenty-three children. When only nine years of age he was left an orphan, but, being allied to several noble families of Piedmont, received a liberal education at the university of his native city. In his youth, he was induced to read the Bible with more than ordinary attention, in consequence of his father having bequeathed him a copy of that book beautifully written; and when he reached his twentieth year, he had the writings of the Reformers put into his hands, by means of Jerome Niger Fossianeus, and other individuals in the Augustinian monastery of Turin. This inflamed him with a desire of visiting Germany, to which he set out, accompanied by James Cornello and Francis Guerino, who afterwards became distinguished ministers of the Reformed church. Having on their journey incautiously entered into dispute on the controverted heads of religion, they were informed against and seized by the spies of the cardinal-bishop of Ivrée, and thrown into separate prisons. Curio was released through the intercession of his relations, and the cardinal, pleased with his talents, endeavoured to attach him to himself, by offers of money to assist him in his studies, and by placing him in the neighbouring priory of St. Benigno, the administration of which had been conferred on him by Leo X. In this situation, Curio exerted himself in enlightening the monks, and freeing their minds from the influence of superstition......Being persuaded to visit his native country, with the view of recovering his patrimony,......he was apprehended, and carried prisoner to his native city......As his friends were known to possess great influence, the administrator of the bishopric of Turin went to Rome to secure his condemnation, leaving him under the charge of a brother of Cardinal Cibo; who, to prevent any attempt at rescue, removed him to an inner room of the prison, and ordered his feet to be made fast in the stocks. In this situation, a person of less fortitude and ingenuity would have given himself up for lost; but Curio, having in his youth lived in the neighbourhood of the jail, devised a method of escape, which, through the favour of Providence, succeeded. His feet being swollen by confinement, he prevailed on his keeper to allow him to have his right foot loosed for a day or two. By means of his shoe, together with a 'reed and a quantity of rags, which lay within his reach, he formed an artificial leg, which CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 308.

he fastened to his right knee, in such a

manner as that he could move it with

ease.

have his other foot relieved; upon which He then requested permission to the artificial foot was introduced by him into the stocks, and his left foot was set free. Being thus at liberty, he, during the night, opened the door of his apartment, felt his way through the passages in the dark, dropt from a window, and, having scaled the walls of his prison with some difficulty, made his escape into Italy......In the year 1543 he retired to Ferrara, whence, by the advice of the duchess Renée, who furnished him with letters of recommendation to the magistrates of Zurich and Berne, he quitted Italy, and took up his residence at Lausanne. In the course of the same year he returned for his wife and children, whom he had left behind him: on which occasion he made one of those escapes which, though well authenticated, throw an air of romance over the narrative of his life. The Inquisition had just been erected at Rome, and its familiars, scattered over all the country, had tracked the route of Curio from the time he entered Italy. Not venturing to appear at Lucca, he stopped at the neighbouring town of Pessa until his family should join him. While he was sitting at dinner in the inn, a captain of the papal band, called in Italy Barisello, suddenly made his appearance, and, entering the room, commanded him in the pope's name to yield himself as a prisoner. Curio, despairing of escape, rose to deliver himself up, unconsciously retaining in his hand the knife with which he had been carving. The Barisello, seeing an athletic figure approaching him with a large carving knife, was seized with a sudden panic, and retreated to a corner of the room; upon which Curio, who possessed great presence of mind, walked deliberately out, passed without interruption through the midst of the armed men who were stationed at the door, took his horse from the stable, and made good his flight. ...On his leaving Italy, the senate of Berne placed him at the head of the college of Lausanne; from which he was translated in 1547 to the chair of Roman eloquence in the university of Basle..... He received an invitation from the Emperor Maximilian to the university of Vienna, from Vaivod king of Transylvania to Weissemburg, and from the duke of Savoy to Turin, while the Pope employed the bishop of Terracino to persuade him to return to Italy, on the promise of an ample salary, with provision for his daughters, and on no other condition than that of his ab staining from inculcating his religious opinions. But he rejected these offers, and remained at Basle till his death in 1569....... Of all the refugees, the loss of none has been more regretted by Italian writers than that of Curio. The testimonies which they have borne to him deserve the more attention on this ground, 3 R

490

Review of M'Crie's History of the Reformation in Italy. [Ave.

among others, that some of the most im portant facts concerning the progress and suppression of the Reformation in Italy have been attested by him; and the greater part of the narratives of Italian martyrs proceeded from his pen, or were submitted to his revision before they were published by his friend Pantaleon. The children of Curio, female as well as male, were distinguished for their talents and learning, and among his descendants we find some of the most eminent persons in the Protestant church." pp. 101-105, 199, 398

400.

With the history of Curio was intimately connected that of his amiable and accomplished friend Olympia Morata.

In consequence of her early proficiency in letters, Olympia Morata was chosen by the duchess (Renée) of Ferrara to be the companion of her eldest daughter, Anne, with whom she improved in every elegant and useful accomplishment; and although she afterwards acknowledged that her personal piety suffered from the bustle and blandishments of a court, yet it was during her residence in the ducal palace that she acquired that knowledge of the Gospel which supported her mind under the vations and hardships which she had priafterwards to endure..... Having left the palace on the death of her father, to take charge of her widowed mother and the younger branches of the family, she was treated in a very harsh and ungrateful manner by the court;" the duke's mind having been alienated from her by Papal

emissaries: and" she would have suffered still worse treatment, had not a German student of medicine married her, and car

ried her along with him to his native country... On retiring into Germany, she and her husband were kindly entertained by George Hermann, the enlight ened counsellor of Ferdinand, king of the Romans, through whose influence they were offered an advantageous situation in the Austrian dominions, which they declined on account of its being incompatible with their religious profession. In Schweinfurt, an Imperial town, and thenative place of her husband, Olympia resumed her favourite studies; but the muses were soon disturbed by the trumpet of war. The turbulent Albert, marquis of Brandenburg, having thrown his forces into Schweinfurt, was beseiged by the German princes. During the siege, which was tedious and severe, Olympia was obliged

[ocr errors]

to live in a cellar; and when the town was taken, she escaped with great difficulty from the fury of the soldiers, and reached the village of Hammelburg in a state of exhaustion. If you had seen me' (she writes to Curio) with my feet bare and bleeding, my hair dishevelled, and my borrowed and torn clothes, you would have pronounced me the queen of

beggars'.... Her delicate constitution had received an irreparable shock from the agitation and fatigue which she had undergone; the symptoms of consumption became decided; and, after a lingering illness, during which the sweetness of her temper, and the strength of her faith, displayed themselves in such a manner as to console her husband, who doated upon her, she expired on the 26th of October ceased not to the last to remember her 1555, in the 29th year of her age. She ungrateful but beloved Italy, though every desire to return to it had been quenched in her breast from the time she saw the

apathy with which her countrymen allowed of its friends to be shed like water in their the standard of truth to fall, and the blood streets. Before she was confined to her

bed, she employed her leisure time in transcribing from memory some of her poems, which she bequeathed to her friend Curio, by whom her works were published soon and letters in Latin and Italian, and of after her death. They consist of dialogues Greek poems, chiefly paraphrases of the Psalms, in heroic and Sapphic verse; all of them the productions of a highly culti vated and pious mind." pp. 74, 212, 400 -402.

volume, few are more affecting and But of all the histories in this monitory than that of Bernardino Ochino, a native of Sienna, in Tus'cany. While he continued in the communion of the Romish church he was advanced to the rank of General of the Capuchins. He him self has given us a very affecting but in vain, "peace of mind, and account of his seeking laboriously, assurance of salvation," by the most rigid observances of his convent. "I was under the dominion," he says, "of the common error by which the minds of all who live

under the yoke of the wicked Anti-
christ are enthralled; so that I be-
lieved that we were to be saved by
our own works, fastings, prayers,
things of the kind." Hence he joined
abstinence, watchings, and other
himself to the strictest orders, and
observed their discipline. "Still,
however," he proceeds, "I remained
which at last I found by searching
a stranger to true peace of mind;
the Scriptures, and such helps for
cess to."
understanding them as I had ac-

three following truths: first, that Christ,
"I now came to be satisfied of the
by his obedience and death, has made

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »