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SECT. 111.] Account of Arnold of Brescia. 419 licentious manners of the clergy ; treated the festivals and ceremonies of the Catholic church with the utmost contempt; and held private assemblies, in which he explained and inculcated his peculiar sentiments."*

I feel some hesitation in adding to the list of reformers who arose during this benighted period, the name of Arnold of Brescia, because Mosheim and other writers have described him as a man of a turbulent and impetuous spirit; and, though he is universally allowed to have been possessed of extensive erudition, and remarkable for the austerity of his manners, he is represented by those writers as not confining himself to the apostolic weapons of the Christian warfare. Yet, the spirit of candour and fairness · would seem to require that allowance should be made for those exaggerations which the malignity of his enraged adversaries prompted them to vent against him. There are few things more difficult than to combine the leniter in modo, with the fortiter in re, and gentleness seems almost incompatible withthe zeal of a reformer. I shall, however, adduce a few impartial testimonies to the character of Arnold, and leave the reader to his own reflections on them. The following account of him is given in a recent publication of great merit.

ARNOLD, at an early period of life travelled into France, and became the disciple of the celebrated Abelard. Having imbibed some of the heretical sentiments, and a portion of that freedom of thought, which distinguished his master, he returned to Italy, and in the habit of a monk, began to propagate his opinions in the streets of Brescia. The zeal of this daring reformer was at first directed against the wealth and luxury of the Romish clergy. Insisting that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world, he maintained that the temporal power of the church was an unprincipled corruption of the rights of secular princes, and that all the corruptions which disgraced the Christian faith, and all the animosities which distracted the church, sprung from the power and overgrown possessions of the clergy. These bold truths were propagated not as mere points of speculation, or as an explanation of the various calamities which then affected the church; they were held as the foundation of a system of reform which the people were excited to carry into execution; and the clergy were called upon to renounce their usurped possessions, and to lead a frugal and abstemious life on the voluntary contributions of the people. The inhabitants of Brescia were roused by the eloquent appeals of their countryman. They revered him as the apostle of religious liberty, and rose in rebellion against their lawful bishop. The church took alarm at these dangerous commotions, and in a general council of the Lateran, held in 1139, by Innocent II. Arnold was condemned to perpetual silence. He sought for refuge beyond the Alps, and found an hospitable shelter in the Canton of Zurich. Here he again began his career of reform, and had the ability to seduce from their allegiance the bishop of Constance, and even the pope's legate. The exhortations of St. Bernard, however, reclaimed these yielding ecclesiastics to a sense of their duty, and Arnold was driven by persecution to hazard the desperate expedient of fixing the standard of rebellion in the very heart of Rome.

* Mosheim, vol. jii, cent. xii. part ii, ch. v,

Protected, perhaps, if not invited, by the nobles, Arnold harrangued the populace with his usual fervour, and inspired them with such a regard for their civil and ecclesiastical rights, that a complete revolution was effected in the city. Innocent struggled in vain against this in. vasion of his power, and at last sunk under the pressure of calamity. His successors, Celestine and Lucius, who

SECT. 111.) Account of Arnold of Brescia. 421 reigned only a few months, were unable to check the popular frenzy. The leaders of the insurrection waited upon Lucius, demanded the restitution of the civil rights which had been usurped from the people, and insisted that his holiness and the clergy should trust only to pious offerings of the faithful. Lucius survived this demand but a few days, and was succeeded by Eugenius III. who, dreading the mutinous spirit of the inhabitants, withdrew from Rome, and was consecrated in a neighbouring fortress. As soon as Arnold was acquainted with the escape

of the pontiff, he entered Rome, and animated with new vigour the licentious fury of the populace. He called to their remembrance the achievements of their forefathershe painted in the strongest colours, the sufferings which sprung from ecclesiastical tyranny; and he charged them as men and as Romans, never to admit the pontiff within their walls, till they had prescribed the limits of his spiritual jurisdiction, and fixed the civil government in their own hands. Headed by the disaffected nobles, the frenzied populace attacked the cardinals and clergy, who still continued in the city. They set fire to the palaces, and forced the inhabitants to swear allegiance to the new system of things.

The Roman pontiff could no longer view with patience the excesses of this ungovernable mob. At the head of his troops, chiefly composed of Tiburtines, he marched against the city, and after some trifling concessions on his part, was reinstated on the papal throne. Notwithstanding the triumph over the malcontents, the friends of Arnold were still numerous, and continued to disturb the peace of the city, till our countryman, Adrian IV. was raised to the chair of St. Peter. On the first appearance of a riot, during which a cardinal was either killed or wounded in the street, Adrian held an interdict over the guilty city, and from Christmas to Easter deprived it of the privilege of religious worship. This bold and sagacious, contrivance gave a sudden turn to the minds of the people. Arnold and his followers were banished from the city, and fled for protection to the viscounts of Campania. His holiness, however, was not satisfied with restoring peace to his capital. A spirit of revenge burned within him, till he instigated Frederic Barbarossa to force Arnold from his asylum in Campania. This intrepid reformer was immediately seized by Cardinal Gerard in 1155, and was burned alive in the midst of a fickle people, who gazed with stupid indifference on the expiring hero, wbo had fallen in defence of their dearest rights, and whom they had formerly regarded with more than mortal veneration; his ashes were thrown into the Tiber; but though no corporeal relic could be preserved to animate his followers, the efforts which he made in the cause of civil and religious freedom were cherished in the breasts of future patriots, and inspired those mighty attempts which have chained down and finally destroyed, the monster of superstition.

It is impossible not to admire the genius and persevering intrepidity of Arnold. To distinguish truth from error in an age of darkness, and to detect the causes of spiritual corruption in the thickest atmosphere of ignorance and superstition, evinced a miod of more than ordinary stretch. To adopt a plan for recovering the lost glory of his country, and fixing the limits of spiritual usurpation, demanded a degree of resolution which no opposition could controul. But to struggle against superstition, entrenched in power, to plant the standard of rebellion in the very heart of her empire, and to keep possession of her capital for a number of years, could scarcely have been expected from an individual who haul no power but that of his eloquence, and no assistance

SECT. 111.) Account of Arnold of Brescia.

423 but he derived from the justice of his cause. Yet such were the individual exertions of Arnold, which posterity will appreciate as one of the noblest legacies which former ages have bequeathed. Every triumph that is gained over ecclesiastical power stretched beyond its just limits, in whatever country it is sanctioned, and under whatever system of faith it is exercised, is the triumph of right reason over the worst passions of the heart. It is the greatest step which the human mind can take in its progress to that knowledge and happiness to which the Almighty has destined it to arrive.*

“ We may truly say," says Dr. Allix, “that scarcely any inan was ever so torn and defamed on account of his doctrine as was this Arnold of Brescia. Would we know the reason of this? It was because with all his


he opposed the tyranny and usurpations which the popes began to establish at Rome over the temporal jurisdiction of the emperors. He was the man, who by his counsel renewed the design of re-establishing the authority of the senate in Rome, and of obliging the pope not to meddle with any thing but what concerned the government of the church, without invading the temporal jurisdicton :this was his crime, and this indeed is such an one as is unpardonable with the pope, if there be any such.”+

“ But there was a still more heinous thing laid to his charge, which was this : Præter hæc de sacramento altaris et baptismo parvulorum, non sane dictur sensisse! that is, “ He was unsound in his judgment about the sacrament of the altar and infant baptism”—(in other words, he rejected the popish doctrine of transubstantiation and of the baptism of infants.) And this alone was sufficient ground for his condemnation ; for as he set himself industriously to oppose the accumulating errors in the church of Brescia, * Edinburgh Encyclop. Art. ARNOLD. + Allix's Remarks, p. 169.

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