THE great wave of revolution and reconstruction which was passing over northern Europe in the earlier half of the sixteenth century did not leave the south untouched. Though the first actual outbreak occurred beyond the Alps, the feeling to which it gave expression was not merely Teutonic. Many of the causes which led up to it were common to all Western Christendom; some, as for instance the demand for liberty of opinion and free enquiry, were even more characteristic of Italy than of Germany. Accordingly, vigorous attempts arose in many parts of southern Europe to bring about a reformation in the Church - attempts which were by no means a mere echo of the changes in the north. But they never obtained a really strong hold upon the affections of the common people, and never secured the friendship, or even the neutrality, of the civil power; and so, both in Italy and in the Iberian peninsula, their suppression was only a question of time. By the year 1576, when the charges against Bartolomé Carranza were finally adjudicated upon, they were practically at an end. Isolated cases of heresy still occurred, but there was no longer anything like an organized revolt against the doctrinal or disciplinary system of the Papacy.
In tracing the course of the Reform movements of southern Europe we are dealing with forces which became more widely divergent as time went on. Men at first acted together who ultimately found themselves violently opposed to one another; principles were adduced on the same side which proved in time to be sharply contrasted. The old-standing desire to curb the power of the Curia and to vindicate the authority of General Councils over the whole Church joined hands in the earlier stages of the movement with the wider, yet more individualistic, aspirations of the Renaissance. Men who had come under the influence of the new spirit in any of its manifestations were able to work together at first, whether they strove to reconstruct a worn-out theology, or to abolish corrupt practices, or to restore the standard of personal devotion and moral conduct. It was only by degrees that the ascetic, the humanist, and the doctrinal Reformer drifted into relations of antagonism ; but this was the position ultimately reached. And a stronger line of division appeared as time went on. There were some who refused to take any step which would separate them from the communion of the Church; as Carnesecchi expressed it, the Catholic religion was theirs already, and all that they desired was that it should be better preached. Others however felt compelled to withdraw from the fellowship of a corrupt society, still strenuously affirming that by so doing they had in no way departed from the unity of the Church. Of the former, many were influenced by the doctrinal movement in its most extreme forms, and some even died for their opinions without giving way. Of the latter, many recognised that their action could only be justified by the immediate claims of Christian truth. But in spite of individual divergences, here was a real line of division, in southern Europe as in the north.
THE REFORMATION IN ITALY.
So far as the movement was one of protest against practical abuses, the need for Reform was not less widely felt in Italy than in Germany. Rodrigo Niño, the imperial ambassador to the Doge and Signory, wrote in 1535 that there were few in Venice who were not more Lutheran than Luther himself with regard to such matters as the reform of the clergy and their secular state. Venice was no doubt exceptional, and the state of feeling there was not that of Italy as a whole. Nevertheless, vigorous efforts after practical reform had begun in other parts of Italy long before this. Adrian of Utrecht, Bishop of Tortosa, the friend of Erasmus and the former tutor of Charles V, ascended the papal throne in 1522 with a firm resolve to set the Church in order, and to begin with his own household. In many ways he seemed well fitted for the task. A student of distinction, his uprightness, personal piety, and strictness of life were known to all men; and already, as Legate in Spain, he had taken a vigorous part in the reform of the Religious Houses there. But in Rome he proved to be quite helpless. Satisfied with the scholastic theology in which he was so great an adept, he did not understand the questionings which were beginning to stir the minds of others. The Romans had no fellow-feeling for a man who never gave way to anger or to mirth, and to whom the treasures of sculpture in the Vatican were no more than ‘pagan idols’. The scholar who had done so much to foster learning at Louvain was to them only a stranger who knew no Italian, though he spoke Latin very well ‘for a barbarian’. Moreover, the Curia was determined not to be reformed. Thus Adrian achieved nothing; he died unregretted in 1523, not without the usual suspicion of poison; and from that time forward every Pope has been an Italian.
But already an important movement had been inaugurated. Just before or shortly after the accession of Adrian VI, a number of earnest-minded men, clergy and laity, had banded themselves together at Rome in the famous ‘Oratory of Divine Love’, to work and pray for the purification of the Church. Their leaders were Giovanni Pietro Caraffa, afterwards Pope Paul IV, and the Count Gaetano da Thiene, who was subsequently canonised. The society consisted of fifty or sixty distinguished men, including amongst others Jacopo Sadoleto, Giammatteo Giberti, Latino Giovenale, Girolamo and Luigi Lippomano, and Giuliano Dati. They held their spiritual exercises in the Church of Santi Silvestro e Dorotea, of which Dati was curate, and consulted together on the evils of the day. In 1524 Gaetano withdrew to form a new Order of Clerks Regular, who were presently joined by Caraffa, and came to be known as Theatines from his see of Theate (Chieti in the Abruzzi); but the original society still continued to meet until it was dispersed by the Sack of Rome in 1527. Many of its former members, including Caraffa and Giberti, met again at Venice, where they came under the influence of the senator Gasparo Contarini. By degrees others were admitted to their consultations, including Gregorio Cortese, the Abbot of San Giorgio Maggiore, Pietro Bembo, and Luigi Priuli, and subsequently Brucioli, the Florentine exile, the learned scholar Marcantonio Flaminio, and the Englishman Reginald Pole. Contarini, still a layman, became from this time forward the leading spirit amongst them.
When the enlightened Alessandro Farnese became Pope as Paul III (1534), he found this group of zealous men ready to his hand. Contarini was made a Cardinal at his first creation, and Sadoleto, Caraffa, and Pole received the purple in the following year. In 1537, when he appointed a commission to suggest measures for the reform of the Church, most of its members were chosen from this quarter, the names being those of Contarini, Caraffa, Sadoleto, Pole, Fregoso, Aleander, Giberti, Cortese, and Tommaso Badia. The fruit of their labors, the famous Consilium de emendanda Ecclesia, was unsparing in reprobation of abuses and rich in practical suggestions. But although a few efforts were made to simplify the procedure of the Curia, the forces of inertia proved too strong, and the Consilium was little more than a dead letter. In after years it fell into bad odour, partly owing to its damaging admissions, partly because the Lutherans had taken it up. Moreover Caraffa came in time to suspect many of his former associates of heresy; and after he became Pope the work was placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum of 1559. But, even had it been otherwise received, it could not have stayed the tide. The revolt against abuses had already opened the way to movements of a more destructive character; the new opinions were already making their appearance south of the Alps.
Italy, always a land of popular movements, was in many ways predisposed to welcome the new opinions. Some of them had been foreshadowed there, and revolt against the Papacy was to its peoples no new thing. The Cathari of the north, with their Manichean and anti-trinitarian tendencies, had long died out; but the Waldenses, although by no means so numerous as formerly, were still to be found in the valleys of Piedmont and Calabria. The movements of the sixteenth century in Italy were however entirely unconnected with these, and the impulse as a whole came from without. There is indeed one notable exception. Pietro Speziale of Cittadella finished his great work De Gratia Dei in 1542; but he tells us, with obvious sincerity, that he had formulated his theory of Justification and Grace thirty years earlier, before Luther had begun to preach. In the main he agrees with that of Luther, but he resolutely asserts the freedom of the will, and repudiates the Lutheran teaching on this subject; and although he speaks strongly against particular abuses, he does not undervalue the Church system of his day. The old man was thrown into prison in 1543, escaped six years afterwards by the help of two Anabaptists and joined their party, and subsequently made a formal recantation in prison. But Speziale stands alone; and it is clear that the doctrinal revolt as a whole came from the north.
The intercourse between Italy and Germany was very close; and a continual stream of traders and students flowed in both directions. At Venice there was a large Teutonic colony, having its centre in the Fondaco de' Tedeschi. The imperial army which invaded Italy in 1526 contained a large number of Lutherans; and with Georg von Frundsberg’s Landsknechte there came the scholar Jakob Ziegler, later known in Venice as Luther’s lieutenant. The commonwealth of letters ignored national boundaries; and there was a brisk correspondence between Luther and Zwingli and their admirers in Italy. So early as 1519 Luther’s works were being sold in Lombardy by Francesco Calvi or Minicio, a bookseller of Pavia, who had procured a stock from Froben at Basel. In the following year, as we learn from a letter of Burchard von Schenk, they were eagerly purchased at Venice; and Marino Sanuto notes in his Diary that a seizure of them had been made at the instance of the patriarch, though not until part of the stock had been disposed of. Writings of Luther, Melanchthon, and others were presently translated into Italian; and being issued anonymously or under fictitious names, they circulated widely. Thus Luther’s sermons on the Lord’s Prayer appeared anonymously before 1525, and Melanchthon’s Loci Communes about 1534 under the title Principii della Teologia by ‘Ippofilo da Terra Nigra’; while other tracts of Luther’s were subsequently tacked on to the posthumously issued works of Cardinal Federigo Fregoso.
In ways such as these the opinions of Luther spread, and in a less degree those of Zwingli. There were many who were ready to adopt them, in whole or in part. A hermit who inveighed against ‘priests and friars’ at Venice in 1516 can hardly be called a Lutheran; but Fra Andrea of Ferrara, who preached at Christmas, 1520, at San Marco and in the open air, is expressly said to have ‘followed the doctrine of Martin Luther’. So did a Carmelite friar, Giambattista Pallavicino, who preached at Brescia in Lent, 1527, and others elsewhere. There were three ‘heretics’ at Mirandola in 1524 of whom nothing else is known; but the Florentine physician Girolamo di Bartolommeo Buonagrazia, when proceeded against in 1531, confessed that he had been in correspondence with Luther in 1527, and accepted his doctrine. Nor was Zwingli without supporters. The letters of Egidio délia Porta, an Austin friar of Como (a centre of heresy as early as the time of Julius II), prove that he and some of his fellows were ready to leave Italy and throw in their lot with Zwingli in 1525-6. In 1531 a native of Como who had spent three years beyond the Alps was preaching against the current doctrine of the Eucharist. About the same time priests at Como were laying hands on others, who were to administer the Eucharist in both kinds : one of them, Vincenzio Massaro, is said to have taken a fee of fifteen ducats from all whom he ordained. And a letter written in 1530 by Francesco Negri of Bassano, who had fled from a Benedictine House at Padua and joined Zwingli, and who afterwards drifted to Anabaptism, gives the names of many priests in North Italy whom he reckoned as ‘brethren’.
The disaffected were very numerous. According to the ambassador Francesco Contarini, the Lutherans of Germany boasted in 1535 that their sympathizers in Italy alone would make an army sufficient to deliver them from the priests, and that they had enough friends in the monastic orders to intimidate all who were opposed to them. This of course is a violent exaggeration, and in Italy also popular rumor magnified the danger; yet even so it was not slight. The Reforming movement was especially strong in certain well-defined centres, the chief being Venice and its territories, Ferrara, Modena, Naples, and Lucca.
1524-55] The Reform at Venice.
In VENICE, where foreigners were many and toleration was a principle of the State, the Reform soon made its appearance, and before long found a home. Measures of precaution or repression were demanded by the Patriarch on behalf of the Roman Curia; but as late as 1529 the Signory was able to certify that, excepting for the tolerated German conventicles, the city was free from heresy. Soon afterwards however, in a report to Clement VII on the subject, Caraffa mentions, amongst other evils, the fact that many friars had fallen into heresy, and in particular the disciples of ‘a certain Franciscan now dead’. Of these he names Girolamo Galateo, Bartolommeo Fonzio, and Alessandro da Piero di Sacco. The Bishop of Chieti was thereupon commissioned, by a brief of May 9, 1530, to proceed against Galateo; and from this time forward the extirpation of heresy was the ruling passion of his life. He it was who procured from Pope Paul III the bull Licet ab initia (July 21, 1542) reorganizing the Roman Inquisition on the basis of that of Spain. He was its first head, and in 1555, as Pope Paul IV, he completed the extension of its power over the whole of Italy.
Galateo was already in prison on suspicion of heresy for certain sermons preached ‘Bible in hand’ at Padua; but under the lenient system of the Venetian Inquisition he was soon at liberty. Caraffa now commenced a new process against him; he was found guilty, and sentenced to degradation and death. This led to a contest with the Signory, who delivered him from Caraffa’s hands and consigned him to prison. Here he had been for seven years, when, on the intercession of a friendly senator, he was allowed to make his defence in writing. This Confession is remarkable. It is Augustinian rather than Lutheran in doctrine. It affirms the doctrine of saving faith without any extravagant depreciation of free-will or of good works; the system of the Church as a whole is defended, and the Pope is ‘the chief of shepherds’. Galateo was allowed out on bail, but directed to amend his Confession on some points. He refused to do this, and three years later was cast into prison again, where he died in 1541.
Of Galateo’s two companions, Alessandro was already in prison, and is not heard of again. Bartolommeo Fonzio had already incurred the enmity of Caraffa by his advocacy of Henry VIII's divorce; he managed however to clear himself of heresy, and soon left Venice for Germany, where he was employed as a papal agent. But he fell under the suspicion of Aleander and others by his intercourse with the Lutherans; and not without reason, for it was probably he who translated Luther’s letter An den christlichen Adel into Italian. On retiring from the papal service he was transferred by Clement VII from the Order of Friars Minor to the Third Order of St Francis and permitted to return to Venice; but he was still an object of suspicion, which was not diminished by a little Catechism which he produced. After years of wandering he settled at Padua and opened a school; but it was broken up by order of Caraffa, now Inquisitor-General. Thence he passed to Cittadella, where reformed opinions were widespread, and again began to teach, soon winning the love of the people. But in May, 1558, he was again arrested, by order of the Dieci, and condemned after four years’ examination for the general unsatisfactoriness of his teaching. He was called upon to abjure but refused; then gave way to persuasion and recanted; then recanted his recantation. At length he was sentenced to death at the stake; the sentence was as usual commuted into one of drowning, and he was cast into the sea on August 4, 1562.
Meanwhile, other teachers were going further in the direction of Lutheranism than Galateo and Fonzio. Giulio della Rovere, an Austin Friar of Milan, got into trouble at Bologna in 1538 for a course of sermons preached there. Three years later he came to Venice, and preached at San Cassiano in Lent, staying in the house of Celio Seconde Curione, of whom more presently. His doctrine was attacked; he abjured, and was sentenced to be imprisoned and then banished. He escaped and fled to the Grisons, where the Reform movement had already taken root, the main impulse coming from the Swiss Cantons. Here he ministered, generally at Poschiavo, until his death in 1571. The Florentine scholar Antonio Brucioli, banished from his own city, had come to Venice and set up a printing-press. In 1532 (two years before Luther’s German translation was completed) he published his Italian translation of the whole Bible, based upon Santi Pagnani’s learned Latin version from the original languages; and this he followed up subsequently by a voluminous commentary. In 1546 he was in the prisons of the Inquisition, accused of publishing heretical books; and although it may be doubted whether anything of his could justly be so described, his troubles at the hands of the Holy Office ended only with his life. A more striking personality was that of Baldo Lupetino of Albona in Istria, uncle of the well-known Mattia Vlacich (M. Flacius Illyricus). He was a conventual Franciscan, and had held the office of provincial; an acute scholar and a devout man. Accused of preaching heresy in the Duomo at Cherso, he fell into the hands of the Venetian Inquisition in 1541; and, although the Lutheran Princes interceded on his behalf, he was sentenced to imprisonment for life, it being clear from depositions made then and subsequently that he was a Lutheran. In 1547 he was again in trouble for preaching to his fellow-prisoners, and was sentenced to be beheaded, his body to be burned, and his ashes to be cast into the sea ‘to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ’. The Doge relaxed the sentence; but in 1555 he was again accused, and the following year he was degraded and drowned.
Nor were disciples lacking. The letters of Aleander, when Nuncio at Venice, speak of a great religious association of artisans existing there in 1534, the leaders being one Pietro Buonavita of Padua, a carpenter, a French glover, and several German Lutherans. The two first-mentioned were taken and imprisoned for life; but Aleander continues to lament the progress of heresy and the apathy of the Senate. We learn more about the Reformed in Venetian lands from the letters of Baldassare Altieri of Aquila in the Abruzzi, a literary adventurer who came to Venice about 1540, served Sir Edmund Hastwell, the English ambassador, till 1548, and after two years of wandering died at Ferrara in August, 1550. He acted as a kind of secretary to the Reformed, and wrote on behalf of ‘the brethren of the Church of Venice, Vicenza, and Treviso’ to Luther, Bullinger, and others, begging for the good offices of the Lutherans with the Venetian government. The brethren are, he says, in the sorest need, and cannot improve their state whilst the Signory allows them no liberty. They have no public churches; each is a church to himself. There are plenty of apostles, but none properly called; all is disorder, and false teachers abound. Nevertheless, they adhere to Luther in doctrine as against the Sacramentaries, and do not despair, since ‘God can raise up new Luthers amongst them’. But their appeals were in vain; the Lutheran Princes had their hands full already, and the Swiss were not likely to help those who sided with Luther against them. In the end, their associations were broken up. Many were punished, many more gave way; those who were left seem to have gravitated towards anabaptist and speculative views of a very pronounced kind.
It is hard to form a precise idea of the number of the Reformed in Venice, but they were evidently very numerous. Processes for heresy were very common, especially after Giovanni délia Casa became Nuncio in 1547, with orders to expedite the work. Of the records which survive many are at Udine; but at Venice alone-there still remain over eight hundred processes for Lutheranism between 1547 and 1600, and more than a hundred more for Anabaptism, Calvinism, and other heresies. The greater number are from Venice itself; but Vicenza, Brescia and Cittadella are represented, with a number of smaller places.
The Court of Renée at Ferrara. [1528-39
FERRARA, long famous for learning and the fine arts, was a centre of hardly less importance, though in quite a different way. Ercole, the son of the reigning Duke Alfonso, had married Renée the daughter of Louis XII of France in 1528, and succeeded his father six years later. Renée had already imbibed the new ideas from her cousin Margaret of Navarre and from her governess Madame de Soubise, poetess and translator of the Psalms. The latter, with the whole of her distinguished family, followed her to Ferrara; and as most of Renée’s suite, which included Clément Marot, the poet, were of the same way of thinking, her Court became a rallying-point for the Reformed. From France came the statesman Hubert Languet and the poet Léon Jamet; from Germany the Court physician Johann Sinapius and his brother Kilian, who acted as a tutor to Renée’s children. There were also Alberto Lollio and the canon Celio Calagnani, joint founders of the Academy of the Elevati; the physician Angelo Manzioli, whose famous Zodiacus Vitae, published by him under the pseudonym Marcello Palingenio Stellato, poured ridicule on the monks and clergy; and Fulvio Peregrino Morato, who had preceded Kilian Sinapius in his office but had been banished in 1539, perhaps for Lutheran opinions. He returned to the University in 1539, bringing with him his more famous daughter Olympia Morata, ‘an infant prodigy who became a distinguished woman’. She became an intimate member of Renée’s household, corresponded on equal terms with the most learned men of the day, passed through a skeptical phase to devout Lutheranism, and finally, having incurred her patron’s anger, married a German physician named Grunthler and accompanied him to his own land. Nor were Renée and Olympia the only well-known women who adopted Reformed views there. Amongst others who did so were Lavinia della Rovere, grand-niece of Pope Julius II, and the Countess Giulia Rangone, a daughter of the House of Bentivoglio. One other resident at the Court must be mentioned, the learned Cretan who took the name of Francesco Porto. He was a man of great caution and reticence, but devoted to the cause of Reform. After studying at Venice and Padua and teaching for ten years at the University of Modena, he came to Ferrara in 1546 to take the place of Kilian Sinapius. The complaints of the Pope led to his expulsion in 1551. He was again with Renée, as her reader, in 1553, but then retired to Venice and ultimately to Geneva.
Hither also at various times came students and others whose lives were in danger elsewhere. Among these was the Piedmontese Celio Secondo Curione, a latitudinarian and a student of the Reformed doctrines from his youth. After several remarkable escapes from capture he fled to Padua, thence (after three years as professor in the University) to Venice, and thence to Ferrara. Through Renée’s influence he received a chair at Lucca while Ochino was there, but after a short and troublous stay had to take refuge beyond the Alps. But Ferrara gave shelter to a greater fugitive than any of Italian birth. Early in 1536 Renée was visited by Calvin, who had come to Italy under the assumed name of Espeville. We have no trustworthy account of the visit, but it evidently made the deepest impression upon Renée and her Court. Apparently he celebrated the communion for them in private; certainly he incited them to protest against the accustomed services. In fact, on Holy Saturday (April 14), when the officiating priest in one of the chief churches of Ferrara presented the cross for the veneration of the faithful, one of Renée’s choristers, a youth of twenty known as Jehannot or Zanetto, broke out in open blasphemies against what he regarded as idolatry. The incident was probably prearranged in order to cause a popular outbreak; but it is clear that the people were scandalized. Under pressure from Rome Ercole took steps to punish the offenders. But he found that the whole suite of his wife were involved; while Renée invoked the French power to protect her servants. The matter dragged on for some months; but at length, as the principal person implicated (probably Calvin himself) escaped from his guards on the road to Bologna, not without suspicion of their connivance, it was allowed to drop.
Henceforward Calvin was Renée’s spiritual adviser, and she was in frequent correspondence with him. Under his influence she refused in 1540 to make her confession or to hear mass any longer. This does not seem to have involved an open breach with the Church; there were many more who were equally remiss in their religious duties. Ercole tried to avoid taking action, and winked at her opinions so long as she and her associates avoided giving open scandal. Moreover, when Paul III paid a visit to Ferrara Renée met him on friendly terms, and obtained from him a brief, dated July 5, 1543, by which she was exempted from every jurisdiction but that of the Holy Office. But she disguised her Calvinism less and less, while the activity of the Inquisition was daily increasing; and at length the pressure of the Holy See compelled the Duke to act. In 1554 he applied to the French King for an ‘able and energetic’ teacher for his wife, and the Inquisitor Mathieu Ory was sent. As his exhortations made no impression, she was put on her trial for heresy, and condemned to imprisonment, twenty-four of her servants being likewise sentenced. But a week afterwards, on September 13, it was announced that she had ‘abjured and received pardon’. The documents are lost, so that it is hard to say precisely what occurred. It is certain that Renée made her confession and received the Eucharist, equally so that she was at heart a Calvinist, and went on in her old courses until, after Ercole’s death, she retired in 1560 to Montargis and became a protector of the French Huguenots.
The Modenese Academy. [1537-48
Ercole’s other capital, MODENA, was equally famous as a centre of learning. Many of the scholars of the Modenese Academy had long been suspected of heterodoxy, among them being Lodovico Castelvetro, Gabriele Falloppio, the anatomist, and the brothers Grillenzone, who were its founders. In Advent, 1537, an Austin friar, Serafino of Ferrara, denounced an anonymous book, the Sommario della Santa Scrittura, which was being sold in Modena by the bookseller Antonio Gaboldino; but his action only called forth protests. In 1540 arrived the learned Paolo Ricci, a conventual Franciscan, who had left the cloister, and now, under the assumed name of Lisio Fileno, publicly expounded the Scriptures and denounced the Papacy. Thus the new opinions gained ground. The annalist Tassoni (il Vecchio) declares that both men and women disputed everywhere, in the squares, in the shops, in the churches, concerning the faith and the law of Christ, quoting and misquoting the Scriptures and doctors whom they had never read.
Attempts were soon made to put a stop to this. The Sommario was refuted by Ambrogio Catarino and burned at Rome in 1539. Two years afterwards Ricci was arrested, taken to Ferrara, and made to recant. Other measures were for a time averted by the intercession of Sadoleto, himself a Modenese; he urged that the academicians were loyal to the Roman Church, and should not be molested because they claimed for the learned the right of free enquiry. The Pope however was still suspicious; and Giovanni de Morone, the Bishop of Modena, then absent on a legation in Germany and himself a friend of Contarini and to the doctrines of Grace, was sent for to reduce this ‘second Geneva’ to order. It was proposed that suspected persons should sign a formulary of faith, drawn up by Contarini in the plainest possible terms. After strenuous resistance the signatures were secured, and the matter seemed at an end. But a strong feeling of resentment had sprung up; the Academy was still a hot-bed of disaffection, and preachers of doubtful orthodoxy, such as Bartolommeo della Pergola, were eagerly listened to.
At length Ercole was goaded into taking action throughout his dominions. A ducal edict of May 24, 1546, was so severe in its provisions that the Modenese Academy promptly dispersed; and in 1548 Fra Girolamo Papino of Lodi was installed as Inquisitor at Ferrara. A poor youth of Faenza, by name Fannio (or Fanino), was soon brought before him, who had fallen into heresy through his perverse interpretation of the Bible. He recanted once through fear, but relapsed, and began preaching throughout Romagna with great success. At length he was arrested at Bagnacavallo, and conveyed to Ferrara. Here his imprisonment was a succession of triumphs. His friends were allowed access to him, and his visitors included Olympia Morata, Lavinia délia Rovere, and others, upon whom his cheerfulness and earnestness and his bold predictions made a great impression. After long negotiations between Ferrara and the Holy See, in which Renée herself took part, the order arrived for his execution as a relapsed heretic. It was confirmed by Ercole, and on August 22, 1550, he was strangled and his body cast into the river. His was the second recorded death for religion in Italy, the first being that of Jaime de Enzinas, a Spanish Lutheran and, according to Bucer, an eager disseminator of Lutheranism, who was burned at Rome on March 16, 1547. Another execution followed in 1551, that of a Sicilian priest, Domenico Giorgio, who is described as a ‘Lutheran and heretic’. Minor punishments followed in great numbers; so that Renée was forced to send her Huguenot followers to Mirandola, where under the Count Galeotto Pico they found a place of refuge.
Some years afterwards attention was again called to Modena, where the Reform still prospered. On October 1, 1555, a brief of Paul IV demanded that four of the leaders, Bonifacio and Filippo Valentine (the former of whom was provost of the Cathedral), Lodovico Castelvetro (who had translated the writings of Melanchthon into Italian), and the bookseller Gaboldino, should be arrested and handed over to the Holy Office. Filippo Valentino and Castelvetro, warned in time, made their escape. The others were taken and conveyed to Rome, where Bonifacio recanted; but Gaboldino, on refusing to do so, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Four years later Castelvetro, already condemned for contumacy, was persuaded to go to Rome with his brother Giammaria, and stand his trial; but he fled before it was over, was again condemned, and was burned in effigy as a contumacious heretic. The two brothers escaped to Chiavenna, where Lodovico died in 1571, having in 1561 appealed in vain for a hearing before the Council of Trent.
Even this was not the end of heresy in the duchy. The registers of the Inquisition contain long lists of suspects, and not a few condemnations, both at Ferrara and Modena; at Modena indeed, in 1568 alone, thirteen men and one woman perished at the stake.
Juan and Alfonso de Valdés. [1500-32
Very different again was the movement at NAPLES, at any rate in its earlier stages. It centres round one great man, Juan de Valdés, whose position is thus described by Niccolo Balbini, minister of the congregation of Italian refugees at Geneva, in his life of Galeazzo Caracciolo: “There was at that time in Naples a Spanish gentleman, who having a certain knowledge of evangelical truth and above all of the doctrine of justification, had begun to draw to the new doctrines certain noble-born persons with whom he conversed, refuting the idea of justification by our own deserving, and of the merit of works, and exposing certain superstitions”. He adds that the disciples of Valdés “did not cease to frequent the churches, to resort to mass like other people, and to share in the current idolatry”. This however gives no idea of his real greatness. Valdés was at once a devout mystic and a born teacher; and having settled in Naples he at once became the leading spirit and the oracle of a wide circle of devout and cultured men and women who submitted themselves wholly to his teaching and guidance.
Born of a noble family at Cuenca in new Castile (c. 1500), where his father Ferrando was corregidor, he and his twin-brother Alfonso had been educated for the public service. Both were early drawn into sympathy with the protest against abuses, but whilst Alfonso died an ‘erasmista’, Juan advanced far beyond this. Alfonso entered the service of the Emperor, and, though an indifferent Latinist, gradually rose to be first secretary. In this capacity he was responsible for several imperial letters which urged the necessity of reform in no gentle terms. But these are not our only index to his opinions. He was a close friend of Erasmus and a student of his writings; and after the Sack of Rome in 1527 he put forth a Dialogue between Lactancio, an imperial courtier, and a certain archdeacon, in which he vindicates the Emperor, and declares the catastrophe to be a judgment upon the sins of the Papacy. Lactancio allows that Luther had fallen into many heresies, but very pertinently says that if they had remedied the things of which he justly complained, instead of excommunicating him, he would never have so lapsed. He calls for a speedy Reformation, that it may be proclaimed to the end of the world how ‘Jesus Christ built the Church, and the Emperor Charles V restored it’. Alfonso follows in the footsteps of Erasmus; and the reader of the Colloquia will find little that is new here, unless it be that Alfonso is, as a contemporary said, more Erasmian than Erasmus himself. He was at once attacked, but found many defenders; and Charles himself declared that though he had not read the book, Valdés was a good Christian, who would not write heresies. Accordingly, he was not molested, and ended his life in the Emperor’s service early in October, 1532.
Little is known of Juan’s early life, excepting that he was for ten years about the Court, apparently under his brother. Towards the end of this period, and just after the Diàlogo de Lactancio was finished, Juan produced a similar work, the Diálogo de Mercurio y Carón, in which Mercury and Charon are made to confer with the souls of the departed as to their religious life and the affairs of the world they have just left. It really consists of two distinct dialogues differing in style and substance, one being mainly political (showing signs of Alfonso’s co-operation) and the other mainly religious, although in doctrine it does not go beyond a condemnation of prayers to the Virgin. But they were joined in one, and published with the Lactancio in 1529. We next hear of Juan in 1530, at Rome, where he presently became a papal chamberlain under Clement VII, by whom, according to Carnesecchi, he was much beloved. He was at Bologna with the Pope in January, 1533, but soon afterwards removed to Naples, where he remained, excepting for one visit to Rome, till his death in 1541.
At Naples he gave himself up to study, to religious meditation, and to the society of his friends. Between April, 1534, and September, 1536, he produced his Diálogo de la lengua, a valuable study of the Spanish tongue, and one of the most beautiful writings of its day. During the next few years he wrote and circulated amongst his friends, in manuscript, his CX Considerationes (subsequently translated into English by Nicholas Ferrar), his Catechism, Lac Spirituale, a large number of short treatises and commentaries, and translations of parts of the Bible from the original languages. His doctrine as contained in these works is certainly not distinctively Lutheran or Calvinist, but that of one whose thoughts turned ever inward rather than outward, a devout evangelical mystic who recommended frequent confession and communion, and had no desire to overturn the ordinances of the Church. His disciples were won by himself rather than by his doctrines; and even the element of his teaching which others seized upon most eagerly-justification by faith only-was not to him what it was to the Lutheran, the corner-stone of his whole system. To him it was the expression of the fact that only by self-abnegation could men receive the divine illumination, and thus conform to the image of God in which they were made. And the tract by means of which this doctrine was most widely diffused in Italy, the famous Beneficio della morte di Cristo, which has been called the Credo of the Italian Reformed, was not the work of Valdés himself, but of a disciple, the Benedictine monk Benedetto of Mantua, who wrote it in his monastery at the foot of Mount Etna, and at whose request Marcantonio Flaminio revised it and improved the style. It began to be spread broadcast in Italy about 1540, at first in manuscript and then in print, and made a deep impression wherever it went.
The personal influence of Valdés was very great, both amongst those who had known him at the Court of Clement VII and those who now saw him for the first time. In his unprinted life of Paul IV, written early in the seventeenth century, Antonio Caracciolo reckons the number of Valdés’ adherents at over three thousand, of whom many were leading men. This is doubtless only a guess, but the number was certainly large. And since at this very time, in 1536, an edict had gone forth in Naples forbidding all commerce with heretics on pain of death and confiscation, it is clear that the many persons of importance in Church and State who took part in his conferences had no idea that their action came under this ban. Many, and especially the Theatines, regarded him with suspicion; but that was all.
He and his two chief adherents, Bernardino Ochino and Pietro Martire Vermigli, are styled by Antonio Caracciolo the ‘Satanic triumvirate’. With them were Marcantonio Flaminio, Pietro Carnesecchi, Galeazzo Caraccioli (nephew of Pope Paul IV), Benedetto Cusano, Marcantonio Magno, Giovanni Mollio, the Franciscan, Jacopo Bonfadio, the historian (burned at Genoa, but probably not for heresy, in 1550), Vittorio Soranzo (afterwards Bishop of Bergamo) and Lattanzio Ragnone of Siena, all of whom were subsequently regarded as heretics. There were also Pietrantonio di Capua, Archbishop of Otranto (who attended Valdés on his deathbed and always held him in great reverence), the Archbishops of Sorrento and Reggio, the Bishops of Catania, Nola, Policastro, and La Cava (Giovanni Tommaso Sanfelice, imprisoned by Paul IV for over two years on suspicion of heresy), and Giambattista Folengo, a learned monk of Monte Cassino. With them, too, were the most noble and respected ladies of Naples, Vittoria Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara, her kinswoman Costanza d'Avalos, Duchess of Amalfi, Isabella Manrique of Brisegna, sister-in-law to the Spanish Inquisitor-general of that name, above all Giulia Gonzaga, Duchess of Traietto and Countess of Fondi in her own right. On the death of her husband she had retired to Fondi, where the fame of her beauty was such that the corsair Khair Eddin Barbarossa attempted to kidnap her for the Sultan. She had now taken up her abode in the convent of San Francesco at Naples, and was much respected for her strict and pious life. She submitted herself entirely to the guidance of Valdés; and several of his treatises were written for her benefit.
After his death most of his followers dispersed, and not a few of them were afterwards proceeded against in other parts of Italy. Those who still remained were led, according to a contemporary writer, by a triumvirate consisting of Donna Giulia, a Benedictine monk named Germano Minadois, and a Spaniard, Sigismundo Muñoz, who was director of the hospital for incurables. Some presently abandoned the Roman communion. Galeazzo Caraccioli, for example, visited Germany in the Emperor’s service, and learned that it was not enough to accept Justification, but that he must forsake ‘idolatry’ also. Failing to induce even his own family to accompany him, he went alone to Geneva in March, 1551, where he was well received by Calvin, as was Lattanzio Ragnone, who followed two days later. He ventured into Italy more than once, and many efforts were made, especially after his uncle became Pope, to recall him; but they all failed, and he died at Geneva in 1586. Isabella Brisegna also fled, first to Zurich and then to Chiavenna. Some, again, seem to have abandoned their views owing to the preaching of the Jesuit Alfonso Salmerón in 1553 and the following years; and some, as the Austin friar Francesco Romano, recanted under pressure. Others still remained staunch, under the leadership of Giulia, who assisted with her means those who fled, but refused to fly herself. Several were proceeded against and put to death; and at length, in March, 1564, Gian Francesco di Caserta and Giovanni Bernardino di Aversa were beheaded and burned in the market-place. It is probable that only the death of Pius IV in December, 1565, saved Giulia herself from a like fate; as it was, she remained in the convent till her death on April 19, 1566. With her the party came to an end. Meanwhile, however, it had spread elsewhere : between 1541 and 1576 there are over forty trials for Lutheranism in the records which still survive of the Sicilian Inquisition, about half of the culprits, who include not a few parish priests and religious, being put to death. Other heresies had arisen also; the records speak, for instance, of Sacramentaries, Anabaptists, anti-Trinitarians, and those who disbelieved in a future life.
1500-76] Pietro Martire Vermigli.
LUCCA was the only other place where the movement assumed a really popular form; and here it centres round one man. Pietro Martire Vermigli, born of well-to-do parents at Florence in 1500, had joined the Austin canons at Fiesole in 1516, and learned from them to know his Bible well. He studied Greek and Hebrew at Padua and elsewhere, and being appointed to preach was soon well known throughout Italy. High honors fell to him : he became Abbot of Spoleto, and then Prior of the great house of San Pietro ad aram at Naples and Visitor-general of his Order. Here he came into contact with Valdés, began to read the writings of Bucer and others, and lectured on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. He was accused of heresy, and for a time forbidden to preach; but the prohibition was removed by the Pope at the instance of Contarini, Pole, and other friends. In 1541 he left Naples and became Prior of San Frediano at Lucca. This was his opportunity, for the Prior had quasi-episcopal rights over half the city. He gathered about him a body of like-minded scholars, and with them set up a scheme of study which was shared by many of the chief citizens and nobles. He himself expounded St Paul's Epistles and the Psalms. Latin was taught by Paolo Lacizi of Verona, a canon of the Lateran and afterwards Vermigli’s colleague at Strassburg; Greek by Count Massimiliano Celso Martinengo, also a canon of the Lateran and subsequently pastor of the Italian congregation at Geneva; and Hebrew by Emanuele Tremelli of Ferrara, a Jew converted by Pole and Flaminio, who afterwards came to England. With them also were Francesco Robortello and Celio Secondo Curione, public professors of letters, and Girolamo Zanchi, afterwards professor of theology at Strasburg. Vermigli himself preached every Sunday to congregations which grew continually; and no small part of the city listened readily when he told them to regard the Eucharist as a mere remembrance of the Passion. This soon became known beyond the walls of Lucca. Vermigli was summoned to the Chapter of his Order at Genoa, and the magistrates of Lucca received a papal injunction to arrest all heretical teachers and send them to Rome. An Austin friar was taken, released by the nobles, and recaptured; and Vermigli, never a man of much courage, resolved on flight. In August, 1542, he set out for Pisa with two companions; and ‘in that city, with certain noble persons, he celebrated the Supper of the Lord with the Christian rite’. Thence he wrote to Pole and to the people of Lucca, giving as reasons for his flight the errors and abuses of the pontifical religion and the hatred of his enemies; after which he went to Switzerland by way of Bologna and Ferrara, and on to Strasburg. He subsequently came to England and was made professor of divinity at Oxford, but returned to Strasburg in 1553, and died at Zurich in 1562. It appears that no fewer than eighteen canons of his house left Lucca within a year, and escaped beyond the Alps. But although the shepherds had fled, the flock did not at once melt away. They were in a measure supported by the senate, which took measures at length to stamp out the heresy, but only under pressure, and as an alternative to the setting up of the Roman Inquisition. In 1545 the senate issued an edict against the ‘rash persons of both sexes who without any knowledge of Holy Scripture or the sacred canons dare to discuss things concerning the Christian faith as though they were great theologians’; and by 1551 the last Lucchese Reformers were compelled to fly.
Bernardino Ochino. [1534-51
We now turn to leaders of the movement who were not connected with any particular centre. One who was even better known fled at the same time with Vermigli, namely Bernardino Ochino, of Siena. When young he had joined the Friars Observant, and rose to be their Provincial; but in 1534 he left them for the Capuchins, a stricter body founded some six years before, by whom in 1538 he was chosen Vicar-general. Meanwhile he had begun to preach, was appointed an ‘apostolic missionary’, and was soon recognized as the foremost preacher of the day. His extant sermons hardly account for his fame; but preaching was at a low ebb, and the strictness of his life added greatly to the effect of his fiery eloquence. At Naples he became a follower of Valdés, as did others of his Order; including, as he afterwards said, most of the preachers. At Florence he visited Caterina Cibò; and his conversations with her, put into the shape of Sette Dialoghi in 1539, afford clear evidence that he had already rejected much of the current theology. So far, however, he cannot have incurred serious suspicion; for although his preaching was impugned at Naples in 1536 and 1539, he was re-elected Vicar-general in 1541. The following year came the catastrophe. He was twice cited before the Nuncio at Venice for his sermons, and the second time he was forbidden to preach any more, and went to Verona. Whilst living there, in frequent intercourse with the venerable bishop Giberti, he received a citation to appear before the newly-founded Roman Inquisition. He set out in August, and on his way through Bologna paid a visit to Contarini, who lay dying there. The accounts of their interview differ; but Ochino gathered that if he went to Rome he would be forced ‘to deny Christ or be crucified’. At Florence he met Vermigli, and resolved forthwith to fly, to throw in his lot with the Swiss Reformers, and to disseminate his doctrine by his pen. He reached Geneva, being then at the age of fifty-five, passing afterwards to Zurich, Augsburg, England, and back to Zurich. But his restless mind could not easily find satisfaction. Before long the Swiss expelled him because of his views on marriage, and he began to turn to the party amongst his compatriots which had abandoned not only the historic system but the historic faith of the Church. As early as September, 1550, a secret Anabaptist meeting had been held at Venice, attended by 60 deputies, which had rejected the divinity of Christ. Many who shared these views had taken refuge amongst the Swiss, including Giorgio Blandrata, formerly physician to Sigismund I of Poland, Niccolo Gallo, Giovanni Paolo Alciati, Matteo Gribaldi, and Valentine Gentile, all of whom fled to Geneva, and Lelio Sozzini, who went to Basel in 1547 and lived there unsuspected till his death in 1562. Calvin at length grew suspicious, and on May 18, 1558, put forth a confession of faith to be signed by all the members of the Italian congregation as a test of orthodoxy. Gribaldi managed to clear himself; Blandrata and Alciati, finding themselves unable to do so, fled to Poland; Gallo and Gentile signed, but afterwards retracted and were proceeded against for heresy : the last-named was ultimately beheaded at Bern, in 1556, as a perjured heretic. After 1558, Poland and Transylvania became the head-quarters of this extreme school, which remained the prey of vague and mutually contradictory theories, Arian and Anabaptist, until Fausto Sozzini (1539-1604), the nephew of Lelio, came to Transylvania (1578) and little by little organized a definite ‘Unitarian Church’, the doctrinal manual of which was the Rakovian Catechism. To this party, in its earlier stages, Ochino had made approaches (in his Dialogi published in 1563 in Poland); but even the Polish anti-trinitarians thought him unsound; and he died in 1564, forsaken and alone, at Schlackau in Moravia.
Ochino’s flight made a great sensation. To Caraffa it suggested the fall of Lucifer. Some attributed it to disappointed ambition, some to a sudden temptation. Vittoria Colonna, hitherto a frequent correspondent, broke with him entirely; but Caterina Cibo, in whose house he had renounced the cowl, appears to have corresponded with him still. In the records of the Roman Inquisition she figures as doctrix monialium haereticarum, the nuns being those of St Martha outside Florence. But she does not seem to have been proceeded against, and died at Florence in 1555.
Pierpaolo Tergerio. [1533-48
Another man of mark who left the Roman communion was Pierpaolo Vergerio of Capo d'Istria. He had been a lawyer in Venice, entered the service of the Nuncio at the instance of his brother Aurelio, who was secretary to Clement VII, and soon rose to importance. He went to Rome early in 1533, and was sent as Nuncio to Ferdinand of Austria. Two years later he went to invite the German Princes to the Council of Mantua, and had a memorable interview with Luther, whom he describes with characteristic bitterness. In 1536 he received the bishopric of Modrusch, exchanged soon after for that of Capo d'Istria; all the orders being conferred upon him in one day by his brother Giambattista, Bishop of Pola, who at the time of his death was suspected of heresy, and not without reason. Pierpaolo was still a restless and energetic papal agent, distrusted by many, and scheming both for practical reform and for his own aggrandizement. In time a change came over him. During a mission to France he met, and was profoundly impressed by, Margaret of Navarre. Passing into Germany, he consorted much with Melanchthon and others. At the Diet of Worms (1540) he made an oration De unitate et pace ecclesiae, in which he urged the necessity for a General Council for the reform of the Church. He allowed that there were grave abuses in the Church, but not that they were any reason for secession; he pointed to the quarrels amongst the Reformed, and urged them to return to ‘the Body of Christ, who is our consolation and our peace’. His survey of the facts is somewhat superficial, but a new tone of charity and earnestness runs through it. He returned to Capo d'Istria to take care of ‘the little vineyard which God had committed to him’; he visited diligently, preached evangelical doctrine, and reformed practical abuses. He read heretical books in order to confute them; but they only raised doubts in his own mind. Suspicion arose on all sides. Late in 1544 the monks of his diocese, irritated by his strictness, accused him to the Venetian Inquisition, which began a process against him. It was still continuing when the Council of Trent was opened. In February, 1546, he went to the Council and offered his defence; but, although the Cardinal of Mantua warned them not to drive a good Bishop to desperation, they would not hear him or allow him to take his seat, and forbade his return to his diocese. Then he asked for a canonical trial from his fellow-Bishops, but in vain. After this he lost all heart.
The last straw was the case of Francesco Spiera, a lawyer of Cittadella, whose story was long remembered amongst the Reformed. He had incurred suspicion by associating with Speziale and translating the Lord’s Prayer into Italian. Being cited by the Inquisition in 1548, he abjured from fear, and repeated his abjuration the following Sunday at Cittadella, against his conscience. Presently, he fell grievously ill, and lay for months under the conviction that he had committed the unpardonable sin by his apostasy. In vain his friends spoke of God’s mercy; he met their exhortations with a hopelessness which was the more terrible because it was so calm, though broken occasionally by paroxysms of frenzy. From the investigation made by the Inquisition after his death it seems likely that some rays of hope dawned upon him towards the end; but this was unknown to the many who came to see him, and awe and consternation prevailed amongst them. To Vergerio, who watched often at his bedside, the warning seemed to be one which he dared not neglect; he resolved to secede at once, and on December 13, 1548, he sent his resolve, with an account of the dying Spiera, to Rota, the Bishop Suffragan of Padua. His deposition and excommunication followed on July 3, 1549. He fled to the Grisons, and for a time worked at Poschiavo; in 1553 he passed to Württemberg, where he remained till his death. He translated parts of the Bible into Slavonic, and wrote fiery tracts against the Papacy; but to all he appeared a schemer and a disappointed man : Calvin speaks of him as a ‘restless busybody’, and Jewel calls him a ‘crafty knave’.
Paleario and Carnesecchi. [1508-70
We return now to those who sympathized more or less with the new views but did not separate from the Church. They were of very different types. Some, like Michelangelo Buonarotti, were simply men of that evangelical spirit which easily comes under suspicion when undue stress is being laid on externals; others, like Falloppio, were bold thinkers who overstepped the limits of medievalism; others, like Giangiorgio Trissino, the author of Sophonisbe, honored by two Popes, directed the shafts of their satire against the Papacy only; others really adopted the Reformed views, like the satiric poet Francesco Berni, whose Orlando Innamorato appears to have been manipulated after his death to disguise the Lutheran flavor. A better representative of these last is Aonio Paleario of Veroli, a man of querulous temper but devoutly Christian life, at once a humanist and a doctrinal Reformer. So early as 1542 he was accused of heresy at Siena, partly owing to a dispute with a preacher at Colle, partly on account of his book Della pienezza, sofficenza, e satisfazione della passione di Cristo. But he had friends, and the trial was stopped without his having to read an oration which he had prepared in his own defence. He continued to write boldly, and to correspond with the German and Swiss Reformers. In 1542 or 1543 he unfolded to them an extraordinary plan for a Council to settle the religious disputes of the day : all the princes of Europe were to choose holy men, ‘entirely free from the suspicion of papal corruption’, to the number of six or seven from each country; and these men, having been consecrated for the purpose by twelve Bishops, chosen out of their whole number by the Pope and the hierarchy on account of their holiness of life, were to act as arbiters and umpires, after hearing the matters in dispute fully discussed in a perfectly free assembly. Paleario became professor of belles-lettres at Lucca in 1546, on the nomination of Sadoleto and Bembo, and in 1555 he went to fill a like office at Milan. Here he was twice proceeded against; in 1559 unsuccessfully in the matter of Purgatory, on the accusation of his former opponent; and again in 1567, when the trial was interrupted by a summons to appear at Rome before the Holy Office itself. He pleaded his age, but ultimately went and stood his trial. His answers on many points were unsatisfactory; but the real ground of his condemnation was his steady assertion that it was unlawful for the Pope to kill heretics, and that, so doing, he could not be the vicar of Christ. He was called upon to make a set abjuration, but refused (June 14, 1570); he was condemned as impenitent in the presence of the Pope himself (June 30); and on July 3 he was strangled and burnt in the Piazza del Castello. The records of the Misericordia say that he died penitent. It is probable that this refers to a general statement of penitence, by means of which, with the connivance of the authorities, the punishment of burning alive was frequently avoided. In any case, Aonio died a martyr not so much for his particular opinions as in the cause of liberty of thought itself.
Another who paid the last penalty was Pietro Carnesecchi. Born in 1508 of a noble Florentine family, he was educated in the house of Cardinal Dovizzi at Rome, and entered the papal service. Under Clement VII he became protonotary apostolic, receiving also many rich benefices and a promise of the cardinalate : so great indeed was his influence that it used to be said that he was Pope rather than Clement. But the death of his master removed him from a post which was not really congenial, and he retired into secular life. A visit to Giulia Gonzaga in 1540 brought him into contact again with Valdés, whom he had known at the papal Court. He now took him as his spiritual teacher, and ever afterwards regarded this as the crisis of his life. From this point his history is recorded in the details of the process instituted against him by the Roman Inquisition. After some years of reading heretical books and conferring with heretics at Venice, he was cited to Rome (1546) and put on his trial for heresy. He denied everything, and ‘fraudulently extorted absolution from the Pope’. After a visit to France, where he met many of the Reformers, he returned to Venice (1552 c.), and there published some of the works of Valdés. In 1557 a new process was commenced against him; he hid himself, and sentence was pronounced upon him as a refractory heretic. Even this was not final. On the death of Paul IV (1559), the people joyously broke open the prisons of the Inquisition, destroyed the records, and suffered the prisoners (seventy-two ‘heresiarchs, or rather infernal fiends,’ says Antonio Caracciolo) to escape. Carnesecchi saw his chance and seized it. His sovereign, Duke Cosimo I, whom he had served as an envoy and councillor of State, took his part; the charges against him were no longer in existence; the new Pope was anxious to relax the severity of his predecessor; and thus, in May, 1561, he was declared innocent. After this he resided at Rome, at Naples, at Florence, always in correspondence with heretics, and for a time with a strong Calvinistic bias, though later his sympathies were Lutheran. The accession of the stern old Inquisitor Ghislieri as Pope Pius V again brought Carnesecchi into danger. Cosimo consented to give him up (being rewarded two years afterwards with the title of Grand Duke); and on July 4, 1566, he was in prison in Rome. The trial was a lengthy one; he fought hard for his life, endeavoring, as was his wont, to resist force by cunning. But it could have only one end. On September 21, 1567, he was handed over to the secular arm, and on October 21, with a friar Giulio Maresio, he was beheaded and burnt.
1566-7] The Catholic reformers.
But the great process against Carnesecchi had an importance apart from the man himself : as it has been said, he is but the secondary figure in it, and its real heroes are the illustrious dead. Carnesecchi was the disciple of Valdés, the friend of Flaminio and Pole; he had been on terms of intimacy with that body of loyal sons and daughters of the Church of whom mention has been made already, who had striven nobly, through evil report and good report, for its reformation, and who had been hopelessly beaten at the Council of Trent. They had been watched and suspected by the Inquisition ever since; some indeed had actually suffered at its hands. Most of them were dead before 1566; but the pursuit of heresy ceased not at the grave, and those who during their lives were revered as the hope of the Church were impugned as suspects or as actual heretics in the famous process of Carnesecchi. This Catholic minority, for such it really was, grew out of the body of friends who centred round Contarini in Venice; it was reinforced by many who had sat at the feet of Valdés, or who had travelled in the north. The aim of this party was the reform of the whole ecclesiastical system; its doctrinal rallying-point was justification by faith in Christ Jesus and not by a man’s own works. So far they were at one with Luther. But, realizing as they did that this had ever been the doctrine of the Church, they were not impelled, as he was, to deny the reality of free will, to depreciate the fruits of faith, or to eviscerate faith itself by reducing it to an act of intellectual assent, and divorcing it from Christian love which issues in action. “We obtain this blessing of complete and perpetual salvation”, wrote Sadoleto to the citizens of Geneva, “by faith alone in God and in Jesus Christ. When I say faith alone, I do not mean, as those inventors of novelties do, a mere credulity and confidence in God, to the exclusion of love and other Christian virtues. This indeed is necessary, and forms the first access which we have to God; but it is not enough. For we must also bring a mind full of piety towards Almighty God, and desirous of performing whatever is agreeable to Him, by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Moreover, loyalty to the Church was with them a fundamental principle. Many no doubt were in frequent and friendly correspondence with the Reformers; but it must be borne in mind that the line of division between the Protestant bodies and the Church was very gradually determined, and that men long hoped for a speedy settlement of the existing divisions. Here again Sadoleto’s letter illustrates their position. He recognizes the existing evils in the Church, and will even grant that there are serious doctrinal errors; but even so, the evils of separation are greater; and to depart from the unity of the body of Christ is to court destruction. “Let us enquire and see which of the two is more conducive to our advantage, which is better in itself, and better fitted to obtain the favor of Almighty God: whether to accord with the whole Church, and faithfully observe her decrees and laws and sacraments, or to adhere to men seeking dissension and novelty. This, dearest brethren, is the place where the road divides: one way leads to life, the other to everlasting death”. The letter is worthy of its occasion : so is the answer which it called forth from Calvin.
Contarini, and Pole. [1541-9
The failure of the Consilium de emendanda Ecclesia, the death of Clement VII, and the secession of Caraffa, had dashed the reformers’ hopes; but they did not lose heart. Contarini was still their leader; and it was probably on this account that he was sent as papal legate to the Colloquy of Ratisbon in 1541, whence he kept up a correspondence with Pole, Morone, and Foscarari, afterwards Bishop of Modena. For a time all went well, and an agreement was come to, not indeed without great difficulty, upon the point of Justification. But neither side really trusted the other; and Contarini himself was jealously suspected by many members of the Curia. Consequently, the effort (the last real effort to conciliate the reformers) came to nothing; Contarini returned in deep sadness to Italy, and died the year after at Bologna. His place as leader of the movement was taken by Reginald Pole, whose house at Viterbo, whither he went as papal governor in 1541, became their headquarters. Here met together for prayer and study Giberti and Soranzo, the former bishop of Verona, the latter before long of Bergamo, Flaminio, Luigi Priuli, Donato Rullo, Lodovico Beccatello, and others. It was probably Pole’s influence which kept Flaminio from seceding to the Lutherans. Not less was his influence with Vittoria Colonna, to whom he was greatly devoted, and who found in him a wise spiritual guide when many others seemed to have gone astray. It was he who advised her to believe that we are justified by faith only, and to act as though we were to be justified by our works.
Little by little their hopes faded. At the Council of Trent, indeed, Pole was one of the Legates, and there were not a few Bishops and theologians who were with him in the matter of Justification. But it soon became clear that the Council and Curia were against him, and Pole left Trent before the decree on the subject was actually made. He relapsed into silence, waiting, and advising his friends to wait, for a more convenient season. It seemed as if this had actually come when, in November, 1549, Paul III died. The English Cardinal was beloved by some, respected by all. In the Conclave which followed it long appeared likely that he would be chosen; and the betting outside, based upon information from within, was much in his favor. But his views on Justification robbed him of the tiara. His rival del Monte was chosen, who took the name of Julius III; and Pole once more went into retirement until his mission to England in 1554. The accession of his enemy Caraffa as Paul IV was a still greater blow. Sadoleto’s commentary on the Romans and Contarini's book on Justification were declared suspect; Pole ceased to be Legate and was for a time disgraced; Morone was actually imprisoned for heresy, and remained in prison until the death of the Pope in 1559. The Inquisition resumed its activity all over Italy. Although the total extinction of heresy was still long delayed, the end was only a question of time. For the springs were dried up, and no new ones burst forth.
Although one of the noblest leaders of the Italian Reform was a Spaniard, the movement never obtained such a hold upon Spain as upon Italy: in part because measures of repression were more promptly and more thoroughly applied, in part, perhaps, because many of the practical abuses had already been abated or removed, while the doctrinal abuses which called forth the protest had not yet prevailed in Spain so largely as elsewhere. Many of the best-known Spanish Reformers lived and died in Flanders or in some other foreign land; and in Spain itself the movement appears to have had little vitality excepting in and about two centres, Valladolid and Seville. Two autos-de-fé at Valladolid and two at Seville, of the thorough kind instituted by the Spanish Inquisition, sufficed to break up the Reformed in these centres. Many fugitives escaped and found refuge in Germany, England, or the Low Countries; and the few who remained were gradually swept away by the same drastic methods of the Inquisition.
A reform of the Spanish clergy, regular and secular, had taken place before Luther arose. It had begun, so far as the regulars were concerned, nearly a century before; for example, the Cistercians had been reformed by Fray Martino de Vargas in the time of Pope Eugenius IV, and afterwards Cardinal Mendoza had worked in the same direction. But the chief agent in it was Fray Ximenez de Cisneros of the Order of St Francis, to be better known as Cardinal Ximenez. At the request of Ferdinand and Isabella he drew up a report on the state of all the monasteries of Spain. Thereupon a Bull was sought from Alexander VI in 1494, by which Cisneros was empowered to visit and set in order all the regulars of Spain; and he inaugurated the most drastic reformation, perhaps, that Religious Houses ever sustained. His action was in general submitted to; but his own Order, which was the worst of all, resisted strenuously, and obtained a Bull of prohibition against him. On further information the Pope annulled this, and the work went on. The monasteries were disciplined, their ‘privileges’ burned, and their rents and heritages taken away and given to parishes, hospitals, &c. A large number of monks who were scandalous evil-livers, and who seemed irreformable, were deported to Morocco, and the work was complete. With the seculars Cisneros was less successful. But by degrees the regulars reacted healthfully upon them; Bishops and provincial synods took them in hand; and the earlier Inquisitors, especially Adrian of Utrecht, did much to put away abuses amongst them. Without doubt, therefore, the moral state of the Spanish clergy in the sixteenth century, especially that of the monks and friars, was immeasurably superior to that of the clergy in any other part of Western Christendom.
Moreover, the purging of the Spanish clergy had been accompanied, or followed, by a revival of learning. Ximenez was a scholar and a munificent patron of scholarship; and under his fostering care the University of Alcalá had become famous throughout Europe as a centre of theological and humane learning. The Cretan Demetrios Ducas taught Greek; Alfonso de Zamora, Pablo Coronel, and Alfonso de Alcalá were expert Hebraists; and amongst other scholars there were the two Vergaras, Lorenzo Balbo, and Alfonso de Nebrija. The greatest monument of the liberality and enterprise of Ximenez was the famous Complutensian Polyglott, which was in preparation at the very time when Erasmus was working at the first edition of his Greek Testament, though it did not begin to appear till 1520.
These facts have no little bearing upon the way in which the writings of Erasmus were received in Spain. To some he was a literary colleague whom they with all the world were proud to honor: to others he was a rival, whose work was to be depreciated wherever possible. Nor was it difficult to do this; for his satirical writings against clerical abuses really did not apply to Spain. Elsewhere, all good men were agreed in combatting the evils against which he wrote. In Spain, the earnestness of his crusade was easily overlooked by those who had not lived abroad; on the other hand, nowhere was there so keen a scent for heresy. His liberal thought, and his ridicule of religious customs which, however liable to abuse, were in themselves capable of justification, seemed most dangerous to the orthodox Spanish mind; and only the more large-hearted were able to discern the genuine depth of his piety.
Nowhere, therefore, did Erasmus’ writings rouse such feelings as in Spain. Diego Lopez de Stúñiga and Sancho Carranza de Miranda inveighed against him, the former repeatedly, accusing him of bad scholarship, of heresy, of impiety, calling him not only a Lutheran but the standard-bearer and leader of the Lutherans. Erasmus replied, publicly and privately, with comparative moderation; and by degrees the controversy died away. Meanwhile he had many personal friends in Spain, through whose influence some of his writings were translated into Spanish, the first being the Enchiridion, which appeared in 1526 or 1527 with a dedication to Manrique the Inquisitor, and bearing his imprimatur. Some spoke against it, including Ignatius Loyola, who says that when he read it (in Latin) it relaxed his fervor and made his devotion grow cold; nevertheless it had a wide popularity. This brought its author into still greater prominence; and a contemporary writer says that his name was better known in Spain than in Rotterdam.
Gradually two hostile camps were formed, of erasmistas and anti-erasmistas. In 1526 the Archdeacon Alfonso Fernandes, the translator of the Enchiridion, wrote to Coronel that certain friars were preaching against its author, and suggesting that they should be censured; on the other hand, the friars demanded that certain theses selected from Erasmus1 writings should be condemned. In the ecclesiastical juntas which met at Valladolid in Lent, 1527, a formal enquiry was begun before Manrique and a body of theologians; but no agreement was reached, and Manrique dissolved the enquiry, leaving things as they were. Alonso Fonseca, Archbishop of Toledo, also took the part of Erasmus; and by the influence of Gattinara and other friends at the Court of Charles V a Bull was obtained from Clement VII imposing silence upon all who spoke or wrote against his writings, which ‘are contrary to those of Luther’. Thus the erasmistas had won a complete victory, and for a time had things all their own way. But after the death of Fonseca in 1534 the tide turned. Juan de Vergara and his brother were cited before the Inquisition, accused, says Enzinas, of no crime but favoring Erasmus and his writings; and although they were ultimately acquitted, it was only after years of detention. Fray Alonso de Virués was condemned for depreciating the monastic state and was immured in a convent; but the charges were so preposterous that Charles V, whose chaplain he was, came to his rescue; and the sentence was annulled by the Pope. Mateo Pascual, professor of theology at Alcalá, was less fortunate; he had expressed a doubt as to purgatory in a public discussion, was imprisoned, and his goods were confiscated. Another who fell under suspicion was the great scholar Pedro de Lerma, who had lived at Paris over fifty years, had been dean of the faculty of Theology there, and had returned to Spain as Abbot of Compludo. In 1537 he was called upon to abjure eleven ‘Erasmian’ propositions, one of which seems to have been justification by faith. He forthwith returned to Paris, at the age of over seventy years, accompanied by his nephew Francisco de Enzinas, in whose arms he died not long after.
‘Erasmianism’ gradually died out in Spain. Elsewhere it either died out, or took a line of its own (as in the case of Juan de Valdés), or became merged in Protestantism. Pedro de Lerma was on the borderline; his nephews crossed it. Francisco de Enzinas (or Dryander as his name was frequently rendered) was the younger brother of that Jaime who was burnt at Rome in 1547; they were sons of rich and noble parents at Burgos, and were educated at Louvain and Paris. On the death of de Lerma Francisco became a matriculated student of Wittenberg University, where there were about that time four other Spanish students, one of whom, Mateo Adriano, was professor of Hebrew and medicine. The young man lived in the house of Melanchthon, becoming so dear to him that he was often spoken of as ‘Melanchthon’s soul’; and it was by his advice that Enzinas translated the New Testament into excellent Spanish. Having finished it he went to the Low Countries; and from this point we are able to follow his steps by means of his Narrative. The edicts of Charles V against heresy were being put into force, but he felt safe, as he had many friends. He presented his version to the theological faculty of Louvain for their imprimatur; but they replied that they had no power to give this, and could not judge of its accuracy. So he himself published it at Antwerp, with a dedication to the Emperor, in which he defended the translating of the Scriptures (against which, he said, he knew no law) and placed his own version under Charles’ protection. On November 23,1543, he arrived at Brussels to present it in person, and was introduced to the Emperor's presence by the Bishop of Jaen. After a conversation of which Enzinas has left a rather partial account, the Emperor promised to accept the dedication provided that the version was satisfactory; and it was submitted to his confessor, Fray Pedro de Soto.
Soto was disposed to be friendly, but took the precaution of making enquiries. The following day he sent for the young man, set before him the dangers of the unguarded reading of the Scriptures, as demonstrated by Alfonso de Castro in his De Haeresibus, and added that Enzinas had broken the law by publishing an unlicensed work; also, that he was still more to blame for consorting with heretics at Wittenberg, and for publishing a heretical book based upon Luther’s De servo arbitrio. Enzinas answered, reasonably enough, that there was no law in Flanders against translating the Bible, and that if it was wrong to consort with the German doctors, then the Emperor himself and many more were to blame. As to the book, he denied roundly that he had ever published anything but the New Testament, a denial which it is very hard to accept. Ultimately he was committed to prison in Brussels for his civil offence, and thus was saved, evidently by Soto’s desire, from the tender mercies of the Spanish Inquisition. There he remained, in easy confinement, until February 1, 1545, when, by the negligence, or more probably connivance, of his gaolers, he escaped and made his way to Wittenberg, and thence to Strasburg, Basel and elsewhere. In disgust at the discords amongst Protestants, he seriously thought of going to Constantinople to preach the Gospel there; but instead of doing so he married a wife, came to England on Cranmer’s invitation, and was made professor of Greek at Cambridge. There he remained for about two years; but in 1549 he returned to the Continent to arrange for the printing of his Spanish versions of the classics, and died at Augsburg on December 30, 1550.
1545-50] Juan Diaz.
Jaime de Enzinas had remained at Paris for some time after his brother’s departure, and whilst there had imbued another Spaniard, Juan Diaz, with his own views. Born at Cuenca, the city of the brothers Valdés, Diaz had studied for thirteen years at Paris, becoming proficient in theology and in Hebrew. About 1545 he went to Geneva, and spent some months in Calvin’s society. Thence he passed to Strasburg with the brothers Louis and Claud de Senarcleus, the latter of whom, with the help of Enzinas, afterwards wrote his life. At Strasburg the tenets of Calvin were held in some suspicion, and before being admitted to communion Diaz was called upon to show his orthodoxy by making a public profession of faith. At the end of the year the city sent Bucer as its deputy to the second Colloquy of Batisbon, summoned by Charles V; and by his desire Diaz was sent with him, meanwhile acting - also as agent for Cardinal du Bellay, the protector of the Huguenots of France. At Ratisbon in 1546 he had a series of discussions with the Dominican Fray Pedro de Malvenda, whom he had known at Paris; but his account of these is very one-sided, and all that is certain is that neither converted the other. From Ratisbon Diaz went to Neuburg on the Danube. Meanwhile, news of his doings reached his brother Alfonso, who was a lawyer at Pavia. He at once hastened to him in the hope of being able to persuade him to return to the Church, or at least to abandon the society of the Germans. On the advice of Ochino, who was then at Augsburg, Juan refused to do either. Alfonso, maddened with fanaticism and the shame of having a heretic in the family, thereupon compassed his death, and, with an accomplice, cruelly assassinated him at Feld-kirchen on March 27, 1546. The murderers were captured and brought to trial at Innsbruck; but as they were in minor Orders, Soto and others caused the case to be cited to Rome, where the murderers escaped scot-free. Not unnaturally the Protestants regarded Diaz as a martyr, and attributed his death to the direct orders of the ecclesiastical authorities; but though they connived at the escape of the murderers, the act itself was certainly one of private vengeance.
Another Spaniard who adopted the Reformed views about this time was Francisco de San Roman, a rich merchant from Burgos. In 1540, going from Antwerp to Bremen on business, he went by chance into a Lutheran church where Jakob Speng, formerly prior of the Austin canons at Antwerp, was preaching. Although he knew no German, he was attracted by the preacher, stayed at his house, and adopted his views. He at once began to preach and to write in Spanish, with the eagerness of fanaticism and the self-confidence of ignorance. Returning to Flanders, he was arrested and examined; his books were burnt, and he himself was imprisoned. Being released after six months, he went to Louvain, where he met Enzinas, who rebuked him for risking his life uselessly by shrieking like a madman in the market-places, and for impiously taking upon himself to preach without a call from God, and without the requisite gifts or knowledge. The rebuke made no impression. In 1541 he went to Ratisbon and presented himself before Charles, who heard him patiently again and again, but at length ordered his detention as a heretic. He was taken to Spain, handed over to the Inquisition, and burned in an auto-de-fé at Valladolid in 1542. His fidelity won him commendation where his rashness and ignorance had failed; and after his death Speng wrote to Enzinas with the tenderest reverence and love for the man whom they had little esteemed while he lived.
Reform movements in Spain. [1521-70
Passing over Pedro Nuñez Vela of Avila, of whom little is known save that in 1548 and again in 1570 he is spoken of as professor of Greek at Lausanne, we turn to Reform movements within Spain itself. Precautions had been taken from 1521 onwards to prevent the diffusion of Lutheran books in Spain. Attempts were not infrequently made to introduce them by sea : in 1524 two casks full were discovered and burnt at Santander, and in the following year Venetian galleys were attempting to land them on the south-eastern shore. But it was neither in Biscay nor in Granada that the storm burst, nor was it caused by the importation of Lutheran books. It began in Seville and in Valladolid, then the capital of Spain; and amongst its leaders, even if they were not its founders, were three chaplains of the Emperor, Dr Agustin Cazalla, Dr Constantino Ponce de la Fuente, and Fray Bartolomé Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain.
To begin with Seville. A noble gentleman there, Rodrigo de Valer, suddenly turned from a worldly life to one of devotion, studying the Bible till he knew it almost by heart. He also began to inveigh against the corruptions of the Church, preaching in the streets and squares, and even on the Cathedral steps, saying that he was sent by Christ to correct that evil and adulterous generation. He was more than once cited before the Inquisition, but treated with great leniency, partly because he was thought to be insane, partly because he was a cristiano viejo, without admixture of Jewish or Moorish blood. At length he was condemned to wear a sambenito and to undergo perpetual imprisonment in a convent. There he died about 1550. His life had not been fruitless: he had made many converts, amongst them the canon Juan Gil, of Olvera in Aragon. Gil, or Egidio (as he was also called), had studied with distinction at Alcala, and was a master of theology of Siguenza. About 1537 he obtained the magistral canonry of Seville, which imposed on him the duty of preaching. At first his preaching had little success. But he gained new views of truth by his intercourse with Valer, and before long he became famous as a preacher.
But he owed even more to his brother-canon, Constantino Ponce de la Fuente, than to Valer; for he it was who first taught him, in set terms, the doctrine of justification by faith. Constantino, a native of San Clemente near Cuenca, had studied at Alcalá with Gil and a certain Dr Vargas; he was a man of great learning, skilled in Greek and Hebrew, who had probably learnt the doctrine of Justification from books. In 1533 he had been made a canon of Seville; and although he was not so popular there as Gil, elsewhere his fame was far greater. The three friends now began to work together, Gil being the most active. He and Constantino preached diligently; Vargas expounded the Gospel of St Matthew and the Psalms; and by degrees they gathered a body of adherents to whom they ministered in secret. For a long while nothing was suspected; in fact, Constantino was chosen by the Emperor to accompany him as his preacher and confessor, and was out of Spain with him from 1548 to 1551, much revered and honored. He subsequently came to England with Philip II, and only returned to Seville late in 1555. During this period he produced a series of books which were then much valued, but were ultimately regarded as heretical.
Meanwhile, the others had been less fortunate. Gil, indeed, had been nominated by the Emperor for a bishopric in 1550; but soon afterwards he and Vargas were cited before the Inquisition. Vargas fell ill and died; but Gil was proceeded against vigorously, the charges including the points of Justification, Works, Purgatory, Invocation of Saints, and actual iconoclasm in the Cathedral. In prison he wrote an apology on Justification which was held to make his case worse; but ultimately, on Sunday, August 21, 1552, he made a public recantation in the Cathedral, extorted, his friends afterwards said, by fraud. He was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment in the castle of Triana near Seville (the headquarters of the Inquisition), with permission to come to the Cathedral fifteen times; he was to fast strictly every Friday, to make his confession monthly, communicating or not as his confessor directed, not to leave Spain, not to say mass for a year, or to exercise other functions for ten years. Gil however did not modify his views. In 1555 he visited the Reformed at Valladolid, and died a few days after his return, early in 1556.
The Chapter of Seville had stood by their colleague nobly, although, or perhaps because, their Archbishop, the stern Fernando de Valdés, was at the head of the Inquisition. They paid Gil a considerable salary whilst he was in prison, and set over his grave in the Cathedral a fine monument; moreover, in spite of great opposition, they elected Constantino magistral canon in his place. He at once took up his friend’s work, and besides preaching began a course of Bible lectures at a school in the city. By degrees he also was suspected by the Inquisition, which frequently summoned him to explain his conduct. When his friends asked him the reason of his frequent visits to Triana, he replied, “They wish to burn me, but as yet they find me too green”. As time went on he began to lose heart, and at length, in order to disarm suspicion, resolved to join the newly-arrived Jesuits. But they had been warned, and refused to receive one who would otherwise have been acceptable enough as a recruit.
At length the Inquisition obtained proof of what they had doubtless long suspected : there existed in Seville a sect of considerable size, whose members met together secretly and had their own organization and services. They had grown up about Gil and Constantino, had increased rapidly, and had obtained copies of the New Testament from abroad through the activity of one of their members. The detection of this society led to the accidental discovery of a large collection of Constantino’s writings, in which he had spoken his full mind. He was at once arrested. After a vain denial, he avowed that the books were his, and that they represented his convictions. He was imprisoned in the dungeons of Triana, and died two years afterwards of disease and privation. Meanwhile, the search went on vigorously; and by degrees all was discovered. From the Sanctae Inquisitionis artes aliquot detectae, published under an assumed name in 1567 by a former member of the sect, it appears that more than eight hundred people were proceeded against altogether. They had two centres, the house of Isabel de Baena, ‘the temple of the new light’, the place ‘where the faithful assembled to hear the Word of God’, and the Hieronymite monastery of San Isidro. Led by their prior Garci-Arias, known as Maestro Blanco from his white hair, the friars of San Isidro embraced the new views almost to a man, amongst them being the learned Cristóbal de Arellano, Antonio del Corro, and Cipriano de Valera; they abolished fasts and mortifications, and substituted readings from the Scriptures for the canonical hours. Amongst the lay members of the sect were Juan Ponce de León, second son of the Count de Bauen, Juan Gonzales, the physician Cristóbal de Losada, and Fernando de San Juan, rector of the Colegio de la doctrina; above all, there was Julian Hernandez, known to the rest as Julianillo, since he was very small of stature and ‘no more than skin and bone’. But he was a man of fearless courage, and by his means they were able to procure religious books in Spanish, including the New Testament. Juan Pérez, the former rector of the Colegio de la doctrina, had fled from Spain when Gil was arrested; in his exile he had prepared a version of the New Testament, which was published at Venice in 1556. By the courage and resourcefulness of Julianillo two great tuns filled with copies were safely smuggled into Seville, despite the watchfulness of the Inquisition.
Little by little the Inquisition got through its work, drawing its net closer and closer about the chief offenders and allowing lesser persons to go free on doing penance. At an auto-de-fé celebrated in the Plaza de San Francisco on September 24,1559, fourteen persons were burnt to death for heresy, including four friars and three women. A large number were sentenced to lesser penalties; and the house of Isabel de Baena, in which they met, was razed to the ground, a ‘pillar of infamy’ being erected on the site. On December 22,1560, a second auto was celebrated at the same place, when eight women, one being a nun, and two men, one of whom was Julianillo, were burnt. Gil, Constantino, and Pérez were burnt in effigy, and a number of friars and others were visited with lesser penalties. Some contrived to escape and fled from Spain; and a few single cases of heresy were dealt with in later years. Thus ended the history of the Reform in Seville.
1542-60] The Reform at Valladolid.
At VALLADOLID the movement had already come to an end, for although it began later than at Seville, it was discovered somewhat earlier. Its founder was Agustin Cazalla, born of rich parents who had lost rank for Judaising. He had studied under Carranza at Valladolid, and afterwards at Alcalá. In 1542 he was made chaplain and preacher to the Emperor, and till 1551 followed the Court. On his return to Spain he was made canon of Salamanca and from that time forward dwelt there or at Valladolid. He became addicted to the Reform either under Carranza’s instructions or in Germany, and was confirmed in his views by Carlos de Seso, a nobleman from Italy who had married a Spanish wife and had been made corregidor of Toro. Seso had heard of justification in Italy, and became an ardent propagandist; in fact it is clear that Toro, not Valladolid, was the real birthplace of the movement in New Castile. A large number of well-born persons accepted Seso’s teaching, including the licentiate Herrezuelo, Fray Domingo de Rojas, many members of the Cazalla family, and many devout ladies; and all who accepted it became teachers themselves. Zamora and Logrono, near which town Seso had a house, were affected by the movement; above all, it found its headquarters in Valladolid, where it soon had a very large following, both of rich and poor. The nuns of the rich House of Belén, outside the city, were largely involved; so were many of the clergy. Meetings and services were held frequently, and the communion administered in the house of Leonor de Vibera, Cazalla’s mother.
It is not known how they were discovered, but the arrests were precipitated by the action taken at Zamora, by the Bishop, against Cristobal de Padilla, steward to the Marquesa de Alcañices, who was preaching the new doctrines there. He was able to warn his friends in the capital, some of whom fled to Navarre, and thence into France. But the greater number were already taken early in June, 1558; the prisons were full; and Valdés the Inquisitor-General was able to report to Charles V, in his retirement at Yuste, that each day brought fresh evidence against them. Moreover, mutual trust was lacking; when under examination, even without torture, they accused one another and endeavored by all means to exculpate themselves, so that there was no lack of incriminating evidence. The cause was pressed on vigorously, special powers being sought from Rome that it might not be delayed; and an auto-de-fé, the first against heresy, was arranged for Trinity Sunday, May 21, 1559, to be held in the Plaza Mayor.
On the appointed day a concourse gathered, the like of which had seldom been seen. After a sermon by the theologian Melchor Cano, the sentences were read out. Fourteen heretics were condemned to death, together with a Portuguese Jew. They were Agustin Cazalla and his brother Francisco (also a priest), his sister and four other women, and seven laymen, including Juan Garcia, a worker in silver of Valladolid, and Anton Asél, a peasant. The bones of Leonor de Vibera were burnt, her house pulled down, and the spot was marked by a ‘pillar of infamy’. Sixteen were reconciled, and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment; thirty-seven were reserved in prison. Of those who suffered, most showed sufficient signs of penitence to be strangled before being burnt, including Cazalla himself. But exhortations were wasted upon the licentiate Herrezuelo, who held to his opinions and was burnt alive.
A second auto followed on October 8, in the presence of Philip himself. Seven men and six women were burnt, and five women were imprisoned for life. The former included Fray Domingo de Rojas, Pedro Cazalla, two other priests, a nun of Santa Clara at Valladolid, and four nuns of Belén; of the latter, three were nuns of Belén. Several of those who were burnt were gagged that they might not speak; but Fray Domingo demanded leave to address the King, and said, “Although I die here as a heretic in the opinion of the people, yet I believe in God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and I believe in the passion of Christ, which alone suffices to save the world, without any other work save the justification of the soul to be with God; and in this faith I believe that I shall be saved”. It would seem, however, that only two were burnt alive, Carlos de Seso and Juan Sánchez.
Many isolated cases of heresy are to be found after this, and doubtless the records of others have perished. Leonor de Cisneros, the mother of Herrezuelo, was burnt alive as an obstinate heretic on September 26, 1568; several cases of heresy were dealt with at an auto-de-fé at Toledo in 1571, and recent research has found a certain number of other instances elsewhere. As time went on such cases were in increasing proportion of foreign origin. But wherever heresy was discovered it was ruthlessly stamped out. Nor was this merely the work of a few officials. From his retirement at Yuste Charles V adjured his son to carry out the work of repression to the uttermost; and Philip replied that he would do what his father wished and more also. He told Carlos de Seso that if his own son were a heretic, he would himself carry the wood to burn him; and in this, as in most other things, he was a typical Spaniard. The rage against heresy regarded all learning, all evangelical teaching, with suspicion; to speak overmuch of faith or of inward religion might be a disparagement of works and of outward religion. Sooner or later most of the learned men of the day were cited on suspicion of heresy, or, if not actually cited, their actions and words were carefully watched. Fray Luis de Leon, poet and scholar, spent nearly five years in the prisons of the Inquisition whilst his works were being examined; and although he was at length acquitted, his Translation of the Song of Solomon was suppressed, and he again fell under suspicion in 1582. Juan de Avila, Luis de Granada, even St Teresa, and St John of the Cross were accused; and it is said that Alva himself and Don John of Austria were not above suspicion.
1503-82] Bartolomé de Carranza.
Above all, the Inquisition struck, and not ineffectively, at the highest ecclesiastic in Spain, and brought him low, even to the ground. Bartolomé de Carranza was born in 1503, of a noble family, at Miranda in Navarre, and he entered the Dominican Order at the age of seventeen. In 1523 he was sent to the College of San Gregorio at Valladolid, of which he ultimately became Rector. It is possible that on a visit to Rome in 1539, to attend the Chapter-general of his Order, he met Juan Valdés. As time went on Bartolomé was more and more honored in Spain for his learning and goodness. In 1545 Charles V sent him as theologian to the Council of Trent, where he won golden opinions. His doctrine of Justification was indeed questioned on one occasion; but he had no difficulty in showing that his words were in harmony with the decree of the Council, and he was vigorous in his treatment of heretical books. In Spain (1553), in England (1554), and in Flanders (1557), he showed himself zealous against heresy; and when, late in the latter year, he was chosen to be Archbishop of Toledo, his own was the single dissentient voice. Having at length accepted the office, he gave himself unreservedly to its duties. But it soon appeared that he was not without enemies. Some of the Bishops were ill-disposed towards him because he rigorously enforced upon them the duty of residence. Valdés, the Inquisitor-General, was jealous of him, perhaps because he himself had aspired to the primatial see. And the great theologian Melchor Cano, of his own order, was a lifelong rival. The two men differed in the whole tone of their minds; Fray Melchor was a thinker of almost mathematical accuracy, while Fray Bartolomé reasoned from the heart.
Under these circumstances very little evidence would suffice for a process for heresy; and Carranza himself, learning that it was in contemplation, wrote repeatedly to the Inquisitors in his own defence. Valdés however had applied to Rome for permission to proceed against him. The brief arrived on April 8, 1559, the King gave his permission in June, and in August Carranza was arrested and imprisoned. The main charges against him were based upon his relations with Cazalla, Domingo de Rojas, and others then under condemnation; upon his writings, especially the Commentaries on the Catechism, which he had published at Antwerp just after he became primate; and upon his last interview with Charles V. Of these the first head was by far the most serious. Many of the accused at Valladolid spoke of the way in which he had met their doubts in the early days of the movement; and Rojas in particular, desiring to shelter himself under the aegis of his old master, had in effect implicated him. The evidence showed that he had been in correspondence with Juan Valdés; and it seems clear that at this period his position had been that of the loyal doctrinal Reformers of Italy. Although he had willingly accepted the Tridentine decree on Justification, it does not appear that his doctrinal position ever really changed. His interview with Charles V had been very short, but he was accused of making use of words which savoured of heresy. The Catecismo was next examined : and, although some, both of the prelates and of the doctors, had no fault to find, others censured it severely. Melchor Cano in particular found much that was ambiguous, much that was temerarious, much that was even heretical, in the sense in which it was said. Nevertheless, the Tridentine censors had pronounced the book orthodox and had given it their approval.
The process dragged on its slow length, with many delays and many interruptions. At length the case was cited to Rome. On December 5, 1566, Carranza came out of his prison, and a few months afterwards he set out for Italy. Here the question had to be reopened, and the documents re-examined and in many cases translated, which involved a further delay. But it appears that Pius V was convinced of Carranza’s innocence; and a decree would probably have been given in his favor had not the Pope died on May 1, 1572. His successor Gregory XIII reopened the case, and sentence was not actually given till April 14, 1576. The Archbishop was declared to have taken many errors and modes of speech from the heretics, on account of which he was ‘vehemently suspected’ of heresy; and he was condemned to abjure sixteen propositions. Having done this, and performed certain penances, he was to be free from all censures, but to be suspended for five years from the exercise of his office, meanwhile dwelling in the house of his Order at Orvieto. The Catecismo was prohibited altogether. The decision was severe, but not unjust according to the views of the sixteenth century, which applied the tests of doctrinal orthodoxy to the minutiae of individual opinion. But Carranza was no longer subject to it; for seventeen years in prison had broken his strength. He endeavored to fulfill his penances, humbly made his profession of faith and received the Eucharist, and expired on May 2, 1576.
Thus ended the Reform in Spain, as it had ended in Italy, uprooted by the intolerant dogmatism which assumed that there was an ascertained answer to every possible theological question, confused right-thinking with accuracy of knowledge, and discerned heresy in every reaction and every independent effort of the human mind. Many of those who had been driven out of Spain continued to work elsewhere. Such were Juan Perez already referred to, Cassiodoro de Reina, and Cipriano Valera, each of whom translated the whole Bible into Spanish, and many more. But without following these further, mention must be made of one great Spanish thinker of the earlier part of the century, who spent most of his life abroad. Miguel Serveto y Reves was born at Tudela in Navarre about 1511, his family being of Villanueva in Aragon; and he studied at Toulouse. As secretary to Juan de Quintana, the Emperor's confessor, he was with him at Bologna in 1529 and at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 (where he met Melanchthon, of whose Loci communes he became a diligent student), but soon afterwards left his service and went to Basel. In 1531 he published his De Trinitatis Erroribus, and in 1552 two Dialogues on the Trinity: and the suspicion which he incurred by his views led him to flee to France. Here for the first time he met Calvin, who was his antithesis in every way, being as clear, logical, and narrow in his views as Serveto was the reverse. After acting as proofreader to Trechsel at Lyons, and producing a remarkable edition of Ptolemy, he went to study medicine at Paris. In this field he greatly distinguished himself, for he appears to have been the first discoverer of the circulation of the blood. After a period of wandering, during which he submitted to rebaptism by the Anabaptists of Charlieu, he came to Vienne, where his old pupil Pierre Palmier was now Archbishop, and remained there till 1553. In 1546-7 he engaged in a violent theological controversy with Calvin; and when at length he published his Christianismi Restitutio the letters were added to the book as a kind of appendix. Not unnaturally offended, Calvin meanly accused his adversary, through an intermediary, to the Inquisition, and in April, 1553, both Serveto and the printer of the book were imprisoned. Serveto made his escape, probably by complicity of his gaolers, and was burned in effigy (June 17). He now resolved to make his way into northern Italy; but by a strange mischance he went by way of Geneva. His arrival was reported to Calvin, who resolved that his enemy should not escape; the blasphemer must die. On October 27, 1553, Serveto was burnt at the stake.
It is difficult to estimate his theological position; for his one follower, Alfonso Ligurio of Tarragona, is now little more than a name. Miguel Serveto stands quite alone, and towers far above other sceptical thinkers of his age. In some ways essentially modern, he is in others essentially medieval. He could not throw in his lot with any party because he held that all existing religions alike were partly right and partly wrong. It is impossible to judge of him by constructing a theological system from his writings; for his mind was analytic and not synthetic, his tenets varied from time to time, and his system was after all but a framework by means of which he endeavoured to hold and to express certain great ideas—creation in the Logos, the immanence of God in the universe, and the like. But in his anxiety to correct the rigidity of the theological conceptions of his age he took up a position which often degenerated into the merest shallow negation; and his books on the Trinity are anti-trinitarian, not because of his teaching, but in spite of it. And thus, whilst supplying many elements which were lacking to the religious consciousness of most other men of his age, he obscured them, and marred his own usefulness immeasurably, by alloying them with elements of dogmatic anti-trinitarianism which were never of the essence of his teaching.
In Portugal the religious revolt never attained serious dimensions: there were a few erasmistas, and a number of foreigners were proceeded against for heresy from time to time; but that is all. Nevertheless, the prevalence of heresy was one of the reasons alleged for the founding of the Lisbon Inquisition; and the circumstances under which this took place may well claim attention here.
The social condition of Portugal in the early part of the sixteenth century was not a little remarkable. Great opportunities for acquiring wealth had suddenly been opened to its people by the discovery and colonization of the Indies. The result was that they flocked abroad as colonists, or else left the country districts in order to engage in commerce at Oporto or Lisbon, which rapidly increased in size. But this had a curious effect upon the rural districts. Before long there were scarcely any peasants, and the few that there were demanded high wages. To supply their place, the landowners began to import huge gangs of negro slaves, who were far cheaper, and could be obtained in any number that was required. But this system had one great disadvantage, so far as the exchequer was concerned. It became increasingly difficult to get the taxes paid; for there was no longer anybody to pay them, the property of the merchants being for the most part not within reach for the purpose. And thus the King, Dom Joao III (1526-57), found himself in a curious position. He had great hoards of money in the treasury, but there was a continual drain upon them; and there were no means of replenishing them, although he reigned over the richest people in Europe. In a letter to Clement VII dated June 28, 1526, he complains of his poverty, and gives this as his reason for not succoring the King of Hungary in his resistance to the Turks.
Various expedients were adopted in order to replenish the royal treasury. Amongst others, a Bull of 1527 gave the King the right of nominating the heads of all monasteries in his realm, with all the pecuniary advantages which this privilege involved. But Dom Joao soon found that he could not make much from this source without scandalizing his people and incurring the enmity of the Church. There was however a source of revenue, yet untapped, which was not open to this objection : namely, the novos cristaos. If he could proceed against them as was done in Spain, a lucrative harvest was ready to hand. Accordingly, early in 1581 the King instructed Bras Neto, his agent in Rome, to apply to the Holy See for a Bull establishing the Inquisition in Portugal on the lines of that of Seville, and urged him to use every means in his power to this end, since it would be for the service of God and of himself, and for the good of his people.
Bras Neto’s task proved to be one of considerable difficulty. One Cardinal, the Florentine Lorenzo Pucci, declared roundly that no Inquisition was needed, and that it was only a plan to fleece the Jews; and his nephew, Antonio, who succeeded him as Cardinal, proved little more tractable. The Jews themselves had always been influential with the Curia, and they resisted strenuously. Bras Neto found that, for his purpose, heresy was a better name to conjure with than Judaism; and he did not fail to press the necessity for the Inquisition as a safeguard against it. At length he succeeded, and on December 17, 1531, the Bull Cum ad nihil was signed, which provided for the inauguration of the Inquisition at Lisbon. The reasons given were that some of the novos cristaos were returning to the rites of their Jewish forefathers, that certain Christians were Judaising, and that others were following ‘the Lutheran and other damnable heresies and errors’ or practising magical arts. These reasons were, as Herculano has said, ‘in part false, in part misleading, and in part ridiculous’: there were no Lutherans in Portugal; the novos cristaos had as yet given no trouble there; and the Christians of Portugal were no more inclined to Judaism, and less inclined to magic than those of other parts of Europe. But the allegations had served their purpose. On January 13,1532, a brief was dispatched to Frey Diego da Silva, the King’s confessor, expediting the Bull and nominating him as Inquisitor-General; and it looked as if the question was ended. As a matter of fact it was hardly begun. For now began a series of intrigues and counter-intrigues on the matter, now one side getting the best of it and now the other. The brave knight Duarte de Paz, who was the agent for the Jews, worked for them with a zeal and vigour restrained only by the fact that he was a Portuguese subject. The King more than once procured laws which placed the Jews at the mercy of his subjects, and then had to withdraw them. Money, promises, threats were freely expended on both sides. Herculano calculates that between February, 1531, when the matter was first opened, and July, 1547, when it was finally settled, over two million cruzados (or nearly £300,000) were paid by the King to the Papacy, without counting gifts to individual Cardinals. And since the Jews disbursed money even more freely, it is clear that one party at any rate was the gainer by the negotiations.
To trace the changes in detail. On October 17,1532, a brief was issued suspending the Bull of December 17, 1531. On April 7,1533, this was followed up by a Bull which divided the novos cristaos into two classes, those who had received baptism by compulsion and those who had been baptized voluntarily or in infancy: the former are not bound to observe the laws of the Church, the latter are, but their past failures are condoned. The King was very angry at this amnesty and directed his agents to suggest various alternatives, one being that the Jews should be shipped to Africa so as to be interposed between Christians and Moors. But Clement VII did not waver. On April 2,1534, he dispatched a dignified brief to Dom Joao, saying that he was not bound to give reasons for his action, but that he would do so as an act of grace; and he proceeded to give his reasons with admirable clearness. Not long afterwards he died. His successor Paul III seemed more tractable at first. But he would not withdraw the pardon, even when Dom Joao threatened to renounce the papal obedience like the King of England. At length however, at the desire of Charles V, Paul agreed to the setting-up of the Inquisition; and it was again provided for by a Bull of May 23, 1536. But the matter did not end here, and it was not until July 16,1547, that the precise extent of the amnesty was settled and the Inquisition finally established.
Even when it was established it had very little to do with heresy properly so called. A few writings, for instance those of Antonio Pereira Marramaque, who insisted upon the duty of translating the Bible, were placed on the Portuguese Index; but it was far more largely concerned with foreign works than with those of natives. A considerable number of foreign students or traders came under its influence; for instance, the Scottish poet George Buchanan (1548 c.) and the Englishmen William Gardiner and Mark Burgess. Even the records of the foreign Church at Geneva, so largely recruited from Spain and Italy, only supply some five or six Portuguese names. So that Damiao de Goes remains the one Portuguese heretic of distinction during this period.
1538-72] Damiao de Goes.
Damiao was born about 1501 of a noble family, went to Antwerp about 1523, and spent six years there in study. Then he travelled in the north, and returned by way of Germany, passing through Münster to Freiburg, where he stayed some months with Erasmus, and had long conferences with him. After this he was in Italy from 1534 to 1538, with one short interval, during which he came to Basel to tend Erasmus, who died in his arms on the night of July 11-12, 1536. In 1537, at the desire of Sadoleto, he began a correspondence with the Reformers at Wittenberg, in the hope of bringing them back to the Church. He was at Louvain in 1538, and after fighting on the side of Flanders and being for two years a prisoner of war, he at length returned to Portugal in 1545. He was almost immediately denounced to the Inquisition, but as the charges were vague and the Inquisitor-General his friend, he was set free, and soon after was appointed royal archivist and historiographer. In 1550 a second denunciation was made by Simao Rodrigues, a Jesuit who had known him in Italy; it was more precise and therefore more dangerous, but although he was vehemently suspected the charges fell through. More than twenty years later, however, the charges were again disinterred. He was brought before the judge Diogo da Fonseca, on April 4, 1571, and remanded; and the old man of seventy remained in prison for twenty months while the charges were being investigated. He frankly confessed that he had been remiss in the performance of his religious duties, and that he had held certain points of doctrine which were then held by many great theologians, and were only subsequently made unlawful by the Council of Trent. This, he said, was between 1531 and 1537; and against it he set more than thirty years of blameless life. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment. Here the King interfered, commuted the punishment, and sent him on December 16, 1572, to perform his penance in the monastery of Batalha. We do not know when he returned to his own home; but he died there not long afterwards of an accident, a judgment, as people said.
Such then was the work of the Portuguese Inquisition during this period in its relation to heresy. It was founded for reasons ostensibly religious, but actually fiscal; and although when once established it made Protestantism impossible in Portugal, there is nothing to suggest that the movement for Reform would have found many adherents there had there been no Inquisition.