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one a prelate—no one a bishop, while he is in mortal sin. Temporal lords can, whenever they please, take temporal goods from the Church. Possessionatis habitualiter delinquentibus id est ex habitu non solum actu delinquentibus. The people can, whenever they please, punish their delinquent lords. Tithes are merely eleemosynary offerings, and the parishioners have the right, whenever they please, of keeping them from their prelates on account of their sins. Special prayers applied by prelates or religious to any one individual, are of no more value to him than general ones cæteris paribus. Any one giving charity to friars is excommunicated by the fact. Any one entering a religious order, either mendicant or endowed, becomes weaker, and less able to observe the commandments of God. The Saints who founded religious orders sinned by doing so. Religious living in orders do not belong to the Christian religion. Friars are obliged to live by the labour of their hands, and not by receiving the oblations of the faithful. Those who oblige themselves to pray for others, who provide them with the things of this life, are guilty of simony. The prayer
of the foreknown availeth nothing. All things happen through absolute necessity. The confirmation of youth, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of places, are reserved to the Pope and bishops, on account of the temporal gain and honour they bring. Universities and the studies, colleges, degrees and masterships in them, are only vain things introduced from paganism, and are of no more utility to the Church than the devil himself. The excommunication of the Pope, or of any other prelate, is not to be feared, because it is the censure of the devil. Those who found convents sin, and those who enter them are servants of the devil. It is against the law of Christ to endow a clergyman. Pope Sylvester and the Emperor Constantine erred by endowing the Church. All members of the mendicant orders are heretics, and those who give them alios are excommunicated. Those who become members of any religious order are by the fact incapable of observing the Divine commandments, and, consequently, can never enter the kingdom of heaven till they apostatize from their institute. The Pope, and all his clergy having possessions, are heretics, by holding these possessions; and temporal lords, and the rest of the laity who consent to their holding them, are heretics also. The Roman Church is the synagogue of Satan, and the Pope is not the proximate and immediate Vicar of Christ. The Decretal Epistles (canon law) are apocryphal, and seduce from the faith of Christ, and the clergymen are fools who study them. The Emperor and secular lords have been seduced by the devil to endow the Church with temporalities. It is the devil who introduced the election of the Pope by the cardinals. It is not necessary for salvation to believe that the Roman Church is supreme among all other Churches. It is fully to believe in the indulgences of the Pope and bishops. The oaths which are taken to corroborate contracts and civil affairs are unlawful. Augustin, Benedict, and Bernard are damned, unless they repented of having possessions, and of instituting and entering into religious orders; and so from the Pope to the lowest religious they are all heretics. All religious orders altogether are invented by the devil.
36. Enumerating these errors, I cannot help remarking that Wickliffe, the Patriarch of all the modern heretics, attacks especially the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, as we see in his first three propositions, and in this he was followed by all the modern heresiarchs; but God at the same time confirmed the faith of his people by extraordinary miracles; and I will just mention three of them (among a great number), on the authority of authors of the first character. Nicholas Serrarius (9) relates, that when the Wickliffites first began to attack this dogma of the Faith in 1408, the following miracle took place: a priest, called Henry Otho, was one day saying Mass in Durn, in the diocese of Wurtzburg, and through his want of caution upset the chalice, and the Sacred Blood was spilled all over the corporal. It appeared at once of the real colour of blood, and in the middle of the corporal was an image of the Crucifix, surrounded with several other images of the head of the Redeemer crowned with thorns. The priest was terrified, and although some other persons had already noticed the accident, he took up the corporal and laid it under the altarstone, that it might decay in some time and nothing more would be known about it. God, however, did not wish that such a miracle
a should be concealed. The priest was at the point of death, and remorse of conscience troubled him even more than the he was suffering; he could bear it no longer, but confessed all, told where the corporal was concealed, and then died immediately. All was found to be as he stated, and God wrought other miracles to confirm its truth. The magistrates investigated the whole affair with the greatest caution and deliberation, and sent an authentic account of it to the Pope, and he published a brief, dated the 31st of March, 1445, inviting all the devout faithful to ornament and enlarge the church honoured by so stupendous a miracle.
37. Thomas Treter (10) relates the next miracle. Some Jews bribed an unfortunate Christian servant woman to procure a consecrated Host for them, and when they got it they brought it into a cavern, and cut it in little bits on a table with their knives, in contempt of the Christian Faith. The fragments immediately began to bleed, but instead of being converted by the miracle, they buried them in a field near the city of Posen, and went home. A Christian child soon after, who was taking care of some oxen, came into the field, and saw the consecrated particles elevated in the air, and
(9) Serar. Moguntinar. Rerum, 1. 5.
(10) Treter, de Mirac. Eucharis.
shining as if made of fire, and the oxen all on their knees, as if in adoration. He ran off at once, and told his father, and when he found the fact to be as the child stated, he gave notice to the magistrates and the people. Crowds immediately followed him to the place, and all saw the particles of the Sacred Host shining in the air, and the oxen kneeling in adoration. The bishop and clergy came at once in
procession, and collecting the holy particles into the pixis, they brought them to the church. A little chapel was built on the spot soon after, which Wenceslaus, King of Poland, converted into a sumptuous church, where Stephen Damaleniski, Archbishop of Gnesen, attests that he saw the sacred fragments stained with blood.
Tilman Bredembach (11) relates that there lived in England, in 1384, a nobleman of the name of Oswald Mulfer; he went to his village church one Easter, to receive his Paschal Communion, and insisted on being communicated with a large Host. The priest, fearful of his power, if he denied him, placed
the large Host on his tongue, but in the very act the ground opened under his feet, as if to swallow him, and he had already sunk down to his knees, when he seized the altar, but that yielded like wax to his hand. He now, seeing the vengeance of God overtaking him, repented of his pride, and prayed for mercy, and as he could not swallow the Host --for God would not permit him—the priest removed it, and replaced it in the Tabernacle; but it was all of the colour of blood. Tilman went on purpose to visit the place where this miracle happened: he saw, he says, the Host tinged with blood, the altar with the marks of Oswald's hands, and the ground into which he was sinking still hollow, and covered with iron bars. Oswald himself, he says, now perfectly cured of his pride, fell sick soon after, and died with sentiments of true penance.
38. We now come back to Wickliffe, and see his unhappy end. On the feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury, in 1385, he prepared to preach a sermon, not in honour of, but reprobating the saint; but God would no longer permit him to ravage his Church, for a few days after, on St. Sylvester's day, he was struck down by a dreadful palsy, which convulsed him all over, and his mouth, with which he had preached so many blasphemies, was most frightfully distorted, so that he could not speak even a word, and as Walsingham (12) informs us, he died in despair. King Richard prohibited all his works, and ordered them to be burned. He wrote a great deal, but his principal work was the Trialogue between Alithia, Pseudes, and Phronesis— Folly, Falsehood, and Wisdom. Several authors wrote in refutation of this work, but its own contradictions are a sufficient refutation, for the general characteristic of heretical writers is to contradict themselves (13). The University
(11) Bredembach in Collat. I. 1, c. 35. (12) Walsingham, ap. Bernin. t. 3, c. 9; Van Ranst, p. 241; Varillas, t. 1, l. 1, & Gotti, loc. cit. (13) Graveson, t. 4, sec. 15, coll. 31; Bernin. l. 3, l. 9, p. 609, c. 8.
of Oxford condemned two hundred and sixty propositions extracted from Wickliffe's works; but the Council of Constance included all his errors in the one hundred and forty-five articles of his it condemned.
HERESIES OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.
THE HERESY OF JOHN HUSS, AND JEROME OF PRAGUE. 39. John Huss's Character, and the Commencement of his Heresy. 40. His Errors.
41. He is condemned in a Synod. 42. Council of Constance he is obliged to appear at it.
43. He comes to Constance, and endeavours to escape. 44, 45. He presents himself before the Council, and continues obstinate. 46. He is condemned to death, and burned. 47. Jerome of Prague is also burned alive for his Obstinacy. 48. Wars of the Hussites—they are conquered and converted.
39. In the reign of Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia, and son of the Emperor Charles IV., about the beginning of the fifteenth century, the pestilence of the heresy of Wickliffe first made its
appearance in Bohemia. The University of Prague was then in a most flourishing condition ; but the professors who had the management of it kept up a very lax system of discipline. They were of four nations, each of which enjoyed equal privileges in that seat of learning-Bohemians, Saxons, Bavarians, and Poles; but mutual
jealousies blinded them to the danger the Catholic faith was exposed to, for want of due vigilance. Such was the state of things when John Huss, one of the Bohemian professors, obtained a privilege from the King, that in all deliberations of the University the vote of the Bohemian nation alone should count as much as the three others together. The German professors were so much offended at this ordinance, that they left Prague in a body, and settled in Leipsic, where they contributed to establish that famous University, and thus the government of the whole University of Prague, we may say, fell into the hands of John Huss (1). This remarkable man was born in a village of Bohemia, called Huss, and from which he took his name, and his parents were so poor, that at first the only means of learning he had was by accompanying a gentleman's son to school as attendant; but being a man of power- : ful mind, he by degrees worked himself on, until he became the chief professor of the University of Prague, which he infected, unfortunately, with heresy. Having, as we have seen, ousted the German professors, and become almost supreme in his college, it unfortunately happened that one of Wickliffe's disciples, Peter Payne, who had to fly from England, arrived in Prague, and brought along with him the works of his master. These works fell
(1) Coclæus, Hist. Hussit. Æneas Silv. Uist. Bohem. c. 35 ; Bernin. t. 4, sec. 15, c. 2, p. 9; Graves. I. 4, coll. 3, p. 75; Gotti, Ver. &c. c. 105.
into the hands of Huss, and though filled with blasphemy, pleased him by the bold novelty of their doctrines, and he imagined that they were well calculated to make an impression on the ardent minds of the youth of the University. He could not at once begin to teach them, for he was one of the doctors who, a little while before, had subscribed the condemnation of Wickliffe's errors (2), so he contented himself, for the present, with merely making them subjects of discussion with his pupils; but little by little he became more bold, and not alone among the students of the University, but even among the people in the churches, he disseminated the pestilence. At length, he threw off the mask altogether, and preaching one day in the Church of SS. Matthias and Matthew, in Prague, he publicly lauded the works of Wickliffe, and said, if he were dying, all he would desire is to be assured of the same glory that Wickliffe was then enjoying in heaven.
40. He next translated some of Wickliffe's works into Bohemian, especially the Trialogue, the worst of them all. He was joined at once by several priests of relaxed morals, and also by several doctors, discontented with the unjust distribution of church patronage, which was too often conferred on persons whose only qualification was nobility of birth, while humble virtue and learning was neglected. Among the doctors who joined him was Jerome of Prague, who, in the year 1408, had, like Huss, condemned the errors of Wickliffe, but now turned round, and even accused the Council of Constance of injustice for condemning them. Sbinko, Archbishop of Prague, summoned a Synod, which was attended by the most famous doctors, and condemned the propositions broached by Huss, and he was so enraged at this, that he endeavoured to stir up the people to oppose it; the archbishop, accordingly, excommunicated him, and sent a copy of the condemnation of his doctrine to Pope Alexander V., but Huss appealed to the Pope, who was badly informed, he said, of the matter, and in the meantime, the archbishop died, and thus Bohemia became a prey to heresy. Huss was now joined by Jacobellus of Misnia, and Peter of Dresden, who went about preaching to the people against the error the Church was guilty of, as they said, in refusing the people communion under both kinds, and proclaimed that all who received under one kind were damned. John Huss and his followers took
this new doctrine, and so deeply was the error implanted in the minds of the Bohemian Hussites, that even all the power of the imperial arms could scarcely eradicate it.
41. Noel Alexander enumerates the errors of Huss under thirty heads (3). We will only take a succinct view of the most impor
The Church, he said, was composed of the predestined
(2) Nat. Alex. sec. 14, c. 3, a. 22, sec. 6; Eneas Silv. Hist Bohem. c. 35. Alex. sec. 15, c. 2, a. 1, sec. 2.