HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH*
LEADERS OF CATHOLIC THOUGHT.
§ 19. Literature.
For § 20. Ockam and the Decay of Scholasticism.—No complete ed. of Ockam’s works exists. The fullest lists are given by Riezler, see below, Little: Grey Friars of Oxford, pp. 226–234, and Potthast: II. 871–873. Goldast’s Monarchia, II. 313–1296, contains a number of his works, e.g. opus nonaginta dierum, Compendium errorum Johannis XXII., De utili dominio rerum Eccles. et abdicatione bonorum temporalium, Super potestatem summi pontificis, Quaestionum octo decisiones, Dial. de potestate papali et imperiali in tres partes distinctus, (1) de haereticis, (2) de erroribus Joh. XXII., (3) de potestate papae, conciliorum et imperatoris (first publ. 2 vols., Paris, 1476).—Other works: Expositio aurea super totam artem veterem, a com. on Porphyry’s Isagoge, and Aristotle’s Elenchus, Bologna, 1496.—Summa logices, Paris, 1488.—Super I V. Iibros sententiarum, Lyons, 1483.—De sacramento altaris, Strassburg, 1491.—De praedestinatione et futuris contingentibus, Bologna, 1496.—Quodlibeta septem, Paris, 1487.—Riezler: D. antipäpstlichen und publizistischen Schriften Occams in his Die literar. Widersacher, etc., 241–277.—Haureau: La philos. scolastique.—Werner: Die Scholastik des späteren M. A., II., Vienna, 1883, and Der hl. Thos. von Aquino, III.—Stöckl: Die Philos. des M. A., II. 986–1021, and art. Nominalismus in Wetzer-Welte, IX.—Baur: Die christl. Kirche d. M. A., p. 377 sqq.—Müller: Der Kampf Ludwigs des Baiern.—R. L. Poole in Dict. of Natl. Biog., XLI. 357–362.—R. Seeberg in Herzog, XIV. 260–280.—A. Dorner; D. Verhältniss von Kirche und Staat nach Occam in Studien und Kritiken, 1886, pp. 672–722.—F. Kropatscheck: Occam und Luther in Beitr. zur Förderung christl. Theol., Gütersloh, 1900.—Art. Nominalismus, by Stöckl in Wetzer-Welte, IX. 423–427.
For § 21. Catherine of Siena.—Her writings. Epistole ed orazioni della seraphica vergine s. Catterina da Siena, Venice, 1600, etc.—Best ed. 6 vols., Siena, 1707–1726.—Engl. trans. of the Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin Cath. of Siena, by Algar Thorold, London, 1896.—Her Letters, ed. by N. Tommaseo: Le lettere di S. Caterina da Siena, 4 vols., Florence, 1860.—*Eng. trans. by Vida D. Scudder: St. Cath. of Siena as seen in her Letters, London, 1906, 2d ed., 1906.—Her biography is based upon the Life written by her confessor, Raymundo de Vineis sive de Capua, d. 1399: vita s. Cath. Senensis, included in the Siena ed. of her works and in the Acta Sanctt. III. 863–969.—Ital. trans. by Catherine’s secretary, Neri De Landoccio, Fr. trans. by E. Cartier, Paris, 1863, 4th ed., 1877.—An abbreviation of Raymund’s work, with annotations, Leggenda della Cat. da Siena, usually called La Leggenda minore, by Tommaso d’antonio Nacci Caffarini, 1414.—K. Hase: Caterina von Siena, Ein Heiligenbild, Leipzig, 1804, new ed., 1892.—J. E. Butler: Cath. of Siena, London, 1878, 4th ed., 1895.—Augusta T. Drane, Engl. Dominican: The Hist. of Cath. of Siena, compiled from the Orig. sources, London, 1880, 3d ed., 1900, with a trans. of the Dialogue.—St. Catherine of Siena and her Times, by the author of Mademoiselle Mori (Margaret D. Roberts), New York, 1906, pays little attention to the miraculous element, and presents a full picture of Catherine’s age.—*E. G. Gardner: St. Catherine of Siena: A Study in the Religion, Literature, and History of the fourteenth century in Italy, London, 1907.
For § 22. Peter d’ailly.—Paul Tschackert: Peter von Ailli. Zur Gesch. des grossen abendländischen Schismas und der Reformconcilien von Pisa und Constanz, Gotha, 1877, and Art. in Herzog, I. 274–280.—Salembier: Petrus de Alliaco, Lille, 1886.—Lenz: Drei Traktate aus d. Schriftencyclus d. Konst. Konz., Marburg, 1876.—Bess: Zur Gesch. des Konst. Konzils, Marburg, 1891.—Finke: Forschungen und Quellen, etc., pp. 103–132.—For a list of D’Ailly’s writings, See Tschackert, pp. 348–365.—Some of them are given in Van der Hardt and in Du Pin’s ed. of Gerson’s Works, I. 489–804, and the De difficultate reform. eccles., and the De necessitate reform. eccles., II. 867–903.
For § 23. John Gerson.—Works. Best ed. by L. E. Du Pin, Prof. of Theol. in Paris, 5 vols., Antwerp, 1706; 2d ed., Hague Com., 1728. The 2d ed. has been consulted in this work and is pronounced by Schwab "indispensable." It contains the materials of Gerson’s life and the contents of his works in an introductory essay, Gersoniana, I. i-cxlv, and also writings by D’ailly, Langenstein, Aleman and other contemporaries. A number of Gerson’s works are given in Goldast’s Monarchia and Van der Hardt.—A Vita Gersonis is given in Hardt’s Conc. Const., IV. 26–57.—Chartul. Univ. Paris., III., IV., under John Arnaud and Gerson.—J. B. Schwab: Johannes Gerson, Prof. der Theologie und Kanzler der Universität Paris, Würzburg, 1858, an exhaustive work, giving also a history of the times, one of the most thorough of biographies and to be compared with Hurter’s Innocent III.—A. Masson: J. Gerson, sa vie, son temps et ses oeuvres, Lyons, 1894.—A. Lambon: J. Gerson, sa réforme de l’enseigement Theol. et de l’éducation populaire, Paris, 1888.—Bess: Zur Gesch. d. Konstanz. Konzils; art. Gerson in Herzog, VI. 612–617.—Lafontaine: Jehas Gerson, 1363–1429, Paris, 1906, pp. 340.—J. Schwane: Dogmengesch.—Werner: D. Scholastik d. späteren M. A., IV., V.
For § 24. Nicolas of Clamanges.—Works, ed. by J. M. Lydius, 2 vols., Leyden, 1013, with Life.—The De ruina ecclesiae, with a Life, in Van der Hardt: Conc. Constan., vol. I., pt. lII.—Writings not in Lydius are given by Bulaeus in Hist. univ. Paris.—Baluzius: Miscellanea, and D’Achery: Spicilegium.—Life in Du Pin’s Works of Gerson, I., p. xxxix sq.—A. Müntz: Nic. de Clem., sa vie et ses écrits, Strassburg, 1846.—J. Schwab: J. Gerson, pp. 493–497.—Artt. by Bess in Herzog, IV. 138–147, and by Knöpfsler in Wetzer-Welte, IX. 298–306.—G. Schubert: Nic. von Clem. als Verfasser der Schrift de corrupto ecclesiae statu, Grossenhain, 1888.
For § 25. Nicolas of Cusa.—Edd. of his Works, 1476 (place not given), as ed. by Faber Stapulensis, 3 vols., 1514, Basel.—German trans. of a number of the works by F. A. Schrapff, Freiburg, 1862.—Schrapff: Der Cardinal und Bischof Nic. von Cusa Mainz, 1843; Nic. von Cusa als Reformator in Kirche, Reich und Philosophie des 15ten Jahrh., Tübingen, 1871.—J. M. Düx: Der deutsche Card. Nic. von Cusa und die Kirche seiner Zeit, 2 vols., Regensburg, 1847.—J. Uebinger: D. Gotteslehre des Nic. von Cusa, Münster, 1888.—J. Marx: Nik. von Cues und seine Stiftungen au Cues und Deventer, Treves, 1906, pp. 115.—C. Schmitt: Card. Nic. Cusanus, Coblenz, 1907. Presents him as astronomer, geographer, mathematician, historian, homilete, orator, philosopher, and theologian.—Stöckl, III. 23–84.—Schwane, pp. 98–102.—Art. by Funk in Wetzer-Welte, IX. 306–315.
§ 20. Ockam and the Decay of Scholasticism.
Scholasticism had its last great representative in Duns Scotus, d. 1308. After him the scholastic method gradually passed into disrepute. New problems were thrust upon the mind of Western Europe, and new interests were engaging its attention. The theologian of the school and the convent gave way to the practical theological disputant setting forth his views in tracts and on the floor of the councils. Free discussion broke up the hegemony of dogmatic assertion. The authority of the Fathers and of the papacy lost its exclusive hold, and thinkers sought another basis of authority in the general judgment of contemporary Christendom, in the Scriptures alone or in reason. The new interest in letters and the natural world drew attention away from labored theological systems which were more adapted to display the ingenuity of the theologian than to be of practical value to society. The use of the spoken languages of Europe in literature was fitted to force thought into the mould of current exigencies. The discussions of Roger Bacon show that at the beginning of the fourteenth century men’s minds, sated with abstruse metaphysical solutions of theological questions, great and trivial, were turning to a world more real and capable of proof.
The chief survivors of the dialectical Schoolmen were Durandus and William Ockam. Gabriel Biel of Tübingen, who died just before the close of the fifteenth century, is usually called the last of the Schoolmen.351 Such men as D’Ailly, Gerson and Wyclif, sometimes included under the head of mediaeval scholastics, evidently belong to another class.
A characteristic feature of the scholasticism of Durandus and Ockam is the sharper distinction they made between reason and revelation. Following Duns Scotus, they declared that doctrines peculiar to revealed theology are not susceptible of proof by pure reason. The body of dogmatic truth, as accepted by the Church, they did not question.
A second characteristic is the absence of originality. They elaborated what they received. The Schoolmen of former periods had exhausted the list of theological questions and discussed them from every standpoint.
The third characteristic is the revival and ascendency of nominalism, the principle Roscellinus advocated more than two hundred years before. The Nominalists were also called Terminists, because they represent words as terms which do not necessarily have ideas and realities to correspond to them. A universal is simply a symbol or term for a number of things or for that which is common to a number of things.352 Universality is nothing more than a mode of mental conception. The University of Paris resisted the spread of nominalism, and in 1839 the four nations forbade the promulgation of Ockam’s doctrine or listening to its being expounded in private or public.353 In 1473, Louis XI. issued a mandate forbidding the doctors at Paris teaching it, and prohibiting the use of the writings of Ockam, Marsiglius and other writers. In 1481 the law was rescinded.
Durandus, known as doctor resolutissimus, the resolute doctor, d. 1334, was born at Pourçain, in the diocese of Clermont, entered the Dominican order, was appointed by Fohn XXII. bishop of Limoux, 1317, and was later elevated to the sees of Puy and Meaux. He attacked some of the rules of the Franciscans and John XXII.’s theory of the beatific vision, and in 1333 was declared by a commission guilty of eleven errors. His theological views are found in his commentary on the Lombard, begun when he was a young man and finished in his old age. He showed independence by assailing some of the views of Thomas Aquinas. He went beyond his predecessors in exalting the Scriptures above tradition and pronouncing their statements more authoritative than the dicta of Aristotle and other philosophers.354 All real existence is in the individual. The universal is not an entity which can be divided as a chunk of wood is cut into pieces. The universal, the unity by which objects are grouped together as a class, is deduced from individuals by an act of the mind. That which is common to a class has, apart from the individuals of the class, no real existence.
On the doctrine of the eucharist Durandus seems not to have been fully satisfied with the view held by the Church, and suggested that the words "this is my body," may mean "contained under"—contentum sub hoc. This marks an approach to Luther’s view of consubstantiation. This theologian was held in such high esteem by Gerson that he recommended him, together with Thomas Aquinas, Bradwardine and Henry of Ghent, to the students of the college of Navarre.355
The most profound scholastic thinker of the fourteenth century was the Englishman, William Ockam, d. 1349, called doctor invincibilis, the invincible doctor, or, with reference to his advocacy of nominalism, venerabilis inceptor, the venerable inaugurator. His writings, which were more voluminous than lucid, were much published at the close of the fifteenth century, but have not been put into print for several hundred years. There is no complete edition of them. Ockam’s views combined elements which were strictly mediaeval, and elements which were adopted by the Reformers and modern philosophy. His identification with the cause of the Spiritual Franciscans involved him in controversy with two popes, John XXII. and Benedict XII. His denial of papal infallibility has the appearance not 80 much of a doctrine proceeding from theological conviction as the chance weapon laid hold of in time of conflict to protect the cause of the Spirituals.
Of the earlier period of Ockam’s life, little is known. He was born in Surrey, studied at Oxford, where he probably was a student of Duns Scotus, entered the Franciscan order, and was probably master in Paris, 1315–1320. For his advocacy of the doctrine of Christ’s absolute poverty he was, by order of John XXII., tried and found guilty and thrown into confinement.356 With the aid of Lewis the Bavarian, he and his companions, Michael of Cesena and Bonagratia, escaped in 1328 to Pisa. from that time on, the emperor and the Schoolman, as already stated, defended one another. Ockam accompanied the emperor to Munich and was excommunicated. At Cesena’s death the Franciscan seal passed into his hands, but whatever authority he possessed he resigned the next year into the hands of the acknowledged Franciscan general, Farinerius. Clement VI. offered him absolution on condition of his abjuring his errors. Whether he accepted the offer or not is unknown. He died at Munich and is buried there. The distinguished Englishman owes his reputation to his revival of nominalism, his political theories and his definition of the final seat of religious authority.
His theory of nominalism was explicit, and offered no toleration to the realism of the great Schoolmen from Anselm on. Individual things alone have factual existence. The universals are mere terms or symbols, fictions of the mind—fictiones, signa mentalia, nomina, signa verbalia. They are like images in a mirror. A universal stands for an intellectual act—actus intelligenda — and nothing more. Did ideas exist in God’s mind as distinct entities, then the visible world would have been created out of them and not out of nothing.357
Following Duns Scotus, Ockam taught determinism. God’s absolute will makes things what they are. Christ might have become wood or stone if God had so chosen. In spite of Aristotle, a body might have different kinds of motion at the same time. In the department of morals, what is now bad might have been good, if God had so willed it.
In the department of civil government, Ockam, advocating the position taken by the electors at Rense, 1338, declared the emperor did not need the confirmation of the pope. The imperial office is derived immediately from God.358 The Church is a priestly institution, administers the sacraments and shows men the way of salvation, but has no civil jurisdiction,359 potestas coactiva.
The final seat of authority, this thinker found in the Scriptures. Truths such as the Trinity and the incarnation cannot be deduced by argument. The being of God cannot be proven from the so-called idea of God. A plurality of gods may be proven by the reason as well as the existence of the one God. Popes and councils may err. The Bible alone is inerrant. A Christian cannot be held to believe anything not in the Scriptures.360
The Church is the community of the faithful—communitas, or congregatio fidelium.361 The Roman Church is not identical with it, and this body of Christians may exist independently of the Roman Church. If the pope had plenary power, the law of the Gospel would be more galling than the law of Moses. All would then be the pope’s slaves.362 The papacy is not a necessary institution.
In the doctrine of the eucharist, Ockam represents the traditional view as less probable than the view that Christ’s body is at the side of the bread. This theory of impanation, which Rupert of Deutz taught, approached Luther’s theory of consubstantiation. However, Ockam accepted the Church’s view, because it was the less intelligible and because the power of God is unlimited. John of Paris, d. 1308, had compared the presence of Christ in the elements to the co-existence of two natures in the incarnation and was deposed from his chair at the University of Paris, 1304. Gabriel Biel took a similar view.363
Ockam’s views on the authority of the civil power, papal errancy, the infallibility of the Scriptures and the eucharist are often compared with the views of Luther.364 The German reformer spoke of the English Schoolman as "without doubt the leader and most ingenious of the Schoolmen"—scholasticorum doctorum sine dubio princeps et ingeniosissimus. He called him his "dear teacher," and declared himself to be of Ockam’s party—sum Occamicae factionis.365 The two men were, however, utterly unlike. Ockam was a theorist, not a reformer, and in spite of his bold sayings, remained a child of the mediaeval age. He started no party or school in theological matters. Luther exalted personal faith in the living Christ. He discovered new principles in the Scriptures, and made them the active forces of individual and national belief and practice. We might think of Luther as an Ockam if he had lived in the fourteenth century. We cannot think of Ockam as a reformer in the sixteenth century. He would scarcely have renounced monkery. Ockam’s merit consists in this that, in common with Marsiglius and other leaders of thought, he imbibed the new spirit of free discussion, and was bold enough to assail the traditional dogmas of his time. In this way he contributed to the unsettlement of the pernicious mediaeval theory of the seat of authority.
§ 21. Catherine of Siena, the Saint.
Next to Francis d’Assisi, the most celebrated of the Italian saints is Catherine of Siena—Caterina da Siena—1347–1380. With Elizabeth of Thuringia, who lived more than a century before her, she is the most eminent of the holy women of the Middle Ages whom the Church has canonized. Her fame depends upon her single-hearted piety and her efforts to advance the interests of the Church and her nation. She left no order to encourage the reverence for her name. She was the most public of all the women of the Middle Ages in Italy, and yet she passed unscathed and without a taint through streets and in courts. Now, as the daughter of an humble citizen of Siena, she ministers to the poor and the sick: now, as the prophetess of heaven, she appeals to the conscience of popes and of commonwealths. Her native Sienese have sanctified her with the fragrant name la beata poplana, the blessed daughter of the people. Although much in her career, as it has been handed down by her confessor and biographer, may seem to be legendary, and although the hysterical element may not be altogether wanting from her piety, she yet deserves and will have the admiration of all men who are moved by the sight of a noble enthusiasm. It would require a fanatical severity to read the account of her unwearied efforts and the letters, into which she equally poured the fire of her soul, without feeling that the Sienese saint was a very remarkable woman, the Florence Nightingale of her time or more, "one of the most wonderful women that have ever lived," as her most recent English biographer has pronounced her. Or, shall we join Gregorovius, the thorough student of mediaeval Rome, in saying, "Catherine’s figure flits like that of an angel: through the darkness of her time, over which her gracious genius sheds a soft radiance. Her life is more worthy and assuredly a more human subject for history than the lives of the popes of her age."366
Catherine Benincasa was the twenty-third of a family of twenty-five children. Her twin sister, Giovanna, died in infancy. Her father was a dyer in prosperous circumstances. Her mother, Monna Lapa, survived the daughter. Catherine treated her with filial respect, wrote her letters, several of which are extant, and had her with her on journeys and in Rome during her last days there. Catherine had no school training, and her knowledge of reading and writing she acquired after she was grown up.
As a child she was susceptible to religious impressions, and frequented the Dominican church near her father’s home. The miracles of her earlier childhood were reported by her confessor and biographer, Raymund of Capua. At twelve her parents arranged for her a marriage, but to avoid it Catherine cut off her beautiful hair. She joined the tertiary order of the Dominicans, the women adherents being called the mantellate from their black mantles. Raymund declares "that nature had not given her a face over-fair," and her personal appearance was marred by the marks of the smallpox. And yet she had a winning expression, a fund of good spirits, and sang and laughed heartily. Once devoted to a religious life, she practised great austerities, flagellating herself three times a day,—once for herself, once for the living and once for the dead. She wore a hair undergarment and an iron chain. During one Lenten season she lived on the bread taken in communion. These asceticisms were performed in a chamber in her father’s house. She was never an inmate of a convent. Such extreme asceticisms as she practised upon herself she disparaged at a later period.
At an early age Catherine became the subject of visions and revelations. On one of these occasions and after hours of dire temptation, when she was tempted to live like other girls, the Saviour appeared to her stretched on the cross and said: "My own daughter, Catherine, seest thou how much I have suffered for thee? Let it not be hard for thee to suffer for me." Thrilled with the address, she asked: "Where wert thou, Lord, when I was tempted with such impurity?" and He replied, "In thy heart." In 1367, according to her own statement, the Saviour betrothed himself to her, putting a ring on her finger. The ring was ever afterwards visible to herself though unseen by others. Five years before her death, she received the stigmata directly from Christ. Their impression gave sharp pain, and Catherine insisted that, though they likewise were invisible to others, they were real to her.
In obedience to a revelation, Catherine renounced the retired life she had been living, and at the age of twenty began to appear in public and perform the active offices of charity. This was in 1367. She visited the poor and sick, and soon became known as the ministering angel of the whole city. During the plague of 1374, she was indefatigable by day and night, healed those of whom the physicians despaired, and she even raised the dead. The lepers outside the city walls she did not neglect.
One of the remarkable incidents in her career which she vouches for in one of her letters to Raymund was her treatment of Niccolo Tuldo, a young nobleman condemned to die for having uttered words disrespectful of the city government. The young man was in despair, but under Catherine’s influence he not only regained composure, but became joyful in the prospect of death. Catherine was with him at the block and held his head. She writes, "I have just received a head into my hands which was to me of such sweetness as no heart can think, or tongue describe." Before the execution she accompanied the unfortunate man to the mass, where he received the communion for the first time. His last words were "naught but Jesus and Catherine. And, so saying," wrote his benefactress, "I received his head in my hands." She then saw him received of Christ, and as she further wrote, "When he was at rest, my soul rested in peace, in so great fragrance of blood that I could not bear to remove the blood which had fallen on me from him."
The fame of such a woman could not be held within the walls of her native city. Neighboring cities and even the pope in Avignon heard of her deeds of charity and her revelations. The guide of minds seeking the consolations of religion, the minister to the sick and dying, Catherine now entered into the wider sphere of the political life of Italy and the welfare of the Church. Her concern was divided between efforts to support the papacy and to secure the amelioration of the clergy and establish peace. With the zeal of a prophet, she urged upon Gregory XI. to return to Rome. She sought to prevent the rising of the Tuscan cities against the Avignon popes and to remove the interdict which was launched against Florence, and she supported Urban VI. against the anti-pope, Clement VII. With equal fervor she urged Gregory to institute a reformation of the clergy, to allow no weight to considerations of simony and flattery in choosing cardinals and pastors and "to drive out of the sheep-fold those wolves, those demons incarnate, who think only of good cheer, splendid feasts and superb liveries." She also was zealous in striving to stir up the flames of a new crusade. To Sir John Hawkwood, the freelance and terror of the peninsula, she wrote, calling upon him that, as he took such pleasure in fighting, he should thenceforth no longer direct his arms against Christians, but against the infidels. She communicated to the Queen of Cyprus on the subject. Again and again she urged it upon Gregory XI., and chiefly on the grounds that he "might minister the blood of the Lamb to the wretched infidels," and that converted, they might aid in driving pride and other vices out of the Christian world.367
Commissioned by Gregory, she journeyed to Pisa to influence the city in his favor. She was received with honors by the archbishop and the head of the republic, and won over two professors who visited her with the purpose of showing her she was self-deceived or worse. She told them that it was not important for her to know how God had created the world, but that "it was essential to know that the Son of God had taken our human nature and lived and died for our salvation." One of the professors, removing his crimson velvet cap, knelt before her and asked for forgiveness. Catherine’s cures of the sick won the confidence of the people. On this visit she was accompanied by her mother and a group of like-minded women.
A large chapter in Catherine’s life is interwoven with the history of Florence. The spirit of revolt against the Avignon regime was rising in upper Italy and, when the papal legate in Bologna, in a year of dearth, forbade the transportation of provisions to Florence, it broke out into war. At the invitation of the Florentines, Catherine visited the city, 1375 and, a year later, was sent as a delegate to Avignon to negotiate terms of peace. She was received with honor by the pope, but not without hesitancy. The other members of the delegation, when they arrived, refused to recognize her powers and approve her methods. The cardinals treated her coolly or with contempt, and women laid snares at her devotions to bring ridicule upon her. Such an attempt was made by the pope’s niece, Madame de Beaufort Turenne, who knelt at her side and ran a sharp knife into her foot so that she limped from the wound.
The dyer’s daughter now turned her attention to the task of confirming the supreme pontiff in his purpose to return to Rome and counteract the machinations of the cardinals against its execution. Seeing her desire realized, she started back for Italy and, met by her mother at Leghorn, went on to Florence, carrying a commission from the pope. Her effort to induce the city to bow to the sentence of interdict, which had been laid upon it, was in a measure successful. Her reverence for the papal office demanded passive obedience. Gregory’s successor, Urban VI., lifted the ban. Catherine then returned to Siena where she dictated the Dialogue, a mystical treatise inculcating prayer, obedience, discretion and other virtues. Catherine declared that God alone had been her guide in its composition.
In the difficulties, which arose soon after Urban’s election, that pontiff looked to Siena and called its distinguished daughter to Rome. They had met in Avignon. Accompanied by her mother and other companions, she reached the holy city in the Autumn of 1378. They occupied a house by themselves and lived upon alms.368 Her summons to Urban "to battle only with the weapons of repentance, prayer, virtue and love" were not heeded. Her presence, however, had a beneficent influence, and on one occasion, when the mob raged and poured into the Vatican, she appeared as a peacemaker, and the sight of her face and her words quieted the tumult.
She died lying on boards, April 29, 1380. To her companions standing at her side, she said: "Dear children, let not my death sadden you, rather rejoice to think that I am leaving a place of many sufferings to go to rest in the quiet sea, the eternal God, and to be united forever with my most sweet and loving Bridegroom. And I promise to be with you more and to be more useful to you, since I leave darkness to pass into the true and everlasting light." Again and again she whispered, "I have sinned, O Lord; be merciful to me." She prayed for Urban, for the whole Church and for her companions, and then she departed, repeating the words, "Into thy hands I commit my spirit."
At the time of her death Catherine of Siena was not yet thirty-three years old. A magnificent funeral was ordered by Urban. A year after, her head, enclosed in a reliquary, was sent to her native Siena, and in 1461 she was canonized by the city’s famous son, pope Pius II., who uttered the high praise "that none ever approached her without going away better." In 1865 when Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome was reopened, her ashes were carried through the streets, the silver urn containing them being borne by four bishops. Lamps are kept ever burning at the altar dedicated to her in the church. In 1866 Pius IX. elevated the dyer’s daughter to the dignity of patron saint and protectress of Rome, a dignity she shares with the prince of the Apostles. With Petrarch she had been the most ardent advocate of its claims as the papal residence, and her zeal was exclusively religious.
In her correspondence and Dialogue we have the biography of Catherine’s soul. Nearly four hundred of her letters are extant.369 Not only have they a place of eminence as the revelations of a saintly woman’s thoughts and inner life, but are, next to the letters written by Petrarch, the chief specimens of epistolary literature of the fourteenth century. She wrote to persons of all classes, to her mother, the recluse in the cloister, her confessor, Raymund of Capua, to men and women addicted to the pleasures of the world, to the magistrates of cities, queens and kings, to cardinals, and to the popes, Gregory XI. and Urban VI., gave words of counsel, set forth at length measures and motives of action, used the terms of entreaty and admonition, and did not hesitate to employ threats of divine judgment, as in writing to the Queen of Naples. They abound in wise counsels.
The correspondence shows that Catherine had some acquaintance with the New Testament from which she quotes the greater precepts and draws descriptions from the miracle of the water changed into wine and the expulsion of the moneychangers from the temple and such parables as the ten virgins and the marriage-feast. One of her most frequent expressions is the blood of Christ, and in truly mystical or conventual manner she bids her correspondents, even the pope and the cardinals, bathe and drown and inebriate themselves in it, yea, to clothe and fill themselves with it, "for Christ did not buy us with gold or silver or pearls or other precious stones, but with his own precious blood."370
To Catherine the religious life was a subjection of the will to the will of God and the outgoing of the soul in exercises of prayer and the practice of love. "I want you to wholly destroy your own will that it may cling to Christ crucified." So she wrote to a mother bereft of her children. Writing to the recluse, Bartolomea della Seta, she represented the Saviour as saying, "Sin and virtue consist in the consent of the will, there is no sin or virtue unless voluntarily wrought."
To another she wrote, "I have already seen many penitents who have been neither patient nor obedient because they have studied to kill their bodies but not their wills."371
Her sound religious philosophy showed itself in insisting again and again that outward discipline is not the only or always the best way to secure the victory of the spirit. If the body is weak or fallen into illness, the rule of discretion sets aside the exercises of bodily discipline. She wrote, "Not only should fasting be abandoned but flesh be eaten and, if once a day is not enough, then four times a day." Again and again she treats of penance as an instrument. "The little good of penance may hinder the greater good of inward piety. Penance cuts off," so she wrote in a remarkable letter to Sister Daniella of Orvieto, "yet thou wilt always find the root in thee, ready to sprout again, but virtue pulls up by the root."
Monastic as Catherine was, yet no evangelical guide-book could write more truly than she did in most particulars. And at no point does this noble woman rise higher than when she declined to make her own states the standard for others, and condemned those "who, indiscreetly, want to measure all bodies by one and the same measure, the measure by which they measure themselves." Writing to her niece, Nanna Benincasa, she compared the heart to a lamp, wide above and narrow below. A bride of Christ must have lamp and oil and light. The heart should be wide above, filled with holy thoughts and prayer, bearing in memory the blessings of God, especially the blessing of the blood by which we are bought. And like a lamp, it should be narrow below, "not loving or desiring earthly things in excess nor hungering for more than God wills to give us."
To the Christian virtues of prayer and love she continually returns. Christian love is compared to the sea, peaceful and profound as God Himself, for "God is love." This passage throws light upon the unsearchable mystery of the Incarnate Word who, constrained by love, gave Himself up in all humility. We love because we are loved. He loves of grace, and we love Him of duty because we are bound to do so; and to show our love to Him we ought to serve and love every rational creature and extend our love to good and bad, to all kinds of people, as much to one who does us ill as to one who serves us, for God is no respecter of persons, and His charity extends to just men and sinners. Peter’s love before Pentecost was sweet but not strong. After Pentecost he loved as a son, bearing all tribulations with patience. So we, too, if we remain in vigil and continual prayer and tarry ten days, shall receive the plenitude of the Spirit. More than once in her letters to Gregory, she bursts out into a eulogy of love as the remedy for all evils. "The soul cannot live without love," she wrote in the Dialogue, "but must always love something, for it was created through love. Affection moves the understanding, as it were, saying, ’I want to love, for the food wherewith I am fed is love.’ "372
Such directions as these render Catherine’s letters a valuable manual of religious devotion, especially to those who are on their guard against being carried away by the underlying quietistic tone. Not only do they have a high place as the revelation of a pious woman’s soul. They deal with unconcealed boldness and candor with the low conditions into which the Church was fallen. Popes are called upon to institute reforms in the appointment of clergymen and to correct abuses in other directions. As for the pacification of the Tuscan cities, a cause which lay so close to Catherine’s heart, she urged the pontiff to use the measures of peace and not of war, to deal as a father would deal with a rebellious son,—to put into practice clemency, not the pride of authority. Then the very wolves would nestle in his bosom like lambs.373
As for the pope’s return to Rome, she urged it as a duty he owed to God who had made him His vicar. In view of the opposition on the Rhone, almost holding him as by physical force, she called upon him to "play the man," "to be a manly man, free from fear and fleshly love towards himself or towards any creature related to him by kin," "to be stable in his resolution and to believe and trust in Christ in spite of all predictions of the evil to follow his return to Rome."374 To this impassioned Tuscan woman, the appointment of unworthy shepherds and bad rectors was responsible for the rebellion against papal authority, shepherds who, consumed by self-love, far from dragging Christ’s sheep away from the wolves, devoured the very sheep themselves. It was because they did not follow the true Shepherd who has given His life for the sheep. Likening the Church to a garden, she invoked the pope to uproot the malodorous plants full of avarice, impurity and pride, to throw them away that the bad priests and rulers who poison the garden might no longer have rule. To Urban VI. she addressed burning words of condemnation. "Your sons nourish themselves on the wealth they receive by ministering the blood of Christ, and are not ashamed of being money-changers. In their great avarice they commit simonies, buying benefices with gifts or flatteries or gold." And to the papal legate of Bologna, Cardinal d’Estaing, she wrote, "make the holy father consider the loss of souls more than the loss of cities, for God demands souls."
The stress Catherine laid upon the pope’s responsibility to God and her passionate reproof of an unworthy and hireling ministry, inclined some to give her a place among the heralds of the Protestant Reformation. Flacius Illyricus included her in the list of his witnesses for the truth—Catalogus testium veritatis.375 With burning warmth she spoke of a thorough-going reformation which was to come upon the Church. "The bride, now all deformed and clothed in rags," she exclaimed, "will then gleam with beauty and jewels, and be crowned with the diadem of all virtues. All believing nations will rejoice to have excellent shepherds, and the unbelieving world, attracted by her glory, will be converted unto her." Infidel peoples would be brought into the Catholic fold,—ovile catholicum,—and be converted unto the true pastor and bishop of souls. But Catherine, admirable as these sentiments were, moved within the limits of the mediaeval Church. She placed piety back of penitential exercises in love and prayer and patience, but she never passed beyond the ascetic and conventual conception of the Christian life into the open air of liberty through faith. She had the spirit of Savonarola, the spirit of fiery self-sacrifice for the well-being of her people and the regeneration of Christendom, but she did not see beyond the tradition of the past. Living a hundred years and more before the Florentine prophet, she was excelled by none in her own age and approached by none of her own nation in the century between her and Savonarola, in passionate effort to save her people and help spread righteousness. Hers was the voice of the prophet, crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."
In recalling the women of the century from 1350 to 1450, the mind easily associates together Catherine of Siena and Joan of Arc, 1411–1431, one the passionate advocate of the Church, the other of the national honor of France. The Maid of Orleans, born of peasant parentage, was only twenty when she was burnt at the stake on the streets of Rouen, 1431. Differing from her Italian sister by comeliness of form and robustness of constitution, she also, as she thought, was the subject of angelic communications and divine guidance. Her unselfish devotion to her country at first brought it victory, but, at last, to her capture and death. Her trial by the English on the charges of heresy and sorcery and her execution are a dark sheet among the pages of her century’s history. Twenty-five years after her death, the pope revoked the sentence, and the French heroine, whose standard was embroidered with lilies and adorned with pictures of the creation and the annunciation, was beatified, 1909, and now awaits the crown of canonization from Rome. The exalted passion of these two women, widely as they differ in methods and ideals and in the close of their careers, diffuses a bright light over the selfish pursuits of their time, and makes the aims of many of its courts look low and grovelling.
§ 22. Peter d’Ailly, Ecclesiastical Statesman.
One of the most prominent figures in the negotiations for the healing of the papal schism, as well as one of the foremost personages of his age, was Peter d’Ailly, born in Compiegne 1350, died in Avignon 1420. His eloquence, which reminds us of Bossuet and other French orators of the court of Louis XIV., won for him the title of the Eagle of France—aquila Francia.376
In 1372 he entered the College of Navarre as a theological student, prepared a commentary on the Sentences of the Lombard three years later, and in 1380 reached the theological doctorate. He at once became involved in the measures for the healing of the schism, and in 1381 delivered a celebrated address in the name of the university before the French regent, the duke of Anjou, to win the court for the policy of settling the papal controversy through a general council. His appeal not meeting with favor, he retired to Noyon, from which he wrote a letter purporting to come from the devil, a satire based on the continuance of the schism, in which the prince of darkness called upon his friends and vassals, the prelates, to follow his example in promoting division in the Church. He warned them as their overlord that the holding of a council might result in establishing peace and so bring eternal shame upon them. He urged them to continue to make the Church a house of merchandise and to be careful to tithe anise and cummin, to make broad the borders of their garments and in every other way to do as he had given them an example.377
In 1384 D’Ailly was made head of the College of Navarre, where he had Gerson for a pupil, and in 1389 chancellor of the university.
When Benedict XIII. was chosen successor to Clement VII., he was sent by the French king on a confidential mission to Avignon. Benedict won his allegiance and appointed him successively bishop of Puy, 1395, and bishop of Cambray, 1397. D’Ailly was with Benedict at Genoa, 1405, and Savona, 1407, but by that time seems to have come to the conclusion that Benedict was not sincere in his profession of readiness to resign, and returned to Cambray. In his absence Cambray had decided for the subtraction of its allegiance from Avignon. D’Ailly was seized and taken to Paris, but protected by the king, who was his friend. Thenceforth he favored the assemblage of a general council.
At Pisa and at Constance, D’Ailly took the position that a general council is superior to the pope and may depose him. Made a cardinal by John XXIII., 1411, he attended the council held at Rome the following year and in vain tried to have a reform of the calendar put through. At Constance, he took the position that the Pisan council? though it was called by the Spirit and represented the Church universal, might have erred, as did other councils reputed to be general councils. He declared that the three synods of Pisa, Rome and Constance, though not one body, yet were virtually one, even as the stream of the Rhine at different points is one and the same. It was not necessary, so he held, for the Council of Constance to pass acts confirming the Council of Pisa, for the two were on a par.378
In the proceedings against John XXIII., the cardinal took sides against him. He was the head of the commission which tried Huss in matters of faith, June 7, 8, 1415, and was present when the sentence of death was passed upon that Reformer. At the close of the council he appears as one of the three candidates for the office of pope, and his defeat was a disappointment to the French.379 He was appointed legate by Martin V., with his residence at Avignon, and spent his last days there.
D’Ailly followed Ockam as a nominalist. To his writings in the departments of philosophy, theology and Church government he added works on astronomy and geography and a much-read commentary on Aristotle’s meteorology.380 His work on geography, The Picture of the World,—imago mundi,—written 1410, was a favorite book with Columbus. A printed copy of it containing marginal notes in the navigator’s own hand is preserved in the biblioteca Colombina, Seville. This copy he probably had with him on his third journey to America, for, in writing from Hayti, 1498, he quoted at length the eighth chapter. Leaning chiefly upon Roger Bacon, the author represented the coast of India or Cathay as stretching far in the direction of Europe, so that, in a favorable wind, a ship sailing westwards would reach it in a few days. This idea was in the air, but it is possible that it was first impressed upon the mind of the discoverer of the New World by the reading of D’Ailly’s work. Humboldt was the first to show its value for the history of discovery.381
§ 23. John Gerson, Theologian and Church Leader.
In John Gerson, 1363–1429, we have the most attractive and the most influential theological leader of the first half of the fifteenth century. He was intimately identified with the University of Paris as professor and as its chancellor in the period of its most extensive influence in Europe. His voice carried great weight in the settlement of the questions rising out of the papal schism.
Jean Charlier Gerson, born Dec. 14, 1363, in the village of Gerson, in the diocese of Rheims, was the oldest of twelve children. In a letter to him still extant,382 his mother, a godly woman, pours out her heart in the prayer that her children may live in unity with each other and with God. Two of John’s brothers became ecclesiastics. In 1377 Gerson went to Paris, entering the College of Navarre. This college was founded by Johanna, queen of Navarre, 1304, who provided for 3 departments, the arts with 20 students, philosophy with 30 and theology with 20 students. Provision was made also for their support, 4 Paris sous weekly for the artists, 6 for the logicians and 8 for the theologians. These allowances were to continue until the graduates held benefices of the value respectively of 30, 40 and 60 pounds. The regulations allowed the theological students a fire, daily, from November to March after dinner and supper for one half-hour. The luxury of benches was forbidden by a commission appointed by Urban V. in 1366. On the festival days, the theologians were expected to deliver a collation to their fellow-students of the three classes. The rector at the head of the college, originally appointed by the faculty of the university, was now appointed by the king’s confessor. The students wore a special dress and the tonsure, spoke Latin amongst themselves and ate in common.
Gerson, perhaps the most distinguished name the University of Paris has on its list of students, was a faithful and enthusiastic son of his alma mater, calling her "his mother," "the mother of the light of the holy Church," "the nurse of all that is wise and good in Christendom," "a prototype of the heavenly Jerusalem," "the fountain of knowledge, the lamp of our faith, the beauty and ornament of France, yea, of the whole world."383
In 1382, at the age of nineteen, he passed into the theological department, and a year later came under the guidance of D’Ailly, the newly appointed rector, remaining under him for seven years. Gerson was already a marked man, and was chosen in 1383 procurator of the French "nation," and in 1387 one of the delegation to appear before Clement VII. and argue the case against John of Montson. This Dominican, who had been condemned for denying the immaculate conception of Mary, refused to recant on the plea that in being condemned Thomas Aquinas was condemned, and he appealed to the pope. The University of Paris took up the case, and D’Ailly in two addresses before the papal consistory took the ground that Thomas, though a saint, was not infallible. The case went against De Montson; and the Dominicans, who refused to bow to the decision, left the university and did not return till 1403.
Gerson advocated Mary’s exemption from original as well as actual sin, and made a distinction between her and Christ, Christ being exempt by nature, and Mary—domina nostra — by an act of divine grace. This doctrine, he said, cannot be immediately derived from the Scriptures,384 but, as the Apostles knew more than the prophets, so the Church teachers know some things the Apostles did not know.
At D’Ailly’s promotion to the episcopate, 1395, his pupil fell heir to both his offices, the offices of professor of theology and chancellor of the university. In the discussion over the healing of the schism in which the university took the leading part, he occupied a place of first prominence, and by tracts, sermons and public memorials directed the opinion of the Church in this pressing matter. The premise from which he started out was that the peace of the Church is an essential condition to the fulfilment of its mission. This view he set forth in a famous sermon, preached in 1404 at Tarascon before Benedict XIII. and the duke of Orleans. Princes and prelates, he declared, both owe obedience to law. The end for which the Church was constituted is the peace and well-being of men. All Church authority is established to subserve the interests of peace. Peace is so great a boon that all should be ready to renounce dignities and position for it. Did not Christ suffer shame? Better for a while to be without a pope than that the Church should observe the canons and not have peace, for there can be salvation where there is no pope.385 A general council should be convened, and it was pious to believe that in the treatment of the schism it would not err—pium est credere non erraret. As Schwab has said, no one had ever preached in the same way to a pope before. The sermon caused a sensation.
Gerson, though not present at the council of Pisa, contributed to its discussions by his important tracts on the Unity of the Church—De unitate ecclesiastica — and the Removal of a Pope—De auferbilitate papae ab ecclesia. The views set forth were that Christ is the head of the Church, and its monarchical constitution is unchangeable. There must be one pope, not several, and the bishops are not equal in authority with him. As the pope may separate himself from the Church, so the Church may separate itself from the pope. Such action might be required by considerations of self-defence. The papal office is of God, and yet the pope may be deposed even by a council called without his consent. All Church offices and officials exist for the good of the Church, that is, for the sake of peace which comes through the exercise of love. If a pope has a right to defend himself against, say, the charge of unchastity, why should not the Church have a like right to defend itself? A council acts under the immediate authority of Christ and His laws. The council may pronounce against a pope by virtue of the power of the keys which is given not only to one but to the body—unitati. Aristotle declared that the body has the right, if necessary, to depose its prince. So may the council, and whoso rejects a council of the Church rejects God who directs its action. A pope may be deposed for heresy and schism, as, for example, if he did not bend the knee before the sacrament, and he might be deposed when no personal guilt was chargeable against him, as in the case already referred to, when he was a captive of the Saracens and was reported dead.
At the Council of Constance, where Gerson spoke as the delegate of the French king, he advocated these positions again and again with his voice, as in his address March 23, 1415, and in a second address July 21, when he defended the decree which the synod had passed at its fifth session. He reasserted that the pope may be forced to abdicate, that general councils are above the popes and that infallibility only belongs to the Church as a body or its highest representative, a general council.386
A blot rests upon Gerson’s name for the active part he took in the condemnation of John Huss. He was not above his age, and using the language of Innocent III. called heresy a cancer.387 He declares that he was as zealous in the proceedings against Huss and Wyclif as any one could be.388 He pronounced the nineteen errors drawn from Huss’ work on the Church "notoriously heretical." Heresy, he declared, if it is obstinate, must be destroyed even by the death of its professors.389 He denied Huss’ fundamental position that nothing is to be accepted as divine truth which is not found in Scripture. Gerson also condemned the appeal to conscience, explicitly assuming the old position of Church authority and canon law as final. The opinions of an individual, however learned he may be in the Scriptures, have no weight before the judgment of a council.390
In the controversy over the withdrawal of the cup from the laity, involved in the Bohemian heresy, Gerson also took an extreme position, defending it by arguments which seem to us altogether unworthy of a genuine theology. In a tract on the subject he declared that, though some passages of Scripture and of the Fathers favored the distribution of both wine and bread, they do not contain a definite command, and in the cases where an explicit command is given it must be understood as applying to the priests who are obliged to commune under both kinds so as to fully represent Christ’s sufferings and death. But this is not required of the laity who commune for the sake of the effect of Christ’s death and not to set it forth. Christ commanded only the Apostles to partake of both kinds.391 The custom of lay communion was never universal, as is proved by Acts 2:42, 46. The essence of the sacrament of the body and blood is more important than the elements, John 6:54. But the whole Christ is in either element, and, if some of the doctors take a different view, the Church’s doctrine is to be followed, and not they. From time immemorial the Church has given the communion only in one form. The Council of Constance was right in deciding that only a single element is necessary to a saving participation in the sacrament. The Church may make changes in the outward observance when the change does not touch the essence of the right in question. The use of the two elements, once profitable, is now unprofitable and heretical.
To these statements Gerson added practical considerations against the distribution of the cup to laymen, such as the danger of spilling the wine, of soiling the vessels from the long beards of laymen, of having the wine turn to vinegar, if it be preserved for the sick and so it cease to be the blood of Christ—et ita desineret esse sanguis Christi — and from the impossibility of consecrating in one vessel enough for 10,000 to 20,000 communicants, as at Easter time may be necessary. Another danger was the encouragement such a practice would give to the notions that priest and layman are equal, and that the chief value of the sacrament lies in the participation and not in the consecration of the elements.392 Such are some of the "scandals" which this renowned teacher ascribed to the distribution of the cup to the laity.
A subject on which Gerson devoted a great deal of energy for many years was whether the murder of tyrants or of a traitorous vassal is justifiable or not. He advocated the negative side of the case, which he failed to win before the Council of Constance. The question grew out of the treatment of the half-insane French king, Charles VI. (1880–1422), and the attempt of different factions to get control of the government.
On Nov. 28, 1407, the king’s cousin, Louis, duke of Orleans, was murdered at the command of the king’s uncle, John, duke of Burgundy. The duke’s act was defended by the Franciscan and Paris professor, John Petit,—Johannes Parvus,—in an address delivered before the king March 8, 1408. Gerson, who at an earlier time seems to have advocated the murder of tyrants, answered Petit in a public address, and called upon the king to suppress Petit’s nine propositions.393 The University of Paris made Gerson’s cause its own. Petit died in 1411, but the controversy went on. Petit’s theory was this, that every vassal plotting against his lord is deserving of death in soul and body. He is a tyrant, and according to the laws of nature and God any one has the right to put him out of the way. The higher such a person is in rank, the more meritorious is the deed. He based his argument upon Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, Aristotle, Cicero and other writers, and referred to Moses, Zambri and St. Michael who cast Lucifer out of heaven, and other examples. The duke of Orleans was guilty of treason against the king, and the duke of Burgundy was justified in killing him.
The bishop of Paris, supported by a commission of the Inquisition and at the king’s direction, condemned Petit and his views. In February, 1414, Gerson made a public address defending the condemnation, and two days later articles taken from Petit’s work were burnt in front of Notre Dame. The king ratified the bishop’s judgment, and the duke of Burgundy appealed the case to Rome.394
The case was now transferred to the council, which at its fifteenth session, July 6, 1415, passed a compromise measure condemning the doctrine that a tyrant, in the absence of a judicial sentence, may and ought to be put to death by any subject whatever, even by the use of treacherous means, and in the face of an oath without committing perjury. Petit was not mentioned by name. It was this negative and timid action, which led Gerson to say that if Huss had had a defender, he would not have been found guilty. It was rumored that the commission which was appointed to bring in a report, by sixty-one out of eighty votes, decided for the permissibility of Petit’s articles declaring that Peter meant to kill the high priest’s servant, and that, if he had known Judas’ thoughts at the Last Supper, he would have been justified in killing him. The duke of Burgundy’s gold is said to have been freely used.395 The party led by the bishop of Arras argued that the tyrant who takes the sword is to be punished with the sword. Gerson, who was supported by D’Ailly replied that then the command "thou shalt not kill" would only forbid such an act as murder, if there was coupled with it an inspired gloss, "without judicial authority." The command means, "thou shalt not kill the innocent, or kill out of revenge." Gerson pressed the matter for the last time in an address delivered before the council, Jan. 17, 1417, but the council refused to go beyond the decree of the fifteenth session.
The duke of Burgundy got possession of Paris in 1418, and Gerson found the doors of France closed to him. Under the protection of the duke of Bavaria he found refuge at Rattenberg and later in Austria. On the assassination of the duke of Burgundy himself, with the connivance of the dauphin, Sept. 10, 1419, he returned to France, but not to Paris. He went to Lyons, where his brother John was, and spent his last years there in monastic seclusion. The dauphin is said to have granted him 200 livres in 1420 in recognition of his services to the crown.
It remains to speak of Gerson as a theologian, a preacher and a patriot.
In the department of theology proper Gerson has a place among the mystics.396 Mysticism he defines as "the art of love," the "perception of God through experience." Such experience is reached by humility and penance more than through the path of speculation. The contemplative life is most desirable, but, following Christ’s example, contemplation must be combined with action. The contemplation of God consists of knowledge as taught in John 17:3, "This is life eternal, to know Thee and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." Such knowledge is mingled with love. The soul is one with God through love. His mysticism was based, on the one hand, on the study of the Scriptures and, on the other, on the study of Bonaventura and the St. Victors. He wrote a special treatise in praise of Bonaventura and his mystical writings. Far from having any conscious affinity with the German mystics, he wrote against John of Ruysbroeck and Ruysbroeck’s pupil, John of Schönhofen, charging them with pantheism.
While Gerson emphasized the religious feelings, he was far from being a religious visionary and wrote treatises against the dangers of delusion from dreams and revelations. As coins must be tested by their weight, hardness, color, shape and stamp, so visions are to be tested by the humility and honesty of those who profess to have them and their readiness to teach and be taught. He commended the monk who, when some one offered to show him a figure like Christ, replied, "I do not want to see Christ on the earth. I am contented to wait till I see him in heaven."
When the negotiations were going on at the Council of Constance for the confirmation of the canonization of St. Brigitta, Gerson laid down the principle that, if visions reveal what is already in the Scriptures,397 then they are false, for God does not repeat Himself, Job 33:14. People have itching ears for revelations because they do not study the Bible. Later he warned398 against the revelations of women, as women are more open to deception than men.
The Scriptures, Gerson taught, are the Church’s rule and guide to the end of the world. If a single statement should be proved false, then the whole volume is false, for the Holy Spirit is author of the whole. The letter of the text, however, is not sufficient to determine their meaning, as is proved from the translations of the Waldenses, Beghards and other secretaries.399 The text needs the authority of the Church, as Augustine indicated when he said, "I would not believe the Gospel if the authority of the Church did not compel me."
Great as Gerson’s services were in other departments, it was, to follow his sympathetic and scholarly biographer, Schwab, from the pulpit that he exercised most influence on his generation.400 He preached in French as well as Latin, and his sermons had, for the most part, a practical intent, being occupied with ethical themes such as pride, idleness, anger, the commandments of the Decalogue, the marital state. He held that the ordinary priest should confine himself to a simple explanation of the Decalogue, the greater sins and the articles of faith.
During the last ten years of his life, spent in seclusion at Lyons, he continued his literary activity, writing more particularly in the vein of mystical theology. His last work was on the Canticles.
The tradition runs that the great teacher in his last years conducted a catechetical school for children in St. Paul’s at Lyons, and that he taught them to offer for himself the daily prayer, "God, my creator, have pity upon Thy poor servant, Jean Gerson"—Mon Dieu, mon Createur, ayez pitié de vostre pauvre serviteur, Jean Gerson.401 It was for young boys and perhaps for boys spending their first years in the university that he wrote his tractate entitled Leading Children to Christ.402 It opens with an exposition of the words, "Suffer little children to come unto me" and proceeds to show how much more seemly it is to offer to God our best in youth than the dregs of sickly old age. The author takes up the sins children should be admonished to avoid, especially unchastity, and holds up to reprobation the principle that vice is venial if it is kept secret, the principle expressed in the words si non caste tamen caute.
In a threefold work, giving a brief exposition of the Ten Commandments, a statement of the seven mortal sins and some short meditations on death and the way to meet it, Gerson gives a sort of catechism, although it is not thrown into the form of questions and answers. As the author states, it was intended for the benefit of poorly instructed curates who heard confessions, for parents who had children to instruct, for persons not interested in the public services of worship and for those who had the care of the sick in hospitals.403
The title, most Christian doctor—doctor christianissimus — given to John Gerson is intended to emphasize the evangelical temper of his teaching. To a clear intellect, he added warm religious fervor. With a love for the Church, which it would be hard to find excelled, he magnified the body of Christian people as possessing the mind and immediate guidance of Christ and threw himself into the advocacy of the principle that the judgment of Christendom, as expressed in a general council, is the final authority of religious matters on the earth.
He opposed some of the superstitions inherited from another time. He emphasized the authority of the sacred text. In these views as in others he was in sympathy with the progressive spirit of his age. But he stopped short of the principles of the Reformers. He knew nothing of the principles of individual sovereignty and the rights of conscience. His thinking moved along churchly lines. He had none of the bold original thought of Wyclif and little of that spirit which sets itself against the current errors of the times in which we live. His vote for Huss’ burning proves sufficiently that the light of the new age had not dawned upon his mind. He was not, like them, a forerunner of the movement of the sixteenth century.
The chief principle for which Gerson contended, the supremacy of general councils, met with defeat soon after the great chancellor’s death, and was set aside by popes and later by the judgment of a general council. His writings, however, which were frequently published remain the chief literary monuments in the department of theology of the first half of the fourteenth century.404 Separated from the Schoolmen in spirit and method, he stands almost in a class by himself, the most eminent theologian of his century. This judgment is an extension of the judgment of the eminent German abbot and writer, Trithemius, at the close of the fifteenth century: "He was by far the chief divine of his age"405 Theologorum sui temporis longe princeps.
§ 24. Nicolas of Clamanges, the Moralist.
The third of the great luminaries who gave fame to the University of Paris in this period, Nicolas Poillevillain de Clamanges, was born at Clamengis,406 Champagne, about 1367 and died in Paris about 1437. Shy by nature, he took a less prominent part in the settlement of the great questions of the age than his contemporaries, D’Ailly and Gerson. Like them, he was identified with the discussions called forth by the schism, and is distinguished for the high value he put on the study of the Scriptures and his sharp exposition of the corruption of the clergy. He entered the College of Navarre at twelve, and had D’Ailly and Gerson for his teachers. In theology he did not go beyond the baccalaureate. It is probable he was chosen rector of the university 1393. With Peter of Monsterolio, he was the chief classical scholar of the university and was able to write that in Paris, Virgil, Terence and Cicero were often read in public and in private.407
In 1394, Clamanges took a prominent part in preparing the paper, setting forth the conclusions of the university in regard to the healing of the schism.408 It was addressed to the "most Christian king, Charles VI., most zealous of religious orthodoxy by his daughter, the university." This, the famous document suggesting the three ways of healing the schism,—by abdication, arbitration and by a general council,—is characterized by firmness and moderation, two of the elements prominent in Clamanges’ character. It pronounced the schism pestiferous, and in answer to the question who would give the council its authority, it answered: "The communion of all the faithful will give it; Christ will give it, who said: ’Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.’ "
The Paris professor was one of the men whom the keen-eyed Peter de Luna picked out, and when he was elected pope, Clamanges supported him and wrote appealing to him, as the one who no longer occupied the position of one boatman among others, but stood at the rudder of the ship, to act in the interest of all Christendom. He was called as secretary to the Avignon court, but became weary of the commotion and the vices of the palace and the town.409 In 1406, he seems to have withdrawn from Benedict at Genoa and retired to Langres, where he held a canon’s stall. He did not, however, break with the pope, and, when Benedict in 1408 issued the bull threatening the French court with excommunication, Clamanges was charged with being its author. He denied the charge, but the accusation of want of patriotism had made a strong impression, and he withdrew to the Carthusian convent, Valprofonds, and later to Fontaine du Bosc. His seclusion he employed in writing letters and treatises and in the study of the Bible which he now expressed regret for having neglected in former years for classical studies.
To D’Ailly he wrote on the advantages of a secluded life.—De fructu eremi. In another tract—De fructu rerum adversarum — he presented the advantages of adversity. One of more importance complained of the abuse of the Lord’s Day and of the multiplication of festivals as taking the workman from his work while the interests of piety were not advanced. In still another tract—De studio theologico — addressed to a theologian at Paris who had inquired whether it was better for him to continue where he was or to retire to a pastorate, he emphasized the importance and delicacy of caring for souls, but advised the inquirer to remain at the university and to concern himself chiefly with the study of the Scriptures. He ascribed the Church’s decline to their neglect, and pronounced the mass, processionals and festivals as of no account unless the heart be purified by faith.
During the sessions of the Council of Constance, which he did not attend, Clamanges sent a letter to that body urging unity of thought and action. He expressed doubt whether general councils were always led by the Holy Spirit. The Church, which he defined as infallible, is only there where the Holy Spirit is, and where the Church is, can be only known to God Himself. In 1425 he returned to Paris and lectured on rhetoric and theology.
Clamanges’ reputation rests chiefly upon his sharp criticism of the corrupt morals of the clergy. His residence in Avignon gave him a good opportunity for observation. His tract on the prelates who were practising simony—De praesulibus simoniacis — is a commentary on the words, "But ye have made it a den of thieves," Matt. 21:13. A second tract on the downfall of the Church—De ruina ecclesiae — is one of the most noted writings of the age. Here are set forth the simony and private vices practised at Avignon where all things holy were prostituted for gold and luxury. Here is described the corruption of the clergy from the pope down to the lowest class of priests. The author found ideal conditions in the first century, when the minds of the clergy were wholly set on heavenly things. With possessions and power came avarice and ambition, pride and luxury. The popes themselves were guilty of pride in exalting their authority above that of the empire and by asserting for themselves the right of appointing all prelates, yea of filling all the benefices of Christendom. The evils arising from annates and expectances surpass the power of statement. The cardinals followed the popes in their greed and pride, single cardinals having as many as 500 livings. In order to perpetuate their "tyranny," pope and curia had entered into league with princes, which Clamanges pronounces an abominable fornication. Many of the bishops drew large incomes from their sees which they administered through others, never visiting them themselves. Canons and vicars followed the same course and divided their time between idleness and sensual pleasure. The mendicant monks corresponded to the Pharisees of the synagogue. Scarcely one cleric out of a thousand did what his profession demanded. They were steeped in ignorance and given to brawling, drinking, playing with dice and fornication. Priests bought the privilege of keeping concubines. As for the nuns, Clamanges said, he dared not speak of them. Nunneries were not the sanctuaries of God, but shameful brothels of Venus, resorts of unchaste and wanton youth for the sating of their passions, and for a girl to put on the veil was virtually to submit herself to prostitution.410 The Church was drunken with the lust of power, glory and pleasures. Judgment was sure to come, and men should bow humbly before God who alone could rectify the evils and put an end to the schism. Descriptions such as these must be used with discrimination, and it would be wrong to deduce from them that the entire clerical body was corrupt. The diseases, however, must have been deep-seated to call forth such a lament from a man of Clamanges’ position.
The author did not call to open battle like the German Reformer at a later time, but suggested as a remedy prayers, processions and fasts. His watchword was that the Church must humble itself before it can be rebuilt.411 It was, however, a bold utterance and forms an important part of that body of literature which so powerfully moulded opinion at the time of the Reformatory councils.
The loud complaints against the state of morals at the papal court and beyond during the Avignon period increased, if possible, in strength during the time of the schism. The list of abuses to be corrected which the Council of Constance issued, Oct. 30, 1417, includes the official offences of the curia, such as reservations, annates, the sale of indulgences and the unrestricted right of appeals to the papal court. The subject of chastity it remained for individual writers to press. In describing the third Babylon, Petrarch was even more severe than Clamanges who wrote of conditions as they existed nearly a century later and accused the papal household of practising adultery, rape and all manners of fornication.412ois, La vie en France au moyen âge d’après quelques moralistes du temps, Paris, 1908, pp. 320, 336, etc. Clamanges declared that many parishes insisted upon the priests keeping concubines as a precaution in defence of their own families. Against all canonical rules John XXIII. gave a dispensation to the illegitimate son of Henry IV. of England, who was only ten years old, to enter orders.413 The case of John XXIII. was an extreme one, but it must be remembered, that in Bologna where he was sent as cardinal-legate, his biographer, Dietrich of Nieheim, says that two hundred matrons and maidens, including some nuns, fell victims to the future pontiff’s amours. Dietrich Vrie in his History of the Council of Constance said: "The supreme pontiffs, as I know, are elected through avarice and simony and likewise the other bishops are ordained for gold. The old proverb; ’Freely give, for freely ye have received’ is now most vilely perverted and runs ’Freely I have not received and freely I will not give, for I have bought my bishopric with a great price and must indemnify myself impiously for my outlay.’ ... If Simon Magus were now alive he might buy with money not only the Holy Ghost but God the Father and Me, God the Son."414 But bad as was the moral condition of the hierarchy and papacy at the time of the schism, it was not so bad as during the last half century of the Middle Ages. The Reformatory councils are the best, though by no means the only, proof that a deep moral vitality existed in the Church. Their very summons and assembling were a protest against clerical corruption and hypocrisy "in head and members,"—from the pope down to the most obscure priest,—and at the same time a most hopeful sign of future betterment.
§ 25. Nicolas of Cusa, Scholar and Churchman.
Of the theologians of the generation following Gerson and D’Ailly none occupies a more conspicuous place than the German Nicolas of Cusa, 1401–1464. After taking a prominent part in the Basel council in its earlier history, he went into the service of Eugenius IV. and distinguished himself by practical efforts at Church reform and by writings in theology and other departments of human learning.
Born at Cues near Treves, the son of a boatman, he left the parental home on account of harsh treatment. Coming under the patronage of the count of Manderscheid, he went to Deventer, where he received training in the school conducted by the Brothers of the Common Life. He studied law in Padua, and reached the doctorate, but exchanged law for theology because, to follow the statement of his opponent, George of Heimburg, he had failed in his first case. At Padua he had for one of his teachers Cesarini, afterwards cardinal and a prominent figure in the Council of Basel.
In 1432 he appeared in Basel as the representative of Ulrich of Manderscheid, archbishop-elect of Treves, to advocate Ulrich’s cause against his rivals Rabanus of Helmstatt, bishop of Spires, whom the pope had appointed archbishop of the Treves diocese. Identifying himself closely with the conciliar body, Nicolas had a leading part in the proceedings with the Hussites and went with the majority in advocating the superiority of the council over the pope. His work on Catholic Unity,—De concordantia catholica,—embodying his views on this question and dedicated to the council 1433, followed the earlier treatments of Langenstein, Nieheim and Gerson. A general council, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, speaks truly and infallibly. The Church is the body of the faithful—unitas fidelium — and is represented in a general council. The pope derives his authority from the consent of the Church, a council has power to dethrone him for heresy and other causes and may not be prorogued or adjourned without its own consent. Peter received no more authority from Christ than the other Apostles. Whatever was said to Peter was likewise said to the others. All bishops are of equal authority and dignity, whether their jurisdiction be episcopal, archiepiscopal, patriarchal or papal, just as all presbyters are equal.415
In spite of these views, when the question arose as to the place of meeting the Greeks, Nicolas sided with the minority in favor of an Italian city, and was a member of the delegations appointed by the minority which visited Eugenius IV. at Bologna and went to Constantinople. This was in 1437 and from that time forward he was a ready servant of Eugenius and his two successors. Aeneas Sylvius, afterwards Pius II., called him the Hercules of the Eugenians. Aeneas also pronounced him a man notable for learning in all branches of knowledge and on account of his godly life.416
Eugenius employed his new supporter as legate to arrange terms of peace with the German Church and princes, an end he saw accomplished in the concordat of Vienna, 1447. He was rewarded by promotion to the college of cardinals, and in 1452 was made bishop of Brixen in the Tyrol. Here he sought to introduce Church reforms, and he travelled as the papal legate in the same interest throughout the larger part of Germany.
By attempting to assert all the mediaeval feoffal rights of his diocese, the bishop came into sharp conflict with Siegmund, duke of Austria. Even the interdict pronounced by two popes did not bring the duke to terms. He declared war against the bishop and, taking him prisoner, forced from him a promise to renounce the old rights which his predecessors for many years had not asserted. Once released, the bishop treated his oath as null, on the ground that it had been forced from him, and in this he was supported by Pius II. In 1460 he went to Rome and died at Todi, Umbria, a few years later.
Nicolas of Cusa knew Greek and Hebrew, and perhaps has claim to being the most universal scholar of Germany up to his day since Albertus Magnus. He was interested in astronomy, mathematics and botany, and, as D’Ailly had done before, he urged, at the Council of Basel, the correction of the calendar. The literary production on which he spent most labor was a discussion of the problems of theology—De docta ignorantia. Here he attacked the scholastic method and showed the influence upon his mind of mysticism, the atmosphere of which he breathed at Deventer. He laid stress upon the limitations of the human mind and the inability of the reason to find out God exhaustively. Faith, which he defined as a state of the soul given of God’s grace, finds out truths the intellect cannot attain to.417 His views had an influence upon Faber Stapulensis who edited the Cusan’s works and was himself a French forerunner of Luther in the doctrine of justification by faith.
His last labors, in connection with the crusade against the Turks pushed by Pius II., led him to studies in the Koran and the preparation of a tract,—De cribatione Alcoran,—in which he declared that false religions have the true religion as their basis.
It is as an ecclesiastical mediator, and as a reformer of clerical and conventual abuses that the cardinal has his chief place in history. He preached in the vernacular. In Bamberg he secured the prohibition of new brotherhoods, in Magdeburg the condemnation of the sale of indulgences for money. In Salzburg and other places he introduced reforms in convents, and in connection with other members of his family he founded the hospital at Cues with beds for 33 patients. He showed his interest in studies by providing for the training of 20 boys in Deventer. He dwelt upon the rotation of the earth on its axis nearly a century before Copernicus. He gave reasons for regarding the donation of Constantine spurious, and he also called in question the genuineness of other parts of the Isidorian Decretals.
On the other hand, the cardinal was a thorough churchman and obedient child of the Church. As the agent of Nicolas V. he travelled in Germany announcing the indulgence of the Jubilee Year, and through him, it is said, indulgences to the value of 200,000 gulden were sold for the repair of St. Peter’s.
This noble and many-sided man has been coupled together with Gutenberg by Janssen,—the able and learned apologist of the Catholic Church in the closing years of the Middle Ages,—the one as the champion of clerical and Church discipline, the other the inventor of the printing-press. It is no disparagement of the impulses and work of Nicolas to say that he had not the mission of the herald of a new age in thought and religion as it was given to Gutenberg to promote culture and civilization by his invention.418 He did not possess the gift of moral and doctrinal conviction and foresight which made the monk of Wittenberg the exponent and the herald of a radical, religious reformation whose permanent benefits are borne witness to by a large section of Christendom.
§ 26. Popular Preachers.
During the century and a half closing with 1450, there were local groups of preachers as well as isolated pulpit orators who exercised a deep influence upon congregations. The German mystics with Eckart and John Tauler at their head preached in Strassburg, Cologne and along the Rhine. D’Ailly and Gerson stood before select audiences, and give lustre to the French pulpit. Wyclif, at Oxford, and John Huss in Bohemia, attracted great attention by their sermons and brought down upon themselves ecclesiastical condemnation. Huss was one of a number of Bohemian preachers of eminence. Wyclif sought to promote preaching by sending out a special class of men, his "pore preachers."
The popular preachers constitute another group, though the period does not furnish one who can be brought into comparison with the field-preacher, Berthold of Regensburg, the Whitefield of his century, d. 1272. Among the popular preachers of the time the most famous were Bernardino and John of Capistrano, both Italians, and members of the Observant wing of the Franciscan order, and the Spanish Dominican, Vincent Ferrer. To a later age belong those bright pulpit luminaries, Savonarola of Florence and Geiler of Strassburg.
Bernardino of Siena, 1380–1444, was praised by Pius II. as a second Paul. He made a marked impression upon Italian audiences and was a favorite with pope Martin V. His voice, weak and indistinct at first, was said to have been made strong and clear through the grace of Mary, to whom he turned for help. He was the first vicar-general of the Observants, who numbered only a few congregations in Italy when he joined them, but increased greatly under his administration. In 1424 he was in Rome and, as Infessura the Roman diarist reports,419 so influenced the people that they brought their games and articles of adornment to the Capitol and made a bonfire of them. Wherever he went to preach, a banner was carried before him containing the monogram of Christ, IHS, with twelve rays centring in the letters. He urged priests to put the monogram on the walls of churches and public buildings, and such a monogram may still be seen on the city building of Siena.420 The Augustinians and Dominicans and also Poggio attacked him for this practice. In 1427, he appeared in Rome to answer the charges. He was acquitted by Martin V., who gave him permission to preach everywhere, and instructed him to hold an eighty-days’ mission in the papal city itself. In 1419, he appeared in the Lombard cities, where the people were carried away by his exhortations to repentance, and often burned their trinkets and games in the public squares. His body lies in Aquila, and he was canonized by Nicolas V., 1450.
John of Capistrano, 1386–1456, a lawyer, and at an early age intrusted with the administration of Perugia, joined the Observants in 1416 and became a pupil of Bernardino. He made a reputation as an inquisitor in Northern Italy, converting and burning heretics and Jews. No one could have excelled him in the ferocity of his zeal against heresy. His first appointment as inquisitor was made in 1426, and his fourth appointment 23 years later in 1449.421
As a leader of his order, he defended Bernardino in 1427, and was made vicar-general in 1443. He extended his preaching to Vienna and far up into Germany, from Nürnberg to Dresden, Leipzig, Magdeburg and Breslau, making everywhere a tremendous sensation. He used the Latin or Italian, which had to be interpreted to his audiences. These are reported to have numbered as many as thirty thousand.422 He carried relics of Bernardino with him, and through them and his own instrumentality many miracles were said to have been performed. His attendants made a note of the wonderful works on the spot.423 The spell of his preaching was shown by the burning of pointed shoes, games of cards, dice and other articles of pleasure or vanity. Thousands of heretics are also reported to have yielded to his persuasions. He was called by Pius II. to preach against the Hussites, and later against the Turks. He was present at the siege of Belgrade, and contributed to the successful defence of the city and the defeat of Mohammed II. He was canonized in 1690.
The life of Vincent Ferrer, d. 1419, the greatest of Spanish preachers, fell during the period of the papal schism, and he was intimately identified with the controversies it called forth. His name is also associated with the gift of tongues and with the sect of the Flagellants. This devoted missionary, born in Valencia, joined the Dominican order, and pursued his studies in the universities of Barcelona and Lerida. He won the doctorate of theology by his tract on the Modern Schism in the Church—De moderno ecclesiae schismate. Returning to Valencia, he gained fame as a preacher, and was appointed confessor to the queen of Aragon, Iolanthe, and counsellor to her husband, John I. In 1395, Benedict XIII. called him to be chief penitentiary in Avignon and master of the papal palace. Two years later he returned to Valencia with the title of papal legate. He at first defended the Avignon obedience with great warmth, but later, persuaded that Benedict was not sincere in his professions looking to the healing of the schism, withdrew from him his support and supported the Council of Constance.
Ferrer’s apostolic labors began in 1399. He itinerated through Spain, Northern Italy and France, preaching two and three times a day on the great themes of repentance and the nearness of the judgment. He has the reputation of being the most successful of missionaries among the Jews and Mohammedans. Twenty-five thousand Jews and eight thousand Mohammedans are said to have yielded to his persuasions. Able to speak only Spanish, his sermons, though they were not interpreted, are reported to have been understood in France and Italy. The gift of tongues was ascribed to him by his contemporaries as well as the gift of miracles. Priests and singers accompanied him on his tours, and some of the hymns sung were Vincent’s own compositions. His audiences are given as high as 70,000, an incredible number, and he is said to have preached twenty thousand times. He also preached to the Waldenses in their valleys and to the remnant of the Cathari, and is said to have made numerous converts. He himself was not above the suspicion of heresy, and Eymerich made the charge against him of declaring that Judas Iscariot hanged himself because the people would not permit him to live, and that he found pardon with God.424 He was canonized by Calixtus III., 1455. The tale is that Ferrer noticed this member of the Borgia family as a young priest in Valencia, and made the prediction that one day he would reach the highest office open to mortal man.425
On his itineraries Ferrer was also accompanied by bands of Flagellants. He himself joined in the flagellations, and the scourge with which he scourged himself daily, consisting of six thongs, is said still to be preserved in the Carthusian convent of Catalonia, scala coeli. Both Gerson and D’Ailly attacked Ferrer for his adoption of the Flagellant delusion. In a letter addressed to the Spanish preacher, written during the sessions of the Council of Constance, Gerson took the ground that both the Old Testament and the New Testament forbid violence done to the body, quoting in proof Deut. 14:1, "Ye shall not cut yourselves." He invited him to come to Constance, but the invitation was not accepted.426
* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.
351 Seeberg gives a good deal of attention to Biel in his Dogmengeschichte. Stöckl carries the history of scholasticism down to Cardinal Cajetan, who wrote a commentary on Thomas Aquinas’ Summatheologica, and includes the German mystics, Eck, Luther, etc., who clearly belong in another category. Professor Seth, in art. Scholasticism in the Enc. Brit., and Werner, close the history with Francis Suarez, 1617. The new age had begun a hundred years before that time.
352 Terminus prolatus vel scriptus nihil significat nisi secundum voluntariam institutionem. Ockam, as quoted by Stöckl, II. 962.
353 Chartul. II. 485. Also p. 507, etc.
354 Naturalis philosophiae non est scire quid Aristoteles vel alii philosophi senserunt sed quid habet veritas rerum, quoted by Deutsch, p. 97. Durandus’ commentary on the sentences of the Lombard was publ. Paris, 1508, 1515, etc. See Deutsch, art. Durandus, in Herzog, V. 95-104.
355 Schwab: J. Gerson, p. 312.
356 It lasted four years, Müller,Ludwig der Baier, p. 208.
357 Nullum universale est aliqua substantia extra animam existens, quoted by Seeberg, in Herzog, p. 269. Quoddam fictum existens objective in mente. Werner, 115. The expression objective in mente is equivalent to our word subjective.
358 Imperialis dignitas et potestas est immediate a solo Deo. Goldast, IV. 99, Frankf. ed. See also Dorner, p. 675.
359 Kropatscheck, p. 55 sq., Matt. 30:26 sqq. Clement VI. declared Ockam had sucked his political heresies from Marsiglius of Padua.
360 See Riezler, p. 273, and Seeberg, pp. 271, 278, Christianus de necessitate salutis non tenetur ad credendum nec credere quod nec in biblia continetur nec ex solis contentis in biblia potest consequentia necessaria et manifesta inferri.
361 Romana ecclesia est distincta a congregatione fidelium et potest contra fidem errare. Ecclesiae autem universalis errare non potest. See Kropatscheck p. 65 sqq., and also Dorner, p. 696.
362 See Werner, III. 120, who quotes Scaliger as saying of Ockam, omnium mortalium subtillissimus, cujus ingenium vetera subvertit, nova ad invictas insanias et incomprehensibiles subtilitates fabricavit et conformavit.
363 See Werner, D. hl. Thomas, III. 111; Harnack, Dogmengesch., III. 494; Seeberg, 276.
364 For example, Kropatscheck, especially p. 66 sqq., and Seeberg, p. 289.
365 Weimar, ed. VI. 183, 195, 600, as quoted by Seeberg.
366 Gardner, p. vii; Gregorovius, VI. 521 sqq.
367 Scudder, Letters, pp. 100, 121, 136, 179, 184, 234, etc.
368 Gardner, p. 298, says one of the two houses is still shown where they dwelt.
369 None of these are in her own hand, but six of them are originals as they were written down at her dictation. Gardner, p. xii., 373 sqq.
370 Letters, pp. 54, 65, 75, 110, 158, 164, 226, 263, 283, etc.
371 Letters, pp. 43, 162, 152, 149.
372 Scudder, Letters, pp. 81, 84, 126 sq.; Gardner, Life, p. 377.
373 Letters, p. 133.
374 Letters, pp. 66, 185, 232, etc.
375 Döllinger, Fables and Prophecies of the Middle Ages, p. 330, calls attention to the failure of Catherine’s predictions to reach fulfilment. "How little have these longings of the devout maiden of Siena been transformed into history!"
376 Tschackert, Salembier and Finke consider D’Ailly under the three aspects of theologian, philosopher and ecclesiastical diplomatist. Lenz and Bess emphasize the part he played as an advocate of French policy against England..
377 Epistola diaboli Leviathan. Tschackert gives the text, Appendix, pp. 15-21.
378 These judgments are expressed in the Capita agendorum, a sort of programme for the guidance of the council prepared by D’Ailly, 1414. Finke, Forschungen, pp. 102-132, has no doubt that they proceeded from D’Ailly’s pen, a view confirmed by MSS. in Vienna and Rome. Finke gives a résumé of the articles, the original of which is given by van der Hardt., II. 201 sqq. and Mansi, XXVII. 547.
379 Tschackert, p. 295.
380 Tschackert gives an estimate of D’Ailly’s writings, pp. 303-335.
381 See Fiske, Discovery of America, I. 372.
382 Schwab, p. 51.
383 Schwab, p. 59.
384 In scriptura sacra neque continetur explicite neque in contentis eadem educitur evidenter, Du Pin’s ed. III. 1350. For sermons on the conception, nativity and annunciation of the Virgin’ vol. III. 1317-1377. Also III. 941, and Du Pin’s Gersoniana, I. cviii. sq.
385 Potest absque papa mortali stare salus, Du Pin, II. 72. The Tarascon sermon is given by Du Pin Pin, II. 54-72. Schwab’s analysis, pp. 171-178.
386 See Schwab, pp. 520 sqq., 668.
387 In a sermon before the Council of Constance, Du Pin, II. 207.
388 Dialog. apologet., Du Pin, II. 387
389 Ad punitionem et exterminationem errantium, Du Pin, II. 277.
390 See Schwab, pp. 599, 601.
391 Contra heresin de communione laicorum sub utraque specie, Du Pin, I. 457-468. See Schwab, p. 604 sqq.
392 Quod virtus hujus sacramenti non principalius in consecratione quam in sumptione, Du Pin, I. 467.
393 Vol. V. of Gerson’s works is taken up with documents bearing on this subject. Gerson’s addresses, bearing upon it at Constance, are given in vol. II. See Schwab, p. 609 sqq., and Bess, Zur Geschichte, etc. The Chartularium, IV. 261-285, 325 sqq., gives the nine propositions in French, with Gerson’s reply, and other matter pertaining to the controversy.
394 Schwab, p. 620.
395 Mansi, XXVII. 765, Quilibet tyrannus potest et debet licite et meritorie occidi per quemcumque ... non expectata sententia vel mandato judicis cuiuscumque. For D’Ailly’s part, see Tschackert, pp. 235-247.
396 Gerson’s mysticism is presented in such tracts as De vita spirituali animae and De monte contemplationis, Du Pin, III. 1-77, 541-579.
397 In his De probatione spirituum, Du Pin, I. 37-43; and De distinctione verarum visionum a falsis, Du Pin, I. 43-59.
398 De examinatione doctrinarum. Du Pin, I. 7-22.
399 Si propositio aliqua J. scripturae posita assertive per auctorem suum, qui est Sp. sanctus, esset falsa. tota s. scripturae vacillaret auctoritas, quoted by Schwab, p. 314.
400 Gerson hatte seine einflussreiche Stellung vorzugsweise dem Rufe zu danken den er als Prediger genoss, Schwab, p. 376.
401 See Schwab, p. 773, who neither accepts nor rejects the tradition. Dr. Philip Schaff used to bring the last literary activity of President Theodore D. Wolsey, of Yale College, into comparison with the activity of Gerson. In his last years Dr. Wolsey wrote the expositions of the Sunday school lessons for the Sunday School Times.
402 De parvulis ad Christum trahendis, written according to Schwab, 1409-1412, Du Pin, III. 278-291.
403 Opusculum tripartitum: de preceptis decalogi, de confessione, et de arte moriendi, Du Pin, I., 425-450. Bess, in Herzog, VI. 615, calls it "the first catechism."
404 The first complete edition of Gerson’s writings appeared from the press of John Koelhoff. 4 vols. Cologne, 1483, 1484. The celebrated preacher, Geiler of Strassburg, edited a second edition 1488.
405 Schwab, p. 779, note.
406 The spelling given by Denifle in the Chartularium.
407 Chartul. III. pp. 5, xi. In the Chartularium Clamanges always appears as a member of the faculty of the arts, III. 606, etc.
408 Chartul., III 617-624.
409 Taedebat me vehementer curiae, taedebat turbae, taedebat tumultus, taedebat ambitionis et morum in plerisque vitiosorum, he wrote. Quoted by Knöpfler.
410 Quid aliud sunt hoc tempore puellarum monasteria, nisi quaedam, non dico Dei sanctuaria sed execranda prostibula Veneris ... ut idem hodie sit puellam velare quod ad publice scortandum exponere, Hardt, I. 38.
411 Eccles. prius humilianda quam erigenda. The authorship of the De ruina has been made a matter of dispute. Müntz denied it to Clamanges chiefly on the ground of its poor Latin and Knöpfler is inclined to follow him. On the other hand Schuberth and Schwab, followed somewhat hesitatingly by Bess, accept the traditional view, Schwab brings out the similarity between the De ruina and Clamanges’ other writings and takes the view that, while the tract was written in 1401 or 1402, it was not published till 1409.
412 Mitto stuprum, raptus, incestus, adulteria, qui jam pontificalis lasciviae ludi sunt, quoted by Lea. Sacerd. Celibacy, I. 426. Gillis li Muisis, abbot of St. Martin di Tournai, d. 1352, in the Recollections of his Life written a year before his death, speaks of good wines, a good table, fine attire and above all holidays as in his day the chief occupations of monks. Curés and chaplains had girls and women as valets, a troublesome habit over which there was murmuring, and it had to be kept quiet. See C. V. Lang
413 Jan. 16, 1412. Under the name of E. Leboorde. For the document, see English Historical Review, 1904, p. 96 sq.
414 Hardt, I. 104 sqq. The lament is put into the mouth of Christ.
415 John of Turrecremata, d. 1468, whose tract on the seat of authority in the Church—Summa de Eccles. et ejus auctoritate —1450 has already been referred to, took the extreme ultramontane position. The papal supremacy extends to all Christians throughout the world and includes the appointment of all bishops and right to depose them, the filling of all prelatures and benefices whatsoever and the canonizing of saints. As the vicar of Christ, he has full jurisdiction in all the earth in temporal as well as spiritual matters because all jurisdiction of secular princes is derived from the pope quod omnium principum saecularum jurisdictionalis potestas a papa in eos derivata sit. Quoted from Gieseler, III. 5, pp. 219-227.
416 Hist. of Fred. III., 409, Germ. transl. II. 227.
417 Fides est habitus bonus, per bonitatem data a deo, ut per fidem restaurentur illae veritates objectivae, quas intellectus attingere non potest, quoted by Schwane, p. 100.
418 Janssen, I. 2-6. Here we come for the first time into contact with this author whose work has gone through 20 editions and made such a remarkable sensation. Its conclusions and methods of treatment will be referred to at length farther on. Here it is sufficient to call attention to the seductive plausibility of the work, whose purpose it is to show that an orderly reformation was going on in the Church in Germany when Luther appeared and by his revolutionary and immoral tendency brutally rived the unity of the Church and checked the orderly reformation. Such a conclusion is a result of the manipulation of historic materials and the use of superlatives in describing men and influences which were like rills in the history of the onward progress of religion and civilization. The initial comparison between Gutenberg and Nicolas of Cusa begs the whole conclusion which Janssen had in view in writing his work. Of the permanent consequence of the work of the inventor of the printing-press, no one has any doubt. The author makes a great jump when he asserts a like permanent influence for Nicolas in the department of religion.
419 Diario, p. 25. For Bernardino, see Thureau-Dangin, St. Bernardin de Sienne. Un prédicateur populaire Paris, 1896. Several edd. of his sermons have appeared, including the ed. of Paris, 1650, 5 vols., by De la Haye.
420 See Pastor, I. 231-233.
421 Jacob, I. 30 sq. For John’s life, see E. Jacob, John of Capistrano. His Life and Writings, 2 vols., Breslau, 1906, 1907. Pastor, I. 463-468, 691-698; Lempp’s art. in Herzog, III. 713 sqq.; Lea, Inquisition, II 552 sqq.
422 Yea, 60,000 at Erfurt. Jacob, I. 74.
423 See Jacob, I. 50 sqq., etc. Aeneas Sylvius said he had not seen any of John’s miracles, but would not deny them. In Jena alone John healed thirty lame persons. Jacob, I. 69.
424 Lea: Inquisition. II. 156, 176, 258, 264.
425 Razanno, a fellow-Dominican, wrote the first biography of Ferrer, 1466. The Standard Life is by P. Fages, Hist. de s. Vinc. Ferrer apôtre de l’Europe, 2 vols., 2d ed., Louvain, 1901. The best life written by a Protestant is by L. Heller, Berlin, 1830. It is commended in Wetzer-Welte, XII. 978-983.
426 For German preaching in the fourteenth century, other than that of the mystics, see Linsenmeyer, Gesch. der Predigt in Deutschland his zum Ausgange d. 14ten Jahrh., Munich, 1886, pp. 301-470; Cruel:Gesch. d. deutschen Predigt im M A., p. 414 sqq.; A. Franz: Drei deutsche Minoritenprediger des XIIten und XIVten Jahrh., Freiburg, 1907, pp. 160. The best-known German preachers were the Augustinians Henry of Frimar, d. 1340, and Jordan of Quedlinburg, d. about 1375. See for the fifteenth century, ch. IX.